Is an Uninsured Driver Automatically at Fault?
You got into an accident with an uninsured driver. If the driver caused the accident, you can turn to your uninsured motorist coverage. But is the uninsured driver automatically at fault no matter what?
No, an uninsured driver is not always at fault. Not having auto insurance is definitely careless behavior. However, if you file a claim, what matters the most is the person who caused the accident.
Determining Fault in an Uninsured Car Accident
In most states, the at-fault driver in an accident is responsible for the costs. The injured driver must show that the at-fault driver was negligent. There are parts to proving negligence:
- The driver owed a duty of care.
- The driver breached their duty.
- The breached duty caused the car accident.
- The accident caused the injured driver’s damages.
If the uninsured driver’s actions caused the accident, they are at fault. But if another driver caused the accident, that driver is responsible.
If you’re not sure who caused your accident, a lawyer can help. Our car accident lawyers can examine your case options for FREE. Call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.
What if the Uninsured Driver Is at Fault?
Usually, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But since the driver has no insurance, you have limited options.
The first step is to file a claim with your insurance company. Most drivers have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. You probably have UM coverage unless you told your insurer you did not want it. If you’re not sure, check with your insurance company.
Insurance options for an uninsured accident can include:
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: Pays if the at-fault driver has no insurance.
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: Pays if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your costs.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: Pays for you and your passengers’ medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses.
- Collision coverage: Pays for your car repairs or replacement after the accident.
- Medical payments coverage: Pays for you and your passengers’ medical costs.
Your options will depend on where you live. Texas insurance companies must offer the above options. If you have more questions about your coverage, talk to a lawyer.
Building Your Uninsured Motorist Claim
Sadly, filing a claim with your insurer does not guarantee fair payment. All insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They will look for ways to reduce what they pay. You can legally protect yourself by:
- Gathering as much evidence from the accident scene as you can
- Exchanging information with the uninsured driver
- Getting statements from any eyewitnesses
- Seeing a doctor after the accident
- Keeping track of all of your damages
- Talking to an uninsured car accident lawyer
To get a FREE consultation with a lawyer today, call (214) 305-8277 or contact us online. You don’t pay unless we win for you. Reach out today to get started at no risk.
What if the Insured Driver Is at Fault?
Even if the other driver in your accident is not insured, you can be at fault. Some drivers find this out the hard way. For example:
- An uninsured driver hits you.
- You file a claim with your insurer because you have UM coverage. You even provide pictures from the scene.
- Still, your insurance company determines you are at fault.
If your insurer blames you, but you know you are not at fault, contact a lawyer. Your lawyer can investigate your case. They might find that you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Under Texas Insurance Code Section 542.003, insurers cannot engage in unfair settlement practices. An uninsured car accident lawyer can help if your insurance company is mistreating you.
Sometimes, the insured driver actually is at fault for an accident. Here are some options the uninsured driver might have.
Alternatives to Insurance
Most states require insurance coverage. But there are some places where a driver can provide “financial responsibility” instead. The driver can prove that they have assets to cover an accident. In this case, the uninsured driver might be able to file a claim against the insured driver.
If an uninsured driver tries to file a claim against you, contact your lawyer. Your lawyer can usually negotiate. They can also show that the driver did not have insurance as they should.
Filing a Claim with Consequences
An uninsured driver can file a claim against an at-fault insured driver. However, there are usually consequences:
- The insurance company will probably tell the state that the driver does not have insurance.
- If your state has minimum requirements, the driver can face penalties. They might lose their license.
- The state might impound the driver’s car until they get insurance.
- The driver can also face higher premiums when they purchase insurance.
The other driver can also claim damages against an uninsured driver. Most states recognize partial fault for accidents. In Texas, this is known as proportionate responsibility (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 33.001). If both drivers can file a claim, the insured driver might sue.
Get Help From an Attorney First
If your accident involved an uninsured driver, talk to a lawyer. Your lawyer can:
- Investigate the accident
- Determine who was at fault
- Gather proof of your damages
- Help you file a claim
- Make sure the insurer treats you fairly
- Protect your legal rights
Your options also depend on where you live. A lawyer in your area will know how to best proceed. Call and schedule a free consultation to learn more.
Get a Free Consultation with an Uninsured Car Accident Lawyer Today
Our car accident lawyers can help after an uninsured accident. If you were not at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay. We can assist you, starting with a FREE consultation.
We do not charge a fee unless we win you a settlement. You can work with us free of upfront costs or fees. Plus, we will come to you if you don’t have transportation.
To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call us at (214) 305-8277 or contact us online today.