Even though Texas and nearly all other states have laws requiring motorists to have auto liability insurance, unfortunately, not all drivers comply. Perhaps their policy lapsed, and it was an oversight on their part, or maybe they experienced a policy cancellation for non-payment or another reason. For other motorists, they simply can’t afford liability insurance coverage, so they don’t purchase it but still need to drive.
No matter why a driver is uninsured when they cause or are involved in a car accident, the aftermath can be confusing and expensive for those who suffer injuries or property damage. Here’s what you need to know if you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist.
Options for Covering Your Damages
Generally speaking, you have three primary options for seeking financial recovery to pay your medical bills, cover lost wages, and get your car repaired or replaced. These options include:
Rely On Health Insurance
You can use your health insurance coverage to pay your out-of-pocket costs for medical bills. Just as you would for any other medical care, you can provide your health insurance information to cover your medical expenses according to your plan. While this helps pay these bills, it won’t do much for your property or other personal injury damages.
File a Claim with Your Own Insurance Company
Filing a claim with your own auto insurance company if you have uninsured motorist or collision coverage can help cover your medical bills and sometimes other damages. However, you must have elected these coverages, and not every Texas driver chooses them when they purchase auto insurance. Even if you have one or both of these coverages, you may also have to pay deductibles according to your policy declarations.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your accident is another option. Since they don’t have insurance coverage to pay for your bills and other damages, you will need to file a lawsuit against them personally. An experienced Houston car accident lawyer can help you pursue financial recovery in this way.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and the driver couldn’t be located or identified, you would still have the first two options at your disposal.
Consult With a Reputable Houston Car Accident Attorney
Before deciding how to handle your accident-related expenses and damages, it’s best to speak to a Houston car accident attorney. They can review the accident, your injuries and damages, and your insurance coverage to help determine your best course of action.
It’s also possible that another party, instead of or in addition to the uninsured driver, is responsible for your accident. For example, a different driver, auto or auto parts manufacturer, or even a government entity could be liable for your damages. A knowledgeable attorney can investigate the accident to determine liability and help you maximize your compensation.
Being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver can be stressful and full of unknowns. However, a few options are available to you, and a lawyer can help you choose the best one for your circumstances.Since 1968, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. has represented personal injury claimants in cases including Houston car and truck accidents, maritime injuries, wrongful death, Houston motorcycle accidents, and others. Their award-winning personal injury attorneys have recovered millions in settlements and court awards for their clients.