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Articles Posted in Seat belts and child seats

Countless Lives Saved in 2015 

Every day, the news reports another story about a tragic car wreck caused by texting while driving, drunk driving, running a light, speeding or other dangerous conduct. 

Driving home last night, police were directing traffic and two drivers were standing next to their smashed up vehicles. We take it for granted and just hope it doesn’t happen to us.

So the fact that more vehicle occupants are buckling up is encouraging to a personal injury lawyer – or to any one.

The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration’s new report detailing seat belt use is good news.

Use of seat belts increased from 88 percent in 2014 to 90 percent in 2015. For some reason, seat belt use by occupants of pick-up trucks has lagged behind, but is headed in the right direction, increasing from 77 percent in 2014 to 80 percent in 2015.

You have to wonder why aren’t these numbers 100%, right? Why wouldn’t you take a second or two to protect your life?

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The Texas Supreme Court ruled last year that a defendant could use the plaintiff’s failure to wear a seat belt as evidence against him if this conduct caused or was a cause of his injuries. Nabors v. Romero overruled the court’s prior decision set 40 years ago.

On Monday, the Texas Eighth District Court of Appeals in El Paso issued a complicated opinion in this significant case that affects the outcome of automobile and truck collision lawsuits.
On remand, the justices concluded that the trial court had abused its discretion when it excluded the defendant’s expert’s opinion that seat belts reduce the risk of ejections in serious rollovers. However the court affirmed the trial court’s exclusion of the defendant’s expert who blamed injuries to four of the minor plaintiffs on the adult occupants on other grounds.

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Toddler Spared in Car Wreck Despite Not Being Properly Restrained

Yesterday a passerby witnessed a horrific crash in Colorado where the car blew a tire and rolled over. Four children and their parents were not restrained and were ejected from the vehicle. Sadly, the father died in the wreck. After calling 911, the witness snapped the above photo of a police officer distracting a toddler, who miraculously was spared from serious injuries, despite not being correctly restrained in a child’s car seat. As a personal injury lawyer, not to mention father, I find her parents failing to put her in her car seat shocking.  Sadly, this story ended tragically, but of course it is wonderful that this little girl is lucky to be alive and uninjured. 

Almost All Cars Make Fastening Seat Belts Difficult; New Rating System for Ease-of-Use of Restraint Seat Hardware

All states require that children be restrained in a child’s car seat appropriate to their age and size. Yet, a new study shows that some vehicles’ hardware makes this difficult, putting countless children at risk during accidents. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has just launched an ease-of-use rating system of vehicular latches for child restraint seats. What the agency found is astounding. Only three out of 100 cars had child restraint hardware that was considered easy to use. More than half of all cars had hardware rated as poor or marginal. How can we allow this to happen?

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Click here to watch the video.

Why Don’t People Wear Their Seat Belts?

A 60-year-old woman is in serious condition after flying halfway through the windshield during an accident outside of Houston. The accident occurred around 11 p.m on Saturday. A woman driving a gray pickup truck was turning left on a busy highway in Baytown, despite a flashing yellow light, and turned in front of an older model pickup truck being driven by a 45 year-old man. The pickups collided head-one and one of the trucks to roll into a ditch. The passenger of that vehicle was not wearing her seat belt and flew through the window. 

Today I spoke to a woman whose son had pulled off the road to text but when he drove back on to the highway, he hit a Jeep, causing its unbelted driver to be ejected. The man was unfortunately killed in north Forth Worth last weekend.

Yesterday, after a hard fought mediation, I was happy to finally hand a large settlement check to my seat belted client who had been seriously injured in this near fatal crash on north of Fort Worth. My client’s car shown to the left drove into an 18 wheeler trailer at 65 miles an hour when it suddenly pulled across the road in front of her, then stopped, The truck company initially denied liability. Two years later, my poor client is still injured and has to pick out shards of glass from her face and body, so I can only imagine the trauma that the Baytown woman will go through.

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