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What to do after an accident with an uninsured driver

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Auto Accident, Blog

Most people will experience a car accident at some point in life. In Texas, motor vehicle collisions happen about every minute on average, and fatalities occur on state roads every day.

Restitution for damages becomes challenging when a driver does not have insurance, so motorists should prepare for that possibility.

Judgment-proof defendants

Many people do not have car insurance because of low income or a tight budget. Usually, such a situation is not likely to change quickly.

A plaintiff may sue an uninsured motorist, but a problem arises if the defendant is “judgment-proof.” This refers to people without many assets, and a court cannot garnish their income. Additionally, Texas Property Code Chapters 41 and 42 dictate that courts cannot seize assets that are an individual’s homestead.

A plaintiff may possibly get compensation through other insurance or assets if the defendant has these recourses. In many cases, plaintiffs must rely on emergency funds and their own auto insurance to pay for accident bills.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance only covers expenses up to the purchased limit. Vehicle owners should verify the policy amounts for medical expenses and lost wages under the Personal Injury Protection Coverage or MedPay Coverage.

Underinsured individuals

Some at-fault motorists may have insurance but not enough coverage to pay all expenses after an accident. Insurers offer settlements to plaintiffs in exchange for a full and final release of liability, so a plaintiff typically may not pursue further damages after accepting compensation.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can fill the gaps in expenses. However, policies start at $10,000, which may not even cover the cost of repairing a vehicle.

Accidents are unforeseen by nature. Responsible drivers can review what to do to protect themselves against the possibility of a crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.