Austin. The heart of Texas, and one of the greatest places to live in the nation – Austin has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, as we know, Austin’s popularity has its price – traffic. Whether its students going back and forth to UT, professionals commuting to and from many of the high tech companies in the area, or any of the other hard-working men and women that keep the heart of Texas beating steadily, it seems like everyone is on the road at all hours of the day and night. With that traffic, of course, comes traffic accidents.
If you or a loved one were in an Austin car accident, 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 more than 20 years of experience and thousands of victories under our belts, our team of Austin 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.
Car Accidents in Austin
Recently, Austin has seen a surge of automotive alternatives, which may have started with the reworking of major streets in the area. The corridor mobility project provides the benefit of continuous bikes lanes that encourage commuters to opt to ride their bikes, taking cars off the street. Easy access to CapMetro public transportation can take you to popular areas of the city, like South Congress. It’s nice to have the option to leave the car at home and take public transportation when you head out for a night on the town, though many people still choose to drive, walk, or ride a bike.
While or spending time in Austin has many benefits, car accidents do regularly happen in this heavily trafficked city. A new student learning the streets while simultaneously texting a friend to make dinner plans can end up in a fender bender. Another unfortunate factor with car accidents in the Austin area is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially around 6th street and the other “nightlife” areas.
These things do happen, so stay aware of the potential risks of distracted or impaired drivers in the area. Staying alert and aware while operating a vehicle in Austin can help prevent a car accident.
Car accidents in Austin are more common than you may think. The following statistics show the incredible number of crashes that took place in only one year:
- Total reported crashes: 14,263
- Possible injuries: 5,393
- Reported non-incapacitating injuries: 4,069
- Reported incapacitating injuries: 494
- Fatalities: 105
Every car accident—from fender benders on up—can upset those it involves. It’s the nature of car accidents. After all, you’re driving along—minding your own business—when you are hit and your life is turned upside down. More serious accidents, of course, cause greater trauma, especially when they result from the negligence of others. Because car accidents can unsettle their victims, learn what to do, and your legal rights, upfront.
What Do I Do After a Car Accident?
Every car accident is utterly unique to its own circumstances, but common themes may run through each of them. If you’re involved in a minor car accident, pull over and exchange contact and insurance information. Call the police so that you’ll have a police report (which can go a long way toward furthering your claim—and keeping it from turning into a he says/you say thing). Though it’s human nature to want to apologize in such situations (even if it’s the other driver’s fault), refrain from doing so—the other parties can use your apology as an admission of fault when it comes time to settle your claim.
If the accident is more serious, always make health and safety your first concern. Get your vehicle out of the line of traffic if it’s possible to do so, call 911, check yourself for injuries, and if you’re able, check to make sure that no one else suffered injuries in the accident. If someone did sustain injuries and you’re qualified to do so, provide First Aid until emergency help arrives.
Car accidents can frighten anyone, and things happen quickly. Try to remain calm and stick to the basics until the police and emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene.
If someone else’s negligence left you injured in a car accident, you need experienced legal counsel. The complicated nature of car accident claims makes obtaining fair compensation less than straightforward. One of Stewart Guss’s skilled car accident attorneys may work closely with you to help guide your claim toward the compensation to which Texas law entitles you.
Secure the Evidence
If you’re able to collect evidence at the scene of the accident, it’s in your claim’s best interest to do so. If you’re unable to collect evidence, enlist a bystander on the scene to do it for you. Collect every manner of evidence that’s available to you:
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene from every angle with your smartphone. Don’t forget to take pictures of both vehicles in relation to each other, of the damage to each, and of the license plates of each.
- Gather eyewitness testimony in support of your claim, and get each witness’s contact information. (If the accident is more serious, the officer on the scene will probably take care of this step.)
- Collect all documentation associated with the accident, including a copy of the police report, damage estimates, medical bills and reports, and any other pertinent information. Your attorney can help you do this.
- Sketch the scene of the accident and include a representation of how the vehicles collided, their positioning, major areas of damage, the accident’s exact location, and any impediments that may have contributed to the accident (such as a damaged road, inclement weather, an obstacle to clear vision, or anything else).
- Write a report about your experience as soon as possible. Simply narrate how the accident happened in your own words with as much detail as you can remember. The mayhem that surrounds car accidents can blur and jumble your memories, so get yours on paper quickly—and date them.
It’s a lot, but whatever you can do to collect and secure evidence at the scene of the accident can help to strengthen your claim.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
Despite the unique nature of each car accident, insurance companies form another constant. If another driver’s negligence injured you, you’re going to hear from that driver’s insurance company, and you should know several things. First, insurance companies are in the business of making money, and that means minimizing and denying claims whenever they can. Yes, these companies are held to federal and industry standards, but they have plenty of wiggle room within the regulations—and insurance companies are adept at finding and manipulating that wiggle room.
Do not give a written or recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company—you don’t need to. Allow your experienced car accident attorney to do the talking for you. The insurance company may try to trip you up on the record to mold your own words into an admission of your fault. Don’t engage. You may have to give a recorded or written statement to your own insurance company, but even then, your car accident attorney will go over your responses with you to ensure you give accurate and to-the-point answers. Giving a statement to the insurance company is no time to get creative, poetic, or emotional. It’s a stick-to-the-basic-facts kind of thing.
If you suffered a serious injury in a car accident that someone else’s negligence caused, you could sustain traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and burns (among other injuries). These especially devastating accidents call for a dedicated car accident attorney to help ensure your just compensation. Though no amount of financial compensation can return you to your pre-accident health, adequate compensation can help you better navigate the path toward recovery.
What Caused Your Accident?
We could name almost as many causes of car accidents as types of car accidents, but we see three primary factors:
Impaired drivers. When a driver gets behind the wheel, that driver shoulders a tremendous responsibility that includes helping to keep the roads safe for all who share them. When alcohol or drugs impair drivers, they endanger everyone on the road. While no one can claim ignorance of the dangers of drinking and driving, many continue to engage in this egregious practice.
Distracted drivers. Driving is an exceedingly complex task that demands every driver’s full attention. When drivers take to the road but distract themselves from the sole task at hand—driving safely—they become dangerous drivers and far more likely to cause serious accidents. The advent of the smartphone has taken distracted driving to the next level. A smartphone distracts a driver in every possible way (visually, manually, and cognitively). Those who need to use their phones should get off the road.
Aggressive drivers. We all know aggressive drivers when we see them, and they can present some scary situations. Aggressive drivers can exhibit road rage, which is scarier still. Aggressive driving typically includes a suite of behaviors that can pull from a variety of bad-driving choices:
- Driving erratically (or otherwise unsafely)
- Passing on the shoulder
- Randomly stopping or slowing a vehicle
- Ignoring traffic signs, lights, and signals
- Failing to yield safely and as directed
- Honking incessantly and flashing headlights at other vehicles
- Screaming and gesturing obscenely at other drivers
Each of these practices is dangerous, but when a driver combines them, that driver becomes recklessly dangerous. Aggressive drivers do not belong on our roadways, but they’re out there. If you witness an aggressive driver—and you’ll know one when you see one—steer clear and, if you think the situation warrants it, alert the authorities (when you can do so safely). You may help prevent a serious accident.
Speed Demons. It’s established—speed kills. In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety calls speeding among the deadliest forms of aggressive driving, and speed plays an elemental role in nearly one-third of U.S. traffic fatalities—a sobering statistic. When you witness another driver with the reckless need to speed, give that driver plenty of room on the road—and, again, contact the authorities (when safe to do so). Your efforts could help prevent a deadly accident.
Contact Our Austin Car Accident Attorneys Today
Car accidents can have serious and long-term consequences, so get serious help when you are in a wreck. Contact us today and we will “move mountains” to get you the highest possible recovery for your case. Our Austin car accident lawyers have the experience, skill, and determination to aggressively advocate for your rights and get you everything you deserve. Call right now at 800-898-4877 or contact us online.
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Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.