If you were hurt in a car accident, you may be wondering who to turn to. Finding a car accident lawyer near you is the best thing you can do for yourself when faced with mounting medical bills, loss of income, and a long road to recovery. Your relationship with your attorney is a partnership forged by a common goal: to seek justice and compensation for your suffering. Undoubtedly, it is hard to be partners with someone in another town or another county, and in the immediate wake of an accident physical mobility is an issue for many victims. The closer their lawyers are, the better.
At Williams Hart & Boundas, our main office is conveniently located near the Hobby Airport. So, no matter where you are in Greater Houston, we are not far away. Moreover, if we need to come to your home, office, or hospital room, we make the appropriate arrangements. We offer more than physical proximity. We also offer unique insight into your case as well as a firm commitment to work hard.
What Causes Car Crashes?
This question is critical to your claim for damages, and first responders often do not fully answer it. Mostly because emergency responders have other priorities, their investigations are often incomplete. More on that below.
In general, human error causes over 90 percent of the vehicle collisions in Texas. The specific nature of that error often has a direct bearing on the amount of compensation available, as follows:
- Distraction: Hand-held cellphones are certainly not the only source of distracted driving. These issues also include using a hands-free device, eating, drinking, and talking to passengers while driving.
- Medical Condition: People who suffer from epilepsy, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions which could cause sudden loss of consciousness should not drive. Arguably, these individuals intentionally put other people at risk when they get behind the wheel. Driving while sick might fall into this category as well.
- Drugs: The partial legalization of marijuana in Harris County has fueled a spike in the number of drugged driving incidents. Other impairing legal, or semi-legal, drugs include prescription pain pills and some over-the-counter medicines, like NyQuill or Sominex.
- Alcohol: This substance is a factor in a third of the fatal car wrecks in Texas. One drink causes dangerous impairment. Evidence of impairment includes erratic driving, bloodshot eyes, and odor of alcohol. If the driver was charged with DUI, the driver might be liable for damages as a matter of law. Finally, many alcohol-involved wrecks raise the specter of this party liability.
- Drowsiness: Fatigue and alcohol have the same effect on the body and brain. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level.
Other times, traffic violations, such as speeding, making an illegal U-turn, or failure to yield the right-of-way, cause car wrecks. The negligence per se doctrine typically applies in these cases. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) are liable for damages if they violate safety laws and those violations substantially cause crashes.
Evidence collection is another critical stage of your car crash claim. Local attorneys are uniquely positioned to collect relevant evidence and build solid claims.
First responders are not there to collect evidence for future civil lawsuits. They are there to secure the scene and tend to injured victims. Any investigation they conduct is almost an afterthought.
There is a deeper reason as well. Many first responders view car crashes as civil disputes between insurance companies and individuals. Therefore, these responders do not want to get involved in a personal injury case.
At Williams Hart & Boundas, we know how to fill in the gaps. Witness statements are a good example. First responders typically only interview witnesses who loiter at the scene and voluntarily come forward. Our professional team usually partners with private investigators to locate additional witnesses. Even if they only saw part of the crash, their input and testimony is often invaluable.
Your Claim for Damages
A Houston car wreck lawyer is critical at this point. The insurance company has lawyers looking out for its interests. Do-it-yourselfers have little chance against these odds.
Once medical treatment is at least substantially complete, we send demand letters to insurance companies. If there is no liability dispute, insurance companies have a duty to settle car crash claims within a few weeks.
However, there is almost always at least some liability dispute. So, to put pressure on the insurance company and protect the victim’s legal rights, our team files legal paperwork. At this point, insurance company lawyers often file procedural motions. But we do not go into court half-prepared. Our thorough preparation helps us defeat these motions.
Many car crash claims settle during mediation. That is why we work just as hard to sharpen our negotiation skills as we work to sharpen our advocacy skills. A good Houston car wreck lawyer needs both these qualities. If both sides negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful.
Compensation in a car crash claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Car accident victims are often entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston, contact Williams Hart & Boundas today. Our legal team operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.