A new client of mine was just crashed into by an uninsured driver on Alta Mere near Ridgmar Mall. And since he does not unfortunately carry uninsured motorists insurance, he may not be able to recovery any money for his injuries, lost wages, and pain and sufferering. At least he has medical insurance and Personal Injury Protection benefits.
This is hardly the first time I have seen this happen in my 31 years of practicing injury law. And it obviously won’t be the last.
My client’s only option is to pay money to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver, take a judgment,wait, pay more money, and have his driver’s license and registration revoked. But that takes time, money, and aggravation, and hardly guarantees he will ever recover his damages.
There are almost 17 million licensed drivers in Texas and the state estimates that one out of four of them doesn’t carry liability insurance. So that’s 4.25 million uninsured drivers out there. And I think that is a low figure.
Why is this happening?
Driving with liability insurance is obviously required by law, and motorists caught driving without it face a fine on their first offense and the possibility of a license suspension and an impounded car on third or subsequent offenses.
But it is too easy to circumvent this law — when it is even enforced.
This is even though Texas law enforcement officers have access to TexasSure, a database that can instantly tell them whether a driver has coverage.
In recent months, Dallas police have begun conducting road checks to catch motorists with traffic violations and expired or nonexistent insurance. That has not yet happened in Tarrant County.
Other states take a tough approach to uninsured motorists. For example, I was in Massachusetts a few weeks ago on a case and the rental car agent proudly told me that it has the nation’s lowest uninsured arate — only 4% — due to well publicized fines of $500.00 to $5,000.00 or up to a year in jail given to uninsured drivers. And police were every where.
I call on our local and state police to enforce the liability requirements so that those of us who pay your insurance premiums are not ripped off when we get into collisions with those who flaunt the law and choose not to buy basic liability insurance.
It’s just as important as police officers nailing us for rolling through a stop sign out in the middle of nowhere (this happened to me last year) or going a little over the speed limit, isn’t it?