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Corpus Christi Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Drug makers oppose FDA label change intended to protect consumers

Many products that consumers use come equipped with a warning label defining certain risks that may be inherent. People in Corpus Christi may see such labels on their medications, which is typically a Food and Drug Administration mandate that could offer protection against product liability. In a controversial move, the FDA is now potentially changing the way some drugs are labeled.

On an annual basis, Americans order 3.4 billion generic prescription drugs. That accounts for more than 80 percent of such medications in the country. Drug companies are opposing the new labeling method the FDA is pushing because they fear it could leave them exposed to increased litigation that could cost billions of dollars. Opponents say those costs will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher drug prices.

Lawmakers push for reform to prevent truck driver fatigue

Driver fatigue can be an issue for anyone who gets behind the wheel. Many people who live in Corpus Christi are familiar with how a lack of sleep can take a serious toll on their ability to navigate traffic and get to where they need to be safely. For those who drive for a living, such as truckers, delaying a trip to get more rest is not always possible. Fueled by stories of serious accidents, lawmakers are now reconsidering trucker schedules.

Fatal trucking accidents can happen anywhere as 18-wheelers barrel down roads across the country. One widow recalls an incident in which her trucker husband died when another driver fell asleep behind the wheel of his tractor-trailer and caused a head-on collision on a busy highway in South Carolina. In a more recent incident, comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo bus was involved in a fatal accident with a truck in New Jersey. The driver of the truck reportedly had been awake for 24 hours when he slammed into Morgan’s vehicle.

Oilfield accidents prompt OSHA to grow Texas operations

Ask anyone who has lost a loved one in an oilfield, and he or she will say that just one death is one too many. In Texas, workers die every year as a result of being employed in the industry. Oil refinery accidents, workplace explosions and other incidents can cause serious injury and death. There are certain measures that employers and employees can take to reduce their risk. The federal government is now stepping in as well.

According to a consultant with the University of Texas at Arlington, simply inspecting oil fields is an important part of keeping workers safe, even if officials do not find any violations. The consultant, who formerly worked for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, noted that inspections often create awareness, which can be a major deterrent for future workplace injuries.

Mother sues car seat manufacturer after accident kills her son

There are several things most parents know they need to have before a baby is born, such as diapers and bottles. The car seat is often a necessity, as some hospitals may not even allow Corpus Christi couples to leave unless they have the right gear in their vehicle. Parents spend hours ensuring that the seat has been properly installed and a child is appropriately secured. When the seat itself does not work, however, the manufacturer may be held responsible in a product liability suit. Even more importantly, a malfunctioning car seat can have devastating consequences.

A little boy lost his life and his mother is seeking justice from the maker of his car seat. The woman and her son were in a car accident in June 2012 that resulted in the boy passing away. According to a lawsuit she filed in Texas, the woman claims that the car seat itself caused her child’s fatal injuries. She is suing the manufacturer for more than $75,000, stating that the seat’s design elements were flawed and therefore did not protect her child in the collision.

Failing to stop sparks suit against FedEx Freight and its driver

Many companies use trucks to ship products or supplies across the country. There are roads all over Corpus Christi where motorists may regularly see an 18-wheeler hauling a load. The drivers of these large trucks are tasked with an important job, ensuring that the company’s customers receive timely deliveries or that much-needed equipment arrives safely. Even a slight misstep while driving can mean major problems for the driver and the business, especially if an accident causes injury or death.

In November 2012, two women from San Antonio were traveling through Beaumont. When traffic clogged the road, the women’s vehicle came to a stop. A vehicle behind them, however, failed to stop and rear-ended the women’s vehicle, which was pushed into vehicles ahead of it. The vehicle that caused the accident is owned by FedEx Freight, which has been listed as a defendant in a suit the women filed.

Suit: Auto defect caused crashed that killed Paul Walker

Car accidents happen every day. In Corpus Christi and across the state of Texas, weather conditions, distracted drivers and reckless driving may cause serious incidents that leave people injured or even dead. There are also instances in which auto defects may be responsible for the crash. As one recent high-profile accident reminds us, it is important to look at the details surrounding an accident to gain closure and perhaps even justice.

Paul Walker from the “Fast and Furious” movies and Roger Rodas, a race car driver, were killed in November while driving a Porsche. According to the Los Angeles County coroner, the vehicle was driving at more than 100 miles per hour at the time of the incident. However, Rodas’ wife hired an attorney who enlisted investigators to examine the scene. Those reports reveal that the car was moving at just 55 miles per hour when Rodas veered off the road.

Fatal motorcycle crash remains under investigation

As any motorist knows, there are inherent risks you take any time you are behind the wheel. The same thing goes for Corpus Christi residents who prefer a motorcycle to a car or truck. There are a number of guidelines that cyclists as well as drivers must follow in order to prevent motorcycle accidents. These incidents can be particularly devastating, as a biker involved in a collision is more exposed to the elements than someone inside the confines of a car.

A recent incident in Woodlands illustrates the need for anyone on the road to be attentive at all times. A man driving eastbound along a parkway struck a motorcycle as it was making a right-hand turn at an intersection onto the same road. Responders from a local hospital went to the scene. However, the 46-year-old motorcyclist, whom officials have not confirmed was wearing a helmet, died as a result of the incident.

Blast affects 11 Texas oil field workers

While any profession has its share of risks, jobs in the oil industry have become infamous for their exposure to danger. Regardless of the safety measures that Texas companies and employees take, an incident such as a workplace explosion or fire can still occur, causing damage, injury and even worse. An emergency in West Texas is an unpleasant reminder of the dangers associated with working in an oil field.

Texas is dotted with a number of oil companies. In Loving County, which is the least densely populated county in the United States, there are a number of oil fields popping up, some of which are positioned in remote locations. Local law enforcement say they can be hard to reach with limited radio and cell phone service. Such was the case with the site of the area’s first major accident in the last year.

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