Texas seat belt law

The Texas Motor Vehicle Authority ensures that vehicles registered in the state undergo an annual inspection, and among the many things in the inspection checklist are seat belts. Every year the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has a “Click It or Ticket” Campaign, and November 2020 marked its 18th anniversary. Since 2002, the campaign that urges people to buckle up has saved 6,234 lives, and currently, 91% of Texans always wear their seatbelts.

According to TxDOT, wearing a seat belt reduces death risk in case of a car crash by 45% in passenger vehicles and by 60% in a pickup truck. With 14% of Texans admitting to driving under the influence, your safety on the road is compromised.

Since you cannot control other people’s actions, you should ensure that you reduce the chances of injury by wearing a seat belt every time you are on the road, whether as a driver or a passenger. Therefore, let’s take you through the benefits of wearing a seat belt, the injuries they may cause, and seat belt safety tips.

Top Benefits of Wearing Seat Belts in Texas

Save Lives

Car crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States for those aged between 1 and 54. Seat belt use is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of death; it decreases death risk by 45% among front-seat passengers and drivers. By restraining you, it prevents you from being ejected where you can meet death on the road.

Reduce Injuries

A seat belt protects your body against serious injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries that can dramatically change your life as well as the lives of your loved ones.

Reduce the Financial Costs

If you are involved in a car accident and you sustain injuries, the chances are that you will remain in hospital three to five times longer than if you had been wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred. As a result, you incur 2-7 times the medical expenses of victims who wear seat belts. However, it goes beyond reducing your hospital bills. The fact that some people insist on not wearing seat belts puts a financial burden on every taxpayer. Insurance premiums increase, and so do taxes. Failing to wear seat belts imposes a tax burden of about $137 billion per year, an amount that would significantly decrease if everyone adhered to the law.

Strong Personal Injury Case

If you sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident that have resulted in paralysis, your paralysis attorney has a better chance of winning your case after showing that the injuries were not due to negligence on your part. However, that is only possible if you were wearing a seat belt, especially since anyone riding in a Texas motor vehicle must wear a seat belt.

Avoid Legal Issues

In Texas, everyone should buckle up lest face tickets and fines. Children under 8 years old must be in a child safety seat if they are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches; if not, the driver will face up to a $250 fine and court costs. Adults can pay up to $200, plus court costs.

Texas Seat Belt Law

What Are the Most Common Seat Belt Injuries?

Seat belts can save your life, but you might not escape bruise-free. A three-point adult harness rests on the abdomen, shoulders, and chest. As the seat belt forces you to stay in your seat, the points of impact in these three areas can result in blunt force trauma in the:

Abdomen

You might experience pain in the abdominal area and surrounding regions after the accident due to the pressure applied as you are thrust forward in an accident. Getting an evaluation prevents severe complications later.

Neck

Your head could be pushed back and forth rapidly during a car accident, resulting in straining neck tendons and ligaments, thus causing whiplash. A neck injury attorney can ensure that you get the justice you deserve.

Chest

It is a direct point of impact that will affect the underlying organs such as the heart and lungs located in the sternum.  A sore chest should encourage you to seek immediate medical attention. Other thoracic injuries include rib fractures, myocardial contusion, sternal fractures, and pulmonary contusion.

Texas Seat Belt Law & Safety Tips

  • Always wear a seat belt regardless of where you are sitting.
  • Wear it correctly

The lap belt should not ride upon the stomach; instead, it should be snug across your upper thighs. The shoulder strap should lie across the middle of your chest and shoulder. Do not let it fall across your neck; neither should it be behind your back or under your arms. You can minimize the gap between the seat belt and the shoulder by not reclining your seat more than necessary.

  • Any child under a year old and weighing less than 35 pounds should be in a rear-facing child seat at the vehicle’s back seat. Children below five years old and less than 36 inches tall should ride in a child safety seat.
  • When buying a car, ensure that the seat belts fit perfectly. Ask about any room for adjustments to get the best fit. Always adjust your strap to the wearer’s height, and if you need a roomier belt, you can contact the vehicle manufacturer for seat belt extenders.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After Sustaining Injuries

After sustaining injuries, the Texas statute of limitations directs you to file your injury case within two years from the date of injury. You or your loved ones do not have to worry about losing your case because you can’t find a competent lawyer. Thompson Law has a team of skilled injury lawyers ready to come to you wherever you are. We are a small, family-run firm with a large pool of resources; we personally handle all cases and establish close working relationships with our clients.

At Thompson Law, we only win if you do; therefore, you don’t owe us a penny until we have settled your injury case. We offer free consultations and free case reviews, so if you feel that you or your loved ones deserve your day in court, we are here for you. Contact us today on the phone, fax, email, or our social media page. We are available 24/7 to listen to you and will assign you a lawyer within 15 minutes.

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.

car accident cost

The Houston Chronicle, a leading Texas newspaper, reports that car crashes in the state cost a whopping $38.4 billion in 2017, representing an 86% increase from 2007. These statistics factor in a year’s lost wages in addition to other costs.

Given these cost implications, you deserve to be compensated if you believe the other driver was at-fault during your crash. Working with a competent car accident attorney in Texas will help you file a successful claim in court. At Thompson Law, we have represented a variety of different case types and recovered incredible amounts of money for our clients.

Read along for more insights on the real cost of car accidents and how car insurance coverage can protect you from paying more than you should.

Common Factors That Affect the Cost of an Accident

The following can be the contributing factors to the overall cost of a car accident:

Damage to the Vehicle

A car accident can result in minor damages that are hardly noticeable to significant vehicle damage requiring extensive repairs. The more extensive the damage, the higher the cost of the repair. Notably, some vehicle parts cost higher to replace than others.

The Extent of Your Injuries

Even minor car accidents may result in injuries requiring some medical attention. Injuries like minor cuts and bruises may not need hospitalization, but it is in your best interest to get checked by a qualified physician. Severe injuries may require hospitalization, lifelong care, surgeries, and physical therapies. In a nutshell, all types of injuries can significantly push the cost of your accident.

Third-Party Injuries

The severity of third-party injuries and the number of occupants in a third party’s automobile at the time of the collision can substantially push the cost of an accident. If you are determined to be at fault, you may be legally liable for your passenger’s damages as well.

Property Damage

Car crashes can damage more property than the third-party vehicle itself. If your accident damage other property, such as valuable items in the vehicle or other people’s homes, and other infrastructure, you may be legally liable for the damage.

The Cost of Attorney

After an accident, it is a good practice to work with experienced car accident lawyers to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that you will pay for their services at the end if you settle or get an award. The standard amount an attorney will take for their services can be anything between 33 and 40 percent.

Typical Costs Associated With a Car Accident

Car accidents are much more than money. Let’s look at the typical costs associated with car accidents in the US.

Car Repair Costs

Car crashes typically result in repair expenses. The cost of repair can add up quickly depending on the severity of the accident. The much you have to pay for some common repairs depend on the accident’s location, the extent of the damage, vehicle model, and other factors.

  • On average, it may cost you an upward of $1000 to repair scratches.
  • Replacing a windshield may cost you anything between $100 to $1500, depending on the car’s make and model.
  • Replacing a damaged bumper may set you back $880 to $1390, depending on the make and model of the car.

Notably, significant damages that affect other parts of the car, such as the engine or suspension, can cost much higher. It typically takes not less than two weeks to complete a major collision repair, and you should factor in the cost of renting a car while yours is in the garage.

Treatment Costs

Car crashes can cause severe injuries, pain, and decreased quality of life. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the cost of US road crashes to be around $871 billion in a single year. Dealing with the aftermath of accidents, including treatments, visits to doctors, loss of productivity, requires substantial amounts of money.

According to US CDC, the average cost of hospital visits to treat injuries caused by car crashes is about $3,300 for the emergency room and about $7,500 for normal hospitalization. Importantly, it is not just money that you could be losing but also time and energy. All these losses are factored in when calculating the actual cost of your treatment and recovery.

Work Productivity 

Even fender bender accidents can result in lost wages and a downturn in work productivity. Any car accident can affect your productivity in the following ways:

  • Results in mobility inconveniences that prevent you from getting to work on time
  • Force you to take time off for hospital visits, and car repairs
  • The impending lawsuits and other related stresses can keep you from concentrating at work

How Much Does a Car Accident Cost If I Have the Right Insurance?

Having the right insurance coverage before an accident happens can significantly reduce the costs associated with car crashes. Apart from comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, you can also add coverage like Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments to help ease the financial burdens of medical bills and other damages. The cost of out-of-pocket vehicle repairs and medical exposes can be prohibitively high if you drive without insurance and are involved in a car crash.

What Are the Consequences of Driving Without Insurance?

The consequences of driving without insurance tend to vary from state to state. Since you don’t have the policy to protect you, you can be sued and forced to pay for all the injuries and damage caused. You can also expect the following consequences:

  • Potential jail term
  • Increase in future insurance rates & suspension of driver’s licenses
  • Hefty fines, tickets, and fees

Let Thomson Law Help You Get the Full Compensation You Deserve

If you have sustained injuries due to an accident, you have the right to compensation. However, dealing with insurance companies and obtaining fair and just compensation may not be an easy undertaking. That is why it is wise to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who handles all the legal aspects of your lawsuit so you can concentrate on recovery. At Thomson law, our team of personal injury lawyers has the expertise, resources, and commitment to get the fair compensation you deserve. Call (866) 275-6370 or connect with us online to talk to our bilingual team today for a free case evaluation.

PIP In Texas

If a car accident has left you with injuries, medical treatment will be the most vital element of your recovery. Your doctor may offer emergency treatment procedures, inpatient care, surgeries, or therapy. While you don’t want to imagine how much you’ll pay, the costs are unavoidable because you must heal.

In these circumstances, personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance can be your savior. The coverage pays for your medical care, and you’ll worry less about the massive bills presented by your facility.

What is PIP?

PIP (sometimes referred to as no-fault insurance) is a component of automobile insurance plans focused on addressing any medical expenses resulting from a car accident. It addresses the healthcare expenses of policyholders and vehicle occupants, whether or not they have health insurance.

Sometimes, the cost of the necessary treatments exceeds the policy’s limits. In such circumstances, health insurance can take care of the additional expenses. These policies have a per-person maximum, meaning it’s limited to a specific amount per person if the incident inflicted injuries to multiple individuals.

PIP is not required in Texas. However, acquiring the coverage can help address the initial health care costs, lost income after the incident, and deductibles. The no-fault insurance coverage pays upon providing evidence of the treatment expenses, and the policyholder doesn’t need proof of liability.

PIP as Your Safety Net

After a car accident, your priority should be the well-being and safety of every occupant in the vehicle. You do not usually begin figuring out the state of your car and personal items or how you’ll move the car until after checking on everyone involved. This is usually a difficult, tense moment, further complicated by beginning to think of how you’ll get money to foot the medical bills and complete the necessary repairs.

Unfortunately, the other driver may have minimal coverage, and you may be left with additional health care expenses and repairs beyond what your insurer covers. Also, if the at-fault party causes an accident involving several cars, you may find yourself scrambling with the others for a percentage of the benefits.

So, if you’re a road accident victim and the at-fault driver’s insurer can’t compensate your financial losses, PIP in Texas can provide the space and time to recover fully. Consider it a safety net that rescues you whenever the responsible party’s coverage can’t buffer you.

Personal Injury TX vs. Health Insurance

A common misconception among those who ignore PIP in Texas is that the coverage is just like health insurance. They may share several similarities, but personal injury protection and health insurance are two different coverages.

Most people fail to realize that most health coverages offer a clause that places them second to other forms of liability insurance. This means that if a policyholder is involved in an unfortunate crash, their health coverage can deny the claim and direct them to rely on the other party’s policy. If the other party disputes liability, you’ll have to dig into your pockets to foot the medical expenses.

If the party’s insurer accepts liability, they won’t make the payments instantly. They will only make the settlement payment once the victim has “completed” their entire treatment and submitted a claim. In some instances, victims never “complete” their treatment and may experience issues spanning years. As the bills continue piling, there will be no one else to pay but you.

With personal injury coverage, you’ll simply make a claim for the opening out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the crash. The coverage will take care of your medical expenses and lost earnings within the PIP policy limit. So, the more coverage you pay for, the better.

How and When to File a PIP Claim in Texas

PIP in Texas only covers the costs that pop up within three years after the unfortunate car crash. However, it’s still important to report all expenses and injuries to your insurance provider once you learn about them.

When filing the PIP claim, ensure you include every payment documentation, bills, receipts, and other relevant documentation that’s valuable in creating a solid case and reducing the time taken. Depending on your specific expense, your claim may result in the following primary reimbursement levels:

  • The coverage will pay for the entire cost of ambulance services, medical treatment, and funeral costs. Document everything you receive and the prices. You must also acquire copies of the service provider’s documentation indicating that the injuries directly link with the crash. Otherwise, it may be hard to obtain full reimbursement.
  • Personal injury coverage in Texas covers 80% of the victim’s lost income due to a crash. You’ll be required to provide proof of payment before the accident and evidence that the sustained injuries directly resulted in the lost wages.
  • Just like the lost wages, personal injury protection coverage addresses 80% of the caregiver services expenses.

What’s the Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code spells out the PIP statute of limitations. The law requires victims to file their personal injury TX civil actions within two years after the day of the accident (cause of action) that caused the injures.

If another party’s intentional act or carelessness causes an accident that leads to injury, you can request the state courts for damages (civil remedy) for the experienced losses. The two-year deadline is still applicable whether our case is based on the liability principle of intentional tort or negligence.

Notably, PIP in Texas doesn’t cover property and vehicle damages or theft. The coverage doesn’t address any damages to another party’s property and won’t pay for medical expenses and lost wages beyond the coverage limits.

You are in Safe Hands

Most car crashes leave victims confused, and you may not be well enough to begin following up your personal injury TX claim. In this case, you need a reliable attorney specialized in family-oriented PIP cases. Thompson Law Injury Lawyers can help you get the deserved financial buffer in good time to aid recovery.

Thompson Law, one of Dallas’ most reputable law firms, boasts a tremendous success rate in personal injury TX cases. What’s more, we are available around the clock, and you’ll have a qualified lawyer working your case in 15 minutes after reaching out. We thrive in sharing the success of our customers. That is why you will get a free case review from us, and you only pay us if we win.

Call us at (844) 308-8180 today, and we will begin working on your case immediately.

liability insurance

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 6 million automobile crashes reported by police every year in the US. In the state of Texas, not a single day passes by without a road crash. Subsequently, data from the Texas Department of Transportation show there were 14,282 crashes on Texas roads in 2017, resulting in several injuries and deaths. If you get into an accident due to someone else’s carelessness and negligence, you can make a claim against their liability insurance. Notably, there are different types of car insurance, and understanding how each work can help your claim process.

We will look at the basic comprehensive insurance coverage and whether you can file a lawsuit should you get into an accident with a driver who has one.

What Is Comprehensive Insurance?

Apart from covering vehicles in an accident, comprehensive insurance protects against theft, vandalism, legal liability, and damage to third-party properties, including damage to other people’s cars. Signing up for comprehensive insurance coverage guarantees a driver is protected against damages deemed to be their fault. Although comprehensive insurance is an optional coverage, your lender may need it if you’re paying off or leasing your vehicle.

What Is Covered by Basic Comprehensive Coverage?

Some of the injuries and damages covered by comprehensive insurance include:

  • Bodily injury damage: these apply to injuries that a policyholder or designated driver cause to someone else.
  • Medical payments/ personal injury protection: this coverage pays for the treatments of injuries, lost wages, and cost of replacing services. It may also cover burial expenses.
  • Property damage: the coverage pays for damage that a policyholder or someone else driving the car caused to someone else’s property. This means the policy may cover the damage to someone else’s car, buildings, or other structures that the car hits.

Can I Sue a Driver with Basic Liability Insurance?

What is great about liability insurance is that it protects a driver from losses if they damage a third-party person or property. However, in some instances, your automobile accident claim is denied by the insurance company or settled for much less than the case is worth. When you get into a car accident that was not your fault, and a claim is denied, you are entitled to sue the at-fault driver and their insurance company. Before you start a lawsuit, it is essential to obtain the assistance of an attorney who can help dispute the insurance company’s actions.

Car Accident Settlements and Lawsuits

If you decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance provider, chances are you will never get to court. Studies reveal about 95 percent of personal injury lawsuits settle before a trial. It is in the insurance company’s interest to resolve a car accident claim as quickly as possible and avoid additional costs.

However, it may not be in your best interest to do so. It is crucial to determine the full extent and scope of your losses before you agree to any settlement. If the insurance company fails to offer fair compensation, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit.

The Stages of Your Car Accident Lawsuit

Before you start a car accident lawsuit, keep in mind personal injury cases involve a myriad of stages, steps, and procedures. The lawsuit may take a few months to several years to settle. Let’s look at the standard stages of a typical injury lawsuit.

  • Pro tip: injury litigation needs specialized knowledge and experience. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced car accident lawyer.

Stage 1: Pre-Litigation Phase

Before filing a lawsuit, your lawsuit first investigates the crash and collects documents and facts supporting your claims. Pre-litigation involves several steps such as:

  • Initial evaluation: during this step, your attorney discusses the details of your case and determines if a valid personal claim exists.
  • Documentation and calculation of damages: the attorney accesses your medical record and history to gain insights into the extent of physical, emotional, and psychological injuries you suffered from the crash. They will also examine copies of your medical bills to help estimate the total damages.
  • Crash and negligence investigation: the attorney may also investigate the crash scene, obtain copies of police reports, and interview witnesses. Additionally, the attorney may consult with experts such as physicians and medical specialists, engineers and scientists, accident reconstruction experts, and lifecare planners.
  • Insurance company negotiation: your attorney may also negotiate with insurance adjusters to resolve the case without a lawsuit. However, if the parties fail to arrive at a fair settlement, a lawsuit becomes inevitable.

Stage 2: Litigation Phase

The litigation phase involves the formal filing of a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance. The litigation phase may involve the following steps:

  • Filing a lawsuit: the filing process requires you to provide the court with a written complaint and other documentation, pay a filing fee and serve the papers to the defendant. When filing a case, work closely with your attorney to avoid mistakes that may result in lost compensation or dismissal of the case.
  • Discovery: Discovery is a formal process where you share documents, evidence, and other information with the other party. Both parties’ lawyers ask questions and request relevant documents from each other.
  • Deposition testimony: the deposition testimony stage is a formal process for presenting testimonies called a deposition. These are statements taken under oath given by witnesses, police officers, and other experts.
  • Mediation and settlement negotiations: lawsuits can be unpredictable even when you believe you are well-prepared. Typically, experienced personal injury lawyers may try to settle the case through mediation. Mediation is alternative dispute resolution where parties to a lawsuit negotiate with the help of a neutral mediator appointed by the court.

Stage 3: Trial

If you fail to negotiate a fair settlement, the case goes to trial. As mentioned earlier, most car accident lawsuits are resolved before reaching trial. However, some instances force litigants to take the case to court to get full compensation.

Trial in Court

During the trial process, both sides give evidence, facts, and testimonies to the judge. A group of peers listens to both side’s arguments and review the evidence. The jury will then issue a verdict. If the verdict favors you, the trial process is considered over. If you feel the verdict was not fair, you can file an appeal at the court of appeals.

Let Thompson Law Help Settle Your Car Accident Lawsuit.

Our award-winning team is available 24/7, we are best placed to pursue justice for you in your personal injury suit. Our experienced car accident lawyers will work with you at every stage of the lawsuit process. We are committed to ensuring you get the fair compensation that you deserve. We strongly believe we only win if you do- and we don’t ask for a dime unless we win your case. If you have any questions or need a free and confidential case evaluation, call (866) 293-4768 to speak to our bilingual legal team today, or contact us online!

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.

Statute of Limitations

A study by the Texas Department of Workers Compensation reveals Texas employers recorded over 177,900 non-fatal workplace injuries in 2018.  Additionally, the Texas Department of Transportation recorded 19,506 serious injury crashes, with 30,992 serious injury victims and 3,722 motor vehicle fatalities in 2019. If you had an accident and considering the possibility of bringing a personal injury suit in the state of Texas, Thompson Law Injury Lawyers offers answers to all your questions.

What Is an Injury Claims Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is an imposed statutory limit on the duration you have filed a lawsuit after suffering some type of harm. All the US states have set statutory limits on the duration you have to file an injury lawsuit.

After a slip and fall, traffic accident, and other damages caused by other persons, you could be thinking of filing a personal injury in Texas’s law courts system. Before you do so, you must acquaint yourself with the state’s injury claims statute of limitations.

What Is Texas’ Injury Claims Statute of Limitations?

Texas’s statute of limitations for a personal injury directs that you file the injury lawsuit within a two-year time limit from the date of the injury (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code section 16.003.). You must file your lawsuit within this timeline to avoid losing a chance to receive damages for your injuries as per your rights.

What If I File the Injury Lawsuit After the Deadline?

Should you file your lawsuit after the two-year window has lapsed, the court may refuse to hear that claim. This means you will lose a chance to get fair compensation regardless of how strong your case is. After you file the case, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss the case based on a lapsed deadline. The court will summarily dismiss the case. However, there are rare exceptions that may entitle you to extra time. Contact your personal injury attorney whenever you are in doubt.

The Exceptions to Texas’s Injury Statute of Limitations

The state of Texas has identified several situations that may extend the filing deadline to allow litigants to file their injury claims past the two-year limit.

A few scenarios that may likely lead to the modification of the Statute of Limitations include:

Claims Involving Minor

Where the injured person is legally termed as “Under a Legal disability” as per the Texas law, the Statute of Limitations may be modified. A person who is termed as “under a legal disability” could either be under the age of 18 or of “unsound mind” when the accident or incident that caused them personal injuries occurred. In such a case, the deadline clock is paused until the period of legal disability is over. This means that the statute of limitation will be applied once the injured person turns 18 or becomes mentally healthy.

Claims Involving Sex Crimes Against Adults

Under Texas law, a victim of sex crimes should bring a suit for personal injury not later than five years from the day they suffered harm. The injury should arise due to conduct that infringes specific provisions of section 21 and 43 of the Texas Penal code that outlaws sexual assault of an adult, aggrieved sexual assault of an adult, actions that promote the prostitution of an adult, and sexual trafficking of an adult.

Claims Against First-Party Automobile Insurance

In Texas, the deadline for filing the claim against first-party automobile insurance is between two and four years. First-party automobile insurance suits include an underinsured motorist claim, an uninsured motorist claim, or a personal injury protection claim. The lawsuits are filed against your own insurance company according to a written contract.

Some Maritime Claims

Maritime accidents have several statutes of limitations that may apply under state and federal law. However, the standard time for filing maritime claims is three years from when you suffer an injury.

Inherently Undiscoverable Injuries

If an injury qualifies as ‘inherently undiscoverable’ within the two-year statute of limitation, by the exercise of due diligence, a claim can be subject to the discovery rule. If the court rules that the discovery rule applies, the statute of limitations is suspended until such a time when the injury is discovered in the exercise of due diligence.

Asbestos and Silica-Related Claims

Claims for personal injuries or death that result from asbestosis or silica-related illnesses have an extended statute of limitations. The two-year statute limit will not run before the date of the exposed person’s death or and the date that you serve a defendant a required report.

If the Defendant Leaves the State

If the defendant leaves the state of Texas at some point after the accident and before the lawsuit is filed, the deadline clock will pause until their return. As such, the period of their absences is not counted as part of the two years stated in the Statutes of Limitations.

Why Do We Have Statutes of Limitations?

The Statutes of Limitations have been part of the US judiciary system for hundreds of years. The main objective of these rules is to protect the defendants’ rights and enhance the credibility of the court processes. These rules encourage the plaintiffs to pursue their lawsuit with some level of diligence. The statute of limitation also ensures critical evidence is not lost over time. It also guarantees the witnesses who will testify in court can draw on more recent and reliable memories.

Do You Need Help with Personal Injury Claims? Trust Thompson Law Injury Lawyers

A personal injury from road crashes, unsafe environments, or abuse can alter your life and those of your loved ones in an unprecedented manner. After a devastating injury, you need help to deal with insurance companies and lawsuits. At Thomson law, our personal injury lawyers are committed to fight for you and ensure you receive fair compensation so that you focus your energies on full recovery. With us, you only pay when we win. For more details, get a free case review with one of our experienced attorneys at law.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Determining fault in a car accident can be a complicated process. However, it is crucial to make such determinations for you to recover from your injuries and losses fully. Car crashes can result in severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), dislocations or bone fractures, neck and spine injuries, and more.  Hiring Thompson Law’s accident and injury lawyers ensure you file a successful claim and get appropriate compensation. At Thompson Law, our initial consultation and case evaluation are free. Call (844) 308-8180 or contact us online today for more details.

police report

In its latest report, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 12,186 car crashes in 2018, with 14,937 people obtaining serious injuries. Given these alarming statistics, it is essential to understand fault and liability in an accident to facilitate fair compensation for those involved.

After an accident, it is best to remain on the scene until the police arrive, especially when you believe the other driver was responsible for the accident. The law enforcement officers will interview all parties involved and witnesses to compile the most accurate police report.

Why Is a Police Report Important?

After an accident, insurance companies often look to determine the at-fault driver to help them decide who’s insurance is responsible for covering the damage. Although a police report is not mandatory to prove fault or liability in a car accident, having one can make the process easier. The following are the other benefits of a police report:

  • Provides helpful evidence– police reports are the law enforcement’s official account of what happened. They often capture important details such as the skid marks’ length and observation of the vehicle’s position on the scene. These details can be relied on when deciding on the driver at fault.
  • Captures officers’ opinion– police reports also include the officers’ opinion on how they think the accident happened. It also clarifies if the driver was issued a ticket at the scene. All these details are helpful when insurance companies are determining fault.
  • Reveals whether a driver violated a law– if law enforcement officers believe a driver violated the law, they may conduct further investigation, issue a citation or even arrest the driver. For example, should the police suspect a driver to be intoxicated, they may perform roadside sobriety tests, blood tests, or breath tests to obtain solid evidence the driver was DUI. An arrest can serve as powerful evidence that determines who was at fault in a car accident.

Can a Police Report Be Entirely Relied on to Determine Fault?

Although a police report is not the only tool used to determine a fault, the report gets it right about 80 percent of the time. However, there are few instances that a police report gets it wrong completely. A police report can get it wrong in a scenario where the injured person cannot speak for themselves because they were rushed to the hospital or, unfortunately, they succumbed to injuries.

In such a scenario, the police officer will only get one version of what happened. If you cannot rely completely on a police report to prove fault, contact Thompson Law immediately. We will send our own investigators and accident reconstruction experts to measure skid marks, take pictures and videos and interview crucial witnesses. These witnesses include other officers on the scene, ambulance personnel, and fire personnel.

How to Make the Most of a Police Report

Here are a few facts that you should know about a police report and how to make the most of them:

1. Request the Service Number

A little fact that most people don’t know is that police reports have unique service numbers assigned for a specific accident scene. Request this number from the responding officers. The number will be crucial when requesting a copy of police reports later. You should also get specific police jurisdiction details of the responding officers for easy follow-up.

2.Beware of the Final Assessment If at Fault

The final assessment of fault is not usually made at the scene. Once a police report captures all details about drivers, witnesses, specific vehicle code violated, weather or road conditions, and mechanical failure, the officers will decide on fault before finalizing the report. This often takes five days to complete.

3. Obtain a Copy of the Police Report

Police reports are public records. Once it is finalized, ensure you get a copy. You may pay a small processing fee for the copy. But Thomson Law will provide you with a free, no-obligation copy. Contact us today, and our experts will order your report and deliver it to you at no charge.

4. Review the Report with Your Attorney

Once you get a copy of the police report, go through it with your attorney to determine whether all facts check out. Ensuring all the information is accurate is important at this stage. Some of the details to focus on include:

    • Date– ensure the date is correct. A date is important when calculating the statute of limitations. These are strict deadlines covering the duration you have to file a claim.
    • Location– you should also check whether the location indicated is correct. The location refers to these specific places where the accident occurred.
    • Party identification– a police report identifies the drivers involved as Party 1(P1) or Part 2P2). Ensure all these details are accurate. You should also check the “Insurance Carrier” and “Policy Number” sections.
    • Vehicle information and owner information– ensure your vehicles’ ownership information has been captured correctly. Check also the other parties’ information. In a scenario where the other vehicle owner is different from the driver, such details are often noted in this section.
    • Witness and passenger information– witness accounts of what happed form an integral part of a police report. Ensure their details are well captured

5. Petition for Amendments of the Police Report

If you notice any errors in the police report, you can petition the police department to amend the report. Errors in police reports can be:

    • Factual errors– these are often simple, verifiable mistakes such as wrong dates or a wrong model of car. Such information can be corrected easily.
    • Incomplete information– should you find overlooked evidence or missing information that doesn’t contradict the officer’s testimony, this information can be added to the report.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Determining fault in a car accident can be a complicated process. However, it is crucial to make such determinations for you to recover from your injuries and losses fully. Car crashes can result in severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), dislocations or bone fractures, neck and spine injuries, and more.  Hiring Thompson Law’s accident and injury lawyers ensure you file a successful claim and get appropriate compensation. At Thompson Law, our initial consultation and case evaluation are free. Call 866-275-6370 or contact us online today for more details.

Unlicensed Driver

Driving a vehicle without a license is not only unlawful but has also been reported to increase the risk of car crash injury compared to those holding a driving license. In fact, according to a 2012 report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 26 percent of the drivers involved in fatal car crashes in Texas are unlicensed.

While driving without a license is against Texas law, this does not mean that an unlicensed driver is always at fault when they’re involved in a car accident. Only if they are found liable for the accident will they be held responsible for paying any damages.

Most unlicensed drivers are uninsured, which can make the process of recovering damages complicated and confusing for you.  That’s why it’s important that you seek help from a well-known DFW personal injury law firm like Thompson Law, so you can receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.

Why Do People Drive Without a License?

Most of the people who choose to drive without licenses fall into one of the following categories:

  • Teenagers who haven’t obtained a license yet or those below the minimum age requirements to apply for a driver’s license.
  • Seniors who may have failed a driving test due to age-related conditions such as visual or cognitive impairment.
  • Foreign nationals who haven’t yet obtained a driver’s license.
  • Individuals who had their licenses revoked due to medical conditions like seizures, or because of careless or reckless driving (i.e., DUIs).

Unlicensed Drivers and Liability

According to Texas law, the status of your driver’s license doesn’t affect the determination of fault when you’re involved in a car accident.  As such, car accidents involving an unlicensed driver will be handled just like any other accident.  This means that if you are at-fault in the accident, you will be held responsible for paying all damages even if the other driver is unlicensed.

Similarly, if the unlicensed driver was at fault, they’ll be required to cover the cost of personal injuries and physical damages plus face a fine for driving without a license. In such a case, however, you need to know whether the car the unlicensed driver was driving is insured before you file a claim.

For instance, if an unlicensed driver causes an accident and is uninsured, they will have to pay you for the damages from their pockets. However, many of the unlicensed drivers don’t have the money to cover all the damages associated with a car accident, making it difficult to get the compensation you deserve. In this case, you may have to look to your own insurance company to cover damages through your UM/UIM coverage.

Also, if the unlicensed driver is driving a loaned vehicle that is insured, you can claim for damages with the owner’s insurance company under the Texas Negligent Entrustment law. But, if they stole the car or didn’t have permission to drive it, your insurer may have to cover damages.

Hiring a personal injury attorney after a car crash with an unlicensed and uninsured driver can help you assess all your potential options for damage recovery. This will prevent you from having to pay for your injuries and damages out of pocket.

The personal injury lawyers at Thompson Law are dedicated to relentlessly seek justice for you if you are injured in an accident involving an unlicensed driver.

Steps to Take When You’re Involved in an Accident with an Unlicensed Driver

While getting involved in a car accident can be frightening and devastating, it is important that you take strategic action to have the strongest case possible, especially, when the at-fault driver is unlicensed. Some of the steps you should take immediately after the accident include:

  1. Call the Police: It is important to involve the police in the case, especially, if the other driver admits to not having a license.  The police report will serve as crucial evidence in your case.
  2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: You should see a doctor immediately after the accident to ensure you’re properly treated and checked for any hidden injuries. The medical records will help you build a claim later.
  3. Collect Contact Details: Write down the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver. If their license is revoked or expired you can go ahead and record that number. If the driver is uninsured, but the vehicle is insured, you should also record those insurance details. Collect the contact information of any witnesses present when the accident occurred.
  4. Take Pictures: You should take photos of the scene of the accident including the damages on the cars and properties as well as pictures of your injuries.
  5. Call A Lawyer: A qualified personal injury attorney can help claim compensation in a car accident involving a driver without a license.

Our professional personal injury attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss what happened to you at NO CHARGE.

How to Protect Yourself as an Unlicensed Driver

While it is possible to claim compensation when you’re involved in a car accident without a license, the other party’s insurer or defense attorney can bring up issues, denying you the compensation you deserve.

That said, you should consider getting a driver’s license soonest possible if you have never had one.  You may also want to renew your license if it’s already expired or sort out any issues preventing you from having one. This will help your case with insurance companies as it prevents them from using your lack of a license against you.

Besides that, it is always recommended that you work with a qualified attorney if you’re involved in a car accident and you’re an unlicensed driver to help gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case to help prove the other person’s liability.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney at Thompson Law

According to Texas laws, driving without a license is illegal and could cost you a hefty fine or even result in imprisonment. Even worse, if an unlicensed driver causes a car crash, they may face serious liability claims alongside the punishment of driving without a license.

With that in mind, it is good to work with a personal injury lawyer to help you get the right compensation when you or your loved one sustains injuries from a car accident with an unlicensed driver.

At Thompson Law, our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is prepared to handle your car accident case on your behalf, including those that involve unlicensed drivers. We are a well-known DFW personal injury law firm that proudly serves families within the Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and surrounding areas.

We understand getting in a car accident can be frightening, devastating, and even downright confusing and that’s why we are here to help you during this difficult time. We will utilize all our available resources to vigorously pursue the insurance companies to obtain the compensation you deserve.

All you need to do is to call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION at (866) 293-4768, and our personal injury lawyers will get started.

fault in a car wreck

It is natural to feel rattled or agitated after a car crash. But the last thing you want is to let your emotions overrule your judgment. Whether or not you are at fault in a car wreck, at no cost should you ever admit the liability! Here are some reasons to justify that stand:

What is a ‘No-Fault State and an ‘At-Fault State?

Different states handle car accidents and insurance payouts differently. Your insurance coverage also determines whether you meet the required legal threshold in a particular state. You may also hear about ‘at-fault’ and no-fault systems.

A ‘no-fault’ system means that either party involved in a car wreck pursues compensation for property damage and the injuries they sustain. Each party is compensated through their personal injury protection coverage.

In an ‘at-fault’ system the party responsible for causing the accident compensates you through their insurance. Texas is an at-fault state. Luckily, you can easily access a car wreck Dallas lawyer with a free consultation.

There Could be More to the Accident than Meets the Eye

Car accidents tend to be complicated and require an in-depth investigation for an accurate finding of what transpired. True, you may have been at fault, but that could be the result of several other contributing factors.

Refraining from admitting fault and letting the police and the insurance company conduct an in-depth investigation may limit your liability if they find that you were only partly responsible for the crash.

Some hidden factors that could have contributed to the accident may include;

  • Risky road conditions
  • Defectiveness or sudden malfunctioning of critical car parts
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Perhaps the other motorist was, unbeknown to you, under the influence of alcohol.
  • Perhaps you never saw the stop sign due to its obstruction by a neglected street tree.

Should you admit the fault for the car wreckage in Texas, you shall have accepted to assume liability for the other party’s injuries and damages. And that is a rather unfair responsibility to bear, considering that there is a chance that you were only partially responsible for the accident, in which case you may be eligible for compensation.

If you are doubtful that the police and the insurance company may not give an accurate statement about the accident, ensure you reach out to a car wreck Dallas attorney as soon as possible.

Insurance Companies May be Quick to Deny Your Claim

Like other companies, insurance providers are in the business to make money, and they can only realize that feat by maximizing cash inflows while minimizing outflow. As such, they will find any reason to deny you the compensation to keep their books balanced – do not give them an easy way to justify their resolution by admitting fault in a car crash!

One of the first actions to take after a collision is to call your insurer, informing them about the incident and the extent of the damage. The insurer then sends an insurance adjuster or representative to the site to conduct investigations and interrogations concerning the crash.

It is OK to answer relevant questions and provide basic information such as your name and contact information. However, you want to refrain from answering any questions that may jeopardize your chances of getting compensated. Some of the questions to decline answering include:

  • What caused the accident?
  • Whose fault was it?
  • What were you doing at the time of the crash?
  • Were you, by any chance, under the influence when driving?
  • Were you aware of any defects in the car?

Most of all, you should avoid talking to the insurance adjusters altogether. If you must, only provide short and direct explanations, and ensure that they correspond to what you told the police who responded to the incident.

Insurers are known manipulators, and they might trick you into twisting the facts even without you knowing. That is why it is always an excellent idea to have your auto accident lawyer on standby to intervene on your behalf.

You could Jeopardize Your Chances of Recovering any Compensation for the Damages

Admitting to being at fault after an accident has varying consequences, depending on the state where the accident took place. Some states may limit you from recovering any damages if you are responsible for the wreckage. In other states, you might pursue compensation as long as the wreck was not 100% your fault.

For example, in Texas, there is the proportionate responsibility – a system that grants you the privilege of only assuming the responsibility for the exact level of damage you caused to the other motorist.

For example;

Let us assume that there is a car accident involving driver A and driver B. The former gets severely injured and sues the latter for negligence. The jury decides to award driver A $200,000 in compensation but later finds out that the injured driver was partly, say 25%, responsible for the wreck, meaning driver B takes 75% of the liability. In this case, the injured driver would only receive compensation for the proportion of the damage caused by the at-fault driver, i.e., $150,000.

Furthermore, the state of Texas follows the “51% bar rule,” which forbids a car accident victim from claiming damages if they have a share of responsibility of at least 51 percent. In other words, you can only become eligible for compensation if you contributed less than half of the entire damages from the car wreck.

Please note the difference between 50% and 51% liability. If you are found to be 50% responsible for the car crash, you may still get compensated. However, if you are 51% or more culpable for the accident, you get nothing in compensation.

But above all, it may be quite challenging to recover any damages if you had already admitted to being at fault for the wreck. You cannot take back your words and mount the blame on the other motorist, either fully or partially. Contacting a personal injury attorney immediately after the incident can save you from compromising your chances of getting compensated.

Thompson Law is Here to Help

If you or your loved one have been involved in a car wreck and you are unsure whose fault it is, do not hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney at (844) 308-8180. Let a knowledgeable lawyer fight tooth and nail to protect your legal interests while healing from the injuries.

Here at Thompson Law, we are a dedicated team of attorneys who handle all auto accident cases in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas. No issue is too big or too small for us, and as a gesture of goodwill, you do not pay us anything unless and until we deliver the victory. Fill out our contact form for a free review of your case.

Hidden Injuries

The stats on auto accidents are frightening. Did you know that a staggering 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries annually, often resulting in long-term disabilities?

Some injuries are usually apparent after the accident, such as broken bones, cuts, bruises, and facial scars. However, hidden injuries are never noticeable at a glance, but that doesn’t mean they’re non-existent. When left alone, they can cause excruciating pain, discomfort, and in worst-case scenarios, loss of life.

Below are the top five hidden injures to look out for if you or your loved ones have recently been involved in a car accident.

 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury is one of the most excruciating car accident injuries that anyone can persevere. When you get involved in a car accident, and your head uncontrollably strikes against any surface, you’re likely to sustain a TBI. That blast usually causes the brain to bang the skull, impairing its normal functioning.

And judging by the brain’s internal position in the body, it may be easy to assume that you can’t get TBI from a car accident, but that’s furthest from the truth. About 2 million Americans fall victim to the condition annually, out of whom 275,000 require medical attention.

It’s worth noting that TBI not only results from blasting the head against a hard surface; it can also occur if the brain gets jolted forcefully in different directions.

Common TBI symptoms include:

  • severe headaches
  • dizziness
  • sleep loss
  • memory loss
  • light sensitivity
  • seizures
  • overall body weakness
  • depression
  • vision impairment
  • personality change/aggressiveness

 

If you or your loved ones suffer a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligent driving, be sure to get in touch with your personal injury attorney to explore your legal rights.

 

Herniated Discs

When you get involved in accidents like rear-end crashes, sideswipes, or front-end impacts, the trauma may bulge, push, rupture, or herniate the water-filled discs between your spine. If the herniation causes the discs to extrude out of space, they may cause inflammation to the nerve endings due to the excessive pressure.

Further, the nerve inflammation may cause numbness in the arms, hands, and legs and transmit pain throughout the body. In the cause of a car accident, herniated discs are more likely to affect the neck area than the back as the former is more vulnerable. Victims often report excruciating pain and muscle control loss, especially in the arms and legs.

Herniated discs usually become apparent immediately, although some symptoms may appear a few weeks or months after a car crash. If left alone or treated improperly, herniated discs may require surgery, consequently extending the recovery period. In rare-case scenarios, the condition may have a long-lasting effect even after attempting treatment, forcing you to endure the pain.

But never suffer silently after a car accident resulting in herniated discs. Discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer who can help you seek compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain, and suffering.

 

Psychological Injuries

Car accidents don’t cause physical injuries alone; psychological and emotional states also get affected. If you get into a tragic accident, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or “car phobia,” i.e., an unusual fear of driving a vehicle or sitting in one.

A psychologist may help by offering coping techniques to overcome the symptoms. But the unpleasant news is, phobias or psychological traumas aren’t treatable in one appointment, meaning the bills may be unbearable in case of delayed recovery. Nonetheless, we recommend you seek help as soon as you develop the first symptoms to speed up healing and save on costs.

But most importantly, you want to consult your personal injury lawyer to help you seek justice and compensation for your psychological injuries due to a car crash.

 

Paralysis Injuries

Did you know that about 5.4 million Americans struggle with paralysis today? The condition occurs when the spinal cord loses its normal functioning due to an accident or disease. It can affect the entire body or just some parts.

When an accident occurs and impacts the spinal cord, it consequently causes blockage of signals from the brain to the nerves. This makes the injured person unable to move part of the body impacted.

Don’t get it wrong, though; paralysis can result from various factors, with spinal cord injuries taking the lion’s share due to its vulnerability in case of a crash. Other causes may include blocked arteries (muscle damage), head and neck injuries.

 

What’s more frustrating is that the pain and suffering resulting from a paralysis injury isn’t limited to the condition alone. It can lead to additional illnesses, causing more suffering and unimaginable hospital bills. Good news: if you or your loved one suffer a paralytic injury due to someone else’s negligence, a paralysis injury attorney can help you file a suit and pursue compensation.

 

Knee Damage

Knee injuries from car accidents can come in various forms, including visible ones like cuts and bruises and hidden ones like tone ligaments and soft tissue damages. The hidden injuries may be more complicated and often require long-term medical attention.

To confirm that knee injuries are usually more severe than you may think, sometimes, a doctor’s treatment fails, referring victims to a physical therapist. And in worst-case scenarios, the doctor may recommend therapy. Either way, the treatment process takes weeks, months, or years, with the medical bills piling up.

If you or your loved one sustain a knee injury due to another person’s negligent driving, don’t just suffer silently. Contact a Texas personal injury lawyer to exercise your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

 

Thompson Law Can Help

Here at Thompson Law, we understand the potentially long-lasting damages, pain, and suffering that can result from a car accident. Don’t fight the battle alone; let us leverage our immense expertise, knowledge, and experience to help restore your dignity and get the compensation you deserve. Be pro-active, don’t wait until your hidden injuries are suddenly apparent or become critical.

If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident, call us today at 844-308-8180 or get in touch with our personal injury lawyers for a free review of your case. Remember, you don’t have to pay us a dime until we win your case!

good samaritan law

Picture this: you’re at a roadside cafe enjoying your coffee when suddenly, a car runs the red light in front of the building, hits a person in the pedestrian walk, then speeds off. Coffee was forgotten, you jump to your feet and sprint to the scene to offer aid. This reaction seems like the obvious thing to do, despite the help not being requested or owed. You provided care voluntarily. While potentially life-saving, this act could have just exposed you to litigation. Fortunately, to protect people in these situations, lawmakers enacted the Good Samaritan Law. 

A Good Samaritan is anyone who, in good faith, comes to the aid of an injured person and renders emergency care or assistance without expecting anything in return. Despite being a voluntary act, the Good Samaritan still owes the stranger the duty of being reasonably careful. 

What is the Good Samaritan Act? 

Different states have varying statutes and guidelines as well as exceptions and boundaries regarding the Good Samaritan Act. For instance, in Texas, the law protects individuals who volunteer to render help in good faith to those most in need. In particular, the Act states that if a bystander sincerely administers emergency care to an injured party (at the accident scene), they shall not bear liability for any damages resulting from the care administration. 

Put otherwise, the Texas Good Samaritan Act bars an auto accident victim from filing a lawsuit for damages resulting from another person’s honest intentions of offering emergency care. Lawmakers passed the Act to encourage people to come to the rescue of others who are in dire need of emergency assistance. 

Before that, many people were hesitant to offer help because they were afraid of getting sued by the victim should anything go wrong. Suppose a Good Samaritan lifted the victim from their damaged car and twisted a spine during the process. In that case, the injured party could sue the sincere helper for liability for damages if the twist resulted in a permanent disability. But that is no longer actionable, thanks to the Texas Good Samaritan Law. However, as we hinted earlier, the law has some limitations, boundaries, and exceptions. 

Legal Exceptions for the Good Samaritan Law 

If any of the following exceptions apply to your case as a Good Samaritan, you could still face legal liability for the victim’s damages or injuries. They include: 

Gross Negligence 

If a Good Samaritan renders emergency aid categorizing as gross negligence, the victim can still pursue a civil action against the helper. Lawmakers included this exception to ensure that people who volunteer to provide emergency aid do so reasonably, not to worsen the situation. Gross negligence would typically occur if the person trying to help greatly worsened an injury or created a new injury for the victim. 

Compensated Medical Professionals 

If a healthcare professional expects compensation for coming to the scene and providing specialized care, but the situation is not handled correctly, the accident victim can sue the nurse, first-aid technician, or doctor for negligent care. 

Business Purposes 

Any individual at the emergency scene with the sole objective of soliciting business may be liable for the victim’s injuries or damages. These may include licensed medical personnel, insurance companies, or law firms. Furthermore, if a tow truck company causes additional damages to the victim’s car while towing it, they can get sued for it. 

Other Good Samaritan exceptions apply to: 

  • Any individual (other than a healthcare professional) expecting to get compensated for rendering emergency aid. 
  • A licensed nurse, emergency response technician, or doctor who administers emergency health services regularly. 
  • An individual who is responsible for making the victim vulnerable to the harm incurred. For example, an at-fault driver offering to render emergency support to the injured victim. 

Suppose you’re not sure whether the aid provider is liable for your injuries/damages or not. In that case, we highly recommend you discuss your case with a personal injury attorney for an in-depth deliberation. 

More Legal Liability Protections of Texas Good Samaritan Act 

The Act provides additional legal immunity to the following groups: 

  • Medical personnel who are neither licensed nor certified for healing arts but act in good faith to help during an emergency. 
  • A person who uses a portable automated external defibrillator to check the car accident victim’s heart rhythm. In this case, the person can give the victim an electric shock to restore a normal rhythm in life-threatening situations such as when the victim suffers cardiac arrest. 
  • Suppose the accident victim is in a near-drowning situation, and Good Samaritan volunteers to attempt saving their life using CPR. In that case, they can’t take legal action against the aid provider. That is, they can’t sue the volunteer acting in good faith even if the chest compressions resulted in broken ribs or deflated lung. 

Key Takeaways About Texas Good Samaritan Law 

  • You are not legally obligated to assume the Good Samaritan role during an emergency. But if you volunteer to offer aid, you must practice the duty of care to avoid implicating yourself for potential liability. 
  • If you choose to provide support, it needs to be stabilization only. 
  • The auto accident victim should not object to getting assisted. And if the accident victim is not capable of giving the go-ahead, the standard is to move forward withimplied consent. 
  • Medical personnel offering emergency aid may get exonerated for ordinary negligence, but not willful, gross, or wanton conduct. 
  • If you’re unsure whether your aid provider has legal immunity or bears legal liability for your damages, ensure you liaise with your injury attorney as soon as possible. 

Determining if the Good Samaritan Law Impacts Your Case 

There’s no denying that the Texas Good Samaritan Act can be challenging to navigate on your own, especially considering that it has confusing exceptions and statutes. The good news is that a personal injury attorney can help you understand everything and provide advice on how to navigate your situation. Whether you’re the Good Samaritan or the injured victim, you need a lawyer to explore your options. 

Here at Thompson Law, we have a dedicated team of Attorneys who take their work seriously, having successfully recovered over  $1.8 billion in settlements and victories. If you have sustained auto accident injuries or have been accused of injuring someone else, fill out our contact form or call us at 866-275-6370 we are available 24/7 and we offer a free case review. 

police pursuit

High-speed police chases have become a normal part of everyday life in urban American society. The dangerous criminal pursuits are on the news every day. While the police chase down criminals, it is not uncommon for innocent bystanders and road users to get injured or killed in the process.

More than 350 people are killed in police car chases every year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Out of this, more than a third are innocent bystanders who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Accidents that result from high-speed police chases get complicated when they are caused by the police car. If your vehicle is hit by a police car pursuing a suspect, you have rights under the law to demand compensation.

Most victims fail to realize that all they need to do is hire a good lawyer, and they may get compensated for injuries and damages. The right course of action to take if you are a victim is to get a free case review to figure out the right way forward.

Who Is At Fault?

When you sue for a personal injury claim, you are essentially asking the law to intervene in getting you compensated. Legal jargon aside, you are looking to have the party at fault for your injuries and damage pay for their mistakes or negligence.

Because accidents resulting from police chases happen fast and without warning, it can be challenging to finger the party at fault in court.

However, as with any other legal case, the fault is determined by which driver on the road was negligent. If a police car rammed your vehicle, it is the fault of the police car driver, regardless of who they are.

The strength of an injury claim against a police car often depends on what the officer was doing at the time of the accident. Was he/she responding to an emergency or plainly chasing down a suspect who ran a red light? Were his vehicle’s sirens and headlights on to warn other road users or not?

If your attorney can prove that the officer was negligent in causing the accident, then you will have a strong basis to file a claim

 

Police Departments’ Policy on Vehicle Chases

The FBI published an alarming report that showed the high number of fatalities resulting from car chases. Consequently, many police departments have restricted and even prohibited high-speed pursuits on public roads. However, vehicle pursuits are still prevalent in the country.

If you or someone you care about is involved in an accident resulting from a police pursuit, the police are mandated to help you out. This means that even if the police believe it is not their fault, they should help you determine who is to blame.

Injuries and damages resulting from police action are reported every day. Even when the police follow protocol in chasing suspects, your right to safety trumps the need to apprehend the criminal.

 

Notice of Claim

It is an acceptable policy that police officers should chase and arrest criminals. However, the policy must never put the public at risk. Police departments have to balance the good in chasing a suspect vis-a-vis the risks involved. When something goes wrong, and an innocent victim is injured or property affected, someone must pay.

The evaluation of your injury case narrows down to determining who will bear the cost of injury and damages.

If you or someone you care about is injured by a police car, you can file a claim seeking compensation for:

  • Cost of medical bills
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Vehicle repairs

Before you can file a claim, you are legally required to provide the police with a notice of claim, or “Tort Claim.” This is a standard form that highlights the points of your claim, including sustained injuries and a request for damages.

In some cases, the police department may admit liability and respond with a settlement offer. You can discuss this offer with your attorney to determine if it is fair. If not, you can decide to counter the offer or proceed with further action.

 

Essential Points to Consider Before Filing a Claim

Who Pays the Damages?

Your compensation claim will need to identify the party responsible for the accident. In some cases, even when the police car hits you or your vehicle, the instigator who is ultimately reliable for the cost may be the criminal being chased.

You need an experienced lawyer to help you determine who will pay the costs before filing the claim. Proving gross negligence is a demanding task whose success depends on good preparation.

There are, however, some circumstances that may give your case an edge over the police. For instance:

  • If the police caused the accident in a place where police car chases are prohibited.
  • If you can prove that the police acted negligently such as driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • In rare cases, the police department may be liable if the police car malfunctioned or the driver was not properly trained to engage in hot pursuits.

It is also important to consider whether you are insured for such an eventuality. Your vehicle insurance may be the best way to recover the injury treatment and car repair expenses costs.

Beware of The Statute of Limitations

There is a time limit for how long you can file a personal injury claim. In most states, this is three years from the day of the injury. There is a 2-year Statute of Limitations in Texas, meaning that, in most instances, you have to file a claim for compensation within 24 months from the accident date.

Do not make the mistake many police negligence victims make: that filing a claim is too expensive and demanding that it may not be worth it. Do not make any firm decisions before talking to a lawyer.

A good law firm would not be overly-focused on the fee at the beginning. After all, they only get paid when you win, and if you lose they lose. A brief case review can help you determine the chances of winning the claim.

 

Conclusion

If you or someone you care about is involved in a police hot pursuit accident, you must not avoid pursuing compensation. The law protects you in more ways than one from such negligence and accidents. It is crucial, though, that you partner with a good lawyer with experience handling such cases.

Are you in Texas and need to file a claim against the police? Thompson Law may be just the firm to turn to so call 1-844-308-8180. The family-oriented law firm is best placed to provide you with a comprehensive free case review. Fill out our contact form and get a lawyer in 15 minutes or less.

Transportation Companies

From the largest 18-wheeler commercial delivery operations to the most niche owner-operator transport business, the trucking and transportation industry is changing and facing greater challenges all the time. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic difficulties of 2020, the trucking industry was suffering a particularly difficult financial period. Transportation companies failed (i.e., went bankrupt or closed) in 2019 at three times the rate they did in 2018. 795 trucking companies went under in 2018, taking about 24,000 long-haul trucks off the road.

It’s also important to discuss the serious and severe truck accidents that occur in the US each year in the context of this conversationLarge truck crashes accounted for 13.8% of all fatal accidents and 8.3% of all non-fatal crashes in 2019. The devastation faced by families of the victims of these collisions with trucks very much shapes our feelings about the regulations and requirements government demands of the trucking industry.

If you or a loved one has experienced a trucking accident you deserve help and legal representation. Ensure that the accident is handled justly and successfully by engaging an experienced truck accident injury attorney. Your questions and your well-being are important and you deserve legal help after a commercial vehicle accident.

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Small Transit Companies Face Significant Financial Challenges

Profit margins in ground transportation are notoriously slim for small transportation companies. Although trucking companies fare better than the restaurant and hospitality industries in terms of profitability, truckers still need to anticipate a net profit margin of less than 20% of their revenue. The profit margin for owner-operator and independent contractor trucking companies is even tighter due to a lack of economies of scale present in larger operations. Additionally, the limitation of collections ability of such operations can be particularly crippling, as they can anticipate only a 5% net profit margin.

Fixed costs are challenging enough to support in the trucking industry, but variable costs cause the most damage to struggling small businesses. Unexpected breakdowns, major unanticipated repairs, damaged shipments, and collisions whereby the truck driver is at fault can create significant financial hardship for a small trucking business.

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Huge Corporations Swallow or Run-Off Small Competitors

The largest fleets in the US are held by massive multi-national logistics operations such as Yamamoto, Seino, and Knight-Swift. Similarly, the largest private fleets are owned by huge corporations like AT&T, PepsiCo, and Comcast. A fleet of trucks is technically a group of 200 or more vehicles. With enormous corporations like Walmart owning a fleet of only about 6,000 trucks, it makes sense that the vast majority of trucking operations in the US fall below that technical fleet threshold, with most actually having fewer than 25 vehicles.

Another unique challenge to truck and transportation companies in 2020 is a wave of changing labor laws related to contract workers. In California, such a law has passed, and another is under review in New Jersey. Such laws redefine the employer-employee relationship requirements, as many large truck corporations have been taking advantage of contractor status workers to minimize the overhead associated with making these contractors employees.

The change to contractor relationship may have serious implications for small company truck drivers, putting thousands of owner-operators out of work and straining the workloads of employee-status drivers. These laws are being contested by the California trucking alliance and others on the basis of the possible job losses, but the outcome is currently undetermined.

The current shortage of truck drivers with commercial driver licenses (CDLs) also plays an important role in this dynamic. When the US unemployment rate was at historic lows – particularly in 2018-2019 –wages and employment benefits for drivers became extremely competitive and thus expensive for the owners of such entities. With such high demand and competition, the larger trucking companies simply have more finances and resources to hire and retain drivers, leaving the small firms with fewer and poorer options. This labor challenge is likely to continue as the projected truck driver shortage is anticipated to balloon, ultimately requiring a need for over 1.1 million more drivers in the United States before 2028.

However, larger trucking organizations aren’t without their own set of difficultiesCeladon Trucking, for example, had to partially credit its 2019 bankruptcy to the fact that a group of former executives was investigated for fraud – an expensive and resource-draining legal battle for the company. While dubious business practices can occur in businesses of all sizes, the scale of graft and fraud at corporate levels can certainly be much greater. This case resulted in 3,000 drivers losing their jobs without warning, some actually stranded mid-route with their company credit card canceled.

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Transportation Companies Struggle with the Gig Economy

Trucking companies are not the only small commercial vehicle ventures that are struggling in today’s economy. Taxi services in many cities and towns have nearly or wholly succumbed to the gig economy structure of ventures like Uber and Lyft.

Much of this change has been a result of consumer demand. As rideshare customers have grown accustomed to the conveniences and benefits of app-based ride-hailing, traditional taxi and car hire services have suffered. Their traditional employee relationship with their drivers is simply too expensive. It’s become difficult to support these overhead costs, let alone the development and operation of sophisticated technologies for customer interface. Uber and Lyft have the best of both worlds, large corporate ventures to support tech and innovation, and a cheap, flexible labor force to meet demand.

The explosion of the use of services like Uber eats and Amazon delivery this year has significantly impacted transportation logistics, completely changing the industry landscape. The changes that we have seen in the rideshare sector of the transportation industry might provide a window of opportunity for the long-haul and cargo trucking if companies are willing to take it. Time will tell how the industry shifts to address the challenges of driver shortages, changing workforce regulation, and emerging technical and logistical demands.

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What the Trucking Industry Means to All of Us

If you don’t know someone who is a truck driver or owns a commercial vehicle company, you may wonder what this has to do with you. The answer is quite a lot. In our increasingly delivery-oriented economy, your ability to get the goods that you rely on is directly tied to the health, efficiency, and function of our country’s commercial vehicle logistics. Your city’s roads may be saturated by certain types of commercial vehicle providers  whether they deliver cargo or people to destinations  that have vastly different impacts from the community to the community.

There is no doubt that the challenges in this industry will continue to shape our way of life in the coming decade. Increasing the safety of large vehicles is absolutely essential to protecting and saving lives on our nation’s roadways. By mitigating these disasters and enforcing safer and superior practices for trucking companies, hopefully, trucking and transportation businesses can become less fraught with catastrophic risk than they are today.

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The Thompson Law Promise

Thompson Law is a Dallas-based, full-service, personal injury law firm. With over 350 years of combined experience, our team is prepared to maximize your case outcome in settlement negotiations or in the courtroom. Our goal is to work hard to provide our clients with the absolute best settlement or case outcome, all while delivering 5-star client care throughout the process.

If you have experienced an injury in aaccident caused by the error or negligence of a truck driver or company, reach out for the legal help you need and deserve. Our expert team is standing by 24/7/365 to take your call and get you on the path to physical healing and financial recovery.

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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 experienced any serious injury as a result of an accident, consult with an experienced Dallas injury lawyer. 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.

Ryan Thompson has been named to TopVerdict's Top 20 Settlement List

Thompson Law is proud to announce that our firm has been awarded a ranking on the TopVerdicts list of Top 20 Settlements in Texas in 2018!

TopVerdict is an institution that annually ranks and recognizes U.S. Law Firms and attorneys who have obtained one of the highest jury verdicts, settlements, or court awards generally and in specific disciplines throughout the nation and individual states. Recognition from this independent organization is different from other publications, because TopVerdicts awards recipients based on historic facts, not opinions of peers or legal panels. Additionally, due to the short list lengths compiled by the organization, and the independent selection criteria, recognition is both prestigious and unbiased. These awards are earned, not bought, and very few firms receive recognition more than once.

Despite this competitive selection standard, Thompson Law is in consideration for the next year’s ranking. As we eagerly await the 2019 top verdicts (currently under review, with publishing beginning in mid-April and continuing through 2020), we are enjoying a time of reflection and gratitude for the award.

Managing Partner Ryan L. Thompson represented the plaintiff in this case against two different insurance companies and their team of lawyers. The plaintiff in the case had been injured in a tragic boating accident, which ultimately resulted in Mr. Thompson securing a settlement of over $1.3 million. The settlement allowed for critical access to the medical treatment required by our client. The compensation from the settlement will also offer the financial resources necessary to support our client through the difficult period of life this accident caused for her and her loved ones. Reflecting on the experience of winning this settlement, Mr. Thompson shared that, This case presented unique issues related to the liability of the parties involved, however, we were able to vigorously represent our client, and ultimately, achieve an outcome that would support all required medical treatment and ensure our client has the financial resources she needs moving forward from this horrific accident.A relentless pursuit of excellence in representation certainly paid off, both in the result for the accident victim, and less importantly, for the achievement of our exceptional legal team.

At Thompson Law, our sincerest wish, and sustaining motivation, is to see each and every client we represent get the best treatment and fullest recovery possible, and to receive the maximum compensation possible. As a family-oriented firm, we have seen our own loved ones suffer the pain and challenges that grievous accidents can cause, so we have great empathy for the plight our clients are facing. We are driven by a passion to win justice for the people we serve, and work tirelessly to achieve extraordinary results. It can be easy to loose sight of achievements in the hustle and bustle of helping more people and fighting so hard, but moments like these give room for pause. It’s an honor and a privilege to do the work we do for our clients, and it’s also a great honor to receive recognition of our success.

For more information, or if you need help after an accident, please contact us here or call 1-800-LION-LAW.

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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, 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 4 and get the roar right away for assistance with your injury and claim: 214-444-4444, 817-444-4444, 972-444-4444, 469-444-4444, or toll-free at 1-469-565-0075.

Lyft accident attorney

It is possible to find a Lyft accident attorney with just a quick online search of personal injury attorneys in your area, however finding a great, professional Lyft accident attorney may prove more difficult. We have put together our guide to finding the best rideshare attorney for you, and some critical information to consider after a rideshare accident when you are considering hiring an expert.

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Checklist to Find a Professional Lyft Accident Attorney

Finding and hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Knowing what to look for and what distinguishes the great attorneys from the good attorneys, however, can feel like a challenge. Our goal at Thompson Law is to provide the absolute best-case outcome for each client, but also to deliver a 5-star client experience throughout the entire process. That client service starts right here, perhaps even before you’ve hired us. We want you to be armed with the ultimate checklist to select the best possible attorney for you. Here’s what to look for:

    • Look for Proof of Results – After a Lyft accident, you don’t want to hire just any attorney who may not have the track record to prove their skill. Select an attorney who has a public record of past success. For example, our firm posts our case verdicts right on our home page and has won over $1.8 billion for our clients. In 2019, we had top 50 settlements in Texason the TopVerdicts ranked list.
    • Focus on Experience – Select a lawyer with trial experience as well as negotiations and settlement experience. It’s not always clear at the beginning of a claim process how contentious things may become. You want to choose an advocate who is prepared to take your case as far as necessary. For Lyft or Uber accidents, also check that an attorney has dedicated part of their legal practice to those cases. You can often tell by the services listed on their website, like ours here. You will also want to consider whether an attorney is well respected by his or her peers. For example, Ryan Thompson is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and has been selected as one of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers.
    • Ask About Resources – Check that your accident lawyer has the ability to provide all the resources needed for a strong case. Field investigators, accident reconstruction experts, and traffic safety engineers are all industry experts that may be called upon. The firm you choose needs to have experts such as these to do research and testify on your behalf. There are legal firms of varying sizes that offer the right resources. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your free consultation with our firm. You deserve to ask about our preparedness to handle your case!
    • Prioritize Excellent Service – Ask around in your community and see what trusted family and friends have to say about their experience with accident attorneys. Checkingonline reviews can also be a great help. Rideshare accident cases can take time to work through for the best outcomes, and you want to be comfortable with the experts you hire to handle that process. After a stressful and painful accident, choose a law firm that puts your needs first.

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Why Do I Need a Lyft Accident Attorney?

When huge commercial vehicle operations like Lyft and Uber begin to encounter recurring and serious problems, like accidents by the fault of their drivers, they come up with solutions to protect their profits. They also have the advantage of huge sums of money to afford talented legal representation and sophisticated insurance arrangements. There are a few reasons to seriously consider hiring legal help in the face of an insurance claim for a Lyft accident.

Reason 1 – There Can Be Much More Money at Stake

There are enormous sums of money in the insurance coverage that Lyft blankets over drivers in addition to each driver’s own insurance policy. Lyft provides up to $1 million in liability coverage for accidents. Their contingent comprehensive coverage is a $2,500 deductible, as opposed to $1,000 for Uber. They host a 24/7 customer service line related to handling accidents and emergencies. Higher dollar figures make for tougher negotiations to win your deserved payout.

Additional coverage sounds like a benefit in the case of an accident, and it’s true that these funds can truly make a dramatic difference. However, there are also unique complications that come from the structure of insurance coverage for Lyft vehicles. Depending on the “period” of service that you were in at the time of the collision, coverage may be different.

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Reason 2 – The Insurance Coverage Arrangements Are More Complicated

    • Period 0 offers ZERO coverage at the time the driver is not logged into their Uber or Lyft App.
    • Period 1 is when they are logged in but not serving a particular customer or ride request. Limited corporate insurance kicks in at this point.
    • Period 2 is when the driver is en route to an ordered destination.
    • Period 3 is when a customer is in the car.

In these cases, the $1 million coverage is in effect, though there are differences between periods 2 and 3 where property damage, UM, or UIM are concerned. Additionally, Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies are “contingent” meaning that they will only apply if you have made a claim on the driver’s policy first. Clearly there is room for confusion and disagreement in the midst of all these thresholds and coverage restrictions!

Reason 3 – The Settlement Agreements Are More Demanding

Also, companies like Lyft and Uber have developed complex settlement agreements that are often much more involved than in the case of a crash between two individuals and no commercial parties. One of these contract strategies they have developed and applied to their settlement agreements is confidentiality clauses. Such agreements cause concern because they can be extremely rigid, tightly enforced, and risk nullifying the settlement altogether if breached.

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The Most Important Reason to Hire a Lyft Accident Attorney

The absolute most important reason to hire a Lyft Accident Attorney is that Lyft accidents can cause extremely serious injuries. Nothing is more important than your health and safety. Sadly, we see many clients who have suffered painful, debilitating injuries as a result of rideshare accidents. Common injuries include neck injuries like whiplash, back injuries and spine injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious impact injuries. You should not be faced with chronic pain or lasting injury after one decision to ride in the care of an Uber or Lyft driver.

Hiring a Lyft accident lawyer to stand by your side is extremely advantageous. It’s simply not fair to go up against a large corporation and its fleet of resources on your own. Especially when the accident injuries are severe, and there are large amounts of money on the table, and the rideshare corporate lawyers are doing all they can to pay you the least and impose a severe agreement contract.

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You Found Your Lyft Accident Attorney with Thompson Law

It is always up to you to decide if representation by a Lyft accident attorney is right for you, just as after any car accident. Based on the information we know about complications to liability and insurance in rideshare accidents, these events are a particularly critical time to make the best choice for you as you prepare to face large corporate insurance interests. We hope this guide for the reasons you may want legal assistance has been helpful, and if hiring a Lyft accident lawyer is your decision, that the checklist helps you feel confident in the firm you choose.

If you have been hurt in an accident by an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare, delivery, or commercial driver in Dallas, please know that you can get help from Thompson Law anytime you need. Our legal experts are standing by 24/7/365 to take your call and provide a free consultation tailored to your specific experience. Alignment with our clients is so important to us that we work on a contingency fee-only, meaning we don’t receive a single penny unless we win your case. Thompson Law is 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 experienced any Lyft accident, commercial vehicle accident, or any auto accident, 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.

insurance claim attorney

As insurance claim attorneys, we get asked a lot of questions about the ins and outs of auto insurance policies and coverages, and we completely understand why. Auto policies can be confusing, and insurance providers can be deliberately vague in order to upsell you a more expensive package or to skirt responsibility after an accident when you need that claim payout. Worst-case-scenario planning is never fun, and we understand why many people take insurance policy offerings at face value or based on random recommendations.

To help, we’ve put together this list of the basics of coverage types and their applications. Coverage names and meanings can vary somewhat between states and between insurance companies, so if you are unclear, ask questions for the answers you need. With any luck, you’ll never need an insurance claim lawyer, but when accidents happen, Thompson Law is here for you.

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What Types of Coverage Might Be in My Auto Policy?

Bodily Injury (BI)Covers personal injury costs caused by an accident. May be allocated per person or per accident. A minimum coverage requirement in Texas.

Collision CoverageCovers car repair costs, if it is repairable. If your car is totaled, it pays the actual current cash value of your car. Current cash value is calculated using age, mileage, and other factors that impact depreciation after purchase.

Comprehensive CoverageCovers the cost of replacing or repairing vehicles that have been stolen, vandalized, or damaged by fire, weather or collision. This may also be referred to as hazard insurance or catastrophic loss insurance, especially in claims for severe natural events. This insurance can include rental car cost coverage during vehicle repair or replacement, but this is not universally the case.

Full CoverageAlthough not a specific insurance type, “Full Coverage” refers to a combination of coverages that provide a very broad scope of protection. Typically, collision, comprehensive, and Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorists make up full coverage. More insurance coverage is more expensive than limited coverage because it offers greater protection for a larger variety of damages.

Liability Insurance – Covers financial damages when you are deemed at fault in an accident. It encompasses Bodily Injury (BI) and Property Damage (PD). While required by law in the US, states have the power to set minimum required amounts for their citizens.

Medical Payment CoverageCovers or helps cover costs of medical bills resulting from the accident.

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Minimum Coverage – Another term that refers to a combination of coverages, not a particular coverage type in itself. Generally, refers to a policy that includes just enough to meet state limits.

Multiple Coverages – The types of insurance coverage that make up a single policy.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)Covers medical bills similar to Medical Payment Coverage, but additionally provides for lost income and costs of caregiver services necessitated by the accident. All Texas auto policies automatically include PIP. Customers may elect out of this coverage by written agreement.

Property Damage (PD) Covers the damage caused to someone else’s property, other vehicles, structures, or other items lost in the crash, up to a predetermined limit. Legally required as part of a minimum coverage policy in Texas, and nationwide.

Rental Car Coverage – Sometimes included with comprehensive coverage, covers rental car expenses up to a certain amount or for a set period of time while your car is inoperable, stolen, being repaired, or being replaced.

Towing and Labor Covers services like towing, changing a flat tire, jump-starts, or other breakdowns. Sometimes referred to by other branded names, like Roadside Assistance.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM)Covers you, the policyholder, when the other driver does not have sufficient coverage for all the accident costs. Texas insurance companies must offer this with every policy. Policyholders 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.

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Important Terms for Auto Policies

Premium Monthly or annual costs to maintain your insurance coverage. Usually, lower when you have a higher deductible, and higher when you have a low deductible.

DeductibleAmount that you are responsible for paying before your insurance coverage takes effect. Typically lower when you have high premiums, and higher when you have lower premiums.

The Main Players and the Worst of the Worst

You likely know all the big names in insurance – GEICO, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Farmers, USAA, Allstate. They spend millions and millions of dollars in advertising with flashy celebrity ads to gain your business. However, there are many more insurance providers than just those mega-corporations. There are pros and cons to purchasing your insurance policy from any type of insurer, from the largest corporate conglomerate to the local mom and pop shop.

If there’s any consensus about the worst insurer, however, recent news reports and investigative journalists have found that there is one company out of the large firms that consistently performs terribly toward those bringing claims and even toward their own customers –Allstate. Allstate has been criticized for excessively low settlement offers and outright claim denials. They also famously came under fire for having a “suckers list” that included clients who they knew they were overcharging in premiums and deductibles. They targeted these consumers, knowing that their deserved market rate was far less, but they were able to continue charging and increasing costs based on these customers’ habits and spending potential.

Clearly, the ethics of these companies are not always admirable. The good news is, there are resources available to you as you decide what insurance to choose. You should be able to expect better from your insurance company. You are their client! But when things inevitably go wrong in insurance negotiations, know that Thompson Law is standing by to help you, anytime 24/7.

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Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Texas

You may have heard the terms 30/60 coverage, or that Texas is a 30/60/25 state. These descriptors refer to Texas’ minimum requirements for auto insurance, otherwise known as liability coverage. The coverage breakdown includes:

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

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

$25,000 Property Damage Liability (PD)

After an accident where the at-fault party has liability coverage, payouts up to these amounts may be issued based on loss and injury caused from that accident. If losses are higher than these amounts, claims may be made to other parties’ insurance, and lawsuits may be brought against individuals.

Additionally, it is required in Texas that insurance providers offer UM/UIM and PIP. Policyholders may formally reject these coverages in writing. 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 has inadequate insurance, it is very difficult to recover damages for your injuries without UM/UIM and/or PIP.

Our clients often seek our help as an insurance claim attorney firm, because they have been hit by a driver who only has liability coverage. These coverage amounts are simply not enough to cover the medical bills, car repairs and other damages that occur in many auto accidents. If you need an insurance claim legal help after being hit by an uninsured, underinsured, or minimally insured driver, don’t hesitate to reach out for the assistance you deserve. Your team at Thompson Law is standing by and ready to fight for you.

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Recommended Auto Insurance for Financed Cars

When you are still in the process of making payments on your car loan, your lender determines the level and type of coverages that you must have. If you do not comply with the policy limits required, you risk being in default of your loan, which has serious consequences for your credit and future ability to take out other loans. Lenders have this control during the term of your loan because they are the actual owner of your vehicle until it is paid off. The following list includes recommended coverage amounts by Texas auto insurers. Your lender may require different amounts from these guidelines, based on the specific value of your car and other factors.

Type of Coverage and Recommended Amounts:

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

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

$50,000 Property Damage (PD)

Comprehensive Collision Coverage

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

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Texas Auto Insurance Types: The Bottom Line

The minimum auto insurance requirements for the state of Texas rank fairly well when compared nationally. Texas’ minimum required liability coverage is higher than 28 other states. Texas would surpass the coverage requirements of about a dozen more states if UM/UIM coverage was essential there. In addition to Bodily Injury Coverage per person, per accident, and Property Damage per accident, about 50% of states in the US mandate some amount of coverage for the case of a wreck with Under-Insured or Uninsured motorists (UM/UIM).

Selecting coverage that is right for you and for your family is an important decision. We hope this guide to the types of coverage available and the implications of minimum versus recommended coverage are helpful. And hopefully, you won’t need to file an insurance claim by staying safe and accident-free. No one expects to need an insurance claim attorney. However, should you need any help with an accident claim, a difficult insurance adjuster, or you are just hitting an insurance corporation stonewall, Thompson Law is always here to help?

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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 experienced a car accident, truck accident or any personal injury incident, 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.

cars safer

Everyone would like to know when purchasing a new vehicle, are lighter-weight cars or heavier cars safer in a crash? The simplest answer is that heavier cars are safer in a crash than lighter cars. The more complete answer is that there are some factors that can affect this baseline. Typically, older model cars can complicate this straightforward answer, because older heavier cars are not generally safer than more modern lightweight cars. Safety features have developed and evolved in different corners of the car industry at different points. Their improvement and mass distribution have also varied.

The 3-point seatbelt was invented by Volvo. GM was the first to offer airbags, and Porsche was the first to make airbags standard equipment in one of its models. A game-changer for auto safety was the enactment of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966, which first mandated federal safety standards for motor vehicles.

Since the 60’s, offerings, advancements, and features on the auto market have vastly increased. The best thing to do when determining the safety of a car or truck is to research your options and consult expert sources. Choosing a safe car, truck, or SUV is an enormously important consideration for everyone who drives or rides in your vehicle. Especially in a sprawling metropolis like DFW, in a state with the highest speed limits like Texas, car safety can never be too small a consideration.

At Thompson Law, we see far too many devastating car and truck accidents in our practice. Serious and debilitating injuries occur as a result of vehicles lacking in widely available and accessible modern safety features. Buying the newest, most top-of-the-line vehicle is of course not available to most people. However, everyone can make safety considerations in the cars they choose to purchase, how they maintain them, and how they drive them. With these efforts and the advancements on the horizon, we can all look forward to safer roadways.

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Safety Performance: The Best and the Worst Cars, Trucks, and SUV’s

Who is Responsible for Rating Motor Vehicle Safety in the United States?

There are two major authority organizations that test, analyze, and continually rank the safety and performance of new cars and cars in development in the United States: (1) National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), particularly its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and (2) The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, joined with The Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI)

These experts have designated the following cars as leaders in safety in their respective categories:

Safest Heavy Models

The top 5 models in this category:

1) GMC Yukon XL 1500 4WD (SUV)

2) Porsche Cayenne 4WD (Luxury SUV)

3) Lexus GX 460 4WD (Luxury SUV)

4) Cadillac Escalade 4WD (Luxury SUV)

5) Toyota Sienna 4WD (Minivan)

Safest Midsize Models

The top 5 models in this category:

1) Infiniti QX60 2WD (Luxury SUV)

2) Lexus NX 200t 4WD (Luxury SUV)

3) Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan 4WD (Luxury car)

4) Subaru Outback (Station wagon)

5) Acura RDX 2WD (Luxury SUV)

Safest Lightweight Models

Only two lightweight cars made the list of the lowest rates of driver deaths.

1) Volkswagen Golf (4-door car)

2) Nissan Leaf (4-door car)

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Most Dangerous Models

If you see statistics about the most dangerous vehicles for the current year or the most recent couple of years, take those facts and figures with a grain of salt. It takes several years for safety performance data to be gathered and analyzed with enough precision to determine finalized results. Past performance of a particular vehicle model is often a fairly good indicator of future performance, (if the car has not been significantly redesigned), but it is not a guarantee. Even in cases where year to year redesigns are seemingly minor, there can be considerable safety improvements – or setbacks.

Per the most IIHS’s 2020 status report, analyzing performance results from 2015-17, the 10 most dangerous models as quantified by rate of driver fatalities include:

1) Ford Fiesta (4-door car Mini)

2) Hyundai Accent (4-door car Mini)

3) Chevrolet Sonic (4-door car Small)

4) Nissan Versa Note Station wagon Small)

5) Fiat 500 (2-door car Mini)

6) Hyundai Elantra (4-door car Small)

7) Kia Forte (4-door car Small)

8) Nissan Versa (4-door car Small)

9) Kia Rio (4-door car Mini)

10) Mustang GT coupe (Sportscar Midsize)

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Why are Heavier Cars Generally Safer and Lighter Cars Generally More Dangerous?

The main reasons that heavier cars are generally safer than lighter cars are exactly what you might expect or have even experienced in an auto accident yourself. However, safety testing organizations, auto manufacturers, and others have studied and quantified the reasons and the causes for different safety performance.

One key reason that smaller cars are more dangerous is that more force is exerted on passengers of small cars in a crash. Smaller, lighter vehicles will be pushed more dramatically by larger cars. Larger, heavier cars will be less susceptible to that degree of push upon impact. The passengers bodies will be impacted by the inertia of the vehicle they are seated in, so those in smaller cars will be moved more aggressively.

There is also less protection for drivers and passengers in small cars from the body and frame of the car itself. Smaller, lighter-weight cars simply have less mass and surface area of protective metals and plastics that make up the car body. This will result in more severe crushing of the vehicle. Whether from the front, behind, or the side of the car, crushed or accordioned car parts can push into the passenger cabin, injuring that inside.

Crash tests have demonstrated these two main factors time and again in performance analysis. Consistently, very large SUVs have the lowest overall death rates (15 fatalities per million registered vehicle years). On the other end of the spectrum, vehicles classed in the mini-car category have the highest overall fatality rates, at 82 fatalities per million registered vehicle years.

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All Cars Are Dangerous in the Wrong Hands

Selecting a safe vehicle is important, but simply choosing the proper machinery does not eliminate the possibility of facing real dangers on the road. Even if you feel very secure in the vehicle choice you have made, you can’t control the behavior of drivers around you, the road conditions, or mechanical failures that can happen.

Crash Contributing Factors

Usually, accidents happen because two or more factors in driver behavior, vehicle mechanics, or the surrounding environment caused a loss of control. The most common crash contributing factors we see in our personal injury law experience can be grouped into one of three categories and include:

Driver Error and Negligence

Speeding

Drunk Driving

Drowsy Driving

Distracted Driving

Texting and Driving

Failure to Keep in Proper Lane

Merge Error

Running Red Lights

Vehicle Malfunction

Windshield Wiper Failure

Headlight or Taillight Failure

Steering or Suspension Problem

Compromised Tires

Brake Problem

Dangerous Road Conditions

Inappropriate Speed Limits

Road Construction

Bad Weather

Dawn, Dark, or Dusk Hours

Most Common Auto Accident Injuries

Discussing the injuries that result from crashes is important because there are very real consequences for the people involved. Bodily injury, disability, emotional trauma, and financial hardship from the resulting medical bills, repair bills, and lost wages are enormous challenges. Safety should be considered in the choice of what vehicles we select and how we drive them. The major injuries that we see in personal injury cases related to a car accident, truck accidents, or other traffic accidents include:

Whiplash

Soft Tissue Injuries

Joint trauma

Contusions

Strains and Sprains

Spinal Cord Injuries

Disk Injuries

Neck Injury

Back Injury

Paralysis

Head Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Broken Bones

Internal Injuries.

Amputations and Dismemberment

Wrongful Death

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Research on the Horizon – Safety Improvements to Look Forward To

It’s not just Formula 1 that has major safety upgrades in their sights for the near future. Everyday drivers can also expect some impressive features to be making their way into new car models. The NHTSA has awarded 11 of the 2021 Volvo models with a 5-star safety rating, largely due to performance and improvements in frontal, side, and rollover crash test results.

Developments from Mercedes were maybe even more exciting. The brand that first pioneered electric safety features in standard offerings with stability control and braking assist is bringing some extraordinary engineering to the market. Their Pre-Safe Impulse Side is an advancement in its active suspension system that actually raises the side of the car 3” within 1/10th of a second when the car is about to be hit from the side. This means that the sills take more of the impact, rather than the doors and frame of the passenger cabin.

Serious safety features aren’t only in the realm of Formula 1, Tesla, or even Mercedes. The 2021 Honda Odyssey has been awarded the Top Safety Pick Plus by the IIHS, which is the most competitive tier. The model’s safety features for slowing and avoiding pedestrian crashes, headlight upgrades, and crashworthiness tests of the van’s frame all performed extraordinarily well. So, while the latest technological advancements often do start in the luxury class, these feats of engineering do not take long to become accessible to more and more drivers.

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Let Thompson Law Take the Accident Burden Off Your Shoulders

Choosing a new car can be a stressful task at the best of times. Finding the model that is the right price and has a good safety rating, while also providing the features that you need, and that you like, can be a tall order! This challenge is all the more difficult when you are trying to find a replacement car for your totaled car after a traumatic accident. Concerns about safety and cost may be even more pressing during such times of emotional and financial strain.

At Thompson Law, we understand what you are going through. Our team of car accident attorneys and legal experts has over 350 combined years of experience and is deeply committed to winning you excellent results. We strive to deliver an excellent and seamless experience to our clients throughout each step of the personal injury claim and case process. We carry the burden for our clients so that they have the time and space to focus on what is most important – healing and recovery.

Whether you, your child, your spouse or any other loved one have recently suffered an accident, Thompson Law is here to help. 24/7/365, we are standing by to take your call, text or email. After your free consultation, we will get to work on your case straight away, and you pay absolutely zero fee unless we win 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 experienced any car accident, truck accident or any personal injury incident, 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.

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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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. 

truck accident claims

Likely if you’ve arrived at this page, either you or someone you love has recently been involved in a truck accident. You may not know what to do and where to turn next. You may be feeling worried, uncertain, and unclear about the next steps, and about just how complex the claim may become. This is a very valid concern, particularly in the face of a dispute with trucking companies, their legal teams, and their insurers. If this is your situation, we are here to help.

Truck accident claims often differ from car accident claims in three major ways: liability, damages, and financial impact. There are no hard and fast rules for every single circumstance. Some standard cars are commercial vehicles. Some trucks are being driven for private purposes with straight-forward liability. Whatever the situation, know that there are experts available to stand by your side and to guide you through your options and your steps to recovery.

The Three Reasons

The reason that specializations for truck accident cases have developed in the practice of law is that settling truck wreck cases can be quite complicated. It is helpful to examine the three main reasons for this:

Liability – with commercial fleets or owner-operated 18-wheelers, there are virtually always multiple parties involved in commercial truck transit. The trucker, the company that ordered the transport, the owner of the product packed in cargo, the workers who may have handled the payload at origin or delivery, and more, may have a stake in the reason that the accident happened. Any and all of these parties will be deeply invested in protecting their own interests and avoiding responsibility for their role.

RepresentationThe number of negotiators at the table continues to expand when the numerous parties listed above may all have insurers and lawyers representing them. This can create an incredible amount of confusion and red tape which will take experience and tenacity to fight through. This is especially true if you harbor any hope for a quick and efficient claim process. Opposing insurance has no motivation to make things clear or to take further action. In fact, they typically drag their feet and try to confuse individual claimants into giving up.

Financial Impact – Frankly, with large truck accidents, the injuries and property damage can be more severe. Taller, heavier vehicles with larger blind spots can certainly cause greater levels of devastation when things go wrong on the road. This means higher medical bills and higher damages to repay. The more money that is on the table, the harder the at-fault parties will fight to avoid paying.

What the Trucking Companies are Hiding

In a nearly  $800 billion United States  trucking industry, the resources at the disposal of the largest companies are  virtually  limitless. In many ways, the industry is so large for  understandable  reasons.  Trucks move at least  70% of all goods transported throughout the US, and many grocery stores would run out of food in  just  3 days  if  their long-haul deliveries  were interrupted  or stopped. We’ve certainly witnessed this type of disruption in the fallout from COVID-19 throughout the spring and summer of 2020.

Despite  overwhelming integration in how our economy operates, and vast amounts of capital, the industry  does  experience a notoriously high turnover rate in employee drivers, in recent years reaching as much as  136%.This turnover may be somewhat understandable when you learn the challenges of doing this job. The federal drive time limits require driving breaks only after 14 consecutive hours of driving! And frighteningly, many transit companies encourage their drivers to fudge the numbers in their logbooks so they may push beyond these mandated rest hours.

Still, the revolving door can drain resources for appropriately vetting and training drivers, leading to negligent or poor drivers continuing to gain new employment or prolonging their tenure at companies already suffering from turnover loss. There are approximately 400,000 owner-operator truck drivers in the United States, and on average  they operate vehicles that are over ten years old.

What Can a Lawyer Do to Help with Truck Accident Claims?

When you are involved in an accident, having an expert attorney  analyze  your case can make all the difference in an optimal settlement.

  • Truck accident lawyers can examine property damage, bodily injury, the liability of  those  involved, and other extenuating circumstances to determine the true value of your claim.
  • A Lawyer can bring credibility to your claim – making a large company or insurer that is refusing to believe you take you seriously.
  • A Lawyer can escalate your claim. If an acceptable resolution cannot be met in negotiations, your attorney can take the case to trial.
  • A Lawyer can provide a letter of protection (LOP), allowing you to get the medical care you need now, with bill payment deferred until your claim is resolved and settled.
  • An attorney can provide peace of mind. When you are represented by an expert truck wreck attorney, you can rest easier and make your recovery a priority, assured that your claim, demands, and negotiation process are in capable hands.

Large companies, insurance agencies, and government bodies all have legal professionals representing and protecting their interests following a catastrophic incident, and you should too. If you have been hurt in a car accident, be sure your interests are well represented and well protected.

Do You Need Help Deciding on a Truck Wreck Lawyer?

We’ve shared our suggestions on the best way to search for and select the best attorney, but the best strategy for selecting your lawyer is centered around three things.

  • Great Expertise: There are specialized truck accident attorneys. These professionals are most knowledgeable on current legal events and nuances in the specialty, and that means a better bottom line for you. Selecting a law firm that carefully curates a team of expert attorneys and paralegals to work on your case means better results for your treatment, negotiations process, and settlement. When you’ve been hit by an 18 wheeler, you deserve attorney representation from an expert who has fought and won cases like the one you are battling. 
  • Great Reputation: Consult referrals from friends and family and check the web for ratings and reviews. Places like  Google reviews  and  Facebook  pages can provide valuable feedback about the experiences of former clients and highlight a firm’s reputation.
  • Great Fit: It is important that you like the firm from the very first phone call. If it feels wrong from the start, the challenges of claim negotiations and case arbitration will not make a relationship easier. Don’t underestimate your first impression.

Have you made your decision yet? The experienced personal injury team at Thompson Law is standing by, ready to take your call and help to get you on the path to your deserved recovery. For your injury and concerns, or any worries you have about the complicated nature of truck wreck claims, don’t hesitate to reach out for advice and options.

Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe us one penny unless we win your case for you. You deserve to be protected and you deserve justice after suffering a dangerous and debilitating injury caused by a negligent truck driving.

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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 hit by a large truck or other commercial vehicle,  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 Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim. Call 4 and get the roar attorney!

truck accident

Yes! There are many specializations within the practice of law, including lawyers who specialize in righting the wrongs that come from the injury and loss of truck accidents. There are particular challenges that come with truck accidents, so it is imperative that truck wreck victims select the right attorney. In this article we’ll share pertinent information about why truck accident attorneys are necessary, the challenges of truck accident claims, and advice for selecting the right legal help for you.

Thompson Law is a premier personal injury that specializes in a number of personal injury accident types, including truck accidents. If you or a loved on have experienced a truck accident resulting in substantial loss or injury, there is no time to delay. Get concise, clear, expert advice when you call Thompson Law. You can receive the guidance you need and hire a specialized attorney for your case in 15 minutes or less.

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Why are truck accident cases more difficult to settle than other automobile incidents?

The reason that there are truck accident attorneys is that settling truck wreck cases can be more complicated. There are three main reasons for this:

Liability – with commercial fleets or owner-operated 18-wheelers, there are virtually always multiple parties involved. The trucker, the hiring firm, the owner of the product in tow, the workers who may have handled the cargo, and more may make claims about why events unfolded as they did, and who is ultimately liable for the collision, more complicated to untangle.

Representation – the numerous parties listed above may all have insurers and lawyers representing them. This can create an incredible amount of confusion and red tape which will take experience and tenacity to fight through. Opposing insurance has no motivation to help things proceed efficiently, and in fact they typically drag their feet and try to confuse individual claimants into giving up.

Money – Frankly, with large truck accidents, the injuries and property damage can be more severe. This means higher medical bills and higher damages to repay. The more money that is on the table, the harder at-fault parties will fight to avoid fair payment.

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Truck Accident Fast Facts

If you’re contemplating fighting your truck crash claim on your own, first consider a few truck accident statistics. These facts may change your thinking about how significant and powerful the presence of commercial vehicles on our road and in our industries really is:

  • The conventional  18-wheeler  can weigh up to  80,000 pounds,  nearly 20 times as much as an  average  car on the road. 
  • Texas contributed 9.3%  of the fatal tractor-trailer collisions that occurred in the US in 2017, with  433  of the  4657  total  accidents.  
  • The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) most recent statistics reports that  there are2,746,882  semitrailers and 8,456,30 straight trucks  in the US. 
  • American Trucking Association  (ATA) released its  2018 revenue  report  for the industry, showing nearly $100 billion in growth over the prior year,  for a total of  $796.7 billion.

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Commercial Truck Accidents: Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

You may be surprised to hear this coming from us – but there are absolutely times where accidents happen, and a lawyer does not need to be involved. If there are no injuries involved, if there is very minimal damage, and if the parties involved are in equal positions of power, these may all be situations where accident reparations may be handled by individuals and their insurers directly.

However, commercial vehicle accidents and collisions with large trucks are not the time to go it alone. There are simply too many interests, and often too much money at stake, to take the risk of going to the negotiation table unrepresented. Correctly handling a complex injury or death case like this is nearly impossible to do alone without the knowledge of laws and regulations surrounding commercial vehicles.  The trucking company, its insurance company, and their lawyers have an automatic advantage because it’s their industry and they have the resources and incentives to fight you for the long haul. These representatives will do whatever they can to limit or eliminate the trucking company’s liability for your claims – sometimes leaving victims with nothing. The trucking companies and their lawyers leave nothing to chance, so neither should you. 

How Do I Choose a Truck Accident Lawyer?

We’ve shared our suggestions on the best way to search for and select the best attorney, but truly the greatest advice comes down to three deciding factors:

    • Select a Lawyer with Expertise: Specialized lawyers have applicable experience in cases similar to yours, meaning they are most knowledgeable on current legal events, nuances in the field, and they can also use their time more efficiently in their law practice. Selecting a law firm that carefully curates a team of expert attorneys and paralegals to work on your case means better results for your treatment, negotiations process, and settlement. Whether you’ve had an accident  with an  e-scooter  or an  18 wheeler, you deserve attorney representation from an expert who has fought and won cases like the one you are battling. 
    • Select an Attorney with a Great Reputation: Consult referrals from friends and family and check the web for ratings and reviews. Places like  Google reviews  and  Facebook  pages can provide valuable feedback about the experiences of former clients and give you the opportunity to see how a law firm’s service ranks. Other law-specific sites such as  Justia  and  Avvo  can provide specific information about the community reputation of a lawyer you are considering.  
    • Choose a Lawyer Who is the Best Fit for You: Commercial vehicle cases vary, but they can take time to complete. It is important that you trust and communicate well with the person working for you through the process. Having a positive and respectful rapport with your lawyer will help foster the communication and understanding that will ultimately benefit your case outcome. If it feels like a bad fit from the beginning, the challenges of claim negotiations and case arbitration will not make a relationship easier. Don’t be afraid to consider the connection and feeling you have with the firm when you make your first call.

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Thompson Law: DFW’s Truck Accident Attorney

If you have gotten this far, the question you may well be asking at this point is – what is the best time to call a truck wreck lawyer? The sooner you call, the sooner your attorney can get to work building your case and drafting a comprehensive and strategic demand. When your legal team has the opportunity to do this work as quickly as possible after the accident, there are great benefits to preserving evidence and setting up for a strong stance in negotiations. Even if time has passed, however, you are still deserving of justice after being hurt in a truck accident. Experts in truck and 18-wheeler accidents can advise you of your specific options when you call. Don’t delay and let an important opportunity for your well-being slip away.

Thompson Law is a fullservice personal injury law firm located in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, with the capacity and licensure to practice in many areas throughout the country. If you have been hurt in an accident – be it car or truck collision, workplace accident, slip, and fall, or another negligent accident event, our team is poised and prepared to help. Share 15 minutes of your time by calling our team today – we would be honored to help you.

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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 truck accident or other commercial vehicle accident, the time to file a claim is right now. 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. 

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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When is the Best Time to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Dallas Moves to the Top of the List as Most Dangerous Driving City in Texas

Do I Need an Attorney to Handle my Commercial Vehicle Accident?

 

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. 

 

truck accident

There were over 500,000 large truck and bus crashes, 4,455 of which were fatal, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2019 report. Hundreds of thousands of lives each year are upended and forever changed by these devastating roadway events. Most people experience only three to four auto accidents in the course of their life, so after being shaken up and hurt, it can be difficult to know what important steps to take first. Are you unsure if you need a truck accident attorney to handle your truck wreck case? We have compiled five important considerations to help you decide about your need for personal injury protection, and if hiring a truck accident lawyer is the best solution for you.

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1. You Have Injuries

Auto accidents of any kind can be exceptionally dangerous, painful, and even deadly. Impact injuries (neck, back, spinal cord, whiplash), crush injuries (broken bones, head trauma) and other trauma (emotional distress, PTSD) can leave victims of these wrecks in need of extensive treatment and therapy, or even surgery. These injuries cause pain and disruption to your life, and they may well affect your ability to work and to live the quality of life to which you are accustomed. Not only this, but injuries and treatment are extremely expensive. Medical bills are the main contributor to sudden financial instability for American households, and it is deeply unjust for an accident that you did not cause to harm your family’s financial stability.

2. The Truck was Owned by a Large Company

When was the last time you won a game playing by yourself against a team of people? The same logic holds true in negotiations with large trucking or fleet companies. These firms have extensive insurance and legal resources at their fingertips that individuals simply do not. Plus, while this wreck was likely your first time in a large truck accident, trucking companies have the advantage of experience, having already navigated past collision situations as a company. Do yourself the favor or playing on even turf, and consult with a truck accident attorney you trust to see if their personal injury services can benefit you after your accident.

3. The Insurance Company Isn’t Helping You

Insurance companies are notorious for dragging their feet. A strategy they often find even more effective than outright denying claims is simply taking forever to respond, process, or move your claim forward. The hope is that this will discourage you from even trying to fight. In addition, they use sneaky tactics like asking trick questions on recorded lines or getting you to sign over unnecessary medical records. The adjusters are actually incentivized at their jobs with bonuses and other benefits to aggressively deny and underestimate claims. If you are hitting a dead end or confused by the insurance provider you are trying to work with, it is by design. Hiring a dedicated truck accident attorney with the resources and experience to fight back against these tactics will get the insurance companies to take you seriously and play fair.

4. You Aren’t Able to Take on a Legal Battle by Yourself Right Now

For most of us, there is no good time to take on a battle like this, but it certainly does feel like when tragedy strikes, it always comes at exactly the wrong time. We often hear from our clients that when they hired us as their personal injury attorney, it was like a weight was lifted from their shoulders. No one has time to chase down insurance companies or ensure that they are available anytime of day for follow up calls. A great truck wreck lawyer can take all of this off your plate. After an initial consultation and sign up, your dedicated legal team can move your case forward. By doing the heavy lifting of investigating, drafting a demand, negotiating, and even with our trial lawyers going to court to win the best settlement possible, your personal injury lawyer allows you to focus on what is most important: your recovery.

5. You Deserve More Compensation

Studies have shown that people who work with an attorney to resolve auto accident claims, like disputes about truck wrecks, receive much better results than people who go it alone. Having a lawyer negotiate for your compensation increases your chances of winning by 40% and results in an average total compensation value nearly 4 times higher than without an attorney. The fact is, insurance companies are experts at devaluing and denying claims. It’s a safe assumption to question an offer that an insurer brings to the table, especially if you have extensive medical bills and property damage costs. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. If you have been harmed by a dangerous or negligent truck driver, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, losses, pain and suffering.  

How Can Thompson Law Help?

Being hurt in a truck accident is no small matter. The exposure to high impact injuries, potentially dangerous or toxic cargo, the challenge of being an individual up against a commercial interest and more can truly leave lasting physical and emotional damage that persists long after the event itself. After suffering pain, trauma, or perhaps even the loss of a loved one in a large truck wreck, the last thing you need is to deal with red tape and insurance companies. Let Thompson Law do the heavy lifting for you. With over  $1.8 billion  won for our clients, we have the skills, experience, and tenacity to take on the large fleet companies and their teams of lawyers and insurance carriers. Call Lion Law to get the help you need after a serious personal injury event. Thompson Law is here to fight for you!  

Call (817) 752-9519

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Trucking Safety Measures Suspended During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The State of Texas has a statute of limitations of two (2) years for personal injury cases, so if you have been injured in a large truck accident in Texas or beyond, 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 Thompson Law right away for assistance with your injury and claim.

trucking safety measures during covid

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has uprooted so many aspects of our lives at this point it’s difficult to think of anything that is unchanged. From minor inconveniences like changed shopping habits to major crises like mass layoffs, our communities, state, and nation are grappling with massive change and uncertainty. One of the most concerning impacts of the disruption is that medical institutions hit hard by the virus are in short supply of critically needed equipment and tools. In response to devastating lack of essentials, drastic measures are being taken around the country to mitigate the impacts of these shortages.  

The latest installment in these efforts comes from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on March 13th. Following the President’s declaration of a national state of emergency, leadership at the FMCSA was able to issue a significant and impactful relief initiative: suspending drive time limits for drivers carrying essential personnel and cargo. This is the first time in history this type of measure was taken on a national level. In the past, only regions directly impacted by major natural disasters have managed to waive these critical restrictions.  

Despite the dire need for supplies and stock, the drive time restrictions are in place for a reason – to prevent dangerous and deadly accidents caused by fatigued drivers. In this time of difficult questions without easy answers, this new suspension raises the issue of what risks we are willing to take to mitigate other dangers.  

What are the specific changes to daily drive time limits? 

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the “daily” drive time limits for professional drivers. While referred to as daily, the requirements actually exist out of the confinement of standard workdays or weeks, since many drivers work outside of traditional routines.  

According to the FMCSA standard, drivers are allowed 14-hour shifts in which they may have up to 11 consecutive hours of driving, IF the shift followed a 10hour off-duty period. Working shifts are limited to 14-hour periods, even if this period does include loading, offloading, or breaks for lunch or a nap. Many drivers manage their schedules to avoid these breaks and naps, maxing out their shifts with the most possible travel time. More mileage and faster deliveries typically mean higher pay in the world of logistics.  

Drivers are required to maintain logbooks of their hours on the road. While falsifying a log book is a felony, and the books are subject to examination by Department of Transportation (DOT) officers, the dangerous activity is relatively common as drivers push themselves to make longer, faster trips for higher pay. 

The dangers of these long shifts have been long recognized (in the US, since 1938), but high-powered authorities are making the case that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Acting Administrator of the FMCSA, Jim Mullen, authorized the official statementwhich completely relieves the drive time restrictions for deliveries related to coronavirus (COVID-19)-fighting efforts. The drivers with specified cargo (see the next section) currently operate entirely outside of the standard 14-hour shift regulations. The only requirement that these truckers, couriers, and drivers must abide is taking a mandatory 8 or 10 hour break following their delivery.  

What deliveries are impacted by the change to daily driving limits? 

Thankfully, not every truck on the road right now is running on an unlimited time clock. The lifted hours-of-service mandate applies to truckers hauling only certain groups of people or certain types of cargo outlined below. These groups include medical professionals or sets of individuals being moved for quarantine purposes, and the cargo and deliveries include items deemed essential for lifesaving activity.  

“FMCSA’s declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts intended to meet immediate needs for: 

      • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. 
      • Supplies and equipment, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants, necessary for healthcare worker, patient and community safety, sanitation, and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 spread in communities. 
      • Food for emergency restocking of stores.  
      • Equipment, supplies, and persons necessary for establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19. 
      • Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for transport for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes. 
      • Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services.  

To ensure continued safety on the nation’s roadways, the emergency declaration stipulates that once a driver has completed his or her delivery, the driver must receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty if transporting property, and 8 hours if transporting passengers.” –  FMCSA March 13th, 2020 Statement 

Importantly, not all food deliveries qualify for the above relief measure, only emergency restocking (toilet paper is notably absent in the specifications of emergency stock). Additionally, cargo that is a mixture of essential and non-essential items does not qualify for the daily limit leniency. 

How will this impact the rest of us? 

These are unprecedented times that we are living through, and no one can predict with certainty what the implications of this decision will be. We may well see an uptick in the amount of fatigue related accidents. Accidents caused by fatigued drivers often occur due to lane wandering, sometimes as severe as driving off the road or driving into oncoming traffic. Running stop signs and red lights, failure to brake and loss of speed control are also culprits as exhausted drivers eyes close and muscles relax in their drowsiness. 

Many accidents may result in injurydeathproperty damage, but in our experience in the personal injury space, some of the worst damage occurs in the speeding, head-on types of collisions that result from falling asleep at the wheel.  

An additional potential tragedy that alleviating drive-time restrictions may cause is the loss of the precious cargo these exempt vehicles will be carrying. If sterile supplies or delicate medical instruments in a tractor trailer crash are spilled, damage or compromised on the way to a hospital in need, the whole journey was in vain. Cargo loss and property damage are generally much less tragic than severe injury or loss of life, but if the cargo was in transit to save many more lives, the scope of tragedy in that roadway accident may be incalculable. 

Hopefully, with much of the country operating under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, there are less cars on the road. We certainly want as few people as possible sharing the roads with exhausted, overtaxed drivers hurtling their way toward a critical destination. 

What You Can Do to Stay Safe 

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones right now is to follow the instructions of the authorities in your area and stay at home. Stay off the road as much as possible. Leaving the roads free for critical care, essential deliveries, and essential activities helps all of us weather this crisis. 

If you do need to leave home for essentials like groceries, medication, or medical treatment, do so as efficiently as possible. Try to schedule your prescriptions for simultaneous pickup and for longer supply. Medical appointments that can be handled over telehealth should be. And if you need to shop for food and supplies, buy in bulk, but don’t hoard. The FDA recommends buying one week’s worth of groceries per trip. Use what you have, plan your meals, and be efficient so that you are able to stay home for extended periods comfortably.  

In addition, minimize your delivery orders to just the essentials. We can all take care of our communities right now by limiting our own movement, but we can also help others avoid needless time on the road. Delivery drivers are coping with massive workloads right now, and much of this is for non-essential entertainment items and boredom purchases by those stuck at home.  

Finally, and of course, wash your hands, do your best to stay safe and healthy, and help others to do the same. The fewer people that fall ill, the lesser the strain on our healthcare system, and our country as a whole, and the less we will have to resort to extreme measures like the driver daily limits suspension. We all hope to suffer as little damage as possible in this crisis and hope that the pandemic does not breed further tragedy in the form of deadly truck crashes. 

If you have been hit by a fatigued delivery driver, or hurt in any motor vehicle accident, Thompson Law is still here for you. We are open and operating, continuing to take new clients, proceeding to process claims, and advancing cases of our existing clients. Our staff is fully operational in work-from-home capacity, and Ryan “The Lion” and his entire Lion Law team remain committed to seeing every client experience the fullest recovery possible and receive the maximum compensation possible. If you need help, please reach out. 

 

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Will Car Insurance Rates Decrease During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

 

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years, so if you have been injured in a motor vehicle 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 4’s right away for assistance with your injury and claim: 214-444-4444817-444-4444972-444-4444469-444-4444, or toll-free at 1-800-LION-LAW.

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. 

Call (844) 308-8180

 

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! 

Call (844) 308-8180

 

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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semi accidents

The United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regularly publishes a report known as “The Large Truck Crash Causation Study”. This report is designed to examine a representative sample of collisions from around the country, and study the important contributing factors to large truck crashes. In the study, “causation” is defined as factors, events, or contributors most likely to increase the risk of a serious truck crash. The main cause of semi accidents is brake problems, but most collisions involve a combination of factors. If you are the victim of a serious truck accident, know that you can reach out to Thompson Law any time for help, answers, and guidance. The call and consultation are free, and you are only charged a fee if we win your case.   

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Causes of Semi-Trailer Collisions 

Big Rig trucks can be notoriously dangerous on the road. Their unique handling, size, and weight make them exceedingly precarious when they are not being operated with absolute attention from the driver. Despite what we know about the damage these over-sized vehicles can cause when things go wrong, modern expectations of long-haul drivers can be extremely demanding. This forces the owner-operators and employees who drive these vehicles to cut corners in order to meet tight timetables and cover as much mileage as possible.   

Driver Fatigue – Long hours, disrupted sleep cycles or limited time to sleep, and physically demanding processes to load and unload cargo results in mentally and physically drained drivers   

Cargo issues – Unbalanced, overweightor poorly loaded cargo can lead to leaks, spills, or handling difficulties  

Road time limits – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates Hours of Service that truck drivers may be on the road. These mandated limits may be higher than you think, including a stipulation that property-carrying drivers are only required to take a break after their 14th consecutive hour of driving  

Alcohol and Drug Use – This type of impairment in a driver operating a small car is scary enough, let alone an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer. But sadly, drivers do test positive for these substances. Even beyond alcohol and illegal drugs, some prescription medication can result in side effects that impair driving. Irresponsible consumption of any drug can have tragic results on the road. 

Distracted Driving – Cell phones, maps, GPS devices are incredibly useful tools to truckers navigating their routes, but they can also lead to dangerous distractions. 3 seconds with eyes off the road can result in a vehicle wandering over a full lane, and in the case of a large tractor-trailer, that error can impact many vehicles on the road at once.  

Speeding – Speeding is one of the highest contributors to traffic fatalities, and this illegal act is even more dangerous in the case of a large and heavy semi-trailer. These trucks are difficult to stop and have braking systems that are more susceptible to failure at high speeds than standard cars.  

Mechanical – Before anti-lock brakes were required, starting in 1997, they were the main cause of tractor-trailer accidents, particularly jackknifing.  

Treacherous Roads – Inclement weather like rain or snow, icy roads, and low visibility are all complicating factors for every vehicle. This is especially true with semis which need much longer

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Types of Tractor-Trailer Crashes 

  • Types of tractor-trailer collisions can also influence the type and severity of injuries and damage that are a result.  
  • Broadside – Also called a T-bone collision, one automobile collides with the side panel of another. These accidents can have particularly disastrous whiplash, contusion, and other injuries. 
  • Rear End – Due to the heavyweight of truck machinery and trailer cargo, these trucks are much harder to stop than cars, SUVs, or other standard vehicles. 
  • Sideswipe – This type of impact occurs commonly with large trucks that require wide turns. Narrow intersections can be particularly treacherous. 
  • Rollover – Rollovers have surpassed jackknifing as the most dangerous semi accidents since the requirement for anti-lock brakes went into effect. 
  • Jackknifing – An accident where the brakes lock up, resulting in the trailer swinging around to create an acute angle with the truck.  
  • Head-On  Often caused by fatigue or drowsiness, causing lane wandering. 
  • Single Vehicle  One tractor-trailer colliding with debris, stationary objects or going off the road, resulting in damage or injury. 
  • Multi-Vehicle  One or more semitrucks colliding with one or more vehicles or objects, and one of the deadliest forms of a vehicular collision 

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More Tractor Trailers on the Road as DFW Grows 

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has experienced significant growth, particularly in the past several years. With the increase in population, industry, and commerce here, trucking has also grown in frequency and volume. Dallas-based Moore Transport, for example, has expanded from a humble two-truck operation into a fleet of over 300, with a revenue increase of 56% from the year 2015 to 2016.  

These types of increases to the trucking industry have significant impacts on the traffic and navigability of our community, which in turn impacts our safety on the roads.  

 

Need Help with a Semi Accident? Thompson Law is Here for You 

Injuries as a result of large truck crashes can be particularly serious because these large motor vehicles are so heavy and powerful. The damage they do to the cars, people, and objects they hit is often extremely severe. In addition, trucks are often owned by companies or corporations that have sophisticated insurance and legal representation to protect them. You should not be in pain after an accident, working to heal and recover, while worrying about fighting off these large, powerful institutions. Bring a lion to the fight, and let Ryan Thompson’s fierce team battle on your behalf. That way you can focus on the important things: your health, your family, and your life after the accident.  

Call (844) 308-8180

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Texas is two years, so if you have been injured in a semi-trailer 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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Doctor and patient discussing quality of life after spine surgery

Advances in spine surgery have made leaps and bounds, particularly in the last twenty years, but there is still an understandable fear around these significant procedures. The apprehension is only intensified when neck, back or spine surgery is a requirement of an accident that you suffered at the error and negligence of another. There are varying degrees of spinal surgery – some may be less invasive, some you may have relief of the symptoms and the problem, others may mitigate damage or avoid death but still leave a patient with everlasting impacts to their body and mind. Thompson Law has helped clients with health circumstances across the spectrum, and we are passionate about setting people up to succeed with the maximum compensation for all the influential ramifications of spinal injury accident 

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What Factors Lead to a Need for Spine Surgery? 

Back problems severe enough to require spine surgery most commonly result from one of two causes: disease or injury. In the personal injury space we frequently work with clients who have experienced a physically traumatic event resulting in injury and pain to the spinal column. Some accidents are more commonly the culprits of these injures than others, and here are a few of the accidents that most commonly result in surgical medical intervention: 

Common Types of Spinal Surgeries 

When you are preparing for your own spinal surgery, nothing about the process feels routine. Preparation, undergoing, and recovering from spinal surgery is no small task, though very significant advances have been made in the procedures, particularly in very recent years. In light of the increasing accessibility and precision of these procedures, some types have become very common place with highly successful outcomes. According to the Carolinas Center for Surgery, the 7 most common spinal surgeries include: 

  • Spinal Fusion 
  • Microdiscectomy 
  • Artificial disc replacement 
  • Laminectomy / Spinal Decompression 
  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty 
  • Foraminotomy 
  • Interlaminar Implant 

There are many types of spine surgeries so if you do not see yours listed here, it does not mean that we haven’t experienced case work around that type of injury. Every case is unique, and every client is unique, but our wealth of skills and exposure in the practice of personal injury law makes us uniquely equipped to handle your case for the best possible results. If you have questions or are seeking guidance on navigating your serious injury following an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out for the help you need. Thompson Law is here for you anytime 24/7/365 

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Spinal Surgery – The Recovery Process

The period immediately following a spinal surgery is typically consumed by recovery. Individuals going through this process need to be prepared for taking time off work, having help around the house with responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, caring for children and pets, and more. Much rest and rehabilitation will be required, and this can be a very expensive time paying for assistance services while not working. Additionally, recovery from surgery can be a painful process as your body heals and you have to work to return to strength. Physical therapy takes time and effort. It can be very challenging when first beginning, and also become a significant long term consideration for an individual’s life and health maintenance.  

Long Term Impacts of Spinal Surgery 

Individual situations vary, but in Thompson Law’s experience helping clients recovering from neck, back, spinal or other trauma and surgery, one can expect multiple impacts that fall into three main categories.  

Physical  Physical symptoms of spinal injury and surgery can be very wide ranging in severity and duration. Some of these impacts may include, pain, limited mobility, loss of mobility, stiffness, changes to posture and gate, and severe physical implications may include consequences like paraplegia or tetraplegia can result in very extreme limitations, requiring wheelchair use and resulting in complications and additional illnesses requiring rehospitalization throughout one’s life.  

Economic  Recovering from, and adjusting to life after, a spine surgery is a very expensive process. Individuals may need healthcare worker assistance, help around the house, their earning potential may be decreased, and they must plan for likely future hospitalization costs, and anticipate hospice or assisted living services earlier in life than anticipated 

Also, if you are going to live independently, you may need to do substantial work to your home and vehicle to make sure they are physically navigable for you. Retrofitting a current home or moving to an ADA compliant home is expensive and difficult. Especially if you are managing these logistics as a disabled person.  

Still, the news after a spinal surgery is not all bad. In and independent study conducted by a private practice spinal surgeon, the following data was recovered showing significant abilities of spinal surgery patients to return to work. Many people may go through a challenging time during the course of their surgery and recovery, but live a life perfectly normal to them on the other side.  

After an average 4 years, the following were still working: 

Lumbar Diskectomy – 95% 

Lumbar Laminectomy – 81% 

Short Fusion – 90% 

Long Fusion – 80% 

Emotional  Finally, undergoing spinal surgery and adapting to life afterward is an enormous life event to weather and adjust to. These events are extremely traumatic, and particularly if you are left with impacts that change your abilities indefinitely. Depression, PTSD, and other mental illness is common in patients who experience these extreme and challenging life changes. The emotional aspects to recovery from a serious accident should not be underestimated or ignored.  

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Familial Responsibilities 

The life impact of spinal surgeries does not only impact the patient who underwent the surgery. Family members and others close to that person will also experience effects. There can be a tremendous amount of fatigue that develops for family members providing caregiving time and effort to those they love. The hard work involved can lead to its own stress and physical ailments, as caregivers consistently carry heavy loads physically and emotionally, sacrifice their time, impacting their work and life responsibilities, to care for those they love who are in recovery or living with handicaps. In fact, over 50 million individuals provide these types of caregiving services, and the financial impact of this labor is twice the costs spent on nursing and hospice care expenses combined. The work of caring for our loved ones in time of hardship and healing is no small feat, and these challenges deserve recognition and compensation.  

 

What You Need to Plan for and How an Attorney Can Help 

All of the above challenges should be a part of your plan as you navigate the insurance settlement offers and related conversations following your serious accident. The short and long term impacts to your health, your lifestyle, your earning capacity, and your ability to lead a normal life with your loved ones are all extremely important and valuable considerations. An experienced personal injury attorney can fight for your maximum compensation for any and all of these economic and non-economic damagesand make sure that all the important aspects of your consideration are taken into account before you receive a final settlement. Nothing is more important than your health and healing, and Thompson Law is here to take care of the rest while you focus on your recovery.  

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 Thompson Law is Here for You After a Serious Spine Surgery 

Thompson Law is a tenacious DFW personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting hard for every last penny that our clients deserveWith this driven approach, we have won over $1.8 billion in compensation for our clients, resulting in life changing settlements and justice. We take every case as an opportunity to do the right thing and help people get back on their feet after a serious accident. If you or someone you love have experienced a serious accident resulting in a need for spinal surgery, reach out to Thompson Law today in Dallas at 214-444-4444, in Fort Worth at 817-444-4444,  in North Dallas at 972-444-4444, and in the DFW Mid-Cities at 469-444-4444. Get attorney Ryan Thompson – the all fours lawyer – on your side to make sure you are taken care of through a challenging process, and get the best possible compensation for your experience.  

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accident in fort worth

In Fort Worth there are over 15,000 traffic accidents annually. In fact, the city of Fort Worth even has a comprehensive and interactive map of traffic incidents available for public reference. Even if your home, work, or other frequent locales are not located in the map areas with the highest concentration of collisions, there is no arguing accidents are frequent. Fort Worth road travel can be highly dangerous to all of our city’s residents.  

(844) 308-8180 

Steps to Take After Your Forth Worth Accident

After a serious accident in Fort Worth, the shock and adrenaline can make it difficult to focus on taking the right steps. Use this convenient guide to so you will know what to do after an accident in Fort Worth. 

First, if injuries on the scene are severe call for emergency medical support. Calling 911 for ambulance, firefighters, and police can be critical to saving lives and preventing further injuries.  Next, be sure to carefully cooperate and comply with  instructions from the emergency responders. Finally, gather the following important information:    

  1. Exchange Personal Identification – Take photos or otherwise exchange personal identification information (e.g., drivers licenses, insurance card information) with owners, drivers, passengers, and witnesses. For each person involved, get their full name and contact information. Also, obtain license plate numbers, registration info, and location info
  2. Take PhotosTake pictures of all vehicles involved, the accident site, and the property damage to vehicles. This might include car parts, buildings, or other objects that sustained damage in the accident. Further, take pictures of injuries to the people involved in the accident.
  3. Call the Police – For  emergencies  call 911. Alternatively, for less serious collisions call the Fort Worth police department’s non-emergency line at (817) 392-4222. In both scenarios, cooperate fully with the operator. Also, carefully follow the operator’s instructions. Then, when emergency personnel arrive, listen to and follow their instructions  as they generate an accident report.    
  4. Exit the SceneTake care departing the scene of the accident. Follow the direction provided by emergency professionals. Gather the Fort Worth police report when it is available, typically within 7-10 days of the accident. 
  5. Seek Medical Attention – It’s important to your health to seek medical attention at a hospital, emergency room, emergent care facility, or with your primary care physician. Further, getting medical care quickly is critical to establishing your injury claim. For example, insurance companies often argue people that do not quickly seek treatment were not hurt in the accident. Rather, adjusters will argue they were likely hurt in another way, such as on-the-job or in a prior injury event. Do not try to tough out your injuries.  Seek medical care now.
  6. Call Thompson LawProtect your rights by calling Thompson Law in Fort Worth at (817) 444-4444 as soon as you are able. We offer FREE CONSULTATIONS. Further, there’s NO FEE unless we win for you. The sooner you make this call the better! If you are able to call from the scene of the accident or hospital we can begin assisting you right away. Don’t hesitate to protect your and your loved ones’ interests after a serious car wreck. 

(844) 308-8180

Accident in Fort Worth? Thompson Law is Here for You

At Thompson Law we truly understand the devastating impact that a serious truck or car accident in Fort Worth can have on your life. We have always believed in offering a variety of communication and meeting methods. For example, we can come to you wherever you are, or sign you up over the phone.

We understand the pain accidents can cause our clients. First, there’s the pain associated with injuries. Second, you’ve lost or damaged your primary means of transportation. Third, you may miss time at work. Fourth, you have mounting bills and expenses. In sum, all of these stressors can result in significant disruption to our clients’ lives. Rest assured that after your accident in Fort Worth, Thompson Law can and will take care of you.

From multiple locations to serve you, to 24/7/365 availability, to an extensive network of exceptional medical providers, to an experienced and passionate legal team dedicated to your case – we strive to offer everything our clients need after an accident. Contact us today at 817-444-4444 to see what Thompson Law’s Fort Worth office can do for you. In sum, call four and get the roar!

Directions to Fort Worth Office

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Car accident types

Over 400,00 car accidents occur in Texas each year, more than 6 million in the United States, and a frankly incalculable number occur globally, resulting in 1.3 million deaths and 20-50 million injuries around the world each year. With these numbers, it seems like every possible type of motor vehicle crash must have occurred, even ones that seem absurdly implausible. Despite the vast quantity of accidents, the vehicle involvement, cause, and type of impact that occur will generally fall into one of several categories discussed below 

To avoid any of these types of crashes, it is important to drive defensively with your full attention on the task of operating the vehicle and to avoid any substances or habits that can impair your sensory capabilities. If everyone took these steps, we would have far fewer crashes, injuries, and fatalities each year. If you have had the misfortune of suffering a serious car accident, know that help is available to you. A quick call (15 minutes or less) to an experienced accident attorney in San Antonio or Dallas-Fort Worth can be tremendously helpful in getting you and your loved ones on the path to recovery, well-deserved compensation, and peace of mind.  

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Car Accident Categories 

Vehicle Involvement 

All vehicular collisions fall into one of the two below categories. From there they can be more specifically categorized by their impact, trajectory, and causes. 

  • Single VehicleOne vehicle going off the road or colliding with debris or stationary objects, resulting in damage or injury. 
  • Multi VehicleOne or more vehicles colliding with one or more vehicles or objects. Multi vehicle crashes are the deadliest forms of automobile crashes.   

Types of Impact in the Collision: 

Rear EndWhen the front end of one vehicle makes contact with the back end of another. Multiple rear end collisions can be called a pileupOne cause in large trucks is due to the weight of a trailer and cargo. Heavy trucks are much harder to stop than cars, SUVs, or other standard vehicles, velocity keeps them moving faster for longer 

BroadsideAlso called a T-bone collision, one automobile collides with the side panel of another creating a “T” shape. Common accident at intersections where traffic is meeting from different directions. 

SideswipeA collision where two vehicles pass each other two closely, resulting in contact with the sides of the vehicles. This type of impact can occur when large trucks that require wide turns miscalculate and scrape a neighboring vehicle. 

RolloverA crash where one vehicle flips upside down one or more times. Since the requirement for anti-lock brakes went into effect, rollovers have surpassed jackknifing as the most dangerous accidents for 18 wheelers.    

Head OnA crash where two vehicles experience impact on their front ends. Often due to fatigue or drowsiness resulting in one driver wandering out of their lane. Also possible on narrow or curvy roads with poor sightlines.  

JackknifeMost common in semi-trailers, but possible for other vehicles transporting an attachment on a trailer hitch. When the (rear) wheels lock up and the trailer swings to create a sharp angle with the truck. This type of accident always results in spin-out, loss of control of the vehicle, and usually multiple lanes of traffic are impacted. 

These accidents may be defined by different types of impact, but they share many of the same causes. Drunk driving or driving under the influence of other substances is the number one cause of fatalities. Drowsy driving and distracted driving (texting, eating, adjusting the radio) are increasing contributors to serious injury. Speeding, improper lane change and other driving technique errors are also very significant factors. These human error related causes come before other dangers out of anyone’s control: bad weather, icy roads, and other unexpected environmental circumstances can also contribute to dangerous conditions. Driving is a risky activity, and it is imperative that all drivers remain focused and alert while operating a vehicle to avoid any of these frightening crashes. 

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After Accident Essentials

What You Should Do Immediately Following the Collision

  • If there are serious injuries at the scene, call 911 for emergency medical help. Emergency professionals such as EMS, police and firefighters will direct the next steps to take care of people and property
  • Recording the events of the accident is extremely important. Arming your Thompson Law team with the best information possible as they represent you in your claim will result in the best case possible and highest compensationTake pictures, take down identification like drivers’ license information, license platesinsurance information, and witness contacts, and coordinate with emergency responders to make sure reports are generated. 
  • Do not make a statement to any representatives from insurance companies or the companies associated with any fleet vehicles 
  • Do not apologize to anyone involved in the crash, because even as a figure of speech this can be construed as an admission of guilt. 
  • Leave the scene carefully by instruction of the emergency professionals.  
  • Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney as Soon as You Safely Can. Thompson Law will provide assistance and legal guidance. By managing your claim, gathering all aspects of your medical and property damages, supporting you through the negotiations process with at-fault parties, and more, we relieve you of the burden of these tasks, so you can focus on your healing and recovery. 

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The Thompson Law Difference

If you have been hurt in a car, truck, 18 wheeler, or other motor vehicle accident, the time to contact your trusted injury attorney, Thompson Law, is right now.The stakes are simply too high after a serious accident not to protect your interests. Medical and car repair bills, lost time and work, and the stress to your personal and family life are all serious considerations, and difficult to navigate. When you work with an experienced and compassionate firm like Thompson Law, you can rest easy knowing that you will get the medical care you need, the compensation you deserve, and the peace of mind you need after a frightening wreck. Your dedicated Lion Law team will guide you through the process of seeking treatment, protect your interests in negotiations with at-fault parties, and go to battle for the compensation you deserve.  

Don’t be afraid to stand up to the big insurance companies. After any serious car wreck, you need an expert advocate and a tenacious attorney to have your back.  Ryan “The Lion” Thompson is the accident lawyer you need. Call the 4’s lawyer for a free consultation today at 214-444-4444 in Dallas, 817-444-4444 in Fort Worth, 972-444-4444 in North Dallas, 469-444-4444 in the DFW Mid-Cities, or toll free at 1-800-LION-LAW (1-800-546-6529) anywhere in the United States. Call The Fours!

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dallas fort worth

Dallas-Fort Worth has gained one million people in less than 10 years, making the Metroplex the 4th largest in the nation. The population of our metropolis is over 7.5 million people, a tally that stresses the infrastructure of our city’s including roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. DFW residents are noting the increase in heavy traffic and longer commutes, as our city becomes a more difficult and treacherous place to navigate every day.  

Luckily, there are resources that exist which can help you avoid – or at least take care – through the riskiest traffic areas in our city. Real-time traffic apps allow residents to avoid areas of traffic congestion, and historic incident trackers provide valuable information in making choices about where to live or travel regularly. Area reporting of increasingly dense neighborhoods and new construction projects have kept us up-to-date throughout the year.  With these factors in mind, it is interesting to look back on the events and trends of 2019 that have impacted the roadways in our area, and consider what’s to come in 2020.  

With the increases in population and traffic, if you have been a victim of an accident on North Texas roads this year, you are certainly not alone. On average, 10 people are killed on Texas roads every day. The frequency of these terrible accidents means that victims do not need to suffer alone. Reach out to Thompson Law for help and advice on your situation.

Our compassionate team of legal experts are passionate about delivering personal injury justice for North Texans and citizens all across our great state. We live and work here, too, and the serious accidents that happen affect us, as well. We care about helping our clients through these hard times and look forward to the opportunity to help you. 

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Traffic in Dallas in 2019

Dallas Growth over the Years

In the last couple of years, the population of Dallas proper has grown by over one hundred thousand residents. Further, the surrounding towns with significant ties to the commerce and culture of the city have experienced even higher rates of growth. The upcoming 2020 census may shed even more light on the specific shifts that have taken place in our landscape, but the population boom in our area is undeniable. 

Current Dallas Construction Projects

DFW is the country’s second-busiest building market, and this high volume of new construction and disruption to our city is a major contributor to the increasingly dense traffic patterns. In Uptown Dallas alone there are over 15 new construction projects currentlyEven with the relative slowdown in construction that occurred this year, the Dallas area still holds the second-place spot – a good indicator that the boom will continue. Apart from private development, city and state projects are also significant and ongoing in Dallas.

The District of Dallas spent over $1.16 billion on construction and maintenance expenditures for 2019 alone! This has no small impact on our city, and commuters and travelers through the following thoroughfares have seen the effects of the construction works in progress: 

  • Expansion for SH 190 
  • Redesigns of I-30 
  • Redesign of US 80 E 
  • Expansion of Loop 9 (I-20-US 287) 
  • Improvements and Expansions to I-30 
  • Improvements and Expansions to I-35 
  • Improvements to US 67 
  • Many smaller-scale improvements to roadways, like the downtown Cesar Chavez corridor

Traffic Incidents this Year

One person has died on Texas roadways every day for the last 19 years. Unsurprisingly, Dallas recently ranked as one of the worst driving cities in the United States. In fact, Dallas News reported on a study that Dallas drivers are 46% more likely to be in an accident than drivers elsewhere in the nation. The city narrowly missed a “15 worst” ranking of all U.S. cities. This near-miss is not comforting, as the United States has roughly 20,000 cities, meaning Dallas probably ranks in about the top 0.1% of the worst driving areas.  

With so many fatal tragedies annually, it is impossible to select specific events that were notably devastating. There are such far-reaching consequences from each life lost, how can anyone understand the full impact of every event? All that we can do is take individual actions to make safe driving choices ourselves hopefully help to #endthestreak. 

Resources and Maps for Dallas

If you are looking for tips to prepare for any type of commuter or special travel on Dallas roads, many resources exist to help you plan the most efficient and least risky route using real-time traffic updates. Apps like Google Maps, Wego, Apple Maps, and Waze are frequent go-to’s for drivers, but these platforms are not the only resources that exist.

Our cities and states provide this information and more on other platforms, as wellTxDOT has an interactive map here that can show real-time traffic and causes of delays or closures on our roadways. Additionally, Dallas has a geographic information system (GIS) webpage that is a platform for planning and zoning information for the city.  

Traffic in Fort Worth in 2019 

Fort Worth Growth over the Years

The Fort Worth population has grown significantly in the past couple of years, adding over 20,000 residents within the city boundary alone. In the last decade, the population increase was over 125,000 people, which equates to nearly 17% of population growth for the city! In fact, the boom this area experienced was extremely impactful in moving Fort Worth up the rankings of largest U.S. cities, overtaking both San Francisco, CA, and Columbus, OH. By all standards, the growth is not anticipated to slow down anytime soon. 

Construction Projects in Fort Worth

Although Fort Worth trails Dallas in terms of total expenditures for construction and maintenance, the figure for improvements contracted by the District of Fort Worth was by no means insignificant. The District paid over $731 million in these costs over the past year. Many private projects are beginning or ongoing, as well, including Cowtown Place, Frost Tower, Pinnacle Bank Place, a new Hampton Inn & Suites Hotel, Trinity Terrace, Broadstone 5th and Summit, the Ciera Bank Building, the Fort Worth Police Officers Association Building, and more.  

Traffic Incidents in 2019

One of the greatest topics of contention in the Fort Worth area traffic this year was the flourishing of roundabouts in new development areas. Many residents and commuters find them confusing and frustrating to navigate with aggressive drivers taking advantage of the system and unfamiliar drivers bogging down the flow of the signature yielding method. Through community conversation and analysis of traffic right-of-way patterns, Fort Worth residents will be happy to hear that 11 notable new roundabouts will instead be configured as stoplight intersections: 

  • Blue Mound Road and US 287 northbound Frontage Road 
  • Blue Mound Road and US 287 southbound Frontage Road 
  • Keller-Hicks Road and Katy Road 
  • Bonds Ranch Road and Farm-to-Market Road 156 
  • Golden Triangle Avenue and Harmon Road 
  • Avondale Haslet Road and Willow Springs North Road 
  • Avondale Haslet Road and Willow Springs South Road 
  • Avondale Haslet Road and Sendera Ranch Boulevard 
  • Kroger Drive and Kroger Distribution Drive 
  • Kroger Drive and Park Vista Circle West 
  • Park Vista Boulevard and Keller Haslet Road

Resources and Maps for Fort Worth

Fort Worth shares many of the online and app-based resources that Dallas has. Additionally, the City of Fort Worth has published a Vehicle Accident Datacard that provides an incredibly comprehensive view of recent traffic incidents, and details about their circumstances. You can actually zoom in on your neighborhood or your work commute to see the dangerous spots where there are concentrations of accidents.

This can be an extremely useful resource in avoiding high-risk zones, as well as spotting patterns of traffic violations that are plaguing your area. With the city authoring this data card, hopefully, the tool becomes a great help in completing urban planning and infrastructure initiatives to improve safety and save lives.   

Thompson Law Protects You Across DFW

Thompson Law has an established office in Dallas (214-444-4444), and you may have seen television, radio, bus ads, and other images of the firm around Dallas. But did you know that the Lion Law firm team opened a new location in Fort Worth (817-444-4444) this fall off of East Loop 820 South? The new Thompson Law location exists to serve clients all over the Metroplex even better. From our additional office space, we have increased convenience for our clients on the Fort Worth side of town to get the resources and help they need from their team of personal injury experts. 

Thompson Law is continually striving to improve and provide better and better service to our clients, delivering the absolute best client service experience possible injury accident victims. If you have experienced a personal injury or automobile accident anywhere in Texas, we are here for you. Even minor accidents can have serious physical consequences, and our sophisticated team of litigators and legal professionals will take time to understand and negotiate your claim for the highest possible settlement. Additionally, our approach to every case is a compassionate one.

Caring for clients like family is central to who we are, and it’s why we do what we do. Contact us online or give us a call at any of the 4’s numbers in DFW – 214-444-4444, 817-444-4444, 972-444-4444, or 469-444-4444 – to connect with our injury experts for a free consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The 4’s are always on your side, so if you’re injured anywhere in DFW, call THE FOURS for help. 

(844) 308-8180 

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Thompson Law's 2019 truck accident guide

Thompson Law Truck Accident Guide

Why are Truck Accidents Different from Other Wrecks?

Any car accident has the potential to be extremely dangerous and life changing. When you are involved in an accident with a large truck, especially commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers or extended box trucks, the consequences can be even more significant. Larger vehicles can more easily cause severe damage, more devastating injuries, are more often fatal, and the truck fleet company will have more power and experience protecting their interests than an individual alone 

After a serious truck accident, there are naturally so many concerns that arise. Missing work, getting to various doctors and physical therapy appointments, dealing with a damaged or totaled car, and mounting bills around all these tasks can cause a massive amount of stress. Thompson Law understands this pressure, and empathy for our clients informs all that we do. Our process is designed to be as smooth and seamless as possible, our optimization to communicate with you in a wide variety of convenient ways, and the passion the drives our fight for your maximum compensation all set Thompson Law apart. For advice specific to your accident, give us a call or reach out online anytime. If you’ve been in a truck accident, you can follow this truck accident guide for a quick list of what you should do.

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What to Do After a Truck Accident

Document, Document, Document 

After an accident, it is important to document the events with photos, noting identifying information, and recording contact information of participants and witnesses. After a serious truck accident, this becomes even more important. Trucking companies and commercial vehicles registered to businesses have financial interests to protect, and the larger and more established they are, the more resources they have to defend themselves.  

So, when you are fighting for a settlement from an insurance company representing a commercial vehicle, company truck, or fleet 18 wheeler, it is particularly important to be well-prepared with evidence of damage and injury that you suffered. Take lots of photos, get good angles on the vehicles involved and visuals of the impact they sustained. Be sure to take down driver license information, license platesinsurance, and any other registration or identifying information for the vehicle. Additionally, take down contact info for any witnesses who can corroborate the events that took place.  

Finally, in cases of accidents with large trucks and commercial vehicles, it is important to file a police report. Call the police to the scene and cooperate with instructions as they take statements and make a report. Do not make statements to anyone else except the police, especially representatives from the trucking company or insurance companies. If you have any questions about what to say or how to proceed, you may call your attorney at any point, even from the scene of the accident. Thompson Law has legal experts standing by 24/7/365 to take your call and help you from the very first moment you need assistance. Don’t hesitate to reach out.  

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Seek Medical Care 

Following a truck wreck, it is essential to get a medical checkup. Sadly, due to the size and power of these vehicles, they can cause extreme damage to the other cars and objects they collide with, resulting in terrible injury and loss. In fact, in Texas in 2018 the rate of fatality from a truck accident was 370% greater than the rate of fatality from a passenger car accident. After a truck wreck, you may find that you have no choice in the matter of a medical check, as an ambulance may be called to the scene to help.  

If you are lucky enough to walk away, be sure to make a trip to the doctor. Whether it’s the emergency room right away, or your doctor the next day, do yourself the favor of seeking medical evaluation. You will thank yourself later if you have sustained delayed onset injuries in the crash that were masked by your adrenaline rush. Not only will your chance of recovery be improved by early diagnosis, but your chance of a better settlement is improved because you have consistent documentation of injury and treatment. 

Some common injuries after a serious truck accident include: 

Hire an Attorney for Help After a Truck Accident

When you have been involved in a serious truck accident, it is important to make sure your interests are as well represented as the at-fault truck driver’s. Hiring an expert truck wreck lawyer can help you recoup your losses for the expenses, injuries, and suffering you endured, and offload the responsibility of fighting the insurance companies alone. Your lawyer will negotiate and even go to trial on your behalf to win every dollar you deserve in recovering losses from the following: 

    • Medical Expenses 
    • Property Damage 
    • Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity 
    • Pain and Suffering, Including Loss of Companionship 
    • Other Special Damages 

Working with an attorney can provide additional resources for financial decisions during the course of your claim. Many clients experience a pileup of bills in the aftermath of a serious accident – property damage and car repairs, medical bills, and missed work can all contribute to financial hardship. Work with your attorney to see what options are available to defer payments until after your settlement. Many medical and other institutions are willing to work with you on extended billing due dates when they know you are working with an experienced personal injury attorney to achieve the best possible settlement.  

Many benefits come from engaging a professional personal injury firm after your accident. Experienced negotiators battle for your maximum compensation, insurance companies take your claim more seriously, medical and other institutions provide more options for settling expenses, and you receive a settlement check for your ordeal.  

For more information about whether a personal injury firm like Thompson Law can help you, give us a call anytime: 

844-308-8180

 Why to Call Thompson Law After a Truck Accident

With these truck accident guide steps in mind after your serious truck accident, the question remains, how do you choose the right personal injury attorney to represent you? There are many resources available to assist in a search for the right firm. Online reviews and referrals from family and friends can be helpful resources in that search. Calling the firms on your shortlist to speak about your situation can answer specific questions about how a firm’s particular practices and experience can best serve you. With Thompson Law, this free consultation can be as simple as 15 minutes on the phone to set you on your way toward recovery and successful settlement. 

Thompson Law has over 350 years of combined experience in personal injury law and has won thousands of settlements netting over $1.8 billion dollars for our clients. Additionally, we offer extensive options for communication and are passionate about using cutting edge technologies and resources to provide the best experience for our clients. Beyond our practices and qualifications however, at Thompson Law we treat clients like family. Many of our team members have been personally affected by serious accidents just like our clients, and this empathy for others informs who we are and how we care for you. Reach out anytime in Dallas at 214-444-4444, in the North Dallas cities (e.g., Plano, McKinney, Richardson, Frisco) at 972-444-4444, in the Mid-Cities at 469-444-4444, or in Fort Worth at 817-444-4444

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seatbelts

The Risks of Not Buckling Up and Famous Cases of Those Who Paid the Price 

Sadly, over 33,000 people die in car accidents each year, and a major contributing factor to fatalities in these wrecks is failure to wear a seatbelt. The risk of being killed in an auto accident is estimated to be 45-60% higher when you are not wearing a seatbelt than when you are properly buckled up. These numbers are supported by a study released recently.

In particular, backseat passenger deaths are on the rise, as more and more people are taking advantage of ridesharing and chauffeuring services than ever before. Conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the study documents 803 rear-seat passenger deaths where the victims were not wearing seatbelts and asserted that over half of them would have survived had they been buckled. Over 400 lives could have been saved, and countless more would not have suffered the devastation of needlessly losing their loved ones. 

Conventional wisdom for many years was that you were safer if you were “thrown out” of a car upon impact, rather than strapped in with your belt. There was fear of being trapped in the car by the belt especially in the event of a water crash or if the car caught fire. Instances like these were statistically rare, but the paranoia around a few sensational stories spread like wildfire. In addition to these anxieties, there was an element of glamour to riding unsecured. As late as the 1960’s race car drivers were still not all using safety belts, and there was a frequently repeated sentiment that “if the race car drivers don’t do it, why should I?”  

Over the next couple of decades, and many needless fatalities later, public opinion finally changed. Between 1984 and 1995, every state except New Hampshire instituted seat belt requirement laws. Always buckling up (no matter the length of the trip, your position in the car, or who is driving) is the best thing you can do to help stay safe. If you do suffer an accident, know that you can reach out to Thompson Law anytime for assistance with your event.  

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Celebrity Deaths from Not Wearing a Seatbelt 

Tragically, a great number of famous and beloved stars have been killed in auto accidents. Many of these fatalities were attributed to seatbelts not being worn. Despite these high-profile cases of needless fatality, people continue to ride without buckling up every day, with terrible consequences.  

John Nash & Alicia Nash 

People often act as though riding in the back of a taxi or rideshare like Uber or Lyft is safer than riding in a regular car. Ride services mean you are not driving drunk, and you’re being couriered by a professional driver. In fact, similar possibilities for accident and injury exist in these cars like in any other. It is critical to always buckle up – even in the backseat, even for a short trip, and even when driven by a professional.  

A famous case that brought a lot of attention to this issue was the death of renowned Princeton Professor, John Nash, and his wife, Alicia Nash. A couple of A Beautiful Mind fame was killed during a cab ride in 2015 when the driver lost control on the New Jersey turnpike, ejecting them from the car. The results of the crash may have been far less tragic had they been wearing seatbelts at the time.  

John Nash, the 1994 Nobel Prize winner in Economics and famed mathematician, was well known for his work on game theory and as senior research mathematician for decades at Princeton University (alma mater of Thompson Law CEO, Zack Thompson, incidentally). Alicia was an MIT physics graduate, famous for her role as wife and caretaker of John through his struggles with schizophrenia and an important figure in the Princeton community in her own right. Their deaths were a devastating loss to the academic community and many more. 

Stars & Seatbelt Use 

If one tragic example does not say it all, a very abridged list of other famous fatalities since 1955 that were all caused in full or in part by not using a seatbelt includes:  

  1. Joey Marella – While driving home from refereeing a WWF match, Marella fell asleep at the wheel and was killed. He was not wearing a seatbelt, but the passenger with him was buckled and sustained serious injuries but survived the event. 
  2. Cozy Powell – Whitesnake drummer Cozy Powell was driving home drunk, without a seatbelt and talking on his cellphone. This triple threat of dangerous behavior resulted in the crash that killed him on a Bristol, England motorway in 1998 
  3. Bob Simon – American journalist Bob Simon died while being chauffeured in the back of a Lincoln Town Car in New York, NY. His driver lost control and struck another car. Rescue workers managed to retrieve Simon through the roof of the car, but tragically he died in the hospital of the injuries he sustained in the crash: head trauma and a broken neck.  
  4. Ryan Bennett – Sportscaster of MMA fame, Ryan Bennett was killed in an accident in a Ford Expedition in Fillmore, Utah. Despite wearing a seatbelt, he was still ejected from the car after it rolled down the I-15 median 5 times, leading some to suspect that his belt was not properly secured.   
  5. Herb Brooks – Famous hockey coach of the 1980 US Olympic Gold Medal team, Brooks was not wearing a seatbelt when he crashed in Minnesota. He was believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel while driving on Interstate 35.  
  6. Rob Collins – English musician, and keyboardist of alt-rock group, The Charlatans, Collins was driving drunk and not wearing a seat belt when he fatally crashed his car in Wales, UK.  
  7. Brandon de Wilde – Famed child-star and actor from the mid-century, de Wilde died tragically when the camper van he was driving struck a guardrail and another vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt, and so became wedged in the wreckage as the camper tipped over. He died in the hospital of the injuries sustained in the crash shortly thereafter.  
  8. Justin Mentell – Justin Mentell, actor most widely known for his role on Boston Legal, was killed in Mineral Point, Wisconsin when his Jeep swerved off the road, hitting trees and killing him on impact. Mentell was not wearing his seatbelt when it is suspected that he fell asleep at the wheel. 
  9. Rich Mullins – Mullins died tragically at the age of 41 when he suffered an accident in Bloomington, Illinois. The Christian music star and his friend were traveling in his jeep when the car rolled over. Both passengers were ejected due to their lack of seatbelts. Mullins landed in the road, and with severe injuries was unable to move out of the way of an oncoming truck. The truck could not swerve aside in time either and struck Mullins, killing him instantly.  
  10. Fran Papasadero – Papasadero was killed in Orlando, Florida. He was ejected from his vehicle while the car rolled over four times. He was not wearing a seatbelt, and died at the age of 34, bringing his football coaching career to a premature and tragic end 
  11. Cliff Burton – Metallica’s base guitarist, Burton died tragically in a tour bus crash on the band’s first major European tour. Like many riders in tour buses, Burton was not strapped in. Some buses are built differently to withstand crashes without the need for passenger belting, but tour buses are different, equipped with many hard surfaces and typically full of heavy equipment cases that can become dangerous projectiles in a crash.  
  12. Brian Cole (Same as above) safety belt failure recall victim – perished in a crash in Marianna, Florida, this American baseball player was only 22 years old at the time of his death.  
  13.  James Dean – Dean’s speeding-related crash fatality occurred in his famous and brand-new, Porsche, nicknamed “Little Bastard.” He lost control when another car crossed in front of him, ejecting his passenger and crushing him upon impact. The crash was highly influential in improving popular opinion of seatbelts because experts proved that he likely would have survived the crash had he been buckled up at the time.  
  14. Jayne Mansfield – Along with two other passengers not wearing seat belts in the front seat of a Buick Electra, Mansfield suffered a traumatic brain injury and died instantly upon impact. Remarkably, her three children in the backseat (including daughter Mariska Hargitay) were unscathed.  

Injuries from Not Wearing a Seatbelt in an Accident 

While it is possible to sustain some injuries from your seatbelt itself in the event of an accident, these pale in comparison to the injuries you may face without your seatbelt on. If you are unrestrained at the time of impact, you can actually become a projectile object, flying through your windshield or hitting hard surfaces in your car, resulting in injuries and consequences like: 

Back Injuries 

Neck Injuries 

Head Injuries 

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) 

Paralysis 

Spinal Cord Injuries 

Severe Cuts and Bruises 

Sprains, Strains, and Broken Bones 

Death 

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What to do in an Accident 

When people involved in an accident have not been wearing their seatbelts, injuries on the scene can be particularly severe, so be sure to involve the proper authorities. Call 911 for emergency police, ambulance or fire response. Doing so can be critical to saving lives and preventing further injury. After emergency professionals have arrived on the scene be sure to thoroughly cooperate with their instructions. Use the following list to gather important information about the event:  

Personal ID’s – owner, drivers, passengers, witnesses   

Property ID’s – plate numbers, insurance info, registration info, location info   

Photograph – take pictures of the vehicles involved, the accident site and the damage. Extra pictures of anything notable about the scene can be extremely helpful in understanding all the details of the event. 

Police – for emergencies call 911, for nonemergencies call the local police department. When emergency personnel arrive, cooperate fully with their instructions as they generate an accident report.   

Proceed – Take care of departing the scene! Follow the instructions provided to you by emergency professionals. Gather the police report information when available. Call Lion Law(link) for legal assistance and representation.   

Protect – Protect your rights and interests by calling Thompson Law at 844-308-8180 as soon as you are able to follow the accident.  

If you noted that anyone was not wearing their seatbelt, tell your Thompson Law attorney for advice. Sharing this accurate information with your Thompson Law advisors can make a critical impact on the outcome of your case!  

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Call Thompson Law After an Accident 

The safety benefit we experience in choosing to buckle up is really unparalleled. Always make the right choice when you get in the car, whether the front seat or back, and fasten your seatbelt. Not only will this keep you safer, but it will model this behavior and remind others in the car to do the same, so you all stay safe in the event of a collision 

If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of your accident, this does potentially impact the determination of your percentage of fault in the event. To best protect your interests in your case, hire an expert personal injury attorney. Your attorney can fully assess all the details of your circumstances and guide your claim for your very best result. 

If you have been in an auto accident, especially one with seat belt related complications such as unbuckled participates or injuries sustained from seatbelt failure, you deserve help and compensation for your ordeal. Reach out to Thompson Law anytime 24/7/365. Our expert legal team is standing by to help you with your questions and provide a free consultation for your claim. Buckle up, stay safe, and if you need help, don’t hesitate to call us anytime.  

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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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18 wheeler

There were over 475,000 large truck accidents in 2016, which represented a 45% increase over the numbers from just three years prior! Tens of thousands of deaths have resulted from these crashes, and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Safe driving practices need to improve, and truckers, drivers, and our communities need to work together to make better choices on the road. Fortunately, there are some proven methods of reducing truck crash rates. Read on to find out more about what drivers of all types of vehicles can do to prevent truck accidents and what to do if things still go wrong and there is a collision.  

After a serious truck accident, an engaging and expert attorney is an enormous help. You may be dealing with serious injuries, lost time at work, car repairs or replacement, or even the wrongful death of a loved one. While you take care of yourself and your family, leave the work of dealing with insurance claims and fighting the trucking companies to specialized truck accident attorneys. Ryan “The Lion” Thompson has won over $1.8 billion in settlements for his clients, and his team of experts is standing by 24/7/365 to take your call and get to work for you. 

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What Trucks Should do to be Safer 

When truckers are driving safely, practicing defensive driving, and acting courteously to cars sharing the road, the large size and power of these vehicles can have a big impact on the safety of our roadways. The American Trucking Association sets a goal of “developing and advocating innovative, research-based policies that promote highway safety, security, environmental sustainability, and profitability.”  

With this goal of promoting highway safety in mind, there are a number of practices that drivers should incorporate into their habits while traversing our nation’s roads. There are also a variety of behaviors and choices to avoid. With this good judgment on the part of our nation’s truck drivers, we will finally stand chance of reaching our goals to reduce and eliminate road traffic accidents involving semi-trucks 

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Do’s  Dont’s
Do drive courteously, communicating with other drivers Don’t tailgate cars
Do properly balance cargo Don’t overload cargo in the trailer
Do drive cautiously, at legal speed or less Don’t speed
Do take breaks to maintain focus and combat exhaustion Don’t drive while tired
Do focus on the road Don’t text and drive or distracted drive


What you Can Do to Drive Safely Around Trucks 

72% of car and large truck accidents are actually caused by cars, so there are definitely some preventative measures that drivers can be taking every day to help lower truck crash statistics. Many safety habits that we would encourage truck drivers to practice are also applicable to drivers of cars. However, there are also some habits uniquely important for smaller vehicle operators to employ when driving around large trucks and 18 wheelers.  

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Don’t Tailgate – Just like you don’t want an 18 wheeler bearing down on you, don’t do this to large trucks either. On top of contributing to the danger of crashing with sudden stops, you are also in one of the truck’s blind spots this way. Trucks can’t drive safely near you if they don’t know you are there.  

Avoid Blind Spots – In addition to the rear blind spot, there are three additional sizeable blind spots as illustrated here. 20 ft in front of the truck, 30ft behind, a large portion of the lane to the drivers side, and an even larger portion of the two lanes to the passenger side of the truck are not in view for the truck driver. Do not linger in these areas – pass quickly and always remember turn signals when you are in visible zones.  

Don’t Stop Suddenly – At 60mphit takes a length of over 3 football fields for a loaded tractor trailer to come to a full stop. If you cut in front of a loaded semi and slam on the brakes, the truck simply cannot stop as fast as you. 

Avoid Tire Blow Outs – Trucks are particularly susceptible to tire blow outs, because these accidents are often caused by overloading and underinflation. Heavy trucks traveling long haul through different climates are more exposed to these tire-stress factors. May through October is the time period where most blow outs occur but be watchful year-round for flying debris.  

Give the Right of Way – Rather than speeding to make it in front of a truck every time you merge, leave room for trucks. Smaller cars are much more agile to smoothly join a lane or change position by passing after a difficult merging zone 

Watch Out for Drifting – Truck drivers who spend long stretches on open road and have hefty mileage and hours requirements to meet in their delivery schedules. Fatigue is a danger of the trade so be watchful of drifting trucks that may signify its driver is drifting off to sleep. 

Leave Room for Wide Turns – The long trailers on trucks need more space to turn, so take care when you notice truck’s blinkers come on, do not pass a truck when its turn lights are flashing, and stop behind the lines at intersections. These guidelines are to help provide enough space for turns around the intersection corners, and large trucks may need even more room than they designate. 

Pass Quickly – When you do pass a trailer, move along as quickly as is safe. Don’t linger next to the sidewall of the trailer where you are in the truck’s blind spotA good rule of thumb is to merge in front of a truck when you can see its cab in your rearview mirror.  

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What to do After an 18 Wheeler Accident 

Sadly, even with the best-laid plans and most careful driving, 18 wheeler accidents do still occur. Aside from freak accidents, people do drive negligently despite knowing better. The fact remains that truck accidents do occur, and trucks present special danger for accident and injury.  

After any accident it is important to get a reliable record of the event, preferably with police documentation. This is especially true with trucking accidents where company or corporations may be involved. Truckers and their employing companies are practiced in defending themselves after an accident, so you need to take care of yourself and be cautious to defend your own interests and concerns as well.  

Here are the steps you should take after a truck accident: 

Call the Authorities – be sure to get a detailed police report and take photos of the scene while you wait for the police to arrive.  

Get Checked Out – If an ambulance arrives at the scene, cooperate with Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals, and only leave the scene if they clear you to do so. The size and weight of these vehicles can frequently cause serious impact injuries, and the magnitude of the crash may leave you in shock or with an adrenaline rush that masks the symptoms of an injury. For these reasons, delayed onset injuries are common with truck accidents.  

Seek Medical Care – If an ambulance does not come to the scene, we strongly recommend that you seek medical advice in another way. Whether it is a trip to the emergency room straight from the accident, or a visit to your doctor the next day, the best thing you can do for your body after an impact injury is get checked by a medical professional. 

Call an 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney – for advice on your claim and case options and guidance on your continued treatment plan, consult an expert accident attorney like Thompson Law. Take the guesswork out of the insurance process after an accident, and take comfort knowing that Ryan Thompson and his outstanding team have your back.  

DO NOT – make any statements after the accident to insurance adjusters, the truck driver and his or her representatives, or any other parties connected to the incident. You can call your lawyer from the accident site for advice if you are being questioned and would like legal help.  

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Call 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney Thompson Law Today 

While there may be some pretty cool technologies on the horizon to help reduce the rate of truck accidents, sticking with tried-and-true defensive driving techniques is a great way that you can contribute to the safety of our roads right now. If things go wrong and you are involved in an accident, know you are not alone. Unfortunately, people suffer in truck collisions every day, in fact there are over 1300 truck accidents daily in the United States alone.

Experienced accident attorneys like Ryan Thompson of Thompson Law have extensive experience squaring off against the at-fault trucking companies and the big insurance corporations when these wrecks occur. If you have been hit by an 18 wheeler and hurt in the accident, call Thompson Law today. You deserve help and will benefit from expert legal guidance through the claims and case process. Ryan “The Lion” Thompson will fight for every dollar of your deserved compensation so you can focus on your recovery. 

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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.”  

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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.  

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Bus accidents and Farmers Insurance

Since the 66,000 bus accidents that took place in the United States in 2013, there have been consistent increases in the reported accident numbers annually. Nationwide, hundreds of these crashes are fatal each year, and Texas has one of the highest national rates for bus accident fatalities per 100 million total vehicle miles traveled (VMT). It may be sadly unsurprising that some of the most tragic and deadly bus accidents in history have taken place in Texas. 

Bus accidents are especially deadly for other motorists. Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities make up about 1/3 of bus wreck fatalities each year, the remaining 2/3 being passengers in motor vehicles. The insurance coverage carried by the operators of these large vehicles may be helpful in recuperative costs. But, if you are a victim of a serious bus accident that results in catastrophic injury or loss of life, no amount of payout will ever truly make up for what you have suffered. Insurers like Farmers, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, Nationwide, Geico, etc. are well-practiced in protecting their interests in the aftermath of a serious accident.  

In addition to concerns about fighting huge corporations for your just compensation, many bus accidents involve city liability. Examples might include the case of city bus involvement or city infrastructure as a contributing factor to the crash. Often, cities narrow the more standard personal injury statute of limitations’ 2-year term all the way down to a 90 or 60day window in which you are permitted to bring a lawsuit. 

In light of the serious injuries and losses, complications of insurance company restrictions, and city or stateimposed limitations that arise in the wake of bus accidents, it is extremely beneficial to seek the assistance of an accomplished bus accident attorney. Our legal experts have vast experience with all types of motor vehicle collisions and know how to handle the big insurance companies like Farmers. We are always ready to fight for our clients’ rightful compensation because we understand the suffering that comes from a dangerous accident. If you have been hurt in a bus crash, please reach out to Thompson Law right away for the help you need. 

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Bus Insurance Regulations and Requirements 

There are two main categorizations that determine the insurance and liability requirements which bus owners must carry. These standards are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and there are additional protections from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).  

The main FMCSA standards are: 

  1. Does the bus only travel within state limits, or does it cross state lines to travel elsewhere? 
    1. Interstate: The bus provides transportation which sometimes or always crosses state lines. 
    2. Intrastate: The bus only provides transportation in its home state.  

     2. Including the driver, is the bus designed to carry less than 16 people or more? Minimum levels of financial responsibility are determined by the highest seating capacity of a vehicle within a fleet operated by an interstate for-hire motor carrier of passengers. 

    1. A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers: $5,000,000 insurance required. 
    2. A vehicle designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers: $1,500,000 insurance required. 

There are exceptions to these insurance requirements, and they DO NOT apply to: 

  • A motor vehicle transporting only school children and school personnel to and from school
  • A motor vehicle providing taxicab service and having a seating capacity of less than 7 passengers and not operated on a regular route or between specified points 
  • A motor vehicle carrying less than 16 people in a single daily round trip commute to and from work  
  • A motor vehicle operated by a motor carrier under contract providing transportation of pre-primary, primary, and secondary students for extracurricular trips organized sponsored, and paid by a school district. 

Types of Buses and Who is Responsible for Insuring Them 

Insurance regulations and requirements can vary for different types of buses based on their use categoryThe institutions that insure these fleets are often liable parties in the case of an accident. Your experienced bus accident attorney (link to commercial vehicle when up) will be able to examine the details and circumstances of your accident to evaluate which liable parties to pursue for damages. 

School Buses – The relatively minimal requirements of what it takes to become a school bus driver in the state of Texas may surprise you. School districts are responsible for maintaining insurance coverage of buses in the fleet that serves their schools and districts. Additionally, they are required to purchase and maintain vehicles in their fleet that adhere to federal and state safety standards, which are frequently reiterated or improved upon by their general liability insurance policy requirements. Reciprocally, school bus manufacturers must construct the carriage and body of their buses to meet these standards, and have documentation accordingly, before they are able to sell the buses to school systems. 

Bus Rapid Transit – Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) include City Buses like Dallas’ DART and other Public Transit Buses aimed at easing congestion in dense metro areas and supporting a larger public transit network. The fleet is owned and insured by the city or state. 

Commuter Buses  Serving as public transit for large metropolitan networks, (Dallas’ DART would also qualify as commuter service), these buses may be owned and operated by the city or state they serve, and they are insured by this ownership too. 

Inter-City Buses – GreyhoundMegaBus and other Mega Coaches all have their particular niches, but largely share common characteristics. They mainly transport passengers between regional city centers, as well as longer routes, often overnight and in competition with train travel. These buses are insured by the companies that own and operate their fleet. 

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Causes of Bus Accidents and the Injuries that Can Result 

Causes of bus accidents are often the same as causes of other motor vehicle collisions, although the size, weight, and bearing of buses do account for some differences. Due to their height and weight distribution, buses are more susceptible to rollover after certain types of impact or speed changes. Even if the bus driver is driving safely, the cars around them and in their larger blind spots can cause accidents. Some bus accident causes include: 

  • Poor or Negligent Driving – speeding, failure to maintain lane position 
  • Dangerous Driving Conditions – bad weather, dawn/dusk/dark driving, icy or slippery roads 
  • Heavy Traffic – aggressive driving, stop/start dangers 
  • Construction – poor signage and visibility, driver confusion, complicated traffic patterns 
  • Distracted Driving – texting, checking maps, eating while driving 

Some bus statistics are comforting, including the fact that school students who travel to and from their schools by bus are 70% more likely to arrive safely than those who travel in cars. However, when things do go wrong with buses, resulting injury and loss can be severe. Experienced personal injury litigators see tragic results after serious bus accidents including: 

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What to do After Being Involved in a Bus Accident 

After a bus accident, always call the proper authorities. Police should document the scene and take statements of witnesses and those involved in the accident. DO NOT make statements to any other parties, and DO NOT make a statement to the driver.  

Because buses often do not have seat belts, they are designed to be heavier and absorb crash shock differently. This means that crash scenes involving buses can be different from other car and truck crashes. The different weight distribution of a bus can still result in injuries to the people aboard, but it can be particularly dangerous to the passengers of any other vehicles involved in the collision. There is a reason we use the phrase “hit by a bus” to describe being in great discomfort or pain. 

When the ambulance arrives, get fully checked out and cleared by the emergency medical professionals (EMS) before you leave the scene. Sometimes the adrenaline rush after an accident can disguise injuriesaches, and pains in the momentTrust the experts to examine you and confirm any known or suspected injuries.  

Exercise caution in your routine in the days following the bus crash and absolutely note if you are feeling “off” in any way. Please seek the care that you need without delay. Whether you go straight to the ER from the crash scene or visit the doctor the next day, the important thing is that you consult medical professionals for their assessment of your condition and get treatment recommendations. Delaying treatment not only jeopardizes your health, it also risks the outcome of your personal injury claim.  

Finally, do not take any calls from insurance agents after the accident until you have talked to your designated bus accident attorney. If you have any questions about what to do, feel free to contact Thompson Law for a free consultation about your situation. 

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Farmers Insurance 

Formed in 1928, and now serving the nation with over 19 million policies across every US state, Farmers Insurance Exchange is comprised of 47 companies, and ranked number 222 of the Fortune 500 in 2017. Farmers reported $15.6 billion in revenue that year with total combined assets at $20.6 billion 

Within the automobile insurance space, Farmers offers numerous options and plans for commercial vehicle coverage, ranging from small packages related to habitual business errand running, all the way up to complete coverage of a business on wheels – such as bus offices, food trucks, or trailers. Bus insurance packages are offered to provide the levels of protection required by federal and state law, at a minimum, with options for additional coverages as requested by bus owners.  

Need to file a claim with Farmers Insurance? After an accident where an at-fault driver has Farmers Insurance, there are a number of ways to contact them to initiate the claims process including reporting a claim here at their website, here at their phone number (link to 1-800-435-7764), here for auto and other claims reporting, or possibly even by visiting one of their new mobile claim centers that operates an emergency assistance office out of a bus.  

Insurance companies like Farmers want to make it as easy as possible to file a claim so that individuals are lulled into the belief that they do not need an experienced bus wreck attorney to protect them.  

Best Chance at Your Best Claim with Experienced Bus Accident Attorney on Your Side 

The best approach to filing your demand with a bus company’s insurance carrier is to engage the advice and counsel of a specialized bus accident attorney. Understanding that the above revenue numbers and breadth of experience with insurers like Farmers can be daunting, remember you do not need to face large insurance corporations alone. Add an expert to your team by hiring a specialized bus accident attorney. With a lawyer like Ryan “The Lion” Thompson representing you, you improve your chances of a smoother claim process and optimized compensatory outcome.  

Our experts are standing by to take your call, answer your questions, and help you every step of the way. Even after a frightening bus accident, you do have options and resources. Reach out to Thompson right away to get started, we look forward to helping you very soon. 

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rideshare uber lyft

What is Rideshare? 

Ridesharing is any transportation service – such as Uber or Lyft – in which customers use an online app to request rides from nearby registered drivers. The driver then picks up its clients and drives them to their destination for a fee.  No cash is exchanged because payments are processed through the app electronically.  

Rideshare companies start coverage as soon as a driver logs into the app; however, the coverage might be limited until a ride request has been accepted. A driver’s personal auto insurance policy will usually have coverage exclusions during this period, as well. Rideshare insurance is necessary to fill in these gaps in coverage, and typically greatly increases the size of the insurance policy available over what the driver’s base policy is on their automobile. 

What Makes an Accident with a Rideshare Company Different Than a Normal Car Wreck?  

Auto accidents are complicated, but lawsuits against rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft present unique issues and complex challenges in personal injury cases. Rideshare lawsuits can involve various insurance policies that may provide coverage for your damages. There are a couple of insurance and liability issues that passengers and drivers should be aware of.   

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 36% of adults say they have used a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. By comparison, just 15% of Americans said that Uber and Lyft compete with (and typically outnumber) taxis and other ride-sharing car services across the United States. Uber and Lyft are similar to taxis services, but they do not own, operate, or control the cars, nor do they hire the drivers as employees. Rather, drivers contract with these companies to pick up passengers.  

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are becoming increasingly popular in Texas and across the world, and estimates are they have provided some 2 billion rides to passengers since their inception in 2010. These companies eliminate the hassle of driving and parking, and the need for a designated driver. With rideshare companies, the roads are becoming safer with less drinking and driving accidents; however, some studies show rideshares may increase the incidences of injury accidents due to drivers being distracted by the rideshare devices.

When a victim is involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft, it may blur the lines in relation to how to proceed with an accident claim 

Rideshare (Uber/Lyft) Driver Requirements 

The standard driver requirements are the same for both: 

  • At least 21 years of age 
  • Valid drivers license for at least a year 
  • Vehicles must be 2005 or newer.  
  • Some states allow 2000 or 2003 standards, but it’s a good idea to keep the 2005 benchmark in mind.  
  • Valid registration papers at the time of application are needed. Check for any impending renewals before applying. 
  • Must pass background checks, including federal, county, and multi-state criminal background checks by third party agencies.  

To maintain an active account, drivers must accept at least one trip in any given month.  

Uber vs Lyft 

Around 14 million Uber trips are completed every day. The rideshare market has seen significant growth in recent years. Rideshare service offers convenience and often costs less than the traditional taxi or driving and operating your own vehicle. In terms of ridership, Uber has a larger share in the United States than Lyft, with 119.2 million users in the first 3 months of 2018, compared to 76.5 million for Lyft.  

Uber Insurance Coverage 

With Uber drivers, insurance coverage is up to $1 million in liability coverage per incident for the duration of the ride, including contingent and collision damage coverage. Uber insurance covers the entire cost of the damaged vehicle with up to a $1,000 deductible. There is also contingent coverage between trips for Uber drivers if the auto insurance coverage refuses to pay. Thus, rideshare insurance policies tend to look much like commercial vehicle insurance policies, with much larger policies and broader coverages. 

What to do if Involved in an Accident with an Uber Driver 

If you’re involved in any rideshare accident, follow these steps: 

  1. Check that all parties involved are safe. 
  2. Notify the police and paramedics, if necessary. 
  3. Contact Uber in the Help section of the Driver app.  
  4. Select Trip Issues and Adjustments, and then select I was in an accident 
  5. You can also speak directly with a trained agent by going to the Help section of your Driver app and tapping Call Support. 

Lyft Insurance Coverage 

Lyft’s insurance coverage is also $1 million in liability coverage and has additional 24/7 customer service and insurance agents to speak with through their critical response line. Lyft is also vigilant with any past felony, sexual offense, arson, shoplifting, etc. on record older than 7 years, despite several states having waived this requirement. Their contingent comprehensive coverage is a $2,500 deductible, as opposed to $1,000 for Uber.  

Lyft has an emergency hotline at (855) 865-9553 available 24/7, in addition to online customer support email support@lyft.com, with response times of typically 48 hours or lessBy comparison, Uber just has the form for customer support and response time can vary between 2 to 5 working days. 

Lyft Legal Implications 

Anyone considering Lyft as their method of transportation should keep in mind the legal issues that may be involved and affect the ability of the injured passenger to recover damages. The additional Lyft policy provides $1 million of excess liability insurance which provides coverage beyond the scope of the driver’s existing insurance policy coverage.

There is no charge to the driver for this additional coverage, nor does it affect any personal coverage carried by the driverWhat this means to a seriously injured parties in an accident is that there is significantly more insurance available to cover their injuries than the State minimum policy limits in Texas of: 

  1. $30,000 bodily injury liability per person 
  2. $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident 
  3. $25,000 property damage liability per accident  

Car Insurance Policies for Rideshare Drivers 

While Uber and Lyft highlight the extensive coverage they have in place for their passengers in the event their drivers get in an auto accident, it is important to make sure the coverage applies to your situation. The average personal car insurance policy will not cover “commercial use”. While the typical auto-insurance policy covers carpooling – defined as several passengers in the same car going to a common destination and splitting the cost – Uber and Lyft do not qualify as “carpooling”

The rationale is that as soon as a driver begins to make profit out of driving people, the law requires them to obtain commercial insurance similar to taxis, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehiclesIn the event that you are injured in a car accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft, users must be prepared for insurance companies to deny their claim for a variety of reasons, which is why it is important to consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  

Personal auto insurance policies typically contain a business-use exclusion, which means coverage doesn’t apply when the driver is using their personal vehicle for business purposes, such as working for Uber, Lyft or other rideshare companies. This is where an accident with a rideshare vehicle can get complicated.  The moment a rideshare driver picks up a customer, the rideshare driver has no liability and collision insurance under their personal auto insurance policy.  

So, How Do I Get Reimbursed if an Uber or Lyft Driver is Responsible for My Injuries? 

Although it may sound impressive that Uber and Lyft both provide $1 million in liability coverage for their drivers, the coverage varies depending on which “period” the driver is in. In the ridesharing and insurance world, a driver’s time is divided into 3 different phases: 

  • Period 0 – When the driver is not logged in on the Uber or Lyft app, no coverage is provided, although the driver’s personal auto insurance might apply. 
  • Period 1 – When the driver is logged into the Uber or Lyft app but has not accepted a ride request. Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage for any accident that’s the fault of the driver up to $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 in total bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 property damage (excluding the driver’s car). Claims first go to their auto insurance carriers, with rideshare policies kicking in only if the damage exceeds the policy limits on the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.  
  • Period 2 – When the driver has accepted a trip and is in-route to its destination (pick-up location), liability coverage increases to $1,000,000 in bodily injury per accidentThis insurance covers the injuries and vehicle damage sustained by anyone who is hit by a Lyft or Uber driver when the rideshare driver is determined to be at-fault. Liability coverage does not cover injuries sustained by the rideshare driver. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage (UM and UIM) kicks in for any incident in which the driver is liable. Comprehensive and Collision coverage also kicks in a this point in a rideshare policy, meaning the driver is covered for physical damage to the vehicle, regardless of who is determined to be atfault 
  • Period 3 – When the customer is in the car, liability coverage up to $1,000,000 is applied, plus limited coverage for damage to the driver’s car AND uninsured motorists coverage (UM/UIM) 

Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies are “contingent” meaning that they will only apply if you have made a claim on the driver’s policy first. 

Progressive Rideshare Insurance  

Progressive provides rideshare insurance for Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies. Many auto insurance carriers, including Progressive, offer rideshare coverage that can be added to a driver’s personal auto insurance policy. Uber and Lyft drivers are REQUIRED to have rideshare insurance added to their personal auto insurance policy as a precondition for working on behalf of either rideshare company. The driver’s personal auto insurance policy will cover the driver’s car for physical damage during the periods when the rideshare policy will not. While a driver’s personal or commercial policy may cover the gaps on an Uber or Lyft policy, it is important to make sure that as a driver, you are fully protected in the event of an accident. Uber and Lyft do not offer gap coverage or medical payments for the driver.  

Progressive offers 2 ways to get rideshare insurance in Texas: 

  1. As a personal auto policy endorsement  
  2. As a commercial for-hire livery policy 

Livery Insurance for Taxi, Limousine, and Rideshare Drivers Through Progressive 

Drivers of taxis, limousines or any other vehicle used by a business to transport people for a fee, typically need a commercial auto insurance policy or “livery insurance”. Progressive offers for-hire insurance – also known as livery insurance – in 38 states, including Texas.

Livery insurance is a type of commercial auto coverage for vehicles that are used by businesses to generate revenue from transporting customers. People who use their private vehicles for livery will need special protection that extends beyond basic auto insurance coverage. The cost for rideshare insurance is generally higher under a for-hire livery policy because it isn’t exclusively intended for rideshare drivers.  

I Was Involved in An Accident with A Rideshare Vehicle, Now What? 

There are multiple ways in which you may be involved in an accident with an Uber or Lyft, such as: 

  1. You’re the passenger in a rideshare vehicle 
  2. You’re the driver of a vehicle that collides with the rideshare vehicle 
  3. You’re a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a rideshare driver 

The first step in your case will be to determine liabilitymeaning who is at-fault in the injury accident. In order to have a personal injury case, you must be able to prove that the other driver was at-fault (i.e., negligent) for the car wreck. To do so, you must prove 3 elements: 

  1. The person owed a duty of reasonable careas all drivers share a duty to drive carefully and obey all traffic laws 
  2. The driver breached that duty, meaning he or she did not drive carefully or obey traffic laws 
  3. You were injured or suffered damages as a result of the other driver’s breach of the duties above 

Fault in a personal injury case may be attributed to multiple parties, which can increase the odds of compensation, but also the complexity of the case. What makes Uber and Lyft wrecks different is the role that the insurance company plays when the injured party seeks reimbursement from the at-fault party.  

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident Involving a Rideshare Company? Call Attorney Ryan “The Lion” Thompson with Thompson Law 24/7/365 at 817-803-4610 

If you have been in an accident involving a rideshare company in Texas, you need the help of Dallas-Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyers at Thompson Law. Thompson Law can help clients across Texas regardless of where you live or where the accident occured. Our advanced technology allows us to sign cases electronically, and we can have a team of investigators meet you wherever you are. 

Attorney Ryan Thompson is licensed to practice in 7 states including: Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania. The other injury attorneys at Thompson Law are also licensed in multiple states.  

The Uber and Lyft car accident lawyers at Thompson Law have experience handling these types of complex injury cases, and are familiar with the issues related to rideshare accident lawsuits. The experienced rideshare wreck lawyers at Thompson Law are prepared to use their knowledge, experience, and resources to help you recover maximum compensation for any personal injury damages you have suffered.  

After you’ve been hurt in a rideshare accident, you need someone on your side to fight the insurance companies for you. Contact the Thompson Law firm today and tell us what happened to you. Our case reviews are 100% free and always confidential. Contact us today 24/7/365 so we can get started on your case right now at 817-803-4610or via our free consultation form. 

Texas Trucking

In Texas, trucking companies are obviously required to have insurance coverage. Insurance policies for commercial vehicles tend to be more complicated due to the requirement to follow both state and/or federal insurance laws. While these policies are inherently more robust than individual driver policies, the term “full coverage” does not exist in either individual or commercial policies. Often people will use the term “full coverage” when they may not actually know whether they have every available combination of policies (such as PIP, UM, UIM).  

How Much Insurance Coverage is Required for Texas Trucking Companies? 

The amount of insurance coverage required for a truck depends on the following: 

  • Weight of the commercial truck when fully loaded  
  • Type of Cargo – different insurance coverage applies to hazardous and non-hazardous materials transported as cargo on commercial vehicles  
  • Operation – if the truck operates intrastate (within Texas) or interstate (across state lines), and the former requires adherence to state insurance laws, whereas the latter requires adherence both to state and federal laws  

Texas Intrastate Trucking  

The policy amount required for trucks intrastate (vehicles that operate only within the confines of one state) is set by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) within the State of Texas. The MINIMUM amount of commercial insurance coverage in Texas is set at $500,000 by the TDI. 

Interstate Trucking 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the guidelines regarding how much coverage is needed by Texas trucking companies with vehicles that cross the borders of the state of Texas into other states. The amount of coverage needed depends on the weight and type of materials that the commercial truck transports. For example, federal commercial insurance requirements include: 

Type and Weight of Freight Carried  Minimum Insurance Policy Limits 
Commercial vehicles under 10,001 lbs. carrying non-hazardous freight  $300,000 
Commercial vehicles over 10,001 lbs. carrying non-hazardous freight  $750,000 
For-hire and private commercial vehicles carrying oil  $1,000,000 
For-hire and private commercial vehicles carrying other hazardous materials  $5,000,000 

Types of Insurance Coverage of Trucking Companies 

In addition to the minimum insurance trucking companies are required to have, they may choose to obtain additional insurance coverage. The 4 types of commercial coverage include: 

1. General Liability Insurance – this is the minimum commercial insurance coverage requirement and is similar to auto liability insurance on passenger vehicles for individuals. Commercial general liability insurance protects trucking companies against lawsuits where their driver is responsible for a collision with another vehicle 

2. Extended Liability Insurance – offers greater protection for trucking companies and is more than the minimum coverage above.  

3. Eroding Policy – allows trucking companies to subtract the cost of its defense from the coverage.  

4. Self-Insured Retention Policy – allows trucking companies to add $250,000 to their insurance policy (e.g., If Texas requires only $750,000, the policy can be increased to $1 millionhowever, the trucking company is responsible for the first $250,000 of damage to an injured party and their motor vehicle).  

Types of Commercial Truck Insurance 

Commercial trucks involve several types of large vehicles, including: 

  • Tank Trucks 
  • SemiTrucks (also known as eighteen-wheelersbig rigs, or semi-trailer trucks) 
  • Dump Trucks 
  • Tow Trucks 
  • Auto Trailers 
  • Flatbed Trucks 
  • Box Trucks 
  • Cement Trucks or Cement Mixer Truck  

Recovery for Dallas/Fort Worth Trucking Accidents 

In Texas, trucking companies provide liability insurance for their employees. They are required to take on the risks that are associated with owning and operating a trucking business. However, this assumption of risk only applies if the truck driver’s actions are unintentional or negligent and within the scope of employment. Intentional or criminal acts are not typically covered. If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it is best to seek funds from the trucking company’s insurance provider. However, you may also sue the trucking company directly for amounts in excess of the insurance policy limits 

Truck Accident Injuries   

The power and size of these vehicles can result in some of the most devastating and impactful damage that occurs in a roadway accident. Larger size vehicles can cause more damaging, catastrophic collisions, and involve multiple vehicles. Common injuries from truck wrecks may be:   

  • Cuts and Bruises 
  • Whiplash 
  • Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) 
  • Broken Bones   
  • Spinal Injuries and Paralysis 
  • Neck and Disk Injuries   
  • Joint Trauma and Sprains   
  • Muscle, Ligament and Tendon Injuries   
  • Soft Tissue Injuries 
  • Internal Injuries and Internal Bleeding 
  • Amputations and Dismemberment 
  • Death

The most important thing you can do following a serious truck accident is to take care of yourself. This means seeking immediate medical attention and then contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.  At Lion Law, our wish is for every client to recover physically and to receive the highest possible level of compensation for their injuries.  

GEICO Truck Accidents 

Big trucks mean bigger accidents and larger insurance policies. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA), there were 4,761 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2017. GEICO is one of the biggest players in the commercial auto insurance industry. GEICO allows claimants to report a claim online, through their app, or by calling 1-8665099444 for commercial vehicle (auto) claims. While insurance companies may want all the details about the crash immediately, you should proceed with caution. 

Commercial vehicle insurance companies are notorious for shortchanging policyholders, and anything that you say to them may be used against you in your case. Before discussing the accident with GEICO or any other insurance company, it would be in your best interest to contact a skilled personal injury attorney to guide you through the claims process.   

As with any insurance claim, you NEVER want to go into a claim with GEICO on your own without proper legal guidance. Do not buy into the false assumption that GEICO and other other commercial insurance companies are consumer-friendly. They may put out entertaining commercials with their extensive advertising budget, but GEICO didn’t accumulate $27 billion in assets through open-handedly paying valid claims. GEICO has the largest advertising budget in the auto insurance industry. 

Having a large enough bottom line to sustain executive salary levels and to feed into its mammoth advertising budget REQUIRES reducing the payouts to deserving claimants. Considering GEICO’s $1.18 billion advertising budget