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Can you sue if you’re injured at a public pool in Waco?

Summer doesn’t start for more than a month, but it’s already hot enough here in Waco that many assume that it’s already begun. With school going on break for the next few months, you’ve probably already scoped out local pools where you and your kids can go to cool down from this Texas heat. Have you thought about who to hold accountable if someone gets hurt though? The more people that congregate at a pool, the higher the chance that someone will get hurt. Many different injuries can take place at a public pool. An individual may hit their head on the diving board, slip and fall on the floor surrounding the pool or nearly drown. If one of these incidents occurs, then you will immediately want to let those running the premises know. You should, of course, place a call for paramedics to come and check you or your child out too. If you can take pictures or ask someone else to do so right away, then this is ideal. These can be used by you and your attorney to help determine liability. Witness statements and pictures can be used to identify the cause of your injury. The next important step you’ll have to take is to find out who’s responsible for maintaining the property. If it’s a government agency, then you’ll likely be required to file a notice of claim with them during a small window of time. They’ll then make a decision as to whether to offer a settlement or to throw out your claim. If they deny it, then you may be eligible to file a lawsuit in civil court. Before filing a civil suit, you should consider how convincing the evidence is that you’ve amassed in your case. You may also want to take into account how pursuing a civil legal matter is often time-consuming and costly. A premises liability attorney can advise you of the costs involved and explain the many benefits associated with filing a claim.

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How will you get your workers’ compensation?

You’ve gotten hurt at work. You’ve qualified for workers’ compensation. You know that means you will get regular payments based on a percentage of your wages and that your medical bills should be covered. How will you get that money? There are three basic options: 1. Electronic funds transfer This is also known as EFT. It is essentially a direct deposit system, which you may already use at work for your wages. If you are going to get your benefits for a minimum of eight weeks, you may qualify for the EFT program. You will need to provide the name of your bank or credit union, the routing number, the account number and the type of account it connects to — either a checking account or a savings account. Once you do this, money can be deposited directly into your account. 2. Check A paper check is the traditional way to get your compensation. You may be able to use your phone to take a picture and deposit the check remotely, or you may have to go into the bank in person, depending on your electronic banking options. Either way, there is one extra step compared to an EFT. 3. Access card program The access card program may streamline things for you a bit, as the cards are used to pay you the proper benefits. However, keep in mind that you will have to agree to it in writing before anything will get paid out. The insurance company also has to agree in writing. No matter how you get paid, make sure that you know all of your rights after a workplace injury. Source: Texas Department of Insurance

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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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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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The spectrum of premises liability law

A premises liability claim is essentially a civil lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who was injured on property owned by another party. At the core of the premises liability claim will usually be the allegation that the property owner committed negligence by failing to reasonably manage and maintain the property in a way that would prevent injury to visitors on the property. Let’s take a look at some of the many legal issues that may fall under the category of a premises liability claim: — Slips and falls: Business and other property owners need to keep their walking surfaces slip-free. If a surface is slippery, the property owner must warn those who are visiting the property with signage. The property owner must also quickly clean up any spills or other issues that could result in a fall. — Damaged walkways and sidewalks: A cracked sidewalk represents a hazard that visitors could trip on. An icy sidewalk is also a dangerous hazard that someone could slip on. — Lighting issues: Visitors need to see where they’re going to avoid falling and hurting themselves. As such a reasonable property owner should provide adequate lighting to avoid an accident. – Elevators, stairs and escalators: These are essential for moving from one level to another in a building, but if they’re neglected or poorly maintained, they can result in a serious injury. — Dog bites: Dog bites may fall under premises liability law. When you’re on someone’s property, the property owner must keep his or her animals under control so they don’t harm you. — Swimming pool accidents: If a swimming pool is not reasonably protected by a fence, a child could fall in and drown. Swimming pools represent premises liability dangers in many different ways. Were you hurt on someone else property in Texas? It doesn’t matter if your situation fits into one of the categories above or not. If you got hurt on another party’s property, the property might be negligent and liable to pay for the costs associated with your medical care and other damages.

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What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

Property owners have a responsibility to protect visitors to their property from getting hurt. Visitors to property can get hurt in various ways. The visitors who can get hurt can be of all different ages, too, including children. That’s where the attractive nuisance doctrine comes into effect within premises liability law. There are three parts to the doctrine and are as follows: The doctrine does not expect children to have an understanding of dangers they could encounter on someone else property. The doctrine places a responsibility on a property owner to prevent injury to children if he or she believes children would have a reason to visit their property. The doctrine allows for the property owner to be held liable for failing to meet the aforementioned responsibility if a child is injured on their property. An attractive nuisance is defined as anything on a property that could be attractive to a child that would cause them to visit the property and explore. The following are some examples of possible attractive nuisances, which must be man-made (eliminating lakes, ponds and other naturally occurring dangers): Lawnmower Pools and fountains Stairs Animals Tunnels The actual definition of a ‘child’ as covered by the attractive nuisance doctrine will differ based on the court where the case is heard. Some courts still view teenagers who are under the age of 18 as children. A child’s curiosity is not always healthy, especially when it leads to an injury on someone else property. An experienced premises liability attorney can explain the attractive nuisance doctrine and how it protects your children. Source: FindLaw, “Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?,” accessed July 21, 2017

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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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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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When can a handyman sue a property owner for injuries?

If you work as a handyman doing repairs on other people’s homes in Texas, it’s wise and responsible to carry workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance to cover any medical treatment that you require after an on-the-job injury. However, if you don’t have such insurance, and you get hurt while on someone else’s property, it’s possible that the homeowner will be liable to pay for your medical care. When homeowners hire uninsured workers — and the homeowners don’t take out workers’ compensation insurance or some other form of insurance to protect their workers — the homeowners might later find themselves being sued for workers’ compensation if an unlicensed or uninsured contractor gets hurt while working on their houses. Such a case against a homeowner might not be possible if the homeowner signs a contract with the worker. However, in most cases, the hiring of an uninsured worker opens up the homeowner to the possibility of a lawsuit in the event of a serious accident. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see cases in which handymen initiate lawsuits against homeowners in cases like this. If you were injured while working as an uninsured handyman — no matter how the accident and injuries occurred — you might want to investigate whether you can pursue an injury claim to help pay for your medical care. The pursuit of such an action might be your only way to pay for the medical services and time away from work that you require to get better from your injuries. A premises liability attorney can advise you of your right to file a claim after reviewing the circumstances surrounding your case.

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Identifying potential liability concerns on staircases

Many Texas residents use stairs every day to navigate their way through buildings and homes. It’s rare that a fall happens, but when someone takes a tumble on a staircase, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. This is why property owners are legally required to maintain their staircases in a way that keeps them free of potential tripping hazards. Failing to maintain safe stairs can open up a property owner to serious liability concerns in the event of an accident. Here is a list of potential problem that could lead to a property owner being liable in the case of a stair-related fall: — Steps that have worn down or become rounded. — Steps that are littered with trash, debris, pieces of paper, gum or dirt. — Steps that are polished or waxed with materials that don’t offer a non-skid surface. — Steps that have a broken or missing handrail. — Steps that lack sufficient lighting to make them easy to navigate in the evening hours. One of the most common kinds of premises liability claims relates to stair-related falls. When someone falls and seriously hurts him or herself on a staircase that has one of the above issues — or another serious premises liability problem — the injured person may have a viable claim to seek financial damages in court. Of course, if the plaintiff wishes to prevail in such a case, he or she will need to prove that the property owner knew — or should have known — that the danger was present and failed to correct it in a timely fashion. Source: FindLaw, “Indoor Slip and Fall Accident Conditions,” accessed June 09, 2017

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