You were injured in a car accident in Texas. The accident was someone else’s fault, and you want to sue. If you hire a car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit, how much can you expect to recover? Here’s what you need to know:
3 Key Elements of a Successful Car Accident Lawsuit in Texas
Determining your legal rights after a car accident is not a simple task. A Texas car accident attorney will consider a number of different factors in your case, including what caused the accident, who is responsible, and more.
Multiple issues can also have a bearing on how much you are entitled to recover, including whether your car accident case settles or if it is necessary to file a lawsuit. Ultimately, how much someone can sue for after a car accident in Texas requires careful consideration of the following:
1. Third Party Fault
You can only sue to recover your losses after a car accident if the accident was someone else’s fault. If you are responsible for your own injuries, you may be entitled to some compensation under your auto insurance policy, but you won’t be able to hold anyone else legally responsible.
Determining fault in a car accident requires a prompt and comprehensive investigation. Several parties can potentially be responsible, and you need to identify which party or parties are to blame in order to file a lawsuit.
Liable parties in a car accident claim may include:
To keep things simple, let’s assume you hire a lawyer to investigate the car accident. Let’s further assume that the investigation reveals the other driver was 100% at fault for the crash. In this scenario, you should be able to recover 100% of the losses caused by the other driver.
2. Proportionate Responsibility
But what happens if you were partially at fault for the car accident? This raises the issue of “proportionate responsibility” (see Section 33.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code).
Also known as comparative negligence, the law of proportionate responsibility says that you are not entitled to any compensation if you were more than 50% at fault for an accident in which you suffer injury. If you were 50% or less at fault (but more than 0% at fault), then the amount you are entitled to recover is reduced in proportion to your percentage of responsibility.
Returning to the example above, let’s say the evidence shows that you are 50% at fault for the car accident. If your losses are calculated at $100,000, your recovery would be reduced to $50,000 if you are found to be equally at fault.
Ultimately, the evidence should determine each party’s proportion of fault – not the insurance company. You need to be careful not to admit fault or suggest that you were in the wrong at any time following a car accident. A Texas car accident attorney can collect evidence to refute accusations that you were at fault.
After determining who you can sue and addressing the issue of proportionate responsibility, the final step you need to take is calculating your damages. These are all of the losses – both economic and non-economic – that you have incurred to date and will incur in the future as a result of the car accident.
Compensation for a car accident may be achieved through a settlement or by filing a lawsuit and going to trial. Recoverable damages in your case may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings and future earning capacity
- Other out-of-pocket costs
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and enjoyment of life
Proving fault, disproving proportionate responsibility, and establishing the value of your claim all require an in-depth understanding of the facts of your case. No two cases are alike, and you will need to work with an experienced car accident lawyer to determine how much you can sue for your losses.
It is not always necessary to file a lawsuit to recover damages after a car accident. However, it is crucial to retain all of your options for pursuing compensation. This may include suing the other driver and any other parties at fault for your injuries.
At Patrick Daniel Law, we are Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless in handling our clients’ cases. We build a strong claim and negotiate with the insurance company (or companies) on your behalf. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will never hesitate to sue and, if necessary, take your case to trial.
Please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Texas car accident attorney Patrick Daniel serves clients in Houston and all other areas of the state.