Accidents with Uninsured & Underinsured Drivers in Houston, TX
You might find out right after a crash that the other driver doesn’t have insurance. Or you might learn their insurance was expired afterward. But once you realize you’re dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it’s time to call a Houston uninsured accident attorney. You’re going to need help recovering compensation.
The Krist Law Firm, P.C. is here to help. We’re highly experienced car accident lawyers in Houston with an excellent record in cases involving uninsured and underinsured car accidents. We’ll explain the law, answer your questions, and offer practical guidance about how to get the compensation you need
Were You in a Car Accident with Someone Without Insurance?
Uninsured drivers create complicated situations, and an experienced uninsured accident attorney helps you navigate the insurance and legal process. Instead of recovering compensation from the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll have to look elsewhere. You might need to file a lawsuit.
The Krist Law Firm P.C. can help after accidents with uninsured drivers. Give us a call to learn how.
Texas Auto Accident Laws
Texas is an “at fault” state. Under Texas’ car accident laws, the driver at fault for the crash is responsible for the victim’s damages. Those include property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To make sure every driver can handle that responsibility, Texas has car insurance requirements.
Texas Car Insurance Laws
Texas requires vehicle owners to carry at least:
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per person
- $60,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 of property damage coverage
Any driver can buy more than the 30/60/25 coverage. But sometimes, the minimum amount isn’t enough to pay for all damages. That’s how some drivers become underinsured drivers. They cause property damage and bodily injuries worth more than their policy limit.
Other optional types of car insurance include:
- Collision Coverage: Pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident
- Comprehensive Coverage: Pays to repair or replace your car after theft, vandalism, flood, or an incident other than a crash
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage: Pays some medical bills and lost wages for you and your passengers. All Texas policies include PIP coverage, but you can decline it in writing if you want.
- Med Pay Coverage: Pays for your and your passenger’s medical bills after an accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Pays for damages if you were hurt in a hit and run or hit by an uninsured driver. Underinsured motorist insurance covers the gap between the at-fault driver’s policy and the value of your injuries. Your policy might pay for property damage, bodily injuries, or both. Texas’ uninsured motorist law requires insurers to offer this coverage, but you can decline it.
What Happens To the Uninsured Driver?
Driving without insurance or with expired insurance is illegal in Texas. The police officer who arrived at the scene will likely ticket the other driver, who will have to pay a fine and get insurance. The fine is higher if the driver has a previous ticket for driving without insurance.
In some cases, the state might suspend the driver’s license. The uninsured driver also might face extra annual fees when they renew their driver’s license.
Your Options After an Uninsured Driver Hits You
After getting medical care for your injuries, the best thing to do is speak with an experienced car accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation, and an attorney can explain your particular situation and what’s available.
Your Health Insurance
Always use your health insurance when you get medical care for your car accident injuries.
Your Auto Insurance
Telling your auto insurance company about the crash right away is essential if you need to use your uninsured motorist coverage. Texas auto insurance policies come with UM coverage unless you specifically opted out. If you have collision, Med Pay, or PIP insurance – use that, too.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Whether you should sue an uninsured driver for damages depends on the circumstances. We highly recommend talking with an uninsured motorist accident attorney.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we look into the at-fault driver’s background and financial means. An uninsured driver might have little-to-no income or assets. In that case, you’ll spend more on the court case than you’ll receive from the defendant.
If you win a case against a driver with meager financial means, there might be ways to recover your compensation. We can place a lien on their property, but this only works if they have property. We can garnish their wages, but this only works if they have a steady job.
Suing an underinsured motorist is a bit different. You don’t need the driver to pay for the entire value of your claim. Their insurance will cover up to the policy amount. You’re only asking the driver to pay for the rest personally. You face the same risk of a “judgment proof” driver who doesn’t have any money to pay the court award, though.
Other Liable Insurance Policies
There are ways to improve your chance of recovering personal injury compensation. When we investigate the car accident, we look for other possible defendants. If you’re able to sue two or more people, you have a better chance of being paid.
We’ll look for an umbrella policy that offers additional coverage. Corporations and other organizations are more likely to have an umbrella policy.
Accidents With Uninsured Drivers FAQs
- What happens if the person at fault in an accident has no insurance? You’ll use your health insurance and auto insurance coverage to pay for your property damage and medical bills. You should also talk with an uninsured accident attorney about whether it’s a good idea to sue the uninsured driver.
- Should I sue the uninsured driver who hit me? It depends. Some drivers lack sufficient income or assets to make a lawsuit worth it. It’s important to talk with a lawyer about this possibility. The Krist Law Firm P.C. investigates the at-fault driver thoroughly and advises you on the pros and cons of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
- What if I caused a crash when I didn’t have insurance? Under Texas’ car accident laws, the other driver can hold you personally liable for their property damage, medical bills, and other injuries. You’ll also be ticketed and fined for driving without insurance.
- How do I know if someone is an underinsured driver? You’ll know whether the negligent driver is underinsured once you know their policy limit and you know the value of your claim. We highly recommend talking with an experienced uninsured accident lawyer to figure these things out.
Call Krist After an Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Accident
Getting hurt in an accident is frustrating enough. But learning the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover your injuries is infuriating. Now is the time to hire an uninsured accident attorney who will fight for the best possible outcome.
Scott Krist and our Houston car accident lawyers are highly experienced and successful personal injury lawyers in Texas. We’re known for our compassion and history of results. Let us help hold negligent drivers and their insurers responsible for the harm they caused. No matter how complicated your case, we’ll fight for you.