Many factors go into whether you can win a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. The type of injuries you sustain, whether you seek medical treatment, wages lost, pain and suffering, and property damage are all part of the courts’ formula to determine if an individual deserves a settlement. While most cases settle out of court, lawyers and insurance companies consider what the courts might do with a case when deciding a settlement amount. The best way to understand your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit is by understanding how courts calculate your loss.
Texas has a significant amount of personal injury data to look at. Injuries are the leading cause of death and hospitalization of children and their family members in Texas. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,053 children (age 14 and younger) died in traffic crashes in just one year. Texas Department of State Health Service data shows that the same year in Texas, 146 children from the same age group died in a crash, the highest number of child fatalities in the U.S. This rate in Texas (2.37) is higher than the U.S. rate (1.74).
Does Fault Determine Settlement Amounts?
If you’ve been in a car accident that was not your fault, your chances of getting a settlement also depend on the amount of fault the other driver is responsible for. Any negligence the other driver exhibited also plays a part. Texas is an at-fault state. At-fault means that the driver’s insurance responsible for the crash pays the claims arising from property damage or bodily injury.
Any driver who causes damage or injuries in a car accident may be liable for damage claims. You can seek financial compensation from whoever caused your car accident. However, you’ll need to have proof of your injuries and understand how to use Texas insurance and car accident laws to your advantage. Working with an attorney who understands the negotiation process can bring about your best outcome and give you the “chances” you look for.
A personal injury attorney will investigate your case from every angle and often include medical experts and witnesses to help prove the value of the damages you seek. Working with an attorney who understands how to prove your injuries is essential to receive your best settlement.
Is Chance a Factor?
Determining a reasonable settlement payment for a personal injury case is challenging for all involved. Insurance companies want to settle instead of taking you into the courtroom. If you don’t accept the settlement and want to take it to the courtroom and fight it out there, the court will decide your settlement amount based on the same factors that the attorneys and insurance adjusters look at.
Real-Life Calculations for Settlement
A settlement for a personal injury case depends on several factors and not much at all on “chance.” To understand your chances of getting a settlement, add together the amount for each of these considerations:
- Medical Bills: If you didn’t seek medical help but have pain and suffering, multiply each day you suffered from pain by the amount you usually make in a day’s work to get your total for this factor. If you did seek treatment, add how much the visits cost, whether from a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or physical therapist. You deserve compensation for what you’ve had to spend to find your normal again.
- Property Damage: amount of damage to your vehicle for bodywork or if you had to take a total loss amount.
- Lost Earnings: the total amount of your lost earnings. If you took paid time off, enter those days as non-paid. For every day you missed, add it all together.
- Estimated Future Medical Expenses: any ongoing treatments related to the accident. If you plan for ongoing medical treatments related to your accident for the next 30 years or more, add all of what you expect to pay and adjust for inflation.
- Future Lost Income: an estimate of future lost income due to needed future medical treatments or recovery time when you won’t work. If you will never work again or change careers because of the accident, consider your new field and whether your new salary will keep your income stable in the future.
The Multiplier for General Damages
To understand your chances, the next step is adding up all of the factors above. Then, take the total amount and multiply it by the multiplier for general damages. Use 1.5 as a starting point. If you have extensive injuries that will last a lifetime, you may go as high as 5. Still, a settlement with a multiplier of 5 involves severe medical issues with continuing pain or lifelong struggles due to the accident.
Increase Your Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Your insurance company representative is not on your side. Law enforcement is not on your side. And the other insurance company representative is definitely not on your side.
You need someone whose sole purpose is to act in your best interests and negotiate your settlement. Without a personal injury lawyer, you must handle it all yourself. Often, without an attorney, injured parties settle for much less than they deserve.
If your insurer or the other driver’s insurer believes you to be at fault, they may try to deny your claim altogether. In this case, you’ll need an attorney to represent you in court so that you receive the compensation you deserve. Attorneys understand how to work for your best interest in first- and third-party claims. If you carry some blame, your lawyer can also appeal decisions and negotiate for your best outcome.
We Can Help
At Jarrett Law, we are committed to pursuing your best interests and outcome. We understand how exhausting the legal process of filing a personal injury lawsuit is. To increase your chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit, you need experience on your side. We take the weight of responsibility off your shoulders as we investigate the facts, negotiate with adjusters and other attorneys, and file any legal work necessary for your case. With our legal knowledge on your side, we tackle the legalese and negotiations while you rest up and prepare to live your best life again.