Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz

Phone: 210-225-4878

toll free: 800-645-8553

San Antonio Personal Injury Blog

Looks over functionality may have contributed to bridge collapse

You may assume that the structures and roadways you encounter every day are safe, since they were planned and built by professionals. However, at the Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz, we realize that developers and construction workers are human, too, and they can make mistakes. It is a sad fact of life that many people in Texas and elsewhere can be harmed by faulty construction if they happen to be in the right place at the right time.

You may remember the incident involving the pedestrian bridge project in Miami, Florida, in which a portion of the bridge collapsed and landed on the vehicles that were parked beneath the project at a red light. As the Miami Herald explained, the cars were crushed by the 950-ton section of concrete and steel. Five people in the cars and one construction worker were killed.

Were you in an accident with a drunk driver?

You may worry about safely reaching your destination when navigating Texas highways, and for good reason too, as such roads are often highly dangerous places. Heavy traffic and reckless drivers are a bad mix, placing themselves, you and any other motorist or pedestrian in the area at risk for injury. Some of the biggest menaces on the roads in this state and throughout the nation are intoxicated drivers.  

State laws are quite clear regarding consumption of alcohol and operation of motor vehicles. While you may make responsible choices concerning drinking and driving, there's little to nothing you can do about another motorist's actions. This is why it's important to be able to recognize the signs of drunk driving and also to know where to seek support if a drunk driver causes you injury.  

What is mercury poisoning?

When you work on an oil field in Texas, you can easily encounter many hazardous substances, such as mercury. If you are exposed to this material for too long, you may realize that you have incurred mercury poisoning.

You may experience mercury poisoning if this substance is part of your work environment. According to Medical News Today, air can be toxic when mercury is a byproduct of oil production. While you may think that any exposure to mercury is enough to cause poisoning, this is not necessarily the case. Many people are fine if they are exposed to a small amount of this material. If you are regularly around large amounts of mercury, it is more likely that you might experience poisoning.

Which types of back injuries cause paralysis

Texans who sustain a back injury in an auto, sports or other accident may injure their spine so severely that they must spend the remainder of their lives in a wheelchair. Such was the case with noted Superman actor Christopher Reeve who became paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a riding accident.

The Reeve Foundation, started by Christopher and his wife Dana after his accident, estimates that more than 1.2 million Americans live with spinal cord paralysis today. The statistics break down as follows:

  • Males represent nearly 80 percent of spinal cord injury victims.
  • Children and young adults sustain the vast majority of SCIs.
  • Motor vehicle accidents, sports-related injuries, falls and acts of violence represent the major causes of SCIs, whether or not they result in paralysis.
  • Cervical SCIs account for over 50 percent of paralytic injuries.
  • Thoracic SCIs account for approximately 33 percent of paralytic injuries.
  • Lumbar SCIs account for the majority of other paralytic injuries.

The dangers of jackknifing trucks

At the Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz in Texas, we know how irritated you often feel when stuck behind an 18-wheeler on our roads and freeways. Your irritation can quickly turn into fear, however, if one of these behemoths jackknifes right in front of you. This could result in you and your passengers receiving serious injuries if you cannot stop in time and therefore crash into it.

Evans Transportation explains that a jackknife occurs when the truck’s driver loses control over it because the trailer begins folding into the cab, much like the way a pocket knife’s blade disappears into its handle when it closes. In the case of a tractor-trailer, however, the trailer has nowhere to go other than to crash into the cab. A jackknife can happen in a matter of seconds, giving its driver – and you – very little time to compensate and take evasive action.

Paralysis at T6 or higher and autonomic dysreflexia

Whether you suffered a spinal cord injury in a work-related accident or a motor vehicle accident, you may face an uncertain future. Doctors may have told you that your paralysis is permanent.

As you deal with that prognosis, your doctors may also tell you that you need to watch for other secondary conditions that could threaten your life. You may be aware of the potential for bedsores, deep vein thrombosis and pain, but another condition requires immediate medical attention, and some doctors may not even know about it.

Focus on drowsy driving awareness

As any driver knows, there are many ways to get into motor vehicle accidents, making car crashes one of the biggest hazards facing people today. Whether the risk is getting hurt by a drunk driver, someone texting and driving, an aggressive driver or a person who loses control and engages in road rage, drivers have a lot to watch out for. Drowsy driving is another concern for residents of Texas and elsewhere.

The National Safety Council sets aside the month of June for public awareness on various safety topics, with a different focus each week. The fourth week in June focuses on driving safety. Most drivers are aware they should not look at a mobile device while behind the wheel, even if they do so anyway. Most also know they should not drive while intoxicated and to obey traffic rules and be courteous to others. Drowsy driving also poses a significant risk, but many drivers are unaware of the scope of this risk.

Cognitive distraction and cellphone use causes accidents

Cognitive distraction is just one type of distraction drivers can experience while behind the wheel. When motorists are engaged in two tasks simultaneously, their brain bounces back and forth between the two activities. According to the National Safety Council, this leaves moments in time where the motorist is not concentrating on the road at all. During these moments, a driver’s ability to respond to objects in the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, bad weather conditions and other drivers is compromised. This can lead to serious accidents, death and injuries.

Although hand-held cellphones are not banned for drivers in Texas, they are banned in many states across the state. Drivers may turn to using hands-free cellphones as a result. However, a study published by AAA found that talking on a hands-free cellphone may not be much safer than talking on a hand-held device. Researchers looked at how drivers respond to cognitive distraction as they are engaged in other activities while behind the wheel. Drivers were asked to perform a number of tasks, including talking with a passenger, talking on a hand-held cellphone, talking on a hands-free cellphone, using a voice-activated device, listening to a book-on-tape and listening to the radio. Drivers’ blood pressure, heart rate, brain activity and response time were measured.

Deadly underride accidents can be prevented

Sharing the road with tractor-trailers and big rigs is intimidating, to say the least. You probably don't need to hear reports of fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in Texas to appreciate the damage that can occur in a collision with one. While you may be most familiar with crashes related to the cab of a truck, many deadly accidents involve the truck's trailer.

Among the most deadly and horrific types of accidents are underrides. These occur when a smaller vehicle strikes the side or back of a truck's trailer and continues under the vehicle. These accidents are almost always fatal unless the trucking company places safeguards on the sides and backs of their vehicles.

How do you prove wrongful death?

If you recently lost a loved one in Texas as the result of someone’s negligence or misconduct, you may wish to file a wrongful death suit against that person. FindLaw explains that in a wrongful death suit, you sue the person whose negligence or misconduct caused your loved one’s death so as to recover the economic losses brought about when your loved one died.

Wrongful death defendants usually are doctors, other health care professionals, employers, negligent drivers who caused fatal accidents, negligent property owners, or manufacturers and/or distributors of defective products.

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Main Office:
1100 NW Loop 410
Suite 360
San Antonio, TX 78213

Toll Free: 800-645-8553
Phone: 210-225-4878
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