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What Happens If the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Car Insurance in Texas?

Seeking compensation for a car accident can be challenging if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance in Texas, but this scenario doesn’t necessarily bar you from financial recovery. Shamieh Law can help you understand your options, such as filing a car accident claim with your own auto insurance company or a lawsuit against the driver. Call (469) 813-7332 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Dallas car accident lawyer.

Are Drivers Required To Have Insurance in Texas?

Yes, all drivers in Texas must have auto insurance. Texas law requires drivers to carry liability coverage, with minimums of $30,000 per injured person, $60,000 total per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.

However, many Texas drivers fail to comply with these coverage requirements. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, 2.6 million state-registered vehicles are uninsured (12 percent).

Even so, because Texas is an at-fault state, drivers who cause accidents (or their insurers) must compensate victims for their damages. However, if the at-fault driver in an accident doesn’t have car insurance, you can still seek compensation through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. You may also be able to turn to your PIP and health insurance to cover medical costs.

Should I File the Claim With My Own Insurance?

If the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurer. Our skilled attorneys can carefully evaluate your insurance policies and inform you of the best course of action. We will make sure you leave no money on the table.

To avoid compromising your auto accident claim, you must report the accident to your insurance company soon after the incident. The specific deadline depends on your insurance policy, though you normally have around a month to file the report. If you miss the deadline, your insurer may deny coverage.

The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Texas

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance can cover your damages if you get into an accident with a driver with insufficient insurance to compensate you. Again, Texas roads have a startling number of uninsured drivers. Although Texas law does not require drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage, including it as part of your auto insurance can provide valuable financial protection.

Using Your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Personal injury protection coverage is another type of insurance that can protect you if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance in Texas. Auto insurance companies operating in the state must offer at least $2,500 in PIP coverage, but Texas drivers are free to purchase more.

PIP covers costs from medical treatment, ambulance services, funeral expenses, and more up to the policy limit. Coverage applies regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Some car accident victims have trouble with insurance companies dragging their feet when it comes to paying out PIP coverage benefits. If this happens to you, our Texas car accident attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you’re entitled to under your PIP policy.

What Happens After I File a Claim With My Insurance?

After you file a UM/UIM or PIP claim with your insurance company, it will investigate the accident. You are contractually required to cooperate with their investigation.

However, be cautious when speaking to insurance adjusters. No matter how friendly they seem, even your own insurance company is not on your side. All insurers are for-profit businesses and want to minimize their payouts as much as possible. Anything you say or do when interacting with an insurance adjuster can be used against you.

They will likely contact you to request a recorded statement, have you sign a medical release form, or make a settlement offer. You do not have to provide a recorded statement, and you only need to release medical records related to your accident. In general, it is best to politely direct them to your attorney before sending anything over.

If the insurance company determines your coverage applies and offers a settlement, you should carefully review the terms of the offer before accepting. Insurers often make lowball offers early on. If you accept, there is most likely no turning back. Our experienced car accident attorneys can help you review settlement offers and determine whether they fairly compensate you for your damages.

Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver in Texas?

In addition to filing a car accident claim with your insurance company, you may also be able to sue an at-fault uninsured driver in Texas. If the court finds the driver liable for the accident, they will be ordered to compensate you for your damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle repairs, pain, and suffering.

Remember, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Texas. The Texas personal injury statute of limitations is normally two years from the date of injury. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you will most likely lose your right to seek compensation in court. Further, when the at-fault party realizes that you can no longer sue, they will have little incentive to negotiate a fair settlement.

Let Shamieh Law Handle Your Texas Car Accident Insurance Claim

An uninsured driver adds a new layer of complexity to a car accident case. When you turn to Shamieh Law after an accident with an uninsured driver, we’ll champion your interests and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (469) 813-7332 or reach out online to schedule a free case review. Our Texas car accident attorneys are here to help you understand and exercise your legal right to compensation.

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