Hit By An Uninsured Motorist? Here’s What You Need To Know.
According to the Insurance Research Council, over 14% of motorists are uninsured in the state of Texas. That means nearly 1 out of every 7 drivers poses a potential problem while on the road.Nearly 1 out of 7 drivers in #Texas is uninsured #JGo #Facts #RGV Click To Tweet
Texas law does require every driver to have liability insurance, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. This can ring especially true in the Rio Grande Valley where our roadways are filled with international travelers who may not have the necessary coverage required by state laws.
When you’ve been in a car accident caused by a negligent party that is uninsured (or underinsured), or are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, getting the compensation and recovery you deserve can be complicated. That’s why you need an experienced and trustworthy legal team that is familiar with state laws that govern uninsured motorists. Your McAllen personal injury lawyer at J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys is committed to victims of car wrecks and truck accidents.
When you’ve been in a car accident caused by an uninsured motorist consider the following.
Car Insurance Basics
As previously mentioned, Texas law requires that drivers have a minimum of auto liability insurance. This form of car insurance covers the costs to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pay for the victim’s medical expenses.
Currently, the basic coverage is known as 30/60/25 coverage. This means a liability limit of $30,000 for each injured person, a total limit of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. However, with the soaring prices of medical care and car prices, this minimal amount may not be enough to cover all costs. It is always in the best interest of all drivers to consider buying more than the minimum requirements to protect themselves financially should they be involved in a devastating car accident.
It is worth noting that liability insurance will not pay to repair or replace your car or treat your injuries. This is where purchasing additional protection becomes very important. One of the most important steps that you can take to protect yourself against uninsured drivers is purchasing Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This protects you (and passengers) if you are hit by a driver with no insurance.UM/UIM coverage protects you against uninsured drivers. Talk to your insurance agent about this. Click To Tweet
UM/UIM coverage is not required in the state of Texas but insurance companies are lawfully required to at least offer this coverage to you. If financially possible, you should have this coverage in your policy.
If the accident is caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, or if the other driver flees the scene (a hit-and-run), then you will be able to file a claim under the UM/UIM provision of your coverage. UM/UIM covers expenses related to:
- Bodily Injury UM/UIM – medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent or partial disability.
- Property Damage UM/UIM – auto repairs, rental car fees, and damage to valuables in your car.
Not only does this coverage protect you from uninsured motorists but also covers your family members, other passengers in the vehicle during the time of the accident, and other drivers who have been given permission to use your vehicle.
Make sure to always understand what amount of UM/UIM coverage you have. It is recommended that you have $100,000 per person/$250,000 per accident in case of a severe car wreck. Talk with your insurance agent and read through the policy to stay informed.
To learn more about additional insurance coverages that can be valuable in cased of car accidents caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver, please visit the Texas Department of Insurance website.
What to Do After the Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver you should:
- Call the police to ensure you get the necessary paperwork needed to properly file a claim with your insurer.
- Obtain medical attention if necessary. Do not hesitate to seek treatment for even the smallest injury as it can lead to something much more serious.
- Obtain the necessary information from the other driver(s), and witnesses if possible, including contact information, driver’s license number(s), and license plates numbers.
- Contact your insurance company, inform them of the accident, and let them know the other driver was uninsured.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always act in your best interest as a client. They may attempt to undervalue or dismiss your UM/UIM policy claim. If you have the proper UM/UIM coverage and have been informed that the negligent driver who caused your injuries and property damage has no insurance, then you deserve to have your claim processed.
Seek guidance from a qualified lawyer who is familiar with UM/UIM law in Texas. Without legal representation to help you fight against your insurer, it can be difficult to recover what is rightfully yours.
When you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, your McAllen personal injury and car accident attorney at J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys is here for you!
Don’t let an uninsured driver or a bad faith insurance company stop you from obtaining the recovery that is due to you. Let the experienced personal injury attorneys of McAllen’s J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys fight for what is yours!