Compassionate Auto Accident Representation in Houston, TX
Car accidents can happen to anyone, anytime, and anywhere. They are a major cause of serious injury and death in Houston, Texas. If you or a loved one have been in an accident in Houston, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other expenses. However, navigating the complex legal system and dealing with auto insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries. That’s where a law firm can really help.
Whether you’re looking for information on what to do after an accident, how to choose the right law firm, or what to expect during the legal process, read on for more information.
The Importance of Hiring Houston Car Accident Lawyers
After an accident, you may be tempted to handle the legal process on your own. However, this can be a mistake. Dealing with auto insurance companies and navigating the legal system can be difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the laws and regulations in Houston. Additionally, insurance companies are often more interested in protecting their bottom line than in compensating you for your injuries and damages. A Houston car accident attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Overview of Houston Car Accident Law
Houston car accident law is complex and can be difficult to understand. There are many laws and regulations that govern car wrecks in Houston, including laws on comparative negligence, the statute of limitations, and insurance requirements. Additionally, there are different types of damages that you may be entitled to receive, such as economic damages (like medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic damages (like pain and suffering). A Houston car accident law firm can help you navigate these laws and understand your rights.
Common Causes of Car Wrecks in Houston
Houston has a high rate of car accidents, with thousands of accidents occurring each year. While there are many factors that can contribute to an accident, the most common causes of auto accidents in Houston include the following.
Driver negligence is one of the most common causes of auto accidents in Houston. This includes actions such as speeding, failing to yield, running red lights or stop signs, and not following the rules of the road. Driver negligence can be caused by a variety of factors, including distractions, fatigue, and aggressive driving.
Distracted driving is a growing problem in Houston and throughout the United States. This includes activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving. Distracted driving can significantly impair a driver’s ability to react to changes on the road, increasing the risk of an accident.
Drunk driving is a serious problem in Houston, and it is responsible for a significant number of accidents each year. When a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, their reaction time, coordination, and judgment are all affected, making it more likely that they will cause an accident.
Reckless driving is a major cause of accidents in Houston. This includes actions such as driving aggressively, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring traffic signals or signs. Reckless driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities.
Defective vehicles can also cause auto accidents in Houston. This includes issues such as faulty brakes, defective tires, or other mechanical problems. When a vehicle is defective, it can be difficult for the driver to maintain control, leading to an accident.
Poor Road Conditions
Finally, poor road conditions can also contribute to Houston car accidents. This includes issues such as potholes, poorly designed intersections, and insufficient lighting. When road conditions are poor, it can be difficult for drivers to navigate safely, increasing the risk of an accident.
Auto Defects That Cause Car Accidents
As motorists, we depend on our cars to be reliable. We expect them to take us where we want to go, when we want to go there, and with as little trouble as possible. But cars are machines – driven by computer chips and wires, strung together with rubber hoses and steel belts, and stuffed full of complex fluids – all subject to breaking down.
Defective design indicates an inherent flaw in the overall design, meaning that every product created using that design shares the same flaw. For example, the Ford Pinto famously caused many fiery car wrecks due to the poor configuration of the vehicle’s gas tank near the rear bumper. This led to a total recall and redesign. When a manufacturer becomes aware of a defective design, they have a legal obligation to notify consumers immediately and issue a full recall of all products that share this faulty design.
A faulty design can cause defects. A defect in a car part is not the same as a defective design, but still requires manufacturer notification and potential product recall. A car part defect may be due to a mistake during the manufacturing process, or materials used which don’t meet acceptable industry standards.
A recall occurs when a manufacturer or dealer notifies current owners that there is a safety issue with their car and requests that they bring it in for a free repair. For a recall to be issued, the manufacturer must have proof that the vehicle design is inherently flawed or there must be evidence that an automobile part is defectively designed.
When it comes to motor vehicle defects, proving fault isn’t always easy. Connecting with an experienced auto accident lawyer in Houston, TX is the best way to ensure your claim will be handled with care and effective legal guidance.
Understanding Houston Car Accident Law
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Houston, it’s important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply. Houston car accident law covers a wide range of issues, from determining fault to ensuring that victims are fairly compensated for their injuries.
There are several different types of car accidents that can occur in Houston, each with its own unique set of legal considerations. Some common types of accidents in Houston include:
These occur when one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle. In most cases, the driver who was behind the other vehicle is considered to be at fault.
Also known as T-bone collisions, these occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle. These accidents can be particularly dangerous, as they often occur at high speeds and can result in serious injuries.
These occur when two vehicles collide head-on, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Determining fault in a head-on collision can be more complex than in other types of accidents.
These occur when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. Rollover accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including high speeds, sharp turns, and vehicle defects.
These occur when three or more vehicles are involved in a collision. Multi-vehicle accidents can be complex, as determining fault can be difficult.
Understanding the different types of car accidents that can occur in Houston is an important first step in understanding the local car accident laws and determining who may be at fault.
Texas Car Accident Law
In addition to the common types of accidents, it’s important to understand the specific laws and regulations that apply to accidents in the state of Texas.
Texas follows a fault-based system for accidents, which means that the driver who caused the accident is typically responsible for any resulting damages. This can include damage to vehicles, medical expenses, and lost wages.
In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims related to car accidents. This means that if you are injured in a car accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Often overlooked, you also have to make diligent attempts to serve all defendants by the statute of limitations deadline as well.
Texas also follows a comparative negligence system, which means that if you are partially at fault for a car accident, your damages may be reduced. For example, if you were 30% at fault for an accident and your damages were $10,000, you would only be able to recover $7,000.
Other Important Laws That May Affect Your Case
In Texas, all drivers and passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. Failure to do so can result in a fine.
Texas has strict drunk driving laws, including a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08% for most drivers. Drivers who are found to be driving while intoxicated can face criminal charges, fines, and license suspension.
Understanding these key Texas car accident laws is essential for anyone who has been involved in a car accident. By knowing your rights and responsibilities, you can take steps to protect yourself and ensure that you are fairly compensated for any damages or injuries that you may have suffered.
Types of Damages
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to recover damages for any losses or injuries you have suffered. There are three main types of damages that may be available.
Economic damages are damages that can be objectively quantified and typically include things like medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. Economic damages are often the easiest to calculate, as they are based on actual costs and expenses.
Non-economic damages are damages that are more subjective and difficult to quantify. They may include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are often more difficult to calculate, as they are based on the subjective experiences of the victim.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are not awarded in all cases and are typically reserved for cases where the at-fault party acted with extreme negligence or recklessness.
It’s important to work with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer to ensure that you are properly compensated for all of the damages you have suffered. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can work to negotiate a fair settlement or pursue a lawsuit on your behalf.
Hiring Houston Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need to hire a car accident attorney. While it is possible to handle a car accident claim on your own, there are several reasons why it is beneficial to work with an experienced law firm:
Car accident attorneys are well-versed in Houston car accident law and can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. They can help you understand your rights and options and can work to ensure that you are fully compensated for any damages or injuries you have suffered.
A car accident attorney can work to collect and preserve evidence related to your accident, including witness statements, police reports, and medical records. This can be crucial in building a strong case and proving fault.
Car accident lawyers are skilled negotiators and can work to negotiate a fair car accident settlement with the insurance company. They can also represent you in court if a lawsuit becomes necessary.
Peace of Mind
Dealing with a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming, particularly if you have suffered serious injuries. Working with a Houston car accident law firm can provide you with peace of mind and can help you focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the legal details.
Overall, hiring a car accident attorney in Houston is a smart decision for anyone who has been involved in a car accident. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Qualities of a Good Car Accident Lawyer
If you have decided to hire a car accident lawyer in Houston, it is important to choose an attorney who has the skills and experience necessary to handle your case.
Look for an attorney who has experience handling car accident cases in Houston. An experienced attorney will be familiar with local laws and regulations and will know how to navigate the legal system.
Look for an attorney who has a deep understanding of car accident law and who can explain complex legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand. They should also have knowledge of medical issues related to car accident injuries.
Look for an attorney who communicates clearly and promptly. They should be responsive to your questions and concerns and should keep you informed about the progress of your case. They should understand the physical and emotional toll that a car accident can take on you and your family and should be committed to helping you through this difficult time.
How to Choose the Right Lawyer
Choosing the right car accident lawyer can be a daunting task, but it is important to find an attorney who can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Look for a lawyer who has experience handling car accident cases, particularly those involving the specific type of accident you were involved in. An attorney who specializes in car accident law will be better equipped to handle your case and ensure that your rights are protected.
Look for a lawyer with a good reputation and positive reviews from past clients. This can provide insight into their level of expertise and ability to deliver results. You can check reviews on the lawyer’s website, Google, or other legal directories.
In addition to these factors, you should also consider the lawyer’s communication style and availability to answer your questions and concerns. It’s important to feel comfortable working with your lawyer, as you will be working closely with them throughout the legal process.
What to Expect During the Legal Process
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering what to expect during the legal process. Here is a general overview of what the process might entail:
Investigation and Evidence Gathering
Your Houston car accident lawyer will begin by investigating the accident and gathering evidence to support your case. This may involve gathering witness statements, obtaining police reports, and hiring experts to analyze the accident scene and the vehicles involved.
Negotiations and Settlements
Once your lawyer has gathered all the necessary evidence, they will begin negotiating with the other party’s auto insurance company. The goal of this negotiation is to reach a settlement that is fair and reasonable for all parties involved. If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit.
If a lawsuit is filed, your case will proceed to trial. During the trial, your lawyer will present evidence and arguments in support of your case, while the other party’s lawyer will do the same for their client. The judge or jury will then decide the outcome of the case.
The legal process can be complex and time-consuming, but a good car accident lawyer can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Houston
If you are involved in a car accident, the first and most important step is to ensure the safety of yourself and others involved.
If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road or another safe location to avoid blocking traffic or causing further accidents. Check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately and provide any necessary medical assistance.
Call the Police
Even if the accident is minor, it is important to call the police and have them create an accident report. This report can be important later on if you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.
Get the contact and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. You should also collect the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
Document the Accident
Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. You should also document any injuries you or others have sustained.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible. Be honest and accurate in your report, and provide any documentation or evidence you have gathered.
By following these steps, you can ensure that you take the necessary actions to protect your safety and your legal rights after a car accident. Remember to stay calm and cooperate with law enforcement and other parties involved in the accident.
17 Frequently Asked Questions About Houston Car Accident Law and Lawyers
Car accidents can happen to anyone, and they can result in serious injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Houston car accident attorneys are legal professionals who specialize in helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Here are some frequently asked questions about Houston car accident lawyers.
Yes, Texas law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance to cover damages in the event of an accident. The minimum coverage requirements are $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
In Houston, as in the rest of Texas, there is a statute of limitations for filing a car accident suit. The statute of limitations is the deadline by which a legal action must be initiated, or the right to pursue legal action is lost forever.
For car accident suits in Texas, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident, and make diligent attempts to serve all Defendants or your legal right to do so will be lost.
It is important to note that the two-year deadline applies to most car wreck cases, but there are some exceptions. For example, if the accident involves a government entity, such as a city or state agency, you may have a shorter deadline to file a car accident claim. It is also possible to toll (suspend) the statute of limitations in certain circumstances, such as if the victim is a minor or if the defendant leaves the state.
Car wrecks can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Some common car crash injuries include whiplash, concussions, back and neck injuries, and internal injuries.
While it is possible to handle a car accident case on your own, it is not always advisable. Houston car accident lawyers have extensive knowledge of local car accident law and can help you navigate the complex legal system. They can help you understand your rights, identify potential legal issues, and advise you on the best course of action.
Car accident lawyers are also experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case. They can help you get a fair car accident settlement and can advocate for your interests. Houston Car accident lawyers have access to resources that can help build a strong case, such as accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and other professionals who can provide testimony in court.
Finally, handling a car accident case on your own can be stressful and time-consuming, especially if you are dealing with injuries or other issues related to the accident. A car accident attorney can take care of the legal process for you, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
If you are unsure about whether to hire a lawyer, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney to discuss your case and your options. They can help you determine whether you need a lawyer and can provide guidance on how to proceed.
Not all auto accident cases go to trial. In fact, many cases are settled out of court through negotiations between the parties involved. However, whether or not your case will go to trial depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, the extent of your injuries and damages, and the willingness of the other party to settle.
If your case does go to trial, it can be a lengthy and complex process. Your lawyer will need to present evidence, call witnesses, and argue your case in front of a judge or jury. The trial can take several days or even weeks, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of witnesses involved.
While going to trial can be intimidating, it is sometimes necessary in order to get a fair outcome. If the other party is not willing to negotiate a fair settlement, your lawyer may recommend taking your case to trial. However, the decision to go to trial ultimately depends on your specific case and your lawyer’s assessment of the best course of action.
The amount of compensation you can receive for your injuries depends on a variety of factors. In general, the compensation you can receive is based on the damages you have suffered as a result of the accident.
As mentioned earlier, there are two types of damages in an auto accident case: economic and non-economic. To recap, economic damages are tangible losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In Texas, there is no cap on economic damages in a car accident case. This means that you can recover the full amount of your economic losses as long as you can prove that they were caused by the accident. Non-economic damages, however, are capped at $250,000 per defendant or $500,000 for multiple defendants. There is also a total cap on non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case of $750,000.
The amount of compensation you can receive also depends on the extent of your injuries and damages. The more severe your injuries and damages, the higher your compensation is likely to be. Additionally, the at-fault party’s insurance coverage and assets can also impact the amount of compensation you can receive.
The length of time it takes to settle a car accident suit in Houston can vary widely, depending on several factors. In general, cases that involve more complex legal issues or serious injuries will take longer to settle. Additionally, the specific circumstances of your case, such as the amount of evidence available and the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate, can also impact the timeline.
Some car accident cases can be resolved quickly, often within a few weeks or months. However, others may take several months or even years to reach a settlement or go to trial.
Yes, you can still file a lawsuit in Houston even if you were partly at fault for the accident. However, Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident.
For example, if you were 20% at fault for the accident and the total compensation awarded in the lawsuit is $100,000, then you would be able to recover $80,000 ($100,000 minus 20% of $100,000). However, if you were found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you will not be able to recover any compensation.
If you are involved in a car accident with a driver who does not have car insurance, it can complicate the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. In the state of Texas, drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover damages in the event of an accident. If the other driver does not have insurance, you may have to look to other sources for compensation.
One option is to file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is designed to protect you in the event that you are in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance or no insurance at all. However, it’s important to note that this coverage may not cover all of your expenses and damages.
Another option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, but this can be challenging if they don’t have insurance or assets to pay for the damages. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a judgment against the driver, but collecting on the judgment can be difficult if the driver has no money or assets.
If you are involved in a car accident, the insurance company of the at-fault driver may offer you a settlement to compensate for your injuries and damages. It’s essential to note that insurance companies are businesses, and their primary goal is to pay out as little as possible. This means that the settlement offer may be lower than what you’re entitled to.
If you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company, you should not accept it right away. Instead, it’s recommended that you speak with a car accident attorney to determine whether the offer is fair and reasonable.
Your lawyer can help you understand the value of your case and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. They can also help you avoid making any mistakes that could hurt your case, such as signing a release or waiving your right to future claims.
In some cases, it may be in your best interest to take the settlement offer. Your auto accident attorney can help you make this decision by weighing the pros and cons of accepting the offer versus pursuing the case further.
Ultimately, the most crucial thing to remember is that you should never accept a settlement offer without consulting with a lawyer first. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
If the other driver dies in the auto accident, it may still be possible to file a lawsuit in Houston. In this situation, the lawsuit would be filed against the deceased driver’s estate. The estate would be represented by an executor or administrator, who would handle the legal matters related to the accident.
The process of filing a lawsuit against a deceased driver’s estate can be more complicated than a typical accident lawsuit. There may be a need to prove the liability of the deceased driver and the damages suffered by the plaintiff. An experienced car accident attorney can help navigate this process and provide guidance on the best course of action.
It’s important to note that the statute of limitations still applies in these cases. If you believe you have a claim against a deceased driver’s estate, it’s important to act quickly and seek legal advice from a qualified attorney.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Houston, it can be a very stressful and confusing experience. You may wonder what your legal options are and how you can seek compensation for your injuries and damages. In most cases, the first step is to report the accident to the police as soon as possible. A crash report can help you document the accident and increase your chances of finding the other driver.
If the other driver is not found, you may still be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. In Texas, you can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may still be able to file a claim with your health insurance provider or pursue legal action against the other driver if they are found.
If the other driver’s insurance company refuses your car accident claim, there are a few steps you can take. First, make sure to get a clear explanation of why the claim was denied. Then, gather any additional evidence or information that could support your claim, such as witness statements or medical records. You may also want to consider hiring a car accident lawyer to help you navigate the car accident claims process and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If all else fails, you may need to consider taking legal action to seek the compensation you deserve.
Yes, you may be able to sue the car manufacturer if your accident was caused by a defective car part. In Texas, product liability laws allow consumers to seek compensation for injuries caused by defective products, including defective car parts.
To sue the car manufacturer, you must prove that the car part was defective and that the defect caused your accident and resulting injuries. You will need to provide evidence such as medical records, a crash report, and expert testimony.
It is important to note that suing a car manufacturer can be a complex process, and it may involve going up against a large corporation with significant resources. As such, it is important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who has handled product liability cases.
If the other driver blames you for the accident, it is important to remain calm and avoid admitting fault. Even if you believe you may have contributed to the accident, it is best to let the evidence and facts of the case determine fault. If you admit fault, it can negatively impact your case and potentially reduce the amount of compensation you may receive.
If fault is disputed, the insurance companies and attorneys will investigate the accident and gather evidence to determine liability. This may involve analyzing police reports, witness statements, and medical records. In some cases, the case may go to trial to determine who is at fault for the accident.
Yes, you may be able to file a lawsuit if your car crash was caused by a pothole or other road hazards. However, these types of cases can be more complex than typical auto accident cases, and it may be more difficult to prove fault. You would need to prove that the agency responsible for maintaining the road (such as the city or state government) was negligent in failing to repair the hazard or warn drivers of its presence. Additionally, there may be certain time limits for filing a claim against a government agency, which can vary depending on the jurisdiction.
To prove a negligent driver caused the auto accident, you must establish that the other driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving, breached that duty, and caused your injuries. Here are some ways to help prove negligence in a car wreck case:
A crash report (police report) is often the first and most important piece of evidence in a motor vehicle accident case. It can provide critical details about the accident, including who was at fault.
If there were witnesses to the accident, their testimony could be extremely valuable in proving negligence.
If there was a traffic camera or a nearby security camera, the footage could help establish what happened during the accident.
Your medical records can help prove the severity of your injuries and connect them to the accident.
You may need an expert witness, such as an accident reconstructionist, to testify about the cause of the accident and who was at fault.
Evidence of Violations
Evidence that the other driver violated traffic laws, such as running a red light or driving under the influence, can help prove negligence.
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyers
Experiencing a car accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience. If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to understand the legal process and seek the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney in Houston. A knowledgeable and experienced law firm can help you navigate the complex legal system, negotiate with auto insurance companies, and fight for your rights to fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Call Houston Injury Lawyers PLLC today for a free consultation at 936-251-5246.