Car Accident Settlement FAQ
Most car accident cases settle. It’s a reality of the way our legal system works. In many cases, the fact that one party caused the accident is so apparent that it’s not worth it for the insurance company to litigate the case. While settlements are common, most people don’t really understand how they work. The following are some answers to questions we often hear from clients regarding settlements. For more information or to discuss your case specifically, call us today to schedule a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.
Will My Case Settle?
The first thing that many car accident victims want to know is whether their case will settle or they will have to go to court. While it’s impossible to predict how a case will be resolved until it actually happens, there are some factors that, when present, make it much more likely that a case will settle. These include the following:
- Strong evidence that the other party was at fault
- Well-documented property damage to one or all vehicles involved
- Evidence of injuries sustained during the accident
- Medical bills to support treatment for the injuries soon after the accident
The stronger your case, the more likely that the insurance company will want to settle out of court. Litigation is expensive, and if the insurance company thinks or knows it is going to lose in court, it’s primary motivation is to resolve the case as efficiently as possible.
The one caveat to this principle is when catastrophic injuries are involved, victims are often seeking a lifetime of medical expenses, lost income, and potentially compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. When this occurs, insurance companies are more incentivized to fight liability or claimed damages, depending on the size of the insurance policy involved. For example, the current minimum liability limits in the State of Texas are $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. When this minimum coverage – called 30/60/25 coverage – is held by the at fault party in a catastrophic injury case, insurance companies often settle quickly because the damages easily exceed the policy limits. Conversely, when a commercial policy is held by the at fault party, much larger coverage’s are involved, and an insurance company may be more inclined to go to trial.
What Type of Settlement Can I Expect?
There are a variety of factors that can determine how much compensation you will ultimately receive in a settlement agreement. These include the following:
- The strength of your case
- Your age
- Your occupation
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Your prognosis
- Insurance policy limits
If My Case is Going to Settle, Do I Still Need a Lawyer?
Yes. Insurance companies do everything they can to minimize the amount they pay out, even when victims have valid claims. They often start with unreasonably low settlement offers and take their time to “process” a claim, knowing full well that victims’ medical expenses are piling up and that they’re probably unable to work. Further, insurance companies often try to create “gaps in treatment” during the claim process, to weaken your case. They tell you that they need a recorded statement in order to process your claim, when all they are really trying to do is get you to say something that will justify giving you less money. When you retain an attorney, however, you’ll have a skilled advocate on your side who knows all the insurance company’s tricks, and will know how to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call the Law Offices of Thompson Law Today to Schedule a FREE Case Evaluation with a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt in a serious accident, you should speak to an attorney as soon after the accident as you can. At the Law Office of Thompson Law, we’re committed to helping injured victims move on with their lives and do everything we can to ensure that our clients get the compensation to which they are entitled under Texas law. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, c or call our office today at Call us at 1-800-LION-LAW for a free case evaluation.
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