My 21 year old son broke his hand and totaled my car...

by Wendi
(Rowlett, TX)

My 21 year old son borrowed my car yesterday and ran head-on into a concrete barrier. He broke his hand in two places and may possibly need surgery. There were no other cars involved. The guy who ran him off the road either had no clue what happened or didn't care to stop.

The car is paid off so I only have liability insurance (he doesn't have insurance), but the policy also states "bodily injury (100/300), Property Damage (50), and PIP (5000).

Since he was driving my vehicle and I wasn't in it, will PIP still help with his medical bills? What does property damage and bodily injury cover exactly? Can my insurance refuse to pay for his treatment?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My 21 year old son broke his hand and totaled my car...":

Wendi (Rowlett, TX):

Texas is not a no-fault insurance state, it's a third party liability state. This means that to recover medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, the victim of a crash caused by a negligent driver can:

1. File a claim with the other driver's insurance company

2. File a claim with the victim's own insurance company

3. File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver

In your son's case, the driver who apparently caused the collision never stopped. As a result, your son wasn't able to secure the driver's insurance information.

Fortunately you had Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in the amount of $5,000. Because you gave your son permission to drive your car, he will be covered by your PIP insurance up to the amount of $5,000.

According to Sec. 1952.151 of Texas Revised Statutes, Personal Injury Protection insurance must...

"...provide for payment to the named insured in the policy, members of the insured's household, and any authorized operator or passenger of the named insured's motor vehicle, including a guest occupant, of all reasonable expenses that:

(1) arise from an accident;

(2) are incurred not later than the third anniversary of the date of the accident; and

(3) are for:

(A) necessary medical, surgical, x-ray, or dental services, including prosthetic devices, and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing, or funeral services;

(B) in the case of an income producer, replacement of income lost as the result of the accident; or

(C) in the case of a person injured in the accident who was not an income or wage producer at the time of the accident, reimbursement of necessary and reasonable expenses incurred for essential services ordinarily performed by the injured person for care and maintenance of the family or family household."

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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