Legal Lifesaver: Uninsured and Underinsured Claims in Texas

Uninsured and underinsured claims in Texas (UM/UIM) are a type of first-party insurance dispute claim that aims to protect you if you are involved in accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers. The basis for UM/UIM coverage can be found in the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Statute under the Texas Insurance Code and in the UM/UIM clause of the Texas Personal Auto Liability Policy.

Here’s a 2018 underinsured trial verdict in Travis County.

Online car insurance application for uninsured and underinsured claims in Texas

Several motor vehicle accidents involve uninsured and underinsured motorists and some UM/UIM cases are brought to court every year.  Several issues involving UM/UIM insurance litigation remain unresolved in the Texas court system.

The Texas Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Statute, under the Texas Insurance Code, governs UM/UIM coverage. Article 506-1 of the statute was originally enacted in 1967 to protect the insured against uninsured motorists.  The statute was subsequently amended in 1977 to include protection for insureds against underinsured motorists.  Article 506-1 protects conscientious individuals from financial loss caused by negligent and financially irresponsible drivers.

The purpose of the UM/UIM coverage is to protect insureds who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured/underinsured motor vehicles. In summary, if say a person were in an automobile accident where they were hit from behind by an uninsured/underinsured motorist, that person is entitled to the money which would pay for the damages to his/her vehicle.

The Texas Insurance code requires a minimum of $30,000 in UM/UIM coverage to be offered in every automobile liability policy issued in the State of Texas. The minimum amount is set forth by statute in the Texas Motors Safety Responsibility Act and will be provided as a matter of law unless the named insured expressly rejects the coverage in writing.  In a recent decision, the Texas Supreme Court found that the spouse of a named insured may properly reject coverage for all insureds.

The court found that “named insured” included the insured name in the policy declarations and that individual’s spouse, if a resident of the same household. An insured may purchase additional coverage up to the actual amount of bodily property injury coverage contained in the policy’s liability overage or an insured may reject such coverage altogether.

The costs of medical treatment have soared, as have the costs related to repairing and replacing damaged automobiles. When an at-fault driver causes an accident but does not have a sufficient amount of liability insurance, if you have purchased optional Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), you have the right to file uninsured and underinsured claims in Texas with your own insurance company for any damages over and above the at-fault driver’s policy limits up to the amount of UIM Coverage you have purchased.

UIM Coverage protects you if an at-fault driver who causes you injuries (ranging from soft-tissue injuries to broken bones) and damages do not have enough liability insurance to pay for your losses. These losses may consist of wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other non-economic injuries.

For example, if you suffered a back injury in an accident and your medical expenses total $40,000, but the at-fault driver has only a $30,000 liability insurance policy if you have purchased UIM Coverage of $50,000, then there would be an additional $50,000 in coverage available to pay towards your damages, which would be an additional $10,000 in medical expenses, plus any lost wages or pain and suffering damages, up to $50,000.

Contact The Traub Law Office for Uninsured and Underinsured Claims in Texas

If you were involved in an accident and wanted to file uninsured and underinsured claims in Texas, we’ll be happy to mail it to you (together with a host of other free stuff.) You can either email us, call us at (512) 246-9191, or fill in the form to the right.

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While most of our clients hail from Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown, and Pflugerville in Travis and Williamson Counties, we have also worked with clients in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Other clients have come from Lakeway, Jollyville, Anderson Mill, Kyle, and Leander. If your accident was in Texas, we can help you. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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