Car Accidents

CAR ACCIDENTS IN HOUSTON

Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, particularly if you are injured and without fault. With only 1% of all Harris County tracts being “location efficient neighborhoods” located close to jobs and transportation options, it is no wonder that four out of five Houston area residents commute about 30 minutes one way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 6.5 million police-reported motor vehicle accidents occurred in the United States in 2017, involving about 15.8 million individuals. Close to 30% of these collisions resulted in personal injuries, leading many to consider their options in the wake of unnerving auto accidents.

COMMON CAUSES OF CAR ACCIDENTS

As an experienced car accident law firm, we have seen many factors contribute to car accidents in Houston. In fact, Houston ranks first for deadliest roads in the country. Among the many causes of car accidents are:

  • Speeding
  • Alcohol and other intoxication
  • Driver inattention
  • Changing lanes when unsafe
  • Failure to observe traffic signals
  • Failure to engage headlights at night
  • Tailgating and failure to control the speed
  • Failure to stop or yield

WHAT SHOULD I DO RIGHT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

Your first priority should be your health. If you are severely injured at the accident site, call an ambulance and seek professional medical attention. If possible, gather the other driver’s contact and insurance information, which will help resolve the matter. Take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle, the other driver’s vehicle, and your injuries. Consider calling Houston area law enforcement. The resulting crash report will document the accident and allow you an opportunity to share your version of the story through a statement taken by the investigating officer. If law enforcement does not dispatch an officer to the scene, complete a driver’s crash report, sometimes called a “blue form.” You may complete a driver’s crash report here: https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/traffic/law-enforcement/crash-reports.html. Finally, mind your words at the accident site. Insurance companies will scrutinize your language at the scene to assess fault.

WHAT INJURIES MIGHT I HAVE SUFFERED FROM MY CAR ACCIDENT?

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in our country. In fact, Americans incur over one million days of hospitalization every year from auto accidents. Common car accident injuries include:

  • Neck injuries:  These are among the most common car accident injuries and include herniated and fractured cervical discs, soft tissue strains, and whiplash. Neck injuries occur due to the rapid back and forth movement caused by a sudden change in motion.
  • Back injuries: Back injuries are also among the most common car accident injuries. These include herniated and fractured thoracic and lumbar discs, soft tissue strains, and ligament sprains. Like neck injuries, back injuries occur due to the rapid back and forth movement caused by a sudden change in motion.
  • Brain and head injuries: Though less common than neck and back injuries, brain and head injuries include traumatic brain injuries, subdural hematomas, lacerations, fractured or broken skull, and chipped teeth. These injuries occur when a driver or passenger’s head strikes another object or person inside the vehicle or, in the event of catastrophic accidents, when the collision’s force ejects a driver or passenger from the vehicle.
  • Rib and collarbone injuries: These injuries include fractured, bruised, and broken ribs and collarbones and occur when a driver’s chest impacts the steering wheel or when a passenger’s chest collides with the dashboard. These injuries may even occur when one’s body rapidly and suddenly presses against the shoulder belt.
  • Lower body injuries: Lower body injuries may occur when one’s knees forcefully strike the lower steering wheel, center console, or any other interior vehicle component. These injuries vary from lacerations and bruises to broken bones.
  • Psychological injuries: While most car accident injuries manifest physically, psychological injuries, though rare, may also result from the most catastrophic accidents. For example, some accident victims involved in truly severe wrecks can no longer sleep for long periods of time or experience violent hallucinations when inside the driver’s seat of a vehicle. These disturbances require assessment and treatment by mental health professionals.

Some symptoms may not begin until hours or even days after a car accident. This delayed onset makes prompt medical treatment imperative.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

Car accident victims face two options: risk it alone or recruit a sophisticated, smart attorney. Insurance companies are not on your side and insurance adjusters do not prioritize your wellbeing. Insurance companies frequently exploit those without extensive knowledge of the industry and our legal system by swiftly offering low settlement sums before the victim can obtain legal counsel. Sadly, many unrepresented victims accept these paltry offers without realizing they may achieve a far superior resolution by hiring a knowledgeable attorney.

A smart, diligent lawyer can achieve a superior resolution of your case while you concentrate on treatment and recovery. In the hands of Diab Law Firm, you will receive zealous advocacy, personalized attention, and advice every step of the way. You will owe nothing unless we win your case.

WHAT CAN I RECOVER WITH THE HELP OF MY CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER?

A severe car accident can impact many aspects of a victim’s life, from personal relationships to health. Among the damages Diab Law Firm will help you recover are:

  • Medical and treatment expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of lifestyle changes

Call to discuss your individualized damage model. The consultation is free.

FAQ’s

Why hire a personal injury attorney?

Hiring a sophisticated car accident attorney significantly advantages you in negotiating with insurance companies. In fact, many insurance companies quickly extend low offers or entirely deny liability hoping that you will take the offer or entirely dismiss any recovery before and without consulting an attorney. Hiring an experienced attorney demonstrates that you mean business, and Diab Law Firm will strive to maximize existing offers and reverse denials of liability.

How much do you charge?

Diab Law Firm charges nothing up-front, and you will not pay anything unless the Firm wins your case. The Firm will advance all costs, even the cost of litigation, so you will never go out-of-pocket for your case.

What can I recover in my personal injury claim?

A skilled attorney will construct a damage model for your case and can help you recover the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering

Call to discuss your individualized damage model. The consultation will be free.

How long will it take to resolve my case?

It depends. The length of a case turns on many factors, such as the facts of the accident, the insurance companies involved, the extent of injuries, whether litigation is required, and many other factors.

Do I have a case?

You might. The viability of each case depends on factors too numerous to list here. Please call for a free, no-obligation case assessment.

The insurance company is denying my claim. Can you still help?

Very possibly so. The expertise of an attorney with knowledge of the industry and of our justice system can turn the tides in your favor. Contact Diab Law Firm to see if we can turn your claim denial into another successful case.

I did not feel pain at the accident scene, but I feel pain now. Is this normal?

Yes, this is normal. The pain associated with car accidents commonly does not begin until the evening, the day after the accident, or even multiple days after the accident. This delayed onset makes prompt treatment imperative.

I did not call the police at the accident scene. Do I still have a case?

You might. Calling the police at the accident scene can be helpful because it prompts the dispatched officer to write a crash report. While crash reports constitute useful documentation of the accident and may help resolve a case, the lack of a crash report does not necessarily doom your case. Many cases have been resolved without the assistance of a crash report. Call to see if your case may be one of them.

There is a mistake on the crash report or the crash report faults me instead of the other driver. Do I still have a case?

Though not usually helpful, mistakes on crash reports do not necessarily doom your case. A sophisticated attorney can help you overcome crash report errors. Contact Diab Law Firm to learn if your case can succeed despite an error on your crash report.

Will my case go to court?

Probably not. The Firm strives to resolve cases as early as possible to minimize expenses and help clients quickly. Though Diab Law Firm prepares every case for the possibility of trial, most cases, even those that require some litigation, do not proceed to trial.

Should I return to work?

This question invokes both legal and medical issues. Under Texas law, a claimant generally bears a duty to mitigate damages. In other words, you probably should return to work if you can. However, if your doctor issues instructions limiting your motions at work or prohibiting you from working altogether due to medical necessity, your duty to mitigate under the law does not obligate you to continue working in the same way or at all, respectively. Always request your doctor’s instructions in writing.

References:

“Police-Reported Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes in 2017.” U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, April 2019, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812696.

“Help Us, Help You: What to Do in a Minor Traffic Accident.” Houston Police Department, 10 November 2014, https://www.houstontx.gov/police/nr/2014/nov/nr141110-1.htm.

“Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data.” U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, September 2014, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812070.

“Accessing Opportunity: Employment and Commuting Patterns among Low-, Medium- and High-Wage Workers in Houston.” Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research, October 2018, https://kinder.rice.edu/sites/g/files/bxs1676/f/documents/FINAL%20KI%20Research%20Report-LEHD%205.pdf.

Barned-Smith, St. John, and Dug Begley. “Out of Control: Houston’s roads, drivers are country’s most deadly.” Houston Chronicle, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/article/Houston-s-roads-drivers-are-nation-s-most-12865072.php?utm_campaign=twitter-premium&utm_source=CMS%20Sharing%20Button&utm_medium=social.

“Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries: Costly but Preventable.” Centers for Disease Control, October 2014, https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/crash-injuries/index.html.

Zikel, Ofer M. “The First Steps of Recover After a Car Accident.” Aurora Health Care, 25 July 2018, https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/patients-visitors/blog/the-first-steps-of-recovery-after-a-car-accident.

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