Steps to Take if You are in a Car Accident and the Other Driver is Underinsured

According to recent estimates, 1 in 5 Texas vehicles is uninsured, which means that if you are in an accident, there is a 20% chance that the driver does not have any liability insurance. Texas law only requires motorists to maintain a minimum amount of liability coverage ($30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident). If you are in an accident, there is a good chance that even if the driver has insurance, he or she still will not have sufficient liability insurance to cover your medical and property damages. So if you are in an accident and you learn that the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, what do you do? One avenue is to file a claim with your own insurance company. Under a standard automobile insurance policy, unless you specifically reject it in writing, you will have coverage under UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) and PIP (Personal Injury Protection) provisions. Typical UM/UIM coverage is $25,000 and is available to cover all losses related to the accident, including medical bills, car damage, and personal injuries suffered. While PIP coverage is generally between $2,500 and $10,000 and can be used to cover your personal injury damages, such as your medical bills. However, keep in mind that your insurance carrier will require you to prove your damages and will do their best to pay you the least amount possible. Therefore, it is critical that you properly document the accident, your injuries and all damages. Next, you may be able to recover directly from the driver and/or the driver’s employer if he or she was driving on the job. Although you can always file a lawsuit against the other driver, if the other driver does not have insurance, it is generally unlikely that he or she will have sufficient assets to cover your losses. But, if the other driver was driving in the course and scope of employment (for example as a pizza delivery driver), then you may be able to assert claims against the employer, who is typically more likely to have money to pay your claim. However, in order to recover from the employer, you will likely have to file a lawsuit in court. Ultimately, if you are in a car accident, the best thing that you can do is hire capable legal counsel to assist you in navigating the complicated insurance process to maximize a recovery for your loss. Powers Taylor will not only help you file the appropriate claims with your own carrier, but we can pursue all legal claims available to try and get you the largest recovery possible. Powers Taylor, LLP is a boutique litigation firm located in Dallas, Texas. The personal injury attorneys at Powers Taylor, LLP handle a variety of personal injury claims, including auto and trucking accidents, motorcycle wrecks, accidents involving pedestrians, and other catastrophic injury claims. To learn more about Powers Taylor’s personal injury litigation practice, please visit www.powerstaylorpi.com, or call us at 214-239-8900.


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