The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Marcos San Antonio Sequin Austin
Recent blog posts

TX injury lawyerA 40-year-old Pflugerville man was killed in a head-on collision on the night of May 1, after his Mazda continued north after drifting into the southbound lane of FM 685 and striking a southbound Jeep. The Jeep driver was taken to Seton Medical Center Williamson where he was said to be in stable condition, while the Mazda driver was pronounced dead at the scene. This type of outcome is depressingly common for head-on collisions, where the weight and velocity can lead to fatalities all too easily.

Statistics Show Grim Trends

Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimate that while head-on collisions between cars are comparatively rare - only around 3.3 percent of all crashes are of this type - but roughly 10 percent of fatal crashes nationwide are of this type. This does make sense when one considers the sheer weights involved in most collisions, especially when the vehicles involved are not of similar size. Pedestrians and passengers in smaller cars tend to bear the brunt of the damage in such accidents.

Head-on collisions can also occur between a car and a fixed object, like a pole or a guardrail. It can be difficult to determine the number of these crashes which qualify as head-on because they are most often classified as single-vehicle crashes. However, the same injuries tend to recur in any accident where the front end meets another object - whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones are the most commonly seen.

...

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.

...

TX injury lawyerRecently, a serious crash in the 6500 block of Padre Drive, in south San Antonio, claimed the life of a 15-year old girl and caused significant property damage to a home and yard. A Ford Fusion lost control after hitting a curb, crashing through a wooden fence, hitting a tree and bringing branches down on the home. The remarkable fact about this accident is that police identified the driver of the Fusion as a 14-year old girl, who is now facing charges of intoxication manslaughter. This episode raises questions about Texas’ parental liability statutes, as many people do not have any idea that they might be held liable for damage that their children cause.

Property Damage Only

Texas, like most other states, does have a parental liability statute which states that parents can be held liable for the conduct of their children. However, the important thing to keep in mind about Texas’ particular law is that it only applies to property damage. If your child causes property damage, you as a parent can be held liable for that damage if one of two conditions applies. The first is if your child between the ages of 10 and 18 can be shown to have acted willfully or maliciously. The second is if your child’s conduct can be “reasonably attributed” to your negligent parenting. The owners of the home whose fence and tree were damaged in the Padre Drive accident could plausibly sue the young driver’s parents under this statute over the damage to their home.

The language used in both conditions is important. The key words are “willfully or maliciously” - meaning that if your child accidentally causes property damage, you will not be held liable - and “reasonably attributed.” The concept of ‘reasonableness’ is a difficult one to establish in law because it is so subjective, but in general, if a reasonable person would attribute your child’s conduct to your failure to parent them properly, then it is a good sign that you may be held liable for the damage caused.

...

Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerAn early morning crash near the intersection of Hwy 290 and RM 1826 killed one person after an SUV failed to obey posted signs and turned left into traffic. The SUV was exiting a private drive, and while only right turns are permissible from that driveway, the SUV driver turned left, cutting across several lanes. Another driver, in a silver sedan, swerved to avoid a collision with the SUV but wound up being struck again. The sedan driver was killed at the scene, and while the SUV driver was cited (a misdemeanor), it is not implausible that the family of the sedan driver might want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, given that but for the SUV driver’s negligence, their loved one might still be alive.

Wrongful Death in Texas

Wrongful death is a cause of action under civil law (as opposed to criminal law; wrongful death is not a crime). In a wrongful death lawsuit, a deceased person’s loved ones are seeking to hold the defendant liable for their role in causing that person’s death and may receive money damages if they are successful. Texas law states that a person should be liable for damages if that person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” caused an injury that led to the death of the deceased.

Wrongful death cases are decided based on a legal theory of negligence, meaning that to prevail, a plaintiff has to show three things. They must show that the defendant breached the duty to exercise reasonable care in their actions, they must show that they suffered harm because of that failure and that there was no other cause for their injuries - that the defendant’s conduct was the sole reason for them happening. This is not always easy to establish, especially in multi-car accidents, but it is far from impossible.

...

TX injury lawyerRecently, a driver crashed into a residential building in the 900 block of Deely Place, near South Flores Street, causing serious damage to the cornerstone of the home. Law enforcement stated that the driver lost control of their vehicle after hitting a speed bump, crashing into a mailbox and then the home. No one appeared to be home, and no injuries were reported, but the driver fled on foot after the crash. San Antonio police are currently seeking them, though no word exists as to whether they will be charged. If you are injured in this type of accident, however, you have many different options to potentially explore so that you can ensure your medical bills are taken care of.

Not As Uncommon As One Might Think

While it may seem like vehicles crashing into buildings are very unusual events, in reality, it happens much more often than the average person hears. A group called the Storefront Safety Council (SSC) was launched in 2011 to chart the prevalence of these types of accidents, though they only deal with damage to commercial buildings. Still, the statistics are instructive - the largest percentage of the crashes charted in their most recent available data were attributed to driver error (approximately one-third), with pedal error (malfunctioning automobiles or parts) being the next most prevalent cause.

The SSC is careful to note that they do not track accidents involving residential homes, such as the one on Deely Place, but they also make it clear that their research does not even cover all the building-vehicle crashes that occur - their estimate is approximately one-sixth to one-eighth of all those that occur in the United States. Unfortunately, this type of accident is not tracked by the larger statistics keepers such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because of the perception that they are so infrequent.

...

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

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top