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TX accident lawyerThe region of Texas between Austin and Round Rock has been one of the fastest-growing in the state in recent years, but with growth comes higher crime and traffic rates most of the time. However, the city of Round Rock has seemingly found a way to reduce both traffic accidents and attendant fatalities, even as the area continues to grow and change. If you do wind up involved in a traffic accident in Round Rock, know that the laws have been updated and strengthened so as to help those who still experience crashes.

Overhaul of Round Rock Traffic Enforcement

Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) show that collisions in the city proper have reduced significantly - April 2017-March 2018 saw 8 traffic fatalities, while April 2018-March 2019 saw just one. Collisions overall in Round Rock also dropped by roughly 5 percent, which does not sound like a lot, but is enough to push injury and fatality counts down enough to be statistically significant. Even one life saved is a positive, but Round Rock law enforcement continues to make positive changes.

Multiple initiatives have been started, each with the aim of lowering traffic fatalities. For example, Round Rock police have created three different, discrete units aimed at enforcement of different types of traffic laws - DWI, trucking regulations and enforcement, and education/community outreach. Between the use of social media and increased policing in so-called “collision reduction zones,” law enforcement says it is committed to making Round Rock a safe place to travel. None of this means that accidents do not happen, however, and if you are unfortunate enough to experience one, it is still important to understand your options.

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TX injury lawyerA woman was recently struck in a hit-and-run accident on San Antonio’s south side. She and her boyfriend were crossing the intersection of South Zarzamora and West Gerald Avenue when a black vehicle struck her and sped away, failing to stop and render aid at the scene. She was taken to University Hospital and expected to recover from her injuries, but definitely, not everyone who is involved in a hit-and-run is so lucky. Fortunately, Texas laws on hit-and-run accidents are clear and can work in your favor to get you the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

Failing to Stop Is a Crime

The Texas Transportation Code sets out what one has to do in the event of a hit-and-run accident, depending on what level of damage or bodily injury was sustained. If any kind of damage was sustained, either to a person or to property, the driver must stop and render aid, or be guilty of a crime - a felony if injury or death has resulted, and a misdemeanor if property damage was the outcome. It is important to recognize this - in many states, failing to stop and render aid is a civil infraction - in Texas, it is a crime.

It is important, however, to note that a driver who does make a report - that is, admits to striking someone with their car or causing property damage - is protected from that report being used as evidence against them in civil court. Texas permits this small protection so as to encourage more motorists and pedestrians to file reports if accidents do happen. The state’s public policy wants more drivers to come forward, and while a driver can be sued in civil court if they do so, it is still a favorable policy outcome since more crime victims are able to have closure.

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TX accident lawyerThe intersection of Braker Lane and I-35 in north Austin has seen 66 crashes in the last five years, according to the Austin Transportation Department (ATD), and the Department is set to try and remedy this issue. $1.25 billion in improvements will be made to the intersection over the next handful of months, including ADA-accessible curb cuts, improved pedestrian crossings, and the possibility of an extended median that would eliminate left turns into some of the retail parking, potentially cutting down on blind-corner accidents.

Road Improvements Mean Fewer Crashes

Despite the fact that construction can be annoying and difficult to navigate around for people in the area, the changes to the Braker Lane area are being made in order to minimize accidents, which have spiked after retail moved into the area. Because there are so many businesses and so much traffic at that intersection that was not there perhaps five years ago, the traffic demands have outpaced the lots’ and traffic lights’ ability to regulate it. Thus, ATD is using funds from the 2016 Mobility Bond to both regulate traffic and improve overall accessibility to the area, especially in specific improvements that will help the city comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

In particular, median extensions like the one planned for Braker Lane are thought to make a significant difference in the number of traffic accidents at a specific intersection. Statistics from the Georgia Department of Transportation, citing the Federal Highway Administration, estimate that the intersection crash rate on divided highways is only 24 percent of the rate on undivided highways, and also show that on roads that see less than 24,000 vehicles per day, reducing ‘unrestricted’ left turns is generally a major key to reducing crashes overall.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerOn the night of November 8, a multi-vehicle crash near Pope Bend Road shut down eastbound I-71 for a significant period of time. Injuries were sustained, but luckily no deaths - which is remarkably lucky for a multi-vehicle crash. Crashes with more than two automobiles or trucks can be extremely dangerous simply because of the amount of metal flying around, and it can also be difficult to determine just who was at fault for an accident given how many actors are involved.

Multiple Causes

There are countless reasons why a multi-vehicle accident might occur at any given time, many of which are similar to the causes of single and two-vehicle accidents but are perhaps magnified. For example, adverse weather can cause many a car crash, but in a multi-vehicle situation, it may be magnified because one car may crash, and then another may crash into it, and so on. Someone who drives distracted or under the influence of alcohol may crash their own car, but other drivers shocked by the impact, or unable to react quickly enough, may crash as a reaction of sorts.

In certain crash situations, it may be possible to explore the possibility of a Texas Tort Claims Act lawsuit against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) alleging poor road maintenance or construction. If, for example, an accident occurs around a bend, and no signs are posted to warn of the obstacle, TxDOT may wind up being held liable if another wreck occurs. The Texas Tort Claims Act grants citizens the right to bring suit against governmental entities if they do so over specific alleged negligence.

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 TX injury lawyerThe Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued a statement on November 7, 2018, stating that it has officially been 18 years - since November 7, 2000 - since the last death-free day on Texas roadways. This is a statistic that is unique to Texas - no other state has posted so many consecutive years without a death-free day, for several different reasons. It can be frightening to hear such a statistic, but there are ways that you can give yourself the best chance to avoid being in an accident while you travel in Texas.

Minimize Distracted Driving

One of the most often seen factors in fatal road accidents is distracted driving, whether texting or other types of behaviors. Statistics report that roughly one in five accidents on Texas roads involves distracted driving, with over 3,000 fatalities and serious injuries reported in 2017 related to this specific type of car crash. It is very easy to imagine that you will somehow avoid the potential negative consequences, but over time, the odds catch up with everyone. If you cause an accident while you are driving distracted, you could wind up being held liable for the injuries you cause, and that can add up, even with insurance.

Be advised that Texas passed a law in 2017 making texting while driving (including reading, writing or sending a text message) a traffic violation. This may, in some cases, leave you open to a claim of negligence per se, which can increase your liability. Normally, in order for a plaintiff to hold a defendant liable for their injuries, they must show that they breached the duty to exercise reasonable care and that the harm they suffered was caused directly by the plaintiff. In cases where it can be shown that the defendant broke a law and harmed a member of the class designed to be protected by that law, such as the general populace under a texting-while-driving ban, negligence per se is often assumed, meaning that a breach of the duty of reasonable care can be inferred and does not have to be proven.

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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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