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el paso injury lawyerWe rely on our vehicles to get us and our loved ones from place to place safely. A crucial factor in this safety is the quality of our vehicles’ tires. Tires play such an important role in our vehicles’ performance that one small defect can cause a dangerous accident. Shockingly, 612 tire-related fatal car accidents occurred in 2019 alone. 

Being involved in a car accident is scary enough. Knowing that the car accident could have been prevented is even more frustrating. Car crashes caused by tire defects can lead to considerable financial and non-financial consequences. Fortunately, it may be possible to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs.  It is possible to receive damages in a case like this, especially when another party, such as the tire manufacturer, was negligent in the production process. 

How to Tell If a Tire Defect Caused Your Accident 

Regardless of how well you take care of your vehicle’s tires, tire defects may be unavoidable. When these defects are present, it is possible to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident, potentially harming yourself and others. 

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el paso car crash lawyerWhen an individual is injured in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle crash, he or she may be left with a heavy financial burden. In addition to lost income from missed work, medical bills, and other expenses, the injured person must also contend with vehicle repair costs. While monetary damages from a personal injury settlement or award may address the cost of repairing the damaged vehicle, it is also necessary to consider the diminution in value resulting from the accident.

What is Diminution in Value?

The term “diminution in value” refers to lost value caused by an event such as a car crash. A vehicle that has been involved in a serious wreck may never regain its full value – even after being repaired. Even if the vehicle damage is fixed, the fact remains that the vehicle is now one which has previously been involved in a serious wreck. Buyers are much less likely to pay top dollar for a vehicle with a crash history than one that was never involved in an accident. Consequently, the overall value of the vehicle is reduced.

Can I Get Compensation for the Loss in Value?

Texas insurers are not obligated to pay a first-party claimant for diminished value if the vehicle is repaired to its pre-accident condition. However, an insurance company may be required to pay for diminution in value in a third-party claim. In other words, if you file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer, that insurer may be obligated to compensate you for the vehicle’s loss in value.

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Texas personal injury attorneyAs a parent, you probably worry about your child’s safety on a near-constant basis. Unfortunately, unexpected accidents happen every day, and sometimes, the victims of those accidents are the most vulnerable among us. If your child was injured in a car crash, amusement park or carnival accident, slip and fall accident, or another incident caused by negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit on your child’s behalf. Personal injury claims involving children are notoriously complicated, so working with an experienced lawyer is crucial.

Understanding Personal Injury Claims Involving Children

Personal injury claims are often based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when a party has a “duty of care” and fails to uphold the duty. For example, the owner/operator of a carnival has a duty to ensure that the rides are safe, well-maintained, and do not present a risk of injury to riders. Drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive responsibly. Tire manufacturers have a duty to ensure that the tires are manufactured correctly and do not contain defects that could lead to blowouts. When a party’s negligence causes someone to be hurt or killed, the injured person may be entitled to damages. In most personal injury cases, the case is resolved through a settlement before the case moves to trial. However, the settlement process is different when the injured person is a child.

Settling a Personal Injury Claim Involving a Minor

Typically, when an adult is injured in an accident, he or she hires a lawyer to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or other liable party. Children are not legally permitted to file a lawsuit. Instead, a representative, typically a parent, stands in for the child. This stand-in is called “next friend” in Texas. If the claim is resolved through a settlement, the parties are usually required to attend a hearing that takes place in front of a judge. A “guardian ad litem” is usually appointed to represent the injured child’s best interests.

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West Texas wrongful death attorneyIf your spouse, parent, child, or other loved one died in a fatal car accident, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. Like a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim is a civil legal action that is used to seek restitution in the form of monetary damages. Unlike a personal injury claim, however, a wrongful death lawsuit is brought on a deceased person’s behalf by a representative of the deceased person. A wrongful death claim can hold the at-fault party or parties accountable for the devastation that the party’s actions caused you and your family.

Understanding Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuits

According to Texas law, a wrongful death is a death that is caused by another party’s wrongful or negligent actions or inaction. The liable party in a fatal car accident may be another driver, a commercial business such as a trucking company or product manufacturer, a government entity, or a combination of several parties. Many wrongful death cases involve:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Vehicle defects including defective tires, faulty brakes, or problems with the car’s computer system
  • Speeding, running a red light, or other traffic law violations
  • Trucking company negligence
  • Failure to properly load and secure truck cargo
  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Reckless driving

Damages in a Fatal Car Crash Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit serves two main purposes: Holding the at-fault party accountable for the avoidable death and securing financial compensation for the surviving loved ones. No amount of money can make up for your tragic loss. However, monetary damages can alleviate some of the financial burden created by an unexpected death. Damages in a wrongful death case often include:

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el paso car accident lawyerIn order to legally operate a motor vehicle in Texas, you must be able to show proof that you can pay for any damages caused by a traffic accident that is your fault. The average driver will do so by purchasing liability insurance. Those who have active auto loans are typically required to carry insurance by their lenders. Unfortunately, some drivers do not follow the rules pertaining to car insurance. According to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council, around 12.6 percent or one in eight drivers nationwide did not have active car insurance in 2019. Costs from a car accident can get extremely expensive very quickly. Knowing what to do after being in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver is crucial for recovering compensation.

Insurance Requirements in Texas

Under Texas law, a driver can choose to insure his or her vehicle. If the driver does not have the assets to be self-insured and he or she purchases insurance from qualified insurance company, the purchased policy must meet certain minimum requirements. To be considered legal, you must carry at least the minimum amount of liability insurance required by law. Liability insurance must be maintained to cover damages of up to at least $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage coverage in the event that you cause an accident.

Over the last several decades, the prices of new cars and the cost of auto parts have skyrocketed, and insurance laws have largely not kept pace with the rising costs. As a result, the dollar amount of the damages caused in a crash can easily exceed the required minimum coverages. If a driver has car insurance but causes an accident in which the damages exceed the policy maximums, he or she is considered to be underinsured. Obviously, if a driver has no car insurance at all, he or she is uninsured. 

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