Screwed: Liability Insurance Only
I'm Rahlita Thornton from the Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC. Today, I want to talk to you about one of the reasons why you should have uninsured motorist coverage.
I realize that a lot of people don't like to have it. They'd like to have just liability insurance. But let me tell you this story to let you know how it affected someone who called my office this week.A Real-Life Story
I had a call from a gentleman. He said he was using his aunt's vehicle and he was on his way home. And as he proceeded through the green light, he got hit by somebody else. I asked him, "Describe the accident."
He said that the other driver was disputing the fact that he had a red light. It turned out that they called the police, and a witness actually stopped and gave their version and said that, in fact, my client's light was green. So we could probably help him.It was the Other Guy's Fault
The police filed a report. They also gave a ticket to the other driver. And then the other driver admitted that he did run the light. So we were okay with how the accident happened. There's liability.
Moving on to the next step. "Client, are you injured?" "Yes, I'm injured. I have a jaw injury, and it's hurting. I have bruised ribs, and my knee is hurting and has a gash on it." Okay, check. You've been injured. We can help you.The Other Guy does not Have Insurance
"All right. sir, what is the name of the other driver's insurance company?" "Oh, the other driver didn't have any insurance." "He didn't have insurance?" "No, he didn't." "Okay, well sir, we can verify that. I'll give him a call tomorrow. But we have to make sure whether he had insurance or not. Now in case he doesn't have insurance, do you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy?" "I think I do. Let me check." The client checks and only has liability.No Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Well, that means that he doesn't have uninsured motorist coverage. So, the client cannot get his vehicle repaired. He cannot get compensation for those injuries that somebody else caused because that other person doesn't have insurance. The only way that he could have been protected in this situation is if he would have had uninsured motorist coverage on his own policy, and he only had liability.
That means that he has to explain to his aunt that she won't have a vehicle to drive. And then he probably feels responsible because he was driving the vehicle. So now the aunt won't have a vehicle, and the client won't be able to get attention for his injuries, unless he has health insurance. And a lot of people don't have health insurance these days.Make Sure You are Covered
So I want to impress upon everybody to check your insurance coverage. Call your agent. Ask them, "Do I have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage? How much extra will it cost?" It's probably not going to cost you that much extra.
There are a lot of people who ride or drive their vehicles around Houston without insurance. So, it would behoove us to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, taking care of our families, by having that coverage.Painful Consequences
Again, a client was injured. The client was not at fault. He has a vehicle that's damaged, so he had the makings of a good case. And I would have helped him handle that case. We would have strategized how to get it done. He wouldn't have had to pay out of his pocket upfront. It would have come from the settlement at the end.
We could have sent him to system providers that would have taken care of him. But because there's no coverage whatsoever to pay for these damages, the client is going to have to suffer by himself.
Now, there is a way that you can try to go after that driver individually, directly, but it's a big headache and a hassle. And it's going to require a whole other video to explain it all, and it will take some time to understand.What You Must Do
But most importantly, with those kind of facts, we need to make sure that we have uninsured motorist coverage on our vehicles. So let's get with our agents and ask them, "What kind of coverage do I have?"