Frequently Asked Questions

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If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you may face many types of issues. You will have to deal with medical issues linked to your injuries, financial issues related to the loss of income if you are unable to work, and insurance issues related to liability coverage and your rights to receive compensation. It can be overwhelming when you are struggling to recover from serious injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Herrman & Herrman understand the kind of pain and disruption that a serious injury can cause. We know the types of issues and questions you may be confronting.

We’ve prepared answers to some of the most common types of questions that clients ask us about injury claims involving car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, construction accidents, slip and fall accidents and other accidents. Every personal injury accident is unique in some ways. Our knowledgeable attorneys can answer your questions about your specific accident during a free case review. Call us today at (361) 882-4357 or use our online contact form.

Herrman & Herrman has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Brownsville and McAllen to serve clients throughout South Texas. We have a bilingual staff to address your legal needs in both Spanish and English. If you have been seriously injured in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness, misconduct or inattention to safety, you should not have to bear the costs of medical bills and other financial expenses caused by someone else’s negligence. You may be due significant compensation. Avoid the missteps that people make by trying to deal with big insurance companies and handle a claim on their own. Our attorneys will guide you through the claims process and treat you with compassion and understanding. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis because we know money is often tight after a serious injury. You will not owe any legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you through an insurance settlement or court award.

We have had the privilege of providing legal assistance to many people in Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley over the years. We have successfully resolved more than 20,000 cases. Turn to Herrman & Herrman for legal assistance if you have questions after a serious accident. You can review the general answers provided below. Please give us a call if you have other questions and concerns. Our attorneys and staff are available to assist you.

 

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We have the answers to most common questions that our clients ask in hopes that they will get you started on the right path to recovery.

Car AccidentsMotorcycle AccidentsDisregarding Traffic SignalsPersonal InjuryDistracted Driving Accidents

Car Accidents FAQs

Car Accidents

How long after my accident do I have to file a lawsuit?

It is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Evidence needs to be collected and preserved. Witness statements should be taken while the incident is fresh in the minds of the witnesses. Furthermore, the law imposes a time limit for filing a personal injury claim (known as a statute of limitations). In Texas, it is two years from the date of the accident.

When you work with our firm, we are prepared to investigate your accident to determine who was at fault and to aggressively pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible party. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with no obligation.

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What damages can I recover in a car accident case?

Each car accident is different. You should consult with a knowledgeable car accident attorney to find out what damages you may be able to recover from the negligent party responsible for your accident and injuries. Depending on the circumstances in your particular case, among other losses, you may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

Punitive damages are designed to further punish the defendant for wrongs committed, in addition to compensation for the victim’s losses. These types of damages may or may not be allowed, depending on what the driver did or failed to do that caused the accident.

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What is negligence in a car accident case?

In order to establish that the other driver in a car accident was negligent, that driver’s actions or failure to act must be shown to have caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. In order to establish negligence, an accident victim must show that:

  • The driver had a duty
  • That duty was breached
  • The breach of duty caused the accident and injuries
  • Damages were suffered as a result.

If the driver failed to use ordinary care – the level of care that a reasonable person would have used under the same circumstances – a breach of duty occurred. While operating a motor vehicle, we all have a duty to use ordinary care for the safety of other motorists.

The following are some examples of ways that drivers can be negligent:

  • Following too closely
  • Driving too fast
  • Driving too slow
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Failure to obey traffic signals or signs
  • Driving in an impaired state
  • Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on cell phones.

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What types of compensation can I recover?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver in Texas, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, any disfigurement caused by scarring or loss of limbs, reduced ability to earn income, or loss of marital relations.

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When should I hire an attorney after a car accident?

If you have been seriously injured in an accident caused by another driver you should seek an injury attorney IMMEDIATELY. Also, if you have significant medical bills, or if you are having trouble getting your own auto insurance company to honor an uninsured motorist insurance policy, you should have a knowledgeable car accident attorney review the specific facts and explain your legal options. If we determine that you have a valid personal injury claim, our attorneys can help you pursue compensation.

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How long do I have to file a personal injury claim after a car accident in Texas?

Every state sets time limits for filing a lawsuit if you have been injured in an accident. If you have been injured in a car accident in the Lone Star State, Texas law allows two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. Because of the amount of time it takes to investigate an accident and prepare a lawsuit, it is important to contact a knowledgeable accident lawyer as soon as possible.

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How much does it cost to hire a car accident attorney?

Our car accident attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee arrangement allows people who have been injured in accidents to obtain legal representation without having to pay money up front. If our attorneys are successful in pursuing a settlement or verdict on your behalf, we would then be paid an agreed upon share of any settlement or verdict received.

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Does my attorney deal with the insurance companies?

Our experienced car accident attorneys deal with the insurance company representing the at-fault driver and try to negotiate a fair settlement. We deal with insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers so that you can focus on recovering your health and family.

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How will I pay my medical bills if I can’t work after a car accident?

In serious injury cases, Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we can provide loans to clients to cover their living expenses while we pursue personal injury claims on their behalf. We also provide a pharmacy discount card to clients to help reduce the cost of their prescription medications. Our accident attorneys are committed to helping clients get back on their feet after a serious accident caused by negligence. Call to see if your case qualifies.

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What if I was partially at fault? Am I eligible for compensation?

Yes, you may still be eligible to receive compensation even if you were partly at fault, but it may reduce the amount you can recover. Texas applies a modified comparative fault rule to personal injury cases in which multiple drivers are at fault. If the court finds that you are partly at fault, you may still be eligible to recover damages as long as you are no more than 50 percent at fault. The amount of compensation that you would be eligible to recover would be reduced by a percentage equal to your degree of fault. For example, if a court found that you were 25 percent at fault for an accident and the court awarded $100,000 in damages, you would be eligible to receive $75,000.

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The driver who hit me doesn’t have insurance. Can I still file a claim?

If the at-fault driver who hit you does not have auto insurance, you may file an insurance claim on your own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist policy. The Texas Department of Insurance requires that UM/UIM coverage must be offered as part of every automobile liability policy sold in Texas to protect drivers from damages caused by motorists who do not have insurance. Unless you specifically declined UM/UIM coverage, it is likely that your auto insurance policy protects you from damages caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers. If your insurance company disputes your uninsured motorist claim, have our experienced car accident lawyer review your accident to determine if we can help you.

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My child was injured in a car accident caused by the teenaged driver he was riding with. What can we do?

You may have a claim against the teenage driver and his or her auto insurance provider for injuries caused to your child in the accident. If the auto insurance coverage on the vehicle that the teenager was driving was in the name of the teen’s parents, you may possibly have a claim against that insurance company. It is important to identify all the potentially responsible parties after an accident to maximize the compensation that an accident victim can seek. Those are the kinds of issues that a car accident attorney will research as part of preparing an accident claim.

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How Can I Afford a McAllen Car Accident Attorney?

At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we put our clients’ needs first. We understand that money is often very tight after a serious accident, particularly if you have been unable to work for a lengthy period and have used up your sick leave. The good news is that you can obtain quality legal representation without paying any money out of pocket. A McAllen car accident attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., will handle your accident case on a contingency fee basis. What does that mean? That means we will advance the costs of pursuing your case and you will not pay any money unless we obtain a settlement or a jury verdict on your behalf. If we are successful in obtaining money for you, we then take an agreed portion of the settlement as payment for our legal services and expenses.

A contingency fee arrangement allows people who have been harmed by someone else’s negligence obtain high quality legal representation without having to pay money up front. You do not owe us a legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you! That’s our way of putting our clients’ interests first.

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How Can I Afford My Medical Expenses if I Am Out of Work Due to an Injury?

If you are unable to work as a result of an injury and we are handling your personal injury case, we may be able to loan you money to pay your expenses if necessary. We are committed to helping our clients receive all the medical care necessary to recover from a serious injury. Through a personal injury claim you may have a legal right to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses if someone else’s carelessness or negligence caused your injuries. While pursuing a claim on your behalf, our attorney can contact the hospital that treated you and your other health care providers and inform them that you are pursuing a personal injury claim. Many health care providers are willing to hold off on any billing collection efforts if they understand that litigation is in process and they will be paid eventually.

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How Can I Afford to Pay for a Lawyer?

You have no upfront legal fees if a personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., represents you. A car accident attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., will handle your injury case on a contingency fee basis. We will advance all the costs of pursuing compensation from the at-fault parties for your injuries. You will not owe us any money unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you through a negotiated insurance settlement or a jury award. If we have success in securing money for you, then we would take a portion of the settlement as payment for our legal services and expenses. If we do not win money for you, you will not owe a legal fee.

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Motorcycle Accidents FAQs

Motorcycle Accident

Is there a way to “safely” crash a motorcycle?

While all riders hope that they’ll never have to experience a crash, it is crucial to be prepared and know the techniques that could help them avoid severe injury. Some tips that could preserve your health in a crash, or possibly save your life: 

  • Apply the front and rear brakes to the best of your ability to slow the vehicle down before the crash.
  • If possible, choose the safest and softest spot to go down. 
  • Once you’ve fallen, be sure to let go of the motorcycle to avoid being crushed by it.
  • Tuck in your ams and legs and try to roll as best you can. Keeping them tucked in could help prevent broken bones, as opposed to sticking your arms out to brace for impact. 
  • Try to relax as you fall, to prevent ligament and tendon tears that can happen more easily if your body is tense.

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What should I do after a motorcycle crash?

After the crash, get out of an active traffic lane to a safe location if you are able to do so. Check yourself for injury. If you’re seriously hurt, call an ambulance or have someone else summon emergency medical services to the scene right away.

If you are not severely injured, contact law enforcement and remain at the scene. Police can help manage the scene of the crash and help injured individuals get medical attention. They will investigate the crash. They may cite a driver whose actions caused the accident.

You will want to get the name, driver’s license number, and license plate number of the other parties involved, as well as their insurance information. When there are other people who happened to see the accident, ask them for their names and phone numbers in case they are needed as witnesses.

Be sure to take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible, including the position of your motorcycle and of the other vehicle involved, any skid marks or other conditions at the scene, and anything else that might be useful as evidence if you have to file an injury claim.

If you are contacted by another driver’s insurance company, decline to speak to insurance company representatives for the other party until you have consulted a personal injury attorney to look out for your interests.

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How can I claim insurance after a motorbike accident?

If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash, there may be a variety of insurance policies available to help you with your medical expenses, repairs to your bike, and other costs. If the crash was caused by another driver, you may file a claim against his or her auto liability insurance. Your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy may come into play if the at-fault driver was uninsured or your damages exceed the other driver’s liability policy limits.

You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after a crash. The insurer will need to document the accident. If you are approached by representatives for the other person’s insurance company, you should politely refuse to speak with them until you’ve consulted a personal injury lawyer.

Your lawyer will handle all communications with the insurance company to make sure that you do not make any statements that could harm your claim. Your lawyer will negotiate for a settlement that covers your costs, and will file a lawsuit if necessary, to get what you are owed.

All insurance companies have the same goal of keeping costs low to maximize profits, so they will try to settle any injury claim for as little as possible. Most insurers will look for ways to claim that people were to blame for their own accidents to justify denials of claims.

You may be able to handle a claim involving only property damage on your own. But you will need the help of an experienced accident attorney for any crash that caused injuries or death. It can still be challenging to get what you’re owed whether fault is disputed or not.

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How does a car accident affect my motorcycle insurance?

Any motor vehicle accident that you are involved in can affect your automobile and motorcycle insurance rates. 

In most cases, your rates will be most heavily impacted if you are at fault for the crash. If you were cited for recklessness or negligence, or if your actions caused someone to suffer serious injuries or lose their life, you will likely see your rates increase significantly.

A single accident that was caused by another party should not negatively impact your insurance rate. Your rates could be impacted, however, if you’ve been in multiple crashes. This is because your insurer will take into account the cost of insuring you and the increased likelihood that you’ll be involved in a crash again.

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How much is a good settlement for a motorcycle accident?

Generally speaking, a good settlement is one that covers all of your past, present, and future expenses related to the crash.

Many insurance companies are well aware of the financial straits that motorcycle accident victims can face after crashes. Insurers try to exploit this situation by offering victims quick lump sum settlements to resolve their claims and limit the insurer’s liability.

While these offers may seem adequate at first, most initial offers are not close to what the victim should receive. Accident victims often make the mistake of accepting an early settlement offer, only to discover that it won’t cover all of their costs, leaving them with no legal recourse to secure more compensation.

An attorney can negotiate a settlement on your behalf and prevent you from being taken advantage of by an insurance company.

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How much can I claim for a bike accident?

The first thing many motorcycle accident victims want to know when speaking to an attorney is what their case is worth. It is a complex question to answer because so many things need to be considered when assigning a potential value to a motorcycle crash case.

The first thing most people will consider is the present cost of their medical bills. As part of that, you must keep in mind your future costs related to medical treatment.

There also should be consideration given to the impact that motorcycle accident injuries will have on a victim’s ability to return to work and earn a living. You may no longer be able to handle the physical demands of your former job. You may have to take a job that pays less than you previously earned. You may claim loss of income or earning capacity among your losses from the accident

One of the major factors when considering the value of a motorcycle accident case concerns fault. A person who was injured because of another driver’s negligence and did not do anything that caused an accident will be in a stronger position than somebody who may have contributed to the crash.

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How long do motorcycle accidents cases take to settle?

Motorcycle crash cases can take several months up to a year or longer before they are settled.

The insurance company for the other party might offer you a quick settlement. These initial settlement offers are usually low-ball offers designed to get you to go away. It is usually not in your best interest to settle quickly. You should not settle until you have a good idea of the scope of your medical treatment and the impact of the injuries on your future.

Most cases are resolved by settlements rather than going to trial. Even after a lawsuit has been filed, the two sides might reach an agreeable settlement at any time. A case that does go to trial could result in a motorcycle accident victim being awarded compensatory damages.

Because every case is different, it is impossible to set a specific timetable for your settlement. However, an experienced lawyer will be able to tell you how your case will proceed. The attorney will discuss the strategy for getting you the compensation you deserve.

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How much will a motorcycle accident lawyer cost me?

The experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Herrman & Herrman handle injury cases on a contingency-fee basis. Under this arrangement, accident victims won’t have to pay any attorneys’ fees out of pocket. Instead, the attorney will get paid a portion of any settlement or court award obtained.

At Herrman & Herrman, our firm handles motorcycle injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We believe every motorcycle injury victim deserves quality legal representation without having to worry about how to afford an attorney. We will fight aggressively for you, and we’ll only get paid if you get paid.

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Disregarding Traffic Signals FAQs

Disregarding Traffic Signals

How do I know if I have a personal injury claim related to a driver who disregarded a traffic signal?

The best way to understand your legal options and whether you have a valid personal injury claim is to consult with a car crash lawyer. A car accident attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., will review the details of your accident free of charge, try to answer your questions and explain your legal options. If you have a copy of the police accident report, it would be helpful to have it handy when speaking with a lawyer.

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I was injured in a crash caused by a driver who ran a red light. How can I afford to hire an attorney?

At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our car accident lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee basis. If we represent you, you will not owe any upfront costs to have a skilled car accident lawyer assist you. We will negotiate aggressively with insurance companies on your behalf to obtain a settlement. You will not owe any legal fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.

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How do I know what my red light intersection accident claim is worth?

Each case has its own set of facts and contributing factors that must be reviewed. At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we have handled more than 20,000 accident cases and our decades of experience allow us to make an educated assessment of the value of a case. But avoid any attorney who guarantees that you will receive a certain amount of money for your claim. Our car accident attorneys’ goal is to seek the maximum settlement available and to work relentlessly to provide satisfactory results for you.

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Personal Injury FAQs

Personal Injury

Do personal injury lawyers handle insurance companies?

If you have been injured in an accident such as a fall at a store or at another person’s property in South Texas, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the property owner’s insurance company. Our attorneys investigate your accident and compile evidence showing the property owner was at fault. We negotiate with the property owner’s insurance company for a settlement that fully reflects the extent of your injuries and other damages such as lost income from missed work. We handle the paperwork and dealings with the insurance company.

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I have medical bills and I am missing work in order to recover. How can I afford to hire an attorney to handle my personal injury case?

At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we understand that if you are seeking a lawyer’s help after a serious personal injury, you are going through a difficult period and may be struggling financially as well. You do not need extra expenses. We represent clients in personal injury cases such as premises liability cases and injuries from defective products on a contingency fee basis. You do not have any upfront fees to pay. We also have the resources to loan you money to help you cover living expenses while pursuing your personal injury case.

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What are the fees to hire a personal injury attorney?

There are no upfront legal fees for hiring Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., to represent you in a personal injury case in South Texas. You pay a lawyer’s fee only if we are successful in obtaining money for you through a negotiated insurance settlement of your claim or a jury award if the case goes to trial. If we are successful on your behalf, we receive an agreed upon percentage of the settlement or award. You owe us nothing unless we secure compensation for you from the insurance company or other responsible parties.

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Is there a time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit?

If you have been injured in a personal injury accident such as a slip and fall or an accident involving a faulty product in Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. This time limit for filing a personal injury claim is known as the statute of limitations. If you do not file a claim within the time limit, you lose your right to make a claim.

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How does a personal injury claim work?

After you contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our personal injury lawyers analyze the circumstances surrounding your accident to determine whether the specific facts support a claim that another person or business’s negligence caused your injuries. After you sign an agreement hiring us to represent you, we gather evidence to support your claim and identify all the potentially responsible parties and their insurance providers. We then contact the insurance providers and attempt to negotiate a settlement without filing a lawsuit.

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How does a third-party claim work?

In some instances, you may file a third-party liability lawsuit after a work-related accident and collect workers’ compensation. A third-party claim can increase the compensation you receive after a work-related accident. But it’s not always obvious to an injured worker what actions may constitute a third-party claim.

Injured workers who received workers’ compensation benefits generally cannot sue their employer. But multiple subcontractors may be working at a job site. If you are an employee of a subcontractor at a work site and the general contractor’s lack of attention to safety contributed to a workplace accident, then you may file a lawsuit against the general contractor who is a “third party” in the accident. If an employee of another subcontractor is negligent and his negligence injures you, then you may seek compensation from the other subcontractor’s insurance company through a third party claim. If a piece of defective machinery or equipment contributed to your injury, you may bring a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the equipment in addition to receiving workers’ compensation from your employer.

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How Can I Pay for Medical Treatment if I Cannot Work Due to an Injury?

If an injury has left you unable to work for an extended time, we understand that money may be tight for your family. If we handle your personal injury claim, we may be able to loan you money to help you pay your expenses. We are dedicated to helping make sure that our clients receive the medical treatment needed to recover from a serious accident. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may have a legal right to seek compensation for your medical bills through a personal injury claim. As your attorney, we can reach out to the health care providers and inform them that you are making a personal injury claim. Many health care providers will delay collection efforts if they understand that litigation is underway and they may be paid eventually.

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Distracted Driving Accidents FAQs

Distracted Driving Accidents

How can I find out if the driver who hit me was texting?

The first step is to get help from a car accident attorney. Your lawyer can subpoena cellphone records to determine if the other driver was engaged in this illegal and dangerous activity.

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I was injured in a car accident caused by a texting driver. What should I do to ensure my medical bills are paid?

Talk to a lawyer as early as possible after the accident. The medical bills related to a car accident can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few short weeks. For more serious injuries, several surgeries and rehabilitation and ongoing treatments are often needed at an astronomical price. The negligent driver who caused the accident must be held accountable, and forced to pay all medical bills, as well as other losses, including any wage loss you have suffered, and non-economic damages for pain and suffering.

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What is “electronic” distracted driving?

Advances in digital technology have added a new dimension to our lives, including while traveling in a vehicle. In-vehicle systems include video systems, navigation, voice activated systems, and cellphones. Electronic distracted driving involves the use of any electronic or digital system, including texting, emailing, or reading or responding to any digital message or alert while behind the wheel.

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What are the Texas laws on texting and driving?

Texas legislators have banned hand-held cellphone use in school crossing zones, for bus drivers, and for drivers under 18 years of age. A driver will face legal repercussions if texting led to failing to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others. Various efforts to ban texting while driving have failed, and the state is one of seven that do not have such distracted driving law in place.

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How many car accidents are caused by texting?

The Texas Department of Transportation issues yearly reports on all vehicle crashes statewide, and the most recent report reveals the shocking numbers of distracted driving accidents that occurred in the state in 2013. Corpus Christi is located in three different counties – Nueces, Aransas and San Patricio. In Nueces County, the Texas DOT reports 970 distracted driver accidents, with 208 serious injury accidents, 195 other injury accidents, and 319 other injuries associated with distracted driving. In Aransas County in 2013, there were 90 total distracted driving crashes, and in San Patricio County there were 370 distracted driver accidents. Statewide, the totals are at a high level with a total of 95,170 distracted driver accidents in 2013.

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