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 Personal Injury Blog

15 Children are Injured near Dallas, Texas, when the Bus Driver Allegedly Falls Asleep and Crashes

September 24th, 2014
English: Houston,TX.,9/8/2005--Eighth grade st...

English: Houston,TX.,9/8/2005–Eighth grade student, Nikita Anison boards school bus for her first day of school in Texas. She is sheltered at the Reliant center and was and evacuee from Louisianna. FEMA photo/Andrea Booher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every parent’s nightmare occurred on September 2 when a school bus veered off the roadway and crashed onto its side in Waxahachie, Texas, which is near Dallas. According to officials with the Waxahachie Independent School District, 20 children were on the bus, most of them ages 10 or 11. En route to Clift Elementary School near Farm-to-Market Road 879 and Ike Road, the bus crashed at approximately 6:50 a.m. Initially it was reported that the bus driver was distracted by activity in the back of the bus which caused him to avert his eyes from the road. While maneuvering a turn, a rear wheel of the bus went off the road. The driver overcorrected, swerving into the opposite lane; and the bus tipped over as it stopped in a ditch. The ongoing investigation released a report that the crash occurred because the driver was either falling asleep or was sleeping while driving. He has been placed on administrative leave.

Fifteen students were transported to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas following the crash. None suffered life-threatening injuries. The worst injuries were broken bones, bruised kidneys, scrapes, and cuts. Ten-year-old Fernando Rocha spent the night at the hospital with two broken ribs, a bruised kidney, and possibly a bruised liver. His 8-year-old brother received stitches and was sent home; the cuts were caused by broken glass and debris.

Eight of the students were treated at the hospital for abdominal problems as well as head and neck pain, according to media relations spokesperson Randy Sachs with the hospital.

Seven children and the driver were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

In a news release, Dr. Jeremy Glenn, Waxahachie ISD Superintendent, applauded emergency crews for their speed and efficiency in helping the students and families following the bus crash.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper James Colunga pointed out that it was very fortunate no vehicles were in the opposite lane when the bus crossed over. If there had been a second vehicle involved, the outcome would no doubt been far more tragic.

Bus drivers, being responsible for more lives than typical drivers, have a greater weight of responsibility and are held to a higher standard. It is alarming to think of bus drivers falling asleep. Read more about the dangers of driving while sleepy in this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

An 8-year-Old Girl Dies After Falling From an Amusement Park Ride at an Ag Fair

September 17th, 2014

 

An assortment of rides at the Royal Melbourne ...

An assortment of rides at the Royal Melbourne Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is the time of year in Texas when many communities have fairs which include roller coasters and other rides. Statistics show that amusement parks are more popular than ever. But a tragedy last week at an agricultural fair in South Australia serves as a grim reminder that rides are not always safe. The odds are definitely in a rider’s favor, but personal injury accidents do happen.

A study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio found that, in the 1990 to 2010 decade, 92,000 children had been injured in incidents on amusement rides, which is an average of more than 4,000 injuries annually. Much lower estimates for amusement park injuries were reported by the International Association of Amusement Parks (IAAPA), with 1,200 in 2011 – way down from 2,500 in 2001.

In last week’s accident, an 8-year-old girl seemed to slip from the security of the seat’s safety harness on the Air Maxx 360. A witness said the girl was first hanging off of the ride by her legs and then was catapulted through the air. She was taken to a nearby hospital and died a short time later.

Over the summer, a tree branch derailed a Six Flags roller coaster in Los Angeles. Four people were injured, and two were transported to a hospital for precautionary reasons.

Water slides are the common location for injuries at theme parks, and the most serious water park injury occurred at Waterworld USA in California in 1997. The water slide was suddenly crowded by 33 graduating high school seniors, and the slide collapsed under their weight. A 17-year-old died due to a crushed chest, and all of the others were hospitalized. Seventeen of the students accepted their diplomas in wheelchairs on graduation day.

Action Park in New Jersey has a reputation as the most dangerous and deadly amusement park of all time. There are six known deaths at the water park, which was open from 1978 through 1996. The fatalities were due to electrocution, drowning, heart attack, and one person died a violent death when his his face was smashed into rock.

Read more amusement park tragedies in the ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

An Airbag Concern Leads to the Recall of over 40,000 Cars

September 10th, 2014
English: Range Rover Evoque 3-door wagon, prot...

English: Range Rover Evoque 3-door wagon, prototype, photographed at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show, Darling Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last month Jaguar Land Rover announced the automotive recall of over 40,500 Land Rover SUVs. The recall applies to vehicles in the United States, and it involves a defect in passenger side airbags. According to Jaguar, in the event of a crash, the passenger side airbags may not deploy.

The models recalled cover 2010 through 2015 models of the Jaguar Land Rover LR2 as well as the 2012 and 2013 models of the Range Rover Evoque.

The company further said that the front seat passenger air bag could become totally or partially disabled in a crash because of potential failure of the Occupant Classification System (OCS) Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The problem increases the potential that the front seat passenger will be injured in a collision.

About a month before Jaguar’s announcement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), had launched an investigation of Chevrolet Impala vehicles and their possible air bag defects. That investigation was triggered by the report of an elderly man whose side airbags did not deploy, resulting in his death. In that incident, it is believed that the airbag did not deploy because the man had been bouncing around during the crash and the airbags did not register that there was an adult in the seat. The airbags are designed not to deploy when children are in the front seat. Basically, the man’s death was caused by incorrect readings from the side air bag’s weight sensor.

Owners of the Jaguar’s being recalled were notified beginning late last month.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

Recent Studies Show that Nursing Home Residents are Increasingly Over-Medicated

September 3rd, 2014
English: Bretby Nursing Home - Bretby park Win...

English: Bretby Nursing Home – Bretby park Wing of Bretby Nursing Home, behind Bretby Hall. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In news out of Austin, Texas, last month, an investigation revealed that nursing home residents in the Lone Star State have been harmed by medication errors on an increasing basis. Another recent study revealed that antipsychotic drugs are being over-prescribed in Texas state nursing homes. One woman whose father is in a state nursing home noticed that his behavior had changed. A few months later she discovered that her father was not being properly medicated, which was more than a mere pharmacy error.

After the woman filed complaints about the medication errors, it was revealed that in 2011, nursing homes in Texas were cited by state investigators 1,060 times for medication errors. The number of violations increased to over 1,260 just two years later. In one investigation, it was revealed that there has been more than a 78% increase in the number of unnecessary drugs being prescribed in nursing homes.

Such evidence abounds. A study on nursing home care across the U.S. was conducted by AARP this year. The study revealed that Texas is tied with Louisiana for improperly administering the most antipsychotic drugs for residents with no mental illness. Amanda Frederiksen of AARP in Austin expressed her belief that inadequate staffing leads to the practice of overmedicating residents because it makes them calmer and easier to handle.

Various actions are being taken to address these problems which can justifiably lead to lawsuits. As one example, the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) is initiating a program to provide better training on administration of medication, particularly antipsychotic drugs, for nursing home staff.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

 

Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney for Trip and Fall Injury – SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls – Part 4

August 27th, 2014
English: This is a hallway on the first floor.

English: This is a hallway on the first floor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cluttered Walkways

Any type of obstruction in a walkway can cause slips, trips, and falls. An important step in preventing these types of injuries is to ensure that walkways, such as hallways, are free of equipment and/or debris. Never, for instance, stack materials or other types of clutter in a passageway. Proper housekeeping is the best control measure for preventing these types of injuries. Procedures and policies for keeping walkways clean should be in place, particularly when waste or scrap material are by-products of the work operation. To the maximum extent possible, keep corridors, walkways, and aisles clear, clean, and well-maintained. Clutter in walkways is not only a tripping hazard but it also provides a fuel source, if there is a fire.

Control measures that can help to prevent hazards caused by cluttered walkways follow:

  • Make it a priority to put good housekeeping procedures in place. All work spaces, storerooms, service areas, and passageways should be clean and uncluttered.
  • Keep walkways free of electrical cords, since they are tripping hazards.
  • If stringing cords across walkways is unavoidable, tape the wires down.
  • Allow appropriate clearance for equipment to be maneuvered, when mechanical handling devices are in use.
  • Communicate with personnel to encourage safe work practices, such as picking up loose items from the floor and closing file drawers after use.
  • Provide direction to personnel about where they should leave boxes, briefcases, and other items they may be carrying.
  • Be consistently vigilant about performing inspections related to the presence of slip, trip, and fall hazards in the workplace.

See Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four-part series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls – Part 3

August 20th, 2014
Indirect direct lighting 2

Indirect direct lighting 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inadequate Lighting

Employers have a responsibility to provide safe working environments. Lighting is an important consideration in any workplace, and part of the reason is to prevent slips, trips, and falls. The following are guidelines for providing and maintaining proper lighting:

  • All work areas should be well lit and uncluttered.
  • Walkways should be kept clear of obstructions, particularly when the lighting is poor.
  • Light switches should be accessible, and there should be a handy place where workers know they can find a flashlight.
  • If cords or fixtures malfunction, they should be repaired immediately, to prevent a slip, trip, and fall accident in a dark room.
  • Blown fuses, sparks, and flickering lights should never be ignored; a qualified electrician should check the wiring as soon as possible.
  • Staircases, hallways, basements, and walkways all need to be properly illuminated, to avoid accidents.

Studies show that workplace accidents increase as a result of poor lighting. When employees move from a bright to a dark area, the delay in eye adaption can easily result in a slip, trip, and fall injury. Consistent lighting needs to be maintained. More information about lighting and procedures to ensure safety follow:

  • When a room is dark, the light should be turned on before entering, even if staying for only a few moments.
  • A good way to improve safety and save energy costs at the same time is to install motion-sensitive lights.
  • When lighting is dim, people should deliberately move slowly and carefully.
  • Items should be stored a safe distance from operational light bulbs. If a bulb is left on, paper or towels that are too close can catch fire.
  • Office workers should not face sources of glare, such as unshielded lamps or uncovered windows.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this ongoing series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas slip, trip, and fall injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Trip and Fall / Slip and Fall Injury Attorney

August 20th, 2014
Chevron Renaissance Shopping Mall & Apartment ...

Chevron Renaissance Shopping Mall & Apartment Complex in the Gold Coast Highway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trip and fall injuries can be significant.  Our Dallas law firm has represented people who have suffered various types of fractures, and had to undergo surgery, as a result of tripping and falling over various obstacles and/or due to certain conditions.  It is important for someone who is injured in Texas as a result of a trip and fall, or a slip and fall, to obtain legal advice from an attorney with knowledge of premises liability law.

This blog post gives a general synopsis of some issues related to premises liability law, but it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer.  A property owner and/or possessor owes various duties to people entering the property based on the legal status of such people.  There are three primary statuses referenced in Texas law for real property-related damages: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.

Generally, an invitee is a person who enters a store, apartment complex, and/or shopping center with the property possessor’s express or implied knowledge and for the parties’ mutual benefit.  Such persons are business patrons and can include people entering restaurants, hotels, banks, and theaters.  Club members, apartment tenants, apartment tenants’ guests, meter readers, mail carriers, newspaper-delivery people, refuse collectors, public safety inspectors, and public safety officers can be invitees.

A licensee is a person who enters property with the property possessor’s express or implied permission, but the entry is usually only for the licensee’s convenience.  Licensees can include social guests, door-to-door sales people, and people soliciting money for charity.

Finally, a trespasser is a person who enters property without lawful right or the consent of the possessor, but instead for the trespasser’s own purposes or curiosity.  Land owners and possessors owe the highest duties to invitees, and the lowest duties to trespassers.

A person who is an invitee, whether at a store, shopping center, apartment complex, or otherwise, must generally show that there was a condition on the premises that posed an unreasonable risk of harm, and that the owner or possessor of the property knew or reasonably should have known of the danger.  The invitee must also prove that the owner and/or possessor breached its duty of ordinary care by failing to adequately warn the injured person of the condition (if a warning would have been adequate) and that the owner and/or possessor of the premises failed to make the condition reasonably safe.  Finally, and perhaps obviously, an injured person must prove that the landowner’s or possessor’s breach of its duty proximately caused the injuries.  A licensee and trespasser must typically prove more than an invitee to succeed on an injury claim.  This blog post does not cover negligent activities occurring on real property, but claims for such activities also exist.

There are numerous property conditions which could lead to a trip and fall and slip and fall and for which the law provides that the property owner and/or possessor bears responsibility to the injured person.  Some such conditions are:

  • uneven sidewalks, walkways, or parking lots;
  • objects extending above concrete walkways (such as cleanouts, rebar, and stones);
  • holes and pits; and
  • slick surfaces for which no warning and/or an inadequate warning is provided.

If you have been injured anywhere in Texas as a result of the condition of property, feel free to contact our firm at (214) 670-9989 or (866) 670-9989 (or by completing the contact form at this website).

Dallas Lawyer for Trip & Fall – SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls – Part 2

August 13th, 2014
English: access area parking lot in the rain. ...

English: access area parking lot in the rain. It employs an unusual style of pavement marking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slippery or Wet Surfaces A significant number of slip, trip, and fall injuries occur as a result of slippery or wet surfaces. The surfaces most frequently involved with fall hazards are:

  • Parking lots
  • Sidewalks or the lack of sidewalks
  • Shower stalls in residential dorms
  • Food preparation areas
  • Floors in general

Outdoor surfaces that have adequate traction in dry conditions can quickly become too slippery when subjected to environmental factors such as rain and sleet. Indoor surfaces become hazardous when pedestrian traffic tracks in moisture. Some of the administrative controls which should be implemented outdoors in order to reduce slip, trip, and fall accidents include:

  • Put control measures in place to treat icy surfaces with sand and to remove snow as quickly as possible. Give additional attention to sloped surfaces, perhaps temporarily suspending their use.
  • Wherever possible, use anti-skid paint or adhesive stripping material.

The type of flooring used indoors is directly linked to the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls. Marble and ceramic tile floors with high polish, for instance, are extremely slippery, wet or dry. The following are control measures to help prevent injuries caused by wet surfaces indoors:

  • Use “wet floor” signs, as appropriate. Once a hazard is removed, the sign should be removed so that the signs don’t become overly commonplace and lose their usefulness.
  • When outside conditions are wet, place moisture-absorbent mats at each entrance. Be careful that the mats don’t cause tripping hazards.
  • A cost-effective way to prevent slips and trips is to generously apply anti-skid adhesive tape to the floors.
  • Plan for speedy action to be taken when a food spill or liquid spill is reported.
  • In areas where wet processes are used, mats, false floors, and adequate drainage should be maintained.
  • In bathing facilities and where food preparation occurs, proper mats or area rugs should be used.

See Part 1 of this ongoing series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls. Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989. –Guest Contributor

Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney: SORM Addresses Risks Involved with Slips, Trips, and Falls

August 6th, 2014
A portable plastic sign warning of a wet floor...

A portable plastic sign warning of a wet floor that has recently been mopped. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas State Office of Risk Management (SORM) cites the U.S. Department of Labor’s report that the majority of general industry mishaps are slips, trips, and falls. Accidental fatalities in this category are second only to automobile accidents. SORM has conducted detailed studies and in-depth investigations on how to prevent or at least significantly reduce the number of on-the-job slips, trips, and falls as well as the seriousness of related injuries. Any company that doesn’t take steps to avoid such accidents is open to personal injury lawsuits.

Good Housekeeping

Safety and housekeeping are undeniably linked, particularly when considering the potential for slips, trips, and falls. When housekeeping habits are inadequate, the natural result is an increased potential for injuries, which lead to higher insurance costs and citations from regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). On the other hand, when facilities are obviously clean and in order, the overall safety program is assumed to be effective. Employee morale is even affected by worksites that are hazardous, dirty, and managed poorly because disorderly work environments have a negative impact.

Good housekeeping is an ongoing routine in which work areas are kept clean. It is not unusual for an employee, for example, to trip on his or her own tool or piece of equipment that he or she neglected to put away.

Where housekeeping is involved, safety is a responsibility shared by everyone. For best results, responsibilities should be assigned and plans for keeping everything in order should be made.

See this ongoing series for more information about prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Have you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?   If you or anyone you know needs legal assistance related to a personal injury which occurred in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Plano, Mesquite, Irving, De Soto, Grapevine, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Arlington, The Colony, Allen, Lancaster, or anywhere in Texas, contact Texas personal injury lawyer Dean Malone at (214) 670-9989.

–Guest Contributor

One Woman is Killed in a Crash and the other Driver Accused of Drunk Driving in Balch Springs, TX

July 30th, 2014
Accident on an Icy Road

(Photo credit: born1945)

On Sunday night, July 20, 30-year-old Juliana Reynosa suffered fatal injuries in a car crash in Balch Springs, Texas. According to police, as she was traveling just north of Highway 175 on the LBJ Freeway, Reynosa’s truck was cut off by a car driven by an alleged drunk driver. Reynosa lost control of the truck; it went into a spin before crashing and rolling. There were five people in the vehicle with her, and they all sustained minor injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital. Passengers included a toddler and two infants. The driver of the car that allegedly caused the accident was not injured in the crash but failed a sobriety test and was arrested. She has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), every 20 minutes, someone in the state is killed or injured in an alcohol-related automobile collision. The following is more information about drunk driving:

  • The ability of your body to handle alcohol is determined by factors such as your body weight, gender, amount of food in your system, and how much alcohol you’ve consumed. It’s possible to be intoxicated by drinking just two or three beers in a one-hour period. Compared to others, smaller people, younger people, and women usually become impaired with less alcohol consumption.
  • If driving while intoxicated with passengers who are 14 years old and younger, you could be charged with child endangerment.
  • Legal intoxication is “defined” as having a minimum blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08.
  • If you have an open alcohol container in the vehicle, whether passenger or driver, you could be fined up to $500.

–Guest Contributor

 

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