If you’re planning on filing a lawsuit, you probably have what you believe to be evidence that you were wronged in some regard. Understanding evidence, however, does take some real legal knowledge. In fact, you may find that, upon meeting with your attorney, they don’t really believe that the things you consider to be evidence […]
Police Sued Over Privacy Violations
CNN reported that a police department in Washington is facing a lawsuit over violating the rights of inmates. The reporting details that 11 women and 1 man are suing a police department over alleged instances where the inmates—who were all arrested on suspicion of drunk driving—were recorded while they were undressing and using the toilet. […]
Frivolous Lawsuits Get too Much Publicity
The idea behind a lawsuit is to give a person who was wronged because of another person’s negligence away to get compensated. This can include suing manufacturers for putting dangerous products out on the market when they should’ve known better, suing motorists who are prone to driving dangerously and end up hurting or killing someone […]
Dog Bites and Liability
Unfortunately, many dog owners are not responsible with their animals. In fact, it’s quite reasonable to argue that the biggest cause of dog bites has nothing to do with dogs, but with the people who are in charge of taking care of those dogs. There are differences on a state-by-state basis as to how much […]
Daycare Worker Arrested for Raping Children
For parents with children in daycare, a nightmare scenario seems to be unfolding in Ohio. According to NewsOK, a daycare worker has been arrested on two counts of rape. The woman, according to the article, had engaged in sexual conduct with an infant and made a video of herself doing it. Police claim that they […]
Class Action Against LinkedIn Reveals Importance of TOS
If you’ve gotten emails that appear to be from a friend of yours but that were actually from LinkedIn giving a pitch for the website, you’re not alone. In fact, a lawsuit has been filed against the business social networking website alleging that the company breaks into email accounts, uses the contact list to send […]
Can You Sue a Company for Mishandling Your Information?
Today, it’s not uncommon for companies with whom people do very casual business – cellular phone companies, Internet service providers, etc. – to have some very sensitive information about their clients. For example, Social Security numbers are routinely used as forms of identification and many companies require that information in order to open an account. […]
Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Turn Down Cases?
There are instances when a personal injury attorney may turn down your claim. This may leave you wondering if there is any hope for justice but, keep in mind the fact that civil lawsuits are not really about justice; they’re about compensation. If you’ve been turned down as a client by an attorney, some or […]
How Do You Sue on Behalf of a Child
Some of the largest jury awards are actually handed out to children. These occur in cases involving medical malpractice during birth, car accidents that permanently damage a child and in other cases. Obviously, a child cannot enter into a contract or take any other legal action of their own accord. Parents are the ones who […]
Suing For Personal Injuries In Houston
The law provides lawsuits as remedies to those who have been physically, financially or otherwise harmed by the negligence of another. This ability to accommodate lawsuits on the part of our court system is one of our most vital legal rights. It allows us to pursue those who take actions that cause harm or that fail to take actions that could have prevented it when any other reasonable person could have been expected to act effectively.
Talking to a Personal Injury Lawyer
Suing over a personal injury claim can be done for many different reasons. It may be that a driver struck you in traffic in a way that was the result of their negligence and you need a way to get compensated for the damage and injuries they caused. You may have slipped and fallen on a floor at a retail establishment that was negligent in not cleaning up a spill or in flagging a wet and dangerous floor. You may have been injured by a physician that breached their duty to you as a doctor by providing you with the wrong treatment. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help.
How Can Injury Attorneys Help?
An Attorney can rely on their own expertise and the expertise of others to represent you and your rights. They may end up hiring medical experts to bolster your testimony in a medical malpractice case. They may reconstruct a car wreck and find out just how the other driver was negligent and how you came to harm. They utilize their experience and their creativity to find solutions for you and they use their ability to construct effective arguments and to demonstrate the truth of a situ ation to a jury to go after the other party in court.
When you’re offered a settlement that is nothing more than a cheap attempt to buy you off, your attorney will know and will either help you negotiate it to an acceptable level or at least recommend that you turn it down. When you’re getting ready to go to court your attorney will prepare you for what the other side’s attorney is likely to throw at you and make sure you’re not taken off guard. Attorneys provide an array of services to their clients. Getting you ready to deal with the other side is among those services and you can be sure that they’ll have you ready for anything by the time you go to court.
Personal Injury in Texas
Texas has its own structure where personal injury and liability law is concerned. Having an attorney who understands it inside and out is paramount toward maximizing your chances of success. If you’re not sure whether you have a lawsuit that’s worth pursuing or not, an attorney can help you make that determination, as well. Talk to a Houston personal injury attorney and see what they think about your claim. No matter what happened to you, they’ve probably seen similar situations before and can help you to start getting underway with seeking damages for what you’ve been through.
Fro FREE Case Review, call Houston Injury Lawyer Blaine Tucker at 713-771-5453
Settlements: Good Reasons To Trust Your Attorney
One of the options that wealthy individuals and businesses have when they’re facing a lawsuit is offering the party that wants to sue them a settlement. The settlement will be calculated to be enough to entice the suing party to take it but not so much that it would end up being more than the defendant would be found liable for in court. This calculation is something that does not take the person filing the lawsuit or their interests into account, of course, and you need a personal injury attorney if you’re given such an offer.
What Your Attorney Understands
If you know anything about law, you probably know that past cases establish precedents that guide future applications of the law. Where personal injury attorneys are concerned, what has happened in the past is very important. It provides one of the guidelines that they can use to determine how much you should seek in damages.
The attorney will take a look at these past cases, your situation and any other information that is relevant and come up with a figure. This figure will be chosen for being realistic, fair and because it provides you and your family with adequate relief from your suffering and your financial damages to an acceptable extent.
Your attorney will be able to take a look at the figure you were offered and see if it’s a sincere offer to make things right and to save you and the other party the costs of going to court or if it’s an insult being offered to you because the other party decided that you probably wouldn’t know any better. Your attorney will know the reality of this situation. If they see a good offer in front of you, they’ll tell you that it may be a good idea for you to take it. If the other party is offering you something less that you deserve, you’ll know.
How Settlements Work
You can be offered a settlement almost up to the second that your trial begins. If the other party comes forward with one directly to you, you need to talk to your attorney about it. If you have an attorney, it’s in the defendant’s interest to go around your attorney and to negotiate directly with you and you can be sure that they know as much.
Your personal injury attorney will help to negotiate the sum. They will not take a settlement without your consent and any attorney who did so would open themselves up to being sued by their former client. The ultimate decision will be your own. The attorney will tell you what your best options are and what they think your odds of winning more in court actually are.
Trust your attorney if you’re in a situation where you’re being offered a settlement and if you’re not sure whether it’s worth taking or not. A good personal injury attorney can make sure that you at least know the reality of the situation and whether or not it’s a respectful offer.
Dishonest Doctors And Medical Malpractice Claims
According to a survey of approximately 2,000 doctors in the United States by Health Affairs, patients may not be getting the whole truth when they deal with their physicians. The survey found that, for various reasons, doctors may lie to their patients about their prognoses, the severity of their conditions and about other, more disturbing issues. Doctors have a duty to provide their patients with competent care under the law but, according to this survey, providing that care sometimes involves stretching the truth or lies of omission.
Just the Facts
According to a press release regarding the survey, approximately 55 percent of the doctors surveyed said that they’d told patients that the patient’s health was better than was actually the case. The survey also found that doctors sometimes took the opposite route and lied about the dangers of bad habits to get patients to stop their behavior. Using fear to scare patients out of unhealthy behaviors may or may not be justified, but it’s certainly not honest.
Doctors generally justified their lies by saying that they were good for the patient in some regard. Patients, of course, are not given all of the information they need when their doctors lie to them and, therefore, are divorced from the opportunity to make intelligent decisions about their health.
Even More Disturbing
Pharmaceutical companies sometimes have relationships with doctors that are financially or otherwise beneficial to both parties. Out of the physicians surveyed, nearly 40 percent of the said that there is no need for them to tell patients if they have a vested interested in any of the pharmaceuticals they recommend. Of course, patients may be more hesitant to begin a round of treatment with a particular pharmaceutical if they knew that the doctor had a financial interest in prescribing it or, at least, they might be more suspicious of the motives involved.
Malpractice and Patient Rights
When you visit a doctor, you have the right to expect that the doctor is going to be honest about your conditions with you. In fact, making sure that you stay healthy oftentimes depends upon the doctor being honest with you so that you can make intelligent decisions about your body and your habits. If you’re not given the chance to get real information about your health, you have the opportunity to work toward better health on your own taken from you and, as the study suggests, are sometimes manipulated into taking actions that the doctor feels are best for you.
Being recommended a pharmaceutical because the doctor has a financial interest involved is particularly rife with ethical questions.
If you believe that you have come to harm because a doctor was dishonest with you about your care, consider contacting a medical malpractice attorney. There are limitations on how long you have to act, so taking with a personal injury attorney right away is the best way to determine how you should proceed and how long you have left to decide what you want to do with your case.
Houston Personal Injury lawyer offers FREE Case reviews for medical malpractice claims
Malpractice Claims, Politics And Limitations
Like many states, Texas has limitations on how much you can add to a medical malpractice claim for pain and suffering and related damages. According to an article in the New York Times, these types of limitations are being pushed at a national level. Measures that would limit the amount of money that could be attached to a medical malpractice claim for pain and suffering to $250,000. This limitation, according to the article and many experts, is woefully inadequate given what some malpractice victims are put through.
The Nature of Medical Malpractice
For many victims of negligent doctors, the financial damages they suffer are not as significant in their memories as are the pain and suffering that they are put through. This pain and suffering can be more than unpleasant. In some cases, it can be severely traumatic. The pain and suffering that patients are put through by doctors who are negligent generally has one characteristic in common between each of the different incidents where it occurs: it never should have happened.
In some cases, pain and suffering are parts of life-saving treatment. The pain that people who need dialysis, chemotherapy, surgeries and other procedures go through is something that everyone understands and that patients agree to endure because of the potential benefits of the procedures they’re being given. When those procedures are not necessary, however, or when they actually bring the patient to further harm, then there is sometimes cause to sue for malpractice.
How and Pain and Suffering Cost Money?
Pain is one of the most underestimated forces in the world. Pain can make it impossible to work, impossible to relax, can reduce a person’s quality of life to the point where they question whether it’s even worth living anymore and can affect everyone around the victim in many different ways. Severe pain and suffering can be as severe and debilitating as any other medical condition and, for that reason, attorneys sometimes encourage their patients to sue for pain and suffering when their doctors are negligent.
The limitations being suggested by Congress are very austere. They would make it impossible for some victims of medical malpractice to be compensated as they deserve to be. The justification being given for imposing these restrictions is that they would lower the cost of healthcare, even though tort reform has been demonstrated over and over to not have a substantial effect on healthcare costs.
Talking to a Medical Negligence Lawyer
If you’ve been caused pain and suffering by a negligent doctor, speak to a medical malpractice attorney. They may be able to help you get compensation for what you’ve been put through. Texas medical malpractice attorneys can help you to deal with the state’s limitations on medical malpractice claims and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. While politicians may want to interject themselves into these matters, malpractice is between a patient and a physician and, when that patient is made to suffer, suing is one of their rights.
Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blaine A (Bat) Tucker offers a FREE case review at 713-771-5453
Drunk Driving Accidents
Is a Drunk Driver Negligent?
One of the things that sometimes confuses drivers who are debating filing a lawsuit is whether or not they can sue someone who has been convicted of a crime. You can, in fact. It’s possible to be a convicted drunk driver and to still be sued for negligence. A personal injury attorney can help you to determine whether or not this is an option for you.
Suing for Damages In a Drunk Driving Accident
When you sue someone in a personal injury claim, your first concern should be getting the money back that the injury caused you. This will involve your attorney determining how much you can realistically ask for. Your lost wages, property damage, medical expenses and other expenses are all calculated into this equation. The thing to remember is that, even though the drunk driver may be facing jail for what they did, that doesn’t really do anything to help you recover from the financial damages that they did to you.
Pain and suffering will usually be added to these claims. This is calculated to compensate the victim for what they’ve been put through as a result of the wreck on a personal level. Presumably, whatever suffering the victim endured may have not even happened if the driver that struck them hadn’t been negligent. Your injury attorney will help you to determine how much to seek for pain and suffering that resulted from the drunk driving accident.
What About Negligence?
Negligence has to do with taking reasonable care to preserve the safety of others. When you’re on the road, being drunk behind the wheel is most certainly negligent. Other drivers on the road should be able to expect that everyone else adheres to the law and that they do not willingly and unnecessarily endanger other drivers by doing things such as driving drunk. When drivers do end up taking to the road under the influence and hurt someone, they may be held liable for negligence, in some cases.
Even if the driver that injured you is already in jail, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your options. There may be more options for you than you’d imagined. In the case of some claims, the other driver will actually offer to settle because they want to avoid court costs and because they’re convinced that they’re going to lose the claim, anyway.
Your personal injury attorney may be able to get started on your case right away or they may need some time to review it to determine whether or not you have a good justification for filing a lawsuit. If they believe that you do have reason to file a lawsuit, you’ll want to make the decision without delay. There are limitations on how long after the fact that you can actually seek compensation.
For a FREE case review, call Houston Personal Injury Lawyer, Blaine A. (Bat) Tucker at 713-771-5453
What If You’re Injured At Sea?
Maritime law has always been complex. It has its own features and, because of that, you have to work with a lawyer who is familiar with it if you want to sue over injuries at sea or for other reasons. A personal injury attorney who understands maritime law, however, may be able to help you in the event that you’ve been injured.
Workplace Injuries that happen at Sea
Just as is the case on land, there are laws and regulations that govern workplace safety standards for those who work at sea. If you are injured or are brought to harm otherwise because of the negligence of a company, you may be able to file a lawsuit and get compensation. There’s no way to determine what the outcome of a jury trial will be before a jury actually hears your case argued but, if you have been injured, talking to a personal injury lawyer is always a good idea.
Other Injuries at Sea
There are plenty of firms out there that provide entertainment such as cruises, fishing trips and so forth. These companies are responsible for the safety of the people that they bring out to sea. Most of these companies will have waivers that you’ll have to sign to participate in their offerings but don’t for a moment think that signing a waiver means that you’ve absolved the company off all their responsibility for your safety when you’re on their boat or ship.
Negligence still may be something you can sue such a company over, even if you have been persuaded to sign a waiver. There are definite limitations on how much of a shield from negligence that a company can get by making people sign waivers. If you’ve been injured and you believe that the company that took you out to sea was negligent in a way that caused you or your family member harm, consider speaking with an experienced maritime lawyer like Blaine A (Bat) Tucker.
Working with an Admiralty Law Attorney
A Texas personal injury lawyer who understands maritime law may be able to help you if you’ve been injured at sea. There are some things that you should keep in mind before you talk to such an attorney.
First, the company responsible for your injuries may offer you a settlement. Shipping and cruise companies have generally a lot to lose due to bad publicity, so their initial offer may be rather large. Don’t take it without talking to an experienced injury attorney first. The attorney may be able to get them to offer more or they may advise you to pass it up completely because it’s a tactic to avoid going to court on the part of the company.
The company may also claim that you cannot sue them because the incident occurred somewhere at sea where US law does not apply. Never believe this. Talk to an experienced attorney who specializes in Admiralty Law and ask them whether or not you can sue. Asking the shipping company’s representatives if US law applies is exactly the equivalent of asking a fox if a henhouse is safe.
Make sure you talk to an attorney soon. There are limitations on how long you have to act in these cases.
For a FREE case review, contact the Law offices of Blaine A Tucker at 713-771-5453
Suing Your Doctor – What Are Your Chances?
Physicians can be intimidating. They know so much about the human body that, when you have a dispute with them, it tends to be somewhat intimidating as to what you should do about it. You may find that you feel outclassed by the doctors and the healthcare facility and wonder if it’s even worth it to go after them for medical malpractice. In some cases, it is worth it.
Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims
You don’t have to be a medical expert yourself to file a medical malpractice claim. In fact, your personal injury lawyer will have experts who will help with your claim and who will give you another perspective than your doctor’s on what went on in your situation. In some cases, your personal injury attorney and the experts they work with may be aware of egregious malpractice that never even occurred to you has having happened. There are plenty of cases where people end up suffering horribly because of medical malpractice, so you’ll want to make sure to explore your options if you’re a victim of it.
What Do Medical Malpractice Claims Cover?
Some people aren’t aware of what medical malpractice claims can cover. In most cases, they’ll be surprised to find out what you can sue over. For instance, you can sue for:
- Missed diagnosis
- Wrong medication
- Wrong procedure
- Botched procedure
- Improper diagnoses or Failure to diagnose
The basic thrust of any medical malpractice claim centers on the fact that the patient was wronged by the doctor in terms of not receiving the level or type of care that they needed due to negligence on the part of a physician. Remember that some conditions will not improve and that, unfortunately, some conditions are terminal and there’s nothing that a doctor could do about it. The key element in medical malpractice claims is that the negligence, not the condition, is really what caused the patient to come to harm.
Taking to an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
The best way to get started figuring out whether or not you want to file a medical malpractice claim is to speak with an experienced injury attorney. There are time limitations on how long after the fact you have to sue over medical malpractice. Because of that, it’s important to speak with an attorney right away. It doesn’t matter whether you want to sue or not. They attorney can tell you how long you have to wait and that can make all the difference in the world.
Don’t be intimidated by suing someone for medical malpractice. There are some cases where medical negligence is obvious and others where it is not. It takes an experienced injury attorney to know the difference in some cases and, because of that, you’ll want to speak with one sooner rather than later. They may be able to help you put together a successful lawsuit for malpractice against a doctor who didn’t live up to the level of care expected of them when taking care of patients and the civil courts are there to make sure you have a way of getting compensated for that.
For a FREE case review, contact Texas Personal Injury Lawyer, Blanie A. (Bat) Tucker at 713-771-5453
Understanding Unsolicited Settlement Offers
People who get into car wrecks with commercial firms sometimes find themselves on the receiving end of what seems like a generous check. This is because the commercial firm is protecting itself, not because they’re filled with regret and concern about your situation. Understanding settlement offers should make it apparent why you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer in these cases.
What Is a Settlement?
The word “settle”, in the legal sense, has several meanings. Basically, a settlement means that you put a conflict to rest permanently. This can be done in various ways, but, where lawsuits are concerned, it’s usually done out of court. This makes clear a few things about taking a settlement offer from a commercial trucking or driving firm or from anyone else, for that matter:
- You’re entering into a legally-binding arrangement
- You’re likely giving up the right to sue
- You’re signing a legal document without an attorney to advise you
The settlements that these firms hand out are not designed to make your life easier. The people that figured out how much to offer work for the commercial firm, not for you. They’ll try to figure out how much they have to pay you to get you to go away and not make any legal trouble for them over the incident in the future. There are ways that settlements can work, however.
Making a Settlement Work
Rather than taking whatever check that a trucking company or other commercial firm hands you and heading off to the bank, speak to a personal injury attorney. They’ll be able to advise you on the matter. If they think that the settlement is all you’re going to get from the case, they’ll just advise you to take it and be grateful. If they don’t, however, and if they feel that the trucking company is just trying to buy you off, then they may advise you to go ahead and sue or to negotiate the settlement further.
Negotiating a Settlement
If you negotiate a settlement, you’re likely to get more. A injury attorney might be able to negotiate more than enough to pay for their fees and still allow you to go home with a bigger check. Consider the advantages that an attorney has in these situations:
- They know the legal risks to the person offering the check
- They know how much similar cases pay out
- They know how much court fees would be, giving them leverage with the party offering
- They know how much other people in your situation end up paying in expenses related to the injury
Talk to a personal injury attorney if you’re offered a check. They may feel that the company offering you the check is being generous and tell you to take it or they may want you a client, if they feel that you’re being treated unfairly by the company in question. Either way, at least you’ll know whether or not the settlement is a good one and whether it’s worth taking it or not or if you should file a lawsuit, instead.
If you are in doubt, or need a FREE case review, contact Houston Personal Injury Lawyer, Blaine A. (Bat) Tucker at 713-771-5453
Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death action is an option in certain situations. These actions can be taken against anyone who has caused by negligent action or inaction the death of an individual. The actions are filed by the survivors and are filed for monetary damages. Before this starts sounding like it’s akin to putting a price tag on someone’s life, understand that it’s different than that.
Why Sue for Wrongful Death?
In any family, each member contributes something to the whole. It may be an income, skills that allow for the maintenance of the family dwelling, help running a farm or anything else. Everyone contributes. When someone is killed because of the negligence of another, the surviving family oftentimes ends up suffering far more than emotional scars.
In some situations, the loss of a primary breadwinner may leave a family destitute. This is not acceptable when that death should have been avoided in the first place. Wrongful death lawsuits are designed to make sure that the family has some option to go on with their lives after they’ve lost someone. In some cases, this may actually be the only way that the family would survive.
Assessing Damages For Wrongful Death
The hardest part of wrongful death claims is usually figuring out how much the death impacted the family financially. It’s important to remember that this is what’s being discussed, as opposed to putting a price on someone’s life. The person’s life can never be replaced. The financial burdens placed on the family because of losing the person, however, can be alleviated and there are concrete figures that can usually be attached to them.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you to determine how much you should seek in damages. This will be based on your situation and on past cases and how much they awarded the plaintiffs. The attorney will make sure that you seek a fair amount.
Who Causes Wrongful Deaths?
Anyone who takes a life out of negligence can be held liable for having caused a wrongful death. Remember that there are sometimes criminal charges that people who end up causing a wrongful death face. These charges do not impact your lawsuit. Whether or not they’re found guilty, you can sue. The civil lawsuit is designed to provide for the survivors. The state and its criminal justice system will take care of themselves and you only need to concern yourself with surviving.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be very painful. The compensation that families sometimes receive, however, can enable them to go on and to avoid having the worst happen because they lost someone whose income and support they depended upon dearly. Like most lawsuits, there are limitations on how long you have to file a wrongful death action. You’ll want to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. They can let you know how much time you have left to make this decision and make sure you know about your options as far as filing a lawsuit is concerned. Contact an attorney soon to find out.
If you believe you have a wrongful death lawsuit, please contact the Law Offices of Houston Personal Injury Lawyer, Blaine A. (Bat) Tucker at 727-771-5453 for a FREE case review
Medical Malpractice – What Is Failure To Diagnose
Almost half of the medical malpractice lawsuits filed every year have to do with a failure to diagnose. These aren’t lawsuits over someone leaving a surgical instrument in the body after closing the wound, about giving someone the wrong medication or about not treating someone at all. These lawsuits are about a doctor’s competence as it relates to being able to give diagnoses that save lives.
Diagnoses and Medicine
A great deal of the time that doctors spend in med school is spent learning how to diagnose conditions successfully. A great deal of how they protect their patient’s lives depends upon the physician’s ability to see what’s actually wrong.
There are cases where doctors do fail in this regard. People have been sent home from the ER with conditions as dangerous as fractured necks and have ended up suing for millions after the fact. The only reason that they weren’t diagnosed and treated properly was because of medical negligence and, because of that, these people sometimes decide that suing is the best option for them to recover their damages.
What if it Was a Logical Mistake?
There are cases where doctors cannot be expected to find a condition right away. In fact, sometimes doctors have to test and analyze a patient over and over to figure out what’s actually ailing them. Sometimes, there’s really no way that a doctor could have failed to find a condition, but there are some cases when they should have and, when someone is hurt because of that failure, medical malpractice lawsuits may be options.
The doctor will have to have taken you on as a patient, to begin with. You cannot, for example, sue a doctor for not recognizing that the cough they heard you struggling with in the ER was due to lung cancer. If they had every opportunity to give you a chest x-ray, to run other tests and to diagnose your cancer and if they failed in that duty, causing you to get sicker, you may be able to sue.
Why Sue Over This?
The reason people sue over failures to diagnose is the same as the reason that they sue over anything else. The failure to diagnose injures them physically and financially and it should have never happened. This means that the doctor was negligent and that means that the patient may have an option to file a lawsuit in front of them.
Finding An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Talking to a Personal Injury Attorney can help you clear your case up. It may not be that the physician was ultimately responsible for the failure, but the personal injury attorney should be able to tell you whether or not this is the case. There may be more investigation required but, if you consult with an injury attorney, they can usually tell pretty quickly whether or not they could help you. If they can help you, they may end up putting together a lawsuit and helping you to get compensated for the pain and suffering and financial losses that you’ve been put through.
Got Questions? Contact the Law Offices of Personal Injury Lawyer, Blaine A. (Bat) Tucker at 713-771-5453