Texas Car Accident Lawyer
It’s no surprise that Texas is hub for international trade and shipping as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Economic growth has brought more and more traffic and led to more frequent motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. If you or your loved one is injured in an accident caused by another driver, here are four things that may be helpful to you to understand:
- You may be entitled to claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay your medical bills and other expenses related to the accident.
- You may receive a call from an insurance adjuster representing the at-fault driver and offered a quick settlement.
- Insurance companies will try to take advantage of you by offering a low settlement if you do not have a knowledgeable lawyer representing your interests and are unfamiliar with the settlement process.
- You can speak with a lawyer free of charge about your legal rights if you have been injured by another motorist.
Before you sign anything presented by another driver’s insurance company, inform yourself about your legal rights. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to review your Texas car wreck or truck accident and discuss your legal options. Understanding your legal rights will allow you and your family to make a better decision.
Cases Our TX Car Accident Lawyers Handle
The experienced car wreck attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., represent individuals and families throughout Texas who have been injured in crashes caused by others. Many Texas families experience financial stress when a loved one is seriously injured and unable to earn income. You may not have the financial means to pay for the medical care that you or your loved one needs. You may feel overwhelmed and be unsure where to turn for help. Our lawyers are committed to pursuing maximum compensation for people who have been seriously injured in Texas accidents caused by others.
Our attorneys represent people injured in many types of TX car wrecks including:
Whether you are in traffic, on a side road, small neighborhood, or even a parking lot, car accidents can occur anywhere at any time and in many different situations. Depending on how these vehicles collide with one another impacts the resulting injuries. If you have experienced a car collision, contact Herrman and Herrman immediately.
The most common types of auto accidents include:
- Speed-related crashes;
- Accidents caused by drunk drivers;
- 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.
- Rear end accidents & collisions;
- 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.
- Distracted driving accident;
- Aggressive driving accidents;
- Failure to yield accidents;
- Vehicle Rollover;
- 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 does 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.
- Head-On Collision;
- This type of accident is when the front ends of two vehicles hit each other in opposite directions. Head-on collisions are often fatal road traffic accidents. Being aware of traffic signs, street conditions, and staying in your lane play a critical role in avoiding these types of accidents.
- Side-impact collision;
- 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 IIHS. The results from a side-impact collision can be severe but can vary depending on where the vehicle is struck.
- Intersection accidents.
Determining Fault In A Car Accident
Road accidents happen all the time, but when they happen to you, they can cause some legal complications. It’s quite distressing that even though you are quite the careful driver, other drivers sharing the road with you might not be so, this is why there are laws that are put in place to protect you and save you from paying the cost of another person’s negligence.
Another angle to this as you know is; state laws require each vehicle on the road to be properly insured when a car accident happens a claim is filed and so the insurance companies of both parties investigate the claim by hiring the service of an adjuster whose job is to investigate the claim to determine which party was negligent. However, it will help you prove your case if you knew what to do or how to determine and prove you were not at fault.
Get A Police Report
When accidents auto accidents happen sometimes a member of your state’s police department (specifically someone from the traffic department) will show up at the scene of the accident to investigate who was negligent and write a report, and in some cases even issue a citation to the driver deemed to have been at fault. This police report can be very detailed by reporting the party who violated traffic laws, and the violations that led to the incident, but sometimes, the report could be less so and just state what had happened and the negligent behavior that had caused the accident.
However, in an event when there are no law enforcement agents at the scene, you should visit a police station close by and invite the other driver to join you because you must obtain a police report as insurance companies might not be obliged to look into the claim if a police report isn’t provided. Getting a police report is probably the best way to help determine fault and help your case.
“No Doubt” Situations
If you are in an accident involving a rear-end collision or left turns then these types of accidents are easier to prove who is at fault.
Rear-End collisions are accidents that involve a car hitting another from behind, in this situation the law is on your side if you are the driver in front because the driver behind is required to be observant and careful not to drive to close to the bumper of the car in front.
This case is easy to prove because the damages are the best evidence to prove who was at fault but if the driver in front stops suddenly, or has bad brake lights then the driver behind isn’t liable for damages.
In a left turn situation, the car going straight, the driver turning left is deemed to be at fault because the former has the right-of-way and the later should yield. This rule has exceptions too especially is the car going forward is moving over the speed limit or went through a red light.
Having all these in mind you should have a much easier time proving that you are not liable and getting compensations. It also helps to research your state traffic laws, as a decent knowledge of some of these laws can help improve your chances of winning the case and getting your claims. Always be super careful and observant when driving though, do the driving for everyone sharing the road because it is better to avoid accidents if you can.
What Is Fault Based on?
Car accidents have claimed the lives of many in Texas and resulted in the damage of many vehicles. While this has become very alarming, deciding whose at fault sometimes gets very difficult. A preponderance of the evidence is the legal standard that is employed in determining fault in a car accident.
This Preponderance of the Evidence is Largely Based on Three Major Elements:
1) Breach of Duty of Care
Drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers and road users. At every point there is an accident, a breach of this duty of care is considered. The defaulter i.e. the person who breaches the duty of care is identified either by action or inaction. This could be caused by failure to maintain the required distancing or speed limit while driving.
2) The Cause in Fact
To determine whose fault an accident is in Texas, it must be proven that the direct action of the driver was responsible for the accident. The cause-in-fact is determined by the ‘but-for’ test.
3) The Proximate Cause
To determine car accident fault in Texas, attention is paid to the proximate cause. This means that injuries sustained by victims of the car accident are foreseeable by the driver in question.
In Texas, when there is an auto accident, recourse is made to the traffic laws and safety standards in determining damages to be awarded. To achieve this, Texas uses a ‘Comparative Fault Standard’ to apportion faults and award damages. This brings to mind the question – ‘what is a comparative standard fault?’ A comparative standard fault sometimes referred to as ‘proportionate responsibility’ means that the cause of the accident is determined by the attitudes of both drivers. Where there are more than two drivers, the attitudes of all drivers are considered in apportioning fault, measuring, and awarding damages.
Texas, in determining car accident fault also makes use of the 51% bar rule. This rule states that where a person is discovered to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, he/she may not be entitled to damages. This goes further to explain proximate causes as it has been provided above. A driver who because of being drunk crashes another car is liable for the accident. This is because the outcome is a foreseeable consequence of drunk driving.
To make determining fault in a car accident easier, it is important that the situation is immediately assessed and the facts comprehensively recorded. Pictures should be taken if possible and the police should be notified immediately.
Interesting Facts About Texas Car Accidents
Car accidents are a leading cause of personal injury accident and fatalities. Here in Texas, the Department of Transportation reports that the “Fatality Rate on Texas roadways for 2013 was 1.40 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled.”
The report, using data compiled as of May 2014, breaks down the car accident statistics even further. It notes that during 2013:
- There was one reportable crash every 71 seconds.
- Every 2 minutes and 16 seconds, one person was reported as injured.
- A car accident fatality occurred on average every 2 hours and 36 minutes.
- There was not one day in 2013 where death did not occur as a result of a car crash in Texas.
These are staggering statistics, but overall the number of car accident fatalities during 2013 declined from the prior year.
Nobody is immune to car accidents. A total of 232,041 people sustained injuries in TX car accidents during 2013. People from all walks of life can sustain serious injury, death or significant loss if they are involved in a vehicle crash.
What to Ask a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
When you meet with an attorney about your Texas car accident, here are some key questions to ask.
- Do I have a valid claim to file a lawsuit? The attorney will review the specific facts of your car wreck and evaluate whether another driver’s negligence likely caused your injuries. The attorney will seek evidence to show that the other driver’s error, misconduct or disregard for safety caused the accident and led to your injuries.
- What is the estimated value of my losses? Many people who try to handle their own injury claim underestimate the actual value of their losses and get shortchanged. The full value of your losses includes your medical and rehabilitation costs, lost income from missed work, future lost earnings capacity if you cannot work or have to take a lower paying job because of your injuries, as well as your pain and suffering. An experienced attorney will be able to estimate the full value of your losses. That can help you avoid receiving less than full value for your claim.
- How many car accident cases has the attorney handled? It is important to work with a lawyer who has years of experience handling cases similar to yours and can provide trusted legal guidance based on experience.
- How does the attorney charge? At Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C., our attorneys represent clients on a contingency fee basis. That makes it easier for victims of serious car accidents to have an experienced lawyer representing them.
- Is the client responsible for any upfront expenses or fees? If our car accident lawyers handle your car accident case on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe any upfront costs. You only owe a fee if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.
Are You a Victim of a Texas Truck Accident?
Accidents involving commercial trucks and cars are a concern in Texas. The size of commercial trucks increases the chances that people in smaller vehicles will sustain serious injuries.
When a truck driver causes a serious accident in Texas, the trucking company will have lawyers protecting its interests. It is important that you have a dedicated lawyer representing your interests and fighting to make sure that the trucking company is held accountable. The attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., represent people who have been injured in car crashes and truck accidents caused by other drivers.
How Can You Get Legal Help in Texas After a Car Accident Injury?
Our attorneys are understanding of the fact that you are most likely experiencing a difficult time if you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a serious accident. We are available to visit with you at our office in Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth or at a location more convenient to you in Texas. If your injuries make it difficult for you to travel to a lawyer’s office, one of our personal injury attorneys can arrange to visit you at your home or hospital room or other location that you prefer in Texas.
Our legal team is prepared to investigate your accident, determine the precise cause of your injuries, identify the at-fault parties and negotiate aggressively with the insurance companies on your behalf for a fair settlement that covers your medical bills and other losses.
We believe that it is important for you to have reliable information about your legal rights after an accident. We would be glad to mail you our paperback guide written by personal injury attorney Gregory Herrman offering general information about handling insurance adjusters, the insurance claims process and the legal process after a car crash in Texas. Get your free copy of 7 Fatal Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Texas Auto Accident Case.