After a car accident in Texas, you may wonder who is responsible for paying your damages. Whether you caused the accident or not, it is important to know how the insurance system works in your state. Like most of the 50 states, Texas uses a tort system to determine financial responsibility for auto accidents. This means Texas is a fault state, not a no-fault state. In Texas, the party that was responsible for causing the accident will be likewise responsible for paying for victims’ damages. A Texas personal injury attorney can help recover the damages you deserve from a no-fault accident.
Difference Between a “Fault” and “No-Fault” State
Fault and no-fault refer to car insurance systems each state uses to determine liability for an accident. In a fault state such as Texas, the at-fault party will be liable for damages. In a no-fault state, both parties will seek restitution from their insurance providers no matter who was at fault. The key difference is that one state relies on determining fault while the other does not. In a no-fault state, there is no need to find out which party caused the crash before filing an insurance claim. All parties will seek benefits from their insurance companies regardless.
In a fault state, however, victims must identify the at-fault party before they can file insurance claims. An insurance company might deny a claim if it believes its policyholder was not the responsible party for the collision after investigating the crash. Only the party that caused the crash will be legally accountable for damages. If you do not know who was at fault for your car accident, do not admit fault or speculate. Contact a car accident lawyer in San Antonio for assistance investigating the cause of your crash before you file an insurance claim.
Proof of Financial Responsibility in Texas
Car insurance, also called proof of financial responsibility, is a requirement for all drivers in the state of Texas. In case a driver causes a car accident, his or her insurance will cover victims’ damages, such as medical costs and vehicle repairs. For this reason, all drivers must carry at least the minimum required amounts and types of vehicle insurance.
- Bodily injury liability insurance. Drivers must have at least $30,000 per person, per accident, as well as $60,000 per accident involving two or more injured victims.
- Property damage liability insurance. Drivers need to carry at least $25,000 in insurance to cover other people’s vehicle damages.
- Optional types of coverage. Other types of insurance are optional, not required, in Texas. These include uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Unlike no-fault states, Texas does not require drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance. This type of insurance is important in no-fault states since it pays for the policyholder’s damages regardless of fault. In Texas, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy should cover your damages. If the driver’s minimums do not cover the extent of your damages, however, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be better.
Proving Fault in a Personal Injury Case
A personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate after a car accident if you suffered serious injuries, catastrophic injuries or the wrongful death of someone close. In these cases, it is more likely for an insurance company to limit your payout to less than your injuries demand. The other party may not have enough insurance or the insurer may try to downsize your settlement using bad faith tactics. Either way, a personal injury suit may be the best way to fight for compensation from the at-fault party.
A lawyer can help you file a civil injury lawsuit in Texas against one or more responsible parties. The at-fault driver, a vehicle manufacturer or the city government could be liable for causing your car accident or injuries. A civil lawsuit could hold the correct party or parties accountable and give you compensation for economic and noneconomic wages. A successful lawsuit will most likely result in better compensation than an insurance settlement in Texas.
What if the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?
When you are in a car accident caused by an at-fault driver, the at-fault driver’s insurance company would be responsible for paying for the damages they caused, including damage to your car, medical bills, and property damage. Since Texas is an at-fault state, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying the damages they caused. This is still true when an at-fault driver does not have insurance, as they still should be held responsible for their damages. Unfortunately, it can make the claims process a bit tricky. If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured at-fault driver, reach out to your insurance company and report the incident. Most insurance companies require you to report the incident within 1 day, so don’t wait. You may have underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. This would make it so your insurance would help pay out your property damage and medical bills. This type of insurance is not required legally, so you may or may not have elected for this type of coverage. Be sure to contact a Texas personal injury lawyer to help you negotiate your settlement amount with the insurance company and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you don’t have underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, you still have other ways to recuperate funds for your damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help investigate and see if there are any other options. For example, if a third party might be partially or fully responsible for the accident due to situations such as a hazardous roadway or faulty equipment on a car. Also, if the at-fault driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer may be responsible for paying the damages. If it is found that there are no other options to recover funds for your damages, you just may be left paying for the damages out of pocket.
Why You Should Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer To Help
An experienced personal injury lawyer in Texas could help you with your case in more ways than you may think. An attorney can help with the difficult and time-consuming aspects of your case while you’re able to focus on your recovery and spending time with your family. An attorney helps with many things, including filling out and submitting insurance paperwork to the insurance companies, gathering and organizing insurance information and medical records, to negotiating with the insurance claim adjusters to ensure you are taken care of. Our attorneys will even communicate with the insurance companies, so you don’t have to. A lawyer can advocate for you and your loved ones and knows the ins and out of the law and insurance systems. We fight hard for our clients to regain their lives back and help victims fight for the settlements they need and deserve. We recommend contacting a Texas personal injury lawyer immediately to help . Our lawyers will not let you hurt your odds of securing fair compensation by making mistakes such as admitting fault for the collision or letting an adjuster record a statement. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing until you receive your settlement. Contact us online or call (210) 404-7423 for advice on how to proceed with an insurance claim.