| Read Time: < 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Lane-splitting: Is it legal in Texas?

Lane splitting is simple: It’s a tactic that motorcyclists use to pass traffic, generally when it’s stopped and backed up. There may not be enough room for a car to move forward when a two-lane interstate comes to a stop, for instance, but a motorcycle can easily fit between the cars in both lanes. Proponents argue that this is safe because the cars aren’t moving anyway, and because it helps to reduce the road congestion. You don’t have a bunch of bikes sitting in traffic and taking up space. It’s also harder for motorcyclists to stop in traffic since they have to constantly put their feet down and hold the bike up. It’s easy for a driver to spend an hour inching forward, stopping and starting, but it can be very hard for a biker. So, is it legal? It’s not. Only one state has made it legal, and that’s California. It’s technically considered illegal passing in Texas. If it’s done very quickly or dangerously, reckless driving charges could also factor in. Texas did attempt to make it legal in 2016. Senate Bill 288 was produced, and, had it passed, lane-splitting would have become legal in traffic going under 20 mph. It also would have said that bikers needed to go only 5 mph faster than the traffic around them. However, that bill never got out of committee and the Senate never voted on it. So, at this time, lane-splitting remains illegal. This shows how important it is to understand all of the motorcycle laws and to adhere to them so that if another driver causes an accident, there’s no way to say that you were at fault. You may then be able to seek compensation. Source: Motorcycle.com, “Lane Splitting in Texas,” accessed Nov. 30, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Higher demand for commercial drivers means lower driver standards

In recent years, there has been a relative boom in the domestic commercial trucking industry. With diesel costs down and consumer spending up, freight delivery service remains highly competitive and in demand for retailers, suppliers and manufacturers around the country. In fact, it has been difficult for trucking companies to secure the number of drivers they need in order to meet all of the shipment demands they currently have. Recent estimates from within the trucking industry indicate a shortage of roughly 60,000 drivers at the end of 2018, and many experts believe that demand will only increase. That lack of available staffing means that the commercial drivers on the road are working longer hours and tougher routes as their employers try to make the most with the staff they currently have, which could contribute to employee stress and exhaustion. It also means that trucking companies may decide to hire people who don’t have the experience or driving record to prove they will be safe on the road. The best drivers are in high demand and hard to hire Commercial driving is a grueling industry that often requires long hours away from home, few breaks and manual labor when loading and unloading deliveries. Truckers risk social isolation, as well as injuries to their arms, legs, hips and back through the course of their work. They are also subject to intense employer scrutiny and more legal requirements than other drivers. Professional drivers with excellent service and driving records can typically command top dollar and demand the routes that they prefer to drive. Companies actively compete to hire experienced drivers with solid, accident-free records. When there aren’t enough drivers with adequate experience and skill to go around, companies have to start bending their own hiring policies to fill vacant positions. Companies may compromise and hire unsafe drivers Most commercial trucking companies have strict standards when it comes to the driving record and criminal record of the people they hire. However, when companies can’t find enough new people, they may bend those rules to stay profitable. Drivers with previous serious issues, such as impaired driving, could wind up working as a commercial driver despite their history. Companies may even hire and train brand new workers to help them secure their commercial driver’s licenses and get them on the road as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that means that drivers may be out on the road moving loads with no real experience other than school under their belts. The problem with inexperienced drivers in commercial vehicles is that these large, heavy vehicles require more skill to operate than standard vehicles. They can pose substantial risks to the public, and crashes caused by commercial trucks often result in catastrophic damage to the other vehicles and severe injuries to their occupants.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Is it Actually Wise to Lay Down a Motorcycle?

People often talk about laying a motorcycle down in an effort to avoid a crash. It is typically seen as a last-ditch effort. You see a truck pull out into the road in front of you. The driver never saw your motorcycle. You lay the bike down to avoid a direct collision at speed. But is this really wise? There are some situations where it can help. You may be able to take the impact with your legs and body, for instance, rather than your head. Since two broken legs may heal more effectively than a traumatic brain injury, laying the bike down can decrease the lasting issues you face — even when it will not prevent injuries entirely. However, experts do note that you are often better off to stay on the bike. For one thing, your tires are designed to slow your bike down and grip the road. The metal side of the bike and your leather jacket are not. You may actually cut more speed before the crash if you just hammer the brakes and stay on the bike. In addition, some accidents can be avoided. Are you better off to lay the bike down on the pavement and slide into the accident or to turn your bike and swerve around the other vehicle on the shoulder? Obviously, every situation is different, but you may be better off to avoid a crash. No matter what, if this is a decision you have to make, you’re likely going to suffer some injuries. Make sure you fully understand your legal options.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Using civil litigation to hold a reckless driver responsible

People who make dangerous decisions have a tendency to ignore how their actions could have consequences for other people. They become so focused on their own desires that they don’t stop to think about the ramifications. Reckless drivers, in particular, may be more focused on their own schedule or desire for fun than on the safety of the people who share the road with them. They don’t stop to wonder about the possible consequences until it’s too late. If you get hurt by someone driving in a reckless or irresponsible way in Waco, you may wish that there was some way to teach them a lesson about how their decisions have consequences for other people. Thankfully, the law in Texas does create civil options for those who get hurt by reckless or negligent drivers. Filing a lawsuit against someone who hurt you or damaged your property could be the perfect way to teach them not to do the same thing in the future. A lawsuit makes sure they don’t walk away without consequence Sometimes, even when a reckless driver causes a crash, the only legal consequence is a traffic citation. That could mean they only have to pay a small fine, while you’re stuck dealing with major property damage or lasting injuries. Although you and law enforcement may suspect reckless driving, there may simply not be adequate evidence to prove it. At least, the evidence available may not be sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that reckless driving occurred. However, the same evidence may very well meet the necessary standards for evidence in civil trials. Documentation that someone was texting or otherwise engaging in reckless or negligent behavior, like excessively exceeding the speed limit, could be enough to win a civil court case even if it wasn’t enough to bring criminal charges. The financial consequences of a lawsuit can last for years You may have to deal with tens of thousands of dollars worth of fallout from a crash. From medical expenses that persist for years to damage to a nice vehicle, the costs can quickly add up after a collision. These costs can often far exceed the liability coverage the responsible driver carried on their vehicle. A civil lawsuit allows you to pass those expenses that exceeded insurance coverage on to the person responsible for the collision. That could mean that the other driver winds up paying for the accident they caused for many years, which will hopefully be enough to keep them from endangering others in the future. If you find yourself wondering about whether you could qualify for compensation under Texas personal injury laws, sitting down with an attorney can help you make an informed decision about your options.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Why are tractor-trailers so dangerous in a crash scenario?

All motor vehicle crashes between trucks and smaller vehicles carry significant injury risks. This is so in truck accidents involving utility trucks, work vans and construction vehicles. However, of all the different types of trucks involved in these accidents, tractor-trailers typically pose the most injury hazards to Texas motorists. Obviously, a small passenger automobile is no match for the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers, but this is only part of the equation. There are several additional factors that can increase the risk of being involved in a truck accident. The following information illustrates why it may be difficult to avoid a collision with a semitruck. Braking A tractor-trailer carrying a full load can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. While a smaller vehicle can stop in about 140 feet while braking, a big rig might travel 200 feet before coming to a stop. In some cases, these trucks might even travel up to 450 feet before stopping, increasing the risk of a truck accident. Maneuvering The size of tractor-trailers makes it difficult for drivers to maneuver in traffic. They typically need much more room to make turns or switch lanes. In a potential accident scenario, this means that a truck driver may be unable to move in time to avoid colliding with a smaller car. Trucker visibility Large trucks by themselves pose visibility problems for drivers. When the truck is pulling a trailer, these visibility problems increase. Because a truck has so many blind spots, its driver may not see a smaller vehicle when switching lanes or turning. As you can see, driving a semi is challenging and fraught with many dangers. However, just because it may be difficult for truckers to see, brake and maneuver, it does not relieve them of liability when a preventable crash occurs. Those who have suffered injury in a truck accident may find a solution by discussing their case with an experienced legal professional.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

What’s the connection between seat belt use and child fatalities?

If someone were to ask you what the leading cause of child fatalities is, auto accidents may not be the first thing to come to mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes are the leading cause of preventable death for children here in the United States though. An estimated 116,000 youths age 12 and younger were hurt in car accidents in 2017. Another 675 children lost their lives that same year. One of the leading causes of death in these instances is a failure to wear a seat belt. At least 35% of the children who died in auto accidents in 2017 weren’t buckled up at the time of their fatal crash. CDC data shows that race impacts seatbelt use. Their statistics show that 46% of the Hispanic kids who die in car crashes do so because they weren’t buckled up. African-Americans follow closely behind at 45%. At least 26% of the Caucasian children who died in auto accidents that year did because they weren’t wearing seat belts. Those same statistics also show that those children who are less apt to be buckled up are eight to 12-year-olds. Some 49% of those children who died because they weren’t wearing seat belts in 2017. At least 36% or more of the four to 7-year-olds who died weren’t wearing seat belts. Another 22% of kids under the age of four weren’t buckled up at the time of their crash either. The CDC contends that there’s a direct correlation between child and adult seat belt use. Their data shows that 40% of children who ride in cars with unbelted adults fail to use this important safety feature themselves. Another statistic shows that safety restraints on the booster and car seats are inappropriately used in at least 46% of all cases. This greatly impacts their ability to perform as they should. It’s a caregiver’s responsibility to take necessary steps to keep their kids safe from getting hurt. If they fail to do so, then they can be held liable for any injuries that ensue. Sometimes caregivers do everything necessary to keep their kids out of harm’s way, but products malfunction or can’t withstand the impact. A child injury attorney can advise you of your right to request compensation under Texas law if your son or daughter has been hurt due to someone else’s negligence here in Waco.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Truckers Have Trouble Getting Enough Sleep

A drowsy trucker is a dangerous trucker. There are reasons that semi drivers have to log certain amounts of time off of the road. They’re supposed to be sleeping. Nodding off behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck puts everyone in danger. Unfortunately, even when truckers follow these rules, it is often difficult for them to get enough sleep to really be going at 100 percent. Lying on logs One problem is that some drivers will falsify their log books. Essentially, they’ll make sure the log books say they took enough time off, at the right times, but they’ll really spend some of that time working. They have deadlines. They have jobs to get done. They may feel pressure from the company to drive even when they’re tired. Forcing drivers to keep logs has helped, but as long as people are willing to lie, problems will persist. Not sleeping during a break A trucker may stop driving and take 10 hours off on break, but is that truck driver passed out comfortably in the sleeper cab? Maybe, but maybe not. Perhaps he or she put in as many miles as possible on the clock — the driver does get paid by the mile, after all — and stopped at the last possible second. Now the driver needs to fill up with gas, find somewhere to eat, find a place to shower and use the restroom, spend time on the phone or the computer, and much else. Ten hours on break could turn into just five or six hours of sleep. Searching for overnight parking takes time Another issues truck drivers face is that many of them all want to sleep at the same time. Some claim they have spent hours looking for a spot when the lots get full. This really throws off the driver’s schedule. Will he or she then be tempted to get up too early to get back on the road, trying to make up time? Unpredictable schedules Finally, since drivers have to work around shipping schedules, often waiting for crews to load up their trucks, they do not always have a predictable eight or 10 hours off to sleep. One driver said he had days with a comfortable 14 hours to sleep and other days with just four hours. A driver with too much time realistically can’t use it all to sleep, and that alarm wakes him or her up too early on the other days. Chaotic scheduling means tired drivers hit the interstates. Truck accidents Truck accidents often lead to very serious injuries and even fatalities. It is important for those involved to know all of their rights.  Fill out the form below to contact us by email or you can call us directly at 254-752-9688 or 1-800-INJURIES.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Elevator incidents can be quite deadly

Just last week, the story of a young man who died after being crushed by a New York City apartment building elevator made national news. Surveillance video taken at the city’s Manhattan Promenade apartment building shows a 30-year-old man attempting to get off the elevator of his residential apartment building. Within seconds, the car that he’d been riding in can be seen quickly moving down the shaft with the doors wide open. He can be seen trying to pull his way out. The video then shows him as his body is crushed between the top of the elevator car and the apartment building’s lobby floor. The man’s body soon disappears out of view. The top of the elevator can be seen disappearing further into the shaft before the doors ultimately close. His body ultimately was crushed between the elevator wall and the shaft. Bystanders can be seen watching in horror, not sure what to do to help. Still photos from the scene show paramedics attempting to tend to the man. They were, however, unable to save his life. An autopsy revealed that he suffered significant blunt force injuries to both his torso and neck as well as mechanical asphyxia. The building where this fatal incident occurred has had a history of elevator problems. The video taken before the incident even shows how there are yellow cones in front of the building’s secondary elevator letting residents know that it’s not in working order. It’s a landlord’s responsibility to make sure that their premises are reasonably safe so that no one gets hurt either inside a property or outside of it. Most incidents such as slips and falls, struck-by and crush incidents and unsafe premises accidents can be avoided if building owners simply take time to perform regular maintenance and safety assessments. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one because a Texas building owner was negligent in maintaining their property in sound working condition, then you should consult with a premises liability attorney. By doing so, you can find out what type of compensation you’re entitled to for injuries suffered on business premises here in Waco.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Why do businesses have security guards in their parking lots?

No matter whether you’re at a community or technical college, the mall, a hospital, a shopping center or any other public place, you’re bound to see a security guard patrolling the area looking for any potential problems. One of the reasons why these property owners have these individuals on staff roving around is to minimize their risk of being sued for having inadequate security if someone does get hurt. It’s a business owner’s responsibility to take reasonable measures to keep their premises safe after all. The role of security guards is mainly that of crime deterrence. It’s their job to drive around the office building, hospital or shopping center’s parking lot. They’re supposed to drive slowly without any distractions from cellphones or others. Their main job is to be on the lookout for anyone in the midst of committing a crime. This includes vandalism, burglary or theft, assaults, carjackings, robberies and any other offenses. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that these security guards regularly liaise with local police to aid them in tracking down crime suspects. Security guards don’t rove parking lots only for crime deterrence though. They do so to make sure that motorists follow any posted speed limits or any other rules they have. They often report any maintenance issues that they find and even cordon an area of it off to keep visitors safe. They may corral runaway shopping cards, respond to alarms or decide who can get past gates or into any other restricted areas. Many property or business owners take the time to hire security as a way to ensure that they do their part to keep their premises reasonably safe. Countless others leave the safety of their visitors to chance though. If you are injured in a facility’s parking lot whether due to crime, poor maintenance or some other concern, then you may have a valid reason to file suit against the property or business owner. An attorney here in Waco can advise you whether you’re eligible to file a lawsuit under Texas law in your case.

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