The Texas legislature ended its biennial session this week without harming the rights of injured Texans. They even helped them, which is a rarity lately. That’s music to the ears of an injury lawyer.
If you’re wondering what new laws will affect you as you drive and which will hopefully reduce the shocking number of car accidents we have, here’s a quick rundown:
This bill was passed by the legislature but has not been signed by Governor Abbott yet:
Texting while driving:
Finally our state leaders voted to outlaw this dangerous and common practice that has sent our crash rates soaring. But there are loopholes, of course, and it is not guaranteed that our governor will sign the bill. If he does, the new law was weakened to the point that police officers will have an almost impossible job of enforcing it. But hopefully drivers will be afraid of receiving a ticket and will stop texting while driving, so it’s a start to making our highways safer.
Two bills signed by the governor become law on September 1st:
- Mediation of often enormous hospital bills will be expanded. Often after someone is discharged from an emergency room, he or she is billed in full or for the remaining balance due to complexities in the health insurance and medical systems. It is a big victory for Texas consumers whose unpaid bills are often turned over to aggressive collection agents and attorneys to file and collect on lawsuits. More info is here.
2. Telemedicine will be permitted for the first time. It may not be necessary to drive to a doctor to have your pain-relieving medicines refilled or be referred to a specialist like an orthopedic surgeon.