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What Can I Do if Injured While Rock Climbing?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Rock climbing can be a fun and safe pastime, if you practice it correctly. Gyms all over the country have caught onto the trend, and now rock-climbing walls are ubiquitous. These gyms provide a fun way to get some physical activity, but they can also be dangerous. What happens when you’re injured while using a climbing wall? Can you legally sue the gym where it happened? Learn about liability as it pertains to rock climbing.

Premises Liability Concerns

One of the biggest theories pertaining to rock-climbing injuries is that of premises liability. This is a very complex area of the law, but it basically asserts that anyone who owns a property must be reasonably careful in its upkeep and make it safe for visitors. If a property owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed but didn’t fix it, you may have legal grounds for a claim.

Rock walls require regular maintenance. If owners don’t regularly check steps, ropes, or other equipment and it falls into disrepair, causing injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit on the grounds of premises liability.

Product Liability Concerns

On the other hand, sometimes the fault is not with the property owner, but the manufacturer of the equipment. If a defective piece of safety gear (or the wall itself) leads to your injury, it becomes a matter of product liability law. Manufacturers can commit negligence if they distribute products that have an inherent flaw in design, or even a defective batch. Retailers may even be responsible if they sell an unsafe product – for example, a safety harness that has been subject to recall.

What about Waivers of Liability?

Rock climbing accidents may be unique in that many gyms have participants sign a “waiver of responsibility.” This serves as protection for the gym, which says that you can’t sue for damages after signing. However, you may still be able to pursue damages, even if you signed a waiver. The courts may deem a waiver unenforceable; it depends on the exact nature of your case.

Damages in a Rock Climbing Accident Claim

If you recently incurred injury at a rock climbing gym and it arose from someone else’s negligence, you may be able to gain two types of compensation. These include:

  • Economic damages. These compensate for material aspects of an accident, which includes medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation costs, and the cost of missing work (lost wages).
  • General damages. These damages help address the intangible losses associated with your experience, such as pain and suffering. It may also address emotional distress or loss in life quality.

Rock climbing can be a fun way to pass the time, but it’s not without its dangers. Participants should know their legal options in the event of an accident or injury. Even if you signed a liability waiver, you may still have legal grounds for a claim. If you think you have a case for negligence based on what you’ve read here, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney for a free initial consultation.

Posted by admin at 11:10 pm

Can You Sue After an Electric Shock?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Electric shock injuries are not rare and the damage they cause varies greatly. Electrocutions are when an electric shock is fatal and they are fairly rare.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are around 70 fatal electrocutions each year from consumer products, and many more injuries. The most common age for electrocution is not among children, but among adults aged 40 to 59. One of the most common forms of electrocution results from occupational injuries, which account for almost 10% of all fatal workplace accidents.

If you or a loved one recently sustained a serious electric shock, you may be wondering what your legal options are. The following aspects will inform any electric shock lawsuit:

Who Is the Responsible Party?

As with virtually every other personal injury case, electric shock cases are rooted in the theory of negligence. This means that another person’s careless actions (or inaction) directly led to your injuries. In general, there are four elements that comprise an electric shock case:

1. Someone owed you a duty of care – i.e., they were required to help keep you safe. For example, your employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace.

2. That party breached their duty of care – i.e., committed negligence. An example might be failing to check a machine for loose wiring.

3. That breach of care led to your injuries, and;

4. You incurred specific damages as a result (medical bills, lost wages, etc.).

The most important part of your case will be determining who breached their duty of care. There are several legal theories that may come into play in an electric shock case, which may include:

  • Premises liability. If you were shocked at a store or in a public place, you may have a case based on the idea that property owners are duty-bound to keep their premises safe for visitors.
  • Negligent supervision. If your child or loved one was shocked while playing in a pool in a thunderstorm while under another person’s care, you may collect compensation using the theory of negligent supervision.
  • Product liability. If you were shocked while using a defective product, you may have a case under the scope of product liability law, which states that anyone involved in the production and distribution of a product must use reasonable care to make it safe.

Types of Damages in Electric Shock Cases

If you have legal grounds for an electric shock lawsuit, you may be able to collect damages. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Economic damages. These types of damages, also called “special” damages, compensate for all the tangible losses associated with your experience. Examples may include medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of rehabilitation.
  • General damages. These help with the intangible losses of an accident, such as pain, suffering, and any loss in life quality.

Electric shocks can lead to serious injury or death. Thankfully, victims of these shocks may be able to gain compensation, especially when their injuries arise from someone else’s negligence. If you have further questions or want to know if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, contact an attorney.

Posted by admin at 11:02 pm

Texas Laws on Corporal Punishment in Public Schools

Monday, November 6, 2017

Corporal punishment used to be common in classrooms – whether it was paddling or hitting a student’s hands with a ruler. As we’ve evolved, however, so have our views about hitting children – and many states have since passed legislation that outlaws corporal punishment in schools. Texas, on the other hand, is one of the few states left in the union that allows corporal punishment in schools. If you’re aghast at this idea, you’re not alone. Fortunately, as a parent, you can “opt out” of corporal punishment for your children in schools. Here’s what you need to know about corporal punishment in local Texas schools.

What Is Corporal Punishment?

The state of Texas defines corporal punishment as any deliberate infliction of pain that involves spanking, hitting, slapping, or any other physical form of discipline. State law allows anyone who is involved in a child’s care or supervision to use any reasonable amount of force that an adult believes is required to maintain disciple. What the law views as “reasonable” can be subjective, however.

Where Is It Legal in Texas?

While state law allows corporal punishment in schools, they also give local school districts the authority to make their own ruling. As such, many of the urban and suburban areas in Texas have prohibited the use of corporal punishment. However, large swaths of rural areas throughout the state can and do still use it.

What Can I Do About It?

To many parents, the idea of corporal punishment is disturbing. If you’re in a district that condones the use of corporal punishment but do not agree to it, you have the right to opt out. In fact, Texas law prohibits the use of corporal punishment on any student whose parents have signed a statement explicitly prohibiting it. These “objections forms” go out at the beginning of the school year, and parents must sign them each year.

Private Schools

Is corporal punishment allowed in private schools? They do not receive public funding so they are not subject to state specific educational laws. As such, they are free to create their own policies.

Is It Actually Common?

The Three Rivers Independent School District made national headlines this summer when the school board voted unanimously to allow corporal punishment for misbehavior at school. The school administrators use wooden paddles to administer punishment, but only when they have express written consent from the parents.  The city, which is about halfway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio, was the subject of ire and controversy during that news cycle.

This flies in the face of the U.S. Department of Education, which sent letters out to state leaders condemning the practice, and urging states to prohibit it. Their stance is that students who experience corporal punishment are more likely to react aggressively with defiance in the short term, and are even more likely to have mental health issues and substance abuse problems later in life.

Still, corporal punishment is allowed in parts of Texas. Parents have the option of “opting out,” but anyone with concerns should contact an education attorney.

Posted by admin at 10:49 pm

DART BUS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Monday, May 22, 2017

DART BUS ACCIDENT LAWYERS

Every day in Dallas County, an average of two-hundred thousand commuters, tourists and others board Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses from bus stops along roadways or at DART transit centers. Unfortunately, in the event of a collision, people are killed or sustain serious injuries in accidents involving DART buses on a far too regular basis. Most DART buses do not have seat belts and the massive size of DART buses often cause severe damage. If you or a loved one has been involved in a DART bus crash, whether as a passenger, a pedestrian, or a motorist, consulting with an experienced DART bus accident attorney can help ensure you are taking the steps necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.

There is a deadline to file notice of a claim against DART and the City of Dallas. Failure to timely file a claim or to follow the proper procedure could prevent your ability to recover damages. Contact a Dallas DART accident attorney to preserve your claim for maximum compensation. 

Dallas Area Rapid Transit System

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit authority (or DART) is a transit agency operated by primarily in Dallas County, Texas. It operates buses, light rail, commuter rail, and high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Dallas and 12 of its suburbs. DART currently provides transportation to the following suburbs:

  • Addison
  • Carrollton
  • Cockrell Hill
  • Farmers Branch
  • Garland
  • Glenn Heights
  • Highland Park
  • Irving
  • Plano
  • Richardson
  • Rowlett
  • University Park

At times DART hires private companies to provide support and operate buses and transportation vans on behalf of DART. In addition to buses, DART operates a light rail service, and is the largest light rail operator in the United States with a rail system of 93 miles.

Causes of DART Bus Crashes

 There are many reasons why a DART bus may get into an accident. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Negligence on the part of the DART bus driver
  • Negligence on the part of the driver of another vehicle
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol or drug Use
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Mechanical problems
  • Improper maintenance
  • Distracted driving such as cell phone use
  • Inadequate training
  • Inadequate supervision

Common DART Bus Accident Injuries

Some of the most common injuries individuals sustain when involved in a DART bus accident include:

  • Whiplash and spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains to the muscles
  • Brain injuries
  • Trauma to the head
  • Paralysis
  • Crushing injuries
  • Damage to nerves
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts, bruises and burns

What Damages Can I Recover After a DART Bus Accident?

One of the most common questions asked of a Dallas DART bus accident attorney after a DART bus accident is in regard to what damages can be recovered. If you or a family member has been injured in a DART bus accident, you may have a claim against Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the City of Dallas for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Other damages

The Law in Texas for DART Bus Injury Cases

DART bus drivers must obey all traffic laws and the Texas Transportation Code. Because DART buses are considered “common carriers” the driver must use utmost caution when driving these vehicles in order to ensure the safety of the passengers on board. DART must properly maintain DART buses. Additionally, DART must hire, train and supervise qualified drivers. In addition to passengers, DART drivers have a duty to drive in a reasonable manner and not endanger the safety of people in other vehicles or pedestrians. If the driver of another vehicle  causes a collision with a DART bus, you may have a claim against both the DART bus driver and the driver of the other vehicle. Additionally, there may be other parties an experienced Dallas DART bus accident attorney can pursue for damages.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a DART Bus Accident?

A DART bus crash can be the result of the fault of the DART bus driver, DART, or there may be several different parties that contribute to a collision that can be held accountable for your accident.

DART Bus Drivers – DART bus drivers who are poorly trained, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive while distracted, or fail to drive like a reasonable person and commit traffic violations can be held responsible for causing a crash.

Other Motorists – In Texas, the driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to drive in a reasonable manner.  Negligent drivers that collide with a DART bus or force the DART bus to lose control are responsible for the injuries and damages that result in the DART bus crash.

Private Bus Companies – DART at times contracts with third party private bus companies to perform overflow transportation work, as well as transportation for DART vans. Private bus companies are required to perform vehicle maintenance, comply with government regulations, and hire qualified drivers to operate the vehicles safely. The bus company may be liable for serious crashes that result from their negligence and are responsible for the negligence of employee drivers.

DART Bus Accident Attorney Notice Requirement

Notice of a claim against DART and the City of Dallas must be brought timely and meet the strict notice requirements set forth under Texas law. Failure to file the timely or proper notice of a claim could result in the loss of the ability to recover damages against DART. It is imperative that anyone injured by a DART bus provide DART and the City of Dallas with notice of a claim within the deadlines required under Texas law.

Experienced DART Bus Accident Attorney

If you survived a DART bus crash or lost a loved one in a DART bus crash, you may be entitled to receive significant compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Contact an experienced DART bus accident lawyer at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert. Board Certified Dallas personal injury attorney Aaron Herbert has recovered millions for accident victims and their families. For a free consultation, call 24/7 to (214) 200-HURT or click HERE to fill out the online, attorney-consultation form. The consultation is free and there is no fee or expense until we win the case.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 7:20 pm

Can I Sue a Doctor for Giving Me Bad Advice?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Society relies on health care professionals to provide life-saving procedures, treatments, and medical advice. When patients suffer an illness or injury, they trust physicians to locate the source of the problem and recommend a solution based on years of special training and expertise. Doctors have a duty to uphold high standards of patient care, by law and under the Hippocratic oath. While an honest mistake is not grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, negligence resulting in injury is a reason to seek legal counsel.

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

The foundation of every medical malpractice case is a physician’s alleged negligence. When a doctor fails to exercise the proper standards of care, including giving bad advice to a patient, it isn’t necessarily malpractice. Bad advice can simply be an honest oversight. People rely on physicians for help deciding on a course of treatment based on information and symptoms the patient provides. Unfortunately, this treatment may not always be what is best, and if another physician reasonably would have given different advice in the same situation, it may be negligence.

For a case of medical negligence, you must prove four things:

  1. The doctor owed you a standard of care. A doctor-patient relationship must exist between you and your doctor at the time of the alleged bad advice. To do so, you must show that the doctor in question was in fact your doctor at the time of the incident.
  2. The doctor breached an ethical duty to uphold this standard of care. In this case, the doctor gave you bad advice. You must prove the doctor’s reason for breaching the standard of care stemmed from negligence, such as not listening to your symptoms or reading your patient chart.
  3. The doctor’s breach of duty caused your injury. It’s not enough to prove that a doctor was negligent and breached the acceptable standards of care. The breach must have caused you an injury. For instance, you must provide proof that taking the doctor’s bad advice worsened your condition.
  4. You suffered damages as a result of the negligence. If you didn’t suffer damages from the doctor’s breach of duty, there’s no point in pursuing a lawsuit.

If you can prove these four things, you likely have a case of medical negligence on your hands. Your doctor may have been distracted during your appointment, or the hospital could have mixed up your medical records. There are many types of negligence and reasons a doctor may give bad advice to a patient, but in every case the injured patient has the right to pursue recovery.

How to Establish Wrongdoing

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, with a heavy burden of proof on the victim. Establishing a doctor’s wrongdoing requires interviewing eyewitnesses, such as nurses or maintenance crewmembers, analyzing your medical records, and hiring an expert key witness to testify. The key witness can tell the jury what the defendant reasonably should have advised according to professional standards. In a case of bad advice, proving negligence is especially difficult. The doctor may have believed the actions or advice he or she provided was best based on the symptoms.

Luckily, the law recognizes the difficulties a plaintiff faces when proving medical negligence. If your injuries were the direct result of a doctor’s negligence but you can’t pinpoint exactly what the doctor did wrong, you can invoke a legal doctrine called “res ipsa loquitur,” Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” This implies you only have to show you suffered an injury that must be the result of negligence. Consult with an expert Dallas personal injury attorney about your bad advice incident and subsequent injuries to find out if you have the elements of a medical malpractice case.

Posted by admin at 10:43 pm

Understanding Fault in High Risk Activity Accidents

Friday, February 19, 2016

What happens if you get injured while rafting, paragliding, BASE jumping, or another extreme sport? Many of these activities require liability waivers, but a waiver does not necessarily preclude an injured individual from taking legal action against the organizer.

In 2012, a man in Fort Worth drowned during a mud run. In 2013, a Pennsylvania hospital’s emergency services took in 38 patients during a Tough Mudder (extreme obstacle course) event. Of course, there are many of these kinds of incidents, and they can quickly become tragic.

Extreme sports and obstacle courses are exhilarating, in part, because of the risk-factor. Liability waivers are designed to protect organizations from lawsuits arising from certain injuries or death. However, many waivers are not enforceable, even when a participant signs the document.

What Affects the Protectiveness of a Waiver?

Every state has different laws regarding contracts including waivers. Some states may not accept the terms or the structure of a waiver under state law. Assuming state laws do support the enforceability of a waiver, the waiver may still not protect the organization from a lawsuit.

A waiver only protects an organization within the limited scope outlined in the document. In other words, an organization may be liable for an injury that goes above and beyond the terms of the waiver. For instance, if you were injured because an organization knowingly changed the hazardous nature of an activity or failed to take reasonable safety precautions (extreme negligence), you may still be able to hold the organization accountable.

A good rule of thumb is to look at the nature of the activity and see if the factor that caused harm could have been reasonably eliminated without changing the nature of the activity. If it could have been removed or altered, then the waiver may not protect the organization from a lawsuit.

The Complexity of Waiver Enforceability in Texas

Enforceability of waivers is a complicated matter in Texas. There are no written laws that explicitly define what a liability waiver must contain to remain enforceable. Instead, courts rely on a patchwork arrangement of court opinions and interpretations to determine enforceability on a case-by-case basis.

If you have an attorney who understands the framework for enforceability in Texas, he or she can review the waiver and develop a case that either contests enforceability or goes beyond the scope of the waiver. For instance, if a parent signs a waiver for a child to go whitewater rafting, the parent may give up the ability to file a claim, but a child may recover some damages.

Always Talk to an Attorney After an Extreme Activity Injury

After a high risk activity accident, secure a copy of your signed liability waiver. Keep any recordings that capture the time of the incident, and tell your medical provider about your injury. If you were using equipment that malfunctioned, take pictures of the equipment.

Some individuals assume a waiver will keep them from recovering damages after an injury. As a result, they never pursue a legal consultation to determine if they have grounds for a lawsuit. At the Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert PC, our initial consultations are always free, and we can help you determine if a lawsuit is the right course of action.

Knowing your rights can help you take action after an accident. You probably don’t need to have your attorney review every waiver before you, but don’t be afraid to reach out to an attorney if you have any questions. You may have options to secure financial compensation that will cover the cost of your injury and rehabilitation. For more information, contact the Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert PC in Dallas.

Posted by admin at 11:42 pm