June 12, 2019

Blog Thumbnail: Houston Injury & Accidents

Everyone has a smartphone, and we can’t walk down the street without having our heads buried in our cellular device, sending texts, and communicating on social media. That applies to drivers. How often have you looked at the car next to you and seen a driver texting? Did you know that a texting driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver?

Cell phones have revolutionized our world. They have changed the way we do business and interact with family and friends.

However, cell phones can also be dangerous. The use of a cell phone while driving can be as deadly as drunk driving. According to a 2013 study performed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, a person who is texting can be as impaired as a driver who is legally drunk.

As responsible members of society, we should all take responsibility for both our lives and the lives of others and stop texting and driving. Texting and driving is a deadly combination.

Car and Driver Magazine conducted a test to compare a 37 year-old driver’s brake reaction (how long it takes to hit the brakes), at baseline (normal driving), while under the influence of alcohol, while sending a text message, and while reading an email. The data that they collected from that event was frightening!

At baseline, the sober 37 year-old driver was able to hit the brakes at 0.57 second.
Reading a text, that same driver took 1.44 seconds to hit the brakes, nearly three times as long. While texting, his response time was 1.36 seconds. This was substantially worse than his performance (0.64 seconds) after testing 0.08 blood alcohol, which is the level considered legal intoxication.

Stop and think about that. A driving sending or reading a text performed worse on a reaction test than a driver who was legally intoxicated.

What was equally concerning is the fact that a sober driver sending a text message took nearly 70 feet further to come to a complete stop compared to that of a sober and undistracted driver.

Imagine you are stopped at a traffic light at a busy intersection (many cars zipping past you to the left and right), and the person approaching you from behind is texting and driving. You are first in line. If that person does not stop in time, it is likely they will crash into the rear of your vehicle and push you into the intersection. You could be hit by other cars. Just because a person is mindlessly texting and driving, they could fail to stop. The force of the impact could send you into an intersection, and further impacts from passing vehicles, and your injuries could be catastrophic.

We cannot emphasize enough upon the danger of distracted driving to the safety of you and your family.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has launched a campaign called STOP THE TEXTS. STOP THE WRECKS. This campaign focuses on building awareness of the injuries and fatalities caused by distracted drivers who were texting and/or reading text messages and emails while driving.

One of the most staggering statistics listed on their website is that 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the accident. That means they could have easily avoided the accident and death had they been focusing on driving instead of using their cellular phone at the time of the accident.

Even more concerning is that they found that 49% of drivers with cellular phones under the age of 35 send or read text messages while driving. This means that nearly one in two people under the age of 35 on the roadway today are sending and receiving text messages while driving.

Ok, I got into a car accident due to texting. Do I need to hire a lawyer for a car accident in Houston?

If you were involved in a relatively minor accident and did not suffer any injuries, then you only need to deal with your (or the other driver’s) insurance company for the repairs to your vehicle. Likely, you would file an insurance claim and have your vehicle repaired at a reputable body shop without the assistance of an attorney. However, if you suffered serious injuries or even minor injuries, it is best to hire a car accident attorney.

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Following are some factors to consider:

In Houston, the other driver or his/her insurance company can dispute who is at fault for the automobile accident, regardless of who received the ticket (or if no ticket was issued) or even if the other driver admitted fault at the scene. An insurance company may decide to place some fault on you, diminishing (lowering) the value of your claim.

Alternatively, they can decide to place all of the blame on you and ultimately require a jury to decide who is at fault for the accident, despite your contention (or a police report finding, or a ticket issued to the other driver, or an admission by the other driver, or even witness statements) that the other driver caused the accident. In such a case, the services of a car accident attorney, in Houston, TX, will be of great use.
You may also believe the police report is wrong, and that the police officer wrongly gave you a ticket. If your injuries are serious, you should talk to a car accident attorney, in Houston, TX.

2. Insurance companies often develop positive working relationships with car accident attorneys in Houston, TX, who have worked with them in the past. These past relationships can help to get cases settled. It is not uncommon that we find that when an individual is not represented by an attorney who has not previously had experience with car accidents or personal injury, they often find it difficult to deal with the insurance company as the insurance adjuster will try to use that lack of experience to their own advantage. An experienced car accident attorney will know what pitfalls to avoid with insurance adjusters.

The hiring of a lawyer when you have been injured in an automobile accident can often be the best decision. When you hire a lawyer, look for the experienced accident lawyers in Houston who not only have experience fighting against the insurance companies, but they are also equally experienced working with the insurance companies in getting cases settled. This will increase your chances of obtaining a recovery in your case.

Find a Houston lawyer with the experience and knowledge to represent you and advice you in regards to the steps you must take protect your legal rights. Contact our experienced accident lawyers in Houston.