Legal Framework Governing Car Accidents and Insurance In Houston, Texas
Houston, the fourth-largest city in the United States, is a bustling metropolis known for its diversity, energy, and extensive network of highways. With so many vehicles on the road, accidents are an unfortunate reality, and dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming.
You must understand the laws that govern MVAs and insurance and know your rights and responsibilities as a driver or victim. If you need any legal assistance, hire a car accident lawyer in Houston.
Auto Insurance Requirements
In Houston, Texas, the legal landscape for car accidents and insurance is shaped by state laws and regulations, with a focus on auto liability insurance. Here are the crucial details regarding insurance:
Texas law mandates that drivers must demonstrate their ability to cover the costs of accidents they cause by purchasing auto liability insurance. This insurance pays for various expenses when you’re at fault in an accident.
To comply with Texas law, your liability insurance policy should provide a minimum of $30,000 for injuries per person, reaching $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. The coverage is often referred to as 30/60/25.
Liability insurance is used to cover the replacement or repair of the other driver’s vehicle, as well as the other driver’s medical expenses, in the event that you are responsible for the accident.
While liability insurance is the only mandatory type of coverage in Texas, you have the option to add other types of protection to your policy, like uninsured and underinsured motorist protection.
Texas operates under a comparative negligence rule, which means that if you share some responsibility for an accident, the compensation you receive may be reduced proportionally to your assigned level of fault.
Compensation for Car Accidents
Texas follows a “fault” system for car accidents, where the driver at fault is financially responsible for the damages.
If you are the at-fault driver, your liability insurance covers the cost of repair for the other driver’s vehicle, medical expenses for the other party, and other relevant expenses.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Protection
While liability insurance is mandatory in Texas, some drivers may not carry sufficient insurance coverage. To protect yourself from such situations, it is advisable to add uninsured and underinsured motorist protection to your policy. This coverage steps in when you are in an accident with a driver who either has no insurance or is insufficient to cover your damages.
If you lack uninsured and underinsured motorist protection and are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, a car accident lawyer in Houston can assist you in exploring alternative sources of compensation. This may involve identifying other potential parties who might share liability or pursuing legal action against the at-fault driver through other means.
In Texas, it’s important to note that, in most cases, victims of car accidents generally cannot sue the at-fault party directly. Instead, the compensation process primarily revolves around insurance claims and coverage. This means that insurance plays a significant role in resolving accident-related disputes.
Reporting a Car Accident
In the aftermath of a car accident in Houston, Texas, adhering to the reporting requirements is not just a recommendation; it’s a legal obligation. This ensures that all parties involved and the authorities are aware of the incident.
In Houston, Texas, and indeed throughout the state, there is a specific threshold that triggers the reporting obligation. You are required by law to report any car accident that meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Injury: If anyone involved in the accident sustains an injury, regardless of its severity, the accident must be reported. This includes injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or any other individuals affected by the collision.
- Fatalities: Tragically, if the accident results in a fatality, it must be reported immediately. Reporting such incidents is a legal requirement and a crucial step in ensuring a proper investigation takes place.
- Property Damage: When the property damage resulting from the accident exceeds $1,000, it falls within the reporting mandate. This threshold is set to encompass a wide range of situations, from minor fender-benders to more significant collisions.
Failure to report an accident that meets the established criteria can result in legal consequences, including potential fines and penalties.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer at Plumbar Law
Staying informed about the key aspects of car accidents and insurance laws can help you protect your rights and responsibilities as a driver in the Lone Star State. For legal guidance or representation in the aftermath of a car accident in Houston, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer in Houston at Plumbar Law for assistance.