If you have been injured in a car accident in Houston or anywhere in Texas, you need to speak a a Houston car accident lawyer right away in order to protect your rights and find out if you are entitled to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely are ready to help you right now! Call now for a free consultation and let us answer the questions you have. We handle all motor vehicle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we win your case!
Every year in the state of Texas, some 3,500 lose their lives in an auto accident. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the fatality rate on the roadways in Texas in 2015 was 1.43 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. The death toll that year reached 3,531 persons. Of those, 960 were killed in crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol, and 476 were killed in those involving distracted driving. As for auto-pedestrian accidents, there were 550 fatalities, representing an increase of 12.7% from the previous year.
Based on the number of reportable crashes for 2015
* One person was killed every two hours 29 minutes
* One person was injured every 2 minutes 8 seconds
* One reportable crash occurred every 61 seconds
* There were no deathless days on the roadways in the state of Texas in 2015
Annual vehicle miles traveled continued to increase last year in the state of Texas, reaching nearly 247 billion in 2015. There were a reported 518,577 car crashes and 246,335 car crash injuries. Of those, 17,011 people sustained serious injuries in 13,616 serious injury crashes.
Texas has a poor record when it comes to car accident fatalities and injuries, making it important to have an experienced accident attorney if you’ve been injured in such a situation. If you are among the victims of our state’s dangerous highways, you know firsthand how a serious injury or death in the family can disrupt your life. You are undoubtedly dealing with pain, suffering, medical bills, and perhaps the inability to work or enjoy the activities of a normal day-to-day life. If a family member was killed, your grief may be compounded by financial challenges if your family relied on the deceased person as a source of income and support. You may feel overwhelmed with the unanticipated damage to your life and unsure what to do next. This is a time when a compassionate and experienced Texas car accident lawyer can help relieve the burden you’re facing.
If someone else was the cause of the accident, you’re entitled to make a claim for monetary compensation for your injuries. If you can demonstrate, through your lawyer, that another driver’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligent driving caused your injuries, you are entitled to a recovery. This will involve making a claim to the insurance company for the driver who was at fault, which if often challenging. Here’s why:
Insurance companies, regardless of the way they represent themselves in television commercials, are not in the business of helping the injured after a car accident. They are in the business of making money for their stockholders. They do this by taking in more money in premiums than they pay out. It’s all about profits, which means they want to minimize the amount they pay in victim compensation. So they fight accident claims with sophisticated methods applied by well trained adjusters and aggressive legal teams.
Insurance companies have various tactics that they use to try to achieve their profit-driven end, most of which are effective on accident victims who think they can settle without a lawyer. These tactics seldom work on those with an experience personal injury lawyer advocating for their rights. So if you are the injured in Texas, you will be doing yourself a grave disservice if your try to go it alone. Do yourself and your family a favor by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston to force the insurance company’s hand and fight for the fair compensation you need and deserve following a serious Texas car accident.
According to the Texas Wrongful Death Statute, spouses, parents, or children of the deceased have the legal right to claim the following:
In addition, in especially egregious car accidents, for example a drunk driving accident where the driver had an extremely high blood alcohol content, a jury may assess punitive damages designed to deter the behavior in the future.
The attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely will explore every avenue to help the bereaved attain financial and emotional peace of mind.
While auto accidents can result from a wide variety of reasons, some of the major crash factors reported in the Texas Peace Officers’ Crash Reports (CR-3) received and processed by the Texas Department of Transportation were compiled into the following categories. Our analyses found that nearly half of vehicle crashes involved aggressive or unsafe driving practices.
Far more male than female drivers were involved in fatal car accidents in the state of Texas in 2015. This tends to be the case nationally, as men typically drive more vehicle miles than women overall. Additionally, men often engage in more risk-taking behaviors than women, such as speeding, drinking and driving, or driving without using seatbelts; for those reasons, crashes involving male drivers tend to occur more often and be more severe.
This problem with fatalities involving male drivers – particularly very young male drivers age 19 to 24 – was the case in more than just auto accidents; the number of male passengers and male pedestrians was also higher than that of females, as were deaths involving motorcycle drivers and pedalcyclists.
The majority of drivers involved in auto accidents were those in the 20-24 year age range; this group had more fatalities than any other group. Teens (15-19 age group) had the second highest number of drivers involved in crashes, with those in the 70-74 age group having the fewest driver involved crashes.
Every year, more than three million people are injured in car crashes across the United States (NHTSA, 2015). Injuries from auto accidents vary and can range from mild to life threatening, depending upon the type and severity of the crash. While some types of injury are more common than others, such as soft tissue injuries neck and upper back, circumstances surrounding the accident will clearly affect the type of severity of any injuries sustained. For example, the speed the cars were traveling and whether the person injured was wearing a seatbelt could make the difference between life and death in many cases. Other factors could include:
Shattering glass, loose objects flying around, or debris from the crash can also cause injuries to drivers, passengers, and others near the crash site. Scrapes, cuts, or bruises caused by objects inside the vehicle – such as cellphones and coffee mugs – can certainly leave their mark in more ways than one. Injuries to the head, neck, and chest are also common, particularly when a driver is thrust forward into the windshield or steering wheel upon severe impact. Broken ribs and internal injuries can occur as can injury to the brain.
Even if this is not the case, soft tissue injuries are not at all uncommon after an auto accident. Such injuries can include whiplash, muscle sprains, or other mechanical injuries where the muscles and ligaments are stretched due to the sudden jerking movement caused by the impact. Soft tissue injuries can occur even at low speeds, and unfortunately, can take much longer to heal than we would like them to.
1. If you or those with you are not seriously injured, move to the side of the road, safely away from the traffic.
If there are serious injuries however, it is important that you call 911 immediately and wait for help. Turn on your hazard lights, and if you can, put flares or bright colored signs up to alert oncoming traffic as you should never move a severely injured person unless absolutely necessary. If it is safe to do so, however, move yourself, your passengers, and your car to the side of the road and wait for help there.
2. Call the police to the scene and wait there for them.
Never leave the scene of an accident unless there are no injuries and you and all everyone involved agrees that a simple exchange of insurance information is all that is necessary. Understand that leaving the scene of an accident when someone is injured could leave you facing serious criminal charges for hit and run.
3. Gather as much information as possible from the involved parties.
Be sure you ask for the other driver’s name and insurance information. Don’t forget to note his or her license plate number along with a description of the car. Take pictures with your cellphone if you can. Passenger names should also be obtained as your insurance company will ask you for this.
Don’t forget to take notes while you are waiting for help to arrive. Also, write down names and contact information of any witnesses. All this could be invaluable both to responding police officers and your insurance company later after the dust settles.
4. Call your insurance company right away.
Let your insurance agent know what happened while the details are fresh in your mind. Keep your notes and any pictures of the scene you took for future reference along with your notes.
5. Keep a careful record of any medical treatment you receive resulting from your auto accident.
Visits to doctors, chiropractors, or other health professionals you make resulting from your accident should be carefully noted. Save copies of everything, including all related medical bills and prescription receipts. If you miss work or other important activities, be sure to keep a record of that as well.
6. Be careful about discussing the details of your accident with others.
Finally, be careful about discussing the details your accident with others – including insurance agents. This especially applies to those of the other party. Remember that their job is to get you to settle as quickly as possible and for as little as possible as they can. If you have any doubts or concerns, always speak to an attorney first, especially when you or anyone with you was injured in the accident.
If you are being told you were at fault, you will need legal representation. Don’t try to do this on your own.
7. If an injury occurred, speak to an auto accident lawyer
It is important to speak to a lawyer if you’ve been injured. Even your own insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible to settle your claim. A good lawyer will make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so no money is needed up front. You only pay an attorney if they recover money for you.
At Gordon, Elias, & Seely, we offer a free consultation where you will learn about the law pertaining to car accident injuries and the options that are open to you in your pursuit of justice in Texas. If you are having trouble getting by and meeting your day-to-day living expenses, let us know; we may be able to advance you money interest free so you won’t be forced to accept a low-ball offer because of your financial situation.
If we accept your case, we will front all expenses, as well as our own work, and you will never have to pay us anything until your recovery check is received. And that means you pay us nothing if we don’t win money for you.
Contact us today, because Texas law restricts the time you have to file a claim. If you miss the deadline you could lose your right to a recovery, so don’t delay.