When it comes to insurance claims and settlements related to car accidents, states are separated into what are called at-fault and no-fault states, with some acting as a hybrid of the two. When dealing with the car accident settlement process, it’s important to know which category your state falls in so you can properly pursue compensation after an accident.
This matters because whether your state is an at-fault or no-fault state determines whether you should file your claim with your insurance company or the other party’s.
Texas is not a no-fault state. This means that the parties responsible for the crash are also responsible for paying for the damages associated with it. Texas is an at-fault state, otherwise known as a tort-based state, in which a comparative fault system determines what percent responsible a party is in a crash and holds them responsible for that same percentage of the damages. For example, if you are determined to be 50% responsible for a crash in Texas, you’ll be held liable for 50% of the damages.
How Do Texas Liability Laws Work with Regard to Fault?
When it comes to fault for accidents in Texas, liability laws ensure that every driver has a minimum amount of insurance coverage to pay damages if they are determined to be the at-fault driver in an accident. These damages include:
- $30,000 liability coverage in bodily injury per person/$60,000 per accident
- $25,000 liability coverage for property damage
Driving without the minimum required liability insurance in Texas is punishable by law, including fines, legal penalties, and even the loss of a driver’s license.
How Do Claims Work in At-Fault States Like Texas?
The first step in the claims process in at-fault states is to determine who is at fault for the accident. This process can be complicated, depending on how complex the accident was. The police, insurance companies, or courts can determine fault, depending on the specific circumstances of the crash.
After fault has been determined, insurance claims are filed with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Comprehensive documentation of the damages, such as medical bills, vehicle repair estimates, and proof of lost wages, is usually needed to determine the total cost of damages. Once the insurance company offers a settlement amount, the victim and their legal counsel will determine if the amount is fair. If not, the victim’s attorney will move into legal action that will help negotiate a fair settlement.
For no-fault states, the process is completely different. In no-fault states, victims file all damages for accidents with their own insurance companies.
How Is Fault Proven in Car Accidents in Texas?
As you can see, proving fault is necessary to receive damages if you are the victim of a car accident in Texas. This means that your actions following a car accident may ultimately determine how much compensation you are paid. The best way to prove fault in an accident in Texas is to begin documenting the scene immediately after the accident if possible. By gathering photos, eyewitness contact information, videos, driver information, and other important evidence, you can begin building a case. If you are taken away from the scene for emergency medical care, be sure to get copies of all of your medical records and bills.
Ultimately, the best way to prove fault for an accident is to work with an experienced car accident attorney. A lawyer will not only handle the investigation as it pertains to your case, but also ensure that all of your legal rights are protected.
The Lopez Law Group — Here for Texans
The car accident attorneys at The Lopez Law Group have decades of combined experience handling auto accident cases. Our number one goal is to help victims in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley understand and navigate the at-fault car accident settlement process in Texas. We offer professional legal services in both English and Spanish as well as free, no-obligation case consultations so you can understand all of your legal rights and options before pursuing litigation.
Our team at The Lopez Law Group proudly serves McAllen, Weslaco, Pharr, Tyler, Spring, Mission, McAllen, Laredo, Houston, Edinburg, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Harlingen, Rio Grande City, and other areas throughout Texas.
Contact us online or call us at (956) 968-7800 for a free case review. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.