The short answer is yes, you can sue your own insurance company.
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. 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.
The other situation in which you would sue your own insurance company is if a driver that does not have enough insurance coverage to cover your damages. The minimum amount of bodily injurt liability insurance required by the State of Texas is $30,000.00. If you get hit by a drunk driver and now have a traumatic brain injury, a $30,000 insurance policy is not sufficient to cover your losses. So, you would need to pursue your insurance company for protection under your Underinsured Motorist coverage. Again, this is elective and I highly recommend purchasing it if you haven’t already.
Let me give you an example: I 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. My client was on a motorcycle. A crash resulted and my 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, my client did not have any underinsured insurance coverage. Thus, the total settlement I 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 you 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. We are here to help inform you about your rights.