Austin reported more than 15,000 car accidents in 2018, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. This resulted in 439 serious car accidents and 67 fatalities. Of these accidents, 1,137 involved alcohol, resulting in 12 fatalities.

At our Mario Davila law firm, we help victims of car accidents. Our attorneys have extensive experience in Austin car accident cases. They will analyze your case and determine the best legal strategy to achieve a positive outcome.

What are attorney contingency fees?

It’s essential that you hire an experienced Austin car accident attorney. Our lawyers at Mario Davila will work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Our law firm doesn’t charge an upfront fee. Instead, we work based on contingency fees, which means our attorneys will receive a percentage of the money recovered at trial or in a settlement. If a car accident victim doesn’t receive any money, no fees will be charged. However, a client may be responsible for some expenses, such as court filing fees and expert witness fees.

How long do I have to file a claim?

In Texas, a person injured in a car accident has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim.

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Where do car accidents most frequently occur in Austin?

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Interstate 35 (I-35) in Austin is the scene of many car accidents every year. From State Highway 130 through Buda, more than 226,000 vehicles travel every day on I-35. Traffic intensifies as you approach downtown, and local trips account for most of the congestion.

I-35 has either three or four lanes in each direction. The highway is divided into two decks between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Airport Boulevard, north of downtown Austin. The upper and lower decks of I-35 have I-35 and US 290 signs. This can be confusing to drivers because the exit signs use common numbers that may repeat.

In addition, the upper deck lanes are express, without any entry or exit ramps. When traveling in these lanes, drivers can become disoriented and make sudden stops, fail to signal lane changes, and/or cut off others abruptly, which can lead to serious Austin car accidents.

What are the most common types of car accidents in Austin?

The most common types of car accidents in Austin include the following:

Rear-end collisions

When a car hits the rear of the car in front of it. This can happen when there’s heavy traffic, or when a driver stops without paying attention. About 40% of the 7.25 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. are rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Single-vehicle accidents

When a single vehicle runs off the road and strikes a stationary object, such as a traffic sign, guardrail, or tree. This type of accident can be caused by the driver’s behavior, such as swerving to avoid a head-on collision, distracted driving or impairment.

Collisions at intersections

Also known as T-Bone accidents, these occur when one driver runs a red light while another traveling in the opposite direction turns left or pulls into traffic. More than one driver can be at fault in a T-Bone accident. Often, the responsible party is either the person running the red light or the other driver failing to yield.

Side-impact collisions

When two vehicles make contact when traveling side by side in the same direction. These accidents can also occur when a motorist attempts to change lanes and fails to check either side before merging. Usually this happens due to erratic driving or changing lanes quickly without leaving enough room for the other car.

Sideswipe accidents

A sideswipe crash occurs when both vehicles are parallel to each other, but one hits or scrapes the side of the other as it passes by.

Head-on collisions

This is the most dangerous type of car accident due to the great force of both vehicles. These accidents are often fatal or result in serious injury. Head-on collisions are usually the result of negligence, including distracted driving, speeding or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Low-speed accidents

When a vehicle travels at a slow speed, such as a driver moving in reverse in a parking lot. These car accidents happen at speeds of less than 10 miles per hour. Even at such low speeds, drivers can suffer injuries, such as soft tissue damage, stress-related heart problems or other complications.

The most common cause of Austin car accidents

Speeding is the most common cause of traffic crashes in Austin. Nearly a quarter (24%) of all accidents in the city can be attributed to speeding. In addition, other factors causing car accident fatalities include distractions, drunk driving, and failure to yield.

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How is fault determined in an Austin car accident?

In Texas, an injured driver or passenger may file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver due to damages they suffered during the accident. Texas uses the doctrine of "modified comparative negligence," which allocates damages among the parties involved in a lawsuit. It limits compensation to only those who are less than half at fault for the accident.

What damages can I recover from an Austin car accident?

There are different categories of damages that can be recovered after a car accident. One involves economic damages, which are any "out-of-pocket expenses" that the injured person incurs as a result of the accident. Economic damages include:

  • The cost of car repairs.
  • Loss of earning capacity.
  • Household services.
  • Lost wages.
  • Future medical expenses.

A victim of a car accident may also recover non-economic damages as compensation for their injuries. These include the following:

  • Disfigurement.
  • Loss of consortium.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of society and companionship.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Permanent disability.

Although rare, a plaintiff in a car accident may also recover punitive damages if the injuries were caused intentionally by malice, oversight or gross negligence by the motorist.

How do car accident settlements work in Austin?

It depends. Every case is different, and many factors influence the settlement.

First, a party's willingness to settle and the amount offered after a car accident will depend primarily on the case’s supporting evidence. This evidence can be in the form of witness statements, police reports, expert analysis and other documentation.

Your Austin car accident lawyer will help you negotiate with the insurance company. You should never attempt negotiations without the help of an attorney experienced in this type of legal work. While Texas law prohibits insurance companies from engaging in unfair claim settlement practices (such as knowingly misrepresenting relevant facts and policy provisions, or negotiating in bad faith), they often seek to pay the least amount possible for a car accident claim.

In attempting to settle a claim, the insurance company agent may ask the victim to sign a release stating that they won’t file any other claims related to the accident. However, you shouldn’t sign anything until your accident attorney has reviewed your case and determined that the total settlement amount covers all of your damages, including future medical treatment.

There is no precise rule for calculating compensation. However, your Austin car accident lawyer will examine several relevant factors, including:

  • The severity of the victim's injuries or illness.
  • The cost of necessary medical expenses.
  • Loss of past earnings.
  • Loss of future wages.
  • Involved parties' insurance coverage.
  • The amount of evidence available.

Another important factor to consider in a settlement is whether the victim was at fault in causing the accident. Texas negligence law has adopted the doctrine of "modified comparative negligence," which bars or reduces a victim’s damages according to their percentage of fault.

What should I do immediately after a car accident?

Speak with an experienced Austin car accident lawyer

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you must understand all your legal options. You need a skilled and experienced attorney at Mario Davila to help you navigate your case and protect your rights.

Contact our attorneys at Mario Davila today

A serious car accident can cause drastic changes to a victim's physical, mental and emotional health, as well as their financial well-being. Our Austin car accident attorneys at Mario Davila will help you recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, contact our Mario Davila law firm in Austin.

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