A car accident often leaves people shaken up but otherwise unharmed. Unfortunately, there are too many cases where an accident does cause serious–even fatal–injuries to innocent people. And that is generally when the legal system needs to step in and help provide compensation.
The last thing that most accident victims want to think about is filing a lawsuit. But as your costs start to mount following a crash–medical bills, lost income, repairing your car–you realize that you need help. And if a negligent driver was responsible for your accident, you have a right to demand appropriate compensation. Lawyer Keith B. French can help. He is an experienced Texas personal injury litigator who knows how to advocate for clients and obtain significant financial results on their behalf.
The Importance of Fault in a Texas Auto Accident Case
Texas is what is considered a “fault” state when it comes to auto accidents. This means that you are not required to seek coverage for an accident from your own auto insurer first, as you would be in a no-fault state. So a negligent driver can be held 100 percent responsible for any losses that you suffer in a car accident.
Of course, your own insurance company may still play a role. Many Texas drivers often carry just the bare minimum of coverage required by law. This is frequently far too little to fully compensate an accident victim, especially if they require extensive medical care. In such situations, your own insurance company may be liable for any excess damages if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
It is also important to keep in mind that even if you know the other driver was at-fault for your accident, they may not be so willing to admit liability upfront. Texas also follows a “modified comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases. What this means is that the other driver can try to argue that you were partly–or even completely–to blame for causing the accident. If your case goes to trial, a jury will then allocate fault between all parties based on percentages. Your total compensation would then be reduced to account for your percentage of fault. (And under Texas’ modified rule, you take nothing if you are more than 50 percent responsible.)
Contact Keith B. French Law Today
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations in personal injury cases. This generally means that you have two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent parties. This might sound like a lot of time, but in practice there are a number of things that need to be done before a case can be filed. This includes investigating all of the potential defendants and negotiating a possible settlement with an insurance company.
A skilled Pearland car accident lawyer can assist you throughout this process. So if you have been injured in an accident and need advice on what steps to take next to secure your rights under the law, contact the Law Office of Keith B. French, PLLC, today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Four Key Elements Of Car Accident Claims – Explained
As a Pearland car accident lawyer will share, facing the aftermath of a car accident can be challenging because victims will need to contend with recovering from their injuries, managing the financial challenges that may follow, and potential legalities involved with seeking compensation. Car crashes are among the most common types of personal injury accidents and can happen for a variety of reasons that, include:
- Drunk Driving
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Driving at High Speeds
- Driving Fatigued
- Poor Driving Conditions
When victims suffer damages from car accidents that were the fault of another party, victims and their lawyers from Keith B. French Law, PLLC will need to prove negligence on the part of the at-fault party. Proving negligence requires four key elements to reach a successful outcome. The following are the necessary elements victims must prove to receive compensation for the damages they have suffered:
Element #1: Duty of Care
When a person gets behind the wheel, there is an implied duty of care, meaning that they will operate the vehicle responsibly and do everything in their power to prevent an accident or causing harm to another person. When a plaintiff pursues a car accident claim, they are responsible for proving that the responsible party did not act as they should have or behaved negligently. As a result of their actions, they ultimately caused the accident. A Pearland car accident lawyer will work closely with their clients to gather evidence, investigate the accident, and ultimately prove a breach in the driver’s duty of care.
Element #2: Breach of Duty of Care
Once a lawyer has proved that a duty of care was owed, they will work to prove that there was a breach of the duty of care. A breach is when a driver’s actions fell below the standard of care owed when operating a motor vehicle. As mentioned above, when a duty of care is owed, and a breach occurs, it is when the driver in question has failed to act responsibly and, in some situations, has failed to adhere to the rules of the road.
Element #3: Causation
Another component of proving negligence is causation. Causation is the notion that the injuries suffered by the victim were the direct result of the accident and the defendant’s inability to uphold the duty of care owed. Essentially, this is the relationship between the at-fault party and the injuries that the car accident victim sustained. All elements to proving negligence tie together; while a person may have had a duty of care that was breached, the plaintiff must also prove that their injuries were the result of this breach which is why it’s so imperative that victims seek immediate medical care after an accident has occurred.
Element #4: Damages
Damages are a legal way of compensating a person who has suffered from an accident, essentially helping the victim to be made whole. It’s not enough to prove that a party was negligent. One key piece to seeking legal action is proving that damages resulted from the accident. Meaning that after the accident, the victim suffered injuries or losses that the victim should be compensated for. Damages can take on many forms, including physical pain, medical expenses, property loss, and more.
Damages from a car accident can be minor, but it’s important to note that even minor injuries can result in long-term physical pain in such situations. Severe injuries can be debilitating and forever change a person’s ability to live the life they once did. It can be difficult for victims to know what legal steps should be taken after a car accident, especially considering the harsh reality that they will be consumed with their injury recovery. Because of this, scheduling a consultation with an area lawyer will be one of the best decisions a person can make for themselves. When victims meet with our firm, Keith B. French Law, PLLC, they will have access to a Pearland car accident lawyer who can take the lead, allowing victims to put their recovery first. Not only will our firm work to keep the interests of their clients at the forefront, but they will also fight for much-needed compensation after the losses that have been experienced.
Pearland Car Accident Infographic
Getting Into Texas Car Accidents
As a trusted Pearland car accident lawyer understands, rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of car accidents in Texas. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including distracted driving, following too closely, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are involved in a rear-end accident, it is important to know what steps to take to protect yourself and your rights. Call Keith B. French Law, PLLC for a consultation now.
How common are rear-end accidents in Texas?
Rear-end accidents are very common in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019, there were 27,037 rear-end crashes in Texas, resulting in 97 fatalities and 17,552 injuries. The most common causes of rear-end accidents in Texas are distracted driving, following too closely, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What should I do if I am involved in a rear-end accident in Texas?
If you are involved in a rear-end accident in Texas, you should first make sure that everyone is okay and call 911 if anyone is injured. Additionally, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver, and take photos of the damage to both vehicles. It is also a good idea to file a police report, even if the damage is minor. It is also a good idea to contact your Pearland car accident lawyer sooner after the accident.
What are the penalties for causing a rear-end accident in Texas?
The penalties for causing a rear-end accident in Texas can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. If the accident resulted in injury or death, the driver may face criminal charges or wrongful death charges. In addition, the driver may be held liable for any damages resulting from the accident. Further, you can sue the other driver for damages if you were rear-ended in Texas. You may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a rear-end accident in Texas?
In Texas, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for a rear-end accident. However, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you meet all the deadlines and requirements for filing a lawsuit.
Do I need a lawyer for a rear-end accident in Texas?
While you are not required to have a lawyer for a rear-end accident in Texas, it is highly recommended. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and maximize your chances of recovering fair compensation for your damages.
Rear-end accidents are a common occurrence in Texas and can have serious consequences for those involved. If you are involved in a rear-end accident, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights. This includes seeking medical attention if needed, exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver, filing a police report, and consulting with an experienced lawyer. Reach out to Keith B. French Law, PLLC to speak with our Pearland car accident lawyer now.
Reasons To Hire An Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a recent car accident and have suffered major injuries and losses, you may want to explore your legal options by speaking to a car accident lawyer who has experience handling cases such as head-on collisions, drunk driving, and wrong-way accidents at Keith B. French Law, PLLC. A car accident case can be a challenge to resolve, especially if your case has particularly challenging or unique elements, such as catastrophic injuries or multiple parties are involved. To improve your chances of success, you need to be able to have a strong understanding of your legal rights and how you can best navigate your case. There are several reasons that hiring a car accident lawyer can benefit you.
Receive Legal Assistance
A lawyer who has experience can complete all of the tasks that you need to do for your personal injury case. In many cases, personal injury cases are highly complex. Providing that negligence can be a challenge. You can depend on a lawyer to give you the support you need with your case. They can assist you with tasks such as filing your paperwork, analyzing your evidence, speaking to expert witnesses and providing support if your case goes to trial. If you experience any issues throughout your case, a lawyer can be there to find solutions so that you can resolve the issues and move forward.
Learn Your Legal Rights
Not many people have knowledge about their legal rights, especially concerning car accidents. The typical person does not have a deep knowledge of the law. And when you are pursuing legal action against a party who is at fault, you will need as much information as possible. Knowing your rights can help you make smarter, more informed decisions as you can figure out how to navigate your case.
Avoid Critical Errors
When you have a car accident lawyer to advocate for you throughout your unique case, you are more likely to avoid making common errors that many claimants usually make when working on a personal injury case. Even basic mistakes such as paperwork errors or failing to submit certain types of evidence can result in serious consequences. If you have a lawyer to help you make the right decisions and give you the information that you need, you will be able to smoothly go through your case without experiencing serious issues.
Increase Your Settlement Amount
Having a personal injury lawyer working on your case can greatly improve your final settlement amount. They are highly familiar with what a fair settlement offer looks like, so if you receive any offers by the insurance company, they can do a complete evaluation.
No matter what kind of car accident that you have been in, you can depend on an experienced lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights. You deserve a fair settlement if you have been in a devastating car accident. If you are planning to file a claim, do not wait to contact a skilled car accident lawyer at Keith B. French Law, PLLC today.