When there is a car accident, the person who is at fault may be financially responsible for any injuries that others in the accident may have sustained as well as property damage. They may even face criminal charges or fines. The parties involved may dispute who actually caused the accident and the courts may be left to decide. This can be a lengthy process meaning that anyone who was injured may have to wait for a judge’s decision on who is at fault or pay out of pocket for medical care. In some cases, this can delay vital treatment.
No fault insurance was developed for situations just like this. While it provides only limited coverage, typically just medical bills and lost wages, it can ensure that injured parties in your vehicle (you and your passengers) get necessary medical attention in a timely manner.
Some states require that all drivers carry no fault insurance. They are called “no fault states.” Others leave it as an optional add on to regular auto insurance coverage. The decision to require no fault insurance is left to each individual state. The state of Texas does not require no fault insurance.
What is No Fault Insurance?
No fault insurance requires your own car insurance company to pay all or a portion of medical bills and lost wages for you (the driver) and any passengers in the event of an accident where any of you are injured. It doesn’t matter who is at fault; the no fault policy automatically kicks in. Each no-fault insurance state has its own laws regarding coverage amounts, benefit limits, and other details. There are currently about a dozen no fault insurance states. One drawback to this type of policy is that in most cases you are not permitted to file a claim for personal injury damages like pain and suffering. Although you may be able to file to have the limit extended if your injuries are serious (such as a broken bone) or your medical bills exceed a certain amount. A no fault insurance claim may also be referred to as a personal injury protection claim, or PIP claim.
Texas Auto Insurance Requirements
Under Texas law, all cars must be covered by liability insurance which included both bodily injury and property damage. In the event that you are in an accident that is deemed to be your fault, the responsibility falls on you and your insurance company to pay for the injured parties’ medical care as well as any property damage. Liability insurance does have limitations. It is very common for the expenses stemming from an auto accident to exceed the liability insurance coverage maximum benefit. This is particularly true if you opt for the minimum liability insurance requirements when you first get insurance.
The truth is, state minimal liability insurance requirements are rarely adequate when it comes to protecting you if you have caused a serious accident. The Texas minimum liability insurance requirements, or basic coverage, is called 30/60/25 coverage which means:
- $30,000 for each injured person
- $60,000 total per accident for personal injury
- $25,000 for per accident for property damage
There are other types of auto insurance and add ons that provide greater coverage and more protection. Your insurance company can explain them to you.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Gives You Better Coverage
Personal injury protection is an add on to your policy that can offer you greater protection should you get in an accident. What often happens is, a person gets in an accident and gets hurt. Their liability coverage pays part of their medical expenses, but soon the medical expenses exceed the coverage. This leaves the person to find other ways of paying for their medical treatment or having to stop treatment because they can’t afford it. Personal injury protection, or “PIP,” protects against that by paying for at least a portion of the medical bills.
When you purchase your auto insurance policy, the company will automatically include PIP coverage. If you don’t want it, you can provide in writing that you are rejecting it. The base coverage for PIP is $2,500 which is what your insurance company will provide, but you can purchase more if you wish.
Auto accidents can be very complex. You need someone who is on your side to help you understand each step in the process so that you can make educated decisions. The caring, competent attorneys at The Cagle Firm provide personal service as we walk you through each step and make sure you understand. Call us today at 888-353-3619 or contact us via our contact form so we can discuss your case. Let us handle the legalities on the accident so you can work on healing.