How Texas’ Car Insurance System Works

rear end car accident

If you’re injured in a car accident as a result of someone’s careless behavior, you may want to pursue financial recovery for the harm and losses you endure. To do so, it is important to know how claims for compensation are handled in Texas.

Texas is a fault state, which means you will typically file a claim for compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company following an accident. Getting the financial recovery you’re due should be a straightforward process, but, unfortunately, it’s usually anything but. Insurance companies will do everything they can to protect their bottom line. 

Tate Law Offices P.C. works hard to help clients seek maximum compensation for their injuries after a car accident. We know the aftermath of an accident can be a difficult time, so we do everything we can to support our clients’ needs while providing top-quality legal representation. 

After an accident, you don’t have to handle your claim alone. Contact our Dallas car accident lawyers for a free case review with a knowledgeable car accident attorney who can explain your legal rights.

What Is Texas’ “Fault” Rule for Insurance?

Texas is considered an “at-fault” state in regard to insurance claims. A few states in the U.S. are considered no-fault states, which means car accident victims in those states must usually turn to their own insurance policy to cover their medical expenses and lost income, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

In an at-fault state like Texas, accident victims pursue compensation for their losses from the at-fault party’s insurance company. In order to successfully pursue an injury claim in an at-fault state, the injured victim will need to show that the other driver’s careless behavior resulted in the accident and the injuries. The victim will also need to prove the extent of the losses they endured to seek full compensation. 

What Insurance Covers the Accident?

The insurance that covers the accident will depend on the circumstances surrounding the crash and the coverage available. A car accident lawyer in Houston can evaluate if any of the following types of insurance coverage can help compensate you for your losses:

  • Liability coverage – Liability coverage pays to repair your car and medical bills if someone else’s negligence caused the accident. In Texas, each driver is required to maintain $30,000 for injuries per person, up to $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage coverage. This type of claim is considered a third-party claim because you make a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, not with your own.
  • Collision coverage – Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident.  
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage UM/UIM coverage provides payment if the other driver caused the accident and did not have insurance or sufficient insurance to cover the damages. 
  • Personal injury protection coverage – PIP coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, and nonmedical costs, regardless of fault.

Starting the Claims Filing Process

When you are hurt in a car accident, one of the most important things you can do to protect your health and your injury claim is to seek medical attention. The medical records that document your injuries and recovery will be essential to your case. 

Equally important to your claim will be the police accident report that is created by the officer who investigates the accident. This report includes essential information and facts related to the collision and may include a determination of fault. 

After getting medical care, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the crash and begin the claims process. You can also expect to hear from the other driver’s insurance company, but it is almost always in your best interest to avoid talking to them directly, if possible. They will ask to get your side of the story, but their objective is to get any information they can use against your case. It’s best to politely inform them you cannot talk to them without first consulting with your car accident attorney.

Proving Negligence 

To seek financial recovery from the at-fault party, you will need to prove that their negligence led to the accident and your injuries. Someone is considered negligent when they fail to use reasonable care to avoid harming others. All drivers are expected to drive with caution. If a driver violates the rules of the road and consequently causes a crash, they can be held liable for the losses that victims suffer as a result.  

To prove that a driver was negligent and liable for a crash, your car crash lawyer will investigate the accident to gather evidence such as eyewitness statements, surveillance video, driver cell phone records, and more. 

The Role of Insurance Adjusters

An insurance adjuster is responsible for managing an auto accident claim, including investigating the accident and handling settlement negotiations. Often, insurance adjusters will employ various tactics to minimize your payout or to deny your claim. One of the best things you can do to protect your case is to have an experienced attorney communicate with the adjuster on your behalf and negotiate aggressively for the settlement you deserve.

Determining a Settlement Value

Determining what you are owed is one of the most important parts of the claims process. It is not uncommon to get an initial lowball settlement offer from the insurance company. You should never accept any settlement offer without first discussing it with your lawyer.

A skilled car accident attorney will be able to review the details of your case to determine how much you are truly owed. They will then work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company to help you pursue the fairest possible outcome.

How Tate Law Offices Can Help

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, let an experienced and compassionate car accident attorney protect your interests and guide you through the claims process. Contact Tate Law Offices, P.C. today for a free case review. We have an over 99% success rate and have won over 3,000 cases. 

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Tim received a business degree in finance from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor (law degree) from South Texas College of Law. Over the last two decades Tim has represented victims of injuries day-in and day-out throughout the state of Texas as well as in numerous other states throughout America. Tim’s mission on every case is always to get the insurance company of the defendant to pay top dollar for his client’s case, which allows his clients to put the maximum amount of money into their pocket.