When you are involved in a crash that is not your fault, it is reasonable to believe that the other driver’s insurance provider will reimburse you for medical bills, damages to your vehicle, and other costs related to the accident. But what happens if you get hit by someone without insurance?
The answer to that question will depend on your coverage and how you choose to seek compensation.
Texas law requires that all drivers carry car insurance; however, this does not stop some uninsured drivers from getting behind the wheel. In fact, research from the Insurance Research Council found that an estimated 14.1% of Texas motorists are uninsured. Further, about one in every five Texas vehicles is uninsured.
This means your chances of being in an accident with an uninsured driver are much higher than you may have previously thought. Further, the financial consequences of such a collision are very real, and you may be left footing the bill.
Typically, if you are hit by an uninsured motorist in Texas, the claim would actually be processed through your insurance policy, provided you have uninsured motorist coverage. This means you will be responsible for the deductible and you will only be entitled to compensation within your policy’s limits.
How much you can get from your uninsured motorist claim depends entirely on the coverage offered by your policy. Texas law requires that you have a minimum coverage of at least $30,000 for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Your uninsured motorist claim would pull from the same coverage. Once that is met, that is it.
So, if your policy is for $100,000 for bodily injuries and you suffer $150,000 in medical expenses, your insurer will pay you a maximum of $100,000 and the remaining $50,000+ that is not covered is entirely on you.
Further, while your insurance company has the right to go after the uninsured driver through subrogation, the insurer will only be seeking reimbursement for the claim money it paid you through your coverage. They will not go after the uninsured driver to ensure you have the compensation you need to stay above water.
Even initiating an insurance claim for uninsured motorist benefits is a complicated task in itself, depending on the case. While you may have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company has no real interest in paying the full claim. In fact, your insurer may try to lowball your compensation or deny your claim outright. After all, this is easier than trying to recoup their losses from an uninsured driver after the fact.
An uninsured driver hit me in Texas, can I sue them? The short answer is yes. You can sue an uninsured motorist for any damages you have suffered as a result of your collision. These include:
Depending on the fact of your crash and case, your best course of action may be to hire a Texas car accident attorney to sue the uninsured motorist. However, you should also remember that successfully suing an uninsured driver for damages can be difficult. This is because the uninsured driver may lack the finances and assets to pay you.
In some cases, though, your attorney may choose to take legal action against a third party who is responsible for the accident. A common example is a manufacturer of defective car parts. In accidents that involved multiple drivers, your attorney may find evidence that the uninsured driver was not solely to blame for your crash allowing you to seek compensation from a second at-fault driver.
This is why it is always best to at least speak to an attorney following your crash. Experienced car accident attorneys have built their business and reputation on their ability to investigate car crashes and secure compensation for crash victims. They will look at your crash from all angles and pursue compensation on your behalf from all possible avenues. This gives you the best chance of making a full financial recovery.
If you have been hit by an uninsured motorist, call Thomas J. Henry Law to speak with a licensed Texas auto accident lawyer. Our law firm has represented victims of serious car accidents for nearly 30 years. We have offices in cities across Texas and a team of more than 200 attorneys standing by to assist you.
We are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and can travel to you if you are unable to make it to our offices. Further, because Thomas J. Henry Law works solely on a contingency fee basis, you pay us nothing unless and until we win your car accident case.
Do not wait, call now for your free case consultation.