For some reason, whether the economy or just coincidence I don't know, many clients have approached me recently after being in a car wreck caused by someone with no insurance. I'm not sure if the rates of people driving without insurance are rising, but I do know the consequences of being hit by a person without insurance. Medical bills pile up, money becomes tight because you can't go back to work, and the person who caused your injuries has nothing to offer you.
The only way to protect yourself from uninsured drivers is by purchasing two specific types of insurance on your own insurance policies.
First, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is a no-fault coverage for yourself and people in your vehicle who have been injured in a wreck.
Getting PIP on your insurance policy is a great idea because you have an extra fund available to you whenever you are involved in a car wreck. It does not matter what the insurance or financial situation of the other vehicle is, PIP is required to pay. Often, PIP claims can be resolved more quickly than liability claims against another insurance company as well. This means you should be able to get some money to tide you over during the duration of your lawsuit.
The second insurance coverage that protects people from uninsured drivers is Uninsured/UnderInsured Coverage (UM/UIM).
This covers you in two different scenarios. First, if you are hit by a driver with no insurance, or the victim of a hit-an-run, your Uninsured Motorist Coverage provides compensation to you up to the amount you choose to be your limit. Secondly, if you are in a serious car wreck caused by a person with minimum limits coverage, it is likely that your medical bills and other damages will exceed the $30,000 minimum that Texas requires its drivers carry. In this case, your UnderInsured Motorist Coverage kicks in and provides compensation to you for your damages that exceed the other driver's insurance policy.
Unfortunately, even if you have UM/UIM, sometimes your own insurance carrier will be reluctant to pay your claims. In this case, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience fighting these types of
first-party insurance claims.
To learn more about your legal rights after a car accident, download our car accident book now.
If you are facing a first-party insurance claim, call us immediately at 877-724-7800 to learn your legal options.