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The Woodlands Personal Injury Law Blog

Texas sees jump in auto fatalities in 2016

Texas residents who have been in a car crash personally or whose loved ones have been involved in a wreck know that even the simplest incident can result in serious and long-term consequences. Damage to vehicles or other property can be bad enough but the injuries that innocent people may experience are sometimes unthinkable. Even worse are the lives lost due to senseless and negligent decisions of drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 was quite a deadly year on Texas roads. The number of people killed in vehicular accidents last year rose to 3,776, up from 3,582 the year before. Montgomery County had the seventh greatest number of deaths among any county in the state with a total of 76 fatalities recorded there.

Evidence that can help prove a personal injury claim

When a person experiences a car accident, the initial shock can oftentimes mask injuries, leading to vital details being overlooked early on and affecting potential personal injury claims that may be filed in the state of Texas at a later date. There is a statute of limitations that allows a person some time to make a claim, but much of the evidence needs to be collected immediately following the incident as well as in the weeks, months and, in some cases, years after.

As State Farm explains, there are many documents that provide useful evidence, including the following:

  • Police report: Even if the car accident appears to be minor in nature, the police should be contacted. A police report can provide a record of when and where the accident occurred, who was involved, and the cause, circumstances or conditions. 
  • Photos: Taking photographs of damages to the car or cars, road conditions, visible injuries and any other details are conducive to creating a full understanding of the scene.
  • Eyewitnesses: If there are eyewitnesses, written statements or recordings of their statements should be obtained along with names and contact information.
  • Medical expert: It may help a personal injury case to have one or more medical experts who can testify that injuries suffered are a direct result of the car accident.

The chain of responsibility for your medication

When an advertisement for a medication comes on television, you may have noticed that the disclaimer at the end includes a long list of possibly alarming side effects. However, when you go to the doctor and a drug is recommended, these issues may seem less important compared to the ways the prescription may improve your health. We at The Leigh Law Firm understand that all medications have the potential for harm, and manufacturers, doctors and pharmacists have a responsibility to make sure you know what this includes.

FindLaw explains that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the standards for the tests required to ensure that medicines are safe, but that federal agency does not actually perform them. Instead, that duty belongs to the company who produces the drug. This is how safe dosages are determined and the list of side effects is accumulated. 

The challenges of recovering from an amputation injury

You may not remember losing your first tooth or getting your first haircut, but for many children, these moments are traumatic. Although these events are perfectly natural and rarely painful, the loss of part of their bodies is something children seem to understand as frightening and wrong.

Of course, the loss of a tooth or a few strands of hair fail to compare to the severe injury that caused the loss of one of your limbs. The amputation may be even more difficult to accept if the injury was the result of someone's negligence. Now your future is quite different from the one you expected.

Fidget spinners: a dangerous trend?

New products are constantly cycling in and out of popularity in today's fast-paced consumer culture. One of those products is the infamous fidget spinner, a stress-relieving toy that has spun into public consciousness with a trail of positive and negative criticism alike. What are the potential drawbacks to owning such a product in Texas? Recent news coverage reports on how these toys could prove to be highly dangerous, depending on a number of factors. 

A 10-year-old Texas girl made CNN News when she choked on one of these intricate toys earlier this year. The child's mother reported to have noticed her daughter choking while driving home one afternoon, and quickly discovered that the cause was a small part to a fidget spinner. The girl had swallowed this small part, and as a result was rushed to the hospital, where she later went under surgery to remove the piece. Fortunately, the surgery was a success, but the Texas mother warns other parents of the potential dangers of these toys. Within the report, CNN provides the the following safety factors from The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that are essential when determining the safety of a toy:

  • Manufacturer's instructions
  • Shape, size and consistency of a toy
  • The source or maker of the toy

Vehicle breakdowns on side of highways can be deadly

Having a breakdown on the side of any Texas roadway is always concerning for the driver and passengers. However, it is extremely worrisome when it occurs on the side of a high-speed interstate where visibility may be lacking.

The tragic death of a man on the side of Interstate Route 10 reported by the San Antonio Express-News recently is an unfortunate reminder of the great care drivers and passengers need to exercise if they experience a breakdown on the highway. The speed of drivers on high-speed roadways can cause them to be unable to see and respond appropriately to avoid hitting a bystander.

Lawsuits claim drug makers downplayed risks, side effects

When a doctor in Texas prescribes medication to treat a health condition, whether it is for diabetes, heart disease or even asthma, patients accept that it is safe to take. They may ask about the drug's side effects, but the thought that it may hurt them probably does not enter their mind.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Drug makers continue to face lawsuits for a variety of reasons, including failure to disclose potential risks and side effects, false reporting to the FDA about ongoing studies and false advertising of drug benefits.

Understanding drug recall classifications

Residents of The Woodlands rely on various forms of prescription and over-the-counter medications for relief from all manner of health concerns. Very rarely may they view such drugs as presenting the potential for harm. Yet every year, prescription drugs are recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the number of drug recalls issued annually has been increasing in recent years. According to information shared by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, the average number of Class I, II and III drug recalls in the U.S. from 2009-2013 was 42.4, 373.6 and 99.6, respectively. Those numbers were a significant increase from the averages of 9.8, 100.2 and 62.8 seen for the same classes from 2004-2008. 

Most may have heard of the different classifications of drug recalls in the past, yet are unfamiliar with the details defining them. The FDA lists the criteria for the different categories of product recalls as follows: 

  • Class I: Exposure to the recalled product carries with the reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death
  • Class II: Exposure to the recalled product may have a remote potential of causing serious adverse health consequences, and a greater probability of causing temporary or medically reversible health issues
  • Class III: Exposure to the recalled product is unlikely to cause adverse health consequences 

Can you avoid a crash with a wrong-way driver?

Few things inspire more fear in drivers than seeing headlights coming toward them in their lane of travel. In those crucial seconds as the vehicle approaches yours, you will probably spend at least one second in pure disbelief.

What happens next is crucial to whether you get out of the situation without the wrong-way vehicle crashing headlong into yours. You may think that you have no course of action, but that may not be the case. Since knowledge is power, it may help to know what you may be able to do to remain safe.

Children’s fad toys may need closer review for dangers

As reported by CNN, children’s toys can become famously in-demand almost overnight. The fidget spinner is just such a phenomenon. Bursting on the scene in 2017, and with many kids owning and carrying multiple spinners at a time, it remains all the rage.

However, despite their popularity and apparent simplicity, these toys have caused some of their young owners injuries and some parents great concern. Safety agencies are taking a closer look.