Two bills are currently making their way through Tennessee legislature that would influence how local authorities act in the aftermath of Tennessee car accidents involving drivers who don’t have a driver’s license or car insurance. Car accidents continue to be a major cause of injury and death in Tennessee and across the United States, as the incidence of traffic accidents is on the rise. In Tennessee alone, a total of 875,545 people were involved in auto accidents between the years 2003 and 2007, resulting in more than 5,000 fatalities. If you have suffered from injuries caused by a TN car accident, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, contact our experienced car accident attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates today.
Bills Call for Stricter Punishments for Unlicensed and Uninsured Drivers
The first proposed bill, called House Bill 2466, dictates that motorists involved in Tennessee car accidents resulting in at least one injury will be arrested by the police officer who responds to the scene if that driver fails to produce proof of insurance or a driver’s license. This bill marks a deviation from from the current law, which led to punishment by a misdemeanor against that driver. House Bill 2678, on the other hand, would effectively set higher bail amounts for drivers arrested under House Bill 2466 and who are found to be in the United States illegally. The first of the two proposed bills has already passed both state houses and is awaiting the governor’s signature, while the second bill is passing through its subcommittee and would be considered a companion bill to House Bill 2466.
Tennessee Laws Regarding Driver’s Licenses and Insurance
If you live in Tennessee and you want to operate a motor vehicle, you must have a valid TN driver’s license. If you move to Tennessee from another state, you must apply for a Tennessee driver’s license if you: live in the state for more than 30 days, are working in Tennessee, or would otherwise qualify as a registered voter. Unfortunately, drivers who have had their licenses revoked for prior traffic violations, DUI convictions, or other charges sometimes take to the roads despite the fact that they don’t have a valid driver’s license. And, in nearly every case involving an unlicensed driver, that driver is usually uninsured as well.
A Nashville Car Accident Attorney Can Help
These bills were proposed in response to the alarming statistics surrounding Tennessee car accidents, injuries and fatalities. According to state estimates, more than 50,000 people suffer injuries and more than 1,000 people are killed because of Tennessee car accidents each year. Even more shocking, one fatal crash in five involves a driver who is unlicensed or whose license has been suspended or revoked. Unfortunately, with uninsured and unlicensed motorists on TN roadways, Tennessee residents are put at risk of other kinds of serious harm, in addition to the physical injuries often caused by car accidents. For example, when an unlicensed or uninsured driver inflicts injuries on another person in a Tennessee car accident, the injured victim may have a difficult time collecting compensation for damages. If you have been involved in an accident in Tennessee in which the at-fault driver was unlicensed or uninsured, consult our qualified Nashville car accidents attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss your legal options.