| Read Time: < 1 minute | Car Accidents

Waco ranks as one of the safest cities for driving in Texas

A study recently published by QuoteWizard cites Waco as being one of the cities with the safest drivers in Texas. The researchers took a variety of factors into account, including how many car crashes occurred in the city in order to reach this conclusion. During the most recent reporting year of 2017, there were only 3,500 automobile accidents reported. This was the seventh lowest number of crashes of any city in the state. Also on the list of the 15 safest cities for driving in Texas, it listed the nearby town of Corsicana. There were less than 750 crashes there in 2017. This earned it a ranking of 12 on the list. In case you’re wondering what city took the top spot on the list, it was Eagle Pass. The only other cities that performed better than Waco were Brownsville, Edinburg, Marshall, Lufkin and Laredo. QuoteWizard’s research also shows that Texas, as a whole, performed better than 21 other states in the country in terms of having safe drivers. In 2017, there were nearly a quarter of a million traffic crashes statewide. In addition to car crash data, the researchers also reportedly considered the number of traffic citations issued and how many driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests there were when determining how cities and states ranked. When crashes occur in Waco, they often happen along Interstate 35, which is a main corridor that connects McLennan County to other popular cities including San Antonio and Austin. Car crashes, and especially those that occur at fast rates of speed on the highway, often result in life-threatening injuries. An experienced attorney can advise you of your right to compensation if you’ve suffered injuries.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

An anonymous letter leads Waco police to a hit-and-run driver

On Oct. 16, 2016, a 19-year-old Baylor University marching band member was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist. Waco Police Department struggled to identify the driver believed to have been responsible for his death until September of last year when they received an anonymous letter in the mail. She was taken into custody on March 5. According to police, the victim was riding his bike near 3200 Franklin Avenue that fateful evening. Witnesses to the crash had identified the car who struck him as a sports utility vehicle (SUV). They told police that the driver failed to stop after hitting him. The letter that police received in September of last year didn’t just pin the hit-and-run on the 50-year-old Waco resident, but it also spelled out how she had apparently been speeding and drinking at the time she struck the college student. In the time since they received that letter, detectives made contact with the woman’s auto insurance company. In doing so, they found out that she’s filed an insurance claim saying that she crashed into a stop sign shortly after the hit-and-run-incident occurred. A forensic team examined the woman’s car and found traces of blood along the molding of the front windshield and a nearby mirror. Tests to determine the blood’s origin came back as inconclusive. When questioned by police about her potential involvement in the crash, she initially told police that she’d struck a sign as she was driving back from a party where she’d been consuming wine. She later admitted that she may have struck a homeless person as well. She was processed through the McLennan County Jail after her arrest. She faces one second-degree felony count of failing to stop and render aid. It’s unclear when she was expected to be arraigned. The university described the victim as a dedicated student, band member and Christian at a ceremony held in his honor in the weeks following his death. When a motorist drives drunk, texts while riding down the road or speeds, their actions are considered to be willfully negligent. Crashes occur in these instances because drivers don’t take the necessary precautions to protect others’ safety. If you’ve been hurt or lost someone close to you in this type of crash in Texas, then a car accidents attorney can hold the negligent party liable.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Why do tailgate accidents occur, and how can they be avoided?

How many times have you looked into the rearview mirror and noticed another driver practically in the back seat of your car? This is called tailgating. While many of us have been taught to keep our distance from the motorist in front of us, few people do that if they’re in a hurry or there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. Tailgating isn’t just annoying though. It’s potentially deadly. Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that an estimated 950,000 motorists are injured in tailgating incidents each year. At least 2,000 individuals lose their lives in similar types of crashes. Reckless driving like this results in the majority of rear-end collisions that happen each year in the U.S. The tire manufacturer Michelin previously researched tailgating. The company’s researchers determined that at least 74% of motorists admitted to being tailgated within the previous six months. Only 11% of those same drivers said that they tailgate others though. Car operators give themselves the best chance of being able to avoid a rear-end crash when they stay a safe distance behind the person in front of them. Michelin argues that motorists should give themselves at least 10 feet of distance per 10 miles worth of speed between themselves and those in front of them. Motorists should give themselves more time and distance to stop if roads are wet or icy. Michelin encourages motorists to avoid tailgating if a driver in front of them is operating their car too slowly. The tire manufacturer encourages vehicle operators to pass anyone not driving at an adequate speed for them. Michelin recommends that motorists should allow three seconds to pass after passing alongside a vehicle before attempting to pull in front of them. This prevents a motorist from pulling in too tight on the person that they’re trying to pass. The media often describes rear-end crashes as minor fender benders. This is far from the case though. You can suffer critical injuries or die if a motorist strikes you while traveling at a high enough rate of speed. You should consult with an attorney in Waco if you’ve been severely injured in a crash here or elsewhere in Texas. Your lawyer can help you recover compensation from the reckless motorist who caused your injuries. This may greatly impact the type of medical care that you’re able to afford.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Premises Liability

Do men and women get the same workers’ comp?

Gender discrimination is illegal in the workplace. Women and men must get the same opportunities and the same treatment. This applies to all aspects of work, from hiring to promotions to raises and much more. Does it also apply to workers’ compensation? While it intuitively feels like it should, there have been some famous cases where women felt they were discriminated against. For instance, one woman spent 17 years working with a computer. This led to carpal tunnel syndrome, as she started to have both numbness and pain in her wrists and her hands. She decided to seek out workers’ comp, and it was noted that her job on the computer caused her physical issues. So far, so good. That’s when she found out that a man with the same exact symptoms as she had would get 20 percent more than her in permanent disability benefits. The reasoning was that she had “multiple risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome.” Two of the main risk factors were her age and the fact that she was a woman. Both things make the disorder more likely, so these risk factors allowed her payouts to be lowered. Essentially, on the grounds that she was a woman, she got paid less. This famous case started a class-action lawsuit, and it serves as a distinct warning to people all over the United States: When applying for workers’ compensation, be very careful to look into all aspects of the case so that you fully understand your rights. The above is just one example of many ways your rights could be violated. If you believe that they have been, make sure you know what legal options you have.

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| Read Time: 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Texas man goes to prison after purposefully hitting motorcycle

A Texas man will go to jail for 15 years after he purposefully swerved his car into a passing motorcycle. A couple on the motorcycle was attempting to make a pass, when video footage caught the man swerve directly into their path. Earlier this month, a trial by jury convicted the man of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The accident happened in October 2015, and the 68-year-old driver has been in jail since that time awaiting the completion of his trial. The man will stay in Hood County Jail until he is transferred to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison to complete the rest of his sentence. The driver might not have been convicted if it weren’t for video footage recorded by another motorcyclist that had been following the couple. The video shows the motorcycle passing the 68-year-old man’s vehicle. Then, the vehicle jerked suddenly to the left and collided with the bike. Both the motorcycle driver and his girlfriend crashed onto the asphalt road and suffered injuries as a result. The motorcyclists accused the man of striking them on purpose after the accident. In response, he yelled, “I don’t care!” But later, he offered an explanation in court that he swerved because of a spider bite. Video footage during a serious car accident can be very helpful to bring the at-fault party to criminal justice. Sometimes, Texas residents have “dashcams” that record roadway activity. Other times, video footage can be pulled from municipal surveillance cameras placed at intersections. This footage can also be used in civil court by car accident victims seeking financial compensation from an at-fault party for their injuries and other damages. Source: Chron, “Texas man who swerved into motorcycle in viral video sent to prison for crash,” John Boyd and Heather Leighton, April 03, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Be careful not to get hurt while out shopping

When people are asked what comes to mind when they hear the word shopping, they often say making purchases. Very few individuals concern themselves with getting hurt while out at the store. Shopping injuries are quite common though. These types of incidents often occur because store owners fail to warn their workers or shoppers of certain hazards or to keep their premises safe. Shoppers and workers alike are particularly vulnerable to getting hurt if stores are overcrowded. It’s often around this time of the year when stores are offering Black Friday sales that customers line up hoping to take home items at a fraction of their regular retail price. There have been incidents in the past in which both store customers and workers have been attacked or trampled by others eager to gain access to a particular item. Slips and falls are also a common store injury. These types of incidents often happen because consumers or workers drop items on the floor and fail to notify store personnel to clean it up. Wet or slippery floors aren’t the only problem though. Raised tiles, torn carpets or poorly lit areas can also cause individuals to get hurt. Falls on malfunctioning escalators aren’t all that uncommon either. Many stores have shelving that reaches way beyond an average adult’s height. Some customers attempt to climb the shelves to reach what they came for. Others use objects to try to knock these items down to their level. Customers may find themselves struck by falling objects if items up on upper shelves aren’t properly secured. This can cause them to suffer serious head injuries. Shopping cart and parking lot injuries are two other real dangers that store customers have to be on the lookout for. Cracked pavement and icy surfaces are two of the leading causes of parking lot injuries. Tipped over carts can also cause someone to suffer serious bodily harm. Liability is not always clear in shopping injury cases. This is why you need to compile any evidence leading up to and immediately following your incident here in Waco. An attorney can take that information and determine if someone else’s negligence is to blame for your injuring accident. If your lawyer determines that is the case, then they’ll advise you of you right go about requesting compensation for injuries suffered on business premises here in Texas.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Holding schools accountable for harassment

When parents bring their kids to school, they expect that their children will be able to learn in a safe environment. As more and more cases of cyber bullying and harassment are mentioned in the news, however, it’s possible that parents shouldn’t assume that their children will be secure within academic confines. If you have visited the practice area page of our website, you know that the Texas legislature has passed bills designed to protect students and hold responsible parties liable for this type of intimidation. Most parents whose children are being targeted by other students will feel it necessary to keep school officials accountable for their indifference to an established pattern of harassment. When repeated contact with administrators provides no satisfactory resolution, parents may feel that their only course of action is to file suit against schools. Before taking this step, however, parents will need to consider the obstacles that may prevent them from winning in court. School immunity may prevent parents from receiving satisfaction in a case’s resolution. Some schools are protected from lawsuits by the town or city in which the school is located. If school officials acted according to the school’s best practices, they may be shielded from a lawsuit. This isn’t to say that any attempt to right a wrong at school will be defeated in court. In order to establish the best case possible, parents should follow these steps: 1. Document every incident with specific details, such as the time, date and location of the offense. 2. Record interaction with school staff including teachers, social workers and administrators. 3. Contact parents of classmates. It may be possible that other children are being targeted as well. Documentation helps parents and their attorneys lay the groundwork for a successful claim if repeated instances of indifference are revealed. Maintaining a record of incidents may not stop the aggressive actions immediately; however, accounting for every incident enhances the quality of the claim. Parents who are concerned about their child’s safety are advised to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the best course of action to take.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Water parks and summer amusement rides can injure your child

Water parks, traveling carnivals and amusement park rides are all popular places for families during the warmest months in Texas. Since the kids are off from school, it is easier than usual to pack your family up and go spend a day hitting up some water slides or roller coasters. Although these trips can be a source of treasured family memories and a great break from the monotony of summer months out of school, they can also be a source of both severe physical injuries and emotional trauma to children. Part of what makes amusement parks and carnival rides so thrilling is the sense of controlled danger they produce. Unfortunately, with bad set up or improper maintenance, the danger can go from being theoretical to a very real risk that could impact your family for many years to come. Sometimes, places you visit for fun can prove to be anything but that if your child gets hurt. Make an official report if there is any malfunction or injury On rides with multiple operators, the park may have safeguards in place that allow them to detect malfunctions immediately. Certain rides also have cameras that capture the more dangerous moments, often intended as tourist mementos. The cameras can also serve as a form of documentation when something goes wrong or someone winds up hurt. Even if there are cameras or attendants, don’t just move on with your day if your kid gets hurt. You should never assume that the people working will make a record of the malfunction unless you report a potential injury. Making a report means that there will be a record at the amusement park or with the management of the fair or water park of what happened to you and your child. That way, if an injury becomes more severe in the future, you can prove that it started when you first attended the park. Injuries to children may require expensive medical care From broken bones to head injuries, the kinds of wounds and injuries people can suffer at water parks or similar amusement facilities can prove to be serious. For small children, those injuries can require years of medical assistance. Since children are still growing, injuries that would be minor for adults can have more significant implications for younger victims. At the same time, children do tend to heal and bounce back quickly. However, visible wounds, especially on the face, can lead to permanent scarring and therefore require intensive intervention to minimize the long-term repercussions for your child and family. That care can often be far more expensive than what you are capable of covering on your own. That is why you want to connect the injury to the facility where your child got hurt in order to seek compensation on their behalf.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Study claims teens are not the most dangerous drivers

Teen drivers are often stereotyped as the worst drivers on America’s roads. They’re inexperienced, detractors say, so they make mistakes that could have easily been avoided. They go on their phones too much, leading to distraction. They’re willing to take risks, like speeding and even racing their cars. They grow out of these activities as they grow up, but, from ages 16 to 20, they present a real risk on the highways. Certainly, things like inexperience and risk-taking are dangerous, but a new study shows that we may be a bit too hard on teens. It claims that millennials are actually the most dangerous drivers in America. Dangerous activities The study relies, in part, on simply asking drivers to admit what types of mistakes they make. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety put the survey together. It says that millennials between 19 and 24 years old admitted to running red lights, speeding, or texting and driving at a stunning rate. A full 88.4 percent said they had done so in the last 30 days. You may note that millennials range in age from 20 to 36, so the study also looked at drivers ranging from 25 to 39 years old. They said they had done the same things — texting and driving, speeding or running red lights — at a rate of 79 percent. That put them square in second place as the most dangerous drivers, even above teens. Reports say that means that millennials as a whole are the “most reckless generation on the road.” Reported activities It’s important to note that the surveys pull their information not from arrest records or accident statistics, but from self-reported activities. This way, they include instances where a driver made a critical error — like texting while blowing through a red light — but was lucky enough not to get caught and not to cause an accident. There is, of course, the chance that people would lie about their mistakes or fail to remember instances that would count. However, this is generally a reliable way to get information since there’s no negative consequence to telling the truth. Where did teens rank? If teens have been unfairly cast as the most dangerous drivers, you may wonder where they did rank. For those between 16 and 18 years old, they ranked third overall. The admitted to the same dangerous habits at a rate of 69.3 percent. As it turns out, the three youngest age groups all combine to pose the biggest threat on the roads. Your options after a crash Regardless of your age, it’s very important to understand the risks. Make sure you know what options you have after another driver causes an accident.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Seat belts can save Texas children’s lives

Countless kids are injured while riding aboard school buses in the U.S. each year. Fortunately, the number of those hurt in Texas has dropped in recent years. This has happened in large part due to the passing of a state law that requires all large school buses to be equipped with seat belts. Yet, accidents still happen. While they can curb injury rates, the seat belts have to be worn correctly to be effective in preventing injuries. A study recently conducted by the NBC at an engineering facility in Indiana revealed just how dangerous not wearing a seat belt can be. They simulated a collision in which some of the child-sized crash dummies were buckled in whereas others weren’t. At least three out of seven of the unbuckled dummies were sent flying out of their seats when their school bus traveled 35 miles per hour down a highway ramp. One of those three dummies ended up colliding with another passenger. Another one of them flew into the aisle and rammed its neck into another seat. All the belted dummies remained securely in their seats. Federal lawmakers have yet to pass legislation that would require all states to equip their school buses with seat belts. They’ve generally cited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research when asked why they haven’t passed such legislation. The NHTSA contends that school bus seat belts are unnecessary as their seats provide compartmentalization. They noted that this is all that’s necessary to keep them safe. A senator from Illinois who just this year proposed the School Bus Safety Act argues that all school buses should come equipped with automatic braking systems and data recorders. She notes that they should also feature three-point seat belts as well. Parents might expect that their children’s school districts will do what’s in the kids’ best interests. But this isn’t always the case, as school districts may cut corners. They cram more kids in buses than they should and then leave a single driver to monitor them. In Texas, they may have delayed installing required seat belts as well. Seat belts can save your child from getting hurt. If their caregiver’s or some other motorist’s negligence resulted in them getting hurt in a crash, parents can reach out to a personal injury attorney who can advise how administrative law and due process works here in Texas.

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