The Basic Principles Concerning Education


Thefundamental requirement of legal liability on the part of theuninsured motorist distinguishes UM coverage from other first partycoverages in which legal fault is notrelevant."1 The case law backs this up. Tennessee statutes require that"where an insured has purchased UM coverage, the UM carriermust pay benefits in cases where [a] claimant is legally entitledto recover damages from the uninsured motorist."2To be "legally entitled" to recover UM benefits, aclaimant must prove damages and fault on the look at here now partof the uninsured motorist.3 A plaintiff who fails toestablish legal liability against a uninsured driver cannot imposeliability upon his uninsured motorist carrier for the acts of thatsame driver.4 Simply put, if the insured is not entitledto compensation from the uninsured motorist, the insured would notbe entitled to compensation from the UM coveragecarrier.5 The statute "cannot be read as providinga victim of an uninsured motorist with a more effective remedyagainst its own uninsured motorist carrier than he would haveagainst the uninsured motorist himself.6 What does this mean for vehicle owners and insurance lawyersalike? Simply, whether an insurance company has the obligation topay insurance benefits is dependent upon a determination ofnegligence on the part of the uninsured or unidentified driver. Ifa claimant is unable to establish fault on the part of theuninsured motorist, in addition to damages and causation,they'll be out of luck when it comes to getting additionalcoverage. 1 Phillip Fleissner & Paul Campbell III,Tennessee Automobile Liability Ins., §§ 15:1Damages for Bodily Injury and 17:1 Uninsured Motorist Litigationprocedures, Existence and Amount of Legal Liability(2010).  2 T.C.A §§ 56-7-1201(a) and 1202(a)(1);Collazo v. Haas, 2011 WL 6351865 at *5 (Tenn. Ct. App.2011). 4 Webb v. Werner, 163 S.W.3d 716, 718 (Tenn. Ct.App.