Car Accident Lawyer in Houston
A car accident can cause severe physical injuries and property damage, leaving you feeling shaken and overwhelmed. Accident lawyer Shane R. Kadlec can help you secure compensation for your injuries so you can begin to rebuild your life.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Contact an Attorney
You should reach out to our car accident attorney at the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec as soon as possible after an accident.
Do Not Admit Fault
Even a simple apology at the scene of an accident can be interpreted as acceptance of fault for the accident.
Remain Calm and Stay on the Scene
As soon as you are hit, pull over to a safe location.
Take Photos of Car Accident
Use your cell phone to take pictures of your vehicle and any other autos involved in the collision. Also, photograph injuries at the scene. Pictures of the crash site can help your attorney prove liability.
Get Help From Police Or Others
Even if the accident is minor, exchange information with the other driver. Get names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information. However, if you suspect the other driver is intoxicated, do not engage the person.
Get Help From Police Or Others
Call the police. You should also check to see if anyone is hurt. If anyone is injured, ask the police to send an ambulance. If first aid is necessary and you are able to provide it, you should do so.
Common Causes Of Motor Vehicle Accidents
If the other driver was responsible for your accident, their insurance company is responsible for paying for the damages you incurred. However, insurance providers are not always willing to offer a fair settlement. Attorney Shane Kadlec can negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you collect the amount you deserve.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance provider is being unreasonable or your damages outweigh the compensation the insurance is willing to pay, Mr. Kadlec can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. During the trial, Mr. Kadlec will use evidence, expert testimony, and other resources to help maximize your compensation.
Texas Follows Comparative Negligence Laws
In Texas, settlements for car accidents are determined based on “modified comparative fault.” The benefit of this system is that you can still collect some compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident.
Under the rules of comparative negligence, the amount of damages you can receive after an accident is affected by what percentage of fault you hold for the accident. So if you were awarded $10,000, but you were determined to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, you would only collect $8,000.
Seek Legal Counsel
Figuring out whether you have a case on your own is difficult. Mr. Kadlec can review your case and determine the best course of action for you.
Do Not Wait To Take Action
There are limitations on the amount of time you have to file an injury claim. In Texas, you have two years. This is why it is necessary to take action to resolve the issue.
In addition, waiting too long may impede your ability to recall important details over time. These details could be key to supporting your accident claim.
The Alarming Statistics behind Car Accidents
It takes a second for someone to take their eyes off the road to lead to a lifetime of problems for you. Just because someone has a driver’s license does not mean they’re operating their vehicle with complete care at all times. Accidents do and will happen.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are approximately 10 million motor vehicle accidents each year. Although the majority of these accidents are minor fender benders, a significant number of car accidents cause serious injuries and even death. In 2009, approximately 3,000 motorists were killed in auto collisions on Texas highways.
A Lawyer Can Handle Your Insurance Claim
One of the major hardships victims face is paying medical bills for their serious injuries. These can pile up quickly, between the bill for an emergency room visit and recurring treatments. The other cost consideration is how you’ll pay to get your car back on the road. If you improperly report your accident and injuries to your insurance provider, you may not receive the compensation you are entitled to.
We work to quickly resolve your case with the best possible outcome, and believe that getting the settlement you deserve now is worth more than a verdict five years in the future.
Attorneys tend to improve your chances of a better settlement. They understand what is needed for a successful insurance claim, especially if you are not at fault.
We Represent a Variety of Accident Types
There are different types of car accidents in which various people can be injured, each with its own challenges when it comes to proving liability. The most common types include:
Lone Car Accidents
Many factors can cause motorists to run off the road, injuring themselves by overturning or striking fixed objects, such as trees. Although the fault most often lies with the driver who was speeding or driving under the influence, factors such as the weather or animals darting onto the road can cause these types of crashes. However, a motorist involved in a single-vehicle crash could still be the victim of a negligent driver who caused him to swerve off the road or faulty road design or construction.
This type of crash occurs when two or more cars strike each other. To claim compensation, injured parties must prove that someone else bears the majority of the blame for the accident. This can be a complex matter to sort out in chain reaction accidents.
An injured passenger is entitled to compensation, even when riding in the car with a negligent driver. However, in some cases, the injured passenger may be found to have assumed risk or contributed to the accident, which negatively affects the amount the injured passenger can recover.
For example, if a passenger knowingly accepts a ride from an intoxicated driver, there is a known risk that passenger is accepting. Similarly, if the passenger engages in distractive behavior with the driver, the passenger is also negligent.
A pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle is entitled to recover for injuries, provided the driver, not the pedestrian, was negligent. A pedestrian who jaywalks at a major intersection could be held liable for the harm.
Hit and Run Accidents
It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident, especially when it’s likely that a person has been injured. If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you must report the incident immediately to the authorities, along with any identifying information you have for the car. If authorities are successful in apprehending the hit-and-run driver, you should be in an advantageous position for proving liability.
What Is a Hit and Run Accident?
A hit and run accident is defined as any collision after which the negligent party intentionally leaves the scene. These cases are unique because unless the victim is able to identify the responsible party, it is nearly impossible to make a claim with an insurance company. However, there are avenues of recovery available which can be used when the injuries are severe.
What Should I Do if I Have Been in a Hit and Run Accident?
If you have been in an accident, the rules of the road in Texas require all drivers to stop and remain on the scene until the authorities arrive. Unfortunately, the basic human instinct to flee when in trouble sometimes takes over and not all motorists abide by the law. If you have been in a hit and run accident, here are some tips on how to handle the situation:
- Call the police immediately
- Take photos or notes of the make and model of the other car and write down the license plate if you are able
- Give the police a physical description of the other driver, with as much detail as possible
- Notify your own insurance company of the incident
If the person responsible for a hit and run remains unidentified, you may be able to turn to your insurance company for compensation.
Damages For Hit and Run Accidents
If the person responsible for a hit and run remains unidentified, you may be able to turn to your insurance company for compensation. If you have opted for uninsured drivers insurance on your policy, you should be covered in the event of a hit and run. The damages often include:
- Lost wages
- Costs of medical care
- Cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Costs for repair or replace damaged property
- Pain and suffering
Because so many people suffer severe injuries in car accidents, reimbursement is often desperately needed. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, burns and abrasions, and traumatic head injuries can leave victims with considerable medical fees.
How We Can Help
Partnering with a hit and run accident attorney who is familiar with the requirements for making claims on an uninsured driver policy is critical to a successful case. This area of the law is complex and deserves specialized attention. Establishing liability is the first step an attorney will take and is key to maximizing recovery. If you have been hurt in a hit and run accident, let us help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Almost everyone today has a cell phone — and it seems that every call, text, and email is urgent. Because of this, distracted driving has become a major issue in Texas and across the country.
Most motorists make a consistent effort to drive safely. Yet auto accidents kill thousands of people each year, and distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent factors in fatal accidents. The federal government reports that in 2012, one in four crashes involved driver distraction, and more than 3,300 motorists were killed in distraction-related crashes and an estimated 421,000 people were injured.
There is no denying one of the biggest distractions that drivers face every day: cell phones. Young drivers who have grown up relying on cell phones are affected most. Inexperience behind the wheel and cell phone use has become a lethal combination as distracted driving has become the number one killer among teens. Ten percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who are killed in car crashes were apparently distracted at the time of the crash, with many of these distractions caused by cell phone use, including texting.
Cell phone laws in Texas
Although many states have enacted laws banning cell phones while driving, Texas has not. However, the state has instituted certain restrictions, including:
- Drivers with learning permits may not use a handheld cell phone while driving.
- Drivers under the age of 18 may not operate wireless communication devices of any kind.
- School bus drivers are prohibited from all cell phone use while children are present in their vehicles.
What Is A Texting And Driving Accident?
Texting while driving is becoming a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. When a driver takes their eyes off the road to draft and send a text, they will not have enough time to react and safely stop if cars have slowed or stopped. Consequently, the impact is usually much harder and the likelihood of injuries much higher.
Consequences Of a Texting and Driving Accident
Studies show that taking your eyes off the road for even a few moments requires several more to readjust to safe driving. Even when a text takes just a second or two to compose and send, it can take upwards of ten seconds for a driver to refocus on driving. This puts motorists at risk when surrounding cars are changing lanes, encountering construction, or making an emergency stop. The end result is often a serious accident.
Damages For Texting and Driving Accidents
Victims of texting and driving accidents are entitled to damages in the form of reimbursement from the liable party. This can include:
- Lost wages
- Costs of medical care
- The costs of ongoing medical needs or therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
In the most extreme cases a victim may also be entitled to punitive damages. Because texting and driving is such a rampant problem, using such damages to deter similar future conduct is very common.
How We Can Help
Texting and driving accidents are often catastrophic. The damages may be severe and the injuries life changing. Aggressive pursuit of damages is critical to maximize recovery.
A personal injury attorney familiar with texting and driving accidents can establish liability by presenting evidence of fault and pursuing the maximum amount of damages possible. In these cases, this can be done by demonstrating the driver was not paying full attention and was texting at the time of or in the moments leading up to the accident. Cell phone records or witness testimony are often essential evidence in these accidents.Cell phone records or witness testimony are often essential evidence in a texting and driving accident.
Cell phone records or witness testimony are often essential evidence in a texting and driving accident.
Texas Policies On Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers
When you or a loved one are involved in an accident, the last thing you want to do is deal with an insurance company. Board-certified attorney Shane R. Kadlec can explain statewide policies surrounding uninsured and underinsured drivers. During your free consultation, he can also determine whether you can pursue compensation for your injuries.
Statewide Insurance Coverage Regulations
Getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be extremely frustrating, especially if there was significant damage done to your car or there were injuries to the driver or passengers.
Texas has strict laws when it comes to auto insurance. Texas is a “fault” state, meaning that drivers must carry liability insurance to pay for bodily injury and property damage resulting from accidents they cause. The current statutory minimums for liability are:
- $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident
- 25,000 for property damage per accident
But even though it’s the law, not every driver purchases insurance, and some lose coverage by failing to make premium payments in a timely manner.
Texas is a “fault” state, meaning that drivers must carry liability insurance to pay for bodily injury and property damage resulting from accidents they cause.
Car Accident FAQs
Car accidents can be a confusing and disorienting experience. The Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec has 20 years of experience assisting the victims of car accidents. For your convenience, we have assembled a car accident FAQ to provide you with thorough answers to some of the most common questions that arise in the aftermath of an accident.
Getting answers to your questions after a car accident case helps you determine what steps to take in the hours and days afterward, what type of strategy to employ, and what to expect during the legal process.
Do I really need a lawyer?
- The short answer? No. Legally speaking, any person can represent themselves pro se in court. However, this is not usually advisable.
- Representing yourself is not just a matter of arguing your case in court. You must also keep track of specific deadlines and file paperwork accordingly. If you miss any of these deadlines, you will not get a second chance to make your claim. Furthermore, insurance adjusters and other attorneys often try to take advantage of pro se victims by offering inadequate settlement amounts or convincing victims to give up rights.
- A professional lawyer can protect you from these dangers while you focus on dealing with the aftermath of your accident. We offer a free initial consultation so you do not have to pay out of pocket for an initial review of your case.