Auto accident laws vary by state, with the two types of laws being at-fault and no-fault. It helps to understand the laws of the state you live in because they dramatically affect how you pursue compensation if you’re involved in a car accident.
Texas is an at-fault (or tort) state in car accident cases. More specifically, the principle of comparative fault applies when determining compensation. What does this mean for you if you’re involved in a car accident? A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can take you through the details and help you fight for your auto insurance claim rights
What’s the Difference Between No-Fault States and At-Fault Laws?
To fully understand what the at-fault laws mean, it’s important to understand the difference between at-fault and no-fault rules.
No Fault State Laws
Auto insurance laws are determined at the state level, so each state imposes at-fault or no-fault rules. In no-fault states, drivers must carry the minimum insurance required by statute to cover their injuries and damages in case of an accident. Each party in an accident files a claim with their insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident.
Even if another party caused the accident, the injured party must first turn to their insurance company to recover damages. Then, they can hold the other party responsible only if the damages exceed a certain threshold or are of a specific type.
At-Fault State Laws
In at-fault laws states, the tort liability system applies, meaning that the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for the injuries and damages. If you’re involved in an accident, you may file a claim against the liable party instead of turning to your insurance company. A San Antonio auto accident lawyer can help you.
What Do Texas Liability Laws Say?
Every driver in Texas must carry a minimum amount of insurance. Specifically, the amounts are at least:
- $3,000 in personal injury insurance per person
- $60,000 per accident
- $25,000 in property damage repairs
Auto insurance protects the at-fault driver from having to meet the expenses of the accident out of their pocket. At the same time, it provides coverage for the at-fault driver, protecting them from paying for their damages. Drivers risk getting hefty fines, penalties, and losing their driver’s license if caught driving without the required insurance amounts.
What If Damages Exceed the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Amount?
If the damages are more than the coverage provided by the at-fault driver’s insurance, the injured party has the right to file a lawsuit against the driver. Doing so enables them to collect the difference.
If the at-fault driver is not insured, the injured party can file a claim with their own insurance company with the help of a San Antonio auto accident attorney. It would especially be helpful if they have uninsured or underinsured auto insurance coverage.
What Types of Insurance Are Available in Texas?
A driver in Texas must demonstrate that they can pay for the accidents in which they are at fault by buying auto liability insurance. The state provides the following types of automobile insurance:
- Liability coverage: It caters to the repairs of the other driver’s vehicle by the at-fault driver. It also pays for their medical bills and those of the passengers, including other related expenses.
- Collision coverage: It enables a driver to repair or replace their vehicle after an accident
- Comprehensive coverage: This applies if a car is stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, flood, or anything else other than a crash.
- Personal injury protection coverage (PIP): It pays medical bills for the drivers and the passengers, lost wages, and non-economic costs. All auto coverages in the state include PIP coverage, and a driver should notify their auto insurance provider in writing if they don’t want it.
- Rental reimbursement coverage: Enables a driver to rent a car as theirs is being repaired after an accident or it is stolen.
Most of these policies cover the driver and passengers in the car. If you’re not sure which coverage you should take and which would adequately protect you in case of an accident where you’re at fault, ensure to ask your insurance agent or an attorney.
How Can I Prove Fault in a Car Accident in Texas?
Proving fault can be taxing, and your best bet would be to work with an experienced auto accident attorney in San Antonio. Some evidence they can help you put together to prove your case include:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Surveillance video footages
- Police reports
- Eye witness testimonies
- Crash reconstruction reports
A San Antonio personal injury attorney has extensive experience investigating auto cases and evaluating the necessary elements to prove fault. Their input in establishing evidence of negligence is crucial whether you want to settle with your insurance company or file a lawsuit.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident in Texas?
Once the fault has been determined after a car accident, your lawyer can help you pursue compensation for the damages. These include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills related to the accident
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Mental distress
- Loss of consortium and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
The compensation depends on your experience during and after the accident. That’s why it’s crucial to have an attorney fight for the most favorable outcome.
A Reputable Auto Accident Lawyer Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
Texas is an at-fault state, meaning you can collect damages from the driver who caused the accident. However, the process isn’t always straightforward, as insurance companies often try to shortchange claimants. That’s why it’s crucial to engage the services of a skilled auto insurance lawyer in San Antonio to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our law firm prioritizes personal injury claims, and our legal experts handle clients with the utmost professionalism and personal attention. We can negotiate with the at-fault driver’s company for compensation on your behalf. If necessary, we can help you file a legal claim in court and aggressively fight for the maximum compensation amount. Contact us today to get started.