Were You in an Auto Accident in the Houston Area?
It’s sad but true that if you drive a car on Houston’s streets and highways, sooner or later the chances are good that you are going to get into an accident. No matter how careful you are when you drive, someone else is not paying attention or other unforeseen circumstances will cause that terrible crash or pile-up. This is especially true if you regularly drive in Houston or one of the other major metropolitan areas of Texas. Houston’s roads are the nation’s most dangerous and deadly.
If you or a loved one were in a car wreck, 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 and 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.
If you’ve already been through this before in your life, you know there is a LOT to worry about after that crash! The first and most important concern is the health and safety of those involved in the crash and the other drivers on the road. Take care of your injuries, first and foremost.
But what about hours later or the next day? A car accident is a complex situation, and you have many legal rights and responsibilities. This is where Stewart J. Guss’s an experienced car accident legal team can make a big difference.
Why Choose Our Team?
Traffic accidents can present complex problems, especially when multiple vehicles are involved. These upsetting, complicated, stressful, and expensive situations require a compassionate, honest, and experienced legal team with real strength of character. Stewart J. Guss and his legal team will make this entire process as pain-free as possible and ensure you get the best result for you and your loved ones.
Stewart J. Guss and his team believe in respect, integrity, and family values. With decades of combined experience, our team will work tirelessly to recover as much as possible on your claim. And you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case!
THEY WILL TRY TO DENY YOUR CLAIM! Dealing with insurance companies can cause nightmares. Sometimes it seems like they think their job is to DENY a car accident claim, NOT TO PAY! Do not sign anything until you speak with one of our strong, approachable advocates, because you risk losing some or all of the compensation that is due to you.
Stewart J. Guss and his team will do whatever it takes to get you as much compensation as possible for your injuries, and we take pride in treating our clients like family. Pick up the phone and call 800-898-4877 to talk to us about your car accident. Remember, your consultation is FREE, and you pay NOTHING unless we win your case!
Why Take Chances? Let Us Help You!
Auto Collision Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that 2.3 million persons were injured nationwide in automobile accidents in one year. The Texas Department of Transportation provides the following information based on reportable Texas crashes in a single year:
- There were 13,675 serious injury crashes in Texas in 2014, with 17,152 people sustaining a serious injury.
- The death toll of 3,534 from auto collisions was an increase of 3.70 percent from the 3,408 deaths recorded in the prior year.
- The fatality rate on Texas roadways was 1.42 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled.
- 1 person was killed every 2 hours 29 minutes
- 1 person was injured every 2 minutes 13 seconds
- 1 reportable crash occurred every 66 seconds.
Car Accident Risks in Houston
Everyone who drives in the Houston area knows they may deal with traffic and unsafe drivers. However, a recent Houston State of Safety Report shows the risks of a car crash may be FAR greater than you might ever imagine. In fact, the number of crashes reported in the Houston-Galveston area keeps increasing every year for the past five years! This means that each year you continue driving in the area, your risks of accidents and injuries increase. In recent years, the number of crashes was exceeded 131,000, causing more than 3,000 serious injuries and 715 deaths.
While car crashes can happen for many different reasons, the following are some of the most common culprits of accidents and injuries in the greater Houston area:
Drunk driving – While authorities try to spread awareness and enforce drunk driving laws in Houston, the number of impaired driving accident keeps going up—with more than 3,400 in one recent year! It seems like people care less and less about whom they hurt, and more about saving money or time by trying to drive home. The number of drunk driving injuries and deaths increased, too, showing that drunk drivers keep affecting more and more people around Houston.
Distracted driving – Close to 20,000 distracted drivers caused accidents in Houston in a single year! It seems like drivers simply don’t want to put down their cell phones, no matter what the cost. Even the texting and driving ban in Texas cannot keep people from using their phones and engaging in other distracting activities.
Speeding – Many drivers may think that exceeding the speed limit to get where they’re going faster is not a big deal. After all, speed limits can seem unnecessarily low when you’re in a hurry. However, the safety report shows that speeding causes more than 51,000 accidents each year in the Houston area! This should make you think twice before you decide to speed, but you can’t ever control whether other drivers speed or not.
Dangerous intersections and roads – People living and working in Houston know that some sections of roadway are more dangerous than others. Maybe you get to a certain intersection and use greater caution because you always witness people failing to yield or running red lights. Maybe you avoid certain roads altogether whenever possible.
The following are some of Houston’s most dangerous intersections based on accident frequency:
- Sam Houston Parkway at Westheimer Road
- Main Street at South Loop
- Beechnut Street at Sam Houston Parkway
- Bissonnet Street at West Sam Houston Parkway
- Hardy Road at Sam Houston Parkway
- Westpark Tollway at Sam Houston Parkway
- Bammel Road at Sam Houston Parkway
- I-45 at Sam Houston Parkway
- Greens Road at I-45
- NASA Parkway and I-45
- Beltway 8 at I-45 North
- 610 East at I-10
These are only the most dangerous intersections for motorists. Others are even more treacherous when it comes to cars hitting pedestrians. People can make many errors at intersections, and if you’re in any of the above locations, the chances of a crash increase.
How Car Accidents Happen
Every car crash is different and involves different types of collisions and different drivers and victims. Often, the type of crash that occurred can help authorities and our investigators decipher what happened leading up to the accident. We regularly investigate all types of crashes, including:
- Rear-end crashes
- Head-on collisions
- Single-vehicle crashes
- Accidents involving bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians
- Accidents involving big rig trucks
- Crashes caused by dangerous road hazards
- Crashes caused by defective vehicles
Sometimes, a fairly obvious cause of a crash will present itself, such as when a driver updates social media right before hitting your car or if a driver stumbles out of a car, clearly intoxicated. However, identifying the cause can often present many difficulties. This is why we have investigators and experts who work with our lawyers to help determine who was to blame and why the crash took place. Then we can gather evidence of liability for the crash and begin working to obtain the compensation you deserve for your losses. The sooner we get started, the quicker we can begin protecting your rights and recovering all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
Steps to Take After a Houston Auto Collision
An accident can shake you up. The aftermath of a crash may involve several damaged vehicles and multiple people with injuries, including yourself. Before the authorities arrive, everyone involved may wonder what to do. While you don’t need any additional stress in this situation, remember to protect your rights and your health by taking the following steps.
- Safety: If the collision was relatively minor and the cars are moveable, consider driving your vehicle over to a safe location on the side of the road to get it out of the path of traffic. If you or anyone at the scene was injured, or if it is dangerous to move your car, exit the vehicle as carefully and quickly as possible and move to a safe distance away from the road and accident scene.
- Call 911: Even after minor traffic incidents, the police can help to redirect traffic, if necessary, and prepare accident reports. You always want the officer to write down your side of the story so it goes in the report. However, make sure you don’t apologize or make offhand comments (such as “I only looked down for a moment”), since this may lead the insurance company to challenge liability for the crash. In addition, those involved in the crash may need immediate medical attention—no matter how you feel, get checked out just in case, because symptoms of some injuries, like concussions and whiplash, may take time to emerge.
- Exchange information: Exchange your name and insurance information with any other drivers in the collision. You will also want the license plate numbers of any other vehicles. It is not necessary for you to provide any further personal information, such as your home address or your injuries.
- Take photos: If you are safely able to do so, try to take pictures of the individual cars as well as one of the entire scene. Photographs of the damage caused to your vehicle as well as any road debris may help prove your claims for damage.
- Call us: After you have received any needed medical treatment, contact the legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, for help with making a claim, whether with the insurance company of the other driver(s), or with your own insurance company, or both. Our legal team will help you provide any insurance companies the necessary details regarding the collision.
Key Questions after a Houston Car Accident
Even if you take all of the right steps after your crash, you will want or need to answer many questions. You will seek out some of these answers right away, while other questions may arise in the days and weeks after the accident. If you’re wondering whether to call a Houston car accident law firm, think about the following:
Are there injuries or fatalities?
If you or someone close to you suffered injuries in a crash, the first order of business is to get the medical help you or your loved one needs. If you required medical care or if a loved one didn’t survive, always speak with our law firm as soon as possible to determine the full cost of those injuries.
Are vehicles damaged?
Car crashes can cause serious damage to your car, and accidents can often completely total a car. You rely on your vehicle to get you around to work, school, or your family obligations. You should not pay for the costs of repairs or replacing your car if someone else caused your crash. You also don’t want to go weeks or months without a vehicle. You deserve full compensation for the damage from the responsible party’s insurance company, and our law firm can help.
Are the police involved?
Houston law enforcement officers regularly arrive at the scene of crashes. An officer should always try to identify if one or more drivers violated the law, such as intoxication. The police should arrest and charge a drunk driver for DWI. Officers can also issue citations for speeding, running red lights, and other traffic violations. If this happens, it can help you prove who was at fault in your future insurance claim.
Are there medical and insurance costs to pay?
If you don’t have any financial losses, you can’t collect compensation from the insurance company. However, even if you have relatively minor medical bills or only paid a little out of pocket, you have the right to recover payment for those costs. Your health insurance company might not cover injuries if they happened in a car crash, as it expects the other driver’s insurance to cover them. Medical bills from car accidents can range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars and, in either case, you should call our law firm right away.
What are the legal rights and responsibilities of the drivers?
If any property damage or injuries occurred in a crash, Texas law requires all drivers involved to stop and remain at the scene until they have rendered necessary aid and exchanged information. In the time following a crash, each driver’s rights and responsibilities will depend on whom caused the crash. Any drivers or motorists who didn’t act negligently have the right to file insurance claims against the negligent driver. Drivers who cause a crash will need to contact their own insurance companies, which have the responsibility of reimbursing victims for their losses. In many cases, more than one person may bear some fault. Have our law firm determine liability in your situation.
What kind of settlement should you expect?
If another driver was negligent and you file an insurance claim, the amount of your settlement payment will depend on many factors. These include:
- The severity of your injuries
- The total cost of your medical bills
- Whether you need ongoing medical care in the future
- How much work you missed and income you lost
- Whether you’re able to go back to work in the future
- Whether you have lasting impairments, disfigurement, or disabilities
- The pain and suffering you experienced
- The costs of repairing or replacing your car
Calculating the total amount of your losses can prove challenging, as many people don’t know their full rights when it comes to compensation. You need the help of a skilled car accident law firm to ensure you request and receive the full amount you need to cover your past and future losses.
You will likely have many other questions as you begin medical treatments and start wondering about your legal options. The law office of Stewart J. Guss offers COMPLETELY FREE consultations at ANY time. Someone is available day or night to take your call and start giving you some of the answers you’re looking for. Don’t wait any longer to call and learn about your rights!
Common Houston Auto Collision Injuries
Depending on the type of crash and the severity of the impact, auto collisions can cause injuries to almost every part of the body, including:
- Head: Eye injuries, partial vision loss, concussion, facial or jaw fractures, and dental injuries
- Neck and back: Whiplash, strained muscles, and disk injuries
- Abdominal: Hip fractures and injuries to abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, and kidneys
- Leg and knee: Bruises, fractures, and meniscus tears
- Feet: Strained, sprained, or broken ankles, feet, and toes
Because you can suffer so many different types of injuries as a result of a Houston automobile collision, have a medical professional examine you as soon as possible and diagnose the type and extent of any injuries or confirm that no injuries occurred. Even if you do not believe that you were injured, visit a doctor or other qualified medical professional. Car accident victims regularly undergo extensive medical treatments, including:
- Emergency transportation
- E.R. visits
- Doctor’s visits
- Time in the ICU
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Medications and medical equipment
- Home healthcare
- Time in assisted-living facilities
While medical care is costly, many injuries can worsen if they go untreated. In such cases, insurance companies may try to deny payment if you didn’t seek a timely diagnosis and follow treatment recommendations. Always focus on your physical health, and leave the rest to us!
Seeking Compensation for YOU!
It won’t take much time after a car accident for the negligent driver’s insurance company to reach out to you. Its goal is to get you talking, hoping that you will unintentionally make comments it can use to limit your compensation. For example, saying something as simple as, “I feel fine,” can hurt your claim. While you were just trying to be polite, the adjuster may interpret the statement as, “You don’t have any pain and your injuries aren’t that serious.” In reality, people say they are doing “fine” when they are struggling on a regular basis.
To best protect your rights from insurance companies and their questionable tactics, always seek help from our Houston law office. We can help with every stage of your case, including the following:
Insurance process – As mentioned, insurance adjusters are looking for ways to limit payments to accident victims. Some insurance companies even give adjusters incentives and benefits if they successfully avoid certain payouts. The adjuster may claim they’re on your side—but TRUST US, they are NOT.
Adjusters know that most victims don’t understand the insurance process, and they take advantage of victims by making insultingly low settlement offers. Too many people unknowingly accept these offers and can’t ever recover more in the future. You ALWAYS want an aggressive car accident law firm handling your insurance claim. This includes dealing with adjusters, reviewing offers, and negotiating higher offers whenever possible.
Personal injury lawsuits – While many car accident claims settle during the insurance process, some insurance companies simply refuse to make the right offer. This is especially true in cases involving particularly catastrophic injuries and long-term disabilities. We will never push you to accept an offer that won’t cover all of your losses. Instead, we will play hardball with the insurance company by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
All litigation is complex, and car accident cases are no exception. While the large majority of car accident lawsuits will not ever make it to trial, you need a skilled litigator to handle discovery and settlement negotiations. With the right law firm in your corner, the insurance company will often agree to a fair settlement to avoid the need for further litigation.
The best way to learn about the many ways our law firm can help is to call and discuss your individual circumstances with a member of our team.
Contact Our Experienced Houston Auto Crash Attorneys Right Away!
If you in a car collision, speak to the skilled Houston auto accident legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, to discuss your case, determine if anyone is liable for your damages, and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. The auto collision team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, understands how to investigate your case, work with the insurance company to get all of the compensation you deserve—and when the insurance company refuses to reach a settlement, file a lawsuit on your behalf. Texas auto accident laws can prove complicated and difficult to navigate. You want the team of auto collision attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, to protect your rights as well as the rights of your loved ones.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of car accident victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in an automobile accident in Houston, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or send us a confidential email now by CLICKING HERE.
Texas Auto Collision Laws
Only a Houston auto accident attorney can apply the appropriate Texas laws and regulations to your case. It is still important, however, for all Texas drivers know the laws that apply to most auto accidents, including:
Sec. 550.021. ACCIDENT INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH.
“(a) The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person shall:
(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;
(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;
(3) immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident, and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid; and
(4) remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.
(b) An operator of a vehicle required to stop the vehicle by Subsection (a) shall do so without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person does not stop or does not comply with the requirements of this section…”
Sec. 550.022. ACCIDENT INVOLVING DAMAGE TO VEHICLE.
“(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:
(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible to the scene of the accident without obstructing traffic more than is necessary;
(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident; and
(3) remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023
Sec. 550.026. IMMEDIATE REPORT OF ACCIDENT.
(a) The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person or damage to a vehicle to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the accident to the:
(1) local police department if the accident occurred in a municipality;
(2) local police department or the sheriff’s office if the accident occurred not more than 100 feet outside the limits of a municipality; or (3) sheriff’s office or the nearest office of the department if the accident is not required to be reported under Subdivision (1) or (2)…
Sec. 16.003. TWO-YEAR LIMITATIONS PERIOD.
(a) Except as provided by Sections 16.010, 16.0031, and 16.0045, a person must bring suit for trespass for injury to the estate or to the property of another, conversion of personal property, taking or detaining the personal property of another, personal injury, forcible entry and detainer, and forcible detainer not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues.
(b) A person must bring suit not later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues in an action for injury resulting in death. The cause of action accrues on the death of the injured person”.
See what past clients have to say:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”