What Is Mandatory Insurance Coverage in Texas?
Texas is a tort state, which means drivers at fault in an accident must cover the damages they cause to others. Car insurance shows that you can pay damages if you cause a car crash.
Before driving in Texas, you must know the mandatory insurance coverage requirements to use public roads. Keep reading to find out about Texas mandatory insurance standards, and talk to car accident lawyers at The Francis Firm if you have been in an accident. If another person caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation.
Texas Car Insurance Requirements
There are state laws in Texas that require you to keep a minimum amount of liability insurance. The mandatory insurance coverage listed below is for liability insurance only. This means the insurance only covers the damages you cause other people and their vehicles, not your own:
- $30,000 bodily injury per person
- $60,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
- $2,500 for Personal Injury Protection (PIP - can be waived)
PIP coverage pays for your first $2,500 medical bills and lost earnings, regardless of fault. Texas insurance companies must offer this insurance, but you can decline it. You also can purchase higher PIP protection if you prefer.
What Does Texas Mandatory Insurance Cover?
The minimum amounts mentioned above mean if you cause an accident, the insurance policy covers $30,000 in medical bills and lost wages per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in car repairs per accident. However, these amounts are only the state minimum, and it is recommended to carry more coverage. Why?
If you cause an accident with severe injuries, the other person could quickly run up $30,000 in medical bills. For example, one night’s stay in the hospital can be $11,700 minimum and often more.
If the injured party needs ongoing care and surgery, the costs could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. When a driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for damages they caused, the plaintiff and their truck accident attorney can sue you for the rest. So, it is in your self-interest to carry more than the mandatory insurance coverage in Texas.
Optional Auto Insurance Protection in Texas
The above mandatory insurance coverage is for liability only. If you cause an accident and don’t have insurance for yourself, you could be stuck paying everything out-of-pocket. That’s why it’s wise to have the following protection, too:
This Texas auto insurance repairs your vehicle if there is damage from a non-collision event, such as a hail storm, fire, or vandalism. You need to pay your deductible to receive coverage.
Collision coverage repairs your car when there is crash damage from another vehicle or a stationary object. However, if there is a deductible, you need to pay that for coverage to kick in.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist
What if you are in a crash with a driver without insurance or not enough insurance? Even with serious injuries, you could be slammed with thousands of dollars of medical expenses, and the other driver can’t pay.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection covers you if this happens. You and your attorney would file a claim with your policy, covering your expenses up to policy limits.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are optional. However, if you have a car loan, your lien holder will probably require you to have them. You can cancel the coverage when the vehicle is paid off.
Whose Auto Insurance Pays in a Texas Car Accident?
Because Texas is a tort (fault) state, the person who caused the accident usually pays for the other party’s damages. These might include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if there is a lawsuit.
If you are hurt and caused the accident, your auto insurance will have to cover your injuries and damages. If you have PIP coverage, you can file a claim up to the policy limits for lost earnings and medical bills. If you have collision coverage, that part of the policy will repair your vehicle.
But remember, you have no coverage for your injuries and property damage if you didn’t purchase collision coverage. In addition, you may be able to turn to your health insurance policy to pay some of your medical bills if you don’t have PIP.
If the other driver hits you, their insurance policy should pay for your damages and injuries. You and your personal injury attorney should file a claim with their insurance. You will be entitled to compensation up to the policy limits. Many drivers in Texas carry the state minimums.
So, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit if you have severe injuries. Otherwise, you must pay out of pocket for your medical care and property damages. As noted earlier, it’s wise to have extra coverage for underinsured and uninsured drivers.
If you file a claim with your insurance company, do it fast. Your insurance policy probably states you should report the claim as soon as possible. Then, tell them what happened and who you think is at fault when you call.
If your insurance policy pays for your damages and the other driver is at fault, the insurance companies will work it out between them.
Hopefully, this article stresses the importance of carrying more than mandatory insurance coverage in Texas. Whether or not the accident is your fault, not having enough auto insurance coverage can be a problem when someone has severe injuries.
Also, remember that you have a right to be represented by a Texas personal injury attorney when you file a claim. The attorney will review the case and determine if you would benefit from legal representation. The lawyer won’t take a case that isn’t likely to result in a favorable outcome, so there isn’t anything to lose.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Whether you have been in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, you should talk to a personal injury attorney if you have injuries. When someone else causes the accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact The Francis Firm today for a free case evaluation.