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Victims of car accidents may turn to underinsurance coverage

When entering a highway on a feeder road in Texas, an operator must be very careful not to interfere with the free flow of traffic on the main highway. This scenario represents a dangerous potential for car accidents whenever the entering vehicle is not operated safely. A recent deadly accident occurred when the operator of a vehicle lost control on I-45N in Houston while on a feeder road. The SUV traveled over the grass and struck a car on the main highway, causing devastating results.

There were seven women in their late teens and early 20s in the car that the tortfeasor hit. One passenger died and all other six occupants were injured in unspecified degrees. All six were transported to a local hospital, reportedly in "various" conditions.

The operator of the offending vehicle was also hospitalized. The estate of the deceased passenger and each of the six occupants have claims for damages against the errant driver. According to police, that operator was intoxicated and will be charged with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. The extent to which the victims are compensated is largely a factor of the amount of liability coverage carried by the tortfeasor. The insurer generally cannot be liable to pay out more than the limits of it coverage.

However, in Texas and virtually all other states, passengers and the operator of the vehicle that was hit may be entitled to collect underinsured coverage from their own auto insurers. Each state has a statutory provision designating the order in which the involved underinsurance carriers will be compelled to pay damages in such an event. The best way to take full advantage of all available insurance coverage is to consult with an attorney who is experienced in the handling of serious car accidents.

Source: khou.com, "Young woman killed, 6 others injured in car crash on I-45N", Jan. 14, 2017

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