Does the Kind of Car You Were Driving Matter in Your Personal Injury Case?
Auto accidents happen on a regular basis in Texas, and a lot of factors go into how insurance companies determine liability and settle the insurance claims. While there are a lot of obvious factors like points of collision, what actions led up to the accident, and any road violations, a little-known factor that can play a role is what kind of cars are involved. The type of car you are driving can have an impact on the amount of settlement you’re offered, as well as even factor into the liability in some rare cases.
Safety standards have come a long way in recent years. While newer cars have bonus safety features like automatic parking and steering for aiding in avoiding collisions as well as multiple cameras and sensors to help increase awareness, older vehicles may just have the basic safety equipment. There are certain safety requirements that are constantly being updated, a minimum standard that must be met by newer vehicles being manufactured.
Regular inspections are also required to ensure vehicles remain in safe drivable conditions. In the case of many vintage vehicles, they may no longer measure up to these newer standards. While it’s not illegal to drive these older vehicles, your insurance may consider an assumption of risk on your part for driving a vehicle not necessarily up to code. This assumption of risk can be used as an argument that in knowing the risks, you may not be entitled to as much of a settlement for injuries sustained in a collision.
Not all vehicles are made equal. While driving a premium vehicle may not affect much in the way of your medical expenses and injury coverage, the kind of vehicle you drive can certainly have an impact on how much you’ll be covered in terms of vehicle damages. Premium car interiors are similar to luxury cars and can be equated to a similar cost. This means that repairs might be more expensive, but you’ll also be getting more from your insurance company, or the other party’s insurance, to cover them.
A higher car value also means that it will be less likely that your car is a total loss. Generally, a car is deemed to be a total loss if damages exceed a certain percentage of the car’s value. A more valuable car has a higher threshold before being deemed a total loss.
The last thing that generally factors into your case comes down to negligence. Depending on what actions were taken by both drivers leading up to the accident, a certain degree of negligence or liability can be placed on each driver, determining what portion of their claim an insurance company would be willing to pay.
If you were the primary cause of the accident, by let’s say driving through a red light, chances are the other party’s insurance wouldn’t offer you much for your damages, and going through your own insurance if you have the proper coverage would be ideal. Texas specifically follows Modified Comparative Fault laws, which state that a driver cannot pursue the other party for damages if they are 51% at fault or higher.
There are many things that tie into how much money you can recover from a personal injury case, especially when it comes to auto accidents. If you have been injured in an accident, it is best to reach out to a personal injury attorney to help defend your case and make sure you get the proper compensation for your damages.
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