If the other driver doesn’t have car insurance in your car accident, you may have a few options for pursuing compensation. This may include:
- Filling a claim with your own insurance company if you carry personal injury protection or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Filling a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver
- Filling a claim or lawsuit against another liable party
If you have been in a car accident with a driver who was not insured, a personal injury lawyer may be able to manage your case and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Texas Insurance Basics
Texas is an at-fault state, which means if you cause an accident, you are generally responsible for paying the other party’s damages. To that end, the state requires each driver to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, which may cover the other driver’s property damage as well as medical bills if you are at fault for an accident.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), insurance policies in Texas offer personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage unless you tell the insurance company in writing that you do not want them.
If you have these types of coverage, PIP may pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and nonmedical costs following an accident. UM may pay for your property damage and medical expenses after an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver whose insurance cannot cover your damages.
For a free legal consultation, call (972) 535-6377
After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
Once you determine that the other driver involved in the accident doesn’t have car insurance, contact your own insurance company to immediately file a claim. Your insurance company can discuss with you any PIP or UM coverage you may have.
If PIP or UM are included in your policy, then getting your car repaired and medical bills paid may be a fairly straightforward process. If not, you may have to evaluate your legal options.
Car Accident Liability
The difficulty with suing someone who lacks or has insufficient insurance is that the person might not have the resources to pay for your damages out-of-pocket. So even if you win a judgment in a personal injury lawsuit, the person may file for bankruptcy, which could make financial recovery a long, uncertain process.
Depending on the circumstances, you might have other avenues for legal action. If the driver was using the vehicle for work, you may have a claim against their employer. Sometimes, a non-driver third party may be liable for a car accident, such as a negligent mechanic or municipality.
Even if you have filed a PIP or UM claim, you may also have issues with your own insurance company. They may deny your claim, challenge your evidence, or offer you an amount of medical or property damages that is insufficient. In these situations, you may wish to consult an attorney to negotiate on your behalf or file a lawsuit.
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Important Laws Regarding Lawsuits in Texas
If you bring a lawsuit, it is worth keeping in mind that Texas uses a comparative fault standard in determining compensation for accidents. This means that if you are determined to be 20% responsible for a crash, your award may be reduced by 20%. If you are 50% responsible or more for the accident, you may not be able to recover any compensation, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001.
There are also deadlines to file a lawsuit in Texas. Per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003, there is a general two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits.
Failure to take legal action within the deadline that pertains to your case could result in your lawsuit being dismissed.
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Underwood Law Office May Be Able to Help You
At Underwood Law Office, we know that one of the few things worse than a car accident is learning that the person responsible for it did not have car insurance. If this has happened to you, our firm is here to help.
We represent car accident victims in Texas and may be able to take your case on a contingency-fee-basis with nothing due upfront. Underwood Law Office can handle all legal work and communications in your case when we represent you.
Call Underwood Law Office today at (972) 535-6377 for your free consultation and case evaluation with a member of our team.
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