Car Accident Statistics in Houston, TX
Houston, Texas is the fifth-largest metropolitan area by population in the United States, with over 7 million people living in the area. The Houston metropolitan statistical area is 9,444 square miles, larger than the combined area of five states, including New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
With that many people and that much space, Houstonians spend a lot of time in their cars and commute many miles per week. With the number of drivers and miles traveled regularly, there are many opportunities for car accidents to occur.
According to TxDOT, in 2020, Houston saw 274 deaths from car accidents. Additional effects from these crashes included 1,378 significant injuries, 5,939 non-incapacitating injuries, and over 37,000 possible injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Houston, contact Willie D. Powells Law Firm today. He has successfully represented car accident victims for years and is ready to fight for your claim confidently and aggressively. Call us at (713) 766-0644 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Injuries Caused by Accidents
Accidents that are most likely to cause serious injury to drivers and passengers to include head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and t-bone collisions.
Injuries from car accidents are usually grouped into penetrating injuries and impact injuries. Penetrating injuries can include contusions or injuries from shattered glass like cuts or impalements. Impact injuries come from a part of the body slamming into a part of the car, like the head hitting a window, a passenger’s knee hitting the dashboard, or a driver’s torso hitting the steering wheel.
While penetrating injuries may be readily apparent, not all types of injuries are visible immediately. It’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. Also, keeping track of contusions, bruising, pain, and restricted movement as injuries progress is helpful evidence for your case.
Common injuries resulting from car accidents can include:
- Head injuries — Head injuries can range in severity, from minor to life-changing. Head injuries can include concussions and damage to the brain’s blood vessels. Car accidents can also cause traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, that can permanently affect physical and mental function.
- Soft-tissue injuries — Soft-tissue damage includes injuries to the body’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash is a common soft-tissue injury in a car accident when the head is thrust back and forth quickly, resulting in damage to the neck.
- Scrapes and cuts — Scrapes and cuts typically occur when an item in the vehicle’s cab or even broken glass from a shattered window hits someone in the face, head, legs, or arms. Cuts and scrapes can also range in severity, from minor abrasions to deep gashes that could leave permanent scars.
- Chest injuries — The ribs and abdomen can be badly bruised, and internal injuries can require emergency surgery. Chest injuries can involve internal bleeding and are often caused by a forceful collision with the steering wheel. Seatbelts can also cause chest injuries.
- Broken bones — Broken bones are common in car accidents. These injuries can range from fractures that may heal on their own to major compound breaks that can penetrate the skin. These more severe breaks can require surgery and then physical therapy.
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries Caused by Negligence
When determining fault for an accident and who is responsible for compensation, Texas uses a modified form of comparative negligence. This means your compensation could be reduced if you are partially at fault for the accident.
The legal standard assumes a driver will use reasonable care to avoid hitting and possibly injuring another driver or injuring pedestrians or passengers. Failure to use reasonable care can result in the driver being found liable for the injured party’s damages, both to the person and property.
Negligence can become the central issue in any car accident where there is a dispute between the two drivers and their insurance companies. The specific questions when determining fault and negligence can include:
- Speeding — This does not mean drivers must just obey the speed limit. It also means drivers must consider the weather, road construction, or any other factor that can reasonably be considered important to driving safely.
- Distracted Driving — Drivers must be alert to everything on the road, including traffic, and other factors. Negligence can include distraction from a conversation, the radio, or texting. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents.
- Vehicle Use — Failing to maintain the car and not driving safely, for example, by leaving skid marks intentionally on the road, can also be judged to be negligent. Even momentarily, if the car is not in control, that can be construed as negligent driving.
In Texas, damages are court-ordered awards for personal injuries, property damage as well as associated expenses. Compensation can involve damages to the victim’s car, medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
If you were involved in a car accident, there are several steps to take to protect your rights. These steps include:
- Call 911 – As soon as you can after the accident happens, call 911. When the police arrive, they will draft an initial police report that contains important information like damages to the vehicles, injuries incurred by those involved in the accident, contact information from any witnesses, and an initial determination of fault. If you file a personal injury claim, you’ll need a copy of the police report.
- Seek medical attention – Seeking medical attention as soon as you can after an accident is essential. Some injuries don’t immediately show up after a crash. A doctor can provide a comprehensive medical exam with written proof of your injuries. Insurance companies also typically require you to be evaluated within 72 hours of an accident. If you’re not seen by a medical professional during that timeframe, the insurance company could use that as a reason to deny your claim.
- Gather evidence – Taking pictures of the scene of the accident as well as physical injuries will be helpful evidence for your claim. Asking bystanders who may have witnessed the crash for their contact information is beneficial as well.
- Keep track of important documents – Have all your medical records, affected pay stubs, etc. on hand after the accident. A personal injury lawyer will use these documents to determine your financial losses.
- Keep a pain journal – A journal like this can be used to quantify non-financial losses like pain and suffering as well as the effects of physical pain from the injuries.
- Don’t post on social media – Avoid posting about the accident on social media. Insurance companies can use anything posted on social media to undermine your claim.
Why Hire Willie D. Powells?
Willie D. Powells is a Houston personal injury attorney who gets real-world results for his clients. He has negotiated settlements with many Texas insurance companies and is primarily motivated by concern for his client’s health and financial compensation after an accident. Call (713) 766-0644 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.