No one leaves home expecting to be in an auto accident but car crashes occur more frequently than most drivers realize. On Texas roadways, car accidents are reported every day of a given year. In fact, according to data collected by theTexas Department of Transportation, one reportable crash occurred every 71 seconds in 2013 for a total of 65,539 serious injury crashes resulting in 3,397 deaths. Of the 232,041 persons injured in those collisions, many were caused by negligence. But how can a victim prove that the other driver was at fault?
Each state has motor vehicle statutes that govern how drivers are expected to act when they take to the road. Negligence is a legal theory that is often used in determining liability for cases that involve accidental injury or personal damage. A driver's failure to exhibit reasonable care or meet the duties imposed by state law can lead to a presumption of negligence. Common auto accidents where there is a breach of the duty of care can include:
- Failure to Maintain Control of Vehicle
- Inattentive or Distracted Driving
- Driving Under the Influence
- Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
- Traveling at an Unreasonable Speed
- Ignoring a Traffic Control Device
- Failure to Maintain a Safe Vehicle
- Careless or Unreasonable Actions
Automobile accidents involving other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and/or someone else's property can be much more complex than it might seem. From a legal perspective, the sooner a personal injury law firm can launch a thorough investigation the less chance that crucial evidence will lost or destroyed. During the investigative phase, an attorney will carefully document the facts and determine a dollar amount for compensation of the personal injuries or wrongful death.
Most car accident cases are settled out of the courtroom through negotiations with the at-fault's insurance carrier. If the claim cannot be successfully negotiated early on, both parties may agree to mediation. A licensed mediator serves as a go-between to allow each side to speak their mind. This method of resolution offers a distinct advantage since the terms of the settlement are open to creative solutions. Unresolved tort cases often have court-mandated mediation as a prerequisite to the consideration of a trial.