What You Need to KNow About Daycare Abuses

Daycare abuse sometimes involves the most nightmarish situations imaginable and is sometimes simple neglect. Either way, many parents seek to get compensation by way of lawsuits. They may get this compensation on behalf of their children, who may have suffered the most, or they may simply seek to get the money back from the daycare […]

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Suing Your Landlord Over Bedbugs

A lawsuit over a bedbug infestation has won a Maryland woman $800,000 in a lawsuit against her landlord, according to reporting in the Huffington Post. This is not the only such lawsuit that has been filed. According to the same reporting, 300 people who dwell in the same apartment building filed a class action lawsuit […]

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What’s the Difference Between Negligence and Incompetence?

Knowing The Difference Between Negligence and Incompetence is Critical

There is a difference between the words negligence and incompetence. The word negligence is generally heard in legal proceedings when an attorney is trying to establish that their client somehow came to harm because of the negligent actions of a defendant. A defendant who is negligent may or may not be incompetent. A negligent action, however, does not need to be incompetent, nor does it need to be a sign of general incompetence.


The word incompetent simply means that a person does not posess the requisite skills to perform a given task. It doesn’t mean that the person is lacking in intelligence, is habitually careless or anything other than their lack of specific skills.

For example, a person may be a fully competent driver, but put them on a professional racetrack and they will instantly be exposed as being completely incompetent when it comes to driving a racecar. Incompetence is situational and related to the job being performed. A negligent doctor can actually be an incredibly accomplished physician and not incompetent in any regard. It’s important to understand this where lawsuits are concerned.


Negligence implies that somebody either failed to do something in a competent manner or a careful manner. A physician who was incompetent in delivering care, for instance, may be found to have been negligent by a jury. A physician who very competently delivered the wrong care, however, would also be likely to be found to have been negligent, if their patient were to have come to harm.

Negligence always takes into account the person being accused of it. For instance, using the above example with drivers, being able to perform the types of maneuvers that police officers, racecar drivers, EMTs and other professional drivers can perform is not expected of your average everyday driver. In such cases, you’ll commonly hear terms such as “a reasonable person” or “a normal person”. These might seem like rather subjective descriptions, but they refer to what can reasonably be expected of the average person in a given situation.

A perfectly competent driver may be outrageously negligent in a given situation. For example, a driver who gets behind the wheel drunk is being negligent. He may be an excellent driver, but driving intoxicated constitutes a negligent act. When you’re looking at lawsuits, remember that words are everything. Keep in mind that, simply because somebody was fully competent at their job, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t negligent in regards to how they made you come to harm.

It is always prudent to consult an attorney in serious legal matters. Most attorneys practicing injury law offer free consultation and in many cases, have contigency based fees.

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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.


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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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:

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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Longer Nights Put Pedestrians at Risk

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


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

·        Good visibility for the wearer

·        Reflective surfaces if the costume is dark colored

·        Allows agile movement

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

Right After Dark

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

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

At Night

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

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

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


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Houston the Fourth Most Congested US City

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

Rear-End Crashes

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

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

Exit/Entry Ramps

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

Sun and Sky

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

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


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Car Wreck Emphasizes Dangers of Wet Roads

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


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

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

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

Stopping the Hydroplane

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

Being Safe

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

If You’re Hit

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


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Drunk Driver Convicted on Intoxicated Manslaughter Charges

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

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

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

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

Other Legal Options

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

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

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

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


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