If a negligent driver caused you to suffer injuries in a car accident, you will need to file a claim for compensation with his insurance company. In order to receive all the compensation you are entitled to, you should understand your rights under Texas law. This includes knowing the types of compensation you could receive in settlement of your claim.
Possible Compensation in a Texas Car Accident Claim
Texas is an at-fault state, which means the negligent driver is responsible for fully compensating you for your losses following an auto crash. Here is a brief look at the types of compensation you may deserve from the driver who hit you:
Car Repairs and Property Damage
The negligent driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for repairs to your vehicle or its value if it is too damaged to be repaired. You could also be entitled to car rental fees if you must rent a vehicle while yours is in the shop, as well as towing costs. If any property in your vehicle was damaged—such as a cell phone, laptop computer or other electronic devices—you would be entitled to compensations for these items as well.
You are entitled to compensation for both your past and future medical expenses. If you have not fully recovered from your injuries, you will not know what your future expenses will be until you reach your maximum medical recovery. This is the point where you have recovered as much as possible, even if you do not make a complete recovery or receive a final prognosis from your doctor. You could receive payment for the following as part of your medical expense award:
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Diagnostic tests
- Counseling or other mental health treatments
- Assistive aids such as crutches and a wheelchair
- Home health care if you need medical care or assistance with day-to-day activities due to your injuries
- Travel expenses if you must travel to receive medical care
As with medical expenses, you are entitled to both your past and future lost wages. If you are off work for any length of time, you could lose more than your wages at your job. These are the types of damages that may be awarded as part of your lost wage claim:
- Past and future wages
- Lost sick and vacation benefits
- Other perks of your job such as a vacation or company vehicle
- Lost earning capacity if you must take a lower salary in a career move due to your injuries or if you become permanently disabled
Pain and Suffering Damages
You are entitled to compensation for the pain, suffering and emotional trauma that you experienced from the accident and your injuries. If your injuries were severe or life-altering, you could have suffered significant anxiety, depression and other emotional trauma. These damages can be harder to put a monetarily value on and to document. You will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney if you hope to receive what you deserve.
Wrongful Death Damages
If a loved one died as a result of a car accident, you could be entitled to bring a wrongful death action against the negligent driver. You could be entitled to these types of compensation:
- Lost earning capacity of the deceased
- Lost care, support and advice from your family member
- Lost love, companionship and comfort of a spouse
- Lost inheritance, including the amount your loved one would have saved and left to family members if he had lived a normal life
Punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases. They are to punish the negligent party for gross negligence or a willful act or omission, not to compensate you as the victim. Punitive damages are capped in Texas as the greater of $200,000 or the amount of economic plus non-economic damages awarded up to $750,000.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident or a loved one died, our experienced and compassionate car accident attorneys are here to explain your legal rights for compensation and how we can assist you in obtaining what you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your Complimentary Strategy Session to learn more.