How Do I Get My Car Repaired After An Austin Auto Accident?

That depends on who caused the accident, and the type of insurance you have.

After an Austin car accident, the company insuring the at-fault driver usually must pay for repairs to the vehicle. If your vehicle was damaged, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

  • You Can Choose The Auto Repair Facility That You Trust

    You do not need to use the body shop recommended by the insurance company.

    Section 1952.301 of the Texas Insurance Code prohibits auto insurance companies from requiring a particular automotive repair facility, supplier or brand of replacement parts.

    Texas law also states that the at-fault driver’s insurance company cannot require used or aftermarket automotive parts.

    Deciding where to get your car repaired is an important decision, and one you should make on your own, without influence from an insurance company.
  • Use caution when speaking to the insurance company.

    Insurance companies are businesses, and usually try to settle an auto accident case for the smallest possible amount they can get you to accept. Insurance adjusters will also ask you leading questions and may use your recorded statements against you. It’s not personal, it’s their job.
  • Keep in mind that liability auto insurance pays for damage caused by the insured driver.

    If you were at-fault, your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s vehicle repairs. It will not cover repairs to your vehicle.
  • If you were at-fault in the auto accident, collision insurance may cover your repairs

    Collision insurance will pay to repair an insured vehicle, no matter who caused the accident. But collision insurance  is not required under Texas law, and not every driver purchases it. Check with your insurance agent.
  • The at-fault driver may not be insured, or have enough insurance to pay for all the damage to your vehicle.

    If you have Uninsured / Underinsured motorist coverage (also called UM / UIM), that may pay for your automobile repairs.

Speak to your insurance agent to find out if you have collision insurance, UM / UIM and other types of auto insurance. And consider increasing the amount of liability insurance you carry on your vehicle.

For auto insurance purposes, Texas is an at-fault state

Texas is an at-fault state for auto insurance. If there is a car accident in Austin or elsewhere in Texas, drivers who are at fault must pay for the accidents they cause.

  • Some states are no-fault states.

    An example is Florida. This means that if there is an accident, a driver’s no-fault insurance pays for their medical expenses and certain other damages (except car repairs) regardless of who was at fault. But Texas is an “at-fault state.”

If The Other Driver Was At Fault

If another driver caused the accident, that driver’s insurance company usually must pay for damage to your vehicle.

Keep in mind that even though the other driver may have been issued a ticket after the accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean they were at fault.

And even if the at-fault driver didn’t own the car being driven in the crash, that doesn’t mean they won’t be responsible for repairs to your car.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM / UIM) in Texas

If you have uninsured / underinsured coverage, this will pay for your automobile’s repairs if the at-fault driver does not have any (or enough) insurance.

Under Texas state law, insurance companies selling policies in the state must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It’s also called UM/UIM.


If You May Have Been At Fault (Or Partially At Fault)

If you caused the accident that damaged your own vehicle, your collision insurance will often cover the cost (although your insurance premiums may go up if you make a claim.)

Collision Coverage in Texas Liability Insurance for Auto Accidents

If you don’t add UM/UIM coverage, collision coverage might pay for damage to your car. Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle, even if you caused the accident.

Texas state law requires drivers be insured for damage they cause to other drivers or their vehicles. But drivers registered in Texas do not necessarily have to have collision coverage.

Note that collision coverage in Texas usually has a higher deductible than UM / UIM.

Even If You Were Partially At Fault, You Still May Be Able To Receive Money For Your Vehicle Repairs

Many accidents are not the result of only one person’s mistake.

For example, one driver might run through a yellow light while the other driver was distracted by texting. More than one driver may be described as “partly at-fault.” Both were careless, and both are legally responsible, at least in part.

If you were partly at fault in an accident, some states prevent you from getting any money for their damages. The legal term for this comparative fault.

But under Texas personal injury law, you can still receive compensation if you are less than half responsible for the accident (less than 51% percent at fault.) This is a modified version of comparative fault.

What is “Modified” Comparative Fault?

“Pure” Comparative Fault

Under Pure Comparative Fault, a person can recover compensation for an accident, even if the other person in the accident was only a little bit responsible.

For example, if you were 95% responsible, you could still recover 5% of your damages from the other person.

“Modified” Comparative Fault

Modified Comparative Fault is different. This doctrine says you can only recover in an accident if your share of the fault is less than a certain amount (usually 50 or 51 percent). This is also known as 51-percent modified comparative fault.

Texas is a 51-percent modified comparative fault state

Under Texas traffic and tort laws, if you are injured in an accident that was 50 percent or less your fault, you can still sue for payment. Only if you are 51 percent or more at fault in the accident can your claim be denied.

Compensation For Your Damaged Vehicle After An Austin Auto Accident

If you have been in a vehicular collision in the Austin area, you may want to speak to an Austin car accident attorney to protect your rights under Texas law.

Under Texas law, you may be able to receive more compensation for your damaged vehicle than the insurance company’s settlement offer.

An Austin car accident lawyer can help make sure you get all the money you deserve under Texas law.

Warriors For The Injured

Justinian & Associates is an Austin-based personal injury law firm with a staff of seasoned car collision lawyers and a record of success.

Call, email or text us for a free consultation with an experienced seasoned Austin auto accident attorney. We will listen patiently and explain your options under the law.