What Should You Do Straight After a Car Crash?

Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 at 1:02 am    

Texas has the dubious distinction of leading the nation when it comes to the number of serious injuries and fatalities from car accidents. The unfortunate reality about serious car crashes is that if you have been immobilized and are incapable of doing anything other than hang on waiting for an ambulance to take you to an emergency room at a hospital, there is very little that you can do following a car crash. If you have been badly hurt in a car crash, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after receiving necessary treatment.

There are plenty of things that you can do, however, if you haven’t been so seriously injured, yet are facing probable expensive medical and car repair bills. The following guidelines may help the nearly quarter of a million Texans who are injured somewhere in the state every year.

  1. Make sure you and anyone else in your car move to a safe place, especially if the accident happened in the middle of a busy highway.
  2. Call 911 as soon as you can. Make a request for medical assistance and police. Be precise as possible about the location of the accident and what assistance will be required. Police officers who attend the scene will ask questions, examine the vehicles involved and complete a crash report. A copy of this report will become the primary evidence you will need if you later decide to file a claim against another driver. If you need immediate medical assistance, talk to EMTs who attend about your injuries and pain so they can make an assessment of your immediate needs.
  3. If you are capable of acting without getting angry or upset, exchange insurance details and license numbers with the other driver, or other drivers, if more than one other was involved in the accident. If you don’t feel able to talk to the other driver, wait until police officers arrive and ask one of them to obtain this information for you.
  4. Don’t discuss the accident or get angry with the other driver(s). It is easy to say something that might be used against you later on if you decide to file a claim against the other driver’s insurer.
  5. Take photos if you can, of any damage done to your vehicle and the position of the vehicles after the accident. Your cell phone will probably have camera app on it.
  6. Take photos of any injuries that are visually obvious on yourself and anyone else in your vehicle. If you have cuts, bruises, or other obvious injuries, take photos of them on a regular basis after the accident until they have healed.
  7. Ask any eye witnesses who were not related to any other driver involved in the accident if they would provide contact details. Eye witness statements can be very valuable when attempting to prove that you were not at fault.
  8. Make sure that you get yourself checked out by a doctor or go to an emergency room depending on your injuries. Do this even if you think that your injuries were minor. Some injuries are not easy to diagnose and may only show up later on, several hours or days after an accident has occurred.
  9. Let your own insurance company know about the accident and the damage to your vehicle and injuries. If you have a copy of the police report, send a copy of this report. Do not consent to an interview at this stage.
  10. Do not discuss the accident with the other driver’s insurer, even if asked politely to answer questions. In particular, be very wary of a potential recorded interview. It is easy, especially in the emotionally charged period after an accident, to say things which could be interpreted by an insurance adjuster as admitting liability or partial liability. In some states, any hint of being partially at fault could mean the loss of any chance of compensation. In many states you need to be at least less than 50% to blame for an accident. You should not admit any fault at all to any person representing the other driver.

If you have been injured in any kind of car accident in or around McAllen and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

The Two Courthouses In McAllen Texas

Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 at 1:23 pm    

While McAllen is only the 22nd largest city in the state of Texas, it does have the recognition for having two courthouses. This is due to the fact that in addition to their local courthouse for municipal hearings, it is also the home of the Southern Texas Federal Court. Whether you are going to face a trial yourself or will be attending for other reasons, there are some things that you will want to know about the rules and procedures that differ at these two locations.

The federal court is officially known as the United States District and Bankruptcy Court: Southern District of Texas. This is where local federal cases are held. Due to the fact that it is federal court there are a number of rules enforced that are not typically seen in an average courtroom. One of the biggest differences is that you must supply identification in order to be allowed into the courthouse. Clearly this is for safety and security measures to ensure that all present are accounted for.

Another rule that differs from most other courts is that you are not permitted to enter will a cell phone. This is to ensure the confidentiality regarding the cases that are held there. Lawyers are permitted to bring in other devices that may be connected wirelessly, such as laptops, but any type of recording that may be done or use of these devices in the courtroom must be approved by the residing judge before it can occur.

This court is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The holidays observed include all federal holidays. If you have any questions as to whether or not they are open you can call to confirm before you make the trip. It is located at 1703 W. Business Hwy 83 in McAllen, Texas.

The McAllen Municiple Court is much like other courts that you may have experienced in the past. However, one rule that you might not expect is that you are not permitted to bring any purses, briefcases or other types of bags into the courtroom. It is recommended to leave these in your vehicle and simply bring in any documentation that you wish to present in court by hand. While there aren’t stipulations regarding an appropriate manner of dress, it is generally advised that you appear in clothing that is free from holes and is at least business casual. Your appearance is a means of showing respect to the law. It is also important to know that if you have a case in which you desire to appear you can do so in person, but you can also handle your initial appearance by mail or email. This is due to the fact that you will simply be entering a plea and the trial will then be set and communicated to you.

Regardless of your reasons for entering any courthouse it is important to understand what is expected of you. Keep the above information in mind if you ever need to visit either of these locations.

Texas Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim

Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 at 4:35 am    

If you suffer any injuries as a result of a car accident, slip and fall, or any other incident, due to another party’s negligent conduct you have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them in a Texas court. However, the claim must be filed within a stipulated period, after which your rights to seek any justice in a courtroom will be deemed to have expired.

When it comes to such cases, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with the Statute of Limitations on injury claims in the state of Texas.

For more about the Texas statute of limitations on injuries, the reason why you need to familiarize yourself with it and any exceptions to the rule, read on below.

What Is A Statute of Limitations? 

A statute of limitations is a rule applied by courts with regard to the timing of the filing of lawsuits. In this case, injury victims have a limited amount of time within which they can bring forth a lawsuit.

A statute of limitations is usually used to protect defendants against having cases brought against them after an extended period. The rule also ensures that the victim files a lawsuit while evidence and witness accounts are still fresh and verifiable.

Texas Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim

In the state of Texas, injury victims need to file a lawsuit before a court of justice within two years after the occurrence of the cause of the action. If the victim brings their case in front of a court after the expiry of this period, the defendant is likely going to ask the court to dismiss the case by filing a motion to dismiss.

Regardless of whether you can prove that the defendant is liable, or how substantial your injuries are, you will no longer have the right to claim any damages after this happens as the court is most likely going to dismiss the case.

The expiry of the statute of limitations not only results in the loss of your right to claim damages in a court of law, but also takes away any leverage you might have had in out of court negotiations for compensation. Once the other party discovers that you have no legal right to claim damages in a court of law they are likely to withdraw from the negotiations.

Exceptions To The Rule

Even though the Texas statute of limitations is 2 years, this window may be reduced, delayed or extended depending on the situation. Here are the main exceptions to the general rule:

Delay Under A Legal Disability

According to Texas law, the start of the 2 year countdown is delayed when the victim in question is deemed to have been under a legal disability when the injury causing incident occurred. The legal disability could mean that the victim was of unsound mind or a minor when the incident occurred.

The countdown only starts when the victim’s legal disability is over. This might mean that the victim has become mentally competent or has attained the age of 18.

Delay Due To Defendant’s Absence From The State  

If the defendant, person accused of causing the incident that resulted into the victim’s injuries, leaves the state of Texas after the incident but before a case is filed, their period of absence from the state is not counted towards the 2 year window.

Claims Against The Texas Government  

For any injury claims that involve the Texas state government or any of their officials as liable parties, different rules apply. For starters, you cannot file a case against the government of Texas under such circumstances.

In such a case, the victim needs to file a formal claim with the specific unit of government they deem to be responsible for the incident. The claim must include a detailed description of the incident, injuries sustained and the location of the incident. This claim must be filed in six months.

Get Professional Help As Soon As Possible

As you can see from the above, the Texas statute of limitations on injuries is set at 2 years. However, there are several exceptions to this rule that may warrant the extension, delay or even reduction of this window. Consult a seasoned Texas personal injury attorney if you have any questions about a looming or past deadline, with regard to the state’s injury statute of limitations.

Were You Injured by Someone Who Failed to Yield the Right of Way?

Posted on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 9:17 pm    

Right of way accidents are some of the most common car accidents in McAllen and elsewhere in Texas. If you were injured by someone who failed to yield the right of way, then you may have grounds for claiming compensation from them by filing a personal injury claim. It is important for every driver to know the rules that govern the right of way, as a failure to know and apply the rules can easily lead to an untimely crash and injuries to those involved. Ignorance of the traffic rules is no excuse for a failure to yield the right of way.

Some right of way rules are specific to Texas, so if you are from another state, it is important to familiarize yourself with Texas right of way rules to avoid causing an accident in this state. An understanding of the rules that apply in Texas is also important if you have been involved in a crash and want to know whether you, or another driver, were at fault.

Identifying who was at fault after a right of way crash

The following are examples of situations in which a right of way was violated.

The following have priority in all, or certain circumstances:

  • Emergency vehicles, such as police cars, fire engines and ambulances have priority if their siren and flashing lights are activated. When such a vehicle is noticed, you are expected to pull over as quickly as is safe to do so to allow the emergency vehicle to pass you. If you are crossing an intersection, you should cross over first before pulling over safely to one side.
  • Pedestrians have priority at certain places: while on sidewalks, on crosswalks, in parking lots and near places where there is an expectation of heavy pedestrian usage. Pedestrians also have priority when a vehicle is making a right turn and the pedestrian is already crossing the road. A similar rule applies to pedestrians already crossing a road when a vehicle is making a left turn across traffic.
  • School buses have priority and should not be passed if the bus has its lights flashing and / or shows a stop sign.
  • Trains have priority at any rail crossing, whether it is indicated by signs and flashing lights or a barrier, or not. Basically, a failure to yield the right of way at an uncontrolled rail crossing would prevent you from claiming damages if you were hit by a train.

Note that these rules are standard in most states and should be well recognized by anyone who has obtained a driving license. Failure to yield the right of way may not just involve a personal injury claim but could also involve a citation and a fine. For example, if your child was crossing the road just after exiting a school bus which had its lights flashing while stopped, then the child has priority over traffic, whether the child was on a designated crosswalk or not. If the child was hit and injured by a driver who failed to stop for the bus then this would be grounds for making a claim based on negligence. The driver would also probably face being fined for breaking a traffic rule.

Texas right of way rules

These rules are specific to Texas, although may also be similar to rules in other states.

You may have grounds for a personal injury claim if you were hit by a driver:

  • who exited from an unpaved road onto a paved road where you were driving.
  • who exited from a private road or driveway on to a public road on which you were driving.
  • who arrived at an uncontrolled intersection later than you did, even if the difference in time was slight. Priority at these uncontrolled intersections is given to the vehicle on the immediate right if two vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time.

If you have been injured in any kind of right of car accident and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced car accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

 

The Main Causes Of Car Accidents In McAllen Texas

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2019 at 5:18 am    

According to 2018 data from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, Texas is the state with the highest number of recorded auto-accident fatalities. 3,722 people in Texas lost their lives in 2017 through road accidents. If you are a driver in Texas, then you understand that there is always a chance that you or a loved one can be involved in an accident. Even though some accidents are unavoidable, most are usually as a result of negligence and careless driving. Innocent people suffer life-altering injuries or lose their lives due to the errors and negligence of other drivers.  Malfunctioning vehicle safety parts and systems also contribute to fatal auto-accidents, which can be a result of the car manufacturer.

If you have been involved in a McAllen auto-accident and it’s another driver’s fault, then you have all the right to pursue compensation for any damages and injuries. You also have the right to pursue a claim if a loved one is seriously injured or loses their life. A McAllen auto accident attorney offers you the best advise and helps you pursue all the necessary legal actions to ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to. It is, however, important to first learn what the major causes of car accidents in McAllen Texas are.

Driving Under the Influence

This is what is commonly referred to as DUI. This is where a driver is behind the wheel while high from consuming too much alcohol, illegal substances or even prescription drugs. DUI accidents occur very often and are a major cause of fatal accidents. You have the right to pursue a claim if you establish that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. McAllen ranks among the top counties with alcohol-related fatalities in the country. Most of these drivers are young people between the ages of 25-30.

Distracted Drivers

Distractions while driving such as phone calls, eating, talking to passengers, adjusting entertainment systems amongst others, are another major cause of accidents in McAllen, Texas. It has been established that a large section of Texas drivers tends to talk on the phone while behind the wheel. This is the reason why many states have passed legislation regarding mobile phones use.

Unlicensed Drivers

This is whereby the driver is not legally licensed to be behind the wheel. An unlicensed driver is most probably not well trained or competent at driving. If an accident is caused by a person who is not licensed to drive, then there is a high chance of you being granted compensation. Proof of lack of a license gives you lots of standing legal ground.

Unroadworthy Vehicles And Defective Parts

A driver may knowingly or unknowingly get behind the wheel of an unroadworthy vehicle. Unroadworthy vehicles may have failed inspection and are a major threat on the roads. Vehicles with defective safety parts such as the brakes or stuck accelerators contribute to fatal accidents. In such cases, the driver, insurance companies and the car manufacturer are included as defendants. You should consult a McAllen to discuss the status of your case and how to go about it.

Speeding

It goes without saying that driving over the speed limit is a major cause of auto accidents. Drivers should always adhere to the set speed limits. If it is established that the accident was caused due to the driver driving over the speed limit, then you are entitled to compensation for damages and injuries. This also applies if your loved one suffered any loss or injury.

Failure To Yield The Right Of Way

When entering an intersection, roundabout or a high way, a driver is legally expected to yield the right of way for any passing driver. If a driver fails to yield the right of way, then it can result in a fatal collision. Such a crash can be used as evidence of negligence of the other driver. The main issue with accidents caused by this type of negligence is that the crashes are often fatal leading to the loss of lives. For this reason, if you encounter a reckless driver who fails to yield the right of way, do not hesitate to contact a McAllen Texas car accident attorney.

Expert car accident attorneys have the resources, experience and connections to get you your entitled compensation.

18 Wheeler Jackknife Accidents

Posted on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at 12:37 am    

At any one time, there are literally tens of thousands of semi trailers on Texas highways. These 18 wheelers are mostly driven by careful and experienced truck drivers. Statistics held by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) do not indicate that these giants are any more likely to crash than any other vehicle. In fact, the incidence of truck crashes is probably less than that for ordinary cars. However, when an eighteen wheeler does crash, the potential effects can be far more devastating than a collision between two cars.

One of the most common causes of eighteen wheeler crashes is jackknifing. A truck towing a trailer jackknifes when the cab and the trailer move in different directions out of control. There are many reasons why a large truck might jackknife and not all of them are the fault of the driver. However, a jackknifing truck creates immense danger for other vehicles and often is the immediate cause of multi-vehicle pile ups.

Because of the sheer size and weight of the average eighteen-wheeler, the impact of a jackknifing truck on another vehicle is potentially huge. Injuries involving large trucks of this type are typically more serious than those caused by accidents involving smaller vehicles. Obviously, every accident is unique and a collision with a truck just emerging from a side turning is less likely to be as serious as a collision with a jackknifing cab and trailer at 60 mph.

Reasons why a truck might jackknife

A truck jackknifes when the direction and speed of the trailer is different from the direction and speed of the cab. There are many reasons why this might occur. These reasons can be divided into those in which the driver is implicated and those that are not his or her fault.

Driver error jackknife scenarios

These may include:

  • speeding or too fast for the weather or road conditions;
  • fatigue;
  • distracted driving, e.g. using a cell phone inappropriately;
  • intoxication, use of drugs or attention altering medication.

Note that all these driver errors could cause any type of truck accident, such as a head on collision, side swipe, rear end crash and so on. If the driver is attempting to negotiate a curve, or pass another vehicle, then this is when the truck may jackknife.

Other causes of jackknifing

  • slippery road surface from spilled substances such as oil or chemicals, rain, ice or snow;
  • animal or other object suddenly appears in front of the truck causing the driver to swerve quickly;
  • swerving to avoid another road user who is driving dangerously;
  • brake malfunction, usually caused by the trailer wheels ‘locking up.’

What to do after a jackknifing truck accident

If you have been involved in a truck accident of any type and have been injured, the chances are that it was not your fault. If the truck jackknifed and hit you as it went out of control, or hit another vehicle which hit you, then the truck driver was probably to blame in some way. You may be able to obtain necessary compensation for medical treatment, lost earnings and a pain and suffering payment if it can be proved that the driver was at fault.

The first priority after any road accident is to ensure you get treated for your injury. While you are waiting for an ambulance or on the spot treatment, you may be able to make it easier to later file a personal injury claim against either the driver or the truck company. If there are other eye witnesses, you could obtain contact details, or even take statements from them if you have a voice recorder on your cell phone. You may also be able to take photos of the truck and your vehicle which may help identify who was at fault. The police are almost always likely to turn up, especially if the jackknifed truck is a traffic hazard. Their accident report will be important evidence if you go ahead later with a claim.

If you have been injured in any kind of truck accident and are considering claiming compensation with the help of an experienced truck accident attorney, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen for expert legal help. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

 

Conditions when You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

Posted on Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 at 3:33 am    

Facing a personal injury and the seeking compensation can be very frustrating, especially if you try to settle the matter by yourself. Whether the damage was done intentionally or unintentionally, the plaintiff needs to hire a personal injury attorney to have expert guidance to get through the entire process.

A personal injury case is a conflict when a victim suffers the damages from harm caused by another person or group of persons who are legally responsible for the compensations. In such cases, legal settlements are done either by formal (through civil court proceedings) or informal (without court proceedings) channel.

Conditions when Attorney is needed:

Claim Being Complicated:

Whether you are preparing to file a lawsuit or already trying by yourself, you may find out at a certain stage that your claim is too complicated to deal on your own. In certain cases, you may find out that legal complications in your claim require expert legal advice which will help you in compensating more and fair amount.

In addition to this, owing to your injuries and appointments with the doctor, you may also find it difficult to deal with all aspects of your case. The legal expert takes this burden on his or her shoulders and seeks your best interest.

You May Find Yourself Stuck in a Situation:

In case of an informal settlement, it is very common to reach an impasse or deadlock at a certain point. The chances of reaching such a point become higher when an insurance company is involved. These companies often trick a common man taking advantage of his or her lack of legal knowledge. An attorney knows such tricks and employs strategies to deal with insurance companies who try to compensate as less as they can or even refuse altogether in certain cases.

The case against a Government Immunity:

When you are filing a lawsuit against a government entity, such as county, town, school or city, such entities enjoy ‘sovereign immunity’; and the ‘tort claims act’ establish that how and when a citizen can sue a government entity due to their at-fault employees. Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that cases where government entities are involved, the plaintiff has to go through several lengthy procedures which may make the case further complicated. These entities can refuse to compensate claiming immunity, however, a personal injury attorney is the right option to look for in these scenarios.

Statue of Limitations:

An important thing to remember is that you must file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations which means you have a limited time period to claim the compensation. Many people don’t know about this limitation owing to their specific cases well as according to the state laws. So, it is of utmost importance to remain updated regarding your state laws. One of The biggest benefits of hiring an attorney is that he or she will ensure that you claim your compensation as quickly as possible.

Speaking with a Personal Injury Attorney:

While dealing with a personal injury, occurred because of the negligence of a person, government entity or a business, having an expert legal representation who can file a lawsuit quickly and ensure you the compensation is your legal right. A competent lawyer understands legal processes and knows the tactics the defendant should employ to deny the liability in the case and get compensation.

Protecting the Weak or Less Fortunate – Why the Eggshell Argument is Not Valid in Texas

Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2019 at 12:44 am    

Most people know that if they have been injured in a vehicle accident and were not to blame, they may be able to claim compensation from the person who was recognized as being at fault. But what happens if the person who was injured was more likely to be a victim anyway? Perhaps he or she was older and more frail, or had a disability or weakness that made him or her more likely to be hurt? Should that be taken into consideration when making a decision about compensation? In civil law, here in Texas at any rate, and in many other states and indeed countries around the world, this is not a valid defense against a claim against them.

The forseeability factor

The so called ‘thin skull’ or ‘eggshell defense’ is part of what is called the ‘forseeability factor.’ Here are two scenarios that illustrate the forseeability factor in respect to vehicle accidents a little more clearly.

Scenario One: When an accident was unforeseeable

A truck driver is driving along a section of highway when a deer rushes out on to the road in front of him. In an effort to avoid the deer, he swerves into the path of an oncoming vehicle. There is a crash and the driver of the smaller vehicle is badly injured. Was the accident the fault of the truck driver? Unlikely, because the truck driver could not have foreseen that the deer would have bounded into the highway at that precise point and made him swerve. Any attempt to claim compensation from the truck driver would probably not succeed.

Scenario Two: When an accident was foreseeable

Take another example. A family from McAllen has been on vacation in Florida. They decide to drive all the way back in one long spell behind the wheel. At one point, the driver nods off and the car careers across the highway and crashes into another vehicle, injuring the occupants of both vehicles. In this case, the accident was foreseeable. If the family had broken up their journey and gotten more sleep, the accident probably wouldn’t have happened. If the occupants of the other vehicle filed a claim against the family, they would probably win the claim as their decision to keep driving, even though they were tired, would have been regarded as negligence.

The pattern seems to be clear. If an accident was foreseeable, then if an accident takes place then it could be construed as negligence. This favors the plaintiff in a personal injury claim. If the accident was not foreseeable, then there is less evidence of negligence which favors the defendant.

A plaintiff’s vulnerability cannot be taken into consideration even if it was unforeseeable

This leads on to the eggshell or thin skull argument. If a driver hits another vehicle and an injury occurs because the person who was hit was more likely to be hurt because of a pre existing condition, or simply their age, then surely this couldn’t be ‘foreseeable,’ unless of course the driver who crashed into the other vehicle knew the person well! This should favor the defendant if there is a claim made.

Contrary to the pattern of thinking established above, however, the lack of forseeability is not regarded as a defense when it comes to a consideration of the condition of the plaintiff. Texas, and other legal systems, favors the plaintiff in an ‘eggshell skull’ case. The reasoning behind this apparent contradiction is that attorneys acting on behalf of a defendant would use any way they could to get their client off the hook if the eggshell factor was allowed to be taken into account. The plaintiff was on social security? How could their client know he or she was so old or disabled? The plaintiff had a weak heart? How could their client know that in advance?

The denial of an eggshell skull defense helps the weaker and more vulnerable in the community when they are hurt because of someone else’s actions. We will all be weaker and more vulnerable than others at some stage in our lives, so the law helps all of us at some point.

Whatever the circumstances of your accident, whether it was caused by a negligent driver or a careless store manager, you can rely on the Patino Law Firm in McAllen to help you obtain justice when it comes to a personal injury claim. You can call the Patino Law Firm to arrange an appointment at 956-631-3535.

 

Most Common Causes of Oilfield Injuries

Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 at 12:22 pm    

Working in an oilfield is fairly different than a 9 to 5 job as well as not easy to do given the laborious and tough conditions. Oilfield injuries do not only prove to be hazardous for the environment but also compromise one or many lives. A small mistake or a minor manhandling anything can cause serious or even life-threatening damages to the victim.

Let’s read on to find out the causes of those dangerous incidents:

Injuries due to Falling of Equipment:

As in oilfields, there are heavy machinery and equipment with complicated structures, they need regular maintenance and inspection for safety purposes. This inspection includes even a tiny screw that if starts rusting, the whole machinery and place comes under danger.

If such heavy machinery is not maintained regularly, it can fall on a worker. This does not only damages one person but can also injure people standing nearby.

Fall or Slip of a Person:                                                                                                               

One bad slip can break a leg, hip bone or even dislocate a joint. Such serious oilfield injuries can result in serious consequences such as an oilfield worker losing his job or having a lifetime disability. If a victim chooses to file a case, an oilfield lawyer helps the sufferers to get compensated for these injuries and get back on track.

Not Checking Equipment Levels Regularly:  

In order to prevent accidents and falling equipment, it is mandatory to double check and ensure everything is in place and working properly. The pressure in valves and pumps on oil equipment must stay within a certain level. In case the pressure is too high, the chances of an explosion are higher which can cause injury to a larger scale and can even burn down the whole site. Similarly, if the pressure is too low, it may indicate that there is some leakage which poses threats to the lives of the workers.

So, it is very important to regularly check these things daily to prevent such incidents.

Not Following Industry Safety Rules and Regulations:

Every oilfield has its safety rules and regulations in place that the employees must follow in order to prevent the injuries and damages. It is unfortunate to see that certain people in top management are more after profit than safety measures of their workers and ignore the safety regulations. This ignorance from the guidelines ultimately causes a burn, deep cut or broken limb and in few cases death.

Injuries due to Malfunction of Equipment:

Different machines vary in functioning; the pressure level fluctuates sometimes or display incorrect value regarding the current pressure. At this point, it is the responsibility of the company to look for such defects and malfunctions and ensure that these equipment are repaired.

Not Shutting Down Procedures:

Equipment readings and safety rules explain clearly that the right thing to avoid accidents is to shut down the operation of a machine. Ignoring this measure and deciding to continue the procedure can result in injuries. Observing this rule ensures that the workers are working in a safe environment and chances of an injury are near to impossible.

Lack of Proper Training Procedures:

Poor training regarding procedures is one of the biggest cause of oilfield injuries. Many accidents occur because the workers didn’t know how to take precautionary measures or what to do first in an emergency situation. The safe operation of an oil field is important and companies need to take it seriously which means that employees must be trained properly to handle a situation even if asked to manage other operations of the field.

Electronic Logging Devices Could Limit the Number of Texas Truck Accidents

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 11:15 pm    

Texas has by far and away the highest number of fatalities caused by truck driver accidents in the country. In 2012, the number was 491 for Texas. The second highest fatality rate was in California, but less than half the Texas figure, standing at 227. This is not a record to be proud of and is only the tip of the Texan iceberg as it doesn’t reveal the much higher number of injuries caused by truck accidents, many of which would have been serious.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some revealing statistics about commercial truck accidents. The statistics are national ones, but it is assumed that they apply to Texas as much as anywhere else in the country.

342,000 trucks were involved in an accident of one type or another in 2013. Over twice as many trucks were involved in fatal crashes (9% of the total) as other types of vehicles based on the fact that only 4% of registered vehicles were trucks in that year.

Most truck accidents occurred:

  • in rural areas;
  • when the truck and the other vehicle involved were traveling straight;
  • in the daytime;
  • on a weekday.

The statistics held by the NHTSA show that the majority of serious injuries and fatalities (over 70% in both categories) involved the occupants of the other, usually smaller, vehicle.

Can the implementation of electronic logging devices help reduce the incidence of truck accidents?

There are many reasons why truck accidents occur. The reasons are as many and varied as any other type of vehicle accident. It is the severity of the accident and the likelihood of serious and fatal injuries that make truck crashes so potentially terrifying. One important reason why truck accidents occur is because truck drivers get tired and yet continue to drive. There are strict rules about the length of time a truck driver can stay behind the wheel before getting some rest, but there is not always enough evidence to sanction drivers who ignore them. The incentive to drive for longer than allowed can be strong, especially when the driver is paid a bonus for timely deliveries or paid by load.

In the past, drivers were expected to keep logs of the time they were driving and when they rested. Theoretically, if these logs were meticulously kept they should provide evidence that the driver was keeping to the rules. In practice, they were, in many cases, not kept so meticulously. In some cases, they were forged or changed deliberately to pretend that the rules were being kept when they weren’t.

Electronic logging devices (ELD) have been introduced to try and address the problem of driver fatigue and also provide a more detailed record of exactly was going on immediately before an accident. ELDs are an improvement on an earlier electronic logging system which is still in use by many trucking companies and drivers called ABORD (Automatic on Board Recording Device). Federal law will make it mandatory for all commercial truck drivers to have an ELD system in place by the end of 2019. Up to then, an ABORD system can be used as long as it is working properly.

ELDs may make it easier to find evidence that a driver was too tired to drive safely

The advantage of the ELD system is that it doesn’t involve the driver manually imputing information, which is a plus for the driver as well as everyone else. The ELD automatically records what the driver is doing and shares the information with the truck company and regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In the event of a crash, information stored and shared by the driver’s ELD is available to crash investigators, insurance carriers, police and truck accident attorneys representing crash victims.

For example, if you are hit by a truck and are injured, you may decide to file a personal injury claim against the driver, the truck company or both. In the past, it was common for truck companies to act fast and remove evidence showing that their driver was at fault. Driver fatigue and speeding are common reasons for truck accidents and an ELD can provide valuable evidence that helps a crash victim to support a valid claim.

If you have been hit by a Texas truck driver and were injured, you have the right to claim compensation for the cost of medical treatment, lost earnings and other damages including the property damage done to your own vehicle. Call the Patino Law Firm in McAllen at 956-631-3535 to arrange an appointment.