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TX injury lawyerWithin the past several days, there have been several serious car accidents in the San Antonio area involving drivers pulling out into the path of oncoming traffic. Such situations often result in T-bone collisions that can have severe consequences, including catastrophic injury and death, depending on the speed at which the vehicles were traveling and other factors. It can also be complicated to determine who is at fault for a crash of this nature, which can complicate personal injury claims.

Where Do These Accidents Occur?

A vehicle pulling out into traffic can happen under a variety of circumstances. It could occur at an intersection with a traffic light, for example, when a driver attempts a right turn on a red light while traffic is approaching from their left, or when a driver fails to acknowledge a red light at all. However, these accidents tend to be more common at intersections that are not so well regulated. One common example is an intersection at which drivers in one direction have a stop sign, but traffic in the other direction is not required to stop. Accidents are also common at intersections where there is no traffic sign or signal at all, such as a driveway, alley, or parking lot exit that intersects with a busy road. In some cases, visual obstructions like buildings or landscaping can make it difficult for a driver to see oncoming traffic, thereby contributing to a crash.

Questions of Liability

One of the most important questions, when someone is injured or killed in an accident of this nature, is, which driver is at fault? Is it the driver who pulled into traffic, or the driver who was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision? In many cases, the answer is complicated. For example, a driver who pulls into traffic after ignoring a stoplight or stop sign will likely be considered at least partially liable. The same may be true if the driver is distracted or simply makes a poor judgment call.

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TX injury lawyerRecently, drivers on several highways in San Antonio had their commute interrupted by hundreds of drivers who shut down the road to engage in risky behavior like doing donuts, shooting off fireworks, or racing each other in the main lanes. These stoppages affected Highway 90 on the West Side, Highway 281 at Hildebrand Ave, and I-10 near Vance Jackson Road, though as of this writing only one person has been arrested and charged with racing on a highway. If you or a loved one has been injured by a street racer or someone engaged in other types of reckless behavior, be aware that you may have a civil claim for compensation even if they are not arrested for the offense.

Both a Crime and a Civil Tort

Texas law on racing on highways explicitly bans participating in a race, a “vehicle speed [or] acceleration contest,” or any type of drag race or “physical endurance” test as the operator of a vehicle. Because this definition clearly includes more than simple drag racing, it is sometimes used as a catch-all charge for disorderly or reckless behavior on a highway, such as that seen on San Antonio’s highways recently.

A first offense for this is a Class B misdemeanor, which only carries up to 180 days in jail plus fines up to $2,000. However, if someone is convicted of this charge more than once, or if they cause property damage or death, the charge can rise up to a second-degree felony. While the state files criminal cases, and the injured plaintiff (you) would file a civil lawsuit, understanding the potential criminal consequences is still relevant, especially if the fines imposed as a part of a criminal sentence are steep.

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TX accident lawyer= T-boning a police vehicle traveling westbound on West Martin Street. The police officer inside was treated for a head injury at University Hospital, and the driver was taken into custody, facing charges of evading arrest and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. An injured civilian could choose to bring a civil suit against the fleeing driver over any injuries they sustained, though on-duty police may not do the same thing. If you have been in a T-bone collision, your injuries are likely severe.

Causes and Definitions

A T-bone or side-impact collision is when the front end of a car strikes the side of another vehicle, usually causing severe injury to those sitting on that particular side of the second car. There are many different causes of this type of accident - that is, many situations where a side-impact collision will be more likely to happen than, say, a rear or front-end crash. Running a stop sign or a red light like the driver on West Martin Street is one of the most common causes of these types of crashes; traffic will have begun to travel on the green light and a driver with a red light may simply not stop.

A host of different injuries may happen with this type of crash, especially since victims in a T-bone accident do not necessarily have the same safety features available to them that those in a front or rear-end collision would. Studies have shown that seat belts or other restraints do slightly raise the survival rate of these crashes, but in most vehicles, no side airbags or other protection devices are present. Injuries may be as mild as broken bones, cuts, and bruises, or may be as severe as traumatic brain injuries and spinal damage.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_rollover_20190215-172143_1.jpgRecently, a young Dripping Springs man was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries, after his car rolled over on Hamilton Pool Road. Lake Travis and Bee Cave police responded. Two men who happened to be passing played an integral role in getting the flaming vehicle upright, as well as extricating the driver from the flames, which is thought to have saved his life. While this young man appears to have been lucky, rollover crashes are among the most deadly types, and living through one can leave someone with significant medical bills. You may be able to seek compensation for yours if you believe that the accident was caused by another person’s negligent conduct.

Statistics Show Disproportionate Danger

Statistics from SaferCar, an initiative run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), show that while rollovers make up a relatively small portion of car accidents each year (roughly 2.1 percent), that small number of accidents was responsible for almost 35 percent of all traffic accident deaths in the most recent data studied. Rollover accidents, especially multi-vehicle rollovers, have the tendency to be deadly because of the sheer weight and volume of matter being thrown around, and the extravagant way in which the vehicle can change position - if a car flips end over end, for example, it will understandably cause far more damage to anyone inside the vehicle than, say, a sideswipe collision.

Data from the NHTSA also shows, however, that in many rollovers, the occupants of the vehicle neglect to wear seat belts, which certainly adds to the fatality count. Without a seat belt, any damage done to the vehicle is acted upon the person in its cab, as one might guess; while restraints might not necessarily entirely protect someone from injury, statistics show a much lower proportion of belted drivers losing their lives in rollovers than those who neglected to buckle up.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerState Highway 130 runs from its concurrent route along I-35 in San Antonio, up through Seguin, north through Pflugerville and eventually ending in Georgetown. It handles a fair amount of traffic and has its fair share of injuries and fatalities. According to statistics cited by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 37 people have died on SH 130 since the speed limit was modified in 2012 to allow cars to go 85 mph, making it the fastest highway in the United States. However, one wonders if it was worth it - the families of those injured or killed might say no.

Speeding Kills

Higher speeds make travel immeasurably more dangerous. TxDOT statistics show that roughly 750 people died in speed-involved crashes in Texas in 2017, with many of those deaths being the speeding drivers themselves, but too many were passengers or even innocent bystanders. Most causes of highway crashes can be linked at least indirectly back to elevated speed - for example, if someone has an accident in poor weather, it is highly likely that they will have been traveling too fast for the weather conditions. If someone is engaging in distracted driving, it is common for their speed to increase beyond the posted limits without their knowledge.

If you are injured in a highway accident, the most common theory under which most people bring suit is negligence, which has three criteria that must be met. A duty to exercise reasonable care is put on all motorists on any given road. In order to show negligence, you must show that the driver breached that duty, which caused tangible harm to you (not necessarily physical, but something more substantial than cuts and bruises) and that they did so via their conduct, with no other superseding cause. If you are able to establish these criteria, you have a good shot at prevailing in your case.

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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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