By Montes Law Group, LLP on Monday, November 7, 2011
Maybe Farmers needs to send its staff and its lawyers back to Farmers University to learn how to be fair. A new report is very telling about how Farmers treats its insureds. Insurance companies are paid huge amounts of money in premiums to protect us. Insurance giants like Farmers advertise and spend millions, if not bilions, of dollars getting hard working people to buy their product, promising good service, and fair treatment. In fact, insurance companies like Farmers Insurance have certain duties to their own insureds to treat them fairly, and pay claims that are made by and against policy holders. A new study has established that Farmers Insurance, the state’s 3rd largest insurer, has received more complaints about its handling of homeowner claims than any other insurer in Texas.
What does this translate to? Well, Farmers Insurance received 207 complaints from Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2011, according to Austin-based Texas Watch, which obtained complaint data from state regulators. How does this compare with other big insurance companies? State Farm, which has the largest market share in Texas, had 198 complaints, and Allstate, another of the “big 3” had 159. Allstate is the second-largest home insurance company in the state.
This data unmistakably measures companies stack up against each other. Of note, the data do not include complaints about coverage or premium issues, but those dealing with payment delays, underpayments, denials and other matters pertaining to how claims are handled. This amounts to the basic element of fairness. A hard working person sends their premium money in to Farmers, Farmers cashes the check, and these people contend Farmers never held up their end of the bargain.
If you have been treated unfairly by Farmers Insurance or any other insurance company, hire a lawyer to fight for what you paid premiums for, fairness and respect. At the Montes Law Group, we help people.
Rachel E. Montes, named Texas Superlawyer, D Magazine Best Lawyers, graduate of the Trial Lawyers College
Commercial vehicle drivers have a high duty of care, including those who drive city transit, mass transit and interstate buses. Bus drivers are responsible for the lives of others when they get behind the wheel.
Tragically, four people were killed and dozens more injured after a commercial tour bus overturned early Tuesday on Interstate 95 in central Virginia. The bus held fifty-eight passengers.
When Virginia State Police got to the scene, the bus was resting upside down on its roof about a quarter mile south of the Carmel Church exit. It was described as a single-vehicle crash, and officials said it ran off the right side of the road.
The driver of the bus suffered minor injuries and is reported to be cooperating with investigators who are trying to determine what caused the crash.
The bus full of passengers left Greensboro, N.C., Monday at 10:30 p.m., and was en route to New York City’s Chinatown when it crashed. Victims of the crash were being treated at area hospitals.
The bus wreck shut down the northbound lanes of I-95 of traffic, and the roads weren’t expected to reopen for several hours.
Bus wrecks can have a myriad of causes, from driver error and/or inattention, cell phone use by the driver, texting and driving, mechanical problems with the bus, distractions, and others.
To combat mechanical issues, Federal authorities say nearly 2,800 spot safety checks of passenger buses across the country from March 28 through April 6 resulted in about 10 percent of the vehicles or drivers being taken off the road.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday announced the results of the surprise inspections carried out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and state and local law enforcement agencies.
The inspections took place from March 28 through April 6.
Federal transportation authorities say 289 drivers or buses were taken off roadways. Three-hundred buses were removed from service out of 3,000 inspections during an earlier 17-day series of spot checks.
The focus on surprise inspections follows deadly accidents involving cut-rate passenger buses, including the March 12 crash of a casino bus in New York City that killed 15 people.
At Montes Law Group, we represent victims of bus crashes and commercial vehicle wrecks. We investigate early and thoroughly, find the cause, and bring justice to innocent victims of negligence. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus wreck, commercial vehicle wreck, or other type of negligent conduct, call us today.
Rachel E. Montes, voted Best Lawyer Under 40 in Dallas, D Magazine, Texas Super Lawyer, Best Lawyer in Dallas 2010.
Graduate, Trial Lawyers College.
Board of Directors: Dallas and Texas Trial Lawyers Association
We certainly applaud the trucking industry for recognizing the dangers that certain trucking conditions and driving conditions can cause to the motoring public. The Montes Law Group is proud to blog about the array of technologies on the horizon being developed by commercial truck manufacturers as well as technology producers working to better equip commercial truck drivers with the safety devices needed to better protect drivers, passengers and other vehicles on the road. Among the technologies being developed are the following:
* The vehicle integrated safety system that offers lane departure warnings for forward, side and lane departures using radar and vision technologies.
* Headway alert system, which provides a driver with feedback on safe and unsafe following distances by using visual and audio alerts.
* A lane departure warning system that uses a camera to alert drivers when they have drifted out of their intended lane and the system uses algorithms to stop alerts when turn signals have been used.
* A drowsy driver alert system attempts to reduce vehicle accidents caused by sleepy drivers by using an imaging sensor and infrared illuminators to determine the number of eye closure rates that occur for an individual driver. Additionally, this system can automatically use fresh air, alert tones or phone calls as well as audio signals that a driver pull off of the road.
In addition to new-aged technology being developed to ease commercial truck driver’s worries of becoming involved in an accident, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in its third year of its driver information sharing project known as the Enhanced CVISN. The system was designed to “enhance the safety, security and productivity of commercial vehicle operations and to improve access to and quality of information about commercial drivers, carriers, vehicles, chassis, cargo, inspections, crashes, compliance reviews and citations for authorized and public and private sector users,” according to the FMCSA Technology Division.
The project is also responsible for gathering and maintaining statistics on commercial truck carriers involved in accidents, receiving tickets as well as roadside assistance.
Commercial truck accidents are among the most deadly and dangerous collisions that can occur. Most often these accidents involve either serious injury/bodily harm to those involved or can cause a fatality affecting more than just a victim and their family and friends.
Because evidence and information gathering is so vitally important in the hours and days following a truck wreck or collision, people and families who have suffered a loss resulting from a truck wreck or collision should consider consulting with an experienced law firm that will offer a free legal consultation as to a victim’s specific truck accident case to determine the best course of action for a victim who may be suffering medically and financially from a heavy truck wreck. To learn more about truck accidents please visit www.monteslawgroup.com . Call us today, we can help. Rachel E. Montes 214-522-9401.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of a young man who was struck and killed by a Dart bus in downtown Dallas. Apparently, the man had just exited a bus earlier that morning, and had crossed a driveway near the intersection of Griffin and San Jacinto in the West End, when he was struck by a second bus.
The man was wearing a hoodie and DART officials speculate that may have prevented the man from seeing the second bus.
The man, whose identity has not yet been released, was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas where he later died.
The city bus companies serving Dallas/Fort Worth and nearby communities have a legal responsibility to ensure safe and secure conditions for their riders. Assault injuries resulting from insufficient security and traffic collisions caused by improper driving techniques, distracted drivers and even intoxicated riders and drivers can result in serious injuries and death.
If you have been injured while riding a bus, getting on or off a bus, or waiting at a bus stop or terminal, you may be entitled to seek full and fair money damages for the full extent of your pain, medical treatment and financial losses.
We are ready to help. Call us. Rachel E. Montes, Best Personal Injury/Wrongful Death lawyer D Magazine, Texas Superlawyers
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is expecting to pay $3.4 billion to settle legal charges relating to its diabetes drug Avandia, as well as sales and promotional practices in the US for other products. The amount is in addition the $2.36-billion legal charges previously announced in July 2010 for legal cases regarding Avandia, Paxil, and the company’s former manufacturing site in Cidra, Puerto Rico.
Since July 2010, GSK says it has continued to receive a “substantial” number of new product liability cases regarding Avandia in the US. The $3.4-billion estimate stems from the company’s assessment of the additional cases and an estimate of likely future claims.
“We recognize that this is a significant charge, but we believe the approach we are taking to resolve long-standing legal matters is in the company’s best interests,” P.D. Villarreal, senior vice-president of global litigation at GSK, explained in a statement. “We have closed out a number of major cases over the last year and we remain determined to do all we can to reduce our litigation risk.”
The European Medicines Agency recommended that Avandia-once GSK’s biggest grossing blockbuster-be removed from the EU market in September 2010 because of cardiovascular safety concerns. Around the same time, the US pinned stringent restrictions on the product’s use.
Avandia has been associated in studies with increased risk for dangerous health conditions such as heart attack, heart damage, stroke and other associated conditions. Another danger that may occur in patients taking Avandia® is fluid retention or swelling that may lead to or worsen heart failure. People with a history of heart problems should talk to their doctors before starting an Avandia® prescription in order to prevent dangerous cardiovascular side effects including swelling, tiredness and shortness of breath. Because of this dangerous possibility, Avandia® is not recommended for patients with severe heart conditions.
The liver is also an area of potential danger for Avandia® patients. The drug is not recommended for people with active liver disease. It may cause unexpected tiredness, unusually rapid weight gain, dark, yellow urine, yellowing of skin and stomach problems. These symptoms are often associated with liver disease, which is a possible danger of taking Avandia®.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of a 7-year-old boy who lost his life on Thursday afternoon after exiting a school bus. After getting off the bus at about 3:00 p.m. on State Highway 34 near FM 2728, he was hit and killed by a passing vehicle.
Investigators said the child was crossing Highway 34 with his two younger brothers to get to their house. The driver, Salvador Hernandez, 47, of Terrell, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Investigators said he ignored the school bus’ red flashing lights and its stop sign, which was displayed to alert southbound traffic to stop.
Every year, there are at least 8.8 billion trips taken by school buses loaded with our children. Statistics show that there are more than 440,000 school buses on the road, transporting over 24 million kids to school and home and other related activities. Accident statistics show that roughly 26 kids die every year in school bus accidents, or are hurt while getting off the bus or hurt as passengers.
While fatality rates are higher in automobiles, there are still ways to make school buses safer. Any behavior that causes driver distraction is dangerous. Here are some other tips for school bus passenger safety:
When you see the bus coming, line up about ten feet from the curb. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the driver advises it is safe to board. The driver is the only one who can view all traffic on the road.
If you must cross the street to board the bus, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and for the driver to flash the red lights; look both ways before you cross.
Stay out of the ‘Danger Zone’–anywhere within 10 feet of the bus
When there is an accident involving a school bus and another vehicle, one of the most important things to do is to determine fault. In many instances, fault will lie with the “other” driver; some will be caused by the bus driver in some the school bus driver, and some will result from the negligence of both bus driver and opposite vehicle.
Families affected by school bus tragedies should hire a qualified personal injury lawyer immediately. Evidence is gathered by the insurance companies defending these cases immediately, so you should have someone in your corner protecting your rights, and working to ensure that other families are safer in the future.