When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit for damages. With the help of a car accident injury lawyer, you can secure the best possible outcome. While San Antonio news outlets often focus on the most lavish and outrageous claims, there are many more common accident cases that result in fair rewards for plaintiffs. Consider a few examples of Texas settlements to see what you might be able to obtain.
Ask a Car Accident Injury Lawyer: 4 Settlement Examples in San Antonio
How Settlements Work in Texas
Texas law governs San Antonio courts. Therefore, state law determines what you can sue for in a car injury case. Like many other states, Texas allows plaintiffs to sue for two kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. The latter are sometimes called special damages or general damages, but the concept is the same. Economic damages are those you can easily quantify and demonstrate such as lost wages or hospital bills. Non-economic damages, in contrast, cannot be assessed a specific value.
The most common example of a type of non-economic damage is the classic “pain and suffering” claim. Of course, pain and suffering itself cannot be quantified, but courts can use a multiplier to allocate a fair amount. So, if your economic damages were $100,000, and the court deemed your pain and suffering to be severe, they could apply a multiplier of three to determine your final award. Milder cases may receive a lower multiplier of 1.5, for instance.
City Officials Are Not Above the Law
Let’s see how this law has been applied in real cases. One case that stands out comes from a few years ago and involved the city’s mayor! The mayor was riding in a vehicle that was owned by the city, and a police officer was driving. You might think that state officials using state property would be able to avoid serious penalties, but with a car accident injury lawyer in San Antonio, no one is above the law.
Thanks to a combination of local security cameras, a bus’s dashcam, and a homeowner’s private property camera, lawyers were able to piece together the case and show that the police officer did not yield. The car that was struck had several passengers, who filed separate lawsuits. The first settlement from this group totaled $200,000. It doesn’t matter who causes an accident, you’re entitled to receive fair compensation. This case proves that.
Even Bars Can Be Held Responsible
At first glance, this case seems borderline fictitious. A Texas jury levied an incredible sum of over $300 billion dollars in damages against a Corpus Christi bar called Beer Belly’s. A patron at the bar drank far more than what is legally allowed for driving and later caused an accident on his way home. The accident killed both the driver and two passengers in the other vehicle. The daughters of the deceased victims filed suit and the jury responded with a strong message.
This shows the potential of what a lawyer can do. Given that the felonious driver died in the accident, the plaintiffs’ lawyer looked elsewhere. The jury’s decision made it clear that establishments that sell alcohol also have a responsibility to prevent people from drinking excessively and then driving. Although $300 billion was classified as “exemplary damages” and wouldn’t actually be paid, the bar was forced to liquidate its assets in order to pay the $1 billion that was actually charged.
Over $200,000 in Damages From a Highway Collision
Here’s a more typical example of a car accident settlement. A driver was riding along Highway 90 and was hit from behind by a municipal waste management vehicle. Due to the sheer mass of the colliding truck, the victim’s car was thrust forward into a third car. The resulting whiplash left the driver with severe injuries in his neck and also his back. Some of these injuries were permanent.
The plaintiff’s attorney was able to secure $206,000 for his client. He wisely added the city to the lawsuit as a co-defendant, which made it possible to use the city’s liability insurance to cover damages, thus increasing the settlement.
The Curious Case of RCX
Trucking accidents have seen the cost of settlements rise in recent years. However, this case brought up an interesting gray area in the law. A semi-truck is not one legal item but rather a vehicle that hauls property owned by another in the form of a trailer. What happens when the driver of a truck hauls a trailer belonging to another company and the trailer causes injury to someone else?
In this case, the trucker in question was actually a replacement for the original driver, who worked for RCX. The court ruled that the original company should be held responsible, which resulted in a settlement in millions of dollars. This took clever legal maneuvering but resulted in the best possible result for the injured client.