What Does it Take to Be a Leader in Your Community?

Friday, September 23, 2022

2022 Scholarship Contest Presented by The Law Firm of Aaron Herbert

The Law Firm of Aaron Herbert is happy to introduce our latest scholarship contest for those attending college in Texas.

I chose to become a lawyer because I wanted to help people in my community know their rights. I am starting a scholarship contest because I want to hear from other (future leaders) in my community about their leadership capabilities and what their goals for the future entail. 

Now, I want you to tell me how you make a difference in your community and what type of leadership skills you can teach to others. Please tell me in no more than ~350 words in the most compelling way possible.

Criteria: 

  • Write 250 – 300 words about your leadership skills and community service involvement
  • While not required we would recommend writing about a volunteer experience or an organization that you are a part of and would like to speak about

What Will Be the Award Amount?

Award amount will be $1,500 to one student.

Who Is Eligible? 

  • Applicants must be high school seniors that are graduating in the summer of 2022; or
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a university for the start of the fall 2022 semester.

Deadline

  • Applications and essays must be submitted before August 15th, 2023; and
  • The winner of the scholarship will be notified no later than August 30th, 2023.

How Do I Apply for the Scholarship Contest?

Please submit your submission using the form below. All submissions will be recorded and a winner will be selected via email at the conclusion of the contest. Please no phone calls about the status of your scholarship submission. 

Submit Your Entry Below

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:47 pm

Texas Dog Bite Laws 2022

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Dog attacks can happen when you least expect it, such as while visiting a relative or walking down a neighborhood street. They can cause significant injuries, including lacerations, puncture wounds, degloving, face and neck injuries, permanent scarring or disfigurement, and wrongful death. A dog attack can also cause emotional injuries. If a dog bites you or a loved one, learn Texas’ dog bite laws to understand your rights against the pet owner.

Texas Dog Bite Statistics

Texas has fatalities from dog attacks every year. Most deaths involve infants, toddlers and the elderly – the most vulnerable populations in dog attacks. Texas is often at the top of the list in the number of dog bite deaths in the country. One report spanning eight years found 34 deaths related to dog attacks in Texas. This was more than in any other state for the same years.
The breed most often involved in fatal dog bite incidents is the pit bull. Pit bulls were responsible for 26 of the deaths in the study (76%), followed by Rottweilers with 5 deaths (15%). Most of the deceased (68%) were children under the age of 12. More than half (52%) were 2 years old or younger. Family dogs accounted for 53% of fatal attacks. The counties with the most fatal attacks in Texas were Harris, Bexar and Montgomery.
Texas has many municipal laws in place controlling the ownership of dogs, but the state itself has a law in place that prohibits the passing of breed-specific regulations. Cities such as Fort Worth, San Antonio and Garland have worked around the restriction to implement laws targeted at preventing new fatal attacks and holding liable dog owners accountable. Texas also has laws restricting the ownership of dangerous dogs. An owner will need to take additional measures to secure a dangerous dog in Texas.

Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite in Texas?

Texas has an overarching one-bite law. This law can make it difficult to hold pet owners responsible for attacks. It requires the victim to prove the dog has bitten another person in the past or the owner had reason to know of the dog’s vicious propensities. Otherwise, the victim may not have a case against the owner for damages. In random attacks or as the pet’s first victim, you might not have a case.
It may also be possible, however, to file a claim against the dog owner on the grounds of negligence. If a pet owner failed to keep a dangerous dog inside the house, for example, and it attacked you in the street, you may have grounds against the owner for negligence. Other parties, such as household members, landowners or trainers, could also be liable. A negligence-based dog bite claim requires proof of the defendant’s lack of ordinary care in preventing the attack.

What to Do After a Dog Bite Incident 

Holding a pet owner or someone else liable for your dog bite injury will take a preponderance of the evidence: enough evidence to establish the defendant is more likely than not responsible for your injuries. Start gathering evidence for your case right away. Take pictures of the dog, your injuries and the scene where the attack occurred. If you notice anything important, such as no leash or a broken fence, take photos of it as well. Go to the hospital for dog bite injury treatment and keep copies of your medical records.
Contact the homeowners insurance company of the pet owner to file a damage claim. If you have serious injuries or the insurance company is making it difficult to settle your claim for a reasonable amount, work with an attorney for assistance bringing your case. A dog bite injury lawyer in Texas can help you explore your options and protect your legal rights. A lawyer can make it easier to hold a pet owner accountable for a dog attack in Texas.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:44 pm

(PIP) Personal Injury Protection | Texas

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

(PIP) Personal injury protection Texas is a type of auto insurance the State of Texas does not require. In general, personal injury protection Texas pays for your damages and losses after an at-fault accident. Understanding personal injury protection, when you might need it, and how to pursue benefits from a PIP policy could help you recover financially after a car accident in Texas.

Contact a car accident lawyer near you for answers to your specific questions about personal injury protection coverage.

Personal injury protection Texas

What Does Texas Personal Injury Protection  Cover?

Texas is a fault-based insurance state, meaning that an at-fault driver or party will be liable for crash-related damages. If you cause an accident, you will have to pay for damages.

If you only carry Texas’ minimum required amounts of insurance, your policy will not cover your own damages in an at-fault accident. Personal injury protection Texas is optional, but you must tell the company in writing if you wish to reject this coverage. Texas personal injury protection auto insurance pays for a few different damages the policyholder suffers if he or she needs extra coverage.

  • Medical coverage. PIP will pay for 100% of a policyholder’s necessary medical services. This can include ambulances, doctor’s appointments, treatments, surgeries, x-rays, prosthetics, medications, professional nursing, dental fees, and nursing expenses.
  • Death damages. If the policyholder passes away in an auto accident, PIP insurance could pay for funeral and burial costs, as well as the medical expenses the victim incurred prior to death.
  • Lost wages. PIP will reimburse the person for 80% of lost income if he or she had to miss work because of the accident. The insurance company will need proof of the amount of income lost.

Most PIP insurance plans provide $2,500 to $5,000 or more in coverage for the at-fault party and his or her passengers. As someone involved in an auto accident, you may be eligible for coverage under PIP insurance as well as other policies, including that of an at-fault driver, vehicle owner, employer or multiple parties. If you do not have PIP coverage, you may have other policies available to take your claim.

How Does Texas PIP Work?

After an auto accident, if you wish to recover compensation through your policy’s Texas PIP coverage, you will need to document your accident, injuries, medical expenses and related losses of income. Your insurance company will need proof of the losses you are claiming.

Report the car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Most companies make it mandatory to report a wreck within 24 to 72 hours. You will submit the necessary documentation for your insurer to review, then wait up to 30 days to hear back from the insurance company. The insurer will either accept your claim and offer a settlement or deny coverage.

What Is a PIP Settlement?

You may not need to file a PIP claim with your insurer if someone else caused your auto accident. If another driver or party is to blame, that person’s policy may be liable for your damages. Hire an attorney to investigate your crash if you are not sure of the cause. If the at-fault party does not have enough insurance or you caused the accident, file a claim seeking PIP benefits from your insurer.

If your insurance company accepts your claim, it will offer a settlement according to the perceived value of your losses and the limits of the policy.
Your insurance company might not offer a high enough settlement for your losses depending on the situation. Insurance companies often try to protect their bottom lines more than their clients.

If you believe your medical bills and lost wages combined are worth more than your insurer has offered, negotiate for a higher settlement with help from an attorney.

A Dallas personal injury lawyer can take over communications with your insurer to pursue the fair amount of your claim or the maximum under your policy’s limit. A Texas PIP lawyer could also help you explore recovery options outside of a PIP settlement for greater compensation. Contact Us Today.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:04 am

Pedestrian Crosswalk Laws in Texas

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Pedestrians are the road’s most vulnerable users. They are at risk of catastrophic to fatal injuries in traffic accidents. It is a driver’s responsibility to reasonably prevent pedestrian accidents by knowing and obeying all relevant traffic laws, including crosswalk laws. Following Texas’ crosswalk laws as a pedestrian can also help you avoid a serious accident.

Pedestrian Crosswalk Laws in Texas 3

How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents in Texas?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 717 pedestrians in Texas lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2020 alone. This was about an 8.5 percent increase from the number of deaths in 2019. Hundreds of others suffered serious injuries. Busy urban areas, such as downtown Dallas or Houston, are especially dangerous for pedestrians due to heavy vehicle traffic.
Although crosswalks are designed to provide pedestrians with safe places to cross roads, they are frequently the settings of harmful pedestrian-vehicle collisions. These collisions are often the fault of motor vehicle drivers who are speeding, driving distracted or otherwise failing to drive safely. However, pedestrians could also be at fault for failing to safely and correctly use crosswalks in Texas.

Who Has the Right-of-Way at a Pedestrian Crosswalk in Texas?

The right-of-way is the legal privilege to proceed across a roadway based on the applicable rules of the road. Texas Transportation Code Section 552.003 – Texas’ crosswalk law – states that pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks that do not have traffic control signals in operation. It states that a motor vehicle operator must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk if the pedestrian is on the vehicle’s half of the road or approaching close enough from the opposite half as to be in danger.
The crosswalk law also states that a pedestrian may not leave a curb or place of safety and enter a crosswalk if oncoming vehicle traffic is approaching quickly enough as to make it impossible for the driver to stop. Even if the pedestrian has the right-of-way, the pedestrian must remain at the curb until the road is clear or oncoming drivers have come to complete stops. Finally, it is against the law for a motor vehicle driver to pass a vehicle that has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross a roadway.
If the crosswalk does have a control signal present and in use, a pedestrian will only have the right to cross when the signal gives the “Walk” sign. With the Walk sign on, all drivers are obligated to yield the right-of-way to crossing pedestrians. When the control signal says “Wait,” or “Don’t Walk,” a pedestrian cannot legally enter the crosswalk, even if the way is clear. If an intersection has a traffic light but no special pedestrian control signal, the pedestrian may only cross the road with a green signal showing (not yellow or red).

Driver Responsibilities at Pedestrian Crosswalks

Motor vehicle drivers have certain obligations to pedestrians by law in Texas. Section 552.008 of the Transportation Code gives motor vehicle drivers a legal responsibility to always exercise due care to avoid pedestrian collisions. Due care includes driving safely and prudently, obeying speed limits (especially in school zones and residential areas), yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians when applicable, and honking their horns to warn pedestrians when necessary.
Even if a pedestrian is illegally crossing a road – such as a child darting into traffic or a pedestrian jaywalking – a driver has a responsibility to avoid a collision whenever possible. If a driver fails to fulfill this duty, the driver may be at least partially at fault for a pedestrian collision, even if the pedestrian did not have the right-of-way to cross.

Can Both Parties Share the Blame?

Yes, a motor vehicle driver and a pedestrian can share the fault for a collision at a crosswalk in Texas. If an investigation finds that both parties are partially to blame, such as a pedestrian for illegally crossing and a driver for texting and driving, any financial compensation obtained by the injured victim will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For more information about crosswalk accidents and shared fault, consult with a pedestrian accident attorney in Dallas today.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 2:48 pm