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Car accidents happen in an instant, but the scars and financial effects can last for weeks or even years after the ordeal. Despite expansive laws covering car accidents and a legal mandate for drivers to obtain car insurance coverage, it is often quite challenging for injured individuals to obtain the financial compensation they need to recover from the accident.
The good news is that hiring a skilled car accident lawyer, like our team at DFW Injury Lawyers, can help you better understand your legal options for recovery. We can help investigate what caused the crash and help you fight for the maximum possible compensation. Contact us today to for a free legal consultation and learn if you may be eligible to file a car accident lawsuit in Texas.
Texas Car Accident Statistics
Sadly, fatal car accidents in Texas are on the rise. In 2021, the fatal motor vehicle rate increased by about 15% compared to 2020. This means throughout the year, one person was fatally injured in a Texas car accident about every two hours. In addition, there were reportable crashes every 57 seconds in 2021, resulting in countless injuries and financial losses across the state.
Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation suggest that throughout 2022, the leading causes of crashes were:
- Speeding or driving too slowly
- Unsafe lane changes
- Driver inattention
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Following too closely
In most cases, one negligent driver is enough to cause a car accident. If you were injured due to someone else’s negligent driving, you can file a Texas car accident lawsuit to recover compensation from their insurance to cover your losses.
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Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accident injuries can be severe, depending on the circumstances of the crash. Generally, accidents that happen when vehicles are driving at high speeds result in more serious injuries, although there may be exceptions. Sometimes, the positioning of the impact can make a huge difference as well.
Here are some of the most common car accident injuries in Texas:
Head injuries are one of the most common types of car accident injuries. During a crash, a person’s head can hit the dashboard, the window, or the seat in front of them. When that happens, the brain can violently hit the skull, causing a potentially serious traumatic brain injury. It is important to rule out or be treated for a head injury as soon as possible after an accident.
The most common warning signs of a head injury include a persistent headache, confusion, unusual behavior, nausea, and slurred speech. If you notice any of these signs, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be life-threatening if they go untreated. Even when promptly treated, TBIs can have a lasting impact on a person’s ability to speak, perform daily tasks, or remember certain things. TBI patients may face extensive recovery and undergo rehabilitation measures to recover from the injury.
Due to the sudden stop motion associated with a crash, many motorists experience neck injuries when their neck gets jerked forward and backward. Since most people wear a seatbelt, it is their neck that takes most of the impact. They may experience several painful neck injuries after a collision and require long-term treatment.
Whiplash, sometimes referred to as a neck sprain, is an injury involving damage to the tendons, muscles, or ligaments around the neck. Whiplash often goes undiagnosed in the first few days after the accident because it can take a few days for pain and swelling to become noticeable. The painful effects of whiplash may persist for months or even years.
Do I Need to Report My Car Accident?
Under Chapter 550 of The Texas Transportation Code, motorists must report a car accident to the appropriate authorities when the incident causes death, serious injuries, or results in property damage of a certain amount. This law is in place to protect both the individuals who suffer losses and those who are involved in the crash.
After a car accident, the authorities will likely create an initial police report. This report serves as evidence of the accident, and names the parties involved, along with the extent of the injuries and property damage. The crash report notes the results of the initial investigation into the crash. You should report any car accident that might result in injuries or property damage, even if you may be responsible for the crash.
How is Fault Determined After a Car Accident in Texas?
After a Texas car accident, the police look at several types of evidence to understand the cause of the accident. For instance, if you were involved in a car accident, the police should listen to the drivers’ narratives and inspect the damage caused to each of the vehicles. They may also look into other sources of evidence, such as eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage from nearby businesses, and dash cam footage from the cars.
While the initial police investigation is crucial evidence, it does not determine final liability. If your car accident claim goes to court, more evidence may come up during the course of the trial that may impact the determination of the at-fault party. This is why hiring the right lawyer can make all the difference in the final outcome of your car accident lawsuit.
Comparative Negligence Standard
Some states operate on a strict negligence standard, which means individuals can only seek out compensation when they played no role in causing the crash.
Texas laws, on the other hand, are modeled on a comparative negligence standard. This means an injured individual can file a car accident lawsuit so long as they are less than 51% at fault. When this standard is applied, the injured person partly responsible for the accident may be awarded reduced compensation, based on the percentage of their fault.
Texas Car Accidents: Compensation for Injury Victims
After a car accident, you may be hit with a sudden slew of financial costs that you need to initially cover on your own. In addition to these unexpected expenses, you may also suffer from non-economic losses, such as debilitating physical pain, that are in many ways even more significant than the bills. Your car accident lawyer will help you document the ways in which the car accident and your resulting injuries have affected you, and fight to ensure that you are compensated for every loss.
A successful car accident lawsuit may result in compensation for the following:
Pain and Suffering: A car accident in Texas can be physically and emotionally debilitating for the car accident victims. It may result in injuries that cause chronic pain that prevents you from enjoying the activities you once loved. A car crash can also cause flashbacks, panic attacks, and other trauma-related symptoms that might require therapy to overcome.
Medical Bills: In the aftermath of a Texas car wreck, you may have to pay for the costs of an ambulance and emergency medical care. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may have to continue paying for long-term treatment. A successful Texas car accident lawsuit can help you recover money for your past, present, and expected future medical costs.
Property Damage: Another common type of compensation awarded in car accident lawsuits comes in the form of repair costs for property damage. To prove these losses, you may need to take your damaged vehicle to repair shops and get multiple estimates to prove the extent of your losses.
Loss of Income: While recovering from an injury, car accident victims often take time off from work. If this happens, you can recover from those financial losses by seeking out compensation for lost wages. For substantial injuries that render you incapable of returning to the same career and salary level, you may also claim your reduction in earnings from the negligent party.
Wrongful Death Damages: Tragically, some car accidents cause fatalities. When a motorist’s life is lost, their loved ones not only face immeasurable emotional suffering, but they frequently will also endure financial hardship from burial expenses, funeral costs, estate expenses, loss of spousal or parental support, and more. Such losses are recoverable through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Punitive Damages: While not as common, a court may award punitive damages to punish an overly reckless person and deter similar conduct by others.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A Texas car accident attorney can prove invaluable after an accident. Your attorney will help you go over the extent of your injuries and losses. They can also help you outline the facts surrounding your car accident to determine if you have the basis to sue an individual or entity for compensation. If there is enough legal basis to pursue a personal injury claim, then your lawyer will help file the right paperwork, collect evidence, document your losses, negotiate with the other party (most likely the other driver’s insurance company), and represent you in court, if necessary.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyer at DFW Injury Lawyers
Were you recently injured in a car accident in Texas? If so, then you should discuss what happened with a skilled car accident attorney who can explain your legal options and rights.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, our Texas car accident lawyers are ready to handle your car accident lawsuit and fight for your rights. We work hard to ensure that our clients get the highest possible compensation from negligent parties so they may access the resources they need to move on from the pain and trauma of their accident. Schedule a free legal consultation with our Texas office now to talk about what happened. Call 1-888-4-MUSCLE today!