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TX injury lawyerRecently a driver deliberately struck and injured two pedestrians outside the Well, a bar near I-10, off UTSA Boulevard. Witnesses described one woman being struck, after which her companion jumped on the hood of the car and was then thrown off. Instead of stopping to render aid as required by law, the car sped away, and as of this writing, San Antonio police are still seeking the driver. If you are injured due to being struck by a driver, you have the right to seek compensation from them, and in some cases, they may even be on the proverbial hook for criminal charges.

Texas Law Is Clear

Hit-and-run, called leaving the scene of an accident in Texas, carries serious penalties, and the law is unambiguous about them. Sec. 550.021 of the Texas Transportation Code states that anyone who is involved in an accident that results in (or might reasonably result in) injury or death must (1) immediately stop their vehicle; (2) return to the scene; (3) try to determine if someone else was involved and whether or not they require aid; and (4) render assistance such as giving your information and insurance, as well as potentially summoning help.

If you are involved in an accident where you believe there has been injury or death, you must comply with all four orders laid out in the relevant law. Failure to do so may open you up to civil liability, and in most cases, to criminal charges, especially if someone is killed or seriously injured. In the event of death or serious injury, leaving the scene of an accident is a second or third-degree felony, which carries prison time between 2 and 20 years, with a fine of up to $10,000.

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TX accident lawyerCommuters on westbound I-90 experienced a very unusual phenomenon on April 23; a road collapse resulting from a failed sewer pipe close to Hunt Lane. The main lanes were closed for three days. As of this writing, no injuries or deaths were reported in the collapse, but it is worth mentioning that had there been, those injured might have had a difficult time bringing suit to try and recover for their injuries. If you are injured in an accident resulting from poorly maintained or dangerous roads, there are very specific times when an injured person can sue a governmental entity.

Sovereign Immunity May Apply

Whenever the government is implicated in a personal injury lawsuit, a principle called sovereign immunity is implicated. Sovereign immunity is a principle dating back to English common law (on which U.S. law is based) that basically holds the government - or at that time, the sovereign - immune from being sued, because their attention should be on the enforcement of laws and running the government, rather than defending itself from every perceived grievance. As many other states do, Texas has its own sovereign immunity statute, called the Texas Tort Claims Act (TTCA).

Sovereign immunity was absolute back in England - this is not the case in the U.S. nowadays, and definitely not in Texas. The TTCA has specific exceptions to sovereign immunity, meaning that it illustrates situations where the doctrine does not apply and an individual can bring suit against governmental entities - thus, for example, if someone were injured due to the sewer pipe’s collapse underneath I-90, they might sue the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for their injuries, if the specifics of the situation fit the TTCA’s criteria.

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TX injuey lawyerCar crashes in Austin involving pedestrians and bicyclists often are debilitating and even deadly. Often, negligent motorists are responsible for these accidents and resulting injuries. For example, texting while driving might mean that a motorist fails to see a pedestrian who is crossing the street, or an aggressive driver who is speeding cannot stop in time to prevent a collision. Given that electric scooters came to Austin, Texas relatively recently, users of these devices are now at greater risk of involvement in a collision with a motor vehicle. Recently, a foreign exchange student at the University of Texas, Austin was killed while riding an electric scooter. The crash occurred between the student and a motorist in a 2006 silver Volkswagen Jetta.

Motor vehicle collisions can happen quickly and without warning. If you believe your injuries resulted from another driver’s negligence, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation by speaking with an Austin car accident lawyer.

Collision Results in UT Student Fatality

The fatal collision occurred when a UT foreign exchange student from Ireland was riding an electric Lime scooter the wrong way while northbound in the southbound left lane of the I-35 service road. The 21-year-old scooter rider was struck by an Uber driver. Emergency medical responders rushed him to Dell Seton Medical Center, but he later died from his injuries.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently one person was killed in a crash near Coupland, at the intersection of FM 973 and Richland Road. The crash involved two vehicles, with one being fully engulfed in flames when Travis County sheriff’s personnel arrived at the scene. While very little is known about the deceased, it is worth asking whether or not something in the design of the vehicle contributed to its catching on fire as a result of the impact. While car accidents are distressingly common, vehicles bursting into flames are much less so, and understanding all possibilities can keep you a bit safer from harm if you can see it coming.

Negligence vs. Product Liability

All motorists on Texas roads owe each other a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicles. Normally, in most auto accident cases, a plaintiff sues a defendant for allegedly breaching that duty - this is known as the legal theory of negligence. In a negligence case, a plaintiff must show that duty has been breached, and must also show that they suffered harm because of it that was directly due to the defendant’s conduct, with no other supervening cause in between.

By comparison, product liability cases can often be much more complex. In these types of cases, a plaintiff must establish either that the product had an inherent design defect, that there was a defect in manufacturing this particular product, or that the manufacturer failed to warn of any dangers in use of the product that are not obvious. Texas law on product liability can be particularly strict, especially in defective design claims, because unlike in many other states, plaintiffs are required to establish that a safer alternative design existed - which can be very difficult in most cases.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerThe Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) performed sign maintenance work on I-35 recently, which forced many commuters to seek alternate routes as lanes were closed on Eisenhauer Road. All appeared to go well, with lanes reopening on schedule, but there were certainly enough honking commuters to infer that the closure caused problems. This type of maintenance is critical, despite the potential issues it may cause - obviously because road breakdowns cause problems, but also because failure to fix those breakdowns can put governments and other state entities like TxDOT on the proverbial hook for liability in the event of an accident.

More Than One Cause for Accidents

While the majority of car accidents can be ascribed, at least in part, to driver error, there are some incidents where neither driver may be at fault. Unforeseen road condition problems are recognized under Texas law as being grounds for liability, usually on the part of the state government or that of a city or town. Examples include potholes, construction zone-related issues, failure to prepare roads for inclement weather, faulty or absent guardrails, and missing or unusable signs or signals. In some rare cases, the design of the roadway itself (its overall visual plan) may be grounds for liability if a pattern of traffic crashes emerges there.

In most cases, a government entity has a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the roads that fall under their jurisdiction. If they fail in that duty of reasonable care, the rationale is that they may then be held liable for any damages that occur as a result. This is a common-law theory still honored by Texas law. However, it is not unheard of that a private contractor may be responsible, especially in cases involving construction zones. In these cases, private contractors may be sued under a theory of premises liability. Bringing suit against a governmental entity is a different matter.

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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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