Car accidents are a daily occurrence. In one recent year, the Texas Department of Transportation pointed out that, in Texas alone, one reportable car crash occurred every 66 seconds. Sadly, many of these accidents are the consequence of someone’s careless driving. When a driver acts carelessly, he or she may be held civilly liable to any injured person for the harm that ensued. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a car accident caused by someone’s negligence, Jeramie Gertz can advise you. As a San Antonio attorney focused on car accident cases, I represent individuals and families in Bexar County and the surrounding areas, and I can help you find out if you may be entitled to compensation for the harm that you have suffered.
Holding a Careless Driver Liable for Damages
Driver error is one of the most common causes of car accidents. Dangerous behaviors include excessive speeding, running stop lights or stop signs, making illegal turns, texting while driving, or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While modern vehicle manufacturers have strived to make injuries less common or severe when accidents do occur, there is no way to make roads completely safe when drivers themselves fail to take sufficient care.
Carelessness by a person or entity usually gives rise to a negligence claim, which has four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. When undertaking any task, including driving, people owe a legal duty to others to avoid creating foreseeable risks of harm. Most traffic laws and rules of the road are in place specifically to keep people safe. Unfortunately, people do not always observe these laws and rules of the road, and usually the result is an accident. The causation element of a negligence claim requires a lawyer to show that the victim would not have been hurt if the defendant had used the appropriate level of care. Thus, the defendant’s careless conduct must have directly resulted in the accident.
Often, people assume that vehicle insurance will adequately handle the costs of any injuries arising out of a car accident. Sometimes this may be the case. Under Texas law, however, drivers need only have liability insurance, and the minimum amounts required are $30,000 for each injured person, $60,000 for injuries per incident, and $25,000 for property damage. Accidents can lead to costs and losses far in excess of these limits.
If you are hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you should make sure to pursue all of the damages to which you may be legally entitled. Some common examples include pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and property damage. In some extreme cases, punitive damages may be available.
Even if you think you may be partially at fault for an accident, you may still be able to obtain a reduced amount of damages. Under the Texas comparative fault rule, an injured person can potentially still recover compensation unless he or she is 51% or more responsible.
Discuss Your Case with a San Antonio Attorney Experienced in Car Accident Cases
If you have been involved in a car accident, make sure that you understand your legal rights. In Texas, you have only two years from the date of the crash to file a claim for damages against a negligent party. For a free consultation with lawyer Jeramie Gertz, call us today at 210-807-4444 .