Getting into a car accident is stressful enough. Finding out the person who hit you has no car insurance may make your blood pressure rise even higher.
In order to know how to move forward, it’s important to know what the law requires from motorists who cause a car accident and what your available options are if the person who hit your car has no car insurance.
Texas Law on Car Insurance
Every state has different laws regarding car insurance. While most jurisdictions do require motorists to purchase a car insurance policy, the Lone Star State has different requirements. What the law requires is that motorists assume financial responsibility for an accident they cause. That can be done either by purchasing car insurance; or in the alternative, one of the following:
- Deposit a minimum of $55,000 to the county judge in the county where their motor vehicle is registered.
- Deposit a minimum of $55,000 with the comptroller.
- Provide proof of self-insurance by showing ownership of at least 25 motor vehicles.
- Provide proof of a surety bond with at least two sureties who own property in Texas.
If a person chooses to obtain car insurance, Texas law requires a minimum coverage of $30,000 for medical costs, per injured person, and $25,000 for damages to the other person’s motor vehicle.
Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Texas
While a person can choose to bypass car insurance, if they do so and also fail to comply with any of the requirements listed above to provide financial responsibility for accidents they cause, that person will face suspension of their driver’s license and vehicle registration. In addition, their car will be impounded for up to 180 days, and the driver will have to pay for it out of pocket.
As if those consequences aren’t bad enough, the uninsured motorists will also face a fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Options If You’re Hit by an Uninsured Motorist
If the person who hit your car has no insurance and failed to comply with the alternatives provided by law, you have the following options:
- File a claim with your own insurance company. We know. This is the last thing you’d want to do if you were not at fault. However, car insurance companies are required to offer uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage precisely for when this type of scenario occurs. The benefits of including UM or UIM to your policy include medical costs, car repairs, car rental costs, and lost wages for you as the driver as well as passengers in your car at the time of the accident.
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver. Nobody likes lawsuits, but sometimes, it’s the only available recourse. That being said, you have to take into account the totality of the circumstances. Say, for example, that you were hit by a driver who simply forgot to renew their car insurance policy, or who has plenty of assets. In that case, it would make sense to sue to hold them financially liable for the damages caused to you. Yet, if the person makes minimum wage or has no assets, even if you were to win in a lawsuit, you would have no way to recover your losses. You can’t get blood out of a turnip.
It makes sense to speak with an attorney because sometimes it takes some investigation to determine whether filing a lawsuit would be worth it.
Auto Accident Attorneys in Texas
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and want to know how to move forward, the auto accident attorneys at The Weycer Law Firm can help.
Discuss your case for FREE today by contacting us online or by calling (713) 668-4545.