Texas Accident Lawsuit Attorney
Texas Accident Lawyer
Texas accounts for the most number of fatal accidents in the United States after California. On May 30, 2012, a fatal collision between a car and a tractor-trailer rig in East Texas resulted in the death of three persons. Rusty, the lead singer of music band Bow Prometheus, was injured and roadie Blake Gassett was killed in a serious car accident in Harrison County’s Marshall City on June 2. Two days later, a deputy of the Anderson County sheriff received serious injuries in an accident involving three vehicles. In April 2011, Times Square Church pastor and author of "The Cross and the Switchblade" died after his car veered off the road and collided with a tractor-trailer rig. Other high-profile Texas road accident fatalities include ex-Pittsburgh Steeler Ernie Holmes (2008), father of NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson (2007), legislator Joe Moreno (2005), and basketball star Eddie Griffin (2007).
Texas Auto Accident Statistics
- Texas traffic crashes resulted in 3,023 fatalities in 2010.
- The state mileage fatality rate is 1.29 deaths.
- According to the 2010 Texas car accident statistics released by the Transport Department, 215,593 persons were injured in 388, 177 crashes. Of these, 82,685 received serious injuries in 59,660 vehicle accidents.
- Rural areas reported more traffic fatalities compared to cities and towns. About 56 percent of total accident fatalities occurred in rural areas.
- About 41 percent of all road accidents involved single vehicles running off the road.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol claimed lives of 1,075 people, about 35 percent of total motor vehicle fatalities.
- Intersection or related accidents were responsible for 22 percent of total people killed in Texas car accidents.
- In 2010, there was one crash in every 81 seconds, one injury in every two and a half minutes, and one road fatality in every 3 hours.
Texas Auto Accident: County and Causes
Harris County leads the tally in the number of total Texas car accidents. The county accounted for 17 percent of total Texas car accidents in 2010. Dallas County was second with 35, 811 car crashes and 181 fatalities in the same year. Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis Counties were among the other top five areas with a high number of auto accidents and fatalities. Houston was the most unsafe city in Texas with 40,323 car accidents leading to 217 deaths in 2010. San Antonio was second in the number of traffic crashes while Dallas stood at the third place with 23,648 auto accidents. Austin and Fort Worth were two other most prominent cities that accounted for a high number of car crashes in Texas.
According to Texas Department of Transportation, the IH-35 stretch running from Austin to the Dallas-Fort Worth area via Waco witnessed the most number of road accidents in the state. Almost half of the total Texas car accidents occurred in areas with permissible speed limit above 60 kmph. This highlights speed as the most important reason for car crashes in the state. Almost one in every three fatalities was attributed to alcohol consumption by the driver. While the New Year Day was the most fatal with 25 deaths, 280 people were killed in May 2010. The high number of single road accidents indicates distracted driving as another major cause for car crashes in the state. Head-on and rear-end collisions involving two or more vehicles contributed to one-sixth of total fatalities. One in every five accidents occurred at intersections or were caused by intersection-related traffic problems. Pedestrian and fixed road side objects were factors in about 10 percent of total crashes.
Common Texas Accident Injuries
- Death or loss of limb rendering one disabled for life
- Severe medical conditions, such as brain damage, spinal cord damage, or other accident injuries requiring prolonged treatment
- Injuries to back and neck
- Disfigurement, fractures, scars
- Traumatic brain injury, burns
- Psychological and emotional distress
Texas Accident Claim for Damages, Compensation
The state law allows accident victims to claim following types of compensation from those responsible for the accident.
- Compensation for physical, financial, and emotional distress caused by an accident
- Monetary damages to cover disability, medical expenditure, loss of job and property
- Punitive damages
- Damages for psychological trauma and loss of consortium
Texas Auto Accident Lawyer Claiming Damage
Texas law requires an accident victim to establish negligence, causation, and damages to seek compensation from the at-fault drivers. A victim can claim damages in the following three ways:
- File claim with your insurance provider seeking compensation under the policy terms and conditions
- Claim compensation from the insurance provider of the at-fault driver
- File a civil lawsuit in consultation with your Texas accident lawyer seeking punitive and compensatory damages from the at-fault driver
Texas Personal Injury Lawsuits: The Claim Process and Litigation
- Pre-Litigation Claim: Your Texas accident lawyer collects details about the accident, medical bills, damage estimates, and loss estimates and seeks compensation from the erring party based on these findings. Both parties can go for negotiated settlement, mediation, or third-party arbitration to decide the compensation.
- Litigation: Your Texas accident lawyer moves the court and files a civil lawsuit only if the other party rejects your compensation claim or offers less. A demand notice is sent to the at-fault driver stating your claim. Texas accident lawyers of both parties collect all reports, including statements by technical experts, to support their cause. Any of them can approach the court for a summary judgment or trial, which is at the sole discretion of the judge.
- Trial and Judgment: Opposite Texas accident lawyers present their case before the court and cross-examine witnesses. The jury decides the lawsuit based on facts, law of the state, and situational evidence.
- Settlement: Most of the Texas accident lawsuits are settled through negotiation or mediation. The settlement process can be initiated out of court and the lawsuit can be settled any time. A good Texas accident lawyer can help you bargain more during the settlement.
Texas Accident Lawsuit: Statutory Regulations
- All Texas accident lawsuits with less than $10,000 compensation claim must be filed in state small claim courts.
- All lawsuits seeking compensation for personal injury and property damage during auto accident must be filed within two years of the incident.
- Notice of accident compensation claims involving government employees or vehicles must be served within 90 days of the incident.
- The statutes of limitation offer exception on the following situations.
- If the accident involves a minor, he has two years from the day of his 18th birthday to file any accident compensation claim.
- If any compelling situation, such as medical condition, does not allow the victim to file Texas auto accident lawsuit.
Texas Comparative Fault Law
Texas follows the comparative negligence principle to decide award in an auto accident lawsuit. Officially known as "proportionate responsibility," the law entails that any award is to be decided on the basis of defendant’s negligence. If the court finds that the plaintiff is also responsible for the accident, an amount proportionate to his responsibility in the incident is deducted from the total compensation awarded. No damage is awarded if the plaintiff’s negligence in the accident is over 50 percent.
Texas Accident Insurance
- Texas follows “at-fault” insurance claim policy.
- Drivers in Texas must carry insurance coverage of the following minimum limits.
- $30,000 for personal injury liability insurance per person
- $60,000 for personal injury liability insurance per accident
- $25,000 to cover property damaged in an accident
- Texas law also allows drivers to carry a financial bond as an alternative to buy auto insurance. This bond must be guaranteed by two persons who own property in Texas and the Department of Motor Vehicles should certify that you are self-insured.
- Drivers are required to carry proof of insurance or self-insurance at all times.
Texas Seat Belt Law
- All passengers riding on the front seat must wear seat belts irrespective of their age.
- It is not mandatory for passengers above 17 and sitting on the back seat to use these belts. However, if the vehicle is equipped with such seat belts, passengers must use them.
- Passengers less than 17 years must wear seat belts even when seating in the back seat
- All children below 5 years and less than 36 inches tall must be fastened with child seat belts.
- Booster seats are recommended for children under 4 feet 9 inches height.
Texas Auto Accident Lawsuit
In June 2012, a Texas auto accident lawsuit resulted in $21 million award in favor of a woman. The plaintiff was injured after driver of a Coca Cola vehicle smashed into her car. In December 2010, a Texas jury ordered Los Paisanos Autobuses Inc. to pay $124 million in damages in a 2005 accident involving its vehicle that left two dead and five injured. A Houston man seriously injured in a car accident received $120,000 in damages. The plaintiff had neck and back injuries after an intoxicated SUV driver struck him at Deer Park. Another Houston resident injured at an intersection accident got 14 times of compensation earlier offered by the insurance company. A pick-up truck driver won $500,000 in damages in a lawsuit filed after he was hit by an ambulance that ran the red light. In 2008, a Texas jury awarded $600,000 to a correction officer who claimed discectomy following a near-fatal accident at a Houston intersection.