Texting

There are over 1.6 million crashes caused by distracted drivers using their cell phones in the United States every year. “Texting and Driving” is one of the most dangerous forms of Distracted Driving. When a driver is paying attention to their phone’s text messages, emails, apps, maps, music, and more, he is sacrificing his ability to focus on the road.   

The average time it takes to check a text is 5 seconds, and while traveling at highway speeds of 55mph, that means a driver has traveled an entire football field’s distance with his eyes off the road. If this isn’t illuminating enough of the danger, just ask the experts. Former Dallas Cowboys player Michael Irvin recently joined attorney Ryan Thompson to discuss the dangers of distracted drivingThree seconds of distraction at that same 55mph speed is all the time it takes for a crash to happen, so just one text can cause a devastating crash. 

Drivers in Denial 

Of drivers polled in 2016, over 80% thought that texting and driving was a worsening problem over the prior 3 years. These majority opinion holders were absolutely right, as demonstrated by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported statistics. In the ten years from 2007 to 2017 in Texas, the number of crashes and their related fatalities and injuries consistently increased in nearly every single category, culminating in the highest cell-phone use fatality rate yet seen in the state.

September 2017 saw the introduction of legislation that changed this trend, prohibiting texting while driving state-wide, and making the practice a primary offense. This primary status allows police officers to stop and ticket drivers specifically for texting while driving. Unsurprisingly, the 2018 reported numbers dropped noticeably – with about half as many accidents and 15% fewer fatalities related to distracted driving. Despite curbing these numbers, there was still an average of over 11 cell-phone-use-related accidents per day in Texas in 2018.  

While many of us are guilty of using cell phones while we drive, we are even more apt to criticize others participating in this dangerous behavior31% of drivers report no difference in their own driving when they text. These individuals are sadly mistaken because the data proves that there are vast changes in the statistical probability of accident, injury, and fatality when a driver is using a cellphone while at the wheel. 86% of respondents in the same survey said they would feel unsafe as a passenger if their driver was sending texts or emails while driving.  

Texting and Driving Resources 

April may be Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but we all need to be diligent year-round to combat the dangers created by those texting and driving. Don’t pick up your phone while you are on the road and remain alert to drivers around you who are taking this risk. It can literally mean the difference between life and death.  

If you or a loved one has suffered a texting and drivingrelated crash, know that you have a caring and skilled team at Thompson Law ready and willing to take your case. Ryan “the Lion” Thompson and his legal team have vast experience representing people harmed in these devastating accidents, and they are driven to deliver justice to the victims of these terrible crashes. 

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Texting and Driving Crashes and Fatalities 

  • One of the worst texting and driving accidents in US history occurred in Texas. A man distracted by his incoming and outgoing messages while driving his pickup truck crossed the center line, striking a small bus and killing 13 of the passengers on board.  
  • The most dangerous Texas counties for texting and driving are Bexar, Wichita, Ellis, Galveston, and Hays counties. One of these counties is in our own backyard right here in DFW, but with the vast network of highways and the amount of intrastate trucking that Texas has, none of these danger zones feel far away. 
  • Of the 401 cell phonerelated fatal crashes that occurred in 2017: 
    • 37% were caused by drivers 20-29 years old 
    • 21% were caused by drivers 30-39 years old
    • 16% were caused by drivers 15-19 years old. 
  • In 2017, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers599 of them were non-occupants, meaning bystanders like pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter riders and more.  
  • Teen drivers tend to attract a lot of the focus in studies and public discourse about texting and driving, but the trend is rampant in most age groups, especially up to about age 44. In some cases, the older adult generations are actually behaving far worse than the teens. 77% of adults think that they can easily manage to text while drivingwhile only 55% of teens answered this way. All this really means is that 77% of adults and 55% of teens are wrong – but the disparity is also significant in dispelling the wider cultural narrative that phone use while driving is strictly a young person’s issue.  
  • Texting and driving statistics are frequently compared with drinking and driving accidents. The increase in textingrelated crashes and the decline in alcoholrelated crashes are leading some to draw the conclusion that texting is more dangerous than drinking and driving. While you are 23 times more likely to crash your car while texting than not, and this statistic is 6 times greater than the likelihood of crashing after drinking, the relationship between these stats does not imply that drinking and driving is safer than texting and driving. Drunk driving is still responsible for far more fatal crashes each year than texting and driving. It is disingenuous to rank either of these behaviors as relatively safer than the other. Distracted Driving and Drunk Driving both severely increase the risk of tragedy on our roads.  

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Texting and Driving Accident Fines, Penalties, and Consequences 

  • Ticketing – Texting and driving is illegal in 48 states, as well as Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. Individual states and territories have their own degrees of severity in cellphone restrictions and related punitive consequences. Ticketing practices in each state are subject to whether the laws designate cellphone use as subject to primary or secondary enforcement.  
    • In Texas, ticketing can be between $25 and $99, and repeat offenders may receive a fine up to $200. 
    • The highest fines in the US are in Alaska, where texting behind the wheel can garner a $10,000 fine.  
    • The lowest fines are in California, where the offense will only be ticketed at $20.  
  • Jail Time – Texting while driving can have even more serious penalties than fines. In Texas, the act is a misdemeanor. If the texting and driving event led to bodily injury to another driver, the negligent party may face jail time.  
  • Insurance Consequences – On top of citation fees, a texting and driving violation or accident can have serious impact on your car insurance premium. As insurance companies have become more knowledgeable of the risks posed by texting and driving in recent years, they have tied rate raises to these offenses accordingly. This article illustrates the increase you can expect to see in your premiums after a texting and driving incident.  

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Safety Tips 

  1. Be a good example and make a commitment to yourself and to your loved ones. Drive safely and refuse to use your phone on the road. You never know who you may be influencing – or protecting 
  2. Talk to new drivers about the dangers of texting and driving and the serious consequences. Statistically speaking, younger drivers do run higher risks of car crash and injury stemming from cellphone use. Communicating your concern and knowledge on the subject can go a long way in showing new drivers the value of making safe decisions on the road.  
  3. If you know you have a bad habit of using your cell while driving, take some steps to adjust your routine.  
    1. Make a rule that you have to queue up your music and maps and send any texts to the friends you are meeting before you start the ignition.  
    2. Try setting an alarm to head out the door five minutes earlier than you normally would. The extra few minutes can be a treat to yourself to pick a good podcast or send an extra message before you hit the road.  
    3. If you know your friends or family are driving, don’t text them. Your behavior may influence them to do the same in return for you. 
    4. Utilize the do not disturb settings on your phone. Many smartphones have features that can sense when you are driving and automatically ignore notifications for you. 

     4. There are many campaigns aimed at reducing and eliminating texting while driving. Follow along and participate with these hashtags: #JustDrive #EndTheStreakTX #ItCanWait #TalkTextCrash 

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Need an Expert Texting and Driving Accident Attorney? 

There are many reasons that people give for texting and driving, the most common being: the message is important, it’s a work-related message, or itonly a short reply that is neededHowever, no matter how crucial the message feels, a text is never more important than protecting human lives and staying safe on the road. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one because another driver made a critical error in judgment and texted while driving, you deserve help and you deserve justice for your suffering.  

Reach out to Thompson Law anytime 24/7/365. Our legal experts are standing by to take your call. After a frightening and tragic distracted driving wreck, the last thing you need is to fight the insurance companies at-fault parties alone. Contact Lion Law right away for help and guidance with your texting and driving accident case. The 4’s can help – just dial 214-444-4444.

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Trailer detachment accidents feature image

What could be more frightening than driving down the highway and seeing an 18-wheeler’s trailer detach right in front of you? Unfortunately, trailer detachment accidents are often catastrophic or even fatal. Trailers can detach from all types of vehicles, including trucks, big rigs, flatbeds, pickup trucks, etc. Thompson Law Injury Lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights if you have been involved in any form of a trucking accident.

Texas trailer detachment accident examples

These following incidents demonstrate the severity of the trailer detachment accident problem in Texas.

  • December 2012 – a Texas man was killed on I-10 after an empty trailer rammed into his car after disconnecting from its truck
  • May 2019 – this involved two semis: one that blew a tire and another one whose driver tried to evade. The trailer to the second semi got detached and fell on the cab leading to the death of the passenger
  • June 2019 – two people were killed in a crash that happened on West US Highway 70 after a trailer detached from a 2004 Dodge Ram and crashed in oncoming traffic

What causes trailer detachment?

Some of the reasons why a trailer may get detached from the truck include:

  • Speeding – a truck driver needs to consider the weight and type of their cargo as well as the condition of the road in order to adjust the speed accordingly. Driving too fast while towing extremely heavy cargo on a rough road may cause the trailer to detach.
  • Sudden turns – sudden turns can cause the trailer to jackknife, thus separating from the cab.
  • Trailer overload – Texas laws allow a trailer to weigh a maximum of 80,000 pounds. However, some trucking companies have a tendency to overload in order to maximize on profits made for each delivery. Truck overload increases the chances of trailer detachment.
  • Poor truck maintenance – trucking companies and drivers are obligated to ensure that their vehicles are regularly serviced and inspected.
  • Steep declines – if the weight of the trailer exceeds that of the cab towing it in a steep decline, the driver may find it impossible to apply brakes, leading to a trailer separation.

Who is liable in a trailer detachment accident?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, a number of people may be held liable for a trailer detachment accident. These include:

The truck driver

Driver negligence is one of the leading causes of most trucking accidents in Texas. In a trailer detachment accident, the driver can be deemed negligent if he fails to secure the trailer appropriately, defensive driving, failing to follow the laid out safety protocols, or if he over speeds.

The trucking company

The trucking company has a duty to ensure that the truck is inspected and maintained regularly. It also has a responsibility to ensure that the truck is not overloaded. If the trucking company knowingly allows an innocent driver to drive a defective, unmaintained truck, or an overloaded truck, they may be held liable for the accident.

The hitch manufacturer

Hitch failure in the absence of such factors as rust as a result of improper care or poor maintenance, the manufacturer may be held liable for the accident. In that case, the manufacturer may not only be forced to compensate each victim as well as the surviving family members.

The state or the city

If the accident is deemed to have been as a result of boulders, trees, and other debris, or if the road is in a state of disrepair, the state or city agency responsible for road maintenance may be held liable.

Common injuries in trailer detachment accidents

Most trailer detachment accidents result in severe injuries if not death. Some of the most common results in such an accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Facial fractures, scarring, and lacerations
  • Death

Trailer detachment victims may be eligible for compensation for damages including current and future medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, the inability to earn in the future, pain, and suffering, and in some cases, punitive damages. In the event of death, Texas law allows the surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Why you should contact Thompson Law

Trailer detachment accidents are among the deadliest on Texas roads. If you or someone has been injured or even died as a result of such, the personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law have the necessary experience, knowledge, and dedication to fight for the recovery you deserve. Our robust team of investigators will determine the circumstances in which the accident occurred, and our litigation team will pursue the best outcome for you and your loved ones. We perform free case evaluations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you won’t pay a thing unless we win your case. Contact us today at 844-308-8180.

ATV accident lawyer

More than twenty years ago, the U.S Government safety agency declared ROVs (recreational off-highway vehicles) and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) as “imminent hazards”. While the heightened awareness of the inherent risks has helped users to exercise caution, riding ATVs continues to be a deadly and dangerous activity when certain safety precautions are not followed. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 650 ATV-related deaths and 100,000 injuries occur every year. In Texas alone, from 1982-2017 there were a reported 805 ATV/ROV-related deaths and 15,250 in all U.S. States combined. The majority of ROV/ATV accidents are considered preventable.

ROV & ATV Accidents

Rollovers are the most common cause of an ATV/ROV-related injury. Rollovers are responsible for 64% of single-vehicle crash deaths. A rollover can consist of a frontal, side, or rear rollover. Each type of rollover is equally dangerous and can result in the driver being ejected from the vehicle or being crushed by the vehicle itself. Rollovers are more common on paved surfaces, as they are designed to be driven on off-road terrain. At least 900 deaths within a 4-year period were related to ATVs being ridden on a parking lot or paved road.

Tire blowouts are also a common cause for ATV injuries. Any issues amongst the tires create dangerous circumstances. Blowouts result in loss of control and vehicle rollovers. Having control is essential when driving these off-road vehicles. Common causes of tire blowouts include:

  • Defective Design
  • Improperly mounted tire
  • Improperly mounted rim
  • Incorrect tire pressure

Other common causes of ATV/ROV accidents include:

  • Poor driver training
  • Negligent entrustment (by owner)
  • Brake failure
  • Inadequate instructions/warning labels from the manufacturer
  • Poorly maintained trails

ATV Accidents and Injuries on the Rise

ATV rider deaths on public roads have increased more than 10 times more than they were since 1982. The statistics do not include off-road accidents, which is where the majority of ATV/ROV accidents occur.

In 2017, there were an estimated 93,800 ATV-related emergency department treated injuries in the U.S. Many of these injuries were catastrophic and resulted in death. Other injuries included:

  1. Spinal Cord Injuries
  2. Burn Injuries
  3. Traumatic Brain Injuries
  4. Crush Injuries
  5. Orthopedic Trauma
  6. Wrongful Death
  7. Amputation

ATV Children Injuries

CPSC reported that children under the age of 16 accounted for 3,315 ATV-related fatalities (22%). Overall, children suffered around 1/3 of the recorded ATV injuries.

Polaris Ranger & ROV Recalls

Since the CPSC labeled ROVs and ATVs “hazards”, manufacturers have been questioned regarding the numerous safety risks that these vehicles pose. The CPSC has recalled several ROVs and ATVs, including the Polaris Ranger and Polaris RZR models, which have been reported in accidents involving rollovers in which the roll bars and safety mesh fail to protect riders and result in catastrophic injuries or death. These models were recalled due to the following risks:

  • Defective Throttles
  • Rollbar defects
  • Fire Hazards such as defective fuel tanks
  • Suspension defects
  • Safety mesh defects
  • Battery defects
  • Violation of Safety Standards
  • Brake failure
  • Transmission defects

ATVs have recently been recalled by Polaris due to crash and injury hazards, as reported by FOX. Police reported that they received 11 reports of brake failures, resulting in at least one crash and one rollover accident.

Polaris RZR and Ranger ATV models have been noted by consumer safety experts as particularly dangerous, as consumers risk serious injury if the ATV safety features fail. However, Polaris is not the only ATV company that has recently issued a recall of its vehicles. Several other big manufacturers are also under fire for injuries sustained by its passengers. Other ATV manufacturers with recalled units include:

  • Honda
  • Kawasaki
  • Yamaha
  • Bombardier
  • Arctic Cat

Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney After a ROV/ATV-Related Injury

A personal injury attorney with expertise in the area of ROV/ATV-related accidents will be able to help you determine if you are in a position to recover damages from injuries related to the accident. Thompson Law has a robust team of investigators who will be able to research the specific circumstances surrounding your accident in light of our firms’ knowledge of what constitutes a defective or inherently unsafe feature of the vehicle that caused your injury. Our legal team has the resources to fight large manufacturers to the full extent of the law in order to help you recover what is owed to you if the manufacturer of a vehicle is responsible for your injuries.

CALL RYAN “THE LION” THOMPSON 844-308-8180

Ryan Thompson is an experienced Texas catastrophic injury lawyer and product liability attorney with years of experience litigating serious ROV and ATV accidents. Mr. Thompson has represented clients nationwide in a variety of product liability, injury and wrongful death claims.

Copy of ATV Accidents 2

What to know: GEICO Insurance Claims

GEICO believes that 15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more on car insurance. But before you let the funny commercials and signature Gecco disarm you, understand that dealing with this particular insurance agency is not always a joyride.

GEICO in unquestionably one of the biggest names in auto insurance in the United States. They possess great resources and expertise that gives them up an automatic advantage in negotiating claims with their clients. However, with the right help, you can show them that you’ve done your homework and won’t be easy to take advantage of. We believe that by working with an attorney to handle your GEICO insurance claims, you’ll be able to substantially increase the value of your payout.

GEICO’s business model saves you money on premiums by settling claims far below fair value. Usually, their team of adjusters is given a ceiling on how much they can offer on your claim. They are trained and instructed to offer you a value LESS than this ceiling. If you negotiate, you will only be able to push them up to the ceiling value, as they have no authority to give you more. Depending on the value of your claim, this could result in a substantial underpayment.

In some cases, the difference between the adjuster’s initial offer and their authorized ceiling price can be measured in the tens of thousands! Especially in these scenarios, going at it alone can be financially imprudent. If you are unfamiliar with historical precedents and laws governing the situation, you may be leaving massive sums of money on the table. This is money you are entitled to. A trained and experienced attorney can help you bring it home.

When you introduce an attorney, GEICO starts to pay attention. The first thing they’ll do is reassign your case to a new adjuster. Even though all adjusters are trained and mandated to undervalue initial offers, this new adjuster will claim that it was basically a misunderstanding or mistake. They will proffer a new, improved offer.

The new offer will almost always sit below the potential settlement amount. But whether a case is settled or goes to trial is not always black and white. It often depends on what legal issues are relevant to the case.

If the disputed details in the case are around liability, or who is at fault, GEICO is known for taking claimants to trial and arguing for their case. However, if the disputed facts are around the cash value of damages, GEICO is far more likely to settle out of court, making the process is easier and less costly for all involved.

In instances of no property damage but bodily injury, GEICO is likely to avoid paying fair value, making a trial one of the only options for getting the payout you deserve.

Why Hire an Attorney for handling GEICO Insurance Claims

Why do you need a lawyer to handle your injury claim against GEICO? GEICO will try to use many tactics to reduce and delay the compensation owed to you after a wreck with a GEICO-insured defendant. You need an experienced lawyer who knows all the secrets of accident claims against GEICO. As we’ve explained above, GEICO can be stingy with their payouts to claimants.

This is how the household name insurance company affords its iconic marketing campaigns, low premiums, accident forgiveness perks, and, yes, stellar profits. Most policy holders simply roll over and accept sub-par payouts just to avoid the paperwork, legal stress, and time fighting for their rights. However, if you’re serious about getting the payout you deserve, there is no better way than hiring an attorney for your GEICO insurance claims. 

An attorney understands the legal system, historical precedents in past cases, and the strategies that the insurance companies rely on. It can be challenging fighting a giant corporation like GEICO alone. Their fleet of professional adjusters and attorneys are paid and trained to give you the least amount of money possible.

The best way to fight back is to lawyer up. You don’t need to go to trial to use an attorney. An attorney specializing in auto accident insurance can consult on every step of the process, from dealing with the adjuster and negotiating initial offers to negotiating a settlement out of court. Ultimately, an attorney will help you map out the best strategy for maximizing value. If your claim is high value, it will be especially profitable to settle or go to trial. In these situations, a lawyer is critical for helping you navigate the complexities of the court system.

GEICO may rely on underpaying policyholders for their high-profit margins, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them get away it. By hiring an attorney and fighting GEICO, you can receive the fair value payout you deserve.

Thompson Law’s Guarantee

Thompson Law offers free case reviews to every potential client so we can help you determine the best legal approach to pursue. We receive no attorney fees and you pay no legal expenses unless you get compensated for your accident.

Thompson Law’s personal injury lawyers and their legal teams treat every client with respect, empathy, and compassion. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as every case is unique and different. Our firm won 10 of the top 50 settlements in Texas in 2020, including the 2nd and 3rd largest personal injury settlements in the State. We can help you, too.

State law limits the time to file a claim following a personal injury accident. If you have been injured, call now for the help you need.