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TX injury lawyerMost of the time, it is merely an annoyance when some component of a vehicle stops functioning. A tire starts to go flat, so you pull over unharmed. The battery dies and you need a jump to get it started. Other times, however, a mechanical problem on a car can be dangerous. When a vehicular malfunction leads to a car accident, untangling liability might be complicated. Proving that the accident was in fact caused by a mechanical failure is just the first step. There are a number of other considerations and a number of different parties who could be liable. You will want to work with an attorney who is experienced in handling these complex cases.

Which Vehicle Defects Are Likely to Cause Accidents?

When a breakdown happens while someone is driving, there is a distinct possibility that a car crash will happen. Some types of vehicular malfunctions that are likely to cause accidents include:

  • Tire blowouts - Tires should be well-designed and well-constructed so that they can handle a puncture without bursting suddenly. When a tire explodes rather than gradually deflates, it can cause the car to swerve out of control and hit other vehicles.
  • Steering failure - A driver who cannot steer can do little to avoid an accident, save for slamming the brakes and hoping for the best.
  • Brake failure - Suddenly finding yourself unable to stop can be terrifying for the driver as well as for everyone else on the road. Rear-end collisions are common, including chain-reaction rear-end collisions due to the force of impact. This situation can be especially dangerous when the driver with defective brakes is sent hurtling into an intersection.
  • Lights out - When driving at night, headlights and taillights, including brake lights, are more important than many people realize. If you cannot see a vehicle because its lights are out, it is very easy to collide with it.

Who Can Be Liable in These Accidents?

Liability in accidents caused by mechanical issues on a car typically depends on who ultimately caused the failure. If the manufacturer of the component made a mistake in designing or manufacturing the part, and that mistake directly caused the crash, the manufacturer may be liable under a products liability theory. If a mechanic or body shop made a mistake while repairing, replacing, or handling that part, they could be liable. The driver may be liable if they caused the failure, like by forgetting to check their lights or overinflating their tire, then the driver may well be liable.

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TX injury lawyerWhen you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, they may be legally obligated to cover your medical bills and other costs related to your accident. However, depending on the complexity of the case and how cooperative the defendant (or their insurance company) is, it may be months or years before you see a dime of compensation. In the meantime, you are hurt now and you need health care now. If you are one of the millions of Americans who do not have health insurance, getting the care you need when you need it can be a challenge. There are several ways that you can try to get your injuries treated. An attorney may be able to help guide you through the process of seeking care now.

What if I Need Emergency Care After the Accident?

It is important to know that hospitals are required to treat anyone who is having a medical emergency, whether they have insurance and are able to pay or not. You can be treated in the ER right away, and you will not be discharged until it is safe for you to go home. The bill can be addressed later.

How Can I Get Health Care Without Insurance After an Accident?

After the need for emergency care has passed, you may require continuing care, such as follow-up visits with a specialist or physical therapy. Trying to get a doctor to begin treating you when you have no health insurance can be very difficult. Strategies you and your lawyer may use to make sure you are getting the care you need in the meantime include:

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TX accident lawyerAfter a negligent driver leaves you injured, one of the first things that is going to happen is that you will get a phone call from the other driver’s insurance company. They will be hoping you answer personally instead of referring them to your attorney. If this is the case, then they will most likely make you an offer right away. The offer will probably sound quite good. They may even give you a six-figure number that seems like way more than enough to cover your medical expenses in addition to fixing or replacing your vehicle.

Do not take this offer. While it may sound like a lot, accepting this offer could end up costing you quite a bit of money. Your best bet is to seek out an experienced attorney who can help you discern what your car accident claim is really worth before speaking to an insurance company.

How Do Insurance Companies Calculate Their First Offer?

Insurance companies exist to make a profit, not to help you. They will nearly always try to get away with paying out as little as possible when one of their customers causes a crash. Before making an initial offer, a claims adjuster will review the facts of the case and try to make an educated guess about what a jury might award you should the case go to trial. Then, they offer you only a small percentage of that.

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TX injury lawyerMost people who regularly drive have experienced sleepiness at the wheel. Whether due to shift work, insomnia, or other reasons, most adults do not get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night. When driving, sleep deprivation can be deadly. Experts explain that sleep deprivation can cause episodes of “microsleep.” A person may fall asleep for several seconds at a time without even realizing it. Large truck drivers who are fatigued may make driving mistakes that lead to horrific accidents.

If you or a loved one were harmed in a truck accident and you suspect sleep deprivation may have been a contributing factor, it is important to understand how this may impact your claim.

Understanding Hours of Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the number of hours commercial drivers may drive in a day. For example, these “Hours of Service” rules state that commercial drivers carrying property can only drive a maximum of 11 hours consecutively. Drivers carrying passengers are limited to ten hours.

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TX injury lawyerCar crashes happen every day in Texas. Some are caused by driver inattention, drunk driving, or traffic law violations. Others are caused by defective vehicle components such as defective tires or brakes. Whatever the reason, car accidents have a major personal and financial impact on victims.

Many car crash victims are able to recover financial compensation for vehicle repair, medical bills, and other costs. However, even after a vehicle is repaired, the vehicle may not recoup its original value. Fortunately, Texas law allows car accident victims to seek compensation for the diminished value of their vehicle.

Addressing the Difference in Value Before and After a Collision

Mechanics can repair vehicle damage after a car accident, but there is no way to go back in time and make it so the accident never occurred. Regardless of the repairs performed on the vehicle, the vehicle has still been involved in an accident and potential buyers will no longer pay top dollar for it.

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