Texas is an “at-fault” state, which means that the party who is at fault in a car accident is responsible for damages incurred. Of course, determining fault is not always a cut-and-dry situation.
To begin, insurance adjusters will collect relevant information such as the police report, vehicle inspection reports, photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, medical records and feedback from accident reconstruction experts. With this information, a determination is made. If the claim is denied or the settlement offer deemed unacceptable, the case may go to trial.
Modified comparative negligence rule
If fault rests with more than one party, proportions of fault are assigned to each party to the collision. Accordingly, each party is responsible for the percentage of damages corresponding to the percentage of fault they have been assigned.
The 51% bar
Finally, if it is found that the victim is 51% at fault, there will be no damage recovery at all.
The minimum amount of liability car insurance one must carry in Texas is $30,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance ($60,000 per accident), and $25,000 in property damage liability insurance.
It’s worth noting that this covers the other party’s expenses for harm that you caused. To protect one’s own interests, collision insurance and comprehensive insurance would be appropriate additional coverages to carry.
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s prudent to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible afterward so that evidence is properly gathered and your rights are protected. Whether you’re in deep negotiations with an insurance company or proceeding to trial, effective representation is essential.