A crash on August 13 has highlighted the potentially dangerous situation on Cameron Road and US-183, as a family of four was hospitalized after a car struck them as they crossed. This is not the first accident in this area, as three KIPP Texas Public Schools occupy a short stretch of Cameron Road, but traffic is constant and often very fast. In this type of situation, it is possible that the community or other entity responsible for road zoning and maintenance might wind up being liable for someone’s injury.
Because so many schools are on Cameron Road, parents and school administrators have tried to lobby the city to mark the area as a school zone, so that drivers have some warning that pedestrians are common, as well as being required to lower their speed. However, the city has refused, stating that not enough children walk to class to warrant a school zone placement. They also point to the fact that the area is not zoned as residential. Yet the accidents keep happening.
It is possible in Texas to recover in civil court for injuries sustained due to poor road maintenance or oversight. However, it can be difficult to determine whether a governing entity (whichever agency maintains roads, such as a village board or the Department of Transportation) can actually be held liable or not, depending on the type of suit you choose to bring. You can bring suit under a theory of premises liability, or a theory of general negligence.
If you believe that you have been injured due to poor road conditions, or due to negligence on the part of the maintaining authority, you have two options under which you could bring suit. Doing so under a theory of premises liability means that you are trying to show that but for the dangerous condition of the road, your injuries would not have occurred. This requires that you show a “special defect” existed – which is not well defined in Texas law, though “excavations and obstructions” are some examples.
You might also be able to assert a general negligence theory, assuming that the governmental entity is able to be sued. Texas law honors the concept of sovereign immunity, which holds that the government and its agencies are largely immune from most forms of suit. However, the Texas Tort Claims Act creates exceptions or situations where that immunity has been waived. The major exception involves motor vehicle accidents, but there is also the exception that establishes a cause of action from any action of a governmental unit where they would be liable to the plaintiff if they were a private person.
Contact a New Braunfels Personal Injury Lawyer
The KIPP Texas school board has stated that the family suffered no long-term injuries, but the next person or family might not be so lucky. If you have been injured and you believe that a government or their agent might be responsible, contacting a dedicated New Braunfels personal injury lawyer might be a good idea for you so that you can get a good grasp on your options going forward. Call The Bettersworth Law Firm today at 888-392-0039 to speak to an attorney and set up a free consultation; we will work hard for you.