What Are the Pros and Cons of Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Fort Worth, Texas?

uninsured button on keyboardTexas does not require drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, but you never know when you might need it. There are negligent drivers everywhere, and some of them do not have any insurance.

Below, our Fort Worth auto accident lawyers explore the pros and cons of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Review the advantages and disadvantages of this coverage can help you decide if it is worth the investment.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, we may be able to help you seek compensation. At Anderson & Cummings, we have more than 50 years of combined experience and have recovered more than $100 million in compensation on behalf of our clients, including those injured by negligent drivers.

Call now to discuss your legal options at (817) 920-9000. No upfront fees.

How Does Auto Insurance Work After a Texas Car Crash?

Texas is an at-fault state, which means drivers who cause collisions with other vehicles can be held financially liable for the damages that result. That is why the state requires drivers to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance:

  • $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for the injury or death of one person in the collision
  • $60,000 in bodily injury coverage for injury or death to all the victims of an accident
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage

While these are the minimum amounts, most drivers purchase higher limits. However, some drivers break the law and drive without insurance, which is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage provides compensation to the policyholder after a crash caused by a driver who does not have insurance. You can also use uninsured motorist coverage if:

  • The police cannot find the at-fault driver after a hit-and-run crash
  • The other driver caused the crash due to road rage
  • The at-fault driver was driving the car without the permission of the owner

While Texas does not require drivers to purchase UM coverage, insurance companies are required to offer it when drivers purchase insurance. Drivers who want to reject coverage must do so in writing.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay For?

If an uninsured driver causes a crash, you may be able to use your UM coverage for various damages.

If you purchased UM bodily injury, it may cover the following costs:

  • Medical bills, including bills for surgery, hospital stays, emergency treatment, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prescription medications, follow-up appointments with doctors, long-term medical care, medical equipment and more.
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working, including during your recovery
  • Physical pain from your injuries

If you bought UM property damage, you can use it to pay for:

  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Damage to other personal property
  • Cost of a rental car

What Are the Pros of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Texas?

There are multiple advantages of adding uninsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy:

  • Financial Protection: UM coverage shields you from having to pay your medical expenses and car repair bills out of your own pocket.
  • Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents: If the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, and the police cannot find the driver, you can use uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your damages.
  • Flexibility: Uninsured motorist coverage usually pays for damages from a crash with a driver who is underinsured. In other words, the at-fault driver does not have enough liability insurance to cover the full value of your damages.
  • Peace of Mind: You might never need uninsured motorist coverage, but if you have it you do not need to worry about insurance coverage after a crash with an uninsured driver.
  • Rental Car Coverage: UM coverage ensures you can get a rental car after the accident.
  • Stacking Coverage: Texas gives you the option of buying stackable UM coverage. If you have UM policies on two vehicles, you can stack the coverage from both policies, thereby doubling your coverage.

What Are the Cons of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Texas?

Despite its advantages, there are some downsides to UM coverage:

  • Additional Cost: Adding UM coverage increases your overall auto insurance premium, which can be tough to afford if you are already on a tight budget.
  • Coverage Limitations: Your policy might not cover the full cost of your damages.
  • Coverage Comes with a Deductible: This is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage starts paying for the damages.
  • Redundancies: Sometimes, UM may seem like extra coverage, as it may overlap with other parts of your auto insurance policy like collision or medical payments coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Often Dispute These Claims: This is particularly likely in a claim for a hit-and-run accident. The insurance company may claim you caused the crash and are trying to fraudulently obtain compensation. This is why you should hire an experienced lawyer to assist you with an uninsured motorist claim.

Would you be able to afford unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, especially ones that may cost tens of thousands of dollars? If not, you should strongly consider purchasing UM coverage.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer After a Crash with an Uninsured Motorist?

Even if you have UM coverage, recovering compensation can be a challenge without a lawyer. While insurance companies routinely deny and undervalue car accident claims, they may be even more likely to fight you on a claim for uninsured motorist coverage.

Here are some of the ways a lawyer can help you with a UM claim:

Determine if You Can Use Your Coverage for the Crash

Your lawyer can evaluate your insurance policy to determine if it covers your accident. He or she can also determine what specific damages your policy covers.

Gather Evidence to Validate Your Claim

UM claims have specific requirements, so you need strong evidence to use this portion of your insurance. An experienced lawyer will know what evidence he or she needs to build a strong case, such as:

  • Records of your medical treatment
  • Police report on the accident
  • Employment records, including documentation of lost wages
  • Estimates of vehicle repair costs
  • And more

Evidence helps to prove the crash occurred, you have injuries and those injuries resulted in damages.

Negotiate with the Insurance Company

Insurance companies often undervalue claims, but an experienced lawyer knows how to respond to a low settlement offer. Our attorneys have many years or experience negotiating with insurance companies and securing favorable results for our clients.

Even though you have suffered an injury, insurance companies take claims more seriously when an attorney is involved. If you try to negotiate on your own, it is going to be harder to get the insurance company to offer more compensation. If a lawyer is involved, there is a possibility of a lawsuit, which can motivate insurers.

Injured in a Crash with an Uninsured Driver? Call Anderson & Cummings

If you were injured in an accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver, call Anderson & Cummings for help seeking compensation.

Our experience with cases like these means we can provide the legal support you need during this difficult time. Our lawyers are here to assist every step of the way, and we charge you no upfront fees.

Learn how we can help after an accident. Call (817) 920-9000.

*These are actual dollar amounts paid to clients after the deduction of attorney fees and expenses.

$20,400,000

Verdict & Settlement

Verdict and settlement involving sexual abuse of 11 children by their pastor.

$10,000,000

Settlement

Bad faith insurance settlement involving failure to defend and failure to settle claim.

$9,349,973

Settlement

Brain injury caused by electrocution.