What if you are in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance?
In Texas, you can purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which helps in these situations and in other situations you may not anticipate.
Texas Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Claims
What do you do if you're in a wreck with a driver who doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance to cover your damages?
In Texas, one of the potential answers is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is a type of insurance that you can purchase when you buy automobile coverage for your own vehicle. If you purchase it, your insurance company will help pay for your damages, up to the limits of the policy, if the other driver doesn't have enough insurance to compensate you for your damages.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can protect you in a number of situations that you might not think about:
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage can apply when you're in your car or truck and you're hit by a driver who doesn't have enough insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply in a hit-and-run accident if there is contact between your vehicle and the other vehicle.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply if you are a pedestrian and are hit by a car or truck with a driver who doesn't have enough insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply if you are on a bicycle and hit by a vehicle with a driver who doesn't have enough insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply if you're a passenger in another car that is hit by a driver who doesn't have enough insurance.
In many cases, more than one uninsured/underinsured policy may apply. For example, if you're in a friend's car and hit by a driver who doesn't have enough insurance, you might be able to make a claim on your own insurance and on the uninsured/underinsured policy covering the car that you're in.
As you can see, uninsured/underinsured motorist claims may be complicated.
Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court has only added to that complication. In 2006, the Texas Supreme Court handed down the Brainard opinion that drastically changed the way uninsured/underinsured motorist claims are handled. This opinion has led to a lot of confusion, even amongst lawyers who routinely represent claimants in uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, often at the expense of their clients.
That's why I spend a lot of my time trying to educate other lawyers on how to protect clients in these claims. To understand some of the issues, you can download one of my recent papers Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims After Brainard. And here's a more recent article I wrote for the Journal of Texas Insurance Law.
Additional information about uninsured/underinsured motorist claims
Because uninsured/underinsured motorist claims are near and dear to me, I’ve written about it extensively on this site. If you want additional information, you can find it here.
TALK TO AN ATTORNEY
If you have a potential uninsured motorist claim or even a question about an existing claim, please feel free to contact us by calling us at (512) 476-4944 or by using the forms throughout this website.