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Who Pays in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Nearly all personal injury cases involve some insurance – usually liability insurance. Suppose you think of an accident that could cause an injury unless it is a criminal act (and even if it is a criminal act – there may be others also responsible, like an apartment complex or business)

At Houston Injury Lawyers, we are asked this question by some of our clients and potential clients. It is a fair question. And we have been asked this question enough times that we decided to post this blog to help answer that question. We understand the reservation in wanting to pursue a claim or lawsuit for an injury and hurting someone else. It shows compassion and empathy, which are things that the world can seem short of at times. Rest assured, in our eyes, our client’s pursuit of a claim or lawsuit for an injury that is caused by the negligence of another is about 1) Recovery – helping to ensure that our clients recover physically, emotionally, and financially; and 2) Justice – helping to ensure that the type of negligence that created the situation that resulted in the injury for our client never happens again. 

You may already be aware that if you are injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you have the option to pursue a claim or lawsuit against that person to cover: past and future costs for treatment; therapy; lost earnings, and earning capacity; and, pain and suffering. These are traditional and typical claims. And you have probably heard or read about stories where people have received large sums of money after a settlement or jury (or judge) verdict. But what many people do not know is who is paying the funds or cutting the checks after such a successful personal injury lawsuit. A filed lawsuit may be filed against the person or company responsible for the injury, but it is rarely that person or company who pays. More often than not, it is an insurance company that pays. 

Insurance and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Nearly all personal injury cases involve some insurance – usually liability insurance. Suppose you think of an accident that could cause an injury unless it is a criminal act (and even if it is a criminal act – there may be others also responsible, like an apartment complex or business). In that case, there is generally some insurance policy to cover the negligent party. Car accidents involve auto insurance. Slip and fall injuries are usually covered under premises liability insurance, which may be part of a homeowner’s or commercial property insurance). Doctors and hospitals have insurance covering medical negligence. And workplace injuries may be covered under worker’s compensation insurance. Accidental drowning and even dog bites are generally covered under homeowners’ insurance. 

However, as most folks know, insurance policies limit how much the particular policy will pay. This means, practically, that if there is a settlement or verdict of $500,000, but the policy limit is $400,000, the insurance company will only pay up to the policy’s limits, or $400,000. In this situation, you can choose to go after the person or entity whose negligence is responsible for the injury, but that can sometimes be difficult to collect. Unless the negligent party has assets that can be used to pay the excess amount over the policy limit, in many cases – the recovery for the injury victim will likely be limited to the amounts paid under the insurance policy. There are certain laws in Texas on what property can be seized and used to pay a judgment. The good news is that a judgment in Texas is good for ten years but can be renewed.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of another, please encourage them to reach out to a Houston personal injury law firm to help answer their questions and guide them through their recovery process. 

At Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our firm focuses the entirety of our time and expertise on representing those who have suffered a personal injury and helping our clients through the entire recovery process – physical, emotional, and financial recovery – from their injuries. We allow our clients to tip the balance of justice into their favor through our years of experience and devotion to our clients. Our care and preparation are core principles and keys to our success. The lawyers at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help you navigate this issue and answer any questions that you may have. If you would like to speak to someone about your particular situation or for a free and confidential consultation, call our office at (713) 366-HURT (4878) today or visit us online www.houinjurylawyers.com.

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