What Are Your Rights As a Passenger In a Texas Car Accident?

There are many informative articles and blog posts about a driver’s rights to compensation under fault-based insurance laws in Texas, but what about a passenger’s rights in a Texas car accident? Passengers cannot bear liability in an accident because a non-driver is not legally at fault in a car accident. So, how do the insurance laws apply to injured passengers seeking compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering? Contact our injury lawyers in Austin today for more information. 

Proving Liability for Car Accident Claims As an Injured Passenger

Texas civil courts operate under the state’s comparative negligence insurance laws allowing victims to claim damages in a car accident even if they were partly at fault. However, a passenger in a Texas accident is never at fault. When a passenger suffers injuries in a car accident, they have a right under Texas civil liability laws to recover full compensation for their damages from the at-fault driver whether it was the driver of the car they were a passenger in or another driver. Their attorney must first document evidence of liability. Proving liability in a car accident case requires proving the following with documented evidence:

  • The party at fault in the car accident owed a reasonable duty of care to others on the road to prevent injuries, such as the duty to follow the speed limit 
  • They breached this duty of care through negligence, reckless driving, or intentional wrongdoing (like drinking and driving or road rage)
  • Their breach of duty directly caused injury to the passenger
  • The injury victim suffered economic and non-economic damages from the injury

A passenger injured in a car accident often experiences serious economic and non-economic damages. Texas gives passengers the right to file compensation claims for their damages. Injuries require expensive medical treatments at the same time that the injury victim may not be able to work. Additionally, a passenger in a car accident may be a child who suffers injuries with life-altering consequences. All injured passengers deserve fair compensation.

What Is the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirement In Texas?

Texas drivers must take financial accountability for a passenger’s injuries. Texas requires drivers to carry at least the minimum in personal injury coverage including:

  • At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
  • At least $30,000 in injury protection per person in an accident or up to $60,000 per accident for all injury victims

Some Texas drivers choose optional additional insurance coverage as protection against personal liability.

What Compensation Can a Passenger Recover After a Texas Car Accident?

When a passenger is injured in a Texas car accident a successful injury claim recovers common damages including the following:

  • Medical costs and anticipated future medical expenses related to their injury
  • Lost wages and future income loss
  • Lowered future earning capacity due to disabling injuries
  • Pain and suffering compensation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life compensation
  • In some cases, compensation for disfigurement, loss of one of the senses, PTSD or other emotional damages

Passengers sometimes experience serious injuries and emotional trauma in a car accident. Texas passengers have a right to compensation. A successful compensation claim eases the financial burden of expenses while the injury victim recovers.

Most passenger car accident claims are resolved through a settlement after an Austin car accident lawyer negotiates with the insurance company with clear evidence of their policyholder’s liability and a carefully calculated list of damages. Only in cases of an insurance company’s denial or undervaluing of a valid claim does the case become a lawsuit in court when filed within the state’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.