Auto Accidents and Legal Representation

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Call The Barrera Law Firm for a free consultation following a car accident.

If you’re in an auto collision and the other person involved in that car wreck does not have insurance your options are not completely exhausted. You have other options available to you. Your own policy may have provisions included in it which will allow you to recover. An insurance contract is an agreement between you and an insurance company. You pay into it every month, or every six months or every year and you are expected to get something in exchange or in return for what you gave them. They, on the other hand, will be responsible for providing you what has been promised. In this case, you will have various things in your policy that may be included such as Personal Injury Protection, Under-insured Motorist or Uninsured Motorist. These aspects protect you when you are in an auto accident. They will provide you money that can be advanced toward hospital expenses or towards other expenses that are associated with the collision.

One thing to keep in mind is that an insurance adjuster is an individual who works for the insurance company. They do not work for you. They represent an insurance company which is a business, and that business is set up to be as profitable as possible. When you are involved in a collision, that insurance adjuster is not looking at your best interests alone. They are looking at the interests of the insurance company. Seeing an attorney is absolutely imperative when you’re in a collision because an attorney will be looking at your best interests and insuring that every possible form of recovery is granted on your end. The best thing to do before making any kind of recorded statement or communicating with an insurance adjuster is call an attorney. Call an attorney to get signed up to represent you so that insurance adjuster will have to go through that attorney who is equally or better matched against that insurance adjuster and their attorneys to represent your best interests.

Very often an insurance adjuster will try and take advantage of an individual’s uninformed position in an auto collision and offer a sum of money, which seems very tempting at the time. They’ll bring you a check, you’ll sign for it, you’ll have money in the bank. However, what happens when you accept that check, well the insurance company has essentially washed their hands of any future medical expenses you may have, or complications associated with your claim or new and relevant information about your claim that may come up about your auto collision that will be more expensive for you. And in doing so, your business is concluded with that insurance company. However, if you inform your attorney and ask them to represent you in your best interest they will ensure that all possibilities are explored and that you get the best possible situation for you, not the insurance company.

18-Wheeler Accidents: What You Need to Know

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If you're in an auto accident with an 18-wheeler, call The Barrera Law Firm

As more and more goods and services are shuttled on our country’s many highways by big 18-wheeler trucks, the more chances there are for accidents to occur. While most big rig drivers operate well within safety regulations, when cars and trucks are speeding down the highway at 65 mph or more, the risk of accidents does increase, as does the danger of them causing more damage to the victims involved. If you are involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler, then there are some things you need to know:

  1. Determine who was at fault in the accident. Accidents can happen so fast, and in the confusion it can be difficult to determine who was at fault. When the officer shows up at the scene of the accident to make an official report, be sure you give them the full story, including all the details you can remember. If you know that the 18 wheeler caused the accident, provide a clear reason behind your logic and make sure it gets into the official accident report, as this will be used later to determine your insurance settlement.
  2. Get your injuries assessed by a medical professional. If you have been injured, go immediately to a hospital to have your injuries assessed by a professional. If you cannot drive yourself, go with an ambulance. Make sure you are get a complete report from your doctor as to the injuries you sustained from the accident. You will need this later on when you file with the insurance company of the 18 wheeler to have your medical bills paid.
  3. Obtain a copy of the official accident report from the police department. You also need to obtain a copy of the official accident report from the police department. You can either go down to the courthouse yourself to obtain your official copy or you can allow your 18-wheeler accident lawyer do it for you. This will be used to determine who was at fault for the accident. If it was determined the 18 wheeler was at fault, you will be able to file a claim with their insurance company for your medical bills, property damage and personal injury.
  4. Get an 18 wheeler accident attorney. Using an 18-wheeler accident attorney will get your claim settled in a more timely manner. The laws regarding accidents with 18 wheelers are different than those regarding regular auto accidents. Lawyers who have special training and expertise in 18-wheeler accidents are better suited for taking on this type of claim. In order to get the full settlement you deserve, it takes a little work, and if you are feeling poorly due to your injuries fro the accident, you simply may not be up for the task. Let an 18-wheeler accident attorney do it for you, it is their job after all.

Being in an accident with an 18-wheeler is never a good time. By getting a good lawyer and getting your claims filed right away, you can get it taken care of as soon as possible so you will be free to move on with your life.

Some Sobering Facts About Driving Under the Influence

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Before going to that holiday party, remember the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving prevention month.  And that makes sense: too many out-of-control holiday merrymakers get behind the wheel, unaware that their irresponsible behavior could potentially endanger the lives of those around them.

In all states including Texas, a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is considered legally intoxicated. But it doesn’t take much—just a few drinks for some people depending on such factors as height, weight and gender—for the effects of alcohol to take hold. Consider the following blood alcohol facts:

  • At a BAC of .02, a person experience loss of judgment and has trouble doing two tasks at the same time
  • At .05, he or she will have reduced coordination, a deteriorating ability to track objects and difficulty steering
  • At .08, the individual will have trouble controlling speed and have difficulty reasoning
  • At .10, a person will have greatly slowed reaction times and difficulty keeping a car in one lane
  • At a BAC of .15, she or she will be unable to control a vehicle

The effects of drugs—both legal and illegal—on driving are similar. Like alcohol, drugs also can impair a driver’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment and lead to equally devastating consequences.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), alcohol and/or drugs causes 52% of all fatal accidents on Christmas and 57% on New Year’s Day. When you are on the road this holiday season, stay aware of other drivers especially at night. However, if you or a loved one is involved in a collision with a drunk and/or drugged driver, count on the attorneys at the Barrera Law Firm to help you seek the legal and financial restitution you deserve.

Steering Clear of Collisions

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More and more cars are on the roads each day...but there are many ways to avoid accidents.

If you want to stay safe on the roadway, here’s a hot tip from MSN.com: avoid driving near or around sporty, high-performance vehicles like the Scion tC, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, the Honda Civic Si and the Subaru Impreza WRX. These cars and others like them probably belong to drivers who lack “maturity and good judgment.”

According to statistics compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), the Scion tC and cars like it typically appeal to young people, who are themselves “most likely to be involved in a crash.” The HLDI bases its findings on “a monthly flow of claims data from 30 insurance companies that represent about 80% of privately owned and insured vehicles.”

Each vehicle model receives a ranking “that is relative to the average for all vehicles.” On its most current list, the Scion tC has 65% more insurance claims than other vehicles. The figures for Chevrolet Cobalt SS the Honda Civic Si and the Subaru Impreza WRX are, respectively, 61%, 59% and 54%.

The HLDI creates its list based upon claims alone. However, MSN.com reports that “several factors can put a car high on the list, including the vehicle’s performance characteristics, the age and experience level of the typical driver, and where and how the vehicle is usually operated.”

Vehicle color also seems to play a role in collision statistics. Research by the Monash University Accident Research Center (MUARC) in Australia found that “vehicles painted black or 12% more likely to be involved in a crash than vehicles painted white” and that” silver cars were in 10% more accidents than my cars.” Environmental factors such as low light and visibility were cited as probable reasons for these results.

So the next time you’re out driving, it may well be to your advantage to not only watch out for what other cars are doing, but also stay aware of vehicle models and colors—every little bit helps to avoid dangerous and costly accidents.

Be Safe on Labor Day

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Remember, it's a holiday, so be safe, and enjoy the time off from work.
With the upcoming Labor Day weekend, The Barrera Law Firm wishes everyone a fun, but most important, a very safe holiday.

Car accidents occur often over long weekends like Labor Day, simply because more cars are on the roads, but also because there are, unfortunately, some unsafe or impaired drivers.

The National Safety Council released their annual report which cites statistics related to Labor Day traffic accidents as well as some tips that will make traveling around on Labor Day safer and more enjoyable.

Read the full article here.

The Council estimates 400 traffic fatalities will occur over the holiday weekend and another 38,800 medically consulted injuries will be sustained from motor vehicle collisions. For the past six years, the Labor Day weekend has averaged 14.6 percent more traffic fatalities than similar non-holiday periods.

The Council also estimates 142 people may survive the holiday weekend because they will have worn safety belts, while another 102 lives would have been saved if all had worn safety belts. Because Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest and deadliest times on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will enforce a National Impaired Driving Crackdown from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5. During this time, law enforcement officials will focus their attention on impaired drivers.

So keep in mind is that with the increased traffic many areas are increasing police patrols and increasing citations of speeders and impaired drivers. So stay within the legal speed limit, celebrate appropriately but responsibly and keep an eye out for emergency vehicles.

6 Tips to Avoid Car Accidents During the Summer Driving Season

Car accidentNow that the summer holiday season is finally here, more and more people are taking to their cars. And it should be a busy summer as gas prices have dropped for once.  So with more drivers on American roadways, it means more potential for accidents–something you want to avoid at all costs.

To prevent being involved in an accident, here are some tips to help you stay safe while driving this summer:

  • Expand your capacity to look ahead – Rather than always looking directly in front of your vehicle, try looking  further down the road.  This will help see troublesome situations early so you can take steps to remain safe.
  • Size up the whole scene – Always be on the lookout for pedestrians, bicyclists, construction/construction workers, traffic congestion, erratic drivers and changing road conditions.  Don’t be in a hurry if you can help.  Just enjoy the drive.
  • Keep your eyes moving – Avoid staring at any object for longer than two seconds and check your mirrors every 3-5 seconds.
  • Signal your intentions early – Use your turn signals, horn and lights when appropriate. By giving advance notice of what you’re planning to do, you’ll help encourage other drivers to make correct driving decisions.
  • Plan an escape route – Always stay one step ahead of the game and allow yourself enough time, space and visibility to stop or maneuver smoothly.  Don’t get involved with tailgating.  Leave lots of room between you and the car in front.
  • Take decisive action – By following the preceding tips, you’ll know exactly what to do when a traffic emergency arises and you’ll have the time and space to do it safely.

Sometimes, though, accidents still happen. If you do find yourself in this situation, then the first thing you need to do is contact the attorneys at the Barrera Law Firm.  We specialize in both car accident and personal injury law and will defend your rights. Don’t let an unexpected wreck wreak havoc in your life.  Contact us today!

Wrong-Way Crashes in Texas

Wrong-way crashes are the most dangerous because they involve head-on collisions. In Texas, the number of these kinds of accidents has hit all new highs. A recent CBS DFW online article reveals that in 2011, “[t]he Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) [found] there were 329 wrong-way crashes statewide…[and that] more than half [took place] in Dallas County.”

A  TDOT study conducted in 2010 showed that alcohol was the common denominator in  nearly all of these crashes. According to one TDOT official, about three-quarters of all the drivers involved in wrong-way crashes were under the influence.

The human toll these kinds of accidents take lingers long after the event itself. One woman named Gwen Edwards who lost her son Louis in a wrong-way crash a year a half ago on Interstate 35 still reports her feelings as, “Anger, yes. I still have a lot…[l]osing a child is a lot different than losing a mother, father, sister or brother.” Louis was just 22 years old and was the only one who perished.

Edwards is still grieving for her son. She has since “turned to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for help and says that more needs to be done to protect drivers on the road.” In her view, “[t]he drunk driving laws keep the drivers safer than [they do] the victim. The laws need to be stiffer.”

This coming September, TDOT will begin to research countermeasures against wrong-way driving. “The main goals will be to identify what methods are most successful in getting the attention of impaired drivers, and finding out which countermeasures are most effective and properly orienting the wrong-way driver for alerting them to the fact they’re going the wrong way.”

These countermeasures won’t help you if you’ve recently been in a car accident, particularly one involving a drunk driver and/or wrong-way driving. At the  Barrera Law Firm, we are ready to fight for your rights in a legal system that too often seems to overlook the pain and suffering of car crashes victims. Let us help you get the settlement you deserve: contact us today!

Protecting the Smallest Car Passengers

Protect your and your child's rightsNobody needs to tell you that children are especially vulnerable when they are riding in automobiles.  But did you know that according to data the National Health and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) collected in 2008,  motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of three to 14?

Unfortunately, the numbers haven’t improved.  So in 2011, the agency updated their child restraint guidelines to curb this trend.  The new guidelines say that manufacturers need to categorize child restraints “by age rather than by type of child seat in order to keep pace with the latest scientific and medical research and the development of new child restraint technologies.”

They also say that parents should make their child restraint choices based upon a child’s height and weight to ensure the best possible fit.  The guidelines further advise that mothers and fathers keep their children in each restraint type before “graduating” them to the next type of seat. The worst thing parents can do is move a child into a new safety device before that child is ready.

While choosing the proper restraint for a child is essential, it’s equally important that parents are careful about how they put their children in the device they’re using. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),  “one study found that 72% of 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.”

The Mayo Clinic has observed six mistakes that well-meaning parents often make when putting or securing their children in automobiles. They include:

  •  using child car seats as cribs
  •  being unaware of the potential risks a used child seat may have (it may have been recalled by the manufacturer, for example)
  • placing the child car seat in the wrong position or spot in the car
  • moving a child to a booster seat too soon
  • moving a child to regular safety belts too soon
  • dressing a child in bulky clothing or outerwear that can interfere with the degree of protection harness straps can offer

Your children are dependent on you and the decisions you make. If your child gets injured or worse despite the precautions you take and as a result of another person’s negligence behind the wheel, then you need to act quickly to protect your child’s rights as well as your own. The Barrera Law Firm specializes in car accident, personal injury and wrongful death suits and our attorneys have proven track records of success. When you and your child need expert legal defense, count on us.

Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why You Need a Good Auto Accident Lawyer

Unfortunately, car wrecks are all too common. And if you’re suffering from an injury that you sustained as a result of one, then you need to act quickly to safeguard your health and property. Locating effective legal representation is one of the first, most important steps you can take to help you defend your rights.

Some people believe that it’s best to represent themselves in court. However, the fact of the matter is that doing so is as stressful as it is seldom successful. This is because insurance companies and their defense teams are looking to make sure you get the lowest amount of money for your accident claim and will use whatever tactics necessary to make this happen. When you hire the right attorney, you may be able to recover as much as double or even triple the amount of money than would be possible otherwise.

And experienced auto accident lawyer will carefully review the facts of surrounding your accident to determine how best to move forward. That professional will then attempt to seek damages for all personal injury claims including:

  • brain injuries
  • burns
  • whiplash
  • amputation
  • wrongful death

Such an attorney will also seek reparation for any emotional distress and mental anguish you may have suffered–or may continue to be suffering–as a result of the accident. If you did not cause the car wreck, then you may be entitled to receive compensation for such things as medical bills, loss of earnings and property damage.

The legal professionals at the Barrera Law Firm will carefully scrutinize all aspects of your case including the nature and extent of your injuries to establish the full scope of your accident injury expenses.  Since our number one priority is protecting your rights, you can be assured that we will fight aggressively for you in the courtroom and be available to you whenever you need us.   Contact us today and let us make the law work for you!

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