Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Dallas Injury Attorney On Swimming Pool Accidents

July 23, 2009

During the scorching summer temperatures here in Texas, a swimming pool can provide hours of enjoyment for adults and children. But a swimming pool accident can bring unexpected tragedy to any family in the blink of an eye. If you have watched the local newscasts or read the local newspapers, then you know of the tragic drowning stories in our neighborhood pools.

Swimming pool accidents occur with more frequency during the summer months, as one might expect. Diving accidents, drowning, and slip and fall accidents are quite common in the summer months when there are a great number of children running around in pool areas.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2005, there were 3,582 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging ten (10) deaths per day. An additional 70 people died from drowning and other causes in boating related accidents.

More than one in four fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that may result in long term disabilities including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e. permanent vegetative state).

Who’s at Risk?

  • Males: In 2005, males were four times more likely than females to die from unintentional drownings in the United States.
  • Children: In 2005, of all children from 1 to 4 years old who died, 30% died from drowning. Although drowning rates have slowly declined from 2005 to 2008, fatal drownings remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
  • Minorities: From 2000 to 2005, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans across all ages was 1.3 times more than whites. For American Indians, this rate was 1.8 time more than whites.

Who’s at Fault?

A determination of liability for a swimming pool accident depends in part on whether the injured person was a guest at the pool, or was there for a business reason, or was trespassing. The legal designations in Texas are as follows:

  • Invitee: Someone who the property owner allowed onto the premises for social reasons, such as a guest invited to a pool party at a private residence, or the guests of a hotel using the pool there.
  • Licensee: A person who was allowed on the property for reasons for business; for example, a swimming pool serviceman or a utility company technician.
  • Trespasser: A person who was not given permission to enter the property where the swimming pool is located. For instance, if the injured person jumped over two high fences and broke a gate’s lock to get into the pool and was then injured, he or she will be found to have some or all of the liability for the accident.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability covers most swimming pool accidents. Whether the pool is part of an individual homeowner’s property or at a setting such as a school, park, neighborhood pool area, hotel, or resort, the property owner has a legal duty to maintain safety and health standards at the pool.

When these standards are not met, the pool owner and/or manager may be held civilly liable for an injury or fatality that occurred in or around the pool. Premises liability concerns the determination of who is at fault for an injury on the premises. In a given swimming pool accident, the liability may be entirely the property owners or it may rest sole with the individual who was injured, or both the property owner and the injured individual may be at fault.

What Are The Swimming Pool Risk/Accident Factors?

Many local and state laws and regulations are in place to protect swimmers’ health and safety in private and public pools. Sometimes these safety measures are neglected. A swimming pool accident may be due to such factors as:

  • Inadequate fences or barriers around a pool;
  • Poor supervision of children;
  • Inadequate presence of lifeguards;
  • Poorly enclosed pool drains;
  • Too many people or children in the pool;
  • Slippery swimming pool deck or broken tiles;
  • Poorly trained lifeguards;
  • Excessive alcohol on the premises;
  • Diving board malfunctions;
  • Cloudy pool water that obscures the lifeguards’ view.

Many different circumstances may cause a swimming pool accident, and the injuries that can occur in or around a swimming pool are often overwhelming. If you, a friend, or a family member, have suffered and injury due to the negligent behavior of the property owner or another party, you deserve compensation for your losses and suffering. It’s in your best interest to have an experienced premises liability attorney on your side.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Garland, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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Scott Edgett, Garland Injury Attorney, on Tragic Interstate 30 Auto Accident

July 14, 2009

According to the Dallas Morning News, one man was killed and another was critically injured after they were struck by an SUV on Sunday, July 12th as they filled up their van which had run out of gas on a westbound Interstate 30 service road in Fort Worth.

Floyd Boortz, 78, and a 20-year-old man were filling up their tank near the Cherry Lane exit when a sport utility vehicle exited the highway and crashed into them at about 10 p.m., according to Fort Worth police.

The white van flew into the guardrail while the SUV hit a second vehicle, a Dodge sedan whose owner had stopped to help the stranded travelers, police said. Boortz died at the hospital about an hour later, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office. The 20-year-old man was in critical condition according to police.

The 35-year-old SUV driver and the Good Samaritan were not injured, police said. A female passenger in the van was uninjured, and a 2-year-old boy also in the van was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Boortz during this tragic time. As for the other victim of this auto accident that survived this auto accident, I wish this victim the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.

In such types of serious interstate automobile accident cases it is important for the victims to consult an experienced civil litigation attorney, who can carefully examine and analyze the facts and determine whether there was any negligence or wrongdoing involved. I trust the local police department officials are looking into the motorist’s actions and how or why he collided with the other vehicles. Who had the right-of-way there? Was the motorist driving recklessly or under the influence? Was he or she distracted at the time of the car accident? All these are questions that need to be answered.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Garland, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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Texas Injury Attorney On The Hidden Home Dangers Of Tipping Furniture

June 2, 2009

Whether you have a baby learning to stand, an unsteady toddler trying to climb or a fearless preschooler who still doesn’t quite understand balance, furniture tip-overs are a real danger for kids.

Regardless of your child’s abilities and limitations, top-heavy furniture, TVs and appliances can tip over and seriously injure young children. There are many easy-to-install devices that anchor furniture to the wall, making furniture more stable and tip-over resistant. These devices are designed for dressers, wall units and anything your little explorer might try to climb.

I recommend the following safety tips to help prevent tip-over hazards:

  • If a piece of furniture is unstable or top-heavy, secure it to a stud in the wall using brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps. Large items such as TVs, microwaves, fish tanks, bookcases, heavy furniture and appliances can topple off stands and fall on children.
  • If possible, use a stand specifically designed for your TV as recommended by the manufacturer or place your TV on sturdy furniture appropriate for its size. Make sure both the stand and TV are properly secured to the wall and push your TV as far back on the stand as possible, out of your child’s reach.
  • If you have a newer, flat screen TV, make sure it’s properly anchored to the wall.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for tips or warnings regarding placement of your TV or furniture.
  • Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
  • Tie up loose cords, as a child pulling on an electrical cord, or tripping on one, could pull an appliance off a stand.
  • Don’t keep remote controls, candy, toys or other items that attract children on top of furniture, as your child might be enticed to reach for these items.
  • Supervise young children at all times.

As every parent knows, children love to play and sometimes think they’re invincible. Even if they can repeat your rules back to you, they may not recognize a hazard when they’re in a dangerous situation. Unless they’re properly secured to the wall, all pieces of freestanding furniture, large appliances or TVs have the capability of tipping over. It’s in your hands as a parent to make their environments as safe as possible.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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Texas Injury Attorney On The Important Issues Regarding Child Car Safety Seats

May 20, 2009

Texas seat belt law states that all children under age of five (5) must be restrained in a child safety seat and that all infants must ride in rear-facing safety seats until they are at least 20 pounds and are at least 1 year old. These laws will likely be changed in 2009, if it is up to the Texas Legislature.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is important to know that all child safety seats are NOT created equal. Your child’s age and weight should dictate which type of child safety seat you choose for him or her. Here are the facts for 3 types of child car safety seats.

Rear Facing Seats:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Texas seat belt law, infants should be kept in a rear-facing seat until they reach the age of 1 and are at least 20 pounds. Many families receive hand-me-down child safety seats from friends and family members. If this is the case, before using the seat, you should consult the NHTSA’s Child Restraint Recall Website at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm. This site has the details of every child safety seat recall since January 1990 and can prevent you from putting your child at risk.

Forward Facing Seats:

When your child has outgrown his rear-facing seat, you should upgrade to a forward-facing child safety seat. This seat should be placed in the car’s backseat whenever possible to prevent the seat from being struck by an airbag in the case of a car crash. Your child should ride in a forward-facing seat until he is around 4 years old and 40 lbs.

Booster Seats:

When the child outgrows his forward-facing seat, you should purchase a booster seat. The child should ride in a booster seat in the back seat until the vehicle seat belt fits him properly without the booster. Booster seats are designed to prevent injury from the seat belt in the event of an auto accident. When the lap belt lays across his upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across his chest (usually when he turns 8 and is 4’9″), he can ride without the booster seat.

In conclusion, one of the most important things about your child’s safety seat is that it is properly installed. To do this, you have to be able to understand the instructions. The NHTSA puts out an annual report on the “ease-of-use” of every safety seat on the market. That list is available on the Internet at http://www.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.9f8c7d6359e0e9bbbf30811060008a0c.

If you still have questions about the installation of your car seat after you read the manual, many local police and fire stations will check the car seat installation for you.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Garland, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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8 Year Old Cleburne Girl Struck By Vehicle While In Crosswalk In Front Of School

February 19, 2009

According to the Cleburne Times Review, an 8 year old girl was struck by a truck while running across the crosswalk at Gerard Elementary in Cleburne, Texas, at about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, February 17, 2009. The accident occurred at the end of the school day during busy traffic.

The truck struck the 8 year old victim, Alissa Romo, on her right side, vaulting her 30 feet into the roadway, according to witness statements. The front wheel of the same truck then ran over her. Based upon the preliminary investigation, it is believed that a school bus obstructed both Romo’s and the truck driver’s view. Romo apparently stepped out from behind the bus in front of the truck, which was unable to stop in time.

Even more frightening, Romo’s mother, Elsa Romo, is believed to have witnessed the accident.
Firefighters found Romo lying on her left side surrounded by adults when they arrived. Witness statements vary as to whether Romo lost consciousness during the accident.

A CareFlite helicopter flew Romo to Cook Children’s Medical Center. Romo suffered a broken femur and multiple bruises in the accident and underwent surgery.

We would respectfully request that you please keep Alissa Romo’s family members and friends in your thoughts and prayers as they all go through this extremely difficult time. It is a tragedy that such a young life had to experience such a traumatic event.

We would be interested to see the results of the final investigation into this auto accident. It is important to determine if anyone else bears any responsibility for this accident in addition to driver of the truck. This additional responsibility can come from: another vehicle, the bus, or any obstructions that could have caused the driver of the truck to not see this little girl as she crossed in the crosswalk. It is important that the victim’s family members immediately contact a highly qualified personal injury attorney to protect all of their legal options. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to look into the various factors that played a role in this crash and immediately notify all parties who could be responsible for this devastating and unfortunate auto accident.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against State Farm For Business Interruption Claims From Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, and Rita

February 12, 2009

Two Beaumont, Texas attorneys have recently filed a class action lawsuit against State Farm, alleging the company has underpaid business interruption insurance benefits resulting from Hurricanes Ike, Gustav and Rita.

This class action lawsuit is on behalf of Marcia Delarue and other Texans who bought business interruption insurance coverage from State Farm. The case was filed in the District Court of Orange County, Texas.

According to the attorneys for the class of victims, Ms. Delarue and the other class members are asking that they be paid properly calculated benefits for their business interruption claims according to the terms of their State Farm business insurance policies. Specifically, the suit alleges that State Farm calculates its policyholders’ business interruption insurance benefits utilizing an erroneous methodology that has resulted in many “underpayments”. As a result, the suit further alleges, State Farm has engaged in bad faith insurance settlement practices and breached its insurance policy contracts.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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Understanding Your Texas Automobile Insurance Policy

January 21, 2009

As an automobile accident attorney, I have met with several clients over the years who had no idea what coverages they had on their automobile insurance policies.

It is important that all Texas drivers and vehicle owners know and understand these 6 basic principles of Texas automobile insurance:

1) Liability Insurance- Texas law requires people who drive in Texas to be able to pay for the automobile accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying automobile liability insurance. Liability insurance pays to repair or replace the other driver’s car and pays other people’s medical expenses. This is where every new client gets confused…..Liability insurance DOES NOT pay to repair or replace your car or for your injuries. You must have at least the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage required by Texas’ state financial responsibility law, which as of April 1, 2008, is $25,000.00 for each injured person up to a total of $50,000.00 per accident. As for property damage, the Texas state limits is $25,000.00. This is known in the insurance industry and legal field as “25/50/25 basic coverage”.

Tip: Remember, the 25/50/25 are the least amount of liability coverages that you have to buy. Because of car prices and the high cost of medical care, the minimum amounts are often not enough to compensate a person if you cause an accident. If your liability limits are too low to pay for all of the other driver’s costs, the injured driver is legally permitted to sue you to collect the difference. To protect yourself financially, consider buying more than the basic limits.

2) Medical Payments Insurance- This coverage pays for the medical bills for YOU, YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, and YOUR PASSENGERS involved in an automobile accident. This amount is paid regardless of who caused the accident.

3) Personal Injury Protection Insurance (also knows as “PIP”)- This coverage pays the same as the Medical Payments Insurance above PLUS 80% of lost wages for YOU, YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS, and YOUR PASSENGERS involved in an automobile accident. This amount too is paid regardless of who caused the accident.

Tip: Your automobile insurance company MUST offer you at least $2,500.00 in PIP, but you have the option to buy more. However, if you decide against PIP, you must reject it in writing.

4) Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (also known as UM and UIM)- This coverage pays for YOUR expenses from an auto accident caused by an uninsured driver or an underinsured driver who did not have enough insurance to cover your expenses such as YOUR medical bills, YOUR lost wages, and YOUR pain and suffering. This UM and UIM coverage also pays for accidents caused by hit and run drivers, ONLY IF timely reported to the police. You can purchase both Bodily Injury UM/UIM and Property Damage UM/UIM from your automobile insurance company. Property Damage UM/UIM pays for YOUR auto repairs, YOUR rental car. However, for Property Damage UM/UIM, there is an automatic deductible of $250.00, which means that you must pay for the first $250.00 of YOUR repairs.

Tip: UM/UIM covers YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR PASSENGERS, and others driving your car with your permission. Your automobile insurance company MUST offer you the option to purchase UM/UIM coverages. However, if you decide against purchasing UM/UIM coverages, you must reject it in writing.

5) Collision Insurance- This is damage to YOUR car from an automobile accident. This coverage pays the cost of repairing or replacing your car after an automobile accident. However, payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible. Actual cash value is the market value of a car like yours without damages.

Tip: If you still owe money on your car, your bank or lender will require you to have collision insurance coverage.

6) Comprehensive Insurance- This is physical damage to YOUR car NOT caused by an automobile accident. This coverage pays for the cost or replacing or repairing your car if it is stolen, damaged by fire, vandalism, hail, or any other cause other than an accident. However, this coverage will ONLY cover you for a stolen vehicle if it is timely reported to the police. Once again, payment is limited to your car’s actual cash value, minus your deductible.

Tip: The same as collision, if you still owe money on your car, your bank or lender will require you to have collision insurance coverage.

By reviewing and understanding these 6 basic principles of Texas automobile insurance and the tips, you will be better prepared next time you renew your automobile insurance or even if you ever have to make an insurance claim for your vehicle.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at http://www.TexasJusticeForAll.com.