You've been in a car accident, and now you're trying to figure out what comes next. How does the compensation process work after an accident in Texas? First, know that Texas is a "fault" or "at-fault" state, meaning the person who caused the accident is typically responsible for damages. The at-fault driver's insurance company should offer you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, and other losses resulting from the crash.
However, insurance companies don't always make fair offers quickly. You have the right to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation. The best way to exercise your rights is with the help of an experienced Texas car accident lawyer. They can handle negotiations with insurance companies and take the at-fault party to court if a fair settlement isn't reached. While the process may seem complicated, the most important thing is making sure you recover fully and receive fair compensation for your damages. With the right legal team on your side, you can get through this difficult time.
Understanding Liability in Texas Car Accidents
To determine liability in a Texas car accident, several factors are considered. The main determining factors are which driver was negligent or violated traffic laws, contributing to the accident.
If it can be proven that a driver operated their vehicle in a negligent manner, they can typically be found liable for the accident. Negligence includes actions such as:
-Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
-Disobeying traffic signs or signals
-Driving while distracted (texting, eating, etc.)
-Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
-Failing to signal when changing lanes or turning
The driver who was negligent, violated traffic laws, or engaged in reckless behavior that contributed to the accident will usually be considered at fault.
If one driver committed a traffic violation such as running a red light or stop sign, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, or making an improper turn, they will typically be liable for the resulting accident. Traffic laws exist to promote safety, so violating them is considered negligent behavior.
In some cases, liability for an accident may be shared between multiple drivers. For example, if one driver was speeding but the other driver failed to yield when turning, both drivers contributed to the accident. How much each driver is liable depends on the specific circumstances. Shared liability may lead to each insurance company paying out a portion of the claim.
Determining liability in Texas car accidents involves evaluating which driver or drivers were negligent or violated traffic laws, contributing to the accident. The outcome depends on the facts of each unique incident.
Types of Damages Available in Texas Car Accident Claims
Types of Damages Available in Texas Car Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas that was caused by another driver's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. There are several types of damages that may be available to you:
Economic damages refer to calculable financial losses resulting from an accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and vehicle repair or replacement costs. These damages are intended to make you whole financially.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and relate to pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment or disfigurement, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. Although more difficult to calculate, non-economic damages can still provide meaningful compensation.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for reckless or intentional harmful behavior. They are rarely awarded in car accident cases.
Loss of consortium damages may be available to your spouse for the loss of your companionship, affection, love, and intimacy. Your family members may also claim damages for loss of parental consortium.
When negotiating a settlement or taking a case to court, an experienced personal injury attorney can help determine which types of damages may apply to your specific situation and fight to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. While no amount of money can undo the harm, receiving fair compensation can help in the recovery process.
Calculating Economic Damages for Lost Wages and Medical Bills
Calculating Economic Damages for Lost Wages and Medical Bills
When involved in a car accident, you may face economic damages in the form of lost wages and medical bills. Economic damages refer to the calculable costs and financial losses resulting from an injury.
To determine lost wages, your lawyer will review your work history, salary, and benefits to calculate your average earnings over a period of time before the accident. The value of time missed from work, sick days used, vacation days spent, and unpaid leave taken due to the injuries from the accident would then be totaled. Future lost earning capacity may also be included if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or advancing in your career.
Medical bills, both past and future, are also recoverable economic damages. This includes ambulance fees, emergency room treatment, hospital stays, physical therapy, medication, medical equipment, and any other reasonable and necessary medical care needed as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. Your attorney will gather records of all medical expenses related to your injuries to determine the total amount owed.
To account for future medical expenses from lasting injuries, doctors may be called upon to provide estimates for continuing treatment, surgery, therapy or long term care needs. The cost of these future medical expenses would then be calculated and added to the total economic damages.
By thoroughly examining your employment and medical records, a skilled personal injury attorney can determine all economic losses and ensure you receive fair compensation under Texas law. While economic damages aim to reimburse your tangible out-of-pocket losses, non-economic damages refer to the pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and other intangible losses for which there may also be compensation.
Non-Economic Damages for Pain and Suffering
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life due to injuries from a car accident. These damages are separate from economic damages, which cover medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. In Texas, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 per person.
Types of Non-Economic Damages
The two main types of non-economic damages in car accident cases are:
- General pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain and discomfort from injuries like broken bones, back injuries, and whiplash. This includes chronic pain that persists long after initial treatment.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Damages for inability to participate in hobbies, social activities, and daily routines due to injuries. For example, if you can no longer play with your children, exercise, or engage in recreational hobbies because of accident-related disabilities.
To recover non-economic damages, you must prove that pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life were directly caused by the car accident and resulting injuries. Medical records, testimony from doctors and therapists, and personal accounts of how your life has changed can all be used as evidence to support your claim.
The amount of non-economic damages depends on the severity and permanence of injuries as well as their impact on your quality of life. More serious injuries that cause ongoing pain, disability, and loss of independence are compensated at higher amounts within the $250,000 cap. Your attorney can determine an appropriate settlement demand for your specific situation based on these factors.
Negotiating a fair settlement for non-economic damages can be challenging. Insurance companies often try to minimize such compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to build a strong case to maximize recovery for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment within the limits of Texas law.
Working With a Texas Car Accident Lawyer to Maximize Your Settlement
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is key to maximizing your settlement after a car accident in Texas. They can handle negotiating with insurance companies and help build a strong case to increase your compensation.
Personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators who know how to deal with insurance companies. They will communicate with adjusters on your behalf to determine fault and liability, and fight for a fair settlement that accounts for all your damages and losses.
Build a Strong Case
To build a compelling case, your attorney will investigate the details of the accident, collect evidence like photos of the crash scene and vehicles, witness statements, medical records, and police or accident reports. They use this evidence to prove the other driver's negligence and establish the severity of your injuries. A strong case leads to higher settlement offers from insurance companies seeking to avoid litigation.
In addition to damages like medical bills and lost wages, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, physical impairment or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Your lawyer can determine appropriate amounts for these non-economic damages and demand them from insurance companies during negotiations. They know how juries typically award damages for specific types of injuries in the county where your accident occurred.
Avoid Costly Mistakes
Handling a car accident claim yourself can lead to mistakes that reduce your settlement. A skilled lawyer avoids common errors like accepting an initial low offer, failing to account for all damages, or missing important deadlines. They have the experience to recognize unreasonable offers and demand fair compensation for the full impact of your injuries.
Retaining a reputable Texas personal injury firm is the best way to make sure you recover all the compensation you deserve after a car accident. Their knowledge and experience can help maximize your settlement and allow you to focus on recovery.
Contact Our Texas Injury Lawyers To Get Started
Once you have been in an accident, it is important to take proper steps to receive fair compensation. To get started, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Texas. They can help determine who is at fault and handle the complex legal process.
Document the Accident
Right after an accident, gather as much information as possible. Note the time and location, weather and road conditions, vehicle positions, and anything else that could be relevant. Get contact information from other drivers and witnesses. Take pictures of the vehicles, licenses plates, insurance information and the surrounding area. All of this will help support your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if injuries do not seem serious at first, get checked out by a doctor. Some injuries may not show symptoms for hours or days. A medical examination and records of any diagnoses or treatments will provide evidence should you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Your health and safety should be top priority.
Contact an Attorney
Do not speak with insurance companies before consulting with a lawyer. Anything you say could potentially weaken your case. An attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents and personal injury law can handle communications, determine who is liable, and fight for maximum compensation. They are familiar with Texas car accident law and work on contingency, so you typically pay nothing upfront.
To get help from a qualified injury lawyer in Texas, call our office today. We offer free initial consultations and work diligently to build a strong case on your behalf. You deserve compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses. We have the experience and resources to stand up to insurance companies and hold negligent parties accountable. Call now to schedule your free case review and get the recovery you rightly deserve. Call Fletcher Law for help today.
The process of obtaining compensation after a car accident can be complicated, but understanding your rights and the basics of how the system works in Texas is important. Work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine fault, calculate the total costs of your injuries, and build a strong case to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. While no amount of money can undo the trauma of an accident, fair compensation can help relieve the financial burden so you can focus on recovery. Know that the law is on your side, and there are dedicated advocates ready to help you navigate the complex legal process, allowing you to get back to living your life.