If you are financially restored to the same position as you were before the accident through economic damage compensation only, you are not fully returned to how you were before.Continue reading
Dallas Car Wreck Lawyer Says Avoiding Treatment May Hurt Your Case
“Avoiding the doctor isn’t just bad for your health, it can hurt your personal injury claim as well,” says Dallas car wreck lawyer, Attorney Zach Herbert. Some people avoid treatment because they don’t want to admit that they are injured. Others avoid the doctor because they cannot afford it. In one study reported in The Journal of General Internal Medicine, a variety of reasons were reported for individuals to not seek treatment. One category avoided the doctor due to poor perceptions related to doctors, healthcare personnel, or systems. Another category avoided the doctor primarily because they were hoping that their condition would improve without having to go. The last category avoided the doctor because of costs barriers, no health insurance, or time associated with treatment.¹
Regardless of what you tell yourself, avoiding the doctor and avoiding treatment is not going to make the pain, injury, or illness go away. Only by getting treatment can one begin to heal. Once on the path to recovery and treatment, you also need to follow through. This gives you the greatest chance of success at healing.
A major barrier to treatment to those injured in an auto accident in Texas is that they are victimized multiple times on their way to recovery. Not only are they dealing with the initial accident, but later they are dealing with the compounding physical and financial effects of the aftermath of the injury. This can include (among other things) costs associated with the loss of a vehicle or physical property, costs associated with the loss of work, physical pain, and medical bills. Even if you have medical insurance, there are significant costs associated with seeking treatment that tempts many to not follow through on their treatment. This is a bad idea.
Not getting treated may make the injury worse and is not the path to healing and recovery. By avoiding treatment you are sending a message that your injuries are not that serious. If your injuries are not serious enough for you to get treated, then a jury is not likely to see them as serious either. It is a lot more difficult to get compensated for future medical treatment expenses when you’ve already demonstrated that you are willing to put off or avoid treatment (regardless of the reason). If you are injured in a car accident in Dallas, you should seek treatment and continue in accordance with your doctors’ orders.
What if you are having real difficulty getting treatment? Maybe you don’t have insurance. Maybe you can’t afford the time off from work. The good news is that you do not have to go through the healing and recovery process alone. The Herbert & Eberstein is here to assist you in the recovery process. We are a team of personal injury lawyers in Dallas who have been through this process many times with and for our clients. We will work hard to get you the medical treatment and financial recovery that you need to get you back on your feet.
Personal Injury Attorney Zach Herbert
How Each of Us Can Help Prevent School Bus Accidents
School buses are the safest form of transportation for school-aged children. Unfortunately, school bus accidents still happen. Here’s what you can do to help keep children safe.
School buses provide an incredibly valuable service to families all across the United States. They arrive on schedule every day to safely transport parents’ most precious cargo to and from school and other school-related functions. We often take the safety of these buses for granted, and a recent increase in school bus accidents has caused many parents to think twice about putting their children on them.
In general, school bus accidents are a relatively rare occurrence. Yet, last year we saw a cluster of school bus-related accidents that occurred due to distracted drivers. “When it comes to the safety of children, we all have a responsibility to do our part in preventing these types of accidents from occurring,” says Dallas personal injury lawyer, Attorney Zach Herbert.
School Bus Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, school buses are among the safest vehicles on the road. In fact, a child is more likely to be involved in an accident while being transported by a parent or walking to school. Recent school bus accident statistics support both of these claims.
In a report covering the ten year period from 2006 to 2015, there were 1,172 fatal accidents that were related to school buses. This number represents not even half a percentage point of all fatal accidents that occurred during the same time period. Of these, the overwhelming majority happened when the child was outside of the school bus, including waiting at the bus stop or crossing the road. (1)
What we can gather from this information is that the biggest threat to children boarding, exiting or traveling on school buses is the other drivers on the road. This scenario is exactly what happened in a series of accidents that occurred in late 2018. The accidents that occurred in Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Florida resulted in five fatalities and seven injuries at the hands of distracted drivers who failed to slow down and stop at school bus stops.
Unfortunately, there were also several school bus crashes last year that resulted in injuries and fatalities- including one that occurred in North Texas last October in which one fatality and three injuries were reported.
A single school bus-related accident is one too many. Here is what you can do to help keep our communities and roadways a safer place for our children and the hardworking school bus drivers who are in charge of transporting them safely every day.
Tips for School Bus Safety
When it comes to accidents that occur at school bus stops, there’s only so much that the bus driver can do to keep children safe. On the roadways, school buses should be given extra attention from other drivers traveling on the same road. Here are a few tips for doing your part to promote school bus safety.
- If a school bus is in front of you, be prepared to stop. When a school bus approaches one of its stops, the driver will flash either yellow or red lights and extend an arm with a stop sign attached. Legally, your vehicle must stop at this point and wait for the bus to indicate it’s safe to resume travel, which is done by turning off the stop lights and lowering its arm.
- When braking, make sure you allow enough space between your vehicle and the bus for children to safely cross the road and enter or exit their bus.
- If you see children waiting at a bus stop, proceed with extreme caution. Children have less impulse control and often aren’t fully aware of the consequences of their actions. What’s common horseplay for them could turn into a tragic accident if a car comes along too quickly.
- Never block a crosswalk or attempt to pass another vehicle that’s stopped for pedestrians.
- If you’re traveling behind a school bus, allow yourself extra stopping distance.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney in Dallas
If you or someone you love has been involved in a school bus accident, please reach out to a personal injury attorney in Dallas to review your case. An experienced personal injury attorney at Herbert & Eberstein in Richardson can represent you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. The devastation of the accident was enough, there’s no reason to not seek the compensation you and your family deserve.
Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Zach Herbert
Top Reasons to Seek Medical Care After a Minor Automobile Accident
If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, it’s absolutely crucial that you receive medical attention, even if the accident was minor. Here are some reasons according to Dallas car wreck lawyer Attorney Zach Herbert.
When a serious automobile accident occurs, emergency responders are often quick to arrive on the scene. These responders include paramedics who can provide a preliminary medical assessment to everyone involved. This situation isn’t always the case in minor accidents where the only emergency responder to arrive on the scene is a police officer who is there only to take a report.
Just because a car wreck itself wasn’t serious doesn’t mean that the people involved didn’t sustain some degree of injury. Neglecting to seek medical attention after an accident, no matter how minor, may be a decision that you’ll ultimately regret.
Why You Might Not Notice a Car Accident Injury
When a collision occurs, it happens in the blink of an eye. Protective safety equipment such as seat belts and airbags can minimize the injuries sustained during impact. Still, it’s important to realize that minor car accident injuries do occur, even in low impact collisions where everyone involved may appear to feel just fine.
We all know that there is a tremendous difference between a minor, low-speed collision and a devastating high impact crash. When a person has been involved in a relatively minor accident, they may take a moment to realize how lucky they are and decide they’re fortunate enough to not need medical attention.
While it’s true that many minor accidents could have been much worse, this doesn’t mean the driver and any passengers haven’t sustained an injury — even if the injuries are not yet apparent. Combine this with the flurry of activity surrounding an accident and it becomes easy to see why people get distracted and forget to make their own wellbeing a top priority.
Reasons You Need Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Anyone who has ever been involved in a car accident, regardless of how minor, knows all too well how disorienting the experience can be for someone. Your levels of stress and adrenaline are at an all-time high and all you really want is to go somewhere else, calm down and try to regain a sense of normal. While it’s tempting to not seek medical attention after a car accident, it’s incredibly important that you do.
Here are a few reasons why.
All other things aside, your health and wellbeing should be your top priority. Symptoms of injuries aren’t always immediately evident, especially after a minor collision. It’s possible for the rush of adrenaline you’re experiencing to block some of the initial physical pain of an injury. Soft tissue damage and internal bruising or bleeding can take hours or even days before signs of an injury become obvious.
By not seeking medical attention immediately, you risk causing further damage that could have been prevented by a quick medical assessment after your accident. The pain of back injuries and whiplash can escalate quickly and become potentially life-threatening injuries that when left undiagnosed can pose a serious threat to your health, resulting in hospitalization and additional time in recovery.
There are also practical reasons that you’ll want to seek attention immediately after an accident. For starters, the insurance company is going to want a copy of your medical records if you hope to receive any financial reimbursement for medical expenses and time off work to recover. Additionally, if you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, not seeking immediate medical care can significantly jeopardize your ability to receive fair compensation.
Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney in Dallas
If you’ve been in an automobile accident, your very first priority should be to seek medical attention, even if you feel perfectly fine. There will be plenty of time to take care of your vehicle and deal with insurance companies but your health can’t wait. If you believe that you may be entitled to financial damages, a personal injury attorney in Dallas at Herbert & Eberstein can review your case and help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. Call Attorney Zach Herbert in Richardson today at 214-414-3808.
Attorney Zach Herbert
How To Deal With Insurance Adjusters After Truck Accident
Insurance adjusters negotiate to limit liability on behalf of the insurance company. They get paid by the insurance company to ensure that the insurance company pays as little as possible. Often this means that they are the initial point of contact someone that has been injured in a truck accident has with the insurance company. The insurance adjuster starts off knowing a few key things more than you. He or she knows what your case is approximately worth in dollars. They have access to comparables and lots of industry information regarding how much they are potentially liable for. To the insurance adjuster, you are a number. You are a number that they are paid to beat. It is not a matter of just making a low offer. The insurance industry is based on risk and limiting liability. In order to be profitable, the insurance company has an interest in getting the lowest possible settlement. That is why strong representation is needed from the outset.
One way that insurance adjusters try to limit liability is they try to get you to say things that will only benefit the insurance company or damage your case. “How are you?” The natural response is “fine” or “good.” It is so basic to respond this way that people learning English for the first time are taught the question and response as a greeting and a script. However, one must always remember who the insurance adjuster works for. How does that play out to a jury? “Didn’t you tell Mr. Adjuster that you were fine?!?” This may seem absurd, but this example is not far from the truth and is illustrative of the fact that the insurance adjuster is not your friend. Insurance adjusters may also ask questions about the accident itself. These are not innocent fact-finding questions. Their whole job is to limit the amount of money that the insurance company pays out. Inconsistencies in testimony or possible defenses, even if manufactured by the insurance adjuster, are just one strategy that the insurance company uses to limit liability in truck accident cases.
Insurance adjusters also have been given a certain amount of settlement authority. This means that the insurance company already has a pretty good idea of how much a case like yours is worth. Armed with this information they pay insurance adjusters a good amount of money to attempt to settle your claim well below the actual value of the case. This means money and profits for the insurance company. These experienced adjusters armed with data and experience are playing at a distinct advantage on an uneven playing field. Insurance companies authorize insurance adjusters to settle cases with an eye towards beating the value of your claim. Unfortunately, this means the possibility of being victimized a second time by a system that is very much set up in favor of the insurance company.
The best way to deal with an insurance adjuster is to hire an experienced Dallas truck wreck lawyer like attorney Herbert that is capable of beating the insurance company at their own game. The insurance adjuster must be dealt with during the process of settlement negotiations, but such interactions shouldn’t be done on the insurance companies terms. You should have the best representation possible. You deserve someone that will speak with the insurance company for you and prevent you from being preyed upon.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the insurance company is sure to have insurance adjusters working for them to limit liability in any way possible. The Herbert & Eberstein stands ready to provide you the experienced representation you need to even the playing field. Dallas attorney Zach Herbert and his team will guide you through every step of the litigation process with honesty, honor, and communication in order to ensure that you get the settlement you deserve. Call Herbert & Eberstein in Dallas to schedule your free consultation today.
Attorney Zach Herbert
Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Explains Uber Accidents
Rideshare options have become popular, but what happens if you find yourself involved in a Lyft or Uber accident? Herbert & Eberstein offers some advice.
Rideshare platforms, like Uber and Lyft, have become incredibly popular in recent years. Uber, which was founded in 2009, now makes 15 million trips every day in over 600 cities worldwide. With so many people taking advantage of the benefits of rideshare platforms, it’s important to understand what happens if you’re unfortunately involved in a Lyft or Uber accident. If you are injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, you may be entitled to damages and should discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer like attorney Zach Herbert at Herbert & Eberstein.
Accidents and Rideshare Liability
When considering the big picture, the popularity of rideshare platforms is only about a decade or so old, which means that there are still some grey areas considering legislation and insurance regulations for rideshare contractors. This naturally opens the discussion about how to handle accidents and rideshare liability.
Most rideshare companies require their drivers to obtain and provide proof of a special rideshare insurance policy. Uber and Lyft provide a certain degree of coverage, but the amount and type of coverage are contingent upon specific details. A rideshare driver who hasn’t acquired an additional insurance policy may not be fully covered in the event of an accident.
This brings up the question of liability in regard to personal injury for passengers who are involved in an Uber or Lyft accident. This is where things can start to get tricky.
How to Respond in an Uber or Lyft Accident
When you use a rideshare program, you’re putting your trust completely in the driver. These services do their best to ensure that their drivers are safe, but this doesn’t eliminate the risks for passengers. Even when a rideshare driver takes every precaution for safety, there’s still a risk presented by other drivers on the road. While these services are generally safe, it’s important to be prepared and to know how to respond in an Uber or Lyft accident.
Anytime that you’re involved in a car accident, the first priority should always be to seek emergency assistance – no matter how minor the accident may seem. Police need to be notified so that an accident report can be filed, but more important than that is that emergency medical responders arrive to assess the health of everyone involved.
It’s important to get a medical examination following an accident, even if you don’t feel that you’ve sustained any injuries. It often happens that injuries can take a day or two to manifest physical symptoms, and turning down a medical examination can work against you in a personal injury case.
If you are physically able to do so, you should gather as much information about the accident that you can at the scene. This process might include taking a few snapshots of the scene with your phone, getting the contact and insurance information of the driver and asking where you can obtain an official copy of the accident report.
Additionally, while the driver has a responsibility to contact the service that they work for and report the accident, you should also make contact with the service as soon as you are able to. Doing so provides them with your own account of the accident and to have their representative answer your questions.
The Final Step Is to Contact a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney
While you should make contact with the rideshare company, it’s important to speak to a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney to discuss how to handle your Lyft or Uber accident. You want to use caution in answering any questions relating to your injuries or medical care with the rideshare provider and you should never accept or deny a claim without the assistance of an experienced attorney. If you are entitled to damages in a rideshare accident, a personal injury attorney can help ensure the very best outcome for your case. Call the attorneys at Herbert & Eberstein in Dallas today to discuss your case.
Attorney Zach Herbert
Why Employees Need to Be Aware of Workplace Heat Stress Injuries
Each year, thousands of workers are affected by workplace heat stress injuries. Learn what heat stress is, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you’re affected.
Workplace injuries are an all too common occurrence, and while most employers take measures to reduce the chances of accidents occurring, there are certain factors of a work environment that are not completely within their control – like the weather, for instance. Workers whose job requires them to endure the elements and long periods of exposure to the hot, Texas sun are at a greater risk of a workplace heat stress injury, as are those that work in factories or other facilities where environmental temperature regulation becomes an issue.
Workplace heat stress is a serious issue, one that can lead to significant health problems and in some cases can even be fatal. Unfortunately, the effects of heat stress can creep up without warning, and it’s not uncommon for someone to not realize that a risk is present until it’s too late.
Many workers are unsure if heat stress is considered a workplace injury in Texas and will incur a mountain of medical bills and the financial strain of lost wages when they could be receiving at least some compensation for damages. Here’s what you need to know about workplace heat stress and what to do if you’re affected.
Heat Stress in the Workplace
Workers can suffer countless types of workplace injuries, many of them avoidable. When it comes to heat stress in the workplace, the most effective, proactive approach involves a combination of employers controlling the environment when possible, helping their employees acclimate to spikes in temperatures and instilling specific protocols that help prevent heat stress from occurring.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exposure to high environmental temperatures resulted in 37 work-related deaths in 2015, as well as more than 2,800 heat-related occupational injuries and illnesses during the same year. Texas was among the states with the highest number of non-fatality, workplace heat stress injuries.
Signs of Heat Stress
Heat stress is a term used to describe a range of injuries and illnesses that occur as a result of prolonged exposure to heat, which makes it more difficult for the body to regulate its own temperature. Most people are familiar with heat exhaustion and heat stroke as two types of heat stress injuries. Because the initial phases of heat-related injury can produce very subtle symptoms, it’s important that anyone who works outdoors in the heat or in a facility where the temperature exceeds a comfortable level, be aware of the different types and signs of heat stress.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats and responds to the loss of water and salt that occurs due to excessive perspiration – which is also one of the very first signs of heat stress. Heat exhaustion, if left unchecked, can rapidly progress to heat stroke.
Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes so overheated that it’s no longer able to maintain temperature stability. This process causes a rapid rise in body temperature that can lead to extremely dangerous symptoms. Heat stroke can result in seizures, unconsciousness, cognitive impairment and in extreme cases, death.
Other signs of heat stress include:
- Chills or clammy skin
- Dry, hot skin
- Extremely elevated body temperature
- Loss of balance
- Slurred speech
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney for Heat Stress in Texas
Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers from heat stress. This responsibility includes measures such as education and awareness of the signs and effects of heat stress, as well as doing whatever possible to help workers acclimate to the heat or reduce work-related exposure to high temperatures. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury due to high environmental temperatures, don’t hesitate to contact Dallas personal injury attorney Zach Herbert to discuss your case of heat stress in Texas.
Heat stress is not something that should be taken lightly. If you’ve suffered from the effects or feel that you’re at risk, it’s important to take measures to protect your health. An experienced lawyer at Herbert & Eberstein in Richardson, Texas can guide you through the process and provide you with the resources you need to recover financially from a workplace heat stress injury.
Attorney Zach Herbert
Car Accident Lawyer in Richardson Explains Texas Wrongful Death
Car Accident Lawyer in Richardson Zach Herbert explains what you need to know about car wrecks and wrongful death. The unexpected, avoidable loss of a loved one is nothing short of tragic. The personal injury law firm of Herbert & Eberstein in Richardson, Texas explains how to know if you might be entitled to financial recovery through a wrongful death claim.
No matter what the circumstances, there are few things in life more devastating than the loss of someone you love. In cases where a loved one has passed away unexpectedly due to the harm or negligence of another person, such as a fatal car accident, coping with their death is often even more difficult. Not only is the family dealing with their grief, but they may also have been put in a place of financial vulnerability. In cases like these, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim that will help ease their financial burden.
What Is Wrongful Death?
The family of a loved one who has passed unexpectedly, might feel a sense of injustice and wrongdoing but associate it with a normal part of the grieving process. Examples of this type of wrongdoing might be the case of a surgeon making a fatal error or an exhausted truck driver causing the death of their loved one. For families that find themselves in a situation like these or similar, it’s important that we answer the question of “what is wrongful death?”
According to Texas Statute, wrongful death is death that occurs due to the neglect, wrongful act, lack of skill, carelessness or default of another person. We tend to associate wrongful death with acts that occur in a hospital, but the law actually applies to an avoidable death in any situation that was the fault of someone else – for instance, a distracted driver that kills a pedestrian in a car wreck or a company that sells contaminated pharmaceuticals.
To meet the criteria for wrongful death, the following must be proven:
- The death that occurred was either in part or completely caused by the defendant
- The death that occurred happened as a direct consequence of the defendant’s neglect, carelessness or intentional actions
- The death that occurred has resulted in an emotional and financial effect on the family
- The death resulted in a financial burden upon the deceased’s survivors – this applies whether or not the survivors have the financial means to recover from the financial impact of their loss
What You Need to Know About Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
When a loved one has passed away unexpectedly, the furthest thing from many people’s minds is pursuing legal action against those responsible. It’s natural to want to wait until the immediate grief passes and the recovery process has begun, but it’s also important to realize that the sooner you take action for filing a wrongful death claim, the quicker you can begin recovering financially from funeral cost, medical bills and loss of wages.
Only with few exceptions, the person filing a wrongful death claim has two years from the date of the deceased person’s death to do so. Two years might seem like a long time, but when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one after a car accident and learning how to adapt to a new normal, time can pass quickly. For this reason, the family is urged to consider filing a wrongful death claim sooner rather than later.
It’s also important to know that only certain people are allowed to file a wrongful death claim. This group includes the surviving spouse, adult or minor child, surviving parents or legal personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Typically, it’s the closest surviving relative that files the claim. For example, the rights of a spouse to file a claim supersede those of the deceased’s adult children unless the survivors or court have agreed upon another representative of the estate.
Types of financial damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death suit include medical and funeral expenses associated with the death, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and financial compensation for emotional aspects, such as loss of companionship and emotional pain and suffering.
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer / Personal Injury Attorney for Wrongful Death in Texas
The important first step for recovering financially from the devastating loss of a loved one is contacting a personal injury attorney for wrongful death in Texas. Let experienced personal injury attorney Zach Herbert of Herbert & Eberstein guide you through the process of filing a wrongful death claim. While the emotional devastation of the loss of a loved one might be unavoidable, financial devastation doesn’t need to be. Contact our attorney Zach Herbert car accident lawyer in Richardson to discuss your case today.
Attorney Zach Herbert – Dallas Car Wreck Lawyer
Insurance 101 – Stowers Demand and What It Means for Car Accidents
Learn the amazing story behind a Stowers Demand, and its impact on insurance companies and victims of car accidents.
Insurance companies have a duty to act in their policy holders’ best interest. They have a duty to accept reasonable settlement offers on behalf of the policy holder within policy limits where doing so would be in the policy holder’s best interest. This responsibility is due to the unique nature of the contractual agency relationship between an insurance company and the policy holder. Within the insurance contract, insurance companies reserve right to defend any suit for damages on behalf of the policy holder. Also, the policy holder may not admit liability or settle any case without the consent of the insurance company. Courts have found that insurance companies owe a duty of care and diligence to those that they insure. They are to act as “a man of ordinary care and prudence would exercise in the management of his own business.” But, it wasn’t always this way.
Mamie Bichon, Stowers, and American Indemnity Company
On January 23, 1920 at about 7:00 p.m., an G. A. Stowers Furniture Company (Stowers) delivery driver was traveling down Austin Street in Houston, TX when the truck collided with a wagon on the side of the road. The crash made the delivery truck inoperable. The delivery driver did not stay by the truck or light up the area to warn oncoming traffic. Mamie was a drug store employee who had just ended her shift when she got into a Ford Coupe headed down the same street the Stowers delivery truck was stopped on. Unable to see the delivery truck, her vehicle collided with the unlit and unmarked Stowers delivery vehicle and flipped. As a result, Mamie was severely injured.
Stowers had an insurance policy in the amount of $5,000 with American Indemnity Company. The insurance company had the contractual right to defend any suit on behalf of Stowers for damages or loss; and, prevented Stowers from admitting liability or settling any suit without permission from the insurance company.
Prior to trial, Mamie offered to settle for an amount of $4,000, well below the policy limits of $5,000. The insurance company refused to settle for anything less than $2,500. The case ended up in court where a jury awarded $12,207 in damages. With interest, court costs, and fees tacked on, Stowers furniture ended up paying Mamie Bichon $14,107.15.
American Indemnity Company admitted that the offer to settle the case for $4,000 by Mamie was a good one and that it should have settled on behalf of Stowers. American Indemnity Company’s position was that it had satisfied its contractual obligations to pay the limits of the policy and that it had no duty to settle the case, regardless of whether it was in their policy holders’ best interest. They also stated that they had the contractual right to defend any suit on behalf of the policy holder, Stowers, regardless of whether or not settling would be to the benefit of the policy holder. Their position put Stowers at considerable risk and ultimately cost them an extra $10,000. As a result, Stowers filed a claim against American Indemnity Company for the excess judgment.
The court found that the insurance company owed a duty of care and diligence to the insured to act as “a man of ordinary care and prudence would exercise in the management of his own business.” Mamie Bichon’s case was very significant at the time and permanently altered the relationship between insurance companies and their policy holders in Texas. It continues to be significant today.
Stowers Demands In Practice
A Stowers demand is an agreement by the plaintiff in a lawsuit to settle a case within policy limits. In practice, this can be less than actual damages. There are a variety of reasons that plaintiffs can offer to settle cases within policy limits rather than going to trial and seeking the full extent of possible damages. Often, a defendant will not have money to pay a claim outside the insurance policy and seeking more money that does not exist is an effort in futility. Additionally, an insurance company ignores a Stowers demand at their own risk. If they fail to settle within policy limits, then the insurance company is potentially liable for the full amount of damages adjudged at trial.
A Stowers demand requires that “(1) the claim against the insured is within the scope of coverage, (2) the demand is within the policy limits, and (3) the terms of the demand are such that an ordinarily prudent insurer would accept it, considering the likelihood and degree of the insured’s potential exposure to an excess judgement.” The claim must be covered by the insurance company, the demand must be within policy limits, and the duty to settle is triggered when it is reasonable that the insured could owe more than the insurance policy limits at trial.
Cases involving personal injury can be complicated. It is not enough to establish who was at fault, damages must also be proved and are subject to a jury determination. There are times in which you legitimately may be injured more than what the defendant can pay. A Stowers demand is something that should be carefully considered with your personal injury lawyer in the process of negotiation and litigation. Personal injury attorney Zach Herbert, has the necessary skill and experience to assist you in every stage of litigation to get you the best results possible. Call the personal injury law firm of Herbert & Eberstein in Dallas today to discuss your case.
Attorney Zach Herbert
- G. A. Stowers Furniture Company v. American Indemnity Co., 15 S.W.2d 544, 548 (Tex. App. 1929).
- G. A. Stowers Furniture Company v. American Indemnity Co., 15 S.W.2d 544, 545-546 (Tex. App. 1929).
- Mid-Continent Insurance Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 236 S.W.3d 765, 776 (2007).
Pedestrian Accidents Are On the Rise, Are You At Risk?
Fatalities from pedestrian accidents have been on the rise. Here is what you need to know to stay safe as a pedestrian on the roadways.
We often hear about the dangers of automobiles and most of us are well aware of ways to help ensure we stay safe on the road. Recent years have brought an increase in awareness of roadway safety, especially with the rise of campaigns that promote the dangers of texting while driving. Overall, the increase in awareness has been a good thing, as fatalities from automobile accidents have decreased. However, on the other side of this is a disturbing trend in the rate of fatalities from pedestrian accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Texas, you should discuss your case with an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer like Attorney Zach Herbert of Herbert & Eberstein.
What’s Behind the Rise in Pedestrian Death Rates?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, the rate of pedestrian deaths has been on the rise over the last decade and a half, despite that fact that fatalities in automobile accidents have decreased. During this same time period, vehicular safety technology designed to protect pedestrian traffic has advanced, leaving us with the burning question of what’s really behind the rise in pedestrian death rates?
There are multiple theories on this. Some say that despite campaigns by local law enforcement, drivers are still too distracted by their phones. They might maintain an awareness of other vehicular traffic but aren’t focused enough to react appropriately to pedestrian traffic. However, this is just one theory in a puzzle where none of the pieces really seem to fit.
For instance, there is another area of thought that claims SUVs are to blame for the increase in pedestrian accidents. The theory being that the driver of an SUV is elevated so far off the ground that it can be difficult for them to spot pedestrian traffic, especially children, in time to respond appropriately. Likewise, their size makes it more difficult for them to stop abruptly when needed.
These theories only begin to tap the surface of safety concerns for pedestrians. For instance, higher speed limits and roadways without a designated safe area for pedestrians are also thought to be contributing factors to the increase in accidents and fatalities, as have the poor infrastructure and condition of roadways in many areas across the United States.
What many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be someone who frequently travels by foot to be at risk of becoming the victim in a pedestrian accident. Accidents that occur between vehicles and pedestrians happen every day on roadways, at crosswalks, in parking lots and even at bus stops. It’s important that we all have awareness of pedestrian safety, for the protection of our own wellbeing and that of others.
Who Is Most at Risk of a Pedestrian Accident?
Awareness is one of the best ways to prevent a pedestrian accident. Unfortunately, it’s often up to the pedestrian to respond proactively in protecting their safety on the road. That said, there are some factors that increase the risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. These include:
- Walking in urban or suburban areas where there is more traffic
- Children who might not be able to accurately access oncoming traffic are at greater risk, although the risk for children peaks after age 13
- Elderly people who walk slower are at a greater risk
- Being on the roadways at dusk or when it is dark out
- Being on a dark roadway while wearing dark colors
- Being on the roadway while intoxicated
- Walking in an area where there is no designated safe place for pedestrians
- Walking in poorly lit areas or areas where damage to the road exists
When to Contact a Pedestrian Accident Personal Injury Attorney in Richardson
While pedestrians have the responsibility to follow the law and act safely on the road, motorists also have a responsibility to be aware and do what they can to prevent pedestrian accidents. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important that explore the possibility of recovering damages from your injuries. The best thing you can do is contact a pedestrian accident personal injury attorney in Richardson to review your case. A pedestrian accident can be devasting, but an experienced attorney can help guide you on the path to recovery.
Attorney Zach Herbert