Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury in the U.S. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to avoid an accident, no matter how diligently you drive, when another driver makes judgment errors or drives negligently.
At The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC in Houston, we help people who have been injured in car accidents through someone else’s negligence. You are not just another number at our firm. We are always available to our clients by text, phone, or email.
Car Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides the following data for 2015, the most recent year for which both injury and fatality statistics are available:
- 32,529 fatal motor vehicle accidents occurred, resulting in 35,485 fatalities
- 2,443,000 people were injured in traffic crashes in the U.S.
- 97 people were killed and 6,693 were injured per day
- 9,350 fatal crashes were alcohol related
- Speeding was a factor in 27% (9,723) of all traffic deaths
Why Choose The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC?
Willie D. Powells is different – not your average personal injury lawyer. He is a tough advocate for Houston people hurt in car accidents. We work to maximize your experience, fight vehemently for your rights, and treat every client like an individual.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents?
The two broad categories of car accident injuries are:
- Impact injuries: Usually caused when the person’s body hits a part of the car interior; and
- Penetrating injuries: Lacerations and abrasions from shattering glass or flying loose objects inside the vehicle.
Common car accident injuries include:
- Head injuries: An unexpected stop or change of direction in a crash can cause impact of the head with an object or sudden, unnatural movement of the head.
- Chest injuries: Contusions, fractures, and internal injuries can occur when the body is thrown forward against a shoulder harness or seat belt or collides with the steering wheel or dashboard.
- Arm and leg injuries: Fractures, sprains, bruises, and cuts to the arms and legs occur when the body is thrown around in a crash.
- Soft tissue injuries: Damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments occurs in many forms, including whiplash – injury to the neck and upper back caused by a sudden whip-like motion of the head and neck in a collision.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work?
If your case is settled with the insurance company, the settlement will be paid out in one lump sum. Unlike jury awards, insurance settlements are not itemized. Your medical bills and attorney fees are paid out of your settlement, and the remainder goes in your pocket.
Comparative Fault for Car Accidents in Texas
Car accident cases are not that simple, even if the other driver was clearly at fault. Like many other states, Texas follows a modified comparative fault 51% bar rule. This means that a person injured in an automobile accident cannot recover damages if he or she is found to be 51% or more at fault for the wreck.
The good news is that you may be able to recover compensation, even if you were at fault to some degree for the accident, provided your fault is found to be 50% or less. The best thing to do is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney after a traffic crash with injuries.
Comparative Fault Can Reduce Your Recovery
Car accident victims who are found to be 50% or less at fault for the accident have their recovery reduced by their assigned degree of fault. For example, a person awarded $100,000 in damages who was found to be 30% at fault for the accident would have his or her recovery reduced to $70,000.
Why You Need an Attorney for a Car Accident with Injuries
Modified comparative fault in Texas provides parties at fault for accidents and their insurance companies with a way to reduce or avoid payouts. To protect their own bottom line, they will argue tenaciously that the victim was at fault for the accident to a greater degree.
Arguments to Establish Comparative Fault
To establish a greater degree of comparative fault on the part of the victim, the defendant must show that the injured party was negligent in a way that contributed to the accident. Negligence that did not contribute to the crash has no bearing on comparative fault. Insurance companies and their attorneys have been known to argue that the injured party was:
- Speeding while driving a vehicle involved in the accident
- Riding with a driver known to be drunk, drowsy, or reckless
- Riding in a vehicle known to be defective
- Distracting the driver or interfering with the operation of the vehicle