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Stay Safe on Your Travels This Holiday Season

Posted on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at 2:19 am    

When people think of Texas, people think of tumbleweeds, dirt roads, and a bright sun that provides us with a warm climate year round. Texans know first hand, though, how harsh the winters in this “western movie” state can actually be. 

Last year was a true testament to how jarring a Texas winter can be, both at home and on the road. Be prepared this holiday season with these tips on how to stay safe while traveling. 

Holiday Traveling Tips Straight From an Austin Car Accident Lawyer

The following tips are suggestions on how to be safe and unstressed during “the most wonderful time of the year,” as one deserves to. 

1. Plan a Trip to a Less Popular Location

Easier said than done, we know, but choosing a less trendy, more relaxed vacation spot this holiday season can be well worth it in terms of safety. Busier vacation getaways are full with people who thought of visiting the same area, and with more traffic on the road, the more chances of getting into a car accident, especially if you are traveling to a state or country that snows. 

2. Travel During Slower Days

Days closer to the holidays are obviously going to be a busier time on the road and at your destination. We suggest that you travel once the holiday is over or on the same day of the holiday before people are nearing their journey’s end. 

3. Plan an Alternate Route

Traffic can really kill the holiday spirit when travelling. Let’s not forget the dangers of traveling where there are icy roads. Having a backup route on deck helps you avoid traffic jams, busy areas, and auto accident injuries. Instead, enjoy the nice, long scenic route safely with your family this holiday season. 

4. Make Sure Phones and Devices are Charged

Before hitting the road this holiday season, be sure everyone’s cell phone and/or devices are fully charged. You never know when there might be an emergency or if you need a travel application for more information. 

5. Pack Lightly

It would be a smart idea to have gifts shipped to your destination if you are traveling for Christmas instead of overloading your vehicle. Carrying excessive weight in your vehicle can cause problems with the brakes, suspension, and exhaust systems. This would only give you more things to worry about besides traffic and icy roads. 

6. Pack Your Favorite Snacks

Snacks are one of the best parts of road tripping, but if you’re traveling during the holidays, it is essential. You never know if traffic jams will allow you to get to a restaurant when you’re hungry, so having these snacks on hand can prevent you from getting “hangry” which can cause you to drive recklessly (or cause road rage). 

7. Stay Calm

Traffic can be extremely frustrating, especially during the holidays. Try your hardest not to let it get to you and cause road rage. Road rage can lead to impetuous actions that may cause devastating consequences. 

8. If You Get Into a Car Accident Near Austin, Contact a Car and Truck Accident Attorney

Our car accident lawyers at Ramos James Law, PLLC hope you and your loved ones travel safely to celebrate a successful and prosperous holiday season. However, if you find yourself involved in a car or truck accident this holiday season, we can help guide you through getting any injury compensation you deserve. 

Schedule a Free Consultation Now

 


The Long-Term Effects of a Texas Car Accident

Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 at 6:40 pm    

Being involved in a car accident is unbelievably stressful and can continue to cause distress if you suffer serious injury. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automobile accidents occur approximately every 71 seconds. Unfortunately, one is never prepared for the trauma and long-term effects of a catastrophic accident. 

How Accidents Affect Your Insurance

Every individual who drives a vehicle needs to be aware of the critical importance of having automobile insurance. While insurance can help to ease some of the financial burden of an accident, there are instances when the cost of your insurance policy will be negatively affected, meaning you might have to pay more.  

Having an accident where your vehicle is significantly damaged or considered a “total loss” will stay on your record for several years, which affects your insurance rate.

If you are at fault in an accident and cause bodily injury to another person, your insurance company may increase your rate by almost forty percent. This can go even higher for younger adults, who are considered a “risk” for injury compensation. 

Physical Effects on Your Health 

The results of a car or truck accident can lead to tremendous issues for your physical health, leading to a daunting recovery, or, in the worst of cases, permanent disabilities. 

Some of the most perilous injuries are associated with your head. Head or brain trauma, lacerations to the head, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can damage mental or physical functions that can worsen over time.

Additionally, the results of an accident can also cause harm to your neuromuscular system. This involves injuries related to your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. 

Spine damage is another common injury that involves your neuromuscular system. A few of the most painful types include spinal disk injuries, spinal fractures, sprains, whiplash, and neck injuries.

In truly catastrophic accidents, victims can suffer permanent disabilities that can include amputations or paralysis. These types of disabilities can affect one’s livelihood by creating heavy financial debt, causing workplace issues, or even disabling an individual from working ever again. 

Mental Effects After an Accident

Mental health awareness has gained considerable attention in recent years, and for good reason. While most might consider physical injuries the limits of how one can suffer from a car accident, the reality is victims of traumatic incidents can suffer long-term mental health issues. 

Not only will an accident lead to increased stress, frustration, and anxiety, but victims can suffer from truly serious conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can leave long-lasting or permanent effects, with individuals potentially suffering deep fear when driving or even just being in a vehicle. 

Depression and anxiety are staples of anything stressful, so it is common that victims feel these emotions after a car crash. Sometimes, however, these emotions and mental states can linger for years. Fear and trepidation are also negative effects your mental state may undergo. 

As a result of this mental trauma, victims can begin to suffer from bodily health issues, including:  

  • Insomnia
  • Lethargy
  • Mood swings
  • Sexual dysfunction or infertility 
  • Change in appetite 

Rio Grande Valley Car and Truck Accident Attorneys Here for You!

Automobile accidents can have long-term effects that not only affect your finances, but most importantly, your health. 

The Rio Grande Valley car and truck accident attorneys at Ramos James, PLLC, are here when you need us most. We are ready to deliver the justice and compensation you deserve! 

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Top 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Driving

Posted on Saturday, October 9th, 2021 at 6:51 am    

Accidents can happen for any number of reasons, and when they do occur, the aftermath can be something you’ve never experienced. While car wrecks happen every day, they are preventable and there are means by which you can stay vigilant and safe while on the road. 

Your Austin car accident lawyers at Ramos James Law are familiar with the repercussions of an accident, and so we want to share with you the five most common mistakes drivers make and how you can avoid them. 

 

Mistakes to Avoid When Driving

1. Distracted Driving

It is so easy to be distracted nowadays while you’re driving. You may be tempted to answer a text or even reach over for the fast food meal you just picked up. Whatever it may be, a distracted driver can easily cause a catastrophic car accident.

What to do?

If you need to use your cell phone while behind the wheel, it is best to pull over to a parking lot and do so safely. Also, inform friends and family that you will not respond while driving to let them know that you are taking your well-being seriously. Additionally, avoid behaviors such as eating or changing radio stations when traveling.

2. Impatience and Aggressiveness

There are more people on the road than ever before, and heavy traffic or even stopped traffic can lead you to become impatient and aggressive when behind the wheel. When this occurs, you can easily make a mistake and create an unsafe environment for other drivers. 

What to Do?

To combat frustration when driving, remember to take deep breaths, stay calm, and try your best to be patient. Be aware that you are not the only one in the situation and that the other drivers on the road are just as eager to get to their destination. It is best to take your time and be safe on the road than rush and endanger your life, along with others. 

3. Trying to “Beat” Yellow or Red Lights

When we are in a rush, it is easy for us to try and beat yellow lights by speeding up before they turn red. However, this type of behavior can lead to you running red lights and causing a serious accident. 

What to Do?

The purpose of a yellow light is to let you know that you need to slow down and be prepared to stop. Even though you may be tempted to beat the light, always follow traffic laws accordingly. You can save a life!

4. Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is another most common mistake many drivers make. It is extremely dangerous for yourself and others when you are driving under the influence of alcohol or some other substance. While this is clearly preventable behavior, every year more than 10,000 individuals lose their lives as a result of a drunk driver. 

What to Do?

If you plan on drinking, have a designated driver or use Uber or Lyft services to get back home.

5. Drowsy Driving

Driving while tired is also a common mistake many make. Many believe that they can get to where they need to be if they can stay awake just a little while longer. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  

What to Do? 

If you are falling asleep at the wheel, do not fight it. You can always find a safe place on the side of the road or at a gas station to sleep. You can always find a hotel and get a good night’s sleep if you are really tired. It is better to be rested and clear-headed than to be traveling and fall asleep behind the wheel. 

 

Austin Car Accident Attorneys Here for You

It is better to stay safe and take the necessary precautions while on the road to minimize the potential of getting involved in an accident.

Still, accidents can happen. And that’s why Ramos James Law is here to help. If you’ve been involved in a car wreck, do not hesitate to reach out to our Austin car accident attorneys. 

Book a Free Consultation Now


How to Drive Safely in Dense Fog

Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2021 at 2:13 pm    

Car accidents happen every day. Some due to weather, others due to negligent drivers. Whatever the case may be, the aftermath of an accident can be painful, costly, and life-changing.

With the start of the fall season, there’s an increased opportunity for fog to occur, and driving in heavy fog can be quite dangerous if you aren’t being careful. In fact, more than 500 fog-related car accident fatalities take place each year.

Thankfully, there are actions you can take to minimize your risk of being involved in an accident.

Your team of Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, want to share a few tips to help protect you during dense fog conditions.

Tips to Protect Yourself While Driving in Fog

1.Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.

In foggy conditions, it is best to lower your speed and leave additional space between you and the cars around you. Generally, you should leave about 9-12 seconds in space between yourself and other vehicles.

Be aware that fog is most common in the early morning and will most likely disappear after the sun rises.

2.Keep an eye out for other vehicles.

Be observant of all the cars around you and their behavior. Additionally, keep in mind it will be harder to see white lights from oncoming traffic than the red light of cars stopping in front of you.

When we are diligent and cautious, we create a safer driving environment for ourselves and others. Driving in fog can feel intimidating, but when you follow the rules, everyone can get safely to their destination.

3.Don’t use cruise control.

Using cruise control in foggy conditions is never recommended as you need full control of your vehicle’s speed.

When the roads are foggy, surprises await, so being cautious and aware of your surroundings is a must.

4.Use your low beams only.

Never use high beams when driving in fog. This can decrease the visibility of other drivers and will make the fog appear denser.

Certain vehicles are equipped with special fog lights or fog lamps that improve visibility; if these aren’t available on your vehicle, use your low beam headlights.

5.Pull-over if you can’t see.

Sometimes fog conditions can be overwhelming and make it completely impossible to see. In these situations, you’ll want to pull over to avoid getting in an accident.

If you decide to pull over to wait out the fog, try to find a safe parking area. It’s a best practice to move safely away from the highway to avoid getting hit.

6.When possible, stay home and stay safe.

If you can avoid driving in fog, staying home and staying off the road altogether is a good move. Once the roads clear up, it will be much safer.

Austin Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Serve You Justice

If you or someone you know has been involved in a major car accident, your Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law are here to support you.

Request FREE Consultation

 


Staying Safe: Important Tips for Driving on the Highway

Posted on Friday, September 10th, 2021 at 5:39 pm    

The highway can be loud, fast-paced, and confusing to understand at times.

Unfortunately, traveling at a high rate of speed coupled with dangerous drivers greatly increases your risk of a car accident. On average there are about 16,438 car crashes every year in the United States.

When on the highway, it is critical that you develop defensive driving skills to adequately protect yourself, your passengers, and even other drivers on the road. 

Your Austin attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, have first-hand experience aiding those who have been severely injured in highway accidents. We understand that such a situation can lead to physical, emotional, and financial struggles. But you don’t have to face these challenges alone. 

To better protect yourself when traveling on state highways and interstates, please keep the following safety tips in mind.  

How to Stay Safe When Driving on the Highway

1. Buckle Up

The most important on this list, having your seatbelt on is essential when driving at all times.

On average, those who do not wear a seatbelt have a 47% chance of perishing in a car accident. On the other hand, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those who wear their seatbelts decrease their risk of injury by 50% and of losing their lives by 45%. 

2. Avoid Distractions

In today’s modern world, technology plays a major role in all of our lives. While there is a time and place for using technology, when driving is not it. 

Taking just five seconds to send or read a text while driving at 55 mph is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Those five seconds could change your life or the life of another permanently.

Additionally, driving while under the influence is one of the most frequent causes of catastrophic accidents. Whether it be alcohol or certain medications, driving while intoxicated is asking for trouble. 

Lastly, eating, changing music, or interacting with passengers can also hinder your ability to drive safely. 

3. Adjust for Weather

The weather can be unpredictable, and when it comes to driving, bad weather can pose a serious safety risk if you don’t plan accordingly.

If you are traveling long distances, and are unsure of how the weather will be while on the road, it is best to check ahead of time so you know how to prepare.  

It is never a good idea to think you can “beat” a storm. It is safer to wait for inclement weather to pass before hitting the road.  

4. Practice Having Patience

In heavy traffic, it is easy to lose patience and to want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. Understandably, we all have a schedule and places to be.

However, when traffic is not going your way, it is best to understand the situation, follow cautionary signs, and be patient. By reacting to a frustrating situation in a calm manner, you’ll be able to make the right decisions and avoid an accident. 

In most situations, safety should be your number one priority, not speed or time.  

5. Maintenance Your Vehicle as Necessary

Taking good care of your vehicle is a necessity if you are constantly on the highway. Good maintenance should include regularly changing your oil, rotating your tires and making sure they are in good condition, ensuring your lights and stop lights are working properly, making sure all essential fluids are topped off, and having functional wipers.  

6. Know Where You are Going  

Before getting on the road, make sure you know where your destination is located. Looking at a map and using your GPS will make the journey easier, just be sure to not focus so much on your GPS that you fail to keep an eye on the road ahead. 

Austin Car Accident Attorneys Ready to Fight for You

These safety tips will help you become a safer and more diligent driver. 

If you or a loved one have been involved in a serious car accident, your Austin car accident lawyers at Ramos James Law are here to help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation Now


Hit-and-Runs: What Drivers Need to Know

Posted on Friday, August 6th, 2021 at 8:56 pm    

On Monday, July 12th, a woman suffered severe injuries in an overnight hit-and-run in San Antonio.

The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on N. WW White Road, near Dividend Road. The victim was on the far-right side of the road because her car had broken down, and was standing outside her vehicle when she was struck. Her body was dragged before she was left on the pavement.

The perpetrator left the scene and the woman was taken to a local hospital. A 36-year-old man was later caught and charged with failure to stop and render aid.

When a hit-and-run occurs, there are many questions, concerns, and emotions that will arise. If you or a loved one ever experience a hit-and-run accident, you can depend on the Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, to support you and bring justice where it is deserved.

What To Do If You Are Involved in a Hit-And-Run

1.-Safety

Your first priority is to make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe and uninjured.

2.-Remember What You Can

After you get a sense of how everyone in the vehicle is doing, try to remember what you can about the incident. If possible, try to recall the type of vehicle and any description you can about the driver that hit you.

Information to try to recall includes:

  • Physical description of the make and model of the car
  • Try to identify small details (ex: distinctive marks on the car, bumper stickers, lights not on, etc.)
  • Physical description of the other driver
  • License place number
  • The exact location of crash and circumstances surrounding the crash

3.-Call the Police

If the police have not yet arrived, call the police. Upon their arrival, more assistance will be given to make sure that everyone is safe. Additionally, the police will be able to begin the process of gathering vital information about the incident so they can find the hit-and-run driver.

4.-Contact Your Insurance Company and Contact a Lawyer

Contacting your insurance provider will allow you to start the process of making a claim. Additionally, contacting a trusted Austin car accident lawyer like those at James Ramos Law, PLLC, can help you to secure the justice and compensation you need to begin the healing process.

Austin Car Accident Attorneys Determined to Help You Secure Justice

A car accident can completely alter one’s life, but you should not have to suffer through the situation alone. Our team of trustworthy lawyers will do everything they can to right the wrongs committed against you.

Our car accident attorneys are here to fight for you every step of the way.

Request a FREE Consultation

Source: KENS5


Tips You Need to Know When Driving Through a Flood

Posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2021 at 9:10 pm    

Whether you’re dealing with a severe thunderstorm or hurricane, heavy flooding can make driving especially dangerous. From unseen obstacles to flowing waters that can sweep your car away, there are plenty of dangers that come with flooded streets.

According to the First Street Foundation, at least 14.6 million properties in the United States are located in a “100-year flood zone.” Even more worrisome, the frequency of flooding is increasing and is projected to increase due to the effects of climate change in the coming years.

As a result of recent rains and flooding that we’ve seen throughout Texas, the Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, would like to share a few tips to help keep you safe when driving in heavy rain.

How to Keep Yourself Safe When Driving Through Flooded Roads

Here are a couple of tips you need to know when driving through a flooded area, according to the Texas Department of Transportation:

  1. Turn Around, Don’t Drown
    In the last 3 years, more than 100 people have died annually because of flooding. It is safer to avoid all heavily flooded areas and wait for the water to subside rather than risk your life or the lives of loved ones.
    If you absolutely need to drive and go through certain roads, stay cautious and be aware of the dangers present.
  2. Do Not Walk, Swim, or Drive in Flooded Areas
    Do not walk, swim, or drive in flooded areas due to the uncertainty of what hazardous materials can be found in the water. The water carries dangers such as tree branches, debris, and even power lines. Electricity and water can easily lead to a fatality.
  3. Be Cautious at Night
    With daylight gone, visibility at night decreases substantially. Driving through flooded areas is not advised because dangers increase at night as visibility lessens. It is better to find an alternate route or turn around.
  4. If Your Car Stalls in Deep Water, Leave It
    When in deep waters and your car stalls, leave your car and move to higher ground.

Austin Car Accident Attorneys Ready To Help You When You Need It Most!

From hurricane season in the Rio Grande Valley to seasonal rains in Central Texas, flooding is inevitable, whether you’re in Austin, McAllen, or Edinburg. Even when you try your best to stay safe, accidents can occur, especially when interstates and roads lack proper drainage, have weak road design, construction, or maintenance.

In heavy rain and flooded streets, a major car accident can easily occur and lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. Victims of such incidents may be able to take legal action against the liable parties responsible for their injuries and damages.

If you or a loved one have gone through a major car accident due to flooding, reach out to Ramos James Law today for a free consultation. We will work hard to provide you with the justice you deserve.

Contact us now and we will be with you every step of the way.

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Rainy Weather, Hydroplaning, and Austin Roads: Everything You Need to Know About Staying Safe While Driving During Hurricane Season

Posted on Monday, June 28th, 2021 at 6:17 pm    

The Austin car accident attorneys of Ramos James Law, PLLC, are no strangers to representing victims of car accidents, even those that have been involved in car accidents during poor weather conditions.

With hurricane season in full effect, Texans are prepared for plenty of rain and adverse weather conditions. Austin motorists are no strangers to inclement weather; however, even the most seasoned drivers are susceptible to car accidents while it’s raining or wet outside.

What Can Austin Drivers Expect During Rainy Months?

In 2020, the average rainfall in Austin, Texas, exceeded the 2019 average by over 14%:

2019 AVERAGE 2020 AVERAGE
January – 3.34 inches January – 5.50 inches
February – 2.17 inches February – 7.13 inches
March – 2.44 inches March – 5.44 inches
April – 9.88 inches April – 5.45 inches
May – 9.87 inches May – 4.51 inches
June – 7.12 inches June – 3.89 inches
July – 0.73 inches July – 3.68 inches
August – 1.07 inches August – 1.55 inches
September – 3.60 inches September – 6.79 inches
October – 4.05 inches October – 1.35 inches
November – 0.53 inches November – 0.85 inches
December – 1.13 inches December – 6.46 inches

Six months into 2021, we’re seeing similar averages compared to last year. This puts Austin motorists at heightened risk for hydroplaning, especially if they aren’t practicing adequate defensive driving techniques.

What is Hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning occurs due to the build-up of water on your vehicle’s tires, resulting in the tires encountering more water than they can displace. The loss of traction prevents your tires from dispersing the water underneath them, resulting in a thin layer of water between your tires and the road.

Know the Risks of Hydroplaning

Car accidents can happen even if a driver takes all the necessary precautions to avoid a collision during rainy weather. Across the nation, there are over 5,891,000 car crashes annually, with an approximate 21% caused by poor weather conditions.

Hydroplaning causes drivers to lose control over vehicle functions related to accelerating, steering, and braking. This can result in drivers spinning out of control and colliding with nearby surroundings and/or other vehicles.

To illustrate this, a driver could be held liable for a car accident if they were driving in a reckless manner (e.g. speeding) during a downpour, which subsequently caused them to hydroplane and crash into another vehicle.

What to Do If You’re Hydroplaning

Maneuvering your vehicle while hydroplaning is a difficult situation to handle, even for the most experienced motorists. If you’re driving during rainy weather or on wet roads and find yourself hydroplaning, it’s important to remain calm in order to control the situation as best as possible.

The following steps can help you regain control of your vehicle:

  1. Avoid the urge to accelerate/decelerate immediately – instead, take your foot off the gas pedal.
  2. Don’t slam the brakes! Sudden braking can cause you to lose control and skid out of control.
  3. “Steer into the skid.” Carefully turn your steering wheel in the direction your car is hydroplaning to help realign your tires with the direction your car is traveling.

Once you regain control, pull over and catch your breath. Take a moment to calm your nerves and assess any damage that your vehicle may have sustained.

I Was in a Hydroplaning Accident and Need an Attorney

If you’re a victim who was injured in a hydroplaning car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Personal Injury attorney Laura Ramos James and her staff are available to help you with your case and are prepared to present you with the justice you deserve.

Keep in mind that drivers aren’t the only entities that can be held liable for car accidents that occur as a result of hydroplaning. Tire manufacturers, mechanics, the vehicle owner (if you didn’t own the vehicle involved in the accident), and any agencies that are responsible for road maintenance may also be held liable if they acted in some form of negligence and caused your car accident.

Schedule a free consultation with the experienced Austin car accident attorneys of Ramos James Law, PLLC now to help you determine who was at fault in your hydroplaning accident.

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What Kind of Settlement Can I Expect From a Distracted Driving Accident?

Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2021 at 4:39 pm    

Before you can assess what your Texas injury claim is worth, you must look into whether there is a reasonable cause to sue the individual at fault.

Your injury case will be based on whether or not the driver (or other at-fault party) failed his duty to regard other drivers. A driver who gets distracted behind the wheel in any way, including texting or talking on a cellphone, has intentionally put other people sharing the road at risk. If you can prove that the driver was acting negligently, the driver is then responsible for the damages he or she has caused. 

Today, your compassionate Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC will go more in depth in regards to what kind of settlement you can expect from a distracted driving accident.

Damages Awarded From Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Austin

With Texas being a pure tort liability state for auto accident victims, any person hurt in a car accident can seek compensation from the guilty individual. Generally speaking, a car accident victim’s initial step is to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Liability coverage usually covers the damages up to the policyholder’s limit.

When a distracted driver is responsible for causing a serious or deadly injury, however, an insurance policy might not pay for all of the economic and non-economic costs. 

When you exceed policy limits or your insurance company rejects your liability, taking legal action can be the best course of action to recover additional damages. If a victim sues the at-fault driver in Texas court, they may be able to recover:

  • Medical expenses (e.g. ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital stay, surgery, radiology, and/or medication).
  • Future medical costs when an injury needs extensive recovery time or leads to a permanent disability that requires lifelong care.
  • Rehabilitation costs (e.g. physical therapist visits and assistive devices including crutches, prosthetic limbs, and wheelchairs).
  • Loss of wages for time away from work due to injury and/or hospitalization.
  • Lost earning capacity for future wages when a life-changing injury prevents a victim from being able to work.
  • Pain and suffering from the injury.
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse.
  • Scarring and disfigurement when injuries result in amputation or scars.
  • Punitive damages (intended to punish the defendant and prevent wrongful conduct).

Note that punitive damages can be awarded in personal injury cases in Texas where intentional harm or gross negligence is involved. In distracted driving cases that result in severe injury or death, the court may deem certain distracting behaviors as gross negligence and award punitive damages.

Secure Fair Compensation for Your Distracted Driving Accident With Our Austin Car Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in an Austin car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, or have lost a loved one to a distracted driving accident, you only have a specific amount of time to file a claim.

The Lone Star State has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury, so don’t lose the chance to recover sufficient compensation to cover the physical pain of recovery and financial burden of medical bills you may not be able to afford.

Was your injury caused by the carelessness of a distracted driver? Contact Ramos James Law, PLLC, for your FREE, no-obligation virtual consultation!

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Are There Traffic Laws in Place to Protect Texans from Distracted Drivers?

Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2021 at 2:57 pm    

While it may seem like no big deal, distracted driving poses a threat that deserves the same kind of attention that drunk driving gets in the state of Texas. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting-and-driving accidents are 6 times more likely to cause a collision than drunk driving.

The Austin car accident attorneys of Ramos James Law, PLLC will discuss what traffic laws are in place to protect Texans from distracted drivers. 

Distracted Driving Laws in Texas

Each year, more than 100,000 Texas car wrecks involve distracted drivers. The Lone Star State enforces some of the most relaxed distracted-driving laws in the country. In truth, under current laws, our state does not ban smartphone use for the most adult drivers on the roads.

The following limitations apply at the state level:

  • Learner’s permit drivers cannot utilize a smartphone while driving for the initial six months.
  • All drivers younger than 18 are required to avoid the usage of any wireless communication devices.
  • School bus operators cannot use their cellular devices while running a vehicle with children on board or present.
  • All drivers must stop using mobile devices in school zones.

Many legislators have attempted on several occasions to push texting legislation via the state legislature but have yet to fall through. Without a statewide ban or restriction, the majority of local jurisdictions implemented their own mobile device statutes.

Distracted Driving Laws in Austin, Texas 

The moment you drive into the city limits of Austin, you must put down all handheld devices unless you’re responding to an emergency. Texting, speaking on a handheld device, or being on an app could result in a $500 fine. You will not be fined for using your phone if you are safely sitting at a complete halt.

Austin has imposed the mobile device ordinances since 2015 and seeks to function as a model for other jurisdictions. The city will even discount court fees associated with first-time offenses if drivers display proof of purchase of hands-free devices.

The law also goes as far as bicyclists who might use their phones to talk or see GPS directions while riding on a bike. If you’re traveling in Austin, it is in your best interest to focus more on the road and less on handheld devices.

Civil Claims and Distracted Driving 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that you can cross the length of a football field while writing out a text and driving at 55 mph. In those few distracted seconds you could fail to brake properly or swerve into the wrong lane. Anything can happen in a matter of seconds and turn a brief text into a lifelong nightmare. 

While the state may not prohibit distracted driving on a ruling level, and local jurisdictional statutes may only include mobile device use, drivers should still stay aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

However, car accidents can happen outside of your control; you may adhere to the law, but that doesn’t mean other drivers will. Should they crash into your vehicle because of distracted driving, they could be held liable for any expenses you incurred because of the collision.

To earn the compensation you need to recover from such a traumatic incident, you need to file a car accident claim with an experienced Austin car accident attorney.

The Future of Distracted Driving

When autonomous vehicles start becoming more prevalent, distractions may not play as much of a role. However, distractions currently cause thousands of accidents and injuries each year. Certain people will lose their lives all because of the negligence of a distracted driver.

To avoid the risks of distracted driving, silence your phone and position it out of arm’s reach until you arrive at your destination. Avoid engaging in activities that keep you from being attentive to the road ahead. 

New technology in vehicles such as lane departure and hazard alerts can limit the risk, but only behavioral shifts will put this dangerous trend to an end. Texts, phone calls, and social media alerts can wait. 

Were you injured because of a distracted driver? Give Ramos James Law, PLLC, a call today for your FREE, no-obligation virtual consultation!

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