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Houston Personal Injury Law Blog

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Texas?

When an automobile accident takes place in the state of Texas, state law requires personal liability for the crash. This being the case, it is of critical importance that drivers follow the state law's requirement of having auto insurance.

In fact, you cannot legally register your vehicle to drive in Texas unless you show proof of insurance. However, the state has specific minimum coverage requirements that do not mandate drivers to take out additional coverage for uninsured motorists. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you may face a significant risk on Texas roadways.

Truck accidents and neck injuries

Some truck crashes involve small or mid-sized pickup trucks, while others involve semi-trucks and other types of large trucks. The consequences of these accidents will vary from one crash to the next, some resulting in the loss of life and others leaving nobody harmed. In this blog post, we will examine some of the challenges associated with neck injuries, a serious problem that has shattered the lives of many truck crash victims.

Neck injuries can be especially devastating for various reasons. Unlike a broken arm, for example, someone with an injured neck may be unable to move around due to the seriousness of their injury. Some victims may experience neck pain after an accident, thinking that they are okay but not knowing that their neck was injured. Others may be immobilized due to a neck injury and unable to work because of their condition. This can give way to a series of challenges, such as emotional pain (missing work and activities that one enjoys) or financial problems (losing wages, struggling with medical costs).

Common causes of truck accidents

Truck drivers in Texas go through special driving courses and, overall, are safe and competent vehicle operators. However, their size and weight can result in serious accidents, so it is important to avoid them as much as possible. Common causes of crashes involving large trucks are errors by both commercial drivers and passenger vehicle drivers.

According to FindLaw, the truck companies themselves are often to blame for truck accidents. Schedules that call for extended time on the road can result in fatigued drivers and/or speeds that are over the limit or not safe for weather or road conditions. Some companies may often skimp on driver training as well.

Motion sickness and car crashes

Sometimes, people experience motion sickness while they are behind the wheel. This can be especially problematic for those who spend a long amount of time in the car, or those who find themselves making many turns or driving around sharp corners. When some people are not feeling well, their driving abilities may be affected in various ways. Aside from feeling nauseous and even vomiting, some drivers may be more likely to cause a motor vehicle collision. On the road, you should be mindful of these issues if you experience motion sickness, feel dizzy or have any other problem that could impact your ability to operate your vehicle.

However, some drivers disregard these concerns and drive anyway. Whether someone has to get to work at a certain time or they simply do not want to take the time to pull off the road, some people push through and drive even though they are not feeling well. If you were struck by someone who may have had motion sickness, this can be difficult to determine. But if another driver causes a crash and they say that they were not feeling well at the time of the accident, you should take note of this as it may be important to bring up in court.

Left-hand turns and auto accidents

Driving can be especially tricky at certain times, from taking to the road in an area that has seen significant snowfall to driving through congested traffic during rush hour. It can be more difficult to drive in certain spots, such as those which have confusing signs or are constantly busy. Moreover, certain maneuvers may be more challenging and lead to a higher chance of a crash. For example, some drivers may have a harder time making a left-hand turn on a particular road as opposed to a right-hand turn.

If you are driving, it is important to be aware of these issues and avoid any behavior that could lead to a crash. If it is too difficult to turn left, you may need to turn right and turn around to find a safer place to get in the other lane. Unfortunately, some drivers ignore this advice and they try to make a left-hand turn anyway, such as those who may be in a rush because they are late for work or drivers who simply do not think about the possibility of an accident.

Seizure may be to blame for Grand Parkway collision

For many in Houston, the years of experience behind the wheel may have them feeling like driving is such a second-nature activity that they can do it in almost any conditions. Yet in some cases, it may not be the road conditions that make it difficult for one to operate a vehicle, but rather their own physical condition. There is reason behind a doctor asking a patient if they have someone to drive them home, or if one who is sick is advised to have another run errands for them. When people are not at their best both physically and mentally, then they may not be able to perform well behind the wheel, either. 

Medical issues may have been the cause of a recent crash that occurred on Grand Parkway. The driver of a pickup truck crossed into oncoming traffic and struck four other vehicles, injuring himself and four others (two other accident victims were killed in the collision). The man driving the pickup truck was cooperative with authorities, and did not appear to be impaired at the time of the accident. Despite some bizarre background details that linked him to a criminal history, no indicators were present to help investigators determine what might make him lose control of his vehicle. 

How to navigate social media after an auto accident

Social media and cars is a disastrous combination waiting to happen. Despite Texas passing many laws over the last few years to outlaw texting while driving, many Texans continue to do precisely that. 

However, the problems with social media continue even after a car accident. Until you settle your claim, you need to be extremely cautious about what you put online. It could come back to haunt you. 

Can cigarette smoking cause a car crash?

Driving drunk and taking illegal drugs before getting behind the wheel is not only dangerous but against the law as well. However, some drivers do not realize that other types of behaviors may increase the probability of a motor vehicle collision also. For example, someone may be more likely to cause a car accident if they are smoking a cigarette while they are driving. Even though this may not seem like something that would cause a crash, there are various concerns associated with this behavior.

According to information published by the National Institutes of Health, the results of one study showed that smokers were more likely to be involved in a traffic crash than those who did not smoke. The author brought up a number of possible explanations for these results, such as the toxicity of carbon monoxide and the possibility that smoking behind the wheel distracts people from driving.

Driving while you are sick

People often focus on driving while drunk, drowsy or distracted, and this is important because all three of these behaviors can be incredibly dangerous (not to mention against the law). However, there are many other instances where a person’s ability to drive safe may be impaired. For example, someone who is struggling with a head cold or some other type of viral or bacterial infection may struggle to drive properly. Unfortunately, people who drive when they are sick can increase the chances of a crash for multiple reasons.

Sometimes, people who are struggling with a temporary illness have to drive to the doctor or to pick up medicine or something else they need to help themselves recover. Unfortunately, they may become involved in an accident because their illness interferes with their driving abilities. For example, they may be extremely tired because their sleep has been disrupted by the cold (being unable to sleep due to a plugged nose, sore throat, etc.). Not only can drowsy driving be caused by a lack of sleep, but some drivers take medicine to help with their cold and this can also lead to intoxicated and drowsy driving.

How should you handle a fender bender?

Texan residents like you may have been in small crashes before. "Fender benders" are one particularly well-known type of small vehicle crash, and typically involve one car tapping the bumper of another. However, even these small crashes can have a big impact.

As FindLaw states, the first and most important thing is to understand how to handle small crashes. Your actions in the immediate aftermath can make all of the difference later down the line, especially if you pursue damages. Therefore, the first things to do are check for sparks, signs of fire, and injury. After you've determined the situation isn't immediately dangerous, you can get out of the way of traffic. To preserve the incident as it occurred, take pictures of whatever you can. Call the police as well, and exchange contact information with the other driver.

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