Finding Solutions for Texans Injured by Irresponsible Drivers
At my trial lawyers luncheon yesterday, we learned some useful tips on how to win uninsured/underinsured motorists cases in the courtroom. Often here in Texas, our clients are crashed into and injured by drivers with no or little insurance coverage. It’s a serious problem — especially if it happens to you.
About 30 million drivers nationwide were uninsured and a reported 20 percent of motor vehicles in Texas are uninsured. As a personal injury lawyer for the past 35 years, I think the rate is even higher.
Solutions for Drivers Injured by Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
Getting hit by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver is very frustrating and painful. After all, you did nothing wrong, but now you face physical challenges and financial hardships because of another person’s irresponsibility and negligence.
You have options. We here at Berenson Injury Law regularly represent people injured by hit and run, uninsured and underinsured motorists. These cases require creative strategies and determination to make our clients whole. Our firm takes decisive, timely steps to
- Negotiate for the full amount of liability coverage of an at-fault underinsured driver
- Fight for every dime possible from your UM/UIM insurance policy
- Explore other insurance coverages you might have
- Negotiate with your medical providers to reduce bills related to your injury treatments
- Investigate whether the uninsured or underinsured driver has assets we can collect
- Sue any third party who was at fault for your auto or truck accident
The insurance coverage available
Uninsured motorist coverage(UM) protects you if you are hit in a crash, it is not your fault, and the other driver does not have any liability insurance. Underinsured motorist (UIM) protects you if the at-fault driver does carry enough insurance to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, which often happens if he just has the minimum limits of 30-60-25 ($30,000 for any person injured/$60,000 for all persons injured/$25,000 for property damage) plus offsets like Personal Injury Protection benefits.
How does this work?
The purpose of UM/UIM coverage is to place the injured party in the same position as if the uninsured/underinsured motorist had been properly insured
The standard insurance policy language provides that
We will pay damages, which a covered person is legally entitled to recover from the owner or operator of an uninsured vehicle because of bodily injury sustained by a covered person, or property damage, caused by an accident.
The owner or operator’s liability for these damages must arise out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of the uninsured motor vehicle.
How much UM/UIM coverage should I buy?
I tell my clients they should buy as much as possible, and at least $100,000. The cost for this coverage is relatively cheap, especially compared to the enormous costs of hospitals and surgeries if the crash is a major one. Some companies will add an umbrella policy for very little.
What types of UIM coverage are available?
• Bodily Injury: This will pay for medical bills. lost wages, disfigurement, disability, pain, and other damages. There is no deductible.
• Property Damage: This will pay for the repair costs, rental car, and damge to personal possessions in your vehicle.
If you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, or a hit-and-run driver, please call our Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury law firm at 817-885-8000 or toll free at 1-888-801-8585 for a free case assessment. We will help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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