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Injured? Here’s a Simple Guide to Texas Personal Injury Settlements

Written by Tom Crosley
Car Accidents, Catastrophic Personal Injury, Vehicle Wrecks
  1. 1. Why Do Victims Settle Their Personal Injury Claims?
  2. 2. When Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?
  3. 3. How Do I Calculate My Case’s Settlement Value?
  4. 4. Settlement Negotiations Require Attention to Detail and an Aggressive Strategy
  5. 5. Crosley Law: Demanding Fair Compensation for Texas Accident Victims

At some point during a personal injury claim, the insurance company will probably ask you for a letter that outlines your claim and explains its value. This is known as a settlement demand. They may even skip this step and offer you a settlement. But before you request a payout, it’s important to understand the basics of how Texas personal injury settlements work and what compensation you might be eligible for.

Keep reading to learn more about the settlement process and its implications for you and your finances.

Why Do Victims Settle Their Personal Injury Claims?

Injury victims settle their cases for a variety of reasons. If their injuries are minor and fully healed, a settlement might make sense if it covers all your expenses related to an injury. Sometimes, though, victims simply settle because they’re tired of dealing with insurance company adjusters. Other times, a lump-sum payment offer from the insurer sounds good, so people settle while they are still recovering from their injuries to get access to that money sooner rather than later.

While a quick and easy settlement might seem great, it also has serious consequences. When you settle a Texas personal injury claim, you typically give up your right to file a lawsuit or demand additional compensation in exchange for that lump-sum payment. So, if it turns out that you need surgery for your injuries after you’ve settled, you can’t file for more compensation to cover that. It comes out of your own pocket.

All too often, we see victims accept a settlement offer too early after a car crash or other injury event. Later, they need additional care or treatment and are shocked to discover that their insurance won’t cover it. This is just one of the many reasons why you need to carefully consider any settlement demand or offer.

Once you sign a settlement, it’s incredibly difficult to invalidate it. For this reason, it’s always in your best interest to consult with Crosley Law before you agree to a personal injury settlement.

RELATED VIDEO: FAQ — Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement?

When Should I Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

When you’re still healing, it’s also difficult to estimate your future healthcare needs. For example, suppose you just had spine surgery. While your doctors think you’re going to have a good recovery, they can’t guarantee that the surgery will be a complete success.

Settling a personal injury claim always involves a risk. Once you settle your claim, you can’t go back and demand more compensation—even if you discover new injuries or your existing injuries get worse. One hard and fast rule is that you should always be cautious about settling your claim early on.

Some injuries take time to develop and diagnose. For example, you might not notice subtle personality changes or memory deficits right away—especially if you’re also dealing with other serious physical injuries. However, these traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms can have a deep and lasting effect on your ability to work and maintain relationships with your loved ones.

When you’re still healing, it’s also difficult to estimate your future healthcare needs. For example, suppose you just had spine surgery. While your doctors think you’re going to have a good recovery, they can’t guarantee that the surgery will be a complete success. And it’s not uncommon for accident victims to need routine monitoring, chronic pain management, complication-related treatment, and/or repeat surgeries after a car crash or other incident. If you settle your injury claim too early, you’ll have to find another payment source for all that care.

Ideally, victims should settle their claims after their injuries have stabilized; this is sometimes known as the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI). If you know about all of your injuries and their effects, you can understand your potential need for future medical treatment.

Some circumstances may pressure you toward taking a settlement early, especially if there are issues with your claim or your financial situation is dire. But you should always consult with a Crosley Law attorney before accepting a settlement offer, especially if it is before your condition has stabilized. Our attorneys may be able to work with your health care providers to find alternative payment options, and we can help you decide if you should file a personal injury lawsuit.

RELATED CLIENT SUCCESS STORY: Ryan and Jamie’s Story: Crosley Law Settles Six-Figure Claim After Drunk Driving Crash

How Do I Calculate My Case’s Settlement Value?

An insurance adjuster likely has a formula they use to calculate the value of personal injury claims, but injuries are rarely that simple. Your situation is unique, and an experienced injury lawyer understands that an algorithm can’t accurately calculate your claim’s worth.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hit by a Drunk Driver? You May Be Able to Pursue Punitive Damages

At Crosley Law, we listen to your story, investigate the events surrounding your injuries, collect and review all the documents related to your case, and even consult with experts. Using all that information, we calculate settlement values based on:

  • The severity of your physical, psychological, and emotional injuries
  • The extent of your medical treatment and your need for future care
  • Your ability to return to work
  • Whether or not you can live independently
  • If the at-fault party acted intentionally or recklessly
  • Your age, level of education, work history, and wage history
  • The policy limits that apply to your insurance claims
  • All of the different insurance policies that apply to your claims

We take time to get to know our clients and their losses. Then, we build a case and compile evidence that supports their claims.

Settlement Negotiations Require Attention to Detail and an Aggressive Strategy

While the insurance company might initiate settlement negotiations by making an offer to you, they often ask you to issue a settlement demand. Before you decide on a number, it’s best to consult with a lawyer.

RELATED VIDEO: Should I Accept the Insurance Company’s Settlement?

When your lawyer at Crosley Law creates a settlement demand letter for you, they use their knowledge of the law, experience with past cases, and all the information our team has gained from our investigation. We create a detailed letter that outlines the evidence and requests a fair and accurate settlement for your injuries.

Next, the insurance company will reply and make its counter-offer. When people do not have a lawyer helping them, this offer will be modest, to say the least. Don’t take it too personally. On the other hand, when an insurance company sees that you’re working with an experienced lawyer who has a history of success in the courtroom, they often change their strategy and try to find a settlement that is closer to being fair.

Either way, the insurance adjuster expects to work through some back-and-forth negotiation. From this point, your lawyer and the insurance company will negotiate to try and arrive at a mutually acceptable number.

RELATED ARTICLE: How Long Does It Take to Get Money After a Settlement?

Whether you’re getting an initial offer or working through negotiations, you should never feel pressured or intimidated into a settlement. It is against Texas law for an insurance company to force a settlement on an accident victim. While the decision to settle is sometimes difficult, no one can make it for you. If you’re feeling undue pressure to settle your personal injury claim, contact Crosley Law immediately.

Crosley Law: Demanding Fair Compensation for Texas Accident Victims

If someone’s careless behavior caused serious injuries to you or a loved one, request your free, no-risk consultation with Crosley Law today. We help victims navigate the complex process of filing insurance claims, negotiating settlements, and filing personal injury lawsuits. If you’d like to learn more about our approach to personal injury claims, contact Crosley Law online or call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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