Many people attempt to follow the rules of the road while operating their vehicle or when crossing the street. It is important to do so, as abiding by the rules lower your odds of being involved in a traffic accident.
However, not everyone follows traffic laws, and even those that typically do follow the rules may experience a brief lapse in judgment through distraction or negligence. Unfortunately, even a moment of not paying attention on the road can be enough to cause a traffic accident and completely alter someone’s life.
Due to the potential severity a traffic accident, it is important to consult with Texas traffic accident lawyers as soon as possible to discuss a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one were injured in a traffic accident in Texas, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with a Texas personal injury lawyer.
Steps to Take Immediately After a traffic accident in Texas
After a traffic accident, you are likely concerned with what happens next. Fortunately, there are several important steps you can take to support your claim and beging your road to recovery if you were involved in a traffic accident:
1. Seek Medical Attention if Injured
The most important thing to do after your traffic accident is to monitor your health. Injuries from a traffic accident can range from minor scrapes and aches to serious life-threatening injuries. If your injuries are severe, go to a medical facility as soon as possible.
Even if you do not think that your injuries require immediate medical attention, visit a medical professional, and keep them updated on any new health developments. Many accidents result in ailments that linger for weeks, months, or years. Getting your injuries attended to by a medical professional is the best way to improve your physical wellbeing after any type of personal injury accident.
2. Call the Police and Report Your Injuries
After seeking proper medical attention, the next step is to contact the police. Soon after a police officer arrives, they will likely ask you what happened. Be truthful, but make sure that you do not admit to any liability in the traffic accident as anything that you say could be used against you in a legal proceeding.
The police officer will likely ask you to fill out an accident report detailing important information regarding the traffic accident. The accident report will include preliminary information, including the parties involved, vehicle(s) involved, insurance information, and a summary of how the accident occurred.
Additionally, request a copy of the official accident report that the police officer creates as it will serve as an integral piece of evidence for your personal injury claim.
3. Document the Evidence
You will need to gather additional evidence to strengthen your traffic accident claim. If it is possible, write down what you observe following the accident. Information you should collect includes:
- The name and contact information of the other driver
- The driver’s personal insurance information
- Your injuries
- The weather and road conditions
- Obtain the names and contact details of any witnesses present on the scene, if applicable
Additionally, take pictures of the accident scene if you can. Taking pictures helps boost your claim’s credibility. Furthermore, keep a record of all the medical expenses incurred including any emergency care, surgeries, evaluations, and rehabilitation services.
This will be helpful for your Texas car accident attorney in determining your case’s likelihood of success on its merits and potential monetary compensation.
4. File an Insurance Claim
Next, make sure to file a claim with your insurance company. Once you have filed with your insurer, a claims adjuster will investigate your damages, including any injuries and medical bills, and provide an estimate that can be submitted to the responsible party. This estimate can be used as a negotiating tactic with the responsible party’s insurer over what they are liable to pay.
5. Call a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about your injuries or about the events leading up to and surrounding your traffic accident, contact a Texas personal injury attorney. An attorney will want to hear your side of the story and review any relevant documents.
If the attorney agrees to represent you, the attorney will further investigate your case to uncover additional facts and determine what your claim may be worth.
6. Settlement and Trial
After your attorney files a lawsuit against the responsible party or parties, they may negotiate with the insurance company of the responsible party on your behalf to obtain a favorable monetary settlement for you. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer will bring your case to trial and pursue maximum compensation in court.
Common Reasons For traffic accidents in Texas
In Texas, traffic accidents occur frequently and anywhere. However, there are a few typical causes for traffic accidents that everyone should be aware of. Common reasons for traffic accidents include:
Although it is reasonable to expect that drivers are always focused on the road, that is not always the case. Usually, distracted drivers are unable to pay attention to their surroundings on the road.
This could be due to a variety of reasons, including taking a call from their cell phone, texting, getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, or simply dozing off due to fatigue.
Numerous types of accidents are caused by distracted driving, including running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign or yield sign, not noticing that the vehicle in front of them has come to a complete halt, and not realizing that a pedestrian is in the middle of a crosswalk.
A traffic accident may not be the fault of the driver, but instead, caused by an issue with the driver’s car. If that is the case, your Texas personal injury lawyer can consider pursuing a claim against the car’s manufacturer for failing to build a vehicle that works properly.
Types of Injuries in a Texas Traffic Accident
Traffic accidents can cause a multitude of injuries that range in severity. Here are just a few of the most common injuries sustained in traffic accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Rib fractures
- Broken bones
As you can see, traffic accidents can lead to a variety of injuries. At Zinda Law Group, a Texas personal injury attorney understands the severity of traffic accidents. That is why we will help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Potentially Responsible Parties
Generally, when a traffic accident occurs, it is the driver who hit you that is responsible for your injuries. If the driver did not use reasonable care or was otherwise distracted while on the road, you are likely able to pursue a legal claim to recover for any injuries, medical fees, and lost wages incurred as a result of the accident.
The Driver’s Employer
If the driver of the vehicle that caused your injuries was working at the time of your accident, you may have a claim against the driver’s employer through the doctrine of vicarious liability.
Under vicarious liability, there are circumstances where an employer is liable for the actions of an employee. For example, if an employee is using a company car while en route of a delivery and causes an accident, the company can be held liable for the actions of the employee if the employee’s actions were within his scope of employment.
Conversely, if the driver who caused the accident was employed by a rideshare company (e.g. Uber or Lyft) you will have a difficult time bringing a suit against the company, as most rideshare companies classify their drivers as independent contractors. By doing so, the rideshare companies can typically shield themselves from liability. If you find yourself in this situation, consult with your Texas car accident attorney to discuss your options.
The Local Government
Sometimes, the local municipality can be held responsible for your traffic accident injuries. If your traffic accident was due to a roadway defect, such as potholes or a poorly maintained street, you may have a valid claim against the local municipality who is responsible for maintaining the town’s streets and sidewalks.
Demanding Compensation After a Texas traffic Accident
Under Texas law, you can pursue damages for your injuries, including any medical expenses incurred through treatment, as well as for any long-lasting trauma. Furthermore, Texas law grants a plaintiff the ability to potentially claim economic damages, non-economic damages, or punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to compensation for monetary losses, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses (past and future), loss of earnings, rehabilitation expenses, personal care costs, and loss of future employment. These damages are the easiest to calculate as they have an obvious dollar amount.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify than economic damages as they do not have an obvious dollar amount.
Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages punish the responsible party rather than make the victim “whole again.” You must meet a very high standard to obtain punitive damages. A court may award punitive damages in addition to economic damages in a situation where the responsible party was reckless or acted intentionally.
Importantly, even if you are able to meet the threshold for punitive damages, state law has a damage cap on what you can receive. In Texas, the cap for punitive damages is:
- $200,000; or
- Twice the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages up to $750,000.
After a traffic accident in Texas, you should consult with your Texas car accident attorney to determine whether you should pursue punitive damages.
Because Texas is a pure comparative negligence state, if a court determines that you have any responsibility for your accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage you are found at fault.
For example, if you sue a defendant homeowner for $10,000 and are found 25% at fault, you will receive $7,500 in damages instead of the full $10,000. Furthermore, under Texas law, if a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, the plaintiff is fully barred from recovering any compensation. Therefore, because of how high the stakes are, it is important to talk to your attorney about what your potential liability may be.
Why Do I Need a Traffic Accident Attorney?
After a traffic accident, you may find yourself confused, bombarded by phone calls from insurance companies about potential lawsuits, and uncertain how to proceed. Hiring a personal injury attorney can take a massive load off your shoulders, as the attorney will examine documents, investigate your accident, engage in discussions with the relevant parties, and zealously advocate for your behalf every step of the way.
How Long do I Have to File Suit in Texas?
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit a party has to bring a claim for their injury or the injury of someone that the party represents. Every state has a statute of limitations. In Texas, the state’s civil statute of limitations for a personal injury is two years from the date of the injury.
Contact Our Zinda Law Group Texas Traffic Accident Lawyers Today
Filing a personal injury claim for your traffic accident is a way to potentially recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain & suffering, and more. The compensation you may receive from filing a personal injury claim could alleviate the financial burden you incur while recovering from your traffic accident. At Zinda Law Group, our traffic accident attorneys have the experience and legal knowledge to properly handle your claim.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic accident in Texas, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with an experienced Texas car accident lawyer. You pay nothing unless we win your case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.