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Houston Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been injured in a serious car crash, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Gibson Hill Personal Injury to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Our experienced attorneys know how devastating these accidents can be physically, emotionally and financially. We are here to help you get maximum compensation for your injuries so you can focus on recovering.

No matter how carefully we may drive, the actions of just one negligent driver can change the course of the day, the year, even the rest of someone’s life. For drivers who fail to follow the rules of the road, there must be some form of accountability. These negligent drivers may not only cause physical harm, but they may also endanger someone’s livelihood, mental health, and financial security.

The legal team at Gibson Hill Personal Injury understands that you’re facing difficult and uncertain times following your car accident. While you should be focusing on your recovery, you may be anxious about how to pay your medical bills and make up for lost income. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are proud to have helped numerous clients recover the compensation they deserve following a serious car accident. We can help you, too.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Houston car accident lawyers at Gibson Hill Personal Injury want to help you get back on your feet again. Call our Houston office at (713) 659-4000 for a free case review.

Why Hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury?

Our Houston car accident lawyers care about the clients that hire us. We’ll always make you a priority from the beginning to the end of your case. Our legal team is available 24/7, so you can reach us when it’s most convenient for you. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to effectively fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

We understand the financial burden you’re already facing. After a car crash, you’re trying to recover and have to pay for expensive medical treatment. We don’t want to add to the stress you’re already experiencing. That’s why we work on a contingency-fee-basis. That means there are no upfront fees or costs. We won’t collect any legal fees unless we win an insurance settlement or lawsuit for our clients. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us.

Contact One of Our Car Accident Attorneys to Discuss You Case

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Steps to Take After an Accident

There are important steps you should take following your accident to help protect your right to compensation:

Step 1: Call 911 to report the crash. Wait for law enforcement to arrive. They will perform an investigation and write a traffic crash report, which will provide valuable evidence if you file a claim.

Step 2: Write down the at-fault driver’s name, contact information, license information, and auto insurance details.

Step 3: Speak to witnesses who saw the accident happen. Write down their names and phone numbers.

Step 4: Take photos of the crash scene, including the position of the vehicles, vehicle damage, debris, skid marks, the weather, traffic signals, and any other evidence.

Step 5: Seek medical treatment immediately following your accident. Let a doctor evaluate your injuries to determine if you require further treatment. If they refer you to other medical providers, follow their orders. Continue treatment until your doctors release you from care.

Step 6: Hire a Houston car accident lawyer to get started on your case.

What Does an Accident Investigation Look Like?

When you hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we’ll open a thorough investigation into what caused the accident and who was at fault. We’ll begin by collecting vital evidence, such as:

  • Accident scene photos
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Video surveillance footage
  • Car repair estimates and damage reports
  • Traffic crash report
  • Your medical records and other associated documents
  • All available auto insurance policies

Texas follows a fault system when it comes to auto accidents, which means the person who caused the crash is automatically liable for the resulting injuries and losses. We’ll review their liability policy to determine how much coverage is available, and we’ll review the details of your case to estimate damages.

What Are the Damages Available for Injuries?

One of the first questions that people ask an attorney after a car accident is what type of compensation can I expect after my accident? The answer any experienced attorney will give you is, it depends. There is no way to calculate a compensation value without first examining all the evidence and reviewing all the facts surrounding the case. Every car accident is different and carries with it its own unique set of circumstances.

A diligent and experienced attorney will want to review as much information as possible before throwing out figures. In general, these are a few of the more common types of compensation that a victim may be able to recover following a serious car accident:

  • Current medical bills
  • Future medical bills related to the collision
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Physical impairment or disability
  • Pain and suffering

When calculating compensation, Texas is considered a “modified comparative fault” state. That means that following an accident, a jury would look at two factors when determining how to allocate damages: the total dollar amount of the damages and the percentage of fault that lies with each party involved in the accident.

For example, if a jury were to determine that the victim is 20% responsible for causing the collision, that victim would be entitled to the total amount of damages minus 20%. The “modified” in modified comparative fault means that if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for an accident, you cannot recover any financial damages at all.

Texas law also gives you a time limit, or statute of limitations, for when you can file a legal case as it pertains to a car accident. By law, you only have two years from the crash date to pursue any legal action. You don’t want to wait to contact an attorney. Not only could you lose valuable time, but critical evidence for your case could also get lost or destroyed if not secured immediately following your accident.

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents 

The majority of accidents that happen out on the road are due to distracted driving and driver error. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately nine people are killed every day in the United States, and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes with distracted drivers. In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 2,841 lives were claimed by distracted drivers alone.

While this dangerous behavior is one of the leading causes of car accidents, it isn’t the only cause. There are a variety of factors that contribute to collisions between cars. Here are some of the more common causes:

  • Distracted driving – Distracted driving can mean anything from texting to taking phone calls, eating, grooming, or using a navigation system while operating a vehicle.
  • Reckless driving – This includes actions such as changing lanes too quickly, driving aggressively, and speeding.
  • Road hazards – Road hazards could include potholes, animals, or debris in the road.
  • Drunk or impaired driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will impair a driver’s judgment and slow their reaction time to hazards.
  • Speeding – Speeding drivers will not have time to react to hazards or the actions of other drivers.
  • Poor weather conditions – Sleet, snow, rain, and fog can minimize visibility and create slippery roads.
  • Tailgating – A driver who is tailgating may rear-end the driver in front of them if the front driver needs to slow down or stop suddenly.
  • Road construction – Drivers must be especially cautious when driving near road construction. Missing or unclear signage, debris or oil spilled on the road, or confusing work zones can all lead to accidents.

No matter the cause, the attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury are committed to helping you seek the compensation you deserve. Your focus should be on recovering from the accident, but it may feel like dealing with the insurance company is a full-time job. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side means that you can focus on healing while we take on the burden of fighting for your legal rights.

Contact One of Our Car Accident Attorneys to Discuss You Case

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Most Common Types of Car Accidents

Many different factors cause car accidents. No two accidents, even under the same circumstances, will happen in the exact same way. That’s why if you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious car accident, it is important to put your trust in someone who has experience handling these types of personal injury cases. An experienced attorney will have the resources and knowledge to collect and gather critical evidence and use it to build a case with a solid legal foundation.

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we treat every case and every client with the compassion and dignity they deserve while vigorously fighting to protect their rights. We have the know-how to tackle a variety of different car accident cases. These are a few examples of the types of accidents that may lead to personal injury lawsuits:

  • Head-on collisions – This occurs when the front ends of two vehicles crash into each other. It often leads to severe injuries and fatalities.
  • Rear-end collisions – This type of crash happens when one driver runs into the back of someone else’s car. One of the most common causes of rear-end accidents is tailgating.
  • Side-impact collisions – A side impact accident, or T-bone accident, occurs when one vehicle crashes into the side of another. Most of these occur at intersections when a motorist fails to stop at a red light or stop sign.
  • Wrong-way crashes – This is caused by someone who travels in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Typically, drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol get into these kinds of accidents.
  • Hit and run accidents – This occurs when an individual involved in a car crash flees the scene before law enforcement arrives, or before exchanging contact information.
  • Distracted driving accidents – Distractions that redirect a driver’s focus from the task of driving to something else can result in a devastating crash. Examples include texting, eating, grooming, and changing the radio.
  • Drunk or impaired driving accidents – When someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they lack the physical and mental capacity needed to get to their destination safely.
  • Work zone accidents – Crashes happen in work zones due to poor road conditions, lack of signs and traffic cones, or driver negligence.

At our free consultation, we’ll review the facts surrounding your particular accident and how we can build a strong case.

Common Injuries Suffered from Car Accidents

Car collisions can result in serious injuries to the drivers involved and their passengers. Even what appears to be a minor fender-bender can lead to injuries and serious complications from concussions, whiplash, and back injuries. More serious car accidents can result in debilitating or life-altering injuries. These types of injuries may end up requiring extensive surgery or long-term rehabilitation.

The prospect of a long recovery is daunting enough, but victims can also be saddled with huge medical bills that can put their financial future in serious jeopardy. While every car accident is unique, these are some of the more common injuries that can result from a collision:

  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Head, neck, and spine injuries
  • Fractured bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Chest and rib injuries
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Burns
  • Wrongful death

Infographic

Severe injuries can require lengthy hospital stays, multiple doctor visits, prescriptions, and even long-term care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy. Your medical needs will result in numerous medical bills that can set you back financially. When you’re worried about your financial situation and how to pay the bills, you can’t properly focus on recovering from your injury. Victims concerned with medical costs may also choose to skimp on necessary medical treatments because they are worried about how they will ultimately pay the bill.

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we never want to see a victim miss out on their care because they are worried about the financial cost. That’s why our primary concern is getting you the compensation you deserve.

What Is the Cost of a Houston Car Accident Lawyer?

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we work on contingency. There are no upfront fees or costs to receive quality legal services from a dedicated lawyer. We don’t expect payment unless we win financial compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us any money. We know you’re already facing a financial burden and don’t want to add to it.

Car Accident Statistics for the State of Texas

Most dangerous Roads in Texas in 2018


Number of Crashes in the Houston Metro Area (Jan-April 2020)

Texas Laws Associated With Car Accident Cases

It’s important to pay attention to the filing deadline for a lawsuit. There’s a statute of limitations you can’t ignore if you want to sue the negligent driver for their actions. In Texas, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years. That means you have two years from the crash date to file a lawsuit in the civil court system.

There are some exceptions to this rule that could put a pause on the clock:

  • If the victim has a legal disability (under 18 years old or of unsound mind) at the time of the car accident, the clock wouldn’t start until they become mentally competent or turn 18.
  • If the at-fault party temporarily leaves the state of Texas, the clock would begin when they return, and their absence would not count towards the two-year deadline.

Car Accident Lawsuits in Houston

Many accident victims will use the legal theory of negligence to prove fault in their case. Negligence refers to one party’s failure to provide a reasonable duty of care to prevent harm to another. If you use this theory in your lawsuit, you must show the following five elements existed:

  1. Duty: The at-fault driver owed you a reasonable duty of care to prevent harm;
  2. Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached their duty;
  3. Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
  4. Proximate cause: The at-fault driver’s breach was the direct cause of your injury; and
  5. Damages: You incurred damages from the accident.

There’s a specific court system where you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for your damages. Typically, civil actions get filed within the county where the accident happened. Your Houston car accident lawyer will review the details of the crash to determine the correct court.

Your lawsuit proceedings will include the following steps:

Step 1: Prepare the Complaint. This document refers to all the elements associated with a car accident and gets sent to the defendant.

Step 2: Prepare the Summons and hire a process server. The Summons notifies the defendant that they must appear in court for the reasons listed in the Complaint. Typically, a process server or local sheriff’s office will serve the defendant with legal documents.

Step 3: File the documents with the civil court. Every court has an online portal where you can submit legal documents and pay filing fees. Our Houston car accident lawyers have logins and can file everything on your behalf.

Step 4: Once the defendant receives our Complaint, the process server or sheriff will send us an Affidavit of Service. That lets us know that the intended party received our legal documents.

Step 5: The defendant will have 20 days from the date they were served to file an Answer to our Complaint.

Step 6: Both parties will file discovery requests, such as:

  • Request for Admissions: Admit or deny specific facts associated with the case.
  • Request for Production: Provide documentation, such as medical records, photos of the accident scene, and other related evidence.
  • Interrogatories: Fully and accurately answer questions that the other party asked. Before filing, you must sign it in front of a notary public to show your answers are factual.

Each side will have 30 days to respond to the other party’s requests for discovery. In some situations, you can ask for an extension to the deadline if you need more time to locate documentation or confirm details.

Step 7: Schedule depositions. These are interviews provided under oath by the plaintiff and defendant. There’s a variety of questions associated with the accident that each person will have to answer.

Step 8: Schedule a mediation. Both sides can come together in front of a mediator to try to settle the case before it goes to trial.

Step 9: If we can’t reach a settlement agreement with the defense attorneys, we’ll begin preparing for trial.

Step 10: While we’re in court, we’ll present the evidence we found, call witnesses to the stand, and argue against the defense’s case. We’ll use strategies to discount the defense attorney’s findings and evidence they submit to the court.

Step 11: The jury will state their verdict.

Contact One of Our Car Accident Attorneys to Discuss You Case

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Insurance Claims Process

If someone else caused your car accident, you could file a claim with their auto insurance company. All motorists have a legal requirement to carry auto insurance with minimum limits of liability. Those limits provide compensation for the accident victim’s damages.

In Texas, the minimum bodily injury limit is $30,000, and the minimum property damage limit is $25,000. Your Houston car accident lawyer will request a copy of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to determine the coverage.

File claim – After determining which insurance company they have a policy with, we’ll file the claim.

Investigation – The insurance adjuster will perform an investigation into the crash to determine who was at fault. They will request that you complete forms and provide documentation associated with the accident.

Evidence. While they’re completing their own investigation, we’ll launch one of our own. We’ll obtain proof that the other driver was responsible, and you sustained injuries due to the accident.

Submit the demand package – demand package will include the evidence we found and a letter requesting a specific settlement amount based on the available insurance coverage.

Negotiations – The insurance company will either accept or deny the claim. If they accept, we’ll enter into negotiations for a fair settlement. If they deny the claim, we can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Insurance companies are never on the claimant’s side. It’s crucial that you never talk to the adjuster yourself. Your Houston car accident lawyer will handle all communication on your behalf. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, you might say or do something that impacts your case’s outcome. If you admit any fault for the crash, you could end up with a denied claim or much lower compensation than you deserve.

To ensure you don’t ruin your chance of recovering the maximum settlement available, review the list of don’ts below:

Don’t sign anything from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They might try to trick you into signing away your rights to the full liability coverage. Give everything to your lawyer first so we can review it.

Don’t admit any degree of fault. Even if you’re only partially to blame for the accident, that could affect the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Don’t leave the crash scene until an officer performs an investigation. In Texas, you have to report an accident if there’s an injury, fatality, or over $1,000 in property damage. You could face hit and run charges if you leave the scene without reporting it to law enforcement.

Don’t provide a recorded statement to the insurance company without your lawyer. If the liability insurance adjuster requests a recorded statement, you’re under no legal obligation to submit to one. However, if you file a claim with your insurance company and they request one, you must comply. Make sure to speak with Gibson Hill Personal Injury first so you know what you should and shouldn’t say.

Don’t skip medical appointments with your doctors. If you’re consistently missing appointments or letting significant time lapse between them, that could decrease the value of your case. An insurance company will look at gaps in treatment as proof that you didn’t suffer injuries in the accident or it’s not severe enough to require medical care.

How Can Gibson Hill Personal Injury Help Me After a Car Accident?

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their devastating actions. We want to take the stress and burden of this terrible situation off of your shoulders so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Our legal team has the resources to thoroughly investigate your accident, gather critical evidence, and fight for the full compensation you deserve. Negligent drivers should be responsible for the physical and financial strains their actions have placed upon you and your family. We work diligently to make sure they are held accountable.

At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we believe in keeping the lines of communication open, so you understand the entire legal process and status of your case. Our legal team provides compassionate and understanding service to you and your family to help you work through this traumatic event. You don’t need to go through this alone. Your best bet for getting the compensation you need is to get an experienced firm like Gibson Hill Personal Injury on your side.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call our Houston personal injury attorneys at (713) 659-4000 for a free, no-obligation case review.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury want to help you get back on your feet again. Call our Houston office at (713) 659-4000 for a free case review.

FAQs

We often receive questions from clients about their legal rights and options following their car accident. We’ve provided answers to some of those questions below. An attorney would be happy to answer all of your questions related to your own specific circumstances.

Can I get medical treatment if I don’t have health insurance?

Yes. You might have to pay out of pocket for your treatment, but we’ll factor your costs into the settlement negotiations. We’ll make sure the financial compensation you receive reimburses you for your doctor’s appointments.

If you have personal injury protection on your auto insurance policy, you could use that coverage to pay for medical expenses. PIP pays upfront for all costs associated with medical care after a car accident. It isn’t a legal requirement, but you could use up to the limit you chose if you purchased it. When you file a PIP claim, your medical providers will submit all your bills to the auto insurance company for payment, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.

How is the value of a case determined?

When an insurance company is reviewing your total damages to determine a fair settlement amount, they might consider the following factors:

  • Type and severity of the injury
  • Duration of medically necessary treatment
  • Impact of the injury on daily life
  • Availability of evidence proving fault
  • Insurance coverage listed on the negligent driver’s policy
  • The total cost of medical treatment
  • Total hours and wages missed due to inability to work
  • If a permanent disability or impairment resulted from the accident
  • Emotional or psychological trauma experienced
  • Length of the recovery period
  • If future medical care is necessary
What is pain and suffering?

Two types of pain and suffering exist in a car accident case: physical and mental.

Physical pain and suffering refer to the actual harm suffered from the injuries. It’s the discomfort experienced that effects daily life. It can impact your ability to perform your job, care for your children, and participate in activities you once enjoyed.

Mental pain and suffering is any negative emotion associated with a physical injury, such as:

  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Humiliation
  • Fear
  • Shock

It could also manifest as a psychological issue, such as:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
What happens if the other driver is uninsured?

If you discover that the person who caused your car crash doesn’t have liability insurance, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) covers an injured party’s damages when:

  • The at-fault driver doesn’t have liability coverage;
  • The available liability limits aren’t high enough for the total damages; or
  • The accident was a hit and run.

UM isn’t a legal requirement; however, all insurance companies are supposed to offer it to their policyholders. When you file a UM claim, you can seek the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle repair and replacement costs
  • Out of pocket expenses
What if I’m partially at fault?

Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, the value of your damages decreases proportionately to your degree of fault. In other words, if you incurred $100,000 in damages but were 20% to blame for the accident, you can only pursue a maximum of $80,000 in compensation.

When you get hurt in a car crash, you should never admit to the other driver or insurance company that you believe your actions were partly responsible. Even if you were texting behind the wheel or driving too fast, never admit it unless someone asks you under oath.

How do I get a vehicle accident report?

Go to the Texas Crash Records Information System and click on the green “Accept” button. Follow all the prompts and fill in the requested information. If the report is available, you can download and print it online. You must pay a $6 fee if you want a regular copy or an $8 fee for a certified copy. Most reports are available within a few days or a few weeks of the accident date.