Millions of people are involved in car accidents across the United States every year and the Dallas area is no exception. When you’re involved in a car accident, even if it was no fault of your own, it can mean pain and suffering related to your injuries, time off work and the subsequent income loss and emotional consequences for long after the accident itself. If you’ve been involved in a Dallas car wreck, a lawyer can help you better understand if you might be entitled to compensation and how to start the filing process in the Texas courts.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Texas
The most important thing to do when you’re involved in a car accident is to contact the police and emergency services if necessary. This is crucial even if the accident seems minor at first or you don’t think that you’re injured. It’s common for car accident injuries such as whiplash to take a while to manifest, and you will need the official documentation of what happened in the accident, who was involved and if there was a fault determination — all of which can be found in the police report.
After you have been cleared by medical personnel, you’ll also want to alert your insurance company to the fact that you’ve had an accident. They will need the contact information for the other party and their insurance company to start their internal processes.
You’ll also want to contact an auto accident lawyer in Dallas as soon as possible after the event. The sooner you reach out, the more help you can get with navigating the insurance claims, making sure you don’t agree to a low-ball settlement and understanding your options for pursuing a case against the other party.
Choosing a Dallas Car Accident Attorney for Your Case
When you’re choosing a Dallas car accident lawyer, it’s important to remember that not all attorneys are equal and you want to select the best representation possible for your case. Here are just a few of the top considerations to keep in mind:
- Experience. Any car accident lawyer you are considering should have extensive experience dealing with car wreck cases in the Dallas area. These attorneys will understand the legal processes involved as well as have a familiarity with the local courts, including other attorneys, magistrates and judges.
- Availability. Some attorneys you contact may not have the bandwidth to attend to your case or be able to give it the attention it deserves. Make sure to ask how much involvement your attorney will have with the case and how you can contact them for updates or questions.
- Compatibility. Just like you may not get along with every single person you meet and interact with, the same can happen when you’re looking for legal representation. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your car accident lawyer and that you can establish a good rapport.
How To File a Police Report in Dallas
To file a police report in Dallas, you will need to go to the Dallas Police Department in person to submit a complaint. Complaints are taken Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. When you go into the police station, let the officer on duty know that you would like to file a report and they will walk you through the process.
Should I File an Insurance Claim?
It’s a good idea to let your insurance company know as soon as you’ve had a car accident. However, it’s best to wait to file a claim until the investigation has determined who is at fault. It’s also important to talk to a car accident lawyer before you accept any proposed settlement from either insurance company, as your attorney may be able to negotiate a better settlement with more monetary compensation.
The Statute of Limitations for Auto Collisions
The statute of limitations for auto collisions in Texas, including the Dallas area, is two years. This means that you must file a lawsuit before the second anniversary of the collision to seek compensation through the courts. If you’re not sure if the statute of limitations has passed, an attorney can help you better understand what this means and what options you may have.
Dallas Car Accident Statistics
Car accidents are extremely common in all parts of the country and that includes Dallas. Here are the major car accident statistics for the Dallas area for 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
- Fatal Crashes: 205
- Fatalities: 225
- Suspected Serious Crashes: 816
- Suspected Serious Crash Injuries: 959
- Non-Incapacitating Crashes: 3,237
- Non-Incapacitating Injuries: 4,374
- Possible Injury Crashes: 5,780
- Possible Injuries: 9,421
- Non-Injury Crashes: 19,572
- Unknown Severity Crashes: 2,366
Age of Drivers in Fatal Accidents
For car accident fatalities in Dallas, the age breakdown of the driver is as follows:
- Under 18: 52
- 18-35: 822
- 36-55: 571
- 55+: 533
- Unknown: 5
Most Common Cause for Car Accidents in Dallas
In urban areas such as Dallas, the most common causes for car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Changing lanes at the wrong time
- Drifting out of the lane
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
Types of Car Accident Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can include those that breach the skull, such as a concussion or penetration by a foreign object and those that don’t, such as brain bruising and swelling. Traumatic brain injuries can be very serious, have long-lasting effects and are sometimes permanent.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cold injuries are one of the most severe types of car accident injuries and they can have profound effects on the injured person’s quality of life. Spinal cord injuries can require ongoing surgeries, as well as physical and occupational therapy and can be extremely expensive to treat. In severe cases, they can result in permanent paralysis.
Car accident victims can get burns if the car caught on fire or the accident included a chemical spill. Burns can be first, second or third degree, with the last being the most severe, and they can often require hospitalization and intensive treatments and therapies, such as skin grafts.
If there was an injury to the eye during the accident, the person could be left dealing with partial or total blindness. Blindness can also be a side effect of a traumatic brain injury.
Experiencing deafness after a car accident can be the result of direct injury to the ear, but it can also happen if there was a loud noise or an explosion as part of the crash.
Chronic pain may be one of the most common long-term conditions that car accident victims have to deal with. Chronic pain is pain that continues after the injury itself, such as a broken bone, has healed. Some injuries result in ongoing tenderness and pain because of their nature, but chronic pain can also be a symptom of conditions such as fibromyalgia, which often present after a traumatic accident such as a car wreck.
While today’s vehicles are getting safer and safer with advancements in technology, it’s still possible to break or fracture a bone in even a moderate-impact car accident. Broken bones can require surgery and physical therapy afterward and in cases of injuries to the hands, feet and other delicate areas, it can result in permanent loss of full function and mobility.
The worst outcome possible for a car accident is a fatality. When someone dies in a car accident through no fault of their own, it may be grounds for the family to seek compensation as part of a wrongful death suit.
Can someone sue you for a car accident in Texas?
Yes, someone can sue you if you were at fault in a car accident in Texas. This is usually the other party, the other party’s insurance company or family members in the case of a wrongful death filing.
Is it worth hiring a car accident lawyer?
Navigating the Dallas court system can be daunting, and it’s always better to have knowledgeable representation at your side. If you have been injured in a Dallas car wreck, hiring an attorney can help you know what grounds you may have for filing a personal injury or wrongful death case, let you know what compensation you may be able to expect and walk you through the process from start to finish.
Is it worth suing after a car accident?
Whether it’s worth suing someone after a car accident depends on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Talking over the details of your case with a Dallas car accident lawyer can help you weigh out the pros and cons of filing a suit.
How do I choose an attorney for my car accident?
To find an attorney, you can ask friends and family for recommendations or call local offices to schedule consultations with an attorney. The Marye Law offices offer free consultations so you can determine if a lawsuit is in your best interests and if our team is a good fit.
What should I ask for in a car accident settlement?
Usually, you would be asking for monetary damages as part of the car accident settlement. This could be to cover the cost of medical bills and expenses incurred as a result of the crash, as well as an amount for pain and suffering. In the case of wrongful death lawsuits, you may be asking for money for loss of companionship as well.
What is the average settlement for a car accident in Texas?
Because many settlements happen out of court, there aren’t any official government statistics on what the average car accident settlement in Texas is. How much you can expect to get will depend widely on the circumstances of your accident and the extent of the damage. For example, someone who suffered a broken leg and totaled their car will likely get a smaller settlement than someone who ended up paralyzed as a result of the accident.
How long does a car accident settlement take?
Car accident settlements can take several months and sometimes even over a year depending on whether the suit is settled out of court or if it goes through the full judicial process. It can take a long time to get statements from everyone involved and for the insurance companies to complete their investigations. And you will also have to go through the actual settlement process, which can take several rounds of back and forth between the two parties before an agreement is reached.
How long after a car wreck injury can you claim compensation?
There is no minimum time after a car wreck to file a lawsuit. You must file the lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations and you must wait long enough for the injury to be present and to have a full idea of the extent of the injury.
How are pain and suffering calculated in a car accident?
One common method used by insurance companies to calculate pain and suffering damages after a car accident is referred to as the multiplier method. In this method, the monetary damages, such as the medical bills, are totaled together and then multiplied by a number between one and five. This number represents how severe the pain and suffering are. However, there is no official legal formula.
Can someone sue you personally after a car accident?
Yes, someone can sue you personally after a car accident. This usually happens if the accident was determined to be your fault and there was some type of monetary loss involved. This could be from medical bills, time off of work or damage to the vehicle itself. The other party may also be able to ask for compensation for pain and suffering.
What happens if someone wrecks your car and they aren’t on your insurance?
If someone else wrecks your car and is found at fault, your insurance company is usually the one that will be paying for the damages. However, if the damages exceed your policy limits, the driver’s insurance company may then kick in to pay the rest.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Dallas, contact the offices of Marye Law to find out how our team can help.