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TX truck accident lawyerRecently, a 70-year old man was killed after his pickup truck crashed into the back of a semi-truck. According to law enforcement, he swerved to avoid another vehicle near the River Ridge Parkway exit only to crash into the back of the trailer. This is sadly common on Texas roads, especially in situations where construction is going on, as it was on River Ridge Parkway. Truck accidents are disproportionately severe in terms of injury and fatality, for a variety of reasons, and if you have been injured in a crash with a semi-truck, your medical bills will likely be very high. Having an attorney on your side can be helpful to try and seek compensation for what you have been through.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Commercial trucking companies handle shipping all over the country, and as such, they are motivated primarily by money. Delays can cost the company significantly, and because of this, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to perhaps drive longer than is recommended, or edge past speed limits. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has rules that govern the number of hours a driver may safely put in on the road - however, drivers have routinely admitted to falsifying their drive-time logs and otherwise ignoring the regulations in the name of profit (though it can be assumed that pushing the envelope is often done at their employer’s urging).

While cutting corners in a minor way may seem inconsequential, driving while fatigued is one of the major causes of accidents, either by the trucker or by automobile drivers. Other causes include speeding (by either or both vehicles), inexperience on the part of the truck driver (handling a large truck is very different than handling a standard car or pickup truck), and faulty truck maintenance or upkeep, by the truck company or an outside actor like a mechanic or service center.

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TX injury lawyerOn March 13, 2020, on the heels of Gov. Abbott’s declaration of disaster for the state of Texas, the state Supreme Court authored an emergency order tolling (pausing) all “service and filing deadlines” in civil cases until June 1. This means that any deadline for filing a lawsuit or serving process on a party to a lawsuit is extended until June 1 - usually a good thing for those contemplating filing suit - but there has been some confusion about just how far the order extends. If you are in a position to file a civil lawsuit, you need to be aware of what your position will likely be now that the statute of limitations is no longer being paused.

Do Not Miss The Statutory Window

The Texas civil statute of limitations is a law governing the amount of time in which a person can file a lawsuit before it is barred. It is generally understood that there must be a time limit on lawsuits, because over time, evidence decays, and memories become faded - if too much time elapses between an event and filing suit over injuries sustained, there will eventually be no evidence to prove liability. However, the time limit itself depends on the offense in question - for example, most personal injury lawsuits have a limitation period of two years, while a lawsuit for defamation must be filed within one year.

Very often, an injured party will fail to file their lawsuit within the statutory period, for one reason or another (the most common is simply not realizing how short a time they have in which to file suit). If you fail to file in time, the lawsuit will be forever barred - that is, you can never file it again, as you will have missed the proverbial window. The statute begins to run when a cause of action accrues - in other words, when something happens that might be grounds for a lawsuit - but very often, the injured party will not be told about it.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently, a 17-year old driver died when his car struck a Chevy SUV turning into a business parking lot off South Hackberry Street, near East Cesar Chavez Boulevard. All four people involved in the accident - the teenager and his passenger, and the driver of the Chevy and her small child - were taken to University Hospital. The driver and her child suffered “non-critical” injuries, while the teen driver’s passenger suffered “non-life-threatening” injuries and the driver himself was pronounced deceased. Law enforcement told the press that “charges were pending,” but in addition, the Chevy driver may have a civil claim against the deceased person’s estate. In Texas, it is sometimes still possible to file a claim against a defendant’s estate even if they themselves have passed away.

Is There a Cause Of Action?

In Texas, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed when a person sustains an injury as a result of another person negligently or recklessly breaching their duty to exercise reasonable care in a certain situation. Every motorist has the duty to exercise reasonable care in their interactions with other drivers or pedestrians, and if they do something to breach that duty, they may wind up on the hook for any injuries they cause with that reckless action. The teenage driver struck the Chevy (rather than the alternative), which breaches their duty to exercise reasonable care, and as he struck the Chevy, he caused injury.

All the proverbial boxes are checked; the Chevy driver could conceivably file a lawsuit against the teenager (or his parents, given his young age - most of the time, minors cannot be sued; instead the claim would be against their parents for negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle) over any injuries suffered and any damage to their vehicle. However, since the teenager died of his injuries, he is no longer present to serve as a defendant. If you are in this situation, it can feel as though you have reached a dead-end in terms of seeking compensation for your injuries. However, you do have options.

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TX accident lawyerOn a recent Sunday, a motorcycle and a vehicle collided near the intersection of West Howard Lane and the North I-35 service road. One person was declared a “trauma alert” and transported to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center with “potentially serious” injuries, though no other information is currently available. While law enforcement did not specify who the ‘trauma alert’ was, it is reasonable to deduce that it was the motorcyclist, given the immensely higher likelihood for motorcyclists to be injured and killed in this type of accident. If you are a motorcyclist and have been injured in an accident with a car, you may be able to file suit to try and recover compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Motorcycling Can Be Dangerous

Motorcyclists are at a serious disadvantage when struck by cars, simply due to size and weight. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are approximately 28 times more likely to die than passenger vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. There is simply less protection available to a motorcycle rider - who usually just has the clothing they wear, and a helmet if they so choose - than there is to a vehicle driver or passenger sitting behind sheets of metal and glass.

 The underlying causes of many motorcycle-vehicle accidents are attributable to a host of different factors, most of which affect motorcyclists and car drivers about equally. Speeding, ignoring stop signs and red lights, and other types of negligence may happen to any driver, but only motorcyclists are adversely affected by issues such as size and visibility, and many car drivers have real problems effectively sharing the road with motorcyclists.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, Austin city engineers presented their recommendations to the Urban Transport Commission, arguing that the speed limits on roads in the urban core and on downtown streets, as well as on residential streets, should be lowered by 5-10 mph. The Office of the City Traffic Engineer points to speeding as the most significant cause of automobile accidents in Austin and its surrounding suburbs, and a speed reduction on some of the most commonly-traveled streets is seen as a good way to lower Austin’s ever-rising number of traffic fatalities.

Speed Kills

If you have been involved in a traffic accident, it is very likely that the driver who struck you was exceeding the speed limit. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that around 9,400 people were killed in 2018 due to speeding-related causes, or around 26 percent of all traffic fatalities. Seventeen percent of drivers were actually speeding at the time of their crashes, but the 26 percent also includes those whose passing was directly related to speeding behaviors even if they were not speeding themselves - for example, not wearing a seatbelt, or driving at the posted speed limit when one should be driving more slowly, such as in bad weather.

The Office of the City Traffic Engineer’s recommendation to lower speed limits is obviously designed to cut down on multi-vehicle traffic accidents, but in addition, it can help to avoid clogging court dockets with what are seen as small-time offenses. Texas has two types of speeding laws - a “basic” speeding law, and a “prima facie” speed limit, where a speed in excess of the posted limit is “prima facie” unlawful (that is, you must be able to argue that your speed was safe). Speeding tickets can take time to resolve, especially if a person decides to fight theirs in court.

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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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