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Texas workers compensationIt is not required by law in Texas for businesses to have workers compensation insurance. However, when an employer does carry this insurance in Texas, then their employees are protected in case of accidental injury or death at work. In most cases, benefits will be awarded regardless of fault, unless the injury was due to roughhousing, inebriation or other circumstances that disqualify an employee from benefits. If the employee and the insurance company cannot agree about a workers compensation claim then that is a dispute. An employee’s entitlement to benefits is just one example of a possible workers compensation dispute. Additional disputes can be about the extent of the injuries, the selection of medical professionals, kinds of treatments and amount of benefits that should be paid. In cases like that it is important to contact your company's insurance company and try to work through the issue with an adjuster. If that does not resolve the dispute then you should contact the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers Compensation (TDI-DWC) to seek a resolution. A worker who decides to take this step is wise to seek legal representation because successfully completing the dispute resolution process outlined below can allow you to settle out of court. The TDI-DWC has a multiple step program in place to solve these complaints. The first stage is the Benefit Review Conference (BRC). This is an informal meeting at a TDI-DWC office between the injured worker and a representative from the insurance company. At the meeting, a discussion will take place about the issues with a Benefit Review Officer. If a compromise can be met, then a written agreement is crafted by the Officer, which can be signed by both parties and becomes legally binding. If a BRC does not resolve the issue, you can try arbitration. A third party arbitrator will be assigned to the case to listen to each side of the disagreement. After each side has a chance to explain, the arbitrator will confirm a settlement that is final and cannot be appealed. If you choose not to try arbitration, another option is to hold a Contested Case Hearing (CCH). A hearing officer settles the parts of the dispute that were not concluded in the BRC in a more formal setting. The difference between a CCH and arbitration is that a decision made by this officer can be appealed. Rather than conducting an additional meeting, each party submits a written statement to start the appeals process. The appeals panel will write a decision, which would consider the hearing officer’s decision as well as the record from the CCH. The only other recourse to resolve the dispute is to take the claim to court. Disputing a workers compensation resolution is an arduous process.  It is important to have legal representation to present your case both in formal meetings and through written communication. If you are having an issue resolving these kinds of issues, then contact an experienced workers compensation attorney in New Braunfels today.
Victim of Medical ErrorA recent study puts the number of people who die each year from medical errors that occur in hospitals at between 210,000 and 440,000. These figures make medical errors the third leading cause of death, with heart disease and cancer being at number one and number two. Although some in the medical field dispute the study’s numbers as too high, three prominent researchers in the patient safety field have concluded that the study’s findings are credible. Medical errors can occur anywhere in the health system, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient surgical centers, clinics, nursing homes, laboratories, pharmacies, and even in a patient’s home. An error can occur because of diagnostic mistakes, during surgery, from medicines, equipment or lab reports. Even a hospital patient given a meal that does not coincide with their diet can cause a serious medical error. There are actions that patients can take to help ensure they do not become victims of medical errors. These tips include: Surgery and Hospital Stays
  1. If you have a choice in which hospital you can have your surgery performed at, research which hospitals in your area have more experience with the type of procedure you are having done.
  2. Wrong-site surgery is too common and is 100 percent preventable. Make sure that all medical personnel are in agreement of what procedure you are having done and the location of the surgery on your person.
  3. Do not hesitate to ask any hospital staff who will be touching you if they have washed their hands, something they should be required to do to stop the spread of infections.
  1. Make sure all doctors you are seeing know all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter and any dietary supplements. In fact, it is best to bring all your medication with you when you go for appointments.
  2. Tell your doctor about any allergies or reactions you have to medications. Make sure this information is included in your medical records.
  3. When you are given a new prescription, make sure you understand and are given easy to read instructions about what the medication is for, what the dosage is and how long do you need to take the medication; the possible side-effects; how will it interact with other medications you take; and what food or activities should be avoided while you are taking the medication.
  4. When you pick up the medication, verify it is the medication your doctor prescribed.
Other Actions
  1. If you are in the hospital, or have more than one serious health condition, there should be one physician who coordinates and oversees all of your medical care.
  2. Do not be afraid to question why a certain test or treatment is necessary. Make sure you know how long the results of test will take and how you will be notified.
  3. Never be afraid to ask questions. It is your right and the doctor’s obligation to answer them.
If you have experienced injury or illness as a victim of medical error, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

nursing home negligence, New Braunfels personal injury lawyer, San Antonio attorneyThe Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a national report on nursing homes. According to the report, almost one third of nursing home patients are injured by treatments they received in nursing homes. The majority of those injuries are avoidable.

The study found that the majority of problems could be contributed to deficiencies in the day-to-day care that the facilities provided. Not providing enough attention to details of the care patients need as well as monitoring the patients’ needs – what one inspector referred to as “substantial medical care.” The agency looked at the medical records of 653 Medicare patients who had been admitted into a nursing home for additional care after having been in the hospital. The average stay at the nursing home facility was 35 days or less. While at the nursing homes, 22 percent of patients suffered what the agency termed “adverse event” and another 11 percent suffered “temporary harm events.” Doctors who reviewed these events determined that 59 percent of these events were “clearly or likely preventable.” According to the report, these physicians deemed the cause of these preventable events to “substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care.” Half of the patients who were injured ended up being admitted back into the hospital for needed treatment. The total cost for treatment of patients who are injured in a nursing home in 2011 was $2.8 billion. Nursing home advocates say that not only are there staffing shortages and issues at many facilities, but lack of training also contributes a great deal to the injuries that elderly patients receive in these events. If one of your family members has been injured because of negligence of nursing home staff, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what civil action you may be entitled to take against the facility.
Father's Day was a holiday during which one Texas family mourned, when a family was torn apart as a result of a fiery car crash caused by George Munoz Jr.  Munoz was speeding through Culebra road when his vehicle collided with the vehicle of Wesley Lindsay, aged 27. The victim's car burst into flames on impact. Lindsay was driving his two sons and wife to a family get together. One son, Travion Lindsay, is currently in a full body cast and under sedation, and he is the sole survivor of the crash. Car accidents are, sadly, a leading cause for personal injury lawsuits. 6.18 BettersworthMunoz was arrested while carrying a gun, which he held onto as he exited his own vehicle. Police officers believe that Munoz may have become distracted while threatening another driver with the gun. A patrol officer had previously identified the driver threatening another person and then leaving the scene of that incident in his vehicle. Police were notified of his description and the disturbance, but Munoz's car took off to reach more than 60 mph in the neighborhood, leaving police little opportunity to apprehend him before they heard the sounds of the accident. Car accidents can change the your life in an instant, as evidenced by what happened to the Lindsay's on Father's Day. If you spot a dangerous driver weaving in and out of traffic, exhibiting the signs of driving under the influence of alcohol, or other reckless behavior, get off the road and contact the authorities. Some families and individuals pay the ultimate sacrifice as a result of dangerous drivers, and others face the lifelong consequences of injuries and emotional trauma from serious car accidents. If you or someone you know has been the victim of an auto collision as a result of someone else's poor driving, you need to speak with a licensed attorney. Contact our office today to discuss your case.

The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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