Unfortunately, not all drivers in Texas follow the law and purchase automobile liability coverage. When a drunk driver causes a wreck, this can leave the victims with no practical way to recover the compensation they deserve from him. Few people have enough money or other assets to pay for the losses caused in one of these tragic crashes. However, victims may be able to file a claim under the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund to receive at least some compensation for their injuries.
What Is the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund?
The Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund is administered by the Texas Attorney General and is a fund to help victims of certain crimes. Many crimes are covered under the Fund. Motor vehicle-related crimes include:
- Failing to stop and render aid
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Aggravated assault
- Intoxicated manslaughter
- Intoxication assault
The victim must be a resident of Texas. If the crime occurred out of state, a Texas resident is only eligible for benefits if that state does not have a crime victims’ fund.
What Compensation Could You Receive Under the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund?
A victim must explore all other avenues of compensation, such as health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, their own auto insurance, and workers’ compensation, before being eligible for funds. The maximum amount of benefits that can be paid is $50,000 unless the victim is permanently disabled. In that case, he may qualify for an additional $75,000 and in some cases compensation for other allowable expenses. Victims can be compensated for the following expenses:
- Medical, hospital, physical therapy, and nursing home
- Psychiatric treatment or counseling
- Lost wages
- Care of a child or other dependent
- Loss of support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Other crime-related expenses
What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Claim?
Generally, a victim must file an application for benefits within three years of the date of the crime. However, this time limit may be extended if the victim can show good cause for the delay, such as the person’s age or mental incapacity.
Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?
If you've been injured by a drunk driver in Texas you need to speak with an experienced drunk driver injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.485.8888 to schedule your free consultation.