Free Consultation - Just a Click Away

March 20th Motorcycle Crash Highlights Austin’s Need For Improvement

motorcycle injury lawyerAs members of the Austin motorcycle community, as well as motorcycle injury attorneys, we’re consistently face to face with the reality of the biker community in our lovely city. The fact of the matter is that Austin still has a ways to go in educating the rest of the community in regard to motorcycle safety and general care. On March 20th, there was a serious crash that occurred in the South Austin area involving a local motorcyclist and an automobile. As committed motorcycle accident lawyers, everyone at Shefman Law was deeply saddened to hear of another motorcycle crash that could surely have been avoided with better and more thorough safety practices. Like all motorcycle accidents in our city, this only highlights the need for continued vigilance in the face of difficult circumstances.

 

The crash that occurred happened at near the intersection of Victory Drive and Panther Trail near South Lamar Boulevard according to Austin-Travis County EMS. Although the City of Austin recently implemented a bicycle route system in this area in order to improve mobility for both cyclists and motor vehicles, it continues to see accidents such as this one occur. Although we can’t be sure who is at fault in this most recent accident, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Shefman Law Group find each and every motorcycle crash to be a reminder that there is still much work to be done to prevent these kinds of occurrences from happening in the future.

 

Our city also saw a fatal crash occur on the night of February 22nd, when a man crashed his bike into a parked SUV and sustained serious injuries. This tragic occurrence, in which the man was not wearing a helmet, underlines the need for both sides of this conversation to truly focus in on motorcycle safety standards. In the interest of protecting our community, we must do everything we can to spread the word that making our streets safe for motorcyclists is a major priority while also encouraging judicious safety techniques within the biker community itself.

 

In the March 20th crash, two people were taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge for serious injuries. Luckily, neither appears to have been life threatening, though this in no way speaks to the residual damage that may have occurred for either the motorcyclist or the driver of the car. At Shefman Law Group, Austin motorcycle accident and injury attorneys are always ready to tackle your case when you’ve been in an accident such as the one mentioned above. If you are entitled to compensation due to driver negligence or unsafe road conditions, the personal injury lawyers at Shefman Law Group will do everything in their power to get you the justice that you deserve. Let’s do our all to prevent these kinds of terrible accidents in the future, and call today for a consultation with our experienced motorcycle attorneys if you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle accident.

Three of the Biggest Motorcycle Rallies in the Country

sturgis

At Shefman Law Group, Austin’s personal injury attorneys, we’re not just motorcycle accident lawyers; we’re also riders just like you. Because of this, we’re as excited as anyone about the coming of spring, and with it, the return of some of our favorite biker events and rallies. Austin has some of the best rallies in North America, but there are also plenty of events worth traveling for. The motorcycle accident and injury attorneys at Shefman Law Group have put together a list of some of our favorite motorcycle events from around the country in order to inspire our local community with the return of the riding season. Ride smart, ride safe, and enjoy a look into some of our nation’s best activities for bikers.

Love Ride

With its history of choppers and biker culture, it only makes sense that one of the best events in North America for motorcycle riders would happen in Southern California. Through our years as Austin’s motorcycle accident attorneys, we’ve come to love what motorcycle rallies stand for in terms of safety and respect throughout the motorcycle community. Love Ride truly exemplifies this position, with its focus on family and fraternity in a way that emphasizes safety. As motorcycle injury lawyers, we’re proud of events like Love Ride that manage to bring our community together for a day of food and fun while shining a light on the need to keep our roads safe for all riders.

Daytona Bike Week

Typically drawing nearly 500,000 visitors every year, the Daytona Bike Week is one of the most popular rallies in the United States. Held in Florida over an entire week, the event includes fun rides, live entertainment, and all the food you can manage to eat. One thing we have to commend the city of Daytona Beach on is their ability to make the event much safer in recent years, with the number of accidents and injuries declining by over fifty percent. As motorcycle accident lawyers, this is music to our ears. Hopefully other events around the country will follow the example of the Daytona Bike Week and do everything they can to prevent motorcycle accidents and injuries from occurring during important rallies and rides.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

What would a list of the biggest motorcycle events in America be without the inclusion of the biggest of them all, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? Held in South Dakota every August, the Sturgis rally draws riders from all walks of life, from old school bikers to Millennials on sports bikes. As motorcycle injury lawyers, we can’t help but be amazed at what has happened in Sturgis, where an entire town comes together to celebrate the joys of the open road. Not unlike some of the great events in our own town of Austin, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally includes some of the best in food and entertainment, and every year the spectacle only seems to grow. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a must see for any dedicated rider; just remember to always stay aware of other presences on the road.

At Shefman Law Group, Austin personal injury attorneys, we’re great motorcycle accident lawyers because we personally know the dangers posed to bikers by inattentive drivers and other obstacles. If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash, contact the Shefman Law Group to find out what we can do to help you receive compensation.

What To Do If You Witness A Motorcycle Accident

320px-Kirkfield_Motorcycle_CrashAt Shefman Law Group, Austin’s finest motorcycle accident attorneys, we’re not just great personal injury lawyers; we’re riders as well. Because we enjoy taking our bike out just as much as the next Austin motorcyclist, we take a personal interest in safety on the roads, and we’ve made it our calling to counsel members of our community that have sustained injury in a motorcycle accident. Often, we’re asked not only what you should do if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, but also what steps you should take if you’ve witnessed another rider being injured. In the spirit of this, we’ve put together a general list of what you may do if you’re the first on the scene of a bike accident. Remember, we’re not just Austin personal injury attorneys; we’re bikers, just like you.

Stop, Take a Deep Breath, and Reassure the Victim While You Wait For Assistance

The first thing you’ll want to do in the event that you’ve witnessed a motorcycle accident is to take a deep breath and center yourself. Calm tends to go a long way in these types of situations, and a centered demeanor will be comforting for other people involved in the crash. As Austin motorcycle injury lawyers, we can’t speak enough to how positive it can be to spend some time reassuring the victim while you wait for trained medical assistance. Often times in any major accident, a strong, reassuring presence is just what the situation needs.

Make a Detailed Assessment of Injuries and Call for Help

If no one has called for an ambulance yet, get a good look at the victim’s state and make the call. If breathing is taking place normally, do not remove the victim’s helmet. Similarly, make sure that the victim does not try to move or reach for her or his bike, as certain injuries can potentially be aggravated. As Austin motorcycle accident lawyers, we recommend that you also take down a detailed account of the scenario surrounding the crash. What other vehicles were involved? What direction was the driver coming from? Did you notice any drivers making illegal or specious lane changes or turns? If the victim does end up requiring a personal injury attorney or specialized motorcycle accident attorney, your observations may prove invaluable.

Check the Victim for Shock and Manage the Scene

Depending on the scenario, helping to organize traffic surrounding the accident can be incredibly helpful. If there are other witnesses around, ask them to direct cars around or away from the victims and their vehicles, and attempt to keep space accessible for emergency vehicles. One thing we’ve learned from years of experience as motorcycle injury lawyers is that shock is very typical in these situations, which is why you should do your best to keep speaking with the victim while you wait for assistance. Watch for pale, cool, clammy skin as a sign that a victim is in shock. Also, if a victim is having trouble answering simple questions (“What’s your name,” etc.), this may also be a sign of shock, which you’ll want to notify responding medics of.

When the Ambulance or Officers Arrive, Give Them Full Details

The final step in assisting in a motorcycle accident is to comply with the responding professionals as best you can. If you have noticed difficulty in breathing or other visible signs in the victim, make sure the medics know this. If you were able to get down a license plate number from a car that has left the scene, pass it on to the police officers when they arrive. As Austin motorcycle accident attorneys, we can’t say enough how your ability to take in details can help with treating the victim and assessing blame in the crash. This is where a calm demeanor can really pay off.

At Shefman Law Group, we pride ourselves on being not only exceptional motorcycle accident injury attorneys and personal injury lawyers, but also on being members of Austin’s wonderful biker community. If you’ve been involved in an accident or have sustained injury through a motorcycle crash, contact the personal injury lawyers at Shefman Law Group today to begin your journey towards justice.

20th Anniversary Rosedale Ride – March 22, 2014

cycleOn Saturday, March 22, cyclists of all kinds will descend upon the Samsung Semiconductor in Austin for an event every Austin bike rider looks forward to: the 20th Annual Rosedale Ride. An event organized as a fundraiser for the Rosedale School, the Rosedale Ride is an opportunity to get out on the road with hundreds of other riders and tour the gorgeous streets of our wonderful town. As Austin’s bicycle accident attorneys, Shefman Law Group is thrilled to be entering the time of year when major rides and events start happening, and the Rosedale Ride is one of our favorite, both for its sense of community and the great cause it supports.

The Rosedale School is Austin’s only school for children with multiple disabilities, and the Rosedale Ride is an essential event for the financial health of the school. Starting at the Samsung Semiconductor, cyclists are encouraged to enjoy rides of 20+, 40+, and 60+ routes. Even better, the event hosts a small loop of 12 miles for children to enjoy! This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event, so there will be many special perks for riders. The Ride coordinators have even put together a 20th anniversary jersey for the occasion, giving each and every Austin bicyclist the chance to commemerate the historic day. After the days ride, there’s plenty of food and drink for the whole family, not to mention live entertainment. The Rosedale Ride is the perfect event for connecting with Austin’s wonderful cyclist community, all while providing support for an incredibly worthy cause.

Here in Austin, we’re proud of the fact that we do things a bit differently, and the Rosedale School is an excellent example of that. In the same way that Shefman Law Group looks out for the interests of people that have been involved in bicycle accidents and have sustained bicycle injuries, the Rosedale School looks out for members of our community with disabilities that can often be forgotten by the rest of society. Their work is a testament to all the great work being done in Austin, and the Rosedale Ride offers the ability to give support to a wonderful organization while enjoying everything we love about riding in Austin. As Austin bicycle accident attorneys, we’re incredibly lucky to share a city with such a noble and worthy cause

As experienced Austin bicycle accident attorneys, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that safety, even during large cycling events, should always be on your mind. The roads can be a dangerous place for a cyclist, and making sure to stay diligent and wear your helmet at all times can go a long way towards keeping the day a fun as well as safe. If you or anyone you know should experience a bicycle crash you believe warrants compensation, get in touch with the bicycle accident injury attorneys at Shefman Law Group. We fight for you, and we win.

Justice to Some, Austin’s DWI Is All Relative

Austin has reached critical mass. Our highways are overcrowded. Our streets are filled to the brim with cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedicabs, taxicabs, horses, scooters, and pedestrians all competing for space. Space is further limited by construction of buildings, new roads, repair of old roads, detours, event lane closures, street closures, and weather conditions. Sometimes that space has to be navigated among all of these competing interests AND an out-of-control drunk driver. As Austin DWI accident attorneys and car accident injury lawyers, we’re very familiar with the difficulty these overlapping forces can cause. Sound like chaos? It is. Yet, there seems to be some sort of theory of relativity in relation to drunk driving and the penalties exacted.

Each year we host events that draw crowds pushing a population already at its maximum capacity to seam splitting limits. South-by-Southwest, Austin City Limits, Austin Marathon (and a run or ride every weekend day of the calendar year), Kite Festival, Carnaval, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Formula 1, Moto GP, and ROT Rally, just to name a few. With each event brings in new folks, out-of-towners, out-of-staters, people …more people. We love it, and we hate it. Whether you’re a festival goer or a car accident injury lawyer familiar with the stresses these events can cause, you can certainly see the issues that arise due to the crowds associated with these events.

Transportation is clearly an area where we miss. We have a very lite light rail system that has very limited routes, and limited capacity. We have Cap Metro and there is no shortage of complaints about areas of town it does not cover. The UT system has a bus system, so there is that added bonus for UT employees and students. There are no pedestrian/cycle overpasses for over International Highway 35. There are a few pedestrian/cycle overpasses for MOPAC. We have all sorts of toll roads that well, nobody is on. At least, the toll roads do not seem congested or even busy. …and we are building another one.

While some events are focused on sports and family, most of these events are focused on music/alcohol. This has become our city’s trademark, music/alcohol. With alcohol comes the question of how to safely transport the drunk or drinking crowd from one event location to the next. It has long been established that there is no safe way for a drunk person to operate any sort of vehicle to safely transport themselves. Thus, what are the options:

Lite MetroRail- http://www.capmetro.org/metrorail.aspx?id=312

CapMetro-(Downtown Only Shown Here) http://www.capmetro.org/uploadedFiles/Capmetroorg/Schedules_and_Maps/systemmap_downtown.pdf

Taxis- This tidbit on taxi use in Austin is interesting http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Transportation/Parking/Comparison%20Data.pdf

Short of private limousine’s this is what our city has to offer.

So what happens when you drive drunk and get caught?

Here is what could happen: Standard first offense (Class B Misdemeanor) could be 72 hours in jail; $3,000 DPS surcharge; 180 days in jail; $2,000 fine but…..and this is where it gets me, IT DEPENDS. It depends on who your attorney is, who your prosecutor is, and who your judge is. It depends because there are variables that slip through the all too slippery cracks of our justice system.

So, what happens if you are over .08 BAC and you kill someone? This is really what gets me, IT DEPENDS.

Case Study:

People v. Owens (3/2014) Kills three, capital murder charges http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-14/news/chi-sxsw-austin-car-hits-crowd-20140313_1_two-people-police-custody-police-car

People v. Marshall (2/2014) Killed two, no capital charges http://kxan.com/2014/02/05/woman-charged-with-dwi-in-deadly-northwest-austin-crash/

People v. Wyzykowski (2013) Killed two, 19 felonies charged, http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/24331820/police-dui-driver-in-fatal-crash-was-over-3-times-legal-limit

People v. Nestande (2011) Killed Courtney Griffin leaving Clive Bar, not charged with capital murder but at least criminally negligent homicide will get you six months in jail (maybe). http://www.kvue.com/news/local/Nestande-to-be-released-from-jail-Friday-224560321.html

People v. Johnson (2012) Cody Johnson killed when hit from behind, MISDEMEANOR charges pending.  http://www.kvue.com/news/Austin-cyclists-take-to-the-streets-to-remember-one-of-their-own-killed-by-suspected-drunk-driver-177793971.html

Robert “Chops” Ramierez, 30, (2012) biking on the Ann Richards Congress Avenue bridge when struck and killed by a car whose driver was charged with intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid.

Also, Dik Van Meerten, 61, struck by a car that jumped the curb outside Wheatsville Co-op on Guadalupe Street. The driver faced charges of manslaughter and intoxication assault.

Each of these crashes were in densely populated areas, lots of foot traffic nearby, all involving alcohol and all have different charges brought. The charges span from misdemeanor all the way to capital murder. So what gives?

A study of the outcomes in all these cases, nearly too many to mention, is timely and would be welcome.  Austin’s 2012 fatalities are compiled here: http://cycling.frenzied.us/unsorted/2012-austin-traffic-fatalities.html  The fact is there are different charges levied for nearly the same crime over and over again. The variations may sometimes be slight  and sometimes they are of such severe magnitude that you have to wonder, whether you’re a DWI accident and injury lawyer or not.

This is not an isolated problem with a quick fix solution. There are systemic issues that include a city with a long tradition of celebrating music and alcohol as its primary form of entertainment and its loudest trumpet to hail tourists. The issues include a shortage of transportation alternatives, police, district attorneys, and our attitudes, yes-us! as a society and a community. What are our limits? What is our tipping point? Do we have one? When do we demand what other cities have, transportation options, consistent enforcement and prosecution of these crimes?  When do we take to the jury box and convict for maximum penalties? Do penalties help? Wouldn’t up front solutions be the smartest alternative? Harsh consistent penalties could be a solution. As Austin car accident injury attorneys and DWI injury lawyers, we advocate for solutions that will bring a higher level of safety for all of the residents of Austin.

For instance, any driver that has a first time DWI with no injury mandatory  intoxilyzer installed as part of a probation and sentencing. It is expensive, and it is a partial preventative for drunk drivers. There are ways around the device but no harm in causing an offender to get one. Mandatory minimums without negotiation for fines, $5,000 minimum with heightened fines for elevated BAC levels or other infractions. Mandatory court suspension of driver’s license privilege for one year, you will now learn to ride a bike or take the bus. Mandatory drug and alcohol classes, money benefitting victims fund.  Mandatory 120 days of actual jail time. Mandatory 80 work release as part of the probationary terms (little orange jacket working to clean sidewalks and pick up trash). And three year court supervised probation and no matter who you are this is what you get for a first offense.

The point is this, no matter who you are, no matter how much money you have, no matter who your employer, no matter which prosecutor you get or what court room you are assigned, you walk in for your arraignment and it is written on the wall what your penalties are for your DWI whether it is a first, second, and especially when harm is caused to another. What we have now is so unpredictable, the variables scream justice to SOME.  Driving under the influence of alcohol is serious, the outcomes are outrageous, and the law and its delivery is specious.

Four Major Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents, And How to Avoid Them

rideAt the Shefman Law Group, we’re not just motorcycle accident attorneys: we’re the premiere Austin motorcycle injury lawyers. We’ve worked with victims of motorcycle crashes for years, and it’s this experience that makes us effective at what we do. Furthermore, not only are we experienced motorcycle accident trial attorneys, we’re also riders ourselves.

Our history dealing with motorcycle accidents has led us to a deep understanding of the common types of crashes and the causes behind them. We’ve put together a list of four of the most frequent reasons why an accident occurs on the road, as well as a few general tips on how to avoid some of these occurrences. Read on to know what you should try to avoid each and every time you take your bike out on the road.

1. Car Makes A Left Turn

As Austin motorcycle accident attorneys, this is easily the most common incident we see motorcyclists finding themselves in. The scene typically unfolds like this: a car fails to notice a rider, or misjudges her or his speed, and makes a left in front of the rider at an intersection. This type of collision constitutes nearly 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car, making it a high priority on the list of situations to avoid for all riders. Most of the time a vehicle that strikes another motorist while making a left-hand turn will be found responsible for the accident, though this doesn’t mean diligence is not required from a biker’s perspective. Always be aware of the dangers at hand when approaching a four way stop, and keep an eye on whether drivers are noticing your presence. If all else fails, make sure to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately following a crash.

2. Road Hazards

Due to the relative instability and thin tires of most motorcycles, road hazards present a greater danger to bikers than they do for most other motor vehicles. Whether it’s potholes, sewer grates, or poorly laid gravel, Austin motorcyclists can be faced with treacherous conditions when out on the road. When a motorcycle accident or injury is caused by a road hazard, there can often be responsible parties, be it the state, county, city, or other agency that maintains the road. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to compensation, so you should always contact a motorcycle injury lawyer after an incident. Like many situations on the road, your best bet is to take unknown roads slowly and safely, while attempting to steer clear of any blocked off street or known hazard areas.

3. Car Changes Lanes Into You

Sadly, most motorcyclists will be familiar with this scenario: you’re out, enjoying a weekend ride, when suddenly a car begins to change lanes into the space you’re occupying without checking for your presence. One thing we’ve noticed in our years of experience as Austin motorcycle accident attorneys is that many drivers simply fail to take the time to look out for the bikers sharing the lanes with them. Although cars are required to check their blind spots when changing lanes, it’s still essential to spend as little time as possible outside of the view of other motorists. Also, taking extra caution when riding in situations where lane changes are more likely to occur (i.e. when highway traffic is slowing, or lanes are coming to an end) in order to avoid a dangerous situation. Even though cars are required to safely share the lanes with motorcyclists, riders have to remain ever vigilant to the dangers of careless drivers.

4. Lane Splitting

Lane Splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. Even in a state like California, which permits “safe and prudent” lane splitting, it’s always a practice to avoid. The legality of lane splitting in many states is quite often debatable, and as experienced Austin motorcycle accident and injury attorneys, we encourage every rider to stay away from the often disastrous practice. Safely sharing the road is tough enough for bikers without the added burden of a legally dubious and highly dangerous act such as lane splitting. As a motorcyclist, do your part to remain safe, and avoid lane splitting.

At the Shefman Law Group, we not only represent motorcycle riders, we are motorcycle riders. If you’re in need of a tough and effective motorcycle accident attorney, call today for a consultation. Remember, we only take a fee if you receive compensation.

 

SXSW Car Crash

#SXSWcrash

#SXSWcrash

Austin it is a sad day, as this crash happened during an internationally recognized event that our City is famous for and embraces as a robust boost to our economy. This is horrible for the families, the survivors, their friends, loved ones, those injured, those who will suffer and struggle to rehabilitate.

There is a subtext, one that needs and deserves discussion. As Austinites we know that there is an inconsistency about enforcement of drug and alcohol driving violations, especially those involving serious bodily injury and death. As an Austin DWI accident attorney and car accident injury attorney, it pains me to see these inconsistencies play out.

Our city wholeheartedly embraces a drinking atmosphere and culture. We have virtually no public transportation to speak of after midnight and very little for those after “Happy Hours”. There is almost no municipally supported program that would assist a drunk driver. Okay, well that is another topic because this perpetrator was driving a stolen car and probably would not have ended up on our burgeoning light rail had we an effective one. Yet, what did happen? What was said? Why is it important?

When Chief Acevedo spoke at today’s conference about the #SXSWcrash about the officer that gave chase to the suspected drunk driver, Chief Acevedo mentioned the officer was part of the “STEP” program.

In this article from 2006 in policechiefmagazine.org, we found this explanation of what a “step” officer is….

“The DWI Task Force focused on areas where offenses were likely to occur and during peak hours when impaired driving was most prevalent. Task force officers worked as two-person units. Two teams patrolled Sunday through Wednesday nights, and four teams worked Thursday through Saturday. On Saturday night, officers hired through the DWI Traffic Selective Enforcement Pro-gram (STEP) supplemented the teams.” http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=974&issue_id=82006

The Step program seems to be a program that brings in additional coverage officers for DWI enforcement. Let’s hear more about this program. Let’s hear more about official policies of APD. Yes, there is definitively one person who did very bad acts and those bad acts were the proximate cause of great bodily injury and death. That man has been apprehended.

Interestingly, the community is hearing Chief Acevedo, not the District Attorney, make claims that this person will be prosecuted for capital murder? Really? Manslaughter, no, that is not what he said. He said, Capital Murder. That would be novel at best and probably the wrong charge but we will leave that to the District Attorney, since that is their province. Yet, we know similar egregious acts are still listed as misdemeanors, such as when Stephen Gilbert ran over Cody Johnson from behind, killing him, registering a BAC over .08% and over 18 months have passed and there is not even an indictment. In Austin, our DWI injury attorneys and car accident injury lawyers are sadly familiar with these kinds of cases. Indictments can be made on ham sandwiches, an often quoted line from every first year criminal law class throughout the land.

What raises some additional pause of course is the circumstances involving this crash. The chase, the actual decision to chase a drunk driver past a barricaded street, into a crowd of people. Is this against APD policy?

Was this a trained officer? Do the STEP officers know APD policy on when to give chase? When not to give chase?  Was the crash, the two killed, the 23 injured a forseeable event in light of the circumstances? And moreover, was it preventable?

As personal injury attorneys practicing DWI accident law and car accident injury cases in Austin, we’re tired of seeing these tragedies occur. Let’s push for a transparent government. Let’s push for consistent charges, sentencing, and let’s let the public know what happens when you break the law, drive drunk, choose to put others lives in peril.

How a Construction Accident Injury Attorney Can Help You and Your Family

shefAt the Shefman Law Group, home of Austin’s finest construction accident lawyers, we’re always saddened to hear of injuries and bodily harm sustained due to an employer’s lack of preparation or follow through. In an incident that occurred on February 13th, two young men in their 20’s were seriously injured after falling from scaffolding at an Austin construction site. It’s always a tragedy when anyone suffers a serious injury on the job, but it’s important to remember that there are avenues for construction workers that endure injuries on site. The state of Texas requires a safe environment for every worker, and when standards aren’t met, we can see terrible accidents such as this one.  What can and should be done when you or a loved one suffers a construction site injury that is the result of employer negligence?

One thing that is important to remember is that third parties can and should be held accountable for the failures of their safety programs. As construction accident injury attorneys, Shefman Law Group has a firm grip on the various ways to pursue compensation for workers injured on the job site, including holding these third parties responsible for their failures. The manufacturers of all the various equipment used on the job site can be responsible for injury and death, including scaffolding, conveyors, ladders, forklifts, and cranes. The first step in gaining compensation for a construction accident injury is to consider the ways in which these third parties may be at fault for injury or death.

It is also essential to consider the ways in which an employer’s negligence can be the root cause behind a debilitating injury. Owners of projects expect contractors to produce a quality project at a competitive price, but this does not mean that a contractor can cut corners on safety to reach the right price for the customer or to achieve the most profit. The Austin construction accident injury lawyers at Shefman Law Group have the skills and resources to determine where blame lies in these types of cases, and have the grit and determination to take your case all the way to trial. We have yet to lose a case, and you can be sure that we’ll give our all to get you or your loved ones the compensation you rightly deserve.

Don’t let an accident caused by negligence go unpunished. Contact Austin’s construction accident attorneys at Shefman Law Group to begin on the road to getting a fair and just result for your case.

Thunder on the Colorado – Staying Safe

 

Southern_California_Norton_Owner's_Club_Cambria_Ride_on_hwy_41_near_Creston,_CAAt Shefman Law Group, not only are we Austin’s premier motorcycle accident attorneys, we’re also riders ourselves. Because of this, we’re as excited as anyone about all of the great events that tend to land in the early spring. One of our favorite local events is the Thunder on the Colorado festival, which opens up on March 14th and runs through March 16th. Featuring a downtown parade in nearby Smithville as well as a great juried bike show, Thunder on the Colorado is the perfect way to start the major ride season. As members of the local bike community, the motorcycle injury lawyers at Shefman Law Group are excited to start the season right with the rest of our fellow riders.

 

One of our favorite events associated with Thunder on the Colorado is the fun run that happens every year. Although every biker loves a good fun run ride, we wouldn’t be great motorcycle injury lawyers if we didn’t remind you of a few tips to keep in mind when enjoying the open road.  As much as we advocate for safe and open roads for all recreational users of motorcycles and bicycles, we’re sadly aware of the danger posed by motorcycle accidents and motorcycle injuries. Going into Thunder on the Colorado, here’s what you should do in case of a motorcycle crash:

 

- First and foremost, call 911. Getting adequate help after a motorcycle accident is a must.
- Do not refuse medical treatment, as adrenaline may mask serious injuries.
- Make sure the police take a report and record driver and witness information. We’ve created our very own app to make sure you can record and document any information you may need later on if taking your case to trial.
- Take photos of damaged vehicles, debris in roadway, skid marks, injuries, insurance cards, drivers’ licenses, and street/intersection where crash occurred.
- Do not discuss liability with other driver.
- Maintain articles of clothing damaged or marked by the collision.
- Contact the Shefman Law Group, Austin’s very best personal injury attorneys, to speak with a skilled bike accident lawyer.

 

As we get into one of the heaviest ride seasons of the year, and start to approach great events like Thunder on the Colorado, it’s important that you keep your safety in mind. We hope you enjoy the open roads of Texas, and make sure to contact Shefman Law Group anytime you’re in need of an effective and determined motorcycle injury attorney.

Sample Personal Injury Demand Letter

Attorney Shefman on her Iron 883 Motorcycle

Attorney Shefman on her Iron 883 Motorcycle

This is meant to be a tool for those folks who choose to represent themselves following a minor crash where they are seeking personal injury or bodily injury losses in the Texas Justice of the Peace Courts in an amount under $10,000. As Austin personal injury attorneys, we’ve noticed that often folks will choose not to hire an attorney, perhaps liability is clear they just need some help writing a letter to the insurance company. If you are not sure what to include, this sample letter will provide an idea of how to structure your letter and what to include. There are many ways to do this, this is a simple outline that we hope is useful and easy to follow. If for any reason you do need a motorcycle accident attorney or car accident injury attorney, make sure to contact the Shefman Law Group. We fight, and we win.

REMEMBER, YOU ONLY HAVE TWO YEARS, IN TEXAS, FROM THE DATE OF YOUR CRASH, TO FILE A CLAIM AGAINST AN INDIVIDUAL OR CORPORATION THAT HAS HARMED YOU IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN HARMED AS A RESULT OF A MUNICIPALITY OR STATE ENTITY (GOVERNMENT) YOU SHOULD SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL FOR THE LIMITATION ON WHEN YOU CAN BRING A CLAIM.

Sample Demand Letter for Pro Per (Self Representation) where you are seeking $10,000 and under (Justice of the Peace Cases):

Introduction

This is where you provide a short statement of who you are, your age, your occupation, (a snapshot of who you are in your own words).
Include a picture of yourself. Mention that this is an offer for early resolution of your claim.

Facts Establishing Liability

Write about the crash. Where you were coming from. What the other driver did just before the crash. What you did. How the crash occurred. Be careful not to get too specific about time and distances if you are uncertain and can’t be exact. Discuss the choices the other driver made when they hit you that make the incident the other party’s fault. Liability has either been established –If it has not been established by a police report or admission of party that hit you, then state why they are at fault, for example did they violate your right-of-way? Did they run a red light? Were they talking on the phone?

How do you know they are at fault? List your observations, the other driver, witness or passenger statements. Put all of that information in this section to establish your arguments why the other person is at fault. Whatever evidence you have to support your argument, include it as an attachment and reference it in this section. Any good car accident injury attorney will want this information as well in case you do end up seeking legal assistance.

If it is a violation of a right-of-way, or a failure to stop at a red light, speeding, inattention of the other driver (driving while distracted), not keeping a safe distance provide the code section for that law and copy that law into your paragraph. For instance, most of these code sections can be found through google, but you can also look directly at this site: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm. Then state, the law “Sec. 545.152. VEHICLE TURNING LEFT. To turn left at an intersection or into an alley or private road or driveway, an operator shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is in the intersection or in such proximity to the intersection as to be an immediate hazard.” When Mr. Defendant Driver made the left hand turn directly into my lane of oncoming traffic, there was no time, reflexive or deliberate to avoid a collision. Therefore, Mr. Defendant Driver is liable for the resulting injuries.

(Include photos of crash or car)

Injuries Related to the Crash

What happened to you, immediate harms, treatment you received, physical losses, emotional losses (harms and losses) things you were unable to do. What were your pain scales 1-10 and list out in table format.

Provide a pain scale of 1-10 for the parts of your body injured immediately following the crash, three days after crash, one week, two weeks, three weeks, one month, etc.
1st Day 3d Day 1 Week 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 1 Month
Head: 3 5 4
Neck:
Low Back:
Shoulders:
Right Ankle:

For each treatment provider, list the date of treatment, the physician or therapist, then list what the record states in summary. Do this for each treatment date, and for each treatment provider.

Describe how these injuries affected your life and what setbacks, if any, the injuries caused you. List in as much detail with as many descriptor words as you can, what these injuries prevented you from doing and why. For instance, if you hurt your neck and were diagnosed with whiplash perhaps you could not drive for a period of several days. Maybe you are a new dad or mom and you could not lift your child? Describe what you were unable to do as a result of your pain.

Damages

These are the financial losses you have as a result of the crash. List every economic loss you have, this will include wages lost, medical costs, co-pays, ambulance bills, repair and replace costs of clothing you may have been wearing that was soiled or property damage. If you broke a watch for instance, provide the receipt and a photo. If you have no receipt or photo look it up on amazon and get the cost to repair and/or replace the watch. For your motorcycle, bike, or other vehicle, send the estimate to repair or replace with photos of the damage. Again, you’ll want to detail this information even if you wind up seeking the assistance of a motorcycle accident attorney or personal injury lawyer here in Austin.

For medical treatment, provide records for every item listed. Reference the record and bill and attach it to the letter in order it is mentioned in the letter or embed it into the demand with a readable snapsnot.

Treatment provider Cost of treatment
1. seton Hospital $1,100.00
2. CVS Pharmacy $17.00
3. Primary M.D. $135.00
Total: $1252.00

Conclusion

This section is a short recap of what happened, why liability is clear, why you are entitled to payment for reimbursement and also all of the harms and losses you suffered including lost wages, and emotional and physical pain both past and future. List your demand. Some people list demand amounts to include pain and suffering and emotional distress as a multiplier of the amount of bills they have. $1500 X2 or X3. This is a subjective number and only you know the value of your loss. If there is no egregious behavior involved and it is simple crash from simple negligence x 2 or x 3 is maybe a fair number. Remember you want to be reasonable so you can resolve the claim with the insurance company.

If writing the demand is unsuccessful you will have to pursue your claim in small claims or justice of the peace court.

Include as attachments or embedded in your document to be sent to the insurance adjuster for the defendant (not your insurance company) all documentary evidence, photos of your damaged property, your injuries, reports, bills, wage loss letter from your employer or a paycheck stub (insurance company will probably ask for a letter) etc.

Remember, you may want to give yourself time after you feel healed to make sure nothing else comes up as a result of the crash. Once you resolve the claim with the insurance company, you cannot reopen your case and ask for anything else. Your case will be resolved for all times. As Austin car accident injury lawyers, we recommend this to most clients.

THIS IS NOT MEANT AS LEGAL ADVICE OR TO SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE FROM AN ATTORNEY. THIS IS ONLY A SAMPLE PRE-LITIGATION DEMAND LETTER MEANT TO ASSIST THOSE WHO HAVE ELECTED TO REPRESENT THEMSELVES IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE WHERE THE MAXIMUM VALUE OF THE CASE DOES NOT EXCEED (TEN THOUSAND) $10,000.00 DOLLARS