Have you ever driven past a bad wreck in the 610 loop and wondered how many auto accidents occur per day in Houston?
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that Houston roads saw 68,682 crashes in 2019 alone. That’s far more than any other Texas city in the study. (Runners up were San Antonio with 42,786 car accidents and Dallas with 36,862.)
If we do the math, that means 188 car accidents happen in Houston per day.
We can further break down the year’s total number of crashes into the following categories:
240 fatal crashes, resulting in 253 deaths
1,200 suspected serious crashes with 1,392 suspected serious injuries
5,357 non-incapacitating crashes
15,329 possible injury crashes
43,328 non-injury crashes
3,228 crashes of unknown severity
In our line of work, we understand that even when crashes are classified as “non-injurious,” they can still seriously disrupt a victim’s life. What are some of the causes of these accidents, and what can you do if you find yourself involved in one? Read on to discover the answers every Houston driver needs to know.
Additionally, a new study by the Federal Highway Administration found Houstonians drove an average of 36 miles per day – the highest driving per capita among the numerous urban areas surveyed across the nation.
Now, we are the most populated city in Texas. Nearly 7 million residents call Houston home, and many of them have long commutes. This means tons of automobiles are on the roads for hours each day, sometimes in bumper-to-bumper traffic
Busy city streets mean more chances for accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, last year throughout Texas 75% of all accidents occurred in urban areas while only 25% of accidents occurred in rural areas.
Farm-to-market roads passing through urban areas have the highest incidence of accidents. FM 1960 alone carries more than 60,000 vehicles per day and sees about a dozen deaths per year.
Recently, tech company Lytx compiled data from cameras in Houston vehicles. Their findings revealed the most dangerous roads in Houston:
I-610 at the intersection with North McCarty Street
I-10 West of intersection 1-610
The intersection of I-10 and I-45 near Providence Street
East of the intersection between I-45 and I-610
I-45 between West Cavalcade Street and West Patton Street
According to Lytx, most car accidents in Houston happened on Friday mornings between 9 AM and noon.
Furthermore, a study by ValuePenguin concluded I-45 was the second-most dangerous highway in America, averaging 56 fatal accidents every 100 miles.
Beltway 8, also known as the Sam Houston Freeway, stretches 88 miles around the Houston area. Its intersections are the sites of numerous accidents. In fact, data from the TxDOT suggests the intersection of Sam Houston Freeway and Bissonnet Street is the most dangerous intersection in the state of Texas.
What causes Houston car accidents?
The Texas Department of Transportation compiles data on crash contributing factors. Last year, the top two causes of Texas car accidents were listed as speeding and plain ol’ “driver inattention.”
Other common contributing factors in TxDOT’s report included making unsafe lane changes, failing to yield, tailgating, running stop signs or red lights, and encountering animals in the road.
Below are some other common causes of car accidents we’ve encountered here in Houston as we help injured victims navigate their road to recovery.
Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol plays a part in many car crashes. Last year there were 2,436 Houston DUI crashes, resulting in 73 fatalities.
6,369 car accidents in Harris County involved commercial motor vehicles such as semi trucks. The massive size of trucks like these makes them unwieldy and hazardous to smaller cars sharing the road with them. To add to the problem, many commercial truck drivers are overworked or improperly trained. They may be speeding to meet a deadline or distracted by rerouting their GPS.
Additionally, commercial vehicles require routine maintenance. Ideally, they should be inspected before and after every trip they make. If this maintenance is neglected, a faulty auto part could cause an accident on the road. For example, tire blowouts are one common cause of semi truck accidents.
It’s fair to say Houston residents are well-acquainted with construction zones. Our city seems to be an eternal work in progress!
Unexpected detours or road closures can heighten tensions on the road and lead to car accidents. Last year, Harris County had 2,756 crashes in work zones, while Fort Bend County had 738.
After a car accident, there’s a lot to think about. How will you take care of your home, run errands, or provide for your family? If your car was totaled, how can you get a rental car or make up for the time you had to take off of work? Most importantly of all, how will you recover from your injuries and pay off your medical bills?
We know these problems can be overwhelming, and we’ve made it our job to handle them. We believe you shouldn’t have to cope with any unnecessary stress after the trauma of a car accident.
Insurance can be tricky, especially since the laws and policies differ from state to state. You might’ve heard the term “no fault state” before, but what does that mean for your auto insurance? Is Texas a no fault state?
It’s important to understand your coverage and your rights so you can make informed decisions about your car insurance policy. In this post, we’ll give you an in-depth explanation of no-fault, comparative fault, and everything in between, including the rules and regulations that apply to Texans.
In the event of an accident, reach out to an experienced Houston car accident lawyer for help ASAP. We won’t just inform you of your rights; we’ll protect them too!
What does fault/no fault mean?
When it comes to car insurance, every state has its own unique requirements and limits. There are “no fault states” and there are “comparative fault states.” These come with their own set of rules and subcategories.
No Fault States
“No-fault” auto insurance laws require every driver to file a claim with their own insurance company after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
The no fault system is intended to lower the cost of auto insurance premiums by preventing claims from going all the way to court, thereby streamlining the victim compensation process. Instead of putting them through a lengthy courtroom battle, insurance companies will partially compensate their own policyholders after an accident.
If you get into an accident in a no fault state and get hurt or damage your car, you will file a claim with your own insurance company. This is known as a first-party claim. Then, your car insurance will help you pay for your medical bills, car repairs, and other damages, regardless of who was found at fault in the accident.
You read that right: in a no fault state, your car insurance will help you out even if you caused the accident.
Additionally, in states with no fault laws, every driver must purchase personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their auto insurance policy. PIP covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses and loss of income — after your deductible and up to a certain limit, that is.
The minimum amount of personal injury protection varies from state to state. In states with the most comprehensive PIP coverage, the policyholder can be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Note: no fault systems only address compensation for physical injuries. Under a no fault system, your insurance will help pay for your medical bills even if you caused the accident. However, property damage claims (like paying for car repairs after an accident) are still rooted in fault.
Under no fault laws, victims can also sue the other driver for more severe injuries and for pain and suffering, but only if their case meets certain conditions, known as a threshold. This threshold refers to the severity of injury and/or the total monetary amount of the medical bills. (Some laws also include minimum requirements for the days spent recovering/missing work as a result of the accident.)
Comparative Fault States
Texas is not a no fault state. Texas is a “tort state,” also known as a “comparative fault” state. What does this mean?
In a comparative fault state, you compare who is more at fault. If a driver is found to be primarily at fault for an accident, they must take financial responsibility for it. Liability insurance exists to help cover accidents like these.
What’s the Difference Between “Pure” and “Modified” Comparative Fault?
Car accidents can be complicated. Determining liability can be even more of a headache.
Sometimes the fault in a car accident is obvious, like when a drunk driver slams into you at a red light.
Other times, however, you and your car accident attorney may have to deal with a lot of finger-pointing and passing of blame.
Often, errors from more than one person contribute to a car crash. When both drivers are partially at fault, they may be able to sue each other for their injuries.
Here’s where all the legal jargon comes in!
Comparative fault systems branch into three different subcategories: pure contributory negligence, pure comparative fault,and modified comparative fault.
Contributory negligence: Under pure contributory negligence, if you are responsible for even 1% of the accident, you could be prohibited from recovering any compensation. Put simply, under contributory negligence rules, a person is not legally entitled to any compensation if they are at fault for any part of the accident. Harsh!
Applicable in: Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Pure comparative fault: Under pure comparative fault, your settlement award may be reduced depending on the percentage of fault attributed to you. However, a person involved in an accident can recover a small portion of damages, even if they are declared to be 99% at fault.
Example: if you are 90% responsible for a car crash, and you suffered $100,000 in damages, you may still be able to receive $10,000 from the insurance company.
Another example: you came to a rolling stop, not a complete stop, at an intersection with a stop sign. A car on a perpendicular path was speeding and t-boned you. You may be found to be 25% responsible for the accident. You could recover 75% of the bills and other damages incurred from the accident. (On the other hand, a person who was rear-ended by someone while they were at a complete stop at the same stop sign might be found 0% at fault, and could recover 100% of their damages.)
Applicable in Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington state.
Modified comparative fault: Sometimes known as “proportionate responsibility,” modified comparative fault rules acknowledge that the negligence of multiple parties may contribute to an accident, but the focus is on who is more responsible for an accident.
An at-fault driver is entitled to compensation only if they are determined to be less than 50% at fault (or 51% in some states, as you’ll see below.)
Example: if a court decides that you are 35% at fault and your damages totaled $100,000, you could still receive $65,000.
However, if the court decides you are 51% at fault in a modified comparative negligence situation, you are not entitled to any compensation, as the majority of the blame falls on your shoulders.
There are two very small variations on modified comparative fault:
50% Bar Rule: An injured victim cannot recover if they are found to be 50% or more at fault. If they are found to be 49% or less at fault, they can recover, although their recovery will be reduced by their degree of fault.
Applicable in: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
51% Bar Rule: A victim cannot recover damages if they are found to be 51% or more at fault. However, the damaged party can recover if it is 50% or less at fault, but that recovery would be reduced by its degree of fault.
Applicable in: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Here in Texas we use the Modified Comparative Fault Rule and the subsequent 51% bar rule. So if a person is injured in a car accident in Texas, they cannot recover damages from the other party if they are 51% or more at fault for the accident.
To get compensated for accident-related expenses in a comparative fault state like Texas, you must first determine who was liable for your car accident.
A Texas car accident lawyer can help you prove fault with some or all of the following methods:
Photos: They say a picture’s worth a thousand words! Photos of your vehicle damage, the accident scene, and injuries are very valuable for your case.
Video: Even if you don’t have a dashcam, your lawyer may be able to access surveillance footage of your crash.
Witness testimony: Your lawyer can reach out to people who may have witnessed your accident and record their retelling of it.
Mobile phone logs and other records: Cell phone records can give your case a boost. For example, by obtaining these records, your lawyer may be able to prove the other party was texting at the time of the accident.
Police reports: Calling police at the scene of an accident is always a good idea, even if you don’t think you need help. Why? They will generate an accident report and sometimes assign fault right then and there. You or your lawyer can obtain a copy of this accident report later.
Medical documentation: Your medical bills are proof of your injuries and associated expenses.
Expert opinions. Car accident lawyers often enlist the help of crash reconstruction experts and other investigators to piece together exactly how your accident happened.
By diligently collecting this evidence and connecting you with resources after your crash, your Texas car accident lawyer can help strengthen your case while you focus on recovering. If you try to build your case alone, you may miss out on crucial evidence or be taken advantage of by insurance companies who are trying to protect their bottom line.
I was in a car accident in Texas and it was not my fault. What are my options?
If you are found to be 0% at fault, you are entitled to pursue 100% of the damages you suffered, including medical bills, lost wages from time taken off work, auto repair, rental vehicle expenses, and more. Contact a Texas car accident attorney to learn more about how to start your case!
I was in a car accident in Texas and it was my fault. What are my options?
If you were partially responsible for a car accident, contact a Texas car accident lawyer. Under Texas car accident law, you still have options. It all depends on how much of the accident was your fault.
Texas is a comparative fault state. This means if you are hurt in a car accident and are found to be less than 51% responsible for the accident, you can collect money from the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
However, keep in mind your settlement may be reduced by your degree of fault.
For example, if you are determined to be 20% at fault for an accident with another driver and you suffered $100,000 in damages, you and your attorney could still pursue $80,000 in compensation.
Unfortunately, Texas at fault accident laws state that a victim cannot recover damages if they are found to be 51% or more at fault.
Car Insurance Requirements in Texas
Texas law requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. The minimum amounts are as follows: ● $30,000 in injuries per person per accident (max total of $60,000 per accident)
● $25,000 in property damage per accident
Expenses can quickly surpass these default numbers, and you may need the help of a car accident lawyer in order to obtain what you really deserve.
Texas is a comparative fault state, also called a “tort state.”
If you are hurt in a Texas car accident and are found to be less than 51% responsible for the accident, you can collect money from the at-fault driver and their insurance company, but the settlement may be reduced by your degree of fault.
You cannot recover any damages if you are found to be 51% or more at fault for a Texas car accident.
Texas drivers must carry liability insurance.
If you’re still confused and dealing with the aftermath of a car wreck, a car accident attorney can make all the difference.
No matter what type of accident you were in, we’re here to help. With decades of experience in a variety of practice areas here in Houston, we’ve got the skills and resources you need to make a full recovery.
― $2,020 Scholarship for Current and Incoming Students ―
2020 brought a lot of changes for us all, but especially for students.
We know they could use a little extra help right now, and we want to be a part of their success.
Did YOU make the switch to remote learning this year? How did your educational experience change?
To enter to win a $2,020 scholarship by Houston Car Accident Lawyers, design and submit a simple infographic showing “before” and “after” for a typical student adjusting from in-person education to remote education, and address how technology is helping them stay on course.
Changing Futures, Shaping Lives
This scholarship of $2,020 is designed to assist promising students seeking to further their education at the college and university level. To qualify for the $2,020 Vision Scholarship presented by Houston Car Accident Lawyer, you must be an aspiring or current college student and must participate in our infographic design contest on the topic outlined above.
In the email, include your full name, date of birth, home address, email address, contact phone numbers, current school attended and (intended) course of study.
After the application period has closed on April 30th, 2021, we will review all submissions and decide on a winner by May 15th, 2021.
We will notify the winner by telephone or email and make a public announcement on our page.
We are a national law firm headquartered Houston, Texas. For over 20 years, our dedicated Houston car accident lawyers have fought for the rights of accident survivors and their families. We also work with affiliate law firms across the country that share our commitment to excellence. Additionally, we are an educational online resource for our Houston community. We empower every driver in the collective effort to keep our roads safe.
Please note that the winning infographic submitted in application for the $2,020 Vision Scholarship presented by Houston Car Accident Lawyer will be displayed on Houston Car Accident Lawyer’s website. Likewise, the infographic may be disseminated via our newsletter, social media channels, and other channels as part of our commitment to serving the public. By submitting your scholarship application, you agree to allow your infographic disseminated to the public, as well as having your name and likeness displayed on the website and social media channels as the winner of the scholarship. No information will be sold, stored, or distributed to third parties. Award is sent directly to the financial aid office at the student’s school of choice.
Submission deadline: April 30th, 2021 Winner announced on May 15th, 2021
Why & How to Request a Police Accident Report After A Car Crash
When a car accident happens, chaos follows.
You’re in pain. Your property is damaged or lost. You feel frozen and afraid of making the wrong choice.
We understand. We’ve helped thousands of people through this, and now we’re making it our mission to help you.
When it comes to what to do after a car accident, calling the police is a smart move. For starters, officers can help you and other victims get medical care while directing traffic flow and preventing more crashes. Police reports can also be essential when it comes to:
Investigating the accident
Collecting witness statements
Gathering evidence at the scene
Figuring out who is at fault for the crash
A police report can support your statements in an insurance negotiation or in court. If you have questions about your rights and a potential car accident claim, contact a Houston car accident attorney at our firm for free answers and professional advice. In addition to being beneficial, we should remind you that calling the police is sometimes required.
Visit the Records Division of the Houston Police Department in person at 1200 Travis Street between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. The cost is $6.
― When Requesting Police Accident Reports, Keep in Mind: ―
They are typically available between 5 and 8 days after the date of the crash.
You will need at least two pieces of the following information in order to request the report for your accident:
The date of the accident
The location of the accident
The name(s) of the involved party or parties
The incident number
These reports do not alwayscapture every detail—and they can even get some details wrong. It’s important to review these reports and reach out to the officer to promptly correct any wrong information or inaccuracy.
Our Houston lawyers can handle this for you. We can obtain and review your police accident report, and we can also use it to figure out your legal options and come up with a strategy for your recovery.
We represent victims in all kinds of car accident cases, including drunk driving crashes, Uber and Lyft accidents, UPS wrecks, FedEx accidents, and more. In our 20 year history of serving the Houston area, we’ve seen it all. No matter how complex a case may be, we have the skills and the experience fight for you.
― Top Houston Car Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help ―
A car accident can be the most stressful thing that’s ever happened to you. One accident can change your life – but so can one victory with us.
Don’t go through this alone.
You deserve professional legal counsel and dedicated guidance. You can rely on a 5-star Houston car accident lawyer at our firm to follow up with you and keep your best interests at the forefront of their minds, every step of the way. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, now’s the time to contact us. It’s the first step to getting the compensation you deserve.
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We’re ready and waiting to explain your rights and legal options for moving forward. Plus, we work on contingency. That means if you decide to partner with us, you will pay nothing upfront and absolutely nothing at all unless or until your case is successfully resolved.
We proudly back our strategic, aggressive representation with client-focused service, and we’re committed to providing the type of advocacy we would want for our own family.
Our perfect rating on Avvo, along with our testimonials and many industry accolades and awards, speak to our long-standing record of excellence and success in car accident cases. Let our next victory be yours, too.