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Asking for Traffic Safety – Shefman Law on KUT

“There’s nobody advocating for that infrastructure to be created,” says Lenore Shefman, a personal injury lawyer who represents pedestrians and cyclists who have been hit by cars. The voice is less because quite frankly, people have less time to knock on doors at the legislature or city council.”

Shefman says people sometimes for get that.

“You do the best with what you have and if you need to be to work at five o’clock and you have to get your child to the babysitter and there is not crosswalk for two miles then you wait for a break in an you run for it,” Shefman says. “And that unfortunately is something that people who don’t have to face that dilemma just really can’t compute.”

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Catastrophic Injuries, Finding the Policy to Cover The Costs of All of the Harms and Losses

When a client of ours suffers a catastrophic injury there is always a search for insurance coverage to manage the extensive harms and losses experienced by the injured and their loved ones. A tree of inquiry is to be followed and it naturally begins with the driver’s insurance policies. Texas has a glut of uninsured drivers—the Department of Transportation shows as of 2014, 1 in 6 drivers is using our roads without maintaining financial responsibility.

Inadequate coverage by the owner or driver leads to an inquiry of the injured party—did they have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM)? Many people overlook the importance of purchasing this additional bit of insurance. To every driver we recommend purchasing this layer of insurance.

Sometimes there are third-party policies that may provide coverage in a catastrophic injury cases. In Texas, these policies are referred to as Umbrella Policies and usually only exist when the primary policy exceeds $300,000.00. These policies are on top of regular auto policies and must be separately searched for using databases built to find this specific layer of insurance. These excess or umbrella policies are usually meant to cover events that are not typically covered by standard policies and the policies must be read to verify applicability.

The next query is to seek the possibility of other negligent parties such as employer liability for cases involving commercial vehicles such as delivery trucks, semi trucks, 18 wheelers, construction vehicles and vehicles driven for the benefit of an employer, or in the course and scope of employment. Commercial policies, often referred to as CGL (commercial general liability), are specifically for vicarious liability issues. Knowing how to read the policies for exclusions and coverage is key to knowing what money is on the table to cover the catastrophic losses.

Trucking accidents can have layered coverage for the driver, owner, operator, and company. Typically there are layers of insurance that cover separately the owner, operator, and the company, depending on the way the driver is employed. The Motor Carrier Safety Act sets standards for insurance and endorsements on drivers and big rigs.

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury and are trying to dig through the layers of coverage and/or find coverage for your harms and losses, let us help navigate the claim so you and your family can focus on gaining quality of life and living back.

The deadly 2014 SXSW Crash has caused some changes in the way the city will handle SXSW event permitting

New protections put in place for SXSW 2015

The deadly 2014 SXSW Crash has caused some changes in the way the city will handle SXSW event permittingAfter the tragic events of SXSW 2014, during which four people were killed and numerous others were injured after a man fleeing from police drove through a barricade and into the crowd, SXSW and the city of Austin have taken steps to help ensure the safety of those attending in 2015. Months before the event, studies and surveys were undertaken to help determine the changes that needed to be made in order to help protect attendees, and the city’s Public Safety Commission has been working with police to come up with a plan of action.

This year there will be 60 extra police officers on duty for most of the event and an additional 120 officers on duty to help with crowd control during the final weekend of the music festival. These officers will all come from non-patrol units so that other parts of the city will not suffer from officer shortages during this time. Barricades will also be manned, and the city’s Halo cameras will be monitored. Additionally, the city is working with Austin Energy to have the street lamp lights on Sixth Street, one of the most popular festival areas, replaced with adjustable LED lights that will be much brighter than normal lights.

Despite rumors to the contrary, unofficial events have not been banned. However, the city did reduce the number of permits issued for unofficial events this year (only 114 permits were approved this year, down from 168 last year) and is not taking any more applications. Rules governing existing permits will also be more strictly enforced. This should help to cut down on the number of unauthorized temporary events. Along with more stringent enforcement of venue capacity and alcohol regulations, this should help make SXSW a safer place for everyone this year. Here at Shefman Law we’re happy to see these additional protections put in place, and we wish everyone attending an exciting, fun, and most importantly, safe time at SXSW this year!

Drowning Injuries

5 Summer Safety Tips for Water

If you’ve been on Facebook recently you might have read about a new product to help prevent tragic drowning deaths. The iSwimband is a Bluetooth enabled device that lets parents and caregivers know if a swimmer has been underwater too long or if a child that’s not supposed to be in the water has fallen in by accident. While this new piece of technology is a great tool, there are many other ways to protect children and others in the water.
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Common Slip and Fall Causes, and How To Avoid Them

Slip and Fall Accident

Shefman Law, Austin personal injury attorneys, handles all different kinds of personal injury lawsuits, from motorcycle accident cases to swimming pool injuries. One of the most common types of personal injury suits we see revolves around what is known as slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accident attorneys are all sadly aware of the fact that not only can slip and fall injuries often create distressing situations for our clients, they also tend to be incredibly avoidable. Most slip and fall accidents that are the result of negligence could be prevented with a bit of foresight and care, and as Austin personal injury attorneys we believe in doing everything we can to make the situation safer for our community. Here are a few common slip and fall situations, as well as ways to avoid creating them.

Damage or Change to a Property

 One of the reoccurring themes in slip and fall injury cases is a lack of property owners to properly address a change in their physical property. Whether it’s damage to a floor that creates an obstacle or a remodeling project that isn’t yet completed, failure to properly handle and address dangerous property damage is something that every slip and fall accident lawyer continually sees in cases.  If you are a property owner, you’ll want to not only avoid these types of situations, you’ll also want to always properly document and mark any area that could potentially prove unsafe for guests.

Unsafe Cleaning Practices

 At Shefman Law, Austin slip and fall personal injury attorneys, we’re surprised that all property owners are yet to understand the implications of not handling cleaning and maintenance with the utmost care. From recently mopped floors to areas that have been over-polished, maintaining a safe walking surface is a requirement for any space and liability can and will fall on property owners who fail to provide it. In the legal field, we utilize a coefficient of friction measuring system to determine if a floor is too slippery. Although not every property owner can maintain such a precise system, make sure to always err towards a floor that is as safe as possible in order to avoid unnecessary slip and fall accidents.

Failure To Address Weather Conditions

 Even if a property owner stays up to the task of maintaining the general safety of a surface are while also avoiding dangerous cleaning practices, a slip and fall accident can still occur if weather conditions aren’t properly responded to. As slip and fall injury lawyers, we’ve seen countless cases that occur due to rain, snow, and ice, and it is up to a property owner to combat these unsafe walking conditions with effective protocol. Whether it’s salting any and all icy areas or placing rubber mats in needed areas, if you don’t maintain safe surfaces during difficult weather conditions, you may just find yourself getting a call from a slip and fall accident attorney.

Although this is in no way an exhaustive list, it should illustrate just how essential it is for any business or property owner to attentively focus on providing a safe and manageable space for all of their guests. If you’ve been in a slip and fall accident, contact the Austin personal injury attorneys at Shefman Law to find out what options might be available for you.

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