When a car accident occurs and it’s time to file for an insurance claim, you’ll need to know if you are in an at-fault or a no-fault state. Depending on the rules of the state you are in, you may need to file for compensation through your own insurance or the at-fault driver’s insurance. Partial fault rules may also apply to your case, which can affect the compensation you receive.
Texas is an at-fault state but also has specific rules regarding partial fault. Keep reading to learn what it means for Texas to be an at-fault state and how a Houston law firm can help you in your car accident case.
At-Fault Vs. No-Fault Rules
In all states, drivers are required to purchase a certain level of insurance coverage. The level of coverage varies by state, but an even more significant factor is whether or not the state where you crash follows at-fault or no-fault laws. At-fault and no-fault rules can make a big difference when it comes time to file a car accident insurance claim.
When a car accident occurs in an at-fault state, it simply means that the at-fault driver must either pay out of pocket or file an insurance claim for coverage of the damages to both themselves and other victims. The insurance claim may cover any injuries or property damage caused by the at-fault driver, but that driver may not be insured in all cases.
If an uninsured motorist causes a crash in an at-fault state, victims may be able to file a claim with their own insurance of sue the driver for damages.
On the other hand, in no-fault states like Michigan, all drivers have to have insurance that includes a minimum amount of coverage for damage to themselves or their own vehicle. When an accident occurs, everyone involved in the accident files a claim for coverage with their own insurance companies, regardless of who was to blame.
Proving Fault in Texas Car Accidents
Since Texas is an at-fault state, proving who was at fault for the accident is necessary before compensation can be determined and an insurance settlement is paid. Proving liability follows three essential steps.
- The driver had a duty of care, including driving responsibly.
- The driver was negligent in that duty.
- The driver’s negligence caused an accident in which the driver and victims suffered injuries or property damage.
In some car accidents, it may be obvious which driver should be held liable, while other accidents may be a bit more complicated.
Multiple types of evidence can be used to prove who was at fault for a car accident. For instance, you may wish to gather photographs and videos of the incident, feed from security cameras, police reports, eyewitness reports, or crash reconstruction reports. An experienced car accident attorney can help you find the evidence that you need.
Comparative Fault in Texas
Although Texas is an at-fault state, it also uses modified comparative negligence rules to determine where to place liability. This rule applies to accidents in which two or more drivers may each be held partially at fault for the accident.
Texas’s comparative fault rules state that if you were found partially at-fault for your crash, you may only be able to receive reduced compensation. For example, if you are considered 10% at fault for the crash, you may be eligible for 90% compensation.
If you were more than 50% at-fault for the crash, you can’t claim compensation from another driver in Texas.
Lapeze & Johns Serving Texans in Need
After a car accident, proving liability, responding to insurance tactics, and filing a lawsuit can be challenging to do alone. An experienced car accident attorney can help you handle your case.
The Houston law firm of Lapeze & Johns is ready to serve Texans in their car accident cases. Our team of compassionate legal professionals is dedicated to fighting for justice. Reach out to our trustworthy attorneys to find the help you need in your car accident case today.