What Compensation Can I Recover for a No-Injury Car Accident?

Monday, May 31, 2021

In Texas, if another driver causes your car accident, his or her car insurance company will have to pay for your losses. This includes your medical bills, property repairs, pain and suffering, and lost wages from missed work. If you do not have any injuries from the collision, you could still be eligible for financial compensation for your other losses.

Vehicle Repairs or Replacement

Every driver in Texas must purchase at least $25,000 in property damage liability insurance. This type of auto insurance will pay for the repairs your vehicle requires, up to the policy’s maximum. If the car accident totaled your vehicle, meaning the cost of repairs is more than the total value of the car, the other driver’s insurance company will be responsible for reimbursing you for the full pre-crash market value of the vehicle. The other driver’s insurance will also pay if you had to rent a car while yours was in the shop.

Lost Wages

If the car accident took you out of work, such as for a medical evaluation or to deal with your wrecked car, you can list lost wages as part of your claim. List the amount you would have received at your job had the car accident not interfered with your ability to work. Although your lost wages may not be as significant as they would be if you had been injured, you can still report missed earnings, employment benefits or opportunities. You can also seek financial compensation for any sick days or vacation days you had to use because of the car accident.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is a broad damage category that encompasses many different types of noneconomic or intangible losses. These include mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical pain and suffering you endured because of the car accident. It can also include lost quality of life, lost enjoyment of life and psychiatric issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you may also be eligible for compensation for your grief and loss of consortium. Even if you were not physically injured, if the car accident caused any noneconomic damage, the other driver may owe you compensation.

Who Is Responsible?

The person or party responsible for paying for your losses during a no-injury car accident claim depends on many factors, including the laws in your state and the cause of the crash. Texas is a fault state, meaning the insurance system holds the driver or party at fault for causing the crash financially responsible for related losses. It will be up to you or your car accident lawyer to determine and prove fault during your car accident claim.

Most car accident cases in San Antonio name another driver as the at-fault party or defendant. The other driver could be responsible for paying for your related bills if he or she was careless, reckless or distracted and this caused the collision. The defendant could also be the manufacturer of your vehicle if a part defect caused the crash, or the government if a roadway hazard was to blame. A lawyer can help you determine and prove fault for your collision.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

Although the value of your car accident case will be reduced if you have no physical injuries, the law may still entitle you to financial compensation for the losses you did suffer. The value of your case will depend on factors such as the value of your vehicle, the extent of your damage, your income level, the number of days you had to take off of work and the car insurance that is available.

For an accurate evaluation of the value of your car accident case, contact an attorney in San Antonio for a free consultation. An attorney will provide an in-depth evaluation to estimate the worth of your no-injury claim. Then, if your case would benefit from legal representation, a lawyer can help you fight for fair financial compensation from an insurance company.

Posted by admin at 1:28 pm

Most Common Back Injuries From Car Accidents in San Antonio

Friday, May 28, 2021

A car accident can have serious physical repercussions on the occupants of the vehicle. The mechanics of a car crash can injure vital parts of the body, such as the brain and spinal cord. A back or spine injury from a car accident can cause many symptoms that interfere with a victim’s quality of life. If you or a loved one suffers any type of back injury in a San Antonio car accident, consult with a spinal cord injury attorney for legal help.

Herniated or Slipped Disk

Spinal cord disks are round, rubbery disks that sit between the vertebrae of the spine. They have tough exteriors and soft, jelly-like interiors. They act as shock absorbers to protect the bones of the spine. In a car accident, a victim can suffer a slipped disk, meaning a disk has moved from its correct place in the spine. A ruptured disk is an injury where the exterior of the disk ruptures and the interior leaks out.

Discogenic pain is another type of spinal disk injury that can occur in an auto accident. This refers to shooting pains that can occur at random. These pains may occur in a single damaged disk or radiate throughout the body (sciatica). Common associated symptoms include pain in the arms or legs, numbness or tingling, and general weakness in the limbs.

Facet Joint Injury

Facet joints in the spinal cord are what connect each vertebra in the spine. These joints are where nerve roots pass to connect the spinal cord to other parts of the body. They are also responsible for the bending and flexing movements of the spine. If a facet joint sustains an injury in a car accident, it can lead to significant pain and discomfort. Facet joint injuries can lead to painful muscle spasms, with no known cure. Therapeutic massage may help manage facet joint pain.

Whiplash

The neck is an extension of the spinal cord. It contains the top seven vertebrae of the spine (the cervical spine). The most common neck injury suffered in car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that can refer to stretching, straining or tearing of the muscles in the neck. It can lead to pain that radiates down the shoulders and arms, as well as headaches and loss of mobility. Most victims make full recoveries from whiplash, but it may take several weeks to heal.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is pain in any part of the body that is consistent, meaning it persists for long periods of time. Chronic back pain can be debilitating, getting in the way of the victim’s ability to perform daily activities, work, play with children and enjoy life. Chronic back pain can result from nerve damage in a car accident. It may be possible to manage pain with medication and other treatments.

Spinal Fractures

A fracture is a cracked or broken bone. A spinal fracture refers to a broken vertebra. This injury can occur in a car accident if the back or spine impacts something, such as the steering column or the force of a seat belt. It can also be a type of crush-related injury, which can cause spinal compression. A spinal fracture can lead to chronic back pain, mobility problems, misalignment and permanent injuries, such as paralysis.

Paralysis (Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia and Paraplegia)

Paralysis is the loss of feeling and function below the point of injury on a spinal cord. It is an irreversible condition with no known cure. There are different types of paralysis according to the parts of the body affected. Tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) refers to paralysis in all four limbs and the trunk, often caused by injuries to the top part of the spine. Paraplegia is paralysis in only the lower half of the body. These injuries can be complete or incomplete, depending on whether or not the victim retains any mobility or sensation below the point of injury.

Posted by admin at 1:25 pm

Determining Fault in a Rear-End Collision

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A rear-end collision is a common type of car accident in San Antonio. It describes the front of one vehicle striking the rear-end of another vehicle. A rear-end collision can be a low-speed crash, such as in congested traffic, or a high-speed crash, such as in a distracted or drowsy driving accident. Although most people assume the rear driver is to blame for a rear-end collision, fault is not automatic. It may take an in-depth investigation to determine fault.

Typical Rear-End Collision

A typical rear-end collision describes a crash involving only two vehicles: the rear driver (Driver B) and the front driver (Driver A). In this type of crash, Driver B is often – but not always – to blame. All drivers have a responsibility to keep a proper lookout and maintain a safe following distance. Following too closely (tailgating) or failing to pay attention to the road could lead to Driver B striking the rear of Driver A’s vehicle. In this scenario, Driver B will most likely be liable for the damage.

Brake Check Accident

There are situations in which Driver A, the front driver, could be responsible for a rear-end collision in Texas. If the front driver caused or contributed to the crash by brake checking, for example, he or she could be at fault. Brake checking means to slam abruptly on the brakes without reason. If brake checking causes a rear-end car accident, Driver A could be liable.

Driver A could also bear liability for a rear-end collision if he or she had a brake light or taillight out and this contributed to the crash. Lack of proper vehicle maintenance could cause a crash by failing to warn Driver B that Driver A is stopping. Although it is still Driver B’s responsibility to keep a proper lookout and hit the brakes before impact, Driver A could absorb partial liability if a broken taillight contributed to the wreck.

Finally, Driver A could be responsible for a rear-end car accident caused by a sudden or unsafe lane change. Lane-change accidents are some of the most common types of vehicle collisions in Texas. If Driver A abruptly cuts off Driver B with a dangerous lane change and Driver B could not stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision, Driver A could be liable.

Chain-Reaction Crash

A chain-reaction crash is a collision involving more than two cars. It describes a chain of multiple rear-end collisions: Driver C => Driver B => Driver A. It can be more difficult to determine fault for a chain-reaction accident, as there are more than two drivers involved.

In general, the driver who initiated the chain-reaction accident with the first rear-end collision will be responsible for the crash. Without this driver’s mistake, the subsequent rear-end accidents would not have occurred. In the example above, the liable driver would most likely be Driver C, if Driver C struck Driver B, who was then pushed into Driver A. Other drivers may also bear liability, however, depending on the circumstances.

How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?

A car accident attorney will have experience handling many different types of rear-end collision cases in San Antonio. This will give the attorney knowledge and information about how and why these car accidents take place. An attorney will also have the resources to thoroughly investigate the crash and reconstruct it to determine fault. Finally, an attorney can help you prove another driver’s liability for a rear-end collision in San Antonio through evidence such as expert testimony and eyewitness statements.

For more information about how a car accident lawyer can help you with a rear-end collision case, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert today.

Posted by admin at 1:26 pm

San Antonio Bicycle Traffic Laws

Friday, May 21, 2021

The City of San Antonio is full of bicycle enthusiasts who use these vehicles for work, recreation and a regular means of transportation. Unfortunately, San Antonio is not the safest city for bicyclists, due largely to distracted drivers and confusion regarding bicycle traffic laws.

In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 68 pedalcyclist fatalities throughout the state. You may be able to stay safe as a bicyclist and avoid accidents by knowing and obeying San Antonio’s related laws.

Are Bicycles Vehicles in Texas?

Yes, bicycles are classified as vehicles under Texas State law. This means bicyclists have all of the same rights, responsibilities and duties that apply to motor vehicle operators. As a bicyclist, you must obey all traffic laws, regulations, signs and signals. Failing to do so could lead to a ticket or fine for a traffic violation.

Do You Have to Obey Traffic Laws on a Bicycle in San Antonio?

Yes, you must obey all traffic laws and roadway rules while riding a bicycle in San Antonio, unless a law does not apply to a bicycle due to its nature. This includes following traffic control signals, obeying stop signs, yielding the right-of-way (when applicable), following speed limits and traveling in the same direction as the rest of traffic.

There is also a Safe Passing Ordinance in San Antonio that requires motor vehicle operators to stay at least three feet and commercial truck drivers to stay at least six feet away from bicyclists while following or passing. Breaking basic roadway rules is a common mistake that can lead to preventable collisions.

Where Can You Ride a Bicycle in San Antonio?

You should ride your bicycle on the road or a bicycle lane in San Antonio, not a sidewalk. You have as much right to the road as motor vehicle operators in Texas. If you are moving slower than the traffic around you, you must ride as near as you can to the right-hand side of the road unless you are passing another vehicle, turning left or a road hazard makes it unsafe to do so. If a bicycle lane is available, you must use the bicycle lane rather than riding in the road.

While riding your bike, you may ride two abreast with another bicyclist. You cannot carry a passenger on your bicycle unless you have a bike that is designed for more than one person. You also cannot carry an object that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle. It is against the law to attach a skateboard, roller skates or another such object to the bicyclist or bicycle.

Do You Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding a Bicycle in San Antonio?

No law in San Antonio or Texas requires you to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Texas does not have a universal helmet law for bicyclists, but certain municipalities require them. Although you legally do not have to use a helmet, it is strongly encouraged. Studies show that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a head injury by 85 percent.

What Is the Required Bicycle Equipment in Texas?

According to Texas Transportation Code Section 551.104, all bikes in the state must be equipped with adequate brakes, as well as a front headlight and rear reflector if the bicyclist plans on riding at nighttime. In addition, San Antonio’s Bike Light Ordinance requires a front white light and a rear red reflector or light, both visible from at least 500 feet. Breaking this municipal law is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable with up to a $200 fine.

Can You Get a DUI While Riding a Bike in San Antonio?

No, you cannot get a driving under the influence (DUI) charge for operating a bicycle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. However, you could receive charges for public intoxication. If you cause or contribute to an accident while driving under the influence, you could also face civil liability for the collision – meaning you will be financially responsible for injuries or property damage.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in San Antonio, contact a bicycle accident attorney for help as soon as possible.

Posted by admin at 1:11 pm

San Antonio E-Scooter Laws

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have taken over the streets of Texas. They are rentable to the public for a low amount of money from companies such as Bird and Lime. San Antonio has hundreds of dockless e-scooters available for rent every day. Unfortunately, these vehicles are not as safe as many people assume. A lack of awareness of e-scooter laws in Texas contributes to many harmful e-scooter accidents.

Definition of an E-Scooter

According to Texas Transportation Code Section 551.351, a motor-assisted scooter is a self-propelled device with at least two wheels, a gas or electric motor capable of making the device travel up to 15 miles per hour, and a braking system capable of stopping the device. It also has a deck that allows a person to sit or stand while operating the vehicle and can be propelled by human power alone. An e-scooter is not the same as an electric bicycle, moped or motorcycle in the eyes of the law in Texas. Motor-assisted scooters have their own rules and regulations.

Age Limits for Riding

In Texas, a rider must be 16 years or older to ride an e-scooter. Most e-scooter companies require riders to have valid driver’s licenses and upload photographs of these licenses before they can rent the device. However, many users get around this requirement by having someone older, such as a parent or guardian, rent the e-scooter for them. This is a dangerous practice that can increase the risk of accidents.

Helmet Requirements

Helmets are strongly encouraged while riding e-scooters in San Antonio, but they are not a legal requirement. This is similar to Texas’ bicycle helmet stance, which is that all riders, regardless of age, may operate bicycles without wearing helmets. The only exception is if a city or municipality has a law requiring bike helmets. San Antonio does not have such a law for operating dockless e-scooters. The city strongly encourages helmets, however, as they can drastically reduce the risk of serious and fatal head injuries.

Riding Rules in San Antonio

The e-scooter laws that are broken the most often, and that lead to the most traffic accidents, are riding rules. Riding rules give e-scooter operators guidelines they must follow for safe and prudent vehicle operation. They dictate what a rider can and cannot do while interacting with other roadway users, such as motorists and pedestrians. Some of the most important state and citywide e-scooter laws in San Antonio are:

  • Riders must obey all state and city roadway rules.
  • E-scooters must ride in the street or bicycle lanes.
  • Riding a scooter in the street is only legal on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less.
  • No e-scooters on sidewalks.
  • No e-scooters in Alamo Plaza, the Riverwalk, La Villita, Main Plaza, Market Square, or city parks and trails in San Antonio.
  • Only one person per e-scooter.
  • Riders must grant pedestrians the right-of-way.
  • Riders cannot use cell phones while operating e-scooters.
  • Riders should not park e-scooters in the middle of sidewalks, in bicycle lanes, in the street or in the way of pedestrians.

Following these rules can reduce the risk of e-scooter accidents. Riders should also use tactics such as wearing brightly colored clothing for maximum visibility, riding in the same direction as traffic, maintaining a safe speed for conditions, using hand signals to turn and never riding on highways. Paying attention to the road and riding prudently can also decrease the odds of an accident.

Injured in an E-Scooter Accident? Get Help

If you get injured in an e-scooter accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the other party’s insurance provider. One or more parties may be financially responsible for your medical bills and other losses. Protect your legal rights by contacting an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney can help you understand and exercise your rights during insurance claim negotiations or an injury trial. An attorney can also use proven legal strategies to fight for maximum financial recovery on your behalf.

Posted by admin at 1:09 pm