If you buy automobile insurance after an accident, the insurance company will likely not cover the damages for the accident, since it happened before you purchased a policy. Attempting to file a claim for an event that occurred before purchasing insurance or the effective coverage date listed on the policy is “backdating,” which is a form of insurance fraud.
However, if you or a loved one suffered injuries and damages in an auto accident where either you or the at-fault driver was uninsured, you may still have other options to pursue compensation.
Backdating an Auto Accident Claim Is Often Insurance Fraud
If you buy insurance after an accident and attempt to file a claim for the accident, the insurance company will likely consider this insurance fraud.
Insurance policies are legal documents that define the terms of an agreement between the insurer and policyholder. This agreement generally states that if a policyholder carries insurance and gets into an accident during the policy period, they may receive coverage. Backdating violates the terms of this agreement.
Backdating Poses a Risk to the Insurance Company
Most reputable insurance companies don’t allow backdating because it poses a liability risk and a financial loss for the company. If you purchase a policy and file a claim shortly thereafter, you will represent an immediate loss for the insurer.
Attempting to backdate your policy can also lead to other consequences, such as the following:
- The insurance company may investigate you for insurance fraud.
- The insurance company may raise your premium rates.
- The insurance company may terminate your policy.
If your policy lapsed because you forgot to make a payment, some insurers may offer “backdated” coverage so that you can show proof of insurance for state requirements. However, many insurers will only do so if you file a “No Known Loss Letter,” which is a formal statement that absolves the insurer of any liability for losses you suffered during the lapsed period.
What Happens If the At-Fault Driver doesn’t Have Auto Insurance?
If the at-fault driver was uninsured at the time of your accident but claims they will get insurance to cover damages, that is a big red flag. Recognizing that most insurers don’t provide backdated coverage may help you avoid negative surprises.
So what can you do if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance to cover the accident? Some options exist to help accident victims pursue compensation for a vehicle accident, such as:
- Using uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends people should have as part of their insurance policy to cover damages. This insurance covers you for all damages if the at-fault driver does not have any insurance or the amount of insurance the at-fault driver has is not enough to fully compensate you for your injuries.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver or a related liable party, such as an employer or a manufacturing company of the vehicle if a malfunction caused the accident
- Using personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to recover damages. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, insurance companies must offer PIP coverage with car insurance policies in Texas. However, drivers can opt out.
Domingo Garcia can examine your automobile accident and insurance policy to see what options are available to you. We can assign a personal injury lawyer from one of our offices in Texas to represent your case and fight for compensation on your behalf.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Advise You Based on Your Legal Options
If you decide to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, our legal team at Domingo Garcia can help you build your case by:
- Investigating your accident and confirming whether the other driver had insurance before or after the accident
- Collecting evidence to support your case regarding how the accident occurred, which may involve contacting witnesses, getting copies of video footage, and consulting experts
- Communicating with insurance adjusters and other interested parties on your behalf so that we can protect your case from any accidental admission of fault, which might force you to pay for damages
- Performing legal administrative duties, such as filling out paperwork and responding to court notices on your behalf
- Attending out-of-court meetings as your legal representative, which may allow us to negotiate a settlement agreement
- Preparing your case for trial and presenting it to a jury if necessary
If you have additional questions about your case, your car accident attorney will gladly answer them.
You May Be Able to Recover Damages After an Auto Accident
If you or a loved one suffered injuries and other damages in an automobile accident in Texas, you may qualify to recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills, including current expenses and future costs you must cover if you experienced catastrophic injuries
- Lost Income or decreased earnings ability in the future
- Pain and suffering, including physical and emotional forms of anguish
- Income loss, including current and future lost wages
- Partial or permanent disability
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium or funeral expenses if the accident resulted in a wrongful death
Our team will review your case to see which damages you qualify to claim, so your case may include other damages not listed.
Texas Has a Statutory Deadline for Auto Accident Injury Lawsuits
If you want to pursue compensation through a lawsuit, you should know your case’s filing deadline. Texas has a statute of limitations on personal injury cases, which serves as a legal deadline for those who want to take legal action to pursue compensation.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 dictates that you generally have just two years from the accident date to file your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Call Domingo Garcia Today to Get a Free Car Accident Case Evaluation
If you get insurance after an accident, your insurer may not cover the damages for your accident, but you may have other options to pursue compensation. Our legal team at Domingo Garcia can review your case to see if you qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. We have won many significant settlements and verdicts for our clients.
If you have specific questions about your case, call Domingo Garcia today to get a free consultation with a member of our team.