Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in San Antonio. If you suffer an injury in a car accident, your next steps could determine your future. Contact D. Willis Law to explore your legal options after getting in a car accident.
The San Antonio-based attorneys of D. Willis Law have experience, knowledge, and proven results to help you recover damages from your car accident.
A car accident can be an incredibly serious, life-altering experience. Get help from those who can ease the burden on you.
The reality is that serious motor vehicle accidents happen every single day in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 14,299 serious injury crashes occurred in 2017, leaving 17,546 people seriously injured. There is an average of one person killed every 2 hours and 21 minutes, one person injured every 2 minutes and 4 seconds, and one reportable crash happening every 59 seconds.
A serious injury in an auto accident can leave you with lasting injuries, sky high medical bills and missed time at work. The most effective way to receive fair compensation to cover these damages is to hire a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. Attorney Daniel Willis has insider knowledge of how insurance companies operate. He can help you navigate your claim and fight for just compensation. Insurance companies have their own team of legal experts who work hard to ensure they pay as little as possible in settlements and judgments. You need an attorney to protect your best interests. Hiring the right lawyer to work for you will help level the playing field.
The State of Texas requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of insurance covering $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident. Texas law mandates coverage for bodily injury liability, and a minimum requirement of $25,000 for property damage. If you purchase the minimum amount of insurance and the cost of the accident is more than your insurance covers, the injured party could hire a lawyer and sue you for the rest of the payment. To avoid this, it is a good idea to carry more insurance than the required minimum.
Understanding your insurance coverage can be difficult. A good agent will explain the type of policy, what your policy covers, and who your policy covers. Some policies only cover the driver named on the policy and no other passengers in the vehicle. Other policies will not cover accidents or injuries if you are using your car for a driving service like Uber or Lyft.
Payment responsibility after an accident depends on who was at fault. If you are at fault, your insurance pays for the damages to the other driver. If the other party was at fault for the accident, you would receive a payment to cover the damages and your injuries from their insurance carrier. The payout depends on the amount of coverage the other driver carries. If he or she only carries the state-mandated minimum amount of $30,000/$60,000 and your medical bills exceed that amount, you need to rely on your own insurance for the rest.
If both drivers share fault for the accident, Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. You can win a lawsuit against the other driver if you were less than 51% responsible for the accident. A judge or jury will determine the degree of responsibility of each driver. If you win a judgment, the amount awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
If you were at fault for the accident but sustained injuries in the crash, you can also file a claim with your insurance company. To receive coverage for your injuries, you must carry a policy with personal injury protection (PIP). Bodily liability insurance only covers the driver and the passengers in the other car. If you don’t know what type of insurance you carry, consider speaking to your insurance agent and learning the details. Medical bills can exceed the amount of coverage in your policy, meaning you may need to depend on other sources to make up the difference.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage will protect you in the case of an accident with an uninsured driver. Although Texas law states every driver must carry auto insurance, unfortunately, some drivers do not follow the law. Uninsured motorist coverage also applies to a hit-and-run accident. Your insurance will treat the accident like one in which the other driver had no coverage and you will still receive a settlement to repair your vehicle and pay your medical bills.
According to the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003, any claim of injury must occur within two years of the date of the accident. This includes the driver, the passengers, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or any bystanders involved in the accident. After two years, you are no longer eligible for a settlement, no matter how severe your injuries (with some exceptions). If you become injured in a car accident, it is best to make a claim as soon as possible. The two-year time limit also applies for those planning to file a lawsuit for damages to a vehicle.
If the family of a victim files a wrongful death suit, they are held to the same two-year limit. However, it starts from the day of the victim’s death rather than the date of the accident since the date of death can be later than the date of the accident. In some circumstances, Texas law may extend the time to file a lawsuit.
The Texas Department of Transportation released a report on the number of crashes in the state in 2017. It broke down the number of car crashes per city and area of Texas. The San Antonio area had the third highest rate of fatal crashes in the state, only topped by Houston and Dallas. Consider the following startling statistics.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, at any moment during the day, 660,000 drivers are using their phone while driving a vehicle. This includes texting, phone calls, social media, photography and more. In the time it takes a driver to read an average text message on the highway, the vehicle will travel 100 yards. A lot can happen in 100 yards when the driver isn’t paying attention to the road.
Motor vehicle accidents can happen for many reasons. Driver error, weather conditions, and car manufacturing defaults are just a few issues that result in devastating incidents. Accidents can occur with 18-wheeler trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles, and more. Each situation is different from the next. When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, five main types are common:
Immediately after a car accident occurs, make sure you and everyone else involved in the accident are safe. If you are able, call 911 and offer help to anyone who is hurt. Under the Texas Transportation Code, you must report an accident to the authorities as soon as the scene is clear and it is safe to make a phone call. The dispatched police officers will examine the accident scene and ask questions of you and other witnesses to determine fault. After the accident, the officers prepare and file an official police report and you should receive a copy of the report number before they leave. It is important to stay at the scene of the accident and receive a copy of the police report number so that you can request an official record of the accident.
As soon as possible, go to a doctor to determine the extent of your injuries. Even if you think you didn’t suffer a serious injury, some symptoms do not appear immediately. If you do later file a personal injury claim, it is good to substantiate that your injuries resulted from the accident and not from some other cause. For this reason, it is good to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident.
Car accidents can cause property damage, injury, and sometimes even death. If you or a family member has suffered harm in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer who understands Texas law and how insurance companies operate. D. Willis Law has the experience and knowledge to help you throughout this process with personalized attention. With a background in the insurance industry, Daniel Willis can give you an advantage when pursuing your insurance claim. His knowledge and expertise will increase your chances of achieving the best possible outcome. Call D. Willis Law today for a free consultation. It’s the first step in getting fair compensation after a personal injury.
“Working with Daniel was educational. The extensive knowledge I gained was invaluable. Great attorney who will work to bring you whole. Will definitely recommend.”