How Much Can Someone Sue for a Car Accident?

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it can be challenging to get the compensation you deserve. In some situations, you may even need to file a lawsuit to be reimbursed for the financial and physical harm you have suffered from the accident.

Can I sue someone for a car accident?

Yes, you can sue someone for a car accident if you were injured by their negligence, which means they acted with complete disregard for how their actions will affect others. When it comes to driving, negligent activities can include speeding, failing to yield, swerving in traffic, and any other careless driving behaviors that cause an accident.

To sue a driver for negligence, you or your lawyer must prove that the other driver’s conduct violated a legal duty to drive carefully, and their behavior caused injuries and/or damage to you or your property. 

How much can someone sue for a car accident?

When you sue someone for a car accident, the amount of money you recover is called “damages.” Examples of factors that can impact the amount of damages you can receive include:

  • The severity and types of injuries suffered
  • Any permanent effects or disfigurement from the injuries
  • The severity of the disfigurement and permanent effects
  • The amount of pain the injuries created
  • The amount of medical evidence available
  • The intensity and duration of medical treatments
  • The length of the recovery period
  • Treatment costs
  • The amount of wages lost
  • The impact of the accident on your daily life

Because these factors could contribute to a higher jury award in a lawsuit, life insurance companies will also take these factors under consideration when determining a settlement offer. 

The amount of money you can receive can also be limited if you were partially at fault for the accident. Under Texas law, each party in an accident will be assigned a certain percentage of responsibility for the accident. Only parties that are 50% or less at fault for the accident can recover, so if someone is found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident. This model of apportioning fault is called a “modified comparative fault” model. For example, in a car accident where the other driver is 80% at fault and you are 20% at fault, you can only be compensated for 80% of your injuries.  

When to sue in a car accident

Most car crash cases settle without going to court. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may need to sue to get the compensation you deserve. The cost of litigation is high, and it can take a year or two to receive a judgment. You should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to determine if litigation is the best recovery option for your case.

Make sure you choose a law firm that is willing to take your case to court. You want to pick a law firm that will refuse to give in to insurance companies and will fight for you to receive full compensation for your injuries, even if it means more time and work for the firm.  

How long after a car accident can you sue?

State laws limit how long after a car accident you can sue. This time limit is called the statute of limitations, and if you don’t file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you lose your right to sue. In Texas, the statute of limitation for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident. While this might sound like plenty of time, negotiating with the insurance company, receiving medical treatment, and collecting evidence can take a while. For this reason, it’s crucial that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

What if someone sues you after a car accident?

If someone sues you after a car accident you were involved in, the worst thing you can do is ignore it.  The moment you receive official notice of the lawsuit, the clock begins to run for case deadlines, and if you miss these deadlines, the court could enter a default judgment against you, even if the accident was not really your fault. 

If you are sued, you should contact your insurance company right away. They will often provide an attorney to defend you, but if they do not, you’ll need to find your own personal injury lawyer to defend you. 

When should I contact a car accident lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case to determine what damages you could receive and help you decide on the best course of action for obtaining maximum compensation. Your lawyer will also handle all insurance company communication, so you should schedule a consultation immediately after the accident.

Do I need a car accident lawyer near me?

Even though you are not legally required to hire a car accident lawyer to represent you in an insurance claim or a personal injury case, a knowledgeable attorney can help you negotiate a larger insurance settlement. If the offered settlement is too low,  a car accident lawyer can help you sue to recover full compensation for your injuries. 

Have questions? We protect victims like you every day.

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Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Settlements
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
The Victim’s Guide to Car Crash Compensation
How to Negotiate a Car Accident Settlement

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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.