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(English) Can a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Sue Bars for Over-Serving Patrons?

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When a customer visits a local bar, they are accountable for their own actions. If driving, that means understanding their limitations and following the law by making sure that they never get behind the wheel while intoxicated or impaired.

The state of Texas expects anyone with a driver’s license to act responsibly, but establishments can also be responsible for damages when they serve alcohol to drunken drivers. In most states, bars or restaurants are required serve their guests responsibly.  They must watch customer behavior to make sure they are not becoming intoxicated. When a drunken guest leaves a bar and tries to drive, the seller must help them find another way home.  If the guest still drives away, the sellers call the police to tell them that the guest is driving drunk.  Texas personal injury lawyers consider these requirements when a victim is injured by a drunk driver, who was over-served at a bar or restaurant.

The Texas Dram Shop Act

If a drunk driver causes damages or injuries, a Texas personal injury lawyer may be able to hold a bar or restaurant responsible by utilizing the Texas Dram Shop Act of 1987.  This act means that courts hold alcohol sellers liable for accidents that resulted, at least in part, because of the over-service of alcohol.

The act states that a server of alcohol may be liable in a drunken driving accident case if:

• The seller provided alcohol after it was clear that the patron was intoxicated;
• The seller continued to provide alcohol even after it was evident the patron posed a danger;
• The intoxication of the patron is what caused the accident and injuries.

The Texas Dram Shop Act also protects passengers inside the vehicle with the drunken driver, and pedestrians struck by the driver’s vehicle.  Basically, the Dram Shop Act holds the bar or restaurant responsible, when they continue to serve alcohol to a person that was drunk and did not make sure that the guest got home safely.

McAllen Personal Injury

Restaurants are required to serve alcohol responsibly.

A bar or it’s employees may face criminal charges.

They could also lose their ability to serve alcohol. When a bar is associated with a drunken driving incident, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission investigates to determine if there is any reason to take away the beer/wine or liquor permit.

A McAllen or Brownsville personal injury lawyer builds evidence after a drunken driving incident. An attorney interviews witnesses that can testify to the defendant’s behavior.

Texas personal injury attorneys investigate any and all evidence that will show that the driver was intoxicated.  For example, the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content is taken by police after the incident, and used as evidence.  They also find videos that show the driver slurring, staggering while walking,  or showing other signs of being drunk.  Especially if the bar or restaurant continued to serve them alcohol.

Hiring A Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

Those injured in a motor vehicle accident that involved a drunken driver in McAllen or Brownsville, Texas should contact Tijerina Law Group P.C. as soon as possible.

Our attorneys determine if the Texas Dram Shop Act applies, and work to make sure that the drunken driver is held responsible for injuries caused by their actions. Whether or not the bar or restaurant can be held liable, driver must be held accountable for their reckless behavior. The driver and/or alcohol seller may be required to pay compensation to all victims.

Contact Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. by calling 956-777-7777 or complete an online contact form to speak with a Tijerina personal injury team member for your McAllen or Brownsville, Texas Personal Injury case.


(English) To Scooter or Not to Scooter?

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There’s been a lot of dialogue about gas prices and the effect they’re having on vehicle sales. On the one hand, we’ve seen reports showing that fuel efficiency is now the main factor in new car purchase decisions – reports that complement the increased popularity of fuel-efficient cars. On the other hand, there are some contradictory reports that indicate shoppers pay more attention to a vehicle’s price than its fuel efficiency. So really, which feature is more vital: the MPG or the price? Well, it’s both. Read More


(English) Causes of Auto Accidents in America

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It happens all too frequently, ranging from a little fender bender to a rollover: motor vehicles collide on a roadway.

Unfortunately, auto accidents just happen. Weather factors obviously play a role in the amount of accidents every year, but what other factors come into play? Read More


(English) Explanation of the Lemon Law in Texas

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Does the new car you recently bought have a major issue? Is it the second or third time that you have had to get it repaired for the same issue?

Although you may be frustrated, you have options besides sending the car back in for repair.  Specifically, you may be covered under either (a) the federal Lemon law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) or (b) the Texas Lemon Law. These laws are designed to protect consumers when buying a new car and who are tired of having the same issue replaced multiple times. Read More


A Property Owner’s Responsibility: Security and Your Rights

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You hear about it in the news – someone is robbed, mugged, attacked. They could receive a few scratches or be very seriously injured. Obviously the attacker is responsible. But who else is at least partially responsible? Possibly the property owner. These crimes are typically committed in parking lots, at apartment complexes, in stores or other retail establishments, and other “public” places. So if this happened to your loved one, what are their rights?

When someone is a victim of a mugging or any type of physical attack, they deserve to be compensated for their injuries and losses. Most likely, the criminal who committed the attack does not have the finances to compensate the victim. In cases like this, victims hire personal injury attorneys to investigate the incident and determine if the property owner can be held accountable. How?

The owners and managers of a property – any type of property – have a responsibility (and moral obligation) to keep that property safe. To ensure that it is free from unsafe conditions. This doesn’t just mean that the property owner must remove tripping hazards or make sure there are no dangerous items like a faulty elevator, broken handrail or uneven pavement.

It also means that they must keep the property safe from criminal activity.

Property owners/managers have to determine what level of security is necessary for their area, their business, their street. Not all property owners take this responsibility seriously, and so you have a lack of concern for the public – a LACK OF SECURITY.

When someone is attacked and harmed on someone else’s property, and they file a lawsuit, this is called a negligent security case. You’ll find these types of cases typically involve hotels, shopping malls, stores, apartment communities and other places with frequent public traffic.

The personal injury attorney will examine every aspect of the physical property itself, and the location. They establish the likelihood of an attack happening based on the area surrounding the property and the knowledge that the property owner had. In what is called the discovery phase, the lawyer will request that the property owner provide records showing any past incidents, as well as any proof that security measures were taken. If there has been any kind of attack on or near the property in the past year or two, it supports the negligent security argument.

Once it has been established that security was needed at this property, the challenge for the court is to then establish: “how much security was enough?” Were the security measures that were in place (if any) enough to meet the property owner’s responsibility to maintain a safe environment. Maybe the area around the property was far too dark, and better lighting was needed. Maybe a security guard should have been hired because there had been a previous incident. Maybe cameras should have been installed. Often just one of these steps could have prevented a crime.

Negligent security cases fall under the legal umbrella of premises liability. This is the same type of law that makes property owners accountable and responsible when someone has a slip and fall injury. The bottom line is that, if safety measures were not taken and someone is hurt, the owner of the property can often be held responsible, and their insurance helps to compensate the victim for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. It always pays to check with a personal injury law firm to determine if premises liability and/or negligent security are a legitimate claim in an injury case.


Explanation of Personal Injury Law

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Due to the fact that personal injury law is so complex, it is always recommended that a lawyer be hired in order to solve a personal injury case. There are many factors to consider when hiring a personal injury attorney, and ultimately, feeling comfortable with this decision. Weighing specific factors like the severity of the injury attained, costs of medical bills, the permanence of the injury, and the pain and suffering you are experiencing are all important issues that must be considered before pursuing your right to damage claims.

Personal injury cases begin when a client seeks legal advice for an injury that was caused by the negligence or deliberate action of another party or group (the second being known as a tort). The client’s sustained injuries may arise from a variety of circumstances and situations, but in general, the goal of a personal injury attorney is to recover losses for the victim, and hold the other party responsible. This is accomplished by providing proof of the varied damages to date. With this said, personal injury law is built to compensate an injured party to the fullest extent possible. Damages that can be recovered are mostly related to medical expenses, property damages, loss of earnings, and legal costs. Determining how much can be recovered is difficult, especially at the start of a case, but the role of the attorney is to analyze all the appropriate case factors and activities to build probable cause; in the end advocating for the injury.

After the accident has occurred, certain activities or tasks may be difficult for the client, and the personal injury case must take that information in to account. However, what is always reviewed in cases involving injury is whether or not the client knowingly and willingly subjected themselves to risk. In some cases the plaintiff may have signed a waiver that stated their knowledge of risk and agreement not to hold the other party responsible. These waivers are proof that an individual was not forced to participate in an activity, but did so at their own digression. The process of analyzing who is at fault in a situation like this is called assumption of risk theory.

Although there are many challenges to gathering all this information, the most important issue that needs to be considered is time. There are many time restraints on injury lawsuits, and in the United States the laws for this differ by state and the type of injury. It may take a long time for all the physical issues to become apparent after an accident, but a case cannot usually be made for an injury if symptoms appear years later.

Personal injury claims usually result from accidents at work, assault claims, traffic accidents, slip and fall, and defective product injuries. Unfortunately, another sizable portion of personal injury cases result from medical malpractice; mostly in the dental and vision fields.

As mentioned previously, it is vital as an injured victim to receive legal advice and seek assistance for your case from an attorney specializing in personal injury law. Not only do they have knowledge of courtroom procedure and torts, but they excel in reviewing every detail and aspect of the case and estimating approximately how much damages can be recovered.


Child Passenger Safety

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Did you know that Automobile Accidents are the number one cause of death in children age 3 to 14? Preventive measures can be taken by parents, caregivers and grandparents who drive children from place to place – read more in this informative article provided by our personal injury law firm – we are committed to public safety.

Between 230,000 and 265,000 children are injured in auto accidents in the United States each year and some of them are killed. Most accidents happen within 25 miles of home and on streets where the speed limit is less than 45 mph. This is an interesting and important point to note and reiterates how essential it is to always use the car seat no matter how far or how fast you are traveling.  Most parents use car seats but the problem is that they do not always use them every single time. Also, many people use them incorrectly and so the child seat is not doing its job.

Remember, car seats are the law. In all 50 states, you are required to place children 18 months of age and younger in a car seat. Most states have a law requiring use of a car seat until the age of three. Children who are not in a car seat are up to four times more likely to be seriously injured if they are in an auto accident.

How to choose a car seat

Choosing a car seat can be confusing.  The US government has crash safety and fire safety standards, so any car seat sold in the US must meet these requirements. Note that if you purchase a used car seat that is two years old or older, there is a good chance that it did not have to meet the same strict requirements that are in place today.

Until a child is two years old or close to this age, they should be kept in a rear facing car seat. Make sure you choose a car seat designed to hold your child’s weight. When your child gets to be above the weight limit of the rear-facing seat or grows too tall for it, you can then switch to a combination car seat or a booster seat.

It is best to use a car seat with a five point harness, which is believed to be the safest because it restrains the child at the hips and shoulders and so the force of the collision is delivered to the strongest parts of the child’s body. T-shaped and other types of restraints place the force of the collision on your child’s belly and groin—a very vulnerable area.

Using a car seat correctly

More often then not, car seats are placed or installed improperly. So follow these points. First, remember that the safest place for a car seat is the middle of the rear seat, better protected from side impact. Tethering your car seat to an anchor in your car makes them much more secure. Vehicles sold before 1999 don’t have these anchors but you can get your vehicle fitted with an anchor system. Ask an auto dealer for your type of vehicle.

Always completely read the instructions that come with a new car seat. There should also be installation guidelines in the owner’s manual of your vehicle. When your car seat is installed properly, it fits tightly against all sides of your car’s seats with as little give as possible. Push down firmly on the car seat when you place it into your vehicle and always thread your car’s lap and or shoulder belt through the correct slots on the child seat. Make sure there is no slack.

When you are done placing your car seat, try tilting it in various directions. It should not move more than 1 inch in any direction. If it does, then you need to find a tighter fit. Many parents also make the mistake of placing the harness straps to low on a child’s chest. Or they have the harness straps too loose. We realize you want your child to be comfortable but a tight strap across the chest starting at the armpits is extremely important.

If you want to make certain that your car seat is installed correctly and that you are using it in the best, safest way, you can find car seat check ups in your area. Visit websites such as Safe Kids USA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to look for child safety seat inspection locations. Often you will find police stations or automotive dealerships offering these seat inspections several times per year.

Back Seat Riders

Until children are 13 years of age, the best place for them is your backseat. Even once a child is in a booster seat, he or she should still be in the back. On average, children should remain riding in a child safety seat until they are four years old and weigh 40 pounds. Over this age and weight you can begin using a booster seat.

Don’t be Distracted

Remember that distractions like loud music, eating, or using cell phones can put child passengers at risk.  Even if you have just a fender bender, a child can be injured much more easily than an adult. So be alert at all times, use the cell phone only after you have reached your destination or have pulled off of the highway, and make children your safety priority on every trip whether it is 1 mile or 500 miles. Stay safe on the roads.


Overview of Texas Court System

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Our court system is comprehensive, and interesting to learn about. Here is a bit of history:
In the Judiciary Act of 1789, the very first Congress established the Judicial Courts of the United States. They created the Supreme Court, choosing to have it consist of a Chief Justice and five ‘associate judges’. They created a middle tier of circuit courts (trial courts). The Judiciary Act was controversial at the time. It acknowledged the “official status” of state courts, yet reinforced the supreme authority of the Federal judiciary. Read More