April 11th, 2013
Early in the morning on Thursday, April 11, 2013, emergency crews in Irving, Texas, responded to a tragic bus accident on the northbound side of State Highway 161, also known as the President George Bush Turnpike. The bus, belonging to the Cardinal Coach Lines of Mansfield, Texas, apparently flipped onto its side. At least two people died in the accident, a state trooper told the Associated Press.
Approximately 40 elderly people were riding on the charter bus, which was transporting them to an outing at the Choctaw casino in Oklahoma. The wreck occurred on the part of Highway 161 that is located approximately 15 miles outside Dallas.
The numbers associated with injuries and deaths occurring from bus crashes each year are alarming. National bus crash statistics show almost 13,000 buses were involved in accidents in 2010. According to FARS, 226 people died from bus accidents nationwide in 2010.
Causes of Bus Crashes
Regardless of the safety features with which buses are equipped, injuries and fatalities still happen every year. Most are caused by the carelessness or negligence of the bus driver and/or other drivers on the road. In addition to the negligence of drivers, many times, carelessness of bus companies and charter companies also contributes to our national bus accident statistics. Consequently, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are numerous lawsuits every year involving injuries from a bus accident.
Legal Rights of Bus Passengers
When a passenger is injured in a charter bus accident, it is extremely important to get familiar with their legal rights. There are experienced attorneys who are familiar in dealing with bus crash cases. A knowledgeable bus accident attorney can inform you about the steps that need to be taken in order to effectively investigate and prove the case. In many bus crash lawsuits, the investigation becomes the most important part of the case. Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney for bus crashes right away, can prove to be the difference in protecting the crucial evidence in the case and obtaining a successful outcome. Gathering information from other passengers, taking pictures of the bus wreckage and the scene, and hiring experts are all major steps that are imperative to begin immediately.
Have questions? Call us at The Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800.
April 4th, 2013
Accident victims often incur expenses, pain and medical problems as a result of an accident, and they may consider negotiating directly with an insurance company for a settlement. The individual may believe that he or she can get more directly from the company themselves than by going through an attorney, who will take a percentage of a settlement.
While it’s true that most Dallas personal injury attorneys do take a percentage of any settlement (or judgment, if the case goes to trial), the net settlement to the client is usually larger by going through a reputable personal injury attorney even after the attorney’s fee than it would be without an attorney. This is because personal attorneys know how to maximize settlements with insurance companies, whereas untrained individuals may not know what to do.
If you do decide to negotiate your own settlement, there are some steps you should take. First, gather evidence – get copies of all your medical records related to the accident, police reports, photos of the scene, statements from witnesses, and any other evidence that could be relevant. You will need to be aware of the statute of limitations – there is only a certain length of time to make a claim for a car accident in Texas, so start early.
As you work on your claim, you will probably be offered a settlement from an insurance adjuster – in general, you shouldn’t take the first offer. The insurance company wants you to take a low settlement to make you go away. Don’t accept it unless you are sure that it is fair according to your research and your expenses.
To begin your claim, you would write a demand letter that would show what happened, why it was the other party’s fault, what expenses you incurred as a result, and what other compensation to which you are entitled. You would need to submit documentation to prove your claim.
In most cases, it’s better to hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced with the process. The attorney in most cases will be able to get you a much better settlement, and you will not have to spend your time struggling to figure out the next step in your case. If you’re in Dallas, call the accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. Our team will work hard on your case – call today!
March 19th, 2013
Research in recent years has shown that it is extremely distracting and dangerous for drivers to type or text while they are driving. However, until recently it was the policy of the Dallas police to allow police officers to text or to type on their mobile dashboard computers while driving.
NBC5 in Dallas did an investigation that lasted nearly a year into police officers driving and typing. In July of last year, the deputy police chief told the news organization that the department had no policy against officers typing while they were driving. The chief later said that typing while driving was banned by police officers, unless the device is essential for the emergency and there isn’t another employee who is available to use the device.
The investigation found that many other Texas police departments have more clearly defined rules about when officers can type and when they cannot. Also, the investigation found police officers in the Dallas area rear ending other drivers and running off the road. There was even one accident where a police officer was typing, crossed the center line and hit another car head-on.
Overall, there have been 17 Dallas police crashes in the last four years that were caused by typing on devices. However, this represents less than one percent of the crashes in Dallas in which the police were involved. There have been discussions about putting safety measures in place in police cars, such as technology that will prevent officers from typing if they’re driving over 15 miles per hour. In some cases, however, the police will need to have the option to type in an emergency.
Although police officers try hard to keep Texas citizens safe, typing and driving at the same time is dangerous. If you have been in an accident with a police officer in the Dallas area, call the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. Our attorneys have years of experience with car accident cases and we look forward to helping you.
March 18th, 2013
A female bicyclist was tragically killed in Arlington earlier this week. The woman, who is believed to be in her 40s, was riding beside West Pioneer Parkway. Her bicycle veered slightly into the road and she was hit by a passing truck. She was killed in the accident. The driver of the truck stopped to help and was cooperating with police. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the crash.
Bicycles are the most vulnerable vehicles on the road. Bicycles lack the protection of cars or the speed of motorcycles. Bicyclists must take extra precautions to protect themselves so they are not injured or killed while bicycling in the Dallas area. Here are some safety tips to follow if you plan on bicycling on public roads:
- Wear your helmet. When you get on a bicycle, automatically put on your helmet. It’s as important as wearing a seat belt in a car. Bicycles offer no protection to your body in the event of an accident. Protect your head by wearing a high quality helmet.
- Be alert. Besides wearing a helmet, this is perhaps the most important safety precaution you could take. Be very aware of the traffic around you at all times. Don’t assume other drivers will see you or will yield for you. Drive very defensively. Although we don’t know what made the woman in Arlington swerve into the road, it’s possible she was trying to avoid a pothole or wasn’t paying attention. It would be better to hit the pothole and risk an accident or to swerve into the shoulder than to swerve into the road unless you are aware of the traffic behind you.
- Don’t ride too closely to trucks. Large trucks have large blind spots. Don’t ride in those blind spots and keep your distance.
- Ride with traffic. Always ride on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic means you can’t see stop lights or traffic signs.
Following these few basic safety tips can mean the difference between life and death or serious injury for bicyclists. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in the Dallas area, call the Dallas bicycle accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529.
March 7th, 2013
A horrifying Nascar crash earlier this month made headlines when at least 30 fans were injured at a race in Daytona, Florida. The accident occurred when a racecar going almost 200 miles an hour suddenly drove into the spectator area. The victims were hit with large chunks of debris when the car hit the fencing protecting the grandstands.
There is a long history of racing fans being injured at car races. The worst tragedy at a racing accident occurred in 1955 when 83 spectators and one driver were killed, and 120 were injured after two cars collided near the main stands for fans. Although that accident is very unusual, fans do get injured and killed in accidents in the U.S. occasionally. Between 1990 and 2010, 46 spectators were killed in U.S. racing accidents. Most of those were killed at small off-road courses or small tracks. However, of those spectators killed, six were killed while attending races at large tracks. Among those victims, three were killed in 1999 at a race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when a wreck caused a tire to fly into the grandstand. That accident caused track officials to raise the level of the catch fence from 15 feet to 21 feet.
Despite safety efforts from racing officials, spectators are still injured at racing events, as illustrated by the accident earlier this month. If you plan on attending a racing event, be aware that although the odds of you being injured at a professional race are very slim, accidents do happen. Although most injuries occur to people who are sitting near the safety fences, the accident that happened earlier this month injured two spectators who were sitting in the top section of the grandstand.
If you are planning on attending a race, the most important thing you can do to ensure your safety is to stay alert. Although there may not be time for you to avoid being hurt by flying debris, it is possible an alert spectator could duck or move to safety in time. If you’ve been injured at a Nascar race or another professional racing event, you may have a legal right to compensation from the race track, the racing organizer, or another party. If you’re in Dallas, call the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529.
February 22nd, 2013
When you think of a car accident involving a pedestrian, you probably picture a pedestrian being hit by a car when a driver wasn’t paying attention or was driving under the influence. However, pedestrians can cause car accidents.
In Lewisville earlier this month, two pedestrians were hit while trying to cross a busy street where there was no crosswalk. Police believe the pedestrians were drinking, and failed to yield the right-of-way to a vehicle. The driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrians remained at the scene until police arrived, and no charges were filed against him. The pedestrians were flown by CareFlight to Parkland Hospital in Dallas and were in stable condition after the accident.
When pedestrians cause an accident they can be held liable for the accident just like a driver of a car could be held liable if the car’s driver caused the accident. Usually, if a pedestrian causes an accident and a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the vehicle will suffer minor damage and the pedestrian will get either moderately or severely injured. In some cases, however, a pedestrian could walk in a vehicle’s path, causing the vehicle to swerve or slam on brakes, which could result in a multi-car pileup.
If you are involved in an accident caused by a pedestrian in Dallas, you should contact a Dallas pedestrian accident attorney as quickly as possible. The pedestrian can be held legally responsible. Call the Dallas automobile accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529.
February 15th, 2013
In the Dallas area, road construction seems like a constant. Although the construction may just seem like an annoyance to most drivers, statistics show that the road construction in the Dallas – Fort Worth area is actually dangerous. In 2012, Dallas County had 2,446 accidents that were construction-related. Those accidents resulted in nine deaths. Tarrant County had even more – 3,048 accidents in 2012 in which road construction played a role. Among those crashes, 13 were killed.
The director of TXDOT admitted that there has been an increase in work zone crashes and said they are trying to fix the problem by both educational programs and through law enforcement. Although having safeguards in place will help fix part of the problem, another part of the problem relates to drivers. In about half of the construction-related accidents, drivers were either speeding, driving while distracted, or in some cases both.
When you are driving through construction zones, here are a few safety tips you can follow to make sure you don’t end up as a statistic:
- Don’t speed through construction zones! Drive slower than usual!
- Keep your eyes on the road. Although sitting in construction traffic can be boring, don’t use that time to send emails or texts. Instead, pay attention to what’s going on around you.
- Be alert for highway workers. Road construction workers are killed every year in the U.S., and if you pay attention you can avoid accidents.
- Follow the signs. If the signs tell you to slow down to 30 miles per hour, do so even if that seems too slow.
- If possible, avoid highway construction altogether. Not only does it slow you down, it can be dangerous and frustrating. If possible, change your routes if you know a road will be under construction.
If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and you have been involved in a road construction accident, call the Dallas work zone accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. We will provide the help you need.
February 14th, 2013
Dealing with very large tractor trailers on the highways surrounding Dallas can be a headache. When a much smaller vehicle is involved in a collision with a tractor trailer, typically the results are tragic for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. Tractor trailers are so large that anything in their way can get destroyed in an accident.
However, if you follow a few simple safety tips, you can greatly reduce the odds you will ever end up in an accident with a semi-truck. First, pay careful attention to the truck’s turn signals. When you see the truck’s turn signal, get out of its way as soon as possible. Trucks can’t stop or maneuver as easily as smaller vehicles, so if you see a truck needs to get over, assume that it needs to get over now.
Try to avoid passing a tractor trailer on the right. There’s a good reason the truck is in the left lane. It may be passing a slower vehicle, or there could be an obstacle on the road. If the truck is on surface streets, the truck may be in the left lane in order to make a tight right turn, and if you swerve into the right lane, the truck may not see you.
Also, leave a large gap between your vehicle and the truck. If you see that there is a large space between the truck and the vehicle in front of the truck, don’t try to squeeze in that space. There’s a reason the space is there – it’s so the truck doesn’t have to slam on its brakes when the vehicle stops or slows down. You should also remember that your vehicle can be very hard for large trucks to see. Don’t assume that the driver has seen you – maybe he or she hasn’t.
If you follow some basic safety maneuvers when sharing the roads with tractor trailers, your odds of being in an accident are greatly reduced. If you have been in an accident with a tractor trailer or a semi-truck in the Dallas area, call the Dallas tractor trailer accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. You may have a legal right to compensation.
February 2nd, 2013
Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. Along with Super Bowl Sunday come parties at which alcohol is served. Although you may not be planning on drinking much, or you think you will be fine to make it the short distance home, that is a deadly mistake. Over 35 percent of fatalities in Texas involve drivers who are under the influence.
Drinking and driving is an especially big problem on football game days in Texas. Football is a Texas tradition, and it’s natural to drink while watching the big game. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a significant percentage of crashes involving alcohol occurred on football game days when a Texas team was playing.
If you plan on celebrating on Super Bowl Sunday, follow a few simple steps to make sure that you don’t injure yourself or anyone else by driving while intoxicated. Don’t drink alcohol too quickly. Make sure you snack while you are drinking. Before you even leave for the party, line up your ride home. If you can’t find someone who won’t be drinking, call a cab or a family member, or make plans to crash on someone’s couch – anything to avoid drinking and driving. Also, don’t let your friends drive drunk.
If you’re hosting a party on Super Bowl Sunday, you should make it your priority to see that all guests get home safely. Serve lots of food at the party. Make sure all of your guests have a plan on how to get home when they arrive. Stop serving alcohol near the end of the game, and keep cab companies’ numbers on hand. You should also make sure that no minors are drinking. Don’t forget, if anyone is involved in a drunk driving accident because they were drinking at your party, you could potentially be held liable.
Stay safe this Super Bowl Sunday, and have a lot of fun. If you’ve been involved in a crash in Dallas in which the other party is at fault, call the Dallas car accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529.
January 28th, 2013
Tragically, earlier this week a pedestrian in Plano was struck and killed while attempting to cross the freeway. The victim was a 56 year old man from Dallas. He was killed by a woman who had just entered the freeway and may not have been driving highway speed yet. The woman was not injured. The area in which the man was struck wasn’t far from a bridge that he could have used to walk over the freeway.
It’s sad that thousands of Americans are killed each year in pedestrian accidents when the vast majority of them are very preventable. If you follow a few basic safety tips, you can stay safe as a pedestrian:
- Be aware of traffic. It’s easy to become engrossed in a smart phone or other distractions while walking. However, if you’re walking beside a busy road, that’s the time to pay attention. Be aware of your surroundings, especially when it’s dark.
- Stick to routes that are properly marked. If you are walking through an area with a lot of traffic, stick to the areas in which routes are marked. Use crosswalks when possible. If you do have to cross the road at an area other than a crosswalk, pay attention. Don’t cross the freeway at all on foot.
- Minimize the amount of time walking in the dark. If you do have to walk in the dark, wear light colored clothing and if possible wear something reflective. You may also wish to carry a flashlight. Stay well out of the way of cars in poorly-lit areas.
- If you see a car slowing down, don’t assume it’s going to let you cross. Just because a car is slowing down, and you want to cross the road, doesn’t mean it’s going to let you cross. The driver may not have even seen you. Instead, wait until there aren’t any cars.
- Don’t drink and walk. Although you may think walking around while drinking is a much better form of transportation than driving, walking while drunk can be dangerous too. Instead, find someone to drive you or take a cab.
Here at the Barber Law Firm, we hope you stay safe as a pedestrian. If you ever are injured in a pedestrian accident in the Dallas area, call our Dallas pedestrian accident attorneys at 866-986-1529. We will help you obtain compensation for your accident.