States are generally known as at-fault or no-fault states for automobile insurance. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a form of no-fault insurance. If you are involved in a car accident and have PIP coverage, you can file a claim for damages with your insurance company.
You do not need to prove fault to recover PIP benefits. Even if you are 100% at fault for causing the car crash, your PIP benefits still apply. However, PIP benefits are limited and do not pay the same compensation to accident victims as liability insurance.
Does Texas Require PIP Insurance for Drivers?
Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents. If a driver causes a traffic accident, the victim can sue them for damages. The state requires drivers to have minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage to pay for damages from a car accident that was their fault.
However, Texas insurance laws require insurance companies to offer PIP insurance coverage when they sell a liability insurance policy to a customer. You have the right to decline PIP coverage as it is an optional insurance policy, but you must do so in writing.
How Does Personal Injury Protection Insurance Coverage Work in Texas?
If you are involved in a car accident and have PIP coverage, you file a claim with your insurance company for benefits. The company should provide benefits regardless of who was at fault for causing the car accident.
PIP benefits may be used to pay expenses related to the accident, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reasonable household services
- Death benefits
Because you do not need to prove liability, there is usually no waiting period for PIP benefits. Your insurance company should pay benefits when you supply the required documentation proving the accident occurred and you incurred the covered expenses. Insurance companies are required to offer a minimum of $2,500 in PIP coverage, but some plans have higher limits if you want to increase coverage.
Because the payment is quicker, many people purchase PIP coverage to help pay bills after a car accident while pursuing a personal injury claim. Furthermore, your PIP coverage also extends to members of your household, passengers in your vehicle, and anyone you authorized to drive your vehicle.
Does PIP Cover All Expenses After a Car Accident in Texas?
No, PIP does not cover all expenses you incur because of a car accident. Expenses that are not covered by personal injury protection insurance include:
- Medical bills and lost wages that exceed your PIP coverage
- Injuries to anyone involved in the accident that were not an occupant of your vehicle
- Property damage
- Non-economic damages for pain and suffering
Because PIP has low coverage amounts, your benefits may not reimburse you for all losses. Furthermore, you receive nothing for your pain and suffering damages. However, if the other driver was at fault, you can pursue a claim against them for all damages caused by the car crash.
Pursuing a Liability Claim for a Car Accident in Fort Worth, TX
When another driver causes a car accident that results in your injuries, you have several options for pursuing compensation for damages. In addition to filing a claim with your insurance company, you can file a liability claim with the other driver’s insurance provider. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
In most cases, accident victims begin by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. Drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of liability automobile insurance. Texas requires drivers to have at least:
- $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for injuries or death to one person
- $60,000 in bodily injury coverage for injuries or death to two or more people per accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
Liability insurance compensates accident victims for their economic and non-economic damages when an insured driver or vehicle is at fault for the crash. However, you must prove the legal elements of a negligence claim before you can recover compensation or your damages.
You must prove that the other driver had a legal duty of care and failed to meet the duty of care. You must also prove the breach of duty was the reason for the car accident and that you sustained damages.
Even after you prove fault, the insurance company could deny your claim. At the very least, it will try to reduce its liability by undervaluing your damages or accusing you of being partially to blame for the car wreck (i.e., contributory fault).
A Fort Worth car accident attorney can help you with a claim after a car accident. They understand insurance company tactics and how to fight back to obtain a fair settlement for a car accident claim.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation With Our Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyers
If you need assistance dealing with an insurance company after a car accident or have questions about PIP coverage, contact Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers to speak with an attorney. You can request a free consultation with our Fort Worth car accident attorneys to discuss your legal options for recovering damages. You have little to lose by scheduling a free initial consultation at (817) 839-3143.