Car Accident Lawyer The Woodlands
Every year, car accident injuries send millions of Americans to the emergency department, and more than 30,000 lose their lives.
Of course, these accidents occur in every state in the nation, but certain states account for significantly more of the serious injuries and fatalities.
Unfortunately, Texas is among them.
According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Texas ranked #17 out of 50 on the list of most dangerous states for driving. And as if that wasn’t enough, the lone star state ranked #2 for percentage of fatalities with a driver whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over 0.08 percent.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash in Woodland, Texas, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel from an attorney experienced in this particular area of the law.
Following an injury accident, the last thing anyone wants to do is deal with paperwork, insurance companies, and investigations, but if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve, this process is essential.
That is why having a Woodland injury lawyer by your side is so important; we can shoulder this burden for you so that you can focus on healing. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics
In 2018, there were a total of 36,560 fatalities in motor vehicle crashes across the country; 3,642 of those deaths occurred in Texas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can reduce serious injuries and deaths in auto accidents by:
- Always wearing a seat belt;
- Ensuring that young children are always properly secured in an age-appropriate safety seat or booster seat;
- Never driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Obeying posted speed limits;
- Never texting while driving, or engaging in other distracting behaviors.
Despite these recommendations, the risky behaviors above continue to seriously injure and kill Texans at alarming rates. Motor vehicle accidents occur for all kinds of reasons, but fatal accidents commonly involve speed, alcohol, and/or distraction.
- In 2019, speed contributed to 25,545 crashes in Texas, and 715 fatalities.
- That same year, 377 Texans were killed as a result of distracted driving.
- A quarter of all deadly TX car accidents involved alcohol in 2019.
The Pandemic Impact on Car Accident Fatalities
Across the country, traffic dropped dramatically in March, 2020 when we all went on lockdown to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Although miles traveled have increased since then, we are still driving less. With a 12 percent overall drop in miles traveled, we would expect to see a similar drop in fatalities, but we haven’t. In fact, the opposite has occurred; motor vehicle crash fatalities increased four percent, despite the decrease in traffic.
To shed some light on this disturbing trend, the NHTSA conducted a study of driving patterns and behaviors during the pandemic. Their research indicates that drivers who remained on the road during lockdowns engaged in riskier behaviors, such as speeding, and drunk driving.
Further research revealed that alcohol, marijuana, and/or opioids were found in nearly two-thirds of drivers who were seriously or fatally injured between mid-March and mid-July. In the case of opioids, positive tests nearly doubled after mid-March, and marijuana use spiked by approximately 50 percent.
“Road safety is always our top priority, and while we are encouraged by today’s reports showing a continued decline in total fatalities in 2019 and into the first half of 2020, we are concerned by the trend since April showing an increased fatality rate,” remarked NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens in a recent press release. “Now, more than ever, we should be watching ourselves for safe driving practices and encouraging others to do the same. It’s irresponsible and illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, taking risks not only with one’s own life, but with the lives of others.”
The Deadliest Road in the Country?
A recent report published in Popular Mechanics reveals that not only is Texas leading in accidents involving drunk driving and excessive speed, we also happen to be home to America’s most dangerous roadway.
The study ranked the 25 most dangerous roads in the nation, and Houston’s I-45 came in at #1. It wasn’t the only TX roadway to make the cut, either; U.S. 83 took the #5 spot, and Dallas’s U.S. Route 175 came in at #15.
Types of Car Accidents We Handle
At DeHoyos Law, our car accident team represents victims of all kinds of motor vehicle accidents. Whether you were involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, motorcycle, cyclist, pedestrian, or multiple vehicles, we can help. Our highly-skilled injury lawyers have extensive experience with all types of auto accidents, but the most common involve:
- Head-on collisions: Head-on crashes are among the deadliest auto accidents due to the combined impact of two vehicles moving toward each other. Interestingly, this type of accident is more common in rural areas, accounting for 13 percent of all fatal crashes in this setting. Head-on collisions account for less than seven percent of all fatal crashes in urban areas.
- Rear-end crashes: According to the NHTSA, rear-end collisions are one of the most frequent types of motor vehicle accidents, accounting for 28 percent of all crashes, but only six percent of all fatal Driver distraction is often a factor in rear-end collisions.
- T-bone crashes: When the front or rear of one vehicle slams into the side of another, it is often referred to as a T-bone accident. Property damage and injuries depend on the area of the vehicle that is struck, the speed at which the vehicle was traveling when it struck the other vehicle’s side, and the size of both vehicles. T-bone accidents commonly lead to serious injuries and extensive property damage.
- Wrong-way accidents: If a driver enters a roadway in the wrong direction, the results are often deadly. Wrong-way accidents frequently end in serious injury or death because head-on collisions, in which both vehicles are moving at high speeds, are common. Wrong-way accidents, which often occur when the driver gets on the wrong freeway on-ramp or turns the wrong way on a one-way street, are frequently the result of drunk driving.
- Vehicle rollovers: Rollovers are among the deadliest car accidents, accounting for nearly 35 percent of all traffic fatalities. The majority of the people killed in these accidents were not wearing their seat belt.
Common Injuries in TX Car Accidents
According to the NHTSA, over three million people are injured in auto accidents in the United States each year. Although injuries range from minor bumps and bruises to spinal cord injuries and death, there are certain types of injuries that occur with more frequency than others. The most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Injuries to the face and head
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of limbs
Some of these injuries will heal on their own, while others require extensive medical treatment, and still others will cause complications for a lifetime. The type and severity of injuries sustained is largely impacted by the speed at which the accident occurred, the type of accident, and whether or not the victim was wearing a seat belt.
Car accident injuries are separated into two categories—impact injuries and penetrating injuries. An impact injury occurs when the victim’s body hits the interior of the car, such as when the head hits the dash board in a collision. Penetrating injuries, on the other hand, typically involve lacerations, such as when a shard of glass from a shattered windshield cuts the victim’s forearm.
Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Generally speaking, it is the insurance companies that pay if you have been injured in a car accident. And here’s the thing about insurance companies—they don’t like to pay. Although obligated to provide compensation when a policyholder’s negligence causes someone harm, there is significant gray area when it comes to how much insurance companies have to pay.
When injury victims come to the negotiating table without legal representation, insurance companies know they want to get the process over with as soon as possible, and also that they probably can’t afford to go another day without a settlement check. So insurers offer the bare minimum, knowing that the injury victim—who’s been off work for a few weeks, accruing medical bills—is going to light up at the sight of a check. But this initial offer is almost never even close to what the injury victim could have gotten with the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
All too often, people make the mistake of not consulting with an attorney because they think they can’t afford one; but most injury lawyers charge on a contingency basis, which means they don’t get paid unless you do.
At DeHoyos Law, our experienced car accident lawyers don’t charge a dime unless you win your case. After an accident, you shouldn’t be dealing with the stressful process of filing a car accident injury claim. Let us handle that for you.
We will thoroughly evaluate your unique situation to determine the most effective strategy for moving forward, investigate the accident, gather evidence to substantiate your claim, consult with expert witnesses, and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
Although we always aim to settle out of court, we are prepared to take your case to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Texas Car Accident Laws
In Texas, any driver involved in an accident that results in injury, death, or significant property damage is required by law to report the accident to the police immediately. There is no law about reporting the accident to your insurance company, but your insurance contract is another story.
If you fail to report the accident within a reasonable amount of time, the insurer will likely refuse to provide coverage. As such, it’s important to contact your insurance company in a timely manner, but it’s always a good idea to contact an attorney first.
Your attorney can advise you on how to handle your particular situation, and will likely take the obligation entirely off your plate by contacting the insurance company on your behalf.
Car Insurance Minimums in TX
Texas also requires drivers to maintain a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. Currently, the minimums are:
- $30,000 per person for bodily injury liability;
- $60,000 per accident for total bodily injury liability, when multiple people are injured;
- $25,000 per accident for property damage.
Modified Comparative Fault
Texas follows the modified comparative fault rule, which means that you can recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident, but any compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20 percent responsible for a crash, any damages recovered would be reduced by that 20 percent.
If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, however, you will receive nothing. This is where the word “modified” comes into play; in “pure comparative” states, you can recover damages even if you were more at fault than the other party or parties. This is not the case in Texas.
TX Statute of Limitations
In Texas, as in many states, the statute of limitations on car accidents and most personal injury accidents is two years from the date of the incident. This means that the proverbial clock starts ticking on the day of the car accident, and time runs out exactly two years later.
During this two-year window of opportunity, you can file an injury claim or bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. If you wait and miss the deadline, you will likely lose your chance to recover any compensation, even if you suffered significant damages.
Filing within the allotted time frame isn’t just a legal requirement, it also makes good overall sense; memories fade with time, and your memories of important car accident details are no exception.
Furthermore, the court may question the severity of your injuries if you wait until the last minute to file a claim. If you’ve been injured in a collision due to another’s negligence, a Woodland car accident attorney can help. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
The Process for Filing a Claim After a Car Accident in Woodland
From the moment the accident occurs, you can start taking steps to protect your rights, your health and safety, and your wallet. By following the tips below, you will dramatically improve your chance of obtaining the maximum compensation available to you in a car accident injury claim or lawsuit.
Call the police.
Call 911 immediately. Having police on scene will ensure that everyone receives necessary medical treatment and is safe from passing vehicles, and that conflicts between drivers don’t escalate into violence. Law enforcement officers will also create an official police report, which will be extremely beneficial to your case if you decide to file an injury claim or bring a lawsuit.
Photograph the accident scene, any visible injuries or property damage, and any contributing factors, such as a patch of ice or blocked signage. Injuries heal, so take pictures as soon as possible. With regard to the accident scene, take pictures from multiple angles; you may not see anything that looks remarkable, but an expert could find an important piece of evidence in one of your pictures.
Obtain important contact info.
Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s), and get the name and contact information of all involved parties and any witnesses. You may need to ask them questions days or weeks after the accident.
Seek legal counsel.
Call a lawyer immediately. An experienced Woodland car accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed. It is in your best interest to have legal counsel before speaking to anyone, including the insurance companies. Other than providing your name, insurance, and contact information, and making sure that everyone is safe, do not speak to other parties without a lawyer by your side. What you perceive as an innocent statement can be used against you in an injury claim or lawsuit.
Get medical attention.
Seek immediate medical treatment, even if no injuries are apparent. Some of the most serious car accident injuries, including internal bleeding and soft tissue damage, can be asymptomatic for several days. In addition to ensuring your continued health and safety, seeking medical treatment will result in a comprehensive medical record that will be valuable in a future injury claim. Follow your doctor’s orders exactly as prescribed; go to every appointment, fill your prescriptions, and consider keeping a log of your medical journey. This can all be used as compelling evidence in a lawsuit.
Damages You Can Receive After a Car Accident
The type of damages you can receive in a motor vehicle accident case vary widely based on the severity of your injuries and other damages. Damages are typically classified into three categories—economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages encompass losses with a measurable dollar amount, such as medical bills; non-economic damages, such as emotional pain and suffering, are more difficult to calculate; punitive damages may be sought when the at-fault party’s actions were so egregious that the court believes he/she should pay additional fees as punishment.
Common damages in car accident cases include:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost wages, current and future
- Vehicle repair bills
- Vehicle replacement costs
- Expenses for alternate transportation, including car rental
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
An experienced Woodland car accident lawyer will evaluate your claim and calculate damages to ensure that the requested settlement amount is no less than what you deserve. You have been through enough; don’t accept anything but the maximum compensation available to you.
Contact DeHoyos Law Today
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Woodland, the skilled legal team at DeHoyos Law can help. We have been protecting the rights of TX accident and injury victims for years, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining substantial compensation in a timely manner.
Our injury team will ensure that you fully understand your rights and options, and we will remain by your side throughout the entire process. Contact DeHoyos Law today at 832-745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.