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TX injury lawyerA school bus was struck by an 18-wheeler on October 25, causing injuries but no deaths. The crash occurred on Highway 71 at Tucker Hill Lane, just outside of Austin, where the truck driver ran through a red light - surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows the accident and showed the truck clearly failing to stop. The bus driver and 9 students were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, though the exact extent of the damage remains unknown as of this writing. While school bus accidents are rare, parents should know that if their child is injured, it is possible to try to hold someone liable for the accident.

Bus Drivers Have Rules

There are multiple potential causes of school bus accidents, though the cause of the Hwy 71 crash appears apparent enough. Many of them usually have to do with bus driver error (yes, even school bus drivers) - speeding, driving recklessly, such as going too fast in inclement weather, and alcohol or drug abuse can all contribute. Other causes may include poorly maintained roads (especially with a large vehicle like a school bus, a pothole can cause problems).

School buses have heightened duties with regard to the duty of care owed to passengers. While drivers must meet specific requirements in order to be licensed and certified, school buses are also classified in general as common carriers in Texas (the state follows the common law classifications for such things). A common carrier is a commercial company or entity paid to transport goods or people, who is then responsible for the well-being of the transport. If someone suffers an injury while using a common carrier like a school bus, they may be able to receive additional compensation above what they might otherwise, just because a common carrier has a higher duty it is supposed to uphold.

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TX injury lawyerThe recent flooding along the Colorado River has impacted 18 different counties in Texas, including Williamson, Bastrop, and Travis counties. Many people in and around Austin have had to evacuate, losing personal belongings or sometimes their homes. Another problem seen in flooded areas is a host of automobiles either damaged or totaled, by rising flood waters or by accidents caused by weather. If you are injured in an auto accident in this type of weather, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you suffered, if you can show that someone else’s negligence played a role.

Crashes Are Common

Because so few are truly prepared to handle floods on busy roads in Austin, several accidents always occur in heavy rainstorms. Standing water is always a potential issue, and if an area has not had a lot of rain before the onset of the storms, oil can build up on the pavement and make it more slippery. Speed is also a constant factor as well, especially since many drivers do not slow down in suboptimal weather. The end result can be severe - statistics from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration show that as many as 70 percent of all weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement, with an average of approximately 20 percent of all auto accident injuries occurring in rain.

This can sometimes be compounded by poor maintenance on the part of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) or local entities (depending on the road). Badly lighted or positioned signs, potholes, and unmarked standing water can be responsible for several accidents, and thus, for any injuries or fatalities sustained in those accidents. Either way, in a flood, it is eminently possible that whatever harm you come to may not be your own fault, and if someone else acts recklessly or negligently, they may owe you compensation for the harm you suffer as a result.

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TX injury lawyerOn the night of October 14, a driver turning onto Larkdale Drive from O’Connor Road was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at a “high rate of speed,” killing the motorcyclist and damaging the automobile. The driver had no injuries, but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Sadly, this is all too common in San Antonio motorcycle accidents, with motorcyclists being killed much more often than automobile drivers, and those that survive are much more likely to be severely injured than auto drivers. There are multiple reasons for this.

Statistics Show Heightened Danger

Motorcyclists simply have to do more with less, given the comparative lack of protection surrounding them compared to the protection an automobile gives its driver and passengers. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are up to 29 times more likely to die in a wreck than those in an automobile. This is compounded by Texas’ helmet law, which only requires such protection for those 20 and younger, meaning that many older cyclists are not wearing helmets when they are involved in a wreck if they choose not to. While this is their choice, it does contribute to a high fatality rate, as helmets have been shown to prevent approximately 37 percent of fatal injuries.

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TX injury lawyerOn October 8, tragedy struck in Bastrop County, when a speeding pickup truck hydroplaned on Texas 95 and struck a sedan with children in the backseat. Three of the sedan’s passengers and the driver were killed, pronounced dead at the scene, two of them juveniles. Another child in the sedan was critically injured, with their fate unknown as of this writing. The pickup driver was in stable condition at an area hospital. While sometimes these types of accidents are unavoidable, many times they are not, and an avoidable tragedy may wind up resulting in significant civil liability for the responsible party. If you are in an auto accident that can be chalked up to another person’s recklessness or negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

Texas Negligence Law

In every negligence case, one has to prove certain things occurred in order to establish that the defendant was actually negligent. One must establish that a duty to exercise reasonable care existed between the plaintiff and the defendant - this is generally stipulated, as past cases have postulated the existence of this duty. It must also be established that the defendant breached that duty of care by their conduct, or lack of conduct (for example, failing to brake in the appropriate amount of time would be considered conduct). That conduct, that breach, must also be shown to have caused actual harm to the plaintiff. Actual harm generally means anything worse than cuts and bruises - broken bones, head injuries, or emotional problems like post-traumatic stress are some common examples.

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TX injury lawyerA man was arrested on October 7 after being observed going over 100 mph on I-10 on an earlier date, ostensibly while racing another car. He was taken into custody after he admitted racing in his Chevy Camaro. While some see street racing as a harmless pastime, it is against the law in Texas, and if you are caught engaging in the practice, you may wind up with heavy fines and a possible license suspension. If you are injured by a street racer, by comparison, you may have a surprisingly easy case for negligence under Texas law.

Proving Negligence

In order to prove negligence under Texas law, a plaintiff must establish four points. They are:

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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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