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Category Archives: Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents
Red Light, Green Light

RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Do’s And Don’ts After An Auto Accident.

By | Auto Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents | No Comments

SCREEEECHHHHHH….CRASH!

You’re cruising on your morning commute when suddenly; a car appears out of nowhere and swerves right in front of you.  You slam on your brakes and yank your steering wheel to the side but then you hear that sickening crunch as you’re jolted forward. Both vehicles come to a stop.  You’re shaken and your heart is racing, and you’ve just been in an Auto Accident.

As skilled injury attorneys serving McAllen Texas, Brownsville Texas, and the surrounding areas, we see our share pexels-photo-110241of auto accident victims.  We think it’s important to occasionally remind the friends of our firm, what they should do when they are in an accident.  This directly affects the outcome of their insurance claim and potential lawsuit.  You not only need to know what steps to take for safety and for your own well-being, but also what steps to take to improve your chances of a successful insurance claim.

We of course hope that you will never be in an automobile accident. But motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, car and scooter crashes and SUV rollovers unfortunately happen every day.  Let’s pretend it just happened to you, and review our Do’s and Don’ts of after an Auto Accident.

Dos:

1. Check yourself for injuries and make sure you are not bleeding anywhere. If you are, try to wrap or cover the bleeding area immediately.  If you have passengers in the vehicle with you, you should check them for injuries as well.

2. Quickly scan the vehicle for any dangerous signs like sparks, flames or leaking liquids. You may need to exit the vehicle very quickly. If you cannot open a door try the other doors or get a window down.

Safety Tip: It is wise to keep something in your car that you can break a window with should you ever be unable to get a window down.

3. If anyone in either vehicle is injured, an ambulance should be called immediately.  No matter how small the damages to your car(s), the police should be called also. The police report is necessary if you are going to pursue any claim. Pain and injuries can show up a day or even several days after an accident.

4. Record the information from the other driver — their name, license tag number, address and insurance company. If they flee the scene, call the police immediately and the police will attempt to apprehend them.

5. Whoever is able, should take pictures of the scene right away.  Include the position of all the vehicles and any debris or items around you that could have contributed to or affected the outcome of the accident.  Do not move your vehicle and ask the other parties not to move their vehicle either.  (Unless your accident was simply a very light fender bender, or if your vehicle is posing a hazard to other drivers.)

If you are injured and unable to stand up/move around and take pictures, ask a bystander or spectator if they would take pictures for you.

6. If you are capable, immediately take notes about what happened. Estimate the speeds of both vehicles and note any conditions or situations at the scene of the accident such as debris on the road, a malfunctioning traffic light, a speeding driver, construction, etc. Anything you can think of should be noted. Insignificant details can become important later. When the police speak to you, be honest and forthcoming. It is in your best interest.

Don’ts

1. Don’t speak to the other driver or any of the passengers in the other vehicle, unless it is to obtain their personal contact, license, tag, and insurance information. Speak only to the police officer who arrives on the scene.

2. Don’t agree to settle the dispute privately, chances are that you’ll regret this later.  Our attorneys have seen time and time again; accident victims come to our law firm and wish to pursue a claim after the other party failed to cooperate or failed to pay them the amount of money on which they agreed.

3. Don’t make a recorded statement with an insurance company.  From the scene or immediately after you leave the scene, you should contact your auto insurance company.  The insurance representative will attempt to have you record a statement to wrap things up quickly. They want to document a binding record of events and injuries before you even know the whole story. Don’t let this happen to you. We have seen physical conditions develop days or even weeks after an accident.

You need to assess injuries and damages before you agree to anything, and the mental stress you are experiencing may affect your ability to give a proper statement of events.

4. Don’t sign any documents for the insurance company or accept any payments.  You may not be aware your rights, and speaking to a personal injury attorney can help your case.

Next steps:

In the weeks and months after the accident, keep all receipts and record all activity pertaining to the accident. Make sure you keep all of your medical records and all paperwork from every doctor visit or other practitioner visits such as chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, MRIs, etc.

Summary Checklist:

Do: Check yourself for injuries.

Do: Scan the vehicle for any signs you may be in further danger.

Do: Call an ambulance if anyone in either vehicle is injured.

Do: Record the information from the other driver.

Do: Take pictures of the scene right away (whoever is able.)

Do: Take notes about what happened.

Don’t: Don’t speak to the other driver or any of the passengers in the other vehicle (unless it is to record the identifying information you need for insurance.)

Don’t: Don’t agree to settle the dispute privately.

Don’t: Don’t make a recorded statement with an insurance company.

Don’t: Don’t sign any documents for the insurance company or accept any payments.

Safety first:

Always wear your seat belts and always keep your auto insurance paid and up to date. It is extremely wise to carry uninsured motorist coverage because many accidents happen with the other driver had no or insufficient coverage. Our McAllen injury attorneys welcome your questions at any time.

car-accident-attorney

Drivers Beware: The Growing Issue of Texas Tailgaters

By | Auto Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents | No Comments

Most people think that tailgating is a minor driving offense, but it’s more dangerous than it seems.

Not only does tailgating cause rear-end collisions, which make up 23% of all traffic accidents according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has also caused serious and fatal accidents. Drivers on the road must follow other vehicles at a safe distance, and learn how to protect themselves from tailgaters.

Some drivers tailgate out of road rage, others are impatient, distracted, or careless.

In 2015, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 25,436 accidents occurred because vehicles were following others too closely. Out of those incidents, 12 caused fatalities and more than 6,000 involved injuries.

While most tailgating drivers do not cause serious accidents, it’s important that drivers know what to do after an accident. Most importantly, anyone injured by a tailgating driver should contact a Tijerina of McAllen or Brownsville, Texas personal injury attorney to explore their options.

The Danger of Tailgating

It’s important to understand the dangers of tailgating behavior.  When a car follows another too closely, the tailgating driver shortens the amount of time and distance they have to stop before striking the car in front of them, if that car slows down or stops abruptly.

Stopping distance is linked to the vehicle’s size and weight. For example, a small passenger vehicle requires less time and distance to stop, than a semi-truck or even an SUV.

The biggest limitation made by tailgating drivers is how well they can see and react.  The driver needs time to see and process whats happening ahead of them, and then react to avoid a collision. With limited space between vehicles, a tailgating driver has a much small chance to react in time.

Tips for Protecting Against Tailgating Drivers and Sharing the Road Safely

ï Keep a Safe Distance: The Texas Department of Insurance recommends a safety cushion of two seconds between vehicles. This allows the following driver to predict movements from the  driver in front of them and avoid a rear-end collision.

ï Switch Lanes: If a vehicle is tailgating, a driver can change lanes to allow them to pass.

ï Extra Space for Poor Weather: Drivers in bad weather conditions will need more time to react in case they cannot see well, or the road is wet or icy.

ï Write Down a Tailgaters License Plate Number: When a vehicle is tailgating, and will not stop, memorize the license plate number, then pull off the road to safety. Contact the local police department and report the vehicle.

How a Tijerina of McAllen Personal Injury Attorney Can Help After a Tailgating Accident

Vehicles tailgating on McAllen roads are acting negligently. Therefore, if a tailgating driver causes an accident, they could be liable for injuries and damages.

A Tijerina personal injury advocate can help accident victims file a claim and get compensation from the tailgating driver. In these cases, a plaintiff may be able to recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

After a serious accident, injured parties must contact a Tijerina Legal Group P.C. personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Seek a consultation from Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. by calling 956-777-7777 or request more information online.

stock_wine_with_dinner

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

By | Auto Accidents, Criminal Law / DWI, Motorcycle Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents | No Comments

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.

Distracted Drivers, McAllen personal injury lawyer, back-to-school drivers

The Back-to-School Season Means More Distracted Drivers On the Road

By | Auto Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

Area schools are now in session again, which means drivers and pedestrians alike must be more cautious on the road. To help avoid any accidents, here are a few seasonal things to watch out for that you may not have considered:

Driver’s Ed, Student Drivers, and Learning Permits

A new crop of teenagers just turned 15 over the summer, making them eligible for driver’s education classes and the state’s minor restricted driver’s license. New drivers have strict rules, and tend to be cautious, but mistakes can happen. Forgetting to complete a mirror check, glancing down at the speedometer too many times, and reaching out for a drink can all lead to fender-benders and more.

Heavy Pedestrian Traffic

When school is in session, there are certain times of day when there are more cars on the road, and also more pedestrians on the sidewalks. Drivers may become distracted while looking at those who are walking or jogging along, or they may miss seeing them in a crosswalk while completing a turn. Either way, increased pedestrian traffic, especially of children, can lead to an uptick in auto accidents.

College Students and Their Driving Records

College students from different states and countries return to the city each fall, bringing with them their unique sets of driving skills. The result is a mix of defensive and offensive drivers, who will react differently to situations on the road. In addition, these students may not know the city’s 2011 ordinance that established a ban on text messaging while driving.

Wrecks That Interrupt Work Sites

Late summer is still construction season, which means that there are countless workers out and about every day. Construction zones, renovation sites, and businesses with street-side storefronts can all be affected by those on the road. Anyone injured on the job may be eligible for additional compensation, particularly if the site or business’s negligence played a role in the accident. For example, improper signs or barriers can contribute to wrecks, regardless of whether the driver was paying full attention to the road.

If an accident does occur for any of the reasons above, do not hesitate to hire a McAllen personal injury lawyer to navigate the fault and insurance process for you.

How to Find Help When You Need It

Were you involved in an accident involving a distracted driver? Tijerina Legal Group is here to help. Humberto Tijerina III is an expert McAllen personal injury lawyer, with the knowledge and skill to get you the compensation you deserve. For a complimentary consultation, contact our staff online or by calling (956) 972-0141 today.

accident attorney McAllen, what to do in an auto accident

When to Seek Representation in an Auto-Pedestrian Crash

By | Auto Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents | No Comments

There have been numerous auto-pedestrian crashes in the area this year, including a fatal one earlier this month. Whether these accidents can be attributed to crosswalk design, visibility concerns, the driver, or the pedestrian, legal issues are sure to arise. Learn more about hiring an accident attorney in McAllen:

Gather Information at the Scene

Immediately following an accident, medical and public safety personnel should be called to the scene. After making sure all parties involved are in a safe place, exchange insurance information. Try to describe what happened to the police and insurance agents without claiming blame or placing it on the other person. Making any additional statements, even in passing to a friend or bystander, could have legal implications.

Begin to Determine Fault

Any time an accident occurs, the persons and authorities involved try to determine fault. However, many legal cases are not as straightforward as they may seem, especially when examined from different angles. For example, a person struck by an automobile may not be at fault. However, the driver may feel that circumstances were beyond his or her control, leaving the question of fault up in the air. If you were involved in an auto-pedestrian crash in any way, it is worth seeking legal representation to make sure your side of the story is heard.

Examine Insurance Coverage

Depending on a person’s individual policy and the outcome of an accident, insurance payouts may be required. Some auto policies cover all injuries to pedestrians, regardless of who is at fault. Other companies supply payments based on judicial decisions. The injuries sustained by a pedestrian may be quite severe or even fatal, so anyone struck by a vehicle should seek justice and full compensation. These types of accidents can also occur with those on skateboards, bicycles, and motorcycles.

When to Seek Expert Assistance

If you have been involved in an auto-pedestrian accident, you may need assistance navigating blame, insurance policies, and police procedures. Humberto Tijerina III, of Tijerina Legal Group, is an expert accident attorney in McAllen with many years of experience. Our staff is responsive and communicative, with a hands-on process that will never leave you in the dark. Whether you are fighting against a large insurance company for compensation or are trapped in a case whose odds are stacked against you, we can help. Contact us today online or by calling (956) 972-0141 for a complimentary consultation.