Waco Car Accident Lawyer
Table of Contents
- Common Injuries From Waco Car Accidents
- The Importance of Getting Medical Care
- Common Causes of Car Accidents
- The Texas Statute of Limitations
- Negligence and Liability In Texas Car Crashes
- How A Waco Car Accident Attorney Can Help
- Contact A Seasoned Waco Car Accident Lawyer Today
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), in 2019, there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S., causing 36,096 people to lose their lives on the road.
In Texas, there were 288,227 vehicle miles traveled, with 3,294 fatal accidents causing the deaths of 3,615 people. Nearly half of these accidents involved a single vehicle. Urban roads saw 60 percent of these accidents, while the remaining 40 percent occurred on rural roads. These accidents left innocent people with expenses and injuries they may never recover from. If you know this firsthand, The Patel Firm can help. An experienced Waco car accident lawyer can assist you in recovering compensation no matter where your accident occurred or how severe your injuries are.
Common Injuries from Waco Car Accidents
Motor vehicle collisions can cause minor or severe injuries to any part of the body. However, some are more common than others.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Car crashes are the leading cause of TBIs in the United States. Tens of thousands of people die every year, and even more suffer long-term disabilities as the result of these accidents. Those that live can suffer seizures, headaches, emotional deregulation, and personality changes. Some may need constant care for the rest of their lives.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) and Paralysis (Quadriplegia/Tetraplegia and Paraplegia)
The force of a collision can cause torque on the spinal cord, the vertebrae, and the vertebral discs, causing bruising, tears, or the severing of the spinal cord. The victim could become paralyzed, depending on the level and severity of the spinal injury. SCI victims can face astronomical medical bills both now and far into the future. They are also at risk of complications and may live a shorter life due to their injuries.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Forces in an accident can lead to broken bones anywhere in the body, such as the legs, arms, ribs, ankles, and wrists. Some individuals suffer a pelvic or spinal fracture. Some breaks are simple and only require casting. Others can be complex, requiring surgery, physical therapy, and months of recovery. Some fractures may never heal right, leading to a permanent disability.
While the spine is designed to help protect the spinal cord, it’s not meant to withstand the heavy impacts that often accompany car crashes. Back injuries can cause chronic pain and disabilities, which can last a long time. Back injuries are also problematic as they might be delayed after the accident. This is one reason why it’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
Vehicle crashes can lead to fires causing victims to suffer burns. They also might suffer burns from hot fluids, surfaces, steam, or chemicals. Severe burns require surgery and skin grafts. Burns also have a high risk of complications such as infection and scarring. Burns that cause scarring or disfigurement entitle victims to more compensation.
A crash can cause the body to forcefully come into contact with the vehicle or other debris in the accident, causing internal injuries. Internal injuries can be life-threatening. Internal bleeding and damage to organs can result from car accidents and require emergency medical care. It’s critical to note that sometimes internal injuries may be asymptomatic at first—another reason to get medical attention immediately after the crash.
Facial Injuries and Scars
Broken glass, flying debris, and impacts with a steering wheel, windshield, airbag, dash, car seat, side window, or any hard surface can cause facial injuries. Some of these injuries may require surgery and might leave the individual with a permanent scar. Some accident victims might also lose teeth and need emergency or cosmetic dentistry services.
It’s possible to have an arm, finger, leg, or toe severed in an accident. It’s also possible to sustain injuries severe enough that the appendage needs to be surgically removed. Amputations, whether medical or otherwise, can have disabling effects no matter the age or occupation of the victim.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
The neck can have immense force places on it in a car accident. This force often leads to muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries that cause pain or whiplash. Even an accident that occurs at 15mph can cause whiplash whether the victim was wearing a seatbelt or not. Other injuries can include cervical dislocation and severe disc injury.
Knee injuries are common in car accidents due to their location near the dashboard or smashing into any hard surface. Bruising and even multiple fractures can result. If a knee is twisted or turned suddenly in a crash, a torn meniscus or cartilage can occur. Knee injuries can be particularly painful, require surgery, and cause weeks or months of disability.
Bruises, Lacerations, and Road Rash
While these injuries might seem minor compared to others, they can be quite painful and might result in infection or scarring. Road rash is caused by friction between the skin and pavement or concrete. Bruises can occur anywhere on the body where a body part has forcefully come into contact with an object. Lacerations are common from broken glass, flying objects, or torn sheet metal.
Nearly any body part can suffer a crush injury when caught between hard objects under pressure. Crush injuries result in damage to tissues, organs, bones, and muscles.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Another common injury those in car accidents suffer is a soft tissue injury, including sprains and strains. Even though they aren’t fractures, soft tissue injuries can be very painful and take a long time to heal.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
For some injured individuals, injuries are more than physical. Mental and emotional injuries can arise after a car accident. Depression, anxiety, and excessive worry may result. It’s not uncommon to require mental health care after a crash, and those costs are part of your damages, just as other medical bills are.
Whatever your injuries, a knowledgeable Waco car accident attorney can assist you in building a strong case against the person or party that caused your accident. They can help you gather medical records and bills to help prove your damages.
The Importance of Getting Medical Care
Suppose you aren’t severely injured and taken to the hospital via ambulance from the accident scene. In that case, you may falsely believe that you don’t need medical care. Unfortunately, this can be a dangerous assumption. Many crash victims fail to seek the care they need because they aren’t having any symptoms or are only experiencing minor ones. However, they should know that:
- The adrenaline from the accident can cause them not to notice pain
- Some injuries may not reveal symptoms until later, such as back injuries
- They may have severe or life-threatening injuries
- Their legal claim can depend on them receiving adequate medical care as soon as possible
If you’ve been injured in an accident, it’s in your best interest to seek care from a qualified physician as soon as possible after the accident. Doing so can ensure you have legal rights and options and also your health and well-being.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents occur every day from a plethora of causes. Many of these causes are linked to the negligence of other drivers or parties. Common causes include:
While impaired driving frequently means driving under the influence of alcohol, it can also mean being impaired by illicit or prescription drugs. Drivers shouldn’t be behind the wheel when they are potentially impaired by any substance.
Distracted driving has become commonplace these days, but it doesn’t mean that it is safe or the right thing to do. Texting, using a smartphone or other electronic devices, eating, reaching for items in the vehicle, attending to pets or kids in the car, and even daydreaming can lead to severe accidents. Drivers need to be completely attentive to their actions behind the wheel and the road and circumstances around them to drive safely.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of auto collisions. The greater the speed, the greater the risk for an accident and severe injuries. This doesn’t just apply to driving the speed limit but also adjusting vehicle speed as necessary for road and weather conditions—for example, slowing down on damaged roads, in construction zones, or during hail.
Some drivers simply drive recklessly. Maybe they are in a hurry and don’t care about the well-being and safety of others. Whatever their reason for endangering innocent lives, they should be held accountable for their actions.
Sometimes a vehicle or its parts aren’t made or designed correctly, which leads to an accident. Under these circumstances, the manufacturer should be held liable for the damage it causes. It’s often not readily apparent that a manufacturer defect caused an accident, which is why it’s a good idea to hire an experienced Waco car accident attorney to investigate your accident.
The Texas Statute of Limitations
While your medical care should always take priority after a car accident, don’t ignore your legal rights. Under the Texas statute of limitations for personal injuries, injured parties in an auto collision have two years from the date of their injury to file a legal claim. Even though you have two years, you shouldn’t wait to reach out to a skilled Waco car accident lawyer. In fact, you should contact one as soon as possible. Building a solid case against those who caused your accident takes time.
If you don’t file your case on time, you lose the legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries. In cases where the claim is against a government entity, the deadline is often shorter, making it even more crucial that victims get legal help sooner rather than later.
Contacting a Waco car accident attorney as soon as you can also have other benefits:
- Your attorney can protect you from the insurance company’s efforts to devalue or deny your claim
- Your attorney can help you collect evidence to support your claim that could be lost or ruined if not collected now
- While your lawyer handles your legal case, you can rest and recuperate from your injuries
- You can experience peace of mind knowing that a professional is advocating for you and guiding you through this often confusing process
Negligence and Liability in Texas Car Crashes
Most personal injury cases, including auto accidents, are rooted in the negligence of the at-fault party. A person is negligent if they fail to do what a reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances. For instance, reasonable people would obey traffic laws and maintain their vehicles.
When building your case, your Waco car accident lawyer will need to be able to prove the following points:
- Duty—the at-fault party owed you a duty of care
- Breach of duty—the at-fault party violated that duty of care; perhaps they ran a stoplight or failed to drive the speed limit
- Injuries—you sustained injuries due to the at-fault party’s breach
- Damages—your damages are the direct result of your injuries
How a Waco Car Accident Attorney Can Help
You can rely on a seasoned Waco car accident lawyer for many things after being injured in a crash. It’s likely that you may not be aware of or understand the process and tasks required for a successful injury accident claim. Your attorney or their staff can:
- Investigate all factors that might have contributed to your accident—there could be numerous contributing factors, and an accident reconstruction specialist might be needed
- Identify all liable parties—they could be other motorists, employers, vehicle or part manufacturers, or government entities
- Handle insurance company adjusters—this will reduce the chances that you will say something to them that sabotages your claim and allows you the time and space you need to recover
- Estimate your future medical and accident-related expenses—if these future costs aren’t projected, you could miss out on the compensation you are entitled to receive to make the best recovery possible
- Work directly with medical care billing departments to arrange for payment once you receive compensation so that you don’t have to worry about getting your bills paid while still recovering
- Negotiate with the insurance company—attorneys are skilled negotiators who can work to get you a fair settlement and, in most cases, avoid litigation
Contact a Seasoned Waco Car Accident Lawyer Today
At The Patel Firm, we can thoroughly evaluate the facts and evidence in your claim. We often work with investigators to establish that another driver’s negligent behavior led to your accident and the resulting injuries. We also work with financial planners and medical experts to establish the extent of your injuries and their full current and future costs. Our goal is to receive fair compensation for motor vehicle collision victims through negotiation or, when needed, through litigation.
You can meet with a seasoned car accident attorney from The Patel Firm to discuss your accident claim. Call 254-312-2386 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.
“This is my first time ever using a lawyer to help me process an accident claim. Joanne walked me through every step of the way. No matter when I reached out to ask my lawyer a question I got a very quick response. This was done during the COVID-19 shut down which made it extra difficult but the lawyer and his staff kept me informed. I am grateful that he kept his word in every way to me. I would recommend them highly to anyone I know.”
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