Depakote Manufacturer Must Pay $38M Jury Award to Girl Born with Spina Bifida
A jury award of $38M must be paid to a girl born with spina bifida, whose mother took the epilepsy drug Depakote, the Supreme Court of Missouri ruled this week. According to Law360, the ruling states that Abbott Laboratories Inc., the manufacturer of Depakote, failed to properly warn about the increased risk of birth defects associated with the drug’s usage during pregnancy.
About the Depakote Lawsuit
In 2003, Maddison Schmidt was born with spina bifida and other birth defects, leaving her with severe cognitive impairments and brain malformations. Schmidt, now 14 years old, is paralyzed and lacks bowel and bladder control. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 along with two dozen other similar cases against Abbott, alleging the company did not warn expectant mothers about the severe risk of birth defects associated with the dangerous drug.
The product’s label includes warnings of an increased risk of birth defects, estimating between one and two out of every 100 babies will be born with spina bifida or other neural tube defects. However, Schmidt’s lawsuit alleges that the pharmaceutical company was aware of medical studies that showed the actual risk of a baby being born with spina bifida to be greater than 10 percent.
Schmidt was awarded $38M, and an appellate court affirmed the jury verdict in late 2016. On September 12, 2017, the Missouri Supreme court upheld the ruling.
Children born to mothers taking Depakote are also at an increased risk of developing structural issues in the heart, head, arms, and legs as well as having a lower IQ than children exposed to other anti-epileptic drugs. Because malformations to the fetus occur within the first 30 days of pregnancy, a period of time when a woman may not know she’s pregnant, it is oftentimes too late to simply stop the use of Depakote to prevent the risk of spina bifida or other birth defects from occurring.
Abbot Labs Hit with Thousands of Lawsuits over Depakote
Abbott faces thousands of similar lawsuits surrounding its anti-epilepsy drug. In another case similar to Maddison Schmidt’s, a 10-year-old boy born with spina bifida was awarded $15M from an Illinois jury. In this case, the boy’s mother was taking Depakote to treat her bipolar disorder when she became pregnant.
During the trial, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities took the stand as an expert witness for the plaintiff. He explained how the main ingredient in Depakote, valproic acid, greatly increases the risk of spina bifida developing in unborn children, and that doctors that prescribe the drug are not properly informed of the true risk of birth defects that the drug poses to pregnant women.
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that occurs at birth, affecting the child’s brain, spine, and spinal cord. It occurs when the child’s spinal column isn’t closed completely during the first month of pregnancy. In serious cases of spina bifida, children can experience learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, bowel and bladder issues, paralysis, and hydrocephalus.
Child Born with Defects Related to Depakote Usage?
If your child was born with spina bifida or other birth defects after you took Depakote during pregnancy, contact our dangerous drug attorneys immediately. Thomas J. Henry has handled many product liability cases and is experienced in pharmaceutical litigation, achieving real results for injured clients and helping them get the compensation they need. Your child deserves to be compensated for the pain and suffering they have been through and the years of extensive medical care that will be required for the rest of their life.
Our firm has the resources and experienced attorneys necessary to take on pharmaceutical giants and hold them accountable for their dangerous drugs. Attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. Call us today for a free legal consultation.
What is a Tire Tread Separation?
Tread separation is a serious condition of the tire characterized by a detachment of the tire’s tread from the casing. Some tires are more prone to a tread separation, such as those found on vehicles that travel an extensive amount of miles or through rugged terrain. In a tread separation, the tread peels off the tire, preventing the vehicle from gripping the road properly.
When a tire tread separates while a vehicle is in operation, a full loss of vehicle control usually occurs, significantly increasing the likelihood of a car crash or a rollover accident. Not only is this a danger to the vehicle’s driver but other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists as well.
Signs that your tires are experiencing a tread separation include:
- Vibration while driving
- Bump or bulge on tire
- Sidewall irregularities
- Uneven wear on tire treads
Causes of tread separation may include:
- Improper inflation of the tire
- Driving over potholes or other large objects
- Inadequate flat repair
- Excessive wear and tear (exceeding recommended mileage on a tire)
- Manufacturer’s defect
Who is Liable for your Accident and Injuries?
In the case of a manufacturer’s defect, you may have a product liability claim to make against the company that produced the faulty tire that lead to your accident. Tread separation caused by a defect in the manufacturing process is a rare occurrence but one that can cause a catastrophic auto accident and severe injuries nonetheless. Tread separation accidents oftentimes lead to spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 200 people die each year in the United States due to tire-related crashes.
A tire defect can be the result of a design error, faulty manufacturing process, or an issue with the shipping of the tires to distributors. People injured in a crash caused by a defective tire are entitled to compensation for the losses they incurred, including pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost wages.
If you were involved in an accident that you believe was due to a defective tire, it is important to preserve the tire if at all possible. Our firm retains a host of experts that can help determine if the tire was manufactured properly or if it contained defects causing a tread separation. This evidence can be vital in proving your case and achieving the maximum compensation possible.
Past Tire Recalls in the United States
Here are a few of the largest and deadliest tire recalls in the United States since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was instated in 1978:
- Firestone 500 Steel Belted Radial Tires (1978)
- 14.5 million tires recalled due to tread separation
- Thousands of accidents, dozens of deaths linked to defective tires
- Bridgestone Corporation Firestone Tires (2000)
- 5 million tires recalled
- 46 deaths linked to recalled tires
- Goodyear Silent Armor Tires (2012)
- 41,000 tires recalled
- 2 reported deaths linked to recalled tires
- Foreign Tire Sales (2007)
- 255,000 Chinese-made tires recalled
- Tires lacked safety feature that prevented tread separation
Injured in Auto Accident Caused by a Tire Defect?
If you believe that you or a loved one have been injured in an accident due to a tread separation or other tire defect, contact Thomas J. Henry. If a tire failure is caused by a manufacturer’s defect, an injured victim has cause to bring a product liability claim against that manufacturer.
These cases can be complex and require extensive resources to prove that a defect caused your accident and subsequent injuries. At Thomas J. Henry, our injury attorneys are experienced in handling these types of cases and have a track record of winning these cases for our injured clients. Your choice matters when it comes to hiring a lawyer to represent you.
Call our law offices today for a free legal consultation. Our attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim.
Where can my Texas Personal Injury Case be Filed?
Personal injury lawsuits can be filed in what is referred to as a proper or appropriate venue. An appropriate venue is a city or county that is connected to or pertaining to your case under the rules of civil procedure and venue statute in Texas.
In general, the venue in which a lawsuit can be brought will be determined by one of the following:
- The county in which the accident or event occurred
- The county in which the adverse individual, or defendant, lives
- The county in which the defendant company or business has its principal office or headquarters
For example, if a motorist is hit by a semi-truck driver on a cell phone in “County A,” but the trucking company’s principal office is located in “County B,” your legal counsel will have options on where to file your personal injury lawsuit.
Defendants in a lawsuit can dispute the chosen venue and obtain a transfer in venue from the court if the transfer would be “for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice.” You can view Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 15.002(b) here along with additional information regarding proper venue.
Some lawsuits include more than one defendant, which can open up additional venue options for your legal team. Our firm has handled many types of personal injury cases in nearly every county in the state of Texas, and we will go the extra mile to find the best and most appropriate venue to try your case.
How the Right Venue is Selected for Your Case
Every personal injury case is different, and every jury is unique. There are no guarantees in an injury lawsuit, but there are venues that are historically more beneficial to injured plaintiffs. Some venues in Texas, for example, have a better record of positive results and higher jury awards compared to others in the state. This is why it is important to hire a Texas personal injury attorney that knows about the intricacies of each county and venue and where to file suit.
Over the past two decades, our law firm has handled personal injury cases across the entire state of Texas and its 254 counties. Thomas J. Henry has experience determining the best venue for injured clients, putting them in the best position to win their case and achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible. However, filing a lawsuit in a beneficial venue means very little if you are not represented by a lawyer with trial experience or the backing of extensive legal and financial resources to properly develop your case.
Have you Been Injured in an Accident?
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to an individual or company’s negligent actions, call Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys. Our law firm of more than 100 attorneys has represented clients across the state of Texas and the entire country. Experience matters when it comes to handling complex personal injury cases, and our lawyers have a proven record of achieving real results for our injured clients. Regardless of where your personal injury case is filed, our attorneys will fight tirelessly on your behalf from day one until resolution.
Contact our law offices today and speak with an attorney. Our lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free case review.
What can I Recover for a Texas Hit-and-run Injury?
A hit-and-run is a motor vehicle accident in which a person, usually the one at fault, drives away from the scene without stopping. Motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists can all fall victim to a hit-and-run. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal act, and if the accident caused bodily harm or death, it is considered a felony.
In many cases, drivers who flee the scene of an accident do so because they know they are at fault, they do not have auto insurance, they broke a traffic law that caused the accident, or they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Hit-and-run drivers leave the scene of an accident because they know they would likely be incarcerated otherwise. It is an unlawful, dangerous, and reckless decision to leave the scene after an accident.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents are entitled to compensation for losses, such as medical costs, lost wages from missing work, pain and suffering, and other damages. Although the means from which you are compensated may differ, hit-and-run accident victims are able to recover damages just as any other person injured in a crash.
The collision between you and the other motorist may have been an accident at first, but the motorist’s decision to flee the scene after the crash is intentional. For this reason, victims in a hit-and-run case can oftentimes recover punitive damages from the defendant if they are found and sued in civil court. Punitive damages are designed to punish a negligent party due to their particularly egregious, reckless, and intentional act.
What to do after a Hit-and-run
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, call the police immediately. Calling law enforcement as soon as possible can increase the chances of finding the hit-and-run driver and also get you the medical attention you need. In addition, a hit-and-run must be reported to the police if you intend on seeking compensation for your injuries or property damage.
It may not always be plausible to get a look at the driver or the vehicle before they flee the scene. If you do happen to get a good look at the vehicle (make, model, color, type of vehicle), the license plate number, or description of the driver, be sure to relay this information to the police. You can also ask witnesses to the accident if they saw the driver or the vehicle that hit you before driving off.
In order to find the driver that caused the wreck and fled the scene, law enforcement or your attorney may be able to check footage from surveillance cameras in the area. Our firm has experience handling hit-and-run accidents, and we will exercise all available options to try and locate the motorist in your hit-and-run.
How to Get Compensation if the Hit-and-run Driver Can’t be Found
Unfortunately, negligent drivers in a hit-and-run can be difficult to track down and are sometimes never caught. In these cases, for injured victims, there are still options available to receive compensation for their losses.
If you suffered a hit-and-run injury in Texas, you can make a claim with your insurer to cover your damages, such as property damage, medical costs, and lost wages. In order to do so, you must have uninsured motorist coverage through your auto insurance provider. Drivers are not required to buy uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, but it is an option insurance providers are required to offer. When buying auto insurance, it is always a great idea to purchase underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage.
While you would assume your insurance company would be looking after your best interests after a hit-and-run, insurance claims adjusters may try to short you on the full amount of compensation you need to cover your injuries and other losses. An attorney experienced in hit-and-run accidents can help handle insurance adjusters and negotiate for the payment you are owed. If you believe you are being lowballed or underpaid by you insurance company, call our law offices today.
Injured in a Hit-and run? Contact our Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a hit-and-run, call Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys. Hit-and-run cases can be delicate, especially when the other driver cannot be located. Our attorneys can ensure that your insurance company is acting in your best interests and help you get compensated for your property damage and injuries. Speaking with an insurance company without the help of a lawyer could be potentially detrimental to securing reimbursement for your losses.
After a hit-and-run, you don’t have to fight your battle alone. Our team of lawyers is available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and assist you. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.
Do I Have Right of Way if I was Struck in Crosswalk?
In Texas, if you are a pedestrian in a crosswalk, you generally have the right of way. If you were struck by a vehicle while walking in a crosswalk, it is essential you contact an attorney immediately.
How Does Texas Law Treat Crosswalks?
The unfortunate fact is that many motorists do not understand the laws regulating pedestrian crossings and assume that, because they are in a vehicle, their rights supersede those of an individual who is on foot. This is not true. In fact, federal and state laws make it clear that pedestrians have just as many rights on the roadway as vehicles do.
U.S. law dictates if you are crossing at a marked crosswalk in accordance with traffic signals or other indicators, you have the right to be protected in that crosswalk. Additionally, Texas law requires that vehicles yield right-of-way to pedestrians crosswalks, marked or unmarked, provided that the vehicle is in the same half of the roadway as the pedestrian or the pedestrian is approaching your half of the roadway from the opposite side of the road.
Unmarked crosswalks are a particular part of confusion, due to the like of painted lines or indicators, and pedestrians who do cross at unmarked crosswalks are often thought of as jay-walking. To be clear, almost every intersection is considered a crosswalk even when no lines or indicators exist, and the same rules regulating marked crosswalks apply.
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,884 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2014. This averages to about one pedestrian death every two hours. An additional 65,000 pedestrians were injured in auto accidents in 2014, roughly one injure every 8 minutes.
NHTSA also found that:
- Eighteen percent of pedestrian fatalities involved a hit-and-run driver.
- Pedestrians were killed more often in the dark (72 percent) than in daylight (24 percent).
- Nineteen percent of children 14 and younger who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.
- California lead the nation in pedestrian fatalities (697), followed by Florida (588) and Texas (476).
What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable to the actions of reckless and negligent drivers. Common causes of pedestrian-related crashes include:
- Distracted drivers – here were 520 nonoccupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.) killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2014.
- Poor visibility – In 2014, 72 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents occurred in the dark
- Drunk driving – An estimated 14 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a drunk driver in 2014.
- Failure to yield the right-of-way – Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations.
- Poor roadway design – Streets without sidewalks or crosswalks and other dangerous road conditions can increase the risk for a pedestrian accident.’
What Kinds of Injuries Are Associated with Pedestrian Accidents?
Being struck by a vehicle can result in serious physical trauma resulting in a multitude of injuries. Even at low speeds, a collision or run-over incident can result in life-threatening damage to a pedestrian. Among the most common injuries associated with pedestrian accidents are:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head/brain injuries
What Should I Do if I Was Struck by a Vehicle While in a Crosswalk?
If you or a loved one were hurt after being struck by an automobile, you may be entitled to compensation. Our team of experienced pedestrian injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. We will help you recover the maximum amount of compensation and bring the negligent driver to justice. In addition, you won’t pay a thing unless we win your case. Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has a track record of achieving record-breaking verdicts, settlements, and judgments for clients. Extensive legal and financial resources allow our attorneys to put you in the best position possible to recover the damages you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.
Can I Recover Wages I Lost After a Trucking Accident?
When you are involved in a serious trucking accident, it is very likely that you will miss some work due to your injuries. The amount of work missed generally depends on the severity of your injuries and the physical requirements of your job. In the most severe cases, you may not be able to return to your previous occupation at all.
What Are Lost Wages?
In the simplest terms, lost wages are any wages you did not or cannot earn due to your injury. Lost wages are not limited to those you have already missed out on, but can also refer to wages you will miss out on in the future.
Typically, lost wages are broken down into three categories:
- Lost wages – wages you lost during a period you were unable to work.
- Loss of earning capacity – if you have sustained a long-term disability from an accident and cannot make as much money as you did before your accident.
- Lost opportunities – this would include things like missing a job interview while you were recovering.
An important thing to remember is that if you lost your previous job due to your injuries and returned to work for lower pay, you may be entitled to the difference in pay between your previous job and the job you now hold.
How Much Lost Income Can I Recover?
As a victim of a trucking accident, you are entitled to reimbursement for any income you have lost because of the accident and your resulting injuries. Many people believe they must have been out of work for an extended period in order to recover lost wages – this is not true. If you missed even an hour of work due to hospital visits, treatment, or surgery, you have the right to be reimbursed.
Another important note is that lost income applies to all workers, not just full-time employees or salaried workers. If you are a part-time worker, hourly employee, or even self-employed, as long as you can document the wages you have lost, you can make a full recovery.
Aside from basic wage calculations (how much direct pay you lost), you are also able to claim:
- Money that reflects a promotion or wage increase provided you were due for a wage increase or promotion while out of work.
- Loss of commissions on sales.
- Bonuses that you were paid in the past and were on track to receive prior to your injury.
- Loss of fringe benefits.
- Loss of pension benefits.
What If I Avoid Losing Wages By Using Vacation and Sick Leave?
The fact that you were able to use sick leave or vacation pay to avoid losing income has no bearing on your claim. Using sick leave or vacation pay due to an accident or injury is considered the same as losing pay itself.
Therefore, you are able to be reimbursed for the sick leave or vacation pay provided you can show:
- You missed work because of the accident.
- You have documentation showing the use of sick leave or vacation during that time period.
In addition, if you work in a commission based industry, you can still claim wages that would have result from commission on sales you missed while you were out of office. Remember, you were not “on vacation”, you were out of work to recover from an accident.
How Do I Prove the Wages I Lost After a Trucking Accident?
In order to prove loss of income, you will want to gather the appropriate documentation to support your claim. You attorney will go into more detail, but generally you will want to start by:
- Getting a letter from your employer indicating how much time you took off.
- A paycheck stub or W-2 that can be used to calculate hourly rate of pay or your monthly salary.
- Documentation from your employer showing how many hours a week you work.
- Documentation from your employer indicating whether you are qualified to receive overtime pay and whether or not you typically work overtime.
Once that information is collected, you can begin calculating a rough estimate of your lost wages by:
- Determine the number of hours you missed from work. If your hours vary from week to week, calculate the average based on your last two to three weeks of work.
- Determine the number of overtime hours you missed.
- Multiply the number of hours you missed by your hourly rate or estimated hourly rate.
- Multiply any overtime hours by 1.5 your hourly rate or estimated hourly rate.
- Add the values for regular hours missed to the overtime hours you missed.
If you are salaried, you can work out your lost wages by:
- Divide your annual salary by the number of hours you work (hours a full time employee works per year: 2,080) in order to get the amount you earn per hour.
- Calculate the number of hours you missed by multiplying the days you were out of work by 8 (typical work days for salaried employees 8 hours – even if you actually work more).
- Multiply those two figures to calculate your lost wages.
Tips, commissions, bonuses and other items can be added to the base amount of loss wages.
What if I Have More Questions About Wages Lost After a Trucking Accident?
If you have any questions about the wages you have lost or need help calculating just how much you are entitled to, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our attorneys can provide a free consultation so you better understand the laws surrounding your case and your best course of action. If your injuries prevent you from visiting our offices, we will send one of our attorneys to you.
Thomas J. Henry has been successfully resolving trucking accident claims for more than 25 years. We have the experience and resources to take on even the largest commercial trucking and insurance companies. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends – attorneys are standing by.
Why is Using My Cell Phone while Driving Legal in One State and Illegal in Another?
In the United States, there is no federal law banning the use of a cell phone while driving. Most laws pertaining to traffic regulations are left to each individual state to decide. Depending on the state you drive in, there may be restrictions on only certain kinds of cell phone use, such as texting and driving or hand-held cell phone use, or bans affecting only younger drivers. In some states, cities and municipalities can set their own restrictions on cell phone use as well. In Texas, for example, more than 90 cities have adopted a cell phone ban while driving in some form.
Each state also determines how a cell phone-related violation is enforced by law enforcement. In states with primary enforcement, you can be pulled over and cited for the infraction even if you are otherwise obeying other traffic laws. In states with secondary enforcement, a police officer must witness you breaking another traffic law, such as speeding or running a red light, before stopping and ticketing you for the cell phone-related infraction.
Commercial vehicle operators are banned from using hand-held cell phones and texting while driving throughout the entire country. The United States Department of Transportation imposes this regulation and has oversight over interstate commerce. Large truck drivers risk losing their commercial driver’s license when they decide to use their cell phone while driving. Large truck accidents caused by drivers distracted by a cell phone are oftentimes severe in nature.
Cell Phone Laws in the United States
Laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving are implemented to protect drivers, other motorists, and pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately ten percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving.
- Talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is banned in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
- Texas has a statewide ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving through a school zone.
- Texting and driving is banned for all drivers in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
- Thirty-eight states ban all cellphone use by novice or teen drivers
To find out about your state’s regulations, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has a chart describing each state’s laws restricting cell phone use while driving. Regardless of what the law is in your state, it’s important to understand how unsafe it is to drive distracted, either hands-free, with a cell phone to your ear, or texting.
Is All Cell Phone Use Dangerous?
No matter how you are using a cell phone while operating a vehicle — texting, hand-held, Bluetooth, or otherwise — it is a dangerous distraction that puts your life and other motorists’ lives in jeopardy. Studies have shown that the effects of distraction on a driver is similar to that of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Thomas J. Henry has handled many cases involving distracted drivers in which expert witnesses testify to the similarity of impairments associated with distracted driving and drunk driving.
In order to safely operate a vehicle, a motorist must not have any visual, manual, or cognitive distractions. Texting and driving, for example, removes your eyes from the roadways, your hands from the steering wheel, and your mind off the task of driving. This creates an incredibly dangerous situation; distracted driving-affected crashes caused more than 3,400 deaths in 2015 in the United States.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney
Thomas J. Henry urges everyone to operate their vehicles safely and without any sort of distraction. Protect your livelihood, the safety of your passengers, and the motorists you share the road with. If you were injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys have experience handling distracted driving accident cases that result in catastrophic injuries. Call our law offices today for a free case review.
Should I File an Incident Report After Falling at a Texas Business?
If you have fallen at a Texas business, chances are an employee of that business will ask you to sign an incident report. If you have sustained an injury, it is typically best to refrain from signing any paperwork until you have retained an attorney.
What Is an Incident Report?
An incident report, also called an accident report, is a report formally recording the facts related to an accident or injury. While you do want to make sure that your incident is reported to management, you may not want to sign any paperwork you are presented with.
A few things to consider when an incident report is presented to you are:
- Is the report in your writing or is it someone else’s account of how the accident happened?
- Does the report accurately detail your accident and injuries?
- Is the manager being pushy or trying to intimidate you into signing the report?
- Could the business be trying to limit their liability for you accident and injuries?
- Are you aware of the full extent of your injuries?
Remember, the manager’s primary concern is the financial well-being of his employer, not the physical well-being of you the customer. They have been trained to get information that can help protect the store; therefore, it is vital that you protect yourself.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in an Accident at a Texas Business?
If you have been injured in an accident at a Texas business, Taking the following steps can help build your premises liability claim.
- Seek medical attention. If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to a slip and fall accident, the most important thing to do is to get treatment. This takes precedence over all other items.
- Report the incident. Report the incident as soon as possible. Reports can be made to a manager or a property owner. Restrict your report to your name, contact information, and address. Do not provide an official statement.
- Take pictures. Take pictures of where the accident happened. Evidence can be removed, so the sooner this is done, the better.
- Get contact information for any witnesses. If anyone witnessed the accident, get their names and phone numbers. Their insight may help prove your claim.
- Call an experienced injury attorney. Thomas J. Henry has the experience and resources necessary to retrieve the compensation you deserve for your injuries
When Can I Sue a Business or Store Owner?
If you are visiting a business as a customer, then you are considered and invitee and the property owner owes you a duty of care. Part of this duty of care is that the owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe for invitees. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonably know about as well as inspecting the property and either fixing or warning invitees about any dangerous conditions.
For example, in a situation in which liquid was spilled, the store would either have to clean up the spill in a timely manner or provide notification, such as a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign, to invitees provided the spill was known about or should have reasonably been known about.
If you feel that your injury was the result of a business owner’s failure to fulfill a reasonable duty of care, then you may be entitled to compensation.
What Are Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents?
Among the leading causes of premises liability accidents that occur at business are:
- Slip and fall
- Elevator and escalator injuries
- Shelve collapses
- Stair collapses
When suing for a premises liability accident, the hazard must not have been open and obvious to the shopper. That is, the shopper, like all individuals, stall has a duty to keep a look out for where they are walking.
Contact an Experienced Premises Liability Attorney
Because of careless property owners, many people will suffer catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. The nature of many injuries which occur on dangerous property can be more than painful- they can be permanent.
Do not let your injuries overwhelm your life. If you have been seriously injured as a result of a condition or the use of real property, contact Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys. As your premises liability lawyer, we will secure proper medical care and fight to make sure you receive proper compensation. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends and we represent clients/victims all over the country.
How Will an Attorney Investigate My Trucking Accident?
If you have been involved in a serious commercial trucking accident, it is essential that you hire an attorney with the knowledge and resources to properly investigate your claim.
What Are Some Things to Consider When Pursuing a Trucking Accident Lawsuit?
Generally, trucking accident lawsuits are much more complicated and much more demanding than a regular auto accident lawsuit. This is because the trucking companies you are dealing with have teams of lawyers whose sole job is to limit or eliminate the trucking company’s liability following a crash. In some situations, these lawyers will be at the scene of a crash before the ambulance even departs for the hospital.
Trucking accident claims are further complicated by the existence of complex trucking regulations as well as state and federal laws defining employer liability and the application of respondeat superior. Without a doubt, the lawyer investigating the accident on the trucking company’s behalf are well versed in the application of these laws and regulations.
Finally, you must consider the size of the company you are dealing with. The larger the company, the more financial resources that company has. Your average injury victim simply does not have the money to fight it out against a trucking company. As a result, the victim is often bullied into accepting a settlement that covers only a fraction of their injuries and damages.
How Do I Level the Playing Field When Suing a Commercial Trucking Company?
If you want to stand a chance against a large commercial trucking company, you need to level the playing field. Thomas J. Henry has been successfully litigating against trucking companies for 25 years. With a team of more than 100 attorneys, the latest trial technology, and the financial resources to fight the long fight, Thomas J. Henry can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Through the unitization of jet services, satellite technology, and advanced mobile technology, our attorneys and staff can be anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Because our attorneys have remote access to your file, they can hold meetings, draft and review documents, and store and share files anytime anywhere. This means that if you can’t make it to one of our offices, an attorney will bring the vast capabilities of our offices directly to you.
Thomas J. Henry also has access to some of the world’s leading expert witnesses. From accident reconstructionists to FMCSA compliance consultants, these experts will apply their special expertise to your case by gathering and investigating evidence and, when necessary, providing compelling expert testimony in your trial.
Some expert witnesses who may benefit your claim include:
- Accident Investigation Experts
- Hazardous Materials Experts
- FMCSA Compliance Consultants
- Forensic Engineers
- Accident Re-constructionists
- Human Factors Forensic Science Experts (reaction time, fatigue and distracted driving)
- General Equipment Technical Expert
What are the Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
There are many different factors that can cause a trucking accident. Here are some of the most common causes of Texas trucking accidents:
- Truck driver is fatigued or drowsy
- Drug or alcohol impairment
- Driver is distracted
- Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
- Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions/inclement weather
- Unsecured loads
- When large trucks fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.
- Improper turning or lane changing
- Failure to maintain vehicle
Who Should I Call If I’ve Been Involved in a Trucking Accident?
Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys have handled a multitude of 18-wheeler accidents over the past two decades and continue to handle many of the largest 18-wheeler accident cases throughout the United States. Whether the company is small or large, our success is not an accident; it is because we understand how trucking companies operate. We represent clients/victims all over the country.
Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys are available to respond to trucking accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices – we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.
What Documents Should I Bring to My First Meeting With an Attorney?
When meeting with a lawyer for the first time after an auto accident, there are things you can bring with you that can help expedite the process and make it easier for an attorney to evaluate your claim.
Before your meeting, gather all of the evidence you collected from the accident and anything that may be related to your injuries, such as:
- Photographs of the accident scene, damage to your car and other vehicles involved, your injuries, or anything else pertaining to the incident
- Copy of a police report or accident report
- List of names, phone numbers, or addresses of witnesses you spoke with at the scene
- Medical records
If you received medical attention after your accident, bring any records or documents showing the procedures or treatment you had completed, the names and contact information of the doctors or medical professionals you saw, what future treatment may be recommended, and the costs associated with your care. In addition, bring medical and auto insurance information with you, if you have them.
Other documents that you may have that you should bring to your first meeting with a lawyer include:
- Letters or emails you received from your insurer or the other driver’s insurer
- Name and phone number of the at-fault driver from the accident (and their insurance company’s information)
- Contact information of any insurance company or claims adjusters that you have spoken with
- Receipts of anything you purchased to remedy an injury or repair due to the accident
In general, bring any evidence, documents, or information related to your injuries and the accident with you to your initial consultation with your attorney. The more information you bring, the quicker and easier your lawyer can evaluate your case and provide you with the next steps to take. To keep the documents organized and to avoid losing anything, keep all of these in an envelope or folder that you can then bring with you to the law office (or wherever you meet your attorney).
What Should I Ask During a Legal Consultation?
During your initial meeting with an injury attorney, you will be asked many questions regarding the accident and the injuries you sustained. You should also be prepared to ask the attorney questions of your own. It can be helpful to create a list of questions you have for the attorney prior to the meeting so you don’t forget anything when you get there.
Important questions to ask your prospective accident attorney include:
- How long have you been practicing law in this practice area?
- What is your track record of succeeding in these cases?
- Do you have trial experience?
- How much will it cost to hire you?
One of the most important questions to ask your lawyer is how they charge for services and if a consultation costs you anything upfront. Our firm offers free case reviews and charges on a contingency basis. Learn about Thomas J. Henry’s “No Fee Guarantee” in our blog post: How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our team of accident lawyers is available 24/7, nights and weekends to speak with you and set up a free initial legal consultation. Thomas J. Henry has represented severely injured clients from across the country and helped them achieve the compensation they deserve. Let us help you protect your rights as an accident victim and secure the real results you need.