"Standing for the Justice You Deserve"

972-424-L-A-W-S (5297)

PLANO
1400 Gables Court, Ste. 103
Plano,Texas 75075


FORT WORTH
5601 Bridge Street, Ste. 300
Ft. Worth, Texas 76112

"The world is full of wrongs. If no man stood up to right those wrongs they might go on forever."
-- Clarence Darrow

Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney Offers 7 Resources to Deal with Loss

Dallas wrongful death attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, suggests books, blogs and podcasts for people who have lost loved ones due to others’ carelessness/negligence.

Whether an oil industry accident claimed your spouse of 30 years, a car crash killed a close friend or another unspeakable tragedy recently struck your family, you need insight to deal with the immense pain. If you have suffered such a loss, here are seven resources to process and manage the grief.

1. GriefShare: This network of grief support groups has several meeting places throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

2. What’s Your Grief: Founded and run by two mental health professionals, this blog offers extensive information to help with the grieving process.

3. Stunned by Grief: This blog focuses on the process of recovering from a sudden or tragic loss, such as happens in wrongful death cases and other tragedies.

4. Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after Loss Shatters Your World by Elizabeth Harper Neeld: This book examines the emotions surrounding loss in a very real way.

5. How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando: A comprehensive guide to help you find your own path through the grieving process.

6. The Grieving Child: A Parent’s Guide by Helen Fitzgerald: An important resource for helping children process the sudden death of a loved one.

7. Dear Dougy Podcast: A popular and helpful podcast on grief and loss produced by The Dougy Center in Portland, Oregon.

The above links will hopefully provide some relief as you work through the loss of your loved one. To discuss your strategic options for compensation for such loss with a Dallas wrongful death attorney, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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Plano Truck Accident Lawyer: More Insights on the Dangers of Sleepless Drivers

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).

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Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyer Analyzes the Biology of Fatigue

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 underexplored 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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Pet Snake Bite Risks: A Fort Worth Snake Bite Attorney Weighs In

Fort Worth snake bite attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, discusses the diverse and disturbing risks causes by pet reptiles.

Snake bites have always posed a threat, but lately the number of incidents has been increasing. According to a CBS news report, snakes bite approximately 1,300 children each year (not including adults), and about one-fourth of those bites occur in Florida and Texas. Many of these bites are from venomous snakes and require immediate treatment.

Of course, most of these bites occur in the wild, but alongside these statistics, a growing number of Americans now keep snakes as pets. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, more than 1 million snakes are now kept as household pets in more than half a million households across the United states—this despite repeated warnings that snakes are not appropriately domesticated animals and should not be kept as pets. Between the mishandling of these snakes and their tendency to escape, children and adults now face an even greater risk of snake attacks in their own neighborhoods and homes.

Not Just Snake Bites

When it comes to pets, snake bites don’t pose the only threat. In fact, some people (not all) who keep venomous snakes have the forethought to have them “fixed” so they don’t produce venom. However, an equal threat comes from “constrictor” snakes like pythons and boa constrictors, which have become increasingly popular to keep as pets. For these predators, the risk comes not from bites, but from suffocation. Constrictors can attack quickly and without warning, trapping a victim in their coils and squeezing until the victim can no longer breathe.

From a legal point of view, snakes, by their very nature, are viewed as animals with dangerous propensities. This means that the legal standard for proper safety measures by owners who own such pets is a high one.  While pet snake attacks are obviously not as common as dog bites or even cat bites, you may have a legal right to compensation if you or a loved one suffered harm from an encounter with a pet snake.

To discuss your options with a Fort Worth snake bite attorney, contact Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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The Neighbor with the Dangerous Dog: A Plano Dog Bite Attorney Provides Insight

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).

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Dallas Truck Crash Lawyer Overviews Truck Part Defect Cases

Dallas truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, explores how and under what circumstances manufacturers can be held liable for crashes.

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).

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Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Discusses Faulty Truck Technology

Dallas truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, offers an overview of crashes caused by defective parts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 44,000 truck accidents reported over a 2-year period occurred due to problems with the vehicle. Of these accidents, tire issues accounted for nearly 35 percent, while faulty brakes were to blame for at least 22 percent.

As intuition might suggest, drivers do cause the majority of trucking accidents. However, lapses in upkeep and maintenance contribute to a staggering number of crashes every year—in many of these incidents, the driver cannot be faulted. In fact, even when drivers and trucking companies who inspect/maintain vehicles perform appropriate due diligence, bad accidents happen. Manufacturer defects in certain truck parts can fail or degrade under diverse circumstances, setting off chain reactions that lead to crashes and injuries.

So which truck parts are *most* prone to failing, and what forensic signatures are left behind afterwards?

Tires—faulty tires can cause tread separation and blowouts, causing the driver to lose control;
Brakes—faulty brakes may fail for a variety of reasons, especially after overheating during a steep descent;
• Couplings—a defective coupling may cause a trailer to separate from its tractor and veer out of control;
• Steering mechanisms—failed steering can cause a truck to jackknife or veer into opposing traffic;
Hydraulic systems—if hydraulics control the brakes or steering, hydraulic failure can cause the driver to be unable to use these critical functions;
• Defective straps—if straps hold cargo in place, and the straps fail; the cargo can fall and cause injury, or it can throw the truck off balance unexpectedly while in motion.

What happens if a manufacturer defect causes a truck part to fail, in turn causing an injury accident? Can the manufacturer be held liable? We will discuss this question in more detail in the next post.

For more information and insight into your case from an experienced Dallas truck accident attorney, call Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C., at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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Plano dog bite attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, shares key resources to help you understand aggressive animals and to protect yourself.

Most animal attacks are highly preventable. While the owner of a dog, cat or other animal may be at fault when the animal bites, sometimes bites happen because people don’t know how to identify aggressive behavior. Below are resources to help you understand why dogs and other animals bite, and even better, how to shield your family from harm.

These resources can help you reduce your risk, but dogs (and animals in general) are fundamentally unpredictable. If you’ve experienced an animal attack, you probably have a lot of questions. How can you get compensated for your medical bills, psychological trauma and time off work? What can you do to hold the owner accountable and protect your neighbors?

Call the Plano dog bite attorneys at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. for assistance. We’re available for a confidential consultation about your case: 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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Oil and Gas Injury Attorney’s Checklist for Industry Accidents (Part 2)

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’s Checklist for Oil and Gas Industry Accidents (Part 1)

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).

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Plano Truck Accident Lawyer Reveals Chilling Statistics About Truck Dangers

Plano truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, shares little-known facts to remind us why we should take trucking risks seriously.

To most of us, large trucks on the road seem like little more than an annoyance. They lumber along our streets, speed along our highways and generally get in our way. However, large trucks and the drivers who captain them put us in danger more often than you might think. Check out the following statistics:

• Truck drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours at a time, and up to 77 hours per week. Some drivers even go over this amount. The driver of that truck ahead of you may be fighting serious fatigue.

• In 2015, 3852 people died in truck crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Of these fatalities, nearly 70% were occupants of small vehicles that collided with trucks. In other words, non-truckers suffered a disproportionate amount of harm, probably because of the fundamental physics at play in these accidents.

• More than 60 percent of truck fatalities occur on streets and rural roads, not on freeways. Just because the speed limit is lower doesn’t mean you’re safer around a truck. (In fact, you can get whiplash from accidents occurring at speeds as low as 5 mph.)

• Truck driver alcohol use is not the biggest risk. In more than 25 percent of trucking accidents where the driver is at fault, prescription medications are a factor. (Speeding is the second-largest cause, contributing to nearly one out of every four truck crashes.)

• Nearly 30% of trucks involved in accidents have faulty brakes. Maintenance neglect is a huge issue in the industry, because trucking companies are under pressure to keep their vehicles on the road.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you likely need a qualified attorney’s to determine whether a driver or trucking company might have been at fault. The Plano truck accident attorneys at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. can help you obtain fair compensation. Call us for a free consultation at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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