In short: liability insurance shields you from being personally liable to pay for damages you caused during an accident.
Texas law requires that all motorists have minimum liability policy limits of 30/60/25. This translates to $30,000 for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Of course, you can purchase a higher liability policy if you desire.
Who does this coverage benefit?
Liability Insurance helps protect you and your assets from claims or potential lawsuits if you are found to be at-fault for an accident that caused bodily injury or property damage.
If you cause an accident, your passengers and drivers of other vehicles and their passengers can pursue a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will pay for the medical expenses of the injured party(s) and repair bills for the damaged property. If a lawsuit is filed against you for the accident, your insurance company will provide a lawyer to defend you in litigation.
If you do not have liability insurance, you could be personally liable for the damages you caused to another in addition to fines and legal ramifications imposed by Texas law.
What does liability insurance NOT cover?
Here are a few things liability insurance does not cover if you are in an accident:
- Your personal injuries. Whether you are or are not at-fault, your liability policy does not cover your own injuries. You will need additional coverages, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or Uninsured or Under Insured Motorist (UM/UIM).
- Your property damage. Liability only covers damage you caused to OTHER people’s property, not your own. Without collision coverage, you could be stuck with repair costs to your own vehicle or paying out of pocket for a rental without rental assistance.
- Costs that exceed the liability limits of the policy holder. Once the policy limits have been exhausted, or paid out in full, there is nothing more the insurance company will consider.
- Intentional or deliberate acts to cause damage or harm to another. Insurance covers only accidental damage or injury.
- Defense of criminal charges. Insurance does not provide defense attorneys for drivers that are facing criminal charges, such as vehicular manslaughter or aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
This list does not include every scenario or circumstance.
When you drive as much as Texans, it is critical to have the right insurance coverage.
Many drivers often choose a liability-only policy because they believe additional coverage is too expensive or that additional coverages are unnecessary. Even worse, many drivers do not have insurance at all. With 1 in 5 Texas drivers being uninsured or under insured, you may want to consider the risk and rising costs of medical expenses when reviewing your insurance policy.
It is worthwhile to search for a reputable insurance company that offers additional coverages, such as Personal Injury Protection or Uninsured Motorist, at a low cost. If you already have insurance, ask your insurance agent if there are any deals for adding additional coverage to your existing policy.
When should you hire a personal injury attorney?
Immediately after an accident in which you were injured.
If you are not at-fault and are filing against someone else, you may face resistance or outright denial of your claim – even with a police report or witnesses on your side. Keep in mind, insurance companies are a business and their goal is to minimize the amount they have to pay on insurance claims whether you are their insured or a claimant.
Does your insurance adjuster always seem to be on vacation? Do they underestimate how much pain and suffering you’ve been through but won’t allow you to see a doctor? Is the insurance company making a low-ball offer for your injuries? If this sounds familiar to you, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Stanley & Associates understands how frustrating dealing with an insurance company can be. We aim to get the best possible award for your case. Call us today at 844-227-9739.