How Does Car Insurance Work in the State of Texas?

Nobody likes dealing with insurance companies, but it is an unfortunately necessary part of the recovery process after a serious auto accident. Before trying to untangle the insurance claims process by yourself, it can be helpful to know a little bit about what you should expect from your policy, as well as what rules state law has for car insurance policyholders and providers in particular.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about how car insurance works in the state of Texas. If you have further questions about how best to take advantage of your insurance coverage following a crash, you can get additional information and guidance by speaking with a knowledgeable car wreck lawyer.

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Texas Car Owners?

Under Texas state law, every person who owns a motor vehicle registered in the Lone Star State must purchase a liability insurance coverage which provides at least:

  • $30,000 of coverage for one other person injured in a single crash
  • $60,000 of coverage for all people injured in a single crash
  • $25,000 of coverage for all property damage in a single crash

Importantly, this minimum coverage only provides money to people other than the policyholder who suffered harm in a wreck. A policyholder cannot file a claim against their own liability insurance coverage after a collision.

What Coverage Options Do Texas Drivers Have?

In order to get compensation directly from their own insurance policy, car owners in Texas must purchase and pay the premiums for other types of coverage beyond the minimum liability insurance mentioned above. While each car insurance provider is different, all of them will provide at least some version of the following coverages:

  • Collision insurance, for damage to the policyholder’s vehicle in a traffic accident
  • Comprehensive insurance, for damage to the policyholder’s vehicle from something other than a traffic accident, such as fire or vandalism
  • Personal injury protection, for medical bills and a substantial portion of lost wages stemming from accident-related injuries
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, to cover damages that should have been covered by liability insurance that another driver does not have, or in the event the driver at fault for a wreck cannot be found afterward

Is Texas a “Fault” State or a “No-Fault” State?

Some states take a “no-fault” approach to car insurance, meaning that people injured in auto accidents may have limited rights or no right to file a civil suit against the person at fault for causing that wreck. However, Texas is a “fault” state in this regard, so there are no restrictions on an injured person’s right to seek civil restitution after a crash caused by someone else for damages their insurance does not cover.

Can You Recover Compensation Through Both Insurance and a Car Accident Lawsuit in the State of Texas?

It is often possible for someone injured in a car wreck in Texas to get paid through a combination of liability insurance held by other people involved, different insurance coverage held by the injured person, and a lawsuit against someone specifically at fault for causing the wreck. That said, it is not possible to recover twice for the same specific damages—so, for example, someone who had their emergency medical bills covered by insurance could not then include those same bills in a civil lawsuit based on the same incident.

Call to discuss your recovery options with an experienced attorney.