In many states, including Texas, owners of automobiles are required to carry automobile insurance, specifically, liability insurance. Liability insurance covers personal injuries and property damage in the event you get into an accident with another automobile or someone’s residence. There are different categories of insurance, but there are minimum amounts of coverage.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, motorists are required to carry minimum liability limits of $30,000 per injured person, up to $60,000 per accident, and at least $25,000 for property damage per accident. Texas law requires insurance companies to offer uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance. The Insurance Information Institute reported in 2012 that 12.6 percent of motorists across the United States drove without automobile insurance. In Texas during that same year 13.3 percent of motorists operated automobiles without insurance.
If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist who caused your personal injuries, you should consult with an experienced uninsured motorist attorney who will be able to assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries, even if the individual did not carry insurance when the accident occurred.
Uninsured Motorist Policies
If the driver that caused your injuries does not carry adequate insurance coverage, or drove with no coverage at all, you are placed in a very difficult situation, especially if you have extensive medical bills. The situation is difficult because if there is no sufficient coverage, you are responsible for paying for your medical care or property damage.
As I indicated above, in order to protect motorists like you from these difficult situations, insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. In any personal injury lawsuit or settlement, the liability (or negligence) of the responsible party must first be determined before you can recover from an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy.
If the at-fault driver only has the minimum coverage of $30,000 for personal injuries mandated by Texas law, and your medical bills exceed that, then your insurance company will pick up the balance after the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays the maximum limit. But if the at-fault driver did not have insurance, and you did not have uninsured motorist coverage under your policy, you might not know what to do next.
The Next Step
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to recover from your own automobile insurance policy if you have collision and personal injury protection, which will cover automobile and medical bills. Even your health insurance could be used to cover your medical expenses.
Avoiding Difficult Situations
Most people know that they are required to carry automobile liability insurance. To avoid difficult situations, you should consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage, if you do not have it already.
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and suffered personal injuries and property damage because of that accident, you should contact an experienced Houston personal injury attorney who will evaluate your options and suggest the best avenue of recovery.