Car Accidents in Houston, Texas: Who Pays the Injured Victim?

Following a car crash, the victim often files a claim with the insurance provider of the driver who caused the accident. Although the victim can hold the at-fault driver liable for their damages, they may have bought extra coverage for their damages within their own policy. So, when exactly can a car accident victim file a claim against this coverage? An experienced Houston car accident attorney can discuss financial responsibility in vehicle crashes and whether victims can file a claim with their own insurer. If you have sustained injuries in a vehicle accident, you must talk to an attorney to know your options for pursuing compensation. 

Determining Financial Responsibility in Car Accidents

Texas is an at-fault state. Thus, the driver who caused a car accident is liable for damages often paid out using their insurance. Car accident victims must file a claim to get compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault party. In the state, drivers should carry a minimum coverage amount that can be used for compensation for others once they cause an accident that results in persona injuries or property damage. If an accident involves several parties, the coverage of the at-fault driver may not be enough to pay claims. This is where the victim could exhaust their own coverage. Victims can file a lawsuit in civil court against the driver who caused the accident. The driver’s insurance company will represent their interest in the case. Victims should file a lawsuit within two years from the date they were injured. 

Using First-Party Benefits 

Drivers in Texas can carry some kinds of coverage that could provide them with compensation from their insurance provider when an accident happens. One of these is called personal injury protection or PIP, which pays for the victim’s medical expenses and a percentage of the income they lost as they recover from their injuries, up to the limit of the policy. Although this coverage is not a requirement, insurance companies are required to offer this to their policyholders. 

Another option is collision coverage, which pays for damage to the victim’s vehicle after an accident. The policy owner may be responsible for a deductible. 

Using Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection or UIM

This form of coverage can be used when the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance or doesn’t have insurance at all. Although the victim can try to recover compensation from the personal assets of the at-fault driver, the process is often difficult and complex. UIM is an optional kind of coverage that an accident victim can use to ensure they are protected. 

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