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Personal Injury Archives - Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law

How to Avoid Auto-Pedestrian Accidents When Running or Walking in Austin

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Austin is applauded for many different things, including its eclectic music and food scenes, its rich history, and its “weirdness.” But one thing that those in Austin don’t like to talk about is the fact that Austin is also one of the worst cities in the country in terms of the number of pedestrian deaths. In fact, in Texas, pedestrian deaths account for approximately 16 percent of all motor vehicle accident-related traffic deaths, according to Patch.com, and in Austin, there were nearly two dozens pedestrian deaths in 2017, and even more the previous year. Austin pedestrian accident attorney Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, is here to support and guide you if you’ve been in a pedestrian accident in our city. Here are some tips to avoid an accident running or walking in Austin – if you’re hit by a car, call our law firm for your free consultation.

Turn Off the Music

It seems like everyone today is walking or running with earbuds, which play favorite music, news updates, or podcasts. But while the numerous entertainment options provided by smart devices may indeed be enjoyable, walking or running without being able to hear what’s happening around you is very dangerous. Your sense of sound is something that keeps you safe, allowing you to hear approaching vehicles, horns, and other potential dangers. The safest thing that you can do is to take your earbuds out when walking or running in the city.

Put Your Phone Away

Just as running or walking with your earbuds in can be dangerous, so is looking down at your phone, especially when crossing a street. Phones are one of the biggest distractions that drivers and pedestrians are at risk of falling victim to, and the uptick in pedestrian accidents nationwide has been contributed to, in part, using a mobile device while walking. When your eyes are on your phone, you are unable to see what’s directly beneath you (walking hazards) or what’s in front of you (like oncoming motor vehicles). If you must use your phone, do so while stationary and in a safe location.

Wear Bright Colors

If you’re someone who likes to get in an early morning or after-work walk or jog, remember that lighting is typically poor during these times, especially during the winter. In order to improve visibility and help drivers be able to see you, wear bright and light colors, such as white or fluorescent yellow. If you’re walking or running when it’s dark, wear reflective tape and consider attaching a light to your body.

Call Our Pedestrian Accident Attorney if You’re in a Crash

Walking and running in Austin are activities that are undoubtedly good for one’s health, but do pose the risk of being dangerous. Even if you’re being safe, it’s impossible to predict the actions dangerous drivers on the road. If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident in Austin, our pedestrian accident attorney at the office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, can help. Call our law firm today or send us a message to schedule your free consultation.

Avoiding Auto Accidents in Austin School Zones

Posted by | Pedestiran Accident, Personal Injury | No Comments

There are approximately 56.6 million kids currently enrolled in elementary and secondary schools throughout the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and every day, many of these children walk through school zones. But school zones aren’t always safe. Indeed, SafeKids.org observed unsafe driver behavior in nearly one out of every three school zone drop-offs or pick-ups, and statistics tell us that there are five teen pedestrian deaths every week. Our Austin pedestrian accident attorney is passionate about reducing the number of pedestrian accidents and school zones and elsewhere. Here are some things that you can start doing today to mitigate an Austin school zone accident.

Pay Attention

One of the biggest threats to drivers and pedestrians alike is the risk of driver distraction, especially in a school zone. When drivers turn their attention away from the road for even a short amount of time, the consequences can be deadly. When you’re behind the wheel, say “no” to distractions. This means putting away a cell phone, stopping your car in a safe location if you need to attend to passengers (including children and pets), and refraining from eating and drinking.

Slow Your Speed

The faster that a vehicle is traveling at the time of impact, the more force that is involved in a collision and therefore the greater the risk of serious injury or death to the pedestrian. School zones typically require that drivers limit their speed to 20 miles per hour. If there are children crossing, even this is too fast. Slow your speed and wait until the coast is clear until proceeding.

Talk to Your Kids About Safe Behavior When Walking or Driving

Whether you have little ones who are walking in school zones on a daily basis or a teen who just got their license, it’s important to have a conversation about safe driving or walking behavior (whichever is relevant to your child). Walkers, including child pedestrians, are more distracted than ever before, especially with the ubiquity of smart devices and earbuds that encourage kids to look down at their phones and tune out. Remind your child that looking up and taking out earbuds when crossing the street is the safest thing that they can do, and discourage behaviors like running across the street.

For your teen driver, remind them of the basic safe driving techniques discussed above–the importance of driving distraction-free and slowing one’s speed–and the risk of having other teens in the car.

Call Us Following an Austin School Zone Accident

If you or your child has been injured in an Austin school zone accident, you need a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer on your side who will aggressively advocate for you. At the law office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, our Austin pedestrian lawyer has the experience and passion that your case deserves. Call our lawyer today for a free consultation about your case, or tell us more by sending us a message using the intake form on our website.

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury in Austin and How to Avoid Them

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There are many ways one party’s negligence can lead to another party’s injury. These include failure to operate a motor vehicle safely, failure to properly maintain a private property, failure to keep an aggressive dog out of situations that can lead to bites, and failure to adequately warn prospective buyers about a product’s safety risks. When a victim is injured because of another party’s negligence, he or she can pursue compensation for his or her related damages through a personal injury claim with the help of an Austin personal injury lawyer.

Below are four of the most common kinds of personal injury claims filed in Austin, Texas.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are not just one of the most common kinds of personal injury claim filed in Austin, they are among the most common kinds of personal injury claim filed anywhere in the United States. Most of us drive our cars every single day.

In 2015, there were 37,333 car accident claims filed in Texas. Car accidents stem from a variety of causes, like drunk driving and speeding. A few ways to reduce your chance of being injured in a car accident are:

  • Do not drive drunk or under the influence of another drug;
  • Obey all posted traffic rules;
  • Maintain a safe following distance between vehicles; and
  • Keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Medical Malpractice

When a doctor or another healthcare provider makes an error that results in a victim’s injury, worsening condition, or death, the victim or his or her loved ones may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. According to US News, 10 percent of deaths in the United States are due to medical malpractice.

Ways to reduce your chance of being injured through malpractice include:

  • Bringing an advocate to doctor appointments;
  • Always have an updated copy of your medical records available; and
  • Researching doctors and other healthcare providers thoroughly before seeking treatment.

Slips and Falls

A slip or fall can occur for a variety of reasons, such as a broken handrail or a wet floor. You can reduce your chance of being injured in a slip or fall by:

  • Knowing how to fall safely;
  • Walking in well-lit areas; and
  • Not running on steps or uneven pavement.

Workplace Injuries

In every workplace, there is some risk of injury. In some workplaces, there is a greater risk of being injured and in many of these workplaces, workers face job-specific injury risks. Often, injured workers can file Workers’ Compensation claims, but sometimes, an injured worker is better off filing a third-party liability claim.

Ways to reduce your chance of being injured at work include:

  • Learning how to lift and carry heavy objects safely;
  • Following all job-related safety guidelines; and
  • Properly maintaining the job equipment you use.

Recover Compensation for your Losses with an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer

Keep in mind that although the personal injury claim types listed above are the most common to occur in Austin, they are not the only kinds of accidents that can injure you. If you are injured in any kind of accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your related damages through a personal injury claim. Contact Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law today to schedule your initial legal consultation with an experienced Austin personal injury lawyer.

 

Steps to Take After Getting into a Pedestrian Accident in Austin

Posted by | Pedestrian Accident, Personal Injury | No Comments

Pedestrian accidents are very common, and in Austin, the risks are even higher. Austin is known as one of the most walkable cities in Texas, but the potential for injury is substantially increased because of the city’s population. With greater amounts of people both in cars and on the streets, pedestrian accidents happen more frequently and cause more injury than is necessary. Accidents do not occur only during the night, either. With increased foot traffic and walking commuters across the city, many pedestrian accidents also occur in the middle of the day, often with children falling victim to unknowing motorists. If such an accident happened to you or a loved one, be sure to call Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law to represent you as your trustworthy pedestrial accident attorney in Austin and follow these steps to help you know what you should do after an accident.

Immediately After the Accident

If you or someone you know is involved in a pedestrian accident, the first thing you will want to do is ensure that you get the injured person to safety and call 911. Don’t worry about medical bills or the cost of an ambulance. Your family member’s health and safety is first priority.

As help is on its way, be sure, if you can, to master the vehicle’s number plate, and, if possible, get photographic evidence. This all serves as vital evidence when you pursue compensation for your injury and damages. In most cases, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver of the vehicle is to blame. Drivers must obey traffic signals and rules, including speed limits and laws surrounding designated crosswalks. If a pedestrian is hit while a driver is violating a traffic law, the liability is clear.

Treatment

After capturing some photos to help the pedestrian with the evidence, he should get medical treatment immediately. If a car has hit him or her, with or without physical injuries, the pedestrian might have suffered trauma. Another reason to get treatment is that if a pedestrian wants his or her insurance company to compensate him, then they will ask about medical payments that can only be validated by a professional. Not all healthcare professionals are considered equal when it comes to insurance, either. You are more likely to be compensated for medical bills, for example, if you have medical examinations from a physician to check your health in comparison, to say, a chiropractor.

Driver Responsibility

After an accident, there are two possible outcomes for the car involved. Either the driver stops and attends to you, or the driver speeds off to avoid liability. If the driver stops at the scene and the both of you are involved in a relevant conversation, including an exchange of contact and insurance information, you will more likely be able to pursue compensation through the driver’s insurance office.

On the other hand, if the accident was a hit and run that is the driver did not stop, then the first thing the pedestrian should do is to report the accident to the police. This will lead to the start of an investigation. The pedestrian and the law enforcement agents will try and gather witnesses who were at the scene of the accident, and if the hit and run driver is caught, he/she will not only face economic damages but potential criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident.

Get Help Today

We would never wish any kind of accident or injury on you, but if you are injured or a loved one has died as a pedestrian at the hands of a negligent driver, you need the best representation Austin can offer. Call our office today to speak with an experienced Austin pedestrian accident attorney and start your process of healing and compensation.

Don’t Hesitate to Hire an Austin Personal Injury Attorney

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Many people in Austin are hesitant to contact a lawyer even when they know they have a serious problem. For example, maybe you have been hurt in an accident, but you don’t feel it was bad enough to mention. Perhaps, you are afraid of dealing with fees and insurance. Whatever the case is for being hesitant to hire an Austin personal injury attorney, you will actually find that Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law will assuage all of your concerns and help you get the most out of a painful situation.

Will Hiring a Lawyer Only Make Things Worse?

Exacerbating the situation with a lawyer is one of the first reasons people are reluctant to consider legal counsel. Though many cases concerning personal injuries should in fact involve the help of a lawyer (to assist with necessary paperwork and act as a mediator with insurance adjustors), most attorneys offer free consultations where they will encourage you or discourage you from taking legal action, based on the evidence and details of your case. In short, hiring a lawyer in involved personal injury and insurance issues won’t make things worse; it will make your life substantially easier.

The types of personal injuries most common in Austin are those of car accidents or premises/construction liability. These types of personal injury cases are usually very involved, as they deal with belligerent insurance companies who are dedicated to avoiding shelling out for their clients who are clearly at fault of your injuries. They are also particularly difficult because they often involve police reports, and accuracy in these reports is key to receiving a full compensation amount. Different parts of your personal injury can be drawn out, too, making the process especially tedious waiting for replies and dealing with paperwork. As a personal injury attorney in Austin, I specialize specifically in these areas to ensure that you can focus on healing while I fight for compensation for your medical expenses, insurance costs, and pain and suffering.

But Won’t a Lawyer Only Prolong the Process?

This is another popular misconception. Some people think lawyers only want to drag out legal proceedings unnecessarily to satisfy their own egos and wages. The fact is complicated cases, including ones associated with several doctors’ visits, surgeries, and other ongoing medical expenses, take a lot of time, regardless if you are using a lawyer or not. Hiring me as an attorney, however, won’t make the process longer, and in fact, the whole process could be expedited. There is no reason that an attorney should want to prolong your case, as our earnings are largely based on your compensation. We are incentivized to helping you receive the best results in the shortest amount of time. Beyond that, I am also dedicated to providing excellent service and personally believe victims of personal injury accidents need someone on their side, advocating for their cause while they are on the mend.

Can I Really Afford a Lawyer?

Even if you know you need to speak with an attorney, you may still hesitate to contact one because you are worried about the cost. But consider the potential long-term costs if you do not hire a lawyer. Statistics show, however, that even after attorneys are compensated for their work, their clients receive more compensation than they could have received alone. This is because of our working knowledge with the law, and insurance companies know they won’t be able to get out of paying you what is due.

The truth is you have as much better chance of succeeding and getting the care you deserve when you hire me as your attorney. I you live in the Austin area and need assistance from an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, contact the office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at law, today.

Top 5 Reasons for Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney

Posted by | Personal Injury, Wrongful Death | No Comments

Losing a loved one is always a traumatic experience regardless of the cause. But when death is the result of someone else’s negligence, you are understandably hurt and angry. It can be a lot to process and there is no reason to deal with the situation alone. Working with an Austin wrongful death attorney can help you and your family begin to heal and move on.

While contemplating a lawsuit may not be the first thing on your mind, there are in fact several good reasons to engage an attorney as soon as possible.

1. You Have the Right to Know the Whole Truth

It is not always clear exactly what caused a loved one’s death. And the responsible parties are not always forthcoming. For example, if a patient dies due to apparent medical malpractice, the hospital and the doctors will quickly move to circle the wagons. The grieving family members are unlikely to get a straight answer.

This is where having an attorney is critical. It may be necessary to hire outside investigators and experts to review all of the available evidence to determine exactly what happened to the deceased. An experienced wrongful death lawyer knows how to manage these types of investigations and make sure the family learns the truth.

2. Criminal Law Is Not Sufficient

Not all negligence involves criminal activity. The police typically do not arrest a doctor who commits malpractice that results in a patient’s death. And even where there is criminal act involved–such as drunk driving–prosecutors are tasked with protecting the public at-large, not seeking compensation for individual victims.

In contrast, wrongful death is a civil matter. The standard of proof is much lower than in a criminal case. When the police are unable or unwilling to charge a responsible party, a wrongful death may be the only way a family can receive any justice.

3. You Need to Protect Your Family’s Financial Future

Some people dismiss wrongful death lawsuits as a shameless grab for cash. But the reality is a sudden, unexpected death can financially devastate a family. If the deceased was the primary wage earner, the surviving spouse and children may not have sufficient income to make ends meet. There are also costs related to the death itself, such as funeral and medical bills, which can run tens of thousands of dollars.

By filing a wrongful death claim, the family can seek compensation not only for these expenses but also lost income and even the loss of the potential inheritance the victim would have provided had he or she continued to work and save.

4. You Should Not Deal With Insurance Companies Alone

In many cases the negligent party has insurance that will cover a wrongful death judgment. Insurance companies are pros when it comes to exploiting a family’s financial desperation. Many times they will present a quick offer to settle and preempt a potential lawsuit. Such offers are usually not enough to compensate the family for the full value of their economic losses.

An experienced wrongful death attorney knows to handle the insurance companies. Oftentimes, an attorney can still reach a negotiated settlement–but one that is far more reasonable and fair to the victim’s family. Simply hiring an attorney sends a message to the insurance company that you are serious and will not be ignored.

5. Time Is of the Essence

In Texas there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit. That may seem like a lot of time, but consider how long it may take to investigate the cause of death, negotiate with the insurance company, and deal with the other consequences of a family member’s death. Also consider the longer you wait to start the process, the more likely important evidence will be lost or destroyed.

Contact An Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

The most important thing any lawyer can offer a grieving family is the promise to zealously fight for their interests. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, you do not have to deal with the aftermath alone. Contact the office of Robert Littlefield Buford III, Attorney at Law, to schedule a consultation with a qualified Texas wrongful death attorney today.

What you Should Do if a Loved One has Died in an Accident

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What you Should Do if a Loved One has Died in an Accident

When an individual dies in an accident, he or she can leave significant expenses for his or her immediate family. These expenses can include the victim’s medical bills, his or her funeral costs, and the financial fallout of the death, such as the loss of his or her salary and insurance benefits as well as his or her personal contributions to the household. On top of these expenses, the victim’s surviving loved ones often have to face the mental trauma of losing the victim’s companionship, guidance, and love.

Family members of accident victims can seek compensation for these damages through wrongful death claims. Like with personal injury claims, individuals pursuing wrongful death claims must demonstrate that their loved ones died as the result of other parties’ negligence and that the deaths caused them to suffer specific financial damages.

Determine if you are Entitled to Seek Compensation for your Damages

Texas law permits a victim’s spouse, children, and parents to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. If one of these parties does not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the victim’s passing, a personal representative of the victim’s estate may do so unless the family specifically stated that they do not wish to pursue compensation.

Consider Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Through a wrongful death claim, an individual or multiple members of a victim’s family can seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Lost inheritance;
  • Lost household income;
  • Lost care, household maintenance, and other intangible forms of support the victim provided to the household;
  • The loss of the victim’s companionship and comfort; and
  • The expenses of psychological counseling to handle the grief of the loss.

With your wrongful death claim, you will need to provide evidence that demonstrates the extent of your damages as well as proof that the death was due to negligence. This evidence can include copies of the victim’s pay stubs and funeral expenses as well as his or her medical bill and details about the accident, such as photographs of the scene and the official police report, if one was filed.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is generally two years from the date of the victim’s death. Certain exceptions do apply.

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, remember to take care of yourself physically and mentally while you work through the wrongful death process. Working with a lawyer to pursue compensation following a loved one’s death can add to the trauma of the loss, so be sure to practice self-care strategies like speaking with a counselor, journaling, and focusing on your own well being.

Work with an Experienced Austin Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, it can seem like nothing will truly compensate you for your loss. But if you are experiencing financial damages as a direct result of the death, think practically and consider seeking compensation for these damages through a wrongful death claim. To learn more about filing and pursuing a wrongful death claim, contact our team of Austin personal injury attorneys at The Law Office Of Robert L. Buford today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.