All 50 states require that drivers carry automobile insurance, and Texas is no exception. And in the past 20 years or so, states have really cracked down on motorists who drive without auto insurance. As a result of this nationwide effort, drivers can face serious penalties, even fines, and criminal charges, for driving without car insurance.
What if you drive without valid automobile insurance and you cause an injury accident? Aside from the criminal consequences, what other ramifications do you face? Like the majority of US states, Texas is a fault-insurance state, which is also called a “tort state.” Under Texas’ fault insurance laws, drivers are responsible for the accidents they cause.
Normally, the injured party would collect compensation (damages) from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, that doesn’t mean he or she is automatically off the hook.
Collecting from the At-Fault Driver
If you cause an accident and you don’t have auto insurance, the injured party (the plaintiff) could sue you for all of the damages he or she suffered from the accident that you caused. This may include damages for medical bills, lost income, auto repairs or a replacement vehicle, pain and suffering, and so on.
Assuming you don’t have auto insurance, you would be personally responsible for paying the injured person’s damages. And if there were multiple victims in an accident that you caused, you would be responsible for paying each person’s damages. Meaning, you’d have to come up with the money out of pocket. “But what if I don’t have that kind of money sitting in the bank?”
If the case goes to trial, the other party can obtain a judgment against you. In that case, he or she would have a number of options available to collect the money that you owe them. One such option is garnishing your wages directly from your employer.
We hope you found this information useful. If you need to file a car accident claim, we invite you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today!