What are the minimum auto insurance limits required in Texas?
Texas law only requires vehicle owners to insure $30,000 for bodily injury to one person per accident and $60,000 for bodily injury for more than one person per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
What if the person who caused the accident doesn’t have any insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance?
You might be out of luck. However, if you carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), your own insurance company will compensate you for your injuries up to the amount of coverage you contracted for. You might also have personal injury protection coverage (PIP) which will reimburse you for lost wages and medical expenses, up to the amount of coverage you purchase. You can also contact the Texas Department of Public Safety about having the non-insured’s driver’s license suspended.
I have health insurance, should I use it when I can make a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance?
You should ALWAYS use your health insurance to pay your medical bills, if at all possible. Unpaid medical bills can adversely impact your credit rating and the at-fault party’s auto insurance does not typically pay for your medical care while you are being treated. If you fail to use your health insurance, you may have to personally pay the medical bills – out of the settlement if you get one – or out of your own pocket. Of course, your health insurance company probably has a right to be paid back if you get a settlement, but at least your medical bills are paid for up front. Also, this reimbursement can be negotiated.
I have PIP coverage (personal injury protection), should I use it to pay my medical providers?
If you have health insurance available, you should ALWAYS use your health insurance to pay your medical bills, rather than PIP! PIP can be used to reimburse you for lost wages, co-pays and deductibles and not to directly pay your providers. If health insurance is not available, then and only then consider using PIP. Under current Texas law, the PIP payments cannot be paid directly to your healthcare provider unless you agree in writing for them to do so. Read what you sign at the doctor’s office.
What kind of car insurance should I buy and how do I make sure I am getting the right coverage?
- Get high limits if you can. It usually doesn’t cost that much more to raise the limits significantly higher than the minimum required. Your UM/UIM limits cannot be higher than your liability limits. Naturally, the UM/UIM coverage is for your protection and that of your passengers. The higher the better.
- Shop price through an independent agent that deals with multiple carriers. This approach is the only way to make sure you are getting the best deal. Make sure to speak with your agent or look at the policy before you buy because there are a lot of different types of auto policies. Texas used to have only one policy, called the standard policy. Today, however, insurance companies have a pretty free hand in writing their own policies. The standard policy generally provides better coverage than the others, and it is still available. Try to buy the Standard Policy, as some insurance companies charge the same premium, but don’t cover certain things and you may be tricked into paying a lot for very limited coverage (i.e. excluding certain drivers, limiting damages, etc.).
- To save money, get high deductibles. A deductible is the amount of money you will pay on a claim before your insurance company has any responsibility to pay. By increasing your deductibles, you may substantially reduce your insurance premium.
- Always buy UM/UIM coverage (uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage) to protect you in case an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you.
- Always buy PIP coverage (personal injury protection) which is no-fault insurance that will cover medical expenses and 80% of your lost wages and some medical expenses, up to the amount of coverage you purchase. PIP is relatively inexpensive! Do not waste your money on Med Pay. If your agent suggests MedPay, get a new agent.
What does it mean to be Board Certified?
Board certification helps insure that the citizens of Texas receive the highest quality legal services. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization was created by the Supreme Court of Texas, and the Board members are appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas. The Board administers the program through which an attorney may demonstrate special competence in the field of Personal Injury Trial Law. A board certified attorney must have tried at least 10 contested civil cases as lead counsel (five of which must have been personal injury jury trials).
How many attorneys are currently Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law?
According to the Board of Legal Specialization and the State Bar of Texas there are only approximately 1,716 Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law attorneys out of approximately 84,021 licensed attorneys. This means only 2.04% of the attorneys licensed in the State of Texas have met the requirements and have passed the extensive written examination to be considered specialists in the field of Personal Injury Trial Law.
How do I choose the right lawyer?
The law is complex enough that you will generally want a specialist for the particular problem you are facing. Only about 2.04% of Texas attorneys are certified as specialists by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law. Henry Moore is certified by this board as a specialist in personal injury trial law. This specialization requires knowledge of medical and insurance issues as well as trial experience. If you have suffered an injury through the carelessness of another, or if you have a dispute with an insurance company, we can help. This is our area. We can explain to you your rights and help you with your choices.
What to expect at your first appointment?
Your first appointment is an information gathering meeting. We will discuss the details of your situation and answer any questions you might have. We will also help you assess whether you need to hire an attorney at all and if so, whether we are the best attorneys for your situation. If we are not, we will suggest referrals for you. You will be under no obligation to hire us and we will absolutely not pressure you to do so.
What makes this firm any different?
- We listen to you and keep your goals in mind.
- We have high client satisfaction.
- We know you aren’t trying to rip anyone off and you’re not litigious or frivolous.
- We approach your case with the honesty and integrity you want from your lawyer.
- We work for You – You own your file – You make the big decisions.
- We do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on what’s really important – You.
- We do not represent insurance companies, big corporations, hospitals, manufacturers, or governmental agencies. Our firm is dedicated solely to the little guy.
- We are Effective and Accessible (our home numbers are on our business cards).
- We are Capable, Experienced, and Knowledgeable.
- We level the playing field.