Pearland Car Accident Lawyer
In March 2020, when coronavirus lockdowns began, fewer fatal vehicle collisions was supposed to be one of the “silver linings” in this dark cloud. Instead, the number of fatal car crashes increased significantly in 2020 and again in 2021, mostly because drivers picked up some bad habits during pandemic shutdowns. These bad habits included aggressive driving and impaired driving. These two things combine to cause over 98 percent of the car crashes in Texas.
Henrietta Ezeoke, an experienced Pearland car accident lawyer, takes a measured approach in these cases. Our team puts first things first. We quickly connect victims with doctors and make alternative transportation arrangements for our clients. Then, we diligently collect evidence which supports your claim and refutes insurance company defenses. Because we take care of your needs first and build such a strong foundation, we are well-positioned to fight for maximum compensation for your serious injuries.
First Party Liability
As mentioned, driver error causes almost all car crashes in Texas. Legally, this error usually involves the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se rule. Basically, ordinary negligence is a lack of care. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care under Texas law. They must avoid accidents when possible and always drive defensively. Negligence per se is essentially a violation of a safety law. Tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who break safety laws and cause wrecks could be responsible for damages as a matter of law.
These damages normally include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
To understand the difference between negligence per se and ordinary negligence, let’s look at substance-related wrecks. Alcohol and/or drug impairment causes about half of the fatal car crashes in Harris County.
If authorities charge the driver with DUI, the negligence per se rule usually applies. Authorities press these charges if the driver’s BAC level was above the legal limit, or if the driver had lost the normal use of his/her physical or mental faculties.
Most people are intoxicated after they consume three or four drinks or smoke one or two joints. But impairment begins with the first sip or puff. Evidence of impairment includes:
- Physical symptoms, like bloodshot eyes and unsteady balance,
- Erratic driving before the crash, and
- Tortfeasor’s statements about alcohol or drug use.
To obtain maximum compensation in an ordinary negligence case, a Pearland car accident lawyer must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Third Party Liability
Alcohol-related wrecks also often involve vicarious liability, or third-party liability. In Texas, commercial alcohol providers, like restaurants and bars, are financially responsible for damages if they knowingly sell alcohol to intoxicated individuals. Non-commercial providers, like party hosts, might also be vicariously liable for damages, under a theory like negligent undertaking.
Other vicarious liability theories include respondeat superior employer liability and negligent entrustment owner liability. In a nutshell, most employers are financially responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of their employment, and vehicle owners could be responsible for damages if they knowingly allow incompetent operators to borrow their vehicles.
Vicarious liability is especially important in Uber accident claims. Usually, personal auto insurance policies don’t cover commercial losses.
Reach Out to a Compassionate Brazoria County Car Accident Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer in Pearland, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm, PLLC. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.