Getting in a car wreck is undeniably terrifying, and often results in significant property damage and severe physical harm. In these moments, you want to be sure you can be compensated for your injuries by the other driver’s insurance company — but what happens when the driver who hit you doesn’t have auto insurance? 

When the driver responsible for a collision doesn’t have insurance coverage, it turns an already distressing situation into something even more complex. Here’s what you need to know when you get hit by an uninsured driver.

Why are claims involving uninsured drivers more challenging?

Normally, if another driver’s negligence or recklessness causes a crash, their insurance covers your medical bills, property damages, lost wages, and may even offer compensation for your pain and suffering. 

However, recovering the full value of your injury becomes much more challenging when an uninsured driver is at fault. Without the uninsured driver’s insurance to cover your expenses, you’re left in a precarious financial position.

Thankfully, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you navigate this situation and provide legal solutions.

What does Texas law require for uninsured drivers and liability coverage?

In Texas, it’s against the law to drive without insurance. The state mandates all drivers to have minimum liability insurance to cover your injury costs in case they cause a crash. 

The mandatory minimum liability requirements in Texas are:

  • $30,000 for personal injury per person.
  • $60,000 for personal injury per vehicle collision.
  • $25,000 for property damage.

Drivers can opt for higher amounts of liability coverage; these are simply the minimum amounts drivers are required to carry under state law.

What are the penalties for uninsured drivers under Texas law?

Drivers who fail to meet the minimum insurance requirements and cause a crash may face fines, license suspension, and additional penalties mandated by the state for driving without insurance.

Despite these regulations and laws, more than 13% of drivers in Texas are uninsured.

How can you protect yourself against uninsured drivers?

If you’ve been injured in a car crash caused by someone who doesn’t have any car insurance, you can still recover for your losses. 

By adding uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your own car insurance policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company and use this coverage to cover your damages with the aid of a qualified car crash lawyer. 

Here’s how uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage works:

1. What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional part of your auto policy that protects you if an uninsured driver hits you. This type of coverage can also apply if you are the victim of a hit-and-run. 

While Texas doesn’t mandate uninsured motorist coverage, insurance companies are required to offer it. We strongly recommend adding it to your policy for more protection on Texas roads.

2. What is underinsured motorist coverage?

Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when the at-fault driver has insurance, but their coverage isn’t enough to cover all your injury costs.

For example, a negligent driver might only have the minimum $25,000 liability coverage for property damage, yet you might have incurred $35,000 in damages. Underinsured motorist coverage can bridge the gap up to your policy limits.

What should you do after a crash with an uninsured driver?

If you are involved in a vehicle collision with a driver who has no insurance, you may be wondering what to do. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Even if you don’t feel any pain, you need to see a doctor after a car wreck. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately obvious and could get worse over time if you don’t get proper medical care fast.

Worried about medical bills and expensive treatments? A personal injury attorney can help. A lawyer will assist in gathering necessary medical evidence to show the severity of your injuries to insurance companies and make sure you receive the full value you deserve.

2. Exchange information with the other driver. 

Collect the negligent driver’s name, address, license plate number, any other information you can use to get in contact with them later. This contact information may be needed when filing claims against them, even if they don’t have insurance.

3. Gather photos and video footage.

Use your phone to take photos of the damage to both vehicles after the crash. These photos will be crucial for insurance investigations and potential lawsuits against the uninsured driver.

In a hit-and-run, record the fleeing car’s make, model, year, and color. A dash cam can be extremely useful in cases like this.

4. Report the crash to the police.

Report the collision to the police for documentation. This report can aid in locating the at-fault driver for claims or proving your case to your insurance company. Provide all details about the other driver to law enforcement and make sure to request a copy of the police report.

5. Notify your insurance company. 

Inform your insurance provider about the crash, file a claim, and report that the driver was uninsured or underinsured. Even if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you should ask your insurance company what your options are. Your insurer might assist in covering your vehicle damage and medical bills.

Consider consulting a personal injury attorney during this process. A car wreck lawyer will make sure insurance bullies don’t drag their feet in getting you the full value you deserve.

6. Hire a personal injury attorney. 

If you’ve suffered serious injuries or property damage through no fault of your own, we strongly recommend hiring an Austin car accident attorney to get your life back to normal. In fact, you should contact an attorney as soon as you’ve addressed any medical emergencies. 

A skilled attorney will deal with difficult insurance companies on your behalf while you focus on healing.