Llano Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents in Llano, Texas, happen in the blink of an eye, but the aftermath can last years, especially if you have been injured. Whether you have suffered a head-on collision on Highway 16, got rear ended on Highway 29, or were injured in a wrong way accident on the way into town, Llano car accident lawyer Shane Jennings is ready to fight for what you deserve.
Are Car Accidents Common in Texas?
Car accidents are more common than we’d like to think. In 2021, there were no days without death on the road. The number of vehicle crash fatalities increased by over 15% from the previous year, making the car accident death toll almost 5,000.
In the same year, there were nearly 16,000 vehicle accidents that caused serious injuries and over 19,000 people who sustained serious injuries from car crashes. That is a lot of people who may have required medical care and whose lives were disrupted.
How Do I Know if I Have a Car Accident Case?
If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one in Llano, Texas, due to a vehicle crash that occurred through someone else’s negligence, you or your car Llano car accident attorney will need to establish three important things if you want to get monetary compensation:
- The accident was caused by the other party’s negligence. Negligence means that the person had a duty of care toward you — drivers have a duty of care toward others on the road — and that they strayed from a reasonable standard of care. If the crash was caused because they ran a red light, they deviated from this standard of care because drivers of motor vehicles are supposed to follow traffic laws and regulations.
- You were injured (or a family member killed) as a result of this accident, which was caused by the other party’s negligence. Using the example above, if someone ran a red light, crashed into you, and caused you to suffer broken ribs and severe back pain, you can say that this person’s negligence caused those injuries. You will need evidence to support your claim and the extent of your injuries. This could come in the form of medical reports and, in some cases, expert testimony.
- As a result of this accident, you suffered losses — or damages — with a monetary value. In our red light running accident example, it could mean providing medical bills related to those injuries, evidence that you had to take time off work and therefore lost income/wages, or proof that you missed out on an economic opportunity (like a job promotion you were up for) because your injuries prevented you from taking it. Pain and suffering could also entitle you to compensation, but only if you have proved your losses.
Who Was At Fault for Your Car Accident?
As Llano car accident lawyers, what we find most is that in most car accident claims, the victim is seeking compensation from the other driver, whose negligence caused the accident and the injuries. Common negligent actions, many of which are contraventions of traffic regulations and rules of the road, include:
- Disobeying or ignoring traffic signals/signs
- Failing to use turn signals
- Improper lane changes
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving (including texting or using a cell phone while driving in many states)
- Failure to maintain the safety of the vehicle
Determining who is at fault for a car accident may not be obvious in some cases. The other driver is likely going to argue that they are not at fault for the accident because even if their insurance company decides to cover your costs, their premiums will probably rise. Depending on the circumstances, they may even be charged with an offense under criminal or traffic laws, so an admission in one case may affect another. Evidence a car accident lawyer in Llano can potentially use to prove who caused the accident, if the other driver does not admit fault, can come from:
- Passengers in the vehicle(s)
- Eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident
- Police observations and reports
- Accident reconstruction experts who examine the scene in person or through photographs
It is important to identify potential witnesses as soon as possible and to contact the police if they aren’t on the scene.
Who Is Liable in a Car Accident in Texas?
The reason it is important for your Llano car accident lawyer to figure out who caused the car accident is because Texas is an at-fault state. This means that the party who caused the crash is liable for damages and losses suffered by an injured victim.
Sometimes, a car accident is not caused by driver error or carelessness. A vehicle crash could occur because of a malfunction that is not the fault of the driver. In these cases, it could be the manufacturer of the vehicle (or the vehicle part that malfunctioned) that is liable for damages. This area of law is called product liability. Examples include defective:
- Cruise control (causing unintended acceleration, for example)
The driver may have lost control of the vehicle, or the defective part may have caused a vehicle fire, for example. In many cases, proving that a manufacturer was responsible for the accident will require evidence from someone like a mechanic, who can explain how a part was defective, what a malfunction would have caused, and hopefully how they could tell it was the defect and not, for example, the driver’s failure to maintain their vehicle. You may have to show — in the form of invoices or testimony — that you kept your vehicle in good condition and maintained it.
If the car accident was the result of inadequate road maintenance, liability may fall to the government that was responsible since failure to maintain roads is a risk to all motorists. Examples include:
- Missing traffic signs or signs that are not placed properly
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
- Overgrown trees or other obstructions that result in poor visibility of signs
- Lane markings that are too worn to be seen
- Inadequate lighting
- Potholes or other road problems
A Llano car accident attorney will be able to identify who may be considered at fault for your accident and the resulting injuries, as well as the evidence you will need to establish your accident claim.
Experienced Llano Car Accident Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
Not all car accidents will be caused 100% by one party. When the injured party shares some portion of the fault for the accident, the court will determine each party’s percentage of fault, and the damages awarded will reflect this percentage. It is known as comparative negligence. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence principle, meaning that someone who was more than 50% at fault will not be able to recover damages.
Let’s say that one party is 30% at fault and the other is 70% at fault. If the party at 30% fault sued the other, they would be awarded 70% of what they would have gotten if they had been 0% at fault. If the party at 70% sued the other, they would not be entitled to recover damages at all, based on the 51% bar. Fault can be complicated to calculate, especially if it involves wrongful death, which is why you want an experienced Llano car accident attorney like W. Shane Jennings to fight for you.
What Types of Car Accidents Does Shane Jennings Handle?
Car crashes in Llano County can be caused by many forms of carelessness or negligence, and The Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings handles them all, including:
- Drunk driving accidents. In 2020, more than 950 fatalities and more than 2,100 serious injuries in Texas were caused by drunk drivers. What makes this tragic is that drunk driving is absolutely preventable. It’s no wonder that it is also a criminal offense in Llano, Texas.
- Highway crashes. Speed limits tend to increase on highways/country roads, such as Highways 16 and 29 and Ranch Roads 152 and 2323. Higher speeds can mean stronger collisions and a higher likelihood of accidents.
- Hit-and-run and “failure to stop” accidents. Parties involved in an accident — regardless of who was at fault and including collisions with parked vehicles — are required to stay at the scene at least long enough to exchange driver information (name, address, VIN, insurance, and license). Failing to remain at the accident scene is against the law.
- Distracted driving collisions. Motorists are expected to pay proper attention when driving. Distractions may include texting or using a phone while driving (which may also be separate offenses), eating, drinking, reading, putting make-up on — anything that can affect your attention and reaction time.
The firm takes on any kind of vehicle accident, such as wrong-way, rear-end, and speeding accidents — even head-on collisions. The crash could have happened on a roadway, parking lot, or in/around the work zone. Sometimes one or more driver is uninsured or underinsured. Shane deals with all of these too.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Minor Accident in Llano, Texas?
It is smart to have legal representation at every stage of the claim process.
- Communicating with insurance companies
- Investigation of the accident, speaking with witnesses, and the gathering of evidence
- Settlement negotiations, arbitration, depositions, and even trial
This way you ensure that your legal rights are protected. The accident doesn’t have to be “big.” What may appear at the time as a minor accident or small injury may turn into more severe medical conditions that require long-term support. If you didn’t think you were injured, told the insurance company or other side that you were fine, and then developed problems, it would be much harder to get compensation.
What About Accidents with Uninsured Drivers?
Recovering costs can be an uphill battle if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured and you don’t have uninsured/underinsured driver coverage. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured/underinsured party, make sure you:
- Contact the Llano police, wait for their arrival, and file a traffic accident report
- Exchange the required driver information with the other party
- Document the scene (photos, notes), the damage, and the injuries
- Seek medical attention for injuries
- Talk to an experienced car accident attorney in Llano
Car Accident Settlements and How They Work
What constitutes a fair settlement depends on a number of factors, including:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering (or non-economic damages)
- Severity of the injury
- Proportion of fault
- Insurance limits and uninsured motorist coverage
- Number of claimants
- How egregious the negligence was (for punitive damages)
You can estimate a fair settlement amount for minor to moderate injury claims by adding up economic damages such as medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages, then adding one to three times that amount for non-economic damages, commonly called pain and suffering.
On average, a settlement is around $6,500 for a minor injury, $49,000 for a moderate injury, and $325,000 for a severe injury.
Serving Llano, Texas
We are proud to serve Llano, Texas, and to support the Main Street America Program, which is committed to strengthening and revitalizing its communities. Since we deal with car accidents, we are familiar with great local businesses, such as:
- Llano Station Auto Repair for repair, maintenance, accessories, and repair financing
- A-Line Auto Parts for new and replacement parts and outdoor power
- Texas Engine Machine for a variety of engine parts
- T Paint & Body for auto paint jobs and paint/body repairs
Contact W. Shane Jennings Today
Shane Jennings is a car accident lawyer in Llano with the experience and know-how to help you if you were in a car accident and suffered injuries. Many people think that lawyers are only involved with the trials, but there are many other ways an attorney can help throughout the process:
- Negotiations with insurance companies and other parties/lawyers
- Investigation and evidence gathering
- Pretrial motions, depositions, and court conferences
- Arbitration or mediation
Contact Shane today. Make sure you are in the best position to succeed in your car accident claim. In addition to Llano, TX, he also serves Marble Falls, Burnet, Mason, Brady, Fredericksburg, Lakeway, Leander, Copperas Cove, Cedar Park, Anderson Mill, Kerrville, Jollyville, Round Rock, Hobbs, New Mexico, Las Cruces, and more.