Every year in the United States, nearly 40,000 people die in car accidents. Thousands and thousands more are injured, some so severely, their lives and the lives of their loved ones will never be the same.
In 2021, Texas led the country with more fatal accidents than any other state. Nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in car crashes on Texas roadways.
Those who were injured may never be able to return to their pre-accident lives. If they can work at all, they may need to change careers. They may suffer from debilitating pain for the rest of their lives and lose their basic enjoyment of life.
Obtaining compensation for an auto accident can be a stressful process. If you or a loved one were injured in such a crash in San Marcos TX, a San Marcos car wreck lawyer at Kyle Law Firm can help. Our car accident attorneys are the ones you want by your side to fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
San Marcos, TX Car Accident Statistics
In San Marcos in 2020, there were 1,036 car crashes causing 12 people to lose their lives. Hundreds were injured, some with incapacitating injuries. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), an incapacitating injury means “that the victim must be carried or otherwise helped from the scene.”
These statistics don’t account for those who took themselves to emergency rooms only to discover they suffered whiplash, internal injuries, broken bones, or other debilitating injuries.
What Are Typical Causes of Car Accidents in San Marcos?
The causes of San Marcos, TX car accidents are the same as for car accidents across the country. Car accident attorneys give some examples of the most common causes of car accidents:
Rear-end collisions. This is the most common type of car accident. It generally happens when drivers follow too closely to the vehicle ahead of them and when that car stops suddenly, the car behind rams into the back of the one ahead.
Although in many cases, the driver in the rear is the one at fault, that is not always the case. It depends on road conditions, whether the accident is the result of a chain reaction involving many cars, and all other circumstances of the accident.
T-Bone accident or side impact. This is the second most common type of car accident. This is also one of the most dangerous types of accidents that often results in serious injury or death when one car slams into the side of another one. Common causes of this accident are:
- One driver is illegally passing another and does not see a car crossing ahead of them until it is too late
- A driver runs a red light or stop sign and plows into the side of a car legally crossing the roadway
- One driver failed to yield the right-of-way
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Poor weather conditions, such as heavy fog, so one driver fails to see the other car
- Brakes failed
In 2020, side-impact accidents accounted for 23 percent of passenger deaths.
Head-on Collisions. A head-on collision is the most serious. In 2020, head-on collisions were responsible for 58 percent of all passenger accident deaths. Common causes of head-on collisions are:
- Distracted driving. Eating, putting on make-up, using your cell phone, dealing with children, even adjusting the radio, are all examples of distracted driving.
- Drunk driving. In Texas, as in every other state in the nation, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more is considered drunk driving.
- Drowsy driving. Studies show that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Bad weather conditions.
- Swerving to avoid road debris.
- Reckless driving. This often means speeding but driving the posted speed limit may be reckless if that speed is too fast for weather or road conditions.
Multi-vehicle accidents. This means there were at least three vehicles involved in the crash. These are very dangerous and there’s great risk of one of the vehicles catching on fire. Passengers and drivers are often trapped inside. There may be more than one driver at fault for the accidents.
Crash with a semi-truck. A fully-loaded semi-truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds! When you are in a 3,000-pound car, you have little protection when a semi slams into you whether it is a rear-end, side-impact, or head-on collision. Injuries sustained in a crash with a semi are often catastrophic. The driver of the semi and his or her employer may both be at fault.
Drunk drivers. Every 20 minutes, someone is killed or injured on a Texas road due to a crash with a drunk driver.
Dangerous road conditions. Road signs may be damaged or hidden from view, there may be ruts in the road, road debris not cleared away, and more. The municipality in charge of the roadway may be at fault for an accident due to dangerous road conditions.
Who’s Liable for My Injuries After a Cash in San Marcos, TX?
In Texas, to collect damages, you must prove the other driver was at fault for the accident. Proving fault for a car accident means you must prove the other driver was negligent. A San Marcos car wreck lawyer can help you do just that.
The elements of negligence you must prove are:
- Duty of care. Drivers have a duty to other drivers to drive carefully and follow the law.
- Breach of the duty. Drivers breach their duty of care when they don’t drive with reasonable care, like driving too fast, swerving out of their own lane, etc.
- Causation. The driver’s breach of the duty of care is what caused the accident. For example, if the driver had not swerved out of their lane, they would not have hit your car head-on, therefore, their breach of the duty of care was the cause of the accident.
- Damages. The breach of the duty of care caused you harm, and you suffered damages, like medical expenses, lost wages, etc.
Modified Comparative Fault in Texas. Both you and the other driver may be at fault for contributing to your own car accident. For example, if you were both distracted by talking on your cell phone, and both took your eyes off the road for a second or two, you may both take responsibility for a car accident.
If you were equally at fault, then you won’t be able to collect anything. What may happen is that you are each found to be at fault by a certain percentage. You may be found to be 25 percent at fault and the other driver 75 percent at fault. If your damages are $100,000, that will be reduced by 25 percent, the amount of your fault, and you will collect $75,000.
Generally what happens is that both drivers try to prove the other one was at fault. If one driver clearly ran a red light and slammed into the side of your car, the fault is pretty clear.
On the other hand, it is sometimes difficult to prove fault. You need the help of a personal injury attorney who can thoroughly investigate and prove fault so that you can collect all the damages to which you are legally entitled.
If you need a car accident lawyer, contact a San Marcos Car Accident Lawyer at the Kyle Law Firm in San Marcos. We have a track record of success and you’ll pay us nothing unless we win your case.
What is Negligence Per Se?
In Texas, as in all other states, it is against the law to drive with a BAC of 0.08. If the driver that hits you is convicted of drunk driving, the law requires you only to prove the last two elements of negligence: causation and damages.
The burden is on the drunk driver to prove that although they were drunk, that was not the cause of the accident or your damages. This is a high hurdle for the driver to get over.
An accident with a drunk driver also opens the door to the possibility of punitive damages.
What Damages are Available to Auto Accident Victims Who Were Injured in San Marcos, TX and What is My Case Worth?
Damages refers to the amount of money you can collect for your injuries. There are three types of damages available for your personal injury: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages. These are costs that can be calculated that you have paid or will need to pay. Some examples are:
- The actual medical and hospital bills you incurred – this includes your ambulance ride to the hospital if that happened
- Future estimate of medical and hospital bills you are expected to incur due to your injuries
- Cost of physical therapy – current and future
- Cost of vocational retraining if necessary
- Wages you missed due to time off work to recover from your injury
- Future lost wages if you are injured so severely you are unable to return to your job
- Lifetime loss of income if you are permanently disabled
- Reimbursement of all your out-of-pocket costs you incurred related to your medical treatment
Non-economic damages. These are your losses for which there can’t really be a calculation. These include:
- Pain and suffering. These damages are often based on the amount of your economic damages and the severity of your injury.
- Emotional distress. These are limited to situations where an injured person has a serious psychological effect from the accident. For example, a driver may have serious sorrow and feelings of guilt even though he or she was not at fault for the accident.
- Loss of consortium or companionship. This is generally paid to a spouse who has lost a significant part of the relationship due to the accident.
Punitive damages. These are for the purpose of punishing a defendant for intentional harmful behavior. They are rarely awarded in a car accident case which is based on negligence. If the negligence was particularly egregious, such as is occasionally found in a drunk driving case, the court may award punitive damages.
What Damages are Available for Wrongful Death in San Marcos, TX?
Texas law allows a spouse, parent, or child of someone who dies due to injuries sustained in a car accident to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. San Marcos TX car accident lawyers say damages that are available to help you after a crash include:
- All medical expenses that were incurred due to the accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Decedent’s lost earning capacity
- Loss of the care and support, both financial and emotional, that the decedent would have provided if he or she had not been killed
- Mental and emotional suffering of the survivors
- Lost inheritance – this is calculated based on the age of the decedent and then assuming how they would have saved money and left it to the survivors if the decedent had lived a normal lifespan.
What Steps Should You Take After a Crash in San Marcos, TX?
When you are in a car accident, you will at first be stunned. It may take you a few minutes to realize what happened. If you are injured and need an ambulance, that is the most important thing. If you can, San Marcos, Texas Car Accident Lawyers recommend you do the following:
- Stay put. Do not leave the scene of the accident for any reason.
- Make sure you and your passengers are in a safe spot. If not, and you can move your vehicle to a safe spot, do so.
- Put on your emergency blinkers.
- Call 911. The operator will ask you if anyone is hurt.
- If you can do so safely, check on your passengers and the people in the other car. Unless there is a risk of fire, do not move anyone out of the car, especially if they are moaning in pain. Movement could make the injury worse.
- When the police arrive, get the badge number of the police officer who is making the report. Be matter of fact in your explanation of what happened but do not, under any circumstances, admit fault. Even if you think it was your fault, the time to discuss that is later with your lawyer. Not at the scene of the accident.
- Exchange information with all involved drivers. This includes insurance information, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, make and model of all cars involved.
- If you can take photos, take photos of anything that seems relevant. For example, the damage done to each car. Any debris in the road that may have contributed to the accident, any potholes, etc.
- If possible, get witness statements. At least get witness contact information.
Common Injuries Caused by San Marcos, TX Motor Vehicle Accidents
Injuries in a car wreck range from inconsequential scratches to amputation of limbs, paralysis, or death. San Marcos car wreck attorneys say some of the most common injuries are:
- Bruising, contusions, scrapes, and cuts
- Road rash
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries including spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Disfiguring facial injuries
- Limb injuries and loss
- Strains and sprains
- Crushing injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
We’re also here to help you get the insurance company to pay fairly. To learn more about insurance issues after an accident, visit our car accident FAQs.
If you’ve suffered an injury because of a car accident in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that can help offset some of the physical and emotional burdens. You need a personal injury lawyer. A San Marcos car wreck attorney can help you seek that compensation.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Lawsuits in Texas?
The statute of limitations for a car accident lawsuit in Texas is two years from the date the accident occurred. If you miss the deadline, you will lose your right to collect for your damages no matter how seriously you were injured.
If a loved one was killed, you have two years from the date of their death to file a lawsuit which may not be the date of the accident. If they died the same day as the accident, you have two years from that date to file your lawsuit.
Types of Cases We Handle at the Kyle Law Firm
If you were injured in a car accident in San Marcos, the Kyle Law Firm can help. We handle all types of cases where a vehicle was involved. Some examples are:
- DUI driver-involved accident
- Representing pedestrians who were hit by a car
- Rear-end collisions
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
- Accidents involving semi-trucks
- School bus and other bus accidents
- Boating accidents
- Hit-and-run accidents
Our Auto Accident Lawyers at the Kyle Law Firm Get Results
At Kyle Law Firm, our San Marcos auto accident attorneys are here to help you after a San Marcos car accident. We have a high success rate and will treat you like family. You’ll want the right car accident lawyer by your side through the twists and turns of the legal process. We don’t charge a fee unless we win your case. Our car accident lawyers are here to help. Schedule a Free Consultation and learn how we can work together to win your case. Contact Kyle Law Firm today online or call 830-620-9402.