Were you in an accident where the at-fault driver was uninsured? If so, you can still seek damages from them through a personal injury lawsuit. However, you can consider other options for obtaining compensation, including a claim with your insurer and a case against other parties involved in the crash. Our Waxahachie car accident lawyers can evaluate which options make sense for your case, then pursue each path for you.
Uninsured or Not, the Driver Was At Fault, so You Can Seek Damages
A driver who doesn’t carry insurance is nonetheless liable for the damage they cause. Lack of insurance just means they will have to pay out-of-pocket for your losses.
The way to obtain compensation for those losses is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, which requires proving they were at fault. That process can involve you and your legal team:
- Showing the driver violated a duty of care, such as driving drunk, exceeding the speed limit, or making illegal turns.
- Connecting that violation with your injuries through evidence like medical records, police reports, traffic camera footage, photos, and witness statements.
- Preparing lawsuit paperwork and filing court documents on time.
- Developing a strategy for arguing your case and negotiating for a settlement out of court.
- Presenting your case in court for a jury if necessary.
Filing a lawsuit is an undertaking, but it can help provide you with some compensation even if a driver has no insurance.
When pursuing a lawsuit, your lawyer will seek monetary recovery that considers all losses you experienced from the accident. Your damages might include:
- Medical costs for hospital stays, physical therapy, and medications
- Lost income from salaried, hourly, or freelance work
- Reduced ability to earn an income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced enjoyment of life
Your losses could total thousands of dollars. Some injuries can result in millions of dollars in lifetime costs, like spinal cord injuries.
Realistically, some uninsured drivers won’t have the income and assets to pay for all that. Our personal injury lawyers can work out plans with the driver to repay what they can. However, a lawsuit against the driver may be just one aspect of our pursuit of damages for you.
For a free legal consultation, call (972) 938-1234
You Can Also Consider Your Insurer’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) explains how state law requires a driver to carry coverage of $30,000 for injuries per person, $60,000 for injuries per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. However, your liability coverage only applies if you cause the accident.
If someone without insurance hits you, you might need to tap into uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. While it’s not required in Texas, some companies include it in policies anyway, or you might have purchased this optional coverage.
Other alternatives are personal injury protection (PIP) and collision coverage. The former can help pay for some of your medical bills and lost income, while the latter can help with the cost of repairing your vehicle. Neither are required by law, but, like UM/UIM, are often included in policies, so double check to see if you have it.
What you could receive through your insurer will depend on the type of coverage you have and your policy limits. You also have to pay a deductible before your coverage kicks in.
UM/UIM typically provides more than PIP or collision coverage—mainly because it includes pain and suffering damages.
While your insurance may not cover all your expenses, recovering at least some benefits can help bridge the gap between what the at-fault driver can provide and what you need.
What If the Uninsured Driver Was Not Entirely at Fault?
A driver may not be the only one at fault. During our investigation, our auto accident attorneys may also find that the driver who seemed at fault wasn’t entirely responsible for the crash.
Thus, it’s important to gather evidence and consider all possibilities following any car accident. If someone else was partly responsible for your accident or the fault lies entirely with another party, you have additional compensation options.
Who Else Could Pay Your Damages?
Here are some of the scenarios we consider:
- Defective products that make a manufacturer, designer, or seller liable
- Maintenance mistakes that make an auto shop or dealership liable
- Vicarious liability that makes businesses responsible for their employees
- Premises liability cases that make property owners or government entities liable
- Additional drivers who might have contributed to the crash
Any of these situations could allow you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover damages. These are separate cases from the ones involving the other driver in your crash, so you could recover damages from these parties in addition to compensation from the at-fault driver.
Make Sure You’re Aware of the Deadlines in an Uninsured Driver Case
You need to file a lawsuit—either against the at-fault driver or someone else involved in your case—within the statute of limitations. In Texas, that’s generally two years per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. Typically, the two years start from the incident date. However, in some cases (e.g., product liability for defective parts), the clock might not begin until you discover the problem.
In uninsured motorist cases, you may have several claims or suits going simultaneously. While this situation can help maximize your compensation, you must keep track of the deadlines for each case. However, you can leave this responsibility to our personal injury team. We ensure we file everything in the right place and before any deadlines expire.
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Learn Your Options After an Accident with an Uninsured At-Fault Driver
If the at-fault driver in your accident was uninsured, worrying you won’t recover any compensation is understandable. However, the Clay Jenkins & Associates team can look into filing insurance claims and lawsuits to recover your losses. We may need to pursue several paths, but you can count on our team to consider every option. Contact us today for a free case review.