How Dangerous Is Road Rage?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Road rage refers to extreme aggression behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. While it is normal for drivers to sometimes become frustrated or angry, road rage brings driver frustration to the level of violence or recklessness. A driver putting him or herself and others in danger due to serious aggression is road rage. If a road rage driver causes personal injuries, property damages or deaths, victims can seek help from a car crash and injury attorney.

Is it Against the Law?

The state of Texas does not have any legislation specifically listing road rage as a crime. However, several actions an enraged driver may take could qualify as crimes. Aggressive driving, on the other hand, is a specific moving violation in Texas. Putting other people at risk by intentionally or recklessly breaking traffic laws is the definition of aggressive driving in Texas. Road rage could lead to several different criminal charges depending on the situation.

  • Reckless driving. If a driver’s road rage causes him or her drive recklessly, the driver could be guilty of a crime under Texas Transportation Code section 545.401. This is a misdemeanor crime.
  • Assault and battery. An extremely angry driver may exit his or her vehicle to physically assault a victim. A road rage driver could be guilty of assault, battery or harassment. These could be misdemeanor or felony offenses.
  • Vehicular homicide or manslaughter. A road rage driver could be guilty of these serious crimes if he or she uses a vehicle as a weapon to take the life of another person. These are felony crimes that will lead to mandatory jail time.

A driver’s road rage itself may not be against the law in Texas, but many actions an enraged driver is likely to take could break state laws. Criminally negligent homicide, intoxication manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, aggressive driving, reckless driving, speeding, running red lights, harassment, tailgating or unsafe passing could all lead to criminal convictions or moving violations for the road rage driver.

Can Road Rage Be Harmful?

Road rage can be extremely harmful to everyone on the roadway. A driver experiencing a bout of anger may not be able to safely or prudently control his or her motor vehicle. This can lead to accidental or intentional collisions. A driver experiencing road rage could break roadway rules, speed, run red lights, ignore rights-of-way, weave between vehicles and tailgate – all dangerous behaviors that could cause car accidents. He or she could also become violent, leading to potential personal injuries from assault or battery.
Aggressive driving is a leading cause of auto accidents, according to studies. Aggressive driving can cloud a driver’s judgment or lead to intentional crimes, such as ramming one’s vehicle into another car or a pedestrian. It could also become a significant cognitive distraction, causing unintentional mistakes such as failing to notice a light changing. Road rage could be harmful to the driver and to everyone else on the road.

Is Road Rage Deadly?

Road rage has proven fatal for many victims in the past. Deadly incidents of road rage could involve catastrophic vehicle collisions or physical assaults with weapons from the angry driver. In many cases, road rage goes hand in hand with personality disorders and/or substance abuse. These combinations can lead to reckless driver behaviors that ultimately lead to fatal incidents.
You can help prevent road rage incidents by being a careful and courteous driver. Do not cut other drivers off, use hand gestures, yell at other drivers, tailgate, honk or otherwise instigate an altercation. Avoid doing things that could incite a driver’s road rage, such as driving too slowly in the fast lane. If an angry driver tries to engage with you, ignore him or her and do not make eye contact. Get out of the driver’s way and report him or her to the police if the driver appears to be a threat. Drive directly to a police station if an enraged driver appears to be following you.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:49 pm

What Is the Texas Good Samaritan Law?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

No one anticipates witnessing a car accident. If you do see a collision happen or are one of the first people to the scene and intervene to render aid, you are what Texas considers a Good Samaritan. Texas law protects its Good Samaritans by exempting them from liability for injuries unintentionally inflicted while offering assistance at the scene of emergencies, such as car accidents. The Good Samaritan law in Texas has some boundaries and exceptions, however.

The Texas Good Samaritan Act

In Texas, the Good Samaritan Act is an important law that protects people who render aid in a good faith attempt to help others. The act specifically states that if a person administers care in good faith at the scene of an emergency, that person will not bear liability for any damages he or she causes while administering said care. In other words, someone with personal injuries or property damages because of a Good Samaritan’s good-faith actions in an emergency will not be able to file a lawsuit against the Good Samaritan.

Lawmakers in Texas and many other states passed Good Samaritan laws to encourage people to act if they are in a position to help others in emergencies. These laws came about because many people were hesitant to intervene in emergencies out of a fear that the victim would sue should something go wrong. If a Good Samaritan accidentally twisted a car accident victim’s spine the wrong way while removing the victim from a burning car and caused a permanent spinal cord injury, for example, that victim could sue the Good Samaritan were it not for Texas’s related liability law.

Texas’s Good Samaritan Act encourages action in the face of emergencies by protecting those who step in to help from liability for damages. Even if someone helping out in good faith injures the person he or she is trying to help, the Good Samaritan will not have to pay for that person’s damages. It is important to note, however, that Texas’s Good Samaritan law has some exceptions, limitations and boundaries.

Exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law

Lawmakers have revised the Texas Good Samaritan Act many times since it originally passed. They have added several exceptions to the general rule. If an exception applies to a case, the Good Samaritan could still face liability – or legal responsibility – for the victim’s injuries or damages. A Good Samaritan in Texas may not be exempt from liability in certain situations.

  • He/she acted with willful negligence or wanton disregard for the safety of others.
  • He/she was a licensed nurse, doctor or emergency services technician.
  • He/she expected payment or other remuneration for administering care.
  • He/she was at the scene of the accident to solicit business, such as for a doctor or law firm.
  • He/she is the person responsible for putting the victim in harm’s way in the first place.

The main exception to the rule is if the Good Samaritan acted with willful or wanton negligence in rendering aid. This is a higher burden of proof than general negligence. To override Texas’s Good Samaritan Act and bring a lawsuit against someone who renders aid, a plaintiff must prove that the person acted with a willful, intentional or wanton disregard for others’ safety. This determination will depend on the circumstances surrounding the case.

When to Speak to an Attorney

Whether you are the injured victim or the Good Samaritan, you could benefit from hiring an attorney for help with a complicated accident case. Texas’s Good Samaritan Act and its numerous exceptions can be difficult to navigate on your own. Discuss your accident case with a personal injury attorney near you for advice you can trust. Your lawyer can help you overcome any legal challenges you may face due to the Good Samaritan Law.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:41 pm

How Are Wrongful Death Proceeds Divided in Texas?

Monday, October 19, 2020

A wrongful death in Texas will not affect just one person. It impacts everyone in the deceased victim’s immediate family – including a spouse, child, grandchild parent and sibling. A common question during wrongful death lawsuits is how proceeds won will be divided among recipients. The answer to this will depend on many factors, including state laws, the deceased person’s last will and testament, and the wishes of the family.

What Proceeds Are Available During a Texas Wrongful Death Suit?

First, learn who may file a wrongful death claim in Texas, as well as what types of damages claimants can request. The parties who bear the right to file wrongful death claims are the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children and parents. If you are in this group, you may file individually or your family may file together. The damages available in a wrongful death claim in Texas include funeral and burial costs, lost earnings and benefits, lost inheritance, lost love and companionship, lost care and services, and emotional pain and suffering. Who receives the compensatory award in a wrongful death claim depends on the case.

Who Receives the Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas?

Each state has different distribution laws for wrongful death claims. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 71 determines who will receive a portion of the award won during a wrongful death suit in the state. First, the statute gives adult beneficiaries the chance to work out an arrangement among themselves. All beneficiaries must be adults who can compromise and agree on the terms of the division for this strategy to work. State law in Texas is specific in who it sees as beneficiaries after the death of a loved one. It typically names surviving spouses and children as the main recipients.
Most wrongful death claims settle outside of court. If this is the case, adult beneficiaries can decide how to split the proceeds. Should beneficiaries be unable to agree, a lawyer may intervene to help divide the proceeds fairly. Lawyers usually use precedents set by previous wrongful death juries to determine how much to allot each surviving family member. If a wrongful death claim in Texas goes to trial, however, a jury will have the difficult decision as to who will receive how much.
The court will have full discretion over how to divide the proceeds of a wrongful death trial in Texas. Jurors typically give the most compensation to surviving spouses, followed by minor children and parents of deceased minor children. A jury will award compensation to each eligible surviving family member based on the extent of the losses that person suffered. The amount awarded will match how much the loved one lost due to the decedent’s unexpected death.

When to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney

Most families in Texas will benefit from hiring wrongful death lawyers from the very beginnings of their claims. Lawyers know what these cases require and how to maximize a family’s payout. If you work with a wrongful death attorney, he or she can help your family decide how to allocate the funds won in an insurance settlement. Your lawyer can facilitate conversations and compromises to help your family decide how to distribute a settlement among loved ones rather than going to trial. A lawyer can also increase the chances of your family working together on a group lawsuit, rather than each family member hiring his or her own attorney and filing a separate claim.
The right wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family through this difficult time. From letting you know whether you have grounds for a claim to helping you distribute the funds won, your lawyer can take care of difficult and complex tasks for you while you focus on grieving. If you have further questions regarding how to divide wrongful death proceeds in Texas, contact an attorney from The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:15 am

What Is the Difference Between Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages?

Friday, October 16, 2020

The goal of a personal injury claim in Texas is to recover damages, or financial compensation, for the losses incurred due to an accident. The civil courts in Texas allow for the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages from a negligent or at-fault party. Learn the difference between these two main categories of damage awards to understand what your case may be worth.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages reimburse an accident victim for the tangible and intangible losses he or she suffered because of the at-fault party’s negligence. They serve to make the victim whole again or return the victim to the condition he or she was in before the accident. Someone may owe you compensatory damages in Texas if the courts find that person to have more likely than not caused your losses through a breach of duty of care. Compensatory damages can award you for many different types of economic and noneconomic losses.

  • Past and future medical needs
  • Disability-related expenses
  • Surgeries and rehabilitation
  • Medications and devices
  • Lost wages
  • Property damages
  • Travel costs
  • Legal and attorney’s fees
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional injuries
  • Psychological harm
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death damages

The amount awarded in economic compensatory damages will accurately reflect your expenses from the accident or injury, such as medical bills. It is up to a jury how much to award in noneconomic damages. Hiring a personal injury lawyer could help you maximize the compensatory damage award you receive. Compensatory damages are much more common than punitive damages in Texas. Every successful personal injury case will have compensatory damages, but only a few will end in punitive damages. Your lawyer may seek punitive damages, however, if the circumstances of your case warrant doing so.

What Are Punitive Damages?

The word punitive means intended to punish. In a civil claim, punitive damages are an additional financial award sometimes granted to an injured accident victim as a means to penalize the defendant. A judge in Texas may award punitive damages, known as exemplary damages in the state’s statute, if there is proof of the defendant’s gross negligence or malice. For instance, if the party that caused your accident did so on purpose with the intention of harming you, you could receive punitive damages for the defendant’s malice. Gross negligence is a degree of negligence that a reasonable person would have recognized as presenting a substantial risk of harm to others.
In Texas, the civil courts cap the amount of punitive damages a claimant can receive at $200,000 or twice the value of economic damages plus an equal amount of noneconomic damages (up to $750,000 maximum) – whichever is greater. It is generally up to a judge’s discretion how much to award a plaintiff in punitive damages. The courts do not give punitive damages to every plaintiff involved in a personal injury case.

How Much Is Your Case Worth?

It is normal to wonder how much your personal injury case is worth as an injured victim in Texas. Your future could depend on how much you recover from the negligent party. The value of your case will depend on how the accident impacted you, as well as how much money you had to spend in related medical bills and damages. This number will reflect how much you may receive in compensatory damages. Claimants in Texas can recover tens of thousands to millions of dollars in compensatory damages, depending on the severity of their losses.
If you are curious whether you qualify for punitive damages against a defendant, speak to an attorney for a free case evaluation. An investigation into the defendant’s actions and behaviors could reveal gross negligence, malice, fraud, default or intent to harm. These actions could qualify you for an additional punitive award on top of reimbursement for your damages. Discuss the value of your unique personal injury case with an attorney in Texas today.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:26 pm

Is Texas a No-Fault Accident State?

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Recovering from a car accident in Texas often takes seeking money from one or more parties to pay for your medical costs, vehicle repairs and other crash-related losses. Which insurance company will take your claim depends on the fault laws in your state. Your state will use fault, no-fault or hybrid fault laws. Texas is a fault state, not a no-fault state.

What Is a No-Fault State?

A no-fault state does not place any significance on fault for a car accident. It does not require injured parties to determine fault, identify negligence or prove liability to recover damages. Instead, all injured drivers and victims will seek benefits from their own auto insurance companies through first-party claims, no matter who is to blame for the accident. In no-fault states, all drivers carry personal injury protection insurance. This type of coverage pays for the insured person’s medical bills and property repairs, whether or not the insured party caused the car accident.
If you live in a no-fault state, every car accident claim will be a first-party insurance claim unless your injuries are serious enough to qualify you to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party. No-fault states use serious injury thresholds to decide if a victim has been injured severely enough to enable him or her to sue the at-fault party. If so, the victim can bring a third-party insurance claim against the other driver instead.

Is Texas a No-Fault State?

No, Texas is not a no-fault state. It uses a tort-based insurance system, meaning the driver at fault for the collision will be financially responsible for damages. Every driver in Texas lawfully must carry car insurance. Most drivers use their car insurance policies to pay for victims’ damages rather than paying out of pocket. After a vehicle collision, injured victims will seek financial benefits through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. A negligent driver’s bodily injury and property damage liability insurance will pay for victims’ losses.
Unlike a no-fault state, Texas always allows car accident victims to file lawsuits against others in pursuit of financial compensation. You do not have to meet an injury threshold to bear the right to file a lawsuit against another driver for speeding, drinking and driving, texting while driving, or another act of negligence or recklessness in Texas. You will, however, have to prove the other driver’s fault for your accident before his or her insurance company will pay for your damages.
In a no-fault state, you do not need to prove fault. Your own insurer will reimburse your losses without requiring proof of anyone else’s negligence. This is not the case in Texas if you file a third-party insurance claim. In a hybrid fault state, it is usually up to drivers whether they wish to purchase fault or no-fault car insurance policies.

What Is Texas’s Comparative Fault Law?

During a car accident claim in Texas, the at-fault driver may try to avoid liability for your damages by alleging that you are also to blame for the collision. This is the comparative fault defense. This defense tries to diminish the defendant’s liability for your damages by apportioning some of the fault to you. If the courts agree that you also contributed to the crash, you may receive less in financial compensation.
A successful comparative fault defense in Texas can reduce your settlement or judgment award by an amount equivalent to your percentage of liability. If the defendant’s lawyer proves you were 10% at fault for looking at your phone when the defendant ran a red light and crashed into you, for example, you might receive 10% less than if you had not contributed to the crash at all.
Texas’s fault insurance laws can be difficult to navigate on your own – especially if you are simultaneously dealing with serious and painful personal injuries. Hire a car accident attorney to help you with the claims process. Your lawyer can negotiate with a third party’s insurance company for you while you focus on healing.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 12:20 pm

Can I Sue an Insurance Company for Denying My Claim?

Friday, October 9, 2020

Are you interested in suing insurance company for denying claim? Dealing with an insurance company is not easy after an accident in Texas. We often receive the question if you can sue an insurance company for denying your claim. Insurance companies have a financial interest in the outcomes of claims. An insurer will benefit from avoiding client payouts. For this reason, insurance providers often violate the terms of insurance policies or engage in bad-faith claims practices for their own financial gain. If you are the victim of insurance bad faith in the form of denying a valid claim, you may be able to sue the insurance company in Dallas.

Is your insurance company denying claim in Dallas?

Do you have options if your insurance company is denying claim? The short answer is yes. But it only applies in certain circumstances.
There are many valid reasons why an insurance company might deny your claim, and it isn’t always grounds for a lawsuit.
However, the insurance policy you signed with the company is a binding agreement. Should the insurance company fail to meet the terms agreed upon in the policy, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit.

Can I Sue an Insurance Company for Denying My Claim? 1

What Is Insurance Bad Faith?

Insurance companies deny claims all the time. Not all denials are illegal, invalid or in bad faith. Valid reasons for denying insurance claims include missing information, false information, missed deadlines, liability disputes and lack of insurance coverage. The insurance company receiving your claim must give you a reason if it denies coverage. If it doesn’t, call the insurance company to ask why it denied your claim.
If the insurance company cannot give you a reason, or the reason does not seem valid, you may be the victim of insurance bad faith. Common examples of insurance bad faith are inadequate investigations, requests for excessive proof of losses, unfounded claim denials, lowball settlement offers, delayed payouts and refusal to handle a claim reasonably. No insurance company is going to admit to bad faith. It will be up to you to identify signs of a wrongful denial.

Is Your Insurance Denying Claim? What Are Your Options After an Insurance Claims Denial?

If you suspect the insurance company of handling your claim in bad faith, you have legal options, such as, suing insurance company for denying claim. One is suing the insurance company. Before you file an insurance bad-faith lawsuit, however, talk to an insurance claims attorney in Dallas for advice. A lawyer may be able to negotiate a different case outcome without a lawsuit. Requesting an internal review of your insurance claim, for instance, may be enough to achieve a change in the outcome of your case. This is especially likely if your lawyer submits further evidence to support your claim.
Another option is to request an external review. You can contact the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to complain about insurance bad faith. The TDI will review your insurance claim and how the insurer responded. If the TDI agrees that the insurer is in the wrong, it may force the company to pay you benefits. Simply hiring an attorney may be enough to convince an insurance company to handle your case better. If not, you and your lawyer can bring a lawsuit against the insurance company for denying your claim instead.

Can You Sue an Insurance Company for Denying a Claim?

We are often asked, “Can you sue an insurance company for denying a claim?” If your lawyer believes suing the insurance company is the best way to resolve your case, he or she can file the paperwork for you. Your lawyer will start by organizing the evidence related to your case. This may include a copy of your insurance policy, letters from the insurance company, summaries of your phone calls with claims adjusters, the denial notice, a police report and your medical records. Then, your lawyer will file a lawsuit with the civil courthouse in your county in Texas, naming the insurance company as the defendant. The lawsuit will describe the legal issue – an insurance bad-faith claim denial – and request an amount in compensation to resolve the case.
The insurance company will receive notice of your intent to sue. It will then have the chance to respond. If the company reconsiders its decision and agrees to offer a fair settlement, this could be the end of your lawsuit. If the insurer continues to deny benefits, however, you and your lawyer may need to proceed to trial. If your side of the case can prove insurance bad faith, the courts will order the insurance company to pay out your original claim, plus additional compensation to penalize the provider. Work with a car accident attorney near you for assistance going up against a company for wrongfully denying your claim.

Contact a Dallas Insurance Claim 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 your insurance claim case.

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) 833-8167 to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who can protect your right to a monetary recovery.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:47 am

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements in Texas: What Can I Get?

Monday, October 5, 2020

A blow to the head can cause serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Traumatic brain injuries resulted in roughly 223,000 hospitalizations in 2019. And many more were treated in an emergency department, primary care, and urgent care setting.

If someone else’s negligence caused you or a loved one to sustain a mild TBI in Texas, you might be considering filing a lawsuit.

Traumatic brain injury compensation will not always restore all your damages, but a settlement can help you pay for your medical and recovery expenses.

So let’s look at what mild traumatic brain injury settlements in Texas are worth.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

TBI is a brain injury that affects how the brain works. There are three types of TBI: mild TBI or a concussion, moderate TBI, and severe TBI .

Moderate or severe TBIs can lead to long-term or life-long health problems. But even a mild TBI can cause lasting problems.

Mild traumatic brain injuries are the most common type of TBI. They are usually caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move back and forth quickly.

This sudden movement can cause:

  • The brain to bounce around or twist in the skull,
  • Chemical changes in the brain, and
  • The stretching and damaging of brain cells.

These injuries can lead to symptoms affecting how a person thinks, learns, feels, acts, and sleeps.

These symptoms also differ for every person and may be difficult to identify as TBI symptoms because they often mirror other health problems.

Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury

In Texas, mild traumatic brain injury lawsuit settlements vary widely.

Overall, determining compensation for a mild TBI begins with evaluating how severe the head injury is and how it impacts a person’s life.

This may include estimating the time it took to recover and whether there are ongoing symptoms or problems.

Most people recover from a concussion or mild TBI quickly, but for others, cognitive impairments can last a long time.

Even a mild TBI can have a significant impact on someone’s daily life. To determine a fair settlement amount, consider your TBI’s effect on your life.

Make a list of what you lost and the symptoms you suffered and are still suffering. Do you have headaches or struggle with forgetfulness?

Have you experienced complications like difficulty concentrating, difficulty controlling emotions, or seizures that you didn’t suffer from before your accident?

Ultimately, the best way to determine the true value of a TBI is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

A personal injury lawyer who has experience handling TBI lawsuits can help you determine the full extent of your damages so you can decide whether the insurance company is proposing a fair settlement offer.

They can also counsel you on whether to consider other factors before accepting an insurance proposed settlement amount.

The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. Can Help

If someone else’s negligence resulted in you or a loved one suffering a mild TBI, the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. is here to fight for you and your right to compensation.

When you hire us for your personal injury TBI case, we will take the time to tailor our services to your specific needs and provide you with one-on-one attention.

Our team will work with medical professionals to determine your current and future medical needs and calculate a settlement amount that will fully compensate you for your losses.

We are not afraid to aggressively advocate for your best interests or go to court to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Contact us by phone or online at any stage of your case for a free case evaluation.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:04 pm