If You Have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage, the Short Answer is Yes.
If you have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on your policy, then your own insurance company may step in and be responsible for covering your damages and injuries when the at-fault party does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your damages.
Suing your own insurance company happens in a couple of instances. Our Midland auto accident attorney further explains. First is when the driver that caused the wreck does not have insurance at all. According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, 1 in 5 drivers, or 20%, do not have liability insurance on their car. If an uninsured driver hits you, your next option to recover is to pursue a claim against your own insurance company. This also applies if you are involved in a hit-and-run wreck and cannot find the other driver. Since uninsured/underinsured coverage is elective insurance that you must purchase, I highly encourage everyone to go check their policies to make sure they have a good amount of this.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM)
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you when another driver does not have insurance, when a driver’s insurance has lapsed, or in a hit-and-run situation. This is an optional coverage that you pay for every month. While it is optional, we highly encourage everyone to get it. It protects you and your family in a wreck where a driver pulls a hit-and-run or chooses not to pay for insurance. Otherwise, you’ll be left without the coverage necessary to put back the pieces of your life following a car wreck.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM)
Underinsured motorist coverage protects you when the other driver has insurance but it is not enough to cover the full extent of your injuries and damages.
In Texas, the minimum insurance policy requirement for an at-fault driver is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. If you elect not to get underinsured coverage, once that at-fault driver’s insurance coverage of $30,000 runs out, you will be left without a secondary source of coverage. While it may sound like a lot, $30,000 goes quickly. Unless the damage caused by the other driver is minimal, most life-changing car wrecks require far more than $30,000 in medical expenses alone. This doesn’t even begin to include the full impact of the wreck on a person's life and the lives of their family members. For anyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury, an amputation, broken femur, or any other life-changing injury, $30,000 is not enough. We know it’s hard to imagine these scenarios, but facing them without enough insurance to cover your or a loved one’s injuries, pain, and suffering is even scarier.
Here's a Recent Texas Truck Accident Example
Our Dallas injury attorney recently handled a case where a truck tried to cross 6 lanes of traffic on a crowded day and pulled in front of my client. Our client was on a motorcycle. A crash resulted and our client had an above-the-knee amputation on one of his legs. He also broke most of his ribs and punctured his lungs. The other driver only had a minimum $30,000 insurance policy. Unfortunately, our client did not have any underinsured insurance coverage. Thus, the total settlement we could obtain for him was only $30,000.
If your insurance company refuses to pay out the coverage that you paid for and need in order to cover your damages, a lawsuit may be needed.
We buy insurance to protect us in a time of need. Make sure you have the insurance you need to protect yourself against others that don’t purchase adequate insurance. If you don’t know what you have or what I am explaining here, please reach out to us.
Why Our Dallas Car Wreck Attorneys Want You to Get UM/UIM Insurance
We are here to help inform you about your rights. We hope you and your loved ones never have this kind of experience, either, but to prepare for the worst, please consider adding or increasing the UM/ UIM coverage on your automobile insurance package to protect yourself in the event that the other driver doesn’t have car insurance. This insurance is affordable and it will cover you financially if an irresponsible, underinsured driver hits you. Most folks we talk to who don’t have it say they wish they had gotten it sooner.