Proven Dallas Car Accident Attorneys Ready To Assist You
Serving Car Accident Victims in Carrollton, Denton, Grapevine, Lewisville, McKinney, and Southlake
The average person will have three to four car accidents in their driving lifetime. Whether the other person is driving aggressively or just plain not paying attention, the physical and emotional damage can impact your life long after the bumps, bruises, and broken bones heal. If the other driver is at fault for the accident, you might have the legal right to pursue compensation. To learn more about your options, speak with our skilled Dallas car accident lawyers at Hartley Law Firm.
In addition to property damage and past and future medical bills, we will seek compensation for past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Whether you have a dispute with the other driver’s insurance company or your own insurance company, we will fight hard for every penny of compensation you deserve.
“Austin is a great attorney. He made sure to thoroughly explain everything to me regarding my case. He was sure to also lay out my other options and walk me through what the process would look like if we went that direction. He always had my best interest and well being in mind when advising me throughout the course of my case. Austin is a very knowledgeable in all areas of law. He is truly a VERY COMPETENT attorney. Austin has earned my trust as legal counsel through his professionalism from the moment I met with him and hired him he consistently demonstrated ownership and speed/sense of urgency to produce a desired outcome for me as I’m sure that he does for all of his clients. It has been a pleasure working with him and he will be the first person I call the next time I need an Attorney. Thank you for all your hard work on my case Austin!”
– Danielle E.
Car accident statistics
Notably, TDOT reports the following for 2019:
- One person is killed in Texas car accidents every two hours and 26 minutes;
- One person is injured in a car accident every two minutes and three seconds;
- One reportable collision occurs every 56 seconds;
- 256,338 people were injured in car accidents in Texas;
- 32.16% of traffic fatalities were classified as single vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes; and
- 15,843 people sustained serious personal injuries.
According to the TDOT, the following were the leading causes of Texas traffic accidents in 2019:
- Failed to control speed: 34,244;
- Driver inattention: 19,536;
- Failed to drive in a single lane: 13,006;
- Failure to yield – turning left: 5,720;
- Unsafe lane change: 7,591;
- Following too closely: 3,371;
- Faulty evasive action: 7,122;
- Failure to yield – stop sign: 6,643;
- Unsafe speed (under the limit): 13,591;
- Disregard stop sign or light: 3,183;
- Failure to yield – private drive: 3,758;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol: 4,911;
- Had been drinking: 6,170; and
- Distraction in the vehicle: 8,979.
Other factors can also contribute to a car accident, such as adverse weather, bad road conditions, or even a defective vehicle part. It’s not uncommon for accidents to have more than one cause. For example, someone could have been driving under the influence and failure to stop at a stop sign.
Types of Car Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a significant issue of national concern, considering the consequences that accidents have on the general welfare of people, public health, and the economy. Car accidents are a significant cause of injury, disability, and death, and understanding the cause of an accident is essential to recovering compensation for your injuries and losses. Categorizing a car accident can impact the scope of a victim’s injuries and determine how much their claim is worth. Further, certain types of accidents create assumptions about who was at fault, which is essential information when filing a car accident lawsuit.
Generally, the manner of collision impacts the severity of a car accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the main types of car accidents are head-on, rear-end, sideswipe, angle, rollovers, and chain reactions. Let’s take a look at some of those types of crashes in greater detail.
Head-on car accidents refer to collisions where the front of one vehicle collides with the front of another car. These accidents typically occur when the two vehicles are traveling in opposite directions. As you can imagine, head-on collisions, especially at high speeds, can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Rear-end accidents occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle. Getting rear-ended can result in minor to severe injuries, depending on the speed at which the cars are traveling.
Sideswipes occur when the side of one vehicle hits, scrapes, or in any way makes contact with the side of another vehicle. A sideswipe can occur when cars are traveling in the same or opposite directions. These crashes tend to happen when drivers are distracted, tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Angle accidents refer to collisions that are not head-on, rear-end, rear-to-rear, or sideswipe. In many of these accidents, both parties share fault.
Rollovers are accidents in which a vehicle tips or flips over onto its roof or side. Depending on the driver’s speed and the intensity of the force involved, the vehicle may roll over once or multiple times. A common cause of rollovers is when your car runs over something like a curb and “trips” over it. The weight of the vehicle gets shifted and causes the car to roll over on itself. Speeding and bad weather are two other causes.
Common Types of Dallas Car Accident Injuries
Even seemingly minor collisions can leave victims with soft tissue injuries. Whiplash and a sore back are very common in low-impact car accidents. The most common injuries we see in Texas car accidents are:
- Neck and back injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Head injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord damage,
- Nerve damage, and
In catastrophic cases, a victim might die at the scene or pass away later from their injuries. If so, certain surviving family members could be entitled to bring a Dallas wrongful death claim.
The more severe your injuries are, the more important it is to speak with a Dallas car accident attorney after the accident to discuss your options.
Contact Hartley Law Firm online.
Wrongful Death Claims in Texas
A wrongful death claim allows family members to recover compensation for their losses. In some wrongful death cases, surviving family members can collect compensation for loss of companionship, loss of inheritance, loss of consortium, and more.
Only certain people have legal standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Texas law, wrongful death claims are limited to spouses, children, and parents. If the deceased left behind no surviving spouse, child, or parent, the estate representative could file the claim.
What to Do After a Dallas Car Accident
Immediately following a car accident, you should move the car somewhere safe if possible. You do not want to be involved in another accident. Call 911 to ensure the police respond to the accident. In severe collisions, you might need to be transported to the hospital for immediate treatment.
If you remain at the scene, be sure to exchange contact information with all parties and get information for any witnesses as well. If you can safely take photos, you should. It can help your claim down the line. Take photos of the vehicle damage, the surrounding scene, and your injuries if possible. Be sure to get photos of anything that could be important in the accident, such as weather conditions, road construction, a stop sign covered by overgrown bushes, etc.
Contact a medical provider as soon as possible if you are transported from the scene. It’s important to seek medical treatment right away. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the insurance company will use it against you. If you don’t see a doctor for a month, they can claim your injuries weren’t severe or something else happened after the accident to cause your injuries.
You should also consider contacting a Dallas car accident lawyer who can let you know if you have a potential personal injury claim.
Damages You Can Recover in a Texas Car Accident Claim
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you could be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills to date;
- Future expected medical expenses;
- Rehabilitation and skilled nursing care;
- Lost wages to date;
- Future loss of earnings;
- Vehicle damages;
- Physical pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress.
In limited scenarios, you could be entitled to receive punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are not to compensate you for your injuries or damages; they are awarded to “punish” the defendant. Punitive damages are to deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Only limited cases are eligible for punitive damages, such as someone driving under the influence or driving recklessly.
The more severe your injuries are, the greater the chance that your compensation might be higher. A claim that involves permanent injuries will be worth more than one involving minor soft tissue injuries that resolve within two months.
Legal Considerations in Car Accidents
Recovering compensation after a Texas car accident requires a comprehensive understanding of complex substantive, evidentiary, and procedural laws. An experienced Dallas personal injury attorney can help you understand the legal considerations impacting your right to compensation after an accident.
Fault and Liability
The primary question in a car accident case is which party is at fault for the accident and injuries. Determining fault is the threshold issue because once you establish fault, the liable party is responsible for paying damages to the injured party.
Unlike many other states, Texas follows the fault-based framework for recovering compensation for car accident injuries. Under this system, injured drivers can do the following:
- File a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In addition, some Texas car accident lawsuits involve intentional conduct, negligence per se, and strict liability.
Insurance Considerations After Texas Car Accident
Texas law requires drivers to prove that they can pay for any accidents they cause, and drivers usually meet this requirement by purchasing auto insurance. Further, the state requires drivers to have a certain minimum amount of liability insurance.
In addition, the state requires insurance companies to offer personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This coverage helps you in the event that the person who hit you does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your losses. These cases can be challenging to navigate, and an attorney can help you overcome the various hurdles that insurance companies create.
Failure to Take Evasive Action or Faulty Evasive Action
In Texas, drivers maintain a duty to be aware of potential road hazards and take proper steps to prevent and avoid accidents when possible. This is called evasive action.
For instance, if you are approaching an intersection and see another driver swerving out of the way of a pedestrian and into your lane, you have the duty to avoid the driver even though, on its face, that driver appeared to be acting negligently by swerving into your lane. You may be responsible for the injured party’s damages if you fail to do so and cause an accident.
However, courts emphasize the importance of “proper” when determining whether a driver took appropriate evasive actions. In cases where a driver takes a faulty evasive action, they may be liable for any damages they cause. For example, if you are driving on a highway and see two vehicles stopped because of a collision, you should take steps to switch lanes safely. However, you may be responsible for your faulty evasive action if you wait until the last minute to change lanes and collide with another vehicle.
Injured victims may use the failure to take evasive action to prove fault; however, in some cases, victims may need to defend against these claims as well.
Overcoming Defenses in Texas Car Accident Lawsuits
Car insurance companies and at-fault drivers often mount various defenses to avoid paying out damages to an injured victim. Very often, this involves claiming that you were at fault, or partially at fault, for causing the accident. In Texas, your potential compensation in a Dallas personal injury claim is directly tied to your percentage of liability. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, which means you can collect a portion of your damages even if you are partially at fault. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you are barred from recovery. For example, if you are 30% at fault for the accident, you could receive 70% of your damages. If you are 60% at fault, you will collect nothing since you are more than 50% at fault. Considering and addressing the defenses is vital to securing and maximizing compensation after an accident.
Statute of Limitations in a Texas Car Accident
As with any other type of personal injury claim, you have only a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a car accident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Typically, you have only two years from the crash date to file a lawsuit in Texas. There may be limited circumstances that could alter this deadline, but you shouldn’t count on that. Two years might seem like a long time, but it can fly by quickly if you are in negotiations or trying to gather evidence. When you retain a Dallas car accident lawyer to represent you, we will file within the limitations period, so you don’t need to worry about missing the deadline.
Why Should I Hire a Dallas Car Accident Attorney?
Getting into a car accident in the Dallas area can turn your life upside down in a second. You could be facing severe injuries, unable to return to work, and frustrated by the lack of assistance from the at-fault driver’s insurance. One reason to hire an experienced car accident attorney is we can handle all the stressful aspects of your claim.
At Hartley Law Firm, we will request all your medical records, gather evidence, and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. If we cannot reach a settlement, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
While not every accident warrants hiring a lawyer, most injury accidents can benefit from a legal advocate. Insurance companies are not on your side, no matter what they lead you to believe. They are looking out for their driver and the company’s bottom line. They will use your inexperience against you and often deny your claim or offer you much less than your case is worth. That’s why you should at least meet with a Dallas car accident attorney before discussing the claim with the insurance representative.
Contact Our Dallas Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident in the greater Dallas area, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Our Dallas car accident attorneys at Hartley Law Firm have successfully resolved numerous car accidents and are awaiting your call to assist. Call our lawyers or submit a contact form to schedule your free in-person consultation.
Hartley Law Firm handles other types of cases as well, including:
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Bike Accidents
- Head and Brain Injury
- Burn Accident Injury
- Bus Crash Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Worksite Accident Injury
- Dog Attack
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical Malpractice
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Oil Field Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injury