Navigating Uninsured or Underinsured Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
When you do your best to be a responsible motorcyclist (e.g., riding safely, following the rules of the road, and maintaining the appropriate car insurance coverage), it is easy to forget that not all motorists do the same thing. There are approximately 28 million uninsured drivers in the United States, and if you are unlucky enough to collide with one, you may feel uncertain about how to proceed.
Sorting through the fallout from a collision with an underinsured or uninsured driver is tedious, and pursuing compensation for the injuries you receive can be complicated. To ensure you don’t suffer severe financial losses in addition to your physical injuries, you will need to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will work to find the best resolution for your situation and communicate with your car insurance company to determine the extent of your uninsured motorist coverage and get the best result for your claim.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident With an Uninsured Driver
Your actions following a motorcycle or car accident will impact your future claims, so making choices that will benefit you is essential. While this is the case in any accident, when the collision occurs with an uninsured motorist, gathering evidence and witness information from the car accident scene is even more critical.
Call the Police and Medical Services If Needed
Following a car accident with an uninsured driver, you will want to call the police to file a report. While the at-fault driver may try to pay you on the side for damage and not report the accident to your insurance carrier or the police, don’t waiver. A police report is a valuable piece of evidence in your claim against the uninsured motorist.
Additionally, if you have any pain or health concerns following the accident, you will want to call medical services. If you choose to forgo medical care on the scene only to seek medical treatment later, you may have difficulty proving your injuries originated from the crash.
Many drivers become so overwhelmed following a crash that they don’t think to collect evidence from the scene. The more information you can gather, the better. You will want to exchange information with the at-fault driver and any drivers who witnessed the collision and pulled over to offer assistance. This step is especially crucial if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Photographic proof can be vital to proving which driver is at fault. Capturing the accident scene and damage suffered gives you evidence to help verify your version of events. While most drivers are not trying to take advantage of you intentionally, the at-fault party will likely try to claim that you held partial fault or were even fully to blame for the accident to avoid being held accountable for your losses.
See a Doctor
If you are injured in the collision, you will want to follow up with a healthcare provider immediately. Keep a record of any care you pay for and your medical records so that you can pursue recompense for your losses.
Seeking medical care is essential if you want your claim to be successful. Without evidence of injury or damage, you cannot pursue compensation. Visiting a care provider as soon as possible also prevents the other driver or your own insurance company from trying to state that your injuries have a different source than the accident.
What Happens If You Are in a Motorcycle Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
Pursuing compensation after a collision with an uninsured driver or a driver who does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your losses is involved, and you will want to work with a lawyer to determine the best course of action for your situation. Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims are complex, and you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the filing process even if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
You Will File a Claim with Your Own Insurance Company
If you are injured in a car accident, and the other driver’s insurance company coverage is not extensive enough to cover your medical bills or the other driver is not insured at all, you must file a claim with your insurer. The insurance providers of at-fault drivers are typically responsible for paying for the injuries the other drivers receive, but this norm changes if the driver’s coverage is inadequate, or they don’t have insurance.
Uninsured motorist insurance exists to keep responsible drivers from suffering financial hardships if they are injured by uninsured drivers in a car accident. Adding the optional coverage of uninsured or underinsured driver coverage to your existing liability coverage is a wise precaution.
You May Need to Sue The Other Driver
Sometimes suing the uninsured driver is not the best option. The insured driver is usually better off using uninsured motorist coverage if they have it. Since bringing a lawsuit against the driver without insurance can be a time-consuming and tedious ordeal, it is typically only used as a last resort to seek funds to cover your losses.
To successfully sue a driver without insurance, you will need to work with an attorney. Your attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf, gather proof of your injuries, and establish that the other driver was responsible for the accident.
How Does Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
If you are in a motorcycle accident with an underinsured (UIM) or uninsured (UI) driver, typically, you will have to rely on your own insurance policy to compensate you for expenses stemming from the collision. Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is something you can add to your auto insurance policy. Some states require drivers to have insurance for collisions with uninsured or underinsured drivers, but Texas does not.
Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Worth Purchasing?
Although your insurance policy’s personal injury protection may cover a portion of your medical bills, anything beyond its coverage will come out of your pocket or through your health insurance if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or there is not enough coverage on their car insurance policy. In the event that you receive serious injuries, having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will keep you from having to pay for medical treatments yourself.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage you receive from your own insurer compensates you for vehicle damage or other property damage you receive in a collision with an underinsured or uninsured driver. This insurance is usually purchased with UM coverage.
UMPD Coverage Compared to Collision Coverage
Despite their similarities, uninsured motorist property damage is not the same as collision coverage. Collision coverage will pay for repairing or replacing your vehicle following an accident up to your coverage amount. Uninsured motorist property damage will only cover damage to your vehicle or property in an auto accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist.
How Much Insurance Coverage Do Motorcyclists and Drivers in Texas Need?
Motorcyclists and drivers in Texas must have liability coverage to cover injuries and damage they inflict on others in an accident. The minimum amount of coverage you can legally have in Texas is:
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
- $30,000 in bodily injury per person
- $60,000 in total bodily injury per accident
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Although car accidents are always stressful, accidents involving drivers without car insurance have an extra element of stress. Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage through your car insurance provider, it is still wise to schedule a free consultation with an attorney at a reputable law firm. If there is any doubt about how the accident happened, your lawyer can help you prove the accuracy of your version of events.
Whether you need someone to take on the insurance company on your behalf or take the other driver to court to sue them for the damages you suffered, our team is ready to help.
If an uninsured driver injured you, contact Brian C. Gutierrez at 979-823-5555 to schedule your free consultation today.
Contact a Bryan, TX Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Today
There are many factors that are considered when preparing a case for a client injured in a motorcycle accident. Showing that the other driver was at fault is critical to a successful outcome. We can investigate your personal injury claim, look for evidence to support your claim, interview witnesses, and consult with experts, as needed, to prepare your case for settlement negotiations or trial in Bryan or College Station.
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