You Can Make a Personal Injury Claim Against Your Spouse
- May 8, 2013
- Personal Injury
As a Dallas car accident attorney, I know that passengers in motor vehicles are incredibly vulnerable in the event of a traffic accident. They have absolutely no control over the car, making them utterly powerless to prevent or avoid a collision. Of course, passengers can still suffer catastrophic injuries just as serious as the driver.
Under Texas law, injured passengers have the same right to claim compensation as do injured motorists in a car crash. However, it is not always another motorist whose negligence caused the wreck to occur – sometimes the crash was the fault of the driver of the vehicle in which the passenger was riding. What then?
Most of the time, an injured passenger is able to make a claim for damages to cover such expenses as medical costs and lost income against their own driver’s liability insurance. If they also have personal injury protection, you can often recover additional compensation through this additional insurance too. It is generally a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer, however, in order to make sure that you are fully aware of all your legal rights and options, and that you have properly identified all valid liable insurance policies against which you can claim.
Beware of the Family Exclusion Clause in Auto Insurance Policies
Although it is perfectly legal and very common for injured passengers to make injury claims against the member of their own family whose negligence caused their wreck, it is important that you consult with an attorney who will be able to explain exactly how the law works in such circumstances.
For example, most auto insurance policies now contain a family exclusion clause. What this clause actually states is that the insurance company does not actually have to pay out on claims brought against the policy by their insured’s own family members. If you are attempting to deal with your personal injury claim without the aid of a lawyer, there is a good chance that the insurance company will flat out refuse your claim.
This is why it is so important that you hire an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer to represent you. Although a family exclusion clause might exist, the State of Texas has ruled that the family exclusion clause is invalid – at least to a certain extent. Since all drivers must by law have minimum liability insurance (currently $30,000) then insurance companies should honor all policies at least up to this minimum limit. This means that injured passengers attempting to make a claim against their own spouse are still eligible to recover up to the state mandated minimum limits.
For more information, or to discuss your situation in greater detail with a Dallas injury attorney, please call Guajardo & Marks at 972-774-9800