Spring, Texas Car Accident StatisticsIn 2015, more than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States, a 7.2 percent increase from nearly 33,000 in 2014. That is the largest increase since an 8.1 percent rise in traffic fatalities from 1965 to 1966. Furthermore, the Department of Transportation estimatedthat more than 2.4 million people suffered injuries in traffic accidents during 2015. A traffic accident can take place at any time, on any road. You don’t need to drive on a major highway, such as Interstate 45 or Hardy Toll Road—accidents can strike anyplace. Whether you’re on a major route like State Highway 99 or just cruising on Spring-Cypress Road through Old Town Spring, the constant possibility of accidents always loom. 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 entitles you to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, at 800-898-4877, or send us an email through our online contact form.
Traffic Accidents Can Strike Anyone
You are not particularly likely to face a traffic accident on any particular day. However, the odds are getting worse:
- Fatalities for passenger car and light-truck occupants in 2015 reached their highest point since 2009.
- Fatalities among SUV occupants in 2015 increased by 10.1 percent from 2014.
- Van occupant fatalities rose 9.3-percent.
- Fatalities for motorcyclists fatalities increased by 8.3 percent.
The Roads Aren’t Getting Safer—Even in SpringThe most recent year for which full statistics are available is 2015, but the preliminary numbers aren’t looking any better for 2016. In October 2017, the Department of Transportation estimatedmore than 37,000 traffic fatalities in 2016, up 5.6 percent from 2015. Vehicle miles driven rose by 2.2 percent, and the fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled rose 2.6 percent from 2015. Deaths from speeding, drunk driving, and not using seat belts all increased from 2015. Houston is not bucking this trend. A recent study by the Houston-Galveston Area Council foundthat traffic accidents in Houston and the surrounding communities increased by 62 percent from 2011 to 2016. The accident rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven also rose, by nearly 39 percent. While you might not view Spring as an especially high-risk area for traffic accidents, everyone has seen or heard about accidents on I-45, Hardy Toll Road, and Route 99, or even fender-benders when leaving Wet ’n’ Wild Splashtown. Whether you are going to work or just taking a nice Sunday drive to Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, every trip carries some risk. Houston and its suburbs suffer from near-legendary traffic. With heavy traffic comes traffic accidents.
What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Accidents?No matter what you do, traffic accidents will take place—but you can dramatically reduce the risk of traffic accidents involving you. Significant incentives should put your best efforts into that. The Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration has reported that a person dies every 12 minutes in a traffic accident. Every 10 seconds, a traffic accident injures a person, and a crash takes place every five seconds. Driving safety experts sometimes give slightly different answers for the best methods for avoiding traffic accidents. In general, though, they offer similar advice. A typical list from EHS Today advises:
- Pull into traffic with caution, watching for other drivers’ blind spots or objects that might obstruct other drivers’ vision, such as road signs, buildings, and even other vehicles. Make sure other drivers can see you.
- At traffic signals, watch for red light runners. Make sure no one runs the red or pushes through the final couple of ticks of a yellow light before you head out on the green.
- Take care when driving in the vicinity of large commercial trucks. Large blind spots run along the right-hand side and to the rear of tractor-trailer rigs.
- Keep your hands—or at least one of them—on the steering wheel.
- Avoid distractions, such as excessive messing with your sound system or climate controls, talking on a cell phone—even handsfree—eating, or taking both hands off the wheel.
- Maintain your vehicle properly, especially safety equipment, including brakes, brake lights, position lights, and headlights. Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
- Watch carefully when backing up. Use mirrors, but turn and look so you can see what their blind spots do not show.
- Maintain a proper distance when behind another vehicle.
- Drive politely—don’t make the same aggressive moves that upset you when someone else does them. Road rage can easily lead to accidents.
Questions to Ask Your LawyerIf you suffered injuries as a result of a traffic accident, you want to find the lawyer who will do the best job of representing you in your efforts to obtain just compensation. But how do you do that? The first thing you should look for is someone who knows how to handle automobile accident injury cases. Most people don’t experience many traffic accidents that involve substantial damage claims. When you do, though, you want someone representing you with experience in negotiations, the ability to evaluate the true value of your claim, and has the qualifications and background to handle your case. Certain questions can help you choose an attorney:
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- Do you frequently handle cases involving traffic accidents like mine?
- What are your professional credentials? Where did you go to law school? What about bar memberships, and professional awards, and recognitions?
- How many traffic accident injury cases do you handle every year? How many of those settle? How many go to trial?
Other questions about case management could include:
- Who will manage my case? Who will handle negotiations and appear in court if it comes to that?
- Who will serve as my routine point of contact?
- Will other attorneys work on my case?
- Will I get progress reports? How often and what will they include? Will you provide written or oral reports?
- What is the best way to reach you with questions?
Ask About Your Case Strengths and WeaknessesYou need to know whether you have a strong case. Ask your attorney for a brief assessment of your case’s strengths and weaknesses, and whether your case is likely to settle or go to trial. If your case seems likely to go to trial, you need to get at least an estimate of what your chances are and whether it’s worth pursuing the case. The cost of trial can make a powerful argument for settlement. Ask about mediation or arbitration as options, and whether those avenues might result in better outcomes.
What Will My Case Cost Me?Finally, you need to know how much your lawyer will cost you, including the basis of how your lawyer will charge you, whether your case will cost you money up front and, if so, how much. Questions could include:
- Will your attorney charge you a contingency fee or an hourly rate? A contingency fee is a percentage of whatever damages you recover. Ask what that percentage is. Often, a contingency case means you don’t have to pay lawyer’s fees if you don’t win compensation. You may still need to pay expenses, so nail that down.
- If your attorney charges an hourly rate, how much is that rate—and must you pay if you don’t win compensation?
- Will you need to pay a retainer fee or any other upfront costs?
- Will you need to pay anything if you fail to get a settlement or win the case and a judgment?
- What expenses will you need to pay, and will you need to pay them even if you lose and receive no compensation?
If You Suffered a Traffic Accident Injury in the Spring, Texas Area, the Attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, Can HelpIf a traffic accident injured you in the Houston area, consult with a Spring 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, Injury Accident Lawyers, 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 financial recovery for your damages.
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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.” -Joshua L.