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What if the driver who causes a crash is uninsured/underinsured?

Dec 30, 2021 | Personal Injury

Driving is dangerous, which is why everybody in Texas has to have a license to operate a motor vehicle. They also need to register their vehicle with the state, an act that requires that they provide proof of active motor vehicle insurance.

The liability insurance system in Texas means that the driver ultimately responsible for the wreck is the one whose policy covers the crash. When someone else hits you because they were texting while driving or because they rolled through a four-way stop, you should be able to file a claim against their insurance policy for your personal losses.

What happens if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured? 

Inadequate insurance is a common issue

Paying for insurance isn’t just an expense you have to absorb for driving. It is actually a protection for you against the liability of operating a large, heavy piece of machinery. If you cause a crash, the people the wreck affects could sue you and come after your assets like your house or even your income in the future. Your insurance policy protects you from liability.

Many drivers don’t consider that when deciding how much insurance to buy. As a result, they may just purchase the cheapest insurance policy they can. Texas requires $25,000 worth of property damage coverage. It also required bodily injury liability coverage. Drivers should have at least $30,000 worth of coverage if they hurt one person in the crash or $60,000 worth of coverage when multiple people get hurt.

Those minimum amounts of insurance could leave you with uncovered costs, especially if you suffer a severe injury or your vehicle is a total loss.

Who pays when there isn’t enough insurance?

If a driver doesn’t have enough liability coverage, then they may ultimately be responsible for the costs they cause. Texas law allows those affected by crashes to bring personal injury lawsuits against drivers who broke the law at the wheel or caused a crash through negligent behavior.

In some cases, you may be able to make a claim against your own insurance policy. If you have uninsured or underinsured driver coverage, your own policy may help you cover some of those losses. Understanding how insurance works after a Texas car crash can help you get the coverage you deserve.