Can Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Cover Pedestrians?May 31, 2021
Yes, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance can cover pedestrians hurt in accidents caused by drivers without any or sufficient auto insurance. But that’s not the only case when UM/UIM coverage could kick in.
Here’s when this coverage generally applies and what you need to know about it if you live or drive in Texas.
When UM/UIM Insurance Covers Pedestrian Accidents in Texas
If you have UM/UIM coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, it likely covers at least:
- Your spouse
- Your children, including those away at school
If you or another covered individual is hurt in a pedestrian accident—and if the following conditions apply to the situation—it’s likely that UM/UIM coverage could come into play:
- The at-fault driver has no or insufficient insurance: In the event the at-fault driver has some insurance, the UM/UIM coverage would only kick in after the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy had been exhausted. In other words, UM/UIM coverage would work more like gap insurance, rather than primary coverage, in these cases.
- The at-fault driver fled the scene: In the event of a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, policies usually contain terms requiring police reports to be filed. Some may even require direct physical contact between the vehicle and the pedestrian.
The focus, in these cases, is on the at-fault driver’s coverage and/or actions, rather than what the victim(s) did at the time of the crash. In other words, pedestrians may be sitting at a bus stop, jogging on the road, or waiting at a crosswalk. As long as the driver is at fault and either of the two conditions above applies, the pedestrian who has UM/UIM insurance should be covered by it.
What Else You Should Know About UM/UIM Coverage
Beyond knowing that UM/UIM insurance generally provides coverage whether you’re in or outside of a vehicle, here are some other key facts to know about this coverage:
- UM/UIM policies can contain exclusions: These would define specific circumstances under which the policy would not provide coverage. For example, exclusions for accidents caused in the commission of crimes are common. Make sure you read your policy carefully so you understand what, if any, exclusions may apply to your UM/UIM coverage.
- Texas law requires insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage: If you don’t want this coverage, you have to reject it in writing. If an insurance company states you do not have this coverage, they should provide a copy of the form you signed rejecting this coverage. If they can’t, it’s possible to argue that you do have this coverage because the waiver must be in writing.
- Having coverage doesn’t make the claims process easy: In fact, it can be an uphill battle to get full, fair compensation. That’s because insurance companies are typically focused on protecting their bottom lines. For some, that means looking for ways to limit or avoid payouts—like by dragging out claims (to compound financial stress), wrongly claiming certain coverage doesn’t exist or wasn’t purchased, or blaming the victim for the accident. When this happens, an attorney can provide essential support and advocacy.
Get More Answers: Contact the Amaro Law Firm
After an accident, the steps you take—and the information you have—can make all the difference in your choices, your recovery, and your future. If you want to make sure you have the best chances of protecting your rights and recovering, you need an experienced lawyer who can guide and represent you moving forward. You need a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm.
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At the Amaro Law Firm, our attorneys have first-hand experience with insurance defense. That makes us highly effective at anticipating and undercutting their tactics to avoid payouts. Plus, we’re tirelessly dedicated to championing our clients’ rights and fighting to help them recover. We know financial recoveries can help people rebuild their lives, and we won’t stop fighting until our clients get the justice and compensation they deserve.