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The Universal Insurance Company Approach to Injury Claims: Demand. Delay. Devalue.

- Charles Argento

At Charles J. Argento, our personal injury attorney in Houston understands how much we all count on our insurance coverage to make us whole when something goes wrong.

We carry coverage on our homes, our health, our vehicles, and other property just in case something bad happens because it was designed to protect us and serve as an assurance that when something goes wrong, we are covered.

Unfortunately, our Harris County personal injury lawyers know first hand that the universal insurance company slogan — no matter the carrier — is to demand more from the injured, delay their response, and devalue the claim to protect their bottom line.

That is why we are here. To fight for the financial recovery you deserve, without the obstacles.

When Insurance Companies Make Demands, We Aggressively Respond 

If you are injured in a Houston car accident or truck accident caused by a negligent driver, their insurance company is going to waste no time in contacting you.

When they do, they are going to demand a recorded statement to get your side of the story regarding how the accident occurred.

Initially, they are going to act as if they are concerned about your condition. In reality, they are warming up to you to get you to say things like, “I’m okay” or “I feel better,” so they can record your statement and use it against you. After all, you cannot be too injured, if you are “okay.”

They will also ask questions that will elicit responses that can be misconstrued as you — the injury victim — taking some of the responsibility for the crash.

Here’s what you need to know: You do not owe anyone else’s insurance company a statement.

When you refuse to give a statement, the insurance company representative will become aggressive, because you are interfering with their ability to manipulate your conversation.

Tell them to call your attorney, Charles J. Argento. We will handle all communication with the insurance company, so you can focus on healing.

Delay. Delay. Delay. And Maybe You Will Go Away 

When you attempt to handle a car accident injury claim on your own, the insurance company will begin the claim with delays. Delayed responses. Delays in filing paperwork. Delays in providing results.

There are deadlines and statutes of limitation that insurance companies must follow, and to discourage injury victims from pursuing their claim too aggressively, they will delay their response only to say, “You owe us more proof that our driver was at fault.”

They want you to feel unsure about your claim’s validity, so you begin to question whether you deserve financial recovery.

At Charles J. Argento, our Houston personal injury lawyer will handle your claim from the time of the accident through your recovery, ensuring all the legal paperwork is filed properly and on time, so the insurance company cannot delay your recovery any longer.

Lowball Settlement Offers are a Victory for Insurance Companies 

The most common insurance company approach to handling an insurance claim is to provide the injured party with a lowball settlement offer, so they can close the book on the claim while paying the lowest amount possible.

This actually works, because injury victims have mounting medical bills and may be out of work, so they need the cash now.

Unfortunately, when these offers happen, the injury victim may not know the extent of their injuries or overall financial needs yet. This means if the injured party agrees to a $10,000 settlement, but their overall accident damages are $50,000, they are going to be on the hook for the other $40,000 in expenses.

These lowball settlements are irreversible, which is why the insurance company counts on them.

Do not accept an offer or sign anything submitted by the insurance company without speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney in Houston first.

You deserve the maximum financial recovery for your claim, and our Houston car accident attorneys will pursue the best outcome available for your unique case.

Call Us Now

If you have been hurt in an accident of any kind, or have lost a loved one in an accident, contact our experienced Houston personal injury attorney today to schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case. 

Can I Afford To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas?

- Charles Argento

Personal injuries can occur during a car or truck accident, medical malpractice, on public, private, or government-owned premises, and even at work when negligence is part of the equation. 

When our Harris County residents are injured because of another person or party’s negligent actions — or inactions — they are often confused about where to turn for legal help. 

Their first question is often, “Isn’t hiring an attorney expensive?” If you are forced out of work by your injuries, paying an attorney is simply out of the question. 

That is why our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, takes cases on a contingency basis, so our clients can concentrate on their physical and emotional needs while we focus on their financial recovery. 

What Are Contingency Fees?

To bring a personal injury claim against a defendant, including a medical provider or another driver, we must be able to prove that person or party’s negligence led to your injuries.

Our role, as your experienced personal injury attorney in Houston, is to thoroughly investigate your accident and collect the necessary evidence to prove negligence was committed, and your injuries resulted from that principle. 

Because determining where the negligence occurred can be complicated, our personal injury lawyer has a vested interest in taking only those cases where we can successfully negotiate a settlement or bring the facts of the accident to try to pursue a jury verdict. 

We offer free and immediate initial consultations, so we can assess your case and determine if the evidence from your accident — no matter where it occurred — will produce real results for our clients. 

When cases meet our customized standard’s test and the necessary requirements to pursue a personal injury claim in the State of Texas, we will accept the case on a contingency basis, which means our clients pay us nothing until we win their case. 

Contingency fees allow many personal injury victims to get the legal representation they need to cover their medical costs, lost wages, and miscellaneous expenses that can quickly become overwhelming without paying for our services first. 

Even without paying upfront fees, we can ensure that our clients receive top-quality representation without paying for our experience and skill out of pocket. 

How Can I Bring A Personal Injury Claim Against Another in Houston, Texas?    

Filing a personal injury claim on your own is going to be incredibly difficult, as the paperwork, evidence, and liability requirements alone can be overwhelming — especially for someone who is severely injured. 

The insurance companies are poised to delay, undervalue, or outright deny any claim that crosses their desk, even when your injuries were clearly caused by absolute negligence — like a drunk driver collision that caused your injuries. 

At Charles J. Argento, our personal injury attorney in Houston is motivated by legal justice and consumer advocacy, which allows us to pursue a broad spectrum of injury cases, ranging from car accident claims to workers’ compensation

If you have been hurt in an accident of any kind, or have lost a loved one in an accident, you have a lot more to lose by taking your case on yourself. Contact our experienced Houston personal injury attorney today to schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case.

Getting the Most Out of Your Houston Car Accident Settlement

- Charles Argento

Our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento & Associates, has secured significant car accident settlements for our clients and will continue to seek the maximum financial recovery for each injury victim we represent throughout the State of Texas.

Before we can begin fighting for our clients’ rights to pursue the best outcome available for their unique circumstances, getting the most out of your Houston car accident settlement begins with you.

Here are a few tips to ensure your personal injury case gets off on the right foot.

Use the Resources Made Available After the Traffic Accident Occurred

If you have been injured in an accident and are searching for ways to pursue the negligent party for your damages, chances are, the crash scene is well behind you.

If you could wait until the police arrived before pursuing medical care, you may have had the opportunity to gather a few important resources after the crash occurred, including the:

  • Police report
  • Other driver’s license, registration, and insurance information
  • Images from the crash scene
  • Witness statements

Hang on to each of those details.

Also, do not discard any clothing, contact information, or other evidence from the day of the crash. You never know what could be useful when pursuing your financial recovery.

Your Actions Will Dictate Your Financial Outcome

To pursue financial recovery for your medical care, lost wages, and other expenses, we must be able to prove your injuries were caused in a collision with a negligent driver.

That means you must seek medical care directly after the accident occurs, to fully support your case. Keep copies of all medical records and documents you can from the accident.

Follow All Medical Instructions Fully After the Crash

Each accident with injuries is unique and requires different types and lengths of care to return to the quality of life you previously enjoyed — when that is fully possible.

Your injuries may require long-term care, including in-office follow-up appointments, rehabilitation, and therapy. To help ensure we can build a strong case on your behalf, you must follow all your doctors’ instructions to the letter.

That means never missing an appointment, taking all your medication, and avoiding physical activity or returning to work until you have been released by your physicians.

Contact Our Houston Personal Injury Attorney at Charles J. Argento For a Free Consultation Today

Filing a Houston personal injury claim against a negligent driver and their insurance company on your own will be met with aggressive resistance.

The insurance companies will do everything they can to delay, undervalue, or avoid paying for your injury expenses. With an experienced Houston car accident attorney by your side, we can minimize their challenges the insurance company presents, so you can start facing your future with confidence.

If you have been hurt in a vehicle collision, or have lost a loved one in a crash, contact our experienced Houston car accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case.

Startling Increase In Drunk Driving Arrests During Decreased COVID-19 Operations

- Charles Argento

Driving while intoxicated charges dipped during the six-week period when restaurants and bars were closed as a result of the COIVD-19 business closures and stay-at-home order throughout the State of Texas.

After a 50% decrease in the number of DWIs during the lockdown, Harris County drivers are returning to their previous negligent ways, with the number of drivers arrested for DWI quickly increasing since restaurants reopened on May 8, 2020.

Spending the night in jail is not the only danger that results from negligently driving while intoxicated.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, about every 20 minutes in Texas, someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol.

At Charles J. Argento, our Houston drunk driving accident attorney knows that these collisions leave our residents facing long-term medical care and extended time away from work that can change their lives going forward. And when these crashes take lives, families are left devastated forever.

When injuries or the loss of life occurs because of another’s negligence, they must be held accountable for the financial fallout from these horrific accidents, and that is where our experienced Houston car accident attorney can help.

Holidays, Drinking and Vehicle Collisions Put Our Houston Residents In Danger

Sean Teare, the head of the Vehicular Crimes Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, shared his shock at the number of DUI arrests in recent weeks stating while the city is in the middle of a pandemic, and restaurants and bars are operating at less than capacity, the numbers rival previous years, instead of decreasing as reasonably expected.

Over the most recent holiday weekend, there were two very disturbing DUI cases reported in Harris County. One left a seven-year-old injured near Beechnut and Highway 6, and the other was caused by a suspected alcohol-impaired driver that led deputies on a chase, killing two innocent bystanders.

Law enforcement officials believe that as the lockdown continues to ease, and businesses return to full capacity, the numbers will continue to quickly rise.

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help Pursue Criminal Activity?

Our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, focuses on civil cases that hold negligent drunk drivers accountable for the damages they caused while operating a vehicle recklessly and injuring our client.

While driving under the influence or driving while the intoxicated arrest is a matter for the criminal courts, our Houston drunk driving accident lawyer will focus on our client’s injuries and the financial recovery they deserve from the driver’s insurance coverage.

That can include compensation for:

  • Ongoing medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Prescriptions and medical devices
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Short- or long-term disabilities
  • Temporary or permanent disabilities
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death

If you have been hurt in a vehicle collision with someone who was driving under the influence, contact our experienced Houston, Texas car accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case and learn about the solutions our skilled personal injury lawyer can provide for your unique circumstances. 

Understanding the Phases of Houston Personal Injury Claims

- Charles Argento

If you have been hurt in a car or truck accident or were blindsided by a negligent drunk driver, your life is going to look very different than before the collision occurred.

You have already sought medical care, and are attending all follow-up, rehabilitation, and therapy appointments to ensure your injuries are healing properly in hopes that soon you will be able to get your life back.

Soon you will learn your physical and emotional well-being are not the only things that have changed. Your financial stability is probably now in jeopardy from being forced to take time away from work because of your injuries while medical and monthly bills continue to mount.

It is time to pursue the negligent party who caused your injuries for financial compensation through a personal injury claim.

Personal injury claims unfold in stages, and each step requires a skilled approach to producing results.

That begins with phase one.

Phase One: Hire an Experienced Houston Personal Injury Attorney

The best way to learn what you can expect during your pursuit of compensation is by speaking with our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, during a free consultation, so you can make informed decisions about how your case is developed as the legal process unfolds.

You have probably been contacted by the negligent party’s insurance company, and have felt pressured to make a statement, even though you are not physically or psychologically ready to answer questions.

With our Harris County personal injury lawyer by your side, no one will be able to intimidate you going forward. All information and correspondences will go through our office, so you can focus on healing while we prepare your important injury claim.

That includes:

  • Compiling and completing all necessary paperwork, legal documents, and court requirements
  • Notifying the negligent party that we are pursuing their insurance company for damages

Phase Two: Thoroughly Building Your Case

Building your case requires a complete investigation of the accident, its cause, and the circumstances that led to the crash. We will review police reports, witness statements, and all evidence collected from the scene, including photos or videos from the crash, traffic patterns, and street camera footage.

Next, we will assess your complete injuries by reviewing your medical records, your treatment plan, and the overall prognosis, including your short- and long-term medical needs to ensure your no detail is left to chance while we outline your financial requirements.

Phase Three: Enter Settlement Negotiations With the Insurance Company

Once we submit our overall financial requirements to the insurance company, we must give them time to respond.

When they do, settlement negotiations will begin, which may include mediation to ensure the process does not break down before we can reach an agreement.

Most personal injury lawsuits are settled outside of the courtroom, but if our Houston personal injury attorney does not believe the other party is providing a fair response, we will litigate your claim inside the courtroom.

Phase Four, If Necessary: Trial

If settlement negotiations fail to produce the outcome we desire, we will prepare motions and arguments that are designed to produce results for our clients.

Once these are made, a settlement is still possible before we move the case in front of a jury.

Phase Five: Jury Verdict & Payment Collection

Once the court hears the case from both sides, the jury will decide on an outcome. When we are successful, that outcome will award the injured party, our client, a financial verdict.

The defendant can appeal to the award. If they choose not to, we will pursue payment collection immediately.

Factors that will influence the verdict include the severity of the injury or injuries, the number of parties involved, and the damages being sought.

All personal injury cases are unique, and so is the outcome for each of our clients.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a vehicle collision in Texas contact our experienced car accident attorney in Houston at Charles J. Argento & Associates today to schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case without delay.

How Long Does a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Produce Results?

- Charles Argento

Our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, knows there is nothing normal about getting seriously hurt — or losing a loved one — because of another person, party, or company’s negligence.

Accidents with injuries are often devastating, and the financial fallout overwhelming, leaving families throughout the State of Texas reeling from collisions, defective products, medical negligence, and premises liability injuries that create unique challenges for each person.

When injury victims partner with a dedicated personal injury lawyer, their goal is to learn more about their recovery options. As they try to focus their energy on healing, the important questions loom largely over their ability to move forward with confidence.

How am I going to pay for all these medical bills?

What if I can’t go back to work?

And, finally — an extremely important factor — how long is my Texas personal injury claim going to take to produce results?

The answer is, it depends on your unique case.

Our aggressive approach to producing results for our Houston personal injury clients begins with a free consultation to discuss your injuries and moves through the legal process as quickly and effectively as we can push the facts of your case to a successful conclusion.

Our Houston personal injury lawyer will be with you every step of the way — no matter how long it takes.

How Did Your Personal Injury Occur?

Pursuing a personal injury case in Texas begins with a negligent party causing harm to another person.

That can include a car or truck accident caused by a texting, distracted, or drunk driver.

Others suffer injuries from the use of defective products or during medical malpractice cases, where their only goal was to leave the medical facility better off than when they arrived.

If your injury was caused by the negligent or reckless actions or inactions of another, your injury may mark the beginning of a personal injury lawsuit that will unfold in stages.

Understanding the Personal Injury Process and Legal Stages

Your personal injuries will begin the legal process of pursuing financial recovery, which will differ case by case.

Generally speaking, there are five potential legal stages in each case:

  • Complaint 

When our Houston personal injury lawyer accepts a case, we will file a complaint on behalf of our client to officially begin the litigation process.

The complaint is sent to the negligent party, which typically can take anywhere from days to weeks or even months, depending on the level of difficulty involved in tracking down the responsible person or party.

  • Response

The negligent party is afforded time to respond to the complaint, which is outlined to include the required timeframe for the response, which is typically one month.

  • Discovery

Discovery allows our personal injury attorney in Houston to analyze the complete case evidence, which will differ depending on the type of accident, the involved parties, and their insurance coverage.

Examining evidence and building a strong case takes time, and will be thoroughly executed, which could take months.

  • Negotiations or Jury Trial

Our personal injury lawyer will initially focus on pursuing a fair settlement for each of our client’s cases, so we can achieve the financial recovery they deserve outside of the courtroom.

If we cannot achieve superior results through negotiations, we will proceed to trial to litigate their case before a judge and jury to maximize the results.

Both the negotiation and trial stages can take months or even more than a year to accomplish successfully.

Partner With A Trusted Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Today

No matter how long your Houston personal injury case takes, we will keep you updated on each stage, so you know what to expect as we move forward.

If you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another, contact our Harris County personal injury attorney today. We are available now to conduct your consultation remotely by calling (713) 766-4479 or by contacting us online to discuss your case without delay. 

 

Houston Personal Injury Attorney Representing Clients During Our Stay-At-Home Order

- Charles Argento

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the health and well-being of communities across the country, Houston’s Stay-At-Home Order has been extended to April 30, 2020, to help our city do its part in slowing the virus in Texas.

While movements have slowed throughout the State, our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, understands that essential travel to grocery stores, pharmacies, and other necessary errands can still end in injuries that can change lives.

That is why our law office is committed to providing experienced legal representation to our Texas residents throughout these difficult circumstances.

At Charles J. Argento, our Houston personal injury law office is fully operational, working remotely to ensure the safety of the public and our staff as we continue to develop strategic and successful cases for our clients via phone, email, and video conferences.

If you have been hurt in a car accident, a drunk driving accident, a truck accident, or after the wrongful death of a loved one, your losses require immediate medical care, guidance, and the advice of an attorney, so we can pursue the best financial recovery available for your unique case.

What Types of Personal Injury Accidents Are Still Occurring During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Even during a city-wide stay-at-home order, negligence knows no bounds.

While there may be fewer commuters on our roadways, there has been an increase in semi-truck traffic throughout the State, as truck drivers are working overtime to deliver the goods our communities need to get through this difficult time.

Truck accidents lead to severe injuries, especially as drivers race from one destination to the next, speeding and avoiding sleep.

Additional traffic on our roadways can also be attributed to the demand for delivery services, including food, grocery, and other services as the city takes the steps necessary to curb the virus’s spread.

All drivers in the State of Texas must carry a minimum amount of vehicle insurance coverage for the costs of an accident that was deemed to be their fault.

Those laws include coverage for delivery drivers.

The minimum car insurance coverage requirement in Texas is:

  • $30,000 per injured person
  • $60,000 per accident
  • $25,000 to cover third-party property damage

When a negligent delivery driver causes an accident with injuries and their car insurance is unable to cover the complete costs of medical care, lost wages, or additional expenses, we may be able to pursue the delivery company’s insurance provider for your additional financial needs.

Delivery services, including Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub carry up to $1 million in insurance coverage for each of their drivers. When the driver’s personal insurance coverage is exhausted, their employer’s insurance coverage may be pursued for our client’s overall damages.

How Can We Pursue the Negligent Party During the Houston Stay-At-Home Order?

At Charles J. Argento, our Houston personal injury lawyer is dedicated to producing results for our clients, even under difficult circumstances — including the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Like our law office, insurance companies are still fully operating, if even in a remote capacity. That means our attorney can build your case based on the evidence, injuries, and financial requirements necessary to negotiate with the negligent party’s insurance company while you focus on healing.

If your case cannot be negotiated outside the courtroom, our personal injury lawyer will take the necessary steps to litigate your case before a judge and jury, so together we can pursue the best outcome available for your personal injury needs.

If you have been hurt in an accident, contact our Harris County personal injury attorney today to schedule a free remote consultation by calling (713) 225-5050 or by contacting us online to discuss your case safely and effectively without delay. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Houston Personal Injury Cases?

- Charles Argento

All states have imposed legal limits on the amount of time individuals have to file a lawsuit in civil court.

Personal injury cases in the State of Texas are a form of civil lawsuits that typically fall under a two-year statute of limitations, with some accidents requiring action in less time, depending on the circumstances or location where the injury occurred.

So, what does that mean for our Houston residents who have been hurt in a car crash, truck collision, slip and fall accident, or while seeking medical care?

Our Harris County personal injury lawyer, Charles J. Argento, explains your legal options and the time constraints to file the proper claim under our Texas laws.

The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases in Texas

With only a few minor exceptions, which we will outline below, Texas statute of limitations laws read that individuals who have suffered a personal injury caused by another’s negligent actions or inactions have exactly two calendar years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

If the injured party does not file the lawsuit before the two-year deadline expires, the judge will likely refuse to hear the case, which means your right to pursue financial compensation for the damages that resulted from your injury will expire.

What Are the Exceptions to the Texas Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Laws?

Our personal injury attorney in Houston would like our clients to think of the statute of limitations as a running clock.

The clock begins ticking the moment the injury occurs, working towards the two-year statute of limitations — when time is up.

In Texas, there are several scenarios that may stop the clock, temporarily pausing and extending the deadline to file a personal injury claim.

The circumstances that may modify the standard personal injury statute of limitations timeline can include:

  • The injured person is under the age of 18, or as described by Texas law — under a legal disability
  • The injured person is of not of sound mind

The clock will begin running once the injury victim turns 18 or becomes mentally competent.

Another possibly acceptable delay in filing a personal injury case is if the person responsible for the injury — which could include a drunk driver, or another negligent party — leaves the State of Texas.

The period of the responsible party’s absence will not count as part of the two-year statute.

What If I Am Filing an Injury Claim Against the Texas Government? Is the Statute of Limitations the Same?

If your injury occurred due to the negligence of a Texas state or local government employee or agency, you must file a formal claim with the governmental unit that you believe may be responsible for causing your injury within six months of the accident.

Since the timeline and the filing requirements are more stringent than a non-government-related personal injury claim, it is important to consult with an experienced Houston lawyer immediately after the accident occurs to ensure your rights are protected.

What Happens If I Miss the Personal Injury Filing Deadline in Texas?

The two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas should be adhered to unless a rare exception entitles you to additional time.

If not, you may lose the right to pursue the financial recovery you deserve for your medical costs, lost wages, and miscellaneous expenses, which can be overwhelming when you suffered severe injuries.

If you have been hurt in an accident caused by another person, party, or entity’s negligence, contact our Houston personal injury attorney, Charles J. Argento, by calling (713) 225-5050 today for a free consultation. 

Avoid Traffic Accidents by Knowing the Rules on Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas

- Charles Argento

At Charles J. Argento, our Houston, Texas car accident attorney has successfully represented clients who have been seriously injured in crashes throughout Harris County with an aggressive approach to pursuing the negligent drivers responsible for our clients’ crashes.

While we continue to fight for our clients’ rights and the physical, emotional, and financial recovery they deserve, the truth is, our Houston personal injury lawyer hopes you never need us.

Unfortunately, with I-45 operating as a major backbone to our Houston traffic patterns, the 285 miles of highway becomes a danger zone for our residents, listed in the top five in both DUI-related crashes and fatal incidents at nighttime throughout the country.

The more our community knows about the often-traveled highway and its lane restrictions, the better prepared they will be to travel I-45 safely. We’re here to provide the resources everyone needs to stay safe on our roadways, and to deliver justice when a negligent party takes that away.

How Dangerous is I-45 in Houston?

Upon analyzing federal road safety data, the consumer research giant, Value Penguin, deemed I-45 the second-most dangerous highway in the United States based on the fatal accidents that occur throughout its run from Houston to Galveston and the Galveston Causeway to the Gulf of Mexico.

Known as the Gulf Freeway to locals, I-45 includes reversible high-occupancy vehicle lanes that flow with the incoming and outbound traffic patterns from downtown Houston to help traffic flow during peak travel times and aid in reducing accidents.

Who Can Use the High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in Houston?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, vehicles with at least two people, and up to as many people as the vehicle will safely hold, or a motorcyclist may use Houston HOV lanes.

Other vehicles eligible to use HOV lanes include:

  • Buses
  • Emergency vehicles responding calls
  • Motorcycles
  • Passenger cars
  • Pickup trucks
  • Vans

Carpools, vanpools, and motorcyclists ride in HOV lanes for free, while solo drivers have the option of paying a toll to use the lanes during non-peak hours. Called the HOT lanes, or high-occupancy toll lanes, access to these lanes provide an additional resource for travelers to use during their commute.

Vehicles prohibited from using HOV lanes in Houston include:

  • Trucks having a gross weight capacity of five tons or more
  • Trucks with more than two axles
  • Vehicles towing trailers

When Are the I-45 North and South HOV Lanes in Operation?

The I-45 HOV lanes allow drivers to avoid congestion and travel faster than regular lanes during peak periods.

I-45 North and South HOV lanes are in operation Monday – Friday:

  • Inbound direction:     5am – 11am
  • Outbound direction:    1pm – 8pm

The hours of operation may change on observed holidays.

What Are the Benefits of the HOV and HOT Lanes in Houston, Texas?

There are multiple benefits to high-occupancy vehicle lanes and the high-occupancy toll lanes in Houston.

Including:

  • Faster, more efficient commutes
  • Shared fuel costs
  • Reduced congestion
  • Fewer vehicle emissions
  • Less vehicle wear and tear
  • Less stop-and-go traffic
  • Providing new options for commuters
  • Improving air quality by reducing traffic congestion
  • Offers increased enforcement of the HOV lane system
  • Better utilization of existing HOV lanes
  • Increasing safety and promoting quick response to accidents and issues in the lanes due to additional camera monitoring

As our infrastructure continues to evolve to meet our city’s growing needs, traffic will remain a large part of our residents’ day-to-day challenges. That does not mean safety has to be compromised during our travels. Unfortunately, negligence is ever-present on our roadways, whether it is distracted drivers texting while driving or drunk or impaired drivers getting behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an I-45 accident, contact our skilled Houston car accident attorney at Charles J. Argento today by calling (713) 766-4417 to schedule a free consultation. We will assess your case and provide a unique approach to producing results for your complete financial recovery, so you can focus on healing. 

Car Seat, Booster Seat & Seat Belt Laws in Houston, Texas

- Charles Argento

The Centers for Disease Control lists that car accident were responsible for nearly 24,000 deaths throughout the United States last year. Over half the adults and teens who were killed in those crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision.

The State of Texas observes primary seat belt laws, which means all drivers and passengers aged eight and older, or younger than seven who are 57” or taller, must be restrained by a seat belt. If they are not securely seat belted during travel, they can be stopped and ticketed for the infraction on sight. The officer does not have to have an additional reason for stopping the vehicle — the lack of seat belt use is enough to warrant being pulled over and ticketed.

Our Houston car accident attorney knows that getting a seat belt ticket is not the worst that can happen to those who drive or ride in a vehicle unrestrained, which is why we would like to keep everyone on our Harris County safe with a few tips on obeying car seat, booster seat, and seat belt laws throughout the state.

Houston Car Seat Laws & Best Practices for Keeping Traveling Kids Safe

According to the City of Houston, all children under 17 years old must be secured in a safety belt or child safety seat, whether they are riding in the front or back seats.

Children who are under the age of five, and less than 36” tall, must be securely fastened in a car seat that:

  • Is appropriately sized to fit the child’s weight and height
  • Fits inside the vehicle properly

What Type of Car Seat Should I Use for My Child?

There are hundreds of car seats on the market, ranging in sizes, prices, and quality, which can make choosing the right one for your child a confusing task.

Here are a few tips on getting the right fit for your small children.

Children who are one year old or under, weighing less than 20 pounds should be securely placed in a rear-facing car seat:

  • Placed ONLY in the backseat, never in the front seat with an airbag
  • Seated at a 45-degree angle, or based on the specific instructions supplied with the car seat to keep the head from drooping or their airway becoming restricted

Children who are one year old or under, weighing less than 30 pounds should be securely placed in a rear-facing convertible car seat:

  • Placed ONLY in the backseat, never in the front seat with an airbag
  • Seated at a 45-degree angle, or based on the specific instructions supplied with the car seat to avoid their heads drooping or their airways becoming restricted

As they begin to grow:

  • Children who are at least one year old, weighing 20 to 40 pounds should be secured in a convertible car seat, facing forward or backward
  • Children who are at least one year old and 30 to 40 pounds should be secured in a booster seat with a harness
  • Children who weigh over 40 pounds, and are less than 4’9”, should be secured in a booster seat using a lap/shoulder seat belt instead of the harness straps
  • Children over 4’9” tall must be restrained using a lap/shoulder seat belt
  • Children 13 years old or younger should never ride in the front seat of vehicles with active passenger airbags

Properly restraining your child can mean the difference between life and death during a car accident.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation:

  • In children over the age of one year old, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of serious injury or death
  • Each day throughout the U.S., an unrestrained child under the age of five years old is killed in a traffic collision

The safest place for a child in a car is in a rear seat, properly buckled into a child safety seat or a booster seat.

For adult drivers and their passengers in the front seat, wearing a safety belt improves survival by 50% during a crash. As an extra safety precaution, ensuring your airbags are functioning properly at all times is the most effective way to survive a serious collision.

While we hope you will never need our Harris County personal injury lawyer, Charles J. Argento, our law firm knows that negligence can happen anywhere at any time on our roadways, causing serious injuries to even those who are properly using each safety feature available in their vehicle.

If you have been hurt in a motor vehicle collision, contact our Houston car accident attorney today at (713) 766-4694 to learn more about your legal options in holding the negligent party who caused your crash financially responsible for your recovery. 

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