When you’ve been injured in an accident and you need to replace lost wages or pay off medical debt, the amount of your settlement can be a paramount concern. Many people in Cameron, TX and Buffalo, TX will ask a personal injury lawyer about their personal injury settlements. Your lawyer may be able to estimate the value of your settlement.
How Much Is a Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Although a personal injury lawyer will not be able to give you an exact amount for your potential settlement, they will be able to give you a general estimate based on the surface details of your case. While there are many factors that will ultimately determine the amount of your settlement, the early estimation will tell you the value of your injuries and damages so that you can start negotiating with the insurance company.
Why Your Settlement May Be Lower Than Estimated
That said, it’s possible that your final settlement will be lower than estimated. Personal injury settlements are subject to many factors that will determine the final settlement amount, such as additional details of the case and whether comparative negligence has been triggered in your claim. Two of the most common reasons why your personal injury settlement may be lower than anticipated in Cameron, TX or Buffalo, TX include:
Liable Party Has No Assets
Your settlement has to come from money that either belongs to an insurance policy held by the liable party or from assets the liable party owns. In cases where the liable party does not have any assets, such as a high-earning job, private property, or equity, your settlement will be limited. In many cases, when the liable party has no assets, your settlement will be capped at the absolute limit for the insurance policy, which could be as little as $10,000 to $30,000.
Insurance Payout Is Limited
The payout for your settlement can be limited by the insurance company for many reasons. The most common reason is that the policyholder only has a bare minimum coverage, which means that the insurance company can legally only write a check for the policy limit. There may be other legal factors that will make the insurance payout limited in your case.
Compensation Caps for Personal Injury Settlements
In Texas, there are some compensation caps for personal injury settlements. For example, medical malpractice cases in Cameron, TX and Buffalo, TX have different damage caps than cases filed against the state or federal government. If you were injured on a government worksite or by a government worker, the damage cap related to your case is $250,000 per person for economic damages.
Your lawyer will be able to outline other damage caps that are related to your specific type of case. It’s important to understand what the damage caps for economic damages are in Texas, as this can inform your legal strategy and your negotiation strategy.
What Types of Damage Can You Sue for in Cameron, TX and Buffalo, TX?
There are several common types of damages you can sue for in Texas. Most of the damages you can sue for are economic, which means that the compensation from your settlement will be used to pay off any debts you accrued as a result of your personal injury accident. These damages include:
Medical costs can cover everything from prescription costs to surgery costs to the cost of ongoing physical therapy and other treatments. All of your medical costs will be outlined in your medical bills and other medical documents starting from the date of the accident. Medical costs are the most common economic damages to sue for, particularly because medical debt can be crushing for those who are trying to recover from severe injuries.
Often, medical costs can also include medical devices you need to aid in your recovery. For example, crutches, wheelchairs, assistive devices for at-home care such as bedside commodes, and more can all be included in medical costs. Keep track of your medical bills and medical insurance claims so you can better calculate your total medical costs.
Loss of Wages and Earning Capacity
It’s also common for Texans to sue for loss of wages and loss of earning capacity. When you’re severely injured in an accident, you may not be able to return to work. Loss of steady income from your job can make it difficult to live, provide for your family, and meet other necessities.
People who suffer from major injuries or disabilities may also lose the capacity to earn money in the future. Suing for lost earning capacity will involve calculating the potential salary you may have earned over your career. To sue for lost wages and earning potential, you will need tax records, pay stubs, employment history, and more.
For accidents that involve personal property damage, such as damage to your home or vehicle, you can also sue for compensation. Damage to your property can be a burden, particularly if the cost to repair or replace the damaged property puts you in debt. To sue for property damage, you will need repair bills or estimates from mechanics or contractors.
Pain and Suffering
You can also sue for pain and suffering, which is a type of non-economic damage. As a note, non-economic damages are not subject to any compensation caps in Texas, which means that the calculation for these damages is potentially unlimited. The way pain and suffering calculations are made is subjective and is usually determined by a judge or jury.
Pain and suffering generally refer to physical pain and emotional pain. If you experienced anxiety, stress, depression, scarring, disfigurement, or other inconveniences as a result of your injury, you can sue for pain and suffering compensation. Some people also sue for loss of companionship or loss of consortium, particularly in cases that involve severe injuries.
In some cases, you may also be able to sue for future suffering. This is common for people who have suffered temporary or permanent disability because of an accident. Future suffering can include future pain, future emotional trauma, and the cost of future medical treatments. You can speak with your personal injury lawyer about including future suffering in your personal injury lawsuit.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer ASAP
If you have been injured in an accident, it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Not only will a lawyer protect you from predatory insurance companies that may offer you lowball settlements, but a lawyer will also protect your interests so that you can maximize your settlement.
Having a lawyer on your side is essential when it’s time to negotiate a fair settlement. A lawyer will be able to leverage evidence related to your case, such as medical bills, to increase your settlement offer.
People who have been injured in accidents in Cameron, TX in Buffalo, TX may want to know the value of their settlement. While a lawyer may be able to estimate a settlement amount, there are many factors that will determine the amount of your final settlement. Contact Brian C. Gutierrez today to learn more about how to file a personal injury lawsuit.