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buckles-032614Should a Person be Held Accountable for Texting a Driver Who is Involved in an Accident?

We all know that in many states it is illegal to text and drive. The dangers associated with such distracted driving are clear. However, the courts currently are trying to determine whether or not a person who knowingly texts someone who is driving can be held accountable if the person receiving the text is an accident. Recently in New Jersey, three judges decided that you don’t need to be the one driving to have accountability.

In 2009, a couple was badly injured when a truck driving in the opposite lane drifted into the center of the road and hit them while they were riding their motorcycle. As a result of the accident, both victims lost their left legs among other serious injuries. While they had already finished settling the case with the driver of the truck – who was convicted of texting and driving, they wanted to sue the driver’s girlfriend who had been sending him text messages right before the accident. Police were able to break down the events that happened during that day to determine that the driver had sent a text to his girlfriend mere seconds before the accident.

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car-accident-statistics-1Although automobile manufactures are always coming out with new and improved safety features, car accidents remain a leading cause of death and injury in Dallas and in the United States.

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration), the amount of traffic accidents has slowly decreased in Texas, but on average there are still about 3,300 fatalities a year in the Lone Star State alone. Surprisingly, at least 10% of those accidents involve drivers who are 16-20 years of age.

The main causes of most automobile accidents are drunk or distracted drivers. Despite all the public service announcements and growing awareness of the dangers of using cellular phones while driving, recent surveys show that most drivers are willing to risk others’ lives and their own to answer a call or text while behind the wheel. Texting increases the risk of having a car crash by a whopping 23 percent! For more information about distracted driving visit www.Distraction.gov.

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Two people died and one was injured in a wrong-way crash on southbound Central Expressway near Downtown late Monday. Although at this point the accident investigation is on-going, it is safe to predict a contributing factor for the accident will be a high level of distracted and/or inhibited driving.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents and the increase in road fatalities with young drivers. 

(Photo: Mike Forbes, WFAA)

(Photo: Mike Forbes, WFAA)

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OGA Charter fatal bus wreck near Laredo Texas - Dallas Morning News photo credit

Over the past weekend, yet another fatal charter bus crash occurred on our Texas roads. According to the Dallas Morning News, an OGA Charters bus was involved in a rollover crash which killed 9 people and injured at least 44 others on U.S. 83 North, approximately 45 miles north of Laredo. While the crash investigation is still in the preliminary phases, it seems clear that OGA Charters had failed recent safety and mechanical inspections – some resulting in vehicles being sidelined until repairs had been made.

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Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. Vehicles Have Open Safety Recalls

When a safety defect in an automobile is serious enough to warrant a recall, the problem affects not only the vehicle owner and passengers but also people in other vehicles whose lives you may be putting in danger. A defective power steering system, brake system, or air bags can cause traffic accidents which injure and kill innocent people. It is our responsibility to take vehicle recall announcements very seriously.

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Blood Monitor Device Tainted Xarelto Clinical Trials

A new drug’s effectiveness and safety are tested and verified by studies and clinical trials conducted by independent third parties such as universities and scientific labs. From a drug company’s perspective, receiving the endorsement of a successful clinical trial is essential to successfully marketing a new drug. Drug companies and their salesman use the results of these studies and trials as sales tools to market the drug to doctors. A pharmaceutical company can make billions of dollars by developing a drug that is more effective than another, providing doctors with an incentive to buy one to replace the other. In 2015 alone, Johnson and Johnson made $1.9 billion dollars selling Xarelto, an anti-clotting drug used to treat patients who are in danger of having a stroke. The future of this drug is now in question, however, because one of the testing devices used in the clinical trial has been deemed to be defective.

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Hospitals Focus On Doing No Harm

It comes as a shock when a loved one dies during a routine hospital visit. It is assumed that hospital employees do everything they can to make your visit as safe as possible, however, hospital-related deaths in the United States number from around 98,000 to 440,000 each year according to a study conducted in 2013. Hospitals take patient safety seriously and are implementing measures and training employees in an attempt to reduce the number of these fatalities.

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Jury Awards $72 million in Johnson and Johnson Talcum Powder Verdict

In what is certain to be a landmark decision, a Missouri jury has awarded the son of an African-American woman, and the woman’s estate, a total of $72 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson. Of the $72 million in damages, $10 million are compensatory damages going to the son and $62 million in punitive damages to the estate. The successful plaintiff’s lead attorney, Jim Onder said after the verdict that $31 million of the compensation will go to the Missouri Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund.

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Angel Reyes Blog - Traffic Fatalities Were Up 8% in First Half of 2015

A recent article in the New York Times raised a red flag by drawing attention to a new hazard we face when driving. The article states, according to Mark Rosekind, head of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “16,225 people were killed in automobile accidents nationally in the January-to-June period, an 8% increase from a year ago. The increase in smartphones in our hands is so significant, there’s no question that it has to play some role.”

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Mesh warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are nothing new, but last week the FDA announced that surgical mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) will be reclassified as a Class III (or high risk) medical device. Part of the FDA press release also indicated that manufacturers will need to receive premarket approval (PMA) for their safety and effectiveness in order to keep selling their product.

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