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Corpus Christi Personal Injury Law Blog

Who is responsible for a defective product?

The U.S. Courts reports that in 2010, there were more than 64,000 lawsuits regarding product liability in district courts, nearly 600 of which were in Texas. If you or someone you know have suffered an injury as a result of a defective product, holding the responsible parties accountable starts with determining who those responsible parties are, which can actually be a complicated process.

For example, the chain of distribution often includes a manufacturer that built the product, the distributor or wholesaler that acted as a middleman in the process, and the retailer that sold the product. To determine which of these should be named in your suit, consider the following:

Understanding the bicycle laws in Texas

A bicycle is an economical and eco-friendly way to get around Corpus Christi, but drivers who are not familiar with the laws pose a deadly threat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in Texas in 2011, 43 cyclists were killed in car accidents. The agency reports that alcohol impairment was involved in more than 37 percent of all cyclist deaths in 2011. Additionally, the majority of these instances occurred in urban areas and outside of intersections.

The Texas Department of Transportation outlines ways that riders can prevent a bicycle accident, such as the following:

Hit-and-run driver kills Texas pedestrian

If you want a good way to face increased legal penalties and fines follow a car accident, you should drive away. Motorists in Texas who leave the scene of car wrecks are not only ditching responsibility, but they are also putting further strain on the victims who seek answers following the incident. In one recent case, a family mourning their loved one may never know the details of what occurred nor bring the negligent driver to justice.

Law enforcement found a 53-year-old woman lying in a ditch on the side of a road in Commerce, Texas. She was taken to a local hospital by an ambulance, but she passed away due to her injuries. According to the police chief, the department wants to file a murder charge against the driver responsible for the incident. 

Oil field boom increases concerns for accidents

Texas is notoriously a hot spot for the oil industry, especially in the western and southern parts of the state where the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale, respectively, are driving business. At The Edwards Law Firm, we have seen firsthand how the recent boom has taken a toll on our community, namely due to an increase in deaths and serious injury.

For example, the Texas Department of Transportation notes that specifically in the Eagle Ford Shale sector from 2012 to 2013, there was a 7 percent increase in motor vehicle accidents that caused fatalities or serious injury. The Permian Basin saw a 15 percent increase. The state Department of Transportation notes that there has been an influx in traffic, which can often result in more accidents. The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas has now taken the lead as the state with the most annual traffic deaths.

Thousands of patients suffer due to faulty hip implants

Having hip surgery is no easy procedure, as patients usually undergo extensive physical therapy during the recovery process. However, the surgery can be extremely beneficial for people in Texas who have suffered from chronic pain. The quality of the implant is key to a successful surgery. Defective products can result in further health complications, as thousands of people have been unfortunate enough to discover.

Last year, Johnson & Johnson reached a settlement in which it had to pay out $2.5 billion due to an implant manufactured by its subsidiary, DePuy Pinnacle. Now, the companies are again facing lawsuits in a Texas court due to a faulty metal-on-metal implant. Roughly 6,000 people have filed claims regarding the metal-on-metal implants, and the verdicts of a select set of the cases will be used in order to ascertain settlements against Johnson and Johnson.

What are Texas’ laws regarding texting and driving?

There is no Texas law that bans the practice of texting while driving. Only six states in the country lack such a measure. However, the Texas Department of Transportation notes that nearly two dozen cities across the state have enacted distracted driving laws that ban texting behind the wheel. Additionally, there are statewide laws that address the behavior in certain circumstances, such as the following:

  • Drivers who are younger than 18 may not use a mobile device while behind the wheel.

What is my personal injury claim worth?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for putting a dollar amount on your personal injury lawsuit. What is uniform across the board is that when people’s negligence causes you pain or suffering, they should be held financially responsible. In order to determine how much your lawsuit could be worth, it is important to understand the potential damages that may be recovered.

According to the American Bar Association, the majority of damages that are usually awarded are called compensatory damages. This money is intended to make the victims with serious injuries financially whole again, accounting for expenses that directly stem from the incident. In some cases, these are easy to quantify as the compensation will account for items such as medical bills, a loss of income due to an inability to work and any damage to personal property.

Fatal trucking accidents are an unnecessary byproduct of economy

When a story about a tragedy makes national news, there may be a public outcry urging lawmakers or other leaders to put measures in place to prevent a reoccurrence. In Corpus Christi, there are deadly truck accidents that perhaps could be avoided if the right safety precautions had been taken. A recent news report demonstrates, however, that despite a surge in such incidents, there is yet to be much change in policy and practices.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that across the country, more than 100,000 people are injured and nearly 4,000 people lose their lives every year due to truck accidents. On average, a fatal accident occurs 11 times a day. The problem may persist in part because the nation’s economy relies on trucks to transport goods. American Trucking Associations estimates that tonnage will increase by 23.5 percent between 2013 and 2015, which will in turn put an increased demand on the number of drivers.

Ignition interlock devices save lives in Texas

Drunk driving is a real problem in Texas and across the country. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that there were more than 25,000 DWI accidents in the state in 2012, the year for which the most recent data is available. Even more frightening, nearly 1,300 people died as a result of an intoxicated driver, which accounts for 38 percent of all traffic deaths in Texas.

Depending on the severity of the situation as well as if the DUI is the driver’s first offense, there are a number of ways the Texas legal system will punish someone convicted of driving drunk. Typical consequences include fines, imprisonment, mandatory education programs and license suspension or revocation.

Oil-related workplace accident claims Texas man's life

There are a number of components that make the oil industry work. In addition to drilling and refining, there are many people in Corpus Christi and elsewhere who drive equipment across the country, unload it and use it. This leaves the door open to several risks, from oil refinery accidents to other work-related incidents. As several recent deaths illustrate, there are many factors at play that may pose a threat to industry workers.

Recently, there was a pipeline explosion at an oilfield services facility in New Mexico. The accident killed one worker and injured three others. Local law enforcement have launched an investigation into the accident to determine the cause of death. Medical officials report that the man may have died due to exposure to a gas that was released following the explosion.

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The Best Lawyers in America® is a list of the nation's best legal talent. It is widely considered the preeminent guide for the legal profession. Three of The Edwards Law Firm attorneys have been selected for this honor: William (Bill) Edwards (selected each year, 1983 to 2010), William (Billy) Edwards III (selected each year, 2001 to 2010), and John Blaise Gsanger (selected 2009). The Best Lawyers in America® 2010. Copyright 2009 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

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