Car accident claims are not uncommon in Houston. Do you live in Houston and hear about car accidents now and then? This is because Houston roads see a high percentage of car accidents yearly. As per the Texas Department of Transportation report for 2021, the total number of car crashes in Houston was 66,988, of which 1595 were reported to result in suspected serious injuries.
The report also concluded that though Houston houses 8% of the Texas population, it contributes to 16% of car accidents in Texas. This makes car accidents in Houston an alarming situation. Another shocking fact reports that the fatality rate across the US in a car accident is 11 deaths per 100,000 residents. However, in Houston, it is 14.2 deaths per 100,000 residents.
It can also be inferred from the Texas Department of Transportation report data that car accident in Houston results in more property damage than injuries. Out of the 156,289 total car crashes in 2021 in Houston, the majority of the people, 126,066, walked away with non-injuries.
So when do you need a car accident attorney in Houston, and how can an attorney help with your car accident claim?
As car accidents are common in Houston, residents may need the help of a car accident attorney even more.
When should you hire a car accident attorney?
Before knowing how a car accident attorney will help you claim the compensation, it is important to know when you should file a claim and hire an attorney. Do all car accidents require the hiring of an attorney?
Here are some of the circumstances under which you should hire a car accident attorney:
- Presence of injuries or fatalities
If there are visible injuries, you should seek medical attention immediately and talk to an attorney. Even if you feel alright after an accident, you should still seek medical attention to steer clear of hidden injuries that become serious if left undiagnosed.
You should also hire an attorney if the car accident resulted in fatalities like the death of your loved one. The attorney will help you get wrongful death benefits in such a case.
- When the vehicle is damaged
In the majority of car accidents in Houston, vehicle damage is one of the common effects of car accidents. If you survived a car accident without any fatal injuries, but your vehicle is damaged up to the point that it is no longer capable of being driven, you can seek the help of a car accident attorney.
- The absence of medical and insurance policies
If there are minimal financial losses and you have the insurance policy, such minor expenses can be easily covered. However, if the losses are high and your health insurance and car insurance do not cover up full costs of the damages, it is viable to hire a car accident attorney to recover the damages through the lawsuit.
- When the Houston police are involved
After a car accident, police officials need to arrive at the scene of the accident. If that doesn’t happen, you should immediately call 911 and the police. The police officials prepare the accident report that acts as evidence of the car accident. It also helps you get the claim if the report mentions intoxication, distracted driving, traffic violations, or running red lights.
How can an attorney help in car accident claims?
Here are many ways in which an attorney will help you get the maximum claim for your car accident:
Prove your injuries are worth the compensation
First of all, the attorney will do some work in understanding your injuries, fatalities, and how much they are worth. If the injuries are serious and demand staying in the hospital for a while, an attorney will demand medical expenses, hospitalization fees, mileage reimbursement expenses, and more as part of the claim.
If the injuries lead to death, the attorney will work upon filing the wrongful death lawsuit, wherein the immediate dependents of the victim will be entitled to receive death benefits like funeral expenses, loss of income, and other monetary benefits.
Recover the vehicle damages
Secondly, a car accident attorney will help by calculating the worth of your car damages. Depending on the accident’s severity, the attorney calculates the costs of vehicle damages. After that, he puts the calculated figure before your insurance company.
Insurance company adjusters, like in most circumstances, will deny the amount of compensation. An attorney will try to come to a negotiation with the insurance companies. If your attorney thinks the damages are worth more than the insurance company is providing, he will outrightly file for the claim in court. Depending on the circumstances, the case may go through a trial or be settled outside of the court.
Collects evidence to establish liability
While helping in filing the claim, a car accident attorney will also have to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Since Texas follows the modified comparative negligence, the attorney also tries his best to establish clear liability upon the other driver. If he fails to establish clear liability, the claim amount will be reduced depending on the percentage of fault established on the victim.
Thus, for a stronger case, the attorney establishes that the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident.
Recover the non-monetary damages
In certain cases, the attorney may also help you recover the non-monetary benefits. Texas laws allow a car accident victim to recover the benefits for pain, suffering, and emotional damage resulting from the car accident. A Houston car accident lawyer will deem fit for your case and may also recover such benefits.
In short, there are ample ways a car accident attorney in Houston will help with your car accident claim. From collecting evidence, preparing legal documents, filing the case, presenting the case before the court, explaining to the client his rights and responsibilities to talking to your insurance company, an attorney does it all to provide the maximum compensation possible.
When it comes to costs, hiring an attorney isn’t an out-of-pocket cost. The car accident attorney in Houston fees are paid out of the compensation they recover. In some circumstances, the client only has to pay court fees and other litigation costs.