According to the Texas Department of Transportation, nearly 238,000 people were injured in car accidents in 2014. Over 17,000 of these injuries – about 7% – were classified as serious. If you or one of your family members was recently injured in a car accident in Texas, you’re likely to be facing costly medical bills. However, if the crash was caused by the other driver’s careless actions, his or her insurance company could be liable for your expenses. But how do you know how much your claim is worth? Our Houston car accident attorneys explain some of the factors that are weighed when determining the value of a car accident claim in Texas.
How is the Value of an Auto Accident Claim Determined in Texas?
First and foremost, it’s important to emphasize that every auto accident claim is unique. Two people who sustain similar injuries in a similar type of crash can walk away from settlement negotiations with very different outcomes. Only by reviewing your car accident claim with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer will you gain a clear and specific idea of your claim’s potential value.
Part of the reason it is difficult to estimate the worth of an accident claim without first reviewing the details is that many factors impact the value of the claim. These factors include:
- The limits of the at-fault driver’s coverage. Texas’ minimum auto insurance requirements are listed below. The driver who struck your vehicle may have chosen to purchase additional coverage.
- The nature and severity of your injuries. If you sustained serious, disabling injuries which temporarily or permanently prevent you from working, the resulting income losses should be considered when your claim is evaluated, as well as the impact upon your future earning capacity. Some common examples of serious medical complications and injuries caused by car accidents include:
- Limb Amputation
- Nerve Damage
- Organ Damage
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Whether the injury permanently altered your appearance. Permanent scarring can increase the value of a car accident claim, particularly if the scars are large or are located on highly visible body parts like your hands, your neck, or your face.
- Whether you were at partial fault for the accident. Texas follows a legal doctrine called “modified comparative negligence” or “modified comparative fault.” Under this doctrine, an injury victim who was partially at fault for his or her crash is entitled to recover damages, provided he or she was less than 51% at fault. However, the victim’s compensation will be reduced accordingly. You can read more about this topic in our article on getting compensated for a partial fault accident in Texas. You might also be interested in our article on how fault for a car accident is determined.
- Your medical expenses. Insurance helps cover “reasonable and necessary medical expenses,” such as:
- Ambulance Transportation
- Inpatient Hospitalization
- Medical Devices
- Physical Therapy
- Prescription Medications
According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) and ISO, a risk assessment company, the average auto liability claim for injuries was about $15,440 in 2013. The average claim for property damage was significantly lower at about $3,230. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 50% of crash costs are paid for by private auto insurance companies, such as State Farm, Progressive, and Allstate.
Texas requires all drivers to carry, at minimum, the following types and amounts of auto liability insurance:
- $30,000 per injured person
- $60,000 per accident (for injuries)
- $25,000 per accident (for property damage)
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers
The medical costs resulting from a car accident can be devastating, often climbing into the tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially if surgery is needed. If you weren’t responsible for causing the crash that injured you, you shouldn’t be responsible for carrying the full financial burden, either. You may not have to.
If the collision was caused by the other driver’s negligence, such as running a red light or following too closely, the Houston and Fort Worth personal injury lawyers of Queenan Law may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Our skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys have over 20 years of experience handling car accident claims in Dallas, Houston, Arlington, Fort Worth, and communities throughout the surrounding areas of Texas.
To set up a confidential legal consultation regarding your injury claim, call the Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start – that’s exactly what our legal team is here to assist you with. Every claim is different, but our goal is always the same: recovering as much compensation as possible for the victims of negligence in Texas.