Unlocking the Secrets to Winning Distracted Driving Accident Lawsuits in San Antonio: Maximizing Your Compensation

Monday, January 15, 2024

In today’s digital age, distracted driving has become an alarming epidemic on the roads of San Antonio. As more and more drivers succumb to the temptation of using their phones or engaging in other distractions behind the wheel, the number of accidents caused by such negligence continues to rise. If you’ve been a victim of a distracted driving accident in San Antonio, it’s essential to know the secrets to winning your lawsuit and maximizing your compensation.

In this article, we will unlock those secrets and provide you with valuable insight into navigating the legal complexities of a distracted driving accident case. From gathering crucial evidence to finding expert witnesses, we will guide you through the necessary steps to strengthen your claim and increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Whether you were a pedestrian, cyclist, or another motorist involved in the accident, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll it can take on your life. With our comprehensive guide, you will have the tools and knowledge you need to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Don’t let distracted drivers get away with their negligence. Join us on this journey as we delve into the secrets of winning distracted driving accident lawsuits in San Antonio and empower yourself to take control of your legal battle.

Understanding distracted driving accidents in San Antonio

Distracted driving accidents occur when a driver’s attention is diverted from the road due to various distractions. These distractions can include texting or talking on the phone, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using in-car technologies, or even daydreaming. In San Antonio, as in many other cities, distracted driving has become a significant problem, leading to a high number of accidents and injuries.

To win a distracted driving accident lawsuit in San Antonio, it is crucial to understand the factors that contribute to these accidents. By familiarizing yourself with the common causes and consequences of distracted driving, you can build a strong case to prove negligence and seek maximum compensation.

One of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents is cellphone use. Texting while driving, in particular, has been identified as a leading cause of accidents. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded at 55 mph. This alarming statistic highlights the dangers of distracted driving and the need for stricter enforcement and education.

The impact of distracted driving on accident lawsuits

Distracted driving can have a significant impact on accident lawsuits in San Antonio. When it comes to determining liability and assessing damages, the at-fault driver’s distracted behavior can be a crucial factor. Proving that the driver was negligent and distracted at the time of the accident is essential for a successful lawsuit.

In Texas, negligence is a key element in personal injury cases. To establish negligence, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries as a result. In the case of a distracted driving accident, you can argue that the driver had a duty to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly, but they breached that duty by engaging in distracting activities.

To support your claim, it is vital to gather evidence that proves the driver was distracted. This evidence can include eyewitness testimonies, video footage, phone records, and police reports. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Antonio can greatly enhance your ability to gather and present this evidence effectively.

Gathering evidence to support your distracted driving accident claim

Gathering evidence is a crucial step in winning a distracted driving accident lawsuit in San Antonio. The strength of your evidence can significantly impact the outcome of your case and the amount of compensation you receive. To maximize your chances of success, it is essential to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

One of the first steps in gathering evidence is obtaining a copy of the police report filed at the scene of the accident. The police report often contains valuable information, such as the officer’s observations, statements from involved parties and witnesses, and any citations issued to the at-fault driver. This report can serve as a foundation for your case and help establish the negligence of the distracted driver.

In addition to the police report, eyewitness testimonies can play a crucial role in proving negligence. Eyewitnesses who saw the driver using their phone or engaging in other distractions can provide valuable accounts of the events leading up to the accident. Their statements can help strengthen your case and establish the driver’s negligence.

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Antonio

Navigating the legal complexities of a distracted driving accident lawsuit can be overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with injuries and emotional distress. To ensure you have the best possible chance of winning your case and maximizing your compensation, it is crucial to work with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Antonio.

A skilled attorney can guide you through the entire legal process, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court if necessary. They will have a deep understanding of Texas personal injury laws and the specific nuances of distracted driving accident cases.

When choosing a personal injury attorney, look for someone with a track record of success in handling distracted driving accident cases. They should have a strong reputation, positive client reviews, and a willingness to fight aggressively for your rights. By working with an experienced attorney, you can level the playing field and significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Proving negligence in a distracted driving accident case

Proving negligence is a crucial step in winning a distracted driving accident lawsuit in San Antonio. To establish negligence, you must show that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries as a result of their distracted behavior.

In the context of a distracted driving accident, the duty of care is the responsibility to operate a vehicle safely and responsibly. By engaging in distracting activities, such as texting or talking on the phone, the driver breaches this duty, putting themselves and others at risk.

To prove negligence, you will need to present evidence that establishes the driver’s distracted behavior at the time of the accident. This evidence can include eyewitness testimonies, video footage, phone records, and expert opinions. By demonstrating that the driver was distracted and their distraction led to the accident, you can strengthen your claim and increase your chances of winning the lawsuit.

Calculating your potential compensation in a distracted driving accident lawsuit

Calculating your potential compensation in a distracted driving accident lawsuit in San Antonio involves considering various factors, including the extent of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. While every case is unique, understanding the types of damages you may be entitled to can help you determine the value of your claim.

Economic damages are the tangible losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. These damages can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, property damage, lost wages, and future medical expenses. Calculating economic damages often involves gathering receipts, medical records, and other documentation to support your claim.

Non-economic damages refer to the intangible losses you have experienced, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish. Unlike economic damages, which have a clear monetary value, non-economic damages can be more challenging to quantify. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you assess the impact of these damages on your life and seek appropriate compensation.

Dealing with insurance companies in distracted driving accident cases

Dealing with insurance companies is a common challenge in distracted driving accident cases. Insurance companies are businesses that aim to protect their bottom line, which means they may try to minimize the amount they pay out in claims. When negotiating with insurance companies, it is essential to be prepared and have a solid understanding of your rights and entitlements.

First, it is crucial to report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance policy likely has a requirement to report accidents promptly, and failing to do so may jeopardize your claim. Provide the necessary details of the accident and cooperate with the claims adjuster assigned to your case.

During the claims process, it is crucial to be cautious when communicating with insurance adjusters. Remember that their role is to protect the interests of the insurance company, not necessarily to ensure you receive fair compensation. Avoid giving recorded statements without consulting your attorney, as these statements can be used against you later.

The importance of expert witnesses in distracted driving accident lawsuits

Expert witnesses can play a vital role in winning a distracted driving accident lawsuit in San Antonio. These individuals have specialized knowledge or experience in a particular field relevant to your case and can provide expert opinions and testimony to support your claim.

In distracted driving accident cases, expert witnesses can help establish the driver’s negligence and the link between their distraction and the resulting accident. For example, an accident reconstruction expert can analyze the scene of the accident, review the evidence, and provide a professional opinion on how the distraction contributed to the crash.

Other types of expert witnesses that may be valuable in a distracted driving accident lawsuit include medical experts, who can testify about the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life, and vocational experts, who can assess your ability to work and earn a living after the accident.

Settlement negotiations and trial options for distracted driving accident cases

In many distracted driving accident cases, settlement negotiations are the preferred method of resolving the dispute. Settlements offer benefits such as a quicker resolution, certainty of outcome, and potentially lower legal costs. However, it is essential to approach settlement negotiations with caution and ensure you are not settling for less than you deserve.

When engaging in settlement negotiations, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the value of your claim and the damages you are entitled to. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can greatly enhance your ability to negotiate a fair settlement. They will have the knowledge and skills to assess the strength of your case, calculate appropriate damages, and advocate for your best interests.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, you may have the option to take your distracted driving accident case to trial. Trials can be complex and time-consuming, but they provide an opportunity to present your evidence and arguments in front of a judge or jury. Your attorney will guide you through the trial process and ensure your rights are protected at every stage.

Conclusion: Taking action and seeking justice for your distracted driving accident

Distracted driving accidents can have devastating consequences for victims in San Antonio. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a distracted driver, it is essential to take action and seek justice for the harm you have suffered. By understanding the secrets to winning distracted driving accident lawsuits and maximizing your compensation, you can empower yourself to fight for the justice you deserve.

Remember, gathering evidence, working with an experienced personal injury attorney, and proving negligence are key steps in building a strong case. Calculating your potential compensation, dealing with insurance companies, and considering settlement negotiations or trial options are also crucial aspects of the legal process.

Although the road to justice may be challenging, you don’t have to face it alone. Reach out to a reputable personal injury attorney in San Antonio to discuss your case and explore your legal options. With their guidance and expertise, you can navigate the complexities of a distracted driving accident lawsuit and increase your chances of a successful outcome. Together, let’s hold distracted drivers accountable and make our roads safer for everyone.

Posted by Noah Buckles at 8:58 am

Navigating the Retail Store Accident Lawsuit: Expert Tips for Winning in Texas in 2024

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Free photo great variety in the shoe shop

Attention Texas shoppers! Have you ever experienced an accident or injury while shopping in a retail store? If so, you’re not alone. Accidents can happen when we least expect them, and navigating the legal system can be overwhelming. But fear not, because we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we will provide you with expert tips on how to win a retail store accident lawsuit in Texas in 2024. Whether you slipped and fell on a wet floor or were injured by a defective product, our guide will walk you through the necessary steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Texas laws regarding retail store accidents can be complex, requiring a deep understanding of the legal landscape. But by following our expert advice and tips, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the legal process and come out on top.

So, if you’re ready to arm yourself with the knowledge and guidance to win your retail store accident lawsuit, keep on reading. We’ve got your back, Texas shoppers!

Common types of accidents in retail stores

Accidents can happen in retail stores in numerous ways. Being aware of the common types of accidents can help you identify potential hazards and take precautions to avoid them. Some of the most frequent accidents in retail stores include:

1. Slip and Falls: One of the most common types of accidents, slip and falls can occur due to wet floors, uneven surfaces, or debris left on the floor.

2. Falling Objects: Retail stores often have merchandise displayed on high shelves. If these objects are not properly secured, they can fall and cause serious injuries.

3. Defective Products: If you’re injured by a defective product while shopping in a retail store, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor.

4. Inadequate Security: If you are assaulted or robbed in a retail store due to inadequate security measures, you may be able to hold the store liable for your injuries.

By understanding the various types of accidents that can occur, you can better assess the circumstances surrounding your own case and determine the best course of action.

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Proving negligence in a retail store accident lawsuit

Proving negligence is a critical aspect of winning a retail store accident lawsuit. To establish negligence, you must demonstrate the following elements:

1. Duty of Care: The store owner or employees had a legal duty to maintain a safe shopping environment for customers.

2. Breach of Duty: The store owner or employees failed to fulfill their duty by not taking reasonable steps to prevent the accident.

3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the accident and resulting injuries.

4. Damages: You suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering, as a result of the accident.

To strengthen your case, you’ll need to gather evidence that supports each of these elements. This evidence may include photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, surveillance footage, or maintenance records. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.

Gathering evidence for your retail store accident case

Gathering evidence is crucial in a retail store accident case. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the more likely you are to succeed in your lawsuit. Here are some key pieces of evidence to gather:

1. Photographs: Take pictures of the accident scene, including any hazards or conditions that contributed to your accident.

2. Witness Statements: Obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident occur. Their statements can provide valuable support for your case.

3. Surveillance Footage: If the retail store has surveillance cameras, request the footage covering the time of your accident. This can provide objective evidence of what happened.

4. Incident Reports: Report the accident to the store manager or employees and ask for a copy of the incident report. This document can be crucial in establishing the store’s awareness of the accident.

Remember to gather evidence as soon as possible after the accident, as it may become more challenging to obtain later. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be.

Free vector isometric supermarket colorful composition with security surveillance camera people choosing and buying different products isolated

Hiring a personal injury lawyer for your retail store accident lawsuit

Navigating a retail store accident lawsuit can be complex, and having a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side can significantly improve your chances of success. An experienced lawyer will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights.

When selecting a personal injury lawyer, consider the following factors:

1. Experience: Look for a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases, particularly those involving retail store accidents. Their experience will be invaluable in building a strong case.

2. Track Record: Research the lawyer’s track record of success in similar cases. This will give you an idea of their ability to achieve favorable outcomes.

3. Communication: Choose a lawyer who communicates effectively and keeps you informed throughout the process. You’ll want someone who is responsive to your questions and concerns.

4. Fee Structure: Discuss the lawyer’s fee structure upfront to ensure it aligns with your budget and expectations. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case.

By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you’ll have a knowledgeable advocate who can navigate the legal complexities on your behalf, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.

The importance of medical documentation in a retail store accident lawsuit

When pursuing a retail store accident lawsuit, proper medical documentation is crucial. It serves as evidence of your injuries and the extent of your damages. Here’s what you need to know about medical documentation:

1. Seek Medical Attention: After an accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t think your injuries are severe. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical professional can assess your condition properly.

2. Follow Treatment Plans: It’s essential to follow any treatment plans prescribed by your healthcare provider. Failure to do so may weaken your case, as the opposing party may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.

3. Keep Records: Maintain records of all medical appointments, treatments, prescriptions, and expenses related to your injuries. These records will help establish the extent of your damages.

4. Obtain Expert Opinions: If necessary, consult with medical experts who can provide opinions on the long-term impact of your injuries and the potential need for future medical treatment.

By documenting your injuries and following proper medical procedures, you’ll have strong evidence to support your claim and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Free photo man talking on mobile phone and paramedics examining injured boy in background

Filing a claim and the legal process for a retail store accident lawsuit in Texas

Once you’ve gathered sufficient evidence and consulted with a personal injury lawyer, it’s time to file a claim and initiate the legal process for your retail store accident lawsuit. Here’s an overview of what to expect:

1. Initial Demand: Your lawyer will draft a demand letter outlining your injuries, damages, and the compensation you’re seeking. This letter is typically sent to the store’s insurance company.

2. Investigation: The insurance company will conduct its investigation into the accident and evaluate your claim. This may involve reviewing evidence, obtaining witness statements, and potentially negotiating a settlement.

3. Settlement Negotiations: If the insurance company offers a settlement, your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation. Remember, you don’t have to accept the first offer. Your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action.

4. Litigation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit. This involves preparing legal documents, gathering additional evidence, and presenting your case in court.

5. Trial: If your case proceeds to trial, your lawyer will present your evidence, call witnesses, and argue your case before a judge or jury. The outcome will be determined by the evidence presented and the legal arguments made.

Remember, the legal process can be lengthy, and each case is unique. Your personal injury lawyer will guide you through the specific steps and advise you on the best course of action based on the circumstances of your case.

Expert tips for winning your retail store accident lawsuit in Texas

While every case is different, there are some expert tips that can increase your chances of winning your retail store accident lawsuit in Texas. Consider the following:

1. Act Quickly: Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury cases. Report the accident to the store, seek medical attention, and consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

2. Preserve Evidence: Preserve any evidence related to the accident, including photographs, witness statements, and incident reports. This evidence will be crucial in establishing liability.

3. Be Honest: Be honest and transparent about the circumstances surrounding the accident. Any inconsistencies or dishonesty can undermine your credibility and weaken your case.

4. Follow Legal Advice: Listen to your personal injury lawyer’s advice and follow their guidance throughout the process. They have the expertise to navigate the legal system and fight for your rights effectively.

5. Stay Organized: Keep all documents, records, and communications related to your case organized. This will make it easier for you and your lawyer to build a strong case.

Remember, winning a retail store accident lawsuit requires a combination of strong evidence, expert legal representation, and proactive involvement in your case. By following these expert tips, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue justice and receive the compensation you deserve.

Settlement negotiations and trial in a retail store accident lawsuit

When a retail store accident occurs, navigating the legal process can be overwhelming and complex. From settlement negotiations to trial, understanding the steps involved in pursuing a lawsuit is crucial for victims seeking justice and compensation. In this guide, we will provide an overview of the key elements involved in settling a retail store accident lawsuit, as well as the process that may lead to trial.

During settlement negotiations, parties involved will try to reach a mutually agreeable resolution without going to trial. This typically involves discussions between the injured party’s legal representation and the store’s insurance company or legal team. Factors such as the extent of the injuries, liability, and potential monetary damages will be considered to determine a fair settlement amount.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. At trial, each side presents their arguments and evidence before a judge or jury. It is essential to have a strong legal team that can effectively present your case and advocate for your rights.

Understanding the legal process involved in a retail store accident lawsuit is crucial for anyone seeking compensation. By familiarizing yourself with the steps and enlisting the expertise of an experienced legal team, you can navigate this often challenging process with confidence.

The importance of settlement negotiations

Settlement negotiations play a crucial role in the legal process of a retail store accident lawsuit. This phase involves discussions between the injured party’s legal representation and the store’s insurance company or legal team, with the aim of reaching a mutually agreeable resolution without going to trial.

Factors to consider before entering into settlement negotiations

Before entering into settlement negotiations, it’s important to consider several factors. First and foremost, the extent of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life should be thoroughly evaluated. This includes not only physical injuries but also any emotional or psychological trauma suffered as a result of the accident.

Secondly, liability must be established. It is essential to gather evidence that proves the store’s negligence or failure to maintain a safe environment, which led to the accident. This may involve gathering witness statements, surveillance footage, accident reports, and expert opinions.

Lastly, potential monetary damages should be assessed. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long-term care needs. Consulting with medical professionals and financial experts can help determine the full extent of the damages suffered.

Steps involved in the settlement negotiation process

The settlement negotiation process typically involves several steps. Initially, the injured party’s legal team will present a demand letter to the store’s insurance company or legal representatives, outlining the injuries, liability, and the desired compensation amount. This demand letter serves as the starting point for negotiations.

Next, the store’s insurance company or legal team will review the demand letter and respond with a counteroffer. This back-and-forth negotiation process may continue until both parties reach a settlement agreement or decide to proceed to trial.

During negotiations, it is essential to remain patient and open to compromise. Both parties should be willing to consider each other’s perspectives and be open to finding a fair resolution. Additionally, having a skilled and experienced legal team advocating for your rights can greatly enhance the chances of reaching a favorable settlement.

Tips for successful settlement negotiations

Successfully navigating settlement negotiations requires careful preparation and strategic approach. Here are some tips to help you achieve a successful outcome:

1. Gather strong evidence: Presenting strong evidence that establishes the store’s liability and the extent of your injuries is crucial. This may include medical records, expert opinions, accident reports, and witness statements.

2. Understand your rights and options: Familiarize yourself with the relevant laws and regulations governing retail store accidents, as well as the potential compensation you may be entitled to. This knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions during negotiations.

3. Be realistic but assertive: Set reasonable expectations for the outcome of negotiations, considering the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your damages. However, don’t be afraid to assertively advocate for your rights and push for a fair settlement.

4. Maintain open communication: Effective communication is key during negotiations. Clearly articulate your needs, concerns, and expectations, and be open to listening to the other party’s perspective. This can help build trust and facilitate productive discussions.

5. Consider the long-term impact: When evaluating settlement offers, consider the long-term impact on your life and well-being. Consult with financial experts and medical professionals to ensure that the compensation amount adequately covers your present and future needs.

By following these tips and working closely with your legal team, you can increase the likelihood of achieving a successful settlement in your retail store accident lawsuit.

When settlement negotiations fail: Preparing for trial

In some cases, settlement negotiations may not result in a satisfactory resolution. If both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the case may proceed to trial. It is essential to be prepared for this possibility and understand the trial process involved in a retail store accident lawsuit.

The trial process in a retail store accident lawsuit

During a trial, each side presents their arguments and evidence before a judge or jury. The trial process typically involves the following stages:

1. Jury selection: If a jury is involved, both parties have the opportunity to participate in the selection process to ensure a fair and impartial jury.

2. Opening statements: Each side presents an opening statement outlining their case and what they intend to prove during the trial.

3. Presentation of evidence: Both parties present their evidence, including witness testimony, expert opinions, documents, and any other relevant information.

4. Cross-examination: Each side has the opportunity to cross-examine the opposing party’s witnesses to challenge their credibility or highlight inconsistencies in their testimony.

5. Closing arguments: Both parties present closing arguments summarizing their case and persuading the judge or jury to rule in their favor.

6. Verdict: The judge or jury deliberates and reaches a verdict, determining whether the store is liable for the accident and the amount of compensation, if any, that should be awarded.

Key elements to prove in a retail store accident lawsuit trial

To succeed in a retail store accident lawsuit trial, the injured party’s legal team must establish the following key elements:

1. Duty of care: It must be proven that the store owed a duty of care to the victim, meaning they had a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for customers.

2. Breach of duty: The injured party’s legal team must demonstrate that the store breached its duty of care by failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident.

3. Causation: It must be established that the store’s breach of duty directly caused the accident and the resulting injuries.

4. Damages: The injured party’s legal team must provide evidence of the damages suffered as a result of the accident, including physical injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Expert witnesses and their role in a retail store accident lawsuit trial

Expert witnesses can play a significant role in a retail store accident lawsuit trial. These individuals possess specialized knowledge and expertise in relevant fields, such as store safety protocols, accident reconstruction, or medical care. Their testimony can provide valuable insight and help establish important elements of the case.

Expert witnesses can help explain complex concepts to the judge or jury, provide opinions on the store’s negligence or liability, and assess the extent of the victim’s injuries. Their testimony can strengthen the injured party’s case and significantly impact the outcome of the trial.

Conclusion: Choosing the right approach for your retail store accident lawsuit

Navigating the legal process involved in a retail store accident lawsuit can be challenging, but with the right approach and legal team, you can seek justice and fair compensation. Understanding the importance of settlement negotiations and being prepared for trial can empower you to make informed decisions and advocate for your rights effectively.

By gathering strong evidence, maintaining open communication, and considering the long-term impact, you can increase the likelihood of a successful settlement. If settlement negotiations fail, being prepared for trial and leveraging expert witnesses can give you the best chance of winning your case.

Remember, each lawsuit is unique, and it’s crucial to consult with experienced legal professionals who can guide you through the process and help you choose the best approach for your retail store accident lawsuit. With their expertise and support, you can navigate the legal process with confidence and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.

When it comes to retail store accident lawsuits, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the legal framework. In Texas, these cases fall under the realm of personal injury law, specifically premises liability. Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility a property owner has for injuries that occur on their premises.

To establish liability in a retail store accident lawsuit, you must prove that the store owner or employees were negligent in their duty to maintain a safe environment for customers. Negligence can arise from various factors, such as failure to clean up spills promptly, inadequate warning signs, or improper maintenance of the premises.

It’s important to note that the burden of proof lies with the injured party. This means you must provide evidence that demonstrates the store’s negligence directly caused your accident and resulting injuries. This evidence is crucial in building a strong case and increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Posted by Noah Buckles at 6:00 am

Seeking Justice: How Battery Explosion Lawsuits are Handled in Texas

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Free vector realistic battery background

When it comes to battery explosions, seeking justice is of utmost importance. In Texas, the handling of battery explosion lawsuits is a crucial process that aims to protect consumers and hold manufacturers accountable. In this article, we will explore how these lawsuits are handled in Texas, shedding light on the legal procedures and considerations involved.

Battery explosions can have devastating consequences, causing severe injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. Those affected by such incidents often face physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Understanding the legal framework surrounding battery explosion lawsuits is essential for both victims and manufacturers.

In Texas, the legal process for battery explosion lawsuits involves filing a complaint, investigating the incident, identifying liable parties, and proving negligence or product defects. Attorneys specializing in personal injury law play a vital role in guiding plaintiffs throughout the litigation process, ensuring their rights are protected and seeking fair compensation for the damages suffered.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the specific steps involved in handling battery explosion lawsuits in Texas, providing valuable insights into the legal intricacies and potential outcomes.

Seeking justice and holding manufacturers accountable is paramount when dealing with battery explosion lawsuits. Let’s explore how these matters are handled in Texas.

Common causes of battery explosions

Several factors can contribute to battery explosions, making it important to identify the root causes in order to hold the responsible parties accountable. Some common causes of battery explosions include:

1. Manufacturing defects: Poor quality control during the manufacturing process can lead to faulty batteries that are prone to explosions. Defects such as short circuits, faulty seals, or inadequate insulation can increase the risk of a battery explosion.

2. Design flaws: Inadequate design or engineering of batteries can lead to unstable chemical reactions or insufficient heat dissipation, increasing the likelihood of an explosion. Design flaws can include inadequate safety mechanisms or improper sizing of components.

3. Overcharging or improper use: Overcharging a battery or using it in ways not recommended by the manufacturer can cause excessive heat buildup, leading to a potential explosion. Ignoring safety guidelines and using incompatible charging devices or accessories can also contribute to battery failures.

4. Manufacturing errors: Mistakes made during the assembly or installation of batteries can compromise their integrity and increase the risk of explosions. Incorrect wiring, improper installation of protective components, or using substandard materials can all lead to battery failures.

Identifying the specific cause of a battery explosion is crucial for establishing liability and pursuing legal action against the responsible parties.

Battery explosion lawsuits in Texas

In Texas, battery explosion lawsuits are governed by personal injury laws and product liability laws. These laws provide a legal framework for victims to seek compensation for their injuries, property damage, and other losses resulting from battery explosions. Understanding the legal requirements and procedures involved is crucial for those seeking justice in Texas.

To initiate a battery explosion lawsuit in Texas, the first step is to file a complaint in the appropriate court. The complaint should provide a detailed account of the incident, the damages suffered, and the legal basis for the lawsuit. It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide plaintiffs through this process and ensure that all necessary information is included in the complaint.

Once the complaint is filed, the next step is to investigate the battery explosion incident. This involves gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and consulting experts to determine the cause of the explosion and identify any liable parties. It is important to document any injuries, property damage, or other losses resulting from the battery explosion to support the legal claims.

Steps to take after a battery explosion incident

After a battery explosion incident, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your rights and potential legal claims. Here are some important steps to consider:

1. Seek medical attention: The safety and well-being of individuals affected by a battery explosion should be the top priority. Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained, even if they appear minor at first. Some injuries may have delayed symptoms or complications that may not be immediately apparent.

2. Preserve evidence: Document the scene of the battery explosion and preserve any evidence that may be relevant to your case. This includes taking photographs, collecting any faulty or damaged batteries, and saving any documents or receipts related to the incident.

3. Report the incident: Contact the appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement or regulatory agencies, to report the battery explosion incident. This can help establish an official record of the incident and may be required for legal purposes.

4. Keep records: Maintain detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, property damage, and other losses resulting from the battery explosion. These records will be crucial in establishing the extent of your damages and supporting your legal claims.

Finding the right attorney for a battery explosion lawsuit

When pursuing a battery explosion lawsuit in Texas, finding the right attorney is essential for maximizing your chances of success. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting an attorney:

1. Experience: Look for an attorney who specializes in personal injury law and has experience handling battery explosion cases. An experienced attorney will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to navigate the legal complexities and build a strong case on your behalf.

2. Track record: Research the attorney’s track record of success in handling personal injury cases, particularly battery explosion lawsuits. Look for testimonials, case results, or any recognition they may have received in the legal community.

3. Resources: Consider the resources available to the attorney and their law firm. A well-equipped firm will have access to expert witnesses, investigative resources, and the financial means to handle complex litigation.

4. Communication: Choose an attorney who is responsive and communicates effectively. You should feel comfortable discussing your case with them and confident that they will keep you informed throughout the legal process.

Taking the time to find the right attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your battery explosion lawsuit.

The legal process for battery explosion lawsuits in Texas

Once the complaint is filed and the investigation is complete, the legal process for battery explosion lawsuits in Texas typically involves the following steps:

1. Discovery: Both parties exchange information and evidence relevant to the case through a process called discovery. This includes documents, witness statements, expert reports, and any other evidence that may support or refute the claims made.

2. Negotiation and settlement: In some cases, the parties may engage in negotiations to reach a settlement before going to trial. This allows for a potentially quicker resolution and avoids the uncertainty and expenses associated with a trial.

3. Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties present their arguments, evidence, and witnesses to a judge or jury who will determine liability and damages.

4. Appeals: If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the trial, they may choose to appeal the decision to a higher court. The appeals process focuses on legal errors made during the trial rather than reevaluating the facts of the case.

The duration and complexity of the legal process can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. It is important to consult with an attorney who can provide guidance and support throughout the entire process.

Compensation for battery explosion victims

Victims of battery explosions in Texas may be entitled to various forms of compensation for their losses. Depending on the circumstances of the case, compensation may include:

– Medical expenses: Reimbursement for past and future medical treatments, surgeries, therapy, medications, and other healthcare costs resulting from the battery explosion.

– Lost wages: Compensation for any income lost due to the victim’s inability to work as a result of the battery explosion injuries.

– Property damage: Reimbursement for the repair or replacement of damaged property, such as electronics, vehicles, or other personal belongings.

– Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the battery explosion incident.

– Punitive damages: In cases where the defendant’s conduct is deemed particularly reckless or egregious, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.

Determining the appropriate amount of compensation in battery explosion cases can be complex and requires a thorough assessment of the victim’s damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate the extent of the damages and advocate for fair compensation on behalf of the victim.

Recent battery explosion cases in Texas

Several high-profile battery explosion cases have emerged in Texas in recent years, highlighting the need for proper legal representation and the importance of holding manufacturers accountable. These cases have resulted in significant settlements and verdicts, providing justice and compensation for the victims and their families.

One such case involved a battery explosion in a popular smartphone, causing severe burns and injuries to the user. The victim filed a lawsuit against the smartphone manufacturer, alleging negligence in the design and manufacturing of the battery. After a lengthy legal battle, the case was settled for a substantial amount, providing the victim with compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Another notable case involved a battery explosion in an electric vehicle, resulting in a fire that caused extensive property damage. The vehicle owner filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, claiming that the battery pack was defectively designed and prone to explosions. The case went to trial, and the jury awarded the victim a significant verdict, holding the manufacturer accountable for the damages caused by the battery explosion.

These recent cases serve as a reminder of the importance of seeking legal recourse and the potential for victims to obtain fair compensation through battery explosion lawsuits in Texas.

Preventing battery explosions and staying safe

While seeking justice through legal means is crucial, prevention is always the best course of action. To minimize the risk of battery explosions, it is important to follow safety guidelines and take appropriate precautions:

1. Use authorized chargers and accessories: Stick to the chargers and accessories recommended by the manufacturer of your device. Using unauthorized chargers or accessories can increase the risk of battery failures.

2. Avoid overcharging: Do not leave batteries charging unattended for extended periods and avoid overcharging them. Overcharging can cause excessive heat buildup and increase the risk of explosions.

3. Store batteries properly: When not in use, store batteries in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Storing batteries in extreme temperatures can compromise their integrity and increase the risk of explosions.

4. Dispose of batteries safely: Properly dispose of old or damaged batteries according to local regulations. Do not throw batteries in regular trash bins, as they can pose a risk of fire or explosion.

5. Stay informed: Stay up to date with product recalls and safety warnings issued by manufacturers or regulatory agencies. Being aware of potential risks and taking appropriate action can help prevent battery explosions.

By taking these preventive measures, individuals can minimize the risk of battery explosions and protect their safety.

Photo disc shaped alien spaceship

Should You  Seek Legal Advice After a Lithium-Ion Battery Exploded or Caught Fire and Suffering Injuries?

In the event of an explosion involving a lithium-ion battery, it is imperative to promptly seek medical attention for any injuries sustained, including burns.

The next crucial step is to speak with a knowledgeable malfunctioning lithium-ion battery attorney. At The Aaron Herbert Law Firm, we’ll assist you in obtaining the financial resources required to get the best medical care and live the life of your dreams. There is a time limit on filing claims.

Obtain A Free Case Evaluation from board certified personal injury attorney Aaron Herbert or a member of his litigation team specializing in batter explosion injuries and cases.

Get in touch with the knowledgeable burn attorneys at The Aaron Herbert Law Firm LLP if you or a loved one has sustained injuries as a result of a lithium-ion battery exploding or catching fire.

One of the most popular kinds of rechargeable batteries available today is the lithium-ion battery. These high-energy batteries have literally and figuratively exploded into the market due to the growing popularity of smartphones, tablets, e-cigarettes, mini-music players, and more.

Batteries have to squeeze into progressively smaller places as consumers sought smaller devices. Eventually, that led to issues.

In 2016, allegations of exploding Samsung Galaxy 7 cellphones went viral, drawing attention from all across the world.

Airlines quickly outlawed phones on flights due to concerns that the gadgets might spontaneously catch fire. September 2016 saw the recall of some Galaxy 7s by Samsung.

In the meantime, throughout the past few years, media outlets have been inundated with instances of hoverboards, e-cigarettes, headphones, laptops, and other items catching fire.

There are some hazards associated with batteries for these goods, but the makers are aware of them and have the ability to reduce them during the design and production process. Instead, when manufacturers cut corners, bad things could happen.

You might be able to sue for damages if a lithium-ion battery explosion caused you or a loved one to suffer serious injuries.

  • Current Recalls of Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • Recall of Amazon Portable Power Banks: Fire and Burn Risk
  • HP Laptop/Notebook Battery Recall

A lithium-ion battery: what is it?

When generating power, lithium ions in a lithium-ion battery travel from the negative to the positive electrode and back again during recharging.

The soft, silvery alkali metal lithium has a wide range of applications. It is used in many industries, such as aviation and transportation, and is combined with aluminum and magnesium to form alloys.

In addition, it is utilized as lithium bromide in industrial drying systems and air conditioning systems, and to create specialty glass and glass ceramics. Lithium carbonate is used in medicine to treat manic depression.

Because it has a high electrochemical potential and is among the lightest elements in the periodic table, lithium is a good metal to employ in batteries. It has a large power output at low volumes.

The first lithium-ion battery was created in 1980, and Sony Corporation was the first to produce and market its version of the battery in 1991. This version of the battery represented an advancement over earlier attempts at development.

It soon became apparent that the enormous power produced by a small cell in these batteries could power a wide range of products.

These batteries were used in the development of numerous items, including e-cigarettes, computers, tablets, portable electric tools, toys, and e-bikes.

However, as manufacturers carried out further advancements that increased the batteries’ power output, they also had to contend with the problem that the batteries were growing more reactive.

What Causes Lithium-Ion Batteries to malfunction, burst, and catch fire?

While the majority of lithium-ion batteries function flawlessly, a few have exploded and caught fire in recent years, causing property damage as well as significant burns and other injuries to people.

Lithium-ion battery fires and explosions have been the subject of numerous product recalls and warnings, especially since the early 2000s.

These problems have also affected certain laptops, smartphones, cameras, hoverboards, and e-cigarettes. Lithium-ion battery export as cargo on passenger aircraft was outlawed by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2016 due to the batteries’ reputation for being volatile.

However, lithium-ion batteries are widely available and might be considered the engine of the modern mobile world. The majority of them function well. But when they do break down, there are typically two main causes:

  1. The producer did not put in place the necessary precautions, or
  2. When the battery was included into the items, the manufacturer made faults.

Deficits in one of these two areas are the root cause of a large number of product recalls and difficulties.

Shortcuts in the Manufacturing of Li-Ion Batteries Cause Damage to Consumers

Lithium-ion batteries need several safety mechanisms to prevent overheating in order to function properly. Manufacturers run the danger of injuring customers if they don’t use these safety precautions.

Products need more power as technology develops, batteries need to fit into smaller spaces, and producers need to discover more cost-effective ways to make their materials.

This may occasionally result in quick cutbacks at the expense of security. The press has often included stories about cheap knockoff hoverboards starting flames.

A “separator” is a thin polypropylene piece positioned between the electrodes of a lithium-ion battery to prevent them from coming into contact.

The electrodes come into contact with one another if the separator malfunctions, which causes overheating.

As batteries are required to produce more power, designers have thinned out these separators to allow more room for reactive material—increasing the risk of short-circuiting if other precautions are not taken.

Some experts have blamed Samsung’s explosion problems on flawed separators.

Overcharging the battery can potentially result in a short circuit, which has the potential to explode. Manufacturers, therefore, need to be sure the chargers they’re selling packaged with their products provide a safe level of charge.

They must also warn consumers to use only the chargers that come with their products, rather than purchasing other, cheaper chargers that may be poorly made, and may create an accelerated recharge.

A production or manufacturing flaw, a lack of proper insulation, inadequate ventilation, and more can all create a dangerous battery. In addition, lithium-ion batteries are filled with a flammable substance that can explode when it gets too hot. And that substance is also mixed with a skin-burning compound. This design makes poorly designed lithium batteries potentially very dangerous.

The other issue is that once overheating is present, it tends to snowball. The flammable substance inside creates a “thermal runaway” situation that is difficult to stop.

Common Lithium-Ion Battery Questions

What are the advantages of lithium-ion batteries compared to other rechargeable batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries have become popular because they can store a lot of energy in a small, light space. This makes them perfect for today’s ever-shrinking technological gadgets. They provide higher voltages than other rechargeable batteries, delivering more power when needed, and discharge more slowly.

Are lithium-ion batteries allowed on airplanes?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states that lithium-ion batteries in gadgets like cell phones, laptops, tablets, and headphones are allowed in carry-on baggage. When Samsung Galaxy 7 phones were exploding, there was a time when the airlines required all Samsung devices to be turned off in the cabin. After Samsung updated their batteries, these phones were allowed to be used on flights again. The airlines also allow all these batteries in checked baggage, as long as they are installed in the gadgets. Extra, uninstalled lithium-ion batteries, including spare battery packs, are not allowed. Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are also prohibited in checked baggage.

Proper disposal of a lithium-ion battery?

When you are finished with any device that contains a lithium-ion battery, it’s recommended that you recycle that device. Most places that sell the batteries will accept them back for recycling. Never burn the devices or the batteries as they could explode.

Are lithium-ion batteries safe to use?

Most lithium-ion batteries are safe. Millions of them are used every day in all types of technological gadgets without incident. Those that do cause problems are in the minority, and the problems can usually be traced back to a defective design or a manufacturing problem.

Do lithium-ion batteries explode in the heat?

Temperature can affect battery performance. Cold temperatures, for example, can slightly drop a battery’s capacity, potentially slowing the device’s response. It can also limit the charge rate. Hot temperatures, on the other hand, can increase degradation of the electrodes in the battery, which could limit its ability to store energy and shorten its life.

A lithium-ion battery prefers normal temperatures of about 50 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. But the battery should not explode in standard high temperatures, such as those encountered during everyday life. It is designed to perform correctly under normal living conditions, and if it explodes, it’s usually because of a short-circuit inside the battery.

Some Products Associated with Exploding Lithium-Ion Batteries

Free vector smartphone lock screen with hot air balloon on landscape background. mobile phone onboard page with date and time, digital cosmic wallpapers for cellphone device, cartoon user interface design set

Cellphones / Smartphones

Samsung recalled 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because of exploding batteries in September 2016. In one instance, a woman was holding the device in her hand when it started pouring out smoke. A man filed a lawsuit against the company after a phone exploded in his pocket, burning his leg.

Free PSD laptop mock up

Laptops / Notebooks

Sony recalled 9.6 million computer batteries in 2006 because of explosion risks. The company noted that faulty manufacturing had resulted in tiny shards of metal contaminating the inside of the batteries. About half of the batteries went into Dell computers. In January 2017, HP recalled about 100,000 lithium-ion batteries used in their laptops because of fire and burn hazards. And in February 2017, NBC News reported on yet another Dell computer exploding while it was charging.

Free photo dripper in one hand making a cloud of fume

E-Cigarettes

Consumers have reported these devices exploding during use and even when not in use. An Alabama man, for example, sat down to eat breakfast at a friend’s house when his e-cigarette device suddenly exploded in his pocket. 

The device welded to his leg, causing second-and third-degree burns. Because these devices are cylindrical, pressure can build up quickly inside them, and those that explode can become projectiles.

Free vector vector set of white and dark blue gyroscopes or hoverboards close up isolated on background

Hoverboards

In January 2016, ten companies recalled about 500,000 self-balancing hoverboards/scooters because of fire hazards. All were manufactured in China. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) noted that at least 99 incident reports of the batteries exploding had been received, with reports of burn injuries and property damage. In a tragic hoverboard explosion-related fire in Harrisburg, PA, two young girls were killed. Other recalls followed in 2017.

Headphones

In 2017, a woman flying to Melbourne from Beijing fell asleep while wearing noise-canceling headphones. She woke to sounds of an explosion and found that the battery in the headphones had burst into flames. She suffered from serious burns on her face and hair.

iPhone Lithium-Ion Battery Issues

The Apple iPhone has also experienced lithium-ion battery issues, but so far, there have not been reports of explosions. Instead, because of expected battery degradation over time, the company created an update that automatically slowed down older iPhones.

The update was uploaded automatically into consumers’ phones without their knowledge, after which the devices would operate more slowly in times of high-power requirements.

Many confused customers felt they had to buy a new phone because of the slow-down, when they could have simply bought a new battery.

Apple admitted to keeping their customers in the dark, and apologized. They explained that over time, lithium-ion batteries become less capable of handling performance peaks, during which they could suddenly shut down.

They issued the update to prevent these shutdowns, but failed to warn consumers about what they were doing, preventing them from choosing more economical solutions. The company now faces a number of lithium-ion battery lawsuits because of the slow-down issue.

Other products powered by these batteries have been associated with overheating and explosions. The batteries have been blamed, for example, for at least two fires in Tesla’s electric cars.

Types of Injuries Associated with Lithium-Ion Batteries

An exploding or burning battery can cause all kinds of property damage. It can also cause serious injuries to the person using the product, to those standing nearby, and to those in the vicinity of any resulting fire.  Such injuries include:

  • Pain
  • Serious burns
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Hearing and vision loss
  • Loss of teeth and/or tongue
  • Burned throat and esophagus
  • Lasting disability
  • Death

What Should I Do if My Battery Catches Fire?

First of all, be aware of the warning signs. If your battery starts to feel extremely hot, or the device swells or develops a bulge, realize that your battery may be malfunctioning. If it starts hissing or making other noises, a reaction could already be starting.

At this point, it’s important not to touch the unit with your bare hands, as you could suffer from harmful chemical burns. Use a pair or tongs, leather gloves, flame-retardant gloves, or even an oven mitt (anything but bare hands) to unplug the unit and turn it off. Being wary not to jostle it, put it in an isolated area away from anything flammable—an empty metal box, on clear concrete, or on a stone surface is best. Then contact your dealer for directions on how to proceed. 

If you notice that your gadget (phone, laptop, e-cigarette, etc.) is smoking:

  • Quickly clear the surrounding area of anything else that may catch fire,
  • Unplug and turn off the unit as noted above, and 
  • Then get it to a non-flammable surface and stay away from it. 
  • Once it calms down, contact your dealer for instructions. Be wary of handling it as it could still be vulnerable to a reaction.

If the device catches fire, call your fire department immediately. They respond to situations like this so there is no reason to hesitate. At that point, the best thing you can do is get the gadget to a safe place and let it burn out. (Most household fire extinguishers are not designed for this type of chemical fire.) Again, look for a non-flammable surface like a sidewalk or concrete driveway, outside, preferably.  

Let the fire burn out and caution everyone to stand clear. Realize that even after the fire burns out the device could still explode.  Keep your distance and wear protective eye wear. Understand that the device may re-ignite even after 10 minutes, so do not take it back inside.

If you notice gas or flames, cover your mouth and nose, or simply get away from the device. These fires create toxic fumes that you do not want to breathe, so make sure to instruct other people to clear the area, and get your pets away, too. Pregnant women especially should get clear of the fumes, and Moms need to take any small children completely out of the house or building.

Conclusion

Battery explosions are catastrophic incidents that can occur in various settings, from consumer electronics to industrial machinery. These explosions are often caused by factors such as faulty design, manufacturing defects, improper use, or inadequate safety measures. It is crucial to understand the mechanics behind battery explosions to effectively navigate the legal landscape.

Battery explosions typically result from a combination of factors, including the release of flammable materials, excessive heat buildup, and the rapid release of energy stored within the battery. This sudden release of energy can cause the battery to rupture, leading to an explosion or fire. Understanding the science behind battery explosions is essential for determining liability and establishing negligence in legal proceedings.

Posted by Noah Buckles at 6:00 am

Who is Liable When a Child is Injured in Daycare or with a Babysitter?

Monday, February 21, 2022
In the event that your child suffers an injury under the care of a babysitter or daycare center, the first thing you’ll want to do is confirm that your child is okay. But that concern will quickly turn to anger if you think the childcare provider has been negligent. We all want the best for our children and should feel confident that they will be taken care of when we leave them in the hands of caretakers whose job it is to watch out for them. Unfortunately, negligent conduct is not unheard of and the consequences can be dire.

Are Daycare Waivers Valid in the Event of an Injury?

Nearly all daycare providers require parents to sign waivers of liability before enrolling a child into care. These releases grant provisions for emergencies when the care provider must get medical attention for an injured child when the daycare center can’t contact the parents fast enough. Other sections of the release typically include indemnity clauses stating that the parents forfeit their right to sue in the event that a child is hurt while in their care. However, this does not mean parents have signed away their right to compensation if their child is injured. The courts have said that it’s against public policy to grant immunity to daycare centers before a child is hurt, as this could allow daycare centers to act negligently without consequence. Especially since the victims in question are innocent and defenseless children, the courts cannot condone a waiver that lifts responsibility from the daycare center. Therefore, although parents sign a clause not to press charges in the event of injury, in a court of law, this clause is completely useless. Daycare centers continue to include it in their waivers to discourage parents from filing claims, but informed parents know that this is just a bluff, and if their child is injured, they have a right to file a lawsuit for compensation.

Understanding the Rules of Child Abuse and Neglect

If your child is hurt while under the supervision of a daycare center, babysitter, or another person who was responsible for their care, you may have a case of negligent supervision. In these cases, any person who has accepted responsibility for your child but acts carelessly or inattentively can be sued for negligence. To prove a case of negligent supervision, you must have evidence that the person or organization accepted responsibility for looking after your child. Then, you must prove that the caregiver did not properly monitor your child. You will have to prove that your child’s injury was foreseeable and preventable, and that the supervisor’s failure to monitor your child properly was the cause of the injury. There are extreme cases of child abuse while in the care of a responsible party, including hitting and kicking children. These cases are terrifying and devastating to children and parents, and justice should be pursued actively in a court of law to hold them fully liable for damages.

Seek Help in Your Time of Need

At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert in San Antonio, we honestly hope we never have to see you in our offices for a case of child abuse or neglect from a daycare center or babysitter. No parent should ever have to go through the reality of a child being hurt due to negligence. In the awful event that this happens, you need to act swiftly against the responsible party.

Contact

Contact us today for experienced, aggressive, and dedicated representation that will fight for your rights, your child’s rights, and for full compensation from the defendant. Please reach out to our skilled daycare abuse and neglect attorneys if you see any signs that it may be happening to your child.
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:57 pm

A Guide to Safe Tailgating at Cowboys Stadium (AT&T Park)

Monday, October 25, 2021
Football season is more than a sport. It brings people together for good times at house parties and tailgating before games. People of all ages tailgate around the Cowboys Stadium, drinking a few beers and enjoying the game atmosphere. However, if you tailgate at the arena, you need to understand the rules so you don’t end up getting ticketed, kicked out, or banned. This is what you need to know to stay safe while tailgating.

Location, location, location

Tailgate only in designated areas. You can’t park your vehicle and tailgate just anywhere in Arlington. Only use designated spaces to set up camp up to five hours before kickoff. You’ll find spaces with grassy areas in Lots 4-7 and 10-15, all of which are first come, first serve. You may tailgate in private lots as long as you have permission from the owners. You’re tailgating if you have a chair, cooler, grill, or other items on the ground outside your vehicle, so make sure you’re in a designated space to do so.

Cleanliness

Throw away your trash and properly dispose of coals in clearly marked containers available in tailgating lots.

Do not

  • Fry foods or bring a deep fryer.
  • Use open flame.
  • Bring weapons or fireworks.
  • Campaign, protest, solicit, or distribute flyers or political material.
  • Save space for your buddies. Caravan and get there early if you have a group that wants to tailgate together.
  • Sell or advertise 3rd party products.
  • Play your music too loudly or through an amplifier.
  • Roughhouse, fight, or engage in otherwise disorderly conduct.

Food safety

One of the best parts about tailgating is eating grilled foods on game day. However, raw meat can present an issue if you’re pretty far away from a bathroom. Bring disposable utensils and prepare as much as you can at home so all you have to do is plop the meat on the grill when you get there. Foodborne illness can ruin a game day experience.

Fight fire with…

Take a fire extinguisher and a water bottle. Although open flame isn’t allowed, you could still run into trouble with your gas or charcoal grill. Keep a fire extinguisher handy to prevent any serious trouble, and use a water bottle to take care of occasional flare-ups.

Designated driver

Find your designated driver. If you’re tailgating, that means someone drove. Make sure you have a legal plan for getting back home after the game. You can use a portable breathalyzer to monitor your intoxication levels, but these devices may not always provide accurate readings. If you’ve had more than 1 or 2 beers, you may want to consider getting a designated driver to be safe. Ballgames present the perfect opportunity for cops to pick up drunk drivers. Don’t give them a reason to pull you over. In the event of an injury or death due to drunk driving a Fort Worth drunk driving attorney can assist in getting you and your family compensation they deserve.

Take care of yourself

Hydrate, use the buddy system (it doesn’t matter if you’re a 22 year old female or a 45 year old male; let someone know where you’ll be and when you’ll be back), and wear sunscreen. Tailgating is often an all-day affair; avoid hangovers and sunburn pain by making smart choices.

Don’t be a menace

Cooperate with law enforcement and stadium security/staff. If a staff member catches you doing something against the rules, remain polite and cooperate. Don’t get thrown out of the park or arrested because you feel the need to win an argument against security personnel. Take the hit and move on. Nobody wants to get called to pick you up and take you home.

Etc

For more information about AT&T stadium rules, check out the website before you head over on game day. With common sense and a basic understanding of the rules, you can enjoy a fun day of tailgating before and/or after a fantastic game.
Posted by Aaron Herbert at 11:52 pm

What Is a “Failure to Protect” Claim?

Monday, December 4, 2017
If the police detain someone and place him or her in the car for transport but fail to secure the person’s seatbelt, thus subjecting him or her to injury when a car accident happens on the way to the police station, can that person sue the officers? This point is hotly debated. Here are some of the basics on what constitutes a failure to protect.

Failure to Protect

The most common example is when an adult fails to do something generally considered reasonable to safeguard or rescue a child from abuse or neglect. The adult in question might be a non-abusive parent or guardian who knows the abuser’s identity but does not report them to the police. This state of protection exists for anyone in a legally recognizable position of authority over others. Teachers, first-responders, doctors, police officers, and daycare workers all carry the same obligation to protect.

Civil Liability

Can a person file suit against an officer, claiming failure to protect for injury sustained because of the officer’s inaction? According to the U.S. court system, due process clauses guaranteed in the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments allow a civil lawsuit under two doctrines: special relationship and state-created danger.

Special Relationship

This exists when the state takes control of a person in such a manner that a requirement to protect exists. Examples of this include a prisoner or state-committed mental patient. Any entity taking control of another person must protect that person against reasonable or foreseeable dangers. Corrections officials face this kind of claim most often, but any police officer working in a jail or holding a person in custody could face charges of negligence or abuse. If an officer is holding a person in cuffs when they are both attacked, the officer must protect the individual because he or she cannot defend themselves. If the officer does not properly buckle the seatbelt of a detained person and that person is injured in an accident, the officer failed to protect the person from harm.

State-Created Danger

This situation occurs when a person receives injuries because an employee of the state, a police officer, for example, acted incorrectly or because the officer failed to act in an obviously dangerous situation. Failure to protect a person does not always violate the due process guaranteed in the Constitution; however, it does violate it when the state creates a dangerous situation or unnecessarily exposes a person to risk he or she would not have faced otherwise. Put differently, if an officer intervenes, and that intervention exposes another person to danger they would not have otherwise faced, they may face liability. The same liability exists when a person is put in danger by a failure to act.

Examples

In Wood v. Ostrander, Washington state troopers impounded the car of a drunk driver they arrested, forcing the wife to walk home alone in an area noted for high levels of crime. A driver later offered help, only to rape her in a secluded area. The Court of Appeals declared that the police created the situation through their act of detaining the car and through their inaction in not providing the wife safe passage home. In Kennedy v. Ridgefield, the Kennedy family reported their nine-year-old daughter’s molestation by their neighbor’s 13-year-old son. They also said they feared the boy because of his instability. The police promised protection, but they failed to properly inform the Kennedy’s that they had interviewed the boy. The accused boy broke into the Kennedy’s house that night and shot both parents, killing the father. The Court of Appeals stated that the failure of the police to alert the Kennedys, and provide the promised protection, placed the victims in a dangerous situation that would not have existed otherwise.
Posted by at 6:07 pm

I Was Injured in a Golf Cart

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Cruising around the golf course on a sunny day can make any adult feel like a kid again. The tiny wheels, door-free sides and quiet motor can make you forget you are still operating or riding in a vehicle that requires responsible handling to avoid risk. Whether you are the driver or passenger of a golf cart, it is important to know the risks associated with golf cart use and who could be liable in the case of a golf cart accident.

How Common Are Golf Cart Injuries?

Since 1990, medical professionals have treated over 150,000 golf cart-related injuries in the United States. Patients ages ranged from two months to 96 years, and soft tissue damage was the most common type of damage at just under 50%. An official study found golf cart-related injuries have been increasing every year, and some accidents have even resulted in death.

The Risks of Golf Carts

Although golf carts seem safe, the perceived safety could be the very thing that leads to reckless operation and ultimately injury. Understanding why golf carts pose a risk can help cart operators take greater care and prevent accidents.
  • Golf carts lack the safety features of cars. There are no seatbelts, airbags, bumpers or doors. The materials manufacturers use to make golf carts are less durable, making a collision with a tree, rock or other cart even more dangerous.
  • There are less rules for safe operation. When driving on the road, there are lanes, stop lights, speed limits and traffic police to enforce all the rules. On golf courses and other large stretches of land, these rules do not apply. The freedom gives many golf cart drivers the incentive to speed, take sharp turns and generally pay less attention to the task at hand.
  • Alcohol is often a factor. Many areas where people use golf carts have alcohol available and do not strictly enforce rules to limit alcohol consumption. This leads drivers to operate golf carts while under the influence, which can inhibit judgment and decision-making abilities.
  • Owners often ignore regular maintenance. Maintenance for golf carts is just as important as other vehicles. They have less advanced construction of engines and starter components. Many golf cart owners do not think to work on the cart unless a problem arises, but waiting for a problem to show up means a problem could unexpectedly affect the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.
  • Rough terrain causes issues. Golf courses have many hills that make golf carts susceptible to rollovers. People typically drive golf carts on unpaved areas, and it is common for operators to move at high speeds.

Injuries From Golf Cart Operation

Though the most common injury from golf cart accidents is soft tissue damage, some more severe damages can include bone breakage and even brain damage. In a few cases, these accidents led to death.

Who Is Liable in a Golf Cart Accident?

Depending on the driver’s behavior at the time of the accident, the liability could fall on several parties. First, the company that manufactured the cart could be at fault if the accident was the result of a design issue. Elements of the property where someone was driving the cart could contribute to an accident, leaving the property owner with liability. If the cart belongs to the club and the club failed to maintain it, the club might be to blame. Golf carts may seem harmless, but the numbers show otherwise. Always take care when using a golf cart and advise others to do the same. Personal injury lawyers can assist with golf cart-related injuries to determine fault and recover damages.
Posted by at 8:49 pm

Does a “Swim at Your Own Risk” Sign Actually Do Anything?

Thursday, May 26, 2016
When it’s summertime in Texas, we tend to gravitate toward pools. On particularly hot days, kids swarm to public options, and they may even be tempted to swim in the neighbors’ pools – whether or not they’re at home. If a child is injured in a public or private pool, you may be wondering about potential liability or legal actions that you may take against the city or owner.

Responsibility & LIability

Before you get that far, you may be wondering: Is a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign enough to eliminate all responsibility for accidents that occur on the property? The answer is no. Texas laws in this area are multifaceted, and there is plenty to consider before taking your case to an attorney. Here are a few factors that may affect your claim:
  • Our premises liability laws. In general, a public pool or one owned by a hotel or similar business (e.g., a gym) can be held accountable for any injuries that occur; a posted warning sign may not matter. There are, of course, some exceptions. For example, the injured party can’t be a trespasser, and he or she must have used the pool as intended – for example, drinking and swimming after hours will likely result in partial blame being placed on the injured party. Regardless, the owner must make conditions as safe as possible and reasonably enforce any rules posted for the pool.
  • Assumed risk. A qualified Texas attorney will thoroughly explain this factor to you before agreeing to take your case. The presence of a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign does amplify this issue, as does the presence of a lifeguard. For instance, when a pool is clearly marked as “No Lifeguard on Duty,” swimmers assume a certain degree of risk when they jump into the pool. Though “Swim at Your Own Risk” is less specific, the same principle applies. However, the age and cognitive abilities of the injured party may affect this. For example, a child with a mental disability wouldn’t be expected to understand the risk these signs indicate. When this is the case, the claim will likely be settled by continuing to examine factors that may have contributed to the accident – such as neglect.
  • Negligence. This is another element that will likely affect the outcome of your claim. The pool’s owner is expected to keep the area safe and well maintained. This includes keeping all equipment in working order and ensuring the area is reasonably clear of obstacles. If a faulty or uncovered drain contributes to an accident, for example, it isn’t a known risk that the plaintiff assumed, regardless of any signage. The workers employed at the pool may also fall under scrutiny; if a lifeguard is on duty and he or she causes or fails to prevent damages, the enterprise may be liable for subsequent expenses. These individuals are to be fully licensed and qualified and it’s an area your attorney should explore.

Work Out the Specifics of Your Case with an Experienced Texas Attorney

Even though we’ve outlined some details here, real-life cases are far more nuanced and can only be explained through a consultation with an attorney. Product liability may be involved, which opens the claim up to an entirely new area of legal practice. You also need a lawyer committed to uncovering the minutiae of your case – from whether warning signs were posted clearly to confirming the owner’s security measures and demonstrating his or her ability to keep the pool safe.

Contact

For a personal, devoted look at your claim, get in touch with the Texas specialists at the Law Firm of Aaron Herbert.
Posted by at 9:56 pm

What Can I Do if Someone Crashes a Drone into My House Or into Me?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Technology and law have always made a strange pair. This is certainly true for unmanned drones, which have legislators and lawyers perplexed about everything from insurance claims to personal injury disputes. These devices are incredibly innovative and valuable, poised to improve disaster response, construction, real estate, and dozens of other industries. Regulations are slowly catching up, but the technology is not slowing down; the market for unmanned aircraft is expected to explode over the next decade.

Current Laws Governing Drone Use

Drones have sparked plenty of debate about personal injury law, property damage, privacy concerns, and many other legal areas. In fact, these gadgets have been a major concern for the FAA since their inception. The organization is predicting over 30,000 of these devices will be in use within five years, and specialists are setting aside billions of dollars to ensure their safe operation in tightly regulated commercial air space. Pending laws will govern:
  • Increased drone use
  • National and global operations
  • Airspace control
  • Safety and environmental concerns
The FAA and federal government must also take steps to regulate:
  • How individuals can protect their land from drones
  • Stalking and harassment issues
  • Piracy infringements
These problems may seem straightforward, but putting laws into place on this scale requires extensive state, federal (including multiple departments), and international cooperation. Some laws have already been drafted, including the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act. This bill set up restrictions on private drone use, specifically outlining privacy standards and data collection regulations, how individuals can protect their rights, and the actions law enforcers can take to control drones.

Personal Injury and Property Damage Caused by Drones

Personal injury and property damage are two of the most pressing concerns lawmakers currently face. Insurers and legislators must consider where these aircraft operate (such as whether or not they fly over populated areas), their altitude, and their purpose. If a drone crashes into an individual, it would be covered under liability insurance, which also addresses privacy issues and property damage. Again, coverage varies based on several factors. For those working with or around drones, for example, workers’ compensation will need to be extended to cover drones’ use. Pursing compensation would thus be similar to other liability claims; the company’s insurance would contact a plaintiff with a settlement price (if any). An individual can choose to accept that amount, which may cover the extent of his or her damages. If this is suitable, the matter can be settled out of court. However, for issues involving extensive damage, ongoing medical bills, or matters like wrongful death, working with an attorney may be the only way to receive the full amount a person is owed following damage caused by a wayward drone. These laws will continue to evolve and so will the insurance policies written for drones. For example, if wrongful death claims increase as the industry grows, insurers will have to change the rates they charge for liability and other coverage options.

Reach Out to an Experienced Texas Attorney for More Information

The only way to protect your rights in such a dynamic time is to contact an attorney who has followed these laws and will continue to do so as they develop. Though this is a new area, many of the requirements for personal injury suits and property damage settlements are familiar to experienced legal teams. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. has extensive experience recovering the damages our clients are owed following a personal injury. We stay up-to-date on all relevant laws to safeguard their best interests; this includes personal injury and property damage caused by a crashing drone. Reach out for more information about these developing regulations, and schedule a consultation if your privacy or property has been threatened by one of these devices.
Posted by at 10:57 pm

I Was Injured by an Exploding e-Cigarette, What Do I Do Now?

Thursday, March 17, 2016
When a product or service is used as advertised, the last thing a person expects is a devastating injury. Unfortunately, this does happen, and it’s why product liability laws exist. Product and parts manufacturers and the people who sell a good or service must meet high standards, keeping them accountable to suitably warn customers of potential dangers, advise them on how to safely use a product, and provide the safest services possible. When these standards are breached, any of these parties may be sued through a personal injury claim.

Three e-Cigarettes Explode in California

In California, three recent e-cigarette explosions severely injured vapers. One of the more recent cases, affecting plaintiff Vincente Garza, caused extensive bodily damage, including significant burns. Surgeons amputated Garza’s left index finger and performed multiple surgeries. Another victim, Daniel Califf, had a hole blown through his cheek while using an electronic cigarette. His room also caught fire when the device exploded. Following these events, personal injury suits were filed against the e-cigarette designer and the product manufacturer. The stores where Garza bought the battery, device, and charger are also being prosecuted. There is plenty of precedence regarding lawsuits like these. For example, in September of 2015, a jury awarded $1.9 million for damages when an e-cigarette exploded in a woman’s car. Incidents like these have necessitated skin grafts, extensive property damage, and other life-long consequences.

Failing to Create a Safe Product and Warn of Defects

Consumers expect devices to work properly, and they must be adequately manufactured, designed, and tested. The industry is closely regulated to ensure a product is safe before it enters the marketplace. In the case of exploding e-cigarettes, plaintiffs are claiming that the electronic devices and their components (including batteries and chargers) are unsafe. These products also purportedly lack an inadequate warning explaining the dangers of lithium batteries and the importance of proper voltage when charging. Lithium batteries use flammable liquid electrolytes, which can explode if overheated. This particular product liability largely hinges on the absence of a warning explaining the issue. Furthermore, retailers are responsible for recommending and selling chargers designed for the product a customer uses.

Pursuing a Product Liability Lawsuit in Texas

There are clear problems with safety regulations in this budding industry. There are fewer safeguards to protect consumers, and as this technology develops, its dangers must be continually investigated. As claims are filed against negligent parties, manufacturers must diligently work to provide the safest products possible. Though e-cigs are a newer innovation, there are hundreds of laws in place to protect consumers from these types of accidents. When products like these cause unpredicted damage, you may pursue a claim to cover costs associated with property damage, medical bills, or a wrongful death. Like any customers, vapers are responsible for using their devices safely. There are, however, some serious risks related to these products and their batteries and chargers. When these items don’t perform as advised, anyone along the production line, as well as the retailers selling them, may be held liable. If you have been injured by an electronic cigarette, seek medical help as soon as possible. You will need to carefully document the incident, including how you used the product when it malfunctioned, the extent of damage caused, and the medical treatment you will need to fully recover. Obviously, this a lot to account for, which is why working with an experienced personal injury attorney is so important.

Contact

Product liability cases are complex, as there are potentially dozens of parties to investigate, but that’s no reason to suffer without due compensation. Reach out to the legal team at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for more information. We will explore every possible avenue for compensation and hold all parties who may have contributed to the accident accountable.
Posted by at 10:40 pm

Are Homeowners Ever Liable for Natural Disaster Injuries?

Friday, February 26, 2016
Natural disasters don’t wait until everyone is safe in a home or public building to strike. You could be watching the game over at friend’s house or need to take shelter during a service call. If you suffer an injury at someone else’s home, you may wonder how you will pay for medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation, and time off work.

Homeowner’s Insurance and Natural Disasters

Natural disasters, including tornadoes, lightning strikes, severe storms, floods and earthquakes, are considered “Acts of God.” No one can foresee or prevent the damage caused by these events. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance are the first two places many individuals look after a natural disaster, but these two forms of insurance may only offer limited coverage after a natural disaster. All insurance policies are negotiated using a “standard risk measurement.” Natural disasters often fall outside of those categories, and some homeowner’s insurance policies may not cover any injuries or damage associated with the disaster. Every insurance policy varies slightly. Homeowner’s should look closely to see what types of damage and injuries are covered after a natural disaster. Many insurers do not cover flood damage, and others may limit the amount of compensation a policyholder or injured individual can collect. Both residents and guests who suffer during an incident may find some financial relief from these types of insurances, but it may not fully cover the associated costs.

When a Homeowner or Third Party Is Liable for a Visitor’s Injuries

Proving homeowner or third party liability after a natural disaster is difficult but not impossible. Property owners are required to reasonably address foreseeable hazards in and around the home. When they fail to do so or to warn visitors of the hazard, they are liable for any resulting injuries. For instance, if a friend comes over for dinner and a heavy wind gust in a storm knocks a tree over, hurting the individual, the homeowner may be liable. If the tree was dead or a hazard prior to the weather event, injury liability lies squarely with the property owner. An injured individual may also hold a product manufacturer or a construction/installation company liable for an injury in some cases. For example, if a wooden beam falls in a barn during a tornado and a subsequent investigation shows the beam was not reinforced according to building code, the construction crew may shoulder the responsibility for any resulting injuries.

How Your Attorney Can Help

If you suffer an injury after a tornado, flood, mudslide, or other natural disaster on someone else’s property, you may have access to compensation through a homeowner’s insurance policy. In addition to helping you investigate the proximal cause of your injury, your attorney will:
  • Negotiate with medical insurance providers – After a serious injury, your health insurer may try to deny or reduce your coverage. Your attorney can represent you in front of your health insurer.
  • Represent you in front of homeowner’s insurance providers – A homeowner does not have much control over how their insurance provider handles their claim after a natural disaster. Your attorney can help you negotiate your claim with the insurer if the policy included coverage for injuries resulting from an Act of God.
  • Represent you during a lawsuit – In conjunction with negotiation with insurance providers, your attorney will likely pursue an alternative case to prove negligence on the part of a homeowner or a third party.
After a natural disaster, an injury attorney will help you secure compensation through every possible route. You shouldn’t have to suffer with the consequences of an injury that was out of your control. The team at the Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert PC can help you determine the right course of action to secure the treatment and compensation you deserve. Contact our office in San Antonio today for a free case evaluation.
Posted by at 7:58 pm

What Happens When Someone Negligently Injures or Kills Your Pet

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
For many Americans, pets are more than animals. They are loved companions who become part of the family, and losing one is often just as difficult as losing a human loved one. If your pet has been injured or killed due to someone’s negligence, here’s what you need to know.

Laws Vary by State and County

Pet legislation is complex because there are no widely accepted rules or regulations regarding pet injury or death. States each have their own laws and precedents, and some counties have their own ordinances. Most laws specifically discuss dog bites and animal cruelty, but few outline clear remedies available to pet owners who suffer a loss. Generally, a pet owner can obtain financial compensation in a few different ways:
  • Animal cruelty – If someone was cruel to your pet, you can file a criminal charge against the individual. As part of the sentencing, the court may require the defendant to financially compensate the pet owner.
  • Civil actions – You can file a civil claim for personal injury if someone’s negligence caused your pet’s injury or death. Individuals may sue for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
  • Small claims actions – Small claims courts allow anyone to file an inexpensive lawsuit in negligence cases. If an attorney does not believe that a civil action would produce adequate financial compensation, he or she may recommend filing a small claims lawsuit.
A pet owner can file criminal charges and a civil action against an individual concurrently.

Potential for Recovery After a Pet Injury or Death

Even though you see your pet as a family member, the courts may not see the relationship in the same way. Pet owners almost never secure as much compensation as the courts award in human injury cases. However, some cases may go above and beyond normal circumstances. Only a personal injury attorney who is familiar with pet laws in your jurisdiction can help you determine what legal action to take. The court may award a pet owner punitive damages in cases where defendant behavior was excessively negligent. Historically, some courts have also taken pet uniqueness and irreplaceability into account during damages proceedings. In addition to economic damages, these courts may award non-economic damages up to several thousand dollars.

Animal Cruelty Laws in Texas

In Texas, state criminal and civil laws exist to protect domesticated animals and previously captured wild animals. Domesticated pets fall into this category, but the law may not protect a stray animal, even if you took regular care of the animal. Under criminal statutes, you must prove that someone intentionally harmed the animal. Animal cruelty includes acts of torture, unreasonable confinement, purposefully killing or poisoning, neglect, and knowingly injuring an animal that belongs to someone else. Under state civil laws, pet owners may find a better opportunity for legal recourse. The laws protect all living creatures, wild and domestic. Cruelty under civil law includes acts of torture, overworking, food/water/shelter/care deprivation, confinement, and forced animal fighting.

Proving a Claim

Each court must interpret these laws in light of the facts of the case to make a just ruling. To prove a criminal charge or civil claim, the prosecution/plaintiff must provide evidence of intention and/or negligence. In civil claims, a pet owner must also demonstrate the level of harm a pet injury or death causes. To develop a fair case for damages, a pet owner and his or her attorney may need to determine the market value of the animal as well as the value of the pet as a companion. A pet’s personality, training, breed, health, and veterinary costs may all play a role in the total amount of compensation a pet owner requests. For more information about pet injury laws in San Antonio, contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C.
Posted by at 11:51 pm

Boating Under the Influence and the Law

Friday, January 22, 2016
When people head out on the water on a hot summer day, many enjoy packing a cooler of their favorite alcoholic beverages or stopping at a restaurant on the water for a few cocktails. However, controlling a boat while under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Texas. Here is what you need to know before the warm weather hits.

Boating vs. Driving Under the Influence

Many of the same rules that apply to DUIs apply to boating incidents. In recent years, sheriff’s departments and other law enforcement officers have really been cracking down on boaters who operate their watercraft while drinking. If they stop you and you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08, you will go to jail. Unlike a vehicle stop, law enforcement does not need probable cause to stop a boat on the water. A law enforcement officer may also apprehend you or follow you back to shore if he or she believes your faculties have been impaired.

Who Makes Arrests on the Water?

Any law enforcement agency present on the water is authorized to make arrests for boating under the influence. Many boaters wrongly believe that only a sheriff’s department can make the arrest, but if a game warden from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department suspects a driver is boating under the influence, he or she can make that call. Every holiday weekend during the summer, the department makes several BUI arrests.

Can I Drink and Operate Any Watercraft?

Under the law, you should watch your alcohol consumption on any motorized watercraft. If you do choose to drink on the water, an activity that is inherently dangerous, make sure that you have a designated driver who meets all the requirements of operating a boat. A law enforcement officer can take action if he or she believes someone under the influence has or will be in control of the watercraft. Crafts without motors and under a certain size are excluded from BUI laws, but you could face a public intoxication charge in certain circumstances. You will not face BUI charges for operating a rowboat, floating in an inner tube, or paddling a kayak or canoe.

Who Can Operate a Watercraft on Lakes and Rivers in Texas?

Children who are at least 13 and have passed an approved boater education course can operate a vessel alone. However, if law enforcement has reason to believe that the child is not certified or was not in control of the boat, they may still question and/or arrest an adult for BUI.

Should I Avoid Drinking Altogether?

Most boating experts recommend avoiding drinking on the water in general. Drinking in the sun increases the risk of dehydration and the chances of water related accidents. However, you should definitely avoid drinking if you plan to operate the boat. Do not give law enforcement any reason to believe you were, or might, operate the boat after drinking. On the water, most stops are for routine safety checks involving life vests and other required boating items. As long as you are polite and do not show signs of potential intoxication, they will likely thank you and move on.

What if I See Someone Boating Under the Influence?

If you see someone behaving erratically on the water, give the craft a wide berth, and note the boat’s registration numbers. Contact law enforcement, and let them handle it. Boating accidents are often tragic, and those caused by careless behaviors such as drinking are entirely preventable. Reach out to The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for questions involving BUI accidents.
Posted by at 11:52 pm

College Campus Accident Claims: Are They Different?

Friday, January 15, 2016
Lawsuits for accidents that occur at colleges can be very different from those at other establishments, depending on the circumstances. There are many considerations that determine how a lawsuit stemming from a campus accident will proceed; however, you do still have legal options if and when you pursue a claim.

Holding Public Schools Liable

State run schools, including colleges, universities, and technical institutions, sometimes fall under the category of sovereign immunity as other government agencies do. In Texas, you can only sue a state school if the state decides you’re allowed to do so. This extends to all forms of lawsuits, including personal injury claims. Depending on the situation, you may win the legislature’s approval and proceed with a lawsuit against the school. The state has the right to disallow petty lawsuits but may grant them in serious personal injury cases.

Holding Private Schools Liable

Private schools may or may not be under the protection of the state when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. A private school that falls under the category of “charitable institution” may be protected under the same sovereign immunity rule as public schools. If the injury occurred during the normal course of work and in a reasonable manner, you may not be able to present a lawsuit against the private institution. Some for profit establishments, however, may not fall under this category and can be sued as any other business entity would be. In business injury cases, you may hold each organization responsible for unreasonable situations that lead to harm under the concept of premise liability attorney in San Antonio.

Other Parties You May Sue

Depending on the case, you can hold other individuals liable after an accident on campus. Going to a college or other post-graduate institution doesn’t protect other students or visitors from legal action. In addition to people not associated with the institution, you may have the opportunity to look into 3rd parties, such as contracted foodservice companies, vehicle manufacturers, and others that may not fall under the umbrella of sovereign immunity. You may also hold more than one party accountable in a lawsuit. For instance, if you were injured by a drunk driver on campus, you may be able to hold both the school and the driver responsible for resulting injuries. The facility has a responsibility to provide reasonable protection for individuals on it.

You Need an Experienced Attorney to Bring a Lawsuit Against a College in Texas

If you decide to take legal action against a college in Texas or any other state or private institution, you’ll need the assistance of an attorney who understands Texas sovereign immunity laws. These cases are often more difficult than general personal injury claims and require an added level of expertise to determine who you can file against and the best strategy to do so. Schools may tell individuals injured on campuses they have no liability over the injury. Depending on the case, this may or may not be true, and we can help you make that determination. Even if the school doesn’t have liability, you may still have the option to file a lawsuit against another party involved in the accident. The medical bills and pain and suffering caused by an on-campus accident can add up quickly, and it may affect your ability to continue studying. Those who don’t have medical insurance may find the situation particularly difficult to handle. However, you’ll always have a legal outlet. Our team can help you obtain fair compensation so you can move on after a campus accident.

Contact

For more information, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today.
Posted by at 11:57 pm

Can Social Media Be Used to Prove Crime/Accident/Injury?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
People post everything on social media these days, including their illegal activities. These people really don’t think about the consequences of their actions. Recently, a woman in Florida streamed live footage of her drunk driving adventure on Periscope. Needless to say, someone alerted the police to her activities and she was arrested while driving through town. While that scenario ended with a clean arrest without the need to use the video as evidence, other cases may not be as clear. Can officers use what they find on social media as evidence in court? It depends. Courts have upheld and rejected social media as evidence in civil and criminal cases.

Good Lawyers Should Use Social Media

According to the American Bar Association, attorneys are expected to use all forms of technology, including social media, to thoroughly investigate and represent a client. They have to be careful, though. If they access private data, they may not be allowed to use it in court. Regardless of whether the court will admit it into evidence, an attorney can often learn much about a case from social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and more. If the parties in a case heavily use social media, keeping an updated record of interactions and posts can help.

Good Lawyers Should Also Understand the Complexity of Using Social Media Content

In some cases, an attorney may use social media content to prove a point in a case. He or she must demonstrate that the content is relevant and was produced by the individual in question, discuss potential issues regarding its probative value, show that the piece entered into evidence is part of the original post, and address concerns regarding hearsay. In past cases, courts have not admitted social media content like a repost of a meme, but they have admitted Twitter posts as “state of mind” evidence as well as social media videos and pictures that can help police before, during, or after the commission of a crime. Every court is different, however, and the use for the content and the argument for admitting it into evidence will largely affect what can and can’t be used in a given case.

What This Means for Social Media Users

Anything you post publicly on a social media account is in the public forum. As long as an attorney can authenticate it, it’s as viable as a surveillance recording of you in any other public place. You’ve often heard that you should not post information on social media you wouldn’t want your boss seeing. The same is true for law enforcement. If you don’t want to face an investigation or have to explain your reason for posting the content, leave it off. Furthermore, you agree to the terms of use when you use a social media platform. If you haven’t read the terms, you may agree for a platform to hold and use your information as it sees fit, i.e. handing it over as evidence in a case. There haven’t been enough cases and precedents set to confirm for certain what is and is not allowed, and new social media platforms change the game every time they come into the marketplace. Most of it may constitute evidence in certain situations. Be careful with what you post on social media, but if you see illegal activity, potential evidence in your own case, or a potential admission of guilt for a crime, don’t hesitate to reach out to law enforcement or an attorney. The potential for using it as evidence or to help further an investigation could make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Posted by at 11:41 pm

The Dangers of Shallow Water Blackouts and Dry Drowning

Thursday, December 10, 2015
Harmful or deadly water incidents aren’t exclusive to inexperienced swimmers. Shallow water blackouts can have devastating consequences for professional and experienced swimmers. Furthermore, getting a victim on dry land doesn’t always eliminate the risk of drowning. Some victims may suffer from dry drowning immediately after rescue or as many as 24 hours later. Education is one of the best ways to prevent injury and death from these very real water dangers. Here’s what you need to know before swimming season or your next trip to the YMCA.

Shallow Water Blackouts

Shallow water blackouts occur when a swimmer can’t take a breath quickly enough. It often happens when swimmers hyperventilate before going under, presumably to get as much oxygen as possible into their systems. This creates low levels of carbon dioxide in the body. Carbon dioxide is the body’s natural signal to rise to the surface to get more air. When the levels are extremely low, a swimmer may not get the signal in time, triggering the symptoms of oxygen deprivation: the blackout. Shallow water blackouts can happen to experienced swimmers, who lifeguards and friends may not watch as carefully. As soon as an individual blacks out, the body’s natural response is to take a breath. Under water, this means drowning. Swimmers experiencing a shallow water blackout need immediate assistance to survive. It can happen in as little as 2-3 feet of water and can kill in a matter of minutes.

Dry Drowning

Incidents of dry drowning are extremely rare, only causing around 1-2% of all drownings, but they’re also deadly and highly preventable. This type of drowning typically affects small children who have accidentally breathed in water while swimming. An individual may breathe in water while roughhousing in the pool or getting pulled off of his or her feet when a wave hits in the ocean. The person may get out of the water and appear okay at first. Water doesn’t actually enter the lungs in these cases. Instead, it causes vocal chords to close off airways, making breathing difficult. Secondary drowning, a closely related condition, may not be immediately recognizable, either. It occurs when water does reach the lungs, creating a pulmonary edema and making breathing difficult. Symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and chest pain. In many cases, the situation will resolve itself, but the occurrence can still be deadly. Have the symptoms checked out, particularly if an individual swam recently.

Preventing Shallow Water Blackouts and Dry Drowning

Safety advocacy groups stress the importance of swimming safety for a reason. While rare, these types of events do occur. They can be difficult to spot, but they are preventable. Anyone can suffer from the effects and even die by them. Prevent drowning incidents in the water and after leaving the water by:
  • Watching small children after they leave the water for signs of dry drowning
  • Using the buddy system while swimming, even as an adult, to reduce the risk of an unnoticed blackout
  • Taking a seminar or short class to learn how to breathe properly while swimming to reduce the risk of a blackout
  • Getting certified for CPR so you can help anyone in trouble if something happens at the pool or on the water
  • Avoid mixing alcohol and swimming, particularly if you plan to swim under water
Swimming offers excellent exercise, and many people look forward to getting back in the water after a long winter indoors. Understanding the full risks of swimming can help you keep yourself and your family safe. If you do experience a situation where someone could’ve been saved from a shallow water blackout or dry drowning but wasn’t because of a person’s negligence, give our San Antonio office a call for a consultation today.
Posted by at 11:37 pm