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Houston Car Accident Lawyer

Houston Car Accident Lawyer

Our experienced attorneys will fight for you.

Injured in a Texas crash? An attorney can help.

There’s no sugarcoating it: Houston (and other Texas cities) has some of the deadliest roads and drivers in the country. If you’re a Texan that has to get behind the wheel everyday, you know how dangerous it can be. From trucks ramming into the back of cars at breakneck speeds, pedestrians being run over in crowded urban areas, and motorcyclists being struck on their bikes, our Houston car accident lawyers have seen it all when it comes to some of the deadliest, most catastrophic cases.

Jim Adler has over 40 years of experience getting results for Houston drivers and other Texans and we are always ready to help you get the most value out of your accident claim.  We’ll even review your case for free!

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Why Should I Hire A Lawyer For A Car Accident?

Although it is perfectly fine to file a personal injury claim against an insurance company by yourself, this route may only be suitable if you’ve suffered minor injuries (or no injuries) in your car accident.

But for catastrophic and serious car accidents that result in severe injuries and expensive medical bills, you should hire a qualified car accident lawyer that will be able to help you fight the insurance companies. Your car accident lawyer will have knowledge of the applicable laws surrounding your case and will be there to help you with all of the legal filings. They will represent you throughout the life cycle of your case and will act on your behalf.

There are many people that are uncomfortable with hiring a lawyer for matters like car wrecks and injuries. They often believe that it further complicates the problem or is completely unaffordable. This lack of understanding usually causes more problems in the long run.

Here’s the thing: many people don’t realize how complicated car accident claims can be.

Insurance companies proclaim to have your best interest at heart, but in reality, their job is to do the least amount for you as possible. In addition to this, the more severe the accident was, the higher the likelihood you’re going to get taken advantage of.

People don’t realize the importance of protection needed in cases that involve serious car accidents. You can never trust the other party to do right by you. For example, if a car pulled out in front of you, hit you and then a passenger in that car passed away as a result, you cannot trust that they won’t accuse you of the difficult situation. Protection means everything and a car accident lawyer is a necessity.

We aren’t saying that you don’t have the right to deal with your own claim. There are many people out there that prefer to handle their matters completely on their own. But it isn’t always wise. We have encountered countless situations in which those that were injured in car accidents were short-changed by insurance companies. Don’t let that person be you! With the right attorney, you can claim what is rightfully yours and without the added stress of dealing with the insurance companies.

  • Multiple parties were involved in the car wreck,
  • One or more people were killed by the accident,
  • One of more people were injured by the accident,
  • The police report doesn’t match with the actual incident,
  • One or more parties involved did not have car insurance or health insurance,
  • There was a hit and run situation,
  • The other parties did not share their contact information with you,
  • You cannot afford the medical bills,
  • You cannot afford to repair or replace the vehicle.
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How Can An Attorney Help Me?

A qualified lawyer can help you fight the insurance companies. If you try to do it on your own, it will usually spell disaster. Insurance companies earn their money by ensuring that you receive as little as possible from the car accident. If you sustained serious injuries from the accident, you absolutely cannot rely on the insurance company to help you. It’s crucial for you to reach out to a car accident lawyer so that you may have the proper guidance in dealing with the insurance company and all other parties involved.

A car accident lawyer can also help you lower your medical bills. An average emergency room visit can cost upwards of $20,000 and hospital stays and surgeries can cost three times more! Even physical therapy can be expensive!

Once you hand your burden over to an attorney, they will fight for you so that you can take care of yourself. This gives you the much needed opportunity to heal from your injuries and endure any medical treatments without the added stress of the legalities. You will know that you’re protected. Too many people accept settlements that robbed them of money, medical care, vehicle repairs, vehicle replacements, jobs and peace of mind. This should not be the case. A qualified attorney has the knowledge and experience to fight for what is rightfully yours.

  • Your attorney will listen to all of your concerns,
  • They will determine the liable parties for your pain and suffering,
  • A lawyer will work on your legal claim and file it on your behalf,
  • They will gather all necessary evidence to prove your injuries and/or damages,
  • And they will present this to the at-fault party’s insurance company for negotiation.

What Should I Do After A Car Accident?

There are several steps you should take after a car accident to protect yourself and Texas even has laws surrounding this. Let’s take a look at step by step instructions on what to do after you’ve been in a car accident.

  • Ensure that you’re okay and anyone else in the vehicle with you are safe. Also, if possible, check on the other parties involved in the wreck to see if they’re okay. Then, if you’re able to, move as far away from oncoming traffic as quickly as you can. The accident site itself may increase the odds of another accident. Keep yourself safe at all times.
  • Call 911 and request that a police officer come to the scene of the accident.
  • Even if there isn’t a direct emergency after the accident, you should still call the local police department to report the accident.
  • Take pictures of the damages to all vehicles involved.
  • Obtain the insurance information and driver license from all parties involved in the accident.
  • Get the police officer’s information and police report number.
  • Seek immediate medical attention to address and document your injuries.

Remember that it’s absolutely critical that you stick to the facts and be truthful when sharing your account of the accident. However, always be very cautious when sharing your story with the insurance companies. They are trained to search for loopholes in your story so that they may find any reason to deny your claim. The last thing you need to do is say something to them that will compromise your legal rights.

This is where an experienced attorney will benefit you tremendously. It’s an attorney’s job to ensure that your legal rights are protected and secured. Never let anyone pressure you into saying something or signing something before speaking to your car accident attorney. You have the right to temporarily withhold that information.

When is the best time to hire an attorney?

The best time to consult with an attorney is immediately after your car accident. Although the details of your accident are important, and not every case may require legal assistance, an attorney can help you:

  • Gather evidence that shows who was at fault for the accident, including working with accident reconstruction specialists and other experts
  • Identify every possible liable party
  • Handle communications and negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company
  • Keep track of your medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Estimate future medical costs and accident-related losses
  • Communicate with your medical care team to obtain complete records that document your losses in detail
  • Recovering your lost wages
  • Represent you at depositions, hearings, and in court if necessary
  • Deal with lien holders and debt collectors on your behalf
  • Reducing your medical bills

What is your time worth to you? You might be surprised at how long it takes to deal with the various aspects of a car accident claim—even a seemingly straightforward claim involving minor injuries and minimal property damage. If your injuries are severe, your time is best spent focusing on making a full recovery, as fast as possible. Not only that, but any misstep along the way could reduce your chances of recovering maximum compensation. Insurance companies are adept at wearing people down by dragging out the claims process.

Insurance companies are some of the largest and most profitable corporations on earth. And their business model is built on delaying, denying, and underpaying claims.

It’s worth—at the very least—talking to a car accident lawyer at Jim Adler & Associates about your situation. If it doesn’t sound like you need one, we’ll let you know. But if you do, we can get to work right away protecting your rights and maximizing your recovery.

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If I had a minor car accident, should I hire an attorney?

While a car accident may not appear to be serious at the outset, appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to certain types of musculoskeletal injuries and brain trauma. And just because you feel fine immediately after an accident doesn’t mean you’re not injured. You might not feel any pain right away but later, you may start to notice symptoms of an injury. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to consult with an attorney after a car accident.

Even then, you might dismiss your symptoms as nothing serious and assume that they’ll resolve on their own. But this could be a serious mistake that can play into the hands of the insurance company.

Insurers and their defense lawyers frequently use the argument, and trot out experts to support their claim, that the forces involved in low-speed accidents are not significant enough to cause injuries. There is a significant body of research, however, showing that even low speed accidents can cause chronic injuries, including so-called “whiplash,” a type of injury to the soft tissues (such as ligaments and muscles) of the neck, and concussions.

For example, a 2021 scientific article found that the use of the “biomechanical approach” (i.e., the defense tactic used by insurance companies) vastly underestimates the actual risk or real-world, low-speed impacts. Emerging evidence also shows that there’s no such thing as a “mild” concussion. Some people develop headaches, fatigue, brain fog, memory problems, and other symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. These symptoms can last for months or years. Similar symptoms, which can also be long-term, may result from whiplash. Both whiplash and concussions can occur in relatively low-speed collisions that produce little vehicle damage.

The problem with assuming your injuries are “minor” is that you might put in an initial car accident claim, and then find out later the true extent of your injuries. The insurance company might pressure you to settle your claim immediately, but you don’t have to. For help dealing with the insurance company and advice on seeking medical treatment, get in touch us.

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If I'm at fault, should I still sue?

First off, you should NEVER admit fault in a crash. Even if you are certain that you caused the accident, there is no benefit—and potentially, a lot of harm—to admitting this to a police offer at the accident scene, the other driver, or the insurance company—including your own insurance company.

In fact, it’s best that you say as little as possible to any of these parties until you’re able to speak with an attorney. You may have to exchange insurance information and provide law enforcement with a statement. But when you do, stick to the facts. Even a simple statement like, “I didn’t see the other driver” could be taken as an admission of guilt. If you aren’t sure of what to do or say, know that it is within your right to speak to an attorney at any point.

Your insurer will work with the other driver’s insurer to determine fault, based on the available facts. Again, your statements on who caused the accident could come back to hurt you. You may be convinced you’re at fault, but additional details could come to light that show the other driver was at fault, either in whole or in part. You certainly should not make a statement to the insurance company—yours or somebody else’s—right away. Allow some time to pass so you are not making a statement when emotions are running high and you haven’t had time to process what happened.

You may have to report the accident to your insurance company within a certain amount of time. Don’t rush. Let the claim play out. With the passage of time, information may emerge that helps your case. For example, maybe you were speeding, but maybe the other driver was texting and driving. You were at fault—but they were, too.

In Texas, you can recover compensation for a car accident as long as you are not more than 50 percent responsible. What that means is, if you are 50% or less at fault, you can still recover money to pay for losses like medical bills and/or property damage.

You may ultimately be at fault for the accident but still have significant injuries. In this scenario, you’ll be going through your insurance company for payment. Just because a company is your insurer doesn’t mean they have your best interests in mind. Remember: no matter what they promise about being “on your side,” “like a good neighbor,” or “in good hands,” the insurance company—whether yours or somebody else’s—is not your friend. Before talking to the insurance company, you should first talk to one of our experienced attorneys.

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What are the common types of car accidents in Texas?

There are several different types of car accidents. Here are some of the most common:

  • Single Vehicle Accidents
    These only involve your car and no one else’s Depending on the scenario, they can be very minor or very serious.
  • Head-on Crash Accidents
    These are often devastating car accidents. You often see these type of car accidents on interstate highways.
  • Rear-end Crash Accidents
    With these, you may be sitting at a stop light and minding your own business when a car from behind you crashes into your backside.
  • Rollover Accidents
    These types of accidents are often seen with SUV vehicles and other high ride vehicles. They usually occur when there’s too much speed and a loss of friction from the wheels to the pavement. Making a turn with a high speed often causes rollover accidents.
  • Fatal Crash Accidents
    These are the most heartbreaking cases that we deal with. These involve a driver or passenger that didn’t survive the accident.
  • Hit and Run Accidents
    These types of accidents involve one driver hitting another and then escaping the scene before you can communicate with them. In these cases, it’s often hard to capture a description of the vehicle or even a tag number. However, it’s very helpful in your case to have any details that you possibly can.
  • Uber Crash Accidents
    These type of accidents involve a stranger transporting you to another location in their personal vehicle. Due to this particular circumstance, it’s definitely important to not handle these type of cases on your own.
  • Taxi Cab Crash Accidents
    These are similar to Uber accidents. You’ll want protection from the car accident attorney as the taxi cab company may do anything it can to refuse liability.
  • Bus Accidents
    Public transportation is not always the safest form of transportation. If you were involved in a bus accident, be sure to have as many details as you can of the scenario. Even obtain information of the driver and other fellow passengers.
  • Motorcycle Crashes
    These are often one of the most devastating forms of vehicular accidents. A motorcycle driver has little protection when he or she crashes into an oncoming car, truck or even a tree or power pole.
  • Bicycle Accidents
    Bicycle accidents always require the help of an attorney. Far too often, these particular cases are devastating, if not fatal. Whether the bicyclist stayed in his lane or not, there’s no physical protection once hit by another vehicle.
  • ATV Accidents
    These are widely considered fun vehicles, but they’re rarely taken as seriously as they should be. A vehicle is a vehicle whether it’s an on-road or off-road vehicle. ATV accidents can also be devastating depending on the scenario.
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What are the most common causes of car accidents?

There are a lot of people that live and travel through Texas every day. This means that vehicle accidents are going to happen. However, there are many causes of these unfortunate events. Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents:

  • Distracted Drivers
    Distracted drivers area a dime a dozen in Houston. They can be distracted by the children in the backseat that are arguing. They can be distracted by adjusting the temperature dial in the dash. They can be distracted by a conversation with a passenger. Regardless of the distraction, it only takes one second to look away from the road and then find yourself in an unfortunate event.
  • Texting
    Despite the laws surrounding texting and driving in Houston (and Texas), texting has become a major problem for Houston drivers. People think that they can safely text and drive at the same time. What they don’t realize is that texting pulls their attention away from the road for a long time. In many cases, drivers are looking at the phone for a solid 20 seconds instead of the busy roadway in front of them.
  • Speeding
    Speeding is another major contribution to Houston car accidents. There are speed limit signs for a reason – your own protection. When you’re speeding, you’re increasing the risk of losing control of your vehicle as well as reducing your response time to sudden objects in your way.
  • Drinking
    Sadly, there are far too many people that consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel. This has been a major cause of many devastating Houston car accidents. Never, ever get behind the wheel if you have consumed any amount of alcohol. Period.
  • Drug Influence
    With similar effects to drinking and driving, street drugs AND prescription drugs have caused many devastating Houston car wrecks as well. Anything you consume that compromises your physical and mental ability to independently operate a vehicle will cause immeasurable damage to your life and the life of others.
  • Wildlife
    Wildlife is a very common cause of car accidents in Houston. Nighttime poses the biggest risk of wildlife related accidents as it’s harder to see when a deer will suddenly appear from the trees. Accidents also occur when wildlife animals such as opossums, armadillos, dogs, cats, foxes, birds and squirrels suddenly jump in front of your vehicle. A person’s natural instinct is to swerve from hitting the animal. And sadly, if the animal is large like a deer, the animal can force the car off the road before the driver has time to swerve. Wildlife causes many types of unfortunate accidents.
  • Inclement Weather
    Severe weather such as thunderstorms, hail, snow, ice, and wind causes many car accidents. Such circumstances often lower the driver’s visibility or their ability to keep the vehicle on the road.
  • Tire Blowouts
    Bad tires are another common incident that leads to car accidents. If the quality of your tire is compromised by something the car ran over or if the tire is slowly eroding, a blowout can happen unexpectedly. When they do, they often jerk the driver’s steering wheel hard and unexpectedly from their hands. Always do your best to maintain proper tire care for this very reason.
  • Improper Vehicle Maintenance
    If you’re unable to maintain the health of your car, this can often lead to unnecessary accidents. Blown head gaskets, transmission problems and more can compromise a driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle and cause an accident.
  • Road Work
    It happens far too often here in Houston: a driver leaves work and is in a rush to get home. They encounter road work on the interstate and compromise their safety driving habits. You get the point. Always slow down when you encounter road work. Not only for your safety, but for the safety of others as well.
  • Dangerous Intersections
    Many serious car accidents happen at popular intersections. So many times, drivers will pull out in front of an unseen driver or they encounter confusion over who had the right of way.
  • Improper Signs or Lights
    Sometimes, accidents are caused by improper signs or lights. Perhaps there’s a yield sign when it should be a stop sign. Regardless of the reason, these types of occurrences cause confusion and car accidents.
  • Potholes and Pavement Cracks
    Many times, a huge pothole can be hit at just the right speed to cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. These can appear expectantly or unexpectedly.
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What are the most common car accident injuries?

With any accident can come a variety of injuries and medical problems. Some are more common than others depending on the type of vehicle accident that occurred.

  • Whiplash. This involves irritation to the neck muscles that’s caused by the sudden stop of the accident,
  • Cuts, scrapes and bruises,
  • Soft tissues injuries such as torn tendons, ligaments or muscles,
  • Broken bones,
  • Fractured bones,
  • Spinal injuries of the neck and back,
  • Brain or head injuries such as concussions, internal bleeding, skull fractures and more,
  • Burn injuries from mild cases to severe cases.

If you sustained any of these types of injuries in your accident, there’s no doubt that huge medical bills may come along with it. Consult with an experienced attorney that can help you.

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Questions To Ask Yourself

We talked about what to do immediately after a car accident but what about in the days and weeks afterwards? Below are some important questions to ask yourself.
  • Did you seek medical care?
    If you or a loved one had to seek medical care for your car accident injuries, then we recommend speaking with us as soon as possible. If you were not at fault for the accident and do not have the money to pay for medical care, we can help.
  • Was your vehicle or anyone else’s vehicle damaged?
    When car accidents happen, depending on the severity of the crash, it’ll cause some serious damage to your car. Some vehicles become completely totaled from the car crash. Others obtain minor damage, but are damaging to the pocketbook. It’s important that you have a vehicle to transport yourself and your family to school, work, church, and other daily tasks and routines. Thus, if a car accident damages your vehicle or completely totals it, you need to quickly discern the best course of action to repair or replace the vehicle. This is usually not easy for the average person to do unexpectedly. Purchasing another vehicle is expensive. Vehicle repairs cost money. Let us help you receive the full amount owed to you so that you can afford to replace what you’ve lost from the car accident.
  • Were the police called and involved after the car accident?
    If the police were called to the scene of your car accident, this can help you tremendously in proving who should be held liable for your insurance claim. The police officers will document everything from the vehicles involved, the location, the scenario that caused the accident and the parties involved. If someone broke the law with something such as driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs, the police report will show that too. If any traffic violations caused the accident, they will also document that. All of these details will help you on your insurance claim.
  • Were there any insurance or medical costs due to the car accident?
    Remember that you’re seeking compensation for medical costs you did not cause. If you had to endure financial losses due to health insurance co-pays or medical bills, you’ll want to show proof of these amounts to support your claim. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you and lose out on what is rightfully yours.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

Most firms work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless we recover money for you. We cover all the upfront costs of handling a car accident claim. Then, if we obtain a recovery on your behalf, in the form of a settlement or a verdict, you pay us a percentage of the amount we recover. If we don’t recover money for you, you owe us nothing.

An attorney contingency fee is simply a fee that’s charged for attorney services only if the lawsuit was a success and worked out in your favor.  In addition, the attorney fees are usually paid out from the client’s settlement award so nothing actually ends up coming out of your own pocket.

Most lawyers charge 35 percent of the initial settlement if the case is resolved without the need of a lawsuit.  However, if a lawsuit is necessary, then the attorney fee can increase to 40 percent.  Keep in mind, however, that most cases are settled outside of court.  We will never file a lawsuit if we do not have the client’s permission to do so.

Contingency fee example: if a law firm negotiated a $20,000 settlement on your behalf, $7,000 would be paid in attorney fees.  You will then receive the remaining $13,000.  From that $13,000, your medical bills and any other outstanding debts will then need to be paid and the remaining amount goes back into your pocket.  You can then use the remaining amount to cover any lost wages or otherwise recover from the accident.  Obviously, if no settlement is reached, then there would be no cost to you.

Settlements are almost always paid out by the insurance companies.  They are also almost always paid out in one large lump sum as they do not usually like to divide the amount into smaller payments.

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What is the average settlement for a car accident case?

There are several factors that play into the settlement payment and the amount you can get will depend on the details of your case.  This is why it’s really important to document everything and hold on to the proof revolving around your car accident. Listed below are some factors that will determine the payment amount of your settlement:

  • The cost of medical care due to any injuries,
  • The cost of future medical care due to your car accident,
  • Disabilities or impairments that resulted from the car accident,
  • Job loss or missed work due to your accident,
  • Any suffering that you experienced due to your car wreck.

How much time do I have to file a car accident lawsuit?

If you’ve suffered due to a car accident, it is completely normal to take care of your health first. For many people, hiring an attorney to start the legal process sounds stressful. But keep in mind, time is of the essence.

Every state’s statute of limitations surrounding car accident cases is different. So, what does “statute of limitations” mean? It means that there is a limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. In the cases of personal injury and claims surrounding property damage, you have two years to file a petition with the courts in Texas (there are some exceptions to this). Two years is not an unlimited amount of time so don’t procrastinate. The sooner you take action, the better.

Keep in mind that contacting a lawyer should not add additional stress. An attorney’s goal is to relieve you of the stress of a legal claim and handle the process entirely ourselves.

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I’ve had two cases with Jim Adler and both have been successful. They take their job serious and help you until the case is over. I definitely recommend Jim Adler and Associates for any type of car accidents.

– Laura B.
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