Our Texas Lawyers Discuss Mediation & Arbitration in a Texas Personal Injury Case
Alternative dispute resolutions are methods used by lawyers to attempt resolution of a case before it goes to a trial hearing. Many personal injury cases in Texas seldom go to court.
Attorneys choose mediation or arbitration, two forms of alternative dispute resolution, to achieve favorable results for their clients without the need for the time-consuming and oftentimes costlier prospect of a full trial. The Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act governs the methods used in alternative dispute resolution cases. While there are different methods to achieve resolution, in all cases both sides meet with a non-biased third party who works to bring both sides to a mutually beneficial agreement in order to prevent a case brought to trial. Our Texas personal injury law firm explains why alternative dispute resolution might be beneficial in your personal injury case.
Should I Choose Alternative Dispute Resolution?
The short answer is “maybe.” Depending on the nuances of your personal injury case, alternative dispute resolution might be beneficial for you. Our experienced attorneys can help you ascertain whether that might be the case for your case. Alternative dispute resolution is typically less stressful, less time-consuming, and carries fewer legal fees than taking a case to trial. Additionally, trial cases always possess a certain degree of the unknown due to the fact that an impartial jury is deciding your fate. When an experienced lawyer takes a personal injury case, they will typically begin building a lawsuit immediately, even if their client isn’t intending to file a lawsuit. However, this information can be put to good use when negotiating via alternative dispute resolution.
The Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at our Law Office Can Help You Decide What’s Best
Alternative dispute resolutions can be beneficial to your case, but that might not be your best option. For instance, it’s possible that your best interests might better be served by a trial case. In other instances, alternative dispute resolutions might result in a deadlock, where neither party can agree to a mutually beneficial outcome, thus resulting in a trial case. Whatever the case may be, with twenty years of experience in personal injury law, the lawyers at our Law Office can help you understand your options and how choosing the correct route might help you receive just compensation in your personal injury case. Contact us for more information on whether or not alternative dispute resolution is right for your case.
Legal Remedies For Injury or Wrongful Death From Pharmaceutical Error
All of us would like to think we can trust our bespectacled, smiling neighborhood pharmacist, but the raw reality is, nearly one in twenty prescriptions in the U.S. are filled in error and 100,000 people prematurely expire annually because of pharmaceutical mistakes or pharmacy misjudgment.
Although not every improperly filled prescription leads to injury or death, every time an error does occur, the needed medication is not given to the patient who is often in dire need of the proper medication for their condition.
If you have suffered an injury because of an incorrectly filled drug prescription or pharmaceutical error at your pharmacy, the medical malpractice specialists at our Law Office want you to understand the inherent complexities of these cases, so that you can make an educated decision about what legal options you should take.
How Do Pharmacy Mistakes Occur?
Most of the time, pharmaceutical mistakes occur because of the following:
The doctor incorrectly, or just not quite legible enough, writes a prescription that is difficult to read and results in a patient being given the wrong dose or wrong medication altogether.
A pharmacist makes an error in filling the prescription.
Often, the prescription drug itself can pose a danger. In that case, the drug pharmacy isn’t responsible if the correct medication was prescribed, the prescription was filled as instructed, and the drug was taken as advised. In these circumstances, the damages were caused by the drug itself, and the pharmaceutical drug company should be held liable or responsible for the injury.
Which Type of Lawsuit Should I File?
The type of lawsuit you file is dependent upon the type of pharmacy error committed. You will be filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, regardless of whether it was your doctor or your pharmacist that was responsible for you receiving the incorrect medication. Yet, the strategy involved in building an effective case is different, depending on if the liability arose from the doctor or the pharmacist.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
The medical and health care industry has been protected, in many cases, from illegitimate or frivolous lawsuits by recent tort reforms. Concurrently, those reforms have also resulted in legitimately injured individuals now finding it more difficult to get the compensation they deserve. It is very common nowadays, for cases without the proper documentation to be dismissed. Only an experienced, competent medical malpractice legal specialist in this field will understand how to locate expert medical testimony and the procedures for issuing subpoenas for the appropriate records.
We’ve won hundreds of cases against all the major insurance companies in the U.S. These firms are familiar with our success and reputation and in many instances will fully cooperate with our attorneys so they will not have to confront us later in court. We have a successful track record to stand up to your opposition and help you receive the justice and equitable compensation you deserve for your injury or loved one’s death.
Our Law Office attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the help you need to recover from your injuries incurred by the wrong prescription drugs. We have been litigating medical malpractice claims for two decades and have seen millions of dollars awarded to hundreds of injured clients. Call us today for a free consultation if you’ve suffered a prescription drug injury. We can discuss your legal options and the steps needed for you to recover physically and financially, so you can get back on your feet and move confidently into the future.
Need An Attorney Experienced in Nursing Home Abuse?
As Americans start to age, some of them have health issues that keep them from being able to care for themselves or do the normal activities of an independent adult. These real-life issues, coupled with the fact that more American citizens are joining the ranks of senior citizens are the reason that the population of nursing home residents has exploded.
These days, moms and dads both must work outside of the home to make ends meet. So there is nobody available to stay home and take care of aging or ailing family members. Nearly everyone has a family member who has lived in a nursing home or is a resident of a nursing home right now. As much as we would like to think that the nursing home staff members treat our loved ones with kindness and patience, the reality is that nursing home abuse is a major problem in America so much so that there have been congressional hearings on the subject.
If you have reason to believe that your family member or friend is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact our nursing home abuse attorneys. Call us for a free consultation. Traditionally elderly family members received care from their adult children and other members of the family. As married couples spent more time away from home working, nursing homes and daycare centers for adults and children who were unable to stay alone became a necessary part of society. As the cost of living goes up, some senior Americans don’t have enough money to cover their cost of living expenses plus their cost of the medicine that so many of them in this age range must take. So many senior citizens have had to give up their large homes and independent living to move into nursing care centers where they can receive medical care and the personal attention they deserve.
Advancements in medicine and in the healthcare industry have made it so that senior citizens are living longer and that’s why owning nursing home centers has become one of the most lucrative residential properties in the real estate business today. As profitable as this kind of business can be, some people only view the residents as dollar signs and potential paychecks rather than human beings who need extra care and patience.
For the elderly people who find themselves added to these numbers annually as they become nursing home residents, it doesn’t take them long before they realize their new environment is not as they envisioned. ‘Home’ should be a nurturing and peaceful environment. Statistics show that some nursing home residents endure mental or physical abuse because they are at the mercy of cruel healthcare workers. If you have reason to believe that your family member or friend is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact our nursing home abuse attorney. Call us for a free consultation.
When nursing homes became popular some forty years ago they were not state-regulated and prospective employees were not screened. But as more senior Americans started to move into the nursing homes and abuse became a problem, more guidelines were put in place to address the issue. When applying for employment at nursing homes prospective employees were not required to have any formal training. Now, some forty years later prospective employees must go through a broad criminal and employment background check before they are allowed to start working. In the beginning, a drug test was just a visual inspection of how a person looked. Now drug tests are completed by medical personnel and the list of drugs tested for is extensive. Nursing home employers now put so much emphasis on drug tests because some believe that employees misbehave or mistreat their clientele because the employees are using drugs that alter their judgment. Also resumes help hiring managers to make better decisions on who will be a part of their staff so their elderly residents are more likely to receive adequate care.
As senior citizens continue to age they become less independent, more vulnerable, and less confident in their decision making. Their diminished capacity coupled with the overbearing behavior of the staff has subjected them to the demoralizing actions of nursing home workers on a regular basis. Some of the mistreatment includes slapping, pinching, being heavy-handed while grooming the patient’s hair, taking pictures of the patients in compromising positions and ignoring patients’ requests for help using the bathroom. Some residents have even reported that they were raped by nursing home caregivers.
The fact that elderly family members must live away from the family is the source of contention for many, especially since nobody can be sure how their loved one is being treated when they are not present. But here are some suggestions that will decrease the chance that your elderly family members will be victimized:
Relatives should make unannounced daily and weekly visits at various times.
If you can not make personal visits, be sure to make impromptu telephone calls.
Reassure the senior family member of your whereabouts and contact information in case they need help in an emergency.
Introduce yourself to nursing home staffers so they know you and other family members are concerned about the safety and happiness of your loved one.
If staff members know you and other family members are monitoring what happens to your loved one, they are more likely to treat that person with care and respect and less likely to act negligent or abusive. The nursing care industry also has worked to teach healthcare staffers proper techniques and more appropriate ways to care for infirmed senior citizens. That has added to the growing number of reliable nursing home employees working in the United States who are great at performing their jobs. Some of them even have earned degrees as Certified Nursing Assistants. Sadly though, some staffers have a history of domestic violence, drug addiction and some are unregistered pedophiles. It is clear that these questionable staffers who have managed to remain employed in this industry and have gone from job to job have preyed on the elderly for way too long. Senior Americans are in need of the same care that goes into protecting a child who is cannot defend him or herself.
If you have a loved one that is being abused or whom you suspect is being abused and who lives in a long-term nursing facility, call our Law Office as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more pain and suffering your loved one could be going through. Our attorneys along with our team of experienced investigators will do what it takes to uncover the suspected abuse. With more than twenty (20) years of courtroom success, our Law Office will help you protect your loved one against the ever-growing epidemic of nursing home abuse. The telephone call is free and the initial legal consultation is priceless.
Nursing Home Abuse at Its Worse
The same as a child might not alert parents if she or he is being abused, some nursing home residents sometimes are too frightened to tell other staff members or family members for fear that the abuse will become more severe. That’s why nursing home management should do it’s part of let residents know that they are there to protect the rights of the residents and that any suspected abuse should be reported to them immediately without fear of retaliation. If a nursing home staffer is found to be negligent or abusive, the offending nursing home employee or employees could face criminal and civil charges.
The Legal Complexity Involved in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Even if your loved one has told you that she or he is being abused by a staff member, most cases come down to what can be proven in a court of law. Pictures of physical wounds and other evidence is a good thing, but if the alleged victim is unable to testify to their experience or can not answer questions posed to them about the abuse, there is a slim chance that a personal injury lawsuit or even criminal charges will be filed.
Nursing home abuse personal injury charges are categorized as medical malpractice cases. In Texas, medical malpractice lawsuits payouts have been capped by Tort Reform laws. Tort reform was created to decrease the number of undeserving lawsuits that were clogging up the Texas court system. As a result of Tort Reform, it now takes an experienced and successful courtroom litigant who knows the ins and outs of proving personal injury in medical malpractice lawsuits. Our attorneys are such litigants. We are good at what we do best which is to use the law and our investigative skills to uncover the truth.
Some lawyers prefer not to litigate nursing home abuse cases because of Texas Tort Reform and because of the challenges involving these kinds of cases. The nursing home abuse attorneys at our Law Office know what to expect and will go to work for you. Contact us if you have a loved one that has been abused. The call is free as is the initial legal consultation.
Giving birth is a significant time in the life of a parent. Sometimes, however, the joy of bringing a little one into the world is marred by birth injuries suffered while delivering the baby. Not only do you have to deal with the birth injuries, you probably have some serious questions, as well.
Who or what caused the injury to occur? What long-term effects will the birth injuries have on the child’s future development? What can I do legally? Is a medical malpractice lawsuit in the best interest of myself and my child?
Lawsuits pursued due to birth injuries are one of many types of medical malpractice lawsuits. These cases can be very complicated and are usually beyond the abilities of inexperienced attorneys or the average person. Our Law Office has 20 years of experience, during which we have helped many people with cases of birth injuries. We want to help you receive financial reimbursement for the pain and trauma that you have experienced.
Types of Birth Injuries and What Causes Them
The following is a list of a few of the types of birth injuries caused by negligence and medical malpractice:
Klumpke’s Palsy – paralysis of the child’s hands and forearms
Cerebral Palsy – injury of the brain often causes this motor condition, leading to the impairment of movement
Erb’s Palsy – this occurs when the shoulders and upper arms of the child are paralyzed. It is a type of Brachioplexus Palsy and can be caused by pulling excessively on the shoulders during delivery.
Brachioplexus Palsy – this can lead to paralysis of the child’s whole arm due to spinal nerve injury. It occasionally results from a forceps delivery.
Shoulder Dystocia – this happens when the head is delivered a long amount of time before the shoulders. This condition can then lead to Erb’s Palsy or Brachioplexus Palsy.
What Makes Birth Injury Lawsuits so Difficult to Pursue?
Tort reform has rendered medical malpractice lawsuits ever more difficult to pursue. The original purpose of this tort reform was to shield doctors from inconsequential charges against them. Thus, the standard of proof necessary to make a case for medical malpractice has been increased. This can present difficulties for those who have suffered birth injuries due to medical malpractice to receive appropriate compensation for their suffering. One result of this has been that many personal injury attorneys will no longer consider taking these cases, as they are so difficult to win.
Our Law Office has 20 years of experience fighting for families. We have experience dealing with these cases before and after the change in the laws. We have the knowledge necessary to build a rock-solid case against negligent medical professionals that result in birth injuries.
The process of giving birth can be incredibly complex. The tiniest blunder can lead to devastating birth injuries. Due to these factors, proving that negligence resulted in birth injuries requires an experienced attorney. Some of the key components of a successful birth injury lawsuit are the testimony of expert witnesses, assessment of the birth injuries sustained by the child, and inquiring into the circumstances of the delivery by asking the medical staff questions. Our Law Office has the expert witnesses you need to make sure your case is strongly constructed.
If You or Your Child Have Suffered from Birth Injuries Due to Medical Negligence, Our Law Office Wants to Help You
Our Law Office has the benefit inherent in twenty years of experience necessary to help you if you have suffered from birth injuries. We are familiar with the necessary components of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. We know how complicated such cases can be, and we are committed to taking the time and making the effort needed to win them. We want to make sure that those medical practitioners whose negligent behavior resulted in your child’s birth injuries are held liable for the suffering they have inflicted. Our proven track record of winning settlements of millions of dollars for our clients is known to the insurance companies, adjusters, and their lawyers since we have faced every major insurance company in the country. We are often able to negotiate fair settlements for our clients without even having to bring the case to court since the insurance companies frequently wish to avoid the hassle of a court case. In the event that a settlement agreement is not reached, we are willing and able to take the case to court to resolve the dispute. If you are dealing with the after-effects of birth injuries caused by medical malpractice or negligence, give us a call for your free consultation. We can provide answers to your legal questions and inform you of the steps we can take to help you.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Texas
If you or a loved one has suffered moderate, severe, or even fatal injuries due to an intoxicated or impaired driver, our experienced drunk driving accident attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. In this article, we’ll introduce the following topics:
Origins and purposes of Texas’ dram shop laws
Necessary proof in dram shop lawsuits
First-party vs. third-party dram shop claims
How our experienced DWI accident attorneys at our Law Office can help you recover compensation.
Origins of Texas’ Dram Shop Laws
The State of Texas has long been among the leaders in the nation in accidents caused by drunk drivers. Unfortunately, a large number of these accidents, and thus the catastrophic injuries that often accompany them, could have been prevented by a bar or restaurant refusing to over-serve intoxicated patrons. With that in mind, the Texas Legislature adopted the Texas Dram Shop Act, found in the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, in 1987 for the following purposes:
Allow injury victims and their families the opportunity to hold bars and restaurants responsible for their wrongful actions
To give injured victims another method of recovery besides the drunk driver themselves
To reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road by putting other alcohol providers on notice of the potential consequences of over-serving an intoxicated patron.
Necessary Proof in a Dram Shop Lawsuit
However, not every person hit by a drunk driver is automatically allowed to hold a bar, restaurant, or another alcohol provider responsible for their injuries. In fact, Texas’ liquor liability laws require injury victims alleging a dram shop cause of action to prove the following criteria before they can force a provider to provide monetary compensation for their injuries:
The alcohol provider served or sold alcoholic beverages to a patron, guest, or customer who was obviously intoxicated
As a result of over-service, the intoxicated patron was a clear danger to themselves, other patrons, and/or other drivers on the road
The individual’s over-service while intoxicated was the cause of the accident in which the victim was injured
First-Party vs. Third-Party Dram Shop Claims
Importantly, Texas law divides dram shop claims into two categories: first and third party claims. As its name suggests, 1st-party claims are those brought against an alcoholic beverage provider by the party who was over-served, or by their eligible family members in a wrongful death case.
Conversely, 3rd-party claims are those that are brought against a provider by a DWI accident victim or eligible family members for injuries suffered as a result of another party who was over-served.
Our Attorneys Have the Skill & Experience Necessary to Help you Recover the Compensation you Deserve
For more information regarding Texas’ dram shop laws and for a free and confidential consultation based on the facts and circumstances of your economic, emotional, and/or physical injuries, give our drunk driving accident lawyers a call today.
Texas attorney Explains Drunk Driving Accidents & Texas Dram Shop Law
If you are not an attorney, liquor liability laws can be complex terrain to navigate. The validity of these cases is often criticized and misunderstood. However, legal statutes and case law support the fact that these laws stem from common sense ideas that we can explain here.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or someone close to you has been killed in a drunken-driving accident in Texas, call the drunk driver accident attorneys of our Law Office.
With more than twenty years of experience successfully litigating cases predicated upon a Texas Dram Shop Cause of Action, the attorneys at our Law Office are well-credentialed and can readily assist you in getting the justice you deserve.
This article, while here to inform you of your rights and responsibilities, is no substitute for the assistance one of our attorneys can provide. Below you will find useful information to help you understand Texas Dram Shop Laws that assign liability to parties that may be legally, entirely or in part, responsible for the death or injury of your loved one, what the challenges are in pursuing this kind of civil case, and some of the types of cases and claims we can initiate to afford you some relief for your anguish, pain, suffering, and related expenses.
The legal implications and damages involved in a drunk driving accident are far more severe and intricate than the typical auto collision. The most noteworthy distinctions are:
Injuries sustained in accidents involving a drunk driver are typically more severe and have a higher fatality rate, which typically means there are more financial damages and, therefore, the legal battles become decidedly more aggressive, making having a competent legal representation of the utmost importance.
Often there are multiple parties who have violated laws that are in place to protect victims of this type of collision, which means you are best served by a multi-faceted strategy that assesses the value that can be recovered or gained by holding each party responsible.
Defendants in Intoxicated Accident Cases
Most people think that the most obvious person to pursue legal remedy from in an alcohol-related collision case is the driver, but often, individual drunk drivers who may bear the bulk of the responsibility for the incident are often not the most viable candidates if your immediate need is financial relief for medical or funeral related costs.
Under the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, statutes state that in addition to suing the drunk driver for his or her negligence, victims also have the right, under what is referred to as “Dram Shop Law,” to pursue damages for the negligence of bars, restaurants or other persons or business entities that enabled the drunk driver to become intoxicated enough to cause the accident.
This liability was established under the theory that car accidents are not merely caused by the immediate action or reflex in the moment of the accident, but can be caused by a chain of events that led up to the accident. Under this logic, any entity that contributed to the chain of events that caused the accident can be held vicariously liable.
Why the Bar?
While most of us probably consider the personal responsibility of the driver to be most important on an emotional level, it is important from an ethical perspective, to ensure that bars and restaurants are not knowingly serving alcohol to drivers who get involved in these collisions when it is clear that someone who is leaving their establishment and may be operating a vehicle when their behavior or reflexes appear to be erratic, or they have consumed an amount of alcohol that puts their blood-alcohol-content (BAC) well above the legal limit. If these establishments were diligent in ensuring their patrons did not become overly intoxicated, drunk driving accidents could much more easily be avoided.
In addition to having greater means to provide financial remedies than the individual driver, the public message should be sent that the establishments and their employees should not be endangering the public by setting potentially dangerous drunk drivers out on the street simply because the bartender wants to keep collecting the patron’s generous tips or the bar wants to make more money.
In a lawsuit in which the driver and the bar are co-defendants, the court will assign damages for each party’s negligence, and the financial remedy coming from each source will be proportional to the court’s assessment of each defendant’s percentage of liability. Thus, while you may get more financial remedy by filing a case against both the driver and the bar, it is important to realize that this does not necessarily mean that you will get more money by digging into the pockets of the business over the means of the individual driver. It simply allows distribution of the responsibility which means, ultimately, you have a greater chance of actually getting the financial recovery that goes beyond what the individual driver would be able to pay.
Specific Rights and Responsibilities
Under Texas law, it is not only illegal to be behind the wheel of a car with a BAC of more than .08, but it is also illegal to be out in public with this level of intoxication, and it is also illegal for bars or establishments that serve alcohol to serve individuals an amount of alcohol that put them over this limit.
Science has proven that the consumption of alcohol impairs reflexes, judgment, and inhibitions, and thus, while a sober person may know his or her limit, once he or she has had a few drinks, that person may no longer be able to make a sound judgment of when he or she is too drunk to drive, and thus the serving party bears the responsibility of safeguarding the public and taking the appropriate action to prevent this from happening.
Many establishments have implemented programs to reward patrons who have a designated driver or have made partnerships with taxi companies to ensure that their clientele is not driving under the influence. That being said, there is nothing more motivating to the establishments who have not implemented such safeguards, than the potential negative publicity and financial cost of a lawsuit. In most cases, these establishments will likely be willing to settle and award financial remedy for medical, auto, and funeral-related expenses caused by a drunk driving incident for which they bear a portion of the legal responsibility, and with hope, they will then be more diligent in helping prevent public intoxication and alcohol-related accidents.
Because bartenders are reasonably expected to know that it is illegal to over-serve their patrons, if they choose to disregard this responsibility, they become the proximate cause of related injuries.
Bars are required to have all of their servers licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which entails each server’s participation in training that requires learning and understanding their rules and responsibilities and the consequences associated with failing to follow them. A bartender cannot simply be unaware of how they should transact their business.
Bars are expected to have written policies and procedures for handling the distribution and tracking of alcohol served.
Bars are required to have written policies and procedures for how to deal with overly intoxicated patrons.
Servers are expected to be on the lookout for signs of intoxication.
The Safe Harbor Defense
Provided a bar or alcohol-serving establishment has met the legal obligations outlined above, they cannot legally be held responsible for any degree of negligence in a drunk driving accident. However, many establishments may try to employ this defense whether or not it truthfully applies.
The unfortunate reality in preparing a case against an establishment using the Safe Harbor Defense is that the burden is on the victim or plaintiff to establish proof that there was a blatant disregard for the above guidelines. Dram Shop cases are not subjective, and therefore they can only be won if they clearly deserve to be prosecuted.
Deciding to get involved in a lawsuit can be an emotional experience, and you may have concerns about the cost, the time constraints, and in some cases, the consideration of the relationship you have with the person who caused the accident.
However, it would be unwise to allow time to slip by without looking out for the remedies you are entitled to and lose the evidence and opportunity to protect your interests in the matter because if you wait too long, your options may run out and the related expenses you incur could get beyond your control.
If you or a loved one was involved, injured, or killed in a DUI accident, call our Law Office for a free consultation, and we can discuss your concerns and help you find the right course of action to get the justice you deserve.
Fatal Drunk Driving Accident attorney Explains What You Should Know in the Event of the Death of a Loved One in a Fatal Drunk Driving Accident
A fatal drunk driving accident has the potential to leave a tremendous amount of distress in its wake, ranging from incredible emotional/mental trauma and stresses and damage to the family fabric to financial destitution.
Texas citizens affected by fatal drunk driving accidents may be eligible for compensation for their pain, suffering, and financial losses via a wrongful death, or drunk driving accident lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident, please contact the knowledgeable attorneys of our Law Office to determine your legal rights and begin your appropriate course of legal action. Our firm has specialized in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law practice for over two decades and developed a nationally-renowned reputation for positive results. We have won cases against every major insurance company in the nation and helped thousands of our clients obtain just and fair compensation for their losses.
Wrongful Death and Fatal Drunk Driving Accident lawsuits often prove to be extremely difficult processes for the inexperienced lawyer, or non-attorney to successfully navigate. A proper and thorough investigation of the details of the accident can be the difference between having a claim dismissed, and receiving a fair settlement, or verdict, which effectively resolves your claim. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a drunk driver, you need capable and experienced legal counsel to represent your interests and ensure that insult is not added to injury. Contact the attorneys of our Law Offices, today, for a free consultation.
Texas Dram Shop Law and What It Means to Your Wrongful Death, or Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Lawsuit
By definition, a “Dram Shop”, when utilized in context signifies a place where alcohol can either be obtained or is provided. The term is taken from its traditional use “dram”—the unit of measure roughly equal to 1/8th of an ounce utilized to describe the small amount of alcohol traditionally sold by shops serving alcohol in the early to late 20th century, as well as an apothecary unit of measure. In 1987, the Texas State Legislature passed the Texas Dram Shop Law Act, which effectively opened those responsible for serving alcohol to individuals to the point of, or exceeding the point of intoxication, to liability for damages arising from any accidents caused by that intoxicated individual.
The prevalence of alcohol and fatal drunk driving accidents in the State of Texas required action to be taken to better protect citizens, and facilitate justice in the event of a drunk driving accident, whether fatal or not. Before the passing of the Texas Dram Shop Law, Texas families suffering from the loss of a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident had little other recourse for obtaining fair and just compensation for the full amount of losses incurred, other than suing the drunk driver. It was often the case that this narrow restriction did not result in an outcome where bereaved families obtained the full compensation needed to resume their lives and properly grieve for their lost loved one.
The Dram Shop Law operates under the duty of care, which all entities and individuals agree to, when obtaining a liquor license in the state, or when serving alcohol. For example, a bar serving alcohol to an individual must have safety protocols in place that allow them to regulate the amount of alcohol consumed by a patron and must be responsible for the safety of that patron in the event that he or she becomes intoxicated more quickly than anticipated by the employees of the bar. In many cases, if a person leaves a bar, restaurant, or other such entity while obviously intoxicated, then the bar, restaurant, or other such alcohol serving entity may be held responsible for any damages—including injuries and even deaths—caused by that intoxicated person.
Utilization of the Texas Dram Shop Law in cases of wrongful death lawsuits resulting from drunk driving accidents present a number of obstacles which may further complicate the legal process of successfully resolving your wrongful death lawsuit. There are four frequent legal obstacles you are likely to encounter in your pursuit of compensation, for the wrongful death of your loved one.
An experienced defense team
The “Third Party” defense
And wealthy ruthless insurance companies
Jury Misconceptions Regarding Dram Shop Law
More often than not, juries hearing cases of accidents caused by drunk drivers, where the drunk driver has served time in jail for the breaking of the law, determine that justice has been served and that there is no further need for punishment. They often do not understand the financial ramifications that the wrongful death of a loved one often brings, such as funeral expenses, the detrimental financial impacts of income lost, medical or hospital expenses incurred (should the victim have been hospitalized before their death), or other such losses. It is necessary to have the aid of a well-informed and experienced legal representative, who will properly present factual evidence in support of your claim for compensation from responsible third parties. A knowledgeable and skilled Wrongful Death or Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Attorney will also take the time and effort necessary to convince the members of the jury of the need for the additional compensation sought from responsible third parties. The Wrongful Death and Fatal Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys of our Law Office have helped hundreds of our bereaved clients obtain fair and just compensation by successfully holding third parties responsible for their involvement in drunk driving accidents resulting in wrongful deaths.
Experienced Legal Defense Lawyers
In the passage of the Dram Shop Law, the Texas Legislature unwittingly created a culture of opposition, within both the legal and business worlds, in which bars, restaurants, and other such entities selling or serving alcohol and defense lawyers partner in attempts to deny liability for damages, arising from fatal drunk driving accidents. There has come into existence “Liquor Liability” defense law firms who exclusively handle the defense of Dram Shops held liable for damages in fatal drunk driving accidents. These law firms have developed a credible amount of experience in defeating the use of Texas’s Dram Shop Law, however, the skilled and well-informed attorneys our Law Office provide more than just a match for their tactics and arguments. Our Law Office has successfully defeated the legal arguments of every major Liquor Liability law firm and recovered thousands of dollars of damages for hundreds of our clients. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving accident on the roads, contact our Law Office and let us be your shield against the defense law firms’ attempts to deny your claim for fair and just compensation for your loss.
The “Third Party” Defense in Fatal Drunk Driving, and Wrongful Death Accidents
Should your pursuit of compensation go to trial, the legal defense strategy will center, most certainly, on the drunk driver him/herself. It will be the goal of the defense lawyers to prove that the greater or greatest responsibility for the death of your loved one lies with the drunk driver (to diminish the apparent responsibility of their client(s), who served or sold the alcohol to the drunk driver). However, your Fatal Drunk Driving or Wrongful Death Accident Attorney from our Law Office will ensure that the members of the Jury fully recognize and understand the complicity of the Dram Shop(s) in the accident that took the life of your loved one. We will fight, at every turn, to skillfully overturn their lawyers’ legal arguments and expose the liability of their clients. With a nationally recognized reputation for obtaining results for our clients suffering, caused by the negligence of others, you can be assured that we will obtain the compensation due, so that you can resume your life.
Insurance Companies, and Their Potential Role in Your Pursuit of Fair and Just Compensation for Your Losses
We often encounter defense strategies dictated by insurance companies attempting to avoid having to pay damages on behalf of their clients. Be advised that it is in the best interests of the insurance companies to pay as little as possible to you, the victim in the event of an accident caused by the negligence of their policyholder(s). Tactics utilized by these companies range from tricking you into accepting a low-ball settlement (one which is wholly insufficient to fully recover your financial losses), to intentionally attacking the character of your lost loved on in an attempt to place blame upon them for their own wrongful death. Insurance companies facing the gauntlet of legal action, and the greater potential for subsequent awards of damages possible in the trial, enlist an entire range of strategies and arguments to either completely avoid liability, or decrease the amount they will have to pay. The attorneys of our Law Office want you to rest easy. We have successfully battled nearly every major insurance company in the country and recovered $1,000 in damages suffered by our clients. Every major legal defense law firm in the nation recognizes our reputation for a thorough investigation and aggressive litigation in pursuit of justice for our clients. Although recent judicial decisions and legislative actions have further restricted the successes of other law firms’ attempts to secure justice for their clients, our Law Office continues to be one of the most highly recognized legal practitioners known for successfully litigating cases and providing positive results for our clients. Do not allow your legal rights to be taken from you, or your entitlement to just and fair compensation for your losses to go unused. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drunk driving, or wrongful death accident contact our office today, for a free consultation. Let us recover your financial losses, protect the memory of your loved one, and battle for your rights. We are here for you.
If you’ve suffered moderate to severe injuries while using a defective product or as a result of someone else using a defective product, our experienced defective products liability injury attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation for your injuries you truly deserve. Through over more than 20 years of experience, we’ve observed that many of our clients wished they had at least a working understanding of Texas’ product liability laws before contacting our firm. With that in mind, we’ve developed this introductory article and subsequent sister articles describing the following areas of Texas’ products liability laws:
Possible defendants in products liability lawsuits
Defectively designed products
Defectively manufactured products
Products featuring defective warnings
Car accidents caused by defective products
Possible Defendants in Products Liability Lawsuits
Injury victims should be glad to know that Texas law allows them the opportunity to hold all members of a supply chain who assisted in bringing a dangerously defective product to market for their injuries. A selection of common defendants in injury lawsuits premised on defective products include:
Product and component part designers
Product and component part manufacturers
Suppliers of the final product and its component parts
Retailers of the defective product and its component parts
Distributors of both the final product and the component parts from which it is composed.
Defectively Designed Products
Texas law holds that a product is “defectively designed” when, due to its design, it’s rendered unsafe for its intended and reasonably foreseeable uses or is inherently dangerous. Unlike manufacturing defects, design defects affect a product’s entire product line. Thus, design defects are often featured in product recalls and class action lawsuits.
Defectively Manufactured Products
Somewhat similarly, products are deemed “defectively manufactured” when, due to some departure from an appropriate design, a product is manufactured so that it’s unsafe for it’s intended and reasonably foreseeable uses.
Products Featuring Defective Warnings
Finally, Texas law considers products that lack warnings of non-obvious dangers to be “unreasonably dangerous” for consumer use. It’s important to note that warning defects can quickly become quite complex, and thus necessitate the attention and care of only the most experienced products liability attorneys, like ours at our Law Office.
Car Accidents Caused by Defective Products
Although discussed more fully in our article concerning defective products and car accidents, defective products are a leading cause of severe injury and fatal car collisions. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of defective products resulting in motor vehicle collisions:
Defectively designed and/or manufactured vehicle roofs in rollover collisions
Defectively designed and/or manufactured glass that shatters or doesn’t shatter as designed
Defective seat belts that fail to remain latched during a collision due to defective design or inferior materials
Tire tread separation due to defective design and/or manufacture
Defectively designed electrical components like cruise control sensors
Defectively manufactured mechanical components like braking systems and steering linkage
Contact Our Experienced Defective Product Injury Lawyers Today
If you suspect your or your loved one’s injuries were caused by a defectively designed, manufactured, or product that featured defective designs, our experienced product defects lawyers may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation based on the facts of your case and more information regarding how our Defective Products Lawyers can help you.
Construction Industry Workers’ Compensation Law Explained by Attorney
Constant exposure to potential physical danger is unfortunately common in the construction industry as workers are called upon to work with heavy or dangerous equipment, handle potentially dangerous chemicals, or do physical labor high above the ground.
The dangers are everywhere, and while your employer may offer workers’ compensation benefits, this doesn’t always mean that your rights and interests are as protected as they should be.
There are many prevailing misconceptions about the process and complexity of how workers’ compensation actually works, and how it commonly plays out with construction-related accidents. We’d all like to believe that employers and workers’ comp insurers will always do the right thing, but it is important to remember that the employers and insurers are there to protect each other’s interests, not yours. To be sure that you receive fair and appropriate treatment, contact one of the attorneys at our Law Office for a free consultation and we can advise you of your rights and responsibilities, as well as help you determine if there are legal remedies that can help you get the compensation you need.
Why Would Your Employer Try to Deceive You or Omit Important Details in the Course of Helping You With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In some circumstances, pure ignorance can cause an employer to fail to provide an injured worker with the proper resources to receive care under Workers’ Comp. The claim process is paperwork intensive and riddled with fine print and many construction managers simply do not have the time or the detailed orientation to devote to fully understanding the process.
In other cases, your company may intentionally be vague about Workers’ Compensation because they have no workers’ comp policy, and while it isn’t illegal for a construction company not to have Workers’ Comp Insurance, having it shields them from personal injury lawsuits so they may mislead you to believe that they are covered when in fact, they are not.
Finding the answer to this question is critical to determining how much compensation you may be able to receive, and if your employer does not carry the insurance, there are more legal remedies you can pursue than if your employer subscribes to workers’ comp insurance because the laws say that carrying the workers’ comp coverage allows employers a certain immunity to workplace injury lawsuits.
Thus, many employers may try to take care of the expenses and lost wages as would be covered by workers’ comp to give the illusion of having workers comp insurance in hopes they can avoid getting sued. If you have questions about the validity of your employer’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits, call us today.
Our firm has assisted countless construction workers who thought that they had a subscriber case when in fact they were dealing with a non-subscriber. As mentioned before, construction work is dangerous. Because of the risks, workers’ compensation is very expensive for construction companies. Therefore, they often choose not to subscribe. But when a worker is hurt, they may pretend to have workers’ compensation insurance in order to avoid a lawsuit. An experienced workers’ comp claim lawyer, however, can help you dig through any construction company tricks and determine precisely what options are available to you.
With over 20 years of experience in personal injury construction worker cases, the attorneys at our Law Office are poised and ready to investigate and ensure that you are not bamboozled by devious employers and you receive the full benefits you deserve.
How does Workers’ Compensation Apply to Workers in the Construction Industry?
The first thing you will need to find out is whether or not your employer is a Workers Comp Insurance Subscriber or Non-Subscriber. This may seem like a straightforward question and answer, but the truth is, many low to mid-level construction managers may not have the answer or understand the question. The higher your manager has to go up the chain of command to get an answer, the longer you will have to wait, and the response may be incomprehensible. The attorneys at our Law Offices are here to help you navigate through the bureaucratic mess and ensure that you are compensated fairly.
Workers’ compensation provides compensation to workers injured on the job while at the same time providing subscribers with a high degree of immunity to lawsuits, except in the rare case that a worker dies and the employer was grossly negligent. In this case, the worker’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Due to the current legal structure of the workers’ compensation insurance system, if you are injured doing construction work for a company that carries workers’ compensation insurance, you cannot file a work injury claim.
If You Can’t Sue Your Employer Because he or she has Workers’ Comp Insurance, What Can You do?
You may be able to file a lawsuit against other parties to recover financial damages or get the relief you need. Other defendants in construction accident cases often include property owners who own or control the job site, other contractors, the general contractor, equipment manufacturers, and leasing companies.
Any of these other defendants could provide you with additional compensation to pay for your injuries. Our attorneys can conduct thorough investigations to determine exactly how your accident occurred, and identify all potential defendants in your case. We are dedicated to finding every possible source to secure the compensation you need.
What Benefits Should You Expect to Receive Under Workers’ Comp?
Up to 70% of any wages lost during recovery time in which you were unable to work.
Note: the max on this is capped at $600/week.
If the injury impairs you for life and renders you unable to return to work, you may be entitled to this benefit for the rest of your life.
Per diem compensation for mileage driven to and from places where you obtained medical treatment, prescriptions, and other necessary medical supplies.
100% coverage or reimbursement for any medical treatment, prescriptions, or over the counter medications and supplies related to the specific injury in question.
If your employer is not a Workers’ Compensation Insurance subscriber, you may pursue any of the following legal remedies:
Construction Accident Law Suit – This kind of lawsuit can help you recover:
Past and future medical expenses.
Lost wages from time spent recovering from injuries.
Compensation from lost earning capacity due to your injuries.
Compensation (damages) for your physical pain and mental anguish.
What if my Employer Thinks They are not Liable Because I was Working Alone and the Accident was my Fault?
Many construction companies may think that makes it a clear cut case in their favor, but the truth is, that even if you were working alone, your employer was responsible for providing you with the proper tools and safety training. Consider the following:
Did they provide you with proper training for lifting heavy objects, working high above the ground, or handling hazardous materials?
Did they provide you with proper safety equipment that was maintained and in good repair?
Did they fail to provide you with enough fellow employees to assist you in the task in which you were injured that the injury could have been prevented?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then your employer may still be liable for your injuries if they are a non-subscriber. Our experienced attorneys can trace back through the factors involved in your workplace accident and uncover any parties who may share liability for your injuries and help you assess which legal remedies are worthwhile for you to pursue.
Are You a Contractor or an Employee?
Because Texas law says only general employees may file are eligible to file construction work injury suits or workers’ comp claim, many employers in the construction industry believe that by having workers sign waivers that state they are contractors renders them immune to personal/workplace injury lawsuit.
However, the State of Texas has case laws that have been established that protect workers from falling into this trap by instituting standard criteria by which the existence of an employer-employee relationship is established regardless of whether you are listed by the company as a contractor or otherwise. These standard criteria evolved out of a volume of related cases in which similar determinations were made by the courts.
Based on Texas case law, an employer-employee relationship may be proven if:
The contract states the worker is an employee
The worker is working exclusively for that company
The employer provides the tools or materials the worker uses to complete the work
The employer manages the worker at various points throughout the project
The amount of time the employer is expected to continue working for the employee is not specified
If the worker is paid by the hour¸rather than by the project
The borrowing employer can hire or fire the employee
The borrowing employer requested to use a specific employee
The borrowing employer provides the tools and materials necessary for the worker to complete his or her job
The lending employer cannot interchange the borrowed employee with any other worker
The borrowed worker is used to fill a position that almost anyone could fill
The borrowing employer pays the worker’s taxes and social security
These very technical details along with your employer’s status as a subscriber are critical in determining what benefits you are eligible to receive and whether you have been receiving them fairly.
To ensure that you are not cheated out of the economic relief and potential damages you deserve, make sure that you absolutely DO NOT accept any offer of payment from the construction company. DO NOT sign any documents without having them reviewed by an attorney. DO NOT make or write out any statements detailing the incident.
Our Law Office has been handling construction accident injury cases in and around Texas for more than 20 years, and we are here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities so that you can get the best legal remedy you deserve.
If you think that you may be ineligible to recover benefits because you were a contractor, our construction law experts can review the criteria of your employment with the construction company and determine if you are actually still eligible for legal treatment as a general employee by meeting the credentials established in Texas state law.
Why Should I Choose Your Law Office to Help me With my Case?
We have been helping injured parties with both subscriber and non-subscriber cases all over the state of Texas for more than 20 years.
Our experienced lawyers can efficiently determine which kind of case you have and what potentially liable parties you should pursue to get the best possible outcome.
We have won cases against almost every major insurance provider in the United States and have a proven track record that encourages many defendants to make generous out of court settlements, which saves you time and money.
Our dedicated attorneys care about you and will do everything possible to get you through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.
We will fight to ensure you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet and help ensure that the punitive remedies in your case encourage the construction company to be less negligent and understand that safeguarding their employees is of the utmost importance if they wish to remain in business.
Call us today for a free consultation.
There are 125,000 cranes being used in America right now. We use them for transporting heavy objects and supplies to that we can have our skyscrapers, stadiums, and churches. Any complication that may arise will make operating the crane dangerous for its driver, the co-workers at the site, and any bystanders below the crane.
People can be easily killed if the crane loses its payload or if the line snaps. Buildings can be crushed if a crane falls or hits other structures. An operator can be electrocuted if a crane strikes a power line. That accident can be easily avoidable if the employer purchased a non-conductive hook and had it installed onto the crane. But, here are some other types of crane injuries and deaths that are unavoidable: Electrical shock, dismemberment, burns, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain trauma.
Who was responsible if you have become a crane accident victim? There are numerous parties that are responsible. If your employer failed to provide a safe working environment to you, under a workers’ compensation claim, they will be held accountable. What if another party’s negligence caused the accident? A property owner may have had equipment that would have blocked the path of the crane, causing the accident. If negligence was the cause of the accident, you can file a lawsuit. The crane accident attorneys of our Law Office have been litigating lawsuit claims for twenty years. We can help you with your case.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have the following guidelines on the use of cranes on construction sites:
Regarding the operation of the crane, employers have to obey all manufacturer limitations and instructions.
Instructions about the crane’s load capacity and safety warnings must be visible to the crane operator.
The crane has been inspected by a safety inspector prior to operation. If there is anything broken or defective, it must be replaced immediately.
The employer’s responsibility is ensuring the crane is placed away from overhead power lines. If a crane must be operated near a power line, the employer must ensure the power line is shut down.
If an employer fails to comply with OSHA rules and guidelines on the use of cranes resulting in your injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit. However, depending on whether or not your employer has purchased a workman’s compensation will depend on the amount of compensation that you could demand. A Texas employer who buys workers’ comp is called a subscriber. A Texas employer who doesn’t buy workers’ comp is called a non-subscriber.
The state of Texas doesn’t require all employers to have worker’s compensation. But having workers’ comp is very expensive, so a lot of employers chose to turn it down. If an employee does get injured, an employer is willing to lie about having workers’ compensation in order to avoid a lawsuit. You can’t believe what an employer tells you. You need an experienced crane accident attorney in order to find out what the truth really is.
The real reason employers buy workmen’s compensation is because they are looking for protection from lawsuits. If you’ve been injured on the job or a loved one’s been killed on the job, you can’t sue your employer. The only way to sue a subscriber employer would be if the employee committed gross negligence. But it does not mean that this will end there. The insurance provider will be more than happy to provide for the injured and or family members of the deceased. They’ll pay for the medical bills and lost wages without a hassle. They’ll do all of that because they’re here to help their business. It only looks as though they’re helping you.
Every year, they’ve denied claims to countless employees. Insurance companies of non-subscriber employees will do anything to avoid providing compensation to injured employees. Workers’ compensation is needed in order to decrease lawsuits for injuries or accidental deaths in the workplace, but sometimes a lawsuit is the only way to get justice. It’s important that you have an experienced crane accident attorney on your side to take on the insurance companies.
The insurance companies will have a team of attorneys on their side. They’ll either try to convince you or force you into taking a poor settlement offer that couldn’t be enough to get you back on your feet. The attorneys at our Law Office will not only access your damages, we’ll determine if the insurance company is not being honest.
There are ways in which a victim can seek compensation from their subscriber employer or any third party:
If the gross negligence of the employer led to the death of your loved one, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Someone else’s negligence, besides the employer, may have led to your injury suffered in a crane accident.
The property owner didn’t provide safe working conditions.
Manufacturers may be liable for malfunctioning machinery.
The operator may not have operated the crane properly.
Another contractor or employee could have negligently caused the injury. In this case, you can sue the responsible party.
It takes experience to identify all parties responsible and make them accountable for the injuries they have inflicted. If a worker suffers an injury due to the negligence of a subscriber employer and a negligent third party, the injured worker may seek compensation for both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit.
Employers avoid buying workers’ compensation insurance because, in the construction business, insurance costs can be expensive. These employers are called non-subscribers. And when taking on a non-subscriber, you will need an attorney that will ensure that you get adequate compensation.
The Texas Government implemented workers’ compensation laws so that subscribers could be protected from lawsuits. Since you’re pursuing a lawsuit against a non-subscriber, you can look forward to greater compensation for your injuries or damages. You only need to prove standard negligence.
In a non-subscriber case, the law can be very complex. You would need an experienced crane accident attorney that can help you through this process.
The plaintiff will file a claim against the defendant that will inform them of the injury and the amount of compensation needed for damages. The easy way would be for the defendant to pay or negotiate with the plaintiff about the settlement. However, the defendant will contest the settlement and the parties will go to court. The plaintiff will have the burden of proving that the defendant was responsible for the injury leading up to medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Luckily, the plaintiff has to establish standard proof of negligence.
At this point, the non-subscriber employers will use some clever maneuvering to avoid paying you anything in court. Here are some examples:
A defense that the employer will use to their advantage is called sole proximate cause. They will claim that the plaintiff is 100 percent responsible for their own injuries. The defense lawyers are willing to destroy your name and credibility so that you will look like the negligent employee that was responsible for the accident.
The employer avoided paying for workers’ compensation, but they are willing to pay for the best attorneys that money can buy. Dragging an injured victim through the mud is a small price to pay for the employer who doesn’t want to take responsibility. You need an attorney with the expertise and the skills to defend your rights.
Do you know why many construction companies hire their employees as contractors? There is no obligation of safety for contractors. Your employer will deny that an employer-employee relationship exists between you two. How can they pay for your injuries, if there’s no evidence that states that you have been employed by them?
In some cases, the employer knows that an employer-employee relationship exists with the victim and they were able to secure compensation. The law sees you as an employee and you are entitled to compensation for injuries suffered on the job.
You need a crane accident attorney who can establish the employer-employee relationship between parties if they meet the following standards:
Social security and taxes were withheld by the employer
The employer provided equipment on the job
The employer provided a set schedule
You were managed, trained, and inspected by the employer daily
Documents that prove that you had to perform tasks in order to work for the employer: such as taking a drug test
You were hired for an undetermined period of time
You were was being paid on an hourly or salary wage
Our crane accident attorneys have the experience handling on the job injuries. We can help you identify all of the parties responsible for your accident and make them pay for all of the damages.
For twenty years, the lawyers of our Law Office have helped injured construction workers recovered millions in damages. We can handle any crane accident case, including those with many defendants. We know the OSHA regulations and can provide expert witnesses who can testify about the issues of workplace safety and operating heavy machinery. Call us today for a free consultation.