Fort Worth Uninsured Motorist Claims Lawyer
Have you been injured in an accident by an uninsured motorist in Fort Worth, TX?
If you have UM coverage with your auto insurance provider, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages through your existing policy.
Contact our law offices at Stephens Law Firm, PLLC today by calling (817) 420-7000 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.
Jason Stephens has decades of experience as a personal injury and trial lawyer. He has recovered some of the largest settlements and jury awards in Texas for his clients and will fight to do the same for you.
How Stephens Law Firm, PLLC Can Help with an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Texas ranks 14th in the U.S. for uninsured drivers. 14% of motorists on Texas roadways have no insurance and many more are underinsured in an accident. That means in an accident, there is a more than 1 in 10 chance that the other driver has no coverage to pay for the injuries you have sustained.
Jason Stephens of Stephens Law Firm, PLLC understands just how devastating a car accident can be. The frustration, uncertainty, and anger are only compounded when you find out the at-fault driver has no car insurance. That’s where your uninsured motorist coverage should come in to protect you.
Unfortunately, it’s often more complicated than that. You may end up fighting with your own insurance company to recover compensation for your damages.
That’s where an experienced Fort Worth car accident lawyer comes in. Jason Stephens has over two decades of experience as a personal injury attorney and trial lawyer. He has secured some of the largest verdicts in Texas history for his clients and been named a Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America.
When you choose Stephens Law Firm, PLLC to represent you in your claim, you can benefit from Jason Stephens’ decades of experience and award-winning expertise as he goes above and beyond to fight for you. Jason Stephens will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your auto accident to determine how it happened
- Gather evidence to show the other driver was at fault and the extent of your injuries
- Demonstrate that the at-fault driver can’t be located or did not have auto insurance
- Negotiate with the insurance company to seek a fair settlement offer
- Represent you in an insurance bad faith lawsuit if the insurance company breaches your contract
You don’t need to face the insurance company alone. You have enough to worry about as you focus on your recovery. Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a free case review with Jason Stephens.
Texas Car Insurance Requirements
Texas requires all drivers to carry liability insurance with minimum levels of coverage. Liability coverage pays for damage you cause to other vehicles or bodily injury to others. Texas requires at least 30/60/25 coverage which is:
- $30,000 per injured person
- $60,000 total per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
While it isn’t required, Texas insurance carriers must offer two forms of optional coverage: uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you are hit by an at-fault driver who does not carry insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage covers you if you are in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are not enough to cover your damages.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works in Texas
When you are involved in an accident, your typical recourse is to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. What happens if the driver flees the scene or does not have insurance?
While you may attempt to sue the at-fault driver to hold them personally responsible for your damages, motorists who do not have car insurance are unlikely to have assets you can pursue in a judgment. With uninsured motorist coverage, you can instead make a claim against your own insurance policy.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is an add-on to your standard auto insurance policy. It works like a safety net if you are hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. UM insurance coverage kicks in only when these conditions are met:
- The accident and your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence
- The at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage to cover the cost of the damages they caused
As an example, let’s say a drunk driver hit you on your way home from work. You suffer injuries and lost wages totaling $30,000. The police report states that the other driver was at fault and they are charged with driving under the influence. The at-fault driver did not have car insurance at the time of the accident.
In this case, you can turn to your UM coverage and make a claim for the $30,000 in damages you have suffered.
Note that an uninsured motorist claim requires proving two things: the other driver did not have insurance and they caused your accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t just apply in car accidents: it can also be used in hit-and-run accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Why Uninsured Motorist Claims Are Challenging
While uninsured motorist insurance sounds simple, there’s a very crucial detail that you must understand. In an uninsured motorist claim in Texas, you are essentially paying for insurance coverage for the person who caused your accident. Your insurance company will now be in the position to fight against paying you compensation for the damages the other driver caused.
It’s even happened that UM insurance carriers have paid for legal representation for at-fault drivers facing criminal charges. This may happen if your insurance company believes that getting the other driver exonerated of the charges will make it harder to prove they were liable for your accident.
Even though you are filing your claim with your own insurance carrier against a policy you paid for, the insurance company has an interest in helping the at-fault driver escape liability.
Uninsured motorist claims are notoriously complex and it can feel very unfair to have your own insurance company fighting you. An experienced uninsured motorist claims law firm in Texas can help you maximize your recovery and protect your interests. Jason Stephens has decades of experience representing accident victims in UM claims and he will fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuits in Texas
Like most states, Texas courts have held that uninsured motorist insurance carriers owe a duty of good faith to policyholders to investigate and settle UM claims. If the insurance company breaches this duty, policyholders may be entitled to damages and other forms of relief through a lawsuit.
You may even be entitled to damages that exceed your policy limits if the court finds your insurance company acted in bad faith in handling your UM claim.
In some cases, an insurance company may make a lowball offer or delay settling a large claim. They may use these tactics if they believe you will accept the low offer and go away. However, insurance companies realize that they have a legal duty to provide compensation as the policy stipulates and handle the claim as promptly as possible.
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to buckle once they know an experienced uninsured motorist claims lawyer is involved in the case rather than risk a court ordering them to pay above the policy limits.
If you believe your insurance company is operating in bad faith while handling your UM claim, contact Jason Stephens for the skilled legal representation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
It’s important to pursue your injury claim as soon as possible. Under Texas law, there is a statute of limitations on uninsured motorist claims. If you do not file your claim before this deadline expires, you lose your legal right to recover compensation. The statute of limitations generally begins on the date of your accident or injury.
There are two possible statutes of limitations that may apply in an uninsured motorist claim in Texas.
For personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is two years under the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Section 16.003. In the case of a bad faith claim against your insurer, the statute of limitations is four years. This statute applies to breach of contract and the time limit begins after the cause of action for the breach.
Contact a Car Wreck Lawyer in Fort Worth, TX Today
Have you been hurt in an accident by an uninsured motorist? An uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company can help you recover the compensation you deserve, but don’t expect the insurance company to be on your side. In an uninsured motorist claim in Texas, you are fighting your own insurance company and you have the burden to prove the other party was at fault.
Jason Stephens has more than two decades of experience representing clients in Texas uninsured motorist claims. Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation to review your case.