Most motorists see auto liability insurance as a must-have, both to abide by Texas law and to protect themselves from a lawsuit if they accidentally cause a crash. Some drivers, however, continue to get behind the wheel without this type of mandatory coverage. If an uninsured motorist caused your Houston traffic accident, you still have options to collect the compensation you need to cover your medical care, lost wages, and other damages. An uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Houston can help.
The car accident team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, are standing by, ready to review your case. We offer free consultations and can explain your options for recovering the money you need and deserve if an uninsured motorist caused your wreck. Call us today at 713-850-8600 for your complimentary evaluation.
Damages Available After an Uninsured Motorist Accident in Houston
There are typically two ways to recover compensation for your damages after a crash with an uninsured driver:
- You can file a claim based on your own uninsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, or health insurance coverage; or
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Which of these options is the best route to getting the payout you need depends heavily on the circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injuries. Each option comes with its own pros and cons, and the damages available differ with each course of action.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Filing a claim based on your own insurance policy means that your insurance company will foot the bill, up to the limits of your coverage. Often working in conjunction with your health insurance provider, your auto insurer will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related costs. This may or may not be enough to cover your financial damages, based on the size of your policy and the damages you suffered.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Driver
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are asking a judge and jury to determine if you deserve damages and, if so, how much. The judge may award you compensation for your medical care, lost wages, property damages, out-of-pocket costs, and pain and suffering. Even if you win the case, however, there may be little to gain. If the at-fault driver does not have the cash or assets to pay these damages, you probably will not see compensation. Unless we have reason to believe the at-fault driver has access to a large amount of assets, this is rarely the best course of action.
Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Texas
Many people have uninsured motorist coverage and do not even realize it until they are in an accident with an uninsured driver. Texas law requires all insurance companies to offer this coverage to policyholders, in equal amounts to the liability policies drivers select.
To opt out of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you must submit a form in writing. This means, unless you took special steps to reject this type of insurance coverage, you likely have a policy that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. That means it could be worth at least $30,000. If you opted to get more liability coverage over the state-required minimum, this will increase the amount of your uninsured motorist policy as well.
It is possible you opted out of this coverage, however. Some people do, because it lowers their premiums. We do not recommend this, but it does happen. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage and a driver without liability insurance causes your accident, your health insurance will likely pay for your medical bills. However, you will need to pay the deductible and any co-pays related to your treatment. In addition, there may be other damages stemming from the accident that you would have to pay out of your own pocket.
Getting Help From an Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney in Houston
Under the Texas statute of limitations, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured motorist who caused your car accident and your injuries. Since this is not always worthwhile in these cases, you may want to discuss your unique situation with a Houston car accident lawyer before you decide what to do next. If you call us, we can evaluate your case for free and offer you our opinion on the best way to get the money you need.
We can also work with you to help you file an uninsured motorist claim to help you pay for your medical treatment, cover your lost wages, and take care of your other damages up to the limit of the policy. We will collect vital evidence for your claim, including the police report for your accident and your medical bills and receipts. We will handle all communication with your insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement based on the facts of your case.
Occasionally, we see a case where our client’s insurer refuses to pay out or offer a fair amount for an uninsured motorist claim. When this happens, we are not afraid to take on the insurance company and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer in Houston About Your Case.
The legal team from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help you understand what to do after a car accident in Houston. If you suffered injuries because of an uninsured driver, we will explain your options for compensation. We will review the facts of your case and evaluate the strength each option before making a recommendation. As always, we offer free case evaluations and consultations. Call us today at 713-850-8600.