Houston Car Accident Lawyer

FireShot Capture 088 Houston Personal Injury Lawyer The Shellist Law Firm PLLC www.shellistlaw.com

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Houston Car Accident Lawyers

Representing Accidents Victims in Texas for 20 Years

Every year, thousands of people are severely injured and killed in motor vehicle accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the accident-related fatality rate rose by nearly 19 percent in 2020, jumping from 1.26 deaths for every hundred million vehicle miles traveled in 2019 to a whopping 1.5 fatalities per hundred million vehicle miles in 2020.

As Texas highways and roads become increasingly deadly, motorists face a greater risk of being involved in serious collisions every single day. If you were injured or if someone you love tragically passed away due to an automobile accident, you do not have to suffer the resulting physical, emotional, and financial hardships on your own.

Our Houston car accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault person or party. By taking legal action, you can seek fair financial compensation and the justice you and your family need to heal.

We handle all types of Texas car accident cases, including:

Call The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC at (713) 715-5000 or submit a secure online contact form to request a free consultation with one of our experienced auto accident lawyers in Houston.

Common Types of Car Accidents

A car accident refers to a collision involving one or more vehicles, resulting in property damage, injuries, or even fatalities. These incidents can occur due to various factors such as driver error, mechanical failure, adverse weather conditions, or road hazards. Car accidents can range from minor fender benders to severe crashes with significant damage and injuries.

Here are some common types of car accidents:

  • Rear-end collision: This occurs when a vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle, often due to following too closely or distracted driving.
  • Head-on collision: This is when the front ends of two vehicles collide with each other, usually resulting in severe injuries or fatalities, especially at higher speeds.
  • Side-impact collision (T-bone): This occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle, often at intersections or when one driver fails to yield the right of way.
  • Single-vehicle accident: This involves only one vehicle and can result from various factors such as losing control, running off the road, hitting an object like a tree or utility pole, or overturning.
  • Multi-vehicle pileup: This type of accident involves three or more vehicles and typically occurs on highways or freeways, often due to reduced visibility, slippery road conditions, or driver error.
  • Sideswipe collision: This occurs when the sides of two parallel-moving vehicles make contact with each other, often due to improper lane changes or merging.
  • Roll-over accident: This occurs when a vehicle tips onto its side or roof, often resulting from sharp turns, high speeds, or being struck forcefully.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?

Operating a motor vehicle is a huge responsibility. However, because we drive so often, many people forget just how serious this responsibility is, as well as how devastating carelessness behind the wheel can be. As a result, countless motorists fail to drive cautiously, putting others’ lives at risk.

Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:

  • Distracted driving, including texting/cellphone use
  • Drunk driving/driving while intoxicated
  • Speeding
  • Fatigued driving
  • Failing to follow traffic laws/rules of the road
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Making unsafe turns and lane changes
  • Following too closely/tailgating
  • Unsafe/unlawful passing
  • Driving too fast for current conditions
  • Aggressive/reckless driving
  • Road rage
  • Inexperience
  • Wildlife
  • Poorly maintained roads
  • Improper signs / infrastructure
  • Dangerous intersections
  • Road construction
  • Inclement weather
  • Disobeying red lights, stop signs, and other traffic control devices

Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

As Houston roads become more congested, the unfortunate reality is that car accidents are on the rise. In addition to causing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage each year, Texas car accidents also cause a number of serious and/or life-altering injuries to drivers and passengers.

When someone else is at fault for an accident, they can be held legally responsible for the victims’ damages, such as medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is important that you speak to a car accident lawyer who can advise you regarding your various legal rights and options.

Our firm can help you seek compensation for common car accident injuries, including:

  • Whiplash
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Paralysis
  • The wrongful death of a loved one

TxDOT Data Show Spike in Commercial Vehicle Crashes

Since notching lows at the height of the pandemic, motor vehicle accidents have steadily increased across Houston and Harris County beyond even their pre-pandemic levels. According to Tx DOT, that includes a roughly 37% increase in motor vehicle fatalities in Harris County from 2019 to 2021 and a 24% increase in fatalities in Houston during the same period.

But perhaps most concerning is the steady increase in crashes involving commercial vehicles, which include trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large cargo carriers that have a greater potential for causing injuries and death due to their size. According to the latest numbers, Harris County now sees more crashes involving these types of vehicles than any other county in Texas. Read more on our blog.

Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Today

In the aftermath of a serious car accident, you should be focused on getting the medical care you need to get back on your feet. You shouldn’t have to worry about fighting with the insurance company for fair compensation. Unfortunately, insurance companies often dispute, undervalue, and deny claims. When you work with an accident lawyer in Houston, you put yourself in the best possible position of securing the full, fair compensation you are owed.

The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC is prepared to handle every aspect of your car accident case, including but not limited to:

  • Working with accident reconstructionists and other industry experts to gather important evidence regarding the crash, how it occurred, and its effects
  • Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf, including proving the insured’s liability and negotiating a fair settlement
  • Helping you find a doctor and obtain the appropriate medical care, including ongoing treatment, based on your injuries
  • Gathering important documents, submitting necessary paperwork (including medical records), and meticulously preparing your case for trial
  • Clearly and persuasively presenting your case and the supporting evidence to the judge and/or jury, if necessary

Auto Accident Lawyers with Decades of Experience

Our team at The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC has decades of combined experience that we put to work every day for victims of serious car crashes. We represent individuals who have sustained all types of injuries, as well as the family members of those who have suffered catastrophic injuries or fatal injuries due to the negligent and wrongful conduct of others.

Our civil litigators have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for those who need it most. Our Houston car accident attorneys are known for taking highly complex cases that most other law firms won’t, and we never back down from a challenge. As your legal team, we will be there for you every step of the way.

Car Accident FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

We believe that cost should never keep you from getting the legal help you need, especially when you’re faced with medical bills, car repair bills, and other expenses related to your car accident. That is why we offer free initial consultations and provide all our personal injury services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any legal fees unless/until we recover compensation for you. In other words, there are no out-of-pocket costs to hire a Houston car accident lawyer at our firm.


What Is the Statute of Limitations on Texas Car Accident Claims?

Like every other state, Texas has a statute of limitations—or filing deadline—for car accident cases. In most instances, you have just two years from the date of the accident to sue the liable party for damages. In cases involving wrongful death, however, the two-year deadline begins on the date of death, not necessarily the date of the accident.

Notably, the statute of limitations only applies to lawsuits; it does not apply to car accident insurance claims. In fact, you likely have much less time to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Most policies require you to file a claim within a “reasonable amount of time,” but what is considered “reasonable” is rarely defined. You may have several days to just a couple of weeks to file an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident.


Is Texas a No-Fault Car Insurance State?

There are two types of car insurance systems states can adopt: no-fault and fault. In no-fault states, injured accident victims can file claims with their own insurance providers and receive compensation for specified damages regardless of who was at fault for the crash. In fault-based car insurance states, injured victims typically must bring claims against the at-fault party’s insurance company. They are not covered by their own insurance providers unless they have opted to include additional/supplemental coverage on their auto insurance policies.

Texas is a fault state when it comes to car accidents and insurance claims. This means that you must prove the other person or party was at fault for the accident in order to file a claim with their insurance provider and recover compensation for your accident-related damages.

Here are the main elements you must prove to succeed in a Texas car accident claim:

  • Duty of Care: The plaintiff (the injured party) must demonstrate that the defendant (the at-fault party) owed them a duty of care. In Texas, all drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly, adhering to traffic laws and exercising reasonable caution to avoid causing harm to others.
  • Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty of care by failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances. This could involve actions such as speeding, running a red light, following too closely, or any other negligent behavior that contributed to the accident.
  • Causation: The plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident and resulting injuries. This means demonstrating that the accident would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligent actions.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. Damages may include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other financial losses or non-economic harm caused by the accident.

Proving fault can be difficult without the help of a Houston car accident attorney. To make matters worse, insurance companies will often dispute claims to avoid paying them out.

We strongly recommend that you contact The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC and discuss your auto accident case with one of our Houston car accident lawyers. We can provide more information regarding your specific situation, as well as your various legal options.


What If You Were Partly at Fault for a Car Accident?

When multiple parties are at fault for an auto accident in Texas, the state’s rule of modified comparative negligence applies. The rule of modified comparative negligence states that an injured party may file a claim for compensation if they were partly at fault, as long as their percentage of fault does not exceed the other party’s. In other words, you must be 50 percent or less at fault for the accident to be eligible to file a car accident claim.

Additionally, your percentage of fault affects your monetary recovery. For example, if the insurance adjuster and/or court determines that you were 25 percent to blame, you can only recover up to 75 percent of the total amount you are seeking in damages. So, if you were severely injured and are seeking $100,000 in total compensation, you would only be able to recover up to 75 percent of that amount, or $75,000.

Do you have more questions about car accident claims in Houston? Contact The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC online or call (713) 715-5000 today.

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FireShot Capture 091 Houston Personal Injury Lawyer The Shellist Law Firm PLLC www.shellistlaw.com
FireShot Capture 092 About Us The Shellist Law Firm PLLC www.shellistlaw.com
Houston Car Accident Lawyers

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A Trusted Legal Analyst for ABC-13

Mr. Shellist also serves as a legal analyst on ABC-13, providing in-depth breakdowns on local cases and legal concerns. His analyses include insights into everything from jury selection to mistrials to civil rights, and he is frequently tapped by local media outlets to discuss his opinions on various high-profile cases, including the Casey Anthony murder trial.

What Attorney Shellist and His Team Bring to the Table

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Practicing Law for Two Decades

Having practiced law for 20 years, you can be confident attorney Steve Shellist can successfully handle your case.

Extensive Trial Experience

As a former chief prosecutor, Mr. Shellist knows how to present a compelling case in front of a jury.

Highly Personalized Representation

At Shellist Law, we believe every case requires tailored representation in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.

Legal Analyst on ABC-13

Over the years, Mr. Shellist has been called on by ABC-13 News to share his expertise on many newsworthy cases.
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We’re Ready To Evaluate Your Case

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Call The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC at (713) 715-5000 today to speak with our experienced team.
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