Sugar Land Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident in Sugar Land, Texas, you may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and even emotional pain and suffering.
But recovering the maximum compensation you deserve without the help of an experienced Sugar Land car accident lawyer can be a serious challenge.
Auto insurance companies are notorious for low-balling injury victims.
They know that anyone who has recently suffered a debilitating accident wants to move on with their lives as quickly as possible. That’s why choosing solid legal counsel is so important; your choice of attorney can make or break your case.
Texas and National Auto Accident Statistics
Car crashes are a leading cause of accidental injury and death in the United States, and Texas is certainly no exception. In 2019 alone, 15,843 people were seriously injured in Texas car accidents. In fact, there wasn’t a single day without a traffic fatality in TX that year.
Crashes Up, Despite COVID-19
Nationwide, 2020s fatality rates are even more sobering. With COVID-19 causing a dramatic drop in miles driven this year, it stands to reason that traffic fatalities would have dropped just as dramatically. Sadly, that isn’t what happened at all; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Although miles traveled decreased by 12 percent, traffic fatalities increased by four percent. According to the Insurance Information Institute’s chief actuary, James Lynch, there is plenty of evidence that excessive speed is to blame.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, a Sugar Land car crash lawyer can help you determine how to proceed. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
What to Look for When Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Personal injury law encompasses all types of injuries that occur due to negligence, from slip and fall accidents in grocery stores to nursing home negligence, dog bites, and dangerous products. But if you’ve been injured in a car crash, you don’t want an injury lawyer that dabbles in motor vehicle accident cases.
Find a lawyer who specializes in car accidents. Personal injury law isn’t a one-size-fits-all legal matter; you want to work with an attorney who has extensive experience in cases similar to yours.
Your case is unique. It’s also important for your lawyer to acknowledge that your case, along with your individual needs and goals, is unique. What worked for the last client may not work for you. A good car accident attorney will ask lots of questions, thoroughly review your case, and give it to you straight when discussing the expected outcome.
Ask how the lawyer charges. Generally speaking, personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation and charge on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case.
Trust your gut. You should walk away from the initial consultation feeling comfortable. If you just “don’t like” the attorney, it’s in your best interest to keep looking. The attorney-client relationship is an important one, and good professional chemistry is essential to a favorable outcome. This is especially true in injury cases. You’ve been through enough already; the last thing you need is bad legal counsel.
At DeHoyos Law, our highly-skilled car accident team has an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients in a timely manner because we know how the insurance companies operate. We will review your case to determine the best way forward, and ensure that you fully understand your rights and options, every step of the way. Contact DeHoyos Law today.
America’s Most Dangerous Road
Car accidents occur in every state and city in the country, but Texas leads in fatal motor vehicle crashes. In fact, a recent report in Popular Mechanics ranked Houston’s I-45 as the most dangerous roadway in the entire nation. Texas is #1 in a lot of things, but deadliest roadway certainly isn’t something to be proud of.
According to the report: “With 56.5 fatal accidents for every 100 miles of roadway, the scariest part is through Houston, where officials blame people simply not obeying traffic laws — texting while driving, driving drunk, and driving at excessive speeds — as the main culprit for the deaths.”
And I-45 isn’t the only roadway in TX to gain notoriety in this study; U.S. 83 is #5 and Dallas’s U.S. Route 175 is #15.
What Causes Most Car Accidents in Texas?
Motor vehicle accidents can occur for myriad reasons, and negligence isn’t always a factor. But car crashes that result in serious property damage, injuries, and death often involve negligence. Some of the most common causes of injury car accidents in Texas include:
- Speeding or traveling too fast for weather/roadway conditions: Speed was involved in 25,545 crashes in 2019, in Texas.
- Distracted driving: 377 traffic deaths involved distracted driving in 2019.
- Fatigued or drowsy driving: Of all 50 states, Texas ranked highest for drowsy-driving related fatalities in 2016, with a total of 159 traffic deaths attributed to driver fatigue.
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a substance: Alcohol was involved in 25 percent of all fatal TX car accidents in 2019.
- Inexperience: For teen drivers, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death. Nationwide, nearly 2,500 teens were fatally injured in car accidents in 2018. In Texas, 130 teens were killed in crashes in 2019.
Other commonly cited causes of TX car accidents include failing to obey signs and roadway markings, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, improper or unsafe lane changes, and other forms of reckless driving.
Common injuries in car accidents include broken bones and fractures, lacerations, brain injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and nerve damage. If you have been injured in a Sugar Land car crash, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel.
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
At DeHoyos Law, our attorneys represent victims of all motor vehicle accidents, including those involving motorcycles, large trucks, RVs, bicycles, and pedestrians. We have extensive experience with all types of car accident cases, but the most common involve:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end crashes
- Side rear-quarter collisions
- Side front-quarter incidents
- T-bone crashes
- Wrong-way accidents
- Vehicle rollovers
Negligence is often a factor in injury car accidents, but proving that another party was at fault is rarely a simple task. If you have been harmed due to the careless, reckless, or negligent actions of another, talk to a TX attorney today.
Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Following a car accident, every step you take and decision you make will impact a lawsuit, should you decide to bring one against the at-fault party or parties. For example, if you are unsure of who was at fault immediately after the accident and say something as seemingly-innocent as, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” this could be used against you, negatively impacting your ability to recover any damages in a lawsuit.
On top of that, insurance companies are notorious for offering ridiculously low settlements to car accident injury victims. They know that most people are clueless about damage valuation, and have zero interest in dragging out the stressful, time-consuming claims process.
When pay checks stop coming in and medical bills start piling up, the immediate relief brought by a settlement check can be a welcome sight for injury victims. Without legal representation, they frequently accept the initial offer. But the first offer is rarely even close to the amount that is deserved.
At DeHoyos Law, we understand how the insurance companies operate, and we use this knowledge to find weaknesses in their case and negotiate for the largest possible recovery. Your legal team will review your case, gather evidence to substantiate your claim, calculate damages, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Our goal is to get you the maximum compensation available, and we always aim to do that outside of court. But if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly with a pre-trial settlement, we will fight for you in court.
Furthermore, Texas car accident laws are complex, and always evolving. It is essential to work with an injury attorney who has a solid track record of representing car accident victims, and winning. Don’t attempt to navigate this complex process without the help of a skilled Sugar Land car accident lawyer firmly by your side.
Texas Car Accident Laws
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, Texas follows the modified comparative rule, which means that, when multiple parties share blame for a car accident, any damage award will be reduced by the plaintiff’s share of fault. For example, if you were 30 percent responsible for an auto accident that caused you $50,000 in damages, your $50,000 award would be reduced by 30 percent ($15,000), and you would recover the remaining $35,000. This same rule holds true if you were up to 50 percent at fault for the accident. If your percentage of fault exceeds 50, however, you receive nothing.
TX Statute of Limitations
As with most personal injury accidents in Texas, car accidents have a two year statute of limitations. This is the window of time within which you must bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. The window opens on the day of the crash, and closes exactly two years later. If you fail to bring a lawsuit within that limited time frame, you will likely forfeit your right to recover any damages in the future.
Although two years may seem like ample time to file a claim, it is always in your best interest to begin the process as soon as possible. For starters, memories fade with time, and this is equally true of important details of your accident. In addition, the court may question the severity of your injuries if you wait until the last minute to file a claim. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they are exceedingly rare.
The Process for Filing a Claim After a Car Accident in Sugar Land
If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, the last thing you want to do is deal with paper work, insurance companies, and other involved parties. But if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve, somebody has to do it.
That is why it is so important to seek legal counsel immediately after a car accident. Your attorney can shoulder this burden so that you can focus on the only thing you should be focused on—healing.
In the moments following a car accident, call 911. Whether or not injuries are immediately apparent, having police at the scene of an accident is best for everyone’s safety. It will also result in the creation of a police report, which will be of immense value if you decide to file an injury claim.
Photograph visible injuries, property damage, and the scene of the accident from as many angles as possible. For example, if a tree is blocking a stop sign, or there are visible skid marks on the road, pictures of these contributing factors can serve as valuable evidence in a lawsuit. Bruises, lacerations, and other visible injuries should also be photographed as soon as possible, as injuries heal with time.
Get contact information.
Ask other involved parties for their name, insurance information, and contact information, and ask any witnesses for their name and contact info as well.
Contact a lawyer.
An experienced Sugar Land car accident attorney can help you file an accident report with your insurance company and ensure that your rights are protected from start to finish. In addition to gathering evidence and negotiating with the insurance companies, your attorney may also consult with expert witnesses to further strengthen your case.
Seek medical treatment.
Beyond ensuring that you are safe and healthy, seeking medical treatment will result in an official record of medical care, which can be helpful to a future lawsuit. And make sure to follow your doctor’s orders exactly as they are given; take any prescribed medications, and show up for all scheduled visits. Keep in mind that immediate medical treatment is a good idea even when no injuries are apparent; it is common for certain injuries, such as soft tissue damage and internal bleeding, to be asymptomatic for days. In some cases, serious injuries don’t produce symptoms for weeks.
Keep a journal.
After the accident, it’s also a good idea to keep a journal, specifically of your medical treatments and recovery. Memories disappear with time, and keeping a journal will ensure that pertinent details don’t fade away.
Damages You Can Receive After a Car Accident
The type and amount of damages you may be entitled to after a car accident will depend largely on the type and severity of your injuries and other damages. Generally speaking, however, there are two types of damages you can receive after a car accident—economic, and non-economic.
Actual financial losses, such as lost wages and accrued medical expenses, are classified as economic damages in a car accident case. If you were seriously injured, medical bills for hospitalization, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, doctor visits, and rehabilitation/therapy can add up quickly.
In some cases, injury victims require lifetime medical care. A good attorney will know how to calculate both current and future medical expenses, incorporating those figures into the requested settlement amount.
Current and future lost wages are another form of economic damages. Whether you were out of work for two months, or will never be able to return to work due to your injuries, any lost wages should be factored into the settlement you are seeking.
Property damage is also economic in nature. If your vehicle or other property was seriously damaged, you can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your property. You may also recover the cost of alternative transportation while your car is out of service.
By their nature, non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, and to prove (another reason to have a skilled injury attorney by your side). Damages for emotional pain and suffering are commonly sought in car accident lawsuits to compensate the victim and/or the victim’s family for the mental pain and anguish suffered. In order for pain and suffering damages to be awarded, the injuries generally have to be relatively serious in nature, or expected to last for a long time.
For example, if a woman loses a limb in a car accident, her life will never be the same. Although the physical pain may eventually subside, she will endure difficulties for the rest of her life. As a result, damages for pain and suffering will likely be substantial. Chronic injuries and particularly catastrophic accidents often involve damages for pain and suffering. Claims for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common following serious auto accidents.
Loss of companionship damages may be sought if the accident victim is injured in a way that impacts sexual relations with the spouse, for example. The difference between loss of companionship damages and the other damages listed above, however, is that the victim’s family member(s), not the victim, claims these damages. Wrongful death lawsuits also commonly include non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages, which are intended to inflict punishment, are only awarded when the defendant’s actions were so reckless and egregious that they warrant punishment.
Contact DeHoyos Law Today
If you have been injured in a Sugar Land motor vehicle accident, the skilled legal team at DeHoyos Law can help. We have been winning substantial settlements in car accident cases for years because we know how the insurance companies think.
Our goal is always to settle out of court, but we are prepared to go to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. Do not attempt to navigate this complex and stressful process without the help of an experienced car accident attorney by your side. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.