Houston Car Accident Lawyer
Table of Contents
- What are some common causes of car accidents in Houston?
- Types of Car Crashes
- What are the most common car accident-related injuries?
- What steps should I take after a car accident?
- What if I wasn’t at fault?
- Contact Us After a Houston Car Accident
When you get behind the wheel every day, you risk becoming involved in a collision with another driver. From debilitating cases of whiplash to serious concussions, there are many different levels to the types of car accident injuries you or a loved one can sustain in a motor vehicle collision. After the accident, you may be transported to the ER or even require an extended stay in the hospital. Diagnostic tests like an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI may be required. Treatments including physical therapy, medication, surgery, or even some forms of long-term care can become costly. If you’re injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t pay for someone else’s negligence. Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making money and will often offer an initial lowball settlement offer or even blame the accident on you.
You shouldn’t try and figure out how much your claim is worth on your own; our exceptional team of personal injury attorneys at the Patel Firm are committed to serving your best interests and can help you maximize the value of your claim. Our car accident lawyers understand that there are more to post-accident costs than just medical bills; there’s also the cost of repairing or even replacing your vehicle. Your injuries may even be so severe that you are unable to return to work. In the aftermath of a car crash, you are overwhelmed and probably uncertain about what your rights are. Contacting us for a free consultation is in your best interest; we’re ready to answer your questions and respond promptly to all inquiries.
Houston streets are busy and filled with drivers in a hurry to get to their destination. In most cases, car accidents happen because of driver negligence. However, there are many reasons why vehicle collisions occur. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents.
One of the leading causes of traffic accidents is distracted driving. In Texas, over 96,000 crashes are caused by distracted drivers. There are many different types of distractions someone can face on the road, including adjusting the temperature, applying makeup, eating, drinking, fidgeting with the radio, or conversing with a passenger. Talking and texting is the most common form of distracted driving. Regardless of the distraction, you can find yourself in an unfortunate situation when you divert your attention from driving even for a second.
Speed limit signs are in place for your protection. When you speed, you risk losing control of your car and causing an accident. Speeding also reduces your response time, making it more challenging to respond to an object or sudden roadblock in your way. When you speed, not only are you endangering yourself, but you’re putting other motorists and pedestrians at risk. Life can be stressful, especially when you know you’re going to be late to work or a necessary appointment. Driving faster and more recklessly to get somewhere on time is never worth the risk.
Driving Under the Influence
It is illegal to operate your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drivers found with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher would be unlawfully operating their vehicle. If you’ve had any recreational or prescription drugs, you should not get behind the wheel. Anything you consume that compromises your ability to operate your vehicle at your optimal level would be considered illegal. Unfortunately, despite most drivers knowing the perils of drunk driving, each year, about 40 percent of car accident fatalities in the U.S are caused by someone driving under the influence.
Water creates slick roadways and often lowers a driver’s ability to keep proper control of their vehicle. Thunderstorms, hail, snow, ice, and wind also create dangerous conditions for driving. If you’re stuck in the middle of a rainstorm, chances are your visibility is limited, and you should consider driving extra carefully on slick roads. Vehicles with worn or damaged tires are at an even higher risk of skidding on wet roads. In cases where crashes are caused by bad weather, no one may be held liable. However, proving that adverse weather conditions were to blame in an accident isn’t easy. Insurance companies will investigate how fast you were going at the time of the accident or if you were impaired or fatigued and determine whether or not these were contributing factors.
Cars consist of many parts, and it is not uncommon for them to malfunction. When you’re unable to maintain your vehicle’s health, this almost always leads to complications. A vehicle malfunction can compromise your ability to maintain proper control of your vehicle. Improper vehicle maintenance can lead to blown head gaskets or transmission problems which cause unnecessary accidents. As your tire slowly erodes, or if you’ve run over a sharp object on the road, the quality of your tire becomes compromised. Tire blowouts are another common problem that causes accidents. Maintaining proper tire care is crucial to avoiding a collision with another driver.
Local and state governments must maintain roads and highways safe for all motorists. When drivers leave work in a hurry to get home and encounter road work, they may be tempted to give in to their habits and ignore safety signs. If you encounter highway construction, you should always slow down and follow the instructions of any posted signage. Watch for roadway issues like poor design, inadequate maintenance, lack of signage, potholes, or debris. These problems on the road can create a dangerous situation that leads to car accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you should contact one of our Houston car accident lawyers today. Nothing should prevent you from focusing on recovering; let our compassionate team of personal injury attorneys guide you through your case.
Every day in Houston, drivers are involved in car accidents. Some types of accidents are more common than others. Protecting yourself on the road starts with understanding the types of crashes that occur. Here are the most common types of accidents that happen on the road.
The National Highway Transportation reports rear-end crashes as the most frequently occurring type of accident, accounting for approximately 29% of all collisions. These types of accidents happen when a vehicle crashes with the one in front of it. Some factors that contribute to rear-end collisions include distracted driving and tailgating. Checking your mirrors regularly and turning your blinkers on early enough to let other drivers know you’re making a turn are good ways to avoid being involved in a rear-end crash.
Also known as “T-bone” or “broadside” collisions, side-impact accidents occur when the front of a car or truck collides with the side of another motorist’s vehicle. These types of accidents often result in severe damage and injuries. Side-impact collisions happen most often when one driver fails to obey a stop sign or traffic light. Driver’s who fail to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic often find themselves involved in T-bone accidents.
These types of crashes are the most dangerous and often result in serious injuries or fatalities. When two cars, driving in opposite directions, come in contact with each other front to front, these are known as “frontal” or head-on crashes. Usually, head-on accidents occur when one driver is on the wrong side of the road. Drunk and distracted drivers are most often responsible for entering the highway in the wrong direction and causing these types of accidents. Even looking at your phone for a second could cause you to drift onto the wrong side of the road. If you’re too tired to drive, you should refrain from getting behind the wheel and potentially swerving into oncoming traffic.
When two cars parallel to one another come into contact, these are known as sideswipe collisions. The damages and injuries resulting from these types of crashes are typically minor. These types of accidents often happen when one vehicle tries to make a lane switch without signaling or fails to see that another car is in its blind spot. Distracted, tired, or intoxicated drivers can also be responsible for sideswipe accidents; their reckless behavior often causes them to drift into another lane. While some sideswipe accidents may only result in unsightly scratches or a jammed door, others are more serious, especially in accidents where both cars are traveling at high rates of speed. Avoiding these types of accidents is as simple as checking your blind spot frequently and keeping your attention on the road.
When three or more cars are involved in a crash, this is known as a multi-vehicle collision. These types of accidents often occur on busy roads and freeways. Multiple impacts from many different angles can cause these accidents to be even more dangerous than head-on collisions.
Trust in our meticulous team of Houston car accident attorneys; we’ll develop the right strategy for your case and help you recover the maximum settlement amount you deserve. If you were injured in a car accident, there would be more to your expenses than just your medical bills. Learn about your legal options by calling our office and scheduling a meeting with one of our attorneys at your earliest convenience.
The circumstances of every car accident are unique. In some cases, vehicle occupants will sustain minor injuries, while other injuries may require medical attention or even be fatal. There are two main categories that car accident injuries typically belong to, including impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Recovery can be challenging for victims of car accidents that suffer severe injuries. For this reason, it is crucial to seek the advice of a knowledgeable car accident attorney so you can begin treatment as soon as possible.
Whiplash – Irritation to the neck muscles that happens when the head and neck move suddenly. The pain in these injuries is not typically severe, and there is often no visible injury. However, victims of whiplash not only suffer from swelling and headaches, but they also risk sustaining severe muscle and ligament damage.
Concussions – Head and brain injuries happen in even minor car accidents. Concussions are the most common type of head injury that occurs in motor vehicle collisions. Individuals who experience concussions have a hard time recalling events and processing their thoughts as quickly as they used to. Receiving prompt medical treatment is essential for adequately treating a concussion and giving yourself the best chance of restoring your brain’s functions to a healthy state.
Broken bones – Our bones are fragile; even in minor car crashes, arms, legs, hips, shoulders, and ribs can break. Even light impacts in a car accident can result in a tremendous and unnatural amount of force being put on your body. The stress your body undergoes during an accident is often more than your fragile bones and limbs can hold out against. Suffering a painful break will require long periods of rest and can even become costly. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, you should not be responsible for covering your own medical costs. Our Houston car accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Internal bleeding – Suffering from internal bleeding after a car accident is not uncommon and can be dangerous if not treated promptly. Internal bleeding happens when blood vessels undergo trauma. Victims of internal bleeding may be unaware that they’ve suffered an injury. Because of this, it is crucial to seek medical attention even after a minor car crash.
Wearing your seatbelt is the best way to safeguard yourself against sustaining major injuries if you’re ever involved in a motor vehicle crash. Observing the speed limit is one way to avoid causing an accident and injuries you and another driver might sustain as a result. At the Patel Firm, our Houston car accident lawyers are committed to investigating your case and holding all liable parties accountable.
Put yourself in the best place to gain the entire settlement amount you need to recover. Knowing your rights after a car accident can help protect the compensation you’re entitled to if another driver is found to be at fault for the accident. After an accident, you’re confused and maybe even unsure what to do and how to go about recovering compensation for any damages or injuries you’ve endured.
When you or any parties involved have been injured in a car accident, you should remain on the scene and call 911. Request from the dispatcher that an ambulance is sent. In Houston, there are certain responsibilities drivers have after a car accident. If your collision resulted in an injury, death, or vehicle damage so severe that someone could not safely drive their vehicle after the accident, you must report the crash to the police.
If there were no injuries, it is still in your best interest to contact the authorities and wait for an officer to arrive. You should exchange information with all parties involved in the accident. Get everyone’s name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information. If there were witnesses present, you should also exchange information with them. Witness testimony can prove to be critical in car accident cases. Never admit to fault or argue about who was at fault.
Hit-and-run accidents sometimes happen with uninsured drivers, and you should never attempt to chase the other driver down. Instead, call the police as soon as possible and provide them with a description of the vehicle or driver. Taking pictures of the crash scene can provide a critical piece of evidence when determining fault. Remember to take photos of the entire crash scene, including other vehicles and any visible injuries you or other parties sustained. While your memories are fresh in your mind, you should note the details of your crash. Write down the time, location, weather conditions, and whether there were any road hazards or construction present.
Seeing a physician within 24 hours of your crash is crucial. Even if you aren’t experiencing any pain or noticeable symptoms, you may have suffered an injury with delayed-onset symptoms. Many victims of whiplash, concussions, or traumatic brain injury do not realize it. Your doctor will be able to determine if you’re injured, place you on a treatment regime, and prescribe you medication. Missing a doctor’s appointment can cause insurance companies to assume that you are not as injured as you claim and affect the settlement amount you receive.
Tell your insurance company you were involved in an accident without going into too much detail. Provide them with the basic facts and contact a car accident lawyer to go over the details of your case. One of our qualified car accident lawyers can benefit you by ensuring that your rights are protected. When sharing your account of the accident with your insurance company, you should remain truthful yet remain cautious with what you share. Speak with one of our lawyers before signing or saying something that can compromise your legal rights. Our firm offers free, no-hassle consultations, and one of our personal injury attorneys can explain the legal options available to you.
Texas is a fault-based insurance state; after reporting the accident to the insurance company, you can file a claim with your insurance company, assuming you have the appropriate cover, or file with the at-fault driver’s company. You should never speak with the other driver’s insurance company, even if they call and ask for a recorded statement. Instead, you should refer them to your attorney. Whatever you say can be used against you and affect the outcome of your case. If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to do so within two years of the crash. You will not be eligible for compensation if you fail to meet this deadline. Our Houston car accident lawyers will advise the best course of action for your claim and meet all filing deadlines so you can focus on healing from the emotional and physical trauma of the accident.
If you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the driver responsible would be held liable for your damages. Texas requires all licensed drivers to have car insurance with minimum amounts of liability coverage, which means in most cases, if a negligent driver injures you in an accident, you will be entitled to compensation. Drivers found partially to blame for an accident will be responsible for their percentage of fault. A jury calculates the percentage of fault belonging to each party, and a dollar amount is assigned to the victim’s damages.
A victim’s damage award is reduced by their share or percentage of fault in the accident. Also known as the “modified comparative fault” rule, insurance companies refer to this rule when making settlement determinations in your claim. Insurance companies want to settle your case for as little as possible, which is why you should contact one of our skilled car accident lawyers as soon as possible. Our goal is to alleviate your stress and handle the complex insurance claim process on our own.
Our team, the Patel Firm PLLC, believes in safeguarding our client’s rights and seeking justice. We are prepared to discuss the details of your case and explain your legal options. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Houston, call us at (361) 400-2036 or contact us using our convenient online form. Put your faith in our team of experts who are ready to guide you through an often stressful and complicated car accident claim process.