A car accident can have detrimental and life-changing outcomes for anyone involved. It may result in severe injuries to victims and possibly long-term disability that derails an individual’s future.
Car wrecks can happen anywhere on any occasion. But the combination of road hazards, driver behavior, and commercial traffic have created conditions that make individuals more vulnerable to accidents.
Having the most dangerous roads, Texas was unsurprisingly among the top 5 states with fatal car crashes in 2020. As the 8th largest city in Texas, Corpus Christi has access to many high-traffic and unsafe large highways.
That could increase the risks of getting involved in an accident and sustaining a serious injury in the city and across Texas. Suppose you get hurt in an auto accident because of someone else’s negligence. In that case, you can pursue damages for your injuries and other losses.
Because it is a comparative fault jurisdiction, Texas drivers who are entirely or partially (50%) at fault must take responsibility. This allows injured individuals to collect damages even if they contributed to the accident to some extent.
You can file a lawsuit and get compensation if you’re 50% or less at fault in the accident. However, your percentage of fault will reduce the amount you may be entitled to recover.
A Corpus Christi car accident lawyer can assist you or your loved ones in obtaining fair compensation after being hurt in a crash. Learn how they can advocate for your best interests while you’re focusing on your car accident recovery.
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Car Accident Rates in Corpus Christi
Texas roadways appear unusually dangerous based on statistics, whether it’s Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or Corpus Christi. There were no deathless days on its highways in 2021.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported one motor vehicle accident happens every 57 seconds. Based on the same report, one person is injured in 2 minutes and 12 seconds, while another gets killed every other hour.
Texas has more fatal traffic crashes than anywhere else in the country, and motorists and pedestrians are at significant risk on Corpus Christi roads. The city had 7 992 car accidents in 2021, with 156 involving serious injuries and 42 fatalities.
You can’t entirely prevent car crashes from happening. But there are ways you can minimize the likelihood of being involved in one.
Keeping away from those places where car accident cases occur most frequently can help reduce your risk. Highlighted below is a list of some of the accident-prone roads and intersections in Corpus Christi.
- State Highway 358
- Airline Road & South Padre Island Drive
- Interstate 37 and Shoreline Boulevard
- Highway 286 and the Crosstown Expressway
- Staples Street and Saratoga Boulevard
While you may be unable to avoid these locations all the time, being more careful while driving may help.
But suppose you get involved in a car wreck, which results in injuries, property damage, and even damage. In that case, you can file a personal injury claim with one of the best experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorneys.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Corpus Christi
Numerous interacting factors contribute to various motor vehicle accidents. Some roads can be in bad condition, making it more challenging to travel safely. Poorly maintained roads with potholes or pooling water pose a significant hazard to motorists.
Human behavior or condition is also a significant contributing factor to many vehicle crashes. Every Texas driver must drive carefully and avoid causing foreseeable harm to other motorists. Unfortunately, not all drivers take their responsibilities seriously.
You can help protect yourself more effectively by understanding why and how car accidents happen. Below are some factors that cause the most car crashes in Corpus Christi.
Texas law mandates a maximum speed limit on state roadways of 70 miles per hour. But Section 545.353 of the Texas Transportation Code (Code) provides some leeway. It authorizes the state Transportation Commission to modify maximum speed limits on highway routes, provided they’re safe and reasonable.
Driving over the posted limit and what’s considered safe in certain zones and conditions can result in fatal crashes. A speeding driver on a slippery road will likely go off course or crash into other motorists.
Overspeeding was the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents on Texas and Corpus Christi roads. There were 375 fatalities in crashes involving speeding over the limit in Texas. Accidents caused by speeding may result in life-threatening injuries, property damage, or wrongful death.
When you drive faster than the speed limit allows, you’ll likely have less control over your car. It also increases the time you need to stop your vehicle when traffic changes or in unexpected emergencies.
Speeding is a traffic violation. Thus, anyone who drives over the speed limit and causes a car crash that hurts someone would be considered negligent. This means you can hold speeding motorists liable for the injuries and losses you sustained due to the accident.
Drunk driving is a common cause of accidents in Corpus Christi and Texas. In 2021, 1,029 people died, and 2,522 were severely injured because of DUI-alcohol-related traffic crashes.
The consumption of alcohol directly affects specific functions of the brain. It impairs thinking, reasoning, and coordination, which are all crucial to operate a vehicle safely. Negligent drivers put other motorists and road users at risk by getting behind the wheel impaired.
Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code lays down the conditions for a DUI or DWI charge. It states that motorists can be charged based on the percentage and influence of alcoholic drinks or drugs. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more means you’re legally intoxicated in Texas.
Twenty-one is the legal drinking age in the state of Texas. You can be charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) if you’re 21 or older and operate a vehicle while legally intoxicated.
However, you may still be considered intoxicated with a lower BAC if alcohol or other drugs affect your driving ability. Authorities may perform a field sobriety test to find out your impairment.
It is unlawful for motorists under 21 to operate any vehicle with detectable alcohol in their system. Drivers who have not reached the legal drinking age can be charged with DUI (driving under the influence) in Texas.
Depending on the number of offenses, there are different penalties for a DUI and DWI. But whether you’re a victim of a DUI or DWI car crash, you can pursue damages for your accident injuries. A car accident attorney in Corpus Christi can help you build a strong case and seek maximum compensation.
Under Section 545. 4251 of the Code, it’s illegal to text while operating a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many negligent drivers pay attention to their mobile phones instead of the road.
Motorists will likely take their eyes, hands, and focus away from driving to read or respond to a text. Even if it’s just for a split second, texting while driving can put people at risk of injury and wrongful death.
Distracted driving remains a significant problem in Corpus Christi and Texas. In 2021, a distracted driver caused about one in five motor vehicle or car accident cases on Texas roads. Of these crashes, 431 individuals died, and 2,934 got severely injured.
A driving distraction isn’t limited to texting or calling. Any activity that takes your focus away from driving is a distraction.
Some activities are visual, meaning they take your eyes off the road. They can also be manual, which takes your hands off the wheel. Meanwhile, others can be cognitive distractions that take your mind away from driving.
Besides using mobile phones to text or talk, the following are the highest-risk distractions while driving a vehicle.
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reaching for a moving object
- Using a navigation system
- Zoning out or daydreaming
- Grooming and applying makeup
No matter the cause of distracted driving, it is negligent or reckless behavior, and the consequences can be devastating. You can sue the at-fault party and hold them responsible for your injuries.
However, you need an experienced car accident attorney to show that the distracted driver is responsible for the crash. If you cause an accident because of distracted driving, expect to pay a higher insurance cost when you renew your policy.
Disregard for traffic laws or reckless driving
Every motorist must exercise caution and care on Texas roads. But many drivers drive recklessly, disregarding the safety of other motorists and road users. Section 545.401 of the Code considers reckless driving a criminal offense.
Reckless driving is the willful or wanton disregard for the welfare and safety of other persons or property. The misdemeanor is punishable by up to $200 in fines and imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
Accident victims may recover damages if dealing with severe injuries and financial losses from a reckless driver. But proving that the other driver breached a duty of care, which caused the crash and injuries, is crucial. This would be easier if the other motorist received a ticket for reckless driving.
An individual violating a law intended to protect public safety is considered negligent. You may be entitled to seek compensation through a negligence per se claim without needing to prove all the elements of negligence. But it may still require the help of a car accident attorney.
Reckless driving or disregard for traffic laws can take many forms. But they have all the potential to cause fatal auto accidents. Below are some actions considered reckless driving in Corpus Christi and Texas.
- Failure to drive in a single lane
- Unsafe overtaking
- Driving too closely behind another vehicle
- Failure to yield to a stop sign
- Going over the posted speed limit
- Failing to pay full attention to the road
The motor vehicles you operate must be safe and capable of protecting you in the event of a crash. While most automobiles meet these criteria, some may have parts compromised by poor design or manufacturing issues.
A manufacturing process or design flaw can affect a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. It may directly cause a collision or exacerbate existing injuries.
Responsible drivers always ensure they check the roadworthiness of their vehicles. But many overlook the defects of the car until it’s too late.
Some common vehicle defects that could cause an auto accident include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Airbag defects
Airbags are one of the essential safety features in modern vehicles. But a defective airbag may fail to inflate or suddenly deploy when it should not. This can cause serious injuries to motorists and passengers and may sometimes be the proximate cause of an accident.
- Defective tires
Tire defects can cause different types of accidents. They may explode or blow out unexpectedly, causing you to lose control of the vehicle. Your car may skid, spin, or roll over, resulting in fatal or devastating injuries.
- Brake system defects
The ability to slow down or stop instantly is vital in preventing crashes on the road. But a defective braking system may keep a vehicle from slowing down or coming to a complete stop. This can cause your car to collide with other vehicles, pedestrians, or property.
Accident victims may hold a manufacturer or seller strictly liable for crashes and injuries due to defective vehicles or auto parts. However, like most car accident cases, determining liability can be complex.
A Corpus Christi car accident attorney from a reliable law firm can help you build a strong case and secure fair compensation.
How Can a Corpus Christi Car Accident Lawyer Help
Prioritizing your safety and of other people is an essential step following a car accident. Check for any injuries and move your car to a safe location if you’re able. It’s also crucial to get medical attention immediately, particularly if you or other passengers were injured.
Equipping yourself with what to do after a car crash can help protect your legal rights. But a personal injury attorney is better equipped to handle your car accident case and fight for what you legally deserve.
Depending on the specifics and complexity of your case, an experienced Corpus Christi car accident lawyer can help you with the following:
Help you pursue damages
You and your family don’t have to carry the financial burdens of a car accident alone. An experienced car accident attorney can assist you in pursuing damages for the injuries and losses you suffer after the crash.
Under Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code (Civil Code), car accident victims can recover the following damages after being hurt in a crash.
- Economic damages
These damages intend to reimburse victims for financial losses connected to the accident and injury. Proving economic damages are often straightforward as you can provide financial records. Below are examples of economic damages you can recover in Texas.
- Past medical bills and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Any accident-related out-of-pocket expenses
- Non-economic damages
These damages seek to compensate victims for losses that are not economic but affect their quality of life. The amount of these damages depends on the impact of the injury on your daily life.
Because they’re subjective and don’t have clear monetary value, such losses are much harder to quantify and prove.
Texas recognizes different types of non-economic damages, including but not limited to:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship and society
- Injury to reputation
- Exemplary damages
These damages aim to punish a defendant and deter the same misconduct in the future. Because they’re specific, exemplary damages are only available in certain situations. State law and court decisions may severely limit these damages in a personal injury case.
Under Section 41.003 of the Civil Code, the court will only award exemplary damages if the plaintiff proves that their harm resulted from:
- Gross negligence
Besides meeting the burden of proof, the jury’s decision must be unanimous concerning liability and the amount of exemplary damages. The high standard and requirement for jury unanimity make it extremely difficult to recover punitive damages in Texas.
Gather evidence to prove liability and injuries
Determining who was liable for causing the crash is crucial for every car accident case. You need to prove that the other driver was negligent and behaved recklessly, which resulted in your accident and injuries.
You may have already taken photos of the crash scene. But an experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorney will investigate your case thoroughly. They know what evidence to collect to establish that the other motorist was liable for the vehicle accident.
Here are some types of evidence that lawyers will help you gather to prove liability and injuries.
- Police reports
This is a written document typically generated by the responding law enforcement officer at the crash scene. It contains details about the accident, the parties involved, and those who witnessed what happened.
- Witness statements
Statements from witnesses can be a powerful form of evidence. The witnesses can be a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or observer at the accident scene. A written or recorded account of a witness’s observations can help determine who caused the crash.
- Traffic footage/surveillance camera
Traffic footage or surveillance cameras from nearby businesses can be vital evidence when you’ve been injured in an accident. You can use it to prove that the other motorist was liable for the car wreck and your injuries.
- Detailed medical records
Your medical records can be critical evidence to prove that your injuries resulted from the car crash. But securing copies of these documents can be challenging. An experienced personal injury attorney will ensure you obtain the necessary records on time.
- Expert testimonies
Expert witnesses are also essential when proving liability in car accident cases. The details of the collision and injuries may influence the kind of expert witness needed for your specific case. But they can be specialists in various fields, such as accident reconstructionists, physicians, or product designers.
Negotiate settlement amount
Insurance companies will usually pressure car accident victims to settle quickly. But the initial offers of an insurance adjuster are never in your best interests. They’re often low as they may not cover all the injuries and losses you sustained.
The insurer only cares about their bottom line, so they want to settle immediately after the accident to keep their costs low and profits high. When negotiating with an insurance provider, your best line of defense is to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
A skilled attorney specializing in personal injury cases knows your legal rights. They can assess the full extent of your injuries and aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to secure a fair settlement. Insurance companies also tend to take you more seriously if you have a lawyer to represent you.
Provide legal representation
Most car accident victims receive their compensation from an insurance settlement. However, in some situations, the parties involved cannot settle. The at-fault driver’s insurance companies may refuse to give you a sufficient payout. Such cases may force a crash victim to take matters to court.
A skilled car accident lawyer can navigate the complex process of taking a negligent party to court on your behalf. They can deal with the legal requirement and present the necessary evidence to support your case strongly. Your role is to recover from your injuries and get back to your life.
A car accident attorney will ensure you have sufficient proof and testimony in your favor before taking your case to court. If your lawsuit needs to be filed by a specific date, they will work quickly to submit everything on time.
They can represent you at every step, from holding the at-fault driver accountable and seeking compensation for your losses to filing a lawsuit.
Acquire Legal Assistance from The Personal Injury Center
Handling a personal injury case without a lawyer is possible. But being hurt in a car accident is already traumatic and stressful enough. You can minimize your burden by getting legal assistance from an experienced car accident attorney.
Where do you find a Corpus Christi car accident lawyer you can trust? It can be overwhelming to look for a reliable law firm. Luckily, The Personal Injury Center has comprehensive resources that can help make the search much more manageable.
Get a free consultation on your car accident case today. Based on the specifics of your case, we’ll put you in touch with one of the best lawyers in your area.
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyer Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX, has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. Injured victims, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, must file claims within two years of the car crash.
You're not required to hire an attorney after being involved in a car accident in Texas. Determining when you should seek legal help after a car crash ultimately depends on you. But below are some situations where getting a lawyer will be more helpful than navigating your case alone.
- You have severe injuries and need time to recover.
- You have to negotiate with insurance companies to pursue damages.
- You're being held liable for the motor vehicle accident.
- The insurance adjuster drives down the worth of your case.
Personal injury lawyers routinely deal with insurers and negotiate for a fair settlement. Insurance companies aim to pay out as little as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney will ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.