After a car accident, even if the injuries are minor, life can become chaotic. Victims may have to deal with an uncooperative insurance company, mounting medical costs, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This can be too much to juggle for many victims. If you’ve been in a car accident at the fault of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation. Every case is different, and the amount of your potential settlement depends on the unique facts of your case. Therefore, it is impossible to give a set amount that victims will recover in their personal injury cases. However, our Texas personal injury lawyers can provide a car accident settlement breakdown.
What is the Car Accident Settlement Breakdown in Texas?
Under Texas law, car accident victims are entitled to receive compensation equal to the value of their damages. Because all car accident claims are viewed on a case-by-case basis, the compensation that a client is eligible for depends on the severity and amount of damage they suffer. Examples of compensation car accident victims may recover after a car accident include:
- Damages to your vehicle and property
- Current and future medical bills
- Rehabilitative care
- Lost wages, including benefits, wages, and commissions
- Long-term disability
- Emotional distress
- Pain and Suffering
A car accident can lead to severe injuries that change your life forever. Figuring out how to navigate a settlement offer is challenging without the help of an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer.
What Factors Impact an Average Car Accident Settlement in Texas?
1. Severity of the Injury
It’s pretty clear that a broken bone merits more compensation than a bad bruise or a sprained ankle. Certain injuries following a car accident, like brain or spine injuries, will forever affect a victim’s ability to be independent. This will play a factor in quality of life and the ability to work and earn a living. Referred to as of injuries are often called catastrophic injuries, victims may need medical care for the rest of their lives. The settlement amount will be substantially higher for severe or debilitating injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the total national annual cost of a non-fatal traumatic brain injury is more than $40.6 billion; one-time emergency room treatment costs hover above $6,620 each; and 11 days of lost wages at upwards of $1,600 on average are typical. What victims of traumatic brain injuries may not anticipate is that there are expenses beyond hospitalization.
2. Statute of Limitations
Car accident claims have deadlines called statutes of limitations. If you miss this window of time, your case may be dismissed entirely. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a car accident is two years from the date of the accident.
3. Number of Parties Responsible
In the instance that another driver hits you on an quiet street, it is likely that a client will only be seeking compensation from that driver’s insurance company. It’s a different story if a driver is involved in a multi-car accident or if they are hit by a commercial vehicle. In these cases, a victim’s Texas personal injury lawyer may pursue multiple avenues for compensation.
4. Policy Limits
There are caps associated with the other driver’s insurance policy. In Texas, the minimum care insurance requirement for drivers is 30/60/25. What this means is:
$30,000 for injuries per person
$60,000 total per accident
$25,000 for property damage
When damages exceed these policy limits, which is often the case, a victim may suffer the consequences.
5. Gaps in Treatment
It is imperative to follow the orders of medical professionals following a car accident injury. Showing record of treatment will be extremely important in a personal injury case. If an injured victim fails to do this or waits too long to get treatment, insurance adjusters will use this against them and claim that they aren’t really hurt.
6. Length of Treatment
For most cases, a settlement won’t be reached until the victim has completed their treatment. So, what happens if a victim is severely injured and needs multiple surgeries or ongoing treatment. An experienced Texas personal injury can estimate the cost of future medical costs and recover these expenses in a victim’s claim.
7. Legal Costs
Often, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means their payment is contingent upon your success. At the end of your case, they will deduct their fees from your total settlement amount.
How Does Proportionate Fault Work in Texas Personal Injury Cases?
In Texas, there is a proportionate responsibility statute, which reduces the amount of a settlement after taking to account the victim’s negligence or fault in the accident. It also says that a person who is more than 50% at fault can’t recover any compensation from the other party. When considering car accident settlement amounts in Texas, one of the most important things to understand is that a finding of partial fault will reduce the value of your settlement, perhaps significantly. If two or more parties share the fault for the same Texas car accident, the financial liability will be divided by each party’s percentage of the blame.
Should Victims Work with the Insurance Company?
Insurance adjusters are not your friend. They represent the financial interests of the insurance company that is defending your claim. Victims should never sign anything presented by the insurance company following a car accident, nor should they rely on the advice of an insurance adjuster. Victims should get an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer by their side as early as possible to handle interactions with the insurance company. The Texas Insurance Code governs insurance companies within Texas. If the insurance company refuses to act in good faith and pay you the amount victims are entitled to receive, an attorney will be able to file a lawsuit.
Why Should Accident Victims Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer?
Attempting to navigate the legal claim process by yourself is extremely stressful and may lead to a victim recovering unfair compensation. Our Texas personal injury lawyers have years of experience helping people recover the financial compensation they deserve. Our clients are part of our family, and we want to make sure you come out with a successful outcome for your personal injury case.