Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Motor Vehicle Accidents in Texas
Every year, thousands of people are severely injured and killed in motor vehicle accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the accident-related fatality rate rose by nearly 19 percent in 2020, jumping from 1.26 deaths for every hundred million vehicle miles traveled in 2019 to a whopping 1.5 fatalities per hundred million vehicle miles in 2020. As Texas highways and roads become increasingly deadly, motorists face a greater risk of being involved in serious collisions every single day.
If you were injured or if someone you love tragically passed away due to an automobile accident, you do not have to suffer the resulting physical, emotional, and financial hardships on your own. Our Houston car accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault person or party. By taking legal action, you can seek fair financial compensation and the justice you and your family need to heal.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Operating a motor vehicle is a huge responsibility. However, because we drive so often, many people forget just how serious this responsibility is, as well as how devastating carelessness behind the wheel can be. As a result, countless motorists fail to drive cautiously, putting others’ lives at risk.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting/cellphone use
- Drunk driving/driving while intoxicated
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to follow traffic laws/rules of the road
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Disobeying red lights, stop signs, and other traffic control devices
- Making unsafe turns and lane changes
- Following too closely/tailgating
- Unsafe/unlawful passing
- Driving too fast for current conditions
- Aggressive/reckless driving
- Road rage
When someone else is at fault for an accident, they can be held legally responsible for the victims’ damages, such as medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer who can advise you regarding your various legal rights and options.
Is Texas a No-Fault Car Insurance State?
There are two types of car insurance systems states can adopt: no-fault and fault. In no-fault states, injured accident victims can file claims with their own insurance providers and receive compensation for specified damages regardless of who was at fault for the crash. In fault-based car insurance states, injured victims typically must bring claims against the at-fault party’s insurance company. They are not covered by their own insurance providers unless they have opted to include additional/supplemental coverage on their auto insurance policies.
Texas is a fault state when it comes to car accidents and insurance claims. This means that you must prove the other person or party was at fault for the accident in order to file a claim with their insurance provider and recover compensation for your accident-related damages. Proving fault can be difficult without the help of an attorney. To make matters worse, insurance companies will often dispute claims to avoid paying them out.
We strongly recommend that you contact The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC and discuss your car accident case with one of our experienced trial attorneys. We can provide more information regarding your specific situation, as well as your various legal options.
What If You Were Partly at Fault for the Accident?
When multiple parties are at fault for an auto accident in Texas, the state’s rule of modified comparative negligence applies. The rule of modified comparative negligence states that an injured party may file a claim for compensation if they were partly at fault, as long as their percentage of fault does not exceed the other party’s. In other words, you must be 50 percent or less at fault for the accident to be eligible to file a car accident claim.
Additionally, your percentage of fault affects your monetary recovery. For example, if the insurance adjuster and/or court determines that you were 25 percent to blame, you can only recover up to 75 percent of the total amount you are seeking in damages. So, if you were severely injured and are seeking $100,000 in total compensation, you would only be able to recover up to 75 percent of that amount, or $75,000.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Texas Car Accident Claims?
Like every other state, Texas has a statute of limitations—or filing deadline—for car accident cases. In most instances, you have just two years from the date of the accident to sue the liable party for damages. In cases involving wrongful death, however, the two-year deadline begins on the date of death, not necessarily the date of the accident.
Notably, the statute of limitations only applies to lawsuits; it does not apply to car accident insurance claims. In fact, you likely have much less time to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Most policies require you to file a claim within a “reasonable amount of time,” but what is considered “reasonable” is rarely defined. You may have several days to just a couple of weeks to file an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident.
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
In the aftermath of a serious car accident, you should be focused on getting the medical care you need to get back on your feet. You shouldn’t have to worry about fighting with the insurance company for fair compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies often dispute, undervalue, and deny claims. When you work with an attorney, you put yourself in the best possible position of securing the full, fair compensation you are owed.
At The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC, we are prepared to handle every aspect of your car accident case, including but not limited to:
- Working with accident reconstructionists and other industry experts to gather important evidence regarding the crash, how it occurred, and its effects
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf, including proving the insured’s liability and negotiating a fair settlement
- Helping you find a doctor and obtain the appropriate medical care, including ongoing treatment, based on your injuries
- Gathering important documents, submitting necessary paperwork (including medical records), and meticulously preparing your case for trial
- Clearly and persuasively presenting your case and the supporting evidence to the judge and/or jury, if necessary
We represent individuals who have sustained all types of injuries, as well as the family members of those who have suffered catastrophic injuries or fatal injuries due to the negligent and wrongful conduct of others. Our Houston car accident attorneys are known for taking highly complex cases that most other law firms won’t, and we never back down from a challenge.
As your legal team, we will be there for you every step of the way. We offer free initial consultations and provide all our personal injury services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any legal fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.
Car Accident $20,000,000
Illegal Sexual Recording $800,000
Dog Attack $750,000
Oil Rig Settlement $2,000,000.00
Car Accident $300,000
Practicing Law for Two DecadesHaving practiced law for 20 years, you can be confident attorney Steve Shellist can successfully handle your case.
Extensive Trial ExperienceAs a former chief prosecutor, Mr. Shellist knows how to present a compelling case in front of a jury.
Highly Personalized RepresentationAt Shellist Law, we believe every case requires tailored representation in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.
Legal Analyst on ABC-13Over the years, Mr. Shellist has been called on by ABC-13 News to share his expertise on many newsworthy cases.