Motor vehicle insurance is required by law in Texas. Drivers must carry a minimum of $30,000 for bodily injury liability and at least $25,000 for property damage liability. Drivers who fail to meet these minimum standards could face financial penalties.
But what if an uninsured driver gets into an accident caused by an insured driver’s negligence? Can he or she still pursue compensation for damages? Our auto accident attorneys in Fort Worth discuss the meaning of “no pay, no play” laws and what makes Texas different than other states.
If you were injured in an accident, call us today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Was the Uninsured Driver at Fault?
Texas is an at-fault state. This means that a driver who is injured by another’s negligence may pursue a claim for compensation with the at-fault party’s liability insurance. By doing this, the accident victim may be able to recover fair compensation for their losses. A claim could include both economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment.
Whether the injured is insured or uninsured, eligibility for recovering compensation depends on who is at fault for the collision. If the uninsured driver is the victim of the accident, he or she may be able to recover full compensation. However, if the uninsured driver is at fault for the crash, he or she is not eligible for any compensation.
The insured victim of an accident caused by an uninsured driver may also have more difficulty recovering compensation. That is why it is important to have an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage option on your policy.
Does Texas Have a “No Pay, No Play” Law?
“No pay, no play” laws state that a driver who does not have insurance should not be eligible for any compensation. This law may apply even if the uninsured driver is not at fault for the collision. Ten states have enacted similar laws.
Fortunately for accident victims in Texas, there is no such law in effect. This means uninsured drivers are not barred from recovering compensation for damages if an insured driver caused the crash.
What Are the Consequences of Driving Without Insurance?
Even though Texas does not have a “no pay, no play” law, uninsured drivers may still face legal consequences if they are caught driving without insurance.
Uninsured drivers may face up to $350 in fines for a first-time offense. Repeat offenders may have their vehicles impounded and be assessed with fines up to $1,000.
Sometimes drivers may not be aware their policy was canceled. For instance, if they forgot to make a payment or the insurance company made a clerical error. In this situation, it is important for the uninsured driver to take steps to reinstate his or her policy as soon as possible to avoid further penalties.
How the Insurance Company May Try to Deny Compensation
Insurance companies are always going to try find valid reasons to deny or devalue a claim. Therefore, even a valid claim filed by an uninsured driver may quickly get denied by the insurance company.
The insurance company may argue that you should not be able to recover compensation because you violated state law by driving without insurance. While this may be true, that does not mean your claim can be denied.
Texas law allows uninsured drivers to pursue compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence. Even if you are unjustly denied compensation, your attorney may be able to help you file a lawsuit.
We Are Ready to Help. Call Today
If your injury claim is denied because you did not have insurance at the time of the crash, call our attorneys today. You may still have legal options for pursuing compensation.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation after an accident. There are also no upfront fees while we work on your case, so there is no risk to you.
Call (817) 920-9000 to learn more.