Katy Car Accident Lawyer
Injuries and fatalities resulting from car accidents can devastate the lives of those involved as well as their families and loved ones. A car accident can result in substantial financial losses, including property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you must take immediate action to protect your rights and seek legal representation. The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, and it is essential to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for any injuries or damages suffered.
If you need legal representation following a car accident, look no further than the Law Office of Shane McClelland. Our Katy car accident lawyer is dedicated to fighting for your rights and guiding you through the often-confusing legal process. From gathering evidence, to negotiating with insurance companies, to representing you in court, our team is ready to support you at every step.
Get in touch with the Law Office of Shane McClelland for help seeking the compensation you deserve. Call us at (713) 242-1302 to schedule your free consultation today!
Common Injuries from Car Accidents
According to a 2017 "crash facts" report by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 14,282 serious car collisions in the state. These collisions resulted in 3,727 fatalities and 17,535 reported injuries. At least one person is killed in a traffic accident in Texas every 2-3 hours. These staggering statistics are a reminder of the importance of safe driving practices and being aware of the risks on the road.
Common injuries after a wreck include:
Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are jerked forward and backward in a rapid motion, causing strain and damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and sometimes dizziness.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a delicate and vital part of the body that controls movement, sensation, and reflexes. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can lead to loss of sensation, mobility, and in severe cases, paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a severe injury caused by a blow or penetration to the head. It can result in symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, headaches, dizziness, and loss of consciousness in severe cases.
Car accidents can also cause broken bones, particularly in the limbs, ribs, and pelvis. These injuries may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
Soft Tissue Injuries
These injuries may not be as severe as the injuries mentioned above but can still cause significant discomfort and require medical attention.
It's essential to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you think your injuries are minor. Sometimes symptoms can take days to appear.
It's important to document any injuries you sustained so you can use the documentation as evidence when it’s time to file a claim for damages.
Car Accident Types
Several car accident cases can occur in Katy, Texas, each with unique circumstances, contributing factors, and legal complexities. These include:
- Rear-end collisions: Rear-end collisions happen when one vehicle crashes into the back of another that is either stopped or moving slowly. This can happen due to distracted, drowsy, or reckless driving and can result in serious injuries such as whiplash and head injuries.
- Head-on collisions: When two vehicles collide at their front ends, the result is a head-on collision. These accidents can have devastating consequences and frequently result in severe injuries or death. Such crashes result from driver mistakes, such as driving impaired or recklessly.
- T-bone accidents: Also known as side-impact accidents, this happens when the side of one vehicle slams into the side of another. These often occur at intersections when one driver disregards a red light or stop sign, and can result in severe injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and internal damage.
- Sideswipe accidents: Sideswipe accidents happen when the side of one vehicle makes contact with the side of another while traveling in the same direction. These accidents are often caused by distracted drivers or a car drifting into another lane.
- Rollover accidents: Rollovers happen when a car flips over onto the side. They can be caused by going too fast or by the design or condition of the vehicle. These types of accidents can be hazardous and even deadly.
- Hit-and-run accidents: A hit-and-run incident is a collision where one driver flees the scene, leaving behind potential injuries or casualties. These types of accidents can lead to severe legal consequences for the responsible party.
- Single-vehicle accidents: These occur when only one vehicle is involved in the accident. Single-vehicle accidents can happen due to driver error, poor road conditions, or mechanical failure.
- Multi-vehicle accidents: Accidents involving multiple vehicles can be an absolute nightmare. Not only can they result in serious injuries or even fatalities, but it can be more difficult to determine fault and liability.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
- Distracted Driving: This includes using a cell phone while driving, eating or drinking, or even applying makeup or shaving. These activities take a driver's attention away from the road, leading to severe accidents and injuries.
- Reckless Driving: Speeding, blowing through red lights and stop signs, and taking illicit turns are all dangerous maneuvers that harm other drivers and pedestrians and can result in devastating collisions.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication can impair a driver's ability to react quickly and make safe decisions on the road.
- Poor Road Conditions and Weather: Drivers must stay vigilant when navigating the roads, as neglect and inclement weather can lead to potholes, slippery surfaces, or poorly maintained roadways.
Types of Legal Compensation Available for Car Accident Victims
- Medical Expenses: One type of compensation that victims can recover is the cost of any medical treatment they received as a result of the accident. This can include emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and physical therapy. Victims should keep all bills and receipts related to their medical treatment, as they will need to provide documentation of their expenses when seeking compensation.
- Lost Wages: If you've been injured, you must keep track of any loss in wages you may have experienced. It’s essential to consider not just the time you had to take off work to recover from your injuries but also any potential impact on your future earning potential. Pay stubs and other documentation to back up your claim can be helpful when seeking compensation.
- Property Damage: You can get compensation for damage to your vehicle or personal property from an accident, including items in the car. You need to document the damage with photos and keep bills for repairs or replacements to show as evidence.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering compensation can include various physical and emotional distress types, such as physical pain, anxiety, and depression. It may be challenging to calculate, but our Katy car accident attorney can help you determine an appropriate amount.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, victims recover additional damages as a way of punishing the at-fault party for particularly egregious conduct. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim but to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
It is important to note that Texas is a "fault" state, which means that the person found to be at fault for the accident is financially responsible for compensating the victim.
If you've been in an accident, working with a seasoned car accident lawyer in Katy is crucial to figure out who's at fault and to gather evidence to back up your compensation claim.
If you were in a car accident, don't hesitate to contact our Katy car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Call (713) 242-1302 today!
What Should I Do ff I Am Involved in a Car Accident?
If you find yourself in a car accident in Katy, Texas, you should take a few essential steps to protect your safety and legal rights.
Step 1: Call 911. The first thing you should do after a car accident is to call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if necessary. Even if the accident seems minor and no one appears to be injured, it is always best to err on the side of caution and call for emergency services. The operator will dispatch the necessary personnel, such as police and paramedics, to the accident scene. If anyone is injured, it is essential to get them medical attention as soon as possible.
Step 2: Exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. After contacting 911, exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident and:
- Get the driver’s name, address, and phone number.
- Note the other vehicle's make, model, and license plate number.
- Keep this information easily accessible for future reference.
Step 3: Take photographs and gather evidence. If you are physically able, taking photographs of the accident scene is a good idea, including any damage to your car and the other vehicle(s) involved. It would also help to photograph any injuries you or your passengers sustained. Be sure to get the name and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. If you decide to file a claim with your insurance company or take legal action against the other driver, support your case with this evidence.
Step 4: Contact your insurance company. After the accident, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Be sure to keep a record of the date, time, and name of the person you spoke with at the insurance company.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is typically two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have two years from the accident date to file a claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in court. If you do not file a claim within two years, you may lose the right to take legal action related to the accident.
Taking legal action can be extended in certain circumstances:
- If you are involved in the accident and were minor, the statute of limitations will start once you turn 18.
- If you cannot file a claim because of a mental or physical condition at the time of the accident, the period in which you can file a claim may be extended until you’re capable of doing so.
What if the Other Driver Was at Fault But Does Not Have Insurance?
If you are involved in a car accident, and the other driver was at fault but does not have insurance, you may still have options for recovering damages. One option is to use your uninsured motorist coverage if you have it.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional type of car insurance that can protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. This coverage is typically offered as part of a standard car insurance policy.
When you file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage, the insurance company will investigate the accident and determine whether the other driver was at fault. If they decide that the other driver was at fault and that driver does not have insurance, your insurance company will then pay for the damages you incurred up to the limits of your policy. This may include medical expenses, car repairs, and lost wages.
It is important to note that uninsured motorist coverage typically only applies to injuries and damages sustained in an accident and not to any injuries or damages suffered by passengers in your vehicle. The coverage limits of uninsured motorist coverage may be lower than those of your liability coverage.
It is essential to check your insurance policy and understand your coverage so you know what to expect in the event of an accident. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, consider adding it to your policy to provide additional protection.
Can I Settle a Car Accident Case Out of Court in Katy, Texas?
It is possible to settle a car accident case out of court in Katy, Texas. Many car accident cases are resolved through negotiations between the parties rather than through a trial. This is known as an out-of-court settlement.
Benefits to settling a car accident case out of court include:
- Save time and money. Going to trial can be long and expensive; an out-of-court settlement can avoid this. Settling out of court also means you do not have to go through the stress and uncertainty of a trial.
- Protect your privacy. In a trial, the proceedings are public, and the case details are shared with the public. This can be uncomfortable for some people. An out-of-court settlement allows the parties to keep the facts of the case private.
Resolving a car accident dispute in Katy, Texas without going to court usually involves hiring attorneys to negotiate a settlement for each party. This settlement typically includes payment to the injured party and relinquishing future legal claims. The agreement is then signed by both parties to finalize the resolution.
Should I talk to the Other Driver's Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
When it comes to car accidents, one of the first things that often comes to mind is the insurance process. One aspect of this process is communicating with the other driver's insurance company. Understand that it is only sometimes recommended to speak with them directly.
The main reason is that insurance companies may use statements you make against you in an attempt to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out. It is best to have legal representation before giving any statement to the other driver's insurance company.
Having a Katy car accident lawyer can help protect your rights and interests. An attorney can advise you on what to say and what not to say to the insurance company and help negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. A lawyer can help you understand the legal process and what you can expect from the insurance company.
Keep in mind that the insurance company is only sometimes on your side. Their primary goal is profit, and they often try to pay out as little as possible. So, you’ll want someone on your side who is looking out for your best interests.
What Can a Katy Car Accident Attorney Do?
Car accidents can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, leaving victims physically and emotionally drained. Trying to navigate the legal system alone can be daunting, but with the help of the Law Office of Shane McClellan, you can rest easy knowing that you have the guidance and support you need to move forward confidently.
- Investigating the Accident: If you've been involved in an accident, having an experienced attorney on your side is essential to help you navigate the legal process and determine who is at fault. The Law Office of Shane McClelland can assist you. Our attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident by gathering key evidence and carefully reviewing all relevant traffic laws and regulations to ensure no violations have been committed, covering all possible angles.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Negotiations with insurance companies can be tricky and time-consuming. Let us take the burden off your shoulders by representing you and protecting your rights during these discussions.
- Filing a Lawsuit: We can help you navigate the legal process and represent you in court. We build a strong case and fight for fair compensation for any damages or injuries you sustained in the accident.
- Understanding Legal Rights and Options: At the Law Office of Shane McClelland, we thoroughly explain your legal rights and options under the relevant laws and regulations in Katy, Texas. We guide you in navigating the legal system and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and resources necessary to understand and assert your legal rights and achieve a favorable outcome.
At the Law Office of Shane McClelland, we understand the weight of a car accident injury claim and the stress it can bring. That's why we're here to take that burden off your shoulders and fight for the compensation you deserve. Let us level the playing field against insurance companies so you can focus on healing.
If you've been injured and are facing medical expenses, lost wages, or other losses, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation. With our experienced car accident representation, you'll have a powerful ally on your side.
Call us at (713) 242-1302 to schedule a free consultation with a Katy car accident lawyer and get started on your case today.
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“Attorney Shane McClelland took plenty of time to explain all my options.” - Mike H.