Car accidents can cause personal injuries, sometimes severe and significant ones, which can result in the need to obtain substantial medical treatment leading to financial losses. If you’ve incurred damages as a result of someone else’s negligence on the road, one of the most important sources of compensation is the other party’s liability coverage policy.
Liability insurance coverage, which in most states includes property damage and bodily injury coverage, pays out in the event the driver injures someone in an at-fault accident. It is an important part of insurance — not only does it protect the victim of a car accident who gets injured, but it also protects the personal assets and property of the person who is at fault for the accident, as long as the driver carries sufficient amounts of coverage.
Typically, liability insurance applies to other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians–anyone to whom a driver might be liable. It can also apply to passengers in your own car, provided that they are not from the same household. In most states, some form of liability insurance coverage is mandatory, requiring drivers to carry a minimum amount of coverage to drive on the state’s roads legally and to be able to register their cars. Texas, for example, requires drivers to carry a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, and a minimum of $60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident. Additionally, Texas requires a minimum of $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident. The per-person limit applies to each person who is involved in the accident caused by the driver at fault, while the per-accident limit is the maximum amount of money that would be paid out by the insurance company in the event of an accident.
Keep in mind that the bodily injury and property damage liability requirements set by each state are only minimums. In many cases, it makes sense to carry coverage for higher amounts, in order to protect your property and financial assets — after all, if a person suffers significant injuries, the driver at fault will be responsible for the full extent of those damages. If the driver is not carrying sufficient coverage for those damages, the victim may sue and recover compensation in court, potentially risking the at-fault driver’s non-protected property and assets.
There are various types of damages that can be recovered after an accident. Special damages include the victim’s out-of-pocket costs, such as medical expenses, doctor’s visits, hospital stays, prescriptions, and the costs of medical testing and imaging. They also include lost wages, if the victim cannot work as a result of the accident. In the event of wrongful death, liability coverage may even pay for the costs associated with the loved one’s funeral and burial.
Additionally, there are several types of general damages — ones that cannot be readily ascertained but are ultimately assessed in court or during settlement negotiations — that can be recovered as compensation. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, the loss of enjoyment of activities that the victim can no longer perform, loss of future wages, scarring or disfigurement, and an overall loss in the victim’s quality of life.
A car accident lawsuit can quickly become complicated, and the help of an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney can be invaluable. Questions of liability — including liability for bodily injuries, property damage, and other personal injuries — and damages can be complex to resolve, particularly when insurance companies are involved and the value of damages is being questioned. In some cases, a fair and reasonable settlement may be reached based on the other party’s bodily injury coverage, while in other cases, a lawsuit may be necessary to recover compensation for your damages.
The attorneys at Johnson Garcia have more than 35 years of experience in helping victims of car accidents obtain sizable settlements and resolve their claims. We have earned a reputation as one of the leading personal injury law firms serving Houston, TX, and neighboring communities.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, call our Houston-based legal team at Johnson Garcia. If the other party or their insurance company is not negotiating fairly, the personal injury attorneys at Johnson Garcia will file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to trial, if needed. We can be reached by phone at 832-844-6700.