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The Woodlands Personal Injury Law Blog

Keeping a crib safe for babies

When Texas parents bring their new baby home, they may be more concerned about their infant's sleeping position than his or her bed. Some cribs can present a hazard to babies, though, and it is important for new parents to understand why some cribs are considered hazardous.

Many new parents may like the convenience of a drop-side crib. According to Very Well Family, this type of crib has been illegal in the U.S. for several years. This is because it presents safety hazards to infants. When a manufacturer makes the crib from a soft wood, it can be easier for hardware to loosen. The hardware used in drop-side cribs can also break over time or go missing. Additionally, in order for the sides of the crib to move, there typically needs to be a gap between the side and the mattress. This gap may sometimes be wide enough that an infant might get trapped here.

How often are surgical objects left inside patients?

Remember that commercial in which surgeons are apologizing to a patient for leaving a cell phone inside him? It kind of funny, right? It might surprise Texans to learn that there are thousands of similar incidents each year. They may not involve cell phones, but they do involve objects that certainly do not belong there.

ThoughtCo. reports that there are between 4,500 and 6,000 such surgical mishaps annually in the U.S. While many of the objects are surgical sponges, there are a variety of other items included in the list, ranging from scalpels, needles and tweezers to surgical gloves and masks. Some of the objects are surprisingly large, including:

  •          6-inch metal clamp
  •          13-inch retractor
  •          Needles and surgical scissors
  •          Gloves, masks and towels
  •          Forceps and tubes

Responsibililty for drunk driving extends beyond driver

When a person in Texas chooses to drink alcoholic beverages and then drive, they are consciously putting themselves and other people at risk. When this drinking takes place in a restaurant or bar where other people are involved in serving alcohol to those who may ultimately be driving, one cannot help but consider the potential role these restaurant and bar employees have in any accident that may ultimately take place.

A tragic and fatal accident in February may well serve as an example to people about just who might be held responsible for acts of drunk driving. Simply put, that responsibility may not only lie with the driver but with those who provided alcohol to the driver. To add to the complexity in this case, the drunk driver was under the legal age for consuming alcohol as she was only 20.

Does self-driving car testing place Texas drivers at risk?

Texas readers know that self-driving technology is rapidly developing, with many companies already testing their models of computer-operated cars. While this may be exciting news for some, others have fears that these vehicles will not be completely safe. These fears may grow after the news of a recent fatal accident involving a pedestrian and a self-driving Uber vehicle.

This accident, while it did not take place in Texas, may give readers cause for concern. Despite this recent accident, there is still self-driving testing underway throughout the Lone Star State. This accident causes many to wonder if companies should pause the testing phase and if states should halt programs they have supported.

Two-car collision kills Fort Worth woman

Almost everyone in The Woodlands can likely remember the first time they sat behind the wheel of a car as a brand new driver. Those who have gained significant driving experience since that time may be able to attest to the fact with the benefit of hindsight, they can now see how green they truly were in terms of driving ability in those early days. The only way for new drivers to gain the skills they need to become capable motorists is to drive. The risks their inexperience poses may simply be something that others on the road must accept. 

A teen driver was recently involved in a collision in Fort Worth that produced disastrous consequences (though authorities have yet to release who may have caused the accident). In fact, the only details of the collision that have released thus far are that the two vehicles involved collided in an intersection (whether they were traveling intersecting or opposite directions was not reported). The teen was able to avoid sustaining any major injuries in the crash; unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the occupants of the other vehicle. The driver died shortly after being transported to local hospital, while her passenger was also injured. 

How can cognitive distraction cause car accidents?

If you are like many motorists in Texas and throughout the United States, you often have your cellphone close by while you are driving. Studies show, however, that talking on your cellphone while behind the wheel is extremely dangerous, even if you are using a hands-free cellular device. In fact, any type of cognitive distraction puts drivers at risk of becoming involved in a major car accident.

What is cognitive distraction? This type of distraction occurs when you are concentrating on anything other than the task at hand, including talking on a cellphone, texting, composing email, taking selfies, handling children in the back seat, listening to the radio and even talking to other passengers in the vehicle.

Who is to blame: the drug, your doctor or your pharmacist?

You and your loved ones take the medications that have been prescribed to you with full confidence that they will produce promised relief. However, there may be times when not only do you not see improvements, but your condition rapidly deteriorates. When this happens, it is almost certainly due to an adverse reaction to the drug. The question then becomes whose fault is it: the manufacturer of the drug, the doctor who prescribed, or the pharmacy in The Woodlands that filled it? 

The easiest potential culprit to rule out might the drug manufacturer. Without a drug recall or other record showing the potential for a drug to cause harm, it may be difficult to prove that it is defective. Assigning liability to a pharmacist might be equally as easy if you can show that the medication that you received is not the drug that you were prescribed, or that the dosage strength does not match that which was assigned by your doctor. If a pharmacy issues you incorrect dosing guidelines or administration instructions, such an error may also leave it liable for any harm it causes you or a loved one to endure. 

What is statute of limitations for a wrongful death action?

Unexpectedly losing a loved one in The Woodlands can leave a massive void in your life. The hope is that with the passage of time, the emotional wounds that you and others affected by his or her death experienced will begin to heal. Those may become ripped open once again, however, if you later discover that his or her death was due to another's negligence. If and when this happens, you may certainly fill justified in seeking compensation for your loss. Yet can you? 

The law imposes a statute of limitations (a deadline after which you cannot commence legal action) for certain civil claims. According to Section 16.003 of Texas' Civil Practice and Remedies Code, in the case of wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date your loved one died. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. 

Food product dating explained

You or a family member is suddenly feeling sick. You subsequently discover that the package containing the food you included in your dinner a couple of days prior had passed its expiration date. This scenario is similar to others shared by many of the clients that we here at The Leigh Law Firm have worked with in the past. Like them, you may be questioning who is to blame. Is it your fault for using the food too late, or that of the grocer in The Woodlands for selling you nearly expired food? Or could the manufacturer be at fault? 

Determining liability in this scenario may be difficult if you only have the label date to go off of. The Food Safety Inspection Service states that food label dates are not indicators of product safety. Instead, they simply offer an idea of when the product should be at its best quality. What is more, food label dates are not even required by law (except in the case of infant formula). The FSIS goes on to state that minus obvious signs of spoilage, food that has passed its label date should still be safe to use if it has been properly stored and handled. 

Fatal accident statistics not improving in the United States

There are many risks and hazards that could negatively affect the health and well-being of Texas drivers. From distraction to drunk drivers, there are various hazards that could lead to an increased chance of a car accident. In fact, national statistics indicated that the number of fatal car accidents remained consistent for the last few years. 

Fatal car collisions are a major concern for government agencies and authorities. Despite safety campaigns, penalties for poor driving decisions and more safety features in vehicles than ever before, auto fatalities are startlingly high in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, there have been two consecutive years with approximately 40,000 car accident fatalities.