Houston is a lively, large and lovely city. It’s bursting with hustle and bustle, booming growth, and there’s never a lack of entertainment and excitement. Not to mention that we’re located in the great, big, beautiful state of Texas.
There’s very little not to love about Houston—except for Houston’s widely-renowned traffic. For those of us who call Houston home, this traffic is an unfortunate fact of life, as are traffic accidents—including dangerous intersection accidents.
Intersection accidents often involve a lot of moving parts that render the claim process quite complicated. If another driver’s negligence has left you injured in a Houston intersection accident, the aftermath can prove stressful. At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, our experienced legal team is committed to protecting the rights of intersection accident victims like you. Our skilled car accident attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and tenacity to effectively and efficiently handle the insurance company for you and to get you the compensation to which you are entitled.
With more than 20 years of experience and thousands of victories under our belts, our team of Houston car crash 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.
The legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, offer a FREE consultation for your case, so call us right now at 800-898-4877, or >click HERE to send us a question or get more information. If you decide to hire us, you pay us nothing up front, and you will pay absolutely nothing out of pocket unless and until we’ve won your case.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that although intersections make up a relatively small percentage of our nations’ roadway system, they account for far more than their share of car crashes. Intersections are rife with accidents because they are where roads converge and where vehicles engage in a variety of maneuvers, including crossing through and turning.
A variety of factors are closely associated with intersection accidents and make them unique:
- A driver’s inadequate surveillance of the intersection is the most prevalent cause of intersection accidents. (Driving too fast for the condition of the road—aggressive driving—is the most prevalent cause of non-intersection accidents.)
- A driver’s false assessment about what another driver will do are the second most frequent cause of intersection accidents. (Error in performance is second for non-intersection accidents.)
- A driver who turns with an obstructed view is the third leading cause of intersection accidents. (Distracted driving is third for non-intersection accidents.)
- A driver who performs an illegal maneuver is the fourth leading cause of intersection accidents. (Miscalculation is fourth for non-intersection accidents.)
- Distractions are the fifth leading cause of intersection accidents. (Inadequate surveillance is fifth for non-intersection accidents.)
- Because intersections involve the convergence of traffic in contained spaces, they’re especially likely to host car accidents.
Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to dangerous injuries at intersections. When you take to the hustle and bustle of Houston’s streets on foot, always put safety first. Although you’ve probably crossed the street on your own for quite a while now, keep in mind some important safety tips:
- Cross with a group of people whenever possible. (The larger the group, the easier for oncoming traffic to spot you.)
- Always cross in a designated crosswalk where one is available.
- Always obey posted pedestrian warning signs and crossing signals.
- Stay alert to the traffic around you. (Don’t plug in to your phone and tune everything else out—distracted walking is dangerous.)
- Wear reflective clothing if you walk after dark.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes with sturdy traction.
Pedestrians—because absolutely nothing comes between them and the impact of an accident—are especially vulnerable to dangerous injuries in intersections.
Common Types of Intersection Accidents
While almost any kind of accident can take place in an intersection, certain types of accidents are most closely associated with intersection collisions:
Rear-end accidents– According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Rear-end accidents are the most common accidents on the road, and they pose a most serious threat in Houston’s busy intersections. Distracted driving is a common cause of these frequent accidents, and distracted driving is reaching epidemic proportions. In fact, the problem has become so prevalent that the federal government has dedicated a website to the problem, distraction.gov, which defines distracted driving as “…any driving in which the driver fails to focus full attention on the critical task of driving safely.” The fashionable rise of smartphone use correlates with this uptick in distracted-driving accidents.
Side-impact accidents – Side impact collisions—also known as T-bone accidents—are common to intersections, and they can seem to come out of nowhere. One second you’re riding a green light through an intersection, and the next second another driver is flying through a red light and crashing into the side of your car. Unlike with rear-end and head-on accidents, there is far less protective material on the side of your car. (The crumple zone at the front of your car and the trunk at the back help absorb some of an accident’s impact.) T-bone accidents can result in exceedingly dangerous and costly injuries. Common negligent-driver activities that lead to side-impact accidents include failure to yield, running red lights, turning across lanes of traffic, failing to adequately assess oncoming traffic when making a right turn, and failing to accommodate for slippery driving conditions.
Injuries Common to Intersection Accidents
Because there’s so much going on in intersections, the accidents that occur in them can prove especially dangerous. While an intersection accident can lead to any number of injuries, several are most common:
Whiplash – While whiplash often gets a bad rap as easy to fake (witness the neck braces common to courtroom comedies), they produce serious, exceedingly painful, physically debilitating conditions. Whiplash is highly unpredictable—it can present with symptoms at the time of the accident, or symptoms can develop slowly with time. Furthermore, whiplash can range from mild to extreme and can even become chronic.
Broken bones – Broken or fractured bones, while exceedingly painful, usually heal quite well with appropriate medical treatment and time. Sometimes, however, complications set in that can cause such injuries to lead to serious health complications.
Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), because they damage the brain, can prove especially difficult with which to cope. TBIs are exceedingly dangerous and unpredictable. They’re caused by a forceful blow to the head or by the violent shaking of the head—as can happen in many kinds of car accidents. Because these injuries damage your body’s central command center, they often result in highly negative consequences that can include cognitive, physical, emotional, psychological, behavioral, and sensory impairments. In fact, many victims refer to what they call a lost sense of self, which can prove the most difficult component of these serious injuries.
Spinal cord injuries – Even a minor injury to your spinal cord is likely to cause extreme pain and physically debilitation. Spinal cord injuries are caused by damage to vertebrae, ligaments, discs, or the spinal cord itself. Your spinal cord—together with your brain—constitutes your body’s central nervous system, which coordinates your bodily movements and controls your physical sensations. A serious spinal cord injury can result in partial or complete paralysis.
If you were in an intersection accident, seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t believe you were injured, get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries don’t present symptoms at the time of the accident and, instead, show up over time—which leads to more serious injuries that require more intensive treatments and longer recovery periods. Remember that early diagnosis is closely related to improved prognosis.
Results of Your Damages
Every intersection accident—just like every car accident—is unique. Accurate assessment of your complete damages is critical to your claim. Your experienced car accident attorney will carefully examine your unique case to ensure that you seek just compensation. Your damages in an intersection accident are likely to come from:
Medical expenses – The injuries borne of intersection accidents are often extensive. They often times accumulate due to, but are not limited to emergency transportation from the scene of the accident and emergency care; surgery and surgical aftercare; appointments and treatments from doctors, specialists, and therapists; physical therapy; prescription medications; and ongoing care. Because injuries can morph into more serious injuries which require ongoing treatment, you may not know at the outset exactly how high your medical bills will mount. Your skilled car accident attorney will help ensure an accurate calculation.
Lost wages – When you’re injured in an accident, you are likely to lose hours at work, which can cost you. If your injury is serious, you may even face lost earning potential into your future. In addition to financial damages, there’s an emotional component to this loss. Many people’s careers intertwine with their sense of place in the world at large, and when their careers take a hit, they can experience significant emotional reactions, including depression and elevated anxiety.
Pain and suffering – If you’re injured in an intersection accident, you’ve no doubt experienced considerable pain. In addition, car accidents are exceedingly frightening and can lead to overwhelming emotional consequences. An accident caused by someone else’s negligence can prove that much more difficult. Some people even find it hard to get back behind the wheel of a vehicle after a serious car accident. Everyone is affected differently by the stress and fears associated with car accidents, but everyone is, nevertheless, affected.
In addition to the property damage to your car, intersection accidents often rack up considerable medical expenses and damages. Don’t rely on the insurance company, whose only loyalty is to their own financial gain to adequately calculate and compensate you for these damages. You need experienced legal counsel.
The Insurance Company: A How To
If you were injured in an intersection accident, there’s no escaping dealing with an insurance company, but there’s no reason for you to take them on alone—take time to research and hire yourself an experienced car accident attorney. The insurance company will not tell you this, but you aren’t obligated to speak to or to provide a statement on the record to a representative of the negligent driver’s insurance company, and you shouldn’t do so. As the phrase goes, “Anything you say can and WILL be held against you,” and the insurance companies will warm any and all answers to suit their needs. Your lawyer will provide anything the company needs, all while doing so with your best interest at heart.
While you may need to provide your own insurance company with a statement, your car accident attorney will guide you through the process. The best policy is always to answer the exact questions that you are asked truthfully and as succinctly as possible. This is one time when it’s best to put any bit of bubbly personality on the back burner—stick to the facts.
The Ugly Truth
While both you and the negligent driver pay for insurance policies to cover you and your losses in just such an instance as an intersection accident, keep in mind that insurance companies are in business to turn a profit. Your rightful compensation is far from their top priority. In fact, many insurance companies go to great lengths to avoid making adequate payouts. The American Association for Justice reports in Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse that some insurance companies—even some of the major players—will deny as many claims outright as they can get away with, will delay claims and payments, and will purposefully confuse claimants with insurance doublespeak that’s incomprehensible by design. Hire an experienced lawyer who knows the insurance company’s tricks, who will cut the confusion, and those delays and denials, and win you justice.
Contact an Experienced Houston Car Accident Lawyer
Houston is a dazzling and fast-paced city, but one side effect is traffic and intersection accidents. Your claim matters far too much to leave it to the discretion of the biased insurance company. At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, our dedicated legal team knows its way around car insurance company tactics because we’ve battled them head-on for decades. Our experienced car accident attorneys will leave no stone unturned when it comes to championing your claim and aggressively advocating for your just compensation. We’re here to help you, so please contact or call us right now at 800-898-4877 to schedule an evaluation of your case.
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