What happens if I was hit by a driver who was excluded on the vehicles’ policy?

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What happens if I was hit by a driver who was excluded on the vehicles’ policy?

At the scene of the accident the driver provided “proof” of insurance and was not ticketed for that. He was ticketed for failure to yield right of way. The insurance company says they are not liable due to the exclusion. My insurance company says my premiums will go up if I file on UIM. I abide by the law and still feel I am getting a raw deal. My truck is wrecked and I get nothing. The traffic court is not helping me, but they collect the fine for his ticket. I confronted the driver later and he says he can’t pay. Who is responsible? What recourse do I have?Any suggestions?

Asked on October 26, 2010 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) An insurance policy is a contract: it must cover those events and people that, by its terms it has to cover--and it does NOT have to cover anyone or any event outside its terms or specifically excluded. If the other driver was not covered under the policy or fell under some specific exclusion, that insurer does not have to pay.

2) However, you could still sue the other driver--you don't necessarily need to take his denials of any ability to pay at face value, and, anyway, even if he can't pay now, he might be able to pay later (once you have a judgment against him, you have a number of years to enforce it). If you think that perhaps either now or later he may be able to pay, you could sue him, look to get a judgment in your favor, and then also explore other options (like getting an order to put a lien on property) to help  you collect.

3) Note also that if  you retain an attorney and sue him, your lawyer can also invetigate whether t his driver is truly uncovered or whether perhaps the insurer does have to pay.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, go and seek legal help in your area from an attorney.  You are going to have to figure out who you are going to sue here.  In the meantime, you have to send a letter at least indicating that it is your intention to pursue an uninsured motorist claim even if you do not n the end.  Why? Because if you do not within a certain time frame you are going to be precluded from doing so at a later date.  Why, may I ask, was he allowed to drive a car with a specific exclusion on the insurance as to him?  Did the owners report it stolen?  Then they have to be sued along with him.  Judgements last a long time.  And a declaratory judgement action has to be brought as against the insurance company.  Get help. Good luck.


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