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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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b2ap3_thumbnail_bike-crash_20190816-184148_1.jpgOn the night of July 21-22, a bicyclist was struck by a driver at the intersection of Brady Blvd and Driftwood Street, causing a lacerated spleen and other significant injury. The driver did not stop to render aid, but the bicyclist was taken to University Hospital, where he is in stable condition as of this writing. If the driver is located, they may face serious legal issues in both the criminal and civil arenas. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run crash, know that you may be able to seek compensation from the person who struck you.

Hit-And-Run Crashes Are Common

Unfortunately, hit-and-run crashes occur with regularity in Texas. It is not unusual for a driver to make a mistake, get spooked, and try to flee the scene. However, if they do this, the victim of their negligence may have no way to get their medical bills paid. Texas law is on the side of the victim, and allows them to bring suit under a theory of negligence in addition to any criminal penalties that might be assessed.

If you were involved in an accident and you were injured due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to try and seek compensation. Texas law allows an injured person to potentially recover even if you are held partially responsible - for example, the bicyclist in the Brady Blvd accident was alleged to have ignored the stop sign, which might result in his being found partially at fault.

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TX accident attorneyIn the early morning hours of July 25, two men were hospitalized with serious injuries after the driver of their vehicle lost control on East Houston Street, near North Hackberry Street. The driver and the passenger both sustained significant injury after the vehicle rolled, with the driver walking a block or so before collapsing. Both men were taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, with the driver in critical condition and the passenger stable. This is sadly not uncommon with regard to rollover crashes, and if you are injured in one, you may wind up building up significant medical expenses as you recover.

Deadlier Than Most

Rollover accidents involve quite a lot of metal, glass, and plastic moving around at extremely high rates of speed, which leads to their being significantly overrepresented in lists of traffic fatalities. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that while only 2.1 percent of automobile accidents are rollovers, nearly 35 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities occurred in rollover crashes. This is only made worse by other common causes seen in rollovers, such as alcohol (or other substance) usage and excessive speed.

Many rollovers are single-vehicle accidents, like the one on East Houston Street was, which can make it seemingly difficult to bring suit against a defendant as being possibly liable for your injuries. However, ‘single-vehicle’ accidents are those in which only one vehicle crashes or sustains damage; this does not mean that no other vehicle was involved. Perhaps another vehicle swerved too close to yours, requiring evasive action; perhaps a tire or another part on your vehicle suddenly failed - there are ways to establish liability for a second party even in a ‘single-vehicle’ accident case.

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TX injury lawyerOn the morning of Independence Day, a rollover crash on Loop 1604 claimed the life of one person, when the sedan he was riding in flipped over, ejecting all four occupants. A man in his 20s was killed, and the other three passengers in the car sustained serious injuries, though as of this writing their conditions are not known. Rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous one can experience, and if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a rollover that is the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation.

Higher Percentage of Fatalities

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that rollover accidents are very serious. In the relevant data, rollovers comprised approximately 1.5 percent of all crashes but were responsible for roughly eight percent of the fatalities. There are many different reasons for this, not least of all because of the sheer weight of a vehicle flipping around can cause serious damage to a human body.

Other reasons that rollovers have a higher fatality percentage have to do with the factors that so often are present in this type of crash - for example, NHTSA statistics show that nearly half of all rollover crashes involve alcohol or another substance, which obviously impairs one’s ability to drive. Another common factor is location; rural roads are often less well maintained, which can make it easy to get distracted or to not notice another vehicle on the road nearby.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently one person was killed in a crash near Coupland, at the intersection of FM 973 and Richland Road. The crash involved two vehicles, with one being fully engulfed in flames when Travis County sheriff’s personnel arrived at the scene. While very little is known about the deceased, it is worth asking whether or not something in the design of the vehicle contributed to its catching on fire as a result of the impact. While car accidents are distressingly common, vehicles bursting into flames are much less so, and understanding all possibilities can keep you a bit safer from harm if you can see it coming.

Negligence vs. Product Liability

All motorists on Texas roads owe each other a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicles. Normally, in most auto accident cases, a plaintiff sues a defendant for allegedly breaching that duty - this is known as the legal theory of negligence. In a negligence case, a plaintiff must show that duty has been breached, and must also show that they suffered harm because of it that was directly due to the defendant’s conduct, with no other supervening cause in between.

By comparison, product liability cases can often be much more complex. In these types of cases, a plaintiff must establish either that the product had an inherent design defect, that there was a defect in manufacturing this particular product, or that the manufacturer failed to warn of any dangers in use of the product that are not obvious. Texas law on product liability can be particularly strict, especially in defective design claims, because unlike in many other states, plaintiffs are required to establish that a safer alternative design existed - which can be very difficult in most cases.

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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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