The crash statistics for the state of Texas are staggering. In 2017, more than 18,800 crashes were reported in El Paso County alone. Over 2,000 of these crashes involved injury, and 55 of the car accidents resulted in a fatality. Irresponsible and negligent motorists who cause such accidents need to be held liable for their actions. “Accidents” only happen when drivers choose to disregard the rules of the road and decide to use their cell-phone, drink and drive, or break basic traffic laws.
When these drivers and their insurance companies don’t take responsibility for the harm that they have caused, the attorneys at Chavez Law Firm step in to hold them accountable and protect the community. Chavez Law Firm is dedicated to the safety of El Paso residents and can provide exceptional representation for people who need to obtain compensation for a serious car crash.
Common Car Accident Injuries
The leading cause of traffic collisions in Texas is speeding; this is true for most states. Speeding creates a significantly shorter reaction time for both the driver and the vehicle. Driving in bad weather is dangerous to begin with, but when you speed in bad weather, your chances of getting into an accident increase exponentially.
Due to the high number of car accidents, caused by speeding or other factors, that occur each year, car collisions are the leading cause of personal injury claims in Texas and throughout the United States. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Seat belt injuries
- Airbag injuries
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Other damages can include property repair and replacement, medical bills, loss of income, and even mileage to and from doctor appointments. Anyone who has been seriously injured in an accident has every right to obtain fair compensation by filing an injury claim with the help of an El Paso car accident attorney.
How Car Accident Compensation Works in Texas
When you have been seriously injured in a car accident, there are a few things that you need to understand before you should call a lawyer about your case. You are seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries are, the more your compensation will be. Additionally, you can get economic and non-economic damages.
The economic damages are the ones that are easily calculated:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
You can typically look at medical receipts, pay wages, and lost hours in order to calculate to the penny how much money was lost.
The non-economic damages are harder to calculate and include:
- Past and future pain and suffering
Pain and suffering is a damage that does not have a dollar amount attached to it. It needs to be determined. When determining the amount of non-economic damages you are owed, there are a lot of factors that come into play. If you are not able to do the things you used to do, you cannot return to the same line of work, or you have a decrease in your quality of life, then that is taken into consideration.
Once there is a dollar amount determined, there is one more factor that goes into how much you can collect. In Texas, we follow something called modified comparative negligence, which means the role you played in causing the accident will affect your compensation award. Texas does allow you to collect an award even if you are partially at fault. The way modified comparative negligence works is as follows:
- If you are 0% at fault, your compensation is unaffected
- If you are 1% – 50% at fault, you have a reduced compensation award
- If you are more than 50% at fault, you will not be allowed to collect compensation
The fault that you have in the accident will be determined during insurance negotiations. For example, if someone was speeding a little bit while they were driving, but got hit by someone blowing a red light, they might be deemed 10% at fault. If someone with 10% fault was awarded $100,000 in damages, then it would have to be reduced to $90,000 to account for their role in the accident.
Avoid Case-Ruining Mistakes in Your Car Accident Claim
If you have sought out compensation from the liable party’s insurance company, you will likely be getting phone calls from them asking for a recorded statement from you. It is not in your best interest to give them one. When they get recorded statements from people, they are trained to ask questions in a way that could lead to that person giving an answer that could ruin their case. Anything you say, they can use against you.
To protect yourself from slipping up and saying something wrong, it is beneficial for you not to give them a recorded statement at all. You are in no way obligated to give them any kind of statement. Instead, you can have your El Paso car accident lawyer take over all communication with the insurance company. They will be able to protect your right to full and fair compensation.
Texas Car Accident Statute of Limitations
These cases can be complicated and you do not have an unlimited amount of time. Texas allows two years from the date of your car accident to bring your claim. If you do not bring your claim within two years, you will be barred from receiving compensation.
There is a lot of time sensitive stuff in a car accident claim such as evidence at the scene of the crash, testimony from the witnesses before they forget, and avoiding making mistakes that you might not know about if you don’t have a lawyer yet. The sooner you hire one of our El Paso car accident lawyers, the more successful your case will likely be.
Accidents Caused by Police Chases
If you’ve sustained injuries or damages because of a car accident that occurred during the course of a police chase, you need to fight for restitution. Whether you were hit by the fleeing suspect or your accident was caused by the pursuing officers, you should not be left to pay the consequences. Do not hesitate to reach out to one of our El Paso car accident lawyers with questions if you find yourself in this situation.
Important Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Car accidents are stressful. After a collision, it is important to stay as calm as possible and remember a few important actions.
- Call 911. Even if no one appears to be injured immediately, having police assistance will help to calm the situation.
- Get medical attention. If you are not seriously injured and don’t need to be transported to the hospital from the accident, you should still get assessed by a doctor. Some injuries may become apparent in the days following the collision. If you don’t get a doctor’s assessment, you may find it difficult to prove that your injuries actually came from the accident. Be sure to keep all documentation about all the medical care that you receive. This could be vital later on in the case.
- Don’t admit fault. The police and insurance companies may ask you a number of questions about the accident. It’s important to stick to the facts and that you don’t admit it was your fault in any way. This could be used against you when you try to claim compensation.
- Document the scene of the accident. Take pictures of everything – the damage to your car and personal property, your injuries, skid marks in the road, and the location of the accident.
- Get a copy of the police report. You have the right to get a copy of the police report. Insurance companies will often accept police reports as a credible source of information.
- Contact a lawyer. Our skilled El Paso car accident attorney can walk you through the process of filing an injury claim and protect your rights throughout your case.
CONTACT CHAVEZ LAW FIRM FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
You deserve to have strong, dedicated, and experienced representation for your case. Our El Paso car accident lawyers are here to guide you every step of the way to get you the results you need. Please call Chavez Law firm today to set up your free, initial consultation. We keep an eye toward trial for each case.