If you have unfortunately been injured in a Fort Worth car accident, this is probably the first time you have had to deal with the personal injury claims process. So you have questions about your legal rights and how a personal injury lawyer can help you. In my 40 years specializing in personal injury law, the question I get asked the most is how much money do you think I will receive after my medical bills are paid? It’s a great question. I have discussed this on my web site and blog posts, in a book and seminars I have written and taught to injury attorneys.
How to calculate how much money you might receive from a Fort Worth car accident
Since every car and truck wreck is different, there is no way to state one answer. The real answer can only be learned after the injured person files a lawsuit and a jury returns a verdict for his or her damages (but even then, the verdict can be and often is appealed to a higher court).
As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all formula that injury lawyers and insurance claims adjusters and their attorneys use.
It is true that many years ago, some cases were sometimes resolved by the “three times medical bills” calculation, but that hasn’t been used in a long time. That is because someone who only had a mild neck strain could see a chiropractor 50 times and have a $10,000 medical bill, then claim his fender-bender was automatically worth $30,000. However no insurance company adjuster would begin to pay that inflated amount, especially now.
Furthermore, the online calculators designed to get you to hire the law firm that publish them to lure you into hiring it are inaccurate.
Take a look at the photograph above from a Fort Worth car accident I recently settled for a large amount of money. Just looking at the picture, it is not clear how badly the occupants were hurt. We have seen serious looking crashes where people only suffered relatively minor injuries, as well as the complete opposite happening, especially with all the pickup trucks and SUVs on the road.
A good personal injury attorney is skilled at investigating the collision, dealing with insurance companies and medical providers, obtaining critical evidence, developing the case for trial, and knowing how the value of one case can be substantially more or less than another one.
As the file develops and the facts become clearer, the car accident lawyer will have the information needed to more accurately estimate a range of settlement values, say from $20,000 to $25,000, then do his best to get more than that.
Negotiations can be complicated. Each side uses different variables and can reach different numbers as they estimate what a jury might decide.
What affects the value of a Fort Worth car accident?
We look at approximately 62 variables before we can accurate estimate a range of a case’s value in court, but the four primary ones are
- how serious the crash looks;
- how seriously injured the person was;
- how much his reasonable medical bills were; and
- how much insurance is available and which carriers are involved.
In other words, someone who was the driver or a passenger in the vehicle above will usually get a lot more money than others who only suffered a “fender-bender.” This is especially true if they only experienced a minor neck or back strain, incurred small medical expenses, and the at-fault driver is insured by a substandard company like Fred Loya, ACCC, Old American, or Affirmative (cases we are not in a position to accept).
But there are exceptions to every rule. Case evaluation is complicated. It is best performed by a skilled personal injury lawyer.
Another key factor in determining the value of a case is whether the accident victim shared any responsibility for causing the collision resulting in their injuries. Under Texas personal injury law, an accident victim who is partially at fault can still recover compensation for their injuries from other at-fault parties. However, an accident victim’s total recovery amount will be reduced by their percentage of fault. Accident victims who are 51 percent or more to blame for causing the collision will not be able to recover for their injuries.
Finally, there are things that the injured person does or doesn’t do that can affect the payment. Here is a list.
Trying to fight an aggressive insurance company on your own by using simple online formulas and calculators, without the ability or knowledge of how to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial, will invariable get you a lot less money, even after an attorney’s fee is factored in.
Fort Worth car accident claim by type
These are estimates of what various kinds of crashes might be worth, depending on the variables mentioned above:
- Drunk driving accidents – Despite the well-known dangers of driving while intoxicated, some motorists still get behind the wheel after drinking too much. Fort Worth DWI accidents frequently settle for the drunk driver’s insurance policy limits which are usually $30,000 (although we are working on one now with a $1 million policy) to $100,000. This depends on the severity of the accident victim’s injuries, how elevated the drunk’s blood alcohol content was, the amount of insurance, and if an alcohol-provider like a bar or store is involved.
- T-bone accidents – T-bone or sideswipe accidents are often the result of distracted driving. These accidents frequently occur at high speeds and often cause serious injuries. Fort Worth sideswipe accidents can settle in the range of $20,000 or more, depending on the above variables.
- Rear-end accidents – Rear-end accidents are extremely common, again due to the prevalence of cell phone use while driving, and vary widely. Depending on the severity of an accident victim’s injuries, these cases may settle for anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000 and even more, depending on the amount of available insurance or whether a company owned the vehicle.
- Hit-and-Run accidents – While many assume that there is no way to recover financially after a Fort Worth hit-and-run accident, that is not necessarily the case. Hit-and-run accident cases tend to settle for $30,000, depending on the seriousness of the injuries and whether that driver is apprehended or whether you file on your own policy’s uninsured motorists benefits.
- Motorcycle accidents – Fort Worth motorcycle accidents often result in serious, life-changing injuries. Typical motorcycle accident settlements can range from $30,000 to $100,000.
- Truck accidents – Accidents involving large commercial trucks tend to be some of the most serious accidents due to the trucks’ size and weight and the speed at which these accidents often occur. On average, Fort Worth truck accident cases settle for between $100,000 and $200,000, depending on the facts, but we have handled cases where the final total recovery is in the millions.
Contact a Fort Worth car accident lawyer
Berenson Injury Law specializes in one type of case: car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, and pedestrian injuries. We can help you understand your rights and pursue a claim for compensation based on your injuries.
To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Berenson, call 1-888-801-8585 or click here to chat.