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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:

  • Drunk driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Speeding
  • Erratic lane changes
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Truck driver negligence
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs

The party liable for a motorcycle fatality is not always another driver. For example, defective design or manufacture of tires, motorcycle parts, or the motorcycle helmet may also cause an avoidable fatality. Ineffective road design or other government negligence may even be to blame.


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.

Determining Liability for an Accident Caused by Loose Truck Cargo

The party who is liable or legally responsible for a crash caused by loose cargo is not always clear. Often, liability is shared between multiple parties. The party that loaded and secured the cargo may have loaded the cargo incorrectly or failed to use adequate tiedowns and other securement devices. The truck driver or the trucking company may have neglected crucial inspections that would have revealed securement issues. The cargo securement devices or truck parts may have been defective in their design or manufacture.


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:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): One of the most common types of catastrophic injuries are TBIs. TBIs occur when a person's head suffers from a violent jolt or strike. The soft, delicate tissue of the brain can be damaged when it hits the walls of the skull, causing one of the most common TBIs, a concussion. While most TBIs are graded mild, studies show that the repercussions can be life altering. More specifically, there are numerous neuropsychological studies that show as many as 20% of patients who suffer mild TBIs develop chronic post-concussive ailments. Other studies citing large sample sizes demonstrating PTSD, have been shown to have an independent effect on brain (i.e., executive) functioning. Moderate and severe TBIs also routinely leave the victim with lasting effects with which they have to deal over the remainder of their lives, not to mention that death also occurs in some cases.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Your spinal cord is responsible for transmitting and transferring all of the signals that your brain sends out. When your spinal cord is damaged, the parts of your body connected to the spinal cord can also become damaged. A severe automobile crash can result in damage to the spinal cord. In some cases, spinal cord damage can result in paraplegia or paralysis.
  • Burns: Most of us have been burned at some point in our lives. However, burns can become extremely serious when they penetrate the deep layers of our skin, such as in third-degree burns. Some burns can be permanently scarring or disfiguring, which can have a prominent impact on the victim's life. Even minor burns can become catastrophic if there are complications, such as infection or sepsis.
  • Loss of limb: Losing a body part can be an extremely painful and traumatic experience. For example, losing your hand or some or all of your fingers can cause you to have to readapt to life and learn how to do many tasks over again. This type of suffering is compensable in a catastrophic injury lawsuit.

Discuss Your Case with an Allen, TX Catastrophic Injury Attorney

If you have been severely injured in any type of accident, you should speak with an Allen, Frisco, McKinney or Plano, TX catastrophic injury lawyer to visit about your case. You may be surprised to find that filing a catastrophic injury lawsuit could help you claim much-needed compensation for your injuries. At Burress Injury Law, we understand how life changing catastrophic injuries can be and will work to ensure justice for your suffering. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 214-726-0016.


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.


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.


March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

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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.


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.

Additionally, insurance companies continually demand copious and irrelevant documentation for claims, which normally hurt claim value if such documents are turned over. Moreover, insurance companies routinely discount the medical bills that victims send and only pay a fraction of the paid/owed medical expenses. Many insurance adjusters are also trained to limit or completely avoid payouts for more complicated portions of your settlement, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. They also have teams of attorneys to represent them, should you try to litigate the matter.


What to Do After a Truck Accident in Texas

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Getting into an accident on the road is a common fear for drivers. Sharing the road with a semi-trailer truck can make drivers especially nervous. Commercial trucks are large and intimidating, even at a distance. Most truck drivers are responsible on the road, but poor judgment (such as driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs) and other human error, not to mention mechanical problems, often lead to deadly truck accidents.

Burress Injury Law has a wealth of experience with 18-wheeler Crashes

The attorneys at Burress Injury Law have handled hundreds of 18-wheeler and other commercial vehicle wrecks and have recovered more than 100 million dollars for our clients in the past decade. One such 18-wheeler collision involved a truck driver who purposely ingested synthetic marijuana before driving a loaded 80,000 lb. 18-wheeler and causing a multi-fatality wreck. That case settled for a total of $16,500,000.

How Common Are Truck Accidents?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 475,000 crashes occur each year that involve large trucks. Fatal truck accidents are most common in rural areas, with nearly 60 percent of fatal crashes involving a truck occurring in that kind of environment. The second most common area in which fatal truck accidents occur are interstate highways. Non-fatal crashes are also prevalent in these areas, and thousands of victims are hurt each year in such accidents.


Data from the National Spinal Court Injury Statistical Center shows that nearly 40 percent of all spinal injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents. That makes car crashes the leading cause of this debilitating condition. Paralysis is not the only issue that victims face, however. In fact, there are several other common complications that are often associated with spinal cord injuries. The following examines these additional issues and provides details on how you may be able to receive compensation for the injuries to you or a loved one.

Looking at the Additional Complications

Many of the additional complications experienced by spinal cord injury victims stem from or are caused by the limited body function or paralysis often associated with such an injury. For example, pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) are extremely common among victims who cannot change positions in a bed or chair easily. Pneumonia and blood clots are also exceedingly common, and can sometimes lead to fatalities. Sepsis from any one of these complications is also a possibility, and it can be highly fatal for patients with spinal injuries. In fact, life expectancy can easily be cut short because of all the additional complications spinal cord injury victims face.

Thankfully, there are some ways to mitigate the risks. Those who are bound to a wheelchair or bed must be moved or turned frequently. This can reduce their risk of developing pressure sores, blood clots, and pneumonia. The risk of urinary tract infections, which are also common among those with spinal cord injuries, can be reduced with proper hydration and regular urination. Alternatively, if a catheter is needed, proper maintenance and care of the catheter can reduce the risk of infection.


One of the nice things about owning a motorcycle or a bicycle is the fact that you are never really dependent on public transit, even when the weather is bad. That fact alone can motivate people to keep on biking, no matter what the weather conditions are like.

During the wet, early spring months, you may not want to hang up your bicycle or tuck your motorcycle into storage, but you do need to take some additional safety precautions while you are on the road.

Why do these safety rules apply to both modes of transportation?


There are about 225 million licensed drivers in the United States these days. Texas just happens to be home to more than 17 million of them. While many drivers get through their daily commutes and errands without incident, motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of death in the United States every year among otherwise healthy adults.

Ultimately, assuming that figures will stay relatively unchanged from the past few years, you can expect around 40,000 fatal car accidents to occur in 2020. However, that's only the start of the damage. Another two million victims end up with permanent injuries from mostly avoidable wrecks.

What Are Your Chances of Being in a Car Wreck?


Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or concussions, are among the most catastrophic — and the most common — types of injuries that a motor vehicle crash (or other accident victim) can suffer. TBI victims stand the best chance of having a good recovery from their injuries when they are quickly and accurately diagnosed and undergo treatment for their TBI early on.

However, TBIs can be frustratingly hard to diagnose after an accident because the majority of the damage remains hidden inside the victim's skull. Plus, bleeding and swelling in the brain, or axonal shearing can continue long after the initial impact, eventually causing additional brain trauma that can actually be worse than the initial injury.

Hidden Damage


18 Wheeler Result

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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.

We were fortunate that the client's family retained Burress Injury Law very quickly. Our team sprang into action, obtaining NTTA videos of the crash, and located and inspected the tractor-trailer within days. Inexplicably, the trucking company chose to employ a driver who DID NOT have a Class A driver's License (qualifier to driving the 80,000 lb. tractor/trailer) and moreover, his normal Class C driver's license was suspended for two separate reasons. The truck driver was charged with multiple crimes including a Felony for "Failure to Stop and Render Aid Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury."

We aggressively pursued the truck driver and trucking company, which entrusted the unlicensed, unqualified, inept driver to operate a tractor-trailer capable of an 80,000 lb. load to share the roadways with the public. Our investigation revealed the trucking company maintained an unacceptable level of out of service violations, failure to keep accurate log books, and generally had a terrible safety record.


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 will 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:

1) First, legal fees in personal injury claims are typically calculated on a contingency basis - meaning unless a recovery is made, no fee is earned. This benefits the victim greatly because in almost every other type of law, you are paying by the hour whether your case is won or lost.


In 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 have 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).

Depending on the injuries, medical treatment can require a few weeks to months, and in more serious cases, lifetime care may be required. Either after medical treatment is completed or the claim begins to approach the statute of limitations, our focus broadens from managing our client's medical treatment to positioning the case in the optimal light to "make you whole," in order to compensate you for your medical expenses and any lingering damages you have from any disfigurement, physical impairment, pain, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium and/or mental anguish. In an ideal world, the insurance company will concede liability on behalf of its insured and pay full value for the claim.

Remember, when a claim is pre-suit, the insurance company is not required to reveal its insured's policy limits. Our boutique injury law firm is fortunate to have a ton of personal injury experience - more than 125 years - and we "see the field." Because of this, we have inside sources that often allow us to learn policy information. In other cases, our vast experience helps us utilize key indicators to predict available insurance to cover responsible parties. In most cases, the claim process runs smoothly, and we obtain full value (and sometimes more than full value) for our clients.


If 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 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.

First, a settlement should not be your attorney's main goal. Less than policy limit settlements could arguably be considered a form of concession by both sides. The insurance company concedes that perhaps the other driver was responsible and that you are owed money. It is also a concession by you that your case is worth the amount that you accept, and not more. Most personal injury cases eventually result in settlements. So why should your attorney not focus on that? If the goal is to simply obtain a settlement - and therefore get paid something - this goal will not result in the insurance companies paying the full amount your claim actually is worth. In nearly every claim made, or lawsuit filed, an insurance company will offer something. An attorney may offer to take a case because something will be offered. Or he or she may think they can likely get a "quick settlement." They might tell you the other side should pay something to make the case go away. However, these statements suggest the attorney is only evaluating whether the case is worth anything, and not anything more.

Second, a case should be evaluated on its merits. If an attorney is not evaluating a case on whether it should settle, how should it be considered? A good lawyer will evaluate your case upon the facts, circumstances, the evidence available, and the witnesses that may testify. In other words, your lawyer should want to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, what information is favorable and unfavorable to your case, what insurance coverage is available to you, whether the other party was responsible, and the extent of your injuries/damages and what evidentiary proof can be uncovered and produced. If he sees those things are in your favor, he can then work to present them to either the insurance company or the jury in order to obtain the best value for your case.


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.

In cases of serious injury, much of the advice below may be inapplicable. This article is intended for victims who suffer non-life-threatening injuries. In general, to give yourself the best chance of getting both the medical attention and financial compensation you need to recover, we recommend taking the following steps immediately after a crash.


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.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are main types of distracted driving:


Is speeding to save time worth the risk?

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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.

A 2015 study conducted in Australia is one of the most comprehensive analyses of how much time is actually saved by speeding in urban areas. Researchers collected data from GPS units installed in the cars of 106 participants over a period of five weeks. The study found that the average driver drove for 5.75 hours per week, but only spent 30 minutes per week speeding. After all, in urban areas there are limited opportunities to speed, given the amount of time drivers spend in traffic, decelerating and stopping.


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.

The levels of automated vehicle technology

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