One of the most populous states in the nation, Texas is second only to Florida in the number of fatal car accidents occurring each year.
In fact, current statistics show that in Texas, a person is injured in a car accident every two minutes, and a person is killed in a car accident every two hours and 20 minutes.
As the populations of Texas cities, including Austin, continue to grow, so do the number of accidents. Interstate 35, between San Antonio and Austin, is one of the busiest sections of highway in the country. This highway sees thousands of car accidents each year, hundreds of which end in death or serious injury.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Austin, you need an experienced car accident attorney to handle your case. The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., has been representing clients involved in car accidents in Austin for almost 60 years.
Our Austin car accident lawyers will help you develop your case, from beginning to end, to help you seek the recovery you deserve. Call (254) 752-9688 or fill out our online form to discuss your case.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Austin
Car accidents happen in Austin for many reasons, but generally, they are the result of a driver’s negligence.
Negligence, in legal terms, has four elements: duty, breach, injury, and causation. Essentially, negligence occurs when someone breaches a duty of care and that breach causes injury.
Common causes of car accidents in Austin include:
- Distracted driving,
- Reckless driving,
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
- Driving with defective or malfunctioning equipment, and
- Driving with adverse road conditions.
As the city of Austin continues to grow, so does the number of car accidents that occur each year. Though largely avoidable, car accidents can wreak havoc on your life physically, emotionally, and financially.
Protect yourself by hiring an experienced Austin car accident attorney who can help you win the financial compensation you deserve.
Austin, Texas Auto Accident Statistics
Austin is a large and fast-growing city with many business opportunities on the upswing. While a large, bustling community is a boon to the city, the influx of residents can spell disaster on the roads.
Austin has seen a recent spike in traffic fatalities. This spike prompted initiatives for more traffic safety measures and efforts to reduce the number of cars on the road. According to the Crash Records Information System, Austin suffered 12,791 car crashes in 2020.
Also, there have already been almost 4,000 crashes in the first half of 2021. Distracted driving is one of the biggest recent culprits of Austin car crashes, making up approximately 27% of crashes in 2020.
While there are efforts you can make to reduce your likelihood of an accident, you cannot control how others drive. If a negligent driver causes you injury, you should contact an Austin car accident lawyer immediately for maximum recovery.
Where Do Most Austin Car Accidents Happen?
While speed currently plays a part in Austin’s struggle with crashes, location is a bigger factor in the likelihood of an accident. Of the 12,791 Austin car crashes in 2020, 5,247 involved an intersection.
Intersections were the largest factor in Austin crashes compared to other factors such as drugs, alcohol, speed, distractions, motorcycles, work zones, and cell phones.
An accident in any location can be devastating, but an Austin accident lawyer can hold an at-fault party accountable for your suffering.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Austin
Car accidents can be life-changing events.
The stress can be overwhelming and the consequences serious, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself, starting at the time of the accident:
- Call 911;
- Assess the medical needs of people involved in the accident;
- Request a full crash report from the officer on the scene;
- Take photos of the scene, the vehicles involved, and all injuries;
- Gather the contact information for all witnesses;
- Ask for contact and insurance information from the other drivers involved;
- Contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident; and
- Save any documents related to the accident that you receive at the scene, from medical providers, and in the mail.
It is important to act quickly to seek the compensation you deserve.
In Texas, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. If you fail to file within the two-year limit, you may be barred from ever doing so. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney in Austin will ensure that you don’t miss important deadlines.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, our attorneys will work with you to develop your case. We will help you collect evidence, file your claim in Texas civil court, and negotiate with opposing counsel. We will never force you to settle if you can recover more by taking your case to trial.
Contact The Zimmerman Law Firm to get started today.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation
A car accident can result in significant financial, physical, and emotional harm. If you were involved in a car accident in Austin, you may be entitled to compensation for these losses.
Examples of damages available to Texans injured in a car accident include:
- Reimbursement for future, current, and past medical expenses;
- Costs of rehabilitation;
- Lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Mental anguish.
The amount of money you can recover for damages in Texas depends on the degree to which you are at fault for the accident.
Texas follows a “modified comparative fault” model, in which individuals who are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident may not recover damages. If you are at fault, but at 50% or less, you may be entitled to recover for your losses after an auto accident.
How to Recover When an At-Fault Motorist Doesn’t Have Insurance
After an accident, the at-fault motorist’s liability insurance will likely pay for your medical care, property damage, and related wage loss. Texas law requires motorists to have at least $30,000 of coverage per injured person and $25,000 for property damage.
If multiple people suffer injuries in a single accident, the insurance must provide up to $60,000 for all injuries. Though the law requires insurance coverage to compensate crash victims, some motorists take a chance on driving without the required insurance. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that 20% of Texas drivers are uninsured.
What can you do when a motorist is negligent with their driving and insurance responsibilities and they cause you to harm?
You can make a claim on your own uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist policy to cover your damages. An Austin auto accident lawyer can help you with the process.
What Is Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage from your insurance policy pays for injuries and property damage when an at-fault motorist does not have sufficient insurance.
Your UM/UIM coverage must reach the same minimum policy limits required for your auto liability insurance. If the at-fault motorist has insurance, but at inadequate levels, you cannot rely on your UM/UIM coverage alone to make you whole. Texas law reduces your UM/UIM recovery by the amount of money “recoverable” from an underinsured driver. This means that even if you do not actually recover funds from the underinsured motorist, your UM/UIM coverage does not pay you for damages that were available from the underinsured motorist.
An Austin, Texas car accident lawyer can make these calculations to determine your best strategy for recovery.
How Do I Get Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Chances are, you already have UM/UIM coverage, but you must check your auto insurance policy to make sure. Texas law requires auto insurance carriers to include UM/UIM coverage in your policy unless you reject the coverage in writing.
If you initially rejected UM/UIM coverage in writing, you do not regain it when your policy renews unless you request the coverage in writing.
An auto accident lawyer in Austin can help you determine your access to insurance funds after injury, and they can help you determine your best options for maximum recovery.
How an Austin Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Car accidents can be expensive, both financially and emotionally. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be asking yourself whether it’s worth it to hire an attorney.
Studies show that a person injured in an accident who hires an accident attorney is more likely to recover damages than someone who is not represented. Not only that, but individuals represented by an attorney stand to recover significantly more money.
An experienced Austin car accident attorney will help you every step of the way, from gathering evidence to filing motions to negotiating settlement agreements.
Once you file a lawsuit, the defendant will have 21 days to answer. Most often, an insurance company and its attorneys will represent the defendant. From there, you and your attorney will work together to determine the next steps.
If the other party offers an acceptable settlement amount, your attorney will communicate with them to ensure your rights are protected. If the offer isn’t good enough, your personal injury attorney will take your case to trial, where a jury will determine your recovery.
To ensure that you are protecting yourself, your rights, and your property, call The Zimmerman Law Firm.
We will walk you through your case, communicate with insurance companies, and go to court to protect your claim.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm in Texas
With your health and financial compensation at stake, you need experienced Austin car accident lawyers on your case. The Zimmerman Law Firm has been serving Texans since 1962.