If you get injured or suffer property damage in an accident in Texas, state law allows you to collect financial compensation from one or more insurance companies. If the accident was not your fault, you will collect compensation from the insurance carrier of the at-fault party. Otherwise, you will seek damages from your own insurer.
If you need to file an insurance claim in Texas, it is important to understand how policy limits work – especially if your past and future losses exceed the coverage available. A personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation outside of insurance policy limits.
All insurance policies come with limits. Policy limits are the maximum amount of money the insurance company will pay for a claim. Policy limits are listed in the language, terms and provisions of an insurance policy. To understand insurance policy limits during your personal injury case, carefully read the fine print of the policy being used. If an accident happens and you need to seek coverage, the insurance company responsible for your losses will not offer more than the policy limit.
If you get injured in a car accident, the limits on the other driver’s liability policy are most likely $30,000 in bodily injury insurance per person, $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. These are the minimum required amounts of auto insurance in Texas. These will be the limits, therefore, on your financial recovery during a car insurance claim, unless the driver carries more than the minimum.
With help from a lawyer, you may be able to seek additional compensation for your accident through other outlets. For example, a lawyer can help you find out if the other driver has additional insurance to provide greater coverage for your losses. If the other driver has optional forms of coverage, such as medical payments coverage, this may provide additional money to pay for your medical bills after the driver’s liability insurance runs out.
A lawyer can also help you look to your own insurance company for coverage. It may be possible to recover more than an insurance policy’s limit if you seek financial compensation from more than one provider. Your own auto insurance carrier may chip in to pay for the costs of the accident, even if you were not at fault, if you have uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, comprehensive or collision coverage. A combination of third-party and first-party insurance coverage could provide enough to fully pay for your losses.
Another option to seek financial recovery that exceeds an insurance policy’s limit is filing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. Bringing a lawsuit against an at-fault party could allow you to access not only that party’s full insurance coverage but also his or her personal assets. A successful judgment award could force the defendant to pay for the full amount of your damages, even if this takes something such as wage garnishment.
You may also be able to name multiple defendants in your personal injury lawsuit. After a truck accident, for example, you may be able to hold both a truck company and a cargo company responsible for losses. Multiple defendants could give you more opportunities to pursue compensation, as multiple insurance companies may be liable.
It is not easy to collect personal injury compensation beyond the limits of the at-fault party’s insurance policy. It is possible, however, in certain circumstances, if you know where to look for additional compensation. Most injured victims need personal injury lawyers to help them pursue financial compensation outside of an insurance policy’s limit.
A lawyer can help you explore all outlets for financial recovery after an accident and injury, including your own insurance coverage, a personal injury lawsuit, other defendants or filing a bad-faith lawsuit against an insurance company. Consult with a Houston personal injury lawyer today for more information about your specific case and recovery options.