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Why Pedestrian Accidents Are More Common During Summer

Sunday, July 28, 2019

An accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian is always worse for the pedestrian. A pedestrian could suffer broken bones, a traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage or injury to the spinal cord. Despite increases in safety efforts and awareness campaigns, the rate of pedestrian accidents is growing. Preliminary data from 2018 shows the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990 (6,227 pedestrians killed) nationwide. Pedestrian accidents, injuries and deaths are most common in the summer months.

Warm Weather Means More People

The simplest solution as to why more pedestrians end up in summertime accidents is because more people are out and about. Dallas is a great city for tourists, sightseers and pedestrians. In the balmy summer months, more people enjoy the weather by taking a stroll around town or walking to work. The number of vehicles on the roads also increases, as more people enjoy their days off with kids around the city.

In 2017, 614 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the state of Texas. July was the deadliest month for all traffic accidents in Texas, with 352 deaths. It is no coincidence that more people died in fatal car accidents in July than any other month of the year in Texas. The streets are bustling in July, with thousands of people pouring into the city for their summer vacations. The days are longer as well, with the sun inviting people to stay out longer. An increase in both pedestrians and vehicles translates into an increase in pedestrian accidents.

Drunk and Distracted Drivers

Summer is a time for barbecues, get-togethers, parties and festivals. Unfortunately, this can mean an increase in drunk and reckless drivers in Dallas. The Texas Department of Transportation reported 1,024 traffic deaths involving drunk drivers in 2017. More deaths occurred between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning on Sunday than any other time or day. Drunk drivers may cause late-night fatal accidents when returning home intoxicated from summertime gatherings. These fatal accidents could involve pedestrians.

Distracted driving can also increase during the summer. Summertime drivers may be new to the city and staring at their maps or GPS systems while trying to get around. They may be looking at their phones as they communicate with people they are going to meet, or scrolling through social media while stopped in slow traffic on I-35. Distracted drivers can easily miss pedestrians crossing the street and fail to yield the right-of-way. This could lead to serious pedestrian accidents.

Distracted Walking

Drivers are not the only parties to blame for pedestrian accidents in Dallas. Distracted walking is a real risk for pedestrians. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends putting the phone down when walking or jogging. The NSC says teenagers are at the greatest risk of getting into distracted walking accidents. It notes a shift in risk for pedestrian accidents from 1995 to today. In 1995, children ages five to nine were most at risk. Today, teenagers are more at risk, largely because of cellphone use while walking.

Smartphone use while walking means a pedestrian is looking down instead of up at his or her surroundings. This could lead to a pedestrian stepping off the curb in front of an oncoming vehicle or using a crosswalk when he or she does not have the right-of-way. Failure to pay attention to one’s surroundings could lead to fault for a pedestrian accident, even if the pedestrian suffered the most serious injuries. A distracted pedestrian may be unable to recover financial compensation for his or her injuries after a harmful collision.

Summer means more kids and teens walking around Dallas than at any other time of the year. Combined with the likelihood of using smartphones while walking, this can lead to an increase in pedestrian accidents from June to September. Pedestrians can improve their safety over summer by putting their phones down, paying attention to what is around them and obeying all roadway rules. Drivers can help prevent accidents by avoiding distracted, drunk and negligent driving.

Posted by admin at 7:59 pm

Most Common Preventable Summer Injuries

Monday, June 17, 2019

Summer is an exciting time for individuals of all ages. Children and teens receive a well-deserved break from their schooling, while adults get to frequent refreshing outdoor venues on weekends rather than hiding from the cold. Though summer comes with a positive connotation in most contexts, some members of the public take the concept of “summer fun” too far. Commonly due to individual recklessness or ignorance, several types of accidents seem to characterize the summer season.

Car and Bike Accidents

With more people out in public during summer, roadways often become congested. This is especially relevant during parades, carnivals, and other festivities that cause local traffic. These activities that make summer fun and exciting can actually cause major accidents when drivers and bike riders become distracted or overwhelmed by the sheer amount of activity taking place.

Car accidents increase during the summer months, though the most impacted group are teenagers. This is logical because new/young drivers that don’t have school want to travel to cool destinations with friends. Though these individuals have their licenses/permits, they are most susceptible to overwhelming and/or congested traffic conditions. 

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is an extremely common occurrence during the summer caused by overheating. Heat stroke comes with symptoms like nausea, confusion, or blacking out (in extreme cases) caused by dehydration and excessive sun exposure. Though it might be fun to venture outdoors during summer break, you must remember that it’s possible to neglect your own body by refusing to prepare.

Always keep a water bottle in close range and take breaks from the sun, especially if you feel unwell. Though many summer enthusiasts think they can handle the heat, testing your body’s limits in this way can cause major health issues.

Drowning

Summer time, for most people, equates to swimming time. This season is when swim parks and public pool facilities open their doors to the masses. Though cooling off during the hot summer season is great, and even a good thing, you must still remember to exercise safety precautions. This is especially true for young children that have not yet acquired adequate experience and brain development to discriminate between a cool pool game and a dangerous situation.

Drowning often occurs when pools become overcrowded. Swimmers and pool toys alike create dangerous overcrowded environments that easily trap young children, teens and adults under the water. Moreover, the noise level in these environments are typically so high that guardians and lifeguards often cannot hear cries for help or discriminate them from shouts of joy. Remember to monitor your children when taking them to the pool this summer to prevent dangerous accidents.

Playground Accidents

After school lets out, swarms of school-aged children frequent playgrounds and parks. Though utilizing summer break to let children exercise and socialize is beneficial to them, they still require adult supervision.

Much like car accidents and instances of drowning, playground accidents increase during the summer because of overcrowding. Children as a group can be cutthroat, as well, depending on their age. In crowded playgrounds scenarios, children can sustain fractured/broken bones, sprains, cuts/scratches, and even concussion if they fall from the structure. When taking your child to the park, make sure to monitor their whereabouts at all times.

Though summer provides the opportunity for all individuals to take part in activities unavailable during other seasons, safety should still be the number one priority. Remain alert and prevent unnecessary accidents during your summer fun this year. Learn more about safety and preventable injury by speaking to an experienced Dallas injury lawyer today!

Posted by admin at 7:19 pm

6 Safety Guidelines Truckers Must Follow

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Trucking accidents cause thousands of fatal injuries every year. In 2017, crashes involving large trucks and buses took 5,005 lives. The size and weight of large commercial trucks makes it common for smaller passenger vehicles to bear the brunt of the damage in collisions. The high level of danger large trucks pose to others led to federal regulations to try to reduce accident risk. Truck drivers must follow certain safety guidelines while at work to do their part to prevent serious accidents.

Keep a Safe Following Distance

It takes more time to bring a commercial truck to a stop than an average passenger vehicle. To take increased stopping time into account, truck drivers should maintain a proper following distance from the vehicle in front of the truck at all times. Truckers should leave at least 20 feet of space between the front of their trucks and the backs of other vehicles. This will leave enough room to come to a complete stop without needing to slam on the brakes. Braking too hard could lock the brakes and cause a crash, or lead to a dangerous cargo shift.

Use Proper Braking Techniques

Truck drivers should reduce their speeds when traveling downhill or around curves. Traveling too fast could make it impossible to brake – and could lead to runaway trucks and serious accidents. Proper braking in a big rig takes carefully controlling speeds and using the right braking technique, depending on the situation. Truckers should follow their training to either pump the air brakes or apply steady pressure based on the circumstances and road conditions. Unsafe braking techniques can lead to accidents such as a jackknifed truck.

Obey Hours of Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes strict hours of service regulations that all truck drivers must obey. Hours of service regulations aim to reduce the number of drowsy truck drivers on the road by limiting how many hours truckers can drive in between rest breaks. No property-carrying trucker may exceed an 11-hour limit after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truckers cannot drive beyond a 14-hour limit after coming on duty. Drivers also cannot exceed 60 or 70 hours on duty in seven or eight consecutive days.

Conduct Vehicle Inspections

Fleet safety is ultimately the responsibility of the trucking company, but truck drivers also play a role. FMCSA Section 396.3 states that every driver must inspect the truck and trailer and verify that both are in safe operating condition before driving. If items require repairs, the truck driver must submit repair requests in an inspection report. The motor carrier must then schedule repairs before the trucker can operate the vehicle. Ignoring truck inspections could lead to dangerous part malfunctions and breakdowns in transit.

Avoid Driver Distractions

It is against the law for a truck driver to engage in dangerous habits that cause driver distraction. Truck drivers have a duty to maintain a proper lookout and to pay attention to the road at all times. Long hours on the road alone in a cab can increase the risk of distraction. Commercial drivers legally cannot use handheld mobile devices to make calls or send/read texts. They may only use hands-free devices that are within the driver’s comfortable reach. Violating the federal mobile device law could lead to a serious trucking accident and thousands of dollars in penalties against the truck driver.

Stay Below the Posted Speed Limit

Some highways have specific maximum speed limits just for truck drivers. This is because large trucks need more time to come to complete stops. Speeding can increase the risk of an accident by making it more difficult to remain in control of the truck. Truck drivers must always obey posted speed limits or travel at slower speeds, if necessary, depending on road or weather conditions. Speeding is a common cause of deadly trucking accidents in Texas.

Posted by admin at 4:40 pm

Dos and Don’ts When You Witness an Accident

Monday, February 25, 2019

Witnessing a car accident can leave you with many 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 to being a car accident 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 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 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.

Posted by admin at 7:59 am

What Is a “Failure to Protect” Claim?

Monday, December 4, 2017

If the police detain someone and place him or her in the car for transport but fail to secure the person’s seatbelt, thus subjecting him or her to injury when a car accident happens on the way to the police station, can that person sue the officers? This point is hotly debated. Here are some of the basics on what constitutes a failure to protect.

Failure to Protect

The most common example is when an adult fails to do something generally considered reasonable to safeguard or rescue a child from abuse or neglect. The adult in question might be a non-abusive parent or guardian who knows the abuser’s identity but does not report them to the police. This state of protection exists for anyone in a legally recognizable position of authority over others. Teachers, first-responders, doctors, police officers, and daycare workers all carry the same obligation to protect.

Civil Liability

Can a person file suit against an officer, claiming failure to protect for injury sustained because of the officer’s inaction? According to the U.S. court system, due process clauses guaranteed in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments allow a civil lawsuit under two doctrines: special relationship and state-created danger.

Special Relationship

This exists when the state takes control of a person in such a manner that a requirement to protect exists. Examples of this include a prisoner or state-committed mental patient. Any entity taking control of another person must protect that person against reasonable or foreseeable dangers.

Corrections officials face this kind of claim most often, but any police officer working in a jail or holding a person in custody could face charges of negligence or abuse. If an officer is holding a person in cuffs when they are both attacked, the officer must protect the individual because he or she cannot defend themselves. If the officer does not properly buckle the seatbelt of a detained person and that person is injured in an accident, the officer failed to protect the person from harm.

State-Created Danger

This situation occurs when a person receives injuries because an employee of the state, a police officer, for example, acted incorrectly or because the officer failed to act in an obviously dangerous situation. Failure to protect a person does not always violate the due process guaranteed in the Constitution; however, it does violate it when the state creates a dangerous situation or unnecessarily exposes a person to risk he or she would not have faced otherwise.

Put differently, if an officer intervenes, and that intervention exposes another person to danger they would not have otherwise faced, they may face liability. The same liability exists when a person is put in danger by a failure to act.

Examples

In Wood v. Ostrander, Washington state troopers impounded the car of a drunk driver they arrested, forcing the wife to walk home alone in an area noted for high levels of crime. A driver later offered help, only to rape her in a secluded area. The Court of Appeals declared that the police created the situation through their act of detaining the car and through their inaction in not providing the wife safe passage home.

In Kennedy v. Ridgefield, the Kennedy family reported their nine-year-old daughter’s molestation by their neighbor’s 13-year-old son. They also said they feared the boy because of his instability. The police promised protection, but they failed to properly inform the Kennedy’s that they had interviewed the boy. The accused boy broke into the Kennedy’s house that night and shot both parents, killing the father. The Court of Appeals stated that the failure of the police to alert the Kennedys, and provide the promised protection, placed the victims in a dangerous situation that would not have existed otherwise.

Posted by admin at 6:07 pm

I Was Injured in a Golf Cart

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cruising around the golf course on a sunny day can make any adult feel like a kid again. The tiny wheels, door-free sides and quiet motor can make you forget you are still operating or riding in a vehicle that requires responsible handling to avoid risk. Whether you are the driver or passenger of a golf cart, it is important to know the risks associated with golf cart use and who could be liable in the case of a golf cart accident.

How Common Are Golf Cart Injuries?

Since 1990, medical professionals have treated over 150,000 golf cart-related injuries in the United States. Patients ages ranged from two months to 96 years, and soft tissue damage was the most common type of damage at just under 50%. An official study found golf cart-related injuries have been increasing every year, and some accidents have even resulted in death.

The Risks of Golf Carts

Although golf carts seem safe, the perceived safety could be the very thing that leads to reckless operation and ultimately injury. Understanding why golf carts pose a risk can help cart operators take greater care and prevent accidents.

  • Golf carts lack the safety features of cars. There are no seatbelts, airbags, bumpers or doors. The materials manufacturers use to make golf carts are less durable, making a collision with a tree, rock or other cart even more dangerous.
  • There are less rules for safe operation. When driving on the road, there are lanes, stop lights, speed limits and traffic police to enforce all the rules. On golf courses and other large stretches of land, these rules do not apply. The freedom gives many golf cart drivers the incentive to speed, take sharp turns and generally pay less attention to the task at hand.
  • Alcohol is often a factor. Many areas where people use golf carts have alcohol available and do not strictly enforce rules to limit alcohol consumption. This leads drivers to operate golf carts while under the influence, which can inhibit judgment and decision-making abilities.
  • Owners often ignore regular maintenance. Maintenance for golf carts is just as important as other vehicles. They have less advanced construction of engines and starter components. Many golf cart owners do not think to work on the cart unless a problem arises, but waiting for a problem to show up means a problem could unexpectedly affect the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.
  • Rough terrain causes issues. Golf courses have many hills that make golf carts susceptible to rollovers. People typically drive golf carts on unpaved areas, and it is common for operators to move at high speeds.

Injuries From Golf Cart Operation

Though the most common injury from golf cart accidents is soft tissue damage, some more severe damages can include bone breakage and even brain damage. In a few cases, these accidents led to death.

Who Is Liable in a Golf Cart Accident?

Depending on the driver’s behavior at the time of the accident, the liability could fall on several parties. First, the company that manufactured the cart could be at fault if the accident was the result of a design issue. Elements of the property where someone was driving the cart could contribute to an accident, leaving the property owner with liability. If the cart belongs to the club and the club failed to maintain it, the club might be to blame.

Golf carts may seem harmless, but the numbers show otherwise. Always take care when using a golf cart and advise others to do the same. Personal injury lawyers can assist with golf cart-related injuries to determine fault and recover damages.

Posted by admin at 8:49 pm

Does a “Swim at Your Own Risk” Sign Actually Do Anything?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

When it’s summertime in Texas, we tend to gravitate toward pools. On particularly hot days, kids swarm to public options, and they may even be tempted to swim in the neighbors’ pools – whether or not they’re at home. If a child is injured in a public or private pool, you may be wondering about potential liability or legal actions that you may take against the city or owner.

Responsibility & LIability

Before you get that far, you may be wondering: Is a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign enough to eliminate all responsibility for accidents that occur on the property? The answer is no. Texas laws in this area are multifaceted, and there is plenty to consider before taking your case to an attorney. Here are a few factors that may affect your claim:

  • Our premises liability laws. In general, a public pool or one owned by a hotel or similar business (e.g., a gym) can be held accountable for any injuries that occur; a posted warning sign may not matter. There are, of course, some exceptions. For example, the injured party can’t be a trespasser, and he or she must have used the pool as intended – for example, drinking and swimming after hours will likely result in partial blame being placed on the injured party. Regardless, the owner must make conditions as safe as possible and reasonably enforce any rules posted for the pool.
  • Assumed risk. A qualified Texas attorney will thoroughly explain this factor to you before agreeing to take your case. The presence of a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign does amplify this issue, as does the presence of a lifeguard. For instance, when a pool is clearly marked as “No Lifeguard on Duty,” swimmers assume a certain degree of risk when they jump into the pool. Though “Swim at Your Own Risk” is less specific, the same principle applies.
    However, the age and cognitive abilities of the injured party may affect this. For example, a child with a mental disability wouldn’t be expected to understand the risk these signs indicate. When this is the case, the claim will likely be settled by continuing to examine factors that may have contributed to the accident – such as neglect.
  • Negligence. This is another element that will likely affect the outcome of your claim. The pool’s owner is expected to keep the area safe and well maintained. This includes keeping all equipment in working order and ensuring the area is reasonably clear of obstacles. If a faulty or uncovered drain contributes to an accident, for example, it isn’t a known risk that the plaintiff assumed, regardless of any signage.
    The workers employed at the pool may also fall under scrutiny; if a lifeguard is on duty and he or she causes or fails to prevent damages, the enterprise may be liable for subsequent expenses. These individuals are to be fully licensed and qualified and it’s an area your attorney should explore.

Work Out the Specifics of Your Case with an Experienced Texas Attorney

Even though we’ve outlined some details here, real-life cases are far more nuanced and can only be explained through a consultation with an attorney. Product liability may be involved, which opens the claim up to an entirely new area of legal practice. You also need a lawyer committed to uncovering the minutiae of your case – from whether warning signs were posted clearly to confirming the owner’s security measures and demonstrating his or her ability to keep the pool safe.

Contact

For a personal, devoted look at your claim, get in touch with the Texas specialists at the Law Firm of Aaron Herbert.

Posted by admin at 9:56 pm

Who is Liable When a Child is Injured in Daycare or with a Babysitter?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In the event that your child suffers an injury under the care of a babysitter or daycare center, the first thing you’ll want to do is confirm that your child is okay. But that concern will quickly turn to anger if you think the childcare provider has been negligent.

We all want the best for our children and should feel confident that they will be taken care of when we leave them in the hands of caretakers whose job it is to watch out for them. Unfortunately, negligent conduct is not unheard of and the consequences can be dire.

Are Daycare Waivers Valid in the Event of an Injury?

Nearly all daycare providers require parents to sign waivers of liability before enrolling a child into care. These releases grant provisions for emergencies when the care provider must get medical attention for an injured child when the daycare center can’t contact the parents fast enough.

Other sections of the release typically include indemnity clauses stating that the parents forfeit their right to sue in the event that a child is hurt while in their care. However, this does not mean parents have signed away their right to compensation if their child is injured.

What to Do if Your Child is Injured at Daycare

The courts have said that it’s against public policy to grant immunity to daycare centers before a child is hurt, as this could allow daycare centers to act negligently without consequence. Especially since the victims in question are innocent and defenseless children, the courts cannot condone a waiver that lifts responsibility from the daycare center.

Therefore, although parents sign a clause not to press charges in the event of injury, in a court of law, this clause is completely useless. Daycare centers continue to include it in their waivers to discourage parents from filing claims, but informed parents know that this is just a bluff, and if their child is injured, they have a right to file a lawsuit for compensation.

Understanding the Rules of Child Abuse and Neglect

If your child is hurt while under the supervision of a daycare center, babysitter, or another person who was responsible for their care, you may have a case of negligent supervision. In these cases, any person who has accepted responsibility for your child but acts carelessly or inattentively can be sued for negligence.

To prove a case of negligent supervision, you must have evidence that the person or organization accepted responsibility for looking after your child. Then, you must prove that the caregiver did not properly monitor your child. You will have to prove that your child’s injury was foreseeable and preventable, and that the supervisor’s failure to monitor your child properly was the cause of the injury.

There are extreme cases of child abuse while in the care of a responsible party, including hitting and kicking children. These cases are terrifying and devastating to children and parents, and justice should be pursued actively in a court of law to hold them fully liable for damages.

Seek Help in Your Time of Need

At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert in Dallas, we honestly hope we never have to see you in our offices for a case of child abuse or neglect from a daycare center or babysitter. No parent should ever have to go through the reality of a child being hurt due to negligence. In the awful event that this happens, you need to act swiftly against the responsible party.

Contact a Child Injury Attorney

Contact us today for experienced, aggressive, and dedicated representation that will fight for your rights, your child’s rights, and for full compensation from the defendant. Please reach out to our skilled daycare abuse and neglect attorneys if you see any signs that it may be happening to your child.

Posted by admin at 10:57 pm

What Can I Do if Someone Crashes a Drone into My House Or into Me?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Technology and law have always made a strange pair. This is certainly true for unmanned drones, which have legislators and lawyers perplexed about everything from insurance claims to personal injury disputes. These devices are incredibly innovative and valuable, poised to improve disaster response, construction, real estate, and dozens of other industries. Regulations are slowly catching up, but the technology is not slowing down; the market for unmanned aircraft is expected to explode over the next decade.

Current Laws Governing Drone Use

Drones have sparked plenty of debate about personal injury law, property damage, privacy concerns, and many other legal areas. In fact, these gadgets have been a major concern for the FAA since their inception. The organization is predicting over 30,000 of these devices will be in use within five years, and specialists are setting aside billions of dollars to ensure their safe operation in tightly regulated commercial air space. Pending laws will govern:

  • Increased drone use
  • National and global operations
  • Airspace control
  • Safety and environmental concerns

The FAA and federal government must also take steps to regulate:

  • How individuals can protect their land from drones
  • Stalking and harassment issues
  • Piracy infringements

These problems may seem straightforward, but putting laws into place on this scale requires extensive state, federal (including multiple departments), and international cooperation. Some laws have already been drafted, including the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act. This bill set up restrictions on private drone use, specifically outlining privacy standards and data collection regulations, how individuals can protect their rights, and the actions law enforcers can take to control drones.

Personal Injury and Property Damage Caused by Drones

Personal injury and property damage are two of the most pressing concerns lawmakers currently face. Insurers and legislators must consider where these aircraft operate (such as whether or not they fly over populated areas), their altitude, and their purpose. If a drone crashes into an individual, it would be covered under liability insurance, which also addresses privacy issues and property damage. Again, coverage varies based on several factors. For those working with or around drones, for example, workers’ compensation will need to be extended to cover drones’ use.

Pursing compensation would thus be similar to other liability claims; the company’s insurance would contact a plaintiff with a settlement price (if any). An individual can choose to accept that amount, which may cover the extent of his or her damages. If this is suitable, the matter can be settled out of court. However, for issues involving extensive damage, ongoing medical bills, or matters like wrongful death, working with an attorney may be the only way to receive the full amount a person is owed following damage caused by a wayward drone.

These laws will continue to evolve and so will the insurance policies written for drones. For example, if wrongful death claims increase as the industry grows, insurers will have to change the rates they charge for liability and other coverage options.

Reach Out to an Experienced Texas Attorney for More Information

The only way to protect your rights in such a dynamic time is to contact an attorney who has followed these laws and will continue to do so as they develop. Though this is a new area, many of the requirements for personal injury suits and property damage settlements are familiar to experienced legal teams.

The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. has extensive experience recovering the damages our clients are owed following a personal injury. We stay up-to-date on all relevant laws to safeguard their best interests; this includes personal injury and property damage caused by a crashing drone. Reach out for more information about these developing regulations, and schedule a consultation if your privacy or property has been threatened by one of these devices.

Posted by admin at 10:57 pm

I Was Injured by an Exploding e-Cigarette, What Do I Do Now?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

When a product or service is used as advertised, the last thing a person expects is a devastating injury. Unfortunately, this does happen, and it’s why product liability laws exist. Product and parts manufacturers and the people who sell a good or service must meet high standards, keeping them accountable to suitably warn customers of potential dangers, advise them on how to safely use a product, and provide the safest services possible. When these standards are breached, any of these parties may be sued through a personal injury claim.

Three e-Cigarettes Explode in California

In California, three recent e-cigarette explosions severely injured vapers. One of the more recent cases, affecting plaintiff Vincente Garza, caused extensive bodily damage, including significant burns. Surgeons amputated Garza’s left index finger and performed multiple surgeries. Another victim, Daniel Califf, had a hole blown through his cheek while using an electronic cigarette. His room also caught fire when the device exploded.

Following these events, personal injury suits were filed against the e-cigarette designer and the product manufacturer. The stores where Garza bought the battery, device, and charger are also being prosecuted. There is plenty of precedence regarding lawsuits like these. For example, in September of 2015, a jury awarded $1.9 million for damages when an e-cigarette exploded in a woman’s car. Incidents like these have necessitated skin grafts, extensive property damage, and other life-long consequences.

Failing to Create a Safe Product and Warn of Defects

Consumers expect devices to work properly, and they must be adequately manufactured, designed, and tested. The industry is closely regulated to ensure a product is safe before it enters the marketplace. In the case of exploding e-cigarettes, plaintiffs are claiming that the electronic devices and their components (including batteries and chargers) are unsafe. These products also purportedly lack an inadequate warning explaining the dangers of lithium batteries and the importance of proper voltage when charging.

Lithium batteries use flammable liquid electrolytes, which can explode if overheated. This particular product liability largely hinges on the absence of a warning explaining the issue. Furthermore, retailers are responsible for recommending and selling chargers designed for the product a customer uses.

Pursuing a Product Liability Lawsuit in Texas

There are clear problems with safety regulations in this budding industry. There are fewer safeguards to protect consumers, and as this technology develops, its dangers must be continually investigated. As claims are filed against negligent parties, manufacturers must diligently work to provide the safest products possible.

Though e-cigs are a newer innovation, there are hundreds of laws in place to protect consumers from these types of accidents. When products like these cause unpredicted damage, you may pursue a claim to cover costs associated with property damage, medical bills, or a wrongful death. Like any customers, vapers are responsible for using their devices safely. There are, however, some serious risks related to these products and their batteries and chargers. When these items don’t perform as advised, anyone along the production line, as well as the retailers selling them, may be held liable.

If you have been injured by an electronic cigarette, seek medical help as soon as possible. You will need to carefully document the incident, including how you used the product when it malfunctioned, the extent of damage caused, and the medical treatment you will need to fully recover. Obviously, this a lot to account for, which is why working with an experienced personal injury attorney is so important.

Contact

Product liability cases are complex, as there are potentially dozens of parties to investigate, but that’s no reason to suffer without due compensation. Reach out to the legal team at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for more information. We will explore every possible avenue for compensation and hold all parties who may have contributed to the accident accountable.

Posted by admin at 10:40 pm