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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 small plane originating from Sugar Land crashed as it was trying to divert to San Antonio International Airport. The craft reported engine issues and attempted to land, but sadly came down mere blocks from the airport’s air space. While as of this writing it does not appear that any legal action might be taken against any parties, it is possible that many different types of lawsuits might come out of a small plane crash, especially one that results in unfortunate fatalities. Having an attorney to protect your interests after such a horrible experience is often a good idea.

Rare But Serious

While small plane accidents such as this are much rarer than the average person tends to think - the data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates less than 10 charter plane accidents in 2016 - the jury is still out on the safety of even smaller private planes. The NTSB groups such flights under ‘general aviation,’ which is a very broad umbrella category, but because of so much data input, the number of accidents recorded in the general aviation category is over 1,000 for 2016. At this juncture, it is difficult to isolate small plane crashes from, say, powered parachutes or balloons.

The causes of aviation accidents tend to differ between small and large planes; crashes of large airliners are most often due to mechanical failure, while small planes crash most often due to pilot error. There are, of course, other reasons, but those are the most common. Some of the other causes for these types of accidents can include unsafe safety standards or negligent maintenance, problems with air traffic control, or even collisions on the runway or in mid-air. The downing of the Sugar Land plane was apparently due to engine trouble, which might merit bringing suit against its manufacturer.

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TX accident lawyerThe morning of July 18 was a terrifying one for some San Antonio-area parents, as the bus carrying their children back from church camp caught fire on Highway 281, near Johnson City in Bianco County. While everyone got off the bus safely, the entire vehicle eventually wound up in flames, totaling the vehicle. The cause was later determined to be a fault in the bus’ engine, which began to smoke and then caught fire. While thankfully, there were no injuries, the engine’s total failure raises legal questions of liability, both between the manufacturer and the church and between the church and the children.

Bus Accident Cases Are Complex

Accidents involving buses can lead to very high casualty counts - between 2009 and 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates approximately a 40 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes involving buses - and sometimes it can be quite difficult to determine how the accident occurred. There are so many potential factors in any road accident - inclement weather, malfunctioning parts, driver error - that anyone can be the tipping point; the Bianco County accident is an exception, rather than a rule. If there had been any casualties, parents would have had to either determine who bore the most liability or choose to bring suit against multiple defendants.

In a case involving a private bus, an action would be brought in a similar way to any other auto accident case (if you are in a crash involving a public bus, there are slightly different rules to follow). If you can establish that the bus company or the driver (or both) failed to exercise reasonable care in their actions and that the recklessness or negligence of their actions caused your injuries, you should be able to recover for your medical bills and your pain and suffering.

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TX injury lawyerTwo-wheeled electric scooters have become omnipresent in Austin and many other metropolitan areas in the past year or so, purporting to offer commuters a little extra boost to their travels. However, they have been controversial, causing issues for disabled pedestrians and also, allegedly, leading to injuries on a regular basis. There has not been a completed study of scooter injuries as of this writing, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has requested Austin’s data on the issue as they work on theirs. If you have been injured by a person on a scooter or while using a scooter yourself, data like this can be very relevant if you decide to bring suit to try and recover for your medical bills.

Weekends Downtown Have Highest Risk

A pattern of injuries sustained in scooter accidents has been occurring ever since their installation in Austin some months ago. In January, an Irish exchange student died after being struck by a car while using a scooter; anecdotal evidence suggests at least a handful more have died while using scooters in traffic. Injuries have numbered in the hundreds at Dell Seton Medical Center alone since the end of September 2018, with head injuries, cuts, and bruises being the most common.

The data shows that if one breaks down the number of injuries logged by Austin/Travis County EMS, one can see the most injuries occurred on nights where crowds downtown are at their largest - Friday and Saturday nights’ totals were significantly higher than those for other days. It is also indicative that almost two-thirds of the injury accidents in the data occurred in Austin’s Congress District, with the remainder scattered throughout the city limits - like with any other type of vehicle, more traffic will mean a greater risk of injury.

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

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