If you are involved in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, rest assured, Stolmeier Law is here to fight for you.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), every driver is required to have minimum automobile liability insurance in Texas. Texas requires a minimum automobile liability insurance of $25,000 for property damage, $30,000 per person, and $60,000 per accident.
TDI reports driver’s caught without insurance face first time fines of up to $350 plus court costs. Additional offenses can result in fines up to $1000, a 2-year driver’s license suspension, and car impoundment. When a driver does not have insurance and causes an accident, that driver can be held 100% liable.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
An uninsured motorist is a motorist who chooses not to abide by Texas laws and refuses to purchase automobile insurance. Texas does not require drivers to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), but Texas requires insurance companies to offer this additional coverage to you. It is a wise choice to purchase UMI coverage considering the number of uninsured drivers in Texas is estimated at 4 million people, or between 20 and 25 percent of Texas’ population.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
An underinsured motorist is a motorist who complies with Texas’ minimum automobile liability insurance laws, but the insurance coverage is inadequate to fully cover your injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you choose not to purchase UIM coverage your personal injury and property damage claims will not be covered by insurance. Instead, you will have to pursue a claim personally against the offending driver. Even if you can hold the offending driver liable for your injuries and property damage, it is unlikely that the uninsured or underinsured offending driver will have enough assets to cover your damages. As a result, you will be left with the costs the uninsured driver cannot cover.
If you have UIM coverage and are involved in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, your best course of action is to file a lawsuit against your own insurance company as well as personally against the uninsured or underinsured motorist. The uninsured offending driver is unlikely to be able to cover your damages, so as a result, your own insurance company will cover your damages. However, rather than your own insurance company working with you, your insurance company will now be working against you to prevent you from recovering as much compensation as possible. Additionally, your own insurance carrier will only cover the damages that the uninsured or underinsured driver covered. Depending on your UIM coverage, you still may have to cover some of your own damages.
UIM Claims and Insurance Rates
You may be reluctant to file a UIM claim against your own insurance company for fear that your insurance company will raise your rates. This is an appropriate concern, but fortunately in Texas, Texas forbids UIM insurance companies from increasing your rates because you field a claim.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
Stolmeier Law has served car accident victims, including victims hit by uninsured or underinsured motorists, in San Antonio and South Texas for over 35 years. Stolmeier Law is dedicated to recovering you as much compensation as possible for your car, motorcycle, commercial truck, work truck, or 18-wheeler accident. So if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, Call Stolmeier Law.