Property Damage & Car Accidents in Texas

June 15, 2022 | Car Accidents

It is not uncommon for a car accident to result in both personal injuries and property damage. The reality is that a crash is much more likely to cause property damage than injuries, but every incident should be thoroughly examined to determine what types of compensation a person is entitled to after a crash occurs.

Since so many Austin, TX car accidents involve property damage claims, it is important for a lawyer who specializes in car accidents from Austin to examine these incidents and explain the process of recovering compensation in these situations.

What’s The Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim & Property Damage?

In the aftermath of a vehicle accident, individuals are often dealing with both property damage and injuries. When most people handle a vehicle accident, they turn to insurance carriers for compensation. Typically, if another person caused the accident, then the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will be responsible for paying property damages as well as injury expenses.

In reality, a personal injury claim and a property damage claim are two separate things, even if they seem lumped together with the insurance settlement. In the event an insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement, either for the injuries, or the property damage, the victim may need to file a separate civil lawsuit in order to recover complete compensation. This could include a civil personal injury lawsuit, a civil lawsuit for property damage, or both.

Are There Property Damage Caps in Texas After an Accident?

When a person files a civil lawsuit to recover property damage expenses from another individual or entity in Texas, there are typically no limits to how much compensation they can recover (no caps). However, there are some exceptions to this, particularly if a person files a lawsuit against a government entity. If the defendant is a government employee or entity, there is a $100,000 cap in place for property damage.

If an individual is solely relying on insurance to cover their property damage expenses, drivers in Texas are required to carry $25,000 in property damage liability. It is not uncommon for drivers to carry more property damage liability insurance than this, but anything over the $25,000 is not required. If a person’s property damage rises above the insurance minimums, they would have to file a civil lawsuit to recover additional compensation.


What Is the Time Limit to File a Property Damage Claim in Texas?

Individuals who have to file a property damage claim after a vehicle accident need to know that they have a limited amount of time to do so in Texas. The property damage statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date an incident occurs. If a person fails to file a property damage lawsuit within this two-year timeframe, they will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses at all.

However, please understand that the vast majority of car accident claims in Texas are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers. These insurance carriers will have their own deadlines in place that must be adhered to. Often, auto insurance policies will stipulate that a claim needs to be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. Failing to report property damage or injuries within this timeframe could jeopardize the insurance claim.