Dallas Man Left for Dead by Lime Scooter Lunatic

Author: Angel Reyes  

Insurance, Personal Injury

DALLAS—A local Dallas musician was recently the victim of a hit and run while he was walking on a Downtown Dallas sidewalk, leaving him a trip to the emergency room, injuries to the face and the financial burden of paying for injuries caused by no fault of his own.

The vehicle was a rental scooter traveling at full speed.

Cody Daniels, 31, is likely the city’s first hit-and-run victim via rental scooter.

Daniels was leaving his job in Downtown Dallas near the aquarium when he said he was blindsided by a man riding a Lime rental scooter.

“I Stepped onto the sidewalk and then he hit me from this side, straight to the ground,” Daniels said. “He hit me faster than I could turn my head really to look.”

Daniels said his co-workers treated him with first aid before he left to visit an urgent care. There, he received 7 stitches over his right eye.

Worst of it all, Daniels said that the rider who hit him just fled the scene.

Because the rider took off, Daniels will be paying off his urgent care bill on his own, which he said will probably cost upwards around $400.

Daniels said he has health insurance but isn’t sure if the amount meets his deductible. Plus, Daniels said the rider was on the sidewalk. A big no-no in downtown Dallas.

This unfortunate incident raises some very important questions:

    • Does the victim have the option to file a claim with his motor vehicle insurance?
    • Is the rental scooter recognized as a motor vehicle?
    • In this case, can the victim seek compensation from the rider?
    • Can the person who fled the seen be faced with criminal charges?
    • Can the person be fined for riding on the sidewalk after the fact?

According to Lime`s website, riders are responsible for accidents and injuries, and each scooter company encourages driving safely.

Late last month, the city agreed to a 6-month trial run with electric rental scooters. They travel up to 15 mph after the rider pays a fee.

You can’t ride on sidewalks in the Central Business District (which includes Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas), and you can’t ride in a street where the speed limit is over 35 mph.

Failure to do so could get you a fine up to $500 – enforced by…who, exactly?

In light of these details, Mr. Daniels may indeed have a case.

With more and more patrons taking to the Dallas rental scooters, it is important for pedestrians to know their rights, and options, if they find themselves in a similar situation. Call the Dallas personal injury attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley today for a free consultation.

Why You Need UM/UIM & PIP Insurance Coverage

Author: Angel Reyes  

Auto Accidents, Insurance

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bigstock-Two-Car-Crash-1522381-300x240Most drivers believe they can make it by with just the minimum required coverage. When you only purchase the minimum required insurance coverage to avoid a traffic violation, you and your family are exposed to potentially devastating financial hardships resulting from an accident.

Most minimum coverage plans leave out some of the most important aspects of insurance coverage, primarily Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist (UM), and Under-Insured Motorist (UIM). Auto Insurance is designed to protect you and your family in the event of an accident – not just avoid a ticket in a traffic stop.

Why You Need UM/UIM & PIP Insurance Coverage

Having the right insurance can make all the difference in what you pay after an auto accident, and how your claim is handled. The State of Texas only requires drivers to have liability insurance coverage, which helps the other person in the event of an accident. Liability coverage protects you from the risk of liabilities by lawsuits or other claims from other parties, but it doesn’t fully cover you.

Liability insurance does not include collision or comprehensive coverage to fix your car, towing, rental car, or the other guy being uninsured/under-insured. You might think that everyone has liability coverage because it’s the law, but over half the accident victims who call our law firm have at least one party in the accident who was uninsured! Assuming the other guy has it covered, and skipping the proper coverages to save a few bucks can and will hurt you financially if you are injured, or your car is too damaged to drive (or both). The resulting domino effect can be catastrophic when you can’t work, can’t get to work, and potentially lose your job, home, and your credit rating due to unpaid medical bills. Below are some insurance terms you should get to know. Many people do not know whether they have the following ‘extra’ coverage items:

Personal Injury Protection

PIP‘ covers you and the passengers of your car in the event of an accident. PIP covers medical and related expenses, lost wages and collateral costs after an accident. Collateral costs can include child care, lawn maintenance, and even travel expense to receive medical care. PIP covers you even if you are at fault for the accident, making it that much more important to consider when purchasing auto insurance. If you have a good health care plan, comprehensive PIP may not be necessary, but as we all know – health insurance doesn’t cover everything. For this reason, it is always important to go over all of your coverage options for each type of insurance so you know exactly what you are covered for and under which policies. PIP coverage is also valuable is when it covers your passengers. Pip covers non-immediate family members to help alleviate medical cost from both you and them. This is most important when you regularly have passengers in your car, such as a carpool. Your health insurance plan won’t help them, but PIP coverage will.

Uninsured Motorist

UM‘ coverage helps drivers involved in a crash with an uninsured driver. A surprising amount of drivers are not complying with State minimum requirement laws. UM covers you and your vehicle from damages caused by an uninsured driver in an accident. Additionally, this will cover you and your passengers for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. UM coverage is valuable in the event of a hit and run accident as well. Since in that circumstance you are unable to confront the responsible party, UM will give you the same coverage and protection. UM coverage, as with any type of coverage, has different restrictions and limits in each state and with each different insurance company. Check with your agent for details.

Under-Insured Motorist

UIM‘ Coverage is similar to UM coverage in that it covers you when the other driver’s limited coverage cannot. UIM helps take care of the financial burden that happens when you are in an accident with a driver who decided it was better to save a few bucks on their quote, and doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your injuries or property damage. This type of coverage is usually put into two different types of UIM coverage; bodily injury and property damage coverage. Bodily injury coverage is the more popular type of UIM coverage, and covers your medical expenses when you sustain an injury after an accident with an under-insured driver. Property damage coverage only applies when the other driver is at fault and they do not have adequate coverage. This coverage will help pay whatever the at-fault driver’s insurance plan will not cover. UIM property damage coverage can go beyond just automobile damage to also help recover damages to valuable property such as cell phones and laptops.

The more insurance coverage you have – the better off you will be in the event of an accident, but you need to find coverage that fits your budget. When getting that insurance quote, please take a moment and think about the devastating effects that high medical bills and time missed from work would mean to your budget and your family. PIP, UM and UIM coverage are not required by many state minimum coverage plans, and therefore many people neglect to purchase them. These three types of coverage can and will make it easier for you to recover physically and financially if you are in an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck due to someone else’s negligence contact the expert DFW car accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley for a free case review today!

Employer Accountability in a Car Wreck

Author: Angel Reyes  

Auto Accidents, Insurance

empolyer accountability in car wrecks

Everyone enjoys having their very own company car. This is a huge perk in itself as you don’t have to pay for gas out of your own pocket or putting any mileage on your own personal car whatsoever. However, with great perks comes great responsibility. If you get into an accident, what are you going to do? Do you pay for it? Or does your employer’s extensive car insurance? Can you actually sue your employer after your own car accident?

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Top Tips Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Author: Angel Reyes  

Insurance, Personal Injury

Car-Wreck

More than six million car accidents occur in the United States every year. Many of them only involve superficial property damage, but it is still a jarring, emotionally taxing experience to go through.

But what if you suffer an injury? Do you know how to protect yourself and receive the medical attention you need? If you happen to get injured in a crash, the key is to remain calm and follow a few simple steps to ensure your own safety.

Seek Medical Help

In case of an accident, your most important priority should be your own health. Self-diagnosing injuries is a difficult thing to do as well after an accident; when you combine whiplash with the adrenaline and emotional strain that can come from a crash, it can be difficult to even tell what’s hurting. The easiest route is by dialing 911. The operator has access to all the resources you might need and is trained to help you through the situation.

In many accidents, the passengers refuse medical attention. They might believe the injuries they suffered are minor. However, it’s common for injuries suffered in jarring collisions to become more severe in a short time frame. It’s almost a shock to the system – your body isn’t even sure what’s wrong yet.

From a legal perspective, getting medical attention early is an advantage. The earlier your injuries are documented, the better it is for any claims you might need to make.

Take Notes and Photos

If you’re able, taking notes and collecting visual evidence of the collision is extremely helpful. You’ll want photos of the damage to your car, the scene of the collision, as well as the damage to any other vehicles in a collision.

As for information you ought to record, you’ll want names and contact information of all people involved in the collision, the make, model, and year of the vehicles involved, driver’s license and license plate details, and insurance company names and policy numbers for all individuals involved. Getting the name and badge number of the policemen involved is a good idea as well.

Make sure you take note of any medical treatment you receive so that you may receive reimbursement from your insurance company. Keep any receipts or documents that you might receive and store them in a safe place.

File an Insurance Claim

Make sure you let your insurance know what exactly happened and the extent of your injuries. Some insurance companies allow you to file a claim online, but it’s generally easier to call and talk to someone who can guide you through the process – especially after something as emotionally taxing as a car accident. Be as honest as you can and keep your information short and simple.

When in Doubt, Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

Ideally, a personal injury lawyer is never even necessary. But when it comes to property damage, insurance, and personal injury, a lot can go wrong.

At the first sign of trouble – or even if you simply want peace of mind – talk to a lawyer. They can provide you with further guidance in protecting your rights and health while also advising you if someone involved in the crash is wronging you. Car accidents are stressful enough; a skilled car accident lawyer in Dallas can help clarify the details and defend you throughout the process.

No one wants to be in a car accident, but they happen more frequently than you might think. It’s always a jarring experience that can skew a person’s judgement. But by starting with your own health and taking it one step at a time, you can protect your health, your property, and your money.

Alex Briggs is a contributing author for ‘Maggio Thompson Personal Injury Attorneys.

Know The Facts About Texas House Bill 1774

Author: Angel Reyes  

Insurance

HB2Vote-300x200At this point, there has been many news reports, blogs and information on social media about Texas House Bill 1774.

FACT: HB 1174 does not change how to file a claim or how your carrier will process and settle your claim.

Provided are some answers to some frequently asked questions on Texas House Bill 1774 via Marsh Private Client Services:

What is Texas HB 1774?

This bill requires policyholders to provide advance notice to their insurer, before filing a lawsuit against them. The legislation also makes changes to requirements for inspections related to a lawsuit, recovering attorney’s fees, and statutory penalty interest.

Does Texas HB 1774 apply to me?

  • Does not apply to claims with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Does not apply to claims with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).
  • Applies to claims made under an insurance policy providing coverage for real property, such as homes and other buildings.
  • The legislation also applies to claims made under the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan Association.

When does this law become effective?

Texas House Bill 1774 was passed in May and takes effect on September 1, 2017.

Does this mean I need to report a claim before September 1?

HB 1774 does not change how to file a claim or how your carrier will process and settle your claim. If you have sustained a loss related to Hurricane Harvey, or another covered peril, it is recommended to file before Sept. 1.

Where can I obtain additional information about HB 1774?

Information is available on the Texas Department of Insurance website. You can also contact [email protected] or 1-800-252-3439 for additional information.

UPDATE: Know Your Coverage Before Sept. 1

Author: Angel Reyes  

In The News, Insurance

September-1As floodwaters have risen in Houston this week, so has warnings to file insurance claims by Friday, or potentially forfeit some of what you’ve got coming to you. This is in reference to a new Texas law set to take effect September 1. Among other things, it reduces the penalty insurers pay if they stall claims during a lawsuit.

The penalty was adopted in the 1990s as an incentive for property insurers to process claims quickly. The new law shrinks the penalty  from 18 percent to 10 percent, shrinking policyholders’ leverage with it.

It sounds like one more setback for homeowners, coming at a very coincidental time.

According to an Insurance Information Institute survey, about 15 percent of homes in Harris County, which includes Houston, have flood insurance. It’s important to mention this survey does not take into account the surrounding counties.

Of the number who have flood insurance, the majority purchased through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, which is exempt from state laws. Neither the existing Texas penalty nor the new one applies to the federal program.

The Texas Trial Lawyers Association has confirmed the new law has little bearing on flooding, but said people with policies against other kinds of damage may still want to file claims by Friday, just in case.

The Importance of Hiring a Motorcycle Lawyer After an Accident

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Our attorneys are well-versed in working with motorcycle accident victims. If there’s one thing our clients wish they’d known prior to being involved in a devastating accident of this nature, it’s how imperative it is to contact an attorney as quickly as possible.

After a motorcycle accident with injuries, there is no time to waste in launching an investigation to determine who is at-fault for the accident so victims can seek damages. Motorcycle accident injuries are often far more severe than those resulting from other vehicle accidents. The primary cause for this is that motorcycles offer less protection than a car or other vehicle.

For this reason, it’s imperative to contact an attorney as quickly as possible following a collision. It’s normal to experience confusion and stress following a motorcycle accident. A seasoned auto accident lawyer Washington DC understands this because they often work with victims who are traumatized after an accident.

Medical Costs

Motorcycle accidents are likely to cause a myriad of injuries, including these common ones:

  • Brain damage
  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Broken limbs
  • Neck injuries
  • Internal injuries

There’s no way to anticipate the injuries one might suffer in an accident, but the above are some of the most common. Each one is serious, and most of these injuries take a long time to heal. Some never heal completely, and those are referred to as catastrophic injuries. If a neck or head injury occurs and causes spinal cord injuries, the victim may be temporarily or permanently paralyzed. Our firm has worked with many clients whose lives were changed forever as a result of their injuries.

Serious or catastrophic injuries are not inexpensive. They often require numerous doctor appointments, one or more surgeries, and medications. If you sustain a major injury, you may need medical care for the rest of your life. We’ve seen clients who spend the rest of their lives in need of medical assistance at home or in a healthcare facility. This is costly, and many insurance policies only cover a percentage of extended medical care. Our legal team can help you recover the medical costs you may face over the course of your life as a result of being an accident victim.

Lost Wages

Even if your motorcycle accident injuries aren’t life-altering or long-term, you’ll likely spend some time in the hospital and more time at home recovering. Even less serious injuries often take time to heal. Many employers don’t pay for that time off from work which means your income is affected. When wages are lost, your family is put at a financial disadvantage. Seeking damages for lost wages is one way we help our clients regain their financial independence.

Insurance Companies Don’t Offer Full Compensation

When you are involved in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, their insurance company will offer you a settlement. It’s often not enough. These settlements rarely offer you what you actually need to pay for medical bills, time off from work, or life-long care after you’re injured. Never accept their initial offer. Our attorneys work hard to assemble ample evidence that supports a more substantial settlement amount so your family doesn’t suffer financially.

LogoThanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into motorcycle accident cases.

If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, the talented Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers of Reyes Browne Reilley can help. Call us today for your FREE consultation!

Deadly Dentistry – Part 7 – Common Sense Questions to Ask Prior to a Dental Visit

Deadly Dentistry - Part 7 - Common Sense Questions to Ask Prior to a Dental Visit

The Dallas Morning News’ investigation of deadly dentist uncovered that since 2010 approximately 1000 dental patients have died due to the negligence of dentists, their assistants and paid anesthetic subcontractors. It is impossible to estimate how many more have been seriously harmed. The Dallas Morning News claims that it is not their intention to scare people away from taking their children to the dentist, or going themselves, and have created a list of questions that you should ask before visiting a dentist.

Of all of the questions that the The Dallas Morning News recommends that you should ask, the one that strikes me as the most important is “have you checked out your dentist online?” It is recommended that you use the internet to do as much research as possible into your dentist’s background by searching on the internet for any malpractice history or complaints that your dentist may have lodged against him/her. Google the dentist’s name and also check the news tabs to see if there were any high-profile cases that he/she may have been involved in. You could call a local dental malpractice lawyer and ask if they know of any state agencies that keep records of cases of dental discipline.

Ask your friends, business associates and neighbors to refer you to a dentist that they have used for a long time.

Above all, read any brochures that you are given or written instruction that you are to follow very carefully prior to treatment. Request an appointment with your dentist for the purpose of asking any question that you have come up with such as what sedative you or your child will be given and in what quantities. Ask your dentist what training he has in administering these drugs and what would he do in an emergency if something unexpected goes wrong. Ask how long after the treatment will you or your child be required to stay in the office and insist that you are given ample water to drink.

Thousands of people are killed by dental malpractice every year. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by the negligence of a dentist, the staff or their anesthetic contractor, give the Reyes Browne Reilley law offices a call. We are experienced and knowledgeable Dallas personal injury attorneys and are waiting to speak with you free of charge.

Article Credit: Original Dallas Morning News Deadly Denistry Series

Is Arbitration a Legitimate Threat to Our Justice System?

Author: Angel Reyes  

In The News, Insurance

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Arbitration clauses are becoming an effective tool for employers and certain litigation-prone professions like medical doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and automobile manufacturers to bypass the legal system. The vast majority of people who sign an employment contract, service agreement, or purchase contract have no idea that they are signing away their right to take the company or person to court should a dispute arise.

People who are injured in accidents, suffer medical malpractice, or are sexually harassed or otherwise wrongfully terminated from their job are shocked when they file legitimate civil claims suing their doctors, employers and manufacturing companies and have their cases thrown out of court, not being heard by a judge that cites the arbitration clause present in the contract.

The NY Times lists several cases where legitimate civil claims were forced into the arbitration process instead of being heard by a judge in court:

  • A 94-year old women who died of a festering head wound was forced into arbitration rather than a malpractice lawsuit.
  • A women in Alabama who sustained injuries when the brakes failed on her car was barred from suing Honda.
  • A women who sued her obstetrician for negligence when her baby was born with serious deformities had her case thrown out of court and forced into arbitration instead.

And the list of abuses in arbitration continues from there.

  • Arbitration officials can be a lawyers and not a judges.
  • There is nothing prohibiting the lawyer from having pre-existing or on-going relationships with the defendant.
  • The appeals process is non-existent.
  • Witnesses can be paid for their testimony by companies.
  • Employees can be threatened with termination for not testifying in favor of the company.

And the cost of arbitration can be prohibitively expensive. The Times article cites arbitration cases running as much as $150,000 for a six-hour session and if that wasn’t enough to discourage one from pursuing their case, the arbitration hearings are often held in the offices of the lawyer that represents the defendant!

Arbitration is fast becoming an alternative justice system and is denying people many of the rights that the legal system affords them. Lawyers feel that there is an alarming and growing trend for the current legal system to be bypassed in favor of arbitration. What’s to prevent every company from shielding themselves from their legal responsibilities by adding a simple arbitration clause to all their employment contracts and purchase agreements?

Breaking Down Levels of Auto Insurance (Infographic)

Author: Angel Reyes  

In The News, Insurance

The state of Texas requires all drivers to purchase some form automobile insurance to help keep themselves and other drivers safe in the event of an accident. However, most people don’t understand what different types of auto insurance mean, what they cover, and how to figure out what kind of plan to purchase. Thankfully, the people at the insurance information institute put together this handy infographic to help drivers figure out what their plan really means, and what level of insurance is right for them.

Image From Insurance Information Institute*