Getting into an accident can be an expensive experience. Repairs are needed for any damage done to the vehicle, that is if it can even be repaired. Many accidents result in the destruction of the vehicle. But beyond the property damage, there are injuries to those drivers and passengers who are in the accident.
Together, medical bills and property damage can add up to a lot of money. In a perfect world, you would receive compensation from the at-fault motorist’s insurance. But what happens when you get into an accident with an uninsured driver?
In a case like that, you are left with three options. The first is to rely on your own health insurance to cover your medical needs. The second is to file an uninsured motorist claim. Then, if neither of these is sufficient, you may be forced to rely on a personal injury lawsuit in order to get the compensation you deserve.
When Should You Rely on Your Health Insurance for Coverage?
Yes, relying on your own health insurance for coverage is an option, but it is the worst of the three available options.
When relying on your own health insurance for coverage, you are essentially agreeing that the costs of the accident should fall on your shoulders. If you were the at-fault driver, then maybe this is the only option available since you wouldn’t likely get anything from a claim or a lawsuit.
But when you rely on your own health insurance for coverage following an accident with an uninsured driver, you are agreeing to pay the deductible and the co-pays for your medical care. This means you will still be spending money on your medical care, despite the accident not being your fault.
Additionally, any other losses that you suffered would fall onto your shoulders. Car need to be repaired? That money has to come out of your own bank account.
Of the available options, we want to stress that this is the least recommended one. It puts too much pressure on you while offering very little in return. It is far better to file an uninsured motorist claim or to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.
When Should You File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
Most auto insurance includes an option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. This is designed for cases just like this, wherein an insured driver gets into an accident with an uninsured driver. If you are unsure if you have uninsured motorist coverage, then you should check with your insurance provider. Texas law requires you to opt-out of uninsured motorist coverage by submitting a specific form in writing to your insurance company, so if you haven’t done that, you are likely covered.
It’s shocking how many people don’t realize they have this type of coverage. However, knowing you have, it isn’t enough. You will still be dealing with an insurance company, and it is in their best interest to pay out as little as possible to you.
This is because the insurance company is a business, and businesses are all about making money. If the insurance company is paying out claims, they are losing money. So the best thing to do for the insurance company, is to make a lowball offer.
That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney that understands what goes into uninsured motorist claims. They can help you to understand your insurance policy better, to investigate the accident to gather relevant detail and witnesses’ testimony, demonstrate how the uninsured driver acted in a negligent, careless, or reckless manner to cause the crash, file your claim, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, so you get a settlement that is fair.
Is it Time to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Another way of getting compensation is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
A personal injury lawsuit is a kind of lawsuit wherein one party claims that they were injured due to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another party. Evidence and witnesses are gathered, and a case is built to show that the other party is at fault. However, the other party is also going to use all the powers of the law to try to protect themselves and prove that they aren’t at fault. At the least, they want to reduce how much fault they have by highlighting other factors that affected the outcome.
Personal injury lawsuits are very useful ways to get the compensation you deserve. But if the adverse driver has no insurance, it is likely not the best option available. If the adverse driver didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford to pay the premiums for insurance coverage, it is likely that the driver has no assets to recover even if you were to get a Judgment against him. So if the adverse driver has no insurance, your best avenue is to make a claim under your own policy of insurance for uninsured motorist benefits.
When Should I Speak to an Attorney?
Speaking to an attorney is one of the first steps to take after getting into an accident. The first is to get medical treatment and make sure you are okay, then, you should reach out to an attorney. This will allow you to get a quick start on your case and start investigating the accident while it’s still fresh.
Certainly, you should reach out to an attorney prior to speaking to the insurance companies. Remember, the insurance company has their own best interest at heart, not yours.