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Personal Injury Lawyer in Pearland TX
Car accidents are a leading cause of serious injury and death in the United States.
While all states have their share of car accident fatalities and dangerous roads, Texas ranks disturbingly high in both categories.
In fact, America’s most dangerous road is found right here, in the lone star state.
A recent study published in Popular Mechanics titled The 25 Most Dangerous Roads in the U.S. named Houston’s I-45 as the most dangerous roadway in the country.
Although the entire stretch of I-45 has a high incidence of fatal accidents—with 56.5 deadly crashes for every 100 miles of roadway—the most dangerous part runs through Houston, where drunk driving, texting, and speeding are cited as contributing factors. And Texas made the top 25 list two more times, with U.S. 83 coming in at #5, and U.S. Route 175 landing the #15 spot.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Pearland, Texas, you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated costs. To obtain the maximum compensation available to you, it is in your best interest to work with a Pearland car accident lawyer who has extensive experience with car accident cases.
Don’t try to cut costs by doing it alone; when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, having an experienced attorney by your side can be the difference between a substantial settlement, and walking away with nothing but debt. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics in Pearland
Nationwide, auto accidents cause tens of thousands of deaths every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 37,991 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 alone, accounting for nearly a quarter of all accidental deaths that year. And Texas is no exception; in 2019, there wasn’t one day without a deadly car accident. Not one, single day.
The vast majority of these deadly accidents are preventable, with distracted driving, speeding, and substance use involved in a significant percentage of fatal crashes each year.
But despite countless public service announcements, awareness education, and laws surrounding these serious threats to public safety, people continue to text while driving, use excessive speed, and drive while intoxicated. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, a Pearland car accident lawyer can protect your rights and help you determine how to proceed.
COVID-19 Isn’t Helping
With less cars on the road in 2020, one might assume that there would be less accidents. But the opposite has been true; although total miles traveled dropped by 12 percent, total fatalities increased by four percent. Why on earth are crash deaths rising as miles traveled are plummeting? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it’s due to an increase in risky behaviors during the pandemic.
With a reduced police presence on U.S. roadways, and an increase in speeding and substance use, the pandemic has resulted in “unique conditions in traffic safety history.” Forced isolation and economic downturns have had a negative impact on mental health, and a surge in risky behaviors is proof.
“It’s still a stunner,” said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “There are less people driving. People don’t have money. We haven’t been going to visit grandma. We’re not going to bars because they’re mostly closed. We would have expected big, big reductions in traffic deaths.”
If you have been hurt in a car crash, a Pearland injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
What to Look for When Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
The goal in most car accident cases is to settle with the insurance company for a fair amount so that everyone can go about their merry way. But without the help of a car accident lawyer, getting the amount you actually deserve is rarely an easy process.
For starters, most people have no idea how to calculate damages to determine a fair settlement. Yes, you want your medical bills covered, but what about future medical bills, lost wages, future lost income, and non-economic damages, such as emotional pain and suffering? It’s important to have an attorney, but it’s just as important to have an experienced attorney who you like and trust.
When searching for the best car accident lawyer for your unique needs, consider the following key elements:
Does the attorney have experience with car accidents?
Personal injury law encompasses everything from dog bites to workplace sexual harassment. Hiring a personal injury lawyer who doesn’t specialize in car accident claims is not in your best interest. You want an attorney who has successfully represented clients in cases similar to yours.
A good auto accident attorney will understand the insurance companies, and how they think. And although a quick settlement outside of court is always preferable, you want an attorney who is prepared to go to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached.
How does the lawyer charge?
Nine times out of 10, personal injury lawyers charge on a contingency fee basis, which means that they don’t get paid unless you do. Make sure that your attorney doesn’t charge upfront costs, and won’t charge you a dime unless you win your case.
Do your homework.
Ask around for referrals and do some online research before choosing an attorney. There are multiple rating and review sites for lawyers; just type the candidate’s name into google and start scrolling. A single negative review isn’t the end of the world, but if there are multiple negative reviews and ratings, you may want to keep looking. It’s also a good idea to search the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which has long been the gold standard for reviewing the reputation of all kinds of businesses and professionals.
Do you like the lawyer?
At the end of the day, your gut instinct should be the deciding factor. You are going to be sharing very personal, and even intimate details of your life with this person. If you are in any way uncomfortable, or simply feel that the attorney is untrustworthy or doesn’t have your best interests in mind, keep searching.
Does the attorney treat your case as unique?
Although it’s important to work with an attorney who has experience with cases similar to yours, it’s just as important for the attorney to acknowledge that your case is unique.
Applying generic, one-size-fits-all approaches to car accident cases is a bad practice, but one that is—unfortunately—quite common. Your case, injuries, goals, and needs are completely different from the cases your attorney has seen before, and those that will come after. A lawyer who asks lots of questions and shows sincere interest in your answers is more likely to provide the personalized service you need.
At DeHoyos Law, our knowledgeable and highly-experienced auto accident team has successfully represented countless clients in car crash cases, and we treat every client as an individual.
We will thoroughly analyze your case to determine the best legal strategy and remain by your side from start to finish. Contact DeHoyos Law today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What Causes Most Car Accidents in Texas?
Although the causes and circumstances of car crashes vary widely, serious injury accidents commonly involve a head-on or rear-end collision, T-bone crash, wrong-way accident, or vehicle rollover.
Negligence isn’t always a factor in car accidents, but negligence almost always plays a role in crashes involving serious injuries or fatalities. In Texas, some of the most common causes of injury accidents include:
- Excessive speed—In 2019, speeding contributed to 25,545 crashes in Texas.
- Distracted driving—Distractions, which include everything from texting while driving to adjusting the navigation system, contributed to 377 TX car accident fatalities in 2019.
- Drowsy driving—In 2016, Texas accounted for more drowsy driving-related fatalities than any other state, with 159 reported. That is 1 percent of all car accident deaths related to fatigue that year.
- Unsafe lane changes—A total of 41,587 TX accidents involved unsafe lane changes in 2019.
- Driving under the influence—Despite the fact that drunk driving is known to be deadly, alcohol contributed to a quarter of all fatal TX crashes in 2019.
- Driver inexperience—Car crashes are the second leading cause of death for American teens. In 2018, nearly 2,500 teens died in U.S. car crashes. Teen drivers have nearly three times the risk of being killed in a car crash than their 20+ counterparts. And teen fatalities in car accidents are just as prevalent in Texas, with 130 teens being killed in crashes in 2019, alone.
Failing to obey signs and roadway markings or yield to oncoming traffic, and other types of reckless driving are also cited as common contributors to car accidents in Texas.
At DeHoyos Law, our experienced injury team represents victims of all motor vehicle accidents, including those involving commercial trucks, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, RVs, buses, and multi-car collisions.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents
Although injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to permanent paralysis and death, the most common injuries in TX auto accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), ranging from mild concussions to permanent cognitive damage
- Mental anguish and trauma, such as PTSD and anxiety
- Injuries to the head and face
- Neck and back injuries, ranging from whiplash to spinal cord injuries
The type and severity of car accident injuries is largely dependent on the cause and type of accident, the speed at which the accident occurred, whether airbags deployed, and whether or not the victim was wearing a seatbelt. If you have been harmed in a Pearland motor vehicle accident, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel immediately.
Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
As with any personal injury case, unless you fully understand the complexities and inner workings of the law, it is virtually impossible to know your legal rights and options.
As such, it is common for injury victims to become victims a second time, at the hands of ruthless insurance companies that take advantage of this vulnerability. If you want to obtain the compensation you deserve, and you don’t want to deal with the stress of paperwork, investigations, and negotiations, it’s essential to hire a car accident lawyer. A good lawyer will:
- Thoroughly review your case to determine if you have a valid injury claim;
- Investigate the incident to determine fault, gather evidence, and calculate damages;
- Review the police report and medical records;
- Contact witnesses and other involved parties;
- Contact expert witnesses when appropriate;
- Negotiate with the other party’s insurance company for a fair settlement;
Take your case to court if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached.
Following an injury accident, victims are generally most concerned with the financial consequences, including mounting medical bills, and lost wages due to the inability to work.
Insurance companies know this, and use this vulnerability to persuade injury victims into accepting ridiculously low settlement checks. But an experienced Pearland car accident lawyer will prevent the insurance companies from taking advantage of you and help you get the compensation you need to keep your life on track.
Your lawyer should provide compassionate, competent support, and be your greatest advocate throughout the entire process, handling all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations so that you can rest and heal. Your attorney will know if and when to call expert witnesses, such as physicians and accident reconstruction experts. In addition, a TX car accident lawyer will know how to calculate damages and determine how much compensation you deserve.
Although the goal is always to settle out of court, a good attorney will be prepared to go to trial if the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement. Having an attorney by your side ensures that you get the maximum compensation available to you in a timely manner.
Texas Car Accident Laws
Before providing compensation after a Texas car accident, insurance companies must determine fault. This is because TX is a fault state. As such, drivers in TX must carry minimum levels of auto insurance coverage.
This way, if a driver is at fault for an accident, his/her basic policy should cover most, if not all, of the victim’s medical bills. Currently, the minimum requirements are $30,000 per person for bodily injury, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. Although you can certainly choose to purchase additional coverage, these minimums are required by state law.
Texas follows a modified comparative rule with regard to car accidents. Basically, this means that multiple parties can recover damages in an accident, but any compensation will be reduced by their share of fault.
For example, if you were involved in an accident for which you were found to be 10 percent at fault, your damage award will be reduced by 10 percent. As long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault, you can recover damages. You’ll receive nothing if your fault is deemed to be 51 percent or greater.
TX Statute of Limitations
In Texas, as in most states, the statute of limitations on car accident injury claims is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident in which to file an injury claim or bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. If you fail to do so within that timeframe, you will almost certainly forfeit your right to ever recover a dime.
Although you have two years to file, doing so at the last minute is rarely a good idea. For starters, memories fade with time, and important details about the accident are no exception.
Furthermore, the court is more likely to question the severity of your injuries the longer you wait to file. It is always in your best interest to file sooner rather than later. This also gives your lawyer more time to investigate and build a solid case.
The Process for Filing a Claim After a Car Accident in Pearland
Because Texas is a modified comparative state, you can obtain compensation for any damages incurred, even if you were partially at fault for the crash. In order to convince the insurance company and/or court that you are entitled to compensation, however, you must be able to prove that your injuries were caused by another’s negligent actions.
To do this, it is important to begin taking certain steps and documenting as much information as possible, immediately following the accident, or as soon as you are reasonably able to do so.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, follow the steps below:
- Call 911—In addition to ensuring your safety and wellbeing, having law enforcement at the scene of the accident will result in an official police report.
- Get contact and insurance info—Ask the other driver(s) for their insurance information, and ask all involved parties for their name, phone number, and email address.
- Talk to witnesses—Obtain the name, phone number, and email address of any witnesses, in case you need to contact them in the future.
- Photograph the scene—In addition to visible injuries and property damage, take pictures of the scene from as many angles as possible, including contributing factors, such as a patch of ice, or construction debris.
- Contact an attorney—A car accident lawyer will know what evidence to look for, how to gather and preserve that evidence, and how to position you for the maximum compensation available.
- Seek immediate medical treatment—Your health and safety should be top priority, and many serious injuries don’t produce symptoms for days, or even weeks after a car accident.
- Follow through with all medical treatment—Go to all doctor’s appointments and take your medication as prescribed; in addition to keeping you healthy, a solid record of treatment will be of immense benefit to an injury claim or lawsuit.
Damages You Can Receive After a Car Accident
Annually, millions of people are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. In fact, more than 2.5 million Americans go to the emergency department due to car accidents each year.
If you have been injured in a car accident because of another’s negligent, reckless, or careless actions, you are likely entitled to compensation for any damages suffered. These can be both economic and non-economic in nature.
Punitive damages may also be awarded, if the defendant’s actions were egregious enough to warrant punishment. The most common damages sought in motor vehicle accident cases include:
- Medical expenses for hospitalization, doctor visits, surgery, prescription drugs, and medical equipment
- Lost income if the injury renders you unable to work
- Future lost income if you will be unable to work for a long period of time, or indefinitely
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Alternative transportation expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
A car accident brings so many questions. Who is at fault for my injuries and property damage? Am I entitled to compensation for emotional pain and suffering? Will the insurance company reimburse me for lost wages?
When will I receive compensation so that I can pay my bills and keep my life on track? An experienced Pearland auto accident attorney can help you calculate damages and formulate an effective legal strategy if you’ve been hurt in a car crash. You’ve been through enough; let your attorney handle the rest.
Contact DeHoyos Law Today
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another, the skilled legal team at DeHoyos Law can help. We will review your case to determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, we will calculate damages, gather evidence, and negotiate for the maximum compensation available to you.
Our experienced car accident attorneys have an impressive track record of recovering substantial damages for our clients in a timely manner, and we are prepared to fight for you until you get the justice, and compensation, you deserve. Do not go through this difficult time alone; we can help. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.