Auto Insurance Claims: Auto Claim Dispute, Auto Claim Dispute, Car Damages

We are in Texas-my son got hit from behind by a vehicle which pushed him into the vehicle in front of him.  The person's insurance company that hit my son from behind says he is 10% at fault.  He was able to stop on time and had room from the first car.  How can he be 10% at fault?  Our insurance company agrees that the other person is 100% at fault after their investigation.  They just cant do nothing for us since we have no physical damage they cannot subrogate for us.  The estimate is $1,172.31 for my son's car and we are talking about $117 difference that I would have to pay.  I want to know if we should take their settlement?  Wouldn't his record be tarnished if we did?

Hello Cathy,

Texas follows a modified comparative fault – 51% rule meaning that your son will not be liable for the other party damage unless he is more than half at fault (which he is not – they are claiming 10% only).

The insurance company would not have subrogation (because it would appear that you do no have collision coverage?) and they are protected by the modified comparative statute (which you know of al these already).

So what to do now? Well, if this is a clear rear ender situation, I cannot see why he would be 1% at fault, much less 10%. I know it is “only” $117, but they are HIS $117. Settling for 90% could mean that he is accepting 10% of his fault, which could raise his rates. You could ask his adjuster on what to do, although adjusters are not very straight on giving you this type of answer. The best thing to do is to get a quote while the claim is pending to know where his rating in (from different insurance companies). After the claim is settled and close, you can get another quote and compare the two. If you see a substantial increase, you can be sure that the insurance company is using this accident against him. To get a quote, you can visit:

  However, there seems to be something unfair about this entire situation. You could ask for the payment and then bring an action in small claims for  the remainder (as long as you are not ask to sign settlement papers, which does not usually happens unless there are injuries). Or you can go for the entire amount. Insurance companies know when they can push their luck and their client would have to explain why there is a 10% negligence on your son. To learn more about small claims, please visit:

Of course, you can elect to argue and see if they pay you the $117, they might. Which would be a lot easier. Or you can settle, and take your chances with the rates, but again, this seems unfair to me.

Good Luck