Experienced Car Accident Lawyers Protecting Your Rights
In 2022, 42,795 people lost their lives in car accidents. Insurance companies are not in the business of fairly compensating people injured in a car wreck–no matter how negligent the other driver was. A car accident lawyer balances the playing field by fighting for your rights when someone else causes a wreck and injures you. If you have been injured in an auto accident, Our car accident lawyers are based in Houston and can help put your life back together and get you the financial compensation you need to get you on the road to recovery.
There are many injury accident law firms to choose from in Houston, Texas, but few can say they have been exclusively speaking up for the injured since 1979.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers today. Dial 800-298-0111 for details on how to schedule your free car accident consultation now.
Call Our Award-Winning Houston Car Accident Attorneys With Decades Of Experience
Paul H. Cannon tried his first car accident trial in 1996 and is board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has tried over 50 car accident injury cases to verdict and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Magazine by Thompson-Reuters from 2017 to 2023 and Top 100 Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association from 2017 to 2023.
Sharon Simmons-Cantrell earned her Texas bar license in 1991 and has been practicing personal injury law with Simmons and Fletcher ever since. She was recognized as a Top Lawyer by H Texas Magazine from 2013-2019. Her years of experience working as a motor vehicle accident attorney in this field give her great insight and understanding of what her clients endure and how to help them.
Christopher Keith Fletcher earned his law degree from Baylor Law School and passed the bar in 2009. Since then his relentless aggressive representation of clients has earned him recognition published in Texas Monthly Magazine as a Rising Star by Thompson-Reuters in 2020 to 2023 and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney by the National Trial Lawyers Association 2016-2023.
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Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Houston, TX
Not all car accidents and injuries are the same. For the best outcomes, it’s crucial to understand the specifics. Types of car accidents vary depending on the vehicle you are operating, the vehicle the other driver is operating, the insurance coverage available, or the driver’s mental state and/or degree of intoxication. Types of car accident injuries vary based on the vehicles involved and the severity of the car crash. Our practice areas cover a wide range of these accident types.
Not every auto accident attorney in Houston is the same either. You need a car crash lawyer near you with experience handling the tricks that insurance adjusters will throw at you. Here are some of the common types of accidents in Houston that we handle on behalf of our clients:
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Dram Shop Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber Accidents
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
- Passenger Claims
- Car Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
Five Common Reasons Car Accidents Happen
Five of the common reasons we see car accidents happen are:
- Running Stops Signs & Lights
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Wrong-Way Driving Accidents
A complete list can be found at: Tips of Filing Accident Claims.
Common Types of Injuries vs Uncommon Injuries
Our Houston car accident attorneys have years of experience handling cases involving injuries ranging from common whiplash of the neck to the most serious brain injuries, and fatal accidents that result in death. Keep in mind, that while many injury law firms know how to file insurance claims, an experienced Houston car wreck attorney can help you document the full future impact of your injury and seek a recovery that considers your future needs.
From brain injuries to broken bones to simple soft tissue injuries, our attorneys have seen it all. Some of the types of injuries that we have helped people recover from over the years include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury. TBI is a very serious injury that can be mild or severe. It may be a result of the impact or as a result of the skull being bounced back and forth in an impact.
- Bone Fracture. Broken bones are very common in car wrecks ranging from fingers all the way up to the spine.
- Whiplash Rear-end collisions and head-on collisions commonly cause a whipping of the head back and forth that may result in the tearing of the soft tissues and ligaments along the neck and back. This is probably the most common injury in a car wreck.
- Retinal Detachment/Eye Injury. Eye injuries such as a detached retina occur when occupants are thrown face-first into the dash, steering wheel, back of a headrest, or even the airbags. Flying glass can easily get into the eye and cause issues as well.
- Disfigurement & Scarring. Any contact with parts of the car in the impact may result in lacerations that require surgery/stitches.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. The spine is not made to be a crash test dummy. Injuries including herniated discs, bulging discs, ruptured discs, broken vertebrae, and even paralysis may result from blows to the spinal cord.
- Ruptured Spleen. Direct blunt-force trauma to the abdomen from the steering wheel, dash, or airbags can cause the spleen to tear and allow blood to pour into the abdomen.
- Amputation/Limb Loss. The loss of a finger or limb may result from a serious impact, particularly with 18-wheelers and other large commercial motor vehicles.
- Catastrophic Injury. Injuries that have a life-long effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal everyday functions may occur in a serious auto accident.
Navigating through the aftermath of a car accident is a dangerous journey that anyone can face. If your vehicle was hit in Houston traffic, it’s vital to first seek medical attention and then receive assistance from a knowledgeable Houston personal injury attorney. Remember, not all accident cases are the same; each type offers its own set of challenges.
As a trusted personal injury law firm, Simmons & Fletcher, P.C. is always ready to focus on your specific needs and ensure your safety. From the initial ambulance call to understanding the comparative blame conditions relevant to your case, our commitment remains unwavering. We not only have demonstrated experience handling car accident cases, but we also have a grip on the negotiations and claims process that follow.
If you think things are moving too fast, just remember that we are here to help you every step of the way. The next hours after an accident are crucial, and it’s better to start the recovery process right away. With the speed and efficiency of our team, you’ll be on the path to recovery in no time.
Whether you need to meet with us immediately or consider your options, Simmons & Fletcher, P.C. is the point of safety and excellence everyone should turn to. So, before you fill out any form or follow other advice, ensure you meet with a reliable Houston car accident lawyer who always offers good guidance. Don’t just settle; ensure you have an advocate who can help you navigate the intricate complexities of Texas law and stand firm when it matters most.
Don’t let the blame game slow you down; let us help you move forward. Call us today for your free consultation: (713) 932-0777.
What Do Our Clients Say About Us?
Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “This firm is very efficient and nice to work with. I was kept in the know on every aspect of the case. I would recommend this firm for their knowledge and expertise.”
– Rebecca P., actual client.
Working With Insurance Companies After Your Car Accident in Houston
Injury claims are often hotly contested by insurance companies even where liability is clear. Thus, if you were involved in an auto accident and suffered serious injuries, you cannot leave it up to the other party or their insurance company to fairly compensate you. It is their job to devalue your case.
Sadly, many people wait to talk to a Houston automobile accident lawyer until after they have attempted to handle the case on their own with a friendly insurance adjuster who promised they would take full responsibility. This is detrimental because these adjusters risk not contacting you again and the lapse of time may hinder your chances of getting sound legal representation from a qualified Houston auto accident attorney.
When it comes to negotiations with insurance companies, their interests often differ from yours. They usually provide general insurance information, making settlement offers that might feel a little lacking. That’s where a Houston car accident lawyer can step in and negotiate on your behalf, ensuring your best interests are at the forefront. An outstanding legal team can make all the difference, possibly securing millions of dollars in compensation if the case merits. Unfortunately, victims often fall prey to the pitfalls of comparative negligence or modified comparative fault without proper guidance. But, with the right support, you can avoid these challenges.
In times like these, rely on an experienced Houston car accident lawyer on your side. Reach out to the law office of Simmons & Fletcher, P.C. to get your free case evaluation: (713) 932-0777.
Damages a Houston Car Wreck Lawyer Can Recover For Their Clients
Texas law allows for the recovery of many kinds of damages. If you have suffered injuries due to an auto collision, you are entitled to claim the following damages:
- Lost Income & Lost Wage Earning Capacity
- Pain & Suffering
- Mental Anguish/Emotional Distress
- Medical Expenses
- Scarring & Disfigurement
Damages a Spouse Can Recover Following a Car Wreck
When you suffer a serious injury, spouses have the ability to assert claims for the following:
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Household Services
- Loss of Spousal Support
- Loss of Inheritance
- Wrongful Death
How a Houston Auto Accident Attorney Can Help You
After a serious injury from a driving accident, there are many factors to take into consideration. A Houston auto accident lawyer at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. can help you with:
- locating doctors who are willing to see you and provide you with the medical care you need
- identifying and notifying all of the potential parties and their insurance companies and employers
- pursuing compensation for all elements of damages the law allows
- investigating the causes of the wreck, preserving evidence, and taking witness statements
- rafting a demand letter
- negotiating a settlement
- litigating the case and trying the lawsuit.
With our years of experience advocating on behalf of our clients, our team of experienced car accident lawyers in Houston have won multiple cases which have resulted in recovering millions of dollars for them.
We have seen the devastating effects these accidents can have on victims and we make sure to hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions. Don’t wait. Contact a qualified legal team of car accident lawyers who are ready to serve you. Call us today: (713) 932-0777.
Looking for a Houston Auto Accident Lawyer? Call Us For Your Free Consultation!
Following a collision, you’re going to have a lot of questions. When you are injured but not at fault you have two main legal options:
- Handling the case on your own; or,
- Hiring a lawyer to pursue the claim for you.
If you choose to handle your auto accident claim on your own, you need to be aware of the risks. Everything you say to the adjuster can and will be used against you. They will also likely try to settle your injury claim quickly before you know the full amount of the bills or the full extent of your injuries.
Your second (and best) option is to hire and talk with a Houston personal injury attorney from Simmons & Fletcher, P.C.. They can represent you and also help you find doctors who will see you on a letter of protection–a promise to be paid after the case is resolved if they delay any collection efforts. Our team of personal injury lawyers near you is likely to know local doctors who can work with you on getting needed medical care on credit.
We have over 40 years of professional legal experience throughout the state of Texas.
Being involved in an accident, especially a drunk driving accident, can be overwhelming. When such a misfortune happens, it’s vital to remain safe and seek the medical treatment necessary. Car accidents can vary significantly, with different types posing their unique challenges. Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a fatal car incident, knowing what to do is crucial. An experienced Texas car accident attorney can guide you through the legal process and help you better understand your legal rights.
It’s essential to gather evidence quickly, as state law often has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, sometimes as brief as two years. With no upfront costs, choosing to work with an experienced personal injury attorney is a decision you’ll likely not regret.
At Simmons & Fletcher, P.C., to better serve our clients, we provide links to essential resources, helping them navigate this challenging time. Remember, the journey post-accident can be long, but with the right Houston car accident attorney, you’re not alone. Take the time to explore our testimonials and success cases to see for yourself how we can provide unmatched assistance during these trying times. Your well-being is our top priority, and we will fight with all we have to ensure you are awarded what you deserve.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is already challenging. Let us shoulder some of the burden. If you’re looking for legal representation, know that our Houston personal injury lawyers are only one phone call away. Contact us today to request your free consultation: (713) 932-0777.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Much Does a Houston Car Accident Attorney Charge?
Houston car wreck lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis and are typically paid a percentage of what they recover plus they get reimbursed for any expenses they payout along the way.
It is common to pay 33.33% if the case is settled without a lawsuit filed, 40% if a lawsuit is filed, and 45% if the case is appealed after trial to a higher court.
What Is a Contingency Fee Structure?
Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., Injury & Accident Lawyers will work on the same contingency fee basis as above.
As the case is being prosecuted, we pay all the litigation expenses upfront so you do not have to come out of pocket and we only get reimbursed these expenses out of any recovery we make. This means that you pay nothing unless we win your case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations for a car accident in Texas for an adult is 2 years from the date of the accident. However, there are still some exceptions. For example, the statute of limitations on minors’ claims for their intangible damages and medical bills beyond the age of 18 does not run until their 20th birthday.
Check with a Houston car wreck law firm to find out if any exceptions apply to your situation. Once a car accident lawsuit has been filed, there is no Texas car accident law setting any time limit on how soon the case must go to trial–it is up to the judge. However, service of process must take place within the SOL or reasonably soon thereafter with the exercise of due diligence. Failure to exercise due diligence in obtaining service on the defendant will result in your case being dismissed and your request being denied.
How do I Obtain a Crash Report in Houston?
All Texas crash reports associated with car accidents in Texas eventually end up in the Texas Department of Transportation’s Crash Reporting and Analysis for Safer Highways (C.R.A.S.H.) where you can download them online.
The time it takes to get a police report from your local law enforcement may vary depending upon what city or county police department the report comes from. You should be aware that 7-14 days after you report the accident is the normal waiting time unless there are special circumstances such as fatality accidents or rollover accidents with complex issues.
Sometimes, you can obtain a copy of the police accident report sooner by contacting the local department that investigated the collision. A Houston car wreck lawyer can also order one for you. For more information, please visit: Obtaining a Houston area crash report.
Will the Other Party’s Car Insurance Company Pay For My Entire Medical Bills?
No. The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that insurance companies do not have to accept and pay the full bill that you incur from a medical provider even though you have no control over the charges. The insurance company will often use a computer program to challenge even the emergency room bills and/or records to show that they are above the ‘average’ rates that doctors routinely accept to settle their claims. By doing so, you could get left owing more than the insurance company is ordered to pay even by a jury for your hospital care, physical therapy, or other treatment!
Under these circumstances, you need a Houston auto accident lawyer fighting for your rights because when it comes to holding insurance companies responsible, the deck is stacked against you in Texas.
Do I Need a Houston Car Wreck Attorney if The Other Insurance Company Accepts Liability in Texas?
If injured, yes. When an insurance company tells you they are accepting liability for an accident, this does not mean they are agreeing to pay for all of your medical bills and losses. It certainly does not mean they will pay you fair compensation for your pain and suffering.
When they say they are accepting that they are liable, they simply mean they are going to offer you what they think is fair for the bills they think are reasonable. This does not mean they will not dispute your medical attention and/or the amounts the doctors charged you for it. And it is not a promise to compensate you for your pain and suffering. They are not in the business of giving you maximum compensation for your injuries voluntarily. Keeping settlements low means they make more money.
Paying for property damage before denying an injury claim is a common tactic used to try to prevent a jury from ever seeing photos of the property damage. When your case goes to trial, you are typically not even allowed to tell the jury that the insurance company paid for the property damage their insured caused. These tricks and tactics demonstrate why you need a skilled Houston car wreck law firm to protect your rights.
How Long Does it Take a Houston Vehicle Accident Attorney to Settle a Car Accident Case?
Every auto accident claim and every auto accident injury is different. Some car accident settlements may occur relatively quickly in a matter of months if liability is clear and there are no severe injuries. Other car accident victims may have to wait several years or even take the case to trial when liability is disputed, there were vehicle defects causing product liability issues, or damages are hotly contested.
On average, when cases do not require prolonged medical care and liability is not in dispute, cases will settle between 8-12 months post-accident. Some may never reach a deal and have to go on to trial.
How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
No one can accurately tell you what your case should settle for without looking at all of the facts. Not even in the most common car accident case. Trying to value your case on the basis of statistics like the average settlement is fruitless because insurance companies do not divulge this information.
At Simmons & Fletcher, P.C., when our Houston car accident lawyers give any sort of a case evaluation, the factors that we look at include:
- The severity of the injury;
- The duration of recovery;
- Your salary and/or earning capacity;
- The location and visibility of scars and other disfiguring marks;
- The nature of the accident;
- Aggravating factors such as alcohol use, drugs, criminal history, and mental status;
- You and other witnesses’ credibility;
- whether a commercial truck is involved;
- The court, judge, venue, and;
- The insurance company and attorney defending the claim.
Often, these factors cannot even be determined until a lawsuit has been filed and discovery has been conducted. Thus, any early case evaluation is subject to change as the evidence unfolds.
Each accident has unique circumstances that will impact the amount of a claim. As a “fault” insurance state, the laws in Texas allow an injured person to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. Furthermore, Texas law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage.
However, the presence of insurance coverage does not mean a person will recover the entire amount of the policy. If the insurance company and you ultimately cannot agree to a settlement, then you have to take the case to trial and let a jury determine whether you recover compensation and how much.
Can I use my Health Insurance After a Car Accident in Houston, TX?
Maybe. Your health insurance policy likely contains a Coordination of Benefits Clause that affects your ability to file a health insurance claim after a car accident. The Coordination of Benefits Clause dictates who pays if two or more insurance policies apply to the same situation. Most of these have a clause that says if there is auto liability insurance that would cover your medical care, you must submit your bills to the auto policy first for payment.
You need to be aware that your regular doctor may refuse care because he/she does not wish to deal with this hassle of filing an auto insurance liability claim. You also need to be aware that your health insurance has a legal right to demand reimbursement from YOU out of any settlement if they paid for any medical care caused by the car accident. This is called a Subrogation Clause. Do not make the mistake of thinking the settlement offer from the other driver is all going into your pocket.
A subrogation clause resulting in your money going to the medical providers and nothing left for you can really throw you for a loop. Other insurance like workers’ compensation will have similar subrogation rights too. Speak with a personal injury law firm in Houston, TX to learn more.
What Questions Should I Ask Before Loaning My Car to a Friend?
Because loaning out your vehicle can get you sued if the borrower causes an accident, you will want to do your due diligence on your friend’s driving abilities before even considering allowing them to operate your vehicle in any situation. Failure to do so can result in a bad outcome for you and your friend. The questions you need to ask are:
- Does your friend have a valid driver’s license? If not, do not let them behind the wheel.
- Does your friend have a history of prior accidents, speeding tickets, or other reckless driving conduct such as driving while intoxicated? If so, do not let them behind the wheel.
- Does your friend have their own auto insurance?
- Does your friend have sufficient policy limits to cover a serious accident vs the minimum limits?
- Does your friend have insurance that covers enough to fully pay for your vehicle if they cause a wreck? You do not want their wreck falling back on your insurance and raising your rates if they cause a wreck and have insufficient or no coverage.
- Does your Texas auto insurance policy have sufficient coverage to pay for the damage to your vehicle? (If not, do you have gap insurance to cover the lien difference?)
- Is your friend’s auto policy a Texas auto policy? If not, you need to be aware that it may provide no coverage or only the minimum limits required under Texas law by default.
- Does your auto policy have sufficient liability coverage to protect you if your friend causes a catastrophic car accident and does not have enough coverage to pay for the injury or death caused?
What Steps Should I Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, here are the steps to take:
- Document the plates. If you can see the license plate of the other driver, write it down before you have time to forget it.
- Call the police and report the accident. The Houston police department like many others is overworked and can be slow to respond. It is worth the wait. Insist that a police officer comes onsite and makes a police report. Documenting a hit-and-run is very important for making a claim against your uninsured motorist policy. They will make you go back to the police station and file a report if you do not do it. Furthermore, sometimes there is evidence or witnesses at the scene that can lead the police to find the hit-and-run driver.
- Document eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses may be helpful in locating the driver who fled the scene (providing a physical description of the driver and/or passengers, identifying the type of vehicle, and/or obtaining the license plate number). Get their name, address, and phone number.
- Photograph the damage. Taking a picture of the damage to your car using your cell phone is the easiest way to document what the damage looked like right after the wreck.
- Call your own insurance company. If you have comprehensive coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, you need to notify them promptly so they can conduct their own investigation, especially if you have personal injury claims to make on your uninsured motorist policy.
- Call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston who handles car accidents if you sustained a significant injury. A personal injury attorney might be able to help you identify the other driver either through eyewitnesses or video cameras in the area. You may also be able to file for punitive damages.