If you are injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver in Texas, you have the right to sue that driver for negligence and recover damages. If the negligent driver has insurance, their insurance company will be obligated to pay the damages, up to the liability limits of the policy.
But what if the negligent driver has no insurance? Or what if they don't have enough insurance to cover all the damages? What if you are injured by a hit and run driver who flees the scene and is never found? In those cases Texas law provides another possible avenue of recovery. If you own a motor vehicle, and have insurance on that vehicle, you can make a claim against the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of your own policy.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is intended to protect a car accident victim if they are injured by an uninsured driver or a driver with insufficient insurance to cover all the damages. The coverage also applies if the victim is injured by a hit and run driver, and even if the insured was a pedestrian at the time of the accident.
In an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, the victim's own insurer pays the damages the negligent driver would have paid if adequately insured. The victim's policy pays those damages up to the limits of the uninsured/underinsured coverage in the policy.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is required in all Texas auto insurance policies. The customer is allowed to reject the coverage in writing, however.
In any auto accident case one of the primary strategies is to identify all possible sources of insurance coverage. Uninsured/underinsured coverage is one example, but there are others. An experienced personal injury attorney can help a victim and their family identify all potential options.
Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, "Tex. Ins. Code §§ 1952.101-.106," accessed Nov. 18, 2014