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TX accident lawyerA new highway is opening in Austin in 2019. State Highway 45 Southwest (SH 45 SW) is billed as an “environmentally sensitive” four-lane toll road that will connect MoPac (State Hwy Loop 1) to FM 1626, and in addition to water quality checks and other environmental initiatives designed to keep the nearby region in good shape, it will also boast a wrong-way detection and notification system. While construction is not yet complete, this may be a significant help toward getting Texas’ problem with wrong-way crashes under control.

Wrong-Way Accidents Are Deadly

One might think that wrong-way accidents would be less common than certain other types of car crashes, and they are, but they are much more deadly than the numbers would suggest. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examined wrong-way driving nationwide in 2012-13, in which statistics showed that wrong-way crashes were much more likely to be fatal - for example, studies in California and Virginia found that wrong-way crashes were between 12 and 27 times more likely to be fatal than other types of accidents, such as side-impact or head-on.

In Texas specifically, the Texas Transportation Institute has visited the question of what causes wrong-way accidents. Perhaps their most notable finding was that in their sample, drivers who had been drinking or engaged in the use of other substances were overrepresented, making up between half and ¾ of the total number of wrong-way drivers examined. While obviously, it is a good idea to try and reduce the number of wrong-way crashes by cracking down on those who drink and drive, the proposed system to be installed on SH 45 SW prefers to take a proactive approach, sending out alerts both to the driver via red lights, and to law enforcement and other motorists via dispatches and TxDOT active signs.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerTexas has weather that is often changing, especially during this time of year when rain or even snow can come out of nowhere. If you are in a car crash on Texas roads during the winter months, it is a definite possibility that poor weather or conditions have played a role in the accident occurring. Consulting an experienced attorney well versed in these types of cases is a good idea, as sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether you have a case or not.

Bad Weather Can Be Deadly

Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show very clearly that the risk of having an accident in poor weather is quite serious. “Weather-related” auto accidents in the years studied made up approximately 21 percent of all the crashes that occurred in the United States, and roughly 16 percent of the fatalities. Precipitation and wet pavement were the conditions that consistently impacted the highest number of traffic factors, both for drivers on the roads and for those planning around them. Examples include driver stopping distance and traction, but also traffic signal timing, road treatment strategy (to salt or not to salt?) and the like.

This may not sound like much, but the data averages out to a significant loss of life and overall casualty count, with over 5,000 killed and over 410,000 injured per year. That is a serious amount of potentially avoidable injury, with countless hours of productivity lost. Employers find their workforce tied up at one of the busiest times of the year in many industries. It is incumbent on every driver to exercise due caution when on the road in these types of conditions - however, many simply do not, and if you are injured by one of them, you may be able to make them regret it.

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TX accident lawyerAt midnight on I-10, near UTSA Blvd in San Antonio, a rollover accident occurred that left one driver pinned in his vehicle, requiring firefighters to free him by cutting the car open. He was then taken to University Hospital for his injuries, though the current extent of them is not known as of this writing. Rollover accidents of this type are by far the deadliest type of car crash, and even if you survive the impact, you may come away with severe injuries. If your accident is due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to try and seek compensation for your medical expenses from them while you try to get back on your feet.

Statistics Show Rollovers Are Dangerous

The statistics on rollover accidents do not lie; a much higher proportion of fatalities occur from rollovers than befits the small percentage of accidents they make up. In other words, there are a disproportionate number of fatalities caused by rollover accidents, given that so few crashes on U.S. highways are of the rollover type. Statistics from 2016 (the most recent available data) show that rollovers made up only 1.5 percent of all the accidents on U.S. roads - but almost 9 percent of the death total.

There are multiple possible reasons why this is the case. Rollover accidents involve the entire vehicle, whereas a T-bone or head-on collision may avoid causing too much impact to those in the opposite side of the car or truck. Seatbelts also offer less protection in a rollover crash than they do in other types of accidents, given that rollovers are technically non-collision accidents and thus no real impact occurs. Rollover accidents most often occur when someone loses control of their vehicle, rather than being struck or actively striking a fixed object.

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TX injury lawyerAirport officials at Austin-Bergstrom have made the executive decision to shift the spot for hailing rides and taxis down to the rental car facility going forward, because of congestion and accidents happening in front of Barbara Jordan Terminal. Austin has had a somewhat bumpy path to integrating ride-sharing into the city’s traffic patterns, and many accidents have been reported as Uber and Lyft drivers try to fit in. If you are in an accident involving a rideshare car, there are certain differences in how you would bring suit, especially if you are a passenger in the car when the accident occurs.

Insurance Is Different

Perhaps the most important thing you should be aware of if you are in a rideshare-related accident is that insurance works very differently for Uber or Lyft than it does for a licensed taxi driver. While taxi drivers are generally covered by the taxi company in the event of an accident, which will then deal with any injured passengers, a rideshare driver must have a specific type of policy written for transportation network company employees and contractors, since the passing of HB 100 last year.

These policies are unique in that their policy limits will increase and decrease depending on which ‘period’ of use your car is in at any given moment - for example, period 0 is when you are not in your car, or when you are using it for personal business. The coverage limits are higher while you have a rideshare app on and are looking for a passenger, and higher still when you have a passenger in your car, en route to the destination.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerState Highway 130 runs from its concurrent route along I-35 in San Antonio, up through Seguin, north through Pflugerville and eventually ending in Georgetown. It handles a fair amount of traffic and has its fair share of injuries and fatalities. According to statistics cited by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 37 people have died on SH 130 since the speed limit was modified in 2012 to allow cars to go 85 mph, making it the fastest highway in the United States. However, one wonders if it was worth it - the families of those injured or killed might say no.

Speeding Kills

Higher speeds make travel immeasurably more dangerous. TxDOT statistics show that roughly 750 people died in speed-involved crashes in Texas in 2017, with many of those deaths being the speeding drivers themselves, but too many were passengers or even innocent bystanders. Most causes of highway crashes can be linked at least indirectly back to elevated speed - for example, if someone has an accident in poor weather, it is highly likely that they will have been traveling too fast for the weather conditions. If someone is engaging in distracted driving, it is common for their speed to increase beyond the posted limits without their knowledge.

If you are injured in a highway accident, the most common theory under which most people bring suit is negligence, which has three criteria that must be met. A duty to exercise reasonable care is put on all motorists on any given road. In order to show negligence, you must show that the driver breached that duty, which caused tangible harm to you (not necessarily physical, but something more substantial than cuts and bruises) and that they did so via their conduct, with no other superseding cause. If you are able to establish these criteria, you have a good shot at prevailing in your case.

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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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