Uninsured Motorist insurance

Over the past 3 weeks, I have had 3 potential clients visit my office after being injured in auto accidents. Two of them were involved in hit-and-run accidents and the third was t-boned by a drunk driver.

One of the hit-and-run drivers got away, the second hit-and-run driver was later apprehended, and the drunk driver was arrested and charged with DWI. All of these people negligently or recklessly caused serious injuries to the innocent drivers – and to add insult to injury – none of the at-fault drivers had insurance. 

What happens when the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

If you’re hit by a negligent driver who is uninsured, it is unlikely that you can recover compenstion from that person. You can still file a lawsuit, but the other driver probably doesn’t have the cash or assets to compensate you for any legal judgment you might obtain. This is where uninsured motorist insurance can help.

uninsured drivers in Texas

What is uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage?

UM/UIM is a type of coverage available through your own insurance company that may cover your property damage and personal injuries when the at-fault driver either has no insurance or has inadequate coverage. With many drivers being uninsured or having minimal policy limits of $30,000 as required by Texas law, a serious accident may leave you both physically and financially incapacitated. Fortunately, one of my clients has $300,000 in UM coverage, but that will barely be enough to cover the multiple back surgeries he will need, much less his pain and suffering and mental anguish.

So how much coverage should you get?

There’s no magic number when it comes to uninsured motorist coverage, but I encourage all of my friends, family, and clients to purchase as much coverage as possible. I have my auto insurance through Geico. Prior to re-evaluating my policy, I only carried $100,000 in UM/UIM coverage. I later upped that amount to the maximum Geico would allow, which was $300,000. The difference in my premium was less than $15.00/month and I have no doubt that it is money well spent.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Your Uninsured Motorist Case

While many insurance companies advertise that they’re on your side, that is almost never the case. Your insurance company is only loyal to their bottom line and paying out the true value of your claim is the last thing they want to do. In these types of cases, hiring a lawyer is absolutely crucial. We have to take certain steps to get the insurance company moving and force them to pay out what you are truly entitled to. This involves suing the at-fault driver, getting a judgment against them, presenting the judgment to the insurance company, and several other detailed requirements governed by Texas case law.

Remember, this type of coverage has nothing to do with how good of a driver you are. In every case discussed above, the injured parties were completely stopped and waiting for the light to change. Catastrophic accidents can strike any of us at any time. If you haven’t maxed out your UM/UIM coverage, don’t wait – do it now. You never know what you’ll need it… and If you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact our office today at (210) 404-HURT.