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  • Austin DWI • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    the drunk driver s ride to the police station often contains important admissions or other visual evidence of the driver s intoxication In an Austin DWI case you have different sets of potential defendants In addition to the drunk driver a claim may exist against the bar or store that served the drunk In the 1987 the Texas Legislature enacted the Dram Shop Act which created a duty not recognized at common law on alcohol providers and increased the potential liability of providers as a means of deterring providers from serving obviously intoxicated individuals Specifically Section 2 02 b of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code makes it illegal for a bar to serve its patrons who are obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others To succeed in a Dram Shop case an investigation needs to be undertaken to determine who provided the drunk his last drinks and when he was served A toxicologist will often need to be retained to project the Austin DWI driver s level of intoxication at the time he was served his last drink Finally unlike other auto accident cases Austin DWI or drunk driving cases present the possibility of an award of punitive damages A jury is asked whether the harm to the victim was the result of the drunk driver s gross negligence The legal definition of gross negligence contains two parts one part objective one part subjective The objective part asks if the conduct when viewed objectively from the standpoint of Drunk Driver at the time of its occurrence involved an extreme degree of risk considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others The subjective definition asks if Drunk Driver had actual subjective awareness of the risk involved but nevertheless proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights safety or welfare of others Most people know that DWI or drunk driving whether in Austin or anywhere else creates an extreme risk of harm Mothers Against Drunk Driving has done a wonderful job of raising public consciousness about the dangers of DWI and drunk driving Moreover DWI or drunk driving isn t just dangerous it is criminal Texas criminal law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0 08 Texas Penal Code 49 04 If a jury in Austin or any other city determines that the drunk driver s conduct was grossly negligent it can make an award of punitive or exemplary damages Punitive damages are defined as damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes The purpose of these damages is to send a message either to this defendant or to the public in general to deter similar conduct DWI or drunk driving in the future Like other forms of non economic damages there is no precise formula for determining the amount of punitive damages a jury is likely to award Determinations of punitive damages are case specific

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/claims-against-drunk-drivers/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Injuries to Children • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    injury it is important that the injured child receive the follow up medical care he or she needs If the child s parent s have health insurance there may be easy access to medical care If the parent or guardian does not have health insurance additional treatment can become more difficult In the absence of health insurance The Law Office of Trevor A Taylor can access networks of providers to get your child the medical treatment he or she needs A board certified personal injury trial lawyer can also help with the claims of medical providers like hospital liens or health insurers in the form of subrogation or reimbursement demands to make sure that the recovery to the child is maximized The settlement of a child s claim also involves special considerations As noted above the damages may need to be allocated between the parent or guardian and the minor child A parent or guardian could receive the funds immediately The minor child though wouldn t have capacity to access the money until they reach majority This requires that the money be held in trust for the minor child Sometimes the money would be held in the registry of the court if the recovery is significant enough a structured settlement with funds invested in an annuity may be the appropriate trust vehicle If a settlement of a case is reached insurance companies sometimes request a court order approving the settlement Referred to as a friendly suit an insurance company will file a lawsuit in a case that has been settled and ask the court to appoint an ad litem to review the settlement The ad litem will then make a recommendation to the court as to whether the suit was in the best interest of the minor child If the

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/injuries-to-children/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Insurance Bad Faith • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    Under Texas law insurance companies are required to meet strict deadlines in processing a claim For example within 15 days of written notice of a claim and insurer must a acknowledge receipt of the claim b begin an investigation of the claim and c request from their policyholder information they reasonably need to adjust the claim Within 15 days of receiving all information it needs to resolve a claim the insurer must send a written letter accepting or denying the claim If it denies the claim the insurer must provide in writing the basis for the denial If an insurer delays more than 60 days after receiving the items it needs to adjust the claim it can be made to pay damages for the delay Texas law entitles the insured damages under the policy an 18 percent penalty on those damages for the delay of payment plus reasonable attorneys fees Insurance Bad Faith The contract between and insurance company and its insured creates a special relationship of trust Insurance companies owe their insureds the duty of good faith and fair dealing when adjusting their claims This is meant to deter the insurance company from using sharp practices to deny a claim Some of the unfair insurance practices Texas law prohibits Misrepresenting to the insured a material fact or policy provision that affects coverage Failing to attempt in good faith the settlement of a claim when the insurer s liability has become reasonably clear Failing to promptly give the insured a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim Refusing to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation If an insurance company denies a claim in bad faith it can made to pay damages Damages include the amount of the policy benefits denies plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/insurance-bad-faith/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Motorcycle Accidents • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    the driver has reported the collision to his insurance company The injured motorcyclist will be forced not just to tend to his or her injuries but also fight off an army of adjusters aiming to do one thing deny or minimize your claim Having a board certified personal injury trial lawyer can help you fight the insurance company You may get a call from the driver s insurance adjuster asking for a recorded statement of the events This may seem innocent enough But the insurance adjuster is not there to help you he s trying to protect his insured driver While asking for a statement from you he won t volunteer the statement of his insured driver I urge potential client s to avoid talking to the other driver s insurance company at least until you have talked to an attorney Proving the cause of the collision in some cases can be complicated That s why it is often important to hire a lawyer to investigate these claims shortly after the collision The official accident report may be inaccurate in some critical detail Important physical evidence like skid marks or points of impact on the vehicles can be lost if not investigated promptly The Law Office of Trevor A Taylor has experience working with accident scenes and if needed expert accident reconstructionists to properly document the cause of a collision Injuries from accident involving motorcycles can be very serious Whether its road rash broken bones spinal injuries a head or brain injury it s important that you get prompt follow up treatment If you have health insurance you should have ready access to providers that can treat your condition If you don t have health insurance follow up care is often more difficult The Law Office of Trevor A Taylor

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/motorcycle-accidents/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Slip and Fall Attorney • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    yet failed to cure it This is the area where most of these types of claims are hardest fought As an initial matter the injured customer needs to know how and on what he or she fell From that point the customer s slip and fall attorney can work backwards to determine if the owner was or should have been on notice of the condition Sometimes you can develop evidence that the company knew of the spill but hadn t cleaned it up yet actual notice When you have no evidence of actual notice more detailed investigation will be necessary to determine if the company should have known about the condition Evidence from the customer or other witnesses about how long the condition existed is important Also important is some knowledge about company cleaning and maintenance routines and whether they were followed in this particular case A spill that was on the ground for an extended period of time coupled with evidence that the company wasn t routinely monitoring the condition of its floor can support a jury s conclusion that the company should have know of the condition but failed to act and this precipitated the slip and fall injury Sometimes a slip and fall is not the result of a dangerous condition on the property like soap left on the floor but the result of some ongoing activity on the property by the owner This distinction between a premises liability and negligent activity claim can often be determinative of a claims success The seminal case in this area is Keetch v Kroger 845 S W 2d 262 264 Tex 1992 In that case the court distinguished between a negligent ongoing activity over spraying plants while watering them and premises liability dangerous condition of water on the ground The important difference between the two types of claims is that the injured customer doesn t need to show that the owner was on notice of the condition in the negligent activity case Simply showing the negligence of the owner s activity is enough to prevail In dealing with the owner or more likely the insurance adjusters they hire a customer injured by a slip and fall will be made to feel like the injury is their fault You should have been watching where you were going the adjuster will say Don t blame our negligence for your fall This is a common refrain I hear in virtually every premises case They are attempting to set up a comparative fault defense which means if they can convince a jury that the fall is more your fault than theirs you won t recover a penny This is one very good reason that you should retain a competent slip and fall attorney like Trevor Taylor in Austin This argument can be met by pointing out the obvious you didn t go into their store to buy floor tiles You went to buy the stuff that s on the shelves In fact stores spend

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/slip-and-fall-claims/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Austin Truck Accident Attorney • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    can be retained to audit the driver logs and compared their data with GPS records fuel slips and other data to unearth failure to comply with those rules Any increasingly common cause of truck accidents in Austin and elsewhere is driver distraction or texting while driving Intoxication or drug use is another possible cause of truck accidents Inadequately maintenance or care of the truck could be responsible for the accident Some dangers are unique to truck accidents Trucks have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles which makes it more difficult to identify surrounding vehicles They also have a wider turn radius which can lead to lead to collisions as they swing out to navigate a turn Investigations of trucking accidents can involve different types of evidence that regular car wrecks Black box technology driver log books GPS readings and driver qualification files can unlock clues important to determining the cause of the truck accident Steps should be taken to secure or preserve this evidence as early as possible That s why it is important to consult with an experienced Austin truck accident attorney early in your claim As your Austin truck accident attorney developing your claim for damages is an important part of your truck accident case The foundation your damage model is your medical care Your medical records and bills will be gathered to determine the amount of care you received in the past If future care is needed I will consult with your doctor s to develop a picture of what those future needs will be You may also claim damages for lost wages both in the past and future Your employer will be consulted to determine past lost time from work For more complicated losses an economist may be consulted to project losses extending into the future

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/trucking-accidents/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Uninsured Driver | Underinsured Driver Claims • Trevor A. Taylor
    loyalty and obligation to you its insured It has duties to make reasonable offers to settle your claim and to respond to you promptly Unfortunately in the area of underinsured driver and uninsured driver claims your insurance company s obligations have become less clear as a result of the Texas Supreme Court opinion in Brainard v Trinity Universal Insurance Company 216 S W 3d 809 Tex 2006 Brainard involved an underinsured driver claim brought by the family of an insured driver who was killed in a head on collision with a rig owned by a well service company The family secured the underlying policy limits of the well service company in the amount of one million dollars then seeking recovery of their underinsured driver benefits of one million dollars from their insurer Trinity Universal Trinity denied the claim and the case was tried to a jury The Gray County jury awarded actual damage of 1 010 000 00 and attorney s fees of 100 000 00 After an offset for PIP and the underlying liability limits the trial court signed a judgment for 5 000 00 and 100 000 00 in attorney s fees The court of appeals reversed the trial court judgment on attorney s fees with the Supreme Court granting petition for review Importantly the insured s extra contractual claims against Trinity were severed from the breach of contract claims and remained pending at the time of the Court s opinion Brainard 216 S W 3d at 811 In arguing for recovery of attorney s fees under Chapter 38 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code the insured driver asserted that a UIM contract is no different in any material respect from any other insurance contract Thus the insurer s failure to pay the policy benefits upon the submission of a claim constituted a breach of the insurance contract The Court rejected this argument The Court relied on the relevant section of the UM UIM statute which reads The underinsured driver coverage shall provide for payment to the insured of all sums which he shall be legally entitled to recover as damages from owners or operators of underinsured motor vehicles because of bodily injury or property damage in an amount up to the limit specified in the policy reduced by the amount recovered or recoverable from the insurer of the underinsured motor vehicle Tex Ins Code art 5 06 1 5 The Court reasoned that the statute obligates a carrier to pay damages which the insured driver is legally entitled to recover from the underinsured driver Id This requirement according to the Court means that the insurer has no contractual duty to pay benefits until the insured driver obtains a judgment establishing the liability and underinsured status of the other driver n either requesting UIM benefits nor filing suit against the insurer triggers a contractual duty to pay Brainard 216 S W 3d at 818 This new requirement of a judgment came as a shock to most of

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/uninsured-driver-underinsured-motorist-claims/ (2016-04-24)
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  • Wrongful Death • Law Office of Trevor A. Taylor
    a death The first type of claim is called a survival claim That claim seeks to stand in the shoes of the decedent and seeks damages to the decedent like physical pain suffering medical expenses and funeral expenses One question that arises frequently in this sort of claim is whether or not the heirs of the decedent can bring a claim directly or whether an estate in probate needs to be established and the claim brought through the estate An experienced personal injury trial lawyer can help you answer that question and take the steps necessary to properly preserve any claim The second type of claim Texas law recognizes following a death is a wrongful death claim This claim is brought by designated beneficiaries under the wrongful death statute Spouses children and parents of the deceased may bring claims under the statute Damages that a beneficiary can pursue include loss of advice and counsel which includes the money value of professional recommendations and personal guidance the deceased might have provided had he survived loss of services in the case of the death of a spouse that could be the loss of household and domestic services loss of support or financial contribution mental anguish loss of companionship and society defined as the positive benefits flowing from the love comfort companionship and society the plaintiff would in reasonably probability have experienced if the decedent had lived loss of inheritance defined as what the decedent would have accumulated during the course of her lifetime to be passed on at the time of death exemplary damages if the death was the result of gross negligence If you fail to bring a claim within the applicable statute of limitations the claim may be barred If you think you or a family member may have an

    Original URL path: http://www.trevortaylorlaw.com/wrongful-death/ (2016-04-24)
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