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Seeing as we have some of the most dangerous intersections in the country, it should come as no surprise that pedestrian and bicycle accidents happen every day in Houston. They cover the gamut when it comes to injuries. Most are minor, but some leave the victim with devastating injuries or even lead to death. Several cyclists have even been involved in accidents with METRO trains.
When a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist, the injuries are often severe because of the pedestrian’s total lack of protection.
If a motorist caused the accident, his/her insurance company should cover your damages. However, you need to know what to do in the first hours and days after a pedestrian accident to ensure the insurance company does not try to strip you of your right to file for compensation. If you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident:
Focus on Your Health First
Your first concern after a Houston pedestrian or bicycle accident should be your own well-being. Call 911 for emergency medical treatment, especially if you have any major injuries. Be aware, though, not all serious injuries are apparent immediately. A head, neck, or internal injury may not show symptoms for several hours or days after a crash. For this reason, you need to seek treatment at the scene or visit an emergency department as soon as possible for an exam. Getting treatment soon after an accident also links your injuries to the crash, creating a record that could prove valuable later on.
Note: In addition to medical treatment, you also need to have the police file a report about the accident. This is another reason why calling 911 or having a bystander call police is important.
Be sure to continue your medical care throughout the duration of your claim.
Collect Information from the Scene, If Possible
If possible, you should collect evidence from the scene. This includes taking pictures of the scene, the damage to the vehicle, and even your injuries. Use your phone or a notepad to jot down the name of the driver and contact information for any witnesses. Write down the exact location of the accident, and anything you remember about the crash.
You can also ask someone else to take pictures and gather contact information for you if your injuries prevent you from doing it. Believe it or not, these quick pictures and notes often make a big difference during the claims process.
Contact a Houston Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Once you have begun your medical care, it is time to contact a Houston pedestrian accident attorney. We offer free, no-obligation consultations during which you can find out more about how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
If you choose to enlist our help, we will get to work investigating the cause of your accident immediately. We can obtain the police report and other documentation, interview witnesses, and even perform accident reconstruction. All this evidence will help to build a strong case.
After we know who is responsible for your injuries, we can file a claim based on his/her auto insurance policy. Under Texas law, all motorists must carry at least $30,000 in liability insurance for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident.
Once we make our demand, the insurance company will either deny your claim or present a settlement offer. This offer often serves as the starting point for negotiating a fair settlement for your claim.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, or if the cost of your medical treatment and other damages exceed the maximum limit of the driver’s policy, we may be able to obtain additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Work with a Lawyer to Determine What Caused the Accident
Understanding what caused your accident is the first step in holding the at-fault party liable for your injuries.
In many cases, the accident occurred because a negligent driver failed to obey Texas pedestrian laws. Some of the most common failures include:
Breaking general traffic laws also contribute to many pedestrian accidents. Most commonly, this includes:
The police report is a great place to start. If the driver received any type of citation after the incident, they are likely liable — at least, in part — for your injuries. If the cause of your accident is not apparent, go ahead and give us a call. We will analyze all the available evidence to identify the liable party before we file your claim.
Even though Houston Police and other groups are working to stop pedestrian accidents, far too many people still suffer injuries in this type of incident every day. At the Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C., we are dedicated to helping these victims. We know how to navigate the pedestrian accident claims process and get you the compensation you deserve.
Call our Houston office at 713-863-1515 to schedule a time to meet with a Houston pedestrian accident lawyer, and let us go to work for you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 53 minutes in car crashes involving alcohol. In the State of Texas alone, 13,138 people died in drunk driving accidents between 2003 and 2012. Of course, these staggering numbers only include the fatalities. Countless others are seriously injured in alcohol-related accidents every day.
While most people know they should never drink and drive, others get behind the wheel with no thought of the harm they might cause if they are involved in an accident.
In spite of the growing popularity of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, people continue to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, putting everyone else on the road at risk. If a drunk driver injured you, there are several things you should do to preserve your right to compensation for your injuries:
Ensure Your Safety: The first thing you should do after any car accident is to make sure you, your passengers, and the people in the other car are safe. This means pulling over to the shoulder and out of oncoming traffic, attending to any wounds, and calling 911 if someone is hurt. (If you suspect the other driver is intoxicated, calling 911 will ensure s/he does not get back on the road and hurt anyone else.)
Collect Information: Collect as much information as you can. If the other driver stops, collect his/her name, insurance information, license plate number, and the make and model of the car. You should also collect the names and contact information of any passengers or eyewitnesses to the crash.
Take Photographs: Using your phone, take photographs of the damage to both vehicles, and the area around the crash, including road conditions. Remember that many of these photos could become evidence in your case. The more photos you have, the better.
File A Police Report: Even if the other driver agrees s/he was at fault, you still need to call the police to file a report. Get a copy of the report before leaving the scene of the accident, as this report could be evidence in your case.
Observe The Other Driver: Observe, but do not accuse the other driver of anything. Instead, allow the officers to make the decision on whether to conduct field sobriety tests.
You should also keep an eye on the driver while you are waiting for the police to arrive. If more than one person is in the other car, remember who stepped out of the driver’s seat. The intoxicated driver may try to claim that a sober passenger was actually driving at the time of the crash. If you see the driver dispose of any beer cans or drug paraphernalia before the police arrive, let them know.
If the other driver was drunk at the time of the accident, you have a strong claim for compensation. For example, if the other driver is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it is likely that a court would find him/her at fault for your accident.
In Texas, it is illegal to drive a car with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. For commercial drivers, it is illegal to drive with 0.04 percent BAC. And for minors, those under the age of 21, there is a zero tolerance law in place. That means and blood-alcohol concentration, even 0.001, will result in a DUI.
However, the simple fact that the other person was drunk is not enough to prove they caused the accident. Instead, your attorney must prove that the drunk driver was also negligent. For example, the drunk driver would be at fault for the crash if s/he ran a red light or swerved into your lane on the highway.
Even though rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have helped to decrease the frequency of drunk driving accidents, they cannot eliminate them all. In some cases, you might be involved in a drunk driving accident with a rideshare vehicle — either as a passenger or the driver of another vehicle.
Although the law surrounding these types of accidents is still developing, there is a strong chance that Uber or Lyft may have to compensate you if its drivers caused your injuries.
However, if you are involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, the rideshare service will do its best to avoid paying you a dime.
If you end up in this situation, be proactive. Do not rely on the rideshare driver to call 911 or ensure your safety. Call 911 and get as much information as possible. If you were not a passenger in the car, ask the driver if s/he had a passenger at the time. This can be the difference between $1 million and $30,000 to pay for your injuries.
Hilda L. Sibrian has dedicated her career to protecting the rights of injured victims in the Houston area and she can help you too. If you were injured in a drunk driving accident, contact the Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. for free today
Texas law makes it possible to collect compensation for your financial and emotional losses after another person’s negligence causes the death of your loved one. We can help you file this type of claim, and take your first steps toward moving forward with your life.
If you lost a spouse, parent, or child because of another party’s careless actions in Houston, it can benefit you to talk to a Texas wrongful death lawyer from the Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C. We can help you understand your options for recovery, and represent you throughout the claims process. Call us today at 713-863-1515 to learn more.
Only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim under Texas law. This includes:
Siblings, grandparents, and other family members are not eligible to file a wrongful death claim. However, if none of the eligible family members exist or all choose not to file a claim, the executor or other legal representative can file a claim to benefit the estate.
We can help you determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, and what actions you need to take to get the compensation you deserve.
You can only collect compensation through a wrongful death claim if we can prove the at-fault party’s negligence caused their injuries and subsequent death. Often, this is a motorist who caused a traffic accident, a homeowner who did not take adequate precautions, or a business owner who failed to keep customers safe.
Before we file a wrongful death claim, we will investigate your loved one’s death and collect any evidence that identifies the responsible parties. This is key to winning your claim and getting the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today, and let us go to work determining who is liable for your family member’s death. Only then can we hold that party responsible for your financial and emotional losses.
The Texas Wrongful Death Act outlines the process of filing for compensation after losing a family member because of another person’s careless or negligent actions. In most cases, a wrongful death case will settle without ever going to court. Instead, we file a claim based on the liable party’s auto, homeowner’s, or business insurance.
We present strong evidence to show liability and demonstrate the damages you suffered. Then, our legal team counters any offer made by the insurance company, and negotiates a settlement that covers your losses. We handle all communication with the insurance company, and ensure your rights remain protected.
If the insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement, we have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court. While this is rarely necessary, having the option available to us gives us additional bargaining power during settlement negotiations.
While the process to file a wrongful death claim is not all that different from filing a claim after a car accident or other injury, you cannot collect the same type of damages. Normal personal injury claims cover the losses of the injured party. Wrongful death claims cover the losses suffered by family members. This means the types of damages you can recover include:
If your loved one had a pending personal injury claim at the time of death, we can determine whether you can continue that injury claim as well. However, the settlement from this claim, called a survival action, will benefit the estate, not the surviving family members. We can help you understand the factors at play, and determine the best options for you and your family.
At the Law Offices of Hilda L. Sibrian, P.C., our staff understands the emotional and financial effects that impact families after one member loses their life in a preventable accident. We can help you understand your legal options for holding the at-fault parties responsible, and for recovering the compensation you need to cover your accident-related damages.
Call our Houston office today at 713-863-1515 to schedule a consultation. We are available for you 24/7. Se Habla Español.
People tend to think that summer is the safest time to be on the road. After all, there is no snow or ice on the road, but there are other challenges and dangers you need to be aware of before you get behind the wheel this summer.
School is out. When school is out for the summer, more children are playing and biking outside, which increases the risk of a pedestrian or bicycle accident.
People ride bicycles for different reasons. Whether it is a hobby you enjoy with family, a great way to exercise, or how you commute to work, cycling has many advantages. However, it is not always the safest mode of transportation. Knowing how to stay safe while sharing Houston streets with other vehicles is key to avoiding serious injuries.
If you or your family is going to be exploring Houston on two wheels this summer, consider these tips:
According to Houston’s Bicycle Ordinance, all children must wear a helmet when riding, so protective gear is especially important if you are cycling with children. While it may not be illegal for adults to ride without a helmet, we recommend everyone wear a helmet every time. Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect yourself in case of an accident.
Over 800,000 people in the United States seek medical treatment for a dog bites each year; more than 400,000 of them are under the age of 18, according to statistics provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Dogs are members of the family, and provide great companionship for kids. However, they can also pose a great danger.
Teaching your children how to meet and interact with unfamiliar dogs can help them stay safe. Consider these tips:
Pedestrian accidents are rising quickly in Houston. The rate of pedestrian accidents was 31 percent higher in 2016 than in 2015, reports the Houston Police Department.
There is no clear consensus on the reason for the increase in pedestrian accidents in Houston. Houston Police Department Sgt. Derrick Hall said it has been “really hard for us to explain why.”
Self-driving cars — we have seen them in movies for years. We have dreamed of riding to work with our eyes closed or focused on the morning newspaper. Well, the future may be closer than we think because self-driving cars are already on our streets. However, accidents involving these autonomous vehicles are already happening. [Read more…]
The holidays are upon us. This is a time to celebrate with friends and family. These celebrations often involve driving long distances to see friends and family, heading to a celebration at the local bar, or sending 2016 off at a friend’s house.
Regardless of where Houstonians celebrate, these big celebrations are sure to include alcohol.
Drivers in Houston, Harris County, and anywhere in Texas drive on some of the deadliest roads in the country. Texas has always had a serious problem with traffic fatalities, but fatal accidents have actually increased over the past five years. Nowhere are drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists more at risk than when passing through an intersection.
Sadly, in 2013, Houston was named the #1 most dangerous city in the country for red-light accidents. Between 2004 and 2013, 181 people died in Houston intersections from drivers running red lights. That figure only includes these types of accidents, just one common cause of fatal traffic accidents in Harris County. [Read more…]