My husband was the driver and he rear ended a large steel trailer...

by Jane
(Garland, Texas)

My son and I were passengers when my husband who was driving rear ended a steel trailer. My son and I were both injured. My medical bills are almost $9000 and our son's medical bills are around $7000. Nationwide paid $5000 to each of us under our PIP portion. We are still treating.

The accident injured my left knee and caused an arthritic episode to explode within my knee. I had been going to therapy and my knee was killing me. Nothing made it better and the swelling has been unreal. I have been using a walker (that belonged to my husband) because the pain was so bad.

I went back to a different orthopedic doctor and he immediately saw the pain I was in and he drained 25cc off of my knee. It has helped but I still have great difficulty walking.

The doctor wants me to go back to therapy and Nationwide says that because my husband was the driver, our bodily injury only covers pain and suffering, not medical or future medical. We are in Texas. Is this true? What can we do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My husband was the driver and he rear ended a large steel trailer...":

Jane (Garland, Texas):

In the State of Texas the minimum amount of car insurance drivers are required to carry is as follows:

- $30,000 for one (1) person injured in one (1) accident
- $60,000 for two (2) or more person's injured in one (1) accident
- $25,000 for property damage sustained in one (1) accident

While the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) may have covered the amount of $5,000, there is no reason you and your son can't pursue a bodily injury claim against your husband's liability insurance policy. Even if your husband carried the minimum amounts of liability insurance as set out above, you and your son should have access to the amount of $60,000 covered in your husband's policy.

The Nationwide representative misinformed you. Bodily injury insurance does not exclusively cover pain and suffering, although pain and suffering can be part of the compensation you and your son may be entitled to receive.

For more information on Texas rules and regulations governing car insurance requirements go to the Texas Department of Insurance website.

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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