Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is scary in its own right, but learning that the driver of the vehicle that hit you is uninsured can make your heart stop. What happens if the driver is uninsured? How do you obtain the compensation that you need for your injuries and property damage?
Texas law requires all motorists to purchase minimum coverage amounts of automobile liability insurance, but that does not necessarily mean that everyone complies with the law. Texas motorists can also purchase additional insurance coverages above and beyond the minimum liability coverage amounts, and many people do purchase these additional coverages.
One type of coverage that is particularly useful is uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If you have purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, then you can file a claim with your own automobile insurer to obtain the compensation that you need for your accident.
When Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Applicable?
When uninsured motorist coverage applies, and to whom, is specified in your uninsured motorist policy. However, as a general rule, uninsured motorist coverage applies to you when you are involved in a car accident, or if you could have been struck by an uninsured motorist while acting as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcyclist. Furthermore, coverage typically applies to any relative who you have allowed to use your vehicle that is named in the policy, or anyone else who is a driver or passenger in your vehicle. Sometimes your uninsured motorist policy can also cover you and anyone else riding with you when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist while in a vehicle that you do not own.
Uninsured motorist coverage might not apply if the other vehicle did not in fact hit your vehicle, or the vehicle you are in, meaning damage and injuries may have been sustained after veering off the road to avoid another driver who did not stop might not be covered. Some hit-and-run situations might not be covered by uninsured motorist coverage, or your policy might require that the police be notified of the hit-and-run incident within 24 hours of its occurrence in order to make an uninsured motorist claim against your insurance.
For Uninsured Motorist Claims, You Are Suing Your Own Insurer
When you have an uninsured motorist claim, you have to bring that claim against your own insurance provider, and while you are paying to have uninsured motorist coverage, the insurance company is motivated to get your claim down to the smallest amount possible to save the insurer money. Even though they are your insurance provider, they will not easily give up and pay your claim. Obtaining the assistance of legal counsel could go a long way towards expediting the processing of an uninsured motorist claim.
After an accident with an uninsured motorist, you need to be compensated for the injuries you have suffered and the damage that has been incurred to your vehicle. Since the uninsured driver lacks the insurance coverage you need to obtain the compensation you deserve, your only alternative is to file a claim on your own uninsured motorist coverage. While the process of obtaining compensation through an uninsured motorist claim is often challenging, it is generally worth the time and effort because without it you would be left to pay the costs associated with your car accident out of pocket.