Dangerous Highways in Houston
Highways are essential road networks that connect cities, towns, and states, allowing for efficient transportation and commerce. However, heavy traffic, high speeds, and complex intersections on Houston highways can result in serious accidents and injuries. If you’ve been involved in a highway accident in Houston, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from a skilled and experienced Houston Highway accident lawyer who can protect your rights and help you seek compensation.
One of the most dangerous highways in Houston is I-45. I-45 has been identified as the most dangerous highway in the United States. It has an average of 56.5 fatal accidents for every 100 miles of road, and the stretch that runs through Houston is particularly lethal, accounting for 73 deaths in 2019 alone. The high number of fatal accidents on I-45 is attributed to various factors, including faulty infrastructure, poor lighting, and a high rate of drunk driving fatalities.
Apart from I-45, there are other roads and highways in Houston that have also been identified as dangerous. These are:
- Interstate 10
- U.S. Highway 290
- U.S. Highway 59
- State Highway 288
These highways are all considered dangerous due to a combination of factors, including high-speed limits, heavy traffic, aggressive drivers, and poor road conditions. If you are planning on driving on any of these highways, it is important to be extra cautious and obey all traffic laws.
Texas is a Fault Based State
Texas is a fault-based state when it comes to car accidents. In an at-fault or fault-based system, the driver who caused the accident is held responsible for the resulting injuries and damages. The insurance company of the at-fault driver is typically responsible for compensating the injured party based on their degree of fault.
Under Texas law, if you are injured in a car accident, you have the right to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is generally responsible for paying for the damages sustained by the injured party.
It’s important to note that in Texas, the fault system also takes into account shared fault or comparative fault. If more than one driver is at fault for the accident, each driver’s degree of fault is considered. As long as a claimant’s level of fault for the collision is 50% or less, they can still recover damages. The percentage of fault assigned to each driver can affect the amount of compensation awarded.
Types of Highway Accidents in Houston
There are several types of highway accidents that can occur. Here are some common types:
- Multiple vehicle collisions: These accidents involve three or more vehicles and can range from minimal to massive pileups, resulting in confusion, multiple injuries, and fatalities.
- Rear-End Collisions: Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle. They are common on highways due to sudden stops, tailgating, or distracted driving.
- Side-Impact Collisions: Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone accidents, happen when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. These accidents often occur at intersections or when merging into another lane.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents involve a vehicle flipping over onto its side or roof. They can be caused by high speeds, sharp turns, or sudden maneuvers.
- Lane departure crashes: These accidents happen when a driver leaves their lane and collides with another vehicle or a roadside object. It includes head-on collisions and run-off-road collisions.
- Collisions at junctions: This category includes rear-end collisions and angle or side impacts that occur at intersections or junctions.
- Collisions with animals: These accidents occur when a vehicle collides with an animal that is on or near the roadway.
Remember, after a highway accident, it is crucial to take certain steps to protect your rights. These steps may include calling 911 to report the accident, seeking medical attention for any injuries, collecting information and evidence related to the accident, notifying your insurance company, and avoiding making any statements admitting fault before consulting with a Houston Highway accident lawyer.
Causes of Highway Accidents in Houston
Numerous factors can contribute to highway accidents, including:
- Speeding: Speeding is a significant contributor to highway accidents in Houston. It includes exceeding the speed limit and driving too fast for the current road conditions. Speeding reduces the driver’s ability to react to sudden situations, increases stopping distances, and amplifies the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a prevalent cause of accidents on Houston highways. Distractions can include activities like using mobile phones, eating, drinking, adjusting the audio system, or engaging in other tasks that divert the driver’s attention from the road. Even momentary distractions can have severe consequences, as they reduce the driver’s ability to react to potential hazards.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: Careless lane changes without properly checking blind spots or failing to use turn signals can lead to accidents. Negligent drivers who fail to ensure the coast is clear before changing lanes risk colliding with other vehicles, causing sideswipe accidents or more severe crashes.
- Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly increases the risk of accidents. Impaired drivers experience reduced coordination, slower reaction times, and impaired judgment, making them more likely to cause collisions on Houston highways. Impaired driving is a serious offense and poses a significant danger to all road users.
- Running Red Lights or Stop Signs: Failing to obey traffic signals, such as running red lights or stop signs, is a dangerous behavior that can lead to severe accidents. When drivers disregard these traffic control devices, they risk colliding with other vehicles that have the right of way.
- Failing to Yield the Right of Way: Failure to yield the right of way is a common cause of accidents, particularly at intersections. This occurs when drivers do not give priority to other vehicles or pedestrians with the right of way. Examples include making a left turn without waiting for a safe gap in oncoming traffic or entering an intersection before it is clear.
- Fatigue and Drowsy Driving: Driver fatigue and drowsiness can impair a driver’s ability to stay alert and react quickly to changing road conditions. Fatigued drivers are more likely to have reduced attention, slower reflexes, and may even fall asleep at the wheel, increasing the risk of accidents on Houston highways.
Improving road safety requires the collective effort of drivers, pedestrians, and transportation authorities. By staying off phones while driving, minimizing distractions, obeying traffic laws, and practicing defensive driving techniques, we can work towards creating safer roadways in Houston.
How Are Damages Calculated in Highway Accidents in Houston?
Calculating damages in Houston highway accidents involves considering various factors and evaluating the extent of the losses suffered by the accident victim. The following are key elements that are typically taken into account when determining damages in Houston highway accident claims.
- Medical Expenses: Medical bills resulting from the accident, including emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical expenses related to the injuries sustained.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work during the recovery period. This includes both past and future lost wages, as well as potential loss of earning capacity if the injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability.
- Property Damage: The cost of repairing or replacing the damaged vehicle or other property involved in the accident. This may include the vehicle’s fair market value if it is deemed a total loss.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages to compensate for physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall impact the accident has had on the victim’s quality of life. These damages are subjective and can vary based on the severity of the injuries and their long-term effects.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the negative impact the injuries have on the victim’s relationship with their spouse, including the loss of companionship, affection, and intimacy.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases involving extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
To determine the specific value of damages in a Houston highway accident case, it is crucial to gather relevant evidence, such as medical records, bills, expert opinions, and witness statements. Consulting with a skilled Houston highway accident lawyer is highly recommended as they can assess the unique circumstances of the case, consider all applicable factors, and provide an accurate estimate of the potential damages.
Why Should You Partner with Our Houston Highway Accident Lawyer
If you need assistance with a highway accident in Houston, it is advisable to seek the help of a Houston highway accident lawyer who specializes in handling such cases. When choosing a highway accident lawyer, it’s important to consider factors such as:
- Types of cases dealt with
- Their success rate, and
- Style of communication
During the free consultation session, you can discuss your case, ask questions about their experience, their approach to handling cases, evaluate their qualifications and their fees to determine if they are the right fit for your needs.
A Houston highway accident lawyer at Joel A Gordon and Associates can provide you with legal guidance, protect your rights, and help you pursue a full recovery if the negligence of another driver caused your injuries. Schedule your appointment with us today, we offer free consultations. We will handle all the legal complexities and advocate for your best interests, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.