McAllen Car Accident Lawyers

Car Accident Injury Lawyer in McAllen, TX

Driver error causes most accidents, but other factors, such as poorly maintained roads, defective cars, or hazardous weather conditions, also contribute to a car accident. If you or someone you love has been in a McAllen car accident, you understand the terrible personal and financial consequences.

Contact an experienced McAllen car accident attorney at the Patino Law Firm to discuss your legal options today. Our experienced car accident lawyers in McAllen, Texas, are ready to get you the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Laws in McAllen TX

Texas is a fault car insurance state, which means that an at-fault driver can be held liable for any damages and injuries they cause in a car accident. Most people purchase liability insurance with at least the required minimum limits. Insurance companies must also offer optional uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, but drivers may decline to buy it as a part of their insurance policy.

The minimum insurance requirements in Texas are:

  • $30,000 for each injured person;
  • $60,000 total for injuries per incident; and
  • $25,000 for property damage.
broken vehicle

Determining Fault in a McAllen Car Accident

However, the injured person can sue the at-fault driver for expenses beyond these minimums covered by insurance. If someone’s negligence caused your accident and your resulting injuries, you might recover compensation under car accident law. The definition of negligence is “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”

Meeting the legal definition of negligence requires proving four elements about the defendant’s conduct:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care;
  3. The breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries;
  4. The plaintiff suffered injuries that a court can compensate for, known as “damages.”

To file a lawsuit, you have to file in the Texas civil court for the jurisdiction where the crash happened or where the defendant resides.

Who Is Responsible For My McAllen Car Accident?

Many of the most common accident causes involve a failure on the part of a driver. If you believe that another party was responsible for the accident, you will need to prove that they acted negligently or intentionally and that the negligent action was the cause of your injuries.

The most common responsible parties are:

  • A negligent driver. If another driver acted negligently, they are likely responsible for your injuries and any damage to your property. Evidence of negligence includes violation of traffic rules and regulations, including some of the most common causes of accidents, like speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.
  • A negligent driver’s employer. If a negligent employee is acting in the course of their employment, their employer could be responsible for their actions. Employees involved in traffic accidents typically include delivery drivers and commercial truck drivers. It’s often advantageous to pursue recovery from the employer as they have larger insurance policies and more liquidity than the driver themselves.
  • Vehicle manufacturer. If a vehicle manufacturer failed to assemble or test a vehicle or part appropriately, they could be responsible for any injuries that occur due to that failure. Establishing that a vehicle failure was at fault for the crash requires extensive testing and the potential involvement of experts.
  • Local government. It’s the responsibility of the local government to maintain streets and traffic signals, including crosswalks, traffic lights, and stop signs. If the local government fails in this responsibility and the failure causes an accident, the local government could carry a degree of fault for the resulting injuries. It can be difficult, however, to secure recovery from a governmental entity. A car accident injury lawyer could work with you to determine if recovery may be possible.

The more evidence you can compile of the other party’s negligence, the stronger your claim for recovery could become. It could also determine how seriously you should consider any settlement offer made by the defendant.

What Are Recoverable Damages in a McAllen Car Accident Claim?

Once you have established that another party may be responsible for your injuries, you will need to compile a financial-impact report of those injuries into a damages demand. It is important to include all injuries in your damages demand, as this number will affect any potential jury award or settlement offer. An experienced car accident injury lawyer can help compile this essential report.

Common damages recovered after a car accident injury include:

  • Medical expenses: You may be able to recover all medical expenses associated with your injuries. It can include doctors’ bills, hospital stays, prescription medicine, ambulance rides, and long-term costs like physical therapy. Be sure to include anticipated future expenses. Input from a medical expert may be necessary.
  • Lost wages and income: Injuries often necessitate the victim to miss work, resulting in lost wages. If your ability to perform your job duties or to work full time moving forward is affected, you could also recover for these future losses. An economic expert would evaluate your future earning potential and the impact of your injuries on this amount.
  • Property damage: Few cars make it out of an accident unscathed. If your vehicle, or any other property, suffered damage in the accident, be sure to include the costs of repair or replacement in your damages demand.
  • Emotional distress: A car accident can be a jarring experience. As a result, long-term emotional effects such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression are common for victims to experience due to their car accidents. While often difficult to quantify, you may be entitled to recover for these damages.
  • Loss of enjoyment: Injuries often limit a victim’s ability to participate in activities they previously enjoyed. An athlete might find themselves unable to participate in a sport, or a gardener might not be able to bend over to tend to their flowers. A car accident injury lawyer could help you evaluate whether you have suffered from a loss that could entitle you to additional compensation.
  • Punitive damages: Referred to in Texas as exemplary damages, these may be awarded to a victim to punish the defendant for actions that constitute malice or gross negligence.

While many damages can be straightforward — like doctors’ bills — others can be complicated and difficult to quantify. Work with an experienced McAllen car accident attorney to coordinate with experts, if necessary, and to ensure all your injuries are included.

Should I Accept an Insurance Settlement Offer?

It’s common for car accident lawsuits to settle before or during a trial. It can be tempting to accept an early settlement offer because settlements offer a quick and certain resolution to the matter, with immediate compensation. Be wary of accepting an early settlement offer because it might be much lower than you deserve. You should consider any settlement offer based on the strength of your case and all of the evidence.

Work with an experienced car accidents lawyer to determine the settlement strategy for your case.

How Long Will A Car Accident Trial Last?

Only a small percentage of cases end up at a jury verdict because trial results are difficult for either party to predict. In some cases, however, pursuing the trial to completion is the best strategy. It will depend on the strength of your case and the quality of the settlement offer proposed. If you proceed with a trial, the process can take a while due to the need to compile your evidence, file relevant court documents, complete discovery, and file and respond to motions.

Going to trial, however, could result in you recovering far more compensation than a settlement.

Should you need to go to trial, we could help set reasonable expectations for the trial process and timeline, as well as the pros and cons of settling or proceeding with a lawsuit. Whichever way offers you the greatest advantage, we will work to get you through the process as quickly as possible so you can move on with your recovery.

If your case does call for you to go to court, you will not regret hiring an experienced McAllen car accident attorney. Working with an expert attorney is an excellent way to relieve the stress associated with the administrative and strategic decisions required after a McAllen car accident.

When Should You File a Claim?

Don’t wait to file a claim in McAllen, Texas. Even car accidents that seem simple at first often involve complicated legal issues. Texas, like all states, has time limits for filing lawsuits, called statutes of limitations. If you have to file a lawsuit to pursue damages, in most cases, the statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date of the car accident. So discuss your case with a dedicated, experienced McAllen car accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

At Patino Law Firm, we can protect your rights and guide you through the claims process. For a free consultation, call the Patino Law Firm at 855-LAW-NINJA or contact us online.

Frequent McAllen Car Accident Injuries

The most common types of injuries in McAllen car accidents include:

  • Back and neck injuries. These range from mild neck pain to severe spinal cord injuries such as paralysis. Serious back and neck injuries can result in long-term disability.
  • Head injuries. Brain trauma also ranges from mild to severe. Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries may not be immediately apparent, but they can be devastating. They may affect the victim’s thinking, memory, sensation, balance, communication, and emotion.
  • Internal injuries. If not recognized and treated, internal bleeding may cause shock, organ failure, or death.
  • Rib and torso injuries. The rib cage protects vital organs such as the heart and lungs, so chest trauma can be life-threatening.
  • Cuts and burns. Lacerations and burns from motor vehicle accidents can be harrowing. Burn wounds are especially difficult to treat and often cause disfiguring scars, which may lead to psychological issues.
  • Fractures. These sometimes take a long time to heal or may require surgery.
  • Seat belt injuries. Seat belts save many lives, but sometimes they also contribute to injuries, such as abdominal bruising and whiplash.
  • Wrongful death. The family or heirs of someone killed in an accident might be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
broken car

How Common are McAllen Car Accidents?

Car accidents occur far too often. In one recent year, there were more than 6.7 million car crashes in the United States. That same year, nearly 1.9 million individuals were injured in car accidents. Almost 3,300 fatal crashes resulted in 3,615 deaths in Texas; 32 percent of motor vehicle fatalities were car occupants, and 33 percent were pickup truck and SUV occupants.

On average, more than 36,000 people die from car accidents in the United States each year. Fatal crashes in Texas are split nearly evenly between rural and urban accidents. In a recent year, based on reportable crashes:

  • One person died every two hours and 26 minutes;
  • One person was injured every two minutes and three seconds; and
  • One reportable crash happened every 56 seconds

Additionally, 12,897 serious injury crashes involved 15,843 individuals suffering from severe injuries. The city of McAllen reported six fatal car accidents with seven fatalities, 55 suspected serious crashes, and 64 suspected serious injuries. There were nearly 1,500 crashes that involved injuries and almost 3,000 total crashes in the city. These numbers are higher than the majority of other cities in Texas.

9 Common Causes of McAllen Car Accidents


Speeding Accidents In McAllen TX

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is among the riskiest driving behaviors. It causes about one-third of U.S. traffic fatalities. In 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people. Locally, speeding or driving at an unsafe speed was the number one cause of accidents. Some drivers speed because they’re running late, feel anonymous behind the wheel, or are aggressive drivers.

In some cases, the driver is breaking the speed limit; in others, they may be simply going too fast for road conditions. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says speeding is the most dangerous form of aggressive driving.


Distracted Driving Car Accidents in McAllen TX

Driving is a complex task that demands a driver’s full focus and concentration. For example, a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to crash than a driver who is not. In 2019, there were a total of 561,582 crashes on Texas roads. Of those, 17.4 percent involved distracted driving. characterizes the three primary categories of distracted driving as:

  • Driving while focused on anything other than driving safely;
  • Driving while your hands are occupied by doing anything other than driving safely; and
  • Driving while one’s thoughts are on anything other than driving safely.


Driving While Impaired Auto Accidents in McAllen TX

More than 25 percent of all traffic deaths result from drinking and driving, and 29 people die every day because of a drunk driver. In Texas, 2.2 percent of drivers admit to driving after drinking too much. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in McAllen, there were 160 alcohol-related crashes in 2019. Four people died as a result. The problem goes beyond alcohol use. In 2018, 12 million Americans aged 16 and older reported driving under the influence of marijuana, and 2.3 million reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana.


Aggressive Driving Accidents in McAllen TX

You see aggressive drivers on the road all the time. They tailgate, speed in heavy traffic, weave in and out of traffic, cut off other drivers, change lanes without signaling, and run red lights. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association surveyed drivers and concluded that more than half of them admitted to having road rage and driving aggressively.


McAllen TX Failure to Yield Car Accidents

These accidents are distressingly common. Perhaps a driver making a left turn fails to yield to oncoming traffic or a flashing yellow or red light. Maybe a driver is entering the street from a private driveway. Often the injury victim drives into a car that failed to yield. In the McAllen area, failure to yield is the second most common contributing factor in car accidents.


Drowsy Driving Car Accidents in McAllen

Everyone is under pressure to work harder and do more in a day, so people behind the wheel are often tired. Approximately 7.5 million drivers in the United States admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. People often dismiss the risk of driving while tired, but a fatigued driver may experience a dangerous level of cognitive impairment.

Tired drivers are often slow to react. So they may not try to do anything to stop or avoid the accident, leading to more severe injuries.


Auto Defects In McAllen

It’s tempting to ignore car maintenance and repairs until they become a crisis. But we rely on our vehicles to operate safely. Research a car’s safety record before you buy it. Then follow the recommended maintenance program. As motor vehicles become more sophisticated and technologically advanced, there are more chances of safety defects and recalls. If a defective vehicle or vehicle part causes an accident, the manufacturer, retailer, or others in the distribution chain might be legally liable. Call our experienced McAllen auto defect lawyers today to discuss your case.


Hazardous Road Conditions In McAllen

Drivers who fail to account for hazardous road conditions like rain, snow, ice, and poor visibility can lose control of their cars and crash into responsible motorists.


Construction Zones Accidents in McAllen

Drivers who fail to slow down in construction zones dramatically increase the chances of an accident.

Steps to Take After a McAllen Car Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident in McAllen, there are several things you should do. First, tend to your own health and safety. Seek immediate medical attention even if you do not feel injured. Many injuries, especially internal ones, can exist without presenting symptoms until they become much more serious. Additionally, failure to receive prompt medical treatment could limit your opportunity to recover medical costs associated with your injuries.

Once you have dealt with any medical concerns, you should take these five essential steps to make your claim for recovery as strong as possible:

  1. File a police report. A police report can be an important evidentiary document in your case. It will likely include photos of the accident scene, witness information and accounts, and citations issued for traffic violations.
  2. Stay organized. All the paperwork associated with your accident and pursuit of recovery will feel overwhelming. But it’s all incredibly important. Paperwork like medical bills, communications from insurance companies, and other similar documents could be important in building your case. Be sure to stay organized and keep copies of all relevant paperwork.
  3. Think before you speak. Be careful when talking about the accident, especially to the media or when posting about the accident on social media. The defendant or their insurance company could use a simple statement against you. Imagine how the defendant could use a statement like, “Well, I guess I could have gone a little slower.”
  4. Review before you sign. Be cautious about signing any paperwork before reviewing it thoroughly with our McAllen car accident attorneys. Hospitals, insurance companies, and other parties to the lawsuit will likely present paperwork to you. Some documents may request that you waive certain rights or agree to specific facts. An attorney can help you review all paperwork before you sign.
  5. Don’t delay. You must bring a car accident lawsuit within two years of the injury. While this seems like a long time, significant work is required to research, prepare, and file a civil action. Be sure not to drag your feet in taking action, or you may miss your opportunity.

A car accidents lawyer will help you manage your paperwork, deal with difficult conversations, and help you prepare to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. Contact the expert McAllen car accident attorneys at Patino Law Firm now so that your case has the best chance of succeeding.

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