There are many types of auto insurance from minimal to full coverage, to protect your damages. Most states, like Texas, require car owners to carry liability insurance or the minimum car insurance. With liability insurance, recovering all damages caused by a driver who is at fault will depend on how much their liability insurance policy is. This minimum amount of coverage does vary by policy and, unfortunately, in catastrophic auto accidents, liability insurance is not enough to compensate for more serious injuries including brain damage or spinal damage. In such situations, a person injured from an at-fault driver may recover the remaining damages or all damages through their own insurance if they have uninsured and underinsured or full coverage.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects those hit by an at-fault driver who does not have liability insurance and therefore unable to pay any damages they have caused in an auto accident. If the negligent driver who caused the accident is affluent and does not have insurance, you may sue this person to recover all damages. Most often however, uninsured drivers do not have significant assets in which you may attempt to recover from. On the other hand, many motorists carry minimal policy limits which do not cover all damages and leave you with outstanding bills to pay. Thus, underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), protects those involved in an accident with an at-fault driver whose insurance coverage does not cover all damages and/or medical expenses. In this scenario, after the minimal policy for the at-fault driver has been exhausted, your underinsured motorist coverage will step in to pay all outstanding bills and other damages.
Although car owners are required by law to carry the minimum car insurance policy or liability insurance, it is highly recommended to get full coverage insurance including UM/UIM insurance. The minimum insurance coverage or liability insurance only covers damages to another vehicle if you are found at fault for the accident. However, if you are hit by a reckless, negligent driver who has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover all your property damage and bodily injury damages, you would only be able to recover these expenses through your own insurance if you have UM/UIM coverage. There have been too many accidents where the no-fault driver ends up with many medical bills and expenses and unable to pay these damages because they do not have full coverage on their auto insurance policy and the at-fault driver does not have insurance either.
Full coverage policies also include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) which, depending on how much the policy offers, allows you to recover your medical expenses no matter who is at fault for the accident. It is in your best interest to protect yourself with full coverage auto insurance policy so you are not left with outstanding medical bills or other damages caused by a negligent driver.