In Texas, drivers are required to have a minimum amount of insurance. Right now, that amount is $30,000 for bodily injury. Many drivers on the road do not have insurance. You may be wondering, what happens if you get into a car accident with one of these uninsured drivers. Who will pay? How will your medical bills be paid for and who will repair your car?
Make Sure You are Covered
More than 50% of people driving on the road today only carry this minimal insurance policy and some may not have any insurance at all, meaning they are driving illegally. Approximately 23% of drivers are on the road without any insurance at all, and the number is rising.
Preparing yourself with adequate insurance coverage is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. You should look into purchasing:
- Gap Insurance – If you have a car note or loan on your vehicle, you might be upside down on the value. In other words, you owe more than the car is worth. If this is the case and you have an accident, you might not receive enough to fix the car or to buy a new one.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – PIP coverage can be used to pay for lost wages and medical bills. If you are taken to the emergency room after a car accident, you can use up all of your PIP protection benefits in that one visit.
- Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay) – This coverage can be used to pay for medical bills and prescription drug coverage. MedPay coverage can be used to pay for medical bills that your PIP coverage didn’t pay.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) - This will protect you in the event the person who hits you does not have insurance. This will also protect you in case the person who hits you doesn’t have enough insurance.
Using your Health Insurance
You may need to use your health insurance. If your PIP and MedPay insurance aren’t enough to cover your medical bills, your health insurance may need to kick in. Many people don’t want to use their health insurance. They say that since the other driver was at fault, he should pay. This is true. However, when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you may be left footing the bill. Instead of paying case, your health insurance can be used to help offset the costs.
Keep in mind, if you do end up recovering from the person who caused the accident or from your car insurance carrier, your health insurance company may want to be paid back. An experienced car accident lawyer can negotiate with your insurance companies to ensure that everyone gets their fair share.
Discuss your Insurance Coverage Needs Before You are Hit by an Uninsured Driver
When you are shopping for car insurance, make sure to discuss what happens if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Talk with the insurance agent about the worst case scenario and making sure your family is taken care of.