Blog Post

Car Accidents

The Law Offices of Adrian Crane, P.C. April 19, 2015

The network of highways, toll roads, interstates, city streets, and country roads stretches over the lands of the United States for over four and a half million miles. An estimated 300 million motor vehicles travel literally hundreds of billions of miles every year on these roads.

As we all know, this amazing amount of traffic leads to many, many accidents ever year. In fact, it leads to almost seven million car and motor vehicle accidents every year. The government’s census bureau reports an accident occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. Similarly, literally millions of people are seriously injured or killed in car, truck and other motor vehicle accidents every year.

Unfortunately, given these numbers, there is a good chance that everyone will be involved in at least one auto accident during their lifetime, an accident that may give rise to a serious life-changing injury.

What to Do After an Auto Accident

1) Get Medical Care. The first thing you should do if you have been injured in any kind of car accident is get emergency medical care. Generally an ambulance service or EMS (emergency medical service) is called to the scene of the accident. If the accident was serious you should consult with a medical provider at the scene and also be taken to the hospital if medical providers with the emergency medical service recommend it. Describe to the medical staff exactly what happened to your body in the accident and any and all pain, soreness, tingling, or other new sensations as it may help the technicians determine what care you need there at the scene and whether or not you need to be transported to the hospital. Remember that pains often get far worse after the accident due to swelling and other factors, so it is wise not to downplay your injuries at the scene or at any time shortly after the accident.

2) Gather and document information at the accident scene. Anyone involved in the car accident is required to give and exchange contact and insurance information. If you are able, you should take photos of the damage to the vehicles; generally speaking, the more the better. Obtain the names and telephone numbers of any and all witnesses.

3) Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an auto accident of any kind, you should contact an experienced and well-established reputable car accident personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Time is always of the essence in these cases because a lawsuit must be filed in Texas generally before two years has elapsed after the accident. Even if your injuries are not permanent or severe, you should consult with an established car crash accident attorney as soon as possible. Additionally, consulting with an attorney will allow you to know your options which may include who to make a claim against, the arrangement of medical care and advise about your rights when giving a statement to the insurance company.

4) Do not give statements to the insurance companies’ representatives about the car accident, without first hiring an experienced car accident lawyer. The insurance company may seek private information from you that you do not have to give as well as try to put words into your mouth. Information you give the insurance company can be detrimental to your case. You are best off giving your recorded or written statement with the help of your lawyer or someone who works for them.

5) File an auto accident report if the police did not come out and investigate the accident. In Texas, if injuries were sustained in an accident, a police report should be made. Filing a police report will document the facts of the accident as you know them and it will help all parties determine who was at fault. Your lawyer can help you do this.

6) Continue to Get Medical Care As Recommended. After getting your initial medical care at the time of the accident, you should seek additional medical care if your doctor or medical provider recommends it. Soft tissue injuries are generally the least severe injuries you can sustain and they often take months to properly heal. Additionally, not seeking proper medical care after an accident will lead the insurance adjuster and any jury or judge hearing your case down the road to believe that you were not seriously injured when in fact you may have been. Don’t try to just “tough it out”; it’s not in your health’s best interest or the best interest of your ability to be compensated. If you do not have a relationship with a medical provider who can give you medical care, your lawyer can help you make those arrangements.

Responsibility or Fault for Auto Accidents

Car accidents almost always occur because one or more drivers has been negligent. A driver who is negligent fails to exercise ordinary care, meaning that he or she has operated a vehicle in a careless, reckless or unsafe manner. A driver must exercise reasonable or ordinary care while driving a car. If they are negligent in the operation of the car and their negligence causes (“proximate cause” are often the legal terms used) an accident, they will be held liable (responsible) and their insurance carrier or they themselves, may have to pay money which is termed “damages”, to compensate a victim of the car accident.

Negligence, Proof and Damages

Negligence in operating a motor vehicle can include speeding, not stopping at a stop sign or red light, driving out of the lane of traffic without signaling, not yielding to oncoming traffic, or failing to stop when a vehicle in front of it has stopped. Driving while distracted or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause an act of negligence and also be an act of negligence.

The injured party must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was negligent and that their negligence caused the accident. In other words, the burden of proof falls on the claimant or plaintiff.

The victim must also show that damages were caused and they must give evidence of the amount of damages that they are entitled to.

How a Dallas Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You

An experienced and reputable car accident lawyer will help an injured victim navigate the mine field of dealing with an insurance company and possibly the court system. They will advise you every step of the way, and they will identify all liable parties against which a claim can be made. They will help put a dollar value of the injuries so that fair compensation can be paid.

Sources of Monetary Damages or Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries

An established reputable and knowledgeable car accident and personal injury lawyer will do more than just file a claim with an insurance company on your behalf. A good personal injury and accident lawyer will investigate all sources of compensation and will pursue all avenues of recovery for their injured claimants.

This is especially true in the cases of severe injuries as the primary insurance policy may turn out to have insufficient limits to fully cover your damages as well as the damages of other claimants. You and other passengers may be able to recover from additional parties or insurance policies who bear responsibility for the car accident.

For example, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage may exist under your policy or your passengers’ policies, which can provide additional sources of compensation in a car accident under certain circumstances.

Vehicle Owners May Be Liable for Damages Caused in A Car Accident

Owners of a car or truck may be liable for the negligent conduct of the driver of that vehicle. These owners may be the parents of drivers under the age of 18 or business owners who provided a vehicle to an employee as part of their compensation. When a vehicle owner puts a dangerous driver behind the wheel, that is called “negligent entrustment”.

Employers May Be Held Liable for The Negligence of Their Employees

Employers are liable for auto accidents that are caused by their employees while on the job and who were in the course and scope of their employment when the accident occurred. In certain corporate contexts, parent companies could be held responsible for the conduct of their wholly-owned subsidiaries’ employees.

Government Units and Agencies May Be Held Liable for Negligence in An Auto Accident.

Cities, counties, and even the state may be held liable in cases where they have failed to design, construct, or maintain safe roads or implement proper traffic control devices which can include traffic control lights, traffic control signals, stop signs, yield signs and speed limit sign postings. Handling a car accident claim against a government entity, however, is a complicated task and requiring significant experience and expertise. Strict filing deadlines usually apply to car accident claims against governmental entities, which is another reason why a person injured in a car accident should consult with a reputable accident attorney without delay.

Automobile and tire manufacturers may be held liable for injuries sustained in a car accident

Auto manufacturers and often tire manufacturers (like the famous Firestone cases) may face additional liability for the negligent design or the defective manufacture of a vehicle or component part, for injuries caused in a car accident. For example, injuries may be caused from seatbelt malfunctions, airbag failures, or tire defects. Design and manufacturing problems are myriad and include structural instabilities leading to vehicle rollovers, gas tank explosions and fuel-fed fires, and avoidable roof crush.

Protect Your Rights in Car Accident Claims

Delaying medical care and not acting quickly in hiring a lawyer are the two ways people most often harm their car accident claim. A person who has been injured in an auto accident should get in touch with a reputable car accident personal injury attorney without delay.

The car accident and personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane have been helping injured victims in car accidents since 1991. We’ve helped many people whose lives were turned upside down by the carelessness of another. We want to help put your life back together! Call us or if you would like a free evaluation of your car accident case, please contact us through the contact form on this website.

Lawyers at The Law Offices of Adrian Crane provide a winning combination of resources, experience, patience and determination for people who have sustained injuries in car accidents.