Archives for April 2012

Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing Home Neglect is serious.  It is serious for those being abused, those abusing and those failing to report the abuse.  If you believe a person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited, report it to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).  Obviously, you need to call 911 or your local law enforcement agency if the situation is a life threatening or emergency situation.

When the time comes for a loved one to live in a nursing home, it is often difficult.  Concern about whether they will be cared for properly and treated with respect should not be part of the equation. Nursing homes are paid to provide quality care.  When they do not, something should be done.  Out of fear of retaliation, the nursing home resident may not report abuse or neglect.  They are dependent on the nursing home and its employees.  The last thing they want to do is lose what care they are receiving.   For this reason, it is incumbent on those who visit the home to keep a look out for problems and report them as soon as they have concerns.

You can use the Texas Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Reporting System website for reporting suspicions of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of children, adults with disabilities, or people who are elderly (65 years or older) or call the Report Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation hotline at   1-800-252-5400 .

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) Consumer Rights and Services also takes complaints about the treatment of people who receive services in long-term care facilities or in their homes. 

Complaints (reports of abuse):
1-800-458-9858
Nursing Home Information:
1-800-252-8016

Medicare has a tool to compare nursing homes you may also be helpful – Medicare Nursing Home Finder.

When nursing home negligence results in injuries and deaths, you should not hesitate to hire a lawyer.

We have experience with cases involving nursing home neglect, and if you or your family member has been seriously injured or died as a result of nursing home neglect and need a Texas attorney, please do not hesitate to give East Texas Attorney, Chris Jones, Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, a call at 903-236-4990 for a free initial consultation or send us a message at Contact Us.

Lockout Tagout

If lockout tagout is not properly implemented, approximately 3 million workers face risk of injury according to OSHA.  OSHA has a specific lockout tagout standard 29 CFR 1910.147.  OSHA estimates that compliance with the standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

In simple terms, lockout/tagout safeguards employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. Lockout is preferred over tagout.  OSHA has a lockout/tagout fact sheet (available in Spanish) and a more detailed lockout/tagout publication available for download.  OSHA even has an interactive lockout tagout interactive training program.

Imagine a coworker starting a meat grinder, wood chipper, or large mixer while you or one of your body parts are in it.  Unfortunately, it happens.  Search the internet and the OSHA Fatality and Catastrophe Investigation Summaries and you will quickly learn why lockout/tagout is so incredibly important.

Exhibit A to 29 CFR 1910.147 describes typical minimal lockout procedures.

OSHA issues citations for failing to develop and implement lockout/tagout programs and failing to provide training for employees on the use of lockout/tagout devices, but many times it is too late.  Do not wait for OSHA to issue a citation.  Implement a lockout tagout program, train your employees and make sure they comply with the program.  The failure to do so can be catastrophic.

Whatever your application, there are several lockout devices, tags and padlocks available for purchase.

If you are a worker that believes your employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards,  employees can file a complaint online with OSHA or by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

We have experience with industrial or construction accidents involving lockout tagout (or the failure to lockout tagout), and if you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one and need a Texas accident attorney, please do not hesitate to give East Texas Attorney, Chris Jones, Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, a call at 903-236-4990 for a free initial consultation or send us a message at Contact Us.

Texas Truck Accidents

18 Wheeler Truck Accidents

Truck accidents accounted for 3,380 fatalities and 74,000 people injured in the United States in 2009.  296,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) were involved in traffic crashes according the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Texas has one of the best systems of interstates and highways.  A map of the United States Interstate System reveals why there are a large number of 18 wheeler trucks on the roads of Texas.  Unfortunately, trucks on the roads ultimately lead to truck accidents, injuries and deaths and the need for an experienced Texas truck accident Lawyer.

Truck drivers have a difficult job.  They are subject to a number of laws and regulations.  Even though there are regulations concerning hours of service, truck drivers drive for long hours – and must be completely attentive the entire time. If a truck driver daydreams, texts or simply fails to keep their eyes on the road, they can quickly cause an accident.  Many truck accidents are catastrophic.

Although most 18 wheeler truck drivers do not understand physics formulas and calculations, they must respect the laws of physics if they are to avoid accidents. You do not need to understand Albert Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence equation (E = mc2) to realize that an 80,000 pound mass traveling at a speed of 55 to 75 mph is a huge amount of potentially destructive energy that must be controlled by the driver.

Federal Motor Carrier Rules and Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) provide rules and regulations that Federal Motors Carriers must follow. The Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook provides driver license testing information for drivers who wish to have a Texas commercial driver license (CDL). Thankfully, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) are being amended to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles. There are many rules and regulations which, if followed, will help avoid truck accidents.

Truck Accident Evidence

Every truck accident is different, but there is important evidence that should be collected after any trucking accident.  The regulations require the drivers to keep logs which can be examined.  The truck and its maintenance records are important evidence.  Some trucks may be equipped with GPS and other transmitters that allow the home base to locate the truck and monitor the speeds of the truck.  There should be fuel receipts that can be used to retrace the route taken, and may help determine the hours worked and speeds driven by the driver.  If documented soon after the accident, the scene will have clues as to what happened.  In more serious accidents, the highway patrol will often document the scene and perform an accident reconstruction. Eyewitnesses can be extremely important evidence.  There are many other types of evidence that may be important.  The trucking companies know this and start collecting evidence immediately.  For this reason, it is important to hire a lawyer with whom you are comfortable as soon as possible after an accident.

You may also refer to our posts, Truck Accident Lawyer, Documenting Personal Injury Damages and Motor Vehicle Crash, Now What?.

Experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney

We have experience with truck accidents, and if you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in an accident and need a Texas truck accident attorney, please do not hesitate to give East Texas Attorney, Chris Jones, Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, a call at 903-236-4990 for a free initial consultation or send us a message at Contact Us.

Oilfield Accidents, Injuries and Deaths

Oilfield accidents causing injuries and deaths are a risk that all oilfield workers must face.  A job in the oilfield can be lucrative and rewarding, but safety must be kept at the forefront.

East Texas has a strong oil and gas industry which is growing even stronger with recent discoveries in the Haynesville Shale and new drilling techniques.  East Texas County Clerks’ offices have been full of land men and land women searching title.  Mineral owners have been signing new leases.  Oil and gas companies know they must drill prior to the termination of the leases.  This means work in the oil field.

Drilling rigs are expensive.  Oil and gas operators want the job done fast.  When oil and gas prices rise,  the push to “get it done” gets even harder.  If not managed correctly, this can lead to oilfield accidents with injuries and deaths.

Unfortunately, when the push to get it done causes an accident in the oilfield, the results can be catastrophic considering the pressures that are involved, the size of the equipment used, the heights of a drilling rig, the harsh environment in which the equipment and workers must operate and the power and electricity required to operate the rig and equipment – not to mention the fact that the oil or gas being sought is flammable.

The Deepwater Horizon Accident is a good example of what can go wrong.  BP’s September report and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement report concerning the accident are interesting to read.  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement report

If you work in the oilfield, resist the push to “get it done quickly” and get it done safely.

We have experience with oilfield accidents, and if you have been seriously injured or have lost a loved one in an accident, please do not hesitate to give East Texas Attorney, Chris JonesBoard Certified Personal Injury Trial Law, a call at 903-236-4990 for a free initial consultation or send us a message at Contact Us.

 

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