What If The At-fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

A car accident, even a minor fender bender, can be a nerve-wracking experience. Usually, we are on our way to work or school, and someone’s careless actions can throw off the entire day and create considerable inconvenience. To add to the headache, Cypress is part of a county with one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in Texas, and without the right coverage, a mere inconvenience can turn into a nightmare.

Although Texans are required by law to “provide evidence of financial responsibility,” better known as car insurance, thousands of drivers still take a chance on the road without any coverage, and it is estimated that nearly 3 million drivers in Texas are uninsured. Texas law requires motorists to have liability coverage, which only insures you if you are found at fault for an accident. With liability coverage, your insurance company will pay for the damage to the other driver’s vehicle and for injuries up to the limits of your policy. It is often the least expensive option to have the minimum coverage required by law in Texas. However, this coverage does not protect you when an uninsured driver has hit you.


Can I still go after the at-fault driver even if they are uninsured?

Yes, you can still go after the uninsured driver who hit you, but the reality is that getting a recovery can be extremely difficult. Most uninsured drivers who do not have insurance coverage often let their coverage lapse because they cannot afford the premiums in the first place, which means they will also not likely be able to afford the cost of the damage done to your vehicle or any medical bills you may have from injuries you sustained from the accident.

If you continue to pursue a claim against an at-fault driver through the legal system, the process can be costly and can take months to finalize. Even if you succeed in getting a judgment from a Texas court, it will still be challenging to collect on this judgment. The at-fault driver still likely does not have the funds, and the Texas Constitution protects an individual’s common assets, including their home, retirement account, and car, from judgment.


What can I do to make sure I am Protected from Uninsured Drivers?

Fortunately, auto insurance companies offer Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage or UM/UIM. UM/UIM provides coverage for damages and injuries caused by uninsured drivers or when at-fault drivers don’t have enough coverage in their policy to pay for your damages adequately. This coverage prevents you from coming out of pocket for your own medical bills or property damage or going through the lengthy and costly process of pursuing a judgment against an uninsured driver.

With UM/UIM, you file a claim with your own insurance company, and they will handle your claim. After your insurance company confirms that the at-fault driver did not have insurance, they may even accept a lower deductible for your property damage claim.

When the accident is more than a fender-bender and causes long-term or lifelong complications and injuries, the at-fault driver may not have enough insurance to pay for your damages. In this case, the driver is considered underinsured. With UIM coverage, you can also make a claim against your own insurance company to help cover your damages.

The benefits of UM/UIM are well worth the additional premium and give added peace of mind when traveling on Texas roads. The extra cost is usually affordable, especially compared to the exorbitant costs without it.


Talk to a Cypress Car Accident Attorney

If you get hit by an uninsured motorist and you have UM/UIM coverage, contact a Sutliff & Stout Cypress car accident lawyer right away. Your own insurance may still try to avoid paying the claim, and the experienced Cypress car accident attorneys at Sutliff & Stout can help.

Hank Stout
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