Car Accident Medical Bills

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates motor vehicle crashes in Texas led to car accident medical bills of about $43 million in 2018. While getting medical assistance should be your top priority after a car crash, paying for the injuries can turn out to be a tricky issue. Some accident victims might not even know that health insurance can cover the injuries sustained after a car crash.

You can always seek legal assistance from Thompson Law after a car accident. There is a 2-year statute of limitation in Texas and we are always committed to pursuing justice on your behalf.

Which Medical Bills Can Arise After a Car Accident?

Statistics from Texas show that there were about 250,000 injuries from car crashes in 2018. Car accidents can cause severe injuries leading to the following medical bills:

  • Transportation costs while seeking treatment
  • OTC medicines and prescriptions
  • ER visits
  • X-ray, scans, and blood work
  • Surgeries
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Hospital and rehabilitation
  • Future medical expenses

In some cases, you may receive invoices from hospitals and physicians. You could also have pending bills for procedures and tests, including radiology tests, blood tests, and more. If you need rehabilitation and occupational therapy, it may lead to additional fees.

The personal injury lawyers at Thompson Law will gather all your invoices to help you estimate your total medical costs, both present and future, in consultation with the doctor. We then submit a demand letter to the at-fault motorist’s insurance company for a total payout of your expenses. We have a pool of experienced attorneys who have helped many victims across Texas, as seen on our results, so you can trust that we will work on ensuring you receive a proper settlement.

Who Should Pay for My Car Accident Medical Bills?

If the car accident results in severe injuries, medical emergency teams will transport you to trauma centers and hospitals for immediate treatment. Victims with minor injuries that do not require immediate attention can visit their primary care physician. Even if you feel okay, make sure you see a doctor for more examination in case of some internal injuries.

The at-fault driver should cover your health expenses, car damages, and other costs in Texas. However, the responsible party will not automatically make the payments before you prove fault. Resolving the accident claim can take a few weeks or even months, depending on the situation. Resolving the claim may also require legal action.

In the meantime, you can use your health insurance cover to pay for your medical bills. Your medical insurer can then recover the amount spent on your treatment from the other driver’s insurer. Our car accident lawyers will work with you to ensure that we recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer.

Will My Health Insurance Cover My Car Crash Injuries?

Many health insurance policies will pay for your injury costs up to a specific point. Still, depending on the timing of the treatment and who is liable for the accident, the expenses may be paid from different sources.

  • Co-pays and Deductibles: If there are any deductibles or co-pays on the health policy, you will need to pay for them before the insurer pays for medical costs.
  • Auto Policy: When it’s the health insurance company’s responsibility to pay for the car crash bills, the initial payments should be from any auto policy in place. If you have medical coverage on your auto insurance, you can use it to make payments before filing under your health insurance policy. It is not mandatory to have medical coverage on an auto policy.

If the health insurance company makes payments for your medical costs that were to be paid through your medical coverage policy, they can recover the expenses from the auto insurer.

Why Do You Need a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer?

If you are involved in a car accident that you believe was due to another driver’s fault, make sure you seek assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer. You may assume the at-fault driver’s insurer will pay for your expenses, but this may never happen. Even if they promise to reimburse you for the medical costs, do not fall for it. In most cases, they will look for ways to pay partial payments or none at all.

If you decide to negotiate with the insurer, you could be left with a substantial amount of medical fees on your hands. Even if you pay using your health insurance or auto policy, you will still have to pay co-pays and deductibles. There is also a risk of increased insurance premiums. Make sure you have a lawyer by your side to avoid paying a dime in medical bills. You should not have to worry about any out-of-pocket fees.

You can get a lawyer in 15 minutes from Thompson Law. We provide a free case review of the accident. We also do not receive any payments for your case unless we win, so you pay nothing out-of-pocket.

Why Is the Compensation Process Often Complicated?

The insurance system has set procedures that are aimed at intimidating and frustrating an inexperienced person. This system prevents many victims from collecting valid claims. In most cases, accident victims give up on the claim before receiving the settlement they are entitled to since they find the process impossible or difficult to manage. If you’re the victim of a car accident injury that is not your fault, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Texas who is conversant with the legal right procedures that an insurer should follow.

Need Legal Help? Call Thompson Law Injury Lawyers

After a car accident, make sure you seek legal assistance from a knowledgeable attorney about the injuries you sustain from the crash. At Thompson Law, we will effectively communicate with all the insurers involved to ensure your bills are covered. You can contact us at any time for legal representation.

DWI in Texas

In Texas, the acronyms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) refer to an individual operating a vehicle in public while under the influence of a mind-altering substance.  Statistically, about 14% of Texans admit to driving under the influence of alcohol, oblivious of the fatal car accident injuries and damages they might inflict on others.

If you have experienced any injuries after a drunk driver caused an accident in Texas, Thompson Law is here to help. We’re a family-run law firm that works to get you fairly compensated after being hit by a driver charged with DUI or DWI.

DUI vs. DWI in Texas

What Is DWI in Texas?

As per the Texas penal code 49.04, an intoxicated driver operates a vessel, motor vehicle, or even water skis in a public place while:

  • Having more than 0.08% alcohol concentration in blood, urine, or breath for any adult or at least 0.04 % for commercial driver’s license holders
  • Lacking normal physical or mental faculties as a result of alcohol consumption
  • Lacking normal physical or mental faculties after consuming controlled substances like illegal drugs, over the counter medicine, prescriptions, and more

An officer can prove intoxication through the performance of field sobriety tests, the outcome from a Breathalyzer, and results from a drug recognition expert. Thompson Law injury lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in the area of DUI auto accidents. We can help ensure you get fair value for your claim and aggressively fight your case.

What Is DUI in Texas?

As per the Texas penal code 106.041, persons under the age of 21 years who operate a vehicle in public places under any alcohol influence are DUI. Besides, there is a zero-tolerance policy in Texas towards drugs and alcohol in underage persons.  For instance, if a person is 18 and sips alcohol before driving, an officer can charge them with DUI.

Drunk Driving Accident Legal Process

When a DUI or DWI accident occurs, a criminal investigation is launched into the incident. If the negligent party has prior DUI or DWI convictions or serious injury is caused, they might be charged with a felony.

First, the accident and intoxication are carefully documented by law enforcement to build a case. But obtaining financial compensation for your injuries and losses is a separate matter. DUI and DWI differ from most standard auto accidents because they potentially involve gross negligence and criminal behavior. But remember, a not-guilty verdict doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t eligible for compensation.

Additional Damages in Drunk Driving Accidents

Typical auto accident damages include losses and harms like injury, pain, and suffering, lost income, and medical bills. But in a DWI or DUI case, you might have a right to punitive damages as well.

In Texas, “gross negligence” is described as “willful, extremely reckless behavior.” If the other party is found to have committed gross negligence, you may be able to seek punitive damages—or damages intended to punish the negligent party. Determining whether you qualify for this type of compensation can be tricky. Still, an expert drunk driving accident lawyer can help you navigate these waters.

Thompson Law Drunk Driving Victim Lawyers Can Help

An auto accident caused by a DUI or DWI can result in damaged property, lost wages, and considerable pain and suffering. What’s more, drunk driving accidents can be very complex, making the aftermath just as grueling as the accident itself.

A qualified attorney can handle your case with a trained eye and years of expertise.

A drunk driving lawyer will help you:

  • Handle Medical Bills and Other Damages: While you wait for the resolution of your case, a Texas drunk driving attorney will help you figure out how to pay for mounting bills, medical or otherwise.
  • Deal with Criminal and Civil Proceedings: An expert DWI lawyer can keep you abreast of your case status and advise you every step of the way.
  • Coordinate with Law Enforcement and Other Parties: Many people are involved in a DUI or DWI accident case: insurance companies, law enforcement, witnesses, prosecutors, and the defendant. Keeping communication straight can feel overwhelming, but the best-drunk driving victim attorney will help keep you organized and updated.
  • Hold Your Own with Insurance Companies: The insurance companies will do everything they can to reduce or even deny your settlement altogether. But a savvy attorney will help you stand up to insurance carriers and collect the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today and speak to our bilingual team about the damages and losses caused by a drunk driver. Our case evaluations are absolutely free and confidential.

Get Assistance from Thompson Law Car Accident Lawyers

After a car accident involving a negligent driver, you need an experienced attorney from Thompson Law by your side. No matter how complicated the case may turn out, we will work to get you fair compensation.

Call (844) 308-8180 to speak to our bilingual legal team today, or contact us online! Tell us what happened to you and let us do the fighting for your settlement.

uninsured motorist

A 2015 study published by the Insurance Information Institute revealed that about 14% of Texas motorists were uninsured. It can be a complex case if you get into a car accident where an uninsured driver is involved. It gets worse if the driver cannot afford to pay for all the expenses. You may have to seek help from a lawyer to assist you in getting the proper compensation.

Thompson Law, a family-run law firm in Texas, can help you pursue justice. Led by our managing partner Ryan L. Thompson, our personal injury lawyers won 10 of the Top 50 personal injury settlements in Texas in 2020 according to TopVerdict.  Throughout the personal injury legal process, we remain loyal and committed to our clients, and you only pay when we win.

Read on for insights on what you need to do after a car accident involving an uninsured motorist.

What is an Uninsured Motorist Car Accident?

Anyone who operates a car without the State law’s minimum liability insurance is classified as an uninsured motorist. When such drivers cause accidents that lead to injuries or damages to personal property, it may be difficult to pay for medical and other expenses. Very few uninsured motorists can pay for the damages incurred after a severe accident. As a result, victims may have to personally cover any losses they sustain.

What Steps Should You Take After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?

An accident with an uninsured motorist can be complicated; thus, make sure you take the following steps:

File a Police Report

In such an accident, the uninsured driver may try to convince you not to report the accident. In some cases, the responsible party may successfully compel you to do so with emotional manipulations. Avoid such talks with the liable party and do not offer any opinion about the car crash.

It’s also worth noting that failure to report the accident can prevent you from getting compensated by your insurance company or another party that may have contributed to the accident. Even worse, it could make it more difficult to prove who caused the accident. Further, you could possibly face legal charges for leaving the accident scene. The only permissible reasons for you to leave a car accident scene before the police assess it are if you need medical care or the accident scene is in a potentially unsafe situation.

In a nutshell, call the police and wait for them to collect vital details about the car accident. The authorities can include contact details for the liable party and other evidence from the accident scene, including who was at fault.

Gather The Facts

As you wait for the police, evaluate the car wreck to collect as many details as possible to support your claim. For instance, get the following information from the other driver:

  • Name
  • Address
  • License plate number
  • Drivers license
  • Phone and license numbers
  • Insurance details
  • Photos of the property damage to your car and any other cars involved

Also, remember to get other details regarding the surroundings of auto accident, such as:

  • Where the accident happened
  • Driving conditions
  • Time and date of the accident
  • The direction that you and the other driver were heading
  • Location(s) of any debris

It is essential to take such details while still at the scene because you can easily forget some specifics after a few days. If you cannot document them immediately, do it once you are back home. Further, take as many photos as possible of the accident and the surroundings since your insurance company will ask for photo evidence for your claim.

If someone else witnessed the accident, you should also take their contact information. Your lawyer can contact the witness(es) later in case they need more information regarding what happened.

Pursue a Medical Evaluation

In some cases, you may not feel pain immediately after an accident, making you believe you did not suffer any injuries. Note that your adrenaline can conceal these injuries after a crash and may prevent you from feeling pain until after some hours or days later. Consider seeing a doctor or go to for some health evaluations to determine if you sustained any injuries. If you need treatment, your medical providers will get you the necessary help.

Contact Your Insurance Companies

You also need to contact your insurance company after the injuries or damages in a crash with an uninsured driver. Notify your auto insurance and health insurers and be cautious about how you deal with each of them since they have their bottom lines to worry about.

It is also advisable to let your lawyer handle the insurance procedures on your behalf. Our experienced attorneys at Thompson Law know every aspect of the claims process and will assist you in the entire process. Our lawyers will also provide you with all the information you need regarding your insurance policy to understand better how the claim works. Better yet, they will ensure that you get the proper pay for your damages.

Work with a Professional and Trustworthy Attorney

A car crash can be scary, and it can be worse if it involves an uninsured driver. Therefore, always ask for assistance from a car accident attorney to support you through the claim. You can get a lawyer in 15 minutes from Thompson Law to help get the compensation you deserve. Having won over $1.8 billion in compensation for our clients, you can rest assured that we will relentlessly pursue justice for you or your loved one.

Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver?

If a driver is uninsured, you may have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve for the damages and injuries. Keep in mind that the liable party may not have the total amount to cover the expenses making the process more complicated.

Therefore, make sure you seek assistance from Thompson Law lawyers to make the necessary investigations. You can get a free case review from our car accident attorney, and you only pay when you win.

Get Assistance from Thompson Law Car Accident Lawyers

After a car accident involving an uninsured motorist, you need an experienced attorney from Thompson Law by your side. No matter how complicated the case may turn out, we will work to get you the right compensation. Call (844) 308-8180 to speak to our bilingual legal team today, or contact us online! Tell us what happened to you and let us do the fighting for your settlement.

Kids on a motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle can be fun, exciting, and exhilarating. As a bonus, it can save time and money. The downside of motorcycle riding is the high risk of sustaining serious injuries in case of an accident, much more so with kids on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic fatalities.

The safety concern makes it important to understand when it’s safe for kids to become motorcycle passengers. Each state has its own laws regarding motorcycle riding for children. No matter what the law says about age requirements for children riding pillion (back seat of the motorcycle), safety should be the driver’s top concern at all times.

If you or your child sustain injuries during a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Make sure to contact a motor accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn how to proceed.

 

What Age Is It Safe for Kids to Ride on a Motorcycle in Texas?

In Texas, children under five years of age can’t ride on a motorcycle.

According to Texas House Bill 537, “an operator may not carry another person on a motorcycle unless the other person is at least five years of age.”

Other laws to follow when carrying a child on a motorcycle, include:

  • Malorie’s Law — the motorcycle carrying two people (regardless of their age), must be equipped with foot and handholds for the motorcycle passenger.
  • Helmet law — all passengers over the age of 5 and under the age of 21 must wear helmets when riding a motorcycle.
  • Passenger seat law– to carry a passenger, the motorcycle must be equipped with a permanent passenger seat. It’s also allowed to carry a child in a side-seat. However, putting passengers of any age in front of the driver is prohibited.

While the law allows you to carry a child over five years of age on a motorcycle, you should consider the following issues:

  • Can the child reach the footpegs?
  • Does the child understand the importance of using handholds?
  • Is the child strong enough to keep himself or herself in place during sharp maneuvers?

In Texas, the law won’t punish you for carrying a child over 5 years old on a motorcycle if you follow all the necessary rules and requirements. However, it’s up to the driver to assess the situation and make the decision in favor or against putting a child on a motorcycle.

If a motorcycle accident occurs while a child is riding a pillion, call your motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. By accessing proper legal assistance timely, you can receive maximum compensation.

 

Making it Safe for Kids on a Motorcycle

While you follow the laws related to children riding pillion, it’s important to remember a few extra safety tips:

  • Perfectly fitted helmet — choose a high-quality and well-fitting motorcycle helmet for the child. Since children grow quickly, a helmet you purchased last season may be too small to keep a kid’s head safe during a collision.
  • Safety gear and protective clothing — besides knee guards and motorcycle gloves, kids should wear a durable jacket (e.g. leather) and heavy pants (e.g. jeans). They can protect the child from abrasions and the wind.
  • Motorcycle safety belt — a safety belt or harness can keep the child safely attached to the driver. It’s an excellent option for smaller kids, whose hands aren’t big and strong enough to hold on to the handholds or the driver. Additionally, it can protect a child when they fall asleep during a long ride.
  • Safety skills — before putting a child on a motorcycle, it’s imperative to teach them basic safety skills, including the art of holding on to the handholds and the importance of not creating a distraction.
  • Practice — before going to a busy street, practice driving around with a child in low-traffic areas.
  • Defensive driving — when you have a child riding pillion, make sure to drive defensively. Always assume that drivers of other vehicles can’t see you. While this could take some thrill out of the ride, such driving can maximize your child’s safety.
  • Warnings — warn the child about the upcoming road surface defects, sharp turns, and plans for acceleration.

If you take all the necessary safety precautions, you can minimize the number of injuries during an accident.

Injuries children often sustain during bike accidents include:

  • Friction burns
  • TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
  • Bruised and/or cracked ribs
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken kneecaps and ankles
  • Road rash

If you and your child get into a motorcycle accident, contact your motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you have the chance. You could be entitled to compensation even if it seems that the accident is your fault.

 

What Should You Do If You Get Into a Motorcycle Accident with a Child?

In 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas and 1,800 received serious injuries. The majority (60%) of motorcycle crashes occur between May and October. If you and your child get into a motorcycle accident, don’t panic. Follow these steps to minimize damage:

  • Stay calm and take deep breaths. Try not to get angry.
  • Check your child and yourself for injuries.
  • In case any of the people involved in the crash are injured, call 911 immediately.
  • Call your motorcycle accident attorney to get further advice.
  • Try to preserve the scene of the accident (don’t move your bike).
  • If possible, take as many photos of the accident scene and bike damage as you can.

Drivers who carry children with them often panic after an accident. To make sure you don’t make any costly mistakes after getting into a crash, call your motor accident lawyer as soon as possible.

 

Thompson Law is Here to Help

While you are doing everything in your power to make it safe for kids to ride a motorcycle, accidents can happen. If you and your child get into a motorcycle crash, we are only one call away.

Our team of experienced motor accident attorneys can take over your case and help you get due compensation for financial and health-related damages. Call us at  866-293-4768  for a free case evaluation.

police report

If you’ve found your way to this page, we feel for you. Finding yourself in a position where you’re seeking a police report, means that you or someone you love has recently experienced some misfortune and frustration.

Police Reports, also referred to as Accident Reports or Crash Reports, are one of the most valuable documents you can have in auto accident cases. These authoritative documents carry weight in insurance negotiations by effectively and consistently describing events and providing evidence from an agreed-upon authoritative and objective source. As soon as it is safe to do so after the accident, you should call the police to come out to the scene of the accident and make a report. If the crash is severe and there are injuries, call emergency line 911. If the crash is minor and injuries are unknown, you can call the local police department’s non-emergency number to request that an officer come out. From there, all you need to do is check your options and the steps below to receive a copy of your report. Share that report with your dedicated auto accident attorney and you are well on your way to a strong and successful personal injury case.

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Steps to Getting Your Police Report

In Texas, accident reports are officially referred to as Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Reports. Alternately, you may hear them referred to by their technical name, CR-3. Variations in form names and differences in requesting forms between various jurisdictions can be confusing, but this guide is designed to help simplify the options.

Different jurisdictions have different protocols for requesting your crash report. For example, some precincts do not directly manage crash reports online or even provide online avenues for searching crash reports. If you’ve been in a car accident in San Antonio, for example, you can see the options available to you on the City of San Antonio’s website. Luckily, TXDOT maintains a database of all reports for the state of Texas, which increases access to reports for many more Texans. If you’re wondering, “How Do I Get a Police Report?” – here are your options:

  1. Online There are a few ways to request police reports online. If the online search is available directly through the police department that made your report, you can search or request the info using the name of a person involved, the accident location, the date of the incident, the Police Service Number, the vehicle identification number (VIN), and/or license plate numbers. Most search portals require at least a couple of these ID’s in order to locate the proper record. In addition to the local police department’s online systems and the TXDOT C.R.I.S. system, you may be directed to utilize the Lexis Nexis Police Records portal. This is another online reporting service that many police stations use for their records. You can search by creating an account and using the same sorts of criteria. Online crash report requests have a fee between $6.00 and $8.00, and are available 4-10 working days after the accident.
  2. By Mail Key information you must provide to the request includes: name of a person involved in the accident, the location of the accident and/or the date of the accident. Having the Police Service Number can expedite record locating as well. Accident reports are generally available 5-7 working days after the accident. There is a $6.00 fee for the record.
  3. By Phone– Some jurisdictions such as Dallas do not release crash report information over the telephone. However, you can always call the precinct non-emergency line for questions or support locating the record you need.
  4. In-Person– Check the website or call the police station you need your report from before arriving in person, as some locations may have limited operating hours or access due to COVID-19 precautions. Otherwise, departments have records desks or customer service windows where you can make the request. There is a $6.00 fee for this method as well, and you should be prepared with a name of a person in the accident, accident location and/or date of the accident, plus the Police Service Number if possible. Reports are typically available 5-7 working days after the accident.

To get started locating your crash report, start here. Once you’ve received your report, the CR-3 reference sheet is located here, to help you decipher the report details.

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Need Help? Thompson Law is Here

Thompson Law’s experienced personal injury attorneys are dedicated to winning your claim and case. Even with over $1.8 billion won for our clients to date, each new client we take on receives the same great care, attention, and help that they deserve. Our promise to you is not only our very best legal expertise to help you win a great insurance settlement or case verdict, but also a 5-star client experience throughout that process.

If you have been injured or suffered losses in a car or truck accident, workplace accident, premises liability accident, or through some other negligent act by the fault of another’s actions, you deserve help and you deserve justice. Reach out to Thompson Law for a free, no-risk consultation at your convenience. 24/7/365, we are available to offer you our services and guidance. A 15-minute phone call could make all the difference in your case.

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Accident Report Resources

Different cities have slight variations in protocol when it comes to crash reports. Below is a list of links and resources for locating your crash report in different jurisdictions. If you don’t see the city where your crash occurred, or you have other questions, you can visit the TXDOT Crash Reporting Page for the state-managed crash reporting systemC.R.I.S. Purchase. TXDOT is the custodian of crash reports for the state of Texas, and it is one of the most convenient and accessible options to obtain your record, though there is a $6.00 fee per download. Besides TXDOT, Lexis Nexis is an online platform used by many police departments. If your crash occurred in a jurisdiction that uses Lexis Nexis, you can download your report using the same accident search criteria as TXDOT, typically for a fee of $8.00.

And of course, if you are having trouble locating or receiving your report, you can always call Thompson Law.

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If you found this article helpful, you may also like:

What Happens After a Car Accident with No Police Report?

Why You Should Invest in a Dash Camera

How Do Lawyers Charge For Personal Injury Cases?

The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered  after being  hurt in an auto accident or any other type of accident,  consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery  and your deserved compensation.  However, delayed onset injuries are no less deserving of justice. If you’ve been hesitating to reach out, don’t delay any further.  Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim.

Accident Claim

The fact that there are massive industries devoted to health insurance, auto insurance, and property insurance is a great indicator of the complexity that insurance claims entail. Most people don’t plan to seek a personal injury lawyer, but once the frustrations of filing claims, facing denials, and endless negotiations are considered, it makes a lot of sense to hire a professional to work on your behalf. Award-winning personal injury lawyers like the team at Thompson Law can guide you through the process of maximizing your claim for an excellent settlement or case result. You deserve a fair and just recovery after a serious injury accident.

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The Big 3 Factors that Affect Your Accident Claim

There are many potentially complicating factors for an accident claim. The last thing you need if you’ve recently suffered a serious auto crash is a complicated list of even more concerns. We’ve simplified the list to the Big 3 Factors that impact your claim: The Role of Fault, The Nature and Severity of Injuries, and Your Expenses from the Accident. Read on for more details on what the Big 3 may mean for you and your case.

The Role of Fault

The core of a winning insurance claim is definitively determining who was at fault for the accident that occurred. The determination of fault is closely tied to the concept of negligence. In everyday terms, we think of negligence as careless or thoughtless acts. In legal terms, however, negligence has a very specific definition:

A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct). (source: Cornell Law School Legal Information Instutite)

When it comes to allocating fault after an accident, most, or the entirety of the responsibility, will typically fall with the most negligent party.

So, whether or not you are at fault for an accident is one of the main factors that can affect your claim. But, can there be multiple at-fault parties? Can you share fault? The answer varies depending on where you live. Different states have different laws when it comes to shared fault – often legally referred to as “contributory negligence.” Contributory negligence is a concept where an injured party played a role in their own losses, by failing to act prudently, or even acting negligently themselves. This can result in reductions in the recovery they are eligible for, and a more difficult battle winning any deserved payout.

Texas is a contributory negligence state, more specifically, a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence is, “A tort rule for allocating damages when both parties are at least somewhat at fault. In a situation where both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent, the jury allocates fault, usually as a percentage.” (source: Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute). Comparative negligence also varies state to state, with the strictest locales practicing pure contributory negligence. This means if you are found to be even 1% at fault for an accident, you cannot recover funds on losses sustained in that accident. Luckily for Texas accident victims, our regulations are not that severe.

Texas is a comparative fault state, that utilizes the 51% rule. This means that you cannot receive compensation if you are determined to be 51% or more responsible for the accident, regardless of whether you were in a car wreck in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, or any other Texas city. This means that the burden on the wronged party is only to show that the other party was more than half at fault for the events that transpired. While this can be complicating, it does protect injured parties from counter-lawsuits, where the at-fault party may try to argue that since you were, say 10% at fault due to your speed, you as the victim owe the at-fault money for a percentage portion of their injuries.

To determine fault, negligence, and any comparative negligence, your personal injury attorney will examine the evidence from the events leading up to and during the accident. Factors that can impact the allocation of fault, and thus your claim, include:

  • Drunk or Intoxicated Driving: operating a vehicle while impaired on illegal or pharmaceutical substances
  • Distracted Driving: texting, adjusting radio, watching movies
  • Driving Illegally: speeding, improper lane changes or driving patterns, failure to yield, driving without license or registration
  • Unavoidable / Sudden Emergency factors: Animal enters road, exceptional weather conditions, heart attack while driving

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The Nature and Severity of Injuries

While the causes and complications of fault in the accident significantly impact claims, they are not the end of the inquiry. The next crucial category that claims adjusters and accident attorneys investigate is the nature and severity of injuries sustained in the event.

First, the severity of the injuries plays an important role in the claim. Life-altering injuries like paralysis (including paraplegia or quadriplegia), or traumatic brain injury (TBI) are going to be awarded significantly more money than less severe injuries like broken bones or soft tissue injuries. This is not to diminish the pain and suffering that can come with any injury. Your personal injury attorney especially sympathizes with all that you are going through, but accuracy in degree and severity of the injury is important to recover all you are owed.

In addition to the severity of your injury, the duration of time that it will impact you is also a factor in your claim. This is why it is especially important to seek medical treatment early, and carefully continue with your prescribed treatment regimen. This will support and strengthen your case for what you are owed. Variation in treatment and healing time can range widely. Whiplash injuries, sprains, and strains may completely resolve in a matter of weeks with a few physical therapy appointments. On the other hand, paralysis will drastically change an individual’s life forever – from their physical mobility to their work and family life, to their need for caretaker support. Accordingly, the outcome of such different types of injury claims will vary widely.

When it comes to injuries, sympathy also plays a role in claim payouts, especially if the case makes it to court and is heard by jurors. Sympathetic personality types on either side of the accident, at-fault or injured, or visible casts, scars, injuries, can sway the jury and play on emotions in the decision making. This is always an added complication and one that your personal injury attorney can advise you on as it pertains to your situation.

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Your Expenses from the Accident

We’ve seen how fault and bodily injury can impact your claim, but there is a final important component to negotiating fair and just claim outcomes: expenses. The losses that resulted and the costs associated with repair and recovery can be extremely significant. These lost funds need to be factored into a complete claim demand.

There are a few nuances to consider when it comes to calculating these costs. Perhaps most obviously is the extent of medical treatment. Surgeries, doctors visits, prescriptions and more can add up quickly. It’s very important to document these costs and keep your receipts if you pay out of pocket for any medical expenses after your accident. In addition, it’s important to consider the duration of treatment. If your injuries will require two surgeries and 18 months of post-op physical therapy, you will want your claim to capture the entire scope of related bills and costs. This can take time and tedious attention to detail in documenting the finances.

In addition, it may be important to consider which healthcare providers you visit to receive necessary treatment. Workers’ compensation claims, for example, require visits to authorized providers in order to approve claims. Health insurance companies will have requirements to use in-network providers. Even auto insurance companies often have designated retailers that you must use for any car or truck repairs after an auto accident. These administrative details in selecting providers can be tedious, but the research is worth it when it comes to maximizing your claim value.

Finally, and perhaps the most complicated expense consideration in an insurance claim, is determining your daily life disruption. Have the accident and resulting injuries impacted your earning potential? Did this mean that you were out of work for two weeks for recovery? Or do you have a catastrophic injury that won’t allow you to work ever again? Will you need help running your home or caring for your kids due to your injury? Will you need to retrofit your house or car for your change in mobility? These are serious questions that may have expensive answers. If you and your family are impacted by a change in life circumstances since your accident, you deserve compensation from your insurance payout accordingly.

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Hitting a Wall with the Insurance Company?

Fault in an auto accident can be straightforward. You can be stopped at a red light and have someone rear-end you out of the blue. On the other hand, collisions can be really complicated, with multiple vehicles, many driver mistakes, and other dangerous road hazards playing a role in the crash. From the most straightforward to the most unbelievable wreck, you can be sure that the insurance companies will complicate, deny, and delay to the greatest extent they can.

If you are finding this out in your claim process with the insurance company, know that this is not your fault, and you do not have to go through an arduous claim process alone. Seek out great attorney representation for the help you need. The at-fault’s insurance provider has legal resources, why shouldn’t you? Thompson Law offers a wealth of personal injury legal services. Start your path to repair, recovery, reimbursement, and relief by calling today.

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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have been denied by your medical insurance provider, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on a smooth path to recovery and your deserved compensation. If you’ve been hesitating to reach out, don’t delay any further. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim.

Traumatic Accident

More and more people are aware of the concern around delayed onset injuries, and for good reason. A slight soreness in the immediate aftermath of an accident can easily be much more severe than we realize at the time. Shock and adrenaline are what the body uses to mask pain, and they provide an important ability for humans to persevere through times of stress and emergency

The downside of these reactions is that we may not be aware of the extent or severity of our injuries. Therefore, it is incredibly important to get medically checked out after an accident, even if you don’t believe you are hurt. One such accident impact injury that is frequently misdiagnosed, or altogether missed, can be very serious, and that is Loss of Motion Segment Integrity (LMSI). 

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What is Loss of Motion Segment Integrity? 

Loss of Motion Segment Integrity is the loss in range of motion or movement beyond normal limits in the flexion and extension of two adjacent vertebrae. The condition is dangerous for surrounding areas which are prone to overexert and overextend in compensation for the area with the loss. The condition and its guidelines for recognition and diagnosis are codified by the American Medical Association (AMA). It happens through traumatic impact injuries, such as car and truck accidents, falls from heights, or other whiplash-inducing events.  

Most commonly, the condition occurs in the cervical area of the spine (roughly the neck), but it can also occur in the thoracic or lumbar spine (middle or lower back, respectively). LMSI can cause significant, and even permanent reductions in a patient’s health status. This is particularly true if the condition goes undiagnosed and untreated.  

 

Spinal Anatomy

What does LMSI feel like? 

There is variation in patient experience of this injury, tied to acuteness of the LMSI itself, and the location of the stress in the spine. In chiropractic discourse, LMSI is considered a Level IV injury, which is very painful. According to hierarchies of injury severity and pain in the discipline, LMSI is “comparable to a 50 percent or greater vertebral compression fracture that has no residual neural compromise. 

In relative terms of injury, ligament and disc injuries can be comparably painful. They can also be complex to resolve, and as much an art as a science to heal, because treatment requires a careful combination of rest, stretching, and strengthening activity around the damaged region to build stability and flexibility.  

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What is AOMSI? 

AOMSI stands for Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity. Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity can be either loss of motion segment integrity (increased translational or angular motion) or decreased motion secondary to developmental fusion, fracture healing, healed infection, or surgical arthrodesisIt is one of the most severe categories of accident injury. Particularly when the injury occurs in the back, the trauma to the spine is extremely serious.

It is rated at a 25% impairment rating by American Medical Guidelines because studies have shown that within the next 5 years patients will have degenerative disc disease. This impairment rating makes AOMSI comparable to injuries such as amputations and fusionsChiropractic research in many ways pioneered the guideline development and technology related to AOMSI.  Much of the research on this injury, and motivation for continued study, stems from chiropractic and sports medicine practices. 

 

The LMSI Problem: Misdiagnosis 

Why is LMSI Frequently Misdiagnosed? 

There are a few key reasons that LMSI is often misdiagnosed or altogether missed. First, the human eye cannot detect AOMSI (or LMSI), leading to it being missed in an estimated 45% of cases. Secondly, individuals may not seek medical attention for it.

The problem can occur in delayed onset after a crash, so that the patient doesn’t recognize the initial cause of the LMSI, or they may feel that it’s not so serious due to the delay in feeling symptoms. Finally, symptom overlap between LMSI and more standard strains or sprains has traditionally led medical practitioners to dismiss the possibility. They may instead assume the patient is dealing with only a more common minor soft tissue injury based on the limited range of motion, tenderness, etc.  

How ILMSI Diagnosed?  

Diagnostic requirements for LMSI are very strict. Due tthe very specific changes to range of motion in the vertebrae that define the condition, measuring it requires highly advanced equipment and software that achieves accuracy to within 0.01 mm and 0.01 degrees. The resulting imaging must be examined by board-certified radiologists for acceptable diagnosis.

Imaging is done through radiographic flexion extension study. This often includes static flexion and extension x-rays of the cervical spine, or more commonly, digital motion x-ray (DMX). In the past DMX was more commonly referred to as the study of which it is a derivation: Fluoroscopy. Essentially, the process is that of taking a moving x-ray image to examine and measure the motion of the body part. 

neck xray

What Does an Accurate Diagnosis of LMSI Mean for You? 

There are two major reasons that these exacting methods of diagnosis are essential. First and foremost, your healing and recovery are only improved by the greatest accuracy and specificity of diagnoses. Secondly, an LMSI diagnosis has significant implications for your insurance claim and case.  

Your Healing – LMSI has been tied to degenerative disc issues, if you aren’t aware and taking corrective action from the time of injury, you risk exacerbating these injuries. It’s important to stretch and strengthen the musculature around the point of LMSI injury to help heal and teach the body to repair the damaged areaWith misdiagnosisyou are at greater risk of compounding injuries.

If you don’t know that you have LMSI and you proceed with normal activities as if you are just nursing a minor soft tissue injury, like a sprain, this behavior could really push the damage to a point of further, or even irreversible, injury. Compounding injuries such as these have resulted in cases of paraplegia 

Your Claim – Insurers are dismissive of LMSI without certain and specific thresholds of confirmation. They may deny that is the extent of the injury and argue that you have only a soft tissue injury. Their motivation to do this is because a soft tissue injury carries a much lower claim value. LMSI injuries are in compensation ranges many times greater. 

When LMSI is diagnosed and proven through inarguable methods, it is highly effective in insurance negotiations and in court. This is due to degree of accuracy that contemporary diagnosis methods allow. Insurance companies hate a confirmed LMSI diagnosis because it is virtually irrefutable, and it is expensive for them. However, if you have suffered LMSI, you are dealing with a serious health and healing challenge. You deserve those settlement funds for your compensation.  

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traumatic neck injury

Call Thompson Law for Help After LMSI 

Have you recently experienced a car or truck accidentslip & fall, or perhaps a workplace injury? If you or someone you love is experiencing aches and pains from an impact injury in an accident, it’s incredibly important to seek medical attention and treatment. LMSI is commonly mistaken for run of the mill strains and sprains, but left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have major consequences for patients’ future health and mobility.  

If your injury was a result of the negligence of someone else, it’s also important that you speak with an accident attorney about your rights and your options. Suffering pain, losing time and wages from work, or facing lifelong physical hardship through no fault of your own is an injustice. You deserve compensation for the losses and the hardship you’ve suffered.

Cash payment may never make up for the injuries that result from car accidents or other dangerous accidents, but it can significantly help with handling the resulting bills, property damage, healthcare, and family challenges that follow. You deserve skilled, experienced, and caring help after a serious injury or LMSI. Call Thompson Law for assistance anytime. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, we are here for you. 

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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have suffered after being hurt in a car accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. However, delayed onset injuries are no less deserving of justice. If you’ve been hesitating to reach out, don’t delay any further. Call Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim. 

traffic trends

2020 has certainly been an extraordinary year. From pandemic to political upheaval, there have been many events that are changing our communities, our country, and our way of life. Driving, traffic trends, road habits, and daily patterns are no exception in this extraordinary time. Recent patterns in how we travel on our roads and highways are changing from what we have experienced in the past. As we move into the second half of this significant year, we’re looking back at the impacts to our nation’s roadways over the first six months and considering what impacts may be to come.

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2020 Traffic Trends: Effects on Driving, Accidents, & Fatalities

The first half of this year has seen changes in density, accident rates, causes of fatalities, and trucking patterns. There are also some trends that have emerged more slowly over the years, leading up to the present, and we are seeing continuations of these patterns.

With COVID-19 quarantine measures and lockdowns, we have seen a steep decrease in traffic density in the early months of this year. In fact, you can see from USDOT’s Office of Highway Policy Information April 2020 Report just how much traffic volume decreased. Texas, as part of the South Gulf area actually experienced the slightest decrease of any regionalthough the region still dropped by 35.9%!

Understandably, with the reduction in traffic volume, came reductions in accident rates. However, a less anticipated repercussion of the empty roads was that speeding rates increased dramatically. What analysts found was that drivers who were out for essential work or errands on the relatively clear roads were taking advantage to race through town. This meant that while there were fewer accidents, many of those that occurred were particularly injurious because of high speeds at impact.

In NHTSA’s 2020 Report the organization articulated the concept of the “Accident Iceberg.” The model demonstrates that for each single traffic accident fatality, there are 18 hospitalizations and over 400 medically attended injuries. This shows that even a small number of speeding-related fatalities that we hear about on our roads and highways is truly just the tip of the iceberg to the true magnitude of traffic tragedy.

From the American Trucking Association’s 2020 analysis, in 2017, there were 36 million trucks registered and used for business purposes. This number excluded trucks used for government and farming equipment. It included 3.68 million Class 8 vehicles, including tractor-trailers and dump trucks. In 2017, all registered trucks traveled 297.6 billion miles, and combination trucks, like 19-wheelers, traveled 181.5 billion miles. In the same report it was published that in 2018 there were 3.5 million truck drivers employed in the United States.

Per the Federal Highway Administration’s 2020 report, the percentage of teenagers who hold a driver’s license has declined fairly steadily over the past forty years, apart from a slight uptick after 2014. In 1983, 46.2% of 16-year-olds held a driver’s license, while in 2018, only 25.6% of 16-year-olds held a driver’s license.

According to Statista’s 2020 reporting, in the first quarter of 2019, about 276 million vehicles were operating on America’s roads. It will be fascinating to finalize accurate numbers from the first and second quarter of 2020 comparatively, in the coming months.

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2020 Driving Trends: Effects on Industry and Claims

Apart from changes in driving patterns and driver statistics, industries related to transportation are experiencing effects as well. The insurance industry from auto insurers to healthcare insurers will likely go through significant changes. We have already seen a slow down in insurance adjuster processing and responsiveness due to lockdown conditions and strain on the healthcare system. Industry layoffs have been predicted, and other analysts have wondered if insurers will be more willing to negotiate fairly to operate expeditiously through this unprecedented period. Time will tell how the industry, and the customers, will fare.

The trucking industry will also see changes throughout this time. From increases in demand for consumer goods shipped to individual homes, to change in demand for shipments to brick & mortar locations, to the rollback of safety measures due to national emergency, to logistical support for our medical institutions, the ground transport we rely on is weathering big changes at this time.

While 2020 has seen a slowdown in many sectors, construction has remained more stable. City improvements and private projects continue, and in some cases have benefited by the lighter traffic of isolation periods. This essential work has in some cases operated at a faster pace due to fewer distractions and complications from traffic and commerce. On-the-job construction accidents remain a risk during this period, as site dangers remain. Heavy machinery and equipment, weather conditions, visibility concerns, and sometimes unpredictable conditions can all contribute to serious accident and injury.

Looking Ahead to the Second Half of 2020

Annual traffic trend predictions typically anticipate an increase in dangerous roadway activity in the latter half of the year. The return to increased traffic as school goes in session, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and the return of bad weather that drivers need to readjust to after the warmer and temperate months all contribute to increases in accidents. Time will tell if these patterns persist as we adjust to the “new normal” of 2020.

In addition to traffic trends, a sector that may be particularly challenged in the second half of the year is the health insurance industry. This could have an important impact on your personal injury claim. Insurers are already slow to process claims, dragging their feet before denying them altogether. These tendencies may be exacerbated by a system weighed down with healthcare services rendered for COVID-19 patient care. A global pandemic is clearly grounds for a bogged down medical system, including facilities, providers, and insurers. However, don’t let systemic events impact your individual financial position and well-being. Partner with an experienced personal injury firm like Thompson Law to get the claim settlement results you deserve.

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Thompson Law: DFW’s Best Auto Accident Legal Resource

Auto accidents in 2020 have specific circumstances that require specialized expertise to handle. Thompson Law is here for you when you need us. With trends forecasted for the year, we are likely to be seeing more auto accidents like car crashes, truck wrecks, commercial vehicle collisions, and others, in the second half of 2020. If you have the misfortune to be hit by a distracted, drunk, or just plain negligent driver, you deserve to have representation and legal resources on your side.

Thompson Law is a full-service personal injury firm based in Dallas, TX led by Ryan The Lion Thompson. We have a reputation for taking personal injury cases all the way to court – and winning. If you are in need of attorney representation after an accident, you should seek out a firm that has skill and tenacity to take your case as far as it may need to go.

Call Thompson Law today for a free, no-risk consultation about any motor vehicle, workplace, or other personal injury accident you have experienced in the last two years. Our experts are standing by 24/7/365 to take your call. When you chose to retain our services, you pay no fee upfront, and you don’t pay a single penny unless we win your case. What have you got to lose?

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The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years, so if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in the first half of 2020, the clock is ticking to file a claim, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. 

 

most dangerous

Welcome to Dallas 

In a study published late last month, Aceable completed its analysis of the 2018 data on driving in Texas. The results of the survey are surprising – while Dallas claims the unfortunate title of the most dangerous driving citythe neighboring suburb of Allen comes in as tied for the safest! Both Alleand The Woodlands (a suburb of Houston) boast an extraordinary zero fatality record for 2018. These two cities are stand-alone in reaching our state’s overall long-term goal of 100% deathless days on our roadways.  

Here at Thompson Law, we feel for the victims of Dallas’ increasingly risky roads. We see firsthand the devastation that can occur in the form of injuries, loss of property, and even death from traffic accidents. Our mission is to do all we can for our clients in the aftermath of a wreck. Sourcing treatment, fighting for maximum rightful compensation, and providing guidance regarding property loss are all important services that we provide to clients who have been injured in an accident. When you experience a damaging collision, call the 4’s for the help you deserve from Thompson Law. 

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The Fast Facts on Driving in Dallas 

    • Dallas has the fifth-highest rate of fatal traffic accidents compared to the US’s other 25 largest cities 
    • This fatality ranking was based on the rate of fatalities per 100,000 residents, had Dallas had 14.42 deaths per 100,000 residents. 
    • Frisco ranked as the 3rd safest city, with a fatality rate of 1.59 per 100,000 residents. This is an 806% lower probability of deadly accidents compared to the City of Dallas.  
    • Allen and The Woodlands each had zero fatalities 
    • Despite Houston having a million more people than Dallas, it ranked 14 places below Dallas in the latest per capita reporting.  
    • An average of 10 people perish every day on Texas roadways, and this has been true for nearly two decades.  

 

Driving in North Texas: A Mixture of Risky and Safe Spaces 

Dallas was not the only city of concern however, many nearby North Texas enclaves bumped up in the rankingsFort Worth sits at 4th most dangerous, Denton at 7th, Mesquite at 16th, Lewisville at 17th and Carrollton ranked 19th. Other regions in our state including Houston, San Antonio, and Austin also ranked on the more dangerous end of the scale 

On the other handwe do have some cities with safer rankings in the DFW area. Frisco, Plano, and Irving fared very well on the safe list. These cities have newer roads and signage, in addition to generally well-designed and wellmaintained infrastructureThey are also less constrained by the crowding that is stressing infrastructure in other parts of North TexasThe practices and investments in urban planning, design, and maintenance illustrated by these cities clearly pay off in lives saved.  

Texas as a whole was a bit of a mixed bag as well in terms of driving safety. On the one hand, there were no crashes that resulted in 6 or more deaths in 2018 However, there were also no deathless days on Texas RoadwaysThe Texas Department of Transportation’s #endthestreak campaign is aimed at achieving zero fatal days, as Texas has not experienced this phenomenon since November 7th, 2000. If we do not end the streak by this year’s November 7th anniversary, that will have been 7,305 consecutive days of roadway fatalities. The impact of this crisis is felt by all of us, and we cannot afford to wait for changes.  

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Causes of Traffic Accidents in Dallas 

Dallas may be unique in its ranking right now, but the causes of the accidents that occur there are common. The same culprits for wrecks and other serious traffic incidents strike across the state and across the nation, with notable and common causes being:  

  • Drunk and Drugged Driving 
  • Drowsy Driving 
  • Distracted Driving 
  • Outdated Infrastructure 
  • Speeding 
  • Driver Error (particularly lane change error)  
  • Cell Phone Use 
  • Unfamiliarity with Roads 
  • Aggressive Driving 
  • Merge Error 
  • Red Light Running 
  • Failure to Yield 
  • Poor Visibility (nighttime or weather conditions.)  

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What Comes Next for Dallas Drivers? 

Dallas is working to reduce the number of traffic fatalities with multifaceted plans that include roadway design initiatives and educational campaigns. Some of the plans that the city and our state have in mind for improvements include: 

As part of the previously mentioned End the Streak campaign, TXDOT will be spending over $600 million more for various roadway improvements in 2020-2022. These safety works will be aimed at the goal of having ZERO deaths on Texas roads in 2050. The interim milestone is geared toward halving the number of deaths by 2035. Fingers crossed that this ambitious and admirable plan succeeds!  

Additionally, the City of Dallas has its own similar initiative: Vision Zero aligns with the wider state goal of zero deaths. The city is actually even more ambitious, aiming to achieve the zero fatalities goal by 2030. With infrastructure, education, policing, and other factors to consider, and in light of the recent shift to first place most dangerous, Dallas seems to be facing new hurdles to meet these goals.  

Commendable as the plans are, with the rate of accidents and the serious nature of resulting injury and damage, we are left to wonder – will these efforts be enough? Or will they be too little too late?  

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Suffered a Dallas, TX, Car Accident? Hire Thompson Law for the Help You Need Now 

Has a Dallas, Texas, car or truck accident derailed your life? While serious wrecks may be happening more and more frequently in our area, this doesn’t mean you deserve to suffer in the circumstances. The error and negligence of bad drivers in this city still have consequences! When you hire a tough and experienced car accident law firm like Thompson Law, you get the lion on your side, and you improve your ability to stand up to the insurance companies and at-fault drives who wronged you. Don’t delay! You deserve compensation for the bills, stresses, pain, and suffering that resulted from your accident. Thompson Law is here to help you recover what is rightfully yours! 

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The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury casesso if you have been injured in a Dallas area accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The sooner you know your options, the sooner you are on the path to recovery and your deserved compensation. Call the Fours right away for assistance with your injury and claim: (214) 444-4444, (817) 444-4444, (972) 444-4444, or (469) 444-4444. Wherever you are in DFW, just dial 444-4444. THE FOURS are here 4 you! 

 

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Thompson Law's top motorcycle safety tips.

Whether you drive a Harley or a Honda motorcycle, you are part of a group that faces some of the most significant dangers on the road.  

Motorcycle Safety Tips 

Motorcycle accidents can happen for reasons out of any control in some cases, however, there are some actions that you can take to reduce your risk of collision. Taking precautions is especially important for motorcyclists who are so much more exposed and vulnerable to injury on these types of vehicles than other motorists.  

Seasonal Risks for Motorcyclists 

Texas is one of the lucky states for motorcycle enthusiasts, as there are very few days that truly exclude the form of transport. Warm, dry days are best for riding, but  

Spring Risks: rain, high winds, and the start of construction season all contribute to spring dangers for bikers. Roads may be damaged from winter weather, and particularly treacherous with new potholes and debris – two inconveniences for cars that are dangerous obstacles for those on two wheels. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and campaigns are targeted at this time to grab drivers attention before the deadliest season – summer. 

Summer Risks: June July and August are the most dangerous time of year for motorcyclists. Depending on the report, June may be most deadly by single-day tally, though July has the highest total number of fatalities in recent years. It is unsurprising that these months are the most trafficked by bikers, traveling for summer vacation with other holiday travelers, warm temperatures that discourage full-coverage attire, and continued construction on the hot asphalt. 

Fall Risks: Early fall in Texas is still an extension of summer temperatures and conditions. Back to school and commuter traffic tick up during these months, contributing to chaotic driving conditions. Late fall cooling temps lead to tire pressure and mechanical issues as bikes adjust, as well as the potential for the first freezes at the very end of the season, accompanied by rain and sleet. 

Winter Risks: Cold winter weather can result in icyslick streets, snow, low visibility due to weather and shorter daysStill, Texas offers a relatively yearround riding season, leading many bikers here to persevere through our coldest months and even driving through notoriously dangerous holiday seasons. 

The Importance of Maintenance for Motorcycles 

Proper maintenance of a motorcycle is just as, if not more, important than proper maintenance of a car. With only two tires on the ground and more of the machine’s structure exposed to the elements, it’s important to regularly look for anything that seems off and to keep all components in good working order. Make sure brakes are sound, tires have good tread, all lights are functioning. Have unusual noises or handling checked out for optimal function and build a relationship with a shop that you trust so you have a great resource ready when your bike needs a tune-up. 

Don’t Overestimate the Benefit of Drivers School 

As stated in this article from motor enthusiast publication The Drive:  

There is no statistical evidence that the basic safety course makes you a safer rider. The only way to be a safer rider is by using this equation: Extensive Personal Practice + Advanced Riding Courses = a Safer Rider.” 

Top motorcycle instructors agree the only way to truly become a safer driver is through practice. Simply taking a course or doing the minimum practicing to get through a certification does not translate into the real-life handling skills and muscle memory that it takes to improve your ridership.  

The Benefits of Real Motorcycle Gear 

It is common to hear complaints about the expense of specialty gear for motorcycle riding. However, if you are going to make the commitment to owning a bike, you should absolutely make a commitment to your bodily safety while riding it. All motorist and vehicle safety resources recommend at least the following items of apparel for every ride, any time of year: 

    • Helmets for all riders (always invest in a new helmet, never Used) 
    • Well designed and fitted face shield, goggles, or glasses 
    • Bright or reflective clothing 
    • Durable clothing, with full-length sleeves and pants, plus gloves 
    • Durable boots that cover the ankles 

If You Aren’t Ready, Don’t Ride 

Experienced motorcycle instructors often advise a concept like “double defensive driving – a name for the concept that motorcyclists need to be twice as vigilant toward their surroundings as any other driver on the road. If you are not a person with the diligence to drive in this way, if you feel unprepared or lacking practice, or even if you are an experienced driver having an off day, choose not to get on the bike. It’s a choice that may save lives. 

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Motorcycle Crash Statistics 

Since 1997, the number of registered motorcycles in the United States has just about tripled. Just a few years ago, in 2013, 443,000 motorcycles were registered in Texas. This ranked Texas as the state with the third-highest number of registered bikes in the countryWith biking season existing nearly yearround for Texas motorcyclists, bike enthusiasts and admirers alike may not be surprised at this popularityThe state has also consistently ranked highly in the overall percentage of women motorcyclists. This may bode well for Texas, as women riders have lower crash statistics than men – men make up 91% of motorcycle fatalities. 

Wearing a helmet is a legal requirement in Texas, just as it is in nearly every state in the U.S. New Hampshire is the only state that does not have this requirement (interestingly, it is the state with the most lax seat belt laws as well). Still, even with safety gear requirements, motorcycling is very dangerous. In the last 20 years, the fatality rate for motorcyclists has more than doubled! Motorcycles are 38 times more dangerous than driving a car. And in Texas, more fatal motorcycle crashes occur overall in urban areas than rural, and also occur at a higher per capita rate in these areas.  

Because there is so much passion for riding within the motorcycle community, many statistics are used to support ideas that there are safer ways to ride or to misrepresent the amount of control that bikers have in avoiding wrecks. For example, 70% of crashes that involve a motorcycle and another vehicle occur at intersections, where the driver in the other vehicle causes the accident. However, no matter the spin, the fact is these vehicles are dangerous. Motorcyclists make up 3% of registered vehicles and 0.6% of all annual vehicle miles traveled in this country, but motorcyclists represent 14% of all traffic fatalities. If you are going to ride, do all you can to stay informed, stay alert, and stay safe. 

After Motorcycle Accidents 

After a motorcycle accident, just like after an accident, it is important to get checked out by a medical professional. Sadly, many motorcycle accidents result in such severe injuries for the driver that they have no choice in this decision – the ambulance called to the scene will make those determinations. In fact, these accidents are so dangerous that of the 436 motorcycle crashes in Texas in 2018, 398 motorcycle drivers were killed. 

If those involved in the crash are lucky enough to make it through, it is extremely important to follow your prescribed treatment plan for healing any injuries. Many motorcyclists have a real passion for riding, but if you push your physical limitations too far and get right back on the bike after a serious injury, you run the risk of further injury and permanent damage. In addition, aggressively getting back to strenuous activities in this way can damage your chances for a good settlement through your insurance company. Your claim of injury and loss will be undermined by your actions. 

Aside from prioritizing healing after the motorcycle accident, it is important to make sure that your personal interests are represented. When accidents do occur between a motorcycle and another vehicle, most of the time the at-fault party is the non-motorcyclist. A recent study found this disparity in the cause of accidents, and also found that a common reason for these collisions was distracted drivers failing to notice and give way to smaller vehicles. With an experienced motorcycle accident attorney working for you, you increase your chances of a higher settlement to cover all the expenses you are facing after your accident.  

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Your Dallas and Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Attorneys 

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a motorcycle accident, the time to call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is now. Fighting insurance companies for good settlements after accidents on these dangerous vehicles can be a particularly difficult task. With the help of the expert legal team at Thompson Law behind you, you stand a much better chance of getting the justice you deserve and the highest possible compensation for your injuries, damages, pain, and suffering.  

Thompson Law makes it as easy as possible to start your case, just call us in Dallas at 214-444-4444 or Fort Worth at 817-444-4444. After a traumatic motorcycle accident, the last thing you need to worry about is traveling around town to legal appointments and hassling with insurance company nonsense. Leave all of that to an expert team. In as little as 15 minutes on the phone, you can sign up for legal services with Thompson Law fighting for your just compensation and supporting you every step of the way.

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allstate

Reporting Disturbing Results  

In a story featured this week by WSB-TV, a large Atlanta law firm reported that 30% of its suits were against Allstate, and Allstate made up 40% of those lawsuits which then proceeded to trial. What makes this so distressing is that Allstate has less than 10% of the market in the area that the firm serves. The disproportionate representation of Allstate in these lawsuits may have something to do with the company’s “deny, delay, defend approach that they adopted under the advisement of the infamous McKinsey strategy. 

Their approach to settlement offers appears to be catching up with them because, apart from this latest report, they were also singled out as the number one worst insurance company of the Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America reported by the American Association for Justice (AAJ). 

Beyond the low-ball settlements that Allstate now-famously offers victims, they are also being accused of shoddy workmanship in their network of body shops. In an example highlighted by the WSB-TV report, a car’s undercarriage repair was done so cheaply that the car was deemed “inferior, incomplete, and unsafe” and the manufacturer would not pass the repair, leaving the victim carless and trapped in continuing negotiations with Allstate.  

Allstate did not provide much at all as an explanation or defense of their actions. They refused to be interviewed in the context of the reporting, offering only very brief statements claiming that the data was unreliable due to the small sample size. However, the firm report was comprehensive disclosure of the first 9 months of 2019 and included 423 car crash lawsuits, and even more, injured and victimized people. Allstate also claimed to “guarantee the quality” of the repair work. This guarantee rings hollow after the evidence provided by real victims and statements from former in-house counsel for the insurance provider, characterizing a company attitude of “if you don’t like it, go to trial.” 

The Value of An Auto Accident Attorney 

The insurance industry is highly regulated and legally bound to act in good faith toward its customers. Still, Allstate and other providers manage to find loopholes and develop strategies to protect their profits and deny victims’ much-deserved settlement compensation. Allstate may be consistently ranked as the worst insurance provider in America, but the firm is not the only one deserving scrutiny. The 10 Worst list also includes Unum, AIG, State Farm, Conseco, WellPoint, Farmers, United Health, Torchmark, and Liberty Mutual. Additionally, State Farm landed on the AAJ’s 2018 list for Worst Corporate Conduct, describing “a banner year for fraud, unethical behavior, and empty corporate apologies.” 

The best choice after suffering an injury in an automobile accident is always to hire an experienced car accident and personal injury lawyer. These recent reports show that an accident involving Allstate insurance makes legal counsel even more critical. The sophistication of enormous insurance corporations in avoiding regulatory responsibility, utilizing draconian tactics in settlement offers, and using shady practices in body shop relationships set you up for a difficult and losing battle. 

Don’t fight Allstate and the other insurers alone. Call Thompson Law anytime for a free consultation about your accident and injuries. Our experiencedcompassionate, and driven team is standing by to take your case, answer your questions, and put you at ease, while we enter the fight to win your settlement.  

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car accident fatalities

The average person in a developed country has a 1 in 100-lifetime risk of being killed in a road traffic accident and a 1 in 3-lifetime risk of being injured in the same. These statistics are part of the motivation behind the ambitious goal set by the United Nations in its 2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development to halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by the year 2020.

Sadly, we are not meeting this goal on a national level in the United States, and we have even seen some increases in traffic accident fatalities over the span of these years. For example, there was a 5.6% jump in road crash deaths from 2015 to 2016. However, there are many individuals and communities working hard to improve the safety of our roads. By practicing defensive driving, maintaining our vehicles, and demanding better of our communities, cities, and states, we should be able to reduce roadway fatalities and finally make good progress on our Road to Zero.  

If you have been in a serious car accident or have lost a loved one in a tragic crash, there are resources available to you. Working with an experienced car accident attorney during this challenging time can be a tremendous help. There is so much to handle in the aftermath of a deadly accident. Medical visits for injuries of survivors, vehicle repair or replacement, funeral arrangements, and taking care of your family all take tremendous time and energy. Working with a professional accident attorney can relieve you of some of these responsibilities.

The experts at Thompson Law can provide legal guidance, assist you in navigating the process of treatment, and help you make the insurance demands associated with your claim. If it comes down to it, Ryan “the Lion” Thompson is prepared to fight your battle in court to make sure you receive your maximum just compensation for your ordeal. 

Call anytime 24/7/365 for a free consultation about your accident 

Help is standing by ready to take your call. 

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How Individuals Can Reduce Car Accident Fatalities 

Drill Defensive Driving: 

Defensive driving skills are a collection of habits that reflect safe and thoughtful choices on the road. The practice has been popularly described as driving as if everyone else around you on the road is drunk,” and this idea can really inspire a driver to give the road their full attention! There is not a settled list of behaviors that define defensive driving, but a lot of the following habits are typically included: 

Watch Your Speed 

Watch your Lane Position and Lane Changes 

Watch Out Especially for Pedestrians, Bikes, Scooters, and Children 

Do Not Tailgate and Follow the “Two Second Rule” 

Look for Assured Clear Distance Ahead  

Do Not Drive Aggressively 

Watch Out For Red Light Runners 

Be a Courteous Driver 

Essentially, defensive driving includes safe, law-abiding behavior and common senseStay focused, drive cautiously, obey signs, and encourage this behavior to your friends and loved ones. If we all consistently did these things, there would be far fewer roadway deaths every year.  

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Wear Your Seatbelt – The number one step that can be taken to reduce your chance of being killed in a car accident is to always wear a seatbelt. Estimates at an increased chance of survival due to proper seatbelt use are 45-65%.

Anytime you are in the car you should be belted and do make sure anyone else driving with you is also wearing his or her belt. Seatbelt laws fall under the Primary Enforcement category in Texas, meaning you can be stopped by a police officer for this offense alone, and you may be dealing with up to $200 in fines and court costs. It is illegal to ride in the front or backseat of a car without a seat belt, but beyond just risking a ticket or citation, you are risking people’s lives when you drive this way.  

Ditch Dangerous Driving: 

Drunk Driving – Drunk driving is the number one cause of car accident deaths. Never drive while you are under the influence, and don’t let your loved ones take this risk either.  

Drowsy Driving – Driving while you are extremely fatigued and in need of sleep is an extremely risky behavior. This danger is frequently associated with truck drivers who are pressured to cover as many miles as possible, as fast as possible. Pushing past your limit can have terrible consequences, and studies have shown that being awake for just 17 hours can have a similar effect on your body to a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.05% 

Distracted Driving – Texting and Driving has been a growing problem in the past few years, especially with the increasing ubiquity of the smartphone. Drivers distracted by their messages, apps, maps, and music cause over 1.6 million crashes annually in the US. Texas alone had 404 fatalities in 2017 caused by texting and driving.  

Be Careful in Dangerous Conditions – Bad weather is a contributor to 11% of fatal traffic accidents. But snow and thunderstorms, with their poor visibility and slick or icy roads, are not the only contributors to treacherous conditions. Construction can kick up debris, add chaos to your surroundings by confusing other drivers, demand unexpected slowing or stops, or divert lanes. Heavy traffic is another factor that is cause for concern. The stress of the situation and the saturation of vehicles can bring out aggressive and reckless tendencies in some drivers that can result in crashes.  

Get Regular Inspections – Keeping your car in ideal working order through regular professional check-ups can help prevent dangerous and deadly mechanical failures. Heed warnings and recall notices that you receive about your car. Recall information can be found simply by searching your car’s VIN. Cars are expensive, powerful, heavy machinery, and if yours is not operating properly, you are endangering yourself and those around you. Do yourself a favor by taking the time and taking the care to properly maintain your vehicle in good, safe working order.  

Maintain Visibility – Beyond professional inspections, take your own steps to ensure that your call is well-maintained. Avoid being in one of the 3400+ accidents that occur in Texas yearly due to impaired visibility. Keep headlight and taillight bulbs lit, replace worn out wiper blades, and keep windows and mirrors clear of obstruction. If you have safety systems built into your car, take advantage! Back up cameras and sensors, blind-spot mirrors or other specialty technology should all be kept in good working order to boost your ability to see all of your surroundings while you drive.  

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What We Can Do on a Community, City, & State Level to Reduce Road Fatalities 

  1. Improve Signage – City Planners, Engineers, and other construction professionals are responsible for designing and building successful city infrastructures. Small neighborhood streets may require only foot-long street signs and notices of bicyclists or children at play. Major interstate highways need much larger signs that are visible far enough in advance for drivers to react accordingly, and to direct people unfamiliar with the road to the proper lanes in plenty of time. Confusing merges and intersections should be assisted with sign communication to help drivers safely and efficiently navigate the area. Proper signage warning drivers about the road environment can save lives.  

 

  1. Improve Design for Roads and for Cars – Vast technological and engineering improvement has occurred in both roads and cars in recent years, but there are always potential updates for antiquated designs and technological innovations to be created. One study presented research showing that road crash deaths might be mitigated by as much as 20% of all vehicles were fully in compliance with national safety recommendations. In addition, it supported that lowering bumpers on cars and creating “home zones” where roads are uniquely equipped with lower speeds and non-motorist safety measures particularly for non-motorists, could also greatly contribute to the avoidance of injury and fatality by a motor vehicle collision.  

 

  1. Improve Emergency Preparedness – The vast majority of motor vehicle accident deaths occur in the hour immediately following the crash – so on the scene or on the way to the hospital. Cities and hospitals are constantly working to improve the efficiency of their emergency response, but there is still improvement to make. Training first responders in techniques to reach the scene and address the situation as quickly and successfully as possible is paramount in eliminating those critical minutes victims spend waiting to reach an emergency room. 

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Have You Lost a Loved One in a Tragic Car Accident?  

Get the Help You Deserve from an Exceptional Car Wreck Attorney Today. 

Tragically, despite our best efforts to make safe choices on the road, deadly accidents do still happen all the time. This is especially true in Texas, which accounts for about 10% of the traffic fatalities in the entire United States every year. After losing a loved one in one of these accidents, it is important that you receive justice for your suffering and loss, and compensation for your troubles and challenges.  

Reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for justice after a wrongful death. Thompson Law’s track record of success shows the passion that Ryan Thompson and his team have in fighting for their clients. After a terrible loss, focus on your health, make time for the people you care about, and leave the hard work of fighting insurance companies and those at-fault to The Lion.  

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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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minimum coverage

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What it Covers:  

Insurance payouts up to these amounts may be issued based on loss and injury caused in the accident. 

UM/UIM and PIP must be offered by insurers but can be rejected in writing by the policyholder. It is important to understand as a policy owner that if you are involved in a collision with an at-fault party who does not have insurance or a party with an insufficient policy, it is very difficult to recover damages for your injuries unless you have UM/UIM and/or PIP. 

Car Insurance Minimums for Financed Cars 

If you are still making payments on your car loan, your lender is allowed to dictate the level and types of coverage that you have. If your policy is found to be out of compliance with the requirements of your lender, you risk being in default of your loan. Lenders are granted this power during the term of your payments because they are the owner and financial stakeholders of your vehicular propertyThe below are recommended amounts by Texas auto insurers, although your lender may require different amounts based on the value of your car and other factors.  

Type of Coverage and Recommended Amounts: 

All states have a legal minimum insurance coverage that drivers are required to maintain in order to continually register and operate their vehicles. Texas is no exception, and state law also mandates that drivers who cause an accident here resulting in injury or damage pay for those damages. The issue that arises, however, is that the legal minimum insurance requirements do not always provide enough coverage for the amount of damage caused. The severity of injuries caused in car accidents, the amount of property damage that can occur, and the rising costs of healthcare and car prices mean that the baseline requirements leave at-fault drivers with maxedout policy payments and in a position to be personally liable for remaining accident expenses.

In light of this issue, and to protect their ownership interests, lenders who finance car loans require higher thresholds of coverage for the policyholders who are still paying off their cars. Minimum insurance coverage terms for financed cars in Texas are significantly higher than the state’s base requirements and go much further to cover the costs of accidents. It is clear that not all insurance policies are created equal. The types of insurance, descriptions of coverage, and requirement information that follow shed light on the options and decisions that customers face when selecting their specific policy.

If you have questions about your coverage or an at-fault driver’s coverage after an auto accident, consult an expert auto accident attorney for a better understanding of and advice on your options. Thompson Law offers free consultations to discuss your accident and injuries, and our experts can provide guidance for your next steps. It can be extremely challenging to navigate the insurance landscape alone. Fortunately, you do not have to. Thompson Law is here for you when you need us.

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Types of Insurance Coverage

In order to really evaluate the level of protection that a given insurance policy provides, it is important to start with a good understanding of insurance terms, types and uses:

Bodily Injury (BI) – Insurance that covers the personal injury costs caused by an accident. It can be allocated per person or per accident. One of the minimum coverage types required in Texas.

Collision Coverage – Insurance that covers the cost of repairing your car, if it is repairable. If it is not, it pays the actual current cash value of your car based on its age, mileage, and other factors that impacted its depreciation since purchase.

Comprehensive Coverage – Insurance that covers the cost of replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen, vandalized, damaged by fire, weather or a collision. Sometimes referred to as hazard insurance or catastrophic loss insurance, particularly in cases of severe natural events. This insurance sometimes includes payment for your rental car while the issues with your vehicle are addressed.

Deductible – Not a type of insurance, but important to understand in this context. The amount that you are responsible for paying before your insurance coverage takes effect, covering more or the full remainder of your accident expenses. Typically lower when you have high premiums, and higher when you pay a low monthly or annual premium.

Full Coverage – While not a specific type of insurance, the term is a way of describing a combination of coverages, typically taken to include collision, comprehensive, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist policies. Full coverage insurance is more expensive than limited coverage, and it offers greater protection for more types of damage to your vehicle.

Liability Insurance – Coverage for financial damages when you are at fault in an accident. It encompasses Bodily Injury (BI) and Property Damage (PD). Required by law in the US, individual states are responsible for setting minimum amounts.

Medical Payment Coverage – Insurance that helps pay the costs of medical bills resulting from the accident.

Minimum Coverage – Another term that is not a specific type of insurance but instead denotes a combination of coverage types just sufficient to meet state limits. (See Texas’ minimum coverage limits in the next section.)

Multiple Coverages – The combinations of insurance that are included in a single policy.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Like Medical Payment Coverage, but PIP also provides insurance for lost income and costs of caregiver services for injuries sustained by the covered individual. All policies in Texas automatically include PIP, although customers can elect out of the coverage by written agreement.

Premium – Not a type of insurance, but important to understand in this context. The monthly or annual payment costs that you have to maintain your insurance coverage. Typically lower when you have a higher deductible, and higher when you have a low deductible.

Property Damage (PD) – This insurance covers the damage that you cause to someone else’s property, usually up to a predetermined limit. One of the minimum coverage types required in Texas.

Rental Car Coverage – Sometimes part of your comprehensive coverage package, this covers your rental car expenses up to a certain amount or for a certain duration of time while your car is inoperable, stolen, or being repaired or replaced.

Towing and Labor – Sometimes referred to as Roadside Assistance, this is insurance for services such as towing, changing a flat tire, jump-starts, and some other cases where your car is inoperable.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) – Coverage for you in the case that the other motorist does not have enough insurance to cover all of the costs incurred by the accident. Texas insurance companies must offer you this coverage, and you may elect to opt-out of it by written agreement.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) – Coverage for you in the case that the other motorist does not have auto insurance. Texas insurance companies must offer you this coverage, and you may elect to opt-out of it by written agreement.

If you have questions about your coverage or an at-fault driver’s coverage after a motor vehicle accident, feel free to reach out. Our compassionate and professional legal experts are standing by 24/7/365 to take your call, discuss the details of your accident, and help you navigate your options going forward.

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Minimum Coverage Limits in Texas

Purchasing a valid and current automobile insurance policy is the most common and most highly recommended way for drivers to provide the evidence of financial responsibility that the state requires to drive legally. Once a driver has selected their coverages and entered into the insurance agreement, the providing company is required to mail a proof of insurance card and copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights to their customers. It is best practice for drivers to keep their insurance card in their glove box and wallet. In the case of an accident, or a police officer stop, registration renewal or inspection, you will be asked to present this document for verification.

Legal Minimum in the State of Texas

Liability coverage, sometimes referred to as the “30/60/25” plan is required in Texas.

State law regulates the minimum requirement.

Types of Coverage and Minimum Amounts:

$30,000 Bodily Injury Liability (BI) per individual

$60,000 Bodily Injury Liability (BI) per accident

$25,000 Property Damage Liability (PD)</

Recommended $100,00 Bodily Injury Liability (BI) per individual 

Recommended $300,000 Bodily Injury Liability (BI) per accident 

Recommended $50,000 Property Damage (PD) 

Comprehensive Collision Coverage 

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) 

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

What it Covers: 

Insurance payouts up to these amounts to be issued based on loss and injury from the accident. 

Repair/Replacement of the vehicle if it is hit, stolen, damaged or totaled. 

May include rental car coverage, roadside assistance, and extra coverages as dictated by the particulars of the collision coverage policy.  

The legal minimum is simply not enough coverage when you look at the high costs of car accidents. The minimums for financed cars provide a better starting point for determining what auto policy to purchase. Even if you have paid off your car and there is no lien holder dictating your decision, it is natural to want to make a sound and informed choice for the security of you and your passengers.  

If your policy limits are not sufficient to cover the costs that follow a serious accident, this can have huge impacts on your life. You can lose your savings, home, investments, other assets, damage your credit, and have your wages garnished into the future. Picking an insurance policy at a price point you can afford with adequate coverage to keep you safe and secure can feel like a game of “Better Safe Than Sorry.”  

Call 844-308-8180

Differences in Minimum Coverage Between Texas and Other States 

Texas’ minimum state requirements rank relatively well when considered nationally. The 30/60/25 plan alone mandates a higher minimum threshold than over 28 other states. Texas would fare even better in national rankings, beating out the coverages of about a dozen more states, if it took a different approach to UM/UIM coverage. In addition to Bodily Injury Coverage per person, per accident, and Property Damage per accident, about half of US states require some minimum amount of coverage for the case of a wreck with Under-Insured or Uninsured motorists.  

It is understandable that people are often frustrated by this concept. Why should individuals have to pay higher premiums for more comprehensive plans when it is already a legal requirement that all drivers carry some level of insurance? Shouldn’t that mean there is enough coverage out there to cover the accidents we have? Unfortunately, the reality is there are many people who do not follow the law and do not have insurance. In Texas, it is estimated that 1 in 5 or about 20% of vehicles are uninsured. Even for those who are insured to the bare minimum standard, the payout is simply not enough. The average new car price in 2019 is about $37,000, so the $25,000 property damage requirement is unlikely to cover one totaled vehicle, let alone multiple cars and other damaged property. While the higher price of a precautionary premium may be a nuisance, you will be extremely grateful for the additional payout that you receive after you suffer an accident with extensive bills and insufficient coverage to offset these expenses  

What Do These Minimums and Requirements Mean for You? 

Selecting an insurance plan with adequate protection is an important decision. In the event that you cause an accident, you want the premiums you have been paying to be put to good use covering the costs. Adding PIP, UM/UIM, collision, and comprehensive insurance on top of required liability coverage sets you up for the best outcome after the accident and can help prevent you from being personally sued for accident costs. Conversely, if you are hit by a driver who is under or uninsured, knowledge of the insurance types and practices along with the legal counsel of an experienced accident attorney will be a tremendous asset. Ensure that you gain every bit of your rightful compensation and are prepared to bring a lawsuit against the driver that hurt you by making the right insurance choices today. 

Ryan L. Thompson and his dedicated team at Lion Law are leaders in the Dallas personal injury space. Consequently, these experts have handled many automobile accident claims and cases. They have seen firsthand the damage that can happen to individuals and families who suffer serious accidents and have little to no recourse for insurance payout. Don’t let a split-second accident mean life changing financial burden.  

Call Today: 844-308-8180 

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Drunk driving

Former Dallas Cowboys alumnus Michael Irvin speaks out against drunk driving in the radio studio with car wreck lawyer Ryan Thompson. As the retired  Dallas Cowboy  and personal injury attorney Ryan Thompson discussed, drinking and driving is a catastrophically dangerous action. Every day, more than 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes (one person every 48 minutes in 2017). In 2016, drunk driving resulted in 10,497 fatalities (28% of all traffic-related deaths) in the United States. Texas alone saw over 1,400 fatal drunk driving accidents last year.  

Being involved in a drunk driving wreck can impact your life in a variety of negative ways. As the car wreck attorney and former Cowboy discussed on the radioif you have been hit by a drunk driver in Texas, you have the legal right to hold that person accountable for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages. It is important to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney so that you can understand your rights.  

Texas Law 

Driving under the influence is illegal and may result in more than just a fine or license revocation. Driving while intoxicated increases the likelihood of having a car accident, which may result in catastrophic injuries or even death. The first step in recovering some form of monetary compensation from car or truck wreck involving a drunk driver is understanding the laws in the State of Texas.  

In Texas, a person is considered legally intoxicated and can be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they have a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08g/dL. However, a person driving a vehicle can be convicted of a DWI even if their BAC is lower than 0.08g/dL if the driver’s mental and physical faculties are impaired. If the driver is under the age of 21, Texas has a zero tolerance” law that makes it illegal to have any amount of alcohol detected in your system while operating a vehicle.  

To find out an estimate of how many drinks it takes to reach the legal BAC limit for your weight, visit the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission 

Impaired Driving Statistics 

    • In 2016, more than 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That’s 1% of the 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults every year.  
    • 1 in 3 people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. 
    • On average, a convicted drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest. 
    • Drivers with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher who were involved in fatal crashes were four times more likely to have a prior conviction for DUI than drivers with no alcohol in their system. 
    • 31% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes on weekends were alcohol-impaired, compared to 16% of vehicle operators during weekdays. 

All Car Accidents Aren’t Created Equal 

If you have been in a car accident involving a drunk driver (i.e., driving while intoxicated, or DWI) or a driver that has been under the influence of alcohol or drugs (i.e., driving under the influence, or DUI), it will have a major impact on your personal injury case. Motor vehicle collisions involving intoxicated drivers set themselves apart, due to the approach taken in determining if and how much compensation is due for damages 

Drunk driving accidents share commonalities with other types of car accidents because both may involve serious injuries, an attempt to assign liability, and negotiations with insurance providers to reach a settlement. However, drunk driving accidents differ in 2 ways: 

1) Proof of DWI – this constitutes negligence per se. This means that in order to assign liability a person injured in a drunk driving accident doesn’t have to prove all 4 elements of negligence: 

1. Duty 

2. Breach 

3. Causation  

4. Harm 

2) The victim only has to show that the defendant caused their harm (the last 2 elements of negligence). 

      1. The person injured in a drunk driving accident is more likely to receive punitive damages – due to the aggravating factors involved – than a person injured in a car accident involving no alcohol.  

Punitive damages are designed to “punish” the individual at fault and discourage others from behaving similarly. Punitive damages will only apply if the defendant acted intentionally or with gross negligence. Driving while intoxicated constitutes gross negligence.  

What Do I Do If I’ve Been Involved in An Accident with a Drunk Driver? 

When you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it is crucial to obtain evidence that the driver who caused the accident has been drinking. police report stating that the driver was intoxicated and/or had an open alcoholic container in the car at the time of the accident is critical evidence for negotiating a higher settlement, or to use at trial in personal injury cases. 

A drunk driver may attempt to cover up their intoxication before a police officer arrives on the scene by, for example, dumping out alcohol or switching drivers. It is important to pay close attention to the actions of the driver after an accident, to document any relevant interaction using photo or video proof, and to report any suspicious activity of the driver and/or passenger to the police officer.    

There Does Not Need to be an Arrest 

Driving while intoxicated is a crime. However, if you have been involved in an accident with an intoxicated driver, an arrest is not necessary for you to make a case against them.  

Texas Comparative Fault Still Applies 

In the state of Texas, you may still be held liable for a drunk driving accident even if you weren’t the drunk driver 

Texas is a comparative fault state, which means that your compensation may be lowered if it’s determined you were partially responsible. For example, if you ran a light and were hit by a drunk driver, your compensation may go down in relation to the degree to which you were responsible for causing the accident. For example, if you were determined to be 25% responsible for the accident, you will only receive 75% of the compensation.               

Have You Been in An Accident with an Intoxicated Driver? 

If a drunk driver injured or killed your parent, spouse, child, or another relative, call a drunk driving accident lawyer at Thompson Law as soon as possible. We will thoroughly investigate the situation, evaluate your injuries, and advise you on whether you can pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. We are highly experienced in personal injury law, and if you have a claim we will fight hard for you and your family to receive the compensation you deserve during this difficult time. Trust former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin’s endorsement of personal injury lawyer Ryan Thompson.

Contact Ryan The Lion Thompson today at  469-565-0427 - or via  our  online consultation form using this link – to schedule a free consultation, discuss the circumstances of your accident, and how we can help you.  As the former Cowboys states, the injury lawyers at Thompson Law work on a contingency fee basis, so there’s never a fee unless we win your case.  Choose attorney Ryan Thompson to be your car wreck cowboy if you’ve been hurt by a drunk driver. 

Former Dallas Cowboys alum, Michael Irvin speaks out against distracted driving in the studio with car wreck lawyer Ryan Thompson. Distracted driving has led to the death of 3,166 people in 2017 alone. Simply taking your eyes of the road for 5 seconds at 55mph is like driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed. 

We live in a world where we have seemingly limitless access with the touch of a button. Our technology savvy society brings the pressure to stay connected at all times, even while driving. In a study conducted by the Zebra about American’s driving behavior and attitudes, 37% of respondents aged 18-34 stated that they felt a high degree of pressure to respond to work-related messages while driving.  Distracted driving is in line with driving while impaired in terms of risk and dangers. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1 in every 5 car accidents in Texas is due to distracted driving, a ratio that has not decreased in the past 4 years, even with the emerging emphasis to keep our focus on the road.  

“Driving while texting” and “driving while distracted” may seem interchangeable, however, distracted driving encompasses a lot more than just checking your phone while driving. Distracted driving refers to any time you are paying attention to anything other than the road while driving. There are various form of distracted driving, including: 

  • Texting and driving 
  • Talking on the phone while driving 
  • Smartphone usage (Social media, Snapchat, Web browsing, etc.) 
  • Eating while driving 
  • Putting makeup on while driving 
  • Playing with the radio and driving
  • Interacting with passengers and pets while driving 

Driving while distracted is dangerous and accounts for 9% of all fatal crashesDistracted driving also has major ramifications related to traffic safety, violations, and insurance rates.  

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 3 types of distracted driving: 

1. Manual Distraction – taking the hands off the wheel to do a task (reach for an item, adjust the radio, pet their dog, etc.)  

  • According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 31% of drivers get distracted by their pets in the car. While 80% of people admitted to driving with their pets, only 17% of those used a pet restraint, such as a kennel or seatbelt.  
  • driver is 8 times more likely to be involved in a crash when reaching for an object and 3 times more likely to crash while eating or drinking.  

2. Visual Distraction – involves taking the eyes off the road to look somewhere else (looking at an accident, text message, kids in the backseat, navigation system, etc.)  

3. Cognitive Distraction – involves a driver taking their mind off driving to daydream, think of work problems, thinking about something other than driving 

Top 10 Causes of Distracted Driving 

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1. 62% – Generally Distracted or “Lost in Thought” 

  • The leading cause of distracted driving fatalities is a driver’s mind wandering while driving. 

2. 12% – Cell Phone Use  

  • The 2nd leading cause of deaths due to distraction-related car wrecks is using cell phones while driving (even hands -free!) can distract us in many ways.  

3. 7% – Outside person, Object, or Event 

  • Looking at something outside the car such as a car accident (rubbernecking) or at other people in their cars, billboards, etc. is a huge distraction!  

4. 5% – Other Occupants 

  • Other people in the car can place demand for your attention while driving 

5. 2% – Using or Reaching for A Device in Car 

  • We are all aware of the dangers of texting while driving, but so is reaching for your phone and other objects while driving.  

6. 2% – Eating or Drinking While Driving 

  • We may all be guilty of this one. Many people are rushed for time and may eat a burger while driving. Even using a cupholder may come as a distraction.  

7. 2% – Adjusting Climate or Audio Controls 

  • Fiddling with the radio or A/C for even a moment is a factor in car accidents 

8. 1% – Using Devices/Controls to Operate Vehicle 

  • Adjusting things such as seatbelts or mirrors play a relatively minor role in distraction-related accidents 

9. 1% – Moving Objects 

  • Moving objects in the car such as a pestering insect or pet can lead you to take your eyes off the road. Property Casualty 360 suggested that this may be an underreported cause of distraction. 

10. 1% – Smoking-Related 

  • 1 in 100 accidents reported are related to lighting a cigarette or putting it out.  

As the former Cowboy and our car wreck attorney discussed, the one factor all of these distractions share is the fact that the driver is paying attention to something other than driving. Complacency is the reason many drivers feel they can take their eyes and mind off the road. After drivers get comfortable, they forget just how dangerous it can be – because they are complacent to the risks of driving.  

Distracted Driving Vs. Drunk Driving

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Distracted Driving in Texas 

As of September 1, 2017, the Texas Legislature passed a statewide ban on wireless communication devices for electronic messaging while operating a vehicle. Texting, as well as reading or writing an email, is prohibited while driving on the roads in Texas.  

In Texas, first-time violators could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine between $25 to $99. Repeat offenders could receive a penalty of up to $200. 

Local areas may have passes stricter ordinances while completely limit any type of cell phone usage while driving.  

  • Drivers cannot send or receive electronic messages while driving in Texas. 
  • Drivers with learner’s permits are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving. 
  • Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communications devices while driving. 
  • School bus operators are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present. 
  • In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices while driving. 
  • Local restrictions: Drivers should become familiar with any ordinances in effect in their local areas. Drivers should contact their local municipality to determine if there are additional laws governing the use of cell phones. 

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Call Thompson Law 844-308-8180 

If you are a victim of an accident in which the other person was distracted – such as texting and driving – trust our specialists in car wrecks and Cowboy alum Michael Irvin, and get in touch with the experienced team at Thompson Law as soon as you can. We offer obligation-free consultations during which time we will go through your claim details and explain all your legal options. Should you let us represent you, you will pay no fees unless we win your case. Contact us at 844-308-8180. 

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.

Car insurance guide information

Why do you need to know about car insurance?

According to the Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts, there were a total of 14,299 crashes in Texas in 2017, in which more than 17,000 people sustained serious injuries.

Apart from the physical and emotional trauma victims of an accident have to go through, they have to deal with a number of insurance agencies, which is not always easy. This is because insurance companies are profit-oriented, and in most cases, they would like to pay as few claims as possible to preserve their profit margins.

How vehicle insurance works in Texas

Texas laws require that all drivers have a liability insurance cover. If your vehicle is financed, your lender may also demand that you obtain a collision and comprehensive insurance cover. Such an insurance policy covers you against property damage and injuries that you may cause to others in an accident. For instance, the car insurance cover will pay for vehicle repair or replacement costs, medical bills, and other expenses associated with an accident.

Currently, the minimum car insurance policy limit in Texas is 30/60/25, that is, $30,000 for every person who’s injured, $60,000 for injuries per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. These are merely minimum coverage requirements, and insurers normally indicate them on the front page of the policy document.

Apart from the liability coverage, other forms of insurance covers available to Texas drivers include personal injury protection (PIP), collision coverage, uninsured or underinsured coverage, and medical payments coverage.

Besides, insurers may provide you with lower premiums on your coverage than their competitors to lure you. Therefore, simply because you have a car insurance cover does not imply you are fully covered.

Why should I report the accident to my insurer?

It’s difficult to know whether or not you should report all accidents to your insurer as not every accident warrants an insurance claim. Failure to report an accident could lead to severe consequences, including forfeiting your chance to be compensated for any damages. In Texas, most insurers require you to report the accident within a day or two.

Ideally, you should report even a seemingly minor accident, so that you are covered should there be problems later on or if the other driver files a lawsuit. Reporting an accident to your insurer will not raise your premium rates if you do not file a claim.

The sooner you inform your insurer of the accident, the sooner they can investigate. Once you contact them, be clear and concise on what happened. State only the facts without admitting fault. Should the other driver’s insurer contact you, avoid volunteering any information. Instead, ask them to speak to your attorney.

Who pays for the damages after an accident in Texas?

If you or your loved one has been involved in an accident, you may be wondering who is responsible for the resulting medical bills and vehicle repairs. This largely depends on the circumstances of the accident, including who was at fault.

Texas is a ‘comparative fault’ state. This implies that the other party or his insurance company is responsible for any damages if they were at fault. However, you have to be less than 50% responsible for the accident. If you are awarded any damages, they will be deducted depending on your percentage fault. For example, if you are determined to have been 25% at fault and you were eligible for $10,000 as compensation, you will only be awarded $7500.

If you were at fault or you were in a single-car accident, you are likely to be responsible for the damages unless you have personal injury protection or a medical payments insurance cover. Your attorney may help you prove that something else such as debris on the road or a vehicle defect caused the accident.

When should I involve an attorney after an accident?

In case you are involved in a minor accident where no one is injured, and there is insignificant or no damage, you might not need the services of an attorney. You should consider getting an attorney as soon as possible if:

  • The accident has caused severe injuries such as bone fractures, paralysis or other permanent injuries, or even death
  • You are uncertain who was at fault
  • The accident happened in a construction zone or a protected area such as a school or pedestrian crossing
  • There are concerns when it comes to your liability limits, your insurance status, or if you do not have an insurance cover
  • If you have sustained serious injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence, an attorney will help build your case and ensure a fair settlement.

If you have been involved in an accident and you are unsure of where you stand legally, contact Thompson Law Injury Lawyers for a free case review.

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.

Motorcycle accident

Motorcycle accidents in Texas can be extremely serious. Motorcycle drivers and their passengers don’t receive the same physical protection during accidents as drivers and passengers of cars and trucks. Although motorcycle drivers are certainly not always at fault in an accident, they still face a higher risk of serious injury and death. More than 15% of all vehicle fatalities in Texas involve motorcycles. Here’s how motorcyclists in Texas can reduce their risk of an accident.

Avoid Lane Splitting

Although Texas is considering statutes that would legalize lane splitting at least under some circumstances, it is a dangerous practice. Lane splitting is a common cause of motorcycle accidents because of how close motorcycles are to other vehicles as they drive between the slower or stopped vehicles in two lanes. Motorcycle drivers don’t have as much time to react in the face of a hazard.

Never Drink and Drive

It may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s important. More than half of all single motorcycle accidents in the United States happen because the driver was drinking. Since motorcycles don’t provide riders with as much protection as passenger vehicles, drinking and driving is even more deadly for motorcycle riders.

Obey Speed Limits

When you’re driving a motorcycle in Texas, obeying speed limits becomes even more important. A passenger vehicle can swerve to avoid certain objects or even hit certain objects and continue on their way with no or little damage. Yet, motorcycles don’t always have this luxury. Swerving at a high rate of speed increases the chance that you’ll lose control of your motorcycle and be involved in a wreck. Hitting certain objects can be more dangerous as well. This danger increases if you’re speeding.

Always Wear the Proper Safety Equipment

While wearing the proper safety equipment won’t necessarily help you avoid being involved in a motorcycle accident, it can reduce the chance of severe injuries or even death. Although motorcycle drivers and riders over the age of 21 do not have to wear a helmet in Texas, it’s important to note that a helmet can help protect you from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Wearing the right type of jacket, boots, and pants as a motorcycle rider can help protect you from road rash. While road rash may not seem serious, it can lead to permanent scarring, permanent nerve damage, and deadly infections.

Ride Safely

Almost half of all motorcycle accidents in the United States happen when a car is making a left-hand turn. Often the motorcyclist tries to pass the vehicle or believes that they can beat the vehicle through the intersection. Because motorcycle accidents can be extremely serious, it’s important that motorcyclists take extra precautions in order to protect themselves.

Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Texas, contact Thompson Law. We understand Texas laws surrounding motorcycle accidents. We provide free initial consultations and we can help you protect your legal rights. Don’t wait. THE FOURS ATTORNEYS are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in Dallas at 214-444-4444 or Fort Worth at 817-444-4444. Or call us toll-free now at 844-308-8180.

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.