If you’ve been in a car accident and you need compensation for your injuries and damages, then one of the goals you and your lawyer may have is to maximize your settlement. Maximizing your settlement is about ensuring that your settlement will cover all your damages, including any ongoing treatments you may have for your injuries. There are a few ways your car accident attorney can help you maximize your settlement.
How Can a Car Accident Attorney Maximize Your Settlement?
A Houston car wreck attorney will have a few ways to help you maximize your settlement. Your lawyer will use a variety of strategies to present your case to insurance companies or to a judge during a trial to establish your injuries, your damages, and the compensation you deserve. Some of these strategies can include:
Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are one of the most common ways to increase your settlement. While there may be caps on how much you can claim for injuries and property damage, you may be able to add a significant amount based on pain and suffering calculations. In general, your compensation for non-economic damages will be calculated based on the evidence of your suffering and other details related to your case.
Non-economic damages can include the loss of relationships, disability, and more. No two cases are the same so it’s difficult to estimate an exact number that you can expect for non-economic damages, but when these damages are included in your settlement, they can typically significantly raise your settlement amount.
Evidence and IME Reports
Evidence related to your case can also be used to maximize your settlement. The more evidence you have in your case, the more likely you are to receive compensation that will account for your lost wages, medical bills, vehicle repairs, and medical expenses related to future treatments. The evidence for your case can include video and photographic evidence, witness testimony, and even forensic expert opinion regarding the cause of the accident.
One of the most important pieces of evidence that can be used to maximize your settlement is an IME report, which is an independent medical examination. An IME report will attest to the degree of your injury and will paint a more comprehensive picture of your suffering, as well as your future recovery and work prospects.
Experience and Knowledge
A lawyer who has experience and knowledge of Texas laws will also be able to use skills to maximize your settlement. If your trial goes to court, then your lawyer will need to use legal knowledge and debate skills to represent your interests to the judge. If your lawyer has experience and good communication skills, then they will be able to fully leverage the extent of your damages and evidence related to your case to ensure that your compensation is fair.
Settling Out of Court
Your lawyer may also be able to maximize your settlement by settling outside of court. You can usually settle outside of court when your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company using the evidence related to your case to increase the settlement offer. Sometimes, your lawyer can also settle your case outside of court by negotiating directly with the other motorist’s legal representative.
How Comparative Negligence Factors Into Your Settlement
Texas is a comparative negligence state, which can have a huge influence on your compensation. When comparative negligence cases are triggered, it’s because one driver is claiming that they are not liable for the accident.
In these cases, this means that you will need to prove your degree of liability, which then determines the percentage of the total compensation you’ll be able to claim. It’s the goal to be found less than 51% liable for the accident, which will entitle you to compensation awarded by the court. The less liable you are for the accident, the more conversation you will deserve. This is why evidence is so crucial for your case.
What About Settlement Caps?
There are some caps related to settlements for car accidents in Texas. For example, limits on accident settlements can include $100,000 if the accident is related to a public servant’s job and two times the amount of economic damages plus the amount of non-economic damages. There is a 50% limit on modified comparative negligence cases. Your lawyer will be knowledgeable about these settlement caps and other limitations related to your case, such as the statute of limitations.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney will have the experience to help you maximize your settlement after an accident. Your settlement should pay for economic damages and non-economic damages. Using evidence related to your case, your lawyer will be able to make a case for comparative negligence and for pain and suffering damages, both of which can be used to be sure that your settlement offer is fair.