Being a good driver means understanding that there is a possibility of getting involved in an accident. Car accidents can cause anyone a lot of inconvenience and losses depending on the nature of the accident.
All states in the United States have different laws concerning car accidents. The State of Texas is a non-at-fault-state, meaning that it is possible for each driver involved in an accident to take financial responsibility for the occurrence of the accident. To be prepared in the event an accident happens to you, it is important that you understand the Texas car accident laws.
Here is a list of laws that you will want to be aware of to protect yourself as well as your rights
Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitation is a law that sets your time limit rights to file a lawsuit in a civil court. However, the stipulated deadlines vary depending on the seriousness of the injuries you suffered or the nature of the claim you wish to submit. Most Texas car accident lawsuits require you to file your claims within two years from the date of the crash.
In Texas, the statute of limitation countdown starts the day of the crash. However, if you discover your injury later after the accident, through the help of your attorney, the court can mark the countdown clock at the date of discovery.
Under Texas car accident laws, the court might pause the statute of limitation on wrongful deaths if a person dies as a result of an accident. The regulations also give a time limit of two years from the date of individual death and not the time of the crash.
Texas’s Comparative Negligence Rule in Vehicle Crash Cases
Under Texas auto accident laws, once the other driver is found to be at fault for your vehicle crash, he or she will be required to compensate you through his or her insurance cover. The compensation may include lost wages, medical bills, vehicle damage, and any other loss that you may have suffered out of the accident.
However, Texas adheres to a modified comparative fault rule. The rule applies when both parties share the blame for an accident. Under section 33.003 of the modified comparative rule, the plaintiff’s awarded damages are reduced by an equal percentage to his or her share of fault.
If the courts find that the other driver was 90 percent at fault and you were 10 percent responsible for the crash, you will only be awarded 90 percent of your calculated damages. Under car accident Texas laws, you are not entitled to any compensation if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the crash.
If you file an individual injury claim and the courts find out that you were more than fifty percent responsible for the accident, you will not recover any damage from the other driver. This is irrespective of you having incurred bodily harm from the accident.
Texas Car Accident Insurance Laws
In Texas, car insurance is a mandatory and legal contract between a car owner and the insurance company. Motor vehicle insurance plays a significant role in any claim of an accident. Insurance companies need to be informed about accidents in Texas as gives them a go-ahead in protecting your interests.
Similar to other states, Texas car accident laws demand that a car owner maintains a particular amount of insurance coverage. This is a way of the driver demonstrating financial responsibility upon an accident. This is to allow you to operate your vehicle legally on Texas roads and highways.
Upon an accident in Texas, the fault degree plays an essential role in determining who insurance pays for your damages. The Texas law state that, if you are at fault, you should file a claim using your coverage, and if another driver was at fault, you should file for damages using his or her insurance.
The Texas laws state that drivers must present the evidence of their insurance physically when asked for. Therefore, as a car owner, it is essential to understand the Texas auto insurance laws. Learn more about how fault is determined in the state of Texas.
The Texas accident laws also state that all drivers must have an amount not exceeding $30,000 as an insurance cover for bodily injury liabilities, and $25,000 for property damage. The laws also state that your insurance company is required to respond to you in writing after receiving your claim. The company must do so within five business days.
Do You Need to Report a Car Accident in Texas?
You have come to an abrupt stop after an accident. Now, what next? This could be your major question that you don’t have an answer for.
The Texas laws give three guidelines on what you should do after an accident. As a motor vehicle driver, you should:
- Stop the vehicle at the scene of the crash.
- Determine whether a person involved in the accident needs first aid.
- Give notice of the accident to the local police department.
The Texas accident laws state that, upon any crash, a driver is required to file a crash report within ten days if a police officer does not investigate the accident, and it resulted to property damage that value exceeds $1000, body injuries, or death.
The law expects the driver to report the accident to the local police department within the shortest time possible, or the local sheriff’s office if the accident happened outside a municipality. After ensuring that every person is safe, the Texas law mandates you to exchange vehicle, personal, and insurance details with the other driver or drivers.
Section 550.023 of the Texas car accident laws expect you to correct the names and contacts of any witness. Also, ensure you make a note of weather and road conditions, and take photos of the vehicles.
Know Your Rights
Texas insurance companies can be merciless so be sure to follow the right procedure if you find yourself in a Texas car accident. Once you take your crash to trial, all gathered information and evidence about the accident are presented in a Texas courtroom. It is at this point the judge decides who is at fault depending on the evidence presented before him or her.
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