Typical car accident settlement amounts

What is a Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount? Well, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, in 2013 the average bodily injury car accident settlement was $15,443. In addition, the National Center for State Courts published data collected in 2001 from several counties throughout the United States, including Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, and Harris counties, that calculated the median jury award for motor vehicle accidents. The median jury award for motor vehicle accidents was $17,544. Unfortunately, these figures don’t tell us much. Since car accident injury settlements are so fact intensive, an average doesn’t provide much help in regard to what a particular case is worth. As discussed below, there are several factors that go into valuing a car accident injury settlement case. Only through experience can someone know how to value a car accident injury case properly. If you feel that the insurance company is undervaluing your case, it’s best to consult an experienced car accident attorney. Don’t Trust “Magic” Formulas or Online Settlement Calculators Many car accident injury victims will Google what a typical or average car accident settlement amount would be for their specific situation.  This search will yield many results with websites claiming to give an exact calculation or formula to determine a typical settlement amount for a car accident injury case.  Most common is the calculation of taking the dollar amount of the medical bills and lost wages of the injured victim and multiplying it by some arbitrary number (1.5-5) to arrive at a pain and suffering dollar amount, then adding the total amount of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering together.  However, this is almost always inaccurate.  Neither insurance adjusters nor Texas juries are instructed to use this method to calculate the value of any car accident injury settlement or award.  This practice arose in the past from both insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys “guesstimating” an amount of where an appropriate settlement amount would be for usually minor, soft tissue injuries (e.g., whiplash).  The reality is there is no formula or calculator that can provide an actual car accident settlement amount. There are simply too many variables involved in each case to accurately calculate an average or typical car accident settlement amount. However, there are factors that you should know that can affect the value of your case, such as the amount of your “damages,” the calculation of pain and suffering, and other relevant factors. An overview of these points are discussed below, as well as real car accident injury case settlement examples from several different counties in Texas. Before delving further into the discussion of typical or average car accident settlement amounts, it’s important to know what exactly a “settlement” is. What is a Settlement? A settlement is an agreement between parties of a legal dispute which resolves the dispute prior to either filing a lawsuit or proceeding further after a lawsuit is filed.  The parties usually agree to settle the underlying dispute for a dollar amount in exchange for releasing the liable party from any further liability.  In the car accident context, the liable party’s insurance company would agree to pay the injured party a sum of money in order to release their insured from any further liability.  The settlement amount will be an amount both parties feel is fair to settle without proceeding further in the dispute and avoiding further litigation expenses.  Keep in mind, insurance companies are businesses with a main goal of maximizing profits. This means they will do their best to pay out as little as possible in settling claims. Depending on the facts of your case, accepting a settlement may make sense. However, there are situations where filing a lawsuit and going all the way to trial is necessary to achieve top dollar for your case. Most Important Factor in Determining Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts One of the most important factors in determining a typical car accident settlement amount is knowing what your “damages” are.  Damages are a term of art in the law meaning the calculation of losses realized in a personal injury case.  You must be able to prove damages in order to receive fair value for your car accident injury case. There are two main types of damages, including Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages, in addition to other sub-categories of Compensatory Damages which are broken down below. Compensatory Damages Compensatory Damages, also known as “actual damages,” are the monetary compensation that are awarded to an injured victim as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.  Compensatory damages are intended to put the injured party back to where they were before the accident and make them “whole.” Special Damages Special Damages or “Specials” are a type of compensatory damages that are quantifiable, such as past and future medical expenses, past lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses.  You prove these damages by presenting evidence such as medical bills, paycheck stubs, W-2s, or simply a letter from your employer detailing the amount of lost time, your salary, your position at the company, and how many hours you usually work. Lost wages include the time you missed from work and weren’t paid, as well as sick time and vacation time used as a result of the accident. General Damages General Damages, also known as non-economic damages, are another type of compensatory damages that are difficult to quantify.  According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12), non-economic damages include: Physical pain and suffering; Mental or emotional pain or anguish; Loss of consortium; Disfigurement; Physical impairment; Loss of companionship and society; Inconvenience; Loss of enjoyment of life; Injury to reputation; and All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages. Due to the difficulty in calculating General Damages such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment, insurance adjusters use software such as Colossus and Claims IQ to place a value on each car accident injury claim. Adjusters enter in…

who is at fault in a rear-end collision

Rear-end car accidents are the most common type of collision.  Determining who is at fault in a rear-end collision isn’t always as straightforward as you think.  There are many scenarios where liability may not necessarily automatically go to the “following” vehicle.  In some cases, liability may go either to the “lead” vehicle, the following vehicle, or both.  Of course, if either party involved in a rear-end collision is 51% or more at fault in Texas, they are barred from recovering any of their damages such as medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.  Distracted Drivers and Rear-end Accidents Rear-end accidents are usually caused by distracted driving, such as texting and driving, or tailgating.  The most common types of distracted driving that cause rear-end collisions are smoking, daydreaming, external distractions such as “rubbernecking,” fixing hair or putting on makeup.  Proving fault in a rear-end collision involves determining which driver was “negligent.”  To prove negligence in Texas, you must show four things: Duty – We all owe each other a duty to exercise reasonable care and drive safely so as not to do anything that will harm any other driver on the road.  For example, we all have a duty to pay attention to the car in front of us while we drive in rush hour traffic; Breach of Duty – a breach of duty would be failing to exercise reasonable care and not driving safely, such as by failing to pay attention to the car in front of you as it slowed down in rush hour traffic because you were texting and driving; Causation – the breach of duty (e.g., failing to pay attention to the road and the driver in front of you) causes the accident; and Damages – Damages just mean recognizable and actual losses as the result of the breach in duty.  Whiplash or a fractured vertebra in a rear-end collision are great examples of damages.  You’ll need to prove damages by providing evidence such as medical bills and lost wages.  How to Prove You Were Not At Fault in a Rear-end Collision Usually, it’s easy to see why the following vehicle is at fault in most rear-end collisions.  However, there are exceptions to this rule.  Even if the following vehicle is negligent, it doesn’t always absolve the lead vehicle completely from liability.  The lead vehicle driver may also be driving distracted and may also share some of the liability, proportionate to the amount of their comparative fault.  Ways to prove that the lead vehicle’s driver was at least partially at fault would be to provide evidence that they were driving distracted talking on their phone while driving or looking down at their phone and texting.  You may prove this by getting their phone records to show that they were sending or receiving text messages or receiving or making phone calls at the time of the accident.  However, obtaining the other party’s phone records usually involve filing a lawsuit against them first.  In addition, having an independent witness who saw the accident and can verify that the lead driver was on their phone or texting, will also help to prove that they at least shared some fault. When Is a Rear-end Collision Not Your Fault? Factual scenarios when a rear-end collision is not your fault or at least partially the lead vehicle driver’s fault, include when the lead vehicle: Is in reverse and causes the collision. Makes an unsafe turn or lane change by not signaling or suddenly changes lanes, cutting off the following vehicle. Quickly stops unexpectedly for no apparent reason. “Brake checks” the following vehicle. Has turn signals, brake lights or taillights that are not functioning. Is driving at a significantly slower speed than the speed limit (e.g., driving 25 MPH on the freeway). Unsafely pulls out in front of the following vehicle. Injuries Caused by Rear-end Collisions Most rear-end collisions involve a very slowing moving or stopped lead vehicle.  The impact, even at low speeds can cause significant injuries to the spine, head, and internal organs.  The most common types of injuries caused by a rear-end collision are: Whiplash; Vertebrae fractures; Neck pain; Shoulder pain; Numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities; Muscle, tendon, or ligament sprains, strains, and tears; Disc herniation; Lower (lumbar) back pain; Middle (thoracic) back pain; Internal bleeding; Traumatic brain injuries, even mild cases that may go undetected through standard testing; Concussions; Headaches; Blurry vision; Dizziness; and Anxiety / Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Rear-end Collision Settlements Rear-end collision settlements are heavily determined on the type of your injuries and medical treatment that you receive.  The more serious your injuries, the more likely your settlement will be larger.  With “soft tissue” injuries, or those that involve sprains, strains, and bruises, generally, the settlement value tends to be on the lower side of the settlement spectrum.  Rear-end collisions where there are more serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, or those requiring surgery, generally, the greater the settlement amount.  The value of any rear-end collision case relies heavily on the injury severity and the amount of medical bills that have accrued, as a result of the injury.  What’s most important in all rear-end accidents is getting the proper medical treatment as quickly as possible.  Without providing proof of your injuries to the insurance company through medical bills and other evidence, the more difficult it will be to be fairly compensated for your injuries.

How do insurance companies decide to total a car in Texas? The short answer is insurance companies can choose to repair your car up until the cost to repair exceeds the fair market value of your vehicle. However, insurance companies will usually total a vehicle when repairs exceed 50% – 75% of the value. It’s important to know whether the insurance company will be totaling your car after an accident. First, it gives you the opportunity to get an early jump start on researching comparable vehicles to present to the insurance company in order to increase your offer on the actual cash value of the car. Second, it will give you more time to shop for a replacement vehicle while the insurance company performs their investigation and estimate of the damages. Third, it may help to avoid accruing additional costs such as storage fees that the insurance company may refuse to pay if you failed to properly mitigate your damages by leaving your car at a storage facility for an unreasonable amount of time. Texas Law on When a Car is Totaled Texas law mandates how insurance companies determine when to total a vehicle and provides a formula, as indicated in the Texas Transportation Code. According to Texas Transportation Code Section 501.091(15), a salvage or “totaled” vehicle has damage to or is missing a major component part to the extent that the cost of repairs, including parts and labor other than the cost of materials and labor for repainting the motor vehicle and excluding sales tax on the total cost of repairs, exceeds the actual cash value of the motor vehicle immediately before the damage. In other words, the Texas total loss formula to determine whether a damaged vehicle must be a total loss is: Cost of Repair > Actual Cash Value If the total cost of repairs is greater than the actual cash value (ACV) or market value of car, then the insurance company will total the car. For example, if your 2008 Honda Accord has an actual cash value of $5,000 and the cost to repair it is $4,500, then your car would be totaled. $4,500 > $5,000 Please keep in mind that insurance companies may decide to total a vehicle when the damages are less than the actual cash value. The Texas Transportation Code just provides a damage threshold in which a vehicle will be considered totaled. Texas courts have also examined when a vehicle is totaled. In Canal Ins. Co. v. Hopkins Towing, No. 12-06-00411 (Tex. App.-Tyler 2007), the court ruled that a vehicle “is a total loss if a reasonably prudent uninsured owner, desiring to restore the property to its preincident condition, would not utilize that property for such restoration. Logic dictates that, absent other factors, a reasonably prudent uninsured owner would not repair a vehicle where the repair costs exceeded the vehicle’s preincident fair market value.” The court’s rationale in this case reinforces the Texas Transportation Code’s definition that a vehicle is totaled when the cost of repair exceeds the fair market value. For tips on how to handle your own car accident property damage case in Texas, click here.

Who pays for towing and storage after an accident? If your car was towed because of an accident in Texas, you may be wondering who pays for towing and storage. Of course, the answer will depend on the facts of your case, such as whether another driver or you caused the accident. Also relevant in answering this question is whether insurance covers towing and storage after an accident. The short answer is “yes,” towing and storage is covered under most car insurance policies. But, to know for sure whether insurance will cover these fees, you will need to know whether the at-fault driver has insurance, and whether you have “full coverage” insurance. In addition to answering who will be paying for towing and storage fees after a car accident, it’s also important to discuss the following related questions: What can I do if the insurance company won’t pay towing or storage fees? What are the car storage fees after an accident? The police towed my car after an accident. How can I find it? Who Pays for Towing and Storage After an Accident? Who pays for your towing and storage fees after a car accident depends on who was at-fault for the accident. In addition, whether there is insurance coverage to pay for the towing and storage fees will be relevant in determining who will pay.  Three scenarios are discussed below: Scenario 1: If the accident wasn’t your fault and the at-fault driver has insurance According to Texas Occupations Code Section 2303.156(b), “an insurance company that pays a claim of total loss on a vehicle in a vehicle storage facility is liable to the operator of the facility for any money owed to the operator in relation to delivery of the vehicle to or storage of the vehicle in the facility regardless of whether an amount accrued before the insurance company paid the claim.” So, if your vehicle is totaled and you were not at fault, the insurance company must pay towing and storage costs as well. However, in cases where your car was not totaled or where liability is still pending you can either use you own insurance, if you have towing and storage coverage, or you can pay out-of-pocket, save the receipts, and then submit these expenses to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for reimbursement.  Once they accept liability for the accident, they will reimburse you or your insurance company for what was paid for towing and storage. Scenario 2: If the accident wasn’t your fault and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have enough insurance, or was a hit-and-run If you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage for property damage (UMPD), you can file a UMPD claim with your own insurance company.  This will cover the damage to your car, towing and storage fees, and a rental car.  There is a deductible of $250 to use this coverage. Also, it is your insurance company’s burden to determine whether the at-fault driver had insurance in a Texas UMPD claim. If you don’t have UMPD coverage and have collision coverage, you can use this coverage to pay for the damage to your car, towing and storage fees, and a rental car. However, the deductible will usually be more than if you used UMPD coverage. Scenario 3: If the accident was your fault If you have collision coverage and/or towing and storage fee coverage with your own insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.  If you don’t have this coverage, double check by calling your insurance company. If they confirm that you don’t have this coverage, make sure you act quickly and retrieve your vehicle from the storage lot before the storage fees get out-of-hand.  If you leave your car in the storage lot for an extended amount of time and do not pay the fee, after proper notice is sent to you, the storage lot will eventually sell the car through a public sale, with the proceeds from the sale going towards the towing and storage fees.  Any remaining amount may be paid to the vehicle owner. What Can I Do If the Insurance Company Won’t Pay Towing or Storage Fees? The at-fault driver’s insurance company usually won’t pay towing and storage fees for several different reasons. We will discuss the most common reasons and some solutions below: The At-Fault Driver was Uninsured or Underinsured If the at-fault driver was uninsured, meaning they didn’t have an active auto liability insurance policy in affect at the time of the accident or didn’t have enough insurance to cover the damage to your vehicle and the cost to tow and store it after the accident, you can use your own insurance to cover these expenses. As discussed above, you can use either your uninsured / underinsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage or your collision coverage. This also applies if you were involved in a hit-and-run. The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Has Not Determined Liability Depending on the facts of the accident, the insurance company may take their time to investigate the accident to determine who was at fault for the accident and whether their insured was covered at the time of the accident. This usually happens if the liability isn’t clear cut, such as in a left-turn collision at an intersection or when more than one party is at fault. If the accident involves clear cut liability, such as in a rear-end accident, liability is usually more promptly accepted. If they are slow to respond, hiring a Texas car accident lawyer will encourage them to act more quickly. You Were Fully At-Fault or Partially At-Fault (More than 50%) for the Accident As in Scenario 3 above, if the accident was your fault, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under your collision coverage. If the insurance company determined that you were 50% or less at fault, you will still be entitled to some of your towing and storage fees. Texas is a “modified comparative…

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 14,282 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2017 alone, with 17,535 people sustaining a serious injury. These harrowing statistics translate into the following: One person was killed every two hours 21 minutes, one person was injured every two minutes four seconds, and one reportable crash occurred every 59 seconds that year. Even the safest of drivers can not control the actions of other motorists, and when someone else’s negligence causes a car accident, the physical and financial aftermath can be devastating.  Contacting the Milano Legal Group will help you understand your rights. Texas Legal Requirements If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas, you should follow these steps to ensure your rights are protected. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is your greatest asset, and needs to be protected first. Call for emergency medical services at the scene if anyone has been injured. If you do not believe you have been seriously injured, you still need to have an official medical evaluation done by a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional. This is not only important for your own health, but this official medical evaluation can be important and significant to your legal case. Additionally, it is important for you to document any symptoms starting from the initial car accident through to the present. Documentation of your injuries and keeping a file of your medical visits is important if you decide to file a personal injury claim.  Contact the police: Get the police to the scene of the accident so they can create a police report. If you do not contact the police immediately, you are required by law to file an accident report with the appropriate police department. Texas law requires you to file a Crash Report within 10 days after the accident if the police were not called to the scene of an accident and the accident resulted in either the injury or death of a person or property damage that is greater than $1,000. That police report may prove valuable to your future personal injury case.  Exchange Information: Attempt to obtain the personal identification, vehicle identification, and insurance information of all other drivers involved. Additionally, exchange information with any witnesses, if possible.   Document the Accident: If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, any injuries you may have suffered, the weather and road conditions, and any other pertinent information. This documentation can prove useful later if you choose to file a lawsuit.  Texas Car Insurance Texas is considered a “fault” insurance state, which means that you do not file with your own car insurance first, but rather, you may file an insurance claim directly with the other driver’s insurance if he or she was at-fault in the accident. This law allows every driver to be held personally liable for any damage that he or she may have caused. You should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as is reasonably feasible.  Filing an Insurance Claim According to the Texas Insurance Code Section 542.003, Texas law requires that insurance companies not engage in inappropriate or unfair claim settlement practices. Insurance companies are not allowed to misrepresent any facts or parts of your insurance policy or attempt to negotiate a settlement with you in bad faith. However, even with this law in place, insurance companies have teams of people working hard on their side and do not have your best interests in mind as they create settlement agreements.  Take an abundance of caution before signing a settlement that waives your rights to future compensation that you are owed. Working with an experienced car accident attorney who can compile accident reports, witness statements, police reports, medical claims, and other evidence can help strengthen your case and prevent you from accepting low-ball settlements from the insurance companies. Car Accident Settlement Amounts There is no specific amount or actuarial table that can directly calculate the amount that your car accident will ultimately be worth, but hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you understand your rights regarding how much compensation you may be owed. There are many factors that are involved in the determination of a settlement, including:  The severity of the car accident, and the severity of your personal injuries The cost of medical expenses, both already incurred and possible future expenses Lost wages, and potential future loss of wages Insurance coverage of both parties If you were partially at fault for the accident (Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” doctrine.)  Amount and quality of documentation  The ability of your attorney to successfully negotiate your settlement or argue your case in court.  Texas Statute of Limitations A “statute of limitations” refers to a law that limits your time to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a personal injury claim by this deadline established by Texas law, then the Texas courts will not hear your case and potentially dismiss it. Texas statute of limitations laws are quite strict, and according to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003, the deadline to file a claim in a personal injury case related to a car accident is within two years of the date of the accident. Contact an Attorney If you have suffered personal injuries due to a car accident in Texas, contacting an experienced car accident attorney should be one of your first steps. The statute of limitations laws in Texas is short and quite strict. Filing your claim within that time limit is vital to ensure that you do not lose the ability to obtain the compensation you are owed due to the negligence of another. Working with an experienced car accident attorney at the Milano Legal Group will help you understand your rights. Our legal team can compile accident reports, witness statements, police reports, medical claims, and other appropriate evidence to not only help strengthen your case and ensure that you file in a timely manner, but also help you obtain the compensation…

First, if you’ve been involved in any car accident, you need to make sure that you or anyone in your vehicle aren’t injured. If anyone is injured, seek medical treatment immediately. If there are injuries, it’s best to contact a Houston car accident lawyer to evaluate your case. Whether there are injuries or not, the following 12 tips for handling your own car accident property damage case will steer you in the right direction when dealing with the stress of a car accident. 1. Know the Texas Statute of Limitations for Property Damage You need to make sure you’re “still in the game” statutorily and that you haven’t lost your rights to receive compensation for your losses under Texas law. Note: the statute of limitations for Texas property damage cases is two years from the date of the accident. In uninsured / underinsured motorist property damage claims against your own insurance company, the statutes of limitation are more complicated, which include breach of contract (four years–generally), bad faith (two years); and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (two years). However, when these statutes start to run are different in every case and your insurance company may contract around them.  So, it’s best to call a Houston car accident attorney to avoid losing your rights. 2. Get Your Texas Car Accident Police Report After you have been involved in a car accident, even a minor one, call 911 and have a police officer write a car crash report (Peace Officer’s Crash Report – CR-3 Form).  This is important for several reasons: you need to document that the accident occurred; you’ll need information from the report to assist you in filing a claim with the insurance company; and usually the officer will assign fault by citing the driver responsible for the accident or will provide contributing factors based on their investigation, which will help with determining liability later.  According to Texas Transportation Code Section 550.062, a Texas police officer is required to write a Peace Officer’s Crash Report whenever the accident resulted in injury or death or property damage of $1,000 or more. This report must be filed with the department no later than 10 days after the accident.  If the accident doesn’t immediately involve injury or death or property damage that exceeds $1,000, then you should still fill out a Blue Form Crash Report (CR-2 Form), even though it’s not legally required.  The CR-2 Driver’s Crash Form is for the driver’s records only and, as of September 1, 2017, is no longer turned in or retained by the Texas Department of Transportation. Drivers involved in a crash not investigated by a peace officer should retain this form for their records and fill them out as soon as possible so not to fail to put any important details that may be forgotten from passage of time. Find out how to get your crash reports below: Harris County Dallas County Fort Worth San Antonio 3. If your car isn’t drivable, keep track of where it is being taken and stored.  Have it moved quickly to a repair shop of your choice or to the insurance company’s storage facility to avoid accruing fees. The whereabouts of your car will usually be given to you by the tow truck driver and will also be noted on the police report. However, it’s important to have this information up front so that you can accurately give this information to either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company when you file your claim. The insurance company will need to know where the car is stored in order to send an adjuster to estimate the damages and move it to a repair shop.  Keep in mind, that under Texas law you have the right to choose which repair shop your vehicle is repaired, as well as the replacement parts that are used.  If your vehicle is stored at a storage lot, you will be assessed a daily fee, which can quickly add up.  Even if it was the other driver’s fault, it is your duty under Texas law to “mitigate your damages.” This means that you must take reasonable steps to reduce the damages, cost, and to prevent them from getting worse. If you do not mitigate your damages and just let your car sit in the storage lot for an unreasonable amount of time, the insurance company will not be responsible for paying all the storage fees. If the insurance company is still investigating liability, try to have the insurance company move the vehicle to their storage facility to avoid accruing fees. For more information about Texas car accident storage fees, click here. 4. If the accident wasn’t your fault, file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.  If you haven’t hired a Texas car accident attorney, make sure when you talk to the insurance representative that’s opening your claim, to stick to the facts of the accident and be consistent with what you told the police officer that investigated your accident and wrote your report. The insurance company will later have access to the crash report and will know whether there were inconsistencies in your side of the story you told the police and what you have told them when you filed the claim. Be concise, truthful, consistent, and try not to be emotional. You’ll be giving the insurance representative mostly basic information such as your name, address, date of birth, vehicle information, where your car is being stored, and location and time the accident occurred. They will also ask if you suffered any injuries as a result of the accident.  If you feel any pain at this point, it’s best to contact a Texas car accident attorney to get their advice before speaking to the insurance company regarding your injuries.  Most people don’t know how to properly approach these questions when asked by the insurance company. The insurance representative will then provide you with a claim number and claim adjuster’s name…

average wrongful death settlement

A wrongful death action allows certain family members to receive compensation when a loved one dies. There are many different examples of wrongful death, including accidental deaths in car accidents. If a family member has been killed in a crash, you might be interested in the average wrongful death settlement. However, there is no average wrongful death settlement in Texas. No one has kept that information, since settlements are usually private. Also, each case is different and must be understood based on its own facts. Below, we run down through the considerations that help an attorney estimate the amount a client can receive in a wrongful death settlement. Wrongful Death Damages Damages are awarded to family members to compensate for the loss of their loved one. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to compensation for: Lost earnings Loss of support or services your loved one provided Loss of care the deceased provided Loss of comfort, companionship, society, and love Loss of an inheritance Calculating the amount you can receive in a settlement is difficult. For example, to calculate lost income, an attorney will need to know your loved one’s age, the amount he or she made while living, as well as education and experience. Other losses are harder to put a price tag on. No amount of money can make up for the loss of love and companionship that you have suffered. However, a jury cannot bring your loved one back to life, so giving an award of money is the only other option. Limitations on Settlements You can’t always get 100% of what you deserve after a car accident. One common reason: the driver did not carry enough insurance to fully cover your losses. For example, your husband might have died at age 26. This means he probably had 40 years (at least) of working life ahead of him. The amount of income he could have made during those four decades probably totals more than $1 million and sometimes much more. Unfortunately, few drivers have an insurance policy large enough to cover this amount of loss. Instead, Texas law requires that those registering a motor vehicle carry only the minimum amount of liability insurance, which is currently $30,000. If the defendant has other assets—such as investments or money sitting in a bank account—then it makes sense to sue to recover more money than the insurance policy provides. However, many people don’t have any other assets, so the insurance policy represents the maximum recovery. Questions about the Average Settlement for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? Contact Us At Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we have helped countless motorists just like you get the money you deserve after a devastating accident. In your moment of grief, call us. We can handle all the legal issues and allow you to focus on what matters most—your family. To schedule a free consultation, please contact out firm today.

who pays for rental car after car accident

Getting your vehicle damaged in an accident can be frustrating in both your personal and professional life. You need a car to get to work, run errands, and do a number of other day-to-day tasks. In many cases after a car accident, the victim is entitled to a rental car, but who pays for a rental car after a car accident? An experienced Texas car accident attorney can ensure that the insurance company covers those costs following an accident, and at the Milano Legal Group our office is here to help. Call or contact the office today to learn more about your legal options after a car accident. Rights to a Rental Car Case law dictates that victims of a car accident are legally entitled to a rental vehicle after an accident. Furthermore, the costs of a rental vehicle can be included as part of an overall settlement in a car accident legal case. The insurance company should cover the costs of a rental vehicle, but you will need to follow specific steps in order to ensure that the insurer will pay for the rental car expenses. An experienced attorney will be able to help you through the process to make sure that you will not bear the burden of paying for your own rental vehicle. Steps for Getting a Rental Car After an accident, it is important that you collect the name of the other driver, their address and phone number, their insurance company information, and the policy number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their names and contact information, as well. Pictures and videos of the accident scene are also incredibly helpful to this process, so if possible, try to also document the scene. The next step is to contact both the insurance company as well as the police to report the accident. The insurance company will begin the claims process while the police will create an accident report that can be used as evidence later in a legal case. Many states legally require police notification if the damage is over a certain value or if anyone was injured as a result of the crash. Depending on the specific facts of your case, either your insurance company or the insurer of the other driver will cover the costs of your rental vehicle. If the other driver was clearly at fault, the other insurance company should cover the costs. If you have rental coverage as part of your auto insurance, your insurer may pay for the rental vehicle and go after the at-fault driver for compensation of the costs. Rental reimbursement coverage is an additional liability coverage you can purchase for your vehicle. A knowledgeable car accident attorney will be able to communicate and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance companies as well as arrange your rental car so that you can focus on what is most important – your recovery. Call or Contact the Office Today To learn more about payment for rental vehicles or other issues that arise from car accidents in the Houston area, call or contact the Milano Legal Group today to schedule a free consultation of your case.

rideshare settlement amounts

One of the fastest growing options for transportation are rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Rideshare companies allow people to use their personal vehicles like taxis, driving passengers to their destinations for a set fee. However, with the advent of ridesharing comes rideshare accidents, and confusing questions can arise about who is liable in a rideshare accident as well as what a Lyft or Uber settlement amount is worth. With experience handling all types of auto accident cases in the Houston area, our office is here to represent you in your rideshare accident and help you understand what a rideshare settlement might be worth. Uber and Lyft Insurance Policies Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies carry auto insurance coverage for the vehicles operating under their company banner. Both Uber and Lyft carry third party liability coverage up to $1 million for personal injuries and property damage per accident. In addition, these companies maintain uninsured/underinsured coverage up to $1 million per accident. The policies only apply during a ride, from the time that a driver picks up a passenger to when the passenger is dropped off, and not in between rides. However, these policies only apply in certain situations when a rideshare accident occurs. What Insurance Coverage Applies? Determining what insurance coverage applies is based on the specific facts of your case. A typical auto insurance policy has an exception for business use, which means that the insurer will not cover damages that occur while the driver is using the vehicle in a for-profit way unless the driver has a commercial driving provision that covers their vehicle as a rideshare driver. In an accident where the rideshare driver is at fault, the insurance policy of the driver applies first, and the rideshare company’s third party policy kicks in if the total compensation exceeds the driver’s personal policy limits. If the accident is caused by the driver of the other vehicle and not the rideshare driver, then the insurance policy of the at fault driver will apply to your claims. All drivers in Texas are required to carry minimum auto insurance coverage while on the road. If the driver at fault is uninsured, underinsured, or is unknown due to a hit and run accident, the rideshare company’s uninsured/underinsured policy may apply to your case. You should only trust a knowledgeable car accident attorney with a case involving a rideshare company due to the potentially complex nature of your claims against multiple entities that could cover the damages caused by the accident. Talk to a Qualified Attorney Today Accidents involving rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft can be complex and fact-specific to your case. To learn more about Uber and Lyft settlement payouts as well as a free review of your claims, call the office or contact us today at the Milano Legal Group in Houston to speak with a knowledgeable Texas auto accident attorney now.

Texas law requires that all people who register a car carry a minimum amount of car insurance. In particular, a driver should have at least $30,000 in personal injury liability coverage to pay for a victim’s medical bills and lost wages, up to $60,000 maximum if two or more people were hurt. But many drivers fail to carry the required amount of insurance or any insurance at all. Indeed, according to Value Penguin, about 14% of drivers in Texas do not have insurance. What happens if you were hit by an uninsured motorist in Texas? Can you receive compensation for your injuries? Below are the key considerations. Should You Use Your Health Insurance to Pay for Care? Under Texas law, the driver responsible for the accident must cover your medical expenses. However, if the driver is uninsured, you need to consider other options. One option could be to use your health insurance. However, there are serious reasons not to rely on it. For example, you will be responsible for paying your deductible and your copay, which might be very expensive. If the other driver had insurance, you could get reimbursed in a settlement, but since the driver is uninsured there is no guarantee you will receive any money. Some health insurance plans also exclude car accident injuries from coverage. Read your policy to find out more. What Other Insurance Can You Use? Texas law also requires that insurers offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which is called “UM” insurance. If you don’t want it, you must reject it in writing. This insurance covers the situation where an uninsured motorist in Texas hits you and causes damage. You can receive compensation for the following using UM coverage: Medical bills Lost wages Property damage Check your insurance paperwork to see that you have UM coverage. You will end up making a claim with your insurer for compensation. Generally, you can receive compensation up to the maximum of your policy. Should You Consider a Lawsuit? Even if the driver who struck you doesn’t have insurance, you still can sue. If you win the case, the driver will need to use other assets to pay your judgment. Now, in some situations, this might not be practical. After all, a driver who cannot buy insurance probably doesn’t have a lot of cash sitting around in a bank account, so it may be difficult to have your judgment paid. You can also seize assets and sell them, but many assets will be exempt or the driver might not have any. Still, bringing a lawsuit is an option if you were hit by uninsured driver, and you should discuss it with an attorney. You might also want to sue if your losses exceed the maximum amount of your uninsured motorist policy. Will a Lawyer Help Me? Yes. At Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we have represented many people who were struck by an uninsured motorist in Texas who need compensation to help pay their bills. If you have questions, contact our firm. We offer a free, confidential initial consultation to those who were injured.