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TX accident lawyerA recent night proved tragic for a woman trying to cross San Pedro Avenue, just north of downtown San Antonio. She was struck while trying to cross the street, having just gotten off work and headed home. The driver did stop and attempt to render aid, but the woman still required transportation to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Pedestrian accidents are all too common in San Antonio, and while the driver appears to have acted appropriately in this case, too many pedestrian accidents wind up causing injuries or even costing lives. If you have been injured by an allegedly negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney to help navigate the legal process with you.

High Rates in Texas

Texas traditionally has high rates of pedestrian accidents - partly because of its sheer size, but also because many Texas metropolitan areas are not well set up for pedestrian traffic. The think tank Smart Growth America, in its yearly Dangerous By Design report, names dangerous metropolitan areas, where infrastructure issues make it harder to walk or otherwise navigate a city without a vehicle. Most of the state’s major cities and metro areas - McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, and Austin - are listed in the top 50 most dangerous in the United States for 2019.

What this actually means is that these are the metropolitan areas that are most clearly designed for vehicles, rather than pedestrians. Lights may not last long enough for some pedestrians to make it across the road. Necessary crosswalks or curb cuts may be missing or damaged. The possibility of danger is higher in these metro areas than it should be because the city in question has not changed (and nor have its drivers).

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TX accident lawyerRecently, a rollover crash on EB US 290 at Ben White Boulevard sent two people to the hospital with serious injuries. Both people became entrapped in their vehicles, requiring ATCEMS to cut them free before sending them to the hospital. Serious injuries are sadly common in rollover accidents, and if you have lived through one, your medical bills may add up very quickly. Bringing suit against a driver who struck you may be a good way to recoup some of your costs and recover for your losses.

Statistics Show Serious Injuries Common

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in a given year, roughly two percent of all accidents are of the rollover type. However, rollovers were responsible for approximately 35 percent of the fatalities from those accidents. It is possible to trace some causes for these high totals. One major factor is a lack of seat belt usage - in 2010, nearly 70 percent of those killed in rollover crashes were not using any seatbelt or restraint.

Another common cause of rollover crashes is the use of substances like alcohol or drugs. In 2010 data, the NHTSA estimates that nearly half of all rollover crashes involved alcohol use, and it is a known fact that driving while under the influence of alcohol (even if someone is not legally impaired) can cause a noticeable downgrade in your driving ability. There are also many causes that have more to do with location - for example, more rollover crashes occur on undivided rural roads and may have higher speeds.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, the northbound lanes of I-35 were closed for several hours after a crash involving a semi-truck. The blockage lasted from mid-morning to early afternoon, and while no injuries were reported, many accidents involving semi-trucks can yield very serious injuries. If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you need an attorney who is experienced in this type of case to help you try and recover for the harm you have suffered.

Causes and Effects

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s statistics show that the total number of fatal crashes involving large trucks has steadily increased between 2009 and 2017, though the most recent available totals are still lower than the 20-year high from 2005 (over 5,200 fatal wrecks). The total number from 2017 was 4,889, but it should be emphasized that these are only the fatal wrecks that have been reported to law enforcement, and it is not uncommon for rural accidents to go unreported in some states.

There are several reasons for this statistical trend, but much of it can be explained by the tendency of semi-truck drivers to push the proverbial envelope - while the FMCSA propagates regulations for truck drivers, such as the number of hours one should drive or the number of miles one can go without maintenance, time is money. Very often a trucking company will try and compel their employees to drive longer hours or otherwise bend the rules so as to make more deliveries at a quicker pace. Lack of sleep or maintenance are both major factors in the likelihood of a truck causing a wreck.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, a three-way crash happened at Interstate 37 and Pecan Valley Drive after one driver drove the wrong way down the northbound lanes. The wrong-way driver was hospitalized in serious condition, while the other drivers were treated by EMS at the scene. It may seem rare, but accidents involving wrong-way drivers do happen, and they are statistically more likely to cause serious injury than most other types of accidents. If you have been injured by a wrong-way driver, enlisting a dedicated attorney to help you try and recover damages is crucial.

Wrong-Way Crashes Are Deadly

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that wrong-way crashes only comprise around 3 percent of accidents on divided highways (though more do happen on roads with no median), though studies estimate they cause far more injuries and fatalities. Casualty rates for wrong-way accidents have been estimated to be between 12 and 27 times higher than for other types, and one Michigan study found the fatality rate for wrong-way crashes to be around 22 percent, versus a rate of 0.3 percent for all other types of auto accidents in the same time frame.

There are several different reasons for someone driving the wrong way, and many of them involve them being in a compromised state. Examples include substance use (alcohol or drugs), drowsy or distracted driving, and physical or mental conditions such as epilepsy. Other possible causes include being unfamiliar with the roads, or not seeing signs or other indications as to the flow of traffic such as lights. If you are involved in a wrong-way crash and you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you can use this to try and recover for the harm you have suffered.

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TX injury lawyerA true tragedy happened on February 20, when a 10-year old riding her bicycle fell into traffic, losing her life after being struck by a passing SUV. The accident happened in West Bexar County, in the Valley Ranch area, and while law enforcement does not anticipate filing any charges in the matter, it can be hugely traumatic for both the driver and the family of the deceased person when accidents like this occur. No criminal charges also does not mean that the family of the girl cannot file a civil lawsuit. If this happens to your family, you need to make sure you remain clear-headed as you determine how best to handle this.

Negligence Must Be Present

Despite how devastating they can be, not every accidental death is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you must be able to show that their passing was the result of another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” - that is, you must establish that there was negligence or recklessness in their actions. If they could not have acted in any other way, or could not have acted any faster to stop the accident, there is no cause of action under Texas law.

In the Valley Ranch accident, for example, law enforcement saw no recklessness or negligence in the driver’s behavior because everything happened so quickly. The driver likely had no time to take evasive action or stop their vehicle - and if it is generally agreed that no reasonable person would have been able to stop or evade the girl on the ground, then it is not possible to call the driver negligent. The accident was horrible, but not necessarily avoidable.

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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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