We have all heard the term no-fault state bandied about a good deal, but Texas does not count itself among these no-fault states. Better understanding the difference between at-fault and no-fault systems can help you tackle your car accident claim head-on.
What No-Fault Means
To better understand what at fault means, it can help to know what no-fault means in the context of car accidents. In no-fault states, motorists are required to carry their own car insurance that covers their own injuries and property damage in the event of a car accident – regardless of which driver is at fault for the accident. As such, if you are injured by another driver in a no-fault state, your claim will, nevertheless, proceed through your own car insurance coverage. Generally, only if the injuries you sustain are quite serious can you sue the at-fault party or file your car accident claim with his or her insurance provider. (Car Insurance Companies Often Keep Secrets)
Texas’s Fault-Based System
If you are injured by another driver’s negligence in the State of Texas, you will file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company directly. Your own insurance will not play a role in the compensation process unless the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured – in which case, your uninsured/underinsured driver coverage will kick in (if you carry it). In other words, in Texas, fault plays a pivotal role in car accident claims. (Texas Car Insurance Explained)
The answers to some of the most frequently asked questions can help you get a better handle on this issue.
What if I share the blame?
As long as you aren’t found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident that leaves you injured, you can recover on your damages, but your total will be reduced by the percentage of fault you bear. If you are deemed more than 50 percent responsible, you cannot pursue damages. (Learn more about determining fault in your car accident)
What damages can I seek?
Legal damages relate to your losses, and they can include all of the following categories:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical expenses (Learn more about Managing Your Medical Bills Pre-Personal Injury Settlement)
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
Seeking the damages to which you are entitled can go a long way toward helping you to fully recover on your losses.
What if I cannot afford a car accident attorney?
Reputable car accident attorneys generally work on a contingency basis, which means that you can afford their professional legal services. Contingency means your attorney’s payment is contingent – or based upon – whether or not you obtain a settlement (or court award). If you do, you will owe your car accident attorney a predetermined percentage.
You Need an Experienced Accident Attorney in Your Corner
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a highly motivated car accident attorney who dedicates his practice to helping clients like you recover on their full range of losses. We’re on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about how we can help you today.