What Happens When The Other Driver Has No Insurance?

It’s a nightmare no driver wants to face. Everyone on the road is supposed to have insurance to help cover the costs of injuries. The other driver’s insurance company is supposed to provide compensation. But what happens if the other driver doesn’t have insurance? How do you get the money you need for hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, repairing your vehicle, and all the other troubles that come after a car accident?

Here are the steps you can take:

Get Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

All insurance companies are required to offer you uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is the first step in getting your bills paid if you’re injured by someone without insurance. Tennessee requires motorists to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Unless you reject it in writing, there is a good chance that you can just contact your insurance company and invoke this part of your policy to get compensation. Generally, the amount covered by the uninsured motorist coverage is the same amount that’s covered by your standard liability insurance.

If you have to use this insurance, you may have to pay a deductible. Assuming that the other driver was at fault, you can sue the driver for your deductible amount in small claims court. A personal injury attorney can help you prepare your case if you plan on suing the driver.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers the costs of vehicle repairs in the event that the other driver cannot pay enough to cover it. It does not cover the costs of any injuries. But if your car is totaled, then collision coverage can help you get the money you need to get a new vehicle. However, collision coverage is an extra purchase for your policy so it will raise your premium to add it.

What if it’s Not Enough?

If you only have the minimum coverage and your injuries are extensive or long-lasting, your coverage may not be enough to deal with all of the costs. In these cases, you may need to turn to the help of a personal injury attorney to sue the responsible party directly. Tennessee is an at-fault state. In other words, if you can prove to the court that the other driver was at fault in the accident, then they will be held responsible.

However, if the other driver isn’t carrying insurance they may not have enough assets to seize through a lawsuit to make it worth your while. A consultation with a car accident attorney can help you understand your options, as well as help you determine whether or not it would be worth the time and money to file a suit. You have up to one year after the accident for personal injury claims and three years after the accident for property damage claims, so don’t feel like you have to rush this decision. Start with your insurance company first, then contact an attorney.

How to Handle the Aftermath of an Auto Accident

Hopefully a car accident is a rare occurrences in your life. But nearly everyone will go through an auto accident, large or small, at some point in their life. You need to know what to do, not just for legal purposes, but also for insurance purposes. Here are some tips you need to know to handle the aftermath of an auto accident:

Check for Injuries 

If it is possible, pull over to the shoulder of the road to stay out of traffic. Then, check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If it is safe to do so and you are able to, go to the other car and check on the other occupants. Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries that happened. Follow the instructions of the operator.

Exchange Information 

The next step is to exchange information with the driver. You will need their name, phone number, and insurance information. This will allow you to file a claim for the accident. Give them your information as well. Make a note if any of the drivers do not have insurance.

Do not claim that the accident was your fault, or their fault, to the other driver. That’s for the auto insurance people and the courts to determine. Claiming an accident was your fault could jeopardize your claim.

Document the Scene

Take photographs of the scene and the damage to your vehicle. This can serve as evidence for the insurance companies, and any potential court case you might file, about what happened. It will also help the insurance companies make a better estimate of what needs to be covered.

Give a Report

When the officer arrives, give your report of what happened. Be truthful and complete about the facts of the situation. Assuming nothing has happened that would require an arrest, such as a DUI, the officer will give you information that will let you contact the police station for progress on the investigation. The police should also be able to help tow your vehicle, if needed.

Gather Financial Documentation

Once your car is at a mechanic, get an estimate for the repairs. If there were injuries, get an estimate for medical bills as well, if you can. You may wish to call a lawyer at this point. They can advise you on what other documentation you might need to make a strong case to the insurance company.

Call the Insurance Company

Either on your own with good documentation, or with the help of a lawyer, contact the insurance company to report the incident and make a claim to cover the costs. Be prepared for a lot of questions and to file a statement. You might have to wait while the insurance company does their own investigation by calling the other party and the police to get their sides of the story.

When the insurance company comes forward with a settlement offer, your lawyer can help you determine whether or not it is a fair offer. Their first offer isn’t always the best one, but having a lawyer on your side can improve the likelihood that they won’t lowball you. If the offer is really unfair or violates the policy, your lawyer can assist you in fighting the offer in court.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Did you know that distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road? Yes, even more than drunk driving! One day, texting while driving might be as socially unacceptable as drunk driving. But that day hasn’t arrived yet, which is why we’re seeing cases like these:

  • Four bus drivers in Knox County have been charged under a new law that prohibits school bus drivers from using electronic devices while on the road. The new law now mandates 30-day jail sentences for people convicted of this crime. Hamilton County was the first test of the law, but that case also involved vehicular homicide charges when six children were killed in the crash.
  • You know that solar eclipse coming up soon? TDOT has issued a public service announcement warning people not to stop their cars on the interstate or otherwise interfere with traffic while the eclipse is occurring. They are worried that people will wear eclipse glasses and drive down the roads. They are also expecting a huge increase in traffic volume since Tennessee is within the eclipse totality path.

On a much more serious note, traffic fatalities are up in Chattanooga over last year due to distracted driving. The city has the second highest traffic fatality rate in the state this year. So far this year, 65 traffic deaths have occurred, which is 13 more than this time last year.

What can be done to control distracted driving? These days even our vehicles seem like they’re designed to distract with new touchscreen interfaces and all sorts of connectivity options to our wireless devices. From the individual driver standpoint, there are a lot of things you can do:

  • The best thing is to turn off all wireless devices in the vehicle and ask your passengers to do the same. We’ve trained ourselves to feel like we need to respond to every buzz and beep, so shutting a device completely off is the best route. Consider your car like you would a movie theater.
  • If you must keep your phone on, use hands-free devices so you’ll never have to pick up your phone to use it. Keep your calls short and to the point. If traffic starts to get heavy, hang up. It’s better to stay safe.
  • Don’t eat in the car if you can help it. While it may not be illegal like texting, it is a form of distraction.
  • Keep your eyes out for other distracted drivers. Just because you’re safe doesn’t mean that the other drivers around you are!

If you are injured in an accident, any evidence that the other driver was distracted at the time will help your case considerably. The chances that your contributions to a percentage of fault in the crash will be much lower, which means more potential compensation. Likewise, if you’re shown to be distracted before an injury accident, your compensation will be at risk.

Don’t think you can hide it, either. Police are working on ways to detect whether you were using an electronic device prior to a crash. New York is examining a new device they’re calling a “textalyzer” that does just that. It’s still under development, but if it works well and holds up in court, it could create a chilling effect on distracted driving. Ultimately, that makes us all safer.

What Role Do Attorneys Play In Trucking Accident Cases?

When you are in a trucking accident, there are often special circumstances that only an experienced attorney can handle effectively.  Truck accident lawyers use a combination of traffic laws, insurance laws, and personal injury laws to get the most out of the justice system to ensure that the victims involved can receive the most out of their claims or cases.

How a Trucking Accident Case Works

If you have been injured in a trucking accident you will get more protection and feel more secure when you hire an experienced attorney to handle your case.  Attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases dealing with trucking and car accidents are assigned to your case and can negotiate with the other parties involved and they can determine who should pay for the damages that incurred. An attorney can work with the insurance and company if the truck is a commercial vehicle.

Court officials and insurance companies will collect all of the data together in order to conclude exactly what happened when the accident occurred.  This can be completed using police reports, photos, and other evidence, and then use the local traffic laws as well as legal concepts such as to determine who caused the accident.  Whoever is determined to be at fault for the accident is the person who will have to pay for any lost wages, medical and property expenses, as well as any harm related to pain and suffering.

There isn’t an exact science to calculating what a person will be entitled to receive since there are cases where both drivers are at fault for the accident and all states have slightly different rules associated with certain situations where there is more than one person responsible for the accident. Some states require that one party pays all the bills while other states require the two parties to split the damages and fees according to the amount each party is to blame, per the accident history.

What Role Does Auto Insurance Play?


Thanks to insurance policies put in place, most people do not pay for all of the damages stemming from a trucking collision out of pocket. Automobile insurance may pay to repair at least some of the damages or replacement cost for all or some of the vehicles involved and may pay for some medical expenses as well. Insurance companies may also pay for an attorney, if necessary, although in most of these cases the clients have an attorney selected by the insurance company rather than choosing their own attorney to represent them.  State laws also vary widely on the extent and types of insurance coverage that is required for a person to drive a commercial truck.

How To Determine Who Is At Fault?

Determining who pays for the damages after a collision with a truck is slightly more complicated than other kinds of accidents because trucks are often commercially owned, so the liability insurance policies may rest not only on the driver but on the owner of the truck as well.  The laws regarding who is at fault may vary depending on the types of vehicles involved and the coverage.  Most semi-truck drivers are usually professionally trained and certified and have to drive more carefully than most other drivers.  Determining who pays for the damage after a collision with a semi-truck or commercial truck is slightly more complicated than other kinds of accidents due to the particulars involved in trucks that are commercially owned.

For more information regarding personal liability and trucking accidents, contact Chattanooga law firm Dennis & King today!

What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident

After a serious motorcycle accident, you may have questions about what damages and losses can be covered by your insurance or the other parties in the accident.

Contacting a law firm is the best initial step you should take before you do anything.  Attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accidents prevent you from making regretful decisions like settling on an amount from the insurance company that doesn’t cover all  medical bills, injuries, and inconvenience factors like car rentals and loss of wages. In Chattanooga, law firms and attorneys like those from Dennis and King Law, are knowledgeable about motorcycle accidents.

A lot of times,  motorcycle accidents can cause injuries that land you in the hospital, causing you to miss work and rack up expenses that are oftentimes unpaid. Returning to work after an injury is also tough since most people are still healing and need accommodations to their daily routines and often slows their productivity.

When motorcycle accidents occur, the parties involved (whether they are at fault or not) usually have little knowledge about what they can legally ask for to cover damages of assets, medical bills, cost to repair vehicle damages, and insurance issues and hold ups for paying injury costs.

When you hire an attorney, everything you need to know about claims and laws are clearly defined for you. Having an attorney brings clarity as it makes the overall process of filing a claim and getting what you are entitled to receive. When everything is simplified by the attorney you are not taken advantage of or have to worry about whether or not your claim of personal injury will be fully covered.

When motorcycle accidents involve a company, individuals who have incurred personal injury are usually already stressed enough from visiting doctors, taking their truck or vehicle in for repairs, talking to a ton of insurance agents who give you estimates that are barely comprehensible, and making accommodations for transportation to take care of the things you normally would before the accident occurred.

Having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney walk you through an entire process of lawsuits can provide relief, which is why most people who have been in a motorcycle accident with a lawyer recommend to people they know to do the same.

An experienced attorney in motorcycle accidents can provide free consultation and choose to have a law firm to work on your case can be the smartest, first step to getting what you deserve for the trauma, damages, and loss that was inflicted.

What should you do when you are in a car accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, what should you do to protect yourself from being taken advantage of and from being held responsible for damages and personal injury that you or other parties involved in the accident may incur?

The car accident attorneys from Dennis & King provide some helpful steps to take in the event you are in a car accident.

1. STOP & TURN OFF YOUR VEHICLE

First and foremost, you never want to drive away from a scene of an accident. Also, you can cause further damage to your car or a fire can occur if you drive away with damages that can cause spontaneous combustion.

2. PROTECT THE ACCIDENT SCENE

Keeping your lights on, putting up flares, and creating a space around your vehicle, especially on a highway, can prevent you from getting ran over and also prevent others from crashing into your car if the accident occurs at night. Unless the vehicles involved in the accident are in the way of traffic, they should remain where they are until an official report and record of the damage is taken.

3. FILE AN OFFICIAL RECORD WITH POLICE

When the police arrive, make sure you tell the police officer the exact events you recall which led up to the accident. A lot of times being in an accident causes people to say things that are emotionally driven and can lead to saying misleading comments to the officer. It’s important to not speculate, misstate, or second guess yourself when stating any of the facts to the officer taking down the report. If you are asked if you are injured and you are not sure, say you are not sure, rather than just saying no.

4. TAKE QUALITY PHOTOS SHOWING DAMAGES

If you happen to have a camera in your vehicle, or a cell phone equipped with a camera, you should take pictures of the vehicles if there is visible damage. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well. However, you should in no way interfere with the ongoing police investigation. If you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, take them as soon as possible after the accident.

5. EXCHANGE CONTACT & INSURANCE INFORMATION

Typically, the investigating police officer obtains this information. However, if the police do not respond to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and telephone number of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. You should also obtain information about insurance by asking to see the insurance card for all vehicles involved in the accident.

6. REPORT ACCIDENT TO INSURANCE AGENT

Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Many policies require immediate reporting and full cooperation. Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your insurance coverage. Including witness statements and police reports for your insurance agent can help speed up the process of filing and receiving payment for your claim injuries and damages.

7. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION

Often, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are not immediately obvious and can take hours or even days before you take notice. Unless you are 100 percent certain that you were not injured, you should seek medical attention at your local emergency room or by making a rush appointment with your family doctor. Accidents involving minor impact can still cause injuries serious enough to result in permanent injuries to your spinal cord. Losing consciousness or experiencing dizziness, even a short period of time, may be due to suffering from a concussion or a closed head injury. If left unchecked and untreated this could cause cognitive and behavioral changes.

8. KEEP A FILE OF ALL RECORDS & PHOTOS

Keep all your accident-related documents and information together. This information should include a claim number, the claim adjuster who is handling the claim, names and phone numbers of all contacts, receipts for a rental car and other expenses incurred as a result of the accident. If there are witnesses, you should collect information from them as well so that your insurance agent or your attorney can contact them in the future to clarify any of the details.

9. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS & HIRE AN ATTORNEY

Contacting an attorney is probably the best thing you can do since they can remind you how successfully prevent from being at fault in an accident and giving unnecessary information that can be taken as facts of the accident that occurred. Your attorney can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not compromised. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident. It is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement since the main goal of the insurance agent is to save them money on paying out for damages and medical bills over personal injury.

Prevent yourself from becoming a victim by contacting the car accident attorneys at Dennis & King Law today!

What to do After a Truck Accident

Being involved in a semi-truck accident that causes wreckage and injuries can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved.  Though the moments after an accident can feel chaotic, it’s important to remember the following general guidelines that many attorneys give in order to protect individuals from being held liable for the accidents and injuries afflicted.

STEP 1. SEEK MEDICAL HELP

The first thing to remember to do after an accident involving a commercial truck, 18-wheeler, or semi-truck is to get medical help by dialing 911 and reporting the accident.  Taking care of your injuries you sustained during the accident should be your number one priority.

STEP 2. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY

An experienced truck accident attorney is the best resource and choice you can make. Lawyers with experience in the field can guide you through the necessary steps needed to preserve evidence and bring a claim to the parties involved.

STEP 3 – DO NOT ADMIT GUILT

When talking with the EMT and police at the site of the accident, it is important to be honest with what you tell them happened, however.   It is equally important to filter out any additional comments by keeping the conversation minimal. Prevent yourself from asking questions, like, “was anyone hurt?”, for example.

You should also never do or say the following:

  • Apologize for the accident.
  • Blame yourself for the accident (using the words “my fault”).
  • Promise other drivers or passengers involved that your insurance will pay for everything.
  • Admit things like “I didn’t notice you” or anything of that nature.

Making comments of this sort could be perceived as an admission of fault, which can risk damaging your case down the road for the damage and personal injury costs that resulted from the trucking accident.  

STEP 4. REPORT THE ACCIDENT

If you have not already dialed 911 for medical help, this is the time to do so to make an official report the accident. Most state laws require that accidents are reported right away and leaving the scene before the police come to take a report is also a crime in many states. Having a report is extremely important when someone has been injured and needs immediate medical attention as these details can be recorded and used as official documentation/evidence in the future.

STEP 5. VISIT A DOCTOR

Scheduling an appointment with a doctor is critical, even when you are certain you don’t need it.  After an accident, you may have injuries that you’re not aware of.  The importance of making sure that you did not sustain any serious personal injuries cannot be overstated.  In the event that you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, that you are seen by a doctor or other health care professional immediately.

STEP 6. REPORT YOUR CLAIM WITH INSURANCE

Reporting an insurance claim with your insurance is the final step of safeguarding yourl injury and damages claim.  Other tips before contacting insurance would be to review your policy to find out how much coverage you have and what kind of coverage your policy entails.

Personal Injury Laws Involving Commercial Truck and Trucking Accidents

After a serious trucking accident, you may have many questions about the laws and what you are covered for the damages and loss.

Contacting a truck accident attorney may be the best first step you can take before you regret settling for insurance costs that provide you with no comfort or resolution for the injuries you have.

In Chattanooga, the attorneys from Dennis and King have in-depth experience with trucking laws and are knowledgeable about trucking accidents.

When commercial trucking accidents occur, the people and companies involved (whether they are at fault or not) usually have little knowledge about what they can legally ask for to cover damages, medical bills,  and car repair costs.

When trucking accidents involve a company, individuals who have incurred personal injury are usually already stressed enough from visiting doctors, taking their truck or vehicle in for repairs, talking to a ton of insurance agents who give you estimates that are barely comprehensible, and making accommodations for transportation to take care of the things you normally would before the accident occurred.

A lot of times, injuries that occur from trucking accidents can cause injuries that land you into the hospital, causing you to miss work and rack up expenses that are oftentimes unpaid.  Returning to work after having a personal injury is also tough since most people are still healing and need accommodations made to their daily routines and often slows their productivity.

Having an experienced lawyer to walk you through an entire process of lawsuits involving truck accidents can provide relief, which is why most people who have experienced being in a commercial trucking accident with a lawyer recommend to people they know to do the same.

An experienced attorney in trucking accidents can provide free consultation and choosing to have a law firm to work on your case can be the smartest, first step to getting what you deserve for the trauma, damages, and loss that was inflicted.

How Motorcycle Helmets Affect Your Accident Case

If you were in a motorcycle accident but not wearing a helmet, can you still collect damages from the at-fault driver?

This is a question that comes up quite often when clients are discussing their cases. In brief, the answer is “Yes, but with a very important restriction.”

First, the motor vehicle laws in Tennessee and Georgia require that anyone riding a motorcycle must wear a helmet. Not wearing a helmet has no bearing on your right to sue for damages because the accident would have happened regardless of what you were or were not wearing.

Although not wearing a helmet will usually result in nothing more than a traffic citation, not wearing a helmet can influence your lawsuit for personal injury damages after an accident.

Both Tennessee and Georgia have adopted a legal doctrine known as the “premodified comparative negligence, 50% bar rule.” This doctrine can be quite complicated but can be explained in general terms as follows.

If you were injured in an accident, you have the right to seek damages from the person who caused the accident even if you were partially at fault. However, if the jury that hears your case finds that you were partial to blame for the accident, any damages that you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of your contribution to the accident.

For example, you were in a motorcycle accident and not wearing a helmet. The jury hearing your case awards damages of $100,000 but determines that you were 40 percent to blame for that accident.  In the end, you will receive only $60,000 in damages ($100,000 – 40% = $60,000).

If that same jury determined that you were 60 percent responsible for the accident, you would receive nothing. The law in Georgia and Tennessee prohibit awarding damages to anyone responsible for 50 percent or more of the accident.

Determination of negligence in motorcycle accident cases can be difficult since there are factors that must be considered but aren’t always in a police report. Questions of negligence in motorcycle accident cases should always involve a motorcycle accident attorney with experience in such matters.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Dennis & King today for your free consultation.