Chris Stoy

Purchasing insurance for your vehicle is one of your main legal duties in the state of Texas. While jail time is not something you’ll face when driving without insurance in this state, this is still a crime, and you could face several penalties and fines.

This goes for all motorists, whether driving in the city or on an open back road. This post will cover everything you need to know about driving without insurance in Texas.

How Car Insurance Works

You might wonder how car insurance works if you’ve recently been in a car crash. It’s a type of insurance that covers damage to your car in the unfortunate event of an accident.

This can include accidents caused by other drivers, natural disasters, or even theft. When you purchase car insurance, you typically pay a monthly premium to an insurance company in exchange for coverage.

Depending on your needs and budget, you can get insurance coverage of different types. Some common car insurance coverage types include liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Liability coverage will help cover repairing or replacing another driver’s property if you are at fault in an accident. Collision and comprehensive coverages will help repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or stolen.

To get car insurance, you will typically need to provide proof of your driving record and credit score to the insurance company. This information helps them evaluate your risk level and determine how much to charge for premiums.

You may also be required to have regular inspections or maintenance performed on your vehicle to maintain your coverage.

Insurance Requirements for All Motorists in Texas

As described in the Texas transportation code, all motorists in Texas must have car insurance to drive on public roads. This insurance must include coverage for at least bodily injury, property damage, and other significant losses that could arise following the accident.

Other types of coverage that you may wish to consider include comprehensive coverage, which will protect against non-collision-related damages or losses, such as theft or natural disasters, and collision coverage, which will cover the cost of repairing your vehicle after a crash.

Here’s the minimum car insurance requirement for motorists in Texas:

  • $30,000 for injury to the body liability per individual, simply referred to as the individual medical bill.
  • $60,000 for injury to the body liability per individual; or for treatment of anyone who got a personal injury during the accident.
  • $25,000 for vehicle repair.

What Is Proof of Insurance?

It’s a document that shows that you have the required coverage for your vehicle, as mandated by state law in Texas. This proof may be in the form of an insurance card or a declaration page from your car insurance policy that lists all the required information about your coverage.

Suppose you want to get proof of insurance; you’ll need to contact your car insurance provider and request a copy of this document.

If you are involved in an accident or stopped by law enforcement for any reason. In this case, you will likely need to present proof of insurance to verify that you meet the state’s minimum requirements for car insurance coverage.

The easiest way to comply with this is to keep an electronic copy of your insurance certificate on your phone and a physical copy in the glove compartment of your car. Alternatively, you may wish to store your proof of insurance in your wallet or purse, so it’s always easily accessible.

Proving you have insurance without these documents is incredibly difficult. So be sure to carry it with you when driving.

Can You Go to Jail for Driving Without Insurance in Texas?

You can’t go to jail for driving without insurance in Texas, as this offense is considered a Class C misdemeanor.

This means that you’ll face severe penalties and fines instead. This also answers the question, ‘Can you drive a car in Texas without insurance?’

So, what happens if you get caught driving without insurance in Texas? 

First, you’ll get ticketed. The amount will depend on whether this is your first, second, or third offense. For a first offense, the fine is $175 to $350. For a second offense, the fine ranges from $350 to $1,000. If caught a third time, the fine is $1,000 to $2,500.

car accident without insurance in texas

What Happens If You Get in a Car Accident Without Insurance?

If you get in a car accident with no insurance in Texas, there may be serious consequences depending on the accident’s severity.

As mentioned above, drivers must have car insurance to legally operate a vehicle in Texas. However, in the event of an accident, a driver who does not have insurance may be held liable for any resulting injuries or property damage.

This could include paying for medical bills and vehicle repairs yourself or even facing criminal charges if determined that the accident was caused intentionally or due to negligence. Remember, the penalties vary depending on the state. 

But generally speaking, you could end up paying hefty fines. Repeat offenders could end up getting their driver’s license suspended, their vehicle impounded, and their vehicle registration suspended. They can also face criminal charges.

If you are involved in a car accident without insurance and need legal advice, you should speak with experienced personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. Another great option is to consult with uninsured or underinsured motorist lawyers.

Can Police Pull You Over for No Insurance in Texas?

Yes, the police can pull you over if you have no car insurance in Texas. According to Texas laws, driving without car insurance in the state is illegal. Police are authorized to pull drivers over if they suspect that the driver does not have valid auto insurance. 

Drivers caught driving without car insurance may face fines or other penalties, depending on the situation. If you have been pulled over and need legal assistance, you can contact a local attorney to learn more about your options and how to navigate the legal system.

No car insurance in Texas

Steps You Should Take When in an Accident Involving Uninsured Motorists

When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is important to take the proper steps to protect your rights and give yourself the best chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

First, ensure that you seek medical attention immediately, even if you are not seriously injured. This will help ensure that you get the care you need and document any injuries or pain that may arise. You should then take photos of the scene and exchange information with other drivers 

With that said, here are some of the most important steps you should take when in a car accident involving uninsured motorists:

Call the Police and Obtain a Report

When you are involved in a car accident with uninsured motorists, it is important to call the police immediately. After all, the law requires motor-vehicle operators to report any collision that leads to injury, property damages, and death. 

The police will investigate the accident and gather evidence, which can be very helpful if you need to file a claim or take legal action against the other driver.

They will also ensure that everyone involved is safe and accounted for, and they can help you contact emergency services if needed.

Call Your Lawyer or Attorney

An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system and work with you to determine the best course of action moving forward. This is why you should call your car accident lawyer immediately.

Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney may recommend that you file a claim with your own insurance company, or they may advise that you seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider instead. 

Either way, it is important to have an attorney on your side who can advocate for your interests and help ensure that you receive a fair settlement.

File a Lawsuit

When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, one of the steps you can take is to file a lawsuit against that driver.

This is important for many reasons, such as ensuring that the uninsured party is held accountable for their actions and obtaining compensation for any damages or injuries they may have sustained.

Texas is technically considered an at-fault state. You can sue the uninsured driver if they caused property damages or bodily injury.

If you believe your injuries are serious or long-lasting, it may be necessary to pursue legal action to obtain the full compensation you deserve. However, an uninsured motorist will unlikely have much to offer financially despite the lawsuit.

To file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver in Texas, you must work with an experienced car accident attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and represent your best interests.

An attorney can gather evidence to support your case, negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf, and guide you through any necessary court proceedings.

Contact Stoy Law Group

If you end up driving without insurance, you’re risking a ticket in Texas or worse. On the other hand, if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, our lawyers can give you the guidance you need to navigate the legal system.

The post Driving without Insurance in Texas appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

Car accidents are terrifying and, in worse cases, can lead to permanent injuries. Car accidents often impact victims physically and they leave mental wounds too. 

These mental wounds typically change the victims’ lives in every aspect. The life someone has known before an accident is no more, only adding to the nightmare of accident trauma. 

PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions are typical of emotional trauma after a car accident. All of these conditions can, unfortunately, give way to even worse emotional problems. 

That’s why it’s essential to ensure you contact a car accident lawyer who can adequately handle your case. It’s also critical that you take the right steps after an accident, not only legally but health-wise too. 

Understanding your options regarding compensation is also critical. It’s especially important when pursuing personal injury claims. 

Depending on the severity, the road to recovery can be tough, but there are some things you can do to help ease the pain of stress and any physical or emotional trauma. 

Signs of Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident

Experiencing emotional trauma after a car accident is typically expected if the accident is very bad or ends in tragedy. However, it’s essential to understand you can experience the effects of trauma no matter the intensity of the accident.  

So, even if the accident resulted in no serious injuries or tragedies, one can still feel the emotional impact of the accident.

Unfortunately, sometimes the effects are long-term.   

Emotional suffering can be a very detrimental problem in the lives of those affected. Perhaps the worst part of accident trauma is the victim and their loved ones all feel the impact.  

These injuries can cause a separation within households as the victims may experience short-term effects, or they may potentially never be the same again. 

There are several signs of trauma after an accident. It’s tough not to see these signs or symptoms since they typically onset fairly quickly after the event takes place.  

At the first sign of mental or emotional change, it’s best to seek help. Talk to your doctor or someone you trust to let them know what’s going on. The lawyers at Stoy Law Group can recommend the best local doctors for treatment and help.

Ideally, it’s best to be a few steps ahead and seek professional help shortly after an accident. Taking this step may help to prevent any detrimental impacts on your mental health. 

Having physical injuries alone can cause severe distress to one’s psyche. If the accident you were involved in was unfortunately fatal, that alone can cause nightmares and sleep deprivation. 

There are several other signs of emotional trauma that can occur after involvement in a crash. Some are more common than others, but all should be treated right away if noticed. 

trauma after a car accident

Common signs of trauma after a car accident include:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • A loss of appetite
  • Crying
  • Feeling humiliated
  • Mood swings 
  • Feelings of anger
  • A loss of interest in activities
  • Problems sleeping and nightmares
  • Mental anguish or agony 

Other signs include:

  •  PTSD
  •  Chronic depression 
  • The development of certain phobias
  • Flashbacks
  • Withdrawal from loved ones and society 

Physical Symptoms Following Emotional Trauma  

It’s prevalent for victims to experience the tough change of emotional trauma developing into physical symptoms. Unfortunately, this often makes it more challenging to recover as various physical symptoms accompany this issue. 

Trouble Sleeping 

Unfortunately, trouble sleeping after a car accident is prevalent. In addition, emotional and physical trauma can cause you to not sleep from the stress alone. 

Stress or anxiety when trying to sleep can manifest into other physical problems like an upset stomach or muscle tension. 

Loss of appetite also accompanies this sort of stress. High levels of intense nervousness also lead to an upset stomach, naturally making you lose your appetite. 

Memory Loss and Problems Concentrating  

Problems concentrating or memory loss often follow traumatic head injuries. However, they can also occur because of stress or physical or mental complications. 

It may also be hard to form thoughts or simply concentrate on a simple task. 

How to Properly Heal From Car Accident Trauma 

Although physical wounds after a car accident can eventually heal, mental injuries may take equal or more effort. So it’s imperative you take the proper action to ensure you properly heal any psychological trauma after a car accident.    

If you’re traumatized after a car accident and don’t properly heal, it can, unfortunately, lead to long-term emotional trauma.  

It’s also essential to account for healing physically as well as mentally. It will be a little tough to heal one without healing the other. 

The best ways to properly heal are to: 

  • Get enough rest
  • Ensure you take your prescribed medications 
  • Eat a balanced diet and drink enough water 
  • Stretch and exercise 
  • Properly manage your pain 
  • Make sure you have a good support system  

Lastly, you must remain patient. Life after an accident can be uncertain, frustrating, and stressful, but it’s possible to recover. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Car Accident Trauma? 

It’s essential to understand what happens to you mentally after a car accident is common and in some ways, inevitable.

However, this trauma will take some time to get past. 

Physically and mentally, recovery can and usually does take some time. However, the time it takes differs depending on the severity. 

Generally, the recovery process for physical injuries varies from weeks to months. This includes physical therapy, surgeries, running tests, hospital stays, etc. 

However, there is not a specific amount of time a victim can heal from emotional trauma. Unfortunately, this can impact the driver or even the passenger, long-term after an accident. 

While long-term impacts are very much a real possibility, there are some steps you can take to help lessen the traumatic impact after involvement in a collision.   

How to Mentally Recover From a Car Accident

Recovering from an accident can be a difficult feat. It’s challenging in many aspects however, there are steps you can take to make recovery just a little easier. 

It’s crucial you are proactive during this process. Although you won’t have control over how long it could take, being proactive can guarantee fewer challenges throughout this new journey. 

Try to Stick With Your Daily Routine  

Although it’s very challenging, keeping with your daily routine can help immensely. Depression and anxiety from any traumatic situation can easily cause you to want to remain in bed and withdraw from life altogether. 

However, keeping with your routine will help you to maintain normalcy for yourself while you recover. Your routines can also help you to keep in a lifted mood while helping you stay connected to the outside world. 

Of course, you want to be careful if your routine includes a lot of movement as you don’t want to aggravate your physical injuries. It’s essential to take it slow but keep the momentum of your everyday life.  

talk to someone after a car accident

Talk to Someone

This step is one of the most essential steps in your recovery. It would help if you talked to someone and did not bottle up any emotions. 

Someone could be a family member, a close friend, or a therapist. Unfortunately, there is a stigma that comes with talking about your emotions. 

However, you mustn’t have any fear. It’s essential to not let any emotions fester as this could lead to potential long-term damage to your mental health.  

Talking about how you feel will allow you to be comforted and lift the weight of your emotions off your shoulders. Victims of trauma, including car crashes, often feel alone. 

By talking to someone consistently, you can keep negative emotions at bay while effectively healing emotionally.   

Make Follow-Up Appointments

Make sure you follow up with, and talk to your doctor. It’s essential because your doctor can refer you to other specialists who can assist you through this tough time.  

Try to Get Back Out There 

It’s easy to recluse and shy away from driving, especially after a traumatizing event like a car crash. But keeping yourself inside will only make matters worse. 

Getting some fresh air outside will help you in many ways. Although you may be unsure about driving again, at least ensure you interact with the outside world. 

Avoiding leaving your house will only cause your trauma to develop into something worse. For example, you could easily develop a phobia of leaving home or of driving. 

So, get fresh air and try your best to continue moving forward. 

Drive Defensively 

Defensive driving is an excellent skill for anyone, but especially for those who have experienced a bad accident. Defensive driving is the practice of driving to avoid potential dangers. 

Driving defensively helps you avoid certain road events while allowing you to think ahead and navigate specific scenarios as carefully as possible.

Learning to drive defensively after involvement in an accident can help to build confidence after getting back on the road. This technique can also strengthen awareness and help you become less fearful and prepared.  

How to Reduce Driving Anxiety after a Car Accident 

Developing driving anxiety after a bad accident is not uncommon. Studies show between 25% and 33% of victims of collisions develop driving anxiety or PTSD. 

Working through driving anxiety after an accident often takes therapy and exercises that help to reduce the trauma. 

Take Driving Lessons 

Taking up driving lessons can help you gain confidence on the road again. But unfortunately, trauma often takes away our faith and can cloud our memory. 

Driving lessons can help you relearn anything you may have forgotten due to the trauma while helping you get comfortable behind the wheel again.  

You can go at your own pace and set goals that will assist you in becoming more relaxed while rebuilding your skills. But, eventually, as with anything else, you will become used to being behind the wheel once more. 

Practice Anxiety Exercises 

After an accident, victims tend to experience high levels of anxiety in their everyday life and behind the wheel. Thankfully, several anxiety exercises you can practice will help you calm down during those moments of anxiousness.   

Some helpful exercises include:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Taking deep breaths
  • Visualization
  • Counting 

All of these exercises are quick and can even be done while driving. They can help to relax your mind and body while helping you maintain your focus. 

Seek Therapy

There are also a variety of therapies you can try to help you get back to a safe place emotionally. After an accident, it’s best, along with medical attention, to also seek therapy. 

Talking to someone can assist you in getting back to normalcy. Despite the severity, emotions often become scattered after an accident. 

It’s not uncommon to experience severe depression, nightmares, panic attacks, and more. Likewise, accidents, especially those that unfortunately involve fatalities, can bring about an array of emotions and have a lasting impact. 

Sometimes, these situations can also bring up emotions that you may not have been aware of. This leads to further emotional distress, which is why speaking to someone is critical. 

Although therapy is highly recommended, a friend or family member works just as well. Bottling up emotions instead of properly dealing with the trauma will only cause more detriment to your emotional health. 

Have a Support System 

Having a healthy support system is critical at a time like this. It’s important you allow yourself to be vulnerable with those closest to you. 

Opening up can help them better understand your needs and what direction and actions to take to help you heal.  


A victim can be compensated for emotional damages following a car accident. You must understand how it works to get the best possible compensation for your case. 

The severity of the emotional trauma does have an impact on compensation. Ideally, it helps if you can show and prove the trauma occurred after the accident. 

It also helps if you take note of as much as you possibly can.

For example, having your doctor notate any emotional challenges you’re having, or physical challenges can help to show the negative impact the situation is having on your daily life.  

These actions can significantly assist you in a personal injury claim.  

healing after a car accident

Emotional Damages

Anxiety after a car accident is considered emotional damage for which victims can receive compensation. Physical injuries are challenging, but mental injuries are also tough to endure. 

A physical injury can potentially heal much faster than mental and emotional trauma.

However, just as a bodily injury disrupts your life, emotional wounds also impact you daily. 

Receiving Compensation  

Regarding compensation for car accident trauma, getting compensated for emotional damages can get a little complicated.

To start, you must ensure you have everything documented. 

Ensuring you keep documentation will enormously help with your case. The reason it will help is that emotional trauma or distress is considered to be non-economic damages.  

Non-economic damages are defined as emotional distress or pain and suffering due to a negligent injury. Emotional distress and pain & suffering include:

Emotional Anguish or Humiliation 

This includes any emotional trauma or distress due to the accident. An example will be if a victim has permanent physical changes or disfigurement because of a car accident. 

They should receive compensation due to the mental anguish they will endure from these physical changes.  

A Loss of Companionship 

Often once a victim experiences an accident of any kind, they are not the same. Victims themselves carry new challenges but these challenges also impact their loved ones.  

Sustaining short-term or long-term injuries may cause an inability to interact with their loved ones like they did before. 

It will impact the relationship with a spouse or the ability to spend quality time with kids. 

Sometimes, depending on the severity of the injury, intimacy is even affected within a marriage. 

For example, the spouse would be eligible for non-economic damages in a case such as this. 

The Suffering of Chronic Pains as a Result of Injuries Sustained  

Injuries can cause chronic pains that sometimes are untreatable. These pains heavily impact a victim’s daily routine and quality of life.  

In this case, non-economic damages can be compensated for pain and injuries. 

Inability to Enjoy Your Life   

It may not sound very severe; however, the inability to enjoy life can cause a strain on the victim’s emotional state and daily life. This stress and tension on emotions will also make a victim eligible to receive non-economic compensation.  

Pain or Suffering Throughout Recovery 

Victims often endure pain while going through recovery or treatment for their injuries, for which they are also able to be compensated. 

Emotional Distress Compensation Caps 

The number of compensation victims can receive for emotional distress varies by state. These compensation caps limit how much you can be paid depending on the injury’s severity. 

The cap will also depend on the laws in your state or jurisdiction and what type of case you have. Despite this, do remember that it’s possible to receive compensation for this kind of trauma. 

Everything that follows a car accident is, unfortunately, life-changing and very real.

Developing specific fears, changes to your mind and body, withdrawal, depression, etc., all are considered to be emotional damage for which you deserve compensation.   

Get Help from the Lawyers at Stoy Law Group

If you have recently been in an accident and are struggling day-to-day, call and speak with an attorney at the Stoy Law Group today. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will make sure you get the proper treatment, care and compensation you deserve.

The post Trauma After Car Accident: Recovery & Treatment appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

When something terrible happens, people look for someone to blame. But is it possible that the wrong thing just happened without anyone directly causing it?

Can we assign blame fairly and objectively?

In negligence cases, these questions are answered by referring to the standard of care. The standard of care is an objective measure of what a “reasonable person” would do in a specific situation. 

If someone fails to meet this standard, they can be held liable for any harm that results. This article explores the “reasonable person” standard for negligence.

What is a Reasonable Person Standard?

The reasonable person standard is a legal concept used to determine whether a person can be held liable for their actions. They base the standard on the idea that a reasonable person would act in a way deemed acceptable by society. 

This means that if a person acts in a manner deemed unreasonable, they can be held liable for any damages or injuries resulting from their actions. 

The reasonable person standard is used in different areas of law, including negligence and criminal law. In civil cases, the standard is used to determine whether a person can be held liable for their actions.

 In criminal cases, the reasonable person standard is used to determine whether a person can be found guilty of a crime.

Determining Whether a Person Met the Standard of Care

The first step in a negligence case is to determine whether the defendant met the standard of care. If they did, you could lose your case even if you can prove that you suffered damages due to the defendant’s actions. 

The judge and jury will consider the facts and circumstances as they existed at the time of the incident to determine whether the defendant met the standard of care. The judge and jury must also decide what a “reasonable person” would have done in the same circumstances.

However, we must also remember that the reasonable person standard applies to everyone, not just the person you are suing for negligence.

Therefore, if you are bringing suit for negligence, you must show that you acted as a reasonable person would have reacted in the same situation.

What is the Reasonable Person Standard for Negligence?

The reasonable person standard for negligence is the most commonly used standard of care in negligence cases. The standard of care is essential in negligence cases because people who cause harm to others must be responsible for their actions. 

The standard of care helps determine whether a person’s actions were negligent.

If the person did not meet the standard of care, they could be held liable for damages caused by the negligence. The industry or profession often determines the standard of care. 

For example, doctors must meet a higher standard of care than other people because their actions can have severe and deadly consequences for patients.

The following factors determine the standard of care for negligence: 

  • The type of situation in which the person is placed, such as the environment or situation.
  • The person’s ability, including their skill level, training, and experience.
  • Whether the person was paying attention, whether they were distracted, and how careful the person was.
  • The person’s ability to foresee the consequences of their actions.
  • The risk of harm the person might cause.
  • The duty the person has to others.

A Measure of Damages in Negligence Cases

In general, you can recover compensation for all damages that you suffered as a result of an injury due to negligence. Damages may include medical expenses, expected future medical expenses, lost income or wages, pain, and suffering, and loss of quality of life due to the injury. 

Depending on the type of case, it is possible to receive full or partial compensation for damages.

In cases with a high degree of negligence, such as a car accident, you can expect to receive total payment for your injuries. In more minor cases, where the negligence is not as clear, you may receive partial compensation. 

In general, the amount of payment you can recover is based on the nature and extent of your injuries.

Some injuries, such as a broken bone, are easy to measure. Others, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult to evaluate.

How Does Reasonable Person Standard Relate to My Personal Injury?

As discussed above, the standard of care is an objective measure of what a “reasonable person” would do in a specific situation. The standard of care for negligence can apply in various cases, including medical negligence, motor vehicle accidents, and workplace accidents. 

Depending on the type of incident you were involved in, the judge and jury will decide whether the other party met the standard of care. If they fail to meet the standard of care, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.

They can also use the standard of care for negligence to evaluate your actions.

Suppose you were involved in an accident, for example, and are being held partly responsible for the outcome. In that case, the judge and jury will use the reasonable person standard to evaluate your actions.

What is Considered a Reasonable Person?

In legal terms, a reasonable person is someone who acts in a way that a prudent person would under similar circumstances. The reasonable person standard determines whether someone can be held liable for their actions. 

For example, suppose a driver hits a pedestrian crossing the street outside of a crosswalk. In that case, the driver may not be held liable if the pedestrian acted unreasonably by not using a crosswalk. 

The reasonable person standard is not based on an actual person’s conduct but on how a hypothetical sensible person would behave in the same situation. This makes it an objective standard they can apply fairly in legal cases.

Unfortunately, while the reasonable person standard may seem like common sense, it often leads to different interpretations in different legal cases. 

The difference in interpretation is due to many factors, such as age, experience, and knowledge which can affect how a reasonable person would act. As a result, the reasonable person standard is often difficult to apply in practice.

Reasonable Person Standard Example

Imagine that you are hiking in the mountains and you see a bear. A reasonable person in this situation would be cautious. The reasonable person would use proper hiking etiquette, avoid startling the bear, and attempt to avoid the bear’s path. 

However, if the bear attacks you, causing you bodily harm, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. This is because the bear and its owner would likely be found to be negligent. To prevail in a negligence case, you must prove two things:

  1.  that the other party owed you a duty of care, and 
  2.  that the other party failed to meet the standard of care. 

If you can prove both of these things, you can recover compensation for your damages, including medical expenses and lost wages.

What the Court Looks for to Determine Reasonableness

The Court looks at many factors to determine whether a person acted reasonably.

However, the “reasonableness” standard is why juries are so important in personal injury cases.

What does reasonableness standard mean?

Juries are asked to put themselves in the shoes of a reasonable person and decide whether the defendant’s conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances. 

The first factor the Court looks at is whether the defendant should have reasonably foreseen the risk of harm to the plaintiff.

If the answer is no, the defendant is not liable, even if their conduct was negligent. 

The second factor is whether the risk of harm was significant enough that a reasonable person would have taken steps to prevent it. This is often referred to as the “likelihood and severity of the damage.”

If the answer is no, the defendant is not liable. 

The third factor is whether the cost of preventing the injury was small compared to the amount of harm caused. This is often referred to as the “cost-benefit analysis.”

If the answer is yes, then the defendant is more likely to be found liable. 

The fourth factor is whether there were any public benefits to the defendant’s conduct. For example, if a truck driver was speeding because he was trying to make a delivery on time, that might be considered a public benefit. 

On the other hand, if there were no public benefits, then the defendant is more likely to be found liable. 

There are some exceptions to this general rule.

For example, mental disability, physical disability, children, and superior skill and knowledge can all be factors that make a person’s conduct more or less reasonable under the circumstances.

Contact Stoy Law Group, PLLC.

The reasonable person standard is vital to personal injury law because it helps to determine whether a person meets the required standard of care.

If you are injured, you may be able to receive damages depending on how the injury occurred. 

To learn more about your case and how the reasonable person standard applies, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

The post Reasonable Person Standard for Negligence appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

Auto accidents are a sad, frustrating, and scary fact of life for just about every driver. Even drivers with clean driving records have been in an accident at some point in their driving experience. That raises a key question:

Where do most car crashes happen?

A car accident can happen anywhere and involve just about anything. Additionally, recent studies suggest that car accidents are happening more frequently. The most common places that experience automobile accidents are rural areas, interstates, intersections, and parking lots. Additionally, most vehicle mishaps happen close to an accident victim’s home.

Here is a summary that answers the question “where do most car accidents happen,” as well as general similarities that exist across almost all vehicular mishaps.

Where Do Most Car Crashes Happen?

The following areas see the most accidents.

Close to Home

According to multiple sources, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) most car crashes happen within five miles of an accident victim’s home. 

Having a car crash near your home makes sense if you think about it. You drive most around where you live, and the more you drive, the more likely you will put yourself in a situation that can result in an accident. 

rural road car wreck

Rural Roads

Another place most car accidents happen is on rural roads. That rural areas see more accidents also makes sense. Most rural roads are two-lane, have few barriers to prevent animals from running out on them. Additionally, these roads have poor or nonexistent lighting, and because police are not present, drivers tend to push the envelope regarding speed. 

Parking Lots

In many ways, parking lots are free-for-alls that can be described as organized chaos at best. The chaos is particularly bad at busy intersections and during peak traffic periods such as major shopping days during the holidays. The good news is that most parking lot accidents are not serious, although the damage to vehicles can sometimes be extensive.


Any intersection has at least two separate pathways for vehicles to maneuver, often coming at each other from the opposite direction. Most intersections have four separate pathways, plus traffic turning in front of oncoming traffic. You would be right in assuming that accidents happen frequently at these junctures since the risk for collision is high.

Stop Signs

These count under the umbrella of intersections, but many deserve their category. Often, people do not see stop signs until they are right in front of them. Other times, the order of right of way can be confusing. Both scenarios are recipes for disaster if someone is not paying enough attention. Additionally, motorists tend to beat red lights, thereby increasing the likelihood of vehicle collisions.

Rush Hour

This statistic is also not surprising when you consider the average highway or secondary roadway during rush hour.

On any given rush hour, a motorist experiences:

  • Slower traffic
  • Stop and go traffic
  • Speeding traffic
  • Careless drivers
  • Reckless drivers
  • Tired drivers
  • Stressed drivers
  • Vehicles of all shapes, conditions, and capabilities
  • Frequent stops and slowing down
  • Environmental conditions like sun, rain, snow, ice, etc.
  • More vehicles 
  • Drivers of varying experience

Roadside Shoulders and Construction Zones

Each year, road construction workers and police on detail are struck and, all too often, severely injured or worse. Rear-end accidents frequently happen on road shoulders and in construction zones where the right lane is closed. If a driver is not paying attention, a construction zone can sneak up on a driver and not leave them time to take evasive action.

Accident Statistics

The following are common questions regarding where most car crashes happen and the frequency of accidents.

What Day Do the Most Vehicular Accidents Happen?

Saturdays and Sundays have the most accidents. Fridays from mid-afternoon through early Saturday morning also see a huge number of accidents. People trying to get home for the weekend, those who get moving on weekend travel, and those who are on the way to enjoy a night out on the town are the major influences in most cases.

People also pay less attention from mid-Friday through early Monday morning. If you must drive during the weekend, the safest times are Sunday from 8 a.m. through 11 a.m. However, the most dangerous day of the week to drive is Sunday, followed very closely by Saturday and then Friday. By far, the influencing factor during these times is:

  • Drinking
  • Fatigue
  • Driver inattention

What Day and Month Do Most Car AccidentsHappen?

Most people assume that the winter months or a holiday known for drinking are when most accidents occur. One of the deadliest days with the most accidents, though, is July 4th. It is hard to imagine that drinking is a factor in that statistic since the 4th of July is not known exclusively for drinking.

Others include Memorial Day Weekend and Thanksgiving.

Most Serious Accidents Happen at What Time of the Day?

Most accidents happen between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

That likely is due to the following factors:

  • People in a hurry to get home
  • Drinking
  • Fatigue that starts in the afternoon
  • Driver distractions (picking up kids, hurrying home, higher volume traffic, etc.)

What Time of the Year Do Most Vehicular Accidents Happen?

Summer is by far the time of year that most accidents happen. There are multiple reasons for this. Some include, but are not limited to:

  • More vehicles on the road
  • Distracted and hurried driving
  • Drinking 
  • Vacationers not paying full attention

Where Do the Most Car Accidents Happen in the World?

Libya has 73.4 car accidents per 100,000 people. Outside of that statistic, lower and middle-income countries have less than half the world’s vehicles but account for over 90 percent of traffic fatalities due to accidents.

There are several reasons for lower or middle-income countries having high traffic accidents and traffic fatalities:

  • Poor road conditions
  • Unsafe vehicles
  • Little to no traffic laws or enforcement outside of cities
  • Public transportation with little or no safety measures
  • Few emergency services and dysfunctional or nonexistent emergency facilities

Do Most Car Accidents Happen Close to Home?

While a report maintains that most accidents happen closer to home, it is decades old. It stands to reason, however, that the data are still relevant and is still a reasonable assumption that accidents more likely happen close to home.


We tend to take risks when we are familiar with a setting. That holds with just about every aspect of life. You are far more likely to get into a vehicle of someone you know, for example, than to jump into a vehicle of a total stranger.

Likewise, if you know your way home, you are far more likely to take chances driving than driving somewhere unfamiliar. 

Younger Drivers

Drivers with less experience will generally venture closer to home than further away. Younger drivers contribute to a significant number of both nonfatal and fatal auto accidents.

In addition, restrictions tend to mean younger drivers will operate motor vehicles closer to home, such as:

  • Laws governing who they can drive with
  • Regulations on where and when they can drive
  • Driver prohibitions that mandate younger drivers be close to home (miles restrictions, etc.)

Each has the default effect of keeping younger drivers close to home. Because they make up a disproportionate number of traffic accidents, those will happen closer to home.

Driving Caution

When you travel via car far from home, you tend to follow safety laws more diligently.

For many, the fear of being ticketed is enough to make them slow down, drive with more caution and take extra measures to be safe when they are far away from home than if they are right around the corner.

The great equalizer with this tendency is distracted driving.

Drivers tend to be just as careless with texting, talking on the phone, eating while driving, etc., far away from home as they do close to home. 

Intersection car wrecks

Where Do Most Fatal Car Accidents Occur?

Many people would guess that fatal accidents happen in more populated areas, probably at intersections, but most fatal accidents happen in rural areas on fairly straight stretches of road. Those accidents are due to speed and driver distraction.

Drivers tend to go too fast on rural roads, with more than the usual potential dangers such as deer crossings.

When Do Most Car Accidents Happen? Day or Night?

Fatal car accidents happen most frequently at night.

That stands to reason, given lower visibility and the likelihood that drivers have impaired focus during these periods. Nonfatal accidents happen more often late in the afternoon during the drive home. That also makes sense, given that people are hurrying to get home and traffic volume is greater than normal.

What to Do When Involved in a Vehicular Accident

There’s bound to be a time when you’re an injured party in a car accident. Once you’re able to contact the police, get the contact details of the other party as well as witnesses, and then contact a personal injury lawyer to help you. 

Final Thoughts

So, now you know where most car crashes happen.

Traffic accidents are a fact of life for most drivers. By using common sense, you can avoid or at least reduce the chances of being involved in one. If you pattern your driving habits to these facts, you can drive with more awareness and hopefully avoid becoming part of the statistics.

When the inevitable happens, however, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible to assess the best course of action moving forward.

The post Where Do Most Car Crashes Happen? appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

When you find yourself in a car accident, the last thing you want to think about is the damage done to your car or the payment you will need to make because of it. It’s enough of a headache dealing with the aftermath of an accident, let alone the possible costs. 

Once you are healthy again and are feeling better, it’s best to start looking into how you can receive payment for the damage done to your vehicle. Your next step is to get your vehicle fixed as soon as possible. 

After that, you need to move on and determine what coverage and payment you need from your insurance and the at-fault driver’s insurance. There’s a small window for filing specific claims, and diminished value claims are more lenient with time.

So it’s best to get a solid start on them.

The diminished value of your vehicle is the price that it is worth after being beaten up in an accident. If the damage done to your car is not your fault, and you seek payment for the value taken from your vehicle, you will want to file a diminished value claim.

A car accident diminished value claim needs specific requirements to be filed, but it can change depending on where you live, your insurance, and whether you are being held responsible for the accident. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what happens before, during, and after you file a claim to comprehend how to calculate it. Here are a few important notes you should be made aware of regarding calculating your diminished value after a car accident in Texas.

Do Insurance Companies Have to Pay the Diminished Value in Texas?

Liability is the determining factor in this question.

In Texas and most states, if you are at fault for the accident, chances are you will be in charge of paying for your diminished value. Your insurance company decides how much they pay, but typically there are already set prices.

The minimum liability coverage in Texas is $30,000, although this includes all forms, such as Property Liability and Bodily Injury Liability. If you are responsible for damage to a driver’s car or person, liability insurance won’t cover your diminished value. 

However, other types of insurance, like collision coverage, may pay for the diminished value of your car with deductibles.

The insurance may cover half, less than half, or even more depending on your insurance company’s policy. Whatever it is, you have to pay the rest out of pocket.

If the collision is not your fault, the deductible you would have paid is taken from the person at fault’s insurance company.

It ultimately comes down to who’s to blame for the accident, and your insurance company will go from there.

How Long Do You Have to File a Diminished Value Claim in Texas?

While it is wise to do it sooner, right after your car is fixed from the accident, you have up to two years to file a diminished value claim in Texas.

Keep in mind that this is only an option if you are not at fault for the accident and the damages are done to your automobile.  

Also, consider hiring a personal injury attorney to ensure you receive the best care you deserve after an accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact this lawyer as soon as possible to get your affairs to make your claim.

How To Calculate the Diminished Value of My Car

The main question is how to figure out how much an at-fault driver should be held responsible for paying. There are several steps in calculating the diminished value of your vehicle after a wreck. 

First, figure out if you are eligible for a claim. As previously stated, the accident cannot be your doing. On top of that, you can only file a claim if you own the vehicle if it’s newer and not over seven years old and has less than 100,000 miles. You also mustn’t have had a prior accident on your record.

If any of these factors are present, you will not be able to file in the first place, so be sure to double-check your criteria.

Once you’ve established that you qualify for a claim, you can start the process of doing so.

First, determine the original price your vehicle was worth and the damage that has been done to it. Then, you can speak with your lawyer over a percentage, which can be estimated by you or by using a designated formula. 

These formulas determine diminished value, but there is no good way to assess something like diminished value. The best and most popular option is the 17c formula. Some companies follow it, but it’s not entirely correct; just an estimate. 

It essentially takes ten percent from the original book value of your car and takes into account mileage and damage based on a scale. The issue is that mileage is also included in the book value, so it’s accounted for twice.

Be sure to work with an insurance company to calculate the diminished value of a car once you figure out you are eligible. It will probably come down to a negotiation between your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s company.

Do your research to help guide you to figure out your sum. 

How To Handle Diminished Value Claims

Diminished value appraisals in Texas can be dealt with once your car is fixed. You deem that it has lost some of its value. The best way to handle a diminished value claim in Texas is through your lawyer. Save your receipts and evidence for your case and showcase them along with your other losses. 

Speaking with the at-fault insurance company is risky if you do not have a lawyer present or their advice. It’s crucial that you don’t attempt to take this case on by yourself because there are multiple different approaches at-fault companies can take. 

If you don’t have the experience or knowledge, don’t leave something like this in your hands. 

How To Ask for a Diminished Value Claim

In Texas, you can submit a claim for diminished value once you prove that you were not at fault and that there was damage down to your property. Then, you go through your lawyer, who will take it to your insurance company. 

The at-fault driver’s company will then be told about the diminished value claim and do one of two things. They will try to fight the claim if it seems unreasonable or negotiate to lower the price and find something that satisfies their client but is also fair to the driver filing the claim.

In summary, to file for a diminished value claim, you have to go to your lawyer, or if you decide not to be represented, then directly to your insurance company.

Texas Diminished Value Appraisal  

A diminished value appraisal in Texas consists of a well-put-together document with the proof, an estimate of your diminished value, and information on the laws in Texas concerning diminished value. 

Receiving your money from other costs and this appraisal could take years. 

What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

In the scenario the person you wish to file a diminished value claim against doesn’t have insurance to pay for it, it would become your insurance’s responsibility to provide the coverage in Texas. It’s referred to as Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This scenario is still something that would require you to file a claim for, but instead of a diminished value appraisal, it would be for Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Coverage. But, again, your insurance and lawyer should be aware of this.

If the at-fault driver is underinsured, you can still receive money from their insurance, just not as much as you should. Your insurance makes up the rest.

In other words, you won’t have to take responsibility and pay consequences for damages that weren’t your fault.

Contact Stoy Law Group

Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be a stressful task, but having a better idea of what to expect can help lessen the burden. 

Calculating diminished value in Texas is simply laid out within laws and formulas, but it is easier to claim one than to actually go through the process. It requires cooperation from both parties’ insurance companies with estimated values and negotiations. 

If the crash isn’t your fault, you don’t have to worry about covering the costs, which is why it’s essential to file a diminished value claim on your car as soon as you can. It provides you with the money you spent to fix your car and restore it as close as possible to its book value.

It is in your hands to take it to the next step and file the diminished value claim. The lawyers at Stoy Law Group are here to help you receive the compensation you lost due to the damage to your car, but the process starts with you.

The post Calculate Diminished Value Claim after Car Accident in Texas appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

A concussion is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “a type of traumatic brain injury […] caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” Concussions are also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, or mTBIs. 

With this definition in mind, it may surprise you to hear it is quite possible to sustain a concussion without actually hitting your head. 

Often concussions are caused through heavy contact sports such as football, hockey, rugby, and even soccer. Concussions also occur through other means, such as car crashes and auto accidents. In some cases, you may not even know you’ve sustained a concussion. Other times, you may feel symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headaches, or in severe cases, you may even pass out.

How do you get a concussion?

You can sustain a concussion in a variety of ways. High-contact sports are where most concussions occur, and a study done by MedStar health over 11 years found that the most youth sports concussions occurred in men’s football and lacrosse. Sports like these often involve bodily contact and an emphasis on tackling and running.

However, non-sports concussions can happen in high-impact accidents.

Many of these incidents occur during automobile accidents. Overall, approximately 5.3 million people in the United States live with concussion-related disabilities.

concussion from sports

Getting a concussion after falling

Sometimes, a person may fall and have a headache after falling, but they didn’t necessarily hit their head during the fall. You may think, “I couldn’t have a concussion,” but as we discussed, this is still entirely possible. 

Because your brain is a gelatinous mass, any violent jostling to your head and upper body can actually cause it to move around. Falling can trigger headaches and even produce concussions if the movement is violent enough.

Headaches after falling aren’t necessarily a sign of a concussion, so you need to be careful to monitor yourself for possible symptoms after.

These symptoms include the following:

  • Prolonged headaches or headaches days after falling
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue or drowsiness
  • Blurred vision

More severe symptoms include 

  • Confusion
  • Feeling like you’re in a fog
  • Memory loss about events surrounding the event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”

Can you get a concussion without a bump?

As stated previously, it is entirely possible to get a concussion without actually hitting your head.

Therefore, you are able to get one without actually having any physical bumps on your head. Though the skull protects the brain, it is not really attached to anything inside the skull. Rather it floats suspended in a substance made mostly of fat.

In fact, your brain is 60% fat, and the other 40% is water, protein, carbohydrates, and salts. Your brain, then, has an almost jelly-like texture. Unlike what you see in models, the brain is not hard, and would be impossible to pick up without chemical preservation.

What happens after you get a concussion?

Symptoms and effects vary between people.

However, there can be some lasting effects of severe concussions. These effects, as described by Mayo Clinic, are called “persistent post-concussive symptoms”. 

Persistent post-concussive symptoms occur “when concussion symptoms last beyond the expected recovery period after the initial injury.” Symptoms of this type usually show up around seven to ten days after the initial concussion.

However, for some people, symptoms can occur years after the accident.

These symptoms are similar to the ones that may occur directly after a concussion, and commonly include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Ringing in the ears

Some symptoms, however, are unique. These include such symptoms as: 

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Noise and/or light sensitivity

Persistent post-concussive symptoms often manifest themselves as tension headache. Neck soreness may also accompany them. 

Although experts aren’t sure exactly what causes persistent post-concussive symptoms, some research indicates they are the result of long-term damage or disruption within the nerve pathways of the brain. Others cite psychological factors.

How hard do you have to hit your head to get a concussion?

According to a study done at Michigan University, a concussion occurs when the head sustains approximately 90-100 g-force. For reference, that is equivalent to something hitting your head at 20 miles per hour.

However, concussions aren’t always caused by blunt-force trauma and sometimes occur in other ways, particularly in car crashes.

Although it may seem that a harder hit to the head would produce a more severe concussion, research by Dr Steven Broglio shows that the force of the blow does not necessarily produce a more severe injury. 

Even though you don’t need to hit your head to sustain a concussion, many concussion-like symptoms may produce a feeling like you did. If it feels like you hit your head, but you didn’t, it’s crucial to note that if you sustained violent back and forth shaking of your upper body, the same feeling may be produced.

Can you get a concussion from whiplash?

Car crashes are a primary proponent of concussions. Whiplash is the major player in giving automobile crash victims these troublesome injuries. Whiplash occurs when a person’s neck is thrown back and forth in a whiplike fashion. Although whiplash usually occurs during car accidents, other situations such as sports, physical abuse, or falling can produce whiplash.

Since the violent back and forth movement causes the head — and therefore, the brain — to experience the same thing, concussions regularly occur alongside whiplash. 

We see this most often in rear-end vehicle accidents. These accidents most often happen at red lights, but if a driver is engaging in “brake checking,” that could lead to an accident as well. Depending on where you live, this could be illegal.

Concussion and whiplash symptoms often are similar, so you’ll want to make sure to get an evaluation from a doctor to determine whether you got a concussion or not.

In addition to getting a concussion, many automobile accidents can produce painful neck and head injuries.

Even if these do not produce a concussion, it’s pivotal to know what to do after these injuries and know when to search for a doctor and get help. 

concussion after a car accident

Concussions after a Car Wreck

Car accidents may cause concussions through whiplash, but it’s also possible the actual hitting of your head on the inside surface of the car could produce one. Years of research on concussions show the devastating effects of these traumatic brain injuries. 

Although it’s unlikely the average person will sustain repeated concussions within their lifetimes, studies show that repeated head traumas can bring about a certain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is an incurable neurodegenerative brain disease that can onset as early as 40s for some. The disease progresses quickly and often manifests itself through aggressive and violent behavior.

In addition, concussions after a car wreck may lead to long-term effects due to the way they impact your immediate wellbeing. Because some people can’t remember the events surrounding the accident, they may present faulty witness evidence in the case of a legal battle. Those who suffer concussions or other bodily injury can be liable for insurance claims.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to know what to do after an automobile accident. If you are able to, the first step after an accident is assessing the situation and then calling authorities. If you believe that others are injured, emphasize that to the dispatcher.

If you believe that you yourself are injured, then try and stay calm, remain in the vehicle if safe, and if you can, try to call or motion for help. If you experience symptoms related to concussions or another injury, then be sure to go to your doctor.

At-risk Groups and other Concussion Effects

Most concussions do not produce long-lasting results, and most people are able to live normal lives after experiencing them.

However, if you experience symptoms similar to persistent post-concussive symptoms, then be sure to contact your doctor. In addition, long-term concussive symptoms can be influenced by emotional factors.

Older people and those with prior head injuries are at risk for post-concussive complications. Young children whose heads aren’t fully developed also have an increased risk of concussions. Symptoms in children are similar to those in adults, but may manifest differently.

If your child hit their head or also was involved in an automobile accident, then look for concussion symptoms such as:

  • Dazed appearance
  • Tiring easily/lack of energy
  • Unsteady walking
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest in toys
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

Contact Stoy Law Group

If you or a loved one experienced any sort of personal injury, including concussions and bodily harm during a car wreck, then it’s also important to contact experienced personal injury lawyers to deal with the aftermath of an accident.

Specific automobile accident lawyers are trained to deal with these cases and help individuals get compensation for their injuries and accidents. Not only that but legal jargon and rules can be tricky to navigate and puzzle out, especially after a traumatic event like a car accident.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our lawyers online or other means to help you bounce back from an accident.

The post Can You Get a Concussion Without Hitting Your Head? appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

Every year, tens of thousands of people across the U.S. are killed in automobile accidents. Some of these accidents can be attributed to distraction, negligence, or impairment. Others are unavoidable. All of them have one thing in common: they result in a tragic and irredeemable loss of life.

Most drivers are aware of the hypothetical dangers of driving, and the risk of dying in a car crash, but relatively few have been confronted with the concrete statistics that reveal just how big a risk you take every time you get behind the wheel. Car accident lawyers, like the veteran trial attorneys at Stoy Law Group, are all too familiar with these statistics.

To help put things in perspective, we’ve compiled an in-depth analysis of automotive mortality rates. The purpose of this analysis is to note the odds that all drivers face of being involved in a fatal accident, as well as highlight key factors and behaviors that influence those odds.

What Are the Odds of Dying in a Car Crash?

As illuminated in a 2019 report from the National Safety Council, the lifetime odds of an American dying in a car wreck are roughly 1 in 107. That means that every person in the country with a driver’s license and a functional vehicle has about a 0.91% chance of ending up as a victim of a driving-related accident.

These odds are calculated using a number of crucial data points—including the total number of vehicular deaths, the current national population, and the average life expectancy of driving-age individuals across various demographics—and are considered to be highly accurate and reliable in terms of predictive modeling.

By comparison, the odds of dying in a slip and fall accident are approximately 1 in 106, while the odds of succumbing to an opioid overdose are 1 in 92 and the odds of dying by suicide are a troubling 1 in 88. Heart disease and cancer remain the leading causes of death among Americans, carrying odds of 1 in 6 and 1 in 7, respectively.

Although driving is undoubtedly an inherently dangerous activity, it’s a somewhat less immediate threat than many of the perils that loom over peoples’ day-to-day lives. 

Regardless, these figures underscore the importance of adopting safe driving practices to mitigate controllable risks—risks that will prove disastrous for some 1 in 107 Americans.

Factors That Affect Your Chances of Dying in a Car Crash

Every time you grab your keys and head out the door, you’re putting your life on the line.

That said, certain conditions, circumstances, and behaviors can impact your survivability more than others, for better or for worse. Here are a few of the factors that might make you more likely to become a statistic.

Driving Frequency

Basic probability dictates that the more you drive, the greater your chances of being in a serious accident. And that’s only one determinant of increased risk—it doesn’t take into account any of the other elements presented here.

While driving is a practical necessity for many people, there are ways you can reduce the potential for harm. For example, limit extraneous trips and employ defensive driving strategies when you do go out. Whenever possible, schedule your errands for times when traffic tends to be less hectic, like early in the morning or after the evening rush.

Irresponsible Driving Habits

The overall likelihood of car accidents, both fatal and non-fatal, increases tremendously when negligence and technological distractions are introduced to the equation. By some estimates, as much as 40% of all automobile accidents are caused by distracted or inattentive driving.

The best way to prevent these sorts of incidents is to put your devices away and focus on operating and maneuvering your vehicle at all times. It also pays to be observant of what’s going on around you, maintain a safe distance between yourself and other drivers, and limit attention-stealing conversations with your passengers.


In 2012, The U.S. Department of Transportation put out an eye-opening report that contained statistics showing that men are more than twice as likely to die in automotive accidents than women.

The primary reason for this startling discrepancy is that the average male driver racks up many more miles per year than the average female driver. 

It’s also well-documented, however, that men have more of a tendency to exhibit reckless behaviors such as speeding, driving impaired, and neglecting to wear seatbelts, which goes to show just how much the first two factors contribute to the odds of roadway fatalities.


The mind-altering effects of alcohol, drugs, and certain prescription medications can seriously degrade your driving skills. All three types of intoxicants have been known to reduce users’ visual acuity, slow their reaction time, alter their perceptions of events, and erode their capacities for judgment and critical thinking.

It should come as no surprise, then, that these substances are at least partially responsible for over 30% of fatal single-vehicle accidents and close to 15% of fatal multiple-vehicle accidents.

To avoid adding to either of these percentages, only take legally-prescribed medications as directed by your doctor and refrain from using alcohol or recreational drugs before driving (or altogether).


Speeding is often lumped in with other irresponsible driving habits. Because it plays such a central role in motor vehicle mortality, however, we felt it deserved special mention, especially when you consider the fact that it’s possible to follow all the other rules of the road to the letter and still drive too fast.

Aside from distracted driving, excessive speed is perhaps the single biggest contributor to automotive deaths. Your probability of causing a fatal accident increases by 4% for every 1% that you increase your speed while driving.  

In fact, past reports from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration have identified speeding as the number-one factor in over 25% of traffic fatalities.

The lesson here is simple: watch your speed. Speed limits exist for a reason. When they’re ignored, people get hurt.

What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Fatal?

According to the NSC, 0.91% of the 13.5 million automobile wrecks that occur yearly in the U.S. have lethal consequences.

A mortality rate of less than one percent may not sound too dire, but the reality is that one percent represents 39,000 lives lost every year, or around 12 deaths for every 100,000 drivers on the road in a given area. 

That’s far more than the number of people killed by gun violence, drowning, or housefires in an ordinary calendar year.

As if that weren’t bad enough, 4.1 million more crashes result in moderate to severe injuries that require medical intervention. Such injuries can easily turn deadly if not treated sufficiently and immediately, and many do. Even the ones that don’t can leave unfortunate victims suffering from life-altering injuries like broken bones, traumatic head injuries, nerve damage, and paralysis.

Odds of Dying in a Car Crash Per Year

The odds of dying in a car accident are not fixed. They change year to year and month to month based on factors as varied as, and the number of cars on the road. And evidence suggests that they could be changing for the better.

Here’s the silver lining to all these stats: the number of fatal car wrecks recorded annually throughout the U.S. seems to be on the decline. 2019, the last data collection period for NSC and NHTSA, saw significant decreases in most traffic safety categories from the preceding year, including major ones like:

  • Passenger vehicle occupant fatalities (630 fewer deaths, a 2.8% decrease)
  • Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (568 fewer deaths, a 5.3% decrease)
  • Pedestrian fatalities (169 fewer deaths, a 2.7% decrease)
  • Pedalcyclist fatalities (25 fewer deaths, a 2.9% decrease)

There are several possible explanations for this trend. One is that vehicles are getting safer, a conclusion supported by recent NHTSA automotive safety analyses

The other is that more and more drivers are becoming conscious of the threats posed by distracted and impaired driving, not to mention the increasingly severe legal penalties awaiting those who are caught and charged for such crimes.

Either way, it’s a positive development that hopefully foreshadows a continual reduction of unnecessary deaths in the future.

What to Do if You’ve Been in an Accident

Car wrecks don’t have to be fatal to completely upend your life. If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you’re no doubt wondering what your next step should be.

Fortunately, there’s no need to take it alone.

The personal injury lawyers at Warriors for Justice have decades of combined experience righting wrongs committed on the road. If you’ve got a strong claim of liability against another party, we’re confident that we can win your case and get you the restitution you deserve.

Give us a call today at (817) 820-0100 or fill out an online case evaluation form to schedule a free consultation with one of our decorated attorneys. Let’s work together to build a safer, more accountable society.

The post Odds of Dying in a Car Crash appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

Leasing a car is an excellent way to make driving a new vehicle affordable. There are several benefits, including lower monthly payments and the option to trade it in for a newer model in a few years. 

One of the drawbacks to leasing a car is that you don’t actually own it. If you have an accident in your leased car, it could cost you. 

Before you sign a contract, you may want to know what happens if you total a leased car.

Insuring a Leased Car

In the event of a car accident, the first thing most people ask about is insurance. Having a general understanding of how car insurance works could save you a lot of time and money, especially if you lease a car.

Generally, your coverage must meet the state minimums, but you may want to purchase more to protect yourself.

At the bare minimum, states require drivers to purchase liability insurance before driving any car. Liability coverage pays to repair another driver’s vehicle if the accident was your fault. It usually breaks down to bodily damage and property damage. 

Unfortunately, if your liability coverage doesn’t pay for all of the damages, the other driver could sue you to recover the remaining balance. Consider what happens if you cause an accident with more than one vehicle or one that damages another party’s property. 

Of note, liability insurance does not cover you or your vehicle if you cause an accident. You may want to consider purchasing additional car insurance options to protect yourself and your assets.

In fact, some leasing companies require additional coverage as part of the lease agreement.

Collision Insurance

While liability insurance covers other drivers and their vehicles, collision coverage pays for your vehicle. Depending on how much coverage you purchase, it can repair or completely replace your totaled car.

Gap Coverage

Gap coverage is one of the best options for leased vehicles. Let’s say your leased vehicle is worth $20,000 at the time of your accident. That’s how much your collision insurance would cover. However, you have $25,000 left on the lease, meaning you are responsible for the $5,000 difference. 

Unless you purchased gap coverage with your insurance policy, as gap coverage pays the difference between what your vehicle is worth and what you owe on it. 

Leased Car Accident: Determining the Damage

Handling an automobile accident is the same for owned and leased cars. It’s important to follow the proper process to cover yourself and get the best outcome.

  • Remain at the scene, but move to a safe space if possible.
  • If you have injuries, call emergency services.
  • Exchange information with the other driver or drivers, including names, phone numbers, registration, and insurance information.
  • Do not apologize or admit fault on the scene.
  • Take notes about what happened and photograph the scene, including damage to people, vehicles, and the area.
  • Gather contact information from any witnesses.

It’s a good idea to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to help you navigate the process and work with your insurance agency on your behalf. Since you leased the vehicle, you also need to notify your leasing company.

Repair or Total the Leased Car?

Once the accident clears and officers release the vehicles, your car will be assessed for damage. Note that you must keep up with monthly payments during the entire process, even if you suspect the car will be totaled. 

Depending on the extent of the damage, your insurance company may deem the leased car totaled. Usually, insurance companies find a car to be totaled when the cost to repair it is 65% or more of the total worth.

For instance, if your car is worth $20,000 and the cost to repair it is $17,000, it will likely be a total loss. 

When you signed the contract for your car, you took responsibility for the vehicle and agreed to return it in serviceable condition. Consequently, if the leased car is a total loss, you owe the remaining balance to the leasing company.

That’s why having sufficient insurance coverage is so critical.

Determining Fault of Car Wreck 

One of the key factors in any accident is determining who is at fault or who caused the wreck. While it may not be your first concern after a car crash, it will matter as you deal with the fallout and pay for the damages from the accident.

Insurance adjusters consider a lot of information when they determine fault in an accident. Aside from all of the information you collected at the accident (see the list above), your insurance company will examine police reports and speak with witnesses.

Gather as much information as possible to create a clear picture because the other party will likely do the same. Some cases are simple, while others are not as cut and dry. When things get more complicated, you and the other party may share fault.

To further complicate the issue, in shared fault claims, one party could be more at fault than the other. Naturally, things get more complicated if there are no witnesses, and it’s one driver’s word against the other’s.

For example, both drivers were speeding down the highway and collided when they tried to merge into the same lane. However, one driver used their turn signal while the other did not. 

The driver who signaled a lane change could be found less liable than the other if they can prove it. Without witnesses to confirm the driver signaled a lane change, they may be held equally responsible. 

Types of Fault in a Car Accident

State legislatures put forth laws about car insurance coverage, determining fault, and how to decide when insurance companies pay.

In the United States, there are a few general classifications for determining fault.

  • In no-fault states, drivers have personal injury protection as part of their coverage. It pays for damages whether you are at fault or not.
  • Comparative negligence states vary depending on your level of fault. 
  • In pure negligence states, you would receive no compensation if you caused the accident.

What if the accident occurs in another state with different rules? For example, Michigan is a no-fault state, but Texas is a modified comparative fault state, meaning that you must prove the other driver was more than 50% at fault for the accident.

How does it work if a Texas driver totals their leased vehicle while on vacation in Michigan?

Usually, the Texan’s coverage will adapt to meet the Michigan rules. In these situations, it’s helpful to retain an attorney who is familiar with the state’s legislation. Of course, the opposite is true for a Michigan driver who ends up in a collision while visiting Texas!

Paying for the Car Accident

When you receive the determination about who is at fault, the result will dictate who pays for the damages. Note that this process can take time, and it’s important for you to keep up with monthly lease payments on your vehicle, even if the car was totaled.

When You Are At Fault for Car Wreck

Obviously, if you caused the accident, you are liable for the damages, but paying for them depends on your state’s guidelines. Even if the accident doesn’t seem costly, you may want to retain an attorney to help you navigate the process. The other party will likely engage legal counsel to advise them and help them get the best possible settlement.

Remember, liability insurance only covers the damage to other people and property that you damage in an accident. Unless you have collision and gap coverage, you would be responsible for your injuries and any damage to your leased vehicle. If you total a leased car, you would owe the leasing company for the car and the amount left on your lease.

What If You Totaled a Leased Car With No Insurance?

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states, meaning you could have much more to worry about than your leased car. You would be liable for all of the damages in the accident, and you could face steep fines for driving without insurance.

What If Someone Hit My Leased Car?

If you cause an accident, you or your insurance cover the damages. Depending on how much coverage you purchase, you may be liable for the remainder. But, what happens if you didn’t do anything wrong?

It can happen to anybody. You’re turning left on a green arrow, but somebody tries to blow through a red light and rams into your car. You sustain several injuries, and the leased car is totaled.

If the other party’s insurance doesn’t cover all of the costs, you would probably have a personal injury claim against the other driver. You could file for all losses related to the accident, including lost wages and medical expenses.

Additionally, sometimes you can ask for money to compensate you for the pain and suffering related to the accident.

Leased Car Totaled: Not At Fault 

When your leased car is totaled, but you’re not at fault, you could be looking at a lengthy process. You need to keep up with your monthly lease payments, even if you’re not able to drive the vehicle. Document all of the payments you make because you could request reimbursement from the other driver. 

It’s in your best interest to hire an attorney to help you navigate the complex legal issues and determine a personal injury settlement. An experienced attorney can help you determine how much you can request from the at-fault party and guide you through the process. They may be able to help you replace your car and get you back on the road in no time.

Navigating Shared Fault for Car Wreck

Shared fault states create complicated situations for everyone involved. Often, it becomes a case of driver against driver unless there are witnesses or other notable evidence. 

Shared fault cases break down into percentages. In some states, if the insurer deems you 45% responsible for the accident and the other driver 55% responsible, payment would mirror those percentages. Other states with modified negligence laws state that whichever driver is more than 50% responsible for the accident is liable for all expenses.

Many states have some version of shared fault, known as comparative negligence. It is extremely complicated, meaning it may be in your best interest to retain legal counsel to help you work through the process.

How Much Can I Get For My Totaled Car?

At the end of everything, you should receive your car’s cash value. The insurance company uses formulas and available information to determine your car’s fair market value or how much the car was worth just before your accident. 

Your value, their value, and the leasing company’s value may all differ. Remember that your insurance company doesn’t want to lose money and may shortchange you on the value. You can negotiate with them to increase your settlement. You can help the process with a few key steps.

  • Research on your own across reliable sites, like Kelley Blue Book.
  • Check out local dealers and your leasing company to see what similar cars go for in the area. Local pricing can help or hinder your goal.
  • Track all of the upgrades and special features you have in the vehicle. Pull out receipts from work you had done, recent tune-ups, and even mileage if yours is especially low.

If you retained an attorney, they probably did some research about this already. They may have knowledgeable connections that have helped with similar circumstances.

Final Thoughts About What Happens If You Total a Leased Car

Every accident is scary and can be overwhelming as you navigate the legal and financial fallout. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident; you will still have paperwork and phone calls to deal with while you heal. 

Dealing with a totaled leased car may be more difficult if you have significant injuries or can’t work because you don’t have a car. Hiring a reputable attorney could make all the difference for you and your family.

From dealing with the insurance company to helping you work through the legal aspects, an experienced lawyer can make sure you receive a fair settlement. 

Contact Stoy Law Group

If you have any questions about your car wreck or would like to speak to a lawyer, contact our office today.

The post Totaled a Leased Car? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

Whenever you or someone you love suffers, you want to seek justice. However, filing a claim and entering the legal world can be overwhelming and confusing, especially with similar-sounding terms like bodily injury and personal injury. 

However, with the following information, you can understand these terms, their implications, and how to proceed with your legal case. 

What Is the Meaning of Personal Injury?

Personal injury is an extremely common type of civil litigation case that has two players:

  • defendant
  • plaintiff

In such cases, the plaintiff suffered harm at the hand of the defendant. These injuries could be physical, emotional, or even reputational. Personal injury examples often include malpractice, forced evictions, car accidents, defamation, false arrests, and fraud. Even slipping and falling on a business’s icy sidewalk can provoke a personal injury claim.

Essentially, if anyone feels that another person has been negligent or has intentionally sought to harm them, they can file a personal injury claim. To settle these civil law disputes, the defendant generally compensates the plaintiff, possibly covering medical bills. 

Sometimes the accident may result in the death of the victim. In such situations, the plaintiff is usually someone representing the deceased.

Of course, the defendant won’t be able to pay for medical procedures, so the settlement is often a large monetary amount.

Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

As previously mentioned, personal injury claims arise due to intent or negligence.

However, most accidents result from carelessness and negligence of the party at fault.

It’s rarely intentional.

Malpractice cases, harm caused from defective products, slip-and-fall cases, dog bites, and some vehicular accidents revolve around the defendant’s negligence. Perhaps a doctor did not follow appropriate procedures, or maybe a dog owner knowingly left an aggressive dog off the leash.

Even drunk-driving car accidents can be a personal injury claim based on the driver’s negligence.

Required Evidence of Negligence

Of course, for a personal injury claim based on negligence to hold up, you need to provide sufficient evidence of carelessness. 

First and foremost, provide proof that the defendant was responsible for providing proper care.

In medical cases, this duty is quite evident as doctors and medical professionals work to care for individuals.

However, in slip-and-fall cases or dog bites, it may be harder to prove this responsibility.

Once you have established the defendant’s duty of care towards you, you must show proof that they failed to comply with that responsibility. And, of course, you must prove that their negligence caused you harm or losses. 

Personal Injury Details to Consider

If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, there are several considerations to keep in mind.

Responsibility for the Injury

We already discussed that you must provide sufficient evidence proving the defendant’s responsibility. If you cannot produce such evidence, the claim might fall through.

Consider whether or not you have enough evidence to proceed with the case, or if your evidence is mostly hearsay. You don’t want to begin a legal process without supporting evidence.

If you are unsure of how to get such evidence or how to proceed, talk to a personal injury lawyer.

Lawful Limitations

Each state determines a specific timeframe for you to develop a personal injury claim called a statutory limitation. 

Check what your state’s limitations are or discuss your possibilities with a lawyer. Ensure you file within the timeframe, giving yourself plenty of time to gather evidence and papers.


When you file a personal injury claim, you are stating that the defendant holds full responsibility for damages and losses.

However, the final decision of who holds liability for the incident falls to a jury.

They may decide that you hold partial or complete liability for the incident, limiting or eliminating your compensation. As such, it’s crucial to have all the necessary documentation mentioned above. 

Compensation in a Personal Injury Case

When determining potential compensation, you must first determine what type of damages you or a loved one have incurred.

They may either be economic or non-economic.

Economic damages include things that come with a price tag. For example, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, income loss, and out-of-pocket expenses. You can use a personal injury calculator to get an idea of your potential compensation.

However, you can also consider non-economic damages in your calculations. These are things that don’t have a price tag, so it is difficult to create one. Consider your emotional distress, hurt, and suffering. While there are no monetary implications here, you discuss potential amounts with a lawyer. 

The average amount of compensation for a personal injury case is approximately $52,900. You can receive much more – or much less – depending on the type of case and the damages received. Keep in mind that your state regulations may put a cap on the maximum compensation amount. 

Keep in mind that 67% of personal injury cases never even go to trial and end up with an out-of-court settlement. With the right evidence and a top lawyer, you can get compensation without even going to court.

What Does Bodily Injury Cover?

Personal injury claims cover all types of damages and losses, one of which is bodily injury.

In short, bodily injury is not a type of claim, but a subset of personal injury losses.

Bodily injury is what it sounds like – injury to one’s body due to the actions or negligence of another person. Bodily injury examples include broken bones, cuts, diseases and sicknesses, disfigurement, or even death resulting from these injuries.

While personal injury claims can include bodily injury, people most often try to reach a bodily injury settlement after a car accident.

What Is a Bodily Injury Settlement?

Just like a personal injury settlement, you and the defendant can arrive at a settlement decision where you receive compensation for your physical injuries. 

A bodily injury settlement may include the cost of the following:

  • Out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries
  • Medical expenses 
  • Income or wage losses from missed work
  • Treatment procedure expenses, like x-rays and surgeries
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Transportation expenses, like the cost of an ambulance ride

When calculating compensation for a bodily injury settlement, consider including future losses and expenses. For example, if you have excessive injuries that require continued treatment, you can include their estimated cost in your final settlement.

Of course, the final compensation amount depends on the severity of your injuries. Make sure to keep track of any medical bills, receipts, and other evidence to prove the full extent of your injuries. 

What Is Bodily Injury Liability? 

We mentioned before that a jury may find you completely or partially liable in an accident. Similarly, if you are involved in an accident that results in bodily injury, you may be responsible.

As such, bodily injury liability involves insurance to cover other people’s injuries when you are liable.

This liability insurance can cover some or all of the following, depending on your plan and the incident:

  • Funeral costs
  • Doctor’s bills
  • Rehabilitation costs

Keep in mind that there may be a limit to how much your bodily injury liability insurance can cover. 

PIP vs. Bodily Injury Liability

Is personal injury protection (PIP) the same as bodily injury liability?

In short, no. These insurance coverage plans are not the same. 

While bodily injury liability insurance covers other people’s costs when you – the plan holder – is at fault, PIP does not look at who is at fault. 

PIP coverage can help pay for your injuries and possibly other’s, even if you caused the accident. Often called no-fault coverage, a PIP plan can pay for medical treatments, funeral costs, and potentially lost wages. 

Depending on the state, people may be required to have a personal injury protection plan, bodily injury liability, or both. Make sure you have the appropriate coverage to avoid huge bills in the case of a future accident.

Keep in mind, though, that costs accrued from an accident may exceed what you PIP policy can cover. Also, having a PIP doesn’t mean you can’t pursue additional losses via the other party’s insurance. If you are looking for a plan that goes above and beyond regular car insurance, consider a personal umbrella protection plan (PUP), that covers personal injury, false arrest, property damage, and more.

When involved in a personal injury claim – especially one that involves bodily injury – make sure to closely review your insurance coverage and talk with a lawyer about possible compensation.

So, What is the Difference between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?

Personal injury is a type of civil claim, while bodily injury refers to a specific type of damage, particularly in a car accident.

From an insurance perspective, a bodily injury insurance policy covers the other party’s injuries if you are at fault for the accident. Personal injury protection covers your injuries regardless of who caused the accident.

Contact Stoy Law Group

If you are ever in a circumstance where you’ve suffered injuries, hiring a personal injury attorney is the best way to get compensated. They’ll take you through the legalities of injury law and get you a fair settlement. 

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a lawyer, contact our office today.

The post Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury appeared first on Stoy Law Group, PLLC..

Chris Stoy

A few minutes ago, you were driving along without a care in the world. But then the unthinkable happens: you witness a car accident right in front of you. 

Your first thought: “If I left for work just a second earlier, that might have been me!”

Your next thought: “I hope nobody got hurt!”

And then inevitably, you ask yourself a flurry of questions: “I think that I should help, right?” “Should I call the police?” “Can I leave the scene if I wasn’t involved?” 

First, know that your reaction and your questions are normal. Witnessing an automobile crash can be traumatic.

But, unfortunately, you probably will see a car wreck at some point. And the fact is that most people want to follow proper procedures and be helpful but are not sure about what to do.

What Do You Do When You See an Accident?

Following is a list of frequently-asked questions many have after witnessing an accident.

In Texas, Is It Illegal to Leave the Scene of an Accident You Witnessed?

Did you ever wonder whether witnessing an accident and leaving the scene was against the law?

There isn’t a Witness Car Accident Law per se in the books, but there are several specific state statutes as well as common sense and ethical standards that you should always follow, which we’ll discuss below.

But first, the answer.

If your actions didn’t contribute to or cause the accident, no, the law doesn’t require that you stop at the scene. You’re not required to provide assistance or make a statement to the police. 

So, if you’ve left the scene of an accident that you witnessed, there will not be legal repercussions.

However, most people do feel strongly that stopping is the correct thing to do to help others. They understand that any assistance they can provide may be essential if they’re a witness and among the first at the scene, particularly if they witnessed negligent or reckless driving.

What’s the First Thing You Should Do at the Scene of an Accident?

Always ensure your safety first. Don’t rush to the scene.

If you’re a pedestrian, stay in safe areas such as sidewalks, and avoid shoulders and medians if there’s any traffic. 

If you’re driving, pull over to the side of the road. Park at least 100 feet from the crash if there’s fuel leakage, broken glass, metal shards, or other hazards. Switch on your hazard lights or put down hazard markers, and carefully assess the scene. 

Remain at a safe distance unless you’re prepared to give aid to any victim—and in the latter case, enter the scene cautiously.

What Are Your Duties If You See an Accident?

Mainly, if it’s unclear whether anyone has done so yet, immediately call 911 and an ambulance if necessary.

Should I Immediately Offer Medical Assistance?

Unless it’s necessary (see below), don’t immediately offer medical assistance in the interim. It’s usually best to wait for trained emergency personnel to arrive—which often occurs in just minutes. 

If you’re not trained for emergencies, you could accidentally make the situation more dangerous for the victim.

However, you can offer comforting, reassuring words to the victim and lend your mobile phone to exchange information or to call relatives and insurance companies.

What If There’s an Urgent Need for Medical Assistance Before Help Arrives?

If a victim is clearly in urgent need of first aid that you know you can provide, and emergency personnel has not yet arrived, know that Texas has Good Samaritan laws that will enable you to assist the victim without fear of liability. 

If you provide emergency aid in good faith with no intention of harm, you probably won’t be found liable. Yet should you become involved in a personal injury lawsuit, be sure to engage an attorney to defend you.

What Exactly Are Texas’ Good Samaritan Laws?

The purpose of “Good Samaritan” laws is to provide legal protection to those who provide reasonable help to others who are or appear to be in medical crisis, injured, or incapacitated. 

The laws are meant to reduce a bystander’s reluctance to help due to fear of being prosecuted or sued for wrongful death or unintentional harm. 

Texas and every other state have Good Samaritan laws, which may vary in different jurisdictions. Each has the purpose of encouraging bystanders to assist in good faith if they witness an emergency where one is in peril. 

Understanding such laws can enable you to follow your conscience and help people during urgent medical situations without needing to fear legal and civil damages. 

The victim or family members cannot hold you legally responsible if your efforts do not help the victim or unintentionally make things worse for the victim. 

In Texas, the current Good Samaritan law includes language that applies to volunteer first responders and people who are not certified or licensed in the healthcare field.

Are There Any Exceptions to Texas’ Good Samaritan Law?

Yes, there are several notable exceptions to the law:

  • The Good Samaritan Law doesn’t protect people if they’re responsible for the emergency that caused an injury. Even if an at-fault driver provided good-faith medical aid to the victim, they would be found liable for the accident.
  • If responders provide aid without sincere intent to assist victims, they’re not acting in good faith. Moreover, if anything they do injures the victims, they can be held liable.
  • Suppose a responder intends to harm the victim (called willful negligence) purposefully or has a careless disregard for how their actions may injure others (known as wanton negligence). In that case, the responder may be held liable for the victim’s injuries or death. 
  • The Good Samaritan law also doesn’t apply to paramedics or healthcare providers who provide medical aid as part of their professional responsibilities and expect payment for such services. Nor does it apply to people at a scene of an emergency who act as agents for others who are soliciting business to provide medical services for payment. In either case, the responders can be held liable for negligence shown to cause a victim’s illness, injury, or death.

If you witnessed a car accident or were unfortunate enough to cause an accident and/or be injured, consider contacting an attorney to determine whether Texas’ Good Samaritan Law protects you.

Should I Give a Statement if I Witnessed an Accident?

Although you’re not required to do so by law, describing exactly what you saw to the police and drivers involved in the crash can be helpful regarding any liability and fault. 

  • If you witnessed a hit-and-run accident, your statement should include any details that could help the police locate the at-fault driver, including the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
  • Enter the details into your smartphone or jot them on a notepad while your memory is fresh. 
  • Take photos of everything at the scene, including all angles of the cars involved, the points of impact and damage, and the accident scene from a distance, e.g., landmarks, traffic lights, and signs. (If you were involved in the accident, also take a photo of the other driver’s insurance card.)
  • As noted above, you must call 911 and an ambulance if necessary since the at-fault driver probably won’t do so.
  • Remain on the scene until you’ve completed your statement and the police have confirmed that you can leave.

What If an Involved Driver Tries to Leave Without Exchanging Information?

Never attempt to physically prevent an involved driver from leaving the scene since that could put your safety at risk. 

As noted above, write down or enter into your mobile phone the car’s make and model, license plate number, and, if possible, the driver’s contact information. Also, politely ask if you can take a photo of the driver’s insurance card. 

If the at-fault driver appears anxious to leave the scene, carefully note that you already recorded the car’s information. In addition, express your concern about possible consequences if he or she doesn’t speak with the police.

What If I’m Not Sure Who Caused the Accident?

If you give a statement, but you’re unable to answer every question, be honest and say that you don’t know. Never guess which driver was negligent and to blame for the accident or any other answers.

Simply stick to the facts.

Do You Have to Go to Court If You Witness an Accident?

If your actions didn’t cause or contribute to the accident and decide to leave the scene, you may not be called a witness in court.

Yet if you agreed to provide a statement, it’s possible you may be called as a witness if the victim’s case goes to trial. 

Although it’s unlikely, if you gave a statement to and/or provided police with your contact information, you may need to go to court since your testimony could prove important to the case.   

What If I Receive a Subpoena but Don’t Want to Testify?

Many are nervous giving testimony, but remember that if a lawyer requires you to testify, that means you likely have valuable information to provide. 

Moreover, if you receive a subpoena—a judge-issued document—that orders your appearance in court, never ignore it. You’ll be breaking the law and could be held in contempt of court, a serious offense that could lead to fines or even imprisonment. 

Contact Stoy Law Group, PLLC

Although witnessing an accident can be a traumatic experience, you can be confident that you’ll handle the situation appropriately armed with the essential tips above.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a lawyer, contact our office today.

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