Plano Injury Law

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On any given day, your most difficult, repugnant task is the one you will push to the bottom of your to-do list. This is natural: human beings—even the most mature, responsible ones—put things off. No one likes to lose, attorneys least of all. Ironically, big, complex tasks seem to become even more big and complex when they are left unattended. In a profession already filled with stress, the anxiety produced by procrastinating causes strength-sapping distraction and dissipates energy. It produces worry that can spill over into your personal life.
You know you are capable. You conquered law school, vanquished the bar exam, and set up your own practice. Attack rather than avoid the difficult problem, and do it early in the day if possible. This gives you the strength and confidence to easily take on lesser problems.

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Plano truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, looks closer at the physiology of sleep deprivation.
When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, the brain doesn’t have the opportunity to regenerate the neurons that affect critical cognitive functions. In effect, this lack of sleep can cause the brain to “short-circuit,” causing any or all of the following symptoms:

• Inattention (easily distracted)

• Impaired judgment (often leading to poor decisions behind the wheel)

• Lack of alertness (inability to see danger ahead)

• Slower reaction times (inability to respond to danger in a timely manner)

• Short-term memory loss (forgetting to perform essential functions)

• Falling asleep at the wheel

Perhaps you can see why sleep deprivation may play a larger role in trucking accidents than the numbers suggest. The FMCSA notes “driver fatigue” as a factor in 13 percent of accidents, but also lists “inattention” at 9 percent, “external distraction” at 8 percent and “driving too fast” at 23 percent. However, sleep deprivation can easily play a role in all four factors, as well as others!
How to Avoid Driver Fatigue
Contrary to popular belief, as this article in The Atlantic says, you cannot “make up” lost hours of sleep hour by hour. However, your body and brain can find equilibrium again by allowing for extra sleep over time. Permanently overcoming and avoiding driver fatigue involves changing your sleep patterns to allow for longer periods of uninterrupted sleep, including resisting the pressure to drive extended hours, if necessary. If you find sleep difficult, some tips that may help:

• Practice relaxation techniques

• Exercise regularly

• Avoid the use of electronic devices before bed

• Avoid alcohol before bed (even if you “pass out,” alcohol can interrupt regular sleep patterns)

• Avoid heavy meals before bed

• See a doctor for additional help if you still aren’t sleeping well
If you have been victimized by a sleepy trucker—or by a driver who engaged in careless, inattentive or otherwise negligent behavior—you should speak with an experienced Plano truck accident attorney as soon as possible.

Call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. for an appointment at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

Plano personal injury attorney Richard Armstrong: practicing personal injury law since 1985. Lawyer’s Texas firm offers injury victims Free Consultation

"FORT WORTH TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER ANALYZES THE BIOLOGY OF FATIGUE"---Fort Worth truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” A...


---Fort Worth truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, examines how sleeplessness contributes to crashes.

What are the specific, physiological affects of sleep deprivation?

What can we learn from exploring this biology?

In today’s post and a subsequent one, we’ll do a deep dive and shine a light on this under-explored subject.

First, let’s cover some basic statistics that you may have heard before. The numbers are terrifying, but it’s easy to go numb to them. After all, we’re bombarded by scary stats like these so often that we often forget the scale at play. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ranks driver fatigue as one of the most common causes of trucking accidents, playing a role in thousands of crashes each year.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) agrees, placing driver fatigue as a factor in at least 13 percent of accidents each year—approximately 18,000 crashes. However, fatigue clearly contributes to other problems—like driver distraction and inattention. So the actual cost of drivers nodding off behind the wheel may be vastly underestimated.

Finally, and maybe even more disturbingly, in a major report to Congress, the FMCSA estimated that over 5,000 accidents could be traced to this cause: “Driver Pressured To Operate Even Though Fatigued.”

Not a good look for the trucking industry. So why DOES sleep deprivation affect so many truckers?

Many companies push their operators to meet quotas. They also offer incentives for drivers who travel above a certain number of miles each day. By law, operators may drive up to 11 hours at a time within a 14-hour day; then they must rest at least 10 consecutive hours. However, even when drivers follow these rules to the letter—and many don’t—the schedule still exhausts. What happens when drivers experience anxiety or pain at night and can’t rest during off hours? What about those who party during their rest break? What about the drivers who are desperate to see their families because they’re constantly on the road—and so they spend their break playing with their kids or helping with homework?

The pressures on truckers to perform while fatigued—social, economic, and even cultural—are legion. So what happens, physiologically, when they skip needed R&R?

Adults between age 18-64 generally require between 7-9 hours of sleep a day. Studies have shown that sleep helps regenerate neurons within the cerebral cortex and establish new synaptic connections. By the same token, consistent lack of sleep stops these neurons from regenerating, which in a literal sense begins to interrupt normal brain functions, especially in the cognitive parts of the brain.

In Part 2, we’ll explore the specific symptoms that can occur when brain activity is disrupted in this manner—and how these symptoms contribute to dangerous situations on the road.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident and need advice from a highly qualified Fort Worth truck accident attorney, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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Plano dog bite lawyer, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, offers helpful advice on diffusing tensions and reducing risks with a neighbor’s aggressive dog.

Do you have a neighbor with a ferocious dog who regularly terrorizes the neighborhood? Does the dog commonly roam, perhaps threatening children and adults in their own yards? Are you concerned that tragedy is just around the corner unless someone acts and acts quickly?

Dealing with dogs and neighbors can be a lesson in diplomacy; you want to diffuse the situation and help keep people safe, hopefully while keeping peace at the same time. Some tips that might help:

• Try diplomacy first. Confronting you neighbor angrily may only antagonize him, so try a softer approach first. Explain your concerns as a neighbor, and suggest solutions (for example, keeping him on a leash,obedience school) rather than demanding compliance.
• Remove any sources of possible antagonism. If wildlife visits your neighborhood regularly, an aggressive dog might react badly. Make sure neighborhood trash is out of reach of scavengers. Also check with your children to be sure they aren’t teasing or provoking the dog in any way.
• Check with your Homeowner’s Association (HOA). If diplomacy and deterrents don’t solve the problem, ask your HOA if they can intervene. If the dog owner is violating HOA rules, they may be able to issue fines and other incentives to bring the neighbor into compliance.
• Contact local authorities. If all other attempts at a peaceful resolution fail, your priority becomes personal and neighborhood safety. If necessary, contact your local animal control office, or the police, to report negative or aggressive behavior. NOTE: If the dog has already attacked someone—or is in the process of an aggressive action—and if the owner is not taking steps to remedy the situation, you have both the right and responsibility to report the incident to your local police and your city's animal control department. Doing so, especially to animal control, keeps a record of the “first bite” of an aggressive dog, which often so essential to proving liability.
If you or a loved one has been attacked and injured by a neighbor’s dog, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for medical bills, therapy costs and other damages, especially if the owner was negligent. This can take the form of a dog with a known history of previous bites or attacks. It can also take the form of an owner who violates local animal control laws (even with no history of a previous bite), and whose dog attacks a victim because of the violation, such as failure to keep the dog on a leash.

To speak with a knowledgeable Plano dog bite attorney, contact Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

Plano personal injury attorney Richard Armstrong: practicing personal injury law since 1985. Lawyer’s Texas firm offers injury victims Free Consultation

“DALLAS TRUCK CRASH LAWYER OVERVIEWS TRUCK PART DEFECT CASES”When a trucking disaster occurs due to a failed or defectiv...


When a trucking disaster occurs due to a failed or defective truck part, the task of proving liability can be astonishingly complex.
In essence, you need to draw a clear cause-and-effect argument—using excellent evidence—to show how a manufacturer’s negligence, omission or other type of wrongdoing caused specific damages. If any link in this cause-and-effect chain breaks down (or gets effectively negated by the defense), the case can be lost.
To begin to piece together answers, you first need to answer a battery of relevant questions, such as:
• Who was at fault in the crash?
• Is there evidence that a bad part (e.g. faulty breaks, a blown out tire, a hydraulic systems malfunction) contributed to or caused what happened?
• If so, whose responsibility was it to maintain the part? Did the driver fail to monitor his truck and take it to the shop in time? Did the trucking company use cheap parts or inappropriate technology? Did a service center tasked with maintaining the vehicle mess up?
• Was the part that failed under recall? If so, did the manufacturer do due diligence communicating the recall to the public, and did trucking company then follow through to replace the recalled part?
• What other elements (e.g. bad weather, driver inattention, other bad drivers who left the scene, unclear signage, etc.) might have contributed?
In general, to win a case against a manufacturer in a defective part lawsuit, a personal injury attorney must provide convincing evidence of the following:
• The part in question was demonstrably defective;
• An investigation shows that the defective part played a significant role in the accident;
• You sustained loss, damage or injury as a direct result of the accident caused by the defective part; and
• The driver was not primarily at fault (in other words, driver error didn’t overshadow the role of the part failure in the accident).
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to a defective truck part, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation from the part's manufacturer or from other liable parties (such as the trucking company).
A qualified Dallas truck accident lawyer can carefully review the evidence to determine whether factors other than the obvious (e.g., driver error) contributed to what happened in your crash. For a confidential appointment, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).



Dallas oil and gas injury attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, continues his checklist for those affected by a gas or oil industry accident.

In the previous post, we talked in general terms about what to do if someone you love has been injured or killed in an oil/gas related accident—and emphasized why you need meticulous record keeping. Let’s continue your to-do list by discussing specific items to add to your file.

4. Gather records of all expenses related to the accident, including bills and receipts.

Collate all bills, receipts and records of what the accident has cost your family financially. Include any/all of the following:

• All medical/hospital bills, both paid and unpaid (make a note of any amounts not covered by insurance)
• Receipts for travel, food, fuel, hotel stays and other incidental expenses
• Bills or receipts for funeral expenses, if these apply
• A tally of lost wages (for any amount of time your loved one or other family members could not work due to the accident)

5. Collect all available documentation of the accident itself.
This information may include:

• Copies of police reports
• Copies of company reports (if you can obtain them)
• Copies of private investigation reports
• Written/audio records of 911 calls
• Any video or audio documentation of the event, damage or
injuries (take plenty of photos and video yourself, if you are able to do so)
• Written or audio accounts of the victim and any witnesses as to what happened

Lastly, be mindful of the following point: It’s easier to remove items you don’t need than try to hunt down necessary items later. Don’t be afraid of adding items to your file that you’re uncertain about. Your attorney can sort through everything later. Err on the side of caution; if you think it might be relevant,
assume it is for now.

For compassionate, insightful advice from an oil and gas injury attorney, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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—Dallas injury attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, presents the following checklist if someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in a gas or oil industry accident.

Despite detailed safety measures that gas and oil companies put in place, industry field jobs are inherently risky. According to a report compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of 155 general industry fatalities in 2011, 70 percent of those fatalities specifically occurred in the oil and gas sector.

And more than 1,400 non-fatal accidents hit the sector as well.

While industry workers knowingly accept some risk, big companies don’t just automatically get off the hook because the work is challenging. They can still be compelled to pay significant compensation for accidents that result in injury or death. Here’s the start of a checklist to prepare for claims or legal action.

1. Hire a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible—ideally someone with an intimate understanding of the Texas energy industry.

The sooner you involve the right attorney with your case, the better. The responsible oil/gas company (and the insurance company that represents the business) won’t necessarily look out for your interests. Do not assume that anyone will volunteer to do the right thing—even if managers express authentic, heartfelt concern. An attorney’s involvement helps protect your rights in manifold ways. Do not discuss anything concerning the accident with your employer, an insurance company, or another party without talking to your own attorney first.

2. Create a special file for documentation.

Proper documentation helps your attorney prove your case and protect your rights. To that end, set up a dedicated file (in your home, not at work) to curate all information relevant to the accident. This could be a separate file box or drawer in your filing cabinet. You can also store these documents virtually as computer files. Either way, always keep two copies of everything in separate locations so if one is destroyed or corrupted, you’ll have a backup.

3. Gather all medical records.

Since much of your claim to compensation will be related to your loved one’s medical treatment, gather and keep all relevant medical records in your newly created file. Examples of relevant medical records may include:

• Medical charts from hospital visits

• Records of outpatient doctor visits

• Records related to physical therapy, if applicable

• Copies of all prescriptions

• If your loved one passed away, include a death certificate and autopsy report in this file, as well

In part 2 of this checklist, we’ll discuss specific items that need to go into your newly created file. In the meantime, if a loved one has been hurt or killed in an oil/gas accident and you need a Dallas injury attorney, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

Plano personal injury attorney Richard Armstrong: practicing personal injury law since 1985. Lawyer’s Texas firm offers injury victims Free Consultation


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