No-Fault Vs. At-Fault Insurance

If you are injured in a car accident or other type of motor vehicle accident, it’s important to know what insurance applies and how your state establishes liability for car accidents. Most states use an at-fault or no-fault system, which largely determines whether you file your claim with your own insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. 

Here is what you need to know about no-fault vs. at-fault insurance systems and how they may impact your claim. If you have any additional questions about this topic, Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers can explain your legal rights and options during a free case review. 

No-Fault Vs. At-Fault 

No-Fault Vs. At-Fault

The two primary systems for establishing fault in a car accident are at-fault and no-fault systems. The system will dictate which insurance provider you file a claim with.


Most states use an at-fault system in which the party found at fault for the accident is responsible for financially compensating the victim for the harm they caused. This is usually completed by filing an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s liability insurance provider. 

The insurer accepts or denies liability based on the claim’s facts. If you are not satisfied with the amount of compensation the insurance company offers, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 


Some states, like Florida, use a no-fault insurance system. In a no-fault insurance state, all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medical Payments (MedPay), or a similar type of insurance policy. 

After an accident, each driver turns to their own insurance policy for coverage, regardless of fault. Your insurance provider pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other limited damages. However, no-fault insurance doesn’t allow victims to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

The intent of no-fault insurance is to prevent costly litigation by providing an amicable way to resolve injury claims. Generally, injured parties cannot sue the driver who is at fault for the accident. However, there are usually exceptions to this rule, such as if the accident victim suffered a serious injury or their damages exceed the amount of insurance coverage available. 

Which System Does Texas Use?

Texas is an at-fault state for car insurance. All drivers must maintain liability insurance, which covers the damages their negligence causes. The minimum amounts of liability insurance in Texas are:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury to one person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury to more than one person
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

The at-fault driver may have additional insurance; this is just the minimum amount. You could also consider suing the at-fault driver if you suffered more damages than they have insurance to cover.

Filing an Insurance Claim in Texas

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Texas that was not your fault, the process to file an insurance claim will usually involve:

  • Reporting the accident to the at-fault driver’s insurance company and providing them with enough information so they can begin an investigation. 
  • Providing proof to the insurance company of your damages, such as medical records and bills, check stubs showing missed work, estimates to repair your vehicle, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, etc. The insurance company has a right to review this information after you have provided proof of loss. 
  • Sending a demand letter asking for a certain amount of compensation in exchange for not suing the at-fault driver. 

A personal injury lawyer can guide you through this process, handle communications on your behalf, and advocate for your best interests. The insurance company exists to make a profit, not pay you full value for your claim; they’ll utilize various tactics designed to eliminate or reduce their liability.

Hiring an attorney will let you even the playing field. Ideally, you’d speak with a lawyer prior to contacting the at-fault driver’s insurance company for legal advice.

Do I Need Personal Injury Protection Coverage In Texas?

In some at-fault states, you can purchase additional insurance that provides the same type of protection offered by PIP insurance in no-fault states. Texas is one of these states. When you purchase PIP insurance in Texas, you can file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It provides coverage for you and your passengers. 

In Texas, all drivers must at least be offered $2,500 in PIP. However, you can purchase up to $10,000 in coverage. This insurance pays for expenses such as:

  • Reasonable medical expenses 
  • Ambulance charges
  • Rehabilitation
  • Costs for in-home care
  • 80% of your lost wages caused by the auto accident
  • Replacement of essential services
  • Funeral and burial costs

While health insurance and the at-fault driver’s liability insurance may help cover some of these expenses, having PIP insurance can give you peace of mind. 

Contact a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

If you were injured in a car accident, you may have suffered serious injuries that have upended your life. An experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer can review your case, read over all applicable insurance policies, and manage your claim. Call Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers now at (214) 855-1420 or contact us online for a free consultation today.