No, Texas is not a no-fault state for car insurance claims. Texas is a “tort” or “at-fault” state, which means the person who caused the accident is liable for damages such as medical bills, car repair costs, pain and suffering, and other losses. Because of this, accident victims in Texas also have the option to file a lawsuit to seek compensation even for more basic medical expenses.
- Texas is an at-fault or tort state.
- The state uses Modified Comparative Fault when drivers share fault as long as their percentage is under 51%.
- Texas’s fault laws keep auto insurance costs low compared to no-fault states.
- The state requires all drivers to carry liability insurance.
Car Insurance, Fault, & Lawsuits
Is Texas a no-fault state? It’s a more important question than you might think. States handle car accident claims in one of two ways:
It’s important to understand the type of state you live in because it has a major impact on how you pursue compensation after a car wreck. In some states, drivers have to file a claim against their own insurance company. However, in other states, drivers file a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company.
Texas is an at-fault state, a traditional legal framework in which the liable party pays for damages to the victim.
Fault States Vs No-Fault States
In a no-fault state, the victims file a claim with their own insurance plan. There’s no need to determine fault or gather evidence in order to pursue compensation. Unfortunately, no-fault laws also limit the victim’s ability to file a lawsuit against the liable person.
Typically, no-fault states require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This coverage allows someone to approach their own insurance adjuster about compensation after an accident.
In an at-fault state, the victim can sue the at-fault driver for most forms of loss after an accident:
- Lost wages
- Emotional suffering
Tort insurance is usually cheaper than car insurance in no-fault states for this reason.
Who Pays for a Car Accident?
In fault states like Texas, the driver responsible for the accident uses their insurance policy to pay for damages incurred by the other driver. The legal process determines fault, which is why it is important to work with an experienced attorney.
Texas Minimum Insurance Requirements
At-fault states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance, the requisite minimum coverage amount. Typically, we break that cost down into three categories: injuries, accidents, and property damage.
Under Texas law, drivers have to carry a certain level of coverage, known as 30/60/25:
- $30,000 in physical injury per person
- $60,000 per motor vehicle accident
- $25,000 in property damages
This coverage helps to protect every driver involved in a crash. It pays for damages incurred by the victim and prevents the liable driver from paying them out of pocket. Driving without the minimum level of coverage leaves you open to fines and penalties. You might even lose your license.
Types of Coverage in Texas Auto Insurance
With the matter of “Is Texas a no-fault state” out of the way, are you adequately covered? When you choose your insurance policy, you have a few options.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This answers the question, “What if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?” You can file a claim on your own policy.
- Collision Coverage: This policy covers damage to your vehicle, compensating you for repairs, the total value of the car, or an amount designated by the insurance declaration. Typically, the insurance company chooses the lowest amount.
- Liability Coverage: This policy accounts for lost wages, property damage, lost wages, medical costs, and wrongful death.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This is a policy that covers damage caused by anything other than an accident, such as weather or vandalism.
Why Do Some Insurance Companies Deny Claims?
In part, the answer here is the same as that of the question, “Is Texas a no-fault state?” Because the answer is no, it means that you aren’t going to your insurance company if you are the victim of an accident. You’re seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
That’s why it’s common for some insurance adjusters to avoid paying victims fairly. Often, these companies employ bad faith tactics so that they can pay as little as possible.
Here are a few examples:
- Denying a claim without a reason
- Failure to investigate a claim properly
- Purposefully undervaluing a claim (offering a lowball settlement)
- Stretching out the process in hopes you accept the lower offer
- Lack of communication
Working With an Attorney After a Crash
Now that we’ve answered the question Is Texas a no-fault state, you know that you can pursue compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance company. While it’s possible to handle this on your own, insurance companies don’t always play fairly. When they try to avoid your claim or even deny it, an experienced, aggressive attorney can help you reach the settlement you deserve.
Car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers know how to handle insurance adjusters. If you want to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, contact a local accident injury attorney to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.