Texas May Soon Ban Texting While Driving

Texas is currently one of only four states that does not have a comprehensive ban on texting while driving. For several years now, lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives and Senate have been attempting to remedy this situation, but have come up sort each time.
In 2011, a bill banning texting while driving was approved by the Texas House and Senate only to be vetoed by Governor Rick Perry. Later, in both 2013 and 2015 a similar bill passed the Texas House but failed to pass the senate.
Hope for the passage of a law banning the dangerous practice was renewed this March when the Texas House voted 114-32 to bas House Bill 62. Then, on May 19th, the Texas Senate debated and voted to pass their version of the bill, Senate Bill 31.
The bill, which you can read by clicking here, will establish a fine of $25 to $99 for those who text while driving. Repeat offenders can be ticketed for up to $200.
Having passed both the Texas House and Senate, the bill now heads to Governor Abbot where lawmakers hope he will sign it into law.

Texas Leads US in ATV Related Deaths

All-Terrain Vehicles can be a lot of fun if operated properly and with safety in mind. Unfortunately, ATVs are also heavy and powerful, and if mishandled can be dangerous or even deadly to their drivers, passengers, and to nearby bystanders. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there are around 700 fatalities and 100,000 injuries involving ATVs each year. When looking at historical data, the CPSC also notes that Texas has had more ATV related deaths over the past thirty than any other state.
Like car accidents, ATV accidents come in many forms. Some of the most common ATV related accidents are caused by:

  • Traveling too quickly over unsuitable terrain
  • Attempting to carry or haul items that exceed an ATV's capabilities
  • Attempting to climb hills that are too steep
  • Allowing children to operate ATVs that are too large for them
  • Equipment failures, such as with an ATV's throttle, steering, or suspension systems

If you or a loved one has suffered because of an ATV accident, whether it was because of a defect or because of someone else's negligent behavior, you may be entitled to compensation from your health insurance company and from the person or company who caused the accident. At Martin Walker, P.C., we specialize in helping the people of Tyler and East Texas get the compensation they are owed.
For a free case evaluation, you can contact us at (903) 526-1600, by email at info@martinwalkerlaw.com, or by using the form at the bottom of our Contact Page.

Dodge Issues Recall for Over A Million Ram Pickups

Earlier this month, Dodge announced that it would be recalling more than a million of its Ram pickup trucks after it discovered problems with the systems that control the trucks' airbags and seatbelts.
It seems that after a hard bump, such as when one of these trucks bottoms out, the computers that manage the safety systems in Ram trucks made between 2013 and 2016 can lock up while processing an unrelated error code. This can cause those critical systems to become unresponsive when they are needed most.
This computer problem can be temporarily fixed by turning an affected truck off and back on again, but that hardly helps in the middle of an accident. So far at least one death has been linked to this computer problem, and Dodge is moving quickly to issue fixes for the trucks in question.
If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle accident and you think that a vehicle defect may have been to blame, get in touch with us at once.

Summer Boating Tips

Boating and water sports are a big deal in East Texas. There's a lot of fun to be had out on one of the many lakes that dot our region, but one has to remember that boating recklessly can be just as dangerous as driving dangerously. Driving and boating even share a common danger, operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Just like its against the law to drink and drive a car, it is also against the law to drink and operate a boat or other watercraft.
Similar to laws about intoxication, there are other rules and laws that are shared between boating:
Speed limits - Even though there are not usually exact speed limits on bodies of water, you can be cited for operating your boat at an unsafe speed.
Seat belts - While most boats do not have actual seat belts, it is strongly recommended that you wear a personal flotation device. Life jackets are required for people operating and riding on personal watercraft (things like jetskis). Those under the age of 13 must also wear a life jacket.
Maintenance - Just like you can be at fault for not properly maintaining your car, you can also be held liable if someone is injured by a watercraft you fail to maintain.
For more information about boating and boating safety, you can visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Followup: New Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder

Last year, we highlighted some of the verdicts being awarded against Johnson & Johnson and their talcum powder products. Combined, two of the biggest awards amounted to a little over $100 million paid to women who developed cancers after using Johnson & Johnson's products. Studies had pointed to dangers of the products as far back as the 1970's but the products remained on sale even to the modern day. Last year we also noted that more than 1,000 other women had filed suit against the company, and now we've seen another one of those lawsuits reach a conclusion.
NBC News reported that on May 4th, 2017, a woman in Virginia was awarded a record-setting verdict of $110.5 million after using Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products for over 40 years. The drug company stated that it would appeal the decision, but for now the case will stand as one of the largest amounts awarded in a cancer lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has developed or died from ovarian cancer and would like more details on the risks of talcum powder, please contact Martin Walker Law at (903) 526-1600 or by emailing us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com