You're an Accident Victim...And They Don't Have Insurance
What do you do when you are an accident victim, and the other driver doesn't have automobile insurance? It's a sticky situation, and the reality is that about 13% of motorists in the United States, and 14% in Texas, are driving without auto insurance. Fortunately, there are options for recovering compensation, even when the other driver shirks their legal responsibilities.
Texas Minimum Insurance Requirements
Texas statutes require motorists to carry bodily injury coverage of $30,000 per individual, and $60,000 per accident. Drivers must also maintain $25,000 in property damage liability. On top of this, the law requires drivers to have at least $2,500 in Personal Injury Protection. While it is possible, it unwise to sign a waiver for the PIP requirement. These are insurance minimums, and the reality is that adding more coverage costs only a few dollars per month for most drivers.
Dealing with an Uninsured Motorist
If you're wondering whether you need to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, to do so is always a safe bet. 14% of drivers in Texas are uninsured, therefore if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and have an accident with one of these drivers, you can file a claim against your insurance provider up to the coverage limit in your policy.
You can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. However, most drivers who are driving without insurance have insufficient assets to pursue. While you may be able to secure liens against real estate property or retirement accounts, it's not something you should count on to take to the bank.
The Possibility of Third-Party Liability
Motor vehicle accidents are not always straightforward. There can be many contributing causes to the crash. For instance, street lights may malfunction, reducing illumination. Stop signs can get knocked down or stolen. Poorly designed parking lots can create potential hazards for drivers. These factors and countless others can create conditions that can facilitate a crash.
This is known as third-party liability. Prevailing in such a case against a government entity, private business, homeowner's association, employer, etc., requires the plaintiff to establish a clear, unimpeachable path between the action, the hazard it created, and the crash. It is not easy, but it is possible in some motor vehicle accidents when the accident victim is injured by an uninsured/underinsured motorist in Texas.
Contact Welmaker Injury Law at (800) 494-1916 to discuss with one of our attorneys your motor vehicle accident with an uninsured driver.