I was hit by a driver without insurance. Now what?
Texas law requires every driver to carry car insurance, however, a 2015 report by the Insurance Information Institute estimates that 14.1% of Texas motorists are uninsured. Even those who have insurance may have what are commonly referred to as “junk policies” that are very limited in the types of damages they cover. This causes many drivers to be underinsured. A driver who is underinsured has insurance coverage that is inadequate to cover the damages they caused.
What is the minimum car insurance coverage required in Texas?
The Texas Department of Insurance outlines minimum coverage laws in Texas. Due to poor policy by our lawmakers that favors the insurance company and hurts ordinary Texans, the minimum liability limits for Texas motorists are $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage.
This means that if you are hit by someone with minimum coverage, the most you can recover is $30,000. While this amount may cover minor soft-tissue damage, it may be inadequate to cover even medical treatment if you had broken bones, torn ligaments, internal damage, head trauma, or require surgery.
TELL US WHAT HAPPENED
Can I Make the Uninsured Driver Pay?
We commonly get this question, and the answer is usually tough to accept. While it is always possible to sue the other driver, it is often difficult to make them pay. Usually, if they don’t have insurance, they can’t afford to pay a settlement or verdict obtained by an auto accident attorney. Furthermore, Texas laws allow a tortfeasor (the person who caused your accident) to declare bankruptcy and avoid paying all of most of what is owed to you. For this reason, auto accident attorneys usually do not take on cases against uninsured drivers unless the accident victim has uninsured motorist coverage.
So, What are My Options?
If the other driver had no or inadequate insurance coverage, you may be able to get compensation from your own insurance provider. Check your policy to see if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is a policy add-on that covers you if you are in a car accident caused by a driver with no insurance or inadequate insurance. In a nutshell, this insurance provides the type of coverage that the other driver should have provided. However, it also pits you against your own insurance company. Because insurance companies are in the business of making as much money as possible, they certainly won’t want to pay you on your claim.
As auto accident attorneys, we have found that it is often necessary to sue uninsured motorist policy providers such as Geico, USAA, Allstate, and State Farm to recover on UM claims.
Texas laws that favor insurance company also require us to get a legal judgment against the uninsured driver before we can make a claim against most uninsured motorist policies.
Should I Buy Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
With the number of uninsured drivers on the road, we can answer this question with a resounding “Yes.” While uninsured motorist coverage is not always cheap, it is well worth having in case you are injured by the nearly one-fifth of Texas drivers who do not have insurance.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, take some time to find the best car accident attorney for your case. Start by calling the team at Eric Ramos Law for a free consultation at (210) 404-HURT (4878).