After the initial shock of being in a car accident, you might be surprised by all of the costs that start adding up. If you are wondering how much money you can recover, our accident injury lawyers in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Austin are available to help. We will determine the real cost of the accident by carefully itemizing all of your losses. Our objective is to help you fight for the highest possible settlement.
What Types of Losses Can You Recover After an Accident?
The kinds of losses you can recover after an accident depend on how the accident affected your life and who was at fault. Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that the liable party must pay for all of the damages out of pocket or through insurance.
While you might be familiar with certain claimable expenses like a visit to the ER, there are many other losses that could increase the value of your claim, if you know to list them. If the other driver caused your accident, his or her insurance may be liable to pay:
All of Your Medical Expenses
Personal injury law operates on the premise that the liable party should pay for the injured party’s medical expenses in full. Minor injuries might heal after a quick visit to the doctor, while more serious conditions could require lengthy treatments, multiple specialists, and even at-home equipment. You are entitled to demand compensation for any of the following medical expenses that apply in your case:
- An ambulance ride
- An overnight stay at the ER
- X-rays, bloodwork, MRI images, and other diagnostic tests
- Follow-up appointments with specialists
- Non-surgical treatments
- Prescription medications
- Special medical equipment
- The cost of transportation to and from the medical facilities
Your Past and Future Lost Wages
Recovering from an injury often requires rest and time away from work. While individuals who work in construction, sports, or other professions that involve physical tasks are especially susceptible to incurring lost wages, a serious brain injury can take a person away from any kind of work. Regardless of your profession, the liable party is responsible for compensating you for income you missed while you were in recovery.
For the purposes of determining lost wages, your income includes wages, tips, bonuses, and benefits. Benefits that don’t have a monetary value, such as vacation days, should be expressed in financial terms when you submit your claim. If you cannot return to your job as a result of a permanent disability, you are entitled to receive enough money to cover a lifetime of lost wages.
Your Pain and Suffering
Legally, the physical pain that accompanies an injury merits compensation. In Texas, the amount of compensation needed to cover your pain, suffering, and trauma is calculated using the multiplier method. This technique assigns a number value to your pain between 1 and 5, based on severity. The value of your economic expenses is then multiplied by that number to give you your total payout.
Your Emotional Stress
Emotional stress is another example of a noneconomic loss that could factor into the value of your claim. To determine the amount of compensation needed to cover emotional distress, your lawyer will help you review how the accident impacted your life. He or she might ask you questions like:
- Was your appearance drastically changed as a result of your injuries?
- Were you forced to withdraw from leisure activities you once enjoyed?
- Did your injuries disrupt your daily routine?
Other Damages That Could Merit Compensation
Apart from the losses discussed above, the liable party may be responsible for paying punitive damages and/or the amount of money needed to settle derivative claims. A derivative claim is a claim that is filed by a relative of the injured party based on the outcome of the personal injury claim.
In some cases, courts feel the need to punish negligent drivers by requiring them to pay the plaintiff money in excess of the compensatory damages. While rarely awarded, certain cases involving drunk driving, drug usage, road rage, and other egregious behavior could merit punitive damages. The amount is calculated as a percentage of the compensatory damages and subject to limitations.
Loss of Consortium
If your accident left you unable to provide material or emotional care to your close relatives, they might be able to file loss of consortium claims. A loss of consortium claim is a derivative of a personal injury claim, meaning that your relatives’ ability to collect compensation would partially depend on your ability to prove your own grounds for a settlement.
If you are planning to seek damages on behalf of a loved one who lost his or her life in a car accident, you will need to file a wrongful death claim. This claim should list all of the medical expenses and lost wages incurred by the deceased as a result of the accident. A wrongful death claim can also include the emotional distress experienced by the family, loss of inheritance, and loss of consortium.
In Texas, a wrongful death claim can be filed by a surviving spouse, a child of the deceased, or a parent. If no close relative is available, the executor or administrator of the estate may file the claim.
How Do Accident Injury Lawyers in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Austin Fight to Maximize the Compensation?
While you are legally entitled to receive compensation for all of the losses discussed in this article, the outcome of your case may rest on a number of factors, including:
- Your ability to prove that another driver caused the accident
- The availability of evidence demonstrating the extent of your injuries
- The number of losses you can identify
- Your ability to overcome the defense
- Your decision to go to court or accept a settlement offer
- The results of your negotiations with the insurance company
Due to the complexity of personal injury law, not every person who is entitled to a payout gets the amount they deserve. Our accident injury lawyers specialize in taking every opportunity to increase your settlement. From calculating the true value of your losses to negotiating aggressively on your behalf, we will leverage our knowledge of personal injury law to help you obtain a fair outcome.
Our Process Begins With a Free Consultation
At our firm, we understand that paying up-front legal fees is the last thing you want to do when you are dealing with the costs of an injury. We start our process with a free consultation, during which we will review the details of the accident and plan a strategy.
Going forward, we operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not pay anything unless you win. To schedule an initial meeting, contact us by calling 210-951-2024.
We Take Your Losses Seriously
Whether you have sustained a minor injury or a life-altering disability, you deserve to receive compensation for all of your losses. Our attorneys have put millions of dollars into the hands of injured clients. We will make sure you understand your rights while providing the legal support you need. To discuss your case with an attorney in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, or Austin, contact Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC.