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Texas car crash lawyerIt is late afternoon when you are sitting in traffic while on your way to pick up the children from school. The car in front of you starts to inch forward when, suddenly -- Bang! The car behind you lurches forward and crashes into the rear end of your car, sending your head flying forward and then suddenly back again. As you brush your hair out of your face and try to gather your thoughts, you scrunch your face up in pain as your hand moves to your neck, rubbing it as you look around, wondering what happened.

This is an all-too-familiar story for many victims of rear-end crashes. What likely occurred as a result of the above crash is an injury called whiplash. Whiplash is an injury that occurs to the soft tissues in the neck that is uncomfortable and can cause long-term issues. Luckily, the state of Texas allows you to seek compensation from the person responsible if you have been unjustly injured. If you have been in a car accident, it is important that you seek medical attention to determine whether or not you have been a victim of whiplash.

Understanding Whiplash

The motion that a whip makes when it cracks is very similar to the motion that your head and neck make during a whiplash injury, hence the name. Whiplash occurs when the head is very forcefully thrown backward and then forward, causing strain and damage to the soft tissues. A whiplash injury can cause damage to various tissues in the neck, such as the vertebrae, discs, ligaments, muscles and nerves. The majority of whiplash cases occur just like the case above -- from a car accident. However, it is also possible to get whiplash from other activities, like sports. 

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New Braunfels car accident lawyerEach year, around 2.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the United States, including many who were injured in car accidents and truck crashes. A large majority of TBI victims suffer only minor complications and eventually heal from their injuries. Tens of thousands of others per year, however, suffer either fatality (around 56,000 per year) or long-term complications that may ultimately lead to death. When such situations are the result of negligence, financial assistance to cover medical expenses, treatments, and life expenses is crucial. It is important to understand your right to pursue this compensation, and where you can find quality assistance to improve your chances of a positive outcome. 

Traumatic Brain Injuries and Negligence

Negligence is not a factor in every traumatic brain injury case, but it is more common than most people realize. For example, auto accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injury. Many traffic accidents are directly caused by drivers who fail to pay proper attention to their surroundings.

Falls, which are the leading cause of TBI, can also involve an element of negligence. Examples might include slip and fall injuries in a store, down a flight of stairs in a business establishment, or a fall in the parking lot of a grocery store. This is known as premises liability—a situation in which the owner of a building or parking lot has failed to ensure the safety of its patrons. 

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New Braunfels car accident lawyerAll states, including Texas, require that drivers carry auto insurance. Sadly, there are still situations in which you may be involved in a crash with an uninsured driver. For example, you might crash into someone who is driving a stolen car or a person who is explicitly excluded from the vehicle owner’s policy. Do you have any recourse in such a situation? What can you do about your medical bills? A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you find the answers to these questions and any others that you might have following an uninsured motorist accident.  

Do Not Make Assumptions About the Other Driver

Many people automatically assume that an uninsured driver is “poor.” More specifically, the common presumption is that since the driver does not have insurance, he or she cannot afford to pay out for medical expenses, property damage, or other losses experienced by the victim. This is not always the case, however. The driver who hit you could have been a young teen with a history of driving recklessly, so their parents took him or her off the policy to avoid liability. Such a driver could still have the means to cover your losses. Alternatively, the person that hit you could have non-liquid assets that a judge could find as sellable in order to cover your expenses. Either way, talk to an attorney before you make any decisions about what you think the other driver can afford to pay.

When All Else Fails

Not everyone can pursue damages from the uninsured driver after an accident. The person might not have any assets worth selling, or they may not even be a licensed driver. In such cases, your own insurance becomes the fail-safe option. Hopefully, you have comprehensive and collision coverage and possibly uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as well. Even if you do not, your insurance should at least cover your medical expenses. In such a situation, it is critical that you speak to an attorney. You might be surprised to learn what you can or cannot pursue compensation for, even when filing against your own insurance company. In addition, getting your insurer to pay your claim is not always as straightforward as it should be.

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Comal County personal injury attorney car accident

There is nearly an infinite number of issues that may cause a car accident. Driving under the influence, reckless driving, inattention to the road, and traffic law violations are some of the most common causes of auto accidents. However, in many cases, more than one factor leads to a car accident. For example, one motorist involved in an accident may have been driving over the speed limit while the other driver is texting and driving. You may wonder, “In car accidents involving shared blame, how is the at-fault driver determined? Can I still recover damages even if I am partially at fault for an accident?”   

Texas Comparative Negligence Law

The state of Texas uses what is known as a “modified comparative negligence” model for shared-fault personal injury cases. In Texas law, this is referred to a “proportionate responsibility.” This means that Texas courts allow injured individuals to seek compensation for their injuries even if they were partially to blame for the injuries. In fact, as long as an injured party was not more than 50 percent at fault for the incident that caused the injuries, he or she can still bring a court action for damages. 

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New Braunfels personal injury attorney car accident

Not all car accidents are the result of driver-related errors, negligence, or intentionally wrongful conduct. Sometimes, the fault lies with the vehicle itself—whether in its design, manufacture, or maintenance. Importantly, for victims in accidents caused by vehicle defects, recourse exists just the same as it does for “regular” accidents. Products liability law (rather than negligence or battery) governs this area of auto accidents in Texas and allows victims to rightfully seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income due to missed work, the cost of vehicle repair or replacement, and when warranted, punitive damages. With the aid of an experienced personal injury attorney, the existence of a defect can be proven and compensation sought for its adverse consequences.

Manufacturing Defects May Have Dire Consequences

Cars are complex machines, and with highway speed limits in Texas that are 85 miles per hour in some areas, injuries and property damage stemming from a vehicle defect-related accident can be severe. One common type of defect is “unintended acceleration,” which affected Toyota vehicles made in or around 2009 and Audi vehicles in the 1980s. There is also the problem of tire separation, which, due to poor quality adhesives, caused tire treads to separate while the vehicle was being operated. When tire separation occurred on Ford’s Explorer model vehicle, the result was improper maneuvering and accidents in which serious injuries resulted. 

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New Braunfels car accident lawyerEveryone knows that the right thing to do in the event of a car accident is to stop and share contact information with the other driver. Not only is this the ethical thing to do, but it is also required by law. When a motorist is involved in a collision, he or she must stop his or her vehicle. Failure to stop is considered a “hit-and-run,” and leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in the state of Texas.

If you were involved in a hit-and-run, you may have suffered severe injuries that incurred significant medical costs in addition to your property damage. You may also be unable to work due to your injuries. You may wonder whether or not you can pursue compensation for these losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Successfully obtaining compensation for a hit-and-run accident can be a challenging process, but it is possible.

Next Steps

One of the most crucial steps to take after being involved in a hit-and-run accident is to call the police and get a police report. A police report that describes the details of the accident is an essential element in a personal injury claim and an insurance claim. Furthermore, the sooner you contact the police, the more likely it is that the police will be able to catch the person who hit you. Next, gather information about the accident.

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New Braunfels personal injury lawyerDo you ever get nervous driving behind a semi-truck carrying a large load, such as lumber or metal crates? If you do, you are not alone. Many people feel uneasy when they are driving near large trucks shipping cargo. While the vast majority of cargo trucks contain loads that are properly secured, there is always a chance that a mistake results in loose cargo falling into the roadway. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by debris or cargo falling off of a commercial truck, you may be eligible for compensation.

Texas Truckers Must Properly Load and Secure Cargo

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the primary federal agency overseeing the creation and enforcement of safety guidelines for the commercial trucking industry. The FMCSA requires trucks operating in interstate commerce to follow a number of rules regarding the securement of semi-truck cargo. These rules include requirements such as:

  • Cargo items must be secured in such a way that items do not shift on or within the vehicle or fall from the vehicle.

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Hays County personal injury attorney car accident

A newspaper article from this past March revealed staggering statistics for Comal County drivers—and it may not stop there. After analyzing car accident statistics on FM 32, it was found that the Comal County portion of this may be more dangerous than its counterparts. According to accident data from the past six years, the number of accidents on this stretch of the roadway increased 60 percent from 2018 to 2019. The curviness of the road, drivers moving at 60mph around the bend, and a lack of guardrails are placing many Comal County drivers at risk.

Although statistics have not yet been released for the entirety of 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) saw a 6 percent increase in the number of roadway deaths throughout the state of Texas so far this year. While you may think stay-at-home orders would keep people in their homes, freeing up the roads for fewer accidents, the NSC believes these open roads are leading to an increase in reckless driving. Now that things are beginning to open back up, rusty drivers are taking to the roads for the first time in months and careless driving behaviors may continue despite the increase in cars on the road. Whether you are driving down FM 32 in Comal County or navigating other roads throughout Texas, it is crucial that you remain vigilant while driving and be prepared for how you should handle an accident if you find yourself in a collision with another vehicle.

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