Car accidents are incredibly disruptive events that can strain every aspect of your life. When you are planning your recovery, it is helpful to understand how much money you can expect to receive as compensation for your losses. Because there are no caps on the compensatory damages you can claim under most circumstances, a car wreck lawyer in Houston, TX will fight for you to receive an amount that is equal to your losses.
What Is the Maximum Settlement You Can Get From a Car Wreck Case in Texas?
Texas does not put a legal limit on the amount of money you can receive as compensation for the injuries you sustained in a car accident that another party caused. Determining the cost of the accident involves calculating the medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. You are eligible to receive compensation for noneconomic losses like pain and suffering, disfigurement, and stress. If your claim involves gross negligence, you may also collect punitive damages.
While there is no legal maximum to the total damages you can claim, limitations apply to some types of losses. For example, punitive damages cannot exceed an amount equal to two times the value of the economic damages plus the noneconomic damages. The circumstances of the accident can also affect the claim’s value. Specifically, damages for any personal injury claim are capped at $100,000 if the liable party was working for the government at the time of the accident.
Insurance Limitations on Car Accident Claims
When you are seeking compensation for your injuries, you will most likely have the option to accept a settlement from the liable party’s insurance company instead of going to trial. Most people choose to settle outside of court in order to avoid the time and legal expenses associated with a lawsuit and because settling does not incur the risk of an unfavorable court verdict.
Passenger Vehicles, Vans, and Small Trucks
The fact that most car accident cases end in a settlement means that the total payout is often determined, in part, by the other driver’s policy limits. In Texas, people who drive under a noncommercial Class D license are required to carry a policy that offers at least:
- $30,000 for personal injuries per person
- $60,000 for personal injuries per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Insurance laws recognize that commercial trucks have the potential to cause more costly accidents than smaller vehicles. The policy limits for an accident involving a commercial truck usually provide $1 million for personal injuries, although small commercial trucks are allowed to operate with less coverage.
What If the Liable Party Does Not Have Insurance?
Policy limits can be an important factor in determining the value of your claim because recovering compensation directly from the liable party can be difficult if he or she does not have the means to pay out of pocket. So, how can you pursue compensation after a crash with an uninsured driver?
Many people can turn to their own policies for coverage. If you carry uninsured/underinsured driver insurance, it may pay for your damages up to the policy limit. PIP (personal injury protection) is another component of many auto policies that could be helpful. Additionally, you should not assume that the other driver is unable to pay. Your lawyer can help you evaluate the pros and cons of suing him or her directly.
What Is the Average Value of a Car Accident in Texas?
The average settlement for a car accident in Texas is valued at around $15,000. As you can see by comparing this number to the policy limits for both commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, most accidents can be fully compensated by the liable party’s insurance company. However, accidents that result in severe injuries, wrongful death, and lifelong disabilities can require upwards of $2 million in compensation.
How to Pursue Compensation That Exceeds the Other Driver’s Policy Limits
By law, you have the right to pursue full compensation for your losses, regardless of the insurance policy limits. If you were involved in a very costly accident, your car wreck lawyer can help you explore the following options:
Using the Other Driver’s Other Policies
Sometimes, drivers carry at-fault “umbrella” insurance that can pay for damages that exceed the policy limitations of the basic coverage. Alternatively, you may be able to file a claim against policies for other vehicles owned by the driver.
Filing a Lawsuit for Damages in Excess of the Policy Limits
If the other driver has significant assets and his or her insurance policy will not cover your damages, you can file a lawsuit to recover the difference. At-fault drivers can be obligated to pay for the accidents they cause by liquidating recreational assets such as boats, vacation homes, and additional vehicles. A large savings account can also be a source of compensation.
Finding Multiple At-Fault Parties
If more than one person was responsible for the car accident, you may be able to seek damages from multiple parties. This approach can be helpful in the case of costly crashes that exceed the limitations of any individual party’s policy. For example, if another driver caused the crash and your airbag failed to deploy, you could have a claim against both the other driver’s insurance company and the manufacturer who made your vehicle.
Calculating the True Value of Your Accident With a Car Wreck Lawyer
Understanding the full extent of your damages is the first step in pursuing compensation. By putting a monetary value on all of your losses and adding them up, you can determine whether one settlement will cover your expenses or if you should seek multiple sources of compensation. Many people who are unfamiliar with personal injury law do not realize how many categories exist for listing damages.
Claiming all of your damages is essential when you want to maximize your payout. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify all of your accident-related losses, both economic and noneconomic. Your expenses will likely include medical bills and lost wages, which could extend into the future if you suffered a disability. Your lawyer can also help you pursue lesser known damages that might be applicable, such as loss of enjoyable activities and loss of consortium.
Case Assessments in Houston, TX
Determining the maximum value of a car accident claim is a highly individualized process that requires the input of someone who is experienced in personal injury law. Our firm offers free consultations in Houston, TX, during which we can assess the sources of evidence available to you, the likelihood of a positive outcome, and the value of your damages. Our compassionate team is there to provide you with candid legal advice and representation when you need it most.
Get the Resources You Need to Move On
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities we do each day, and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep the roads safe. If you were injured by someone else’s careless driving, you should not have to pay for any aspect of the accident out of pocket. The right lawyer can help you identify the true cost of your losses and fight for full compensation. To get more information on your legal options, contact Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC.