Nobody feels lucky after a car wreck, but you may feel especially unfortunate if your wreck was caused by an uninsured driver. Although every driver is required to have insurance, many still do not. About 13 percent of Texas drivers do not carry insurance, according to recent data from the TexasSure vehicle insurance verification program.
It's important to remember that you still have the right to seek compensation after a car wreck, even if the other driver isn't insured. Texas requires all car insurance companies to offer coverage for property and bodily damage caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers. Unless you signed a written rejection slip denying it, you are afforded uninsured motorist coverage per Texas law.
However, you do need to take some extra precautions to protect your rights to recover compensation. In general, you should follow the same steps you need to take after any type of traffic accident, while also keeping in mind several additional things.
Do not make a deal with the other driver.
In many cases, an uninsured driver will disappear after the accident - after all, they are breaking the law by driving without insurance. If the other driver sticks around after the accident, he or she may try to offer you cash to settle directly or try to convince you not to call the police. Do not give in. Without an official police report, you will have a much harder time getting the full compensation you need to cover damage to your car and your medical expenses.
Get all the information you can about the other driver.
An uninsured driver is probably not going to be forthcoming with personal information, but you should still try to get their name, phone number and address if you can. In cases of a hit-and-run accident, write down anything you can remember about the other vehicle (make, model, color, any part of their license plate) before you forget.
Discuss what happened with a personal injury attorney.
While your insurance may cover at least some of your damages, your insurance company will not necessarily give you the full settlement you deserve. The personal injury attorneys at Burress Law can help make sure your settlement covers the full extent of the damage to your car and any injuries you have suffered.