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TX accident lawyerIn a recent Texas car accident, the driver of a passenger vehicle collided with an ambulance operated by the San Antonio Fire Department, resulting in injuries to the patient who was being transported. Accidents involving ambulances and other emergency vehicles are somewhat frequent, and they can result in serious injuries to both occupants of the emergency vehicle and the other vehicles involved. It is often possible for injury victims to recover compensation for damages, but these cases can be especially complicated.

The Complexities of Liability in an Emergency Vehicle Accident

The process of obtaining compensation for injuries in an emergency vehicle crash can vary substantially depending on who is responsible for the accident. If the occupant of an ambulance is injured and the driver of another vehicle is found to be at fault, the personal injury claim may proceed similarly to how it would in an accident between passenger vehicles. It will be important for the victim to have evidence of the other driver’s negligence, perhaps due to a failure to yield to the emergency vehicle, or other unsafe behavior such as speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving.

However, the case will likely be more complicated if the victim had pre-existing injuries before the crash (hence the need for an ambulance). It may be important to document new injuries from the crash, as well as injuries that were exacerbated by the crash. A personal injury claim could also potentially seek damages for a delay in necessary emergency treatment caused by the crash.

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TX crash lawyerDrivers in South Central Texas rarely have to contend with severe winter weather conditions, but this can mean that when such conditions do arrive, they can be all the more dangerous. In recent days, as a rare winter storm has brought about the accumulation of ice and snow, police departments in New Braunfels, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas have received more than 100 reports of car accidents related to the weather, and several of them have been fatal. During this difficult time, it is important for Texas residents to be aware that they can pursue compensation for car accident injuries through a personal injury claim, even when the weather is a contributing factor in the accident.

How Can Texas Drivers Stay Safe in Winter Weather?

Generally, the best way to avoid an accident in winter weather is to avoid driving entirely while conditions are dangerous, as many Texas officials are currently recommending. You should consider delaying any unnecessary trips outside of your home until the severe weather abates and the roads are cleared. However, if it is absolutely necessary to drive, you should take special care to drive safely.

Safe winter driving starts even before you leave your home. First of all, you should be sure that your vehicle is equipped for the weather. This means that your tires have substantial tread, your brakes are fully functional, and you have working lights, defrosters, and windshield wipers. You should also clear your vehicle of snow and ice as much as possible so that you are able to see your surroundings while you are on the road.

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TX truck accident attorneyThe trucking industry is responsible for transporting all manner of cargo throughout the U.S., and in some cases, the type of cargo a truck is carrying can have unique implications if the truck is in an accident. In recent weeks, San Antonio has seen multiple truck accidents involving unusual cargo, including a fatal crash in which molasses was spilled onto the road on Loop 1604, and another accident on I-35 involving a truck carrying beehives in which a swarm of bees was released and had to be contained by pest control.

However, some truck accidents stand out because the truck is carrying particularly hazardous cargo, which can contribute directly to the severity of the crash and the resulting injuries. If you have been injured in a crash with a truck carrying hazardous materials, it is important to work with an attorney who understands trucking regulations and can help you achieve the most possible compensation.

How Can Hazardous Materials Affect a Truck Crash?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) classifies certain kinds of materials as hazardous. Many of these materials are dangerous because they are flammable, combustible, or explosive. If a truck carrying these types of materials is in an accident, the truck and the surrounding area may ignite and cause severe burn injuries or injuries due to the force of an explosion.

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TX accident lawyerOn February 11, 2021, Texas experienced one of the largest vehicle pileups on record in the United States, with more than 130 total vehicles involved in the accident on I-35W in Fort Worth. The pileup, which occurred during the morning hours when many drivers were on their way to work, has resulted in at least six fatalities and over 60 people requiring treatment for injuries. The initial cause of the accident is still under investigation, but icy road conditions are suspected to be a contributing factor.

While collisions of this magnitude are fairly rare, multi-vehicle pileups are not an uncommon occurrence, especially on busy interstate highways and during times of low visibility and dangerous weather conditions. If you are injured in such a crash, it can be complicated to determine who is at fault and how you might be able to recover compensation. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.

Determining Negligence in a Multi-Car Pileup Accident

Typically, a driver whose negligent behavior causes an accident is liable for damages related to injuries suffered by the people involved. However, there are a few complicated issues when it comes to negligence in a multi-vehicle pileup. First, an injury victim may need to determine whether their injuries were caused by the incident that started the pileup, or a subsequent accident in which a driver failed to react appropriately to the pileup that had already started.

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TX accident lawyerEarlier this month, a driver was killed on Highway 71 in South Austin after colliding at a high speed with a semi-truck that was parked on the side of the road. In the crash, which happened at around 2 a.m., the driver’s vehicle ignited on impact and slid underneath the truck’s trailer. The accident is still under investigation, but the unusual combination of circumstances is a reminder of the many dangers that can lead to serious injuries and fatalities in South Central Texas car crashes, especially those involving collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks.

Severe Injuries Are Common in Texas Truck Wrecks

Among the many factors that may contribute to the severity and outcome of a crash such as this include:

  • Weight and size disparities between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to an average weight of 4,000 pounds for a passenger vehicle. As such, the occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer the most severe injuries in a collision. The large size of a semi-truck also presents the risk of another vehicle sliding underneath. While most trucks are equipped with a rear underride bar to reduce this risk, and federal regulations may soon require annual inspections of underride bars to ensure they are functional, they are not always fully effective.
  • Low visibility at night. The low light in the late night and early morning hours can make it more difficult to detect another vehicle, especially one that is parked on the shoulder. This means that drivers may have less time to react and avoid a collision. Driver fatigue is also common late at night, and this can further dull a driver’s senses and awareness.
  • Traveling at high speed. High-speed crashes have a higher rate of fatality, in part due to the force of the impact. Speeding also makes it more difficult to slow or stop to prevent a rear-end collision.
  • The risk of fire and explosion. Motor vehicles carry many flammable materials, including gasoline and oil, and these can ignite when fuel lines rupture in a high-impact crash. An explosion can cause severe burns and other injuries, and in some cases, immediate death.

 If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash involving any of these characteristics, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you identify negligence on the part of any other drivers or parties involved. Evidence of negligence, including unsafe driving or faulty equipment, can help you build a case for fair compensation for damages you have suffered.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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