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The Hart Law Firm

Our Attorneys Have Over 25 years of Experience, and Are Here to Answer All Your Questions After an Accident

You must be overwhelmed with questions after your Dallas car wreck.  Why not get the answers from a Texas board-certified personal injury attorney?

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  • What should I do if the truck in front of me loses control?

    You hate driving on the highway at night, but your sons begged you to let them stay at their play date for a few extra hours. So, being the good dad that you are, you told them you’d pick them up at sundown. Now, as the sun goes down, you gather your tuckered out kids, and you’re forced to enter the truck-laden highway.

    You’re about halfway to your exit when you notice it. The truck in front of you keeps erratically adjusting his speed and veering in and out the lanes. You take your foot off the gas to put a little more space between the two of you just to be safe, but he suddenly drifts onto the shoulder of the road and slams on his brakes. You’re about 15 feet from crashing into his trailer. What do you do?

    What can you do? How do you protect your kids and avoid a tragic crash?  

    Taking Control of the Situation

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that truck drivers are 10 times more likely to cause truck crashes than any other determining factor. They suggest that when a trucker loses control of his rig—for whatever reason—it is extremely difficult for that trucker to regain control. This leads to many crashes, be it a collision with other motorists, a rollover, or multi-car pile ups.

    Since trucks can be extremely dangerous when control is lost, it is extremely important to know how to react when you notice conditions for a truck crash. To help protect your family, learn these following safety tips to help you avoid getting caught up in a trucker’s mistake.

    When You Notice Signs That a Truck May Be Out of Control

    Increase your distance.

    You should always have at least two car lengths between your car and a truck; however, if a truck begins to behave erratically, increase that distance to six, seven, or eight car lengths to increase your safety net for braking and maneuvering.

    Change lanes.

    If possible, try to avoid being directly behind or in front of a distressed truck. You never know if it might suddenly brake, speed up, tip, or rollover, so it’s best to stay out of its path.

    Don’t pass.

    Although your first reaction may be to get away from the offensive vehicle, passing it is a dangerous move. The trucker may not be paying attention to his blind spots as he’s trying to regain control. In addition, the truck may rollover or tip. Therefore, it’s best to stay out of the truck’s crumple zones.

    Get away from the truck.

    As soon as you’re safely able to, get off the highway, turn down another road, or pull into a parking lot. If you’re not near the truck, you can’t be harmed.

    Call for help.

    Once you’re away from the truck, call the police or traffic control to warn them of the potential hazard. They will hopefully be able to stop the trucker before a crash occurs.

    Controlling the Outcome of Your Family’s Injuries and Future

    Knowing what to do in a crash situation, and actually being able to remember and perform those actions during a crisis, are regrettably two very different things. Although you may take the proper precautions while driving, stay alert to potential problems, and try to be as safe as possible—accidents still happen. That is why we’re here to help.

    When a truck loses control and hurts your family, we can help you take back the control you lost. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. You and your family could be eligible for injury compensation and treatment costs. Don’t allow someone else’s loss of control to affect your family’s future.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Truck Accident?

    If you've been injured in a truck accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • How can I prevent a machine injury when working in construction?

    Since you’ve started working in construction, your friends and family have been constantly worried about you getting into an accident. You’ve told them repeatedly that you’re always cautious and work within the safety guidelines. However, every week someone brings up the fact that construction machinery is extremely dangerous and that you better be careful.

    Although you’re sure that you make a conscious effort to stay safe, are there any other precautions you can take to protect yourself, as well as give your loved ones peace of mind? You know that your risks for injury increase when working around construction machinery, but is there anything you can do to decrease these risks?

    Protection Protocol for the Safe Use of Construction Machinery

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), believes that the use of heavy machinery is one of the most dangerous aspects of construction work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 500 workers a year die, and thousands more are injured by machine accidents—making them responsible for 88 percent of all construction injuries.

    According to research performed by OSHA, 30 percent of these injuries occur when workers attempt to remove broken objects that have become jammed inside a machine. Machine cleaning accounts for another 29 percent of injuries, and machine malfunctions and operating errors account for the remaining 41 percent.

    The majority of these accidents may be able to be prevented with proper safety protocols. Unfortunately, many workers are either not aware of these guidelines, do not understand the importance of machine safety, are oblivious of their risks when they ignore protocol, or otherwise don’t care about proper procedure. This is why it is important to not only learn how to be safe for yourself, but to also share the information with your co-workers to make sure they protect themselves and consequently keep you safe as well.

    Help decrease construction machinery injuries by sharing the following safety information on Facebook or Google Plus, and if able, post it in your site’s workroom. Let us try to educate the construction community and help them realize the importance of these five machine safety rules: 

    Make sure your machinery is up-to-code before using.

    Heavy construction equipment and machines should be properly maintained on a daily basis and should be assessed for safety every three to six months.

    Turn machinery off when not using.

    Even if you’re only adjusting a part or removing debris, it is still important to make sure the machine is off.

    Make sure all moving parts have stopped before approaching the machine to clean or perform maintenance.

    Even when a machine is turned off, it may take several moments for the gears to come to a complete stop.

    Stay alert when operating machinery.

    If the equipment seems faulty, sluggish, or jerky, turn it off immediately and have it checked for any problems.

    Work in teams.

    Watching out for one another and staying alert to possible problems can help provide adequate warnings and safer navigation to help prevent injuries.

    Protecting Your Future When Precautions Fail

    Although taking these precautions will greatly reduce your risk for an injury, regrettably, accidents can still occur. If you’ve been injured in a construction machine accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Construction Accident?

    If you've been injured in a construction accident you need to speak with an experienced construction accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What types of questions should I ask a DUI attorney before determining if he is the right representation for my case?

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a victim is injured by a drunk driver every two minutes. As a result of this alarming statistic, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration performed a nationwide poll in 2012 to discover alcohol use and driving habits. They learned that of the people they polled, over 30 million of them admitted to driving while intoxicated. This means that in one year, the amount of drunk drivers on roads in the United States is expected to exceed the entire population of Texas—by over five million.

    Nearly 17,000 drunk driving crashes occur every year in the Lone Star state alone, and your risk of suffering an injury is extremely high. Therefore, it is important to know your legal rights, how to proceed with an injury claim, and how to get the compensation you need. To make sure you have the best chance for your case, the NHTSA highly recommends that you seek the help of a DUI lawyer. His involvement will not only ensure that your rights are upheld, but it will also help make sure that the guilty party pays for his crimes.

    Unfortunately, not every DUI attorney is created equal. This means that in order to find the right lawyer for you, you need to interview potential representation to make sure they’re knowledgeable, experienced, and able to work with your specific needs.

    So, how should you conduct this interview? Once you make an appointment with a prospective solicitor, you need to take control of the conversation and begin to ask him questions.

    Ten Questions to Ask When Interviewing Your Potential DUI Lawyer

    When you first meet with a lawyer, it's important to learn about his background and his understanding of your particular case type. There are many types of injury lawyers, but you need one who focuses on drunk driving injuries and victim rights. So instead of just randomly choosing an attorney, make sure the one you choose can give you acceptable answers to your questions, as well as make you feel confident and comfortable. Some questions you may consider asking are:

    • Where and when did you attend law school?
    • How long have you been representing DUI injury victims?
    • How many DUI clients do you represent a year?
    • What is your main legal focus? (Is DUI representation only an add-on to your main area of focus?)
    • How often do you take your DUI cases to trial?
    • What percentage of DUI injury cases have you successfully represented?
    • How reliable are you when it comes to returning calls, answering questions, and addressing your clients’ concerns?
    • Are you willing to spend the time and energy to explain all facets of the case to me, if I so wish?
    • Will I be just another client in a long list, or do you make it a point to make sure all of your clients are well respected and given proper attention when needed?
    • Why are you the best choice to represent me?

    Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?

    If you've been injured by a drunk driver in Texas you need to speak with an experienced drunk driver injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

    Know someone who is having a rough time choosing a lawyer to help represent him in a DUI accident case? Please, feel free to share this page with him. Sometimes having the proper information and guidance is all you need to take the first step toward justice. Help your friends get the best representation for their needs by clicking the media icons on this page, and letting them know the importance of attorney interviews to make sure they make the right choices for their confidence and comfort.

     

  • Do pedestrians have actual traffic laws?

    Every child is supposed to be taught to always look both ways before crossing a street. However, besides that rule that your mother drilled into your brain, you were never actually taught the proper laws to follow when walking near traffic. In order to receive a license, you must take and pass driver’s education, but there’s no course to get your walking license, so how are you supposed to know what you can, and can’t do as a pedestrian?

    You always hear people say that pedestrians have the right-of-way, but if you walk in front of a line of cars who have the green light, are you liable for a crash, or are they always supposed to stop for you no matter what? What are the pedestrian laws when it comes to traffic?

    Pedestrian Laws You Need to Know and Obey

    The Texas Municipal Court estimates that 11 percent of all Texas traffic crashes are pedestrian related, accounting for nearly 350 deaths per year. Of these crashes, an alarming 80 percent are caused by the direct actions of the pedestrians—not the drivers of the vehicles which hit them. This is why it is extremely important to not only know pedestrian safety laws, but to also follow them diligently, in order to protect yourself.

    These laws include:

    Obey pedestrian control signs.

    Pay attention to “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs and lights, never walk against a light, and continue to cross as quickly as possible if the sign changes when you are already crossing the street.

    Know where to walk.

    Always walk on the sidewalk. If there isn’t a sidewalk, make sure you walk on the left side of the road, or facing oncoming traffic so you can always tell when a car is approaching—never put your back toward oncoming vehicles.

    Know where to cross.

    Always cross a roadway at a designated crosswalk or intersection. If there isn’t a crosswalk, you must yield to oncoming traffic, and only proceed crossing when the road is clear.

    Use common sense.

    Although drivers should use reasonable caution to avoid hitting you, don’t ever walk out in front of a moving vehicle—even if you have the right-of-way.

    It is true that vehicles have far more traffic laws and rules to help them avoid pedestrian crashes than you as a pedestrian have. However, even though drivers should always take precautions and evasive action to avoid hitting you while you walk, you actually have more power and control to help prevent your own crash. Cars have varying stopping speeds, blind spots, and maneuvering capabilities. You on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to stop walking in a second, have a clear view of potential dangers, and can quickly move out of the way of impending harm. Remember, even if you believe you have the right-of-way, your being right isn’t going to stop a two-ton car from smashing into you. Stay cautious and keep your head up to help avoid becoming a statistic.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

     

  • What is it about buses that make their blind spots more treacherous than car blind spots?

    Since moving to a college town, you’ve realized the convenience and necessity of public bus transportation. Every day, you use a bus to commute to work, get downtown, and avoid the headache of having to park. However, after seeing a recent news article about a bus hitting and killing a local student, you’re beginning to question how safe buses really are.

    The article stated that the driver didn’t see the young girl because she was walking in his blind spot. Over the past few years, you’ve actually heard about several bus accidents where blind-spot visibility was blamed. This poses the question: Why are bus blind spots treacherous?

    What They Don’t See Will Hurt You

    The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, estimate that over 500 pedestrians, passengers, and other vehicle drivers are killed each year as a result of visibility-induced bus collisions. Although accurate statistics on whether blind spots were the actual causes of these accidents is limited, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took it upon themselves to try and reduce visibility accidents by implementing the “No-Zone” campaign in 1994.

    This campaign highlights areas in which pedestrians and vehicles should attempt to avoid. The areas were mapped out according to bus blind spots created by the following three bus design factors that limit driving visibility:

    Length.

    The standard length of transit and school buses is around 40 feet. However, bus side mirrors can only visibly capture approximately two-thirds of this length. Therefore, 13 feet of the side of the bus goes unseen by the driver, not to mention up to 30 feet worth of additional space that is obscured next to the bus.

    Obscured rearview mirror.

    Although buses have rearview mirrors, they aren’t large enough, nor powerful enough to extend the entire length of the cab. In addition to issues with depth perception, mirror visibility for transit buses is continuously obstructed by standing passengers—making it all but useless for seeing rear traffic.

    A-Pillar.

    The pillar that supports the windshield on the driver’s side, along with the side-view mirror, is well-known among bus drivers and trainers to cause severe visibility problems. The pillar has even spawned its own training technique to compensate for the loss of vision: the “rock and roll.” Drivers are encouraged to rock back and forth before turning and changing lanes in order to check the area obscured by the a-pillar

    Making Sure You’re Seen and Heard After a Bus Accident

    Every bus driver should be well aware of his duties and protocols to compensate for blind spots. However, sometimes accidents still occur and when they do—you could wind up paying a high price.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Bus Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Texas bus accident you need to speak with an experienced bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. We represent clients throughout Texas including Austin, Forth Worth and Dallas. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

    Know someone who could benefit from the above information? Please, feel free to share this page with her via email, Facebook, and Twitter, or recommend it to your friends on Google Plus. You never know who may need the support, or is curious about his risks. Click the media icons to share instantly. 

     

  • What are the worst types of injuries I could sustain in a motorcycle accident?

    From the moment you bought your Chopper, your wife has been overly paranoid that you’re going to crash it. Every time you take it out of the garage for a spin, she comments that she and the kids will be sure to visit you every day at Parkland Memorial until you can walk again. Although you know she says it to encourage you to be safe, you’ve often wondered if she is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    All of your buddies have recently bought bikes and haven’t even suffered as much as a sunburn—let alone any serious injuries—so what is she worried about? Honestly, what’s the worst that could happen?

    Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

    As a result of motorcycles being less expensive, and the popularity of shows like “Sons of Anarchy,” motorcycle purchases have dramatically increased throughout the United States. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, as of 2012, registered motorcycles exceeded 500,000 in Texas alone. Unfortunately, with the increase of motorcycles comes the increase of motorcycle crashes.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that over the past 10 years the number of annual motorcycle injuries have more than doubled. Recent data estimates that 5,000 people a year die, and over 200,000 are severely injured as a result of serious motorcycle crashes.

    Although some injuries are minor—if you’re extraordinarily lucky—many of them are catastrophic, life-altering and potentially fatal. These include:

    Road rash.

    Road rash is by far the most common motorcycle injury, and although generally not fatal, it can be extremely painful and cause debilitating infections.

    Eye damage.

    If not protected, your eyes can become scraped, impaled, crushed, or even gouged out by flying debris.

    Amputations.

    If a motorcycle falls on top of you or you’re forcefully thrown from your bike, your limbs can become crushed, severed, or mangled. Sometimes your limbs are injured to the point where they amputate themselves or need to be amputated.

    Brain damage.

    Head injuries are another common injury sustained by motorcyclists and can range from minor concussions to hemorrhaging, brain bleeds, and partial to complete cognitive loss.

    Paralysis and spinal cord injuries.

    Your spine can easily become smashed, crushed, severed, twisted, or broken in a collision.

    Death.

    Over 1,000 motorcyclists a year are mortally wounded during crashes, while another 4,000 motorcyclists wind up succumbing to their injuries within a week after their crashes.

    Recovering From Your Injuries

    If you’re one of the lucky survivors of a motorcycle accident, your injuries can—and most often do—affect you for the rest of your life. Even the more minor crash injuries, such as scrapes and road rash, can leave permanent and disfiguring scars. This is why it’s not only necessary to take proper safety precautions while riding your bike, but extremely important to know that you have care options and friends to help you after a crash.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Motorcycle Accident?

    If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

    With the increase of motorcycles on our roads, the need for cycle safety is more important than ever. Show your support by helping us reach out to our motorcycle community, and help them realize the potential risks. Simply click the social media icons on this page to instantly share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Remember, although your friends may know that motorcycles can be dangerous, they may not know an accident could affect the rest of their lives. Help them realize the risks, before it’s too late.

  • What should adult children know when talking with senior parents about their driving abilities?

    It’s a strange turn of events when you have to consider talking with your own parents about their driving abilities. It may seem like just the other day they were teaching you how to drive and talking with you about being a safe driver. But now it’s your turn to talk with your aging mother or father about driving safety.

    While this conversation might not be easy an easy one to have, it is good to find out how your parent feels about the following things as he or she is aging:

    • Physical ability to drive
    • Reaction time
    • Hearing and vision
    • Confusion

    Elderly people often suffer from declining physical abilities, slower reaction times, hearing difficulties, decreased eye sight, and feeling confused while driving or getting lost. By asking your mother or father about these things, you may find out if your aging parent is concerned with his or her ability to drive safely.

    While no senior wants to give up his or her keys to the car—and the sense of independence that comes along with driving—it is better to have this conversation in order to keep your parent safe. For example, your parent may just need a new prescription that will help him or her see better in order to avoid a car crash. However, if your elderly parent has been in a recent auto crash, there could be more to the change in his or her driving abilities.

    Do your part in helping keep your aging parent safe, as well as other motorists on Dallas roads safe by suggesting he or she should:

    • Have his or her eyes checked
    • Have hearing tested
    • Get a regular physical exam
    • Talk with a doctor about medications that could impair driving skills and health problems that could prevent safe driving
    • Find alternative transportation

    Because you probably have friends who are dealing with the same issues, we encourage you to share these tips on Facebook. You never know who this information will help.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Texas car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What are some warning signs that a trucking company is trying to delay a lawsuit?

    There are a few specific warning signs we can tell you about, but before we do, consider this: trucking companies exist to make money. Insurance companies for trucking companies exist to make money. They are not in business because they want to pay you anything. Therefore, nearly everything they say or do following your truck accident will be rooted in the fact that they want to get away with paying you as little as possible, no matter how injured you are.

    Whether you are at the stage where you are trying to negotiate a settlement, or you can't reach a settlement and are considering legal action, the trucker, their employer, and the employer's insurance company are doing everything they can to delay. Delaying may come in the form of:

    • The blame game. Each person who could potentially be at fault for the crash blames another person, and then that person blames another person. It's a seemingly never-ending circle of blame that delays the justice you are seeking.
    • Saying someone they need in order to move forward (like a lawyer or witness) is unavailable for some reason. Saying such things as “they're on vacation” or have prior work commitments they need to be present for.
    • Asking for more time because they are still collecting information and evidence to build their case.

    If it seems like a truck company is purposely ignoring you or trying to delay some type of resolution—they probably are. You likely do not have experience dealing with what happens in the aftermath of a truck accident, but you do have common sense and that gut feeling when things don't seem right.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Truck Accident?

    If you've been injured in a truck accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

  • How can I prove that someone's negligence caused my construction accident?

    When you were hurt in a construction accident, you may have felt that it was pretty clear whose negligence caused your injury. However, when you confronted the responsible party or parties about their involvement in your accident, you may have been surprised when they replied with “prove it.”

    Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for negligent individuals to deny the part they played in your injury. With a lot of money, their reputation, and possibly even their job on-the-line, people will say or do anything they can to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. We know that proving negligence is the last thing you want to deal with as you heal from your traumatic accident, and that's why as construction accident attorneys—we are always ready to help you.

    To prove negligence, our law firm will perform a full investigation to collect evidence. Evidence builds your case against the negligent party or parties and can be your key to a successful outcome. The evidence we collect needs to prove that the other person was responsible for your injuries and that they did not act according to an acceptable standard of safety. Evidence we may try to collect could include:

    • Testimony from witnesses
    • Medical reports
    • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violation and citation records
    • An examination of the accident site and equipment that was being used

    Texas leads the nation in work-related accidents, which unfortunately, means we are no strangers to construction accident cases. The Hart Law Firm knows exactly what to look for to prove negligence after a construction accident and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

    Have You Been Injured In A Texas Construction Accident?

    If you've been injured in a construction accident you need to speak with an experienced construction accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

  • How common are drunk driving accidents in Texas?

    Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents are far too common in Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), someone is hurt or killed in a crash involving alcohol approximately every 20 minutes. Texas leads the nation in drunk driving crashes and fatalities.

    Out of all of the counties in the state of Texas, Dallas County had the second-highest amount of DUI crashes in 2013 at 2,489; the only county with more DUI crashes was Harris County with 2,938 crashes. Here is how those nearly 2,500 crashes in Dallas County were broken down for 2013:

    • Fatal accidents – 74
    • Fatalities – 82
    • Serious injury crashes – 597
    • Serious injuries – 862
    • Other injury crashes – 422
    • Other injuries – 814
    • Non-injury crashes – 1,301
    • Unknown severity crashes – 95

    Drunk driving in Texas has become an epidemic of sorts. While our crash numbers have been coming down slightly in the past few years, they are not nearly low enough compared to other states. So, what is the problem? Why is drunk driving such a huge problem in Texas? It really boils down to grown adults making poor decisions. If a person knows they are going to be drinking alcohol, they need to make plans in advance for a designated driver, or be smart enough to call a cab at the end of the evening. On the law enforcement side of things, Texas is taking strides toward cracking down on drunk drivers, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is hoping our state will legalize the option of sobriety checkpoints and require ignition interlock devices for all first time convicted drunk drivers.

    Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?

    If you've been injured by a drunk driver in Texas you need to speak with an experienced drunk driver injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.

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