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What to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement in Texas

Compensation for Texas auto accidents usually comes from out-of-court settlements, not trials and verdicts. That’s because fighting it out in court can consume a lot of resources, including time, energy, and money — and working out car accident settlements can offer a faster, more favorable resolution to victims’ claims.

With these crash settlements: 

  • Dollar amounts can vary based on claim-specific details: Victims can be eligible for various damages, depending on their injuries and financial losses caused by the wreck.
  • The recoveries are generally compensatory: In other words, auto accident compensation is typically focused on repaying victims, instead of specifically punishing the at-fault party. 
  • Victims may have to fight for what they deserve: Even outside of trial settings, crash victims may have to stand up to insurance companies and/or others to prove their losses and injuries. That may be necessary to establish what fair compensation looks like for a given car accident claim — and to effectively push back against lowball offers from insurance companies.

Sharing more about what to expect from auto accident compensation in Texas, here are some questions and answers that can clear up how car accident settlements work, what damages they can include, and more.

Whenever you’re ready for answers related to your circumstances, contact a Texas car accident lawyer. An attorney can explain more about what you can expect from a car accident settlement from your potential claim.

What to Expect from Car Accident Settlements: 5 Questions to Start

Every auto accident case is different, which means no two car accident settlements are exactly the same. Still, motor vehicle crash settlements tend to involve similar factors.

That means you can start getting a better idea of what to expect from a car accident settlement by asking yourself a handful of questions.

These questions dig into some specifics of your crash and potential claim. They also highlight what it can take to prove certain damages so that they’re included in a car accident settlement.

1. What are my car accident injuries?

More serious injuries tend to come with higher car accident settlements. That’s because severe trauma usually requires:

  • Emergency medical care, like ER visits
  • More in-depth, highly specialized medical care, including surgeries and hospitalizations
  • More extensive medical treatments, such as long-term therapies and in-home care
  • Ongoing medical assessments, like blood tests, imaging tests, and specialized screenings
  • Pricey assistive equipment, including prosthetics, motorized wheelchairs, in-home hospital beds, and more

Depending on the injuries, victims may need lifelong care and evolving treatments.

Keep in mind: It can take time for car accident injuries to develop and be fully diagnosed. As a result, some injuries may not feel or seem as serious at first, but they could present themselves more fully later. Medical tests and records are typically key to verifying car accident injuries.

2. What personal property was damaged in the crash?

Any personal property that was damaged in the auto accident can also be a factor in car accident settlements. This can include damaged items, like (but not limited to):

  • Vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles
  • Electronics, like cellphones and laptops
  • Other items, like headphones, clothing, watches, and more

With damaged personal property, evidence is key, and that can be more complicated to track down when it’s time to:

  • Catalog every destroyed item
  • Prove the property was damaged in the wreck
  • Accurately estimate the value of each piece of damaged property

Keep in mind: Your photos and videos from the crash scene can be very helpful in establishing damaged personal property. So can other evidence, like witness statements and debris from the crash site. 

3. How much income have I lost due to the car accident?

Lost earnings can cover income you have forfeited because your injuries prevented you from working. In particular, lost income can include (and is not limited to):

  • Salaries and hourly wages
  • Bonuses and commissions
  • Other forms of compensation, like benefits

Like damages for medical bills, the compensation for lost earnings can cover both past and future losses.

Keep in mind: Past earnings statements, like paystubs and/or tax records, can help establish income losses. If the car accident injuries are so bad that victims are unable to earn a living, the compensation for lost earnings can be substantially higher (than if victims were expected to return to work in the future). 

4. What emotional losses were caused by the car accident?

Psychological trauma from auto accidents can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and more. Related to but separate from physical injuries, the emotional losses can be their own factor in car accident settlements, with damages to cover the pain and emotional impacts victims have suffered.

This aspect of car accident settlements can be naturally sensitive and tricky to quantify.

After all, how do you put a number on the pain, career loss, losing a loved one, or suffering injuries that radically change your life forever?

As difficult as that can be, there are ways to make the at-fault party pay a fair amount for the harm their negligence has caused.

Keep in mind: Damages for emotional losses can cover various mental health needs, providing more comprehensive treatment options for crash survivors.

5. What evidence will prove my losses?

The answer to this question depends on what happened and what type of losses you have suffered. That said, certain evidence tends to be helpful in many Texas auto accident cases. That can include:

  • Medical test results, doctors’ records, and medical bills
  • Earnings statements and bank records
  • Accident scene pictures, videos, and debris
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert witness analyses
  • The car accident police report

In many cases, this can be a mere starting point for the evidence  that’s key to:

  • Building and presenting a strong auto accident claim
  • Establishing the losses and what may constitute fair compensation for a particular victim and their claim

What to Expect from a Car Accident Settlement: 3 More Facts

Beyond amounts and evidence for car accident settlements, here’s what else you should know about this compensation when it’s time to file a claim:

  1. No one’s handing out fair settlements on a silver platter: Insurance companies use all sorts of tactics to avoid paying car accident settlements. Don’t expect them to be forthcoming with fair amounts or offers, even when cases and fault seem pretty straightforward.
  2. You could “accept” a car accident settlement without realizing it: If an insurance company mails you a check and you cash it, you could be agreeing to close your case for the amount of the check. That’s just one strategy insurers can use to undercut car accident settlements, but it’s not the only one (unfortunately, there are a lot more insurer tactics).
  3. A car accident attorney can show the other side you mean business: With a lawyer in your corner, the insurer and others can get a clear signal that you’re serious about bringing the strongest possible claim — and that you’re not willing to compromise your rights for quick car accident settlements that fall short of what you may deserve.

So, what can you expect from a car accident settlement from your claim?

Talk to a Texas car accident attorney for answers now. Find out if you have a claim, how much it may be worth, and what to do next to get on the road to recovery.