An encounter with an uninsured or underinsured driver can quickly turn into a nightmarish ordeal. We want to think that these uninsured car accidents are rare, but they truly are not. That is because uninsured motorists also roam Bexar County roads fairly often. Uninsured car crashes become even more troublesome when the guilty drivers decide against taking responsibility for their negligent actions. Suddenly, you are in a hit-and-run accident and somehow faced with recouping compensation.
How can you recoup compensation if the driver who hit you is uninsured or unknown? You will find the answer by continuing with this article.
Texas Car Insurance Laws
In the state of Texas, all motorists must offer proof that they can pay for an accident they may cause. To meet that basic requirement, most Texas drivers purchase car insurance. Drivers must have a policy that offers at least $30,000 of coverage for bodily injuries per person and $60,000 of total coverage per accident. The policy must also set aside at least $25,000 for potential property damage.
Any auto insurance policy sold in the state must also include personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. All insurers must include those additional forms of coverage by law. If you do not want to pay for them, you must tell the insurer to remove them in writing.
I Was Hit by an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver. What Are My Options?
Uninsured car accidents are difficult to deal with. Of course, you can say the same thing about underinsured car accidents. So, what are your options if you were recently involved in one of those accidents and wish to recover damages? Let’s discuss your available options below.
File a Lawsuit
Your first option involves suing the person who caused the accident. Together with your San Antonio car accident lawyer, you can put together a lawsuit that holds the other driver responsible for the crash. After successfully proving that the other motorist caused the accident, the court will award you appropriate damages. Unfortunately, this is often not practical in cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists. Many uninsured and underinsured drivers on San Antonio roads are operating their vehicles illegally because they cannot afford insurance. Even if you sue them, they may not be able to pay.
Filing a lawsuit may also not be an option because the other driver’s identity is unknown. Following a hit and run crash, the authorities carry out an investigation to ascertain the identity of the negligent driver, but it is not guaranteed to yield results.
Seek Compensation from Your Insurer
If you are in a situation where securing compensation from the negligent driver is no longer possible, your best bet is to seek a payout from your insurance provider. Look at your plan’s uninsured/underinsured coverage and check if it covers your current situation; chances are it does, so start putting together a claim. Get your auto accident lawyer involved because you must present a solid claim to your insurer. Properly detail what happened and provide evidence showing that you were not to blame for the crash. Let your lawyer proofread or write the claim to ensure there is nothing in there that the insurer can use against you.
You may also file a claim for your PIP coverage. PIP coverage pays for your medical bills. It will also cover the medical expenses that your passengers have incurred.
Securing a payout from PIP coverage is easy because it does not consider fault. Therefore, you should receive compensation as long as you have it.
Understanding Compensation in Uninsured/Underinsured Car Accidents
Now that you have opted to file a claim with your insurer, how much can you expect to receive? For example, victims in uninsured car accidents can expect the same compensation that someone involved in a more common type of crash would get. Policy minimums for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are the same as standard liability coverage. That means you are receiving up to $30,000 for injuries per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 to cover property damage.
You may also get at least $2,500 more if you have PIP coverage. Remember that these amounts all assume that you purchased only the minimum plans. If you set higher limits for your supplemental coverage, then you will be eligible to receive more money.
Car Accident Law Firm in San Antonio
Victims in uninsured car accidents and hit and run crashes end up in tough spots through no fault of their own. Our San Antonio personal injury lawyers are committed to helping victims placed in those unfortunate positions. Contact us today if you were recently involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, and we will help you secure proper compensation.