Put Safety First When Shopping for the Holidays


toys teddy bear

With holiday shopping in full swing, toys are often at the top of everyone’s shopping list. Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games. In 2014, there were more than 251,000 toy-related injuries that required emergency room treatment (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).

To keep child safety top of mind when shopping for toys:

  • Always follow the age recommendation on packages to be sure the gift is age-appropriate.
  • Never allow babies and toddlers to play with toys that have small parts that present a choking hazard.
  • Stay away from second-hand toys as they may not meet current safety standards and people often acquire them without packaging or other literature that contains the age recommendation, safety warnings, or critical instructions.
  • Look for a “UL Approved” label on electric toys.
  • Watch age ratings on video games and DVDs.
  • Purchase only non-toxic art materials.

Do your research before you hit the toy store. You can find more toy safety tips at kidshealth.org. You can also sign up for email recall updates for the CPSC and other safety agencies here.

Tips To Avoid Holiday Scams

The holidays bring out the best in most of us but they can bring out the worst in criminals. Beware of common scams that can result in loss of your assets as well as your identity:

  • Bogus online shopping sites that look like the real thing but have deals that are far too good to be true. Check carefully that you’ve reached a legitimate retailer.
  • Gift card fraud. Buy only from reputable dealers and check the balance when purchasing.
  • Phony charities. Verify the organization via CharityNavigator.com or the Better Business Bureau.
  • Don’t shop or bank via public Wi-Fi.
  • Hide your purchases. Lock packages in your trunk or covered area. Put out cardboard for recycling only on collection day.
  • Don’t put your travel plans on social media.

Contact the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Complaint Assistant if you’ve been the victim of a scam or identity theft.

If you or any family member has been injured by a defective product or any other type of personal injury, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800-444-5000 for your initial free consultation.  Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help you determine whether you need a lawyer for any situation involving personal injury or death.

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Stryker Hip Implants Causing Severe Health Issues


stryker hip

Did you or a family member have a metal-on-metal hip implant during or after 2002?

If so, you are at risk of having your implant fail – if you have not already had serious issues, and potentially corrective surgery. The risk of failure of these metal-on-metal implants may be as high at 25% and effects more than 200,000 implant recipients.

What Are the Problems with the Stryker Hip Implants?

Stryker® Orthopaedics, the manufacturer of these devices, issued a safety letter in late September to physicians warning them that the metal V40 femoral heads are causing premature revision surgeries. A hip revision surgery, or re-operation, is necessary when there is a mechanical or biological failure of the implant.

If the head portion of the implant is made of metal-on-metal, such as cobalt chromium (CoCr), there is a risk of injury to the patient from wear and corrosion of the metal. When the metal components of the implant rub together, cobalt and chromium ions are released into nearby tissues and the blood stream. Excessive levels of these metals can cause metallosis which can lead to serious medical issues including thyroid, nerve, or heart problems, or even deafness.

Another problem due to the excessive metal corrosion is head dissociation, where the head portion actually separates from the rest of the implant. The head loses its stability because it no longer fits on the taper portion due to metal wear and tear.

Note that implants with ceramic heads are not subject to the warning. The use of a ceramic head in an implant should result in less wear on the components and also should improve implant performance.

Take Action if You Have Had a Hip Implant During or After 2002

If your hip replacement was during or after 2002 and was made of CoCr, you should call your surgeon immediately if you have any swelling or pain in your hip. These symptoms may indicate that your implant is defective and you may have to undergo a major hip revision surgery.

Even if you have not yet noticed any issues that you associate with your replacement hip, check with your surgeon to help identify the type of implant that you received.

If you or a family member has a metal-on-metal hip implant, even if manufactured by another company, we encourage you to seek legal advice. Please share your experience with us and we can explore getting you the compensation that you deserve.

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How To Handle A Car Accident & The Steps To Follow

Knowing how to handle a car accident is important for every driver, regardless of age or experience. There are far more automobiles on the road than ever before, and unfortunately, serious auto incidents occur with great regularity. While most of these incidents often result in minor injuries, fatalities are far too frequent. For example, for the year 2014, the United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics recorded more than 32,000 vehicle fatalities.

Knowing how to handle a car accident can make a big difference, not only for one’s safety but also for subsequent legal action. If involved in an automobile incident, it’s important to follow these steps:

  • Get Help: When an accident occurs, call 911 to get help from emergency services. The sooner emergency services are notified, the sooner help can arrive. This is particularly important when any injuries are visible (but make no assumptions about injuries).
  • Get Out of the Way: If possible, move vehicles to the shoulder of the road. This is important for the safety of everyone at the scene and any oncoming traffic. If this isn’t possible, turn on hazard lights to provide additional warning for motorists.
  • Do Not Admit Responsibility and Do Not Leave the Scene: Discussing responsibility at the scene is inappropriate and can yield false conclusions. As a result, it’s imperative to avoid the discussion of responsibility at the scene. Additionally, do not leave the scene—wait for emergency services to arrive.
  • Record Everything: Record names and contact information of anyone involved and from anyone who witnessed the wreck. Ask police about where to obtain police reports. Photograph the scene, injuries, and any damages.
  • Consider Legal Assistance: Finally, consider contacting a legal professional who knows how to handle a car accident case to discuss any and all legal options.
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Accidents In Houston Caused By A Drunk Driver Happen All Too Often

When you live in a very populous city like Houston, the chances of a drunk driver causing you or your family harm or injury is far greater than those that live in smaller cities. With over two million people in the city of Houston, the sheer number of drivers on the road is a concern. Add in the fact that Harris County typically leads the state of Texas in accidents caused by inebriated drivers and you’ve got a scary situation on your hands.

While the main concern regarding drunk drivers is death, the injuries that are typically sustained by survivors of these types of accidents are incredibly debilitating and often permanent. Traumatic brain injuries due to head trauma are very common in accidents caused by someone driving under the influence. Spinal cord injuries are common as well, and they can cause paralysis. Head-on collisions, side swiping, and T-bone collisions are common with drunken drivers. This puts the driver and passengers of the other vehicles on the road at incredible risk for head and/or spinal cord trauma. In addition, damage to the legs and knees are common in accidents involving alcohol. Permanent ligament or tendon damage could mean victims may never walk normally again. Internal injury to vital organs is another common occurrence.

When living in a big city like Houston, a drunk driver could be on the road with you at any time. It’s important to know the risks associated with driving on major metropolitan roads and to drive defensively to avoid injury or death.

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What Cases Can A Medical Injury Lawyer Help Victims With?

When medical malpractice occurs, it may be time to consult with an experienced medical injury lawyer. These types of cases can be complex and complicated, often involving well-funded hospitals with legal teams prepared to do whatever possible to not admit responsibility, no matter how cut and dry a case may appear to be. Having a medical injury lawyer with the experience and skill set necessary for these cases is crucial for helping a victim get the justice he or she deserves.

A patient’s trust is generally well-placed in physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, that trust is all too often unwarranted in cases of malpractice by healthcare professionals. Such incidents are in fact extremely common in the U.S. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that medical malpractice is the third highest cause of death in the U.S. That’s a rather startling statistic.

Malpractice of this type can be categorized into four broad categories:

  • Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis is the single most common type of physician error. And it’s not hard to see why: not every patient’s symptoms conforms to the textbook descriptions. Misdiagnosis can make a bad situation much worse for a patient, and like all other items on this list, it can even lead to death.
  • Obstetric/Gynecological Negligence: A lot can go wrong during childbirth, and potential harm or kill both mother and child.
  • Surgical Error: As with childbirth, surgery can easily lead to serious complications. When those complications are due to negligence, a patient deserves justice.
  • Mistakes in Drug Prescription and Administration: Prescription errors and drug administration mistakes are far too common today. From pharmacies to nurses and doctors, drug prescription mistakes can have serious consequences. When a victim suspects negligence, it’s important to consider contacting a medical injury lawyer as soon as possible.
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What Are Bad Faith Insurance Practices?

Although bad faith insurance practices can make a victim feel powerless in getting the compensation they need, personal injury attorneys can hold unethical insurance companies accountable. But what constitutes unethical and/or unreasonable behavior? It’s a question that is answered at the state level, as this is where insurance carriers are regulated, but there are a handful of behaviors that are typically considered inappropriate, no matter where the victim lives.

For example, when a victim files a claim, their carrier should perform a full investigation into the claim before making a settlement offer to the victim. If they do not perform this investigation and offer the victim less than what they are entitled to, they may be engaging in bad faith insurance practices. This is often the case when a victim’s medical expenses are higher than the offered settlement following an accident.

Clearly, a carrier that even refuses to communicate with a client that is involved in an accident is behaving unreasonably.

Insurance carriers are also required to defend their client in court if their client is sued, assuming defense is within the parameters of the defendant’s policy. This can be difficult to determine, but courts usually require carriers to defend their clients from legal action.

If a victim believes they are being poorly handled by their insurance company, an effective counter is to consult with an experienced attorney. This will show the carrier that their insured is serious about recovering their due compensation, and that they will need to justify their actions, or face legal action.

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What Are Houston Trial Lawyers?

A Houston trial lawyer represents people involved in various types of accidents. Not only is the city home to many construction and oil and gas companies, both of which are susceptible to workplace accidents, but the city also experiences more than 50,000 vehicle accidents every year, and many cases tied to defective products or medical malpractice. These injury victims often have little recourse outside of filing legal action, as they may not receive enough compensation through their insurance carrier or through Texas workers’ compensation programs. Fortunately, an attorney can usher a victim through the legal process and fight for them every step of the way.

An attorney will prove valuable throughout the claims process. A Houston trial lawyer will meet with the victim beforehand, assessing their case and its merits. The attorney will formalize the claim, properly naming the defendants and establishing the worth of the victim’s case. Once the suit is underway, the attorney will shield the victim from any attempts by the defendant to intimidate the victim or get them to undermine their own claim. This includes coaching through a deposition and settlement negotiations, both of which can be very overwhelming.

In short, an attorney will serve as the victim’s greatest ally, offering counsel, protection, and representation through an extremely trying process.

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A Look Into The Most Common Causes Of Air Traffic Accidents

Examining the five most common causes of air traffic accidents provides some insight into how frequently and exactly why aviation incidents occur. While these incidents are rather uncommon in comparison to many other modes of transportation, these incidents often prove to be fatal for those involved.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a total of 1,290 accidents occurred in U.S. skies in 2014 alone. Of these incidents, 265 proved to result in fatalities, with 444 innocent people losing their lives. The main causes of these incidents can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Pilot Error: About half of all incidents that occur with aircraft are a result of pilot error. “To be human is to be flawed” is a common saying, and when it comes to incidents in airspaces, they can be deadly. Pilot error can occur for a number of reasons, and under varying circumstances. For example, a pilot can suddenly lose consciousness, misjudge an instrument, or make a navigational error.
  • Mechanical Error: While planes today are far more advanced than their precursors, they are not yet immune to mechanical error. And, like pilot error, mechanical error can occur due to a great variety of circumstances, resulting in about a quarter of airspace incidents.
  • Weather: Inclement weather can be a serious problem for an airplane. Weather-related incidents make up about 12% of all accidents.
  • Terrorism and Other Human Error: At 9% and 7%, respectively, these two factors are rare but have been an ongoing issue throughout aviation history, rounding out the final two most common causes of air traffic accidents.
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The Process Of A Car Accident & Property Damage Claim

When a car accident occurs, property damage isn’t the first thing on peoples’ minds. Even when you and your passengers have the good fortune of emerging from the vehicle unscathed, however, the damage to your vehicle can be more impactful than you would expect. There are many challenges to making a successful claim. Most notably, the process will have to be handled through insurance carriers, and insurance carriers are not known for their responsiveness. Even when no one is hurt, it’s fair to demand compensation from the driver that caused the crash, and/or from an insurance policy specifically paid for to cover the harm involved.

If another driver is responsible for the car accident, then any property damage will also be their responsibility. If the vehicle has been totaled in the crash, the defendant’s insurance carrier will, assuming the driver has the appropriate collision coverage, provide fair market value for the victim’s vehicle. Fair market value refers to what the vehicle owner could receive if they sold their vehicle through something like a classified ad. Of course, if the vehicle is not totaled and the defendant has sufficient collision coverage, then they should provide compensation for the repairs needed.

The problem is that drivers sometimes don’t have sufficient coverage when they hit other vehicles. And the defendant’s insurance carrier may take measures to stall out the victim and get them to take less, or no compensation. The victim may need to file legal action against the defendant. Or, the victim might be protected by their own uninsured/underinsured coverage. Dealing with an adjuster can be very frustrating, so many people will still consult with and sometimes engage an experienced attorney to help with problematic or unsuccessful property damage claims.

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What Are The Risks Of Drilling Mud In The Oil Industry?

Drilling mud, otherwise known as drilling fluid, is widely used throughout the oil industry. Many workers come in contact with the chemical mixture everyday, as it is often pumped into the open air. But the health effects of the fluid are often understated, resulting in increased chances of exposure for employees who do not properly protect themselves.

When the mud comes in contact with uncovered skin, it can wear away at skin cells and cause rashes, burning, and irritation. It is also possible for an employee that continuously comes in contact with the mud over a number of years to develop skin tumors.

Drilling fluid entering the body through the eyes, mouth, or nose is less likely, but still possible. In these cases, washing out the fluid should mitigate any potential health risks.

Perhaps the most sinister health effects from drilling fluid are linked to inhalation. When small particulates from the fluid vaporize into the air, they can wreak havoc on the nervous and respiratory systems. Drilling fluid particulates have been known to cause headaches, memory loss, nausea, and fatigue. Long-term exposure has been responsible for nerve damage in some employees.

Inhaling the chemical mixture has also been known to cause mucus build-up and coughing fits in employees. As more and more time is spent inhaling the particulates, the risk for pulmonary edema goes up. Some cases have even led to death.

The risks of drilling fluid are often not communicated to employees and their families. If you or someone you know has developed any health issues due to exposure to the harmful chemicals in drilling mud, consider contacting an attorney.

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