Going into a new year can bring many changes. No matter what is changing in your life, though, you’ll want at least one thing to stay constant—being up to date on the laws within your state. It’s important to know which laws are changing as you ring in the new year so you can stay informed and ensure you’re following the rules at all times.
At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, we understand how hard it can be to keep up with the ever-changing laws—you likely have lots of other changes to worry about in your life. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most important Texas law changes happening in 2022—that way you can find the most essential legal information all in one place.
These are just some of the most important law changes happening in 2022. To find a list of all law changes in the new year, including topics that don’t pertain to personal injury like the ones below, you can find a list here. Let’s take a look at changes to legislature surrounding personal injury law in Texas.
Commercial Car Crash Liability Changes
One of the laws in our state that is changing is legislation surrounding car accident liability in certain cases. House Bill 19 makes changes to the liability in a crash involving a commercial motor vehicle. In this instance, Uber and Lyft drivers are included as commercial motor vehicle operators, like delivery truck drivers.
HB 19 changes who is found liable in a crash involving a driver of a commercial motor vehicle when another person is injured or killed. Previously, the parent company would likely be held responsible because the driver was under their employment. However, this bill makes the driver liable first, and the company cannot have a case brought against them until the driver has been found liable in court.
This new liability will have effects on automobile insurance coverage since commercial drivers will likely need to carry more insurance rather than relying on their employer’s insurance coverage in the event of an accident while on the clock.
While this change in law took effect in September of 2021, you might not have realized the change was implemented. But it’s important to know about this change going into 2022 in case you’re in an accident with an Uber or Lyft driver, or any other kind of commercial vehicle.
Blocking Emergency Vehicles
Another change to state law is House Bill 9. HB 9 makes it a felony to block emergency vehicles when they have their emergency lights and sirens on. This means that if you block an emergency vehicle that is being used, like an ambulance transporting a patient to the hospital, and their lights and sirens are on, then you can be charged with a state jail felony.
This law also went into effect in September of 2021, but it’s important to know going into 2022. You might not have realized this change happened, which is why we’re making sure you know about it going into the new year.
Information About a Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Finally, another law change in our state has to do with nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and the information they post on their websites. HB 3961 requires long-term care facilities to post information about the office of the state long-term care ombudsman. The facilities must post the contact information for the state ombudsman so that residents and families can easily find that information if they need it.
If unfamiliar, a long-term care ombudsman is a point of contact for residents of nursing homes and other care facilities who are experiencing abuse. When a resident is being abused, or their loved one suspects their family member in a nursing home is being abused, they can reach out to a long-term care ombudsman to get help to report the mistreatment and their options for taking action against the facility and staff member.
This position is vital, and their contact information should be publicly posted by every nursing facility so a resident or their family can easily find that information and contact them directly. This law is a good step in transparency and making a link for residents to quickly get the help they need.
This bill takes effect January 1, 2022. This means that by the new year, all nursing facilities need to have this information posted on their websites.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm Will Help You
It can be difficult to keep up with new and amended laws. That’s why our Texas personal injury lawyers are here to keep you updated with state law changes going into the new year. We’re dedicated to helping the people of Texas and understand that the general public might not know about these changes above. We want you to have the safest new year possible.
If you have questions about a personal injury claim, or if you think you could benefit from speaking with an attorney, you should contact Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm. We’re here to answer your questions and help you take legal action if necessary.
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