Articles Posted in Automobile Accidents

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/05/Screen-Shot-2020-05-04-at-9.59.08-AM-300x298.pngThe law provides that Texas insurance companies owe several duties to their policyholders. These procedural and substantive rules aim to ensure that insurance companies settle claims fairly and promptly. Insurance companies that fail to abide by these standards may be liable under Texas’ insurance bad faith and breach of contract laws.

While insurance companies are subject to significant oversight, many companies continue to engage in questionable practices that can adversely affect policyholders. Insurance companies typically maintain a team of experienced attorneys to defend their practices, which often leaves policyholders in a daunting and precarious financial position. Policyholders who face difficulties settling a claim with their Texas insurance company should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Under Texas law, policyholders pursuing a common law bad faith claim must establish their insurance company improperly denied a lawful claim. These causes of action usually stem from misrepresenting a policy, failing to settle in good faith, failing to explain a denial, failing to clarify coverage, and refusing to settle a claim without a reasonable investigation. The most common insurance business practices that lead to these claims are, claim undervaluation, delaying claims or payments, canceling or changing terms of a contract, requesting unnecessary information, alleging fraud without justification.

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pexels-pavel-danilyuk-6754163-300x200May 3 ,2021:  On Wednesday, April 28, Troopers responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash near Tyler.  The crash happened on SH-110 South at Meador Cemetery Rd. south of Tyler’s City limits in Smith County.

Violet Louise Wright,  59, of Bullard, the driver of a Honda Accord, had stopped on Meador Cemetery Rd attempting to enter SH-110 South. The driver of a Volkswagen Jetta, Jessica Karen King, 20, of Lindale was traveling northbound on SH-110 South. It was at this intersection that Wright failed to yield the right of way, entering onto SH-110 South, King hit the Honda that had pulled out into the traffic lane.

Wright was transported to UT Health–Tyler, where she was pronounced dead. King, the driver who struck Wright’s vehicle was transported to UT Health-Tyler in stable condition.

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April 27, 2021, Houston, TX On the evening of Friday April 16th a Tesla Model S crashed and burst into flames after hitting a tree in the Carlton Woods subdivision in the Woodlands.  The Tesla, traveling at high speed, failed to negotiate a bend and came off the road on Hammock Dunes Place, a residential street in the upscale Houston suburb. 

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said that the investigation showed “no one was driving” the fully electric 2019 Tesla Model S when the accident happened. There was a person in the passenger seat of the front of the car and in the rear passenger seat of the car. One of the men was identified as Dr. William Varner, a member of the Memorial Hermann medical system. The second victim of the Tesla crash was named as 69-year-old engineer Everett Talbot.  The accident has made national headlines because local officials investigating the incident say there was no one driving the vehicle. 

Federal investigators with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are among those now looking into the deadly accident that killed both men.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/04/Screen-Shot-2021-04-27-at-2.37.08-PM.pngSelf-driving, or autonomous cars, are revolutionizing the way the public looks at travel and car ownership. These vehicles turn active drivers into passive passengers, allowing motorists to rely on the car’s advanced computerized system to navigate the roads and avoid collisions. However, these cars may result in a serious Texas car accident, as the new technology is still being refined.

Autonomous vehicles rely on complex computer systems, sensors, actuators, and various algorithms to operate on the roads without an active driver. In theory, these cars provide a glimpse into a more environmentally friendly and safer future for road users. However, as it is, these features often present more dangers than benefits.

For example, recently, a national news report described a fatal Tesla crash involving a driverless vehicle. According to reports, the vehicle did not have a driver and was operating on high or full automation mode. As such, one of the occupants was in the front passenger seat, and the other occupants were in the back seat. The car was speeding along a dangerous curve when it slammed into a tree. Emergency responders used over 30,000 gallons of water to put out the massive fire that the collision sparked. Tesla did not respond to this incident but previously stated that their vehicles are intended to be used with an attentive driver who has their hands on the steering wheel. However, safety officials argue that the company does not do enough to deter drivers from depending too much on the vehicle’s features.

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car-crash-cartoon-pictures-19-300x210Texas car accidents range in severity, and individuals may exhibit significant differences in their responses to these potentially traumatic events. The magnitude of an accident may not become evident until some time after the incident; thus, Texas accident victims must take steps to address their injuries and preserve their recovery rights. Although it is unreasonable to expect motorists to fully prepare for another driver’s negligence, there are specific preparations motorists can take in the event of these unanticipated situations.

Motorists should ensure that their cars are in proper working order and keep their insurance and registration information easily accessible in their vehicles. Although many people do not find the need for pens and paper as they once did, it is advisable to keep these supplies handy to jot down and exchange information quickly.

After an accident, adrenaline and emotions are often running high, and the full extent of damages and injuries may not be readily apparent. Those involved in a Texas accident should err on the side of receiving medical treatment after an accident. While immediate transportation to a hospital may not be necessary, accident victims should consult with their primary physician or urgent care after an accident. Drivers should also check on their passengers and other people involved in the incident.

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pexels-pixabay-263402-300x199Saturday, March 27, 2021, Mineloa, TX:  Two people died after the back tire separated from a vehicle and caused a rollover crash on Saturday in Wood County.  The driver of an SUV, Robert Guy Marino of Tyler, was pronounced deceased Monday morning.  The passenger, Cathy Marks, 64 also of Tyler died at the scene Saturday.

According to DPS, the driver of a Ford Explorer was traveling north on US 69 at around 1:20 p.m. Saturday when a back left tire came off the vehicle, causing the driver to loose control.   The Explorer traveled off the road into the eastbound ditch where is rolled over.  The driver, Marino, was not wearing a seatbelt and was transported to UT Health Tyler in serious condition where he later died.

DPS said the crash is still under investigation.

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activity-board-game-connection-desk-613508-300x200Texas has specific procedural requirements that parties must adhere to when they proceed with a lawsuit. If these procedures are not followed and prescribed deadlines are ignored, it could result in your case being dismissed or leave you unable to get the compensation you deserve. Thus, hiring an experienced attorney is crucial when you decide to proceed with a lawsuit—especially someone who understands the ins and outs of Texas laws and procedures.

In a recent Supreme Court of Texas case, a plaintiff challenged a court order allowing the defendant in the dispute to designate an unknown person as a responsible third party. The plaintiff initially sued the defendant for negligently causing a chain-reaction car accident that occurred when a truck driver employed by the defendant rear-ended the truck behind the plaintiff. The defendant initially filed an answer asserting a general denial of responsibility and that the plaintiff was comparatively responsible for causing the accident. Then, 135 days later, the defendant filed a motion to designate an unknown person, referred to as “John Doe” as a responsible third party, arguing that John Doe negligently caused the accident. Although the plaintiff objected to the defendant’s filing, the trial court allowed the defendant to designate John Doe as an unknown responsible party in an amended answer.

More than two years later, the defendant filed its amended original answer, which still did not include allegations of John Doe’s responsibility. The plaintiff objected, stating that the defendant failed to meet the procedural requirements necessary to designate responsibility to John Doe since it was not in the amended complaint the defendant filed. In response, the defendant filed a second amended answer, this time including allegations stating that John Doe caused the accident. The trial court then denied the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion, and the plaintiff filed for relief with the Supreme Court of Texas.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/03/Screen-Shot-2021-03-14-at-9.34.32-PM-300x232.pngSunday, March 14, 2021:  ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Police Department responded to a major vehicle crash at approximately 1:05 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at US Highway 36 and Blackburn Road.  When officers arrived at the scene, they found a pickup truck and a Dodge Challenger that had both driven off the road and the Challenger was on fire.
Witnesses said the Challenger, driven by James Wells, 59 was traveling north on US Highway 36 at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles on the two-lane road.
Wells tried to pass the pickup truck driven by Mark Rodgers, 39 of Abilene near the Blackburn Road intersection. A vehicle in the oncoming lane caused Wells to try to get back in his lane but clipped the Rodgers vehicle in the rear, causing it to veer off the road and hit a tree before stopping in a field.  Rodgers was pronounced dead at the scene while his wife and three children (ages 8, 10, 11) who were also in the truck where taken to the hospital for treatment.  Their condition is unknown.  Wells was also taken to the hospital for his undisclosed injuries.
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pexels-antonio-batinić-5364345-300x200Every time we get behind the wheel in Texas, we must accept a certain level of risk as drivers. Even if we are careful, proactive, and courteous on the road, there is no guarantee that external factors will not cause a car accident. Other drivers, poor weather conditions, or unexpected obstacles on the road can all play a role in the chances of being involved in an accident. Unfortunately, for many of these accidents, there is nothing you can do to prepare outside of staying vigilant and ensuring your vehicle is properly maintained.

According to a local news report, a mother was killed after a tragic and sudden accident. The mother and her 17-year-old son were on their way home from a baseball game and were traveling southbound behind a white pickup truck when the tire and wheel from a pickup truck flew off. The tire and wheel went over the highway’s concrete barrier and smashed into the mother’s windshield, killing her instantly. At the time of the accident, the woman’s son was asleep in the front passenger seat. He was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. After the tire and wheel crashed through the mother’s windshield, she lost control and rear-ended a GMC ahead of her, which had four passengers. All four were transported to a local hospital, reportedly in serious, but stable, condition. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities, and the cause of the tire and wheel falling off is not yet clear.

According to officials, although this accident may seem like a freak accident, these types of collisions are more common than you may expect. Based on 2017 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 738 people died in tire-related crashes similar to the accident that took the mother’s life. In addition, more than 19,000 people are hurt every year from these accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Many of these accidents, however, can be preventable or the impact lessened with some easy steps.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-11-at-6.04.35-PM.pngDuring the course of the COVID-19 public health emergency, many aspects of life as we know it in Texas have changed. One change is traffic safety, especially now that driving patterns have been altered as a result of social distancing and more people staying home. Unsurprisingly, traffic patterns changed significantly throughout the course of 2020, and some of these changes may also affect Texas residents and drivers if you’re planning to get back on the road or have been back to commuting for a while.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) most recent report, changes to driving and travel patterns have been significant during the pandemic. The NHTSA reported that despite initial declines in traffic crash fatalities in 2020, the fatality rate increased during the second quarter of the year. From April until June, the fatality rate rose per 100 million vehicle miles traveled from 1.06 in 2019 to 1.25 in 2020. There was, however, an initial decrease in the first six months of 2020, which is likely attributable to the early onset of the pandemic and initial social distancing requirements and stay at home orders.

Drivers were taking on increased speeds in the second half of the year, according to the NHTSA. Although the reasons behind this are unclear, this may have been due to less bustle and congestion on the roads, which may have encouraged drivers to take advantage of the space. The NHTSA also reports that across nearly all roadway classifications, speeds observed in 2020 remained higher than in 2019. This, the NHTSA argues, presents a significant safety concern because a 10 percent change in the average speed of traffic has been historically shown to have a greater impact on traffic fatalities than a 10 percent change in traffic volume. Increased driving speed, the NHTSA contends, increases the risk of crashes and the severity of injuries associated with those crashes.

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