Texas is not a no-fault state. In Texas, there is a fault insurance requirement for every licensed driver in the state. Per the Texas Department of Insurance, this is so that drivers must "pay for the accidents they cause." To adhere to this requirement, drivers must have the minimum amounts of liability car insurance coverage, which is known as 30/60/25 in Texas. This breaks down into $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person, $60,000 for total bodily injury liability, and $25,000 for property damage. This is just a minimum. It is recommended that drivers insure themselves with a limit higher than required by law so they avoid paying out of pocket after an accident.
Fault vs. No-Fault Insurance
Various states have different approaches to auto insurance requirements for residents.
All 50 states have adopted either fault or no-fault requirements for insurance policies. Understanding the differences between fault and no-fault insurance will help Texas drivers understand what their insurance policy covers.
In the simplest terms, no-fault insurance requires drivers to file a claim with their own insurer after an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. It would entitle anyone in an accident to benefits, even if the crash was their fault. Supporters of no-fault insurance policies claim they enable prices to remain lower for drivers and make the process of determining fault simpler. Other supporters also claim that no-fault insurance lightens the load for overworked court systems, which must often hear insurance claim disputes after a car accident.
In the United States, no-fault insurance requirements aren't common. Only 12 states require drivers to have a no-fault policy. However, some states—such as Pennsylvania—give drivers a decision to opt-out of no-fault insurance policies if they meet specific requirements.
In states with no-fault laws, injured drivers are unable to pursue damages against the at-fault driver except under specific circumstances. These circumstances often include serious injuries like disfigurement, bone fractures, or permanent disability.
Fault insurance dictates that the party who is responsible for an accident (and/or their insurer) must compensate the other party for any losses. Notably, those in fault insurance states can pursue an at-fault party for damages. The ability to sue for personal injury in fault insurance states means that insurance companies often have a greater responsibility to provide compensation to injured parties.
If you have been injured in a Texas car accident and have questions about insurance coverage, call Arnold & Itkin today!