If you are involved in a car accident in Texas, you may be wondering how you can claim compensation for your injuries. Do you have to file a claim with your insurance company or do you have to go through the other driver’s? The answer lies in who was responsible for causing the accident in the first place. Unlike some other states, Texas follows a traditional fault-based system in determining who has to pay for damages in a car accident. Texas is not a no-fault car insurance state.
What Is a No-Fault State?
When you are in a car accident that is not your fault, you can claim compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other losses. However, which insurance company pays for these damages varies from state to state. Some states, like Texas, follow a traditional fault-based system where the person responsible for the accident has to pay for the damages he or she caused. Twelve states follow a no-fault car insurance system when it comes to who pays for these damages.
Under a no-fault system, a driver has to go through his or her own insurance company to receive compensation for his or her injuries in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the incident. These states mandate that all drivers carry personal injury protection in the event of an accident. If the driver’s insurance coverage is not sufficient to cover the extent of the damage in these states, he or she can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit.
Texas’s Fault Insurance Claims System
Texas is not one of the no-fault states. Texas follows the traditional fault-based system, which places the responsibility for paying for damages suffered in a car accident with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Every driver in the state of Texas must carry a minimum amount of car insurance liability coverage in case he or she causes injuries in an accident.
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability per accident
- $60,000 for bodily injury liability per accident involving two or more injured people
If you suffer injuries from a car accident in Texas and you were not at fault for the accident, you will have two options for collecting compensation. You can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or you can file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas civil court. Sometimes, these policy minimums may not cover the extent of your injuries and you may need additional compensation. In these situations, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate.
Proving Liability in Texas Car Accidents
Because Texas follows the traditional fault-based system, proving liability in these accidents is crucial to collecting your compensation. This establishment of fault is important in both insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. You will have to prove that the at-fault driver committed a breach of his or her duty in driving safely on the road, leading to your injuries.
You can accomplish this through a thorough investigation and the help of a car accident attorney. Your lawyer can collect evidence, interview witnesses, review surveillance footage and police records, and consult with experts to build a strong case in your favor. With the help of a Houston, Texas accident lawyer, you increase your chance of successfully proving liability in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Determining liability in car accidents is important in the courtroom process as well, since your overall settlement award could decrease if you are also liable. Texas follows a comparative negligence system in which the jury assigns a percentage of liability to you and decreases your award by that amount. If you are liable for 51% or more of your accident, you will not receive compensation. For best results in proving your case, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible.