"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

Fort Worth Dog Bite Lawyer Tells You How to Stay Safe This Summer

Fort Worth animal attack lawyer, Ric Armstrong, takes a look at the prevalence of animal attacks in Texas during the summer.

Thanks to popular entertainment like Sharknado and news stories like the recent gator attacks in Florida, animal attacks are in sharp focus this summer. The chances of an animal actually killing you or someone you know are, fortunately, extremely low. However, you obviously want to avoid spending the summer days in the hospital because an unrestrained animal gave you an unfriendly nibble, tumble or scratch.

According to a tongue-in-cheek Washington Post article on fatalities by critter, Texas is a dangerous place. It has a higher concentration of fatalities from animal attacks than any other state in the union. The article, relying on Center for Disease Control data, notes that “other mammals” are responsible for the most deaths. Dogs are the next most dangerous, followed by bees, snakes and other venomous creatures. Add to this the recent series of wild dog attacks in parts of Dallas, and it is clear that the risks of debilitating or even life-threatening animal bites has significantly increased.

Be careful in South Texas. News stories in the 1990s warned Americans about the invasion of Africanized honeybees. These bees migrated into the country at the Mexico border with Texas. While we haven’t heard much since then, a swarm did kill a Waco farmer in 2013. An exterminator told KECN-TV that he’s seeing an increasing number of hives.

While Texas is home to 15 venomous snake species, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service says you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than killed by a snake. Snakes are more prevalent in South Texas, but Forth Worth has a significant number of venomous species, too.

The Washington Post article found “other mammals” like livestock to be a significant cause of deaths in the CDC study. This is important for those working on farms in Southeast Texas; however, coyotes, wolves and even escaped pets can be a problem all over the state.

The Fort Worth dog bite attorneys at Armstrong the Law Firm, P.C. would be happy to help you and your family obtain fair compensation. Please call us at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) to set up a strategy session with our team.

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Plano Personal Injury Lawyer Explores Implications of Shocking Tesla Crash

Plano, TX car accident attorney, Richard ‘Ric’ Armstrong, imagines the future for auto-pilot, driver-less cars after recent Tesla fatality.

The first ever fatality involving a self-driving car back in May is still creating more questions than answers. Joshua Brown was killed when his Tesla 8 failed to brake and slammed into a semi-trailer as it was turning in front of him. A statement from Tesla stated the vehicle’s cameras didn’t distinguish the white trailer from the bright Florida sky.
The driver of the tractor trailer later alleged that “Harry Potter was playing on the TV screen” of the Tesla following the incident. The automaker responded to this allegation by saying videos can’t be played on the car’s touch screen.

Later, investigators determined that a portable DVD player had been in the car.

Per a report in The Guardian, “The fatal crash, which federal highway safety regulators are now investigating, is a significant setback and a public relations disaster for the growing autonomous vehicle industry. Tesla Motors Inc.’s shares, however, were down less than 1% on Friday in early trading.”

Tesla says this tragic accident was the first known fatality involving one of its cars on autopilot in some 130 million miles. The company also stated there is an average of one fatality in every 94 million miles for other (non-autonomous) vehicles.

The crash demonstrates just how complicated serious accidents can be, particularly ones that involve new technology. Our intuition suggests that cars without drivers somehow should be more dangerous. However, the hard data still suggest that these vehicles can be quite safe and that the Luddites among us may be too skeptical.

Based on what’s happened, here are a few questions worth asking:

  • How will driver-less cars impact personal injury cases in the future?
  • Will the safety record for these vehicles continue to improve? How safe will driver-less cars be by 2020? By 2025? By 2030? What will happen if/when a much bigger fatal accident involving one of these vehicles occurs?
  • How will auto insurance be affected by the advent and expansion of this technology? Will premiums be lower, or  higher for cars with auto-pilot capabilities? Will insurance companies seek to exclude or limit coverage in some instances?

If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact a qualified and experienced Plano auto accident injury lawyer. Contact Armstrong the Law Firm P.C. at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) for a free consultation.

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Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer Takes a Look at Police Killings That Roiled City

Richard “Ric” Armstrong, a Dallas wrongful death attorney, reflects on recent police shootings that have turned our city upside down.

A day after two African Americans were killed by police in separate incidents in Louisiana and Minnesota, a sniper shot and killed 5 Dallas police officers at an otherwise peaceful demonstration. News reports say the shooter orchestrated a premeditated attack. Per CNN, “It was the deadliest single incident for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001.”

Losing a loved one is never easy. It is even more tragic when it comes under circumstances similar those that occurred in Dallas on July 7th.

Such tragedies obviously have far reaching effects both on the families affected and on the community at large. Our hearts go out to the brave men and women on the Dallas police force, and we lift our prayers for the comfort and protection of the  families who lost loved ones in police-related violent episodes.

Deciphering the political and policy takeaways is too heavy a lift for this blog. However, we can speak to some common issues that arise in wrongful death cases. Here are a few relevant insights.

1. First all, friends and family often find themselves flat-footed and bewildered by the sudden loss. There are a surprising number of logistics to consider, and quickly. For instance, the family of the person killed may face cash flow shortage – how can they pay expenses like a mortgage, credit cards, car payments and college costs?

2. The anger, sadness and other strong emotions can interfere with clear thinking. It’s not just that loved ones lack the skills and time to investigate a potential wrongful death. They also often literally cannot concentrate and think strategically because of what’s happened.

3. Document the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death. Get the names of those involved along with witnesses. Write down as many details as you can recall.

4. Time is of the essence. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence.

5. Steel yourself for a potentially long legal fight to obtain the justice and compensation you and your family deserve.

Have you lost a loved one due to someone’s extreme negligence, carelessness or malicious behavior? If so, please contact a Dallas wrongful death attorney at Armstrong, The Law Firm, P.C. We have the experience and compassion to help you achieve the outcome you need and begin to regain peace of mind.

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Plano Motorcycle Accident Attorney Reports on Motorcycle Safety Tips

Plano motorcycle accident lawyer, Ric Armstrong, considers ways for people to avoid injuries from truck accidents in Plano.

On the morning of June 12, 2016, a truck clipped the rear tire of a bicyclist near the intersection of Hale and Main Streets. The police reported that a 59-year old woman suffered minor injuries in the incident. She apparently did not yield the right of way to a truck when she tried to merge.

It’s imperative that those operating small vehicles on the road observe the rules of the road and be extra careful to avoid accidents. You are already at a disadvantage in a smaller vehicle., so consider these tips:

Master your vehicle. Practice driving your bike or motorcycle in a safe area away from traffic, if need be. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation lists riding courses in the Dallas area.

Drive defensively. Unlike the situation in this case, most injuries involving a car and motorcycle (or car and bicycle) are the fault of car drivers, at least according to a study by University of South Florida researchers. Bikers or moped riders should look out for drivers who may not be paying attention, or who may not see their smaller vehicle.

Be careful how you enter roads, even those not heavily trafficked. Drivers generally have the right-of-way, and they expect entering traffic to yield. Observe all traffic laws, especially those rules involving signaling drivers.

Be extra alert at dusk and at night. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, 48% of all traffic accidents involving a bicycle occur between 4PM and midnight. Riders should enhance visibility with reflective gear or lights.

Note: in Texas, you can only operate an ATV on the street under certain circumstances. ATV drivers should limit on-road travel and employ a trailer to get their vehicle to a safe place to drive.

If you need help understanding your options and rights after a bad truck crash, please call a qualified Plano motorcycle accident lawyer at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) for a free consultation.

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Dallas truck accident attorney, Ric Armstrong, investigates the deaths of nine active-duty military personnel during a training mission at Fort Hood.

On June 2, 2016, 12 soldiers stationed at the Fort Hood Army base were on tactical maneuvers conducting small-unit convoy training. That morning, their vehicle overturned in the floodwater, causing the death of 9 of the 12 soldiers on the mission.

A military spokesman told the Army Times that, at the time of the incident, the Army was in the process of closing roads they knew to be prone to flooding. However, another spokesman told the Times the road the soldiers traveled on was not prone to flooding.

The Army is currently investigating the cause of the incident. Family members of the deceased will be keenly interested in the results, because they may want to seek compensation from the Army for their losses.

There are significant differences between recovery for personal injury in civil cases and military cases. Here are three:

1.    The doctrine of sovereign immunity prevents citizens from suing the U.S. government for damages. However, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) permits individuals to sue for personal injury under certain circumstances. You must first exhaust your administrative remedies under this act before going to court.

2.    The Supreme Court has interpreted the FTCA to prohibit suits against the military for injuries that occur to military personnel while engaging in activities related to military service. However, recent lower court decisions suggest the judiciary is beginning to see matters differently, allowing active-duty personnel and their family members to sue in certain instances.

3.    Unlike civil suits, you cannot ask for punitive damages against the military.

To seek compensation, you need to engage in thorough forensics and, ideally, work with an experienced Plano truck accident lawyer (like the team here at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C.). We can help you make informed and strategic decisions about your case. Please call us at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).

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Dallas Wrongful Death Attorney Explains New Law in Missouri That Caps Damages

Dallas wrongful death lawyer, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, reports on a recent, important Missouri Supreme Court case.

The Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that certain types of damages in wrongful death claims can be “capped,” or limited. Although the ruling does not affect Texas law, it does shed light on why some states, including Texas, also cap certain types of damages in medical negligence wrongful death cases.

The case involved a woman who died at a St. Louis, Missouri hospital after an artery was punctured during a heart catheter test. Her family sued for a total of $11 million in damages, including about $2 million in “economic damages” like medical bills and lost wages, and $9 million in “non-economic damages” such as pain and suffering.
However, since Missouri – like Texas – caps non-economic damages in certain types of wrongful death cases, the trial court reduced the $9 million non-economic portion of the award to just $350,000. The $2 million in economic damages remained untouched. The state’s Supreme Court ruled 5 to 2 that this reduction was the correct decision.

In the opinion it released in the case, the Court said that capping non-economic damages did not violate the right to jury trial in Missouri. It also said that because wrongful death claims were created by statute, not by common law, the state had more leeway to cap or otherwise regulate damages in these claims than it would if the claim were a common-law claim. This argument was used to explain why damage caps in wrongful death claims existed, but why damages are not capped in a similar way in personal injury cases.

To seek compensation effectively in your case, work with an experienced Dallas wrongful death lawyer at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. We can help you make informed and strategic decisions. Please call us at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297).
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Plano truck accident attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, looks into the crystal ball and assesses the future of crash avoidance technology.

“Crash avoidance” features are any technological items designed to help a vehicle prevent or avoid a collision. Some systems are already on the market, using sensors, cameras, or light detectors to determine when a vehicle is too close to a potential hazard and either preparing braking systems or engaging the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, rear-facing cameras to help with backing up, and night vision features can also help drivers avoid accidents in today’s vehicles.

As technology develops, so do the options for creating better, safer, and more responsive crash avoidance features for vehicles of all sizes – including large trucks. Much research has been done in recent years with connective vehicle technology: networks that allow vehicles to communicate with one another (vehicle to vehicle or V2V) or with surrounding infrastructure, like buildings and bridges (vehicle to infrastructure or V2I).

Each of these technologies has various uses. For instance, V2V can be used to alert a following vehicle that one ahead has slammed on its brakes – even before the driver realizes how quickly the lead vehicle is coming to a stop. Similarly, V2I communications could be used to alert a vehicle when it is drifting out of a lane or when the traffic light ahead is about to change to yellow. This way, the vehicle can correct the problem or prepare to stop if the driver is distracted, or before an alert driver would know that a problem was starting to take place. Ultimately, these technologies may make self-driving vehicles feasible.

A truck crash can be terrifying, even when it’s a complete accident. A Plano truck accident lawyer at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. can help you make progress with your challenges. Call 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) for a free consultation.

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Fort Worth truck crash attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, weighs in on driverless trucks.

Companies in South America and Europe have been investigating the possibility of self-driving large trucks for some time. Recently, a fleet of such trucks traveled across several European nations, arriving safely at the Port of Rotterdam.

Supporters of driverless trucks say that the vehicles will solve a number of problems: they’ll make moving goods more efficient and save fuel as well. Skeptics note that automated trucks are likely to put millions of Americans out of work: truck driving is the #1 occupation in 29 U.S. states, and thousands of hotels, truck stops, restaurants, and gas stations nationwide rely on the business that drivers bring. There’s also the question of whether the automated system really is safer – and how to protect it from potential compromise by hackers.

But even if they can be shown to be safer on the road, will self-driving trucks solve our nation’s truck accident problem? In one sense, they won’t. It is unlikely that all crashes can be prevented, and when one occurs, questions that might have centered on the truck driver’s carelessness or negligence will simply get more complex.

For instance, if a glitch in “self-driving” software causes the crash, who is responsible: the trucking company, the software manufacturer, the programmers, the testers, or ______? Who can be held legally accountable if a truck’s software is “hijacked” by hackers who deliberately cause an accident, but who cannot be found – or who operate out of a country that refuses to cooperate with the United States government in bringing them to justice?

Although self-driving vehicle technology has some promising aspects, it also raises a number of social, economic, safety, and legal questions that are not easily answered.

Call 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) to speak with an experienced Fort Worth truck accident lawyer at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. in confidence and for free about your crash.

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Mistakes That Can Jeopardize Your Plano Texas Wrongful Death Case

Plano wrongful death attorney, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, discusses common errors that potential claimants make.

When negligence causes the death of a close family member, you want to do whatever it takes to help your wrongful death case succeed. Unfortunately, since wrongful death law in Texas is complex, it is easy to accidentally take a misstep that harms your cause.

To maximize your chances for success, we suggest you avoid these common pitfalls:

Ignoring evidence or failing to collect it in a timely manner.

Collect items like medical bills, police reports, photographs showing the accident scene, and contact information and testimonies from witnesses or others who were involved. This evidence can help you and your lawyer demonstrate who was at fault for the untimely death. Collect this information as soon as you can, make copies, and store it in a safe place.

Talking freely with insurance companies.

Whenever you speak with an insurance company, it’s wise to say as little as possible. Don’t hesitate to respond to questions with “I’m sorry, I need to talk to my lawyer first,” even when they turn up the pressure. Otherwise, you risk accidentally saying something the insurer can use against you in court.

Accepting a deal too soon.

The best answer to any offer of a deal is “give it to me in writing, and I’ll show it to my lawyer.” Rarely will a deal offered by an insurer compensate your family fairly – but once you accept, it is nearly impossible to change the deal later. Wait until your lawyer has reviewed it to ensure it is fair, and have your lawyer present when you accept or reject.

To seek fair compensation in the wake of your tragedy, call an experienced Plano wrongful death lawyer at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297). We can help you make informed and strategic decisions about your case.
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PTSD in Dog Bite Cases: Dallas Animal Attack Attorney Reports on the Science

Dallas animal attack lawyer, Richard “Ric” Armstrong, discusses the psychological implications of dog bites.

Although millions of Americans go to the emergency room each year for treatment after a dog bite, dog bites are rarely fatal. However, the injuries can go much deeper than just torn skin or bruises. Children are at the highest risk both of dog bites and of experiencing long-term psychological trauma as a result.

Trauma is a normal cognitive response to an abnormal event, like an animal attack. The brain creates a “warning system” to protect the person from future harmful events. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), however, occurs when the trauma continues to “replay” itself in the brain long after the event is over, intruding on the person’s life in painful and distressing ways.

Research shows that children who suffer a dog bite are more likely to experience PTSD symptoms than adults. Since children are much smaller than adults and their brains are still developing, the experience of a dog attack looms much larger in their minds.

Research into evidence-based treatment for PTSD in children also indicates that parents and caregivers can do much to help kids be resilient in the face of trauma after a dog bite. PTSD is easiest to treat if it is caught early.

Recommendations include:

• Talk with your child after the attack. Make space for your child to talk about his or her feelings and reactions. Provide reassurance that strong negative emotions are okay – your child is not “bad” or “wrong” for being angry, afraid, or anxious.

• Watch for changes in behavior. Anxiety, trouble sleeping, peer problems, tantrums, aggression, or trouble in school can all indicate an underlying problem.

• Talk to your child’s doctor. If your child still struggles after a few weeks, your child’s doctor can help you find therapists who specialize in helping children and families address PTSD.

If you need help figuring out who might be liable for a dog bite, please call a qualified Dallas animal attack lawyer at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) for a free consultation.

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Richard “Ric” Armstrong, a Fort Worth truck accident attorney, takes a close look at a fascinating and sad truck wreck case out of Tampa, Florida.

In 2014, a city water truck driver hit a two-year-old boy, who later died of his injuries. Now, the boy’s estate has filed suit against the City of Tampa, the driver’s employer. The lawsuit seeks more than $15,000 in damages for wrongful death.

When a truck hits a person and causes death, it’s natural to assume the truck driver was responsible. However, it’s also important to look at other parties whose fault could have played a role. When the driver’s employer may have been negligent in putting the driver behind the wheel, many experienced lawyers will consider filing a wrongful death claim against that employer – even if that employer is a city, local, or state government.

In this case, the claim against the City of Tampa is based on several factors. For instance, in 2013, the driver was reprimanded by his employer for inappropriately using a city vehicle for personal use. The driver had been visiting his girlfriend, when he backed a city vehicle into a parked car and then fled the scene.

After the 2014 accident, the driver was disciplined for “being out of his assigned area.” He continues to work as a technician with the city’s water department, although news reports did not say whether or not he is still allowed to drive.

The claim against the city also mentions that the city knew the driver had served seven years in federal prison for a drug-related offense.

Due to rules about governmental immunity that vary from state to state, bringing a claim against a government entity can be difficult. When the government’s negligence may have led to an accident, however, a claim may be appropriate. This legal theory applies equally well in Texas as it does in Florida.

The experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorneys at Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. can help you understand what to do next and protect your rights. Please call us at 972-424-L-A-W-S (5297) for a free consultation.

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