Tag Archive for: legal advice

New Year’s Eve will soon be upon us, and the fundamentals of safe driving deserve consideration. The holidays are a time of celebration. When celebrations go overboard, car collisions can result.

The danger of alcohol out on the roads is prevalent throughout the year. Every day in the United States, almost 29 people die in automotive crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Incredibly, these crashes lead to 28% of all traffic-related deaths. Safe driving is especially key for New Year’s Eve and Day. On New Year’s Day, 50% of fatal crashes involved a driver with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% or more. Motorcyclists should be especially concerned given the amplification of the hazards they face every day.

Most of the advice related to staying safe on the road for the holidays has to do with avoiding the problem by curbing drunk driving, using alternative transportation, etc. Instead of covering that ground, we will discuss a few defensive driving tips in case you do have to go out on the road. How can you, as a sober driver, steer clear of trouble?

Various strategies can be used to help you avoid crashes by facilitating defensive rather than aggressive driving. These methods can be particularly helpful at the holidays:

#1 – Give ample room.

Avoiding other cars is a simple element of safe driving. Transportation journalist Matthew DeBord noted that tailgating is “[t]he No. 1 problem I see in everyday driving.” Your follow distance should be at least 2 seconds and ideally 4 seconds, particularly if the weather is bad.

Providing significant distance becomes more important at higher speeds. When you are on a highway, you need to give yourself plenty of room to shift lanes. That way you do not activate anti-lock brakes or get in a collision when moving around other cars. DeBord recommended staying back about three car lengths – and two car lengths in traffic jams. Three car lengths could certainly be expanded.

#2 – For safe driving, be smooth.

You want to exert full control over your vehicle when the roads are rough – as on New Year’s Eve. Stability can be evident in an idea from Jackie Stewart, a car racing legend. Stewart suggested filling a bowl with water, putting it on your dashboard, and seeing if you can drive around without it spilling.

A smooth, steady approach will make you more easily predictable to others, improving your safety. Avoid either braking or accelerating suddenly. Look out ahead of you and know what you will do next well ahead of time. Position both your hands on the wheel as much as possible.

#3 – Concentrate.

Control what you can. Put all your attention on the road.

Consider cutting your speed a bit given the climate. Speeding increases damage from collisions and reduces the time you have to avoid one.

Put your phone away. It is a key source of distraction, a nemesis of safe driving.

#4 – Deal with overconfidence

If you make every effort to drive safely, you may start to think you can conduct maneuvers that do not give you sufficient room for safety. This issue is central to drivers failing to be practical when it comes to driving safety, per the IIHS’s Russ Radar. “We all think we’re good drivers and it’s all the other drivers out there that are dangerous,” Radar said. He added that people could become much safer by simply self-examining and improving their own efforts.

#5 – Stay alert, and get sleep.

Sleepiness is a factor behind over 56,000 car collisions each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These types of crashes tend to be patterned as follows: A person is driving alone. It is early in the morning, or late in the evening. A car drives off a highway, resulting in a single-vehicle accident. There is no effort made by the driver to evade the crash.

The people who are at the greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel are those from 16 to 29 years old, particularly male. Another high-risk group is people whose sleep schedule is often thrown off-course by long or continually changing hours. Your alertness on the road is required for your focus, which can in turn help you maintain safe driving and avoid collisions on New Year’s.

#6 – Be the one who yields.

Crashes often occur when two people want to be in the same place at the same time. Whenever you feel that there is another driver who is challenging the path you are taking, take it upon yourself to yield. Yield regardless if you feel that you have the right-of-way or that the other driver should let you in out of courtesy. Your key concern is that you get home safely. That is driving safety.

Protecting you on New Year’s and every day

Sometimes, despite your best efforts at safe driving, you may get into a traffic collision. Motorcyclists often find these incidents particularly devastating. If you get into a wreck, the legal counsel you choose will help you see just compensation for any injuries or losses you incur. At Farrah Martinez Law Firm, we provide top-notch legal representation to everyday people who have been injured as a result of another person’s negligent acts. See our approach to success.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ Compensation Insurance, often referred to as workers’ comp, is a form of insurance coverage maintained by employers to provide medical and wage assistance to employees hurt as a result of performing their job.

I was hurt while at work. Do I qualify for workers’ compensation?

It depends.  In Texas, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.  So, the first step is to find out if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance coverage for employees.  Next, it depends on if your injury qualifies as a “compensable injury”.

Farrah I am not a lawyer, what is a compensable injury?

A compensable injury is a legal term.  In Texas, it is defined by law as an injury that arises out of and in the course and scope of employment for which compensation is payable under the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Simply put, the injury occurred as a result you performing your job.

I love my job; but, I was seriously injured at work and I need medical treatment. Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

You are not alone.  According to the Texas Department of Insurance, each year tens of thousands of employees file workers’ compensation claims. By law, an employer is not allowed to fire an employee that files a workers’ compensation claim in good faith.

The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act says you have the right to the following:

  • You may receive benefits for job related injuries if the injury was not the result of intoxication, an act of God, a planned accident, horseplay, off duty work, or a personal attack
  • You have the right to seek medical attention from the doctor of your choice either from an approved list or a doctor within the healthcare network
  • You have the right to keep your workers’ comp claim confidential
  • You have the right to hire a lawyer.

The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act also places responsibilities on an injured employee.  If you have been injured, you must:

  • Report the injury in 30 days.
  • Visit a doctor and explain your injuries or illness and tell you doctor the injury or illness is work related.
  • File a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation within one year of your accident.

If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact Farrah Martinez at (713) 853-9296, Houston Personal Injury and Accident Attorney for a free consultation and review of your work-related injury.

Disclaimer: The information and materials provided here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of a workers compensation lawyer. If you need legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

Do you want to win your case? Do you want your lawyer to do the best job possible? Do you want your legal issue resolved timely? Most clients would answer yes, yes and yes!!! Lawyers face many uphill battles, especially, those lawyers who represent victims of injury and accident cases. As a client, you can help your lawyer. Yes, you, the client, are vital to the outcome of your case. This is not a complaint; lawyers are paid to handle problems, the majority are paid well. However, as a client, you should help your lawyer help you get the results your cases warrants.

Here are a few ways to assist your lawyer:

  1. Tell the truth.  Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God. You want an honest lawyer, well lawyers want honest clients.  The worst thing you as a client can do is lie to your attorney, tell a half truth or conceal information. Lying or concealing information from your attorney only hurts your case and puts your lawyer at a disadvantage. If you are upfront with your attorney at the onset of your case, then your attorney can develop a strategic on how to minimize the damage of those dark secrets you fear might taint your case or cause damage to your life.  Honesty gives your lawyer an edge to combat the problem and your honesty, if provided timely, could even allow your lawyer the opportunity to make it a non-issue.
  2. Listen to your attorney.  You choose the attorney; the attorney did not choose you.  Listen to their advice.  If you go to the doctor and the doctor prescribes you medication and instructs you to take the medicine 3 times a day for the next three weeks, you do it.  Why? Because you want to get well.  You do not enjoy being sick.  A legal issue is no different.  Listen to your attorney.  Often a client’s failure to adhere to their lawyer’s advice creates more problems, causes delays in the case, and frustrates the attorney’s best efforts to obtain the best possible result.
  3. Set realistic expectations. If you have been harmed by the negligent acts of another, you have every right to seek legal action. As a lawyer, I want to help all my clients win. In the law, winning is defined differently in each case and expectations should be based upon the facts surrounding the incident, the injuries and losses suffered, the jurisdiction of the case and the law that applies. During consultations, clients like to mention to me the infamous McDonald’s coffee lawsuit and the multi-million dollar verdict. However, most people are not aware of the facts surrounding the severity of the injuries suffered; the smoking gun evidence discovered against McDonald’s; and, the reduction in the verdict by the judge that resulted in less than $800,000. See case. http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/the-mcdonald-s-coffee-cup-case-separating-mcfacts-from-mcfiction.html for more details.

These three easy tips will help you, help your lawyer, “win” your case.

Disclaimer: The information and materials provided here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney.  If you need legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  1. Stop.  As soon as it is safe, stop at the scene of the accident.
  2. Stay at the Scene.  Do not leave the scene.  Leaving the scene prematurely could have criminal consequences.
  3. Call the Police.  Dial 911 and a police office will be dispatched to the scene of the car accident.  The officer will prepare an accident report (also referred to as an incident report).  If you did not report the accident at the scene, you can still make a report with the Houston Police Department . Call (713) 884-3131. You can also visit their website for more information
  4. Keep Calm.  Car accidents can be stressful and emotions tend to run high at the scene of an accident.  No matter who is at fault or how serious the injuries you or your passengers have suffered, keep a level head and do not become confrontational.  Nothing you say is going to change the accident that has already occurred.
  5. Exchange Information.  Gather and exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the car wreck.
  6. Take pictures.  Once it is safe, take pictures of the scene of the accident.
  7. Keep a record.  Write down any important information.
  8. Do not make a deal.  It’s not a game show.  Car accidents are serious and making deals at the scene usually turnout to be a major headache.
  9. Choose your words wisely.  Yes, your words may come back to haunt you later so choose them wisely.

Disclaimer: The information and materials provided here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney.  If you need legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.