Most traffic accidents are the result of negligence. If you were involved in an accident, or if your loved one died due to a fatal car crash, and you believe someone else was at fault, reach out to the Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC right away. Our Houston car accident lawyers can review the details of your case, identify the liable party, and help you fight for the full, fair compensation you are owed.
For those who live and drive in the Houston Metropolitan Area, it’s no surprise that Texas has some of the nation’s most dangerous and deadly roads.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents in our state, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that traffic accident deaths increased by more than 7.5% in 2020 from the previous year.
The overall death toll of 3,896 for 2020 equates to 1 fatality every 2.25 hours. Perhaps even more alarming, 1 person was injured in a traffic accident in Texas every 2 minutes and 34 seconds in 2020.
How Do Car Accident Claims Work in Texas?
Texas is what is known as a “tort” state when it comes to auto accidents and insurance claims. This simply means that insurance claims must be brought based on fault.
In other words, you must prove that someone else—whether it’s another driver, an auto manufacturer, or some other party—was at fault for the accident that led to your injuries or the death of your loved one to have a case.
All motorists are automatically assumed to owe others on the road a reasonable duty of care. This means that they have a legal responsibility to follow the law, drive carefully, and take all reasonable measures to prevent causing an accident. When they fail to uphold this duty of care, and you are injured as a result, you have the right to take legal action.
To have a car accident claim in Texas, you will typically need to prove the following:
- You were injured due to an accident and suffered measurable losses, known as “damages”
- The defendant was at least partly responsible for the accident
- If you were partly at fault, your degree of fault was not more than the defendant’s
- The accident was the cause of your injuries and resulting damages
Note that, in some cases, you may still file a personal injury claim in Texas if you were partly at fault for the auto accident that led to your injuries. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, you can seek compensation for damages as long as you were no more than 50% at fault for the accident.
If you are found to be 51% or more at fault, you may not file a claim or receive compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages.
Additionally, if you are found to be partly at fault, even if you are less than 51% at fault, you cannot recover the full amount of damages you are seeking. Instead, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if the insurance adjuster and/or court find you 25% at fault for the accident, and you are seeking $10,000 in damages, you may only recover up to 75% of that amount, or $7,500.
Insurance companies may utilize the rule of modified comparative negligence to devalue your claim, or they may argue that you were more than 50% at fault for the crash and, therefore, not entitled to any compensation.
At The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC, we know how to fight back against these and other insurance company tactics used to dispute rightful car accident claims. We encourage you to get in touch with our team today to learn how we can stand up for you and your rights.
You don’t owe any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you! Call (713) 561-5454 or contact us online to request a free consultation today.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents in Texas?
As previously mentioned, negligence is the most common cause of car accidents. This negligence can—and does—take many forms, from human error to traffic law violations and more.
Specifically, some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents include:
- Speeding, including driving too fast for current conditions
- Distracted driving, including cellphone use/texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Fatigued or drowsy driving, as well as falling asleep at the wheel
- Failing to yield the right of way to other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists
- Disobeying traffic control devices, such as traffic signals and stop signs
- Unsafe or unlawful turns, passing, merging, or lane changes
- Aggressive or reckless driving, including road rage
- Dangerous or defective road construction or design
- Improper or missing roadway maintenance
- Auto defects, including defective tires, brakes, seatbelts, or airbags
At The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC, our Houston car accident lawyers work with accident reconstruction experts, as well as a team of other specialists, to identify the exact cause of your accident and the myriad effects it has had on your life.
Once we have put together powerful evidence on your behalf, we develop innovative legal strategies aimed at maximizing your recovery. While most car accident cases settle outside of court, we are fully prepared to represent you at trial if necessary.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
One of the main elements of a car accident case is proving that the crash caused you actual bodily harm. Without physical injuries or monetary damages resulting from those injuries, you do not have a personal injury case.
Motor vehicle accidents often lead to devastating, life-changing injuries, such as:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck, spine, and back injuries
- Burns and road rash
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue and organ damage
At The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC, we not only understand how serious your injuries are but also how important it is that you receive fair compensation for your resulting medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
In addition to fighting for fair compensation for your economic losses, our attorneys are ready to advocate for maximum recovery for non-economic damages on your behalf, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment of life.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Car Accident Lawsuits in Texas?
In nearly all cases, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file a car accident lawsuit in Texas. While this may seem like a long time, the truth is that it takes a long time to gather evidence and prepare your case. The sooner you reach out to an experienced attorney, the better.
If you fail to bring your claim to court before the two-year statute of limitations expires, you will almost certainly lose your right to sue the liable party for damages.
This means that you won’t be able to recover any compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, or related losses. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Reach out toThe Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC right away to learn how we can help you with your car accident claim.
Schedule a complimentary consultation today; call (713) 561-5454 or contact us online.
Some of the best people in this world apologize for things they did not even do. Why? Because they care about how their actions affect others. Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will use your good nature against you when asking for money.
Even a seemingly innocuous apology can be used to deny you the benefits you deserve. Insurance companies consider fighting with claimants a hazard of doing business. DO NOT let them get away with paying you less than what you are owed.
Before filing a car accident claim, you should know that:
- The insurance adjuster will not put your interests first, no matter how empathetic he or she sounds
- The insurance company will likely argue that you were at fault or dispute the validity of your injuries
- All of your telephone calls are recorded and are admissible as evidence in civil court
- Insurance adjusters are trained masters in the art of negotiation and instilling self-doubt in the minds of injury victims or wrongful death survivors
- There is a filing deadline for your car accident lawsuit; if you miss this deadline, you will almost certainly lose your right to seek compensation for your damages
Hiring a car accident lawyer does not make you appear to be guilty or at fault. It is your fundamental right to let an attorney review any settlement offers or file a claim appeal. In fact, it is in your best interests to always speak to a lawyer before signing anything provided to you by the insurance company or agreeing to any settlement they may offer.
If you are injured, or your family member passes away after a motor vehicle accident, the most proactive approach you can take to protect your legal rights is to hire a lawyer who can help you deal with the insurance company and, if necessary, the court. An attorney can protect your rights and fight for the full, fair compensation you are owed.
After a motor vehicle accident in Texas, it is in your best interests to do the following:
- Seek Medical Attention: If anyone appears seriously injured, call 911 right away. Do not attempt to move anyone who appears to have a severe injury but, instead, wait for paramedics to arrive. Even if you are not gravely injured, you should still seek medical attention after a car accident. The shock of being involved in a crash may initially mask the symptoms of your injury. Over time, you may realize that your injury is more serious than you first realized. For your personal safety, and for the benefit of your future personal injury claim, you should always see a medical professional after a motor vehicle accident.
- Report the Accident: Texas law requires you to report any accident that results in bodily injury, death, or apparent property damage of $1,000 or more to law enforcement. It is a good idea to contact the police and have them come out to the scene of the accident, if possible. In any case, you should always file an official police report if you were injured or if your loved one died in an automobile accident. You should also report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. Often, your insurance company requires you to report accidents within a few days or weeks, depending on the policy you have.
- Preserve Evidence from the Accident: If you can, take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle or physical injuries you sustained, using your smartphone. You should also keep any damaged items, including your vehicle, until your claim has been resolved (if possible). Ask for copies of the official police report, as well as your medical records, and make sure to write down everything you can remember about what happened as soon as possible after the crash. If any witnesses saw what happened, and you can, be sure to get their names and contact information.
- Follow Your Doctors’ Orders: Ensure that you meet with your doctor and follow his or her orders explicitly. Your doctor takes detailed notes of your progress, including your ability to stick to your aftercare plan. These notes will almost certainly come into question, as the insurance company has the right to review your medical records when you are negotiating or litigating an insurance claim. Following your doctor’s orders is not only important for your continued health and wellbeing but also the success of your personal injury claim.
- Avoid Speaking to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company: The other driver’s insurance company will almost certainly reach out to you after the accident in an attempt to get your statement. They may even try to get you to agree to a settlement right away. Do not accept a first insurance settlement offer from the insurer. Once you sign a liability release, you cannot go after them later for more money if you discover that your injuries are much worse than previously anticipated. We strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney at our firm before signing anything or accepting any settlement from the other party’s insurance company.
Signs You Need an Auto Accident Lawyer
You Have a Serious Injury
In order to protect you and your family financially, a serious injury is going to require serious compensation. Your number one priority is to seek out medical assistance for the injury or injuries that you sustained during the accident.
However, the very next thing you should do is seek out legal representation.
You need to hire a trusted auto accident attorney in Houston to be by your side. They will gather evidence and statements from witnesses to help you get as much compensation as possible for your injuries and other losses.
There Was a Death in the Accident
Those of you that didn’t experience a fatality during your auto accident, count your blessings. For those of you that did, you should immediately reach out to an attorney to fight for you.
You’ll have enough on your plate with mourning the loss of a loved one, dealing with car insurance, making alternate arrangements, etc. Let your attorney take on the legal side while you deal with everything else.
Any delays in communications can affect your case or derail it completely. This is why having your attorney handle all communication is the best way to ensure a quick resolution, enforcement of your rights, and overall case success.
You’re Facing a Company
If your auto accident includes a company-owned vehicle of some sort, then you’ll be dealing with a team of lawyers that the business has on retainer for such occasions. Without a lawyer on your side, you have almost no hope of winning your case.
Their side has years of experience and practice, tilting the playing field in their favor. Hiring an auto accident lawyer with years of experience and know-how will help you gain back the advantage.
Their legal team will work tirelessly to try and get the minimum (or no) payout for the injuries that you’ve sustained. If you so much as speak out of term without a lawyer present, they’ll use it against you and your case.
Fight fire with fire. Hire an attorney and follow all of the directions they give you to a “T”. You’ll increase the odds of winning your case as soon as you do.
Several Parties Are Involved
The more parties that are involved in your auto accident, the greater the need that you have for having legal assistance on your side. Every other party will, meaning you’ll already be at a disadvantage if you don’t.
Most cases with car accidents involving multiple parties will try to equally divide the blame among several different parties, rather than finding one culprit that’s responsible for all the damage.
If you feel that you’re completely innocent, you and your attorney will have to work day and night to prove it.
Even reducing your amount of liability will prove to be a dog fight. Several different attorneys will be pointing the finger at other parties. You need a Houston car accident lawyer who can prove them all wrong.
You’re Struggling to Collect Evidence
This is the biggest struggle for many people involved in a car accident. As soon as it happens, the adrenaline is pumping so much that they forget to gather as much evidence as possible. Days later, they find themselves struggling to collect proper evidence, now that the witnesses are gone, and they don’t have enough photos as proof.
In that situation, you need to hire a professional car accident attorney from the get-go.
They’ll be your saving grace in collecting evidence because they have more avenues to do so. For example, they can line up face-to-face questioning with witnesses that the police report has written on file.
There’s an Opportunity for a Fair Settlement
One of the best scenarios for you is to try and reach a settlement prior to trial. That means you’ll be dodging hefty court fees and other litigation costs. These settlements shouldn’t be taken lightly, however. They generally aren’t amicable discussions among several parties.
Rather, they’re the respective parties trying to leverage evidence against the other in order to reduce or increase compensation. You’ll want a lawyer present to defend your side of things. Hiring a Houston auto accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Omar Khawaja can help increase the likelihood that you reach the settlement you’re deserving of – one that takes all of your losses into consideration.
Often, the financial costs associated with car accidents and accident-related injuries are astronomical. Even if you sustain relatively “minor” injuries, you could still potentially end up paying thousands of dollars in medical bills. On top of this, you will likely need to take time off from work to receive treatment and attend follow-up appointments with your doctor, meaning you could lose substantial wages and income you need to pay for those medical bills.
The purpose of filing a car accident claim is to recover fair financial compensation for these and other losses you have endured as a result of the accident. While every situation is different, and the exact value of your claim depends on numerous factors, many car accident victims recover compensation for certain damages.
Common damages in car accident claims in Texas include:
- Emergency medical care costs
- Ambulance and hospital fees
- Surgeries and other treatments
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Medical equipment/devices
- Prescription medications
- Ongoing and future medical care costs
- Lost income, wages, and benefits
- Loss of earning capacity and future earnings
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Lost quality/enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
In cases involving gross negligence or willful/wanton disregard for the safety of others, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages.
Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are awarded as a way of punishing the defendant and simultaneously working to ensure that similar events do not happen again in the future.
When you work withThe Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC, you get a dedicated team of experienced Houston car accident lawyers fighting for you and your recovery.
While it is true that money does not make up for all the harm you have experienced, it does send an important message to negligent and reckless individuals that people like you are not going to stand for this type of behavior.
Not only does your claim let them know that such conduct will not be tolerated, but it also allows you to fight for the much-needed financial resources you are owed.
Dedicated & Experienced CounselOur team has handled thousands of cases and we have the skills, insight, and commitment to fight for the results you need and deserve. We are not afraid to go to trial and will work until we obtain justice on your behalf.
Personal Touch to Personal InjuryAt The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja we pride ourselves on providing personalized attention to each and every one of our clients. We work to get to know you and your case to understand how we can best assist with your goals.
Customized Legal StrategiesWe believe that no two cases are alike and work with you to understand, first and foremost, the details of your case and how our team can be most beneficial to you and your needs. Next, we work to collaborate with you on a targeted legal approach.
Commitment to Integrity
Your legal rights are our priority. We give our utmost attention to every case with outstanding morals and work ethic. Our team commits ourselves to ALWAYS providing you and your loved ones with the highest quality legal service around.
How a Car Accident Lawyer fromThe Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC Can Help
When you trust your car accident case to the team at The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, PLLC, you can rest assured that we will do everything possible to secure the fair compensation you and your family deserve. We will be there for you every step of the way, offering answers to your questions and addressing any concerns you may have.
Our firm handles all types of motor vehicle accident cases, including but not limited to those involving:
- Multiple vehicles/drivers
- Wrongful deaths
- Catastrophic injuries
- Uninsured/underinsured motorists
- Large trucks and commercial vehicles
- Ubers, Lyfts, and other rideshare vehicles
- Diminished value claims
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Highway accidents
No matter how complex your case may be, you can trust our firm to fight tirelessly for you. There are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs when you hire our firm; instead, we only collect legal fees if/when we recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact Our Team
Our skilled attorneys, years of experience, and passion have made us one of the top law offices in Texas. When you have been injured, you need a team dedicated to giving you a voice. The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja is that team.