Should I Take The Insurance Settlement After a Car Accident?

Trying to determine who was at fault for a car accident can sometimes be quite complex. In no-fault states, drivers involved in an accident can recover compensation from their insurance company regardless of whether they were at fault. However, because Texas is an ‘at-fault’ state, drivers must prove that the other party caused their accident to recover compensation.

If you were involved in a car accident and need help understanding Texas car insurance laws, you should contact Chris Morrow Law, PLLC. We understand how confusing it can be to recover compensation for your injuries after a collision, and we want to help you in any way we can.

Chris Morrow Law, PLLC – The Attorney That Works

Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, has been helping clients with personal injury claims for over 25 years, and he has a deep understanding of how Texas at-fault laws work. To recover compensation, you will need to show that the other party was at fault for the accident and prove that you have a right to recover compensation.

Chris Morrow will do everything in his power to prove fault in your case, including investigating your accident, gathering evidence, and building a strong claim on your behalf. Our law firm focuses on helping injured parties recover from their accident by representing their legal case to the highest standard possible while assisting them with getting medical care.

Having a compassionate and strong attorney by your side can make an enormous difference to your personal injury case.

Schedule a free consultation with our personal injury law firm today by calling 512-520-8100!

Fault vs. No-Fault

When you take out an auto insurance policy, it is important to understand what would happen if you got into a car accident. In the United States, there are typically no-fault states and at-fault states. In a no-fault state, drivers can make claims with their own insurance companies for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, regardless of whether they caused the accident. This means that drivers in no-fault states have an automatic ‘Personal Injury Protection’ (PIP) policy.

In comparison, in an at-fault state, drivers must opt-in to receive this PIP policy. To recover compensation for a road accident in an at-fault state, you must prove that there was an at-fault driver. As such, if you caused a car crash and do not have a PIP policy, you will have to pay for your own car repair costs and medical bills.

Comparative Fault Explained

Compared to a no-fault state, a comparative-fault state such as Texas allows for more than one person to be responsible for a car accident. This means that when an accident occurs, each party is assigned a percentage of fault. This percentage of fault will determine how much compensation you are entitled to for the accident.

For example, if you were in a car accident with another driver where you were 20% at fault, and they were 80% at fault, the compensation you receive from them will be reduced by 20%. So, if you were originally entitled to $100,000 in compensation, because of comparative fault rules, your payment would be reduced by $20,000, and you would receive a final settlement of $80,000.

In an at-fault state, a person injured in a car accident can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver or the driver’s insurance company. In comparison, a person living in a no-fault state would first go to their own insurance company to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, etc.

Modified Comparative Fault Rule

The modified comparative fault rule, or the 51% rule, prevents at-fault drivers from receiving compensation for an accident that was their fault. As per the name of the rule, a driver that is more than 51% at fault for a car accident cannot make a compensation claim for damages against other parties involved in the accident.

If the court determines your level of fault for the accident to be between 0% and 50%, you will be able to recover damages from the other party involved, provided that they were more at fault than you. For example, if you were 40% at fault for the accident, and the other at-fault party was 60% at-fault, you can recover damages from them in an injury claim.

Insurance Company Requirements in Texas

In Texas, drivers are required to have auto insurance policies in place in order to operate a vehicle legally. Texas fault laws require drivers to have liability insurance, which helps protect other drivers in the event of a road accident. If you cause an accident with another driver, your liability insurance pays for their damages and injuries.

There is a minimum coverage that drivers are required to purchase in liability insurance, which usually amounts to $30,000 for bodily injury insurance per person, $60,000 for all bodily injury liability, and $25,000 for property damage. However, a driver can file a claim against you to recover extra compensation if their damages exceed your liability insurance. As such, we recommend purchasing more than the minimum amount of liability coverage to protect against injury claims, if possible.

Liability coverage only provides protection for other drivers when you are at fault. To ensure that you are protected in the event of an accident, you will need to purchase extra auto insurance coverage, such as:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP coverage provides protection for personal injuries sustained by Texas drivers in car accidents. As noted previously, states that have no-fault laws in place provide this protection to drivers automatically through their car insurance policies. However, in Texas, drivers must opt-in for a PIP policy to ensure that they are personally protected in the event of a road accident.

PIP coverage will pay out for medical expenses, rehabilitation, future medical care, lost wages, medication, and related medical costs. The amount of money you can recover from car accident insurance claims depends on the amount of PIP coverage that you purchased.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage provides protection against damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident or being struck by a large object. If the other driver who was at fault for the accident does not have insurance, you can make a claim under your collision coverage to pay for repairs to your vehicle, or replacement in some cases.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Although the law requires all drivers in Texas to have liability insurance, sometimes people drive without insurance and cause accidents. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver does not have insurance, it is difficult to recover compensation against them. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects drivers in this situation.

If the other driver does not have insurance and they were at fault, or if their insurance policy is not enough to cover the costs of your injuries, uninsured/underinsured coverage will compensate you for your injuries. This type of insurance coverage will also protect you in the event of a hit-and-run accident.

Who Is At Fault in a Texas Car Accident?

As compensation is paid based on which driver was at fault for a car accident, insurance companies and Judges are responsible for determining liability and figuring out who was at fault for the car accident. To determine fault in auto accidents, an insurance company may look at:

  • Photographs and videos of the car accident scene, including damage to cars.
  • Photographs and videos of injuries.
  • Police reports.
  • Testimony from witnesses to the scene.
  • CCTV footage.
  • Expert opinions, including crash reconstruction experts.
  • Mobile phone records.

If the other driver disputes they were at fault, you will need to gather substantial evidence against them to prove fault. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will require this evidence before they will pay you compensation.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatizing and stressful experience. Trying to deal with insurance companies afterward can often cause victims even more stress, particularly if they lack an understanding of Texas fault laws. Hiring a personal injury attorney to deal with your accident claim can help relieve some stress when filing a claim and ensure that you get maximum compensation for your injuries.

An experienced accident attorney will first help you understand insurance laws in Texas. They can check what type of insurance coverage you have, assess how much you may be entitled to, and help file a claim on your behalf. When it comes to proving fault, they can assist with gathering evidence, speaking with witnesses, hiring experts, and building a strong claim on your behalf.

Insurance agencies are often reluctant to pay injured drivers compensation, particularly if the amount that they are entitled to is a lot. An attorney can help ensure that they do not cheat you out of recovering the compensation you are owed by offering a lowball settlement. They will negotiate with the insurance carrier on your behalf, put forward your claim, and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

If you want to learn more about how an experienced lawyer can help you with your car accident case, contact Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, today.

Is Texas a No-Fault State For Car Accidents?

Car insurance in Texas operates on a fault-based system. This means that if you get involved in a road accident with another driver, the at-fault driver must pay compensation to the victim. Different from a no-fault state, the victim is required to prove that another driver caused their injuries in order to recover compensation. As such, it is important that you have the requisite insurance policy in place to protect yourself in the event of a road accident.

If you need help with a car accident case or making an insurance claim, contact Chris Morrow Law, PLLC today. Our law firm has been helping citizens of Texas with insurance claims for many years, and we have a deep understanding of insurance laws. At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we want to help you in any way we can, and we are dedicated to providing the highest standard of legal care possible.

Chris Morrow is “The Attorney That Works” because he has a proven track record of getting his client’s positive results. Our focus is on protecting your future and helping you recover from any injuries you sustained while providing top-quality legal assistance. We want to support you in any way we can and help you navigate through the legal process with ease.

Call us today at 512-520-8100 to schedule a free consultation!

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