What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident in Texas?
Car accidents can be life-altering. A car accident can cause severe injuries, financial problems, and emotional trauma. Although the emotional and physical damage caused by Houston traffic accidents can take some time to heal, you can seek financial compensation by settling a car accident case.
Some Basic FAQs
It isn’t easy to calculate an average settlement. Insurance companies use statistics for different accident scenarios to calculate an average. It is important to understand how insurance companies estimate the value of your claim and what you should include in your settlement efforts.
A seasoned Houston auto accident lawyer like one at the McLemore Law Firm understands these variables and how to deal with insurance companies.
Is there a formula for calculating car accident settlements?
Although an insurance company won’t admit it, adjusters often use a basic formula to predict the amount a jury might award you for your injury claim if there is a trial.
This formula for determining settlement value is an estimate. The best personal injury lawyers know that psychological injuries cannot be directly related to physical injuries.
How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated?
Your car accident settlement is only as good as the total amount of damages you sustained in the accident. In Texas, there are three types of damages that can be included in a car accident case.
These can include:
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- House services
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Loss of earning ability
- Financial losses
It is important to realize that medical expenses should not be reduced by what you have already paid. Your medical expenses (surgeries, treatments, prescriptions, etc.) and your economic damages should include any medical expenses in the future(prescriptions, treatments, surgeries, etc.) that may be incurred due to the accident.
Non-economic damages can be harder to quantify. They can include pain, suffering and reputational damage.
Punitive damages are not awarded for a loss. They are instead used to punish the other driver and prevent future similar acts. Most often, punitive damages are awarded for drunk driving and speeding-related accidents.
How do I know if I have a claim?
You have a right to file a claim if your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence. Negligent road behavior can include, but not be limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Do not disregard road signs and signals
Not only can the other driver be held responsible for an accident, but local or federal authorities could also be held accountable for unsafe road conditions that caused an accident. If the accident is caused by a defect in a vehicle, a part manufacturer or other cause could also be held responsible. A Houston auto accident lawyer can help you assess the accident and determine if there is a claim.
Who pays the settlement?
The settlement can be from your insurance, the insurance company of the other driver, or both.
Your insurance company will pay for your vehicle damage if the accident was your fault. Your insurance company will pay you a lump sum if the repair costs exceed the vehicle’s value. Texas is considered an at-fault state, so you’ll be responsible for your medical bills if it was your fault.
Policies have a limit. The settlement amount cannot exceed the limit, or if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. In these cases, you could be held responsible for damages paid out of your own pocket. Your insurance company could also be responsible if you have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage.
Why you Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston
Accident victims often believe that insurance companies are in their best interests. To reduce or deny your claim, some companies will resort to deceptive and misleading tactics. Although the insurance company may not be trying to deceive, it is very unlikely that the initial offer will cover the entire value of your claim.
People who decide to pursue a claim on their own often accept low-ball settlement offers and other unfair tactics. A personal injury attorney can help an individual determine the value of their case and fight for what they are entitled to.
Nobody wants to settle for an average settlement. You won’t be in a position to maximize your offer by simply filing a claim. Your attorney can convince the insurance company to do a deeper investigation. Your attorney will file a lawsuit if an agreement is not reached after the investigation.