just as a reminder...


On January 1st, the minimum amount of automobile insurance coverage Texans must now obtain went up. Drivers must now carry liability insurance limits of at least $30,000 for each injured person, $60,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. These figures are commonly referred to in insurance circles as 30/60/25 coverage. The prior law required that a driver must have minimum liability limits of $25,000 for each injured person, $50,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident, or 25/50/25 coverage. The increase occurred as a result of legislation passed in 2007 and was made necessary because, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, liability limits no longer pay for all expenses after an accident. Liability automobile insurance is supposed to cover persons who are not at fault in an accident by having the at-fault driver’s insurance pay to repair or replace the vehicle of the innocent driver, as well as cover medical expenses, lost wages or other injury claims for each injured person in the wreck. According to industry data provided to the Department of Insurance, about 50% percent of vehicles in Texas (or approximately 7.5 million) are minimally insured with liability coverage, and about 1 in 5 vehicles, or 20%, are uninsured. Therefore, The Ashmore Law Firm recommends that you review your automobile insurance policy to insure that you have adequate coverages in the event of a wreck, including uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UM/UIM) and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If you have any questions about any of this, please contact us.

what’s inside

page 2

“Fun days of
summer” − Things
to do in and around
Dallas


page 3

Dog bites

June faq


page 4

But aren’t we your
parents?
The Ashmore Law Firm, P.C. 3636 Maple Avenue | Dallas, Texas 75219-3908 | 214-559-7202 | www.AshmoreLaw.com
Copyright ©2011 by The Ashmore Law Firm, P.C.

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dog bites and children


While dog bites are a serious problem in this country for people of all ages, it is estimated that more than 4.7 million people are bitten each year − children, still being the most vulnerable among us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of dog bite−related injuries is highest for children between the ages of 5 and 9.

If you are looking into getting a dog, the CDC recommends that you:

  • Consult with a professional such as a veterinarian or responsible breeder to learn about breeds of dogs that might be a good fit for your family.

  • Avoid dogs with histories of aggression if you have children.

  • Hold off acquiring a dog if you sense that a child is fearful or apprehensive about it.

  • Try to spend time with a dog before buying or adopting one and use caution when bringing a dog into the home of an infant or toddler. Nearly every dog should be spayed or neutered which can help reduce aggressive tendencies.

  • Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.


  • Avoid playing aggressive, rough games with your dog.

  • Properly socialize and train any dog entering the household. Teach the dog submissive behaviors (e.g., rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling).

  • Immediately seek professional advice from a vet-erinarian or animal behaviorist if the dog becomes aggressive.

The bottom line is that a little planning and preparation can help reduce the chances of a child being bitten.



 
FAQs How do personal injury lawyers charge for their services?

Most personal injury law firms work on a contingent fee basis, which means that they charge a percentage of the recovery, typically between 25 to 40 percent, but only if you win your case or get your case settled. If there is no recovery, you owe the law firm nothing, which makes it possible for anyone, regardless of their financial status, to hire a skilled attorney to represent them in an injury claim.
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but aren’t we your parents?

Consider the following true story. A child leaves his parents’ Texas home to attend college in Florida. When he is 19 years old and still attending school in Florida he is in a serious car accident, requiring a Care Flight to the nearest trauma center. His parents are notified by a school friend and immediately leave Texas for Florida. Upon arriving at the hospital in Florida, the doctors will tell the parents nothing about the status of their child’s condition or injuries. After several days in recovery, the hospital will not release the child upon the parents’ request to relocate him to a rehabilitation facility in Texas. The child’s landlord will not allow the parents to break the child’s lease. The parents return home to institute a very costly and, at this point, a time−consuming, guardianship proceeding. They return to Florida with their stack of court papers, collect their child, take care of his lease arrangement and return home to Texas for months of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

What happened? Weren’t they his parents? Couldn’t they speak for their own child? Legally, the answer is “no.” While the thought of something happening to our children that might leave them unable to speak for

themselves is a difficult topic to consider, much less fully discuss with them, we think it is an important topic to address−before your children leave home.

The legal age of majority in Texas, and in many other states, is 18. While most of us who have long surpassed the age of 18 still consider an individual of this age to be a “child”...legally, that “child” is an adult who is responsible for his or her own decision-making. Absent proper estate planning, there is no legal right for parents to make decisions for their children after they attain the legal age of majority.

We strongly urge parents to have documents prepared that will allow them to act like “mom and dad” in the event of an emergency situation, disability or other incapacity−whether temporary or permanent.

We recommend the following documents:
    Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
    Medical Power of Attorney
    HIPAA Authorization
    Advance Directive to Physicians (“Living Will”)

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Copyright ®2011 by The Ashmore Law Firm, P.C. This publication is intended to educate the general public about personal injury, medical malpractice, and other issues. It is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Prior to acting on any information contained here, you should seek and retain competent counsel. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.
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