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TX injury lawyerA man riding a stolen motorcycle was killed recently when the motorcycle hit a barricade near the 8000 block of Research Boulevard. The rider lost control and slammed into the barricade dividing the lanes of traffic, causing him to be thrown to the ground, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. While the likelihood of motorcyclists being killed in accidents is far higher than it is for auto drivers or passengers, it is certainly not always a motorcyclist’s fault when a wreck occurs. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be lucky to be alive - but if you were harmed due to someone’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

Danger Is Elevated

The most recent available data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in road crashes in 2018, and the likelihood of a motorcyclist dying in a motor vehicle crash is approximately 28 times greater than that of automobile occupants. This may sound absurd, but given the relative lack of protection cyclists have compared to auto drivers and passengers, the speeds at which many crashes occur, and the general lack of attention that motorcyclists receive from non-motorcyclists on the road, these and other factors do add up.

Motorcyclists do need to exercise good judgment on the road and ensure that they always ride sober and alert. However, car and truck drivers must also be certain to check their blind spots, be aware of potential lane splitting (illegal in Texas, but still common), and otherwise observe the general rules of the road. If you are injured, it will be up to a jury to decide who is negligent, but if you are able to act with the care that a reasonable person would exercise, it will be difficult for anyone to allege that you acted inappropriately.

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TX injury lawyerOne recent night, a serious three-car accident on the south side of San Antonio claimed the life of one person. A 33-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, about 30 minutes after the impact when his Dodge Challenger was T-boned by two cars in succession after he tried to cross Texas 16, near Mission Gate. The Challenger’s driver-side door was crushed, and the man had to be cut free before law enforcement could assess his injuries properly. While San Antonio police stated that no criminal charges are pending for either of the drivers who T-boned the man’s car, this does not mean that the man’s family may not choose to file suit against either (or both) drivers for wrongful death. If you lose a loved one in a similar accident, your options may seem very similar to the man’s family’s.

Two Types of Cases

Texas has two types of wrongful death-related actions. A standard wrongful death action is brought on behalf of the surviving family, seeking damages on the family’s behalf for injuries they have sustained since the deceased person’s passing. The surviving family can file, or the estate can file on the family’s behalf, seeking compensation for harm like funeral and medical expenses, loss of the deceased’s love and companionship, and the loss of support and services.

The other type of case is called a survival action, and it is brought to preserve a cause of action that a person might have had before their death. In other words, a survival action is a suit brought on behalf of the injured person (and their estate), trying to recover for damages that the person would have been able to recover had they survived the incident. For example, if the deceased man had survived his accident, he would likely have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence - sadly, he did not, but his estate can file a survival action alleging the same things.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecently, a man was hit by a pickup truck and killed as he and a friend walked along northbound I-35. According to the friend, they were walking south on the northbound lanes when a pickup truck struck the man walking on the outside, and sped off after the fact. While pedestrians walking along busy I-35 is less common than one might anticipate, this does not mean that both drivers and pedestrians do not need to be well aware of their rights and responsibilities while on the road.

Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?

Pedestrian accidents are a perennial issue in Texas, with its miles of rural roads and higher-than-average speed limits. The most recent available data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates approximately 5,700 crashes involving pedestrians in 2018, with roughly 615 fatalities. This is one of the higher state totals in the country for the last few years, despite several Texas municipalities enacting ordinances trying to regulate speed limits and other plans to fight against reckless driving in the works.

Infrastructure in Texas is also an issue for pedestrians. The think tank SmartGrowth America ranks metropolitan areas by their degree of danger for pedestrians (from drivers and also the lack of infrastructure like sidewalks, curb cuts, and traffic lights), and in 2019, six Texas cities/metro areas ranked in the top 50, with the McAllen/Edinburg/Mission area being deemed the most dangerous (#16), with San Antonio/New Braunfels (#21) and Houston/The Woodlands/Sugarland (#23) not far behind.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, a black pickup truck ran headlong into the back of a parked 18-wheeler, on the access road on West Loop 1604. The semi-truck had been waiting for a client to unload inventory when the pickup struck the truck, wedging itself under the trailer. The driver of the pickup later died from his injuries, though the truck driver was unharmed. Law enforcement believes that the pickup driver was “speeding and distracted,” and thus was the prime mover in causing the accident. While the truck driver was unharmed, this is often not the case in distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation from them.

Distraction Kills

Everyone gets distracted for small moments behind the wheel. However, distracted driving is a real danger to everyone on the road, because when a person’s attention is diverted away from operating their vehicle, it means that they have less time to react to other motorists or obstacles on the road, which in turn leads to higher fatality and injury rates. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates that one in five crashes in Texas involve distracted driving, with the corresponding rise in casualties.

By far the most commonly seen distracting activity while driving is texting, as it takes one’s attention off the road for an average of 5 seconds. If someone is driving 55 miles per hour, that means that their attention is off the road for the average length of a football field. That said, there are many other types of distractions that can endanger one’s own passengers or other cars around you, including talking to passengers, adjusting the radio or other music player, eating, applying makeup, or rubbernecking at something outside the car.

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TX accident lawyerOne recent morning saw a two-vehicle crash on FM 973, where a Dodge RAM suddenly crossed the center line and struck a Ford F150 head-on. The driver of the F150 was pronounced dead at the scene, and while the RAM driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, law enforcement has not yet stated whether or not any charges would be filed against him. If you have been in this type of head-on collision, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver, if you believe that their negligence was the prime mover in the harm you suffered.

Infrequent But Serious

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that in their most recent available data, head-on collisions made up approximately 10 percent of all fatal crashes. However, fatality rates have been shown to be higher, for a variety of reasons. This is especially true for accidents in which one vehicle is significantly larger than the other - for example, a large pickup truck versus a small car. The FM 973 accident had two vehicles of roughly similar sizes involved, but the force that results can nonetheless be lethal.

Head-on collisions are statistically more likely to cause injury to those in the front seat, as one might imagine. Even while wearing a seatbelt, drivers and front-seat passengers have higher death rates, as well as higher rates of non-fatal injury such as whiplash, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. If you are injured in this type of crash, you can, as a general rule, expect high medical bills and extensive repairs to your vehicle, and if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you have the right to hold them accountable.

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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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