Tomball, Texas Car Accident StatisticsMore than 35,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States during 2015, up from nearly 33,000 in 2014. This was a 7.2 percent increase in fatalities, the largest increase since an 8.1 percent increase from 1965 to 1966. The Department of Transportation estimated that traffic accidents injured nearly 2.5 million persons in 2015. Almost all segments of the road-traveling public saw increases in fatalities, including passenger vehicle occupants, passengers of large trucks, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, men and women, daytime drivers and nighttime drivers. One of the only groups to not see an increase in fatalities was drivers of large commercial trucks. The DOT’s estimated number of police-reported crashes rose from six-million to 6.3 million, an increase of 3.8 percent from 2014. A traffic accident can take place anytime, on any road. You don’t have to drive on Tomball Parkway—accidents strike everywhere. Whether you’re driving on a major route like South Cherry Street or a side road like South Pine Street, accidents are always possible. 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 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.
Traffic Accidents Can Strike Anyone
Think a traffic accident can’t happen to you? Think again:
- Passenger car and light-truck occupant fatalities in 2015 hit their highest level since 2009.
- SUV occupant fatalities in 2015 rose by 10.1 percent from 2014.
- Van occupant fatalities increased by 9.3-percent.
- Passenger car occupant fatalities rose by 5.7-percent.
- Pickup truck occupant fatalities rose by 4.7-percent.
- Motorcyclist fatalities increased by 8.3 percent.
The Roads Aren’t Getting Safer, and Tomball Is No ExceptionWhile 2015 is the last year for which full statistics are available, the statistics don’t look better for 2016. On October 6, 2017, the Department of Transportation announced that 2016 brought more than 37,000 traffic fatalities, a 5.6 percent increase from 2015. Miles traveled increased by 2.2 percent, but that still yielded a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, up 2.6 percent from 2015. Deaths related to speeding, drunk driving, and not using seat belts all rose, and motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths accounted for a large portion of the increase from 2015. Houston is not immune. A recent study by the Houston-Galveston Area Council found that traffic accidents in the area rose 62 percent from 2011 to 2016. The accident rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven also rose, up almost 39 percent. You might consider Tomball a fairly safe area as far as traffic accidents go, but everyone has seen or heard about accidents on Tomball Parkway or Huffsmith-Kohrville Road, or even fender-benders after a movie at Main Street Crossing. Whether you head to Lone Star College or just to Goodsons for a bite to eat, every trip carries some risk. And you know how hectic the roads can get during the Tomball German Heritage Festival. Houston and its suburbs are infamous for traffic. Heavy traffic comes with accidents.
Steps You Can Take to Avoid AccidentsYou can’t eliminate the risk of accidents, but you can reduce it. And there is good reason for wanting to do so. According to the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, someone dies every 12 minutes in a traffic accident. Someone suffers an injury every 10 seconds, and every five seconds another traffic accident takes place. Interestingly, different driving safety experts have slightly different takes on how to avoid traffic accidents, each based on editorial perspective. Nonetheless, the different viewpoints seem equally valid. For example, EHS Today advises:
- Pull into traffic slowly, paying attention to other drivers’ blind spots and objects that might obstruct other’s drivers’ vision, including highway road signs.
- Look both ways at least twice before you go when turning right at intersections.
- At traffic signals, beware of red light runners. Make sure no one is running the red or pushing through the last milliseconds of a yellow light before you proceed into the intersection.
- Take care when passing commercial trucks, which have large blind spots on their right-hand sides and behind them.
- Always keep at least one hand on the steering wheel, and try to avoid distractions, including changing radio stations, tapes, or CDs; using a cell phone; eating; or taking both hands off the wheel.
- Watch for children, pedestrians, and animals.
- Maintain your vehicle, including the engine and safety equipment, such as brakes and brake lights, and position lights and headlights. Keep your tires properly inflated.
- Be vigilant when backing up. Don’t rely on mirrors—turn and look to make sure you hit nobody or nothing.
- Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Behave courteously to other drivers and don’t do anything that might spark road rage in another driver.
Questions to Ask Your LawyerIf a traffic accident injured you, find the best lawyer you can. But how do you do that? The first thing you should look for is someone who knows how to handle an automobile injury case. Most people don’t suffer through many traffic accidents that involve substantial damage claims. When you do, though, it pays to hire someone who knows how to evaluate the true value of your claim and with experience in car accident injury negotiations. To that end, ask prospective attorneys these questions:
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- Do you frequently handle cases involving traffic accidents like mine?
- What traffic-accident injuries do you have experience handling?
- What are your professional credentials? Where did you go to law school? What bar memberships, and professional awards, and recognition have you earned?
- About how many traffic accident injury cases do you handle every year? How many settle, and how many go to trial?
Other questions about case management could include:
- Will you manage my case, or will another attorney in your firm handle things?
- Who will make court appearances, and who will represent me at negotiations?
- Who will serve as my day-to-day point of contact?
- What other attorneys will work on my case?
- Will my case require expert witnesses, and, if so, who are they and what will they do?
- How often will you give me progress reports, and what information can I expect those reports to include?
- How do I reach you and how quickly will you respond?
Ask About Your Case’s Strengths and WeaknessesYou need to know how good of a case you have. What are the likely outcomes? Ask for an honest assessment of your case’s strengths and weaknesses—what works against you and what works in your favor. Ask about your chances of a settlement, or whether your case might go to trial. If your case is likely to go to trial, ask about your chances and whether the case is worth pursuing. Find out whether mediation or arbitration are better options. Finally, ask for a timeline and an estimate of how long your case might take to conclude. Having suffered damages, including medical expenses, you need to know how to manage your finances while awaiting a conclusion of your case. When litigation is possible, the estimate grows more difficult to provide, and your attorney might not offer a definite answer. Still, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
What Will My Case Cost Me?Finally, you need to address what your legal representation will cost. You need to know the basis of how your attorney will charge you, whether your case will cost you money up front and, if so, how much. Questions to ask include:
- Will you charge me a contingency fee or an hourly rate? (A contingency fee is a percentage of whatever damages you recover. Obviously, you will want to know that percentage. Usually, a contingency case means you don’t have to pay lawyer’s fees if you don’t recover compensation.)
- If you charge me an hourly rate, how much is that rate, and am I required to pay if I don’t recover compensation?
- Will I have to pay a retainer fee?
- Will I have to pay anything if you fail to obtain a settlement or win a judgment?
- What expenses will I need to pay, and will I need to pay them even if I lose and receive no money?
If a Traffic Accident Injured You in the Tomball Area, the Attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, Can HelpIf a traffic accident injured you in the Tomball area, consult with a Tomball 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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