Katy, Texas is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and when you look at the number of lanes on the Katy Freeway – there is NO question about its growth! Katy is the beating heart of the Texas energy corridor, and, more than that – home to the biggest car wash in the world. (With a highway that big, we need a Buc-ee’s that big!) Between the Katy Mills outlet malls, the new Legacy Stadium, and great restaurants and shopping, we never run out of things to do in Katy. Unfortunately, with that giant freeway and growing population, we never run out of traffic and car accidents as well. If you’ve found our website – you may have been in an accident yourself.
You may be injured, you may have questions about “what to do next,” and you may not even know where to start. Please know that we offer a FREE consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call us right now at 800-898-4877, or click HERE to send us a question or get more information. There is NO cost to get a free consultation right now. If you decide to hire us, you pay us nothing up front, and you will pay absolutely nothing at all unless and until we’ve won your case.
With over 20 years of experience, and thousands of victories under our belts, our team of Katy Car Accident attorneys will leave no stone unturned to get you the largest possible recovery for your injuries. Furthermore, we are one of the highest rated major personal injury law firms in the state, and we take pride in treating our clients like family, so contact us right now.
Katy Car Accident Statistics
Traffic accident rates are rising, nationwide and in the Houston area. Across the country, more than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States in 2015, an increase from nearly 33,000 in 2014. This 7.2 percent increase in fatalities was the largest increase since an 8.1 percent increase in traffic deaths from 1965 to 1966. In addition to fatalities, the Department of Transportation estimated that more than 2.4 million people suffered injuries as a result of traffic accidents in 2015.
Pretty much every category of travelers saw an increase in fatalities during 2015. Passenger vehicle occupants, passengers of large trucks, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, men, women, daytime drivers, and nighttime drivers—all saw fatalities increase. An increase in the DOT’s estimated number of police-reported crashes, from six-million in 2014 to 6.3 million the following year—or 3.8 percent from 2014— drove those fatalities.
You can’t control when or where a traffic accident will take place. You don’t need to drive on Interstate 45—accidents take place at any time or place, on any road. Whether you’re on a major route like I-10 or a side road like Blue Water Bay Drive, accidents are always possible. If a traffic accident injured you in the Houston area, consult with a Houston personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to explore your options. For a free case evaluation to see if Texas law might entitle you to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, at 800-898-4877, or send us an email through our online contact form.
Traffic Accidents Can Harm Anyone
The odds of a traffic accident for any particular person on any particular day are low—but rising:
- Fatalities for occupants of passenger cars and light trucks in 2015 hit their highest level since 2009
- SUV occupant fatalities in 2015 rose by 10.1 percent from 2014
- Van occupants saw a 9.3-percent increase in fatalities in 2015 from 2014
- Among motorcycle riders, traffic deaths rose 8.3 percent from 2014 to 2015
Raw numbers are up, but so are rates. Vehicle miles traveled in 2015 increased 3.5 percent from 2014, the largest uptick since 1992. Unfortunately, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles also increased, going from 1.08 in 2014 to 1.12 in 2015.
The Roads Are Growing More Dangerous—Even in Katy
As bad as 2015, the last year for which full statistics are available, was, preliminary statistics for 2016 look worse. In October 2017, the Department of Transportation announced that traffic fatalities for 2016 exceeded 37,000 deaths, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2015. While miles driven rose by 2.2 percent, the fatality rate still increased to 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2016, up 2.6 percent from 2015.
Houston area traffic statistics mirror this national trend. A recent study by the Houston-Galveston Area Council found that traffic accidents in Houston and its suburbs increased 62 percent from 2011 to 2016. The accident rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven also went up during the same time, rising nearly 39 percent.
Katy might not strike you as a hotbed of traffic accidents, but everyone has seen or heard about accidents on Katy Freeway, Kingsland Boulevard, or Westheimer Parkway, or even just fender-benders when leaving a concert at Legacy Stadium. Whether you head to La Centerra to shop or take it easy in Old Towne Katy, every trip carries some risk. The Houston area is famed for its traffic—and with traffic comes accidents.
What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Accidents?
You cannot eliminate the risk of traffic accidents. Still, you can reduce that risk, particularly as it applies to you. Beyond the incentives to avoid traffic accidents—particularly the significant consequences that can result—you don’t want to get caught in the cycle that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says results in someone dying every 12 minutes in a traffic accident, suffering injuries every 10 seconds, and crashing every five seconds.
Driving safety experts generally agree on the steps that minimize the risk of traffic accidents. A typical source for such advice, EHS Today, advises:
- Enter traffic carefully, whether merging into a highway or simply turning at an intersection. Beware of other drivers’ blind spots and objects that might obstruct their ability to see you.
- At intersections, beware of vehicles running red lights or pushing to cut it close. Never assume that no one is running the red. Look.
- When passing tractor-trailer rigs, use great care. Such vehicles have large blind spots, particularly to their right sides and behind them.
- Distractions can prove deadly when driving, so avoid excessive use of the stereo system, the navigation system, talking or texting on a cell phone—even a hands-free device—eating, or taking both hands off the wheel for any reason.
- Keep your vehicle in proper shape, including the engine, but especially the safety equipment. This includes brakes, brake lights, position lights, headlights, and keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure.
- When backing up, don’t just rely on mirrors—turn to ensure a clear path.
- Stay a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Don’t act like the road-rage driver everybody hates. Road rage—even just aggressive driving—causes accidents.
You can’t prevent all accidents, but you can take action to reduce your risks. Pay attention and look out for potential problems. Whether you merge into traffic on I-10 or drive 20 miles per hour on Katy Mills Circle at Katy Mills, vigilance is your best defense.
Traffic accidents bring with them a high risk of injury—and that risk is going up, not down. If you suffer an injury in a traffic accident, explore your rights to compensation. Don’t call a lawyer from the wreckage of your car—take care of medical treatments and other more immediate concerns first. However, at some point, and quickly, your concerns should turn to whether the law entitles you to compensation for your injuries. When exploring these options, understand that personal injury accidents are not good cases in which to represent yourself. The complex circumstances call for investigative and legal experience most people don’t possess.
Questions to Ask Your Lawyer
After a traffic accident injury, find the best lawyer you can. Looking for someone who knows how to handle your particular case. You likely don’t have much experience with traffic accidents that involve substantial damage claims, so your lawyer must. Your lawyer should determine the value of your claim and prove any experience at settling with insurance companies and, if necessary, taking cases to trial. To determine whether a lawyer possesses those abilities, ask these questions before you hire the lawyer:
- How many years have you practiced personal injury law?
- How frequently do you handle cases involving traffic accidents like mine?
- About how many of those cases settle, and how many go to trial?
- Where did you go to law school? What bar memberships do you hold? Have you received any professional awards or other recognition?
Those answers should give you a good start. If you are satisfied with the attorney’s competence to handle your case, you should find out how your attorney will handle your case. Is your attorney’s case management style one with which you are comfortable? How does that attorney work with clients—through frequent contact, or only providing updates of major developments? Will your attorney present you with decisions or options? Consider how you would want an attorney to deal with you. Other questions about case management could include:
- Who will manage my case, you or another attorney in your firm?
- Who will handle negotiations? Will the same attorney handle court appearances, if any prove necessary?
- Who will serve as my day-to-day point of contact?
- Will you give me progress reports? How often, and in what form? What kinds of information can I expect those reports to include?
- How do I reach you directly? How quickly will you respond?
Ask About Your Case’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Perhaps the most important factor in bringing a personal injury case is whether you have a good chance of recovering enough compensation to make the case worthwhile. You need to know the strength of your case. Your attorney should want to talk to you honestly about your case’s strengths and weaknesses, what you have working in your favor and factors that work against you. While an attorney may not easily predict the amount of potential damages, especially in a case’s early stages, rest assured that your attorney has calculated whether the case is worth taking, and should then give you a range of the possible or likely compensation you can expect.
What Will My Case Cost Me?
Beyond what your attorney thinks about your chances of recovering damages and how much compensation you can expect, ask what your legal representation will cost you. You need to know how your attorney will charge you, whether your case will cost you money up front, and what other costs your attorney expects you to pay later. Questions to ask include:
- How will your lawyer charge you—by a contingency fee or an hourly rate? What percentage will your lawyer charge on a contingency fee? What hourly rate will your lawyer charge? Will you need to pay attorney’s fees under a contingency fee if you don’t recover compensation? What if your lawyer charges an hourly rate and you don’t win compensation?
- Will your lawyer charge a retainer fee? How much of a retainer?
- Will you need to pay anything if you fail to get a settlement or win a judgment?
- Will you need to pay expenses? What expenses will you need to pay? Can you get an estimate of potential expenses? Will you need to pay those expenses even if you lose and receive no compensation?
Usually, your own insurance company will pay your actual expenses, including medical fees, property damages, and lost wages, even if you are at fault for the accident (albeit within your coverage limits). To recover more generally requires showing—either at trial or sufficiently to convince the other driver’s insurance company—that the other driver was at fault. That can open the door to recovering damages beyond actual expenses. This can include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and future damages, such as for ongoing care. Asking the above questions can help you determine whether that is possible, and if so what it will cost you.
If You Suffered a Traffic Accident Injury in the Katy Area, the Attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, Can Help
If a traffic accident injured you in the Katy, Texas area, consult with a Katy personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to explore your options. For a free case evaluation to see if Texas law entitles you to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, at 800-898-4877, or send us an email through our online contact form. Remember, you pay nothing at the time we take your case, and you pay us nothing unless and until we’ve won recovery for your damages.
See what other clients are saying:
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“I was very pleased with how Stewart handled my case. He acted professionally at all times and really had my best interests at heart. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome too! I would definitely recommend my friends and family to use him as their lawyer.”