How Car Accident Compensation Works in Texas
Our Wichita Falls car accident lawyers get results
Wherever your crash happens – on a highway like I-44, a throughway like Kell Boulevard in Wichita Falls, or a backroad like FM 367 – in Texas, injured car accident victims are entitled to compensation. Getting results, however, is often an uphill battle.
Insurance companies are well-known for stubbornly sticking to lowball settlement offers. They force seriously injured accident victims and grieving families to fight for the compensation they deserve.
One of the most effective things you can do after a car accident is contact Hoover Rogers Law, LLP. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can prevent you from making an innocent but expensive mistake. Here's what you need to know about Texas car accident compensation to help protect your health and financial stability.
Is Texas a fault or no-fault state?
Texas is a fault or “tort” state. This means that the driver who caused the accident (and their insurance company) is liable for your damages.
The state uses a modified comparative negligence standard with a 51 percent bar rule to determine compensation. This means that fault for the crash is divided among all those involved. If a driver's actions contributed 51 percent or more to causing the accident, then they cannot file a car accident compensation claim. For drivers who are less than 51 percent at fault, compensation is reduced by the percentage contribution to an accident. For example, if a driver was 30 percent at fault in a crash, their compensation would be reduced by 30 percent.
That means the more blame an insurance adjuster can pin on you, the crash victim, the less they must pay to settle the claim. Our Texas car accident lawyers can protect you from taking more blame for the crash than you deserve.
How does car accident compensation work in Texas?
If you are the injured victim in a Texas crash, you will most likely file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance provider.
Total compensation largely depends on the type and severity of your injuries like lower back pain, whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries like concussions, and nerve damage. The average settlement for a Texas car accident can be tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some car accident lawsuits can result in multi-million-dollar verdicts.
Like most states, Texas requires drivers to purchase car insurance that covers damage to the other driver should they cause a crash. Texas’ minimum car insurance requirement is a 30/60/25 plan:
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
However, the minimum coverage only goes so far, and won’t pay for a serious accident. Optional car insurance available in Texas includes:
- PIP – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages if you are in an accident, regardless of fault. The coverage is included by default in most car insurance policies. If you do not want it, you must notify the insurance company in writing.
- UIM (UM) – If the at-fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover your crash-related expenses and losses, you can file a claim with your insurer for uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) if you have it. This insurance pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs that would be covered by the other driver’s insurance. It can also be used if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident. Like PIP, UIM is standard in most policies. You must provide written notice to decline coverage.
- Collision – Pays for repairs to your vehicle following a crash.
- Comprehensive – Pays for property damage not related to a car accident (like theft or hitting a deer).
- Medical Payments (MedPay) – Pays for medical expenses, regardless of fault. It can be used in a variety of situations including if you are injured in someone else’s vehicle or you are hit while on a bicycle.
Our law firm has the experience necessary to identify all liable parties and negotiate for maximum compensation.
What should I do after a Texas car accident?
Life moves fast after a car accident and it’s important to know what to do after a crash.
- Call 911. Find a safe place at the crash site and call 911. Wait for law enforcement to arrive. Around here the responding officer will likely be with the Wichita Falls Police Department or the Texas Highway Patrol. Get the officer’s name, badge number, and agency. This information will help you find your crash report, an important piece of evidence to support your claim. Cooperate with the officer’s investigation, but do not go into detail. Stick to the basic facts and never say “I’m sorry” at a crash site. A polite statement like this could be twisted around by an adjuster into an admission of fault.
- Collect evidence. If you are able, start collecting evidence right away after a car accident. Get photos and video of the position of the vehicles, road conditions, evidence like skid marks and broken glass, injuries, people involved, and property damage. Get witness statements as well as their names and contact information.
- See a doctor. Get checked out by an EMT at the crash site, even if you feel okay. Then see a doctor for a more thorough examination as soon as possible. This protects your health and your case for compensation. Visiting a doctor creates an official medical record of your injuries. Follow up by sticking to your doctor’s orders and attending all recommended appointments with medical specialists and therapists. Save receipts, bills, and other communications to demonstrate the range of services you require to heal.
- Call a lawyer. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can take over the stressful and unforgiving injury insurance claim process for you. While you heal, we can notify the insurance company about your crash, investigate the incident, collect evidence, build a strong case, calculate your claim’s value, and aggressively negotiate for maximum compensation. If the insurance company won’t make you a substantial settlement offer, we prepare for trial.
How much does it cost to hire a Wichita Falls car accident lawyer?
You are not required to have a lawyer represent your car accident claim, but many people in the Wichita Falls area choose to do so, and for good reason. Studies show that, on average, people who consult lawyers collect more damages than those who do not.
At Hoover Rogers Law, we represent injured accident victims in our community for a contingency fee. That means that there is no upfront cost for our services. You will not have to pay a retainer or hourly rate. Our fee is an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement or verdict. If we don’t win, you don’t pay us.
We also offer free case consultations. At no cost to you, a member of our team will answer your crash-related questions, explain how the law applies to your specific situation, and help weigh your legal options.
We take on the insurance company while you heal
You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by contacting Hoover Rogers Law about your car accident.
Don’t delay calling us. Texas has a statute of limitations on car accident injury claims and wrongful death actions. We want to start investigating your accident and protecting your right to compensation right away. A member of our team is available to hear from you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation today.