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TX injury lawyerBecause of Texas’ routinely mild weather, there is almost no dip in the number of motorcycles on the road during the winter. However, many drivers operate their vehicles as though they think there should be, which can make the road more dangerous both for cyclists and for auto drivers alike. If you have been in an accident with a motorcyclist, it is important to accurately reflect on whose behavior might be to blame, and to what degree you might be precluded from seeking compensation for your injuries.

Motorcyclists in Greater Danger on The Road

Because of a lack of protection between them and the road, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured or killed in an accident, especially on a major road or freeway. Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate around 500 motorcyclists killed in 2017. While the TxDOT statistics explicitly mention that just over half (52 percent) were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, this is only one factor in the elevated fatality risk for cyclists.

Statistics and anecdotal data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) preach the need for motorcycle awareness, both in the abstract and quite literally. Motorcycles are significantly smaller than cars and trucks, and very often they are painted dark colors - both of which can make a motorcyclist all but invisible even in good weather. Even when they are visible to the eye, however, many drivers simply do not factor them into their calculations while driving - for example, when to turn, how wide to turn, how close or distant to follow, and so on. This type of neglect can lead to accidents and fatalities for all involved.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerIn early December, a school bus belonging to the Northside Independent School District (NISD) was struck as part of a four-vehicle crash on Babcock Road, near Wurzbach Road. An SUV struck the bus and was in turn struck by two other vehicles, pushing the bus on top of a gas main, which warranted a partial evacuation of the nearby area. The bus did have passengers, but none of the 11 children on board was injured, nor was the driver. Thankfully, no injuries or fatalities were sustained, but with school buses, accidents can be devastating. If you or a loved one have been in a bus accident, it can be very confusing to try and seek compensation for your injuries.

Finding Fault

One thing that must be kept in mind after a school bus accident in Texas is that just because your child might have sustained an injury on a school bus, it does not mean that the school or the driver are responsible for that injury. Children are children, and sometimes injuries and accidents do happen. The injury is only compensable if your child was injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness (or, obviously, if someone else intentionally sought to injure them). If it can be shown that your child was injured because someone else’s actions were negligent or reckless, however, you may have a claim against the driver, the school, the bus manufacturer, or another actor, depending on the specifics of the situation.

The majority of school bus accidents that are held to involve negligence will generally get laid at the door of the school bus driver, who is the most likely person in most situations. However, if the school bus driver is acting within the scope of their employment, the driver’s employer (the school district, in most cases) will almost always be pulled into the case, because of a common-law doctrine called respondeat superior or vicarious liability. Texas law holds that as long as an employee is engaged in work within their “general authority,” and “for the accomplishment of the object for which the employee was hired,” their employer may be held vicariously liable.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX injury lawyerSome of the most unusual crashes can occur on Texas highways, but regardless of their rarity, they can cause real issues for commuters and other drivers. Recently, a semi-truck carrying a load of avocados overturned on I-35, near Oltorf Street in Austin. The driver allegedly struck a cement barrier on the edge of the road and lost control. Neither the driver nor anyone else was injured, and no other vehicle was involved, though the road was closed for most of the night, including part of the early morning rush hour. While thankfully there appear to have been no injuries in this particular crash, semi-trucks do cause a large proportion of accident injuries and fatalities in any given year.

Texas Highways Require Caution

A large amount of U.S. shipping goes through Texas, and a large amount of that goes by road. Semi-trucks are common sights on Texas highways, and while the majority of their drivers operates their vehicles in a safe manner, their sheer numbers merit caution for cars and other smaller vehicles. 2017 statistics show 5430 vehicles involved in fatal crashes in Texas, of which approximately 10 percent were trucks. However, the percentage of fatalities in those accidents were markedly higher than those in accidents not involving trucks.

The reasons for such an elevated number of accidents and higher percentage of fatalities when compared to car-only accidents are many, but size plays a role. A semi-truck, especially when it is carrying a load, as the truck on I-35 was at the time, outweighs most other vehicles on the road by more than double, and if the driver loses control, the damage can be devastating. This also ties into the fact that a truck’s reaction time will generally be slower than that of an auto driver, thus leaving less time to brake or take other evasive measures if an accident seems imminent.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently, a young pedestrian was struck by a car near St. Mary’s University, on Culebra Road. He was hit by a sedan going by while walking in the street, sustaining injuries severe enough to require transport to University Hospital for treatment. The driver of the car did stop and render aid, meaning that no criminal charges will be filed against them. However, should the pedestrian feel that the driver acted recklessly, they still might be able to bring a civil suit against the driver in order to be compensated for their medical bills.

Texas Pedestrian Accidents Are Common

Because of its sheer size and spread-out cities, Texas tends to not be very friendly for pedestrians, especially in urban areas. A 2017 report by Smart Growth America, an urban planning think tank, listed Texas as the ninth most dangerous state for pedestrians, with a Pedestrian Danger Index of 101.1. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics show approximately 615 pedestrian fatalities, which is a decrease from the previous year, but still a higher number than most other states.

There are many different potential causes for pedestrian accidents, but many stem back to driver inattention. Distracted driving can lead to a failure to notice a pedestrian wearing dark clothing or walking in the road, as the young man on Culebra Road was doing. It is also not uncommon for substance abuse or overindulgence to play a role. While pedestrians can and do make mistakes as well, they usually have the right of way, which puts the fault on a hurried or aggressive driver if they jump the proverbial gun and cause injury.

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TX injury lawyerDuring rush hour on January 7, 2019, two of the southbound lanes on SB Texas-130 were closed due to a semi-truck fire. While no one was injured, there was a minor fuel spill as a result of the accident, and as such, all lanes were closed for hours until the extent of the spillage could be verified. This crash did not harm anyone, but unfortunately, many truck fire-related accidents are more dangerous. If you are injured due to a truck or car fire after an accident, the damages you suffer can be quite severe.

Statistics Show Fatalities Rising

The overall number of traffic fatalities in Texas decreased just barely between 2016 and 2017, but the number of deaths due to truck accidents, particularly accidents involving large trucks, rose. Passenger car-related deaths made up roughly 34 percent of the total in 2017, but truck-related deaths made up 33 percent, and the percentage stemming from accidents involving large trucks held steady at 3 percent. This may not sound like a lot, but truck accidents were proportionally more likely to be fatal than any other type of auto crash. Given the size and relatively poor handling of most large trucks, it is sadly understandable.

It is worth noting that truck accidents carry one potential variable that most passenger car-related accidents do not, and that is the truck’s load. In other words, one can assume that a passenger car will hold people and their assorted belongings. An 18-wheeler may be hauling a load of something as innocuous as hay or textiles, or it can be hauling something as potentially combustible as fuel or as unpredictable as industrial chemicals. If an 18-wheeler is in an accident, the load may leak or explode, and more damages for both the trucker and any drivers that were hit will result.

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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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