What are Texas car insurance minimum limits?
Although Texas law requires all drivers to carry at least $30,000 in general liability insurance, an injured person's losses often exceed this relatively small limit.
Specifically, an auto accident victim's damages, including the costs associated with their current and future medical care, the wages they've lost while recovering from their injuries, and the myriad of the damages associated with a car accident can easily exceed this limit. This article will explain how an insurance policy's limits affect an accident victim's ability to recover compensation for their damages, and will also discuss strategies that our firm has successfully utilized to work around these obstacles.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- How do Texas car liability limits works?
- What is a minimum insurance policy?
- How do claims involving multiple parties work?
How Texas' minimum insurance policy limits work.
A small number of drivers have significant insurance policies. Typically wealthier individuals with more assets to protect, they could have insurance policies ranging from $150,000 to even $1 million. This, however, is the exception because most people only carry "minimum limits" policies. Texas's laws require all drivers to carry general liability insurance policies that provide at least $30,000 in liability coverage for each person (up to a total of $60,000 per accident) they hurt in an accident. While these figures may initially seem adequate, as discussed above, they are often not. These lower policies, or the lack of a policy altogether, put the injured party in a difficult situation in which they may need to go to their own policy under the pretense of an under-insured or even un-insured motorist(UIM) claim. As well, you may even have to file a personal injury protection claim if the UIM claim doesn't cover the extent of your injuries.
For example, if your car accident case resulted in medical expenses of $45,000, but the responsible driver's insurance policy only covers $30,000, you'll theoretically be prevented from fully recovering from your injuries. And that's assuming the insurance company pays you out the full value of the policy. So, for serious accidents---which can cause up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages---your attorney will need to look elsewhere for additional parties who could be held legally responsible.
Potential sources of additional money.
In the event that the other driver's insurance policy is unable to cover the full extent of your injuries, your attorney should seek to lay hold of the other party's personal assets, file suit against other responsible parties, and/or pursue additional insurance policies.
- Personal Assets: If the driver wasn't insured or had minimum limits of insurance, our attorneys may be able to recover for your injuries by seeking to recover damages from their personal assets. However, the availability and extent an attorney is able to recover liability against another driver's personal assets on your behalf is limited only be the Texas Homestead Act. Under this law, claimants such as yourself cannot pursue the driver's home, retirement money, car, or many items of personal property like jewelry or art.
- Other Defendants: Many of our car and truck accident victim clients are somewhat surprised to learn that other parties besides the other driver may be partially or entirely liable for their injuries. For example, our firm successfully represented a client whose case was initially against the responsible driver crossed who into our client's lane and caused a head-on collision. However, after a thorough investigation, our firm discovered that the accident was partially attributable to a defective tire that unexpectedly delaminated. As a consequence, our firm was able to also pursue compensation from the tire manufacturer and ultimately recovered substantially more for our client than if they were stuck with relying on the other driver's insurance policy.
- Underinsured Motorist Policy: As their name suggests, these policies kick in when the driver who hit you doesn't have the insurance available to cover your losses. This is insurance you need to have purchased for yourself. A lot of our clients are unaware that they even have an underinsured motorist policy. In fact, insurance policies generally have underinsured motorist coverage unless the policyholder has specifically rejected it. In essence, we can pursue your own insurance policy on your behalf when the other driver's policy is exhausted.
- Reductions: For the majority of car accident victims, a major component of the losses they experience in car accidents stem from the unexpected medical bills and the wages they lost while they couldn't work. After a party recovers for their injuries, they're required not only to pay back medical providers for the services they've been provided, but may also have to pay back benefits from Texas's workers compensation program if they were injured on the job. In the event that the responsible driver had a small insurance policy, our attorneys may be able to negotiate and reduce your repayment obligations to medical and other benefit providers. By negotiating on your behalf, we work hard to ensure that more of the money we win on your behalf actually goes into your pocket.
- Other Insurance Policies: Our firm has realized that even where there is only a small limit auto insurance policy on the vehicle itself, the responsible driver's actions may also be covered by an additional umbrella policy. These umbrella polices are often worth significantly more than the auto policy itself, and may only be discovered with the tools and resources possessed by an experienced auto accident firm like Grossman Law Offices.
- Bad Faith Claims Against an Insurance Provider: It's important to note that insurance providers are required to conduct their business in a certain way under Texas law. When our firm makes a specific type of demand against an insurance company, but they refuse to fulfill the demand in violation of their duties under Texas law, we may be able to assert liability for your injuries against the insurance company itself in addition to the negligent party responsible for causing them. Although this procedure was developed in the early 1900s, it's an ace in the hole that our firm has successfully used several times to obtain more compensation for our clients.
Why you should call Grossman Law Offices.
If you've been injured in a car accident and the other driver has only purchased a general liability insurance policy, it may appear at first glance that recovery for your injuries will be extremely limited. However, our firm's twenty five years of experience has proven that we might be able to find additional sources of funds for you to collect against, thereby increasing the value of your claim.
If you've been injured in a car accident, our experienced auto accident attorneys may be able to help. For a free consultation regarding how the other driver's insurance policy limits may affect recovery in your case and how our firm may be able to get around those limits, give us a call at (855) 326-0000.
Other car insurance articles you might want to read:
- Do I pursue the insurance policy on the car or on the driver?
- How do insurance settlements work?
- What makes an insurance carrier want to settle with me?