The Victim’s Guide to Car Crash Compensation

Car crash victims are generally entitled to compensation. If you’ve been injured in a car accident — or worse, a big rig or semi-truck accident — you’re probably wondering how you will pay your medical bills, your injuries, missed work, and repairs. But, how much will the insurance policies pay out? What do you need to do to get the insurance company to pay? What if the other driver was drunk, high, or texting while driving? If you’re the victim in a car crash, the amount of total compensation you receive for your injuries and damages will depend on many different factors. Here’s a guide.

What if the other driver says the car accident was my fault?

Sometimes you have to prove the accident was not your fault.  You should always call the police to make a report, take photos of the vehicles and the other driver’s information, call your and the other driver’s insurance company, and contact a personal injury lawyer afterward to get immediate help with your legal emergency.  An experienced personal injury legal emergency lawyer can help you prove your case.

Texas is a “fault” state with regard to car accidents. This means that the driver who is judged to be most responsible for the crash will have to compensate the victims out of their own auto insurance policy or in some cases, their own pocket. The driver less responsible for causing the accident will generally not have to use their own car insurance to pay for injuries and repairs, unless they were partially at fault, or the more-at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured. 

How much money will the insurance company pay me after a car accident?

In Texas, drivers are legally required to carry auto insurance policies with the following minimum coverage:

  • $30,000 of coverage for injuries per person; with a minimum of,
  • $60,000 total injury coverage per accident; and 
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage (car repairs and/or buying a new car)

That said, how much money you may be awarded after a car wreck is not necessarily limited to the at-fault driver’s auto policy limits. And keep in mind that the responsible driver’s insurance company will usually try to low-ball you with their settlement offer.  You shouldn’t accept it or sign any documents until you’ve consulted the best car accident personal injury attorney in your area.

What can I sue the other driver for after a car accident?

If you were the victim or a careless or reckless driver you may be eligible to receive different types of economic, non-economic, and potentially punitive damages. 

Economic damages you may sue for include:

  • Hospital and medical bills
  • Lost income or wages due to the accident
  • Permanent injuries that affect your future earning potential
  • Property damage (repairing your car or buying a new one if it was totaled)
  • Towing or impound expenses

Non-economic damages you may sue for might include:

  • Pain and suffering (past, present, and future)
  • Mental anguish and/or emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

Depending on the nature of your case, punitive damages and attorney’s fees may also be awarded to you.

How much money will I get if I was injured in a car accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident in Texas, the amount of money you can recover in a lawsuit or insurance claim will depend on whether you were more than 50% at fault for the accident. If an insurance adjuster or court judges you to be more than 50% at fault for a car wreck in Texas, you will receive no money from the other driver or their insurance policy at all. Your own car insurance company will have to pay for your repairs and the injuries sustained by other people. You will need to use your own health insurance to pay for your own injuries. If an insurance adjuster or court judges you to be less than 50% at fault, but still partially at fault, your compensation for the accident will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. Contact an experienced personal injury legal emergency lawyer to help you navigate through the claim process and fight for your rights.

How can I get the biggest payment after a car wreck?

At our personal injury law offices in Houston and Austin, we handle car and trucking accident cases all the time. We have won million-dollar payouts for clients, but the specific amount you may expect to recover will vary considerably based on the facts of the wreck and the extent of the harm, injuries and losses. Your compensation after a car crash may be increased if: 

  • The at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • The at-fault driver was texting while driving or talking on their cell phone when the accident occurred;
  • The at-fault driver was a commercial driver of a semi-truck, big rig, or 18-wheeler;
  • Someone was killed in the accident;
  • You or a loved one’s injuries are permanent, severe, and debilitating;
  • The at-fault driver left the scene of the accident (otherwise known as a “hit-and-run”);
  • A doctor or other medical provider says your injuries will require long-term care and treatment;
  • You are unable to work at your usual profession, or any profession, because of your injuries.

Can I get paid if I was a passenger who got hurt in a car accident?

Yes. If you were not the driver of the car, but were riding in it when the accident happened, you need to file an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurer. If the drivers were both at fault, or shared fault for the accident, you may need to file a claim with both of their car insurance companies. If you are an injured passenger in a car wreck it is best to hire a personal injury attorney to handle all of this for you.

What if the other driver says a car accident was my fault?

Don’t respond. After a car accident immediately call the police.  Even in minor damages cases, you need to report the facts of the accident and your injuries.  Many times, the driver who is actually to blame for the accident will go on the offensive and try to blame the other driver. Police officers can help you document damage and injuries, assess the situation, and take notes about the general condition and orientation of both drivers involved. That way, when you need to sue the other driver for damages, you have an official record of the accident.

How do I get the maximum possible payout after a car accident?

If you want the short answer, it’s “hire the best personal injury lawyer you can.” But, ultimately the answer to the question depends on some other things you can do after an accident to help you get the highest dollar amount for your injuries and damage:

  • Call the police.
  • Take control of the scene of the accident, if possible, and gather as much information as you can about the other drivers and vehicles involved, take pictures, and get and witness’s contact information.
  • Take lots of pictures of the damage to your car as well as any other vehicles involved.
  • Go to the emergency room right after the accident — even if you feel fine. Sometimes the trauma of an accident does not set in immediately as you are full of adrenaline.  You need to have all potential injuries assessed and documented by a medical professional.
  • Follow-up with a treating doctor within a few days of the emergency room.  Insurance companies will argue that you must not have been really hurt if you didn’t follow up with a doctor or get additional treatment.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders.  If your doctor refers you to physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, or specialists, you must follow up and get to those appointments.  Again, the insurance company will argue that you must not have been really hurt if you did not do what your doctor said to do.
  • Keep a detailed record of all the expenses, lost wages, or any other loss you have incurred as a result of the accident.

Do I need a car accident lawyer near me?

If you have been injured in a car accident, you will want to hire the best personal injury lawyer near you to ensure you get the maximum possible payment amount from insurance companies and reckless drivers. Whether you were one of the drivers involved in the accident, or a passenger who got hurt, don’t try to settle things on your own or take on the insurance companies yourself. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced legal emergency car accident attorney in your area. Here at Attorney 911, we have decades of experience in all types of car crash lawsuits and we are committed and aggressive about getting you the compensation you deserve. Call us today. We want to hear your story and see how we can help.

Have questions? We protect victims like you every day.

Call 888-ATTY-911


About Attorney911 
Legal Emergency Lawyers™ legal services

Attorney911 Legal Emergency Lawyers™ legal services is a Texas-based personal injury and criminal defense law firm with offices in Houston and Austin, though we are proud to serve Texans from all over the state and represent clients in federal court. We handle a wide variety of legal issues — from car accidents to worker’s compensation to DUI/DWI offenses. Our staff is bilingual, friendly, and genuinely passionate about helping our clients, whether it’s a million-dollar case or a thousand-dollar case. We also understand that cost can be a prohibitive factor in hiring a lawyer, and are willing to work with you on structuring payment in a way that is fair and feasible. We do accept credit cards for our hourly fees, and take some cases on contingency, which means you don’t pay us unless and until you get paid yourself. We know that you have a choice in your legal representation, and we believe that what makes us stand out from the competition is our real emotional investment in our clients. We see you as a person — not a paycheck. And we will fight hard for you, because we truly care.