Automobile crashes result in more injuries per year than any other single type of accident, and a lot of wrecks that occur in Texas could have been avoided if one person involved had been less careless or reckless. If you were hurt because another driver was negligent, holding them accountable through civil litigation may be your only means of ensuring they—and not you—bear financial liability for your injuries and losses.
Unfortunately, pursuing a civil lawsuit after a vehicle crash can be a challenging process, especially if you work without a knowledgeable injury attorney. With a Killeen car accident lawyer by your side, you could stand a far better chance of securing the financial compensation you need to pay your medical bills, repair your vehicle, and get your life back on track.
HOW NEGLIGENCE CAUSES AUTO ACCIDENTS
Every licensed driver who gets behind the wheel of an automobile assumes a basic duty under state law to act reasonably and navigate responsibly. This duty requires drivers to obey all applicable traffic laws, keep their focus on the road at all times while moving, watch out for nearby pedestrians and other vehicles, and react in rational ways to any obstacles or hazards they encounter during their drive.
Any reckless, careless, and/or illegal act someone commits while driving that puts others at risk of harm constitutes a violation of this duty, and if this violation directly leads to a collision, the irresponsible person can be considered legally negligent. If found negligent and responsible for a car crash, they will likely be financially liable for any harm. Generally, it does not matter exactly how someone was negligent, only that they were reckless or careless. For example, someone who causes a wreck by being momentarily distracted is just as negligent as someone who causes a crash by going 20 miles per hour over the posted limit.
However, drivers who cause harm through especially egregious negligence or intentionally malicious conduct may end up having additional punitive damages imposed upon them by a court, in addition to the regular compensation they would have to pay. Punitive damages only apply in certain cases, like if a driver decides to get behind the wheel after drinking. A Killeen attorney could further explain how negligence and fault work during the process of filing a car accident claim.
TAKING PROMPT LEGAL ACTION AFTER A VEHICLE CRASH
When it comes to damages, a comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand built around a car crash can seek compensation for economic and non-economic forms of harm, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Car repair/replacement costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses for things like rental cars and assistive medical equipment
- Lost work income and/or ability to work
- Reduced overall enjoyment of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Psychological distress, including PTSD
However, it is key to remember that Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 establishes a two-year filing period—usually beginning when an accident actually occurred—for an injured person to start any civil lawsuit they intend to file over their injuries. With or without a lawyer’s assistance, exceeding this time limit after a car accident in Killeen will likely leave an injured person with no means of ever getting compensation for their losses.
TALK TO A KILLEEN CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
Auto accidents claims hundreds of lives and cause thousands of injuries across Texas every year, often in preventable ways. Fortunately, if someone else’s negligent driving left you injured, you may have legal options available to you that a seasoned legal professional could help you explore.
A conversation with a Killeen car accident lawyer could be a key first step on your road to physical and financial recovery. Call us today to schedule a meeting.