The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Marcos San Antonio Sequin Austin

TX injury lawyerA pedestrian on East Mulberry Street, not far from Hwy 281, was struck by a car in some unusual circumstances on the night of May 14. The man had stopped to “toy with” a 6-foot long snake in the roadway, which somewhat understandably diverted his attention. He was struck by a pickup, sustaining minor injuries, declining any hospitalization. As of this writing, it is unknown whether or not the pickup driver will face charges, but it does bring up the timely question of pedestrian responsibility in these types of situations. If you are struck by a car while walking, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, though the issue of whether or not you are at fault will have to be weighed as well.

Pedestrian Accidents Are Common

Texas ranks in the top ten states for dangerous pedestrian environments, though there are many different reasons why. The state has high-speed limits, and a lack of crosswalks and lights, especially in more rural areas. Alcohol and abuse of other substances also play a role, both on the part of drivers and pedestrians. Distracted driving is also common in Texas; whether due to electronics, distracting passengers in the car, or some other issue, Texas drivers are less likely to pay enough attention to the road.

Sometimes, people like the East Mulberry Street pedestrian may downplay any injuries they may have sustained in a pedestrian accident, though this is never a good thing - it is not at all uncommon for injuries to manifest themselves days or even weeks after an accident. This is especially true for injuries to the soft tissue, such as whiplash, as soft tissue is so malleable that it may not be painful or show any unusual symptoms right away.

...

TX injury lawyerTwo-wheeled electric scooters have become omnipresent in Austin and many other metropolitan areas in the past year or so, purporting to offer commuters a little extra boost to their travels. However, they have been controversial, causing issues for disabled pedestrians and also, allegedly, leading to injuries on a regular basis. There has not been a completed study of scooter injuries as of this writing, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has requested Austin’s data on the issue as they work on theirs. If you have been injured by a person on a scooter or while using a scooter yourself, data like this can be very relevant if you decide to bring suit to try and recover for your medical bills.

Weekends Downtown Have Highest Risk

A pattern of injuries sustained in scooter accidents has been occurring ever since their installation in Austin some months ago. In January, an Irish exchange student died after being struck by a car while using a scooter; anecdotal evidence suggests at least a handful more have died while using scooters in traffic. Injuries have numbered in the hundreds at Dell Seton Medical Center alone since the end of September 2018, with head injuries, cuts, and bruises being the most common.

The data shows that if one breaks down the number of injuries logged by Austin/Travis County EMS, one can see the most injuries occurred on nights where crowds downtown are at their largest - Friday and Saturday nights’ totals were significantly higher than those for other days. It is also indicative that almost two-thirds of the injury accidents in the data occurred in Austin’s Congress District, with the remainder scattered throughout the city limits - like with any other type of vehicle, more traffic will mean a greater risk of injury.

...

TX injury lawyerA school bus was struck by an 18-wheeler on October 25, causing injuries but no deaths. The crash occurred on Highway 71 at Tucker Hill Lane, just outside of Austin, where the truck driver ran through a red light - surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows the accident and showed the truck clearly failing to stop. The bus driver and 9 students were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, though the exact extent of the damage remains unknown as of this writing. While school bus accidents are rare, parents should know that if their child is injured, it is possible to try to hold someone liable for the accident.

Bus Drivers Have Rules

There are multiple potential causes of school bus accidents, though the cause of the Hwy 71 crash appears apparent enough. Many of them usually have to do with bus driver error (yes, even school bus drivers) - speeding, driving recklessly, such as going too fast in inclement weather, and alcohol or drug abuse can all contribute. Other causes may include poorly maintained roads (especially with a large vehicle like a school bus, a pothole can cause problems).

School buses have heightened duties with regard to the duty of care owed to passengers. While drivers must meet specific requirements in order to be licensed and certified, school buses are also classified in general as common carriers in Texas (the state follows the common law classifications for such things). A common carrier is a commercial company or entity paid to transport goods or people, who is then responsible for the well-being of the transport. If someone suffers an injury while using a common carrier like a school bus, they may be able to receive additional compensation above what they might otherwise, just because a common carrier has a higher duty it is supposed to uphold.

...

TX injury lawyerThe morning of October 1 saw traffic slowing noticeably on Highway 281 near Bitters Road, due to an accident involving a VIA bus, a pickup, and an automobile. While the accident was characterized as ‘major,’ what immediately occurred was not disclosed by law enforcement. Still, the relative scarcity of bus accidents still means that the event is worth marking because when bus accidents do occur, they can be devastating. Yet so few people understand how best to seek compensation for any injuries they sustain.

Buses Are Not Cars

Buses, especially those owned or operated by government agencies, occupy their own special place in Texas law. Certain requirements, such as insurance coverage (generally, those buses that carry 15 passengers or fewer have to carry less insurance than those who carry more) and duty of care toward their passengers, hinge upon how many a bus can carry and in what context. For example, the regulations covering chartered buses, such as those for casinos or churches, are very different than those surrounding city buses or school buses owned by cities and counties. Understanding the difference matters in an accident situation.

...

TX injury lawyerOn the night of September 17, a truck crash pulled power lines down all across Bee Caves Road, closing the road and causing a power outage up and down Loop 360. While there were complaints about traffic blockages, the road remained closed until the middle of the day on Tuesday, the 18th, with Austin Energy and law enforcement wanting to ensure a thorough job was done on both the accident investigation and the repairs. It is to their credit that this was done because any failure could have opened both the company and the City of Austin to liability for injuries if any had resulted from the downed power lines.

Hard to Sue Governmental Entities

Normally, if someone is injured in an accident where the cause is traceable to another person’s (or company’s) negligence, the injured person would sue the other in civil court. However, governmental entities are a different matter, because they enjoy protection - and sometimes, complete immunity - from civil suits by residents of the state, under a principle called sovereign immunity. Both Austin Energy and the Texas Department of Transportation are publicly owned entities, which means that they are part of local and state governments, and would thus be covered by Texas’ sovereign immunity laws. Sovereign immunity law is based on the idea that if every citizen wronged by the state were permitted to sue, the state would have neither time nor money enough to govern.

Thus, in a state where sovereign immunity was total, someone who was injured as a result of the downed power lines might allege that Austin Energy did not work hard enough or fast enough to correct the problem, thus leading to their injury, and the state might conceivably have to pay damages. However, if someone truly was injured in such a fashion and the suit was denied, the injured person might be stuck with thousands in medical bills. Neither is an optimal situation.

...

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top