An uninsured motorist is a motorist who is involved (and possibly at fault) in a car accident but doesn’t carry liability insurance to pay for damages caused by the accident.
Uninsured motorists are usually closely linked with underinsured motorists, who simply don’t have enough liability coverage to pay for damages.
In Texas, as in most states, there is a required amount of insurance that everyone has to carry. Those who don’t carry this insurance are uninsured and will be unable to pay for the damage they are liable for.
If you have been in a car accident caused by an uninsured motorist, you may end up having to pay for damages yourself. This is where uninsured insurance coverage comes in handy.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damages to your car when the person who caused the damage doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the cost.
In Texas, drivers who are 51% or more at fault for an accident are required to cover the damages incurred to other involved drivers. They are required to have at least the base level of liability insurance to drive a car:
- $30,000 per person to pay for injuries
- Up to $60,000 total per accident
- $25,000 to cover any property damage
If drivers don’t have this insurance or if the basic coverage they do have doesn’t cover the damages you sustained, you will need to have uninsured motorist coverage to help pay for additional costs.
In Texas, uninsured motorist coverage is not required but is offered at the time of sale. If you choose to reject uninsured motorist coverage, you will have to do so in writing.
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How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Should I Have?
You will need enough uninsured motorist coverage to take care of any costs not covered by your other insurance. In addition to the liability coverage required by Texas law, you might have many of the several insurance options available to you:
- Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision, regardless of who was at fault in the crash.
- Personal Injury Protection coverage might cover injuries caused by the accident.
- Health insurance should cover most high medical costs, though it likely won’t cover ongoing care or long-term treatment needs.
After these coverages are exhausted, you will need to use uninsured motorist coverage. In most cases, you can add uninsured motorist coverage at increments of $5,000.
Considering that an average of 13% of United States drivers are uninsured, with at least an 8% rate in Texas, it is prudent to consider adding on extra uninsured motorist coverage. A typical amount to add on might be $100,000 per bodily injury and a total of $300,000 per accident.
You should talk to your insurance agent before making a final decision on how much uninsured motorist coverage to buy. It will raise your premiums, and while it is better to be safe than sorry, you should consider carefully how much coverage you need based on your circumstances.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay For?
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for all the damages sustained in an accident that is not covered by the at-fault party’s insurance. For example, uninsured motorist coverage could pay for:
- Personal injury treatments for you and any passengers
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Property damage to items or pets in your vehicle
- Medical expenses that are ongoing, such as medications or therapy
- Loss of income or wage-earning capacity resulting from your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
Anything that your insurance doesn’t cover will be taken care of by uninsured motorist coverage. However, you can purchase different kinds of uninsured motorist coverage.
If you simply purchase Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI), it will only pay for injuries sustained to your body. If you purchase Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD), it will only cover damages to your property.
Your best bet is to purchase both of these options in order to cover for any damage you might suffer after a collision.
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How Can A Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Help You In An Uninsured Motorist Case?
In order to gain any compensation from your uninsured coverage, you will likely have to prove that the other driver was at fault and caused your accident. You will also have to prove that the accident caused you further injuries and damages in excess of the coverage you and the other driver already have.
It can be complicated to deal with insurance companies and try to prove fault in an accident. The car accident lawyers at Patterson Law Group have been working with car accident victims for over 16 years.. We have recovered millions for our clients who needed compensation for the injuries and damages they suffered.
Our personal injury lawyers will work with you on a contingency basis. Meaning, you won’t have to pay us anything unless we win your case. To get the help you need, reach out to an attorney at Patterson Law Group. We will help you get the best compensation from your uninsured motorist coverage, and walk you step by step through the process.
We at Patterson are truly devoted to all of our clients. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, get in touch with a Fort Worth car accident attorney from Patterson Law Group for a free consultation.