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Houston Personal Injury Law Blog

Pedestrian accidents increased in 2018

Texas remains one of the most dangerous states for pedestrian deaths, according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association. The report highlights some startling statistics for both pedestrians and motorists alike-298 pedestrians died in the first six months of 2018, a total that was 32 deaths higher than the number of pedestrians killed in the same time period in 2017. The recent death of a county sheriff highlights the fact that pedestrian accidents are still a problem across the state.

Factors that contribute to pedestrian accidents are the time of day, speed, and phone usage. People are driving very fast and not paying attention to the road when behind the wheel. Motorists are texting and driving or are otherwise distracted and, by the time their attention is back on the road, a person is crossing in front of them.

Have ELDs reduced truck accidents?

The introduction of electronic logging devices was supposed to herald a change in the trucking industry by reducing driver fatigue and making the roads safer, but a recent report claims this has not happened. In fact, Texas residents might be surprised to learn the study suggests that drivers are engaging in unsafe driving practices that might offset any benefits of ELDs.

The team analyzed crash and inspection data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and concluded that the prevalence of ELDs did not have a measureable impact on truck accidents. ELD adoption rates were highest in smaller carriers, as most larger carriers were already running electronic devices prior to the law, and there was little change in the number of accidents.

Pedestrian struck by vehicle driven by teenager

Losing someone in a fatal car accident can be traumatizing-after all no one expects that the person they said goodbye to a couple hours ago will never be seen again. Family members suddenly find themselves planning a funeral instead of a family vacation and the emotional ramifications, not to mention financial ones, can be immense. Making sense of the loss can be very difficult, only adding to the frustration.

These thoughts might be going through the heads of the family members of a 53-year-old man who recently died in a pedestrian accident in Texas. According to authorities, the accident victim was walking along the shoulder of the roadway when a vehicle being driven by a 17-year-old struck him. The teenager was driving a pickup northbound when he went across the white line, veering into the road's shoulder.

Understanding Texas's modified fault rule

While it may be easy to say one's car accident is someone else's fault, proving fault in a court of law is a complicated matter. Even where it may be obvious that one's rear-end accident has been caused by someone else's negligence, there are certain legal elements that must be proven and other legal issues that might affect financial recovery. Comparative negligence is one such concept.

Some states split the blame between parties to a car crash by using a comparative negligence theory. According to this theory, the recovery of damages is lessened by the percentage of fault that is attributed to them. Also known as allocation of fault, it means that if an accident victim's own negligence also contributed to the accident, their damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault allocated to them. However, Texas follows the modified fault rule, as do a majority of states.

Trucker's hours of service regulations

Any motor vehicle accident is tragic enough and has the potential to cause loss of limb and life, but a truck accident can be more dangerous because of the size of the vehicle involved. If not operated properly, an 18-wheeler has the potential to become a weapon that can cause destruction on the road. One of the main causes for truck accidents is driver fatigue-truck drivers drive long hours and are often pushed to drive without taking adequate rest breaks. This is why a trucker's hours of service are regulated by both state and federal laws.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines the number of hours both property carrying and passenger carrying trucks can be operated without a break. A property carrying driver can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 hours of consecutive off-duty time. A passenger carrying driver on the other hand can only drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight hours off-duty. A property-carrying driver may not drive more than the 14th consecutive hour after starting duty following 10 consecutive hours off-duty.

Boy dies in car crash

The loss of any life is tragic and can neither be measured or replaced, but when a young person dies, it is especially tragic. A young life brings with it a lot of promise and expectations, and when it ends, it leaves a hole in the lives not only of their parents but also in those of community members. Dealing with this loss can have life-altering effects on their family member's life as they search for answers in the car accident's aftermath. While those answers are not always found, accountability may be possible through a personal injury lawsuit.

This might be an option that family members of a recently deceased young boy consider after the 11-year-old boy died in a fatal car accident. The Texas boy was on a religious mission when he died in a two-vehicle crash while traveling from one location to another. They were headed to a project, where kids from all over the country were heading, to hand out religious texts from door-to-door and also a gospel campaign.

Whose responsibility are outdoor slip-and-fall accidents?

Walking into a restaurant or a supermarket, customers have an expectation of entering a safe and hazard free premises. Then it is unfortunate when the owner or possessor of the building they are entering does not take the necessary precautions to ensure their premises is safe and also the area outside is free from risks. When an injury takes place as a result of the owner's or possessor's negligence, it might be possible to hold them accountable through a premises liability lawsuit.

Many may believe that slip-and-fall accidents taking place indoors are only actionable, but this is not the case. Houston owners are also responsible for the conditions outside of their premises. Premises liability arises when the owner/possessor failed to take appropriate precautions or to rectify a problem that created an accident that led to someone else's injuries.

Working with an attorney after an accident

When involved in an auto accident, it can alter your day, the next few weeks or even the rest of your life. Especially if you receive an injury, you may have lasting issues you have to deal with for an extended period of time.

Thankfully, you have the option of seeking restitution through a personal injury claim. When working with an attorney to pursue your claim, you should be aware of a few important things.

What should drivers do in areas where children are present?

All drivers are expected to exercise a duty of care to others that they come across on Houston roads. Whether those others are drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians, motor vehicle operators are expected to make good and reasonable decisions about their driving conduct to keep others from getting into harm's way. When they act negligently drivers are hazards to themselves and the many others they can face when they choose to operate their vehicles.

Reasonableness guides many inquiries into whether drivers acted negligently in collisions with others. If a driver operated their vehicle over the speed limit or violated traffic laws like texting and driving or failing to yield, then their actions may rightfully be viewed as unreasonable and dangerous. Other scenarios may not be as clear cut.

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