An Introduction to Texas Car Accident Laws, Lawsuits and Lawyers
Famous for cowboys and country music, line dancing and the Alamo, Texas boasts of the largest populations of the nation – over 26 million residents, according to the 2013 national census. The only state with a greater population is California. Texas may not feel crowded to some because, despite populated cities and metropolises like Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, the state also has a great deal of open, desert land as well. Texas plays prominently in national politics – Texas’s government has been active in opposing federal initiatives and actions it believes violate of the U.S. Constitution.
Texas not only has a large population, but it also has a large number of injury and fatal car crashes. These crashes can result in the injury victim and/or his or her family being saddled with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses. Injury victims may be able to obtain compensation to help them address some of these expenses.
Texas Car Accident Statistics
Texas is a big state, so it follows that there would be a large number of car accidents that occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,516 individuals died in Texas motor vehicle crashes during 2015 alone. While this number is a slight decrease from 2014, it is still higher than the number of fatalities in 2010 (3,023) and 2013 (3,389). Thousands more are injured in motor vehicle crashes throughout the state.
Based on numbers alone, Harris County and Dallas County boasted the most number of traffic fatalities in 2015 (with 356 and 258, respectively). Some of the causes of these fatal and non-fatal collisions include:
- Intoxicated driving: Approximately one-third of all fatal traffic accidents in Texas involved at least one driver whose breath or blood alcohol level was greater than 0.08. Drinking while driving or consuming drugs while driving can impair a person’s judgment and reflexes, making a crash more likely.
- Distracted driving: Driving through the Dallas or Houston area while on a telephone or while sending text messages may be as dangerous as drinking and driving, according to government studies. Being distracted means you are not able to fully focus on the hazards and obstacles around you, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
- Disregarding traffic control devices: Speeding and other forms of reckless driving endanger not only the driver who is engaging in this behavior but also others on the road around him or her. Reckless drivers are unpredictable and are more likely to be involved in a car crash.
These statistics paint a picture of Texas roads that appears dangerous. Drivers residing in Texas or driving through Texas on their way to somewhere else should exercise caution and drive defensively to help reduce the chances that they would be involved in an injury or fatal collision.
Texas is a “Fault-Based” State
Texas drivers are required to have an active auto insurance policy before getting behind the wheel. In the event a Texas driver causes an accident, his or her insurance will pay up the policy limits the claims of any injured driver or passenger involved in the crash. If these policy limits are not sufficient to cover the losses and expenses of the injured party or parties, that injury victim may pursue a lawsuit for additional damages.
Texas law will allow an injury victim whose own negligence contributed to the accident to recover compensation so long as the injury victim’s responsibility for the accident and resulting injuries was 50 percent or less. If the injury victim is determined to be partially to blame for the crash, any compensation he or she might otherwise be entitled to would be reduced proportionately.
File Your Texas Lawsuit Quickly
Texas has a short statute of limitations applicable in car accident cases. Injury plaintiffs must file their lawsuit seeking compensation within two years of the injury or fatal accident. This does not give much time for injury victims, so they must be prepared to act quickly. Having the assistance of an experienced law firm to help them investigate their claims and prepare the necessary legal documents to initiate a lawsuit can be extremely valuable to Texas car accident injury victims.
Contact Stern Law, PLLC Today to Discuss Your Texas Car Accident Case With a Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a car crash caused by another negligent or reckless driver, contact Stern Law, PLLC right away. You should not have to worry about protecting your legal rights while you are attempting to heal, grieve, and/or put the pieces of your life back together. Our law firm will help you understand your rights and will take the appropriate steps to ensure your rights are asserted. We are dedicated to helping our clients recover full and fair compensation for their losses and expenses. Contact Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 for prompt assistance.