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09/06/2022

After a rear-end accident in texas, you must take the right steps to get a fair settlement. Find out what they are in this article.

Rear-ended collisions are one of the common reasons you may wish to visit an experienced car wreck lawyer in Houston. This type of accident happens when a rear driver hits the vehicle in front of it as they travel in the same direction. In other words, in rear-end motor vehicle collisions, a vehicle's front bumper crashes into another car's back bumper. While either driver may be at fault in rear-end accidents, it's commonly the rear driver's fault.

The consequences of a rear-end accident can be devastating. Oftentimes victims come out of the crash scene with severe injuries, and others die due to too much pressure upon collision. In fact, statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that 2,428 people died in rear-end crashes in 2020. This makes rear-end accidents one of the deadliest types of crashes.

Fortunately, you should be able to recover compensation for your rear-end collision injuries from an at-fault driver if you take the right steps. These will pay for your financial and non-economic losses from the accident. Do you wish to know the proper procedures after a rear-end crash? This article will fill you in on all the important details.

What Causes Rear-End Car Accidents?

Rear-end collisions are often the result of aggressive driving and other factors, which include:

Distracted Driving

Many rear-end accidents in Texas result from distracted driving. It happens when the at-fault driver isn't paying adequate attention to the road. 

Distracted driving includes eating, texting, and making phone calls behind the wheel. These actions increase the risk of accidents by causing slower reaction times. Many people classify driver fatigue as distracted driving, too.

Tailgating

Tailgating is one of the most common causes of rear-end crashes in Texas. It refers to situations when the rear vehicle follows the automobile in front too closely. Besides reducing the reaction time, drivers who don't leave enough space between vehicles have less space to come to a complete stop.

Speeding

According to auto accident statistics from the National Safety Council, speeding was responsible for 29% of all traffic fatalities in the USA in 2020. The report stated that speeding killed 11,258 people, amounting to an average of 30 fatalities per day that year. 

Speeding happens when a motorist moves faster than the legally permitted limit. Like many other traffic infractions, speeding reduces reaction time and puts other road users at risk of a severe crash.

Faulty Brakes and Brake Lights

As mentioned earlier, rear-end accidents are usually the tailing driver's fault. However, the driver at the rear can sometimes escape liability if the accident was due to brake failures or other unforeseeable mechanical faults. 

Rear-end crashes can also happen when the driver in front has faulty tail lights. This leads to a situation where the rear driver has no idea that the vehicle in front is slowing down.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving, also driving under the influence (DUI), happens when the at-fault party operates a vehicle while impaired by alcohol. Alcohol can reduce brain functioning and impair a driver's reasoning. 

This makes them prone to all kinds of reckless driving behaviors on the road. Impaired drivers have less ability to detect danger, make sound judgment calls, or control their actions.

Hazardous Road Conditions

Bad road conditions can contribute to rear-end accidents in Texas. They easily cause distractions that can risk other road users' lives. 

For example, a driver trying to avoid a pothole may rear-end another motorist. Other adverse road conditions that may cause road accidents include confusing signage, slippery surfaces, dark lighting, etc.

Common Injuries in a Rear-End Accident in Texas

Rear-end accident victims are exposed to varying degrees of bodily injuries, which include:

Whiplash

Many victims suffer whiplash and other neck injuries. Whiplash affects the upper back, shoulders, and neck. It occurs when the force upon impact causes sudden movements that make your neck or head snap forward. 

This causes soft tissue tears or strain as the muscles and ligaments stretch beyond their regular motion range. Whiplashes can cause excruciating physical pain and weakness, and symptoms may persist for several days or weeks.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Rear-end collisions can cause back and spinal injuries. Sometimes, the impact will extend to the spinal cord nerves or other parts of the spinal cord and cause devastating consequences. 

Spinal cord injuries can affect every aspect of your life and cause paralysis. Other symptoms of spinal cord injuries include extreme back pain, loss of bowel control, weakness, difficulty breathing, etc.

Head Injuries

Rear-end collision victims are prone to various degrees of head injuries following the crash. While some are minor injuries like a concussion that causes short-lived symptoms, others are severe and may be fatal. Common examples of major head injuries after a rear-end accident include severe traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, diffuse axonal injuries, etc.

Broken Bones/Fractured Ribs

Your bones can break when the force upon impact is stronger than they can bear. In rear-end collisions, this usually affects the ribs as an airbag deploys and hits the victim in the chest. You may also get a fracture from striking your limbs against a car part.

Common symptoms of fractures include weakness, swelling around the affected area, dizziness, bruising, etc. 

Psychological Injuries

The impact of a rear-end crash can be detrimental to your emotional health. They can trigger anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes, victims can also suffer panic attacks, embarrassment, mental stress, etc.

What Should I Do After a Rear-End Accident in Texas?

Here's what to do after a rear-end crash in Texas:

Dial 911

The first thing to do after a rear-end is call the police by dialing 911 after ensuring that you're out of harm's way. This is an important legal requirement if your accident results in injuries, property damage of at least $1,000, or fatalities. 

When law enforcement arrives, you can narrate your side of the story to them. However, never admit fault until you speak with your car wreck lawyer in Houston.

Seek Medical Assistance

When dialing 911, ensure that you also request paramedics at the crash scene. If you've sustained injuries, you may want to access urgent medical care to reduce your risk of complications. The medical report may also increase your chances of success in your injury claim.

Take Pictures and Videos of the Accident Scene

Accident scene photos and videos can be of tremendous help in your accident claim. Also remember to document essential details like the accident site, the drivers, passengers, and potential witnesses' contact information, car models, etc. Take note of the road conditions at the time of the crash and ask the drivers for their insurance details.

Call an Experienced Car Wreck Lawyer in Houston

Always speak with an experienced car wreck lawyer in Houston before taking any other step in your claim. Your attorney will access your case and give you the best advice on how to follow it up to get the best possible financial settlement.

The Car Accident Claims Process

These are the processes for filing an accident insurance claim in Texas:

Send a Demand Letter

Your car wreck lawyer in Houston will begin your claims process by sending a demand letter to the at-fault driver's insurance company. The demand letter will include details of the crash and the compensation amount you're requesting. Other details in the demand letter include the negligent driver's wrongful actions, the severity of your injuries, medical treatment, etc.

Wait for the Auto Insurance Company's Response

When the insurance company receives your demand letter, they will conduct investigations to verify or refute your allegations. Texas laws mandate insurance companies to accept or reject your claim between 15-45 days. If they reject your claim, they must give you their reasons for doing so.

Negotiate Fair Compensation

Sometimes, insurance companies may accept your claim but offer you a lowball settlement. You don't have to accept their offer. Your car wreck lawyer in Houston will negotiate your settlement with the insurance adjusters and arrive at a reasonable sum.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the insurance company denies your claim, your next option is a personal injury lawsuit. This can also be the next course of action if you can't reach an agreement with the insurance adjusters. Alternatively, you can decide to make a claim with your own insurance company or file a lawsuit against a negligent third party.

What Amounts to Fair Settlement in a Rear-End Accident in Texas?

You're entitled to the following financial compensation in a rear-end collision in Texas, depending on your accident details:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Emotional distress and other non-economic damages
  • Punitive damages, if eligible

How Will Texas' Comparative Negligence Law Affect My Compensation?

Texas uses the comparative fault rule when determining liability in a traffic crash. First, this means that in an automobile collision, the offending driver bears responsibility for the cost of the accident. However, it also means that you will be liable for the part you contributed to the crash.

According to Texas' modified comparative negligence rule, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on your percentage of fault. So, if you contributed to the crash by 25%, you'll only receive 75% of the full compensation sum. However, you'll no longer be entitled to damages if your fault percentage exceeds 50%.

Proving Liability in Rear-End Crashes

To determine who must pay compensation for your damages, you have to prove that the negligent party owed you a legal duty of care. You must also show that they breached the duty of care through a negligent act that caused your injuries. If you hire a car wreck lawyer in Houston, they'll gather enough evidence and carry out investigations to prove the other party's liability.

Why Do I Need an Experienced Car Wreck Lawyer in Houston?

While many factors may contribute to the success of your personal injury claim, the quality of your accident attorney is a vital one. Here's why an injured car accident victim should consider speaking with an experienced car wreck lawyer in Houston:

  • Personal injury lawyers will ensure that you don't make errors in your claim by helping you make well-informed decisions
  • Texas injury attorneys will work in conjunction with other professionals like accident reconstruction experts to investigate the accident cause
  • From drafting demand letters to filing legal documents in court, personal injury attorneys will handle all the complicated paperwork
  • Car accident lawyers are experts in handling settlement negotiations with insurance adjusters
  • Auto crash attorneys will provide top-notch legal representation in a civil lawsuit

Call an Experienced Car Wreck Lawyer in Houston

Did a negligent driver cause your rear-end auto collision in Texas? Then you deserve fair financial compensation to cushion the economic and non-economic effects of the crash. Fortunately, the experienced auto crash attorneys at Calhoun Meredith can help you with your rear-end accident claim.

The personal injury lawyers at our law firm are experts in Texas' auto accident law. We're also passionate legal professionals with a track record of successful rear-end collision cases. Hiring our impeccable legal services means having a dedicated car wreck lawyer in Houston on your case. Contact us for more details on how we can get you the justice you deserve.

Consulta Gratis
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