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Texas car accidents happen—especially in bustling cities like Houston. Car wrecks caused by someone’s negligence can result in personal injury, loss of a loved one, lost wages, or even death.
Some of what you might have to pay during the aftermath of a car crash include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage costs
- Mental health issues
- Physical disfigurement
- Emotional strain that requires medical care
This article will discuss the most common causes of car accidents in the Houston area. You will also learn tips to prevent being involved in a car wreck.
Here you’ll also learn how to find the right personal injury lawyer. They will know how to handle your injury claim case in court should you suffer from another person’s negligence in driving.
Get a free case evaluation today!
Featured on Dolman Law Group
“According to the Medical Malpractice Center, medical errors cause serious injuries to or the premature deaths of up to 200,000 people a year. Fewer than 20 percent of the victims of medical malpractice file lawsuits against the providers who injured them. Of those who file lawsuits, fewer than 20 percent receive any sort of monetary compensation for their injuries”.
– Read more here.
Overview of Houston Car Accidents
Houston boasts over 2.5 million residents, making it the most populous city in Texas.
In 2021, Houston had 66,988 traffic accidents, or 7.6 car accidents, every hour. A total of 52,128 people were injured in Houston car accidents in the same year. It’s roughly 2.2 percent of Houston’s entire population.
The national car accident fatality rate is 11 deaths per 100,000 residents. Houston’s 14 deaths per 100,000 residents are significantly higher than this. Most accidents in Houston in 2021 happened on undivided highways, with interstate highways having the lowest crash rates.
Fortunately, most of Houston’s traffic accidents in 2021 caused property damage only. The 126,066 of the 156,289 people involved in Houston car crashes walked away without requiring medical attention. Less than 22% of car accident victims were injured or killed.
Still, car accidents can lead to much pain and suffering. Aside from medical expenses, these collisions can lead to all types of injuries. They can even be serious injuries like lifetime paralysis or even wrongful death.
Houston car accident attorneys can help victims deal with the high costs of the aftermath. They assist in getting the compensation they deserve and fighting for their rights according to car accident laws.
Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Houston
Texas has over 180,000 miles of lanes for interstate highways alone. Due to the sheer number of motorists traveling throughout the state daily, an unbelievable number of vehicular accidents occur hourly.
When Texas officers write car crash police reports, they identify the top factors contributing to motor vehicle wrecks. Many crashes have more than one contributing factor. For example, when a speeding driver hits a distracted driver, this situation has two contributing factors.
Remember, each of these traffic accident factors may also be due to the negligence of a third party. This may qualify you to file for a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact an attorney if you were in a motor accident, not at fault, and unsure what to do next. A competent car accident lawyer with years of experience can help you build your car accident case.
Contact The Personal Injury Center Today
Many hit-and-run car accidents, unfortunately, happen due to one or more drivers being intoxicated while on the road. Drinking with friends, bar-hopping, or driving while hungover can lead to alcohol-related car accidents.
Even a tiny amount of alcohol can affect the safety of drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that drugs and alcohol affect drivers in the following ways:
- Loss of judgment: The fuzziness of thinking processes produced by drugs and alcohol in the brain impairs critical thinking and short-term memory.
- Decreased vision: Alcohol reduces a driver’s ability to track moving objects, such as pedestrians and other cars.
- Reduced physical coordination: The ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately steadily worsens with increased alcohol in the bloodstream.
- Decreased reaction time: Due to their relaxing properties, drugs and alcoholic beverages reduces any driver’s response to emergent situations.
In 2018, distracted driving caused more than 96,000 car crashes in Texas. When the driver’s attention is not on the road and the surrounding environment, it increases the probability of an accident. These could include head-on collisions, sideswipes, rollovers, side impacts, and multiple-vehicle accidents.
Distractions can include talking with passengers and tending to children. So are putting on makeup and even changing the radio station. However, digital devices are the most prevalent and dangerous distractions many drivers face daily.
Texting, calling a friend, or surfing the internet while driving takes the driver’s eyes off the road. When you do any of this, you’d have to get their hands off the steering wheel. Then, it will take your mind away from the fact that you’re driving.
Texas laws restrict texting while on the road. Even so, many car crashes can be attributed to this distraction.
Driver fatigue is also one of the more common causes of car and truck accidents. Being tired and wanting to sleep can be the deadliest distraction.
Contact a personal injury law firm if you’ve been involved in a recent car accident involving a distracted driver or motorist. Talk to a Houston auto accident attorney or contact us for a free consultation.
Violations of traffic laws
All drivers would obey the Texas Department of Transportation’s traffic laws in a perfect world. This will make the streets safer for every Texan. However, not everyone knows or follows traffic laws.
In Houston or even the rest of Texas, the following violations are some of the most common that result in accidents:
- Drinking and driving
- Running a stop sign
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
Aggressive driving is another lesser-known violation, but sadly a common one. This is when a driver operates a vehicle that endangers other people or cars. Then, there’s road rage, often considered violent driving behavior. Both aggressive driving and road rage violations can be fined.
Contact an auto accident lawyer immediately if you get involved in a car accident due to traffic law violations.
When drivers disregard or go beyond the speed limits posted on the side of the road, they’re speeding. This action puts drivers and everyone around them in danger of unnecessary car accidents.
In Texas, single-vehicle accidents account for about 34 percent of all traffic fatalities. Single-vehicle crashes are often caused by speeding cars, making it impossible for drivers to react quickly enough during emergent situations.
Speeding reduces a driver’s response time to the road, weather, or traffic conditions. The faster a car goes, the less time the driver has to react and avoid crashes by maneuvering or braking.
The higher the car’s speed, the more stopping distance a vehicle requires. Even if a speeding driver hits the brakes, the driver can’t avoid getting into a crash.
Intense speed also increases the force of impact, decreasing the capabilities of a vehicle’s built-in safety systems, like airbags. This heightens the risk of severe injuries such as broken bones or even fatal injuries.
Suppose you are suffering from a car accident due to another person’s speeding. In that case, we can refer you to an experienced car accident attorney. They can help get the best outcome for your auto insurance claim or guide you through a personal injury lawsuit.
Failure to yield
Accidents happen when traffic does not flow as expected or when traffic laws are not obeyed.
Drivers who fail to yield right-of-way during left turns or at stop signs cause confusion and breaks in traffic flow. These situations can create the perfect scenario for head-on car accidents.
These crashes often occur when drivers merge onto freeways or turn left at intersections. Other instances are when they go through pedestrian crosswalks or fail to notice yield signs when they enter crossways.
A common contributing factor to car crashes is improper lane changes. This action often results from insufficient lookouts, inattention, or intoxication.
Some accidents are caused by faulty vehicle parts instead of negligent drivers. Malfunctioning car brakes, ignition systems, vehicle steering systems, protective airbags, and tires can contribute to a harmful road situation.
A vehicle defect may cause crashes or worsen injuries. An example is when an airbag does not inflate in a collision. Another is when a car tire suddenly comes loose and hits another car.
If a car accident caused by automotive defects happens to you, you’re not at fault. The car manufacturer can be held accountable through a product liability claim if you suffer physical injuries requiring medical treatment. The same goes for significant property damage. Talk to a lawyer today to see if you can get this kind of car accident settlement.
Poorly designed or maintained roads
Poor road maintenance makes driving much more complicated than it needs to be and increases the risk of accidents. Driving on uneven roads, sharp turns, and flooded roads can cause a car to break down or the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Common examples of poor road conditions include the following:
- Cracked pavement
- Roads that have water because of improper drainage
- Curves that are too sharp
- Roads that are poorly marked
Accidents can happen on roads not designed or maintained well. When this happens, you can recover compensation from the government agency responsible for the said road.
It isn’t enjoyable when someone follows your car just a bit too closely. But did you know that tailgating is highly dangerous for both the car following and the vehicle being followed?
The most significant factor in rear-end accidents usually involves following too closely and failing to maintain a proper lookout when on the road.
In Houston’s interstates, motorists may find it hard to maintain a clear distance between their vehicle and the one in front. These instances usually happen primarily during peak commuting hours. Furthermore, impatience, distracted driving, or road rage often motivates tailgating, which may easily lead to rear-end collisions.
Rear-end collisions due to tailgating can lead to traumatic brain injuries or whiplash injuries. These, and other severe injuries, usually require expensive medical care and physical therapy.
If you’re wondering if you could sue an at-fault driver for a rear-end collision even if you’re uninsured, know that you can. Get in touch today, and we will work with a personal injury attorney and your driver’s insurance company to create a personal injury claim.
Tips To Avoid the Common Causes of Houston Car Accidents
Despite the many causes of motor vehicle accidents and their negative impacts, you can do many things to avoid them. Doing these can save your life and others, besides reducing unnecessary property damage.
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can help address your personal injury case following an auto accident. A competent auto accident lawyer would ensure that all liable parties recover the financial consequences of the auto accident.
Victim of a recent car accident? Get a Free Case Evaluation Today
Distracted driving causes accidents. Don’t eat, call, or text while driving to ensure you stay focused with your eyes on the road. Changing the music on the radio and having high-energy conversations with passengers are also distractions you should try to minimize or avoid altogether.
Keep your car in good condition
Get your car regularly serviced to ensure that faulty vehicle parts do not lead to car accidents down the road. Worn-out or loose tires, worn brakes, or malfunctioning airbags can cause accidents or worsen certain injuries during a collision.
Use signal lights and check blind spots before changing lanes
Improper lane changing causes many auto accidents. These can be avoided by timely, sufficient use of signal lights and checking blindspots before switching lanes. Make sure you signal each of your turns and lane changes to notify other drivers of your intentions before moving.
Practice defensive driving
Defensive driving is knowing how to anticipate road hazards and respond in ways that eliminate or minimize risks. On the road, defensive driving may look like the following:
- Being prepared, focused, and attentive while driving
- Driving at a moderate speed, obeying posted limits
- Keeping a safe distance from the car in front
- Properly communicating with other drivings using signals
- Keeping an eye on road conditions and the weather
Strictly follow traffic signs
Disobeying traffic signs lead to car accidents that otherwise need not happen. To avoid collisions, follow traffic signs that tell you when to stop. Know when to yield to oncoming traffic, how fast to travel, and where to turn.
Drive at a moderate speed
Since speeding is the primary cause of auto accidents in Houston, driving according to posted speed limits is vital. It reduces the risk of car accidents and helps keep yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians safe.
Keep an eye on the speedometer at all times. Always be mindful of the possible consequences when you’re tempted to go faster due to time constraints.
Maintain a safe following distance
To avoid getting into rear-end collisions, ensure your vehicle remains at an appropriate distance from the car in front. Increase the space when you speed up, as overspeeding makes it more difficult to brake in time to avoid a crash. A good rule of thumb is to maintain a three-second following distance at all times.
Get Help From The Personal Injury Center Today
All types of car accidents happen every day and every hour in Texas.
If you’re looking to sort through the mess of personal injury claims and insurance companies, get in touch with The Personal Injury Center. The same goes for facing lowball settlement offers or understanding the claims process better.
We offer free case evaluation and can refer you to a personal injury lawyer. They can guide you through the legal process and work out your case. We have a network of Houston car accident lawyers who help victims receive the compensation they deserve after getting injured.
On our blog, you can also read helpful posts regarding car accident claims, legal representation, and insurance information. Explore related topics such as:
- Can You Sue the Driver for a Rear-End Truck Collision?
- How Do Driver Fatigue Cause Truck Accidents?
- Do I Have the Right To Sue Someone Personally After a Truck Accident?
Get in touch with us today!
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyers in Houston
How much can someone sue for a car accident in Houston?
There are no specific amounts or limits to how much compensation you can sue for in a car accident. It can depend on the extent of damage and the parties responsible for the accident. Payment can range from a few thousand dollars to over a million.
Factors that affect how much payment you can get include the following:
- Insurance policy values
- Comparative fault
- Current and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Ability to return to work
Remember: Every car accident and associated settlements are different. Talk to a local, competent auto accident lawyer to discuss the compensation you deserve.
Must I get a lawyer for a car accident in Houston that was my fault?
The short answer is yes.
Your legal and financial interests would be at stake if you caused undue damage to property or a person due to driving. You should do something to protect yourself.
Here is a brief list of what an auto accident lawyer can help with when you’re at fault for a traffic accident:
- Partial fault: If the lawyer can prove that you are not entirely to blame for the crash, you may not be liable for the entire incident.
- Reduced recovery: If you were mainly at fault, the court might reduce your recovery amount to how much you are at fault.
- Determining fault: The lawyer would help determine how much you are to blame for the situation and help with the legal aftermath of the case.
How long after a car accident in Houston can you claim injury?
You can claim for a car accident injury for up to two years in Houston. If your accident happened more than two years ago, contact a car accident lawyer to determine the next steps.
The statute of limitations in Texas for all personal injury claims is two years from the date of the incident. All auto accident injury claims filed by drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians also adhere to this two-year rule.
If a faulty vehicle part was the case of your traffic accident, a limit of two years also applies to all defective product liability cases in Houston. You can also process property damage claims up to two years after the incident.