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In Texas, approximately 14% of drivers are uninsured. When victims are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, they may be left wondering how they will be able to recover the money needed to pay for their hospital bills, damage to their car, and other accident expenses.
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing victims who were injured by an uninsured driver and helping them seek the compensation they may be entitled to after an accident. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with Round Rock accident lawyers.
What It Means to be an Uninsured Motorist
In Texas, drivers are required to carry basic liability car insurance coverage. The minimum amount of coverage that drivers are required to have is known as a 30/60/25, which covers:
- $30,000 for bodily injuries per person injured in an accident a driver causes
- $60,000 for total bodily injury liability when two or more people are injured in an accident a driver causes, and
- $25,000 for property damage per accident caused
This coverage is intended to pay for medical bills, property damage, car repairs, and other related expenses in an accident when it is the driver’s fault. Driving without insurance is risky and illegal. When drivers choose to ignore these requirements and then injure other drivers on the road, they may be unable to pay for the damage they have caused, leaving victims with significant financial burdens.
What to Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
In any accident situation, the most important item is your health and ensuring you receive the medical attention you need. After a collision with an uninsured motorist, you may have several questions and wonder what to do next. The steps below outline what you should do in the minutes, days, and weeks following your accident.
Seek Medical Attention
If you do not receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident, visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine if you need medical treatment. After you leave the hospital or doctor’s office, be sure to watch for any additional signs or symptoms that occur in the days following the accident because you can experience the effects of a car accident several days after it happens.
Call the Police
An uninsured motorist may try and persuade you not to call the police and to resolve the matter on your own, especially if the driver knows that driving without insurance is illegal and can result in a fine. However, if you are injured or your car is damaged, any type of compensation that the other driver tries to offer you will likely not be enough to cover your expenses. A police officer will file a report, which your insurance company may rely on to determine who caused the accident.
Document Your Damage
As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of the damage to your car and any injuries you sustained in the accident. The more proof you can provide to demonstrate the extent of your damages, the stronger your case may be later on.
Document Your Expenses
A car accident can be expensive. It’s important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. This could include:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractor bills
- Documented time taken off from work due to any injuries
- Receipts for the repair or replacement of your car
- Receipts for a rental car while yours is being repaired
Notify Your Insurance Company
After you’ve been in a car accident, your insurance company needs to be notified. You should first check to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage. If you have this type of coverage, your case may be more straightforward and your insurance company may pay for your damages.
However, because insurance companies operate to pay as little as possible, even with uninsured motorist coverage, they may still try to avoid paying your claim or dispute your medical costs. For this reason, it is best to call an experienced accident attorney first for a few reasons.
You may not be prepared
After a car accident, you may still be upset, confused, and traumatized. When an insurance agent speaks with you, they may ask to record the call, hoping to find evidence that an accident was your fault. These recordings can be used in court to hurt your chances of recovering money. It is always best to have an attorney speak on your behalf when dealing with insurance companies.
You may not know the extent of your injuries
The effects of a car accident can be long-lasting and may not appear right away. The ongoing medical treatment of serious injuries may be unpredictable and expensive. You won’t know what the future holds immediately after your accident.
You may be pressured to settle
Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible. They may offer you a settlement, or an amount of money that they’ve evaluated the damage to be. However, this may not be the actual value of your case and may be insufficient to cover your expenses, especially with a serious and chronic injury. Call an experienced Round Rock accident attorney to help you seek a fair accident settlement.
What If I Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Texas does not require drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, but insurance companies must offer the coverage. To opt out of this coverage, drivers must notify insurance companies in writing. If you have opted out of uninsured motorist coverage, it may be more difficult to recover money to pay for your damage or injuries. In some cases, an attorney may be able to help investigate to see if the other party really does not have insurance or if their insurer is denying the claim for invalid reasons. In other cases, victims may be stuck with the bills.
Should I File a Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit may be an option in some cases. However, the majority of uninsured drivers do not carry insurance because they cannot afford it. So, even if you go to court and win your case, the other party may still be unable to pay for the damages and injuries they caused in the accident. In Texas, the state constitution prevents a person’s home, car, and retirement account from being used to pay in a lawsuit, which are usually the most valuable items a person owns.
If you do want to file a lawsuit against the other party, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, that are in place. In Texas, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim for your injuries. It is best to contact a Round Rock accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you seek the money you deserve.
Will My Insurance Rate Increase If I File a Claim?
Unfortunately, even when you are the victim of an uninsured motorist accident in Round Rock, some insurance companies may raise your rates. Although it doesn’t seem fair, insurance companies can increase your rate if you file an uninsured motorist claim. Many times, it will depend on your driving history and if you have been in previous car accidents. However, over time, insurance companies may also lower your rates after they are raised as a result of an accident.
What May a Round Rock Attorney Do for You?
If you were the victim of an uninsured motorist accident in Round Rock, our attorneys may help walk you through every step of the process. This may include ensuring you receive proper medical treatment, investigating the accident, interviewing witnesses, collecting crash reports, negotiating with the insurance company, filing a lawsuit, and going to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law, we can help you determine the damages that you may be entitled to. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will be affected by factors such as the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle, among other things.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Uninsured Accident Cases
At Zinda Law Group, our accident attorneys have helped many crash victims get the compensation they deserved after suffering an injury at the hands of an uninsured driver. We have the knowledge and resources to negotiate with insurance companies and help recover the expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the accident.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.