How to Determine The Value of Your Automobile Accident Case Under Texas Law
Following a car accident, Texas law has several mechanisms that allow you to recover for any losses that you have suffered. Typically, your attorney must either file suit or seek to resolve the claim by brokering a settlement with the defendant's insurance company.
The most important step in resolving your claim is first establishing at least some parameters for what your case is worth. Sadly, no web tutorial can fully explain to you how to properly evaluate your claim because there are no tables or set formulas that valuate what the law entitles you recover. In other words, there are no laws that give you X dollars for Y injury or Z-level damage to your car. Instead, your attorney must go find and "prove up" evidence that can be admitted into court that shows exactly what you lost as a result of the accident.
Below, we'll talk generally about what impacts your case's value. If you've not already, make sure you check out our Comprehensive Guide to Car Accident Law today.
The "value factors" of your case.
The value of a case is derived from three important elements: 1) the damages that you can substantiate; 2) the venue where the case is litigated; and 3) the amount of leverage that you can exert on the defendants.
- Damages (Injuries or Other Losses) Which You Can Substantiate: In a perfectly simple world where liability is not disputed, you would just calculate all of your damages and arrive at a figure. Unfortunately, you're essentially starting at zero before a jury and have to build from there. That means your attorney will need to secure your medical bills, car repair estimates, proof of lost income, and costs of what future medical treatment you will need and convince the jury that these costs are reasonable, and connected to the accident. Further, your attorney is allowed to ask the jury to set a dollar amount of "pain and suffering" that you've gone through. None of the damages are simple or easy to prove, but require thorough, painstaking legal work.
- The Venue or Location You're Bringing the Lawsuit: Another very important factor in your car accident case is the venue or location where your lawsuit is brought. This is because of the fact that juries in certain regions will generally award higher verdicts in your favor. A case in one county will often be worth more in another county. There are a number of procedural elements that go into picking the best venue for your lawsuit and a skilled attorney that has handled car accident cases in the past will know the differences between each county in order to make sure that the most favorable location is selected for your lawsuit. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have handled cases all over the state of Texas. As a result, our lawyers know the different venues and the possible recoveries available in each respective county for your lawsuit.
- Amount of Leverage you can Exert on the Defendants In order to exert pressure on the defendants, you have to have the above two elements working in your favor. You must have a strong enough case for damages and the correct venue in order to establish that the jury will likely award you a large amount of recovery. In addition, you must have chosen a venue that will ensure your case is as valuable as possible. But the true pressure comes from having attorneys on your side who are willing to go the distance and try your case before a jury. Most attorneys are afraid of the courtroom and have never tried a case before. When the defendants are convinced that a jury could potentially "pop" them for a great deal of money, they tend to offer more reasonable settlements.
Determining the worth of your case.
In determining the worth of any case, there are two things to consider: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damage are pretty straightforward. These are things like property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. All of these are things that can have a firm dollar amount affixed to them. You add them all together, and you have your economic damages.
However, the worth of non-economic damages can be a little more nebulous. These are things such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. The worth of these things is typically estimated based on what you think a jury would reward you for them, then added together, much like economic damages. This amount is then taken to the defendants. If they don't agree with your assessment and refuse to pay you the amount you've arrived at, you're free to continue negotiating, or to take them to court. The wiser of the two options depends on the specifics of your case.
When taking all of these things into consideration, nobody can honestly claim to know exactly how much a case will be worth to the dollar. However, with attorneys familiar with these types of claims, you stand to receive the maximum recovery possible. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have been litigating car accident lawsuits for decades and have the requisite experience to ensure that your lawsuit has a high likelihood of obtaining a favorable outcome. To discuss your potential lawsuit for free, contact us today at (855) 326-0000.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- How We Research the Defendant in Your Case
- How Do Accidents Caused by People Driving Borrowed Vehicles Work?
- What a Claims Adjuster Really Does