Out-of-State Visitors and Accidents on Texas Roads
Driving through an unfamiliar area can increase the odds of an accident, and visitors to Texas should know what to expect after an accident on Texas roads. Texas has strict requirements for auto insurance coverage, and some out-of-state drivers may wonder whether their coverage still applies in Texas or elsewhere outside of their home states. Luckily, auto insurance is flexible and follows a driver through all 50 states.
Insurance Adjustments Across State Lines
As long as a driver has the minimum insurance coverage per his or her home state’s laws, the policy will adjust accordingly to meet other states’ minimum insurance requirements. For example, a driver whose home state only requires $15,000 coverage for each vehicle occupant or $30,000 for a single accident and $25,000 in property damage (a “15/30/25” policy), coverage for an accident in Texas would automatically increase to 30/60/25 to meet Texas’ minimum insurance coverage requirement.
Fault requirements for auto insurance also fluctuate based on state law. For example, a driver from a state with a “no-fault” insurance rule will not have to worry about conflicting policy requirements. His or her insurance coverage would automatically adjust to meet Texas’ fault-based requirements.
Tips for Driving in Texas from Out-of-State
Visitors to Texas should keep a few things in mind when it comes to accidents on Texas roads. First, any out-of-state driver who receives a traffic ticket in Texas must pay the ticket in Texas. Failure to do so can still lead to penalties, even if the driver returns to his or her home state. After any accident on Texas roads, out-of-state drivers should call the police immediately to report the accident, exchange insurance and personal information with the other drivers involved, and do their best to assess and document the damage at the accident site.
It’s also vital for out-of-state drivers to understand the limits and conditions of their auto insurance policies. For example, an insurance policy may not cover out-of-state accidents that occur during business travel unless the driver purchases a business-based auto insurance policy. On the other hand, driving with a business insurance policy for personal reasons may lead to a denied claim.
Filing a Lawsuit for an Accident
Both Texas drivers and out-of-state drivers should know what to expect from a lawsuit resulting from a car accident. The general rule of thumb for legal battles between drivers from different states is that the state in which the accident occurred will dictate the course of the resulting lawsuit. An accident involving an out-of-state driver that happens in Texas will fall under the purview of Texas state law.
Texas follows a contributory negligence law, meaning a plaintiff can still secure compensation for an accident for which the plaintiff is partially at fault. The jury will assess the facts of a case and assign a fault percentage based on the plaintiff’s contribution to the accident. As long as the plaintiff’s fault percentage is less than the defendant’s, he or she can collect compensation for damages. However, the court reduces the plaintiff’s recoverable amount by his or her percentage of fault. For example, in a $100,000 case, with a plaintiff 25% at fault, the plaintiff will only recover $75,000.
Drivers from Texas and other states need reliable legal representation after a car accident resulting from negligence. The right attorney can help handle insurance concerns, navigate the appeals process for a suspended license, communicate with out-of-state attorneys if necessary, and guide his or her client to a favorable result. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. has a stellar track record of success in all types of civil action in Texas, and we’re available to put our resources to work for you in your case. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation. One of our attorneys will meet with you to assess your case and let you know how we can help.