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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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Avoiding Drunk Driver Wrecks

College is back in session, the nights are longer and you’ll find that the roads on weekend nights are oftentimes full of people who have had a few too many to be behind the wheel. It’s easy to rage against the dangers of drunk driving and the people who drive drunk themselves, but it’s more important that you have the types of driving survival skills that will help you to avoid being injured or worse by these drivers. For personal injury attorneys, far too many of their drunken driving claims involve a wrongful death. Here are some survival tips.

Don’t Get In

If you have a friend or someone else you’re with who is too drunk to be driving, do not get into the car with them. There are all kinds of videos that show people dissuading their friends from drunk driving-even some showing them punching the driver out, which is assault, no matter how noble the intentions-but, sometimes, the only thing you can do is not get into the car. There’s always an uncomfortable choice that someone has to make when their friend gets behind the wheel drunk. It does feel awful to call a friend in but, remember, your friend may well kill someone if they’re out there driving while intoxicated.

Watch for the Signs

Drunk drivers tend to make some very characteristic mistakes when they’re on the road. Their driving also tends to be sloppy in a very distinctive way. Be wary if you see a car doing any of the following:

· Swerving across lanes
· Making jerky, high-speed turns
· Braking or slowing in the road for no apparent reason
· Running stoplights or lingering at green lights
· Making sudden stops and suddenly taking off
· Driving out of a drinking establishment parking lot sloppily

These are the types of things that make patrol officers turn on their lights and pull a car over. Watch out for them and stay well clear of drivers who are showing these signs of intoxication. You cannot predict what they’re going to do, so it’s best to treat them as threats right from the start. You’ll also want to be careful around taverns and other drinking establishments that have parking lots that exit onto busy streets. Drunk drivers do not estimate speed, distance or judge whether they have enough time to get out into traffic very well.

If you’re injured by a drunk driver or if you lose a loved one due to their negligence, contact an attorney. They may be able to help you by filing a lawsuit against that driver and winning you compensation. That compensation may be enough to cover your medical and property loss expenses and consulting with an attorney is usually free.

 

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Lawsuit Filed over Colorado Theater Shooting

Cinemark USA, headquartered in Plano, Texas, has been named in a lawsuit filed by some of the victims of the July 20, 2012 shootings that took place at one of their theaters in Aurora, Colorado. These shootings were big news, with 12 people having lost their lives and 58 other people having been injured by a shooter who managed to get into the theater with weaponry. The shooting took place during what was slated to be the midnight premiere of the new Batman movie.

Cinemark has requested that the lawsuit be dismissed and that it would be unfair for the company to have been expected to have foreseen the shooting. While this particular case is obviously going to be a high-profile one due to the circumstances and the already infamous shootings, it does speak to the question of a premise owner’s liability when they do not provide adequate security in certain situations.

Dangerous Places

Most of the time, if you read about premise liability lawsuits, they have to do with things like slip and fall injuries on dangerous flooring, people being injured by products left out in the middle of a high-traffic area and so forth. Security, however, is another area where premise owners are sometimes held liable for injuries and deaths that are suffered at their establishment.

One example of this that has happened many times involves concerts. There have been concerts where people have been trampled to death due to crowds getting out of hand and where people have been burned to death due to pyrotechnics misfiring and creating fire hazards.

Some establishments have a need for security that should be obvious to any reasonable person. For example, bars typically have bouncers because it is a given that some people are going to become violent or aggressive after having had too much to drink and, therefore, the bar provides for its patron’s safety by having qualified security people on hand to deal with the situation.

Premise liability lawsuits can be very complex and require a good lawyer to argue successfully. There are certain situations where you will want to consider speaking to an attorney about filing such a lawsuit in cases where the premise owner’s liability is not as obvious as it would be if you had slipped and fell on their floor and injured yourself.

Talking to an Attorney

A qualified personal injury attorney is the only person who can really give you advice on whether or not you should file a lawsuit for premise liability. If you were injured or somebody in your family died, however, because a property owner was negligent in providing adequate security for an event, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

 

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Negligent Physicians not Being Sanctioned: Report

Public Citizen, a citizen advocacy organization, has conducted a study revealing that 459 physicians working in Texas who have been sanctioned by hospitals and other healthcare providers have not been disciplined by the state medical board. According to a report in KXAN, a letter was sent to Governor Rick Perry detailing the results of the finding. The study was conducted by analyzing 21 years of data collected in the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Not Following Standards

The report details that the state medical board does not receive all of the funding generated by fees and fines. In fact, according to the report, even though $30 million are collected annually, the board only receives one third of that amount.

The report also details that there are open cases that date back as far as 2005. In total, the report found that 454 cases had been open for one year or more. The KXAN report goes on to detail that some of the disciplinary actions taken by healthcare facilities were for rather egregious infractions. They include sexual misconduct, endangering the lives of patients, negligence, drug abuse and alcohol abuse and insurance fraud, among other infractions.

Some of the malpractice claims that these physicians faced included failure to treat, failure to diagnose, performing unnecessary procedures and even wrongful death. With the state authority charged with overseeing doctors receiving only a third of the funding that it collects, many of these cases remain open and unresolved. Of course, that also means that any disciplinary actions that the state could take against these physicians are not being taken and that they may well continue to represent a threat to their patients.

Medical Malpractice

Fixing a broken regulatory system is a political task, but medical malpractice is a legal issue. Whenever a physician takes you on as a patient, they have an obligation to provide you with competent care, accurate diagnosis and to adhere to certain ethical guidelines. When they do not, one of your options for rectifying the situation is seeking compensation via a lawsuit. Texas does have limitations on how much you can be awarded in a medical malpractice claim, but a skillful Houston medical malpractice attorney can ensure that you maximize your chances of winning your claim.

Filing a Claim

The first step in filing a medical malpractice claim is speaking with an attorney. If you’re not sure whether or not you do have a viable claim, an attorney can give you guidance in this matter. Because most medical malpractice attorneys work on contingency, they’ll have no interest in taking a claim that they don’t think is going to win. If they take your claim, you can be certain that they believe it is valid and that it could win in front of a jury.

 

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Houston Car Crashes Kill Two Well-Known Figures

A singer and a lighting designer were both among the fatalities that resulted from two separate car wrecks in Houston this month. Laura Botkin, a singer, died after being struck by a vehicle heading the wrong way. The accident occurred when she was on her way back from the Grand Canyon. According to a report on Chron.com, the singer was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. She was ejected from the car and killed.

Jeremy Choate, a lighting designer, was killed in a motorcycle accident on a service road near I-10. The 33 year-old artist was on his way to a cast party at the time of the wreck.

Police are investigating to see if alcohol was a factor in the accident that killed Botkin. The driver of the wrong-way vehicle had a warrant out for a previous DWI, according to the report on Chron.

Wrong-Way Accidents

Wrong-way accidents have been frighteningly common over the last few months. Drivers who mistakenly enter a freeway heading the wrong way can cause devastating damage to the cars they strike, oftentimes killing the driver or passengers. These accidents oftentimes do involve alcohol and the driver of the offending vehicle sometimes may have never made the mistake if they were not intoxicated.

Motorcycle Accidents

The wreck that killed Choate was a hit and run. These crashes are among the most frustrating because the driver who caused the accident sometimes ends up getting away with it for a time. Quite often, however, police are able to piece together evidence that allows them to determine who the hit-and-run driver was and to go after them for criminal charges.

Common Accidents and Options

If you’re involved in one of these types of accidents, you do have options. You can contact an attorney to discuss whether or not filing a lawsuit would be to your benefit.

Lawsuits over car crashes are filed due to the negligence of the driver that caused the accident. When that other driver was negligent and, because of that, brought you to harm, you can sometimes seek a jury award or a settlement through a lawsuit. Not every driver involved in such a crash, however, will have this option.

Talk to an Attorney

If you want to know whether or not it would be worth it to go ahead and file a lawsuit, the first step is consulting with a Houston accident attorney. They’ll be able to review the circumstances of your crash and help to determine whether or not the other driver involved was likely negligent. If they believe that driver was negligent, they can start putting together a case to establish as much to a jury and this may win you compensation.

 

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Pfizer Loses Fen-Phen Dismissal Move

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was unsuccessful in getting claims dismissed over fen-phen, a diet drug that has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. The company acquired the original manufacturer, Wyeth, in 2009 and sought to get lawsuits over the side effects of the drug thrown out. Specifically, it was trying to get lawsuits alleging that the lethal side effects of this drug could be experienced many years after usage had stopped.

Fen-Phen

A popular diet drug up until its 1997 recall, fen-phen was found to have potentially fatal side effects. The drug is linked to primary pulmonary hypertension and, according to some lawsuits, that condition can result from usage of this drug more than a decade after a patient has discontinued using it. At its peak, there were more than 6 million prescriptions written for fen-phen. In the year since it was recalled, fen-phen has been the subject of of nearly 200,000 lawsuits.

The Side Effects

The lawsuits filed over fen-phen alleged that the drug had side effects that were deliberately hidden by the manufacturer so that they could continue making profits on the drug. Since the drug was recalled from the market, however, fen-phen has cost the manufacturer a great deal of money. Some of the largest jury awards and settlements have taken place in Texas.

In a lawsuit over the wrongful death of a woman who was using fen-phen, a Texas jury ended up awarding her surviving family $900 million in punitive damages and $113 million in compensatory damages. To deal with the lawsuits that they were certain they were going to face, the original manufacturer of the drug had put aside $21 billion, according to reports.

Suing a Pharma Company

Pfizer and other large pharmaceutical companies, as you can see from the $21 billion figure, have plenty of money to protect themselves in court. In cases where you know you’re going to be up against such a huge company in a lawsuit, it’s easy to be cynical and think that you would never be able to win when a company can put up that kind of money. The fact of the matter is, however, that the law is on the side of a person who was wronged by a company that was irresponsible and people routinely win lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies when it can be established that those pharmaceutical companies deliberately and cynically endangered their customer’s lives.

If you believe that you were injured by a pharmaceutical company, whether it was from using fen-phen or any other drug, make certain that you contact a Texas personal injury attorney. They will be willing to sit down with you for a free consultation about whether or not filing a lawsuit is a good option for you.

 

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It’s Fair Season; Be Careful

Late summer and early autumn mean that county fairs will be popping up all over Texas. With those fairs, of course, come plenty of thrilling rides where children test their ability to endure frightening roller coasters and other amusements and where adults see if the intervening years between the present and their childhood have given them stronger stomachs. Before you get on one of these rides, however, realize that they can be dangerous and that there have been cases of people being grievously injured and killed on amusement park rides.

Avoiding Negligence

If you or a family member has come to any harm on an amusement park ride, a Houston personal injury attorney may be able to help you. Any Houston personal injury attorney, however, would very much prefer that you exercise a bit of common sense and that you are aware of any risks that you’re taking when you get on these rides. Your children may be a little bit disappointed by you putting safety before a momentary thrill on an amusement park ride, but make sure you do take the following into account.

Be wary of ride operators who let children slide when the safety guidelines for the ride demand that they be taller or bigger than they currently are. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, a three-year-old ended up losing his life after a safety restraint failed to keep him in his seat. In this particular case, the family did receive a settlement, but the amusement park continues to operate.

When you’re taking a look at a ride, take note of how safe it appears. You may not possess the type of engineering skills that are required to design and maintain an amusement park ride, but you should follow your instincts in this matter. If it seems like the ride isn’t stable, like it hasn’t been well maintained or the people operating the ride have very little regard for the people getting on it, you may just want to skip it and find something else amusing for your family to do at the fair.

If you do take a ride, make sure you instruct your children to stay seated or positioned however else is recommended by the ride operator throughout the entire ride. People have fallen off of rides before and ended up losing their lives. There are cases where this is not the fault of the ride operator, but is, instead, the fault of somebody who did not follow the safety guidelines. Make certain that you do and make certain that your children do.

If an irresponsible ride operator ends up causing you or someone in your family injury, make certain that you talk to a personal injury attorney about the matter. The operator may well owe you compensation.

 

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Semi Driver May Face Charges in Houston County Crash

A semi driver may face criminal negligent homicide charges from an accident that resulted in the death of the driver of a passenger vehicle. The accident occurred at a construction zone, where four vehicles were already stopped. The semi driver, according to a report on KTRE, failed to apply brakes in time, slamming into the last of the vehicles and causing a chain reaction accident. In total, one driver died and six other people nearby were injured.

Negligence

Legally, negligence involves failing to take an action that would’ve prevented somebody from coming to harm or taking an action that caused somebody to come to harm. In instances where negligence involves a vehicle, nobody is expecting an everyday driver to be possessed of the type of skills that you would expect of a police officer or a professional driver. Negligence involves the types of actions or inaction that would apply to the average person.

In instances where negligence causes a death or injury, filing a civil lawsuit is an option for the parties that were injured, or their families, if somebody happened to lose their life as the result of the accident.

Accidents that involve negligence on the part of a semi driver are particularly deadly. In instances where a semi collides with passenger vehicles, there is very little chance that any of the drivers of those passenger vehicles are going to escape unharmed. Simply because of the mass of a semi, the amount of inertia it generates when it is moving at speed is incredible. No matter how sturdy a passenger vehicle may be, most of them will not stand a chance against that kind of force and that is precisely why accidents involving semis are so deadly.

Trucker or Company?

If you have been injured by a semi, your lawyer may recommend that you sue the trucking company for which the driver worked, the driver themselves or both. There are instances where the truck driver happens to be the one who was negligent and where they are solely responsible for having caused the accident. There are also cases where the trucking company was negligent in maintaining their equipment or in providing adequate rest time for their drivers, thereby being a party to the accident that occurred. An attorney is the only one who can really figure out where negligence may apply and who is responsible for it.

Filing a Lawsuit

There are essentially two types of lawsuits that come out of accidents involving semis where somebody is hurt. If you are injured, you’ll be looking at a personal injury lawsuit and, unfortunately, if somebody happened to die, you may find yourself talking to an attorney about filing a wrongful death claim. A Houston personal injury attorney can help you with either type of claim. The first step is arranging for a consultation with a personal injury attorney so that you can tell them the situation. Don’t worry if you don’t remember everything that happened, which is common in these situations. Attorneys have the technology and the knowledge required to reconstruct accidents if necessary.

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Texas Lawsuit Alleges Drug Test Ordered Before 911 Called

A lawsuit filed by the family of a Texas man who died at his workplace alleges that the employer ordered a drug test before they called 911 for assistance. As reported in the Courthouse News Service, the man ended up suffering a fatal injury at work due to a fall. The lawsuit also alleges that there was no fall protection equipment provided for the man and that he ended up falling to his death as a result of that.

Drug Test Before Paramedics

The lawsuit alleges that, while he was lying on the ground unconscious, the defendant ordered that a drug test be performed on the decedent. This is disputed by the defendant. The death occurred on July 1, 2011. According to the lawsuit, the man ended up falling several feet and was working as a loader at the time.

According to the lawsuit, it was the defendant’s failure to provide immediate medical assistance that ended up leading to the man’s death. It is also alleged by the lawsuit that OSHA violations – namely, the lack of fall protection – also contributed to his death. OSHA regulations hold that any employee working at a height be provided with personal fall protection equipment, a guardrail or another approved device that is designed to arrest their fall in the event that they lose their footing or otherwise come to lose her balance.

The lawsuit is seeking $15 million in wrongful death, gross negligence and punitive damages, according to the report.

Wrongful Death in the Workplace

OSHA and other organizations provide a regulatory framework that is designed to keep people safe at work. In addition to this regulatory framework, employers are also expected to be competent in delivering care to employees when they are injured. In any instance where an employee is injured on the job, performing a drug test on an employee at the hospital is generally standard procedure. In this particular case, the allegation that the employer ordered a drug test before 911 was even called is at the heart of the wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death lawsuits are designed to provide for the family of the deceased individual. In some cases, they take into account the loss of income that the entire family suffers as a result of the loss of their loved one. They may also include – as in the case of this particular lawsuit – punitive damages against an employer or other agency that was proven to have been negligent.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you believe that your employer was negligent in either not following OSHA regulations or because they didn’t provide you with adequate care after the fact, you should speak with an attorney. The best thing to do, however, is to make certain that you don’t end up in one of these situations in the first place. Learn the OSHA regulations that apply to your work and make certain that your employer follows them. If they do not and you are injured, an attorney may be able to set the situation right for you.

 

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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?

    Most of the time, when you hear about someone suing over defective products, it’s a dramatic case with a very large settlement. It’s easy to fault the media for this, […]

  • 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

    In the United States, distracted driving accounts for hundreds of thousands of automobile accidents every year. In recent years, accidents caused by texting while driving has contributed to an exponential […]

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

    If you or a loved one has suffered any type of personal injury during or resulting from an automobile accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from all responsible […]

  • 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

    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 […]

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 […]