| Read Time: < 1 minute | Premises Liability

What safety signs does a business need?

A business owner has a responsibility to work to keep employees safe and out of harm’s way, and that can often be done with the use of safety signs. These can instruct employees, alert them to dangers and raise general awareness regarding the hazards of the workplace. All of that can cut down on accidents. So, what signs does the company need to have? A few examples include: PPE Signs: These tell workers that they must wear personal protective equipment whenever they go beyond a certain point. Exit Signs: These should contain battery backups so that they still work during a fire, a power failure or any other disaster in which workers will be attempting to find the exits quickly. Flammable Danger Signs: Any time there is a serious fire hazard, workers must be well-aware that it exists and they must know what precautions to take. Forklift and Machine Warning Signs: Workers must be aware that they are working around heavy machinery and vehicles so that they pay attention and avoid accidents. Biohazard Signs: This won’t apply to every company, naturally, but any company that deals with toxic materials must warn workers whenever they may be exposed to them. Slip and Fall Warning Signs: These should be used in areas with wet floors, places where spills are common and on stairways, balconies and catwalks. Falls are one of the main causes of workplace injuries every single year. If you are hurt on the job, and especially if no warning signs were put up, make sure you know all of your rights to workers’ compensation. Source: Emedco, “Top 10 Most Important Workplace Hazard Safety Signs for Any Facility,” Julianne Bass, accessed March 30, 2018

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Premises Liability

How do building owners prevent fire-related injuries?

If you’ve ever talked to the fire department about safety precautions in your own home, they’ve probably told you to make sure that you have multiple working smoke detectors and to have an evacuation plan. Sit down with your family and talk about where you’ll go and what you’ll do if the alarm goes off. This way, in a chaotic situation, people can act on instinct and fall back on the evacuations they’ve practiced. But what about if you’re in a public building or a commercial building, like a hotel? What sort of environment can you expect and what should the owners do to prevent injuries if there is a fire? Loosely speaking, they need to “exercise reasonable care” to make sure no one is hurt. They cannot be negligent and show clear oversights. This goes beyond just having working smoke alarms in every room. In many cases, they should probably have escape routes that are clearly marked and posted in the halls or the rooms themselves. They may also be expected to have sprinkler systems to help combat the fire during the evacuation. These may not save the building, but they can buy time for people to get out while the fire department is on the way. Hotel owners have to account for the fact that they have a large number of people in a relatively small space and that those people are not familiar with the building. When they fail to do so, either by ignoring obvious issues — like missing fire escape signs over doors — or through simple negligence, those who are harmed may have a right to seek financial compensation. Source: FindLaw, “Premises Liability FAQ,” accessed Nov. 8, 2017

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Fatality rates and the real risk on a motorcycle

A motorcycle offers unparalleled freedom. There is something exciting about the open road, the feeling of the wind and the exposure to the landscape that makes you feel like you’re really a part of it — not just passing through it. However, that freedom does not come without risk. Statistics paint a fairly bleak picture, especially when looking at fatality rates. For instance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities went up by 8.3 percent between 2014 and 2015. That was a jump from 4,594 to 4,976 fatalities. When you consider that there are around 8.6 million registered motorcycles in the United States — that statistic applies to both commercial and private vehicles in 2015 — the odds of being killed in an accident are 1 in1,728. Since some registered motorcycles likely never see pavement during any given year, the true odds when looking at the number of bikes on the road could be even higher. To put this in perspective, when comparing the motorcycle fatality rates to those for passenger cars, the 2014 statistics show that people on motorcycles are six to seven times are likely to be killed in an accident. If you adjust for vehicle miles traveled, that jumps up to 27 times as likely. Clearly, the risk is serious. While motorcyclists can take some steps to reduce their own personal risk, such as wearing a helmet and observing the speed limit, they cannot avoid all accidents. The families of those who die or suffer serious injuries need to know what legal options they have to seek compensation.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

School bullying might lead to legal action from parents

A child who is being bullied at school can be impacted in many different ways. There is never a situation in which bullying should be allowed in schools. The school system should take steps to prevent these types of situations and to stop them if they occur. Parents who have children who are the victims might wonder what they can do about these matters. In many cases, there are legal actions that you can take. Here are a few points to know about bullying in schools. Around 70.6 percent of students say they’ve noticed bullying in their school. Close to the same amount, 70.4 percent, of school staff members say the same things. Around 30 percent of students admit that they’ve bullied others when surveyed. Stepping in when a person is being bullied is frightening to many students and even some teachers. When a bystander does step in, 57 percent of the time, the behavior stops within 10 seconds. While there are many types of bullying, social and verbal are the most common. Physical bullying comes in third and cyberbullying comes in last. Some examples of bullying include: Stealing belongings Spreading lies and rumors Name calling Leaving the victim out of activities Threatening Hitting, kicking and slapping Pushing and shoving Unfortunately, not many students report that they’ve been bullied. Only around 20 percent report the incidents to adults. Whether they report it or not, they are greatly impacted by the bullying. In the most severe cases, the young victim will die by suicide. Whether the child dies from the bullying or has other effects, parents do have the right to hold the school accountable. Finding out what you are able to do can help you to plan your next steps.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Car Accidents

Waco ranks as one of the safest cities for driving in Texas

A study recently published by QuoteWizard cites Waco as being one of the cities with the safest drivers in Texas. The researchers took a variety of factors into account, including how many car crashes occurred in the city in order to reach this conclusion. During the most recent reporting year of 2017, there were only 3,500 automobile accidents reported. This was the seventh lowest number of crashes of any city in the state. Also on the list of the 15 safest cities for driving in Texas, it listed the nearby town of Corsicana. There were less than 750 crashes there in 2017. This earned it a ranking of 12 on the list. In case you’re wondering what city took the top spot on the list, it was Eagle Pass. The only other cities that performed better than Waco were Brownsville, Edinburg, Marshall, Lufkin and Laredo. QuoteWizard’s research also shows that Texas, as a whole, performed better than 21 other states in the country in terms of having safe drivers. In 2017, there were nearly a quarter of a million traffic crashes statewide. In addition to car crash data, the researchers also reportedly considered the number of traffic citations issued and how many driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests there were when determining how cities and states ranked. When crashes occur in Waco, they often happen along Interstate 35, which is a main corridor that connects McLennan County to other popular cities including San Antonio and Austin. Car crashes, and especially those that occur at fast rates of speed on the highway, often result in life-threatening injuries. An experienced attorney can advise you of your right to compensation if you’ve suffered injuries.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

An anonymous letter leads Waco police to a hit-and-run driver

On Oct. 16, 2016, a 19-year-old Baylor University marching band member was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist. Waco Police Department struggled to identify the driver believed to have been responsible for his death until September of last year when they received an anonymous letter in the mail. She was taken into custody on March 5. According to police, the victim was riding his bike near 3200 Franklin Avenue that fateful evening. Witnesses to the crash had identified the car who struck him as a sports utility vehicle (SUV). They told police that the driver failed to stop after hitting him. The letter that police received in September of last year didn’t just pin the hit-and-run on the 50-year-old Waco resident, but it also spelled out how she had apparently been speeding and drinking at the time she struck the college student. In the time since they received that letter, detectives made contact with the woman’s auto insurance company. In doing so, they found out that she’s filed an insurance claim saying that she crashed into a stop sign shortly after the hit-and-run-incident occurred. A forensic team examined the woman’s car and found traces of blood along the molding of the front windshield and a nearby mirror. Tests to determine the blood’s origin came back as inconclusive. When questioned by police about her potential involvement in the crash, she initially told police that she’d struck a sign as she was driving back from a party where she’d been consuming wine. She later admitted that she may have struck a homeless person as well. She was processed through the McLennan County Jail after her arrest. She faces one second-degree felony count of failing to stop and render aid. It’s unclear when she was expected to be arraigned. The university described the victim as a dedicated student, band member and Christian at a ceremony held in his honor in the weeks following his death. When a motorist drives drunk, texts while riding down the road or speeds, their actions are considered to be willfully negligent. Crashes occur in these instances because drivers don’t take the necessary precautions to protect others’ safety. If you’ve been hurt or lost someone close to you in this type of crash in Texas, then a car accidents attorney can hold the negligent party liable.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Why do tailgate accidents occur, and how can they be avoided?

How many times have you looked into the rearview mirror and noticed another driver practically in the back seat of your car? This is called tailgating. While many of us have been taught to keep our distance from the motorist in front of us, few people do that if they’re in a hurry or there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic. Tailgating isn’t just annoying though. It’s potentially deadly. Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that an estimated 950,000 motorists are injured in tailgating incidents each year. At least 2,000 individuals lose their lives in similar types of crashes. Reckless driving like this results in the majority of rear-end collisions that happen each year in the U.S. The tire manufacturer Michelin previously researched tailgating. The company’s researchers determined that at least 74% of motorists admitted to being tailgated within the previous six months. Only 11% of those same drivers said that they tailgate others though. Car operators give themselves the best chance of being able to avoid a rear-end crash when they stay a safe distance behind the person in front of them. Michelin argues that motorists should give themselves at least 10 feet of distance per 10 miles worth of speed between themselves and those in front of them. Motorists should give themselves more time and distance to stop if roads are wet or icy. Michelin encourages motorists to avoid tailgating if a driver in front of them is operating their car too slowly. The tire manufacturer encourages vehicle operators to pass anyone not driving at an adequate speed for them. Michelin recommends that motorists should allow three seconds to pass after passing alongside a vehicle before attempting to pull in front of them. This prevents a motorist from pulling in too tight on the person that they’re trying to pass. The media often describes rear-end crashes as minor fender benders. This is far from the case though. You can suffer critical injuries or die if a motorist strikes you while traveling at a high enough rate of speed. You should consult with an attorney in Waco if you’ve been severely injured in a crash here or elsewhere in Texas. Your lawyer can help you recover compensation from the reckless motorist who caused your injuries. This may greatly impact the type of medical care that you’re able to afford.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Premises Liability

Do men and women get the same workers’ comp?

Gender discrimination is illegal in the workplace. Women and men must get the same opportunities and the same treatment. This applies to all aspects of work, from hiring to promotions to raises and much more. Does it also apply to workers’ compensation? While it intuitively feels like it should, there have been some famous cases where women felt they were discriminated against. For instance, one woman spent 17 years working with a computer. This led to carpal tunnel syndrome, as she started to have both numbness and pain in her wrists and her hands. She decided to seek out workers’ comp, and it was noted that her job on the computer caused her physical issues. So far, so good. That’s when she found out that a man with the same exact symptoms as she had would get 20 percent more than her in permanent disability benefits. The reasoning was that she had “multiple risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome.” Two of the main risk factors were her age and the fact that she was a woman. Both things make the disorder more likely, so these risk factors allowed her payouts to be lowered. Essentially, on the grounds that she was a woman, she got paid less. This famous case started a class-action lawsuit, and it serves as a distinct warning to people all over the United States: When applying for workers’ compensation, be very careful to look into all aspects of the case so that you fully understand your rights. The above is just one example of many ways your rights could be violated. If you believe that they have been, make sure you know what legal options you have.

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| Read Time: 1 minute | Motorcycle Accidents

Texas man goes to prison after purposefully hitting motorcycle

A Texas man will go to jail for 15 years after he purposefully swerved his car into a passing motorcycle. A couple on the motorcycle was attempting to make a pass, when video footage caught the man swerve directly into their path. Earlier this month, a trial by jury convicted the man of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The accident happened in October 2015, and the 68-year-old driver has been in jail since that time awaiting the completion of his trial. The man will stay in Hood County Jail until he is transferred to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison to complete the rest of his sentence. The driver might not have been convicted if it weren’t for video footage recorded by another motorcyclist that had been following the couple. The video shows the motorcycle passing the 68-year-old man’s vehicle. Then, the vehicle jerked suddenly to the left and collided with the bike. Both the motorcycle driver and his girlfriend crashed onto the asphalt road and suffered injuries as a result. The motorcyclists accused the man of striking them on purpose after the accident. In response, he yelled, “I don’t care!” But later, he offered an explanation in court that he swerved because of a spider bite. Video footage during a serious car accident can be very helpful to bring the at-fault party to criminal justice. Sometimes, Texas residents have “dashcams” that record roadway activity. Other times, video footage can be pulled from municipal surveillance cameras placed at intersections. This footage can also be used in civil court by car accident victims seeking financial compensation from an at-fault party for their injuries and other damages. Source: Chron, “Texas man who swerved into motorcycle in viral video sent to prison for crash,” John Boyd and Heather Leighton, April 03, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Be careful not to get hurt while out shopping

When people are asked what comes to mind when they hear the word shopping, they often say making purchases. Very few individuals concern themselves with getting hurt while out at the store. Shopping injuries are quite common though. These types of incidents often occur because store owners fail to warn their workers or shoppers of certain hazards or to keep their premises safe. Shoppers and workers alike are particularly vulnerable to getting hurt if stores are overcrowded. It’s often around this time of the year when stores are offering Black Friday sales that customers line up hoping to take home items at a fraction of their regular retail price. There have been incidents in the past in which both store customers and workers have been attacked or trampled by others eager to gain access to a particular item. Slips and falls are also a common store injury. These types of incidents often happen because consumers or workers drop items on the floor and fail to notify store personnel to clean it up. Wet or slippery floors aren’t the only problem though. Raised tiles, torn carpets or poorly lit areas can also cause individuals to get hurt. Falls on malfunctioning escalators aren’t all that uncommon either. Many stores have shelving that reaches way beyond an average adult’s height. Some customers attempt to climb the shelves to reach what they came for. Others use objects to try to knock these items down to their level. Customers may find themselves struck by falling objects if items up on upper shelves aren’t properly secured. This can cause them to suffer serious head injuries. Shopping cart and parking lot injuries are two other real dangers that store customers have to be on the lookout for. Cracked pavement and icy surfaces are two of the leading causes of parking lot injuries. Tipped over carts can also cause someone to suffer serious bodily harm. Liability is not always clear in shopping injury cases. This is why you need to compile any evidence leading up to and immediately following your incident here in Waco. An attorney can take that information and determine if someone else’s negligence is to blame for your injuring accident. If your lawyer determines that is the case, then they’ll advise you of you right go about requesting compensation for injuries suffered on business premises here in Texas.

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