The Woodlands is, without a doubt, one of the best places to raise a family in the great state of Texas. Whether shopping in Market Street, or catching a superstar in concert at the Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion, you’ll NEVER run out of something to do in The Woodlands! With so many residents, and thousands of visitors, unfortunately car accidents in The Woodlands have been on the rise for years. If you’ve found our website – you may have been in an accident yourself.
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 over 20 years of experience, and thousands of victories under our belts, our team of Woodlands 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.
Woodlands Car Accident Statistics
Federal statistics show that more than 35,000 persons died in traffic accidents in the United States during 2015, an increase of 7.2 percent over the nearly 33,000 traffic fatalities in 2014. That is the largest increase since an 8.1 percent increase from 1965 to 1966. The Department of Transportation estimated that vehicular accidents in 2015 hurt an additional 2.5 million persons.
An accident can take place at any time, on any road. You don’t have to travel on Interstate 45—accidents take place everywhere. Whether you’re on a major route like Woodlands Parkway or a side road like Doe Run Drive, accidents are always possible. If you were in a traffic accident 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, Attorney at Law, at 800-898-4877, or send us an email through our online contact form.
Traffic Accidents Can Happen to Anyone
Think the odds are that a traffic accident won’t happen to you? You might win that bet. But you might not:
- Passenger car and light-truck occupant fatalities in 2015 reached their highest level since 2009
- SUV occupant fatalities in 2015 rose by 10.1 percent over 2014
- Van occupant fatalities increased by 9.3 percent.
- Motorcyclist deaths rose by 8.3 percent.
Because more people are on the road each year, raw numbers naturally increased. However, even though vehicle miles traveled saw their largest increase since 1992, up 3.5 percent from 2014, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled increased in 2015 to 1.12 from 1.08 in 2014.
The Roads Aren’t Getting Safer—Even in The Woodlands
Preliminary statistics don’t look any better for 2016. On October 6, 2017, the Department of Transportation announced that more than 37,000 persons died in traffic fatalities in 2016, 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, an increase of 2.6 percent 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 increased by nearly 39 percent.
You might not consider The Woodlands a particularly dangerous area for traffic accidents, but everyone has seen or heard about accidents on I-45, Woodlands Parkway, Lake Woodlands Drive, and Grogan’s Mill Road, or even about fender-benders when leaving a concert at Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion. Whether you are driving to work or just going over to Market Street, no trip is risk-free. The Woodlands is a federally designated large urban transit area, so accidents are going to take place.
How Can You Avoid Accidents?
You can’t eliminate the possibility of traffic accidents, but you can reduce the chances. The incentives to do so are strong. Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration statistics show that someone dies every 12 minutes in a traffic accident, someone suffers an injury every 10 seconds, and a crash takes place every five seconds.
Different driving safety experts give slightly different answers about how to avoid traffic accidents, but the advice is generally pretty similar. One source, EHS Today, advises drivers to take simple precautions to cut their accident risks:
- Pull into traffic with care, paying attention to other drivers’ blind spots and objects that might obstruct other drivers’ vision, including highway signs.
- Look both ways at least twice before turning right at intersections.
- At traffic signals, watch out for red light runners.
- Be careful when passing commercial trucks, which have large blind spots on their right-hand sides and to their rears.
- Always keep at least one hand on the steering wheel, and avoid distractions, such as 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.
- Remain extra attentive when backing up. Don’t rely on mirrors—turn and look to see for sure.
- Always follow at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.
- Drive courteously—don’t do anything that could incite road rage.
You can’t prevent all accidents—you can only reduce your risks. Driving requires constant attention and vigilance; keeping that attitude in mind will go far in helping you to avoid traffic accidents. Whether you merge into traffic on I-45 or go 20 miles per hour on Mall Ring Road at Woodlands Mall, vigilance is your best defense.
Because of the potentially severe consequences, automobile accidents remain a high risk even if the odds on any given day favor your safety. Federal statistics make it clear that you have a much greater chance of injury than death in an automobile accident. If you suffer injuries in an automobile accident, explore your rights to compensation. Most people’s first thoughts after suffering an injury do not turn to suing. Most people place their immediate focus on medical treatments, recovery, and dealing with vehicle damage.
However, you should also concern yourself with whether Texas law entitles you to compensation for your injuries. While you might consider negotiating with the responsible party’s insurance company yourself, the People’s Law Library of Maryland discourages self-representation in personal injury accidents. The complicated circumstances involved in most personal injury cases require investigative and legal experience most people do not possess.
Traffic accidents are no different from other accidents—they require representation from someone with expertise. Proving a case may require expertise in many areas, and an experienced personal injury lawyer should know how to handle your traffic accident case, including not just the law and negotiating, but also knowledge of the proof and expert testimony needed to win your case, and know how to provide such proof.
Questions You Should Ask Your Lawyer
If a traffic accident hurts you, you want the best lawyer you can find. To accomplish that, you have to go in armed with the questions that will help determine if you have found the right lawyer for you. Hopefully, you haven’t experienced many traffic accidents involving substantial damage claims. When that happens, though, you want representation from someone who does have experience with such claims. To that end, ask the following 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, professional awards, and recognitions have you earned?
- About how many traffic accident injury cases do you handle every year? How many do you settle, and how many go to trial?
Those are the first among many questions you should ask any potential lawyer. Other questions should go to management style, the strength of your case, the potential value of your claim, and other similar questions. First, though, is determining whether the attorney in question has the necessary knowledge and experience to handle your case.
After answering that question in the affirmative, secure in the knowledge that your attorney can handle your case well, you then need to determine how your attorney will do that—in other words, what is the attorney’s style of case management? This can prove just as important as the attorney’s knowledge and experience. You do not want to hire an attorney whose way of handling your case makes you uncomfortable. Will the attorney just tell you what to do? Will the attorney seek your input, offer you options, and let you decide? Neither method is incorrect, but you should have that information before deciding upon an attorney.
Questions about case management style 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 main point of contact?
• What other attorneys will work on my case?
• Will my case require expert witnesses? Who will serve those roles? What will they do? What will they cost?
• Will you give me progress reports? What will they contain? Will you provide them in writing or verbally?
• How do I reach you and how quickly will you respond?
Ask About Your Case’s Strengths and Weaknesses
You need to know how strong your case is, as well as the range of potential monetary recovery you may expect. Some cases aren’t worth pursuing. Most are. You’ll want to know where your case falls, so ask for your attorney to assess your case’s strengths and weaknesses. Ask about your chances for a settlement, because a settled case will take less time and cost less than one that goes to trial. If your case seems likely to go to trial, you need an assessment of your chances at recovery—and whether going to trial is worth the time and expense, or if you should push harder for a settlement. Ask about mediation or arbitration as options and whether they might prove worthwhile.
Ask how long your case might take to conclude, even though early on your attorney can only provide a pretty rough estimate. Still, because you have suffered damages, including medical expenses, property damage to your car, and possibly even missed time from work, you have to know at least generally how long your case could take so that you can deal with your finances in the interim. It likely will prove difficult to say how long your case will take with any precision. Many cases settle quickly. Litigation generally will take much longer. Despite the difficulty of providing an estimate, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
What Will My Case Cost Me?
Finally, you will want to know how much your legal representation will cost you, including how your attorney will calculate that amount. 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.
You may not even have to ask—an attorney who decides to take your case will likely tell you the basis of the firm’s fees right away. Regardless of who starts the conversation, make sure you fully understand how your attorney will calculate fees—through hourly billing or contingency—whether you will need to pay fees if your case doesn’t recover compensation, what percentage of any recovered compensation you have to pay, and what expenses will you have to pay.
Your insurer will pay for your actual expenses, both medical and property damages, even if you are at fault for the accident—although within your policy’s limits. And it might prove useful to let your attorney negotiate that amount, as well. Whether you can recover compensation beyond those actual expenses rests on whether the other driver caused the accident.
If You Suffered a Traffic Accident Injury in the Woodlands Area, the Attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, Can Help
If a traffic accident in The Woodlands area injured you, consult with a Woodlands 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, Attorney at Law, 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.
See what other clients are saying:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“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.”