Q: Who is responsible for covering damages after a car accident if the at-fault driver is uninsured?
Although it is illegal to drive without insurance in Texas, there are an estimated two million drivers on our roads who are improperly insured—either completely uninsured or woefully underinsured. As a result, the odds of getting caught in an insurance-wreck of a collision may be higher than you thought. Luckily, there are still several methods through which you can pursue compensation and legal action to recover inflicted damages.
When an uninsured driver causes a serious car accident, it usually falls on the victim’s uninsured motorist coverage to help him recover funds. Uninsured (or underinsured) motorist claims can be used to cover expenses from medical bills and lost wages to ongoing care and pain and suffering. However, to use this coverage, you must be able to prove that the other driver not only has insufficient coverage but also that he was at fault for the collision. This is where an experienced attorney can help by providing you with the options you need for recovering damages.
When pursuing a claim, the first thing you must do—after contacting your lawyer—is inform the insurance company of the incident. Your insurance policy probably has uninsured motorist coverage, and this would potentially be the first place you would turn to get compensation. While you may not receive high sums of money from this avenue, it is a fairly reliable and fast way to begin covering damage expenses.
During your lawyer’s investigation into the accident, however, it is imperative that you remain cautious when replying to or signing anything the insurance company gives you. Remember, you need to be able to prove fault before you can successfully pursue a claim. If your attorney concludes that you must use your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, he can start this process while you decide on your other compensation options.
Additional Recovery Options
Once liability has been proven, you have two other avenues that you can pursue for compensation. These are:
- The driver who hit you. Even if the driver is uninsured, you will be able to file a lawsuit against that person. Most people do have a certain amount of financial assets, and even if the negligent driver files for bankruptcy, you will still be entitled to a payout, as bankruptcy does not erase debts from car accidents and DWIs.
- A negligent third party or business. Consider a case where you were injured by a drunk driver: not only can you sue the business that served the driver alcohol, but chances are the drunk driver can also sue the business. It is illegal to continue serving a person who is intoxicated, and if it can be proven that the establishment continued to serve the person after they became visibly intoxicated, your odds of receiving compensation are high.
For more information about your legal rights in these instances, call trusted and aggressive attorney Steve Lee today. You can reach our office at 800-232-3711 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your claim. You can also leave your contact information on the quick contact form on this page and we will get back to you shortly.