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TX crash lawyerEarly September has seen a significant amount of rain across central and southern Texas, which has led to accidents and potential dangers that are not always seen on state roads. Low-water crossings have closed several roads in the Austin area and out in Travis, Hays, and Williamson Counties, but perhaps the most shocking incident came on 360 Capital of Texas Highway on September 9, when rocks fell near Courtyard Drive southbound onto the highway itself. If you are involved in an accident due to weather-related issues, know that sometimes you may be able to recover for your injuries, but sometimes, the accident will be seen as so unforeseeable that no one can be held liable.

Each Case Is Different

On the whole, weather-related vehicle crashes play a role in more deaths in the U.S. than major disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) estimate approximately 5.9 million vehicle accidents every year, with about one-fifth having a weather-related component. Roughly 16 percent of all vehicle deaths in the country each year result from weather-related accidents, while the average for natural disasters (floods, lightning storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and heat) is only about 380.

There are several different factors that can play a role in weather-related crashes, with wet pavement being one of the most common. Limited visibility from precipitation and fog are others that are seen most often, especially in situations where sudden storms hit and visibility worsens very quickly. In Texas, rain accumulation is also the cause for stalled vehicles and injuries when low-water crossings become flooded. Any of these types of accidents can lead to serious harm, but you being able to recover monetarily will depend on the specific facts of your situation.

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TX car accident lawyerA large portion of Texas enjoys fairly warm weather for most of the year, but winter temperatures sometimes do happen, even as far south as Houston or San Antonio. In early February 2020, snow flurries have led to fun and memories - but have also led to icy roads and crashes. In Austin, parts of North Loop 360 and East U.S. 290 were closed, and in Round Rock, RM 1431 saw two crashes recently. While law enforcement and the Texas Department of Transportation were able to manage the majority of issues on the roads, this is by no means guaranteed. If you are in an auto accident where the weather could have played a role, it is a good idea to understand what options you might have for compensation.

What People Do In Weather

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Road Weather Management Program (RWMP) estimates that as many as 21 percent of all auto accidents are weather-related, whether rain, sleet, fog, snow, wind, or another type. On average, almost 5,000 fatalities happen every year as a result of these crashes - because of weather, obviously, but more specifically because of certain factors in driving due to weather; namely, how individual drivers approach unusual or sudden weather patterns.

For example, heavy snowfall can reduce the rate of speed on a freeway by as much as 40 percent - but there will always be some driver who continues to drive, often aggressively, at a rate of speed that would be fine on smooth, dry roads, but is too fast when ice or rain is present. Auto accident cases often turn on the “reasonableness” (or lack thereof) of someone’s actions, and if it can be shown that the driver’s speed plus the weather was unreasonable, they will often wind up being liable for any injuries they caused.

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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 injury lawyerThe recent flooding along the Colorado River has impacted 18 different counties in Texas, including Williamson, Bastrop, and Travis counties. Many people in and around Austin have had to evacuate, losing personal belongings or sometimes their homes. Another problem seen in flooded areas is a host of automobiles either damaged or totaled, by rising flood waters or by accidents caused by weather. If you are injured in an auto accident in this type of weather, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you suffered, if you can show that someone else’s negligence played a role.

Crashes Are Common

Because so few are truly prepared to handle floods on busy roads in Austin, several accidents always occur in heavy rainstorms. Standing water is always a potential issue, and if an area has not had a lot of rain before the onset of the storms, oil can build up on the pavement and make it more slippery. Speed is also a constant factor as well, especially since many drivers do not slow down in suboptimal weather. The end result can be severe - statistics from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration show that as many as 70 percent of all weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement, with an average of approximately 20 percent of all auto accident injuries occurring in rain.

This can sometimes be compounded by poor maintenance on the part of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) or local entities (depending on the road). Badly lighted or positioned signs, potholes, and unmarked standing water can be responsible for several accidents, and thus, for any injuries or fatalities sustained in those accidents. Either way, in a flood, it is eminently possible that whatever harm you come to may not be your own fault, and if someone else acts recklessly or negligently, they may owe you compensation for the harm you suffer as a result.

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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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