Road crashes have claimed many lives in Texas. There were 4489 deaths recorded as a result of car accidents in 2021. That consequently made Texas one of the states with the highest rate of traffic accidents.
Based on reportable crashes in 2021, someone dies in a car or motorcycle accident in Texas every 1 hour and 57 minutes. The relevant data from the various agencies also conclude that 8 to 10 people die every day in Texas due to road crashes.
The likelihood of getting involved in a Texas accident is high. While Laredo cannot compare to San Antonio at over 11,000 crashes in 2021, Laredo still reported 5,501 crashes.
Safe driving practices can help reduce your risks. But it’s also best to equip yourself on what to do if you or a loved one get involved in a road crash.
Getting injured in a car accident or motor vehicle crash can be overwhelming. The people involved in a car crash are often left alone to deal with injuries, medical bills, property damage, and insurance claims.
In fatal crashes, the families of accident victims struggle with their grief and loss on their own. Most don’t know the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer to get fair compensation for their losses.
According to the Texas Accident Data Center, all fatal crash cases involving serious injuries should involve a personal injury attorney. You can begin with a free consultation from The Personal Injury Center.
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Common Causes of Car Crashes in Laredo, Texas
A driver’s negligence is often the fundamental cause of many vehicle accident cases. The driver’s negligent attitude may result from being busy trying to do multiple things while driving. It could be an attempt to text, eat, or switch radio stations. In other cases, the drivers grow impatient, start acting recklessly, and speed.
Common causes of a negligent car crash in Laredo include reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving, tailgaters, and driving under the influence. Regardless of the reason, hiring a Laredo car accident lawyer is crucial.
Reckless driving can lead to catastrophic injuries and property damage. Add to that the possible impoundment of your motor vehicle. It can occur when a driver operates a motor vehicle in willful or wanton negligence for the safety of others or property.
A driver can also be considered reckless during arbitrary lane merging. This can be a driver failing to use blinkers or checking their blind spots before changing lanes. Texas law requires using signals when intending to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position. Failure to abide by such rules is reckless.
The number of crash fatalities resulting from speeding is alarming. This is why state and local governments implement speed limits on the road.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding killed 11,258 people in 2020. In addition, approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities involved speeding.
Most often, speeding can result from trying to beat the traffic, running late for work, or an event. But in some cases, it’s due to a total disregard for others and the law. The consequences of speeding are more than just breaking the law. It can also lead to the following dangers:
- Potential loss of vehicle control
- Reduced effectiveness of protection equipment
- Increased stopping distance
- A higher degree of crash severity
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention off the task of driving. It could be an in-vehicle distraction like talking to passengers. Other drivers may also think about something other than driving, which is considered a cognitive distraction.
Manual distraction sometimes causes the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel. This may include adjusting in-car electronic systems or texting. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) estimates that more than 220 million wireless subscribers are in the US. Approximately 80% of them use their phones while driving.
Whatever takes the driver’s attention while operating a vehicle is considered distracted driving and can lead to a fatal crash. In 2021, distracted drivers caused nearly one in five crashes on Texas roads. It resulted in 431 fatalities and 2,934 severe injuries.
Undeniably, people typically take their eyes off the road for a short time when distracted driving. It is no wonder distracted driving often leads to collisions with an object on the road or another vehicle. It would be best always to give careful attention to the road when driving to prevent this from happening.
Tailgating is another common cause of accidents on Texas roads. It involves following a car too closely, leaving no room for emergency braking. This can lead to serious or fatal auto accidents if the motor vehicle in front of you suddenly stops.
Tailgating is also often responsible for many rear-end collisions. That’s why drivers must utilize available spaces instead of trying to push traffic by tailgating.
More so, the distance between cars or commercial trucks matters. Drivers need to observe safe following distance to prevent truck accidents or any other form of crash.
You can get compensation for medical bills and other losses if you get injured due to a tailgating accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide assistance to you in this situation.
Driving under the influence
Driving impaired while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense in Texas, so you can go to jail. Furthermore, It can significantly put your life and the lives of others at risk.
Also referred to as DUI, driving under the influence accounts for 25% of car crashes and car crash fatalities. Someone dies or sustains injuries due to DUI every 20 minutes in Texas.
Moreover, several counties in Texas rank in the top three counties with the highest rates of alcohol-related fatalities in the country. These include Brooks, Jim Wells, Duval, Jim Hogg, McMullen, Live Oak, Bee, Refugio, and Goliad.
Young people are the most likely to engage in drunk driving. The highest percentage of drunk drivers are within the age range of 21–25. Additionally, more of these incidents happen between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. and at any other time.
Drunk driving is among the common causes of car accident injuries and road fatalities in the state’s urban and rural areas. It’s possible to get compensation for medical treatment and other losses on the grounds of drunk driving.
A good conversation with an experienced Laredo personal injury attorney can help you find the justice, peace, or resolution you deserve.
Relevant Laws Drivers in Laredo Should Know
As a driver, there are some basic driving laws that you should know. Such laws are part of the state’s effort to ensure the safety of the driving public. But this knowledge can also help when you suffer a road crash accident and when your rights are violated.
Texas reckless driving laws
Reckless driving is an offense under Chapter 545 of the Transportation Code of Texas. Willful or wanton disregard for the welfare and safety of other persons or property while operating a motor vehicle is considered reckless driving.
Driving recklessly is punishable as a misdemeanor offense. It can lead to a jail sentence of up to 30 days and a fine not exceeding $200.
If the driver is a habitual violator of traffic rules, they can also face a license suspension. Chronic violators are drivers with four moving violations or more in 12 months or seven moving traffic offenses within 24 months.
Since reckless driving is a crime, the liable party can face criminal charges and civil lawsuits for the same incident. However, the outcome of the personal injury lawsuit doesn’t depend upon the results of the criminal case.
A reckless driver found guilty in a criminal trial does not automatically translate to liability in a civil proceeding. However, evidence that led to a conviction in a criminal court may be used to strengthen a personal injury claim.
Regardless of a criminal conviction, an experienced Laredo car accident lawyer can help you get fair compensation for personal injuries.
Texas drunk driving laws
Impaired driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code considers DUI or driving while intoxicated (DWI) a criminal offense.
A Texas motorist can be charged with a DUI/DWI based on alcohol concentration. In Texas, legal intoxication means a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more.
However, a lower BAC does not let a driver off. Texas has a zero-tolerance rule like other states. This means that driving with any detectable alcohol amount in your system is illegal if you’re below 21.
You may still be considered intoxicated if alcohol or other drugs results in mental or physical impairment while driving. Besides a breathalyzer test, authorities may also carry out a field sobriety test to determine a driver’s impairment.
Depending on the number of offenses, there are different penalties for a DUI/DWI. The following are what drivers may expect for a drunk driving conviction:
- Mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment
- Community service
- License suspension
In Texas, you can seek damages if you are an injury victim of a DUI/DWI accident. Depending on specific circumstances, these include compensation for medical treatment, loss of income, property damage, and pain and suffering is possible. In addition to economic and non-economic damages, you may also be able to obtain punitive damages.
The drunk driver is often responsible for the accident. However, the defending lawyer may also try to put some blame on the plaintiff. Car accident victims will have to show that they’re not at fault. Hiring a lawyer can help build a strong case and pursue a successful car accident claim.
Texas auto insurance laws
Texas is an at-fault insurance state. This means the person liable for the accident will be responsible for compensating the injured party for damages. Because of this, drivers must prove financial responsibility before operating any motor vehicle in Texas. Most vehicle owners comply with the requirement by purchasing motor vehicle liability insurance.
If you’re buying car insurance, Texas law requires you to get basic liability coverage. It covers any car repair costs, medical bills, and other damages you have caused to other drivers. Below are the minimum amounts of liability car insurance coverage.
- $30,000 for each injured victim
- $60,000 for total liabilities per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
Operating a motor vehicle without the required liability insurance in Texas may subject you to fines, penalties, and license revocation. If you drive without demonstrating proof of auto insurance coverage and get involved in an accident, the court could fine you $350 or more.
Unfortunately, many Texas motorists are uninsured. Since basic liability car insurance doesn’t apply to your injuries or vehicle damage, carrying more coverage may be crucial. This is particularly true if you get involved in a serious crash, and no one else’s coverage applies to your losses.
Here are other types of auto insurance coverage you can consider.
- Collision coverage: This pays for damage to your car after an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage: Also known as other collision coverage, this typically covers damage from fire, hail, vandalism, or falling objects.
- Medical payments coverage: In case of a car accident, this covers medical bills for you and your passengers, even if you’re at fault.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: Generally, PIP pays for several damages you suffer after an accident. It covers medical bills, lost wages, and death damages.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage pays for your medical and auto repair bills if an uninsured/underinsured motorist hits you.
What a Car Accident Lawyer in Laredo Can Do for You
The importance of hiring a Laredo car accident lawyer can never be overstated. The attorney lifts the physical burden and stress while allowing you to cope with the mental and emotional stress. With an experienced car accident lawyer, you can get the appropriate compensation and justice you deserve.
If you have yet to consider it, learn how they can help protect your rights after an accident. The role of car accident lawyers in Laredo may also include the following:
Secure car accident compensation
A Laredo car accident lawyer will ensure your family doesn’t carry the burden of a car accident alone. You can share the weight through an injury claim filed on your behalf by a Laredo car accident attorney.
For example, the wrongful death of a loved one deserves fair compensation from the insurance company and the liable party. You can recover other damages if you’re involved in an auto accident that’s not your fault.
- Physical anguish and pain
This injury claim is subjective. Still, Texas law permits the payment of fair compensation if the injury received causes a measurable amount of pain. The amount also depends on the degree of pain expected from such damages. This compensation claim covers pains suffered in the past or that would likely be experienced in the future.
- Mental agony
Texas theoretically allows you to recover mental agony damages. However, it might be challenging to convince a jury to do so. Unless there’s strong evidence the individual suffered considerable mental anguish, insurance adjusters don’t often offer much compensation. This is why we strongly advise hiring a knowledgeable auto accident attorney with a track record of successful legal representation.
- Future and past medical expenses
During your injury claim settlement, this represents the cost of medical care and treatment you have already received. You have the right to reimbursement for medical bills.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll need medical attention for accident-related injuries in the future, accepting an early settlement is not advisable. Future medical expenses are estimates of the costs you’ll incur for medical care. This is where hiring a vehicle accident attorney comes into play.
- Impairment and disfigurement
You’d probably have a good case for disfigurement damages if the accident results in scarring and limb loss. The severity of the disfigurement and scarring would determine the extent of the damage. The more prominent the scars, the higher the damage you may recover.
- Loss of earning potential
Loss of earning capacity would assess the amount you would have made if you didn’t get injured. If your injuries prevent you from performing the tasks you previously could, you can get compensation for lost earning capacity. The jury decides your damages, so work closely with a lawyer to accurately calculate your past and future earning potential.
- Loss of wages
A person’s lost wages due to missing work is another expense frequently connected to accidents. You are entitled to compensation if the accident and recovery caused you to miss work. Submitting your most recent paycheck is the easiest way to prove lost wages. However, if you’re self-employed, you’ll need other proof, such as invoices or previous tax returns.
- Compensation for property damage
Your car may have damage following a collision in Laredo, and you’ll need to fix it. Suppose the other driver caused the accident. In that case, their insurance company should cover the repairs and other expenses. It is advisable to have the damaged vehicle fixed at a collision facility with a lifetime repair warranty.
Collect evidence to prove liability
Determining whether the accident was your fault or not is crucial. But dealing with the stress from the car crash is already hard without the tedious process of collecting evidence.
A Laredo car accident lawyer can help you collect evidence to prove personal injury cases. They can ensure you have everything you need to support your claim. The following are some sources of evidence a personal injury lawyer may help you gather to prove liability.
- Police report
- Eyewitness statements
- Dash-cam or other nearby surveillance footage of the collision
- Videos and photos of the aftermath of the collision
- Documentation about the driver, vehicle, or incident
- Physical evidence
- Expert witness testimony
- Medical treatment records
Provide legal representation
A personal injury claim goes to court in cases where the parties involved cannot settle. While you recover or mourn your loved one, a Laredo car accident attorney can deal with the legal requirements.
A car accident attorney ensures that the case goes before the court with sufficient evidence and testimony in your favor. They assist you in holding the negligent driver accountable and pursuing the compensation you need to cover all your losses.
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations on most injury claims. A law firm with experienced injury attorneys can help you obtain justice within that time frame.
Involved in a Car Crash in Laredo? Visit The Personal Injury Center.
Were you involved in a car crash? Was any member of your family involved in a car crash? Then you will need the legal help of a personal injury lawyer. We at The Personal Injury Center understand the challenges of hiring a lawyer following an accident.
We’re here to help personal injury victims like you get their lives back after an accident as soon as possible. We can connect you to a reliable law firm with experienced personal injury attorneys that can advance your case. Contact us today and get the appropriate compensation with the aid of Laredo car accident lawyers.
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyer Laredo
The compensatory award intends to pay plaintiffs for the actual losses they've experienced. Below are some damages you can include in this type of award.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
The benefit of hiring a car crash attorney includes first determining if you have a strong case. From there, the attorney goes further to determine the value of your claim. They also handle your insurance company and negotiate fair settlements. In the event of a lawsuit, a car crash attorney can represent you and save you from damaging your case.
Depending on your accident and injury conditions, there are different ways to cover your medical costs. The liable party must pay for your medical expenses through auto insurance coverage if the accident is not your fault. You may seek payment from your uninsured driver's auto insurance policy if they don't have one.
You may also pay your upfront medical costs through your health insurance coverage. Suppose the other driver is found liable for the accident. In that case, your insurance provider will pursue their insurance company for the costs they covered to date.