Houston Car Accident Lawyers
Houston car accident lawyer Michael P. Fleming has 30 years of experience helping folks throughout Texas who have been injured in auto accidents by the negligence of other drivers. He is one of the small percentage of lawyers in the state who have been certified as a specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Have you been the victim of an automobile crash recently?
Do you know your rights or how to recover your damages after a wreck?
If the other driver’s insurance adjuster contacts you, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND;
- The adjuster doesn’t care about you or your injuries.
- The adjuster and insurance company only care about saving money.
- They want to pay you as little as possible for your injuries.
You should seek the best Houston car accident lawyer to handle your case.
Michael P. Fleming consistently ranks among the top auto accident lawyers in the city.
We Only Get Paid if We Win
We handle all car crash cases on a percentage basis. This means we cover all expenses to pursue the claim with the insurance company and file a lawsuit for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
We don’t get our expenses and fees unless there is an award or settlement.
If we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing.
Car Crash Statistics
According to the 2015 Texas Department of Transportation statistics, there were 13,616 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2015 with 17,011 people sustaining a serious injury.
37% of those who died in car accidents in 2015 occurred when the individual was not wearing a safety harness. Automobile drivers and passengers who do not use a seat belt or are not properly restrained are much more likely to suffer fatal injuries in car crashes.
DUI is another preventable cause of fatalities, with 27% of fatal car accidents in 2015 caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol.
With more than 246 billion miles traveled in Texas in 2015, these numbers are understandable but also preventable. Many of these auto accidents and traffic fatalities occurred in our area and an analysis of the statistics shows that the trend continues.
Common Causes of Vehicular Crashes
- Drunk Driving (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI). In 2013, Harris County led all counties with 149 fatal car crashes and 158 fatalities as a result of drunk drivers. Auto accidents stemming from drunk driving can subject the drunk driver to unlimited punitive damages.
- Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code provides:
(2) “Intoxicated” means: (A) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or(B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
- Sec. 49.07. INTOXICATION ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake: (1) while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another;
- Sec. 49.08. INTOXICATION MANSLAUGHTER. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:(1) operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and(2) is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.(b) Except as provided by Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
- Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code provides:
When somebody drives a vehicle while intoxicated and either injures or kills another, the law allows them to be sued for greater damages than if they had been sober. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver in a car accident, the case must be handled with aggression in order to ensure that you receive as much compensation as legally possible.
- Distracted Driving like talking on cell phones or texting while driving continues to be a leading cause of wrecks. In just a few seconds, distracted drivers can easily veer off the side of the road causing either a single vehicle auto accident or drift into another lane and cause a multi-vehicle collision.
- Aggressive Reckless Driving is described as “an individual who commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Aggressive driving can take the form of speeding, running red lights, tailgating and general disregard for the rules of the road.
- Drowsy or Fatigued Driving can actually be as dangerous as drunk driving or driving under the influence of legal or illegal drugs. If somebody gets behind the wheel of an automobile when it is dangerous, whether because of alcohol or exhaustion, they are putting other people on the road at risk.
- Tire Blowouts can be the result of many factors including defective tires, improper installation, over-inflation, under-inflation, over-use and road hazards.
Whatever the cause, the basic elements of an auto accident are similar to any negligence claim. The car accident lawyer must prove that the driver was negligent in the operation of their car and this caused the collision and your injuries.
What To Do After A Houston Auto Collision
- Take care of your injuries. Your first need after an auto accident is to get medical treatment. A delay in seeking medical attention for an injury can be used against you by the insurance company. Delays in treatment can ruin your claim.
- Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer, NOT an insurance company. Insurance company representatives often contact victims soon after their car accident to obtain a recorded statement or offer a low-ball settlement. When you are recovering from an injury, you are not in the best condition to answer an insurance company’s detailed questions. Adjusters who take recorded statements are as skilled as trial lawyers in framing questions and eliciting answers that only benefit the insurance company. Remember, the only reason the adjuster wants to record your statement is to reduce the amount of money you are entitled to under the law.
- Act quickly. You have two years after the accident to file a lawsuit or you will be prevented from doing so by the Texas Statute of Limitations. It may seem like plenty of time but accident victims often wait too long and then their claim for compensation is barred by law. Acting quickly is often necessary when the car accident scene needs to be investigated or witness statements taken. Evidence sometimes needs to be preserved with a court order.
When you are the victim of a serious auto injury, the insurance company will be working hard to collect facts and evidence to bolster a defense to your claim and minimize your damages. It is crucial that you contact experienced car accident lawyers in Houston so that evidence and witness accounts will still be fresh.
Find out more about what to do after a crash by visiting our Car Accident FAQ Page.
When Someone Other Than The Driver Is At Fault…
In some cases, a claim for personal injury from an auto accident may also be brought against individuals other than the negligent driver.
If the driver was working for another company or individual, then the employer may be responsible for the driver’s negligence and the resulting damages. Additionally even if not working, the owner of the vehicle may be liable for the negligence of the driver.
This is known as liability for negligent entrustment.
Under this cause of action, the owner of a vehicle who allows another to operate it can be held liable for his or her negligent driving. Vehicle owners may be liable if they negligently entrusted the vehicle to somebody they knew, or should have known, to be a reckless, incompetent or unlicensed driver.
Mr. Fleming is one of the small percentage of Houston Lawyers who is recognized as a specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Call him today for a free consultation.