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TX injury lawyerOne person was injured in a recent car accident in north San Antonio’s Stone Oak neighborhood after another driver crashed into their vehicle and pushed it off the road. The car slid down an embankment and collided head-on with a boulder, after which the injured person had to be extricated. Since the accident, the driver who allegedly caused the crash is facing intoxication assault charges, but this crash also serves as a reminder that stationary objects near the road can be a major contributing factor in the severity of resulting injuries.

Car Accident Injuries From Stationary Objects

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fixed or stationary objects are a factor in about 20 percent of fatal car accidents. These crashes include a variety of objects, including trees, rocks, ditches, phones and light poles, medians, barricades, guardrails, and more. While most of these crashes involve just one vehicle, 5 percent of them involve multiple vehicles, like in the recent case in San Antonio.

Can Someone Else Be Liable If I Collide with a Fixed Object?

If you are struck by a negligent driver, you may be aware that you can pursue compensation for injuries and damages that you suffer in the collision. However, you may wonder whether this also includes injuries from a collision with a stationary object after being hit by another car. In many cases, the answer is yes, especially if you can demonstrate that the actions of the driver caused you to crash into the object.

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TX injury lawyerIn late December, an eight-car pile-up on Loop 410 in San Antonio left several people injured, with law enforcement reporting that street racing may have been responsible for the collision. Fortunately, none of the injuries were serious in this case, but racing is an extremely dangerous activity that puts everyone on the road at risk of severe injury and even death. Texas law makes street racing a crime, but if you are injured in a car wreck caused by racing drivers, you need an attorney who can help you recover compensation.

Texas Laws Regarding Street Racing

The Texas Transportation Code includes several statutes that may apply when a driver is racing on the road. Street racing often involves driving in excess of the speed limit, for which a driver can be charged with fines up to $300 depending on the miles per hour above the limit. It may also be considered reckless driving, which is defined as operating a vehicle with “wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” and may result in penalties including a $200 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Texas law also specifically prohibits racing on the highway, which includes any contest of speed, acceleration, or a driver’s endurance. This offense is considered at least a Class B misdemeanor, with penalties including fines of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail. Repeat offenses can result in more significant penalties, and if racing results in injury or death, it is considered at least a third-degree felony.

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TX accident lawyerLast week in New Braunfels, an accident on I-35 involving a bus and multiple passenger vehicles injured at least two people and blocked highway traffic for several hours. The cause of the accident is unclear, and fault has not been determined, but the crash raises important questions regarding what may happen in personal injury cases involving buses and other forms of public transportation.

Texas Bus Accidents and Personal Injury Claims

The way that a personal injury claim plays out after a bus crash depends on which party was injured and which party’s negligence was responsible for the accident. Here are three possible scenarios:

  • The driver or passenger of another vehicle is injured in a collision with a bus. In this case, the injured party may have a case for compensation for damages if they have evidence to demonstrate the bus driver’s negligence. Multiple Texas appellate court rulings have affirmed that buses are considered common carriers, meaning that bus drivers have a higher standard of care than drivers of personal vehicles, which may make it easier for the injured party to establish negligence. In some cases, the organization that employs the bus driver could also be partially liable. This may be a private company or a government agency.
  • A bus passenger is injured in an accident. When a bus passenger is injured, there may be several at-fault parties, potentially including the bus driver, their employer, and other drivers whose negligence contributed to the crash. When pursuing compensation through a settlement or trial, each negligent party’s liability will likely be determined based on their percentage of fault in the accident.
  • The bus driver is injured in an accident. A bus driver who is injured while performing driving duties for their job will often be entitled to workers’ compensation through their employer no matter who is at fault for the accident that caused the injuries. However, if the driver’s employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, the driver can pursue a personal injury claim against the employer. If the wreck was caused by a negligent third-party driver, the bus driver may also be able to pursue a personal injury claim against this person to recover additional compensation.

Any of these parties who are injured should seek immediate medical attention after the crash and hire an attorney who can help them gather timely evidence from the scene of the collision. Bus accidents also often have many witnesses, including all of the passengers on the bus at the time, and their testimony can be valuable in helping an injured party build a case.

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TX accident lawyerIn early January, a car accident on Bandera Road in Helotes, just northwest of San Antonio, claimed the lives of the parents of four children. All four children were in the car at the time and also suffered minor injuries. Since the crash, San Antonio’s COPS Metro Alliance, a coalition aimed at bettering the lives of families, is advocating for the lowering of the speed limit in the area, which they believe can help prevent similar tragic accidents in the future.

Speeding Often Leads to Deadly Accidents

Excessive speeds are a safety concern throughout the San Antonio area and the state of Texas. According to 2019 statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation, out of the 3,610 traffic fatalities that year, 715 involved speeding, a figure that amounts to nearly one in five. Twenty-eight of those fatalities happened in Bexar County. In addition to the consequences of fatal accidents, thousands more Texans are injured in accidents involving speeding each year. High-speed collisions can result in severe and catastrophic injuries, including to the brain, spinal cord, extremities, and internal organs.

Speeding and Driver Negligence

Posted speed limits on Texas roads are meant to ensure that drivers travel at a safe speed for regular road conditions. A driver who exceeds the posted speed limit is potentially breaching his or her duty of care to others on the road, and if an accident happens as a result and someone is injured, the speeding driver can be considered negligent.

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TX accident lawyerSitting at the intersection of I-35, I-10, and I-37, San Antonio and the surrounding areas typically experience a high amount of traffic on a regular basis, and with it, a high number of car accidents. However, 2020 has been anything but typical, with the COVID-19 pandemic influencing virtually every aspect of life. A recent study by INRIX, a traffic analytics firm, looked at the effects of the pandemic on traffic patterns throughout the United States, and the findings have important implications for drivers in the San Antonio area.

A Decline in Traffic and Accidents

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in less road travel overall, both due to stay-at-home orders discouraging unnecessary trips and the increased prevalence of working from home reducing the amount of commuter traffic. The INRIX study found that vehicle miles traveled in San Antonio decreased by around 33 percent from March to June 2020, and 22 percent from July to October 2020.

Along with this decrease in traffic, San Antonio also experienced a significant decrease in car accidents. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 33 percent decrease in car crashes in the area, the fifth-largest decrease among U.S. metropolitan areas. Locations that usually see an especially high number of accidents, including Loop 410 and the downtown connecting point between I-35 and I-37, have been part of this decline.

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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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