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Family of Sandra Bland settles lawsuit for $1.9M

Waller County Jail will pay $1.8 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit lodged by the family of Sandra Bland. The Texas Department of Public Safety will pay the remaining $100,000. Sandra Bland lost her life while imprisoned in Waller County Jail after a controversial traffic stop and arrest last year.

The jail will also implement changes regarding their operations. In particular, they plan to keep emergency nurses on call at all times and make use of sensors to ensure proper monitoring of inmates. Bland was 28 when police found her dead in her jail cell in July 2015. Authorities found her three days after police stopped and arrested her for a minor traffic violation. The officer responsible for her arrest is Trooper Brian Encinia. Authorities ruled her death a suicide.

The attorneys at the Benton Law Firm go out of their way to help their clients win personal injury and wrongful death cases. We respond promptly to emails and phone calls and make it a point to ensure our clients’ worries and doubts regarding their case are assuaged. Call our offices in Dallas, Texas at (214) 219-4878 to see what we can do for you.


Lawsuit filed against Sunoco Logistics after Nederland fire

Two employees of Sunoco Logistics, a crude oil transporting company, have filed a law suit after a flash fire that occurred at the company’s crude oil terminal in Nederland, Texas last month.

Both plaintiffs were hospitalized due to their intense burns and other injuries, a press release stated.

According to preliminary investigations, seven workers were harmed while welding at the Sunoco terminal, which handles crude oil and extracts condensate, naphtha and base oils.

Matthew Matheny, one of the legal counsels in the case, said their team will be conducting an investigation on behalf of their clients, noting, “We’ll be talking to witnesses and examining any records of safety and maintenance procedures at the facility. This is a horrible accident, and we are prepared to find out why it occurred.”

The attorneys at the Benton Law Firm provide legal services in Dallas and in other areas within Texas. We can assist you with the complicated legal matters associated with your personal injury cases. Call our offices today at (214) 219-4878.


Four of the most dangerous intersections in Texas are in Austin

A new study from the Texas Department of Transportation revealed some of the most dangerous intersections in the state. They included accident sites that had at least 48 collisions within the last four years.

According to TDoT, four of the 279 most dangerous intersections in Texas are in Austin. In particular, the worst intersection in Austin is located at East Riverside and South Valley Road. Sadly, that is the site of 68 crashes, 53 injuries, and no fatalities, Data ranged between 2012 and 2015. Next on the list is the intersection at Lamar Boulevard and Parmer Lane where 56 crashes, 45 injuries, and one fatality occurred. Following are the intersections at Lamar Boulevard and Butler Road, as well as Riverside and Willow Creek Drive

At the Benton Law Firm, we make sure that we commit our undivided attention to your personal injury accident case. We want to walk with you through every step, as we hold people accountable for the harm they caused. Call our Dallas offices today at (214) 219-4878 to speak with a qualified member of our legal team.


Legal battle hounds Lockhart balloon crash

People are looking to find out who will be held liable for the deaths of all 16 people who were onboard a hot air balloon owned by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides, which caught fire, slammed into a field, and finally crashed in Lockhart on July 30, 2016.

The hot air balloon owner was insured, but the policy will probably cover far less than what the families of the victims are expecting, a report from the American-Statesman showed. Standard balloon operator insurance policies – which are carried by 95% of balloon operators in the country – provide a ceiling of $100,000 per person for bodily injury and a cap of $1 million for every incident.

According to a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Insurance, aviation insurance is not federally mandated in the state, and provisions providing for such are not found in the Texas insurance code, unlike in other states, like California.

All of us at the Benton Law Firm take accidents like these very seriously, hoping to provide justice and support to any affected people. Our thoughts go out to all of the victims and those that survive them.


Bus-van collision kills four

Four individuals lost their lives during a van-bus collision that happened in Kingman in Mohave County in Arizona on Monday, July 25.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, a van collided with the bus of the Dallas Cowboys, a professional American football team of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in Texas. The people killed were occupants of the van. The bus was headed to a fan event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In an interview with local channel KXAS, Dallas Cowboys officials said that there were no players on the bus, only staff members, during the time of the accident.

Accidents involving commercial vehicles or semi-trucks are often more dangerous and can sometimes be tragic. The attorneys with The Benton Law Firm send their thoughts to the victims and their loved ones.


Hot air balloon crashes south of Austin, kills 16

A hot-air balloon operated by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides crashed into high-tension power lines before coming to a violent landing in a pasture about 30 miles south of Austin on Saturday, July 30. The Lockhart accident resulted in the death of 16 individuals.

The hot-air balloon’s pilot, identified as 49-year-old Alfred “Skip” Nichols, moved to Texas from St. Louis, Missouri in 2014. Despite the negative press the pilot is receiving, his roommate, Alan Lirette, had nice things to say. “That’s the only thing I want to talk about, is that he’s a great pilot,” Lirette said. After the accident, police collected 14 personal devices, including cell phones and cameras. The police will use their findings to investigate the accident. As of yet, the victim’s identities have not been revealed.

At the Benton Law Firm, we see how difficult it is to recover from tragedies such as this one. Our thoughts and condolences are with the families and friends of the victims in this accident.


Watercraft accidents in Texas rose in recent years – local officials

Accidents and deaths that are related to kayaking or using other paddle craft have risen in Texas in recent years; however, those involving personal watercraft were reduced. This year, the Fourth of July weekend and the days preceding it saw a rise in boating-related accidents and incidents wherein boaters violate Texas’ boating laws.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s law enforcement division assistant commander Cody Jones, there were several serious boating accidents in the state over the three-day weekend, 34 was the total number of those investigated.

One of the accidents claimed one life as a person fell from a boat on Cedar Creek Lake in Henderson and Kaufman Counties and hit the boat’s propeller, which Jones, who is at the top of the marine law enforcement agency charged by the Texas Legislature with the enforcement of the state’s Water Safety Act, deemed “a horrific tragedy”.

Jeff Benton of The Benton Law Firm understands the tragedy of death during what should be a fun-filled weekend. His thoughts go out to the victim and their loved ones.


El Paso man arrested for vehicular accident that caused death of 33-year-old woman

El Paso, Texas resident Gonzalo Pasilla II was arrested on Wednesday, July 6 and charged with accident involving personal injury or death in relation to a two-vehicle collision on March 2, 2016 that resulted in the death of 33-year-old Ruth Naomi DeSoto.

According to police reports, DeSoto was driving a 2007 Jeep Liberty when it veered off the roadway on U.S. Route 54, crashed into the center divider cables, and flipped over. She was thrown out of her vehicle and into the southbound lanes. Passersby tried to stop oncoming traffic as she was sprawled on the ground, but a dark-colored car, allegedly driven by Pasillas, ran DeSoto over.

Court records showed Pasillas was arrested on Friday, July 1 for drunken driving. Pasillas posted a $600 bond and was released on Saturday, July 2. He was re-arrested on July 6.

When a loved one is injured or killed in an accident caused by a negligent driver, it is essential to hold the party responsible for their actions. Our legal team at The Benton Law Firm work diligently for our clients so that they may receive compensation for their emotional and financial burdens. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident in Dallas or other areas of Texas, please contact our office today for an initial free consultation by dialing (214) 219-4878.


ATD says traffic backups in Austin caused by distracted driving

Motorists in Austin know that traffic is terrible. We all experience times when we sit in our cars waiting for a red light to turn green, only not to make it through once it does.

The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) said even though Austin restricts the use of mobile devices while driving, distracted driving is still rising. In fact, distracted driving is the main contributing factor to many delays at intersections.

ATD officials explained that often drives do not move when a light turns green because they are using a cellphone. This common occurrence causes backups because traffic signals have no way of knowing that vehicles are not moving as expected. Traffic lights are just going to assume that all vehicles moved when the light turned green. If the traffic light does not detect a vehicle, it assumes all vehicles moved from the queue and turn red.

If you sustain injuries in a personal injury accident because of s negligent drivers, you deserve financial compensation. Obtain the legal services of the Benton Law Firm by calling our Dallas offices today at (214) 219-4878.


Pack of dogs kills woman in Texas

36-year-old Erin McCleskey was recently attacked and killed by a pack of dogs that belonged to the owner of a residence she was visiting for a business-related matter.

According to The City of Austin, police officers responded to the property when a caretaker went to the property to feed the dogs. The caretaker called 911 after discovering McCleskey’s body, which had obviously been mauled. Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Roger Wade said it is difficult to determine whether charges will be filed in response to the incident. He noted to the Austin American-Statesman, “If the homeowner’s not there and doesn’t sic the dogs on them, I don’t know what charges will be filed.” The dogs were placed in quarantine for rabies testing following the accident.

The attorneys at The Benton Law Firm are saddened to hear of this tragic accident. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of the victim as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

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