The majority of Houston car accidents are caused by drivers who make driving errors, drive carelessly, or disregard traffic safety laws. Some accidents are caused by the failure of a critical safety system or defective part on the vehicle. The Houston car accident attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., represent people who have been injured in car crashes caused by others. We pursue all necessary legal actions to protect accident victims’ right to fair compensation. Almost all auto accidents are preventable, and innocent people can suffer serious or permanent injuries or die due to the negligent actions of another driver.
At Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., we have successfully resolved over 20,000 car accident cases, and our professional team has more than 100 years of combined legal experience. Whether you need an attorney in Houston, Corpus Christi or a McAllen car accident lawyer, we take our duty seriously to provide personalized legal representation and assistance to people who have been injured. Your case and your future health and well-being matter a great deal, and we do everything we can to protect your legal interests.
The responsible party who caused your injury should be held accountable under the law. If you or your family member has been injured in a car accident through the negligence of another, let our experienced car accident attorneys offer guidance. We will review the details of your car accident, listen to your concerns and discuss your legal options during a free consultation. Our attorneys take an aggressive approach when seeking justice for our clients.
Texas insurance law involves the “comparative fault” system. One of the critical points in a car accident case is determining the percentage of fault of each driver. In many cases, just one driver is at fault. Even in these cases, the insurance company may attempt to reduce the settlement by claiming the other driver was responsible for some degree of fault. Our legal team is very familiar with the tactics employed by insurance companies.
We have access to some of the most respected, professional accident reconstruction experts to call on when it is necessary to get the case moving in the right direction. A full evaluation of police reports, accident scene photos, a full inspection of the vehicles involved, and interviews with eyewitnesses may all be necessary for the pursuit of justice for the injured.
Types of Car Accidents in Houston, TX
Single Car Accident
This is a type of road traffic accident in which only one vehicle is involved. A majority of these types of crashes are run-off-road collisions, collisions with fallen debris, rollovers, and collisions with animals.
These accidents, also known as broadside or T-bone collisions, are where the side of one or more vehicles is impacted. These crashes commonly occur at intersections, parking lots, and when two vehicles pass on a roadway accounting for about a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant deaths, according to the IIH.
The results from a side-impact collision can be severe but can vary depending on where the vehicle is struck.
A traffic accident where a vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. These are usually due to driver inattention or distraction, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced traction due to irregular road conditions caused by weather. Drivers who follow too closely or drive distracted are responsible for most rear-end collisions.
Rear-end collisions account for approximately a fourth of all collisions. When a driver tailgates, he or she reduces the reaction time they have to come to a safe stop. Driver distraction is a factor in many rear-end crashes.
This type of accident is when the front ends of two vehicles hit each other in opposite directions. Head-on collisions are an often fatal road traffic accident. Being aware of traffic signs, street conditions, and staying in your lane play a critical role in avoiding these types of accidents.
If you have been injured in a car accident, please call the office of Herrman and Herrman to schedule a free consultation at 361-792-2358. Our team of experienced lawyers and dedicated staff will ensure you get the answers you need and help you through this difficult process.
These particular types of crashes are complex and violent in nature. More than any other type of crash, rollovers reflect the interaction of the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors. Although a vehicle’s type has a significant role in the accident, so do driver behavior and road and environmental conditions.
Other factors include speed, alcohol consumption, and location. According to the NHTSA, data showed that nearly 85% of all rollover-related fatalities are the result of single-vehicle crashes.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving accidents in Texas continue to occur at an alarming rate. Someone is injured or killed in a crash involving alcohol in Texas about every 20 minutes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Many counties in South Texas including Brooks, Jim Wells, Duval, Jim Hogg, McMullen, Live Oak, Bee, Refugio, and Goliad rank in the top third of counties nationwide in rates of alcohol-related fatalities.
The highest percentage of drunk drivers falls in the 21-25 age range. Young drivers who were intoxicated were involved in more than 13,000 crashes in Texas in 2016. In 2015, 960 people died in crashes caused by drunk drivers in Texas, accounting for more than a fourth of all traffic fatalities. More drunk driving accidents are reported between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. than any other hour of the day.
Unsafe Lane Changes
A responsible driver lets other motorists know if he or she is about to change lanes or turn by signaling. Drivers who change lanes suddenly, weave from lane to lane, or drift out of lanes are responsible for many deadly and serious car accidents.
A driver making an unsafe lane change may sideswipe another vehicle or force another motorist off the road to avoid a collision. An unsuspecting driver can be involved in one of these accidents through no fault of their own.
Speeding, Failure to Control Speed
Drivers are required to obey posted speed limits. Unfortunately, many drivers make a habit of exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast during poor traffic or weather conditions. These drivers put all others sharing the road at risk, as they cannot bring the vehicle to a safe stop when necessary, among other dangers.
The faster a car is going, the more space a driver should allow for the car in front. Wet roads require more distance to come to a stop. Drivers should slow down during bad weather, poor visibility, or heavy traffic. More than 1,100 people died in speeding-related accidents in Texas in 2015.
Disregard of Traffic Lights, Signals, or Stop Signs
Drivers who disregard traffic lights, speed through yellow lights too late, or do not stop at stop signs are responsible for causing many serious or fatal car crashes that occur in intersections. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about 900 people a year die as a result of cars running red lights.
Nearly half of those killed are pedestrians and occupants of other cars hit by red-light runners. Red-light runners are more likely to be young male drivers who have multiple speeding convictions on their driving record.
Drunk drivers and other drivers make serious mistakes, one of which is entering a street or highway and driving into oncoming traffic. Wrong-way driving on interstates often leads to fatal head-on collisions. It may be impossible to avoid one of these drivers, with tragic consequences. Inexperienced drivers may also make this often-fatal mistake.
Distractions in Vehicle
Distracted driving involves any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the task of driving. In-vehicle distractions include talking to passengers, as well as manual distractions such as adjusting in-car electronic systems, eating, and applying makeup. There are many other types of distracted driving.
More than a third of Texas drivers said they talked on a cell phone while driving. Drivers who are daydreaming, listening to music, talking on a cell phone, texting, checking email, watching a video, eating, or failing to remain focused on the road contribute to more than 100,000 crashes each year in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
When drivers fail to follow Texas traffic laws and try to pass improperly, they endanger others sharing the road. An aggressive driver may cause an accident by trying to pass in a no-passing zone or attempting to pass when there is not enough room to do so safely. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus that has flashing red lights. Improper passing may include passing on the right, passing on the road shoulder, passing in a construction zone, or passing on a two-lane road with limited visibility.
In Texas, it is legal to pass on the right only when safe to do so. Crashes involving improper passing often involve head-on collisions and may cause fatal injuries. Unsafe passing is a cause of many accidents involving cars and bicyclists on Texas roads.
Failure to Yield
A driver who fails to yield the right of way when entering an intersection, a roundabout, or merging onto a highway can cause a serious injury crash. If a driver is required to yield at an intersection and is involved in a collision because the driver drove past a yield sign without yielding, the crash may be used as evidence that the driver failed to yield and is at fault.
The consequences of these accidents are often tragic, with one or more people suffering serious injuries or loss of life.
Drivers who back out of driveways, parking lots, and other areas unsafely have injured others by their actions. Drivers may not back a vehicle on the shoulder or roadway of a limited-access highway in Texas.
Work Zone Accidents
Roadway work zones contain numerous traffic hazards including sudden lane shifts, narrowed lanes, merging traffic, active heavy equipment, and changes in speed limits. Drivers who disregard the advanced warning signs of work zones, follow too closely, or fail to focus on the road put the lives of road workers and other motorists in jeopardy.
Texas had more than 25,000 crashes in work zones in 2016 causing 181 deaths. Most of those who died in work zone accidents were motorists. Traffic fines in work zones are higher because of the serious risk posed by drivers who disregard work zone traffic laws. Drivers who cause accidents in work zones may be held liable for the injuries they cause.
Faulty Roadway Design Accidents
The design of a roadway or a lack of adequate roadway maintenance may contribute to a car accident. Broken pavement, roads that have standing water because of improper drainage, curves that are too sharp, and roads that are not properly marked are among the problems with roadway design and maintenance that can lead to a serious accident.
When the roadway’s design or maintenance is negligent, you may be able to seek compensation from the contractor, sub-contractor, or government agencies responsible for building and maintaining the road.
Defective Vehicle Parts
Some car accidents are caused by faulty auto parts such as brakes, ignition systems, or steering systems that fail, airbags that explode or fail to engage, tires that rupture, vehicles prone to roll over, or vehicles that crush the roof too easily. Vehicles that don’t meet industry or government crash safety standards, fail to have laminated glass, have seat belts that don’t properly latch or function safely can all contribute to making a vehicle uncrashworthy.
A defect in any part of an automobile or in its overall design can cause a crash or make injuries worse than they otherwise would have been. A driver may not be aware of the defect until it is too late to avoid injury. When a vehicle defect causes an accident or causes injuries worse than they should be, the auto manufacturer or designer of the defective part may be held accountable through a product liability claim.
NEGLIGENT DRIVING RESULTING IN SERIOUS OR FATAL CAR CRASHES IS THE CRITICAL FACTOR TO RESOLVING A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT CASE
To achieve a positive outcome in a car accident injury case, it is necessary to fully establish driver negligence. Negligence is the legal concept that is the basis of all personal injury cases and is defined as a failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others, or conduct that falls below the standards of behavior established by law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.
A driver who speeds drives drunk, races, tailgates, or changes lanes without a signal, uses the wrong turn signal, makes an unsafe merge, or fails to yield has engaged in negligent driving conduct. This breach of duty is the pivotal issue in how your case will be resolved. Driving drunk or intoxicated is usually considered gross negligence.
Speak with our Houston car accident attorney today for a no-obligation free consultation.
Our highly skilled car accident attorneys have chosen to focus their legal practices on personal injury law. We have achieved many significant victories in serious injury and death cases, and our entire legal team and staff work long hours to help our clients achieve justice.
We will pursue the maximum in damages. Some cases justify pursuing the insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver. In some cases, we may pursue compensation beyond the policy limits by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party so that other assets can be accessed to pay for what happened. This may be necessary in cases involving traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, disfiguring injuries, or other catastrophic injury cases.
- Texas DOT: 2017 Crash Statistics
- Texas DOT: DUI Drivers in Fatal Crashes by Age
- Texas DOT: Total and DUI Fatal and Injury Crashes Comparison