Getting into a car accident can be a scary and devastating experience. Not only do many car accident victims have injuries to deal with, but they also need to find a way to secure compensation for medical bills, lost income, and property damage. However, securing this compensation is not always easy. Dealing with insurance carriers can be notoriously difficult, and the insurance minimums required for Texas are relatively low.
In Texas, drivers are required to maintain certain insurance requirements. By law, drivers in Texas must maintain:
In Texas, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage are not required, though drivers must reject these policies at the time they sign up for coverage with their insurance carrier.
When we look at these minimums, it is easy to see that the coverage limits could be exhausted quickly. Perhaps for damage to a vehicle and other property damage the $25,000 in property damage liability will be enough to pay for damage to one vehicle, but what happens when another vehicle is involved?
For injuries, the $30,000 per person for bodily liability injury coverage may be sufficient for minor injuries, but a serious injury will result in expenses rising far above that amount. Consider that the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Institute says that first-year medical costs for a spinal cord injury can range from $359,000 to more than $1.1 million.
You need to understand that the insurance carriers involved will only pay up to the limits of the policyholder’s policy. If you are injured due to another person’s negligent actions and file a claim with their insurer, you will be at the mercy of their policy limits. For example, if you incur $40,000 in medical bills but the person who caused your car accident only carrier the minimum coverage required in Texas, then you will only be awarded $30,000 in a settlement.
Anything over that amount will need to be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, which could result in a drawn-out court battle.
Most injuries that result from car accidents in Texas are relatively minor. However, that does not mean that they should not be taken seriously. Even a minor injury can result in major medical bills. When you factor in the cost of an emergency medical transport and a few X-rays, medical costs can easily rise into the thousands of dollars.
Now consider the following more serious injuries that commonly occur in a Texas car collision:
Each of these injuries requires not only emergency medical care, but often long-term recovery efforts such as surgery, physical therapy, and medications. These costs can quickly rise above the insurance minimums.
It can be argued that there should be higher car insurance minimums in Texas. Many states do have higher limits. Other states also often require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In general, motorists should consider higher limits to ensure they are protected in the event a car accident occurs on the roadway.