The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Marcos San Antonio Sequin Austin
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in negligence

Posted on in Personal Injury

TX car accident attorneyRecently, a man was struck by a car on Rundberg Road, in north Austin, but the vehicle that struck him failed to stop and administer aid. The man was taken to a nearby hospital, while he was pronounced deceased on arrival. While no other details were released at the time about either the deceased man or the vehicle that struck him, it is important to understand that the victim (or the family of the victim) in a hit-and-run accident has options to try and seek compensation for what they have gone through. Enlisting an attorney to help with that is also a good idea.

High Frequency, High Stakes

Texas has one of the higher hit-and-run accident totals in the country, partly because of its sheer population, but partly for other reasons. For example, Texas is one of the states that permits speed limits of up to 85 mph in certain areas, which in turn can breed recklessness, especially when alcohol is involved. In addition, the majority of hit-and-run victims are pedestrians, and Texas boasts a large pedestrian population, between its cities and the rural areas in which public transport is infrequent or inefficient.

It is important to understand that leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Texas - the Transport Code specifically states that leaving the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury or death results, without stopping to render aid, is a felony, with lesser injuries being punishable by between 1 and 5 years in jail. If the person who struck you is caught, they will very often (though not always) be charged with a crime - but you will still be able to file a civil lawsuit against them as well. The Fifth Amendment right to be free from double jeopardy only applies to two criminal proceedings - a civil proceeding is a different animal and can proceed.

...

TX injury lawyerRecently, law enforcement was called to an accident on IH-35, near Posey Road in San Marcos, where a Nissan 370Z had overturned after racing another vehicle, ejecting its passenger almost 70 feet through the air. While the driver suffered minor injuries, the passenger remains, as of this writing, in a hospital in Kyle in critical condition. The driver was charged with the crime of “suspicion of racing on a highway causing serious bodily injury” - a second-degree felony - but if you have been injured due to another driver’s similarly negligent behavior, you have the right to seek compensation.

No Double Jeopardy

Texas law defines ‘street racing’ as any kind of speed contest or race, and any kind of drag race or other competition involving speed is illegal on all public roads, regardless of how abandoned they are or how high the speed limit may be. As one can imagine, this kind of behavior is most common among younger drivers - both the driver and the passenger in the Posey Road accident were around the age of 20 - but older people do engage in it as well. Street racing was formerly just a traffic violation, but in 2003 laws were passed elevating it to a misdemeanor (Class B), carrying a one-year license suspension, as well as assorted fines and up to 180 days in jail.

People who are arrested for street racing may also face other charges such as reckless driving or speeding, but in addition to the criminal charges, they may face civil lawsuits from the people they allegedly injure with their negligent behavior. It can be easy to assume that since someone is being charged criminally, you are barred from filing a civil lawsuit because of the Fifth Amendment right to be free from double jeopardy (essentially, being tried twice for the same crime). This is not actually the case - double jeopardy only attaches if someone is tried twice in the same court system for the exact same crime. Being tried once criminally and once civilly is permissible because two different parties are thought to have been wronged (the state and the individual).

...

TX accident lawyerRecently, a black pickup truck ran headlong into the back of a parked 18-wheeler, on the access road on West Loop 1604. The semi-truck had been waiting for a client to unload inventory when the pickup struck the truck, wedging itself under the trailer. The driver of the pickup later died from his injuries, though the truck driver was unharmed. Law enforcement believes that the pickup driver was “speeding and distracted,” and thus was the prime mover in causing the accident. While the truck driver was unharmed, this is often not the case in distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation from them.

Distraction Kills

Everyone gets distracted for small moments behind the wheel. However, distracted driving is a real danger to everyone on the road, because when a person’s attention is diverted away from operating their vehicle, it means that they have less time to react to other motorists or obstacles on the road, which in turn leads to higher fatality and injury rates. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates that one in five crashes in Texas involve distracted driving, with the corresponding rise in casualties.

By far the most commonly seen distracting activity while driving is texting, as it takes one’s attention off the road for an average of 5 seconds. If someone is driving 55 miles per hour, that means that their attention is off the road for the average length of a football field. That said, there are many other types of distractions that can endanger one’s own passengers or other cars around you, including talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or other music player, eating, applying makeup, or rubbernecking at something outside the car.

...

TX accident attorneyA tragic accident occurred on Loop 1604 recently, as a man ran into traffic on the road near Culebra Rd., intentionally jumping into the path of an 18-wheeler. While the man was pronounced deceased by emergency medical services, the accident no doubt has had a permanent effect on the truck driver - both because of the obvious human drama and because on some occasions, causing the death of someone on the road can lead to liability in wrongful death, for both the driver and for their employer. While suicides are rare, accidents resulting in death can be more common, and if you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

Specific Criteria for Filing

The Texas wrongful death act states that if someone’s death occurred due to the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” of another person, that person may be held liable. This can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, especially in automobile or truck accidents, because there can be a very fine line between pure accident and negligence. However, there are certain requirements that can show that a trucker (and, in some cases, their employer) was negligent enough to cause the victim’s passing.

Only certain family members can bring a wrongful death suit in the state of Texas - generally, parents, children, or surviving spouses. Other family members are perceived to be too far removed from the loss, rightly or wrongly. Those who can file, however, may be able to recover for funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of the decedent’s earnings and companionship, and the surviving family members’ mental anguish, pain, and suffering.

...

TC accident lawyerAn unusual accident took place on a recent night, where a driver experienced a medical episode and crashed his car into the side of a house. The crash occurred in the 3200 block of East Southcross Street, causing relatively minor damage to the house. No one was hurt, but it is very easy for accidents of this type to cause major injury or death, as well as extensive damage to whatever building is struck. However, proving liability can be difficult, and enlisting an attorney to help with your case is highly recommended.

Negligence 101

Normally, when a driver crashes into a home, and there is damage or injury, the homeowner can bring a civil suit against the driver under a theory of negligence. Negligence is a legal theory in Texas under which a plaintiff is trying to establish three things in court. They are (1) that a defendant acted in a way that did not show reasonable care for other people; (2) that the defendant’s conduct directly caused the harm to the plaintiff; and (3) the plaintiff did actually suffer tangible harm, as opposed to just a fright or mere cuts and bruises.

In Texas, motorists on the road have a duty of care toward other motorists on the road, and while the law does not explicitly state this, it can be inferred that a driver has a duty to exercise reasonable care toward people off the road as well - certainly, one might infer a duty to not crash into a house while driving! Either way, this type of case can often be straightforward - for example, if a driver is under the influence of alcohol - but in some rare situations, they can get much more complex. The existence of a duty has to be proven before you can sue.

...

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top