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Driver petitions court over accident with underinsured motorist

On Feb. 22, 2012, a Galveston resident was seriously injured in an automobile accident. The accident was allegedly caused by the negligent actions of an underinsured motorist. According to a complaint filed in district court in Galveston County recently, the motorist's insurance coverage protected him if an accident involving an underinsured motorist occurred.

The plaintiff states that his insurance company has not paid the amount it owes him under the coverage he had at the time of the car accident. In order to recoup damages, the motorist has filed suit against the negligent, underinsured motorist and his insurance company. The suit claims negligence, breach of good faith and unreasonable delay in payment. He petitioned the court to acknowledge that his accident fell within the insurance coverage and to grant an equitable remedy. The plaintiff also seeks to be granted exemplary and statutory damages as well as fees, costs and interest.

Underinsured motorist coverage exists for the purpose of reimbursing victims for their medical expenses and property damage that occurred as a result of an accident involving an underinsured motorist. This compensation bridges the gap between the underinsured coverage limit and the injured driver's expenses. If the victim's expense was in excess of the underinsured driver's limit, the claim for compensation is paid by the injured driver's own insurance.

It may take time to ascertain the extent of property damage and medical expense an injured driver faces after an accident. Once this is established, the driver must determine the difference between that amount and the liability coverage the uninsured driver had. If, as in this case, the insurance company does not honor the contract it had with the injured driver, he or she may need to litigate the matter in court.Source: Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, "Sec. 601.003. Judgment; Satisfied Judgment," 2009

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Hanover American Insurance, Galveston County resident sued after accident", Whitney Brakken, February 21, 2014

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