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b2ap3_thumbnail_truck-accident_20191014-234021_1.jpgRecently, a man was struck by an 18-wheeler as he tried to run across Loop 410. While the pedestrian’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, he was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center as a precaution, The truck driver did stop at the scene of the accident, though as of this writing no charges are expected. While the pedestrian involved in this accident thankfully escaped serious injury, this kind of accident is not uncommon, and very often, pedestrians involved in accidents like this will be stuck with significant medical bills. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contacting an experienced attorney can help you in seeking compensation.

Statistics and Causes

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that approximately 5,700 crashes that involved pedestrians happened on Texas roads in 2018, which was roughly a two percent decrease from 2017. Fatalities in those accidents rose just barely - not even one percent - and suspected serious injuries were almost identical. While it cannot be assumed that all of these were pedestrians, it is reasonable to assume that a majority are - after all, drivers and passengers of automobiles have infinitely more protection between them and the road.

There are many different causes of pedestrian accidents, though many are sadly preventable. Certainly, some pedestrians may act recklessly - it is generally not recommended, for example, to try and jaywalk across Loop 410 - but at the same time, drivers are just as capable of acting recklessly. For example, many pedestrian accidents occur because drivers do not slow to a complete stop at crosswalks, or they may not sufficiently check their surroundings when turning, especially with left turns. Liability differs with each case.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

b2ap3_thumbnail_train.jpgTravelers on the morning Amtrak train from San Antonio to Houston on Friday, August 2 received an unpleasant shock when their train hit a pickup truck coming out of a private drive on FM 78. According to law enforcement, no one on the train was harmed, but the driver of the pickup truck was killed. The train could not stop immediately, but did eventually halt so that law enforcement could process the scene. Train accidents are very rare, thankfully, but they do happen in Texas, especially in the Houston-San Antonio corridor where the tracks can be extremely busy. If you have been involved in a train accident, and you believe the train was operated negligently, you may be able to try and seek compensation for your injuries.

Train Accidents Are Devastating

Train-car crashes are not always fatal, but often are. Those who survive are left with serious medical bills for a host of injuries, from broken bones, cuts, and bruises to whiplash and traumatic brain injuries. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics does not include highway-grade rail crossing accidents in their annual tally, but even without them, one can see that there are hundreds of train-related injuries and fatalities each year.

The causes are many, though most have to do with either carelessness on the part of the train operator or on the part of the auto driver. The most common examples include:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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