By

Tito Bucheli

Updated

April 3, 2024

Edited By

Fausto Bucheli Jr
Image Credit: Pixabay

Texas roads are known for being vast and busy, and unfortunately, they can also be breeding grounds for road rage incidents. But what happens when a heated exchange escalates into a collision? Will your¬†car insurance in Texas¬†cover the damages? In this article,¬†Cheap Insurance¬†looks into the complexities of¬†car insurance¬†coverage in road rage accidents specific to Texas. We’ll answer critical questions to help you understand what is and isn’t covered, the role your actions play, and the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Texas follows comparative negligence, meaning your share of the blame in a road rage accident impacts your car insurance coverage.
  • Aggressive driving behaviors during a road rage incident can lead to coverage denial by your Texas car insurance company.
  • A dashcam can be valuable evidence in a road rage insurance dispute, but it doesn’t guarantee coverage.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can help with medical expenses and repairs in road rage wrecks, but only if you weren’t the aggressor.
  • Staying calm, avoiding aggressive behavior, and prioritizing safety are the best ways to prevent road rage accidents and potential insurance complications.

Does Texas Consider Road Rage Accidents to be “Accidents”?

Technically, any unintentional event resulting in damage can be considered an accident. However, Texas car insurance companies differentiate between unavoidable accidents and those caused by intentional or reckless behavior.

Road rage incidents fall into a gray area. The accident itself might be unintentional, but the events leading up to it could be considered intentional. This can significantly impact your coverage. Here’s a key point: Texas follows the principle of comparative negligence. This means the insurance company will assign a percentage of fault to each driver involved in the accident.¬† The greater your share of the blame, the less coverage you might receive.

Can My Actions During a Road Rage Incident Impact Coverage in Texas?

Absolutely, your actions during a road rage incident can heavily influence whether your¬†vehicle insurance¬†covers the damages. Here’s what Texas insurance companies typically look at:

  • Initiating aggressive behavior: If you were the one who started tailgating, cutting someone off, or making aggressive gestures, your insurance company might deny coverage entirely.
  • Reckless driving: Speeding, weaving through traffic, or any other behavior that significantly increases the risk of an accident can be grounds for denial.
  • Intentional actions: If you deliberately rammed another car or used your vehicle as a weapon, your actions would be considered intentional and not covered by insurance.
Image Credit: Pixabay

Does Having a Dashcam Help My Case in a Road Rage Wreck Insurance Dispute?

  • Provides Evidence:¬†Dashcam footage¬†can provide a clear picture of what happened leading up to the accident. This can be crucial in showing whether you were the victim of aggressive driving or if your actions contributed to the situation.
  • Strengthens Your Claim: If you weren’t the aggressor, dashcam footage can strengthen your claim for coverage by demonstrating your non-aggressive behavior.
 

Am I Liable for Damages Caused During a Road Rage Wreck in Texas (Even Without Insurance Coverage)?

Even if your¬†insurance¬†doesn’t cover the damages, you might still be held personally liable under Texas’ comparative negligence law. The other driver can sue you to recover the cost of repairs, medical bills, and other losses.

Here’s where Texas’ mandatory¬†Personal Injury Protection (PIP)¬†comes in. PIP helps cover medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who’s at fault in the accident. However, it has coverage limits, and it might not cover all the damages caused.

A¬†clean driving record¬†can work in your favor. A history of responsible driving demonstrates a lower risk profile, which might influence the court’s decision regarding liability, potentially reducing the amount you’re found responsible for.

Are There Any Exceptions to Coverage Denial in Road Rage Cases?

There can be exceptions to coverage denial in some situations. Here are a few:

  • You were the victim of aggressive driving: If you can prove the other driver initiated the aggressive behavior and caused the accident, your¬†auto insurance¬†company might still cover your damages, even if you reacted verbally or with defensive maneuvers to avoid a collision.
  • Mechanical failure: If a mechanical failure in your car caused the accident, even if it was triggered by evasive maneuvers to avoid a road rage incident, your insurance might cover the damages under your¬†collision coverage, depending on your policy.
 

Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Help in Road Rage Wreck Situations?

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM):

  • Scenario: Let’s say you’re the victim of a road rage incident caused by an uninsured driver who cuts you off and slams on their brakes, leading to a collision. If you have UM coverage, it can kick in to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs, up to your policy limits.
  • Key Limitation: UM coverage typically only applies if you weren’t the initiator of the aggressive behavior. If the insurance company determines you contributed to escalating the situation, they might deny your UM claim.
 

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM):

  • Scenario: Imagine you’re involved in a road rage accident with a driver who has minimum liability coverage, but their limits aren’t enough to cover your medical bills and car damage. UIM coverage can help bridge the gap between the at-fault driver’s coverage and your repair costs or medical expenses, up to your policy limits.
  • Similar Limitation: As with UM coverage, UIM benefits typically hinge on you not being the instigator of the aggressive driving.
 

Proactive Steps to Protect Yourself

Here are some proactive steps you can take to strengthen your case for UM/UIM coverage in a road rage situation:

  • Maintain a Clean Driving Record: A history of responsible driving demonstrates a lower risk profile to insurance companies. This can work in your favor if you need to file a UM/UIM claim.
  • Gather Evidence (if possible): If you’re the victim of road rage, try to note down the license plate number of the other driver and any details about their aggressive behavior. Having a dashcam can also provide valuable evidence if the incident escalates.
  • Cooperate with Law Enforcement: Report the road rage incident to the police and cooperate with their investigation. This official documentation can be helpful when dealing with your insurance company.
 

Key Point: UM/UIM coverage typically only applies to situations where you weren’t the one who initiated the aggressive behavior.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Road rage accidents are complex situations with significant financial and legal implications. Understanding your car insurance coverage, Texas’ comparative negligence law, and the steps to take after an incident can help you navigate this challenging situation. Remember, staying calm, avoiding aggressive behavior, and prioritizing safety are the best ways to prevent road rage and its consequences. This can help you remain qualified for the¬†lowest car insurance rates.

This article provides general information and is not a substitute for legal advice. For specific questions regarding Texas auto insurance coverage or a road rage accident, consult with an attorney in Texas.