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When Are Swimming Accidents Someone Else’s Fault?

Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018 at 1:22 pm    

San Antonio summers can get really hot. Of course everyone looks forward to the beginning of a new summer, especially if winter seems to have dragged on for far too long, but summer has its own drawbacks. One of these is drowning and near drowning accidents in swimming pools. This is mostly a problem that affects children, especially young children. Children love pools, but they are inherently dangerous if they are unsupervised. What happens if you let your friends’ or relatives’ kids into your own pool and for one reason or another there is a pool accident and someone is drowned or near drowned? Equally, it could be one of your own children who was injured in a swimming pool accident in someone else’s swimming pool. It could be a school pool, a city or municipal pool, a private pool or a friend’s pool.

How dangerous is swimming?

The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps statistics on accidents such as swimming pool accidents. Their figures show that 10 people die every day on average through the year across the U.S. Their figures also show that most of these deaths (and near deaths) happen to children under14.

The organization, Safe Kids Worldwide, reports that fatal swimming pool accidents, other than in swimming pools in places like reservoirs, rivers, ponds and lakes, are actually increasing. They report that 43% of drowning or near drowning cases among younger and teen aged children occur in open water environments while slightly less, 38%, occur in swimming pools. 150 families are affected by these sorts of accidents every week.

If an open water accident happens such as a near drowning or drowning, it may be harder to blame anyone except yourself as a parent, or the child itself, if he or she opted to swim alone in an uncontrolled area. However, in Texas, there are strict rules about swimming pools that are designed to prevent untimely swimming pool injuries and drowning. If these rules are not adhered to and a pool drowning, or near drowning, takes place, then there may be legitimate reasons for taking legal action. Of course, if it is your pool where the accident took place and a child not of your own was involved you may be the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit brought against you.

Texas State rules for swimming pool owners

Every privately owned swimming pool in Texas must be surrounded by a 4 foot barrier. The barrier must have no openings or gaps that are more than 4 inches wide. The pool must have a gate or gates that close automatically after use. They must be capable of being sealed off by a padlock, combination lock, keypad or key card. Where self-closing latches are fitted, they must be on the pool side of the gate and located on the upper quarter of the gate. The whole point of these rules, of course, is to ensure that the swimming pool is not accessed without permission and supervision.

Another state rule concerns swimming pools that are built in such a way that one side of the pool area is actually part of the house. If this is the case, an alarm must be installed on any doors or windows that open out on to the pool that sound if someone enters the pool area.

A small number of pools are built above ground and are accessed by ladders or steps. In these pools, the steps or ladders must be made inaccessible by a secure lock or removed when the pool is not in use.

State rules may be complemented by city or county specific rules concerning swimming pool safety.

Penalties for violating swimming pool rules

States and other authorities may impose daily fines on owners of swimming pools that do not match safety rules. In some case, these fines may amount to $1,000 a day.

In addition to fines, if an accident does happen in someone else’s swimming pool that doesn’t meet the standards described above, then the owner may be subject to a personal injury lawsuit brought by the parents of the children harmed in a pool accident.

If your child has suffered a near drowning incident and you strongly believe that the injury happened because of someone’s negligence or the accident happened because of negligence on the part of a government authority or a private organization, contact a San Antonio personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. You can make an appointment today by ringing the Patino Law Firm office in San Antonio on 833-210-4878.

 

How to Get a Lawyer After an Oilfield Accident

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 at 3:06 am    

Making a personal injury claim following an oilfield accident can be an uphill struggle. You’ve had a unique experience and you need legal services that are sympathetic to what you’ve been through.

You need a knowledgeable lawyer who knows how to get tough with the kind of legal team you might be up against.

Finding the right attorney in San Antonio can be overwhelming when you’re dealing with the aftermath of an oilfield accident. Here are 5 tips to make sure that you get the right kind of representation to cover all of the damages you’re dealing with.

Dealing With An Oilfield Accident

1. Client Testimonials

What’s the best way to find out how someone does there job? Ask someone who’s hired them. Reading through client testimonials on a firm’s website, on LinkedIn or on Yelp can give you a broad scope of how a lawyer works.

While every firm works differently, you might not get a partner working on your case immediately. Read about different experiences with different people working at a firm to give you a broad idea of how the firm handles cases.

If you know other people who’ve suffered from similar issues or oilfield accidents, ask how they found a lawyer that they could trust. Word of mouth is very powerful in the legal industry.

To check on your lawyer’s credentials, you can call your state bar association. If you’re worried that someone isn’t licensed or is acting inappropriately, you aren’t required to give any information you don’t want to. There are no bad questions to ask. You want to work with a lawyer who wants you to make the right decision.

2. Look At Your Budget

Before you sit down with a lawyer, see what your budget is for a lawyer. If this is a workplace-related accident, make sure you have a case before you put yourself in any kind of debt.

Working on this lawsuit might also be time-consuming. If you’re looking to file a workplace-related lawsuit, talk to other people affected. You might be able to work together to file a class action suit.

There are federally funded programs that pay for legal aid through a series of grants. Other programs exist to help provide legal assistance to undocumented people and refugees, people with disabilities and people with low incomes. If you are involved with a union, see if there’s any aid they can provide before you write a check.

Thankfully, several lawyers in San Antonio won’t charge you until they win a claim on your behalf.

3. Communication

Pay attention to how people speak to you when you get in touch with a law firm. From the front desk receptionist to the senior partner, you should receive respectful and honest treatment from everyone.

When you make your case, listen to how people respond to you. You want to speak with a lawyer who doesn’t just want to win, but to seek justice.

In your first meeting, be prepared to offer all of the details of your case. If you have photographs, medical bills or anything in writing that pertains to your case, bring copies to your lawyer.

Remember that consultations aren’t just interviews for your case. They’re also a chance for you to see how your lawyer works. Don’t be afraid to meet with several different firms to see who can provide you with what you need from your lawyer.

4. Do They Understand Oilfield Accidents?

Given the specificity of your experience, it’s important that your lawyer has relevant experience. Depending on your case, you’ll need a lawyer who is experienced in toxic chemicals, workplace negligence, or blowouts during drilling.

If you’ve got a personal injury case, there are lots of options to choose from. But you don’t want just any lawyer from a bus stop or TV ad. Finding a lawyer who is committed to cases similar to yours can be the difference between losing or receiving what you deserve for the damages you’ve incurred.

If worker’s compensation isn’t enough to cover the costs of your lost wages and out of pocket medical bills, making a decision can be high a high-stakes affair. Make sure you feel comfortable with how knowledgeable your law firm is before you commit.

5. Do You Have A Case?

Lay out all of the details of your case. If you’re facing negligence on behalf of your employer, be clear on all of the conditions. Ask for testimony from anyone who was on site during the event that your case is focused on.

If you have photos, video or written communication, organize them and make copies. Lay out the narrative of your claim. Make sure each piece of evidence helps to build your case.

Have there been any other effects on your life related to your case? If the rehabilitation process has caused undue stress on your personal life, make a note of it to your lawyer. If you have had trouble getting employment since this is a grounds for a claim.

Lack of training is has become a leading cause of many accidents. Employers will often tell victims of an oilfield accident that their only grounds for recourse is through workers’ compensation. If your employer has prohibited you from returning to your job unless you decline to file a suit, you may have grounds for a complaint.

Find The Right Oilfield Accident Lawyer Today

Defining the nature of your accident is the key to finding the right lawyer. Having a clear idea of the nature of your lawsuit will allow you to narrow your options down. Save and make copies of everything that could be a piece of evidence for your oilfield accident lawsuit.

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is only two years. If you’re considering filing a claim, don’t hesitate. Contact us if you need assistance finding a lawyer in San Antonio today so you get what you deserve now.