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Texas is a ‘Fault State’: What does that mean?

When a car accident occurs, the party at fault is considered financially responsible for any property damage and injuries sustained in the accident. They may even be charged in a criminal court and fined or sentenced to prison. Confusion and disputes over who actually caused the accident are not uncommon and courts are often left to determine fault.

Fault determination is often a lengthy process, meaning victims have to wait for the judge’s verdict to get compensated. This means you may have to cover your own medical costs, which can be a huge inconvenience especially if the injuries are severe. In some instances, this can derail vital treatment and put you at risk of serious medical complications. It is thus advisable to have a DC Law attorney by your side to help speed up the case and ensure you are compensated on time.

The rule of the at-fault party being compelled to cover the bills you have as a result of the accident is what makes Texas a “fault state”. Every driver in Texas must have liability insurance.

Albeit the laws seem simple and straightforward, insurance companies have proved rather difficult to deal with. Many insurance adjusters will try to avoid paying the victims by denying blame, approaching them with absurd settlement offers, or even delaying the negotiations so the statute of limitations can expire. Your limited knowledge of the law and your rights can be exploited, dragging you into mistakes that may haunt you for a lifetime. Perhaps, that is why you need a car accident lawyer to help you calculate your losses and ensure everything is done within the statute of limitations.

Basic Fault Laws in Texas

Each state in the US has its own insurance requirements, though most laws are identical. The following coverages are mandatory if you planning to drive legally in Texas:

  • Bodily injury liability: This covers costs related to injuries or death of another person, e.g. a driver or pedestrian, in an accident you are at fault for.
  • Property damage liability: Property damage liability covers expenses incurred due to damage caused to another vehicle during an accident that you are responsible for.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

You can have PIP added to your policy to give you better protection if and when you get in an accident. When a person gets injured in an accident, their liability coverage takes care of part of their medical expenses. If the expenses exceed the coverage’s limits, the victim is forced to find other ways to cover the bill or stop treatment. PIP protects you against the excesses by paying for a portion of the bills. The coverage is given to you automatically when you buy your car insurance policy. Of course it comes at an extra cost, so if you don’t want it, you can write to your insurance company requesting for it to be excluded.

Auto accidents and insurance can be complex, and for a fault state such as Texas, you could end up paying up a fortune or missing out on one if you get involved in an accident. Always have an attorney by your side for counsel and representation before the court and insurance adjusters.

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