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Is Texas Too Lenient Towards Crane Operators?

Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 at 8:22 pm    

Texas likes to be known for its superlatives: “Everything is bigger in Texas” as the saying goes. Not everything that is bigger in Texas is quite so praiseworthy, though. The Lone Star state leads the country in deaths from crane accidents and there is speculation that the penalties for violations by crane operators and construction companies are just too weak to deter poor maintenance and inadequate supervision.

Most crane injuries and fatalities happen to workers on construction sites, but now and again a member of the public is affected. That’s just what happened last week in Dallas, when strong winds toppled a crane, killing a woman in her own apartment, injuring others and destroying homes. Maybe the fact that this was no-one directly involved with the operation of the crane who was affected it might just lead to tightening up on lax enforcement.

In the Dallas accident, there is no argument that exceptionally strong winds directly caused the collapse of the crane, which fell with such force that it crushed an apartment block in its path. The fatality was a 29 year old woman, Kiersten Smith. However, the blame for the accident and its effects cannot be solely aimed at the weather that day in Dallas. Texas, like many places in the U.S., is used to occasional very strong winds. Cranes are supposed to be designed to withstand such winds. One ex federal crane accident investigator mentioned after the Dallas crane collapse that cranes are built to withstand 140 mph winds. The highest recorded gust at Dallas airport the day the crane collapsed was 70 mph. Even allowing for higher gusts in the vicinity of the crane, this was still only half the designed safety limit.

The ex crane investigator said that there are precautions that can be taken when a crane operator knows that bad weather is imminent. The main precaution is to tie down or weigh down the boom of the crane so that it doesn’t topple backwards, which is what happened in Dallas. The weather forecast issued well before the weekend when the thunderstorm blew through was quite clear about the possibility of strong winds, but reportedly the crane was unattended all weekend.

The crane belonged to Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. Representatives from the company have issued their “thoughts and prayers” to those affected and have agreed to fully cooperate with investigators, but the question is whether anything will actually change.

North Texas, in particular, seems to lead the country in crane accident fatalities, although in the last five years news about serious crane accidents has been reported in many parts of the country, not just in Texas. Not all crane accidents are due to strong winds, either. There are different reasons for these accidents. A crane accident in Seattle in April this year killed two people who were working on it and injured two more. The crane reportedly collapsed as the crane crew was attempting to dismantle it. Another crane accident in New York recently took place in the morning rush hour. The crane actually sliced through an apartment building, like the Dallas crane accident, killing one person.

Lack of enforcement could be reason for crane operator negligence

Because there is no apparent common thread emerging in these crane accidents, some attorneys representing injured accident victims have come to the conclusion that the rapid expansion of the construction industry is leading to a lack of effective enforcement and lax control over crane maintenance. In 2017 alone, there were 77 inspections made by OSHA of crane maintenance on Texas worksites. 71% of 65 violations were reported to be serious, according to federal officials. Many of these violations were deliberate or repeated after previous inspections. Fines for crane fatalities have been pegged at only $10,000 per fatality where investigations found that the crane operator was at fault.

If you, or a loved one, is injured as a result of a crane accident in Texas, you will need a resourceful and determined accident attorney to help you pursue rightful compensation. Contact the Injury Lawyer San Antonio at 833-210-4878.

What To Do When You Have Delayed Injuries After An Accident

Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019 at 3:31 pm    

A car accident is a traumatic event that affects people in many ways. People react differently to them, with some having fractures and other injuries immediately it happens. With others, the lesions may not present themselves until later on after the accident. It may take even weeks, months or years to show. This may be stressful since you might have dismissed signing a settlement form with the insurance company of the driver at fault because the injuries were not there when it happened. If this happens to you, you might want to know what options for compensation are there and what course of action to take.

Types Of Pain That Are Delayed After An Accident

Once you have been involved in an accident, it is prudent to note that a headache may not be as normal as it was before. It may be something that you may need to watch out for since it may indicate signs of a severe injury that was not discovered before. These are some of the types of pain that should get immediate attention once you start experiencing them.

  • Headaches

A neck injury, concussion or even blood clot can result in headaches or dizziness. You should pay attention to the location of the problem and its severity. A severe headache may also indicate a brain injury, especially if your head was hit violently in the accident. You should see a medical practitioner immediately you get this symptom, to rule out anything.

  • Back Pain

Pain, especially in the lower back, may indicate an injury related to whiplash. It could also show signs of a sprain or muscle damage. If it comes with numbness or tingling, it could mean that you have pinched nerves.

  • Pain In The Neck Or Shoulders

It could point to a herniated disc or even spinal injury. It could also be a symptom of whiplash. Once you experience this, you should have some tests done.

  • Abdominal Pain

If left untreated, internal injuries can be fatal. Internal bleeding can cause dizziness and headaches.

  • Emotional Distress

There are many physical symptoms that one may have after an accident. However, the emotional ones are much harder to detect and can be very traumatic. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and some of the other psychological problems may appear way later after the accident. Below are some of the symptom of emotional distress that you should see a doctor immediately you notice them.

  • Mood Swings
  • You are having difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of interest in things you loved doing
  • Panic attacks

Seeking Medical Attention

Having delayed symptoms after an accident can be stressful since the insurers may be critical of the timing. Once you experience these symptoms, you should consult a doctor to do tests on you and see the extent of the injuries. Even though the accident was minor, seek medical help immediately to rule out anything. If you do not, the other side may claim that something happened in between the car accident and the injury. This may make it hard to prove that the accident caused the symptoms.

Get Yourself A Personal Injury Lawyer

Once you have seen your doctor, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. They will be able to negotiate with the insurers and also strengthen your claim. They will ensure that you are not unfairly penalized because the symptoms took too long to appear. They will also guide you on how to argue your case and what compensation you stand to get. Also, they will get an accurate estimate of the medical costs that may be incurred later if your condition will take long before it clears. They will also help build your case by using the medical experts to show that the injuries did not manifest until after the accident.

Having delayed injuries after a car accident can be frustrating for most people since they had thought that they were okay. Seeking compensation can be quite tricky since some of these injuries can take months before they show symptoms. It is therefore advised to get yourself a personal injury lawyer to ensure that the claims process goes on smoothly and you are compensated fairly.

Defective E-Cigarettes Can Cause Severe Injuries

Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 at 5:59 pm    

Some people who have been struggling to stop smoking tobacco have turned to so called e-cigarettes, also known as vaping. E-cigarettes are touted as a safer alternative to the well known health dangers of long term smoking. However, e-cigarettes have their own risks as has been stated several times already by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The death of William Brown in Fort Worth earlier this year is just one example of what can happen when an e-cigarette user gets hold of a faulty pen.

The Fort Worth accident happened on January 27th this year. Brown had gone to a local vape store, apparently to ask for help with his vape pen, a brand called Mechanical Mod. The owner of the store declined to help him as he said that that type of vape pen was known to have faults. Not long after, Brown was seen clutching his throat and obviously in severe pain. The store owner called for emergency services who arrived swiftly and took Brown to a nearby hospital. Brown died two days later of a stroke that had been caused by an injury to his carotid artery. It appeared that the vape pen had exploded and a piece of the device had lodged in his neck, severing his carotid artery.

Battery faults singled out as cause of explosion accidents

This was not the only accident involving an exploding e-cigarette. There have been several others in other states, although as the FDA has noted, the explosions have not been common and it can be hard to be sure that a particular brand of e-cigarette may or may not be potentially deadly. The other accidents have all involved faults in the chargeable batteries that power the e-cigarette. The battery either gets so hot that it literally explodes under pressure or explodes during recharging. Readers may remember similar faults a couple of years ago with the Lithium ion rechargeable batteries installed in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 cell phones. These batteries caused several severe injuries at unexpected times, including on air flights, eventually leading to Samsung recalling the devices in September 2016.

One incident involving an e-cigarette last year involved the device catching fire when in someone’s pocket. In this case, it seems that it was the contact between the pen and loose change in the North Carolina man’s pocket that may have caused the fire. The victim in this case was severely burned. The man felt the cigarette burning in his pants pocket just before arriving at his home. He leapt out of the car and the cigarette then burst into flames and exploded with shrapnel hitting his face.

A report in July 2017 by the U.S. Fire Administration confirmed that most explosions had at that point mostly occurred when the e-cigarette was in someone’s pocket. The report said that although most of these explosions can be dealt with quite easily, some are potentially deadly.

E-cigarettes not just explosive but potentially toxic

The FDA says that e-cigarette use has exploded amongst younger people in particular. The dangers to users may on the whole be less than smoking tobacco, but they still exist, and not just because of the possibility of battery explosions. Some toxic substances that are known to be present in tobacco smoke are also present when inhaling e-cigarette fumes, although in reduced amounts. These substances are known to be carcinogenic. Added to that are the possible repercussions of faulty batteries or charging methods.

It has been suggested that battery problems can be minimized by carefully reading charging and handling instructions. Leaving them exposed to too much heat or enclosed in pockets for too long may exacerbate battery temperatures and lead to explosion. Part of the problem seems to be the number of different e-cigarettes on the market and the lack of proper regulation. It is just not known at this stage whether the possibility of explosion and fire is something shared by all e-cigarettes or only certain defective brands.

One thing is for sure. If e-cigarette use and vaping continues to expand without proper regulation, there will be more serious injuries and fatalities that will occur in the future. There is no excuse for manufacturing or distributing devices that have been known to have caused unexpected burns and lacerations from flying shrapnel. If this has happened to you, then you should contact a defective product lawyer in San Antonio as soon as you can to discuss what legal action you can take. Contact The Injury Lawyer San Antonio for professional and dedicated legal help at 833-210-4878.

San Antonio is Dealing With Electric Scooter Accidents

Posted on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 2:22 pm    

Electric scooters have become popular all over America, including San Antonio and other large cities in the state. In many places, they have been encouraged by city authorities as a part of an approach to providing alternatives to fossil fuel powered transportation.

In San Antonio, there are currently nine electric scooter hire companies. There are around 12,000 scooters somewhere around the city at any one time, not all in action at once. The city has been grappling with how to deal with a vehicle that is neither a bicycle nor a motorcycle, but somewhere in between. There has been a pilot scheme in operation and the city council has made several rules for scooter use which it is hoped will help to eliminate some of the problems that they have presented.

One of the problems is a rash of accidents, some of them quite serious. Both scooter hire’s and pedestrians have been hurt. There are many reasons why the electric scooters have caused a whole new set of potential accident scenarios.

One reason is simply that the scooters are a relatively new technology and many people who pay to use them in the city are not familiar with the way they should be handled. Riders have fallen off when the scooter hits a bump, goes around a tight corner or does not respond to the use of the brakes fast enough.

The scooters have a speed limit of 15 mph. That makes them faster than the ordinary bicycle, but slower than the average motorized vehicle. If they are ridden on a sidewalk they are a potential accident risk to pedestrians or other electric scooter rides and cyclists. If they are ridden on a road, then there is a danger that the scooter rider may be a victim of an accident. The scooters are safest when ridden on purpose built or designated cycle lanes or paths, but there simply aren’t enough of them to satisfy the people who choose to hire them.

Another problem is that the scooter companies do not provide helmets. Those people who hire scooters do so for limited periods of time because of their convenience and speed getting around the city, but generally don’t carry a helmet around with them.

A prohibition on the use of scooters between 11 pm and 6 a.m. was ruled by the San Antonio City Council some time ago, which helps to eliminate the rate of accidents in the dark, but doesn’t totally exclude them.

There have been at least two deaths in Texas attributed to electric scooter accidents; one in Austin and another in Dallas. The rate of emergency callouts and ER visits was reported as having spiked by over 150 percent in Austin after electric scooters were first rolled out in that city.

Electric scooters are just as vulnerable as any two wheeled vehicles and a collision between a scooter rider and a pedestrian, cyclist or anything more solid often ends up with the scooter rider falling abruptly on to the path, sidewalk or roadway. A scooter defect that has not yet been reported in San Antonio, but has affected scooters in some other U.S. cities and overseas, causes the scooter’s wheels to lock up and throw its rider on to the ground. Typical scooter injuries are similar to bicycle accident injuries:

  • head injuries including traumatic brain injury;
  • bruises, cuts and more severe lacerations
  • fractures;
  • broken ribs;
  • dislocations;
  • spinal injuries;
  • facial injuries including loss of teeth.

Electric scooters and personal injury compensation

There are two main ways in which electric scooters are the subject of a personal injury claim. If you were hit by a negligent scooter rider, then you may have grounds for filing a claim against them. Note that it is unlikely that the scooter rider would have insurance to cover an injury that they may have caused, so the claim would be made against their assets.

The second type of claim would be one made by the scooter rider if hit by a negligent vehicle driver, or against the scooter hire company itself if the accident was caused by a defect in the scooter.

As the use of electric scooters becomes even more popular in San Antonio it is likely that the number of injuries related to this method of transportation will increase. If you have been injured in a scooter accident in or around the city, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney in San Antonio as soon as your injuries allow you to do so. You can contact a San Antonio Lawyer for professional and dedicated legal help at 833-210-4878.

 

Injured on an Oil Well or Drilling Rig? Call a San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 4:22 pm    

Texas is a big state with a highly diversified economy. It has a huge oil and gas industry so it may not be such a surprise to learn that the state has the highest fatality rate for oil well and gas drilling blowouts and explosions. The oil and gas industry is in fact the most dangerous in the U.S. and Texas is the most dangerous state.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps records of serious injuries and fatalities according to the type of industry. Their figures may not be completely accurate as some accidents are not recorded for privacy reasons. The oil and gas industry is particularly vulnerable to fire and explosions caused by gas leaks. Although only 1% of American workers are involved in the oil and gas industry nationwide, the number of fatalities caused by fire or explosion is about ten times the average number in any other industry with the exception of firefighting.

To be fair, the actual incidence of serious injuries and fatalities in Texas may not be as bad as other states when the percentage of workers involved in the industry are taken into consideration. In 2013, for instance, it appeared that Texas had three times the number of oil and gas fatalities as North Dakota, another state where the industry is important, but on analysis the figures reveal that when the numbers of workers are taken into account, Texas fatal accidents are less than half that for North Dakota.

Accidents on oil and gas rigs are sometimes simply the result of the inherent danger of the proximity to a highly combustible material, but in many cases accidents are preventable. Workers are often injured or killed because of negligence on the part of the company involved in the operation. Methane explosions are particularly common. In one accident in 2010, for instance, supervisors continued to drill for oil after an old coal mine had been pierced, releasing a cloud of methane. The methane exploded, killing seven oil workers.

Workers not the only ones affected by oil and gas accidents

Oil and gas explosions and fires don’t always just affect workers. If they occur on land in the vicinity of buildings used for homes and offices, then others in the community can be seriously affected after a catastrophic accident. Theoretically, an oil or gas well should not be drilled close to anyone’s home, but the distance may not be far enough for all danger to be avoided. In the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico, 11 workers died, 17 more were injured and there was also well documented catastrophic damage to the marine environment caused by the subsequent oil spill. The incident remains the U.S.’s worst environmental disaster to date.

Some accidents are caused by ignoring safety procedures. The methane explosion example above was in that category. In other cases, workers may not be sufficiently well trained to do the job they are doing or are not fully trained to follow safety procedures. Adequate supervision may be lacking. In the Deepwater Horizon incident, it was determined that Transocean, the company that was drilling for oil for B.P., had ignored concerns that the well’s blowout preventer was not able to be remotely activated properly in the event that a blowout occurred.

Workers’ comp. or personal injury?

Many Texans and workers from other states are employed in oil and gas wells and are at a higher risk of serious injury than most other workers. In most cases, if an accident causes an injury to an employee, then workers’ compensation should cover the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, lost wages and compensation for dependent families in the event of a fatality. Texas is almost unique in the U.S. for not having mandatory workers’ compensation requirements. Many employers in Texas do in fact take out workers’ compensation insurance. However, in the event that an oil and gas worker is not covered, a personal injury claim may be the only way of obtaining compensation.

For non workers injured by such an explosion or fire there exists the possibility of obtaining compensation through a personal injury claim. If you have been involved in an oil or gas accident and are not covered by workers’ comp., then you should arrange an appointment with a San Antonio lawyer to discuss your legal options and the possibility of a personal injury claim. You can contact the San Antonio office of the Patino Law Firm at 833-210-4878.

 

Personal Injury Claim: Can a Doctor Make or Break Your Case?

Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 4:21 am    

Injuries in the result of an accident are personal in nature. Two persons involved in the same accident and vehicle will have a different nature of injuries. Similarly, the healing time will be different given their injuries. In this case, the doctor plays a vital role when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of the victim(s). A doctor’s diagnosis of the victims’ injuries and their medical record can make or break the personal injury case. If he makes the wrong diagnosis, or does not keep any a medical record or does not produce at any stage of the proceeding, this can damage the credibility of the victim leading to losing the personal injury case.

Seeking Medical Treatment Immediately After the Accident:

It is very important to seek immediate medical treatment after the accident. These medical records help in determining the link between the accident and consequent injuries. This step is very necessary because the treating doctor’s statement will have more credibility than the hired doctors who are usually paid for the opinion in such cases.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if the victim does not seek medical treatment first and consults the lawyer instead, the court will find it difficult to link between the injuries and accident due to the time that has elapsed between the events. Moreover, the defendant can raise the argument that the injury was pre-existing and not the result of the accident.

The Follow-up Treatment:

Initial treatment is not enough after the accident. The personal injury victim must visit the doctor often and follow the instructions strictly. Moreover, the doctor may also advise that how long after the accident the victim can return to work or can perform other activities. In case the victim does not follow up with the doctors, such an act can be used against the victim that he or she has not taken appropriate steps to recover from the loss.

Keeping Medical Records:  

In a personal injury case, medical records are of vital importance as they serve as the key evidence. Moreover, these medical records must contain complete information about the victim’s accident, injuries, diagnosis, and treatment. For instance, these medical records must contain that the victim’s treatment was started as a result of his or her involvement in a motor vehicle accident. If the doctor proves this link between the injuries and the accident, it can be much easier to recover the compensation money from the insurance companies.

Doctors Being Associated with the Personal Injury Law Firms:

Some doctors have developed a reputation as being associated with the personal injury law firms. When the medical records crafted through these practices, the credibility of such reports come into question. As the personal injury law firms are also involved, it appears that these firms have developed such medical reports. Such doctors fall apart when the cross-examination is carried out. This can break your personal injury claim and the victim lose the case. So, it is advisable to go to the doctor who is not associated with such firms and establishes a good report.

Irrelevant Information:

It is important for a medical report to be perfectly scribed with all the relevant information. Although the attorney can discuss the report with the doctor, however, the doctor must include every relevant information about the treatment.

So, if you are suffering from injuries in the result of an accident, it is better to seek treatment from a well reputed and qualified doctor as well as follow his instructions while keeping a full medical record.

The Texas Dram Shop law and Liability for Injuries Caused by Drunken Patrons

Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 at 4:52 pm    

Very few people go out to a club or a bar with the intention of causing violence,despite what you might see in a film. Unfortunately, some people seem to become violent easily whenever they have had too much to drink. That alcohol fueled violence can spill over and affect someone who has had nothing to do with the person who has become drunk. They just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Texas, anyone who suffers serious injury because of a drunken attacker whose behavior has been exacerbated by being served alcohol may be able to sue the establishment that served the alcohol. This law is known as the Dram Shop Law.

An example of the Dram Shop Law in action

Let’s say you go out one evening to a bar and have a few drinks with some friends. Youcan’t help noticing that a small group drinking near you is getting drunker and drunker throughout the evening. At some point, one of these guys takes offense at you staring at his group and staggers over and hits you over the head with an empty bottle. You are quite badly injured and need hospital treatment,suffering gashes that need stitching and some loss of vision. Based on this scenario you have the potential right to sue both the bar staff or the bar management as well as the man who hit you. This is regardless of any criminal charge that may have been laid against the drunk bar patron by police assuming that they intervened after you were led away for hospital treatment.

Negligence is the basis of the Dram Shop Law

Like any personal injury situation, liability for someone’s injury depends on proving that negligence caused the injury or made the injury more likely. In the case of a bar, or other commercial enterprise deliberately serving alcohol to someone who was becoming too drunk to be safe, this is construed under Texas law as a case of negligence. The law is an extension of premises liability. The bar staff should not allow the person to drink any more if in their judgment he or she is becoming unable to control his or her behavior satisfactorily and may show signs of violence. The bar management or owners may be judged to be liable if staff are not adequately supervised or trained to stop serving alcohol to someone becoming too drunk.

The same law could also feasibly apply to a non commercial situation, such as in someone’s own home. For example, if people have been invited round to someone’s home and alcohol is provided, then the person who is supplying the alcohol maybe regarded as liable if the alcohol is continually given out to someone who is becoming too drunk to be considered safe.

The Dram Shop Law may also be used if a bar patron has been served with more alcohol than he or she can obviously handle, knowing that that person would attempt to drive away in a vehicle. If the drunk driver causes an injury, then the injured victim may be able to sue the bar management or staff because of their negligence.

Negligence must be proven

As in any personal injury claim, negligence must be proved for the claim to be successful. There is no point in just claiming that the bar was partly responsible for making the person who hurt you drunk. You have to have evidence that this was the case. In the case of a bar attack, it is likely that you would have several other people present at the time who would have seen what had happened and may have also noticed that the attack took place after the attacker had been sold alcohol past the point that that was sensible. These eyewitnesses would be valuable evidence in the event that you made a claim against the bar.

It is likely that if the incident was unprovoked and violent that police would have been called to deal with it or at least investigate it. Their report could also be useful evidence when attempting to show that the attacker should not have been sold as much alcohol as he had been.

You will need a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim

Suing a bar, or other establishment, because of their part in an alcohol fueled injury will not be easy. You are strongly advised to discuss your injury and the incident that led to it with a San Antonio premises liability lawyer. You can contact the San Antonio office of the Patina Law Firm at 833-210-4878.

What to do if you’ve been bitten by your neighbor’s dog

Posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 2:36 am    

We all love our pet dogs. They bring us joy and happiness. But sometimes they also cause us grief when they inadvertently attack a neighbor or a passerby. It can also be frightening when you’re at the receiving end of a dog bite. We have all dealt with the neighbor with the aggressive dog and it’s scary when you have been attacked by a neighbor’s dog. For pet owners or pet attack victims, either circumstance leaves a lengthy medical bill – the question is, who pays for it?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog

The first thing you should do when you’ve been bitten by a dog is to evaluate your bite and assess whether you need immediate medical attention.

The next step you should take is to note down the contact information of the dog’s owner. If you’ve been bitten by your neighbor’s dog, you will no doubt have their address and complete name for further contact. If you’ve been bitten in a public place and you’re unsure of who the dog’s owner is, it important to gather as much information as you can about the dog’s owner. At a minimum, this includes the owner’s first and last name.

Your best option is to ask the dog owner to exchange contact information and to ask the owner whether you can take a picture of the owner’s driver’s license. If the dog owner is being uncooperative, you may need to seek the assistance of the police.

Texas Law on Dog Bites

In Texas, the law on animal and dog bites is complex. Rather than a dog owner being 100% at fault for their dog’s behavior, there are a few things you will have to prove if you’ve been bitten by a dog:

  • You have to prove that the dog owner knew or should have know that their dog is aggressive (ie: the owner knows that their dog is aggressive and prone to biting others)
  • You have to prove that the dog owner was negligent in preventing their dog from attacking you

Proving negligence means that establish that the dog owner should have been watching their dog or that their dog should have been on a leash prior to the attack. It’s possible to be bitten by a dog on a leash, but establishing your case is more simplified when the dog wasn’t on a leash when you were bitten.

This rule is known as the “one-bite rule”. The one-bite rule requires you to prove that “but for” the dog owner’s actions or inactions, would you have been bitten by their dog?

The good news with the one-bite rule is that most aggressive dogs have a pattern of aggressive behavior, and its probably not the first time that that particular dog has attacked someone.

While this article addresses dog bites, these rules typically apply to other pet animal attacks.

If you’ve been attacked by someone’s pet, it’s important to contact a San Antonio Personal injury lawyer right away. Dog bites and animal attacks have a statute of limitations. This means that you will want to file your case before your time is up. If you file your case too late, you could be out of money you deserve. Call us at 833-210-4878 today to discuss your legal options.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Workplace Injury in San Antonio

Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2018 at 3:03 pm    

In San Antonio, worker’s compensation isn’t mandatory unless the employee is a public employee or meets other requirements of the law. Therefore, employers can decide whether they want to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees or occupational accident insurance for contractors. Workers’ compensation protects both employers who sustain injuries or illnesses on the job and the employer. It basically provides replacement of their wages and health benefits to employees. In contrast, occupational accident insurance, provides the same to independent contractors. Typically, employees who qualify for worker’s compensation or contractors who qualify for occupational accident insurance, have to meet certain requirements to receive payments if they’re not able to their full capacity. In return, the employer is spared a personal injury lawsuit and their financial liability is limited.

If you’re currently employed with a company that has workers’ compensation insurance or occupational accident insurance, it is paramount that you understand how each works. Millions of individuals sustain workplace injuries every day and it’s important that you are aware of your benefits, if they exist. If you are, in fact, injured at work, there are certain steps you should take so that you can become eligible for workers compensation or occupational accident insurance benefits. They are as follows:

Report Your Injury

The first thing you need to do when you are injured on-the-job is to immediately report it to your supervisor. In San Antonio and the rest of Texas, you have up to 30 days to report your injury so that you can make a claim for workers’ compensation. In the event that your employer refuses to accept your report and tries to deny you from making a claim, you can speak with a San Antonio attorney who is experienced in the area of workers’ compensation.

Find Out if Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation

Texas is a state that doesn’t require employers to get workers’ compensation insurance or occupational accident insurance for contractors. As a result, it’s important that you find out whether your employer has it. If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation, you may want to consult with a San Antonio attorney about starting a personal injury claim. This is an option if your injury was sustained as a result of negligence or an intentional act on the part of the employer or a coworker.

Locate Witnesses

In many successful workers’ compensation claims, the injured worker finds a witness who can vouch for what happened. If you can find a witness, it can make things easier. If there weren’t any witnesses, you can still take down the names of anyone who helped you. In Texas, the employee has the burden of proof regarding on-the-job accidents and injuries or illnesses sustained at work, so this is especially important.

See a Doctor

The next step is to see a doctor. You can choose to see your own or one recommended by your employer. Keep in mind that, if you opt to see your own doctor, make sure he or she accepts workers’ compensation insurance. The doctor should make a full report of the findings of your exam, detailing everything about your injury.

Return to Work if Possible

If you are able to, you should return to work as soon as you can. If necessary, do what you can and only perform light work duties. This may be necessary while you wait for your workers’ compensation benefits to begin coming your way. Additionally, if your injury isn’t debilitating, you should return to work to avoid a conflict like getting fired.

If your employer doesn’t have workers compensation or occupational accident insurance, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for your injury with a San Antonio attorney while doing light work duties.

It’s important to follow all these steps if you are injured at work in the San Antonio area. Knowing all your rights and having an open communication with your employer is key to a successful workers’ comp claim.

Is a School Liable for My Child’s Injury?

Posted on Friday, July 13th, 2018 at 4:17 pm    

There are many reasons why a child could be hurt or injured while at school. Both schools and those who work in them are expected to do what they can to prevent school children in their care from being hurt or injured. However, injuries do occur and in many cases, staff members or the school authorities may be considered liable and could be sued for damages.

Typical reasons for school children’s injuries

There are many reasons why a child could suffer harm while at school. In some cases, it may be that the injury was inevitable or not the result of negligence on the part of anyone working at the school or the school itself. In many cases, however, it might be proved that the accident or injury could have been prevented, especially if it happened in a classroom while a teacher was present or outside the classroom in a supervised area such as a playground or sports field. Here are some common examples of school injuries:

  • Fighting or bullying. Teachers may be held responsible if a child suffers from another child’s taunts or violence if it takes place in a classroom, a playground or anywhere else where supervision is supposed to be present.
  • Slip trip and fall injuries. These could be due to slippery floor surfaces, uneven or loose carpets, or other surfaces, food and / or drink spillages anywhere in the school or tripping over objects on the floor which should be neatly stored like school bags.
  • Sports injuries. Schools may be held responsible if an avoidable accident and injury took place on the school grounds.
  • School bus injuries. School bus drivers or other staff may be considered liable for damages if an accident took place on or near a school bus which was due to negligence.

Special problems with suing a public school

In the likely event that your child was injured at a public school, i.e. a school administered by a San Antonio school district you should be aware that suing the school is not as straightforward as suing a privately owned and administered entity. Theoretically, the school and its employees are protected from civil claims made against them by ‘sovereign immunity,’ a caveat which provides protection for all federal, state and city government agencies and those who work for them.

In practice, this immunity is waived when negligence can be proven, but suing a school district can be quite difficult. You are strongly advised to discuss your child’s injuries with a San Antonio personal injury lawyer. You will need to file an initial ‘notice of claim with the school district and wait for their decision to pay compensation. The claim must be accompanied by clear documentation that shows how the injury took place and why you think it was due to negligence. You cannot sue an individual employee of a government owned school. In many cases, your claim will be denied, but this allows you to pursue a personal injury claim instead. You will need legal help with such a claim. You will also need to be aware that Texas has stricter time limits when filing a claim against a government owned entity. The statute of limitations for claims against a government agency is 6 months from the date of the injury.

Your San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer, Dr. Louis Patino, can provide helpful legal advice if your child has been injured while at school and can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the San Antonio office of the Patino Law Firm on 833-210-4878 today.

If you are in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, consider contacting Ponte Vedra Family Law Attorney for your questions/guidance.