| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Know the common causes of slip-and-fall accidents

When you hear about someone having a slip-and-fall incident, it’s common most people assume that it happened because something was spilled on a floor and not cleaned up. This is just one of many reasons that slip-and-fall accidents occur though. Many slip-and-fall incidents occur because a walkway is so cluttered that an individual can’t see what lies in wait in front of them. Throw rugs or cords that are inadequately secured to the floor are often responsible for slips, trips and falls as well. These factors, coupled with poor lighting, can make for a particularly dangerous situation. Potholes, curbs and uneven can cause slips and falls as well. It’s quite common for individuals to slip, trip and fall as they ascend or descend a staircase. This tends to happen most often when someone tries to do this while distracted and/or not using the handrail. Cluttered or poorly lit stairwells are particularly dangerous. Stairways that feature narrow treads and steep inclines leave users particularly vulnerable to getting hurt. Many slip, trip and fall incidents occur because someone attempts to use a step stool or ladder for unintended purposes or without another person’s support. Other incidents happen because an individual wears inappropriate shoes for the situation. Another common reason that slips, trips and falls occur is because business owners neglect to post signage warning of dangers. Sometimes, visitors neglect to pay attention to it as well. It’s the responsibility of property owners to keep their premises reasonably safe of potential dangers. They’re supposed to clear up spills, eliminate clutter, fix uneven pavement and install adequate lighting to minimize the risk of someone getting hurt. If they don’t, and someone suffers an injury, then a property owner may end up getting sued. If you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property, then you owe it to yourself to discuss your case with an attorney. They can advise you of your right to compensation for injuries suffered on a businesses’ premises here in Waco or elsewhere in Texas.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Injuries

How safe is your hayride?

Autumn is a time of outdoor fun for many Waco residents. When attending football games, trick-or-treating or going for a fall hayride, locals find the milder temperatures are a welcome respite from the summer heat. These fun activities can also increase the likelihood of accidents, however. Today’s post will address safety on hayrides. If you’re going for a hayride… Not all hayrides are the same regarding safety. Some are put on by local farmers and consist of Farmer Jones riding the neighborhood kids around on the back of his trailer amid some bailed hay. Farmer Jones may not have taken the proper liability insurance out to host a hayride. In the event of a catastrophic accident, his farm insurance policy could be quickly maxed out — or potentially nullified if he accepted cash for the ride. But there are plenty of legitimate businesses that conduct hayrides and have adequate liability insurance policies in place. They hire sober drivers with the required skills and certifications to operate farm machinery and carry passengers. They have personnel on-site to help riders off and on the equipment and to alert the driver in the event of an emergency. If you want to take the family out for an autumn hayride, it’s the latter version that will likely be the safest bet. If you’re hosting a hayride Hosting hayrides on your farm is a good way to earn some extra cash before the holiday season is in full swing. Just make sure that you take steps to protect yourself legally if a rider gets injured. Speak to your insurance agent about adding an agritainment rider to your policy or increasing your commercial liability coverage. Have all riders (and the parents of minors) sign liability waivers before climbing aboard. Then, take the steps to make sure that the route for the ride is free of debris or potholes that could dangerously destabilize the farm equipment. Clear any hanging brush from the route. Avoid spots with poor drainage and uneven paths. Also, make sure that if there is an accident, emergency vehicles have access to the hayride route, if necessary. Your route should be contained on private land without the need for crossing a public highway after dark. You will also need to do a thorough equipment inspection during the daylight hours before the ride to make sure that all tractor parts are running smoothly. Ditto for the wagon section. With the proper preparation, both riders and hayride hosts can have a great autumn season.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Premises Liability

Be careful not to get injured this summer!

The summer is a time when many Waco families head out to their local swimming pools or park, take a day trip or visit other parts of the state. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data from 2016 showed that as many as two million Americans were hurt while participating in summer activities that year. Earlier data showed how they got hurt. At least 550,000 individuals were injured while out riding their bikes in 2011. This makes it the leading cause of summertime injuries that year. It’s likely that the majority of the serious injuries that the cyclists suffered could have easily been prevented. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, a helmet can reduce a rider’s head injury risk by as much as 85%. The place where the second largest amount of injuries occurred that year was at softball or baseball fields. At least 261,000 individuals were hurt in 2011 at these types of venues. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, most injuries occurred due to unintentional contact. Others could have happened because individuals failed to stretch or warm up. At least 244,000 people that year were hurt on playgrounds. At least 70% of those injuries occurred when equipment failed or someone fell. One emergency room pediatrician interviewed noted that it’s important for parents to remain vigilant for broken equipment and rusty nails. That year, there were also 221,000 mini bike, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and moped incidents. The CPSC has repeatedly warned consumers about the dangers associated with motorists younger than 16 operating these vehicles. They’ve also called attention to the fact it’s dangerous to ride with a passenger and for them to be operated on paved roads. That year, the second highest amount of ATV operator deaths occurred in the state of Texas. Many of the other injuries that occurred happened on the soccer field, on trampolines, the volleyball court, at amusement parks and at pools or on other bodies of water. Property owners are supposed to keep their premises reasonably safe, especially if they’re expecting a significant amount of visitors to frequent them. If you get injured this summer, then you should first see a doctor. You should then reach out to a premises liability attorney to see if you qualify for compensation for injuries that you suffer.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

5 tips for avoiding trucking accidents

You’re driving home from work, and you’re cruising on the highway when you notice a higher-than-usual number of trucks on the roads. As you approach to pass, the driver doesn’t see you and merges into your lane. You have nowhere to go, because another vehicle is in the next lane. Someone is behind you and in front of you, so getting out of the way isn’t possible. Your vehicle is hit, and you . This accident should have been avoidable. Here are a number of tips to help you avoid truck accidents. 1. Head to the highway Surprisingly, fatal truck crashes happen more often on rural roads, not on the highways. Another 84 percent of crashes with trucks happen on weekdays. With only 5 percent of accidents taking place on the highway, heading to the highway for your trip home is the safer option. Why? There is less stop-and-go traffic and multiple lanes to choose from. 2. Watch out for driver errors If you notice a truck moving oddly, the drive might be in violation of the law. For example, if he’s swerving, it’s possible he’s fatigued or driving under the influence of alcohol. You should always report drivers who travel unsafely. The vehicle itself may have a number to call, and you can call 911 if the driver is an immediate danger. 3. Make yourself seen It’s a good idea to let the driver know you’re passing. If you’re coming into a blind spot, make sure the driver can see you in his mirrors first. Then, pass quickly out of the blind spot. You should always be able to see the driver’s mirrors, and if you can see him, he can see you. 4. Avoid short stops If you drive in front of a truck and throw on your brakes, chances are, the driver won’t have time to stop. It’s important to give all truck drivers plenty of warning before you put on your brakes. If you want to pass a slow driver, don’t pass too close in front of him, because if you have to put your brakes on, he will have little to no time to slow down or stop for you. 5. Look for signs of danger Whether it’s slowing traffic up ahead or a tire that doesn’t look quite right on the truck ahead of you, it’s important to look for signs of potential hazards while you’re on the road. If you think the driver’s tire is shredding, flash your lights, call the police and stay back far enough to avoid the debris. If you see traffic slowing ahead and you have a truck driver behind you, slow down and stop with plenty of room in front of you. Leaving space helps prevent serious injuries from secondary collisions if you are struck. Of course, in any case where you’re hit by a dangerous driver, your attorney can help you seek out a settlement to cover your expenses and financial needs. Your responsibility is to keep yourself and others safe on the road, and drivers not being responsible should pay for their actions.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Child Injury

Common injuries children suffer in the winter

Contrary to popular belief, it can get cold in Waco, Texas. Although the city does not receive much in the way of snow, the presence of ice is sometimes a factor. When it comes to child injury, winter can be just as dangerous for Texas children as it is for kids living in northern states. Further, in most cases, the injuries discussed in this post are preventable. They are also legally actionable if another party’s negligence led to the injury. According to Texas Health Resources, the following list contains some of the most common injuries adults and children in the state experience in the winter. Falls Most commonly seen during the holiday decoration season, falls bring many kids and adults to emergency rooms each year. While most adults know to practice caution when hanging ornaments, kids might not understand the dangers of climbing ladders and other objects. Ingestion Small children are always putting things in their mouths. As such, accidentally ingesting objects and substances lead to a high volume of child injury during the winter. Examples of accidental ingestion include eating unsecured medicine, swallowing unsecured poisons and choking on small objects like Christmas tree bulbs or ornaments. Slips As mentioned above, snow and ice are not common in Waco, but their rarity may actually increase the chance of child injury. When kids are not accustomed to moving around on icy streets, yards or sidewalks, they have a greater chance of slipping and suffering a serious child injury. You can take steps to reduce the risk of wintertime child injury in your own environment, but your kids could still suffer accidents on another person’s property. If you believe a property owner’s negligence contributed to your child’s injury, you may find a remedy by speaking with a premises liability attorney about your situation.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Car Accidents

Here is when deadly DWI crashes are most likely

Driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous, not just to the driver himself or herself, but to everyone else on the road. You know better than to get behind the wheel while under the influence, but you also understand that not everyone else does the same. What can you do to avoid deadly accidents? The first step is simply to understand when these crashes are most likely to happen. Research shows that there are three main times to avoid. Bar closings The primary danger, when the majority of these accidents happen, is when bars close for the night. That hour between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., sees the highest totals consistently. Everyone who stayed to close down the bar eventually has to get on the road. Happy hour endings You also need to watch out for the end of happy hour, which is when bars and restaurants offer low-priced drinks. This usually occurs between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Deadly DUI accident statistics jump at 7 p.m., as people who just came for low-priced drinks head home. They may also drink quickly to get a good deal. Midday drinking Less dangerous, but still accounting for a slight uptick in accidents, was the lunch hour. Specifically, the statistics rise around 3 o’clock p.m., when those who went out for lunch at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m., are starting to leave the bars and restaurants. Now, it is important to remember that drunk driving accidents can happen at any time, so you always need to know your legal options if you’re hit and injured by a drunk driver. Source: Consumer Affairs, “Fatal drunk driving accidents are more likely to occur late at night and at 7 p.m.,” Christopher Maynard, accessed April 05, 2018

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

Engaged Texas couple dies in tragic drunk driving crash

A tragic motorcycle accident claimed the lives of an engaged couple last Sunday in Aubrey, Texas. Perhaps the saddest part of the deaths in this case was the fact that they were avoidable. According to police, the pickup truck driver who allegedly caused the crash was intoxicated and he had prior DUIs on his record. Family members and friends of the victims hope that the deaths of their family members will serve as a reminder to all Texas drivers not to drink and drive. The collision happened along Highway 377 on a Sunday afternoon. A 52-year-old man and his 50-year-old finance were traveling northbound on the highway when a pickup truck driver decided to make an abrupt U-turn into their path. The 52-year-old motorcyclist tried to brake but there wasn’t enough time to react. The bike drove into the side of the pickup. Both the man and his fiance were pronounced dead at the crash site. Witnesses say that the pickup truck driver tried to flee the accident scene, but good Samaritans detained him until police arrived. The pickup truck driver has since been charged with two counts of intoxicated manslaughter. Family members of the victims described them as a beautiful couple with lots of love for one another. Relatives were also pleased that a firefighter managed to find the diamond from the bride-to-be engagement ring in the accident debris. Following a fatal drunk driving crash, close family members of the victims may want to consider the pursuit of a wrongful death action in Texas civil court. If successfully navigated, such a lawsuit could bring family members financial compensation to pay for the end of life expenses of their loved one. It could also bring money to compensate for lost family income and other financial damages stemming from the death. Source: CBS Dallas, “Two Killed By Suspected Drunk Driver In Motorcycle Crash,” Gabriel Roxas, June 11, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Child Injury

What’s the long-term impact of a child breaking a bone?

Broken bones are common among children of all ages. They can happen for a variety of reasons including as a result of playing contact sports, in playground incidents or car accidents. Parents often ask doctors many questions when they take their child to the emergency room or an urgent care facility after such an incident. They often want to know what the long-term prognosis is for their children after they’ve broken a bone. It matters how you respond when you suspect that your child has broken a bone. You should make sure that your child doesn’t move or place any weight on any part of their body that has been injured until a doctor evaluates their injury. Your child’s doctor will likely brace, splint or cast a relatively minor broken bone to keep it stabilized. Your son or daughter’s physician may have to operate to reset bones or to insert a stabilizing rod in place if your child’s fracture is more severe. Parents who make sure that their kids follow doctor’s orders and return for regular check-ups are most apt to heal the quickest. Your pediatrician may end up having to reset or realign your child’s bones during these visits. These appointments may happen every week after an injury first occurs. These check-ups are critical to making sure that your child isn’t left with long-term consequences from their injuries. Young patients that break a bone and don’t receive follow-up care risk damaging their growth plates. This can lead to arthritis and other joint problems. Such an injury can also cause a child not to reach their full growth potential as they age. It’s the responsibility of day care workers, bus drivers, teachers and other caregivers to keep a watchful eye over your kids when your son or daughter is at school, at camp or otherwise under their care. If the person that is supposed to be responsible for your kids drops the ball in taking care of them, then you may be able to sue them for negligence. An attorney can advise you of your right to file suit here in Waco or elsewhere in Texas.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Car Accidents

How a severe auto crash can leave you at risk for unemployment

When people think about the consequences of a collision, they probably think about the damage to their vehicle or the potential for an injury. They may not stop to think about how a car crash could impact their career and finances for the rest of their lives. There are several ways in which a crash could leave you particularly vulnerable to the loss of your employment afterward. Understanding these issues can make it easier for you to predict the impact of a wreck on the rest of your life. You might miss work because of your injuries Many people have to miss work on the day of their accident. Between waiting for law enforcement to arrive and seeking a medical evaluation, they may not ever make it to their job that day. For quite a few people, the medical consequences of a crash will persist for many weeks or even months after the collision. For some people, such as those with spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, the effects of a motor vehicle collision may wind up lasting for the rest of their lives. The more days of work you will miss because of your injury, the more likely it is that your employer will replace you or terminate your position. If you know it is going to be three or four months before you can return to your job, you may have to find a new job when the time comes. Returning to work may be harder than you think Thanks to excellent trauma care and the combination of physical and occupational therapy, you may feel ready to return to the workforce when your wounds have mostly healed. However, the pain from your injury may make tasks that were once simple prohibitively painful and difficult. It is hard for people to accurately assess the way that a lifelong injury will impact their job until they attempt to return to work. From hand cramps that prevent you from typing to back injuries that make both standing and sitting for more than a few minutes painful, the physical consequences of a crash may make it difficult for you to continue working. Getting a job with major injuries is harder Certain employment fields are highly competitive, due to a glut of available candidates or because the work is so demanding. When you have injuries that limit your stamina, range of motion or function, employers may not want to accommodate those injuries. Although federal law mandates that employers should offer reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities and medical issues, many companies will simply pass over hiring someone with a known or obvious medical condition. The long-term financial impact of an accident is often much more than just the damage to the vehicle or the cost of your medical care. The loss of your wages or your decreased earning potential will also impact the rest of your life.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Motorcycle Accidents

What are the leading causes of motorcycle crashes?

Data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to get killed while out riding their motorbikes than passenger vehicle operators are. That same data shows that 11% of all crashes that occur involve motorcyclists. Those same statistics also point to the fact that helmets can truly save many of these bikers from getting seriously hurt or killed. NHTSA data shows that most motorcyclists who get hurt while out riding their bikes are ultimately diagnosed with head injuries. It also shows that those bikers who wear helmets have 37% less of a chance of dying in a crash when they wear helmets. If they don’t wear them, then they’re 15% more likely to suffer a nonfatal injury. Their chances of being left with a head injury that ultimately claims their life if they don’t wear one is 40% greater than it is for those who ride with one on. While helmet use is important to minimize the risk of injuries to motorcyclist, it’s also important for passenger car operators and bikers alike to know why accidents occur in the first place. This may lead them to operate their vehicles more cautiously. Motorcyclists are often struck by cars because of poor visibility and reckless driving. Poor lighting, traffic congestion, weather and a lack of use of turn signals can all make it difficult for a motorist to see a biker or to anticipate their actions. Motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic, drive in the wrong direction down the road, speed or fail to adhere to traffic signs or signals are more likely to get hit than those who follow established rules. Bikers who are inexperienced or under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also more likely to become involved in injuring accidents than others. Damage to the roadway or hazards that motorcyclists may encounter in their path may make them more vulnerable to get getting hurt as well. Motorcyclists who wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and practice defensive driving techniques are less apt to get hurt than those who don’t. Their health and safety greatly depend on the actions of other motorists around them though. Motorcyclists who have been injured should consult with an attorney in Waco who has a track record for holding negligent Texas motorists liable for their actions.

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