Car accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, which can turn the injured victim's life upside down. It's even worse if the traumatic event happened due to someone else's fault.
Fortunately, under personal injury law, the affected parties may be able to obtain compensation for the losses incurred by pursuing an insurance claim against the at-fault party's insurer.
Before pursuing legal action to recover the damages, it's common for the affected party to have questions regarding the average car accident settlement.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Houston, Texas, have recovered millions of dollars for the injured victims, and they have the expertise to guide the affected party on their legal options.
How Much Is a Typical Car Accident Settlement in Texas?
Since most personal injury cases are settled outside of court (confidential settlements), it can be challenging to calculate the average car accident settlement.
However, the affected parties can use certain statistics to understand how much the insurance companies pay for bodily injuries.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average private passenger auto insurance losses for bodily injuries and property damage for 2021 were $22,734 and $5,314. These were much higher than the losses incurred by insurers in 2012.
That said, the above information or the average settlement amount shouldn't be a determining factor in pursuing an auto accident claim or lawsuit.
Every personal injury case is unique, which is why injured victims need to reach out to experienced attorneys for an accurate estimate.
What Are the Factors That Affect a Car Accident Settlement?
There are several factors that can affect an auto accident settlement amount, some of which include the following:
Policy limits play an essential role in determining how much an injured victim may receive following an accident. If the at-fault party has $200,000 coverage, it may be impossible to recover more than that amount, even if the damages are far greater.
An experienced car accident attorney can help assess the negligent party's coverage and explore other options or policies to ensure maximum compensation.
Number of At-fault Parties
When there are more parties responsible for an injured victim's injuries, it could lead to greater compensation, as the collective coverage opens up the opportunity for the affected party to become "whole" again.
Severity of the Injuries
The severity of the injuries can directly impact the value of a car accident case. It goes without saying that a broken leg is worth more than having a sprained ankle.
When a victim suffers serious injuries, such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, it can lead to disabilities, affecting their quality of life and ability to maintain employment. They may need medical care throughout their life.
Settlements for catastrophic injuries can go in hundreds of thousands of dollars, even crossing the million-dollar mark depending on the facts surrounding the car accident case.
Besides incurring medical expenses, an injured victim may not be able to return to work for a couple of days, weeks, or months due to their injuries.
In cases involving permanent disabilities, the affected party may never be able to resume employment. The impact on one's source of income can affect the car accident settlement amount.
It's essential for the injured victim to seek medical attention immediately after the car accident and follow their doctor's treatment plan.
Delaying treatment or rushing through the medical plan can give the insurance company a reason to reduce or deny payouts.
The insurer will use it against the affected party, arguing that the injuries they're suffering from are due to delayed medical attention or the failure to follow the doctor's treatment plan and not the car accident. This can make it challenging to negotiate a fair settlement amount.
Statute of Limitations
Car accident victims must adhere to the statute of limitations, which refers to the time frame the affected party has in which they can pursue legal action against the negligent driver.
The statute of limitations for car accident cases in Texas is two years from the date of the traumatic event. However, the time limit may be less if the responsible party represents a government agency.
It's important to note that failure to adhere to the statute of limitations can bar the affected party from making a financial recovery.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help assess the facts surrounding the case and guide the affected party on the time they have left to pursue a car accident settlement. The injured victim must act soon to increase their chances of obtaining compensation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like How long does it take to get a settlement from a car accident in Texas?
The Attorney's Experience
Pursuing car accident settlements without legal representation can lead to reduced payouts. Insurance companies are most likely to create hurdles, and since the injured victims have no legal knowledge, they often leave damages on the table.
Using dirty tactics, the insurer may coerce the affected party into accepting a lower car accident settlement amount.
With a skilled attorney handling the victim's personal injury case, the affected party can take the time to recover from their injuries, avoid all of the legal pitfalls, and increase their chances of obtaining greater compensatory damages.
Calculating Car Accident Settlements in Houston, Texas
When it comes to determining the value of a Texas car accident claim, the injured victim must add all of the out-of-pocket expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
By maintaining a physical folder for medical documents, the affected party can add up all of the hospital bills, prescription medication receipts, the costs of therapy and rehabilitation, and other medical treatment expenses.
The injured victim must then calculate the lost wages by multiplying their daily wage rate with the number of days they've missed work.
Car accidents may result in property damage, which is why the affected party must add the medical expenses and lost wages with the costs of repairing or replacing their motor vehicle.
Besides economic damages, an injured victim may incur non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. These are often challenging to calculate.
An insurance company may use the "per diem" formula or the "multiplier" method to determine the non-economic damages. Those without legal representation may be unable to calculate these types of losses, which is why they end up receiving a lower car accident settlement than what their case is worth.
It's crucial for the injured victims to reach out to experienced personal injury attorneys in Texas to help assess the total damages incurred before pursuing car accident claims.
The legal team at a reputable car accident law firm has the resources to bring medical experts and other skilled professionals to testify and prove the non-economic losses. This can improve the claimant's chances of securing a fair settlement.
A serious car accident can have a detrimental impact on the victim's physical and mental health. It can also lead to financial hardships arising from medical bills and other damages.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Can Help Calculate the Damages!
Those injured in a motor vehicle crash caused by another's negligence in Houston, Texas, should call to schedule a free consultation with a skilled car accident lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys.
They can help the car accident victim by assessing their case, building a strong claim, and negotiating a fair settlement.