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emergency-car Throughout out time driving, emergency vehicles will pass us so they can tend to an accident or a vehicle with car problems. Unfortunately, many people forget what the proper thing to do is when an emergency car passes us as we are driving. In Texas, the law says that when this situation arises the driver is supposed to pull-over to the right-hand side of the road and stop. This law is easy to follow if the emergency vehicle is traveling the same direction as the driver. However, drivers become confused on what the proper course of action is when the emergency vehicle travels in the opposite direction. To clear up the confusion, regardless of which way the emergency vehicle is traveling, the driver should still pull-over to the right-hand side of the road and stop. The Transportation Code specifically addresses this in a statute described below.

§545.156 – VEHICLE APPROACHED BY AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE

(a) On the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle using audible and visual signals…, or of a police vehicle lawfully using only an audible signal, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:

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consultation-pic When an individual is in an accident, the person may feel conflicted about how to proceed with a personal injury case if they believe they were not at fault. Depending on the severity of the accident, it is recommended to seek legal counsel. The thought of filing a lawsuit can be stressful or intimidating for a person, but it is essential to consult with an attorney to learn the value of your case. One may wonder what is discussed in a consultation and how the attorney determines the case’s value.

As I will discuss what is covered during a consultation, please note that not all law firms follow the same procedure when prospective clients come to their office for a consultation.

Generally, when a person calls a law office the individual may speak with a paralegal or a legal assistant first so that they can screen the call. The paralegal will ask the client some basic personal background information. They may ask questions such as, where do you work? What do you do? Where do you live? How long have you lived here? Where did the accident happen? These may seem like pointless questions to one, but to the attorney the answers to these questions helps them evaluate your case. Regarding the occupation questions, the attorney is analyzing, if necessary, whether the person was driving a company car or if the person was driving while they were working. It will help the attorney determine who the parties may be in this lawsuit. As for the residency questions, those answers will help the attorney decide where the case can be filed. There will be more personal background information questions to answer, but the questions above are most common.

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fog-picture As the winter season is approaching, more accidents occur because the weather creates conditions that are unsafe for drivers to travel from one destination to another. During the months of October through February we experience more fog than usual because of the amount of water vapor in the air. Depending on the thickness of the fog, it causes severe accidents because drivers are not able to see vehicles ahead of them. For example, in late December a multi-vehicle pileup occurred in Lubbock, Texas.

According to CNN, on the day of the accident Lubbock was under a dense fog advisory warning causing a mile or less of visibility. The accident started as a two-car crash on Highway 84. As police were investigating the car crash, an 18-wheeler jackknifed and slid into the car crash scene to avoid colliding with a red SUV that changed lanes in front of the 18-wheeler. As the 18-wheeler lost control of the truck, the truck swerved off of the road, rolled on its side, and struck several vehicles as the truck was coming to a stop. Multiple officers and individuals were on the side of the highway when the 18-wheeler was coming to a stop, but luckily, the truck only hit two individuals. The individuals were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Furthermore, CNN reported that in total, there were a total of five crashes that involved four semi-trucks and four smaller vehicles.

As stated above, fog can cause more accidents because of the lack of visibility. The Texas Department of Transportation reported a statistic in 2016 that revealed 2,430 reported accidents due to fog. Among those accidents, there were 45 fatalities. Although fog is a hazard that is out of our control, there are some skills one can keep in mind as they maneuver their vehicle through these special weather conditions.

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negligent-entrustment-pic What is negligent entrustment of a vehicle?

Negligent entrustment of a vehicle occurs when an owner of the car allows another individual to use it and the individual causes harm to a 3rd party. This type of arrangement happens quite often especially among family members, friends and companies. For example, a company may let some of their employees use a company car to drive for a period of time. This example is considered negligent entrustment because the employer is the party that is entrusting their employee with the car. For the harmed party to pursue this type of action, the plaintiff will have to prove several elements, such as:

1. The owner of a vehicle entrusted it to another person

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dog-bite-picture Most families enjoy the companionship of a dog. People enjoy the happiness and joy they bring to the family or to the individual. However, not all dogs are nice and playful to everyone who comes their way. Some dogs lash out and act aggressive towards children or other individuals in their area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded around 885,000 Americans are bitten by a pet each year with injuries that require medical attention.

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/.

Dog owners are not all mindful of their duty to maintain their dog(s) in a contained area or on a proper durable leash that won’t let the dog astray. When dog owners neglect their duty, it may lead to a dog bite, which in turn could cause injuries for the plaintiff.

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sideswipe-picture What is a sideswipe car accident?

A sideswipe car accident is when two vehicles going in the same direction collide into each other. The severity of these accidents can depend on the surroundings of the area, how fast the cars were traveling, and the impact of the collision. These accidents can start out as a minor collision, but sometimes they can be fatal. In 2016, the Insurance Information Institute concluded sideswipe accidents consisted of 2.7% of fatal crashes that year. For example, a car that quickly swerved into the next lane sideswiping another vehicle. The force of the impact is so strong that the vehicle collides with other cars or a barrier that causes significant injuries for the driver.

Some of the injuries can include:

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fall-driving-picture One of the most enjoyable seasons is upon us. The fall season is the start of the busiest, festive time of the year. Along with the fun holiday times, the weather begins to change from hot, sunny days to cold, rainy days; thus, the weather has a great impact on driving conditions. As the seasons change, many drivers fail to take precautions to maneuver throughout the roads. Statistics show that there is a 15% increase in automobile accidents due to the weather change. It is important for drivers to take extra precautions to avoid an accident especially if it causes stress for an individual during the holiday time.

What dangers develop as the season changes?

Rain. The fall introduces more rain in the forecast, which means wet roads have an impact on tires and if the tires are not able to handle the slippery roads it increases one’s chance to cause an accident. If the weather permits heavy rainfall for a day or more, it can create one to hydroplane. Hydroplaning can happen if one is driving as low as 30 mph on the road. When a situation like this occurs, it can be hard to brake of steer the car.

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T-bone-pictureThe National Transportation Highway Safety Administration has done research consisting of side impact collisions also most commonly known as T-bone collisions. They concluded about 13% of collisions in the United States involve a T-bone collision. Out of the 13%, 8,000 people are killed annually. These types of collisions are deadly because of the impact it has on the passengers. Since children sit in the back seat of a car, T-bone crashes are the deadliest for them.

What are T-bone accidents and why are they so dangerous?

T-bone accidents involve a car being hit on one side of the car by the front end of another vehicle. T-bone accidents are so deadly because depending on the force of the impact, it could lead the vehicle to collide with other vehicles or surrounding objects. If further collisions occur, it increases the likelihood of the passengers suffering sever injuries. For example, the Dallas Morning News reported a collision that happened late this July. The crash happened a half hour past midnight on Interstate 35. The deceased person’s vehicle struck a wall and was disabled. Another vehicle going northbound on the highway t-boned her car, which ejected the lady into a lane of traffic. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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wrong-way-car-accident-pic In early August, the CBS news channel reported a car accident caused by a wrong way driver. The accident happened in the middle of the night near the Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth, Texas. The police reported showed the driver was driving east on a westbound lane when he struck a van head-on. This collision led a semi-truck to hit the negligent driver’s vehicle. At the time of the accident, the police believed the negligent driver was intoxicated. Furthermore, it was reported by new reporters that individuals in the van suffered severe injuries; thankfully, none of the injuries were life-threatening.

As you can image, wrong-way vehicle accidents can be one of the most dangerous auto accidents people can encounter. On average, wrong-way accidents cause 300-400 car accidents a year. In Texas, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are the three leading cities to have the most wrong-way accidents. Some reasons for these accidents include the following:

1. The lack of safety measures taken by the city

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Pedestrian-accident-blogPedestrian/auto accidents are frequent among auto accident cases. Some of the most common areas for these accidents are in residential neighborhoods, parking lots, and crosswalks. These are also one of the most dangerous accidents to occur because the pedestrian will feel the full impact of force considering they are not in a vehicle to protect them from some of the impact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in 2016, 5,987 people were killed in traffic pedestrian/auto accidents. This averages out to every 1.5 hours a crash-related pedestrian/auto accident will occur. Unfortunately, both Dallas and Fort Worth has many of these accidents due to high traffic flow in heavily travelled areas. In downtown Fort Worth earlier this summer, a trolley bus hit two pedestrians. The trolley turned left at a green light when the vehicle hit two pedestrians while crossing at an intersection’s crosswalk late in the evening. There was another incident in Dallas two days after Christmas, December 2017, when a DART bus turning at an intersection struck, ran over, and killed a pedestrian.

Why do these accidents occur so often?

There are multiple factors that come into play when trying to understand why pedestrian/auto accidents occur and what can we do to prevent them from happening. Here are some reasons why these accidents occur: