What To Do If You’re In a Car Accident Without Insurance But Not At Fault In Texas

If you’re in a crash without insurance in Texas but not at fault, you can file a claim—but you’ll face steep consequences for driving uninsured.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Edited by Jessica Barrett
If you’re involved in a car accident without insurance in Texas, you can file a claim for damages against the other driver’s insurance company as long as you’re not at fault—but you might be ineligible for non-economic damages and you could face harsh legal penalties for driving uninsured.
  • Texas’ proportionate responsibility laws allow any driver 50% or less at fault to collect damages relating to a car accident (minus their percentage of fault).
  • The penalties for driving without car insurance include fines, jail time, a driver’s license suspension, and an SR-22 filing requirement. 
  • You can avoid the consequences of driving uninsured and find
    cheap Texas car insurance
    by comparing quotes from multiple providers.

What to do if you’re in a car accident without insurance in Texas and not at fault

Regardless of whether or not you’re carrying liability insurance, there are some important
things you need to do after a car accident
. Stay calm, take a deep breath, and:
  • Move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic (if possible). Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Call 911 if anyone’s hurt.
  • Ask the other motorist(s) involved if they’re injured. Assist them if you can.
  • Exchange contact information. You’ll need the names, phone numbers, policy numbers, and insurance providers of any other involved motorists. Record the names and phone numbers of any witnesses and the badge numbers of any responding police officers.
  • Document the scene of the accident. Take photos of the vehicles involved, the road, and any visible damages. Note the time of day and the weather. See if there are any malfunctioning lights, damaged signs, or visibility issues you can spot around the intersection.
Take note: If you don’t have car insurance, the most important thing you can do after a car accident is to gather evidence that proves you weren’t at fault. The more evidence you have, the clearer the picture for your eventual car insurance claim. 

You could face serious penalties if you leave the scene of the accident

Above all, remain at the scene of the car accident! 
Even if you don’t have car insurance and you’re not at fault, you don’t want to add to your woes by committing a
Texas hit-and-run
. The penalties could include:
  • If the accident involves property damage: A Class C or B misdemeanor charge
    , a fine between $500 and $2,000, and/or a maximum of six months in jail
  • If the accident results in non-serious bodily injury: A Class C or B misdemeanor, a fine up to $5,000, and/or a maximum of five years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (or one year in county jail)
  • If the accident results in serious bodily injury: A third-degree felony charge
    , a fine of up to $10,000, and/or imprisonment from 2-10 years
  • If the accident results in death: A second-degree felony charge, a fine up to $10,000, and/or imprisonment for 2-20 years
Besides, if you aren’t at fault, you may be able to claim damages by filing a car insurance claim.

Filing a car insurance claim when you’re not at fault in Texas

Modified comparative negligence laws in Texas
allow every driver no more than 50% at fault in an auto accident to claim damages, minus their percentage of fault. For example, if you’re 15% at fault, you can recover 85% of your damages. Because the other driver is more than 51% at fault, they can’t recover anything.
To recover damages, you must
file an insurance claim
against the at-fault driver(s) insurance company. 
  • Call or email the company, provide the other driver’s policy number, and you’ll be assigned a case number and insurance adjuster
  • Make sure to note the adjuster’s contact information—you need to send them every document you possibly can about the accident

Who decides fault in a car accident in Texas?

Texas is an
at-fault state
, which means the at-fault party in a car accident is responsible for paying any resulting damages. This could include medical expenses, repair bills, funeral costs, and more.
This makes the question of who’s at fault all-important. A police report may influence the answer, but ultimately, it’s the
insurance adjuster
assigned to your claim who assigns fault in a car accident.
If you’re uninsured but not at fault for a car accident, make sure to submit as much evidence of the other driver’s fault as possible. Photos, witness statements, and written notes are extremely valuable for proving that you’re not responsible (and therefore not liable) for an accident or the resulting damages.

What if you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Texas?

If you’re struck by an uninsured motorist, you’ll have to seek compensation from the at-fault driver directly in a personal injury lawsuit. We recommend hiring a personal injury lawyer, or a car accident attorney, or at least seeking a free case evaluation before starting an injury claim.
  • The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that as of 2019, 8.3% of Texas drivers don’t carry even the minimum insurance requirements
  • If you’re involved in a collision, that's a 1 in 13 chance that one of the drivers involved doesn’t carry insurance
  • It’s a good idea to add no-fault types of coverage to your insurance policy—like
    uninsured motorist coverage (UIM)
    personal injury protection (PIP)
    , or
    collision coverage
MORE: Hit and run insurance claims: Everything you need to know

If you’re the at-fault driver and you don’t have insurance, you could be in trouble

If you’re deemed at fault in an accident without car insurance
in Texas, you could be held personally liable for thousands of dollars. 
You’ll be lucky if the other driver decides to file a first-party claim against their own insurance provider to pay for damages—but if the bills exceed their policy limits, you’ll probably have to supply the difference out-of-pocket. Plus, they could hire a car accident lawyer to sue you.

Minimum auto insurance requirements in Texas

Texas car insurance laws
require all vehicle owners to carry
liability car insurance
, which pays for any bodily injuries or property damages they commit while behind the wheel. 
The minimum coverage limits required follow a 30/60/25 rule, which stands for:
With healthcare and auto repair costs on the rise, the bare minimum car insurance is no longer enough. Most experts recommend increasing your limits to 100/300/100—but don’t worry, it won’t triple your premiums.

Penalties for driving without car insurance in Texas

The penalties for uninsured motorists in Texas include fines, jail time, and other sanctions. They apply regardless of whether or not you’re deemed at fault for causing a car accident. 
Get caught
driving without no insurance
and you could face:
First offense
Two or more offenses
Class C misdemeanor
Class C misdemeanor
$175-$350 (may be lowered for reasons of financial hardship)
Yes, two years
Filing requirement for
SR-22 insurance in Texas
Yes, two years
Vehicle impoundment
Yes, for 180 days, with a $15 fee for every day of impoundment
Misdemeanors remain on your Texas criminal history record for life
. And even though car insurance companies are only allowed to request a three-year
Texas driving record
from the Texas Department of Public Safety, so do car accidents. Keep your
proof of insurance
close at hand and make sure to show it to the drivers and responding police officers at the scene of the accident.

You can find affordable car insurance to protect yourself 

Car crashes and
car insurance lapses will both affect your insurance rates
for the worse. Whether you’ve already been involved in a car accident or you’ve got a clean record,
can help you find affordable car insurance in
, and every other city in Texas!
To get started, all you have to do is visit the App Store and download the top-rated,
trustworthy insurance comparison app
. Signing up takes 45 seconds, and getting the best car insurance quotes in your area takes one minute more. 
With Jerry,
full coverage car insurance
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Texas law only requires drivers to report a car accident to the police if it involves injury, death, or more than $1,000 of property damages. If no police officer is present at the scene, you must fill out a
crash report form
within 10 days of the incident.
That said, considering even the most minor car repairs can cost over $1,000 to fix, it’s best to contact the police immediately and let them file a report for you.
If you’re struck by an uninsured driver in Texas, state law protects your right to sue and pursue damages in court. But personal injury lawsuits are vastly more complicated than filing a car insurance claim. We recommend hiring a personal injury attorney or law firm who can guide you through the process.
Unfortunately, the
Consumer Federation of America
found that car insurance companies often raise insurance rates after a car accident regardless of whether policyholders made a claim or were at fault. While California and Oklahoma prohibit these practices, Texas has yet to introduce any legislation forbidding not-at-fault insurance rate increases.


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