Texas Car Accident Settlements 2023
Car accidents can result in expensive medical bills and lost wages, but that’s just the beginning. With many factors to consider, the settlement amount from a car accident claim can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to millions.
According to the data released by the Texas Department of Transportation for 2021, 15,764 serious motor vehicle crashes occurred within the state, resulting in over 19,448 serious injuries and 266,000 non-life-threatening ones. These figures highlight the pressing need for better road safety measures and greater awareness amongst drivers both on and off the roads.
A 2022 Jury Verdict Research study found that Texas’s average personal injury lawsuit settlement has been approximately $826,892 over the last six years. Although this figure is bolstered by an outlying verdict of over $100 million, the median judgment was only $12,281 – much lower than the overall average. This data provides insight into the complexity of determining settlements on a case-by-case basis.
In September of 2022, a woman involved in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident resulted in a $3,797,105 settlement. The incident occured while the mother was driving her two young sons to school in Fayette County. Approaching a hill crest, the woman encountered a stopped tractor-trailer blocking the road and wasn’t able to avoid it. Her youngest son tragically perished in the impact, and his mother sustained serious injuries with medical expenses totaling $220,000. Her other son was somewhat less severely injured, but still required medical care costing an additional $10,142.
The cost of these injuries is immense – not only financially, with well over a quarter million claims made through auto insurance companies, but also psychologically and emotionally. Those affected must cope with these accidents’ physical and mental impacts and deserve the fullest possible support and compensation. It is now up to us as individuals and as a society to ensure that these incidents become less frequent and even rarer in the future.
Types of Texas Car Accident Settlement Damages
You may be entitled to damages if you’ve been involved in a car accident. Understanding how these damages are paid out, and the types of damages available can help ensure you receive a fair settlement for your losses.
Car accident settlements usually include two types of damages: economic and non-economic. If a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may also be eligible for punitive damages. However, such damages cannot be included in an insurance settlement—punitive damages must be sought through the civil court system.
Economic damages are intended to make up for any monetary losses. This typically includes medical bills, lost wages, decreased earning potential, rehabilitation costs, and household services. If you anticipate additional expenses for future medical treatment or medication, those should also be factored in.
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses experienced as a result of the accident. These could include pain and suffering, emotional hardship, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium (the right to intimacy with another person), and damage to reputation.
Punitive damages may be awarded when someone is found to be recklessly negligent, leading to another’s injury. These damages are not meant to reimburse the victim for losses; they are imposed to punish the wrongdoer who caused the harm. When those responsible for the harm have behaved, especially egregiously or criminals, punitive damages may be awarded to make the defendant pay the price for their actions.
To decide whether punitive damages should be awarded, a court will consider the facts of the case, including the degree of recklessness and negligence involved. If the defendant is found guilty of acting with such extreme disregard as to warrant punitive damages, they can be required to pay more than necessary to cover the victim’s losses.
Essentially, punitive damages are a form of deterrence that discourages people from engaging in dangerous behavior that leaves others vulnerable to harm. They encourage people to take greater precautions with regard to the safety of themselves and those around them.
If you have been in an automobile accident, you may be worried about the compensation you could receive. In Texas, you can pursue a claim for damages from the at-fault party if you don’t bear more than 50% of the fault for the crash. Nevertheless, certain factors may diminish your chances of receiving a fair settlement. It is helpful to understand these elements so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your rights and build a strong claim.
Any pre-existing injury to the same body part injured in the crash may reduce your settlement. The insurance company will likely argue that your injury was due to any previous damage rather than the accident. Therefore, informing your attorney about any prior injuries or conditions before filing a claim is important.
Insurers will also likely challenge your claim if they see evidence of late treatment or failure to follow doctor’s orders. This could mean your injury is not as severe as you initially claimed. To maximize your damages, seeking medical attention immediately and following your doctor’s advice and prescriptions is essential.
The credibility of any eyewitness accounts is also a key factor in determining how successful your claim will be. If witnesses appear untruthful or unreliable when testifying, this could hurt your case. Always provide honest and consistent testimony and adhere to other principles of successful litigation.
By understanding the various elements that may influence your car accident settlement, you can strengthen your case and make sure you’re properly compensated for your injury. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Dallas car accident lawyer who understands Texas law and can help you.
How Long Does It Take to Receive a Settlement for a Car Accident?
Determining the average duration of a Texas car accident settlement is difficult, as the timeline depends on several factors. After your lawyer files a demand with the at-fault party’s insurance company, they may choose to settle your case quickly. However, if they decline or do not negotiate in good faith, your settlement can be significantly prolonged.
If your attorney cannot negotiate a fair settlement with the other party’s insurance company, you may consider filing a lawsuit and fighting for compensation in court. This will add more time before you can receive your settlement. Your lawyer can assess your case’s facts and estimate how much longer it may take.
Seeking Fair Compensation
To ensure that your claim is evaluated fairly, you will need evidence to support the damages you’re seeking. Your car accident lawyer might rely on various documents, testimony, and witnesses, depending on what’s necessary to present your case adequately.
Texas accident injury attorneys with experience with car accident settlements understand the full range of potential compensation you may be entitled to. For example, they’ll know how to factor in pain and suffering, which is usually two to three times higher than the price tag of your related medical bills and lost wages. Furthermore, they can provide a personalized analysis of your particular situation.
Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer ensures you get the best possible outcome from your car accident settlement.