Houston Car Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a car accident can be severe in nature. Your car may be totaled. You may be seriously injured. What now? You need someone to provide you with legal advice and help you with physical and financial recovery. Whether this is your first car crash or your fifth, a Houston car accident attorney can guide you through the process.
What Can a Car Accident Attorney Do?
While a minor accident with no damage or injuries may not warrant the need to hire a lawyer, you will want to consider one if you have suffered numerous losses. An experienced car accident lawyer can do the following:
- Assess your accident
- Reconstruct the accident scene
- Ensure you get medical treatment
- Guide you through the claims process
- Calculate losses
- Examine evidence
- Determine liability
- Fight your case in court, if necessary
- Help maximize the amount of compensation you recover
Types of Car Accidents
A car crash can happen in various ways. Here are some of the most common accidents:
- Rear-end. This is when a driver hits the vehicle in front of them.
- In this type of crash, one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle, typically when changing lanes.
- T-bone. This is when the side of a vehicle is hit by the front or rear of another vehicle, making a T shape.
- Head-on. This is when two vehicles going in opposite directions collide with each other.
- This is when a vehicle flips over due to the impact of colliding with another object.
- Only one vehicle is involved in these crashes and may be the result of hitting another object or going off the road.
- Hit and run. This can be any type of crash, but the end result is that one driver flees the accident scene.
What Causes Car Accidents?
Accidents are usually preventable. Nonetheless, thousands of people in Texas are injured in collisions on the freeway, on side streets, and in parking lots and garages. These accidents have many causes, such as:
- Driver distraction—cell phone use, texting, fiddling with dials, eating or drinking, and other distracting behavior
- Intoxication—alcohol or drug use, including prescription drugs which impair a person’s ability to drive safely
- Fatigue—tired drivers can fall asleep and drift into another lane or crash into a car stopped up ahead
- Failure to yield—on the freeway, in parking lots, or at intersections
- Reckless driving—speeding, passing illegally, driving on the sidewalk, and other dangerous actions
- Carelessness—forgetting to use mirrors or turn signals, drifting into oncoming traffic due to momentary lapse in concentration
As the victim, you might have literally no idea what caused your accident. You should hire an attorney as soon as possible to gather evidence and review the facts. You might have a legal right to sue for compensation when a negligent or reckless driver injured you.
A car accident can cause various injuries to any part of the body. Some common injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Car accidents are the most common cause of brain injuries, mainly due to the impact involved. These injuries are some of the most serious, leading to long-term effects and even death.
- Paralysis is another serious injury. This is caused by damage to the spinal cord. It can cause paralysis to the upper body, lower body, or even the entire body.
- This is one of the most common car accident injuries. Whiplash occurs when the neck and head move back and forth quickly. This painful injury can cause soft tissue damage.
- Back and neck injuries. The impact of a car accident can injure the back and neck, leading to mobility issues and other painful effects.
- Broken bones. Any bone can be broken in a car crash, but legs, arms, wrists, and ribs are the most common broken bones. Some may require surgery and extensive treatment to heal.
- Internal organ injuries. Even motorists who wear seat belts can suffer serious damage to organs in a crash. For example, a fractured rib might puncture a lung or bruise the heart.
Houston Car Accident FAQ
If you have never been in a car crash before, you may be upset and scared. You want to make sure you do and say the right things, as this can affect your claim. After a car accident, you may be confused about your next steps. You may have a lot of questions. A Houston car accident attorney can guide you through the process.
What should I do after a car accident?
After a car accident, you’ll want to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Move your car to safety and call 911. Exchange information with the other drivers involved. You’ll need their name, contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license information.
Next, you’ll want to document the accident by taking photos of the cars and surrounding areas. Take notes about the location, weather, road conditions, and any landmarks. Also, get a copy of the police report. Once you have all this information, contact your insurance company and file a claim.
Do I need a lawyer for my Houston car accident?
It may not be necessary to have a lawyer, especially If there were no injuries. However, if you were injured or your vehicle suffered extensive damage and you are unsure about your options for financial compensation, a lawyer can be very helpful. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so it doesn’t hurt to get advice.
What happens if I am hit by an uninsured driver?
If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, then you will need to rely on your own insurance coverage to cover any damages. If you have Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) insurance, these coverages will pay for damages. Whatever is not covered you will need to pay out of pocket. You could then attempt to get reimbursed by the uninsured driver.
Can I receive compensation if the driver flees?
This is often possible. Your UM insurance should cover a hit and run collision. You might have other insurance which can step in and cover some of your losses. For example, you might have collision insurance, which will pay to fix your car regardless of fault.
What happens in a personal injury lawsuit?
If your auto insurance denies your accident claim or does not fully cover the damages, you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, the process can be complex. There are a lot of rules and procedures that have to be followed.
There are also tight deadlines. Accident victims have a short amount of time to bring a lawsuit for a Texas car accident. The deadline is found in the statute of limitations, which typically gives you only two years to file a lawsuit after the crash. Ideally, you should immediately begin your search for an attorney. You will want to have a lawyer on your side to deal with the various aspects, such as:
- Investigation and research.
- Filing the lawsuit.
- Navigating the discovery process.
- Subpoenaing documents and witnesses.
- Negotiating with the defendant.
- Arguing your case before a jury.
The good news is that most personal injury cases are settled by the parties without having to go to court. Still, the process can be long.
Can I receive compensation if I made mistakes that contributed to the crash?
It depends on the facts of your case. Our state’s proportionate responsibility law says you can’t receive compensation if you are more than 50% to blame. If you were only 50% or less, then you can receive compensation, but the amount is reduced by your degree of responsibility. As an example, someone who is 35% to blame, will receive 35% less in compensation.
Shared responsibility is often a subject of intense debate in car accident cases. The driver who struck you might have been texting and driving or making an illegal lane change. But this driver points the finger at you and alleges you were speeding or also using your phone. This is one reason to hire a lawyer, who can sift through all the evidence to uncover who is to blame.
What is the average car accident settlement in Houston?
Every car accident is different, so any “average” is not helpful at determining what you will receive. Your lawyer should review your medical bills, lost income, and injuries to determine your out-of-pocket losses, as well as pain and suffering.
Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney Today
After a serious car crash, you will likely be in shock and a lot of pain. You may have severe injuries. You might have to miss work and be unable to care for your family. The West Law Office can take care of these damages and more. Contact a Houston car accident attorney today by calling 281-347-3247 or filling out the online form.