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San Antonio Personal Injury Law Blog

Brain injury long-term financial impacts can be devastating

In May of last year, we wrote a post about a drunk driving accident in Texas that resulted in a $2 million settlement. The underlying injury in that case was a traumatic brain injury, and it serves as an example of a larger phenomenon: the enormous financial costs that can arise in connection with brain injury accidents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not only concerned with illnesses connected to infectious diseases, but it also reports on many types of debilitating events that can overtake Americans, including brain injuries. In one year alone, for which the CDC has kept statistics, the financial figures for severe traumatic brain injuries nationwide have been staggering: more than $75 billion was spent. The lion's share of that money was connected to both direct and indirect medical expenses for hospitalization and treatment.

When you need assistance with workers’ compensation, contact us

If you are like most people, you have had to work for all the good things that have come to you in your life. Sometimes, though, you can receive things at work that you did not bargain for or even want. An example of this is an injury or illness connected to your employment. It can happen in many ways: an equipment accident, exposure to a toxic substance or even a car accident away from your office or work site if the purpose for your being behind the wheel was related to your job.

Chances are that in such an event your employer participates in workers' compensation. So, you believe that you are covered, and you file your claim with your employer, but discover to your dismay that there seems to be a problem. Perhaps your employer disagrees with you that your injury or sickness is traceable to your work, or, for some reason, your employer fails to cooperate with the Texas Division of Workers' Compensation. Sometimes, your employer's insurer may balk at your claim and try to minimize it.

Can you recover damages if you were partially at fault?

Motor vehicle accidents are inevitable with so many vehicles on the road, especially in the great state of Texas with its vast interstate system. Many times drivers are involved in accidents through no fault of their own. Other times, drivers may have contributed to the accident. Thankfully, Texas law allows drivers to still recover damages even though they may have been partially responsible for the vehicle accident. 

Simply put, the law is based on the system of comparative negligence. Comparative negligence involves figuring out the percentage of fault for each party involved in the car accident. The parties may then recover damages according to their respective proportion of fault so long as the liability is not determined to be greater than 50 percent.

Who is responsible for dog bite injuries: owner, dog or victim?

Texas law creates categories for animals that may pose a danger to the public. Texas Code Section 822.041 defines "dangerous dogs," and subsequent sections describe the registration and reporting requirements with regard to such animals. In some cases, the owner of the dog that inflicts dog bite injuries may be liable for compensating the victim. But even though the law exists, the responsibility is not always clear-cut.

As one supervisor at San Antonio's Animal Care Services stated in a recent news article, "We have a people problem in San Antonio. We don't have a dog problem." And not every bite falls into the same category. For example, there is a difference between "dangerous" and "aggressive" dogs. Aggressive dog bites are those which happen on the dog's owner’s property when someone enters it, while dangerous dog bites happen off their owner's property without any provocation by the victim.

How to prove fault in doctor malpractice lawsuits

In order to prevail against a doctor in a lawsuit for medical malpractice, the injured patient must be able to show by a preponderance of evidence (meaning that it is more likely than not) that the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient, the doctor breached that duty, and the patient's injury occurred because the doctor breached that duty. Essentially, these are the elements of a legal theory called "negligence" which is the same legal theory used in lawsuits for other types of personal injuries such as car accidents and defective products.

So what exactly is the duty of care that a doctor owes to his or her patient? In a doctor malpractice case, the plaintiff must show that the medical care given by the doctor did not meet the required standard of care in the plaintiff's particular medical situation.

Scaffolding fall can result from faulty equipment or human error

We frequently walk underneath them on San Antonio sidewalks. Walking beneath scaffolding may bring two thoughts to mind: (1) what if it falls on me? and (2) I wouldn't do that job for $1 million. Neither thought is unfounded. Scaffolding does fall and workers can be badly injured or even die as a result of the fall, as can passersby.

For the purposes of this article, let us focus on the worker. Suspended several, or even hundreds of stories in the air, while trying to concentrate on a construction task or window washing, takes a special expertise and steady nerves. Like any piece of equipment, scaffolding parts can fail. 

What is an occupational disease?

When it comes to workers' compensation claims, it is safe to say that most people are familiar with injury-based claims that result from on-the-job accidents. There are other ways, however, that workers can find themselves in need of workers' compensation assistance that are not the result of falls, accidents involving machinery or other direct physical injuries. One of these is an occupational disease.

Although great strides have been made since the days when occupational diseases were first identified, and both federal and Texas government agencies strive to prevent their occurrence, these work-related afflictions still can and do occur.

Eight deadliest roads for motor vehicle accident in Bexar County

Each year, the Texas Department of Transportation has the grim task of identifying the roads across the state that are more likely than others to be the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident. In 2013, 189 people died in traffic accidents in the county.  Of those, about six per month involved alcohol.

As of October 2014, data shows that accidents involving drunk drivers are trending down this year. But the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is proven to be a particularly deadly time of year. 

Texas cellphone driving restrictions can vary by municipality

Although many states have enacted statewide legislation restricting or banning the use of cell phones by drivers, Texas has elected to leave to each town or city in the state much of the decision on whether or how much to limit such activity.

Some state-level preclusions on cell phone use by drivers do exist. These include an initial six-month prohibition on the use of drivers with learning permits, regardless of age, while drivers who have not yet reached their 18th birthday are legally banned from using any wireless communication device while driving.

Tinsman & Sciano, Inc. congratulates Aaron Valadez on passing the Texas Bar Exam

Tinsman & Sciano, Inc. congratulates Aaron Valadez on passing the Texas Bar Exam and welcomes him as the firm's newest attorney. Aaron, a 2014 St. Mary's University School of Law graduate, took the Attorney's Oath of Office before The Honorable Sandee Bryan Marion of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio (pictured). Prior to obtaining his law license, Aaron was a law clerk at Tinsman & Sciano, working closely with attorneys Richard Tinsman and Sharon Savage. Congratulations, Aaron!

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10107 McAllister Freeway
San Antonio TX 78216

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  • Richard Tinsman & Daniel J.T. Sciano. Board Certified | Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • American Association for Justice | formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) | Member 2013
  • AV | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards in Legal Ability
  • Daniel J.T. Sciano, 2003-2012 and Stephen Lazor, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Super Lawyers