Category - Attorney

Watch Your Speed

Sign that says to "Move Over" and "Slow Down" when emergency vehicles are on side of road. Don’t speed.  Respect the road conditions when they are icy or rainy. It’s better to get where you need to go late – rather than not to get there at all.

 

Two First Responders are Dead & Another in Critical Condition

 

Lubbock lost two of its heroes. They gave their life to their community.  Yet another, has been injured so badly that he’ll possibly never return to work again.

 

A week ago:

Officers and firefighters were called to a single-vehicle rollover crash on I-27 at approximately 8:19 a.m. Saturday. It appeared that the vehicle was traveling southbound and crossed the median into the northbound lanes where it rolled over.

While investigating this scene, another vehicle carrying a trailer was traveling southbound on I-27 when it crossed over the median and came to a stop in the northbound lanes — about 25 to 50 yards away from the first accident scene.

Police and firefighters – then spread out their resources to work both of the accidents. While personnel were investigating the two accidents, a third vehicle struck them and killed two and critically injured the third man.

 

27-year-old Officer Nicholas Reyna and 39-year-old Officer Eric Hill were killed in the wrecks. Matthew Dawson was critically injured.

 

The pickup truck that struck the first responders was a Ford F-250 – which traveled southbound on I-27, crossed over the median and struck one Lubbock police officer and two Lubbock firefighters. That vehicle came to a rest in an embankment. The driver of the vehicle was not driving in the single lane – as required by law.

 

Move Over – It’s the Law

If you’ve ever been stranded on the side of a road, you know how dangerous and unnerving it can be.  Cars and trucks speed by – only inches away, leave too little margin for error and could so easily result in a disastrous crash.

 

America’s first responders – police, fire, EMT’s – face this peril every day in the line of duty. 

Tow truck drivers, highway workers, utility workers and others whose jobs sometimes require that they park their vehicle on the roadway or the side of the road are also at risk.

To keep people from being killed or injured in these situations, all fifty states now have mandatory “Move Over” laws.  If you see a vehicle with emergency lights or flashers on, you are required to move over a lane and slow down.

More than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed since 1997 after being struck by vehicles along America’s highways.  In fact, traffic-related incidents, including vehicle crashes, are one of the leading causes of death for law enforcement officers.

In 2017, 47 officers lost their lives in traffic-related incidents, with nine officers struck and killed outside their vehicles. Already in 2019, responder fatalities include 7 law enforcement officers.  From 2007 to 2017, 39 percent of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were lost in traffic-related incidents.

Many have been seriously injured.  This is a tragedy and completely preventable.  Credit: https://www.transportation.gov/

 

Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the families that were injured or killed.  We need to learn from this experience, which did not have to happen. Drive carefully and watch your speed.

 

Even when we do things right, bad things can happen. Safety should be our number one concern.

 

Call Gerald Fugit Law Firm at:  432-332-1661 to schedule consultation.

 

Sign that says to move over and to watch your speed.

 

Is It Safe To Go Back To Work After a Holiday Break?

Man doing construction in a safety suit and a safety hat.

PART ONE:

It’s a fairly common habit of human nature to be less aware of safety hazards after being off from work for an extended holiday.  Even though we’re not purposefully neglectful, we need some time to get back into the scheme of things. 

 

Employers probably have a stack of piled work orders to accomplish.  They might push their employees to hustle it up and get ‘er done.  Employees naturally care about their jobs and want to get their projects done – so that the boss doesn’t berate them. This could be a recipe for disaster.

 

Safety protocols need to be carefully followed, no matter what the time of year is or how much needs to get done. This time of year is not the time to skimp on safety. We need to be one hundred per cent focused on safety procedures.

Although I don’t think it’s a good idea, some employees “party hearty” when they’re off from work.  They may or may not be well rested. Often employees rely on the ebb and flow of getting up early, getting ready for work, working, eating properly and getting well rested at night.  When that pattern is interrupted, so are their thoughts of safety.

 

At workplaces where heavy equipment is used, it might be a good idea to sponsor a “Coffee and Snack Break”, right after the holidays.  After the break, the Crew Boss could go over the basics of safety.  I’m sure there will be groans heard all over the place.  Doesn’t matter.  Have a discussion regarding safety, so that everyone is on board. Take people through their paces to get the equipment up and running safely.

 

  • Look out for your co-workers and remind them, too.
  • If necessary, stop the work – in order to address potential hazards. 


Is the First Day Back to Work – the Most Dangerous?

 

Many people go back to work with a bad attitude.  There are tons of jokes on Facebook regarding the dread of going back to work after a weekend or a holiday.  They call it by many different names – such as “Monday Morning Blues”.  Or, a case of “the Mondays”.

 

That poor attitude and lack of focus can cause all sorts of safety issues and accidents. Make sure that your head is back in the game before messing with heavy equipment or road machines. Do a quick self-check to make sure to re-focus.

Ask yourself these four questions before proceeding:

  • Am I putting myself or others at risk?
  • Am I prepared to continue to work safely?
  • Am I focused on what needs to get done?
  • Am I ready to act to do it safely?

 

Some people act like they know everything, But, my mother used to say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” 

 

Keep an eye out for safety – no matter what! Nothing else in more important.

 

If you have been injured in a Work Place accident – Give the experienced Law Office of Gerald Fugit a call for advice.  We are definitely here to help.

 

Call Gerald Fugit Law Firm at: (432) 332-1661 to schedule your consultation.

 

Man drilling, with a safety suit and a safety hat on.

Snow-Covered house at Christmas time.

Christmas Season Accident Avoidance

Most people travel by car to visit their families to celebrate Christmas. Maybe we don’t travel that much during the year.  But, we definitely need to travel to spend time with our families during this wonderful season.

The National Safety council issues estimates for accidents during specific times of the year. They estimate that 115 people might die during the Christmas season in 2019 (this year). Automobile travel has the highest fatality rate compared to other major forms of transportation.

A big factor that contributes to the car crashes is, of course, alcohol consumption. Even though we enjoy visiting our loved ones, we need to be careful because our holiday plans can be ruined by a car accident. Some years will have more car accidents than others.

Whatever the numbers turn out to be – there are always too many injuries and fatalities on our Texas roads at Christmas time.

If you’ve had your holiday ruined from an auto accident injury, you should hire the experienced Law Office of Gerald K. Fugit at (432) 301-9252. We understand you expected something far different from this season. We won’t be able to bring back Christmas, but we can help you to seek financial compensation for your property damage and personal injuries.

Of course, we believe that it’s better to avoid collisions altogether. But, you have no control over how other individuals operate their vehicles. Here are a few good choices to help you avoid a crash:

  • Avoid peak driving times:You should be aware of when the roads are busiest in your area and how crowded the roads might be. In general though, Christmas Eve and the day after the holiday have particularly heavy traffic periods. It’s a good idea to schedule a longer vacation to leave earlier and later than most other families. Some people think that driving on Christmas Day is best.  I’ve not found that to be true. I guess it depends on where you’re going.

 

  • You should try to take a nap before you drive. Stay overnight with the family if no nap is possible:

Christmas day is a long day for everyone. Most people get up early to open the presents. Family members have expectations when we visit them. Rushing about is the norm.  By the time you’re ready to drive home, you’re probably exhausted.

You need to be careful not to drive while overly tired. Drowsy driving is a major contributor to car accidents. If you are worn out or exhausted, take a nap before you drive. Better yet, if you have a long day planned, make arrangements to stay the night with your hosts or splurge on a hotel nearby.

  • Designate a sober driver: 

It’s easy to overindulge when you’re with loved ones and having a good time. I happen to enjoy homemade eggnog myself. Wine during dinner is always special, too. If you drink too much throughout the day, that can mean you are not in the right state to drive home after dinner. If you know that you’ll need to get back in the car at the end of the day, make sure to have a designated driver – or limit yourself to ONLY ONE alcoholic beverage at mealtime.

Drive cautiously – based on the weather:

Snow is so pretty this time of year! However, snow, wind, and ice make it dangerous to visit friends and family over your holiday vacation. If you have to go somewhere for Christmas and winter weather is acting up, be extremely cautious while driving. Leave for your destination early. Drive slowly and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicles ahead.  Brake much sooner than you normally would. Your braking speed can take up to four hundred per cent – longer, when the road is slippery.

 

  • Avoid distractions:
    If you are lucky, everyone will be tired and sleep on the way home – except for you. This can help you avoid distractions while you drive. However, if other individuals are awake, be sure to keep conversation to a minimum. Yelling and crying kids are definitely a distraction. Remember to tuck that cell phone away. Texts, emails, and apps are all distractions that lead to serious accidents.

Contact the Law Office of Gerald K. Fugit for Help.

 

If a crash puts a damper on your holiday cheer, do not wait to get help with the situation.  Here’s how we do things: after speaking with you during an initial consultation, we can investigate your situation to gather evidence against the at-fault driver.

With documentation that supports your case, we can file the necessary insurance claims and negotiate a settlement on your behalf or take your case to court. Our main priority is to help you recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call Gerald Fugit Law Firm at: (432) 332-1661 to schedule your consultation.

Snow-Covered house at Christmas time.