To bring a personal injury claim from a car accident in Texas, how much damage does my automobile need to have?

One of the first things the personal injury lawyers at the Anderson Law Firm look at when evaluating a car accident claim,  is the damage to the automobile.  When we evaluate a car accident case in Fort Worth, we want to make sure that there is enough damage that the insurance company--and ultimately the jury--will agree with our client that the force of the collision was enough to cause the accident. 

So how much is enough?  It all depends on where the accident occurred and how much it costs to repair the vehicle.  It seems that most accidents involve a rear-end collision where the damage to the injured party is on the back part of the vehicle.  If the bumper is just scrapped or barely dented, it doesn’t matter how much it costs to repair or replace the bumper:  it's not enough property damage to bring a personal injury claim.  It is our experience that not only do insurance companies dig in and not wants to pay those type of car wreck claims, but juries also tend to agree that an accident of that magnitude is not the kind that produces serious injuries.  So we look at pictures or the actual car itself to determine if there is enough visible injury.

Damage After the Car Wreck

How Much Does It Cost To Repair Your Car?

Another thing that we look at is the dollar amount of damage to the car.  If the car has already been repaired, we look at the estimate prepared by the body shop.  If it hasn’t already been repaired, we encourage our potential client to go have an estimate done.  While there is no hard and fast line, it is our experience that we need to see over $1,000.00 in property damage, along with the visible damage, before a case should be accepted and a personal injury claim pursued by our law firm.

T-Bone Collisions and Side Swipes

But there are other kinds of accidents besides rear-enders.  If one auto impacts another car in a T bone fashion, it usually produces enough damage to support a bodily injury claim.  However, if it is not a T bone, but is instead a side swipe, such as when cars are going in the same direction, it gets more confusing.  Oftentimes these side-swipe cases will dent more than one body part on the side of the car, as in a fender and a door.  The cost to repair these is often more than a rear ender/bumper repair job.   However, the problem is is when the dents are the kind that could be done by a person. If that is the case, then the force of the side-swipe collision is probably not the kind that would involve an injury producing wreck. 

These are just general rules and there are a million exceptions to them.  I’ve handled cases for people who have jostled back and forth on a side-swipe collision and the side swing has caused them severe neck injuries.  For instance, if the driver of the not at fault vehicle had a prior neck injury, as in a prior neck surgery, the side movement could cause a worsening of that condition and possibly a second surgery.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:
Pursuing a Car Accident Claim in Texas

How Much is Your Injury Claim Worth?
What to Look For When Hiring an Injury Lawyer
How Long Do I Have To Bring an Injury Claim?
Determining Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas