Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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April 27, 2021, Houston, TX On the evening of Friday April 16th a Tesla Model S crashed and burst into flames after hitting a tree in the Carlton Woods subdivision in the Woodlands.  The Tesla, traveling at high speed, failed to negotiate a bend and came off the road on Hammock Dunes Place, a residential street in the upscale Houston suburb. 

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said that the investigation showed “no one was driving” the fully electric 2019 Tesla Model S when the accident happened. There was a person in the passenger seat of the front of the car and in the rear passenger seat of the car. One of the men was identified as Dr. William Varner, a member of the Memorial Hermann medical system. The second victim of the Tesla crash was named as 69-year-old engineer Everett Talbot.  The accident has made national headlines because local officials investigating the incident say there was no one driving the vehicle. 

Federal investigators with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are among those now looking into the deadly accident that killed both men.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/04/Screen-Shot-2021-04-27-at-2.37.08-PM.pngSelf-driving, or autonomous cars, are revolutionizing the way the public looks at travel and car ownership. These vehicles turn active drivers into passive passengers, allowing motorists to rely on the car’s advanced computerized system to navigate the roads and avoid collisions. However, these cars may result in a serious Texas car accident, as the new technology is still being refined.

Autonomous vehicles rely on complex computer systems, sensors, actuators, and various algorithms to operate on the roads without an active driver. In theory, these cars provide a glimpse into a more environmentally friendly and safer future for road users. However, as it is, these features often present more dangers than benefits.

For example, recently, a national news report described a fatal Tesla crash involving a driverless vehicle. According to reports, the vehicle did not have a driver and was operating on high or full automation mode. As such, one of the occupants was in the front passenger seat, and the other occupants were in the back seat. The car was speeding along a dangerous curve when it slammed into a tree. Emergency responders used over 30,000 gallons of water to put out the massive fire that the collision sparked. Tesla did not respond to this incident but previously stated that their vehicles are intended to be used with an attentive driver who has their hands on the steering wheel. However, safety officials argue that the company does not do enough to deter drivers from depending too much on the vehicle’s features.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/04/Screen-Shot-2021-04-19-at-3.42.14-PM.pngApril 2021:  Playa del Carmen, Q.R. Mexico— A criminal investigation into the death of a 13-year-old boy at an Xcaret water park has been opened.  In a press release, the Attorney General of the Mexican state made the announcement after it was notified of the death of the child via a private hospital.

According to the Attorney General, staff from the hospital reported the drowning death of Leonardo Luna-Calvo, 13.  In their official news release, Attorney General of Quintana Roo said, “the rule of law in Quintana Roo is firm and there will be no privileges for any group or person who intends to omit the responsibility that corresponds by law.”

National Water Safety expert Jesse Guerra, Attorney Of Counsel to Carabin Shaw Law Firm said,” Waterpark management needs to inspect what they expect from employees responsible for Public Safety at their facility on a daily basis.  Tragic situations like this are preventable if safety measures are strictly followed.”

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pexels-pixabay-263402-300x199Saturday, March 27, 2021, Mineloa, TX:  Two people died after the back tire separated from a vehicle and caused a rollover crash on Saturday in Wood County.  The driver of an SUV, Robert Guy Marino of Tyler, was pronounced deceased Monday morning.  The passenger, Cathy Marks, 64 also of Tyler died at the scene Saturday.

According to DPS, the driver of a Ford Explorer was traveling north on US 69 at around 1:20 p.m. Saturday when a back left tire came off the vehicle, causing the driver to loose control.   The Explorer traveled off the road into the eastbound ditch where is rolled over.  The driver, Marino, was not wearing a seatbelt and was transported to UT Health Tyler in serious condition where he later died.

DPS said the crash is still under investigation.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/03/Screen-Shot-2021-04-01-at-11.07.48-AM-300x284.pngDuring the course of the COVID-19 global pandemic, tens of millions of people across the country experienced moving their work lives, but also their active lives, into their homes and away from typical common spaces such as gyms or exercise studios. As people began both working and attempting to stay active during quarantine and to practice social distancing, demand for at-home exercise options and equipment has been on the rise. But even at home, could these equipment options pose risks to you and your family? Those injured due to a dangerous piece of exercise equipment may be able to pursue a Texas product liability claim against the manufacturer.

According to a recent news article, an accident involving a Peloton treadmill has left a child dead. Although Peloton’s exercise equipment is wildly popular, their products are no exception when it comes to accidents involving children. The CEO of the company recently acknowledged the issue and claimed that the accidents have been confined to only a “small handful of incidents.” To prevent further accidents from taking place, the company is urging Peloton users to adhere to safety warnings, such as keeping exercise equipment in a separate area away from children and storing safety keys away when the equipment is not being used.

Based on a 2020 study from The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, most at-home treadmill injuries take place involving children under 16. In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people purchasing exercise equipment for their homes, but also with children home from school with remote learning. As a result, the risk of an injury involving children and exercise equipment may be amplified because of current conditions involving the pandemic. Common injuries involving treadmills, the study found, usually involve damage to the fingers and hands, such as friction burns.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/03/Screen-Shot-2021-03-14-at-9.34.32-PM-300x232.pngSunday, March 14, 2021:  ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Police Department responded to a major vehicle crash at approximately 1:05 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at US Highway 36 and Blackburn Road.  When officers arrived at the scene, they found a pickup truck and a Dodge Challenger that had both driven off the road and the Challenger was on fire.
Witnesses said the Challenger, driven by James Wells, 59 was traveling north on US Highway 36 at a high rate of speed, passing vehicles on the two-lane road.
Wells tried to pass the pickup truck driven by Mark Rodgers, 39 of Abilene near the Blackburn Road intersection. A vehicle in the oncoming lane caused Wells to try to get back in his lane but clipped the Rodgers vehicle in the rear, causing it to veer off the road and hit a tree before stopping in a field.  Rodgers was pronounced dead at the scene while his wife and three children (ages 8, 10, 11) who were also in the truck where taken to the hospital for treatment.  Their condition is unknown.  Wells was also taken to the hospital for his undisclosed injuries.
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pexels-nelly-aran-1132688-300x200Pre-prepared and packaged baby food has served as a convenient option for busy parents of infants and toddlers for decades. As parents, we only want what is best for our children, and we should be able to trust that the products we purchase for them to put into their bodies is safe and nutritious. When these food products contain contaminants that could be toxic, this oversight could lead to serious personal injury or even death to those most vulnerable. In certain cases, dangerous food products may give rise to a Texas product liability lawsuit.

According to a recent news report, federal investigators have found that some brands of baby food products contained several contaminants. Even products labeled as organic were found to be contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium. According to experts, exposure to these contaminants could pose significant risks to infants and toddlers, and heavy metals have been associated with brain damage, behavioral impairments, and even death. Because the FDA does not set limits on heavy metals specifically for baby foods, advocates argue that the agency needs to do more to regulate the industry to ensure our children’s safety.

If you have purchased baby food from any of the reported brands and your children have been injured as a result of the defective product, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In Texas, product liability is a strict liability offense, which means that negligence does not get the manufacturer off the hook. Thus, if there was a defect in the product and it caused the injury, then the defendant is liable. Texas recognizes three types of product defects.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-11-at-5.18.29-PM-300x170.pngBecause Texas is such a large state, some areas receive more wintry conditions than others during the winter months. As a result, many drivers do not know how to drive on icy or slippery roads, which can result in devastating Texas car accidents. To stay safe this winter season, it is crucial that you drive with care if you must travel, and to limit travel as much as possible when temperatures are particularly low and the weather is icy.

According to a local news report, six people were killed in a major car accident that involved more than 100 vehicles after a rush of winter weather that swept across Texas. Following the accident, multiple people were trapped in their vehicles, and more than 36 people were taken to local hospitals for further treatment and several were in critical condition at the scene. Videos and photos from other news outlets showed a massive crash involving multiple cars, eighteen-wheeler trucks, tractor-trailers, and local firefighters responding to the scene. Vehicles were piled on top of each other, rolled on their sides, or spun out along the sides of the road. Due to significant amounts of winter weather rolling across the state, local authorities are asking drivers to proceed with caution, especially since the roads are especially slick and icy.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), several easy driving tips can ensure a safer, smoother, less stressful trip when traveling in unpredictable winter weather.

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In the United States, wrong-way accidents can kill hundreds of people every year. These accidents can be particularly deadly when compared to other types of collisions, and account for as many as 54 percent of traffic accident-related deaths in previous years. In the event of one of these devastating accidents, if someone you love is killed because of the neglect and carelessness of another driver, you may have grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death suit for monetary damages.

According to a local news report, two San Antonio residents and four others were killed after a wrong-way accident. Evidently, two vehicles crashed into each other head-on, resulting in one driver being pronounced dead on the scene and his passenger succumbing to her injuries after being transported to a local hospital for treatment. The other victims who died were between 18 and 24 years old, and three other unidentified passengers were taken to the hospital for medical care. Following the accident, local authorities are still investigating the accident’s details.

In Texas, you may be eligible for filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one if that individual died due to a wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness from the at-fault party. Car accidents that result in a wrongful death are a common claim in Texas, but not everyone is eligible to bring a claim on behalf of the deceased. If you decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must either be the deceased’s surviving spouse, child, or parent. Children who are legally adopted, surviving adoptive parents, and personal representatives of the deceased’s estate can also file a wrongful death claim.

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pexels-lukas-rychvalsky-1600909-300x200Although this past holiday season has looked a little different from previous ones because of the pandemic, Texas roads remain busy as families continue to take road trips, commute around town for necessities and daily errands, and travel. Even though COVID-19 may have kept many at home this holiday season, Texas drunk driving accidents still continue to claim too many lives.

According to a recent news report, a local mom lost her husband and two children after a tragic car accident. The two children and husband were driving along when the driver of a Ford F250 crashed into them. Although the driver of the Ford F250 survived, the local mom lost her entire family in the crash. So far, no charges have been filed against the truck driver. However, the mom retained attorneys who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit because the Ford F250 driver was allegedly intoxicated when the accident took place. The investigation remains active, and officials are still assessing potential charges. While charges are pending, the local mom and her attorneys are hopeful that criminal charges against the at-fault driver will be filed.

The legal system can often be challenging and confusing to navigate when it comes to certain claims. Unfortunately, when criminal charges are officially filed against an individual, it does not mean that they will automatically be responsible for paying damages to the party who suffered harm. Because criminal law and the criminal justice system were not designed to protect victims or survivors individually, but rather to protect society as a whole, damages are not typically awarded to specific people who have been harmed through the criminal system.

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