Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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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? 

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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.

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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. 

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/08/Screen-Shot-2021-09-14-at-11.28.55-AM-1024x695.pngAccording 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.

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pexels-kampus-production-6300862-300x200San 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.”

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/07/Screen-Shot-2021-07-02-at-9.08.29-AM-300x163.pngWhile 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.

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CS-San-Antonio-9-300x300The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion finding that a trial court abused its discretion in denying a defendant’s discovery request. The case arose after the plaintiff suffered injuries in a Texas car accident with a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant’s employee. After the accident, the parties took photos, exchanged identifying information, and drove away without reporting injuries. A few days after the accident, the plaintiff sought medical treatment and underwent several surgeries on his spine and shoulder. His medical providers charged him over one million dollars for the surgeries and treatment. The plaintiff did not pay for the care. His attorneys notified the healthcare providers that they would protect the healthcare providers’ interest if they settled the underlying personal injury lawsuit. However, they specified the settlement would only include reasonable and necessary medical charges.

During the trial, the defendants served subpoenas on the plaintiff’s healthcare providers. Specifically, they wanted information related to the providers’ billing practices and rates. Three of the providers filed motions to quash the subpoenas, and the trial court granted the motions. The defendant narrowed the requests, but the healthcare providers responded that the narrowed requests contained the same defects.

Under the rules of evidence, evidence is “relevant” if it has “any tendency” to make a fact more or less probable. For pre-trial discovery, evidence that may not be admissible at trial may still be permitted, so long as it’s “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” In the context of personal injury lawsuits, medical records and bills reasonably related to a party’s injuries or damages are typically relevant.

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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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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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