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TX crash lawyerRecently, a motorcyclist was killed after becoming stuck under an 18-wheeler on I-35 South. The accident happened near Kyle Crossing, and the highway was shut down for almost two hours while the accident was cleared. This accident, while a tragedy, does illuminate some of the safety hazards present for both truckers and cyclists, especially when traveling at a high rate of speed. If you have been in a crash with a truck or with a motorcyclist, there are certain particular features of that accident that are different than having been struck by another automobile.

High Fatality Rates for Motorcyclists

Because of the sheer lack of protection between a motorcyclist and the road, motorcycle riders have a significantly elevated risk of injury and death compared to automobile drivers and passengers. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that in 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to die in accidents than drivers or passengers in other vehicles - many of the fatalities caused simply by being unprepared to be struck, or to strike something, at such velocity.

Many of the causes of motorcycle accidents do in fact trace back to rider error - in the accident on I-35, law enforcement surmised that the motorcyclist had been speeding and struck the rear of the truck’s trailer without being able to stop. However, in many cases, driver error will also play a major role - for example, many accidents with motorcycles occur because automobile drivers fail to see their slimmer, often darker colored vehicles. This can lead them to turn in front of motorcycles or drive too close to the side of the road, which may crowd out a cyclist.

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TX crash lawyerDue to an accident involving at least three 18-wheelers and three smaller vehicles, southbound SH 130 was closed almost all day on Thursday, April 4. The accident occurred near the Pecan Street exit in Pflugerville, leaving one person dead and one person transported to the nearest hospital. In the event of such a large crash, it can be difficult for injured people to seek compensation, Depending on the situation, you may be able to try and hold multiple defendants liable for your injuries.

Fault Apportionment Is Key

Multiple-vehicle pile-ups can be difficult for the injured party to navigate because it can be so much more complex to untangle each actor’s liability or lack thereof. In a standard auto accident case, the plaintiff simply has to look at the defendant and determine whether or not their actions breached the duty to exercise reasonable care that every motorist owes to every other. If there are multiple defendants, the same process must be followed, but it can be too hard to tell who actually did what in such a large accident.

Whether you have one defendant or many, the most important thing to remember is that if you are ruled to have been liable for 51 percent or more of your own injuries, you cannot recover. This is referred to as comparative fault, and if your percentage is higher than that of the defendant or defendants’, you cannot recover, because arguably, without your mistakes or misconduct, the accident would not have happened in the first place.

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TX injury lawyerA head-on collision on State Highway 46 led to four people being trapped in two cars for some time until law enforcement could reach them. A pickup truck struck a sedan head-on and then rolled onto its side, while the sedan was too damaged for the occupants to escape. Eventually, the occupants were extricated and transported to area hospitals, but as of this writing, there is no word on their conditions. If you have been involved in an accident where you were trapped in your car, you may have a claim for compensation against not only the other driver, but also, potentially, against the manufacturer of your car - one should be able to escape the vehicle after an accident, not be trapped inside.

Defective Parts Are a Hazard

Product liability is the legal theory under which manufacturers, sellers, and distributors are held liable for injuries caused by the products they introduce into the stream of commerce. A myriad of car parts has been implicated over time in several fatal accidents, including steering columns, brakes, turn signals, and tires. Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate approximately 3,600 accidents occurred in 2017 that could be directly attributed to at least one defective car part.

While product liability cases can sometimes be very straightforward, product liability cases that involve automobiles or car parts are almost invariably complex - there are simply too many moving parts that all might conceivably have played a role in an accident. If an injured plaintiff tries to sue in this type of case on their own behalf, they will very likely receive far less than they would if they engaged an attorney with experience in automotive product liability cases.

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TX injury lawsRecently, a female cyclist was struck by an SUV on East Martin Luther King Boulevard, just east of I-35. The woman was immediately transported to Dell Seton Medical Center, with injuries that law enforcement called “life-threatening,” though no further details exist as of this writing. The driver of the SUV remained on the scene, and as of this writing it does not appear that any charges will be filed against them. Pedestrian and bicycle accidents can certainly be life-threatening, and if you have been involved in an accident like this, you will almost certainly have significant medical bills that need paying. Contacting an attorney is a good way to increase the odds that the person who injured you will pay them.

Bicycle Accidents on the Rise

For a variety of reasons, bicycle accidents in Texas have risen in frequency for the past few years, especially in urban counties. Statistics from Share The Road Texas show that Travis and Bexar counties rank in the top counties for both fatalities consistently, as well as in total bike crash numbers overall. Both counties also have notoriously high traffic levels, as well as more bicyclists than in past years.

Because there are so many different scenarios in which a bike accident can happen, multiple types of injuries are common. Some of the most frequently seen injuries in bicycle crashes include so-called ‘road rash’ (cuts, scrapes, and bruises, which may contain gravel or pavement), broken bones, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs, in particular, will happen even if a bicyclist is wearing a helmet in some cases, just because the sheer velocity with which a bicyclist and a car often collide will cause physical trauma even with protection.

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TX injury lawyerA crash on San Antonio’s northwest side recently left one injured, and one detained by police after a van crashed into a pole. The crash occurred near the intersection of West Hausman Road and University Heights Boulevard, with the passenger from the vehicle being transported to University Hospital for their injuries. Witnesses described the driver as ‘straddling the median’ before the vehicle crashed, and police detained the driver, though as of this writing there is no word on the exact reason for the driver’s detention. This type of single-vehicle accident can be difficult to recover from, though having an attorney by your side can help the process go more smoothly.

Single-Vehicle Accidents Are Deadly

Statistics show that single-vehicle accidents contribute a high number of fatalities to the overall yearly total of road deaths because many single-vehicle crashes involve rollovers. Rollovers are by far the most deadly type of car accident; the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that while rollover crashes only comprise about two percent of the yearly total, they are responsible for as much as 35 percent of the fatalities.

Even in those single-vehicle crashes which are not rollover in nature, the injury and fatality count can be high. Many are head-on collisions, like the crash on West Hausman Road, which often leads to whiplash and brain injuries, though fewer fatalities than rollover accidents occur. In 2017, Texas was second in the U.S. in the number of single-vehicle crash deaths (1,863), which made up exactly half of the state’s total road deaths. If you have been in a single-vehicle accident, it is critical to get checked out immediately, even if you think you have escaped unscathed.

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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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