Monday, January 27, 2014

Houston Drivers Not Accustomed to Recent Icy Conditions

Perhaps as part of the now infamous polar vortex that has affected a majority of the country with its Arctic grip, Houston is experiencing a phenomenon that is largely foreign to our city – icy roads. Many roads, particularly those with bridges or overpasses, were shut down altogether for hours on end on Friday. School systems were closed. People were advised to stay off the streets if at all possible. Some drivers just stopped where they were rather than drive one more foot in the dangerous conditions.

For those who are transplants to Texas from parts of the country that experience this snow and ice every year as part of a typical winter, our paralysis in cold and wet weather conditions can be amusing. But the reality is that the residents of this city do not have to deal with snow and ice very often and, just like anything else, no practice on such wintry roads on a regular basis will mean bad decisions and fear behind the wheel. Some also may not know a few simple steps that can be taken to maximize safety when driving on ice.

Keep your distance. Plenty of it. You should have no knowledge of the details of the rear bumper attached to the car in front of you. If you do encounter ice, do not slam on your brakes and do not try to steer out of it. Just allow your car to move with the ice. Black roads are not necessarily safe roads. Black ice is very dangerous and just one small patch is enough to send your car spinning. Bridges and overpasses freeze first—proceed with extra caution. These all may sound straightforward, but reminders never hurt!

Inevitably, these weather conditions are going to lead to an increase in car accidents. If you are involved in a collision that was due to another’s reckless driving as we deal with these difficult weather conditions, we can help. We have attorneys who specialize in automobile accidents and who will be an advocate for you as you recover the compensation for property and personal damage that you deserve. Give us a call today.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Did Former Cowboy Have Seventeen Drinks the Night of a Fatal Crash?

Many football fans not just in Texas but around the country will remember the tragic accident involving then Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent and his teammate Jerry Brown, Jr. After a night of partying at a Dallas club with other members of the team, Brent and Brown left with an allegedly intoxicated Brent being the one to get behind the wheel. The drive ended with Brown dead and Brent facing charges of intoxication manslaughter. The trial is now unfolding in a Dallas courtroom.

Brent was found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18, more than twice the legal limit of 0.8. As the technician who analyzed Brent’s lab work testified in court, that number in a man of Brent’s size would come from drinking seventeen alcoholic beverages. Brent has insisted that he consumed no more than five drinks on the night in question.

There was great controversy when Brent stood on the sidelines with the rest of the Cowboys at a game right after this deadly incident, as many thought it offensive to have an alleged murderer of sorts being present for a game and perhaps not taking the charges against him so seriously. Others believed it was right for the team to support a fellow player after a tragic accident and even Brown’s mother endorsed Brent’s presence. The truth is, though, the poor decision that Brent made to drive his car after an apparent night of partying and drinking does have very serious consequences. If convicted of intoxication manslaughter, or the lesser charge of manslaughter that also is being made an option, Brent faces up to twenty years in prison for his actions.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you understandably want compensation for the suffering you have endured. We have attorneys at Bertolino LLP who specialize in helping those who have been injured by drunk drivers. We will be by your side through every step of the process as we make sure you are compensated for your medical and property damage bills and lost wages and the emotional trauma you endured. Do not let anyone minimize the lasting effects that such an accident can have on you and your family. Call us today and let us get to work for you.
Update: Josh Brent was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter on January 22, 2014.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Omaha Toddler in Protective Custody after Disturbing Video

Many of you probably have seen by now, or at least heard about, the video of the toddler in Omaha, Nebraska being cursed at and cursing in return. The video was posted first by a relative or friend of the boy’s mother and then shared by the Omaha Police Officers Association, the local union, for the purpose, it said, of highlighting problems in the community. The treatment of the boy has sparked national outrage and highlighted difficult problems that continue concerning teen pregnancy, relationships between police officers and the neighborhoods they protect and exploitation on social media.

The mother of the young boy, whose name has not been made public as she is only sixteen herself, has come forward to say that she takes good care of her son and the cussing was not indicative of his normal behavior. However, the concern is more with the teenagers and adults involved in this situation and their questionable judgment, as well as additional the revelation that this same young boy was injured in a shooting that took place in the home several months ago.

The police union has been criticized by the ACLU and other community action groups for posting the video, stating that it only serves to further exploit the child and cause further distrust for officers as some claim the decision to share the post was racially charged.

The boy, along with three other children in the home, including the boy’s mother, have been removed from the residence and placed in protective custody.

 All children deserve to feel safe and loved in their homes. Sadly, we read too many instances in which this is not the case. If you need protection for your child from another family member or if you believe a child in your family is being neglected or abused and you want to take action, the family law attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. We are parents, too, and will work tirelessly to protect the most innocent among us. Please contact us today.