Articles Tagged with Personal Injury

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collection-of-construction-safety-helmet-38070-300x197The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion in a case involving a property owner’s liability for injuries an employee contractor sustained while working on the property. The case arose when the two construction workers suffered injuries while working on a condominium project owned by the defendant. The defendant hired an individual instead of a general contractor to manage the project. A high-voltage power line hung behind the property, and the defendants told the project manager about the line because it was “too close” to the building. The project manager advised the plaintiffs to begin the project even though the power line was still intact. While working on the project, electricity shot down the rebar, and the power line snapped, causing the workers to suffer burns and other serious injuries.

The workers filed a negligence lawsuit against the power company and the defendants. The trial court entered a judgment per a jury finding that the property owner was liable under ordinary-negligence and premises-liability theories.

The defendant appealed, arguing that the employee’s evidence was not legally sufficient under Chapter 95. In response, the plaintiffs argued that the Chapter does not apply, the defendant waived some arguments, and the evidence was legally sufficient. Amongst several issues, the defendant argued that they could not be held liable because the danger was open and obvious. Under Texas law, a danger is open and obvious when the invitee possesses “knowledge and full appreciation” of the hazard’s extent and nature. Typically, when the danger is open and obvious, the property owner does not maintain a duty to warn of the danger or make the premises safe. Inquiries regarding whether a danger is open and obvious are not subjective but rather what a reasonably prudent person would have known. Courts will look to the totality of the “particular circumstances.”

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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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activity-board-game-connection-desk-613508-300x200Texas has specific procedural requirements that parties must adhere to when they proceed with a lawsuit. If these procedures are not followed and prescribed deadlines are ignored, it could result in your case being dismissed or leave you unable to get the compensation you deserve. Thus, hiring an experienced attorney is crucial when you decide to proceed with a lawsuit—especially someone who understands the ins and outs of Texas laws and procedures.

In a recent Supreme Court of Texas case, a plaintiff challenged a court order allowing the defendant in the dispute to designate an unknown person as a responsible third party. The plaintiff initially sued the defendant for negligently causing a chain-reaction car accident that occurred when a truck driver employed by the defendant rear-ended the truck behind the plaintiff. The defendant initially filed an answer asserting a general denial of responsibility and that the plaintiff was comparatively responsible for causing the accident. Then, 135 days later, the defendant filed a motion to designate an unknown person, referred to as “John Doe” as a responsible third party, arguing that John Doe negligently caused the accident. Although the plaintiff objected to the defendant’s filing, the trial court allowed the defendant to designate John Doe as an unknown responsible party in an amended answer.

More than two years later, the defendant filed its amended original answer, which still did not include allegations of John Doe’s responsibility. The plaintiff objected, stating that the defendant failed to meet the procedural requirements necessary to designate responsibility to John Doe since it was not in the amended complaint the defendant filed. In response, the defendant filed a second amended answer, this time including allegations stating that John Doe caused the accident. The trial court then denied the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion, and the plaintiff filed for relief with the Supreme Court of Texas.

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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-antonio-batinić-5364345-300x200Every time we get behind the wheel in Texas, we must accept a certain level of risk as drivers. Even if we are careful, proactive, and courteous on the road, there is no guarantee that external factors will not cause a car accident. Other drivers, poor weather conditions, or unexpected obstacles on the road can all play a role in the chances of being involved in an accident. Unfortunately, for many of these accidents, there is nothing you can do to prepare outside of staying vigilant and ensuring your vehicle is properly maintained.

According to a local news report, a mother was killed after a tragic and sudden accident. The mother and her 17-year-old son were on their way home from a baseball game and were traveling southbound behind a white pickup truck when the tire and wheel from a pickup truck flew off. The tire and wheel went over the highway’s concrete barrier and smashed into the mother’s windshield, killing her instantly. At the time of the accident, the woman’s son was asleep in the front passenger seat. He was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. After the tire and wheel crashed through the mother’s windshield, she lost control and rear-ended a GMC ahead of her, which had four passengers. All four were transported to a local hospital, reportedly in serious, but stable, condition. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities, and the cause of the tire and wheel falling off is not yet clear.

According to officials, although this accident may seem like a freak accident, these types of collisions are more common than you may expect. Based on 2017 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 738 people died in tire-related crashes similar to the accident that took the mother’s life. In addition, more than 19,000 people are hurt every year from these accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Many of these accidents, however, can be preventable or the impact lessened with some easy steps.

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pexels-maria-georgieva-3068579-300x201The COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in economic challenges and substantial job loss, is raising concern for a greater spike in child abuse. Nothing is worse than receiving a call that your child has been injured or abused. It is worse when this call comes from their trusted child’s daycare facility.

If your child reveals something that makes you suspect they’ve been abused either physically or sexually, don’t overreact.  Tell them you’re glad they told you about it. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) recommends consulting an expert such as a doctor, social worker, or law enforcement officer.

Don’t take your child back to the day care facility until you’re convinced it’s safe. If you believe your child has been harmed, seek medical attention. Take your children seriously if they tell you about something at daycare that makes them uncomfortable. With kids who are not talking yet, you’ll have to watch for other cues.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/02/Screen-Shot-2021-02-11-at-5.07.17-PM.pngThursday, February 11, 2021, DALLAS/Fort Worth:  Traffic crews and medics responded to several fatal car accidents overnight in North Texas as icy roads caused difficult driving conditions for people. At least eight deaths have been confirmed, officials said. 

Pileup crash on I-35W in Fort Worth

More than 75 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup crash Thursday morning on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth, including several 18-wheelers, officials said. A number of people were trapped hours after the crash happened around 6 a.m. 

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2020/12/Screen-Shot-2020-12-22-at-12.55.37-PM.pngDecember 22, 2020: ELLIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) — Two family members were killed, and two others were injured after a tragic December 14 crash involving a passenger van and a semi tractor-trailer.

Officials with the Milford Police Department confirm two people in the van died and two others were injured — one serious, one minor — in the afternoon crash on Interstate-35E in south Ellis County.

It was around 5:30 p.m. when police were called out on a “two vehicle major accident”. Once there officials said they quickly realized they needed help and called in more than half-dozen agencies — including DPS, Italy Police and Fire, and Ellis County Sheriff’s deputies.

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pexels-ian-panelo-3087484-200x300Many Texas companies hire independent contractors because of their cost-effective nature. With an independent contractor, companies can use the contractor for a particular project when it needs to be done and are free from being tethered to the particular contractor when the work is complete. When a contractor’s actions cause an accident, however, there is a question of liability on the company’s part. Is the contractor or the company responsible? It can often be a complicated question.

For example, in a recent Texas Supreme Court opinion, the court considered a case involving the liability of a company that hired an independent contractor. When a Texas utility company entered into a contract with an independent contractor, the utility company issued a work order for the independent contractor to remove a utility pole. To remove the pole, it needed to be pulled out of the ground, and then the hole would be filled with dirt. The independent contractor completed the project and filled the hole, and another company that the utility company contracted with to inspect the work of its contractors confirmed that the job was complete. The plaintiff was mowing her lawn when she stepped into a hole that was two and a half feet deep in the area where the pole had been removed. The plaintiff sued the utility company, its independent contractor, and the company responsible for checking the contractor’s work for negligence. The trial court and court of appeals sided with the defendants by granting summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the utility company owed a duty to her to ensure that the independent contractor performed its job in a safe manner. Because the removal of the pole was inherently dangerous work and the utility company had a contractual right to control the independent contractor, they owed her a duty. However, the court disagreed and sided with the defendants, arguing that there was no duty on the part of the utility company to the plaintiff.

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pexels-pixabay-263402-300x199Nov. 11, 2020, McCLAIN COUNTY, Oklahoma:  Investigators said a truck driver was driving distracted on Interstate 35 where he killed a woman and injured her husband. Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers responded to the crash on March 2, 2020, near mile marker 82 in McClain County.

A semi-truck driven by 58-year-old Johnny Spradlin was surrounded by other vehicles approaching a construction zone.  

Investigators said surrounding vehicles slowed down, but the 18-wheeler driver Spradlin did not. He crashed into a 2016 Chevy Traverse driven by 63-year-old Julia Kraus and her passenger husband around 9:30 a.m. Kraus was pronounced dead at the scene.   Kraus’ husband was injured in the crash but survived.  

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