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GuestandGrayLogoAs a Kaufman, Rockwall and Dallas county personal injury lawyer, I know that traffic accidents happen for many different reasons. It could be inattention, unsafe driving, texting, messing with the radio and everything in between- including weather, such as rain and snow.

Anyone who has driven in Dallas on a rainy or snowy day knows that people lose all ability to properly maintain their vehicles. It’s like they’ve suddenly forgot how to drive and any manual they have is written in Greek. It is totally bizarre. The other day I literally saw someone drive into a middle barrier on the highway, for what appeared to be, no good reason at all. The person got out “okay” and no one was hurt. The person just seemed a little confused and blamed it on the wet road.

You Can Make a Claim On Another Driver Regardless of Weather Conditions

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Did it seem to you that there was a new accident report on an almost daily basis of an 18-Wheeler accident in Kaufman County last month? It seemed like every day inForney.com or some other news outlet was reporting on another accident involving a passenger vehicle and one or more 18-wheelers. inForney.com reported on at least 6 18-Wheeler accidents in September and since August 21st, they have reported on at least 8, including one that killed 3 travelers from Louisiana in a horrific, fiery crash just outside of Terrell.

At Guest and Gray, we are local personal injury lawyers skilled in going after trucking companies and their insurance companies after they negligently injure or kill people on our local roadways. We are committed to holding these companies accountable for the actions of their drivers to the fullest extent of the law.

As Kaufman county continues its explosive growth, these types of months will undoubtedly continue. The only way to really fight it and make these truckers, trucking companies and their insurers change their habits and attitudes is by holding them accountable. That is exactly what the experienced personal injury lawyers at Guest and Gray do every single day. We fight for the rights of the injured in everything that we do. We are their voice and our voice is loud.

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GuestandGrayLogoMost firms do things one way: they think that cases are one size fits all and clients are all one size fits all. If a problem comes up, they deal with it the same way they deal with any other client or legal problem. That creates a lot of conflict between the firm and some clients. It creates a disconnect. It is not personal.

Well, we don’t do things that way here at Guest and Gray Law Firm. Yeah, we run into disagreements with clients on how cases should be run. The fact that we will tell you that should say volumes about our firm. What really makes the difference , and our clients will tell you,is that we seek to find common ground. We strive to be better, both in the work we perform and the relationships we build with our clients. Here at Guest and Gray, we are proud to say that our services are in high demand. We love our clients and seek to provide the highest quality legal services that money can buy.

We want to provide the absolute best legal services around and a big part of that is building a relationship with the client. That is our highest priority. Period. We strive for openness, honesty and courtesy to all of our clients. The experience a client has while we are managing a legal problem for them is just as important as the outcome of their case.

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KempAccidentPic-300x185According to inForney.com, Russell Gattis, 54, of Mabank, was killed by an 18-wheeler while traveling westtbound on highway 175 just north of Kemp city limits.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was unlicensed at the time of the accident and was cited for failing to yield the right of way to Mr. Gattis.

As a result of the accident, the driver of the 18-wheeler, their employer and their insurance company will likely be liable to the Gattis family, and Mr. Gattis’ Estate for his wrongful death. The 18-wheeler negligently pulled in front of the man in an attempt to cross onto Ashley Road which directly caused the accident resulting in Mr. Gattis’ death.

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Recently, inForney.com broke the news that Kaufman County Deputy Constable, Grant Cousins, had pled guilty to perjury stemming from an investigation done by the Texas Rangers involving allegations of sexual assault of a woman that occurred at a gravel pit located in Kaufman county. The allegations stem from an evening when, according to the report, Deputy Cousins had the woman in his patrol car “looking for narcotics locations”. This raises real concerns for the Constable’s office, Kaufman County, and the Kaufman County citizenry (because they could be on the hook for any settlement proceeds the County may have to pay out to settle her claims).

So, if the alleged victim were to sue Kaufman county, what would the lawsuit be about? It will likely be a Section 1983 claim found under federal law. Deputy Cousins is a Deputy Constable and would therefore be considered a “state actor” for purposes of the Statute. There is a lot of interesting case law on this issue, because believe it or not, police officer malfeasance of this sort is not that uncommon, but one case in particular has stood out to me. In Fontana v. Haskins, that case dealt with a woman who had been arrested and was therefore in the custody of the police at the time of the alleged malfeasance. Apparently, officer Haskins made unwanted advances and attempted to touch Fontana inappropriately without her consent.

The Court discussed the case under fourth amendment and fourteenth amendment grounds and whether the federal district court had properly granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant officer. They concluded that the district court had erred in their ruling and allowed the case to move forward for trial. What is particularly interesting for our purposes is that (1) the Court discussed the behavior as fourteenth amendment violations, i.e. violation of due process, conduct that shocks the conscience. They noted that while sexual misconduct of an officer of an arrested person implicates the fourth amendment, when a police officer commits a sexual offense to a general person, i.e., regular citizen, the court analyzes it under the fourteenth  amendment.

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Crash-on-I-20-300x129Kaufman County is growing and FAST. We are quickly transitioning from rural/agricultural to suburban landscape. What once was pastureland and rolling east Texas landscape is now turning into neighborhood after neighborhood and bustling street to bustling street. Especially the corridor between 175 in Crandall to Highway 80 in Forney and beyond. It seems like if you don’t pass through an area for a month or two the next time you go through a new neighborhood has popped up. Now, that is great for local businesses and the local economy, but such consistently high growth puts a strain on the transportation systems of these once smaller communities to make up for the additional drivers on the roads. This is Texas, afterall. Everyone has to drive because everything is at least a 20 minute drive.

TxDot recently released the 2017 crash statistics which has some positive and negative results for Kaufman county. First, the overall number of crashes is actually down. That’s right. Down. Kaufman county went from 2,008 total crashes in 2016 to 1,897 in 2017. We also saw a flatline in the number of injury accidents and incapacitating injury accidents, when taking into account the high number of new drivers on the roads, that is a positive. There were 177 non-incapactating accidents in 2016, and the number only moved to 179 in 2017 with an increase of only 3 additional injuries overall to 244 from 241. The number of serious accidents went way down from 118 to 78 and there were 108 serious injuries, down from 145 in 2016. That is a testament to the local communities efforts to upgrade the roadways to make them safer for local drivers.

The negative is that the number of fatality accidents are considerably up. In 2017 there were 27 fatality crashes that resulted in the deaths of 31 people. In 2016, there were only 21 fatality accidents resulting in 28 deaths. Overall, not that big of a jump in deaths, but the number of fatality crashes is up by almost a third. That has to be a worry for local communities moving forward as this county continues to grow and prosper under Texas’ strong economy. As jobs and housing continues to come into Kaufman county, we can only expect that this number will continue to rise.

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Courtesy: inforney.com/Amber Helm

According to inForney.com, the three people killed in the Tuesday afternoon crash on I-20 in Terrell involving two 18-wheelers and an SUV have been identified as Benjamin Welch, Linda Welch and Alice Little of Cameron Parrish, LA.

According to the report, the cause of the accident has yet to be determined but one of the 18-wheelers and the SUV became engulfed in flames after the accident occurred.

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Credit: inForney.com

According to inForney.com, two people were injured in a three-vehicle accident involving an 18-wheeler on Wednesday, July 10, 2018. The accident happened a little before 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and resulted in at least one person becoming trapped in one of the vehicles.

There was no information regarding fault in the crash. Whoever caused the crash will be liable to the other parties for personal injuries sustained and property damage to vehicles. The important thing for all parties who believe that they were not at fault in the accident is to take pictures of their vehicles, their injuries, get a copy of the police report and contact a local attorney as soon as possible. Multi-vehicle accidents where more than two cars are involved can be difficult to handle and you don’t just want to take the insurance adjuster’s story about who is at-fault. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for your rights and make sure that you get every dollar that you deserve.

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RedneckfourthofjulycoolerTomorrow is the fourth of July, and in honor of our nation’s greatest holiday and the birthday of American freedom, we would like to say “Happy Fourth! Now don’t hurt yourself”.

We’ve all done it. Who can honestly say that they haven’t lit off a bunch of black cats and thrown them at a few of our best buddies? Oh, you can’t say that? Good. You’re smart. Don’t do that because its dangerous. But a lot of us did and I am glad we survived.

Recently, Motherboard released a compilation of the craziest and dumbest fireworks accidents in honor of the fourth of July holiday. There are some crazy accidents on there. Like when a kid lit a firecracker and threw it in a sewer and then stood on the manhole cover. Apparently that kid lived to regret it. Or the time a guy from Brooklyn was smoking a cigar and holding a firecracker at the same time and blew his own finger off. This year, don’t be that guy. Don’t be that kid. Because then websites like Motherboard will write stories about you and make money on advertising. Its embarrassing. Instead, if you want to do something really cool with fireworks, be this guy who flew a drone through a fireworks show. That is awesome. Plus, no one gets hurt.

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gavel1-300x169At Guest and Gray, we know that if you are in an attorney’s office, typically that means something has gone wrong. You have been arrested. Injured in an accident. Marital problems. You have been sued. We understand the stress that is involved in each case and we seek to take that stress away and make your problems OUR problems.

Guest and Gray did not become the largest and highest reviewed law firm in Kaufman and Rockwall counties by mistake or accident. It was through hard work and dedication to our clients. It was done by consistently exceeding our clients expectations for their case. We cannot promise victory. In many cases, regardless of outcome, there is no “victory”, only resolution. Our promise to you is that we will work hard for you in order to obtain the best possible outcome for your situation. That is the only guarantee we can give.

Each case is important because attached to each case is a real person. No matter how many clients or how many cases we have, your case is important to us. Our caring support staff and experienced attorneys will fight hard for you each step of the way.