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b2ap3_thumbnail_motorcycle-crash_20190215-224805_1.jpgRecently, a man on a motorcycle ran a red light going north on South General McMullen Drive and then promptly collided with a dark-colored pickup truck. The motorcyclist was taken to University Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased. While this accident appears to have occurred due to the motorcyclist’s reckless driving, sometimes a motorcyclist can sustain grievous injuries in an accident that is no fault of their own. If you have been in a motorcycle crash and been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation that can help cover your medical bills.

Motorcyclists Are In Danger on the Open Road

While statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show a drop in the number of motorcyclist fatalities between 2016-2017 (the most recent available data), the number of motorcycle riders killed in accidents in 2017 is still over 5,000 people. This number is proportionally higher than the number of auto passengers killed in crashes - stats estimate that motorcyclists are a whopping 28 times more likely to die in a crash than a passenger car occupant, primarily because motorcyclists simply do not have as much protection between them and the road.

There are, unfortunately, trends that show some motorcyclists add to their own danger on the road. Many do not wear helmets (Texas does not require them for those over 21, but data has shown their ability to save lives), or speed recklessly. Another disturbing trend that also contributes to motorcyclist fatalities is alcohol usage. The NHTSA found that approximately one-fourth of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes showed signs of being ‘alcohol-impaired’ - as one might imagine, driving any type of vehicle while intoxicated will cause one’s risk for an accident to skyrocket.

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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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TX injury lawyerOn the night of October 14, a driver turning onto Larkdale Drive from O’Connor Road was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at a “high rate of speed,” killing the motorcyclist and damaging the automobile. The driver had no injuries, but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Sadly, this is all too common in San Antonio motorcycle accidents, with motorcyclists being killed much more often than automobile drivers, and those that survive are much more likely to be severely injured than auto drivers. There are multiple reasons for this.

Statistics Show Heightened Danger

Motorcyclists simply have to do more with less, given the comparative lack of protection surrounding them compared to the protection an automobile gives its driver and passengers. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are up to 29 times more likely to die in a wreck than those in an automobile. This is compounded by Texas’ helmet law, which only requires such protection for those 20 and younger, meaning that many older cyclists are not wearing helmets when they are involved in a wreck if they choose not to. While this is their choice, it does contribute to a high fatality rate, as helmets have been shown to prevent approximately 37 percent of fatal injuries.

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TX injury lawyerOne woman died after rolling her vehicle on Ralph Fair Rd in San Antonio, on the morning of July 23. Law enforcement reported that the woman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the impact, and that speed had likely been a factor in the crash. These accidents are unfortunately all too common, especially on Texas roads, but if you are involved in one due to another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation stemming from your injuries.

Statistics Show Fatalities Are Common

Because so much weight and metal is moving around, rollover accidents have the potential to cause significant injury and death. The numbers of such accidents are increasing; data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show almost a 10 percent increase in multi-vehicle rollovers from 2015-2016, as well as a 2 percent increase in single-vehicle rollovers. This can affect the overall death rate in auto accidents, as rollovers are much more likely to cause injury than many other types of crash. For example, the NHTSA’s safercar.gov website cites statistics showing that almost 35 percent of all auto accident deaths were in rollover accidents, even though rollovers were only approximately 2 percent of the total accidents on U.S. roads.

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TX injury lawyerOn July 4, a massive crash sent three people, including a child, to the hospital as an SUV making a left turn onto East Cheryl Drive pushed a sedan into a light pole. The sedan driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other driver and two passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. While as of this writing, no charges have been filed, it is very possible that the SUV driver could face a wrongful death suit if they are fortunate enough to recover from their own injuries.

Wrongful Death in Texas

Texas has a very comprehensive wrongful death statute, allowing for two different possible causes of action, depending on the nature of the death involved. A wrongful death action is a claim in negligence law that is brought against the person alleged to have caused the death, for actual damages and in rare cases, for what are called exemplary or punitive damages. Actual damages are damages that stem directly from a death, such as loss of companionship or quality of life, general mental anguish, medical or care bills, and funeral expenses.

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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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