Car crashes often cost thousands of dollars. You have to fix the vehicles involved and get medical treatment for your injuries. The more serious those injuries are, the more expensive the care for them becomes. There are also unearned wages or reduced earning potential to consider when someone requires a stay in the hospital or has lasting symptoms from their injuries.
You probably expect that the other driver’s insurance will fully cover you. After all, that’s essentially the point of liability insurance in Tennessee. Someone who causes a wreck has coverage to pay for the bills of the other people affected by that collision.
Unfortunately, not every driver will have enough coverage to reimburse the people that they hurt in a crash.
Thousands of people in Tennessee drive around without enough insurance
Some drivers let their insurance policies lapse, leaving them with no coverage at all if they caused a crash. Even more drivers choose to carry the minimum insurance required under Tennessee state law. They don’t necessarily think about how much a crash might actually cost.
If you were the only person who suffered injuries, the other driver could have just $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage. If there are two or more people hurt, they may have to split just $50,000 in coverage.
Given that a spinal cord injury or brain injury could easily cost six figures in medical care and lost wages just in the first year after it occurs, having only $25,000 or the $50,000 to split with other people likely won’t even cover your first year of losses, let alone the long-term impact of the crash.
Many people with severe injuries find the other driver’s liability coverage won’t be enough to cover the long-term impact on their earning potential and their lost wages.
What happens if your lost wages exceed the available coverage?
If you have invested in better coverage on your own car insurance policy, your insurance might protect you after the crash. Your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage could help cover your medical bills and lost wages.
You may also need to look into a civil lawsuit against the other driver to recover costs that neither their insurance nor your own policy will pay. Understanding the long-term financial impact of your injuries and reviewing your coverage can help you get the compensation you need after a serious car wreck.