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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/08/Screen-Shot-2021-09-14-at-11.28.55-AM-1024x695.pngAccording to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury in the country. Most Texas car accidents are preventable, and negligent drivers are responsible for these incidents’ harmful and expensive aftermath. The CDC explains that Americans spend over 1 million days in the hospital each year from accident injuries. Further, the most recent data suggests that crash injuries totaled nearly $18 billion in lifetime medical expenses. The majority of these costs occur during the first year and a half following an accident injury. Moreover, these injuries cost approximately $33 billion in lifetime work lost.

As the data suggests, Texas car accidents can cause significant financial, medical, and emotional damages to all parties involved in the accident. People’s pain tolerance and emotional tolerance vary significantly between individuals, and while some people may immediately feel the effects of an accident, others may not. In some cases, adrenaline will prevent a person from fully realizing the impact of the accident. In those situations, a person may not fully appreciate the extent of their physical or emotional trauma until after the accident.

Some Texas car accident injuries are readily apparent at the time of the accident; however, many appear sometime after the incident. Car accident victims and their loved ones should be aware of warning signs after a collision. Some warning signs after a car accident are dizziness or nausea, confusion and disorientation, unexplained bleeding, numbness, and stiffness in the neck or other joints.

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pexels-joshua-santos-9083235-150x150In many situations, those who suffer injuries at a public location because of another’s negligence may claim recovery under Texas’ premises liability laws. However, like most tort laws, premises liability is rife with exceptions and immunity clauses. The exceptions largely hinge on the classification of the property or business owner and the injury victim. As such, these cases tend to be complex and require an extensive understanding of Texas negligence laws.

Premises liability cases stemming from sporting events, such as baseball games, prove challenging for many accident victims. While many spectators bring a baseball glove in the hopes of catching a foul ball, many do not realize the dangers of a foul ball. However, the Major League Ball (MLB) assumes that spectators understand the potential risk of being struck by a foul ball.

In many situations, spectators can catch a foul ball or avoid serious injuries; however, the force of a foul ball slamming into an unsuspecting fan’s head can have a devastating impact. Spectators can suffer traumatic brain injuries, bruising, broken facial bones, skull fractures, and similar injuries. A foul ball could even kill a spectator. For example, the parents of a young child who was hit by a foul ball at a Houston Astros game finally settled with the team.

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pexels-skitterphoto-17605-150x150Recently, an appellate court issued an opinion in an accident lawsuit involving a Texas resident. The victim’s joined his church group on an out-of-state wilderness expedition trip. The church hired a company to arrange the group’s activities. The company required the participants to complete a “registration form” and “medical form.” On the first day of the trip, the victim participated in a rappelling course. However, during the course, he became inverted, fell, and died. The victim’s wife filed a lawsuit against the rappelling company.

In response to the lawsuit, the company moved for summary judgment arguing, amongst several issues, that Texas law did not apply to the case. Cases involving Texas residents suffering injuries in another state can pose many challenges to plaintiffs. The law provides that in diversity actions, the court should apply the conflict-of-laws rules of the forum state. This also applies in contract language dispute matters.

In this case, Texas laws require liability releases to be “adequately conspicuous,” which is a stricter standard than Colorado law. As such, the plaintiff contended that because her husband signed the release in Texas, Texas law should apply. However, the magistrate judge concluded that Colorado law controlled the matter. On appeal, the appellate court explained that Colorado law applies because diversity actions require courts to apply the conflict-of-laws rules of the forum state.

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pexels-kampus-production-6300862-300x200San Antonio, Texas:  It’s back to school and back on the roads in Texas, make sure your children are safely buckled up or strapped in for trips in the car.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children. While most people believe their children are properly buckled up, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points out that 59% of all car seats are misused. The best way to keep young children safe in your vehicle is to make sure they’re properly buckled up in a car seat. That means selecting a car seat that’s appropriate for a child’s age and size and installing it correctly.

“We encourage parents to take advantage of car seat safety checks available during Passenger Safety Week (September 19-25th).  With proper car seat, car seat installment, and seat belt placement, children are far safer during a motor vehicle collision,” said Carabin Shaw Attorney Carla Dixon. “Knowing the guidelines for height and weight for your children is also extremely important to ensure your child is in the proper car seat or booster seat.  Serious injuries can be greatly reduced as well if we place children rear-facing car seats until ages 2-4.”

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/08/Screen-Shot-2021-08-10-at-12.21.49-PM.png
Recently, two employees died, and 30 others suffered injuries after a chemical leak at a LyondellBasell Industries (LBI) plant in Texas. The company is one of the largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies in the world. The Texas company boasts that its chemicals have provided modern ways to enhance food and water safety worldwide.

According to a recent news report, the chemical leak involved acetic acid, which is a common food preservative used to make vinegar. The blast occurred around 7:30 in the evening when a cap burst on a line of acetic acid. Acetic acid is a clear, flammable liquid whose vapor can be corrosive to the eyes and skin. The burst released approximately 100,000 pounds of an acetic acid chemical mixture into the air. In addition to acetic acid, the burst released hydrogen iodide and acetate. The combination of these chemicals can be toxic and cause severe burns. Emergency responders and investigators are still investigating the accident; however, they do not believe that an explosion or fire caused the leak.

Chemical leaks such as the one at the Texas plant can be toxic and deadly to anyone in the vicinity. Chemical spills and leaks often occur because of negligence surrounding safety regulations, equipment, or employee training. Companies should make sure to properly train their employees and workers to ensure that they understand how to prevent spills and mitigate harm if a spill does occur. However, many companies prioritize economic gain over employee and community welfare. When this occurs, the companies may pressure workers to complete tasks in an unreasonable amount of time. This can naturally result in workers cutting corners to meet production deadlines.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/07/Screen-Shot-2021-07-19-at-12.33.10-PM-1024x730.pngTexas’ year-round warm climate combined with vast open spaces make the state home to an array of theme parks, amusement parks, and outdoor recreational parks. While these locations are a great place for couples and families to spend a day together, they also pose many risks to park-goers and employees. While serious injuries at a Texas amusement park are uncommon, they occur and can result in lifelong consequences.

For example, The New York Times recently reported on chemical exposure at a Texas amusement park. In late July, 26 people suffered exposure to bleach and sulfuric acid at a Six Flags amusement park. Park officials became aware of the incident when nearly 60 people began experiencing burning and breathing problems while in the shallow end of a children’s pool. Authorities evacuated the park and had the affected individuals wash their eyes under the fire truck’s hose. However, nearly half of the individuals were taken to the hospital, and one person remains in critical condition.

The children’s pool should maintain a pH balance of 7. However, testing revealed that the pool contained a combination of 35 percent sulfuric acid and approximately 12 percent bleach. While investigators do not believe the contamination was intentional, they are unsure how the event occurred. The chemicals found in the pool are the typical chemicals that the park uses every day to clean and sanitize the pool. However, they are investigating the system that injects the chemicals to determine whether the system malfunctioned. Safety logs indicated that safety officials inspected the park about three weeks before the incident. A County Judge closed down the park until the investigation is complete. Further, the Judge indicated that the park should have been recording the pH balance levels; however, they have yet to discover whether that log exists.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/04/Screen-Shot-2020-04-22-at-7.17.42-PM-150x150.pngThe Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion in a lawsuit against an insulation products company. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiffs built a home in Texas and purchased products from a spray foam insulation company. The insulation was designed to make the home quieter and energy efficient by sealing areas where air loss occurs. Shortly after the installation, the family began suffering from various ailments, including coughing spells, burning eyes, allergies, and headaches. The company advised the family that the spray foam smell would dissipate over time. The company then sent an “independent contractor” sales representative to inspect the property; however, the family never received the inspection results.

In response, the family filed a lawsuit against the spray foam company, alleging various claims, including products liability and negligence. They argued that their injuries arose from the sale and installation of the spray foam used in their home. In response, the company contended that because the company never sold or advertised any of the products in Texas, the state did not have jurisdiction over the matter. Further, they argued that they did not have any involvement with the company that inspected the property. The appeals court agreed, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish that Texas had either general or specific personal jurisdiction over the defendants.

Under Texas law, a court must have subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the parties to issue a judgment. Texas courts can assert personal jurisdiction over a nonresident if the state’s long-arm statute permits exercising jurisdiction and comports with federal due-process guarantees. Specific jurisdiction applies when the defendant’s contact with the state is purposeful, and the cause of action arises from those contacts.

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pexels-moose-photos-1029896-300x200CANCER CAUSING BENZENE FOUND IN SUNSCREENS LINKED TO HIGHER RISK–KILLER TAN CAN BE DEADLY – 40 SUNSCREEN BRANDS RECALLED

July 17, 2021, San Antonio, Texas:  Sunscreen products have been pulled from shelves across the country after they were found to contain significant amounts of benzene, a known carcinogen.  Experts say any benzene exposure poses a health risk. Benzene has been linked to increased cancer risk since and had five times higher than normal risk of leukemia.

“There’s no such thing as a safe level of exposure, and that’s especially true for children,” said Philip Landrigan, director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/05/Screen-Shot-2020-05-04-at-9.59.08-AM-150x150.pngThe Supreme Court of Texas recently delivered an opinion addressing whether the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) has jurisdiction over a negligence case involving a good Samaritan. Here, the deceased was electrocuted while trying to help victims of a crash that caused a power line to fall. The good Samaritan’s estate and family filed a negligence lawsuit against the power line company, arguing that they were negligent in their duty to design, construct, operate, and maintain its electricity system. They asserted that the company failed to ensure that they would de-energize portions of the distribution lines when they experience faults.

The accident occurred when one vehicle ran a red light and hit a wooden utility pole maintained by the company. The man was driving past the scene when he stopped to help the accident victims. As he was walking, the man came into contact with electricity radiating through the ground. The shock knocked him to the ground and his clothes caught on fire; tragically, he passed away three weeks later from his injuries.

In response, the power company filed a plea arguing that Texas’ PUC maintains jurisdiction over the case. In support of their claim, the power company argued that PUC has exclusive jurisdiction over an electric company’s utility rates, operations, and services, extends to adjudicating whether a company complied with the law. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ complaints bring up fundamental questions about how a power company maintains its distribution systems. The plaintiffs argued that the case falls under the Texas Estates Code, and the probate court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the matter.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/07/Screen-Shot-2021-07-12-at-11.36.51-AM.pngHot air balloon rides and other similar in-air recreation activities are a unique and thrilling experience for many participants. While these excursions provide the public with a special vantage point, there are inherent risks in participating in these activities. Texas hot air balloon accidents can pose many challenges to victims and their loved ones. The public is urging lawmakers to push for more protections for balloon riders. This push stems from the Federal Aviation Administration’s failure to implement regulatory changes following a devastating 2016 hot air balloon accident.

A recent investigative news report highlighted the frustration the Texas hot air balloon accident victims’ families are experiencing nearly five years after the accident. A woman lost her daughter and granddaughter in a hot air balloon accident in 2016. According to reports, the women were two of the 16 people who died when the hot air balloon flew into a power line. The hot air balloon pilot had reportedly taken a combination of various prescription medications before the flight. The woman is working with lawmakers on legislation that would require commercial balloon operators to take medical and physical exams before licensure. However, as the fifth anniversary of the accident passed, the Federal Aviation Administration is yet to implement any of the rules or regulations. However, even with oversight, hot air balloons continue to pose serious risks to operators and passengers. Recently, five people died in a New Mexico hot air balloon accident. The hot air balloon hit a power line and separated the balloon from the gondola where the passengers stand.

Despite regulations, hot air balloons continue to pose significant risks to passengers. There have been about 20 hot air balloon accidents every year and about 26 fatalities in the last twenty years. Although hot air balloon fatalities seem low, the statistics should be looked at relative to the number of people who ride these vessels. There are many reasons these accidents occur, and the majority involve some degree of negligence. The leading causes of hot air balloon accidents are:

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