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Austin Personal Injury Attorney Brooks Schuelke Comments on Texas Dog Bite Injury Law

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 24, 2017 – Bitten by a dog? In Texas, many people think that there is a one free bite rule – meaning you cannot sue a dog owner unless the dog has previously bitten someone else. They are wrong.

If a person is bitten by a dog in Texas, there is a two year window of time to file a claim in the state’s civil court system. In Texas, there is no precise statute covering civil liability for dog bites.The time limit usually begins running the day the dog bite occurred. If the case is not filed within two years, it is not unusual for courts to dismiss the action without hearing it.

“Time lines are important when it comes to filing lawsuits,” indicated Austin dog bite attorney, Brooks Schuelke. “Make sure you keep track of time if your injury was serious, you required medical attention and are seeking compensation.”

Proving negligence in a dog bite case means demonstrating the owner knew or should have known the dog was aggressive, and did not exercise reasonable care to stop the dog from biting or attacking. An example would be a free-ranging, unrestrained, aggressive dog that bites someone. If a dog knocks someone down and causes injuries, the owner may also be sued for failure to control the dog.

It is true that it is easier to prove liability if the dog owner knew that the dog bit someone else before the dog bit another individual. However, even when there is no evidence of a prior bite, there are other ways to show that the dog was aggressive.

“What that means is for a plaintiff to obtain compensation, they must show that the canine’s owner knew the animal had bitten someone, or acted aggressively in the past, or that the owner was negligent controlling the dog or preventing the bite and that negligence was the proximate cause of the victim’s injuries,” Schuelke explained.

There are two common defenses against a dog bite lawsuit: trespassing on private property and lack of knowledge. Simply put, if the owner is able to prove they had no knowledge the dog had allegedly bitten anyone or was aggressive, and that they were not negligent in controlling the animal, they may not be held liable for the bite. Similarly, if a dog bites someone trespassing on its property/in its yard the owner may not be liable for bite injuries.

Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944


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Richard Chen suspended for two years

Former Auckland lawyer Gang “Richard” Chen has been suspended for two years from 24 March 2017 by the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.

Mr Chen admitted having been convicted of five criminal offences, four of which were punishable by imprisonment and tended to bring his profession into disrepute. The convictions included two for driving with excess breach alcohol, two for driving while disqualified, and one for careless driving.

The Tribunal found wilful and deliberate misconduct proven for his failure to declare his convictions to the New Zealand Law Society over a six year period.

As part of yearly applications for the renewal of his practising certificate Mr Chen completed forms that required him to state whether he had obtained any convictions and to disclose any matters that might affect his continuing eligibility for a practising certificate. He did not disclose his convictions when he applied to renew his practising certificate and neither did he disclose them when he applied to practise on his own account.

The Chair of the Tribunal, Judge Dale Clarkson, said the New Zealand Law Society must rely on the honesty and integrity of lawyers to self-report any matter which might reflect on the reputation of the profession as a whole.

“When one person falls below the standards of the profession, the whole profession is harmed. It is a privilege to belong to such a profession but it carries with it these broader and collectively-held obligations,” she said.

In addition to suspending Mr Chen the Tribunal censured him, fined him $5,000, and ordered him to pay the New Zealand Law Society costs of $10,125 and to reimburse hearing costs of $2,271.

Florida Leads Nation in Motorcycle Crash Deaths

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 21, 2017 – Statistics recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show Florida has the most fatalities from motorcycle accidents in the nation.

According to the NHTSA, in 2015 there were 9,045 injury related motorcycle crashes and 606 fatalities in Florida. The statistics show that motorcycle deaths increased 30 percent from 2014 to 2015.

“Far too many people lose their lives in vehicle crashes, and motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa car accident attorney with the law firm of Joyce & Reyes. “Drivers have a responsibility to use due caution on the roads, and that includes watching out for motorcycles.”

The NHTSA said that the top Florida counties for motorcycle fatalities were Miami-Dade, with 67 deaths; Hillsborough, with 48 deaths; Broward, with 42 deaths; Palm Beach, with 34 deaths; and Pinellas, with 27 deaths.

Nationwide, there were 4,976 motorcyclists killed in accidents, an 8 percent increase from the 4,594 fatalities in 2014, the NHTSA said. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcycle fatalities occurred 27 times more frequently than passenger vehicle deaths. The agency estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,772 motorcyclists in 2015, and about 740 additional lives could have been saved if every motorcyclist wore a helmet.

In 2000, Florida began allowing adult motorcyclists to ride without a helmet provided they carry medical insurance of at least $10,000. Fatalities have increased since the helmet law change. Surveys show that 72 percent of motorcyclists support laws requiring helmets.

The NHTSA urges motorcyclists to use sound judgment and wear proper safety gear. Car drivers should watch for motorcyclists and avoid distracted driving.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007


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California Reiterates Legislative Protections for Transgender Youth After Trump Rescinds Federal Protections

Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) April 21, 2017 – When the Trump administration rescinded federal protections for transgender children to use the school bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice, the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus responded by stating that California law continues to protect transgender children’s rights. Under state law, transgender students have the right to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

In 2016, Barack Obama issued a federal law that protected transgender students, whose gender identity does not match the physical sex of their birth, by issuing guidance to schools to ensure they are in a safe environment. The law protected their rights to participate in sports, have free choice of dress, use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity and use the gender pronoun of their choice. According to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Obama administration stated that schools receiving federal funding may not discriminate against students for their sex, including their gender identity.

However, several states disagreed with the Title IX interpretation, arguing that the guidance violates privacy protections of the students who share bathrooms with transgender students. Some of these states filed federal lawsuits in response to the Obama administration’s guidance, including Texas, which placed a hold on the guidance while the lawsuits progressed.

In February 2017, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the guidance, arguing that federal law should offer due regard to state and local school districts to establish educational policies.

“The federal government has a duty to uphold and advance students’ safety, dignity, and basic rights. DeVos and Sessions are failing our students and, even worse, sending the message that students shouldn’t have the right to be who they are,” says Betsy Havens, Executive Director of Strong Advocates located in Los Angeles, California.

However, California legislation has protected transgender children’s rights since 2013 when Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1266. The California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus stated that, regardless of any signs that the Trump administration is not an ally to the LGBTQ community, California will continue to protect their civil rights.

They also stated that it is especially important to offer support to LGBTQ youth, as they experience high rates of bullying, and transgender youth experience high rates of depression. The Caucus is committed to offering support to students who have been discriminated against, and ensuring that schools have the guidance necessary to protect their students’ civil rights.

Strong Advocates
6601 Center Drive West, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310) 242-8936

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