How Do You Get Compensated For A Car Accident In Texas?
If you’re involved in an automobile accident in Texas, you may not necessarily have to pursue a court case to get compensation for any damages you suffer. (Though, in some less common cases, you might.) Either way, you can only get reimbursed for the effects of the crash by proving that the other driver was at fault for the accident. This can be a complicated effort, because Texas is a “modified comparative fault” state.
Modified Comparative Fault
States with modified comparative fault laws will determine compensation for a car accident by assigning a percentage of blame to each person involved in the accident. This means that if the other driver is 100% responsible for the accident, you will get 100% of your settlement’s worth. However, if you are 40% responsible, you will only receive 60% of your settlement’s worth.
Additionally, Texas uses something called the “51% bar.” This commonly used rule means that, if the court finds that you are more than 50% responsible for an accident, you will receive no compensation at all.
Trying to establish an accurate level of blame can be complicated in Texas. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help make this highly important process easier, so you can get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and any damage to your vehicle.
Other Limits On Car Accident Compensation In Texas
Texas has several additional limitations that restrict the compensation you can get when involved in a car accident. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is two years. If you wait longer than this amount of time, you will not receive any payment for the accident. (Keep in mind that if this is a fatal car accident, the deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be slightly different in Texas.)
In addition, Texas limits the amount of damages you may receive in certain situations. The state limits liability for claims associated with community service. Additionally, if you were involved in an accident with a public servant while he or she was working, you cannot get more than $100,000 in damages.
There are also limits on the amount of exemplary, or punitive, damages you can receive. Exemplary damages may be awarded in civil cases as a way to punish the defendant and are carefully controlled.
Damages Can You Be Compensated For
You can receive compensation for multiple forms of damages when involved in an automobile accident in Texas. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to economic damages, or payments to cover expenses you faced due to the car accident. Working with a seasoned lawyer can help increase the odds that you get compensated for:
- Repairs to your vehicle
- Immediate medical care related to the accident
- Wages you lost
- Medical expenses you might face in the future
You could also be awarded non-economic, or hedonic, damages. These damages cover issues related to:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
If the car accident resulted in the loss of a loved one, you may also be able to receive some level of compensation with a wrongful death lawsuit.
Car Insurance Alone Might Not Cover Your Compensation
Ideally, the at-fault driver will have enough car insurance to cover the damages from the car accident. However, this is not always the case, as Texas only requires minimum insurance amounts of:
- $25,000 – Property Damage
- $30,000 – Bodily Injuries Per Person
Additionally, some drivers carry no insurance at all, despite the laws. In this case, you might be able to receive compensation if you carry uninsured/underinsured coverage through your own insurance. Getting compensation from drivers with too little insurance, or no insurance at all, can be incredibly difficult. You may be able to ease the process by hiring a skilled car accident attorney in Dallas.
Setting Yourself Up For Success To Get Compensation
You can improve your chances of receiving compensation for an automobile accident by handling the immediate aftermath of the accident correctly. Make sure to call the police immediately and to photograph as much of the scene as you can. It is recommended that you record as many details about the accident as possible. You should also write down the other driver’s:
- License number.
- Insurance information.
- Contact information.
You should avoid admitting fault after an accident, as this could influence the percentage of blame you are assigned if the case goes to court.
You can also improve your odds in the courtroom by contacting and working with an experienced car accident law firm. Our team of trained attorneys can go over the facts of your case to help you. We can work with you to build a strong case. You can contact us here to set up a FREE consultation about your situation and how we can provide you with the assistance you need.