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Q:
If I get involved in a car wreck, who is financially responsible for my passenger’s injuries?

A:

If you and your passenger were injured in a car accident, who pays for your passenger’s injuries depends largely on who was at fault in the accident. It’s important you understand how the other driver’s auto insurance, your insurance policy, or the passenger’s own insurance might be able to pay for her injuries—as well as how an attorney can help.

If the Other Driver Was at Fault

If you were not at fault for the accident, the other driver’s liability insurance—which is designed to pay for the injured party’s damages when a driver causes an accident—will first be exhausted to pay for your injuries and damages, as well as your passenger’s. Texas requires all drivers to carry the following minimum liability insurance coverage:

  • $30,000 for each injured person
  • $60,000 for each accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

If You Were at Fault

First, it’s important you know that Texas operates under modified comparative fault and 51% bar rules—meaning that if you were 51% or more responsible for the accident, you may not recover for your injuries. However, if your fault amounted to less than 51%, you are still eligible for an appropriate degree of compensation.

For example, let’s say you were at least 51% at fault for the accident. Your passenger could:

  • Make a claim against your insurance policy, since you are mostly at fault for the accident.
  • Open a claim with her own insurance, if your insurance is insufficient to cover her injuries and she has appropriate coverage on her policy.
  • Create multiple claims, through a mix of your insurance, the other driver’s (assuming he was also partially at fault for the accident), and her own policy.

Consult With a Trusted Attorney Today

Because injury claims after a car accident can become complicated quickly, it’s crucial that you speak with an attorney who can advise you on the proper course of action. Houston attorney Steve Lee can review the details of a crash and help you understand your passenger’s options for recovery. Get started by giving our team at toll-free phone call today.

Steven M. Lee
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