1.30.23 – More Grossman – Daycare Abuse & Neglect / Workplace Injury & Workers’ Comp – gtg


What You Must do to Protect Your Child who is the Victim of Daycare Abuse or Neglect

Child abuse or neglect is a very sensitive issue. It causes great pain for both the child victim and the parents who must share this ordeal with them while they seek justice for their harmed child. Parents or any legal guardian who even suspect their child might be the victim of any sort of physical or emotional abuse or neglect by a daycare worker are right to feel outraged. Though their anger may seem boundless, it is very important to think clearly and proceed carefully. If one of your minor children whom you entrust to a daycare worker, foster parent, or institutional caregiver is the victim of neglect or even worse sexual or physical abuse, not only must you deal with your child’s terrifying experience, you must curb your emotions that surround this reprehensible crime committed against your child. It is common to want to lash out or quickly jump to incorrect conclusions. This is the first of many reasons why, if your child has suffered physical, emotional, or sexual abuse while in someone else’s care, a daycare abuse attorney with our Law Office can counsel and assist you in investigating your suspicions. If your fears are justified, this legal professional will help you seek justice from predatory caregivers who victimize and harm children.

Child abuse can occur in several forms. It can involve neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse, less dire but just as harmful as emotional mistreatment or other acts that harm children physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Over the years, national trends reveal consistent increases in the number of such cases reported, and also the number of civil liability and other damage-related lawsuits that are filed against those who neglect or abuse young children. Throughout America, at least five children die daily due to child abuse. Well over 20,000 children in the U.S. suffer every day from some form of abuse. There are at least a quarter million active child abuse cases investigated every year. Across the nation, child neglect makes up about half of the reported abuse cases; physical abuse is found in 15-20% of child abuse offenses, sexual abuse occurs about 10-15% of the time, while emotional and other less-destructive forms of child abuse comprise the rest of the reported complaints. This is truly disturbing. It strengthens the fact that every responsible adult must report suspected child abuse to law officials and the state agencies charged with investigating these destructive and predatory crimes. Small children can’t defend themselves from this monstrous behavior. So we must!

While daycare abuse incidents create attention-grabbing headlines, Texas agencies and law enforcement officials tell us that daycare-related abuse, foster parent abuse, and institutional abuse probably don’t comprise more than 10 percent of confirmed child abuse cases. So even though daycare abuse tends to be often over-amplified by media sensationalization, the actually confirmed episodes of “daycare or institutional child abuse” is smaller in proportion to the overall problem. When your child is the victim of such abuse or neglect it’s hard to find comfort when the percentages suggest your victimized child is the exception rather than the rule.

Recognizing Evidence of Possible Child Daycare Abuse in Your Child
If you suspect your child is the victim of abuse while at the daycare center, you can probably see subtle changes in behavior if you look carefully. Usually, a parent’s instincts and intuition will tell them, if their child suddenly begins to act differently. Sometimes those signs can be subtle and hard to pin down because, as all parents know, children, especially the very young ones, often have difficulty expressing their emotions or saying exactly what is happening inside their little minds. One thing is certain. Abused children often appear confused and afraid, especially when placed in situations, or with people, they don’t trust. Since children by nature are usually very trusting, quite often because they have no experience with abusive behavior, they don’t sense it is wrong. They may have been made to think if they tell you about their abuse, something even worse will happen to them or someone else in the family. There are many reasons why your child’s continuing ordeal of abuse at the hands of a daycare or other childcare professional can remain hidden and force your little one to suffer in silence. Below are some behavior patterns to look for in your child. They can provide clues that might tell you if he or she suffers abuse by someone who is supposedly a trusted childcare professional.

Any of these signs may characterize physical abuse:
If there are unexplained bruises or swollen areas on your child’s body.
There is evidence of unexplained injuries such as burns, cuts, scratches, or fractures.
They cry, fight, or display other aggressive behavior.
There are noticeable mood swings.
They display an abnormal fear of daycare.
There is an aversion to normal child-like activities or play.
They complain of pain but show an inability or reluctance to fully or truthfully describe how it happened.

Sexual abuse may be apparent due to any of these signs:
Difficulty sitting or walking.
Torn or stained underclothes.
Bleeding, bruises, or rashes in or near the genital area.
Sudden development of urinary tract or yeast infections.
An abnormal interest in sexual issues.
Inappropriate sexual playing anytime the child is with friends.
Fear of even innocent physical contact.

Emotional abuse may be apparent if you detect any of these signs in your child:
Speech disorders.
Delays in normal development.
Severe allergies, asthma, or ulcers.
The sudden appearance of habitual behavior, such as thumb-sucking, rocking back and forth, or aggression, such as biting.
Anti-social or hyper-aggressive behavior.
An inability to sleep or some other form of sleep disorder.
Pronounced extremes in the behavior, possibly even manic episodes such as quickly moving back and forth between passive to aggressive actions.

Signs that your child may be neglected at a daycare center may include the following:
A daycare that discourages unscheduled parent or guardian visitations.
Dirty diapers or dirty appearance.
Understaffing or a disproportionately small number of daycare supervisors to children.
Abnormal thirst or hunger after your child leaves daycare.
Withdrawal from normal children’s activities.
Aggressive behavior.

Just because you might suddenly see one or two such symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean there is abuse. Little children are changelings, and behavior you see one week might be gone the next. But if you see several symptoms listed above, take them seriously after a reasonable observation period. Maybe it’s time to investigate if something is wrong and why quietly.



If You Suspect Daycare Abuse, Don’t Panic: but Carefully Search for Answers

If you suspect your child is a victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, you should quietly visit with your spouse or partner. Compare notes. Determine if your child is behaving unusually or acting differently than normal, especially immediately before or after the little one is at daycare. If you remain suspicious, the next step is to gently reach out to other parents with children at the same daycare center. Ask if they also have similar concerns or suspicions. They might also notice subtle changes in their children’s behavior too. If you reach a collective consensus that something might be wrong, don’t immediately conclude that a daycare worker is responsible. Sometimes the unusual behavior might be attributed to a bully at the center. Carefully conferring with other parents may help you identify this as the reason for children’s altered behavior and build a support system if something is amiss. Comparing notes with other concerned parents could help decide your future course of action. Typically, the signs of physical and sexual abuse are more apparent than those of emotional abuse or neglect. But emotional abuse or child neglect can leave deep and lasting emotional scars.

One way to monitor a child’s emotional health or behavioral changes in daycare is to pay meticulous attention to the words and expressions they use to describe their time there. Daily routine conversations about how things are going at the daycare facility can tell you a lot. So let your children know that you are interested and put them at ease when talking about it. If there is something wrong, if you and your child “visit about their daycare day” every day, they’re more liable to tell you if something is wrong and maybe why. Sometimes you must read their actions and listen to their words. You’ll get the story, if there is one, by encouraging them in an easygoing, conversational, and interested manner. If they are reluctant to talk about their daycare experiences or become sad or fearful when they do talk about them, your concerns might be genuine. If your child is consistently exhibiting any of the signs previously described or shows symptoms of child abuse or child neglect, and you are satisfied that the problem is a daycare worker, contact your local police or county sheriff at once, or contact the nearest office of the Child Protective Services Division of the Texas Department of Human Resources. Calling a daycare abuse attorney is also good.

All educators and adults who supervise children for a living know Texas law requires that if they even remotely suspect that child abuse may have occurred, they must immediately contact CPS. Incidents of suspected child abuse that may require immediate action can be reported to the CPS toll-free abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400 any time of the day, seven days a week. If the abuse has caused an emergency, they must contact local law enforcement (911) without delay. But if an emergency response is unnecessary, the CPS online reporting system on the Web () may be used. Allegations of child abuse sent through the CPS Web site can take up to 24 hours to process and generate a response. The next step is to seek medical attention for your child quickly. Your primary doctor should know the symptoms (both physical and emotional) to look for in cases of child abuse and will conduct a thorough examination of your child to determine whether or not daycare child abuse exists fully. If you need assistance finding proper medical attention, Grossman Law Office’s daycare abuse attorneys can help you find appropriate medical or psychological help for your child. Once you’ve notified the proper authorities, sought medical attention for your child, and still have reason to believe that your child has suffered daycare abuse and has not yet contacted a civil attorney, it’s time for that appropriate step. Law enforcement and the Texas CPS take child abuse allegations very seriously. If such allegations are made, a criminal investigation will be conducted to determine the validity of the charge. With the help of a knowledgeable daycare abuse lawyer, this emotionally difficult time can be much more manageable. It’s a blessing to have an experienced daycare abuse lawyer stand with you at this critical time to ensure your and your child’s rights are fully protected. Any daycare child abuse or neglect charge must be carefully considered before initiating any formal investigation. Improper, ill-founded, or reckless allegations against those suspected of child abuse that prove false can severely damage a good worker’s reputation. The parents who leveled such allegations run a genuine risk of being the target of civil slander or liable charges in court by the accused person; once he or she is forgiven. Any investigation must begin very quietly so that everyone gets things 100 percent right and that the daycare worker who is investigated is the one who abused your child. Our Law Office’s daycare abuse attorneys can help you understand why you must carefully approach this issue and investigate very quietly.



The Differences between Child Neglect and Child Abuse“

“Duty of care” is a legal term that establishes the obligations a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit has for others. Daycare centers have a rather high duty of care. So they must prove they have made “over and above” efforts to assure the safety of the small children within whom parents have placed their trust to provide for a child’s safety. A daycare worker and the center can become the target of civil litigation through a charge of general negligence if they fail to meet their duty of care. Negligent hiring practices may violate that duty of care if it is proven that the daycare center did not perform due diligence in vetting an employee before they came to work. In cases where the negligence or abuse is ongoing, a fair argument for gross or willful negligence may be more appropriate, even if gross negligence is harder to prove in Texas personal injury cases. Another claim of negligent supervision may be brought even if a child suffers an injury due to an adult becoming distracted for even a few seconds. Unlike many other personal injury cases that only have one or only a few legal options when alleging claims of negligence, child abuse cases may involve many different types of inattentive or negligent behavior as contributing factors to your child’s abuse-related injury. Again, if just one negligence claim is substantiated against, for example, a daycare center, you may rightfully seek compensation for the damages to your child. By definition, you and the rest of your family have suffered.

Multiple Defendants Could be Involved in Your daycare Center Child Abuse Civil Action
One of the first questions that an aggrieved family often wants to be answered, “Who did this terrible thing to my child?” In the legal world, the person or entity (the defendant) responsible for an injury is called the “liable party” The specific circumstances surrounding a daycare abuse case will likely dictate who the liable parties are. There have also been several past instances of daycare abuse where the offender turns out not to be a daycare worker or teacher but rather an employee who doesn’t normally come in consistent contact with children at the daycare center: such as a janitor, bus driver, delivery person or someone else who may, in one form or another, have the opportunity to have unsupervised contact with the children who attend the daycare center, even if it’s very brief. Sometimes family members of daycare workers are implicated in daycare abuse cases. If an employee of a daycare center or worker with another company who has dealings with the center is guilty of child abuse at your daycare center, both the employee and the employer, as third parties, can be held liable for this employee’s negligent or predatory behavior. This also could include the employer of a delivery person to the daycare center who is responsible for the abuse. In many Texas civil cases, employers are viewed as legally liable for the offenses committed by their employees during their time at work, just as much as the offending employee. This term is called respondent superior. It is important to bring employees to justice in daycare child abuse cases and punishing employers for allowing this to happen. The buck stops with the owner/employer of the worker who abuses a child at daycare just as much as the actual perpetrator. In cases where one or more predators/defendants are involved in a child abuse case daycare facility, civil lawsuits may be pursued against each liable party. Because of the highly delicate nature of such cases, a careful investigation must be made for all liable parties to be properly identified and held fully accountable for the full measure of their negligent behavior. This investigation often includes an asset check on all defendants to ensure they have the financial means to pay damages once they are found guilty.



Be Prepared for a Vicious Fight When Protecting Your Child’s Rights in Court

We’ve already noted that when an employee of a daycare center is found liable for a child abuse incident, the employers and their company will also be held liable for the child abuse incident. But, determining the actual owner of a daycare center can sometimes pose several challenges. While most daycare centers are privately owned, others are owned by corporations that often have substantial legal clout. All Texas daycare centers must carry some personal liability insurance to be granted a state license. Without an experienced daycare abuse attorney to conduct an exhaustive investigation into the matter and assist you against such formidable defendants, your quest for justice on behalf of your child could end before it begins. If you did your due diligence before enrolling your child in a daycare center, you certainly asked if the center had insurance, what type, and how much. Assuming you were wise enough not to place your child in the daycare center unless the questions were answered satisfactorily. That defendant daycare center, or the company that owns it, will rely on its insurance carrier to pay their compensation damages in a liability case. So when a company or employer is involved in a personal injury claim, that company’s insurance carrier is all but certain to be involved in a daycare liability case because the carrier is the one who pays the damages. Beware that insurance companies all too often have previous experience in dealing with similar cases, not to mention civil liability cases in general. They and their attorneys (either in-house or on permanent retainer) are well-prepared (and well-armed) to aggressively defend their interests to their fullest capability. Such forceful defense, if successful, ultimately means that a great deal of money is saved by the defendants and the insurance carriers who fund their defense. So if your case ends up in court, be prepared for anything, including an assault on your character. They’ll certainly try to turn the tables and allege that someone in your family is the abuser. Emotional cases such as this bring out the worst in defendants and their lawyers. Not only is the burden of proof on you, but the burden to disprove their allegations against you, which are a part of any child abuse case, is also on you and your daycare abuse lawyer. With the help of an experienced child abuse attorney, you can receive the vital legal assistance you need against any strong defense tactics that are certain to be leveled against you by an insurance company and their lawyers who represent the defendants at an abusive daycare center.

Our Law Office Can Help You Win Legal Action for Child Daycare Abuse i
If you are convinced that daycare abuse has caused harm to your child, the Texas daycare abuse team at our Law Office can assist you in several significant ways. By seeking legal action through a personal injury lawsuit, fair compensation can be won for your child’s injury and fund treatment for this trauma, including the emotional pain your child has suffered. Such emotional disturbance and the psychological scars suffered by child abuse or neglect victims are well-documented. All of these problematic issues are taken into full account when considering the amount of fair compensation for daycare child abuse once the defendants are found guilty. In addition to pain and suffering, fair compensation damages can be sought for your family’s financial losses, such as the child’s past and future medical bills and any physical and psychological impairment caused by the abuse. And finally, punitive damages may be awarded to an aggrieved family, depending on the severity of the child abuse incident. Punitive damages are intended to make the guilty defendant in a civil lawsuit pay so much money over-and-above the actual damages that they will never repeat the child abuse or neglect that has harmed and scarred not only your child but your whole family. A wounded family wants and deserves both criminal and civil justice regarding child abuse or neglect. Those responsible for your child’s suffering must take legal responsibility for their actions so they will never commit this heinous act again. It is quite certain the actual abusive perpetrator will face criminal charges. But the center that allowed this abuser to prey on small children, even through ignorance of such offenses, must also be made to pay for their civil negligence. Whether these defendants must answer criminal charges or not, a personal injury lawsuit can be brought against these liable parties responsible for child abuse at any daycare facility. While no amount of money might seem to be fair compensation for the suffering caused to your child, the legal damages won against those liable defendants can be viewed as something like “just desserts” and bring a certain amount of closure.

By winning a civil case against those who are negligent with your child, actively abuse your little one, or hire and pay that abusive or neglectful employee, you are working to help save others from the grief and pain now thrust upon your family. If you suspect your child may suffer from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, contact a Texas daycare abuse attorney at our Law Office, toll-free. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask every question you can think of so you’ll completely understand your child’s daycare abuse injury case and how it is best pursued. Our interest is in your child’s safety. Once we are engaged, we fully investigate every aspect of the daycare provider, its workers, all others who come in contact with the center, and the abuse. We work closely with law enforcement officials in their pursuit of criminal justice. We aggressively negotiate with all insurance companies to reach a fair settlement. They know who we are and know that if we have the strongest case, it’s better to cut their losses and settle for a reasonable amount rather than risk a trial. But if push comes to shove, we’ll just as aggressively represent you and your child in court. We want to hold these monstrous people accountable for their actions, bring them to full justice, and help end this nightmare brought about by a daycare worker who preyed on your innocent child.



Sorting out Your Full Legal Rights after a Workplace Injury at Your Job

Have you been injured on the job? First, we sincerely hope it is minor; you’ll recover quickly and be able to return to work. But if you’ve been seriously hurt, who pays for your injuries, lost time at work, or, heaven forbid, benefits owed because you’re permanently disabled or your loved one was killed on the job? How to handle your claim or civil injury case depends upon the actual details of your accident and the events leading up to it. You must know whether or not the company you work for has workers’ compensation insurance: which pays reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and some disability. You also need to know what to do if workers’ comp does not cover your employer. You also must understand if – in the eyes of the law – you are an employee or merely a contractor. Your ability to obtain fair compensation for your on-the-job injuries depends on the answers to these important questions in determining how to receive a reasonable damages payment. Resolving such cases can often be very complex due to the abovementioned factors and other issues that influence any job-related injury case. If that wasn’t enough, our laws’ complexity and occasional ambiguity allow employers and their insurance providers to unfairly refuse the rightful claims of thousands of injured Texas employees annually. It’s almost certain that inexperienced lawyers will falter in their attempts to secure the highest reasonable settlement in a work accident insurance claim or civil case.

Certainly, those with no legal experience representing themselves in such a serious matter are virtually certain to fail in their quest for rightful compensation. The workers’ comp attorneys at our Law Office have over 20 years of their lives invested in fairly resolving injury claims and civil cases for employees who are injured on the job. We use our expertise and skill to help you clearly understand the laws involved with such a case and all of the legal avenues open to you following your work accident-related injuries. We are just as practiced at representing surviving family members when their beloved family member has been accidentally killed on the job. This is why we believe that honesty is the best policy in sharing all the challenges you’re likely to face. It would be best if you made the best-informed judgment in your family’s interests, which is something your employer and his or her insurance company no longer care about – from the moment the mishap occurs. Employers must protect their assets! Some will attempt to hide whether or not they have workers’ comp insurance. Often, they attempt to evade liability and mislead you, the injured employee. Some might argue that you aren’t an employee and don’t owe you anything. With the help of their insurance companies and attorneys, they’ll accuse you of being the actual cause of your injury. That’s only the beginning of their mission to deny you. An experienced work accident attorney knows how to counter the tricks of your employer, his lawyers, and pushy, underhanded insurance adjusters.



Determining Employer Workers’ Compensation Status is the First Big Fork in the Road to Recovery.

Thanks to our lawmakers (and the insanely affluent insurance lobby), understanding today’s workers’ compensation laws is a thorny challenge. The state of Texas requires no employer to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Right now, roughly one in two do subscribe to the program. So, workers’ comp injury cases are divided into two distinct types that require completely different starting points (and strategies) to resolve. Employers who carry worker’s comp are referred to as “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” To know how to proceed with your claim, you must first determine whether or not your employer is one or the other.
Workers’ comp benefits are paid out of a “pool” of funds. This pool is stocked by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. The program also protects subscriber-employers from lawsuits and disregards employees’ legal rights to be fairly compensated when the employer is truly negligent because it legally limits, or “caps,” the monetary benefits an injured employee can receive. If your employer subscribes to workers’ comp, it compensates injured employees. It’s like “no-fault” auto insurance for employers because when they’re covered by workers’ comp injured, employees are automatically reimbursed: no matter how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. Often, the amount you receive doesn’t come close to fully covering the expenses of an on-the-job injury if it is severe.

On the other hand, to receive financial restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, an injury victim must file an insurance claim and, if necessary, a lawsuit in civil court. Otherwise, they receive nothing. Fortunately, for the injured worker, there is a small victory. For the legislature to “encourage” Texas employers to subscribe to workers’ comp, they lowered the standards of proof for negligence in case of a civil case or claim against a non-subscriber. So it’s not as difficult to affix true liability against a non-subscribing employer for on-the-job accidents in court and win fair compensation. Since workers’ comp is cheaper than commercial employer liability insurance, one would assume all companies would be smart and purchase workers’ comp instead. Not every employer treats his business like a smart homeowner treats their home: the first check goes to the mortgage company, and the second one goes to that (cheaper) insurance. So many employers still choose “live on the edge” and risk being a non-subscriber (or have no insurance at all). Then, when the odds catch up, they run for cover to avoid a lawsuit.

A favorite tactic of such people is to fake having workers’ comp once an employee is seriously injured. These employers may try to pay you benefits quickly that you would typically receive from workers’ comp and ask you to sign what they may represent as a “standard release” to further their deception and get off the hook. It’s a trick, so don’t fall for it: even if the document you sign “looks” official. This is one of many tricks that awaits you without the benefit of an experienced workers’ comp attorney to get to the bottom of your company’s workers’ comp status, so you know what legal recourse is available to you. Once we have answered this vital question, we can move forward together to secure your just injury compensation.



The Single Exception That Allows Injured Employees to Sue Workers’ Comp Subscribers
Did You Know? Our work injury attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case. We’ve told you that employers get far more than quick, no-fault, and “capped” liability protection when they subscribe to workers’ comp insurance. They are also virtually bulletproof when it comes to civil lawsuits. They cannot be sued unless the employer has committed gross negligence that caused a wrongful workplace death. In one case, our attorneys were hired by the loved ones of a construction worker who died after a fall from a crane. The employer had ordered the worker to work atop the rig without the mandatory safety harness. When the victim plummeted to his death, his employer rushed to a construction supply store, purchased a safety harness, attached it to the dead man, and then reported the accident to the authorities. Our investigators uncovered this willful deception by interviewing the co-workers and hit him with a costly (and successful) gross negligence and wrongful death lawsuit. So there’s truth to the saying that it’s not the act that gets you in trouble; it’s the cover-up. However, if ordinary negligence applies to wrongful death, subscribing employers are off-the-hook. The facts of the case must be overwhelming to prove gross negligence. So whichever contributing insurance company is responsible for negotiating a settlement; again, with benefit caps, the odds are improbable that the victim, or the victim’s survivors if a death has occurred, will receive the equitable compensation to which they are entitled if they go it alone. In a perfect world, insurance providers would be concerned with tending to the legitimate needs of injured parties. Victims would receive fair compensation for all medical bills, lost salary, pain, and suffering. But this is the real world and far from fair or perfect: despite what some of these insurance companies who participate in workers’ comp try to say in the charitable tone of their advertising and public relations campaigns. Insurance companies are in business to generate profits, not help people. Those who underwrite the workers’ comp pool are no exception. Insurance companies try to avoid fairly compensating injured employees every day. Insurers participating in the state’s workers’ comp coverage pool are just doing it – while the legislature looks the other way.

There’s another very effective avenue to receiving fair workplace injury compensation. It calls for the injured employee to file a claim or civil action against someone other than the subscribing employer, commonly known as a third-party lawsuit: In many cases, someone besides the employer may have done something negligent to cause a workplace injury. If a faulty piece of machinery caused a serious mishap, the manufacturer might be held accountable through a defective product lawsuit. If the property owner did not provide safe working conditions, he or she could be held accountable. If another employee, a visiting contractor, or one of the contractor’s employees negligently caused the injury, they could be held accountable. In such a case, you can sue the responsible party or parties but not your subscribing employer. Experience and the ability to properly investigate the accident scene and the roles these third parties played in the calamity are required to properly identify the parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they caused. A skillful work accident attorney can devise a plan of attack for workplace injury cases that offer the best opportunity to secure compensation in a complex Texas work accident claim like this.



Receiving Compensation from Liable Non-Subscribers is More Straightforward but Still Quite Hard and Contentious

Unsurprisingly, many employers neglect to purchase workers’ comp or any other form of insurance. Suppose you are to receive the compensation you deserve from non-subscribing employers. In that case, you certainly need the assistance of a skilled Texas work accident attorney to file a lawsuit and see it through to receive the fair compensation you deserve due to their negligence. In addition to lowering standards of proof against non-subscribers in the wake of a serious workplace accident, the legislature allows the seriously injured victim to receive much greater damage than workers’ comp payouts. It offers more damage types than are available through workers’ comp. They wanted all businesses to subscribe to the program, didn’t they? With all these exceptions and loopholes, you can guess that workplace civil action law are extremely intricate. So to succeed, you will need a crafty accident lawyer to assist you through every complexity of this challenging legal process.

Most non-subscriber compensation journeys begin when the victim, also known as the plaintiff, informs the employer of his or her intent to recover compensation for his or her injury and possibly a dollar amount that the victim expects as fair reimbursement. The employer can agree: but good luck with that. This employer has some insurance or surety bond to cover these matters. If they have insurance, they hand it over to their carrier. In this case, you (and your attorney, if you’re smart) try to negotiate a settlement, assuming that the insurance company doesn’t automatically dispute your allegations outright. If negotiations progress in good faith, usually because your experienced work accident lawyer makes it clear that you have a very strong case. Then the matter is settled, you are fairly compensated, and everyone returns to their regular lives. The defense often contests work-related injury cases, and the plaintiff must file a lawsuit to win the compensation he or she deserves. As the injured party, you – the plaintiff – hold the burden of proving that the employer’s negligence caused the injury that left you with those high medical bills, lost salary, pain, and suffering. Aren’t you glad that, in this case, you only have to prove simple negligence? Because with experienced legal counsel, that task is much easier than trying to adhere to higher standards of proof.



Defendants Will Certainly Charge you as Being the Sole Proximate Cause of the Accident.
Your workers’ comp non-subscribing employer is certainly not likely to suddenly change his or her nature and agree to pay you for the harm you’ve suffered due to that negligence. Our experience in these matters has taught us that most non-subscribers insurance companies (and their lawyers if it comes down to a trial) begin their defense with a couple of relatively predictable strategies to avoid paying injured employees the restitution they deserve. We’ve mentioned the sole proximate cause defense. To make an effective case, your opponents will add insult to your injuries and soil your reputation by charging you were a negligent employee and causing your injuries. They try to hold you alone responsible for them. This is the first step of their besmirchment campaign. Your character comes into question: ‘When did you stop beating your wife? Did we see you selling drugs on the job site?’ Questions begin popping up. They have no shame (or aversion) to painting the wrong picture of you as they desperately try to wiggle out of paying rightful damages. So, in addition to your burden of proof, you and your attorney have an equally-important burden of dis-proof. Insurance defense lawyers know how close to the line truth and lie they can go without stepping over it, yet still make their sinister points against you. Your employer may have been too cheap to buy workers’ comp coverage. But you can be sure they will think nothing of paying tens of thousands of dollars to defend themselves. You need your cunning work accident attorney to place the spotlight back where it belongs, squarely on the negligent employer.

The Next Defense: Questioning the Existence of an Employer-Employee Relationship
The sole proximate cause defense has been thwarted. But there’s another defense trick awaiting you. Many clever employers begin avoiding liability even before accidents occur by trying to distance themselves from you as an employee and their responsibility to compensate you fairly. Some even start building that paper trail to prove their argument from the first day you show up for work. Texas employers are not liable for what happens to contractors vis-à-vis job site injury liability. So many companies will claim to hire their employees as contractors. By calling you a contractor, your employer believes it’s possible to deny that an employer-employee relationship existed between you and the company. Then they will tell you that you don’t have a legal claim to compensation for your injury-related damages. Their logic is simple: why should they be responsible for an injury to someone who was technically never their employee? While many companies try to claim they hire their employees as contractors or as temp workers through a third party, the business owner knows an actual employer-employee relationship exists in many of these cases. An injured worker can still obtain compensation. So don’t be discouraged by this ploy. Even though your employer initially claims you are a contractor, you are likely still considered an employee in the eyes of the law; and entitled to recover financial compensation for injuries suffered on the job. A skillful and well-seasoned workplace employee injury attorney knows how to prove the employer-employee relationship by meeting at least one of the following standards and often proves more than two:

Social security and withholding taxes have been deducted from your paycheck by your employer.
Your employer supplied the essential equipment for the job.
Your employer has regularly managed, overseen, or inspected your work.
A specific work schedule has been set for the job by your employer. You are not free to come and go from the workplace as you, please.
Your employer requires you to complete a task or sign a document that limits your rights while working for the employer. The most common examples are taking a drug test or signing a document that states you comply with an employee handbook.
You have been employed for an undetermined period, not just for a single job.
A salary or an hourly wage pays you not on a job-by-job basis.

In cases where a worker is borrowed from another company, or a third-party agency, the rules for determining the working relationship are related, but there can be some crucial differences. These conditions may include the following:

If the borrowing employer can hire or fire a borrowed worker at any time, the worker is an employee. Otherwise, the worker is a
Most of the time, if the borrowing employer is allowed to pick a particular worker, the worker is an employee.
If the agency that provides the worker is allowed to send any worker they choose, the worker is a contractor.
If the worker must provide them, that person is a contractor.
If the employer offers them, the worker is an employee.
The worker is a contractor if the employment agency can substitute the borrowed worker for another.
If the lending agency cannot, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed indefinitely, then the worker is an employee.
If the worker is borrowed for a specific project with a completion date and no further, the worker is a contractor.
If a worker is being borrowed or “leased” because of a unique or hard-to-find skill, then the worker is a contractor.
On the other hand, if an employer borrows a worker to fill a position that just about anyone can supply, then the worker is an employee.
If the borrowing employer agrees to pay the worker’s social security and income tax, the worker is an employee.
The worker is a contractor if the borrowing employer does not accept this responsibility.

Our Law Office conducts a thorough investigation to demonstrate at least one of these standards and prove an employer-employee relationship existed between you. We will depose co-workers, review contracts and examine pay stubs to establish that you were an employee when you suffered an on-the-job injury. A couple of other important things: if you were hired by an employment agency to work at an “employer’s” company and suffered a workplace-related injury or accidental death, your attorney must determine if the employment agency has workers’ comp. If so, you would file a workers’ comp claim against the agency, which would make the company where you performed the work a third-party contributor to the accident and subject to the full extent of civil law. Also, suppose your employer loaned you to another company where the accident occurred. In that case, the issue of a workers’ comp subscription with your employer comes to mind, and the company where you suffered your injury will likely be treated as a third-party defendant in any civil claim or suit. Or maybe they’re both non-subscribers, so there are no civil restrictions.This brings another important point to mind. Workers’ comp claims are less than adequate when major injuries include wrongful death. So the traditional way for an employee to recover fair damage compensation is to file a workers’ comp claim against the employer of record (assuming that the employer subscribes) and then supplement the claim with the appropriate number of third-party claims or lawsuits. Finally, sometimes employers will deduct that Social security and withholding taxes and then put the money in their pocket, then try to claim an employer/employee relationship did not exist. They change their tune if we ask if the IRS will back them up. Then they change their tune quickly. They know that we’ll know that truth in less than five minutes. Some people: and another benefit delivered by an experienced workplace injury lawyer.



Your Opponents Fight Very Hard in a Workplace Accident Liability Case
In all non-subscriber and third-party workplace injury claims, defendants usually have large insurance companies and many attorneys to oppose them. They have sneaky, underhanded adjusters to thwart your claims and work behind the scenes to deny you. They also have attorneys either on staff or on permanent retainer. They are very skilled at defending insurance companies from people who try to sue them. Insurance companies are in the business of collecting high premiums and then avoiding paying claims. They are aggressive and intimidating from the start. But they don’t scare an experienced local work accident attorney like those with our Law Office. We’ve seen their tricks and know how to cut them down to size. But if your employer is “self-insured” or uninsured, they’ll fight just as hard to avoid paying for your injuries. These people are a lot more dangerous to your legal rights and maybe even pose a direct threat to you and your family’s physical well-being. They’re a different animal altogether. Insurance companies have at least some semblance of a code of ethics and oversight. None of these concern self-insured or uninsured employers. So with them, the gloves come off. They resort to anything that will work for them once an injured employee takes legal action to recover damages. Some of their tricks are shameful at best. Others are utterly illegal.

If you seek a settlement from an officer of the self-insured company or maybe even directly from your employer if it is a small company. In either event, the salary of whomever you deal with is likely tied directly to company profits. Any damage paid to you for an injury comes directly from company coffers. So by compensating you, your employer takes money out of his pocket. We are rarely surprised when a sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any means to deny your claim to protect his company’s (and his personal) assets. Remember that construction accident guy who bought that safety harness? We see that in uninsured employers rather often. Self-insured companies can deliberately dispose of evidence and bribe or intimidate witnesses. They sometimes resort to physical threats against you or your family. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, we file motions in court that prevents anyone with the company from behaving improperly against our clients. Sometimes these motions include a clear demand that they do not attempt to communicate with our clients in any way without one of our attorneys present.



OSHA Is of Little Use in an Injury Liability Claim or Legal Case
You are probably familiar with this government organization, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This federal agency maintains minimum standards of safety for all American employers. You might think OSHA will help you attain compensation. Nothing could be further from the truth. OSHA does not file lawsuits on behalf of injured employees. All it does is oversee the work environment in the U.S., crunch numbers and assess fines. And for the past 20 years, OSHA regulations and the fines levied for employer non-compliance have lost most of their teeth. OSHA fines were set long ago and no longer carry the proper financial motivation to convince safety violators to comply with these government standards. Many of these fine amounts were established over 30 years ago. Though they might have encouraged conformity back then, inflation and other economic factors make many OSHA fines little more than a slap on the wrist. A $10,000 fine doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of employers as it did during the Reagan Administration.

Additionally, over the years, OSHA has become more restricted in its actions and investigations due to smaller staff sizes and operational budgets. Today, OSHA has been all but emasculated regarding preventing on-the-job injuries. Furthermore, OSHA cannot make any direct effort to help injured workers secure compensation for the damages inflicted upon them. Only after an accident will OSHA investigate negligence, and their reports are designed to stop future problems, not correct past mistakes or oversights. And though that data might be considered general evidence at a trial, OSHA is an example of closing the barn door long after the cow escapes: when it comes to aiding your compensation quest.



The Most Important Thing You Need to Do Right Now, and Why:
This is the first thing you must understand after a serious work injury. Before you speak with an insurance company, accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. All of your opponents want you to accept a substandard settlement so that they can save their own money. Don’t be taken advantage of. Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In work accident cases, the evidence begins to fade immediately following the accident. The physical details of the accident scene itself can change overnight, especially if there is something to hide. And witnesses change their stories or forget what they saw because the mind is mysterious. Sometimes, they’ve even been paid to forget or to “take a nice long vacation.” If you wait too long to hire an attorney and put him to work investigating the trail of evidence, then you are doing untold damage to your ability to secure the fair restitution you deserve.

An experienced work accident attorney with our Law Office helps injured Texas employees deal with their challenging work-injury cases. We have spent over 20 years accumulating the expertise required to help injured workers like you receive the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and disability, as well as family survivors of wrongful death accident victims in the workplace. You have the opportunity to put our experience to work for you. We can answer your questions if you want to know your rights, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can reasonably expect to secure. Call our Law Office now at (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you. You’ve been hurt once. Don’t let those who negligently caused you work accident injuries continue victimizing you and your family.


legal 1/30/23 – Vehicle Accidents / Motorcycle Accidents – gtg

Motor vehicle safety is a pressing issue for individuals and families across the country, as it should be. Here, take the time to learn a bit more about the issue and importance of motor vehicle safety, as well as related legal concerns which may come into play depending on the nature of an accident. According to the latest statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the age bracket from 5-34 in the United States. It’s also the leading cause of death among all accidents or injuries. Some other critical statistics taken from the official CDC website: 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms in one year alone. That year, nearly 34,000 fatalities were reported due to unintentional motor vehicle traffic accidents in the United States. The economic cost of crash injuries and deaths is staggering, at about $70 billion per year. Nonfatal injury rates are down, however, thanks to increased safety standards and particularly seatbelt usage; in 10 years, the statistics went from 1,193 per 100,000 to 1007 per 100,000, a 15.6% improvement. Seat belt usage is higher in states with primary enforcement laws, 88.2%, compared to secondary enforcement states, 79.2%. The number of motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and deaths in the United States is staggering. Even with the improvements in seat belt usage, enforcement, and vehicle safety standards, major injury, and death frequency is alarming.

If you or a loved one are in an accident, there could be various potential legal issues you will need to consider:

Road and highway defects and hazards: Unmarked and unrepaired road and highway defects, hazards, and conditions could cause a motor vehicle accident that leads to catastrophic injury. You will need proof of the hazard or defect at the time of your accident and to take action as swiftly as possible to see a positive outcome.

Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycle laws and regulations are quite different than regular motor vehicle laws, and there are other considerations, such as wearing a helmet, the speed of the motorcycle at the time of the crash, and more. If you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to not only ride safely and protectively but to be aware of all legislation in your region and requirements.

DUI accidents: Unfortunately, alcohol plays a significant role in many accidents and deaths. In this case, injury and death lawsuits will play a factor, either in addition to or separately from a criminal case.

Lemon vehicles: The Lemon Laws are designed to protect you from unsafe vehicles. If a dealer or manufacturer doesn’t take the required action or sells you a Lemon vehicle with a defect that leads to an accident, then lawsuits can be filed against them.

Busses and Trucks: Public transportation systems and trucks have different regulations and standards, affecting how a lawsuit or potential suit plays out. Of course, always take motor vehicle safety seriously; your life and your family’s life are in your hands, and simple steps can prevent a great deal of injury, expense, and even death. However, consult with an attorney immediately if you believe you may have a case following a motor vehicle accident. Contact one of our attorneys today for a Free Consultation and to get more valuable information. An experienced and high-quality attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process as smoothly as possible while ensuring that you see the results that you deserve.



The small steps you take immediately after a motorcycle accident can make a big difference in your personal injury case. You must be prepared in the event of a motorcycle accident. Here are some essential steps you would be well advised to take if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident:

Contact the authorities if you or someone else has been injured in an accident. Remember, it is illegal to leave the scene without exchanging information and contacting the authorities. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, make sure that the authorities are contacted, a report is made, and that your account of the incident gets into the police report.

Exchange Information
In the chaos following the accident, you may be in shock, and it may not be possible to get all the information. The first step is to make sure that you are safe and that you receive the necessary medical attention. If possible, it will be in your best interest to carefully collect the following information:

The other driver’s insurance information, driver’s license details, name, address, policy number, and license plate number
Contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the crash
Exact location and time of the crash
A written description of each car involved, including year, make, model, and color collecting

Evidence from the Scene
The more details and evidence you have from the accident scene, the better your chances of receiving the compensation you need. If you do not have a camera with you, you may be able to use your phone to take photos. Remember to photograph the crash site, the damage to the vehicles involved, the positioning of the vehicles, and any injuries you may have suffered.

File an Accident report unless there is a serious injury; it is common for police officers not to respond to an accident. Motorcycle riders would be well advised to file a state vehicle accident report in such cases. This can be done at a local police station. This report can help speed the claim process and document the crash’s details.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately
There are several reasons you must seek immediate medical care.
First and foremost, obtaining early diagnosis and treatment will increase your chances of full recovery. Secondly, if you choose to file an injury claim in the future but fail to seek medical attention, it will take away from the credibility of your claim. Your medical records can also indicate the extent of your physical injuries and the type of treatment you sought after the accident.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The next step in the process will involve contacting the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with because most insurance companies aim to reduce the value of your injury claim. If you have suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, it would be in your best interest to refrain from talking with an insurance adjuster or lawyers for other parties. Instead, speak first to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who will fight for your rights and look out for your best interests. Please do not sign agreements or grant anyone other than your attorney access to your medical records. These are actions that may prove fatal to your injury claim.

Suppose you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident. In that case, our law firm’s skilled motorcycle accident lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. We will put our knowledge, skills, and resources to work for you and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.


Grossman 1/30/23 – Asbestos Exposure / DWI / Oil, Gas Injuries & Workers’ Comp / Medical Malpractice – gtg


Have Years of Asbestos Exposure Caused You To Develop Mesothelioma Cancer?

You may have many unanswered questions if you or a loved one has suffered from mesothelioma. The mesothelioma lawyers of our Law Office can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.

What Exactly Is Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is a specific type of cancer that attacks the thin layer of cells that line the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma exists in three known forms. The most common type is pleural mesothelioma. This disease version accounts for approximately 70% of all mesothelioma cases. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the lungs, known as pleura. The second variety of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma, appears in the heart’s lining, known as the pericardium. The third form, peritoneal mesothelioma, occurs in the abdominal cavity’s lining, known as the peritoneum. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways. There have even been studies that reveal that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma.

People exposed to asbestos have collected damages for asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma. Compensation via asbestos funds or lawsuits is an important issue in law practices regarding mesothelioma.

History of Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring silicate mineral that exists, most commonly, in a fibrous state composed of microscopic crystals. Asbestos has been used for a variety of purposes for thousands of years. Throughout the 20th century, asbestos was used in various building applications, namely as a means of heat insulation, electrical resistant insulation, and as a supplementary composite material in joint compound and concrete, but has since been banned in America and most other countries. The danger of asbestos exposure has been speculated on for centuries, but factual medical link between asbestos and mesothelioma (amongst other ailments) was established in the early 20th century. Even though asbestos exposure was known to cause health concerns (that is, it was known by doctors and many leaders of the industry but not known by the general public or the workers who would be exposed to it), many large corporations continued to use the material thereby exposing hundreds of thousands of laborers to harmful levels of asbestos.
Mesothelioma litigation represents the longest-running mass tort in the history of America. Every year, approximately 10,000 people die from mesothelioma. One out of every 125 American men over the age of 50 dies from some chronic asbestos-related disease, and some 800,000 claimants have sought compensation against approximately 8,400 defendants. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, you need the help of an experienced attorney to fight on your side!

Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 or more years after asbestos exposure. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Pleural and pericardial mesothelioma can cause these a combination of or all of the following signs and symptoms:

Chest wall pain
Pleural effusion (fluid surrounding the lungs)
Shortness of breath
Fatigue or anemia
Wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (which is called hemoptysis)
Blood clotting abnormalities
Anemia and fever

In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. If cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face. Peritoneal mesothelioma tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:

Abdominal pain.
Ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen.
A mass in the abdomen.
Problems with bowel function.
Weight loss.

In severe cases of the disease, be it pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial, the following signs and symptoms may also be present:

Blood clots in the veins may cause thrombophlebitis.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation is a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs.
Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin.
Low blood sugar level.
Blood clots in the arteries of the lungs.



A Short History of Mesothelioma Legal Claims

Litigation related to asbestos injuries and property damages is the longest-running mass tort in U.S. history. Since the medical profession identified asbestos-related disease in the late 1920s, workers’ comp cases were filed and resolved with little fanfare because o the pervasive presence of asbestos-related products in American construction. A flood of litigation began in the United States in the 1970s and grew in the 1980s and ‘90s. Massive multi-district litigations (MDL) remain pending in many states, some for over 20 years. According to an article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, asbestos is still a hazard for 1.3 million US workers in the construction industry and workers involved in the maintenance of buildings and equipment since 2002. In addition to suing the trusts set up by asbestos manufacturers and suppliers as a result of their filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, plaintiffs’ have also begun using:

Manufacturers of machinery that allegedly required asbestos-containing parts to function properly.
Owners of premises at which asbestos-containing products were installed (which includes virtually anyone who owned a building before
Banks that financed ships or buildings where asbestos was installed (because no rational lender would take a security interest in an
an asset without studying the risks involved.
Retailers of asbestos-containing products (mostly hardware, home improvement, and automotive parts stores).
Corporations that allegedly conspired with asbestos manufacturers to deliberately conceal the dangers of asbestos.

Over the years, many of the defendant companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In addition to the litigation process, your Mesothelioma attorney must also assist you in filing for compensation from one of the many trusts formed to deal with claims against a particular defendant company. It is not unusual to see money from a bankruptcy trust awarded very quickly and with little delay once damages have been awarded. The trick is getting to that point. This is why it is very important to have an experienced attorney who can expedite the settlement process with the bankruptcy trustee.



The Right and Wrong Way to Pursue a Mesothelioma Injury Claim

Pursuing a mesothelioma case can be a complex matter because these types of cases often involve ambiguous statutes of limitations, multi-district litigation (MDL), the evidentiary concerns that are associated with MDLs, and other complexities that are commonly associated with mass torts (which is similar to class action lawsuit). In other words, first and foremost, you must be represented by an attorney with experience in complex product liability litigation, preferably in mesothelioma cases. The next concern is a matter of case management. Frankly, when it comes to defective product lawsuits of all types, many law firms prefer to consolidate your case into a cluster of other cases (a class action), settle for one lump sum, and then divide evenly among their hundreds of – in this case – mesothelioma injury clients. Our attorneys do not feel this is the best way to resolve your case. Because when plaintiffs band together, their interests are not taken into full account as the representing attorney executes his strategy. In a class action lawsuit, the lawyers end up making much more arguing the class action case than any single plaintiff can hope to win. One reason is that mesothelioma patients typically do not have a very long life expectancy once diagnosed with the disease. If a mesothelioma victim dies before a lawsuit can be filed, the executor of his or her estate can file for another surviving family member. When a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma through secondary asbestos exposure, that member also has the right to file on the original mesothelioma patient’s behalf and his or her own. So since the situations of each plaintiff (and their families) can change, those changes are not usually incorporated into the class action suit.

Many class action firms have approached us rather often to participate in their legal actions. Most often, that job involves serving as an “intake” firm that does little more than prospective interview plaintiffs to the class action suit, fill out forms, and maybe take a few initial depositions, which means we can get a “cut” of the legal fees for our minimal contribution to the class action lawsuit. This kind of “faux legal representation” is not always ethical. Sometimes this law firm that is “running point” in this class action lawsuit might not have the reputation we are uncomfortable with. We are all judged by the company we keep. Our mesothelioma injury attorneys aim to provide one-on-one and responsive legal representation for every client with a legitimate mesothelioma injury claim. Unlike other firms who attempt to lump all drug or defective product injury cases together (and treat your case as if it’s part of a class action lawsuit), we devote individual attention to each mesothelioma injury lawsuit. We pursue fair compensation relative to your unique health problems and financial losses. We firmly believe this is the only way to effectively and fairly serve our clients.



The Difference between Mass Torts and Class Actions

Defective product injury cases as pervasive as those surrounding mesothelioma have some unique challenges; They primarily stem from the complexity associated with numerous claimants pursuing the same defendants based on a single act of negligence; in this case, the broad use of lead components in construction for over a century. Just imagine the difficulty you would encounter in resolving a car insurance claim against a semi-driver that crashed into your car and 20 others in the same accident. If such an accident were to go to court, the judge would consolidate all of the claims into a single lawsuit because the court system does virtually everything it can to eliminate numerous identical lawsuits, creating backlogs on court dockets. Mesothelioma injury cases work similarly. A single wrongful act is committed against numerous persons, and the victims collectively bring their claim against the defendant. When a judge combines many similar cases, it is called a mass tort. When an attorney combines many similar cases into a single filing, it is called a class action lawsuit. This is why the public generally views mass torts and class action suits as similar; they have similarities and dissimilarities.

In a class action lawsuit, all plaintiffs have the same claim and cause of action. But, in a mass tort, each plaintiff has their claim that the judge combines into a shared cause of action. Most mesothelioma lawsuit ads are class action suits, but not all. To boil it down into simple layman’s terms, in a class action, what one plaintiff wins, all plaintiffs win. It can be money, coupons, or free meals; whatever the defendant offers as compensation that the court might accept as reasonable damage compensation. In a mass tort case, plaintiffs all have the same type of claim, but they ask for it, and if their case is successful, they receive individual awards based on their actual damage requests. Class actions have a couple of other important differences from mass torts. First, the court will allow an attorney to represent all claimants in a class action suit. A mesothelioma injury victim could have a real issue with being represented by an attorney in Iowa if their injury happened in Texas. Secondly, assuming this predetermined attorney wins the case or brings it to settlement, the compensation awarded may be disproportionate to the damages the person incurred. Remember, in class action lawsuits, it’s “one for all and all for one.” Look at past examples to illustrate this second problem with class action lawsuits. A 2008 class-action lawsuit settlement in California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Texas was supposed to compensate about 800,000 Ford Explorer owners whose vehicles lost value because of a perceived rollover danger. Those lawsuits claimed that Explorers lost about $1,000 in resale value because of publicity stemming from rollover accidents involving the SUV earlier in the decade. Under the settlement, those who bought Explorers in model years 1991 through 2001 were eligible for $500 vouchers to buy new Explorers or $300 vouchers to buy other Ford or Lincoln Mercury vehicles.

Consumer groups and some plaintiffs objected to the settlement. They said few owners would be able to take advantage of the vouchers, partly because of the poor economy and high gas prices. They also were upset the plaintiffs’ attorneys will receive as much as $25 million in fees and costs.”They get $25 million. All I get is this lousy coupon that I’m not going to use. It’s valueless to me,” said one plaintiff who owned a 1993 Explorer. A Texas plaintiff said the settlement left the consumer with nothing real value. “Who’s going to go out and buy another gas guzzler to take advantage of a $500 coupon?” There are situations where a class action lawsuit is advantageous, but a mesothelioma lawsuit is not such a situation. You get the point that defendants will offer anything with a monetary value so long as they don’t have to cut you a check. That often happens in class action lawsuits because individual plaintiffs cannot speak to the court individually to voice their displeasure.



The Value of a Representative Case in a Mass Tort

Most mass tort cases, including Mesothelioma injury cases, will be based on a representative case. Typically, the first, or one of the first, plaintiff(s) who pursues litigation will have their day in court. A jury will hear all the allegations against the defendant and decide on liability based on the evidence presented by the plaintiff’s attorney. The jury will also hear detailed descriptions of the plaintiff’s injuries and determine the monetary value of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, etc. A jury may even hold the defendant accountable for punitive damages, that is, the additional money meant to punish the defendant for egregious forms of negligence. Since mesothelioma cases have been ongoing for many years, juries are not apt to have much pent-up outrage against the defendant, which is usually the inspiration behind high punitive damage awards outcome of this representative case will serve as a “benchmark” to help determine the outcome of virtually all other mesothelioma claims against the specified defendant. This formula is similar to how a Supreme Court decision tells the lower courts how the constitution is applied to a particular matter. In other words, your mesothelioma case is intimately tied to the outcome of the representative case. Additionally, in some cases, the judge might dictate that the defendant, once found to be negligent, is required to put some money into a trust to serve as the fund from which future claims can seek compensation, even if that defendant has declared bankruptcy.

Statute of Limitations And the Legal Road That Plaintiffs Must Travel
When a defendant breaches a legal duty owed to you, your cause of action (the basis for your lawsuit) is born. You can seek compensation from the defendant that breached that cause of action. Every cause of action has a statute of limitations. Once the statute of limitations has run its course, your cause of action has expired, and you can no longer bring your claim against the defendant, irrespective of the case’s merit. Texas’s general statute of limitations is two years from when the defendant breached their legal duty and caused the plaintiff harm. In this case, since the universal dangers of asbestos are well-known, once the plaintiff is aware that his or her damages (mesothelioma diagnosis) are directly connected to the diagnosis, the plaintiff has two years to file their case in court. The case law that has come out of the multitude of mesothelioma injury cases tells us that the best rule of thumb is the statute of limitations is based on when the plaintiff should have known that the identified defendant’s negligence caused their injury. Once mesothelioma-related cancer presents itself, it is very aggressive, and those affected will often see survival rates of less than a year. For those who have been exposed through their jobs or negligence on the part of a company or municipality, seeking a mesothelioma settlement is the best option to recover costs for treatment and the pain and suffering caused by the disease.

The attorneys with our Law Office are committed to getting the best settlement for our clients suffering from mesothelioma in the shortest time. But, there are instances in which a trial will be necessary. If the defendant (including its insurance company if one is involved) is willing to admit guilt in exposing workers to asbestos, they may choose to settle to speed up the process. They may also demand a court case. The amount of compensation that can be obtained varies. Still, for those affected, it is important to remember that legal options exist to help fight against companies that did not take proper safety precautions and allowed asbestos exposure.

Multi-District Litigation can Also Affect Your Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations.
Most defective product cases stem from a product’s usage. In the case of mesothelioma, the use (and asbestos exposure) occurred many years before the side effects became “common knowledge.” So if causes of action have already technically expired after the two-year statute of limitations, it must be argued that some exception may apply: such as basing the plaintiff’s argument on recent statute of limitations exceptions case law to justify the traditional two-year statute being extended. The defendants will often have an opportunity to argue the applicability of a “borrowed” or “new exception” to the statute of limitations in every claim. Our Law Firm’s local mesothelioma injury attorneys will likely have to argue you’re your claimed alternative statute of limitations applies. This is a very contentious issue until the case is resolved. If this civil claim is multi-district litigation, often found in highly pervasive defective product cases such as mesothelioma, the statute of limitations can be extended in one jurisdiction but not another. It all depends on the judge and the ability of the attorneys on both sides of the issue to argue their cases successfully. The next question becomes, how long do you have from the date of this “common knowledge” proclamation? For instance, you have two years to bring most tort claims in Texas. But across the border in Arkansas, it’s three. If mesothelioma injury victims exist in both states, which statute of limitations applies? The answer comes from the rules of multi-district litigation.
As mentioned, there will be a representative trial on which subsequent claims will be based. The judge who presides over that case will certainly have a great challenge in rendering a fair decision. In addition to a multi-week trial, the judge must also exercise a great degree of foresight and diligence since the outcome will affect so many other claims in the future for that particular federal judicial district (to which any appeals to the outcomes will be addressed). Typically, the representative claim is brought in a particular jurisdiction for a specific reason; usually, it is the jurisdiction where the defendant’s base of operations is located or the trust of the bankrupt defendant is managed. Subsequent cases will be brought through the same court. However, the victim’s rights will be based largely on the rules and procedures in the jurisdiction where the victim lives. In this particular event, hybrids of both areas’ case laws are usually applied. This is the very essence of multi-district litigation; legal compromise. Typically, the court in the jurisdiction where the representative case is brought will employ a “borrowed statute of limitations.” That is, the court will apply the statute of limitations that would otherwise be employed in a particular claimant’s jurisdiction, yet the procedures, the rules of evidence, damages caps (if there are any), and other legal variables will often be based on the jurisdictional nuances of the court in which the representative case is brought.



How Can I get my Fair Share of Mesothelioma Compensation Knowing all of That?

The judge in the representative case will often dictate that monies are to be placed in trust pending the resolution of future claims. This certainly adds complexity and competition to the equation that necessitates adequate legal representation unless those monies have already been set aside. Then, certain complications are often, but not universally, avoided. The nuances of filing a claim are foreign to most people outside the legal field. Courts have meticulous procedures and rules that must be adhered to, or a lawsuit will be thrown out before it can begin.
Additionally, mass torts generally result in the defendant exhausting their ability to pay all claimants. Mesothelioma can be one exception simply because so many defendants, over time, have been identified. Some are still in business. But most went out of business long ago. When liquidating their assets under the “Sword of Damocles,” our country’s long history of mesothelioma litigation, all those assets have been placed in hundreds of trusts that continue to pay mesothelioma damage awards. So your claim can become a race against the clock to ensure that you are not passed over in favor of other claims. Also, the importance of adequately arguing the value of your claim (known as “proving up” your damages) cannot be overstated. Mass torts often become competitive, and you need aggressive legal representation to ensure that many similar claimants fully protect your interests.

Our Mesothelioma Injury Lawyers are Here to Help
There are several ways that a person diagnosed with mesothelioma can seek compensation, starting with the employer that exposed them to asbestos in the first place. This avenue goes through the Texas worker’s compensation laws which are rather complicated and, under the worst circumstances, could leave plaintiffs with less-than-adequate compensation, but not always. An experienced work injury attorney can help you determine the best way to seek fair compensation through this venue. Large corporations, especially those in the construction industry, ship-building, or those involved in the mining of asbestos, have set up trust funds for those affected by mesothelioma. So long as a patient can prove employment and a doctor attest that their cancer was likely caused by asbestos, this is a relatively straightforward avenue of at least some amount of mesothelioma compensation. In the case of smaller companies or the military – which does not recognize all types of mesothelioma caused by asbestos – a legal option may be the best.

Our Law Firm’s mesothelioma attorneys offer specialized services, including highly-regarded investigations, that can help plaintiffs receive a fairly negotiated settlement without needing a court case. Depending on the circumstances and other details of the case, it is not unusual to see six-figure settlements, but again, the facts of your case will dictate the actual amount. As you might expect, the number of regulations and bureaucratic red tape surrounding mesothelioma litigation can overwhelm those without legal experience. But the case law is well established in almost a million cases, and an experienced legal professional can use that case law to build the case you need to seek compensation. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our mesothelioma attorneys can help you. Our firm has over 20 years of experience helping hundreds of mesothelioma victims seek compensation for their suffering. We have an intimate knowledge of the laws surrounding asbestos and know how to build the case you need to receive a fair settlement. The major defendants in mesothelioma cases are aware of our track record. They often negotiate such settlements in good faith because they don’t want to face our attorneys in court.

If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, contact the mesothelioma lawyers from our Law Firm today. Do not let those responsible for your injuries go unpunished. Let us help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. With this knowledge, an injury sustained from mesothelioma requires an attorney skilled in handling product liability claims and mass torts and has experience arguing multi-jurisdictional civil cases. So if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, let our Law Firm help you seek compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Mesothelioma litigation may be very complex and confusing to many, but our lawyers have the experience needed to build a strong case. We have successfully recovered compensation for hundreds of mesothelioma victims. The major defendants in these cases know our successful track record and often fully cooperate with our settlement demands because they do not want to face our attorneys in court. Contact a local mesothelioma injury or wrongful death attorney at our Law Firm toll-free.



Discuss Your Case With An Attorney From Our Law Firm Following a DWI Accident Causing Injury or Death

What is a dram shop, you ask? In the United States, “dram shop” isn’t a term that people easily recognize. During colonial times, alcohol-serving establishments were referred to as “dram shops” because they used liquid measurement units called drams to serve alcohol. Accordingly, any drinking establishment where liquor is sold for consumption on the premises is known as a dram shop. Bars and, in some cases, restaurants are examples of dram shops. Dram shop laws dictate that the seller of liquor can be sued by an individual who an intoxicated person injures. These laws protect the injured third party against personal injuries and property damages resulting directly from the actions of the intoxicated individual (such as those resulting from drunken driving) but also against the loss of family support owing to such injuries. Generally, the person who became intoxicated cannot sue the seller if she or he is injured. The principle upon which the dram shop laws are based states that anyone who profits from alcoholic beverages should be held liable for any resulting damages. Provided that it can be proven that the seller sold liquor to a person who was already intoxicated, which is generally illegal, it is not necessary to show that the seller was negligent in proving his or her liability.

Dram Shop History
In the mid-1800s, dram shop laws were created during the Temperance Movement. The first of these laws was passed in 1872 and was amended in the decades that followed. By the 1990s, over forty states had either dram shop laws or court rulings that held a commercial server or seller of alcohol liable if an intoxicated patron caused an accident or injury upon leaving the seller’s establishment. More recent laws include limitations on the compensation amounts that may be awarded, the seller or server’s type and degree of responsibility, and a statute of limitations. During the late 1980s, a dramatic increase in liquor liability lawsuits arose due to the dram shop laws. Accompanying this rise was the increase in the number of damages that could be awarded to victims.

Consequently, liquor liability insurance became difficult to obtain and afford. To avoid costly dram shop lawsuits, alcohol vendors have implemented various strategies to prevent negligent behavior. These strategies include:

Eliminating “happy hours.”
Reducing late-night operation
Offering free Breathalyzer tests
Instituting designated driver programs
Training servers on how to deal with intoxicated customers

Many states have made these precautions mandatory. Additionally, many insurance companies now require that these preventive measures be implemented or provide incentive offerings for their use. Dram shop liability in many states has been expanded to include corporate or individual social hosts who provide free alcoholic beverages. As may have been expected, many lawsuits have resulted from this new source of liability. Owing to this, individuals wishing to host a social or business function in these states must take several of the same preventive measures that drinking establishments do. Specifically, they must obtain liquor liability insurance or hold their event at an insured bar or hotel.



Drunk Driving Accidents

More than negligent drivers involved in common traffic accidents, stiffer penalties are often assessed to drunk drivers due to the severity of drunk driving accidents and the grossly negligent actions accompanying them. Much more physical damage and fatalities result from drunk driving accidents due to the driver’s inability to control his reflexes. Further, there are usually multiple parties at fault in the accident. Due to this, the guidance of a seasoned dram shop attorney who can bring independent lawsuits against all liable parties according to their degree of negligence is needed.

Drunk Driving Accident Defendants
In any drunk driving case, the obvious defendant is the driver. When on the road, all drivers have a legal duty to provide for the safety of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If a drunk individual gets behind the wheel of a car, this duty has been violated, and he or she will be held accountable for any harm that may result. Texas law states that the level of intoxication is a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent. Other third parties can be held responsible for the drunk driver’s actions. These parties include bars, restaurants, clubs, and other drinking establishments, which may be held liable under the dram shop laws found in the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. These laws do not allow these establishments to serve a patron past the point of legal intoxication, and they can be held accountable for the patron’s negligent driving. Under these laws, a drunk driving accident is considered a chain of events that ends with the accident but begins when the driver starts consuming alcohol. The circumstances surrounding how the driver came to be intoxicated can have a bearing on the injured victim’s ability to file a civil claim against the drinking establishment. Dependent upon the bar’s percentage of liability in the accident, the victim may be eligible to seek compensation from the bar. This is crucial since many drunk drivers lack the resources to compensate the injured victims.

Should the Drinking Establishment be Held Accountable?
Due to a lack of knowledge based on the issues involved, many people disagree that drinking establishments should be held responsible for the actions of the patrons they serve. Further, individuals question how a drinking establishment can be held accountable for the patron’s actions after they leave the bar. Texas dram shop laws do not agree with this viewpoint.

Bars Must Provide for Everyone’s Safety
The dram shop laws of Texas expect the drinking establishments to act responsibly so that the roadways can remain safe for everyone. Holding the party that furnishes the drinks accountable reduces the number of drunk drivers on the road. With the state adopting a blood alcohol level of .08, the laws recognize that anyone who has reached this level can no longer make his or her own decisions and has already broken the law of public intoxication. Most individuals who oppose the dram shop laws are unaware that it is illegal for drinking establishments to serve anyone who has reached this level. When a bar over-serves a customer, it has violated the law. Consequently, if the patron leaves the bar and injures someone in an accident, the bar can be held partially liable for the accident because of its negligent over-serving of the patron. To comply with the laws of Texas concerning serving alcohol, businesses, and clubs must obtain a liquor license. Just as drivers are expected to obey the traffic laws of the state to keep their licenses, drinking establishments must obey the drinking laws. The consequences that result from over-serving patrons can be disastrous and harsh penalties have been established to reduce the number of violations. However, this has not stopped some drinking establishments from ignoring the laws and selling as much liquor as they want to patrons to gain as much profit as possible. Inebriated drinkers want to continue drinking, making it easy for the servers to take advantage of the situation. To make the roadways safer and encourage drinking establishments to avoid liquor law violations, they must be held accountable for over-serving.



From a scientific point of view, an individual’s inhibitions and ability to make rational decisions are disrupted by alcohol. Therefore, decisions made by individuals while under the influence of alcohol would not have been made had the individual been sober. Further, intoxicated individuals lack the reasoning ability to determine if they can drive. As a result, the servers in drinking establishments must be held accountable for ensuring public safety. Drinking establishments have another responsibility to ensure that their servers can recognize when patrons have reached the legal limit for alcohol consumption. Bartenders must be properly trained concerning the effects and dangers of alcohol as well as how to identify drunks who should be cut off before they are allowed to serve alcohol in Texas.

Further, the drinking establishments are responsible for ensuring that all of their servers have received this training. This is done to prevent any bartender from claiming ignorance of the law to avoid liability for over-serving a customer before he or she became involved in a drunk driving accident. The drinking establishment’s responsibility for its customers’ actions can be likened to that of a dentist who sedates a patient before removing his or her wisdom teeth. Due to the wooziness experienced by the patient after the surgery, the dentist must not allow the patient to drive home afterward. It is easy to see that if the dentist let the patient drive home and was involved in an accident, the dentist should be held responsible. This same principle can be seen in a drinking establishment’s negligence contributing to the drunk driving accident.

Do Dram Shop Laws Hold the Drinking Establishment Completely Responsible?
Although untrue, many people believe that dram shop laws hold drinking establishments responsible for 100% of the damages that result from a drunk driving accident. Generally speaking, an experienced dram shop attorney will bring legal action against the driver and the drinking establishment and attempt to recover damages according to their proportionate negligence for the accident. For example, if a customer is over-served and then goes out and injures someone in a drunk driving accident, the drinking establishment becomes liable for a percentage of damages determined by the court. If the injured party sustains half a million dollars in damages and the bar is found to be twenty percent liable, then the bar owes $100,000. The drinking establishment is never held 100% responsible. The purpose of dram shop laws is not to allow drunk drivers to avoid responsibility for their actions but rather to make all negligent parties accountable for contributing to drunk driving accidents. States vary widely regarding the extent that drinking establishments may be held accountable for a drunken patron’s behavior. There are a few states that do not impose any dram shop laws at all. For example, Nevada’s tourist industry would likely become non-existent quite quickly if dram shop laws were enacted. A few other small states limit the liability of drinking establishments to illegal alcohol sales, such as serving drinks to minors or known alcoholics.



What Constitutes Proximate Cause?
Most individuals who oppose the dram shop laws are aware of the impact of proximate cause on drunk driving accidents. In any drunk driving accident, the proximate cause is the individual who indirectly contributed to the cause of the accident. Although this possible defendant wasn’t involved directly in the accident, he or she did something to make the accident happen. To illustrate, if a driver swerves into oncoming traffic and another driver must swerve to avoid hitting him, which in turn causes this driver to ram into a storefront, the first driver is the proximate cause of the accident even though he was not actually in the accident. Dram shop laws require a bartender to be aware of the dangers of over-serving his customers and then letting them drive. If the customer injures or causes the death of another individual in a drunk driving accident, then the bar is the proximate cause of the injury or fatality.

Server and Bartender Responsibilities
Bartenders are responsible for regulating their patron’s drinking. As a result, the Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission has set up rules and regulations to train bartenders and servers to recognize patrons on the verge of intoxication and to stop the sales when they have reached the point of public intoxication. The goal of these laws in dram shop cases is to do whatever possible to ensure the public’s safety. The law states that every establishment that serves alcohol must have a TABC liquor license and that all servers who are employed by a licensed bar be trained to know all the guidelines, rules, and expectations necessary to recognize the warning signs of drunkenness in patrons. Additionally, drinking establishments have put policies in place describing how servers must track the alcohol consumption of various customers. Tally sheets, hand signals, electronic tracking systems, and color-coded glasses or coasters are just a few methods used to monitor the quantity and potency of alcohol patrons consume. For the most part, these methods are usually adequate. However, there are those rare instances when other methods must be used to deal with intoxicated customers.

In most cases, a manager will intervene to cut off service. There are times in which the matter becomes more complicated when the patron sneaks in a flask to consume more liquor than the bar will allow. When this occurs, the manager should confiscate the flask and cut off service to the customer. Further, food should be provided to customers to assist with the absorption of alcohol. Finally, the manager should arrange a safe ride home for the patron. The only way the drinking establishment can avoid liability is to follow these steps.

Spotting Indicators of Intoxication
It is not difficult to recognize drunkenness, and servers are expected to be on the lookout for it. This TABC requirement states that all servers should watch for signs of “obvious intoxication” in their customers. Signs such as slurred speech, falling asleep in a chair or at the bar, swaying while walking, sitting or standing, inability to express thoughts, and aggressive or violent behavior are all signals that the customer has had enough to drink and should be cut off immediately. Recognizing signs of intoxication is more difficult with those who drink regularly and “hold their liquor” better than others. In these individuals, the signs of intoxication are not as easily seen. It is for this reason that servers must make a note of when they have served enough drinks to make the customer intoxicated. At this point, that service to the customer should be cut off. Generally, a patron should not be served more than two beers or glasses of wine or one shot or cocktail per hour. If this limit is exceeded, intoxication will very likely occur.

The Safe Harbor Defense
In cases where every precaution, according to TABC guidelines, was taken and the patron still becomes involved in a drunk driving accident, the drinking establishment can plead the safe harbor defense to avoid liability for the harm caused by accident. However, it should be noted that the defense must prove the bar met every state guideline to use the safe harbor defense. If they can do so, the drinking establishment is immunity from lawsuits.

On the other hand, drinking establishments try to use this defense even though they have not met all the safety guidelines for responsible serving. This being the case, it is very important to have experienced legal representation to receive your deserved compensation from the negligent drinking establishment. The dram shop attorneys with our Law Firm have years of experience with dram shop laws and know how to perform a thorough investigation and conduct depositions that will be used to prove that the drinking establishments failed to fulfill their duty to serve customers responsibly. Our firm can help you to prove your case and obtain fair and reasonable compensation from the negligent drinking establishment that served the patron who caused your injury.

Our Law Firm Can Help
The basic rules concerning drunk driving accidents in Texas are fairly straightforward. However, resolving cases involving dram shop laws can be very challenging. Drinking establishments that do not uphold their duty to serve their patrons responsibly should be held accountable for their liability in contributing to a drunk driving accident, injuries, or death. Unfortunately, this is not easy and should not be attempted without experienced legal representation. The dram shop attorneys with our Law Firm can provide the assistance needed in these cases. Give us a (toll-free) call today for a free consultation, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your case and provide information on how we can help you recover from the injuries you have incurred.



Oil and Gas Production Workers Must Fight to Win Damages When They’re Injured on the Job

After years of lying dormant, Texas’s oil and natural gas patch is again abuzz with action. High market demands for these petroleum commodities and shrinking inventories have found the oil and gas companies trying to squeeze every bit of petroleum out of the ground. And in the doing, they are pushing workers to and past the limit of their endurance to meet this never-ending demand for oil and natural gas. And they’re also using machinery that is being worked 24/7 or older devices that are well past their prime and can perform safely. So when you consider all of these elements, you probably understand why pipeline and drilling rig jobs can often be some of the most dangerous work in the world, with all this pressure on the employees who work to bring profits to the drillers in the oil patch. A lot of drugs are taken by these workers so they can perform at a high level for days on end: which comes as a little surprise when one learns that drilling contractors and subcontractors are not the most diligent in drug-testing their workers. Countless accidents produce a disproportionally large number of broken bones, debilitating injuries, and even deaths because of the petroleum industry’s obsessive campaign to cut corners (and their costs) and to push workers over the brink of their physical ability: all designed to make their rigs profitable. At the same time, the money (and demand) are sky-high.

Serious injuries in oil and gas drilling accidents, or anywhere in the Texas oil production industry, are inevitable for various reasons. Many are caused by worn or defective equipment. Explosions happen with a certain amount of frequency. Negligence or carelessness can lead to heavy objects falling, such as pipes or other drilling equipment, as well as a host of other missteps and mishaps. Often, employees must work lots of overtime and seldom see an off day for a week or even longer. Many work double shifts for several days straight because the money is good, and the employers are willing to pay big money for productive workers who arrive early and stay late. If you visit this website, you may have been injured on an oil or gas drilling platform or a pipeline mishap. You probably wonder if someone other than you must bear the fair financial burden for this accident. It would help if you had full compensation for your injuries, lost work time, and other damages, not some ten cents-on-the-dollar offer that falls short. You probably feel alone and want to know who fights for your rights. If you’re a surviving family member of someone killed in an accident, will someone fight for your rights too?

Texas workers’ compensation insurance pays about half of the job-related injuries in Texas. So you must know whether or not your petro-employer has this coverage, even if it rarely covers all of the reimbursement needs for your medical expenses if your injuries are serious. There are compensation supplements to workers’ comp, which we will discuss briefly. You also need to know exactly who is responsible for your injuries and the level of neglect that led to them, especially if any third party past your employer had a hand in causing them. The success of your quest to obtain compensation depends on your ability and your oil and gas rig injury attorney to get to the bottom of the accident and its causes and identify every liable party. Resolving petroleum production worker injury cases can be very complex. In their rightful attempts to recover fair payment for their injuries, workers are fighting the most powerful companies in the world. Their influential petroleum industrial complex employers see these injured workers as a nuisance and an obstacle to the millions of dollars they stand to make.

The oilfield injury legal team at our Law Firm has over 20 years of experience in fairly resolving injury claims and civil cases on behalf of injured drilling rig and pipeline workers. If you’ve been down this road before, you know that inexperienced lawyers fail to win fair injury settlements in oil rig drilling accident cases. You also know it’s virtually impossible for drilling workers without legal experience to succeed if they represent themselves against these industry giants.



Does your Petroleum Employer Subscribe to Workers’ Comp? This we Must Know First.

Like every other Texas business, oil drilling companies are not legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. So, work injury cases are divided into two distinct types that require different methods and strategies to resolve successfully. Employers who carry worker’s comp are “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” So the first element to successful injury compensation is determining whether or not your employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber. Workers’ comp is a coverage “pool” maintained by participating private insurance carriers contributing to this “umbrella coverage.” For companies that subscribe to workers’ comp, it affords almost universal protection from civil injury lawsuits by employees. Because injured workers are denied the opportunity to receive fair injury compensation against workers comp subscribing employers in court, their chances of seeing reflective reimbursement for their actual damages in the case of serious injury are severely compromised since workers comp benefits rarely pay actual damage amounts that are found in civil judgments if they are severely hurt or ultimately disabled.

Some employee benefits include workers’ comp paying for virtually all medical bills for any job-related injury. Workers are covered, no matter how the oil or gas drilling accident happened or who was at fault. When it comes to the peripheral damages that are an outgrowth of work injuries such as lost wages: the disability, the pain, and suffering, the wrongful death, workers’ comp never cover the total value of the harm done to you from the job-related injury, so, if your injury is not severe and you can return to work relatively quickly, workers’ comp is not that bad. Suppose a petroleum production worker has suffered crush injuries, broken bones, massive head injuries, amputations, horrible burns from blowouts and explosions, or dismemberment. Workers’ comp is their only avenue of financial remedy for those injuries. In that case, they will never be fully repaid for their damages. The surviving family members won’t fare much better in the case of wrongful death in the oil and gas patch unless gross negligence can be proven. On the other hand, the subscriber-employers to workers comp are doing fine through the program’s protection from civil lawsuits.

Many Texas employers, including a large number of drilling contractors (and subcontractors), often run the risk of not subscribing to workers’ comp. Then, when an injury occurs, they try to avoid a lawsuit with the injured worker by claiming to have workers’ comp when they don’t. They offer to quickly pay workers’ comp benefits after they make the employee sign an official-looking “workers’ comp release.” All this blatant fraud does is allow them to wiggle out of a very expensive non-subscriber civil lawsuit, and the money they offer will never fully cover your total damages, so don’t be fooled. The victim’s only avenue is to file a lawsuit to receive full restitution from a non-subscriber for a workers’ comp oilfield injury or pipeline accident. An experienced petroleum injury attorney can quickly determine your company’s actual workers’ comp status, then share every legal option available to you that will deliver the just compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, lost income, disability, or wrongful death of your beloved family member.



Identifying all Negligent Parties in Connection with Petroleum, Your Rig, and Pipeline Injuries

Once your employer’s workers’ comp status is known, you and your attorney now encounter the two possible avenues to receiving injury compensation outside the purview of workers’ comp. Don’t get confused. You still might have civil remedy through workers’ comp if it applies to your case. That umbrella of civil invulnerability does not protect many non-subscribers and third parties. But that exception to workers’ comp civil protection occurs if gross negligence is suspected of leading to an employee’s fatal injury. If a petroleum employee dies due to a workplace injury caused by gross employer negligence, surviving family members may file a civil suit against that employer. Gross negligence is defined as having willful disregard for the safety of others. In such cases, an employer shows by his behavior that he doesn’t care what happens to his workers or doesn’t create or maintain a safe workplace. All he wants is for the well to produce or the pipeline to deliver the most petro-products possible, the consequences be damned. Creating a safe workplace is not a priority for these employers. If the negligence does not cause a fatal injury, regardless of whether your employer subscribes to workers’ comp or not, the most practical strategy to receive fair compensation involves third-party claims and lawsuits against those other than the employer who have done something negligent and caused injury to the drilling or pipeline employee. Suppose an electrician failed to wire a rig correctly and caused a worker to be fatally shocked, or a crane operator dropped a large pipe on an employee. In that case, they, and their employers, could be additional “third-party contributors” to the accident. Or if a faulty piece of machinery caused the injury, the manufacturer may be liable through a defective product lawsuit. The owner of some leased equipment that was not appropriately maintained could be responsible for its malfunction and your injuries. Another party might be liable if the rig or pipeline owner did not provide safe working conditions. The same accusation might be made against the corporation that hired anyone to oversee the drilling rig or offshore platform. With so many companies involved in any single petro-project at any given time, the list of liable parties to your accident can be lengthy.

Suppose you sue any responsible third parties. In that case, you cannot file an appropriate workers’ comp claim against your employer because it’s basically “no-fault insurance” and will be paid anyway. This is often how our clients receive just compensation amounts for their oil or gas production injury. We combine that workers’ comp claim and at least one third-party lawsuit. Sometimes, the total compensation strategy can involve more than one third-party defendant. You probably have a better appreciation of just how tricky it is to get to the bottom of such intricate accident cases. And often, these accidents must be tirelessly investigated. Experience and the ability to properly investigate the accident scene and the roles these third parties played in the oil or gas rig mishap is necessary to determine all parties responsibly and make them pay for the injuries they caused. A skillful petroleum rig and pipeline accident lawyer can investigate and design the best strategy to win the just compensation deserved by those injured victims in a complex Texas oil and gas drilling or pipeline injury case.



Speak With Our Attorneys if a Loved one has Suffered Injury due to the Negligence or Neglect of a Nursing Professional.

When people consider medical malpractice, they typically think of lawsuits filed against doctors or surgeons. But the truth is that virtually any medical professional can be guilty of medical malpractice and end up as the cause for an insurance claim or become a defendant in a lawsuit. In modern medicine, nurses are given much greater responsibilities and are becoming much more involved in all aspects of patient care. While this is generally a good thing, it means that when nurses make mistakes, the consequences are much more severe. Due to these changes in the medical world, nurse malpractice lawsuits are becoming quite common compared to 20 years ago when they weren’t nearly as prevalent. Suppose you have been injured due to a nurse’s mistake. In that case, Our nurse malpractice lawyers can tell you what options are available and how you can seek compensation for your injuries.

Common Types of Nursing Malpractice Injuries
Any number of mistakes can result in nurse malpractice. Still, in general, as with all medical malpractice cases, nurses are guilty of malpractice if the care they provide fails to reach the standard set by other professionals in the nursing field. More specifically, this type of negligence commonly includes:

Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs and report to doctors the changes in these signs.
Failing to collect test results promptly so that proper treatment can be given.
Failing to report any changes in a patient’s condition to the physician attending the patient.
Committing some mistake while administering medication or providing any other form of patient care.

Nursing malpractice can occur in various patient care environments:

In a hospital
A privately-managed care facility such as a nursing home
A retirement center
Even visiting nurses who care for patients in their homes have been found to have committed malpractice.



What are the Parameters of Medical Malpractice, and How do they apply to Nurses?

All medical professionals owe their patients a high “legal duty.” In medical malpractice terms, a legal duty is described as a “standard of care.” Medical professionals owe their patients a certain responsibility of care proportionate to their peers. More put, doctors, nurses, and all healthcare professionals must treat their patients as others in the same field would treat theirs. The healthcare industry falls into a category that calls for a very high standard of care (or “duty”) since medical professionals receive years of unique and highly-specialized training. They must undergo years of extensive education and rigorous certification to treat their patients safely. This education should also make them sensitive to their patient’s physical and emotional needs. This is why society, in general, expects medical professionals to not only be knowledgeable regarding their ability to properly and correctly diagnose; they must treat patients with sensitivity without causing these vulnerable people further injury or discomfort. All caregivers are held to higher standards than people in other professions due to their specialized occupations. This leads to lofty performance expectations in the eyes of the general public and the law.

Whether They Are Aware or Not, Medical Professionals Can Violate Their Legal Duty
Once a standard of care has been proven in a malpractice case, the next duty of the plaintiff is to clearly illustrate that the responsible medical professional(s) who violated that standard of care is specifically liable for your injuries. A simple example might find that a nurse breaches the standard of care if he or she erroneously gives a patient the wrong prescription or misreads vital data during surgery, causing the operating surgeon to make a mistake. Nurses can misread a patient’s chart and cause an attending physician to make a treatment mistake, which further harms the patient. Many of these same mistakes can occur in a managed care environment, causing mistakes in treatment that might lead to rapid wrongful death. In a home care environment, a nurse might not properly manage the paperwork on which the overall treatment of that home-bound patient is determined; again leading to a case of malpractice when this unfair treatment catches up with the patient. In any instance surrounding administering prescription drugs, any medical professional involved in this vital task must know to avoid taking negligent, incorrect steps in administering and recording the treatments given to the patient. Such a violation is reasonably considered to be outside of the norm for the standard of care. Sometimes, nurses may be the last to know when they make a mistake.

Did You Know? Our Law Firm has been fighting for medical malpractice victims` rights for over 20 years. Call to discuss your case.

Very few people like you have even the smallest amount of necessary legal insight to understand, or even know, why a nurse or some other medical professional chose to do what they did. This is why expert medical witnesses must be sought-out and retained by your nursing malpractice lawyer to determine whether or not a medical professional has violated the standard of care for their profession. These expert witnesses, usually doctors themselves, must have extensive experience in the same fields of medicine as the nursing defendants to be beneficial to your Texas medical malpractice claim. Specialized witnesses can properly and accurately determine whether or not a standard of care was violated, by whom, to what degree, and in what context if more than one healthcare provider might be a defendant, especially if some cover-up might apply to your malpractice lawsuit. We can help you locate these expert medical witnesses in Texas or across the U.S. who are lynchpins in proving your allegations of breach of the high medical standard of care: elemental to the success of your malpractice case. Since Texas has one of the highest concentrations of renowned medical professionals globally, chances are we won’t have to look very far.



Malpractice Lawsuits against Nurses can be Difficult without an Experienced Attorney.

Medical malpractice lawsuits can often be the most challenging forms of personal injury or wrongful death cases in Texas. One reason for this sad reality is that the medical profession is, by definition, highly technical and sophisticated and holds defendants to a higher standard of care (or duty). Another reason is that several liable parties responsible for the injury can cloud the issue of responsibility for your injuries. If malpractice is added to the original injuries that necessitated your treatment, laying appropriate blame is a very intricate task for your legal investigative team. It can sometimes be likened to looking for a needle in a haystack. These two reasons alone can help you understand why injured victims have no better than a little chance of winning a Texas medical malpractice claim without the legal help of an experienced nursing malpractice injury attorney. A skilled lawyer can locate the perfect medical experts to stringently review your treatment records and determine whether your malpractice lawsuit is justified. They are also very adept at detecting medical records that someone may have altered, which is an immediate tipoff that a case of nursing malpractice might be at the bottom of your injuries. If nothing else, altering medical records is a felony. Why would a medical professional risk going to jail for altering medical records unless some malpractice cover-up was involved? Our medical experts can also help determine the degree of responsibility on the part of everyone who is involved in your medical care.

Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys have the means and skill to thoroughly investigate your case and apply this substantial evidence to a compelling legal strategy for you. With over 20 years of experience in personal injury, malpractice, and wrongful death law, our Law Firm can help you identify all responsible defendants in your malpractice suit so that you can successfully ask for fair compensation from them for their negligent behavior that made your injury even more painful. Our Law Office can also work to ensure their careless actions will not be repeated and harm some other unsuspecting, trusting patient.

It is Far From Easy Proving Medical Malpractice in Texas: but it IS Done Every Day.

Negligent medical professionals believe they owe you nothing unless you legally compel them to pay you proper compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. To force those liable for your injuries to pay you this fair compensation, your legal advocate must build a compelling case; using strong and substantial evidence that forces all liable parties to accept responsibility by proving the parts they played within the following guidelines: A malpractice victim bears the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit to recover damages in Texas. You, the victim (and your legal counsel), must prove through a “preponderance of the evidence” that a medical defendant caused your injury. It is the plaintiff/victim’s responsibility to seek legal action against that liable party. You can’t simply wait around to be reimbursed for your injury by those who were negligent in your care out of the goodness of their heart. If you don’t have a solid case, defendants will relentlessly chip away at it. So there is a specific sequence of things you must prove to realize the success you wish for in a malpractice lawsuit or insurance claim.



A High Plaintiff “Burden of Proof” for so High a Medical Professional’s Legal Duty
As a plaintiff, your medical malpractice lawyer must effectively prove – in this case – that a nurse’s negligence was the cause of your additional injury or illness in a malpractice case. Even if some of those injuries are all too apparent, defense attorneys and insurance companies will demand specific and irrefutable proof that your injuries were sustained through the specific negligence of a medical professional. This is where the forensic skill of your investigators and medical experts comes into play as they provide the proof the defendants demand. You must prove this guilt of negligent treatment beyond a shadow of a doubt. So, fortified by your experts’ specialized knowledge, you and your experienced lawyer can clearly prove to a jury how an injury may have been sustained due to medical negligence by a nurse in a hospital, managed care center, or in your home, and can also work to convince those jury members that this series of events that led to your further injury or illness did indeed happen and that you should be fairly compensated for their wrongdoing. If your case is extreme, the chances of negotiating a reasonable settlement with the guilty defendants grow, which means that an expensive civil trial may be avoided.

Once Liability is Proven, the Malpractice Victim Must Ask for REASONABLE Damages
Damages is the legal term for financial losses sustained due to an injury or loss. Damages must have been incurred in some fashion by a plaintiff due to the injury experienced due to medical malpractice. They can be awarded for economic losses such as medical costs, lost wages, future earnings, and pain and suffering. Calculating damages is a crucial phase to Texas malpractice claims because the number of damages equals the amount of compensation you, as a plaintiff, are entitled to receive once you win your judgment. After all, what’s the value of winning a six-figure case and only being awarded five figures in damages because you didn’t correctly assess the value of the damages you have suffered?

There are two types of damages: economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are subjective (like pain, suffering, or loss of affection for a loved one). Economic damages are clearer and involve medical bills, lost wages, and other items with a relatively consistent dollar value. You’ll certainly ask for some out of both categories. But calculating those damages to produce a total is best left to an experienced medical injury lawyer because if your total is excessive (or too little), it harms your case. Our Law Office’s experienced medical malpractice attorneys have over 20 years of experience calculating and then proving the proper amount of damages done to our clients. Hence, they can receive the best-negotiated settlement or civil trial award for their injury or loss. Our goal is to help you back onto the road to recovery through reasonable and appropriate compensation amounts.



Damage Caps and the Challenges you Face from Malpractice Insurance Companies

There is a limit to the number of damages awarded in any Texas malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice “damage caps” mean that if your injuries are disastrous or if they produce permanent injury (and untold years of expensive supplemental care), you might not receive truly reflective compensation for your malpractice-related pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other appropriate damages. You have the special insurance interests, along with THEIR lobbyists and recent tort reform legislation in Austin, to thank for that. Because of intense pressure from those special parties, the legislature passed several laws almost ten years ago. These tort-reform laws have tilted the medical malpractice playing field in their favor. Now, with very few exceptions, there are damage award caps in medical malpractice civil cases. “Non-economic damages” (again, pain, suffering, lost future income) are capped at $250,000. Economic damages (the actual cost of your medical bills due to the malpractice) must be an actual and to-the penny. Before tort reform, anyone could sue any doctor, hospital, CAT scan tech, or another licensed medical professional for as much as they wanted and often collect unreasonable damage amounts. When the medical professional was found guilty of negligence, juries would levy huge damage awards. Now we understand that over the years, many unscrupulous attorneys and their clients took advantage of what they saw as a license to print money. So yes, a certain amount of tort reform appeared necessary in many instances. The legislature failed to adequately address the problem when the insurance and medical lobbies began pressuring our lawmakers in Austin. So the result now gives us a series of malpractice laws that benefit Texas malpractice insurers: but at the expense of both the healthcare providers they serve and those with legitimate malpractice claims. Today, it’s much more difficult for malpractice victims to recover the true value of their injuries, pain, suffering, and lost wages in any lawsuit or insurance claim. That’s why it’s so important for your Texas medical and nursing malpractice lawyer to be adept at investigating all facets of alleged malpractice.

More than one injury claim (and lawsuit) can be sought if other caregivers are responsible for those injuries. Even with this tort reform, healthcare professionals are getting screwed by their insurers. Because tort reform has lowered the money, their insurance companies are paying out. But since 2003, when this tort reform became state law – on average – malpractice premiums have increased by more than one-third. How can insurance companies increase their rates if they pay out much less than they were ten years ago? We’ll let you figure that out, but the answer is obvious to anyone over eight years old.



The Challenges in Winning Nursing Malpractice Injury Lawsuits

Filing a lawsuit against a nurse or licensed healthcare professional is extremely complex, and a non-attorney has almost no chance of success. This is due to several hurdles that the plaintiff must overcome. The first comes from the simple fact that the medical field is complicated. Most patients (and most jury members) have very little knowledge of the modern medical world, and it can be almost impossible for a non-attorney to prove that he or she was the victim of negligence. It would be best if you had an attorney familiar with medical issues and with experience convincing juries of a medical professional’s negligence.
In many cases, this requires testimony from expert witnesses who helped investigate your case to argue that the defendant’s conduct does not meet the high standards of care expected of medical professionals in the defendant’s field. Our lawyers can ensure that you have the expert witnesses needed to build a strong case. We also speak the jury’s language, so we can explain even complex medical issues in a way that a jury can understand. In other words, we ensure that the jury knows what happened to you and why you need compensation. The second major hurdle you will have to face is the malpractice insurers themselves. Damage caps have encouraged many to offer substandard settlement offers because they are protected from high payouts. These insurance companies use adjusters and excellent attorneys to help build a sturdy defense wall to shield their medical clients. And they are very good at what they do, especially if you represent yourself or hire an inexperienced attorney who claims he can do the job for a smaller percentage of your damage award. Medical malpractice cases are held to a stringent standard of proof (another reason why expert witnesses are so vital). If you or your inexperienced attorney do not know how to present your case in such a way as to meet these standards of proof, you will walk away empty-handed. In the final analysis, an experienced malpractice attorney who can investigate your allegations, call on the right medical experts to assist in that investigation, and give testimony on your behalf presents the most solid case. Armed with that, your experienced medical malpractice lawyer can aggressively negotiate the most reasonable compensation settlement possible. The attorneys at our Law Firm have over 20 years of experience effectively negotiating reasonable settlements from insurance companies. Our reputation for tenacity on our client’s behalf, coupled with solid cases, often causes these insurance companies to offer the reasonable settlement our clients have been looking for all along.

Let the Nursing Malpractice Injury Lawyers at our Law Firm Help You Seek Justice
There are many malpractice attorneys in Texas. How can you decide which one is right to handle your case? Our respected Texas malpractice attorneys recommend interviewing at least two or three before choosing the lawyer you want to hire. Ask each one about his track record for settling and litigating malpractice insurance claims and cases. Find out what each attorney thinks the strengths and weaknesses of your case are. See if the lawyers can provide you with the names of former clients whose cases were similar to yours. Ask if you can contact them. Then, reach out to them and ask the same question you asked the prospective attorney. If you do all of these things to your satisfaction, you’ll be able to hire an attorney whose experience in handling cases such as yours gives you confidence and peace of mind that this is the lawyer you can trust with your case.

Did You Know? Our medical malpractice attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.

The legal professionals at our Law Firm are well known for investigating, prosecuting, and successfully resolving nursing malpractice cases. We understand the changes enacted by the recent tort reform and know how to build a strong case to hold nurses and other medical professionals responsible for their negligence. We have filed successful claims against almost every insurance carrier in the country, and their adjusters and defense lawyers know how successful our lawyers have been. They typically cooperate fully with our settlement demands, so they do not have to face us in court. If taking a case to trial is what it takes to get you the settlement you need, we are ready, willing, and able. We will do everything we can to help you get back on your feet. So if you have been the victim of nursing malpractice, contact our Texas nurse malpractice attorneys today for a free initial consultation. Put our years of experience to work for you. If you want to know your rights, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure from your malpractice injury case. Call our Law Office now for a free consultation and find out how we can help you. The legal professionals at our Law Firm will help you seek the justice you deserve and the settlement you need.