If you have been injured in a Texas auto accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, you have a legal right to make a claim for compensation against their auto insurance policies.
What you probably don’t realize, however, is that you might also have additional insurance on your own policy which you can also claim against. This is known as “no-fault” insurance.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an optional form of additional insurance which many people have but simply don’t realize. It covers medical expenses and lost earnings suffered by you and your passengers regardless of who was at-fault. Yes, that means that you can receive a payout even if you yourself caused the wreck.
As with PIP, Med-Pay exists to pay the medical costs of you and your passengers, even if you were at fault. However, the catch with Med-Pay is that you have to reimburse your insurance company for any Med-Pay settlement they pay you if you also receive compensation from the insurance compnay for the motorist who was at-fault. Unlike PIP, Med-Pay does not cover lost income.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist Coverage/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) is another type of option, additional insurance that many people have without even being aware of it. UM coverage protects you if you are hit by an uninsured driver, or a driver who flees the scene of the wreck. UIM coverage kicks in if the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover the full range of damages you have suffered.
When a Family Member is Injured (And it Was Your Fault)
A related topic which is relevant to note here is the “family exclusion” law which exists in Texas. If you were the driver at-fault for an accident which resulted in injuries to members of your own family, it is likely that your insurance company will tell you that you are not entitled to recover any compensation outside of your no-fault coverage due to a “family exclusion” clause in your auto insurance policy.
While there is a very good chance that such a clause does indeed exist, here in Texas the law quite clearly states that the clause is not enforceable. Therefore, your family members can absolutely pursue compensation against your liability insurance. You, however, will only be able to recover compensation against your no-fault coverage.
For more information on what damages you might be entitled to after a wreck, or to take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation with a board certified Fort Worth personal injury lawyer, please call the Anderson Law Firm at 817-294-1900.
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