dreamstime_xs_20287446-300x189A local high school student sustained a serious head injury when he was hit by a jet ski during his family’s annual holiday to Lake Palestine on Sunday. 18 year-old Tyler Haessley was climbing into an inner tube tied to a boat when his older brother, 26, tried to splash him with a wave runner. But he misjudged his distance and speed and hit Tyler in the head, causing serious injuries.

Tyler has undergone several surgeries, can’t speak, and remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit of a Tyler hospital. He faces a long period of rehabilitation ahead of him. Please consider making a small contribution to his gofundme account.

Now that it’s summer and the busy Fourth of July weekend is in a few days, we’ve got to keep this from happening again.

A boat is not a toy

People have to stop horsing around on a boat or a jet ski. While they are fun and feel less dangerous than cars, it’s easy to forget that they can cause serious injuries.

Some wave runners can reach speeds of 70 mph and have a 250-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, similar to a motorcycle. However even a smaller one that hits a swimmer can do severe damage, especially with its hidden propeller blade.

And it’s shocking how young you can be and legally drive one. Continue reading

DDNn8VbUQAAut4s-300x225One Man Killed, Two Women Shot Sunday 

A young man, 19-year-old Dylan Spaid, and his girlfriend were driving home on I-20 near Matlock Road on Sunday afternoon when an altercation occurred with another driver.

Witnesses said that the car pulled up to the couple’s truck and a man started shooting at Spaid. The gunman and his driver sped off and left the teen to die as his truck continued forward on the interstate. The young woman grabbed the wheel and steered the truck into this building. She fortunately only suffered a laceration to her head.

Shockingly, a few hours later another 19-year-old was shot in the head while driving on I-30 in Mesquite.

Although police have not said that the two incidents were related, the description of the vehicles are similar.

My heart goes out to the three victims and their families. I hope our law enforcement officials catch the perpetrator quickly and bring him to justice. Police are searching for a black four-door sedan, possibly a BMW or Mercedes, with silver rims and tinted windows.

WTH, have our Texas roads become the scene for Wild West shootouts on wheels? Continue reading

drive-now-text-later-300x93Texas finally became the 47th state to pass a ban on texting while driving two weeks ago.

But for many of us, stringent restrictions on texting have been in place for years.

102 cities got tired waiting for state lawmakers to get on board with the rest of the country and passed their own cell phone ordinances.

In our DFW area, Arlington, Bedford, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Watauga, White Settlement, and other cities cracked down on negligent drivers. Arlington, for example, did this back in 2011.

That’s because it was obvious that texting while driving caused an obscene number of deaths and personal injuries. It is the number one cause, greater than driving while intoxicated and speeding combined.

In Texas last year, texting caused 455 people to lose their lives and over 3,000 others to be seriously injured — and those are just the cases where the police could get the at-fault driver to admit he or she was texting.

Here in Tarrant County, 22 drivers died and 236 suffered serious injuries. That’s maddening, right? Especially if you’ve been crashed into by someone texting.

Ironically, many Texans may see their local laws weakened now that the state has belatedly tiptoed into this important safety issue.

That’s because Governor Abbott has called a special legislative session in a few weeks. On the agenda is a law that will make the state’s anti-texting law supersede the stronger local laws that these cities and counties have on the books.  Continue reading

use-this-photo-300x169Two 14-year-old twins were passengers being driven to school last year when their van was rear-ended by a pick up truck. The van was propelled through the walls of the Los Zarapes restaurant on the North Side of Fort Worth. Thankfully no one was inside eating.

The young women were rushed by ambulance to the hospital where their injuries and lacerations were treated. Each student attended physical therapy for the next month. I’m glad they quickly recovered from their injuries.

Their medical bills were reduced significantly by my law firm and Medicaid. That was of course good for the family, but bad for the verdict potential of the lawsuit in court. That’s because under a confusing law first passed by the Texas Legislature in 2008 and recodified in 2013 after the landmark Texas Supreme Court ruling in Haygood v. De Escabedotheir medical bills that could be used in court were reduced by $30,000.

I’m happy to report the maximum $50,000.00 available under the at-fault driver’s policy was recovered for one student and $30,000.00 for the other. The driver also sustained personal injuries and her injury lawyer recovered the remaining $20,000.00 for her, maxing out the policy.

I then set up a favorable four year payment plan starting with their 18th birthdays so they can attend college. One young lady will have approximately $17,000.00 and her sister will have $9,000.00 invested in an annuity. I am a huge proponent of these structured settlements, especially when young people are hurt.

I attended a hearing yesterday to finalize their settlements. Their mother was thrilled, said that her daughters could now go on to college, and that this would change their lives. That’s always so great to hear.

Continue reading

imagesFeature To Disable Phones While Driving

Cell phone use caused at least 391,000 traffic accidents and killed 3,477 people in the U.S. in 2015. But many drivers can’t break their addiction to this dangerous practice. A majority of people admit to texting while driving.

Apparently nothing short of the phone automatically shutting itself off can get texters to stop.

That’s the idea behind a long overdue feature on the newest version of the iPhone to be released this fall.

Your smartphone already detects when it is moving quickly. And there are apps already available that permit you to disable your phone while driving, including Carplay and Driver Mode.

The Apple’s iOS 11 will automatically disable iPhones once the vehicle begins moving. That means you won’t receive calls or text messages or be able to use certain distracting apps while you drive.

Apple had a patent for this technology since 2008 according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tyler. It seeks damages on behalf of the estates of two women who were killed and a 7-year-old boy who was rendered a paraplegic when their SUV was rear ended in East Texas in 2013 by a woman who was texting while driving. Other similar lawsuits have been filed across the country.

This new software clearly should have been installed many years ago.

Continue reading

dreamstime_xs_15112562-300x200Here’s some horrible news: on Saturday a 19-year-old woman from Central Texas left her two and one-year-old daughters in a hot vehicle for 15 hours, causing their deaths. How can this happen?

The high today will be 92 degrees, but people don’t realize that inside a car without air conditioning, that temperature will quickly climb to a deadly 165.

Being in a hot car even for a short time can result in heat stroke or death.  Continue reading

dreamstime_xs_33822870-300x254-300x254Hard work, common sense and perseverance have finally paid off. The governor signed a statewide texting while driving bill into law on Tuesday. I am thrilled!

The law was a long time coming. Rep. Tom Craddick tried four times over a decade to pass the anti-texting bill. Frustratingly, the bill failed each time. Once, the bill landed on Governor Perry’s desk, only to be vetoed because it “micromanage[d] adult driving behavior.”

When the bill takes effect on September 1st, Texas will become the 48th state to ban texting while driving — at least we weren’t last. Continue reading

The temperatures have warmed up and more motorcycle riders are hitting the streets. To get car and truck drihttps://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/05/Screen-Shot-2017-05-25-at-4.33.48-PM-300x121.pngvers to be on the lookout for them, the Texas Department of Transportation has just launched a campaign with an important message for us motorists. Look twice for motorcycles.

The campaign aims to reduce the thousands of motorcyclists fatally stuck or injured at intersections and crossing from adjoining lanes.

This message also applies to the increasing number of people getting hit by vehicles as they are riding bicycles.

Sure, motorcycles and bicycles are smaller and sometimes more difficult to see. However that does not excuse the motorist from making certain the coast is clear before changing lanes, crossing an intersection, passing, turning or u-turning. Motorcyclists have the right to be on the road and motorists have the obligation to share that road.

I am about to file a lawsuit on behalf of a man who was seriously injured when a driver crashed into his motorcycle, seriously injuring him. The driver said she never saw him. I’ve heard many excuses like this one during my 37 years of representing injured motorcyclists. Continue reading

Mendoza-300x203It was a pleasure to be the speaker at the fifth grade graduation of the school I adopted many years ago and donate another five college scholarships.

My law firm has given the school 15 in the last three years since they were first offered by the Mexican American College Endowment (MACE).

The students won awards in science, math, history, writing, and leadership. They are wearing their caps where they want to attend — UTA, UNT, A&M and TCU.

To see the joy on their faces when they learned who the winners were was priceless.

By receiving these initial scholarships, the children are entered into a competition that ensures that they will receive additional college scholarship money if they have achieved excellent grades and met other standards.

You can bet their parents will frame these certificates and these young people will continue to study hard during middle and high school.

Continue reading

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