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Boating is a very fun and relaxing way to spend the summer and escape the Texas heat. However, typically there is a flurry of boating accidents during the summer months. In fact, earlier this month a tragic accident occurred involving the toddler son of a Lewisville firefighter. The boy fell off a boat and into Lake Ray Hubbard and was struck by the boat’s propeller. The toddler is expected to survive, but it’s likely the injuries he suffered to his leg and abdomen will affect him the remainder of his life.

The causes of boating accidents vary, but many are due to inexperienced boat drivers taking to the water without much regard for the safety of themselves or their passengers. Operators of boats and personal watercraft, such as jet skis, have a legal responsibility under Texas law to safely operate their watercraft for the benefit of their passengers as well as other individuals sharing the waterways with them. If they fail to do so, they can be held legally responsible.

Tragically, every year people in Texas are killed in boating accidents because of the negligence of others. Some of these deaths are because of direct collisions, while others involve passengers who have been ejected from boats because of the careless actions of another. If you have been the victim of a boating accident, you have the legal right to compensation, including compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Call the Plano boating accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm if you have been injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another party. Our attorneys can help. Call us today at 972-231-5800 to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.

 

 

 



Drunk DrivingThe case of a Keller teenager whose drunk driving accident claimed four lives gained headlines nationwide when a State District Judge ruled that Ethan Couch, 16, should serve 10 years of probation rather than go to prison. Couch could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. The ruling has been met with a firestorm of opposition from those claiming the only reason Couch received such a light sentence was because his parents are wealthy. The Barber Law Firm is highlighting this story to focus attention on the potentially catastrophic consequences of underage drunk driving.

The “Affluenza” Defense

Couch’s lawyer brought up a term, “affluenza,” that has since taken off nationally. A court psychologist stated that because Couch has nearly unfettered freedom he could not be expected to behave responsibly. Couch stole beer from a local Walmart, jumped into his pickup truck, and hit a woman whose car had broken down on a Burleson road. The drunk driving accident not only killed her, but also two Good Samaritans who had stopped to help the woman, as well as a passerby. There were two teens in the bed of Couch’s truck, and one was injured so seriously that he cannot move or talk, according to an article in the Dec. 12, 2013 issue of Time magazine.

According to court testimony, Couch’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal amount and he admitted to being drunk when he lost control of his vehicle. He pled guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter as well as two counts of assault by intoxication.

One Last Effort to Achieve Justice

However, The Dallas Morning News reported on Dec. 17, 2013 that  Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon is asking a juvenile judge to put Couch in jail on the intoxication assault charges. The original judge, Jean Boyd, issued her probation sentence in regard to the four intoxication manslaughter charges. According to Shannon, no verdict was formally entered in regard to the assault charges. The maximum sentence for juvenile intoxication assault is three years in a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility.

Underage drunk driving is not just a problem in Texas, but nationwide as well. Teenagers have plenty of temptations, especially during the holiday season, and it is more important than ever that parents do everything possible to keep their children away from alcohol. If you would like more information on how to do so, contact The Barber Law Firm online or call us at 866.986.1529. What do you think about the Ethan Couch case? Let us know by clicking one of the social media buttons on this page.



Negotiating with Insurance AdjusterIf you were in an automobile accident or another kind of accident, you might have had offers from the insurance company to settle your claims. The insurance company may have made what you think is a great offer. They might have dispatched an insurance adjuster over to your house quickly after the accident with an offer to sign right away.

Nevertheless, you should not agree to the initial offer an insurance adjuster makes to you after an accident. An insurance adjuster’s job is to limit the payment of the insurance company– not to provide you a fair offer. Also, if you were injured in the car accident, it may take several months or years for your treatment to be finished. If you negotiate right away, you can’t go back later on and request more money when your medical costs end up being higher than you thought.

Instead, the insurance company should really be negotiated with. You may want to first have an idea of what your claim is worth. This information is very dependent on your particular situation, but you should take into consideration all of your costs, consisting of damage to your automobile, medical costs and lost earnings. You might additionally consider inquiring about damages for pain and suffering or some other non-monetary damages you have. Keep that dollar figure in mind throughout your discussions.

When the insurance adjuster produces the offer, it may be laughably minimal. Ask the adjuster to give you some information on how they or she calculated that offer, and take notes on the information you gain. Then, write a letter to the adjuster which responds to each of the elements the adjuster pointed out in ascertaining the settlement. In the letter, emphasize each of the strongest statements you have for a larger settlement. After the insurance adjuster has had a chance to receive and process the letter, try to renegotiate. Anytime you do agree, put the settlement in writing.

Depending on the situation involved in your accident, you may be able to obtain compensation from the insurance company of the other driver, your insurance company, the driver himself, the owner of the car, or the employer of the driver who caused the accident. You may be entitled to compensation not only for the damage to your vehicle, but also your medical expenses (including future expenses expected to occur as a result of the accident), lost wages, and other expenses.

It’s likely that the insurance company of the other driver will contact you and offer you a settlement. They will encourage you to take the settlement quickly, and you may feel pressured to do so. After all, you most likely have bills coming in as a result of the accident, and you probably want to put the matter behind you. However, the insurance company is not looking out for your best interests. Instead, they want you to settle at the lowest amount possible in order to maximize profit for their company. If you have future medical expenses or other out of pocket expenses, it’s not possible to obtain compensation for those after you have settled the case.

The Barber Law Firm handles personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, you don’t pay unless we win your case.

In a contingency basis, the clients pay their lawyer by having an agreement that a certain percentage of the amount from the client’s claim could be given to the lawyer as his fee. On the side of the client, it would be very convenient to have the contingency basis because they don’t have to worry about the lawyer’s fee whatever the outcome of the case may be.



A tragic incident that occurred recently in Texas illustrates the danger of dog bites, even bites that may appear mild. On Christmas Day last year, a Texas woman was bitten by her daughter’s dog, which left a small scratch on her finger. She didn’t realize anything was wrong until 48 hours later, when she went to the hospital with a fever and vomiting. Her organs began failing, and her legs and fingers were amputated. Doctors eventually discovered that the problems were a result of bacteria in the dog’s saliva, which is usually harmless unless the victim has a compromised immune system.

Although this dog bite was minor, it resulted in serious medical issues. Other dog bites result in serious injuries at the time of the bite. Every day, about 1,000 Americans require emergency care because of dog bites. Most of the bites occur to the extremities (the arms, legs, hands or feet). Most victims of dog bites knew the dog, and most occur on or near the victim’s property. About two-of the serious bites which result in deaths are attributable to two breeds: Pitt bulls and Rottweilers.

If you have been bitten by a dog, it’s important that you take action. First, seek medical treatment, even if the bite seems minor. There may be steps that can be taken to prevent more serious health issues from developing. Let the property owner know what happened if he or she doesn’t – if a dog poses a danger, it’s important that the situation be taken care of as quickly as possible. Finally, you may wish to talk with an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation from the dog’s owner or another responsible party.

If you have suffered dog bite injuries, call the Dallas – Fort Worth personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. Our attorneys are happy to give you a free consultation about your case.



This week, Chrysler finally announced that it was recalling 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys because of a problem with the fuel tanks. The recall came after a few weeks of pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the public.

The NHTSA has been investigating certain models of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys for three years. It concluded that the vehicles had a problem with their fuel tanks. According to the NHTSA, if the vehicles’ gas tanks are hit from the rear, they can rupture, causing a fire. The agency claimed that 51 people had died in fiery crashes in Jeeps with gas tanks that were behind the rear axle. The NHTSA requested that Jeep voluntarily recall Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 through 2004 and Jeep Libertys from 2002 through 2007.

However, two weeks ago, Chrysler said the vehicles weren’t defective, and refused to recall the vehicles, which could have resulted in a public showdown between Chrysler and the NHTSA. This week, Chrysler reversed its position and agreed to recall 2.7 million vehicles. Dealers will install trailer hitches on the vehicles to protect the gas tanks. If Chrysler had not agreed to the recall, there could have been public hearings on the issue which would have been damaging to its reputation.

Although automakers have profits in the hundreds of millions and billions of dollars, they are frequently reluctant to recall dangerous vehicles because of the expense. If they fail to recall a defective vehicle, and a person is hurt or killed in that vehicle as a result, the automaker can and should be held responsible.



What should I do if I think my psychiatrist commits malpractice?

Seeking psychiatric help is not easy for most people, but in most cases it can be a positive step to obtaining help with mental or emotional problems. Many people have very positive interactions with psychiatrists and get the help they need. However, in some cases psychiatrists can prey on their patients, usually by abusing or neglecting them.

Psychiatric malpractice is a form of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other health care provider provides improper or negligent treatment to a patient. A large percentage of psychiatric malpractice often goes unreported.  Victims of a negligent or abusive psychiatrist often don’t come forward, for fear of embarrassment or because they believe they won’t be believed. When they do come forward, they are frequently dismissed because of their mental issues, sometimes even by friends and family members.

Psychiatric malpractice can occur in several ways. First, there is intentional conduct that is wrong by a psychiatrist. This could be a psychiatrist sharing confidential information about a patient with another person. This could also include more serious violations, such as physical or sexual abuse of a patient. The other way psychiatric malpractice could occur is through negligent conduct. This could include prescribing the wrong drug or the wrong dosage, failing to diagnose a patient’s serious condition, or diagnosing a patient incorrectly.

Patients who put their faith in psychiatrists usually have fears about the psychiatrist’s treatment and whether they will be stigmatized as a result of the treatment. Patients shouldn’t have to carry the additional burden of dealing with a psychiatrist’s malpractice.



Nascar Safety

March 7, 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.



Recently, an investigation was conducted by a Dallas television station into the way in which school buses in Dallas are maintained and driven. The investigation found that although the officials say that safety is their top priority, many buses are badly in need of maintenance.

As part of the investigation, reporters talked to many bus drivers and also officials in the school system. The bus drivers had a myriad of complaints, including defective brakes, defective parking brakes, bad tires, repeated breakdowns that took hours to fix, non-working headlights, and horns that didn’t honk. Although the bus drivers had many complaints and personal examples of problems, officials from Dallas County Schools say that overall the buses are safe.

Dallas County Schools have 1,690 buses and 62 mechanics to fix them, or one mechanic for every 25 buses, which is about the national average. If needed, supervisors can be called into work as mechanics. DCS says that they have implemented a program that will monitor repairs as they happen. They also claim that their accident rate is better than some other school systems, and worse than others.

When you send your children off on the school bus, you are doing so with the belief that the school buses are safe and properly maintained, or you would transport them yourself if possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. School bus accidents happen in Dallas, and the injuries suffered in such an accident can range from mild to fatal. If you have been the unfortunate victim of a school bus accident in the Dallas area, contact the Dallas school bus accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. We will help you seek compensation from the responsible party. Call us today.



The federal government issued a warning last week about the dangers of counterfeit airbags, which are becoming an increasing problem in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of motorists could be at risk.

Although it may be difficult to tell who has a counterfeit airbag and who does not, those most at risk are motorists who have had their airbags replaced in the last three years by a repair shop other than a new car dealership. Consumers who fear they may be at risk can visit www.safercar.gov to learn more on how to contact auto manufacturers to tell if their vehicle is among those for which counterfeit airbags are known to have been made.

Last month, the government tested 11 counterfeit airbags, and 10 of them failed to inflate properly. In one of the tests, the bag shot flames and metal shrapnel out. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries have been tied to the counterfeit bags, although it would be difficult to identify a counterfeit bag from a real one.

Unfortunately, fees for checking out airbags are between $100 and $200, and the cost of replacing a driver’s side airbag is usually between $750 and $1,000, which will have to be paid by the vehicle’s owner. The reason the owner must pay is that the counterfeiting problem is not the fault of the manufacturer or in most cases the repair shop. The counterfeit airbags came from China and look as if they are the real thing. The problem came to light in August after nearly 1,600 counterfeit airbags were seized from an automobile mechanic in North Carolina.

If you have had your airbags replaced in the last three years, get your vehicle examined as soon as possible. If you have been in an accident and believe a counterfeit airbag was involved, call the Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. We will help to determine who the responsible party for the accident is and to hold them responsible. Call today.



Earlier this month, another accident victim attempted to call 911 in Dallas, only to find the system unavailable. This accident is the latest in a string of failures by Dallas 911 to handle all of their incoming phone calls.

The accident occurred when a tire blew out and the driver pulled to the side of the road. As he was pulling over, a vehicle hit his car from behind. The passenger was injured in the accident and the driver attempted to call 911 four times but never got through. The driver exited the vehicle and tried to get help, and he was then struck by a car. The driver blames the 911 service, claiming that if help was on the way, he wouldn’t have had to get out of the car.

This latest accident comes after a few highly-publicized problems with 911. In July, a house in Dallas burned to the ground while an emergency call wasn’t answered. In August, a woman was murdered while she was on the line with a 911 operator for 11 minutes reporting an attack. Earlier this month, aDallaswoman was on the phone with 911 for two and a half minutes while her call was being transferred to another jurisdiction.Dallas officials claim that there is currently new leadership in the 911 center. The city is in the process of spending $2 million to hire more employees and upgrade the 911 equipment.

We all rely on the 911 system to respond quickly in the event of an accident or a criminal attack. If it doesn’t, tragedy can result. If you have been involved in an accident, call the Dallas accident attorneys at the Barber Law Firm at 866-986-1529. We will help you pursue reasonable compensation for your injuries.





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The Barber Law Firm, PC, is a personal injury law firm serving Dallas, TX and surrounding areas. Our job is to put you at ease as we navigate the legal channels of your Dallas personal injury case. Visit our homepage.

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