Roadways are often dangerous areas, especially when combined with driving at night or poor lighting conditions and car accidents are often the results. Motor vehicle crashes are caused by a range of factors with various degrees of fault, stemming from poor visibility and inadequately maintained roadways to drunk or distracted drivers. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the crash or fault of the driver, serious injuries frequently occur, as illustrated by a recent fatal car accident in Texas.
On October 31, 2011, at approximately 8:15 pm in Harris County, Texas, a car rear-ended a man on a motorized bicycle. The bike rider was traveling on the road when he was struck. The driver of the car stayed with the injured man and blocked him from traffic. However, the injured bicyclist died from the injuries he sustained at the accident scene.
Dark Roads Contribute to Fatality but Limit Driver’s Liability
The driver claimed he was unable to see the bicyclist due to the bright lights from oncoming traffic combined with the dark condition of the roadway. The two-lane road where the accident occurred did not have any streetlights, which was considered a major contributing factor in the accident. Furthermore, according to reports from the past two years, more than 200 motor vehicle accidents have occurred on the same road, with contributing factors of speed and a lack of streetlights.
The driver will not incur any criminal charges for the accident; local police determined the driver was not at fault for the collision due to the lack of street lighting and poor visibility. However, the driver may be liable for damages to the victim and the victim’s family. Under Texas’s Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, motor vehicle operators may be held financially responsible for damages incurred by a victim in a car accident.
Most drivers comply with this requirement by carrying automobile liability insurance to compensate the victim for damages arising from the accident. In fact, Texas requires a minimum coverage of $30,000 per injured individual, coverage of $60,000 for all injured parties and property damage coverage of $25,000, also referred to as 30/60/25 coverage.
Motor vehicle accidents often result in serious injuries and in some cases even death. If criminal charges are not filed against the driver, the injured party may still be entitled to recover compensation for his or her injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Texas automobile accident, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options on help hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.