Dallas Car Accident Lawyer
Being injured in a car accident in Dallas is difficult to cope with under any circumstances. It is even more difficult when the accident occurred because of another driver’s negligent, careless actions behind the wheel. Knowing that your pain and suffering was avoidable leaves many people feeling justifiably angry, anxious, and hopeless, particularly when faced with a frustrating battle against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Luckily, the law provides remedy for these situations. Even though nothing can undo the accident and its effects, you can assert your legal rights and seek compensation for all of the damages and suffering you and your loved ones have endured.
Our Dallas car accident lawyers help crash victims in Texas and use the law to seek justice for their injuries in the form of settlement compensation. Supported by over 20 years of experience handling complex multi-vehicle accident claims, we are prepared to directly and aggressively tackle all of the challenges your case presents. Call for a free consultation at (817) 476-1797.
Trust the Car Accident Law Firm with 25 Five-Star Reviews
Our attorneys have received at least 25 reviews on various review websites from clients who gave us five-star reviews. We work hard to fight for our clients’ rights after serious accident injuries, seeking to get them the compensation they need. If you were injured in an accident, our attorneys can help fight the insurance companies and at-fault drivers to get you the justice you deserve.
About Our Dallas Car Accident Law Firm
The Queenan Law Firm has been serving the Dallas area for over 20 years, and we have represented thousands of auto accident clients. In one notable car accident claim, we helped victims recover $1.9 million (less $760,000 attorney’s fees & $167,600 expenses), and in a car accident case involving a trucking company, we helped a client recover $5.2 million (less $2,080,000 attorney’s fees & $125,400 expenses).
Kevin Queenan represents injury victims throughout the Dallas area, fighting at-fault drivers, trucking companies, and other responsible parties to help clients get justice for the injuries they suffered. Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you seek compensation, and we have the skills and experience to get the job done.
Our main office is located in Arlington, where we serve Dallas and Fort Worth clients from 731 Station Drive, just off Route 303. We also have an office in Downton Houston to serve clients in that area.
Get the Right Help: How to Find a Car Accident Lawyer
If you are recovering from car accident injuries and wondering whether the insurance companies will do enough to take care of you after your crash, you should contact a lawyer right away. There are many resources for finding attorneys, such as listings in the phone book, online listings, and recommendations from friends or family. If you are on this website right now, that means you’ve already found a lawyer who will provide compassionate, experienced legal services.
Car accident victims have a lot of factors to consider when looking for a lawyer. First, you want a lawyer who can help you. The Queenan Law Firm’s Dallas car accident injury lawyers represent car accident victims in the Dallas area all the time and are always looking for new cases. Second, you want a lawyer who will look after you. Our attorneys are professionals; we know what it means to accept our duties, look after our clients’ best interests, and protect victims’ rights after a car crash. Third, you want a lawyer who will not cost too much. Talk to our attorneys about work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we won’t get paid unless you win your case.
Taking our word for it might not be enough. Call our Dallas car accident lawyers to set up a free legal consultation where you can meet with us personally and see if our services are right for you. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation legal consultation and learn more about what our attorneys can do to help with your injury case.
Top Five Car Accident Injuries that Victims Suffer in Dallas
Many people are curious to know what are the most common injuries when there has been a car accident. To begin, no accident is the same. The people who are involved are different, the cars are different, the speed, conditions, and locations are different. These are all factors that can come into play when there is an accident, therefore, it is hard to give a uniform answer about what injury you will experience if any if you are in a car accident. However, in our experience the following are some of the more common injuries:
- Broken Bones and Fractures – Broken and fractures are a common injury that results from a sudden a traumatic force such as those involved in a car accident. When you are in an accident there are thousands of pounds of force that your car, seat belt and consequently you absorb. As a result, any one of the over 200 bones in the body can break which may require you to go see a doctor, have surgery, or even undergo physical therapy.
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) – The spine is composed of 33 individual bones that are stacked on top of one another. This bone structure provides the main support for the human body and allows a person to stand up, bend over, and twist. In addition to all of the bones, there are strong muscles, flexible tendons, ligaments, and sensitive nerves that all make up the spine. Whenever there is a jarring force to the spine there is the potential that any one of these bones, ligaments, tendons, or muscles will be injured which often leads to severe pain.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – brain injuries or traumatic brain injuries have recently come to the forefront of the news. As the medical community better understands different parts of the brain and how they respond to injury science and medicine are better able to protect this essential organ. Any injury or damage to this structure can lead to severe impairment or even death.
- Internal Bleeding – internal bleeding is one of the most dangerous injuries you can sustain. This is because it is usually impossible to tell from just looking if a person has sustained internal bleeding. If you are bleeding internally you may experience organ failure or death.
- Burns – No one wants to be burned, and those of us who have had even a minor burn know that these injuries can be very painful. When there is a car accident of any sort there is always the potential that a person can be burned by fire or searing hot metal. Burn injuries can vary in degree and severity.
Any injury from a car accident should be reported to police, and evaluated by a medical professional. Often injuries from car accidents are minor, however, other injuries require extensive medical procedures and prolonged hospital stays, all of which can be absurdly expensive. One way to help reduce injury in the event of a car accident is to utilize your car safety features.
Other Common Injuries Caused by Dallas Car Accidents
While safety features like airbags and seatbelts have made tremendous improvements to driver and passenger safety over the past several decades, serious injuries are still a common outcome of crashes and collisions, even minor accidents which occur at low speeds. Some examples of serious injuries and medical complications which frequently result from automotive accidents include the following:
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Emotional Trauma
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Soft Tissue Damage
- Whiplash and Neck Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for every 88 people that are injured and require treatment at a hospital for their car accident injuries, 1 dies and 9 are hospitalized. Although car accident injury rates have gone down in recent years, according to CDC statistics, this still means that thousands are hospitalized for injuries every year and hundreds of thousands are treated for injuries and released.
A 2008 study that looked at 105 rear-end car crashes that were considered “minor” (change in speed under 4 mph) found that around 75% (113 out of 151) of occupants in the front car received injuries in the crash – and this study examined minor crashes only. While whiplash injuries were not the most common injury in the crashes studied, many of these injuries were back and neck injuries as well as head, shoulder, hip, and chest injuries. The percentage of victims suffering injuries in high-speed crashes is likely even higher.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Dallas
According to the Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics, in 2015 there were 1.43 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled, which was a decrease of 2.05% decrease from 2013. While the death rate has thankfully gone down for a number of reasons for car accidents.
When you are driving on the road you should devote all your attention to driving, you owe it to yourself and to other drivers on the road. In addition to the above factors, which contribute to accidents, there are some other notable factors that lead to accidents throughout Dallas and Texas. One of the most well-documented reasons for accidents is when the driver was not paying attention. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 75,000 accidents last year alone that could be attributed to the driver not paying attention. This is an astounding statistic and one that should resonate with drivers in Dallas.
If a victim’s injuries are fatal, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 71.004 provides that the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents may bring a wrongful death action against the negligent driver. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 71.002 states that, if someone is found to have committed a wrongful act, a careless act, an unskilled act, or neglectful act, that person is liable for any damages incurred as a result that act which caused the injury leading to the other person’s death. Some examples of negligent, aggressive, and reckless driver actions which frequently cause preventable accidents include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting instead of paying attention to the road
- Driving unreasonably fast for the weather conditions, such as low visibility due to fog or heavy rains
- Driving while intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
- Excessive speeding
- Failing to yield right-of-way
- Following another vehicle too closely for safety in the event of a sudden stop (i.e. “tailgating”)
When you work with Queenan Law, you are more than just another case. We take a personal interest in all of our clients, and do our very best to serve their legal needs and accommodate them in any other ways we can. It’s our stance that the victims of car accidents deserve to be compensated for hardships they have been burdened with as a result of other drivers’ thoughtless actions.
Car Accident Statistics in Texas
Texas made news reports for a listing in 2017 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that placed it fifth among 25 of the largest cities in the U.S. for car accident deaths. With 14.47 deaths per 100,000 people, Dallas saw more deaths than Fort Worth, which was ranked sixth on this list with 12.58 deaths per 100,000 people.
In that same year, Texas-wide statistics from the Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts report said that there was 1 person killed every 2 hours and 21 minutes from car crashes in the state, with 1 crash occurring every 59 seconds. More recent 2019 stats from the same annual report see one person dead every 2 hours and 26 minutes statewide from crashes, and reportable crashes occurring once every 56 seconds.
TxDOT statistics from 2019 report that most deadly accidents occur on highways, with 1,261 fatal crashes on US and state highways and 562 on interstates, versus 224 fatal crashes on county roads and 715 on city streets. When comparing urban versus rural crashes, TxDot stats from 2019 also tell us that the number of fatal crashes is approximately evenly split among urban and rural roads, but there are far more crashes overall in urban areas. Fortunately for those involved in crashes in urban areas like Dallas, these crashes are far more likely to involve no injuries or minor injuries only.
Breaking down crashes in Dallas by major highway, we can see that I-30 is the most dangerous with 18,506 crashes in 2019. Next, I-635 and I-35E are about tied with 2,656 and 2,442 crashes, respectively. US-75 is next with 1,723 crashes, then I-20 with 1,210. Finally, I-45 and US-67 each had under 500 crashes reported in 2019 (647 and 311, respectively). These statistics were obtained through TxDOT’s C.R.I.S. (Crash Reporting Information System), limiting the search to accidents within Dallas in 2019.
Getting Compensated and Proving Fault in a Dallas Car Accident Lawsuit
With regard to auto insurance, Texas is a “fault state” as opposed to a “no-fault state.” Unlike no-fault states, where accident victims whose injuries fall within certain thresholds are compensated through their own insurers regardless of which party caused the crash, fault states like Texas require accident victims to establish that the other motorist was at fault in order to obtain compensation. This is known as a “third party” claim.
If the other driver denies they were at fault – which occurs frequently – their insurance company may in turn deny responsibility for compensating the injury victim. This is where a strategic presentation of physical evidence and accounts given by eyewitnesses to the accident, if any were present, can make or break a claim.
While the vast majority of automotive accident matters are resolved via settlement negotiations, efforts to negotiate do not always yield results which are acceptable to all of the parties involved. In the rare event that negotiating fails to provide resolution, the injury victim may then wish to file a lawsuit, through which he or she may seek compensation for a variety of damages. This includes current and anticipated hospital bills and medical bills associated with your injuries, including but not limited to the following:
- Medical devices, such as casts and wheelchairs
- Physical therapy and injury rehabilitation
- Prescription drugs and other care plans
- Surgeries and other medical procedures
You can also receive compensation for the following:
- Income you lost due to being out of work
- Projected income losses, in the case of a long-term injury or permanent disability
- The pain and suffering you experienced
Texas follows a doctrine known as “modified comparative fault,” which means that even if both parties were partially at fault for the accident, a plaintiff can still recover provided he or she was not more than 50% at fault. However, compensation awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced accordingly in such a scenario. For example, if a plaintiff is awarded $100,000 but is found to be 10% at fault, compensation would be reduced to $90,000 to reflect the plaintiff’s degree of responsibility for the crash or collision.
Shared Liability for Car Accidents in Dallas, TX
After a car accident, many drivers doubt whether they did everything correctly. Many drivers rethink how fast they were driving, whether they made a complete stop, or whether they looked at the radio for too long before the accident occurred. Rest assured that even if you were somewhat responsible for the accident, courts will not ignore the responsibility that other drivers shared in causing the accident.
Since Texas uses a “modified comparative fault” system, as referenced above, the share of the blame is assigned during trial. This is usually a job for the jury, since they determine the facts of the case. Many jury instructions ask the jury to assign a percentage of the blame to all parties involved – including the drivers of any other cars involved in the accident and the victim.
If you were, overall, the victim of the accident, you can still recover compensation even if you were partly at fault. The defendant’s attorneys may try to turn something that you did into a defense, claiming that their client was innocent of the accident and that it was your fault. Juries are often more realistic, and understand that drivers can still be the victim even if they were speeding slightly or made a rolling stop. Hiring an attorney for your case can help fight these kinds of claims.
As the blame is divided amongst the different parties, so are the damages. First, the jury assigns blame to each driver. Then, the jury decides what your case is worth, in total. If you suffered serious injuries and needed extreme medical intervention, missed work, or suffered greatly for your injuries, you may be entitled to high compensation. Then, the court applies the percent blame to the money, and assigns each person to pay you that amount of money.
For example, if one party was found to be 30% responsible, they will pay 30% of the total damages. Similarly, if the defendant is 100% responsible, they will pay the entire amount. If you were partly responsible, you will lose that fraction of the damages. In the example above, we see a defendant who was 10% liable on a $100,000 case receiving only $90,000.
Calculating Car Accident Damages in Your Dallas Injury Claim
We have discussed the categories of damages you may be entitled to in your case, but not how the court arrives at a final total for damages. First, as this is an issue of fact, the jury decides how much your case is worth. In doing so, they look to many factors and pieces of evidence to total the damages. Any money you spent or lost because of the injury is simple enough to add up. Things like medical bills and lost wages have a clear paper trail that shows how much money you have already lost because of the injuries. Other damages, such as future lost wages, may be calculated by experts who can testify to the projected costs.
Other damages that are not tied to expenses or losses are harder to determine. Pain and suffering have no price tag or list of the typical rates for different injuries. However, the damages are usually proportional to the severity of the injury. This means more severe, debilitating injuries are often worth more in court than minor injuries.
How to File a Car Accident Police Report in Dallas
When you are involved in a car crash in the Dallas area – or anywhere in Texas – it is important to know how to file a car accident police report. After a crash, you should call the police. Having police respond to the scene of the crash means that they will be able to look at the scene and process an accident report. This can be essential for finding information about the other drivers and passengers involved in the crash or any witnesses who stopped to give a statement. If you were injured and unable to stay at the scene of the crash, you might have to rely on some of the information in the police report to know who to file your claim against.
If insurance companies are involved in the case, they will likely request a police report. This means it is important to get a copy of the accident report filed in your case to help verify that the crash happened and verify who was involved. These reports are not usually admissible as evidence in court, but the statements and information in the report can still be essential in building your case.
To get a copy of the accident report in your case, you can contact the police who handled the report. You can also contact the Dallas Police Department’s Traffic Division. Their website says that you can reach them at (214) 761-3375 or (214) 671-3345 to request a copy of a police report. A copy of the police report usually costs $6 as of the writing of this article and should be available 5-7 business days after the crash.
For more information on car accident injury lawsuits in Texas, speak with our Dallas car accident lawyers today.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Dallas
If you’ve been in a crash, it is important to know what to do after a car accident in Texas. There are certain important steps to take. As we discussed, you should always report an accident after it happens. When you call 9-1-1, you can have police come to the scene to help secure everyone’s safety and create a police report. Additionally, you can ask for emergency medical services and ambulances to arrive. If you need immediate medical attention, this quick action could be the difference between permanent injuries and a full recovery.
Get to Safety
At the scene of the crash, you should first get yourself to safety. Once in a well-lit, safe area off the road, you can begin collecting evidence that could help with your case. If you are too injured to stay and collect evidence, go seek treatment at the hospital.
Seek Medical Attention
If the EMTs at the scene of the crash offer medical attention, you should take it. It is not always obvious to an injury victim that they have injuries since adrenaline and the stress of the crash can mask the pain and discomfort. You should also follow up with your own doctor in the days after the crash, as some injuries like whiplash and back injuries might take a few days before they “set in.”
Gather Contact, Vehicle, and Insurance Info
Evidence that you should gather at the scene includes the names and contact info of anyone involved in the crash as well as the contact info for any witnesses to the accident. You should also get the make, model, and color of each vehicle involved. If anyone was working as a commercial driver, you should ask what company they work for and get contact info for that company, too. Lastly, you should get every driver’s insurance info and give your info to the other drivers.
Gather Information About the Scene
If you can stay at the scene, gather information about where the crash occurred, including the closest cross-street or highway mile marker to the accident. You should also take note of the lighting conditions, road conditions, and weather conditions, as this could be important in your case. Also take note of the layout of the road and whether the accident occurred at an intersection, whether there were traffic lights, and what other signs and notices were posted.
Take Photos and Notes
If you can, take pictures of the crash scene, vehicle damage, and injuries. If your cell phone was not damaged in the crash, it is probably the best way to get pictures of the accident scene. You can also use your phone to record notes if you don’t have anything to write with. Recording a video of yourself discussing your injuries or using a voice memo to take note of the information can be a good tool.
Also take note of whether there were any dashcams or security cameras nearby that might have captured the accident on film.
Contact a Lawyer
Before talking with the insurance companies or relaying further information to the other drivers involved in the crash, talk to a lawyer. Your attorney can help gather evidence, track down video footage, and get contact info for the other drivers. Our Dallas car accident lawyers can also advise you on the next steps to take and how to best get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us as soon as you can to start work on your case.
Contact Our Dallas Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
To get a free consultation and completely confidential assessment of your case, call the Dallas car crash lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797 right away. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers will provide you with a clear, honest, and nuanced overview of you and your family’s potential legal options.