Texas automobile insurance law is a bit unusual. The state does require proof of financial responsibility to ensure that a driver can compensate the victim of a car accident they cause. For most people, this means purchasing liability coverage. But, Texas doesn’t specifically require insurance. Those who have the means may provide other types of proof of financial responsibility, including cash deposits and surety bonds.
Pursuing compensation when you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver can be tricky compared with pursuing a claim under the responsible driver’s insurance policy. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can recover damages. In this article, you’ll learn about alternative means of pursuing compensation. The most common include claiming benefits under your own insurance policy, seeking compensation directly from the responsible party, and identifying other parties who may share responsibility.
Pursuing Compensation after an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver in San Antonio, don’t despair. Speak with a San Antonio car accident attorney about your options as soon as possible. Here are a few ways you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
Filing a Claim with Your Own Insurance Company
Unless you have some other means of proving financial responsibility, Texas law requires that you purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance covers damages to the other person’s vehicle and compensation for their medical expenses and other injury-related losses if you cause an accident. But, there are other types of insurance that you should consider purchasing. These include:
- Collision coverage, which pays for repairs to or replacement of your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP), which pays medical bills for you and your passengers, as well as some additional costs such as lost wages
- Medical payments coverage, which pays medical bills and covers a broader range of circumstances, such as if you’re a passenger in someone else’s car at the time of the injury
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which covers your losses (up to your policy limits) when the driver who injures you isn’t insured or has insufficient insurance to cover your damages
If you have one or more of these coverages, you may be able to secure partial or full compensation from your own insurance carrier. Don’t assume, though, that the process will be easier because it’s your own insurance company. When injuries are serious and there’s significant money at stake, an insurance company may put up as much of a fight and create as many obstacles for its own insured as the other party’s insurer would.
Pursuing Compensation Directly from the Responsible Driver
Most uninsured motorists don’t have the financial means to provide significant compensation after a car accident. In that situation, it may not be worth pursuing a claim against the driver, since you may receive a judgment and still be unable to recover any money. But, there are exceptions. Your San Antonio personal injury attorney can investigate to determine whether there are assets available to collect against, and advise you as to whether you should consider a claim against the uninsured driver.
Identifying Other Responsible Parties
When you’re hit by a negligent driver, it’s easy to focus on that one responsible party. But, in some cases, others may share responsibility. Some common examples include:
- The driver’s employer, if the driver was working at the time of the accident
- The owner of the vehicle who entrusted it to the negligent driver
- A governmental entity or property owner, if negligent maintenance contributed to the accident
These are just a few possibilities for third parties who may share liability for a traffic accident. An experienced San Antonio motor vehicle accident attorney can assess the specifics of your case to identify any possible responsible parties.
A San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer Can Be Your Best Resource
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may be unsure of your options and where to turn for help. Identifying possible sources of compensation when you’ve been hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be tricky, especially if you’re inexperienced with car accident claims. And you may encounter unexpected resistance from your own insurance carrier.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of George Salinas have extensive experience handling San Antonio car accident cases and know how to identify possible sources of compensation, negotiate, navigate the legal system and build the strongest possible claim on your behalf. It’s easy to make simple mistakes that can hurt your claim or cut off your right to recovery, so it’s important to get knowledgeable guidance as early as possible in the process. You can start right now by scheduling a free consultation. Just call 210-225-0909, fill out the contact form on this site, or click in the bottom right corner of the page to chat.
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