Wrong-way accidents can be byproducts of carelessness, reckless behavior, and even bad luck in certain situations. Unfortunately, those accidents also often have tragic outcomes. If you or someone you know was involved in that type of incident, quickly hiring a wrong-way accident lawyer is highly recommended.
The odds of you or someone you know in a wrong-way accident may be greater than what you have assumed. Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 13,845 fatal frontal impact crashes occurred in 2020. There is a good chance that many of those fatal crashes are also wrong-way accidents.
Let’s use this article to talk at length about those wrong-way crashes. We will discuss why they are so common and how you can best deal with the aftermath of one as a San Antonio resident.
Why Are There So Many Wrong-Way Crashes in Texas?
Wrong-way car accidents are fairly common in Texas. Therefore, it is important to know the contact details of an experienced wrong-way accident attorney so you can request help immediately if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation. But why are those crashes so common in the Lone Star State? The reasons detailed below should shed more light on the matter.
Texas Is a Populous State
First, Texas is more likely to produce higher accident numbers simply because of how populous it is. Texas is the second most populated state in the country, behind only California. With a population of well over 29 million residents as of 2021, it should be no surprise that car accidents happen more often in Texas. You will likely find roads packed with cars at various points throughout the day, and those settings are more conducive to crashes.
Out-of-State Motorists Frequently Use Texas Roads
To further understand why wrong-way crashes are common in Texas, we must acknowledge that the state is a hub for interstate travel. In addition, Texas is both a tourist destination and a state that connects to various other points of interest. It is common to see Bexar County roads populated with tourists for those reasons.
Many of those tourists are also unfamiliar with Texas roads. Because of that, they are more likely to be involved in wrong-way crashes. A good head-on collision lawyer can help you deal with an accident involving an out-of-state motorist.
The Prevalence of Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is a serious issue in Texas. Texas leads the country in alcohol-related traffic fatalities. In 2018, the state recorded a total of 1,677 alcohol-related traffic deaths. On top of that, Texas also tallied the second-highest percentage of fatal crashes related to drunk driving. With a mark of 46%, Texas only trails Montana (48%) when it comes to that metric.
Given how widespread the issue of drunk driving is in Texas, you truly do need to have a San Antonio car accident attorney who can respond to any emergency.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney if the Accident Was Not My Fault?
Texas is an at fault state, and that is an important thing to remember if you are ever involved in a car accident. Since these rules apply, the party responsible for the incident will provide compensation. Following your wrong-way car accident, there may be no doubt in your mind that the fault lies with the other driver. That thought is so solidified in your mind that the thought of hiring a car crash attorney may have never occurred to you.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that things will work out in your favor, even if you did not cause the accident. The other party involved in the accident may distort the facts so convincingly that you may end up on the defensive. Hiring a car accident attorney is necessary to protect your interests. Your attorney will highlight your case’s facts and definitively prove that you should bear no blame for the accident. They can also investigate the matter further to bolster your claims.
Do not assume that your claims of innocence will be enough to win your case. Instead, enlist the help of a personal injury attorney so you can strengthen your position.
How Much Is My Wrong Way Accident Case Worth?
The value of your personal injury claim will depend on several factors. When gauging the value of your claim, you should first examine your losses. For example, what medical expenses have you incurred, and what is the extent of property damage? By answering those questions with your car accident lawyer, you should better understand the value of your lawsuit.
In certain cases, plaintiffs may also seek non-economic damages to bolster their claims. The defendant may also be more amenable to offering a generous settlement if you have plenty of evidence on your side. On the other hand, they may already understand that they have no chance of winning in court, so they may be open to settling for a higher number.
Your settlement’s value may also be affected by the defendant’s insurance policy. As a result, the value of your settlement may become limited by the defendant’s policy. Work closely with a San Antonio injury law firm specializing in auto accidents to ensure that you get the highest settlement offer available in your case.
Fatal Car Accidents and “Wrongful Death”
We all know that accidents can happen. It is unfortunate, but there are cases where the loss of life is purely due to bad luck.
However, some car accidents have more sinister origins. Fatal car accidents become wrongful death cases due to one party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. Once a fatal car accident becomes a wrongful death case, the decedent’s surviving family members can take action to pursue compensation against the responsible party.
According to Texas law, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the decedent are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Texas law also states that the executor of the decedent’s estate can file the wrongful death claim if none of the parties do so within three months of the injured party’s passing. However, the executor of the decedent’s estate cannot take that action if the surviving spouse, children, and parents specifically mentioned their opposition to it.
Plaintiffs should also know that the burden of proof is lower in wrongful death cases relative to criminal charges. That is because wrongful death claims are still civil claims. If you want to maximize your odds of securing compensation following the death of your loved one, pursuing a wrongful death claim with a fatal car accident lawyer may be your best option.
Texas Car Accident Laws: What You Need to Know
It is always good to be aware of the laws that will be relevant to your wrong-way accident case. We have highlighted two of the most important ones to keep in mind in this section of the article.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Cases
The Texas personal injury statute of limitations acts as a deadline for filing personal injury cases. Exceed that deadline without filing your lawsuit, and the court may quickly dismiss following the defendant’s request. In Texas, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is at two years from the date of the original incident. We know that two years sounds like a long time but trust us when we say it can go by quickly. Simply recovering from your injuries may already set you back several weeks and months, so you should get to work on filing the lawsuit as soon as possible.
Work with an auto accident attorney to ensure that you file on time. Task them with filing the lawsuit on your behalf so you do not risk missing any deadlines.
The Doctrine of Proportionate Responsibility
The other Texas law we want to highlight in this section of the article is the doctrine of proportionate responsibility. The doctrine of proportionate responsibility directly affects the amount of compensation you may receive in your case. Due to proportionate responsibility, a plaintiff’s financial award may be reduced based on the percentage of blame they share for the accident. Proportionate responsibility also disqualifies plaintiffs from receiving compensation if they bear more than 50% of the blame.
A wrong-way accident lawyer can stop the defendant from unfairly shifting blame onto you to minimize their financial responsibility.
San Antonio Car Accident Attorney
The car accident lawyers at our San Antonio injury law firm are no strangers to auto accident cases. Reach out to us today if you need experts handling your personal injury claim.