What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents, and How Can You Stay Safe?
According to TxDOT reports, there were 4,489 deaths and 239,539 injuries on Texas roads in 2021. That death toll of 4,489 increased 15.22% from the 3,896 deaths recorded in 2020.
You might be entitled to financial compensation if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. At our Law Firm, we represent accident victims as they try to get back on their feet following a devastating crash. Contact us today for a free consultation.
In 2021, 1,522 Texans were killed due to speeding. Speeding is one of the easiest things to avoid, so it causes many traffic accident injuries.
Speeding is only one form of aggressive driving. According to a study by AAA, about 80% of drivers engage in aggressive driving at least once a year. Other forms of aggressive driving can contribute to car accidents, such as:
Passing on the right-hand side
Passing without signaling
Refusing to yield the right of way
Running red lights
Some aggressive drivers are in the grips of road rage, which impairs their ability to make reasonable decisions. Look for drivers who shout profanity at you or make obscene gestures. You should give these drivers a wide berth and not escalate the situation by making eye contact or engaging in inappropriate behavior.
In 2021, there were 1,077 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This is 24.00% of the total number of people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In addition, Texas saw 25,261 overall drunk driving-related traffic crashes in 2021 — an increase of 9% from the previous year.
Texas law limits the amount of alcohol that can be in your blood. According to Texas law, drivers 21 and older cannot have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. If the driver is under 21, they cannot have alcohol in their blood. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. If you’re under 21, are asked to take a breath test, and blow anything over 0 (zilch, nada), then you’re probably looking at getting a driver’s license suspension at the very least.
Practicing effective defensive driving and avoiding accidents with intoxicated drivers is tough. Nevertheless, you can minimize your risks of a crash by following these simple tips:
*Avoid driving on days when you can anticipate many revelers are on the road. These holidays include Super Bowl Sunday, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.
*Minimize the amount of late-night driving that you do. More people drink in the evening than during the day, so it stands to reason more drunk drivers are on the road at night.
*Keep a safe distance between yourself and other cars to have enough time to react.
*Drive slightly on the right-hand side of your lane. Drunk drivers often drift into other lanes, so you give yourself a little extra room by being further to the right.
*Report suspicious driving to the authorities so that they can investigate.
*Model responsible driving for your family by never getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks.
Nationwide statistics confirm that distracted driving is a serious problem. According to government statistics, distracted drivers kill about nine people each day. Another 1,000 suffer an injury in an accident caused by distracted drivers. According to NHTSA, there were 36,096 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2019, which represented a 2% decrease from 2018 fatalities of 36,835.
Distracted driving can take many forms, including:
Talking on the phone
Reaching for something
Staring at the scenery
Arguing with someone in the car
Drivers must always keep their eyes glued to the road, especially when traveling at high speeds. If you need to speak on the phone or eat something, remember to pull over to a rest stop or even onto the shoulder of the road so that you do not pose a risk to other drivers.
Another potential cause of accidents is defective vehicles. When a vehicle malfunctions, a driver can quickly lose control of it. Common causes include:
*Defective tires that blow out
*Malfunctioning steering systems that cause drivers to lose control
*Brakes that fail
These defects can cause a car accident, leaving injured victims with devastating injuries. In these cases, the driver probably did nothing wrong. Instead, the vehicle itself is to blame for the accident. To ensure your vehicle is tip-top, create a maintenance schedule and stick to it. You should also check the most recent car recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. To check whether your vehicle has been recalled, you can search by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which you can find on your registration or on the car itself (look on the dashboard). You can also subscribe to a notification system by providing your email.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Injured motorists and their families need compensation to pay for medical expenses, replace lost wages, and repair their vehicles. If someone else is responsible for the crash, you can seek a settlement from their insurer.
At our Law Firm, our team of talented car accident lawyers has represented injured motorists like you for decades. Our client-centered approach has yielded impressive results for our clients. Fortunately, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. To start the process of seeking total compensation for your injuries, contact us today for your free, no-strings consultation. There is never any cost to you until we win compensation.
Auto Injury Lawyers: Recover Compensation for Economic and Non-Economic Losses
A skilled auto injury lawyer can help car accident victims recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
As we all know only too well, car accidents are expensive! After a severe crash, you might have to repair your car and pay for medical treatment. On top of that, bad accidents also leave victims unable to work, which only compounds the problem. Fortunately, Texas’s civil law system exists precisely to compensate victims for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. After a car accident, an auto injury lawyer can help you receive compensation for various economic and non-economic losses.
What kind of economic losses are included?
1. Medical Expenses
At our Law Firm, we sadly see clients every week who have suffered sometimes serious injuries in car accidents, including:
Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Remember that even relatively minor injuries, like cuts or sprains, can develop complications if not properly and promptly treated. For example, a cut can quickly get infected, with potentially life-threatening complications. Similarly, invisible injuries such as those to your back might appear at first to be minor but can, unfortunately, lead to lifelong chronic pain conditions.
After an accident, you can receive compensation for medical care to treat your injuries. Our clients have received money for:
Transportation to the hospital
Equipment such as wheelchairs, braces, or crutches
These economic losses are relatively easy to calculate. Hold onto all your medical bills and receipts and show them to your auto injury lawyer. And if you need continuing medical care for catastrophic injuries, you can also receive money for that care. For example, someone paralyzed might need an at-home attendant and periodic surgery in the future. The amount of future care is somewhat speculative, but a skilled personal injury lawyer can estimate the costs reasonably.
Many injuries require recovery time at home, and you can receive compensation for missed time at work. To calculate your lost income, show your attorney proof of payment, such as pay stubs, tax returns, W2 forms, or self-employment ledgers.
When serious injuries are severe, you might be unable to return to your old job. For example, someone who worked as a violin teacher will probably have to find a new job if her arm has been amputated. You can receive lost earnings capacity if your new job pays less. Lost future earnings are like future medical care, somewhat speculative.
2. Property Damage
Your vehicle probably suffered damage in the car accident. You can receive compensation to fix or replace the vehicle if it was totaled. Hold onto any repair estimates to document how much compensation is necessary to reimburse you.
What kind of NON-economic losses are included?
1. Pain and Suffering
Not all losses can easily be measured in dollars and cents. Texas car accident victims can also receive compensation for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. Consider the following:
Emotional anguish or distress
Loss of enjoyment of life
Proving non-economic losses is more complicated than economic ones. For one thing, juries can sometimes be skeptical that you are suffering from pain, so you will need high-quality evidence to convince them otherwise. Depending on the circumstances, your auto injury lawyer might present the following:
Testimony from friends or family about how your injuries have changed you
Your testimony about the pain you feel
Proof of prescription drugs to manage pain or regulate your mood
Testimony from a therapist or mental health counselor
Some of our clients also keep pain journals documenting their pain’s location and intensity daily. They can also detail how their injuries have changed their mood for the worse. A detailed pain journal is robust evidence of your non-economic losses.
Generally, more serious physical injuries will garner more compensation for non-economic losses. For example, someone fully paralyzed will receive more than someone who broke their arm. Nevertheless, no two cases are exactly alike, and your lawyer will analyze all relevant facts to estimate the number of damages you can receive.
2. Loss of Consortium
After a car accident, your spouse might also have a legal compensation claim. He or she can bring a case for “loss of consortium,” which is the legal term for adverse changes to your marriage, such as:
Loss of companionship
Loss of guidance
Loss of moral support
Loss of instruction
Loss of sexual intimacy
The Texas Supreme Court has allowed children to bring a loss of consortium claim when their parents have suffered disabling, serious, and permanent injuries. Children can suffer the loss of love, protection, emotional support, care, and services when a parent is severely injured, and they deserve compensation.
3. Punitive Damages
Compensation for economic and non-economic losses makes you “whole.” However, punitive damages have a different purpose. They are intended to punish a defendant for egregious or dangerous conduct. If you win punitive damages, you get to keep them in addition to your compensatory damages.
Not everyone qualifies to receive punitive damages in a car accident. Texas outlines the circumstances in which you can pursue punitive damages. For car accidents, you might qualify if you have clear and convincing evidence that the driver intentionally harmed you or exhibited a conscious disregard for your safety. Please ask your attorney whether or not you may qualify for punitive damages.
One common situation where you might qualify for punitive damages is if a drunk driver injures you. Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated exhibits a lack of regard for other people’s safety, and you can punish them by pursuing punitive damages.
4. Wrongful Death
If a loved one dies in a car accident, some survivors can bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. Texas law specifies that the deceased person’s:
or one or more of those individuals on behalf of them all—are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state’s civil courts
Speak with an Auto Injury Lawyer Today
After a severe car accident, our clients come to us worried about whether they can provide for themselves and their families. At our Law Firm, we have built our reputation fighting for injured victims just like you. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will be happy to explain your options, and remember that there is no cost to you as we handle all cases on contingency.