When Is An Employer Responsible For An Accident?

When you are hit in a car accident the driver that hit you can be held responsible, but often times so can the company he was working for.
Sometimes this liability can be obvious. A company employee driving a company branded vehicle while wearing a company uniform during work hours will most likely be found to be working for his or her company for liability purposes. There are other cases where perhaps an employee isn't performing his normal job duties or isn’t working during normal office hours, but is considered to be on a special errand for his employer so both they and the employer can still be found to be liable.
That said, the law can be confusing. If that same person in the same vehicle wearing the same uniform hits you while on their way to or from work, their employer might not be found responsible. In a case like that, the employee wasn't technically on the job yet or had finished their job duties for the day and so any accident they cause will be found to be their fault alone.
The distinctions between an employee being on the job or just coming and going from his or her job are just one of many different liability rules you are likely to encounter if you are the victim of a car wreck. The important thing to remember is that is that you don't have to handle these complexities alone. If you or a love one was involved in an accident and are having troubles recovering damages give us a call. Our experienced attorneys will work with you every step of the way.


New iPhone Feature Might Save Lives, If Drivers Turn It On

Two big things have happened this month that will hopefully reduce the number of Distracted Driving deaths in Texas. Starting at the beginning of September, Texas’ new texting while driving law went into effect making it illegal to use a phone while operating a vehicle. With it came a $99 minimum fine for anyone caught texting while driving.
Now, as of September 19th, iPhone users have a new way to prevent their phones from distracting them while driving. iOS 11’s new Do Not Disturb While Driving mode offers to lock down iPhone users’ phones automatically while they are driving. The new mode can even send a helpful message back to someone trying to text you letting them know you’ll contact them once you are done driving. Do Not Disturb While Driving can activate when your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth system or automatically based on things like the phone’s motion.
The key hang up, of course, is you have to turn the feature on to begin with. The new version of iOS will prompt users to enable this new proactive mode, but it also gives them the option to turn it off entirely. For all the good this new feature might do, it still relies on drivers admitting to what the scientific evidence already shows: distracted driving is dangerous and ends hundreds of lives every year.
At some point, perhaps these kind of software based protections against distracted driving will enabled by default and locked into the “on” position. Until then, we hope iPhone users will choose to enable this new feature and help protect themselves and others on the road.


Texas' New Texting While Driving Ban Goes Into Effect

This is the first week Texas’ new cellphone texting while driving ban has been in effect. As of September 1st, driving while using a cellphone to text or read a text message while driving in the state of Texas is illegal.
This necessary law was a long time coming. It took well over a decade for politicians in Texas to put together this law and get it passed and signed. At times it looked like they were about to do something about the high number of deaths that came with distracted driving and cellphone use while driving, but then the potential laws would stall out or almost pass or get vetoed.
A part of the problem is that in Texas we like our independence. We like deciding for ourselves what the right thing to do is, and we don’t like it when government interferes with our decision making process. But, in this case, it was necessary.
Over 400 people have been killed by distracted drivers in Texas each year for the past several years. As cellphones have become more and more essential parts of our lives, they have also become bigger and bigger distractions. The smart thing for us to do is to ignore our phones while driving, but calls and texts are important, and because decisions can be made right now, people expect them to be made right now. But, those four hundred dead each year is far too many, and it is clear that we, as a state, cannot ignore the temptation and obligation of our phones long enough to get from point a to point b safely.
This new law, House Bill 62, makes it illegal to use a phone for reading or sending text messages and places a $99 fine on anyone who is found doing so. And that is for a first offense. Later offenses can cost you up to $200.
By passing this law, Texas has taken a first important step in making our roads safer. Yes, it came at the cost of some small amount of personal freedom, and yes it will be some time before this new law filters down into the through process of Texas drivers, but we are hopeful that over time this ban on texting while driving will put a dent in those 400 yearly deaths and make driving safer for all of us.