When you are injured in an accident that is someone else’s fault, you are entitled to financial compensation under Texas law. The amount you can recover is based on the amount you have lost (and will lose in the future). In order to protect yourself, you need to work with an attorney to calculate your current and future losses, and you must not settle until you are certain that the insurance company’s settlement offer provides adequate compensation for the costs of your collision.
Understanding Your Right to Insurance Coverage After an Auto Accident in Texas
The losses you can recover after an auto accident in Texas fall into two main categories: (i) financial and (ii) non-financial. The only exception to this is if you are limited to filing a claim under your own personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) policy. While PIP and MedPay are optional forms of insurance coverage in Texas, purchasing coverage allows you to seek compensation regardless of who is at fault in a collision. In exchange for providing “no-fault” coverage, however, the compensation available under PIP and MedPay is limited to certain financial losses only.
But, Texas law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance that covers other drivers’ and passengers’ losses when the insured driver is at fault. As a result, in most cases, recovering your losses after an accident involves filing a claim under the other driver’s policy. These types of claims allow for the recovery of both financial and non-financial losses; and, again, it will be important for you to work with an experienced attorney to make sure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
Financial Losses You Can Recover After an Auto Accident in Texas
Financial losses are those that involve either: (i) money coming out of your bank account; or, (ii) money not going into your bank account. They also include costs you incur that you are unable to afford. For example, if you go into debt because your injuries prevent you from working, you can recover the compensation you need to get back on solid financial footing (assuming someone else was at fault in your accident).
The specific types of financial losses you can recover after an auto accident in Texas include:
- Medical Costs – You are entitled to compensation for all of the medical costs you incur as a result of the accident. This includes the costs of diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for any injuries sustained in the collision. If you have a pre-existing condition that was exacerbated by the collision, then you can seek coverage for your additional treatment needs as well.
- Prescription Costs – In addition to current and future medical costs, you are also entitled to coverage for all of your current and future prescription medication needs. Some prescriptions can be inordinately expensive, so it will be important to ensure that you have the financial resources necessary to cover your medication costs in the years to come.
- Other Out–of-Pocket Costs – Your auto accident claim can also include compensation for other out-of-pocket costs you incur as a result of your injuries. This includes costs such as transportation and the need to hire cleaners, landscapers, nannies, and other service providers.
- Loss of Earnings – If you are unable to work for any length of time, you can seek compensation for your loss of earnings. This includes your ordinary wage or salary as well as tips, commissions, and benefits.
- Loss of Earning Capacity – If you will be unable to work in the future, then it will be extremely important for you to seek compensation for your loss of earning capacity. While you may be able to apply for disability or other benefits, these benefits are not guaranteed, and most benefit programs do not provide 100 percent coverage for loss of income.
As our injury lawyer mentioned above, PIP and MedPay claim only provide compensation for certain financial losses. Personal injury protection insurance covers medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages, while MedPay covers medical expenses only—typically up to a few thousand dollars.
If the other driver has property damage coverage, or if you have collision coverage, then you can file a claim to get your vehicle repaired or replaced as well. The options you have available will depend on the specific terms of the policy that applies.
Non-Financial Losses You Can Recover After an Auto Accident in Texas
Non-financial losses are those that impact your life in ways other than reducing the size of your bank account or forcing you into debt. If the other driver (or someone else) was at fault in your accident, then you are entitled to seek compensation for non-financial losses including:
- Pain and Suffering – “Pain and suffering” describes the ongoing physical impact of your traumatic injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your pain and suffering could last for weeks, months, or years.
- Emotional Distress – “Emotional distress” describes the psychological impacts of recovering from a traumatic accident and adjusting to life with a disabling injury.
- Scarring and Disfigurement – If your injuries result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, this is considered a separate form of non-financial loss for which compensation is available under Texas law.
- Loss of Companionship and Consortium – If the physical or psychological effects of your injuries impact your relationship with your spouse, children, other family members, or friends, you can seek compensation for loss of companionship or loss of consortium.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life – If your injuries prevent you from doing what you love, then you can also seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Plano, TX Auto Accident Lawyer Joel M. Vecchio
If you have suffered serious injuries in an auto accident in Texas, we encourage you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Auto accident lawyer Joel M. Vecchio can help you understand your legal rights, calculate your financial and non-financial losses, and fight to recover just compensation on your behalf. To discuss your insurance claim with Mr. Vecchio in confidence as soon as possible, call 972-380-4444 or contact us online now.