A motor vehicle accident is a sudden event that may happen in a second but can change your life forever. No matter how defensively you drive, drivers who make poor choices surround you every day on highways and city streets. When one of these drivers crashes into you and cause you serious and catastrophic harm, you need the skills of a highly skilled Houston motor vehicle accident legal team.
There may be a number of reasons that cause you to get behind the wheel including running errands, driving to work, or heading home after a long day. The next thing you know, a normal routine task turns into a hospital trip due to the negligence and reckless behavior of another Texas driver. Everyone has a responsibility to share the road and drive responsibly. Serious injuries may prevent you from returning to work, they can affect your relationships, and the related expenses can financially ruin you. Don’t let the responsible party avoid compensating you for your injuries!
Here’s how an experienced car accident attorney can help you.
Reckless Behaviors That Lead to Collisions
For many Houston drivers, their vehicles serve not only as their transportation but also as an office, a make-up studio, and more. Society continues to drive faster, more aggressively, and more often under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This careless disregard for fellow drivers spells disaster for innocent Texans, and in some instances, can result in serious injuries and fatalities.
The following behaviors are just a few examples of risks that drivers are exposed to every day in Texas and throughout the nation:
Distracted driving – According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), distracted driving kills approximately nine people each day in the United States. More than 1,000 people receive serious injuries daily due to crashes involving distracted drivers.
The CDC cites three main types of driver distraction that occur behind the wheel:
- Visual – Taking your eyes off the road. Drivers know that texting while driving is incredibly dangerous yet people continue to engage in this dangerous behavior! The CDC reports that sending or reading a text while traveling at 55 miles per hour takes five seconds—long enough to cover an entire football field.
- Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel, like reaching in your purse for something or reaching for an item that fell on the floor board. Whatever it is you’re reaching for, it can wait.
- Cognitive – Taking your mind off driving and not focusing on the road before you and the vehicles that surround you. We all have a lot on our minds; however, we can’t let it distract us while operating a motor vehicle!
Driving under the influence (DUI) – Have you ever heard an inebriated person say “I’m okay to drive, I promise.”? Despite years of numerous public service campaigns, people still choose to drive while inebriated. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that 43 percent of drivers believe drunk driving is a bigger problem today than three years ago. Among those surveyed by the foundation, 20.7 percent admitted to driving after drinking too much. What about those who did not admit to the behavior or who weren’t surveyed?!
The foundation also found that 93.4 percent of drivers believe that drinking and driving is a serious threat to their personal safety, and national statistics back up their right to feel concerned. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 30 people die each day in the United States because of a drunk driver, with thousands more injured.
A driver may also take to Texas highways and city streets under the influence of illegal drugs. These drugs may include, but are not limited to:
- Opioids, including heroin
Medical marijuana is legal in Texas for treating such diseases as Parkinson’s, ALS, and more. Choosing to drive while high is foolish behavior due to the drug’s effect on a driver’s coordination and reaction time. While medical marijuana offers many great benefits to patients throughout Texas, those who drive while high are placing themselves and other Texans at risk for serious harm.
Road rage – Aggressive driving can quickly escalate into road rage as tempers flare over someone’s careless driving. When other drivers tailgate, change lanes without signaling, or run red lights, they do so deliberately and often with ill intent. There is NO REGARD for the safety of other drivers.
Road rage occurs when drivers purposely ram, sideswipe, or run another driver off the road. Cursing, obscene gestures, and throwing objects are examples of road rage. These behaviors can lead a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle, which may result in a serious crash. No one should suffer serious and often catastrophic injuries due to another driver’s inability to control their temper.
There are a variety of reckless behaviors and negligent actions by drivers every day that result in serious injuries to others. Holding those liable for your injuries is the best way to protect your future and to ensure justice. It is unfair, unjust, and inexcusable when another driver crashes into you due to his or her unwise choice to drink, speed, or send a text while behind the wheel.
The massive medical bills won’t wait, and neither should you. Hiring legal representation as soon as possible is a smart move for you and your family. No one should pay out-of-pocket for expenses that result from a careless driver.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Common Injuries
A violent impact from another vehicle damages more than just your car. After the initial shock of the crash wears off—and if you’re lucky enough to remain conscious, you should survey the damage to your body. While everyone knows that vehicles are replaceable, that does little to comfort you when you experience one or more of the following injuries:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – The CDC defines a TBI as a sudden bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury, that disrupts normal brain function. A severe TBI is especially concerning due to the following effects that a patient may encounter:
- Changes in cognitive (memory) and motor (balance) function
- Sensory changes that affect hearing, vision, and touch
- Changes in behavior, such as aggression, anxiety, and depression
Depending upon the severity of the TBI, you or your loved one may require a lifetime of care. Therapists, personal care attendants, and even nursing home care average thousands of dollars each month. A TBI is among the most serious of car accident injuries.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) – A spinal cord injury is often referred to as complete or incomplete. With a complete injury, there is no sensory or motor function below the point of injury. An incomplete injury implies that there is some sensory or motor function below the point of injury, although it is usually described as faint.
Spinal cord injuries result in paralysis and may require power chairs, home and vehicle modifications, and other large expenses. Power chairs and vehicles eventually need replacing and should you move, you may need additional home modification for your new place.
Neck and back injuries – Traumatic injury to your neck can affect your ability to turn your head. Back injuries can affect your ability to perform your job, your ability to sit, and your ability to sleep which may directly affect your ability to maintain your income. Both types of injuries can result in extensive surgeries, physical therapy, and require you to wear a brace. For some people, their back pain never goes away.
Broken bones – Of the 206 bones in the human body, the chances of breaking more than one in a crash are pretty high. A violent crash can not only break your bones but also may affect your joints, tendons, and muscles. Breaking a leg inhibits your mobility while a broken arm limits your function. Breaking both requires assistance with even the most mundane daily tasks.
Internal injuries – An internal injury is especially dangerous due to the lack of outward symptoms. Bleeding internally often results from trauma or injury and shows no physical signs. This is why it is imperative to seek medical treatment immediately following a crash. You may think you feel fine when you actually have internal injuries.
Even mild forms of internal bleeding can quickly become serious in a short amount of time. With the proper medical treatment, a doctor can diagnose and treat the internal bleeding before it turns deadly. This often requires lab work and imaging tests conducted in a hospital.
Expensive medications, hospital services, and medical equipment are a financial hardship for many patients. Even with insurance, the out-of-pocket costs are astronomical. For those without insurance, the costs may financially ruin them.
Lying in a hospital bed is NOT where you thought you’d end up after your quick trip to the store. Post-traumatic stress after a car accident is a real thing, and seeking help to deal with your emotions is imperative to your recovery. Dealing with feelings of anger, shock, and depression are common. However, as a legal team with years of representing clients in similar situations, we don’t want you to worry. Stress and worry are truly detrimental to your recovery. It is natural to worry about your financial future when faced with a long recovery and possible loss of employment.
That’s why reaching out to an experienced legal team is a smart decision. Let your lawyers concentrate on the details of your case so that you can rest assured, knowing your case is in good hands.
Insurance Company Games
An insurance company will probably offer you a low dollar amount to settle your case quickly. Their initial offer may seem like a large amount of money to you. Don’t let your worry make you accept a low initial offer. As experienced Houston lawyers, we know all too well the games that insurance companies play.
Insurance companies and their aggressive representatives are looking out for themselves—not for you! They just want the case to go away at the least amount of cost to them. It is best not to speak with them and to contact us instead. While you may also want your case to go away, settling for less than you need will haunt you later. A serious car accident changes your life and, with it, your way of living your life. Be careful not to short-change yourself in terms of your future medical needs and expenses.
You need quality legal representation on your side to protect your interests. That’s where an aggressive law firm comes in. You want a legal team that makes clients the number one priority, someone who will work to secure the fair compensation that you deserve. If your law firm cannot settle outside of court, you’ll want someone who is unafraid to go to trial.
Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Look for a law firm that won’t stop until it secures what you need for your current and future financial needs, all of which result from another person’s negligence.
Time is of the essence, so don’t delay. The sooner you contact a lawyer to review your case, the sooner he or she can decide upon the best course of action for you. Interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and filing court papers takes time. The statute of limitations restricts how long you have to pursue justice.