“On almost a daily basis, I visit with clients that are unsure about what type of car insurance they carry. ‘Full coverage’ means so many different things to different people,” Brad says.
When it comes to liability, Texas uses a “fault” system. That means a person is required to pay for any damages and injuries from a car accident they caused. To comply with the laws of the state, drivers must carry liability insurance with the following minimum limits: $30,000 for each injured person; $60,000 for injuries per incident; and $25,000 for property damage. Known as “30/60/25,” this basic coverage applies to paying medical bills, property damage and personal injury costs of drivers, passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident caused by the insured.
“This is where the major issues arrive. If someone only carries liability insurance and causes an accident where another driver is seriously injured, there is no way $30,000 will be enough to cover the medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. That is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to purchase additional coverage to make sure you are protected,” Brad says.
For many, the best coverage is the cheapest policy. Brad says, “This is such a common mistake. The only way to be certain you are fully protected is to purchase adequate insurance. Each coverage has its own job to do.”
For every driver on public roadways, their car is vulnerable to all types of losses and damages. While the biggest concern may be with accidents, vehicles can be damages by acts of weather or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage is an all-encompassing option that protects your car against physical damage caused by anything other than a collision. This can relate to windshield cracks, storm damage and even electrical damage cause by rodents. It also repairs damage from vandals keying your door, breaking into your car or even theft.
Some of the worst damage to your vehicle can come from a collision with another vehicle, tree or pole. Collision insurance can only be purchased when combined with liability and comprehensive coverage. It will cover damage to your vehicle if you hit ice and slide into an inanimate object and also covers pothole damage. With collision insurance, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly payments will be. If the insurance company decides your car can be fixed, it will pay you the cost of repairs. If the company totals your car, it will pay you the actual cash value of your car. Actual cash value is the current value of your car, minus depreciation. Whether the company decides to repair your car or total it, you’ll get only up to the dollar limits of your policy. Brad says, “If the insurance company totals your car and the cash value they are willing to pay seems too low, the only way to appeal the amount is through litigation.”
UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED COVERAGE
“If you are involved in an auto accident with someone who does not carry insurance or who doesn’t carry enough insurance and you haven’t protected yourself with Uninsured (UM) or Underinsured (UIM) coverage, there isn’t much you can do. You can hope they have some assets, but Texas is a very debtor oriented state where people’s assets are heavily protected. It’s probable that there will be no recovery whatsoever,” Brad says.
UM coverage protects you if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance. UIM coverage, on the other hand, steps in when you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover the damage or medical expenses. The at-fault driver’s insurance will typically pay for all damages up to the policy limits, and then your underinsured motorist coverage will cover the excess amount up to the limits you select.
Like liability insurance, uninsured and underinsured motorist breaks down into two coverage types: bodily injury and property damage. Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) can cover medical expenses, lost wages and injury-related expenses for you, any permissive drivers, and your passengers. It can also provide coverage for injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents. Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) helps if your car is damaged in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Unlike UMBI, this coverage doesn’t protect against damage caused by hit-and-run collisions.
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses and, in many cases, lost wages. It is often called “no-fault” coverage because its inherent comprehensiveness pays out claims agnostic of who is at fault in the accident. Brad says, “If you have PIP insurance and are hurt in accident, you can receive maximum benefits whether or not the accident was your fault. On top of medical bills and lost wages, PIP insurance can also cover expenses like transportation to medical appointments.”-
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Car Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation. We help car accident victims throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington as well as all areas of Texas.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.