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b2ap3_thumbnail_wheelchair-crash.jpgWhile attempting to cross a street in his wheelchair, a San Antonio man was recently struck by a car and seriously injured. Liability, in this case, is unclear as of yet, but in many car accidents throughout Texas and the United States, wheelchair occupants are injured due to the negligence of drivers. Like bicyclists and pedestrians on foot, wheelchair occupants may be entitled to compensation for damages in these cases.

Prevalence of Wheelchair User Injuries in Car Accidents

Data regarding wheelchair occupants in car accidents is relatively sparse compared to other categories of car crash victims, but a 2015 study sheds some light on the issue. By reviewing police reports and news stories, researchers estimated that over 500 wheelchair occupants were killed in car crashes from 2006 to 2012, indicating a significantly higher fatality rate than the general population.

The study also found that men between the ages of 50 and 64 were the most susceptible to fatal car accident injuries. Intersections and places without traffic control were common locations, and low visibility of the wheelchair user was also a frequent contributing factor.

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TX crash lawyerIn late November, a construction zone accident on Travis County’s MoPac Expressway left a driver dead and four construction workers seriously injured. Unfortunately, accidents in work zones are not uncommon, as the driving conditions in these areas increase risks for both drivers and workers. Anyone who is injured in a construction zone due to the negligence of another party may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses and other damages.

The Dangers of Driving in Construction Zones

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates, over 120,000 vehicle accidents happened in work zones in 2018, resulting in around 45,000 injuries and 750 fatalities nationwide. Texas was responsible for more of these fatalities than any other state, with 157. While the majority of those affected are vehicle occupants, pedestrians are also at risk, many of whom are the people working in these construction zones. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the same year, 124 workers were killed in roadway work zone accidents.

Many different factors contribute to car accidents in construction zones. Some are related to the road conditions themselves. For example, narrow roadways, debris in the road, and improper lighting or signage can all increase the risk of a collision. Driver behavior is often also a contributing factor, including drunk driving, distracted driving, or failing to adjust to a safe speed.

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TX accident lawyerA car accident earlier this month in Bexar County has resulted in the death of one 18-year-old and the arrest of another on charges of intoxication assault. The collision occurred when one vehicle cut into another vehicle’s lane and impacted a front wheel, after which the second vehicle lost control, ran into a telephone pole, and rolled over on top of the victim. This tragic incident highlights the dangers that teens often face when drunk driving is involved.

Teenagers Are Affected By Drunk Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly one in five teen drivers in fatal accidents had been drinking before the crash and that teenagers are also disproportionately likely to lose their lives in an accident involving alcohol compared to other age groups. Teen fatalities in drunk driving accidents include drivers, passengers, and occupants of other vehicles, and the NHTSA urges parents to talk to their teenagers about the importance of avoiding driving after drinking, riding in a car with someone who has been drinking, or drinking at all before they reach the legal age of 21.

Holding Drunk Drivers Accountable in Texas

Texas law enforces strict criminal penalties for drivers who are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), as well as the offense of driving under the influence (DUI), which specifically refers to a person under the age of 21 driving with any alcohol in his or her system. Penalties also usually increase when someone is injured or killed as a result of drunk driving.

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TX injury lawyerA Texas driver is facing intoxication manslaughter charges after a car wreck last month that killed three passengers and seriously injured another driver. Since the crash, prosecutors have become aware of a live video posted to social media in the minutes before the accident in which the defendant appears to be drinking a beer while behind the wheel. Evidence such as this can be valuable not only in a criminal proceeding but also in a personal injury case seeking compensation from an at-fault driver.

Gathering Evidence For Your Personal Injury Claim

Certainly, not every negligent driver will record video evidence that would seem to point directly to the negligent behavior in question. However, if you have been injured due to the actions of another driver, a personal injury attorney may be able to use evidence from the driver’s social media to contribute to your case for compensation. Other important forms of evidence your lawyer can help you gather and present may include:

  • Photographs: Pictures of your vehicle, your injuries, and the scene of the accident can be vital in demonstrating the damages you have suffered and possible contributing factors. If you are able to do so, it is a good idea to take your own photographs as soon as possible after the crash.
  • Video camera footage: In many cases, video footage of an accident may be available from a nearby security or traffic camera, or from a dashboard camera mounted on a vehicle involved in or near the crash. Your attorney can help you uncover any such footage.
  • Police reports: It is important to notify law enforcement of an accident in which you are injured. A police officer will likely create a report of the crash, which may include statements regarding the possible cause. The officer may have also asked the other driver to submit to a blood alcohol test if there was a suspicion of intoxication. Your attorney can work with law enforcement to access the report when building your case.
  • Witness testimony: Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bystanders, and other witnesses can offer important testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident, which can help you make the case for negligence.
  • Medical records: Your claim for compensation will also require evidence of your injuries and other damages you have suffered as a result of the accident. Your attorney can help you preserve hospital and treatment records and medical bills so that you have a strong case for the most possible recovery.

Contact a New Braunfels Car Accident Attorney

Contacting an attorney as soon as possible after your accident gives you the best chance of gathering all the evidence you may need. At The Bettersworth Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your case as we build your claim for compensation. Call a New Braunfels personal injury lawyer today at 830-606-0404 to schedule a free consultation.

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TX crash lawyerWhile some rear-end collisions are minor fender benders, others can result in severe injuries for the people involved, as a recent case in San Antonio demonstrates. This month, a woman was killed on Highway 281 after her car was rear-ended by a speeding driver, with the force of the impact pushing her 300 feet. The driver in question is now facing charges of intoxication manslaughter. If you or a loved one is injured in a rear-end collision, it is important to know how you can hold a negligent driver accountable.

Common Contributing Factors in Rear-End Crashes

Speeding is a common factor in many rear-end accidents, as it makes it more difficult for the driver to slow down or change course in time to avoid the crash. The intoxicating effects of alcohol are also a factor in many cases, impairing the driver’s physical and mental abilities and making it harder for the driver to notice or react to a sudden need to stop. However, these are far from the only examples of negligent behavior that may be involved in a rear-end crash. Others include:

  • Distracted driving: Mobile phones, passengers, and other distractions can remove a driver’s attention from the road for crucial seconds, during which they may fail to notice a need to stop, and in doing so collide with the vehicle in front of them.
  • Drowsy driving: A tired driver may have dulled reactions that keep them from being able to avoid a rear-end collision, or they may even fall asleep at the wheel for a long enough time to cause an accident.
  • Following too closely: Also known as tailgating, this behavior can be dangerous even if the driver is traveling at a legal speed. Failing to leave enough distance between vehicles means there may not be enough time to stop to avoid a collision.

Personal Injury Claims After a Rear-End Collision

A rear-end crash can leave you with whiplash, head injuries, broken bones, and other, more serious injuries depending on the circumstances. If you have been injured, you should work with an attorney to gather evidence to build your case for compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. Often, rear-end crashes involve a combination of factors, and evidence of as many negligent behaviors as possible can strengthen your claim.

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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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