San Antonio Car Accident Attorney
Car Accidents happen every day and unfortunately they can lead to life altering injuries. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 200,000 injuries occur every year throughout the state from motor vehicle crashes. This number is equivalent to an injury causing accident occurring about every two minutes. Unfortunately, fault in car accidents is often hotly disputed and insurance companies do not always have your best interest at heart – oftentimes denying your injury claim. When this happens, you need an experienced San Antonio car accident attorney who will stick up for you and fight for your rights to compensation. We have experiences in handling a variety of car accidents cases, including:
- Accidents caused by fatigued drivers
- Automobile defects
- Accidents involving livestock
- Inexperienced drivers
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving accidents
Car Accidents Trends in San Antonio
After a very deadly 2016, the City of San Antonio received some great news last year, as the number of traffic fatalities in the city declined by a full 26 percent in 2017. Of course, while city officials are happy about the fact that there were 53 fewer deaths last year than the year before, many are at a loss as to why. Some, like city officials and traffic engineers, are giving credit to several programs that possibly triggered the improvement, but most are at a loss when it comes to identifying a clear cause-and-effect for the dip.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released a candid statement saying they had no answers for it, although they did note that the city and state have embarked on several programs, such as Vision Zero, that may have helped. For example, the TxDOT pilot program on U.S. 281, in which flashing signs now warn of wrong-way drivers, has certainly reduced the number of crashes due to that problem, but they also admitted that pointing to one reason for the spike in traffic deaths in 2016 was very difficult to do. Since the main causes for this reduction in fatalities has still yet to be identified, it is uncertain if 2017 was an anomaly, or if the measures taken were indeed effective. Given Texas’ auto-centric growth, low gasoline prices, and the massive increase in cell phone-related distracted driving collisions, wrecks are still a common occurrence in San Antonio. If you have been in an accident, here are a few things to keep in mind:
What to Do After an Accident
- If you are able, call 911 to report the accident.
- Immediately seek medical attention for any injuries.
- When the police arrive, give them a full account of what happened, with as much detail as you can. Include every detail possible, including the possible odor of alcohol or whether the other driver was distracted by their phone while they were driving.
- Get a copy of the police report as soon as you can and make sure it is accurate.
- Do not give any statements, written or recorded, to anyone, especially the opposing driver’s insurance agent.
- Get the names and contact information for the driver and any potential witnesses for the accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Texas
Texas is a fault car insurance state, meaning that drivers can be held liable for the damage and injuries they cause. Therefore, all drivers in the state of Texas are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. The required coverage amounts are as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person,
- $60,000 for bodily injury per accident if two or more people are injured,
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
It is possible, and even advisable, to carry even more insurance in the event of a particularly bad accident. However, many drivers only carry the minimum amount of insurance, which will go toward your compensation following the accident. Insurance companies may also try to get out of paying what you are owed, claiming that you are also at fault for the accident, or that your injures are not a serious as they are. An experienced San Antonio car accident lawyer can help protect your rights when dealing with insurance companies.
If an employee causes an accident while on working, that person’s employer may be held liable for the employee’s actions. For example, if someone driving a company car on company related business runs a red light and causes an accident, the employer can be liable for damages for any injury or property damage the accident caused. Vicarious liability is common in commercial truck accidents where a trucking company is held responsible for the actions of their drivers.
Negligent entrustment can occur when a person loans his or her car to a person who may be unsuitable to drive. This can happen when a car is loaned to a person who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, unlicensed, underage, inexperienced, elderly, ill or has a known history of reckless driving. If the owner of the car is aware that the person driving should not be trusted to drive responsibly, that person can be responsible for damages.
Negligent entrustment can also apply to the parents of teenage drivers. It is possible for parents to be held responsible for a car accident caused by one of their children. If a parent knows the teen’s inexperience and immaturity can make him or her unfit to drive responsibly, but lets the licensed teen drive the family car anyway, then the parents may be liable for damages in the event of an accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Texas does not require drivers to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, but it does require insurance companies to offer it. While may people choose not to carry it because it means they will have to spend more, it can be an invaluable asset if the at-fault driver in your accident doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, or is not insured at all. You will need to prove fault on the part of the other driver in order to collect under your UM/UIM provision. A San Antonio car accident attorney can help you collect the necessary evidence to convince your insurance company that the uninsured driver was negligent.
Why Do I need an Attorney After a Wreck?
Although you may think that your accident was minor or you do not need an attorney after an accident, there are a number of ways that we can help, including:
- Speaking with insurance companies, guiding you through the process, and advocating on your behalf.
- Using our expertise to sift through the evidence, evaluate police reports, and interview witnesses.
- Estimating fair compensation based on the severity of the damage and your injuries.
- Ensuring that you are getting the best deal possible based on the facts of your case.
- Taking the responsible party to court if necessary.
If you or a loved one have been severely injured in a motor vehicle accident, be sure to protect your legal rights. Our firm handles cases all over the great state of Texas and we have the experience to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our San Antonio office today for questions or to schedule a free case evaluation, 210-960-3939.
“My wife and I were in a car accident and we did not know what to do. We called the Hill Law Firm almost immediately. Justin guided us through the entire process and quickly resolved our cases. We were very happy with the outcome. Outside of the law world, I have known Justin for a long time. He is smart and hard working. He is the exact type of person you want on your side in a fight. I keep his cards around in case anyone I know needs a recommendation for an attorney.” – Ryan