| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Tips to keep you safe when driving on the highway

When driving on the highway in Texas, it won’t take long to realize that there are safety risks all around. While you can’t control other drivers, you can make personal decisions that enhance your safety and reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. Here are five tips that can help keep you safe when driving on the highway: Follow the speed limit: This starts with knowing the speed limit on the portion of the highway you’re traveling. From there, keep a close eye on your speedometer to ensure that you’re driving at a safe speed. Share the road with others: It’s easier said than done, especially when other drivers are being aggressive, but you should always do your best to share the road. For example, if a person wants to change lanes in front of you, don’t speed up to stop them from doing so. Maintain a safe following distance: This is difficult to do, especially when the flow of traffic is constantly changing, but it’s a good habit to get into. Following someone too closely at a high speed greatly increases the risk of a rear-end collision. As a general rule of thumb, leave a minimum of three seconds stopping time between you and the vehicle in front of yours. Eliminate distractions: One-hundred percent of your focus should be on the road ahead. Don’t get caught up in too many conversations with passengers. Don’t text or talk on the phone. Don’t eat or drink. When you eliminate distractions, you’ll feel better about your ability to remain safe. Watch for dangerous drivers: Your eyes should always be scanning the road, watching for anyone who isn’t taking caution. You could see everything from a person who is texting and driving to a trucker who is talking on a cellphone. There’s no denying that these tips will keep you safe when driving on the highway. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a guarantee when it comes to your safety and well-being. Another driver could cause an accident, thus resulting in damage to your vehicle and serious injuries. If this happens to you, receive immediate medical treatment, contact your insurance company and learn more about your legal rights. You may be in position to seek compensation from the driver who caused the crash.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

Certain child injuries are commonplace in the summer

It’s summer. Most children are busy at camp, at the pool, traveling or doing several other activities for the next few weeks until school starts back once again. Since kids are running around here and there, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s an uptick in them getting hurt during the summer months. According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, there are several common ways that children get hurt during the summer. Here are a few: Drownings Many kids spend time at different pools during the summer. Some are staffed by lifeguards and are maintained by third-parties while others are not. Drownings can happen anywhere. Parents and caregivers should always keep a close eye on their kids, even when they put approved flotation devices on them. Pools should be surrounded by a fence or netting that makes it difficult for any child to gain access to it. Caregivers should take time to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) just in case it’s ever needed. Burns When most people think of summer, fireworks and campfires often come to mind. These and hot food and scalding liquids cause the majority of kids’ serious burns over the summer. Parents should never let their kids set off fireworks, should monitor them around campfires and keep food away from edges of tables so that it won’t inadvertently fall on them. Bike injuries Many kids take to the sidewalk or neighborhood streets to ride their bikes during the summer. Sadly, many fall off their bicycles when they hit the uneven pavement or get struck by cars. Texas parents can help minimize the risk of their kids getting hurt by checking to make sure that their bike’s handlebars and seat are properly fitted for them. They should also require their kids to always wear a helmet. In addition, kids should be taught to walk alongside their bikes at intersections and how to use hand signals. If your son or daughter has been seriously injured at a public place or a friend’s house here in Waco, then you should protect your child now! After you get them the emergency medical attention that they need, your next call should be to a child injury attorney who can help you hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

The spectrum of premises liability law

A premises liability claim is essentially a civil lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who was injured on property owned by another party. At the core of the premises liability claim will usually be the allegation that the property owner committed negligence by failing to reasonably manage and maintain the property in a way that would prevent injury to visitors on the property. Let’s take a look at some of the many legal issues that may fall under the category of a premises liability claim: — Slips and falls: Business and other property owners need to keep their walking surfaces slip-free. If a surface is slippery, the property owner must warn those who are visiting the property with signage. The property owner must also quickly clean up any spills or other issues that could result in a fall. — Damaged walkways and sidewalks: A cracked sidewalk represents a hazard that visitors could trip on. An icy sidewalk is also a dangerous hazard that someone could slip on. — Lighting issues: Visitors need to see where they’re going to avoid falling and hurting themselves. As such a reasonable property owner should provide adequate lighting to avoid an accident. – Elevators, stairs and escalators: These are essential for moving from one level to another in a building, but if they’re neglected or poorly maintained, they can result in a serious injury. — Dog bites: Dog bites may fall under premises liability law. When you’re on someone’s property, the property owner must keep his or her animals under control so they don’t harm you. — Swimming pool accidents: If a swimming pool is not reasonably protected by a fence, a child could fall in and drown. Swimming pools represent premises liability dangers in many different ways. Were you hurt on someone else property in Texas? It doesn’t matter if your situation fits into one of the categories above or not. If you got hurt on another party’s property, the property might be negligent and liable to pay for the costs associated with your medical care and other damages.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Premises Liability

What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

Property owners have a responsibility to protect visitors to their property from getting hurt. Visitors to property can get hurt in various ways. The visitors who can get hurt can be of all different ages, too, including children. That’s where the attractive nuisance doctrine comes into effect within premises liability law. There are three parts to the doctrine and are as follows: The doctrine does not expect children to have an understanding of dangers they could encounter on someone else property. The doctrine places a responsibility on a property owner to prevent injury to children if he or she believes children would have a reason to visit their property. The doctrine allows for the property owner to be held liable for failing to meet the aforementioned responsibility if a child is injured on their property. An attractive nuisance is defined as anything on a property that could be attractive to a child that would cause them to visit the property and explore. The following are some examples of possible attractive nuisances, which must be man-made (eliminating lakes, ponds and other naturally occurring dangers): Lawnmower Pools and fountains Stairs Animals Tunnels The actual definition of a ‘child’ as covered by the attractive nuisance doctrine will differ based on the court where the case is heard. Some courts still view teenagers who are under the age of 18 as children. A child’s curiosity is not always healthy, especially when it leads to an injury on someone else property. An experienced premises liability attorney can explain the attractive nuisance doctrine and how it protects your children. Source: FindLaw, “Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?,” accessed July 21, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

6 important steps to take after a car accident

If you drive, there’s a chance you could be part of a car accident. If this happens, the steps you take immediately after the crash will impact your future in many ways. Even though no two car accidents are the same, here are six important steps anyone can take if they find themselves in this position: Move to safety: This is a challenge if your vehicle is damaged, but, if possible, you could move your vehicle to a safe place. For example, if you’re part of a highway accident, move to the shoulder of the road. Upon doing so, turn on your hazard lights to warn others of your situation. Check for injuries: Check yourself for injuries, and if possible, assist your passengers. If you or someone in your vehicle suffers an injury, consider the type of first aid you can administer. Call 911: By doing this, you know that an ambulance and police will arrive at the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as you can, while taking their guidance on what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Collect information: It’s difficult to do if you’re injured, but, if you’re able to, collect information such as license plate numbers, insurance details, contact information for witnesses and the location of the crash. These types of details come in handy when filing an insurance claim. Follow the advice of your medical team: You should receive medical assistance immediately after the accident, even if you feel okay. Some injuries, such as bleeding in the brain, don’t always present immediate symptoms. In addition to immediate treatment, stay in close contact with your medical team in regard to your long-term health care strategy. File an insurance claim: Depending on your injuries, you may not be able to do this right away. The first chance you get, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. If you’re unable to do so, ask a loved one to assist you. All of these steps are meant to protect you in some way, shape or form. As you file an insurance claim and learn more about your accident, you can formulate a plan on how to hold the negligent driver responsible. Visit our website for more information on your legal rights following a motor vehicle accident in the state of Texas.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

A 3-year-old is discovered unresponsive in a Robinson school bus

Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) has launched an investigation into a potentially life-threatening incident that occurred in Robinson, a city that lies just over six miles south of Waco, early in the morning on Oct. 4. That fateful day, a CPS investigation team announced that a 3-year-old, one of the youngest children that attends a Robinson Independent School District (ISD) school, was found unresponsive inside one of its buses. A spokesperson for the school district notes that the child was found with a seat belt wrapped around his neck around 7:20 a.m. when the bus came to a stop near 1600 East Moonlight. The young boy wasn’t breathing when he was found. Paramedics arriving at the scene performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the young boy and transported him to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center. He was later life-flighted to McLane Children’s Hospital. He remains hospitalized at the Temple facility. The Robinson Police Department (RPD) is investigating the matter. The police chief notes their Criminal Investigations Division (CID) will ultimately decide whether anyone committed a crime in this case. As for the young boy, his condition hasn’t yet been updated. Parents tend to believe that their child’s bus driver and school will look out for their son or daughter’s best interests while they’re in their care. Teachers, bus drivers and other staff members are often overworked and unable to keep a watchful eye over every child under their care. This is often when children get hurt. A personal injury attorney can advise you of your right to hold your son’s or daughter’s caregivers accountable for the harm that they’ve caused them. This may include medical bills, funeral costs and any other expenses related to the incident in which they were involved.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

In a motorcycle crash? Get an attorney’s help for your case

Data shows that riders belonging to the 17 to 25-year-old demographic become involved in the majority of motorcycle crashes. There are many reasons that motorcycle accidents happen. Motorcyclists are most vulnerable to becoming involved in a crash when traffic is heavy such as during rush hour. They also put themselves at risk of getting hurt when they engaged in reckless driving such as cutting short their turns, speeding or splitting lanes. The lack of the protection of the outer shell of their vehicle often results in motorcyclists getting seriously hurt or killed in crashes. Injured motorcyclists who are hurt due to other motorists’ negligence often find it difficult to secure the financial backing necessary to cover their medical bills or lost wages. The reason for this difficulty is that fault is often mis-attributed to the biker. Even though truckers and car drivers are often to blame for motorcycle-involved crashes, insurance companies often attribute fault to the biker for such accidents. They do this because they blame motorcyclists for putting themselves in danger by riding a motorcycle versus a car. Motorcyclists can greatly reduce their chances of becoming involved in a crash by employing defensive driving tactics — but that won’t guarantee an accident-free ride. One of the best things that you can do if you’ve been struck while out riding your motorbike in Waco is to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney can look after your interests and battle with the insurance company while you recover. Please contact our office to learn more about your legal options or continue reading the information we provide on our site.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Know the common causes of slip-and-fall accidents

When you hear about someone having a slip-and-fall incident, it’s common most people assume that it happened because something was spilled on a floor and not cleaned up. This is just one of many reasons that slip-and-fall accidents occur though. Many slip-and-fall incidents occur because a walkway is so cluttered that an individual can’t see what lies in wait in front of them. Throw rugs or cords that are inadequately secured to the floor are often responsible for slips, trips and falls as well. These factors, coupled with poor lighting, can make for a particularly dangerous situation. Potholes, curbs and uneven can cause slips and falls as well. It’s quite common for individuals to slip, trip and fall as they ascend or descend a staircase. This tends to happen most often when someone tries to do this while distracted and/or not using the handrail. Cluttered or poorly lit stairwells are particularly dangerous. Stairways that feature narrow treads and steep inclines leave users particularly vulnerable to getting hurt. Many slip, trip and fall incidents occur because someone attempts to use a step stool or ladder for unintended purposes or without another person’s support. Other incidents happen because an individual wears inappropriate shoes for the situation. Another common reason that slips, trips and falls occur is because business owners neglect to post signage warning of dangers. Sometimes, visitors neglect to pay attention to it as well. It’s the responsibility of property owners to keep their premises reasonably safe of potential dangers. They’re supposed to clear up spills, eliminate clutter, fix uneven pavement and install adequate lighting to minimize the risk of someone getting hurt. If they don’t, and someone suffers an injury, then a property owner may end up getting sued. If you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property, then you owe it to yourself to discuss your case with an attorney. They can advise you of your right to compensation for injuries suffered on a businesses’ premises here in Waco or elsewhere in Texas.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Injuries

How safe is your hayride?

Autumn is a time of outdoor fun for many Waco residents. When attending football games, trick-or-treating or going for a fall hayride, locals find the milder temperatures are a welcome respite from the summer heat. These fun activities can also increase the likelihood of accidents, however. Today’s post will address safety on hayrides. If you’re going for a hayride… Not all hayrides are the same regarding safety. Some are put on by local farmers and consist of Farmer Jones riding the neighborhood kids around on the back of his trailer amid some bailed hay. Farmer Jones may not have taken the proper liability insurance out to host a hayride. In the event of a catastrophic accident, his farm insurance policy could be quickly maxed out — or potentially nullified if he accepted cash for the ride. But there are plenty of legitimate businesses that conduct hayrides and have adequate liability insurance policies in place. They hire sober drivers with the required skills and certifications to operate farm machinery and carry passengers. They have personnel on-site to help riders off and on the equipment and to alert the driver in the event of an emergency. If you want to take the family out for an autumn hayride, it’s the latter version that will likely be the safest bet. If you’re hosting a hayride Hosting hayrides on your farm is a good way to earn some extra cash before the holiday season is in full swing. Just make sure that you take steps to protect yourself legally if a rider gets injured. Speak to your insurance agent about adding an agritainment rider to your policy or increasing your commercial liability coverage. Have all riders (and the parents of minors) sign liability waivers before climbing aboard. Then, take the steps to make sure that the route for the ride is free of debris or potholes that could dangerously destabilize the farm equipment. Clear any hanging brush from the route. Avoid spots with poor drainage and uneven paths. Also, make sure that if there is an accident, emergency vehicles have access to the hayride route, if necessary. Your route should be contained on private land without the need for crossing a public highway after dark. You will also need to do a thorough equipment inspection during the daylight hours before the ride to make sure that all tractor parts are running smoothly. Ditto for the wagon section. With the proper preparation, both riders and hayride hosts can have a great autumn season.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Be careful not to get injured this summer!

The summer is a time when many Waco families head out to their local swimming pools or park, take a day trip or visit other parts of the state. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data from 2016 showed that as many as two million Americans were hurt while participating in summer activities that year. Earlier data showed how they got hurt. At least 550,000 individuals were injured while out riding their bikes in 2011. This makes it the leading cause of summertime injuries that year. It’s likely that the majority of the serious injuries that the cyclists suffered could have easily been prevented. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a helmet can reduce a rider’s head injury risk by as much as 85%. The place where the second largest amount of injuries occurred that year was at softball or baseball fields. At least 261,000 individuals were hurt in 2011 at these types of venues. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, most injuries occurred due to unintentional contact. Others could have happened because individuals failed to stretch or warm up. At least 244,000 people that year were hurt on playgrounds. At least 70% of those injuries occurred when equipment failed or someone fell. One emergency room pediatrician interviewed noted that it’s important for parents to remain vigilant for broken equipment and rusty nails. That year, there were also 221,000 mini bike, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and moped incidents. The CPSC has repeatedly warned consumers about the dangers associated with motorists younger than 16 operating these vehicles. They’ve also called attention to the fact it’s dangerous to ride with a passenger and for them to be operated on paved roads. That year, the second highest amount of ATV operator deaths occurred in the state of Texas. Many of the other injuries that occurred happened on the soccer field, on trampolines, the volleyball court, at amusement parks and at pools or on other bodies of water. Property owners are supposed to keep their premises reasonably safe, especially if they’re expecting a significant amount of visitors to frequent them. If you get injured this summer, then you should first see a doctor. You should then reach out to a premises liability attorney to see if you qualify for compensation for injuries that you suffer.

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