Texas Car Accidents

Types of Coverage

Texas Car Accidents


Types of Coverage

Every insurance policy has a certain type of coverage available on it. And within those coverages, there are certain limits available to you. It’s common to not even be aware of the specifics of your particular coverages and policy limits, even though you’re paying for them every single month. If you’ve been in a Texas car accident, it’s important to know what type of coverage limits are available to you through your policy and through the other driver’s policy.

If you want to know the specifics about your policy, ask your insurance company to send you a “Declaration Page” or “Dec Page” for short. You and your lawyer can break down all the coverages you have available. Learning the at-fault driver’s coverage can be much more difficult. Insurance companies generally won’t reveal that information unless your case value is approaching or over the limits of the policy. Good law firms can work with research companies to determine those limits and help your case.

What is the Most Common Type of Insurance Coverage?


If you have insurance, you automatically have liability coverage. Liability covers the at-fault driver in the accident. So if someone causes an accident with you, as long as they’re insured, you are covered under their liability policy.

However, this doesn’t always mean that their policy limits are going to be sufficient for your specific case. The Texas state minimum is $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. Regardless of the value of your case, you can’t claim more than the full amount of their policy. However, if you have protection against drivers that do not have enough limits, or if the at-fault driver has another policy you can access, there’s still a chance you can receive additional compensation.

What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Doesn't Have Insurance or Doesn't Have Enough Limits on Their Policy?


If your claim is worth more than what you can recover from the at-fault driver’s coverage, it’s great to have Under-Insured/Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM/UIM) on your policy. UM/UIM protects against uninsured and under-insured drivers by offering a path to compensation for claims beyond what is recoverable from the at-fault driver.

If the at-fault driver is uninsured, you can pursue your UM/UIM policy to receive compensation for medical expenses, legal fees, and additional damages. And if they are insured but your case value exceeds their policy limits, you can pursue your own UM/UIM policy in addition to make sure you don’t get stuck with a hefty bill. (For example, if your case is worth approximately $40,000 but the other driver’s insurance only has a $30,000 policy, you can claim the $30,000 from their insurance company and then file a claim with your insurance company to recover the other $10,000.)

If the Other Driver Isn't Insured,

What Can I Do to Avoid Using My Policy?

What Can I Do to Avoid Using My Policy?


UMBRELLA POLICY

UMBRELLA POLICY

Umbrella Policy coverage is an additional type of coverage that protects you from unique circumstances (like a dog bite incident or personal liability matter), but it can also play the role of additional coverage for accident injuries. (Similar to UM/UIM, if you have a case worth $500,000 but you can only claim $300,000 from the at-fault driver, their Umbrella Policy may be able to cover the additional $200,000 depending on the available limits.)

It’s worth noting that Umbrella coverage is mainly carried by individuals with more assets and larger policy limits, so if the at-fault driver in your accident is carrying a minimum limits policy ($30,000), it’s highly unlikely that there will be an Umbrella policy available.

ADDITIONAL DEFENDANT POLICY

ADDITIONAL DEFENDANT POLICY

In some accidents, there may be more than one party at fault. For example, one vehicle causes an accident, but a secondary vehicle contributes to the accident through an additional impact when they had more than enough time and ability to prevent it. In this case, you could potentially receive compensation from the first driver who impacted you and from the second driver who contributed additionally to the accident from their own recklessness/negligence. Another situational example would be if a driver collides with you in a construction zone but there is partial responsibility on a construction company for not properly following protocol within the zone. Areas like these are where good attorneys are worth their weight in gold… they know all the stones to overturn to make sure every option is pursued to ensure that you get full compensation.

EXCESS POLICY COVERAGE

EXCESS POLICY COVERAGE

This kind of coverage typically comes up when you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. For example, maybe you were hit by an independent 18-wheeler who was doing contract work for a company at the time of the accident. Your primary target would be the policy of the driver, but if you max out his policy, the company he was driving for at the time may have a secondary policy that you can receive additional compensation from.

FILE A LAWSUIT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE AT FAULT DRIVER

FILE A LAWSUIT DIRECTLY AGAINST THE AT FAULT DRIVER

Lawsuits are expensive and a tremendous time-suck. Typically, a suit is only worth filing if the at-fault driver has significant assets to go after. If they don’t, you or your legal team could spend a lot of time and money on your case and never receive a penny. If you’re committed to a lawsuit as a last recourse, make sure you have an experienced attorney who knows how to run asset searches and can fight your case from every possible angle.

What Other Types of Coverage

May Be Available On My Policy?

May Be Available On My Policy?


PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP)

PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is usually a small amount of coverage that may be able to compensate you for economic damages resulting from your accident, regardless of who is at fault or whether or not there is insurance. For example, you can submit a medical bill, ask for lost wages, or even request compensation for hiring necessary help around your home due to personal injury. Tangible documentation is required for PIP… you can’t claim pain & suffering or any other type of non-economic damage. But you can in some cases “double dip” with your claim, such as submitting medical bills to both the at-fault driver’s insurance company and to your PIP policy. The at-fault insurance company pays the medical bills and your insurance company cuts you a personal check to help with additional expenses.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE

MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE

“Med Pay” is similar to PIP in that it doesn’t matter who is at fault for your accident… if you have Med Pay on your policy, you can pursue it. However, Med Pay is strictly limited to medical bills, whereas PIP can be used for any kind of economic damage resulting from your accident.

What Do I Do If I Have Property Damage?

What Do I Do If I Have Property Damage?


COLLISION COVERAGE

COLLISION COVERAGE

Collision coverage is strictly for your property damage. It can be used to repair or replace your car if it's damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object, such as a fence or a tree. Typically, collision coverage is used when the at-fault driver has no insurance in an accident or the at-fault driver’s insurance is taking too long to handle your damages. You would start the process through your own policy and your insurance company will get reimbursed later on from the at-fault party.

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car caused by events that are out of your control. It covers things like theft, vandalism, windshield damage, fire, accidents with animals, weather/acts of nature and more. However, comprehensive coverage is not coverage used when involved in an automobile accident.

RENTAL COVERAGE

RENTAL COVERAGE

Rental coverage pays for expenses like a rental car or public transportation if you don’t have access to your vehicle after an accident. Similar to collision coverage, if the at-fault insurance company is taking too long to provide you with a rental car or is asking for you to provide a bill for reimbursement, you can take advantage of your own rental coverage and then get reimbursed from the at-fault insurance agency at a later time. Keep in mind, however, that some rental coverage is only available during repairs.

TOWING COVERAGE

TOWING COVERAGE

Towing coverage protects you against some of the costs and hassles associated with common roadside breakdowns like dead batteries, flat tires or even an embarrassing lockout. Additionally, it can also help you pay for your towing bill if the at-fault driver has no insurance.

What Else is Good to Know?

What Else is Good to Know?


I WAS HIT BY AN EXCLUDED DRIVER!

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in Texas– the vehicle that causes the accident has insurance but the driver behind the wheel at the time of the crash is excluded from the policy. This is generally seen in situations where parents exclude their children from their policy in an effort to lower their liability, or in a “troublemaker” scenario within the family or ex-spouse. The policy holder simply excludes them from their policy to avoid being responsible for their actions. If the exclusion is justifiable, you will not be able to pursue the policy on the vehicle.

I WAS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT WHERE SOMEONE COMMITTED A CRIME! 

If the at-fault driver in your accident has committed a crime in the process, such as a stolen vehicle or avoiding arrest, it’s very likely that any type of policy on the vehicle will not cover them. If you’re involved in this kind of accident, the State of Texas has something called the Texas Crime Victims Compensation Program. You can file a claim through the program and have the State review your case.

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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?

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