Houston Poor Weather Condition Car Accidents Lawyer
Houston has earned a reputation recently. We’ve got some intense storms. From hurricanes to run-of-the-mill thunderstorms, every Houstonian has to know how to navigate our roads in adverse weather conditions.
Sometimes drivers fail to take proper precautions during poor weather. When they do and cause you injury, you may be able to hold them liable for their poor driving and the cost of the crash.
Did you get hurt in a Houston car crash due to poor weather conditions? Do you need medical treatment? If so, you could be owed compensation. A Houston personal injury attorney from Gibson Hill Personal Injury can assist you with your insurance claim.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we hold people accountable for their actions and seek fair financial damages for our clients. To find out more about our legal services and how we can help you with your case, call our Houston car accident attorney at (713) 659-4000 today to schedule a free consultation.
Bad Weather Can Lead to Catastrophic Accidents
Many people take precautionary measures when they drive in adverse weather conditions. They might be more diligent behind the wheel, slow down to a safer speed, and avoid checking their cell phone. Unfortunately, some people choose to drive dangerously despite bad weather.
Many motorists think of ice when someone mentions poor driving conditions. That doesn’t come up often in Houston. A lot of people don’t realize that rain can also create hazards. Even on a sunny, warm day, strong winds can affect driving abilities and lead to a crash.
The most common types of poor weather that can contribute to car accidents in Houston include the following:
- Rarely, snow and ice
The best way to avoid a crash during poor weather is to stay at home. If you have responsibilities that require you to travel, here are some safety tips to follow.
- Turn on your headlights so you can see the area in front of you.
- If there’s fog, never turn on your brights.
- Lower your speed, so you’re able to come to a complete stop or maneuver away from a hazard if necessary.
- Maintain a greater distance than usual between your vehicle and the car in front of you so that you can avoid a rear-end crash if they suddenly slam on their brakes.
- Take extra precautions near intersections by checking for other vehicles before continuing.
- Don’t rapidly or unnecessarily change lanes while you’re on the highway.
- Focus on what’s on driving and your surroundings.
- Avoid distractions like your cell phone, music, or talking to the car’s occupants.
Whose Fault Is an Accident Caused by Poor Weather?
The most common cause of car accidents during dangerous weather is driver error. That means that the person operating that vehicle may be liable for the damages they cause.
- Failure to yield
- Failure to check blind spots
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Texting while driving
- Driving distracted
Even though the weather contributed to your crash, you may still hold another driver liable if they behaved negligently behind the wheel. Under the Texas fault system, the person who causes a car accident automatically is responsible for any resulting injuries and expenses. Usually, a lawyer can help you seek that compensation from their auto insurer.
It’s possible to file an insurance claim on your own, but it’s best to have an attorney’s help. The at-fault driver’s liability coverage must maintain minimum limits for bodily injury and property damage. Through a settlement, you could recover compensation for your medical treatment, car repairs, and any other expenses related to the accident.
Your lawyer must prove the at-fault driver’s actions contributed to the crash, and it wasn’t just the adverse weather that created a dangerous situation. If they can show relevant evidence of negligence, they’ll be able to negotiate a full, fair settlement with the insurer.
Negligence is a legal theory that one party failed to prevent harm to another because of their actions. There are five elements your lawyer will need to establish if your claim is based on this theory:
- Duty: The other driver owed you a duty to drive in a way that would prevent an accident;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty;
- Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their negligent actions, you wouldn’t have gotten hurt;
- Proximate cause: Their breach was the direct cause of your injuries; and
- Damages: You incurred damages as a result of the crash.
What Are Damages and How Much Money Am I Entitled To?
Damages are the expenses and losses suffered by an injured victim after an accident. Your lawyer can help you claim both economic damages and non-economic damages.
The most common kinds of damages include:
- Car repairs
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of household services
- Loss of companionship
Things like medical expenses are easy to calculate because they come with a billing statement. Something like pain and suffering, however, is more difficult to count.
An insurance adjuster will review the details of the accident and consider the following factors to determine how much compensation they’re willing to pay for non-economic damages:
- Type of injury and how serious it is
- Length of time unable to work
- Duration of medical treatment needed
- If you made a full recovery or developed a disability
- Liability coverage available on the insurance policy
- Impact of the injury on your daily life
- The effect, if any, the accident had on your ability to perform household chores, care for your family, or complete routine tasks
- Proof that the other driver was at fault for the crash
Your Gibson Hill Personal Injury lawyer will defend your right to fair compensation and vigorously negotiate with the insurer if they refuse to pay what you’re owed. If we have to, we’ll take them to court.
Modified Comparative Fault and 51% Rule
There are two rules that could affect the maximum compensation you may win in a settlement or judgment. If you were in a car crash and want to hold the other driver responsible for your damages, they don’t have to be 100% to blame. If you share a percentage of fault below 51%, your damages will be reduced by that same amount.
For instance, if you incurred $100,000 in damages and are found 20% at fault for the accident, the highest settlement you could receive to compensate your damages would be $80,000.
If it’s discovered that you’re at least 51% responsible for the car accident, you may lose your right to pursue financial compensation from the other motorist or their insurance company. Contact an attorney to understand how fault affects your claim.
Filing a Lawsuit in Texas
Most accident victims don’t pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver unless the insurance company denies their claim first. At that point, you can sue the insurance company and the driver. Your lawyer will advise you whether the other motorist’s actions during the poor weather conditions were careless and contributed to the crash enough to merit a lawsuit.
There’s a statute of limitations you’ll have to follow if you want to pursue civil action in the court system. A statute of limitations is a strict legal deadline. If you miss it and try to file suit, the judge will most likely dismiss your case.
For auto accidents in Texas, there’s a two-year statute you must comply with. That means you have two years from the crash date to file your legal case.
To win a judgment in a car accident lawsuit, your lawyer must show that the other driver’s actions were reckless, negligent, malicious, or egregious, and they lacked regard for your safety.
If you have sufficient proof, you might be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages don’t compensate for your losses like economic and non-economic damages do. Instead, they’re a punishment against the negligent party to deter them from similar acts in the future.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Gibson Hill Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many victims of car accidents refrain from seeking legal representation because they worry that it’s too expensive. If you already have a pile of medical bills you need to pay, you don’t want to spend money on anything else.
Actually, hiring a Houston car crash lawyer at Gibson Hill Personal Injury won’t cost you a dime. We have experience handling car accident claims and lawsuits and winning our clients significant compensation.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we know the tactics necessary to demand the maximum compensation you need. If you try to handle an insurance claim alone, your settlement could be low or denied altogether.
We know you’re already overwhelmed by your car crash. We don’t want to add to your burden, which is why we take cases on contingency.
You won’t have to pay us upfront to represent you in your case. We won’t expect any fees unless we settle with the insurance company or receive a judgment in your favor. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.
Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, our Houston personal injury lawyers care about our clients. We know how traumatic bad weather accidents are, and we want to help you recover. You shouldn’t have to pay for the other driver’s recklessness.
We’ll fight aggressively on your behalf for the maximum compensation you need to cover your damages. You can depend on us to provide you support throughout your case. Our legal team is available 24/7, so you can reach us when you need to.
Call (713) 659-4000 if you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident in Houston caused by poor weather conditions and need assistance pursuing compensation. Schedule your free Gibson Hill Personal Injury consultation today.