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Austin Family Law And Personal Injury Blog

What is a "guardian ad litem"?

In Travis County, a "guardian ad litem" is a court-appointed official who is supposed to represent the best interests of the child in a family law proceeding. While guardians ad litem are only automatically appointed in certain adoption and in parental termination cases, they may be appointed in other child custody proceedings as well. A Texas judge is more likely to appoint a guardian ad litem when the conservatorship of a child is contested between the two parents.

Likewise, either parent may request the appointment of a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem will usually have an advanced degree in social work or some other field. While the court has full-time guardians ad litem on staff, there are also guardians ad litem available in private practice as well, which the Travis County courts are willing to appoint.

Car accidents: Texas has fatal crash everyday for over 19 years

A car crash can change a family's life in an instant. Not every accident proves fatal, but those that do happen much too frequently. It is such a common occurrence in some places that officials are taking notice.

In Texas, at least one fatal crash has happened every single day since November 8th, 2000. TxDOT and other lawmakers want to see that change. They launched an awareness campaign in the hopes that they can reduce the number of fatal car accidents.

Police seeking driver after hit-and-run fatality

A previous post here discussed how the number of pedestrian fatalities continues to rise across the country, even in the face of a traffic fatality rate that is declining on the whole. It was a sad coincidence that, shortly after that post, a pedestrian from out of state lost his life after attending a popular automobile racing event in the Austin area.

According to reports, the man was struck by a pickup truck during the evening of a Formula 1 United States Grand Prix event, an event which is attended by over 250,000 people. The driver of the pickup fled the scene after striking the pedestrian, and police have provided a description of the vehicle to the public.

There's good news and bad news in the latest fatality report

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced its final 2018 tally of both nationwide traffic fatalities overall, as well as numbers for certain segments. There was both good news and bad news in these latest statistics about traffic fatalities.

The good news is that, overall, the number of traffic deaths on the country's roads was in decline for the second year in a row. The number of fatalities in 2018 was 36,560, a drop of 2.4%, or 913 deaths, from 2017. Another piece of good news is that the fatality rate per miles driven dropped to the lowest it has been since 2014. The fatality rate per 100 million miles driven in 2018 was 1.13, a 3.4% decrease. The significance of this number is that it means that there have been fewer tragic deaths on the road even though people are traveling more.

Texas has a high rate of daylight drunk driving accidents

According to a recent report, Texas's ongoing problem with motor vehicle accidents related to drunk driving are not just an issue for motorists traveling after dark. While the common perception of drunk driving is that it happens after an evening or afternoon of partying, this recent study suggested that almost 17% of all fatal car accidents in Texas that happened between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. were related to drunk driving.

This percentage placed Texas fourth among all the states. Moreover, Texas's number was way above the national average. Across the country, just under 11% of all fatal accidents during the mid-morning and early afternoon hours involved drunk driving.

Overview of relocation in Texas

Many states have specific laws that guide the process when a single parent wishes to move either out of state or a good distance from the other parent. Almost all states have some legal framework in place to address this situation.

After all, relocations are highly touchy subjects in the realm of child custody and family law. On the one hand, a simple fact of life is that sometimes parents need to relocate their families, even far away from their current homes or outside the State of Texas. On the other hand, the parent left behind may be faced with not being able to see her children as much as she would like, if at all.

Is your ex unfit for child custody? How to prove it in court

As one of many Texas parents who filed for divorce this year, you can likely relate to those who say they worry about their children's well-being when it comes to custody issues. If you and your ex have a solid co-parenting plan and a strong support network, you might feel confident that your kids will bounce back quickly and be able to move on in life without lasting repercussions.

On the other hand, you might be among hundreds, if not thousands, of other parents who are deeply concerned because a co-parent is unfit. If this is so in your case, it's of paramount importance that you know your rights and how to protect them. In situations like yours, the first logical step to take is to bring the matter to the court's attention. If you know someone who has gone through a similar experience, his or her guidance and support may prove invaluable.

Truck accidents are complicated affairs

Being involved in an accident with another car is never something an Austin resident wants to experience. Too often, motor vehicle accidents of any type leave a person with significant injuries that require time off work and expensive medical treatment. Moreover, recovering from the trauma of an accident can be a struggle, particularly in the worst-case scenario in which a loved one dies because of the collision.

When the accident involves a large truck or other commercial vehicle, recovery can be even harder. Given the difference in weight between a commercial vehicle and a personal automobile, the occupants in the smaller vehicle have an especially high risk of suffering a serious injury in the accident. Moreover, a lot of individuals and businesses can be legally responsible for a truck accident. Obviously, a negligent driver is responsible for the accident.

Running red lights often hurts innocent parties

Although they know in theory that the practice is illegal, many drivers in the Austin area may be tempted to try and beat a light just as it is turning red. They may think that there is little harm in this practice since cross-traffic does not start traveling through an intersection immediately or because they do not see anyone coming. While some people who think this way may just get lucky and have nothing happen, the reality is that when drivers choose to run red lights, other people are the ones who get hurt.

According to a recent report, of those who died following a driver running a red light, half were either people in the vehicle that got struck or a passenger in the car that ran through the red light. An additional 5% of victims were either pedestrians or people on bicycles.

Former NFL player killed in motorcycle accident

A recent motorcycle accident that ended with at least one vehicle in flames has killed both a former University of Texas football star and his passenger dead. Authorities said both the football player and another woman died at the scene of the accident.

The accident happened on a weekend night at around 10:30 p.m. on a street in Northwest Austin.

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