Texas law requires that all people who register a car carry a minimum amount of car insurance. In particular, a driver should have at least $30,000 in personal injury liability coverage to pay for a victim’s medical bills and lost wages, up to $60,000 maximum if two or more people were hurt.
But many drivers fail to carry the required amount of insurance or any insurance at all. Indeed, according to Value Penguin, about 14% of drivers in Texas do not have insurance. What happens if you were hit by an uninsured motorist in Texas? Can you receive compensation for your injuries? Below are the key considerations.
Should You Use Your Health Insurance to Pay for Care?
Under Texas law, the driver responsible for the accident must cover your medical expenses. However, if the driver is uninsured, you need to consider other options.
One option could be to use your health insurance. However, there are serious reasons not to rely on it. For example, you will be responsible for paying your deductible and your copay, which might be very expensive. If the other driver had insurance, you could get reimbursed in a settlement, but since the driver is uninsured there is no guarantee you will receive any money.
Some health insurance plans also exclude car accident injuries from coverage. Read your policy to find out more.
What Other Insurance Can You Use?
Texas law also requires that insurers offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which is called “UM” insurance. If you don’t want it, you must reject it in writing. This insurance covers the situation where an uninsured motorist in Texas hits you and causes damage.
You can receive compensation for the following using UM coverage:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Check your insurance paperwork to see that you have UM coverage. You will end up making a claim with your insurer for compensation. Generally, you can receive compensation up to the maximum of your policy.
Should You Consider a Lawsuit?
Even if the driver who struck you doesn’t have insurance, you still can sue. If you win the case, the driver will need to use other assets to pay your judgment. Now, in some situations, this might not be practical. After all, a driver who cannot buy insurance probably doesn’t have a lot of cash sitting around in a bank account, so it may be difficult to have your judgment paid.
You can also seize assets and sell them, but many assets will be exempt or the driver might not have any. Still, bringing a lawsuit is an option if you were hit by uninsured driver, and you should discuss it with an attorney. You might also want to sue if your losses exceed the maximum amount of your uninsured motorist policy.
Will a Lawyer Help Me?
Yes. At Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we have represented many people who were struck by an uninsured motorist in Texas who need compensation to help pay their bills.
If you have questions, contact our Houston car accident lawyers. We offer a free, confidential initial consultation to those who were injured.