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TX accident lawyerEach year in Texas, around 15,000 people suffer serious, incapacitating injuries in car accidents, leaving them temporarily or permanently unable to walk or perform other activities as they did before the crash. Some of the most severe incapacitating injuries involve damage to the victim’s spinal cord. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.

Physical Limitations From Spinal Cord Injuries

In a car crash, spinal cord injuries are most likely to happen due to the crushing force of the collision between vehicles, or subsequent impacts when a vehicle enters a rollover or a driver or passenger is ejected from the vehicle. Because the spinal cord contains nerves that control a wide range of bodily functions, damage to the spinal cord can have far-reaching physical effects. These include:

  • Pain and stinging - Lesser nerve damage may initially result in sharp pains and intense discomfort.
  • Numbness and loss of sensation - Serious damage to the spinal cord can result in decreased sensitivity to touch and temperature, and in some cases, a total loss of feeling in the body parts affected.
  • Paralysis - Severe spinal cord injuries may also limit a person’s motor abilities, in some cases causing total paralysis from the neck or waist down.
  • Impairment of internal organs and body systems - The effects of spinal cord injuries can extend to the digestive, urinary, circulatory, and respiratory systems.

Spinal cord damage is very difficult to reverse, but it is possible to prevent further damage by seeking immediate medical attention after an accident and avoiding movement until medical professionals arrive to ensure you are safely transported to a hospital.

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TX accident lawyerIt can be difficult to understand what would lead a driver to travel the wrong way on a divided highway, but unfortunately, it does happen on a regular basis. Just recently, law enforcement reported a suspected wrong-way driving crash resulting in at least one fatality on I-35 in Austin, and hundreds of people die in wrong-way car crashes each year throughout the U.S. Understanding the causes of wrong-way driving accidents may help you avoid them or know how best to pursue compensation if you or a loved one is injured in such a crash.

Common Factors in Wrong-Way Collisions

In recent years, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published a special report on wrong-way driving crashes in the U.S. after conducting several investigations and extensive data analysis. Through their research, they identified a few common factors that contribute to fatal accidents involving wrong-way drivers on the highway, including:

  • Alcohol intoxication - The report found that at least 60 percent of wrong-way drivers were impaired by alcohol, with over half of those having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher.
  • Time of day and week - The vast majority of the accidents studied occurred at night in conditions of low visibility, and a large number occurred on weekends.
  • Improper use of exit ramps - According to the results of the study, the largest number of wrong-way drivers on the highway entered using an exit ramp. Possible reasons for this include unclear signage; driver confusion, inexperience, or distraction; and intoxicating substances that impair a driver’s mental abilities. Other instances of wrong-way driving came from a driver missing an exit and making an illegal U-turn through an emergency turnaround.

With these factors in mind, it is important to stay alert for wrong-way drivers, especially on nights and weekends and in areas that you know have complicated entrance-exit interchanges or that are not clearly marked.

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TX injury lawyerIn early February, a driver fled the scene after a series of collisions near I-35 and New Braunfels Avenue in San Antonio, leaving his vehicle behind. The first crash involved two other moving vehicles, and the driver then collided with multiple parked cars before removing his car keys and leaving on foot. This chain of events raises questions regarding what victims can do when they suffer injuries and property damage in a hit-and-run accident, especially one involving more than one victim.

Police Can Often Locate Hit-and-Run Drivers

While it is certainly more difficult to identify and locate a driver who flees the scene after a car accident, it is by no means impossible. Law enforcement officers responding to the accident are often able to use evidence from the scene of the crash to establish a trail that leads to the suspect. For example, if the driver’s vehicle is left behind as in the aforementioned case, officers can check the license plate and vehicle registration information to determine to whom the vehicle belongs. Even if the driver leaves with the vehicle, the police may be able to obtain footage from local security or traffic cameras, as well as testimony from witnesses who saw the driver leave. If the police are able to locate the driver, injury victims may have a more clear course of action for recovering compensation.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Can Help

When the driver responsible for a crash cannot be located, it may be necessary for victims to explore other means of covering the costs of medical bills and property damage. One option in many cases is to file a claim with your own car insurance provider. Insurance companies in Texas are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, which can take effect when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or cannot be identified after a hit-and-run.

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TX accident lawyerOn February 11, 2021, Texas experienced one of the largest vehicle pileups on record in the United States, with more than 130 total vehicles involved in the accident on I-35W in Fort Worth. The pileup, which occurred during the morning hours when many drivers were on their way to work, has resulted in at least six fatalities and over 60 people requiring treatment for injuries. The initial cause of the accident is still under investigation, but icy road conditions are suspected to be a contributing factor.

While collisions of this magnitude are fairly rare, multi-vehicle pileups are not an uncommon occurrence, especially on busy interstate highways and during times of low visibility and dangerous weather conditions. If you are injured in such a crash, it can be complicated to determine who is at fault and how you might be able to recover compensation. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.

Determining Negligence in a Multi-Car Pileup Accident

Typically, a driver whose negligent behavior causes an accident is liable for damages related to injuries suffered by the people involved. However, there are a few complicated issues when it comes to negligence in a multi-vehicle pileup. First, an injury victim may need to determine whether their injuries were caused by the incident that started the pileup, or a subsequent accident in which a driver failed to react appropriately to the pileup that had already started.

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TX injury lawyerAlready this year, the San Antonio area has seen multiple car accidents resulting from police chases. These events can encourage fleeing drivers to travel at high speeds, make unsafe maneuvers, and otherwise violate traffic laws that aim to promote safety on the roads. Unfortunately, when a crash does happen, it is often innocent bystanders who are injured. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash related to a police chase, an attorney can help you pursue compensation.

National Statistics for Police Chase Accidents

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has closely examined police vehicle pursuits and their effects in recent years, most recently publishing a special report in 2017. Over the 20-year time period covered by the report, researchers found an average of 355 annual fatalities due to police chases. While occupants of the vehicle being pursued accounted for the majority of these fatalities, 33 percent of those who lost their lives were uninvolved bystanders. The report also found a similar percentage for bystander injuries.

Liability in a Police Chase Accident

If you have been injured as a bystander because of a police chase, there is a good chance that your injuries are due to no fault of your own. However, it can be complicated to determine who is at fault and how or if you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. The answer to these questions may depend on whether you were injured due to the actions of the suspect, an officer in pursuit, or a combination of the two.

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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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