Auto Accidents are extremely Common – Personal Injury Attorneys
Auto accidents are extremely common. There are approximately 4 million automobile-related injuries annually. Even the best of drivers can find themselves in an auto accident, and severe injury may be possible. For example, injuries may occur to the head, brain, neck, or spinal cord, and may result in whiplash or death.
If you get in an accident it is important to not leave the scene. To leave the scene of an accident without stopping may subject you to criminal prosecution. Seek medical help for any injured people. Do not attempt to render first aid if not an expert, as there may be a liability on your part if you made a condition worse. Call the police so they can file a report. It is also necessary to provide your name, address, and the license number of the vehicle you are driving to the other party. Upon request, the drivers must exhibit their driver’s licenses. Do not make any statements to the other drivers or police regarding whose fault you believe the accident to be, even if you are sure it was your fault. In addition to gathering information on the parties involved in the accident, it is a good idea to gather any information (including contact information) from witnesses who saw the accident. Be sure to see a doctor following the accident to be evaluated and treated.
Law requires filing an accident report within ten days of the accident. You must report the accident to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles if there was damage in excess of $1000.00 and/or someone was injured or killed. Failure to submit the report will result in a suspension of your driving license. State law also requires that all vehicles have liability insurance. Be sure to notify your insurance company about the accident and follow their directions. Bear in mind that the interests of the other party will be represented by their insurance company and/or lawyers and you should retain your own counsel. If you were in an accident and did not have insurance your license will be suspended for one year.
While the law requires all motorists to have insurance, it is estimated that as many as 25% do not. Thus, it is a wise precaution to get uninsured motorist coverage on your own insurance plan in case you are involved in an accident with someone who is liable, but insolvent, and uninsured.
In addition to a negligence claim based upon a severe injury, car accidents may also involve wrongful death actions. They can also raise issues of defective products if there was a failure with a seatbelt, airbag, or tire, for instance. The government may also be liable if there was a poorly maintained roadway, a badly designed intersection, or a malfunctioning traffic signal system, for instance.
As for damages, if you are unable to work or sustain injuries you may be able to recover from your own insurance policy, or you may be able to obtain damages from the other party if they are liable. The idea of damages is to put you in the situation you would have been in if there was no injury. The amount of money will depend on factors such as the extent and duration of injuries, pain and suffering, disability caused, and damage to property. While damage awards vary, one local woman received $150 million when her vehicle rolled over due to a design defect.
What to Do After A Car Accident – Personal Injury Law
Almost all drivers will experience a fender bender, object collision, or a more significant car crash at some time in their lives. While car accidents can be very scary and stressful, you need to be prepared to take specific steps if you are ever involved in a crash. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1. Get help.
If you or anyone else has been injured, you need to get help as soon as possible. If you have a cell phone you should call 911 and ask the operator to send an ambulance. If you don’t have a cell phone or are unable to move, ask the first person on the scene to call for help. If there is a crowd of people, single out one person and specifically ask him or her to call.
Step 2. Make the area safe, if possible.
In non-injury accidents that don’t result in significant damage to your vehicle, it’s best to move your car, truck, or motorcycle to a safe place. As long as the vehicle is operable, you should try to move it to the side of the road or somewhere else where it won’t be an obstruction to other motorists.
Step 3. Exchange driver details.
Once you are sure that everyone involved is fine and the area is safe, you should then talk to the other driver to obtain his or her insurance information. If you have a cell phone with a camera on it you can snap a picture of the other driver’s insurance card. If not, use a pen and paper if you have it, or ask the other driver if he or she has something to write with.
Step 4. Don’t admit mistakes.
Even minor car accidents will leave you shaken up, and a lot of people in that situation will want to start talking. Try to resist this urge. Ask the other driver for his or her insurance information, but do not admit that you made a mistake. You can ask “Are you all right?” or “Do you need an ambulance?” but you should refrain from apologizing or saying anything that might implicate you as being at fault.
Step 5. Take notes and photos.
The best time to gather information about an accident is immediately after it occurs. If you have a cell phone or disposable camera with you, take photographs of the area, the vehicles involved, and especially the damaged portions of the cars. You should also take photographs of the location of where the accident occurred, especially street signs, intersections, and crash debris that might still be on the road. Just do this carefully so you don’t endanger yourself or others.
Step 6: Find witnesses.
If you notice any bystanders or people who witnessed the accident, ask them for their names and contact information. Don’t pressure them or try to persuade them that you did nothing wrong, merely ask them if they saw what happened and take their contact information so you can use it later if you need to.
Step 7: Contact the police.
Many police departments will not send officers to investigate non-injury accidents or accidents where both cars are still operable. However, you will need to contact the police soon after the accident has occurred. It’s important that you don’t admit to any wrongdoing, but you should file a report within 24 hours.
Step 8: Contact an experienced Car Accident attorney.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for damages and/or injuries. As soon as you can, following an accident, seek an experienced Car Accident attorney and set-up a consultation to determine if you have a case.
Alleging Gross Negligence – Car Accidents
Personal Injury Lawyers » Alleging Gross Negligence – Car Accidents
Gross Negligence Theories of Liability in Car Accident Cases
When an accident is caused by certain types of extreme recklessness our attorneys are able to argue that the defendants were grossly negligent. Texas courts have longed held that grossly negligent defendants can pay punitive damages. This article will discuss common types of gross negligence in car accident cases.
As long as there have been cars there are people who have been interested in comparing their car to the next guy. We can all agree that racing can be fun, exciting and it can create an adrenalin rush, but we all can agree that responsible adults who are racing their cars is dangerous on the highways. Despite this understanding, many residents do engage in street racing and our firm has represented numerous clients who have been injured or killed when unknowingly finding their vehicle in the path of these reckless drivers. If we can illustrate that your injuries was caused by someone engaging in a race against another vehicle or a race against speed, then we may be able to illustrate that the driver was acting grossly negligent.
We all understand while driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous but it is a common practice in the area. Our attorneys have successfully argued for punitive damages and literally dozens of alcohol-related accidents. In addition to pursuing punitive damages, the applicable liability policies such as dram shop or liquor liability claims are also usually derived from these claims as well.
Texting and Driving
Texting and driving have become a new and common danger in the area. Many of the residents between school-age and adult have cell phones. Because of the increase in cell phones, many people tend to text while driving. This is a very dangerous distraction because texting requires you to use your hands and your sight. So sending a text or reading a text causes you to take your eyes off the road for seconds. Within these few seconds, an accident can occur.
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These are circumstantial gross negligence but any scenario where anyone is acting negligently under the right conditions is considered grossly negligent. It can be grossly negligent to buy an inexperienced teenage driver a high powered sports car, a senior citizen driving under the speed limit on a busy highway, or having too many people in the car.
The tricky part with gross negligence claims is liability insurance does in fact cover even extreme examples of negligence however, it does not cover criminal acts. As such, there is a fine line illustrating gross negligence by a defendant and illustrating to the insurance company the criminal acts to nullify the policy. This suitable distinction can spell the device for your case, such claims involve the experience of our attorneys.
Our law office will fight for your rights. Call our office to learn more about your potential claim and the compensation that you could be awarded. to receive a free consultation.