San Antonio Third Party Insurance Claims
Third party insurance simply means the insurance of the party who caused the accident. Most drivers in Texas carry minimum limits coverage, called a “30/60” policy. This means that it provides a maximum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, but only a maximum of $60,000 in total coverage for bodily injuries if more than one person is injured.
There are, of course, higher limit policies available and some other types of third party insurance policies. Commercial vehicles, for instance, have higher minimum limits and vary under the law. Whatever the policy limits, if they are not enough to compensate for serious injuries or death caused by another driver, your own insurance may come into play.
Your Own Insurance
It is vital that you make sure that you have adequate coverage to protect yourself and your family in a serious accident. Many drivers do not realize that their own insurance may afford protection when injured, even if the injuries are the fault of another person. However, you must request the additional coverage when purchasing your insurance. All insured drivers in the state of Texas have at least the minimum coverage. There is additional coverage you can purchase to protect you and your loved ones:
- PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION – Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP,” is no-fault coverage. This means that you can make a claim against your PIP policy no matter who is at fault in the accident. It provides a minimum of $2,500 in coverage to help with medical bills and lost wages. You can buy higher amounts of PIP coverage, and depending on the wages you might lose if seriously injured and other factors, most should. PIP coverage cost varies by insurance carrier, but is quite reasonable.
- UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED COVERAGE – Also called “UM/UIM,” uninsured/underinsured coverage protects you when injured by the negligence of a driver with no insurance or less insurance than is needed to restore you medically and financially after you are seriously injured or a death occurs. Like Personal Injury Protection, UM/UIM may be purchased in increments up to the value of your liability coverage. So if you have a “20/40/15” policy you may purchase up to a 20/40 UM/UIM policy (property damage is not covered by UM/UIM, you need COLLISSION coverage for this). The UM/UIM coverage works two ways:
- It covers losses not covered by the at-fault drivers insurance policy or
- It becomes the coverage for your losses when the at-fault driver is uninsured UM/UIM coverage, like PIP, is highly affordable and can often save a person or family from financial ruin after a serious accident. We recommend a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 on your UM/UIM policy.
- GAP INSURANCE – GAP insurance does just what the name implies: if your car is totaled in an accident (no matter who is at fault), it covers any gap between what the insurance company pays for the car and what may be owed on it. If your car is financed, you should have gap coverage. Contact your insurance agent or finance company about obtaining GAP coverage.
How Will an Attorney Help Your Third Party Insurance Claim?
Our San Antonio car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, have more than 65 years of combined legal experience by your side. Even though car accident cases may seem straightforward, that is not always the case. Insurance carriers are not your friends, and they are not on your side. They will do whatever they can to lower the amount of money they owe you in a settlement. Your attorney will:
- Our injury attorneys understand how to find and stack insurance coverage to maximize your compensation – even in cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.
- Work to obtain all evidence from the crash, including police reports, photos and video surveillance of the incident, eyewitness statements, and more.
- Obtain your medical records and have them examined by a trusted healthcare professional.
- Work to properly calculate your total economic and non-economic damages.
- Negotiate vigorously on your behalf to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Texas Is a “Fault” State Concerning Car Accident Cases
When it comes to determining who will pay for car accident damages and injuries, Texas is a “fault” state. This means that the driver who is found to be responsible for the crash is the one liable for covering the damages. This differs from “no-fault” states where determining liability is not a prerequisite to gaining compensation. You will seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurer in Texas.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
It is not uncommon to see car accidents in and around San Antonio. During the latest reporting year in Texas, there were 249,241 injuries and 3,639 fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents according to the state Department of Transportation.
Injuries range in severity, but our San Antonio car accident attorneys regularly help clients suffering from the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
Whether the injuries are relatively minor or severe, victims are often left with tremendous medical bills. If they cannot work while they recover from their injuries, they may lose the income they need to support themselves and their families.
Texas Comparative Negligence Laws
Texas uses modified comparative negligence laws when it comes to car accidents. This means that a car accident victim can still recover compensation even if they are determined to be partially at fault (up to 50%). Anyone found to be 51% or more at fault in a crash cannot recover compensation.
However, being partially at fault does mean that the damages awarded will be reduced according to the percentage you were found to be at fault. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in damages for your car accident injuries and damages but were found to be 20% at fault, you will only receive $80,000 of the total damages awarded.
What Can You Do to Help Your Case?
It is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately following your accident. Equally important is following all treatment plans prescribed by your doctor until you are fully recovered. If you fail to seek or continue medical care, you are giving the insurance carrier a reason to deny your claim or lower the settlement amount.
You should also never give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster, even if they tell you that you are required to do so. They will use what you say against you to deny a claim or justify a lower settlement amount. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced third party insurance attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney (210) 226-8888.