Even the most minor fender bender can turn into a nightmare of squabbling with car insurance companies in order to receive compensation for medical expenses and car repairs. This can especially be true if Texas drivers don’t ask themselves – is Texas a no fault state? – after a crash. Texas follows a traditional fault based system when it comes to receiving car crash damages from an insurance company. But what does this mean for you? Below, the San Antonio car crash attorneys at our law firm explain no fault rules vs. at fault rules, how much comprehensive coverage you should have in Texas, how to prove liability in an accident, and so much more.
If you or someone you love has suffered major personal injuries in a car crash, call our law firm today at 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation.
Is Texas a No Fault State?
No, Texas is an at-fault state. In other words, Texas follows the tort liability system. This is important to know in any car accident case because then you will know whose liability insurance to use for compensation: yours or the other driver’s.
What’s the Difference Between a No Fault State and an At-Fault State?
So you’re probably wondering: if I get into a car accident in Texas, whose insurance company do I file a claim with? And what’s the difference between a no fault state and an at fault state?
At fault states mandate that the at fault driver’s insurance provide liability coverage for all injured drivers. Meanwhile, no fault states require all drivers to file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of if they were at fault for the accident. No fault laws mandate that everyone has a minimum amount of Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also known as no fault insurance.
So if you were to get into a car accident in Texas – and you suffered personal injuries, lost wages, and property damage – you would file an insurance claim with the at fault driver’s insurance company.
Modified Comparative Fault – 51% Bar
Texas also abides by a 51% comparative fault rule when it comes to car accidents. This rule specifically comes into play when at least two parties share a percentage of fault in a car accident.
If you are more than 51% at fault for a car accident in Texas, then you can’t recover any damages such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage repairs, and more. Meanwhile, if you’re less than 51% at fault for an accident, then you can recover damages, but they will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say you share 20% of fault in an accident. You will still receive compensation for your damages, but the amount you receive will be reduced by 20%.
How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident in Texas
In order to determine fault in a car crash, insurance agencies and motor vehicle accident lawyers must prove the 4 D’s of negligence.
- Duty of Care: All drivers owe each other a specific duty of care on the roads. In other words, all drivers should stay focused, sober, and careful on the roads in order to protect themselves and others.
- Duty Dereliction: The at fault driver breached this duty of care.
- Direct Cause: The at fault party directly caused the crash by breaching their duty of care.
- Damages: The other driver suffered a variety of damages in the crash for which they should receive adequate compensation.
A person injured by a negligent driver needs top-notch legal counsel on their side. Determining fault through the four elements of negligence can be a difficult feat, but a San Antonio car accident lawyer at Janicek Law can help. We can help you gather sufficient evidence to prove that the other party is at fault. Strong pieces of evidence include medical reports, police reports, witness testimony, surveillance camera footage, and more.
Texas Auto Insurance Requirements
At fault states require all drivers to have a minimum amount of liability coverage just in case a car accident occurs. The minimum coverage in Texas is 30/60/25, meaning:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability
- $60,000 for total damages per accident
- $25,000 for property damage coverage
Property damage and bodily injury insurance allows at fault drivers to pay for the majority of the damages the other driver may suffer.
How To Seek Car Accident Damages in Texas
Maybe you’re new to the world of adulthood and at fault insurance, and you just got into a car crash. When it comes to recovering compensation for your accident, you may not know where to begin. Listed below are the main ways that you can pursue compensation for your damages.
- File a claim with your own insurance company,
- File a claim with the at fault driver’s insurance company,
- Or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault driver.
What if the Car Accident Damages Exceed the Liability Insurance Coverage?
Sometimes, filing car accident insurance claims simply doesn’t provide enough compensation for injured drivers, especially if the accident was devastating. If your damages exceed the at fault insurance coverage amount, then you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. A San Antonio personal injury lawyer at Janicek Law can help you determine if filing a lawsuit is necessary for your situation. Additionally, we can walk you through the entire legal process.
What if the At Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?
Even though the state of Texas requires everyone to have a certain amount of collision coverage, there are still plenty of people driving around uninsured. So what do you do if an uninsured driver hits you? If you have uninsured or underinsured motor insurance (UM/UIM), then you can file a claim with your own insurer and recover a decent amount of damages. If you don’t have this type of no fault insurance, you may be able to sue the at fault party for damages.
Be sure to speak with an experienced lawyer at Janicek Law before you do anything. We can help you figure out the best course of action for recovering car crash damages.
Car Accident Damages
Injured parties can obtain compensation for the following types of damages if they choose to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future physical therapy bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity if the accident results in significant disability which prevents the injured person from accomplishing their normal job duties
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental health counseling bills
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral and burial expenses if the crash resulted in wrongful death
Texas Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
If you suffered catastrophic injuries in a car crash and you need to sue the other driver, you must do so within a specific window of time. This is called the statute of limitations. In Texas, injured drivers have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit against the other driver. So it’s important to act fast. Call a San Antonio motor vehicle accident lawyer at Janicek Law; we can help you get started with your lawsuit before time runs out.
Call a San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer at Janicek Law Today
Whether it was a minor fender bender or a major crash, auto accidents are physically, emotionally, and financially stressful for everyone involved. The legal team at Janicek Law is here to make everything as easy as possible so that you can focus on healing from your accident. We will help you navigate the complexities of auto insurance policies and we’ll help you prove liability through the four elements of negligence. Most importantly, we’ll help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation today.