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 already been in an 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 our Katy car accident lawyers offer a FREE consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call us right now at 800-898-4877 or fill out our online form 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 upfront, and you will pay absolutely nothing at all unless and until we’ve won your case.
Katy, TX Car Accident Guide
- Katy, TX Car Accident Guide
- Where Do Katy Car Accidents Happen?
- Who Is Injured Most in Traffic Accidents?
- The Roads Are Growing More Dangerous, Even in Katy
- What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Auto Accidents?
- What Questions Should You Ask Your Lawyer?
- Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Case
- How Will My Katy Car Accident Attorney Be Paid?
- Katy Car Accident FAQ
- If You Suffered a Personal Injury in a Crash, Our Car Accident Attorneys in Katy Could Help
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 best 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.
Where Do Katy Car Accidents Happen?
Traffic accident rates are rising nationwide and in the Katy area. Across the country, more than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States in one recent year, an increase from nearly 33,000 in the prior year. 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 due to traffic accidents in that same year.
Pretty much every category of travelers has seen an increase in fatalities. Passenger vehicle occupants, passengers of large trucks, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, men, women, daytime drivers, and nighttime drivers—all saw fatalities increase.
You can’t control when or where a traffic accident will take place. Not all crashes happen on Interstate 45—accidents can occur 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 Katy area, consult with a Katy car accident 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 legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, at 800-898-4877, or send a message through our online contact form.
Who Is Injured Most in Traffic Accidents?
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 have been on the rise since 2009
- SUV occupant fatalities rose by 10.1 percent in only one year
- Van occupants saw a 9.3-percent increase in fatalities in that same year
- Among motorcycle riders, traffic deaths rose 8.3 percent in that year
Raw numbers are up, but so are rates. Vehicle miles traveled are increasing on average by 3.5 percent yearly. Unfortunately, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles is also increasing.
The Roads Are Growing More Dangerous, Even in Katy
The greater Houston area traffic statistics, including Katy, TX, mirror this national trend. A study by the Houston-Galveston Area Council found that traffic accidents in Houston and its suburbs increased 62 percent in only five years. 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. Our area has its share of traffic—and with traffic comes accidents.
What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Auto 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—especially knowing 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, including:
- 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 and 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.
Of course, at some point, you should consider whether the law entitles you to compensation for your injuries. When exploring your options, know that personal injury claims are complicated, and partnering with a skilled Katy car accident lawyer can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome. The complex circumstances surrounding a car crash call for the investigative and legal experience most non-lawyers don’t possess.
What Questions Should You Ask Your Lawyer?
After a motor vehicle accident injury, you deserve to work with the best lawyer available. Look for someone who knows how to handle your particular type of case. You likely don’t have much experience with auto accidents that involve substantial damage claims, so your lawyer must. Your lawyer should be able to determine the value of your claim and have experience in settling cases with insurance companies and, if necessary, taking cases to trial.
To determine whether a lawyer possesses the abilities you need, 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 ability to handle your case, you should determine how your attorney will proceed. Are you comfortable with your attorney’s case management style? How do they work with clients—through frequent contact or only providing updates on 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 information can I expect those reports to include?
- How do I reach you directly? How quickly will you respond?
Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Case
Perhaps the most important factor in bringing a personal injury case is knowing 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 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 potential value of your claim, 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 compensation you can expect.
How Will My Katy Car Accident Attorney Be Paid?
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 upfront, and what other costs your attorney expects you to pay later. Questions to ask include:
- Will your lawyer charge you 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 receive 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?
Your own insurance company might pay your actual expenses, including medical fees, property damages, and lost wages, even if you are at fault for the accident (within your coverage limits). To recover from someone else 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 ongoing care. Asking the above questions can help you determine whether these losses are recoverable and how much it will cost you.
Katy Car Accident FAQ
Car accident scenes are very chaotic places, thick with a fog of confusion and unanswered questions. In Texas, more than 12,000 motor vehicle crashes injure people each year, with more than 14,000 individuals sustaining injuries.
If you were injured in a Katy car accident and are looking for a car accident lawyer near you, you likely have questions of your own, like “How can I pay my medical bills when I am too injured to work?” or “What happens if I am never able to return to work?”
After a Katy car crash, we’re here for you. Here are the answers to some of the questions our clients frequently ask about car accidents.
How do I recover my financial losses after a car accident?
The answer is simple: Hire a Katy personal injury lawyer who represents car accident victims.
If someone else’s careless or reckless actions caused your car accident, you may be able to take legal action to pursue monetary damages.
In other words, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
There is a limited timeframe, known as a statute of limitations, for filing a car accident claim. In Texas, people generally must file these claims within two years of the accident. While some pretty complex rules can lengthen or shorten that deadline, it’s best to hire a lawyer as soon as you can. Plus, the sooner an experienced attorney begins building your case, the better your odds are of recovering every penny you deserve.
When you take legal action, the compensation you can obtain usually comes from the at-fault party’s insurance coverage. Sometimes, however, the liable party might have to pay damages to you directly out of their own pockets.
Know where you stand. Always hire a personal injury lawyer who knows the ins and outs of determining liability and successfully navigating insurance policy payouts. You might not know how much money is available to you, but that’s our job!
How much money can I recover from a car accident claim?
It varies. Every person’s accidents and injuries are unique. The point of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate you for what you lost after a Katy-area car accident. The cost of an accident includes actual expenses (the type you might have a bill, receipt, or invoice for) plus the many other ways an injury can make your life worse (such as physical pain, post-traumatic stress, emotional struggles, relationship strain, and an overall decline in your quality of life).
The amount of money it takes to pay someone for both of these economic and non-economic categories of damages is obviously going to vary from one injury and accident to the next.
Depending on the type of injury you suffer, the damages you might recover can include compensation for:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment at the scene or in the emergency room, transport by ambulance or air to the hospital, diagnostic testing and imaging, physician services, surgical services, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and the cost of mobility aids such as crutches or a wheelchair.
- Lost wages due to being too injured to work or missing work to attend doctor appointments.
- Loss of future earning capacity resulting from injuries that render you unable to perform the work duties of your chosen profession or to work at all.
- The cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle you were driving when the accident occurred. Rental car expenses may also be covered for a limited time.
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Be aware: the amount of money you have the right to recover and how much you can actually recover might differ, even despite your best efforts. You could sue someone for $10 million, but if they only have $100,000 in insurance coverage or assets to pay you with, that might limit how much you can get from your accident claim. This is why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to find every potential payment source to close the gap as much as possible between what you should and can receive.
Who can I sue for damages after a car accident?
Again, it all depends on what happened. In most Katy-area car accidents, a negligent vehicle driver is at least partially at-fault. In those cases, crash victims like you usually have legal rights to hold that negligent driver accountable. Victims usually recover damages from that driver’s auto liability insurance coverage.
However, drivers do not account for all of the parties who might have liability to you for your injuries and losses - not by a long shot!
A skilled Katy car accident lawyer knows to look for a variety of other individuals and organizations who might owe you damages, including:
- Employers of drivers who crash a company vehicle while working. In Texas, most employers are legally responsible for their employee’s actions. They also may share some of the blame for a crash if they fail to maintain a vehicle or allow an employee with a checkered driving history to get behind the wheel.
- Business establishments in Texas that serve alcohol to a patron who is already intoxicated. If the patron is a danger to themselves or others and goes on to cause a drunk driving accident, the business may be held responsible.
- Automotive manufacturers that produce unreasonably dangerous, defective vehicles or parts, resulting in mechanical failure that leads to an accident.
- Government entities that fail to design, build, or maintain road surfaces, intersections, signage, or other road features essential to ensuring the safety of motorists and pedestrians.
These are just a few examples. We cannot predict who you might have the right to sue for your Katy car accident injuries. What we can say, however, is that it takes the services of a skilled, experienced motor vehicle accident injury attorney to ensure you identify and pursue every party who might have a legal liability to you. If you partner with us, rest assured we’ll leave no stone unturned in our search for justice.
If I file a personal injury lawsuit, will I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Research and personal experience tell us that around 95% of all personal injury cases settle out of court. However, experienced car accident injury lawyers know that the best possible result sometimes happens in the courtroom. Lawyers who get the best results are the ones who have reputations as fierce, convincing trial lawyers who are prepared to state your case and fight for what you deserve in a courtroom.
How long will it take to get paid?
While we’d love to tell you a solid timeline here, we must remain transparent.
The truth is that there are no guarantees in the world of car accident lawsuits.
A lawyer can evaluate the strength of your case and let you know your chances of winning and receiving money, but the ensuing process of collecting evidence, completing medical treatment, and fighting with insurance companies can take some time. It is important to be thorough every step of the way to maximize your settlement amount.
Cases with straightforward facts and minimal disputes about who should pay can resolve in a matter of months or even less. Cases with more complicated facts and disagreements about liability can take a year or more to settle.
Do I have to pay taxes on my car accident injury claim settlement or award?
According to the IRS, compensation for physical injuries is not taxable and should not be claimed as income. However, if you were awarded punitive damages—that is, damages not associated with your injury but instead designed to punish the defendant for particularly reckless behavior—they may be subject to tax.
Nevertheless, sometimes tax considerations can play a role in how and when victims of Katy car accidents receive payment for their injuries. Your attorney will be able to address any tax-related questions or issues you may have.
Why do I need a car accident attorney? Can’t I just represent myself?
If you needed brain surgery, would you perform it on yourself?
Yeah, didn’t think so.
The law is complicated. Lawyers spend years receiving the education and training they need to serve their clients and get results. Along the way, they also gain priceless experience and local expertise. We know our way around a Katy car accident case, from how to collect the evidence that matters most to when to advise a client to accept a settlement offer or stand their ground.
Don’t make the tragic, expensive mistake of thinking you can negotiate a settlement with an insurance company on your own. The odds are against you, and these insurance companies have skilled defense attorneys of their own. Why not level the playing field and fight fair? If you don’t choose wisely, you risk losing out on the full compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and losses. Put your car accident case in the hands of an experienced Katy car accident lawyer instead.
How much does a Katy car accident lawyer cost?
An initial consultation with our Katy car accident attorneys is totally free, and you have no obligation to hire the lawyer at the end of it.
If you decide to hire a lawyer after the free initial consultation, our Katy car accident attorneys will take your case on contingency. A contingency fee means that we only get paid if and when our Katy car accident lawyers’ efforts get you paid. The lawyer’s fee, in other words, is contingent on a successful case result.
You and the lawyer agree, in advance, what the lawyer’s percentage will be of any amount they recover for you. The basic idea is that the more money the lawyer recovers for you, the more money the lawyer earns. Our goals align with your goals, and our success is your success. You and the lawyer also agree in advance about how to handle the day-to-day costs of the case, like court filing fees or travel expenses.
So, bottom line: you pay nothing to speak with a lawyer about your Katy car accident case, you pay no costs to hire the lawyer, and you pay no money at all unless the lawyer gets you paid.
How do I choose a Katy personal injury attorney for my car accident case?
There are a lot of great lawyers out there, but you need the one that is right for you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
After your car accident, you may be in a panicked state of mind. But don’t just call any old lawyer you see advertised on a highway billboard or found in your first Google search.
As the victim of a Katy car accident, you should only consider hiring:
- A lawyer who practices car accident injury law and can show significant past results in local car accident cases.
- A lawyer with a strong reputation in the local legal community as a top-notch trial lawyer with courtroom experience.
- A lawyer who has familiarity with the medical treatment involved in the type of injury you suffered.
- A lawyer who listens to you, understands your needs and goals, responds to your questions, and communicates with you clearly and honestly.
Don’t wait. Reach out to our skilled Katy car accident attorneys now so we can start working for you today.
If You Suffered a Personal Injury in a Crash, Our Car Accident Attorneys in Katy Could Help
If a traffic accident injured you in the Katy, Texas area, consult with one of our Katy personal injury lawyers 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 legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, at 800-898-4877, or reach out through our online contact form. Remember, you pay nothing when we take your case, and you pay us nothing unless and until we’ve recovered compensation for your damages.