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Fourteen Perish in Truck Wreck

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

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

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

Negligent Actions

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

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

What Can You Do?

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

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

 

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Texas a Dangerous Place for Truck Wrecks

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

Good Conditions

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

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

Rural Areas

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

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

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

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

 

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How Slip and Fall Injuries Are Investigated

Slip and fall injuries are among the most common and, unfortunately, quite devastating types of injuries that people sue over. These types of injuries can occur at private residences and commercial establishments. Lawsuits over these incidents are more frequently filed over injuries that occur in commercial spaces, though some residential property owners find themselves being sued over such injuries. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may want to talk to an attorney about it. They have resources that can help to get you compensation, in some cases.

What They Look For

What a personal injury attorney will be looking for if you want to bring in a slip and fall injury claim is an instance of negligence. This would mean unreasonably putting someone at risk by action or inaction. In a slip and fall accident, a common form of negligence is not placing signage on wet floors, causing people to unknowingly step on them and fall, potentially injuring or killing themselves.

If the slip and fall injury occurred in the workplace, the attorney may start looking for OSHA violations or other instances where the employer was negligent and where the employer essentially set up a situation where it was inevitable that one of their employees was going to get injured or worse. Attorneys can utilize experts to make determinations as to whether or not you were put at unreasonable risk.

For example, if you had taken a tumble down the stairway because the stair railing had broken loose, the attorney might hire a building inspector to see if it was ever up to code in the first place. They would likely also look into whether there had been complaints filed about it in the past as well as whether the property owner had ever taken action to remedy the situation. Attorneys are very good at investigating these matters, so you don’t have to worry about having your entire case mapped out in your head when you come into the attorney’s office for the first time.

Should You Sue?

The first thing you need to understand about slip and fall injuries is that they are sometimes extremely damaging. Lives are continuously lost in slip and fall injuries, particularly in cases where people end up taking a tumble from a height or when they fall on an extremely hard surface, such as the tile flooring used in retail establishments.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall injury and you believe that the property owner was negligent and that they put you at risk, talking to an attorney is a good idea. A Houston personal injury attorney will let you know whether your case is worth pursuing.

 

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Unsafe Lane Change Causes Wreck

A woman in Corpus Christi will be charged for making an unsafe lane change and for not having a driver’s license after she caused a wreck, according to KZTV10. The accident occurred in the evening. The woman attempted to make a lane change but, when she saw that there was another car in the lane that she was attempting to enter, she tried to correct. She ended up overcorrecting, according to the report, and causing a wreck that backed up traffic for some time.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Unsafe lane changes are very common on freeways, highways and smaller, city roads throughout Texas. They also frequently cause accidents. Drivers who do not check to make sure that the lane they’re trying to enter is clear before starting their change frequently end up causing accidents when they sideswipe other vehicles or when, as the case above shows, they have to go back into their lane quickly and end up causing a wreck because of overcorrecting. In some situations, this can be construed as negligence and the parties that they injure and whose property they destroy may be able to sue.

Watch Out

There are some things that you can do to protect yourself from these types of drivers, but it’s impossible to be entirely safe. These drivers tend to use their mirrors to check lanes but do not make head checks before they switch over. This means that, if you’re in their blind spot, they’re not going to see you and they may come directly over into your lane.

The best way to avoid this is to make sure that you don’t linger in someone’s blind spot. On most vehicles, this is an area directly behind the driver’s side mirrors-or passenger’s side, it’s the same on both sides-where the mirrors do not show you and where the driver cannot see you by simply turning their head to the side. Blind-spot mirrors can help to eliminate this hazard on your own vehicle, but you still need to turn your head to check alongside you before you make a lane change.

It’s also a good idea to keep two seconds of distance between you and the car in front of you, unless you’re moving to pass. This way, if they do come over in your lane or cut you off otherwise, you’ll have enough time to change directions or to stop. To figure out the distance, wait for them to pass a landmark or a highway line and then count the amount of time it takes you to reach that same landmark. It should be at least two seconds.

If someone wrecks your vehicle or harms you because of making a negligent lane change, talk to a Houston personal injury attorney. They may be able to help you.

 

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Three Car Crash Takes Life

YourHoustonNews.com reports that a car wreck on 105 W. left one person dead. The crash took place at approximately 7:30 AM the week of October 1 and involved a pickup truck and two passenger vehicles. At the time of the report, there was no hard and fast explanation for the accident – which apparently involved a head-on collision – but visibility conditions and road conditions were suspected to have played a part in the deadly collision. Firefighters at the scene had to remove the passenger door of one of the vehicles involved and part of the front of the vehicle to get the driver free.

Bad Conditions, Bad Wrecks

Even in a city with a relatively moderate climate such as Houston, the weather can get foul enough to make roads very dangerous at times. In the vast majority of cases, drivers are very sensible about this and slow down, turn on their headlights when necessary and give themselves a little bit of extra space between their vehicle and the vehicles in front of them. There are those drivers, however, we do not act responsibly in these situations and who end up causing crashes.

Watch Out

When the roads are wet, the braking distance for any vehicle increases. This is simply a part of physics and there is nothing your braking system can do about it. You have less traction on a wet road and, therefore, need more time and space to stop effectively. Additionally, wet conditions usually mean less lighting and, even during the daylight hours, that sometimes means that you have to turn on your headlights to remain appropriately visible. Be sure you follow this basic rule: if your windshield wipers are on your headlights should be on, as well.

One of the real hazards of wet conditions is the fact that they can make headlights and streetlights reflect off the road surface, making driving confusing for some people. If you’re having a hard time seeing in any regard, make certain that you slow down. If necessary, pull off to the side of the road and wait for the weather to pass. If you have difficulty with halos showing up around headlights and streetlights or if your windshield wipers are not functioning correctly, don’t chance it and try to make it home or to wherever you’re going. Pull over.

Negligence

Driving too fast in these conditions is sometimes a form of negligence over which juries will offer compensation. If you were injured or your property has been destroyed because a driver was negligent in not slowing down as much as they should have given the conditions, contact a Houston personal injury attorney. The accident may have been unavoidable but, in some cases, a little bit of caution could’ve gone a long way and you should never have suffered the injuries or property damages you did.

 

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Making Sense of Medical Malpractice

Here in Texas, there is a constant stream of news regarding medical malpractice. The fact is that medical malpractice is a real thing and, unfortunately, it’s also a fact that there is a lot of information out there that is designed to make you feel guilty or like you’re running a scam if you sue a doctor for malpractice. The following information may help you to sort through it all and to understand your rights if a doctor breeches their duty to you.

The News

Texas has caps on medical malpractice. This is a very political issue and, outside of the dichotomy that the media likes to hammer on, there are many interests involved in this law. Take a look at the news and you’ll see conflicting information being pumped out all over. Some stories say the caps have done nothing and other stories say it has made Texas safe for doctors again.

Make sure you keep in mind that suing a doctor for malpractice is sometimes the only way that the victims of the doctors and their families are ever going to get enough money to pay for the fallout. There are a lot of stories about people abusing the system. There are also many cases, both in the past an ongoing, where people were given the wrong operation, the wrong medication, where a deadly condition was missed because of negligent diagnoses and where patients were otherwise wronged.

If you were the victim of malpractice, you need to talk to a lawyer, not to political operatives, media pundits or advocates for any type of law. You need someone to represent your interests, not someone who represents insurance companies or doctors who would rather that they have the safety of knowing that even the most egregious acts of malpractice aren’t going to get them in enough trouble for them to really worry about it.

Why Attorneys Matter

When you’re the victim of malpractice, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. You may be dismissed outright by the doctor or medical facility responsible or you might be offered a settlement, which amounts to money that’s basically given so that you’ll be quiet and go away. The attorneys for the healthcare provider’s insurance company can make you feel like you’ll never get any more money than they’re offering; it’s their job.

A Houston medical malpractice attorney will represent you and only you. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, don’t go it alone, don’t take a settlement without consulting an attorney and don’t feel guilty. The only ones who should feel guilty are the doctor or healthcare facility who wronged you.

 

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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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Another Change to Texas Medical Malpractice Law

The Texas Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision decided that workplace injuries for hospital workers, including nurses, should be treated as if they were medical errors. According to News-Journal.com, the decision will have impacts on nurses and other healthcare professionals who are injured on the job.

The Texas Medical Liability Act

The Texas Medical Liability Act limits the compensation that you can receive for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim to $250,000. The stated intention of this law was to reduce the number of medical malpractice claims throughout the state and to make the state more attractive to doctors, as well as to bring healthcare costs down. Since it was passed in 2003, the costs of healthcare have gone up and there has been no influx of doctors to Texas. The latest move extends this limitation to employees who want to sue for compensation for workplace injuries sustained at a hospital.

Under the law, an injured nurse or healthcare worker can only seek compensation from a hospital employer under the same restrictions that apply to the Texas Medical Liability Act. This applies if the healthcare facility hasn’t provided workers compensation insurance, as well. The limitations could make it difficult for employees who were injured to get enough compensation to help them carry their bills and other obligations while they recover.

Should You Sue?

The limitations in the Texas Medical Liability Act are not difficult to understand in terms of their purpose. The intent of the law is to make it less productive to sue over medical malpractice claims and, now, nurses who are injured on the job will be restricted by the same law. If you are injured, however, don’t give up.

The limitations on damages still leave room for a skilled attorney to get just compensation for what you’ve suffered if medical malpractice or workplace injuries were issues. Don’t let the law discourage you from talking to an attorney. A good Houston personal injury attorney may see an opportunity for you to get compensated and that may mean a lot of valuable assistance handling your bills and other obligations.

Malpractice law is designed to make doctors accountable for the treatment that they deliver to their patients. When that treatment is negligent, the law provides a way for people to seek compensation. There is a lot of talk about the damage that medical malpractice claims do to the healthcare system but far less talk about how much damage the healthcare system does to everyday people.

Make sure you talk to an attorney if you have questions. They can give you the information you’ll need on any laws that apply to your lawsuit and can let you know what your options are and which of them would be most productive.

 

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Low Speed Crash Causes Mayhem

The car crashes people dread are those that happen at high speeds, but a story from FOX in San Antonio reveals that you don’t have to be going fast to do real damage. According to the report, a 30mph crash resulted in $30,000 of damage to a home and two totaled cars.

The crash occurred on the northeast side of San Antonio. The driver of the vehicle that caused the crash ran a stop sign and slammed into a vehicle. The vehicle kept on going and slammed into a house. No one was injured in the home, but the three people in the vehicles were taken to the hospital, according to the report.

At Any Speed

Vehicles that are moving at low speeds are still very dangerous. The energy of a crash is partially determined by mass and, even at a slow speed, the tremendous mass of a motor vehicle makes it deadly. While no one was killed in the crash in San Antonio, cars travelling at low speed routinely cause death and destruction. In fact, even a car travelling at what seems a snail’s pace can be deadly.

In school zones, the 15mph speed limit may seem excessively slow, but a car going that fast can easily kill an adult, much less a child. The lowered speed does not make it safe to get hit by a car, but it makes it much easier for the driver to brake in time to avoid a disaster, which is the entire point. When drivers are negligent and do not follow speed limits, when they run stop signs and when they otherwise drive in an unreasonable way, there are recourses.

Civil vs. Criminal

In cases where there is negligent driving involved, there are sometimes criminal charges filed against the offending driver. This does nothing, however, for the people who were injured or who had their property destroyed by the negligent driver. That is where lawsuits come into play and they are sometimes the only realistic ways that people get compensated for their injuries.

Finding Help

Whether you’ve been injured or had your property destroyed by someone going 30mph or faster than 60mph, contacting an attorney is advisable. The attorney may be able to determine where negligence played a part in the wreck and, if it did, you may end up being able to file a successful lawsuit. Talking to an attorney right away after the wreck is highly advisable as there are limitations to consider.

Remember that someone facing criminal charges does not impact your ability to sue them. The criminal case will be a separate matter. A good Houston car accident lawyer may be able to help you get compensated for what you’ve been put through.

 

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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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