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Houston Motor Vehicle Accidents Lawyers

Houston Motor Vehicle Accidents LawyersHouston sees many kinds of motor vehicles sharing the road. You may pass passenger cars, company trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, motorcycles, bicycles, and others. If you are in a collision with any vehicle, the type of motor vehicle can affect the severity of your injuries and the claims process. In terms of risk and the process of recovering financially, colliding with a company truck is very different from colliding with a motorcycle.

No matter what kind of motor vehicle accident you have been injured in, you may wish to consult with an experienced Houston motor vehicle accident lawyer. A Houston motor vehicle accident lawyer can tell you whether you have a claim, how much your claim may be worth, and what options you have for compensation. Before you make any decisions about your case, you may wish to contact Johnson Garcia for a free consultation.

What Are Some Common Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs)?

Motor vehicles of all types can be involved in collisions, and understanding the differences is important because different crashes may result in different injuries and may require a different legal process to secure a settlement. Common MVAs can include:

  • Car accidents. Passenger cars are a leading cause of fatalities and injuries across the country, with an estimated 42,915 people losing their lives in 2021. Car accidents can include sideswipes, side-impact collisions, head-on crashes, and rear-end shunt accidents. All can lead to serious injuries.
  • 18-wheeler accidents. 18-wheelers are large trucks responsible for carrying cargo across our state and country. While these trucks are important for the economy, driver shortages and intense pressure on the industry have meant that these vehicles are often involved in accidents due to driver fatigue, insufficient driver training, driver distraction, poor truck maintenance, and other preventable causes.
  • Commercial truck accidents. Commercial vehicles are owned by a company to transport goods or employees. They often have the company logo on them, so they can act as a marketing tool, too. If you’re in a collision with a commercial truck, there may be multiple liable parties in your case, including the driver of the truck and the company that owns the vehicle. The process for making a claim will be different, too, since the truck is likely covered under a commercial liability insurance policy instead of the car insurance policy more typical for a passenger car.
  • Motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists have fewer layers of protection when compared with occupants of trucks or cars, so in a crash, they are more likely to be thrown from the vehicle and may be more likely to suffer serious injuries.
  • Bus accidents. Buses, including chartered buses, school buses, private shuttles, and public transit, all require experienced and highly trained drivers because these vehicles take longer to stop and have many blind spots. Bus accidents can cause serious injuries given the many occupants inside such vehicles, and in some cases, buses do not have seatbelts, meaning passengers can be thrown in a crash. Any objects inside the bus can also become projectiles in a collision, leading to additional potential injuries.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Some of the most vulnerable road users are pedestrians because they have no layers of protection against the size and force of a truck or car. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable in crosswalks and intersections, but they can also be hit in parking lots or even on sidewalks if a driver loses control.

No matter what kind of MVA you have been injured in, you may wish to consult with a Houston motor vehicle accident attorney. Even if you are covered by car insurance, insurers often want to resolve claims inexpensively. Lawyers in Houston for car accidents and truck accidents, on the other hand, have a duty to work in your best interest, and their goal is to maximize your financial recovery.

How Do Motor Vehicle Accidents Commonly Impact Those Involved?

One of the most devastating impacts of MVAs is the injuries they cause. Each year, there are close to 40,000 fatalities caused by motor vehicle accidents across the country. In addition to fatalities, many drivers and passengers walk away with serious injuries, such as:

  • Amputation. In a car or vehicle accident, amputation may occur if a limb or part of a limb is severed by the impact of the collision. Amputations can also occur if a passenger is trapped in the car, forcing emergency responders to amputate to get the passenger out of the vehicle. In some cases, amputation does not occur right away, but rather a limb is so injured by the crash that surgeons later must remove all or part of the affected area to save a patient’s life. In all these situations, amputations are life-altering injuries.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries. Back injuries can include chronic back pain and mobility issues or numbness in parts of the body. Serious spinal cord injuries can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia, which can paralyze a person either from the waist down or all four limbs.
  • Burns. In some vehicle accidents, especially motorcycle accidents, the fuel tank can rupture and may explode or catch fire, putting anyone nearby at risk of burn injuries. Burns may cause severe pain and scarring, and in some cases, they can lead to mobility issues.

In addition to the physical impact of an injury, MVAs also cause property damage and resulting financial loss. A car may be severely damaged in an accident, requiring extensive repairs or replacement. Any objects inside the car, including mobile devices or computer equipment, can also be damaged and require replacement.

What Are the Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents?

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is stressful enough. Having to identify the exact cause of your crash can compound that stress. Regrettably, most crashes are no accident, with approximately 98% being attributed to human error. With the help of experienced Houston motor vehicle accident lawyers, you and your family can pinpoint the cause of your accident. Here are some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in Houston, TX:

Distracted Driving

Undoubtedly, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of distracted driving, with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicating that 3,522 people died due to distracted driving in 2021. Actions like texting, grooming, eating, and looking at a car’s navigation system may lead to distracted driving accidents since drivers fail to pay complete attention to the road.


Speed kills. When a driver blasts their vehicle at full speed on the highway or even on the street, they risk losing control. Even for an experienced driver, a speeding car is harder to control or even brake.

Drunk Driving

It is illegal to drink and drive in Texas and all across the U.S. Houston drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol risk facing criminal and civil charges. In Texas, non-commercial drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more are considered intoxicated. The same applies to commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04%.

Reckless Driving

Tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and cutting other motorists off are examples of reckless driving. Such actions endanger the safety of all road users and can lead to fatal accidents.

Fatigued Driving

Drowsiness, sleepiness, exhaustion due to extended work hours, a lack of enough or quality sleep, and strenuous work can lead to motor vehicle accidents. Driving while drowsy can impair your driving, similar to alcohol impairment. This can affect a driver’s awareness of hazards and their reaction times.

Weather Conditions

Slippery roads caused by rain, ice, or snow may affect tire traction and cause a vehicle to veer off the road, hitting other vehicles, objects, or pedestrians. Wind speed and fog may cause weather-related accidents.

Vehicle Defects

Vehicles with defective components, such as faulty brakes, steering wheels, or accelerators, are more likely to cause accidents. In theory, all vehicles should be designed and manufactured without defects. However, there are instances when defective vehicles on our roads may malfunction and result in catastrophic accidents.

In such cases, manufacturers and other parties in the distribution chain may be liable for accidents. An injured victim could file a product liability claim against negligent parties, showing their actions didn’t meet the accepted standards of care.

Other causes of vehicle crashes in Houston include:

  • Road conditions
  • Aggressive driving
  • Running red lights
  • Wrong way driving
  • Improper turns
  • Running intersections

Most of the above accidents are avoidable if drivers pay more attention or make better decisions. Even though you can’t predict if you’ll get into an accident while driving on the road, experienced Houston motor vehicle accident lawyers can prove that reckless actions such as drunk driving, speeding, and fatigued driving led to your accident.

What Kinds of Costs Are Associated With Motor Vehicle Accidents?

The costs of a motor vehicle accident can be high, ranging from five figures to potentially millions of dollars. Injured passengers and pedestrians may need to pay for medical costs, including hospital stays, medication, medical devices, visits to specialists, medical treatment, imaging, and more. There may be ongoing medical costs, sometimes lasting years or a lifetime, such as those associated with permanent injuries. In addition, the costs of property damage can add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more, especially if a car needs to be replaced.

When considering costs associated with an accident, it is also important to consider incidental costs, which can be easily overlooked. The cost of a car rental while a car is being repaired, the expense of installing a ramp if your injury requires a wheelchair, the cost of adding a grab bar in the bathroom, and other expenses can all add up. Many individuals do not consider these additional losses, which is why consulting with a Houston motor vehicle accident lawyer can be useful to discuss the true total costs of your injury.

What Types of Damages May Be Available in Your Case?

If you are involved in a crash, you may file an insurance claim to recover compensation for your injuries. The courts may award damages if the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions led to your accident and injuries. Generally, two types of damages may be available in injury claims: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

These damages compensate injured victims financially for any losses incurred due to the actions or inactions of the defendant. These quantifiable financial losses or expenses must be proven with specificity using documents such as receipts and bills.

Examples of economic damages may include:

  • Medical bills, such as surgery costs, ambulance rides, doctor’s visits, and hospitalization costs
  • Loss of irreplaceable items
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity

Non-Economic Damages

Also known as general damages, these damages naturally arise due to the at-fault driver’s negligent actions. They are harder to calculate since they are subjective and don’t have a specific dollar value.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Loss of companionship due to wrongful death
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Physical impairment
  • Physical pain and suffering

Courts may also award punitive damages in personal injury cases if the defendant’s actions are considered particularly outrageous or malicious. These damages are rarely awarded in injury cases and are offered at the court’s discretion. Texas caps punitive damages at $200,000, or two times the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of general damages up to $750,000.

How Long Does a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawsuit Take in Texas?

Every motor vehicle accident case is unique. The facts surrounding your case significantly determine how long it may take to settle. A personal injury case may take anywhere from weeks to months or even years to settle, with most cases being settled privately outside of court. Since every case is different, here are some factors that can influence the amount of time your case takes to settle:

  • Severity of injuries
  • Pre-existing injuries
  • Insurance companies involved
  • Willingness of insurance companies to accept liability
  • Length of recovery
  • Whether you’ll make a full recovery
  • Impact of your injuries on your future
  • Whether you are seeking a huge settlement due to significant injuries
  • Whether multiple parties were liable
  • Whether the cause of the accident is clear
  • Availability of evidence, such as medical records, to support injuries
  • Applicability of punitive damages

When parties can’t reach an agreement, our Houston motor vehicle accident lawyers will file a lawsuit in court and pursue the case on your behalf. Court cases may also take time, depending on factors like the caseload in your jurisdiction.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Have to Settle a Claim in Texas?

Texas insurance laws require drivers to have minimum liability coverage of 30/60/25. A driver must have at least $30,000 for injuries per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. Since Texas is an at-fault state, you must file a claim with the defendant’s insurance carrier to receive a settlement covering your injuries and damages.

Texas law prohibits insurance carriers from dragging out the settlement process. The state requires insurance companies to respond to a filed claim within 15 days of receiving notice. During this period, insurers are required to begin their investigation into the injury claim and request all relevant information from the claimant to help with their investigation, such as your proof of loss form, eyewitness statements, and medical records.

Insurance companies must approve or deny a claim within 15 days. Still, an insurance adjuster can extend this period to 45 days if they have the appropriate basis. If the insurer rejects your claim, they must provide reasons for their rejection.

If they approve your claim, the insurance company has five business days after the approval to settle.

So, as per Texas law, insurance companies have 35 days from receipt of a notice of claim to decide and settle an injury case unless the adjuster requests a 45-day extension period.

What is the Statute of Limitations on Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas?

States impose statutes of limitations that specify how long victims have to file claims against defendants. Each state has its own statute of limitations for various types of claims. This time limit provides a small window for plaintiffs to file cases against defendants and their insurance companies to recover compensation after accidents.

Statutes of limitations also protect defendants from legal action after an unreasonable amount of time has passed. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the set period, you risk losing the right to seek damages for your motor vehicle accident.

In Texas, an injured victim — the plaintiff — has two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. This applies to all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving pedestrians and cyclists.

If your loved one dies as a result of a motor vehicle collision, the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Texas is also two years from the date of their demise. The surviving spouse, children, and parents can bring a wrongful death claim as soon as the death occurs. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may also file a claim.

How Can Johnson Garcia Help?

If you need a motor vehicle accident attorney, Houston has many options, but there are several reasons why you may wish to contact Johnson Garcia. Johnson Garcia has more than 30 years of combined experience, and we have recovered over $100 million on behalf of our injured clients. Our legal team was founded by experienced attorneys who left successful careers representing large corporations because they wanted to make a difference by helping those who needed assistance.

Johnson Garcia is client-focused. Our goal is to help clients secure fair compensation for their injuries. To do that, we offer a friendly and supportive office atmosphere, 24/7 support, bilingual English and Spanish communications, Saturday and evening appointment times, and more. We also offer contingency billing and a free initial consultation, so you don’t have to worry about upfront costs if you have a case. You don’t pay anything unless we are able to recover money for you! Call 832-844-6700 now to discuss your case.

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