12th September 2022 Sophia Hogg
What to Know About Suing Uninsured Drivers in Texas
As a Texas resident, you likely spend hours on the road each year managing the yearly influx of transplants and the hundreds of thousands of residents already populating the city streets. Since drivers abound, so do car accidents, which normally involve stopping and getting the other driver’s insurance information. However, your average collision becomes more complicated when the driver who hit you turns out to be uninsured.
According to Texas law, all drivers must have sufficient auto insurance, but that doesn’t stop some drivers from hitting the road without any coverage. Being hit by an uninsured driver creates uncertainties surrounding how you may recover damages. You may be able to sue them, but it will be trickier than a typical suit. Some principles can help guide you through the process. Still, one of the most valuable resources you can have to help you navigate this situation is an experienced car accident lawyer.
Suing Uninsured Drivers in Texas
Knowing what to do in an accident where both drivers have insurance is not enough. These guidelines could make it easier for you to understand your legal rights and options when suing uninsured drivers in Texas.
You May File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver
You may be able to recover damages for your accident by suing the uninsured driver through a personal injury suit. Since Texas is a jurisdiction that bases its legal system on comparative negligence whoever caused the collision is liable for the resulting damages. Several variables will determine whether or not this course of action is worthwhile.
For example, an uninsured driver could have plenty of funds available to pay you for your losses, or their lack of insurance could be a matter of irresponsibly letting their coverage expire. As long as negligence still played a factor in the accident, taking legal action in circumstances like this would be a practical means of obtaining compensation.
Sometimes, it may not be possible to recover damages from an uninsured driver because they lack the resources to pay for your losses, so even if you file a lawsuit, you may not receive enough money to compensate your damages fully. Lacking these funds could also make the uninsured driver judgment-proof. In a situation like this, it may be better to rely on your own Uninsured Motorists Coverage to cover your vehicle repairs and medical bills.
What “Judgment-Proof” Means in Terms of Uninsured Drivers
Although it is possible to sue uninsured drivers in Texas, there is a chance that the motorist will be judgment-proof, which is a primary concern when dealing with uninsured drivers. When an uninsured driver has inadequate assets that cannot legally be confiscated and sold to satisfy a judgment, that individual is said to be “judgment proof.”
Two sets of Texas legislation impact someone’s capacity to collect a judgment against another person. Sections 41.001 and 41.002 of the Texas Property Code outline which assets a judgment creditor cannot seize to satisfy a debt.
These assets, often known as the debtor’s homestead, include property like home furnishings, food, certain animals, tools of one’s trade, and clothing. Essentially, it is unlikely that you can get anything back from an uninsured driver unless they have assets in addition to those that are protected by the Texas Homestead Act.
Limitations on When You May Sue an Uninsured Driver
Remember that you only have a short window of opportunity to act if you decide that filing a lawsuit will best serve your needs Plaintiffs typically have two years to submit a case against the party responsible for their accident. If you fail to meet this deadline, called the statute of limitations, you will likely be barred from ever recovering for your damages.
You May Need Underinsured / Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM / UIM)
Underinsured and Uninsured motorist coverage is an additional insurance coverage that protects you if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have any or enough auto insurance coverage.
According to Texas law, when you are purchasing insurance, you get this coverage on your policy. To reject it, you must formally opt out of uninsured motorist coverage, but many people will pay for this coverage. As a result, you could have this coverage and may rely on it to cover your damages.
Discuss Your Legal Options With an Experienced Texas Car Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a car accident is stressful enough without worrying about the other driver’s lack of insurance. Recovering damages from an uninsured driver may be possible, but there may be other ways to recover for your damages. The best way to decide which course of action you should take may be to consult a car accident lawyer.
To receive insightful legal advice, consider scheduling a consultation with Texas car accident lawyer Dale R. Rose, PLLC. A seasoned attorney, Dale R. Rose is dedicated to serving clients throughout North Texas. Since 1992, he has aided in the resolution of Texas auto accident lawsuits and obtained sizable settlements for his clients. Use our contact form or dial (972) 634-7673 to arrange a free consultation.
Dale R. Rose
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, has been a victim of a workplace accident, or any other personal injury, Dale Rose is the best attorney for you in McKinney, Texas. With 25+ years of experience, Dale is committed to helping you get the compensation & justice you deserve.