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Austin Car Accident Attorneys

Helping You Recover after a Life-Altering Accident

Austin is known for having some of the worst traffic in the nation. With thousands of cars on the road every day, it’s not surprising that our area experiences more than its fair share of automobile accidents. In fact, according to recent statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, a reportable car crash occurred every 57 seconds on Texas roadways in 2016. Of these accidents, 3,773 were fatal—an increase of 5.45% from the previous year. In other words, automobile accidents are very common in Texas and many of these accidents are the result of negligence.

If you or a loved one were involved in a car crash, you are likely suffering from lasting consequences. Serious accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death, while relatively minor accidents can still leave victims dealing with injuries, trauma, and financial burdens. At Howry Breen & Herman, we help victims of negligence fight for a just recovery. Our Austin car accident attorneys have extensive trial experience and are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you are owed.

Injured in a car accident? Contact our firm online or by phone at (512) 430-4844 to schedule a free case evaluation with our legal team.

Common Types of Car Accidents

A car accident is a collision between two or more vehicles or a vehicle and another object that results in damage to property, injury, or death. These incidents can occur due to various factors such as human error, weather conditions, mechanical failure, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Common types of car accidents include:

  • Rear-End Collisions: These occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another. It often happens in situations where the following driver fails to stop in time.
  • Head-On Collisions: This type involves the front ends of two vehicles colliding with each other, typically resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
  • Side-Impact Collisions (T-Bone): This happens when the side of one vehicle is impacted by the front or rear of another vehicle, forming a T shape. Intersections are common locations for T-bone accidents.
  • Roll-Over Accidents: These occur when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. Factors like high speed, sharp turns, or collision forces can contribute to roll-over accidents.
  • Single-Vehicle Accidents: In these cases, a vehicle is involved in a collision without any other vehicles being directly involved. This can include hitting a stationary object, going off the road, or flipping over.
  • Multi-Vehicle Pileups: These accidents involve multiple vehicles and often occur on highways or busy roads. Poor weather conditions, low visibility, or initial collisions can contribute to pileups.
  • Side-Swipe Collisions: This happens when the sides of two parallel-moving vehicles make contact. Side-swipe accidents can occur during lane changes or merging.
  • Intersection Accidents: Accidents that occur at intersections, often due to failures to yield, running red lights, or misjudging the right of way.
  • Hit-and-Run Accidents: These occur when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without stopping to provide identification or assistance. Hit-and-run accidents can involve damage to property or injury to individuals, and the fleeing driver may face legal consequences for leaving the scene.

Did Driver Negligence Lead to Your Accident?

Operating a moving vehicle is a huge responsibility. Every time a motorist gets behind the wheel, he or she has a duty to act in a reasonably safe manner in order to protect themselves, their passengers, and other motorists. Unfortunately, not all drivers take this responsibility seriously. When drivers act carelessly or recklessly, they can cause serious accidents.

Some of the most common causes of car accidents that can be attributed to negligence include:

  • Distracted driving, including eating or cell phone use
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (DUI/DWI)
  • Reckless driving, including speeding or street racing
  • Failure to follow traffic laws, including illegal turns or lane changes
  • Dangerous driving maneuvers, such as turning left ahead of oncoming traffic
  • Failure to stop at street lights and/or stop signs
  • Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel

These are just some examples of how negligence might lead to a car accident. Other examples of negligence include defective automobile design or faulty car parts (including brakes or tires), poorly designed roads, or unsafe speed limits.

Serious Injuries After a Car Accident

The types of injuries you might suffer in a car accident depend on the type of accident and its severity. Some people can walk away from a crash and only require a doctor’s checkup. Others need immediate medical attention and extensive hospitalization. In either situation, our attorneys can help fight for every cent of compensation owed for medical care because we proudly take cases big and small.

Injuries suffered in car accidents can vary, such as:

  • Broken bones: Heavy impacts will send shockwaves through a car that can be powerful enough to fracture or shatter bones. Arm breaks are also common among people who tried to brace themselves against the steering wheel.
  • Whiplash: One of the most painful yet common car accident injuries is whiplash, which is caused by a sudden and violent back-and-forth jerking motion of the neck. It is often caused by rear-end collisions and suffered by the people in the front car.
  • Brain injury: People who hit their head against the steering wheel, window, dash, or windshield in a crash can suffer a life-changing traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Back injury: It is common for people to feel painful backaches for days or weeks after being in a violent car accident. Physical therapy is often needed.
  • Spinal cord injury: Harm to the spinal cord can be catastrophic and cause immediate and permanent paralysis. When all four limbs are paralyzed, it is called paraplegia.
  • Lacerations: Broken glass and twisted metal can pose extreme hazards in a crash. Deep lacerations need immediate medical attention.
  • Scarring: Burns and lacerations can leave permanent scars and disfigurements, which can cause psychological harm as the victim attempts to adjust to their new appearance.
  • Vision loss: Small debris thrown through the air in a crash can strike the eyes, causing partial or total vision loss in one or both eyes.
  • Hearing loss: Noises in a car accident can be loud enough to cause partial hearing loss. Damage to the eardrum can also cause deafness.
  • Organ damage: Internal injuries are not uncommon in violent car accidents. Survivors should always see a doctor immediately after a crash to check for signs of internal bleeding or organ damage.

Totaled car still at the accident site.

Texas Car Accident Laws

In Texas, car accident laws follow a fault-based system, meaning the person responsible for the accident is generally liable for damages.

Texas is not a no-fault insurance state. This means that individuals involved in accidents typically seek compensation directly from the at-fault party's insurance company.

To succeed in a car accident claim in Texas, you generally need to establish the following elements:

  • Duty of Care: You must show that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care. In car accident cases, all drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws.
  • Breach of Duty: You need to demonstrate that the at-fault party breached their duty of care. This could involve actions such as speeding, running a red light, or other negligent behaviors.
  • Causation: You must establish a causal connection between the at-fault party's breach of duty and the injuries or damages you sustained. In other words, you need to show that the accident directly resulted from the other party's actions.
  • Damages: To pursue a claim, you must have suffered actual damages. These damages can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accidents, is two years from the date of the incident.

Texas law requires drivers to report accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. The report should be filed with the local police or the Texas Department of Transportation.

Understanding Texas Comparative Fault Law

Much like other types of motor vehicle and bicycle accidents, car accident liability falls under Texas’s comparative fault law. Under this law, a driver is only entitled to recover damages if he or she is no more than 50% at fault for the accident. If a motorist is found to be less than 51% at fault, he or she is entitled to recover the total amount of damages suffered minus the percentage that he or she is liable. In other words, if a jury finds that you suffered $100,000 worth of damages but you were 40% at fault for the accident, you are entitled to recover $60,000.

Every situation is unique and, therefore, it is impossible to say how much your case is worth without a consultation. It is important that you meet with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and to determine whether or not you are entitled to recover damages.

Steps to Take After an Accident

You can’t always predict when a negligent driver is going to hit you. But you can always be ready for what to do after you get into a car accident. No matter what sort of car accident you are in or who caused it, there are five steps you should always follow to help navigate the situation and to benefit your future injury claim.

Call Emergency Responders

After any car accident in which someone is seriously injured or debris is scattered into the roadway, you should call emergency responders for help. Firefighters can extract people from damaged vehicles, paramedics can perform lifesaving first aid, and police officers can redirect oncoming traffic away from the damaged vehicles. Emergency responders will also write reports about what they saw and did. Your future claim could benefit from those reports.

Write Down Identifying Information

You will need to collect identifying and insurance information from all other parties involved. Write down the information where you know you can find it later. Although you might not need the insurance info of passengers involved in your crash, you should still get their contact information.

Take Pictures & Video

Some of the most convincing evidence to support your car accident claim will be photographs and video footage taken at the scene of the crash. Use your smartphone to take pictures of vehicular damage, injuries, traffic and roadway conditions, and the weather. The easier it is to recreate the scene using your photos and video later, the better.

Avoid Apologies

You might want to say something like, “I’m sorry. Are you okay?” No matter what your good manners tell you, do your best to avoid giving an apology after your crash. Insurance companies like to keep an ear open for apologies and misconstrue them into an admission of guilt as an unfair way to pin liability on someone.

See a Doctor

On the same day as your accident, you should see a doctor for a medical checkup. Even if you feel fine, arrange to see a trusted medical professional within the next few hours of your accident. You could have underlying injuries that you don’t notice right away but that a doctor can diagnose. Starting your treatment as soon as possible can help mitigate the severity of your injuries. It will also benefit your claim by making it more difficult for an insurance company to blame the severity of your injuries on you, which they often do when a claimant does not see a doctor or ignores the doctor’s orders.

As a last added step, you should speak with a local car accident attorney at your first opportunity. If your claim is complicated or contested by the insurance company representing the other driver, then a lawyer can help you strengthen and progress your claim in pursuit of fair compensation for your damages.

Contact Our Team Today for a Free Consultation

At Howry Breen & Herman, we have been helping injured victims throughout the Austin and Georgetown area since 1995. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients fight for a favorable outcome. In addition to assisting injured victims, we represent defendants wrongfully accused of negligence. No matter your situation, our Austin car accident attorneys can provide you with the personalized legal counsel and aggressive advocacy you need.

Here are some key advantages of hiring our law firm:

  • Years of Experience: Our knowledgeable and skilled team of lawyers specializes in personal injury law, including car accidents. We possess the knowledge and skills to navigate the legal process efficiently.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We take the initiative to investigate the accident thoroughly. This includes collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and working with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Navigating Insurance Claims: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. We handle all communication with insurers, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for damages.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Our goal is to maximize the compensation you deserve. We assess all potential damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering, to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
  • Legal Representation in Court: If negotiations with insurance companies are unsuccessful, we are prepared to represent you in court. Our legal team is experienced in litigation and will advocate for your rights before a judge and jury.
  • Peace of Mind: Engaging our services provides you with peace of mind during a challenging time. You can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal aspects of your case.

Call (512) 430-4844 or fill out a confidential contact form to request a complimentary case evaluation with our firm.

Car Accidents
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2023
    Howry, Breen & Herman is proud to have been named a Tier 1, 2 and 3 Austin “Best Law Firm” in 9 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® (“U.S. News” and BL Rankings, LLC). Law firms are selected for inclusion in this prestigious ranking based on a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria. Our specialty and tiers are listed here:
  • Texas Lawyer Austin Best of 2020: Personal Injury Firm
    Howry Breen & Herman, LLP was selected the Top Personal Injury Law Firm in Austin by Texas Lawyer, “Best of 2020”. The annual special supplement contains the results of Texas Lawyer readers’ poll, wherein readers cast their votes for the best providers of services and goods to the legal profession.
  • Attorney Sean Breen and Attorney Chris Lavorato placed in California’s Top 100 Settlements for 2019, as tracked by The Recorder and VerdictSearch.
  • Our law firm is proud to have been recognized in the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame. Texas Lawyer in conjunction with VerdictSearch, recognize attorneys and law firms for their verdicts of $10 million or more. In 2011 Sean Breen was a Hall of Fame Award Recipient for the #1 Premises Liability Top Texas Verdict, awarded by Texas Lawyer, for the jury verdict award in the case VanDusen v. Aspen Square Management. In 2016 Sean Breen was inducted into the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame, awarded by Texas Lawyer, for an outstanding verdict in Nester v. Textron.
  • America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys 2021
    Selection to America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identity the nation’s most exceptional litigators for high-value personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice matters. HBH is proud that Sean Breen has been selected for this award. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor — truly the most exclusive and elite level of attorneys in the community. (2017-2022)
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2016
    Howry, Breen & Herman is proud to have been named a Tier 1, 2 and 3 Austin “Best Law Firm” in 7 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® (“U.S. News” and BL Rankings, LLC). Law firms are selected for inclusion in this prestigious ranking based on a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria. Our specialty and tiers are listed here:
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year | Litigation - Trusts & Estates (by BL Rankings, LLC d/b/a Best Lawyers and Co., LLC)
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year | Personal Injury - Plaintiffs (by BL Rankings, LLC d/b/a Best Lawyers and Co., LLC)
  • Lifetime Achievement selection to America’s Top 100 Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional attorneys whose accomplishments and impact on the legal profession merit a Lifetime Achievement award. Selection is not achieved based on a single accomplishment or a single great year of success, but rather on a lifetime of hard work, ethical standards, and community enriching accomplishments that are inspiring among the legal profession. Both Sean Breen (2017) and Randy Howry (2018) are honored to receive this award.
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters. To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. These minimum qualifications are required for initial consideration. Thereafter, candidates are carefully screened through comprehensive Qualitative Comparative Analysis based on a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant case results, representative high stakes matters, peer reputation, and community impact in order to rank the candidates throughout the state. HBH is privileged to honor Partners Sean Breen (2017- 2021) and Randy Howry 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 for selection of this award.
  • Expertise- Best Real Estate Lawyers in Austin 2020
    Expertise - Howry Breen & Herman was recognized and featured in an article by as one of the Best Real Estate Lawyers in Austin. 2020
  • America’s Premier High-Stakes Trial Lawyers®” – 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators®, is meant to recognize the nation’s most respected and preeminent high-stakes trial lawyers based on their verifiable verdicts and/or settlements. It is a tremendous honor for Sean Breen (2019) and Randy Howry (2020) to be recognized among this elite group.
  • America’s Premier High-Stakes Trial Lawyers®” – 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators®, is meant to recognize the nation’s most respected and preeminent high-stakes trial lawyers based on their verifiable verdicts and/or settlements. It is a tremendous honor for Sean Breen (2019) and Randy Howry (2020) to be recognized among this elite group.
  • The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100, a highly respected legal organization that limits its members to premier trial attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by strict qualification requirements. Sean Breen Top 100 Civil Plaintiff, 2009 – 2020.
  • Top 10 Business Tort Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers. Randy Howry 2012-2013; Sean Breen since 2016.
  • Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America® recognizes the top 5% of the most skilled attorneys in the nation. The robust selection process requires attorneys to nominate and review fellow lawyers based on their ethics, skill, knowledge, and ability to obtain results for their clients. The Best Lawyers in America® list is a way for plaintiffs to identify the leading attorneys in their region, known for their ability to get results with honesty, strength, and skill. Tim Herman, Sean Breen & Randy Howry have been featured by The Best Lawyers in America® (2006-2020) running alongside some of the most qualified firms in the nation. More info here.
  • Texas Monthly Top Attorneys - Sean E. Breen
    Top Attorneys As Published In Texas Monthly
  • Top 50 US Verdicts All Practice Areas Texas 2017
    Sean Breen was honored by for recovering one of the Top 50 Verdicts in Texas in 2017. This is an honorable distinction, reserved for those attorneys that achieve the highest settlements and verdicts in the state.
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Sean Breen is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a renowned legal organization whose membership is restricted to trial attorneys who have achieved seven-figured settlements and/or jury verdicts. 2011.
  • Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    We are proud to have Sean Breen who is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In order to become a member, an attorney must demonstrate that he or she has successfully achieved at least one six-figure settlement or jury verdict. 2011.
  • AV Preeminent
    Martindale-Hubbell® is widely regarded as one of the most renowned peer-review rating organizations in the legal field. Randy Howry (2018), Sean Breen (2001), Tim Herman (1998), Glen Wilkerson (2014) and Chris Lavorato (2014) at Howry, Breen & Herman have achieved the organization’s highest distinction of AV Preeminent®.
  • Super Lawyers
    Each year, Super Lawyers® magazine publishes its list of peer-nominated/evaluated and independently reviewed attorneys. We are proud to have attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers® List, by Thomas Reuters since 2003, running through 2020.
  • Top American Lawyers
    Membership in Top American Lawyers is limited to only 1% of all attorneys in the United States. Randy Howry is proud to be honored with a Lifetime Charter Membership in this exclusive organization (2017).
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