Being in a car accident is a stressful and frustrating experience no matter what the circumstances, but it can be especially exasperating if you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

After any car accident or vehicle collision, drivers look to their insurance and that of the other driver for property damages and personal injury. If you’re in an accident where you are not at fault – meaning you did nothing to cause the accident – your insurance company will expect the insurance of the driver who caused the crash to cover those payments.

It’s the law for drivers to have some form of insurance in nearly every state; New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require drivers to have any form of insurance, although Florida requires a bare-minimum coverage of up to $10,000 for property damage. In Texas, the law requires drivers to have at least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, with at least $60,000 per accident, and at least $25,000 of coverage in property damage. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law.

Consider Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you are in a car accident with a driver who has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover damages, it can be very frustrating but there are options. If you are not at fault for the accident, your insurance company is going to expect the other driver’s insurance to pay for damages. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, it can make things very difficult. To protect yourself in case of something like this happening, add Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage to your own insurance policy. Texas does not require this type of coverage, but it can be very helpful to have if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

What to Do After an Accident in Texas

If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, be sure to get all of his or her contact information. Call the police and make sure the responding officers also get the other driver’s information and that they file a complete and detailed police report of the accident. This will be important to have as evidence if you decide to sue the other driver later.

Seek medical attention right away after an accident. Even if you don’t think you were hurt or your injuries don’t seem serious, be sure to get checked out anyway. Sometimes injuries from automobile accidents can surface later on, and if you decide to seek damages in court later, you want to have clear documentation that you sought medical help right away after the accident.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver

The penalties for driving without insurance in Texas are quite stiff, but if you’ve experienced bodily injury or property damage due to an uninsured driver, those penalties may be of little comfort to you as you try to figure out how to pay for medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses.

Fortunately, Texas is not a no-fault state, which means that if the uninsured or underinsured driver caused your accident, injuries, and property damage, you may be entitled to sue for damages. This is one reason why it’s so important to be sure you have all the other driver’s contact information and that you have the police file a report.

Unfortunately, if a rider can’t afford adequate car insurance, it’s unlikely he or she will have much to offer financially, even if sued. There may be other parties who at fault in such situations, so be sure to discuss your legal options after a car accident with an experienced Austin uninsured motorist claim lawyer. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s poor choices.