Odessa Car Accident Lawyer
4500 West Illinois Avenue, Suite #203
Midland, Texas 79703
Like other towns and counties of Central and West Texas, the Odessa/Ector County area must deal with the problem of motor vehicle accidents.
To better understand the extent of this problem, consider the following statistics:
- In 2017, there were 2,996 motor vehicle accidents in the Ector County/Odessa area that were serious enough to require a police investigation and accident report.
- Law enforcement agencies in the Ector County/Odessa area recorded a total of 38 fatal crashes with 48 deaths
- There were 100 “major” crashes that led to 131 debilitating injuries in 2017.
- In Ector County/Odessa, there were 6.26 DWI-related deaths per 100,000 residents (2016 data)
- Odessa/Ector County recorded 692 DUI arrests (2016 data)
Causes of Car Accidents
In Odessa, as in the rest of Texas, most car accidents were eventually found to have been caused by carelessness on the part of the driver who was eventually found to have been responsible in causing the accident.
Some of the more commonly-identified causes of accidents were:
Driving while impaired / driving while intoxicated
We need not restate the obvious: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Impaired (DWI) accidents are 100% preventable! Under Texas law, any driver whose blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or greater is automatically held liable in any accident in which he or she is involved.
Speeding/driving too fast for conditions
Posted speed limits represent the maximum safe speed on a given section of roadway under ideal conditions. If conditions such as poor visibility or bad weather make it unsafe to drive at the speed limit, a driver could be found liable for a car accident injury.
”Road rage” or overly-aggressive driving
It was only a matter of time before the violence of society found its way into automobiles and onto our highways. Any person charged with a “road rage” or aggressive driving incident, in addition to being arrested, will probably be found liable for damages in any accident that was caused by their behavior.
”Texting” and other types of “distracted” driving
The Texas Department of Transportation once estimated that as many as 1 in 5 motor vehicle accidents involved a driver who was distracted, usually by “texting.” As of September 1, 2017, it is illegal for a motorist to read, write or send an electronic message while driving. If such a driver is involved in an accident, the courts will usually hold that driver liable for damages.
Tire blowout, brake failure, or other equipment failure
The Texas courts do not usually hold a driver directly responsible in cases where equipment and/or mechanical failure led to an accident. However, the equipment manufacturer or the shop where the equipment was installed may be held liable if it can be shown that a component was defective when it was manufactured or if it was improperly installed.
Note that each of the above infractions could result in a criminal citation. However, Texas law and local custom allows a law enforcement officer some discretion in such matters. In most cases, a Texas court will allow the introduction of a criminal violation as supporting evidence of negligence regardless of whether the other party was convicted or even charged with an offense.
What if the other driver claims that I was at fault also
Texas courts must follow what is known as the “Modified Comparative Fault Rule.” In its simplest explanation, this rule states that if you are deemed to have been 51% or more responsible for an accident, you cannot recover damages from the other party. This is also the case if there is more than one defendant (the person being sued): if you are 51% or more responsible for you won injuries, you cannot receive a damage award from any defendant!
If you are found to have been 50% or less at fault, you can recover damages, but any damages that you may be awarded will be reduced by the percentage that you were held to have been at fault.
Let’s look at an example:
Suppose you were in an accident and the court awarded you $100,000 in damages but, at the same time, that court decided that you were also 40% at fault in the accident. You would be awarded only $60,000 because the original award ($100,000) was reduced by the percentage (40%) that you “contributed” to your own injuries ($100,000 – 40% = $60,000).
Obviously, if there is a question as to whether you were partially responsible for your own injuries, you will need an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your right to recover damages.
Why You Need an Odessa Car Accident Lawyer
When you are injured in an automobile accident, you have the right to receive compensation from the party responsible for your injuries. While you may be tempted to deal directly with the other driver’s insurance company, you should protect your legal rights by working with an experienced car accident injury lawyer.
When you contact the Odessa car accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm to arrange a free, no obligation, review of your potential car accident injury case, your initial consultation with our firm is exactly that: free of any later charges to you, and it does not mean that you must hire our firm as your legal counsel. If you later decide that we should represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we will win for you.
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