Texas, along with numerous others states, examines “fault” in a car accident when determining who is financially responsible. More specifically, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, “Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to pay for the accidents they cause.” In practice, drivers not at fault in a car wreck in Texas may file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company in order to recover compensation.
Additionally, although not legally required, many drivers opt to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) within an insurance policy, also commonly referred to as personal insurance protection. Many purchasing insurance are unaware of personal injury protection or do not fully understand it due to the ambiguity in most plans. While there are numerous variants of personal injury protection there are prototypical aspects across plans and providers for which we’d like to prepare you for as you review your personal injury protection options.
What is PIP?
Personal injury protection is a type of car insurance available to drivers throughout the state. Under Texas law, insurers must offer applicants $2,500 in PIP insurance, although drivers may choose to purchase a greater amount. Insured drivers may choose to reject this offer, but must make this request in writing.
How does PIP factor into a car accident claim? PIP insurance covers both medical bills up to the monetary amount purchased, as well as 80 percent of lost wages and the cost associated with hiring a caregiver for an injured victim.
In addition to covering the insured party, PIP insurance will also provide coverage for his or her family members and any passengers in the car, regardless of who was liable for the accident.
How PIP Works in Practice
To understand how PIP insurance works in practice, consider an example involving a Texas man who is struck by another driver. Here, the other driver is determined to be at fault, so the Texas man files a claim with the other driver’s insurance company to recover damages associated with medical bills and lost income. If the other driver has adequate PIP insurance, the Texas man will be fully compensated for the damages caused. Additionally, even though the other driver was at fault, he or she can still recover through his or her own PIP coverage, according to Texas law. Both parties in this scenario are compensated for damages including personal injury.
What if PIP Doesn’t Cover All Damages?
If, however, the other driver’s PIP insurance does not cover all damages associated with the accident, the Texas man, described in this example as the victim, retains the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover adequate compensation. In this scenario, the Texas man would attempt to sue the at-fault driver, a process that often requires the assistance of an attorney with skill and experience.
Even in cases where the at-fault driver carries adequate personal injury protection it is not uncommon for an insurance company to offer the victim a claim that does not fully compensate for damages. It is important for the victim to know their rights under Texas law and seek consulting with a personal injury attorney to help maximize damage recovery.
Can We Help You with Your Car Accident Claim?
Whether you plan on filing a car accident claim in Texas, or hope to initiate a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover due compensation, make sure to do so with the help of a legal professional. The Sherman car accident attorneys at Tate Rehmet Law Office, P.C. can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the PIP system, and will work aggressively on your behalf. Reach out to us for a free case review by calling 903-892-4440.