A motorcyclist was killed earlier this week on the Northeast side of San Antonio, in a tragic accident on FM 78. 35 year-old Chadwick Short was riding his motorcycle on FM 78 when he was T-boned by a four-door sedan pulling on to the highway from a private parking lot. Short was transported to the Brooke Army Medical Center, where he died shortly later of his injuries. Police reported that he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The driver of the sedan did not suffer any injuries and remained at the scene to talk to police. Authorities say it is unclear how the vehicles collided as they should have been able to see each other. The investigation into the crash is open and ongoing. No charges have yet been filed.
Establishing Negligence in Car Accidents in Texas
It is hard to imagine how a motorcycle accident like the one above could occur in the absence of negligence. In fact, if you have been in an accident that was not your fault, you can be fairly certain that it is somebody else’s. Legally, negligence is much broader than it is generally understood. Under Texas law, negligent driving occurs when a driver strays from the reasonable standard of care owed to other drivers. When a driver is intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted, they are not acting with reasonable care for other drivers on the road, even if they are trying their best, they have still put all other drivers at risk.
A driver can be negligent even when they are following all posted traffic laws. For instance, in inclement weather a driver can be charged with reckless driving for going the speed limit if doing so would be reckless under the circumstances (e.g. it may be reckless to go 75 miles per hour on an icy roadway, even if it is the legal speed limit). The main thing to look for legally is that the driver’s negligence was responsible for the harm. For example, a driver can look away from the road for a moment to adjust the air conditioning without being negligent if it does not affect their ability to drive safely or cause any harm. However, if in that single moment the driver rear-ends the car in front of them, the act of taking their eyes off of the road is negligent because it was responsible for the accident that occurred.
Modified Comparative Fault in Texas
Under Texas law, the fault of all parties is assessed and allocated in determining liability for a vehicle collision. In order to succeed on a claim of negligence in Texas, you must be less than 50% responsible for the harm suffered. If you are 50% or more responsible for your own harm, the court will not penalize another party. If you are less than 50% responsible, your final damages award will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault that the jury allocates to you.
Talk to a San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a San Antonio motorcycle accident or vehicle collision, the Law Office of Eric Ramos is here to help. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation. There is no fee until we win.