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pexels-alexas-fotos-2156246-300x196When a plaintiff brings a Texas personal injury case following a motorcycle accident, various types of evidence are often discussed during the case. Plaintiffs will face all kinds of questions designed to reduce a defendant’s liability. Was either of the parties under the influence of any kind of substance? Did the weather cause slippery or dangerous conditions? Was the victim taking all the necessary safety precautions and wearing a helmet?

In a landmark Texas Supreme Court opinion, the court overturned 40 years of precedent and reversed rules that previously precluded evidence involving a plaintiff’s failure to wear a seat belt. Previously, the court had held that such evidence was inadmissible because it would reduce a claimant’s ability to recover for the injuries they sustained in an accident based on actions that did not contribute to the accident. However, in a change of heart, the court decided that evidence of use or non-use of seat belts would now be admissible for the purpose of apportioning liability in such claims.

Upon further analysis, the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion does not simply or only extend to seat belts. It held that relevant evidence of use or non-use of seat belts, and relevant evidence of the claimant’s pre-occurrence, injury-causing conduct is admissible. Because of the broad nature of pre-occurrence, injury-causing conduct, attorneys may now have the opportunity to submit evidence that motorcycle accident victims suing for damages in civil lawsuits were not taking full safety precautions by choosing not to wear a helmet.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/08/Screen-Shot-2020-08-12-at-10.35.46-AM.pngSAN ANTONIOAug. 10, 2020:  Carabin Shaw Law Firm and Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC. answered the lifesaving need to help fight COVID 19 by donating $100,000 to assist the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center’s (STBTC) efforts to collect convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients. The two firms will provide $50,000.00 each — $100,000.00 total — in gift cards to encourage South Texans who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma. Donors will receive a $50.00 Visa gift card for each eligible donation.
“We felt it was vital for us to encourage people to make a lifesaving plasma donation,” said Jamie Shaw, a founding partner of Carabin Shaw. “It’s critically important to our community, and we want to encourage others to step up and help.”
IMG_4529-300x200Convalescent plasma contains antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 and may provide passive immunity to certain patients with severe forms of the illness. The plasma is used to treat patients with active infections, and it is one of the few treatments available for COVID-19. STBTC is the only organization in this area collecting convalescent plasma that can be transfused directly to patients with COVID-19.
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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/08/Screen-Shot-2020-08-08-at-1.19.37-PM-300x257.pngFor some people, a daily commute is an escape before the demands of the day. For others, it can be stressful. For those who rely on public transportation to get around on a daily basis, there is a reasonable expectation of safety while they are on board a bus or train. Indeed, no one expects to be injured while on public transit. However, when these injuries occur, those responsible may be held accountable for their actions through a Texas personal injury lawsuit.

For example, in a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion, a plaintiff was injured while riding a bus supplied through a public transit authority. The plaintiff boarded a bus and grabbed onto a hanging strap. The bus was operated and driven by a new employee who was still in training, with his supervisor standing behind him. As the driver pulled away from the stop, another passenger shouted, “Back door!” to notify the driver that a passenger was still trying to exit from the vehicle’s rear door. Although the bus was only traveling less than five miles per hour, the driver made an abrupt stop, causing the plaintiff to fall forward into the partition behind the driver’s seat. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his neck and shoulder. After several months of treatment, the plaintiff underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.

The plaintiff sued the transit authority, claiming it was negligent and responsible for his injuries. Because the defendant was a common carrier, the plaintiff argued, they owed him a duty to exercise “a high degree of care.” In Texas, common carriers are people or entities that are in the business of carrying passengers or goods and are hire-able by the public. To qualify as a common carrier, the entity must provide transportation services to the general public, as opposed to services for particular individuals or specific groups.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/08/Screen-Shot-2020-08-03-at-12.11.27-PM.pngJuly 29, 2020:  BEAUMONT, Texas — A 21-year-old Beaumont woman has been charged after police say the car she was driving struck two adults and a child in a west end Beaumont neighborhood Wednesday evening.

Kenlie Davis, 21, of Beaumont, was arrested near the scene and later charged with three counts each of intoxication assault and failure to stop and render aid according to a Thursday news release from the Beaumont Police Department. 

When officers arrived on the scene on Oak Trace Drive, they found the three victims in the street suffering from multiple injuries and the vehicle unoccupied in the grass nearby according to the release.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/07/Screen-Shot-2020-07-29-at-6.49.41-PM-1024x568.pngJuly 29, 2020, AUSTIN — A person is dead after drowning in a central Austin apartment complex pool just before midnight last Sunday. According to Austin-Travis County EMS, the accident happened at the La Casita Apartment complex in the 2900 block of Cole Street, just east of Interstate 35. 

ATCEMS said medics performed CPR on an adult person after they were taken out of the water. About 40 minutes later, ATCEMS said the person was pronounced dead on scene.

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Swimming Pool Safety Tips

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architecture-blue-building-cool-261372-300x200Every year, hundreds of residents enjoy the outdoors by swimming at their local apartment, hotel/resort, or community swimming pools. A beautiful breeze and the refreshing waters of swimming pools make these gathering places a fun activity for families. No wonder that the pools are the center of summer fun where family members of all ages relax and enjoy the outdoors together.

Despite the benefits and pleasures swimming pools provide to its users, there are also risks involved.

In fact, swimming pool accidents are one of the most common types of accidents reported in an apartment complexes, hotel complexes, or community neighborhood pools.  If a serious injury happens due to negligence or worse yet, a drowning, at one of these public venues, you do have someone to turn to for help and advice at Carabin Shaw

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car-crash-cartoon-pictures-19-300x210When someone gets into another’s car as a passenger, they hope that the driver is safe and alert while operating the vehicle. Sometimes, however, even when the driver exercises the utmost care and attention while driving, Texas car accidents can happen because of recklessness or negligence from other careless drivers on the road. When collisions involving these circumstances result in a tragedy, families left in the wake of the incident deserve to be compensated for their loss.

In a recent news report, a fatal Texas car crash resulted in the death of two young individuals. At around 6:00pm in the evening, a 19-year-old was driving east and did not yield the right-of-way as a pickup truck was heading north. The truck collided with the passenger side of the 19-year old’s vehicle, and the driver died at the scene. His passenger, a young 20-year-old woman, was flown by air ambulance to a hospital nearby, where she later passed away. The Texas Department of Public Safety and its troopers are still investigating the fatal crash, which occurred west of Fort Worth.

Following an accident like this one, holding the driver liable through their insurance company is the natural next step. In Texas, it matters who was responsible for the accident, so the injured party will be required to present their claims to the insurance company of the at-fault driver. The insurance company will then either negotiate a settlement or deny the claim. Texas also recognizes comparative negligence, which may pose a challenge if the injured party’s own negligence contributed to the crash. However, an accident victim would still be eligible to receive compensation as long as you were not more responsible for the accident than the other driver. If a motorist negligently contributed to the car accident, the amount of compensation received would be reduced by their own percentage of fault.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/07/Screen-Shot-2020-07-25-at-11.54.37-AM.pngYou don’t have to live near an ocean, lake, or river to be subjected to flash flooding brought on by heavy rains that have nowhere to go.

Flash floods may be one of the most dangerous weather-related phenomena because they can happen anywhere. The water rises so fast and flows so swiftly that roads can be particularly dangerous. 

Nearly every town and city across the country is vulnerable to storm drains and sewer systems overflowing and/or backing up because of too much rain for them to handle or debris clogging them

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food-healthy-dinner-lunch-128401-300x200Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that La Bodega Meat is recalling over 80,000 pounds of raw beef products. According to the press release, the products did not receive a re-inspection when entering the United States. Individuals can suffer severe injuries if they consume recalled meat in Texas. These individuals should seek medical attention and legal assistance if they experience adverse reactions to defective food products.

The recalled beef products included ribeye rolls, flank steaks, boneless brisket, inside skirt, flap meat, sirloins, peeled knuckle, rounds, and other similar meat pieces. The meat entered the United States in early June and was shipped to distributors in Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas. Although there have not been any confirmed cases of serious adverse reactions, the FSIS believes that some products may still be frozen in distributors’, retailers’, and other customers’ freezers. Distributors, retailers, and consumers are urged not to distribute, sell, or consume these products.

The USDA classifies recalls into three classes, Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I recalls, such as the one above, are reserved for products that may cause a severe health hazard, and there is a high probability that using the product will result in serious health consequences such as death. Class II recalls occur in situations where the product presents a remote likelihood of an adverse health consequence. Finally, Class III recalls are issued when the product will not cause serious adverse health consequences.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/07/Screen-Shot-2020-07-14-at-7.04.30-PM.pngTuesday, July 14, 2020, AUSTIN — On average, one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads, and transportation officials are urging Texans to exercise caution and limit distractions while on the road, as traffic increases during the summer months.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s annual Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign, which is each July, aims to alert drivers to the risks that motorcyclists face and suggests safety precautions motorists can take to protect motorcyclists and themselves. The campaign reminds drivers that motorcycles are small and can be hard to see. In 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas and more than 1,800 were seriously injured.

“The six-month period from May through October is the deadliest for motorcycle riders and accounted for 61 percent of motorcycle fatalities in Texas last year,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “That’s why we are urging drivers to Look Twice for Motorcycles-there’s a life riding on it.”

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