Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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In the United States, wrong-way accidents can kill hundreds of people every year. These accidents can be particularly deadly when compared to other types of collisions, and account for as many as 54 percent of traffic accident-related deaths in previous years. In the event of one of these devastating accidents, if someone you love is killed because of the neglect and carelessness of another driver, you may have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death suit for monetary damages.

According to a local news report, two San Antonio residents and four others were killed after a wrong-way accident. Evidently, two vehicles crashed into each other head-on, resulting in one driver being pronounced dead on the scene and his passenger succumbing to her injuries after being transported to a local hospital for treatment. The other victims who died were between 18 and 24 years old, and three other unidentified passengers were taken to the hospital for medical care. Following the accident, local authorities are still investigating the accident’s details.

In Texas, you may be eligible for filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one if that individual died due to a wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness from the at-fault party. Car accidents that result in a wrongful death are a common claim in Texas, but not everyone is eligible to bring a claim on behalf of the deceased. If you decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must either be the deceased’s surviving spouse, child, or parent. Children who are legally adopted, surviving adoptive parents, and personal representatives of the deceased’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-11-at-5.07.17-PM.pngThursday, February 11, 2021, DALLAS/Fort Worth:  Traffic crews and medics responded to several fatal car accidents overnight in North Texas as icy roads caused difficult driving conditions for people. At least eight deaths have been confirmed, officials said. 

Pileup crash on I-35W in Fort Worth

More than 75 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup crash Thursday morning on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth, including several 18-wheelers, officials said. A number of people were trapped hours after the crash happened around 6 a.m. 

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pexels-matheus-bertelli-799463-300x169According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), Texas motor vehicle collisions occur less than every minute. Those that suffer injuries in a Texas car accident may be able to recover for their injuries against a negligent driver. Over 10% of Texas accidents result from inclement weather conditions, such as fog, sleet, ice, rain, and wind. In some cases, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and electric storms also result in a higher number of severe Texas car crashes. Texas weather can change quite quickly, and weather conditions can vary drastically from one part of the state to the next. Although safety officials stress the importance of postponing driving until after a severe weather event, it is not possible in some cases.

Before getting on the road, drivers should ensure that their vehicles are in proper working order. Motorists should inspect their windshield wipers, headlights, tire pressure and tread, and brakes. Most importantly, drivers who must drive during inclement weather should plan their route and travel time in advance. Driving during severe weather conditions can be stressful and take longer than usual. Drivers who find themselves on a Texas road during bad weather conditions should slow down, leave room in front of them, use turn signals early, buckle up, turn off cruise control, avoid sudden braking, and pull over safely, if necessary.

Rain accounts for the majority of weather-related car accidents in Texas. Hydroplaning is one of the main reasons for accidents in rainy conditions. This occurs when a vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road and begin to skid and veer. These accidents often result in chain-reaction collisions and can cause severe injuries and even death to motorists, passengers, and bystanders.

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pexels-pixabay-263402-300x199Jan. 3, 2021: NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — One person is dead, and three others are hurt after a crash Tuesday night December 29th near South Business 35 and McQueeney Road in New Braunfels. 

Emergency crews responded to the single-vehicle rollover crash at about 11:45 p.m. When they arrived, they found a Ford Explorer had lost control and rolled over, hurting four adults inside including the driver, who was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver, identified as 47-year-old Carlye James Donaldson of San Antonio, was being transferred to a nearby hospital when he died en route police said. 

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/12/Screen-Shot-2020-12-22-at-12.55.37-PM.pngDecember 22, 2020: ELLIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — Two family members were killed, and two others were injured after a tragic December 14 crash involving a passenger van and a semi tractor-trailer.

Officials with the Milford Police Department confirm two people in the van died and two others were injured — one serious, one minor — in the afternoon crash on Interstate-35E in south Ellis County.

It was around 5:30 p.m. when police were called out on a “two vehicle major accident”. Once there officials said they quickly realized they needed help and called in more than half-dozen agencies — including DPS, Italy Police and Fire, and Ellis County Sheriff’s deputies.

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pexels-antonio-batinić-5364345-300x200There are plenty of roads in Texas that do not have a physical median separating the lanes as vehicles move in opposite directions. This road design, coupled with distracted or reckless driving, often becomes the perfect storm for dangerous car accidents. Head-on accidents, for example, most frequently occur on this type of roadway when the at-fault party veers across the center dividing line and crashes into a car coming in the opposite direction.

In a recent news report, six individuals were killed in a deadly head-on highway car accident. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, two vehicles were heading in opposite directions when one of the cars veered into the neighboring lane and crashed head-on with the other vehicle. The eastbound vehicle was carrying three passengers, who all died at the scene. The westbound car was carrying six passengers, and three were killed in the crash. The remaining passengers of the westbound vehicle were transported to local hospitals to treat their injuries. All of the passengers in the eastbound vehicle were wearing seat belts, whereas only the driver of the westbound car was wearing his seat belt. The crash remains under investigation by local authorities.

In Texas, like other jurisdictions, head-on car accidents can lead to a host of legal issues. Distracted driving or drowsiness are often common causes for these often-fatal crashes, as well as drunk driving or speeding.

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pexels-ian-panelo-3087484-200x300Many Texas companies hire independent contractors because of their cost-effective nature. With an independent contractor, companies can use the contractor for a particular project when it needs to be done and are free from being tethered to the particular contractor when the work is complete. When a contractor’s actions cause an accident, however, there is a question of liability on the company’s part. Is the contractor or the company responsible? It can often be a complicated question.

For example, in a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion, the court considered a case involving the liability of a company that hired an independent contractor. When a Texas utility company entered into a contract with an independent contractor, the utility company issued a work order for the independent contractor to remove a utility pole. To remove the pole, it needed to be pulled out of the ground, and then the hole would be filled with dirt. The independent contractor completed the project and filled the hole, and another company that the utility company contracted with to inspect the work of its contractors confirmed that the job was complete. The plaintiff was mowing her lawn when she stepped into a hole that was two and a half feet deep in the area where the pole had been removed. The plaintiff sued the utility company, its independent contractor, and the company responsible for checking the contractor’s work for negligence. The trial court and court of appeals sided with the defendants by granting summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the utility company owed a duty to her to ensure that the independent contractor performed its job in a safe manner. Because the removal of the pole was inherently dangerous work and the utility company had a contractual right to control the independent contractor, they owed her a duty. However, the court disagreed and sided with the defendants, arguing that there was no duty on the part of the utility company to the plaintiff.

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CS-San-Antonio-9-300x300Recently, a Texas district court issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from injuries a man suffered during a workplace altercation. According to the record, the plaintiff worked in a storeroom of a clothing store that is operated by a larger company. The plaintiff and another employee became involved in a verbal altercation requiring intervention from a supervisor. The supervisor presented the parties with the options to either quit their jobs, change shifts, or continue working together-they chose to continue working together. About a week after the verbal altercation, the men became involved in another argument, and the employee punched the plaintiff. Both of the men were terminated from their positions. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the parent company, arguing that they were liable for his injuries because of negligent hiring, negligent training, negligent supervision, retention, and monitoring. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the company appealed.

Among other issues, the company argued that they were not liable because the men were not employees of the parent company, but rather of a subsidiary. The company argued that the plaintiff did not establish that the defendant had an employment relationship with any of the parties involved, or that they controlled the subsidiary’s safety policies. Therefore, the jury’s finding was not supported by the evidence.

Under Texas laws, the court will sustain a sufficiency of the evidence challenge if there is a complete absence of an essential fact, the trial court is barred by the law to give weight to the evidence offered to prove a vital fact, if the preferred evidence is no more than a “mere scintilla,” or the evidence established the opposite of a vital fact. Evidence rises to a sufficient level if it would allow fair-minded people to differ in their conclusions. Further, if the evidence does not create more than a slight suspicion, it is not sufficient.

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pexels-pixabay-263402-300x199Nov. 11, 2020, McCLAIN COUNTY, Oklahoma:  Investigators said a truck driver was driving distracted on Interstate 35 where he killed a woman and injured her husband. Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers responded to the crash on March 2, 2020, near mile marker 82 in McClain County.

A semi-truck driven by 58-year-old Johnny Spradlin was surrounded by other vehicles approaching a construction zone.  

Investigators said surrounding vehicles slowed down, but the 18-wheeler driver Spradlin did not. He crashed into a 2016 Chevy Traverse driven by 63-year-old Julia Kraus and her passenger husband around 9:30 a.m. Kraus was pronounced dead at the scene.   Kraus’ husband was injured in the crash but survived.  

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pexels-burak-k-67088-300x200We’ve all been there—after a long day at work, or on the way to work, you find yourself fighting to keep your eyes open to focus on driving. In Texas, where most people own a car and driving is a regular part of getting around and commuting, Texas drivers are especially susceptible to these accidents because of how much time is spent on the road. Whether it was stress from the day or a restless night of sleep the night before, drowsy driving is dangerous and can often lead to fatal consequences. Unfortunately, Texas drowsy driving accidents are more common than you may expect.

According to a recent report, fatal drowsy driving accidents continue to be a widespread public safety issue in the United States. Between 2010 and 2018, drowsy driving accidents killed 7,392 people nationwide. In total, 22% of these accidents occurred on Texas highways and interstates, making the state home to America’s most drowsy drivers. Although the number of fatalities caused by these accidents has decreased since 2010, the number of accidents in Texas continues to be nearly four times greater than the state with the next greatest percentage of fatalities. On the state’s busiest, traffic-heavy roads, there were ten times more fatal crashes than the national average.

When it comes to drowsy driving accidents, people 25 to 34 are most susceptible to these crashes. Nearly 16% of victims from 2010 to 2018 were in this category, making this statistic especially troubling. Because a single accident stemming from drowsy driving is likely to kill more than one person, the lethal nature of these accidents must be emphasized.

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