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TX accident lawyerIn recent days, Travis and Williamson Counties have seen quite a lot of rain, with more storms on the way. When the weather is bad outside, drivers have a responsibility to take defensive measures and to not drive in a way that a reasonable person would consider dangerous. However, this does not always happen - traffic accidents occur very commonly, in fact, killing more annually than large-scale weather disasters like tornadoes. If you are involved in a car accident where you suspect that rain has been a factor, it can be difficult to establish liability, but certainly not impossible. An experienced attorney can also be of help in your seeking compensation.

Bad Weather Plays A Big Role

Accidents are very common after it has rained or snowed, as one might imagine; wet pavement plays a role in as many as 70 percent of weather-related accidents, according to Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHSA) data, with rainfall specifically playing a role in nearly half the number. Every aspect of driving can, in theory, be affected by wet pavement or rainfall - visibility, stopping distance, and all the other factors are vastly inferior to their dry-weather counterparts. The injuries from this type of accident can be quite severe, as well, because it is so easy to lose control of one’s vehicle in bad weather, which in turn may prevent any kind of defensive measures.

If you are involved in a bad-weather accident, there are multiple potential causes, with only some of them being actionable. The commonly seen difficulty in this type of case is that it can be very hard to tell which factor was specifically the cause of your accident, and who, if anyone, should be held liable for it. Sometimes accidents simply happen despite everyone doing everything right, and it is very common for defendants to argue that your injuries resulted simply from bad luck. It is important to be able to refute this kind of argument in order to possibly receive damages from the defendant or defendants.

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TX injury lawyerOne recent night, a serious three-car accident on the south side of San Antonio claimed the life of one person. A 33-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, about 30 minutes after the impact when his Dodge Challenger was T-boned by two cars in succession after he tried to cross Texas 16, near Mission Gate. The Challenger’s driver-side door was crushed, and the man had to be cut free before law enforcement could assess his injuries properly. While San Antonio police stated that no criminal charges are pending for either of the drivers who T-boned the man’s car, this does not mean that the man’s family may not choose to file suit against either (or both) drivers for wrongful death. If you lose a loved one in a similar accident, your options may seem very similar to the man’s family’s.

Two Types of Cases

Texas has two types of wrongful death-related actions. A standard wrongful death action is brought on behalf of the surviving family, seeking damages on the family’s behalf for injuries they have sustained since the deceased person’s passing. The surviving family can file, or the estate can file on the family’s behalf, seeking compensation for harm like funeral and medical expenses, loss of the deceased’s love and companionship, and the loss of support and services.

The other type of case is called a survival action, and it is brought to preserve a cause of action that a person might have had before their death. In other words, a survival action is a suit brought on behalf of the injured person (and their estate), trying to recover for damages that the person would have been able to recover had they survived the incident. For example, if the deceased man had survived his accident, he would likely have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence - sadly, he did not, but his estate can file a survival action alleging the same things.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently, a man was hit by a pickup truck and killed as he and a friend walked along northbound I-35. According to the friend, they were walking south on the northbound lanes when a pickup truck struck the man walking on the outside, and sped off after the fact. While pedestrians walking along busy I-35 is less common than one might anticipate, this does not mean that both drivers and pedestrians do not need to be well aware of their rights and responsibilities while on the road.

Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?

Pedestrian accidents are a perennial issue in Texas, with its miles of rural roads and higher-than-average speed limits. The most recent available data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates approximately 5,700 crashes involving pedestrians in 2018, with roughly 615 fatalities. This is one of the higher state totals in the country for the last few years, despite several Texas municipalities enacting ordinances trying to regulate speed limits and other plans to fight against reckless driving in the works.

Infrastructure in Texas is also an issue for pedestrians. The think tank SmartGrowth America ranks metropolitan areas by their degree of danger for pedestrians (from drivers and also the lack of infrastructure like sidewalks, curb cuts, and traffic lights), and in 2019, six Texas cities/metro areas ranked in the top 50, with the McAllen/Edinburg/Mission area being deemed the most dangerous (#16), with San Antonio/New Braunfels (#21) and Houston/The Woodlands/Sugarland (#23) not far behind.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, a black pickup truck ran headlong into the back of a parked 18-wheeler, on the access road on West Loop 1604. The semi-truck had been waiting for a client to unload inventory when the pickup struck the truck, wedging itself under the trailer. The driver of the pickup later died from his injuries, though the truck driver was unharmed. Law enforcement believes that the pickup driver was “speeding and distracted,” and thus was the prime mover in causing the accident. While the truck driver was unharmed, this is often not the case in distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation from them.

Distraction Kills

Everyone gets distracted for small moments behind the wheel. However, distracted driving is a real danger to everyone on the road, because when a person’s attention is diverted away from operating their vehicle, it means that they have less time to react to other motorists or obstacles on the road, which in turn leads to higher fatality and injury rates. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates that one in five crashes in Texas involve distracted driving, with the corresponding rise in casualties.

By far the most commonly seen distracting activity while driving is texting, as it takes one’s attention off the road for an average of 5 seconds. If someone is driving 55 miles per hour, that means that their attention is off the road for the average length of a football field. That said, there are many other types of distractions that can endanger one’s own passengers or other cars around you, including talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or other music player, eating, applying makeup, or rubbernecking at something outside the car.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerRecently, two teenage girls, 16 and 17 years of age, stole a car and were driving around in it when they struck a pole on DeZavala Road, near Lockhill Selma Road. One of the girls became trapped in the car and had to be rescued by firefighters, and both girls were taken to a nearby hospital with “serious but non-life-threatening” injuries. While no other people were allegedly injured by the girls’ actions, this is often not the case when minors cause auto accidents, and both they and their parents can sometimes be on the hook for serious damages. If your child has caused a vehicle accident in Texas, you need to be aware of your position immediately, so you can protect yourself and your child as best you can.

Parental Liability

While most parents do their best to prepare their kids for the so-called ‘real world,’ there are some things that come as a surprise even to them. One of those realities, for many people, is that parents can be held civilly liable for the actions of their children in many circumstances. Texas law specifically illustrates two: if the child is between the ages of 10 and 18, and their actions were “willful and malicious”; or if the courts can reasonably attribute the child’s “negligent” conduct to a “negligent failure” on the parent or guardian’s part. For example, if a parent knows that their child is prone to texting and driving, it might be considered a “negligent failure” to allow them to drive while still in possession of their cellphone.

That said, it is important to keep in mind that Texas’ parental liability statute only pertains to incidents of property damage - not to cases involving personal injury. The parents of the girls who hit the pole on DeZavala Road will likely be held liable for their daughters’ actions in causing damage to the car and the pole. However, if the girls’ actions had injured anyone else, the injured person would have to file a lawsuit in order to have a chance at recovery of their damages.

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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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