What if the Other Driver Wasn't Insured?
Texas has one of the highest concentrations of uninsured and underinsured drivers in the nation. Some statistics estimate that nearly 21 percent of all motorists are uninsured in Texas. If one of these drivers hits you, the compensation cannot be paid by the at-fault driver's insurance company (since they do not have one). This is where uninsured motorist (UM) insurance comes into play. Most states require that drivers have at least some UM coverage. Compensation will be paid through the UM clause in the victim's auto insurance policy. You have four years from the date of the accident to file this type of claim. Since UM claims deal with contracts, the statute of limitations is longer than regular injury claims.
Most uninsured motorist clauses contain provisions for bodily injury as well as property damage. For example, your daughter was driving the car at the time of the accident and she sustained a neck injury. Bodily injury UM insurance will cover the cost of her medical expenses, since dependents are typically included on the family auto insurance policy. Property damage insurance coverage is most known for the money you need to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle. Property damage may also be able to cover the cost of items that were in the car and damaged in the accident, such as a laptop.
With UM insurance, you are entitled to recover up to the amount of coverage that is provided in your policy. Policyholders can cater their coverage to meet their specific needs. The total amount of UM coverage that you get may very well be different than your neighbor's UM policy. It is extremely common, however, for drivers to choose coverage that equals the amount of bodily injury liability. You may want to use this principle to determine your UM coverage limits or you may not. The choice is up to you. According to Allstate Insurance, coverage can range from $20,000 to $1 million and even higher.
If a driver who didn't have insurance hit you, then your UM insurance can cover an amount up to the amount of your liability coverage. UM coverage typically cannot exceed liability coverage simply because most insurance companies won't allow it. If you have questions about your coverage and what type of compensation you are entitled to after an uninsured motorist accident, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a Houston lawyer at our firm immediately.
Questions? Stern Law Group offers free case reviews when you call (877) 661-9900.