According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there was a least one major vehicle collision every 61 seconds in the state of Texas last year. There were nearly 250,000 serious injuries from these crashes. Is it possible that all of these events truly were “accidents?” Or is it more likely that someone was clearly at fault?
The word “accident” allows a guilty party to absolve themselves of responsibility, effectively saying that the event was caused by unforeseen, mutual circumstances.
The New York Times reports that, “The word was introduced into the lexicon of manufacturing and other industries in the early 1900s, when companies were looking to protect themselves from the costs of caring for workers who were injured on the job.” The companies did not want to take full responsibility for workers’ injuries and have to pay high insurance claim costs, so they cleverly (and unethically) changed the conversation. “Accident” allowed the companies to control semantics and say that the event was a rare, unavoidable hazard of the job, even if the company had been directly responsible for someone’s injuries. The Times also reports that as automobile use became more and more prevalent and collision deaths became more frequent, “a consortium of auto-industry interests, including insurers, borrowed the word to shift focus away from the cars themselves.”
In the case of an automobile collision, the word “accident” allows those who are at fault to deem the crash as beyond anyone’s control. But if someone drives drunk, falls asleep behind the wheel, goes the wrong direction down a one-way street, or speeds through a red light, is it still an accident? Or is it a product of negligence and misconduct?
As drivers in the Houston area know, there are many factors that can make our roads treacherous, including human error. There was at least one death from a traffic collision in Texas every day in 2015. Is right to label all of these deaths a result of “accidents”?
Today, more and more states are changing their policy toward the word, opting to label the events as “crashes” or “incidents.” Texas has state troopers file “crash reports” rather than “accident reports.”
It’s time to take the word back. Car companies and insurance corporations should not be allowed to dictate who is at fault just by simple semantics. A victim deserves to know that all of the pain and suffering they were forced to endure was not merely an “accident.”
A wrongful death lawyer can be described as an advocate for the surviving family members of the victim. They may be able to help when someone dies as a direct result of another party’s negligence. While seeking justice can’t bring a loved one back, it may help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future by holding those responsible accountable for their actions.
An experienced wrongful death lawyer is familiar with any statutes of limitations on filing and laws governing the legal liability of manufacturers whose products result in the accidental death of someone using those products. They are experienced in discovering who was really to blame in automobile accidents and in other cases, whether the negligence of an individual, government entity, or corporation was responsible for the circumstances that caused the loss of a loved one.
They know which family members that a case can be filed on behalf of and what type of damages to seek, whether it’s compensatory, exemplary, or both. This will allow the surviving family members to be economically taken care of while punishing the party that was responsible for the death.
By utilizing the services of an attorney skilled in this type of lawsuit, a huge burden is lifted from the surviving family members, allowing them to recover from the tragedy and begin to move forward with their lives.
Though they are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in the world, patients taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are filing law suits at increasing rates. PPIs are highly effective at treating gastric acid disorders. In fact, there is no other class of medications that even compares, as PPIs are 99% more effective than antagonist medications. Their effects are usually long-term, and often permanent as well, which means that they only have to be used briefly. This is important, as there is little research into long-term use of PPIs, and emerging research suggests that there are significant health complications associated with long-term PPI use.
Since 2012, several research groups have published troubling safety findings regarding proton pump inhibitors leading to law suits. In 2016, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that patients that used PPIs were 95% more likely to develop serious kidney problems, including Chronic Kidney Disease or End Stage Renal Disease, both of which are extremely expensive and difficult to treat.
Also in 2016, the Pharmaceutical Journal published research that showed that patients using PPIs were 44% more likely to develop dementia, an emotionally and mentally devastating condition. Heart attacks and bone fractures have also been linked to PPI usage.
AstraZeneca is the pharmaceutical manufacturer most often linked to serious health problems, as Prilosec and Nexium are the two most popular PPIs on the market. Many claims assert that AstraZeneca was aware of these problems before research was made available, and the company has been involved in serious legal issues before.
When an employee gets hurt on the job, they may consider talking with work injury lawyers in an effort to protect their rights. From the state’s workers’ compensation laws to the legal process involved, an experienced attorney may be able to help.
Types of Workplace Injuries
Each type of injury can vary in severity, yet they aren’t all immediately apparent. While some are physical and obvious right away, others are mental or emotional and develop over a period of time. It is important to recognize both types of harm that can be endured on the job. The most common types include:
- Falls from any distance that can result in broken bones, internal damage, paralysis and death.
- Ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances.
- Repetitive motion damage due to duties that require continuous and similar movements.
- Mental and emotional anguish due to such things as discrimination, job related stress, and a hostile work environment.
A knowledgeable legal professional can help to identify the overall cause of the injury, whether it is due to a lack of proper training and safety regulations, faulty equipment, or the negligence of fellow employees. Their main focus is to protect the victim’s rights and ensure they are heard. Many states require employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance which ultimately helps to recover benefits such as:
- Loss of income
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Death benefits
In states such as Texas, companies are not required to carry such insurance under the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act. Therefore, applicable laws can vary and compensation available can be dependent on the employer’s participation.
With all these details to think of, it is no wonder why so many people choose to contact work injury lawyers for advice. They will be able to look at all of the facts and determine the victim’s eligibility and pursue legal proceedings, if appropriate.
Defective products can have tragic repercussions for unsuspecting families, which is why many consider defective product lawsuits following an injury or death due to improper manufacturing or warning labels.
There are three common ways a product can be deemed defective:
- A mishap at the factory where the product is manufactured, causing it to be ineffective or harmful. This may include medication that contains hazardous chemicals or does not list all of the possible side-effects.
- An inherent design flaw that prevents the product from fulfilling its intended purpose, which might include an engine that spontaneously combusts.
- An insufficient or non-existent warning label that could have prevented serious injury or death, such as a missing label on a flammable shower curtain that contributes to a house fire.
But in order to prove in a court of law that negligence occurred, the product must have been used the way it was intended by the manufacturer. If the injured party were tampering with or using the product in any other way, it would be a much harder case to try.
Defective product lawsuits can help victim’s hold a company accountable for the sometimes minor production mistakes that may lead to dangerous, or even fatal consequences.
No matter how careful one might be at work, driving on the roads, or involved in any number of other activities, there’s always the possibility than an accident may occur. As a result, understanding one’s legal options at an early point can be a crucial move in seeking the compensation and justice that one deserves.
While most people live their lives without any incidents, history again and again shows that there’s no telling when and where an accident can occur. Here are a few examples where a personal injury lawyer in Houston may be able to help a victim get the justice they deserve:
- Automobile Accidents: No matter how careful a driver may be, they cannot account for every other driver on the road. In some instances, there can be no avoiding getting rear-ended or having a nearby car suddenly swerve into one’s lane, causing a crash.
- Medical Malpractice: When people suffer from an injury or become ill, they expect the utmost care and professionalism from their medical team. Unfortunately, this duty of care isn’t always a reality, and those injured by the carelessness of a doctor or nurse may have recourse.
- Wrongful Death: There’s no other way to put it—a wrongful death is a tragedy. And there’s nothing that can be done to fill that absence of the lost loved one. However, a personal injury lawyer in Houston may be able to help by seeing to it that the parties who are responsible for a wrongful death are held fully accountable for their actions.
- Workplace Accidents: Accidents at the workplace can happen no matter how careful an employee is and what precautions he or she takes. Whether due to poor practice on the part of an employer or a company’s decision to cut corners and save some money, workers deserve justice when they are hurt on the job.
Accident lawyers in Texas have an important goal – to help their clients win compensation for their injuries. As every incident is different, how an attorney does that will change from claim to claim, but there are some types of incidents that are more common than others. Often, lawyers helps clients pursue legal action against a negligent party, as people are owed a duty of care from others, whether they are drivers, product manufacturers or employers.
Accident lawyers in Texas are prepared to help victims injured in any setting, but there are some types of claims that come up more frequently than others. For example, the most common injury claim in the state involves vehicle crashes. It’s no secret that the Lone Star State has a serious traffic issue, as it leads the nation on an annual basis in terms of total vehicle crashes and people injured as a result.
Defective products are also involved in many injury claims, and may include defective vehicles, appliances, machinery, toys, or anything else sold to a consumer or business.
Pharmaceutical companies are often implicated in injury claims as their medical products must meet rigorous safety standards before they can be sold to patients. Unfortunately, many of these companies often fail to test their medications adequately, leading many consumers to face dangerous side-effects unknowingly.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) side-effects are a major concern for users. These side-effects can be very serious and may far outweigh the benefits that consumers expect from taking PPIs.
PPIs are widely available either over-the-counter or by prescription. The most common brands of these medications are Dexilant (Dexlansoprazole), Nexium (Esomeprazole), Prilosec (Omeprazole), Protonix (Pantoprazole), Prevacid (Lansoprazole), and Aciphex (Rabeprazole). They are generally taken orally in either pill or liquid form.
Roughly 15 million people in the United States take PPIs for stomach acid problems each day. The drugs are used to treat a variety of diseases. However, many individuals who take PPIs are unaware of the side-effects that they are at risk of experiencing.
These side-effects can include a reduction of stomach acid production to the point of nutrition problems. Individuals taking PPIs can have trouble gaining nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from their food. This puts individuals using PPIs at risk of weakened bones more prone to break, for example.
Taking PPIs can also result in higher vulnerability to infections. Individuals taking the drugs have a higher risk of Clostridium difficile, salmonella, and possibly even pneumonia.
Today studies continue to reveal new potential proton pump inhibitors side-effects. For instance, a recent study by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn found that individuals over the age of 75 had a 44% higher risk of suffering with dementia, although the reason why has yet to be determined.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently working hard to notify consumers that they may have purchased some contaminated baking mixes between December 2015 and February 2016. The specific mixes in question contain General Mills flour that could be tied to an ongoing E. coli O121 outbreak.
Exactly What is E. Coli?
The Mayo Clinic website says that E. coli, also known as Escherichia coli, is a type of bacteria that usually lives in the intestines of healthy animals and people. However, there are certain strains of this bacteria, including E. coli O121, that can make people very sick. The most common symptoms are vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
How Is E. Coli Normally Absorbed or Ingested?
Humans normally receive E. coli into their bodies when they consume it in their food or water. It’s a bacterium that is often actually “hidden” in undercooked beef or raw vegetables. While healthy people can recover from ingesting E. coli within about a week – older adults and those with serious, chronic medical conditions can actually develop life-threatening illnesses from it.
How Can You Find Out if You Have This Contaminated Flour in Your Baking Mixes?
According to an article published by FoodSafetyNews.com on August 12, 2016, consumers should look to see if any baking mixes they have were produced by Rabbit Creek under different brand names. On the company website, Rabbit Creek tells consumers with questions about any baking mixes that they can call 1-800-837-3073.
Government officials are concerned that consumers may later use one of these mixes, forgetting about this critical recall. After all, many baking mixes often have a long shelf-life.
The affected foods that may contain this defective or tainted flour include:
- 15 brands of bread
- 12 brands of brownies, and
- Four brands of muffins
As of early August 2016, Rabbit Creek Products of Louisburg, Kansas, says that no illnesses have been reported to it regarding any of its mixes.
Outbreaks of E. Coli Involving General Mills Flour That Still Concern the Government
Unfortunately, consumers in at least 21 states have been infected with the specific strain of E. coli O121 – dating back to December 2015. Bags containing the bad flour have been found in the homes of those who became sick. Furthermore, among the 46 confirmed cases of those infected with this E. coli strain, 13 of them required hospitalization. One person has also now developed kidney failure – a potentially fatal condition.
Specific Brands Possibly Affected
Consumers should check their shelves and look for Krusteaz brand pancake mix, certain Betty Crocker cake mixes, Golden Dipt breading mix, and Marie Callender’s cheese biscuit mix. If you have one of these mixes, be sure to call 1-800-837-3073 before using it.
Should you wish to read more on this topic, be sure to visit the General Mills website – or the CDC website article entitled: “Multistate Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infections Linked to Flour.”
When a dangerous dog renders a bite, a lawyer may be able to build a case needed to hold the animal’s owner responsible. This is easier said than done, though, as in many states, Texas included, owners are protected by the one-bite-rule. This stipulation states that animal owners are not considered responsible if their pet did not show aggressive tendencies prior to the injury. In short, this gives an owner one free pass, but it’s not always a permissible defense. An owner, for example, is not protected if they were acting in negligence prior to the attack, and an attorney will focus on whether this was the case following a victim’s injury.
A canine that attempts to pursue people or furiously barks at people when in public may be considered aggressive by the court. This may even be the case if the animal was barking at people while behind a fence, though these canines are often given the benefit of the doubt. If the canine has been trained to fight or has attacked other animals in the past, then that would also be grounds to consider the canine aggressive.
When a dangerous dog bite occurs, a lawyer may also check the defendant’s home in an effort to determine whether or not the animal was properly enclosed. If the canine was loose at the time of the attack, even if animal was not considered aggressive before, the owner may still be liable for not keeping their pet enclosed.
These are some things for victims to keep in mind when pursuing a claim. It may seem difficult to get justice and restitution for such a terrifying experience, but an attorney will work to try to get the victim compensation for their injuries.