A car accident lawyer in Austin can help you recover compensation after a crash. Here we go over car accident causes, types, damages, and how an attorney can help.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of Austin, Texas’s leading causes of physical injuries and death. Texas recorded 12,107 severe injury crashes in 2020, with 14,660 people sustaining severe injuries. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, you might still get in an accident due to the negligence of other road users.
While we cannot insulate ourselves from accident injuries, we can control what happens afterward. When these accidents occur, an experienced Austin car accident lawyer can help you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Austin, Texas, you need to know what to expect, your rights, and how to recover compensation. But, most importantly, you should know how a car accident lawyer in Austin can help with your case. Contact us at Herring Law Firm if you need help with your injury claim.
What Are the Different Types of Car Accidents?
Generally, auto accidents involve either a single vehicle or two or more automobiles. As a result, there are different types of car accidents, and we’ll discuss them below.
Rear-ended accidents happen when a car collides with another from behind. This often happens when a car follows another too closely (tailgating). Generally, drivers must maintain a safe following distance, at least three to five seconds.
So, a rear driver who fails to do this will typically be at fault for any traffic accident. However, proving who is at fault in a rear-end accident is challenging. An experienced car accident lawyer in Austin can help show that you were not responsible for the crash.
A sideswipe collision occurs when a car’s side collides with another vehicle’s side. It is common on roads without barriers and during lane changes. A sideswipe crash is also common in truck accidents due to commercial vehicles’ blind spots. In such cases, the motorist who didn’t exercise due care would be the responsible party.
A T-bone crash most often occurs at intersections when one party runs a red light or fails to pay attention. The front of the at-fault driver’s car strikes the passenger or driver’s side of the victim, forming a T shape, hence the name. These accidents often cause severe traumatic injuries to the person on the side where the vehicle crashed into.
This automobile accident also happens most often at intersections. A head-on collision occurs where two cars in opposite directions on the same lane collide with each other. Usually, the wrong-way driver is the one at fault for the collision. Head-on accidents are high-impact, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or death.
What Are the Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Austin, Texas?
The primary reasons why accidents happen are carelessness or negligence. Below we listed some of the contributing factors.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes every day. That’s one person every 52 minutes. Alcohol negatively impacts the brain’s cognitive functions, affecting the driver’s focus and reflexes.
Under Texas law, a drunk driver is someone with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. It’s 0.04% for commercial drivers and zero tolerance for minors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about eight people in the United States die daily in crashes involving a distracted driver. There are three types of distractions: mental, visual, and manual.
A standard example of distracted driving is texting while driving. Other examples of distraction are eating, looking outside the car at billboards, checking GPS, etc.
In Austin, Texas, there is a speed limit drivers must follow. Therefore, a driver speeds when they travel over the posted speed limit. Speeding is a common factor in high-impact auto collisions, and those involved suffer fatal injuries or life-altering wounds.
Following Too Closely/Tailgating
Keep at least three seconds between you and other vehicles on the roadway when driving. When you fail to do this, it is considered following too closely, which is a traffic offense. In addition, if you happen upon slowed traffic and are speeding, you will be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Disobeying Traffic Signals
It is not uncommon for drivers to disobey traffic lights at intersections. When they do, it often leads to traffic collisions. Therefore, stop a few feet before the intersection when approaching a traffic light. Then, don’t move until the light turns green. Remember, driving through a four-way street when you don’t have the right of way may cause a T-bone accident.
Some other causes of car accidents are weather conditions, bad roads, fatigue or drowsy driving, and mechanical failure. To show that you were not at fault for the accident, get legal representation from an experienced car accident lawyer in Austin.
What Damages Are Available After an Austin Car Accident?
Damages are financial rewards that injured persons receive after suffering a personal injury. The responsible party or their insurance provider pays damages to the injured party. There is a pretty broad range of damages available to crash victims.
These damages can be classified as economic and non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are compensation for monetary losses that are defined or easily quantifiable. This type of compensation may be for past or future losses. Examples of economic damages in an accident claim or accident lawsuit are:
Your Austin car accident lawyer can recover the cost of medical examinations, medication, medical equipment, transportation for medical treatment, tests, and surgical operations. Ensure you see medical professionals after an accident.
Loss of Income and Loss of Future Earning Capacity
Common injuries like spinal cord injuries can temporarily or permanently prevent you from returning to work. Even when you do, your earning potential may decrease due to an impairment suffered from the injury. You may also need to switch to a lower-paying job after the injury. As a result, your Austin car accident lawyer will ask for lost income as part of your monetary compensation.
This applies in fatal car crashes where the decedent’s legal beneficiaries file a wrongful death claim. The victim’s family will receive compensation for burial and funeral expenses.
Non-economic damages are compensations that do not have fixed financial value. They are more challenging to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (loss of companionship)
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
- Damage to reputation
Punitive damages are compensation that an at-fault party pays as a punishment for negligent or malicious behavior. While these kinds of damages are rare, the courts have the discretion to apply them, but only if your car Austin car accident lawyer asks for them.
How Does an Auto Accident Lawsuit Work in Texas?
Texas is an at-fault state. This means that the persons responsible for the injury or their insurance companies are liable to pay compensation. The insurance company can either agree to a negotiated settlement with you or decide to challenge your claim in court.
You can prove your case at the negotiation table or in the courtroom by showing the negligent party’s fault. You will also need to prove that you are demanding reasonable compensation by providing the following:
- Police reports
- Medical bills and receipts of medical expenses
- Cell phone records
- Image, voice, or video recordings of the accident scene
- Eyewitness or expert witness testimonies
Your degree of fault also determines how much compensation you can receive. For example, if you should get $100,000 for an accident you are 20% responsible for, your compensation will reduce to $80,000. This comes under the Texas comparative fault rule.
Why Would You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Austin?
It is within your rights to pursue an auto accident claim, and you may choose to commence the legal process yourself. However, there are several reasons why hiring an Austin car accident lawyer can be a good decision. We listed some of them below.
Handling Your Case With More Accuracy
Your lawyer’s experience is an added advantage in pursuing a personal injury claim. Previous cases provide attorneys with superior knowledge. Also, an attorney will reduce or eliminate the chances of avoidable errors in your claim.
Speeding Up Your Claim
Speed matters in personal injury cases. While it is true that it can take up to or over a year to finalize, experienced car accident lawyers can usually get the job done faster than a victim working by themselves.
Legal processes can be tedious, especially if you are new to the terrain. From investigation to filing court papers, there is a lot of hassle that an Austin car accident lawyer can handle on your behalf.
Securing Maximum Compensation
Many lawyers are skilled negotiators. Also, lawyers most likely have better training for legal representation than you will. Therefore, you risk getting less than fair compensation if you decide to represent yourself.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Austin, Texas?
Texas law doesn’t perpetually preserve your right to compensation. Barring a few exceptions, you can only file a valid auto accident lawsuit if you do so within two years from the date of the occurrence. This limit is called the Statute of Limitations. Failure to file your claim within the Statute of Limitations amounts to forfeiting your compensation.
How Much Do Lawyers Take From the Accident Settlement?
A vast majority of Texas car accident lawyers charge a contingency fee. This arrangement allows you to pay a certain percentage (usually between 33 and 40 percent) from your compensation amount only if you win. Your lawyer doesn’t get any upfront payment. So, if they lose your case, your attorney doesn’t get paid at all.
Your car accident lawyer in Austin will charge contingency fee percentages based on the complexity and risks involved in your case. However, you should note that there are litigation costs your lawyer may charge either upfront or from your compensation. These include court filing fees, deposition costs, and the cost of an investigation.
There are other payment methods besides the contingency fee. For example, some lawyers charge flat rates or by the hour. Make sure to iron out fee payment structures before hiring a lawyer.
Get Legal Help From an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Austin
Do you need a personal injury law firm to help you get maximum monetary compensation for accident injuries? Herring Law Firm has built a reputation as a reliable ally to accident victims in a legal battle for monetary compensation. We have won millions of dollars in financial compensation through our extensive experience and aggressive representation.
Our law office will provide an experienced car accident lawyer in Austin to handle your case. We also work on a contingency fee basis so you don’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket. Book a free consultation with us today and get the help you need.