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Memorial Day Marks the Beginning of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Memorial Day marked the unofficial start of summer and with it begins what some traffic experts have designated “the 100 deadliest days of summer.” The 100 day period sees sharp spikes in fatal accidents and drunk driving collisions, especially among teenagers.

Drunk Driving a Major Factor in the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

Even though there are only 98 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year, it is unlikely we will see much improvement in the fatal accident rate over previous years. As school lets out, more teen drivers and more new drivers will spend more time on the road. Combine this with summer parties and drinking, and you are left with a recipe for tragedy.

According to USA Today, experts have observed that the percentage of teenagers who drink and drive have decreased by more than half in the last twenty-five years; however, 16 to 21-year-old, are still seventeen times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08%, what state laws consider drunken driving, than drivers who have not been drinking.

According to the We Save Lives non-profit organization, an average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes stemming from any cause each month during the summer, an increase of more than a quarter compared with the other seasons.

In 2015, more than one of every one hundred thousand people under twenty-one was killed due to drunk driving accidents.

Other Factors that Contribute to the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer

In addition to driving while intoxicated, AAA cites the following as factors that contribute to the increased rate of fatal accidents that occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day:

  • Speeding
    • Teen drivers are involved in 10 percent of fatal speed-related accidents.
    • 29 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involving a teen driver are speed-related.
  • Nighttime Driving
    • 36 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving teen drivers occurred between 9 pm and 5 am.
    • Data shows a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.
  • Inexperience
    • New drivers between the ages of 16- and 17-years-old are three times as likely to be involved in a deadly crash as adults.
  • Driver Distraction
    • Nearly six in 10 teen crashes involve distracted driving.
    • Top distractions include talking to passengers and interacting with a smart phone.

2016 Texas Auto Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • 3,773 people were killed in Texas traffic accidents in 2016, marking a 5.45% increase from the 3,578 deaths reported in 2015.
  • 638 of the deaths reported in 2016 were attributed to head-on collision.
  • Alcohol was determined to be a factor in 987 traffic deaths, accounting for roughly 26% of all Texas traffic fatalities.
  • An additional 264,076 people were injured in auto accidents in Texas in 2016.
  • Based on reportable data for 2016, TxDOT estimates:
    • One person was killed in a traffic accident every 2 hours and 20 minutes.
    • One person was injured every 1 minute and 59 seconds.
    • A reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds.

Contact an Experienced Texas Auto Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced car accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty in Crash that Killed Houston Teen

Glass of dark liquor on a table next to a car key.

A suspected drunk driver has pleaded guilty to a fatal crash that killed a high school student who was returning home from prom.

Details of the Fatal Houston Crash

According to KWTX, the crash occurred when a pickup driven by 25-year-old Edin Palacios struck a vehicle carrying the teen and her prom date at a Houston intersection. Palacios was fleeing police when the crash occurred.

Jocelynn Valero, 18, was killed in the collision, and her date was injured.

Following the collision, Palacios was recorded as having a BAC that was nearly twice the legal limit. He has been jailed without bond and will face sentencing on Thursday.

Texas Drunk Driving Statistics

The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • 3,773 people were killed in Texas traffic accidents in 2016, marking a 5.45% increase from the 3,578 deaths reported in 2015.
  • 638 of the deaths reported in 2016 were attributed to head-on collision.
  • Alcohol was determined to be a factor in 987 traffic deaths, accounting for roughly 26% of all Texas traffic fatalities.
  • An additional 264,076 people were injured in auto accidents in Texas in 2016.
  • Based on reportable data for 2016, TxDOT estimates:
    • One person was killed in a traffic accident every 2 hours and 20 minutes.
    • One person was injured every 1 minute and 59 seconds.
    • A reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced Corpus Christi car accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

 

 

Police Search for Witnesses Following Cedar Park Crash that Killed 2 Children

Police are looking for witnesses as they seek answers in a Cedar Park crash that killed two children Wednesday afternoon.

Details of the Fatal Cedar Park Crash

According to News 4 San Antonio, the crash occurred around 3:35 pm Wednesday near the intersection of Highway 183 and West Whitestone Boulevard. Officers arrived at the scene to find a red SUV and a black pickup truck that had been involved in a collision.

Two children inside the SUV were declared dead at the scene while the female the driver of the SUV was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The two occupants of the truck sustained only minor injuries.

Police are still investigating the accident and are unsure who is at fault. It is also unclear if the occupants of the SUV were properly restrained.

Witnesses are asked to reach out to Cedar Park Police at 512-260-4834.

Texas Car Crash Statistics

The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT):

  • The fatality rate on Texas roadways for 2016 was 1.44 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled, which is a 3.59% increase from 2015.
  • 265,076 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2016.
  • In 2016 there were no deathless days on Texas roadways.
  • 57% of the state’s traffic fatalities occurred in rural areas.
  • Based on reportable crashes in Texas in 2016, 1 person was killed every 2 hours 20 minutes.

 Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our offices immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and we represent clients/victims all over the country.

 

 

 

AAA Texas to Offer Tipsy Tow to Prevent Drunk During on New Year’s Eve

Glass of dark liquor on a table next to a car key.

New Year’s Eve is among the deadliest days when it comes to drunk driving accidents. AAA Texas is encouraging everyone to take precautions to avoid driving under the influence and offering a free community service called Tipsy Tow as a last resort for intoxicated individuals needing to get home.

About Tipsy Tow

From 6:00 pm Sunday, December 31, 2017 to 6:00 am Monday, January 1, 2018, AAA Texas will offer their Tipsy Tow service as a free last resort to curb dunk driving on New Year’s Eve and help prevent the crashes, injuries, and deaths that come with driving while intoxicated.

Drivers, bartenders, restaurant managers, party hosts, and passengers of a drinking driver will all have the option to call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357) to give potential drunk drivers a free tow and ride home of up to 10 miles.

Tows are still available for distances greater than 10 miles, but drivers should expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor for any excess mileage.

Best of all, you do not need to be a AAA member to use the Tipsy Tow service. Keep in mind, the tow is one-way, one-time, and one-stop for the driver and their vehicle.

Tipsy Tow does not cover the following:

  • Towing of an inoperable vehicle
  • Tow’s to another establishment, repair facility, or any other location other than the driver’s home or a hotel where they are registered as a guest.
  • Requests to start a vehicle, change a flat tire, or deliver gas.
  • A request for “taxi” service for anyone other than the driver of the vehicle.

Other Tips to Follow If You Plan on Drinking This New Year’s Eve

If you drink or host a party this New Year’s Eve, remember the following:

  • Designate non-drinking drivers who can get everyone home safely.
  • Do not serve alcohol to anyone under the age 21.
  • Call a friend or family member for a ride home if you have been drinking.
  • Never ride in a vehicle driven by a person who has been drinking alcohol.
  • Save a cab company number or ride share app to your mobile device before heading out.
  • If you are hosting a party, offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages and treats for designated drivers. Also, consider offering gifts to guests who volunteer to be designated drivers.
  • Have a back-up plan to spend the night at the party if necessary.
  • Take care keys away from friends or relatives who have had too much to drink.

Who Is Going to Pay for My Medical Expenses Following My Texas Car Accident?

When you are involved in an auto accident caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of another, you want the adverse driver to pay for your medical expenses. However, you may also consider going through your own insurance for immediate medical needs pending the resolution of your claim.

What If I Can’t Afford My Immediate Medical Expenses?

When dealing with injuries that were caused by a Texas auto accident, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers in your community to provide your immediate healthcare needs based on the future of your case. What this means is that healthcare providers and even specialists will provide treatment and provide the bills for those procedures to you so you can apply those bills towards your claim.

Also, if you are working with an attorney on your case, do not be afraid to address any financial concerns you may have when speaking about your case. Your attorney is there to help you on you physical recovery in addition to your financial recover.

May attorneys work closely with medical providers and may even be able to refer you to a doctor or specialist who is both familiar with your injuries and is also willing to provide the medical attention you need based on the future of your case.

What Kinds of Medical Bills Can I Seek in My Texas Car Accident Claim?

Any and all medical expenses associated with the diagnoses and treatment of your injuries can be sought in you Texas car accident claim. You can also seek expenses related to your long-term recovery, such as physical therapy.

Typical examples of expenses sought in a Texas auto accident claim are:

  • Hospital bills
  • Laboratory fees
  • Surgery costs
  • Therapy and rehabilitation expenses
  • Costs of prescription medicines
  • Pain and suffering management

It is essential that you attend all medical appointments and therapy sessions as failure to attend these appointments may result in the defense challenging the validity of your injuries, possible lowering the damages awarded.

How Can I Prove My Medical Expenses?

Medical bills are complicated and proving your expenses will often require the help of medical experts and legal professionals. This is why it is so important that you seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Your attorney will make sure you injuries and medical expenses are thoroughly documented and that your damages are calculated and account for all future problems before submitting a request for compensation.

Your attorney will also consult with expert witnesses, both in the medical field and investigative field, to prove that your injuries are in fact the result of your accident.

Among the experts who may be hired for your personal injury case are:

  • Medical Doctors and Physicians
  • Biomechanical Engineers
  • Forensic Experts
  • Accident re-constructionists
  • Health care administrators
  • Wound care specialists
  • Reconstructive surgeons

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio, Texas and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, recalled drugs, child injuries, and auto accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact our offices immediately – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.

The Driver of the Truck that Hit Me Had No Insurance. What Are My Options?

If you have been injured in an car crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, it may seem like you have no way to seek financial compensation. This is not true! You are entitled to fair compensation, and a lack of responsibility and preparation on the adverse driver’s part does not preempt you from that right.

What Are Some Options I Have After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

If you are involved in an accident and find out that the adverse driver does not have insurance, you can report him to the Financial Responsibility Division for the State of Texas. This division monitors uninsured drivers who are illegally operating vehicles on Texas roadways.

Once this is done, the state can take action against the driver to help ensure that your damages may be paid, such as withholding the driver’s license or requiring the driver qualify for a specialized license pending part of your damages being paid.

Another option is to work through your own insurance company provided you have underinsured motorist coverage. Typically, underinsured driver will carry a much lower deductible than your standard collision coverage and will allow you to start processing your medical and repair expenses.

What if the Uninsured Driver was Operating a Commercial or Company Vehicle?

If the uninsured motorist was operating a commercial vehicle or company vehicle, there may be other types of claims and ways to pursue action against the entity that did not secure the insurance.

This can be complex, but it is possible provided you have an attorney that understands the complexities of commercial vehicle regulations. In such situations, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so they can begin investigating your case and processing your claim.

What Should I Do After an Auto Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver?

There are important steps you can take following an automobile accident that can help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones and protect your legal rights as an accident victim.

Steps to take after a car crash include:

  • Stop immediately after the crash
    • Even if a collision is minor, it is important to remain at the scene. Never flee from the scene of an accident as it is illegal and will only make matters worse.
  • Assess the situation
    • Car crashes can be disorientating. It is important that you take a moment to assess the situation. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Determine if it is safe to exit your vehicle and see what routes are available for a safe exit. Refrain from moving anyone who has suffered a back, neck, or spinal injury if at all possible.
  • Make the accident visible
    • Accidents are an unexpected disruption to traffic flow, and numerous accidents occur by drivers crashing into the site of a previous collision. You can prevent further accidents and hazards by turning on your vehicle’s warning lights, setting out reflectors, or activating road flares. It is also smart to keep a flashlight in your car – should an accident occur at night, you can carry the flashlight after exiting your vehicle to make yourself more visible.
  • Notify the police. If there is an emergency, contact 911.  
    • Otherwise, contact your local police department – even if there are no serious injuries. If there is an injury, be sure that paramedics are called to the scene as well. If there is any confusion whether or not an injury has occurred, err on the side of caution and have an ambulance respond to the scene. The authorities will also be able notate that an uninsured driver was involved in the accident.
  • Record the facts
    • Speak with the responding officers and be as accurate and forth coming as possible. Do not feel like you have to have all the answers. Do not speculate at the facts of the accident or whether you sustained an injury. If you are unsure how the accident occurred or unsure if you have sustained an injury, it is okay to respond with “I don’t know.”
  • Take pictures
    • A major benefit that has come with the popularity of cell phones is that the vast majority of people have a camera with them at all times. Take photos of your vehicle, any visible damage, the scene of the accident, and any injuries that you or a passenger may have suffered.
  • Gather and exchange information
    • More often than not, the responding officer will obtain insurance information from all drivers involved. If this does not occur, gather the name, phone number, and addresses of all persons involved in the accident, including passengers and witnesses. You should also obtain the insurance information of all driver involved by requesting to see each vehicle’s insurance card.
  • Seek medical attention
    • Pain and injuries may not be immediately evident following an accident. In fact, much of the pain will occur a day or two following the crash. Again, if there is any uncertainty whether you have sustained an injury, err on the side of caution. There is no harm in getting a check-up at your local emergency room or in making an appointment with your primary physician. Let them have the final say, even if only for peace of mind.
  • Contact an experienced car crash attorney
    • The role of your attorney is not simply to file a lawsuit. An attorney is responsible for protecting your rights and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. A good attorney will help you obtain and protect valuable evidence, provide legal advice before you provide a statement to the insurers, ensure you receive the medical attention you need, and press insurers to process your claim in a timely and fair manner. Should your rights be infringed upon, the best attorneys are those who are willing and ready to go to trial.

Contact an Experienced Car Crash Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced auto accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve. Our team of injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

Should I Release My Medical Records to Another Driver’s Insurance?

You should never release your medical records to another driver’s insurance adjuster as the records may contain confidential information.  Often times, the information contained in you medical records will be utilized improperly by the insurance company, and you need to make sure that when medical information is provided, it is conveyed in the right way and in a legal way.

Why Is the Insurance Adjuster Requesting My Medical Records?

When the request for your medical records is first made, it may seem entirely reasonable. After all, you are seeking compensation for the injuries you sustained in the accident, and the adjuster says the medical records will help “verify” what injuries occurred.

What the adjuster is leaving out is the fact that by allowing this medical release, you may be granting the insurance company access to your entire medical history. Unless a medical release is precisely worded, the insurance company will be permitted to review all of your medical records, not just those linked to your accident, for ways to dispute your claim to compensation.

The company hopes your records will include information regarding a pre-existing medical condition or a prior accident that your newly sustained injuries can be blamed on. The insurance company may even argue that your current injuries are not related to the accident in question at all!

If the adjuster wants access to your medical records, contact an attorney familiar with personal injury law. An experienced attorney will work with you to ensure that only the facts pertinent to your claim are released and that any details that you would not like publicly revealed remain confidential.

What if the Adjuster Asks Me to Complete an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

Despite the name, most independent medical examinations (IMEs) are not very independent. The IME is generally conducted by a physician hired by the insurance company, and this physician is inclined to return an opinion that is favorable to the insurance company because the insurance company refers numerous patients to them.

There is no reason you should submit to an IME before speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. If you are asked to complete an IME, call Thomas J. Henry immediately.

Do You Feel the Other Driver’s Insurance Company is Working Against Your Interest?

If you ever have any doubt whether or not an insurance company is working for your best interest, contact Thomas J. Henry. Thomas J. Henry has spent the last 25 years advocating for injured victims and is familiar with all the tricks, pitfalls, and scare tactics employed by insurance adjusters. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve. Our team of injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

If I Don’t Have Insurance, Can I Still Sue for a Texas Car Crash?

In Texas, if you are involved in an accident caused by the negligent or reckless driving of another, you are allowed to file a lawsuit even if you do not have insurance.

Some uninsured driver may be afraid to come forward or feel pressured into working out a deal directly with the driver at fault for fear that they may face legal consequences due to their driving without insurance. Do not fall for it – you are still entitled to your legal rights and fair compensation.

How Does Insurance Work in a Typical Car Accident?

When dealing with a typical auto accident, whose insurance pays for the damages is dependent on who is at fault for the collision.

  • Liability Coverage Under the Other Driver’s Insurance – If the other person’s insurance company accepts that their driver was responsible for your accident, they will normally pay a standard amount for you to have your car repaired. Unfortunately, most insurance companies aren’t known for their timeliness. This means you could be left without a car for days or even weeks as the insurance company determines fault, damages, and how much they are willing to pay. Beyond that, the insurer may try to low-ball your payout.
  • Collision Coverage Under Your Insurance – In situations in which the adverse driver is uninsured or underinsured, you will likely have to file your claim through your own insurance. In such situations, your deductible will likely be lowered or even waived provided you have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage. A major benefit of dealing with your own insurer is that they are much more likely to want to help than the adverse driver’s insurer and will be faster at getting your claim resolved.

Note that their is not prerequisite saying you are barred from seeking compensation from the other driver’s insurance if you do not have insurance of your own. They only requirement is that that driver is determined to be at fault for your accident and your injuries.

How Is Fault Proven in a Texas Car Crash?

In Texas, the legal standard for you to win your Texas auto accident case is by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you only need to prove that your version of the facts, damages, and fault is more likely correct than the defendants.

With that, your attorney will focus on establishing these five elements:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care – As a driver, the defendant owed a duty of care not only to other drivers, but to all other road users. This duty of care means that they were required to act with a reasonable standard of care and practice the same watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that a reasonable person would practice under similar circumstances.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care – The defendant breached the duty of care they owed you by action or inaction. This can include reckless driving, distracted driving, driving under the influence, failure to maintain proper attention, failure to observe to traffic signs, or failure to maintain safe following distance.
  • Cause in fact – The defendant’s actions were the actual cause of the your injuries. This can normally shown through the “but-for” test. For example, if a bus driver ran a red light and hit a pickup and the driver of the pickup suffered back injuries, the “but-for” test would state “But for the bus driver running the red light, the pickup driver would not have sustained his back injuries.”
  • Proximate cause – Your injuries were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s behavior. For example, a drunk driver hitting and killing a pedestrian is a foreseeable consequence of the driver choosing to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. However, if a drunk driver were to collide with an 18-wheeler carrying volatile chemicals which exploded on impact and caused a poorly maintained utility pole a half-mile away to fall over and injure a pedestrian on a late night walk, it is unlikely the drunk driver would be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries as the collapse of the utility pole is a highly unforeseeable consequence of the defendant’s drunk driving.
  • Damages – You have suffered hardship that the civil justice system can compensate you for. This may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, or mental anguish.

What Should I Do After a Texas Auto Accident?

There are important steps you can take following an automobile accident that can help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones and protect your legal rights as an accident victim.

Steps to take after a car crash include:

  • Stop immediately after the crash
    • Even if a collision is minor, it is important to remain at the scene. Never flee from the scene of an accident as it is illegal and will only make matters worse.
  • Assess the situation
    • Car crashes can be disorientating. It is important that you take a moment to assess the situation. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Determine if it is safe to exit your vehicle and see what routes are available for a safe exit. Refrain from moving anyone who has suffered a back, neck, or spinal injury if at all possible.
  • Make the accident visible
    • Accidents are an unexpected disruption to traffic flow, and numerous accidents occur by drivers crashing into the site of a previous collision. You can prevent further accidents and hazards by turning on your vehicle’s warning lights, setting out reflectors, or activating road flares. It is also smart to keep a flashlight in your car – should an accident occur at night, you can carry the flashlight after exiting your vehicle to make yourself more visible.
  • Notify the police. If there is an emergency, contact 911.  
    • Otherwise, contact your local police department – even if there are no serious injuries. If there is an injury, be sure that paramedics are called to the scene as well. If there is any confusion whether or not an injury has occurred, err on the side of caution and have an ambulance respond to the scene.
  • Record the facts
    • Speak with the responding officers and be as accurate and forth coming as possible. Do not feel like you have to have all the answers. Do not speculate at the facts of the accident or whether you sustained an injury. If you are unsure how the accident occurred or unsure if you have sustained an injury, it is okay to respond with “I don’t know.”
  • Take pictures
    • A major benefit that has come with the popularity of cell phones is that the vast majority of people have a camera with them at all times. Take photos of your vehicle, any visible damage, the scene of the accident, and any injuries that you or a passenger may have suffered.
  • Gather and exchange information
    • More often than not, the responding officer will obtain insurance information from all drivers involved. If this does not occur, gather the name, phone number, and addresses of all persons involved in the accident, including passengers and witnesses. You should also obtain the insurance information of all driver involved by requesting to see each vehicle’s insurance card.
  • Seek medical attention
    • Pain and injuries may not be immediately evident following an accident. In fact, much of the pain will occur a day or two following the crash. Again, if there is any uncertainty whether you have sustained an injury, err on the side of caution. There is no harm in getting a check-up at your local emergency room or in making an appointment with your primary physician. Let them have the final say, even if only for peace of mind.
  • Contact an experienced car crash attorney
    • The role of your attorney is not simply to file a lawsuit. An attorney is responsible for protecting your rights and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. A good attorney will help you obtain and protect valuable evidence, provide legal advice before you provide a statement to the insurers, ensure you receive the medical attention you need, and press insurers to process your claim in a timely and fair manner. Should your rights be infringed upon, the best attorneys are those who are willing and ready to go to trial.

My Motorcycle Was Totaled in an Accident. Will My Insurance Replace My Bike?

Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you may have the ability to get your motorcycle replaced after it is totaled in an accident. However, if your accident was someone else’s fault, Texas law allows you to pursue the fair market value of your bike from that individual’s or company’s insurance.

How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents in 2015. This marked an 8% increase from the number of fatalities recorded in 2014.

Additionally, 88,000 people sustained injuries in motorcycle accidents in 2015, marking a slight decrease from the 92,000 injuries reported in 2014.

While motorcycles only account for 3% of all registered vehicles on the road, motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities. This is due to the limited protection offered by a motorcycle in the event of a collision.

Texas reported the third highest motorcyclist fatalities of any state in 2014 with 443 deaths. Texas fell behind Florida with 616 deaths and California with 462 deaths.

What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

  • Speeding
    • Speeding motorists can mistake how fast a motorcycle is traveling, resulting in a rear end accident.
  • Objects/items in the roadway
    • Hazards that pose a minimal risk to automobiles can be major threats for motorcyclists. Potholes, uneven pavement, debris or objects in the road (like tire treads, things fallen from trucks, branches, or rocks) can quickly cause an accident.
    • When commercial motor vehicles, such as semi-trucks, fail to properly secure their load, objects can fall onto the roadways. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to items in the road when traveling at high speeds.
  • Motorists not seeing the motorcycle
    • Because motorcycles are smaller and more easily hidden by objects on or off the road, other vehicles are less likely to see them.
    • Many automobile drivers claim they “never saw” the motorcycle before a collision.
  • Mechanical issues
    • A defect in a motorcycle’s design or manufacturing can easily cause an accident; this could be the basis for a product liability case.

What Are Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcyclists do not benefit from the protection and safety features enclosed passenger vehicles provide – so, when a crash does occur, the results are often catastrophic. The resulting injuries can lead to permanent damage and disability, astronomical medical bills, loss of wages, and a lower quality of life.

Among the most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists involved in a crash are:

When these injuries and damages are the result of someone else’s negligence, motorcyclists can file a personal injury lawsuit. By hiring an attorney, you are ensuring that you stand the best chance of receiving the compensation and justice you deserve.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of motorcycle injury victims and work to make sure that the person responsible pays for the pain he/she caused.

Because we understand that being injured in a motorcycle accident causes lifetime pain and suffering, we put constant pressure on the insurance company and driver involved to ensure you receive the maximum monetary compensation you deserve. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends and we represent clients/victims all over the country.

 

What is the Purpose of Obtaining Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Although every driver is required to be covered by auto liability insurance — insurance that covers for another driver’s expenses if you cause an automobile accident — some drivers either have no coverage, coverage that has lapsed, or coverage that will not sufficiently cover damages in the event that they cause an accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in eight drivers were uninsured in the United States in 2012.

If an uninsured or underinsured driver crashes into your vehicle and you are injured, you may be stuck with thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.

In these cases, it is vital to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, sometimes referred to as UM/UIM coverage. In some states, it is required to have UM/UIM auto coverage. In other states, like Texas, by law you are afforded the opportunity to purchase UM/UIM coverage with your auto insurance policy. It is crucial to purchase this optional coverage to protect you, your passengers, and your finances.

What is Covered by Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Purchasing UM/UIM coverage can protect you from having to pay out of pocket for a variety of expenses, including:

  • Medical expenses for you and your passengers
  • Funeral expenses
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Rental car
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Permanent disability

In addition, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run auto accident or if you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, UM/UIM coverage can help you get the compensation you need for the damages that you incurred.

Have you been involved in a hit-and-run crash? Learn more about your legal options in our blog post: What can I recover for a Texas hit-and-run injury?

How does Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

In the event of an accident caused by another driver, you may discover that the adverse driver’s liability coverage limits are not sufficient enough to cover your damages. If, for example, your damages total $50,000 but the adverse driver’s liability coverage only covers $25,000, if you have an underinsured motorist coverage policy (with a limit such as $50,000), your insurance company will pick up the remaining difference of $25,000.

Without UM/UIM coverage in this scenario, you will likely have to sue the adverse driver to recover the difference. In many cases, uninsured or underinsured drivers will not have the assets to pay for the remaining damages, which means that you will have to foot the bill for the remaining costs.

If you’re unsure if you have UM/UIM coverage, contact your auto insurance provider. Purchasing this coverage can save your and your family from unexpected and expensive costs in the event of an accident.

Injured in an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

If you have been the victim of an accident involving a driver without a sufficient amount of liability coverage to compensate you for your injuries, contact Thomas J. Henry. Call our law offices today for a free case review — available 24/7, nights and weekends.

There are often important procedures and processes involved in receiving compensation in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage claims. Our experienced accident attorneys can help you get the full amount of compensation that you are owed and ensure that the insurance companies are looking after your best interests.

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