Sources of Compensation or Injury or Loss after a Car Accident
When you are injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident in Texas, the first place you’ll typically look for reimbursement of your losses is to the person who caused the accident and/or his or her auto insurance provider. That’s because Texas is an “at-fault” state for the purposes of motor vehicle accidents and motor vehicle insurance. Though Texas requires minimum coverage, many motorists operating vehicles on the state’s roadways either have inadequate insurance or even no insurance at all. What recourse do you have when you have suffered injury due to the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured motorist? What other avenues of recovery are open to you?
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists Insurance Coverage
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, most automobile policies in the Lone Star State have some provision for reimbursement or compensation in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Such a claim will, however, be filed with your insurance company. You will only have a UM/UIM claim if your policy offers such coverage—it’s typically an add-on, with an additional cost. Don’t rely on your insurance agent to notify you of such coverage. An experienced attorney will be able to quick determine the extent of your coverage.
Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
After a DUI/DWI conviction, a driver’s insurance rates typically escalate significantly. Furthermore, many DUIs and DWIs are repeat offenses. For that reason, it’s not unusual for a drunk drive who causes a motor vehicle accident to be without insurance or to have inadequate coverage.
If your accident was caused by a drunk driver, you may have a claim against the person and/or the establishment that provided the alcohol. A “dram shop” claim, generally filed against a commercial entity or employee, allows you to recover damages if it was obvious or apparent to the provider that the person who subsequently caused the accident was intoxicated at the time he or she was served. A private party may be responsible for damages under a theory of “social host liability,” where the person served was under the age of 18 and the person serving the alcohol was at least 21 years old.
Vicarious Liability in Motor Vehicle Accidents
This theory generally applies where the person driving the vehicle was not the owner (and may not be covered by the owner’s policy). In such a situation, if you can show that the owner knew or should have known that the actual driver posed an unreasonable risk behind the wheel, you may be able to pursue damages directly from the owner and/or from his or her insurer.
Injuries Caused by a Dangerous or Defective Product
If the accident was caused, in whole or in party, by the malfunction of a consumer product, such as a motor vehicle component or even a defective streetlight, you can typically bring a product liability claim. As a general rule, any party in the chain of distribution of a product may be potentially liable, from the designer to the manufacturer to a distributor or retailer.
Injuries Caused by Dangerous or Defective Road Conditions
If your accident was caused by poorly maintained roads, potholes or other roadway hazards, you may have a claim against the municipal entity responsible for upkeep and maintenance.
Contact the Proven Personal Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we understand the devastating impact any type of personal injury can have on every part of your life. We’ll aggressively protect your rights throughout the legal process, acting as your intermediary with insurance companies and as your voice in all meetings, hearings and legal proceedings. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.