Can My Spouse and I Combine Our Car Accident Lawsuits?
Let’s take a quick look at why you might combine car accident lawsuits. First, there’s the chance that you and your spouse have different policies. Then there’s the off-chance that while having separate policies, one was driving the other’s car. There’s also the third option that you both were unfortunate enough to get into a crash at around the same time, hopefully not with the same driver.
An auto accident attorney in Houston, Texas can help you decide what the best course of action is.
Why Would We Need to Combine Car Accident Lawsuits?
The only thing that would provide any reasoning for combining lawsuits would be because of a cap on compensation. For property damage and medical costs; however, there is no cap because the state expects you to have full or reasonable compensation for all economic damages.
When it comes to non-economic compensation recovery, there are some caps put in place; however, none of those would impact a car accident lawsuit; however, if you and your spouse were both a part of a medical malpractice lawsuit, you might choose to separate a case purposefully.
When it comes to non-economic damages, the primary concern with a cap is the $250,000 cap in Texas for medical malpractice.
Aside from unrealistic damage caps impacting your case, there is really no reason to either combine or separate your case unless there are very special circumstances. If you and your partner were traveling in separate cars and were involved in the same multi-car accident, you might discuss with an attorney whether you need two claims or one.
Is it a Good Idea to Combine Car Accident Lawsuits?
Let’s go with the theory that you and your spouse are both making claims to your insurance, experienced injuries, and could possibly need to file lawsuits for being in an accident. Assuming that the crashes happened in your respective cars, it would not make sense to combine them. Although you’re dealing with your insurance company, it’s likely that there are two or more present in resolving your case.
Texas uses a shared fault or comparative fault system that means that negligence plays a major role in the final compensation that you’ll receive. So combining cases may not even be possible if there are different at-fault drivers.
What is the Benefit of Keeping Cases Separate?
In the situation that you and your spouse were in the same car and in an accident, then it could be more beneficial to have sperate cases. The driver would submit their claim, and typically the passenger would “ride” on that claim. That means that the caps on the at-fault driver’s insurance would have to cover both of them.
In that instance, if there is a severe need for maximum compensation, then it may do best to keep the cases separate in an attempt to maximize coverage. Whenever you’re making these types of decisions, always involve an attorney. They can help a couple understand the entirety of the impact of this crash and explain why some things can or can’t happen a certain way.
Keep in mind that combining a case or keeping a case separate is part of your legal strategy. So that decision should ultimately rest with a legal professional that has years of experience in this section of the law.
Should We Have Separate Policies?
Except in rare situations, there isn’t any benefit to having separate policies. For example, if you have an impeccable driving record and your partner is almost uninsurable, then you might want separate policies for the sake of coverage options and price management. But there is still the issue of handling insurance claims when either person is driving a family car. The cars itself in these cases are not the determining factor, but the person is driving it.
Married people can have different car insurance policies for whatever reason. But, it’s not usually something that works for couples.
Contact McDonald Worley to Connect with a Car Wreck Attorney in Houston, TX
These all a variety of reasons to get people involved with your lawsuits, but spouses are in a unique position. There may be good reasons to combine your case or keep them separate. Legal guidance is the only way to ensure that you’ve considered all of your options and made the best decision possible for your family.
McDonald Worley is a local Houston law office that helps car accident victims seek out the full financial compensation that they need. Get advice to help your family make the best decisions for your case or cases with a free consultation.