Car accidents can cause serious injuries. Depending on their nature and extent, you could suffer from long-term medical complications and disability, forcing you to take time away from work and impacting your relationship with your family.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one reportable crash occurs approximately every 57 seconds in the state while one person is injured every two minutes and 12 seconds. While some injuries are relatively minor, others are catastrophic and can leave victims with high medical bills, months of expensive treatment, and no way to earn a living. If this happens to you or someone you love, the San Antonio crash lawyers at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS can help you get the car accident settlement you need to support your recovery.
Our personal injury law firm has decades of collective legal experience, putting us in the best position to secure favorable San Antonio car accident settlements. When you hire us to settle your car accident lawsuit, you benefit from the following legal abilities and accomplishments:
Our skilled lawyers know how to calculate your car accident damages so that you get the outcome you need to cover your current and future medical treatment and living expenses.
Car accidents typically result in losses beyond the physical injuries themselves. Texas law recognizes the right to receive compensation for both economic and non-economic damages when someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct is responsible for your car accident and injuries.
Generally speaking, compensatory damages are meant to make an injured individual “whole.” While a personal injury claim cannot eliminate your pain, heal your traumatic brain injury, or bring back a loved one who tragically passed away, it can compensate you financially based on the scope and severity of your injury.
Compensatory damages are divided into economic and non-economic losses, all of which are specific to each car accident claim. This is why there is no average settlement for these cases in San Antonio; how much you receive will depend on the factors discussed below.
Economic damages are much easier to calculate because they are associated with tangible monetary values. They can include:
Receipts and bills can be used as evidence of economic damages already incurred. The future impact of the accident will also require supporting evidence, such as wage projections (if you were employed outside the home), medical reports outlining future care, and expert opinions on your ability to work or even function moving forward.
Non-economic damages are non-monetary in scope. Although they can’t be quantified with financial records and receipts like economic damages, they still represent valid losses because they intensify the accident’s impact on your life. Depending on the circumstances, non-economic damages may include:
Your attorney will work with experts when necessary to determine how much your noneconomic damages are worth. Calculations are typically based on formulas or computer programs that begin with the estimated damages, then multiply them by factors unique to each case. In this area, insurance companies and their counsel tend to undervalue claims significantly, but a strong legal advocate can go a long way to achieving a fair outcome for you.
If your case does not settle and goes to court instead, you may receive punitive as well as compensatory damages. These awards are not intended to compensate the victim for their losses; instead, their purpose is to punish wrongdoers and deter others from behaving similarly. For this reason, they are reserved for cases of extremely reckless or egregious behavior, such as drunk driving after racking up a series of previous DUIs.
Although Texas caps punitive damages at $200,000 or doubles the non-economic damage value, up to $750,000 (whichever is greater), they can significantly increase your total award. Your attorney will advise whether these damages may apply to your case.
Most car accident claims settle before going to trial, but the amount negotiated is influenced by what a judge or jury would be likely to decide. Some of the factors taken into account by personal injury lawyers and insurance companies include but may not be limited to:
The first step in calculating damages is to take into account your medical expenses. Initially, these treatment expenses are multiplied by a value between 1.5 and 5, depending on variables like your recovery time, the extent of your treatment, and the invasiveness of any procedures you underwent. An easy recovery will have a multiplier of 1.5 to 3, while a severe injury with a prolonged recovery can have a multiplier of 5 or higher.
You can usually determine what multiplier to apply based on the cost of your medical expenses. As an example, if your total medical expenses were $500, it probably means that you had only a couple of doctor visits and recovered relatively quickly. If your medical expenses were $50,000, you must have undergone more extensive treatment with multiple visits, resulting in a higher damages multiplier. Your San Antonio car accident attorney can advise you on what to expect in this regard.
Some personal injuries are clearly the fault of one person, but others involve multiple parties. As a result, many states have adopted comparative negligence or comparative fault laws.
As a result of Texas’ comparative fault law, each party is held accountable for their proportionate share of fault in an accident. If you are partially at fault for the accident, any compensation you are entitled to will be reduced accordingly. For example, if a court awarded you $100,000 and found you were 40% responsible for your injuries, you would receive only $60,000, which represents the other party’s share of fault.
Moreover, Texas’ comparative fault law states that courts will further reduce damages if claimants settle with more than one party. In these cases, damages will be reduced by a percentage equal to the claimant’s share of responsibility. In addition, Texas follows a modified comparative negligence system, which means that if you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you are barred from recovering compensation.
This is one reason why you should retain a San Antonio personal injury lawyer to protect your interests; insurance companies are known for trying to evade liability by assigning unfair amounts of blame to car accident victims. Your lawyer will anticipate and deter any attempts to impact your compensation in this manner.
The amount of money you can recover after a car accident depends on the severity of your injuries, your medical expenses, how much time you miss at work, the amount of car damage, and similar criteria. Every case is unique, so there is no ‘average’ settlement in Texas: predicting a claim’s value requires careful analysis of each element that affects the outcome.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, settlement amounts can range from a few thousand to over a million. There are many online formulas that claim to calculate settlement values. However, they are rarely accurate, as they fail to take into account the expenses incurred until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Getting a better understanding of your claim’s potential value is easier if you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Using their knowledge and experience, they can evaluate your case-specific facts and determine the best legal strategies to maximize your settlement.
Several factors determine the length of time it takes for a Texas car accident case to settle. Although most claims end up settling without going to trial, each one is unique, and you can’t really predict in advance how soon things will be resolved, either at the negotiation table or in court.
If you are fully recovered and liability is clear, a simple car accident case can be settled in weeks, whereas complicated cases may take up to a few years. Factors that may affect the timeline include but may not be limited to the following:
Your injury lawyer can help you understand how these factors impact your case.
You are not legally required to hire a lawyer for your car accident claim, but you can expect a better outcome if you do. Insurance companies try to settle quickly, hoping that you’re stressed enough to accept their offer and close the case. What they won’t tell you is that these initial settlement offers are low and do not account for all economic and noneconomic damages, which may include future losses. Without a qualified car accident lawyer protecting your interests, you may be left with a lot less money than you need to recover.
To get full compensation in your car accident settlement, you need to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS we understand the tactics that Texas auto insurance companies use to minimize their financial exposure and know how to investigate and establish the total value of your car accident claim. If you are involved in a collision, you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. To schedule your free consultation with a San Antonio car accident lawyer, call (512) 800-0000 or contact us online.
I am very grateful for them! I contacted a few law offices before and the way their office staff greeted me made me feel like a very important client and took consideration for any conditions I had at the time.