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Car accidents have the potential for catastrophic injuries and death. Another unfortunate side effect of car crashes is that individuals can incur large costs ranging from property damage, medical expenses, lost productivity, as well as the psychological pain and suffering associated with an injury or death. If the negligence of another driver caused your accident, or if you are dealing with an insurance company after being injured in a car wreck, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyers.
CAR ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Despite efforts to improve vehicle safety and road designs, and despite the enactment of tougher laws penalizing distracted and impaired driving, traffic accidents remain a risk to motorists across Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2019. Moreover, throughout Texas in 2019 there were 12,897 serious injury vehicle crashes with 15,843 people sustaining a serious injury. Corpus Christi in particular had 8,601 crashes with 29 fatalities and 137 serious injuries in 2018.
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What To Do If You’ve Just Been In a CAR Accident?
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1. Seek Safety and Medical Attention
Immediately following a car accident, your primary concern is to assess the safety of all parties. If there are injuries or a fatality, notify emergency medical services right away. If you’re hurt, don’t try to “tough it out.” This tactic could not only hinder your physical recovery, but it could also inhibit your ability to recover financial compensation from the insurance company later.
If your vehicle is still in the roadway, and you can safely move it, you should attempt to maneuver it out of traffic to the shoulder of the road and illuminate the hazard lights.
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2. Report the Accident
Once you have reached relative safety, call 911 to provide them the location of the accident. Under Texas law, if anyone involved in the accident was injured or if there was damage to one or more vehicles exceeding $1000, you are required to report the accident to police.
Regardless of whether the accident is a minor fender bender or a major collision, getting an accident report is necessary and extremely helpful in furthering your future claim for financial compensation.
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3. Gather Information and Document the Accident
As you wait for the police and emergency services to arrive, you should assess the scene of the accident and the extent of damage to your respective vehicles. You should try to gather as much evidence as possible in the moments immediately following the accident while the scene is still fresh, as it is likely to change over time. Video and photographic evidence are particularly helpful in preserving the details of an accident scene.
You should also document any injuries to yourself or your passengers as soon as possible. If possible, you will want to gather information from the other vehicle(s) involved, including but not limited to:
- The driver’s name and contact information
- The driver’s company or employer’s name (if operating a company vehicle)
- The driver’s license number
- The driver’s insurance provider and policy numbers
- The car or truck’s model
- The car or truck’s license plate number
You will also want to note the names of any passengers or third-party witnesses who saw the accident occur. Finally, when the police arrive, identify the officers, record their badge numbers, and request a copy of the accident report.
Following the accident, you will want to write down everything you can remember about the accident. Be sure to include as many details as you can remember, including:
- Time of day
- Weather conditions
- Your actions immediately preceding the accident
- The other driver’s actions immediately preceding the accident
This written account may help preserve your memories of the incident and could be useful at trial.
4. Contact an Attorney
Once you’re ready, contact an experienced personal injury attorney with experience in car accident and trucking accident cases. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you coordinate with your insurance provider, determine the statute of limitations for your claim, understand the process for filing such claims in your state, and assess your potential for compensation.
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How Long Does a VICTIM Have To File Their Claim?
The answer to this question depends on the claim’s particular statute of limitations. The “statute of limitation” refers to a state law that places a strict time limit on the plaintiff’s right to file suit in civil court. Under Texas law, a person must bring suit for personal injury no later than two years after the date of the accident.
Therefore, while it may be reasonable to take a few days to recover after a car accident, you do not want to wait too long before seeking an attorney to file your claim. The legal clock starts ticking the day that the accident occurred; thus, it’s always a good idea to begin the process early. This will give you more time for settlement negotiations, but it will also provide your attorney with ample time to gather evidence and file your claim.
How Much Could Your Claim Be Worth?
The value of car accident cases varies depending on the extent of the injuries and the amount of property damage incurred as a result of the crash. Generally, there are two categories of damages available to plaintiffs: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the losses that can be easily documented and quantified. This type of damages includes costs like lost income or wages, property damage, medical expenses, and any therapies necessary for physical recovery.
Non-economic damages refer to the losses that are more difficult to quantify monetarily. This type of damages typically includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or even disfigurement. The challenge with non-economic damages is deciding how to place a value on the intangible losses, and then to justify this value to an insurance company, judge, or jury.
COMMON TYPES OF CAR ACCIDENTS
A car accident can occur in the blink of an eye. One second everything is fine, and the next moment a vehicle is suddenly swerving into your lane or speeding through a red light. While accidents may seem unavoidable in driver-heavy states, like Texas, and in densely populated urban areas, in reality, almost every accident is preventable. Intoxication, distraction, inattention, and carelessness are the most common causes of car crashes nationwide.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, these are the most common causes of collisions in the state of Texas:
Speeding is the leading cause of car accidents in Texas, with failure to control speeding being a contributing factor in 142,022 accidents statewide. While most drivers will admit to occasionally exceeding the speed limit, few drivers understand that car speed and braking distances have an inverse relationship. That is to say, the fast you travel the less time and space you have to react to and avoid problems that occur on the road.
Aside from speeding, distracted driving is the second leading cause of car accidents in Texas with 86,567 crashes statewide in 2019. Distraction to drivers can take any number of forms, including cell phones use, adjustments to the radio, other passengers, or even eating/drinking.
Lane changes can be sudden, both to the driver shifting lanes as well as other drivers in the surrounding lanes. In most instances, the at-fault driver failed to stay in their lane, did not check for other vehicles in their blind spot, or failed to properly assess the shift in speed when changing between lanes. When a car changes lanes, it can be especially dangerous for motorcyclists, which are less visible than cars. These accidents accounted for 81,186 crashes across Texas in 2019.
Failing to Yield
Knowing when to yield and when to enter the travel lane is one of the greatest skills that a driver can possess. With that said, it’s also one of the most difficult skills to master. The most common yielding accidents in 2019 ranged from failure to yield to oncoming traffic in an open intersection (8,999 accidents), failure to yield when exiting private driveways (19,588 accidents), failure to yield at stop signs (28,955 accidents), and failure to yield to oncoming traffic when turning left (33,001 accident).
Drinking or using substances when driving demonstrates a conscious disregard for the safety of fellow motorists. It is for this reason that Texas imposes strict DUI laws on intoxicated drivers. Across Texas in 2019, 14,806 accidents involved drivers under the influence of alcohol and another 3,148 accidents involved drivers under the influence of drugs.
Get Help from Our CORPUS CHRISTI CAR Accident Lawyers Today
At Zinda Law Group, our Corpus Christi attorneys have helped many accident survivors get their lives back on track after suffering injuries and financial losses. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation for any associated medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and all the other costs your accident has incurred.
Our firm believes that car accident victims should not have to worry about their ability to afford high-quality legal representation. This is why we offer 100% free consultations. Zinda Law Group operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our Corpus Christi attorneys today. We are offering free virtual consultations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO
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