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motor vehicle accidentAccording to National Safety Council (NSC), in 2012, the average cost of a fatality in a motor vehicle accident in this country was $1,410,000. That number represents both loss of life and loss of productivity. In 2012, there were 5,419,000 police-reported vehicle accidents in this country. There were 33,561 people killed in those car crashes. Another 2,362,000 were injured. It is also estimated that there were another 10 million accidents that were not reported. The cost of those injuries continues to increase. A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council's (IRC), titled Auto Injury Insurance Claims Study, the cost of medical expenses to motor vehicle crash victims is rising at a faster rate than that of inflation. Figures from the IRC reveal that between the years of 2007 to 2012, the average economic loss suffered by a crash victim increased by 8 percent for personal injury protection (PIP) claimants, and 4 percent for bodily injury (BI) claimants. Expenses that fall under economic loss include lost wages, medical care and other out-of-pocket expenses. The average property damage claim was $3,073 in 2012. That same year, the average claim for bodily injury was $14,653. The top two causes for fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2012 were drunk driving and speeding. There were 10,322 people who were killed in crashes caused by a driver who had blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Speeding was the cause of accidents which killed 10,219 people in 2012. Over one-third of 15 to 20 year-old and 21 to 24 year-old male drivers who were involved in fatal motor vehicle wrecks were speeding. Other causes of fatal vehicle accidents in 2012 were distracted drivers (3,050 fatalities) and red light running (900 fatalities). If you have been injured in a vehicle crash caused by the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to.

According to statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vehicle crashes were the number one cause of accidental deaths for children 14 years and younger in 2012, with 1,100 lives lost. Another 176,000 children were injured. Sadly, despite increase use and awareness, many of those young victims were not restrained in child seats properly.

The CDC numbers show that infant car seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71 percent for infants. The risk for toddlers, ages 1 to 4 years old, is reduced by 54 percent when properly restrained in child safety seats. For children ages 4 to 8, booster seats can reduce their risk by 45 percent. The CDC also recommends that children under the age of 12 always sit in the back of the vehicle. Airbags that go off can kill a young child. It’s also critical that a rear-facing infant car seat never be placed in the front seat or in front of an airbag.  The safest place for the child to be buckled in is the middle back seat. With so many seats and stages of development, it’s important to know which seat is appropriate for the age and size of your child.
  • Safety seats for babies from infancy to two years old should always be in a rear-facing seat. However, do not choose your child safety seat based on the age of the child. Check the manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations.
  • For children between the ages of two and five years old, a front facing child safety seat is appropriate. Again, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations before choosing the seat.
  • Once your child has physically outgrown a front-facing child safety seat, booster seats should be used. These seats are generally used for children between the ages of five and eight years old. Children should not stop using booster seats until the vehicle seat belts fit them properly. According to the CDC website, “seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck).”  This usually happens when a child is approximately 57 inches tall.
In addition to making sure the child is properly restrained in the safety seat, it’s also critical to make sure the seat itself is properly restrained in the vehicle. Most local police departments hold clinics where you can bring your vehicle to have them check and ensure the seat is properly restrained. If your child has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation your family may be entitled to.

Posted on in Personal Injury
car crash IMAGESometimes car crashes are unavoidable, but many times they are completely avoidable or at least able to be minimized. When you are on the road, it is important to know what to do, whether it is to stay safe and avoid crashes to know what to do if you are involved in a car accident. Most crashes in Texas are caused by the following, according to the Department of Transportation:
  • Running red lights and stop signs;
  • Failure to yield;
  • Following too closely (tailgating);
  • Speeding;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol.
Along with avoiding the above driving habits, you can also prevent a crash by:
  • Slowing down in poor conditions;
  • Looking both ways before entering an intersection;
  • Signaling every turn and lane change.
If you have gotten into a crash, it is important to follow these steps:
  1. Check for injuries;
  2. Move your car off of the road, either to the shoulder or further if possible. Then, you can exchange information with the other driver such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information;
  3. If you cannot move your car, signal the crash with flares or by putting up your hood;
  4. Record the location of the crash and get contact information from witnesses;
  5. Call the police if there is an injury, if the vehicles cannot be moved, if a driver is intoxicated, if a driver has no insurance, or if a driver flees the scene.
Sometimes when the accident is not serious, people choose not to file a report or call the police and settle the damage on their own to avoid legal penalties. There are certain incidents though, in which you should definitely file a report. If you do not file, you could end up paying a $500 fine plus court costs. You must file within 10 days if:
  • The accident caused injuries;
  • Damage has the potential to exceed $1000;
  • There are challenges with the other driver such as intoxication, fleeing, or lack of insurance.
If you have gotten into an car crash and you do not know if you need to file a report or you are facing legal issues because of the accident, contact a Texas accident attorney. Located in New Braunfels, Tex., the Bettersworth Law Firm is full of great attorneys to assist you in court today.

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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