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Can I Claim Compensation for a Texas Car Accident Even if I Am Partially Responsible?

 Posted on June 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

Not too long ago, personal injury claims were structured much differently than they are now. Nearly all states used to practice what is known as “pure contributory negligence.” The rule of pure contributory negligence states that a person who is in any way at fault for their injury cannot recover damages from the responsible party. Even if the person seeking compensation was only minimally at fault for an accident, they used to be barred from being awarded damages for their injury. Most states — including Texas — have enacted some type of comparative negligence rule, allowing the claimant to recover compensation, even if they are found to be partially at fault.

Understanding Proportionate Responsibility

Rather than comparative negligence, the state of Texas uses the term “proportionate responsibility,” but they mean the same thing. Different states have different percentage amounts that a claimant can be liable for before they are barred from receiving compensation. In Texas, this is referred to as the “51 percent bar” because a claimant can still recover compensation from another person if they are 50 percent or less liable for the accident that caused their injuries.

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Legal Options for Families Who Have Lost a Loved One Due to Drunk Driving

 Posted on June 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

Drunk driving affects the lives of millions of individuals each year. In 2019, there were over 24,000 alcohol-related collisions on Texas roadways. That works out to one drunk driving crash every 20 minutes. Drunk driving causes nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the Lone Star State. If your loved one died in a wreck caused by a drunk driver, you should know that you may be able to hold the driver accountable through a civil lawsuit.

Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Cases in Texas

Driving while intoxicated by alcohol is against the law in Texas. Consequently, the driver who caused your loved one's fatal accident may face significant criminal penalties. While criminal consequences can provide a sense of justice, jail time and other punitive measures do not provide restitution to the victim's surviving loved ones. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought by a deceased person's family member for a death caused by wrongdoing or negligence. A criminal conviction is not needed for a successful wrongful death claim.

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Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Increased the Frequency of Truck Crashes?

 Posted on June 15, 2021 in Uncategorized

Americans relied heavily on commercial truck drivers to transport goods long before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the virus has triggered an unprecedented increase in the number of products being shipped on trucks. Whether ordering home goods from Amazon, mailing a birthday present through FedEx, or receiving an eBay purchase through UPS, most of us are using delivery services more than ever. Many people wonder if the increased number of trucks on the road has led to an increase in the number of truck crashes.

Data Shows That Fatal Auto Accidents Increased During 2020

According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths increased significantly in 2020. Just over 42,000 individuals lost their lives in vehicle crashes last year. This increase marks the largest jump in traffic deaths since the NSC started keeping track of traffic fatality data almost 100 years ago. There is less data available regarding the frequency of large commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler wrecks in 2020. However, many experts estimate that commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler crashes have significantly increased concurrently with other types of auto wrecks.

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Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if My Loved One Died in a Motorcycle Crash?

 Posted on June 09, 2021 in Uncategorized

Motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of death or severe injury in the event of a crash compared to drivers and passengers in cars, trucks and SUV's. If your loved one passed away due to injuries he or she suffered in a motorcycle collision, nothing can make up for this tragic loss. However, legal action in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit may allow for financial recovery and help you hold all liable parties fully accountable from a civil standpoint. Read on to learn about the elements of Texas wrongful death lawsuits and what you can do if you are interested in seeking civil justice for your loved one through a wrongful death claim.

Is a Motorcycle Accident Fatality Considered a Wrongful Death in Texas?

Any unexpected death feels “wrongful” to the victim's surviving loved ones. However, a wrongful death is specifically defined by Texas law as a death caused by wrongful act, recklessness, or negligence. You may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on your deceased loved one's behalf if he or she was killed in a motorcycle crash caused by another party's negligent or even unlawful behavior. Some examples of negligent or illegal behavior that may lead to a fatal motorcycle crash include:

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Who is Responsible for a Crash Caused by Dropped Truck Freight?

 Posted on June 05, 2021 in Uncategorized

Large commercial trucks carry everything from building materials to consumer goods. When truck cargo falls out of the truck or trailer and onto the road, the consequences can be disastrous. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident involving dropped truck cargo, we can help you hold the liable parties accountable and recover monetary damages. Identifying all parties who are responsible for the incident is one of the keys to successfully recovering full damages.

FMCSA Truck Cargo Securement Regulations

Truck cargo should never fall from a truck or trailer. The freight may strike another vehicle directly or become a potentially deadly obstacle in the road. Vehicles that swerve to avoid the freight can cause collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. Even more stunning, we have handled multiple cases where leaf springs and other metal objects are lying on the roadway, only to become a projectile when an 18-wheeler runs over it. This projectile can then shatter the front windshield and strike the driver or occupant of another vehicle. Additionally, hazardous and flammable materials that leak out or fall from trucks or trailers can cause fires or clouds of toxic fumes. Because of the dangers loose truck/trailer cargo pose, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted strict rules regarding the loading and securement of truck/trailer cargo. Cargo must be securely immobilized with materials strong enough to hold the materials in place during transit. Many accidents involving loose truck/trailer cargo are caused by FMCSA cargo securement violations.

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What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in Texas?

 Posted on June 01, 2021 in Uncategorized

People are seriously injured in a variety of ways, sometimes due to no fault of their own. However, even after people are significantly injured, life does not stop. They still need to be able to take care of themselves and often times their families. Under some circumstances, a person who is injured may be able to receive financial help from programs such as workers' compensation if they were hurt at work, or through disability insurance policies, if applicable. One can also bring claims against responsible parties (and their insurance companies) and even their own types of auto and umbrella policies if the applicable coverages are in place. Retaining a qualified personal injury firm such as Burress Injury Law can help catastrophically injured victims make claims against every possible person and insurance policy (not to mention recoverable assets) in a catastrophic personal injury case.

Understanding Catastrophic Injuries

There are several definitions used to describe a catastrophic injury in various courts throughout the country. The United States Code offers a legal definition of a catastrophic injury and states that it is any injury that permanently prevents a person from “performing any gainful work.” However, most courts define a catastrophic injury as one that causes serious bodily injury or major disfigurement that is permanent or prevents the person from living their life as they did before they were injured. Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries include:

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Navigating a Personal Injury Claim Following a Car Crash

 Posted on May 18, 2021 in Uncategorized

Anyone who has experienced the unfortunate event of being involved in a car wreck knows firsthand just how stressful the aftermath can be. Regardless of who caused the collision, or how minor or major the damage, navigating the insurance claim process, tending to any injuries, and dealing with vehicle damage can be downright overwhelming.

Who Is at Fault?

Following an auto accident, many questions arise as you begin the process of assessing the damage, exchanging insurance information, filing a claim, and reporting injuries. One of the first concerns is typically who will pay for repairs and any medical bills that are incurred. While your insurance company or your insurance agent might be capable of explaining your policy, it will do very little good if you do not understand your rights or what that policy means in the first place. It is important to determine who is at fault and who is responsible for what expenses.

Although auto insurance policies vary greatly in terms of coverage, Texas has certain laws that stand across the board, regardless of what insurance carrier you work with and what coverage you have. For example, the “comparative negligence” law in Texas states that more than one person can be considered at fault for a car accident. If you are fifty percent or less at fault for the accident, you are eligible to collect damages. In general, each driver's insurance company will investigate the claims in an effort to determine which driver or drivers should be held responsible for any injuries or damages.

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Can Alcohol-Selling Establishments Share Liability for Drunk Driving Accident Injuries?

 Posted on May 12, 2021 in Uncategorized

Being injured in an automobile accident can be devastating and traumatic. In some cases, the accident may have been unpreventable, such as those caused by an act of nature, or poor weather conditions. In many cases, however, one or more individuals are at fault in an accident. When the crash involves a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI), fault for the accident generally rests with the intoxicated individual.

But, what about when there is an establishment involved — one that overserved alcohol to the at-fault driver? Should the establishment be held accountable as well? And if so, to what extent?

“Dram Shop Laws” and Alcohol-Selling Establishments in Texas

Many states, including Texas, have “dram shop laws” that govern lawsuits over injuries caused by people who drank at a bar, restaurant, pub, or any other establishment with a license to sell alcohol. Essentially, these laws hold such establishments liable for selling alcohol to individuals who appear to already be intoxicated at the time of sale. It also applies to the selling of alcohol to minors.

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March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

 Posted on March 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

According to various studies and research compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have reached epidemic proportions. The CDC reports that more than 50,000 people die every year from causes associated with TBI. Almost 2.2 million people annually are treated at emergency rooms for an injury to their brain, and approximately 280,000 people end up hospitalized because of serious brain injuries.

These numbers do not include people who suffer concussions or other head injuries but do not seek treatment. If all those victims were included, then the CDC puts the number of people in this country who suffer brain injuries every year at well over 3 million. In honor of March as National Brain Injury Awareness month, let us take a look at some of the details associated with traumatic brain injuries.

A Serious and Complex Problem

A traumatic brain injury is defined as a disruption in the brain's normal function that can be caused by a blow, jolt, or bump to the head or by a penetrating head injury. People of all ages are at risk for TBIs, but older adults and young children are especially vulnerable.

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Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney for My Car Accident Claim?

 Posted on March 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

In the state of Texas, drivers are required to carry auto insurance. This is meant to ensure that they and other road users are protected, should an accident occur. Yet the type of protection they expect, and the kind they receive are sometimes worlds apart. Can an auto accident attorney really help, and if so, to what extent? Are there any other potential benefits to hiring one for your case? The following information provides answers to these common questions and explains how you can find the right attorney for your case.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Improve Your Chances of Success

Many drivers are surprised to learn that their insurance company does not just pay out compensation for an accident. Instead, representatives from the insurer will investigate the details of the accident to determine whether they can claim you may have been partially (or completely) at fault. We have had many cases where the insurance company's insured runs a red light and yet the adjuster attempts to partially blame our client for not seeing the offender and driving more defensively.

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