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Getting involved in an auto accident may change your life completely. Oftentimes, the immediate ramifications of an auto accident are too much for an injured person to deal with. You don’t need to take on the additional burden of filing a lawsuit while recovering from car accident injuries. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney may help relieve that burden and help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
TEXAS AUTO ACCIDENT STATISTICS
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in the state of Texas in 2019:
- One person was killed every 2 hours 26 minutes
- One person was injured every 2 minutes 3 seconds
- One reportable crash occurred every 56 seconds
- 249, 241 persons were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
- There were 12,897 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2019 with 15,843 people sustaining a serious injury.
- There were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2019.
In Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that in 2019:
- There were 7,231 total crashes.
- 87 of those crashes involved suspected serious injuries.
- 58 of those total crashes involved fatalities.
As for the most dangerous roadways in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that out of the 58 fatal crashes that occurred in 2019:
- Six occurred on the interstate.
- 26 occurred on US and state highways.
- One occurred on county roadways.
- 19 on city streets.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may want to consider taking these steps:
1. Move to Safety
The first thing you should do is move to a safe location and out of the way of oncoming traffic. An accident on a busy roadway or highway may quickly turn into another accident; so, if you are able, you should immediately move yourself and your vehicle out of the roadway. If you are unable to clear the wreckage or passengers are trapped in the car, you should try and use anything you have at hand to signal the wreck to other drivers. This may include the use of hazard lights, flares, or flashlights.
2. Get the Driver’s Information
You should obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident, including passengers. 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.
3. Document the Scene
You should take pictures of the area in which the accident occurred. If possible, it’s best to try to photograph the positions of the vehicles that were involved in the crash before they are moved from the accident scene. Be sure to include street signs or lights, so that viewers may orient themselves and obtain a better understanding of where the cars were. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well.
4. Seek Medical Attention
If you are able, you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident, either at your local emergency room or by seeing your physician. Once first responders arrive, you should seek their assistance even if you think you feel fine. While injuries may not feel serious initially, they often have the potential to develop into something much worse when left untreated. Also keep in mind that medical records may help prove that your injuries were caused by the car accident, so be sure to keep an organized record of any documented injuries.
5. Inform Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company within 24 hours 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.
6. Consult with an Attorney
A car accident attorney may not only help with gathering your claim documentation, but may also help you establish liability and seek and negotiate fair compensation for your injuries. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Lubbock car accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
MAKING A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM
Don’t make it any more painful than necessary by refusing to hire a car accident attorney. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, an experienced auto accident attorney may:
Assist you in Determining Liability
An experienced lawyer may assist you in determining how much you may be entitled to for your injuries based upon each party’s percentage of fault. A lawyer may also help you determine who or what may be responsible for your injuries.
Assist You in Collecting and Organizing Evidence
An attorney may help you collect as much evidence as possible, which includes names of witnesses and other parties involved in the accident, medical records and costs of treatment, and any photos of the accident scene.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement with the Insurance Adjustor
A lawyer may understand how much your case is worth and may assist you in conducting negotiations with the insurance company to help you seek a fair settlement amount.
In a car accident lawsuit, you’ll have to show that the other driver was negligent. To prove negligence, you must show 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
- The other driver breached their duty of care, meaning that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care
- The breach caused your injuries, and
- You were, in fact, injured.
COMMON ACCIDENT INJURIES
Common injuries sustained in car accidents include:
- Bone fractures
- Neck, back, and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Facial injuries
Other injuries may be harder to detect because symptoms may not appear until days, weeks, or even years after the accident occurs. These types of undetectable injuries typically include soft tissue damage, where the symptoms may include:
While some of these symptoms may seem benign, they could indicate more serious problems, including torn ligaments or a possible brain injury.
COMMON CAR ACCIDENT CAUSES
The most common causes of car accidents include:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in the United States. You may avoid distracted driving by steering clear of texting, reading, grooming or applying makeup, and talking on the phone.
Even if you’re running late, remember that arriving somewhere on time is not as important as avoiding a serious accident. You should always resist the urge to speed and stay within the legal speed limits.
Drunk driving accidents are often the most deadly. If you or anyone you’re with has had anything to drink, you should always take a taxi or have a sober friend drive you. Drunk driving is never worth the risk.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Acting aggressively or recklessly on the roadways by changing lanes too quickly, cutting off other cars, and speeding may lead to catastrophic accidents. You should remember to stay calm and take your time while driving to avoid unnecessary accidents on the road.
Running Red Lights
Red always means stop. Even if you see no other cars coming, running a red light means breaking the law and creating the risk for accidents. Remember that running late to an event is never an excuse to run a red light and cause danger to others.
You should always avoid getting too close to the vehicle ahead of you no matter how slow the other car is going. Always maintain a safe distance from other cars so that you have time to react to sudden brakes or turns.
Read More: Lubbock Truck Accident Attorneys
AVERAGE CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT
Every car accident is different, therefore, the value of your case is based on the circumstances of your accident and injuries. 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.
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 multiplies 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.
CAR ACCIDENT COMPENSATION
The financial impact of a car accident may be devastating. Most people only account for the expenses they incurred immediately after the accident, but it’s important to understand every expense that may be incurred after a car accident. Every car accident is unique and accident-related losses may add up to millions of dollars in damages. Some of the most common expenses associated with car accidents include:
- Medical bills associated with medical care
- Long-term hospital care
- Physical therapy
- Disability modifications to a home
- Lost income
- Lost future earnings if you are unable to return to work
Additionally, you may recover financial compensation for damages not defined in monetary terms, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
For car accidents in Texas, the standard statute of limitations is two years, meaning that a victim must file their personal injury claim within two years after the date of the accident. When the other driver’s negligence results in the death of another, the victim’s estate may pursue a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf. The statute of limitations for these types of claims is two years.
You meet the statute of limitations by filing your lawsuit by the deadline. Negotiating with the insurance company is not enough to beat or extend the time limit. Filing your summons and complaint in the right Texas court of law is how you’ll meet the statute of limitations.
After filing your claim with the court, it doesn’t matter how long your case may take to resolve. You beat the statute of limitations as long as you file your claim at least the day before the time limit runs out.
COMPENSATION FOR MINORS
In Texas, for car accidents involving minors, the two-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 two years, then the victim would have 10 years to file a lawsuit before being barred by the statute of limitations.
On the other hand, parents may also bring a claim on the child’s behalf before the child turns 18 years old. In this situation, the parents would usually hire an attorney to represent the child, and the parent has the authority to make all decisions regarding the claim. However, because courts are concerned with the child’s best interests, the courts have ensured that they have the power to make judgment calls for the child’s best outcome in certain instances. As a result, most parents choose to hire an experienced car accident attorney when their son or daughter has been injured in a car accident to ensure that there is no doubt that their child’s best interests are being considered.
TRUST THE LUBBOCK CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, our Lubbock lawyers 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 knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries due to a car accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our Lubbock car accident attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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