Texas Car Accident Guide: Everything You Need To Know
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental death nationwide, and Texas roadways are among the most dangerous in the country. In fact, the Lone Star state is the number one state in the nation for traffic accident fatalities. Not exactly a statistic to be proud of.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 36,096 people were killed in U.S. auto accidents in 2019, which is actually a slight decrease from the previous year. That same year in Texas, there were 3,722 traffic fatalities and 30,992 serious injury victims. That’s a serious injury every two minutes on Texas roadways.
You can dramatically reduce your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a Texas car accident by using safe driving practices and knowing what to do in the event of an accident.
This guide will help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and everyone with whom you share the road, and provide you with the tools needed to obtain compensation if you are injured due to the negligent or reckless actions of another. Compensation is critical to ensure that you have access to quality medical treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other resources required to aid in the healing and recovery process.
In a perfect world, obtaining compensation after a personal injury would be easy, but we don’t live in a perfect world. And proving that negligence caused your injuries is rarely a straightforward task. This is where an experienced Texas car accident lawyer can be of immense help.
You can also do your part to keep Texas roadways safe by:
- Never speeding or driving recklessly;
- Never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Refusing to text or use your cell phone while driving;
- Pulling over to rest if you are tired;
- Driving defensively; and
- Always wearing your seatbelt.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, our highly-skilled auto accident team will investigate the details of your case, determine fault, gather evidence to substantiate your claim, calculate damages, and negotiate with the insurance company for the maximum settlement available to you. After a car accident, the only thing you should be doing is healing. Let us handle the rest. Contact Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers today at (281) 645-5000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What We Will Cover in This Comprehensive Guide:
- What Is a “Good Car Accident Personal Injury Claim?”
- Red Light, Stop Sign and Yield Violations in Texas
- How To Navigate Distracted Driving & Texting Accidents
- How To Navigate Reckless & Fatigued Driving Accidents
- Maximizing Your Recovery From a Head-On or Rear-End Collision
- Getting Compensation After a Sideswipe Collision
- Wrongful Death from Fatal Car Accidents
- Negotiating With Insurance Companies
- Insurance Delay and Denial Tactics to Avoid
- How to Recover Full Costs After an Accident
- What To Do If You Have Recently Been Involved in a Texas Car Accident
What Is a “Good Car Accident Personal Injury Claim?”
Several factors go into determining the value of your claim. Each of these factors is unique to your case and should be assessed only by an experienced and accomplished Texas personal injury lawyer. However, you may have a “good” personal injury claim if you were involved in an accident which included one of the following scenarios:
- An accident with a distracted or texting driver
- A rear-end or head-on crash
- An accident with a reckless or fatigued driver
- An accident with a driver who disregarded a red light, stop sign or yield sign
- A sideswipe collision
- A fatal car or truck crash
What Sort of Compensation Can You Get From Your Car Accident Claim?
- Vehicle damage repairs or replacement
- Medical expenses for emergency care, surgery and long-term treatment or care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, missed work, lost earning capacity and lost economic opportunity
- Loss of consortium and wrongful death
Remember that the value of your case could be substantial, and no insurance company will fully compensate you without the representation of an experienced trial lawyer for the full and fair compensation you deserve for losses and damages.
Red Light, Stop Sign and Yield Violations in Texas
Most intersection collisions are attributable to driver error. Common contributing factors to these accidents include:
- Drivers running red lights or stop signs
- Turning in front of oncoming traffic
- Failure to stop or yield as required by law
- Distracted driving
- Improper merging techniques
- Excessive speed for traffic and road conditions
In many cases, these automotive crashes can be avoided by slowing down and paying more careful attention to traffic conditions.
Common Injuries Sustained From Red Light and Stop Sign Accidents
Running a stop sign or crossing an intersection on a red light may seem relatively harmless. However, this minor traffic violation can add up to major damage and serious injuries for other motorists on the road.
Common injuries suffered by drivers and passengers in these accidents include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Herniated disks and damaged vertebrae
- Compression injuries that can cause internal bleeding
- Loss of limbs
The recovery period for some of these injuries can be long and may require expert medical care to ensure the best outcomes. Ensuring that you and your family receive the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled can help you manage the costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation more easily.
How To Navigate Distracted Driving & Texting Accidents
According to the experts at the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 420,000 people are injured in accidents involving distracted driving yearly. More than 3,000 people have lost their lives in these incidents.
Driving while texting or talking on mobile devices has been linked to distraction and loss of focus on the road, equivalent to driving drunk. By avoiding these activities, drivers can increase not only their own safety, but also the safety of others on Texas streets and highways.
Texas enforces specific restrictions regarding hand-held cellphones by certain groups and in certain areas:
- Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use cellphones while driving.
- Drivers operating a motor vehicle with a learner’s permit are also not allowed to use cellphones regardless of their age.
- School bus drivers may not use cellphones while driving if any children are on the bus.
- Drivers may not use cellphones behind the wheel in school zones.
Many municipalities in Texas have established stricter prohibitions on cellphone use. League City, Austin, Galveston, San Antonio, Tomball, El Paso and Corpus Christi are among the largest cities with bans on cellphone use for all drivers.
While the fines for texting or cellphone use while driving range between $200 and $500, the real costs can be considerably steeper for victims of accidents caused by these unsafe practices.
Recovering Damages From an Accident With a Distracted or Texting Driver
Distracted driving is a growing problem in Texas and across the United States. At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we specialize in providing legal representation to those injured due to negligence. Our knowledgeable team will work with you to determine the facts in your case and to pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
As part of our accident investigation, we thoroughly investigate any allegations of distracted driving, including:
- Texting while driving
- Talking on a cellphone
- Distraction from a GPS device
- Eating or drinking behind the wheel
- Adjusting the channel or volume on stereo systems and devices
- Playing games on a cellphone
- Watching videos
If you believe that any of these distractions served as a contributing factor in your car crash, Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers will perform the due diligence necessary to establish responsibility and to hold the at-fault driver accountable for bad choices behind the wheel. Our League City-based team provides the experience and resources you need to pursue your case both in and out of court.
How To Navigate Reckless & Fatigued Driving Accidents
Recovering Compensation For a Reckless Driving Accident
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving specifically as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Aggressive driving is reckless driving.
Drunk driving is reckless driving. Texting while driving is reckless driving.
Reckless or aggressive driving comprises a wide range of behaviors behind the wheel, including:
- Blocking lanes of traffic or preventing others from passing on the left side
- Failing to use signals when changing lanes or making lane changes too aggressively
- Failing to observe traffic signals or stop signs
- Distracted driving due to cellphone use
According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly one-third of fatal auto accidents involved reckless driving. Because speeding is a factor in many of these traffic accidents, victims’ injuries may be more severe and require extended recovery periods.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, our car crash attorneys in League City can provide the effective representation you need to obtain full and fair compensation for injuries and damages caused by a reckless driver.
We will guide you and maximize your compensation. Through every stage of the process, we are on your side, handling all legal aspects of your case.
Recovering Compensation For a Drunk Driving Accident
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is both illegal and dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks the number of accidents and deaths attributable to impaired driving. According to its figures, more than 10,000 people lose their lives in alcohol-related crashes each year. Almost one-third of all fatal accidents in the U.S. involve the use of alcohol. These impaired drivers put others on the road at risk of injuries and fatalities due to their unsafe actions.
Our team provides the legal representation you need to hold those responsible for these accidents accountable for their bad choices and negligent behavior. We will work to achieve the highest possible settlement for you in or out of court, allowing you to recover financially from a devastating automobile accident.
Recovering Compensation For a Fatigued Driver Accident
Fatigued drivers can also present serious risks to other motorists on the road. Especially for drivers of 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks, fatigue can be a major contributing factor in road collisions, resulting in tragic consequences. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 crashes and approximately $12.5 billion in damages are caused each year by driver fatigue.
Unfortunately, accurate figures are not available for several reasons:
- Drivers may be unwilling or unable to self-report.
- No tests exist to determine if fatigue played a role in a particular accident.
- Police reporting is inconsistent and, in some areas, nonexistent.
We will independently investigate your claim and examine your accident with vehicle and accident reconstruction experts to determine if driver fatigue was a factor in your crash. Evidence discovered at the scene and from witness accounts will tell the story of probable fault in your case. We will prove it in court if the opposing party will not settle for your maximum deserved compensation.
Maximizing Your Recovery From a Head-On or Rear-End Collision
Both front-end and rear-end collisions can cause serious injuries for drivers and passengers. Extensive damage to one or both vehicles may also occur during these accidents, resulting in steep repair bills and stress for all parties involved.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we help car accident victims achieve full and fair compensation for losses and damages as drivers or passengers. Our attorneys hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions under a variety of conditions thanks to diligent and skilled investigations, negotiations and trial work.
You can relieve yourself of significant stress and worry in any car accident case by enlisting our attorneys to represent you in the settlement and trial process with insurance companies.
We handle all aspects of our clients’ cases, work on a contingency fee basis and fight for our clients. We’re always on your side.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
In most cases, the fault for rear-end collisions is assigned to the driver who strikes the car in front of his or her vehicle. Several primary factors have been found to contribute to rear-end accidents, including:
- Distracted driving such as texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Failure to pay attention to traffic conditions
- Inclement weather
- Excessive speed
- Following too closely, also known as tailgating
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Road construction
Neck and back trauma, and major injuries can result from rear-end auto crashes. Consulting with a personal injury attorney promptly after an accident can help you protect your legal right to full compensation.
Head-On Collision Causes
Widely considered the most dangerous type of automobile accident, a head-on collision occurs when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide front to front. The forward momentum of each vehicle adds to the severity of the impact in these crashes and can cause catastrophic injuries to drivers and passengers in both vehicles.
If there is a significant weight or size differential between the two vehicles, the smaller car or truck may take the brunt of the damage.
Common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Going the wrong way on a highway
- Improper passing procedures
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving under the influence or while intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol
- Loss of control over the vehicle
- Mechanical failure
Getting Compensation After a Sideswipe Collision
Fault in a sideswipe collision can be difficult to prove, and insurance companies will not go to the trouble of maximizing your compensation. You might find that the insurance company works to shift blame on you, so that it can be cleared of significant liabilities and reduce its exposure to making damage and loss payments to you. However, this does not mean that the insurance company is really your advocate or that you will be able to get the compensation you deserve from the other driver’s insurance.
You need an advocate who is on your side in all phases of the legal process on your road to recovery. At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we understand how to prove fault in sideswipe accidents. We have been doing so for victims throughout Texas from League City, Galveston to Houston since 1970. Our attorneys are aggressive at trial and know how to maximize the fair value of your claim in negotiations.
Based in League City, we can help you no matter where you live or where your accident occurred in Texas and the Greater Houston area. We will thoroughly investigate the accident scene and collaborate with a variety of experts to find evidence, prove fault and establish the full and fair value of your damages and losses.
Please call us at (281) 645-5000 to speak with an attorney. We offer free consultations and will handle all legal aspects of your car accident claim. We are always on your side.
Wrongful Death from Fatal Car Accidents
Losing a loved one in a car accident can be one of the most devastating events in a person’s life. Knowing that the accident could have been prevented with a little additional care undoubtedly adds to the hurt and confusion surrounding these events. However, this is your key to holding the negligent party accountable and maximizing your recovery.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we can provide the legal support you need during this difficult time. Our car accident attorneys throughout Texas from League City and the Greater Houston area will pursue all available avenues to obtain full and fair settlement for your losses. We will handle all legal aspects of your case, including accident investigation, insurance company negotiations and representation at trial.
We are proactive, aggressive and always on your side, working exclusively in your best interests. Our firm has served victims throughout Texas since 1970.
The Texas Survival Statute
One way in which families can pursue legal claims against negligent drivers is through the Texas Survival Statute. This legislation allows surviving family members to collect compensation for many of the same damages covered by personal injury lawsuits, including:
- Victims’ medical bills prior to death
- Damage to property
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs
The settlement amounts collected from the responsible parties are added to the estate of the deceased individual. This can help provide added financial support for surviving family members after the death of a loved one.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits After a Car Accident
Wrongful death suits can be initiated in conjunction with Texas Survival Statute cases or as stand-alone legal actions. These lawsuits can be brought only by surviving spouses, children or parents of the deceased individual.
Allowable damages in wrongful death cases generally include:
- Loss of financial support and future earnings of the deceased
- Survivors’ pain, suffering and grief
- Medical costs incurred on behalf of the deceased by the survivors
- Employment benefits lost upon the victim’s death
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
Our team of experienced wrongful death personal injury attorneys will work diligently to achieve the highest possible settlement for your case. We will examine every aspect of the accident to determine fault and to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their negligent actions.
With a Wrongful Death Car Accident, Time is Of The Essence
Although mitigating factors may extend the period available for filing suit in personal injury or wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations for these cases is typically two years or less. Consulting promptly with our team can allow you to protect your legal rights while ensuring that you and your family receive the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.
We’re on your side. Contact us at (281) 645-5000 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
After a serious auto accident, many drivers naturally turn to their insurance companies for help in managing the costs of medical treatments, vehicle damage, and other expenses associated with these incidents. Did you know that enlisting the help of a legal firm that specializes in personal injury and auto accident cases can level the playing field when negotiating directly with insurers?
Understand that the Insurance Adjuster Is Not Your Friend
One of the most common misconceptions among consumers is that their insurance company is on their side when settling an auto accident claim. In fact, the insurance company is not representing your best interests when taking steps to settle your claim.
Insurance firms are profit-driven entities. Their first priority is to limit the amount paid out on claims from their policyholders. In nearly all cases, the insurance company is motivated to make the lowest settlement offer possible for its customers’ claims.
Our attorneys will work on your behalf to manage the entire claims process more quickly and to achieve the highest possible settlement for your case, whether through negotiations with the insurance company or through trial.
Do Not Take the First Offer From the Insurance Company
The insurance adjuster may make a settlement offer within days or weeks of your accident. While the idea of quick cash in hand may be tempting, a low initial offer can allow insurers to limit their financial liability in your case. It can also prevent you from discovering added information about medical expenses that could significantly affect the real costs of your accident.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we can help you avoid the trap of the lowball first offer and provide you with expert guidance on the real value of your Texas personal injury claim.
The Right Representation Matters
Insurance companies maintain a team of attorneys that provides legal support for claims adjusting or court proceedings. Retaining the services of an experienced legal team to represent you can help you even the odds in negotiations regarding a fair settlement for your claims. Our car accident attorneys are experienced in all aspects of the claims negotiation process and can provide you with the best representation possible when dealing with insurance adjusters and settlement offers.
Insurance Delay and Denial Tactics to Avoid
The experienced personal injury lawyers with Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers have the expertise, experience and financial resources to take on major insurance companies and to eliminate tactics that might otherwise greatly reduce the value of your claim, including:
- Repeated delays and excuses to discourage your pursuit of the best possible compensation and to run out the clock on your claim
- Discounting the physical damages done to vehicles or suggesting that prior damages existed
- Questioning the extent and likely long-term effects of injuries
- Attempting to shift some or all of the blame for the accident onto you
Insurance adjusters have high case volumes, and they minimize car accident claims daily. Their job is to pay you as little as possible. Your claim simply will not stand out to them if you do not have aggressive legal representation on your side.
We Know How to Counter Insurance Company Tactics
Consulting with one of our attorneys is the first step you should take to protect your rights and interests in a car accident claim. Our League City-based attorneys can assist in negotiations with insurance adjusters, help you make informed decisions throughout the legal process and substantially reduce the risk of delays and denials of your claim for deserved compensation.
An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can counter insurance company tactics effectively. We will even the playing field for you in negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. If no reasonable out-of-court settlement can be reached, we will help you pursue your case in court. We’re on your side every step of the way.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we will deliver the best possible representation for your auto accident case in Texas including League City, Galveston and the Greater Houston area. We’re on your side. Contact us at (281) 645-5000 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
How to Recover Full Costs After an Accident
The costs of an accident can include some or all of the following expenses:
- Repairs to or replacement of vehicles damaged or totaled in the accident
- Medical bills for emergency care or ongoing care and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement and impairment
- Lost wages and missed work
- Lost earning capacity and opportunity
- Loss of consortium
These costs can quickly add up to a significant out-of-pocket sum for you and your family. Taking steps to ensure that you receive fair compensation from the parties responsible for your accident is critical to ensure your ongoing financial stability.
Recovering Compensation For Medical Bills
Compensation for your medical bills may come from:
- The other driver’s insurance coverage
- Your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- Your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage or Med-Pay
When you need reimbursement quickly, PIP and Med-Pay will be your best options. However, your insurance provider will still not be quick to reimburse you for your expenses. It is best to pursue any financial compensation after a serious car accident with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Unable to Work After Your Car Accident?
If you are unable to work after an accident, your PIP and/or UIM coverage will be important. PIP will provide you coverage even if you have some fault in the crash, and UIM coverage will provide financial compensation if the other driver has little or no car insurance.
Med-Pay will not pay out lost wages claims, and the other driver’s insurance will work to delay any payments until fault in the crash is proven.
PIP coverage will allow you to recover 80 percent of your lost wages, not including taxes and benefits. Therefore, your lost wages recovery will be about equal to your normal wages. However, your recovery will be limited by the extent of your PIP coverage.
Speak With Our Lawyers About Your Individual Options
Our team represents accident victims throughout Texas including Galveston, League City and the Greater Houston area. We will help you find doctors, chiropractors and other professionals who offer deferred payment plans and other options.
Do not let your inability to pay for medical treatment or a lack of health insurance or PIP coverage stop you from getting proper medical care or pursuing a personal injury claim. Although a lowball initial insurance offer may be tempting, we can help you get a better offer.
We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, establish the full and fair value of your claim and aggressively pursue your maximum compensation both in and out of court. We’re on your side. Contact us at (281) 645-5000 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
What To Do If You Have Recently Been Involved in a Texas Car Accident
The steps you take immediately following a car accident are critical. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, it is in your best interest to:
- Call 911, which will ensure your safety and result in the creation of an official police report;
- Photograph visible injuries, the scene of the accident, and anything that may have contributed to the accident, such as a blocked road sign or patch of ice;
- Exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers and any involved parties;
- Ask for the contact information of any witnesses;
- Do not admit fault—even uttering something as seemingly innocent as “I’m sorry” can later be used against you;
- Seek medical attention, even if injuries aren’t immediately present; and
- Consult with an experienced car accident attorney.
It’s also in your best interest to be informed. Knowledge is power, and the information in this guide can help you protect your health, safety, rights, and wallet if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we have protected the rights of countless motor vehicle crash victims, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining substantial settlements for our clients in a timely manner. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will deliver the best possible representation for your auto accident case in Texas including League City, Galveston and the Greater Houston area. We’re on your side. Contact us at (281) 645-5000 or email our team to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.