Texas drivers have to carry liability insurance. Minimum coverage is $30,000 per person in case you injure someone, and $60,000 total per accident in case you cause multiple injuries. Your liability coverage won't provide benefits to you if you cause a car crash and you hurt yourself or damage your property. Liability coverage only pays for damage to others. You are also required to buy $25,000 in property damage liability coverage in case you cause damage to someone else's property.
If you want your insurer to cover you in situations where you may be responsible for an accident, you'll need to buy optional additional coverage like collision coverage. If you want to be covered in case you get hurt by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, it is also possible to buy insurance protection. All auto insurance must be purchased before you get into an accident if you want coverage to apply.
Having insurance doesn't automatically mean you get paid when an accident happens. You need to know how to report a car accident and how to protect your rights.
How to Report Your Car Accident
You should make sure your car accident is reported to your insurance company as well as to the insurer who provides coverage for all other drivers in the accident.
Reporting to your insurer is easy. You find the phone number on your insurance card or your policy documents and you call and follow prompts for initiating a claim. Your insurer's claims representatives will explain the process of making a claim. You should also refer to your policy, which is your contract for insurance. The process will usually involve answering questions on the phone and submitting written information. Keep careful track of everything you say to the insurer and all documents and correspondence. Your insurer is not really on your side, and would like to get away with paying as little as possible if found responsible for coverage.
Your car accident should also be reported to the insurers of other drivers. If any other driver in the crash was negligent and responsible for the accident, that drivers insurer should be the one who covers your economic and non-financial losses. The other driver is actually legally responsible for reporting the crash to his or her insurer. However, you should make sure to protect your own interests by following up with the insurer to see if the collision was reported. Drivers have to stop, by law, at a crash scene and exchange information. When you are given the info from the other driver, you can contact his insurer to see if a claim is underway.
However, speaking with insurers is a complex process. A Texas auto accident attorney will be in the best position to ensure your rights are protected. You can negotiate a settlement or go to court and file a civil case. Tort laws require you to prove negligence to be successful in a civil lawsuit. An experienced legal professional can help you negotiate with the other driver's insurer for compensation or can assist in getting evidence and finding witnesses to make a strong damage claim.