What Happens When Someone Without Insurance Hits You in Texas?
Typically, if another driver hits your vehicle, their insurance company will pay for your property damages and medical bills. But, if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance, the process becomes more complex.
The action you take after an uninsured motorist collision greatly impacts the compensation you receive. Continue reading to learn about your fund recovery options.
Texas Insurance Requirements
Texas requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, which pays for any damages or injuries they may cause to other drivers and vehicles. Liability insurance should protect drivers from being hit by uninsured motorists who can’t afford to pay for the damages they created.
Unfortunately, people frequently break this law by allowing accidental lapses in their coverage or intentionally not purchasing insurance.
Your Fund Recovery Options After an Uninsured Driver Hits You
So your question is, “I got hit by an uninsured driver in Texas; what should I do?”
Luckily, you still have a few options for recovering your funds. Immediately after the accident, you should call the police to file a report. The officer on the scene will make an official note of the liable driver’s lack of coverage and may penalize the driver with a fine, citation, or license suspension.
Next, follow one or more of the paths below to seek compensation.
Use Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a policy where your insurance company will pay for the damages caused by the other driver, up to a certain amount. We recommend checking your insurance policy to see whether or not you have this optional type of coverage.
Unfortunately, uninsured motorist claims can raise your insurance rates, and you’ll likely have to pay a deductible before receiving compensation. In total, you could lose hundreds or thousands for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Use Your Health Insurance
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you can use your health insurance to pay for any necessary medical treatments. You will likely have to pay a deductible and copays, which can cost thousands for expensive hospital bills. Your health insurance won’t cover any damages to your vehicle, so you must pay for those repairs out of pocket.
Both uninsured motorist and personal health insurance claims can cost you a lot, so what are your other options?
File a Claim With the Texas Department of Public Safety
You can file an official complaint with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), notifying the state of the negligent driver. If DPS accepts your claim, the negligent driver will receive a notice of their license suspension and the total amount they must pay you within 21 days.
Here are the steps for filing a DPS claim:
- Complete the SR-106 form
- Send a $7 check
- Include a copy of the police report
- Include a damages invoice, including vehicle repair estimates, medical bills, lost wages, etc.
- Send a Total Loss Statement if your vehicle was totaled
Your accident must have happened less than 22 months ago and on a public road to receive acceptance. You also need an official police report outlining the accident and stating that the other driver was at-fault for the damages. DPS won’t accept claims for damages less than $1,000.
File a Lawsuit
DPS claims have fairly strict approval requirements and still may not result in the total compensation you need to recover. Your final option is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party. At Haines Law, we can help you build a case, collect evidence, prove negligence, and seek compensation.
Often, we can settle outside of court if the other driver agrees to pay for your damages. Often, drivers accidentally let their coverage lapse and feel more than willing to pay their owed dues. In more complex cases, we can take the liable party to court.
Hire an Attorney To Protect Your Rights Today
If you got hit by an uninsured driver in Texas, contact our team at Haines Law in Houston, TX, today to speak with our professional car accident attorneys about seeking compensation for your damages.