What to Do When the Negligent Party Does Not Have Insurance in Texas 

key with insurance and umbrellaWhat do you do if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, but they don’t have any insurance? This is a tricky situation, as it can be difficult to pursue compensation in cases like these. But don’t worry — there are still options to consider in seeking justice. Let’s look at some of those options. 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage 

One of the most common ways a person is injured through the negligence of another is in a car wreck. If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash by someone with no insurance (or too little to fully compensate your for your injury) then you may bring an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company.

Of course, you have to actually carry such coverage on your policy. We recommend that all drivers carry Uninsured/Underinsured insurance for this reason.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage

These are two more kinds of insurance that you can purchase as part of your automobile insurance policy that protects you in case of an injury. These coverages even apply if the crash was your fault. PIP is the better form of coverage because by law subrogation is not allowed. Subrogation is when your insurer pays you for medical care, but then asks to be paid back in case you make a recovery against the negligent person that injured you.

So, if you have $5,000 in PIP and collect all of it, and then settle with the other driver for $10,000, the gross recovery is $15,000.  But if you collected $5,000 in MedPay and settled for the same $10,000 you would have to pay your MedPay insurer back, up to the full $5,000—meaning your gross recovery could be as low as $5,000.

Suing the Negligent Party

Liability insurance exists to provide financial protection from lawsuits arising from an injury a person causes. But the negligent person’s absence of insurance doesn’t mean you can’t sue.  The person that injured you may have assets (like non-homestead real estate, investment accounts, or other kinds of property) that can be seized to satisfy a judgment. The law allows a judgment creditor (that is, a person who has won a money judgment against someone) to investigate the judgment debtor’s finances and even have law enforcement seize money and property that is not exempt.

While many people’s property would be largely exempt, for example you can’t take a person’s home or only vehicle, the threat of a judgment on their credit or liens on their property can sometimes result in a payment plan or settlement even when there is no insurance.

The Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act (Tex. Trans. Code. § 601.001 et seq.) provides a strong incentive in cases where an uninsured person causes a crash. If you win a judgment against someone who caused a crash while uninsured, you or your attorney can ask the Court to send notice of the judgment to the Department of Public Safety.

They will then suspend the negligent person’s driver’s license and vehicle registrations until the judgment is satisfied at least to the amounts required for minimum limits insurance: currently $30,000 per person for bodily injury, up to $60,000 for all bodily injuries in the accident, and $25,000 for damage or destruction of property in the crash.

Filing Complaints with Regulatory Agencies 

If you believe that someone has wronged you through negligence and they do not have insurance, another option may be filing complaints with relevant regulatory agencies pertaining to their industry or profession. For example, if your doctor was negligent toward you while treating you medically and they did not have malpractice insurance, then filing a complaint with the state medical board might help resolve the issue — even though this won’t result in financial compensation for any losses suffered due to their negligence. 

It can certainly be daunting when trying to figure out how best to pursue justice after being wronged by someone who doesn’t have any insurance coverage — but there are still options available! Filing a civil lawsuit is always possible; alternatively, depending on how exactly you were injured, seeking uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your own policy or filing complaints with regulatory agencies could also help resolve the issue without having financial recourse from the negligent party themselves.

An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to walk you through all of these steps so that justice can ultimately be served.

Call Wyly & Cook, PLLC for a free consultation today.

The following two tabs change content below.

Wyly & Cook, PLLC

The team at Wyly & Cook, PLLC brings a diverse body of trial and litigation experience to the table, putting us in a unique position to help clients with a wide range of legal issues.

Latest posts by Wyly & Cook, PLLC (see all)

%d bloggers like this: