HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
If only you could turn back time and undo an auto accident from ever happening. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world just as much as we cannot avoid Car Accidents from happening. So if you were a victim of a car accident, what are your options? I like to tell my clients that the next best thing is to seek a settlement to pay for their damages including their injuries. Naturally, the next question would be for how much. Well, that depends on many factors.
SEVERITY OF THE CAR OR TRUCK ACCIDENT
Were you the victim of a fender bender or a catastrophic crash? As you can imagine, this matters in determining what the value of your case is. Depending on the aftermath and after talking to those involved, sometimes the severity is obvious. Yet, it is best to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney that has seen all types of accidents.
SEVERITY OF YOUR INJURIES
This is perhaps the greatest factor that varies from case to case. Even within the same car crash, the injuries suffered by a passenger may be dramatically different than those of others in the same vehicle. Things such as age, current health, and position in the vehicle can make a difference. Being in the same car during an accident does not mean that your cases will settle for the same amount.
Getting a medical evaluation and following up with treatment, if necessary, is crucial after a car accident. Most importantly for your long-term health, but your treatment also affects how your case is valued. If you get an evaluation after your accident, and your doctor gives you a clean bill of health, that’s great for you. However, if after an accident it is determined that your injuries will require treatment, it is important to follow through with your doctor’s recommendations. The extent of your medical treatment will factor heavily in determining how your case is settled.
It is important to note that if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and treatment is recommended you must do your best to follow those recommendations. As already mentioned, treatment is important for your long-term health. Furthermore, it can help to prove your injuries. We often state to our clients, “It is not what you say that matters, it is what you can prove in court.” You may be in pain, but if we do not have medical treatment backing that up it will make it difficult to settle your case.
INSURANCE. YES-NO AND HOW MUCH
If you are a victim of a car accident and there is no insurance coverage; you can sue the individual at fault. However, while it’s one thing to sue someone and win a judgment, it is completely different when trying to recover. If the person at fault does not have immediate funds to cover the costs, which most people don’t, then recovering a judgment is difficult. This is why the great State of Texas requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance when operating a vehicle.
If there is insurance coverage, you’ll be in better shape. The state requires minimum liability insurance that covers at least $30,000.00 per person $60,000.00 per accident for personal injury liability. For many car accidents, this is enough to cover the costs. Unfortunately, some accidents are severe and the costs are sky-high. If the limits are exhausted, it could leave you in a difficult situation. Therefore, we always recommend that you purchase UM/UIM from your insurer. This coverage covers you in cases where the other party does not have insurance or if the coverage is not enough.
NOT ALL DEFENDANTS ARE CREATED EQUAL
The value of your case may also depend on who hit you. Is the defendant someone with a history of accidents or traffic infractions? Was the defendant committing a crime when they hit you, e.g. driving while intoxicated? Was the defendant working for an employer at the time of the accident, e.g. a commercial truck driver? This will all factor into what a case may eventually settle for.
An experienced personal injury attorney will recognize and evaluate all the factors mentioned above and more. Do not leave it to chance or try to haggle with an insurance adjuster on your own. Hire representation with proven experience. Call us for a free case evaluation. Ultimately, when we take your case, if you do not win, you will not pay.