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What If I Was in an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist in Texas?

Monday, January 20, 2020

You might assume every driver on the road is as responsible as you are when it comes to purchasing and maintaining automobile insurance. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Hundreds of drivers in Texas operate motor vehicles while uninsured. If one of these irresponsible drivers causes your car accident, it can be difficult to obtain fair compensation for your damages. You may need to file a first-party claim, bring a lawsuit or hire a car accident attorney for assistance.

Should I Report the Accident?

In Texas, you generally do not have to report a car accident unless it causes injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in property damages. An exception exists, however, for accidents involving broken laws – including the failure to meet the state’s insurance requirements. If the other driver involved in your crash admits to not having insurance, call the police. Dial 911 from the scene and explain that you were in a wreck with an uninsured driver. Wait at the scene until the police arrive.

The police can ticket and fine the uninsured driver, as well as suspend his or her license to force the driver to get insurance before getting back on the road. The police can also write up a report on your car accident, cataloging the most important details for an insurance claim later. Your police report can include facts such as what direction each vehicle was traveling, where the impact occurred and who might have caused the crash. You can use the police report in the future as evidence for your insurance company.

reporting an accident with an uninsured driver

Should I Call an Insurance Company?

Collisions with uninsured motorists take different insurance processes than typical car accidents in Texas. With two insured drivers, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay for victims’ damages. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, however, the other driver will have to file a first-party claim instead. The other driver will seek damage recovery from his or her own insurance provider.

If you get into a car accident with an uninsured driver, start the claims process by calling your own insurance company. Call the phone number on your insurance card and state that you have been in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your insurance agent can inform you whether or not you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. This is an optional type of insurance in Texas that can cover your damages after a crash with someone who does not have insurance.

If you do have uninsured motorist insurance, your own company should front the costs of your medical bills and property repairs. Your company may also offer to pay part of your damages if the other driver has insurance, but not enough to cover the full costs of your losses. If you do not have uninsured motorist insurance, however, your only option for recovery may be a personal injury lawsuit.

Should I Get Legal Help?

Get legal help if you do not have uninsured motorist insurance, your insurance company has denied your claim, you suffered catastrophic injuries or you need to take your case to court. A car accident attorney in Dallas can help you through this complex type of case, pointing you in the right direction for financial compensation. Since the uninsured driver most likely does not have the funds to fulfill a judgment award, for instance, a lawyer can search for other parties who may be responsible for your losses, such as the at-fault driver’s employer.

At the Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert, we can review your uninsured motorist accident for free at our local law firm. Then, we can use years of practice area experience to guide you to the right solution, whether that is a first-party claim, third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit. Partnering with an attorney can help you fight for fair compensation regardless of the circumstances of your accident.

Posted by admin at 7:03 pm

Texas Seat Belt & Booster Seat Laws in 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020

Obeying Texas’ seat belt and booster seat laws is more than just a legal matter. It can mean life or death if you get into an accident. Children are especially vulnerable to serious personal injuries in auto accidents, making it important to always follow the state’s car seat and booster seat laws. Get the details on the state’s most recent laws to keep yourself and others safe while traveling through Texas.

Seat Belt Facts

Lack of seat belt wearing is a major issue in the U.S. Out of all children ages 12 years old and younger who died in car accidents in 2017, 35% were not using safety restraint devices. In 2017, about 675 children died and 116,000 suffered serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation finds that seat belts can improve the odds of survival in a car accident by 50% for front-seat passengers. Combined with airbags, wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in car accidents.

Car accidents are one of the top leading causes of death for those under 54 in the U.S. In 2017, 23,714 vehicle occupants lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. If everyone in these accidents had been wearing seat belts, thousands likely would have survived. Seat belts prevented an estimated 15,000 deaths in 2016. Although airbags are also important for preventing injuries, they are not substitutes for seat belts.

Seat Belt and Booster Seat Laws

It is against the law in Texas to operate or ride in a motor vehicle without using a safety belt. All drivers and their passengers, of all ages, must wear seat belts. A safety belt violation could cost the driver $25 to $250 in fines, on top of additional court costs. An adult driver will be vicariously responsible for any minors not wearing seat belts or using car seats in the vehicle.

Texas Seatbelt Laws 2020

Section 545-412 of the Texas Transportation Code makes it an offense to operate a motor vehicle while transporting a child under eight years old unless that child is in a passenger safety seat system or the child is taller than 4’9.” The fines for breaking Texas’ child seat law is $25 to $250, plus a misdemeanor charge. The rule does not apply to vehicles for hire, such as taxis, as well as if the driver was operating the vehicle in an emergency.

Which Child Safety Seat Should You Use?

Auto manufacturers design seat belts for adult passengers, not for children. The lap and shoulder belts of a safety harness will not fit correctly over a small child. Instead, you must use an appropriate child restraint system to properly protect your child from injuries until he or she is old enough to use a seat belt.

  • Rear-facing car seat. Infants up to age two should sit in rear-facing car seats for optimal safety. Newborns should stay in rear-facing seats until they meet the height and/or weight requirements to transition to the next seat.
  • Forward-facing car seat. Children ages two to four (or until they reach the maximum height and weight requirements) should sit in forward-facing car seats. All car seats should go in the rear seat of the vehicle.
  • Booster seat. Children ages four to eight belong in booster seats, which will lift them to the correct height to properly wear an adult seat belt until they reach 4’9.” The belts should rest on the chest and hips or upper thighs, not the neck or waist.

Children over 8 years old should always wear seat belts and should remain in the back seat until at least age 13. Sitting in the front seat could put a young child at risk of serious injuries from the force of airbag deployment in an accident. Failing to properly secure a child in the appropriate safety seat could lead to a fine in Texas. It could also contribute to serious, life-threatening injuries for the unsecured child in an accident. The best way to keep yourself and your passengers safe is to buckle up.

Posted by admin at 6:11 pm

Dos and Don’ts When You Witness an Accident

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Witnessing a car accident can leave you with a lot of complicated questions. You could be wondering if you could have done more to help the victims or ensure you followed the proper procedures. Consult this quick guide provided by our Dallas personal injury attorneys witness for some dos and don’ts for the scene.

• DON’T feel like you must stop. The law does not require you to stop at the scene of an accident. However, most people feel it is the right thing to do.

• DO make sure you are in a safe place after you witness an accident. If you are a pedestrian, you must stay in pedestrian areas like sidewalks. Even medians and shoulders can be dangerous if traffic continues to pass by. If you are a driver, pull your vehicle to the side of the road, ensure rescue vehicles have room to navigate, and turn on your flashers or distribute hazard markers. Stay a safe distance from the scene unless you are rendering aid to victims.

• DO dial 911. Even if you are unsure of the extent of the injuries of the parties involved, if vehicle damage has taken place, the police will make a report. Give as much detail as you can regarding your location and the nature of the accident.

• DON’T rush into the scene. Sometimes, your assistance will be helpful, but make sure you are not in danger of injury yourself due to broken glass and sharp metal. If you choose to enter the scene and render aid to victims, do so cautiously.

• DON’T offer medical assistance unless necessary. It is best to wait for emergency personnel to arrive on-scene. It often takes only a matter of minutes for EMTs to arrive, and most first aid situations can wait.

• DO offer other forms of assistance. Perhaps victims could use a kind word, a cell phone to call relatives or insurance companies, or a paper and pen to exchange information. Offer what you feel you would need if in the shoes of the victims.

• DON’T fear liability. In the event that the help has not arrived and someone is in urgent need of first aid you know you can handle, Texas has Good Samaritan laws in place. As long as you are rendering emergency aid in good faith, you are not likely to be liable for civil damages.

• DO exercise caution. Accident scenes are often tense situations. Property has occurred, and tempers and emotions can run high. While the presence of a witness may help keep emotions in check, be careful when inserting yourself into the situation. Keep your own safety in mind, primarily.

• DON’T allow a driver to leave the scene without exchanging information. You do not need to physically restrain a driver – see the above note about keeping yourself safe – but it is good practice to jot down identifying characteristics and license plate numbers. If an at-fault driver attempts to leave the scene, you can remind them of the consequences of doing so and record their vehicle and license plate description.

• DO cooperate with the police. If you have chosen to stop and witnessed the accident itself, provide every detail you can to the police. Stay on the scene until your statement is complete and police have released you to continue traveling.

Overall, many people choose to stop and help when they witness a car accident. Keeping these tips in mind can help ensure you are doing what you can for the victims and police while keeping yourself safe from harm. You are not necessarily a medical professional, a mechanic, or a police officer, but Good Samaritans can provide some help and may even save a life. Just remember your own limitations and leave the tough work to the emergency personnel. To learn more speak to a Dallas car accident lawyer.

Posted by admin at 7:59 am

3 Types of Negligence in Accidents

Friday, December 27, 2019

Negligence is a word you will hear often during a personal injury accident claim in Texas. In general, negligence refers to a breach of duty of care. Breaching a duty means to fail to meet the expected standards of care. To win a compensatory award in a Texas personal injury claim, you or your lawyer may need to prove the negligence of the defendant, or the at-fault party. Although several types of negligence exist, accident claims involve three main types most often. Understanding the nuances of the legal doctrine of negligence could help you with your claim.

3 Types of Negligence

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence refers to an injured party, or plaintiff’s, negligence alongside the defendant’s. If a plaintiff is comparatively at fault for an accident, it means he or she also contributed to the accident’s occurrence. Not all states permit plaintiffs who are comparatively at fault for an accident to seek financial recovery for damages. States that bar negligent plaintiffs from recovery use contributory negligence laws. Most states, however, use comparative negligence or modified comparative negligence laws.

Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. In Texas, a victim can still recover at least partial compensation from the other party if he or she contributed to the accident in question. The courts will reduce the victim’s compensatory award by a dollar amount equivalent to his or her percentage of fault. The victim must, however, be 50% or less responsible for the accident to receive compensation. A percentage of fault at or greater than 51% will mean $0 in available recovery for the plaintiff.

Gross Negligence

Gross negligence exceeds the standard level of negligence. It refers to an extreme indifference or wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of others. Gross negligence goes beyond simple carelessness or lack of foresight and into a conscious or reckless act against another party. Someone may be guilty of gross negligence if he or she knew the dangers of his or her actions, yet performed them anyway, such as in a drunk driving accident. A grossly negligent person might intentionally, deliberately or consciously put someone else in danger or violate that person’s rights.

 

In Texas, a judge reserves the right to award an additional recovery amount to an accident victim for a defendant’s gross negligence, known as exemplary or punitive damages. If a judge finds the defendant’s actions meet the definition of gross negligence, he or she may grant additional compensation as a form of punishment against the defendant, to show the community the judge will not tolerate that type of recklessness. Gross negligence often goes alongside broken laws and criminal charges for a defendant’s actions.

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is the legal responsibility one entity has over the negligence of another in its jurisdiction or control. The government, for example, has vicarious liability for the actions of public schools, public bus drivers and government agents. A parent or pet owner will have vicarious responsibility for a minor child or animal. An employer will have vicarious liability over its employees. Since the law cannot hold these agents responsible for themselves, it will hold the master responsible for negligence instead.

Vicarious liability can often earn an injured party a better compensatory award than he or she would have been able to receive from the agent alone. Holding a hospital liable for the malpractice of a nurse, for example, would generally yield better insurance coverage than a lawsuit against the individual nurse. In other cases, vicarious liability allows an injured victim to file a claim he or she otherwise would not have been able to file, such as against a dog or child. Turn to a lawyer to ask questions about the types of negligence your case might involve in Texas. 

Posted by admin at 5:07 pm

Texas Laws About Prescription Drugs and Driving

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas does not only refer to driving after drinking alcohol. It also refers to the crime of drugged driving. Driving under the intoxicating influence of any drug – even prescription medications – is against the law in Texas. If you operate a motor vehicle after taking a prescription drug that interferes with your ability to safely drive in Texas, you could get a DWI and face substantial penalties. You could also cause a serious car accident and life-changing personal injuries. Be careful what you take before driving.

Texas Penal Code 49.04: DWI Law

Texas’ DWI law is found in Texas Penal Code 49.04. This law defines intoxication as the loss of the normal use of physical or mental faculties from any substance, including alcohol, drugs, dangerous drugs or a combination of substances. Intoxication also refers to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. The loss of normal use of faculties could refer to significant changes, such as falling asleep behind the wheel, or smaller changes that still impact the ability to drive, such as impaired judgment and slowed reaction times.

Penal Code 49.10 goes on to say the defendant’s lawful use of a substance is not a defense to a DWI charge. It does not matter if a person is 21 and legally allowed to drink or if the driver had a prescription for the intoxicating drug. Driving under the influence of any substance that impacts a driver’s faculties meets the definition of the crime of DWI, regardless of whether the person lawfully consumed the substance. Having a legal right to consume a prescription medication does not give a patient the right to drive if the drug impairs his or her faculties.

According to Texas penal law, the crime of driving while intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor. The minimum jail term for a DWI is 72 hours. A DWI with an open container charge comes with a minimum confinement term of six days. DWI with a BAC of 0.15% or higher is a class A misdemeanor with a minimum confinement term of 30 days. Upon conviction of DWI, an individual will also need to pay $2,000 to $10,000 in fines depending on the level of the offense. Other punishments include community service and driver’s license suspension.

Dangerous Prescription Drugs for Drivers

Avoiding a DWI charge is a good reason not to drive intoxicated, but your top priority should be safety. Driving under the influence of a prescription drug that impairs your ability to safely drive could put yourself and others at risk of serious injury. If you cause an accident while under the influence, you could face even more severe criminal charges, such as intoxication manslaughter. Even if you did not realize a prescription drug would intoxicate you, you could be civilly liable for the car accident, injuries and deaths you caused behind the wheel. Avoid taking potentially intoxicating prescription medications if you know you need to drive.

  • Allergy medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Anxiety medications
  • Cold medicines
  • Cough syrups
  • Diet pills
  • Drugs containing codeine
  • Melatonin or sleeping pills
  • Painkillers
  • Stimulants
  • Tranquilizers

Ask your doctor how a prescription medication might impact your ability to drive. Read the possible side effects thoroughly. The first time you take a new drug, do not drive or operate heavy machinery. Find out how the drug affects you first. You may feel drowsy, disoriented, confused, anxious, stressed, dizzy, slow, nauseous or something else that could make it difficult to safely control your motor vehicle. Never combine alcohol with any prescription medication. When in doubt, stay home or arrange a safe ride to your destination rather than getting behind the wheel. You could prevent an accident and/or a DWI charge by not driving under the influence of a prescription drug.

Posted by admin at 4:58 pm

Holidays With the Most Drinking

Monday, December 23, 2019

While it is normal to want to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve with alcohol, make sure you are imbibing safely. These are two of the booziest holidays, according to Alcohol.org. Whether you drink alcohol or not, it can pose a health and safety hazard to you this holiday season. Drunk drivers, alcohol poisoning and physical assault all increase this time of year due to holiday parties and establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. As each holiday rolls around, the car accident attorneys at the law firm of Aaron A. Herbert want to remind the people of Dallas to keep alcohol safety in mind to prevent regrettable accidents.

Holiday Drinking Statistics

According to a survey of over 1,000 Americans, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the holiday with the most drinking of alcoholic beverages. Mardi Gras, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, marks a day to indulge before the beginning of the Christian Lent season. Based on the survey, the average person drank 4.5 alcoholic beverages on Mardi Gras. This placed Mardi Gras at the top of the list of Top 10 Booziest Holidays. New Year’s Eve came second – also a day before the start of new resolutions. It would appear Americans imbibe the most to make up for giving something up the following day.

  • Mardi Gras: 4.5
  • New Year’s Eve: 4.4
  • Patrick’s Day: 4.2
  • Fourth of July: 3.8
  • Halloween: 3.5
  • Cinco de Mayo: 3.5
  • Memorial Day: 3.3
  • Labor Day: 3.2
  • Winter holidays: 3.1
  • Thanksgiving: 2.7

Men most associated St. Patrick’s Day with drinking alcohol, while New Year’s Eve was the holiday women most associated with booze. New Year’s Eve came in at the top in terms of holidays for binge drinking for both men (47%) and women (40%). Binge drinking refers to consuming five or more drinks in two hours for men and four or more drinks for women. The top alcoholic beverages consumed over the winter holidays are champagne, wine and beer. Binge drinking increases the risks of issues such as alcohol poisoning and drunk driving.

Drunk Driving Increases Over the Holidays

With increased alcohol consumption comes a corresponding spike in drunk driving accidents over the holidays. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a dangerous crime that takes thousands of lives each year. Your odds of getting into a DWI accident increase over the holidays, even if you are 100% sober as a driver. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people lose their lives in DWI accidents the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day alone. A shocking 781 people died in DWI crashes in December of 2016. Drunk driving deaths account for more than 25% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. each year, with a significant surge over the holidays.

Help prevent drunk driving accidents by never driving a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle after consuming alcohol. The amount of alcohol in just one drink could be enough to negatively affect your ability to drive. Instead, find a safe ride program in your state or request a sober ride home through an app such as Uber or Lyft. Plan ahead if you think you will be drinking over the holidays. Ride with a sober friend, spend the night at the house party where you will be drinking or arrange a paid ride home such as a taxi. You can also use public transportation to prevent driving drunk. Making a commitment against driving drunk could save lives this holiday season.

Unfortunately, you could still get into a DUI accident even as a responsible driver. On holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s, thousands of intoxicated drivers make the poor choice to get behind the wheel. Avoid driving late at night and on weekends over the holidays to reduce your risk of encountering drunk drivers. Keep your eyes scanning the roadway for signs of a possible drunk driver. If you see someone swerving, cutting people off, speeding, tailgating or otherwise driving dangerously, keep your distance and call 911 to report a potential driver under the influence. Involving the police could prevent a tragic accident before it occurs.

Posted by admin at 4:35 pm

2 Safest Ways to Travel for the Holidays

Monday, November 25, 2019

Thousands of people travel for the holidays by air, car, bus, boat and train. Sadly, not all these travelers will make it to their holiday destinations alive. The holidays are some of the most common days for fatal accidents. Drunk drivers, heavy traffic, bad weather and human errors are a few of the reasons holiday-related travel accidents occur. Before the holidays arrive this year, learn a few key tips for safer trips.

Safe Driving

You can improve your safety on the road if you pay attention to the driving task, obey traffic laws and follow speed limits. Drive defensively to help protect yourself from other drivers. Assume other drivers will break the rules and put your life at risk. Always keep your eyes on the road and watch what drivers around you are doing. Prepare to stop at a moment’s notice. Put your phone away while driving to your holiday destinations to help prevent distracted driving accidents. Speak to a Dallas distracted driving lawyer if you were involved in an accident.

Drunk driving is a significant source of catastrophic and fatal auto accidents throughout the U.S. The rate of drunk driving spikes around the holidays. In 2016, 781 people died in drunk driving accidents in December alone. Reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads this holiday season by finding a sober way home if you plan on drinking alcohol. Even if you have just one drink, it could impair you enough to affect your driving. Keep an eye out for erratic and potentially intoxicated drivers while you drive. If you think you see a drunk driver, stay a safe distance away and call 911.

As someone traveling to a new place for the holidays, research your destination and route ahead of time to better prepare for the drive. Check the weather and try to avoid driving if the forecast calls for rain, fog, sleet or snow. Leave early in the morning or late at night to avoid the bulk of holiday traffic. Only drive after a full night’s rest. If you are not used to driving overnight or long distances, do not do so. Take plenty of breaks and drive with a friend to help keep you awake. Bring your vehicle to a mechanic for professional maintenance before you embark.

Safe Flying

Statistically, you are less likely to be in a plane crash than an auto accident. If you know you will be traveling out of town for the holidays ahead of time, consider booking a flight instead of driving. You can skip traffic, get to your destination faster and reduce your risk of serious injuries. It is still important, however, to abide by certain safety tips while flying for the most positive experience.

• Pack smart. Obey the Transportation Security Administration’s rules for what to bring on your flight. Do not bring any liquids over three ounces in volume or portable chargers with lithium-ion batteries. Do not bring any weapons, gels or aerosols.

• Avoid the busiest travel days. Flying on a day that is not as busy for air travel can mean lighter traffic on the way to the airport and shorter security lines. The greatest rush around Thanksgiving is the Wednesday before the holiday and the Sunday after.

• Stay sanitary. Planes can be dirty places due to the high volume of travelers. Bring hand sanitizer with you and apply it regularly to avoid germs and illnesses while flying for the holidays.

Leave early to get to the airport to give yourself plenty of time to go through security and get to your terminal. Leaving early can allow you to take your time while driving to the airport and walking through the airport. This could help you avoid car crashes as well as slip and fall accidents. It can also help you avoid missing your flight. No matter how you travel this holiday season, plan ahead and put your safety first. Stay calm and in control and you can tackle any travel challenge this holiday season. If the worst does happen, contact a personal injury attorney for assistance.

Posted by admin at 4:08 pm

Do You Need to Testify if You Witnessed an Accident?

Friday, November 22, 2019

If you are one of the first to the scene of an accident, you have certain responsibilities. Whether Texas law requires it or not, you should remain at the scene and assist those in need. You may have the power to save a life as a witness. Although you should never move an injured person unless he or she is in immediate danger, you could take other actions to help, such as calling the police. You could also lend your assistance by testifying about what you saw. To learn more about Texas accident laws consult with an expert Dallas personal injury lawyer today!

By Texas Law, What Is a Witness Required to Do?

By Texas law, a witness does not have any legal responsibilities at the scene of an accident or thereafter. No law requires witnesses to stay or render aid unless they were directly involved in the accident. If you were in an accident in Texas, you must call the police if it caused injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in property damage. If you only witnessed the accident, you are not legally obligated to call the police or render assistance to those injured. It could save a life, however, if you choose to remain on the scene and be a Good Samaritan.

Do not be afraid of becoming liable for someone’s injuries if you stop to help that person at the scene of an accident. Texas, like many states, has a law that protects Good Samaritans from liability for rendering good faith assistance. The Good Samaritan Law states that if you witness an accident and stop to help those involved, the accident victims cannot file claims against you, even if you unintentionally worsened their injuries or damaged their properties. It protects any witnesses, volunteer first responders and unlicensed medical personnel who act in good faith to help others at the scene of an accident.

If you witness an accident in Texas, remain at the scene and help as much as possible. Do not assume another person has already notified the police. Call 911 yourself if you see anyone with injuries or property damage that appears to exceed $1,000. Ask those involved if they need you to call an ambulance. Try to not move any injured person unless he or she is in imminent danger, such as in a burning vehicle. Moving someone the wrong way could exacerbate an injury. Instead, stay with the person and try to keep him or her calm while you wait for paramedics.

Do You Need to Testify?

Another way in which you could help accident victims is with your testimony. Testifying about what you witnessed could clear up confusion about how the accident occurred. If you remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive, they may ask you to give a recorded statement about what happened. It is up to you to give the statement or not. You can also leave your name and contact information with those involved in the accident.

While giving a statement or testimony about an accident you witnessed, stick to the facts and only answer the questions asked. Do not embellish or speculate about fault. Answer honestly and accurately. The only time the law will force you to testify as an accident witness is if you receive a subpoena to do so. A subpoena is a court order requiring the named party to testify or appear in court. If you do not receive a subpoena, you do not have to testify if you do not want to.

Can You Decline a Court Appearance?

Most car accident cases settle without requiring trials in court. Some severe or complex cases, however, may go to court to resolve. If an accident you witnessed ends up in court, one or both sides may call you in to appear as a witness. Your account of events could be a type of evidence. You may have to make a statement under oath and answer questions from one or both attorneys. Again, the only time you will have to appear in court or attend a deposition is if you receive a subpoena. Without a subpoena, it will be up to you whether or not to appear in court if asked. If you choose to go to court, prepare to answer questions from both sides about what you saw.

 

Posted by admin at 4:09 pm

How Dangerous Is Road Rage?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Road rage refers to extreme aggression behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. While it is normal for drivers to sometimes become frustrated or angry, road rage brings driver frustration to the level of violence or recklessness. A driver putting him or herself and others in danger due to serious aggression is road rage. If a road rage driver causes personal injuries, property damages or deaths, victims can seek help from a car crash and injury attorney.

Is it Against the Law?

The state of Texas does not have any legislation specifically listing road rage as a crime. However, several actions an enraged driver may take could qualify as crimes. Aggressive driving, on the other hand, is a specific moving violation in Texas. Putting other people at risk by intentionally or recklessly breaking traffic laws is the definition of aggressive driving in Texas. Road rage could lead to several different criminal charges depending on the situation.

  • Reckless driving. If a driver’s road rage causes him or her drive recklessly, the driver could be guilty of a crime under Texas Transportation Code section 545.401. This is a misdemeanor crime.
  • Assault and battery. An extremely angry driver may exit his or her vehicle to physically assault a victim. A road rage driver could be guilty of assault, battery or harassment. These could be misdemeanor or felony offenses.
  • Vehicular homicide or manslaughter. A road rage driver could be guilty of these serious crimes if he or she uses a vehicle as a weapon to take the life of another person. These are felony crimes that will lead to mandatory jail time.

A driver’s road rage itself may not be against the law in Texas, but many actions an enraged driver is likely to take could break state laws. Criminally negligent homicide, intoxication manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, aggressive driving, reckless driving, speeding, running red lights, harassment, tailgating or unsafe passing could all lead to criminal convictions or moving violations for the road rage driver.

Can Road Rage Be Harmful?

Road rage can be extremely harmful to everyone on the roadway. A driver experiencing a bout of anger may not be able to safely or prudently control his or her motor vehicle. This can lead to accidental or intentional collisions. A driver experiencing road rage could break roadway rules, speed, run red lights, ignore rights-of-way, weave between vehicles and tailgate – all dangerous behaviors that could cause car accidents. He or she could also become violent, leading to potential personal injuries from assault or battery.

Aggressive driving is a leading cause of auto accidents, according to studies. Aggressive driving can cloud a driver’s judgment or lead to intentional crimes, such as ramming one’s vehicle into another car or a pedestrian. It could also become a significant cognitive distraction, causing unintentional mistakes such as failing to notice a light changing. Road rage could be harmful to the driver and to everyone else on the road.

Is Road Rage Deadly?

Road rage has proven fatal for many victims in the past. Deadly incidents of road rage could involve catastrophic vehicle collisions or physical assaults with weapons from the angry driver. In many cases, road rage goes hand in hand with personality disorders and/or substance abuse. These combinations can lead to reckless driver behaviors that ultimately lead to fatal incidents.

You can help prevent road rage incidents by being a careful and courteous driver. Do not cut other drivers off, use hand gestures, yell at other drivers, tailgate, honk or otherwise instigate an altercation. Avoid doing things that could incite a driver’s road rage, such as driving too slowly in the fast lane. If an angry driver tries to engage with you, ignore him or her and do not make eye contact. Get out of the driver’s way and report him or her to the police if the driver appears to be a threat. Drive directly to a police station if an enraged driver appears to be following you.

Posted by admin at 8:21 pm

What Is a Blue Form Accident Report?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A Blue Form Accident Report is a nickname for the standard Driver’s Crash Report in Texas (CR-2). It is a form you may see after you get into a car accident. The Blue Form Accident Report is something you may have to file with the Department of Transportation (DOT) if the police do not fill out an official CR-3 crash report on your behalf. The CR-3 is a more complete form that comes after a full crash investigation. If the police do not use this form, however, it may be up to you to submit a Blue Form instead.

What Is a “Blue Form?”

The Blue Form is Texas’ Driver’s Crash Report. After a car accident that causes personal injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in property damages, the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident will need to call the police from the scene of the crash. However, the Blue Form is something the driver of the vehicle must complete and sign after any accident. Someone else may only complete the form for the driver with a valid reason, given in writing. The form has several parts.

  • Location of the accident
  • Date of the accident
  • Vehicles involved
  • Damage to property
  • Injuries
  • Driver’s statement of what happened
  • Signature

The driver should fill out the Blue Form as completely as possible. The driver’s statement does not require the driver to admit fault or to speculate about who caused the accident. It simply asks for the driver’s side of the story. Once completed and signed, the driver can print the report and mail it to the Texas DOT’s Crash Records Department. For assistance filling out a Blue Form, a driver can call (844) 274-7457.

What is a Blue Form Accident Report

Can I Hire an Attorney for My Case?

It is a common misconception that a Blue Form in Texas will help an insurance claim. Although it can be useful to document an accident, its main purpose is to help the DOT keep track of collisions. The CR-2 has no authority. It is not an official police report of your accident. An insurance company does not have to believe what is on the Blue Form or use it to validate your claim. Instead, an insurer will generally conduct its own investigation to determine fault for an auto accident.

If you get into a car accident that injures you, contact a Dallas car crash attorney to take care of processes such as documenting your damages and negotiating with an insurance provider for you. Hiring a lawyer can strengthen your injury case. Your attorney will know how to build your case for its best odds of successfully achieving a settlement. If an insurance company refuses to treat your claim fairly, your lawyer can take your case to trial in Texas. Hiring a lawyer can allow you to focus on healing while a legal professional handles your claim.

Should I Use a Blue Form for an Injury Case?

In most cases, the police will submit a different form, the CR-3, on behalf of crash victims. If the police fill out a CR-3, you will not need to use a Blue Form after an accident. The Blue Form is only necessary if for some reason you do not call the police or the police decide not to write up a police report. The police may tell you from the scene to fill out a CR-2 rather than giving you a police report for various reasons. You should use a Blue Form to report a car accident to the DOT even if it did not cause significant property damage, injuries or deaths.

The purpose of a Blue Form is to document your car accident for the DOT for statistical reasons. It allows involved drivers to record the details of the accident while they are still fresh in their minds. The DOT wants to know anytime a crash occurs, even if the police do not need to file a CR-3. Submitting the Blue Form to the DOT in lieu of a police report can help the department track the number and locations of accidents in the state.

Posted by admin at 4:20 pm