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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerTexas has weather that is often changing, especially during this time of year when rain or even snow can come out of nowhere. If you are in a car crash on Texas roads during the winter months, it is a definite possibility that poor weather or conditions have played a role in the accident occurring. Consulting an experienced attorney well versed in these types of cases is a good idea, as sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether you have a case or not.

Bad Weather Can Be Deadly

Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show very clearly that the risk of having an accident in poor weather is quite serious. “Weather-related” auto accidents in the years studied made up approximately 21 percent of all the crashes that occurred in the United States, and roughly 16 percent of the fatalities. Precipitation and wet pavement were the conditions that consistently impacted the highest number of traffic factors, both for drivers on the roads and for those planning around them. Examples include driver stopping distance and traction, but also traffic signal timing, road treatment strategy (to salt or not to salt?) and the like.

This may not sound like much, but the data averages out to a significant loss of life and overall casualty count, with over 5,000 killed and over 410,000 injured per year. That is a serious amount of potentially avoidable injury, with countless hours of productivity lost. Employers find their workforce tied up at one of the busiest times of the year in many industries. It is incumbent on every driver to exercise due caution when on the road in these types of conditions - however, many simply do not, and if you are injured by one of them, you may be able to make them regret it.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerState Highway 130 runs from its concurrent route along I-35 in San Antonio, up through Seguin, north through Pflugerville and eventually ending in Georgetown. It handles a fair amount of traffic and has its fair share of injuries and fatalities. According to statistics cited by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 37 people have died on SH 130 since the speed limit was modified in 2012 to allow cars to go 85 mph, making it the fastest highway in the United States. However, one wonders if it was worth it - the families of those injured or killed might say no.

Speeding Kills

Higher speeds make travel immeasurably more dangerous. TxDOT statistics show that roughly 750 people died in speed-involved crashes in Texas in 2017, with many of those deaths being the speeding drivers themselves, but too many were passengers or even innocent bystanders. Most causes of highway crashes can be linked at least indirectly back to elevated speed - for example, if someone has an accident in poor weather, it is highly likely that they will have been traveling too fast for the weather conditions. If someone is engaging in distracted driving, it is common for their speed to increase beyond the posted limits without their knowledge.

If you are injured in a highway accident, the most common theory under which most people bring suit is negligence, which has three criteria that must be met. A duty to exercise reasonable care is put on all motorists on any given road. In order to show negligence, you must show that the driver breached that duty, which caused tangible harm to you (not necessarily physical, but something more substantial than cuts and bruises) and that they did so via their conduct, with no other superseding cause. If you are able to establish these criteria, you have a good shot at prevailing in your case.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerNormally, when someone is in an auto accident, the matter is pursued in civil court, with the plaintiff seeking damages from the defendant. However, in some auto accidents, such as the alleged shooting on Thanksgiving night on I-10, near Loop 410, both a civil cause of action and a crime may have occurred. If you have been in an accident of this type, it is easy to be confused about what is civil, what is criminal, and what your role is in either or both actions.

Civil Actions

The majority of auto accident cases wind up as civil actions, if they go to court at all because usually no laws are broken. Civil cases are mounted by one private person against another, or against an entity deemed to have been negligent. Money damages are being sought, as opposed to jail time, usually as recompense for injuries sustained (medical bills, but also lost wages, lost quality of life, and lifestyle adjustments like needing a wheelchair or an addition to one’s home, and so on). In some states, there are caps on damages for intangible causes of action, such as lost quality of life, but as of this writing, Texas does not have one except in medical malpractice cases. This means you can sue for as much as you believe you can get - with the caveat that the amount will almost certainly be reduced by a jury.

Once a civil action goes to trial, Texas uses a modified comparative fault rule to determine whether a plaintiff can recover, which means that if a plaintiff is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for their own injuries, they cannot recover. This means that even if a plaintiff is responsible for part of their own injuries, as long as it is less than half, they can collect an award from the defendant (minus the percentage they are ruled at fault). A defendant may wind up being judgment proof, however, meaning that they lack the resources to pay the award.

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TX injury lawyerOn October 8, tragedy struck in Bastrop County, when a speeding pickup truck hydroplaned on Texas 95 and struck a sedan with children in the backseat. Three of the sedan’s passengers and the driver were killed, pronounced dead at the scene, two of them juveniles. Another child in the sedan was critically injured, with their fate unknown as of this writing. The pickup driver was in stable condition at an area hospital. While sometimes these types of accidents are unavoidable, many times they are not, and an avoidable tragedy may wind up resulting in significant civil liability for the responsible party. If you are in an auto accident that can be chalked up to another person’s recklessness or negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

Texas Negligence Law

In every negligence case, one has to prove certain things occurred in order to establish that the defendant was actually negligent. One must establish that a duty to exercise reasonable care existed between the plaintiff and the defendant - this is generally stipulated, as past cases have postulated the existence of this duty. It must also be established that the defendant breached that duty of care by their conduct, or lack of conduct (for example, failing to brake in the appropriate amount of time would be considered conduct). That conduct, that breach, must also be shown to have caused actual harm to the plaintiff. Actual harm generally means anything worse than cuts and bruises - broken bones, head injuries, or emotional problems like post-traumatic stress are some common examples.

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TX injury lawyerOne woman died after rolling her vehicle on Ralph Fair Rd in San Antonio, on the morning of July 23. Law enforcement reported that the woman was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the impact, and that speed had likely been a factor in the crash. These accidents are unfortunately all too common, especially on Texas roads, but if you are involved in one due to another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation stemming from your injuries.

Statistics Show Fatalities Are Common

Because so much weight and metal is moving around, rollover accidents have the potential to cause significant injury and death. The numbers of such accidents are increasing; data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show almost a 10 percent increase in multi-vehicle rollovers from 2015-2016, as well as a 2 percent increase in single-vehicle rollovers. This can affect the overall death rate in auto accidents, as rollovers are much more likely to cause injury than many other types of crash. For example, the NHTSA’s safercar.gov website cites statistics showing that almost 35 percent of all auto accident deaths were in rollover accidents, even though rollovers were only approximately 2 percent of the total accidents on U.S. roads.

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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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