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TX injury lawyerWithin the past several days, there have been several serious car accidents in the San Antonio area involving drivers pulling out into the path of oncoming traffic. Such situations often result in T-bone collisions that can have severe consequences, including catastrophic injury and death, depending on the speed at which the vehicles were traveling and other factors. It can also be complicated to determine who is at fault for a crash of this nature, which can complicate personal injury claims.

Where Do These Accidents Occur?

A vehicle pulling out into traffic can happen under a variety of circumstances. It could occur at an intersection with a traffic light, for example, when a driver attempts a right turn on a red light while traffic is approaching from their left, or when a driver fails to acknowledge a red light at all. However, these accidents tend to be more common at intersections that are not so well regulated. One common example is an intersection at which drivers in one direction have a stop sign, but traffic in the other direction is not required to stop. Accidents are also common at intersections where there is no traffic sign or signal at all, such as a driveway, alley, or parking lot exit that intersects with a busy road. In some cases, visual obstructions like buildings or landscaping can make it difficult for a driver to see oncoming traffic, thereby contributing to a crash.

Questions of Liability

One of the most important questions, when someone is injured or killed in an accident of this nature, is, which driver is at fault? Is it the driver who pulled into traffic, or the driver who was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision? In many cases, the answer is complicated. For example, a driver who pulls into traffic after ignoring a stoplight or stop sign will likely be considered at least partially liable. The same may be true if the driver is distracted or simply makes a poor judgment call.

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TX accident lawyerProperly wearing a seat belt is one of the most important things that drivers and passengers can do to protect themselves from serious injuries in the event of a car crash. Vehicle occupants who are not securely restrained are more likely to suffer injuries in a secondary collision, meaning an impact that occurs after the initial collision with another vehicle. This includes injuries from colliding with parts of the vehicle in which the person is traveling, as well as objects outside of the vehicle after being ejected.

You may be aware of the increased injury risks associated with not wearing a seatbelt, but it may not be as clear that it can also result in legal consequences, including an impact on the compensation you can recover if you are injured in a crash with another driver. It is important to understand Texas law regarding seat belt use and to work with an attorney who can advise you regarding its impact on your case.

What Does Texas Law Say About Seat Belt Use?

With few exceptions, Texas law requires all motor vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt or be otherwise properly restrained. It is a misdemeanor offense for anyone who is at least 15 years old to ride in a vehicle without a seatbelt, and it is also an offense for a driver to allow minor passengers to ride in their vehicle without proper restraints.

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TX injury lawyerIn late December, an eight-car pile-up on Loop 410 in San Antonio left several people injured, with law enforcement reporting that street racing may have been responsible for the collision. Fortunately, none of the injuries were serious in this case, but racing is an extremely dangerous activity that puts everyone on the road at risk of severe injury and even death. Texas law makes street racing a crime, but if you are injured in a car wreck caused by racing drivers, you need an attorney who can help you recover compensation.

Texas Laws Regarding Street Racing

The Texas Transportation Code includes several statutes that may apply when a driver is racing on the road. Street racing often involves driving in excess of the speed limit, for which a driver can be charged with fines up to $300 depending on the miles per hour above the limit. It may also be considered reckless driving, which is defined as operating a vehicle with “wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” and may result in penalties including a $200 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Texas law also specifically prohibits racing on the highway, which includes any contest of speed, acceleration, or a driver’s endurance. This offense is considered at least a Class B misdemeanor, with penalties including fines of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. Repeat offenses can result in more significant penalties, and if racing results in injury or death, it is considered at least a third-degree felony.

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TX accident lawyerLate last month, four people were injured in a car accident on Highway 71 in Austin, with first responders mentioning dangerous road conditions after a rainstorm as a possible contributing factor. While South Texas drivers are rarely exposed to the dangers of winter snowstorms that plague states further to the north, rainy conditions can create serious hazards of their own, making it important to take steps to promote safety on the roads.

The Driving Hazards of Texas Rainstorms

Throughout the year, drivers in South Texas are exposed to severe weather conditions, both from weather fronts traveling east across the U.S. and tropical storms that develop in the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rainfall can affect road safety in a number of ways, primarily related to reduced visibility and slippery or flooded road surfaces. In order to lower your risk of getting in an accident, you should take the following safety precautions:

  • Make sure your car is ready for the road conditions. This includes checking your tire tread, keeping your brakes maintained, and ensuring that your lights, windshield wipers, and defoggers are all working properly.
  • Use your lights when driving in the rain. Due to decreased visibility during a downpour, it is important to turn on your regular-beam headlights whenever you are driving in the rain, no matter the time of day or how light or dark it is outside.
  • Travel at safe speeds. Wet roads are more dangerous for drivers traveling at high speeds. In many cases, it is best to reduce your speed below the posted speed limit during or after a rainfall so that you can maintain better control of your car.
  • Avoid sharp turns and braking. Similarly, it is best to keep most driving actions slow and gradual, including turning a corner or coming to a stop. Sharp adjustments can often send your vehicle into a skid from which it may be difficult to recover.
  • Be careful of standing water. Even a fairly shallow pool of water on the road can significantly increase the risk of losing control and causing an accident. Whenever possible, you should steer around standing water, or consider taking an alternate route entirely.

Contact a New Braunfels Car Accident Lawyer

Even when rainy conditions are a factor in an accident, if you are injured, you still have the right to pursue compensation from another negligent driver who fails to take the necessary precautions to protect your safety. At The Bettersworth Law Firm, we can help you gather evidence pointing to the other driver’s fault and present your case for recovering damages. Contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney today at 830-606-0404 for a free consultation.

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TX injury lawwyerA collision between a semi-truck and a car in Austin earlier this month left the driver of the car dead after his vehicle was engulfed in flames. Many serious car and truck accidents result in vehicle fires and explosions, and even those who survive are often left with severe, permanent injuries and scarring. If you or a family member has suffered burn injuries in a car accident, an attorney can help you understand your options for compensation.

The Effects of Burn Injuries

The extent to which a burn injury affects your life and health often depends on the severity of the burn. While first-degree burns often heal completely over time, second-degree burns can result in permanent scarring, and third-degree burns, which penetrate to the fat under the skin, can damage nerves. Burn wounds can also result in significant blood loss, infection, and decreased mobility in joints near the burn, and the smoke that accompanies a fire can also cause respiratory problems. Some accident victims are killed due to being trapped in a burning car, while others may die after the accident due to complications from their injuries.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Burn Injuries

If you have lost a loved one due to burn injuries from a car accident, you may have a case for compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent driver who caused the crash. This could be the case if the driver was drunk, distracted, or otherwise unsafely operating the vehicle at the time of the collision. Through your lawsuit, you can seek compensation for the victim’s medical expenses and pain and suffering, as well as burial expenses, income that your family has lost, and your grief and loss of a companion.

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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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