After a car accident, you need to know your insurance company is on your side to help you through the difficulties of waiting out car repairs or replacing a vehicle that cannot be fixed.  Unfortunately, some insurance carriers have methods to pay reduced claims or deny them after a car accident.  Since Texas is a “no fault” insurance state, carriers must pay in accordance with a policy holder, but before filing a claim in San Antonio, you should be aware of the insurance laws pertaining to recovery after a car accident. Contact a knowledgeable insurance agent or attorney for direction.

Texas insurance law.

Mandatory Insurance. Pursuant to Section 601.072 of the Texas Statutes, all motor vehicles must be covered by insurance including liability coverage for at least Thirty-Thousand Dollars per person, Sixty-Thousand for two or more people, and Twenty-Five Thousand for property damage for each accident.

Texas’s No-Fault Car Insurance. In Texas, drivers must establish financial responsibility for their vehicle, accomplished by purchasing car insurance to cover expenses related to injuries and damages from car accidents.  Penalties for violating the financial responsibility laws include fines, license suspensions, car impoundments, and prison sentences.

Statute of Limitations. Texas has a two (2) year statute of limitations for property damage and personal injury claims. This means if a driver, passenger, or passerby is injured or sustains property damage at the hands of a negligent driver, the victim must file a lawsuit within the two (2) year period following the accident.

Comparative Negligence (51% Rule).  Texas negligence laws stipulate that damages are proportionate to the claimant’s degree of fault, but Texas utilizes the 51% rule, whereby an injured person can be up to 51% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Texas personal injury claim but if you were more than 51% responsible for the accident, compensation for accident expenses may be denied.

Diminished value claim. 

A diminished value insurance claim is when a policy holder requests money from car insurance for the difference between a car’s value pre-accident to post-accident.  This means that if your car is damaged in a car accident, even if it gets repaired and is “as good as new”, the fact that it has a damage history, or is considered a car that has been in an accident, will make its resale value lower in the eyes of prospective buyers.

  • Immediate diminished value is the difference in the trade-in or resale value of a car pre-accident to post accident repaired vehicle.
  • Inherent diminished value is the assumption that a car has been repaired to its original condition with a record of an accident associated with its VIN.
  • Repair-related diminished value is a drop in value specific to the quality of repairs.

If all parties to the accident have insurance coverage and it was found that the accident was not your fault, the insurance company or companies (yours and the other driver’s) will probably pay for all damages.  If there is fault to be found in your driving, the companies may try to reduce the amount of settlement for your claim.

Seek advice from an insurance agent or accident attorney.

If you have been involved in a car accident in San Antonio, it is best to seek help from a reputable insurance agent and an accident attorney in San Antonio to make sure you receive full payment for the value of your vehicle. Contact the Will Peterson Insurance Agency to see if they can find you better coverage, or help you understand any shortages claimed to be allowed by your current carrier.

Will Peterson Agency

P.O Box 389
Cibolo, TX 78108

Phone: 210-WIL-WILL

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.601.htm#601.051

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.16.htm#16.003

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.601.htm#601.072

https://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb020.html