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What is a Stowers Demand in Texas Auto Accident Cases?

In previous articles, I’ve delved into various aspects of auto accident cases and personal injury claims. I’ve covered topics such as maximizing compensation after a car accident, understanding auto insurance policy limits in Texas, and exploring potential compensation amounts. I briefly touched upon the concept of a Stowers demand. Now, let’s delve deeper into what a Stowers demand entails and how it can significantly impact your personal injury claim.

What is a Stowers Demand?

A Stowers demand is a unique aspect of Texas law that can significantly affect the compensation you receive from an auto insurance claim. It comes into play when the damages in a motor vehicle accident exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance.

In such a scenario, if the liability is clear, you and your attorney can demand that the insurance company pays either the actual damages or the maximum policy limit of the insured’s coverage. If the insurance company refuses to pay the policy limits and you win a judgment that exceeds these limits at trial, the insurer may be responsible for paying the entire judgment amount, including the excess over the policy limits.

Responding to a Stowers Demand

When an insurance company receives a Stowers demand, they have a reasonable time to evaluate and respond. If they agree to the demand and pay the total policy limits, the claimant typically receives only that amount, with no opportunity for additional excess damages.

The Decision to Send a Stowers Demand

Deciding whether to send a Stowers demand is a complex process that requires a detailed analysis of the case specifics, including the facts and severity of the injuries involved. The advantage of a Stowers demand is the guarantee of securing at least the policy limits amount from the insurance company. Without such a demand, if a lawsuit is filed, the insurance company does not bear liability for any damages exceeding the policy limits, leaving the defendant personally responsible for the excess amount. This can be problematic as many individuals may not have the means to pay the judgment, particularly in Texas, where laws protect a substantial portion of an individual’s assets from collection.

Policy Limits in Motor Vehicle Insurance

Understanding policy limits is crucial in evaluating the potential outcome of a Stowers demand. In Texas, the minimum required injury policy for commercial vehicles operating within state lines is $500,000.00. However, federal laws apply to vehicles traveling interstate, with varying limits based on the vehicle’s weight and the nature of materials being transported.

For trucks – 

– Under 10,001 lbs carrying nonhazardous materials: $300,000 limit.
– Over 10,001 lbs carrying nonhazardous materials: $750,000 limit.
– Transporting oil: $1 million limit.
– Carrying hazardous materials: $5 million limit.

For commercial vehicles like buses that can seat 16 or more passengers, the minimum limit is $5 million, whereas vehicles with a capacity of 15 or fewer passengers have a $1.5 million limit.

Personal Vehicle Policy Limits

Policy limits for personal vehicles are considerably lower than for commercial vehicles. In Texas, they set these limits at $30,000 per person for injuries, with a maximum of $60,000.00 coverage for all occupants combined. They cap property damage limits, covering damages to your vehicle, at $25,000.00, known as the 30/60/25 coverage rule.

In summary, a Stowers demand is a powerful tool in Texas personal injury law that can potentially lead to higher compensation, especially in cases where damages exceed policy limits. However, the decision to issue such a demand must be based on a thorough evaluation of the specific details and implications of each case.

Contact Us

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.

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