Tips for handling an accident with an underinsured driver

If an at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage, the other driver may need to report the accident, learn about options and keep records.

Texas roadways, like many others across the country, are rife with motor vehicle accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over the course of a single year there was one reportable crash every 57 seconds. In all of the reportable collisions, 265,076 people were injured. With so many crashes taking place each day and so many injuries occurring, it is not surprising that some people may have to deal with an operator who does not have enough insurance to cover the injuries sustained in the accident.

Go through the proper channels

No matter the insured-state of drivers, it is important for the proper steps to be taken after an accident. Reporting the incident can protect both parties and help determine who was at fault. If necessary, both drivers should also seek medical help to assess any injuries caused or worsened by the crash.

Vehicle operators should also be sure to contact their individual insurance companies. Notifying insurance agents of the accident as soon as possible can help speed up the claims process. Even if a person was not at fault, he or she may need to get in touch with his or her own provider if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover the damages done.

Get familiar with the options

When a driver calls the insurance company to report a crash, it may be possible to get a quick recap of his or her coverage. If the other driver has the state minimum of liability coverage, it might not be enough to cover the bodily damages done to the operator and passengers of the other vehicle. If the operator has an underinsured policy, it may help cover the difference. Otherwise, drivers may be able to turn to personal injury protection policies, but they may not be large enough to actually cover the difference.

Keep records

Gathering details about an accident can help the person through the process. Chances are he or she will have to discuss the accident with multiple parties, so writing the information down will help keep the details fresh. People may want to record certain information, including the following:

  • The name and contact information of the other driver
  • The make, model, year and color of the other vehicle
  • The name and contact details of witnesses
  • The time and location of the accident

Drivers can also record the damage done to their vehicles and person by taking pictures after the accident. If possible, they can take pictures at the accident site to include the other vehicle as well.

Even if Texas drivers meet the state minimum requirements for auto insurance, their coverage may not be enough to pay for all medical bills incurred in an accident. Anyone involved in an accident with someone who does not have enough insurance may want to speak with a knowledgeable attorney for help.