Houston Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
Car, Truck & Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
Every year, tens of thousands of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), 14,656 people were seriously injured and 3,896 died in motor vehicle accidents in Texas in 2020. This translates to 1 person killed every 2.25 hours and 1 person injured every 2 hours and 34 seconds.
If you or someone you love was recently one of the thousands affected by motor vehicle collisions in Texas, know that you could be entitled to financial compensation. If someone else was at fault for the accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim—and Vaughan Legal Trial Team can help.
Who Is at Fault in Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas?
Texas is one of many states to follow a traditional fault-based (“tort”) system when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. Under this system, injured accident victims must typically file claims with the at-fault person or party’s insurance company, rather than (or in addition to) filing claims with their own auto insurance providers.
In most cases, the insurance adjuster assigned to the claim is the one responsible for determining who was at fault for the accident. Insurance adjusters are supposed to make these decisions based on the available evidence and the state’s legal definition of “negligence.” If the insurance adjuster finds that one or more parties acted negligently, they should assign blame accordingly.
How Comparative Negligence Can Affect Your Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
Texas follows a comparative negligence rule, which allows injured parties to file insurance claims (and lawsuits) if they were partially at fault. However, because the state follows a modified comparative negligence rule, your percentage of fault must be equal to or less than the other party’s. In other words, you must be no more than 50 percent to blame for the accident. If you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault, you cannot file a claim or lawsuit against the other person or party.
Additionally, the rule of modified comparative negligence prohibits you from recovering the full amount you are seeking if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, even if your percentage of fault is equal to or less than the other party’s. Instead, your recovery will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. So, for example, if the insurance adjuster or court finds you 30 percent at fault, you can only recover 70 percent of the amount you are seeking.
Damages in Texas Motor Vehicle Accident Claims
Although every case is different, and the exact damages you will be able to recover after a motor vehicle accident will depend on the unique factors involved in your case, many accident victims are entitled to compensation for specific economic and non-economic losses.
After a motor vehicle accident, you could be eligible to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost income, wages, and employment benefits
- Loss of future expected earnings
- Disfigurement and/or inconvenience
- Pain and suffering, including emotional and/or mental distress
- Lost earning capacity due to disability or impairment
- Diminished quality of life/enjoyment
- At-home assistance and/or medical care costs
- Home modifications to accommodate a disability or impairment
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
In some cases, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages. In contrast to compensatory damages, like those listed above, punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim for specific losses. Instead, they are intended to punish the defendant for wrongdoing and send a message that such conduct will not be tolerated. Punitive damages are relatively rare and are typically only available in cases involving catastrophic injury and/or egregious negligence, intentional misconduct, or wanton disregard for the safety or others.
Why Hire a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney?
After any motor vehicle accident, it is important to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. In fact, the insurance adjuster’s job is to limit payouts and reduce claims. To do this, the insurance adjuster may assign you a greater degree of blame or argue that you were more than 50 percent at fault for the crash. It’s important that you work with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney, like Attorney Jeffery Vaughan, who can stand up to the insurance company and protect your rights.
Since 2003, our firm has aggressively represented accident victims throughout Harris County and the entire state of Texas. Our Houston motor vehicle accident attorney brings more than 20 years of trial experience to our practice, as well as a long and established history of success in complex litigation. We have recovered more than $100 million for our clients, including those affected by serious car, truck, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle accidents—and we are ready to help you, too.
If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident, reach out to Vaughan Legal Trial Team today. There are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs when you hire our firm; instead, we only collect legal fees if/when we win your case.