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TX wrongful death lawyerRecently, a major car accident near Lake Travis killed one person, and left five with injuries ranging from “minor” to “life-threatening.” The accident occurred near the 5200 block of North RM 620, killing one adult at the scene. Very little information was released about the crash, with law enforcement officials citing privacy concerns for the injured, though it was reported that one of the transported was unconscious, with another being pinned in their vehicle for some time. If you are unfortunate enough to have been involved in this type of accident, your medical bills are likely mounting, and you need a dedicated attorney on your side to help ensure they will be covered.

Statistics Show Accidents on the Rise

Texas roads have been getting more and more dangerous over the last few years, with Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics showing a small increase (between one and five percent) in the number of traffic accidents each year, with the number of serious injuries increasing by around the same amount. There are too many possible causes of serious injury accidents to count, but some examples include distracted driving, substance use (drugs or alcohol), speeding, and failure to share the road - behavior like failing to check mirrors or stay within the lanes while driving.

The Lake Travis accident could have been any type of crash, but the evidence would seem to suggest that it was a head-on or side-swipe crash, because these are the types of car accidents most likely to leave drivers and passengers pinned in their vehicles. Head-on collisions make up around 10 percent of all fatal crashes, while sideswipe or T-bone type accidents comprise only about three percent, but because of the point of impact, more people are likely to be pinned in the vehicle in these sorts of crashes.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerRecently, a rollover accident in the 2600 block of North Lamar Boulevard in Austin killed one person. The person was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center with “critical, life-threatening” injuries, but was pronounced dead not long after arrival. Sadly, this is too common in rollover crashes; this type of crash is so disproportionately deadly that if you survive, you can unfortunately almost guarantee that your medical bills will be severe. While a majority of rollover accidents are single-vehicle crashes like the North Lamar Blvd crash, this does not necessarily mean that no one else may be liable for your injuries.

Causes and Origins

While much of the data regarding rollover accidents in the United States is slightly outdated, there are still patterns that one can learn from in these findings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that while only around 2 percent of all the vehicle crashes in 2010 were of the rollover type, those accidents yielded nearly 35 percent of all the traffic fatalities in that year. The data also noted that the majority of those killed in rollover crashes were not wearing seatbelts (roughly 70 percent).

Certain statistical trends can also be noted if one examines the data, and these trends can give insight into when and why a rollover crash is most likely to occur. For example, the data shows that roughly 40 percent of rollover crashes were all or partially due to excessive speeding, and almost three-quarters (75 percent) happened in zones where the speed limit was over 55 mph. In addition, alcohol plays a role in around half of all rollovers, with a higher concentration in crashes that happen after midnight.

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TX accident lawyerAustin-Travis County EMS reported the death of a pedestrian recently after he was struck by an automobile at the intersection of Bee Cave Parkway and Ranch to Market Road 620 out in Travis County. Bee Cave police stated that the pedestrian had been jogging when an automobile hit him from the side. While no one else was injured, and the family of the person killed does not appear to have stated any plans to file suit, a wrongful death suit might nonetheless be appropriate, if the family believes that negligence played a role in their loved one’s passing. Consulting an experienced attorney is a good way to understand your options if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a similar situation.

Pedestrians More Likely to Die

Pedestrian fatalities on Texas roads have been generally on the rise for the last few years, with 660 happening in 2019. Nationwide, the total has risen even more, with 2018 seeing the highest total of pedestrian fatalities since 1990. In Texas, rising speed limits on state roads and more pedestrians on the road, in general, have caused heightened danger for non-auto drivers every time they go out on the road. A lack of care on drivers’ part also plays a major role, with many simply not remembering to look for pedestrians or share the road with them.

It is also worth noting that more pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, such as Austin or Houston, as well as during evening (26 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between the hours of 6 and 9 PM). No time or place is completely safe from this type of accident, but it does stand to reason that more accidents might occur during a time when the roads are not lit as well as they might be during the day. The pedestrian on Bee Cave Road was doing their morning jog when they were struck, but in theory, they felt there was enough light to risk running on the road.

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TX accident attorneyRecently, one man was hospitalized after his BMW crashed “at a high rate of speed” on Interstate 37, near Fair Avenue. The man was swerving and passing slower cars, when he overcorrected his course and struck a concrete wall. The driver was thrown from his vehicle, suffering “severe” head injuries and a broken leg. As of this writing, he is at Brooke Army Medical Center in critical condition. No word exists on anyone injured by the driver’s actions, but this is the kind of accident that is ripe with the possibility for motorists to be injured by one driver’s negligent conduct. If you are injured in this type of accident, you may be able to receive compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

Negligence vs Recklessness

In accident cases like this, there is often debate about whether the at-fault driver’s conduct was negligence or recklessness. Texas law defines negligence as failing to uphold the duty of care that one owes to another person - essentially, not being careful enough in one’s actions. By comparison, recklessness is when someone is aware that they are potentially endangering others, but does not care at all. Negligent conduct is behavior that could have potential consequences for another person; reckless conduct is behavior that almost certainly will have potential consequences for another person. Both can lead to injury or death for someone who did nothing to bring it upon themselves.

Reckless driving is a crime in Texas, while negligent driving is a civil matter. It is possible to face both criminal and civil charges over the same matter - one might think that this would be precluded due to the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition on double jeopardy, but double jeopardy only applies when one is tried multiple times in the same court for the same crime. Experiencing a civil and criminal trial does not trigger the doctrine.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, the homeowner whose home lay near the corner of Rigsby and Elgin Avenue experienced not one, but two separate car crashes - one vehicle striking the porch, and the other striking a tree in the front yard. While thankfully, no one was hurt, the homeowner went on the record, hoping that the City of San Antonio will do something to fix the roadway “before any more crashes occur.” If you are ever so unlucky as to experience this type of crash where you can argue that poor road maintenance played a role, it is important to keep in mind that you may have a cause of action against the city instead of simply thinking it all your own fault.

Bad Roads Cause Accidents

The area near Rigsby and Elgin Avenue has anecdotally been known to be hazardous for some time, with the homeowner describing “two slopes” where cars “pop up” and lose control. In general, Texas roads are in substandard condition, with the percentage of roads in good condition steadily decreasing over the years - a recent study by the nonprofit group Tripnet estimates that approximately 26 percent of Texas’ major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. The state and local governments where broken-down roads are located have an obligation to maintain them in good condition, and failure to do so may open them up to liability.

Badly maintained pavement, as seems to be the issue near the two accidents, is not the only way that roads can qualify as being poorly maintained. Other examples include obscured lights or signs, flooding/poor drainage, missing guardrails or lane marks, or debris like construction items on the road. Anything that possibly could affect a person’s ability to safely operate their vehicle may be grounds for a lawsuit, depending on the 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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