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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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TX accident lawyer= T-boning a police vehicle traveling westbound on West Martin Street. The police officer inside was treated for a head injury at University Hospital, and the driver was taken into custody, facing charges of evading arrest and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. An injured civilian could choose to bring a civil suit against the fleeing driver over any injuries they sustained, though on-duty police may not do the same thing. If you have been in a T-bone collision, your injuries are likely severe.

Causes and Definitions

A T-bone or side-impact collision is when the front end of a car strikes the side of another vehicle, usually causing severe injury to those sitting on that particular side of the second car. There are many different causes of this type of accident - that is, many situations where a side-impact collision will be more likely to happen than, say, a rear or front-end crash. Running a stop sign or a red light like the driver on West Martin Street is one of the most common causes of these types of crashes; traffic will have begun to travel on the green light and a driver with a red light may simply not stop.

A host of different injuries may happen with this type of crash, especially since victims in a T-bone accident do not necessarily have the same safety features available to them that those in a front or rear-end collision would. Studies have shown that seat belts or other restraints do slightly raise the survival rate of these crashes, but in most vehicles, no side airbags or other protection devices are present. Injuries may be as mild as broken bones, cuts, and bruises, or may be as severe as traumatic brain injuries and spinal damage.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_police-chase_20191102-035656_1.jpgRecently, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) personnel attempted a traffic stop, only to have the vehicle try to flee the scene. The pursuit was ended at Rullman and Edgers Avenues, and not long after, the fleeing driver was involved in a wreck at I-35 and North New Braunfels Road. Two people were taken into custody after the accident, though no major injuries were recorded. If you are involved in an accident stemming from a police pursuit, you should be aware that seeking compensation after this kind of crash can be slightly more complex than doing so in a standard vehicle accident.

Who Is Negligent?

In a normal auto accident, the first thing that one should ascertain is whether any of the actors involved have acted negligently. In standard crashes between two or more private vehicles, it often becomes a debate over whose behavior caused the accident. If this happens to you, you should be aware that it is often possible to bring other defendants into your case; for example, a third driver might have played a role in the accident. The object of a personal injury lawsuit is to hold defendants accountable, so ensuring that every potentially negligent actor is involved is a good idea.

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to be aware that you may have played a role in its happening. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will be barred from any recovery in your case - Texas law requires that a plaintiff’s percentage of fault be over 50 percent in order to bar recovery, so if you are held to be, say, 20 percent at fault, your award would simply be reduced for that much. The law rationalizes that very often, situations are simply not always cut and dried, and as such, being, say, 1 or 2 percent at fault should not be sufficient to deny all recovery.

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TX accident attorneyRecently, one man was killed when his Honda Accord collided with a large Penske truck on Medical Drive, near Babcock Road. The small car became wedged under the truck, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was unharmed, though his vehicle sustained significant damage. If you or one of your loved ones is involved in a crash like this with a large truck, it can feel like you have no options, especially if there is evidence to suggest that you played a role in your own injuries. However, it may still be possible to recover depending on the specific situation.

Accidents Involving Trucks Can Be Severe

Accidents involving large trucks, unfortunately, can be the cause of extensive injury due to the size of these vehicles. An accident involving two cars, or a car and a pickup truck, will often lead to injuries, but neither vehicle has the significant advantage in size or weight most of the time; a large rental truck like the Penske truck, however, has the potential ability to crush a small automobile like a Honda Accord, and obviously, the potential injuries to the driver can be life-threatening. Texas recorded approximately 600 fatal crashes involving large trucks and truck/tractors in 2018.

There are several reasons why accidents involving large trucks happen, despite safety training and strict federal regulations on commercial drivers. Sometimes, of course, an automobile driver will drive recklessly or negligently and totally or wholly cause their own injuries. However, some cases do involve dangerous behavior on the part of truck drivers. For example, it is more common than most people are aware of for truck drivers to drive longer hours than recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and that type of fatigue is a serious factor in accidents. Every case is different and requires a dedicated investigation.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

Texas accident lawyerOn November 6, a wild police chase from Bexar County to New Braunfels ended in a serious collision that wound up injuring five, including three small children. A man had been accused of stalking a woman in Bexar County, and when he was approached by law enforcement, he ran, eventually winding up in a serious collision with two cars just inside the New Braunfels city limits.

While no one was killed, as of this writing, the man and one of the young children involved in the accident remain in the hospital with serious injuries. Such accidents raise multiple questions about liability and how to handle a case with potential criminal repercussions as well as civil issues.

Are the Police 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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