Texas is one of 38 states that operate under at-fault laws when it comes to fender-benders.

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When you accidentally kiss someone else's bumper with your car, liability payments can vary depending on if it was a peck on the cheek or full on making-everyone-uncomfortable-at-Chili's.

At-Fault vs. No-Fault

The Lone Star State is at-fault, meaning the driver who caused the collision is responsible for compensations to the party or parties involved. Insurance is irrelevant in these situations; someone's going to pay, one way or another.

At-fault states require the one who caused the accident to cover damages inflicted on both parties, up to the amount their policy allows. Anything after that is straight out of pocket.

No-fault states have drivers carry PIP, or personal injury protection, coverage that applies to all damages received to each of them, regardless of who was found at fault.

For example, in a no-fault state, if Johnny 'lead-foot' T-bones Sarah 'safe-driver' as he runs a red light, both Johnny's and Sarah's PIP insurance will cover any bodily injury costs.

Photo by Michael Jin on Unsplash
Photo by Michael Jin on Unsplash

If Johnny's oopsie-daisy costs more in damages than his PIP coverage allows, he will still have to cover the remaining charges for each of them, out of pocket.

On the other hand, let's say that Johnny and Sarah are in an at-fault state, like Texas. In this case, PIP coverage is not required, therefore all costs of damages to property, mind, body and soul will be his and his insurance's responsibility. This is because Johnny is found responsible for the collision, requiring him to cough up the cash required for damages to both parties.

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