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Burress Injury Law had the honor of helping a young man who was the victim of a hit-and-run 18-wheeler crash on Sam Rayburn Tollway (121). Our client was driving in the left lane on 121 when without warning, the 18-wheeler driver dangerously cut across 2 lanes of traffic and struck the right side of our client's vehicle. The impact caused our client's vehicle to rotate clockwise, pass in front of the 18-wheeler and across the center and right lanes of the tollway and eventually strike a concrete bridge support pillar head on. Our client catastrophic injuries and could not call 911. Meanwhile, the truck driver fled the scene without rendering aid and no eye-witnesses came forward to identify the driver.

What is the worst advice or biggest misconception you read from non-lawyers on the internet or otherwise hear about personal injury claims?

Question: What is the worst advice or biggest misconception you read from non-lawyers on the internet or otherwise hear about personal injury claims?

Answer: There are two, actually. I'll address the first one this week. When an injured victim (usually from a car or truck wreck) requests recommendations for a qualified personal injury attorney, Burress Injury Law is very often on that list. However, there will normally be a comment among the recommendations by a lay person (often who works for an insurance company) advising the victim not to retain legal counsel, but to instead just handle the claim directly with the insurance company(s). The comment usually goes on to state or imply that the insurance company will be fair and that it's wise to cut out the attorney (and the attorney fee). This is wrong for the following reasons:

Explaining the Compensation Process in a Personal Injury Claim

Most-interesting-man.jpgIn the unfortunate circumstance that you are the victim of any personal injury incident, it's important for your claim (as well as your body) to immediately obtain necessary medical treatment. Hospitals will treat you regardless of whether you've been in a motor vehicle crash or other incident. Primary care physicians and specialists, however, very often refuse to see even long-time patients in these circumstances. Some good personal injury law firms know of quality physicians, therapists and other medical providers who will treat injured victims even without health insurance or up- front payment. Moreover, in the right type of case, most of the post-emergency room treatment can be arranged so that payment is only required if enough compensation from the personal injury claim is obtained (note - there are circumstances in which it is strategically beneficial to utilize health insurance throughout a claim but only in a working minority of claims). 

Maximizing the Claim's Value - NOT Settlement - Is Your Goal

accident-injury.jpgIf a lawsuit is handled well, the insurance company responsible for paying your claim will resolve the matter through settlement. If they do not, a case will proceed to trial, where it will be your legal team's responsibility to convince a jury to make the insurance companies pay you. This process may seem filled with stops and starts, but it is important to remain patient about that process to maximize your chances to recover the full value of your claim. Before you hire an attorney, there are several things you should consider about the conclusion of a case, in making your decision about who you ask to represent you. At Burress Personal Injury Law, we take great pride in handling our cases with these considerations in mind, and we are happy to visit with you about them. 

11 Things An Injured Victim Should Do After A Car Wreck

More than 3.2 million people are injured in car crashes in the United States each year.  Many people will get into at least one car wreck in their lifetime, but that does not make the situation any less scary.

Being involved in a car crash is an overwhelming experience that can affect you physically, emotionally and financially.  Immediately after a car crash, you will likely have adrenaline coursing through your veins and be facing questions from emergency responders, the at-fault driver and others.  It can be hard to remember what to do and say; the sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the sooner you can get tailored guidance about the best steps to take in your situation.

Keep your mind on the road: the dangers of cognitive distraction

In March 2018, a pickup truck driver in a rural area of Texas plowed into a bus carrying Baptist church members who were on their way home from a three-day retreat.  Thirteen bus riders were killed in the crash.   Near Houston, three teenage girls were killed when the driver of their car veered out of her lane and smashed into an 18-wheeler.  

What do these two tragedies have in common?   Drivers responsible for the crashes were distracted because they were texting.  Nearly 20 percent of all Texas crashes involve distracted driving.   In 2017 in Texas alone, 100,687 car wrecks were caused by distracted drivers, which resulted in 444 deaths and 2,889 serious injuries.

Is speeding to save time worth the risk?

Whether you are running late or just trying to shave some time off your commute, it can be tempting to speed, especially if you see others doing so.  But how much time can you really save?  And is it worth the risk of a ticket or a wreck?

It is relatively easy to calculate the time saved by speeding while driving at constant speeds for a long period.  For example, a 10-mile drive would take 10 minutes at 60 miles per hour, but only about 8 minutes and 34 seconds at 70 miles an hour, a savings of nearly a minute and a half -- as long as you can maintain that speed for the entire 10 miles.  However, most commutes do not take place entirely on open roads, making it difficult to calculate time savings, especially in urban areas.

Who is liable when self-driving cars hurt innocent victims?

In December, a self-driving Chevy Bolt in San Francisco collided with a motorcyclist who was attempting to pass the automated vehicle.  The injured motorcyclist is now suing General Motors, which manufactures the self-driving technology, saying that the automated vehicle was behaving unpredictably.

As self-driving technology is developed and tested on roads across the country, incidents like this are raising legal issues that will become increasingly important as driverless cars become more common.  Who is at fault when self-driving cars injure innocent people:  the person on board, the owner of the car, or the manufacturer of the technology?  To some extent, the answer depends on the level of automated vehicle technology in use at the time of the crash.

Wrecks caused by drunk drivers spike over holidays

The cold front that swept the nation at the end of 2017 made roads especially hazardous for holiday travelers.  However, one of the biggest dangers around the holiday season has nothing to do with the weather:  despite increased enforcement efforts, drunk drivers continue to cause a significant number of traffic crashes in Texas and across the nation.

From Dec. 1, 2016, to Jan. 1, 2017, at least 82 people were killed in crashes related to drunk driving in Texas - about 25 percent of all traffic deaths during this period - and an additional 199 people were seriously injured, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.   A total of 2,321 DWI-related crashes were reported in the state during that period.

What Are The Safest Cars On The Road?

When it is time to buy a new car, many people focus on the fun features:  heated seats, the latest audio electronics, a cool color.  Safety may not always be the most attractive feature we are considering, but it should be a top priority.

In a previous blog post, we discussed the deadliest cars on the road, looking at the different vehicles the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found were more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.  Not surprisingly, smaller cars had higher rates of driver fatality.

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Burress Law PLLC We were selected as Best Law Firm by the readers of McKinney Magazine 2009 – 2013 (Magazine ceased production in 2014)

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