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Texas Hit and Run Laws

Monday, March 16, 2020

If a driver leaves the scene of an auto accident without stopping and fulfilling his or her legal obligations, it is the crime of hit-and-run. Texas takes hit-and-run crimes seriously, penalizing perpetrators with consequences such as hefty fines and potential jail or prison time. As a driver, it is important to know Texas’ hit-and-run laws to stay out of legal trouble. It can also help you understand your rights if you become the victim of a hit-and-run accident.

crashed car on street

What Is a Hit-and-Run?

Motor vehicle drivers have dozens of responsibilities they accept when they get behind the wheel. One of these duties in Texas is to stop at the scene of any accidents. State law requires you to pull over immediately after getting into a car accident, whether the vehicle you struck is occupied or unoccupied. You must park as close as you safely can to the scene of the collision and check for injuries. State law requires you to do your best to assist anyone with injuries, such as by calling the police or offering the victim a ride to the nearest hospital.

If the car accident involves a personal injury, fatality, broken roadway law (e.g. a drunk driver), uninsured driver, property damage above $1,000 or a hit-and-run, call the police to report the crash from the scene. Note the location of the crash, the names of those at the scene and the contact information of any witnesses. Obtain the other driver’s insurance information if he or she stayed at the scene. Always call the police after a hit-and-run so they can inspect the crash scene for evidence that could identify the at-fault driver. Failing to stop at the scene of a wreck and fulfill your driver’s duties is a hit-and-run crime.

Can You Deny a Hit-and-Run?

The biggest issue with hit-and-run accidents is identifying the driver that caused the damages. The responding police officers may take steps to try to identify the driver that fled the scene, such as examining any debris or paint chips the offending vehicle left behind or talking to eyewitnesses. Sometimes, however, the police make mistakes. Upon reviewing surveillance cameras, monitoring the neighborhood and taking other steps to identify the hit-and-run driver, the police may apprehend the wrong suspect.

If the police wrongfully accuse you of committing a hit-and-run, you have the right to deny the charges and plead not guilty. With a lack of evidence against you, the prosecution may have no choice but to drop the charges. If the prosecution has evidence putting you at the scene of the crime, however, the criminal courts may proceed with the case and even find you guilty, depending on the circumstances. Hit-and-run is a crime in Texas, not just a civil wrongdoing. A conviction can come with serious criminal consequences. Always remain at the scene of an auto accident to avoid criminal charges.

What Is the Penalty for a Hit-and-Run in Texas?

Causing a car accident and driving away without stopping can have criminal and civil ramifications. On the criminal level, leaving the scene of an accident can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction. The severity of the crime will depend on the seriousness of the injuries or damages caused. It could be a felony if the hit-and-run causes serious bodily injury or death. The penalties for hit-and-run in Texas include six months in county jail to 10 years in state prison and/or fines of $500 to $5,000 or more.

The civil consequences could include having to pay for a victim’s damages in restitution, either through the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company or out of pocket. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Texas, you could be eligible for compensation if the police find who caused your crash. If the police do not catch the perpetrator, you may still be able to obtain compensation through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, if available. Talk to a hit-and-run accident lawyer for more information about your case.

Posted by admin at 6:28 pm

Who’s At Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Who’s At Fault in a T-Bone Accident?

T-bone accidents, also called broadside and side-impact collisions, can easily be catastrophic. Vehicle drivers and passengers can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries in T-bone accidents. Texas is a tort-based insurance state, making it necessary to identify the at-fault party before you can obtain compensation for a T-bone accident. You might need a personal injury lawyer’s assistance in determining fault after this type of auto accident.

t-bone car accident

What Type of Injury Is Commonly Associated With T-Bone Accidents?

A T-bone accident happens when one vehicle collides with the broadside of another, forming the shape of a T. Side-impact crashes can cause many serious injuries to all parts of the body. One of the most common injuries is whiplash. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury of the neck that may involve a muscle strain or sprain. Whiplash is common in T-bone accidents due to the sudden jerking of the head and neck one way and then another. This jerking motion could be enough to strain or tear the tendons and ligaments of the neck. A T-bone accident could cause many different personal injuries.

  • Cuts or lacerations from shattered glass
  • Chemical rash from airbag deployment
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Burn injuries
  • Head and skull injuries
  • Traumatic brain damage
  • Broken bones
  • Crush-related injuries

A devastating T-bone accident could also cause emotional injuries, including mental anguish, anxiety, nightmares and psychological trauma. Victims with injuries from side-impact crashes in Texas may be eligible to recover financial compensation for their losses and damages. This could include compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and vehicle repairs. To obtain compensation, however, victims will need to determine and prove fault under Texas’ tort-based insurance system. This will take identifying the at-fault party.

How Do T-Bone Accidents Happen?

T-bone accidents in Texas occur most often when one or more drivers break the rules at intersections. Intersections are dangerous areas where it is imperative for all drivers to follow applicable traffic laws, including traffic signals and rights-of-way. If a driver breaks a rule at an intersection, it could place his or her vehicle in a dangerous position – such as directly in the path of an oncoming vehicle.

  • Turning left in front of an oncoming vehicle
  • Turning without the right-of-way
  • Running a red light
  • Rolling through a stop sign
  • Speeding
  • Driving drunk or drugged
  • Driving distracted
  • Texting while driving
  • Making an unsafe or illegal U-turn

Most T-bone accidents stem from driver error. Some, however, relate to dangerously designed roadways and intersections. If a city planner did a poor job of designing a reasonably safe intersection and this contributed to a side-impact accident, the government could be responsible for paying victims’ damages. The law gives you the right to file a lawsuit if someone else caused your T-bone accident. Even if you partially contributed to the crash, you could still be eligible for compensation under Texas’ comparative negligence law.

Should You Hire an Attorney?

Litigating a T-bone accident claim can be difficult. The other driver might refute fault or his or her insurer might deny your claim to damages. The defendant may also allege your comparative negligence in causing the collision. The most effective way to combat insurance bad faith practices and prove another party’s fault for your broadside accident is by hiring a lawyer to represent you during negotiations.

Consult with a lawyer about your rights as soon as possible as the victim of a T-bone collision. You do not have an unlimited amount of time to bring a claim. Texas’ statute of limitations gives you no more than two years to file a lawsuit for your injuries. If you miss this deadline, your lawyer will most likely be unable to convince the courts to hear your case. The defendant could use the missed deadline against you to make your claim invalid. Contact an attorney right away after a T-bone accident in Texas.

Posted by admin at 6:13 pm

About Texas (PIP) Personal Injury Protection

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of auto insurance the State of Texas does not require. In general, PIP pays for your damages and losses after an at-fault accident. Understanding personal injury protection, when you might need it and how to pursue benefits from a PIP policy could help you recover financially after a car accident in Texas. Contact a car accident lawyer near you for answers to your specific questions about personal injury protection coverage.

texas personal injury protection law 2020

What Does PIP Cover?

Texas is a fault-based insurance state, meaning that an at-fault driver or party will be liable for crash-related damages. If you cause an accident, you will have to pay for damages. If you only carry Texas’ minimum required amounts of insurance, your policy will not cover your own damages in an at-fault accident. Personal injury protection is optional, but you must tell the company in writing if you wish to reject this coverage. Personal injury protection auto insurance pays for a few different damages the policyholder suffers if he or she needs extra coverage.

  • Medical coverage. PIP will pay for 100% of a policyholder’s necessary medical services. This can include ambulances, doctor’s appointments, treatments, surgeries, x-rays, prosthetics, medications, professional nursing, dental fees and nursing expenses.
  • Death damages. If the policyholder passes away in the auto accident, PIP insurance could pay for funeral and burial costs, as well as the medical expenses the victim incurred prior to death.
  • Lost wages. PIP will reimburse the person for 80% of lost income if he or she had to miss work because of the accident. The insurance company will need proof of the amount of income lost.

Most PIP insurance plans provide $2,500 to $5,000 or more in coverage for the at-fault party and his or her passengers. As someone involved in an auto accident, you may be eligible for coverage under PIP insurance as well as other policies, including that of an at-fault driver, vehicle owner, employer or multiple parties. If you do not have PIP coverage, you may have other policies available to take your claim.

How Does Texas PIP Work?

After an auto accident, if you wish to recover compensation through your policy’s PIP coverage, you will need to document your accident, injuries, medical expenses and related losses of income. Your insurance company will need proof of the losses you are claiming. Report on the car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Most companies make it mandatory to report a wreck within 24 to 72 hours. You will submit the necessary documentation for your insurer to review, then wait up to 30 days to hear back from the insurance company. The insurer will either accept your claim and offer a settlement or deny coverage.

What Is a PIP Settlement?

You may not need to file a PIP claim with your insurer if someone else caused your auto accident. If another driver or party is to blame, that person’s policy may be liable for your damages. Hire an attorney to investigate your crash if you are not sure of the cause. If the at-fault party does not have enough insurance or you caused the accident, file a claim seeking PIP benefits from your insurer. If your insurance company accepts your claim, it will offer a settlement according to the perceived value of your losses and the limits of the policy.

Your insurance company might not offer a high enough settlement for your losses depending on the situation. Insurance companies often try to protect their bottom lines more than their clients. If you believe your medical bills and lost wages combined are worth more than your insurer has offered, negotiate for a higher settlement with help from an attorney. A lawyer can take over communications with your insurer to pursue the fair amount of your claim or the maximum under your policy’s limit. A lawyer could also help you explore recovery options outside of a PIP settlement for greater compensation.

Posted by admin at 5:04 pm

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.

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