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TX accident lawyerFatal car accidents are an unfortunate reality in Texas, resulting in 3,610 deaths in 2019 alone. When a person dies in a car crash because of another driver’s negligence, the family members left behind by the deceased can choose to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation. However, there are plenty of cases in which the at-fault driver dies in the accident or afterward. If you have been injured in an accident with another driver who is no longer living, you may be wondering what this means for your personal injury case.

Recovering Compensation From a Deceased Defendant

Fortunately, the death of the negligent party in a car crash does not make it impossible for other injury victims to obtain compensation for their damages. According to Texas law, a personal injury or wrongful death claim can be initiated against a deceased person’s estate if there would have been grounds for a claim against the person while they were living. This applies to cases in which the defendant dies before the claim is filed, as well as cases in which the defendant dies while the claim is pending, whether due to complications from the accident or any other reason.

That said, filing or continuing a claim against a deceased defendant can be complicated. In these cases, the estate executor or administrator for the deceased will act as the defendant, and this means that it may be necessary to review local probate court records to determine the appropriate party who will stand in. This may delay the proceedings, but an experienced attorney can help you determine the best course of action to move forward as efficiently as possible.

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TX injury lawyerAccording to recent statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, Texas leads the United States in railroad crossing collisions, with more than 180 in 2020. From those collisions, 67 people suffered injuries and 11 people were killed. Train crashes continue to be a regular occurrence, with a collision in March between a MetroRail train and a passenger car in Austin serving as just one prominent example. Injury victims in train-vehicle collisions may suffer severe damages, and they are often eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim.

Texas Train Accident Negligence

Train accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, with some of the most common cases involving a train derailing due to operator error or obstructions or defects on the railroad tracks. In such cases, injured train passengers often have a claim for compensation from a negligent operator or the company responsible for employing the operator or maintaining the train or tracks.

However, negligence can be more complicated in collisions at railroad crossings because of the involvement of passenger vehicles with drivers who may be partially responsible. For example, a driver who is injured in a collision with a train after disregarding a railroad crossing signal may find it more difficult to recover compensation due to their contributory negligence. However, a train operator can also be liable for railroad crossing accidents, perhaps due to leaving the station without receiving proper clearance or failing to stop to avoid a collision despite having reasonable time to do so.

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TX injury lawyerIn early February, a driver fled the scene after a series of collisions near I-35 and New Braunfels Avenue in San Antonio, leaving his vehicle behind. The first crash involved two other moving vehicles, and the driver then collided with multiple parked cars before removing his car keys and leaving on foot. This chain of events raises questions regarding what victims can do when they suffer injuries and property damage in a hit-and-run accident, especially one involving more than one victim.

Police Can Often Locate Hit-and-Run Drivers

While it is certainly more difficult to identify and locate a driver who flees the scene after a car accident, it is by no means impossible. Law enforcement officers responding to the accident are often able to use evidence from the scene of the crash to establish a trail that leads to the suspect. For example, if the driver’s vehicle is left behind as in the aforementioned case, officers can check the license plate and vehicle registration information to determine to whom the vehicle belongs. Even if the driver leaves with the vehicle, the police may be able to obtain footage from local security or traffic cameras, as well as testimony from witnesses who saw the driver leave. If the police are able to locate the driver, injury victims may have a more clear course of action for recovering compensation.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Can Help

When the driver responsible for a crash cannot be located, it may be necessary for victims to explore other means of covering the costs of medical bills and property damage. One option in many cases is to file a claim with your own car insurance provider. Insurance companies in Texas are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, which can take effect when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or cannot be identified after a hit-and-run.

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TX injury lawyerLast weekend, a car crash on I-35 in Schertz affected the occupants of four vehicles and took the life of a 21-year-old woman. The devastating series of events began when a car collided with a disabled vehicle that was stopped on the road. The driver of the disabled vehicle, who was standing outside of the car at the time of impact, was thrown into traffic and hit by another passing car, while her vehicle was pushed into the path of a fourth car traveling on the highway.

Cases such as this not only involve complicated questions of liability, but also draw attention to the dangers a driver faces when his or her car breaks down on a busy highway like I-35. The affected drivers, as well as other drivers passing on the road, can all do their part to prevent the risk of accidents and severe or fatal injuries.

Preventing Accidents After a Vehicle Stops on the Highway

It is not uncommon for drivers to have problems with their vehicles while traveling on the highway. Flat tires, engine troubles, and fender benders can all lead to the unfortunate situation of having to stop your car on a busy road, exposing yourself to the risk of injury from a passing vehicle. If your car does break down on the interstate, here are some things you can do to reduce the risk:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_wheelchair-crash.jpgWhile attempting to cross a street in his wheelchair, a San Antonio man was recently struck by a car and seriously injured. Liability, in this case, is unclear as of yet, but in many car accidents throughout Texas and the United States, wheelchair occupants are injured due to the negligence of drivers. Like bicyclists and pedestrians on foot, wheelchair occupants may be entitled to compensation for damages in these cases.

Prevalence of Wheelchair User Injuries in Car Accidents

Data regarding wheelchair occupants in car accidents is relatively sparse compared to other categories of car crash victims, but a 2015 study sheds some light on the issue. By reviewing police reports and news stories, researchers estimated that over 500 wheelchair occupants were killed in car crashes from 2006 to 2012, indicating a significantly higher fatality rate than the general population.

The study also found that men between the ages of 50 and 64 were the most susceptible to fatal car accident injuries. Intersections and places without traffic control were common locations, and low visibility of the wheelchair user was also a frequent contributing factor.

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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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