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TX accident lawyerIt can be difficult to understand what would lead a driver to travel the wrong way on a divided highway, but unfortunately, it does happen on a regular basis. Just recently, law enforcement reported a suspected wrong-way driving crash resulting in at least one fatality on I-35 in Austin, and hundreds of people die in wrong-way car crashes each year throughout the U.S. Understanding the causes of wrong-way driving accidents may help you avoid them or know how best to pursue compensation if you or a loved one is injured in such a crash.

Common Factors in Wrong-Way Collisions

In recent years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published a special report on wrong-way driving crashes in the U.S. after conducting several investigations and extensive data analysis. Through their research, they identified a few common factors that contribute to fatal accidents involving wrong-way drivers on the highway, including:

  • Alcohol intoxication - The report found that at least 60 percent of wrong-way drivers were impaired by alcohol, with over half of those having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher.
  • Time of day and week - The vast majority of the accidents studied occurred at night in conditions of low visibility, and a large number occurred on weekends.
  • Improper use of exit ramps - According to the results of the study, the largest number of wrong-way drivers on the highway entered using an exit ramp. Possible reasons for this include unclear signage; driver confusion, inexperience, or distraction; and intoxicating substances that impair a driver’s mental abilities. Other instances of wrong-way driving came from a driver missing an exit and making an illegal U-turn through an emergency turnaround.

With these factors in mind, it is important to stay alert for wrong-way drivers, especially on nights and weekends and in areas that you know have complicated entrance-exit interchanges or that are not clearly marked.

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TX accident lawyerIn a recent Texas car accident, the driver of a passenger vehicle collided with an ambulance operated by the San Antonio Fire Department, resulting in injuries to the patient who was being transported. Accidents involving ambulances and other emergency vehicles are somewhat frequent, and they can result in serious injuries to both occupants of the emergency vehicle and the other vehicles involved. It is often possible for injury victims to recover compensation for damages, but these cases can be especially complicated.

The Complexities of Liability in an Emergency Vehicle Accident

The process of obtaining compensation for injuries in an emergency vehicle crash can vary substantially depending on who is responsible for the accident. If the occupant of an ambulance is injured and the driver of another vehicle is found to be at fault, the personal injury claim may proceed similarly to how it would in an accident between passenger vehicles. It will be important for the victim to have evidence of the other driver’s negligence, perhaps due to a failure to yield to the emergency vehicle, or other unsafe behavior such as speeding, drunk driving, or distracted driving.

However, the case will likely be more complicated if the victim had pre-existing injuries before the crash (hence the need for an ambulance). It may be important to document new injuries from the crash, as well as injuries that were exacerbated by the crash. A personal injury claim could also potentially seek damages for a delay in necessary emergency treatment caused by the crash.

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TX crash lawyerDrivers in South Central Texas rarely have to contend with severe winter weather conditions, but this can mean that when such conditions do arrive, they can be all the more dangerous. In recent days, as a rare winter storm has brought about the accumulation of ice and snow, police departments in New Braunfels, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas have received more than 100 reports of car accidents related to the weather, and several of them have been fatal. During this difficult time, it is important for Texas residents to be aware that they can pursue compensation for car accident injuries through a personal injury claim, even when the weather is a contributing factor in the accident.

How Can Texas Drivers Stay Safe in Winter Weather?

Generally, the best way to avoid an accident in winter weather is to avoid driving entirely while conditions are dangerous, as many Texas officials are currently recommending. You should consider delaying any unnecessary trips outside of your home until the severe weather abates and the roads are cleared. However, if it is absolutely necessary to drive, you should take special care to drive safely.

Safe winter driving starts even before you leave your home. First of all, you should be sure that your vehicle is equipped for the weather. This means that your tires have substantial tread, your brakes are fully functional, and you have working lights, defrosters, and windshield wipers. You should also clear your vehicle of snow and ice as much as possible so that you are able to see your surroundings while you are on the road.

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TX injury lawyerAlready this year, the San Antonio area has seen multiple car accidents resulting from police chases. These events can encourage fleeing drivers to travel at high speeds, make unsafe maneuvers, and otherwise violate traffic laws that aim to promote safety on the roads. Unfortunately, when a crash does happen, it is often innocent bystanders who are injured. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash related to a police chase, an attorney can help you pursue compensation.

National Statistics for Police Chase Accidents

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has closely examined police vehicle pursuits and their effects in recent years, most recently publishing a special report in 2017. Over the 20-year time period covered by the report, researchers found an average of 355 annual fatalities due to police chases. While occupants of the vehicle being pursued accounted for the majority of these fatalities, 33 percent of those who lost their lives were uninvolved bystanders. The report also found a similar percentage for bystander injuries.

Liability in a Police Chase Accident

If you have been injured as a bystander because of a police chase, there is a good chance that your injuries are due to no fault of your own. However, it can be complicated to determine who is at fault and how or if you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. The answer to these questions may depend on whether you were injured due to the actions of the suspect, an officer in pursuit, or a combination of the two.

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TX injury lawyerOne person was injured in a recent car accident in north San Antonio’s Stone Oak neighborhood after another driver crashed into their vehicle and pushed it off the road. The car slid down an embankment and collided head-on with a boulder, after which the injured person had to be extricated. Since the accident, the driver who allegedly caused the crash is facing intoxication assault charges, but this crash also serves as a reminder that stationary objects near the road can be a major contributing factor in the severity of resulting injuries.

Car Accident Injuries From Stationary Objects

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fixed or stationary objects are a factor in about 20 percent of fatal car accidents. These crashes include a variety of objects, including trees, rocks, ditches, phones and light poles, medians, barricades, guardrails, and more. While most of these crashes involve just one vehicle, 5 percent of them involve multiple vehicles, like in the recent case in San Antonio.

Can Someone Else Be Liable If I Collide with a Fixed Object?

If you are struck by a negligent driver, you may be aware that you can pursue compensation for injuries and damages that you suffer in the collision. However, you may wonder whether this also includes injuries from a collision with a stationary object after being hit by another car. In many cases, the answer is yes, especially if you can demonstrate that the actions of the driver caused you to crash into the object.

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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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