Austin Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents can be stressful and overwhelming experiences. Unfortunately, many of these collisions result in catastrophic, life-altering injuries. When facing mounting medical expenses and lost income while you recover, the financial burden can be crippling for you and your family. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. The Austin car accident lawyers at Shaw Cowart are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Why Choose Our Austin Car Accident Attorneys?

At Shaw Cowart LLP, our auto accident lawyers know how to deal with the insurance company. We’ve been doing exemplary legal services for years and we will fight tooth and nail to ensure your rights are protected every step of the way.

Our accident injury attorneys such as our pedestrian accident lawyers in Austin have handled every type of car accident claim, and we are aware of the tactics used by insurance companies to unfairly reduce or even deny your compensation. Therefore, it is our goal to make sure you receive the best financial recovery possible.

Meet Ethan Shaw & John Cowart – Your Austin Car Accident Lawyers

Austin trial lawyers

Founders Ethan Shaw and John Cowart bring extensive trial experience, having litigated numerous cases nationwide, representing plaintiffs and defendants alike. While they specialize in high-stakes litigation, their distinguishing trait lies in fostering intimate client relationships, a feature often lacking in larger law firms.

Accessing attorneys at Shaw Cowart is simpler compared to larger firms. Litigators here prioritize direct accessibility and responsiveness to your needs. Unlike larger firms, you won’t be delegated to a paralegal, as we understand the importance of staying connected, especially during ongoing legal proceedings. They are committed to keeping you informed as your case evolves and are readily available to address any inquiries you may have. Contact us today to learn more about your Austin accident case.

Chicago personal injury awards

Shaw Cowart recently obtained a verdict for $2,000,000 for an underinsured motorist claim.

Shaw Cowart recently resolved an automobile claim on behalf of an injured client for $100,000.00

Austin Car Accident Resources

How Can An Austin Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case?

We understand that a car wreck can change your life. Our personal injury lawyers in Austin have a proven track record of success in helping people with serious injuries from auto accidents, and we will fight for maximum compensation for you.

The most important thing for you to focus on during this difficult time is recovering from your injuries. You don’t need the added burden of trying to negotiate your settlement with the insurance company. We will take care of your claim so you can take care of yourself and your family. If you’ve suffered serious injuries during a car wreck, it’s crucial that you have an experienced accident lawyer handle your case. The insurance company is not on your side. Their goal is to settle with you quickly and for as little money as possible. They have a team of investigators and attorneys at their disposal to minimize the amount of money they will have to pay out on your claim.

You can learn about your legal rights and options by speaking with our attorneys in person. Please call 512-499-8900 today to schedule a complimentary consultation. We serve clients in the Austin, Texas area.

When you come in for your complimentary consultation, we will share our track record with you, so you can see our history of success for yourself.

Are Fatal Car Accidents Increasing In Texas?

Yes, according to TxDOT. Reflecting a deadly trend nationwide, 20,160 people died due to car crashes in 2021, up 15% from years with prior data.

What could be a reason for the increased rate of car accidents? First, traffic is likely increasing, which strains the existing infrastructure, despite a shift in focus to implement new roadway design features that can save lives.

However, this doesn’t do anything for those who have already been injured or died due to another driver’s negligence in Texas, but it does protect against future incidents. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a car accident, working with a trusted Austin wrongful death attorney can help you secure compensation and hold the negligent driver accountable.

What Are Some Important Texas Car Accident Laws?

The laws governing car accident cases in Texas are very complex. Texas adheres to the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which states that your vehicle damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. In addition, if you are determined to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you will not be entitled to receive any compensation.

For example, if your damages are $100,000 and you are found to be 25% at fault, you will only recover $75,000. However, if you are found to be 60% at fault, you will recover nothing. These negligence laws make it crucial that you prove the other driver was predominantly at fault for the accident. Our lawyers know the comparative negligence laws impacting your case, and we will examine every detail to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault.

Texas also requires all vehicle owners to carry the following minimum levels of liability insurance coverage:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person per accident
  • $60,000 of bodily injury liability total per accident
  • $25,000 of property/vehicle damage liability per accident

Keep in mind that these are the minimum levels of coverage required by law. Often, accidents will result in more damages than is covered by these minimum limits. For this reason, you may want to consider purchasing higher coverage levels as part of your insurance policy.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Settlement in a Car Accident Case in Austin?

The amount of time it takes to receive a settlement from a car accident varies case by case. Before the insurance company or defendant makes an offer, there are a few things that must happen.

First, you need to be at maximum medical improvement. This means that any major medical treatments needed due to your injuries have been completed. Second, you will need to obtain all medical reports that indicate potentially lost wages or future medical bills due to ongoing treatment. Finally, you need to send a demand package to the insurance company with all of these details. Depending on the insurance company you are filing a claim with, the response takes anywhere from 15 to 90 days.

Sometimes this entire process will take months. Sometimes it will take years. That’s why having a positive working relationship with your legal team is critical. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them, and if you don’t have a good rapport with them, it can be challenging to work with them in such a close capacity long-term.

At Shaw Cowart LLP, we value our relationship with all of our clients – and we encourage anyone with questions about our firm and how we work to reach out for a free car accident case review today. In a case review, a car accident lawyer helps you better understand what it’s like to work with our firm.

Statute Of Limitations In Austin Car Accident Cases

Car accident attorney in Austin

In addition, there are certain deadlines, called statutes of limitations, which apply to filing a car accident lawsuit. In Texas, you have two years from the date of the car wreck to file a lawsuit. After this deadline passes, you may lose your eligibility to pursue damages in court.

Some exceptions to this statute of limitations can change or modify the timeframe you have to file your case.

  • The victim’s injuries become fatal: if an individual was injured in a vehicle accident in Texas and ended up dying from their injuries, the family of the individual would have two years from their death to file their lawsuit.
  • Construction defects: if a piece of motorway or road was considered defective and caused the car accident, you may have up to 10 years to file your claim.
  • The defendant was a government official: adding the government as a defendant in your case adds another layer of complexity to your case. The Texas Tort Claims Act does allow individuals to sue the government, but the claim does have to be brought within six months of the incident occurring at maximum. Some municipalities (like Austin) shorten this window to less than two months.

As you can see, some of the issues surrounding your car accident cases’ statute of limitations can become extremely complex. At Shaw Cowart LLP, we know how these laws impact your case, and we will ensure that all laws are followed so that you don’t jeopardize your ability to recover the maximum allowable compensation.

Different Types Of Car Accidents In Austin

Car accidents are unfortunately common, and they can range in severity from minor fender-benders to fatal collisions. Understanding the most common types of car accidents can help drivers take precautions to avoid them.

Rear-End Collisions: These occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another. They are typically caused by tailgating, sudden stops, or distracted driving. Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident and often happen at traffic signals or in congested traffic.

Side-Impact Collisions: Also known as T-bone or broadside accidents, these occur when the side of one vehicle is struck by the front or rear of another vehicle. They often happen at intersections when one driver fails to yield the right of way or runs a red light.

Head-On Collisions: These are among the most dangerous and deadly types of accidents, occurring when the front ends of two vehicles hit each other. They often result from drivers crossing the center line or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

Single-Vehicle Accidents: These involve only one car and can include incidents such as running off the road, hitting a stationary object, or rolling over. Causes can range from driver error and distractions to adverse weather conditions and mechanical failures.

Tire Blowout Accidents: Tire blowout accidents occur when a tire suddenly bursts, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which can lead to serious crashes, especially at high speeds.

Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents happen when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof, often due to sharp turns at high speeds, collisions, or driving on uneven terrain, and are particularly dangerous due to the high risk of severe injury or fatality.

Awareness and defensive driving can significantly reduce the risk of being involved in these common types of car accidents.

What Types of Damages Can Be Received in a Car Accident Claim?

Austin bus accident attorney

Depending on the specifics of your case, you might be entitled to recover the following damages as part of an auto accident claim:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Impairment of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage to your vehicle

Case Win: A woman and her children were in a car accident. We resolved their case for policy limits of $360,000.

How Is A Settlement  Calculated In An Austin Car Accident Case?

In personal injury claims, the settlement can be calculated in several different ways. Generally, a settlement is divided into two categories: special damages and general damages. These are also known as economic and non-economic damages.

Special damages are defined as any tangible monetary losses you experience as a result of the accident, This includes:

  • Vehicle Repairs
  • Past and Future Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Future Earning Potential
  • Long-Term Care, Assisted Living, or At-Home Care

In contrast, general damages address non-economic impacts, such as:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Loss of Society and Companionship
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

In some calculations, general damages serve as a multiplier for special damages. For instance, if you sue the government in Texas, there are caps on damages in Texas. These are capped at $250,000 and $500,000 per incident. That means that if there were multiple accident victims in Texas personal injury cases, they will have to all share a pool of $500,000 in damages for their compensation.

However, this is just one example of a possible calculation. One of our skilled car accident attorneys in Austin will be able to explain the calculation for your case in greater detail.

What Are Some Common Injuries Associated with Car Accident Lawsuits?

Accident attorney in Austin

Car accident lawsuits can cover a variety of injuries caused by a crash. However, the most common injuries claimed in a car accident lawsuit include:

In general, as long as your injury was caused by the car accident, you should include it in your claim. When assembling the facts to create a car accident injury claim against a negligent third party, it’s always better to give all relevant information to your legal team. That way, your team of legal experts and choose what would be the most relevant to include in your case. Furthermore, if you were in an accident with a commercial truck, please don’t hesitate to call our Austin truck accident lawyers today.

What if You Are In an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist In Austin?

Austin accident lawyer

There are many more uninsured motorists on the road than you may realize. According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 14% of drivers in the United States do not have auto insurance. That equates to roughly one out of every seven drivers on the road.

In the state of Texas, all drivers are legally required to carry the minimum liability insurance limits discussed above. However, many people choose to ignore this law and drive without insurance, while others simply do not have enough coverage to adequately compensate you for your injuries. It’s important to be prepared if you are injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

While dealing with an uninsured motorist may seem like a straightforward case, these claims can become complicated by individuals who want to avoid taking responsibility and insurance companies that don’t want to give you the compensation you deserve. It is not uncommon for completely innocent drivers to end up with far less monetary compensation than they deserve due to the sly practices of insurance companies or dishonest drivers. Fortunately, the experienced car accident lawyers in Austin, TX, know how to help you fight for a fair settlement.

Types Of Negligence That Cause Vehicle Accidents In Austin

They made the process very easy. They answered my questions and walked me through my first lawsuit step by step. The whole ordeal could’ve been very overwhelming if Brandon hadn’t held my hand through the entire process. You’re in good hands with Shaw Cowart LLP.”

– Christina L.

While it doesn’t necessarily mitigate or negate the injuries and the pain and suffering you have experienced because of an at-fault party, it’s important to understand all the potential causes of a car accident. In addition to your legal team’s extensive research, all the information you can collect on behalf of your lawyer will only help your case in the future.

Understanding what caused the negligence of the at-fault party will help further your case, regardless of if it is settled pre-trial or if it does go to court. Here are a few of the most common examples:

Distracted And Reckless Driving Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that distracted driving was one of the leading causes of car crashes in the United States.

As handheld electronic devices have increased in popularity over the past few years, distracted driving has emerged as one of the leading causes of car accidents. While the use of these portable devices is a major cause of driver distractions, there are other ways for people to lose focus behind the wheel.

Common driver distractions include:

  • Talking or texting on a cell phone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Operating a GPS device or in-dashboard vehicle navigation system
  • Adjusting an iPod or other music system
  • Reading maps or directions
  • Applying makeup in the rearview mirror
  • Talking to other passengers in the vehicle

Of these distractions, cell phone use while driving has become one of the greatest dangers to other vehicles sharing the road. The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use is a causal factor in approximately 28% of car accidents.

Uber or Lyft Car Accidents In Austin

Similarly to distracted driving, a ridesharing driver will likely be more distracted while on the road with other motorists. In Texas, while there is a statutory prohibition against texting and driving, there is no such provision or rule against a ridesharing driver using their ridesharing work app while driving.

Individuals who are ridesharing drivers may use this app for things such as:

  • Accepting or declining rides
  • Calling and messaging riders
  • Using GPS applications to navigate to their destination

No requirement in Texas state law mandates these activities be hands-free. This can mean a ridesharing driver may get in an accident because they have turned their attention from the road to utilizing their ridesharing app for business.

It does not matter whether the electronic source of distraction was a frivolous text message or related to work – five seconds of diverted attention from the road can cause huge, lasting consequences for fellow motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Speak to an Austin bicycle accident attorney today to learn about your rights as a cyclist.

If this situation describes something you or a loved one has experienced, reach out to our Austin Uber/Lyft accident lawyers for a complimentary case review.

Drunk Driving Car Accidents In Austin

The economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption is estimated at $249 billion to the United States annually, according to the CDC. While this can be attributable to multiple factors, this can also include injuries and car accidents due to inebriation.

In Texas, like most states across the country, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The Texas Penal Code defines drunk driving as driving while intoxicated (DWI) when a driver is “intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” For instance, if an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher or they are “incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle,” they can be charged with a DWI.

Several factors are unique to drunk/reckless driving accident claims and can influence the outcome of your case, such as:

  • The application of dram shop liability – Sometimes restaurants and bars can be held liable for damages if they are found to have served a visibly intoxicated person who then caused an auto accident.
  • The inclusion of punitive damages – To punish the drunk driver at fault and to deter future offenses, further compensation may be awarded to the victim.
  • The presence of a criminal conviction – When a drunk driver is charged with a crime, the conviction can be advantageous in your accident case.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver, contact our Austin drunk driving attorney. At Shaw Cowart LLP, we will pursue all avenues of compensation, including leveraging Texas dram shop laws and seeking punitive damages when appropriate, to help you maximize the value of your compensation.

How Defective Automobiles Can Lead To Car Accidents In Austin

Car accidents in austin

Common vehicle defects that result in serious car accident injuries include:

  • Airbag failure – An airbag can fail by either failing to inflate at all or inflating with such force that you suffer a serious injury to the head, neck, or shoulders.
  • Seatbelt failure – Faulty seatbelts may fail to adequately restrain you during an accident, leading to injury or death.
  • Door failure – An improperly designed door can open during an accident and allow passengers to be ejected from the car during an accident.
  • Inadequate roof strength – When a vehicle rolls over, the roof must support the entire weight of the vehicle. This is why you frequently see roll bars in convertibles. But many hardtop vehicles lack enough strength in the roof to withstand rollover accidents.
  • Inadequate protection in side impacts – Side impact accidents have the potential to cause considerable damage and injury. If vehicle doors are insufficiently reinforced, you can sustain serious injury or death.
  • Faulty fuel systems – An inadequately designed fuel system or fuel tank can rupture in an accident and lead to a potentially deadly vehicle fire.
  • Defective tires – Poorly designed tires can fail well ahead of their stated lifetime. This can result in tread peeling off of a tire while driving or a serious tire blowout. When this occurs at high speeds, it can result in catastrophic injuries.

Our Austin product liability lawyers cover cases involving injuries caused by a defective product, such as a vehicle. Our lawyers will work with a team of engineers who will carefully investigate your case and help demonstrate that your injuries were caused by a defective auto. This will give you the edge you need when seeking to maximize the value of your compensation.

What To Bring To An Initial Consultation With A Personal Injury Attorney

Meeting with an austin accident attorney

When you have a free initial consultation with a personal injury attorney in Texas, it’s important to come prepared. This will help the attorney understand the details of your case and determine if they can help you. While none of this is mandatory to bring to your initial free consultation with an attorney (like those at the firm of Shaw Cowart LLP), it does help set you and your potential legal team up for success as much as possible.

Here are a few things you should bring to your initial consultation:

  • Police report and other official documents: if you have a police report of the accident, bring it to the consultation. This will provide the attorney with important information about the accident, such as the accident’s date, time, location, and the parties involved. Additionally, you should bring any other official documents related to the accident, such as an accident report from the insurance company.
  • Medical records: bring any records of medical attention related to the accident, such as doctor’s reports, x-rays, and medical bills. These documents will help the attorney understand the extent of your injuries and the treatment you’ve received.
  • Photos and videos: if you have any photos or videos of the accident scene, bring them to the consultation. These can provide valuable evidence of the accident and help the attorney better understand the accident’s circumstances.
  • Witnesses’ contact information: if you have the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident, bring it as well. This can help your attorney to build a stronger case.
  • Insurance information: bring the insurance information of all parties involved in the accident. This will help the attorney understand the insurance coverage available and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
  • A list of your questions: prepare a list of questions you want to ask your attorney to help you understand the attorney’s experience, the process of the case and the chances of success, and what to expect in terms of the potential outcome.

Remember to also be honest and upfront about your case, including any previous accidents, injuries, or extraneous circumstances that may affect your case. This will help the attorney understand the full scope of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.

We recommend you save this list so that you can come back to it later before you prepare for your complimentary consultation with our firm Shaw Cowart LLP or another law firm in Texas.

Austin car accident FAQ

What If My Injuries Are Minor?

Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s important to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Some injuries may appear minor initially but can develop into more serious conditions over time. By consulting a lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive compensation for all potential medical expenses and other damages.

What If My Case Goes To Trial?

If your case goes to trial, we are fully prepared to represent you in court. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building a strong case for the jury. Our goal is to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

What Is Comparative Fault?

Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means that you can still recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident, as long as you are not more than 50% responsible. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Do I Need A Police Report?

Yes, having a police report can be very beneficial for your case. A police report provides an official record of the accident, including details about the parties involved, witness statements, and the officer’s assessment of fault. This can be critical evidence in supporting your claim and negotiating with insurance companies.

Should I Take An Insurance Settlement?

It’s often not advisable to accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company. Insurance companies typically aim to settle claims for as little as possible. Before accepting any settlement, it’s crucial to have it reviewed by a personal injury lawyer to ensure it covers all your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

How Long Will My Case Take?

The duration of a personal injury case can vary significantly based on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, and whether the case goes to trial. Some cases may settle within a few months, while others could take a year or more.

How Much Will An Austin Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

At Shaw Cowart, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay any upfront fees. Instead, the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the settlement or judgment you receive. If you do not win your case, you do not owe any legal fees.

Contact An Austin Car Accident Lawyer For Assistance Today

Don’t hesitate to contact Shaw Cowart LLP or call 512-499-8900 today to schedule your complimentary car accident consultation. We serve clients in the Austin, Texas area.

Areas We Serve:

Downtown | South Congress (SoCo) | Zilker | East Austin | Barton Hills | Travis Heights | Clarksville | Hyde Park | Tarrytown | Bouldin Creek | Mueller | Crestview | Allandale | Rosedale | Brentwood | Windsor Park | South Lamar | North Loop | Cherrywood | East Cesar Chavez | Old West Austin | Pemberton Heights | Steiner Ranch | Circle C Ranch | Barton Creek | Avery Ranch | Clarksville | Travis Country.