What Happens If There Isn’t Enough Insurance To Cover My Bills and My Passenger’s?

There is no simple answer to this question.

Texas is an at fault state. After a Texas auto accident, the at-fault driver (and that driver’s insurance company) must pay for injuries and property damage caused by the accident.

Auto Insurance Minimums In Texas Are Often Not Enough To Pay For All Injuries

Under Section 601.072 of the Texas Transportation Code, all drivers and vehicles registered in Texas must carry a minimum amount of insurance, known as basic coverage:

  • At least $30,000 per person to cover an injury to the body
  • At least $60,000 per accident to cover any injury to the bodies (2 or more people)
  • At least $25,000 per accident to cover any damage to the cars or other property

But with healthcare costs skyrocketing, minimum coverage often won’t pay all the medical bills and car repairs. That’s especially true in catastrophic auto accidents involving grievous bodily injuries like lost limbs, paralysis or traumatic brain injury.

Auto Accident Victims In Texas Can Sue The At-Fault Driver Directly

When an auto insurance policy will not cover an injured person’s damages, the person can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Usually people sue the driver for negligence, the legal term for carelessness.

Suing for negligence after a Texas auto accident may be worth it, if the at-fault driver has resources to pay. But what if there is more than one injured person?

Who should receive the insurance money?

There Are Various Approaches To Insurance Settlements For Multiple Victims

When there is not enough money under an insurance policy to pay multiple victims, different states have different approaches to distribute the insurance payment:

Pro Rata Approach

Some divide it among the victims depending on the size of their damages.

First To Judgment

Some say that the first person to win a lawsuit gets their bills paid first.

First Come, First Served (Texas)

Texas has adopted the majority view: first come, first served. This says that the first person to agree to a settlement with the insurance company is first in line to receive money.

While this may seem unfair, courts use this rule to encourage all the injured people to settle quickly. In fact, the insurance company can be legally liable for waiting too long on a reasonable settlement offer.

If You Have Been Injured In Texas, Do Not Wait To Speak To A Texas Personal Injury Attorney

You can lose the right to receive any compensation for your injuries and property damage. That’s true, even if the facts show the other party was responsible and you did nothing wrong.

This is especially true if there are multiple injured victims, or the insurance policy is small.

Warriors for the Injured

Justinian & Associates has been representing victims of automobile accidents for a decade. We offer a free consultation with a seasoned personal injury attorney (not a “screener” or paralegal). We can listen to the details of your injury, and explain your options under the law.

We have a roster of highly-trained and seasoned personal injury lawyers, driven by a sense of fairness and helping others.

Our only goal is justice for our clients, whatever that means for them.

Our Texas personal injury lawyers will build your case using investigators, advanced technology like computer modeling and testimony from health and engineering experts. We can demonstrate how you were injured, and why the person or company responsible must compensate your injuries.

Our representation is tailored to your individual case and needs. Our cutting-edge communications technology keeps us in reach at all times. But we are always available, and will gladly meet you in person while you recover at the hospital, or wherever is convenient.

Don’t delay. Call, text or email us to set up a free consultation. Make the phone call, and start explaining your side of the story.