Rural Roads the Deadliest in Latest Road Fatality Data

Posted on Monday, August 26th, 2019 at 5:36 am    

Texas is not the deadliest state in the country for traffic accidents. That dubious distinction goes to Mississippi with 23.1 fatalities per 100,000 residents, according to the latest crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, the state’s fatality rate has gone up, mirroring an overall 13% rise in fatalities nationwide over the last five years. There were 3,218 traffic related fatalities in Texas in 2017, the latest year available for analysis.

In fact, Texas doesn’t even figure in the top 10 states for traffic fatalities. These are Mississippi (at 23.1 / 100,000 residents as noted above), Wyoming, South Carolina, Alabama, New Mexico, Montana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arkansas, with the latter’s fatality rate standing at 16.4 / 100,000 residents.

Rural roads the deadliest

There is some evidence that one reason these states are particularly dangerous is that many of their roads are rural. Despite the fact that far fewer vehicles use rural roads there are several reasons why they seem to be more accident prone.

These are summarized as being due to:

  • faster average speeds;
  • rougher road surfaces;
  • more potential obstacles;
  • poorer lighting;
  • less effective law enforcement.

Drivers inevitably drive faster when speed limits are higher. Most rural and country roads have higher speed limits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are any safer than many city roads where speed limits are often less than 50 mph. In fact, many rural roads are narrower than urban or suburban roads, often just one lane.

There are more pot holes and other rough surfaces on rural roads compared to city roads that get more regular maintenance. Rough road surfaces are not an excuse for accidents but may contribute to making some accidents just that more potentially deadly.

While there are more pedestrians in cities, they generally understand the dangers of crossing roads and have crosswalks and other places that are designed for them to safely cross. Rural and country roads have a lot more wildlife and domestic animals that may or may not be fenced in. Wild and domestic animals can cause more potential accidents because their presence and actions are much more unpredictable than human pedestrians. Cows and deer don’t know how to use crosswalks, even if there were any for them!

Lighting is either poorer or non-existent on many rural roads, making night time driving on rural roads particularly dangerous compared to night time city driving.

Police departments are stretched thin over what can be huge rural areas to patrol, making drivers less cautious about breaking traffic rules and taking risks when it comes to driving dangerously.

Texas still has a speeding and drink driving problem

Although distracted driving has been much in the news over the last few years with the rise of cell phone and mobile device use, in fact the two most common causes of Texas traffic fatalities are speeding and drink driving. The NHTSA data between 2012 and 2017 shows an overall increase of 10% in fatalities across the state, with speeding the most common cause at 27.1%, DUI at 23.4%, drug taking at 10.4% and distracted driving at 9.9%.

Speeding also remains the nation’s most common cause of traffic fatalities with 9,717deaths due to speeding in 2017. The NHTSA data shows that a quarter of all U.S. traffic accidents are due to speeding.

No excuse for majority of traffic accidents wherever they occur

Whether you drive on mainly rural roads or city roads there is no excuse for being injured by a speeding driver. In fact, the vast majority of traffic accidents are avoidable. No-one has to drive too fast for the conditions, drink before driving, take drugs, fail to yield the right of way at an intersection, run a red light, or answer their cell phone or text a message while driving.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault in or around McAllen, you will need the help of an experienced car accident attorney.  You can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. Call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

Sleepy Drivers Under the Spotlight in Texas

Posted on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 at 5:28 am    

Texas is a big state. That means that there are many drivers out on our highways who drive long distances. Truck driver hours are supposed to be monitored, but that control, limited as it is, doesn’t apply to the vast number of drivers who may decide for one reason or another that they are immune from fatigue. In fact, fatigue, drowsy driving, tiredness, whatever you wish to call it, is a major reason for accidents on Texas highways.

Drowsy driving is not just due to not having enough sleep. It can be caused by:

  • sleep disorders;
  • sudden change in shift work hours;
  • jet lag after a long distance flight;
  • medication;
  • alcohol or drugs.

By far most common is plain old tiredness. A driver is heading home from a vacation, seeing relatives or work and is tempted to keep going rather than heed advice to stay fresh behind the wheel and get some much needed rest, preferably sleep. Having a coffee every now and again might help a little, but doesn’t compensate for real sleep. The sensible long distance driver plans his or her trip in advance and spends a night or two on the way in a motel or hotel. Research has shown that pulling over in a safe place and having a nap can make a real difference on a long trip and is certainly far safer than keeping going.

The statistics behind drowsy driving are frightening

Numerous surveys have been conducted into the incidence of falling asleep at the wheel and drowsy driving. There are also more authoritative statistics, compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The suspected cause of every traffic accident across the U.S. is categorized for statistical purposes. It’s hard sometimes to work out just how drowsy driving is involved, as an accident may very well have had contributory factors, even if the major factor is the one that is registered on the NHTSA statistics.

According to the NHTSA, there were 800 deaths in 2013 caused by drowsy driving, but these figures may be grossly underestimated. There may be far more fatal crashes that have been caused at least in part by fatigue, perhaps as many as 6,000 annually. The NHTSA data also revealed that there were 44,000 injuries in that same year (2013) and 72,000 crashes.

Perhaps even more frightening is the data from surveys into the incidence of driving while asleep. There have been numerous surveys which rely on anecdotal accounts. About 4% of people surveyed commonly report having fallen asleep behind the wheel, even if it was only for a few seconds. Those figures are only for the last 30 days! The number increases when drivers are asked whether they fell asleep at any time during the last 12 months. About 20% of drivers have admitted when asked whether they had fallen asleep, even for only very short periods, in the last year. 40% of drivers have admitted that they had fallen asleep at least once in their lifetime of driving.

You can’t stop other drivers from falling asleep

These figures are actually quite concerning. There is plenty of advice for all drivers that implores them not to drive when feeling tired or sleepy. For those who are reading this blog, all it takes is not to get behind the wheel and pretend to be a hero when you are tired or feeling drowsy. But even if you are feeling totally alert, that doesn’t mean you are never going to be hit by a drowsy driver. You can’t control what other drivers do behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving accidents are unfortunately most likely to happen on long stretches of highway between major urban centers and less likely in heavy traffic. That means that if you are hit by a drowsy or tired driver it is likely that the impact was at high speed.

If you, or a loved one, have been hit by a drowsy driver in or around McAllen and have been injured or your car damaged, or both, you have the right to claim compensation from the at-fault driver.

You will need the help of an experienced car accident attorney.  You can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. Call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

Monsanto and Bayer AG on the Back Foot Over Roundup Trials

Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 at 3:24 am    

Monsanto is on the defensive after a second trial favored plaintiffs alleging their cancer was caused by long exposure to the weedkiller, Roundup. Monsanto is the manufacturer of the world’s most effective and popular weedkiller, although the company is now owned by giant German agrochemical corporation, Bayer.

The court case in California awarded a 2 billion payout to a couple who had been using the weedkiller for many years. They had alleged that they had both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of their prolonged exposure to the chemical. The jury, in making its ruling, agreed that the company had failed in its duty to warn users of Roundup that it could cause cancer. Bayer, who would be liable for paying the couple, not surprisingly claimed that the decision was “excessive and unjustifiable.” Bayer is expected to appeal the decision.

The Pilliod case against Monsanto

Alva and Alberta Pilliod have been using Roundup since 1982 when they bought their first house. They used the weedkiller to keep weeds controlled around their house as well as other properties they bought subsequently. They said that they had used Roundup because they had watched adverts about it on the T.V. They said that if they had known that it was carcinogenic, even potentially carcinogenic, they wouldn’t have used it all.

The Pilliod case is the third to be won against Monsanto. The first, also in California, was won by a Los Angeles man, Dewayne Johnson, who also developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after prolonged exposure to the weedkiller in his job as a school groundsman. Johnson, near death when the court ruled in his favor, eventually got paid $78.5 million.

The second court win against Monsanto was heard in the federal court. Edward Hardeman was awarded $80 million after he alleged that the weedkiller he had been using to control weeds in his garden for many years had caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The main evidence used in these three decisions was a World Health Organization (WHO) report that was issued in 2015 by its International Agency for Research on Cancer. In the report, the WHO reported that in their opinion the active chemical in Roundup, glyphosate, “probably” caused cancer. This link has been the primary evidence not just in these three court cases, but will be the main evidence for thousands of other lawsuits that are now pending against Monsanto. In fact, in the Hardeman case, the 6 man federal jury came to the conclusion that it was not just glyphosate, but the synergistic combination of glyphosate and other ingredients in Roundup that contributed to the development of cancer.

The EPA maintains that Roundup is safe, but not everyone is convinced

The WHO report has been disputed by Monsanto and its parent, Bayer. They point to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whose conclusion about Roundup is that it is not dangerous as long as “precautions clearly advertised on the product” are observed. As recently as April this year, the EPA made a statement saying that glyphosate “posed no risk to human health.”

The involvement of the EPA and its association with Monsanto over the years has been brought into question by attorneys and scientists at the Center for Biological Diversity. There have been allegations that Monsanto actually attempted to influence the EPA by “ghostwriting” non-existent research into the hazards of glyphosate, which concluded that the chemical was not carcinogenic. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General, is apparently going to look into the allegations.

Have you been using Roundup on a regular basis in or around McAllen? If you have and you have symptoms that suggest the onset of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you should contact a product liability attorney at the Patino Law Firm as soon as possible to discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit against Monsanto. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

What Are the Most Common Medical Malpractice Cases in Texas?

Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019 at 10:18 pm    

When you receive medical care in an office or hospital environment, you expect to receive quality care and help with your ailments. You are going to the doctor’s office or hospital for a reason – the medical professionals that work there are trained to deal with your medical condition(s). Although you should expect to receive the best care all the time, that does not always happen. Negligence can occur in an office or hospital environment, leading to medical malpractice lawsuits filed against specific physicians and medical staff members. There are certain medical malpractice cases that are quite common in the state of Texas.

Improper Diagnosis or Lack of Diagnosis

Improper diagnosis or lack of diagnosis are two of the reasons people often choose to file medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas. When you feel like something is not right, you explain those symptoms to your physician with the hope that he or she will run tests and do anything possible to figure out what is going on. Unfortunately, not all physicians are truly taking the time to listen to their patients. They may think something that is serious is not that big of a deal until it gets much worse and is later diagnosed as a major medical condition. If a physician diagnoses you with something that you do not have and you take medicine or receive treatment for that condition instead of for the condition you truly have, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is the responsibility of your physician to get things right the first time around, even if it means running all kinds of tests.

While an improper diagnosis is frustrating enough, a lack of diagnosis is just as frustrating. If you are going to the hospital or visiting with a physician in the office to explain the symptoms you are experiencing and you do not get a diagnosis but you later find out that there is something wrong with you, it is only right to want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. A misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis could cause you to suffer more pain in your life and that is the last thing you should have to do when you are already suffering.

Mistakes Made During Labor and Delivery

Although it is not talked about too often, mistakes can and do happen during the labor and delivery process. There are a lot of things that can quickly start to go wrong. If you are in labor and are having difficulty pushing, the obstetrician or the nurses could make decisions that they feel is in the best interest of the baby, even if it truly is not. Because they are acting quickly, they could make mistakes that cause you or your baby to suffer. For example, the obstetrician could use forceps to try to pull the baby out when you are having trouble pushing, but those forceps could cause injuries to the baby that are life-threatening. When negligence occurs during labor and delivery, you have every right to file a lawsuit against the obstetrician, nurses, and the hospital.

Problems During a Surgical Procedure

The thought of undergoing surgery is scary enough for most people. Anyone who needs to undergo a surgical procedure is going to want to come out of it feeling better instead of feeling worse. However, mistakes are often made in the operating room. A surgeon could make an incision in the wrong place, work on the wrong part of the body, or even unintentionally leave something behind inside the body, such as a surgical tool, cloth, or sponge. While it is not something anyone wants to think about when they need surgery, it is important to be aware of what could potentially happen.

Different medical malpractice lawsuits are filed on a regular basis against doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Some of the most common reasons cases are filed in the state of Texas include improper diagnosis or a lack of diagnosis, mistakes made when a woman is giving birth, and problems that occur during or after a surgical procedure as a result of negligence. Medical professionals and staff members must be held accountable for their negligence. If you have experienced one of these issues or any other medical-related issue with hospital or office staff members, you should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer.

What Should You Do Straight After a Car Crash?

Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 at 1:02 am    

Texas has the dubious distinction of leading the nation when it comes to the number of serious injuries and fatalities from car accidents. The unfortunate reality about serious car crashes is that if you have been immobilized and are incapable of doing anything other than hang on waiting for an ambulance to take you to an emergency room at a hospital, there is very little that you can do following a car crash. If you have been badly hurt in a car crash, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after receiving necessary treatment.

There are plenty of things that you can do, however, if you haven’t been so seriously injured, yet are facing probable expensive medical and car repair bills. The following guidelines may help the nearly quarter of a million Texans who are injured somewhere in the state every year.

  1. Make sure you and anyone else in your car move to a safe place, especially if the accident happened in the middle of a busy highway.
  2. Call 911 as soon as you can. Make a request for medical assistance and police. Be precise as possible about the location of the accident and what assistance will be required. Police officers who attend the scene will ask questions, examine the vehicles involved and complete a crash report. A copy of this report will become the primary evidence you will need if you later decide to file a claim against another driver. If you need immediate medical assistance, talk to EMTs who attend about your injuries and pain so they can make an assessment of your immediate needs.
  3. If you are capable of acting without getting angry or upset, exchange insurance details and license numbers with the other driver, or other drivers, if more than one other was involved in the accident. If you don’t feel able to talk to the other driver, wait until police officers arrive and ask one of them to obtain this information for you.
  4. Don’t discuss the accident or get angry with the other driver(s). It is easy to say something that might be used against you later on if you decide to file a claim against the other driver’s insurer.
  5. Take photos if you can, of any damage done to your vehicle and the position of the vehicles after the accident. Your cell phone will probably have camera app on it.
  6. Take photos of any injuries that are visually obvious on yourself and anyone else in your vehicle. If you have cuts, bruises, or other obvious injuries, take photos of them on a regular basis after the accident until they have healed.
  7. Ask any eye witnesses who were not related to any other driver involved in the accident if they would provide contact details. Eye witness statements can be very valuable when attempting to prove that you were not at fault.
  8. Make sure that you get yourself checked out by a doctor or go to an emergency room depending on your injuries. Do this even if you think that your injuries were minor. Some injuries are not easy to diagnose and may only show up later on, several hours or days after an accident has occurred.
  9. Let your own insurance company know about the accident and the damage to your vehicle and injuries. If you have a copy of the police report, send a copy of this report. Do not consent to an interview at this stage.
  10. Do not discuss the accident with the other driver’s insurer, even if asked politely to answer questions. In particular, be very wary of a potential recorded interview. It is easy, especially in the emotionally charged period after an accident, to say things which could be interpreted by an insurance adjuster as admitting liability or partial liability. In some states, any hint of being partially at fault could mean the loss of any chance of compensation. In many states you need to be at least less than 50% to blame for an accident. You should not admit any fault at all to any person representing the other driver.

If you have been injured in any kind of car accident in or around McAllen and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

The Two Courthouses In McAllen Texas

Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 at 1:23 pm    

While McAllen is only the 22nd largest city in the state of Texas, it does have the recognition for having two courthouses. This is due to the fact that in addition to their local courthouse for municipal hearings, it is also the home of the Southern Texas Federal Court. Whether you are going to face a trial yourself or will be attending for other reasons, there are some things that you will want to know about the rules and procedures that differ at these two locations.

The federal court is officially known as the United States District and Bankruptcy Court: Southern District of Texas. This is where local federal cases are held. Due to the fact that it is federal court there are a number of rules enforced that are not typically seen in an average courtroom. One of the biggest differences is that you must supply identification in order to be allowed into the courthouse. Clearly this is for safety and security measures to ensure that all present are accounted for.

Another rule that differs from most other courts is that you are not permitted to enter will a cell phone. This is to ensure the confidentiality regarding the cases that are held there. Lawyers are permitted to bring in other devices that may be connected wirelessly, such as laptops, but any type of recording that may be done or use of these devices in the courtroom must be approved by the residing judge before it can occur.

This court is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The holidays observed include all federal holidays. If you have any questions as to whether or not they are open you can call to confirm before you make the trip. It is located at 1703 W. Business Hwy 83 in McAllen, Texas.

The McAllen Municiple Court is much like other courts that you may have experienced in the past. However, one rule that you might not expect is that you are not permitted to bring any purses, briefcases or other types of bags into the courtroom. It is recommended to leave these in your vehicle and simply bring in any documentation that you wish to present in court by hand. While there aren’t stipulations regarding an appropriate manner of dress, it is generally advised that you appear in clothing that is free from holes and is at least business casual. Your appearance is a means of showing respect to the law. It is also important to know that if you have a case in which you desire to appear you can do so in person, but you can also handle your initial appearance by mail or email. This is due to the fact that you will simply be entering a plea and the trial will then be set and communicated to you.

Regardless of your reasons for entering any courthouse it is important to understand what is expected of you. Keep the above information in mind if you ever need to visit either of these locations.

Texas Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim

Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 at 4:35 am    

If you suffer any injuries as a result of a car accident, slip and fall, or any other incident, due to another party’s negligent conduct you have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them in a Texas court. However, the claim must be filed within a stipulated period, after which your rights to seek any justice in a courtroom will be deemed to have expired.

When it comes to such cases, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with the Statute of Limitations on injury claims in the state of Texas.

For more about the Texas statute of limitations on injuries, the reason why you need to familiarize yourself with it and any exceptions to the rule, read on below.

What Is A Statute of Limitations? 

A statute of limitations is a rule applied by courts with regard to the timing of the filing of lawsuits. In this case, injury victims have a limited amount of time within which they can bring forth a lawsuit.

A statute of limitations is usually used to protect defendants against having cases brought against them after an extended period. The rule also ensures that the victim files a lawsuit while evidence and witness accounts are still fresh and verifiable.

Texas Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim

In the state of Texas, injury victims need to file a lawsuit before a court of justice within two years after the occurrence of the cause of the action. If the victim brings their case in front of a court after the expiry of this period, the defendant is likely going to ask the court to dismiss the case by filing a motion to dismiss.

Regardless of whether you can prove that the defendant is liable, or how substantial your injuries are, you will no longer have the right to claim any damages after this happens as the court is most likely going to dismiss the case.

The expiry of the statute of limitations not only results in the loss of your right to claim damages in a court of law, but also takes away any leverage you might have had in out of court negotiations for compensation. Once the other party discovers that you have no legal right to claim damages in a court of law they are likely to withdraw from the negotiations.

Exceptions To The Rule

Even though the Texas statute of limitations is 2 years, this window may be reduced, delayed or extended depending on the situation. Here are the main exceptions to the general rule:

Delay Under A Legal Disability

According to Texas law, the start of the 2 year countdown is delayed when the victim in question is deemed to have been under a legal disability when the injury causing incident occurred. The legal disability could mean that the victim was of unsound mind or a minor when the incident occurred.

The countdown only starts when the victim’s legal disability is over. This might mean that the victim has become mentally competent or has attained the age of 18.

Delay Due To Defendant’s Absence From The State  

If the defendant, person accused of causing the incident that resulted into the victim’s injuries, leaves the state of Texas after the incident but before a case is filed, their period of absence from the state is not counted towards the 2 year window.

Claims Against The Texas Government  

For any injury claims that involve the Texas state government or any of their officials as liable parties, different rules apply. For starters, you cannot file a case against the government of Texas under such circumstances.

In such a case, the victim needs to file a formal claim with the specific unit of government they deem to be responsible for the incident. The claim must include a detailed description of the incident, injuries sustained and the location of the incident. This claim must be filed in six months.

Get Professional Help As Soon As Possible

As you can see from the above, the Texas statute of limitations on injuries is set at 2 years. However, there are several exceptions to this rule that may warrant the extension, delay or even reduction of this window. Consult a seasoned Texas personal injury attorney if you have any questions about a looming or past deadline, with regard to the state’s injury statute of limitations.

Were You Injured by Someone Who Failed to Yield the Right of Way?

Posted on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 9:17 pm    

Right of way accidents are some of the most common car accidents in McAllen and elsewhere in Texas. If you were injured by someone who failed to yield the right of way, then you may have grounds for claiming compensation from them by filing a personal injury claim. It is important for every driver to know the rules that govern the right of way, as a failure to know and apply the rules can easily lead to an untimely crash and injuries to those involved. Ignorance of the traffic rules is no excuse for a failure to yield the right of way.

Some right of way rules are specific to Texas, so if you are from another state, it is important to familiarize yourself with Texas right of way rules to avoid causing an accident in this state. An understanding of the rules that apply in Texas is also important if you have been involved in a crash and want to know whether you, or another driver, were at fault.

Identifying who was at fault after a right of way crash

The following are examples of situations in which a right of way was violated.

The following have priority in all, or certain circumstances:

  • Emergency vehicles, such as police cars, fire engines and ambulances have priority if their siren and flashing lights are activated. When such a vehicle is noticed, you are expected to pull over as quickly as is safe to do so to allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. If you are crossing an intersection, you should cross over first before pulling over safely to one side.
  • Pedestrians have priority at certain places: while on sidewalks, on crosswalks, in parking lots and near places where there is an expectation of heavy pedestrian usage. Pedestrians also have priority when a vehicle is making a right turn and the pedestrian is already crossing the road. A similar rule applies to pedestrians already crossing a road when a vehicle is making a left turn across traffic.
  • School buses have priority and should not be passed if the bus has its lights flashing and / or shows a stop sign.
  • Trains have priority at any rail crossing, whether it is indicated by signs and flashing lights or a barrier, or not. Basically, a failure to yield the right of way at an uncontrolled rail crossing would prevent you from claiming damages if you were hit by a train.

Note that these rules are standard in most states and should be well recognized by anyone who has obtained a driving license. Failure to yield the right of way may not just involve a personal injury claim but could also involve a citation and a fine. For example, if your child was crossing the road just after exiting a school bus which had its lights flashing while stopped, then the child has priority over traffic, whether the child was on a designated crosswalk or not. If the child was hit and injured by a driver who failed to stop for the bus then this would be grounds for making a claim based on negligence. The driver would also probably face being fined for breaking a traffic rule.

Texas right of way rules

These rules are specific to Texas, although may also be similar to rules in other states.

You may have grounds for a personal injury claim if you were hit by a driver:

  • who exited from an unpaved road onto a paved road where you were driving.
  • who exited from a private road or driveway on to a public road on which you were driving.
  • who arrived at an uncontrolled intersection later than you did, even if the difference in time was slight. Priority at these uncontrolled intersections is given to the vehicle on the immediate right if two vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time.

If you have been injured in any kind of right of car accident and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

 

The Main Causes Of Car Accidents In McAllen Texas

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2019 at 5:18 am    

According to 2018 data from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, Texas is the state with the highest number of recorded auto-accident fatalities. 3,722 people in Texas lost their lives in 2017 through road accidents. If you are a driver in Texas, then you understand that there is always a chance that you or a loved one can be involved in an accident. Even though some accidents are unavoidable, most are usually as a result of negligence and careless driving. Innocent people suffer life-altering injuries or lose their lives due to the errors and negligence of other drivers.  Malfunctioning vehicle safety parts and systems also contribute to fatal auto-accidents, which can be a result of the car manufacturer.

If you have been involved in a McAllen auto-accident and it’s another driver’s fault, then you have all the right to pursue compensation for any damages and injuries. You also have the right to pursue a claim if a loved one is seriously injured or loses their life. A McAllen auto accident attorney offers you the best advise and helps you pursue all the necessary legal actions to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to. It is, however, important to first learn what the major causes of car accidents in McAllen Texas are.

Driving Under the Influence

This is what is commonly referred to as DUI. This is where a driver is behind the wheel while high from consuming too much alcohol, illegal substances or even prescription drugs. DUI accidents occur very often and are a major cause of fatal accidents. You have the right to pursue a claim if you establish that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. McAllen ranks among the top counties with alcohol-related fatalities in the country. Most of these drivers are young people between the ages of 25-30.

Distracted Drivers

Distractions while driving such as phone calls, eating, talking to passengers, adjusting entertainment systems amongst others, are another major cause of accidents in McAllen, Texas. It has been established that a large section of Texas drivers tends to talk on the phone while behind the wheel. This is the reason why many states have passed legislation regarding mobile phones use.

Unlicensed Drivers

This is whereby the driver is not legally licensed to be behind the wheel. An unlicensed driver is most probably not well trained or competent at driving. If an accident is caused by a person who is not licensed to drive, then there is a high chance of you being granted compensation. Proof of lack of a license gives you lots of standing legal ground.

Unroadworthy Vehicles And Defective Parts

A driver may knowingly or unknowingly get behind the wheel of an unroadworthy vehicle. Unroadworthy vehicles may have failed inspection and are a major threat on the roads. Vehicles with defective safety parts such as the brakes or stuck accelerators contribute to fatal accidents. In such cases, the driver, insurance companies and the car manufacturer are included as defendants. You should consult a McAllen to discuss the status of your case and how to go about it.

Speeding

It goes without saying that driving over the speed limit is a major cause of auto accidents. Drivers should always adhere to the set speed limits. If it is established that the accident was caused due to the driver driving over the speed limit, then you are entitled to compensation for damages and injuries. This also applies if your loved one suffered any loss or injury.

Failure To Yield The Right Of Way

When entering an intersection, roundabout or a high way, a driver is legally expected to yield the right of way for any passing driver. If a driver fails to yield the right of way, then it can result in a fatal collision. Such a crash can be used as evidence of negligence of the other driver. The main issue with accidents caused by this type of negligence is that the crashes are often fatal leading to the loss of lives. For this reason, if you encounter a reckless driver who fails to yield the right of way, do not hesitate to contact a McAllen Texas car accident attorney.

Expert car accident attorneys have the resources, experience and connections to get you your entitled compensation.

18 Wheeler Jackknife Accidents

Posted on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at 12:37 am    

At any one time, there are literally tens of thousands of semi trailers on Texas highways. These 18 wheelers are mostly driven by careful and experienced truck drivers. Statistics held by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) do not indicate that these giants are any more likely to crash than any other vehicle. In fact, the incidence of truck crashes is probably less than that for ordinary cars. However, when an eighteen wheeler does crash, the potential effects can be far more devastating than a collision between two cars.

One of the most common causes of eighteen wheeler crashes is jackknifing. A truck towing a trailer jackknifes when the cab and the trailer move in different directions out of control. There are many reasons why a large truck might jackknife and not all of them are the fault of the driver. However, a jackknifing truck creates immense danger for other vehicles and often is the immediate cause of multi-vehicle pile ups.

Because of the sheer size and weight of the average eighteen-wheeler, the impact of a jackknifing truck on another vehicle is potentially huge. Injuries involving large trucks of this type are typically more serious than those caused by accidents involving smaller vehicles. Obviously, every accident is unique and a collision with a truck just emerging from a side turning is less likely to be as serious as a collision with a jackknifing cab and trailer at 60 mph.

Reasons why a truck might jackknife

A truck jackknifes when the direction and speed of the trailer is different from the direction and speed of the cab. There are many reasons why this might occur. These reasons can be divided into those in which the driver is implicated and those that are not his or her fault.

Driver error jackknife scenarios

These may include:

  • speeding or too fast for the weather or road conditions;
  • fatigue;
  • distracted driving, e.g. using a cell phone inappropriately;
  • intoxication, use of drugs or attention altering medication.

Note that all these driver errors could cause any type of truck accident, such as a head on collision, side swipe, rear end crash and so on. If the driver is attempting to negotiate a curve, or pass another vehicle, then this is when the truck may jackknife.

Other causes of jackknifing

  • slippery road surface from spilled substances such as oil or chemicals, rain, ice or snow;
  • animal or other object suddenly appears in front of the truck causing the driver to swerve quickly;
  • swerving to avoid another road user who is driving dangerously;
  • brake malfunction, usually caused by the trailer wheels ‘locking up.’

What to do after a jackknifing truck accident

If you have been involved in a truck accident of any type and have been injured, the chances are that it was not your fault. If the truck jackknifed and hit you as it went out of control, or hit another vehicle which hit you, then the truck driver was probably to blame in some way. You may be able to obtain necessary compensation for medical treatment, lost earnings and a pain and suffering payment if it can be proved that the driver was at fault.

The first priority after any road accident is to ensure you get treated for your injury. While you are waiting for an ambulance or on the spot treatment, you may be able to make it easier to later file a personal injury claim against either the driver or the truck company. If there are other eye witnesses, you could obtain contact details, or even take statements from them if you have a voice recorder on your cell phone. You may also be able to take photos of the truck and your vehicle which may help identify who was at fault. The police are almost always likely to turn up, especially if the jackknifed truck is a traffic hazard. Their accident report will be important evidence if you go ahead later with a claim.

If you have been injured in any kind of truck accident and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.