How are you doing on your New Year’s resolution? Whether you love them or hate them, resolutions are a New Year tradition for most people. The purpose, of course, is to identify areas in your life for improvement and then resolving to stop doing the bad things or begin doing beneficial things. The overwhelming majority of resolutions take time and, unfortunately, the majority fail. Lucky for you, the award-winning attorneys at the Law Offices of John Day have a resolution for your New Year that is easy, does not take much time at all but could make all the difference in the event you are involved in a car accident.
Let’s start with why this New Year resolution is so important. Tennessee is one of the deadliest states in the nation for car accidents. It is tied with Louisiana for the 7th deadliest state for car accidents. To better understand this statistic, the result is that you are 3x more likely to die in a car accident in Tennessee than you are in New York or Massachusetts. Compounding the problem is the fact that Tennessee ranks 3rd in the nation for uninsured drivers. While the national average is 12.6%, nearly 25% of the drivers on Tennessee roadways do not have any car insurance whatsoever. Think about that; one in four drivers that you pass on your way to work, to the grocery store, to the Titans game or wherever has zero insurance. None.
If you are injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, the chances of you receiving compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost time from work, etc. is remote unless you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is coverage you buy to protect you and your family in the event you are injured by one of those nearly 25% of drivers who do not have any insurance or if you are injured by a driver who does not have enough insurance to pay for the harm that they caused. The minimum car insurance in the State of Tennessee is $25,000. An ambulance ride and a basic night in the hospital averages more than $4,000. If you need a CAT scan, an MRI, x-rays, surgery, multiple nights, physical therapy, future surgeries, etc. it is very easy to exhaust that $25,000 in medical bills without any compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent impairments, etc.
If you are reading this blog post and think it does not apply to you because you have “full coverage”, please check. Our attorneys are often told by injured clients that they have “full coverage” but when we review their policy they do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Instead, they only have collision and comprehensive. We truly hate delivering this news to our clients.
So, here it is: your resolution to do this first week of the New Year is to find your insurance policy and see if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not have it, call or email your insurance agent and ask her or him to quote multiple levels of it so that you can figure out what level of coverage works for your budget. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is surprisingly affordable, and we would encourage you to purchase as much coverage as you can reasonably afford. If you do already have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, now is the time to reflect on whether you have the right level of coverage or if you might need additional protection.
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and we wish you health and prosperity for 2024. And, as always, we are here if you need us.