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TX accident lawyerA recent night proved tragic for a woman trying to cross San Pedro Avenue, just north of downtown San Antonio. She was struck while trying to cross the street, having just gotten off work and headed home. The driver did stop and attempt to render aid, but the woman still required transportation to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Pedestrian accidents are all too common in San Antonio, and while the driver appears to have acted appropriately in this case, too many pedestrian accidents wind up causing injuries or even costing lives. If you have been injured by an allegedly negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney to help navigate the legal process with you.

High Rates in Texas

Texas traditionally has high rates of pedestrian accidents - partly because of its sheer size, but also because many Texas metropolitan areas are not well set up for pedestrian traffic. The think tank Smart Growth America, in its yearly Dangerous By Design report, names dangerous metropolitan areas, where infrastructure issues make it harder to walk or otherwise navigate a city without a vehicle. Most of the state’s major cities and metro areas - McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, El Paso, and Austin - are listed in the top 50 most dangerous in the United States for 2019.

What this actually means is that these are the metropolitan areas that are most clearly designed for vehicles, rather than pedestrians. Lights may not last long enough for some pedestrians to make it across the road. Necessary crosswalks or curb cuts may be missing or damaged. The possibility of danger is higher in these metro areas than it should be because the city in question has not changed (and nor have its drivers).

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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 accident attorneyAustin police have recently released more information on a July 14 crash that killed a pedestrian on I-35, in the 300 block of the interstate. A 43-year old man was crossing the street when he was struck by an SUV. He was pronounced dead at the scene, though the driver of the SUV did stop to render aid. If you are unfortunate enough to be struck by a vehicle while crossing a street, be aware that you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and for lost wages.

Texas Metro Areas Are Hazardous To Pedestrians

Statistics show that metropolitan areas are disproportionately hazardous to pedestrians, especially those over the age of 65 - the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 15 percent of all pedestrians injured in 2015 were elderly, as were approximately 20 percent of 2016’s pedestrian fatalities. The think tank Smart Growth America ranks metropolitan areas, giving each a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI), and San Antonio-New Braunfels ranks at #21 on the list (second in Texas; the first was McAllen-Edinburg-Mission).

The PDI of a metropolitan area in the Smart Growth study is calculated by using numerous factors, including injury and fatality rates per year, as well as the number of vehicles on the roads on average, to estimate just how hazardous it can be for a pedestrian to walk or cycle in the area. External factors are also noted - for example, poorly designed streets, missing or broken infrastructure like streetlamps and crosswalks, and crime rates. Several Texas cities, San Antonio included, are not safe for pedestrians.

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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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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

b2ap3_thumbnail_truck-crash_20190215-225819_1.jpgRecently, the northbound lanes of SH-130 were blocked near Manor, just south of Highway 290, after an 18-wheeler overturned. The driver apparently lost control of the empty truck and it rolled, which also caused a rupture of one of its fuel tanks. The driver was hospitalized, and Austin firefighter and hazmat crews were able to contain the scene to ensure no explosions occurred. While this accident was contained, with only the truck driver sustaining injuries, sometimes innocent drivers will be caught in the crossfire. If this happens to you, it is important to understand your rights and understand whether or not you have a claim to compensation.

Serious Injuries and Fatalities Result

Because of the sheer weight involved when a truck crashes, the likelihood of injury or death is greater, as a general rule, than in accidents involving two smaller vehicles, such as automobiles or pickup trucks. Even when an 18-wheeler’s trailer is empty, the body of the truck is capable of inflicting crushing damage on you and your vehicle in certain types of accidents. Some of the most common types of injuries from trucking accidents include whiplash and other soft tissue damage, brain injuries, broken bones, and spinal injuries.

There are just as many potential causes for truck accidents as there are injuries, especially in urban areas - approximately one-fourth of all truck crashes occur on international highways. Many can be traced back to driver distraction or being physically compromised; for example, it is not uncommon for truckers to be pushed beyond the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s guidelines for maximum hours, which can lead to sleep deprivation and impaired driving. Other common reasons include substance abuse, improper maintenance of the truck, speeding and other unsafe driving practices, and poorly maintained 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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