Jumping in to the car and running an errand isn’t something that most people in Texas worry about. It’s rare that we think about the fact that most car accidents take place within 25 miles of where we live. So, that trip to drop your child off at school is statistically more dangerous than taking a weekend trip to New Braunfels for a little bit of family fun.
When drivers are more aware of the risks, they’re more likely to account for those risks and get to their destination (and home) safe. You’re going to learn about Texas car accident statistics and what you should do if you’re involved in a car accident.
Texas Car Accident Fatalities
Texas car accidents can cause serious injuries. Sadly, they can also cause fatal injuries. According to Texas Department of Transportation 2016 report, one person in Texas is killed in a car accident every 2 hours and 20 minutes. When compared with 2015, Texas car accident fatalities rose more than 5% in Texas for 2016.
One of the most common Texas car accidents that causes fatal injuries is when a single vehicle runs off the road. In 2016, that accounted for more than 1/3 of all car accidents. The second most common fatality in 2016 was DUI. Almost 1,000 people were killed as a result of drunk driving. Notably, most of these wrecks occurred between 2:00 am and 3:00 am. Over 800 people died in car accidents that occurred in an intersection. Almost 700 people died as a result of a head-on crash.
If someone you love died as a result of a Texas car accident, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the involved parties. You may be entitled to receive financial compensation for the funeral expenses, wrongful death, medical bills, and loss of companionship.
What Causes Texas Car Accidents?
In both fatality and non-fatal Texas car accidents, some of the most common causes of causes include moving the vehicle in reverse, using a cell phone in some way, making unsafe lane changes, running stoplights and stop signs, other forms of distracted driving and driver’s inattention to the road, speeding, fatigue, and following another vehicle too closely. As you can see, these common reasons as discussed by the Texas Department of Transportation are generally items that we all have control over when we’re driving.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in a Car Accident?
If you’re involved in a car accident on Texas roads, there are some things that you can do to protect your potential legal claim. You must understand that car accident claims can only be made for a certain amount of time under Texas law. This is known as a statute of limitations. If you fail to file your claim during that time, you are forbidden to ever bring a claim.
- Call the police. Even if it doesn’t appear that anyone was hurt, call the police. The police will send out an officer who will take a report. This report is important because your insurance company will use it to help determine liability. The purpose of a police report is to provide a report from an official third-party who wasn’t involved. You’ll be given a report number the responding officer. You can get a copy of the report in a few days. The police can also assist in the exchanging of personal and insurance information.
- Get medical care. You may not feel like you’re hurt, but it is important that you get medical care. If you have a medical emergency (which includes hitting your head or hurting your neck or back), call 911. If you believe that your injuries are minor, you can go to your own doctor or go to an urgent care facility. Car accidents cause the body to release adrenaline. You may be hurt and not realize it since adrenaline makes it harder for us to feel pain. Getting medical care right away can help find injuries and prevent them from worsening due to lack of care. Additionally, if you don’t seek medical care right away and you choose to file a legal claim, the other side may claim that you really weren’t hurt since you waited to get medical care.
- File your insurance claim. Contact your insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver(s) to get your claim started. This can get the ball rolling. However, do not sign anything given to you from an insurance company until you talk with an attorney. Otherwise, you could sign away your right to sue.
- Talk to an attorney. If you’re involved in a car accident in Texas, talk to an attorney as soon as you can. An attorney can help explain your options and protect your legal rights.