Car Accident Attorney in Baytown
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you may be wondering if you have a viable claim to recover money for medical bills and other expenses. The answer to that question depends on many factors. The threshold question is whether the driver of the other vehicle was negligent. Negligence on the part of a driver can be shown in many ways. Did the driver violate a state law? For instance, did the driver run a red light or stop sign, or was the driver speeding?
The negligent driver may have also failed to keep a proper lookout. Failing to keep a proper lookout is legal jargon for not paying attention, or distracted driving. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that as many as one in four collisions are caused by distracted driving. The most common examples of this are talking on a cell phone while driving and texting while driving. Cell phone use for talking and texting is not only a dangerous, distracted behavior that causes collisions, but it is also prohibited by law in certain circumstances. Drivers under eighteen years of age may not use a wireless device at all while driving. Drivers of any age may not use cell phones or other handheld wireless devices while driving through a school zone. Many jurisdictions in Texas ban texting while driving.
If you have been injured in a car accident by a negligent driver, you should consult with an attorney because you may be able to recover money damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, as well as other damages, depending on the type and severity of your injury.
Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers
Injuries caused by drunk drivers are unfortunately not rare. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3 in 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident sometime during their life. A person that decides to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is acting in a negligent manner. They are responsible, criminally and civilly, for any accidents they cause as a result of their actions.
An establishment (ex: bar or restaurant) that knowingly overserves a driver that injures another in an auto accident can also be held responsible in court. This provides the victim with another avenue to acquire just and fair compensation.
Defective Vehicle Accidents
Not all motor vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of a driver. The unfortunate reality is that some cars make it to the market possessing either a defective design (for example: the Toyotas that accelerated unintentionally) or a manufacturing defect (for example: brakes that were not installed properly). If you have been injured in a single car accident (or a multiple car accident in which one of the cars malfunctioned) you may have a product liability claim. Find more information regarding product liability claims here.
Accidents involving 18-wheelers, while not as common as collisions between two cars, can cause much greater damage and involve very serious injuries. 18-wheelers are highly regulated, but unfortunately that does not always prevent trucking companies from employing cost-saving tactics that ultimately make sharing the road with 18-wheelers unsafe.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the majority of 18-wheeler accidents are caused by driver error. Over half of the accidents caused by driver error involved drivers who were fatigued and/or taking prescription or over-the-counter medication.
Trucking accidents are also frequently caused by equipment failure. For example, a truck that is overloaded may cause the truck’s brakes to overheat and malfunction. A truck carrying a load that is not evenly distributed throughout the trailer could roll over. Improper tire maintenance can lead to blowouts. Some trucking companies have even been known to depower the front brakes to save on maintenance costs even though this practice puts 18-wheelers at a higher risk for jackknifing.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision with a commercial truck, you need an experienced trucking accident attorney to help you. Various government agencies collect data and make accident reports whenever an 18-wheeler is involved in a collision, particularly if there is a fatality involved. Furthermore, many commercial trucks now possess devices that function like a black box on an airplane, preserving data such as trip length, speed patterns, and braking actions taken by the driver. You need an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to accumulate as much evidence as possible about your accident.
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