Beaumont Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence in the Beaumont-Port Arthur Metropolitan area, be sure to hire a lawyer with the right experience and resources to get you the full compensation you deserve.
People across South Texas rely on motor vehicles for their daily activities and are especially reliant on them in Beaumont. Because we use our cars to travel to work, school, social activities, and for everyday errands, there is a high likelihood that at some point or another, we will be involved in a car accident. While most accidents are minor fender-benders that cause little more than minor property damage and inconvenience, other accidents are much more severe and could result in severe and possibly catastrophic injuries.
Portner Bond, PLLC, has more than 85 years of combined experience handling car accident cases for injured people in Beaumont. We can assess all of your legal options as soon as you call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a Beaumont car accident attorney.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Some people are tempted to believe that they do not need legal counsel when they are confident that another driver’s negligence was apparent. Whatever you do, don’t trust the insurance companies to do the right thing and protect you. These companies are focused on profit and appeasing their shareholders, not paying you the compensation you deserve if you are hurt.
After an accident, you should avoid speaking to any insurance representative until you have an attorney. Your lawyer will investigate the accident, identify the liable party, and will secure the vital evidence needed to prove that you were not the one at fault for the crash. They will evaluate your injuries and the financial and emotional impact the accident has had on your life and livelihood and will build a persuasive claim for compensation.
While you focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back on your feet, your lawyer can handle the discussions with the insurance company on a fair settlement that will make you whole again after the crash. If the insurer does not offer you an acceptable settlement, your attorney may advise filing a lawsuit and seeking damages in court.
Without the help of an experienced, skilled attorney, you could find yourself with a lowball settlement offer or nothing at all. With the help of a Beaumont car accident lawyer, you could be able to recover the money you need to pay your bills, support yourself and your loved ones, and put the accident behind you.
After an accident, you should avoid speaking to any insurance representative until you have an attorney. Your lawyer will investigate the accident, identify the liable party, and will secure the vital evidence needed to prove that you were not the one at fault for the crash.
Why Choose Portner Bond, PLLC To Handle My Case?
Trent Bond is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a distinction earned by only about 10% of lawyers in Texas. Trent Bond is a former vice president of the Jefferson County Bar Association as well as a former director of the Jefferson County Bar Association.
Chris Portner is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, to which fewer than 1% of attorneys in the United States are members. He is a member of the Jefferson County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice.
We prepare every case as if it will go to trial because that’s the commitment and dedication that our clients deserve. We won’t back down from a fight, nor will we let the huge insurance companies push our clients around. We’re here to make sure that you get what you are owed. We only represent individuals, such as yourself, not big corporations or insurance companies.
Worried about how you’ll afford an experienced injury lawyer like those at Portner Bond, PLLC? Don’t be. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no legal fees until you receive a financial award.
Helping Those Injured in Serious Accidents
Types of Car Accident Cases We Handle
Every car accident is different. Some of the most common kinds of car accidents that Portner Bond, PLLC handles include, but are not limited to:
- Multiple Vehicle Accidents
- Single-Vehicle Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Head-On Collisions
- T-Bone Accidents
- Hit and Run Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Rental Car Accidents
- Ridesharing Accidents
- Taxi Accidents
- Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver
The actual causes of such accidents can be complicated. Some causes are relatively obvious, while others can require lengthy investigations. If the police were called, they would have conducted an investigation. After they completed their investigation, they would have filed a Peace Officer’s Crash Report. Their investigation would include pictures, interviews with witnesses, and statements from the drivers involved in the accident. As thorough as the police try to be when investigating a car accident, their final report is often lacking. It may be missing key information or may be poorly written and, consequently, unclear.
We will hire an independent car accident investigator to reconstruct the accident to determine what happened and who was responsible. They will look at the scene where the crash occurred, including the topography of the roadway and traffic signs and signals. They will analyze physical evidence such as skid marks and debris. They will also inspect the vehicles, both inside and out. They will gather photographic evidence from the police, the drivers, and witnesses, as well as any pictures or video evidence from the security cameras of homes or businesses in the area.
We may engage the services of a highly qualified accident reconstructionist to perform an analysis of the accident. Their report and exhibits can be particularly persuasive in settlement negotiations and in court.
Some of the most frequent causes of car accidents in the Beaumont area include, but are not limited to:
Common Injuries That Result From a Car Accident
The injuries people can suffer in a car accident also vary greatly depending on several factors. The type of crash, where a person was seated, and the point of impact can all contribute to the severity of an injury.
Examples of injuries people could sustain include, but are not limited to:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Eye Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Organ Damage
- Back Injuries
It is possible that some collision injuries will ultimately prove to be fatal. After a person is killed in a car accident, their family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party or parties.
Another resource we often utilize while we work to support your claim is a medical expert. A medical expert can assess your physical injuries and explain how the accident caused your injuries. The doctor can use their expertise to opine as to the time it will take you to heal. The doctor’s opinion bolsters any claim we make for diminished future earning capacity.
Car Accident Statistics for Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were 7,205 total crashes in Jefferson County in 2017 that included 34 fatal crashes, 178 suspected serious crashes, 804 non-incapacitating crashes, 1,323 possible injury crashes, 4,712 non-injury crashes, and 154 unknown severity crashes. These crashes resulted in 37 fatalities, 206 suspected serious injuries, 1,112 non-incapacitating injuries, 2,159 possible injuries, 15,481 non-injuries, and 704 unknown injuries.
TxDOT reported there were 4,159 total crashes in Beaumont in 2017 that included 16 fatal crashes, 121 suspected serious crashes, 401 non-incapacitating crashes, 829 possible injury crashes, 2,720 non-injury crashes, and 72 unknown severity crashes. These crashes resulted in 19 fatalities, 136 suspected serious injuries, 554 non-incapacitating injuries, 1,339 possible injuries, 9,076 non-injuries, and 404 unknown injuries.
According to TxDOT, there were six fatal crashes and six fatalities on interstates in Jefferson County, as well as seven fatal crashes and seven fatalities on interstate and state highways. There were no fatal crashes or fatalities on Farm to Market (FM) roads, county roads, city streets, tollways, or other roads.
TxDOT reported that one person was killed every two hours, 21 minutes, one person was injured every two minutes, four seconds, and one reportable crash occurred every 59 seconds in 2017.
Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
After any car accident, always be sure that you are evaluated and treated by a medical professional. While severe injuries will require transportation by emergency services to a nearby hospital, others may simply be treated at the scene. When this happens, be sure to visit a doctor immediately to make sure that any late-developing injuries are diagnosed and treated and that a medical record is created for your accident.
Get your vehicle out of the way and turn on your hazard lights so that you are not hit by another vehicle. If you can’t move your vehicle, get yourself and any other people to a safe spot out of the roadway.
Call the police. Under Texas law, the police must be called if someone is injured or if property damage exceeds $1,000.
Also, take as many photographs as you can of your accident. Today, most people have a camera on their cell phone. If you do not, then borrow one from one of your passengers or a bystander. Take pictures at the scene, including the vehicles, people, skid marks, and any other notable factors. If anyone saw your crash, ask them for contact information in case they are needed as witnesses. Lastly, try to be careful about who you talk to about your accident and refrain from posting about the accident to social media, as the things you say and do after a crash could impact any injury claim you have to pursue.
You can and should get necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. Delaying medical treatment could postpone the healing period. It could also jeopardize your chances of having a meaningful recovery.
According to Texas law, a person must bring suit for an injury in a car accident within two years of the date of the accident. Some exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations include a person who is considered to be “under a legal disability,” which means an individual who is younger than 18 years of age or unsound mind. The statute of limitations does not begin until such a person turns 18 or their disability is cured.
The answer is “it depends.” Some cases can be resolved in a number of weeks, and others take years. It depends on whether you accept a settlement offer or if we take the case to court. It also depends on how extensive your injuries are, how clear the defendant’s culpability for the accident is, and how many parties are involved.
Most settlement negotiations do not even begin until you, the injured party, reach maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which recovery and recuperation, are for the most part, complete. Of course, in some cases, the injuries are so severe they will require lifelong care. This makes the damages more difficult to quantify.
Obviously, cases involving multi-vehicle accidents take longer to resolve because there are more parties, and liability for the accident may not be clear cut. It may be tempting to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company to bring the matter to a close quickly. An experienced attorney can advise you as to whether accepting that offer is in your best interest.
The state of Texas follows the legal doctrine of modified comparative fault. This means that provided you were less than 50% responsible for the accident, the law provides that you can recover financial compensation, although any award will be reduced by the percentage of fault you bear. For example, if you are found to be 25% responsible for the crash and you are awarded $100,000, then you will only get paid $75,000.
Under the Texas Tort Claims Act, if you file a claim against the government, notice of the claim must be filed within six months of the date of the accident with the appropriate governmental unit. The notice must set forth the damages and injuries, specify the time and place of the accident, and provide a description of what happened.
Examples of causes of car accident claims for which the government may be liable include:
- Defective traffic signals
- Poor maintenance of the roadway
- Missing or broken guardrails
- Accident involving a government vehicle
- Missing signs or ineffective signage
If the driver responsible for the accident does not have insurance, you may be able to file a claim against your insurance if you have Uninsured Motorist coverage. This an optional rider to your automobile insurance policy. You may file a claim against a third party to your accident if there is one, or you may file a civil suit against the other driver.
Most car accident cases end in settlements as insurance companies are reluctant to bear the costs of going to trial. If a case goes to trial, a jury could award a person compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are typically a combination of economic damages, which are actual losses that can be calculated and proven, and noneconomic damages, where the harm is more subjective and not quantifiable.
Economic damages may include medical bills, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages may be for the loss of consortium, pain, and suffering, or emotional distress. Punitive damages (also called exemplary damages or vindictive damages) could also be awarded, but they are very rare.
There is a limit to punitive damages in Texas. The limit is the greater of $200,000 or twice the economic damages, plus the value of noneconomic damages up to $750,000. Since punitive damages are meant to act as a punishment, they are only awarded in cases when the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional.
Actions on the part of the defendant which may give rise to a claim for punitive damages include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or any other mind-altering substance, particularly if the defendant has been cited before for such behavior.
- The accident was the result of a road race.
- The defendant was driving at a particularly high rate of speed, especially if the speeding occurred within a school zone.
- The defendant ran your car off the road.
- The defendant knew that his car was unsafe because it needed maintenance.
Contact a Beaumont Car Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence in Southeast Texas, act quickly to get justice. Contact Portner Bond, PLLC, as soon as possible. Our firm is located on Calder Avenue in downtown Beaumont. Call us at (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.