Car Accident Attorneys
Motor vehicles are a necessity for getting to and around Houston and given the area’s booming economy and rapid population growth, accidents happen, sometimes catastrophic ones. In August 2018, the Houston Chronicle reported that an analysis of 16 years of federal highway data indicated that Houston was the deadliest metro area in the United States.
The Chronicle reported that the nine-county, Houston metro region, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, led the nation in fatal crashes drug-and-alcohol-related fatal crashes. It was also second-highest for fatal crashes per capita on federal highways and fatal wrecks involving speeding. Houston ranked in the top half of major metro areas for each category that the Chronicle examined.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that in 2018, 189 fatal crashes occurred in Houston, causing 197 fatalities, as well as 1,030 suspected serious injury crashes causing 1,175 suspected severe injuries.
According to TxDOT, Harris County experienced 368 fatal crashes causing 391 fatalities, 1,662 suspected serious injury crashes causing 1,947 suspected severe injuries, and 20,517 possible injury crashes causing 31,570 possible injuries,
If you or a loved one suffered severe or catastrophic injuries in a car accident, experienced legal representation could be crucial for holding the at-fault party responsible for your physical, emotional, and financial hardships.
The car accident lawyers at Chandler McNulty LLP stand ready to provide you with personal service, effective representation, and professional results. Call (713) 997-8310 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
In general, some of the most common causes of car crashes include:
- Inclement weather
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Reckless driving
- Medical emergency
- Driver fatigue
- Construction zone violations
- Defective parts
- Hazardous road conditions
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Improper or illegal turns
- Failure to obey traffic signs or lights
- Other traffic violations
You will want to contact a car accident attorney right away so they can quickly commence a rigorous investigation into the crash. A personal injury lawyer often works with an accident reconstruction specialist when necessary to get answers to certain more complex issues.
The insurance company for the at-fault party is usually expected to cover the damages stemming from the crash. Insurers may try to argue that the negligence of other parties contributed to or even caused these accidents, or seize on other reasons to avoid paying out compensation to victims. Disagreements about liability can sometimes wind up in court if a settlement appears out of reach.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents
Not all car accidents necessarily result in devastating injuries. Some motorists and passengers can walk away from collisions without a scratch and no real long-term harm. The at-fault driver is nonetheless responsible for property damage to the innocent driver’s vehicle.
Never assume that you are fine after an accident. Seek medical attention and undergo a complete evaluation because symptoms may be delayed.
Particularly in a high-speed collision, many people suffer severe injuries that can involve lengthy hospital stays in addition to many rounds of follow-up care. Some victims can find that their injuries prevent them from returning to work; others may be permanently incapable of ever gaining employment again.
The impact and aftermath of a collision can cause vehicle occupants serious harm. Some of the most common types of injuries accident victims suffer include:
- Neck, back, and Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones, fractures, cuts, and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Internal organ damage / crushing injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Amputations/loss of limbs
When a person is tragically killed in a car accident, Texas law allows family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.
What Type of Compensation Am I Owed?
Many car accident claims end up being resolved through out-of-court settlements because insurance companies generally want to avoid running up legal fees.
When a settlement proves to be impossible, a car accident lawyer can file a lawsuit to resolve matters once and for all. A plaintiff, i.e., the injury victim who is suing, can be awarded compensatory damages for both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Repairs to your vehicle or replacement if totaled
- Replacement of other damaged personal items
- Medical devices and home modifications
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are also possible, although limited to cases involving fraud, malice, or gross negligence. Punitive damages, which require a unanimous jury in Texas, must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
Drunk driving cases may trigger punitive damages because they are often considered to satisfy the necessary moral culpability in such actions. In most other car accident cases, however, punitive damages may be difficult to obtain.
How Could a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
An attorney can help you in several ways. Upon being retained, a car accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and gather evidence to bolster your claim, including identifying the liable parties. When you are struggling to pay your continuing costs of medical care, a lawyer can assist in getting a medical lien that will allow you to postpone paying for any treatment until reimbursement becomes available through a settlement or jury award.
With solid negotiation skills, a car accident attorney effectively interacts with insurance companies and defense lawyers to enable you to get the most favorable possible resolution to your car accident case. With top-notch litigation skills, an attorney is equipped to go to court to make sure you receive justice.
With a practice devoted to personal injury, Chandler McNulty LLP is committed to vigorously advocating for your rights and holding the at-fault party accountable for your car accident.
Partners Troy Chandler and Devin McNulty are nationally renowned attorneys who represent accident victims and their families locally and across the country.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Troy Chandler, was named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters twelve times in the annual rating.
Devin McNulty was named one of the Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings in 2015 and one of the Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers in 2013. He was selected as a Super Lawyer for 2015-2019.
The National Trial Lawyers organization honored both Chandler McNulty LLP attorneys with a Top-100 trial lawyer designation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Car Accidents
Here are some frequently asked questions about car accidents and how to proceed if you are involved in one. To discuss the specific details of your car accident claim, call us today at (713) 997-8310 or reach out to us online.
The insurance company is offering me a lump sum amount to settle my case without going to court. Should I accept it?
Even if what’s on the table seems significant and attractive, consider the full lifetime costs of your injury. The chances are that the insurer only offered a fraction of what you are entitled to as a way to make your case “go away.” An aggressive car accident lawyer can access compensation that is far more equitable.
Can I recover compensation if I was partially at fault for my car accident?
Texas is considered a modified comparative fault state, which means that a victim is allowed to pursue damages from another party as long as they were not 51 percent or more at fault for an accident. Comparative fault allows a reduction of the award in proportion to a victim’s negligence. For example, if a court awards $100,000 to a plaintiff in a car accident case who is 20 percent at fault, their award will be reduced by $20,000, resulting in an $80,000 recovery.
How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?
Most victims in Texas have a maximum of two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit against negligent or otherwise liable parties. There are certain exceptions, however. For example, the standard statute of limitations can be tolled (i.e., delayed) if a victim is a minor such that they have two years to file after they reach the age of majority. Similarly, tolling can apply to an incapacitated victim until they are functional again. Never assume that a statute of limitations postponement applies to your case, however, contact a car accident lawyer sooner rather than later and never at the last minute.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Chandler McNulty LLP is a firm dedicated to client-focused service and superior results for families in their time of need. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, we will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation that you are entitled to. Call (713) 997-8310 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.