What Happens If You Have A Wreck Without Insurance In Texas?
Driving without insurance in Texas is a serious offense that can lead to a criminal charge and may put an injured person’s ability to recover compensation for their damages at risk. The state of Texas requires all drivers to carry liability insurance worth a minimum of $25,000 for property damage, $30,000 per injured person, and $60,000 per accident, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. If you are in a wreck and do not carry insurance, the officer at the scene may issue you a citation. However, that does not mean you are automatically responsible for the accident or that you are barred from collecting compensation from the at-fault party.
Issues of insurance, fault, negligence, and other legal concepts in car accident claims can be difficult to parse for laypeople unfamiliar with personal injury law. If you are injured in a car wreck without insurance, the best choice for you is to connect with a skilled car accident law firm that can handle your claim and answer all your questions. With a knowledgeable attorney at your side, you can set yourself up for the best possible compensation package in your case.
Pintas & Mullins is a Dallas car accident law firm that has assisted clients with a wide variety of injuries. Some of our clients have suffered life-changing injuries such as:
- Lost limbs
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Severe abrasions (“road rash”)
Whatever the impact of your injury, the skilled attorneys at Pintas & Mullins may be able to help you pursue justice.
When the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance
In hit-and-run accidents in which you are unable to track down the at-fault driver, or in situations in which the driver who hit you simply does not have insurance, your options for compensation may be limited. Usually, you will need to recover from your own insurance company’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
My UM/UIM Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is a part of your own insurance policy. In Texas, insurance companies are required to offer this to you, and it is automatically part of your policy. You may opt-out of this coverage, but you must do so in writing. If you do not remember writing a waiver of your UM/UIM coverage, you should be able to get compensation for your injuries through this policy. An experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your policy and recover your losses.
When I Lack Insurance as the At-Fault Driver
If you are the at-fault driver in a car accident and you do not have a liability insurance policy, you face the worst-case scenario. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be liable personally for the damages your negligence caused to the injured party. That means the injured person may be able to sue you for compensation that you will have to pay through your existing funds or through the liquidation of your assets. Essentially, you lose the protection against property forfeiture that insurance affords. But that may not be the worst outcome you face.
In addition to the civil liability lawsuit you may face, you will also have to deal with criminal charges. These penalties are dictated by statute in the Texas Transportation Code §601.191 and include the following.
- A fine of between $175 and $350 for a first offense
- A fine up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses
- Possible loss of your license
- An annual $250 license renewal fee for the next three years
When I Have No Insurance and Am Not At Fault
Another scenario is possible: the situation in which you are injured, are not at fault, and have no insurance. In this case, your compensation package should not be affected by your lack of insurance. As long as the at-fault driver has insurance, you should be able to pursue compensation from that policy. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, however, you may be able to pursue compensation from the driver personally, as they are 100% liable for damages they cause without insurance.
Unfortunately, it is illegal for you not to have insurance while driving. So, even though you may be able to pursue compensation just as in any other personal injury claim, you may face the legal consequences that come with failing to carry liability insurance if you are cited for this at the scene. In other words, you can pursue a lawsuit for compensation, but you will still face fines and a possible license suspension due to your failure to carry insurance.
Get Help Today
Pintas & Mullins is a personal injury law firm that has helped many injured people get the compensation they deserve after a serious car accident. Our attorneys are available to discuss your case with you FREE OF CHARGE at a consultation time of your choosing. We also do not collect a fee until and unless we win your compensation package for you.
You and your family deserve the best representation possible. Call Pintas & Mullins at
214-305-8277 today to schedule your appointment, or fill out the form on our contact page and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.