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TX accident lawyerAt midnight on I-10, near UTSA Blvd in San Antonio, a rollover accident occurred that left one driver pinned in his vehicle, requiring firefighters to free him by cutting the car open. He was then taken to University Hospital for his injuries, though the current extent of them is not known as of this writing. Rollover accidents of this type are by far the deadliest type of car crash, and even if you survive the impact, you may come away with severe injuries. If your accident is due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to try and seek compensation for your medical expenses from them while you try to get back on your feet.

Statistics Show Rollovers Are Dangerous

The statistics on rollover accidents do not lie; a much higher proportion of fatalities occur from rollovers than befits the small percentage of accidents they make up. In other words, there are a disproportionate number of fatalities caused by rollover accidents, given that so few crashes on U.S. highways are of the rollover type. Statistics from 2016 (the most recent available data) show that rollovers made up only 1.5 percent of all the accidents on U.S. roads - but almost 9 percent of the death total.

There are multiple possible reasons why this is the case. Rollover accidents involve the entire vehicle, whereas a T-bone or head-on collision may avoid causing too much impact to those in the opposite side of the car or truck. Seatbelts also offer less protection in a rollover crash than they do in other types of accidents, given that rollovers are technically non-collision accidents and thus no real impact occurs. Rollover accidents most often occur when someone loses control of their vehicle, rather than being struck or actively striking a fixed object.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerOn the night of November 4, a two-vehicle accident killed one person when an automobile going the wrong way down I-10 struck the tractor-trailer of an 18-wheeler, causing both vehicles to burst into flames. The truck driver was relatively unharmed and able to walk away from the crash, but the driver of the car was killed on impact. This is sadly common in wrong-way accidents; while they are relatively uncommon, they cause serious injuries and death with regularity when they do occur. If you are lucky enough to survive one, it is a good idea to understand just what you may be up against.

Alcohol and Substances Often a Factor

Wrong-way crashes, more than most other types, are disproportionately affected by alcohol and drug use. Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report that of 1,566 wrong-way drivers in the dataset surveyed (2004-2009), approximately 60 percent had “indications of alcohol involvement.” On some level this makes sense to a layman; unless the sign is obscured, there are very few reasons for a sober person to drive the wrong way down a street. The same statistical set also showed that approximately 10 percent of those wrong-way drivers surveyed had been convicted of driving under the influence (DWI) within the three years immediately prior to their wrong-way collision. In other words, even for those drivers who did not show signs of alcohol or drug use at the time of their wrong-way crash.

Of course, other reasons besides alcohol and drug use can account for a wrong-way collision. It is plausible for a street to be poorly marked, or for the “wrong way” sign to have been damaged, thus providing little indication to drivers which way traffic flows. Visibility may also be a factor, both in regard to weather and to the fact that most wrong-way crashes occur after dark. Drivers may also drive while distracted, rather than intoxicated, thinking it safer when in reality, distracted driving plays a major role in countless collisions around the state (and the country).

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerNormally, when someone is in an auto accident, the matter is pursued in civil court, with the plaintiff seeking damages from the defendant. However, in some auto accidents, such as the alleged shooting on Thanksgiving night on I-10, near Loop 410, both a civil cause of action and a crime may have occurred. If you have been in an accident of this type, it is easy to be confused about what is civil, what is criminal, and what your role is in either or both actions.

Civil Actions

The majority of auto accident cases wind up as civil actions, if they go to court at all because usually no laws are broken. Civil cases are mounted by one private person against another, or against an entity deemed to have been negligent. Money damages are being sought, as opposed to jail time, usually as recompense for injuries sustained (medical bills, but also lost wages, lost quality of life, and lifestyle adjustments like needing a wheelchair or an addition to one’s home, and so on). In some states, there are caps on damages for intangible causes of action, such as lost quality of life, but as of this writing, Texas does not have one except in medical malpractice cases. This means you can sue for as much as you believe you can get - with the caveat that the amount will almost certainly be reduced by a jury.

Once a civil action goes to trial, Texas uses a modified comparative fault rule to determine whether a plaintiff can recover, which means that if a plaintiff is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries, they cannot recover. This means that even if a plaintiff is responsible for part of their own injuries, as long as it is less than half, they can collect an award from the defendant (minus the percentage they are ruled at fault). A defendant may wind up being judgment proof, however, meaning that they lack the resources to pay the award.

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 TX injury lawyerIn the early hours of November 1, a significant rollover crash occurred on I-37 South, near Mathis Road. Two people were thrown from their car as it flipped over, sustaining serious injuries, while a second passenger sustained less severe damage to their person. The victims were taken to University Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center, respectively, in stable condition. All the victims in the crash can be said to be quite lucky to escape with only experiencing relatively mild harm - rollover crashes are by far the most deadly type of car accident, and if someone is held liable for injuries suffered by another person in a rollover, the bills can be very high.

Rollovers Can Be Deadly

Rollover accidents comprise only a small percentage of all car crashes in any given year - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roughly 2 percent of auto accidents in a year are rollovers. However, those accidents involved approximately 35 percent of all fatalities sustained in car crashes. Also, as many as 85 percent are single-vehicle accidents, meaning that very often, any liability lays on the driver’s head. Rollover crashes can be profoundly dangerous, as can be seen.

Rollovers have some of the usual car accident causes, such as speed, misuse of alcohol or other substances, or driver inattention - for example, the NHTSA reports that nearly half of fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol. However, some causes are more unique to rollover crashes - for example, many more sport utility vehicles and pickups roll over than standard sedans. In an SUV, the center of gravity is higher, and may not be as well balanced as a four-door or two-door car’s might be, thus allowing the vehicle to require less of a push to tip over.

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TX injury lawyerStatistically, young drivers are among the most reckless, being involved in the most accidents of any age group. However, at Akins High School in South Austin, young people have been the victims lately. The student body has experienced multiple pedestrian accidents in recent weeks, with both occurring on the same road, in the same general area. While one pedestrian accident is a tragic accident, two or more occurring in the same place at roughly the same time may imply that a duty of care is not being met.

Texas Has Poor Record on Pedestrian Safety

Texas’ record in pedestrian safety is decidedly subpar, or at least it has been in recent years, though changes are being implemented slowly. In 2017, there were 614 pedestrian fatalities in the state, which is a drop of approximately 10 percent. However, the national total remained roughly the same, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA)’s preliminary data. Only California and Florida reported more pedestrian fatalities in 2018 than Texas, which is a trend that has existed for a number of years now.

Certain initiatives to lower pedestrian deaths and injuries have begun to be instituted, such as Austin’s Pedestrian Safety Plan. These programs try to assess walkability of roads, effectiveness of traffic patterns and other urban planning issues to determine how the cities and towns they serve can be made safer for pedestrians. However, these plans alone may not alleviate all the potential trouble spots, and sometimes it may take legal action to identify areas where pedestrian accidents are most likely to happen.

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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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