Car Accident Lawyers in Houston
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If you have been the victim of an auto accident in Houston, you are probably left facing a lot of questions:
- Who is going to pay my medical bills?
- When will I be able to I go back to work?
- How am I going to I get my car fixed and how will I pay for it?
- Is the insurance company offering me a fair settlement?
- How does the legal process work?
If you were in an accident, let an experienced Houston car accident attorney from Zinda Law Group help you. We can take care of the entire legal process, deal with the insurance company, and seek the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
Our Houston car accident lawyers can answer any questions you may have and help you understand your rights & options. Our attorneys also operate on a contingency fee basis, which means if we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us a dime.
Our attorneys are experienced in many types of car accidents and we handle cases including:
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Head-on accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Side impact accidents
- Drunk drivers
- Hit and run accidents
- Uninsured or underinsured drivers
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
Immediately following an accident, you should:
1. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION
Even with accidents involving minor impact, you may still sustain serious and permanent injuries to your spinal cord. Additionally, if you lost consciousness or were dazed after the collision, you may have suffered a concussion. It’s common to have injuries that are not immediately apparent after a car accident, so it’s advisable to seek medical attention after a collision.
2. CALL THE POLICE
Call the police even if there were no serious injuries. Once the police arrive, you may need to file a police report in order to file a claim with your insurance, even if it is solely to make a claim for vehicle damage.
Make sure you tell the police exactly what happened. If you do not know certain facts, be sure to let the investigating officer know; it’s important not to speculate or misstate anything. If asked if you’re injured and you’re not sure, it’s best to say that you’re not sure, rather than saying no. More often than not, pain and injuries from motor vehicle collisions do not become apparent until hours, days, weeks, months, or even years after the accident.
3. TAKE PICTURES
If you happen to have a camera or smartphone with you, you should take pictures of all the vehicles that were involved in the accident, including your own. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well.
4. EXCHANGE INFORMATION
Normally, the investigating police officer may help you with this. However, if a police officer does not respond to the accident, then you should obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident, drivers and passengers alike. If there are witnesses, you should write down their contact information as well, so that you or your attorney may contact them in the future.
5. INFORM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
Call your insurance company immediately after the accident. It’s important to cooperate with them and tell them exactly what happened and the extent of your injuries. If the insurance company finds out that you were untruthful about anything, your claim could be denied coverage.
Causes and Types of Auto Accidents
There are many causes of car accidents but the majority happens as a result of drivers failing to pay attention, driving distracted, driving while intoxicated, being on a cell phone, and speeding. Injuries are often more severe when the driver and/or passengers aren’t wearing their seatbelt, if the car rolled or caught on fire, or if the impact happened at a high rate of speed.
MAKING A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM
In a car accident lawsuit, you’ll have to show that the other driver was negligent. In order to prove negligence, the following must be proved:
- That the other driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers owe others on the road a duty to exercise reasonable care and attention.
- That the other driver breached their duty of care, meaning that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care.
- That the breach caused your injuries.
- That you were, in fact, injured.
To file a lawsuit, you have to file your claim in the Texas court for the jurisdiction where the crash occurred, or where the negligent driver resides. Your attorney may advise you on where to file your claim. Once the lawsuit is filed, the negligent driver has the opportunity to reply to your complaint. At this point, settlement negotiations begin with the insurance companies.
TEXAS CAR ACCIDENT LAWS
Texas is a modified comparative fault state, meaning that fault is divided between all parties involved. For example, if you were found 20% at fault and the other driver was 80% at fault, then the potential value of your claim is reduced by 20%.
Texas has also adopted a rule known as the “51% bar.” If your fault in an accident is determined to be less than or equal to the other party’s fault, then you are entitled to claim compensation for your damages. If your fault is determined to be 51% or more, then you may be unable to seek compensation. If you are unsure if you would be considered ‘at-fault’ for your accident, contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your case.
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work because of your injuries from the accident. Specifically, lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are suffered by a car accident victim, but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, a lowered quality of life, and mental anguish.
COMPENSATION FOR MINORS
The parent may sue for economic expenses, such as medical expenses, for their child because, under Texas law, a parent is responsible for maintaining the health and welfare of their child while the child is a minor.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are personal to the child. Under Texas law, a minor cannot bring a claim individually until they turn 18. However, a parent may act as a personal representative of the minor and bring those claims on the child’s behalf.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
For car accidents in Texas, the standard statute of limitations is 2 years, meaning that a victim must file their personal injury claim within 2 years after the date of the accident.
In car accidents involving minors, the 2 year statute of limitations begins to run on the minor’s 18th birthday. For example, if the victim was 10 years old at the time of the accident, and the statute of limitations for car accidents is 2 years, then the victim would have 10 years to file a lawsuit before being barred by the statute of limitations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MUCH DOES A LAWYER CHARGE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
Your car accident attorney may either charge a contingency fee or charge by the hour. With a contingency fee, you usually pay a percentage of your award; if you do not prevail on your claim, your attorney is paid nothing. For hourly charges, you pay the attorney for every hour they work on your case, regardless of the success of your claim.
HOW MUCH DO YOU GET FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING IN A CAR ACCIDENT?
There are two methods commonly used to calculate damages for pain and suffering: the per diem method and the multiple method. The per diem method assigns a dollar amount for every one day (often the amount of the victim’s daily pay) then multiples it by the number of days the victim was affected by the injury. The multiple method is more commonly used and is made by totaling the victim’s economic damages and applying a multiple from 1 to 5.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SETTLEMENT FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?
Typically, the total amount of a victim’s settlement is about three times the amount of their medical bills. A judge may also take into account the type of injury, the kind of treatment received, the length of therapy, and any loss of income sustained after the accident.
Get Help From Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Zinda Law Group, our Houston attorneys have the experience and knowledge that has helped many injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from a motor vehicle accident. We have the experience and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
Our firm also believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.