WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO DURING ARREST

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If you are ever arrested, there are some common sense “Do’s and Don’ts” to remember.  It is not a pleasant experience, but you will get through it ok with a little patience.

DO:

-Remain polite.

-Provide your name, address, date of birth and politely let them know you are invoking your 4th Amendment right to remain silent. Then REMAIN QUIET.

-Request that your family or friend that is present take vehicle or personal items into their possession.

-Provide your Driver’s License.

-Stay alert on your ride to the jail (you are likely be video taped).

-Have your lawyer present whenever you are questioned.

-When they ask you to sign your property slip, read it to make sure what is on it.

DO NOT:

-Do not resist arrest (likely to add additional charges).

-Don’t let your friends or family argue or become combative with the police. (It could reflect upon your case).

-Do not try and explain your side to the officer (not likely to help and may hurt your defense).

-Get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene.

-Do not give them permission to search.  If there are witnesses express your refusal loud enough for the witnesses to hear.

-If the police are searching, do not assist them in the search.

-Do not allow police to enter your vehicle or home, even if it is to retrieve items such as your clothes or personal items (they will naturally search any area you allow them into).

-Do not talk about your case with your family and friends while you are in jail (assume your conversations are being monitored).

-Do not talk with other inmates about your case (you don’t know who they really are).

Daniel L. Morris, The Morris Firm, (214)357-1782, info@themorrifirm.net

Texas Workers’ Comp Neck & Back Injuries “DRE Category II”

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As explained last time, Texas Workers’ Compensation neck and back injuries that receive a DRE category I for impairment are considered to have no impairment at all.  The DRE category II is for minor impairments to the neck or back.

To qualify for a DRE category II, the injured worker should have a clinical history and examination findings that are compatible with a specific injury or illness.  The findings may include significant intermittent or continuous muscle guarding that has been observed and documented by a physician, non-uniform loss of range of motion, or nonverifiable radicular complaints.  There is no objective sign of radiculopathy and no loss of structural integrity.

Under the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, a DRE category II entitles an injured worker to a 5% whole body impairment.  This translates to 15 weeks of impairment income benefits.

Morris Law Firm, (214)357-1782, email at info@themorrisfirm.net.

Texas Workers Compensation: Spinal Injury Impairment Rating (DRE Category I)

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We have seen a dramatic decrease from designated doctors impairment ratings for sprain/strain spinal injuries in Texas Workers Compensation claims.  The Fourth Edition of the AMA Guides generally uses Diagnosis Related Estimate (DRE) Categories to provide for spinal injuries.  Most sprain/strain injuries result in either a DRE Category I or a DRE Category II.

To find a DRE Category I, it must fit under the following description and verification:

The patient has no significant clinical findings, no muscle guarding or history of guarding, no documentable neurologic impairment, no significant loss of structural integrity on lateral flexion and extension roentgenograms, and no indication of impairment related to injury or illness.

A DRE Category I provides a 0% Impairment Rating.  This essentially means that the injured worker has no permanent impairment as a result of the compensable injury.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Law Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, 9214)357-1782

Texas Auto Accident: Negligent Entrustment

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In the last few years we have seen a growing problem with defendants in auto accidents that do not own the vehicle.  The insurance carrier on the vehicle tries to deny the claim on the premise that their insured was not a party to this action

As you will hear from us quite often, you do not sue an insurance company; you sue a party who may be insured.  Your cause action against the defendant driver is clear.

If the defendant driver is an excluded driver on the auto policy, it is very unlikely that the insurance company will defend him/her.  The defendant driver may have an auto policy that covers him/her.  If it is found that the driver did not have insurance, he may lose his license.  But, it is unlikely that this will be discovered until the litigation process begins.

You may also have a cause of action against the owner of the vehicle for Negligent Entrustment.  The owner’s insurance company may then get involved to cover the owner.  To establish Negligent Entrustment you must show that:

1) The owner entrusted the automobile;
2) to a person who was an unlicensed, incompetent, or reckless driver;
3) who the owner knew or should have known was incompetent or reckless;
4) the driver was negligent; and
5) the driver’s negligence proximately caused the accident and the plaintiff’s injuries.

When it comes time to file a lawsuit, you need to discover all potential parties.  Next, find each defendant’s insurance carrier or at least make sure that the defendant is not completely judgment proof.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782

Texas Injury Law

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We talk to people every day that have been injured as result of an accident.  I doesn’t matter if they were injured in an auto accident, work related injury or any other accident.  There are certain facts that we share with our clients to help their claims to run smoother and are generally a good practice.

Report the Accident:

Report all accidents.  Even if no one appears injured, it is good to fill out and incident report or contact your insurance carrier about the accident.  This will protect you if you later find that you have property damage that went unnoticed or if you find that you’re injured from the incident.  It is always easier to turn down assistance, then to request it for an incident that was not reported.

Get a Medical Examination:

After a traumatic event, our bodies go into shock.  You may feel like it is nothing serious after the accident, only to find out later that you’re dealing with serious injuries.

Therefore, even if it does not feel that serious right after the accident, get examined by a medical provider.  If it is nothing serious, you’re out a just a little time of a day.  If it is a condition that will require treatment, the insurance is more likely to accept a condition that is discussed soon after the accident.

The Insurance Company is not your friend:

It should come as no surprise to anyone that insurance companies are for profit businesses.  The huge profits made by insurance companies, are not made by paying premiums.  Profits are made by denying or minimizing claims.

Like any other business, there are good and bad people that work for insurance companies.  However, when dealing with an insurance claim, make sure that you provide only accurate information.  Do not state facts that you are not sure of or that you don’t remember.  They will record and use any inconsistencies against you.  Good legal representation will help to these problems.  Get legal advice early in your claim to avoid serious problems with your claim.

Conclusion:

Most people prefer to have never been involved in an accident that caused injuries.  However, life happens.  When it does, follow the above steps to make your path to recovery as easy as possible.

 

info@themorrisfirm.net  (214)357-1782, The Morris Law Firm

TEXAS DWI TAKING A SPECIMEN

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A person in Texas who has been stopped for suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is often asked to provide a specimen to check their blood alcohol content.  The test may be a vapor test, breathalyzer or a blood sample test.

The Statute states that a specimen may not be taken if refused by the suspect.  Refusal will cause the suspects Texas Drivers License to be automatically suspended for not less than 180 days.

After a refusal, the officer will generally be required to obtain a warrant to take a blood sample.  In Texas is there now precedent that the suspect’s blood may be drawn without a warrant. The Court determined that to be valid, such a warrant-less search must

(1) Be supported by probable cause,

(2) occur in the presence of exigent circumstances, in which the delay necessary to obtain a warrant would result in the destruction of evidence,

(3) Employ a reasonable test, and

(4) Be executed in a reasonable manner.

If you have been arrested for a DWI and the specimen was taken without your consent make sure to consult with a Texas attorney familiar with these issues.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782

Texas Workers’ Compensation: Fourth Edition of The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment?

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Texas uses the Fourth Edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment to determine Impairment Ratings for injured workers.  The Guide is to only apply to permanent impairments, defined as adverse conditions that are stable and unlikely to change.

The Guides require that a doctor performing an evaluation must first gather through and complete historical information on the medical condition(s) and then carry out a medical evaluation supported by appropriate tests and diagnostic procedures.

The doctor should determine the condition that seems to be of the most concern to the injured worker.  That condition needs to be assessed and given a whole body impairment.  Each of the unrelated conditions must be assessed and given a whole body impairment.  Then all the conditions are combined using the Combined Values Chart.

The Guides find the impairment by DREs (Diagnosis Related Estimates), ROM (Range of Motion) and specific Diagnosis ratings.  The Guides determine if the methods are combined or one method is to be used with the exclusion of the others.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782