Car accidents are messy and resulting in injuries and property damage. The course of your life is disrupted, and you are left in pain and suffering, confused and wondering how much you have to pay for medical care and to fix your car. Usually, the at-fault driver's insurance policy will cover these costs. However, many car crashes in Texas involve uninsured drivers.
If this is your case, you should contact a personal injury attorney at Glenn Law Firm to explore the options you have to recover your expenses and hold the other party liable for the damages they caused.
What Type of Insurance Coverage Should Drivers Carry in Texas?
The Transportation Code of Texas stipulates that motor vehicle operators must carry the following minimum mandatory liability insurance:
- $30,000 bodily injury and death liability coverage per person
- $60,000 bodily injury and death liability coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability coverage.
However, in most of cases, these amounts are insufficient to cover the economic damages and hospital bills for an accident victim. This is why drivers who only hold minimum coverage are actually underinsured drivers.
You should also know that the policy you obtained from your insurance carrier will also include Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It will automatically start covering your hospital bills after a car accident. However, PIP coverage amounts are low and insufficient to cover all your medical care expenses. This is why your best course of action is to purchase additional insurance coverage:
- uninsured motorist coverage (UM)
- underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).
At the same time, you should consider purchasing gap insurance. It will help cover the costs of replacing a totaled car, because the insurance company will only pay the "fair market value", which may be less than the total amount of payments you still have to make on your damaged car.
Are There Many Uninsured Drivers in Texas?
According to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, around 20% of drivers in Texas do not hold auto insurance. This means that chances are you may be involved in a crash with an uninsured driver. When this happens, an experienced auto accident attorney can help you find the best course of action, from filing an accident claim with your insurance company to a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.
In order to increase your chances of success, you should always get the other driver's full contact details and license plate number as soon as possible after the accident. When the police officers arrive at the scene of the accident, they will be able to verify if they hold any type of coverage using the TexasSure auto insurance verification program. If the drivers proves to be uninsured or underinsured, you will need the police report prepared by the law enforcement officers to prove your case in case you want to pursue the other driver in court.
In case of a hit-and-run driver, things are more complicated. You need to identify any witnesses that may have seen something or traffic cameras which will help you identify the negligent driver's vehicle registration number.
What You Should Do After an Auto Accident
The chances of relieving your financial burden after a motor vehicle accident depend on how you act during the first hours and days. Here are the steps you must take after a traffic accident:
Seek Medical Attention
Your first concern must be for your own health. Call 9-1-1 and ask for an ambulance to receive first aid and be transported to the nearest emergency room. The medical documentation prepared by paramedics and doctors who treated your injuries will be very valuable when you prepare a claim to recover medical payments and property damage costs. If you cannot prove that you sustained your severe injuries as a direct result of the traffic accident, you will not get fair compensation. The insurance adjuster or claims center will probably deny your claim or offer you a low amount.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Once you notify your insurance company of the motor vehicle crash, one form of insurance or another will kick in to start covering your expenses. However, as stated above, these amounts will only cover a part of your total costs.
This is especially true if you suffered severe injury to your spine or traumatic brain injuries. You will need a lot of medical care to recover and the hospital bills will keep piling up. An experienced attorney can assist you in preparing your claim, filing it within the statute of limitations and get prompt payment from the insurance company.
Document the Circumstances of the Accident
Victims of automobile accidents and witnesses will not be able to remember the exact chain of events that led to the crash after a period of time. This is why you should take photos and video as the crash site as well as not every relevant aspect that may be useful at a later date.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer with Extensive Experience
Having legal representation by an astute and skilled auto accident lawyer can change the course of events, from low chances of recovering financial expenses to receiving a fair compensation for your damages and loss.
Relying on knowledge of the law and experience with similar cases, the attorney will advise you to pursue your claim with your insurance company and conduct negotiations on your behalf. Alternately, accident victims may sue the responsible driver for damages. However, chances are that they were driving without insurance because they do not afford them. It will be very difficult to recover any damages from low-income drivers, who work on a minimum wage and do not own valuable assets.
However, your personal injury attorney may explore other avenues of getting compensation for you, such as:
- analyze the detailed police report and identify other drivers who may have been involved in the accident
- find out whether the accident was caused by poor maintenance or a defective part, so that they can pursue a car repair shop or parts manufacturer for damages
- find out if the at-fault driver was on the job, thus making their employer vicariously liable for the crash.
We Are Ready to Help You Get Compensation for Your Uninsured Car Accident!
At Glenn Law Firm, we believe in justice for all personal injury victims. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with a driver who does not hold required auto insurance, we will guide you and assist you to obtain fair uninsured motorist benefits.
You should not pay for another person's poor choices and get in debt while trying to recover from your injury and repair your car. Our personal injury law firm has over 35 years of experience, so call us for a free case review: 817-424-5999!