What Is Bodily Injury Coverage?
Many drivers don’t like paying for car insurance, but it can be a lifesaver if you are in a car accident. All Texas drivers must have auto insurance to protect them financially if an accident happens. Your insurance will pay the injured parties' medical bills, lost wages, and car repair costs if you caused the accident.
It is important to understand insurance coverage, including bodily injury coverage before hitting the roads. This ensures adequate insurance protection to cover your liability after an accident. Next, talk to a car accident attorney or premises liability attorney at The Francis Firm if you have questions about a case.
Bodily Injury Coverage Overview
If you cause a car accident in Texas, bodily injury coverage pays for the medical expenses of those who were hurt — not including you. The coverage also pays for legal costs if someone sues you for damages. Bodily injury protection is part of most car insurance policies, and Texas requires it.
Bodily injury liability insurance covers the following:
- Medical costs for the other driver and passengers. Hospital costs, ER services, ambulance costs, ongoing care, etc.
- Legal defense. If the other driver sues you for damages, bodily injury protection covers you and pays legal bills if needed.
- Loss of earnings. If the injured miss work or cannot do their jobs because of injuries, bodily injury coverage pays for their lost income.
- Pain and suffering. Some cases involve payment for pain and suffering if the injured has extreme pain and emotional stress.
- Funeral expenses. If someone dies in an accident you caused, bodily injury coverage will pay for funeral and burial costs.
Other important things to know about bodily injury coverage are:
- All states have a minimum amount of required coverage
- Bodily injury insurance has limits that are the top amount your insurance company pays if you cause an accident
- You can select higher policy limits for more coverage
- There are two types of bodily injury coverage — when one party is hurt and when several are injured
Texas Auto Insurance Requirements
State law requires every driver to have a minimum liability car insurance coverage. Remember these amounts only pay for the other driver’s expenses if you cause an accident:
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per injured party
- $60,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 of coverage for property damage
You cannot legally drive on Texas public roads without this minimum level of bodily injury and property damage coverage. However, these amounts are mere minimums. In a severe car accident, $30,000 can be eaten up quickly by medical bills and lost wages if you are at fault.
That’s why it is essential to carry more coverage than the minimum. If you cause a severe accident, you could be sued by personal injury lawyers and lose money and assets. Remember that cars are expensive today, and medical care is getting more expensive. Having more coverage protects you from a huge personal injury lawsuit.
Texas does not require drivers to have underinsured and uninsured driver coverage, but it is a good idea. Some estimate up to one out of five Texans is uninsured.
What would you do if an uninsured driver hit you or took off? How will you pay for medical bills and lost work time? Adding underinsured and uninsured coverage to your policy can help in these situations.
Personal injury protection (PIP) offers coverage for your injuries after an accident. This coverage is optional but will cover at least the first $2,500 of your medical bills and lost earnings. It also covers ambulance services, funeral expenses, and rehabilitation. You can choose to carry more protection than the minimum.
State law doesn’t require collision coverage, but you must have it if you still owe money on your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage also isn’t required, but a lienholder will require it.
Texas Is A Fault State
Bodily injury coverage comes into play in Texas accidents daily. This is a fault state, which means the at-fault driver must pay damages to the other party in a car accident.
After the accident, the injured party can file a claim with your insurance or their own. For example, if you caused the accident, the other driver’s insurer would contact yours for reimbursement.
Common Texas Car Insurance Questions
Do you have to have car insurance in Texas?
Yes. You must have liability insurance, including at least $30,000 in bodily injury protection per person and $60,000 per accident. If you do not have proof of insurance when the police stop you, you can be penalized.
Is car insurance required to register your vehicle in Texas?
Yes. You must show proof of insurance when registering your car at the DMV. Other requirements are proof of a safety inspection and valid VIN.
Does auto insurance follow the driver or car in Texas?
In most cases, Texas auto insurance gives coverage to the vehicle, regardless of who is driving. So, for example, if you loan your car to your brother and he gets in an accident, the bodily injury coverage is still in effect.
Is Texas a no-fault state?
No, it’s a fault state. It means that the person who caused the accident must pay for damages. That’s why it’s wise to carry more than the state minimum of bodily injury coverage.
Will your insurance go up after a car accident?
If you caused the accident, your rates would probably rise. But your rates should stay the same if the other driver caused it. When there is any question about accident liability, it’s wise to consult with a personal injury attorney.
Contact A Car Accident Attorney Now
If you have been in a car accident because of someone’s negligence, you could have thousands of dollars of bodily injury, lost wages, and property damage. The Dallas car accident attorneys at The Francis Firm can assist if you have injuries that lead to medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Contact one of our attorneys today for more information.