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Dallas Civil Litigation Blog

Drunk driving and motorcycle wrecks

There are many threats that motorcyclists face on the roads each day, but some are especially concerning. Although hazards such as poor road conditions due to ice or heavy rain can lead to a tragic motorcycle crash, it is especially upsetting when someone's recklessness leads to a collision. Sadly, many drivers choose to get behind the wheel even though they are over the legal limit or are impaired as a result of drug use. Drunk drivers pose a threat to everyone on the road, but motorcyclists are especially at risk.

If you ride a motorcycle every day or from time to time, it is important to keep an eye out for drunk drivers who may be driving erratically. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol may struggle to follow traffic safety laws and notice motorcyclists. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists have found themselves in fatal accidents and crashes that cause them to suffer from injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

What are the requirements for an effective employment contract?

As your business in Texas continues to grow steadily, you have begun to weigh your options for hiring and recruiting. Are there ways you can encourage your employees to be loyal and work hard? Are there things you can do to secure the confidentiality of sensitive information and intellectual property? One of the things you may have considered is implementing an employment contract that new hires will sign upon being offered a job. Understanding the requirements of this beneficial and important agreement may help you to better articulate content that suits the unique needs of your organization. 

According to Chron, an employment contract provides you with the means to give your employees a detailed definition of important aspects of their job and what you expect of their performance and conduct. Some of the critical elements that should be featured in your contract include the following:

  • The amount of compensation you will pay them, including any conditions relating to commission, salary, overtime and bonuses. 
  • A clear description of the nature of the position and what your employee will be responsible for in his or her role. 
  • Information discussing how termination will be handled and what kind of warning system your employees can expect.

When should I have written employee contracts?

At your Texas business, you have the option to terminate employees at will, as long as your decision is not based on discrimination, retaliation or some other illegal reason. Your employees also have the right to leave the job at any time.

In many cases, it is worthwhile to employers to take steps to keep their employees from walking away from the company.

When a property owner is liable for a trespassing child's injury

Children in Texas learn by exploring new areas and picking up interesting objects. This often means they are going places and doing things that could be harmful to them. For the curious mind, there is nothing more tempting than to go where they have been told not to. Homeowners who have everyday objects and features on their property that could endanger children have a special responsibility to take steps to prevent injured visitors.

According to the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code, a trespasser is a person on a property to which they have no legal right, express or implied. Per Section 75.007, the landowner, occupant or lessee is not liable for injuries incurred to a trespasser as long as it was not willful or as a result of gross negligence. However, the trespassing law exempts children.

Drunk driving and the Fourth of July

With the Fourth of July around the corner, many people are preparing for fireworks and family celebrations. From making plans to attend a firework display to reaching out to family members and organizing a party and celebrating the holiday, there are a number of reasons why people look forward to Independence Day. However, it is essential to bear in mind that there are certain risks during the holiday, such as an increase in the number of intoxicated drivers. There are other reasons why crashes occur over the Fourth of July as well.

Regrettably, there are some people who get in their car and take to the road after consuming alcohol at a Fourth of July party. Some may not be aware of their level of intoxication, while others recklessly show no regard for the safety of others and ignore the risks associated with driving drunk. Drugged driving is another concern during this holiday and an accident may even occur because of hectic traffic. For example, people who are scrambling to or from a firework show might be more likely to cause a crash.

Understanding the dangers of trucker fatigue

Large truck wrecks keep happening on roads across the U.S. for a host of reasons. Drunk driving and speeding are common causes, but some truck wrecks take place because a trucker is suffering from fatigue. Some people may not think that driver fatigue is very serious, at least in comparison to drug and alcohol use behind the wheel. Or, some may think that everyone drives while they are fatigued at some point. However, truck driver fatigue is extremely dangerous and responsible for many of the large truck collisions that have taken place.

When a truck driver becomes tired behind the wheel, they may have trouble coming to a stop, staying within the speed limit or avoiding an accident. Sadly, large trucks are especially dangerous when involved in collisions due to their massive size and other factors, such as the amount of time it can take a trucker to slow down. From the loss of a driver or passenger's life to injuries that completely derail their future, the consequences of a truck crash can be very serious. If your life has been shattered by a driver who was suffering from fatigue, or any other issue, for that matter, you should carefully think through your options.

How many fatal motorcycle crashes take place on rural roads?

When it comes to preventing motorcycle accidents, there are many pointers to keep in mind. For example, motorcyclists should avoid driving while intoxicated and watch out when road conditions are poor. However, it may also be helpful to go over statistics on motorcycle accidents to gain a better understanding of the types of places and factors involved in many motorcycle wrecks. For example, some people may think that motorcycle accidents are very uncommon in rural areas, even though statistics show that many crashes happen on rural roads.

According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 57 percent of fatalities from motorcycle wrecks in 2016 took place on urban roads, while 43 percent happen on rural roads. Although there was a higher likelihood of fatal motorcycle crashes in urban areas, the number of people who passed away in motorcycle accidents in rural areas was not far behind. Moreover, data showed that 66 percent of motorcyclists who passed away in a crash during 2016 were involved in an accident which happened at a non-intersection location, another important statistic for motorcyclists to bear in mind.

Elements of a tortious interference case

Your contract with your supplier is the lifeblood of your business, as it allows you to offer discounts that draw in your customers. At the Cortez Law Firm, PLLC, we understand that those who interfere with business contracts can cause serious damage to companies, and we often provide legal counsel regarding tortious interference.

A tort is a wrongful act committed against your business. FindLaw explains that simply interfering with your company's success is not enough to constitute tortious interference. For example, say another business owner interfered and caused a breach of the contract between you and your supplier. Here is what you will need to prove in order to win a lawsuit:

  • You have a valid contract with the supplier. 
  • The business owner purposefully damaged your contractual relationship with your supplier. This includes having evidence that he or she knew about your contract.
  • It was the business owner's action that caused the interference, and not some other issue on the part of the supplier.
  • The intentional interference was unethical, illegal or otherwise inappropriate, such as blackmail, force or inducement.
  • You suffered damages. Simply losing the contract is not enough. The supplier's failure to meet the terms of your contract must have affected your business negatively.

Terms and provisions you may want to include in your contract

At the Cortez Law Firm, PPLC, we understand how important contracts are to the success of Texas businesses. Any important terms left out or written unclearly could cost you, so it is important to ensure that you have all the elements necessary for an effective agreement.

Here are some standard contract terms that protect both parties, according to FindLaw:

  • Each party's duties
  • Each party's rights
  • Dates, including beginning and completion requirements, deadlines and payment due dates
  • Money matters, such as amount and methods of payment, late fees, interest and taxes
  • Confidentiality requirements
  • Warranties

Can divorce lead to an auto accident?

When people decide that the time to bring their marriage to an end has come, they may face numerous hurdles. From a bitter custody dispute to disagreements regarding the division of marital property, spousal support, or child support payments, divorce can be contentious for many reasons. Furthermore, these stressors can have an emotional impact on people that should not be overlooked. In fact, there is evidence to support that divorce can actually increase the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a study which looked into the link between life events that are very stressful, such as divorce, and the likelihood of a motor vehicle collision. After analyzing data from thousands of participants, researchers were able to draw a link between divorce and car crashes and conclude that recently going through a divorce or separation increases one’s chances of being involved in a traffic collision. Other emotional challenges, such as one’s child moving out of the home, a partner becoming hospitalized, and even significant purchases were also shown to increase the likelihood of a car crash.

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