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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Negligent Drivers and Car Maintenance

Sometimes, a driver’s negligence comes down to them not taking care of their vehicle properly. For example, in California, a driver can have points deducted from their license if they have certain mechanical violations that make their vehicle unsafe to drive, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Other states have similar laws. In […]

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How Attorneys Are Using Computer Simulations

If you contract the services of a personal injury attorney, you may find that their services are a lot more advanced than they were even a few years ago. Computer simulations have become popular tools among good personal injury attorneys. These are typically used to re-create the circumstances of automobile accidents, where they can be […]

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Still Too Many Fatalities on America’s Roads

Accidents on America’s Roads

The number of people killed or injured in road traffic crashes in Texas has seen a welcome fall in the past car crashfew years, but the figures still remain alarmingly high, meaning that too many families are having their lives ripped apart by these tragic and often easily preventable accidents.

Numbers of vehicle accidents in Texas

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the total number of traffic-related fatalities in Texas has fallen from 3,739 in 2001 to 3,198 in 2012.

The figures also show that in 2011 the fatality rate on Texas roadways amounted to 1.28 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled, which represents a drop of 1.54% from 2010. A further 79,573 people suffered a serious injury as a result of being involved in a vehicle accident.

Based on these figures, the Department of Transportation calculates that on Texas roads in 2011:

  • one person died every two hours 54 minutes
  • one person suffered an injury every two minutes 29 seconds
  • one reportable crash took place every 83 seconds

These figures are very disturbing because every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy, not only for the injured party but also for their family and friends. If you have been the innocent victim of an no-cell-phoneautomobile accident that has been caused by a driver acting carelessly or negligently, you are likely to be entitled to compensation from the responsible driver’s insurance company. Many states in the US require drivers to have at least a minimum level of auto liability insurance to ensure that accident victims are able to claim the appropriate level of compensation for their injuries. Insurance is also available for taxi drivers or other professional drivers, so if you are travelling by cab it is advisable to check that the driver belongs to a licensed company as they are more likely to have the appropriate level of liability insurance.

Driver negligence

Some crashes are genuine accidents and are not the fault of either driver. Unfortunately however, too many automobile accidents are the result of drivers making mistakes or driving irresponsibly, and result in innocent victims needlessly suffering serious injury or even losing their lives.
There are a number of ways that automobile drivers can act irresponsibly and increase their risk of causing an accident, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, or using a mobile phone while driving to call or text. Department of Transportation figures show that 1,039 people in Texas were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes that involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. This amounts to 34.5% of the total number of motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities in 2011.

Cell phone use while driving

There is a worrying increase in the incidence of drivers using their cell phones or other electronic devices while at the wheel, even though this can cause their driving to deteriorate and increase the risk of a crash, serious injury or even death.

A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that at any given time of the day in America, around 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones or other electronic devices at the same time as driving.

NHTSA data also shows that in 2011, over 3,300 people were killed and a further 387,000 injured in crashes where the driver was distracted.

“Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on America’s roadways,” commented U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel can save lives – maybe even your own.”

Texting while driving is a growing problem

NHTSA isn’t the only organization to find evidence of this worrying upward trend in cell phone use while driving. Communications company AT&T recently sponsored its own research, which found that just under half of commuters surveyed admit to texting while driving. Around 43% even acknowledged that this dangerous practice was now a “habit” for them.

Commuters are even worse offenders than teenagers, with 49% admitting to the practice compared to only 43% of teenagers. Even more worrying, 98% of commuters said that they were aware of the dangers of using their cell phone while driving, but this knowledge wasn’t sufficient to make them change their behavior.

If you have been the victim of a car accident, then it is important you speak to a personal injury lawyer with experience in automobile accident claims to help you claim the compensation you are entitled to.


This blog was written by our guest blogger, Melissa Hathaway.

If you are interested in writing a guest blog, please send an email to : for consideration

About the author

Melissa Hathaway feels she has the best jobs in the world, full-time writing and looking after her two daughters. In the few moments each day she is not doing one or the other, she loves to take the dogs for a walk and experiment with new types of cupcakes.

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Houston the Fourth Most Congested US City

Every year, Houston commuters spend an average of 57 hours being delayed in traffic. The same government statistics show that Houston is the fourth most congested city in the entire nation. This is probably not surprising to anyone who commutes every day. Congested traffic conditions are dangerous and lead to many serious accidents every year. If you want to avoid the most common types of accidents, here are some tips.

Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end collisions are very common type of crash. They are also very expensive and sometimes deadly, depending upon the conditions surrounding the crash. If you’re stuck in tight traffic, you can increase your odds of avoiding such a crash before it happens.

Keep two seconds of time between you and the car in front of you at all times. Even in very tight, slow traffic, however, you will sometimes find that it’s useful to keep two car lengths in between you and the car in front of you. This leaves enough room for people to cross lanes in front of you and prevents you from having to hit the brakes constantly as traffic starts and stops. Sometimes, using this technique, you can get through a traffic jam at a slow, steady speed rather than having to stop and start constantly, which burns gas quickly and is hard on your car.

Exit/Entry Ramps

Be very wary near exit and entry ramps. These areas not only tend to have a lot of accidents, they tend to have a lot of bad ones. Watch out for people who are entering into your lane and who are just using their mirrors to check for other cars. They may not even see you. If you’re near an exit ramp, be aware that the traffic off of any freeway can suddenly come to a halt, so be careful about your speed and be ready to react.

Sun and Sky

It’s autumn and that means that some of the worst commuting hours are also the hours when the light is at its worst for driving. If you’re driving east at dawn or west at sunset, be aware of the fact that your vision is very compromised. If you’re heading away from the sun, make sure your lights are on and assume that  people making left turns, crossing intersections and so forth cannot see you. They may not even be able to look toward where you’re coming from for more than a second without it hurting their eyes, so expect people to surprise you by turning in front of you and making other dangerous maneuvers.

Houston has a lot of traffic and a lot of traffic always means that there are a lot of accidents. If you’re not comfortable with your driving skills, consider taking a course to improve them. If you’re injured because another driver was negligent, contact a Houston car accident attorney. They know all about the types of accidents negligent Houston drivers cause and may be able to help you.


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Car Wreck Emphasizes Dangers of Wet Roads

A Corpus Christi man hydroplaned into a sign, according to reports on, emphasizing the danger of wet roads and losing control. According to the report, the man got off easy, only sliding into the sign and not needing to go to the hospital for injuries. The report details that the police did give him a ticket for failing to control his speed. Wet roads present unique hazards that one needs to be aware of whenever they are encountered.


Hydroplaning is a potentially deadly situation that causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle. It happens when you hit a patch of water and, as you travel over it, that water causes your tires to lose contact with the road. Hydroplaning can happen in different degrees. In some cases, only one tire will lose contact with the road, but in others, more than one tire, or all four tires, can lose contact with the road simultaneously.

When a vehicle hydroplanes, because it has no traction with the road, steering and braking have little effect. If this happens, you may feel your vehicle start to drift, you may experience a lack of control with the steering wheel or, if your drive wheels hydroplane, you may hear your engine rev very loudly as those drive wheels accelerate in the absence of any resistance.

A hydroplaning vehicle can quickly slide off the road, go into a spin or, if it happens to be a corner, end up going over the edge of the corner.

Stopping the Hydroplane

The difficult part about stopping a hydroplaning vehicle comes from the fact that your normal controls have no real effect. Slowing down may reduce the water pressure under the tires, allowing the car to gain traction again. Steering will generally do very little and, in some cases, it may lead to the vehicle going into an uncontrolled skid. If this happens, remember to turn into the skid, and then turn out of it once you’ve regained control. What you want to avoid is having the back end of the car pass up the front.

Being Safe

During heavy rains, be wary of road conditions where the surface is obviously wet. Watch out for the ruts that sometimes form in blacktop roads, as they tend to fill up with water and can create hydroplaning hazards. Remember that you don’t have to be going particularly fast to hydroplane. On the Houston city streets, the water can easily get deep enough at times to cause you to hydroplane.

If You’re Hit

People who drive too fast can sometimes end up causing hydroplane related accidents due to their own negligence. If this happens to you, contact a Houston personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit to recover your financial and medical damages.


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Fourteen Perish in Truck Wreck

ABC News is reporting that 14 people were killed and 9 people were injured when a pickup truck ran off of a highway and ran into trees near Corpus Christi. According to the report, there were 23 people in the truck at the time of the crash. Some of the people in the pickup were illegal immigrants.

The accident occurred on US 59. The truck was near Goliad, loaded down with its 23 passengers and veered off of the highway. One of the Texas Department of Public Safety representatives quoted in the article said it was the most people he had ever seen in any passenger vehicle in his 38 year career.

According to the report, 11 people needed to be airlifted to nearby hospitals and the dead included at least two young girls and one young boy.

Negligent Actions

Unless the vehicle’s specification states otherwise, a vehicle can carry as many people as there are seatbelts in that vehicle. Beyond that, the vehicle is overloaded. There are incidents every year where people cram far too many passengers into a passenger car or truck and end up getting into a crash. This creates a situation where the consequences of the crash can be much worse than it would be if everybody were provided with a seat belt and proper seating.

In this incident, you can see one of the worst possible cases of negligence in that people were riding in the back of the truck. This is never safe. Riding in the back of a pickup truck means that you have no safety restraint system and no seating. If the vehicle rolls over or crashes into something, you’re going to get ejected from the vehicle and that may mean serious injuries or death.

What Can You Do?

If you were the victim of someone who was negligent in handling their vehicle, you may be able to sue them for compensation in court. The case such as the one listed above has features that may not make it ideal for filing a lawsuit. Many of the passengers were illegal immigrants, of course, which means that there is an entirely separate side to the situation.

Some people, however, end up riding with someone who overloads their vehicle or who otherwise creates a hazard that causes people in that vehicle to be injured or killed. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may want to speak to a personal injury attorney about the matter right away. If it turns out that they believe that the driver was negligent, they may encourage you to go ahead and file a lawsuit to get compensated for your pain and suffering, your injuries, or the death of a loved one.


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Texas a Dangerous Place for Truck Wrecks

Of all the vehicles on the road, the last ones you want to be in a wreck with are semis. Unfortunately, by living in Texas, you’re living in the state with the highest number of truck accidents every year. According to numbers spanning from 2004-2008, Texas led the nation in accidents involving semi trucks. There are surprising facts about these accidents that actually add to how disturbing this number is.

Good Conditions

Most traffic accidents involving a semi that cause a fatality happen in good weather. In fact, almost 85% of them do. This means that, even though most people are very wary around semis in bad weather, there is actually a lot of risk involved in being near these vehicles in good conditions.

Driving a semi truck in bad conditions is something that requires tremendous skill and experience and everyone likely understands that. What’s less apparent is that it takes a great deal of skill and experience to drive a semi safely in good conditions. The weight, long trailers and limited visibility in these vehicles make them hard to drive and even normal conditions can be dangerous.

Rural Areas

If you’re driving around Houston, you’ll see plenty of semis. If you’re in the rural areas around the city, you’ll see fewer, but over 60% of semi accidents occur in rural areas. When you’re out enjoying the beautiful country around Houston, remember to be careful. There are some things that you can do to keep yourself safe.

If a semi is riding up on you on a two-lane highway, try to make it as easy for them to pass you as possible. Even if they’re speeding, the farther you are away from them the better off you’ll be, so let them by. Slow down if you have to.

If you’re on a two-lane road and you want to pass a semi, use extra caution. If you’re alongside a car and have to abort a pass, it’s pretty easy. You just accelerate to complete it or brake to drop back and get back in your lane. When you’re alongside a semi, it might be much harder to do this, as the vehicle is much longer and you might not have time to take either action to avoid a head-on collision.

If you’re injured by a truck driver, talk to a Houston truck accident lawyer. The trucking company or driver – or both – may well have been negligent and caused your injuries because of that negligence. If this is the case, the attorney may be able to get you compensation from a jury award or a settlement. Never take a settlement from a trucking company without asking an attorney first.


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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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