Car Accident Lawyer Houston
The Best Thing To Do After A Car Accident In Houston
If you have been injured in a car accident, the first and most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is essential to have them evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Once your health has been taken care of, you can begin thinking about other aspects of your case, such as pursuing a personal injury claim.
You must gather evidence to support your case if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. This may include gathering police reports, photos of the scene of the accident, medical records documenting your injuries, and any witness statements.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you gather this evidence and build a strong case.
Filing a personal injury claim can be a complex process, and it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. The lawyers at our firm have extensive experience handling car accident claims and can fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
When Should I Hire A Houston Car Accident Attorney
The days, weeks, and months afterward might be extremely difficult following a car accident. That’s unquestionably true when your injuries are severe.
You may need significant medical care. Because of your injuries, you may be in excruciating agony and have difficulty walking about. It might take some time for you to recover thoroughly enough to return to work.
On the other hand, you discover that you’re in an increasingly complex financial position. Medical expenses are mounting, and the fact that your income has ground to a halt makes matters worse.
The good news is that you may get compensation if someone else is partly to blame for your accident. You are not in a position to devote the time and energy necessary to pursue a legal claim for damages at this moment.
This is an opportunity when you should seek the assistance of a skilled Houston vehicle accident lawyer.
Insurance agencies can be challenging to deal with, especially if you don’t know how to navigate the many regulations that govern what you can claim and what you cannot.
Insurance companies are inclined to dispute policyholders’ liability for a mishap.
It’s possible that if you’re not an attorney, your insurance company will use “lack of evidence” as a reason to deny your claim.
They could argue there isn’t enough proof that your policyholder is to blame. Due to this, you will be unable to seek compensation for vehicle damage or personal injury.
A competent lawyer will assist you in gathering the necessary evidence of the other party’s responsibility for the incident.
An insurance company may sometimes refuse to pay a fair settlement.
In these instances, an attorney must become involved to ensure that the injured person is adequately compensated under the law.
How much does a Houston car accident lawyer charge?
Most Houston car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You will not be charged any upfront fees, and the lawyer will only receive a percentage of your settlement or verdict if you win your case.
The typical contingency fee percentage is one-third of the total recovery.
For example, if you recover $100,000 through a settlement or verdict, the lawyer would receive $33,333.33.
While most lawyers charge a contingency fee basis, some may also charge hourly or flat fees for certain services.
Be sure to ask about all fees and costs before hiring a lawyer.
What is the average settlement for a car accident in Houston?
There is no “average” settlement. Each car accident is unique, and so are the injuries and damages that result from the crash. If you want to know your claim worth, speak with a personal injury lawyer for a no-obligation, free case evaluation. They can help you understand your legal rights and the timeline for filing a car accident claim in the state of Texas.
Contact a Houston Personal Injury lawyer today by filling out the free case evaluation form.
Has The Insurance Company Denied Your Car Accident Claim?
If the insurance company denies your car crash claim, it can leave you in a lot of debt.
REASONS YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY DENIED YOUR CLAIM
You can submit a claim with your auto insurance if you have been in an accident. You may also file a claim if you’re hit by someone else’s negligence or carelessness while driving. If the coverage is denied, learn why.
Here are the top reasons why your insurance company denied your accident claim.
- You Lack a Certain Type of Coverage: Insurance companies only pay for the coverage in your policy. For example, you attempted to submit a claim following an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your insurer will reject the request if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage.
- You’re Not a Covered Driver: If you’re a minor on your parent’s policy or recently divorced your spouse, the owner of the policy, you’ll be excluded.
- You Filed an Incomplete or Inaccurate Claim: The insurance company will reject claims that are deficient or incorrect. For example, you forgot to sign the claim or neglected to include your car’s VIN.
- You Didn’t Add Coverage for a New Car: If you don’t add a new automobile to your policy, your insurance company can rightfully reject your claim.
REASONS THE OTHER PARTY’S INSURANCE COMPANY DENIED YOUR CLAIM
In Texas, if you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, you can file a claim against the other party’s insurance.
There are many reasons why the other party’s insurance company might have denied your crash claim. Some of the most common reasons are:
- They Claim You Caused the Crash: Insurance firms frequently attempt to pass the blame for their refusal onto the claimant. They don’t have to compensate you if they claim that you are at fault.
- You Didn’t Seek Medical Treatment Soon Enough: If you didn’t get medical attention right after the accident, assuming your injuries were not life-threatening, the insurance company might believe you are not harmed.
- You Failed to Prove the Other Party Is “At-Fault”: Liability is essential in determining how much you get compensated if you are involved in a vehicle accident. The other driver’s insurance company will request proof of liability before it approves your claim.
- You Have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition: Whiplash is a typical injury following a vehicle accident. If you have neck pain before the accident, your insurance company may reject your claim. They can also refuse you if they believe you received unwarranted medical care.
HOW TO TURN A DENIAL INTO A SETTLEMENT
It’s devastating to be injured and have a mountain of bills only to have the insurance company refuse your claim. However, you may still obtain compensation from the insurance provider.
If the insurer refuses your vehicle accident claim, here are some options for what to do.
- Demand a Reason for Your Claim’s Denial: Your consumer’s right to know why your insurance claim was denied. It might be due to a simple mistake on their part at other times. If the refusal is deliberate, request a written explanation. Citation: Texas Consumer Bill of Rights
- Gather Evidence of Liability: If your insurance company denied your claim because you couldn’t provide enough evidence against the other driver, there’s lots of proof. The Texas DOT offers a copy of the accident report as an excellent place to start. Information from the police officer on the scene, including any moving violations or charges filed against the other vehicle. Citation: Texas DOT
- Get Proof of Your Injuries: Medical proof of your injuries, such as X-rays or scans, is required. You can also request a written evaluation from the doctor(s).
- File an Appeal with an Amended Claim: The best way to appeal a denied claim is to respond directly to the questions or issues that prompted the original rejection. If the insurance firm rejected your claim because you didn’t provide proof of blame, ensure you have a copy of the accident report, witness statement, and other evidence.
TALK TO A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
If the insurance company denies your claim, it may be time to get some help.
How To Prove Negligence In A Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been in a vehicle accident and believe the other driver is at fault, you may feel entitled to compensation. You could want to take legal action.
It must be proved that the driver was negligent in showing that the other party was at fault.
This implies that the individual operated in a way that demonstrated a lack of regard for their duty to drive safely on the road, resulting in harm to you.
Most automobile accident claims are based on negligence; after all, no one wants to put themselves or others in harm’s way.
As a result, a negligence claim necessitates an in-depth analysis of the circumstances and conditions that led to the incident. It must be shown that the negligent party neglected their duty of care when driving.
The four basic elements of a negligence claim are:
- Duty of Care: This is an essential principle in law, which is about more than just traffic laws. It means that each person has a legal duty to take care and not do anything that would likely harm other people. The duty of care in both driving and auto accidents refers to the legal obligation that every licensed driver has to drive their car in a way that is not potentially harmful to others, including other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. You’re doing pretty well if you obey traffic signs and lights, utilize turn signals, and avoid speeding and reckless driving. Traffic regulations are simply a method for communicating or codifying what it means to drive securely.
- Breach of Duty: A breach of duty occurs when one fails to fulfill one’s responsibilities as defined above. If a motorist drives their car in a way that might harm others or property, they have violated the obligation they owe to others. The “reasonable person” test is used: what would a reasonable individual do in this situation? Is it possible that the driver’s conduct was willful, or would a reasonable person have taken precautions? If it’s shown that the driver didn’t act that way, or if he violated traffic regulations in some fashion, he is deemed negligent. If the violation of duty was connected to a traffic violation or law enforcement, it might be enough to show negligence.
- Causation: Beach of responsibility is necessary, but there is also another component. It must be proved that the claimant’s injuries or property damage were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. This implies that the collision would not have occurred if the driver had been more cautious. There must be a link between the conduct and the consequence. Causation can be broken into two categories: cause-in-fact and proximate cause.
- Cause-in-fact: This means that the breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident.
- Proximate cause: The breach of duty indirectly led to the accident and/or injury.
- Damages: The expenses and losses incurred due to the accident or injury must be stated in monetary terms. These are known as damages. Lost wages, medical bills, and costs associated with repairing or replacing property are examples of damages. The plaintiff must be able to quantify the damage for his/her claim to be accepted; otherwise, it might be rejected or reduced. Damages also come in two categories: economic and non-economic.
- Economic damages: Concrete amounts with supporting documentation.
- Non-economic damage: Psychological trauma or the all-encompassing “pain and suffering.”
Types of Compensation For Houston Auto Accident Victims
An auto accident victim can receive various forms of compensation, and not all of them are necessarily immediate damages. An experienced accident attorney will consider future expenses that may stem from your accident.
Some of the most common forms of compensation a victim can expect to claim include:
- Lost wages: Any time you cannot work due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident is considered compensation for lost income. It can also refer to any money you may have lost by taking on a position with less responsibility that pays less due to your impairments.
- Medical bills: If you are injured in an auto accident, you may be compensated for your medical bills. This includes both the bills you have now and the bills you will have in the future as you continue to receive treatment. An attorney will work to make sure you get this money.
- Property damage: Almost always, when there is an auto accident, there is property damage. The people involved in the accident usually get a quote from the insurance company or the mechanics about how much damage was done to their car. This can also include the cost of towing and renting a car if your car is too damaged to drive.
- Loss of consortium means that you can no longer provide the same level of care or companionship to your partner or family members because of your injuries. In some cases, is not only the person injured in the accident compensated but also those affected by not receiving that care.
- Pain and suffering: Many people injured in car accidents end up with chronic or persistent pain. This type of pain can last for a long time and can be very difficult to deal with. Some of the most common forms of chronic pain include soft tissue damage, broken bones, organ damage, and brain and spinal damage.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are designed to punish the person responsible for the accident. This is in addition to any other money they may have to pay, like medical expenses or property damage.
Texas Car Accident Laws
After a traffic accident in Texas, you may wonder about your rights and responsibilities, including your options for holding the at-fault driver financially responsible for your losses.
3 Texas laws that could have a significant impact on your case:
- The statute governing the circumstances where you’re required to report a car accident to law enforcement
- The two-year deadline for the filing of most car accident lawsuits in Texas’s civil court system, and
- Texas’s “modified comparative fault” rule allows for compensation only when the claimant’s level of responsibility for causing the accident is less than that of the other party (or parties) involved.
Reporting a Car Accident in Texas
Under Texas Transportation Code section 550.026, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident must report the incident to the local police department or the local sheriff’s office as soon as possible. Call 911
- Injury or death of any person, or
- Damage to a vehicle to the extent that it cannot be safely driven from the scene.
Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations
A “statute of limitations” is a state law that sets a time limit on when someone may bring legal action. These deadlines vary depending on the type of harm you suffered and/or the case you want to file.
The majority of automobile accidents in Texas must be filed within two years after the accident occurred.
Comparative negligence in automobile accident lawsuits in Texas
If the other motorist was entirely to blame for your vehicle accident, you could anticipate that their insurer would pay to compensate you for medical costs, lost earnings, and other expenditures you incurred. What if you were only partly at fault?
In Texas, the “modified comparative fault” method is used when more than one person is held responsible for an accident. The jury in most vehicle accidents is asked to determine two things based on the evidence: the total dollar amount of the plaintiff’s losses and the percentage of blame that belongs to each party.
In Texas, as in every other state, you are only entitled to compensation if your percentage of fault for the accident is less than 50%.
This is in stark contrast to the rule in “pure” comparative fault jurisdictions, where you may receive compensation if you are more to blame than the other person.
In Texas, you must be less than 50% at blame to get compensation from any other at-fault party following a vehicle accident.
The comparative negligence rule will influence a Texas judge or jury if your vehicle accident case reaches trial (if it gets that far). When a claims adjuster investigates your scenario, the comparative negligence rule will guide him or her.
An adjuster for auto claims makes judgments based on what is most likely to occur in court. Don’t let that deter you from pursuing a vehicle accident compensation or lawsuit, though. Instead, talk to an attorney about your situation and the best course of action available.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements for Texas Drivers
If you’re buying car insurance in Texas, the law requires you to have the following minimum amounts of liability car insurance coverage:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person injured in an accident you cause
- $60,000 for total bodily injury liability when two or more people are injured in an accident you cause, and
- $25,000 for property damage per accident you cause.
Basic coverage covers medical expenses, property damage bills, and other expenditures incurred by drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are hurt or whose car is damaged as a result of your negligence.
You can (and in some situations should) carry more coverage to protect you in case serious crash results in significant car accident injuries and vehicle damage.
Remember, you are responsible for any losses if your policy limit is reached. Higher insurance limits can help protect your assets in a significant accident. If you’re driving your car or giving someone else permission to use it, your liability coverage will come into play.
Finally, remember that the liability coverage we covered earlier doesn’t apply to your injuries or vehicle damage following a vehicle accident. You’ll need additional protection if you’re involved in a car accident and no one else’s insurance applies to your losses.
Personal injury protection, also known as PIP, is the coverage that helps pay medical bills in an accident. Consumers can decline this coverage but may find it helpful to obtain their automobile accident medical expenses reimbursed rather quickly after an incident before any fault determination has been determined.
Collision coverage can help you recoup the costs of repairs or a replacement after a vehicle accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Texas
In Texas, drivers are not required to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but it is required by insurance providers.
This sort of coverage can provide extra protection if you’re in a car accident with someone who doesn’t have vehicle insurance or whose policy won’t pay for your medical expenses and other losses.
The Texas Department of Insurance website offers more information on auto insurance in Texas, including advice on choosing the right coverage.
Citation: Texas Department of Insurance
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
The fourth-largest city in the United States is Houston, Texas. Harris County, which has a population of approximately 6.4 million, is the 3rd most populous county in the United States. Houston and Harris County are also large and spread out, with numerous freeways, highways, and interstates used by big trucks and other commercial delivery vehicles.
Truck accidents are far more likely to occur in Texas than in any other state, many of which happen in Houston. The Houston metro area is especially vulnerable to fatal truck collisions since most trucks travelling throughout the southern part of the country pass through Texas before reaching their ultimate destination – and a significant portion of them go through Houston, putting those on the roads at increased risk.
Trucks travel in and out of the Port of Houston regularly, picking up and delivering big, heavy cargo containers containing a variety of goods, some of which are quite hazardous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 4,000 truck accident fatalities and 95,000 injuries occur yearly.
Types of Commercial Vehicles
- Tractor Trailers
- Tanker Trucks
- Delivery Vehicles
- Dump Trucks
- Garbage Trucks
- 18 Wheelers
- Box Truck
- Tow Truck
- Rideshare Uber & Lyft
What are the most common causes of auto accidents in Houston?
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is the most prevalent cause of vehicle accidents. A distracted driver may be chatting with passengers or eating a cheeseburger rather than focusing on the road.
Even if we are driving well within the posted speed limit, we have all been passed by drivers on the road. Keep in mind that increased vehicle speed reduces your reaction time.
3. Drunk Driving
Anyone who drives while drinking is a hazard to themselves and others. Your senses and cognitive functions are dulled, your reaction speeds are slowed, and your decision-making abilities are diminished when you drink. If you want to have a drink, go somewhere where no one else is drinking.
4. Reckless Driving
Weaving in and out of traffic. Tailgating and cutting other drivers off. These are all reckless driving, and each can cause a severe accident. If you see anyone driving like this around you, back off and give them space.
5. Inclement Weather
Whether it’s rain or snow, rough weather can create hazardous conditions for driving. Water creates slick roadways and can cause cars to slip and slide without warning.
6. Running Intersections
Running through red lights and stop signs is another top cause of car accidents.
Teenage drivers are dangerous because of their inexperience. A teenager experiencing new driving situations will not know how to react.
8. Night Driving
Many drivers are unaware that driving at night elevates the risk of an accident by nearly double. It might be tough to see what’s ahead of you or on your side. When the sun begins to set, you must pay greater attention. Night driving can also induce drowsiness.
9. Design Defects
Many manufacturers have produced cars and trucks with design defects that make them vulnerable to accidents.
10. Unsafe Lane Changes
Many drivers fail to shoulder check before they make a lane change. Even the new lane-changing technologies can fail to warn the driver in time to prevent a dangerous lane change.
11. Wrong-Way Driving
It’s simple to go the incorrect way down a street, especially if you aren’t familiar with the location. Keep an eye out for signs indicating one-way streets.
12. Improper Turns
Improper left turns followed by right turns are the most common improper turns. Sudden U-Turns or intersection off and on-ramps to avoid red lights are examples of drivers making improper turns.
Common Injuries Caused From Being In A Car Accident
- Head Injuries & TBI
- Chest & Rib Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Injury
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Injuries
Head injuries frequently occur in a vehicle accident when the head makes contact with the windshield, window, or steering wheel. If you have been involved in an accident and struck your head, seek immediate medical attention no matter how minor you believe your injury to be. If you have a head injury, it is important to go see a doctor and find out if there are any long-term consequences.
If you are experiencing any of the following, seek medical care:
- Poor Eyesight
A medical professional or hospital will examine for a traumatic brain injury or a concussion following an accident. In the event of a personal injury lawsuit, your medical diagnosis serves as evidence of injury, so make sure to obtain treatment!
CHEST & RIB INJURIES
The airbag deployed during a car accident can cause bruising or broken ribs. Seat belts have been proven to save lives but can also cause bruising and broken bones. The vehicle’s steering column can also injure the driver in a car accident if the impact is strong enough.
These accidents can lead to high medical bills and long recovery times. This means you might have to take a lot of time off work. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the treatment you need, and they might also be able to help you recover damages for the cost of your injuries.
If you have sustained damage to the vertebrae or spinal column in a car crash, you might have to live with a life-altering injury, depending on which disks in the back were affected and how much damage occurred.
Partial or even total paralysis can occur from back injuries. In this case, urgent medical care is needed to diagnose the extent of the damage. If you feel any numbness or pain in your back or neck after being in a car accident, don’t hesitate to take a trip to the emergency room.
You can often break your bones when you are in a car accident. This happens when you are thrown against things like the steering column, door, or inside the car. Side impact crashes usually cause the most broken arms and legs. If you were riding in the front seat, you might have damage to your knees or legs from contact with the dashboard.
If you experience pain in your limbs, even if you believe it is only a sprain, seek medical attention immediately.
If you work in construction, retail, or another job where you’re on your feet all day, a broken bone can mean more than just your pain and suffering. You might also lose wages if you have to take time off work to heal or go to doctor’s appointments.
It is common to have bruises, cuts, and scrapes after a car accident. If the crash was more than a minor accident, flying debris like broken glass, cell phones, cups, or purses might hit you at high speed, which can cause painful bruising and cuts. Some of these cuts might be able to be treated at home, while others might need stitches or other extensive medical care.
Surface abrasions can hide more severe problems, like broken bones or head injuries. So if you are still feeling pain after a while, or if there are other symptoms with bruising or cuts, it is best to see a doctor.
SOFT TISSUE INJURIES
You may not feel the pain from your car crash injuries right away. Often, people don’t feel the pain until days or even weeks after the accident. Whiplash is a common injury from car crashes, and it causes pain in the neck muscles and ligaments.
Hire A Houston Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you will need the help of an experienced legal team to pursue justice and obtain the maximum compensation you rightfully deserve.
Our highly skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers will speak to you for free, answer all your questions and concerns, and ensure that you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Other Houston Practice Areas for Personal Injury Law
For more information about our other practice areas, please visit:
- Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
- Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Houston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Houston Rideshare Accident Lawyer
- Houston Wrongful Death Attorney
Accident Lawyers in Other States
- Accident Lawyer
- Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer Truck Accident Lawyer in Sacramento
- Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer Long Beach Anaheim Truck Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
- Car Accident Lawyer San Diego
- Dallas Car Accident Lawyer Truck Accident Lawyer in Dallas
- Car Accident Lawyer Austin Texas
- New York Truck Accident Lawyer
- Philadelphia Truck Accident Lawyer
- Denver Car Accident Lawyer
- Phoenix Car Accident Lawyer Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer
- Car Accident Lawyer St. Louis
- Helicopter Accident Lawyer
- Robinson Helicopter Crash Lawyer
- Air Ambulance Crash Lawyer
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Minor Car Accident, Why Hire a Lawyer?