All drivers are required to carry a liability insurance policy. This is coverage designed to pay damages suffered by the injured party if they cause an accident. However, 13 percent of the country’s drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates. The estimated number in Texas is 14.1 percent, slightly higher than the national average.
Uninsured car accidents can pose complications for all parties involved. As the victim, you won’t be able to file a claim against the driver’s insurer. You might have to opt for a lawsuit. The at-fault driver, on the other hand, could end up paying for damages out of pocket.
If you have been injured in Houston by an underinsured or uninsured driver, you should seek legal help from an expert Houston Car Accident Attorney.
How to Recover Damages from Uninsured Motorist
When purchasing auto liability insurance, your insurance company is required to provide you with the opportunity to purchase UM or UIM coverage. Having these coverages added to your policy helps protect you and your passengers if you get in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you carry these coverages, here is how they can help you:
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage – This pays for property damage and bodily injury sustained by you and your passengers when hit by an uninsured motorist.
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage – This covers property damage and bodily injury sustained by you or your passengers when hit by a driver with insufficient auto liability insurance.
LAWSUIT AGAINST THE UNINSURED MOTORIST
If you do not carry UM or UIM coverage, you could file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. Your settlement, if you are successful, will be drawn from the driver’s personal assets. This means that your attorney will have to prove negligence in court, which involves establishing the following elements:
- Duty of care – That the uninsured driver owed you a responsibility to not cause you harm
- Negligence – That they breached this duty by acting negligently
- Causation – That their negligent actions caused the accident
- Damages – That the accident was the direct cause of your injuries and losses
If your attorney successfully establishes these four elements, a jury through a judge will award you a settlement. The settlement will cover property damage and other injury-related losses.
FILING A CLAIM AGAINST A THIRD PARTY
Under Texas law, you can hold someone other than the driver responsible for your accident. A situation where this could apply includes where an uninsured driver hit you while on the job. In this case, you can file a claim against their employer.
In an intoxicated driving case, you can also seek damages from the bar, store, or restaurant that provided the at-fault driver with alcohol.
CONSULT WITH A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Victims of negligent drivers are eligible for maximum compensation, including those injured in uninsured car accidents. An experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney will help you get damages to cover your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.
That said, the sooner you begin work on your claim, the better. Make sure you contact an attorney immediately after an accident with an uninsured driver. Get in touch with Husain Law today to discuss your case, rights, and legal options.