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TX accident lawyerEach year in Texas, around 15,000 people suffer serious, incapacitating injuries in car accidents, leaving them temporarily or permanently unable to walk or perform other activities as they did before the crash. Some of the most severe incapacitating injuries involve damage to the victim’s spinal cord. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.

Physical Limitations From Spinal Cord Injuries

In a car crash, spinal cord injuries are most likely to happen due to the crushing force of the collision between vehicles, or subsequent impacts when a vehicle enters a rollover or a driver or passenger is ejected from the vehicle. Because the spinal cord contains nerves that control a wide range of bodily functions, damage to the spinal cord can have far-reaching physical effects. These include:

  • Pain and stinging - Lesser nerve damage may initially result in sharp pains and intense discomfort.
  • Numbness and loss of sensation - Serious damage to the spinal cord can result in decreased sensitivity to touch and temperature, and in some cases, a total loss of feeling in the body parts affected.
  • Paralysis - Severe spinal cord injuries may also limit a person’s motor abilities, in some cases causing total paralysis from the neck or waist down.
  • Impairment of internal organs and body systems - The effects of spinal cord injuries can extend to the digestive, urinary, circulatory, and respiratory systems.

Spinal cord damage is very difficult to reverse, but it is possible to prevent further damage by seeking immediate medical attention after an accident and avoiding movement until medical professionals arrive to ensure you are safely transported to a hospital.

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TX accident lawyerEarlier this month, a driver was killed on Highway 71 in South Austin after colliding at a high speed with a semi-truck that was parked on the side of the road. In the crash, which happened at around 2 a.m., the driver’s vehicle ignited on impact and slid underneath the truck’s trailer. The accident is still under investigation, but the unusual combination of circumstances is a reminder of the many dangers that can lead to serious injuries and fatalities in South Central Texas car crashes, especially those involving collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks.

Severe Injuries Are Common in Texas Truck Wrecks

Among the many factors that may contribute to the severity and outcome of a crash such as this include:

  • Weight and size disparities between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to an average weight of 4,000 pounds for a passenger vehicle. As such, the occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer the most severe injuries in a collision. The large size of a semi-truck also presents the risk of another vehicle sliding underneath. While most trucks are equipped with a rear underride bar to reduce this risk, and federal regulations may soon require annual inspections of underride bars to ensure they are functional, they are not always fully effective.
  • Low visibility at night. The low light in the late night and early morning hours can make it more difficult to detect another vehicle, especially one that is parked on the shoulder. This means that drivers may have less time to react and avoid a collision. Driver fatigue is also common late at night, and this can further dull a driver’s senses and awareness.
  • Traveling at high speed. High-speed crashes have a higher rate of fatality, in part due to the force of the impact. Speeding also makes it more difficult to slow or stop to prevent a rear-end collision.
  • The risk of fire and explosion. Motor vehicles carry many flammable materials, including gasoline and oil, and these can ignite when fuel lines rupture in a high-impact crash. An explosion can cause severe burns and other injuries, and in some cases, immediate death.

 If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash involving any of these characteristics, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you identify negligence on the part of any other drivers or parties involved. Evidence of negligence, including unsafe driving or faulty equipment, can help you build a case for fair compensation for damages you have suffered.

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TX injury lawyerIn December, a 12-year-old San Antonio girl spoke for the first time since a car accident that happened in May 2019. The crash had left her with a traumatic brain injury that affected her speech and ability to walk, and this recent development has been a source of hope and inspiration for the girl, her family, and her community.

This story can provide hope for recovery to other car accident victims, but it also serves as a reminder that the road to recovery can be long, and that car accident injuries can have a major impact on your daily life. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have especially severe effects on both physical and mental health and abilities.

The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBIs include concussions and other injuries that result from a forceful impact or jolt to the head, such as the impact of a vehicle collision. They can affect speech and language in different ways. For example, the injury may affect the area of the brain that controls the muscles involved in speech, resulting in speech that is slurred or slower than usual. Alternatively, the injury could affect the mental processes involved in speech, making it difficult to pronounce words consistently, find the correct words to use, or understand the speech of other people.

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TX injury lawyerRecently, medics were called to Garfield, east of Austin-Bergstrom Airport, to treat a woman who had sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash. She was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with injuries that were characterized as serious, but not life-threatening. These types of accidents are quite common, and while the woman luckily escaped life-threatening injuries, she may still face long-term recuperation and even possibly permanent disability. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, your medical bills can add up, but you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver who caused your injuries.

Fatality Statistics Are High

Motorcyclists are over-represented in traffic death totals; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die if they are involved in a crash than a vehicle driver or passenger. Motorcyclists do not have the same protection as those inside a car or truck; the sheer volume of metal and glass involved in striking a vehicle can prove punishing for a cyclist whose only protection is their clothing and helmet. Even those who survive accidents with vehicles can have severe injuries, as the woman in Garfield may be left with.

There are many different reasons for the frequency of motorcycle accidents. Fatality statistics are made even worse by non-universal compliance with helmet laws - the NHTSA estimates that only 71 percent of riders wore helmets in 2018. Texas’ statistics are even more significant in that regard - roughly half of the 418 motorcyclists killed in 2018 on Texas roads were not wearing helmets at the time of their accidents. In addition, very often vehicle drivers simply do not take cyclists’ presence into account; failure to check blind spots or their turn lanes can lead to ruin.

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TX injury lawyerBecause of Texas’ routinely mild weather, there is almost no dip in the number of motorcycles on the road during the winter. However, many drivers operate their vehicles as though they think there should be, which can make the road more dangerous both for cyclists and for auto drivers alike. If you have been in an accident with a motorcyclist, it is important to accurately reflect on whose behavior might be to blame, and to what degree you might be precluded from seeking compensation for your injuries.

Motorcyclists in Greater Danger on The Road

Because of a lack of protection between them and the road, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured or killed in an accident, especially on a major road or freeway. Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate around 500 motorcyclists killed in 2017. While the TxDOT statistics explicitly mention that just over half (52 percent) were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, this is only one factor in the elevated fatality risk for cyclists.

Statistics and anecdotal data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) preach the need for motorcycle awareness, both in the abstract and quite literally. Motorcycles are significantly smaller than cars and trucks, and very often they are painted dark colors - both of which can make a motorcyclist all but invisible even in good weather. Even when they are visible to the eye, however, many drivers simply do not factor them into their calculations while driving - for example, when to turn, how wide to turn, how close or distant to follow, and so on. This type of neglect can lead to accidents and fatalities for all involved.

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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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