What is Personal Injury?

Hi my name is Joe Robles, Jr., Managing Attorney of the Pre-Litigation department at Bailey & Galyen.

So what is personal injury? Simply put personal injury is an injury caused by somebody else. It involves intentional torts and unintentional torts. An intentional tort includes your classic assault, battery, conversion, false improsonment among others. Unintentional torts is negligence.

Now what is negligence? Negligence is a 3 part test.

1. Does somebody have a duty to act?
2. Did somebody breach that duty?
3. Are there damages?

This 3 part test is used in a court of law to hold someobody liable.

So if you’ve been injured due to the negligence of somebody else please contact us at Bailey & Galyen for a free consultation.

When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

When to hire a personal injury attorney

How Soon After An Accident Should I Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?

In the aftermath of an accident, whether it’s a car accident, a mishap at work or a slip and fall, your first thoughts will naturally turn to your health. Before you do anything else, you need to make certain you’re taking the right steps to ensure maximum recovery from your injuries. But if your losses were due to the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have the right to take legal action to pursue full and fair compensation. How soon should you hire a personal injury attorney? What are the benefits of immediately securing legal representation?

What is the Statute of Limitations for A Personal Injury in Texas?

In Texas, as in all other states, there’s a written law, known as the statute of limitations, which requires that you file a lawsuit within a specific period of time or risk losing the right to pursue damages. In the State of Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim gives you two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. There are good reasons for the statute of limitations—it helps you secure evidence before witnesses die or move away, and while recollections of the facts are still fresh. It also ensures that a defendant doesn’t have to live in perpetual fear of a lawsuit.

But there’s really nothing to be gained by waiting to hire a personal injury lawyer. In fact, while it’s not necessary to place a call from the ambulance on your way to the hospital, the sooner you retain legal counsel, the more assurances you’ll have that all your interests and concerns will be protected:

  • Access to the right medical care — An attorney won’t just protect your legal rights. An experienced personal injury lawyer will also be your advocate with health care providers, ensuring that all potential conditions are treated.
  • Your rights with respect to insurance — Insurance disputes can arise almost immediately after any type of accident or injury. You may need certain types of care, but run into difficulties getting your health insurance company to approve or pay for them. If you were in a motor vehicle accident, there can be disputes about the types of coverage that apply, the deductibles you must pay or the amount of your losses. When you have legal counsel handling your injury claim, you’ll have an advocate in all matters, from legal to health to insurance needs.

    One of the typical strategies of insurance companies is to make a fairly quick offer of a settlement. You don’t ever want to have discussions about settlements, benefits or compensation from an insurer without having an attorney present. The insurance company knows what to expect, and can anticipate certain types of injuries or losses you may be unaware of. With an attorney on your side, you’ll also have someone who understands the full potential of losses you may incur.

  • Compilation and preservation of evidence — The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner you’ll have someone gathering, evaluating and safeguarding the evidence in your case. That’s the best way to ensure that evidence doesn’t get lost or destroyed, that witnesses don’t die or move away (before you can get a statement), and that memories remain intact. That’s particularly helpful when it comes to expert witnesses. In any personal injury lawsuit, you can expect that the defendants will have insurers who are seeking to minimize the damage award. They’ll most likely have their own experts—you’ll want your own, and you’ll want to make certain they have full and accurate information about what happened.

Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

At Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every personal injury client. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dog Bites Most Likely to Occur in the Summer

personal injury dog bite

Experts Say Children Are Most at Risk For Dog Bites During Summer

It’s summer and your kids are home from school. More likely than not, though, they’ll be outside playing somewhere. Unfortunately, during the summer months, when more small children are outside, there are typically more dogs outside as well. Statistics show that the summer vacation months are the time of year when dog bites and attacks are more likely. It’s most likely a combination of factors—more kids outside, hotter weather that makes dogs more irritable.

There are measures that you can take, though, to minimize the risk that your child will be a dog bite victim this summer. A four-year study reported in the medical journal Injury Prevention looked at more than 100 dog bites involving more than 40 breeds and came to the following conclusions:

  • The single greatest contributing factor to a potential bite or attack is a dog’s natural territorial response — Almost every breed of dog has some territorial instinct. The study found that children under the age of six were more likely to be bitten when going for a dog’s toy or food. The study found, however, that dogs of many different breeds will become aggressive when an unknown person comes close to them.
  • Fear or anxiety are also precursors to aggression — The study found that dogs were more likely to attack if exposed to sudden noise (including thunderstorms or fireworks) or unpredictable movements. Some dogs also showed more aggression when their owners were not present.
  • Children were less likely to recognize that a dog was in pain — A number of attacks involved canines who had suffered some type of injury or had some type of ailment. The evidence seemed to show that most children did not have the tools to be aware of that.
  • The younger the children, the greater the risk — The study found that children under the age of 10 were about five times more likely to be attacked than any other age group. Within that demographic, boys were more likely to be victims of a dog attack than girls. Researchers say that younger children tend to be louder and move more unpredictably and can often look a lot like the way young dogs play. If you’ve ever watched puppies play, they use their teeth a lot.
  • More often than not, the dog is one that’s known to the family of the victim — It may be a neighbor’s dog, a friend’s pet or a dog that frequents the neighborhood. The familiarity with the dog can give the false impression that the dog doesn’t pose a serious risk.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Children From Dog Bites

The first and most important thing is to communicate to your children that dogs need to be treated cautiously.

  • Teach your children not to run to a dog—the safest thing to do is stay put and ask if you can say hello.
  • They should never pet a dog they don’t know.
  • They should never approach a dog that is eating or chewing on anything
  • Don’t pull tails or ears and don’t wrestle with the dog (even your own dog)
  • If a loose dog approaches them, they should stand as still as possible—if they run, the dog’s instinct will typically lead them to chase and bite
  • Tell them to roll into a ball and keep their hands over their ears until the dog leaves—the more passive they remain, the less likely the dog will be aggressive with them.

Contact Our Dog Bite Attorneys Today

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fisher-Price Announces Recall of 4.7 Million Infant Sleepers

Mattel building

Fisher-Price Recall – Product Tied to More than 30 Infant Deaths

In April, 2019, retail giant Fisher-Price announced that it is recalling all models of its infant sleeper marketed under the product name “Rock’n Play.” Company officials say that the product, first introduced in 2009, has been linked to more than 30 infant fatalities and more than 700 injuries to children under the age of six months. The company warned consumers to immediately discontinue use of the product and said customers could contact the company for a “refund or voucher.” The American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional organization of nearly 70,000 doctors, has called for the removal of the product from store shelves nationwide.

An earlier warning from the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended that parents cease use of the Rock’n Play when the child reaches the age of three months or has shown the ability to roll over. The Rock’n Play is similar to a hammock in construction, with a cloth sleeping surface suspended from a metal frame. The sleeper is also designed so that the infant’s head is elevated above the rest of its body. It also vibrates and plays music, replicating the experience the child had in the womb. Industry analysts say it developed a cult following among sleep-deprived parents and earned glowing reviews from many, as it successfully put infants to sleep without the need to be held. Many parents saw the product, which sold for less than $100, to be a highly affordable alternative to many products on the market, which could sell for upwards of $1,300.

Industry watchdogs say the product design is contrary to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that infants sleep on their backs on a flat, firm surface in a bare crib, play yard or bassinet. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 10 infants have died in the last four years—all had rolled onto their back or side while unrestrained in the sleeper. All of those infants were at least three months old. Of the 32 infants who have died, though, some were younger than three months, but all had the ability to roll over.

Though Fisher-Price has agreed to recall the product, the company issued a statement that it “stands by the safety of the Rock’n Play,“contending that it” meets all applicable safety standards.” The company asserts that the product contains warnings, advising parents not to use it once a child has developed the ability to roll over or has reached the age of three months. Fisher-Price contends that the infant deaths are a result of parents not following product warnings.

Product Liability Law – Fisher-Price Recall

Under product liability law, any entity with the chain of distribution may be found liable for certain defects. A party may have responsibility for dangerous or defective design, manufacture or marketing of a product. Negligent marketing of a product includes the failure to provide reasonable notice or warning of any safety risks that the defendant knew or should have known were present.

Within a couple weeks of the notice of recall, a number of lawsuits were filed, with many seeking to establish a class action for parents of infants who suffered injury because of the Rock’n Play.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys About The Fisher-Price Recall

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Department of Justice Announces $9.1 Million Settlement in Defective Ear Plug Case

American soldiers

3M to Pay $9.1 Million to Settle Defective Ear Plug Claim

Injured Military Personnel May Have Claims Over Defective Earplugs

If you served in the armed forces of the United States between 2003 and 2015, and use the dual-end or reversible “Combat Arms” earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation, provided you can show that you were subsequently diagnosed with tinnitus or any type of combat-related hearing loss. According to lawsuits already filed, the earplugs, designed and manufactured by the Minnesota-based company 3M, did not create a tight seal in the ear, allowing high-decibel sounds to enter the ear canal, unbeknownst to users. 3M boasted that the design would allow users to hear commands from comrades or senior officer, and even approaching enemies, without impairment, but would protect against any hearing loss. Accordingly, users suffered hearing damage while believing they were protected from hearing loss.

In July, 2018, the United States Department of Justice announced that 3M had agreed to settle a federal claim against the company for $9.1 million. That claim, however, was made under the False Claims Act, a federal statute that allows the government to recover compensation from individuals and companies that commit a fraud on the government. Because the 3M contract was with the military, and because there was evidence that 3M employees knew as early as 2000 that the earplugs were defectively designed, the federal claim against 3M was strong.

The evidence in the False Claims Act case also included documents that showed that 3M had conducted testing that showed that the earplugs were ineffective, but misrepresented the test results in certification proceedings, wrongfully alleging that the product met military standards and specifications. According to estimates, the company provided the armed forces with approximately 750,000 pairs of the earplugs every year, from 2006 until 2015, when the product was discontinued. However, the earplugs were never recalled, so have been in continual use since 2015.

A federal lawsuit under the False Claims Act is essentially a whistleblower action. In the 3M case, one of 3M’s competitors, Moldex, brought the defective design to the attention of the federal government. Under the provisions of the False Claims Act, Moldex is entitled to share in the proceeds of any verdict or settlement. Moldex received nearly $2 million of the $9.1 million settlement.

Are you Suffering from a Defective Earplugs Injury?

It’s important to understand that the settlement under the False Claims Act does not have any impact on the rights of individuals who suffered personal injury because of the defective design of the Combat Arms earplugs. That settlement only addresses the fraud perpetrated on the U.S. military and the federal government.

Accordingly, if you or someone you love served in any branch of the armed forces from 2003 until the present, used the 3M Combat Arms earplugs, version 2 (known as CAEv2), you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options. A number of lawsuits have already been filed, many of which include demands for punitive damages, based on 3M’s gross negligence.

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers to Fight your Defective Earplugs Claim

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Why You Want an Experienced Attorney After a Car Accident

Car Accident

Protecting Your Rights When You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

Often when you’ve been injured in a car accident, the facts and circumstances can seem pretty clear cut, giving you the false assumption that you can probably handle your claim without the assistance of a lawyer. That’s always a bad strategy, for many reasons.

Most importantly, you can expect that the other motorist will have insurance, and that the insurer will retain legal counsel to protect their interests. Don’t expect any assistance from the judge, should you try to go it alone. Your opponent will have a comprehensive knowledge of the laws and procedures governing personal injury claims. That will put you at a significant disadvantage.

In fact, even if you’re not planning on filing a lawsuit for any losses incurred, it’s a wise move to retain an attorney help ensure you get the benefits to which you are entitled from your insurer. Insurance companies have a vested interest in paying you as little as possible—it’s how they maximize their profits. Without competent legal assistance, you can expect delays, denials or attempts to pay you less than you should receive.

There are other clear advantages to hiring experienced legal counsel to handle your car accident claim:

  • An attorney will make certain you file your complaint in a timely manner — The statute of limitations establishes how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. If you fail to bring legal action within the prescribed time period, you can lose your right to recover compensation. An experienced car accident attorney will know the appropriate statute of limitations and will ensure that you meet the deadline.
  • A skilled lawyer will help you recover compensation for all your losses — In the aftermath of a car accident, you may have the right to compensation for a wide range of losses, including wages and income, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium or companionship, pain and suffering, and unreimbursed medical expenses. Unless you have legal training, you may not know that you can recover for all these losses.
  • An experienced attorney will help you effectively prove the elements of negligence — Successfully bringing a personal injury claim requires more than showing that there was an accident and that you were hurt. To prove negligence, you must show that the defendant failed to act reasonably, that the failure to act reasonably caused an accident, and that you suffered actual losses in the accident. To complicate things even more, you must show two different types of cause—actual cause and proximate cause.

Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Spring Break Safety Tips

mom and dad in car with children

Reducing the Risk of Injury on a Road Trip

You’ve been hitting the books pretty hard and you’re ready for a break. And even though the days are starting to get longer, you’ve still got a good case of cabin fever. But spring break is just around the corner. Time for a road trip south!

It’s the annual pilgrimage to warmer climates. If you’re taking your car south, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of a motor vehicle accident. Here’s a checklist of items that will improve your chances of getting there and back safe and sound.

Make Certain Your Vehicle is Trip-Worthy

Whether you’ll be on the road two hours or ten, you want to know that your ride is ready for the road. Schedule an appointment with a mechanic you trust, tell him/her about your planned trip, and ask for an inspection of all important components, including brakes, steering wheel, drive train and all lights.

Ask the mechanic to check out your tires (including your spare). If the tread is wearing thin or there are other concerns, consider replacing your tires. It’s also a good time for a tune-up and an oil change, too. You’ll probably spend less on gas and you’ll have more peace of mind.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

You may not be able to predict a breakdown, but you can plan for one. Make certain you have all the items you’ll need, such as jumper cables, a working flashlight, emergency flares or cones, sealant for a leaking tire, and a first aid kit. Always bring a car charger for your phone and bring your road service card, if you have one.

Make Certain You Have a Way to Determine Where You Are and Where You’re Going

A GPS can make things easy, but it can also break down. You don’t necessarily want to rely on a single GPS…have another option in addition to the one on your phone. It’s also a good idea to have a good, old-fashioned paper map. You may never have to open it up, but you’ll be glad you had it if the rest of your technology breaks down.

Pace Yourself

Consider the journey to be as much a part of the trip as the destination. If you drive too many consecutive hours just to get there, you’ll likely crash and burn once you’re there. Split the trip up or take turns driving, so there’s always an alert driver behind the wheel.

Drive Defensively

It may be a cliché, but it’s still the best way to avoid an accident. Safe driving strategies include keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, refraining from using handheld devices while driving, operating your vehicle within the speed limit, avoiding drinking and driving, and always buckling your seat belt.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Accidents on Icy Texas Roads – Who Is Responsible?

Icy roads in Texas

Protecting Yourself in Texas Winter Weather

It’s winter in Texas. While that rarely means snow, it’s not that unusual for motorists in Texas to encounter the challenges of driving on icy roads. Unfortunately, rain can turn to ice in an instant. What are the consequences when you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident on an icy road in the middle of a Texas winter? Who is responsible for damages and how is liability determined?

Liability for Accidents on Icy Texas Roads

The first thing to understand is that it will never be an effective defense to liability to claim that there was ice on the road. Whenever you get behind the wheel of a car, there is an assumption that you will act reasonably. That means that you’ll take all known factors (or those that you should reasonably know about) into consideration and respond as a reasonable person would. Accordingly, if temperatures are in the mid-30s and dropping, and it’s either raining or there’s precipitation likely, it’s reasonable to expect that the precipitation could cause ice to accumulate on the road.

The legal theory under which liability for an ice-related accident will be resolved is “negligence.” To prove negligence, an injured party must show three things:

  • That the at-fault person breached the duty of care—i.e., did not act reasonably
  • That the breach caused an accident
  • That the injured person suffered losses as a result of the accident

What Constitutes “Reasonable” Behavior When Texas Roads become Icy?

It’s also important to know that there’s no hard and fast rule regarding the actions a person must take when Texas roads become icy. What will be considered “reasonable” behavior is typically determined by a jury on a case-by-case basis. It will usually vary based on the circumstances:

  • How much advance warning did the motorist have of impending ice on the road?
  • Why was the motorist on the road? Was it an emergency or an optional trip?
  • Did the motorist take any measures to respond to the ice—reduced speed, use of emergency flashers or warning lights, etc.?

What Is The Best Way to Avoid A Car Accident on Icy Texas Roads?

Obviously, the sure way to avoid a car crash on an icy road is to stay off the roads. In the winter in Texas, it’s always a good idea to check drivetexas.org before you head out. If you have any reason to believe there will be precipitation, pay close attention to your speed, always staying below the limit, as you’ll need more distance to stop. Make certain there’s no accumulation of ice or snow on any of your windows, so that you can see all other motorists. Furthermore, if at all possible, avoid hills, bridges and deep valleys, as those are places where you can easily lose control.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Drunk Driving Accidents Over the Holidays

holiday drinking nutcracker

Don’t Settle for Less This Christmas

The holidays are a time of joy and revelry, a time to share and create lasting memories with loved ones. They are also a time of needless tragedy, one of the most dangerous times to be on the nation’s roadways. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that an average of 300 people have died in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents every year over the last five years.

In another study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the vast majority of fatal accidents occurred on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. Over the four year period of the study, more than 40% of the fatalities for the entire month occurred at the New Year’s holiday and as many as almost 38% at Christmas. The NHTSA study concluded that alcohol was a factor in around four of every 10 fatal accidents at Christmas and New Year’s. Statistics gathered by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) found alcohol to be even more of a factor, involved in 52% of fatal accidents on Christmas and 57% of fatal accidents at the New Year’s holiday.

Steps You Can Take to Minimize the Risk of a Holiday Drunk Driving Accident

The good news—most drunk driving accidents are almost entirely preventable. Here are some ways that you can avoid or minimize the risk of an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident this holiday season:

  • Plan ahead—If you know you’ll be attending a party where alcohol will be served, arrange a ride in advance. This may involve identifying a designated driver or contacting a ride-share or cab service to arrange to be picked up at a specific time.
  • Have the party at your house—Invite everyone to your house and you won’t have to worry about getting behind the wheel or being on the road with drunk drivers. You’ll want to think about your guests, too. Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available. Offer guests a place to sleep, if necessary, or arrange transportation for anyone who is not fit to drive.
  • Be willing to be tough—Be willing to take keys away from someone who may be impaired. In addition, be willing to refuse to allow a person to have additional alcohol.
  • Be overly cautious on the roads—You know there will be drunk drivers on the roads. You can’t completely avoid that. However, you can intentionally maintain a little more distance between you and other drivers, and you can pay more attention to your surroundings.
  • Report any suspected drunk drivers—If you do get on the road and observe other drivers who appear to be impaired, call the police and report the location of the driver as well as the make and model of the car. You may prevent a serious or fatal accident.

Contact Us

At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by email or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Beware of Quick Settlement Offers During the Holidays

insurance claim settlement

Don’t Settle for Less this Christmas

You don’t ever want to be hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, but it can be even more devastating during the holidays. There’s a lot to do and personal injury can bring your life to a complete stop. In addition, it’s a time of good cheer—it can be hard to put on a positive face when you’re uncertain about your future. For those reasons, you may be inclined or susceptible to taking actions that compromise your rights. Insurance companies know the stress that comes with the holidays and won’t think twice about trying to cut their losses by offering you a quick settlement—one that, unfortunately, won’t meet your needs.

Even when the holidays are months away, there can be an inclination to want things wrapped up as quickly as possible, so that you have your money. It’s a delicate balance—you don’t want to wait unnecessarily long for compensation that may not come, but you should never focus solely on how quickly you can get compensation. Instead, it’s better to determine how much you are willing to give up (dollar-wise) to get immediate access to cash.

Some Things Just Take Time

It’s an old adage, but it’s true, particularly with respect to many personal injury lawsuits. If any of the following situations describe your case, you’ll need time to get an accurate assessment of your total losses:

  • You are still receiving treatment for your injuries—often, you won’t know for some time just how much your injury will affect your life and what kind of recovery you can expect. With a quick settlement, you’ll typically be expected to sign a release, so that the insurance company has no further liability for any medical expenses or other losses. If, however, you have injuries that initially seem minor, but get worse, you may be unable to get the insurer to pay for the treatment you need because of the release.
  • Your losses are substantial—the more money that’s at stake, the more likely insurance companies will engage lawyers to minimize the amount paid out.
  • It’s unclear exactly who was at fault, or to what degree—there may be multiple parties who contributed to the accident. It can take time to sort all that out.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Accordingly, everything they do is calculated to maximize their profits. If they are offering a fast settlement, they’re doing so because it’s in their best interests, not yours. Often, it’s because they know that your claim is worth more and worry that you’ll retain legal counsel, who will bring out the facts to establish the company’s full liability.

It’s almost always a mistake to accept an insurance company offer before hiring legal counsel to represent you after a personal injury. The insurance company has no incentive to offer you the full value of your injury—in fact, you can expect that the first offer will be for significantly less than you deserve. Even if you end up negotiating a settlement, you’ll customarily end up with a larger recovery than if you take an early settlement offer.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Accordingly, everything they do is calculated to maximize their profits. If they are offering a fast settlement, they’re doing so because it’s in their best interests, not yours. Often, it’s because they know that your claim is worth more and worry that you’ll retain legal counsel, who will bring out the facts to establish the company’s full liability.

It’s almost always a mistake to accept an insurance company offer before hiring legal counsel to represent you after a personal injury. The insurance company has no incentive to offer you the full value of your injury—in fact, you can expect that the first offer will be for significantly less than you deserve. Even if you end up negotiating a settlement, you’ll customarily end up with a larger recovery than if you take an early settlement offer.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Halloween Now Poses Greatest Risk of Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Accident

Halloween Now Poses Greatest Risk of Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Accident

Proliferation of Adult Celebrations Leads to Dramatic Increase in DWI-Related Crashes

A quick question—what night has the most alcohol-fueled motor vehicle accidents every year? New Years Eve, right? Not anymore…though the revelry that accompanies the annual changing of the calendar still poses substantial risk, there’s a new kid in town, so to speak. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, Halloween, the annual celebration of “All Hallows Eve,” now involves more drunk driving accidents than any other time of the year. In fact, the 12-hour period between 6 pm on October 31 and 6 am on November 1, sees more alcohol-related automobile accidents than any similar time period year-round. Of those accidents, approximately half involved drunk drivers between the ages of 21 and 34.

In addition to alcohol-related crashes involving two or more vehicles, there’s been a spike in the number of pedestrian accidents on Halloween night, often involving children out trick-or-treating. Halloween has long been recognized as the “deadliest” day of the year for child pedestrian accidents. A study of data collected over two decades showed more than 100 child fatalities on Halloween night, with one in four taking place between 6 pm and 7 pm, the peak hours for trick-or-treating. About seven of every ten accidents occurred away from a crosswalk or intersection—officials say that children excited by Halloween often neglect to obey simple rules about crossing at corners. Drivers under the age of 25 accounted for about a third of all the fatal child pedestrian accidents on Halloween.

Public safety officials say there are a number of steps both drivers and others can do to minimize the risk of a tragedy:

  • If you plan to drink, have a plan in place to keep you from getting behind the wheel—Arrange a designated driver in advance or schedule for a cab/ride share to pick you up at the end of the night. Take public transportation, catch a ride with someone who’s not drinking or make it a slumber party.
  • Stay off the roads during peak trick-or-treating time—It’s 6 pm to 8 pm in most places. If you don’t have to go anywhere, don’t. If your errands can wait, postpone them until trick-or-treating is over. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s often not a risk worth taking. If you have to be on the road, drop your speed down, just for this one night.

Parents can also help minimize the risk of injury to their children:

  • Accompany them as they go from door-to-door
  • Plan a route that minimizes proximity to busy roads or blind intersections
  • Make certain your child’s costume does not obstruct his or her view of surroundings
  • If the costume is not highly visible, add some reflective material

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What Are Your Rights as a Passenger Involved in a Car Crash?

Auto Accident PassengerWe’re a society on the go: a 2016 census estimated that there were about 1.8 cars per household in the U.S. that year. But, that mobility comes at a cost. In 2017, over 4.5 million people were hurt in auto accidents badly enough to require medical help. Such injuries can be traumatic, even life-changing. How do you get back on your feet, medically and financially, after a car crash? How do you begin to recover?

If there is any good news in such a situation, it’s this: as a passenger, you may have the right to recover the full extent of your damages. If you are a passenger in a car that strikes a stationary object (like a telephone pole or even a parked vehicle), you can file a claim against the driver of the car in which you are riding. Your chances for recovery are good, even if you are in an accident involving two or more drivers. While the drivers may be embroiled in a dispute over who caused the crash, you can file a claim against the insurance policies of all drivers involved, including the driver of the car in which you were a passenger. The parties’ insurance companies can then debate about comparative negligence, that is, how to apportion responsibility for the crash. In a comparative negligence analysis, a driver who is found to be 60 percent responsible for the accident can recover only 40 percent of his or her damages, but as a passenger, you may be able to recover all of your damages. This means that you can still collect from the driver who was less at fault because both drivers were responsible for the crash.

Of course, your ability to recover may be complicated by other factors. For example, if you are related to the driver of the car, you may not be entitled to a separate recovery because the insurance company will not pay against its own claim. Also, if you were somehow responsible for the accident – say, you seized the driver’s arm or obscured the driver’s vision – your recovery would be limited by your proportional liability. The analysis of liability and recovery also changes if you are in a no-fault state, like Michigan or New Jersey. If you are in a no-fault state, you must file a claim with your own insurance rather than the driver’s.

However, in some cases, your damages may exceed the coverage of any party’s insurance policy. In those circumstances, you might consider filing a lawsuit. Injuries in a car crash are treated like other personal injury claims. As a passenger, you would have to establish that

  • The driver had a duty towards you (a duty to drive safely).
  • The driver breached that duty by failing to make reasonable decisions and avoid a crash.
  • You were injured.
  • The injury was a result of the driver’s actions.

In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and even emotional distress.

If you have been injured in a car accident and have further questions about how to secure your rights, give us a call or send us an email. We’re here to help you get back on your feet again.

Who Has Liability When My Child Is Injured in a School Bus Accident?

Yellow School Bus Accident

Establishing Responsibility after a School Bus Crash

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare—you put your child on the school bus every day and you trust that the driver will exercise good judgment and reasonable care, and that your children will be safe. The good news—your children are pretty safe, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—less than one half of one percent of all motor vehicle accidents every year involve “school transportation” vehicles, and more than 90% of the serious injuries suffered in those accidents were to students on a bus. But what if your child was one of the few that did suffer injury? What are your options? How do you go about getting full and fair compensation for all your losses?

The Different Types of School Bus Claims

Though many school bus accidents involve collisions with other vehicles, there are other types of mishaps that can cause serious injury, including:

  • Slips and falls on wet steps onto a bus
  • Injuries sustained, including whiplash and similar soft tissue trauma, when a school bus makes a sudden start or stop
  • Injuries suffered when a school bus takes a turn or corner at too high a rate of speed
  • Injuries to pedestrians hit by a school bus at or near a bus stop

Determining Fault in a School Bus Accident

In a school bus accident claim, as with any personal injury claim based on negligence or carelessness, one of the first things you’ll need to do is show that someone failed to exercise a reasonable standard of care, and that their failure caused injury or loss. With respect to a school bus crash, there can be a number of potentially responsible parties:

  • The bus driver—You may be able to show that the bus driver failed to act as a reasonable person would. The bus driver may have been speeding, may have been driving without adequate rest, may have been taking medication that impaired his or her ability to drive and respond, or may even have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the driver may have ignored traffic laws or failed to take roadway or weather conditions into account
  • The school or school system—You may be able to demonstrate that the school/school district failed to properly train the driver or to ensure that that driver had appropriate licenses or certifications. The school may have failed to examine the driver’s record to determine whether he or she had a history of careless driving. The school district may also have failed to properly monitor and maintain the bus, leading to mechanical problems that caused or contributed to the accident.
  • The manufacturer, designer, or seller of the bus—If the bus had design or manufacturing flaws that caused or contributed to the accident, you may be able to file a product liability claim against anyone in the chain of distribution.
  • Other motorists—Did another motorist violate traffic laws, causing or contributing to the accident. There doesn’t necessarily need to be any impact. Did the bus driver have to take evasive action or slam on the brakes, causing injury to passengers on the bus?
  • Roadway defects—Was the accident caused by the failure of a municipality to monitor and maintain its roads? If the accident happened on school property, did the school/school district improperly fail to maintain the premises?

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bayer Pulls Essure Birth Control Product from Market

Bayer Essure

Withdrawal of Product Precedes Critical Documentary

Citing poor sales, as well as “inaccurate and misleading publicity” regarding its non-surgical permanent birth control device marketed under the name Essure, Bayer has announced that it will stop selling the product at the end of the year. The decision comes on the heels of an order from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), issued in April, which significantly restricted sales of the device. The announcement also anticipates The Bleeding Edge, a documentary from Netflix that chronicles the side effects that have been reported by users of the Essure product.

At Bailey & Galyen, we have extensive experience protecting the rights of individuals who have suffered injury because of the poor design, manufacture or malfunction of a medical device. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss a potential claim for damages caused by the Essure device, contact our office online or call us at 844-402-2992.

The Essure device, the only non-surgical contraception device currently on the market, involved the insertion of a metal coil into each fallopian tube, causing scar tissue to develop. The scar tissue creates a blockage, which is intended to prevent conception. The product was developed by Conceptus Inc. and received FDA approval in late 2002. While a 2009 review of the device found that it appeared to be effective, critics have alleged that the study was based on short-term studies only. Over the last five years, increasing controversy has centered on the device, with thousands of users claiming serious side effects, and many undergoing surgical extraction.

As of July 2018, more than 16,000 lawsuits have been filed, alleging a wide range of health problems, including fallopian tube perforation, serious pain and bleeding (some requiring hysterectomies) and even some deaths. While the company originally reported a failure rate of less than 1 percent, there have been hundreds of claims of unintended pregnancies in the past couple years. The device has also been linked to:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic reactions
  • Rashes
  • Autoimmune disease-like symptoms
  • Back and joint pain
  • Numbness and tingling in extremities
  • Anxiety and depression, including thoughts of suicide
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss

An FDA news release issued April 9, 2018, referenced the reports of pain and perforation and also expressed concerns that the coils could migrate from the fallopian tube to the pelvis or abdomen. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., stated, “We’ve been closely evaluating new information on the use of Essure, and based on our review of a growing body of evidence, we believe this product requires additional, meaningful safeguards to ensure women are able to make informed decisions about risk when considering this option.” Gottlieb further stated:

  • We take the concerns of all women affected by Essure very seriously. I’ve personally had the opportunity to meet with several women and hear their important concerns about this product. Despite previous efforts to alert women to the potential complications of Essure, we know that some patients still aren’t receiving this important information. That is simply unacceptable. Every single woman receiving this device should fully understand the associated risks.

The April order mandated that Bayer take additional steps to “provide reasonable assurance of the device’s safety and effectiveness.”

In all public statements surrounding the withdrawal decision, Bayer has insisted that liability issues and potential health risks tied to the product have not been a factor. A spokesperson said the “voluntary discontinuation” was “not indicative of safety issues,” and Bayer emphasized that it “stands behind the product’s safety.” However, the FDA says that, as of early 2018, more than 26,000 complaints have been logged with the agency related to the product, and that Bayer had another 11,000 complaints that it received directly.

Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a free initial consultation to anyone with a potential Essure-based injury claim. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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