Car Accident Lawyer in Houston
If you or a loved one were injured in a serious car accident, call (713) 659-4000, use our online car accident case evaluation quiz, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. One of the car accident lawyers from Gibson Hill Personal Injury in Houston is ready to discuss your case.
Our attorneys have experience with a variety of motor vehicle accident claims and know how devastating these situations can be physically, emotionally, and financially for accident victims and their families. We are here to help you get maximum compensation for your injuries so you can focus on recovering.
No matter how carefully we drive, collisions happen, and so do the serious injuries, mental health impacts, lost wages and economic consequences, and fatalities that come with them. For drivers who fail to follow the rules of the road, there must be some form of accountability, which is why you need an experienced auto accident attorney on your side.
The legal team at Gibson Hill Personal Injury understands you face difficult and uncertain times following a crash. 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. We are proud to have helped numerous clients recover the compensation they deserve following a serious motor vehicle accident. We can help you, too.
Table Of Contents
- Why Hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury Law Firm?
- Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Houston
- What Does a Texas Car Accident Investigation Look Like?
- What Kind of Compensation Is Available for My Car Accident Injuries?
- What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
- Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Texas
- Common Injuries Suffered In Car Accidents
- How Much Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge?
- Car Accident Statistics for the State of Texas
- Texas Laws Associated With Car Accident Cases
- Steps We Take in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
- What Is the Texas Insurance Claims Process?
- How Can A Gibson Hill Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
- Contact Us About Your Houston Car Accident
- FAQs Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Receive
Why Hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury Law Firm?
Our personal injury lawyers care about the clients that hire us. We always prioritize you and your car accident claim 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. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to fight for the compensation you deserve.
We understand the financial burden you’re already facing. After a crash, you’re trying to recover and pay for expensive medical bills while taking a financial hit from lost wages. As auto accident attorneys, 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 don’t collect any legal fees unless we win an insurance settlement or lawsuit for our client. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us.
Contact our law firm today for a free consultation regarding your Houston car accident claim. Gibson Hill Personal Injury is here, ready to help.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Houston
There are essential steps you should take following your accident to help protect your right to compensation:
- Step 1: Call 911 to report the crash and 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 for your Houston car accident. You can request this report as part of the evidence for your case, and your lawyer can help you understand what’s written in it.
- 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 (but do not post these photos on social media!), 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 lawyer with a proven track record to get started on your case.
What Does a Texas Car Accident Investigation Look Like?
- Accident scene photos
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Video surveillance footage
- Vehicle repair estimates and damage reports
- Traffic crash report and police report, if necessary
- Your medical records and other associated documents
- All available auto and health insurance policies
Texas follows a fault system for auto accidents, which means the person who caused the crash is automatically liable for the resulting injuries and losses. We’ll review their insurance policy to determine how much coverage is available and review the details of your case to estimate damages.
Contact an auto accident attorney from Gibson Hill about your car wreck today.
What Kind of Compensation Is Available for My Injuries?
One of the first questions victims usually ask after a collision is, ‘What type of compensation can I expect?’ 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, with its own unique set of circumstances.
A diligent and experienced car accident 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 crash:
- 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 for car accident injuries, Texas is considered a modified comparative fault state, which means that 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.
Texas law also gives you a time limit, or statute of limitations, for filing a legal case. By law, you only have two years from the crash date to pursue any legal action, although the actual case may last longer. So, don’t wait to contact an attorney. Not only could you lose valuable time, but critical evidence for your case could get lost or destroyed if not secured immediately following your car accident.
One of our experienced car accident lawyers in Houston will be able to answer your questions. Call (713) 659-4000.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Most car accidents on the roads of the Houston, TX, area are due to distracted driving and driver error. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that approximately nine people are killed daily in the United States, and over 1,000 are injured in car crashes with distracted drivers. The victims can suffer common car accident injuries ranging from comparatively minor injuries, like whiplash, to serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, and even injuries that result in death.
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 3,142 lives were claimed by distracted drivers alone.
While this dangerous, negligent driver 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.
Common Car Accident Cases We Handle
Here are some of the types of cases our car accident attorneys most commonly see:
- 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 on 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 when they face 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 tailgating driver 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 collisions and injuries.
No matter the cause, the attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury are committed to helping you seek the compensation you deserve for your Houston car accident. Your focus should be on recovery, but dealing with the other driver’s insurance company may feel like a full-time job. Having an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side means you can focus on healing while we take on the burden of fighting for your legal rights.
Contact the car accident attorneys at Gibson Hill in Houston today for a free consultation regarding your auto accident claim.
Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Texas
Many different factors cause car accidents. That’s why, if you or a loved one was the victim of a serious collision, it is important to put your trust in someone with experience handling these types of personal injury cases. An experienced car accident 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 here in Houston:
- Head-on collisions – These occur 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 – These are caused by someone who travels in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Typically, drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol get into these accidents.
- Hit-and-run accidents – These occur when an individual involved in a car crash flees the scene before law enforcement arrives or before exchanging contact information.
- Rideshare accidents – Accidents involving drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft bring a special set of circumstances into question.
Use our online case evaluation tool to send us the facts surrounding your collision and to find out how we can build a strong case for you and your family.
Common Injuries Suffered In Car Accidents
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 serious injury that requires costly medical treatment. These injuries may require extensive surgery and long-term rehabilitation, which come with a stack of medical bills and other medical expenses.
The prospect of a long recovery is daunting enough, but victims can also be saddled with huge bills that can jeopardize their financial future. While every car accident is unique, these are some of the more common injuries that can result:
- Head, neck, and spine injuries
- Fractured bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Damage to internal organs
- Chest and rib injuries
- Cuts and bruises
Severe injuries require lengthy hospital stays, multiple doctor visits, prescriptions, 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, our auto accident attorneys never want to see victims miss out on their care because they are worried about the financial cost. That’s why the primary concern of our law firm is getting you the compensation you deserve.
How Much Do Car Accident Lawyers Charge?
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 backed by a supportive law firm. We don’t expect payment unless we win financial compensation in an insurance claim or personal injury litigation lawsuit. You won’t owe us any money if we don’t win your case. 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
Texas is home to three of the country’s deadliest highways. According to the most recent Fatality Analysis Reporting System analysis, Interstates 20, 35, and 40 made the top ten list, each running through the Lone Star State.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one person died every hour and 57 minutes, and one person sustained an injury every two minutes and twelve seconds in reportable crashes in 2021. In all traffic accidents, 239,539 people sustained injuries, and 4,489 died. The number of fatalities represents a 15.22% increase from the year before.
Accidents by Type
The statistics examined multiple harmful events that caused car crashes in a single year. These harmful events represented something a vehicle collided with, leading to the accident. The number of accidents based on the first harmful event was:
Animal – 5,295
Fixed object – 34,608
Motor vehicle in transport – 89,737
Other non-collisions – 1,397
Other object – 1,521
Overturned – 7,613
Parked car – 4,349
Pedal cyclist – 354
Pedestrian – 847
Railroad train – 87
Accidents by Date and Demographics
The most fatal accidents occurred on Sundays, with 716 fatal collisions. The number of fatal crashes on other days of the week was:
Monday – 539
Tuesday – 466
Wednesday – 494
Thursday – 520
Friday – 617
Saturday – 708
The number of fatal crashes stayed relatively the same from one month to the next. In 2021, the number of fatal accidents each month was:
January – 356
February – 270
March – 377
April – 363
May – 358
June – 357
July – 394
August – 418
September – 401
October – 416
November – 371
December – 408
More male drivers died in traffic accidents than females. Males accounted for 1,678 deaths, while females represented 580 fatalities.
While examining the age of drivers involved in fatal accidents, statistics showed 169 fatal crashes involving 25-year-old drivers, the highest number of all ages. In a close second were 24-year-old drivers involved in 168 fatal collisions.
Accidents by Cause
Road surface conditions played a part in 552,224 traffic crashes statewide. The number of serious collisions caused by numerous types of road surface conditions included:
Dry – 13,910
Ice – 145
Sand, mud, dirt – 96
Slush – 11
Snow – 18
Standing water – 58
Wet – 1,478
Other – 33
Unknown – 14
Weather conditions also contributed significantly to car accidents. The total number of crashes, including fatal, serious injury, and non-injury collisions, were:
Blowing sand/snow – 105
Clear/cloudy – 127,084
Fog – 1,629
Rain – 13,970
Severe crosswinds – 170
Sleet/hail – 963
Snow – 1,345
Other – 182
Unknown – 360
Failing to control speed caused 134,125 traffic accidents throughout Texas in 2021, the highest number of all contributing factors. The number of crashes caused by other contributing factors in the same year were:
Unsafe lane change – 42,638
Texting while driving 783
Driving under the influence of alcohol – 15,558
Following a vehicle too closely – 20,724
Distraction in the vehicle – 12,536
Fatigued or asleep – 8,848
Road rage – 1,629
Driver inattention – 82,705
Failed to yield at stop sign – 29,167
The most traffic-related deaths occurred during the week of Thanksgiving out of six major holidays. There were 61 fatalities around Thanksgiving. The days around the new year came in a close second, with 54 deaths.
Number of Crashes in the Houston-Metro Area in 2021
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.
Steps We Take in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Many victims of car wrecks 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:
- Duty: The at-fault driver owed you a reasonable duty of care to prevent harm;
- Breach of duty: The at-fault driver breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
- Proximate cause: The at-fault driver’s breach was the direct cause of your injury; and
- 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 Gibson Hill Personal Injury attorney will review the details of the crash to determine the correct court.
Filing a Lawsuit
Your lawsuit proceedings will include the following steps:
Step 1: Prepare the Complaint. This document refers to all the elements associated with a Texas car accident claim 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. A process server or local sheriff’s office will typically 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 lawyers have logins and can file everything on your behalf. This could include the insurance claim, police report, medical expenses, and other information.
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 your response before 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. Sometimes, 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 case 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 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.
What Is the Texas Insurance Claims Process?
If someone else caused the 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 Gibson Hill 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 car insurance adjuster will investigate the crash to determine who was at fault. Insurance adjusters will request that you complete forms and provide documentation associated with the accident.
- Evidence – While the insurance adjusters are completing their investigation, we will launch one of our own. We’ll look for proof that the other driver was responsible and that your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Submit the demand package – A demand package will include the evidence we found and a letter requesting a specific settlement amount based on the available insurance company coverage.
- Negotiations – The other driver’s 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.
Advice on Handling Insurance Claims
Insurance companies are never on the claimant’s side. Never talk to the insurance adjuster yourself. Your lawyer will handle all communication on your behalf. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, you might say or do something that negatively 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 — even if you only suffered what you think are minor injuries. They might try to trick you into signing away your rights to 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 car crash scene until an officer performs an investigation. In Texas, you must 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 car insurance company without your lawyer. If the liability insurance adjuster requests a recorded statement, you’re under no legal obligation to submit one. However, you must comply if you file a claim with your insurance company and they request one. Speak with a lawyer first to know what you should and shouldn’t say.
- Don’t skip medical treatment or 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. Car insurance companies 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.
If you have more, pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to contact Gibson Hill in Houston to schedule a free case review with one of our auto accident lawyers.
How Can A Gibson Hill Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
At the Gibson Hill Personal Injury and car accident law firm, 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 your shoulders so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Our car accident legal team in Houston has the resources to investigate your accident thoroughly, gather critical evidence, and fight for the total 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.
Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury About Your Houston Car Accident
We believe in keeping the lines of communication open so you understand your case’s entire legal process and status. Our auto accident 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.
FAQs Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Receive
We often receive questions from clients about their legal rights and options following their car accidents. We’ve provided answers to some of those questions below. An attorney from our firm would be happy to answer all questions related to your specific circumstances – don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your case.
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 and medical treatment.
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 it 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
- Whether 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 affects 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
It could also manifest as a psychological issue, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- 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?
A police report is similar to an accident report, but not the same. A police report is required if a crime has been committed, such as in a wrongful death due to a driver under the influence.
To access your 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 vehicle accident 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.