If you are involved in a car accident and are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, your uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage protects you. However, if you try to negotiate with the insurance companies without the assistance of an attorney, you can easily be denied compensation that you desperately need and to which you are entitled.
Unfortunately, this type of scenario plays out every day in the United States, leaving those hit by uninsured drivers with extensive medical bills and other damages.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
When it comes to dealing with insurance companies after an accident, it is important to note that their primary concern is to save money and pay out as little as possible for any injuries and damage involved in the accident. When you have uninsured/underinsured coverage, it also covers claims that are denied by the responsible party’s insurance company, or when they are otherwise unable to pay it.
In Texas, the current minimum liability limits are $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage, per accident. However, if the driver responsible for the accident and your injuries has low coverage and you have sustained a serious injury, it is possible that the available insurance benefit will not cover all of your medical expenses. In this instance, your own underinsured motorist coverage should cover you.
However, if you need to use your underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage in Texas, you need to manage the negotiations carefully. You cannot file a claim for UI/UIM without settling with the third party first, and obtaining the approval of your insurance company.
Filing a Claim Within the Statute of Limitations
While insurance companies will typically tell you to file a claim for coverage with the at-fault party’s insurance company as soon as you are hit, and contact your own insurance company to notify them if you suspect that the motorist is underinsured, working with an experienced auto accident attorney can help ensure that you file your claim in such a way as to maximize recovery. The statute of limitations for a third-party insurance claim is two years, and it is four years for a UI/UIM claim.
You Have Rights
Also note that Texas law affords you specific rights regarding your auto insurance under the Consumer Bill of Rights. These rights apply to information to which you are entitled, prohibited statements, excess limits, your credit information, your right to purchase insurance through the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association, your right to set up a payment plan, any notices of reduced and/or denied coverage, right to privacy, cancellation, and associated rights.
An Auto Accident Attorney Can Help
At Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C., we handle all car crash cases on a percentage basis; in other words, we cover all expenses to pursue the claim with the insurance company and file a lawsuit for the injuries you suffered in the accident. If you or a loved one has been in an accident, contact us today to find out how we can help you.