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All You Should Know about Texas Car Accident Laws

When it comes to car accidents, Texas is an at-fault state. This means that the driver who caused the accident is liable for all damages, both property and physical injury. Texas law requires any driver involved in an accident to immediately pull out of the flow of traffic, and give the other drivers involved their name, contact information, and insurance details. This makes it easier to file an insurance claim.  

State law entitles you to fair treatment by your car insurance company. In most instances, an insurance company has 15 days to either deny or approve your claim once they receive it.  

No two traffic accidents are exactly alike, so every car accident victim can benefit from the advice of an experienced Texas car accident lawyer when it comes to securing the largest settlement possible.  

At Local Accident Reports, our nationwide car accident lawyers know how upsetting accidents can be. Our goal is to ensure that our client’s right to compensation is protected. Contact us to find out more about how we can help after a serious Texas car accident. 

How Do I Report a Texas Car Accident?

All You Should Know about Texas Car Accident Laws

In 2021, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that over 239,000 victims were injured in car accidents across the state. If you are involved in a Texas car accident, you need to: 

  • Pull your vehicle off the road as safely as possible. Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. Tend to anyone requiring medical assistance.
  • Swap information with the other drivers involved in the crash. This should include names, contact information, vehicle identification numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plates, and insurance information.
  • Document the date, time, and location of the accident as well as the contact details of any bystanders.  

Notifying law enforcement is not required for all traffic accidents. It is, however, required if one or more of the following has taken place:  

  • A death or injury occurred
  • One or more of the vehicles is unable to be moved
  • A driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • A driver does not have insurance and/or a valid driving license  
  • A driver flees the accident scene

If law enforcement is notified, an officer will be dispatched to investigate the incident. If someone was injured, killed, or more than $1,000 worth of property damage occurred, the officer will file a report. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, traffic citations may also be issued.  

When Should I File a Texas Car Insurance Claim?

After being involved in a Texas car accident, the best thing to do is to inform your insurer as quickly as possible, even if you do not think the accident was your fault. Give a brief explanation of how the accident happened, and send photos of the scene and any physical and property damage. If an officer responded to the scene, send your insurer a copy of the crash report as well.

Depending on the terms of your auto insurance policy, your insurance carrier might simply take care of things from here. If you are not liable for the collision, then the other driver’s insurer will cover your injuries and other damages.  

In some cases, you might have to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier. If they agree that their policyholder was to blame for the accident, you should receive a check that covers your damages and the repair or replacement of your vehicle. 

If the other driver’s insurer contests the fault of their policyholder or, for any reason, refuses to pay, you will then have to file a claim with your insurance provider. This scenario requires your policy to include collision coverage. Collision coverage is what covers the replacement or repairs to your vehicle if you are liable for the accident.

Following a Texas car accident, most insurance carriers have a 15-day deadline for filing a claim. This deadline must be met in order for you to qualify for coverage. Once you file, the insurance company will then request additional information, such as medical records. They may also dispatch an insurance adjuster to inspect your vehicle, determine if it can be fixed, and, if so, estimate the repair costs.

In most instances, the insurance company takes about 15 days from receiving any necessary information to deny or approve your claim. They can, on some occasions, take as long as 45 days to notify you of their decision. If this happens, they are required to notify you of the delay in writing. After they approve your claim, the insurance company has five business days to issue a check for your damages. 

Am I Required to Have Auto Insurance in Texas?

Yes, you are. All drivers in Texas are required to furnish proof of financial responsibility in the event that they cause an accident. This is accomplished by purchasing liability insurance. State law sets the minimum amount for liability insurance as:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person 
  • $60,000 for bodily injury  per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

If yo,u are involved in a Texas car accident and you do not have the appropriate insurance coverage, you could receive a fine of as much as $350. This fine will most likely be significantly higher if you have received prior citations for driving without insurance.  

What is the Texas Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law set by the state that delineates how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. In Texas, this deadline is two years from the day the accident happened.  

Once two years pass, you will no longer be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit for the accident. Contrariwise, once two years have gone by, you are no longer able to be sued for an accident you caused.

What is Comparative Negligence? 

The doctrine of comparative negligence comes into effect when you and another driver share fault for an accident. In Texas, you can still collect financial compensation from the other driver even if you are partly to blame for an accident. Unfortunately, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault for the crash you will be unable to receive any compensation whatsoever. 

The percentage of fault assigned to each driver can be assigned by either the court or an independent third party. Most insurance companies have policies that govern how fault is to be assigned following an accident.  

Who Covers Damages in a Texas Car Accident?

The driver at fault for a Texas car accident is liable for covering for the injuries and other damages it caused. In most instances, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance covers these expenses. 

However, in some accidents, the at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay for all the damages, or in other cases, might not have any insurance coverage at all. If this happens, the driver who is not liable will have to file a claim with their own insurer. 

Most auto insurance policies have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that can pay to repair your vehicle and cover medical costs. Your insurance company may sue the other driver to recover some of this money.

How is Liability Determined in a Texas Car Accident?

Generally speaking, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for the damage they caused. When it comes to determining fault, however, some car accidents are more obvious than others.

For instance, a driver who rear-ends the vehicle in front of them because they were looking at their phone will almost certainly be at fault. A driver who T-bones a truck because they decided to disregard a red traffic light will most likely be at fault, as well.

Some car accidents are much trickier. If a driver makes a righthand turn onto a busy road after coming to a rolling stop at a stop sign and is then struck by a speeding car, both drivers will be found partially at fault because they were both breaking the rules of the road.   

How is Liability Proven in a Texas Car Accident?  

Due to the fact that Texas is an at-fault car accident state, determining who caused the accident and who is financially liable is essential. Based on the events leading up to your accident, proving fault could be a quick and easy process or an arduous, uphill battle. 

Insurance carriers begin the claims process by assigning adjusters and other accident-related investigators to collect evidence and work out who was at fault. They will go over any eyewitness statements and police accident reports, and examine any vehicle damage. They may also ask you direct questions concerning the incident. In more serious accidents, insurance companies often work with accident reconstruction experts in order to determine how it happened.

Using the information they gather, your insurer will determine who was to blame for the crash. They will also calculate damages and draft a settlement offer. The amount of financial compensation you receive will depend on the parameters of your insurance policy, who is liable for the accident, and the severity of any injuries or property damage caused by the collision.

If you wish to dispute the insurance company’s decision or do not feel their settlement offer is fair, you can hire a Texas car accident lawyer and file a lawsuit against the other driver or the insurance company. If the dispute over fault and damages continues, the case may go to court where a jury or judge will make their own determinations based on the strength of the evidence presented. 

Do You Need a Texas Car Accident Lawyer?

Texas car accident and personal injury laws are complex. If you were involved in a serious traffic accident, you should work with an experienced Texas car accident attorney rather than attempting to navigate the legal process on your own. This is especially true if you were seriously injured. A skilled lawyer can ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance carrier and properly compensated for all of your damages.

If you were injured in a Texas car accident that was caused by someone else, you are most likely entitled to collect financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. The Texas car accident attorneys at Local Accident Reports can help you obtain the damages you are entitled to. Give us a call at (888) 657-1460 to schedule your free consultation. 

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in this incident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer immediately will ensure your rights are protected. The first step is to request a police report, and we can do that for you. 

 
Contact us today at

888-657-1460

to get the help you deserve. 

Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

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Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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