Texas Car Accident

Accident Laws

Texas Car Accident


Accident Laws

If you are in a Texas car accident, your best defense is preparation… and the best preparation is knowing Texas Law. Understanding the legal basics about at-fault, negligence, damages and more can help you take the immediate steps to securing proof and documentation of the accident that can help your compensation down the road.

Understanding

The Basics

The Basics


The key components of every accident in the state of Texas are determining fault, contributory negligence, policy limits, and statute of limitations. All of these are key in establishing whether or not you have a case and how much it may be worth. Let’s break each of these down simply.

Texas is a FAULT State

Texas is a FAULT State

Texas is a FAULT state, which means the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the damages. However, not all drivers in Texas have auto insurance. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you can either go after the driver individually or pursue your own auto policy if you have protection against uninsured drivers. That said, going after someone individually is extremely challenging unless it is a business, or the individual has sustainable assets to go after.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory Negligence

Texas is a Contributory Negligence state, which means if a driver is 51% at fault for the accident or more, they cannot recover any settlement for their damages.  Only drivers who are 49% at fault or less can recover settlement damages.  The percentage will determine the settlement amount. For example, if your case is worth $100,000 but you were 20% at fault, your settlement would only be worth $80,000 because of the contributory negligence you contributed to the accident.

It’s important to know your at-fault percentage for pursuing a case-- most law firms will avoid cases where the percentage is too high because the reduced value doesn’t justify the expense of pursuing it. A good rule of thumb for whether or not your case is worth pursuing is if the other driver is at least 75% at fault.

Minimum Policy Limits

Minimum Policy Limits

Texas requires a Minimum Policy Limit of $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident for injury claims and $25,000 for property damage claims. This does not mean you receive these amounts automatically; it means those are the maximum amounts of money available to you to resolve your claims if needed.

A couple notes: Common limits are $50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident, $100,000/$300,000 and even $1 Million Dollars + at times. And not all drivers carry Minimum Policy Limits.

Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations

Texas has a 2 year statute of limitations, which means you have up to two years to settle your claim or file a lawsuit. But don’t wait for two years to pursue your case… in order to receive compensation from a claim, there needs to be tangible damages. In other words, you need medical bills and treatment that are reasonable and necessary related to your accident. The longer you wait, the harder this will be to prove.

Who is Legally

At Fault

At Fault


A common standard in legal circles is “reasonable.” When it comes to determining fault or guilt, our actions are measured against what a “reasonable” person would have done in that scenario. Driving a car is no different. Texas law says that drivers have a legal duty to drive their vehicle as a reasonably prudent person should under the circumstances, while following all the rules of the road. And when an accident occurs, that legal duty needs to be examined for all parties.

Typically, after an accident, a police officer will make the first determination of fault by using Texas Peace Officer Crash Codes. Specifically, they’ll mark down on the accident report which driver and/or factors contributed to the accident. In particularly obvious cases, officers will give clearly at-fault drivers (such as drunk drivers) a citation(s), which is a criminal offense for the accident.

Generally though, auto accident claims are settled through civil law, not criminal. This means that insurance companies don’t have to go by the officer’s determination when doing their own fault assessment for the accident. They may agree with the police conclusion, or they can make their own determination. Most of the time, however, insurance adjusters will side with the police providing no new information arises (such as admission of guilt in recorded statement, witnesses, video evidence, etc).

THE MOST COMMON AT-FAULT CAUSE OF AN ACCIDENT IS NEGLIGENCE. 

How to Determine

Negligence

Negligence


Crashes are called accidents because most commonly, they are just that… an accident caused by a careless or negligent driver. Negligence as defined by the law is the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another person(s). For winning your case, establishing negligence is essential to proving someone else was at fault and that you deserve compensation. In this section, we’ll help simplify the terms that determine negligence and how you can be prepared to argue for them on your behalf.

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What Damages

Am I Entitled To?

Am I Entitled To?


What Other Laws

Should I Be Aware Of?

Should I Be Aware Of?


1

Do you or did you experience any physical pain in any way from this accident?

Did the other driver admit fault or were they placed at fault by law enforcement or insurance company?

Does the at-fault driver in the accident have auto insurance?

What type of accident were you involved in?

What is your contact info & the date of the accident?

Thank you for complete the question. We will contact you soon.

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