Car Accident Attorneys in Corpus Christi
A car accident can occur in the blink of an eye. Without warning, you can suffer serious and life-changing injuries. These injuries can significantly impact your overall quality of life and derail your entire future. They may make it impossible to work and provide for your family.
As you struggle to recover, you may have many thoughts running through your mind.
- Why did this happen to me?
- What can I do to take care of my family?
- How will we pay our bills?
- Who is to blame?
If you suffered an injury in a car accident in Corpus Christi that the negligence or recklessness of someone else caused, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the expenses and impacts on your life. An experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorney at The Patel Firm PLLC can provide information about the legal process for collecting this compensation.
The Patel Firm PLLC Can Help After a Corpus Christi Car Accident
At The Patel Firm PLLC, when we accept a case, we work hard to provide our clients with the support they deserve following a serious car accident. Our clients appreciate our willingness to jump in and answer questions, negotiate with the insurance company that covers the liable driver, and walk clients through the claim. We want to make the process as easy as possible for our clients while maximizing the compensation they receive for their injuries.
The Patel Firm PLLC cannot guarantee results in any accident claim. We do, however, offer many advantages for our clients.
- Peace of mind. During a car accident claim, you may deal with insurance adjusters and attorneys for the liable party. They often place the needs of the insurance company above your personal needs. At The Patel Firm PLLC, we ensure that you have attorneys on your side, dedicated to your best interests. We will also take many of the tasks associated with handling the claim off of your plate, giving you the freedom to focus on your recovery.
- An explanation of your rights. Following a car accident, we help our clients understand the compensation they deserve for their injuries. This may not be the compensation offered by the insurance company.
- Evidence collected for you. Sometimes, you may need to show evidence of what entity caused your accident. From exploring truckers’ logbooks to video footage of the accident, if it exists, we will help collect that vital evidence for our clients.
While we cannot offer guarantees, our clients often find that working with us helps increase the compensation they receive for their injuries. Many insurance companies take your claim more seriously when you have an attorney on your side. We also help our clients identify all expenses associated with their car accidents and the full compensation they deserve for their injuries. This helps prevent them from accepting a too-low settlement offer.
Where Do Car Accidents Occur in Corpus Christi?
In Corpus Christi, car accidents occur in many places. According to the TXDOT Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics, roughly 40 fatalities occur in Nueces County every year. This means that every 10 days, someone loses their life in a fatal car accident in Corpus Christi and the surrounding communities. Texas, in general, had the most car accident fatalities of any state in the U.S.
According to the TXDOT, in Corpus Christi, car accidents occur most frequently on:
- Interstates. These roads see an estimated 6 fatal car accidents a year.
- Interstate 37
- U.S. and Texas state highways. An estimated 11 fatalities occur on U.S. and Texas state highways.
- U.S. 181
- Tx 358
- Farm to market roads. These types of roads often result in approximately 6 fatalities every year.
- FM 624
- City roads. Approximately 13 fatalities occur on these types of Corpus Christi roads.
- 3rd Street
- Craig Street
Intersections are also dangerous in Corpus Christi. According to the Corpus Christi police, some intersections in the area cause more accidents than others. Some of those include:
- SPID and South Staples Street
- SPID and Airline Road
- SPID and Kostoryz Road
- SPID and Everhart Road
- Staples Street and Saratoga Boulevard
- SPID and Rodd Field Road
- Highway 286 and Crosstown
- Everhart Road and Saratoga Boulevard
- Staples Street and Holly Road
- I-37 and Shoreline Boulevard
- Cimarron and Saratoga Boulevard
- SPID and Greenwood Drive
These are just a few of the many dangerous intersections in and around Corpus Christi. According to police, they hand out an estimated 70 citations at those intersections over the course of just two hours. Many of these citations are for running stop signs and red lights, as well as speeding and driving recklessly.
Types of Corpus Christi Car Accidents
Two people recently died in a two-car crash in Corpus Christi. The accident happened at around 2 a.m. on the Harbor Bridge when a man in his forties was driving the wrong way on the bridge. He collided head-on with a woman in her thirties driving a small SUV. Both drivers died at the scene. During their investigation, officers discovered alcohol in the man’s vehicle.
The accident, though tragic, is not anything unusual. In our state, more than 12,000 serious injury accidents take place each year, resulting in nearly 250,000 injuries and more than 3,500 deaths.
Car accidents can happen anywhere motor vehicles drive.
Some of the most common types of accidents include:
- Rear-end. With about 1.7 million of these accidents a year, rear-end collisions are among the most common types of multi-vehicle accidents to have and involve the front of one vehicle colliding with the rear of another vehicle. These accidents generally result from tailgating—which occurs when one vehicle is following another vehicle too closely. Rear-end accidents often result in soft tissue injuries in the neck known as whiplash, which is due to the sharp back and forth motion of the neck. Often regarded as a “minor” accident or a “fender-bender,” these accidents result in about 1,700 deaths a year.
- Head-on. This type of accident occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the front of another vehicle. While head-on collisions only account for about 2 percent of the accidents in the U.S., they account for more than 10 percent of the car accident fatalities. Part of what makes head-on collisions so dangerous is the forward motion of both vehicles, which increases the energy of the impact.
- Broadside. Broadside collisions occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. This type of accident is also referred to as a T-bone or a side impact collision, and is particularly dangerous to occupants sitting on the side of the vehicle the other car strikes. Broadside collisions generally take place at intersections when one driver fails to yield the right-of-way.
- Sideswipe. Sideswipe accidents take place when the side of one vehicle makes contact with the side of another vehicle. Sideswipes are often the result of a driver attempting to change travel lanes with first ensuring that the lane they’re moving into is clear.
- Rollover. Rollovers can occur either in a multi-vehicle collision or in an accident involving only one vehicle. This type of accident may be “tripped”—meaning that the vehicle’s tires struck something such as a median or a guardrail that caused the vehicle to tip over. In some cases, the rollover may be “untripped,” meaning that something other than a tire striking an object causes the car to rollover. An example is a sharp jerk of the wheel during a collision-avoidance maneuver. Some vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, SUVs, and trucks with a high center of gravity are at a particular risk of an untapped rollover.
- Single-car. Single-car accidents are more common than those involving multiple vehicles, and can involve a vehicle running off the road or one that strikes an object or even a pedestrian or bicyclist on the road.
- Chain reaction. Chain reaction accidents involve three or more vehicles. A chain reaction accident is often caused by a single accident. Other drivers may be unable to stop in time to avoid crashing into the vehicles involved, or the force of the impact may cause the vehicles involved in the initial accident to strike other cars traveling on the roadway.
Causes of Corpus Christi Car Accidents
In Corpus Christi and across Texas, car accidents happen for many reasons, including:
- Alcohol impairment. Around 10,000 people are killed every year due to alcohol impaired drivers—equating roughly to one death every 50 minutes, and 30 people a day. Alcohol impairment impacts many of the skills needed for safe driving, such as:
- Ability to track moving objects
- Make good decisions
- Brake and steer properly
- Control speed
- Perform emergency driving maneuvers.
Approximately one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities involve some degree of alcohol impairment. This results in a societal cost of $44 billion a year.
According to the Texas DOT, drunk drivers cause approximately 513 fatal crashes in Texas every year. In Nueces County and Corpus Christi, drunk drivers cause six fatalities a year and countless other injuries.
- Distracted driving. An estimated one-quarter of all accidents involve a distracted driver. Driving distractions can involve three areas:
- Manual. These types of distractions cause the driver to take his or her hands from the wheel
- Visual. These types of distractions cause the driver to take his or her eyes from the roadway
- Cognitive. These types of distractions draw the driver’s attention from the task of driving.
Some distractions fall into more than one of these categories. Texting is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distractions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it takes approximately five seconds for a person to read or reply to a text. In that time, when traveling at 55 miles per hour, a texting driver will have driven the length of a football field with his or her eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind not on driving safely.
Other forms of driving distractions include, but are not limited to:
- Talking on the phone
- Browsing social media
- Visiting with other passengers in the car
- Adjusting stereo or vehicle controls
- Eating or drinking
- External distractions such as previous accidents, people in other cars, or billboards.
Another serious factor that leads to some very dangerous automotive disasters would be how awake someone is before they get behind the wheel.
- Fatigued driving. Fatigued driving produces many of the same effects as alcohol impairment, such as the inability to maintain one’s own travel lane or to brake in emergency driving situations.
Those most at risk of fatigued driving include:
- Drivers who work night shifts
- Long-haul truck drivers
- Drivers suffering from a sleep disorder such as insomnia or sleep apnea
- Sleep deprived drivers due to life changes, such as having a new baby at home.
The reason for this lies with the circadian rhythm, which is the body’s natural instinct to wake during daylight and sleep during the nighttime hours.
- Aggressive driving/road rage. Aggressive driving practices include speeding, running red lights, tailgating, and other unsafe behaviors, generally in an attempt to get through traffic. The most common reason given for aggressive driving is running late.
Road rage features many of the same behaviors as aggressive driving, as well as other, more dangerous behaviors including:
- Yelling at other drivers
- Attempting to get other drivers to pull over to physically confront them
- Running other drivers off the road
The difference between aggressive driving and road rage is that the former involves traffic offenses while the latter involves using a motor vehicle as a weapon to “punish” other drivers.
- Speeding. Driving faster than the posted speed limit or than the conditions of the roadway allows poses hazards including less time for a driver to react to objects in the roadway, as well as more time required for the vehicle to come to a safe stop. Speeding can increase the severity of an accident and decrease the effectiveness of the vehicle’s protective equipment, such as seat belts and airbags.
- Failure to yield. Failure to yield the right-of-way includes failing to stop at red lights or rolling through stop signs, as well as failing to ensure that there is a sufficient gap in traffic when pulling onto the roadway from a private driveway or parking lot. Failure to yield is the most common cause of broadside accidents and is also a major contributor to accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Getting lost. Nearly every driver has gotten lost at some point or missed an exit. However, the simple act of getting lost can cause a driver to make careless choices such as darting across multiple travel lanes to make their exit, making a U-turn where it is unsafe to do so, or even driving the wrong way down the roadway.
- Inexperienced drivers. Teenagers are more likely to get into serious accidents than any other age group, due not only to their inexperience, but also due to the development of their brains and how it affects their ability to scan the roadway for hazards. The likelihood of a teen driver getting into an accident increases with each additional teen passenger they have in the car with them. Additionally, teen drivers are at higher risk for accidents due to driving distractions such as texting. They are also at a higher risk of having an accident when driving while alcohol impaired.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents in Corpus Christi and across the United States often result in serious and life-threatening injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3 million people suffer injuries in car accidents every year in the U.S. These injuries range from minor soft tissue injuries to more severe brain injuries. Even car accidents that occur at low speeds can cause serious injury, especially to children and the elderly. That is why it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you get into a car accident. Some injuries can take hours or even days to become fully apparent.
Some of the most common types of car accident injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Joint injuries
- Internal organ damage
In addition to physical injuries, car accident survivors often suffer from a wide range of emotional injuries. That is because car accidents are frightening and traumatic experiences. The emotional trauma an accident victim faces can affect nearly every aspect of their life. Emotional trauma can make it difficult to work, enjoy their life, and maintain relationships. Some of the emotional injuries accident survivors suffer include depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and PTSD.
Proving Liability After a Car Accident in Corpus Christi
After a serious car accident in Corpus Christi, it is important to know your legal rights. If another person caused your accident and injuries, you can file an injury claim with their insurance company to collect compensation. However, before you can file this claim, you must prove fault. To obtain compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to establish that there was a liable party who caused the accident.
To establish liability, your lawyer must clearly prove the following:
- Duty of care. There was a duty of care owed to you by the at-fault party. This duty of care depends on the at-fault party’s role in the accident. A driver’s duty of care owed to another driver is to drive lawfully and safely.
- Breach of duty. There was a breach in this duty of care. This breach, in regards to another driver, can include distracted driving, alcohol impairment, or some other risky behavior that led to the accident.
- The breach caused the accident. This breach resulted in the accident, which caused the damages you’re seeking to recover.
- You suffered damages. The accident directly resulted in damages to you and your property.
In many cases, multiple parties can share liability for the accident and the damages you suffered. That is why our lawyers investigate all aspects of your case from the start to clearly identify everyone that contributed to your accident.
People or entities besides the other driver may have contributed to the accident. Other sources of liability may include:
- Other driver’s employer. If the accident occurred during the scope of his or her normal employment, the employer may share liability.
- Owner of the other car. If they knowingly allowed an unsafe driver to use their vehicle or in cases where the at-fault driver was a minor, they can share the blame.
- Maintenance shop. The individual or entity tasked with maintaining or repairing the vehicle can share blame if a lack of maintenance caused the accident or they performed maintenance incorrectly.
- The manufacturer or distributor of vehicle parts. If a defect to one of those parts resulted in the accident, they can share the blame for the accident and the injuries.
- Other unsafe drivers. Sometimes other drivers contribute to the crash but avoid involvement in the actual accident. In some cases, they can share the liability for causing the accident.
- The governmental agency. Governmental agencies that must maintain the roadway can share the blame if a road defect resulted in the accident.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must establish negligence before receiving any compensation. Texas uses a modified comparative fault standard when determining compensation and damages. That means if you share the blame for the accident, you receive less compensation for your injuries. Your percentage of blame determines how much the courts reduce your damages.
For example, speeding is against the law. If you drove over the speed limit at the time of your accident, the court could determine that you are 20 percent at fault for the accident and your injuries. If the court awards you $100,000 in damages, you would only receive $80,000 of that award. The court reduces your award by 20 percent of your fault.
Texas also follows a 51 percent bar rule. That means that if you are 51 percent or more at fault for the accident, you cannot collect any damages.
Building Your Injury Case
To collect the maximum amount of compensation after a car accident in Corpus Christi, it is best to call our law firm. At The Patel Firm PLLC, our Texas car accident lawyers know how to effectively build a case designed to help you collect the money you need to put your life back together again. We know that no amount of money can ever right the wrongs done to you, but you should not have to struggle financially because of someone else’s mistakes.
To build your case, we start by meeting with you one-on-one. We want to get to know you and your struggles. We want to learn more about your accident and your injuries. That is why we offer a free initial consultation and review. This helps us identify the ways we can help you best. It also allows us to review your legal options with you, so you can choose the one that is best for you and your family.
Once we meet with you, we will start gathering the evidence needed to prove liability.
This often involves:
- Conducting extensive research
- Reviewing the police report
- Examining medical records
- Discussing your injuries with your medical team
- Employing accident recreation experts and forensic specialists
- Speaking to eyewitnesses
- Examining the crash site and vehicle damage
Our accident lawyers make sure to examine all angles of your case. This helps us to identify ways to maximize your claim and get you the money you need.
Seeking Damages After a Corpus Christi Car Accident
Were you injured in a Corpus Christi car accident that someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused? If so, the law allows you to seek compensation for the injury-related expenses you incurred. The law also allows you to seek compensation for the impact the injury had on your life. You can do this by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Some of the damages you may seek to recover through a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Lost wages due to being too injured to work or missing work to attend doctor’s appointments related to your injuries.
- Medical expenses, including ambulance transport, emergency room services, diagnostic testing, surgical services, hospitalization, prescription medication, rehabilitation, assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches, and prostheses.
- The cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle.
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from being able to work in the same capacity as you did before your accident.
- Pain and suffering, both physical and psychological.
- Loss of enjoyment of life, if your injuries prevent you from enjoying hobbies and activities that you participated in before the accident.
Why should you seek damages?
Car accident injuries can result in a permanent disability, as well as a lifetime of pain and suffering. This can cause undue financial hardships for families. Someone with a serious brain injury would need nearly $2 million in medical care alone throughout their lifetimes. This amount does not include indirect costs, such as lost earnings or pain and suffering. Likewise, someone with severe burns with complications might need as much as $10 million to treat successfully. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may end up owing a large portion of this bill.
As you can imagine, the costs of caring for someone with serious car accident injuries can easily overwhelm families. As such, you need to seek compensation for your injuries, so that you have the resources you need to move into the future and rebuild your life.
Fighting the Insurance Companies After a Corpus Christi Car Accident
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind. That is why you need a law firm on your side from the start. Insurance companies have one main goal: to reduce their own liabilities and pay you as little as possible. To do this, they may try and pin some of the blame on you. After all, if they can make part of the accident your fault, they will not have to pay as much. They use devious and deceptive tactics to get injured car accident survivors to sign a low settlement offer.
They may do this by:
- Delaying claims
- Denying claims outright
- Using a take it or leave it approach
- Refusing to negotiate
- Ordering unnecessary medical tests
- Getting you to admit fault
- Investigating your social media accounts
That is why you need an injury law firm on your side from the very beginning. At The Patel Law Firm, PLLC, our car accident lawyers know how to fight insurance companies – and win. We use our extensive knowledge of Texas injury law to combat insurance company tactics.
How Can You Help Us Help You?
You can help us to protect your rights and fight the insurance company by doing the following:
- Keep all receipts and medical documents
- Document your injuries
- Write down details of the accident
- Attend all doctor appointments and therapy sessions
- Do not speak to insurance adjusters
- Do not give recorded statements without speaking to us
- Do not post on social media while your case is active
- Be honest about your injuries and accident
- Do not repair your car without talking to us
The steps you take after your accident can help us fight the insurance companies better. Working together is the best way to help you obtain maximum compensation, so you have the money you need to recover.
Why Call Us?
Your best opportunity for obtaining fair compensation for your injuries is through hiring an experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyer at The Patel Firm PLLC.
In addition to explaining your legal options, our car accident attorneys may also help with:
- Establishing a “value” to your case based on your injuries, expenses, and the impacts on your life that the accident has caused.
- Carefully investigating the facts of your case to determine all liable parties and sources of insurance.
- Providing skilled negotiation in an attempt to obtain a settlement offer in your case.
- Preparing your case for litigation, including identifying and deposing witnesses.
- Representing you in court.
- Assisting you in the collection of settlement or award money.
- Continuing to represent you after an appeal of the initial verdict.
We work tirelessly to represent you after a serious car accident in Corpus Christi. We believe in helping injured accident survivors seek justice. That is why we offer all our services on a contingency basis. That means that we do not get paid unless we can collect money for you. It is that simple. We do this because we believe that everyone should seek justice – not just those who can afford it. When we win your case for you, we then collect a percentage of your settlement or award. Meet with us in a free consultation to explore these options.
Contact Us After a Corpus Christi Car Accident
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a car accident in Corpus Christi, we can help. The Patel Firm PLLC focuses on providing legal guidance and representation to Corpus Christi car accident victims. We believe in safeguarding the community from harm and dedicate our practice to helping injured survivors seek justice. Let’s discuss your accident and the legal options available for you. Call us at (361) 400-2036 or contact us online. We are here to help you every step of the way. Call today!