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Posted on in Personal Injury
Texas injury lawsuits, New Braunfels personal injury attorney

Due in part to a massive round of tort reform in 2003, the number of lawsuits in The Lone Star State dropped 17 percent between 2005 and 2014.

The decline was even more pronounced in county courts, where most negligence lawsuits are filed. Statewide, county court volume is down 36 percent from 2005. District court volume dipped 11 percent, thanks to increases in suits on account, contract cases, collections actions, and similar business filings.

Specifically in terms of tort cases, while motor vehicle collision actions increased 13 percent in the last ten years, non-motor vehicle tort case filings dropped a stunning 38 percent over the same period. Bryan Blevins, President of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, opined that a higher population accounted for the higher motor vehicle figure, and that “the number of lawsuits that are being filed is not going up at all.” Mr. Blevins reminisced that when he began practicing in 1993, he routinely handled between 80 and 100 cases at a time. Now, an associate’s caseload might be 30 files.

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motorcycle crashesMotorcyclists face their own risks separate from drivers who operate four-wheel vehicles. Due to several factors, including the difference in size and speed between a car and motorcycle, both types of licensed drivers need to be fully aware of each other on the road to prevent accidents from occurring. Motorcycles are less visible to other drivers and pedestrians and are more vulnerable to hazardous weather and road conditions, which may lead to an increase in safety concerns. According to the Insurance Information Institute, when it comes to crashes involving motorcycles, statistics revealed:
  • 4,668 fatalities in 2013;
  • 88,000 injuries in 2013;
  • An accident fatality was 26 times more likely to involve a motorcyclist than a passenger car occupant; and
  • Accident injuries were five times more likely to involve a motorcyclist than a passenger car occupant.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute reported motorcyclists make up 16 percent of all vehicle deaths in Texas. The institute launched its Look Learn Live initiative in 2009 to promote motorcycle safety and awareness in affiliation with the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition. The website is a resource for both motorcycle drivers and other motorists to learn about best practices to employ for on-the-road safety that is beneficial to everyone. People who choose to operate a motorcycle must abide by the same traffic laws and regulations in place to prevent accidents caused by inattentive, fatigued, or drunk driving. Additionally, the state of Texas requires anyone age 20 and under to wear a motorcycle helmet with exemption for riders 21 years of age and older if the motorcycle operator has successfully completed a safety training course and holds proof of a medical insurance policy. Wearing a helmet has been effective in preventing fatalities by approximately 37 percent and has shown 67 percent effectiveness in preventing brain injuries, according to data from Consumer Reports. Motorcyclists hold the same responsibilities of other drivers on the road, but must also exude extra precaution and proven driver maneuverability to ensure sharing the road safely. If you or someone you know have suffered injuries due to an accident involving a motorcycle in Texas, contact an experienced New Braunfels motorcycle accident attorney today for a free case evaluation.

Posted on in Personal Injury
bounce house dangersA frequent sight at carnivals, fairs and children’s birthday parties are colorful bounce houses. The huge inflatable objects are popular with children, but just how dangerous are these items and what liabilities do the people who provide them at these events have when children are hurt? According to national statics, the number of children injured from bounce houses every year is 11,000. The average age of the patient is 7 years old and the most common injuries are sprains or broken bones. Approximately 20 percent of the injuries involve the head or neck. However, the numbers of injuries that are occurring are increasing, as is the seriousness of the injuries. As one child health advocate put it, “If this were a disease, it would be considered an epidemic.” Over the past several months, there have been reports of tragic bounce house accidents in New York and Colorado. In both incidents, the bounce houses were swept up in gust of winds and left the children critically injured. Another bounce house accident occurred in New Hampshire, where again, a bounce house was blown away with children inside of it. The victims in the latest incident were a two year old boy, who has been listed in critical condition from the incident, and a three year old boy who was hospitalized with serious injuries. Since many of these bounce houses are in use at private events or homes, there is little regulation over the use of these devices. Safety advocates recommend that parents use the following guidelines:
  • Do not allow children under the age of 6 years old to play in bounce houses.
  • Ideally, there should only be one child at a time in the bounce house. However, if there is more than one, children should be of similar age and size.
  • Do not allow children to rough-house, wrestle, do flips, etc., or any other dangerous play that could lead to injuries.
  • Always make sure there is at least one adult present when children are in the bounce house.
If your child has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.

Prescription Drug IllnessTwo recent studies have concluded that taking niacin to lower your cholesterol to reduce stroke and heart attack risks may be dangerous. Several past studies have shown niacin, which is vitamin B3, can be effective in lowering “bad” cholesterol while raising a person’s “good” cholesterol. Based on those studies, niacin has become a popular choice of prescribed medicine for patients who have high cholesterol. There are more than 700,000 niacin prescriptions written every month at a cost of $800 million per year. But two recent studies show that not only is there little evidence that niacin actually reduces heart attack and stroke risks, the drug can cause serious side effects in those patients taking the drug.

One study researchers from Oxford University did involved over 25,000 participants from both Europe and China. The niacin showed no significant effect on lowering bad cholesterol. However, it did cause a 32 percent increase of participants who developed diabetes. In their report, researchers wrote, “There were also highly significant excesses of other recognized adverse effects of niacin, including gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and skin-related serious adverse events.” Some of adverse effects included heartburn, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, bleeding and muscle problems. Participants who took niacin also had a higher rate of infection compared to those who did not. There was also a nine percent increase in deaths among those taking niacin compared to those who were not. This percentage amount was referred to as a “borderline statistical significance,” which means it may just be chance those deaths occurred. However, researchers pointed out in their report that number is “of great concern.”

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute in Calgary, Canada conducted a similar study. The 3,414 participants in this study showed the same adverse side-effects as the Oxford University participants. However, there was also a significant increase in the rate of infections and bleeding in that group. Many well-respected cardiologists have spoken out since the release of the studies, urging physicians to stop prescribing the medication. One doctor, Yale University cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz wrote, “The consistency of the results on studies testing multiple types of niacin "leaves little doubt that this drug provides little if any benefits and imposes serious side effects.”

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surgical-errorThree years ago, in July of 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) placed restrictions on the number of shift hours that trainee surgeons (interns) could work. The reason behind the move was because of pressure received from both the government and the public over the amount of preventable medical errors that were occurring because interns were sleep deprived from the long hours they were forced to work. ACGME placed a 16 hour shift limit for first year residents. More senior residents are allowed to work up to 28 hours per shift. This replaced the prior restrictions, which had been in place since 2003, which allowed doctors in training to work up to 80 hours per week. However, although interns may be getting more sleep, there is now concern that they are not getting enough experience because of shorter amount of time they are spending treating patients. According to a new study published in JAMA Surgery, surgeon interns actually participated in surgeries 26 percent less that surgeon interns did four years ago. Researchers analyzed the cases of 52 interns who were working under the new restrictions. They also analyzed cases of 197 interns from the years 2007 through 2010, before the new restrictions were in place. The average number of operations each of the 52 interns participated in was 66. The average number of operations each of the 197 interns participated in was 89. There were also decreases in the number of cases where the interns were assisting more experienced surgeons, as well as the number of major cases where the intern was the lead surgeon. Surgeons in training are required to participate in 750 major cases by the end of their fifth residential year. In a recent presentation at the annual meeting of the American Surgical Association, a professor from the Indiana University School of Medicine expressed the concerns that many in the medical community have with the new restrictions. Dr. Samer Matter, who also researches surgical training, said that 20 percent of fellowship program directors, who administrate surgical residency programs, feel that new surgeons coming out of these programs are not ready to operate. If you have received injuries as a result of a surgical error, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what civil action you may be able to file in order to receive compensation for pain and loss.

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

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
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