Texas Department of Transportation records indicate that Texans drove more than 286 billion miles in 2019. Among those billions of miles traveled, 12,897 serious injuries occurred and 3,610 people died. By these numbers, one person was killed every two hours and 26 minutes, one person was injured every two minutes and three seconds, and one crash occurred every 56 seconds.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and are seeking fair compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance provider, you don’t want to fight this battle on your own, especially while you’re recovering from injuries.
Our team of personal injury attorneys at Hildebrand & Wilson, LLC stands ready to help. Let us negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or if need be, take the matter to court with a personal injury claim. We’ll fight for your rights on every front. We proudly serve clients in Pearland, Texas, as well as Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Houston. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case.
Car Accident Liability in Texas
Texas is an “at-fault” insurance state, meaning that whoever causes the car accident is held responsible for the damage to the other vehicle and injuries to any people involved. To this end, the state mandates that all drivers carry what’s known as “30/60/25” insurance at a minimum. This equates to $30,000 for injuries to one individual and $60,000 total for all injured. The “25” is for $25,000 in property damage to other vehicles or other objects at the crash site.
If you’re involved in a car accident, it is best to consult with an attorney so that they can:
Answer any questions and provide you with options on how to pursue your claim
Investigate and gather information about the accident
Negotiate with the other driver’s insurance on your behalf
If necessary, file a lawsuit to protect your rights and pursue compensation
One important fact to remember in seeking compensation is that Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means that the insurance adjusters working on your case will attempt to reduce your compensation by arguing that you are partially responsible for the accident. It is important to understand that only a jury, if the claim goes to trial, determines the percentage of fault of the drivers involved in an accident. For instance, if you’re found to have been 20% at fault for the accident and the total compensation awarded is $10,000, you will receive only $8,000 after deducting your percentage of fault. Note: if your percentage of fault rises above 50%, you cannot collect anything.
If you want more protection against drivers with inadequate or no car insurance, you should consider purchasing additional coverage such as personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage.
GET HELP AFTER YOUR ACCIDENT
Statute of Limitations & Personal Injury Claims
The statute of limitations in Texas for filing a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. This does not mean you shouldn’t report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. Most insurance companies require claims to be reported promptly after an accident.
To succeed in a personal injury claim for negligence you must show that:
The other driver owed you a duty of care
The other driver breached their duty of care
The breach caused your injuries
It is important to remember that a person injured in an auto accident can be compensated for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and any additional economic damages such as lost wages and medical bills. Although the law allows an injured person to be compensated for non-economic damages, insurance companies often give little value to such damages.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you’ve lost a family member in a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your loss. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 71.001 states that a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another party. The surviving spouse, children, and parents are eligible to file the lawsuit, however, if they do not bring so within three months of the date of death, the decedent’s executor/administrator shall prosecute the action.
Hiring the Right Law Firm
Though you should start the injury compensation process by contacting your own insurance company, the other driver’s insurer, or both, it is important to consult with an attorney to discuss your options regarding bringing a claim.
The insurance company is not there to help you or fairly compensate you for your injuries. Rather, the insurance company is there to compensate you as little as possible. It’s not beneath them to use every trick in the book to get you to say something that minimizes the extent of your injuries or emphasizes your fault in the accident. You should rely on experienced car accident attorneys to deal with the insurers and negotiate for you.
Skilled car accident attorneys will also seek to include future medical expense considerations in your settlement. Remember, once you sign a settlement, you cannot go back for additional claims no matter if your injury returns, worsens, or somehow becomes permanent. A good legal team will fight for a settlement that is forward-looking and will take care of your needs throughout the length of your recovery.
CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS SERVING PEARLAND, TEXAS
Our team of car accident attorneys at Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, will listen to your story, investigate, and advise you of your best options for pursuing fair compensation, even if it involves a personal injury lawsuit. If you’re located in Pearland, Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, or Austin, Texas, contact our firm immediately to get things started with a consultation.