In Texas, automobile insurance laws require the owner of a vehicle to have a certain amount of liability insurance.
- * This insurance provides compensation to another person in the event that you cause an accident and are found liable for damages.
- * State law has determined the minimum amount of coverage required is $20,000; however, you can purchase higher amounts of liability insurance if you wish.
- * This may protect your personal assets against the risk of higher damages being awarded against you (for example, if the other driver claims serious injury).
When T. Christopher Lewis Law Firm represents a person who is injured in an accident, our first course of action is to investigate all applicable insurance coverage. It important to gather the necessary supporting documents such as a police report, the other driver’s insurance policy number, and more. We can guide you through, call us today at 832-258-9702.
There are 2 (two) categories of auto insurance:
- First-Party Coverage, and
First party coverage covers you and your property (medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, and the insurance company’s duty to defend you in the event that you are sued).
- Third-Party Coverage
Third party coverage covers your responsibility to pay for injury caused to other people (and vice versa) – whether in your vehicle, or another vehicle involved in the accident. The coverage (and its exclusions) is set forth in your insurance policy.
3 Types of Common Insurance Coverage
In exchange for the payment of a premium, the insurance company promises to provide compensation in the event of certain occurrences. The most common types of insurance coverage that may apply are:
1. Liability Insurance
In Texas, liability insurance is required by law.
- * The liability portion of an insurance policy is specifically for defending with and settling any claims, or paying any judgments rendered against the insured in an automobile negligence claim.
- * If you are injured by the negligence of a defendant, we will make a claim under the bodily injury liability coverage of the negligent defendant’s insurance policy.
- * However: Liability coverage is not health insurance, and it is not designed to pay for your medical bills as they are incurred. It is designed for a one time settlement or payment for all of your damages. Liability insurance minimums required by law in Texas are:
- * $20,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident. For reference, see Tex. Transp. Code § 601.072.
- * $40,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in one accident, not to exceed the per-person limits above. For reference, see Tex. Transp. Code § 601.072.
- * $15,000 for injury to or harm to property of others in one accident. For reference, see Tex. Transp. Code § 601.072.
2. Medical Payments (Med-Pay) Coverage
When purchasing automobile insurance for yourself, you may seek to include several additional types of coverage.
- * Medical payments coverage (med-pay, personal injury protection, or economic loss protection benefits) is not required by Texas law; but, it can be useful in the event that you or your passengers are injured in an accident (no matter who was at fault).
- * However, please note that another driver’s med-pay insurance will not cover you if they cause you harm; nor can your med-pay insurance cover them if you cause them harm. Purchasing med-pay benefits is solely for the protection of you and the passengers in your vehicle.
- * Both are important voluntary coverage options, as they protect you against:
A) A negligent defendant who caused an accident while not having liability insurance coverage; or
B) One who has the minimum legal coverage allowed, but said coverage is inadequate to fully compensate you.
3. Uninsured and Under Insured Motorist Benefits (UIM or UM):
When clients are involved in an accident with an uninsured and negligent individual, our course of action is to make a claim under the client’s uninsured motorist coverage.
For that reason, it is strongly recommend that drivers purchase UIM or Uninsured Motorist Insurance as part of their auto policy.Your own insurance carrier would then have to pay any judgment, which may be rendered, up to the limits of the policy you purchased.
If the at-fault driver has liability insurance, but the policy limit of his or her liability insurance is less than the uninsured motorist coverage of your policy, we can make an additional claim under your own policy for under-insured motorist benefits.
Because a complicated body of case law has evolved dealing with this type of protection based on a contract theory of liability, our experience with these issues can greatly advance your recovery, and help you obtain the maximum benefit.
Tips on Collision Coverage:
- * The repair or replacement of your own vehicle after an accident, regardless of whether or not you are at fault.
- * Although it sounds similar, it is different than property liability insurance coverage discussed above.
- * Your own collision coverage normally includes a deductible, whereas property damage liability insurance coverage does not.
- * Later, your insurance company may proceed against the other driver’s property damage liability insurance, to recover the amount paid out; however, this process does not affect your recovery.
- * Victims of automobile accidents are entitled to fight for compensation. For questions regarding auto accident insurance, contact our Texas law firm for a free legal consultation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Auto accident or you have any concerns about the matters above, call The Law Office of T. Christopher Lewis Today at 832-258-9702. The initial consultation is free of charge. If we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! The sooner we get started the better! You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed immediately before the statute of limitations expires.