Car accidents can happen for many reasons on Texas roads, and injured drivers can take legal action against negligent drivers who cause serious accidents. A car accident can lead to severe injuries as well as substantial economic losses in the form of vehicle repairs and lost income. Serious accidents can also potentially cause permanent disabilities and change a victim’s life forever. An accident victim facing such damages needs a leading Fort Worth car accident lawyer for several reasons. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries and other damages in a car crash in the Fort Worth area, call the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today to schedule a consultation about your claim.
Why Choose Our Auto Accident Lawyers?
- Aaron A. Herbert has obtained certified specialist status as a personal injury lawyer.
- Our firm has a significant track record of successful cases in the Fort Worth area covering various aspects of personal injury law.
- We are firmly dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and ensuring justice for those harmed by the negligence of others.
- Our firm offers contingency fee billing for representation, meaning we collect no legal fees unless we win.
Is There a Time Limit on Accident Claims in Fort Worth?
Any car accident claim must meet the relevant statute of limitations or time limit for taking legal action. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims from car accidents is two years, starting on the date the accident occurred. Failure to meet the statute of limitations could lead to a judge throwing out a case before it even really begins and may affect the claimant’s ability to file insurance claims or seek alternative remedies. It is crucial to start building a lawsuit as soon as possible if you intend to take legal action for a car accident by speaking with a Fort Worth car accident lawyer.
Should I file a Police Report After a Car Accident?
The police write up reports for all car accidents they investigate. In Texas, all drivers must report any accidents that cause $1,000 of property damage or more, injuries, or fatalities. After a car accident, call the police if you believe the incident qualifies or if anyone suffered injuries. Failure to report an accident as required by state law could lead to fines and other penalties and may jeopardize a future lawsuit.
Once you seek medical treatment for your injuries it is crucial for you or your attorney to request a copy of the police report for your accident from the responding law enforcement agency. The report will contain a detailed breakdown of the responding officers’ findings, statements from the parties involved in the accident and the witnesses nearby who provided statements, and physical evidence noted at the scene of the crash. Your attorney will need this report and will likely begin an investigation to effectively fact-check the police report and the validity of the witness statements and evidence included.
Auto Accidents in Fort Worth, TX
During 2016, Fort Worth recorded 16,442 crashes. Eighty-four people lost their lives, and the state recorded 659 incapacitating injuries. These statistics place Fort Worth near the top of the list of cities known for car accidents and fatalities. When drivers fail to use a reasonable standard of care on the roadways, they put lives at risk. Some of the top contributing causes of accidents across the state arise from human error and include:
- Driver inattention. Distracted driving is a major problem on America’s roadways. When drivers take their eyes off the road to reach for a purse, use a mobile device, or any other reason, they increase the likelihood of an accident.
- Unsafe lane changes. Drivers have different reaction times. When reckless drivers choose to quickly and unexpectedly change lanes, they limit their own reaction times and the reaction times of others.
- Failure to follow road signs/signals. Running a red light, stop sign, or yield signal increases the likelihood of an intersection accident.
- Tailgating and brake-checking. Following too closely and slamming on brakes to stop a tailgater increase the likelihood of rear-ending incidents and oversteering accidents.
- Speeding rarely causes an accident on its own; it often accompanies other unsafe driving behaviors including tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and distracted driving.
Some areas are more likely to see traffic accidents than others are. Some of the busiest roads and freeways in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are prime examples of high-risk areas for car crashes.
• Interstate 20, which includes the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway and Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway that pass through Southern Forth Worth
• Interstate 820, the Jim Wright Freeway that forms a loop around Fort Worth
• Interstate 30, the “Old Turnpike” that begins at I-20 west of Fort Worth
• Interstate 35W, which passes through Fort Worth and terminates at the I-35E/I-35 interchange north of the Metroplex
• Interstate 635, part of the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway that ends at the International Parkway near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
• U.S. Route 287, the Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway that begins in downtown Fort Worth and extends southeast away from the city
• State Highway 121, the Airport Freeway that passes through Grapevine and northeast Fort Worth
• State Highway 161, that connects State Highway 190 to Interstate 20 between the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Irving
• State Highway 170, the Alliance Gateway Freeway in northern Fort Worth
• State Highway 183, the John W. Carpenter Freeway in southwest Fort Worth
• Spur 97, part of the International Parkway passing through Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
• Spur 280, a small stretch of freeway that connects US 287 to downtown Fort Worth
• Spur 347, a stretch connecting downtown Fort Worth to the SH 121/I-35W interchange
These are just a few of the largest and busiest highways in the Fort Worth area that see more traffic congestion and accidents than most other roads in the area. However, the reality is that car accidents can happen on any street at any given time, from multi-lane freeways at the peak of rush hour to residential streets on quiet weekend afternoons. Whenever these accidents happen, drivers must take appropriate action to protect themselves and their rights to recovery from the damages caused by other negligent drivers.
What to Do After An Accident
After an accident, take the following steps to protect your right to fair compensation:
- Report the accident to the police. Failure to report a car accident when required to do so by law can lead to severe legal penalties.
- Choose your words carefully. What you say can affect how investigators and insurance adjustors evaluate your claims. Avoid accepting blame for the incident in any way. When you speak about the incident, stick to facts including the location, cars involved, and basic type of accident that occurred until after a formal investigation. Do not discuss your injuries or say you were not injured – some injuries will not appear for days.
- Seek medical attention. If you are not transported by ambulance to the hospital after an accident, visit your doctor as soon as possible to check for possible injuries and to create a medical record of the event.
- Record information. Names, contact information, pictures, videos, and written details may all play a role in a future accident claim. If you can, use a mobile device to record the accident scene, vehicle damage, and your own injuries.
- Talk to an attorney. Avoid providing a recorded statement to an insurer until after you speak with a personal injury attorney. Insurers will not always put your best interests first and may use a formal statement against you.
- Do NOT sign any settlement offers from insurance companies or the other driver before consulting with a Fort Worth car accident attorney. Accepting such an offer waives your right to take legal action against that party in the future for the same claim, and you could potentially sign away your right to just compensation.
Common Injuries of Car Collisions
Any car accident has the potential to cause serious accidents, even at low to moderate speeds. The direction of travel, the location of impact, the overall health of a driver, and the make and model of a vehicle can all impact the injuries a driver sustains in a crash. Some injuries may only require minor medical care while others may lead to serious medical complications and possibly even permanent disabilities.
• Whiplash is a condition that affects the soft tissues, tendons, and ligaments of the neck. As the body responds to the force of impact in a crash, the neck and head may twist and snap violently, damaging the tissues of the neck and causing several symptoms including headaches, difficulty turning or moving the neck, tinnitus, and more. Whiplash is a relatively minor injury, but symptoms can last for weeks or even months and interfere with the victim’s ability to work and perform basic everyday functions.
• Spinal injuries are some of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer. Any damage to the spinal cord is permanent, and since the spinal cord helps the brain manage the rest of the body a spinal cord injury could lead to permanent disability. A wound higher on the spine affects more of the rest of the body and can impair sensations, function, or both. The completeness of a spinal cord injury also influences the long-term effects; a complete injury means the brain can no longer control any of the body parts governed by the nerves below the injury site, whereas an incomplete injury may allow the victim to retain some sensation, some function, or a mixture of both. However, neither type of spinal cord injury can improve over time, so the resulting damage is permanent.
• Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries that occur when a force causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull. The symptoms of a concussion can be unpredictable and range in severity; some only experience them for a few days while others may contend with Post-Concussion Syndrome for several years. Concussions can cause nausea, confusion, memory problems, severe headaches, and increase the victim’s susceptibility to future concussions.
• Severe brain injuries. A serious car accident can cause brain injuries more severe than concussions. Debris can cause penetrating injuries and the compression on a vehicle’s frame could cause crushing injuries. Severe brain injuries can be fatal, and when victims survive they typically experience dramatic long-term and permanent neurological conditions.
• Bone fractures. Many Americans have broken a bone at least once in their lifetime, and a bone fracture can range in severity from a minor hairline crack that will heal within a few weeks to a few months to severe compound fractures that will require surgical remedies and physical therapy to restore function and range of motion.
Your Fort Worth Accident Attorney
At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, we can help you navigate the legal system after a serious auto accident. We will represent you in front of insurance companies, in medical billing situations, and in injury-related employment matters. Our goal is to fight for your legal right to financial compensation while you focus on physical and emotional recovery.
Our founding attorney, Aaron A. Herbert, is a Texas Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer. We exclusively handle accident and injury matters and have a strong success rate for securing fair out-of-court settlements and trial verdicts. Our Fort Worth attorneys have the resources and the skills to help you through any auto accident claim. For more information about our practice or to schedule a free consultation, reach out to our office today.