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Who pays if a driver at fault for a wreck doesn’t have insurance?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Not everyone has been granted lawful driving privileges in Texas. Aspiring motorists must be at least 16 years old, and they also need to take the appropriate educational courses and pass a test to secure a license. They must maintain liability insurance on a registered vehicle to legally drive on Texas roads and follow traffic laws while doing so.

The decision of some individuals to violate or ignore traffic statutes puts others at risk of collisions. A failure to carry insurance may also mean that the party who didn’t cause a crash will be the individual absorbing the most financial losses after a collision. At least as of 2019, the most recent year with data available from the Insurance Information Institute, roughly 8.3% of Texas drivers did not have insurance.

Overall, Texas has a lower rate of uninsured drivers than many other states, but there is still reason for people to worry. Who pays for the cost generated in a crash caused by someone without insurance?

The at-fault driver is still financially liable

The reason that insurance is necessary and not optional is because of how expensive a crash could be. The cost of repairing someone’s vehicle and covering their medical costs could be multiple times higher than their annual salary. If someone has insurance, their policy compensates the people affected by a crash.

If they don’t have appropriate insurance, then that liability stays with them. An uninsured driver could very well find themselves facing a civil lawsuit because of the crash that they caused. The person who caused the crash may have to compensate others for lost wages, vehicle repair expenses and hospital bills. If the crash claims someone’s life, then the driver without insurance might face a wrongful death lawsuit instead of a personal injury lawsuit.

The courts could hold them accountable for the full financial impact of the crash, even if it amounts to multiple years of their personal income. Occasionally, if the person who doesn’t have insurance also lacks a significant stream of income or personal assets, the people affected by a collision may want to carefully look into third-party claims, such as a lawsuit against an employer or a manufacturer who released an unsafe vehicle.

Knowing the possible options for compensation available in the wake of a wreck can help people in Texas better respond if they get into a crash caused by someone without insurance.