Jason Stephens | July 29, 2020 | Car Accidents
A tragic car accident on July 10, 2020, took the lives of two college students at Trinity University. Officials at Trinity University confirmed that 20-year-old Rebekah Wendt and 19-year-old Tyler Colvin were the two students killed in the traffic accident.
The accident happened about 65 miles west of Fort Worth in Palo Pinto County. The students were campaigning in North Texas for a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives. The students were returning to their hotel when the crash occurred.
At about 6:00 p.m., Colvin was driving east on FM 4 in a 2016 Toyota Corolla when he failed to yield the right of way. He struck a 2016 GMC 3500 pickup truck on the passenger side as it was traveling north on U.S. 281.
Colvin died at the accident scene. Wendt died from her injuries as she was being transported to a hospital in Fort Worth by air ambulance. The condition of the person driving the GMC truck was not available.
The tragic deaths have been difficult for the community, friends, family, and University staff members. We offer our condolences on the loss of these two young adults.
Failure to Follow Traffic Rules is a Common Factor in Fort Worth Accidents
Many of the traffic accidents in Fort Worth are the result of failing to follow Texas traffic laws. The traffic laws are designed to reduce the risk of traffic accidents. However, when drivers fail to follow the laws because of an error, intentional acts, or other reasons, the risk of a collision increases.
Some of the most common violations of traffic laws that lead to accidents include:
- Use of cell phones
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Following too closely for conditions
- Failing to stop for traffic signals or stop signs
- Excessive speed
- Failing to stop at crosswalks
- Driving under the influence
- Improper lane changes
- Illegal passing
Unfortunately, violating traffic laws can result in more than a traffic ticket. Failing to follow traffic laws can result in a collision. Therefore, a driver could be liable for fines and other penalties for violating traffic laws, but the driver could also be liable in civil court for damages caused by a motor vehicle accident.
For example, failing to yield the right-of-way is a common cause of intersection accidents. Following too closely or tailgating is a common factor in rear-end crashes. Speeding and distracted driving are factors in head-on crashes and other collisions.
Determining the Cause of a Crash for a Personal Injury Claim
Under Texas personal injury laws, a person who causes an injury can be held liable for the victim’s damages and losses. However, you must prove that the person caused the car crash before you can recover compensation for your injuries. A car accident attorney generally investigates the crash to determine how the accident occurred and identify the responsible parties.
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, including catastrophic and life-threatening injuries. Some injuries may result in permanent disabilities and impairments. Injuries from a car accident might include:
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Airbag and seat belt injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
When a person is injured in a traffic accident, the person generally incurs financial losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. The person responsible for causing the accident may be liable for the financial damages, in addition to compensating the person for his or her physical pain and emotional suffering.
However, if you cannot prove that another driver caused the car accident, you cannot recover compensation for your claim. Therefore, you may want to talk to an attorney about ways that the attorney can help you prove liability for a car accident.
Proving Liability for a Car Accident
An attorney takes many steps when investigating a car accident. Some steps your attorney might take include:
- Interviewing you about the car accident
- Obtaining copies of accident reports and police reports
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Searching for videos of the accident from traffic cameras, bystanders, and surveillance cameras
- Gathering physical evidence from the accident scene
- Analyzing photographs taken immediately after the accident
- Obtaining copies of your medical records
- Consulting with various experts, including accident reconstructionists and engineers
After determining the cause of the crash, a car accident attorney identifies the parties responsible for each factor that contributed to the cause of the accident. The attorney also confirms insurance coverage for each party, so that insurance claims may be filed. All of these steps are taken to protect your legal rights and your best interests.
The goal is to obtain full compensation for all damages and losses. That requires gathering and preserving evidence to build a strong case against the other party. Beginning an investigation as soon as possible after the crash reduces the risk that crucial evidence might be lost or destroyed.