After you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need to exchange insurance information with the other driver. But what happens when the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance?
You may be wondering whether it is worth your time to sue an uninsured or underinsured driver. And while every case is different, you should work with a Houston car accident lawyer at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. to assess all your legal options. Call (281) 283-8500 for a free, no-risk consultation.
Continue reading to learn about Texas car insurance requirements, what policy add-ons could help, and what to do after an accident with an uninsured driver.
Texas Car Insurance Requirements
Under Texas law, drivers must carry certain types and amounts of auto insurance coverage:
- $30,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
Auto insurance only covers medical expenses and the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Other losses may need to be recovered in a car accident lawsuit.
Policy Add-Ons To Consider
When you’re purchasing an auto insurance policy, there are several types of coverage you may want to add to your policy.
For example, adding comprehensive insurance can help protect you if your car is damaged by a natural disaster or stolen. Adding gap insurance can protect you if your car is totaled, but you finance your vehicle.
Most importantly, you have the option of adding under or uninsured motorist bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. This will help cover your losses if a driver hits you without insurance.
Your Options After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver
After you’ve been involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, there are several paths your case could take. Each of which will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Let’s take a closer look at all of them
File a Claim With Your Own Insurance Company
Did you opt into carrying uninsured motorist liability coverage on your auto insurance policy? If so, you could file a claim with your auto insurer to recover compensation for your suffering.
State law does not require you to carry this coverage. But it can go a long way in protecting you if you are hit by a driver with no insurance, money, or assets.
File a Claim With the At-Fault Party’s Insurer
Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes. This means you would typically file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer after a car accident. But, if the driver has no insurance, you won’t be able to file a claim.
But some drivers are underinsured. This means they have an auto insurance policy, and you can file a claim with their insurer. But their insurance policy may be insufficient to cover all the damage involved or address the various financial losses you experienced. This happens a lot with serious accidents involving significant medical bills or time away from work.
File a Civil Lawsuit Against the Liable Party
When a driver is under or uninsured, there is no way around it. You will probably have to file a civil claim against them unless they are willing to pay you out of their pocket outside of court. But that is unlikely.
If you decide to go to court, you may be able to get a judgment against them. This would require them to compensate you for the ways your life has been affected by the accident.
When To Sue an Underinsured or Uninsured Driver
If a driver is uninsured, you might assume that they don’t have money to afford car insurance. However, it is essential to remember that the at-fault party’s circumstances are irrelevant.
Your injuries are what matter. You should not bear the financial responsibility of their actions.
Filing a civil claim may be the best way to obtain the compensation that you deserve. The at-fault party may have other ways of repaying you. They could sell assets, tap into savings, or even borrow it as long as you are fairly compensated and justice is served.
Your car accident lawyer will review the specific details of your case. Sometimes filing a claim against the driver who hit you is in your best interests. Other times, you may be able to recover what you need by filing a claim against your own uninsured or underinsured policy.
Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston Today
Dealing with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have any or enough insurance is frustrating. But you have options to consider. The experienced Houston car accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have been assisting injury victims for decades. Let us review your situation and explain the best way to recover the compensation you need.