While being involved in an auto accident can itself cause you a great deal of stress and anxiety, your recovery might be made more difficult when you discover that the driver who caused the crash doesn’t have insurance or has too little insurance coverage. Fortunately, even if you cannot seek compensation from the at-fault driver, you may have other options available to you to get the financial resources you need.
At Portner Bond, PLLC, our car accident attorneys have over 85 years of combined legal experience advocating for the rights and interests of accident victims. We believe that you should not have to shoulder the financial burdens of injuries and property damage from a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. Our firm can help you navigate the complex process of obtaining compensation when the driver who caused the crash turns out not to have insurance that can pay you the money you need and deserve.
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, reach out to the Beaumont car accident attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC for a free initial case evaluation. We’ll discuss your case and share how our attorneys can help you to pursue compensation for the losses that you have suffered.
What Is an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver?
In Texas, drivers are required to have auto insurance that includes liability coverage. In other words, a driver’s insurance company will pay money to those who suffer injuries or property damage in a car accident caused by that driver. But Texas law only requires drivers to carry a certain amount of liability coverage. In serious car accidents, this coverage may prove insufficient to fully compensate accident victims. And some drivers even get on the road without having the required liability insurance.
The term “uninsured driver” refers to a motorist who does not have a liability insurance policy as required by Texas law. The term ”underinsured driver” refers to someone who does have liability insurance, and who may even have the coverage limits required by state law. However, a driver is considered “underinsured” when their coverage limits prove insufficient to fully compensate the victim or victims of an accident they caused.
Common Causes of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Some of the most frequent causes of uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents in Texas include:
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Unsafe turns or lane changes, including by failing to signal or check mirrors
- Reckless driving
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance
- Inexperienced drivers
Texas Auto Insurance Requirements
Texas law requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of auto liability insurance coverage. Specifically, drivers must have:
- $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage, which pays for accident victims’ medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering
- $25,000 per accident of property damage liability coverage.
Of course, policyholders may choose to purchase higher amounts of liability insurance coverage. In addition, insurance companies in Texas are required to offer personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to policyholders. Policyholders must expressly decline these coverages in writing if they do not want to pay the premiums for them. PIP coverage provides money for medical expenses and lost wages if you suffer injuries in an auto accident, regardless of who may have caused the crash. UM/UIM coverage can provide you with compensation following an accident that was caused by a driver who didn’t have liability insurance or whose insurance coverage limit does not cover the full total of your expenses and losses.
Recovering Compensation After an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident
In a claim for compensation after an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, you may be entitled to a financial recovery that includes money for:
- Costs of medical treatment of physical injuries
- Costs of long-term personal and medical care for permanent disabilities or chronic conditions that result from accident-related injuries
- Loss of income or future earning capacity when injuries render you unable to return to your pre-accident level of work or occupation
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Reduced enjoyment and quality of life, such as due to extensive scarring/disfigurement or physical disabilities that interfere with daily living
What Are Your Legal Rights After an Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver?
After you have been involved in an accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may still have options for obtaining financial compensation for your accident-related expenses and losses. If you were injured in the accident, you may be entitled to get compensation for your medical bills and lost wages if you have PIP coverage on your own auto policy.
Furthermore, if the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance, or if their coverage limits cannot fully compensate you for all your expenses and losses, you may be entitled to file a claim with your own auto insurer if you have UM/UIM coverage.
How Can a UM/UIM Accident Lawyer Help You?
When you are seeking compensation after being hurt in an uninsured/underinsured motorist accident, let an attorney from Portner Bond, PLLC help you obtain money for your recovery by:
- Investigating the accident and securing the evidence needed to show that the other driver caused the crash.
- Identifying the parties who can be held liable for your injuries and losses, as well as available financial resources for your compensation, such as the at-fault driver’s insurance coverages and applicable coverages under your own auto policy.
- Documenting your injuries and losses to determine what amount of money would provide you with full compensation.
- Filing insurance claims on your behalf, including with your own insurer if necessary, and aggressively pursuing fair and full financial recovery for you in a settlement.
- Going to court or to trial if needed to fight for the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact Portner Bond, PLLC Today for Help
After you have been injured in a car crash due to the negligence or recklessness of an uninsured or underinsured driver, call Portner Bond, PLLC today at (409) 838-4444 or contact us through our website. You’ll get a free, no-obligation consultation. We can advise you about your legal rights and options for recovering compensation even when the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage.