Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz

Phone: 210-951-2244

toll free: 800-645-8553

San Antonio Personal Injury Blog

Large truck crash fatalities in Texas

Everyone in Texas knows that semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are essential for transporting goods that individuals and businesses need. However, when these big rigs share the road with regular passenger vehicles, they can pose a great danger to others if an when wrecks happen due to their massive weight and size. Statistics that track the number of deaths in these events show that this danger is all too real. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2017 was a particularly deadly year on Texas roads for crashes in which large commercial trucks were involved as 649 people were killed in those events. Last year's deaths were markedly greater than the 558 in 2016 which represented a slight decline from the 567 in 2015. In 2014 and 2013, 553 and 535 people died in these wrecks, respectively.

Oil well operator acknowledges negligence, shifts blame for fire

Texas workers injured in oil field accidents, as well as their families, have the right to seek damages from the liable party. However, sometimes it falls to the court to determine who is liable for the accident. Such is the case in a lawsuit against the operator of an oil field near Quinton, Oklahoma regarding a fire that killed five men in January. While acknowledging that negligence contributed to the fire and the deaths that resulted from it, the operator claims that the fault lies with the subcontractors in charge of the site's operations. 

Five men, ages 26 to 60, lost their lives in the fire that broke out on January 22nd, one of the worst oil field accidents in U.S. history. Both sides acknowledge that insufficient safety measures in place at the drill site caused the fire. At issue is the consistency of the drilling mud, a thick fluid used to prevent blowouts by controlling pressure inside the well and cooling the drill bit. The lawsuit alleges that, in an attempt to misrepresent the productivity of the well to potential investors, as well as to save money, the operator ordered its contractors to use drilling mud that was too light and thin.

A tibial fracture can mean a long recovery

Perhaps you had a clumsy childhood and ended up with your arm in a cast. Maybe you played sports in high school and suffered your share of breaks and sprains. The pain and frustration of those injuries may not compare to what you are suffering following the workplace or motor vehicle accident that left you with a tibial fracture.

Your tibia is the bone that connects the knee and the ankle. This large bone supports most of your body weight. You may call it your shinbone. A fracture of your tibial shaft, which is the center section of the bone, can be significant for many reasons.

What dangers do you face driving through road construction?

Though it is difficult to avoid road construction when making your way across Texas by car, you may want to work harder to find alternative routes, given just how often work zones are a factor in car crashes. Furthermore, the number of car crashes where work zones are a factor is on the rise across the nation, with many construction zone crashes leading to serious injuries and fatalities.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that, while the number of crashes that happened in the nation’s work zones rose nearly 8 percent between 2014 and 2015, the number jumped 42 percent between 2013 and 2015. A total of 96,626 crashes took place in road construction zones in 2015, alone, with 12 fatal work zone crashes occurring across the nation every week.

Hydrofracking and exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust

Its workers have always known that working in the oil and gas industry comes with numerous potential dangers. Explosions, falls and other injuries already draw the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and its Texas counterpart, and that was when it was just about oil drilling and laying natural gas pipelines.

Now that hydrofracking has spread to many states, these agencies and others began taking a closer look at the risks to workers like you when working with this process of extracting natural gas and oil from places it didn't use to be reachable. Of course, those efforts may be too late for you or some of your co-workers since the process has been used here in Texas since around 1999 at the Barnett shale.

How common is substance abuse among truckers?

Driving in Texas is an inherently risky activity, but sharing the road with other drivers who have been abusing drugs or alcohol can make it even more of a dangerous act. When those drivers who have been abusing substances are also sitting behind the wheel of a massive semi-truck, the repercussions can prove downright deadly.

According to the American Addiction Centers, today’s commercial truck drivers are abusing drugs and alcohol on the job at alarming rates. While it is no secret that abusing substances before getting behind the wheel can have a significant impact on driving ability, many long-haul truck drivers do exactly that, whether to fight boredom, attempt to cover more miles or what have you.

What is a whiplash injury?

If you hurt your neck or back in a Texas car crash, particular one in which another vehicle rear-ends yours, you likely will receive a whiplash injury. As Spine-Health.com explains, a whiplash injury occurs when the crash impact causes your head and neck to jerk back and forth, thereby injuring their tissues and nerves.

Even though most whiplash injuries, called cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome (CAD) resolve on their own within three months’ time, many result in long-lasting or even lifetime discomfort, including the following:

  • Neck pain, often severe
  • Neck stiffness, often substantial
  • Reduced head and neck range of motion
  • Shoulder and/or upper back pain
  • Persistent headaches, often severe
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness in your shoulders or arms

Keep your kids safe from traffic this Halloween

At the Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz, we want your children to have a fun night while trick-or-treating. You and your kids should be aware of the common traffic hazards on Halloween night in Texas.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for injuries and fatalities involving pedestrians. The AAA Exchange offers the following tips for you and your children to review before you go out with the other spooks:

  • Put reflective tape on costumes and/or carry a flashlight when trick-or-treating after dark.
  • Always stop, look and listen for approaching vehicles before crossing the street.
  • Have a responsible adult or older child walk with children younger than 12.
  • Review the rules and expectations for safety when walking near traffic.

Oil and gas extraction among the most dangerous work

It is probably no surprise to you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention places the oil and gas industry among the most dangerous in the country. Your work on a Texas oilfield or in other capacities has likely exposed you to risks and hazards you never imagined. Perhaps you have suffered the grief of losing friends and co-workers to deadly accidents.

The American Petroleum Institute, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other agencies work to provide the safest possible environment for employees, despite the inherent dangers of the work. Nevertheless, the rate of fatal accidents in the oil and gas industry is seven times higher than any other job in the country.

Eating while driving: is it dangerous?

We are a society on the go. Frequently, many Texas drivers grab a bagel, a doughnut or a cup of coffee to eat or drink as they drive their vehicles through San Antonio's busy thoroughfares. But as drive-safely.net points out, you might be dramatically increasing your chances of getting into a vehicular collision and do not even know it. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that you increase your odds of getting into a car crash by 80 percent if you eat on the road.

If it seems odd that eating while driving can be dangerous, remember that texting while driving can contribute to automobile collisions for the same reason. Both eating and texting while driving divide your attention from the road. Without full concentration on your driving, you are more likely to neglect a crucial driving decision until it is too late. The end result could total your vehicle and inflict a catastrophic injury on you and other parties involved.

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