| Read Time: 2 minutes | Injuries

Eliminating Preventable Crashes

Car accidents kill thousands of people each year in Texas. That’s a pretty frightening statistic, but when you start to realize that number is only accounting for deaths and not injuries, it can be even more terrifying. Tens of thousands of people are injured throughout the state, and some of those injuries life-threatening and permanent. Crashes caused by alcohol or distracted driving are avoidable accidents, which can make the injuries sustained by innocent victims even more infuriating. Knowing that the driver was doing something illegal to cause the crash can make a horrible situation worse. The best way to reduce the number of people injured or killed is by preventing the crashes from happening in the first place. The stats According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 100,000 traffic crashes each year involve some type of distracted driving. A study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institution found that more than 44 percent of drivers admitted to reading or sending messages while driving during the past month. Distracted driving includes more than just cell phones These days, when you hear about distracted driving, you likely think of texting and driving. It’s important to remember, however, that distracted driving is more than just texting and driving. Distracted driving can involve anything that takes your attention off the road. Some of those things include: Adjusting the radio, CD or DVD player Eating or drinking Programming your GPS Fixing hair or makeup If you have kids, then you know that hearing their screams or cries over a lost toy or dropped pacifier may seem like the greatest distraction you face. You might think it would be better to find whatever it is they are looking for with one hand while steering with the other in order to stop the tears. All of that takes your attention from the road and ultimately puts your safety at risk. Just don’t The only way to avoid distracted driving is to not be distracted. You might read about different voice-to-text apps that are supposed to eliminate that concern. But another Texas A&M Transportation Institution found that those apps aren’t any safer. So the only way to make it safer is to just pretend your phone isn’t there. Ignore it while you are in the car. If you or a loved one were injured due to someone else negligence or bad decisions, you should talk to an experienced attorney. You deserve to be compensated for your suffering.

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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 | Injuries

Bus Stop Safety Tips For Parents And Kids

A bus stop is considered a safe place for children to gather before going to school. But, the central location of bus stops on busy roadways can also create a danger for children. Parents want to know their kids’ wellbeing is assured at a bus stop, but a lack of supervision at the stop and distracted drivers on the road can create a precarious situation. The potential danger became a reality last fall in Texas, when a driver failed to stop for a school bus at a bus stop. Fortunately, the students were ok, but the incident served as a reminder about the dangers surrounding drivers’ inability to follow the rules. As parents, how can you ensure your child’s safety at a bus stop? Here are a couple of bus stop safety tips for parents and kids from SafeKids.org. Parents help kids establish good habits Parents may not have time to supervise kids at the bus stop every morning, but they can still take steps to help kids have safe habits. Before the school year starts, take kids to the bus stop and point out potential dangers. Help the kids measure out a safe distance from the street by taking three big steps away from the curb. Show kids how to operate crosswalk signals and safely walk across the street. Cross the street when it is safe Passenger vehicle drivers may be unaware that a bus stop is in the area and may be unprepared to stop. If there is not a designated crosswalk in the area, this can create issues with visibility for both the driver and the kids. Children should wait until the school bus is completely stopped with its crossing arm fully extended before walking into the street. Kids make eye contact with the school bus driver and other vehicles on the road before crossing the street. Encouraging eye contact helps kids establish visual safety cues and ensures that they look both ways before crossing. Parents can’t predict the unexpected, and if your child was injured due to someone else negligence, you will need to consult with an experienced attorney. By teaching your kids safe bus stop habits, however, we can do our best to prevent it.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Injuries

How Do I Know When I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A shocking amount of people are injured in accidents that are not their fault but sometimes they dont reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to get advice about their legal rights. So how do you know when you need to call a personal injury attorney? Short Answer: If you suffer an injury, you should call an attorney! There are countless ways that you could suffer an injury, but here are some that we see more often: Car Crash Semi-truck Wrecks Motorcycle Accidents Work Accidents Slip-and-Fall Accidents Dog Bites This is not a full list. If you have an injury, remember, we are here to help. For most injuries, it is beneficial to hire an injury lawyer. Don’t forget that we only charge a fee if we are able to recover for you! How can we help you? A good attorney can help your case in the following ways: Obtaining copes of medical records and bills Negotiating with insurance adjusters Filing a lawsuit Representing you at a mediation or arbitrartion Taking a case to trial Recovering what is fair, not what the insurance company first offers you Personal injuries can be very serious and can affect every aspect of your life. If you or a loved one are injured, we are here to help.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Injuries

For pedestrians, intersections pose a high risk

In theory, you should feel incredibly safe every time you walk across the street in a crosswalk. That walking symbol tells you that you have the right of way. Cars stop and wait for you. Other pedestrians cross in a safe, controlled manner. When everyone is out of the way, the signs change and cars start moving through the intersection again. The reality, of course, is far more dangerous. You get things like: Drivers trying to rush through before pedestrians start crossing. Drivers turning right on a red light, perhaps watching traffic and not watching for pedestrians at all. Drivers turning left on a flashing red light, with the same problem as noted above Drivers who feel like the flashing warning sign telling pedestrians not to cross gives them permission to cut these people off or drive far too close to them. Drivers honking their horns to move pedestrians out of the road. Other drivers honking at cars that actually do stop to wait for pedestrians. Drivers who run red lights. Drivers who speed up to make it through yellow lights, even when that means they actually run the red. Pedestrians who run to try to make it to the crosswalk in time. People who simply refuse to cross at the crosswalk and jaywalk near the intersection. Pedestrians who start crossing right as the walk signal ends. Drivers who try to slowly push their way through crowds of people. Distracted drivers who never see pedestrians. Distracted pedestrians who cross at the wrong times or step right out into traffic. Cyclists who do not follow the rules of the road and cross at any time they want. Cyclists who attempt to share the sidewalk and the crosswalk with pedestrians. In short, you almost never get the safe, orderly crossing that you should get if everything worked the way designers planned it out. It’s far more chaotic and confusing, and one mistake by either party can lead to a serious accident. Experts warn that pedestrians need to stay cautious, even when the signs tell them that they have the right of way and that it is their turn to cross. However, this is somewhat unfair. As long as pedestrians obey the law, they have no obligation to watch out for drivers who break that law. Of course, everyone should err on the side of caution, but no one should imply that it is somehow the pedestrian’s fault for not being careful enough. If you do get hit at an intersection, leaving you with significant medical bills and a long road to healing ahead of you, make sure you understand all of the potential options you have to seek out financial compensation.

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