I previously discussed auto accident cases and personal injury claims in other articles, including how to get more money after a car accident, the auto insurance policy limits for your injuries in Texas, and how much you can get. I briefly also mentioned the Stowers demand. In this article, I will discuss what a Stowers demand is.
Stowers is a demand that can potentially put more money in your pockets than a policy limit allows:
When you get into a motor vehicle car accident, you and your attorney can demand a certain amount from the auto insurance carrier. When liability is clear and the damages exceed the policy limits. In this scenario, you and your attorney can send a demand to the insurance company for either the actual damages or an option for the insurance carrier to provide the maximum policy limits coverage for that particular policy. Suppose the insurance company denies offering the policy limits in this scenario. In that case, you can take your car to trial. If the judgment exceeds the policy limits, the insurance company is also responsible for paying the excess damages over the policy limits they are generally required to pay.
What happens if the insurance company accepts the Stowers demand?
If the insurance company accepts the Stowers demand and offers the total policy limits within the reasonable time given to evaluate and respond to the case, you are only limited to getting that money and will not receive excess damages.
Should I even send a Stowers demand?
This is a thorough case-by-case analysis and depends on the facts and severity of injuries. Generally, Stowers guarantees that you at least receive the policy limits amount from the insurance company. This is money you are guaranteed to get. Whereas if you decide not to send a Stowersdemand and file a suit, the insurance company is not responsible for paying any damages above the policy limits. This means the other driver would personally be responsible for paying the excess amount. This causes many issues. For example, many individuals do not pay the judgment because Texas law allows a good portion of an individual’s assets to be exempt from collection. This leaves you with a piece of paper called a judgment that says a person owes you money, but they end up never paying you. Insurance companies always pay.
What are the policy limits on motor vehicle insurance?
The policy limits on motor vehicle insurance have previously been discussed in another article I wrote, but I have put them here again for your reference.
Texas requires a minimum $500,000.00 injury policy for any commercial vehicles used within Texas state lines.
If the vehicle is used to travel across state lines, federal law controls. The following are the limits for vehicles used to travel across state lines:
- $300,000 for trucks weighing less than 10,001 lbs. and transporting nonhazardous materials.
- $750,000 for trucks weighing at least 10,001 lbs. and transporting nonhazardous materials.
- $1 million for trucks transporting oil.
- $5 million for trucks carrying hazardous materials.
For commercial vehicles that travel across state lines and can fit 16 or more passengers, such as buses, the minimum limit is $5 million. If the exact vehicle can only carry 15 or fewer passengers, the limit is $1.5 million.
Policy limits for personal vehicles:
For personal vehicles, policy limits are much lower. Currently, policy limits for personal vehicles in Texas are $30,000 per person for your injuries with a maximum of $60,000.00 coverage. For example, if there are passengers in the vehicle, insurance would only be required to pay $60,000.00 maximum for everyone combined. Further, the limits for property damages, which are the damages to your vehicle, are at $25,000.00; this is known as the 30/60/25 coverage.
Suppose you have been involved in an accident or have some questions. You are looking for a car accident attorney in North Houston, a car accident attorney in the Woodlands, a car accident attorney in Tomball, Cypress, FM 1960, Galveston, and surrounding areas; call me Amir Tavakkoli, Houston from the A.T. Law Firm for a free consultation. We also handle cases in different counties, including but not limited to Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Waller County, and Brazoria County. Contact the A.T. Law Firm by calling (832) 800-5590 for a free consultation.