Question

Who can be held responsible for a serious motor vehicle accident in Texas?

Robert C. Hilliard - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Robert C. Hilliard

Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP
Corpus Christi, TX
Phone: 800-491-1493
Fax: 361-882-3015

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Answer

It can be the driver of the vehicle that hits you, the company that the driver is working for at the time of the accident or the driver of the car you are the passenger in.

When a defect causes injury

If there is a defect to your vehicle, then the manufacturer of that component can be responsible. This is important because in some instances a defect is what causes an accident. For example, you could be in accident where you are injured because your airbag was defective and shot metal into you. The injury of the accident was made much worse because of the defective airbag. Even though the defective airbag did not cause the accident, the manufacturer can still be held responsible for the injury the airbag did cause.

Another example is when a tire de-treads. The de-treading can cause a vehicle to strike something or roll over. In this instance you can hold the tire manufacturer responsible for your injury. A third example is a faulty anti-lock brake system. When your brakes lock up, this can cause an accident. Even in a single-car accident, the anti-lock brake manufacturer can still be held responsible for the injuries caused.

What to do after an accident

The first thing you do is to make sure you are okay and that your injuries are being attended to. Lawyers shouldn’t be the first thing you think about. Once you are stable and everyone is being taken care of, then call a lawyer. It’s not fair but it is true that while you are being treated for your injuries, the defendant will already be preparing their defense.

How long should I wait to call an attorney?

The truth is that the longer you wait after the accident to call a personal injury attorney, the greater advantage you may be giving the defense. Sometimes it takes a few days or weeks to realize that, for example, the faulty brakes were what caused the accident. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want to lose evidence.

What should I do if I think a defect was part of what caused my accident?

If you feel that your injury was caused by a manufacturer’s defect, the first thing to do is to preserve the evidence. Do not let your vehicle be impounded, demolished or sold. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. If you can, get them to tell you what they saw and record this. The next step is to get an experienced attorney involved. He or she will send preservation representation letters, get a temporary restraining order (TRO) and begin an immediate independent investigation into the accident. Your attorney will get the police report, talk to the witness and get statements from them when merited. Your attorney will also enlist the help of established experts who can use the evidence to discover what caused the accident.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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