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Car Accident

Can I Lose My House Due to At-Fault Car Accident?

Video Transcript


Speakers: Kevin L. Edwards and Pedro “Peter” de la Cerda


What You Should Know About the Texas Homestead Law


Kevin: We are sometimes asked, can I lose my house if I’m found to be at fault in a car accident?


Peter: Answering that question involves a couple [of] things. First of all, in Texas, there’s what’s called homestead protection. And so, anytime there is a judgment against you, Texas law protects your homestead, your primary residence, from that judgment. In other words, it can’t be taken.


However, if you have property over and above your homestead… Okay, let’s take, for example, a vacation home. A vacation home could be subject to a judgment. [Now,] is your primary residence protected? Yes. Are your vacation homes, a boat, or all kinds of recreational vehicles and tons of property over and above that [protected]? Not necessarily. So you need to be careful with that. It’s another reason why you need to have sufficient insurance to cover a judgment. [omitted] There’s insurance for your vehicle, but they also have umbrella policies. It can cover additional property of yours. So to answer the question quickly, yes, your home, your primary residence [is] protected. Property over and above that could be at risk.


Why is the Insurance Company Not Named as a Defendant?


Peter: A follow-up question that we sometimes get to the prior question is, why is it that we have to name an individual or entity defendant and not the insurance company in a lawsuit?


Kevin: [In Texas,] the law is very clear. You cannot name the insurance company. You actually name the individual who was at fault for that accident. In Texas also, if you have to file a lawsuit and you go to trial, it is almost always where the insurance or any mention of insurance is excluded from that trial. And so, while you may be naming an individual, [it] is so that we can get to the proper insurance company and determine what [their] insurance coverage is to go back to pay that claim for the personal injury case.

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