What Happens if I am in an Accident with Someone with No Insurance?
Written by Greg on October 22, 2018
Accidents are a common occurrence. While most accidents are relatively minor, sometimes you might be involved in an accident that causes injuries. When an accident is someone else’s fault, the damages that result should be covered by that driver’s insurance. Unfortunately, there are a large number of drivers who operate vehicles without having insurance. The driver may be uninsured or might be underinsured. Both of these situations can cause difficulties for you as the victim. There are some things you can and should do to resolve the situation.
Texas Insurance Requirements
Texas law requires drivers to pay for the costs associated with any injuries or damages they cause in an accident that was their fault. The best way to accomplish this is to purchase insurance. The Texas Department of Insurance, TDI, provides an overview of the Texas automobile insurance coverage. The current minimum liability limits are $30,000 per injured person for a total of $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. This is known as 30/60/25 insurance coverage.
However, if the expenses related to an accident are higher, the negligent driver is still responsible for all of the damages. In other words, as the victim of an accident, you could file a lawsuit against the motorist if he or she did not have enough insurance to cover the costs of your injuries and damages. However, as a practical matter, it is extremely difficult to actually collect damages for uninsureds or underinsured drivers in Texas.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Your own vehicle insurance policy may include coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists. If you have this UM/UIM insurance as part of your policy, you may file a claim for the damages and expenses that were incurred due to accident. UM/UIM insurance pays for your expenses due to an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or has too little insurance as well as for hit and run accidents. In addition to medical and property damage expenses, it also covers damage to property. Unfortunately, recent case law provides incentives for your own insurance company to “low ball” all under or uninsured motorist claims in Texas.
There are two types of UM/UIM insurance – bodily injury and property damage. There is a deductible associated with this type of insurance rider, which is at least $250. Bodily injury UM/UIM pays for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and compensation for disfigurement or disability. Insurance covers the driver and passengers in your vehicle. You may also have Personal Injury Protection, PIP, as part of your insurance policy. PIP covers medical payments and up to 80% of lost wages as well as the costs of hiring a care provider if one is necessary. PIP covers you and your passengers and pedestrians no matter who was at fault for the accident.
Insurance can be complicated, and it might be difficult to know what to do following an accident. An experienced Houston personal injury attorney will review your case and help provide you with the options that are available. In some instances, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve after a serious accident.
Contact our Houston legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free, no obligation case consultation.