Car insurance can be extremely helpful following an accident, but only if all parties carry it. What happens if the other driver involved has no insurance, their policy recently lapsed, or their policy limits are too low to cover all your damages?
With car notes and overall maintenance to worry about, we know that owning a car can be expensive. Unfortunately, this leads many drivers to seek out discounted (bare minimum) insurance coverage. While there’s nothing wrong with getting basic liability coverage for your car, you need to understand the importance of keeping uninsured motorist (UM) / underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Without it, you’re putting yourself at serious risk.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is offered on all auto insurance policies by default in Texas, and opting out requires that you decline said coverage in writing. The State of Texas makes insurance companies do this for a very good reason: nearly one in five drivers in Texas do not carry any auto insurance at all.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver (or a hit and run), you basically have two options:
- Sue the liable driver (if you can identify them) and hope that they are financially solvent, or
- File an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.
Unfortunately, most uninsured drivers are essentially judgment-proof. Even if you went through the process of filing a lawsuit and winning in court, your likelihood of actually recovering compensation from the at-fault party is extremely low.
Even if you do have UM/UIM coverage, your insurance company will still fight you on every aspect of your claim. Their job is to save their company money, and they do this by paying out as little as possible on every claim. Luckily, our job as a Dallas car accident lawyer is to fight these underhanded insurance tactics and help victims get exactly what they’re owed. We help people just like you on a no-win no-fee basis, and are happy to discuss your case in detail when you call or email us for a free consultation.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects you by providing compensation if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance. This includes hit and run accidents, accidents caused by excluded drivers, and even accidents caused by an intentional act such as road rage or evading the police.
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, on the other hand, steps in when you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver whose policy limits (the most the insurance company is required to pay in any accident [usually $60,000 max]) are too low to cover the property damage, medical expenses, and/or other losses you’ve suffered as a result.
UM/UIM coverage costs approximately 5-10% of your annual auto insurance premium, but this can be heavily dependent upon your location, age, claim history, and driving experience. Most people who’ve never been hit by an uninsured driver pay little attention this important type of coverage, but it can ultimately save you from having to pay thousands out of pocket in repair costs and medical bills for something that wasn’t even your fault.
Car accident injury claims involving uninsured (or under-insured) drivers are, under no circumstances, simple or routine. Without an attorney on your side looking out for your best interests, you will be facing an insurance company whose sole goal is to pay you as little as possible—or oftentimes, nothing at all.
Unless you know what to watch for and how to effectively combat their deceptive tactics, you’re simply playing right into their hands. They know that if you hire a lawyer, you stand to recover substantially more. In fact, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that 85% of all money paid out for bodily injury claims by insurance companies are paid to victims with an attorney representing them. Additionally, when the IRC looked at the total amount paid out on all auto accident injury claims, they found that those who had hired a lawyer were paid an average of three and a half times more than those who had attempted to handle their own claims.
All we do at Montgomery Law is help people just like you get every penny they’re owed following a personal injury or the wrongful death of a loved one. In order to ensure that you never risk losing a penny by hiring us to handle your claim, we handle all cases on a strict no-win no-fee basis.
Call us today at 214-720-6090 (local) or 1-833-720-6090 (toll-free) for a free consultation, or shoot us an email and let our legal professionals explain exactly how we can help.