The Bassett Firm
Toll Free : (800)310-9769
Main Phone Number : (214)219-9900
Fax Number : (214)219-9456

Texas Civil Trial Blog

Autonomous Vehicles Are Here - What does that mean for personal injury landscape? Part I. Autonomous Vehicles 101

No longer limited to pop culture and science fiction, autonomous vehicles are real and are here to stay. Although autonomous vehicles have been in development since the 1920s, only recently has there been a big push from entities such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") and the Department of Transportation ("DOT") for these types of vehicles. One explanation for this recent push is that autonomous vehicles ("AV") are expected to reduce MVAs by 80% to 90%, since the "NHTSA" estimates 94% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by human error. But what exactly does "autonomous vehicle" mean?

Damages in Policy Disputes

The Supreme Court of Texas has recently answered the question of when, if ever, statutory penalties are available in contract actions for recovery of policy benefits. In USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, the Supreme Court determined that statutory recovery can be cumulative of contractual recovery in specific instances.

Challenging Damage Experts

In the past, challenging experts based on their lack of qualifications and under the 6 factors recognized in Robinson was the standard.i However, there is now a new method to challenging experts -the "gap analysis" introduced in Gammill.ii

Creative Application of Texas Rule of Evidence 1006

In recent years, Texas Courts have afforded increasing latitude in the use of Texas Rule of Evidence 1006, which allows for the use of a summary, chart, or calculation to prove the content of voluminous documents. The rule itself has traditionally been used to provide damages calculations and similar summaries, but the rule is broadly written and Courts have been hesitant to overturn judgments based on the use of even atypical Rule 1006 summaries. This makes Rule 1006 a valuable and persuasive tool for trial attorneys.

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