Each year, more than 2.5 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents in the United States alone. These car accidents range from minor bumps to severe frontal collisions that leave victims with life-threatening injuries.
It is important that you seek legal representation immediately after a car accident. At Hernandez Law Group, PC , our experienced personal injury attorneys have a long track record of caring for auto accident victims. You should receive full compensation for your injuries, vehicle damage, and other damages so that you don’t have to bear financial hardships after the accident. Additionally, you deserve to be compensated for pain and suffering during and after the accident. The attorneys at Hernandez Law Group have a proven track record of ensuring that their clients receive full compensation for their damages, and we will ensure that you obtain the best outcome for your case.
Common Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen at any time, and you may not always be able to anticipate them. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Reach collisions
- Side accidents
- Frontal car accidents
- Automobile hit-and-run collisions
- Collisions between multiple cars
- Rollover accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Semi-trailer accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
It is important to stay calm after a car accident and make sure you follow all of these steps:
- Move your car (if you can safely do so). It is much more important to get off the road than to stay right where the accident occurred. This way, you and other drivers will be safer. Of course, if you can’t move your vehicle after the accident due to major damage or your impact injuries, don’t worry about doing so. In either case, be sure to turn on your hazard lights.
- Look at the other driver and the passengers. It is important to make sure that no one was seriously injured after the accident. If anyone is (including you), call an ambulance right away.
- Call the police. Once you’ve gotten yourself to safety and searched the others, it’s time to call the police to file a report.
- Gather information about the crash. While you wait for the police to arrive, you should gather as much information as possible about the car accident. This will help you when you are reporting the accident to the police. This information may include the names of drivers and passengers, license plate numbers, the other driver’s insurance information, vehicle makes and models, witness statements and contact information for any witnesses, and the location of the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Use your cell phone to record all damages after the accident.
- Call an attorney. Many people think that the next step is to call their insurance company. However, insurance companies are notorious for distorting words and giving people as little money as possible for their accident. The attorneys at Hernandez Law Group will be there to help you receive the full amount you deserve, both from the other driver and from the insurance company.
- Visit a healthcare professional. After an accident, you should always see a doctor to help you check your injuries. Even if you think you don’t have an injury, you need to go to the hospital because certain injuries (such as traumatic brain injuries) don’t present right away.
How to File a Car Accident Police Report in Texas
After a car accident, it is best to file your report with the officer who appears at the scene of the accident. However, in some cities, you also have the option of filing the report after the fact with the Texas Department of Transportation . If the damage is minor, you are not legally required to hire a car accident lawyer.
Remember that filing a police car accident report does not require you to file an insurance claim; therefore, you must file a report even if you and the other driver are considering a settlement without involving the insurance company.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association , some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Lack of vehicle maintenance
- Inadequate surveillance
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Don’t keep your distance
- Distraction or inattention
- Driving aggressively
- Tiredness or falling asleep at the wheel
- Driving maneuver not allowed
- Driving while intoxicated
Theories of Responsibility
Liability theories help determine who is responsible for your injuries and for the damage to your car. In some cases, more than one theory of liability may apply, so multiple parties may be held liable for your damages. The most common liability theories applied to automobile accident cases are:
- Negligence, or direct liability. The most common cause of car accidents is negligence (also known as direct liability). When another driver drives your vehicle unsafe, their negligence can lead to you being involved in a car accident. Whether it’s for speeding, not keeping your distance, not paying attention, or engaging in other negligent behavior , they are liable for your damages. To overcome damages you should consult a car accident lawyer.
- Respondeat Superior (vicarious responsibility). Respondeat Superior is the theory of responsibility that holds employers accountable for the actions of their employees. If you are hit by a trailer, tow truck, or company vehicle, you may be able to hold both the operator of the vehicle and your employer responsible for your damages.
- Responsibility for defective products. In certain cases, a defective vehicle or part can influence or cause the accident. Defective parts can also lead to exacerbation of injuries, such as failure to activate airbags. In these cases, the vehicle manufacturer can be held totally or partially responsible for your car accident.
Common Injuries in Car Accidents
A car accident can cause a wide variety of serious injuries. Some of these are:
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Scrapes and cuts
- Internal bleeding
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
After a car accident, there are several types of damages for which you may be entitled to compensation. These include:
- Property damage. You deserve compensation for any damage to your vehicle after a car accident. Additionally, you will also be able to receive compensation for any other items in your vehicle that were damaged in the accident.
- Medical bills. You are likely to be injured after being in a car accident. These injuries can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills, which you deserve to recover.
- Loss of income. While you are recovering from the injuries you sustain in a car accident, you may lose income, for which you deserve compensation.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages include any type of physical or mental suffering that you suffer after an accident.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, you may be entitled to punitive compensation after a car accident. These damages are designed to punish the entity or individual that caused the accident for their reckless or negligent behavior.
- Mental anguish If a loved one is killed in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the mental anguish they suffer.
Mandatory Vehicle Insurance in Texas
The only type of auto insurance required in Texas is liability insurance. These are the minimum coverages that every driver in Texas must have:
- Bodily Injury Liability: $ 30,000 for each person injured and $ 60,000 total per accident.
- Property damage liability: $ 25,000 per accident.
Optional insurance you should consider includes collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured motorist protection, and personal injury protection.