No one ever wants to be involved in a car accident, but one question you should know the answer to, just in case, is whether Texas is a “no-fault” state. This information should have been explained when you bought car insurance, but you may still be unclear on Texas car accident laws. Let’s review what residents of Texas should know in the aftermath of an accident.
No-Fault vs. Fault-Based Insurance
In a no-fault state, your car insurance will pay the costs of a car accident up to the limits of your policy regardless of who was at fault. There is only a limited amount of circumstances that would allow you to seek compensation from the at fault driver’s insurance company.
Whereas in fault-based states, liability is determined first before an insurer will pay out on a claim. Then you have the decision to either file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who was responsible, or with your own if you have collision coverage. When another driver is at fault, you have the right to seek full compensation for your losses from their insurer, including medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.
No, Texas is Not a No-Fault State
Texas uses a fault-based process for car accident claims. The at-fault driver is financially responsible for the other party’s damages. The law requires Texas drivers to carry minimum liability insurance, of at least $30,000 in bodily injury insurance per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.
However, determining fault is not always easy depending on the circumstances of the accident. Once it is understood who caused the crash, a claim can be filed by calling the responsible driver’s insurer. They will request a statement of what occurred and will likely ask for documentation, such as medical bills and repair shop estimates. At this point, if you have chosen to have a car accident attorney deal with the insurer for you, they will try to negotiate a fair settlement for your injuries and other losses.
Alternatively, if you have collision coverage, you may choose to file an accident claim with your own insurer. They will then attempt a subrogation claim to recover the money they have already paid to you from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Texas’ Comparative Fault Law
Texas’ comparative fault law can reduce the amount of compensation you end up recovering after a car accident. Where the fault lies for a collision isn’t always clear-cut, and the other driver may allege that you were the one who caused it or contributed. When both parties share fault, compensation can still be obtained as long as you are found 50 percent or less to blame. For example, you are awarded $100,000, but it is decided that you are 30 percent responsible, and the other driver was 70 percent at fault. In this case, your compensation would be reduced by 30 percent, so you would only recover $70,000.
Injured? Get Help from a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
Schedule a free consultation with a highly experienced attorney at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS. We will fight for you and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Reach us online or call (844) LAW-GUNS today.