| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

A Hewitt teacher won’t be prosecuted for a student’s injuries

A 69-year-old teacher, who was witnessed placing his knee of the back of an 11-year-old student, causing him to suffer injuries, will not face criminal charges for his inappropriate behavior. This is what a McClennan County grand jury decided at the middle of this month. According to court records, the incident in question was first reported to the Hewitt Police Department (HPD) on October 17, 2018. Witnesses who were questioned by police officers reported that the teacher had forced the 11-year-old student to the ground by placing his knee on the child’s back. They note that the boy’s body came to rest on his stomach and that the teacher continued to hold him down with his knee for between 30 to 40 seconds. HPD officers continued their investigation from the time the incident was first reported in October until earlier this year. It wasn’t until March 11 that they finally issued a warrant for the Midway Independent School District educator’s arrest. He turned himself into police on injury to a child charges that same day. A judge set his bond at $5,000, and he was released from jail within a matter of a few hours. Although the grand jury ultimately decided that there wasn’t enough evidence for prosecutors to move forward in trying the case, the buck doesn’t stop there. It’s still possible for the child’s parents to file a civil suit against the former teacher or school district. Children trust their babysitters, teachers and other adults in positions of authority to take care of them. When that trust is breached, it can affect their development and leaving a lasting impact on their life. A child injury attorney in Waco can hold your son or daughter’s Texas school accountable for failing to protect your child as they should have.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Premises Liability

5 reasons a homeowner may be liable for trespasser injuries

Thinking that you’re not going to be able to seek financial compensation for injuries that happened on someone else’s property just because you were technically trespassing? While this can make your case more complicated, there are ways you can still collect compensation. Homeowners still have an obligation to provide a safe environment. They may have to pay if: The homeowner knows that trespassers frequently come on the property, or the homeowner should know that this occurs. The owner maintained or created the condition that led to the injuries. It was clear that the condition itself raised the risks of death or serious injury. The homeowner knew or should have known that the condition was hidden from the trespassers or at least hard to discover. The owner did not warn people about the risk or the condition itself, leading to the injuries. Essentially, the homeowner cannot intentionally cause someone to be hurt. For instance, perhaps a homeowner has an old barn on his or her property. Teens keep sneaking into the barn at night to hang out. The homeowner gets sick of it, but instead of calling the police to report the activity, he or she sets up booby traps in the barn. The teens come in, illegally, and are injured. Though they did break the law, that doesn’t warrant potentially deadly injuries, so the homeowner can be responsible. If you were hurt on someone else’s property, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and more. Be sure you know your rights, even if you technically were not supposed to be on that property. Source: FindLaw, “Homeowner Liability for Trespasser Injuries,” accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Whiplash doesn’t always cause pain after a car accident

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that victims suffer in car accidents, and also one of the most commonly overlooked. Like other delayed pain injuries, whiplash does not always cause pain right away after the accident. Many car accident victims may not feel the pain of these injuries in the immediate aftermath of a collision, and they may decide to skip the recommended medical examination. This can turn into a costly, painful mistake. If you recently experienced a car accident, you may have whiplash that you did not feel at first, as well as other delayed pain injuries. Avoiding a full medical examination after a car accident may seem like a good way to lower your medical costs, but this is often untrue. If you have a delayed pain injury, avoiding a medical exam could give your injuries time to grow much worse. Any time that a person experiences a car accident, it is wise for them to see their doctor or another qualified medical professional immediately for a complete medical examination. A full examination can help a doctor identify hidden injuries and treat them quickly and accurately. Not only does proper treatment help you heal properly, it can lower your overall recovery costs in the long run. Whiplash is a serious injury Whiplash is the common name for soft-tissue damage which occurs in muscle tissue that experiences a significant impact or strain. Even a relatively minor accident can produce whiplash, often in a victim’s neck and back. Many people assume that whiplash is not a serious injury, because it heals over time. However, whiplash can cause unbearable pain for victims, making it impossible for them to complete simple daily tasks, let alone perform work at their jobs. Many car accident victims do not feel any pain after an accident and believe that they did not suffer any injuries, only to wake up with serious stiffness and pain. When a victims cannot move part of their body without significant pain, it is difficult to work and care for themselves. This may mean that their income suffers while, at the same time, they must pay for additional help and treatment. A serious whiplash injury may prevent a victim from working for several weeks, which is financially disastrous in some cases. Protecting yourself today If you suffered whiplash in a car accident, it is wise to undergo a complete medical examination as soon as you can. You may have other delayed pain injuries as well, so the sooner you see a qualified medical professional, the better. Proper professional medical care after a car accident not only identities hidden injuries, it generates valuable medical documents you can use to build a personal injury claim, if some other party caused your accident. A strong legal strategy helps protect your rights and provides the tools you need to recover from your injuries and return to your normal life after your recovery.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

5 ways kids get injured every year

Preventing injuries to your children may feel like a nearly impossible task. You’re constantly following them around, warning them, teaching them and buying safety equipment — like bike helmets — that you then have to convince them to use. It’s tough, but it’s important for parents to identify potential threats. Below are five ways that children are often injured. 1. Playing in bounce houses. Statistics show that more than 50 percent of children injured in bounce houses are between the ages of 6 and 12. 2. Hair-thread tourniquet syndrome. A single strand of hair that ends up wrapped around a newborn’s tiny toes or fingers may cut off circulation. If nothing is done, this could result in lasting damage, such as an amputation. 3. Laundry-detergent pouches. It’s easier to do the laundry or your dishes with a pouch of detergent, rather than the liquid itself, but children often think the pouches are candy. 4. Playground equipment. The playground is fun, but it’s hazardous. Kids can fall off the jungle-gym, hit their heads on the slide and much more. Supervision is needed, but not even watching the kids can prevent all accidents. 5. Furniture. Furniture that isn’t anchored to the wall can fall on children. Common issues include dressers and flat-screen televisions. One report found that as many as 25,000 kids were injured annually and many were killed. There is only so much you can do as a parent. Accidents happen, other adults — like teachers or babysitters — are negligent and your kids wind up in the hospital. When this happens, be sure you know what legal options you have. Source: Live Science, “9 Weird Ways Kids Can Get Hurt,” Cari Nierenberg, accessed Aug. 31, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

What are the most common injuries teachers suffer at work?

For many years, teachers arrived at their jobs largely unconcerned about suffering a work-related injury. Considered one of the nation’s safest industries for a long time, educator positions were highly desirable to those wanting to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults. Most teachers of today choose to take a more involved approach to educating young minds. Teaching jobs are still desirable, but now those contemplating this career have more to consider before making a choice. Personal safety is high on the list of those considerations. The following section contains examples of some of the most common work-related injuries teachers in Waco and other Texas cities suffer in the workplace. Repetitive stress: This is the one type of injury that has nearly always plagued teachers in a school environment. The computerized technology school staff relies on in modern times can worsen such injuries. Athletic injuries: Gym or physical education teachers are just as athletic as the children they teach. These educators may suffer sprains, strains or broken bones while they are working with kids. Lab accidents: Science is one of the most important elements of a well-rounded curriculum. The downside to teaching science or chemistry is the risk of injury caused by lab accidents. These incidents may expose teachers to chemicals and other hazardous substances. Violence: Unfortunately, school violence can occur in any educational setting. Most educators will put their own safety at risk to protect students when violence does occur. This could mean suffering broken bones, stab wounds and even gunshot injuries. Although educator injuries often occur on school property, a premises liability case is typically out of the question. While workers’ compensation provides medical and financial benefits for injured teachers, it is sometimes worthwhile to discuss the events surrounding a workplace injury with a legal professional. Seeking advice ensures that you have explored all the options at your disposal and may even maximize the amount of injury compensation you receive.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Be on the watch for distracted commercial truck drivers

As someone who drives a passenger vehicle, you have to share the road with people in vehicles much larger and heavier than your own. But you also must carefully check for the presence of those riding bicycles or motorcycles — especially when merging or turning. It also means treating much larger commercial vehicles with respect and avoiding dangerous situations around them. You probably already know to stay out of a truck’s large blind spots. You may even realize that you need to give them more space for turns at intersections. However, you may have never considered that commercial drivers are as prone as other drivers to engage in questionable behaviors behind the wheel. That can include distracted driving, which increases the risk of a crash. Truck driving is a long and lonely job Whether a trucker drives a local route daily or treks cross-country each week, driving for such long hours is difficult. It’s hard on the body to remain seated. It strains the knees and hips, as well as stressing the hands and arms through the constant need to hold the wheel. Drivers may work for up to 14 hours a day, which is a long time to be on the road. Driving for so long can lead to exhaustion or road hypnosis. In order to stay awake and alert, truckers may do things like listen to loud music or even audiobooks. Others choose to break the law in hopes that texting someone will make them feel connected and alert enough to do their job. Federal rules prohibit texting while driving a commercial truck Many states, including Texas, have bans on manual use of cellphones while driving. That may apply to dialing or holding the phone, as well as texting behind the wheel. Truckers face different laws in every state, but the federal standard impacts them no matter where they drive. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) specifically bans texting while driving a commercial vehicle. In fact, they expanded the definition of texting to restrict many smartphone or mobile device uses. Drivers can not type or read any text-based messages (including SMS, email or instant messages). They also cannot type web addresses, social media status updates, browse websites or push multiple buttons to start or end calls. Drivers who get caught texting while driving semi-trucks or other commercial vehicles face fines of up to $2,750. Repeat offenders could become disqualified for commercial driving for several months. Be on the lookout for truck drivers who text at the wheel, and do everything in your power to avoid them. If a distracted trucker causes a crash, you may have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries or property damage you suffer.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

How can I prove a drunk driver caused my injuries?

Any time an injurious or fatal car accident happens, Texas law enforcement personnel will investigate what happened and who was to blame. This may involve an evaluation to determine the intoxication levels of drivers at the time of the collision. Let’s say you were involved in a motor vehicle crash on your way to work one morning. If police have reason to suspect you or another driver is intoxicated, they’ll perform BAC tests to evaluate intoxication levels. In the case of a fatal accident, some states have mandatory testing for blood alcohol content (BAC) following a fatal crash, but in Texas BAC testing is discretionary. As such police can decide whether or not BAC testing is appropriate. Criminal evidence can be used in your claims for damages When police perform BAC tests and evaluations, their primary goal is to gather evidence to convict a potentially at-fault driver of drunk driving in connection with the crash. However, injured plaintiffs can use this evidence — in addition to evidence pertaining to a criminal conviction — to support their claims against the at-fault party in civil court. Family members can also use this evidence to pursue wrongful death claims against the at-fault party. In a civil court lawsuit, injured parties — and family members of deceased parties — will need to prove that the at-fault driver’s state of intoxication directly resulted in the accident and caused the resulting injuries or deaths. Part of making such a case involves proving that the defendant’s state of intoxication was too high to safely operate a vehicle. Other evidence that plays an important role in proving your case In addition to the results of criminal trial proceedings, eye-witness testimony, police reports, surveillance camera footage, expert witness evaluations and other evidence can play a very important role in a personal injury case relating to a drunk driving accident. Ultimately, a personal injury lawyer may be essential to the process of strategically organizing this information to pursue the financial compensation you deserve.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Truck Accidents

Inexperienced truck drivers just as dangerous as distracted ones

There are a host of reasons why a truck driver might get into an accident in Waco, Texas. Some of those reasons include impairment, distraction, drowsiness, medication and faulty parts. Another reason is the inexperience of the driver. It’s possible for truck drivers to be inexperienced. Think about it; they have to earn their experience somehow. An inexperienced truck driver can be just as dangerous as a distracted truck driver. Some ways in which a truck driver could be considered inexperienced include the following: A driving record littered with offenses A sketchy employment history with lengthy gaps Failure to graduate from a truck driving school Fails to meet guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) An inexperienced truck driver can wind up doing a lot of damage if involved in an accident. An inexperienced driver might wind up causing a major pile up on a highway or even a fatal crash if he or she doesn’t know how to maneuver their truck to lessen the impact as much as possible. An inexperienced truck driver can also be a major liability for the trucking company that employs them. Insurance rates can skyrocket, lawsuits might be filed and other experienced employees might wind up seeking jobs elsewhere so as not to be associated with a company that hires inexperienced drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident because of an inexperienced truck driver, you need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Your rights are important, and you deserve compensation for your injuries in Texas.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Truck Accidents

Truck drivers are not immune to distracted driving

Truck drivers are not immune to distracted driving. In fact, no driver is immune to distracted driving. It’s a problem that continues to worsen throughout Texas even as law enforcement officials do their best to curb the situation and educate motorists. Here is some information on distracted driving and truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) bans texting while driving for truck drivers. Aside from texting, the FMCSA bans all hand-held mobile phone use while operating a commercial vehicle for interstate commerce. Devices used for dispatching are not banned by the FMCSA so long as they are used within parameters outlined by the company and not for texting. State rules regarding texting and driving apply first to cases, but since most states have yet to address this issue, the FMCSA rules apply to all commercial drivers no matter which state they are driving in across the country. Distracted driving is defined by the FMCSA as no reaching, no holding, no texting, no dialing and no reading. Truck drivers caught doing any of this while driving can face the following fines and penalties: Fines of up to $2,750 Employer of the driver can be fined up to $11,000 if they knowingly allow distracted driving Repeat offenders can be pulled from service, which means removed from the road, for 120 days Violations negatively impact the employer’s Safety Measurement System ratings Distracted driving will always be an issue so long as people continue to make bad decisions. can cause some of the most tragic accidents in Waco. An experienced personal injury attorney can explain your rights and help you recover compensation for injuries suffered. Source: Trucking Truth, “Distracted Driving For Truck Drivers: The Penalties And Risks,” accessed July 14, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Driving in rush hour traffic can be nerve-wracking and dangerous

There is little enjoyment in finding yourself amid a rush hour traffic jam. Not only does this slow your progress, but you may also have concerns for your safety and well-being. Driving in rush hour traffic has a way of raising your anxiety level. Furthermore, rush hour vehicle accidents are common, and that’s not something you want to be part of in the future. If you find yourself driving in rush hour traffic, here are some tips you can follow to relieve your stress and remain safe: Leave more time to reach your destination: This may not matter after work, but it definitely comes into play in the morning. If you’re in a rush to reach the office, you’re more likely to make a mistake that results in an accident. Leave a few minutes early so you don’t have to rush on the road. Change your route: Rather than drive on roads that are known to be full of traffic, find a different route. It may take longer to reach your destination, but it could go a long way in enhancing your safety and reducing your anxiety. Leave more space: Bumper to bumper traffic is stressful, as you’re in close proximity to so many vehicles. Do your best to leave additional space between your vehicle and those around you. Stay in your lane: You want to reach your destination as quickly as possible,so you may get the idea of jumping to the lane that’s moving the fastest. Not only is this dangerous, but it’s not likely to save you much (if any) time. Choose a lane and stay there until it’s time to exit. No one will ever argue that it’s fun to drive in rush hour traffic. While this isn’t your idea of a good time, it may be something you have to deal with almost every day of the week. If you’re part of a rush hour traffic accident, move to the side of the road and call for help. After you receive treatment, review the police report and consult with your insurance agent on what comes next. This should lead you toward the steps you can take to protect your legal rights and hold the negligent driver responsible.

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