Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz

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San Antonio Personal Injury Blog

Seeking justice through a wrongful death claim

The loss of a loved one is difficult even when his or her death is expected, such as after a long illness. However, when tragedy strikes suddenly, a family may experience a flood of emotions, including rage, confusion and grief. The sudden death of a loved one in an accident may be even more difficult to bear if the accident resulted from the negligence or reckless actions of another.

If you have suffered such a loss, whether of a spouse, child or parent, you may wonder about your options. While it is impossible to put a monetary value on your loved one's life, you are undoubtedly facing expenses and financial loss because of the accident. You may have cause to seek a wrongful death claim against the person whose actions resulted in your loved one's death.

Speed continues to be a serious and deadly issue

Texas has a problem on the highways, and it is not traffic jams. In fact, according to a recent report, it is just the opposite. Speed is killing people in record numbers and leaving others with life-altering injuries. About one-third of all crashes involve a driver going too fast. Nevertheless, the problem of speeding is not getting much attention these days.

If you recently suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone who was exceeding the posted limit, you know the devastation speed can cause. Texas has some of the highest speed limits in the country, reaching 85 mph in some stretches of highway. Still, efforts to curb speeding often meet with public backlash, and other safety issues receive far more attention.

Work-related hand injuries can impact the rest of your life

One of the most devastating injuries you can suffer at work is a hand injury. An injury to your hand can change the course of your life, especially if it involves the loss of fingers or more. Some reports show that over 100,000 workers suffer hand injuries each year that result in lost wages. If you work in an oil field, construction or other industries that involve machinery or heavy equipment, you may be especially susceptible to hand injuries.

Your most powerful protections against hand injuries are protective gloves, thorough training and careful attention to the task in front of you. It may take only a split second for a hand injury to occur that can leave you with pain and suffering as well as questions about your future.

Prevent falls in oil fields

When Texas residents work in oil fields, there are many hazards they might face each day. However, some people may be surprised to learn that falls pose as much of a danger as other hazards. 

Over the past decade, falls have caused the deaths of numerous oil field workers. Safety and Health magazine says that between 2005 and 2014, 63 people died after falling. These falls took place when people removed drill pipes from wellbores and also when they were performing rigging duties. Although some people may think that the workers involved in these fatal falls were not wearing fall protection, this is not the case. Many of these workers used fall protection; however, in some situations, the equipment failed or was not adequately secured. One study investigating falls found that people fell from derrick boards in 35 percent of these incidents, while more than half of the workers killed in a fall fell at least 30 feet. Additionally, people in Texas experienced 41 percent of these incidents.

When accident injuries lead to shock

When another vehicle collides with yours, it may be long minutes before Texas emergency responders arrive to render aid. If you are conscious, those minutes can seem like hours, and you may try to keep as still as possible while you assess how badly you are hurt. You may be able to recognize if you have a broken bone or a serious cut, but what happens if you are losing blood rapidly or bleeding internally?

A significant drop in the volume of your blood can be a dangerous and even deadly event. When an injury causes you to lose 15 percent or more of your blood, you may begin to experience the signs of hypovolemic shock.

What do I need to know about carbon monoxide in my home?

When you rent a home in Texas, your landlord is responsible for a number of things, especially those that are related to your safety. For example, he or she should make sure that your home is built to code and the electrical and plumbing systems are in good repair. You should also have working smoke detectors in each room of the house to warn you of a fire. What about carbon monoxide detectors?

The Mayo Clinic warns that carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when too much of this toxic gas builds up in your home. This gas is a natural byproduct when natural gas, propane, wood and charcoal are burned for heating and other purposes. Unlike natural gas, which contains an additive that smells like rotten eggs to warn you of its presence, you can’t smell, taste or see carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide doesn’t present a hazard outdoors or in properly ventilated areas. On the other hand, if you have a block in your ventilation system, the gas can build up in an enclosed space like your bedroom, living room or vehicle, with potentially deadly results.

Texas trucker’s death illustrates dangers of parking on shoulder

When a motorist experiences trouble on the road, sometimes there is no choice but to pull over to the shoulder. Whether passing out snacks to hungry children, waiting for help to arrive after breaking down or changing a flat tire, many Texas drivers assume that the shoulder is a safe place to park on the freeway. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

A fatal crash that occurred in early December highlights this point. As KXII News reported, a truck driver from Mesquite, Texas, had pulled his rig over to the side of Interstate 35 in Oklahoma. Another Texas trucker drove off the road and hit the parked truck. The first truck driver was treated for his injuries and released, but tragically, the second trucker was killed. Authorities did not release any information as to why the first truck had pulled over or why they thought the second driver went off the road.

Distracted driving continues to be a problem on Texas roads

Texas is big state with millions of drivers sharing the road at the same time. It is the responsibility of each person to make safe choices and drive safely, like choosing to put their phones down while driving. Unfortunately, many people are negligent and reckless while behind the wheel, and distracted driving continues to be a major safety issue in the state. 

From texting to using social media to checking emails, there are countless ways that a phone can distract a person while driving. Despite efforts from various groups and authorities, distraction is causing severe and even fatal accidents across the state. Phone use has only increased over the last few years, thereby increasing the rate of distracted drivers along with it.

Long hours can negatively affect your work and personal life

The oil industry makes up a large part of the workforce in Texas. As we at the Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz are aware, oil workers are on the job for long hours – often putting in much more time than the traditional 40-hour week. You may enjoy the overtime pay, but there can be negative consequences to working too much for a long period of time, as well.

According to Healthline, the effects of working long hours can include the following:

  • Disrupting your sleep and causing sleepiness during the day
  • Making you more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety
  • Causing neck and back pain or repetitive motion disorders
  • Raising your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes or cancer
  • Putting strain on your personal relationships

Do voice activated devices decrease the risk of car crashes?

You may know the dangers of driving while using your hand-held or hands-free cellphone. As a way to reduce the amount of distraction caused by using these devices, you may have tried using voice-activated technology. Car manufacturers designed this technology as a way to allow drivers to perform certain tasks, all while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel. A study released by AAA found, however, than even voice-activated technology can cause significant amounts of distraction. The levels of cognitive distraction varied across different vehicle systems, as well as the difficulty of the task being performed.

Drivers participating in the study were asked to perform a set of tasks while behind the wheel. These included the following:

  •          Use voice commands to dial a contact, change a CD and change the radio station
  •          Listen to text messages and email using a synthetic, computerized voice
  •          Listen to text messages and email using a natural voice
  •          Use Siri to send text messages, make calendar appointments, update social media status, listen to text messages and

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