Monthly Archives November 2012

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Longer Nights Put Pedestrians at Risk

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The nights are getting longer and drivers will be relying on their headlights to see hazards on the road. Unfortunately, pedestrians are sometimes hard to see and end up getting injured or killed by negligent drivers. Bicyclists face the same hazard. Here are some ways that you can keep safe during the fall and winter.

Halloween

Most trick-or-treating is done during daylight hours. In fact, the candy industry lobbied hard to get Daylight Savings Time extended to encourage trick-or-treating! Even though this is the case, be sure your child’s costume has the following features, even if you’re going with them to keep an eye out:

·        Good visibility for the wearer

·        Reflective surfaces if the costume is dark colored

·        Allows agile movement

Some trick-or-treaters will be out during the dusk and early night hours, so each year when Halloween comes around, be sure to keep the following section in mind.

Right After Dark

It takes the human eye a long time to adjust to darkness. It also takes under a second to ruin your night vision. Drivers who are on the road just as the sun sets don’t have their night vision yet and their headlights usually aren’t giving a lot of illumination, due to the dusky light. Make sure you’re extra careful of drivers during this period.

Remember that drivers can only see to the end of their headlights. You can see a car coming down the road and the headlights actually may not be reaching you with enough intensity for the driver to see, particularly when night has just fallen.

At Night

When you’re out and about at night, be aware of the fact that it is actually hard to judge the speed of a vehicle when you can only see their headlights. When you’re crossing intersections, even in areas with low speed limits, be extra careful. Take an extra second or two to see how fast oncoming traffic is coming at you. It may be moving faster than you think.

If you’re on a bike, make sure you have a light and at least some reflective clothing. It’s very hard to see bicyclists at night and, even though there may be adequate street light illumination for you to ride safely, other drivers will not be able to see you without a light. Consider getting one of the safety vests available at most discount stores to increase your visibility. You’ll be glad you did when a driver can successfully avoid you instead of slam into you.

If you’re injured by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, contact an attorney. Pedestrians are far too often the victims of negligent drivers and they’re the most vulnerable victims to sustaining serious injuries or being killed. A Houston auto accident attorney can help you with any valid claim involving a negligent driver.

 

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Houston the Fourth Most Congested US City

Every year, Houston commuters spend an average of 57 hours being delayed in traffic. The same government statistics show that Houston is the fourth most congested city in the entire nation. This is probably not surprising to anyone who commutes every day. Congested traffic conditions are dangerous and lead to many serious accidents every year. If you want to avoid the most common types of accidents, here are some tips.

Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end collisions are very common type of crash. They are also very expensive and sometimes deadly, depending upon the conditions surrounding the crash. If you’re stuck in tight traffic, you can increase your odds of avoiding such a crash before it happens.

Keep two seconds of time between you and the car in front of you at all times. Even in very tight, slow traffic, however, you will sometimes find that it’s useful to keep two car lengths in between you and the car in front of you. This leaves enough room for people to cross lanes in front of you and prevents you from having to hit the brakes constantly as traffic starts and stops. Sometimes, using this technique, you can get through a traffic jam at a slow, steady speed rather than having to stop and start constantly, which burns gas quickly and is hard on your car.

Exit/Entry Ramps

Be very wary near exit and entry ramps. These areas not only tend to have a lot of accidents, they tend to have a lot of bad ones. Watch out for people who are entering into your lane and who are just using their mirrors to check for other cars. They may not even see you. If you’re near an exit ramp, be aware that the traffic off of any freeway can suddenly come to a halt, so be careful about your speed and be ready to react.

Sun and Sky

It’s autumn and that means that some of the worst commuting hours are also the hours when the light is at its worst for driving. If you’re driving east at dawn or west at sunset, be aware of the fact that your vision is very compromised. If you’re heading away from the sun, make sure your lights are on and assume that  people making left turns, crossing intersections and so forth cannot see you. They may not even be able to look toward where you’re coming from for more than a second without it hurting their eyes, so expect people to surprise you by turning in front of you and making other dangerous maneuvers.

Houston has a lot of traffic and a lot of traffic always means that there are a lot of accidents. If you’re not comfortable with your driving skills, consider taking a course to improve them. If you’re injured because another driver was negligent, contact a Houston car accident attorney. They know all about the types of accidents negligent Houston drivers cause and may be able to help you.

 

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Fosamax Linked to Eye Problems, CMAJ

The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has published a study linking bisphosphonates with inflammatory eye disease. The study, published in April 2012, showed a link between bisphosphonate drugs and uveitis and scleritis. These two inflammatory eye diseases were linked to first time users of the drug, according to the study. Bisphosphonate drugs such as Fosamax have already been linked to side effects that have led to lawsuits.

The Diseases

The increased risk of inflammatory eye disease was only linked to first time users. There are other side effects of bisphosphonate drugs, however, that have been reported in many different users. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, there have been over 3,000 product liability claims filed against Merck, the manufacturer of Fosamax, due to effects on the jaw and other bones.

Bisphosphonates have been linked to decay in the jawbone, which can end up causing disfigurement and requiring surgeries. It is also linked to degradation in the femur, causing fractures. This has led to the many product liability claims filed against the company. Bisphosphonate drugs are generally prescribed to postmenopausal women as a treatment for osteoporosis. They are also prescribed for the treatment of Paget’s disease.

Drugs and Liability

Whether or not somebody who suffered a side effect from a drug has legitimate reason to sue depends upon, in part, whether or not they were warned about the dangers of the drug. Many product liability claims have emerged in the wake of side effects that people had no idea were risks associated with a pharmaceutical and, in some cases, the pharmaceutical companies were aware of the risks.

When people end up being injured or killed because of the risks of a particular drug and they weren’t warned ahead of time that starting a drug therapy would mean putting themselves at risk, they sometime sue. Some of the more famous drugs that have been the subject of lawsuits include Accutane, Paxil and Vioxx.

Filing a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company because of having been harmed due to the side effects of a drug requires that you speak with a product liability attorney. A Houston product liability attorney will generally take these claims on contingency, which means that you don’t actually have to pay them anything if they fail to win your claim. This obviously means that your attorney isn’t likely to bother taking your claim unless they’re sure you’re going to win, which is a good reason to have confidence in your case if the attorney takes it.

You may be offered a settlement by a drug company if you were injured. Don’t take one of these without speaking to a product liability attorney first; you may be giving up an opportunity to get a jury award or a larger settlement.

 

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Car Wreck Emphasizes Dangers of Wet Roads

A Corpus Christi man hydroplaned into a sign, according to reports on KRISTV.com, emphasizing the danger of wet roads and losing control. According to the report, the man got off easy, only sliding into the sign and not needing to go to the hospital for injuries. The report details that the police did give him a ticket for failing to control his speed. Wet roads present unique hazards that one needs to be aware of whenever they are encountered.

Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning is a potentially deadly situation that causes a driver to lose control of their vehicle. It happens when you hit a patch of water and, as you travel over it, that water causes your tires to lose contact with the road. Hydroplaning can happen in different degrees. In some cases, only one tire will lose contact with the road, but in others, more than one tire, or all four tires, can lose contact with the road simultaneously.

When a vehicle hydroplanes, because it has no traction with the road, steering and braking have little effect. If this happens, you may feel your vehicle start to drift, you may experience a lack of control with the steering wheel or, if your drive wheels hydroplane, you may hear your engine rev very loudly as those drive wheels accelerate in the absence of any resistance.

A hydroplaning vehicle can quickly slide off the road, go into a spin or, if it happens to be a corner, end up going over the edge of the corner.

Stopping the Hydroplane

The difficult part about stopping a hydroplaning vehicle comes from the fact that your normal controls have no real effect. Slowing down may reduce the water pressure under the tires, allowing the car to gain traction again. Steering will generally do very little and, in some cases, it may lead to the vehicle going into an uncontrolled skid. If this happens, remember to turn into the skid, and then turn out of it once you’ve regained control. What you want to avoid is having the back end of the car pass up the front.

Being Safe

During heavy rains, be wary of road conditions where the surface is obviously wet. Watch out for the ruts that sometimes form in blacktop roads, as they tend to fill up with water and can create hydroplaning hazards. Remember that you don’t have to be going particularly fast to hydroplane. On the Houston city streets, the water can easily get deep enough at times to cause you to hydroplane.

If You’re Hit

People who drive too fast can sometimes end up causing hydroplane related accidents due to their own negligence. If this happens to you, contact a Houston personal injury attorney about filing a lawsuit to recover your financial and medical damages.

 

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Drunk Driver Convicted on Intoxicated Manslaughter Charges

A drunken driver in El Paso has been convicted of multiple intoxicated manslaughter charges over the deaths of two people last year. According to SF Gate, the driver was also convicted of two counts of assault for the injuries that two other people suffered during the same accident.

The 23-year-old man has been in jail since the wreck occurred last December. At the time of his arrest, the driver was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .25, which is in excess of three times the legal amount, according to the reports.

The crash was disastrous. According to testimony from the driver himself, he was racing another vehicle at the time of the crash. He lost control of his own vehicle, went through a wall and crashed into an office building, where the car he was driving caught fire.

These types of accidents occur all too frequently and, as this case demonstrates, they sometimes end up with people losing their lives. While this driver will be facing up to 20 years in prison on each manslaughter count and up to 10 years in prison on each assault count, this really doesn’t do much for the families of the people who lost someone in the accident or for the people who were injured.

Other Legal Options

When police and prosecutors take on a criminal case, their job is to make certain that the person that they are prosecuting faces the legal consequences of their crimes. The prosecutors do not deal with helping the victims to recover from the effects of those crimes. That task falls to a lawyer.

A Houston personal injury attorney can help you if you have been injured by a drunken driver and need financial compensation, in addition to wanting the person to pay for the criminal aspects of their crime. There are some instances when filing a lawsuit may not be worth it but, because of how personal injury attorneys work, they will let you know.

If you sit down to talk to a personal injury attorney, they’ll let you know whether or not they think it’s worth it for you to pursue your case. These attorneys don’t make money on a case unless it wins, so they have no motivation to try to get you to pursue a lawsuit that they know is going to lose. If a lawsuit loses, the attorney loses all of the time and effort they put into the claim, as they don’t get paid.

In instances such as the above, a Houston personal injury attorney may be able to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible for the death of your loved one. This is an option that is designed to help the survivors financially.

 

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Amputation Leads to Malpractice Lawsuit

A man whose gangrenous toe was not treated in time ended up having to go through a below-the-knee amputation due to the spread of the infection, according to a lawsuit. The lawsuit, reported in SETexasRecord.com, was filed in Jefferson County over an incident that occurred in 2009.

The lawsuit alleges that the patient went to a podiatry clinic with gangrene in his toe. There was no treatment offered at that time, according to the report, and, upon a later visit, the toe was amputated. The infection had spread and, a week after the operation, the patient was forced to have his leg amputated below the knee due to that infection. The lawsuit alleges that the patient’s condition was not treated in time. The patient suffered from diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and renal disease.

The patient in this claim is suing for the medical expenses he endured, pain, impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish and lost wages.

Malpractice Lawsuits

Right now in Texas, medical malpractice lawsuits are the subject of heated political debates. This tends to create a situation where most of the information in the media about medical malpractice lawsuits have to do with politics than it has to do with the patients who are wronged by physicians. This lawsuit has yet to be heard, but there are many instances when patients do not receive the care that they need in a timely fashion and who do, therefore, end up going through much more serious and disfiguring treatments to deal with the consequences of that. In many cases, these are the same instances where those patients end up hiring a personal injury attorney to represent them.

Are they Frivolous?

It is likely that some people are considering political dimensions when they are considering whether they should file a medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim, in reality, is not a political thing. A medical malpractice claim is a patient’s right when a doctor is in breach of their duty to that patient. In some cases, the breach of duty is egregious and the patient ends up suffering horrendous pain, disfigurement or permanent impairment because of that malpractice.

Medical malpractice claims can help people who were injured by negligent physicians to recover the costs of their medical treatments, their lost wages, compensation for their pain and suffering and more. These lawsuits are oftentimes the only ways that patients have to get any compensation at all for what they’ve been put through.

If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, talk to a Houston personal injury attorney about the matter. Don’t worry about what media or politicians have to say about medical malpractice lawsuits; if you are injured, they are among your rights and sometimes are your best option.

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Fourteen Perish in Truck Wreck

ABC News is reporting that 14 people were killed and 9 people were injured when a pickup truck ran off of a highway and ran into trees near Corpus Christi. According to the report, there were 23 people in the truck at the time of the crash. Some of the people in the pickup were illegal immigrants.

The accident occurred on US 59. The truck was near Goliad, loaded down with its 23 passengers and veered off of the highway. One of the Texas Department of Public Safety representatives quoted in the article said it was the most people he had ever seen in any passenger vehicle in his 38 year career.

According to the report, 11 people needed to be airlifted to nearby hospitals and the dead included at least two young girls and one young boy.

Negligent Actions

Unless the vehicle’s specification states otherwise, a vehicle can carry as many people as there are seatbelts in that vehicle. Beyond that, the vehicle is overloaded. There are incidents every year where people cram far too many passengers into a passenger car or truck and end up getting into a crash. This creates a situation where the consequences of the crash can be much worse than it would be if everybody were provided with a seat belt and proper seating.

In this incident, you can see one of the worst possible cases of negligence in that people were riding in the back of the truck. This is never safe. Riding in the back of a pickup truck means that you have no safety restraint system and no seating. If the vehicle rolls over or crashes into something, you’re going to get ejected from the vehicle and that may mean serious injuries or death.

What Can You Do?

If you were the victim of someone who was negligent in handling their vehicle, you may be able to sue them for compensation in court. The case such as the one listed above has features that may not make it ideal for filing a lawsuit. Many of the passengers were illegal immigrants, of course, which means that there is an entirely separate side to the situation.

Some people, however, end up riding with someone who overloads their vehicle or who otherwise creates a hazard that causes people in that vehicle to be injured or killed. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may want to speak to a personal injury attorney about the matter right away. If it turns out that they believe that the driver was negligent, they may encourage you to go ahead and file a lawsuit to get compensated for your pain and suffering, your injuries, or the death of a loved one.

 

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Pradaxa Lawsuits Move Forward

Lawsuits over the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa will be allowed to go forward, after a federal judge’s ruling. There are in excess of 100 lawsuits pending at present and they are slated to be handled under multidistrict litigation. The drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim had attempted to get a judge to dismiss the lawsuits, but they will move forward.

The Side Effects

The principal side effect over which the lawsuits have been filed involves internal bleeding. Following an FDA investigation into the drug and prior reports of deaths associated with its use, people began filing lawsuits over the side effects. According to reports, this drug has been prescribed in over 70 nations. It is used in the treatment of people who suffer blood clots and who are at risk of suffering a stroke who have arterial fibrillation. USA Today reported in August of 2012 that there were 542 deaths associated with Pradaxa last year and that 3,781 reports of side effects had been filed in total.

Because of the large number of cases, this is being handled as multidistrict litigation. If you have suffered Pradaxa side effects that do not fit the model of the cases being tried in the multidistrict litigation claim, you could still potentially file a lawsuit over the side effects that you suffered.

Contacting an Attorney

If you have suffered unexpected side effects from a pharmaceutical treatment, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney. If the side effects that you suffered match an ongoing multidistrict litigation claim, you may be able to get onto that claim to get compensation for what you have been put through or to get compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one. If not, the attorney will be able to look at your unique situation and to determine whether filing a lawsuit would be an appropriate course of action for you.

Moving Fast

There are limitations on how long you have to sue if you are injured by a pharmaceutical drug. This is why it’s important to talk with an attorney as soon as possible. If you delay too long, you may miss your opportunity to sue at all. Even if you don’t decide to go ahead and file a lawsuit, sitting down with an attorney and letting them know your situation is highly advisable. They can at least let you know how long you have to wait to determine whether you want to file a lawsuit.

Remember that some drugs do have side effects that are widely known and that are risks associated with being treated with those drugs. Some pharmaceuticals, however, turn out to have deadly side effects that patients never knew about and, if this happened to you, seriously consider contacting a Houston product liability attorney.

 

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Texas a Dangerous Place for Truck Wrecks

Of all the vehicles on the road, the last ones you want to be in a wreck with are semis. Unfortunately, by living in Texas, you’re living in the state with the highest number of truck accidents every year. According to numbers spanning from 2004-2008, Texas led the nation in accidents involving semi trucks. There are surprising facts about these accidents that actually add to how disturbing this number is.

Good Conditions

Most traffic accidents involving a semi that cause a fatality happen in good weather. In fact, almost 85% of them do. This means that, even though most people are very wary around semis in bad weather, there is actually a lot of risk involved in being near these vehicles in good conditions.

Driving a semi truck in bad conditions is something that requires tremendous skill and experience and everyone likely understands that. What’s less apparent is that it takes a great deal of skill and experience to drive a semi safely in good conditions. The weight, long trailers and limited visibility in these vehicles make them hard to drive and even normal conditions can be dangerous.

Rural Areas

If you’re driving around Houston, you’ll see plenty of semis. If you’re in the rural areas around the city, you’ll see fewer, but over 60% of semi accidents occur in rural areas. When you’re out enjoying the beautiful country around Houston, remember to be careful. There are some things that you can do to keep yourself safe.

If a semi is riding up on you on a two-lane highway, try to make it as easy for them to pass you as possible. Even if they’re speeding, the farther you are away from them the better off you’ll be, so let them by. Slow down if you have to.

If you’re on a two-lane road and you want to pass a semi, use extra caution. If you’re alongside a car and have to abort a pass, it’s pretty easy. You just accelerate to complete it or brake to drop back and get back in your lane. When you’re alongside a semi, it might be much harder to do this, as the vehicle is much longer and you might not have time to take either action to avoid a head-on collision.

If you’re injured by a truck driver, talk to a Houston truck accident lawyer. The trucking company or driver – or both – may well have been negligent and caused your injuries because of that negligence. If this is the case, the attorney may be able to get you compensation from a jury award or a settlement. Never take a settlement from a trucking company without asking an attorney first.

 

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Q & A

  • What to do if You have Been in a Car Crash?

    An automobile accident can turn your life upside down in an instant. If you’ve suffered Personal Injury due to car crash, you will suddenly be subject to medical bills, potential […]

  • Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim

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  • Are Defective Products Lawsuits Worthwhile?

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  • Premises Injury

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  • What happens during a personal injury lawsuit?

    Your personal injury firm will determine the facts of your case and will contact the legal representation of the company or person you are filing a claim against. Most personal […]

Auto Accidents

  • Texting While Driving Accidents

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  • Why Do You Need a Houston Auto Accident Law Firm?

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  • Automobile Accidents Lawsuits

    Even though it’s an everyday occurrence, suing over automobile accidents is sometimes a controversial subject. There are people who sometimes find it unfair that someone is sued over an accident […]

  • Why Drunk Driving Accidents are So Dangerous

    Even when things get out of control, you can count on some common reflexes from most drivers. They’ll generally try to avoid hitting other cars or fixed objects, for one, […]

  • What Causes Truck Accidents?

    How a Truck Injury Lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve Truck accidents are a bit more complex, in many regards, than are passenger car accidents. To start with, […]

  • 18 Wheeler Collisions

    Injuries from accidents involving 18 wheelers require immediate action to prevent destruction of evidence. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require certain records be maintained such as driver qualifications, training, […]

Product & Other Liabilities

  • Work Safety and Product Liability

    Most often, when a worker is harmed on the job due to a negligent employer’s actions or lack of action, they have the option to sue. But what if it’s […]

  • Why Product Liability Law Works

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  • Class Action vs. Individual Product Liability Claims

    Product liability claims are handled in several different ways, depending upon the circumstances. You have probably heard of class action lawsuits. These are cases where a group of people get […]

  • Baby Toy Recalls

    Some of the most frightening product recalls are those that involve toys. The population most at risk, of course, is young people and this makes it particularly dire when one […]

  • Premise Liability Claims

    Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a […]

  • Liability Law and Motorcycle Accidents

    Whenever you get on a motorcycle, you’re willingly taking on more risk than the driver of a passenger car. This is part of the thrill of riding and it’s one […]

  • Compensation for Injuries from Burns and Explosions

    Burns are some of the most devastating of all injuries. They’re among the most painful types of injuries, and this makes the suffering associated with them something most people would […]

  • Product Liability Tips

    Anytime you get injured or harmed from a product that you believe is defective, here are some of the things you need to do: You need to gather and preserve […]

Liability

  • Work Safety and Product Liability

    Most often, when a worker is harmed on the job due to a negligent employer’s actions or lack of action, they have the option to sue. But what if it’s […]

  • Why Product Liability Law Works

    There are plenty of adages about power corrupting. In the practical world, money does equate to power and, of course, corporations have a lot of money to throw around. One […]

  • Class Action vs. Individual Product Liability Claims

    Product liability claims are handled in several different ways, depending upon the circumstances. You have probably heard of class action lawsuits. These are cases where a group of people get […]

  • Baby Toy Recalls

    Some of the most frightening product recalls are those that involve toys. The population most at risk, of course, is young people and this makes it particularly dire when one […]

  • Premise Liability Claims

    Premise liability claims are usually filed when a property owner was negligent and where that negligence led to someone being hurt unnecessarily. The owner of a commercial property has a […]

  • Liability Law and Motorcycle Accidents

    Whenever you get on a motorcycle, you’re willingly taking on more risk than the driver of a passenger car. This is part of the thrill of riding and it’s one […]

  • Compensation for Injuries from Burns and Explosions

    Burns are some of the most devastating of all injuries. They’re among the most painful types of injuries, and this makes the suffering associated with them something most people would […]

  • Product Liability Tips

    Anytime you get injured or harmed from a product that you believe is defective, here are some of the things you need to do: You need to gather and preserve […]