Due to COVID-19, virtual meetings and consultations are available if preferred.
The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Antonio Seguin Austin
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in car accident injuries

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). 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.

...

 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.

...

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.

...

TX injury lawyerThe night of September 17 proved unlucky for a teenager trying to cross the intersection of Blanco Road and Parliament Street in San Antonio, as he was struck by a driver who ran the red light and then fled. The driver was later apprehended and charged, but the damage has still been done to the teenager, who was taken to University Hospital. As of this writing, no lasting damage appears to have been done, but hit-and-run accidents are still taken extremely seriously by San Antonio police, as they should be by every driver. If you have been the victim of a similar incident, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.

Leaving an Accident Scene Is Illegal

One of the most important things anyone can take away from this type of accident is that it is a crime to leave the scene of any accident that causes property damage or injury in Texas. Failure to stop after an accident that results in, or is likely to result in, injury or death is a felony in most cases, though if the injury is more minor, a misdemeanor may be assessed. Despite these stringent penalties, though, people, of course, do leave accident scenes, especially if they believe there is a possibility they will be able to escape without being stopped. The driver on Blanco Road fled the scene and was apprehended later, which added an additional count of failing to stop and render aid to the charges against her.

If the driver can be located, however, you may be able to bring suit against them for your harm suffered, even if they also face criminal charges. Under Texas law, a hit-and-run driver may be able to be sued for multiple types of damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering (in certain circumstances), loss of marital companionship, and many other causes of action. This type of action is brought under a theory of negligence law, and if you can show that the driver was negligent (which should not necessarily be difficult, if they are arrested for failing to stop and render aid), compensation may be yours.

...

TX injury lawyerA 40-year-old woman was pronounced dead on arrival at University Hospital in San Antonio after being hit by a car on the night of July 12. While the driver who struck her did stop and render aid, the woman was unable to be revived. San Antonio police stated that no charges would be filed against the driver, but pedestrian accidents sometimes do wind up with charges being filed, especially if drivers leave the scene of the accident.

Texas Can Be Dangerous for Pedestrians

Because of issues such as Texas’ speed limits, pedestrians are more prone to be victims of accidents in Texas metro areas than in many other cities in the United States. Preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) for 2017 show that approximately 43 percent of all pedestrian deaths came from five states, of which Texas is one. Texas averaged 2.44 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people, which is in the top 10 in the country.

...

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top