What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
Texas law allows you to collect compensation for the damages you suffered in a car accident someone else was responsible for. You may wonder how much money you can expect to receive at the conclusion of your case, which may include payments for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
The truth is, no two settlements are alike — and the amount of compensation you receive will depend on a number of factors, such as the severity of your injuries or the presence of aggravating factors. Simply put, the more severe the accident, the higher the final settlement is likely to be. The following factors will influence your settlement estimate:
Insurance Policy Limits
In Texas, all drivers must carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for other people’s damages in the event of a car accident.
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $60,000 in total injury liability per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability
After a car accident, you can claim up to the driver’s policy limits in liability coverage. All drivers will have the above minimum amounts, while others may have more coverage — or no coverage at all.
If your damages exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policies, you can still collect maximum compensation for your injuries by proceeding to a civil lawsuit.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Damages in car accident cases directly correlate with the severity of your injuries. The more painful and severe your injuries are, the higher amounts of medical care you will need to receive in order to reach maximum medical improvement.
You can claim past and future medical care in your lawsuit, and more treatment means a higher settlement. If your injury results in a disability, you may also claim funds for certain accommodations, such as a caregiver, modifications to your vehicle, and mobility improvements to your home.
Non-economic damages, also known as physical and mental pain and suffering, may also increase alongside injury severity. You may be eligible to collect compensation for intangible losses such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, disfigurement, emotional distress, and more. With greater amounts of economic damages, such as medical expenses, the amount of non-economic damages you claim may also increase.
Your Ability to Return to Work
Severe injuries usually require lengthy recovery times and often result in life-long consequences, such as disability. As a result, you may spend more time away from work or be unable to return to work altogether, allowing you to collect higher amounts of lost wages and loss of future earnings.
In addition, the amount of time you spend in recovery may also correlate with the amount of non-economic damages you receive. While insurance companies calculate these damages in different ways, some operate using a per diem formula that assigns a value to each day your injury keeps you away from work. The longer it takes for you to return to work, the higher the non-economic damages may likely be.
Do You Need an Attorney?
All car accident victims in Texas deserve legal representation to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. Having a Houston car accident attorney represent your case increases your chances of receiving the maximum settlement possible.
Hiring a lawyer allows you to receive an accurate estimate of your final settlement, since your attorney will explore all possible avenues to maximize your compensatory damages. In addition, your Houston personal injury lawyer will use his or her knowledge and research to evaluate all offers you receive from the insurance company, preventing you from accepting an insufficient settlement.
If you have not done so already, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim and strategize your steps toward maximum compensation.