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Time Change Can Bring Increased Safety Risks

In case you missed it, it’s time to return to standard time this weekend by turning our clocks back an hour, officially at 2 a.m. Sunday. The end of daylight saving time has many Americans rejoicing; after all, who doesn’t want an extra hour of sleep or at least the chance to recoup that lost hour from last March when most of the country set clocks ahead one hour?

But despite the additional hour we gain from “falling back” or at least the perception of a more rested population, the time change actually coincides with a statistical increase in safety incidents. Some studies indicate car and truck accidents increase by as much as 5% to 10% during the week following a time change, with emergency rooms also reporting traffic spikes.

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What Should I Do If My Car Stalls on the Highway?

Auto Accident LiabilityRecently, KTRK-TV reported on a deadly 18-wheeler crash involving a pickup truck stalled on the highway. Reportedly, prior to the collision, a Ford pickup truck was stalled in the middle lane of the Eastex Freeway. Around 1 a.m., an 18-wheeler slammed into the pickup as it was traveling along the freeway. The driver of the Ford died in the crash. At press time authorities had yet to determine why the vehicle had stalled in the middle of the highway. This incident highlights the importance of drivers knowing what to do if their car stalls on the highway.

What to Do If Your Car Stalls on the Highway

Knowing what to do if your car or truck stalls while you are driving on a highway is crucial knowledge that can help you avoid suffering a catastrophic injury or losing your life in a car wreck or truck accident. Here are a few steps you should take if your vehicle stalls on a freeway:

The personal injury attorneys at Stevenson & Murray have been successfully protecting the rights of injury victims and their families in Houston and its surrounding areas since 1987. To set up a free initial consultation to speak with us about your situation, call our office today.

The Alarming Increase in Pedestrian Deaths

With rising transportation costs and increased health awareness, more people are walking more places than ever before. Unfortunately, there’s also been a startling rise in pedestrian deaths for recent years, particularly 2016.

According to a recently released report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of people killed while walking jumped sharply by 11 percent from 2015 to 2016, with almost 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic. This represents the single largest year-to-year increase in history and the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in more than 20 years.

Primary Causes of Pedestrian Deaths

According to the report, there are multiple causes for this alarming increase in people killed by traffic while walking. This increase has arrived despite large strides in vehicle safety measures and other recent steps taken to prevent fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles.

The top causes of pedestrian death are speeding and failure to yield, which may not be a surprising find. Drivers who are stressed and in a hurry often simply don’t pay enough attention to their surroundings, which can result in deadly consequences for pedestrians.

However, the next leading cause of death among pedestrians is distracted walking — largely due to cell phone use. While many states have laws that restrict or prohibit cell phone use while driving, there are no laws preventing people from using their phones while walking.

The fourth leading cause, coming in closely behind distraction-based accidents, is alcohol. However, alcohol-related pedestrian fatalities are not all due to drunk drivers. While the report indicates that drunk drivers are responsible for 15 percent of annual pedestrian traffic deaths, a surprising 34 percent — or one-third — of all pedestrians killed are drunk themselves. Drunk walking can be just as risky as drunk driving.

Pedestrian Deaths and the Law

If you have lost a loved one or been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The skilled and experienced attorneys at Stevenson & Murray can investigate your case, and help you determine the best way to handle your personal injury or wrongful death settlement.

Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding your pedestrian death lawsuit. Our friendly and professional attorneys will work on your behalf to advocate for your rights and recover any possible compensation that may be due to you and your family.

Houston Paralyzed by Hurricane Harvey

Image of Hurricane HarveyHurricane Harvey broke records when it came ashore and hit Houston, Texas this week and it’s not done yet. Even though it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, Harvey is expected to continue dumping heavy rainfall on the area throughout Monday. Mass evacuations were prompted throughout the area, as river levels rose to levels not seen in centuries, making Harvey the most forceful Texas hurricane in the past five decades.

Hurricane Harvey is Sticking Around

The storm is expected to stick around, wreaking havoc on Houston and the general Gulf of Mexico area for a few more days. Reports indicate this will be the worst level of rainfall experienced in Texas in several years, causing flooding that has killed at least two people and continues to drive people from their homes. The flooding has overrun much of Houston, turning roads into dangerous rivers. As a result, schools, businesses, and government offices have closed their doors, while residents remaining in the areas are confined to their homes.
Rain from Harvey bombarded areas as far as 150 miles (240 km) from Houston, flooding rivers and roads surrounding the city for miles in every direction. 35 miles (55 km) southwest of Houston, the county of Ford Bend ordered its residents to vacate the area, sending more than 50,000 residents fleeing for unaffected areas of Texas and beyond.

The evacuation was prompted by the estimation that Brazos River would soon crest to over 59 feet (18 m), which is 14 feet (4.3 m) higher than its allowable flood stage.

Hurricane Harvey Causes Unprecedented Damage

Steve Bowen, chief meteorologist at Aon Benfield, a Houston area reinsurance firm, says this is the most destructive flood in the recorded history of Houston, which spans more than 800 years. Rainfall for the coastal areas of Texas is expected to reach 50 inches (127 cm), which is the total rainfall the area usually expects for an entire year.
Currently, there are over 1,000 people taking shelter in Houston’s convention center. One person, Maria Davila, says the water flooded her house so quickly that they were unable to leave by the time they realized what was happening.

Rescuers are using motorboats, airboats, and Humvees to help evacuate hundreds of trapped residents, as water levels continue to rise.

Hurricane Harvey raises financial concerns, as well as humanitarian issues. The area represents half of the country’s oil refining capacity, suggesting gas and oil prices will soon begin to rise to combat the limited supply. Already, gasoline futures rose as much as 7% on Sunday evening.

Auto Accident Liability: Lane Changing

When an automobile accident occurs, the scene can be chaotic. Depending on the damages and injuries sustained, it may be hard to determine the exact causes of the accident. This is especially true with accidents occurring on multi-lane roads and highways where vehicles often change lanes at a rapid pace. While most people believe all auto accidents are the same, a number of different factors come into play when determining fault in a lane-changing accident. If you’ve been injured due to another driver’s carelessness while changing lanes, turn to the experienced lawyers at Stevenson & Murray.

The Elements of Lane-Changing Liability

When attempting to prove auto accident liability, it usually comes down to negligence or the driver violating a motor vehicle statute. If negligence is being claimed, our team at Stevenson & Murray will look at several important elements, including duty, breach, causation and damages. For example, if the other driver owed you the responsibility to be a careful driver and failed to live up to that responsibility by changing lanes recklessly or without looking, these elements of negligence would be satisfied.

Along with this, if you were injured because of the driver’s negligence and can prove damages through medical records, medical bills and lost wages, negligence can also be a viable claim. Therefore, when you’ve been involved in a lane-changing accident, let us here at Stevenson and Murray examine your auto accident liability case to see if negligence will be the basis for your claim.

How to Prove Lane-Changing Liability

Even when negligence seems obvious in an accident, proving it can still be somewhat difficult. To have a better chance of doing so, it’s important to take photos of the accident scene, speak to eyewitnesses and obtain contact information, and to obtain any police reports regarding the accident. However, even with all this, remember that you may need to prove the accident was caused by no fault of your own, such as if you swerved or were exceeding the speed limit.

Let Us Help You Win Your Case

Even though auto accident liability cases can be complex, the good news is that when you work with experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys such as the lawyers at Stevenson & Murray, you can be assured of having attorneys who care about you and will do everything possible to help you receive the financial compensation you need and deserve.

For Accident Victims

Stevenson & Murray is industry renowned for remarkable successes and deep expertise handling complex and sophisticated accident and personal injury cases. From the moment we open a claim through trial and to the last appeal, we are passionately committed to making a life-changing difference for each and every client we represent.

The lawyers of Stevenson & Murray are seasoned litigators and advocates for personal injury victims. We consider all personal injury cases but specialize in cases involving wrongful death, maritime and admiralty law, trucking accidents, large commercial fires, talc claims, and commercial and industrial accidents.

Have you been hurt in an accident? Contact our offices in Houston today to discuss your rights and legal options in a free consultation with a leading personal injury and wrongful death trial attorney.

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For Lawyers

It is an honor and a privilege to work side by side with some of the best in our industry. Stevenson & Murray welcomes the opportunity to work with other law firms. We have a long and proud tradition of partnering with co-counsel to strengthen a client’s case. Decades of experience in our practice specialties and an exceptional record of achievement both in and out of the courtroom position us well to support the case needs of associating firms.

Our reputation as a leading personal injury firm and our uncommon litigation skill provide key advantages to our partners and their clients. Whether you are looking to add depth or breadth of experience to a case, expand jurisdiction or geographical coverage, provide additional resources to investigate or try a case, or leverage our relationships with top experts in numerous industries where we excel, we help co-counsel secure top verdicts and settlements.

Stevenson & Murray is a leading choice for clients and lawyers alike. Our referral business is a source of great pride for our entire team, and we constantly strive to earn and maintain the highest level of respect from our colleagues.

 

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