Guide To The Texas Laws You Should Know About (And Can Affect Your Legal Case)

Laws In Texas You Should Know About

The following is a list of codified rules and regulations Texas motorists need to know. Updated and grouped by issue, the selected statutes are curated legal resources and information specific to Texas. Updated basic legal research and start your research on the rules and obligations of the lone star state here.

Know your rights! But get help from a qualified Texas attorney if you face a legal problem of your own.

Texas Car Accident Laws, Traffic & Insurance Issues

Licensed drivers using public roads have a number of legal duties, are subject to the traffic laws of the state and other rules. Additionally, systems governing how car insurance works and tort laws define how the process works if you are in an accident and seek legal recovery. This collection includes the rules Texas drivers must abide by, including important issues like how negligence is handled in the state, obligations of policyholders and the system recognized for accident claims. An auto accident lawyer will be able to help you determine how the rules may apply to your specific legal situation.

  • DMV Car Accident Resource: You can get access to important forms, registration requirements and licensing information here. - DMV Online
  • Department of Transportation: See the crash reports, the duties and requirements for drivers operating vehicles in the state of Texas here. - Dept. of Transportation, Accident Reporting Statute (§550.065)
  • State Law Library: Self-help resource including legal forms frequently requested, an outline of the basics of legal research, court rules and other consumer information. - (Texas State Law Library)
  • Texas is a "Fault" State: The state uses a fault-based system for insurance and personal injury recovery. A fault state (as opposed to states recognizing no-fault systems) defines how damages are to be handled by insurance agencies and generally requires the at-fault driver to compensate the injured party in an accident.
  • Texas is a Comparative Fault State: This means an injured party in a car accident is prevented from collecting damages if the person is established to have a degree of responsibility in excess of 51%. The comparative fault rule applies proportionate responsibility and informs legal recovery a claimant may be entitled. (§33.001)
  • Texas 'Good Samaritan' Law: In the State of Texas the Good Samaritan Law offers protections from liability and getting sued to individuals who render aid to another person in an emergency.
  • Minimum Auto Insurance Requirement for Drivers: Motorists are required to carry auto insurance in the minimum amounts of $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident when two or more are injured, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. Basic coverage requirements in the state are known as "30/60/25" - proof of insurance is required in the vehicle.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage: This refers to poly protection in the case a driver is hit by another motorist without auto insurance or where the driver is under-insured. Insurers are required to offer UM/UIM coverage (Bodily Injury UM/UIM & Property Damage UM/UIM). Policyholders are not required to purchase coverage but must reject it in writing. (Texas Department of Insurance)
  • Texas Negligence Statute: See the codified law governing negligence in the State of Texas. (§33.001)
  • Texas Civil Statute of Limitations: How much time you have for taking civil action in Texas. Statute of limitations sets the cutoff deadline for suing. The accrual point can vary by the cause of action (Wrongful death legal action & Personal Injury generally have a 2 year statute of limitations in the state). (Title II, Chapter 16)
  • Crash Reporting Requirements: See the legal duty drivers in Texas have when involved in an accident, such as your obligation to stop, report the accident, and penalties for failing to comply. (§550.001)
  • Duty to Provide Care After a Crash: See the driver responsibilities to render aid in the event of an accident and requirements to assist and give information (and the penalties for statutory violations). - (§550.023)
  • DUI Threshold: The blood-alcohol limit in Texas is .08% or more, and the 1st offense is a class B misdemeanor. Texas is a zero tolerance law state, it is illegal for people under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable alcohol in system. See the codified definitions for intoxication Texas recognizes and penalties here. - (Texas Penal Code §49.01)

Continue reading to learn more.

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Employment Regulations Important for Texas Workers

Here are a collection of laws and resources important for workers in Texas. The following State statutes and agencies define the rules of the workplace in the state and help define the employer employee relationship. When state statute exists along with federal law, the statutes provide supplemental protections to workers in Texas.

  • Texas Minimum Wage Laws: (Rate): Texas recognizes the federal minimum wage rate: $7.25 per hour. Some exceptions are recognized for tipped employees and other conditions. Eligible workers who feel they were paid a lower than minimum rate has two years from the accrual date to file an unpaid wages lawsuit. Texas Workforce Commission
  • Minimum Wage Statute: TX labor code provisions pertaining to wages §620.001
  • Wage & Hour - Overtime Laws: Federal law FLSA protections and the Texas Payday Law defines a continuous fixed seven day schedule for the work week which employers must use to calculate overtime. Generally, overtime rates are calculated at one and a half times regular pay rates in Texas.
  • Texas Payday Law: The law states all covered employees are to be paid overtime wages unless a statutory exemption exists. See what and how employees are entitled to be paid under the Texas Payday Statute here. §620.001
  • Texas Right To Work Laws: Texas is a "Right to Work" state, with protections against requiring employees to be a member of a labor organization or denied work because of membership. Public employees do not have the right to strike. - Labor Code - §101.001
  • Employee Discrimination Prohibitions: Anti-discrimination act providing protections for employees against discrimination based upon a workers past compensation claim history. Employee protections in state law supplement existing federal FCRA protections and state law cannot abridge federal protections. - Section §451.001
  • Texas State Family Medical Leave Provisions (FMLA): Texas employers are subject to federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employee protections. Texas does not have supplemental regulations outside of a sick foster child provision which extends the same leave for care.
  • Texas New Hire Reporting: Employers must report new hires and rehired within 20 calendar days of the date of hire under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and Family Code statute. - §234.001
  • Texas Commission on Human Rights Act - Provides protections for employees based upon protected classes: • Race • Color • Gender • Religion • National origin • Age • Disability • Marital status. §21.001
  • See The Threshholds for Coverage In Texas: Determining whether an employer is covered is vital in determining if employees have a valid claim with many employment-related violations. See employer threshholds by statute here. (Texas Workforce Commission)
  • Texas is an "At-Will" State: Meaning employees can be fired for any reason - (good cause, bad cause, or without cause) so long as the reason doesn't violate FMLA, workplace discrimination laws, whistleblower protections or protected class protections. No advance notice is required for termination in the state.

If you have more questions about an employment situation in Texas, share your situation with a Texas employment attorney who can help answer your questions and help determine if what your employer has done is illegal or just unfair.

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Texas Tort Reform Laws

A number of tort laws and policies exist in the state of Texas. Texas is a tort reform state meaning a number of provisions are in place which cap monetary damages for medical malpractice claims the following regulationsare specific to the state and define how civil injury claims are to be handled.

Any amendments imposed by the State affecting the tort lawsuit process and rule changes designed to provide liability protections: pain and suffering, statute of limitations to file a claim, punitive damages, noneconomic, pre-suit requirements, as well as various other injury award caps.

  • Texas Tort Claims Act: Individuals in the state are able to file private civil suits against government defendants in the state and does not recognize sovereign immunity protections. §101.001
  • Texas Advance Directives Act: Commonly known as the "Texas Futile Care Law", this act protects covered healthcare professionals and providers from tort liability for terminating life-sustaining treatment for critically ill patients (cases of medical futility) after 10 day written notice is given that continued care will likely not lead to improvement in the patient. §166.001
  • Comparative Negligence: Texas is considered a comparative negligence state recognizing a 51% threshold of proportionate responsibility to deny damages for a plaintiff. §33.001
  • Wrongful Death Claims: Statute of limitations is 2 years from the decendent's death date. §16.003(b)

To get more information about how the tort laws may apply to your injury case find a lawyer to review the details of your case today.

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Texas Criminal Laws You Should Know

Texas Crime Statutes: The governing laws governing crimes and criminal procedure for everything from theft, prostitution to homicide. - (Culpability / Criminal Responsibility / Punishment) Penal Code §16.003

Drug Laws: As of this writing, marijuana remains illegal in the State of Texas. Penalties vary depending on amount in possession and can range from felony to misdemeanor possession penalties. (§16.003).

DUI / Driving Laws: Zero tolerance for 21 and under drivers. See the BAC limits and correlating penalties defined here. (Texas Penal Code §49.01)

If you feel you have been wrongly discharged, speak with a labor lawyer to discuss your options right away.

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Texas Government & Legal Resources

The following resources are a collection of official and useful resources having to do with basic laws and statutes important to Texas residents.

The following State court and legislative resources are intended to help with your legal research.


State laws are always subject to change.


    Federal Resources

    Recent Case News