Houston Tailgating Car Accident Lawyers
Every Houston driver has a responsibility to operate their vehicle safely. Some behaviors—speeding, driving drunk, and tailgating—are inherently unsafe. That means that someone who tailgates and causes a crash can be held legally responsible for the injuries and damage they cause.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident because the other driver was tailgating you, the Houston personal injury attorneys of Gibson Hill Personal Injury might be able to help you seek significant compensation. You should have to pay for damage to the rear of your vehicle or medical treatment you required because of the tailgater. That responsibility should fall on the at-fault driver’s shoulders.
The fault system that Texas follows holds drivers financially liable for the victims’ injuries and expenses when they cause crashes. If someone was tailgating you and caused a crash, you’re legally entitled to a settlement from that person’s auto insurance company. The liability coverage should pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the collision.
If you were injured in a tailgating accident and want to pursue the compensation you’re owed, contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (713) 659-4000. One of our experienced Houston car accident lawyers will go over your legal options in a free consultation.
Tailgating is Dangerous Behavior
If a motorist follows the car in front of them too closely, they won’t have enough room to stop when it becomes necessary. That simple fact can cause a lot of pain for the innocent drivers they hurt.
The Texas Department of Insurance recommends that drivers keep an adequate distance between their car and the car ahead. They say that leaving a space of at least two seconds between both vehicles is safest.
This buffer can make all the difference in the event that a driver in front has to brake suddenly. It gives drivers enough space to stop or veer away and avoid a crash. If adverse weather, poor road conditions, or other hazards are present, motorists should keep their safety cushion to a four-second distance.
If someone tailgates you, you may be able to take steps to avoid an accident, including:
- Merging into the slow lane so that they can pass you
- Avoiding brake-checking or exhibiting aggressive behavior that might make the situation worse
- Speeding up a little to increase the distance between both vehicles, while maintaining the speed limit
- If you can’t move over to the slow lane, pull onto the shoulder and wait for them to pass
Tailgating alone is dangerous. When other dangerous behaviors or conditions exist, like those below, the risk of an accident increases:
- Distracted driving
- Road rage
- Slow-moving traffic or congestion
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Hazardous weather or road conditions
How You Handle the Car Accident Could Affect the Outcome of Your Claim
If you get hit by a tailgating driver and sustain an injury, the steps you take next could impact whether you’re able to recover compensation. The team at Gibson Hill Personal Injury recommends you do the following to protect your rights:
- Call 911 to report the crash, and wait for emergency responders to show up and investigate. They’ll write a traffic crash report that you or your lawyer can request online once it’s available.
- Take photos of the accident scene and damage to the cars.
- Write down the other driver’s name and auto insurance information.
- Speak to people who witnessed the accident and ask for their contact information.
- Go to the doctor for treatment of your injuries. Follow up with the medical providers they refer you to.
- Get a repair estimate for your vehicle.
- Keep every document associated with the crash.
- Contact a Houston tailgating car accident lawyer.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury will take care of each step of the insurance claim process on your behalf.
We can file the claim, collect evidence, submit it to the insurance company, and negotiate a fair, full settlement. If we can’t reach an agreement, we have the resources to take your case to court. Let our experienced and dedicated attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve.
Maximize the Value of Your Case
Under Texas’s fault system, you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. The state requires all motorists to carry liability insurance with minimum limits of $30,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.
If the other driver’s tailgating was the direct cause of your injuries, you could file a claim for a settlement up to the limits listed on their policy. The settlement you receive could cover your total economic and non-economic damages. That’s the legal term the losses suffered by an accident victim.
The damages you could pursue include:
- Medical costs, past and future
- Lost income and lost future earnings
- Property damage
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or society
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment or disability
Insurance adjusters can’t easily calculate the value for non-economic damages since they don’t come with an invoice or receipt. Monetizing physical and emotional pain is a challenge, so they review the following factors to determine the right amount to offer to the injured victim:
- Type and location of the injury
- The severity of the injury and how it affects daily life
- Impact of the injury on performing routine tasks, such as driving
- Effect of the accident on relationships with family and friends
- Proof that the driver’s tailgating caused the crash
- Duration spent away from work
- Length of medical treatment needed to recover
- If a disability or physical impairment exists due to the crash
- Total economic damages incurred
- Relevant medical evidence provided
Your attorney will defend your right to fair damages, and demand that the insurance company pays them. If they don’t, we’ll take them to court.
You Can Still Seek Compensation If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance.
Even though Texas drivers have to carry liability insurance, not all drivers have it. If you discover the tailgating car owner that caused your accident doesn’t have insurance, you can still pursue compensation with the help of a lawyer.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is an optional coverage on every auto insurance policy. It’s not a legal requirement, but insurance companies must offer it to their Texas policyholders.
You can use it when if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. If you chose UM on your policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company and recover reimbursement of your damages up to the limit you purchased.
UM can cover the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
Collision is another optional coverage. Unlike liability policies that cover expenses for medical treatment and property damage, UM doesn’t cover property damage. If you want compensation for the repair or replacement of your car, you’ll have to use your collision coverage.
Personal injury protection is a type of coverage you must opt-out of in writing. If you chose to include it on your policy, you could use it to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with the accident.
Provide your doctors with your PIP information. They’ll submit your medical bills to the insurance company for direct payment. You don’t have to pay out of pocket for any treatment until the coverage runs out. PIP also provides compensation for a percentage of your lost wages.
Tailgating Accident Lawsuits
Whether or not the at-fault driver has insurance, you can choose to sue them for a financial settlement or judgment with the help of a lawyer. In Texas, you must follow a statute of limitations. It’s two years for car accidents. That means you have two years from the crash date to file suit against the liable driver.
Your lawyer will need to prove that the at-fault party must pay for the crash. Most of the time, they use the legal theory is negligence. Negligence occurs when someone fails to exercise a reasonable degree of care to minimize the risk of harm to another person. Clearly, tailgating is a form of negligence.
Your Gibson Hill Personal Injury attorney will show that:
- The driver owed you a duty of care to prevent injury;
- They breached their duty by causing an accident;
- If it wasn’t for their tailgating, you wouldn’t have suffered injuries;
- Their actions were the direct cause of your injuries; and
- You incurred damages as a result.
You can seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages in a lawsuit, just like you would in an insurance claim. You may also win a third type called punitive damages. Instead of reimbursing your expenses or compensating you for the suffering you endured, they’re a punishment issued against the negligent party for their careless actions.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, our Houston personal injury lawyers know what you’re going through. You have to recover from the accident, both medically and financially. When you choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we’ll handle the legal process for you. You won’t have to worry about filing documents, collecting evidence, or negotiating a settlement.
Our Houston tailgating car accident lawyers take cases on contingency. That means you won’t have to pay us for our legal services unless you get paid. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury today if you were the victim of a Houston tailgating car accident and want the compensation you’re owed. Our lawyers will dedicate our time and attention to your case and fight hard for the settlement you deserve. Call us at (713) 659-4000 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.