What is a Bimalleolar Fracture?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
The medical term for a broken ankle is a bimalleolar fracture, or a break at the lower parts of the tibia and fibula. Bimalleolar fractures commonly occur due to falls, car accidents, and sports-related activities. A number of bones in the ankle can fracture in an accident, leading to severe pain and temporary disability. The displacement of bones in the ankle often requires surgery to treat. Post-surgery recovery generally takes several weeks of physical rehabilitation and home exercises. Bimalleolar fractures can cause great pain and suffering as well as financial losses. When someone else’s negligence results in a broken ankle, take action against the responsible party.

Types of Bimalleolar Fractures

Ankle fractures can be simple breaks in a single bone or can include several complex fractures and displaced bones. There are three main categories of bimalleolar fractures: unimalleolar, bimalleolar, and trimalleor. One-third of all ankle fractures are either bimalleolar or trimalleor. Ankle fractures often occur in traumas such as car crashes or trip and fall accidents. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the ligaments in the ankle can suffer damage as well. Three main bones make up the ankle: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Each bone has different areas doctors use to classify the fracture. For example, if the end of the fibula fractures, it’s a lateral malleolus fracture. The ankle also has two main joints, the ankle join and the syndesmosis joint. Multiple ligaments hold these joints together, making the ankle stable. When an accident compromises the bones, joints, or ligaments, the victim may be unable to walk for 12 to 16 weeks during recovery.

Common Symptoms of a Bimalleolar Fracture

If your bimalleolar fracture isn’t severe enough that you can immediately identify you have a broken ankle, this is probably a good sign. However, every ankle fracture injury requires the attention of a physician. Common symptoms of a bimalleolar fracture include:
  • Severe and immediate ankle pain
  • Swelling of the fractured area
  • Bruising or hematoma
  • Painful to the touch
  • Inability to put weight on the injured foot
  • Physical deformity, in the case of joint dislocation
These symptoms can be very painful. Walking may also be labored and/or difficult for several months. The effects of a bimalleolar fracture can be severe, preventing a victim from returning to work during the recovery process. Lost wages and mounting medical bills can also put a strain on the victim’s finances.

Treatment for Bimalleolar Fractures

A physician will assess your fracture using an imaging test and will recommend treatment. The level of the fracture determines the type of treatment that’s best for your injury. If your ankle is stable and the bone is not dislocated, physicians most often recommend non-surgical treatment. Your doctor can prescribe several different non-surgical treatments, including a short leg cast or a high-top tennis shoe. If your fracture makes the ankle unstable, you may need surgery to reconstruct the normal shape of the broken anklebone, decrease ligament damage, and accelerate recovery. During surgery, the surgeon will reposition the ankle and hold it in place with special screws or metal plates. After surgery, you will need a cast to keep the ankle in place while it heals. Your rate of recovery will vary depending on the severity of the bimalleolar fracture, but ankles can typically bear a complete weight load 12 to 16 weeks after treatment. Complications are rare in bimalleolar fracture surgeries, and if there are complications, they typically relate directly to the surgery. Risks can involve complications due to infection, nerve damage, anesthesia, bleeding, or blood clots. However, the majority of bimalleolar fractures do not result in complications and do not require additional surgery to repair.
Posted by at 8:57 pm

Can I Sue a Doctor for Giving Me Bad Advice?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Society relies on health care professionals to provide life-saving procedures, treatments, and medical advice. When patients suffer an illness or injury, they trust physicians to locate the source of the problem and recommend a solution based on years of special training and expertise. Doctors have a duty to uphold high standards of patient care, by law and under the Hippocratic oath. While an honest mistake is not grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, negligence resulting in injury is a reason to seek legal counsel.

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

The foundation of every medical malpractice case is a physician’s alleged negligence. When a doctor fails to exercise the proper standards of care, including giving bad advice to a patient, it isn’t necessarily malpractice. Bad advice can simply be an honest oversight. People rely on physicians for help deciding on a course of treatment based on information and symptoms the patient provides. Unfortunately, this treatment may not always be what is best, and if another physician reasonably would have given different advice in the same situation, it may be negligence. For a case of medical negligence, you must prove four things:
  1. The doctor owed you a standard of care. A doctor-patient relationship must exist between you and your doctor at the time of the alleged bad advice. To do so, you must show that the doctor in question was in fact your doctor at the time of the incident.
  2. The doctor breached an ethical duty to uphold this standard of care. In this case, the doctor gave you bad advice. You must prove the doctor’s reason for breaching the standard of care stemmed from negligence, such as not listening to your symptoms or reading your patient chart.
  3. The doctor’s breach of duty caused your injury. It’s not enough to prove that a doctor was negligent and breached the acceptable standards of care. The breach must have caused you an injury. For instance, you must provide proof that taking the doctor’s bad advice worsened your condition.
  4. You suffered damages as a result of the negligence. If you didn’t suffer damages from the doctor’s breach of duty, there’s no point in pursuing a lawsuit.
If you can prove these four things, you likely have a case of medical negligence on your hands. Your doctor may have been distracted during your appointment, or the hospital could have mixed up your medical records. There are many types of negligence and reasons a doctor may give bad advice to a patient, but in every case the injured patient has the right to pursue recovery.

How to Establish Wrongdoing

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, with a heavy burden of proof on the victim. Establishing a doctor’s wrongdoing requires interviewing eyewitnesses, such as nurses or maintenance crewmembers, analyzing your medical records, and hiring an expert key witness to testify. The key witness can tell the jury what the defendant reasonably should have advised according to professional standards. In a case of bad advice, proving negligence is especially difficult. The doctor may have believed the actions or advice he or she provided was best based on the symptoms. Luckily, the law recognizes the difficulties a plaintiff faces when proving medical negligence. If your injuries were the direct result of a doctor’s negligence but you can’t pinpoint exactly what the doctor did wrong, you can invoke a legal doctrine called “res ipsa loquitur,” Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” This implies you only have to show you suffered an injury that must be the result of negligence. Consult with an expert Personal injury attorney about your bad advice incident and subsequent injuries to find out if you have the elements of a medical malpractice case.
Posted by at 10:43 pm

Common Questions After Truck Accidents

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Motor vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks often cause significant damage. A person who sustains injuries or other losses from a truck accident will likely have several questions about his or her rights and legal options for recovery. Anyone injured in a truck accident should ask these questions to determine the best next steps.

Who Is at Fault?

One of the most important factors in a truck accident is fault. If one driver, several drivers, or multiple parties bear liability for a truck accident, they are responsible for the resulting damages. When a person suffers injuries in a truck accident, he or she may file an insurance claim to recover medical expenses and other losses. An injured claimant’s insurer will want to know if any other parties bear liability for the claimant’s damages, and the insurer may pursue legal action against the at-fault party to recover the amount paid toward the claimant’s compensation.

In some cases, it may be more beneficial for an injured party to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver, especially in cases in which the injured party’s damages exceed the scope of any available insurance coverage. In other cases, a claimant’s fault for a claimed event may come into play. Many states follow comparative negligence laws that limit a plaintiff’s recovery if he or she bears liability for claimed damages. A plaintiff’s comparative negligence in a truck accident claim could diminish the claim’s value, resulting in less compensation for the plaintiff, in proportion to his or her percentage of fault for the incident.

How Much Is My Claim Worth?

If your truck accident claim falls within the scope of your insurance coverage or an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, you will need to supply evidence of the extent of your claims and their eligibility under the policy in question. If you pursue a personal injury lawsuit for your truck accident damages, you will need to provide clear evidence of not only the extent of your losses, but also proof that the defendant is directly responsible for those losses.

Insurance will generally cover a claimant’s medical expenses and property damage, and additional coverage types may also apply depending on the specifics of a claimed event. If a claimed truck accident escalates to a personal injury lawsuit, the claimant will need to offer evidence of his or her economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Non-economic damages generally include pain and suffering compensation, and different courts use different methods for calculating pain and suffering damages in civil claims.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

A truck accident may result from the actions of one negligent party or several. It’s also possible for a defective product or the negligence of a third party to lead to a truck accident. An injured driver may not know the best course of action for legal recovery, and a reliable truck accident attorney will be a great asset in this situation. An attorney can help with insurance issues and build a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent defendant or group of defendants. In the case of multiple defendants, a plaintiff’s attorney can consult with experts to determine each defendant’s level of liability for the plaintiff’s damages.

An attorney in a truck accident case can help an injured client maximize his or her recovery. Trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and truck accidents typically lead to serious injuries, expensive property damage, and sometimes loss of life. Victims of truck accidents should handle their immediate medical concerns after experiencing these incidents and then consult experienced attorneys about their legal options.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:17 pm

Rear-End Accidents: Is the Car Behind Always At Fault?

Friday, August 26, 2016

A rear-end collision is a common type of accident in Dallas. It happens often in slow-moving traffic when drivers fail to notice stopped vehicles in time to prevent collisions. Even a minor rear-end collision could cause serious and painful personal injuries, such as whiplash. Most drivers believe the rear driver is always at fault for a rear-end accident. Automatic fault, however, does not exist in rear-end car accidents in Texas. Instead, an investigation may be necessary to assign fault, as is the case after other types of car accidents.

Rules of Distance on Texas Roadways

rear end car accident

The Texas Transportation Code’s Rules of the Road (section 545.001) lists regulations drivers must follow when operating vehicles in the state. One such rule is how much distance all drivers must reasonably keep between their vehicles and others. The accepted standard is a distance of at least one car’s length between each vehicle. Drivers should leave at least two to three seconds of open space between the fronts of their vehicles and the backs of others.
A driver in Texas could receive a traffic ticket for following too closely. It is most common to receive a ticket for this offense in the aftermath of a collision. The police could cite a driver for following too closely if this negligent behavior caused or contributed to the rear-end collision. In this case, the car behind would be responsible for causing the crash. Not all rear-end accidents, however, come down to the fault of the rear driver.
If passing, a driver must leave enough space between vehicles to safely occupy the destination lane. An unsafe lane change could result in a rear-end collision in two ways: the merging driver colliding with the back of a stopped vehicle or the merging car slamming on the brakes and causing the car behind to collide with its rear end. In both of these examples, the driver that made the unsafe lane change could be at fault for the accident – even if it was not the rear driver. Failing to give the rear vehicle enough time and space to hit the brakes could lead to responsibility for a rear-end accident.

Determining Fault for a Rear-End Collision

Fault may not be easy to assign in a rear-end accident case. The rear driver may dispute fault by alleging that the front driver or another factor caused the collision. Proving fault for any type of car accident may take an official investigation. The police can investigate the crash by analyzing the location and conditions of both vehicles, as well as taking measures such as interviewing people who witnessed the accident.
The car behind may be liable for the collision if its driver was guilty of negligence or recklessness that caused the crash. Common examples include distracted driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving and speeding. Someone who is texting and driving may not notice the vehicle in front has come to a stop. A speeding driver may be moving too fast for conditions, making it impossible to stop in time to avoid a collision.
The car in front could be responsible if the driver committed an unsafe lane change, cut another driver off, slammed on the brakes or contributed to the crash by failing to replace broken brake lights. Proving the front driver’s negligence may take a police report or a deeper investigation, such as a re-creation of the accident by crash experts. If you need to prove someone else’s fault for a rear-end accident in Dallas, hiring a car accident lawyer may be the best option.
A lawyer will have the resources to investigate your accident and assign fault to the correct driver. If you believe you did not cause the accident, especially as the rear driver, a factor you are not aware of might have contributed. Defective brakes, for example, may have prevented your vehicle from stopping as it should have. You or your lawyer will have to prove the other driver’s fault to claim damages under that driver’s insurance policy.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:34 am

Can I Find Out if the Driver Who Hit Me Was Texting and Driving?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Texting and driving is responsible for thousands of accidents and injuries each year. A person who is texting and driving will likely be at majority fault for a car accident. Since Texas has a texting and driving ban, a driver who violates this law will be civilly liable for any damages that result. If you sustained injuries in an accident and suspect another driver was texting at the time it occurred, proof of this may seem impossible to obtain. Fortunately, you can find out if a driver was texting at the time of an accident, but it usually requires the assistance of a personal injury attorney. Discuss your case with one of our attorneys for help discovering whether the other party was texting at the time of your accident.

Eyewitness Accounts

When you sustain injuries in an accident, a police officer will report to the scene and gather evidence about the crash. This includes forensics evidence such as photographs of skid marks and other damage, but also talking to witnesses who saw the accident. If a police officer finds eyewitnesses who say another driver was texting at the time of your accident, it will become a matter of police record. Insurance companies use police records to determine fault in an accident, and an eyewitness account could be invaluable in establishing a driver was texting at the time of the accident.

Phone Records

distracted driving is negligent driving

What if there were no eyewitnesses to a car accident? In this case, determining that a driver was texting at the time of an accident could become a matter of “he said, she said” – unless you have the assistance of an attorney. A car accident lawyer can help you determine if a driver was texting after all, by ordering a subpoena of phone records at the time of the crash. If the records indicate that a driver sent text messages in the moments leading up to the crash, it may be enough to establish fault for an accident.
You can find out if a driver was texting during a process called discovery. During this formal legal process, your personal injury attorney will investigate your claims and gather evidence on your behalf. If a phone company fails to provide phone records around the time of the crash voluntarily, this is when your attorney will formally file the subpoena, which compels the phone company to comply with the legal investigation.

Why You Need an Attorney

Phone companies will likely not provide another person’s phone records to you, even if you were involved in a crash. A personal injury attorney, on the other hand, has more clout and will go through the legal steps necessary to obtain another driver’s records and establish liability. This will go a long way in determining fault in an accident and will ultimately determine your settlement amount.
A personal injury attorney will represent your interests following a texting and driving accident, unlike some insurance companies. These entities want to pay out as little on your claim as possible and will not advocate for you the way a personal injury attorney can. A personal injury attorney also works on a contingency-fee basis, which means you won’t owe any fees unless you win a settlement or court judgment. A lawyer will investigate your claim and handle all the subpoenas and legal proceedings at no cost to you unless you win a monetary award.
Proving another driver was texting and driving at the time of a crash can be difficult. However, with an attorney by your side, you can establish fault in a car accident. By subpoenaing phone records and gathering eyewitness testimony following a crash, you can effectively determine who is at fault for your injuries and hold that party accountable.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:19 pm

What Are the Motorcycle Laws Every Texan Should Know?

Saturday, August 20, 2016
Motorcycles are more than just a mode of transportation – they are a hobby and pastime for many Texans. Although motorcycles are a fun way to get around and enjoy pleasant weather on the road, it’s vital for Texans to understand state motorcycle laws. Knowing these laws not only keeps riders safer on the road, but also helps ensure riders are compliant and needn’t worry about fines or legal problems due to parking or mechanical issues. Motorcycles must have the same basic mechanical features as other motor vehicles – brakes, reflectors, head and taillights, and the other typical parts of a vehicle. Just like passenger cars, motorcycles must be registered and riders must obtain the proper motorcycle license. Some states place restrictions on exhaust and muffler decibels for sound concerns, but Texas has no such laws.


Just like passenger cars, motorcycle riders may only park their bikes in disabled parking spaces if they have the proper authorization and affix a disabled license plate or windshield placard to the bike. Additionally, a disabled license plate or windshield placard may not be given or lent to other motorists. Some motorcycle riders believe that because their bikes are smaller than typical passenger cars, they may park in the striped areas near handicap parking [RELATED: Can You Sue for Falling in a Parking Lot?] spaces or other similar “Do Not Stop” areas of pavement. This is against the law. Motorcycles may not be parked on sidewalks, either.

Helmet Laws

In Texas, helmets are required for any rider under the age of 21. Riders over the age of 21 may forego wearing a helmet if they obtain the proper certification or insurance coverage. Such riders must either complete a Department of Motor Vehicles-approved Motorcycle Operating Training Course or obtain at least $10,000 in medical insurance. As with automobile insurance, these riders must keep a copy of their medical insurance card on their person while riding or stowed in the bike. However, Texas police are not permitted to stop or detain any rider solely to determine whether the rider has completed a training course or possesses medical insurance coverage. Although the decision to wear a helmet is at the rider’s discretion if over the age of 21, helmets have been proven to save lives. Consider wearing a Department of Transportation-approved helmet while riding.


In Texas, no one under the age of five years may ride as a passenger on a motorcycle. Any passengers over the age of five and under 21 years old must wear a helmet. Passengers over the age of 21 may opt to ride without a helmet if the driver has the met the proper requirements. Additionally, the motorcycle must have a permanent passenger seat.

Lane Splitting

Many motorcyclists engage in a practice known as “lane splitting,” which is when a motorcyclist passes other vehicles by traversing between lanes of traffic. Some decry this practice as dangerous, and it can be in certain situations – specifically, when riders are splitting a lane with a larger vehicle or at high speeds. Lane splitting is NOT legal in the state of Texas. Motorcycles are fantastic fun, but they are also inherently more dangerous than other motor vehicles because riders are almost entirely exposed. Passenger cars shield their drivers much more effectively than motorcycles. Therefore, if you ride a motorcycle in Texas, exercise more caution on the road than you might when driving a regular motor vehicle. Following the rules of the road and keeping these Texas laws in mind will reduce your risk of serious injury.
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:50 am

What Should I Know About Commercial Truck Black Boxes

Thursday, August 18, 2016

We are often asked what should I know about commercial truck black boxes?

While many Americans are aware of black boxes in aircraft that can record flight data to help determine the cause of a crash, few may know that many commercial trucks feature black boxes as well. Most black boxes feature fireproof materials and multiple safeguards that allow them to survive even catastrophic crashes.

Black boxes record different types of vehicle data including speed, direction of travel, electrical interference, any disturbances to the vehicle’s systems, impacts, fuel consumption, and countless other variables that may contribute to crashes. Investigators often rely on black boxes to determine how catastrophic vehicle accidents happen when no one survives to offer a statement. They can also play a significant role in litigation for a commercial truck accident.

Black Boxes Help Prove Liability for Trucking Accidents

Modern tractor-trailers manufactured since the 1990s feature electronic control modules (ECMs) built into their engines. ECMs function very similarly to the black boxes found in commercial airliners and can help determine the cause of an accident. Commercial truck black boxes typically record and store data for a specified amount of time, usually 30 days. The black boxes can track a truck’s gas mileage, average RPMs, time spent traveling at high speeds, overall speed, idling time, airbag deployment, hard stops, GPS coordinates, and many other variables.

Truck manufacturers originally designed ECMs to discourage fraudulent warranty claims but ECMs have recently been more valuable as evidence in truck accident claims to help determine liability. Trucking companies can compare ECM data to driver logs to help with these investigations, and it’s important for injured claimants in truck accidents to secure legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney can help ensure a trucking company preserves potentially crucial black box data for use in a future lawsuit.

Most states generally uphold that the data contained in an ECM is the property of the vehicle’s owner. If a trucking company owns a truck involved in an accident, the trucking company technically has the right to destroy the ECM data. However, some states have enacted laws that prevent trucking companies from destroying ECM data when clear evidence that the data could be crucial to an official investigation exists. Trucking companies may also use tracking modules for their vehicles that record and store additional types of data. An attorney may request protection of these types of recording devices if they contain hours of service logs, pick up and unload times, or other data vital to an ongoing case.

How Can a Black Box Influence My Lawsuit?

A plaintiff’s attorney in a truck accident claim can file for a court order preventing the destruction of crucial data in a truck’s black box or ECM. If the truck driver or the trucking company is liable in any way for the plaintiff’s damages, the ECM data can help establish liability for all parties involved. For example, imagine a plaintiff suing a trucking company after claiming the truck driver made an illegal lane change and crashed into the claimant’s vehicle.

The ECM data may show that the truck’s computer logged a turn signal use right before the collision, countering the claim.

ECM data from consumer vehicles may also come into play in these cases. Many auto manufacturers include systems to record travel and crash data for use in investigations. Following the previous example, the claimant’s vehicle’s ECM data may show the claimant was traveling 20 mph over the speed limit immediately before the crash, establishing the claimant is at least partially liable for the incident.

If you are unsure if or how a black box could come into play for a truck accident claim, your attorney is the best resource for additional information. Your attorney can also file subpoenas for crucial data that can improve your odds of succeeding with a truck accident injury claim and handle insurance issues. Truck accidents often result in significant damages, and a black box is likely to be one of the most crucial forms of material evidence that will come into play in a truck accident lawsuit.

Contact a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Today

At Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. we offer a complimentary consultation in which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how to proceed.

With 14 years of experience, Texas Board Certification, a client-centered practice focused exclusively on personal injury law, the highest possible AVVO rating, more than 50 jury verdicts, and membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

You will incur no attorney fees, court, or legal expenses unless you recover. Time to file is limited by state law, so call today at (214) 949-1657 to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can protect your right to a monetary recovery.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:53 pm

Who Could Be Found Liable for a Car Accident on Private Property?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Most drivers in Texas understand what to do if they are involved in car accidents on public roads or highways: exchange insurance information, take pictures and go to the hospital. A car accident on private property, however, is a special case that may require unique actions. Liability (financial responsibility) for a car accident on private property may not follow the same rules and regulations that apply to typical car accident cases.

Common Causes of Car Accidents on Private Property in Texas

There are similarities and differences between car accidents on public and private properties. Many of the same common crash causes apply to both types of accidents. Driver mistakes such as driving distracted, speeding and not paying attention, for example, are the top causes of car accidents everywhere. However, private properties can contain unique risks that increase the odds of a vehicle collision, such as:

  • Driving under the influence. A driver may be more likely to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol on private property. After drinking at a house party, for instance, a driver may assume that the risk of being pulled over and arrested is less than on a public road.
  • Poor property maintenance and road defects. Private property owners may not be as diligent about maintaining their properties as government entities that own public roads and highways. This could result in dangerous property defects, such as potholes and uneven surfaces.
  • Design defects. Issues with the design of a piece of property, such as a poorly designed parking lot or narrow drive, could increase the risk of a car accident. Lack of signage, such as missing warning signs or crossing animal signs, could also cause a wreck.
Dallas Car Accident Lawyer

In Texas, the responsibility of paying for a car accident and related damages, including medical bills and property repairs, falls on the driver or party at fault for causing the wreck. That party’s insurance provider will be financially responsible, or liable. It is up to the injured accident victim to determine and prove liability.

How to Determine Liability for a Car Accident on Private Property

The steps that you should take after a car accident on private property are different from an accident on public property. The police cannot give you an accident report, as they do not have jurisdiction over a private roadway. You can still dial 911, however, and request an incident report. This is a less official report that could still document the crash. The police officer may or may not be able to give you an incident report. If not, request one from the owner of the property. If you are injured, call first responders to request an ambulance.
Look around and gather any potential evidence. This may include photographs of the crash, the names of those involved and any eyewitnesses, and footage from a surveillance camera installed on the property. If you have injuries, medical expenses or property damage, it will be up to you or your car accident lawyer to prove someone else is at fault. This is the only way to obtain financial compensation if you do not have first-party car insurance available, such as collision or comprehensive coverage.
The party that is liable for your private property car accident will depend on the cause of the crash. If another driver caused your wreck, he or she may pay for your losses. Other liable parties could include the owner of the private property or a social host, if that person knowingly gave alcohol to someone underage or visibly intoxicated. You may need to hire an attorney for a professional investigation to determine liability. When you are ready to make an insurance claim for a car accident on private property, an experienced attorney can assist you with the legal process.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:44 pm

6 Safety Guidelines Truckers Must Follow

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trucking accidents cause thousands of fatal injuries every year. In 2017, crashes involving large trucks and buses took 5,005 lives. The size and weight of large commercial trucks makes it common for smaller passenger vehicles to bear the brunt of the damage in collisions. The high level of danger large trucks pose to others led to federal regulations to try to reduce accident risk. Truck drivers must follow certain safety guidelines while at work to do their part to prevent serious accidents.

Keep a Safe Following Distance

It takes more time to bring a commercial truck to a stop than an average passenger vehicle. To take increased stopping time into account, truck drivers should maintain a proper following distance from the vehicle in front of the truck at all times. Truckers should leave at least 20 feet of space between the front of their trucks and the backs of other vehicles. This will leave enough room to come to a complete stop without needing to slam on the brakes. Braking too hard could lock the brakes and cause a crash, or lead to a dangerous cargo shift.

Use Proper Braking Techniques

Truck drivers should reduce their speeds when traveling downhill or around curves. Traveling too fast could make it impossible to brake – and could lead to runaway trucks and serious accidents. Proper braking in a big rig takes carefully controlling speeds and using the right braking technique, depending on the situation. Truckers should follow their training to either pump the air brakes or apply steady pressure based on the circumstances and road conditions. Unsafe braking techniques can lead to accidents such as a jackknifed truck.

Obey Hours of Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes strict hours of service regulations that all truck drivers must obey. Hours of service regulations aim to reduce the number of drowsy truck drivers on the road by limiting how many hours truckers can drive in between rest breaks. No property-carrying trucker may exceed an 11-hour limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truckers cannot drive beyond a 14-hour limit after coming on duty. Drivers also cannot exceed 60 or 70 hours on duty in seven or eight consecutive days.

Conduct Vehicle Inspections

Fleet safety is ultimately the responsibility of the trucking company, but truck drivers also play a role. FMCSA Section 396.3 states that every driver must inspect the truck and trailer and verify that both are in safe operating condition before driving. If items require repairs, the truck driver must submit repair requests in an inspection report. The motor carrier must then schedule repairs before the trucker can operate the vehicle. Ignoring truck inspections could lead to dangerous part malfunctions and breakdowns in transit.

Avoid Driver Distractions

It is against the law for a truck driver to engage in dangerous habits that cause driver distraction. Truck drivers have a duty to maintain a proper lookout and to pay attention to the road at all times. Long hours on the road alone in a cab can increase the risk of distraction. Commercial drivers legally cannot use handheld mobile devices to make calls or send/read texts. They may only use hands-free devices that are within the driver’s comfortable reach. Violating the federal mobile device law could lead to a serious trucking accident and thousands of dollars in penalties against the truck driver.

Stay Below the Posted Speed Limit

Some highways have specific maximum speed limits just for truck drivers. This is because large trucks need more time to come to complete stops. Speeding can increase the risk of an accident by making it more difficult to remain in control of the truck. Truck drivers must always obey posted speed limits or travel at slower speeds, if necessary, depending on road or weather conditions. Speeding is a common cause of deadly trucking accidents in Texas.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:05 pm

What is Drowsy Driving?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
The dangers that exist when behind the wheel are perilous and apparent; drunk and distracted driving garners much attention, and is something most drivers avoid themselves while remaining vigilant for it in others. One danger that we perhaps don’t pay enough attention to, however, is distracted driving, which, according to a AAA study, is just as likely to cause an accident as driving while intoxicated.

Fatigue Behind the Wheel

Lack of quality sleep can affect a lot of areas of your life, but driving is perhaps the most hazardous. Even if you’re awake, less than six hours of sleep per night can drastically increase your chances of being in an accident. Side effects of such little sleep include: Car Accident Liability
  • Impaired reaction time
  • Problems processing information and with short-term memory
  • Decreased performance and vigilance
  • Increased aggravation or short temper
If you’ve ever reached your destination and realized you don’t remember any of what you saw while driving there, yelled at another driver for a minor inconvenience or have felt yourself take an extra second to apply the brakes, this could be an indicator of lack of sleep. Fatigue cannot be measured or tested for after an accident like drunk driving can. It’s therefore tough to tell just how often driver fatigue is the main cause of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 2.5 percent of fatal car accidents involve drowsy driving. However, because of the difficulty estimating drowsiness, that number could actually be anywhere from 15 to 33 percent.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

Of 19 states surveyed in a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 6.1 percent of Texas drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel within the past 30 days, the highest rate of any state. It’s unclear why Texas was the worst of the states surveyed, but it’s well above the national average of 4.2 percent. An interesting anomaly in the CDC study concluded that it’s not just how much sleep we’re getting, but how well we sleep. Those who get less than six hours of sleep and snore reported falling asleep at the wheel at a rate of 8.5 percent, compared to 5.2 percent for those who don’t. Getting the recommended amount of sleep is easier said than done, but it’s imperative to recognize the signs of a drowsy driver, whether it’s yourself or someone else. If you notice the driver appears fatigues, offer to drive for a while. If you feel sleepy behind the wheel, pull off the road and close your eyes for a few minutes. If you have taken a medicine that may cause drowsiness, don’t drive until you know how it affects you.
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:01 am

What Happens if an Injury Victim Dies While Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim?

Monday, August 8, 2016

A personal injury claim can bring justice to an injured victim by holding a wrongdoer accountable. Sadly, not all accident victims live long enough to see their day in court. If someone passes away while pursuing a personal injury claim in Dallas, the claim doesn’t die with them. The victim’s surviving family members or a representative of the estate may continue the claim through a wrongful death lawsuit, a survival action or both.

What Is a Survival Action?

Marissa Maggio: Dallas Personal Injury Law Firm

A survival action is the closest thing available to continuing a deceased individual’s personal injury lawsuit in Texas. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 71.021 states that a cause of action for a personal injury does not go away because of the death of the injured person. Instead, it survives and allows the decedent’s heirs, legal representatives and estate to recover financial compensation against the liable person through a survival action. A claim also does not abate because of the death of the liable party.
A survival action permits the deceased person’s (decedent’s) surviving family members or personal representative of the estate to take over a personal injury lawsuit that was started when the decedent was still alive. The main goal of a survival action is to provide compensation for the losses suffered by the decedent prior to death. These losses may include physical pain, emotional suffering, psychological anguish, property damage and lost wages.
If a survival action in Dallas succeeds, the financial compensation gained is given to the decedent’s estate for distribution rather than going directly to surviving family members. Under the estate’s control, it may first go toward repaying any outstanding debts. Then, any remaining amount is distributed based on the terms of the decedent’s will or the rules of Texas’ intestate succession law if there is no will.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If an injury victim dies while pursuing a personal injury claim, another possibility is a wrongful death lawsuit. Although both of these types of civil cases seek financial compensation for a preventable death, they are two separate causes of action that can result in different types of financial compensation. For this reason, it is possible to file both a survival action and a wrongful death lawsuit simultaneously.
In Texas, a wrongful death action may only be brought by the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents or the executor of the estate. If a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, it can result in financial compensation given to beneficiaries or the estate to make up for the victim’s final medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, and the loss of the loved one’s care, love and companionship.

When to Contact an Attorney in Dallas

If one of your loved ones recently passed away in the middle of pursuing a personal injury claim for an accident such as a car crash, slip and fall injury, medical malpractice, or product liability claim, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Dallas as soon as possible. This type of attorney will have the knowledge and experience to explain the rights of the estate or heirs to pursue a survival action and/or wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney can take over complicated legal processes on your behalf while you plan a funeral and focus on grieving.
In Texas, a law known as a statute of limitations gives a deadline for the ability to continue a personal injury claim after the death of the claimant. Although this deadline can change according to the type of case, it is usually two years from the date of the victim’s death. It is important not to wait until the end of your deadline to consult with an attorney, however. Gathering evidence and filing the necessary paperwork takes time. Contact an attorney for legal assistance as soon as possible if your loved one dies while pursuing a personal injury claim.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:55 am

What You Should Do After a Workplace Accident in Dallas

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Many workplaces in Texas are hazardous for employees. Even a job that seems safe, such as an office job, can be the setting of a serious accident. Slip and falls, electrocutions, staircase accidents, transportation accidents, equipment-related accidents, and other disasters can cause painful and debilitating worker injuries. If you get injured in an accident at work in Dallas, learn what to do to protect your legal rights. Your best course of action after starting medical treatment is to work with a work injury lawyer to fully understand your rights and get the best possible outcome for your claim.

Report the Accident

First, report your accident to a supervisor, manager or your employer. Do this immediately, if possible. Tell the manager what happened and request an official accident report. Write down your version of events while the accident is still fresh in your mind for your own records. It is important to report the accident to your employer within at least 30 days to maintain your eligibility for workers’ compensation insurance.

Take Photos

Am I Covered By Worker's Compensation?

If you can, gather information about the workplace accident from the very beginning. Take photographs of the scene of the accident before you leave, making sure to get pictures of the hazard that caused your injury. Write down the names of any eyewitnesses and the person you spoke with when reporting the accident. Ask for a copy of the accident report. If your workplace has video cameras, ask for a copy of the surveillance footage.

Go to the Hospital

Go to a hospital right away. Prompt medical care for your workplace injury can show an insurance company that you did your part to mitigate your losses. Going to a hospital immediately is often a requirement to qualify for workers’ compensation insurance. It can also help you recover from your injuries. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, go to a hospital for a checkup. You may have an injury with hidden or delayed symptoms that require medical treatment.
In an emergency, you can go to the closest hospital or a health care center of your choosing in Dallas. If it is not an emergency, however, you must go to an approved doctor. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and you plan on filing a claim, ask for the list of approved doctors. Schedule an appointment with one of these medical providers to be eligible for financial compensation through workers’ comp.

File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

After a workplace accident in Dallas, ask your employer if they provide workers’ comp insurance. Not all employers in Texas have to carry it. It is often up to the employer whether or not to offer this insurance. Through the workers’ comp system, you can receive compensation even if no one else caused your accident. You do not have to prove fault.
If you’re interested in filing a workers’ compensation claim, your employer will help you fill out the paperwork. You will need to describe the accident and your injuries, as well as provide supporting evidence, such as copies of your medical records. Then, your employer will submit the document to the Division of Workers’ compensation for you. If your claim is accepted, you can receive payment for 100 percent of your medical bills and about 67 percent of your related lost wages, as well as disability benefits.

Consult With a Workplace Accident Attorney

In general, filing a personal injury lawsuit is not allowed after you accept a workers’ compensation insurance settlement. In exchange for receiving no-fault benefits, you give up the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. If a third party caused your workplace accident, however, such as a coworker, contractor or product manufacturer, you may be able to recover through both the workers’ comp system and a personal injury lawsuit in Texas.
You may also have to file a lawsuit for compensation if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. Consult with an attorney to discuss all of your options after an accident in Dallas.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:24 am