Texas is an at-fault insurance state, which means if people get into a car accident, typically one or the other driver is “at fault” in the crash. Some states are “no fault”—each person involved must rely on his or her own auto insurance to cover all damages for himself or herself, even if the other driver was responsible. However, Texas assigns fault to the driver who was at fault in the crash, and that person’s insurance is responsible for paying medical bills and property damage.
The danger lies, however, in what happens when the at-fault driver lacks auto insurance coverage. Texas has minimum auto insurance requirements for drivers, which means all people on the road are legally obligated to meet the state’s financial responsibility requirement. All Texas drivers must have the following coverage:
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident if 2 or more people are injured
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person
However, people still drive whether or not they can afford coverage. This factor is why the state requires all insurance companies to provide the option for uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage. While drivers are not obligated to purchase UM coverage, it will cover you in the event you are involved in a car accident with someone who can’t pay your medical bills or lost wages.
Additionally, underinsured motorists (UIM) have the minimum possible coverage listed above. However, if you sustain a severe spinal injury or permanent brain damage, you will need significantly more than $30,000, or even $90,000, to fully cover the cost of medical bills, physical therapy treatments, and months or years of lost wages. Some catastrophic injuries, such as some types of paralysis, can cost people millions of dollars over the course of a lifetime. For example, the estimated lifetime costs of someone with high tetraplegia (paralysis or partial paralysis of all four limbs and torso) is about $4,724,121 for a 25-year-old victim. For a person twice that age, the cost is about $2,596,329. Individuals with disabilities are also more likely to end up living in poverty, largely because they are unable to perform the functions of the jobs they had before the accident. For example, a construction worker who is partially paralyzed in a car crash is unlikely to be able to work in the same injury afterward.
If you’ve been injured by a UIM or UM, make sure you call an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney. Mathias Raphael PLLC has the extensive skill and knowledge necessary to help you navigate the legal area of personal injury. Our team can help you seek ways to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. Contact us at (214) 307-8387 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consult today. We serve both the Dallas and Chicago areas.