Reid Martin and Jack Walker Recognized Among Top Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers

Lawdragon has released its list of the country’s 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers for 2020. Martin Walker co-founders Jack Walker and Reid Martin have both been recognized for their work on behalf of people who have been catastrophically injured or involved in serious business disputes.

“Serving our clients and fighting on their behalf is something we feel very passionate about,” said Mr. Martin. “For us, it goes beyond the job. It’s personal.”

Lawdragon describes the attorneys it recognizes by saying, “The Plaintiff Consumer 500 range from coast to coast, counseling grieving family members and finding pathways to justice for those who have been harmed or killed.”

“This is work that we’ve dedicated our lives to,” said Mr. Walker. “To be recognized for that is very gratifying.”

In its fifteenth year of publication, Lawdragon is releasing 15 lists recognizing attorneys in a variety of practice areas. In addition to its 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, Reid Martin was also recognized among Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America. The complete list of Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers can be found here.


Martin Walker Co-Founders Earn Selection to 2020 Texas Super Lawyers

Martin Walker, P.C., co-founders Reid Martin and Jack Walker have been recognized among the 2020 listing of Texas Super Lawyers. Both attorneys were selected primarily for their work in the area of Medical Malpractice, but were also recognized for their expertise in complex Personal Injury cases. Mr. Walker also earned recognition for his work in Products Liability.

“Having your work recognized is always a great feeling,” said Mr. Walker. “But what’s truly special is being listed alongside so many talented attorneys.”

Texas Super Lawyers recognizes the top five percent of attorneys in the state. The publication’s patented nomination process consists of peer selections and evaluations as well as independent research. Those who wish to learn more about the rigorous selection process can visit: https://www.superlawyers.com.

“From day one, we’ve worked hard to make sure those we represent understand they’ve got someone in their corner,” Mr. Martin said. “It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers.”

The inclusion of Mr. Martin and Mr. Walker among this year’s Texas Super Lawyers is a testament to their skills as litigators and their willingness to take on tough cases on behalf of those in need. Since 2006, Martin Walker, P.C., has represented businesses and individuals alike in cases ranging from personal injury and medical malpractice to products liability and commercial litigation. More information can be learned by calling (903) 526-1600.


Reid Martin and Jack Walker Selected Among Best Lawyers in America

Reid Martin and Jack Walker, partners and co-founders of Tyler-based Martin Walker, P.C., have earned selection to the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America. First published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become one of the most well-known and well-respected legal guides in the nation.
Mr. Martin was recognized for his work in Medical Malpractice Law, while Mr. Walker was named for his work in Personal Injury Litigation. Both attorneys are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and are among the few attorneys in Texas who still take on medical malpractice cases.
“We have had a very exciting year,” said Mr. Martin. “It’s rewarding to be able to help our clients achieve justice, and Jack and I are honored to see our hard work recognized by our peers.”

Selection to Best Lawyers in America is made entirely through peer nominations from attorneys in the same geographical and legal practice areas. Those nominations are then reviewed by Best Lawyers staff to ensure attorneys are in good standing with their local bar associations. The 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America is available online at http://bestlawyers.com.

“This is truly special because of the fact you have others in our own profession who are looking at our names and saying, ‘Yes, those two are among the best,’” said Mr. Walker.

Established in 2006, Martin Walker, P.C. represents both businesses and individuals in high-stakes litigation, including medical malpractice, catastrophic injuries involving 18-wheeler accidents, oilfield injuries, wrongful death, and product liability.


Subaru Recalls Cars Whose Engine Can Cut Out While Driving

Car manufacturer Sabaru is recalling a combined 250,000 vehicles across their Crosstrek, Forester, Ascent, and Impreza lines, says Consumer Reports. Many car recalls are for things like a latch not hooking correctly or a headlight that fogs up. This recall, however, was triggered by a faulty engine part shared by Sabaru’s various car lines that can let oil into the wrong paces which could cause the engine to lose power or stall.

Consumer Reports was unable to find out how often this problem has occurred or whether it injured anyone. While this recall is nowhere near the scope of Takata’s multimillion unit airbag recalls, it still seems like a fairly big deal that an issue that causes a loss of engine power has been identified.

Wondering if your vehicle is involved in a recall? The National Highway Safety Administration has an easy to use Recalls section on their website at https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls


The Bad News And Good News About Contributory Negligence

How much responsibility you bear for an accident can determine the damages you are awarded. If you are partially at fault, can you still make a claim against someone? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is that under the rules of Proportionate Responsibility, the damages paid to someone injured in a negligence case will be reduced the more you are at fault. That means if a jury determines you were 30% at fault in a car accident, any damages awarded to you will be reduced by 30%. This rule is capped at 50%, however. If you are suing someone for an injury and it is determined that you were more than 50% responsible, then your injury is considered your own fault and you will receive no payout.

The good news is, things used to be a lot worse. Historically speaking, the law has become more friendly to plaintiffs over time. In the past, a principle called “contributory negligence” said that if you were even 1% at fault for an injury then you were not owed any compensation. Ever since the early 1900s, this very strict standard has been getting more and more reasonable. Major reforms in 1995 and 2003 helped this process along to the modern day rules.

Filing a lawsuit after an injury can be a complicated process. It can be helpful to have a team of established lawyers on your side. If you need help, contact us today.


More Takata Airbag Recalls

Earlier this month, troubled airbag manufacturer Takata agreed to replace another 10 million airbag units the company provided to a wide variety of car makers. Takata has been under pressure since at least 2015 to recall defective airbag inflators that can, under some conditions, explode too forcefully and send metal pieces that make up the airbag's inner workings flying towards a driver or passenger.  More than two dozen deaths and hundreds of injuries have been linked to the exploding airbags.

Drivers should be on the lookout for official notices from their car maker indicating that they need to take their car in for free airbag replacement service. Even vehicles that have had an airbag replaced before might need a second replacement since Takata has expanded the list of airbags multiple times over the last five years. Most affected car companies have easy ways to look up affected vehicles on their websites in case you missed their recall mailings. You normally just need to provide basic information and your car's Vehicle Identification Number.

Unfortunately, it seems that Takata still has more recalls ahead of it which means car owners need to remain vigilant in case their car is recalled, or recalled again, in the future.


Do Ignition Interlocks Have A Blind Spot?

An ignition interlock is a device that can be wired into a vehicle's electrical system in order to make sure it cannot be started until the driver provides a breath sample to be checked for signs of alcohol. There are now some 300,000 ignition interlocks in active use in the U.S. and that number is growing rapidly. It seems pretty self explanatory that these devices can save live. They prevent drivers from starting their vehicles while intoxicated. That has to be a win for vehicle safety, right? Well, not always.

A recent article in the New York Times highlights a potential fatal flaw in these ignition interlocks: Almost all of them make drivers perform checks at random times while the vehicle is moving. This feature is meant to stop someone from beginning a drive sober but having drinks along the way, but as shown in the Times' article, randomly asking a driver to do any task beyond driving can be extremely hazardous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked like it was going to outlaw rolling retests, but it dropped a mandate that drivers pull over to retest after receiving intense industry pushback. How a driver would even pull over while in fast moving traffic is a question that no one from the government or ignition interlock industry really wanted to answer.

The Times did some investigation work and found over fifty incidents that ignition interlocks were cited as a reason for an accident or crash in Virginia alone. But, the Times notes, this number is almost certainly heavily under reported. And the data comes from just one state. The fact that most of the reported accidents came back when there were far fewer ignition interlocks on the road is also a bit worrisome.

In addition to ignition interlocks potentially being more distracting than cell phones, there is also the issue of false positives, the Times says. Ignition interlocks use the same alcohol sensing equipment that portable police breathalyzer units use, but those units are known to be imprecise, especially when not properly maintained, and sometimes tests conducted with them are not allowed as evidence in court.

Again, it seems like common sense that these ignition interlocks can save lives by preventing intoxicated drivers from starting their cars in the first place, but it does seem more questionable that drivers are asked to perform rolling retests while driving when study after study shows that even minor distractions while driving can lead to a collision.

The full article over at the New York Times provides more examples of how these ignition interlocks seem to have some blind spots. You can give it a read by clicking here.


Help Keep New Year's Happy By Not Drinking & Driving

The New Year's holiday is one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Partiers who think they can get home after having a few drinks can easily ruin their own lives and the lives of others when it turns out they can't.

Texas ranks 7th for number of drunk driving deaths on New Year's Eve according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to statistics, some 44 people lost their lives during the New Year's Holiday in Texas alone. Another 171 were seriously injured, and over 4,000 had their New Year's holiday otherwise ruined due to drunk drivers.

Each year, the message is the same: Don't drink and drive. If you do have some drinks, get a cab or a ride share to take you home. Check around. There are often great deals and even free rides offered on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

But, maybe the best take on holiday drinking and driving comes from a Pennsylvania State University article written a few years ago titled: 10 Times It's Totally Okay To Drive Drunk On New Year's.

(Hint. The answer is "Never.")

We hope you have a great New Year's. Please stay safe out there.


Hoverboards Might Be Safe This Year, But Only If You Buy The Right One

Hoverboards, the most common name for two wheeled self-balancing scooters, made a big splash during the 2013 holiday season. A couple of years later, they were one of the hottest holiday gifts, but for all the wrong reasons. Cheaply made hoverboards often contained subpar batteries or badly designed chargers which caused several dangerous fires.

By 2016, hoverboards were becoming so associated with fire risks that recalls became common, multiple shipping ports in the UK blocked their import, and even Amazon.com, which will sell most anything, officially banned the sell of hoverboards for a time. The fires, recalls, and bans continued into the 2017 holiday season, but then things started to get better.

These days, hoverboards are again sold in stores and online. So what changed? According to one scooter and hoverboard manufacturer, hoverboards only started be accepted again once they started meeting Underwriters Laboratories UL 2272 standard. This series of tests sets safety standards for things like a hoverboard's battery, charging system, internal wiring, and general durability.

It still took some time for hoverboard manufactures to get onboard. The UL 2272 standard was established in 2016 but fires and recalls were still surprisingly common even into late 2017, but after that, the recalls stopped. There were no reported hoverboard recalls in 2018 and so far have been none in 2019.

Does this mean that hoverboards are now safe purchases for the 2019 Christmas season from a fire hazard point of view? Yes. Or, at least, they are a much safer bet than they were just a few years ago. Still, even though compliance with the UL 2272 tests seem to be much more widespread, you do need to do you homework. For instance, don't just rely on a badge on the packaging, be sure and do a check to make sure a hoverboard you are thinking of buying is actually certified.