(December 28, 2022) In a previous post, we discussed search and seizure laws pertaining to automobiles. We saw how a warrantless vehicle search must meet two requirements: probable cause and mobility. But how much of the vehicle can police officers search under this rule? If they see evidence of illegal contraband (illegal substances, for example), do they have the ability to search the entire vehicle? What about bags or locked containers in the passenger compartment or trunk? Let’s take a look at what’s covered under the mobile conveyance exception – and what is not.
Articles Posted in Car Accidents
Can the Police Search My Car Without a Warrant?
(December 28, 2022) The United States Supreme Court case Mapp v. Ohio established the historic exclusionary rule, which forbids any evidence collected illegally to be used in court, which is consistent with the fourth amendment that protects against unreasonable search and seizure. However, this rule created a tricky situation for traffic officers. It frequently happened that traffic officers had probable cause to believe that illegal activity was being enabled by automobiles. However, by the time they came back with a warrant to search the vehicle, it was out of their jurisdiction, or the evidence was gone. To combat this problem, the Supreme Court ruled in Carroll v. United States to include an automobile exception to the exclusionary rule that allowed traffic officers to conduct warrantless vehicle searches… if certain conditions were met. So, when can an officer search your vehicle without your consent?
When Can a Traffic Officer Search Your Vehicle Without Your Consent?
Safe Driving Tips for the Back-to-School Season
(August 25, 2022) San Antonio is officially back to school this week. Back to school means busy parents are rushing to drop off their kids before work, and school buses are adding to the already congested construction traffic areas. It’s important during this time that drivers brush up on their back-to-school safe driving techniques. In this article, we’ll look at crash statistics and cover tips for safe driving practices during the school season, as well as what to do if your child has been injured in a school transportation accident.
Did you know?
Hydroplaning and Inclement Weather Driving Safety
(August 23, 2022) The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for San Antonio and the surrounding hill country for the extremely heavy rain we have recently experienced. This rain is expected to stay for the remainder of the week. Driving in the rain comes with many complications and unique dangers that can increase your risk of being in an accident. In this article, we’ll take a look at some safety tips for driving in the rain, as well as the causes of hydroplaning and how to avoid it.
Did you know?
The Dangers of an Improperly Installed Car Seat
On Monday, March 28, 2022, a four-year-old girl tragically lost her life in a deadly rollover accident in Boerne, Texas. The young girl’s car seat was not adequately secured to the vehicle, which allowed her to be ejected from the vehicle, along with her two-year-old and infant siblings, whose car seats were also improperly installed. The young girl was pronounced dead on the scene, and her two siblings were rushed to the hospital with major injuries, including a broken neck and hip, according to the affidavit (KSAT News, 2022).
The tragic death of young children due to an improperly installed car seat is an avoidable yet common mistake. Car accidents are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Even though most parents comply with the law and utilize safety seats for their children, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 59% of all car seats are misused, meaning that they are not properly buckled and anchored to the vehicle. Failure to properly restrain a child results in a fine of up to $250, according to Texas law. Children under the age of eight years old are required to be secured in a safety seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Children 12 and older must wear a seatbelt. These restrictions are designed to keep our children safe. Children younger than eight years old cannot be protected by seatbelts designed for the average adult. Their smaller size and weight put them at risk of being ejected from the vehicle or being struck in the head at impact. When properly installed, car seats raise children to a safer height and firmly secure them to the seat, greatly minimizing the risk of serious bodily injury. The best way to keep your children safe from injury is to use the appropriate safety seat for their age, height, and weight.
Not sure if your child’s car seat is properly installed?
How to Know if you have a Personal Injury Claim
How do you know if you have a personal injury claim? You can suffer personal injuries when injured physically, psychologically, or emotionally usually due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful conduct of another individual. It’s typically the case that when an individual files a personal injury claim, they or someone they love sustained injuries due to another’s negligent actions.
Because personal injury law covers a vast amount of different situations, it’s extremely important for you to consult with an experienced lawyer if you believe you have a personal injury claim. For instance, you are potentially at risk of suffering personal injuries in situations such as automobile accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, and many others.
Given this information, you need to seek professional legal advice from an experienced lawyer to know if you have a personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney will aim to determine who is responsible for the injury or death. They then evaluate the legal issues applicable in a particular situation and determine which course of action is best for their clients. If required, they will file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of those injured. They take these steps in order to protect the injured party’s rights and ensure proper compensation is received.
Fatalities on Texas Roadways
Here at Carabin Shaw, we are concerned about making Texas roads safer and our state an even better place to live. Kxan reports that in Austin, “On average, more than 11 people have died each day in traffic-related accidents on Texas roadways in 2021, state transportation leaders said Thursday. Each of these deaths has contributed to the state’s nearly 21-year streak of at least one traffic death per day.”
Bob Kaufman, the Texas Department of Transportation chief communications officer, stated. “We have a real crisis in our state,”
On Thursday, in a conference, the Texas Department of Transportation officials (DOT) broke down avoidable components that have given rise to more than two decades worth of traffic fatalities. The Texas Department of Transportation official, Michael Chacon, stated on Thursday that there were 3,556 fatalities statewide in 2021. In 2020, 3,896 individuals lost their lives in fatal traffic accidents in Texas. The total deaths figure was the highest it’s been in almost 30 years.
The Costly and Preventable Aftermath of a Texas Car Accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury in the country. Most Texas car accidents are preventable, and negligent drivers are responsible for these incidents’ harmful and expensive aftermath. The CDC explains that Americans spend over 1 million days in the hospital each year from accident injuries. Further, the most recent data suggests that crash injuries totaled nearly $18 billion in lifetime medical expenses. The majority of these costs occur during the first year and a half following an accident injury. Moreover, these injuries cost approximately $33 billion in lifetime work lost.
As the data suggests, Texas car accidents can cause significant financial, medical, and emotional damages to all parties involved in the accident. People’s pain tolerance and emotional tolerance vary significantly between individuals, and while some people may immediately feel the effects of an accident, others may not. In some cases, adrenaline will prevent a person from fully realizing the impact of the accident. In those situations, a person may not fully appreciate the extent of their physical or emotional trauma until after the accident.
Some Texas car accident injuries are readily apparent at the time of the accident; however, many appear sometime after the incident. Car accident victims and their loved ones should be aware of warning signs after a collision. Some warning signs after a car accident are dizziness or nausea, confusion and disorientation, unexplained bleeding, numbness, and stiffness in the neck or other joints.
Nearly 60 Percent of Child Car Seats Are Misused and Dangerous
San Antonio, Texas: It’s back to school and back on the roads in Texas, make sure your children are safely buckled up or strapped in for trips in the car.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children. While most people believe their children are properly buckled up, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points out that 59% of all car seats are misused. The best way to keep young children safe in your vehicle is to make sure they’re properly buckled up in a car seat. That means selecting a car seat that’s appropriate for a child’s age and size and installing it correctly.
“We encourage parents to take advantage of car seat safety checks available during Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25th). With proper car seat, car seat installment, and seat belt placement, children are far safer during a motor vehicle collision,” said Carabin Shaw Attorney Carla Dixon. “Knowing the guidelines for height and weight for your children is also extremely important to ensure your child is in the proper car seat or booster seat. Serious injuries can be greatly reduced as well if we place children rear-facing car seats until ages 2-4.”
How an Accident Victim’s Negligence Can Impact Their Texas Personal Injury Case
While some car accidents seem straightforward, upon investigation, most cases contain various factors that may impact liability and financial recovery. Most Texas motor vehicle accidents involve negligence or recklessness. However, while specific actions may seem “negligent,” Texas law has a precise definition of what amounts to legal negligence. Even if an injury victim can establish the other party’s negligence, they might still need to refute any claims of contributory negligence.
Contributory negligence and comparative fault are two approaches to liability in a Texas personal injury accident claim. Many accidents involve more than one reason or set of circumstances that led to the accident. There are various contributory negligence and comparative negligence theories that impact recovery. Texas courts use the “modified comparative negligence” laws to determine liability and subsequent recovery. Under this system, a plaintiff that is more than 51% responsible for an accident cannot recover compensation.
In light of the state’s comparative negligence laws, insurance companies will go to great lengths to refute a victim’s claim and reduce their compensation. In some cases, insurance companies and defendants will provide significant evidence to establish the victim’s liability. For instance, a recent Texas accident highlights a situation where a defendant may claim that the victim was negligent. In that case, a 73-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in a car accident. According to police, the man was in the process of picking up an item that fell out of his truck when he got hit by a Jeep. At the time of the report, the police did not issue any citations.