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Salam & Associates Personal Injury Law Blog

DACA was rescinded, now it's back: What can Dreamers expect?

Many were angered and saddened by the announcement made by the Trump administration on September 5, 2017 that it would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The announcement meant that nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were protected by the program could face the possibility of deportation, despite the fact that they were brought into the U.S. as children.

But while many have been preparing for the worst, a surprising announcement was made that has given hope to thousands of Dreamers and their families: President Trump announced tentative talks with democrats regarding the continuation or improvement of DACA, explains a September NPR article. Unfortunately, it could takes months or years for this to happen, so, in the meantime, what does this mean for DACA applicants?

5 misunderstandings concerning Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants

If you're like most people and you were asked to come up with a famous court case from the last 30 years that didn't involve a celebrity, you might think of the lawsuit that was filed against McDonald's in the early '90s when a woman was burned by the fast-food restaurant's hot coffee. Few know it by its legal name, Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants, but many know it by its colloquial name, "The McDonald's hot coffee case."

Even though this story is well-known by many, sensationalized news stories at the time and even jokes made on popular shows like Seinfeld gave the story a new life. In the end, the story many people know today might be very different from the situation that actually happened. 

What are the hidden dangers of e-cigarette use?

Even though e-cigarettes have been on the market for a decade, it wasn't until the last few years that they became incredibly popular in the United States. So popular, in fact, that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated that in 2014 alone, 3.7 percent of American adults were using e-cigarettes instead of traditional tobacco products.

Touted as a safer option than smoking traditional cigarettes and recommended as an effective "smoking cessation device" by the U.K.'s Royal College of Physicians, e-cigarettes have become a common site in cities throughout the country. Are they really as safe as consumers would like to believe? Perhaps not.

Self-driving cars: Are you along for the ride?

You'd be hard pressed to find a person these days who isn't excited about the prospect of roadways filled with self-driving cars in the near future. This new technology could "save up to 300,000 lives per decade in the United States," explains a 2015 Geek Wire article, by preventing car accidents and other motor vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, this technology might not be as safe as we want it to be just yet.

Despite an aggressive push from automakers like GM and Tesla to put more and more self-driving cars on our roadways, everyday people are noticing that the vehicles' guidance systems still need work. In order to make good on their promise of preventing thousands of car accidents every year, automakers need to address these three key issues:

What is negligence and how does it affect compensation?

We've all heard the stories: you're driving along a roadway in Texas when suddenly you hear the screeching of tires and the loud crash of breaking glass. When you come to, your airbag has been deployed and you slowly become aware of the fact that you've just been involved in an accident.

Your first thoughts are rarely on what caused the accident. You're more worried about the state of your car, whether you're injured and how much everything is going to cost you. It's not until after the dust settles that you finally ask the all important question: How did this happen and who was at fault?

 

What should I do if I was hit by a drunk driver?

Despite the increased prevalence of public awareness campaigns conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, drunk driving accidents are still a common occurrence in the United States. In fact, according to the most current statistics available, 28 people die every day in our country in an alcohol-related crash. Many more suffer serious or catastrophic injuries because of someone else's reckless decision.

Sadly, the decision to drink and drive is always a choice drivers can choose not to make. Because some drivers don't always make the right decision, however, other drivers need to make sure they are prepared for tragic consequences: the aftermath of a serious car accident.

Sobering statistics: Texas ranks first in ATV fatalities

People in Texas are proud of a lot of things, most especially their state; but there is one thing most Texans are probably not as proud of, and that's where we rank in the nation for all-terrain vehicle fatalities.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Texas ranks first in the country for having the most reported deaths associated with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Between 1982 and 2012, Texas saw nearly 700 people die in ATV collisions - 698 to be exact. Between 2013 and 2015 alone, we saw 82 people killed in ATV accidents, and data is still being compiled for 2016 and 2017.

More bite than bark: A look at how much a dog bite costs

Dogs can make wonderful additions to a family; but as Victoria Stilwell from Animal Planet's show "It's Me or the Dog" explains, "All dogs have the potential to bite." This isn't an exaggeration either. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bite cases make up roughly one-third of all homeowner's insurance claims in the nation, making dog attacks more of a problem than most people realize.

The frequency of these types of accidents isn't the only startling fact, however. According to a 2015 Insurance Journal article, the cost of a dog bite claim increased by 67 percent between 2003 and 2014 as a result of "increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards."

HB 62: The first step in stopping distracted driving accidents

Back in March, we wrote a post detailing the passage of House Bill 62, a bill that is designed to save lives by making it illegal to text and drive anywhere in Texas. By May, the Senate had also passed the bill and at the start of last month, Governor Greg Abbott had signed the bill into law.

Despite quick legislative movement, however, many are still left wondering: Will this piece of legislation be enough to stop the more than 10,000 motor vehicle accidents that occur in our state each year?

Was negligence a factor in the water park amoeba lawsuit?

With summer upon us and temperatures expected to remain in the 90's throughout the entire first week of July, many families will probably seek respite from the heat at local water parks all over Texas. As we do so, however, we should keep in mind that the water parks we visit aren't always as safe as they appear.

We need only look to the wrongful death lawsuit filed against U.S. National Whitewater Center and other affiliated parties to see this fact. Though the lawsuit is against a water park in a different state, the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident could easily happen here in Texas. As would be the case here in Texas, authorities will need to determine if the water park was negligent and liable for damages.

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