Posts Tagged ‘personal injury attorney Houston’

Car accident victims want restitution after police chase crash

Channel 13 News recently published a story about a couple in Houston, Dr. David Perucca and his fiancee Sherri Witt, who were injured in a collision with a vehicle that was fleeing law enforcement. Apparently the fleeing suspect made a U-turn to avoid a spike strip and crashed into the couple’s BMW Z4, totaling it, and sending them to the emergency room where they’ve accumulated about $15,000 in medical bills (in our experience, that is far from an unusually high amount…it is actually pretty typical).

The main theme of the story though was that Mr. Perucca says he got a less than enthusiastic response from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office when he contacted them about getting restitution from 50-year old Douglas Pittman, the driver of the other vehicle. Sometimes victim restitution is made part of a plea agreement in a criminal case: the criminal is required to pay money compensation to the victim. Dr. Perucca told Channel 13 that the DA’s Office’s response to his request was, essentially, deal with it yourself.

Smith & Hassler has been handling motor vehicle collision cases since 1989 and has handled tens of thousands of auto cases. The best way to protect yourself, your vehicle and your family from injuries or damage caused by an uninsured person is to make sure you have uninsured motorist insurance on your auto policy. Many auto insurance policies contain a coverage exclusion when the vehicle is being used in the commission of a crime, and if a vehicle is stolen and in an accident, there is never coverage because the thief was not a permissive user of the vehicle.

Unfortunately we have to sometimes tells clients: “The other driver did not have valid insurance.” The question that follows is frequently: “Well can’t I go after the other driver to pay my damages?” The answer technically yes, you can sue the other driver, but as a practical matter there is usually no point. That’s because you can’t collect money that a person doesn’t have, and if the other driver doesn’t have the money to pay for car insurance they probably don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to pay your damages.

Certainly nobody would fault Dr. Perucca and his fiancee for wanting the guy who caused their damages to pay them. But the best protection any Houston-area driver can have is to be sure there is uninsured motorist coverage on your auto policy.


Pickup driver injured in rear end accident with METRO bus

The driver of a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck was injured Saturday night when his truck rear-ended a stopped METRO bus on the Highway 59 feeder at Fountain View. Police said the driver told them his accelerator was stuck when he crashed. The man was rescued from his badly damaged truck and taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. A couple of the bus passenger were hurt but will be okay. Channel 2’s story here.

Photo credit: Channel 2

Have you been injured in a rear end accident? Rear end accidents are usually, but not always, straightforward. Contrary to what many people think, there is NOT a law in the State of Texas that automatically faults the rear vehicle in every rear end accident (there is a law that requires all drivers to maintain a safe following distance, but that is not the same as automatic fault). If you were rear ended by another driver and are hurt, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Smith & Hassler for a free consultation. Smith & Hassler has represented injured Texans since 1989 and four of Smith & Hassler’s six attorneys are board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law.

Kia minivan rear-ended on Gosling – two children critically hurt

A Saturday afternoon rear-end crash in the 23800 block of Gosling near Five Oaks sent two children to hospital in critical condition. Channel 13’s story. Channel 11’s story. The children were in a blue-colored Kia minivan that was stopped behind a left-turning Chevrolet Avalanche waiting to make a turn at Gosling and Dovershire. The Kia was rear-ended by a Ford pickup truck and pushed forward into the Avalanche. A lift flight helicopter took the two children to Memorial Hermann. Another child and the parents in the minivan were in stable condition and taken to a nearby hospital by ground ambulance. The children are ages 2, 3 and 5. A picture of the minivan from Channel 2’s web site does not show the rear-end damage, but the failure of the seat backs for both the front driver’s and passenger’s seat indicates a significant impact was involved.
Smith & Hassler Law Firm has assisted clients seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents since 1989. Call 713-739-1250 or submit your case online to arrange a no-charge consultation with a Smith & Hassler personal injury attorney.