There is no simple answer to this question.
Texas is an at fault state. After an Austin auto accident, the at-fault driver (and that driver’s insurance company) must pay for injuries and property damage caused by the accident.
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:
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.
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 an Austin 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?
When there is not enough money under an insurance policy to pay multiple victims, different states have different approaches to distribute the insurance payment:
Some divide it among the victims depending on the size of their damages.
Some say that the first person to win a lawsuit gets their bills paid first.
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.
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.
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 Austin 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.