Under Texas law, at-fault motorists are required to pay for the car accidents they cause. They must show liability insurance that meets minimum coverage requirements. If they fail to do so, it can result in license suspension, fines, jail time, and other penalties.
If the driver who caused the crash you were involved in does not have insurance, you will not be able to claim against their insurance policy. A crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be costly. Fortunately, you may file a claim with your own insurance company.
Loewy Law Firm understands the complications that can arise in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Dealing with an uninsured or underinsured motorist situation can present a number of difficulties. This is why it’s in your best interest to have a seasoned car accident attorney on your side.
If the accident resulted in injuries, hospital bills, vehicular repairs, lost wages, or other losses, you are entitled to compensation. The Austin car accident lawyers at Loewy Law Firm know the harm that uninsured and underinsured motorists can cause, and we will search diligently for other sources of compensation for you. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation, during which we’ll go through all your options.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured motorist insurance (UM) is coverage you buy from an insurance company. It pays for your losses if you are in a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. An uninsured motorist is a person who does not have insurance coverage or has less than the required amount.
If you are involved in a car crash with someone who does not have the required liability insurance, as long as you have UM, you may seek compensation from your own insurer. Unfortunately, insurance companies will often significantly undervalue claims. They will likely try downplaying your injuries, or they may claim that you were at fault for the crash.
What’s the Difference Between Being Uninsured and Underinsured?
Uninsured coverage pays in a crash when the at-fault driver has no insurance. Underinsured coverage, on the other hand, pays when a driver causes the accident and has insurance, but it’s not enough to cover your losses.
Because Texas motorists are only required to have $30,000 in coverage, if you are injured by someone with the minimum coverage, it’s likely that your medical expenses will exceed that amount.
What Are the Insurance Requirements in Texas?
Texas requires that all motorists carry liability insurance. Unfortunately, many Texans are uninsured or underinsured. When you purchase car insurance, you must have the following minimum amounts of liability coverage:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability per individual injured in a crash you cause
- $60,000 for total bodily injury liability in the event that two or more individuals are hurt in a crash you cause
- $25,000 for property damage per crash you cause
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is exactly what it sounds like — auto insurance that covers your damages when the other person who is responsible for the accident does not have any auto insurance.
For example, let’s say that you stopped at a stoplight and were rear-ended by another driver. You suffered whiplash and missed three days of work and are now going through physical therapy to heal your neck. Your damages add up to $36,000.
If the at-fault driver had absolutely no insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage would cover those damages up to your policy limit. In this case, your insurance would pay the entire $36,000 worth of damages, up to your policy limit.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Similar to uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage covers your damages if they exceed the coverage limits of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy.
Now, let’s say that you broke your arm in an accident and the at-fault driver had auto insurance, but only the minimum amount required by law in Texas (again, $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage). However, the bill for your broken arm is $46,000.
In this case, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will pay $30,000 of the bill, and your underinsured motorist coverage will kick in for the remaining $16,000, up to your policy limit.
Why are Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages Important?
If you have been in a car accident, you are probably familiar with the physical, emotional, and financial toll that such an incident can exact. You could easily be left with debilitating injuries that could prohibit you from working or, at the very least, require extensive rehabilitation.
The net financial costs of such an accident could be enormous. But at least you could count on the at-fault driver’s auto insurance to cover you, right?
Not so fast. Even though Texas’ financial responsibility law requires motorists to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, at least 20% of motorists on Texas roads are driving without any insurance, or without enough insurance to cover damages caused by a serious accident.
Again, that means if you are involved in an auto accident in Texas, there is a 1 in 5 chance that the driver who hits you will not have enough auto insurance to cover your losses.
This is why having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy is important. Not only will it protect you if you are in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, but it will also protect you if you are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver.
Am I Required To Have Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage?
When it comes to insurance, many tend to follow the line of thinking that if the law does not require it, it is not needed. But, the lack of a law requiring this type of insurance should not lead you to overlook the need for it.
Why gamble with the possibility of being involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver?
Adding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to your policy is the only way to guarantee yourself and your family access to the financial resources needed to endure a serious accident.
Besides, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are protected will make any minor increases to your insurance premiums worth it.
How Will I Recover Compensation After a Car Accident in Austin?
When insurance coverage is limited, your car accident attorney will work hard to find sources of compensation for your losses, which may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The attorneys at Loewy Law Firm are ready to pursue maximum compensation for you through every avenue, which may include:
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: There are two main types of UM/UIM coverage:
- Bodily Injury – Covers medical expenses, physical pain, disfigurement, lost wages, and permanent or partial disability.
- Property Damage – Covers auto repairs, a rental car, and damage to items in your vehicle.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP typically covers up to a total of $2,500 in medical bills, 80% of lost wages, and household duties that could not be completed due to an injury.
- Med Pay: This is extra full coverage that add to your insurance policy. Med Pay covers any related medical expenses as a result of the crash. It covers any passengers in the vehicle.
How Can an Uninsured Motorist Claim Lawyer Help?
If you have to file a claim with your own insurance company for compensation, it’s important that you work with a knowledgeable attorney because insurance companies will do everything that they can to minimize your payout. You don’t have to face the insurance company alone. When you choose Loewy Law Firm to represent you, you will benefit from our vast experience. Allow to handle all facets of your case while you focus on your health and recovery.
Our experienced Austin car accident lawyers will:
- Analyze and fully understand your current auto insurance policy
- Conduct an in-depth investigation of the accident
- Gather evidence to prove the other driver was at fault and show the extent of your injuries
- Demonstrate that the at-fault driver cannot be located or did not have insurance
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a full and fair settlement
- Make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you
- Handle your car accident case on a contingency fee basis, which means we won’t charge you a dime unless you recover compensation
Contact an Experienced Austin Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Have you been hurt in a car accident in Austin or elsewhere in Texas that was caused by an uninsured driver? If so, allow the skilled and experienced Austin car accident attorneys of Loewy Law Firm to handle your case. At Loewy Law Firm, we offer a vast array of services, including helping Texans make sure they have full coverage and helping those who are the victims of accidents caused by underinsured motorists.
Uninsured and underinsured insurance policies can be complex and hard to understand. We will answer all your questions about your coverage, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Call now for a free and confidential consultation.