1 TEXAS AUTO ACCIDENTS Auto accidents can cause thousands or even millions of dollars in losses due to medical expenditures, an inability to work, a reduction in future earnings, or the untimely death of a loved one who was contributing to dependents.
2 Auto accidents are a leading cause of death, as well as a primary cause of serious injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury. Auto accidents can cause thousands or even millions of dollars in losses due to medical expenditures, an inability to work, a reduction in future earnings, or the untimely death of a loved one who was contributing to dependents. Auto accidents can also cause additional immeasurable losses in the form of pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of important relationships when someone is killed in a collision. The prevention of auto accidents is every driver s responsibility and motorists are obliged to purchase liability insurance coverage in case they fail to live up to their obligations. When a driver causes a motor vehicle accident to occur, the motorist can be held legally responsible for all resulting economic and 2
3 non-financial loss. This means the driver s insurer has to pay. The victims may pursue a claim for compensation, which may be resolved through litigation or a negotiated settlement. Auto accident claims can be complicated and victims do not always understand the law or know their rights. A Houston injury lawyer should be consulted after auto accidents in order to provide guidance and advice on how crash victims or surviving family members may recover monetary damage for losses. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR AUTO ACCIDENTS and required to cover crash losses include: There are multiple different parties who could be held responsible for auto accidents depending upon the circumstances. Some of the different individuals and companies that may be held accountable Negligent drivers, or motorists who are unreasonably careless. 3
4 Drivers who break safety rules. A driver is presumed negligent if he violates safety laws like yield laws or stop sign laws. Unlike in other auto accident cases, a victim does not specifically need to demonstrate unreasonable carelessness when a safety rule is broken; the violation creates the presumption the motorist was not careful enough. Designers of defective vehicles when a problem with the car causes the crash or exacerbates the resulting injuries. Truck drivers when commercial motorists fail to fulfill their duties to be careful when operating big rigs. Trucking companies, if the company was unreasonably negligent in its policies, training and employment practices. Truck companies are also held accountable for actions of employees who are on duty, as these employees act as agents acting on behalf of the business. Agencies responsible for the roads. This could include agencies in charge of road maintenance or road design. Determining who is responsible for an auto accident is essential because a crash victim can pursue a civil lawsuit against all defendants who are to blame. Plaintiffs can file a claim against multiple parties who caused the crash, like suing both the trucker and the trucking company. Defendants will usually be considered jointly and severally liable if found responsible for a truck crash. This means of the multiple parties sued, each is independently responsible for compensating you for losses and the parties together are jointly responsible for providing full compensation for all damages awarded to you. 4
5 WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER AUTO ACCIDENTS? After auto accidents, you need to preserve your legal right to make a claim for compensation. This means you need to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. You can still negotiate to try to settle your case outside of court even when your lawsuit has already been filed. You can actually reach a settlement at any point in the pre-trial or trial process if both parties agree the settlement offer is fair. A victim of an auto accident has the burden of proving the case against the defendant, so crash victims should also begin right away to get the evidence they need to show that someone else was responsible for their accident. Some of the different kinds of evidence that could be used include police reports from the scene of the accident and eyewitness statements. You will need to begin collecting evidence as soon as you can after the crash so you do not lose some of the data you need to make your case. Victims of a crash who have a hard time proving fault on their own can contact accident reconstruction experts to help determine how a crash occurred. GETTING LEGAL HELP An experienced Houston injury lawyer knows that the process of recovering compensation for auto accident losses can be complicated and you may not 5
6 want to deal with the stress as you also cope with medical issues or grief due to a death. It is important that you get the money you need to cover your costs and try to move on. Let a Houston car accident lawyer take care of all your legal issues so you can focus on recovering from your damages and losses. 6
7 About Abbott & Clay, LLP Abbott, Clay & Reed, LLP, is a Plaintiff Personal Injury Law Firm in Houston, Texas with 7 attorneys committed to protecting the rights of the injured. They do not represent companies or insurance carriers. The primary focus is on Workers Compensation claims and maritime injuries. They represent injured works before every field office in the state of Texas and have handled more Workers Compensation claims than any other plaintiff Firm in the state. The partners of the Firm, Bill Abbott, Fyodor Clay, Bianca Reed, and Leslie Levingston, have spent over 45 years combined fighting for the rights of injured workers. The remaining lawyers of the Firm have all been actively fighting for injured workers for the Firm for at least 2 years. Abbott, Clay & Reed, LLP, is a continuation of the Ogletree, Abbott, Clay & Reed Law Firm, formerly Ogletree Abbott, LLP, and Bill Ogletree P.C. Bill Ogletree, who spent his entire career fighting for the rights of workers, retired in He began assisting workers before the Division of Workers Comp, or the Texas Workers Compensation Commission, were even created. He was joined by Bill Abbott in 1999, and the two attorneys teamed up to create a Firm that handles the largest volume of Workers Compensation claims for injured workers in the state. Abbott, Clay & Reed L.L.P N Featherwood Drive Suite 200, Houston, TX Houston: Dallas: Austin: San Antonio: Toll Free: COMP 7
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