San Antonio E-Scooter Laws

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have taken over the streets of Texas. They are rentable to the public for a low amount of money from companies such as Bird and Lime. San Antonio has hundreds of dockless e-scooters available for rent every day. Unfortunately, these vehicles are not as safe as many people assume. A lack of awareness of e-scooter laws in Texas contributes to many harmful e-scooter accidents.

Definition of an E-Scooter

According to Texas Transportation Code Section 551.351, a motor-assisted scooter is a self-propelled device with at least two wheels, a gas or electric motor capable of making the device travel up to 15 miles per hour, and a braking system capable of stopping the device. It also has a deck that allows a person to sit or stand while operating the vehicle and can be propelled by human power alone. An e-scooter is not the same as an electric bicycle, moped or motorcycle in the eyes of the law in Texas. Motor-assisted scooters have their own rules and regulations.

Age Limits for Riding

In Texas, a rider must be 16 years or older to ride an e-scooter. Most e-scooter companies require riders to have valid driver’s licenses and upload photographs of these licenses before they can rent the device. However, many users get around this requirement by having someone older, such as a parent or guardian, rent the e-scooter for them. This is a dangerous practice that can increase the risk of accidents.

Helmet Requirements

Helmets are strongly encouraged while riding e-scooters in San Antonio, but they are not a legal requirement. This is similar to Texas’ bicycle helmet stance, which is that all riders, regardless of age, may operate bicycles without wearing helmets. The only exception is if a city or municipality has a law requiring bike helmets. San Antonio does not have such a law for operating dockless e-scooters. The city strongly encourages helmets, however, as they can drastically reduce the risk of serious and fatal head injuries.

Riding Rules in San Antonio

The e-scooter laws that are broken the most often, and that lead to the most traffic accidents, are riding rules. Riding rules give e-scooter operators guidelines they must follow for safe and prudent vehicle operation. They dictate what a rider can and cannot do while interacting with other roadway users, such as motorists and pedestrians. Some of the most important state and citywide e-scooter laws in San Antonio are:

  • Riders must obey all state and city roadway rules.
  • E-scooters must ride in the street or bicycle lanes.
  • Riding a scooter in the street is only legal on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less.
  • No e-scooters on sidewalks.
  • No e-scooters in Alamo Plaza, the Riverwalk, La Villita, Main Plaza, Market Square, or city parks and trails in San Antonio.
  • Only one person per e-scooter.
  • Riders must grant pedestrians the right-of-way.
  • Riders cannot use cell phones while operating e-scooters.
  • Riders should not park e-scooters in the middle of sidewalks, in bicycle lanes, in the street or in the way of pedestrians.

Following these rules can reduce the risk of e-scooter accidents. Riders should also use tactics such as wearing brightly colored clothing for maximum visibility, riding in the same direction as traffic, maintaining a safe speed for conditions, using hand signals to turn and never riding on highways. Paying attention to the road and riding prudently can also decrease the odds of an accident.

Injured in an E-Scooter Accident? Get Help

If you get injured in an e-scooter accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the other party’s insurance provider. One or more parties may be financially responsible for your medical bills and other losses. Protect your legal rights by contacting an auto accident attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney can help you understand and exercise your rights during insurance claim negotiations or an injury trial. An attorney can also use proven legal strategies to fight for maximum financial recovery on your behalf.

Posted by admin at 1:09 pm

10 Mistakes That Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Friday, April 23, 2021

If you suffer a serious injury in San Antonio, you may be overwhelmed by medical bills, physical pain and emotional suffering. It is important, however, to learn as much as you can about the legal process if you wish to obtain fair financial compensation. Otherwise, you could make a common mistake that negatively impacts your claim.

Admitting Fault

It may be in your nature to immediately apologize for an accident while at the scene, such as apologizing to the other driver after a car accident. Saying you are sorry, however, can be construed as an admittance of guilt. Be polite, but do not apologize and do not admit fault for an accident. Doing so could automatically place liability – financial responsibility – with you, even before an investigation is finished.

Not Reporting Your Accident

Do not keep your accident or injuries to yourself. It is important to report the accident to an authority figure immediately so that it is documented on the official record. The authority you should contact will depend on the nature of the accident. After a car crash in San Antonio, for example, you should call the police. After a slip and fall accident, tell a store manager.

Forgetting to Collect Evidence

Although you may have a lot on your mind after suffering an injury, do your best to collect evidence before you leave the scene. Some evidence may not be available if you wait. If you were injured by a property defect, for example, the property owner may repair the hazard before you can return to take photographs. Collect evidence as soon as possible, even if this means asking for help from a friend, family member or personal injury attorney.

Delaying Medical Care

Always go to a doctor or hospital right away after any type of injury. Delaying medical care can allow an insurance company to argue that your injuries were not serious or did not happen the way you say they did. Delaying medical care or ignoring your doctor’s treatment recommendations could also have negative consequences on your health.

Posting on Social Media

Avoid posting anything on social media following an accident. An insurance company can use your social media activity as evidence against you, regardless of your privacy settings. Any photographs, location check-ins, status updates or comments made on other people’s pages could be twisted around and used against you later.

Waiting Too Long to Tell an Insurance Company

Most insurance companies have rules that require injured parties to file claims as soon as possible – typically within 72 hours of the accident. Do not wait too long to file an initial claim, as this could potentially bar you from financial recovery from the insurer.

Believing the Insurance Company Is on Your Side

When communicating with an agent or claims adjuster from an insurance company, do not make the mistake of thinking he or she is on your side. The insurance company will want to save as much money as possible by devaluing your claim. Do not agree to give the insurance company a recorded statement and do not sign anything until speaking to an attorney.

Settling Too Soon

It is normal to want to resolve your case as quickly as possible. Settling too early, however, could mean accepting less than you deserve for your serious injuries. Wait until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement to accept a settlement. Discuss the value of your claim with an attorney before settling, as well.

Missing Your Statute of Limitations

In Texas, a law called a statute of limitations places a deadline on your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, the courts will typically refuse to hear your case, meaning you cannot recover money damages. The statute of limitations in Texas is two years for most cases.

Failing to Seek Help From a Personal Injury Attorney

Do not attempt to handle a personal injury claim alone – especially if you suffered catastrophic or permanent injuries. Work with a personal injury attorney in San Antonio for professional legal assistance with your case. A lawyer can help you with all the stages of a lawsuit for the best possible outcome.

Posted by admin at 11:41 am

What Is a Personal Injury Liability Waiver?

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

If you get injured due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, that party may be financially responsible for your injuries and related medical bills. If you signed a personal injury liability waiver, however, you may have given up your right to hold someone legally accountable. Learn more about liability waivers – including when they are unenforceable – to find out if you have a claim.

How Do Liability Waivers Work?

A personal injury liability waiver is something you may have to sign before participating in an event or activity that poses foreseeable injury risks. These waivers are designed to protect the creator from liability (legal responsibility) if a participant gets injured – even if the entity was negligent and this is what caused the injuries.

Common activities in Texas that require participants to sign personal injury liability waivers include:

  • Amusement parks
  • Bungee jumping
  • Concerts
  • Cruises
  • Daycare centers
  • Equipment rentals
  • Gyms
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Skydiving
  • Spas
  • Sporting events
  • Tours
  • Trampoline parks
  • Vehicle rentals

In some scenarios, you may be given a written liability waiver that you must fill out and sign before you can participate in an activity. Otherwise, accepting the terms of a liability waiver may be implied when you purchase a ticket. When you buy a cruise ticket, for example, the liability terms you are automatically agreeing to are in fine print on the back. Either way, once you agree to a liability waiver, you may forfeit your right to hold the entity legally responsible for your injuries.

Can You Still File a Lawsuit With a Personal Injury Liability Waiver?

Liability waivers are not infallible. In certain circumstances, it is possible to work around a liability waiver and hold a party accountable for negligence. However, the fact that you signed a personal injury liability waiver will make a lawsuit more difficult. In Texas, a defendant’s attorney may use the assumption of risk defense against you to combat liability for your injuries. This defense states that since you assumed the known risks of an activity, the defendant is not liable for any injuries suffered.

You or your personal injury lawyer will have to prove that you are still eligible to file a lawsuit after signing a waiver based on an argument such as:

  • An invalid or unenforceable waiver. An attorney will analyze the liability waiver you signed to search for issues that could make it unenforceable. A liability waiver must contain clear and unambiguous language, for example, and cannot go against public policy.
  • Failure to warn of known risks. If a liability waiver (or the defendant) fails to clearly list the foreseeable injury risks associated with an activity or event, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.
  • Gross negligence. Although a liability waiver can protect a defendant from lawsuits brought on the basis of negligence, no waiver can prevent liability for gross negligence, recklessness, intent to harm or a wanton disregard for the safety of others.

Other exceptions that could make a liability waiver invalid are if your injuries are from a defective product or due to a misrepresentation of fact. A manufacturing company cannot use a waiver to avoid liability for a defective product that injures a customer. In addition, a defendant misrepresenting the activity could constitute fraud, which will invalidate a liability waiver.

What to Do If You Were Injured After Signing a Liability Waiver

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident after signing a personal injury liability waiver in San Antonio, consult with an attorney for assistance. Hiring an attorney can be crucial for protecting your rights, documenting your injury, and bringing a case against one or more defendants. Your lawyer can help you navigate the unique challenges that may arise during a personal injury case involving a liability waiver or the assumption of risk defense.

For more information about personal injury liability waivers in Texas, consult with a lawyer from The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C.

Posted by admin at 11:39 am

Who’s Liable in a Ridesharing Accident in San Antonio?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ridesharing quickly took over the transportation industry as the most popular method of hired travel, especially among the younger generation. Currently, the top two rideshare companies, Uber and Lyft, serve over 121 million users monthly. Yet ridesharing is not always the safest method of travel. Every year, hundreds of ridesharing vehicles are involved in automobile accidents.

Common Causes of Ridesharing Accidents in San Antonio

Ridesharing works by allowing users to request and schedule drivers to pick them up on demand at a certain location. Drivers connect to users and vice versa through an app on a smartphone. This is one of the hazards related to ridesharing: drivers have to constantly look at and interact with their cell phones while behind the wheel.

Like standard auto accidents, ridesharing accidents in San Antonio can occur for many reasons:

  • Distracted driving
  • Inattention
  • Texting and driving
  • Eating and drinking
  • Drunk driving
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Running a red light
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Tailgating

Since Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, you or your attorney will need to determine fault before you file an insurance claim. You will file your claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault party. In a typical auto accident, this is most likely the other driver. However, fault is more difficult to determine in a ridesharing accident.

Liability for an Uber or Lyft Accident in San Antonio

In a ridesharing accident case, you may be able to hold the individual driver financially responsible for your injuries and losses. Unlike other transportation services, such as using a taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers are not employees of the ridesharing companies. Instead, they are independent contractors.

Generally speaking, this protects Uber and Lyft from vicarious liability for the mistakes and negligence of their drivers, meaning you will seek benefits from the driver’s private insurance carrier instead. In certain scenarios, however, you can file your claim directly with the insurance provider of the rideshare company. This might be the case if the individual driver does not have enough insurance to fully cover your losses.

Insurance Coverage Available

Both Uber and Lyft maintain $1 million insurance policies to cover victims’ injuries when their drivers cause car accidents. The exact amount of coverage available depends on the phase of the ride:

  • Phase One. The driver is signed into the ridesharing app and searching for riders. If the driver causes a collision in this phase, the ridesharing company will provide up to $50,000 in bodily injury insurance per person, $100,000 per accident and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
  • Phase Two. The ridesharing driver has accepted a ride and is on his or her way to pick up a passenger. In this scenario, both Uber and Lyft will provide up to $1 million in liability insurance coverage.
  • Phase Three. The driver has picked up the user and the passenger is in the vehicle at the time of the accident. As in Phase Two, the company will provide up to $1 million in this scenario, as well as possible uninsured motorist coverage.

Keep in mind that your own insurance company may also offer compensation for your losses as secondary insurance to the at-fault party’s coverage. Finally, if another driver caused your crash, that driver’s auto insurance will also be available to cover your damages. As the victim of a ridesharing accident, therefore, you may have many outlets for financial recovery.

When to Contact a Ridesharing Accident Attorney in San Antonio

If you are injured in an accident involving a ridesharing vehicle, consult with a ridesharing accident attorney right away. An attorney can help you navigate your way through this complicated type of claim, holding the at-fault driver or ridesharing company financially responsible for your past and future losses.

With an attorney as your legal advocate, you can rest assured the settlement you accept from Uber or Lyft is adequate for your injuries. Learn more about your accident by consulting with a lawyer today.

Posted by admin at 5:23 pm

What Is the Difference Between Ordinary Negligence and Gross Negligence?

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

One of the most common words you will hear during a personal injury claim in San Antonio is “negligence.” A party’s negligence in Texas allows you to seek financial damages from that person for causing you harm. There is a difference, however, between ordinary negligence and gross negligence. While both can make you eligible for compensation, one may result in the defendant having to pay more.

4 Elements of Ordinary Negligence

Ordinary negligence refers to a party’s failure to use a reasonable degree of care, resulting in injury or harm to another person. Reasonable care describes what an ordinary person would do in the same or similar circumstances. If a driver was speeding in wet weather, for example, and caused a car accident, that driver is guilty of negligence.

Ordinary negligence consists of four key elements:

  1. The defendant had a responsibility to treat the plaintiff with a reasonable amount of care. In personal injury law, this responsibility is referred to as the duty of care.
  2. The defendant’s actions – or failure to act – made the defendant breach his or her duty of care to the plaintiff.
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty was the direct and/or actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
  4. The plaintiff suffered losses because of the defendant’s actions, such as injuries, hospital bills, property damage and lost wages.

In a case arguing ordinary negligence, a plaintiff does not have to prove the defendant was reckless or knew his or her actions could potentially cause an injury. It is enough for an ordinary negligence claim to show that the defendant breached a duty of care, even if this breach was accidental or unintentional. A claim based on gross negligence, however, is different.

What Is Gross Negligence?

Gross negligence is a more severe departure from the duty of care. Rather than a careless mistake or inattention, gross negligence is a willful or wanton disregard of the requirement to use reasonable care. Like ordinary negligence, it is not necessary to prove the defendant’s intent to harm for a gross negligence claim. However, a claim based on gross negligence must show the defendant’s conduct was willful, likely to cause foreseeable harm and done with an extreme disregard for the safety of others.

An example illustrating the difference between ordinary and gross negligence is if a driver isn’t paying attention and fails to notice he or she is exceeding the speed limit by a few miles per hour, he or she is negligent. If, however, the driver knowingly drives at an excessive speed in an area with a lot of pedestrians because he or she is late, the driver is grossly negligent.

Why Is the Difference Relevant to Your Personal Injury Case?

The difference between ordinary and gross negligence is important to understand as the plaintiff in a personal injury case due to the financial compensation that may be available. Although both types of negligence can cause serious injuries, gross negligence is more likely to lead to severe or catastrophic injuries. These injuries will, in general, be worth more in damages than minor injuries:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Ongoing treatments, such as rehabilitation and therapy
  • Permanent disability costs
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Lost wages and future capacity to earn
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death benefits

In addition to greater compensation available for a more serious injury, gross negligence could also increase the amount of your award through punitive damages.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a relatively uncommon type of award. Rather than making a victim whole again after an accident, punitive damages punish a defendant for especially egregious acts. In Texas, punitive damages may be available if a defendant exhibited behaviors that were grossly negligent, reckless, wanton, willful, malicious or intentional. Punitive damages are meant to penalize a defendant and deter him or her from making the same mistake in the future.

For more information about ordinary vs. gross negligence and how it may apply to your case, consult with a personal injury attorney in Dallas.

Posted by admin at 5:22 pm

What’s the Difference Between Recklessness and Negligence?

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

If someone gets injured in an accident in Texas, that person may have the right to file a lawsuit for financial compensation through the civil justice system. The right to hold someone else accountable for the injury may exist if that person was negligent, reckless or malicious in causing the injury in question.

If you’ve been injured in an accident in San Antonio, learn the difference between recklessness and negligence to better understand the grounds for your claim.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is the basis for most personal injury claims in Texas. In personal injury law, negligence is when someone unintentionally or carelessly causes someone else injury or harm. Cases involving auto accidents, dangerous premises, workplace accidents and most other accidents are generally founded on the legal theory of negligence.

Proving a defendant’s negligence during an injury case requires evidence that the following four elements are more likely than not to be true:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. This is a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner to avoid injury to others.
  2. The defendant breached a duty of care. The defendant committed an act or omission that went against his or her duty of care.
  3. The defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate or actual cause of the plaintiff’s injury. The injury would not have occurred but for the defendant’s mistake.
  4. The plaintiff suffered compensable losses. The accident gave the plaintiff real, specific damages, such as medical bills or property damage.

In a case based on negligence, it does not matter whether or not the defendant realized he or she was breaching a duty of care. If the defendant acted in a way that a reasonable and prudent person would not have in the same circumstances, the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s injury. To base a case on recklessness, however, the defendant must have acted or behaved in a manner that would foreseeably cause injury.

What Is Recklessness?

Recklessness is a more serious type of tort than negligence. Under Texas law, it describes a situation in which a person knows the risks that will foreseeably arise from his or her actions but commits the act or omission anyway, regardless of the consequences to others. In other words, the reckless party had a wanton disregard for the safety of others.

A reckless person has substantially departed from what a reasonable, law-abiding person would do in the same situation. For example, if a driver had 10 alcoholic beverages and then got behind the wheel, this driver has exhibited a reckless disregard for how his or her actions might injure others.

How Does the Difference Impact Your Personal Injury Case?

Negligence is an unknowing departure from the duty of care, while recklessness is a knowing, willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. The difference between these two types of torts can be important to distinguish during your personal injury case in Texas. Although both are acceptable grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, recklessness could result in punitive damages.

Punitive damages, unlike compensatory damages, are not meant to make up for a victim’s financial losses. Instead, they are awarded to punish a defendant and deter others from making the same mistake. Punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case. Instead, a judge reserves them for cases in which a defendant was grossly negligent, reckless or malicious in causing the victim’s harm. If you have a case based on recklessness, you may be eligible for punitive damages.

Consult With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you or a family member has suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, consult with a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio right away. An attorney can help you identify the grounds for your case, collect evidence against the defendant and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.

Posted by admin at 5:18 pm

How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in San Antonio

Monday, February 15, 2021

If you get injured in an accident, such as a motor vehicle collision or a slip and fall, you may be eligible for financial benefits from one or more parties. The person or entity at fault for causing your accident may be financially responsible for your related damages, including medical bills and property repairs. Learn how to file a personal injury lawsuit in San Antonio, as well as when to hire an attorney for assistance.

When to Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio

Before you begin the legal process, you may wish to consult with an attorney in San Antonio. A personal injury lawyer will have the information and resources to help you fully protect your legal rights as a plaintiff. You may need to hire a lawyer to represent you during a claim, especially if you have severe or catastrophic personal injuries.

With a life-changing injury, it is more likely that an insurance company will try to take advantage of you and devalue your claim. An attorney can help you file your lawsuit and obtain maximum financial compensation for your losses. Many personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so you can discuss your case with a lawyer without any financial risk.

Understand the Statute of Limitations

Next, learn your deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas (known in legalese as the statute of limitations). The statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury cases in Texas. If you wait longer than two years after your accident to bring a claim to damages, expect the courts to deny your case. It is important to act quickly in the aftermath of an accident to make sure you file within the required window, as well as while important evidence is still available.

Gather Information and Evidence

Start building your personal injury claim in San Antonio by collecting as much information, evidence and documentation about your accident and injury as possible:

  • Write down the at-fault party’s name, contact information and insurance carrier.
  • Call the hospital where you sought treatment to obtain copies of your relevant medical records.
  • If you were in an auto accident and called the police, contact the local police department for a copy of your police report.
  • Gather any photographs and videos of your accident.
  • If you have signed statements from eyewitnesses, put this in your case folder as well.

Having all the information and evidence organized in a single place can make it easier to file a lawsuit.

Find Out Where to File Your Lawsuit in San Antonio

You will file your personal injury claim with the civil courthouse in the county where your accident took place, in most cases. If this is Bexar County, you will go to the Civil District Court. If you estimate your case is worth less than $10,000, including court costs, you will file with the Bexar County Small Claims Court instead. Filing a lawsuit requires filling out the claims forms given to you by the courthouse clerk completely, in as much detail as possible.

On your claims form, you will need to include the defendant’s name and contact information, a brief description of your accident and why you believe the defendant is responsible, a list of the damages for which you are seeking compensation, and the amount of money you are demanding from the defendant’s insurance company to resolve your claim. You will need to pay the filing fee when you submit the paperwork. This fee is typically $200.

Negotiate on Your Own or With Help From an Attorney

Once you file your personal injury lawsuit in San Antonio, the defendant will have a chance to respond to your petition. If the defendant does not deny or refute fault, you will most likely receive a settlement offer from the insurance company.

Before accepting the offer, bring it to an attorney for review. If the offer is not adequate for your injuries and losses, an attorney can help you negotiate back and forth for a better amount. In the rare incident that your case cannot settle, your lawyer can represent you at trial in Bexar County instead. A San Antonio personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the results you deserve.

Posted by admin at 5:10 pm

Texas Good Samaritan Law

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The first people at the scene of an accident – often those who witnessed the accident – are in a unique position to help victims. They can check for injuries, call an ambulance and keep victims calm while they wait for help. Like many states, Texas has a law in place protecting those who render aid at the scene of emergencies. It is called the Good Samaritan Law.

What Is the Good Samaritan Law?

Texas’s Good Samaritan Law (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 74.151) protects people who offer aid at the scene of emergencies from liability for any unintentional damages their interventions cause. These people are referred to as Good Samaritans, as a reference to a parable in the Bible about someone helping a stranger in need. If a Good Samaritan stops at the scene of an accident and renders medical aid in good faith, that person is protected from any liability for related damages in Texas.

The Good Samaritan Law is in place to encourage people who witness accidents to step forward and render assistance without fear of being sued later by a victim for accidentally making things worse. If, for example, a Good Samaritan pulls someone out of a burning vehicle and this action exacerbates a spinal cord injury, causing permanent paralysis, the Good Samaritan will not be liable for unintentionally causing the injury under Texas law.

Who Does the Good Samaritan Law Protect?

As long as a Good Samaritan renders emergency medical care in a good faith attempt to help the victim of an accident, he or she is protected from liability under the Texas Good Samaritan Act. This law states that any person who administers emergency care in good faith is not liable for any related civil damages suffered during the emergency.

According to the statute, the act also protects any person who uses an automated external defibrillator to administer emergency care, as well as someone who acts as a volunteer first responder. The act does not, however, apply to anyone who intervenes at the scene of an emergency for compensation or remuneration, as well as anyone who was at the scene with the purpose of soliciting business.

The Good Samaritan Law in Texas also does not protect anyone who is licensed to provide emergency medical care, such as an EMT or a doctor in an emergency room. The law holds these professionals to a higher standard of care than an average civilian with no professional medical training. The professional must be more careful to prevent any foreseeable harm to the victim in an emergency and may be liable for any damages inflicted by substandard care.

What If the Good Samaritan Is Negligent?

The Texas Good Samaritan Act also has an exception if the person rendering emergency aid is the same person whose negligent act or omission caused the original accident. In this situation, the person who caused the accident will not be protected from liability for the victim’s injuries, property damage and other losses.

Finally, one of the most important exceptions to the Good Samaritan Law is if the person who renders aid is willfully or wantonly negligent. If the person does not render aid in a good faith attempt to help the victim, such as by knowingly doing something that could harm the victim, he or she could be liable for related damages.

The Good Samaritan must act in a way that is not intentionally negligent or reckless to benefit from legal protection. For the most part, however, the Texas Good Samaritan Law protects the average person who renders medical aid in an emergency.

What to Do After Witnessing an Accident

If you are the first person to the scene of an accident, do not be afraid to step in and help. Try not to move an injured person unless it is necessary for his or her safety. Instead, call the police and stay with the victim to offer your support while you wait for paramedics to arrive. Then, offer your services to the victim as an eyewitness, if possible. You could save a life by rendering aid in an emergency, as well as help a victim recover through a personal injury lawsuit.

Posted by admin at 5:09 pm

What Is Assumption of Risk in a Personal Injury Case?

Monday, January 25, 2021

Assumption of risk is a defense that could be used against you if you bring a cause of action for a personal injury in Texas. In your attempt to hold someone responsible for causing your injury, the defendant may allege that you assumed the risks of the activity – thus protecting the defendant from liability. If this defense succeeds, you may not be awarded anything in financial compensation. This is why it is important to speak to a lawyer if you think this defense will be raised during your case.

What Does Assumption of Risk Mean in Law?

In the civil justice system, assumption of risk is an affirmative defense. A defendant can raise this defense to combat a personal injury cause of action. The assumption of risk defense asserts that the defendant is not liable for the injuries sustained because the plaintiff knowingly and voluntarily exposed him or herself to this risk.

Essentially, a defendant who uses the assumption of risk defense is claiming that the plaintiff knew about the risk or hazard that caused the injury but voluntarily took the chance of getting injured anyway. Therefore, the defendant believes he or she should not be responsible for related losses.

This defense is most common in cases involving dangerous activities, such as bungee jumping or cliff jumping. It can also be used in premises liability cases if a defendant had a “No Trespassing” or “Beware of Dog” sign in place. Places that offer experiences with some level of risk may also use this defense, such as gyms, amusement parks and sports arenas in San Antonio.

How Can Someone Prove Assumption of Risk?

It is the defendant’s responsibility to prove the validity of the assumption of risk defense when asserted. The defendant will have the burden to prove, through clear and convincing evidence, that two main elements are more likely to be true than not true.

  1. The plaintiff had actual knowledge of the risks involved in an activity. The defendant must show that the plaintiff knew of the risk that caused his or her injury, such as a sign warning visitors of a known risk on a property.
  2. The plaintiff voluntarily accepted the risk. The defendant must also have proof that the plaintiff voluntarily assumed or accepted the known risks of an activity. This acceptance could be implied by words or conduct or expressly noted in a liability waiver.

If the plaintiff signed a written contract expressly agreeing to the known risks of an activity, this could serve as proof of assumption of risk. Proof could also come in the form of a participant purchasing a ticket if the ticket doubled as a liability agreement. This is often the case with cruise ship and sports game tickets. With a signed liability waiver in place, a defendant may not be liable for damages even if he or she was negligent.

How Might the Assumption of Risk Defense Affect Your Case?

If you signed a liability waiver before participating in the activity that injured you, don’t assume you are barred from financial recovery. Although this can protect a defendant from liability, there are exceptions to the rule.

If the defendant committed an act of gross negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongdoing, signing a waiver will not release the defendant from liability for losses. If the defendant failed to adequately make the risks of an activity known to you when you signed, this could also invalidate a liability waiver.

How an assumption of risk defense may or may not affect your personal injury case depends on your unique circumstances. It is important to consult with an attorney if you encounter this defense or were injured after signing a liability waiver. An attorney can help you protect your rights with or without the assumption of risk defense.

Posted by admin at 12:33 pm

What Are Future Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

Friday, January 22, 2021

Through the civil justice system in Texas, you can receive financial compensation from the person or party that committed a wrong (tort) against you. In legalese, this compensation is known as damages. A civil claim not only has the power to reimburse you for past damages; you could also recover compensation for future damages. Learn more about future damages available in a personal injury case by consulting with an attorney.

Economic vs. Noneconomic Damages

First, understand the difference between the two main categories of damages available: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages pay for your out-of-pocket costs as the victim of a tort. These costs may include hospital bills, lost wages, property repairs and attorney’s fees.

Noneconomic damages are the intangible effects an accident had on you and your loved ones. Another name for noneconomic damages is pain and suffering. Compensatory losses in this category may include emotional distress, mental anguish, physical pain, inconvenience, humiliation, lost quality of life and loss of consortium.

During a personal injury case in Texas, you could be eligible for future damages for economic and noneconomic losses. Your eligibility for future damages will depend on the extent of your injuries and how long they will foreseeably stay with you. Future damages are only available if you will experience losses connected to the accident in the foreseeable future.

What Are Future Damages?

Past and present damages are clear at the time a claimant files a personal injury claim. As an injured victim, you will have medical bills and lost wages piling up to prove these losses. Future damages, however, are less clear. They will depend on when your injury will fully heal – if it will fully heal at all.

You may be able to seek compensation for future damages during a claim if your injuries will, with some level of medical probability, stay with you or get worse in the future. Future damages can include:

  • Future medical care. Any surgeries, treatments, physical therapy, rehabilitation, medications or visits with specialists in the future you may need because of your injury. This includes disability accommodations for a permanent injury.
  • Future lost wages and lost earning capacity. If a doctor believes your injury will make you unable to work for a certain period of time, you can seek lost wage compensation for shifts you will miss. If you have an injury that will remove you from your current occupation, you can pursue damages for permanent lost capacity to earn.
  • Future emotional and psychological impacts. Many accidents have long-term emotional impacts on survivors. If you notice emotional injuries or are diagnosed with a condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder, you may be eligible for future pain and suffering damages.

You can only recover compensation for future damages in Texas if you or your personal injury attorney can successfully prove they will exist. Your lawyer can help you prove future losses using evidence such as your medical records, testimony from your doctor and medical experts, testimony from friends and family members, and information from your employer about the requirements of your job.

Why It Is Important to Seek Future Damages in a Lawsuit

Once you close a personal injury case by accepting a settlement and signing a release of liability form, you cannot reopen it. Even if your injuries worsen or you encounter additional medical costs, you will not be able to reopen a case and negotiate for a higher amount. This is why it is imperative to seek future damages in your original lawsuit – before you miss the opportunity to recover these damages forever.

If you need assistance listing all past and future damages on an insurance demand letter or personal injury lawsuit in San Antonio, contact an attorney. An attorney can make sure you do not miss any important opportunities for recovering financial compensation, including future damages. A lawyer will ensure you do not settle for less than the full and true value of your claim.

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