What Is the Average Personal Injury Settlement in Texas? - Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
Apart from the injuries that victims of a car accident get, one of the toughest parts of going through one is how expensive it is to recover from it. Even if they set aside their medical bills - which already are too expensive - they need to recover from their lost wages and damaged property. No one expects to be in a car accident, so people are not prepared for that financial ordeal.
This doesn't only happen with car accidents but with other types of personal injury accidents as well. Victims still shouldn't cover their medical treatment and lost wages if they didn't cause the crash. It wasn't their fault, and the liable party should take responsibility for everything.
The law protects people from that, so people can hire a personal injury lawyer to file a claim against the liable party for a car accident. If the victim wins the case, they will get a fair settlement to recover all the money they lost due to what happened. However, is that money enough? It depends on many factors.
Many wonder if the average car accident settlement in Texas is enough to cover all the expenses that come with the crash. This article has all the information they need about the matter, so anyone interested in learning more about these accidents should keep reading it.
The team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is ready to go to war for their clients and get them all the funds they need for their medical bills and other damages. This law firm works with former insurance company lawyers, so it can help its clients in ways most law offices can't. People looking for a car accident attorney should contact it now to schedule a consultation of their case.
What Is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal term used to describe the physical and psychological harm or impact someone suffers from due to the negligence of another party. Using this term helps victims give that harm an economic value to find compensation.
This legal term is used for civil legal procedures, not criminal ones, so people filing car accident claims are not strictly filing charges against the person who caused the crash. They are suing them, but the liable party won't have to face any further consequences after they pay for the settlement unless they were drunk driving, did a hit and run, or committed any specific crime related to the accident.
There are many types of personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, slips and falls, car crashes, and workplace accidents, to name a few. However, this article uses car accident settlements as an example because they are one of the most common cases in the country. If victims want compensation for a car accident, they need to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
Filing a car accident settlement won't automatically give the victim the money they need for the medical bills. They need to hire a decent car accident lawyer to take the case and win it for them. The case could go to trial, but it's not mandatory, as the victim can always negotiate with the other party to try to agree on the settlement they should receive.
Are Car Accident Settlements Different from Other Accidents?
All types of personal injury cases are different, but they are handled similarly when it comes to legal terms. Car accidents, for example, are not the same as medical malpractice ones. Regardless of that, victims still need to hire a personal injury lawyer to collect evidence and sue the at-fault party.
Naturally, the evidence auto accident victims need to get for the trial is not the same every time, but the same things are taken into account when determining the average settlement for both types of cases. That includes the liability the parties share for the accident, the economic and non-economic damages they get, and the negotiations with the insurance company.
These negotiations may be different depending on the case since it's not the same to handle car accident insurance policies as workplace ones, for example. Lawyers take all those things into account when they file a personal injury claim.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Texas?
Getting to the average car accident settlement in Texas is not an easy thing to do since, depending on medical bills and other factors, its worth could range from thousands to millions of dollars. The same happens when someone tries to get the average settlement of any other kind of accident.
However, the Insurance Information Institute stated that the average car accident settlement in 2021 was $22,734. That only applies if the victim's injuries are severe enough to require that much money, but light car accidents often get $3,000 (or less) in settlements.
It can seem like an outrageous amount of money, but the highest personal injury settlement in Texas was over $301 billion, and it happened in 2021. Everyone should keep in mind that Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, which means victims of a car accident or any other personal injury case can sue their negligent party even if they are partially at fault for what happened.
There's no specific minimum or maximum amount of money people can get in car accident settlements in Texas. Thus, everything depends on the case the lawyer builds and how the negotiations with the insurance company go.
How to Determine the Settlement in a Personal Injury Case in Texas
Victims can know the average car accident settlement, but that doesn't mean they will get that exact amount of money. They still need to understand how lawyers and judges determine the money they should receive if they win the case.
How do they do that? They must analyze several factors and use them to determine the value of economic and non-economic damages that came with the accident. These are a few of the main things lawyers take into account to determine how much a car accident settlement - or any personal injury claim in general - should be:
Liability is different depending on the state where a crash happens, as the type of negligence state determines if the victim will get less compensation if they were partially liable for what happened. When it comes to a Texas car accident, the victim can still sue the other party if they are more liable for what happened, but they may get less money depending on how accountable they are for the crash.
This only happens when dealing with a Texas car accident, though. Other states don't even let the victim fight for an auto accident settlement if they share any fault for it. Hence, all clients should ask their lawyers to explain how the personal injury law works in their state before starting to build a case.
There are two types of damages people can ask compensation for in a personal injury lawsuit; economic and non-economic damages. The former refers to things with actual physical value, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include things without real-life value in real life such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Calculating the worth of economic damages in auto accident settlements is not complex, as victims only need to check their medical records, property damage reports, and loss of income. That becomes a more challenging process when dealing with non-economic ones since lawyers need to set a specific value to things that don't have it for the insurance claim.
Medical Records and Bills
Medical records and bills are essential factors to take into account when determining car accident settlements, as they represent a huge part of the money the victim needs to pay after the crash. This is one of the reasons why car accident settlements are so expensive, as severe injuries ask for complex medical treatment.
When auto accident victims hire a car accident attorney, they should expect them to check their medical records to determine how expensive medical bills will be. Lawyers often get help from experts on the matter to get to the exact amount of money they will ask for.
If the victim finishes their medical treatment before the trial ends, they can ask for the exact amount of money they spent on it. Nonetheless, their car accident lawyer will need to prove their client got those injuries due to the crash.
These are a few of the most common injuries auto accident victims suffer from due to the crash:
Spinal cord injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
It's worth noting that victims can also add future medical expenses to the claim if an expert considers they could develop more injuries due to the crash in the future. However, they would need to prove that the risk of suffering from that damage is likely to happen. Future medical expenses are still treated as economic damages in a car accident settlement.
As mentioned before, the problem of Texas car accidents, apart from the injuries they cause, is the money people lose on property damage and loss of income. When people talk about lost wages, in a nutshell, they are talking about how their earning capacity decreases due to the injuries, legal process, or psychological process they have to go through.
Victims can't keep working if they are suffering from severe injuries or need to attend physical therapy sessions often. Even if they are not suffering from that, car accident cases are stressful and can lead to severe mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A personal injury attorney in a car accident case needs to analyze how much money their clients would have gotten if they went to their jobs during the time they were recovering from what happened. The same happens if they lost a job opportunity that would have helped them get additional funds.
The thing about dealing with Texas car accidents is that the insurance company of the liable party will always be present in the case. It's in charge of paying an amount of the property damage and non-economic damages its client caused, but not all of the settlement.
As mentioned before, insurance companies will always try to pay less money than they actually should or than the victim deserves. Hence, it's important for personal injury lawyers to try to recover compensation and study the insurance policies the at-fault driver has. That will help them optimize their negotiation strategy.
Precedent and Case Law
Apart from the factors that lawyers often need to consider to get to the settlement amount they will set for each case, they also check the compensation other victims have won in other cases. The United States works under a common law-based system.
What does that mean? That the verdicts and settlements judges have determined for specific cases in the past can be references for future ones. Regardless of that, it's up to each lawyer to use previous sentences for their case and to the judges to decide if both accidents are similar enough.
Going through trials is stressful for victims. Lawyers are already used to this, but it's easy for a car accident victim who has never been through trials to get overwhelmed. That problem can worsen, as many cases can take months or years to get to an end.
Many people prefer to avoid that, so they try to negotiate with the insurance company and the at-fault party to agree on a specific settlement. This is a good choice for people who are not sure if they will win the case and need the money fast.
Naturally, the insurance company won't agree to give the victim all the money they asked for in the first place, even if it's a serious car accident. Victims may need to be ready to accept a lower amount of money than they wanted, but they shouldn't accept an unfair settlement either.
It's not odd to see an insurance company trying to negotiate with a victim without their lawyer there just to trick them into taking an unfair deal. That's the reason why clients shouldn't ever do anything related to the case without their injury attorneys in Houston there.
Apart from being experts in personal injury law, the people working at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are former insurance company lawyers, so they know the tricks insurance companies may try to get the client to pay less money. That is one of the biggest perks of hiring this law firm.
How to Get Compensation After a Personal Injury Accident
Now that the reader knows the average settlement they can get in a personal injury accident and how lawyers get to that number, they should also know what they can do to start the legal process and get the money they deserve. Here are a few of the most important things victims and attorneys need to do to win a personal injury case:
Collecting evidence is the most important part of the process, as it's what shows the judge that the other party caused the accident. Besides that, victims also need evidence to prove that the crash is the reason they are suffering from all the damages they mention in the claim.
Anything that proves the things mentioned above could be evidence in a further trial. However, the most common pieces of evidence are often witnesses, videos, pictures, and audio. Lawyers always recommend their clients take photos of the accident right after it happens, if possible.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Needless to say, hiring a personal injury lawyer in the early stages of the legal process will make it way easier. They help with questions like, "What is the statute of limitations in Texas for personal injury?" Most law firms let clients schedule a free consultation with them, so victims don't have to pay anything just to talk to a professional about the matter.
When someone calls Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, an expert on the case will get in touch with the client to schedule a case consultation as soon as possible. Once the consultation date comes, they will discuss specific case strategies to follow and pick the one the client feels the most comfortable with.
File a Personal Injury Claim
The step that will finally start the legal process is filing a personal injury claim against the liable party for the accident. That claim will include the details of the accident and the amount of money the victim is asking for. However, lawyers should take care of all the paperwork.
After the lawyer files the claim, the other party will get a court notification of what happened and a copy of the claim. They will have the opportunity to answer the lawsuit. Both parties will have the opportunity to get to an agreement, but they will go to trial if they can't or just don't want to.
Bottom Line - How to Get Help from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
Getting compensation after an accident won't make the pain or the consequences of it go away, but it will make it way easier for the victim to recover from it. Even if they set apart the economic value of the settlement, it's the perfect opportunity for the victim to get justice.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has a team of qualified, licensed, and experienced personal injury lawyers who know all the tricks insurance companies will try to win the case. They are ready to go to war for their clients and won't stop until they get a decent settlement for their clients. Anyone can contact this law firm through its website a schedule a free consultation today.