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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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Plano Bicyclist Struck By Direct TV Vehicle

July 7, 2009

According to WFAA in Dallas, a cyclist became pinned between a tree and a commercial van after the driver of the van hit a median and lost control while traveling southbound on Custer Road in Plano. This commercial van was the property of Direct TV.

Police said the van careened across both southbound lanes before jumping onto a sidewalk and pinning a cyclist to a tree. Luckily, rescuers were able to lift the van and pull the cyclist out. An ambulance transferred the cyclist to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

I hope that this bicycle accident victim was not seriously injured. I wish this victim the very best for a complete and speedy recovery.

In such types of serious bicycle or pedestrian 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 bicyclist. 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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Garland Attorney On High Speed Police Chase Results In Serious Garland Accident

July 7, 2009

According to the Dallas Morning News, a man whom Dallas County constables tried to pull over for speeding led them on a winding chase Monday that lasted about 90 minutes, as he sped up and down highways, skidded across medians, mowed over a stop sign and rammed through a train crossing. It culminated in a violent T-bone crash that played out on live television.

The suspect, a 29-year-old felon named Shane W. Michel, was taken to Baylor University Medical Center in critical condition. The driver of a pickup that collided with Michel’s gray Nissan walked away from the crash without serious injury – but unhappy that his safety was jeopardized.

However, Constable Michael Gothard defended the chase, saying that authorities learned during the pursuit about a felony warrant for Michel’s arrest.

The chase started about 1 p.m. in the Mesquite area near where interstates 30 and 635 intersect. A constable saw Michel speeding. Authorities say Michel got onto I-635 and drove north around Dallas to Interstate 35E, where he headed south. His path from there was full of skids and U-turns that took him in and around Dallas, until finally about 2:30 p.m. he was northbound on Plano Road into Garland and Richardson. As Michel approached the intersection of Plano and Buckingham roads, his Nissan passed a group of cars at a red light and tried to squeeze through. But a pickup slammed into his left side, crumpling his car and hurtling it across the pavement.

 Other motorists found their tires slashed by stop sticks meant for Michel. It was not clear to which agency the stop sticks belonged. Garland police and Dallas County sheriff’s deputies both assisted with the chase.

 Michel’s criminal history includes arrests for drugs, burglary and resisting arrest. In 2006, Mesquite police arrested him on a charge of evading arrest, for which he later pleaded guilty. The active warrant that constables learned about during the chase was for a charge of forgery. But Gothard said even Michel’s flight from the speeding violation was reason enough to chase.

 Dallas police did not get involved in the chase, except to briefly lend help from a helicopter. With one of the most restrictive chase policies in the nation, Dallas officers can pursue offenders at high speeds only when they are suspected of committing violent felonies. Last year, after a 10-year-old boy was killed and an officer seriously injured in separate high-speed situations, Dallas police commanders added even more restrictions.

With a high speed chase, you might only hear those police sirens for a few seconds before the cars come whizzing by you on the street. Sometimes, maybe not even long even to property move over to the curb – or at least get partially out of the way! Too often, however, those high speed police chases cause accidents and injure the innocent drivers on the road. The courts were then faced with having to decide whether, or to what extent, a police officer could be liable to an injured driver for causing an accident as a result of a high speed chase. I mean, if regular drivers who speed through the streets and intersections cause and accident, they’re liable to those they’ve injured. Why shouldn’t the police be liable for causing the same accident?

But the line has to be drawn somewhere. Some might argue that all high speed chases endanger the innocent other drivers on the road – that the police act in “reckless disregard” for the safety of the public on the roadway when they conduct a high speed chase. Even further, sometimes the way in which a high speed police car pursuit is conducted actually “shocks the conscience” of the community. For instance, would a high speed chase in excess of 100 mph along neighborhood streets in front of an elementary school be okay in pursuit of a minor traffic offender? If a 6-year old girl was killed by the police car while she crossed the street to go home… well, we might then look at that high speed chase and determine that it not only was in “reckless disregard for public safety,” but that it does in fact “shock the conscience.”

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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Frightening DWI Statistics In Texas

June 8, 2009

In Texas, someone is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related automobile crash every 19 minutes. Even more astonishing, drunk driving claims an average of five lives each and every day here in Texas.

Drunk driving is a violent crime. In the United States, drunk driving crimes occur more often than any other crime. Approximately, every five (5) hours, someone is killed in an alcohol-related traffic crash in Texas.

Unfortunately, Texas continues to be among the national leaders when it comes to traffic deaths that involve alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2004 in Texas, 1,642 motorists were killed in alcohol-related crashes, second to California by only a single death. In 2004, experts estimate that 70 Texans were injured or killed in alcohol-related crashes every day.

The Department of Public Safety reports that of the 98,349 drunk driving arrests made in Texas in 2004, 303 young people between nine and sixteen years old were arrested for drinking and driving. An additional 9,285 minors between ages 17 and 20 were arrested for driving under the influence. That means more than 11 percent of all the people arrested for drinking and driving were under 21 years of age, the legal age for alcohol consumption in Texas.

Recently, Texas has edged out California once again as the state with the most alcohol-related motor-vehicle fatalities and the highest number of fatalities with drivers over the .08% legal limit. However, these drunk driving statistics have shown improvement, but clearly not enough. In 1982, the highest number of alcohol related deaths were reported, when 2,801 of our fellow Texans died. The lowest numbers were reported in 2005, with 1,544. The percentage of traffic fatalities that were alcohol related was highest in 1982 also, with 66%. That percentage dropped to its lowest level in 2005 also, showing 45% of traffic fatalities as alcohol related.

In 2005 and 2006, out of all traffic fatalities, 39% involved a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, down from 61% in 1982.

As the hot summer days approach here in Texas, it is important to leave your automobile keys with a designated driver if you are going to drink any alcohol away from your home. Although these numbers are decreasing over the last few decades, the number of alcohol related fatalities and injuries in automobile are still quite frightening. Please be safe and don’t drink and drive!

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 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.