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Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Stay Safe on Icy Streets this Week

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Dallas had some precipitation this morning, although temperatures were above freezing in the metropolitan area. However, a winter weather advisory went into effect for Denton, Collin, Parker, Fanin and Lamar counties over the weekend through this morning. Although this winter has been mild, you should review these basic winter weather driving tips to avoid being involved in an accident should the streets become icy.

The most important winter weather safety tip is to slow down. Driving too fast for the road conditions plays a major role in fatal crashes, especially during the winter. Even if you have snow tires, exercise extreme caution and drive slower than you normally would if the roads are slick.

It’s also important not to follow too close. Tailgating is another common cause of winter weather accidents. The closer you follow the car in front of you, the less time you have to react. At a minimum, leave one car length between you and the car in front of you for every 10 miles per hour you are travelling.

It’s also important not to drive when you are tired during dangerous road conditions. If the roads are slick, it will take all of your concentration to stay safe. If you are already tired, you are at a serious disadvantage. Call someone who can pick you up or pull over somewhere safe for a quick nap.

Have you been involved in an accident in the Dallas area due to slippery streets or icy weather conditions? If so, contact the accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 817-329-5095. They will work hard to help you obtain compensation from the negligent driver who caused the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Safe While Backing Up Your Vehicle

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Tragedy struck a Dallas area family the other day when a mother accidentally ran over her son with her vehicle. The mother was dropping off her two children at their grandmother’s house before heading to work. She saw her daughter get out and head towards the house, but didn’t see her four year old son. She started backing up to look for her son, but didn’t realize he was bent over behind her vehicle until it was too late. The boy suffered critical injuries and was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately he passed away.

Unfortunately, backing accidents are common – they cause about 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year. Backing accidents are especially common with SUVs and children under the age of five. However, if you follow a few simple rules, the majority of backing accidents can be avoided.

First, know where your vehicle’s blind spots are. For larger vehicles, blind spots can be significant. Remember that your mirrors cannot show you everything while you are backing. Before you back up, consider doing a walk-around or use a spotter who can tell you if it’s clear. When you are choosing a parking space, think ahead – choose a space with an easy exit if possible. If it’s possible to avoid backing up, and if you are in an area where backing up could be dangerous, park so backing up won’t be required. Finally, if you are in an area with small children, either visually locate the children before backing up, do a walk around, or ask a spotter if it’s clear before backing up.

If you have small children, consider a long term solution. You may wish to install rear vision camera systems, which can help you see the rear of your vehicle with no blind spots. If you have a new vehicle, practice backing it up so you get used to the way it reverses before you are in a situation where you have to reverse.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a backing up accident? If so, contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. We will help you get compensation for your injuries.

 

 

How to Stay Safe in a Vehicle with Air Bags

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Air bags are a great safety device, if used correctly. It’s estimated that frontal air bags have saved over 25,000 lives between 1987 and 2008. Air bags haven’t only saved lives; they are also very effective in preventing debilitating head and chest injuries. A recent study showed that over two-thirds of those who would have suffered head or chest injuries in a crash did not because of air bags. However, keep in mind that air bags are only intended as supplemental safety devices – you should always wear your seat belt.

 As wonderful as air bags are, people have been killed by them, although it is rare. It’s important to remember that air bags can be dangerous for children under the age of 13. Place everyone under age 13 in the rear seat. If they must be in the front, check the on-off switch (if your air bag has one) to ensure that the switch is off.

 Every person who has been killed by an air bag has one thing in common – they were too close to the air bag when it deployed. Sometimes, this occurred because their seats were too close to the air bags. However, it more often occurred when they were not wearing seat belts or sitting in child seats, which allowed them to be thrown forward into the air bag.

 In order for air bags to be effective, you can make some minor changes that will minimize the risk of serious injury. Short drivers should adjust the position of their seats. Those under age 13 should only sit in the back seat. Everyone should buckle up. It’s also important that those with unusual medical conditions who have been advised that air bags are dangerous to them should turn the air bag off, or avoid sitting near an air bag.

 If you have been injured in a car accident in the Dallas area, contact the Barber Law Firm, which works extensively with accident victims. Call today at 972-231-5800.

Dallas Police Warn of Dangers of Street Racing

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Dallas police are asking parents of teenagers to discuss the dangers of street racing, after two tragic wrecks occurred in the past two months involving teenagers racing. According to police, the racing is not occurring late at night in empty areas. Instead, racing is occurring on main roads with heavy congestion.

The most recent accident happened on January 1 on Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas. A 16 year old driver was racing and killed a 53 year old father who was making a left turn in his pickup. The other accident occurred in November, after two teenagers in BMWs were racing at speeds over 100 miles per hour. One of the drivers lost control and caused a crash that killed another 16 year old. In both of the accidents, minors are facing charges.

 Unfortunately, speeding is a big problem that often gets overlooked. According to studies, speed is a factor in almost one-third of fatal crashes. Another study found that when many states raised their speed limits on interstates in 1996, motor vehicle fatalities went up significantly in those states. Speeding not only reduces the amount of time available to avoid a crash, but it also increases the severity of a crash once it occurs. For every 10 mile per hour increase in speed, crash forces on impact double, greatly increasing the chances of fatalities. When you factor in inexperienced teen drivers, speeding can be particularly deadly.

 Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in an accident in the Dallas area involving speeding? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm. Our attorneys have significant experience in helping accident victims get the help they need. Call us today at 972-231-5800.

Since personal injury cases are so common, can’t any attorney represent me?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

It is a very common misperception among non-lawyers that almost any attorney can represent a client in almost any matter as long as the case is a common one. Many clients think that if they need a routine bankruptcy or a will prepared, they can go to the same attorney who handled their divorce or did the closing on their home. In addition, some attorneys will agree to handle a case outside their specialty in order to collect the fee.

 However, the truth is that the law is increasingly becoming more complex, so it is much better to find an attorney who specializes in what you need. Also, you may think you have a very simple, straightforward case. While this is sometimes true, more often a simple case can be filled with complexities that only an experienced attorney will recognize. Instead of finding any random attorney to handle your case, a better approach is to find the most experienced attorney in the field of law your case is in who you can afford to hire to handle your case.

 This is particularly true in personal injury cases. Although personal injury cases are very common, they can be very complex. Only an attorney with substantial personal injury experience should handle such a case. Also, once a case is settled, an injured party cannot get more compensation later if their medical circumstances change. Therefore, you should hire an experienced attorney to help you get the maximum amount of compensation available.

 Have you been injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence in the Dallas area? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm, a personal injury law firm dedicated to helping accident victims recover. Call them today at 972-231-5800 for a free consultation.

Always Use Car Seats for Children!

Friday, January 6th, 2012

A tragic accident occurred in southeast Dallas on New Year’s Eve. A minivan was waiting to make a turn when a sedan slammed into the right side of the van. An eight year old boy and his seven year old brother were sitting in the cargo area of the van when the accident occurred. When the sedan slammed into the van, it knocked a jack into the head of the eight year old, killing him.

This horrible tragedy illustrates how vitally important it is to use child safety seats. It’s estimated that between 1975 and 2008, almost 9,000 lives were saved by child restraints. Unfortunately, crashes are still the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 3 and 14.

 Under Texas law, anyone under the age of eight must be secured in a safety seat. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping children in a car seat for as long as possible, as long as they fit the seat’s height and weight requirements. Children under 13 should always ride in the back seat.

 When you are selecting a car seat for your child, choose it based on your child’s age and size, and choose one that fits well in your vehicle. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system, and also consult the car seat’s instruction book. If you are uncertain whether it’s installed correctly, locate a child car seat inspection station. 

 Have you or your child been injured in an automobile accident in the Dallas area? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. Our attorneys will help you pursue your legal options.

Stay Safe on Dallas’s Roads in the New Year

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

One of the biggest safety concerns on Texas’s roads is drunk driving. In 2009, there were 1,235 deaths in Texas due to drunk driving. Among those, 185 were individuals under the age of 21.

However, there is good news – DWI arrests in the Dallas area declined this New Year’s Eve when compared with previous years. There were 31 arrests this year, and 34 last year. More drivers were also voluntarily giving breath tests. Last year, officers got 10 warrants ordering DWI suspects to give blood samples, and this year they only got six.

So how can you stay safe on Dallas’s roads in the New Year? First, if you are going out and you anticipate you will be drinking, have a plan in advance on how to get home. Line up a designated driver or put a taxi company’s number in your cell phone. If you don’t have a plan before drinking, you are much more likely to attempt to drive yourself home. If you decide to walk to your destination, be aware there is still a danger. Use the buddy system and stay in areas with which you are familiar. Finally, if you are going to be away from home for an evening, don’t let others know online that you will be gone, such as by posting that information on a social media site like Twitter or Facebook.

Be sure to make staying safe in 2012 one of your resolutions. If you have been injured in a Dallas area accident due to the fault of another driver, contact the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. They will help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Consumer Safety Tips for the Cyber Shopping Season

Monday, December 12th, 2011

More than ever, holiday shoppers are turning to the internet to purchase some or all of their Christmas gifts. Although the internet is very convenient and shoppers can score some great deals, cyber thieves are out there looking for a way to steal your credit card and other personal information. So how can you stay safe while shopping online?

 The Federal Trade Commission recommends a three-pronged approach.

 1. Deter. Safeguard your information in order to deter identity thieves from obtaining your information. Some ways to do this include:

  • Do not click on links in unsolicited emails or pop-up advertisements. Use anti-virus software on your home computer and keep it updated.
  • Do not use obvious passwords.
  • Don’t give out your Social Security number online unless absolutely necessary.
  • Make sure each website on which you make purchases is a secure website.

 2. Detect. Detect suspicious activity involving your identity by monitoring your financial accounts.

  • Be alert for bills do not arrive as expected.
  • Be alert for calls about purchases you did not make or accounts you did not open.
  • Monitor your credit report, either by obtaining free credit reports or by signing up with a monitoring service.
  • Review your account statements for suspicious charges.

 3. Defend. Once suspicious activity is detected, defend yourself against identity theft.

  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Creditors will then have certain procedures in place if someone opens an account in your name within 90 days.
  • Close accounts that are fraudulent.
  • File a police report.
  • Make a complaint with the FTC.

 Have you or a loved one been the victim of identity theft or another legal problem? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm in Dallas at 972-231-5800. We will help you evaluate your legal options. Call today to learn more.

Social Media Isn’t Always Good – Don’t Post Damaging Information Online When Involved In A Lawsuit!

Friday, December 9th, 2011

More people than ever before are using social media as a way to stay connected with family and friends. Many of those who use social media forget that the information they post is either public or can be made public at a later date. Unfortunately for some of those users, information posted on social media sites has proved damaging for lawsuits the parties were involved in.

Although social media websites are relatively new, there are already numerous instances of individuals whose personal injury lawsuits were damaged or ruined by posting information online. For example, a woman who sued an office furniture company after falling off an office chair claimed she suffered serious injuries and was confined to her home and bed. However, the furniture company saw that on her Facebook and MySpace pages, from the limited information she had made public that she appeared to have an active lifestyle. A judge later ordered the plaintiff to give the defendant access to her private Facebook and MySpace postings.

As social media continues to become more prevalent, we should see more and more cases like this. Social media can not only damage a personal injury lawsuit – there have also been published cases of debt collectors using Facebook to find debtors, although many courts have banned them from doing so. Facebook can also be a gold mine of information for divorce lawyers. If you are using social media, be smart about it. Be aware that everything you post ultimately has the potential to be made public.

If you are in the Dallas area and you have been injured and expect to be involved in a personal injury lawsuit, contact the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. Our attorneys can guide you through the best way to proceed with your claim. Call us today.

Tips to Prevent Crime this Holiday Season

Monday, December 5th, 2011

 

Although the holidays are supposed to be a festive time, for many Texans they can become a nightmare because of crime. Many criminals target homes during the holiday season, knowing that the homeowners may be out of town and that the homes are filled with gifts. Criminals also target shoppers, knowing they may be carrying extra cash. However, by following a few simple steps you can decrease the odds that you will be a crime victim this holiday season.

First, be careful about whom you tell that you will be out of town. Try to avoid telling anyone except your family and friends. Don’t announce on any social media sites that you will be gone for a week, even if you think that only family and friends can access the information – that is practically an invitation to thieves. If you do go out of town, remember to secure your premises, and consider installing motion detection lights outside. You may also want to use timers inside to turn your lights and your Christmas tree on and off, to give the appearance to any potential burglars that you are home. In addition, don’t display Christmas presents in your front window.

While you are shopping, park in well-lit areas. Be alert when travelling from a store to your vehicle. This will decrease the odds of a burglar viewing you as a potential victim. Don’t display gifts or other purchases in your vehicle’s windows – instead, secure them in the trunk.

Another risk of holiday shopping is that you may be the victim of cyber crime. When shopping online, monitor your credit card purchases online and your Paypal account. Be sure that each website you are using is secure – look for the padlock icon in the status bar, and the https prefix (rather than http) when visiting online stores. Type in each online retailer’s address rather than clicking on a link. In addition, consider using a credit card rather than a debit card while shopping online.

Have you been the victim of holiday crime or a holiday accident? If so, contact the Barber Law Firm at 972-231-5800. We may be able to help.

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