Is Texas a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Getting into a car accident can be a scary experience. After undergoing that trauma, you may discover that even more stress awaits you as you navigate the insurance claim process.
Car insurance laws can vary from state to state. If you’re a Texas resident, you may be wondering “Is Texas a no-fault state for car accidents?” In short, no—Texas is an at-fault insurance state.
Below, we’ll break down what this means and answer some frequently asked questions about car insurance in the Lone Star State.
No-Fault Vs. At-Fault Car Insurance: What’s the Difference?
States typically have one of two types of car insurance: no-fault and at-fault, which can determine how involved drivers can obtain compensation after an accident:
- No-fault – In no-fault car insurance states, you don’t need to figure out who was at fault for the accident. Instead, every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
Personal injury protection insurance enables people to seek compensation for their injuries and property damage from their own insurance companies. If the damage from an auto accident exceeds a driver’s PIP coverage, they can sue the at-fault party for the remaining amount.
On one hand, this system is simple and streamlined. You don’t have to work with anyone else’s insurance agency or go through the tedious process of proving who was at fault. On the other hand, having to file a claim with your own insurance for an accident you didn’t cause may unfairly raise your rates.
- At-fault – In at-fault states, like Texas, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the damages of the auto accident. In turn, you must seek compensation from that driver’s insurance company, rather than your own. If your damages surpass the at-fault driver’s coverage limits, you can request them to pay the remaining amount by filing a personal lawsuit.
Compared to no-fault insurance, at-fault insurance often involves more complicated claims requests, since you must prove who bore the majority of responsibility for the accident. For help with these claims, consider speaking with a Texas car accident lawyer to guide you through the process.
How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in Texas?
A car crash can be chaotic. Sometimes, multiple drivers bear some degree of responsibility for the accident. In turn, fault must be determined through the legal process.
The following types of evidence can be used to prove fault:
- Photos or videos of the accident
- Photos or videos of the resulting damages and injuries
- Witness testimonies
- Police reports
- Expert opinions
Is Texas a 50/50 Car Accident State?
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can only seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company if they were more than 51% at fault.
If you were partially at fault (but less than 51%), the amount of compensation you’re entitled to will be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you were 30% at fault for the accident, you can seek up to 70% of the compensation you would have been entitled to otherwise.
What Happens After a Car Accident in Texas?
If you are wondering what to do after a car accident in Texas, you’ll first need to file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You should also call 911 right after the accident to file a police report and ask the other drivers for their:
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license information
- Car details
Once fault is legally established and you have decided to file an insurance claim, make sure you are aware of the statute of limitations for Texas car accident cases so that you can file your claim on time. Then, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage should pay for your resulting medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering, up to their coverage amount. The amount of compensation you are provided can vary depending on the case, so make sure you are knowledgeable about the average car accident settlement in Texas. If your expenses exceed this settlement amount, you can sue the at-fault driver personally to recover the difference.
Unfortunately, insurance claims and lawsuits can be complicated and time-consuming. What’s more, some insurance companies may intentionally undervalue your claim or take a long time to resolve it, placing you in a precarious financial position. For this reason, it’s helpful to work with a personal injury lawyer who can help you get the prompt compensation you deserve.
Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up if I'm Not At Fault in Texas?
Unfortunately, your car insurance rates may go up after a Texas car accident, even if you weren’t at fault. According to a Zebra State of Insurance Analysis, not-at-fault drivers saw an average insurance rate increase of $67 per year.
Even so, the impact on your insurance rates should be smaller than if you caused the car crash.
Move Forward From Your Car Accident Today
Dealing with Texas car insurance claims can be complicated. After going through the trauma of a car accident, you deserve professional and fair support so you can ensure you’re treated fairly.
If you've been involved in an accident and are seeking legal support and representation, head over to Mighty's Texas Accident Attorney Directory to find a trusted attorney in your area today.
Texas.gov. Chapter 33. Proportionate Responsibility.
Zebra. 2022 The State of Auto Insurance.
Written ByMaly Ohrenschall
VP of Customer Experience
About the author
Maly is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience in the insurance sector, specializing in multi-line claims and customer service for personal injury cases. As the leader of Mighty’s Client Experience team, she leverages her extensive background to ensure clients involved in auto accidents receive the highest level of care and support. Maly’s expertise plays a crucial role in delivering exceptional service and fostering long-lasting client relationships.
About the reviewer