Is Texas a No-Fault State for Auto Insurance?

When you get into a car accident, the laws in your state determine how insurance claims and liability are handled. Texas is not a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. Instead, Texas follows an at-fault system for handling car accident compensation and claims.

Understanding these laws is crucial if you are involved in a collision in Texas. Here is an in-depth look at how Texas’ at-fault car insurance system works and what it means for accident claims and recovery.

What is the Difference Between No-Fault and At-Fault States?

In a no-fault state, accident victims file claims with their own insurance company, regardless of who caused the crash. The driver’s own policy covers medical bills, lost wages, and other losses up to the policy limits. Lawsuits are restricted in no-fault states.

But in an at-fault state like Texas, the negligent driver who caused the accident is held liable for damages. Their insurance company must pay for the losses of the victim. At-fault states allow accident injury victims to sue the responsible driver for compensation beyond their insurance coverage.

Texas Uses an At-Fault Liability System

Texas auto insurance laws follow a tort liability or at-fault system. This means the driver who was negligent and caused the accident has to pay for the resulting harm through their insurance policy.

To receive compensation in Texas after a car accident, you must prove:

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care on the road
  • They breached this duty through negligent driving
  • This breach of duty directly caused your accident and injuries
  • You suffered measurable damages as a result

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is financially responsible for covering your losses, up to the driver’s policy limits. If your damages exceed those limits, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover additional compensation.

Texas is Not a No-Fault Auto Insurance State

Texas specifically does not have a no-fault car insurance system. No-fault states require all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

PIP allows accident victims to file a claim with their own insurer to cover medical expenses, lost income, and other losses. It does not matter who was at fault. However, no-fault insurance limits the ability to sue the negligent driver.

Texas auto insurance has no such restrictions. Accident injury victims can take legal action against any driver who caused harm through negligent actions behind the wheel. The at-fault driver’s insurer must provide compensation.

What Are the Minimum Liability Limits in Texas?

In Texas, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. The state minimum requirements are:

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability

This mandatory minimum liability coverage is often referred to as “30/60/25” limits. If you cause an accident in Texas, your liability coverage must be sufficient to pay up to these amounts for the losses of the victim(s).

You can choose higher liability limits for better protection. Many experts recommend at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.

What if the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?

It is illegal to drive without at least the minimum liability insurance in Texas. But accidents still happen where the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage.

To protect yourself in these situations, Texas drivers should strongly consider these optional auto insurance coverages:

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage – Pays for your losses when the at-fault driver has no insurance.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage – Provides additional compensation if the at-fault driver’s policy limits are too low to fully cover your damages.

These coverages allow you to file a claim with your own insurer if the negligent driver lacks sufficient insurance.

Common Car Insurance Coverages in Texas

Beyond the mandatory minimum liability insurance, Texas drivers have options for additional auto insurance coverages:

  • Collision – Covers damage to your vehicle from an accident, regardless of fault.

  • Comprehensive – Covers non-collision damage from theft, vandalism, weather, etc.

  • Medical Payments – Helps pay medical bills for you and passengers.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Optional no-fault coverage to pay medical costs.

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – Discussed above.

  • Rental Reimbursement – Covers rental car costs during vehicle repairs.

Bundling these coverages with high liability limits provides strong financial protection after an accident.

How Do You Prove Fault After a Texas Car Accident?

Since Texas bases compensation on the at-fault driver’s liability, determining fault is key. Your attorney must prove negligence on the part of the other driver. Evidence can include:

  • Police accident reports
  • Photos/video of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert accident reconstruction and analysis
  • Data from the vehicles’ computers
  • Medical reports documenting your injuries

A skilled personal injury attorney knows how to gather and present convincing evidence of fault. This helps maximize your compensation.

What Damages Can You Recover in an At-Fault Texas Crash?

By proving the other driver’s negligence caused your accident injuries, you can seek damages including:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and reduced earning capacity
  • Property damage – vehicle repairs or replacement
  • Cost of rental car, taxis, or rideshares during vehicle loss
  • Physical pain and emotional distress
  • Physical disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship or consortium
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Punitive damages in cases of gross negligence

The exact value of your personal injury claim depends on the unique circumstances of your accident injuries and losses. An attorney can help fully quantify your damages.

Modified Comparative Negligence Rules in Texas

One important limitation exists in Texas’ at-fault system. Texas uses “modified” comparative negligence rules.

This means if you are found partially at-fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you are 51% or more at fault, you cannot recover any damages.

An experienced attorney can argue against unreasonable allegations that attempt to shift blame onto the victim. Demonstrating the other driver’s primary negligence is key to maximizing your claim value.

Statute of Limitations for Texas Auto Accident Claims

In the at-fault system, accident victims have a limited time to take legal action. In Texas, the statute of limitations allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit for up to two years after the collision.

Missing this deadline means you lose your right to recover compensation. It is important to start working with a qualified attorney right away to avoid running out of time.

Get Experienced Legal Help After a Texas Car Accident

Navigating the at-fault insurance system in Texas can be complex. But an knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help injured victims recover the maximum compensation they deserve after a car accident.

Be sure to consult with a lawyer before agreeing to any settlement offer from an insurance company. Experienced legal advocates know how to successfully negotiate, litigate, and try auto accident injury cases in Texas. Relying on professional legal representation improves your chances of securing fair compensation.

Is Texas a Fault or No-Fault State for Car Insurance? | Accident Attorney Explains


Is Texas a 50 50 state car accident?

According to Texas’ comparative negligence rules, two people can be at fault for a car accident. After a Texas accident, a percentage of fault will be assigned to each party. In most cases, one party will be over 50% responsible.

What does it mean for Texas to be a no-fault state?

In a no-fault state, each driver who is involved in a crash will turn to their own insurance company for compensation after the crash, regardless of whose fault actually caused the accident.

How do insurance companies determine fault in Texas?

Can Insurance Companies Determine Fault in a Car Accident? Auto insurance companies will assign an adjuster to collect evidence, evaluate police reports, and interview witnesses. It is important to contact your attorney if one of those adjusters wants to talk to you about the accident.

What happens if the person at fault in an accident has no insurance in Texas?

The officer on the scene will make an official note of the liable driver’s lack of coverage and may penalize the driver with a fine, citation, or license suspension.

Leave a Comment