Houston Car Accident Attorneys(281) 283-8500
Don’t accept a low-ball settlement or go through an insurance claim alone. Houston car accident attorney Scott Krist & his team make car accident cases move quickly, so injury victims are protected and recover more. Free Consults & Zero Up-Front Cost.
A Houston Car Accident Lawyer to Make the Difference
When the unimaginable happens, and you’re injured in a car accident anywhere in the Houston area, it is important to know all your options. The insurance industry won’t protect you the way a dedicated car accident lawyer will. And this could be the difference in getting your bills paid, the care you need, and fair compensation for all you lost.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our experienced and highly successful Houston car accident lawyers provide the practical advice you need and clear guidance at every step along the way. With Krist in your corner, you can recover all the compensation you deserve.
Read some of our past results and see how we’ve helped people in situations like yours.
Let’s Talk About Your Accident
Before you accept some insurance offer or speak with an adjuster, discuss your situation with our compassionate and attentive Houston car accident attorneys. You’ll get the facts, what to expect, and how we can be of service.
Contact us online or call 281-283-8500 . Initial consultations are always free and if you work with us, there are never up-front costs. You won’t owe a dime until we recover compensation for you.
How Krist Fights for You
No one expects to be injured in a car accident, and most of the people we talk to say they are not interested in lawsuits. But the fact remains, having a legal representative is what makes large insurance companies take you seriously. Without a dedicated auto accident attorney, these companies know they can pressure you to accept less than what’s fair.
At The Krist Law Firm, we won’t let that happen. Here are some of the ways that we help you and your family after a Houston car accident.
A Professional Investigation
Our team of accident attorneys has handled virtually every type of car accident in Texas. We’ll look at yours from every angle and use industry experts when necessary to understand the circumstances of your accident. Once we have the facts, our Houston car crash lawyers will evaluate your claim and advise you honestly and clearly. From that point on, we’ll pursue every penny of compensation you deserve.
Get the Medical Care You Need
Often, car accident victims falsely believe that their injuries are minor or do not warrant medical attention. Let us arrange for a thorough medical exam to fully assess your injuries and any ongoing effects on your health. The insurance company only wants to pay the bare minimum of your health care. We’re here to ensure everything is covered, from the tests to prescription medications, physical therapy, and any surgeries you’ll need in the future.
We Deal with Insurance Companies For You
Insurance is a billion-dollar industry where companies fight for profit and their own interests, not for justice or fair play. It may seem like they hold all the cards, but at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we use decades of experience and real courtroom skill to hold them accountable. When your accident attorney is armed with a strong case and passion for getting you what’s right, negotiations can quickly turn in your favor.
We’re Trial Ready & Pursue the Max
Even though most car accident claims reach a settlement, we prepare every case for court. This puts the insurer on notice and lets us collect all the evidence we need to prove negligence and liability. We do this because car accident injuries and their costs tend to be more long-term and substantial than most think. And our car crash lawyers want to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to by law. This is not limited to your various medical bills and vehicle damage but also includes your lost wages and the pain and suffering you endured.
Ready to get your Houston car accident claim started? Contact Krist online or call 281-283-8500 for a free, no obligation consult.
Table of Contents
- Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents We Handle
- Do I Need a Lawyer After a Motor Vehicle Crash?
- Why Should I Hire The Krist Law Firm, P.C.?
- Car Accident Compensation
- How Much Is my Car Accident Case Worth?
- Texas Damages Caps
- Will My Car Accident Settlement Be Part of the Public Record?
- Texas Car Accident Statistics
- Texas’ Most Dangerous Roads
- Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Types of Collisions We Handle
- Injuries You May Have Suffered in a Texas Car Accident
- What You Should Do After an Accident
- Don’t Deal With an Insurance Company Alone After an Accident
- The Car Accident Process
- There Is a Limited Window of Time to File a Car Accident Lawsuit
- Car Accident FAQs
- Losing a Loved One in a Fatal Crash
Houston Car Accidents We Handle
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our car accident attorneys we understand that not all crashes in the Houston area are the same. There may be any number of complications that come up. But, our team has seen and done it all. By being prepared for everything, our clients usually see faster results for higher amounts.
When you are hurt in any motor vehicle accident, it is important to work with a Houston accident attorney who knows how to handle that type of crash. And how your lawyer investigates your accident will influence the evidence they collect and the arguments they make. These issues also matter when making settlement demands and how to negotiate for your claim’s full value.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our car accident lawyers are highly experienced in a broad range of motor vehicle accidents all across the Houston–Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area. Call us right away if you were in a:
Why You Need a Lawyer
One of the most common questions we here is “Do I really need a lawyer after an accident?” In most cases the answer is a very load, “YES!”
If you walked away with only a few bumps and bruises, and all you need is your vehicle repaired or replaced, then working with insurers without a lawyer is probably fine.
Accident Attorneys Increase The Odds of Getting Compensation
However, if you were injured in the car crash in any way, you should call a Houston car accident attorney right away. This simple act significantly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome to your case.
In fact, Martindale-Nolo found that of the injury victims who hired lawyers, 91 % received a payout. But only 51% of injury victims who did not hire lawyers received a payout.
Having an accident lawyer also increases the average amount received by accident victims. The study respondents who hired a lawyer received an average of $77,600. Those who handled things themselves only received $17,600 on average.
There are numerous reasons for such a significant difference. But essentially a car accident lawyer knows how to translate your injuries into a monetary value.
Higher Car Accident Settlements
Having the right car accident injury attorney in Houston also improves your chance of a higher settlement because they negotiate. Your attorney will rarely recommend accepting the first offer because it is likely much lower than what you deserve. Negotiating is one method to increase the final payout.
Martindale-Nolo’s study supported this. Respondents who negotiated their payouts received an average of $42,500 compared to those who accepted their first offers and received an average of $11,800.
Additionally, having a lawyer for your car accident improves your chance of maximizing your payout because they are comfortable filing a lawsuit and taking cases to court. In the study, accident victims who filed or threatened to file a lawsuit received an average of $45,500. Those who did not use the courts received, on average, $23,000.
Insurers Take Attorneys Seriously
Our Houston car accident lawyers know how to work with and against insurers. At the Krist Law Firm, we have a track record of holding insurers accountable and know you need the compensation to be made whole again for all your physical and emotional suffering.
Don’t Let Attorney Fees Scare You
We understand that the potential cost of hiring a lawyer for a car accident may hold you back from calling us. We want to reassure you that the price of hiring a lawyer is well worth it. Also, at The Krist Law Firm, we do not charge upfront fees.
We take auto accident cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay us anything unless we get you compensation.
Why Hire The Krist Law Firm, P.C.?
When you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in the Houston area, you need the right car accident lawyer near you. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we are the law firm for you. We have been fighting for the rights of injured individuals and workers throughout Texas for decades.
We have seen the struggles you are forced to go through when someone else’s negligence collides with your life. We have witnessed the physical, mental, and financial toll a car crash can take on you and your family.
Let Us Explain Your Claim & Texas Car Accident Law.
When you hire us, you can expect to get everything you need to push through this process and obtain the best possible outcome. You gain highly experienced Houston car accident attorneys, clear and honest communication, and an advocate at every turn.
Up-front Advice & a Record of Success
Our team will always be clear about your legal options, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. We guide you through the car accident claims process and communicate with you on a regular basis to make sure you always know what is going on with your case.
We are proud to provide client-focused and detailed attention on every case we take on. This has enabled us to obtain a strong track record of success. Some of our case results include:
- $6,028,000 verdict for a father and daughter injured in a motorcycle-tractor trailer collision.
- $2,500,000 recovery for a family after a fatal car accident.
- $9,650,000 recovery for a family after a fatal helicopter crash.
- $2,878,553 recovery for Houston airport shuttle bus passengers.
- $1,280,000 recovery for survivors of a trucking accident.
- $2,200,000 recovery for vehicle driver in a truck-vehicle collision.
- $4,750,000 recovery for a woman injured in a head-on crash.
The Krist Law Firm, P.C.,is at the top of their field. We have been recognized by:
“One thing that I’ll tell you about Scott is that he’s going to fight for you. Bottom line. You know, my nickname for Scott is “the Bulldog.” He told me from the very beginning, “I’m to worry about your financial health. You worry about your physical health” — and that’s what he did.
That’s what The Krist Law Firm did for me — they honored their word.”
Spencer Brooks, client
Krist Handles Everything
After a car wreck, your job is to take care of yourself. You do not need to take on any additional stress. This can feel impossible when you need compensation, but it is within reach when you have the right accident attorney.
By hiring The Krist Law Firm, P.C., you have someone to deal with the paperwork, bills, phone calls, and demands from the insurance adjuster. Let us lift the burden of the claims process off your shoulders. We will worry about your finances while you concentrate on your recovery.
What Your Houston Car Accident is Worth
Not every injury is apparent after a car crash. Symptoms can be delayed and sometimes a small discomfort will progress into debilitating pain. That’s why you should immediately seek medical treatment after any vehicle accident. You may have catastrophic or serious injuries and be unable to work or enjoy life in the same way after the accident. At a time when medical bills are piling up and you’re unable to earn an income, the last thing you need is undue financial stress. What you need is a Houston car accident lawyer, who can help you assess all your losses and obtain compensation to cover your expenses.
It is unacceptable to have to shoulder the burden of a collision you did not cause. After a car wreck in Houston, you should be focused on your physical recovery. Let us handle the legal process, so you can focus on healing. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we will strive to get what you need and deserve.
You may be able to receive payment for past and future:
Loss of Earning Capacity
Pain and Suffering
Recovering compensation for mental anguish encompasses myriad psychological elements such as embarrassment, shame, anxiety, stress, depression, grief, loss of enjoyment of life, impairment to close relationships, anger, and more. To recover for mental anguish within a personal injury claim, it usually must be connected to a physical injury and disruptive to your daily life.
Proving mental anguish can be difficult, however, it is not impossible. You, friends, family members, and your mental health provider can testify as to how the accident has affected you. You are more likely to gain compensation if the accident led to a diagnosable condition like depression or your mental health provider testifies as to your mental state.
If a car crash left you with visible scarring, burns, amputations, or other marks that impair your appearance, beauty, or symmetry, then you have the right to seek recovery for disfigurement and the mental anguish it causes you. This is a separate form of damages from physical limitations, physical pain, and the mental anguish related to the crash as a whole.
There is no predetermined way to calculate the cost of a disfigurement. You and your accident attorney will argue for what this injury and its emotional toll is worth during your personal injury claim. Severe disfigurements, those that are clearly visible to others, and those that create a deformity are often worth more than disfigurements that appear to be minor or are not readily visible to others. For instance, a disfigurement on your face is likely worth more than a disfigurement on your torso. However, there is no specific rule regarding a disfigurement’s worth. You may also argue for a higher recovery if the disfigurement is likely to affect your career or romantic prospects.
If you are left with physical limitations following a car accident, you have the right to seek compensation for this permanent injury. A physical limitation can be as obvious as an amputation or a hidden injury, such as a permanent back problem.
How much your physical limitation is worth in recovery depends on a number of factors, including how much the injury limits your ability to live independently and work. A more severe or visible physical limitation will often result in a greater amount of compensation compared to a seemingly minor or hidden permanent injury. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. It is up to you and your accident lawyer to demonstrate to an insurer the financial, physical, and emotional cost of a physical limitation to obtain the maximum recovery possible.
If you and your car accident attorney can show that the at-fault party acted recklessly or with malice, then you may have the right to obtain additional compensation, which is meant to punish the responsible party.
How Much Is my Car Accident Case Worth?
You may see other auto accidents resolved with million and multi-million settlements and court rulings. You may hope that your case is worth a similar amount. It may or may not be. It is impossible to know the potential value of your claim without talking to an experienced car injury lawyer first. Every case is unique. Numerous factors contribute to the potential final value of your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
To begin determining the potential value of your case, we will carefully scrutinize your losses and the other party’s insurance policy limits.
In every vehicle accident case, the victim suffers economic and non-economic losses. The economic losses are easily quantifiable. We can look at your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses and add them up to one monetary figure. This is a starting point for your potential compensation.
We then review your non-economic damages. These encompass your pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disfigurement, physical limitations, reduced quality of life. It also covers your spouse’s loss of consortium, which is the intimidate relationship between spouses. These losses are not easily quantifiable like your economic damages. It takes a different approach to translate these injuries into a monetary value. Insurance companies often use a formula or multiplier to estimate your non-economic damages. We may use one of these approaches, or another appropriate method, to calculate a fair value.
Another important factor in determining your potential recovery is discovery the at-fault party’s insurance policy limit. Every insurance policy has a maximum amount it will payout. You may be able to obtain compensation up to that limit amount. You may also be able to recover a greater amount beyond the limit. This may be possible through filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries. You may be able to obtain a settlement or verdict against that person directly, who then becomes personally responsible for paying the amount above the policy limit.
Calculating Your Damages
There are a lot of personal injury calculators online. There are many articles regarding valuing your claim. However, realistically, it is very difficult to estimate the value of a car accident case without detailed information regarding your losses and the liable party’s insurance limits.
You cannot review similar accidents and injuries online and assume you will receive a similar amount. There are too many factors that impact settlements and court rulings. These factors can make similar accidents end with very different financial recoveries. How a certain type of accident or injury impacts your life will be far different than how it affects someone else. Spinal cord injuries are good examples. Your spinal cord may be partially severed in a crash. You may recover the ability to walk yet not have any sensation in your legs. Another person may retain a great deal of sensation but be unable to walk on their own.
To obtain a detailed analysis of your case and its potential worth, contact an attorney from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible.
Texas Damages Caps
Texas caps certain types of compensation in certain cases. However, in most personal injury claims, there are no restrictions in how much you can receive for your economic and non-economic damages. You and your car crash lawyer can fight for you to receive the maximum compensation possible for your physical, emotional, and financial injuries.
However, if you and your accident attorney wish to pursue punitive damages, you should be aware that there is a cap. Punitive damages are only allowed in limited circumstances. They are not intended to compensate you. Instead, they are meant to punish the negligent driver.
You may only receive punitive damages if you can show that the driver was grossly negligent or acted with malice. This means you must show the driver was reckless, not simply careless. Or, you must prove the driver acted with the intent to cause you harm.
Under Texas law, punitive damages are capped at $200,000, or two times the amount of economic damages plus your non-economic damages up to $750,000. You may obtain whichever amount is greater.
Texas’ Most Dangerous Roads
Texas deals with heavy traffic, and some intersections and sections of road get hit harder than others. These areas may also have other factors, such as the shape and angle of the roads and particular traffic signals, that increase the risk of crashes there. Houston is the top city of dangerous intersections in Texas. It has dozens more areas that see a significant number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities compared to other cities, like San Antonio, Dallas, Lubbock, and Plano.
Overall, some of Texas’ most dangerous intersections include:
- Bissonet St and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- Hardy Rd and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- Sam Houston Pkwy and Westheimer Rd in Houston
- I-10 and Loop 1604 in San Antonio
- Braun Rd and Loop 1604 in San Antonio
- Main St and South Loop in Houston
- Greens Rd and I-45 in Houston
- Main St and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- Beechnut St and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- Bandera Rd and Loop 1604 in San Antonio
- Sam Houston Pkwy and Westpark Tollway in Houston
- Ingram Rd and Loo 410 in San Antonio
- I-45 and NASA Pkwy/FM 528 in Webster
- Hammerly Blvd and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- I-45 and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- Sam Houston Pkwy and Veterans Memorial Dr in Houston
- Loop 289 and Slide Rd in Lubbock
- Lyndon B. Johnson Fwy and Skillman St in Dallas
- Clay Rd and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
- Harwin Dr and Sam Houston Pkwy in Houston
Texas Car Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2017, Texas experienced 537,970 total crashes. Of these crashes, 3,342 were fatal and led to 3,721 deaths. Statistically, this mean one person was killed in crash every two hours and 21 minutes.
The same year, 14,299 serious injury crashes caused 17,546 people to suffer a serious injury. However, in total, 254,853 people were injured in traffic accidents. In fact, one person was injured every two minutes and four seconds.
In Texas, not all crashes involve typical passenger vehicles. Many collisions involve commercial trucks, motorcycle riders, cyclists, and pedestrians. Commercial motor vehicles, including semi-trucks, were involved in 35,635 crashes in 2017. There were 5,767 pedestrian-involved crashes. There also were 2,687 pedalcyclist-related (including unicycle, bicycle, and tricycle riders) crashes that year.
The fatalities and injuries related to these other motor vehicles in Texas were:
- 601 commercial vehicle fatalities, 1,529 serious injuries, and 4,845 non-incapacitating injuries
- 501 motorcycle operators and passenger fatalities
- 614 pedestrian fatalities, 1,144 serious injuries, and 2,312 non-incapacitating injuries
- 57 pedalcyclist fatalities, 334 serious injuries, and 1,231 non-incapacitating injuries
Additionally, there were 3,017 crashes involving buses and 1,197 crashes involving school buses. These resulted in 17 fatal bus accidents and 8 fatal bus accidents. There were 609 crashes involving ambulances and 366 crashes involving fire trucks, which caused 18 and 5 deadly accidents, respectively. And given that Texas has a great deal of agriculture, you cannot forget farm equipment crashes. There were 255 accidents involving farming equipment, which resulted in three fatal crashes.
Will My Car Accident Settlement Be Part of the Public Record?
Our team of Houston car accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help you keep your settlement private. You may be concerned with whether your settlement will be part of the public record. We understand the importance of maintaining your privacy, particularly during such a sensitive time. You do not want your relatives, coworkers, and strangers to know more about your legal claim and settlement than you will discuss.
Settlements made during personal injury lawsuits are part of the public record. All court rulings, whether made by a jury or a judge, and other documents presented in your case are available to the public. However, by working with the right auto accident lawyer in Houston, TX, you can ask for the settlement to be made confidential. If you settle your claim outside of court, then all of the terms of your settlement, including the final amount, are private.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents happen every day in Texas and often occur when you least expect it. From parking lots to highways and rural roads, there are multiple factors and elements that can contribute to a collision like a t-bone accident, but it usually boils down to negligence and liability. If you were injured in a Houston car accident because another driver was not operating their vehicle in a safe and responsible manner, you should contact our offices to discuss your legal options.
Driving Under the Influence
An issue that has come to the fore in recent years is distracted driving. When someone is behind the wheel, they should not be on their phone, eating, doing their hair, reading, or any other activity that takes their attention away from driving. However, drivers try to multitask anyway and cause crashes.
Drivers are supposed to follow a speed limit for a reason. Speed limits are dictated by what is a safe speed for that particular area. Driving faster than this increases the risk of an accident. Yet people do it anyway. Some drivers speed excessively, drastically increasing the chance of a crash and fatalities.
You may assume that vehicles moving at excessive speeds is the problem. However, drivers moving overly slow and impeding the flow of traffic are also dangerous. Vehicles moving too slow for the road can lead to vehicle accidents.
Reckless driving is worse than simple carelessness behind the wheel. When someone is driving recklessly, they are intentionally making maneuvers that they know could cause an accident and harm someone else.
Some drivers not only act recklessly behind the wheel, they also become aggressive. They may excessively speed, tailgate, weave in and out of traffic, ignore traffic devices, and violate other rules of the road. This can also escalate to road rage, which increases the risk of a crash.
The more experienced a driver, typically the less likely they are to cause an accident. New drivers, who are usually teenagers, do not have enough life or driving experience to avoid making common driver errors. They are much more likely to take risks and cause an accident.
Drivers Over 65
Elderly drivers are typically well experienced and safe drivers. However, a variety of conditions associated with age can make it inappropriate for someone over 65 to get behind the wheel. Older drivers may suffer from vision loss, muscle weakness, and memory impairments that make it more likely for them to be in a collision.
Areas under construction pose particular hazards to travelers. Lanes may not be even, there may be no shoulders on the road, and there may be sudden drop-offs where a shoulder should be. There may be traffic cones and signs in between or on the sides of lanes. There may be equipment and workers nearby. There may be odd mergers and lane shifts. All of these factors require drivers to proceed slowly and with caution or they risk causing a crash.
Types of Collisions We Handle
Car crashes can be devastating. Understanding the type of crash that you were involved in can provide insight into how serious your injuries may be and what it will take to properly recover. However, no matter the type of car accident, a crash can have a lasting impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Each year, more than 17,000 people are seriously injured in car accidents in Texas. Those people often suffer severe pain and long-lasting physical and mental impairments. If you were gravely injured, you may need multiple surgeries or prolonged treatments. You may have even been traumatized by the experience and are now afraid to drive, which can seriously hinder your daily life.
Whatever your specific circumstances or injuries, at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston car accident lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide variety of car accident types, including:
- Head-On Collisions: When the front of two vehicles directly collide.
- Rear-End Collisions: When the front end of one vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle.
- T-Bone Accidents: When the front end of one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle.
- Side Impact Accidents: When the side of one vehicle collides with or scrapes along the side of another vehicle.
- Intersection Accidents: When two or more vehicles collide in an intersection.
- Left-Turn Accidents: When a collision occurs due to an inappropriate left turn.
- Rollover Collisions: When one or more vehicles rolls onto its due to a crash.
- Departures From the Road: When one or more vehicles leaves the road because of a collision.
- Attempted Pass Accidents: A vehicle accident is the result of one vehicle attempting to pass another and not properly and safely completing the maneuver.
- Diagonal Parking Accidents: When an accident takes place in a parking lot or street involving diagonal parking spaces.
- Hit & Run Accidents: When a vehicle involved in a crash does not stop and remain at the scene as is required by Texas law.
- Drunk Driving Accidents: When at least one vehicle driver involved in a crash is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
- Distracted Driving Accidents: When an auto accident is the result of a driver’s manual, visual, or cognitive distraction.
- Uber and Rideshare Accidents: When a car wreck involves an Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare vehicle.
- Fatal Car Accidents: When at least one individual passes away as the result of a collision.
Injuries You May Have Suffered in a Texas Car Accident
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have represented car accident victims near Houston suffering from all types of injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries are:
You may suffer from one or multiple simple or complex fractures. The simplest broken bones require being set, a cast, pain medication, and time to heal. However, more complex breaks can require surgery, a long period of rest, and physical rehabilitation. They can be very physically painful.
You may experience muscle, ligament, and tendon strains or sprains. If it is a minor injury, you can recover with rest and time. However, if a muscle, tendon, or ligament tears, then you may need surgery. You may have a physical limitation the rest of your life.
Motor vehicle accidents often result in concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries. These crashes can also lead to skull fractures and injuries that penetrate your skull into your brain. Many head and traumatic brain injuries have long-term or permanent consequences.
You may experience many types of injuries to your neck and back after an accident, including herniated disks, slipped disks, fractured or crushed vertebrae, and soft tissue injuries. These can be very painful and debilitating.
Your spinal cord may be damaged in a crash. If it is fully severed, you will be paralyzed from the injury site down. If it is partially severed, you may experience a unique combination of loss of sensation, loss of motor control, loss of bladder and bowel control, and sexual dysfunction.
If your vehicle or the surroundings caught fire during the crash, you may suffer from serious burns. These are very painful to recover from, and they may require many surgeries to heal and improve your appearance and mobility.
What You Should Do After an Accident
As car accident lawyers in Houston, TX, we know all too well that a crash can change someone’s life. Even minor car crashes can become incredibly complicated if one of the parties is injured or not properly insured. While no one intends on being involved in an auto accident, you should know how to effectively deal with the situation.
After a car wreck, you are required to:
Stop at the Scene of an Accident. If you are involved in a car wreck, you are required to stop your car and remain at the scene until all personal information is exchanged. You are also required to check on the well being of others involved in the accident and call emergency services, if necessary. If you do not stop after a car crash, you could be charged with a crime.
Exchange Information. After you stop at the scene of an accident, you are required to provide your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other driver. You should also exchange insurance information and show your driver’s license if requested.
Report the Crash. Texas law requires that a Crash Report be filed with TxDOT when any accident occurs that results in injury or death, or when property damage is more than $1,000. If you call the police to the scene of the accident, they will likely complete the form; however, if not, you are required to file a CR-2 form.
You also should:
- Document the Scene. Use your phone to take pictures and video of the damaged vehicles and surroundings.
- Gather Witness’s Information. In addition to exchanging information with the other driver, you should ask for the names and contact information of witnesses to the crash.
- Notify Your Insurer. As soon as possible, tell your auto insurer that you were in a crash. If you do not have an insurer, you may notify the other driver’s insurer directly. However, be very careful when speaking with the insurance adjuster. Do not admit fault or apologize. Say as little as you can before hiring a lawyer to handle the insurance claim.
- Call a Car Accident Lawyer: You should take this time to focus on your health. You do not need to spend weeks or months arguing with an insurer. Let us do that.
Don’t Deal With an Insurance Company Alone
Insurance companies are legally required to evaluate a claim and make a fair offer of settlement. If your claim is denied or you receive a low-ball settlement offer, the driver’s insurance company may be acting in bad faith. The wrongful denial of an insurance claim can result in additional compensation from the insurance company.
Because of the risk of bad faith insurance practices, and simply because of the red tape and hurdles you will face obtaining compensation, you should have a car insurance lawyer represent you during the insurance claim process.
Insurers are big businesses. Their goal is not to help you and other accident victims. It is to make a profit. They increase their earnings by denying claims and limiting payouts. This is a strong incentive for the insurer to fight back against your claim whenever it can. The insurer is also likely to have a team of lawyers that helps it deny claims, push for low settlements, and in extreme cases, uphold unethical practices.
After an auto accident, you must work with an insurer. This is the best way to obtain a fair settlement. However, you do not have to work alone or directly with the insurer. You have the right to hire a Houston car accident injury lawyer and to have your attorney communicate with the company. All phone calls, letters, and documents go directly to your attorney, giving you fewer things to worry about.
One aspect of the insurance claim you will need to participate in is making a statement. The at-fault driver or vehicle operator’s insurer may ask you to make a formal statement regarding what happened. By having a lawyer on your side, you can carefully prepare for this statement, which you may give in writing or in person. Your lawyer will help you practice giving a truthful statement that does not accidentally implicate you.
Keep in mind, insurers often appear to cooperate with you and your legal team. You may think the process is going smoothly until you receive the insurance company’s findings. There may be multiple factors you disagree with, such as your vehicle’s value, your injuries, and your economic and non-economic losses. You need to be prepared to dispute an insurance adjuster’s conclusions. Every factor can impact your final settlement. You may not be prepared to argue these issues yourself. However, your car accident lawyer is.
Insurance companies are required to act in good faith toward you. That does not mean they do. Many insurers are guilty of bad faith insurance practices, such as failing to properly and promptly investigate claims, unreasonably delaying the claims process, wrongly denying claims, and refusing to participate in good faith negotiations. To reduce the chance of the other driver’s insurance company acting in bad faith, or to ensure you catch it when they do, hire The Krist Law Firm, P.C. to handle your car accident insurance claim.
The Car Accident Process
The car accident process begins when someone’s negligence leads to a collision involving your vehicle.If you have been hurt in a crash, your top priority should be your health and safety. You may be suffering from serious or catastrophic injuries that interrupt your education and career. Your family life, relationships, and hobbies are disrupted. You suddenly have to deal with your recovery and take whatever steps you can to reduce the impact the accident has on your future.
After an accident, you need to see a doctor. You need to be fully examined to ensure all of your injuries are diagnosed and treated.You may have been taken to the emergency room at Memorial Heights Emergency Center or Houston Methodist Hospital right after the crash. Or, you may have remained at the scene. If so, you should see a physician as soon as possible. Even if you think you are fine, a doctor may notice signs of an injury, such as a concussion.
Crashes that causes property damage, bodily injuries, or fatalities need to be reported to the police.If you were able to remain at the crash site, then you would have given the police your statement. The next step is to obtain a copy of the crash report. However, if you were taken to the ER right away, then they may come to the hospital for your statement. If you have not provided a statement yet, you may contact a lawyer first. Once you are able to, you should notify your insurer of the accident and your injuries. This is an important part of filing a claim for compensation.
A motor vehicle accident can cause your vehicle damage that needs to repair or more serious damage that would cost more to repair than to replace the vehicle.At The Krist law Firm, P.C., we know how important your car is. You and your family need it to get around every day. We will help you get your vehicle repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If you need a rental car during this time, we will add this expense into your losses and fight for you to be compensated for it.
Phase 5: Phone Calls, Paperwork, Requests for Information
Many car accident victims are shocked by how much paperwork and how many phone calls they are expected to deal with.
However, you do not have to handle these aspects of an insurance claim yourself. When you hire us to represent you, we take over direct communication with the insurer. We will handle all of the paperwork, phone calls, questions, and requests for information or documentation.
Phase 6: Settlement Offer or Denied Claim
After the insurer investigates and analyzes your claim, they must either deny your claim in writing or make a first settlement offer.
If the insurer denies your claim, it must provide an explanation in writing. We will carefully review this explanation and discuss with you the option to appeal or move forward with a personal injury lawsuit. If the insurer makes a settlement offer, we will review whether it is a fair amount or not. Many first offers are very low, and in all likelihood, we will recommend not accepting the claim and providing a counter demand.
Phase 7: Settlement Negotiations
We will enter into negotiations by demanding that you receive the maximum compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
You may be nervous about negotiations. What if they backfire? Our car accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. are highly experienced in dealing with insurers and negotiations. We know what we are doing. Let us fight hard for you to receive as much compensation as possible.
Phase 8: Settle or Go to Trial
Negotiations will either lead to a final resolution or breakdown.
If settlement negotiations with the insurer breakdown and we cannot resolve your case out of court, then we will prepare for trial. We are skilled and experienced litigators. We are not afraid of going up against an insurer in court. We will prepare to present a strong case before a judge and jury, and we will be aggressive in pursuing a verdict in your favor. During this time, you will not pay us. We do not ask for hourly fees. You will only pay us if we win you a settlement or court ruling.
Texas Statute of Limitations after a Car Accident
Every state limits the amount of time you have to file certain kinds of lawsuits. In Texas, you have two years from the date of your injuries to file a personal injury case. After two years from the date of your accident has passed, you could file a lawsuit, but it would almost certainly be dismissed. After two years, the courts will not help you.
The two-year statute of limitations applies to lawsuits seeking compensation for:
- Property Damage – The two-year window begins on the date of the damage sustained in your road traffic accident.
- Physical Injuries – You have to sue within two years of your injury. An exception to this rule allows the two years to begin running on the date when you discovered the physical injury, or when you reasonably should have been expected to discover the injury.
- Medical Malpractice – While not an action against the other driver in your car wreck, it’s possible that you are the victim of negligence by a medical professional after the accident. The two-year limitation begins running at the time of the medical negligence, and not the date of the accident.
Limitations in Fatal Accidents
If your loved one passed away after an auto crash, you may be able to seek compensation from the responsible party by filing a wrongful death action. Wrongful death suits are also subject to a two-year statute of limitations. However, the two years in these claims generally begins on the date of the victim’s death, and this is often a later date than when their accident occurred. Determining exactly how a person died is often complicated, and experienced wrongful death lawyers will understand how the state’s statute of limitations will apply to the death of your loved one.
However, there are possible exceptions to the Texas statute of limitations. A common example is the discovery rule. The clock may not begin to run on the day of your accident if you did not know you suffered injuries that day or if you were reasonably unaware of another party’s negligence. Under the discovery rule, the two-year period does not begin until you know or reasonably should know of your injuries and the other party’s fault.
Another exception is if you were a minor at the time of the accident. If you were under 18 years old, and your parent or guardian did not file a lawsuit for you, then you have time after your 18th birthday to file. However, you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as you can. It is better to bring a car accident lawsuit soon after a crash when evidence is fresh and available. Waiting years until you are an adult can make it harder to prove your case and receive appropriate compensation for your accident.
Two other possible exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) and if the negligent driver fled the state. Under the SSCRA, your time being deployed and other instances of active duty do not count toward the two-year period.
Don’t Wait to Call a Lawyer
If you were recently injured in a car accident, you may feel as though two years is a long time to file a lawsuit. However, it’s absolutely critical that you do not delay in speaking with a lawyer if you want to seek compensation from a negligent party. Road accident claims require research and negotiations before they can be filed. Your lawyer will need to build a strong case that takes into consideration every detail that is relevant to proving liability in your car wreck. A skilled car crash lawyer will review the following pieces of evidence before being able to file your claim:
- Witness testimony
- Maintenance records and driver logs
- Police reports
- Medical reports
- Photo and video records of the accident and aftermath
- Accident reconstruction data
- Manufacturing records and auto industry reports
Before filing a lawsuit, your accident attorney will negotiate for a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance provider. If you’re not offered an acceptable settlement, a lawsuit can be filed. You cannot rush to file a lawsuit in order to beat the statute of limitations. If this is done, the court will notice that your side is not prepared for litigation, and this can result in your case being dismissed. Courts also expect parties to take a reasonable amount of time negotiating a settlement before they begin the costly process of taking their case to court.
Car Accident FAQs
- How is fault determined after a car accident? An insurer or court will determine fault by analyzing which river acted negligently or recklessly, resulting in the accident. Fault may be supported or proven by the other driving violating a Texas traffic law or local traffic ordinance.
- What if the other driver isn’t insured or is underinsured? If the at-fault driver is not insured or lacks enough insurance to cover your losses, you may have a few options. If you purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, then your own policy may help you. Or, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver. If the judge or jury rules in your favor, the driver will be personally liable for compensating you.
- Should I seek medical attention even if I’m not visibly injured? Yes, you should also see a physician after an accident. You may be suffering from injuries that you cannot see, such as a concussion. Or, you may be suffering from injuries that will not present symptoms for days or weeks after the crash. By seeing a doctor, your injuries may be discovered as soon as possible.
- What kind of financial compensation can I recover? Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, physical pain, mental anguish, disability, physical limitation, and loss of consortium.
- Do I need a car accident attorney to file a claim? Technically, you do not need a car accident lawyer to pursue an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you may not know the proper procedures surrounding these processes. An experienced car accident lawyer will know what to do and will make sure your claim avoids common mistakes.
- What if I am unable to work due to my injuries? If you cannot work because of your injuries, whether this may last for weeks, months or forever, call a personal injury attorney right away. When you cannot work, a lawyer will strive to obtain compensation for your lost wages and diminished earning potential.
- How much does hiring a lawyer cost? At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we work on a contingency fee basis. We do to require a retainer, other upfront fees, or hourly fees. You only pay us if we obtain you a financial recovery. Call us today at 281-283-8500 to learn more about our contingency fee.
- How long does the process take? The duration of the personal injury claim process varies for each case. We may be able to resolve your case in as few as six months. However, in complicated cases, it could take over a year for us to obtain you a recovery.
Fatal Car Accidents in Houston
Many car accidents do not only lead to injuries. You may have lost a spouse, parent, or child in a crash in the Houston area. Now that you are forced to live without your relative, you may wonder what your legal rights are.
If another person caused the crash with their carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, then you and your family may have the right to file a Texas wrongful death claim.
There are many specific rules regarding wrongful death cases, such as who may file the claim, who may benefit from compensation, what compensation you can receive, and the statute of limitations.
Through a wrongful death claim, you may obtain compensation for:
- Burial expenses
- Loss of financial contributions from the deceased
- Loss of care, support, maintenance, advice, and counsel
- Loss of love, companionship, comfort, and society
- Loss of inheritance you may have received if you family member had lived a normal expected lifespan
We understand how devastating a fatal car accident can be, and how stress may impede your physical recovery. Our goal is to shoulder the burden of the legal process, so you can focus on healing.
Contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. to Learn More
If you were injured in a car crash in Houston or another part of Texas, your first thoughts are on your injuries and getting better. Your second thought may be to ask: “Should I call a car accident lawyer near me?”
When you have been hurt, or you have lost a loved one in a crash, you deserve to have the best lawyer possible handle your claim for compensation. Scott Krist is at the top of his field. He is well known throughout Texas and the U.S. He is known for his passion for representing injury victims, and for his dedication to getting them the best possible financial recovery.
Trust Experience, Skill & Compassion
His experience, skills, passion, and dedication are recognized by the legal community and have resulted in various awards and acknowledgments. However, he and his team do not work for awards. They work for you. They fight hard every single day to help their clients receive the compensation they deserve. They know how important receiving compensation is after an accident, for your finances and your peace of mind.
After an auto accident, you may not be sure of what to do next. You may not know your rights or legal options. Your uncertainty is the only reason you need to call the Houston car accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you know you will obtain all of the information you could need. You can be confident that your rights and options will be fully explained to you. You can also rest assured that you have an experienced and dedicated injury lawyer working hard for you.
Don’t Wait: Free Consults – Nothing Up Front
Do not worry about the cost of hiring a car accident attorney. We offer free consultations. There is no risk in you calling us and setting up a time to talk. We have an office in Webster, Texas, just outside of downtown Houston, but can also meet wherever is convenient for you. We understand your injuries may make traveling difficult.
In addition to our free initial case evaluations, we use contingency fees. This means you do not have to pay us up front, and you will not receive bills during your case. You only owe us our fees if we win your case. Once we obtain a settlement or court ruling in your favor, then our fee will be deducted from the amount.
Please do not hesitate to call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about your rights. We are here to make this situation easier on you and your family. You can use our online form or call 281-283-8500 to schedule your free consultation.