Burress Injury Law
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Spotify


Recent blog posts

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.

Data have not yet been released for the most recent holiday season, but we will likely see that drunk drivers caused additional deaths and serious injuries, unfortunately, despite increasing enforcement efforts and campaigns encouraging people to make plans for sober rides home.


What Are The Safest Cars On The Road?

Posted on in

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.

If we are going to review which cars are the deadliest, it's worth noting which cars are the safest as well. The IIHS releases their Top Safety Picks every year, looking at several factors to determine a vehicle's safety rating.


Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In Texas?

Posted on in

There's no question that motorcycle helmets can save lives. Still, many people choose to ride without a helmet - and this can be a perfectly legal decision in some states, including Texas.

This wasn't always the case. In 1975, nearly every state required all motorcyclists to wear helmets because of a federal law that tied highway construction funding to helmet laws. However, states began to chip away at their helmet laws after Congress ended the funding incentive in 1976. Texas was one of the first states to repeal its universal helmet requirement in 1977, although it was later temporarily reinstated between 1989 and 1997.

Under current Texas motorcycle helmet laws, you are allowed to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet if you are at least 21 years old and have completed a motorcycle safety course (which is also required to receive a motorcycle license). While this exemption covers most licensed riders, you may also be exempt from wearing a helmet if you carry health insurance that covers injuries from an accident.


You would certainly never let your kids ride in your car without making sure they are properly wearing their seat belts. However, most parents across the country send their children off to school on buses that don't even have seat belts.

This is slowly starting to change. A new Texas law went into effect this September that requires new buses to have shoulder-to-lap seat belts installed in all seats. Six other states have enacted similar laws in recent years.

Why Don‘t All School Buses Have Seat Belts?


What To Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Driver

Posted on in

Nobody feels lucky after a car wreck, but you may feel especially unfortunate if your wreck was caused by an uninsured driver. Although every driver is required to have insurance, many still do not. About 13 percent of Texas drivers do not carry insurance, according to recent data from the TexasSure vehicle insurance verification program.

It's important to remember that you still have the right to seek compensation after a car wreck, even if the other driver isn't insured. Texas requires all car insurance companies to offer coverage for property and bodily damage caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers. Unless you signed a written rejection slip denying it, you are afforded uninsured motorist coverage per Texas law.

However, you do need to take some extra precautions to protect your rights to recover compensation. In general, you should follow the same steps you need to take after any type of traffic accident, while also keeping in mind several additional things.


Who is more likely to be killed in a bike accident: a child or an adult? The answer to this question has changed dramatically over the last 40 years.

In 1975, most victims of fatal bike accidents were children or teenagers. Today, the opposite is true: people over age 20 make up the vast majority of people killed while biking on U.S. roads, according to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Administration that analyzed 40 years of data on bike fatalities.

Here are some of the report's findings about bike injuries in the U.S.:


An inspection blitz earlier this summer of more than 8,000 commercial vehicles by the Texas Department of Public Safety resulted in nearly 2,000 of them being placed out of service due to a wide range of violations. This is a frightening reminder of the dangers that tractor trailers pose on Texas highways, in many cases because of negligence or blatant disregard of safety regulations by truck drivers and the companies that own these big rigs.

The report in Overdrive, an online publication that covers the commercial trucking industry, states the Texas DPS inspected 8,182 commercial vehicles during the blitz and placed 1,938 of those (23.6 percent) out of service. Issues with brakes and defective vehicle lighting were two of the most common violations that led to removing these vehicles from the road.

The inspections occurred in June during Road check, an annual program operated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration.


What Are the Deadliest Cars On the Road?

Posted on in

As much as Americans are drawn to their cars for their interior and exterior styling, safety is also a primary concern when making a buying decision. This is especially true when parents hit that nerve-wracking milestone of having young children get their driver's licenses.

A recent study on car safety identifies models that provide reliability and those that are involved in higher rates of fatal accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) collects data on the rate at which drivers of individual models are killed in crashes (it does not take into account passenger deaths).

Bigger Is Safer


Why Truck Accidents Need Close Scrutiny

Posted on in

As we hear more about autonomous vehicles and all of their potential benefits, including as it relates to commercial transportation, that technology is still on the horizon. For now, the steady flow of local and interstate commercial vehicle traffic is powered by humans, and that means human error is inevitable. The sheer size and weight of these trucks means when they are involved in crashes, catastrophic injuries often occur, leading to a lifetime of disability or even death.

Because of the increased danger that truck crashes pose, the commercial trucking industry is regulated by federal and state laws. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are primarily responsible for enforcing federal trucking regulations, while each state has additional laws regulating intra-state commercial trucking.

However, in a 2015 opinion piece published in the New York Times, Howard Abramson, a former executive at the American Trucking Association, stated that catastrophic truck accidents will continue to occur at an unacceptable rate as long as Congress kowtows to lobbyists from the commercial trucking industry. Abramson says the industry advocates for more flexibility regarding driver breaks and against mandatory safety features that would make all trucks safer.


The most devastating personal injury claims involve wrongful death or injuries so severe the victim can no longer work. In these cases, it is necessary to use economic statistics to determine the total amount of lost earning capacity. If the victim is only beginning a career or is a minor who has not yet completed his or her studies, determining lifetime earning potential becomes much more difficult.

When creating a lost earning capacity damage model, economists often times refer to broader statistics that break down earning potential by gender, race and pre-existing health issues (smoking, diabetes, etc.) to determine how much a victim would have earned during his or her lifetime. It is one of the only instances in the legal system in which race and gender are regularly considered in determining a damage award.

Women and Minorities Receive Less


The minutes and hours following a car wreck can be hectic and confusing. Thoughts become scrambled and logic may disappear as you receive treatment for your own injuries or stay close to family members or others who are injured in the crash.

This recap of steps to take when a wreck occurs can help you accomplish important tasks and avoid common mistakes that can prove costly. As you will see, a cellphone is a critical tool to record important information following a wreck.

Check on the condition of all drivers and passengers. This may seem obvious, but there are important details that should be followed. Anyone experiencing back or neck pain should not move until qualified medical assistance arrives on the scene.


The past two years have been challenging for auto safety, and even worse for pedestrians. A study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association reports pedestrian fatalities increased 22 percent in the past two years. Based on data from the first six months of 2016, the report projected there were 5,997 pedestrian fatalities in 2016, which is up from 4,910 in 2014.

This increase in pedestrian fatalities comes on the heels of a report from the National Safety Council that traffic fatalities in general increased 14 percent in the past two years, marking the first increase in consecutive years since the 1960s.

Texas and three other states - California, Florida and New York - account for 42 percent of pedestrian deaths in the United States. Using preliminary data for the last six months of 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association report stated Texas had 322 pedestrian deaths last year, an increase of 33 percent over 2015. Thirty-four states had an increase in pedestrian deaths in 2016.


Traumatic brain injuries can be emotionally and financially devastating to the victim and their loved ones. Much of a person's identity is wrapped up in their personality and their physical ability to do the things they love. Both of these driving forces could be dramatically impacted by a traumatic brain injury. In addition, the victim and their family could be responsible for significant medical bills that accompany the treatment of such a severe injury.

Many people assume that their health insurance will simply pick up the tab regarding the injury; however, this does not mean there will not be significant money the victim will owe due to high deductibles or other health insurance limits (in addition to a health insurance plan's subrogation rights) that could still place a family in dire financial straits. Furthermore, many physicians refuse to treat injury victims regardless of whether they have health insurance. What makes a traumatic brain injury potentially so expensive?


Unfortunately, car accidents are a reality of the road. There are numerous conditions that can contribute to a car accident. Sometimes, the weather becomes so bad that drivers cannot see the car in front of them. Other times, negligent drivers or drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol can cause serious multi-car pileups.

Regardless of the circumstances, all car accidents have the potential to lead to serious medical injuries. These bills can place individuals and families under severe financial stress, particularly if the patient requires an intensive care stay or a surgical procedure. Sometimes, there are legal routes for financial relief. What kinds of damages can be claimed after car accidents occur?

The Potential for Lost Wages

badge badge badge badge badge badge badge badge badge
Back to Top