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Hays County car crash attorneyFor many children and adults alike, Memorial Day signifies the start of summer. However, it is also the beginning of what has been dubbed the “100 Deadliest Days” due to the increased number of teen fatalities that occur on roadways between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that during the summer months, there are three times as many fatal car accidents among teens when compared to adults.

Any car accident has the potential to be serious and cause injury to yourself or others, but a car accident with a teenager may be particularly severe. If you have been in a car accident with a teenager, here are a few different things that may have contributed to the accident:

Distracted Driving

One of the most common reasons for car accidents in general is distracted driving. The AAA states that distractions play a role in around six out of 10 car crashes, which is much higher than previously thought. There are many different things that could distract a person while they are driving, both inside and outside of the vehicle. Things such as changing the radio, adjusting the temperature controls, directing attention toward another passenger, putting on makeup, eating and/or drinking, and using your cell phone can all pose as distractions while driving.

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Comal County motorcycle crash attorneyEach year in the United States, May is recognized as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This is an important time to reflect on how motorcycles and other vehicles can more safely share the road and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, but it is also a good time for motorcyclists to learn about their options if they are injured in an accident. Motorcycle crash injuries often result in lasting consequences, and it is important for motorcyclists and their families to be aware of all the damages they may be able to recover through a personal injury claim.

When Can I Recover Damages?

When a motorcyclist is injured in an accident and requires medical care, two things must be true in order for them to recover compensation. First, their injuries must have been caused entirely or partially by the negligence of another party. Often, this means another driver may have caused the crash because they were drunk, distracted, or otherwise driving recklessly in breach of their duty of care to others on the road. In some cases, other parties may also be liable, such as employers of commercial truck drivers or manufacturers of defective motorcycle parts.

Second, the motorcyclist must have been 50 percent or less responsible for their own injuries. It can be much more difficult to recover compensation from another party in a single-vehicle accident, or an accident in which the motorcyclist was intoxicated, speeding, or otherwise violating traffic laws.

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New Braunfels truck wreck lawyerWhen you get into an accident with a commercial truck or a semi-truck, the situation can be rather serious. Trucks that weigh tens of thousands of pounds are no match for cars and other vehicles that usually only weigh a couple of thousand pounds. Pursuing a personal injury case after you have been hurt in a truck accident is often a necessity, but truck accidents can be complicated. Before you can proceed with your case, you and your attorney will have to determine who should be held liable for the accident.

Possible Negligent Parties in a Texas Truck Wreck

Some of the entities that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries include:

New Braunfels personal injury lawyerStatistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that more than 3 million people are injured in auto accidents each year. Many of these injured parties are victims of negligent drivers—motorists who were intoxicated, texting while driving, or otherwise behaving in a way that compromised the safety of those around them. The end result is a life that has been turned upside down. Sadly, it may be a long time before things are set right again. For some, life will never be the same. 

Long-Term Injuries and Wrongful Death

While some injuries do heal over a relatively short time period, there are those that can have long-lasting effects. Those that experience such injuries are likely to need rehabilitation, long-term medical care, and they may miss time from work. Some may be so severely injured that they are unable to return to the activities that they used to enjoy. Examples of severe and long-lasting injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

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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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New Braunfels personal injury lawyerAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use in the U.S. cost the county almost a quarter trillion dollars in 2010—the last year for which statistics have been made widely available. This number included costs caused by a loss in workplace productivity, health care, criminal justice, and alcohol-related car accidents. Alcohol is often a factor in personal injury law cases, and many who are injured in alcohol-related accidents are eligible to receive compensation.

Alcohol-Related Injuries

Although many people use alcohol responsibly, alcohol is a very powerful drug. When a person consumes alcohol, their body is affected in several significant ways. Their reaction time is often decreased and reflexes may become slower, their vision may become distorted or blurry, their ability to concentrate may be diminished, and they may find it hard to coordinate their movements. These side effects of alcohol make a person much more susceptible to injury.

Sometimes alcohol-related injuries are caused by something as simple as slipping and falling. This often happens in dimly lit bars or other places where alcohol is served and could be spilled. When a person has been drinking, he or she is less likely to be able to react to a slip as quickly as he or she might have been able to while sober. This makes serious injury a higher risk than if the person had not been drinking.

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New Braunfels personal injury lawyerThe trucking industry transports goods across the country and brings in billions of dollars of revenue each year, yet it also causes a great deal of harm to other drivers. In fact, estimates from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show that nearly half a million truck crashes occur each year. Over 4,000 of these crashes cause at least one death, while approximately 100,000 such wrecks cause injuries to at least one person. Why do so many large truck crashes happen, and what can victims do to ensure they are compensated for their losses?

Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents

While there are many potential reasons why a truck accident may occur, many crashes could be prevented if truck drivers avoided certain behaviors. According to data from the FMCSA, the most common factors in tractor-trailer accidents include:

New Braunfels personal injury attorneyWe have all done it. You are driving along the highway when your phone rings. You know you should ignore the incessant ringing until you are not driving, but temptation wins, and you reach for your phone. Distractions such as cell phones contribute to nearly 80 percent of car crashes, according to some estimates. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly 3,000 lives are lost in accidents involving a distracted driver each year. If you have been in a car accident caused by a driver who was not paying attention or was distracted, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Distractions Which Can Cause Traffic Accidents

For many, driving a motor vehicle becomes second nature. Although most people exhibit cautious behavior when they are first learning to drive, after a while, many people become careless regarding safe driving habits. About 2 percent of all distracted driver traffic fatalities are caused simply by drivers who take their hands off the wheel to adjust the radio or climate controls. Driving with other people in the vehicle can be a major source of distraction as well. About 5 percent of traffic fatalities in relation to distracted driving are attributed to the passengers in the car. This phenomenon is especially true of teenage drivers. Research shows that when a teen drives with two or more passengers, the likelihood that they will be involved in a fatal car accident increases by a factor of five.

Mental Distractions Are Just as Dangerous as Physical Distractions

Some may assume that if they wait until they are no longer driving to check their text messages or change the radio station that they avoid the dangers of distracted driving. However, experts say that distractions outside of the car can be dangerous too. About 7 percent of distracted driver fatalities are caused by people or other distractions outside of the vehicle. The leading cause of distracted driving car accidents is simply drivers who are lost in thought. Research shows that over half of distracted driving accidents—about 62 percent—are caused by daydreaming.

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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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