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b2ap3_thumbnail_car-crash_20191014-233900_1.jpgWhile traveling on Pecan Street in Pflugerville, a vehicle struck the protective barrier on the bridge over Highway 130, ejecting the driver out onto the lanes of 130 below. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. No other vehicle appears to have been involved in the accident, but not all single-vehicle accidents are entirely the fault of the driver. If you have lost a loved one in a single-vehicle crash, you should be aware that not all single-vehicle crashes are solely the fault of the driver, and that in some circumstances you may be able to pursue a claim for wrongful death.

Another Actor May Be Liable

In a standard accident involving multiple vehicles, the question of liability is either avoided (if neither driver brings suit), or it is apportioned between the drivers if a lawsuit happens. With a single-vehicle crash, it can be easy to simply assume that all the liability is on the driver when this is simply not always the case. There are multiple scenarios in which another person or entity might be held liable for a single-vehicle accident. Some examples include:

  • Dangerous road conditions, such as poorly marked potholes, broken lighting, or unmarked construction zones. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has a duty to manage the roads under their jurisdiction and to maintain them appropriately. If they fail to do so, they may be partly liable for your accident (assuming you can circumvent the Texas Tort Claims Act).
  • Mechanical failures or other potential product liability cases. If, for example, your brakes suddenly fail, you may have a cause of action against the manufacturer of the part, the manufacturer of the car, or anyone who has performed maintenance on the vehicle, depending on the specific situation.
  • The negligence of another driver who may have managed to avoid losing control over their vehicle. For example, a second driver may have swerved into your lane, causing you to lose control, but managed to drive away.

Proving Liability

While there are multiple situations in which you may not bear all of the blame for your single-vehicle accident, it can be quite difficult to prove this unless you have specific evidence. For example, in a case involving a mechanical failure, you need to establish not only that your vehicle malfunctioned, but that it malfunctioned in a way that directly caused the harm you suffered (with no superseding cause). An experienced attorney may have ways to try and establish the appropriate negligence criteria, but it can be very difficult to do on your own.

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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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TX injury lawyerAfter the legal battles in recent years over issues like background checks and employee classifications, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become regular parts of Austin life. However, there still remains quite a bit of misinformation floating around about them, especially about what can happen if you are unlucky enough to be in an accident in a rideshare car. The law surrounding these questions is not nearly as ambiguous as the average person might think, and if you are ever injured in an Uber or Lyft car, you have some fairly specific options to move forward.

Adjustments Required

Statistics regarding the impact of rideshare cars on traffic and fatality statistics are difficult to come by, given the relative novelty of the method of transportation. However, it is possible to examine traffic information and draw conclusions, especially about the number of non-fatal crashes. Texas, in particular, has seen a slight uptick in urban crashes in recent years, reaching 45.01 percent in 2018, and it is not unreasonable to see a potential link between the proliferation of Uber and Lyft and increased accidents, even if it cannot be borne out specifically.

Initially, ridesharing companies resisted putting down permanent roots in cities like Austin because of the insurance requirements and, eventually, the background check requirements instituted under state law. A compromise was worked out, and at this point, rideshare companies operate fairly freely in the city. However, it is critical for riders to know that they do not operate in the same manner as a taxi company or other hire-car service, and react accordingly if they are in an accident. Knowing your rights is never a bad idea.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX car accident lawyerWhile only the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda struck southern Texas on September 18-19, the rainfall has still been immense, with parts of the state due to see as much as 40 inches of rain in the next few days. While the heaviest rainfall appears to be targeting areas east of Houston, it is still worth taking precautions to ensure that you are safe in the rain, especially if you wind up having to drive through heavy rainfall. Rain and wet roads can be one of the leading causes of auto accidents, causing injuries that can be very severe.

Take Water on the Road Seriously

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, as many as around 950,000 accidents each year take place on wet pavement, with a smaller percentage of those taking place in flood-like conditions. Drivers simply do not take water on the road as seriously as they should, with many not even slowing their speed, and even those that do slow down may not know certain tips and tricks that can safeguard them and their vehicle. For example, authorities recommend not using cruise control during a rainstorm, as it can actually cause your vehicle to go faster if you hydroplane.

If you have no choice but to drive through water, that is one thing, but many drivers do not adequately evaluate their ability to make it through flooded streets. Authorities generally recommend, for example, to not drive through water where the bottom cannot be seen, and to refrain from ‘off-roading’ lest you damage your vehicle’s undercarriage. However, drivers often ignore these recommendations, then causing issues for either themselves or other drivers they may run into or obstruct.

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TX crash lawyerA middle-aged man who was killed recently when his motorcycle fell over the wall of the flyover between U.S. 290 and U.S. 183 has finally been identified. The man was riding his motorcycle heading toward U.S. 183 when he lost control, his cycle coming over the edge and landing on the lanes of U.S. 290 below. While this type of accident is not uncommon, it is unusual, and if you are involved in this sort of crash it can be deadly. If another driver is involved, it may give rise to an action for wrongful death - which is sadly too common, especially among motorcyclists, who have much less protection than drivers or passengers of automobiles in the event of a crash.

Motorcyclists 28 Times More Likely to Die

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an automobile accident than passengers in a vehicle, and this is for several different reasons. One of them is simply because a motorcyclist does not have a metal cage around them to absorb any impact; injuries like road rash are much more prevalent in motorcyclists because they are just more likely to make contact with the road. Vehicle occupants are much less likely to be thrown clear, and if they are wearing seatbelts, injuries may still be serious, but fatal much less often.

While obviously, user error can contribute to motorcycle crashes, it can equally be said that errors by automobile drivers cause just as many injuries and fatalities. Many drivers simply do not know how to share the road with cycles; it is all too common for an accident to result when a car’s driver does not check their blind spots, or when they merge before ensuring that the lane is free to do so. It can be difficult to apportion liability in these types of accidents, especially in wrongful death cases, because very often it may only be the surviving driver’s word for what happened. However, it is decidedly not impossible, and if you have lost a loved one in this type of accident, it is generally worth trying to seek compensation.

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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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