Being in a vehicle crash is frightening, painful, and frustrating. But you assume the other driver has liability insurance so your medical bills, lost wages, and car repair will be paid in full. But if you learn that they may not have insurance – or enough insurance – to pay for all damages, your collision can turn into a nightmare.
The good news is that there are ways to get paid back if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.
This happens more frequently than you might think. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that 20% of drivers do not have a minimum liability policy. That means there are at least three million uninsured drivers. Dallas County has the highest number of them.
What Should You Do If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
If the other driver who was responsible for the accident doesn’t have liability insurance, you can file a claim through your uninsured (UM) and other policies that you may have purchased. Check your policy and see what is available. The possibilities include collision, rental, personal injury protection/medical payments, health insurance, and possibly others.
We have found liability policies and gotten our clients paid after the at-fault driver and their insurance company initially said there was no policy. We research data bases and conduct background checks, contact the driver and demand they cooperate or be sued, make their insurance representatives tell us if coverage exists, and force our client’s companies to uncover undisclosed policies.
If the owner or driver of the other vehicle lives outside of Texas, they are often covered under their own state’s liability insurance laws.
The injured driver can sue the at-fault driver in small claims court if he or she really did not have an active policy in effect. However, the legal process can be complicated and expensive, and sometimes it is preferable to simply proceed against the insurance benefits you are already paying for than chase a person that presumably does not have assets. We have taken judgments against uninsured motorists.
Amount of Money That May Be Available on Your Policy
You will be covered up to these amounts and you may have purchased more coverage than
$30,000 of bodily injury coverage per person,
$60,000 for all injured people for bodily injury coverage, and
$25,000 per accident for all property damage.
You may have purchased a UM policy and not know it. Or you may not have paid for it but your company did not get the required rejection signed by you so it has to now provide that service. We demand proof of this rejection as one of the first steps in every new case and have been successful in getting our clients paid when the rejection is not produced.
Further, if the at-fault driver only has $30,000 to pay for all of your damages, that often is not enough money, especially if multiple vehicles are involved. When this happens, you can file on your underinsured (UIM) policy and attempt to collect the balance that is owed.
However you will have to fight against your own company which will not want to pay you as much money as you would like. They make a substantial profit paying out far less in claims that the revenue it takes in from premiums. Some companies are cheaper and more ruthless than others.
These are some of the tricks that the insurance company will play:
What Texas Car Insurance Adjusters Don’t Want You To Know
What to Do After You Get Into a Car or Truck Accident
After the crash, take photos of the scene of the accident, your visible injuries, and damage to your car and all vehicles. File a police report and write down the details of what happened so that you don’t forget anything crucial. Collect witness statements and witness contact information. Note the locations of video cameras on poles or local businesses if possible.
If you are injured, immediately go to the hospital or doctor. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan so you can recover quickly.
Before you talk with the other driver’s insurance company or your own, call a good personal injury attorney. They will let you know what to do and either negotiate to get you the highest settlement or take your case to court.
Working With a Car Accident Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will obtain the evidence you need to prove your claim including the relevant details about how the collision happened and your injuries and damages.
They will provide you with a free consultation and only get paid if they can get you a recovery of money.
Contact Berenson Injury Law
If you were injured in a car, truck, pedestrian, or motorcycle accident with an uninsured driver, this is not the time to represent yourself in what can be a difficult process.
Call us at 817-885-8000 or get in touch on our website.