If you’ve suffered an injury following a car accident, you might wonder what to expect as your personal injury settlement award. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we have decades of experience representing countless accident victims and recovering over $100,000,000. Based on our experience, we separate myth from reality regarding Texas personal injury settlement below.

Myth No. 1: Personal Injury Victims Are Awarded Exaggerated, Inflated Settlements

Reality: Personal injury victims are awarded settlements that reflect their actual losses.

Two decades ago, a boy lost his arm to a shark attack. That same year was considered an epidemic of shark attacks even though the frequency of attacks had not increased from prior years. The reason? Media coverage. When the media sensationalizes an isolated event, people tend to think that the event happens much more than it does.

The same is true for personal injury settlements. When the media highlights high-profile personal injury cases with seemingly large, exaggerated settlement amounts, people may think all personal injury cases involve some level of exaggeration or fraud.

The truth is that personal injury settlements are not intended to result in a profit to you. Settlements are based on a victim’s actual losses, which can sometimes be hard to quantify.

A Settlement Award Is based on the Accident Victim’s Economic and Noneconomic Losses.

In a personal injury settlement, a victim is awarded damages. A damages award is money awarded as compensation for a loss, and a loss can be economic or noneconomic. Damages are awarded to restore you to the financial position you would have been in had the accident never occurred.

Economic Damages 

Economic damages represent the amount of money the victim has lost because of the injury. Economic damages are easier to quantify. They represent the amount of money the victim has lost and will lose due to the accident. In 2021, the average comprehensive cost of a car accident that resulted in an apparent injury was $221,000.

Medical expenses are the perfect example of economic damages. A person who suffers an injury from an accident will incur medical bills from doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medication, surgeries, rehabilitation, etc. The damages award will compensate the victim for the medical expenses. The cost of repairing or replacing your car–your property damage–is also recoverable.

Economic damages also include lost income. If you cannot work due to an injury caused by the accident, you are entitled to lost wages. If the injury results in a permanent injury that prevents you from working in the future, your economic damages also include your future lost wages.

Another example is the cost of home modifications. Sometimes, an accident causes an injury so severe that a victim has to modify their home to accommodate their condition. For example, a victim who develops paraplegia after a car accident may need to install a wheelchair ramp in their home. Their economic damages should include the cost of the installation.

Noneconomic Damages 

While economic damages compensate you for your financial losses, non-economic damages compensate you for your personal losses. These damages are meant to compensate you for the emotional and physical tolls your injury has caused.

Non-economic damages include:

An experienced personal injury lawyer will present a complete picture of how your life has changed since the accident to prove your noneconomic damages. This may involve presenting your testimony, psychological evaluations, and testimony from your family and friends.

Myth No. 2: If Your Personal Injury Case Isn’t Very Complicated, You Don’t Need a Lawyer.

Reality: It is best to consult a personal injury attorney.

Even if your case appears simple, it is best to consult a personal injury attorney. What seems simple may present a maze of legal questions to an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury laws can be complex, and a skilled attorney will apply their knowledge of the law to pursue the damages you deserve.

Insurance companies are in the business of minimizing personal injury settlements. An experienced personal injury attorney will skillfully negotiate with the insurance companies to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

If your personal injury case goes to court, a personal injury attorney will know how to navigate the legal system. This involves knowing how to investigate a case, gather evidence, initiate a lawsuit, hire experts, present the evidence in court, research and apply the law, and present the most compelling arguments.

You’ll want an experienced lawyer to help you after a car accident.

Myth No. 3: Personal Injury Cases Always End Up in Court

Reality: Most cases settle out of court.

When you picture a lawyer, you might immediately picture a person dressed in a suit, appearing in a courtroom. The reality is that most of a lawyer’s work—even a personal injury lawyer—happens in an office, on a desk.

Most cases settle out of court. Many personal injury lawyers will begin working on your case by investigating it—gathering evidence like police reports, photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, and medical records. Then, the lawyers will use their negotiation skills to obtain compensation that covers your losses. If the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement, the lawyers will use their expertise to initiate and prosecute a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

Myth No. 4: You Cannot Obtain a Personal Injury Settlement if You Are Partially at Fault

Reality: Even if you were partially at fault, you may still recover damages.

Texas follows a modified comparative negligence system. This means that even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still recover damages if your percentage of fault is less than or equal to 50 percent. Suppose a jury determines you were 20 percent at fault for an accident. If your damages are $100,000, then the total compensation to which you are entitled is $80,000.

Myth No. 5: You’ll Get a Paycheck Quickly

Reality: No two cases are identical, and the settlement timing varies depending on various factors.

Some accident victims believe they will receive a settlement check quickly after an accident. The truth is that it all depends on the nature of the case. In some cases, a personal injury lawyer can help you settle pretty quickly. In others, it might take a few months or even years.

A Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With Your Settlement

An experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after a personal injury accident. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Texas

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our personal injury lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office
1310 W El Paso St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 294-1900

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office (Secondary)
6618 Fossil Bluff Dr # 108, Fort Worth, TX 76137
(817) 631-4113

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office
408 W Eighth St Suite 202, Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 327-8000

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office (Secondary)
6301 Gaston Ave suite 610, Dallas, TX 75214
(469) 457-4711