Articles Tagged with Crandall

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Guest and Gray, P.C. is not only the largest law firm in Kaufman county, we are one of the only full service law firms this side of Dallas. We are the firm to call if you have been injured in an accident, have child custody or divorce questions, need an estate plan or Will, have been sued under a contract or other breach of duty, and many more. Guest and Gray, P.C. has nine attorneys and over 100 years of combined legal experience.

We are trial seasoned and trial ready attorneys who are ready and willing to fight for your rights. Whether it be fighting for Kaufman county residents against forced annexation or fighting voter fraud in our local elections, Guest and Gray, P.C. is here for our local community in ways that no other law firm has done before. We have represented literally thousands of local residents in both civil and criminal matters. No one else can say that. That is why we are the largest and highest rated law firm in Kaufman county.

Guest and Gray: The Largest and Most Highly Rated Local Law Firm

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DogBites2In Texas, a person can find themselves liable for the actions of an animal considered to be “abnormally dangerous”. An animal will be considered “abnormally dangerous” if its dangerous propensities that are abnormal to its class. That means that if the animals breed is typically known for being calm and sweet, yet the animal in question had bitten or nipped at a person in the past, it could be considered to have “dangerous propensities abnormal its class”. A domesticated animal is any animal (i.e. dog, cat, pig, horse, etc.) that is by custom devoted to the service of mankind at the time and place it is kept.

To prove a cause of action for injury by a dangerous domesticated animal, the plaintiff must show that:

1. The defendant owned or possessed the animal;

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CatastrophicInjuryPicIn the field of catastrophic injury law, we are often confronted with the question, “What makes an injury catastrophic?” This seems like a reasonable thing to ask, especially since the term “catastrophic injury” can occur in a variety of contexts, from truck and auto accidents, to work place injuries, to prime time television.

The reality is that I can only provide you with a working definition that is widely used by fellow lawyers and also in the medical community. There is no statute or case law that really buttons down what a catastrophic injury is simply because it can take so many shapes.

Catastrophic Injury Typically Means a Permanent Impairment

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traffic-highway-80-300x142Kaufman County is in a weird transitional phase from being a historically rural county with numerous small tightly knit communities to a more commercialized suburban sprawl where the ends of one city meet another.

When many of us originally moved to the area, we did so to “get away” from the sped up lifestyle of the city. However, being good Texans, we embraced the opportunities for economic growth and now Kaufman county is seeing not only incredible growth, but growth that is picking up speed.

Although much of Kaufman county is still rural, with county roads that are lined with small country neighborhoods and small to mid-sized working ranches. However, our cities are becoming bustling centers of commerce and those cities are encroaching on the county roads. Driving down FM 2757, you can see houses over the low rolling hills where Heartland is encroaching on one of the last remaining vestiges of Kaufman county’s relatively untouched beauty. Forney’s population is exploding. Terrell is showing everyone how business and planning for the future is done. Kaufman is growing. Even Crandall and other oft forgotten about areas of our county such as Kemp, Elmo, Warsaw, Talty, all of these areas are seeing growth (the author is from Combine- does anybody remember that Combine is actually a part of Kaufman County?).

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Injuries that are severe, long-lasting, and debilitating are often categorized as “catastrophic injuries”. Catastrophic injuries result in prolonged recovery period, pain and suffering, lost wages, and mental anguish. Victims of accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries may never fully heal from their injuries, resulting in loss of work capability. Many times, accidents involving catastrophic injuries result in the death of the victim. This is serious stuff.

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury as the result of someone’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for damages as a result of your injuries, or the loss of a loved one from the at-fault party or parties.

It is important to understand you may have several options. For instance in a serious automobile accident, your own policy may help to provide benefits. Texas requires insurers to offer personal injury protection on automobile policies, which covers the policyholder’s medical bills arising from an accident and underinsured coverage that helps protect you if the person who injures you in a car wreck does not have enough coverage. If you do not have these policies, I would advise you to purchase the additional coverage. Many times in our catastrophic injury cases, our clients with no underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage on their own policies are left with only a limited recovery due to the fact that Texas only requires a minimum liability policy of $30,000 individual/$60,000 per accident for drivers. Catastrophic injuries can lead to medical bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, it is important to have that excess coverage on your own policy just in case. Protect yourself before something bad happens.

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TxDOT_Color_LOGO-300x190According to recently released crash data from TXDot, both Rockwall and Kaufman counties are experiencing significant increases in commercial traffic accidents. The data just released is from 2015, so 2016 statistics are not known. However, the number of commercial vehicle accidents increased by 34.5% year-over-year from 2014 to 2015 for Rockwall and Kaufman county increased by 20.3% over the same time period.

We know that Rockwall and Kaufman counties are experiencing extreme growth, with cities like Rockwall, Royse City, McClendon-Chisholm, and Heath as well as parts of Dallas, Garland, and Rowlett located in Rockwall county, it is no wonder that Rockwall county has experienced large year-over-year growth in commercial vehicle accidents. But over 34%? That is a crazy statistic.

In Kaufman county, what is really the most surprising is that it had more commercial vehicle accidents that Rockwall county in 2014 (113 in Kaufman county and 107 in Rockwall county). What may be surprising to hear is that Kaufman county has a larger population that Rockwall county, thanks to large growth in cities like Forney, Terrell, and Kaufman. That may partly explain the higher number of accidents, but Rockwall county is smaller in geographic size and is more densely populated, so the statistic is still a little surprising. Forney’s population alone grew by over 25% from the 2010 census to the last released data in July 2015, and Kaufman county’s growth over that same period is at exactly 11.0%.

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Scales-300x132So often we hear legal terms such as “negligence” and “wrongful death” used by attorney’s and non-attorney’s alike. It is almost common place for people to use the word when describing an accident or a person’s behavior. If you listen to some of the local radio stations here in Dallas-Fort Worth you will probably hear a few commercials for attorneys asking the question “have you been injured because of someone else’s negligence?” The word is thrown around almost nonchalant. But, under the law, negligence has a very deep and complex meaning. Using the word as a broad stroke “that was negligent” does not afford the word its due, and under the law, may not actually be so, as you will see below.

For attorney’s and legal professionals, these terms have significant meaning beyond the common understanding of the words. In law, these are called “legal terms of art”. For the practitioner of law, terms of art such as negligence, wrongful death, and the thousands of other legal terms of art have a meaning beyond just a Webster’s Dictionary definition. So, in this article we ask “just what does the word ‘negligence’ mean?”

Terms of art can have different meanings in different jurisdictions. For the most part, the term “negligence” has the same legal definition in all 50 states. However, what may be different is how it is applied in certain situations. For instance in Texas, up until 2015, evidence of a plaintiff’s own negligence by failing to wear a seat belt was not admissible to show that the plaintiff was partly or wholly the cause of their own injuries. However, that all changed with the Supreme Court of Texas’ decision on Nabors Well Services, Ltd v. Romero.  Now, it is admissible, so you have yet another reason, other than the obvious, to wear your seat belt. The Supreme Court now says that if you fail to wear a seat belt it can be used against you to limit your recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. Many other states allow such evidence to be used to establish a plaintiff’s own negligence, but there are others states who still do not allow this type of evidence to prove plaintiff’s negligence.

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Heartland-image-300x200According to inForney.com’s Mathew Richards, FM 741 is expected to remain closed for several hours as police investigate the crash. The crash was reported at approximately 9:30 p.m. on FM 741 in between Heartland and Crandall just north of FM 2757. As of 11 p.m., FM 741 remains closed.

DPS spokesperson Kyle Bradford confirmed with Mathew Richards that two people are deceased on scene, one child was flown by CareFlite helicopter to a Dallas-area hospital in unknown condition, and a second child was transported by ground ambulance also in unknown condition.

The Texas Department of Public Safety released the names of the deceased on Wednesday morning identifying the male driver of the Chevy as 29-year-old Leyva Cerda of Heartland and the female driver of the Ford as 36-year-old Kelly Jones of Crandall.

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Photo Credit: Chopper 11 (CBS DFW local)

This Thursday a DPS Trooper was injured on highway 80 while attempting to conduct a routine traffic stop of an 18-wheeler here in Forney, Kaufman County, Texas. It started out normal enough, but when the 18-wheeler travelling behind the Trooper failed to see traffic slowing in front of him, he slammed into the Trooper’s vehicle, causing the Trooper’s vehicle to hit the 18-wheeler that he was attempting to stop.

The first question to ask is “why did it happen?”

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Stowers-300x188Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Stower’s Doctrine. Its got moxy. The Stowers Doctrine is as Texan as they come. From the Stowers Doctrine flows the Stowers Demand, a powerful settlement tool in personal injury practice.

But what is a Stowers Demand, exactly? Where does it come from? What does it do? Well, ask any attorney who deals with insurance companies on a regular basis and they will tell you it is a lifeblood of a personal injury practice. In our practice here in the Forney, Rockwall and Dallas area, once damages have been reasonably calculated, we always send a Stowers Demand to the insurance company. It is quite possibly the single most powerful pre-trial tool a personal injury attorney has to maximize settlement dollars for their client.

What is a Stowers Demand?