Car accidents in Texas can cause expensive and painful personal injuries. They can also put a vehicle in the shop or damage it beyond repair. Knowing whose insurance company may be responsible for paying the bills after a serious car accident could help your family get back on its feet. If you were recently in a collision in San Antonio, someone else’s insurance provider may owe you compensation for your damages according to the state’s car accident laws.
Texas Is a Fault Car Accident State
Most states are either fault or no-fault when it comes to auto insurance. In a fault state, the driver at fault will be responsible for paying for everyone’s damages. In a no-fault state, everyone involved in the crash will seek restitution from his or her insurance companies regardless of fault. Like most states, Texas uses a fault-based insurance system. The insurance company of the driver that caused your Texas car accident will pay for your damages.
To obtain a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you or a Texas car accident attorney may need to prove the other driver’s fault. The insurance company may require proof of fault if it initial denies its policyholder’s culpability. You or your lawyer may need to collect evidence such as photographs from the scene, testimony from crash reconstructionists or police reports to establish the other driver’s fault. Only then might an insurance company offer a fair settlement for your damages.
Sometimes, an automobile insurance company still refuses to offer a fair settlement even after you have proven the other driver’s liability for your damages. In these cases, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver may be the only way to obtain payment. A lawsuit could order the insurance company to pay a fair and reasonable amount through a judgment award or jury verdict. Oftentimes, a successful trial will result in a higher payout than an insurance settlement alone.
What if the Other Driver Has No Insurance?
Some car accident cases involve an at-fault driver with inadequate insurance coverage – or no insurance at all. If you get into a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver, your own insurance company may pay your damages. Call your insurance company after the crash to ask if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is an optional type of insurance you would have had to purchase separately from your bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you if you have this insurance.
Your insurance company may also pay your damages after a hit-and-run accident if you have the right coverage. Should you discover you do not have this coverage, your other option for recovery could be a lawsuit against a third party – someone other than the other driver. A third party such as a car part manufacturer or the City of San Antonio could owe you money for your car accident if it contributed to the collision or your injuries. Working with a personal injury attorney can help you uncover a third party’s contributory fault.
Comparative Fault for a Car Accident in Texas
Many car accidents involve shared fault by both parties involved. If both drivers were negligent or reckless, they could both be responsible for damages. If the other driver alleges your comparative fault for a collision, you could still qualify for compensation according to Texas’ negligence laws.
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state with a 51% fault cap, meaning as long as the courts find you less than 51% responsible for causing the crash, you could still receive payment from the other driver’s insurance company. Navigating Texas’ fault laws and receiving a fair settlement from an insurance company is easier with help from an attorney, especially if the accident caused you serious or life-changing injuries.