How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters After an Accident

An auto accident is a traumatic event that leaves the mind racing and the nerves ablaze. But as frightening as an accident can be, it’s critical that accident victims gather their strength and calm their senses before interacting with insurance adjusters.

Below, the Chattanooga injury lawyers from Dennis & King explain how to deal with insurance adjusters after an accident and what victims can do to protect a potential injury claim. 

Who Are Insurance Adjusters?

Insurance adjusters, also called claims adjusters, investigate insurance claims by interviewing the claimant, witnesses, police, and hospital personnel. They also inspect and document property damage to determine the extent of liability in a claim.

More importantly, the role of an insurance adjuster includes negotiating with the claimant. And contrary to popular belief, adjusters don’t work hard for their policyholders; rather, they work hard to keep payouts low for the insurance company.

An adjuster’s job performance is based on keeping payouts low and processing claims quickly. To achieve this end, adjusters are known to ask leading questions in an effort to discredit your claim, limit the payout, and push toward a quick settlement.

If this doesn’t sound fair, you’re not alone in your thinking. At Dennis & King, we fight hard and push back against greedy insurance adjusters. We’re tough negotiators and ready to stand behind injured victims who need our help.

If you’ve been injured, call our Chattanooga office today at 423-417-1379, or contact us online 

How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters

After an accident, it’s very common for people to call their insurer before they contact an attorney. Talking to your insurer is fine following a minor crash, but you should keep the conversation brief and avoid the urge to help the adjuster gather information or piece together what happened.

For serious crashes or injuries, it’s best to let an attorney handle all interactions with insurance. And here’s why: by the time you speak to an adjuster, they already have a pretty good idea of what happened and who’s responsible.

The real reason they’re interested in talking to you is to gather statements that could limit your claim.

If you must talk to an insurance adjuster, keep comments neutral; don’t embellish. Avoid guessing, estimating, or supposing about anything. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s okay to say you don’t know.

If you’ve been seriously injured, the best way to handle an insurance adjuster is to hire an attorney to do it for you.

Protect Your Claim

The last thing an insurance adjuster wants a policyholder to do is to hire an injury lawyer. Adjusters are aware that most people don’t understand the claims process well enough to navigate it effectively; they exploit this every chance they get.

An experienced injury lawyer is an intimidating adversary who knows the playbook and will make decisions in the interest of their client—not the insurance company!

Plus, victims that hire an attorney are more likely to win a comprehensive settlement; this might include compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and property damage.

Don’t let an insurance adjuster push you around after an accident or injury. If you’ve been injured, Dennis & King is ready to be your advocate and fight for your legal rights.

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What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most consequential injuries that a driver or passenger can suffer as a result of a car accident.

It’s important to understand how TBIs are diagnosed and how they can affect a person’s life, since compensation may be required to cover medical bills, loss of employment, or other related expenses.

Below, the brain injury lawyers at Dennis & King discuss brain injuries in more detail and what you can do to protect your rights after an accident.

Brain Injuries from Auto Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the third most common event that results in TBI-related death. Unfortunately, even minor crashes can cause a TBI.

Specifically, a TBI is brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head.

Traumatic brain injuries aren’t one type of injury; rather, TBIs exist on a spectrum, which ranges from minor to severe.

Minor TBIs are commonly referred to as concussions and usually don’t require significant medical intervention. However, severe brain injuries may require surgery and ongoing medical care.

Diagnosis of Brain Injuries

After a car accident, it’s advised that victims seek medical attention, even if they’re convinced nothing’s wrong. That’s because brain injuries can be elusive. In fact, adrenaline, which is usually coursing through crash victims, can mitigate the perception of pain—even well after the accident!

Symptoms of a mild TBI might include:

  • A headache
  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble with attention, concentration, memory, or thinking

As a precaution, medical clearance is always preferred, for both the safety of others and yourself. That being said, some brain injuries will be obvious, and immediate medical attention may be required.

Moderate to severe symptoms of TBI might include:

  • A headache that worsens or won’t go away
  • Loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes to hours
  • Repeated nausea or vomiting
  • Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
  • Sudden changes in mood or behavior

Types of Brain Injuries

There are both primary and secondary injuries that may occur as a result of TBI:

Primary brain injuries are instantaneous during the crash event, and there’s little that can be done to reverse the impact or injury. However, doctors may attempt to stop adverse effects such as:

  • Intracranial hematomas
  • Skull fractures
  • Contusions/Coup-Contrecoup

Conversely, secondary injuries become apparent hours or even days after the accident, often due to reduced oxygen flow to the brain. Secondary injuries common among TBI victims might include:

  • Cerebral edema (increased intracranial pressure)
  • Hydrocephalus (increased pressure on the skull)
  • Hypoxia and hypotensions
  • Ischemia (a blockage or build-up of blood cells due to insufficient oxygen)
  • Second Impact Syndrome (a rare injury in which a person sustains a second concussion before symptoms of the first have subsided)

Brain Injury Effects

While some effects of TBI are obvious or immediate there are long-term conditions that pose an equal concern. For example:

  • Altered consciousness (brain death, coma, vegetative state)
  • Communication difficulties that may result in cognitive challenges or social problems
  • Chronic physical complications (headaches, infections, seizures, vertigo)
  • Behavioral, emotional, and sensory changes

In a worst-case scenario, degenerative brain diseases can develop and worsen over time. Moreover, TBI victims are more likely to suffer from:

  • Addiction
  • Mental illness
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Spinal cord injuries

If you, a friend, or a loved one is in an accident and suffers a TBI, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and get help right away. The next step: contact a Tennessee injury lawyer to discuss the accident and your rights.

Who to Contact for a TBI Claim

At Dennis & King, we’re equipped to handle all kinds of cases involving traumatic brain injuries. Our compassionate attorneys will answer your questions and guide you through the legal process.

Plus, our attorneys have the foresight needed to ensure compensation is available to cover all related expenses including future medical bills that may result as a consequence of the accident. With decades of experience backing your claim, you can be sure no money is left on the table.

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What to do After a Truck Accident

Chattanooga drivers see their fair share of large trucks on the roads on I-75 and I-24.

Normally, they’re a bother to other drivers on the road when they block all the lanes or take a while to get up to speed.

Considering their size and weight, they are extremely dangerous when they’re involved in an accident.

While we hope you’re never in an accident with a semi-truck, but it’s important to know what to do after the accident in case you choose to pursue an accident claim.

What to Do After a Truck Accident

If you’re the victim of a truck accident, it is important to know what to do after a truck accident, how truck accidents differ from car accidents, and who to contact if you are involved in one.

The following tips will be useful after an accident for you and other drivers:

  • If you or someone else is severely injured, call 9-1-1
  • Call the police if you didn’t call 9-1-1
  • If you can, move your car and any large debris off the road.
  • Exchange information with other drivers involved, such as driver’s license numbers, insurance information, telephone numbers, and vehicle identification numbers.
  • Take photos of any and all damage
  • Talk to witnesses, if there are any, collecting contact information

How Truck Accidents differ from Car Accidents

Car accidents and truck accidents differ in very important ways. Commercial truck and semi-truck drivers are more likely to suffer from fatigue and insomnia compared to car drivers.

This can be seen in the work shifts that truck drivers must complete compared to car drivers. Truck drivers are federally mandated to work up to 11 hours per shift before getting rest.

However, many drivers do not follow this rule because of deadlines and a restrictive schedule. Though fatigue is a well-known contributor to truck accidents, it has only recently been addressed as a factor. Electronic logging is being implemented so that drivers avoid overexerting themselves which should help to decrease the number and severity of truck accidents.

A second way that truck accidents differ from car accidents occurs during the process of exchanging information. Additional needs to be exchanged between the car and truck driver compared to a car accident process.

After a truck accident, truck drivers must contribute the following in a post-accident report form:

  • Vehicle, driver, and carrier information (NSC/DOT # and insurance policy number)
  • Time and location
  • Other drivers, passengers, and vehicles involved in the accident
  • Diagram of the incident (illustrating the direction of traffic and landmarks)
  • Driving status (how many hours were driven behind the wheel)
  • Road, traffic, and weather information
  • Hazardous Material Information
  • Police information (their name; police report number and contact information)
  • Tow trucks (if any were used, include the number and how long it took for their arrival)

Drivers involved in car accidents are not required to submit as much information in a police report. Writing down extra information such as driving status, tow truck names, and even a diagram of the incident, however, can only bolster your case in the case of car accidents.

Other statistics illustrate the difference between car accidents and truck accidents:

  • About 98% of all semi-truck accidents result in at least one fatality.
  • Nearly 90% of commercial truck accidents are caused or worsened by some sort of human error.
  • About 75% of commercial truck accidents are caused by drivers of smaller passenger vehicles, rather than the truck driver.

Contact Dennis & King after a Truck Accident

Truck accidents differ from car accidents in one specific way. There are multiple reasons why a truck accident may have happened.  The driver could be fatigued, there may have been mechanical failure, or the truck may have been overloaded.

Since there are so many agencies involved in putting semi-trucks on the road, you will need an attorney’s help determining who was at-fault for the accident.

If you are in Chattanooga or the surrounding area, the truck accident lawyers at Dennis and King can help. Our attorneys have decades of experience in semi-truck accidents and will help you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us at (423)-892-5533 or fill out the form today to schedule a free consultation.

What should you do after a car accident?

Driving can be a challenge during any time of year.

With so many drivers on highways and roads, the chances of an accident occurring is high. It is important to be aware of what to do after a car accident no matter where you live in Tennessee.

If you are in a car accident, here is what you can do to stay safe.

What to do after a car accident

The first thing to remember after a car accident is never to leave the scene. If you leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information with other drivers, then it is considered a hit and run.

Even if you’re not at fault for the crash, a hit and run poses a needless legal hurdle which endangers the safety of others.

Instead, if you are in a car accident, you should follow these steps to ensure your safety:

  • Call emergency officials if drivers or passengers are injured.
  • Call the police to document the accident in the form of a police report.
  • Move your vehicle, if possible, to prevent other accidents from occurring.
  • Talk to other drivers or witnesses at the scene of the crime.

After ensuring that you, your passengers, and any other people involved are safe, the next steps are to exchange information with other drivers.

Depending on the number of drivers involved, the severity of driver and passenger injuries, or even the weather, this step may be challenging.

However, it is the best thing to do if you want to file a claim after a car accident. Other tips to have a seamless experience after an accident include:

  • Exchanging details with other drivers, such as:
    • Contact information (name, address, etc.).
    • Driver license number from every driver involved.
    • Insurance details.
    • License plate number from every driver involved.
    • Vehicle details (color, make, and model).
    • Vehicle registration number.
  • Ask witnesses for their account of the accident(s).
  • Take photos of:
    • Physical damage
    • Property damage (if applicable)
    • Vehicle damage
    • Weather (if it may have been a factor in your accident)

Other things to consider after a car accident

There are other things to consider after a car accident that can be beneficial to remember. Symptoms of physical injuries may not onset until after an accident.

These are some of the physical symptoms to be aware of following a car accident which may require medical attention:

  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain or shoulder pain
  • Numbness
  • Stomach pain

Although physical symptoms are the most prevalent after a car accident, that does not mean that they are the easiest to treat. Emotional trauma involving driving, either as a driver or a passenger, can also occur.

This trauma can be more difficult to diagnose and, in some cases, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can be diagnosed. Some symptoms of PTSD with regards to car accidents include:

  • Avoiding any emotions or reminders of the accident
  • Avoiding medical procedures or tests
  • Constant feelings of anger, anxiousness, or crankiness
  • Constantly reliving the incident
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping

In addition, depending on which agency is investigating the accident, obtaining a crash report can be useful.

If you are attempting to obtain this report, it will contain information such as the severity of car damage, injuries to both drivers and passengers, and even witness names who may have provided information about the accident.

This can be of assistance if you decide to contact a personal injury attorney to represent you in filing a legal claim against other drivers.

Who to contact after a car accident

With so many drivers on Chattanooga highways and roads, there are bound to be some drivers who are inattentive.

As a result, there will be accidents which may impact you or your family. If you are in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident within the area or within Tennessee, it is important to first ensure that you, your family, and your loved ones are safe.

Then, it is time to contact an attorney who can represent you and your claim. With over 20 years of legal experience, injury attorneys Dennis and King can help you if you are involved in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident.

If you live in the Chattanooga area, contact Dennis and King. Contact us today at (423)-892-5533 for a free legal consultation.

Being a High-Risk Driver is Not the End of The World

One of the most stressful moments after a car accident is dealing with your insurance company.

If you’ve been in multiple car accidents, then dealing with insurance becomes even more stressful. Insurance companies usually categorize people who have been in multiple accidents as “high-risk drivers.” This means the insurance company believes you’re more likely to get into accidents than other drivers.

Being categorized as high-risk can make life difficult. Insurance premiums are often higher and many companies will not take you seriously if you have multiple accidents on your driving record.

Being a high-risk driver does not have to be a major stressor in your life. Here are some ways you can deal with insurance companies if you have been placed in this category.

Have Everything Documented

If you can prove that past accidents were not your fault, you may be able to lower your insurance rates.

When you present your case, make sure you have everything regarding your previous accidents documented. You can present documents such as the accident report, witness accounts, or reports and paperwork from the auto repair shop.

If you think it will help you out in proving to the insurance company that the accident was not your fault, then present it. Every little detail and document matters.

Shop Around for New Insurance Plans

If you feel that you are not getting the best service and coverage from your current insurance company because you are a high-risk driver, you may want to shop around for a new insurance provider.

There are insurance providers that specialize in providing insurance to high-risk drivers. Some companies will let you customize your payment plan and can be very flexible overall in regard to your situation.

An ideal insurance plan for you is out there; just keep searching.

You Don’t Have to Be High Risk Forever

You can get yourself removed from the high-risk list. A lot of car insurance companies will suggest ways for you to clean up your driving record.

If you take the initiative to attend classes on defensive driving and traffic safety, insurance companies will take that into consideration when determining changes and pricing related to your plan.

Showing the insurance company that you are taking active measures in cleaning up your record is a great way to get affordable car insurance and will help get you off the high-risk list 

 When All Else Fails, Hire a Lawyer

If the tactics listed above don’t work, then seek out legal help. A lawyer will be able to look over your case with a fresh set of eyes. They will be able to give you advice on what to do next. They will also be able to use their resources to conduct research on what plan of action to come up with regarding your case.

Chances are, your case is similar to others. A car accident lawyer can see how those cases were handled and will be able to adapt the course of action that was taken before and apply it to your case.

Being categorized as a high-risk driver does not have to be something to stress over. There are ways that you can get over this hurdle. Following the advice listed here is a good way to start your journey. You don’t have to be high risk forever and there are ways to make your situation easier.

If you are currently categorized as a high-risk driver and in need of guidance, contact Dennis and King. Let us help you out!

What to Research Before Meeting Your Lawyer

Chattanooga traffic can be a nightmare. Lanes stalled for miles on end, red lights that never seem to turn green, and worst of all, being in a car crash.

Car wrecks in Chattanooga are all too common, particularly during the morning and evening commute. There are times when the crash can be handled by the insurance companies with little to no stress. Sometimes you may need a car accident lawyer depending on how severe the crash is and who is involved.

Meeting with a lawyer for the first time can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some suggestions as to what to research and what evidence to gather before meeting with your lawyer. Following these tips will ensure that you have a successful first meeting and will help you gain more confidence as you embark on this legal journey.

Gather Facts About Your Case

Try to gather and present every single fact about the case that you can. Document the time and place, put together a list who was involved, describe what the weather was like, etc. Make sure you also specify what type of accident you were involved in.

Every detail you gather and present can be a detail that helps you achieve the results that you are looking for. Even if the detail seems mundane, document it and present it to the lawyer. Researching and gathering every little detail before meeting with your lawyer will help your lawyer create a narrative about your case that can help you achieve your objective. 

Have the Right Documents and Evidence Ready

Be sure to gather and research all necessary documents ahead of time. This includes gathering your insurance papers, photos of the accident, the crash report, as well as any documents you received from the towing company or mechanic.

Having all of your documentation gathered will help your lawyer build your case in your favor. 

Check to See if There is Conflict of Interest

Once again, when you meet with your attorney, make sure that you have a list of people involved with the case. This list can include people who were in the accident, witnesses, or even the people who towed your car.

Everyone you met on the day of the accident or dealt with after the accident should be on this list. Bring the list and ask the lawyer if they represent anyone on it. If they represent one or more of the names on the list, this could impede their ability to represent you ethically.

If the lawyer is representing someone else involved in your case, then chances are they will not be able to help you get the justice that you are seeking.

Come Up with a Clear Objective  

What is your reason for seeking legal services? What do you want to get out of this case? Presenting a clear objective during the first meeting will be of great help to the lawyer because they can then map out a course of action to help you get the result that you are looking for.

Prepare a List of Questions

Before meeting with a lawyer for the first time, it is expected that you will have a lot of questions. Before the meeting, sit down and come up with a list of the questions that have been swirling around in your mind. Some car crash related questions can include:

  • Have you worked on a case like this before?
  • What will happen if I am at fault?
  • What questions should I ask my insurance company?
  • What are the chances that I will achieve my objective?

Coming prepared with proper questions about your case will give off a good impression to the lawyer. It shows that you are taking this case seriously and that you take the lawyer seriously as well. It will also help put you more at ease once you and the lawyer start having a conversation based on the questions.

Meeting your lawyer for the first time after being involved in a car crash in Chattanooga does not have to be a fear-inducing experience. Contact Dennis and King if you need a lawyer. Let us fight for the justice you deserve.

What Chattanooga’s Information Redaction Means for You

Chattanooga voted in favor of redacting personal information when releasing accident reports after a federal lawsuit challenged the effectiveness of an ethics rule that requires attorneys to wait at least 30 days before contacting people who were involved in serious car crashes.

Many believed that the original law was not serving its purpose because attorneys were contacting victims of accidents in as little as five days following a car wreck in Chattanooga.

Personal information such as driver’s license numbers, names, and addresses will only be given to people in the accidents, their lawyers, and their insurance companies.

Anyone requesting information has to prove they are entitled to it. People wanting information for wrongful purposes, such as solicitation, could face misdemeanor charges. Violators could spend a maximum of 11 months and 29 days behind bars.

The lawsuit was filed in September after a woman, who was in a car crash, received a call from a medical company offering to refer her to an out-of-town attorney just a few days after her car accident.

Many people are still confused about what this new law means for them and the benefit they will receive from this new protection.

If you have recently been involved in a car crash in Chattanooga, this new law means that your personal information is safe from anyone looking to profit from your accident. It’s common practice that out-of-town law firms will try to represent you after an accident. Often times, these law firms will get your information from public crash reports or from hospitals.

Victims of the Woodmore bus crash in Chattanooga last year were hounded by unethical out-of-town lawyers (and some fake lawyers) who kept trying to get the victims to file a wrongful death suit.

Many out-of-town attorneys try to contact victims because it means that they can charge higher rates, citing travel expenses or any other extra time that is spent researching the laws of the area the client lives in. Not only does this become more expensive for you, but the attorney may not even be effective when they represent you because they are unaware of how different the local laws might be.

There have also been cases where fake attorneys have tried to cash in on victim’s grief. A mother whose child was killed in the Woodmore school bus crash was told by a local funeral home that she would be referred to an attorney through the funeral home. The mother was forced to sit down with the fake lawyer in the funeral home and sign a fake legal agreement. This trickery was possible because the personal information of the victim was readily available to the public in the form of crash reports.

The redaction of personal information in car crash reports will protect you. You won’t have to worry about unsolicited offers from out-of-town attorneys or from opportunistic professionals looking to capitalize on your stressful situation. It is your right to be protected from unethical business practices that try to pry on you in your time of need.

If you have any questions about Chattanooga’s new redaction laws or questions regarding what to do after a serious car accident, contact Dennis & King today for a free consultation.

Maximizing Your Compensation

Many of our clients want to know how they can maximize their compensation. It’s a simple question to answer but it can be tricky to put it into practice. This article will explain some tips on how you can make sure you’re getting the amount you deserve from your injury case.

Hire a Lawyer 

First and foremost, you’ll need an injury lawyer to help you with your case. While many people worry about the costs of a lawyer, the truth is that many insurance companies don’t pay out what you’re really owed unless you have legal backup.

The extra money that you get from having a legal advocate on your side can more than make up for the money you’ll have to pay for the service. In addition, most accident lawyers work on a contingent-fee basis. This means that you only pay if they win your case.

Follow the Rules

 Next, you need to ensure that you are following the law. Anything that you do that breaks any laws will jeopardize your claim. For instance, failing to trade information with the other driver after an accident could be used against you. You might also have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. A lawyer can help you avoid these problems.

A trickier area is following the rules of your insurance company. Complying with your policy’s rules is usually a good thing, but many insurance companies will use tricks to try and get you to settle before a lawyer can look at your case more thoroughly. Your lawyer can interact with your insurance company on your behalf and give you instructions and advice so you can get the amount of money you truly deserve.

Document

Lawsuits all come down to evidence, which is why documentation is crucial for maximizing your compensation. The more information you can give to your lawyer, the better your case will be. Here are some things you can do:

At the scene:

  • Take photos of all damage on both vehicles and the general scene. Your smartphone camera will suffice.
  • Note the number of people in the other vehicle, as well as the vehicle tag number.
  • Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver as required by law.
  • Take photos of your injuries, if possible.
  • File a police report. Be honest about your current condition.
  • If your injuries are severe and you can’t get this information until after you’re in the hospital, contact the police to get a copy of their report.

Injury journal:

  • As soon as you are able, start keeping a journal of your injury progress. Note down the day and time of your entries and record things like what you did for your case (e.g., call a lawyer), any doctor visits and insurance company interactions, etc.
  • Also record your subjective feelings of pain and mental distress. Are things getting better or worse?
  • Also record your physical and mental struggles at work and home. If you wish to prove a pain and suffering claim, this information is invaluable.

Paperwork:

  • Any receipts, bills, or other financial-related information from repair shops and medical professionals.
  • Any communications at all from your insurance company.
  • Anything from your employer about accommodations they have to make for you to continue work.
  • Medical records.
  • Anything else your lawyer recommends you retain as possible evidence for your case.

Collecting all this information may seem like an extra burden on top of the pain you’re feeling, but this documentation is the way to prove that your injuries are as bad as you say they are. The more evidence the court has, the greater the chances for higher compensation.

If you have more questions regarding what to do after an accident, contact Dennis & King today for a free consultation.

Staying Safe in Winter Weather

Every year, Chattanooga gets an average of 2”-4” of snow. That may not sound like a lot, but consider the treacherous mountain passes coming down into the city. That snow could turn into ice.

In 2016, there were around 70 crashes in the same day due to icy conditions according to the Times Free Press. Winter will be coming sooner than you think. This is a good time to start thinking about winterizing your vehicle and remembering the following safety tips to stay safe on the roads in winter weather.

Maintain Your Vehicle

The first thing to do is to keep your vehicle maintained, especially your brakes and tires. Bald tires will make your car harder to stop in wet or icy conditions. Bad brakes make it hard to stop quickly. Both of these can cause an accident that could easily be fatal. If you’ve been neglecting this all summer because of the dry and clear conditions, now is the time to get those repairs done.

Check your windshield wipers and replace them if they are getting worn out. In snowy or rainy conditions, your wipers help you see clearly in front of you. You might also want to put no-freeze fluid in your windshield washer reservoir to help melt snow and ice buildup.

Finally, don’t go out on the road if your windows aren’t clear of snow and ice. Keep an ice scraper in the front of your vehicle.

Practice Cold Weather Driving

Southerners get a lot of hassle from our northern neighbors for their inexperience driving in severe winter weather, but we get enough snow and ice here that knowing how to handle these situations is important.

If you feel your car start to skid, turn your wheel in the direction of the skid. This will force the vehicle’s front tires to drag against the direction you’re going and bring you out of it.

Know what kind of brakes you have. Anti-lock brakes are standard on most vehicles these days. With this kind of braking system, it’s okay to stomp on the brakes to come to a stop. But in older vehicles or ones with a broken ABS sensor, the brakes must be pumped to avoid a lock-out. This is a very dangerous situation where the brakes are applied but won’t slow the car down.

Stopping distances are much further on ice and snow, especially in the passes where the road grade makes stopping distances longer. Don’t be afraid to put a lot of distance between yourself and the car in front of you in dangerous conditions.

Winter weather also means that you should double down on your usual safety procedures. Never drink and drive. Keep a sharp eye out for pedestrians, especially in snowy conditions. And if you plan to go on a long car trip, stop every three hours for a break.

Dennis & King encourages you to practice safe driving during the upcoming winter season. It is one of the most dangerous times of year to be out on the roads. Follow these safety tips and you’ll go a long way to preventing a crash.

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.