Car Accident Attorney in Houston, Texas
According to the Department of Transportation, Texas has some of the most dangerous roads in the country. In 2016 throughout Texas, there were 14,194 serious injury crashes and 3,794 traffic fatalities. Of those deaths, 640 of them happened in or around Houston.
Car accident injuries can range from virtually non-existent to life-altering. If you’ve been injured or your loved one has been injured or killed as the result of a car wreck, you may be entitled to compensation. In this case, you should contact a car accident attorney immediately to get started on your case.
You may have some questions about whether hiring an attorney for your personal injury case is worth it, or how much money you could end up receiving. Each case is very different, but I'm here to clear up any questions or concerns you may have.
Causes of Texas Car Accidents
Driver negligence can be deadly. No matter how safe you may be on the road, your life can still be changed for the worse because of the carelessness of other Texas drivers. Below is a list of the common causes of car accidents:
Speeding and reckless driving
Failing to stay in one lane or changing lanes unsafely
Failing to stop at a stop sign or light
Driving under the influence of alcohol
That last point is especially important. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that someone is hurt or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver once every 20 minutes.
Fatal Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas
Unfortunately, many people have come to my office in need of an attorney on behalf of their loved one who has been killed by an intoxicated driver. If this is the case, you will need to file a wrongful death claim to get started on fighting for compensation for your loss and your loved one’s pain and suffering.
Let me help you with the legalities so you can spend more time with your family and celebrate the life of the one you lost.
Common Injuries From Auto Accidents
Any of the following injuries typically result from car accidents:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Internal organ damage
Fractures and broken bones
Neck injuries and whiplash
It doesn’t matter who’s at fault for your car accident injury; recovering from a car accident injury takes time, money, and patience. However, if you have reason to believe the other driver is at fault for the car wreck and your injury, you may be entitled to compensation.
As your personal injury attorney, I will gather evidence to build a case and fight for your rights. If it is found that the other driver is at fault, then they may be obligated to pay for your medical bills, lost time at work, pain and suffering, and more.
Liability for Car Accidents in Texas
Determining liability in a car accident involves understanding the concept of negligence. In Texas, the person who was negligent, or at fault, is responsible for the damages resulting from the accident.
Texas Is an At-Fault State
Unlike "no-fault" states, Texas operates under an "at-fault" system when it comes to auto accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for any damages. There are three ways you can seek compensation:
File a claim with your own insurance - You can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have the appropriate coverage. Your insurer will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
File a claim against the at-fault driver - You can also file a claim directly with the at-fault driver's insurance company. This requires proving that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver - If the at-fault driver's insurance company refuses to pay, or if your damages exceed their policy limits, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Texas Insurance Requirements
In Texas, the law requires drivers to have (at minimum) the following auto insurance coverages:
$30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
$60,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
$25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
This is known as 30/60/25 coverage. It's important to note that this is the minimum required by law. Depending on your situation, you might consider purchasing additional coverage to protect yourself financially.
State Laws Addressing Personal Injury Claims
There are several laws in Texas that address personal injury claims. These include the statute of limitations for filing a claim and the concept of comparative fault.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you don't file within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
In Texas, the doctrine of comparative fault, also known as proportionate responsibility, can affect the amount of compensation you receive after a car accident. Under this rule, your damages can be reduced by the percentage of fault you hold in the accident. For instance, if you're found to be 30% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 30%. Notably, if you are more than 50% at fault, you're barred from collecting any damages. This system ensures that each party is held accountable for their role in the accident and that the compensation is fairly distributed based on the degree of each party's negligence.
Car Accident Attorney in Houston, Texas
As a seasoned car accident attorney serving Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas, I'm here to help guide you through your individual situation. Reach out to me today, let's discuss your situation and explore the best course of action. Your journey towards justice starts here. Call Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, to book an appointment today.