In addition to causing physical suffering, a car accident can create profound financial pressures. Beset by unexpected expenses ranging from hospital bills to car replacement costs-and unable to work because of the crash-you need help. In a perfect world, the person who hit would fully compensate you for present and future damages. But realistically, how much can you expect to get?
Negligence-Based Car Accidents: Types of Damages Available
If a negligent or reckless driver injures you in Texas, you can generally recover damages for personal injury and property damage caused by the car crash.
Personal Injury Damages
If injured in a car accident, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Past and future physical pain
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Loss of wages if you are unable to return to work while injured
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of consortium: This includes the loss of companionship, love, and affection that the spouse of the injured person often suffers.
- Loss of services: This is the loss of domestic or household duties that the injured person typically performs.
- Disfigurement: Texas courts define disfigurement as, “that which impairs or injures the beauty, symmetry, or appearance of a person or thing; that which renders unsightly, misshapen or imperfect, or deforms in some manner.” Goldman v. Torres, 341 S.W.2d 154, 160 (Tex.1960).
- Past and future physical impairment: Texas courts define Physical impairment as “the loss of enjoyment of life,” and this includes an inability to participate in hobbies, sports, and other recreational activities. Golden Eagle Archery, Inc. v. Jackson, 116 S.W.3d 757, 766 (Tex.2003).
- Past and future medical expenses, including ongoing rehabilitation: You will have to show that you paid the medical expenses and that they were medically necessary and reasonable. If you are claiming future medical expenses, you will need to show that you are likely to incur future medical costs as a result of the injury.
You can also recover damages for the loss of your vehicle or any decrease in value. The value is generally determined by the overall market value, or what you could get for the car selling it on the open market.
For a free legal consultation, call (972) 535-6377
Modified Comparative Fault
As a Texas driver, a court could reduce your damages significantly if the court deems you partially at fault for the accident. If the court concludes that you were mostly at fault (51% or more), you generally cannot obtain damages from the other driver.
Average Settlements In Texas
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reported an average Texas car accident settlement of $15,440 in 2013. However, many victims receive more, particularly if they suffer severe injuries that necessitate ongoing care. Aggressive representation can improve your chances of achieving damages that exceed the state average, either through litigation or negotiation with insurance companies.
Damages vary considerably from one case to the next, and no one formula can accurately estimate your success in recovering these funds. Consult with a trusted McKinney car accident attorney to evaluate your potential for recovery based on the circumstances of your accident and local legislation.
Are you looking to maximize your chances of recovery following a car accident in McKinney? Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer: The Underwood Law Office can help. Call 972.535.6377 today to learn more.
Related links: What To Do After A Car Accident