Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Who’s Going To Pay For My Damages?

You’ve just been in a car accident with an uninsured driver; you’re shaken up and scared.  You don’t seem to be hurt, but it could be the adrenaline. What now?  Well, don’t panic.

There are some simple steps that you should take in any car accident.  These steps are discussed in a previous article.  What I will cover in this article is what happens when an uninsured driver crashes into your car.

Texas is an “At-Fault” Insurance State

Texas is an at-fault insurance state, which means the at-fault driver pays for the accident.  Most drivers do this by buying auto liability insurance. Liability insurance pays for the damages of the victim; it does not, however, pay for the damages of the at-fault driver.  That requires comprehensive coverage.

Texas requires all drivers to have at least minimum liability coverage.  Currently, minimum coverage is $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident. Minimum coverage is commonly referred to as 30/60/25 coverage.

What Does Minimum Coverage Cover

Depending on the state and insurance contract, minimum coverage typically covers the damages of the victim, up to the limits mentioned above, if you, a family member, or anyone with permission is driving your vehicle and crash into another person.

Of course, you should purchase more than the minimum coverage if your personal assets exceed $60,000.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) states that about 20% of Texas drivers are uninsured causing Texans to spend about $1 billion annually to protect themselves against these uninsured drivers.   Many Texans pay for this protection by adding Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” (UM/UIM) coverage to their regular coverage.  Unlike liability coverage, UM/UIM pays YOUR expenses (i.e., medical bills, property damages, etc.) if an uninsured or under insured driver crashes into your car whether you, your family members, or anyone with permission is driving.  Texas law requires insurance companies to offer their customers UM/UIM coverage; but their customers may opt out of it, if done so in writing.  We strongly recommend that you accept it since there are so many uninsured drivers on the road.

So, fortunately, Texas law does protect those with UM/UIM coverage against uninsured drivers.  Nevertheless, always remember to drive safely and thanks for reading my blog!

Remember, I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice, so please call the Dallas Car Accident Lawyers at the Corbett Law Firm at 214-725-0254 if you need legal advice or have questions about this article.