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TX injury lawyerA true tragedy happened on February 20, when a 10-year old riding her bicycle fell into traffic, losing her life after being struck by a passing SUV. The accident happened in West Bexar County, in the Valley Ranch area, and while law enforcement does not anticipate filing any charges in the matter, it can be hugely traumatic for both the driver and the family of the deceased person when accidents like this occur. No criminal charges also does not mean that the family of the girl cannot file a civil lawsuit. If this happens to your family, you need to make sure you remain clear-headed as you determine how best to handle this.

Negligence Must Be Present

Despite how devastating they can be, not every accidental death is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you must be able to show that their passing was the result of another person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” - that is, you must establish that there was negligence or recklessness in their actions. If they could not have acted in any other way, or could not have acted any faster to stop the accident, there is no cause of action under Texas law.

In the Valley Ranch accident, for example, law enforcement saw no recklessness or negligence in the driver’s behavior because everything happened so quickly. The driver likely had no time to take evasive action or stop their vehicle - and if it is generally agreed that no reasonable person would have been able to stop or evade the girl on the ground, then it is not possible to call the driver negligent. The accident was horrible, but not necessarily avoidable.

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Posted on in Personal Injury

TX injury lawyerRecently, a young boy sustained “non-life threatening injuries” after an ATV and a pickup truck collided in West Bexar County, though his younger sister escaped injury. The children were riding an ATV in the 5500 block of Pioneer Estates (near Highway 90) when their vehicle was struck by a pickup near the intersection. While riding ATVs is an enjoyable hobby loved by countless Texans, it can still be hazardous, especially since many drivers do not pay attention to the road, and it is important that you understand your options if you are injured.

ATVs Should Not Be on Public Roads

Riding ATVs is a common hobby in Texas, though you may not ride them on public roads. An Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) license is required, and ATVs should only be ridden in approved areas. However, sometimes the law is broken, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas registered the third-highest number of fatalities in recently available data sets. It is also worth noting that recent research shows that public roads are infinitely more dangerous for ATV riders than off-road venues; more than 60 percent of all ATV fatalities occur on public roads.

While sometimes ATV riders do not keep to proper off-road venues, drivers on public roads are also ill-equipped to handle riders who do show up on public roads. It is common for drivers to not notice smaller crafts like ATVs and motorcycles, especially when turning or changing lanes, and this lack of awareness definitely helps in boosting the number of injuries and fatalities for ATV riders. In many of these cases, there may be fault on both sides - which should not deter you from seeking compensation for any injuries you have suffered.

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TX injury lawyerRecently, a school bus from the North East Independent School District (NEISD) was rear-ended by a car trying to go around it, injuring the bus driver and the auto driver. Approximately 30 children were on board, en route to Stone Oak Elementary, but none were reported injured; they were transferred to another bus and send on their way. However, school bus accidents can often end far worse for those involved, especially very young children. If your child or children is injured in a school bus crash, consulting a lawyer is a crucial step to determine how to proceed.

Rear-End Collisions Are Common

In general, rear-end collisions between vehicles (that is, collisions where one vehicle’s front end strikes another’s rear end) are some of the most common in the U.S., as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that they make up around 30 percent of all two-vehicle accidents. While these types of crashes are common, they are also allegedly the most avoidable - studies indicate that a majority of rear-end crashes occur simply because one or both drivers are not paying attention.

In the Stone Oak accident, the driver of the automobile had grown impatient and tried to cut around the bus, but miscalculated the distance and struck the back of the vehicle. This kind of driving is another common cause of rear-end crashes; trying to cut corners or pass another vehicle without appropriately checking the distances (in other words, driving in a manner that might be classified as negligent) can be the cornerstone for a personal injury lawsuit if negligence can be established.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerIn early December, a school bus belonging to the Northside Independent School District (NISD) was struck as part of a four-vehicle crash on Babcock Road, near Wurzbach Road. An SUV struck the bus and was in turn struck by two other vehicles, pushing the bus on top of a gas main, which warranted a partial evacuation of the nearby area. The bus did have passengers, but none of the 11 children on board was injured, nor was the driver. Thankfully, no injuries or fatalities were sustained, but with school buses, accidents can be devastating. If you or a loved one have been in a bus accident, it can be very confusing to try and seek compensation for your injuries.

Finding Fault

One thing that must be kept in mind after a school bus accident in Texas is that just because your child might have sustained an injury on a school bus, it does not mean that the school or the driver are responsible for that injury. Children are children, and sometimes injuries and accidents do happen. The injury is only compensable if your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness (or, obviously, if someone else intentionally sought to injure them). If it can be shown that your child was injured because someone else’s actions were negligent or reckless, however, you may have a claim against the driver, the school, the bus manufacturer, or another actor, depending on the specifics of the situation.

The majority of school bus accidents that are held to involve negligence will generally get laid at the door of the school bus driver, who is the most likely person in most situations. However, if the school bus driver is acting within the scope of their employment, the driver’s employer (the school district, in most cases) will almost always be pulled into the case, because of a common-law doctrine called respondeat superior or vicarious liability. Texas law holds that as long as an employee is engaged in work within their “general authority,” and “for the accomplishment of the object for which the employee was hired,” their employer may be held vicariously liable.

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TX injury lawyerA school bus was struck by an 18-wheeler on October 25, causing injuries but no deaths. The crash occurred on Highway 71 at Tucker Hill Lane, just outside of Austin, where the truck driver ran through a red light - surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows the accident and showed the truck clearly failing to stop. The bus driver and 9 students were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, though the exact extent of the damage remains unknown as of this writing. While school bus accidents are rare, parents should know that if their child is injured, it is possible to try to hold someone liable for the accident.

Bus Drivers Have Rules

There are multiple potential causes of school bus accidents, though the cause of the Hwy 71 crash appears apparent enough. Many of them usually have to do with bus driver error (yes, even school bus drivers) - speeding, driving recklessly, such as going too fast in inclement weather, and alcohol or drug abuse can all contribute. Other causes may include poorly maintained roads (especially with a large vehicle like a school bus, a pothole can cause problems).

School buses have heightened duties with regard to the duty of care owed to passengers. While drivers must meet specific requirements in order to be licensed and certified, school buses are also classified in general as common carriers in Texas (the state follows the common law classifications for such things). A common carrier is a commercial company or entity paid to transport goods or people, who is then responsible for the well-being of the transport. If someone suffers an injury while using a common carrier like a school bus, they may be able to receive additional compensation above what they might otherwise, just because a common carrier has a higher duty it is supposed to uphold.

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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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