Do I Have to Pay for an At Fault Claim?
Fault as it refers to car insurance refers to who is considered to be at fault for an accident. If you are at fault for an accident, you may be expected to pay for damages and injuries you have caused to the other people involved.
How is Fault Decided?
Fault is primarily decided through police reports and your insurance agency. For example, if you turn the wrong way on a one way street and strike a car, you will likely be declared at fault. If you are declared at fault, you will be expected in most states to provide compensation for yourself and the other driver.
Are All States Fault States?
Most states are fault states, which means compensation and claims for a car accident will be based on some variety of fault system. Texas is a fault state, or an at-fault state, when it comes to car insurance. This is why liability insurance is also required in most states, including Texas. If you cause an accident in Texas, you will have to file a claim with your insurance policy both for others and your own vehicle.
Some states operate on a percentage-based fault system, meaning that fault may be split by percent and each driver is expected to cover that percentage of the damages. For example, say you are declared 80% at fault for an accident and the other driver is determined 20% at fault. This means you will be expected to cover 80% of the damages through your insurance and the other driver must cover 20%.
What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance allows you to cover bodily injury and property damage you may cause someone else. This includes medical bills the other driver and their passengers may face, damage to their vehicle and property, as well as protect you against a potential lawsuit. In many fault states and no fault states, drivers can still sue another driver for additional expenses related to an accident.
Discuss your liability limits with your insurance agent. Minimum requirements may not be enough for you to be completely protected, though it is still important to know the minimum requirements of your state.
Texas drivers, for example, must all carry at least:
$30,000 in bodily injury liability per person
$60,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
$25,000 in property damage liability
You will also want uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in case you get into an accident with another driver who is not carrying insurance to cover the damages.