Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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Semi Truck Lawer
While driving from Conroe to Huntsville this morning I passed through the heavy construction that begins on the northern border of Montgomery County on Interstate Highway 45 and continues into Walker County on into the Huntsville city limits.  In some areas along IH-45 both sides of the highway are bordered by the dreaded concrete barriers that box you in and afford little margin for error.  Matters become much worse due to the uneven pavement and in wet conditions can become downright scary.  Here in Southeast Texas we are heading into hurricane season.  According to the weather forecasters we may have the remains of a hurricane as early as this weekend.  Car accidents in these areas of highway construction can be bad.  Semi-truck collisions are worse and can be devastating.  I always wonder whether the 18-wheeler next to me will actually see me in his mirror when he decides to change lanes.  There isn’t much you can do when you only have a few inches to spare between your vehicle and the concrete barrier if the semi-truck merges into your lane and does not see you.

18-wheeler merging accidents happen when a vehicle is trying to merge and does not notice another vehicle in a parallel lane when attempting to shift over.  Due to the sheer size of the semi-truck these types of accidents are often deadly.  In fact, merging accidents that involve 18 wheelers account for over one third of all fatal truck accident each year nationwide.  The vast majority of the deaths are the passenger vehicle occupants.  It makes me cringe at the thought of getting caught up under a semi-trailer in a corridor as we have in Montgomery and Walker County.  With the concrete barriers on both sides there is only one outcome of that vehicle crash, bad. 

How does it happen?  Semi-truck drivers must be even more hyper alert than the drivers of a passenger cars.  The big rig simply has more blind spot area due to the size of the truck.  If an 18-wheeler tries to change lanes without first checking the surroundings all around the truck, a collision with other vehicles in a parallel lane becomes a high probability.  When boxed into a concrete gauntlet, you have no where to go.  If you try and avoid the collision you either hit the truck or hit the barrier which can then throw you into the truck.

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Harris County Car Accident Lawyer; Montgomery County Personal Injury Lawyer
In Texas one out of five drivers does not carry insurance.  That is twenty percent of Texas drivers.  This statistic may be important to you if you are involved in a car accident and must retain a personal injury attorney to recover for your damages.  When you are injured in an auto, truck, or motorcycle accident you typically have a claim for damages against the driver that was negligent in the accident. The conduct of the other driver usually involves the person being negligent and is therefore a civil claim.  As opposed to an intentional act which would typically be a criminal act.  But what happens when the other person has no assets to pay for the damages?

In the Texas civil justice system, the goal is to have a way that society can settle claims for damages by a peaceful and reasonable means.  In a civil claim the goal is to put the damaged or injured party in a position where they would have been before the other party had caused the damage via the car or truck accident.  Since we are not in a perfect world, problems arise.  Restoring a person to good health can be a difficult task since there is no way to turn back the hands of time.  The Texas legal system thus tries to assign a monetary value on issues such as the loss of physical wellbeing, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, loss of companionship, as well as many other factors.

Sadly, in your case and every other person that is the victim of a car accident that is injured in Texas, there is no way under the law of assuring that you as the injured party can actually collect the money that a jury may award in your case.  In addition, if the injuries are serious, there may not be enough coverage available to cover all of the bills and damages.  So, what can you do to prevent this situation?

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Car Accident Attorney
Don’t wait for a car accident to learn what your auto insurance policy will cover.   You should know what your policy contains before you get into an accident.  After a crash occurs it’s too late to modify your coverage.  Being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver in a Texas car crash can be devastating.

What Texas Law Requires for Financial Responsibility in Car Accidents

Texas state law requires motorists such as yourself to be financially responsible.   You should, at a minimum, have auto liability insurance to pay for any accidents you cause.  It is required by Texas law.   Know that one third of all Texas drivers do not have auto insurance.  What will happen to you if you are hit by a deadbeat with no auto insurance coverage?

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Car accident attorney
I’m shocked at the number of new calls we receive that involve a major car or truck accident where the victim states, “I’m not hurt” when it’s not actually the truth.  Most people are not litigious.  The idea of a lawsuit frightens most people.  I usually get a call back a few months later.  Now, the accident victim is not only experiencing pain, but is also frustrated because the insurance company won’t pay to get their vehicle fixed.  So, how do people end up in this position?

               The first reason is time.  You’re in an auto accident.  Your car is totaled.  You are traumatized.  You go to the emergency room and sit for hours.  You are frustrated.  So, you rationalize.  “I’m not hurt.”  “I’m going to get better.”  “I just want my car fixed and my life back.”  Most of us don’t like change, especially in our daily routine.  Getting treatment is a bother.  It takes time and work.  That’s a bad attitude to have and may end up causing you a life of pain.  It’s always a good idea to get checked out by a health care provider.  Early is always best.  Torn tissue is harder to repair later if you let it heal incorrectly.  Even simple range of motion exercises that take only minutes to perform could mean the difference between misery or feeling pain free for the rest of your life.  What’s that worth to you?

               If your injury is serious like traumatic brain injury, delay and swelling could cause permanent loss.  When you injure an extremity, the tissue can swell freely.  Your head is enclosed.  There is nowhere for the swelling to go.  Think of the damage even a minor brain bleed could cause over time if there is no way to relieve the pressure.  If you’ve been in a car or truck accident and you have a headache, you owe it to yourself to get checked out.  Traumatic brain injury can be easily diagnosed with an MRI or a CT Scan.  In addition, insurance companies use a software program that counts against you the longer you wait after your accident until you see a health care provider.  Don’t let yourself become a statistic that will induce the insurance company to fight against your claim.

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Personal Injury Attorney, Auto accident lawyer
We’ve all seen the ER drama shows with the ambulance pulling up outside the hospital emergency department where a crew of health professionals rush out in time to save someone’s life after an accident or trauma.  Yes, this stuff does happen in real life but the average scene is much less dramatic.

So, let’s say you are rear ended in an auto accident.  First of all, you may be confused.  You may have hit your head or even lost consciousness.  You exit your vehicle and may be greeted by police or emergency personnel. Maybe, no one is on the scene yet.  Look around, check your surroundings.  Are you hurt?  Was anyone else hurt?  If no one is on scene call the police and state your emergency.

Emergency personnel on scene may want to check you out and even offer to transport you to the emergency room after your auto or truck accident.  You arrive at the hospital and are generally greeted by a nurse.  Here, your injuries are going to be graded in order of severity.  This process is called triage.  The typical categories for your auto or work-related injuries will be first, those that are life threatening and need immediate assistance.  Next, are the urgent injuries that are not immediately life threatening.  Finally, you have the less urgent type of injuries.  Typically, the nurse will ask for your subjective symptoms; or in other words what you tell him or her is wrong with you and where it hurts.  The nurse then may go ahead and get some baseline information such as your vital signs including your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.

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Car and Truck Accident Lawyer Conroe
Last week we started a new article on what to ask your doctor after you have been involved in an auto or truck accident.  We discussed your diagnosis and your treatment options.  But what happens when the conservative care fails? 

First off, you need to work hard at your rehabilitation and recovery.  You are in pain.  We know this.  It isn’t going to be easy.  However, once you start healing, you need to start exercising and moving or the pain is not going to go away.  Movement in your joints will cut off those pain pathways that are making your life so difficult.  Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents can cause massive damage to your connective structures in your body.  These internal injuries can lead to scar tissue that will influence the mechanics of your body.  By using rehabilitation to reinforce proper healing you can minimize this damage.

Specialists.

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Montgomery County Truck Accident Attorney
You’ve been involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, or 18-wheeler accident in Montgomery County or one of the surrounding areas.  Now what?  Clearly, your long-term prognosis should take a priority.  It’s the only body you’ve got.  Fix it right.  If you were injured, you may have received some form of evaluation and treatment at the scene of the vehicle crash, probably at the hospital emergency room, and maybe by your personal physician.  If you didn’t receive treatment you should be seen immediately by your personal physician to get a checkup.  You are protecting your own health and safety. If you have a personal injury claim that pops up later, you preserve your claim and seek reimbursement from the driver at fault.

As a treating physician for many years, I understand that doctors are busy.  As a personal injury attorney, I want you to communicate with your doctor.   Sometimes, your doctor may overlook questions that you may want answered.  It never hurts to ask.   Here are some common topics you may want to think about to ask your doctor.

What is your diagnosis?

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 Personal Injury Conroe
The simple answer is yes.  You may be injured and then again you may think that you’re not injured.  Accident attorneys and doctors that treat motor vehicle accidents will tell you to see your doctor after a collision.  Yes, even if it is a minor vehicular collision.  Your long-term health, safety, and wellbeing are on the line.  You owe it to yourself to get checked out.

When you are in a car a car accident your body releases adrenaline and other hormones during periods of stress.  Your circulation, heart rate, and breathing are accelerated.  These chemical transmitters are released to help you survive but they may also mask symptoms of you being hurt.

Think about it this way.  How much does your car or truck weigh?  Many thousands of pounds.  Think about the force that is required to stop those thousands of pounds in relation to the connections in your body.  An impact from a car or truck crash produces a great amount of force resulting in a serious shock to your body.  You are only human and the human body is not meant to endure an impact of that magnitude.  Therefore, the injury you think is only minor may be much more serious.  Injuries are common even in low speed motor vehicle accidents.

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Conroe Personal Injury Lawyer
May is here and it’s National Bike Month.  Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, it is a tradition that has been celebrated throughout the United States since 1956.  In Harris and Montgomery Counties, the dates are listed below for the events.  Nationally, the third week of the month is designated as Bike to Work Week.  Bike to Work Day is designated the third Friday in May.

In celebration of National Bike Month, Ron Voyles & Associates encourages you to give biking a try.  It’s a perfect time to dust off that old bike, air up the tires, and take a spin.  In addition, we would like to inspire motorists to keep a watchful eye out for bicyclists on the road.  Educate yourself on the dangers of distracted driving, texting and the direct effect on cyclist injuries and fatalities.  When it comes to car and truck crashes, cycling injuries, and deaths, both sides (motorists and cyclists) like to point the finger at the other group.  We both share the blame.  In the Houston, Conroe, Huntsville, and surrounding communities we have hundreds of thousands of drivers and thousands of cyclists on the road every day.  Making sure everyone knows the rules of the road can go a long way toward reducing the number of injuries suffered each year.  In the Houston area alone, we’ve had twenty-three bike riders killed in the last five years.

I typically avoid cycling on the road.  Why?  Montgomery and Walker Counties are still rural with only two lane roads in many places.  Many roads like Longmire in Conroe have no shoulder.  Therefore, the space between you and the vehicles is slim.  Your margin for error is narrow.  To further the problem, we live in Texas.  It’s hot.  Therefore, riding early in the morning is necessary.  It’s dark.  It’s foggy.  It’s early and drivers are not paying attention.  In a bicycle-vehicle crash, the bike is going to lose.  So, what can you do?  Bike responsibly.