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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111468
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My wife and I live in Texas, Ellis County. In May 2015 my

Customer Question

My wife and I live in Texas, Ellis County. In May 2015 my wife was driving my Ford PU in Waxahachie, Texas and had an accident. She has a green card, but is not a US citizen and speaks limited English. She has a valid Texas DL. The other party called the police and my wife was given a ticket for lack of financial responsibility (expired insurance). The investigating officer made an accident report indicating my wife was at fault; however from the illustrations and the scene of the accident it is apparent it was at the very least the fault of BOTH drivers, my wife and the other person. She said the police investigating hardly asked her any questions and spoke with the other person (driver and his passenger) as they are US citizens and of course communicated well to their advantage.
We paid the ticket for no insurance this summer and have now received a letter from Wilbur and Associate (a law firm representing State Farm Ins.). They claim they are owed $4,772.38; however from the pictures of the damaged vehicles, it is easily apparent to see that there was no where near this much damage to the other vehicle that State Farm paid $4,772.38 to have repaired. We feel the other driver took advantage of the situation unfairly and State Farm worked with him.
Now we have received a letter from the law firm that they will be submitting the claim to the Texas Dept. of Public Safety Responsiblity program and are wanting to have our license and registration suspended.
I have attempted to contact them to work something out, but they are completely inflexible and unreasonable demanding the full amount to be paid in full or over a 12 months period.
I live on SS income and make only $10.00 per hour working daily. My wife does not work.
I have told them this and that I am unable to make a $393.50 monthly payment but would be able to pay something less. They are inflexible and will likely proceed to force the issue with the Dept. of Public Safety in Texas to get our licenses.
We do not know what to do and have made no headway with them in resolving the issue. Is there anything that can be done to settle this matter and protect our license and registration?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

You have a right to go to court against the insurance company and sue them for contributory negligence of their driver. Under Texas law, they follow a modified comparative fault system known as proportionate responsibility. Under this scheme, the court would determine her share of fault and would make her pay that percentage of the damages. If the court finds the other party is 25% at fault for example, then you would be liable to pay for 75% of the damages. However, you are going to try to argue this proportionate responsibility with the insurer's attorney first and make an offer to settle and then if they refuse you would have no choice but to file suit in court to get the court to decide on apportionment of liability.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If they will not work with me on the payment amount or time frame, I will have to sue the insurance company in court? That would likely be expensive I would think and I only have a 50/50 chance of winning anything. It does not sound like I have much chance to change the situation. How much would a suit typically cost?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also what about our driver's licenses and the truck registration being suspended by the State of Texas while this is going on?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Generally, an attorney is going to cost you about $200 an hour to take this case to court, so you are right it could be expensive, but there is no other way in this type of case. They can seek to have your license/registration suspended during the suit and you would have to file a motion to stay that suspension pending the suit, which the courts will grant.

Your only other option is negotiating a more acceptable payment plan with them that they would agree to not file for the suspension as long as you make payments on time.

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