Car accidents are a common occurrence in Houston, Texas. They can happen to anyone and anyone at any time, no matter how responsibly you drive or conduct yourself. What is the average settlement for a car accident in Houston, Texas?
Houston is a very special place when it comes to car accidents—special for the wrong reasons. Houston is one of the leading cities in car accidents and fatalities in the country, so you need to be aware of the average settlement and the associated laws. You might also like to take the help of a Houston auto accident attorney.
How many car accidents happen in Houston in a year?
There are always high chances of getting involved in a car accident as a victim in Houston, though you may not be the offender. Every year, there are between 40,000 and 70,000 car accidents in Houston. In fact, for almost two decades, from 2001–2019, Houston ranked as the worst city for drivers in Texas due to car accidents.
According to an article by the Houston Chronicle, there are about 11 fatal car accidents in Houston on an average week. Many of these crashes in Houston happen due to reckless driving, especially speeding, which is a major contributing factor.
Financial concerns can often outweigh your medical concerns when you get involved in a car accident. As such, people often want to know the average settlement amount you can receive for a car accident.
What is the average vehicle accident settlement amount?
On average, car accident settlements can range from $25,000 to $150,000. There is no such thing as an average settlement amount for car accidents in Houston or any other city in America. Each car accident is unique and involves many different factors, like the extent of injury and properties involved.
No matter how many statistical findings or results you come across, you will never get a satisfactory answer. The ideal approach to finding out the settlement amount for a car accident would be to meet with a personal injury lawyer.
Instead of finding out the average settlement for a car accident, which may not even come close to your case, you should focus on how to get the right compensation amount for your case.
How To Calculate a Texas Car Accident Settlement?
Every car accident is unique, and the amount of your car accident settlement will vary based on different factors. Some key elements that can determine or influence your car accident settlement in Houston are:
Hit and run cases are very common and can cause a nuisance in determining car accident settlements. Since the offender is unknown in such cases, victims have only two options. They can either wait for the police to catch the offender or demand insurance coverage to cover the medical and damage fees.
The second choice, however, is only applicable if you have the following optional coverage fees under your mandatory auto insurance policy:
- Personal Injury Protection: This insurance covers all your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to a car accident.
- Medical Expenses Coverage: It will pay for your hospital and other medical expenses if you happen to be an injured driver, passenger, or pedestrian in a car accident.
- Collision Coverage: This will pay for repairs to be done on your car or for a replacement.
Car accident cases where the offender was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs call for a higher amount. Such cases can get you higher settlement values as driving under alcohol or drugs is a major offense. In such cases, you must preserve important evidence and information that your injury can take care of.
Insurance Coverage of all Parties
Every state in America has minimum standards for car insurance. Even in Texas, the Texas Department of Insurance requires all drivers to have liability insurance. This insurance is meant for paying other drivers that receive physical injuries and property damage in a car accident.
As such, in Texas, the minimum amounts of coverage that the law demands are:
- $30,000 in liability coverage per person for bodily injuries
- $60,000 liability coverage per accident for all bodily injuries
- $25,000 liability coverage for damages incurred towards any property involved
While some people purchase more coverage to minimise financial risks, in truth, around 14% of drivers in Texas do not apply for auto liability insurance policies.
The Severity of the Injuries
The extent and seriousness of your injuries also have a role in determining your accident settlement amount. In the event of typical injuries, you might heal in a few weeks.
However, most traffic accident victims often undergo serious injuries like broken bones, brain trauma, internal hemorrhage, etc. Such wounds need intensive medical care, and wound recovery could take months. The injured person may sustain lasting harm in some circumstances.
In such cases, the personal injury attorney must wait until the patient’s medical condition has improved to its fullest before estimating their future medical care expenses, assistive technology, housing modifications, etc.
The Type of Damage Incurred
Any personal injury case in Houston, Texas, involves damage of three types:
- Economic Damages: These include all the actual costs and monetary losses you sustained due to the accident: hospital expenses, ambulance transportation costs, lost wages, income losses, and recovery costs.
- Non-economic damage: It includes harm done to your mental and emotional health due to pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages: These include damages awarded by a jury, usually at the end of a personal injury lawsuit. It becomes relevant when it is established that the offender acted with extreme negligence towards the accident victims.
The Method of Legal Proceeding
The following steps are taken in a typical personal injury case:
- Examination of the incident
- Damage assessment
- Compiling and submitting a personal injury claim
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance provider
- Bringing a lawsuit for personal injury
Experienced accident law firms know how long the negotiation process should last to provide you with time to pursue additional legal action. The window of opportunity you have to launch a lawsuit is something you must always keep in mind.
The two-year statute of limitations in Texas applies to all personal injury claims. So, depending on how the legal process plays out, you might receive your accident payment in months or even 1-2 years.
Make Sure to Get the Compensation You Deserve After a Car Accident
Though your claim will likely be resolved, you still need a lawyer prepared to represent you in court if necessary to get a fair settlement.
Your lawyer needs to be aware of the strategies used by insurance companies and other defendants with substantial financial resources. Thus, to get the most compensation after a car accident, hire the best personal injury attorney in Houston, TX. Contact us today to learn more.