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How Do You Sue on Behalf of a Child

Some of the largest jury awards are actually handed out to children. These occur in cases involving medical malpractice during birth, car accidents that permanently damage a child and in other cases. Obviously, a child cannot enter into a contract or take any other legal action of their own accord. Parents are the ones who […]

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Do Criminal Charges Interfere with Civil Lawsuits?

Suing Someone Who has Been Charged Criminally

If you’re like many people every year, you may find yourself in this situation or something very similar to it. You end up getting in a car crash with a driver who was over the legal limit for blood-alcohol content at the time of the crash. After the crash, the driver ends up getting arrested for drunken driving and faces criminal chargescriminal charges. They may be facing their first drunken-driving charge or they may be facing their fifth, it really makes no difference.

You might be wondering whether you can sue someone if they’ve already gotten thrown in jail for drunken driving. The answer is yes. Lawsuits are civil actions, not criminal actions. The state takes care of the criminal part of the law but somebody being convicted of a crime – or acquitted – has no bearing on whether or not you can bring them to court for damages. It may increase your chances of winning if the person actually is convicted of a crime that was directly related to you coming to harm or suffering damage to your property.

The Effects

While you can sue someone who has been convicted of a crime, it’s important to be realistic about these matters. If a person is convicted of a crime and ends up getting sent to jail, they obviously have no way of earning income. If they don’t already have money, property or some other asset that could be used as a means of paying off a judgment against them, suing them may do you very little good at all. The entire point of filing a lawsuit is to get financial compensation for property or personal damages that you have suffered. If that person has no property and no financial assets, there’s really nothing to sue them for.

This is one of the reasons why personal injury attorneys generally do offer a free consultation. Theselawsuits attorneys usually work on a contingency agreement, which means they have to win your claim in order to get paid. If there’s no way for the person you are suing to actually pay you the money that a jury awards you, that attorney isn’t going to get any money, unless you pay it off yourself. One of the things you have to take into account when you sue someone who is convicted of a crime is whether they actually have the financial means to pay you and, if they don’t, it may not even be worth suing.

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Trucking Companies and Lawsuits

The investigation into the 100-car pileup over Thanksgiving south of Beaumont involves one couple who were killed by an 18-wheeler in the accident. Whether or not the trucking company, the trucker or anyone else was negligent in causing this accident remains to be determined. Investigators are still hard at work trying to figure out how the accident occurred at all. Where 18 wheelers are concerned, however, there are some particular hazards that people should be aware of and some options that they may have available to them if they lose a family member or are themselves injured in such an accident.

Drivers and Fatigue

A frightening number of drivers who make their living behind the wheels of semi trucks find themselves driving long after the point where they are exhausted, according to multiple reports. Studies have also demonstrated that driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. When you combine the hazards that a massive vehicle such as a semi truck poses on its own with a drowsy driver, you have a recipe for disaster.

Sometimes, the drivers themselves are to blame for driving when they should be resting, and sometimes the companies they work for push those drivers far too hard. Either way, anyone who is hurt or the family of a person who is killed by a drowsy trucker should contact a personal injury attorney about the matter. There are labor standards that apply to how much rest time anyone driving a commercial vehicle must have and, if the company or the driver violates those standards, an attorney may be able to help.

Unmaintained Vehicles

One of the other major hazards posed to drivers on the highways by semis comes from 18-wheelers that are not properly maintained. Maintaining a semi truck requires qualified mechanics and requires that those mechanics adhere to a very strict schedule. These vehicles need to be inspected each and every time they go out on the road and they need to be fixed according to standards set forth by state and federal authorities when there is a problem.

There are cases where investigations will reveal that a truck was not properly maintained when it was sent out on the road. In such cases, a jury may very well find that the trucking company was negligent in not providing its driver with a safe vehicle and that the negligence directly contributed to injuries or deaths resulting from an accident.

Never take a settlement check from the trucking company without speaking to an attorney first. The attorney may be able to get you enough money via jury award or settlement to pay for your property damage, medical injuries or the loss of a loved one.

 

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Hit and Run Driver Injures Woman

According to reports in KLTV, a Longview woman was struck by a hit-and-run driver who ended up causing her injuries that required a trip to the hospital. The report details that the woman was suffering from back and neck injuries.

The driver of the vehicle struck her from behind. He did get out of his vehicle and make certain that she was okay, according to reports, and then left the scene, claiming that he was going to find assistance. The man never came back and police are currently looking for the driver of the vehicle. Rear end collisions and hit and run accidents are both all too common in Texas and leave many people injured every year.

How to Handle a Crash

If you’re involved in an auto accident and are not severely injured, there are some things that you can do to prevent these types of situations from developing. First, make certain that you immediately ask for identification and insurance information. Take note of the driver’s license plate. Provided you have this information, police should be able to quickly track down anybody who tries to flee the scene of an accident.

Responsible drivers who want to handle things legally will usually want to exchange insurance information right away. After all, if they are a responsible driver who pays their car insurance, they want to make certain that they get any money the insurance company owes them for the car crash as soon as possible. If someone hesitates about getting insurance information or they try to distract you from asking for it by acting angry or claiming that they don’t have the insurance information on them, that is a warning sign. These are the cases where you want to make certain that you get a good description of their vehicle, their license plate number, if possible, and that you remember what they look like and what they were wearing. All of this information can make it easier for police to find them.

The one boundary you do not want to cross in the event of such an accident, however, is trying to detain the person on your own. Not only do you not have the legal authority to do so, it can be downright dangerous. You may be looking at an expensive repair bill due to the accident, but the person who hit you may well be looking at jail time or they may already have a criminal record that means that they’re going away for a very long time when the police arrive. Don’t take actions that will lead to you finding this out the hard way.

If you have been struck by a hit-and-run driver, talk to a Houston personal injury lawyer. They are experts at handling these types of cases.

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Unsafe Lane Change Causes Wreck

A woman in Corpus Christi will be charged for making an unsafe lane change and for not having a driver’s license after she caused a wreck, according to KZTV10. The accident occurred in the evening. The woman attempted to make a lane change but, when she saw that there was another car in the lane that she was attempting to enter, she tried to correct. She ended up overcorrecting, according to the report, and causing a wreck that backed up traffic for some time.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Unsafe lane changes are very common on freeways, highways and smaller, city roads throughout Texas. They also frequently cause accidents. Drivers who do not check to make sure that the lane they’re trying to enter is clear before starting their change frequently end up causing accidents when they sideswipe other vehicles or when, as the case above shows, they have to go back into their lane quickly and end up causing a wreck because of overcorrecting. In some situations, this can be construed as negligence and the parties that they injure and whose property they destroy may be able to sue.

Watch Out

There are some things that you can do to protect yourself from these types of drivers, but it’s impossible to be entirely safe. These drivers tend to use their mirrors to check lanes but do not make head checks before they switch over. This means that, if you’re in their blind spot, they’re not going to see you and they may come directly over into your lane.

The best way to avoid this is to make sure that you don’t linger in someone’s blind spot. On most vehicles, this is an area directly behind the driver’s side mirrors-or passenger’s side, it’s the same on both sides-where the mirrors do not show you and where the driver cannot see you by simply turning their head to the side. Blind-spot mirrors can help to eliminate this hazard on your own vehicle, but you still need to turn your head to check alongside you before you make a lane change.

It’s also a good idea to keep two seconds of distance between you and the car in front of you, unless you’re moving to pass. This way, if they do come over in your lane or cut you off otherwise, you’ll have enough time to change directions or to stop. To figure out the distance, wait for them to pass a landmark or a highway line and then count the amount of time it takes you to reach that same landmark. It should be at least two seconds.

If someone wrecks your vehicle or harms you because of making a negligent lane change, talk to a Houston personal injury attorney. They may be able to help you.

 

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Three Car Crash Takes Life

YourHoustonNews.com reports that a car wreck on 105 W. left one person dead. The crash took place at approximately 7:30 AM the week of October 1 and involved a pickup truck and two passenger vehicles. At the time of the report, there was no hard and fast explanation for the accident – which apparently involved a head-on collision – but visibility conditions and road conditions were suspected to have played a part in the deadly collision. Firefighters at the scene had to remove the passenger door of one of the vehicles involved and part of the front of the vehicle to get the driver free.

Bad Conditions, Bad Wrecks

Even in a city with a relatively moderate climate such as Houston, the weather can get foul enough to make roads very dangerous at times. In the vast majority of cases, drivers are very sensible about this and slow down, turn on their headlights when necessary and give themselves a little bit of extra space between their vehicle and the vehicles in front of them. There are those drivers, however, we do not act responsibly in these situations and who end up causing crashes.

Watch Out

When the roads are wet, the braking distance for any vehicle increases. This is simply a part of physics and there is nothing your braking system can do about it. You have less traction on a wet road and, therefore, need more time and space to stop effectively. Additionally, wet conditions usually mean less lighting and, even during the daylight hours, that sometimes means that you have to turn on your headlights to remain appropriately visible. Be sure you follow this basic rule: if your windshield wipers are on your headlights should be on, as well.

One of the real hazards of wet conditions is the fact that they can make headlights and streetlights reflect off the road surface, making driving confusing for some people. If you’re having a hard time seeing in any regard, make certain that you slow down. If necessary, pull off to the side of the road and wait for the weather to pass. If you have difficulty with halos showing up around headlights and streetlights or if your windshield wipers are not functioning correctly, don’t chance it and try to make it home or to wherever you’re going. Pull over.

Negligence

Driving too fast in these conditions is sometimes a form of negligence over which juries will offer compensation. If you were injured or your property has been destroyed because a driver was negligent in not slowing down as much as they should have given the conditions, contact a Houston personal injury attorney. The accident may have been unavoidable but, in some cases, a little bit of caution could’ve gone a long way and you should never have suffered the injuries or property damages you did.

 

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Houston Car Crashes Kill Two Well-Known Figures

A singer and a lighting designer were both among the fatalities that resulted from two separate car wrecks in Houston this month. Laura Botkin, a singer, died after being struck by a vehicle heading the wrong way. The accident occurred when she was on her way back from the Grand Canyon. According to a report on Chron.com, the singer was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. She was ejected from the car and killed.

Jeremy Choate, a lighting designer, was killed in a motorcycle accident on a service road near I-10. The 33 year-old artist was on his way to a cast party at the time of the wreck.

Police are investigating to see if alcohol was a factor in the accident that killed Botkin. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle had a warrant out for a previous DWI, according to the report on Chron.

Wrong-Way Accidents

Wrong-way accidents have been frighteningly common over the last few months. Drivers who mistakenly enter a freeway heading the wrong way can cause devastating damage to the cars they strike, oftentimes killing the driver or passengers. These accidents oftentimes do involve alcohol and the driver of the offending vehicle sometimes may have never made the mistake if they were not intoxicated.

Motorcycle Accidents

The wreck that killed Choate was a hit and run. These crashes are among the most frustrating because the driver who caused the accident sometimes ends up getting away with it for a time. Quite often, however, police are able to piece together evidence that allows them to determine who the hit-and-run driver was and to go after them for criminal charges.

Common Accidents and Options

If you’re involved in one of these types of accidents, you do have options. You can contact an attorney to discuss whether or not filing a lawsuit would be to your benefit.

Lawsuits over car crashes are filed due to the negligence of the driver that caused the accident. When that other driver was negligent and, because of that, brought you to harm, you can sometimes seek a jury award or a settlement through a lawsuit. Not every driver involved in such a crash, however, will have this option.

Talk to an Attorney

If you want to know whether or not it would be worth it to go ahead and file a lawsuit, the first step is consulting with a Houston accident attorney. They’ll be able to review the circumstances of your crash and help to determine whether or not the other driver involved was likely negligent. If they believe that driver was negligent, they can start putting together a case to establish as much to a jury and this may win you compensation.

 

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Houston Police Strike Pickup

A Houston police vehicle slammed into a pickup at the intersection of Bissonnet and Beechnut on August 19. According to Chron.com, the accident occurred when the driver of the police vehicle was on his way to a chase at around 1am.

The driver of the pickup will not be ticketed and no one was hurt in the accident. The truck was t-boned in the intersection. According to the report, the police officer did have his sirens and his lights on but the driver of the truck could not stop before entering the intersection.

Crashes with Municipal Vehicles

Drivers sometimes end up getting hurt or killed due to the actions of the drivers of emergency vehicles. Obviously, it’s not uncommon for emergency vehicle drivers to have to drive very fast in areas where the speed limits are much lower. Even though they do have reasons for doing this, you may be able to get compensated for the damages they caused.

Settlements

Sometimes, cities will be fair and offer a settlement amount that takes care of the damages that they caused to people’s property. If a police officer smashes into your vehicle and destroys it, for example, the municipality may simply offer to total out the vehicle for you and to pay you back. This isn’t always the case, however.

When to Sue

You need to talk to an attorney if you’re interested in going after a municipality because of damage that they caused to your property or because of medical expenses that you suffered due to a crash that they caused. There are cases where the municipality won’t offer anything or where they won’t offer enough to actually cover the damages that they caused. In such cases, it’s a good idea to at least consult with an attorney to see what your options are.

If it was a non-emergency vehicle that struck you, you may be able to sue, as well. Accidents involving city buses and other heavy, municipal vehicles can destroy a car in less than a second. In some cases, these accidents may involve serious injuries or even deaths and that means that you need to talk to an attorney about getting compensated. Which part of the city you go after for damages may vary depending upon the department responsible for the vehicle that struck you but, overall, there is usually a way that an attorney can seek compensation for you.

Talk to an attorney and let them know what happened. Even if the wreck didn’t cause injuries, you should be able to get compensated for your financial and property losses as a result of the crash. If an emergency or non-emergency vehicle struck you, be sure to talk to a lawyer about it.

 

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Implicates Houston Men’s Club

A men’s club located in Houston has been sued over the 2011 death of a high school senior. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that the club encouraged employees to over serve clients, creating a situation that led to the death.

The victim died as a result of a car accident in which the driver, who had allegedly left the club extremely intoxicated, ended up driving at very high speeds, causing the accident and the death. According to YourHoustonNews.com, the lawsuit alleges that the driver was already obviously intoxicated but received more drinks at the club when he should’ve been cut off.

Understanding Negligence

According to the report, this particular wrongful death lawsuit also implicates the driver of the vehicle, who has already been convicted of criminal charges related to the accident. When a car accident occurs because of the negligence of an individual or an establishment, it is sometimes possible to go after all of the parties involved, rather than lying all of the blame at the feet of one of the parties. In this case, the lawsuit alleges that both the establishment and the driver were negligent and, because of that, brought about the death of the victim.

Suing for Over Serving

If you were injured by a drunk driver who was served too much alcohol at an establishment, your attorney may recommend going after that establishment. There are some clubs and bars that do have policies that do encourage their employees to over serve clients. When somebody is already intoxicated, their judgment is impaired. This is why responsible establishments take very seriously the requirement that they cut somebody off when they’ve had too much to drink. Their patron, even if they don’t believe that cutting them off is appropriate, may be so intoxicated that they have no idea how drunk they already are.

Talking to an Attorney

It’s not always easy to determine who was negligent in a way that led to the death or injury of another individual. Attorneys can help you with this, however. Attorneys can conduct investigations, reconstruct accidents and determine where and when negligent actions were taken or when reasonable actions were not taken and how all of that played into an injury or death that should’ve never happened at all.

If you’re not certain who exactly the negligent party was but you did suffer an injury or death as the result of an accident, be sure to contact a Houston attorney about the matter. They are the only people that will be completely on your side in these matters and will take the time to determine when and how someone may have acted or failed to act and how that played into you being the victim of an injury.

 

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Investigating Auto Crashes

If you’ve engaged the services of a Houston personal injury attorney to represent you in a lawsuit related to a car accident, there will be an investigation involved. The attorney will need to collect evidence to back up your claim, and, to accomplish this, they will use their own investigators. This is much different than a police investigation in a very important way.

What the Police Want

When the police or other law enforcement agencies investigate an accident, they’re looking for criminal infractions. They’re not interested in whether or not the other driver was negligent, unless that negligence was somehow actually criminal.

The police are very good investigators and they have the forensic abilities required to reconstruct accidents very accurately. This helps them to determine whether or not one of the drivers involved did something that was in direct violation of criminal law and that led to the accident. What they find out in the course of their investigation may contribute to your case, but it will not be done on your behalf.

What Your Attorney Wants

Your attorney will specifically be interested in negligence. Your attorney, among other things, is trying to determine where financial responsibility for the accident lies. They will have investigators look at the circumstances of the accident and the scene of the accident to collect any evidence that may be available that bolsters your case.

Your attorney may find out that, for instance, the other driver didn’t check an intersection before they started to cross it, that they failed to check for vehicles before they backed out of their driveway or that they were negligent in some other regard that was directly a cause of your accident.

In some cases, your attorney will actually create a computer simulation of the accident so that they can review what happened. This will sometimes reveal where negligence played a role in you coming to harm.

Starting the Investigation

The very first part of this investigation will usually take place at your consultation with a Houston personal injury attorney. They’ll need to sit down with you and get as much information as you can give them about what happened. Don’t worry if you don’t remember exactly how the accident occurred. This is common, particularly in cases where the victim may have suffered a head injury.

If the attorney determines that you likely do have good cause to file a lawsuit and that they want to represent you, they will gather a great deal of evidence, including that which comes from their investigations into the scene of the accident. All of this evidence will be used to argue your case before a jury as convincingly as possible and, if you win, to help you get the largest possible jury award or settlement you can.

 

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Q & A

  • What to do if You have Been in a Car Crash?

    An automobile accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. If you’ve suffered Personal Injury due to car crash, you will suddenly be subject to medical bills, potential […]

  • Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

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  • Are Defective Products Lawsuits Worthwhile?

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  • Premises Injury

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  • What happens during a personal injury lawsuit?

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Auto Accidents

  • Texting While Driving Accidents

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  • Why Do You Need a Houston Auto Accident Law Firm?

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  • Automobile Accidents Lawsuits

    Even though it’s an everyday occurrence, suing over automobile accidents is sometimes a controversial subject. There are people who sometimes find it unfair that someone is sued over an accident […]

  • Why Drunk Driving Accidents are So Dangerous

    Even when things get out of control, you can count on some common reflexes from most drivers. They’ll generally try to avoid hitting other cars or fixed objects, for one, […]

  • What Causes Truck Accidents?

    How a Truck Injury Lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve Truck accidents are a bit more complex, in many regards, than are passenger car accidents. To start with, […]

  • 18 Wheeler Collisions

    Injuries from accidents involving 18 wheelers require immediate action to prevent destruction of evidence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require certain records be maintained such as driver qualifications, training, […]

Product & Other Liabilities

  • Work Safety and Product Liability

    Most often, when a worker is harmed on the job due to a negligent employer’s actions or lack of action, they have the option to sue. But what if it’s […]

  • Why Product Liability Law Works

    There are plenty of adages about power corrupting. In the practical world, money does equate to power and, of course, corporations have a lot of money to throw around. One […]

  • Class Action vs. Individual Product Liability Claims

    Product liability claims are handled in several different ways, depending upon the circumstances. You have probably heard of class action lawsuits. These are cases where a group of people get […]

  • Baby Toy Recalls

    Some of the most frightening product recalls are those that involve toys. The population most at risk, of course, is young people and this makes it particularly dire when one […]

  • Premise Liability Claims

    Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a […]

  • Liability Law and Motorcycle Accidents

    Whenever you get on a motorcycle, you’re willingly taking on more risk than the driver of a passenger car. This is part of the thrill of riding and it’s one […]

  • Compensation for Injuries from Burns and Explosions

    Burns are some of the most devastating of all injuries. They’re among the most painful types of injuries, and this makes the suffering associated with them something most people would […]

  • Product Liability Tips

    Anytime you get injured or harmed from a product that you believe is defective, here are some of the things you need to do: You need to gather and preserve […]

Liability

  • Work Safety and Product Liability

    Most often, when a worker is harmed on the job due to a negligent employer’s actions or lack of action, they have the option to sue. But what if it’s […]

  • Why Product Liability Law Works

    There are plenty of adages about power corrupting. In the practical world, money does equate to power and, of course, corporations have a lot of money to throw around. One […]

  • Class Action vs. Individual Product Liability Claims

    Product liability claims are handled in several different ways, depending upon the circumstances. You have probably heard of class action lawsuits. These are cases where a group of people get […]

  • Baby Toy Recalls

    Some of the most frightening product recalls are those that involve toys. The population most at risk, of course, is young people and this makes it particularly dire when one […]

  • Premise Liability Claims

    Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a […]

  • Liability Law and Motorcycle Accidents

    Whenever you get on a motorcycle, you’re willingly taking on more risk than the driver of a passenger car. This is part of the thrill of riding and it’s one […]

  • Compensation for Injuries from Burns and Explosions

    Burns are some of the most devastating of all injuries. They’re among the most painful types of injuries, and this makes the suffering associated with them something most people would […]

  • Product Liability Tips

    Anytime you get injured or harmed from a product that you believe is defective, here are some of the things you need to do: You need to gather and preserve […]