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Corpus Christi Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Study: Hands-free devices still dangerous to drivers

Many people are already familiar with the dangers of texting while driving. In Corpus Christi and elsewhere, the behavior can cause death or serious injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that nine people are killed every day in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted behavior. Many states have passed laws banning texting while driving. While some industry leaders encourage drivers to use hands-free devices, a study suggests that those can also be problematic.

The American Automobile Association conducted a study that reviewed the effects of hands-free distracted driving behavior behind the wheel, such as using a voice-based phone system to email someone. The study revealed the following:

Cigarette maker on the hook for billions in product liability

Many people in Corpus Christi purchase products that have an inherent risk, whether it is food, toys or medicine. The manufacturers of those products are responsible for informing consumers about the items and any potential dangers. Giving buyers all the information can mitigate the risk of a product liability lawsuit. Withholding that information can be costly for both the consumer and the manufacturer, as a recent multibillion dollar lawsuit illustrates.

In 2013, the Supreme Court of Florida decided that people who smoke cigarettes or the survivors of deceased smokers can file a lawsuit without the responsibility to prove that manufacturers purposefully hid the hazards associated with using the product. Additionally, plaintiffs do not have to prove that the cigarette makers knew they were selling a dangerous product. The ruling came alongside the state’s highest court throwing out a $145 billion class action lawsuit.

Texas fixes glitch in work safety hotline

People who work in Texas, especially those who work in the oil industry, often face dangers every day. Fortunately, local, state, and federal regulations play a significant role in keeping these workers safe by enabling employees to report potentially unsafe working conditions. Such practices may ultimately prevent some workplace accidents.

For the last 20 years, workers in the state of Texas have been able to report possible work safety violations through a telephone hotline. Depending on the circumstances, the state may decide to follow up with the worker’s employer, and it is against the law for employers to retaliate against any employee who informed the government of a possible safety violation. It is unknown whether other states have similar hotlines for workers.

Texas is just one of five states without distracted driving ban

Personal freedom is a hot-button issue for many people who oppose having too much government regulation. There are some laws, however, that are put in place to help protect people from harm. Currently, Texas is just one of five states that has yet to pass a statewide law regarding distracted driving outside of school zones, though advocates hope to change that.

Gov. Rick Perry felt a 2011 bill imposed too much government involvement on Texans and vetoed the legislation that would have banned texting while behind the wheel. There are several cities that prohibit the behavior, which a spokesman for the state transportation department says causes 20 percent of all traffic accidents. The department has been campaigning to discourage people from using phones while driving, recently asking hundreds of Austin employers to prohibit workers from doing so while on the job.

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