Category Archives : Injury Law

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Suing Over Bullying Becomes Big News

The sometimes heartbreaking consequences of bullying have gotten more publicity in recent years. With that publicity has come an increasing public awareness of this problem and, in some cases, there have been lawsuits filed over bullying.

Examples of Bullying Lawsuits

The Houston Chronicle reported on March 29 of 2013 that a lawsuit filed by the parents of a student who committed suicide had been dropped. While the lawsuit had been dropped, it does give some insight into the dynamics of what may go into these types of lawsuits.

This lawsuit had alleged that the school district had ignored persistent bullying that the young victim had suffered. According to the reporting, the lawsuit alleged that the child had been bullied to death. The reporting also revealed that there were other factors involved in the death that may have not been related to bullying at all, eventually causing the lawsuit to be dropped.

In another case, an Iowa teenager’s family is in the process of pursuing a lawsuit against the administrators at the student’s high school and the school district, alleging negligence. In this particular case, bullying is said to have eventually led to the teenager suffering significant brain injuries, leaving him permanently disabled. The incident that led to the brain damage is alleged to have occurred when teammates on the teenagers’ football team repeatedly threw footballs directly at the victim’s head. According to the lawsuit, this led to injuries that have significantly diminished the teenager’s quality of life, according to reporting in Yahoo Sports.

Negligence

From a legal perspective, an individual is negligent when they have the opportunity to take an action that any normal person could take that would keep someone from coming to harm and when they fail to do so. It can also apply when somebody takes an action that to any reasonable person would put someone else in danger. To some degree, these losses all allege that whether it is the school administrators, coaches, classmates or anyone else, there was some form of negligence that directly led to an individual being harmed.

With bullying getting more attention in the press and with suicides and homicides both being implicated as potential outcomes of bullying, it’s likely that more of these lawsuits are going to be filed in the future. How courts find in regards to these lawsuits may set precedents that could have significant impacts for the next generation of children who have to deal with this particular threat.

If you are dealing with a similar situation and are unsure of the next steps, call the Law Offices of Blaine A Tucker for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453

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Can You Really Sue?

Can You Really Sue?

Do You Really Have A Basis For Suing Someone?

Threatening to sue is practically a pastime with some people, but there are specific conditions that have to exist before it actually becomes an option. Unfortunately, for some people who have been seriously intimidated by such threats, the conditions under which one can actually file a lawsuit are not quite as widely understood, as is the fact that suing is sometimes an option.

Damage

The entire point of filing a lawsuit is to get compensation for a real form of damage that has been done to the person suing. These damages have to be quantified in terms of dollars. If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you should consider whether the following conditions are actually true:

You Suffered a Loss

While some of the reasons that people sue a rather difficult to put into financial terms – pain and suffering, for instance – this can be done. However, merely the threat of having been injured does not constitute a valid reason to sue. There are plenty of occasions when business owners, property owners and others may find themselves having a very angry client, tenant or other individual threatening to file a lawsuit and when the person being threatened really has no valid reason to worry about getting legal representation.

Without damages, there is no point in filing a lawsuit. Being offended, threatened, feeling that one has been sold a worthless product or service absent any means of actually proving that is the case and myriad other situations under which people threaten to file lawsuits are really, in fact, nothing to worry about, in the vast majority of cases.

If you did not suffer a loss or, conversely, if you suffered some sort of a loss that cannot be converted into a dollar amount, then you probably do lack any legal grounds to file a lawsuit.

When to Get a Lawyer

Generally speaking, practicing law as a hobby is every bit as useful as practicing psychology as a hobby. While many people may feel they are experts in both fields, very few are. The best way to determine whether filing a lawsuit is actually a valid option is simply to talk to an attorney and to get their opinion on it. Because the vast majority of attorneys who help clients file lawsuits work on a contingency basis, it typically doesn’t cost any money to consult with an attorney to determine whether suing is actually an option.

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Improper Monitoring and Birth Injury Lawsuits

It is understood that a newborn child needs to be monitored closely to ensure that there are no issues. A lawsuit filed this year in Texas alleges that the doctors responsible for delivering a child were negligent by not providing the type of monitoring that would’ve allowed them to detect the symptoms of a serious disorder. The disorder in question was hyperbilirubinemia. Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition that involves the liver being unable to process bilirubin. That chemical collects in the blood and can lead to many different problems. Among those problems are brain injuries.

Unfortunately, the child in the lawsuit allegedly did suffer permanent injuries due to this condition. To make the situation even more tragic, the condition itself is easily treated with modern technology and, according to the lawsuit, if proper monitoring had been provided, the child may not have suffered at all.

Understanding Birth Injury Lawsuits

Birth injury lawsuits involve a range of different conditions. The one with which most people are likely familiar is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy, however, is a condition that results from a brain injury and that brain injury can occur because of many different reasons. A short list of those reasons includes:

Infections
Cutting off the child’s air supply
Too little amniotic fluid in the womb
Delayed cesarean sections
Negligent monitoring of the infant

Figuring out whether or not you do have legitimate cause to file a lawsuit against a physician or a healthcare facility is difficult. If a child is born with a brain injury or a condition that reveals a brain injury, such as cerebral palsy, a medical investigation is undertaken right away to determine what the cause of that condition actually is.

Unfortunately, many parents end up not pursuing the matter and, quite understandably, they’re simply glad that their child is alive. As time progresses, however, it becomes apparent that caring for a child with a serious medical condition is extremely expensive and many families simply do not have the financial wherewithal to provide the best treatment available. Attorneys can step in to help parents and children who have been the victims of medical negligence in one regard or another.

Who Gets Sued?

The party that ends up being sued depends upon the circumstances of the delivery. There have been cases where a child should have been delivered by cesarean section and where that was delayed, which ended up in the physician being sued. There have also been cases where midwives have failed to provide adequate medical care, leading to permanent injuries.

You will have to speak to a personal injury attorney to determine your options. You will need to do this quickly, as there are limitations on how long you have to sue over a birth injury.

 

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Lawsuit over Alleged Toxic Exposure Against Chevron Growing

The Herald Online reports that a lawsuit against Chevron is growing and there are now more than 4800 people signed on to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Chevron is responsible for exposing the plaintiffs to toxins that resulted in them suffering serious health issues after a fire and explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. The explosion and fire occurred on August 6, 2012.

The lawsuits are being filed over a facility that has a long history of issues. According to the report, the lawsuits allege that there have been at least 19 fires, explosions and spills at that refinery since 1989. The lawsuit also alleges that Chevron did not warn people in time about the health hazards posed to them by the toxins released by the fire.

Richmond, California, is located in the Bay Area of the state. The Chevron refinery is not the first one in that area to be the subject of a lawsuit. A refinery located in Avon, close to Martinez, California, was successfully sued over injuries and deaths resulting from an explosion at that refinery, as well.

Workplace Injuries and Lawsuits

Very large cases against employers – particularly when the employers are enormous multinational companies like Chevron – tend to get a lot of play in the media. In reality, however, many people are injured every day by employers who are negligent in one way or another in keeping their employees safe from harm. That negligence may take forms as simple and easy to understand as not providing adequate equipment or training to perform the tasks required of employees or as complex as withholding information about toxins to which employees are exposed and that eventually lead to those employees suffering devastating health issues.

Whether a company happens to be a large multinational or a small business, there are responsibilities that they have to their employees. When they endanger employees through negligent actions or inaction, they put themselves in a position where they may end up being sued by those employees, because the employees end up suffering expensive and sometimes life-threatening medical conditions, severe injuries or severe psychological trauma.

Talking to a Lawyer

There are many issues involved with suing an employer. For most people, there is always the fear of losing employment, which may already have happened, depending upon the extent of the injuries and how incapacitating they actually were. For other people, there is simply hesitation brought about by wondering if the accident was actually their fault. To deal with these types of issues, you need to speak with an attorney.

A personal injury attorney will understand what an employer is obligated to provide their employees in terms of safety and training. If you believe you have been injured by a negligent employer, contact a Houston personal injury attorney.

 

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Man Brought to Hospital on Life Flight Following Crash

KHOU reports that a Harrison County accident resulted in a 23-year old driver being brought to the hospital via Life Flight on November 21. The accident, according to police, occurred at an intersection when the driver was trying to cross traffic after exiting a shopping center. The driver was injured seriously enough to merit the helicopter trip to the hospital, but police also said that it was the driver’s fault that he got hit.

Understanding Fault and What it Means

When you’re at fault for an accident, it means that an action that you took or did not take led directly to the crash occurring. In some cases, these accidents may be negligence related and it’s not always the case that the negligent driver suffers fewer injuries. In fact, if a negligent driver ends up getting seriously injured in an accident they caused -injured worse than you- it doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot file a lawsuit against them for damages.

Damages

A Houston personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for damages that occurred due to an injury. These damages usually include the cost of replacing your property, of your current and future medical expenses that related to the accident, the cost of the wages you might have lost due to the accident and pain and suffering and mental anguish. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, these damages sometimes include compensation for a wrongful death, as well.

In some cases, the damages may not be quite as obvious as you think. For example, if a driver happens to crash into your home or yard, you can certainly talk to a lawyer about suing them for those damages. Not every car accident is a simple affair and the driver who is injured the worst is not necessarily the one who was the victim in these situations.

Talk to an Attorney

Your insurance company may be very good about giving you a payment in these circumstances, particularly when it’s cut and dried as far as the other driver being at fault. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to an attorney about the matter. The attorney may well be able to get you compensated more substantially by taking a look at the circumstances of the accident and determining if there was outright negligence on the part of the other driver. If this turns out to be the case, they may want to take you on as a client and go after that other driver so that you stand a chance of getting proper compensation for what you’ve been put through. If the other driver in a wreck was more seriously injured than you, remember that it’s still worth it to talk to an attorney.

 

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Salmonella in Texas Linked to Raw Milk

Texas officials say that salmonella is to blame for three children and one adult becoming seriously ill. That salmonella is believed to have come from raw milk- milk that has not been put through the usual cleansing processes that ensure the safety of food. Pasteurization is normally used to kill the bacteria in milk that could lead to serious and even life threatening, injuries and illnesses. There are some real risks involved in raw foods that you should be aware of.

Is it Healthy?

Raw foods and raw milk are sometimes touted as having health benefits compared to the food that you’ll normally find in the grocery store. In truth, the jury is very much out on this matter. There have been studies that have shown that some pesticides and other chemicals used on fruits and vegetables may present hazards to people but there are also plenty of studies that demonstrate that many processing procedures increase the safety of food many fold. Some of the risks of raw milk, in particular, are worth noting.

The Risks Involved

Food poisoning is not a minor illness. Even in healthy adults, food poisoning usually means at least one day of missed work and a lot of misery. Vomiting, nausea, headaches, fever and even more unpleasant symptoms are common. In individuals who have compromised immune systems or who are very old or very young, the symptoms are sometimes deadly. It can take a long time for the illness to run its course in such individuals and, because of that, it may mean a lot of time spent caring for those individuals for their families and a lot of medical expenses. Anyone who is part of an at-risk population such as those named above will have to be brought to a physician to get treatment for food poisoning.

Raw milk has been implicated in many deaths. The raw milk itself is a perfect vector for bacteria and, of course, children tend to be big fans of milk, which sets the stage for a very bad scenario to play out. There are ways that families can get compensation for these injuries, in some cases.

Food Producers and Lawsuits

Like anyone else who puts a product out on the market, food producers are responsible for the safety of the products that they sell people. If you believe that you have been the victim of a food producer who did not properly process their foods before they hit the shelves, you may wish to speak with an attorney.

A personal injury attorney may be able to get you compensation with a product liability lawsuit in these cases. Talking to an attorney is the first step and it should be taken soon after the incident.

 

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Window Blinds Recalled After Child Death

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the manufacturer of a line of window blinds are cooperating in a recall of approximately 139,000 vertical blinds and 315,000 horizontal blinds, according to a press release from the CPSC. The window blinds were implicated in the 2009 death of a two-year-old girl from Michigan who ended up being strangulated by a vertical blind cord.

The products come from the company Blind Xpress. The blinds are manufactured with an adjustment cord that hangs freely and that has a loop at the bottom. According to the press release, some of these loops are equipped with a weighted device, as well. The cord presents a threat of strangulation, as it is not secured to anything and, therefore, a child can become tangled up in it and be strangled.

The recalls involve blinds sold from between January of 1995 through December of 2011. They were sold at specialty stores in Michigan and manufactured in the United States. The recall only affects blinds that do not have an inner cord stop device on them or, in the case of vertical blinds, devices that do not have a cord tensioning device that can be affixed to the wall or to the floor to prevent this hazard.

If you have any of these blinds, the CPSC recommends that you stop using them immediately. You can get a free repair kit from the Window Covering Safety Council. If you want to contact them immediately so that you can get ahold of this kit, you can do so at WindowCoverings.org.

Product Liability Claims

In some cases, such as this case with the window blinds, the company that manufactures a product that proves to be defective in a way that poses a threat to customers will participate in a recall voluntarily. This, of course, is the ideal situation, as the manufacturer is taking responsibility for the products that they put on the market and because, of course, they are showing some genuine concern for their customers. This is not always the case, however. Some products have remained on the market after the manufacturers knew that they were dangerous, and, in some cases, manufacturers have resisted CPSC calls to recall a given product from the market.

Companies are responsible for the quality and safety of the products that they put on the market. If a product poses an obvious hazard that is not a characteristic of the device – a drill, for instance, poses a hazard of causing lacerations and puncture injuries, but that is rather unavoidable – recalling the product is sometimes the best course of action. In other cases, the company will simply offer you a free repair or a kit to repair the product so that you can eliminate the danger. If you have been injured by a dangerous product, however, be sure to speak with a Houston product liability attorney.

 

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100-Car Accident Under Investigation

A 100-car pileup over the week of Thanksgiving is still under investigation, according to reports. Currently, Texas Highway Patrol officials are looking into whether fog may have played a role in causing the devastating accident.

The Wreck

The trouble started just before 9 AM on Thanksgiving. In the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10, an accident occurred involving multiple vehicles. Shortly thereafter, a chain reaction crash started to take place, eventually spilling over into the westbound lane, as well. The trouble happened southwest of Beaumont, located in Jefferson County.

According to reporting on WPTV, officials suspect that a dense fog may have contributed to the crashes. Even in video shortly after the accidents, a light fog can be seen. One couple, in their 60s, unfortunately lost their lives during the accident, after a semi truck struck their vehicle from behind.

The accident ended up sending people to the hospital in Houston, which is located approximately 75 miles away from where the accident actually occurred. Officials estimate that anywhere between 80 and 120 people were injured in the accident. The cause of the accident continues to be investigated.

Pile-Ups and Chain Reactions

Accidents where multiple vehicles and a piling up on one another and when one accident turns into a chain reaction are among the most deadly situations that you can be involved in on the highways and freeways. In many cases, inclement weather is to blame for these accidents, though negligent driving on the part of a single driver can set one of these devastating events into motion.

Finding out exactly what happened that led up to such an accident is an extremely difficult task, even for experienced investigators. In the 100-car pileup over Thanksgiving, fog is suspected to be an issue and visibility is quite often what leads the first one or two cars to get into a crash, eventually leading to a multicar pileup.

While investigating these accidents is difficult, a personal injury attorney may be able to find out whether or not somebody was negligent and how that negligence may have contributed to the injuries and deaths of other people involved in the accident. If you happen to have been injured in such a crash, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney right away and to figure out whether or not it is likely that there was some sort of negligent action that led to the disaster happening at all.

In chain reaction accidents, you have to be exceptionally attentive and know what to do to avoid becoming hurt or killed. Unfortunately, there are some situations where either of those eventualities is completely unavoidable. If you have survived such a wreck, however, and want to investigate your options, make sure to speak with an attorney.

 

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Lawsuit Filed over Hormone Replacement Therapy

A Texas family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit over hormone replacement therapy. The lawsuit alleges that the drug companies that manufacture the products used in this therapy downplayed or concealed the risks of the drugs and that they have little or no actual benefit to the patient. This type of therapy has been in use since the 1940s and is used to treat the symptoms of menopause.

What it Does

Hormone therapy aims to decrease the severity of menopausal symptoms. Those symptoms include the loss of bone density, hot flashes, irritability and many others. Some of the symptoms, such as the loss of bone density, have serious health implications and others, such as hot flashes, primarily affect the woman’s quality of life. According to the lawsuit, the therapies that employ hormone replacement offer little or no value to the patient and present real risks.

The Risks

The hormones used in these therapies include a mix of natural and synthetic hormones that are designed to replace those that the woman’s body no longer produces in adequate amounts. Some of the same hormones are used in birth control pills and have been linked to potential life-threatening conditions, such as deep venous thrombosis, where a blood clot forms in the deep veins in the legs and, when broken loose into the bloodstream, can lead to fatal conditions such as pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks and strokes. The drug manufacturers, for their part, hold that the medicines used in the treatment of menopause have always carried warning labels and that patients are given every opportunity to understand and decide whether or not they want to accept the associated risks.

Old Therapies and Lawsuits

Most of the time, when you hear about a claim over a dangerous drug, it will be over a drug that is relatively new on the market. This is not always the case, however. Accutane, for instance, was prescribed for many years before a slew of lawsuits and a black box warning changed the way it was used. It was established in many of these lawsuits that Accutane did present very real risks to the patient’s health and even their life, even though it had been in use for so long.

If a treatment has been around for a long time and you have been injured by it, that doesn’t mean that you cannot pursue a lawsuit for damages or wrongful death. You’ll need to speak with an attorney about the matter, of course, because they are the only professionals who can let you know whether or not it’s likely that you’ll have a chance of winning your claim. If they believe that you do, they may take you on as a client and help you to pursue compensation.

 

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Farmers Insurance Pays out $140 Million in Class Action

Farmers Insurance has agreed to a settlement for $140 million over the mishandling of claims related to car accidents. The lawsuit alleged that the insurance giant managed to get away with not paying anything at all or paying less than it should have on its medical payment claims and its personal injury protection claims for people harmed in car accidents.

These accidents and the claims that followed were filed between January 2001 and January 2009. The claimants will get 60 percent of the difference between the cost of their medical bills that they submitted to Farmers and the amount that Farmers actually paid them.

The settlement, according to the company, was agreed to because the company didn’t want to go through any more expenses related to litigation. It was possible that the jury award could have been very high if they had gone to trial, as well, a common reason that defendants sometimes offer a settlement in lieu of going to court.

If you believe that you should have been a part of this settlement, you can still fill out a form online to see if you qualify.

What Are Class Actions?

Sometimes, there are so many people who have such a similar claim against a defendant that it makes more sense to have all of their cases heard together than it does to have them all go through the court system separately. This is the reason behind a class action. The many different claimants in the case are referred to as a class and a small number of representative cases are tried to determine whether or not those plaintiffs, as a class, are entitled to the compensation that they’re seeking.

Insurance Companies and Lawyers

Lawyers can be of great assistance if you’re having a problem with your insurance company. Your insurance company does have very real obligations to you and, if they fail to live up to them, it may be worth your while to file a lawsuit to persuade them to give you what you deserve. The attorney you hire will, of course, be much better equipped to deal with a contract issue-which an insurance policy really is-than you are and that enables them to figure out where the insurance company may not be living up to its obligations fully.

Talking to an Attorney

A Houston personal injury attorney will usually be willing to sit down with you for free to discuss any claim you think you have. This gives them an opportunity to see if they can help you or not. If they cannot, they’ll just let you know; but, if they can, they may well want to help you get the compensation that you’re entitled to.

 

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