Texas Car Accident Lawyers

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Like you, a lot of drivers in Texas drive carefully when they get behind the wheel. However, not every driver in the Lone Star State does the same. Sometimes, other motorists cause crashes that you simply could not avoid.  If you are the victim of someone else’s negligence in an automobile, motorcycle, or trucking accident, seek help from a personal injury lawyer right away. 

At Smith & Lee, we provide exceptional, fearless, service-based representation to auto, motorcycle, and trucking accident victims. Find out more about your case and have it reviewed by one of our car accident lawyers to help you make a claim or decide if now is the right time to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

Why Auto Crashes Happen in Texas

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2021, there were 552,224 motor-vehicle crashes reported in Texas. There are a variety of causes for auto crashes. Common reasons why car collisions happen include:

Speeding 

Though it seems like everyone does it, the dangers of speeding are significant. A driver traveling faster than the posted speed limit may not be able to stop quickly enough to prevent an accident. Unfortunately,  anyone involved in an an accident caused by speeding can suffer an injury or die. 

Drunk Driving

When a motorist has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater and operates a motor vehicle, they are considered to be driving while impaired or, under Texas law,  driving while intoxicated (DWI).  An impaired or intoxicated motorist can easily lose focus while they are behind the wheel, lose control of their mental faculties or their physical faculties and be unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. These drivers can, and often do, cause an accident that results in injuries and fatalities that include themselves and others. 

Distracted Driving

A driver is considered to be “distracted” when they take their attention away from driving, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This often includes looking at their cell phones, using a GPS device, eating or operating some other mobile device. Driving while distracted increases a motorist’s chance of an accident. If you get hurt in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you can seek out a personal injury lawyer to hold this motorist accountable for their actions. 

Poor Weather and Road Conditions

Heavy rain and other harsh weather conditions can impact a driver’s visibility. Along with these, potholes and other road hazards can make it tough for a motorist to drive safely. Regardless, a driver must consider the weather and road conditions when they travel — if they do not, they can get into an accident and be held responsible for it. 

Lack of Driving Experience

A teen may get their driver’s license and feel that they are ready to travel on any road in Texas. Yet, a young driver may not know how to react to common situations or become panicked to the point where they do not know what to do. This lack of experience can contribute to an accident. 

Smith & Lee is a Texas is a personal injury , car, motorcycle and trucking accident law firm that can teach you about negligence and accidents. If you were involved in an automobile, motorcycle, or trucking crash we can help you pursue damages from the at-fault driver or their insurer. To learn more, please get in touch with us.  We are here for you. 

What to Do After a Car Crash in Texas

Though you can call a Texas car accident lawyer about your crash right away, you may just need or want to get through the incident itself first. Doing so can be challenging. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to respond to a crash without putting yourself or anyone else in harm’s way, such as:

Call 911

Get to a safe spot away from traffic and any other potential dangers. Then, notify 911 about your collision. The 911 operator will send medical personnel and police officers to the accident scene to assist you and anyone else involved in the incident. 

Report Your Accident to the Police

Speak with police officers about your crash. Provide these officers with as much information as you can about the collision, but do not accept responsibility for the accident. In the days following your crash, these officers will put together a police report, and you may be able to use the report as evidence in your personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can help you get a copy of that report. 

Go to the Doctor

If someone hits you or your car, and you are injured or in pain, you really need to see a doctor as soon as possible. This gives you the opportunity to consult with a doctor who can evaluate you and treat any accident injuries. Your doctor will make sure that you address any injuries before they get any worse.  If your doctor will not see you because you were in a crash, your attorney can help you identify doctors who treat car accident victims. 

Gather Evidence  

Though your car accident attorney can help you collect evidence after the wreck, it is also best if you try to collect evidence from your accident scene if you are able. For instance, you can use your smartphone to capture photos and videos from the scene. You can also find witnesses who saw your crash happen and get their contact information so your lawyer can reach out to them later. 

Get the At-Fault Driver’s Contact Information

Ask for the at-fault driver’s first and last name, car insurance information, and driver’s license. You will need this information if you want to file a claim or lawsuit against this individual. With this information in hand, your auto accident lawyer can help you submit your claim against the at-fault driver. Sometimes, the police will gather this information for you if you are unable to speak to the at-fault driver yourself or if they are unwilling to give it to you. This information will then appear on the police report. 

After you gather as much evidence as you can, search for Texas car accident attorney to help you with your claim. There are many car accident law firms to choose from, but the best ones make it easy to figure out what damages to claim in your personal injury case and will guide you through the process step by step, answering your questions along the way. Our firm employs experienced auto, motorcycle, and trucking  accident lawyers who will make sure that your claim is handled and resolved or a lawsuit is filed in accordance with Texas’ statute of limitations for personal injury claims. 

How Much Time You Have to File Your Car Accident Lawsuit

Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you suffer a personal injury in an auto accident, you have up to two years from the date of your injury to have your claim resolved or have a lawsuit filed seeking compensation from anyone responsible. Otherwise, you are prevented from making your claim for filing suit and will be fully responsible for all of the costs associated with your crash. 

Do not wait to get help from an auto accident attorney. When you meet with a lawyer, you will discuss your crash in detail, and your lawyer will help you understand your damages and how a claim proceeds. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a strong case — and if so, make sure that your claim or lawsuit is handled promptly. 

Auto accident attorneys work in lockstep with their clients. They understand the most common personal injury cases in Texas and how to argue on behalf of their clients to present the facts and damages to an insurance adjuster or jury. Your attorney will put you in the best position to secure the most compensation possible.

How Much Money Can You Get in an Auto Crash Lawsuit

Every car crash case is different, and every client is unique.  Auto accident law firms cannot determine exactly how much a client can get if they file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. An auto accident law firm works with their client to calculate this individual’s damages based on their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, impairment, future medical needs and a variety of other factors that are dependent upon each person’s individual situation.  Your attorney will seek economic and non-economic damages for you. 

Economic damages can be awarded based on medical expenses, lost wages, and other quantifiable losses associated with a car crash. You can receive non-economic damages based on pain, suffering, and other subjective losses relating to your auto collision. In most personal injury cases, there is no cap on the economic and non-economic damages that can be awarded, but the practical reality is that the damages must be based upon or related to the facts of the individual’s case. There are also limits on insurance policies that may limit the amount you can recover. 

In addition to economic and non-economic compensation, punitive damages can be awarded to deter an at-fault party from acting recklessly in the future. These situations are rare, but may be appropriate in your situation based on the facts. There is a cap of $200,000 or two times the amount awarded in economic damages plus the non-economic damages awarded up to $750,000, whichever is greater. A judge or jury will determine if punitive compensation should be awarded in combination with economic or non-economic damages or both. 

What to Expect After You File Your Auto Crash Lawsuit

After you file a lawsuit relating to a rush-hour crash or any other type of auto collision, you and your lawyer will prepare your case together.  Ultimately, you should be prepared to be the best witness in your case and be able to explain how the defendant in your case was negligent. To prove negligence, you and your lawyer must prove that the following elements of negligence were present at the time of your collision:

  • Duty of Care: The at-fault motorist had an obligation to drive their car safely.
  • Breach of Duty of Care: This motorist breached their duty of care by doing something careless, reckless, illegal or wrong that could injure or kill other drivers or pedestrians. 
  • Causation: Because the motorist had a duty of care to you and breached that duty, they caused your accident and injuries. 
  • Damages: You suffered quantifiable or subjective losses or both due to the fact that the motorist broke their duty of care to you and caused your crash. 

A Texas car accident lawyer helps you collect and review evidence to prove that the defendant in your lawsuit was negligent. They also look for witnesses who can testify in your case. These witnesses can share what they saw at the time of your accident and provide other insights that compel a judge or jury to rule in your favor. 

Of course, there is no guarantee that your lawsuit will reach the trial stage. Your attorney can help negotiate a settlement offer from the defendant or their insurer at any point during your claim or litigation. If this happens, you may have the option to resolve your case before you have to go to trial. Your lawyer should be able to explain to you where all of the settlement money goes in the event of a settlement, detailing what goes towards medical bills that need to be paid, what goes to health insurers or Medicare that has to be paid back, how much attorneys’ fees are, expenses, and ultimately what the net recovery to you will be. 

What to Do If You Receive a Car Crash Settlement Offer

An auto crash victim who suffers any kind of injury, from minor to severe or even a brain injury may receive an offer of settlement on their case. If the defendant or their insurer in an auto accident claim has concerns about the strength of their case, or simply wants to resolve it without further expense, they may propose a settlement. In this situation, you may be tempted to accept the proposal — but be careful before you do. 

If you approve a lowball settlement, you cannot request additional money from the defendant or their insurer at a later date. Instead, you are stuck with the settlement that you accept, for better or worse. This also means you may be required to pay some or most of the costs of your auto accident out of your own pocket, or may be responsible for reimbursing your health insurer or Medicare out of that settlement even if you are not primarily responsible for your crash. 

Rather than risk accepting a lowball settlement, get help from a Texas car accident attorney to evaluate your claim. This enables you to discuss the offer with a lawyer and hear what they have to say about whether it is reasonable, fair or advisable. If your attorney believes it is in your best interests to decline or counter a settlement offer, they will let you know. 

Problems That Can Come Up If You Settle a Car Accident Claim with an Insurance Company

Just after your auto accident, you may receive a call from the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. At this time, the company may pressure you to settle. You may have concerns and questions about whether to settle with an insurance company — and for good reason. 

If you get a call from an insurance company regarding a settlement in your auto crash case, consult with a car accident attorney in Texas. Your lawyer will not force you to make any rash decisions. Conversely, they can explain all aspects of a settlement proposal and how any decision you make about an offer can impact you now and in the future.   

You should never approve a settlement offer unless you feel comfortable with it. When you have a car accident lawyer in Texas at your side, you do not have to worry about accepting a lowball settlement. Your lawyer can let an insurance company know that you have declined its offer and make sure you can present a compelling argument as your claim proceeds, potentially all the way to trial. 

How to Choose a Texas Auto Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about hiring a personal injury lawyer in Texas, you are not alone. To find the best lawyer for your unique set of circumstances, it is beneficial to conduct some research and ask questions. 

Learn about a Texas auto accident attorney’s skills and experience. Get insights into how the lawyer has handled car crash cases over the years. If you believe that a lawyer may be a viable option, schedule a consultation with them. 

During a consultation, share any legal concerns or questions that you have with an attorney. The lawyer should be able to address your concerns and questions and discuss how they will handle your case. If you feel the lawyer has what it takes to represent your best interests, hire them, and let them help you secure a fair settlement. 

Get Started with Your Car Accident Claim 

The team at Smith & Lee has a lengthy track record of success in auto accident cases. We can help you get the compensation you deserve from those responsible for your car crash. For more information, please contact us today.