Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm
The state of Texas operates under a fault-based insurance system when it comes to auto accidents and insurance claims. If you suffered critical injuries in an accident, and someone else is to blame, the state’s fault laws will impact how you proceed with your insurance and civil claims against the liable party.
It is essential to know what it means to live in a fault state and what to expect from the claims process.
Texas is a fault state. When you are involved in a car accident, you may know that you can file a claim with the insurance company. However, because Texas is a fault state, you will file one with the liable party instead of filing a claim with your own insurance company.
The individual or entity responsible for causing your injuries should be compelled to cover your damages. If they have insurance coverage, their insurance coverage can compensate you for certain types and amounts of damages. This contrasts with states that operate under a no-fault system.
Here, you may be required to purchase no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of your auto insurance requirements. Then, when you are involved in an accident, you file a claim with your own insurance company, as liability does not matter when filing a no-fault insurance claim.
However, Texas is not a no-fault state. Texas operates under a fault system, so you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company in most cases.
In Texas, drivers are required to carry certain types and amounts of auto insurance coverage. These insurance requirements have a minimum amount but can increase wherever possible if you hope to avoid financial liability if you are found responsible for causing a collision in the future.
These state minimum auto insurance requirements include:
Texas law does not require you to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. You are under no legal obligation to carry collision, comprehensive, or any other type of insurance coverage unless you are financing and required to do so by your lender.
However, increasing your limits and adding additional types of coverage only helps you if you are ever involved in a collision.
If the other driver does not have insurance coverage, or their insurance coverage is insufficient to meet your needs, you may have the opportunity to file a claim with your own insurance company if you purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
However, if you did not purchase UM/UIM insurance coverage, you may have other opportunities to hold the liable party accountable.
Suppose the other driver’s insurance company refuses to cover your damages in full, or is not financially obligated to. In that case, you may have the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault party. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate to identify who is to blame so you can file your lawsuit against them.
In court, your attorney must introduce evidence that proves liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. This way, the judge and jury have little doubt that anyone other than the defendant is responsible for causing your injuries and damages.
When you are involved in a car accident and reside in a fault state, such as Texas, you absolutely have the authority to file a lawsuit against the liable party. In fact, it is necessary to file a car accident lawsuit for many car accidents. This is because insurance settlements are limited by the types and amounts of coverage the policyholder has in place.
Suppose the liable party only purchased the minimum amount of 30/60 in bodily injury liability coverage, but your medical expenses were greater than $60,000. In that case, anything beyond that limit will not be covered by the insurance company. You should prepare to pursue a civil lawsuit to cover every loss, not only the ones allowable according to the liable party’s insurance policy.
When you have been involved in a car accident anywhere in Texas, the state’s fault-based insurance laws will impact how you move forward with your insurance claims and civil lawsuits.
Get help navigating the legal system when you contact a Texas car accident lawyer at Kemmy Law Firm for help. Fill out our quick contact form or call our office at 210-750-1019 to schedule your free consultation as soon as today.
Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.
When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.