Vehicle accidents are not uncommon in Texas, as just about any driver here can attest. However, when an accident occurs, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying compensation to others involved. But what happens if you are struck by an uninsured driver in Texas?
Here, we want to discuss the process of recovering compensation after an uninsured vehicle accident in the Lone Star state.
Likelihood of Getting Struck by an Uninsured Driver in Texas
Data provided by the Insurance information institute (III) indicates that approximately 8.3% of all individuals in Texas operate their vehicles while uninsured. This may not seem like a large percentage of individuals, but this means that eight out of every 100 vehicles around you are likely uninsured. These are not very good odds when it comes to vehicle accidents and recovering compensation.
What Steps Can You Take to Recover Compensation?
There are various steps that you can take after being struck by an uninsured driver to help recover compensation for your losses.
Medical care. Regardless of what happens at the scene of the incident and who has insurance, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Failing to seek medical care right after an accident occurs will give any person who has to pay compensation a reason not to pay the full amount. Seek medical treatment, receive care for your injuries, and follow up with any requested doctor visits.
Gathering evidence. At the scene of an accident, you may be able to gather various types of information and evidence that can help your claim later on. You should use a phone to take pictures of everything that you see, including damages, injuries, license plates, and more. If there were eyewitnesses around the scene, their names and contact information should be written down.
Contacting your insurer. Every insurance carrier has strict reporting deadlines regarding accidents, regardless of who causes the incident. You need to let your insurance carrier know that the accident occurred and that the other driver was uninsured. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be able to make a claim against your own policy to recover compensation for your medical bills and property damage expenses, depending on the limits of your coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Texas, but we strongly recommend your policy carry this coverage.
Consider a lawsuit. If the other driver was not insured, you may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit in Houston against the driver directly. If your case is successful, a judgment against their personal assets will likely be made, but this poses challenges. Individuals who do not have the money for insurance coverage likely do not have much in the way of assets to pay for your injuries or property damage.
Speak to an attorney. We strongly recommend that you work with a skilled Houston car accident lawyer after sustaining an injury in an accident. Your attorney can help point you in the right direction towards maximizing financial recovery in these situations.