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TX accident lawyerThough you hope it never happens, you are probably aware that it is possible to get into a car accident any time you are on the road. However, most people do not expect to be the victim of a car accident while they are in the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, it is all too possible, as a recent accident in Austin illustrates. In late September, a driver crashed into a home near I-35 and 183 and then fled, abandoning the vehicle and leaving property damage and one person with minor injuries.

What Causes a Driver to Collide With a Home?

As unlikely as it seems, 60 drivers crash into buildings every day in the United States, and when it happens, a number of contributing factors may be involved. Some of the most common include:

  • Drunk driving: An intoxicated driver whose judgment is severely impaired may lose control and swerve off of the road into a home or other building.
  • Driver error: A driver may crash into a home if he or she accidentally presses the accelerator instead of the brake, or if he or she accidentally drives forward instead of in reverse.
  • Driver fatigue: A driver who falls asleep at the wheel can drive off of the road and into a home.
  • Defective vehicles: A malfunctioning car can operate in a way that the driver does not expect, making it difficult to avoid crashing into a home.
  • Busy roadways: Homes located near high-traffic areas like I-35 may be more susceptible to a vehicle collision.

Any of these situations could involve the negligence of the driver or another party, which means if you are injured or your property is damaged as a result, you may be entitled to compensation.

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T accident lawyerIn a recent accident on Marbach Road and Harness Lane in San Antonio, a man was involved in a collision after running a red light and was thrown from his car, suffering a broken arm. The other driver left the scene without stopping and was later apprehended by the police. This accident brings up important questions related to negligence in Texas hit-and-run accidents and the ability of victims to pursue compensation.

Texas Hit-and-Run Accident Laws

Under Texas law, a driver involved in an accident is required to stop and return to the accident scene, provide contact and insurance information to the other driver, and provide reasonable assistance to anyone who needs medical attention. Failure to stop can result in misdemeanor charges for accidents resulting in only damage to the vehicle, and felony charges for accidents resulting in injuries or death. However, if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you will need to file a civil lawsuit against the other driver in order to receive compensation from him or her.

Challenges of Obtaining Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Crash

One challenge for victims seeking compensation is that it may be difficult to identify and locate the driver who fled the scene. In many cases, law enforcement officers are able to find and arrest the other driver sometime after the accident, but in other cases, you may need the assistance of an attorney who can initiate an investigation. If you are unable to locate the other driver, your best option for compensation may be to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim through your own insurance policy.

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TX accident lawyerIn Austin, a woman was recently killed when she was struck by a pickup truck while crossing the road at a crosswalk. This unfortunate incident serves as an example of the fact that despite Texas traffic laws aimed at protecting pedestrians, accidents still occur and leave victims and their families struggling to recover.

What Does Texas Traffic Law Say About Pedestrians?

In Texas, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing at a crosswalk with a walk signal, or at a crosswalk for which no signal is in place if the pedestrian is on or closely approaching the side of the road on which the driver is traveling. In general, drivers are also required to exercise due care to avoid striking a pedestrian. Failure to follow these traffic laws may justify a claim of negligence if it results in injury to a pedestrian.

Contributing Factors in Pedestrian Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nationwide, more pedestrians died in car accidents in 2018 than in any year since 1990. Some of the factors associated with pedestrian accidents include:

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TX injury lawyerRecently, drivers on several highways in San Antonio had their commute interrupted by hundreds of drivers who shut down the road to engage in risky behavior like doing donuts, shooting off fireworks, or racing each other in the main lanes. These stoppages affected Highway 90 on the West Side, Highway 281 at Hildebrand Ave, and I-10 near Vance Jackson Road, though as of this writing only one person has been arrested and charged with racing on a highway. If you or a loved one has been injured by a street racer or someone engaged in other types of reckless behavior, be aware that you may have a civil claim for compensation even if they are not arrested for the offense.

Both a Crime and a Civil Tort

Texas law on racing on highways explicitly bans participating in a race, a “vehicle speed [or] acceleration contest,” or any type of drag race or “physical endurance” test as the operator of a vehicle. Because this definition clearly includes more than simple drag racing, it is sometimes used as a catch-all charge for disorderly or reckless behavior on a highway, such as that seen on San Antonio’s highways recently.

A first offense for this is a Class B misdemeanor, which only carries up to 180 days in jail plus fines up to $2,000. However, if someone is convicted of this charge more than once, or if they cause property damage or death, the charge can rise up to a second-degree felony. While the state files criminal cases, and the injured plaintiff (you) would file a civil lawsuit, understanding the potential criminal consequences is still relevant, especially if the fines imposed as a part of a criminal sentence are steep.

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TX crash lawyerEarly September has seen a significant amount of rain across central and southern Texas, which has led to accidents and potential dangers that are not always seen on state roads. Low-water crossings have closed several roads in the Austin area and out in Travis, Hays, and Williamson Counties, but perhaps the most shocking incident came on 360 Capital of Texas Highway on September 9, when rocks fell near Courtyard Drive southbound onto the highway itself. If you are involved in an accident due to weather-related issues, know that sometimes you may be able to recover for your injuries, but sometimes, the accident will be seen as so unforeseeable that no one can be held liable.

Each Case Is Different

On the whole, weather-related vehicle crashes play a role in more deaths in the U.S. than major disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) estimate approximately 5.9 million vehicle accidents every year, with about one-fifth having a weather-related component. Roughly 16 percent of all vehicle deaths in the country each year result from weather-related accidents, while the average for natural disasters (floods, lightning storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and heat) is only about 380.

There are several different factors that can play a role in weather-related crashes, with wet pavement being one of the most common. Limited visibility from precipitation and fog are others that are seen most often, especially in situations where sudden storms hit and visibility worsens very quickly. In Texas, rain accumulation is also the cause for stalled vehicles and injuries when low-water crossings become flooded. Any of these types of accidents can lead to serious harm, but you being able to recover monetarily will depend on the specific facts of your situation.

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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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