Car accidents are all too common in Texas and lead to thousands of injuries and fatalities every year. While the Lone Star state may be home to two of the most dangerous highways in the nation – Interstate 35 and Interstate 45, many serious and fatal accidents could likely have been avoided if drivers had not acted with negligence and chosen to engage in dangerous driving behaviors.
Mesquite attorneys for motor vehicle incident cases discuss how car accident cases work in Texas and what rights you may have as a victim of a negligent driver. If you were hurt in a car accident caused by someone else, call the Oberg Law Office at 972-672-9700 for the legal representation you deserve.
How Many Car Accidents Happen in Texas Every Year?
Every year, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) publishes statistics about motor vehicle crashes in the state. According to the TxDOT 2021 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts report, 15,769 crashes resulted in serious injuries in Texas in 2021. These accidents resulted in 239,709 people injured and 19,456 people sustaining a serious or incapacitating injury. There were also 4,497 deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents, with over half of these fatalities occurring in rural areas of the state.
These statistics are quite concerning, as the TxDOT reports there was at least one fatal motor vehicle accident in Texas every day during the year 2021. That means one person was killed in an accident every 1 hour and 57 minutes, and one person was injured every 2 minutes and 11 seconds. Unfortunately, a good percentage of these accidents and resulting injuries or fatalities could likely have been avoided, as the main causes of such crashes appear to be negligent driver behavior.
What Are Some of the Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Texas?
The statistics presented by the Texas Department of Transportation point to distracted driving and impaired driving as two of the leading causes of car crashes in the state as of 2021. It is estimated that as many as 1,141 people died in a car accident that involved a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That number accounts for 25.37% of all motor vehicle deaths in the state. Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher is illegal for drivers over the age of 21, but drivers who are younger than 21 are not allowed to have any detectable alcohol levels in their bloodstream while driving.
Another leading cause of fatal accidents is distracted driving – as many as 436 people have reportedly been killed in motor vehicle accidents in which a driver was distracted. Using a smartphone to text or talk while driving, as well as other types of distractions such as eating, putting on makeup, adjusting the radio, or getting distracted by a passenger in the vehicle, is not only dangerous but also illegal in Texas. In order to address the growing number of accidents caused by drivers who are texting or otherwise distracted by their phones, the state has recently passed laws making it a misdemeanor to drive while distracted.
It is also worth mentioning that other behaviors, such as speeding, following another vehicle too closely, making unsafe lane changes, driving aggressively, weaving through traffic, and failing to maintain one’s vehicle properly, are also common causes of car accidents in Texas. Such behaviors can result in collisions with other vehicles or in equally dangerous single-vehicle accidents.
Do Car Accident Victims Have the Right to Seek Compensation for Their Damages?
The behaviors described above could be considered negligence, as a driver chooses to engage in these behaviors in spite of knowing the risks associated with them. If a person is injured or killed as a result of another driver’s negligent behavior, that person may be entitled to receiving monetary compensation for their injuries and damages.
In order to seek compensation, the injured victim may need to prove that the damages they have experienced are a direct result of the other driver’s negligence and breach of duty of care to other roadway users. This may be done in the process of filing an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the at-fault driver is underinsured or does not have any insurance coverage, the victim may want to consider speaking to an attorney and discussing the option of initiating a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney for My Case?
If you were injured and sustained damages in a car accident in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation if you can prove that your damages were a result of another driver’s negligent behavior. However, it is up to you to collect the required evidence and build your case. This is when the help of an experienced car accident attorney can truly make a positive impact on your case.
A skilled attorney is familiar with how most auto insurance companies operate and can help you with the steps required to file a claim and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If your case needs to be taken to trial, your attorney can assist you with gathering and preparing the necessary evidence to show the court that you have been hurt and suffered damages due to another party’s negligence. Your attorney can help you prove your case and secure maximum compensation for your financial losses (such as medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property) and non-economic damages (such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress). While car accidents may be common in Texas, no car accident case is the same. The attorneys at the Oberg Law Office are ready to help you with your case. Call our office in Mesquite at 972-672-9700 for a free consultation.