Some of the worst medical outcomes are the result of an auto accident, and lawyers in Houston are often called upon to help the victims put their lives back together. Harris County is one of the worst areas in the entire country in terms of car crashes, and in 2011, there were nearly 40,000 documented incidents in the Bayou City alone. The true number, which includes undocumented crashes, is likely much higher. San Antonio (about 28,000 crashes in 2011) and Dallas (about 23,000) trail the Bayou City significantly, making it the worst in terms of traffic safety in the state of Texas.
In Harris County, 360 people died in 2011 as a result of car crashes. That’s nearly a fatality every day for the entire year. And the number of serious injuries was much higher, with more than 10,000 people seriously hurt in traffic incidents. In short, traffic safety continues to be a major problem in the area, and this is why injury attorneys focus much of their efforts on victims of these wrecks.
HOW CAN AUTO ACCIDENT LAWYERS IN HOUSTON ASSIST VICTIMS OF CAR CRASHES?
It is up to every driver on the road to practice safe vehicle operation, as even a brief lapse in attention can expose others to grave danger. And in most cases, it is a lapse in attention or risky driving that results in a crash. Occasionally, mechanical failure or poorly maintained roads are to blame, which will implicate a vehicle manufacturer or the local municipality.
In most cases, though, a claim will involve a pair of drivers – the victim and the defendant. When an auto accident occurs, lawyers in Houston will work to demonstrate who is liable for the crash. Some of the factors that an attorney will consider include:
- Was the defendant intoxicated at the time of the crash? Intoxicated drivers are always in breach of their duty to others on the road, so they assume total liability when they hurt someone.
- Was the defendant violating a traffic law at the time of the crash? In general, a defendant will assume liability if they were speeding, making an illegal turn, or ignoring signage. Sometimes, though, both drivers were acting negligently at the time of the crash. When this is the case, the defendant may argue for comparative negligence, which will place some of the blame on the victim and reduce their liability.
Evidence is a key part of claims involving an auto accident. Injury lawyers in Houston will need the evidence to corroborate a victim’s case, and this evidence may include witness testimony, photos, medical records, accident reports and expert witnesses, some of whom can help reconstruct the events leading up to the crash.
It’s possible for a victim to secure a major settlement with a well-executed claim, and such a settlement will ensure medical coverage and support if time away from work is needed.