HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Today’s automobiles are much safer than the ones which rolled off assembly lines in the 1990s. Nevertheless, even the most advanced safety systems can only absorb so much force. As a result, high-speed wrecks often cause serious injuries, such as head injuries. The medical bills alone could exceed $100,000 in these cases.
Houston has some of the most dangerous roads in the country. Six hundred forty (640) people a year die on Houston-area roads, and 2,850 more injured. This high crash rate is due to the significant increase in road traffic. Furthermore, the ever-growing city and the recent highway design, which allows drivers to go as fast as 75 mph (ca. 121 km/h), have also contributed. Other factors contributing to these deadly collisions are a high rate of distracted drivers and driving while drunk.
When we compare data for the two time periods January 1- April 15, 2020, and January 1- April 15, 2019, there was a 15% decrease in traffic in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston metro areas. However, the Texas Department of Transportation data shows the number of traffic fatalities dropped by 3.35%. This means that while traffic is decreasing, the rate of deadly vehicular accidents does not decrease in proportion.
A Houston Chronicle analysis shows that out of the 12 largest metro areas in the U.S., Houston has the worst record for roadway fatalities in terms of deaths per capita from 2001 through 2016.
Since November 7, 2000, there has been at least one traffic fatality every day in Texas.
Many people in Houston have come to view fatal collisions as natural, but nothing could be further from the truth. Car accidents are often preventable collisions rather than actual “accidents.” It is essential to know that behind these statistics are real lives lost. These are real people and their families that are struggling to heal after a horrific event.
Serious traffic collisions are preventable. When drivers act recklessly and negligent in their driving, we step in. Hiring a lawyer may be a crucial step in recovery after a severe car accident. Auto-related accidents may involve multiple insurance companies. They may also involve law enforcement agencies and at-fault companies. Therefore, it is vital to have a legal team with the experience of handling these complex situations. By doing this ensures you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Getting a fair compensation for your injuries after an accident is critical. Having the peace of mind knowing that your medical costs, time lost from work, or long-term disabilities are all covered. It will allow you to focus on what matters most, which is your recovery. We are committed to helping individuals and their families get justice after major vehicular accidents. Contact the Houston car accident lawyers now.
HOW A CAR ACCIDENT LAWSUIT WORKS
First, it is entirely free to inquire at Williams Hart law firm. Our experienced team wants to hear your story and see what we can do for your unique situation. Get a free case evaluation and learn more about your options. There is no obligation to sign up with our Houston car accident lawyers until you get your questions answered. We want to provide the information you need to make the right choice for your family.
Second, when you sign up with our firm, you can expect the following things. Our legal team will begin collecting the necessary information about the case. We do a couple of things on your behalf. Such as speaking to insurance agencies, law enforcement, and other responsible parties to get the required evidence.
Third, we will talk with you about our investigation and review your best options for recovery. You should know that that case is unique, and we want to help you get the best possible outcome. After our thorough investigation, you can get the facts and proceed with the best information and representation.
Unlike many attorneys, we aren’t afraid to go to trial if it comes to it. Our Houston car accident lawyers have taken on major corporations and huge insurance companies and won. We know what it takes to see a case through to the end.
Our cases work on a ‘contingency basis,’ which means we only get paid if we win you money! We promise you won’t have any out-of-pocket legal expenses during your case with us.
First Party Liability
Ordinary negligence is a lack of care. Drivers who violate the duty of care and cause crashes might be liable for damages. Negligence per se is a violation of a statute. Negligent drivers (tortfeasor) who violate safety laws and cause a collision might be liable for damages as a matter of law. The tortfeasor is the legal term for a person who commits a wrongful act that injures another.
Alcohol is a good illustration of the difference between these two concepts. Most people are legally intoxicated after three or four drinks. Even if the tortfeasor “beats” the DWI in criminal court, the negligence per se doctrine usually applies. You should know that alcohol impairment begins with the first drink. Indirect evidence of impairment includes bloodshot eyes, erratic driving, and unsteady balance. In these ordinary negligence cases, the victim/plaintiffs must prove alcohol impairment by the predominance of the evidence (more likely not).
Damages in a Houston car wreck case usually include compensation for economic losses and non-economic loss. Economic losses are any losses suffered that can be expressed in monetary terms. It usually covers medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and any out-of-pocket expenses. Non-economic losses are compensation for any hardships or suffering you experience from the accident. One common example is emotional distress, which is a real injury and deserves financial compensation. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in some extreme cases.
A tortfeasor is a legal term for a person who commits a tort (civil wrong), either intentionally or through negligence. Frequently, they are not the only party who is financially responsible for damages. There is also vicarious liability, which is an essential concept in wrongful death and other catastrophic injury claims. You should know that Texas has one of the lowest auto insurance minimum requirements in the country. As a result, many drivers are driving around underinsured; with not enough compensation should they get in an accident.
Texas has a dram shop law. What this means is that Bars, restaurants, and other commercial alcohol providers could be responsible for damages if the patron were:
- A Minor: Generally, providers are liable as a matter of law if they sell alcohol to people under the age of twenty-one. Some traditional defenses, like the “s/he looked older” defense, usually do not hold up in court.
- Obviously Intoxicated: This means that the average person can see that the person is intoxicated. In short, the person looks and acts drunk. Evidence of obvious intoxication includes some aforesaid circumstantial evidence. Since the burden of proof is low in civil cases, a little evidence goes a long way. In certain situations, social hosts might also be vicariously liable for alcohol-related crash damages. This falls under the theory of negligent undertaking. This means that a person who has not created a peril is not liable in tort for failing to take action to protect another. Unless they have some relationship that gives rise to a duty to act.
Respondeat superior theory means that employers are liable for the negligent acts of their employees while carrying out the scope of their employment. Thus, if the tortfeasor were an Uber driver or other commercial operators, this theory would apply. Texas law defines all these keywords and phrases in broad, victim-friendly terms. For example, “employees” are not just workers who receive regular paychecks. The label also applies to owner-operators, independent contractors, and unpaid volunteers.
Finally, owners of the vehicle can be financially responsible for damages. This occurs if they knowingly allow incompetent operators to use their vehicles. Evidence of incompetency includes no valid drivers’ license or poor driving record. Another example is the violation of a drivers’ license restrictions. So, for example, allowing a person with a learner’s permit to drive unsupervised.
Commercial negligent entrustment cases, such as a U-Haul wreck, works a bit differently. This is because of the Graves Amendment, which states that motor vehicle rental companies are not liable for damages or injuries during the rental or lease.
Vehicle collisions often cause serious injuries. For a 100% FREE initial consultation with an experienced Houston car accident lawyer, contact Williams Hart today.
WHAT CAUSES VEHICLE COLLISIONS?
Most car crashes are not “accidents.” People accidentally leave the stove on; they do not accidentally drive drunk and cause a car wreck. In fact, driver error causes over 90 percent of the vehicle collisions in Harris County. Frequently, this error involves one of the five kinds of driving impairment, which are:
- Alcohol: Despite a decades-long crackdown against drunk drivers. Alcohol still causes about a third of the fatal vehicle collisions in Texas. It is a known fact that alcohol adversely affects one’s judgment and motor skills. This makes it dangerous to drive a car while drunk.
- Drugs: Prescription pain pills and cannabis are responsible for most of the drugged driving wrecks in Houston. Other impairing substances include some over-the-counter drugs, like Sominex and Nyquil.
- Fatigue: Much like alcohol, drowsiness affects motor skills and cognition. Also, much like alcohol impairment, there is no quick fix for fatigue. Shortcuts, like turning up the air conditioner, are largely ineffective.
- Distraction: Hand-held cell phones combine all three types of distraction. First, drivers who use them often take their hands off the wheel, which is a manual distraction. Second, they usually take their eyes off the road, which is a visual distraction. And third, they get so caught up in the conversation they take their minds off driving, which is a cognitive distraction. There are many other kinds of distractions.
- Medical Condition: Texans who struggle with epilepsy, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions; which could cause a sudden loss of consciousness should not drive. If they blackout behind the wheel, the results could be tragic.
Most non-commercial operators have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively and avoid crashes when possible. Any one of the impairments listed above makes fulfilling this duty difficult, if not impossible.
OUR COMMITMENT TO HOUSTONIANS
Since 1983 we have helped thousands of people recover just compensation after a serious car accident. We are proud of the work we have done in helping people. We know firsthand that a serious car accident can alter an entire family’s way of life. Not only do our clients experience a sudden financial burden of emergency medical care, rehab, and other long-term costs. They may suffer from permanent loss of income and emotional pain, which are also some long-lasting effects of a car accident. We know that the legal proceedings required to ensure just compensation can be overwhelming. Allow the Williams Hart law team to help you to navigate this process. Our attorneys, paralegals, and support staff are proud to help families seek justice and recover.
We are proud Houstonians here to help our community and to make our city a safer place!
We want our clients to focus on recovery.
Contact us for a free case evaluation with
no obligation to sign up.