What Compensation Can You Expect After a Texas Car Accident

Michael James

What Compensation Can You Expect After a Texas Car Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas, understanding the compensation you may be entitled to is crucial. Texas law allows for the recovery of several types of damages in the aftermath of a car accident. The compensation is generally grouped into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages. More severe cases might also warrant punitive damages. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what each category comprises and what you might expect.

What Compensation Can You Expect After a Texas Car Accident

Economic Damages

Economic damages, also known as special damages, are compensation for monetary losses that have a specific dollar amount associated with them. They are designed to reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the accident.

Medical Expenses

You can seek compensation for all healthcare-related costs, including:

  • Hospital stays and surgeries
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescription medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Medical equipment
  • Long-term care costs
  • Future estimated medical expenses related to your injuries

Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity

If you’re unable to work because of your injuries, you can claim lost wages for the time you were absent from your job. If the injuries impact your ability to earn money in the future, compensation for the loss of earning capacity can also be sought.

Property Damage

Compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, or general damages, compensate for the intangible losses related to the accident and injuries. These are subjective and do not come with a predetermined value.

Pain and Suffering

This includes compensation for the physical pain and discomfort endured during and after the accident. It raises complex questions: How is pain quantified? How do you put a price on suffering? Experienced car accident lawyers often use industry standards and similar cases to estimate a reasonable amount.

Emotional Distress

After a severe accident, it’s not uncommon to experience psychological effects such as stress, anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Compensation for these impacts reflects the seriousness and expected duration of such conditions.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium damages are awarded for the impact on the relationship between you and your spouse. These damages account for the loss of companionship, affection, support, and marital relations.

Punitive Damages

Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which aim to compensate the victim, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. In Texas, punitive damages are available if you can prove that the at-fault party’s actions were malicious, grossly negligent, or fraudulent.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Texas

In Texas, the rule of modified comparative negligence applies, where you can still receive damages if you’re partially at fault for the accident, as long as you’re not more than 50% responsible. However, any compensation awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

What Compensation Can You Expect After a Texas Car Accident

The Role of Insurance in Compensation

Texas is an “at-fault” state, meaning that the driver who caused the accident bears responsibility for covering damages. All drivers are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to pay for the damages they may cause. It’s typical for the at-fault party’s insurance company to initiate settlement negotiations, which is a critical stage where legal representation can profoundly impact the outcome.

How to Maximize Compensation

To ensure you receive fair compensation, consider these actions:

  • Gather and preserve all evidence related to the accident
  • Report the accident to your insurer promptly
  • Keep records of all medical treatments and other related expenses
  • Avoid accepting initial settlement offers before understanding the full extent of your damages

Enlist the services of a skilled car accident lawyer who can negotiate with insurance companies, gather evidence, and, if necessary, litigate to protect your rights

Final Thoughts

While every car accident case has unique factors that affect the compensation amount, being informed about the types of damages you can claim is beneficial. In the complex landscape of Texas car accident laws, having proficient legal guidance will help navigate you through the process to achieve the most favorable outcome possible for your situation.

Article Last Updated: February 12, 2024.

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