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Amarillo — Man Dead After Getting Pinned Between Loaded Pallets at Tyson Foods

Posted on Thursday, August 8th, 2019 at 9:31 pm by Williams Hart   

Just before 9 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2019, a male worker was killed in an occupational accident that occurred in Amarillo, Texas.

According to initial reports, Warren Jay Slaton, 34, was working on line equipment in the Material Handling Department at Tyson Foods when all of a sudden, he became pinned between several loaded pallets. When deputies arrived on the scene of the accident, employees were conducting CPR on Slaton. However, Slaton was still pronounced dead at the scene.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now investigating this accident.

It is unfortunate to hear of the death of Warren Jay Slaton. Alas, there are countless other victims who suffered the same fate. Workplace accidents are relatively common in the United States. According to statistics, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 in the country (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). This can be interpreted as more than 99 deaths a week or more than 14 deaths every day.

In addition to this, there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2017, with 971 from that number (or 20.7%) being in construction. In other words, one in five worker deaths in 2017 were in construction. The leading causes of private sector deaths in the construction industry — which are referred to as the “Fatal Four” — are falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for about 59.9% of the construction worker deaths in 2017.

Workplace accidents are undeniably terrible for the victims and their respective families. That is why, if you are a victim of a workplace accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Workplace accident lawyers are always present, and they will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Seabrook — Construction Killed After Being Struck by Van on Texas State Highway 146

Posted on Sunday, August 4th, 2019 at 8:41 pm by Williams Hart   

At around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, a construction worker was killed after he was struck by a van near Seabrook, Texas.

According to initial reports, a road crew was working in the area of Texas State Highway 146, near Port Road, when the van veered onto the shoulder of the highway and struck a member of the road crew. As a result, the 50-year-old construction worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the van, 25-year-old Travis Stevens, was charged with intoxication assault.

This accident still remains under investigation.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the unidentified worker. Alas, there are countless other victims who suffered the same fate. Car accidents are a problem in this day and age, and yet, they still continue to happen on a regular basis. In statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents occur almost every minute of every day, and for every 16 minutes, someone dies from a car accident. This can be translated to be about 6 million car accidents every year and about 37,000 people dying from them.

There are three common causes of car accidents, and these are speeding, driving while distracted, and DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol). DUI, in particular, is quite appalling. The NHTSA reports that about 28 people die every day because of drunken driving crashes, and in 2010, 10,228 people died in DUI accidents while about 345,000 were injured. All these numbers paint a terrible picture indeed.

Car accidents are reported to be deadly for pedestrians particularly. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates that the number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. is 6,000 in 2017. This is a 27% increase from 2007 to 2016, and it is said that the number in 2017 is a 25-year high.

Additionally, there are five states that had the most number of pedestrian fatalities in 2017, and these are California, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Texas. These states accounted for about 43% of pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2017 despite the fact that they are home to only 30% of the U.S. population. The GHSA also claims that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to this kind of accident.

Car accidents, especially the auto-pedestrian and DUI ones, are quite difficult for the victims and their respective families. Thankfully, there are lawyers that specialize in car accidents/auto-pedestrian accidents/DUI accidents, so if you are a victim of this kind of accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help from these lawyers. They will help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Austin — Steel Worker Dies After Falling Off Construction Site on Ranch Road 620

Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at 9:34 pm by Williams Hart   

At around 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, a worker was killed after falling off a building in northwest Austin, Texas.

According to initial reports, the male worker was helping to build steel for a subcontractor, Steelco. Inc., at a construction site located along Ranch Road 620. However, as he was doing that, he accidentally fell off the building. As a result of his 40-ft fall, the worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is still investigating this accident.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the unidentified male worker. Alas, he is not the only one whose life is taken away by a workplace accident. Workplace accidents are relatively common in the United States. According to statistics, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 in the country (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). This can be interpreted as more than 99 deaths a week or more than 14 deaths every day.

In addition to this, there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2017, with 971 from that number (or 20.7%) being in construction. In other words, one in five worker deaths in 2017 were in construction. The leading causes of private sector deaths in the construction industry — which are referred to as the “Fatal Four” — are falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for about 59.9% of the construction worker deaths in 2017.

Workplace accidents are undeniably terrible for the victims and their respective families. That is why, if you are a victim of a workplace accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Workplace accident lawyers are always present, and they will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Breaking News: ExxonMobil Petrochemical Plant Explosion & Fire in Baytown, Texas Injures Workers

Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at 12:48 pm by Williams Hart   

Williams Hart Personal Injury Accident Lawyers are ready to help file your Workplace Burn Injury Claim.

Update: 37 Workers Burned in Accident, 66 Total Medically Evaluated

 

Emergency crews are responding to a fire at the ExxonMobil Baytown Complex at 3525 Decker Drive. Currently, a shelter-in-place has been issued for areas in Baytown west of the petrochemical and refinery complex and south of Spur 330. This facility lies on the east side of Houston in the heart of the Texas chemical industry.

“ExxonMobil reported that 66 employees/contractors have gone to the Houston Area Safety Council, for medical evaluation.”  

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil stated that “37 people sustained non-life threatening injuries”. 

Local news is reporting that workers employed on site did sustain burn injuries from the fire.

Live, local video images from television stations show flames shooting several stories into the sky from pipes inside the plant, and many residents reported that their house and windows shook from the initial explosion.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is en route to the scene.

Harris County has begun monitoring Environmental Air Quality and you can see their interactive map here.

The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed. Initial reports indicate that the Chemical Plant processed polypropylene, a thermoplastic which are highly flammable and pose a serious risk to the health and safety of employees at the facility in the event of ignition. 

The shelter-in-place has impacted several schools in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, according to the Houston Chronicle. Those schools include:

  • San Jacinto Elementary
  • Travis Elementary
  • Baytown Junior High
  • Robert E. Lee High School
  • Goose Creek Service Center,
  • Peter E. Hyland
  • IMPACT ECHS

 Families have been advised not to try to pick up their students.

 

 

The City of Baytown has stated that the fire is in a unit that contains propylene, which is an extremely flammable gas. This material is easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames and can quickly lead to an explosion.

When it comes to hazardous chemical exposure, propylene vapors can cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning. Such contact with this form of gas can also lead to burns and other severe injuries.

Exxon Mobil crews are battling the fire, according to the most recent reports, but the city’s fire department is on standby to assist, according to Natalie Barrett, the spokesperson for the city of Baytown.

ExxonMobil released the following statement about the fire: 

A fire has occurred at the Baytown Olefins Plant. Our fire teams are working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. We are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.

According to the Houston Business Journal Exxon Mobil Chemical Co. is the “Third Largest Houston-area Petrochemical & Chemical Company” with net sales of $28.69 Billion USD.

Founded 100 years ago in 1919, the Baytown complex is one of the largest ethylene plants in the world, boasting nearly 584,000 barrels of crude oil produced a day. It is also the second ExxonMobil location at which an explosion has occurred in the Houston area within the last few months.

The energy production workforce is no stranger to deadly explosions, with more than two dozen oil refinery disasters occurring in the last 50 years. For more info about Refinery Plant Safety you can get more info from Energy API here , and OSHA.gov here .

Occupational injuries and fatalities in the Chemical and  oil & gas production industry are typically caused by the following: 

  • Human error and or poorly trained staff
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Improperly stored end-products
  • Improperly maintained complex facilities

We are carefully following this story along with everyone in the community, and we will continue providing updates as they become available. You can also follow this developing story online at the Houston Chronicle’s website, KHOU online, and others.

Williams Hart has a long history of representing individuals injured in plant explosions such as the ones in Geismar, LA and Texas City. In situations like these, it is best to turn to an experienced firm to help you understand all of your options. If you have been seriously burned or injured, our Chemical Plant Fire Attorneys are ready to help you in the aftermath of this Baytown ExxonMobil Chemical Fire and Explosion.

For additional information about about your legal representation options after a disaster like this please visit:


If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Williams Hart Lawyers would like to fight for you to get the Maximum Compensation that you deserve after suffering your burn injury.


How to Prepare for a Personal Injury Lawsuit the Right Way

Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 at 11:01 am by Williams Hart   

So you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party, and you’ve decided to file a personal injury claim.

Good work! You have taken action and made the first step towards receiving justice. You’re a responsible, hardworking individual and you aren’t backing down from those who must answer for your losses. You’re ready to armor-up! It’s now time to put your trust into the hands of the right attorney to fight for you. 

This guide will walk you through the process of a personal injury lawsuit, including how to choose the right attorney, types of personal injury cases, frequently asked questions, a timeline of the process, and a checklist to help prepare you for the journey ahead.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury law, also known as tort law, is designed to protect you, the plaintiff, if you or your property sustains injury or damage because of another individual’s or agency’s actions or failure to act. In a successful personal injury lawsuit, the defendant who caused the injury compensates the plaintiff. 

While automobile accidents make up the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits, the basis of a claim can range anywhere from a simple slip or fall to a multi-victim refinery explosion. The following is a comprehensive list of typical cases that can lead to: loss of income, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and costly medical treatment.

  • ♦ Wrongful Death
  • ♦ Truck Accidents
  • ♦ Explosion Accidents
  • ♦ Burn Injuries
  • ♦ Oilfield Accidents
  • ♦ Refinery Plant Accidents
  • ♦ Pipeline Accidents
  • ♦ Jones Act Maritime Lawyer
  • ♦ Offshore Platform Rig Accidents
  • ♦ Aviation Accidents
  • ♦ Bus Accidents
  • ♦ Railroad Train Accidents
  • ♦ Crane Accident
  • ♦ Car Accidents
  • ♦ Workplace Accidents

FAQ: Litigation Process

First thing’s first: your case may take awhile to resolve. While small cases can often be resolved quickly, even medium-sized cases can take several years to resolve from the date of your injury to the day you receive compensation for your losses. From start to finish, your attorney will champion your case until the last gavel falls–just remember, he or she will have no control over how long the proceedings will last.

Civil litigation can be a frustrating and confusing process. Pleadings, motions, hearings, interrogatories, discovery, document requests, continuances, adjournments, negotiations, deadlines–the journey from your attorney’s office to the last gavel is an unfamiliar one to most people. Understandably, you have some serious questions.

  • What is the statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claim?

Knowing how a statute of limitations works is imperative, as its rules and procedures are complex and the consequences for failing to follow them can be harsh. You must act quickly. Additionally, court rulings can determine the way the statutes apply–and even make them unenforceable. The number of years you have to file a personal injury claim varies from state to state and can range between one year to six years. You can view a chart of all 50 states with their respective number of years here

  • What happens when a lawsuit is filed?

Once a lawsuit is filed, you become the plaintiff in the case and the person or entity responsible for your injuries becomes the defendant. Attorneys for each side typically begin gathering facts through exchange of documents, interrogatories (written questions), or depositions (questions that are asked in person and answered under oath). This process is called discovery. After discovery, many cases get settled before trial. Only a small percentage of personal injury actions ever go to trial.

  • What’s the difference between negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongs?

You may be wondering if there is any other basis for personal injury other than negligence. The answer: yes. Strict liability refers to the culpability of designers and manufacturers for injuries resulting in defective products. In this case, the victim does not have to establish negligence–rather, they will need to show that the product was designed or manufactured in a way that made it unreasonably dangerous when used as intended. Intentional wrongs, while rare, refer to cases in which an individual or entity purposefully causes bodily injury to you.

  • What kind of compensation is awarded for personal injury victims?

If a personal injury lawsuit is won by the plaintiff, a judge or jury will award them what the court refers to as damages. In other words: money. The amount awarded can include compensation for expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, future wage losses, physical pain and suffering, or disability that resulted from the injury.

  • Will the responsible party be punished?

This is understandably a concern that most personal injury plaintiffs will want to address. It is important to understand the difference between civil cases and criminal cases. Civil cases, such as personal injury lawsuits, do not involve jail sentences or stiff fines for the defendant. These penalties only apply to criminal cases.

  • What does it mean to settle a case?

This is where you must practice thoughtful consideration towards the outcome of your lawsuit. Settling a case means that you agree to accept money in return for dropping your action against the person who injured you. This will absolve the defendant of any further liability. Your attorney will provide a realistic assessment of whether a lawsuit based on your claim will be successful–after which, the decision to accept a settlement offer is entirely yours.

 

How to Choose your Personal Injury Attorney the Right Way

Choosing the right attorney to represent your personal injury claim is essential to securing not only the justice you deserve, but financial compensation for your losses. It’s important to put your trust into a legal representative with experience in representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

What to Look for in Your Legal Representative

♦  A Proven Record of Winning

When you look for an attorney, the first thing you should see is a history of winning results. An attorney’s work should speak for itself. At the end of the day you want an attorney that knows how to do their job, namely, winning cases.

♦  Financial Compensation

Securing adequate financial compensation requires a competent lawyer. You need to find an attorney who is experienced in setting the cost of damages and liability at a reasonable rate. Many people underestimate the amount of money they are owed while other attorneys might promise more than they can deliver. Look for an attorney who has won similar amounts for other clients and who is educated how much money cases like yours have won.

♦  Up-Front

You need an attorney who will be upfront about their fees and the prospective outcome of the case. Look for an attorney who takes the time to determine the likelihood of your case winning and who can give you some idea of what the legal proceedings will entail. When suing for damages and liability you should expect to pay your attorney part of the money you win, rather than any sort of prior fee. A plaintiff-side personal injury attorney who expects payment before winning should always be a major red flag.

♦  Powerful Negotiator

A good attorney will know when it is best to negotiate and when it is time to go to court. After a verdict, further negotiations on payouts may also be necessary. This is where having a skilled and thorough negotiator is key. Unfortunately, you could be looking at a long appeal process or a reduced payout that is barely worth the time spent filing the lawsuit. You need an attorney who can set reasonable expectations and who knows how to win a case through to the final payout.

♦  Formidable

Look for an attorney who has a reputation in their legal community. It isn’t enough to have a nice attorney, look for someone who is willing to take your case to trial if that is what needs to happen for your best outcome. Be aware of attorneys who do not have the skill or confidence to stop negotiations and go to court. You want to be sure that you hire someone who is experienced in the courtroom and who has won against other formidable lawyers.

♦  Compassionate

What drives a good lawyer to do their work? At the end of the day money isn’t enough to provide the care and honesty you need out of an attorney. It isn’t enough to merely enjoy winning, you need an attorney who has a sense of justice and drive to fight for what’s right. Defending individuals and families who have been harmed through negligence and greed should matter more than making the same money defending the corporations who cause these tragedies. Finding an attorney with a passion to fight for you is a competitive edge that should not be dismissed.

♦  Respect & Fairness

While your attorney should be an expert in their field, there is no excuse for an attorney who doesn’t respect their clients. Keeping you informed and making sure you understand your options is invaluable and the mark of a good attorney. Hire an attorney who will set fair expectations not someone who will promise the moon. Be wary of attorneys who promise something that is too good to be true.

♦  Transparency & Communication

Look for an attorney who is transparent about the legal process. It’s okay to not understand the entire process, that’s why you are hiring a qualified lawyer. You should be able to ask your attorney about the legal process and to get straightforward answers explaining your next steps. Your attorney should keep you informed and aware of the process every step of the way.

♦  Connections & Resources

When deciding on a law firm, look for a firm with the connections to be successful. Deciding between a large or small firm can be challenging. While it might seem like a good idea to go with a smaller firm and receive more one-on-one support, some aspects of trial can benefit from a larger legal team. Major corporations and even some smaller businesses may spend thousands of dollars on “expert” witnesses to attack your case. These experts can be tough to match without the resources to hire your own experts or researchers to prove those other experts wrong. Othertimes, companies may intentionally swamp your lawyer with paperwork to slow the legal process down. Having a firm with a team capable of handling these complicated and labor intensive processes is critical. Look for a firm with the connections to industry leaders and competent staff to tackle whatever your opposition throws at you.

♦  Experience

Having an experienced attorney with an equally experienced legal team encapsulates all of these critical components. An attorney who has a proven record of success in negotiations and the courtroom is of the utmost importance. You want an attorney who has a reputation of success and integrity handling complex cases while also taking the time to answer any questions you might have.

Preparation Checklist

The better prepared you are for your personal injury lawsuit, the more likely you are to receive maximum compensation as quickly as possible. Before the initial meeting with your personal injury lawyer, it’s important to gather all information applicable to your claim in order for him or her to fully investigate your case. 

Information

  • Name and address of ambulance service
  • Name and address of the emergency room where you were initially taken
  • Dates you were admitted to the emergency room and the hospital
  • Names and business addresses of all doctors who have examined you
  • Names and addresses of chiropractors you have consulted
  • Names of all people who were involved in the accident
  • Names and addresses of witnesses to the accident
  • Dates you missed work because of the accident
  • Name and telephone number of each insurance adjuster you have talked to
  • List of people you have talked to about the accident or your injuries

Documents

  • Accident report
  • Copies of any written statements
  • Your automobile insurance policy if you were injured in a car accident along with the “declarations” page or “coverage certificate” that sets forth what kinds of coverage you have purchased and what the policy limits are
  • Your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, along with the declarations page or coverage certificate
  • Medical or disability insurance policy or coverage certificate
  • Other policies, including major medical, hospitalization, veterans insurance
  • All correspondence you have received from any insurer about the accident or your injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Receipts for things you have had to buy because of your injury
  • Receipts for things you have had to fix because of the accident

For a printable copy of this checklist, please click here.


What to Expect: A Timeline

The litigation process of a personal injury claim is a lengthy and complex one, and most people do not have experience with such legal proceedings. Understandably, you and your family are anxious to pursue the justice you deserve. While the majority of personal injury claims end in a settlement before it can go to trial, it is important to familiarize yourself with what to expect–from your first meeting with an attorney to the conclusion of a trial. 

 

  • ♦  Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney

 

The first step after receiving medical treatment for your injury is to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney for a professional consultation as to whether you have a valid claim. Most personal injury lawyers do not charge a consultation fee, so beware of those who do. It’s important that you bring any supporting documents for your case, including medical records, police reports, photos, and notes you’ve taken. Be prepared to answer many questions, as your attorney will need to get a full understanding of your case.

 

  • ♦  Evaluating and Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

 

Selecting the right attorney for your claim can mean the difference between winning and losing your case, so it’s important to consider your legal representative carefully. Be sure to look for the top 10 attorney qualities, listed above, that will prove valuable in your case. Keep in mind during your initial meeting, a good attorney will never make promises about how much money you can expect to receive. Once you have made your decision, you will be asked to sign a client contract that specifies the exact attorney fee. Most personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee unless your case is successful. 

 

  • ♦  Investigating Your Case

 

To fully understand how you were injured and the extent of your injuries, damages, and costs, your attorney will conduct a full investigation into your case. He or she will contact the insurance company directly and possibly the attorney representing the party responsible for your injuries. Your attorney will keep you up-to-date on any negotiations and developments throughout the litigation process. At this point, you must prioritize your medical treatment and returning to your normal routine.  

 

  • ♦  Settling Your Case Prior To Filing A Lawsuit

 

Only five-percent of personal injury claims, especially those involving automobile accidents, actually go to trial. The remaining 95% are settled before a lawsuit is filed. While your attorney negotiates with the insurance company representing the party responsible for your injuries, be prepared to receive an offer of settlement. If the offer is made, your attorney will advise on whether or not you should accept it. Ultimately, you, and only you, have the power to decide if the settlement is acceptable. You don’t want to settle too early to “get it over with”, as you might not fully receive the compensation you deserve.

 

  • ♦  Filing Suit In Court 

 

If an agreement cannot be reached on a settlement, your attorney will file a lawsuit in court, and a judge will set a deadline for each phase of the litigation proceedings. This is where your armor will be put to the test, as the process can take several months to several years depending on the complexity of your case. Remember, your attorney has no control over the length of time it will take to resolve your case.

Pre-Trial Phases

Complaint and Answer 

One of the first documents filed in any personal injury lawsuit, the Complaint is a document outlining your allegations regarding the injuries you’ve sustained, the facts surrounding them, the individual(s) you are suing, the legal basis of your claim, and the amount of damages you believe you are owed. After the Complaint is filed, the defendant has 30 days to “answer” to your allegations. 

Discovery

The discovery phase involves a collection and exchange of testimony, evidence, documents and information between each party. This includes written documents, such as interrogatories and requests for documents, and oral depositions. Depositions involve the questioning of witnesses, experts, and each party by a lawyer. 

Motions

The motion phase involves a submission of a written request or proposal to the court by the defense attorney. There are a variety of motions and they typically ask for a strategic ruling or direction that falls in favor of the defendant.

 

 

  • ♦  Going to Mediation

 

Once the court proceedings begin, both parties may be unwilling or unable to resolve a dispute–at which point they may decide to work with a neutral third party. This method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is called mediation. It is essentially a bargaining process by which a resolution between both parties is reached under a supervised exchange of information. Although sometimes statutes, rules, or court orders may require participation in this process, mediation is usually voluntary.

 

  • ♦  Going to Trial

 

When your case goes to trial, your attorney will present his or her arguments to the judge or jury, then the individual(s) responsible for your injuries will put on their defense. Once the arguments are presented, the judge or jury will determine if the defendant is legally responsible, and, if so, the amount of damages the defendant must pay you.

A personal injury trial consists of six phases: 

      1. Jury selection
      2. Opening statements
      3. Witness testimony and cross-examination
      4. Closing arguments
      5. Jury instruction
      6. Jury deliberation and verdict

 

  • ♦  Post-trial

While your case may be over at this point, even if the jury ruled in your favor, the defense could appeal the case and ask a higher court to reconsider the verdict. Before you receive compensation, your attorney must first pay any agencies that have legal claim to some of the damages awarded. After that, you will receive a check and the money is yours to keep.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have reached the end of your journey and your personal injury lawsuit is now over. You’ve navigated a complex litigation process, after many twists and turns, under the guidance of a trustworthy attorney whose expert decision-making skills have delivered you the justice you deserve. You had one opportunity, acted quickly, prepared yourself, remained focused, and battled through it. 

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Needville — 1 Person Killed in Industrial Accident on Fort Bend Regional Landfill

Posted on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 at 9:53 pm by Williams Hart   

One person was killed in an industrial accident that occurred in Fort Bend County, Texas on Monday, July 29, 2019.

According to initial reports, the person was working at the Fort Bend Regional Landfill, located near Needville, when all of a sudden, the worker got pinned in between a truck and a tipper. The victim was then pronounced dead at the scene.

As of the moment, there is still not that much information, and an investigation is still ongoing.

It is unfortunate to hear of the death of the unidentified victim. Alas, there are countless other victims who suffered the same fate. Workplace accidents are relatively common in the United States. According to statistics, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 in the country (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). This can be interpreted as more than 99 deaths a week or more than 14 deaths every day.

In addition to this, there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2017, with 971 from that number (or 20.7%) being in construction. In other words, one in five worker deaths in 2017 were in construction. The leading causes of private sector deaths in the construction industry — which are referred to as the “Fatal Four” — are falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for about 59.9% of the construction worker deaths in 2017.

Workplace accidents are undeniably terrible for the victims and their respective families. That is why, if you are a victim of a workplace accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Workplace accident lawyers are always present, and they will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Houston — Several People Hospitalized After Partial Collapse of Hotel Under Construction on North Main Street

Posted on Monday, July 29th, 2019 at 9:02 pm by Williams Hart   

On the morning of Monday, July 29, 2019, several workers were hospitalized after a building partially collapsed just north of downtown Houston, Texas.

According to initial reports, more than a dozen workers were finishing the seventh floor on a building that will eventually become an eight-story Holiday Inn, located in the 3400 block of North Main Street, when all of a sudden the floor collapsed.

Eight workers were rushed to local hospitals, and seven others were treated for injuries. Most of the injuries include broken wrists, broken arms, and dislocated shoulders.

This accident still remains under investigation.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the victims in this accident. Alas, there are countless other victims who suffered the same fate. Workplace accidents are relatively common in the United States. According to statistics, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 in the country (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). This can be interpreted as more than 99 deaths a week or more than 14 deaths every day.

In addition to this, there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2017, with 971 from that number (or 20.7%) being in construction. In other words, one in five worker deaths in 2017 were in construction. The leading causes of private sector deaths in the construction industry — which are referred to as the “Fatal Four” — are falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for about 59.9% of the construction worker deaths in 2017.

Workplace accidents are undeniably terrible for the victims and their respective families. That is why, if you are a victim of a workplace accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Workplace accident lawyers are always present, and they will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


Houston — 2 Workers Killed After Being Overcome by Toxic Fumes From Truck

Posted on Monday, July 29th, 2019 at 8:22 pm by Williams Hart   

On the morning of Monday, July 29, 2019, two men were killed while they were working near a high school in southwest Houston, Texas.

According to initial reports, the two men were working inside a large hydroseeding spreader truck that was parked on the track at Wisdom High School when the first man opened the tank. As a result, he was overcome by the toxic fumes and collapsed into the tank truck. The second man tried to help the first man, but he was also overcome by fumes and collapsed.

A third man called 911, and upon the arrival of officers, the two men were already pronounced dead.

This accident still remains under investigation.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the two men in this accident. Alas, there are countless other victims who suffered the same fate. Workplace accidents are relatively common in the United States. According to statistics, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 in the country (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). This can be interpreted as more than 99 deaths a week or more than 14 deaths every day.

In addition to this, there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2017, with 971 from that number (or 20.7%) being in construction. In other words, one in five worker deaths in 2017 were in construction. The leading causes of private sector deaths in the construction industry — which are referred to as the “Fatal Four” — are falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for about 59.9% of the construction worker deaths in 2017.

Workplace accidents are undeniably terrible for the victims and their respective families. That is why, if you are a victim of a workplace accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Workplace accident lawyers are always present, and they will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


San Antonio — Worker Killed in Crane Accident on Pieper Ranch Middle School

Posted on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 at 9:28 pm by Williams Hart   

At around 9:50 a.m. on Monday, July 22, 2019, a man was killed in a workplace accident that occurred in San Antonio, Texas.

According to initial reports, Christopher Vest, 36, was working on a crane at Pieper Ranch Middle School, located at 1106 Kinder Parkway, when all of a sudden, he was pinned down by the crane. As a result, Vest suffered multiple blunt force injuries, and he was promptly pronounced dead at the scene.

This accident still remains under investigation.

It is unfortunate to hear of the death of Christopher Vest. Alas, he is not the only one whose life is taken away by a workplace accident. Workplace accidents are relatively common in the United States. According to statistics, 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 in the country (3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). This can be interpreted as more than 99 deaths a week or more than 14 deaths every day.

In addition to this, there were 4,674 worker fatalities in private industry in the calendar year 2017, with 971 from that number (or 20.7%) being in construction. In other words, one in five worker deaths in 2017 were in construction. The leading causes of private sector deaths in the construction industry — which are referred to as the “Fatal Four” — are falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between. These “Fatal Four” were responsible for about 59.9% of the construction worker deaths in 2017.

Workplace accidents are undeniably terrible for the victims and their respective families. That is why, if you are a victim of a workplace accident, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask for help. Workplace accident lawyers are always present, and they will be more than willing to help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.


10 Most Dangerous Occupations in Texas – You May be Surprised

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at 9:03 am by Williams Hart   

Slips and falls, faulty electrical lines, poorly maintained machinery, lack of safety equipment, heavy objects striking out of nowhere–all are familiar hazards in the American workplace. Unfortunately, they are the cause of workplace fatalities that happen every single day.

A 2018 study led by Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics for the National Safety Council, suggests that occupations with the highest fatality rates have one of three things in common: they involve working from dangerous heights, frequent contact with dangerous machinery, or driving for substantial periods.

But which professions are statistically the most dangerous? The answer may surprise you. 

In Texas, it is typically assumed that construction work or oil and gas extraction are the most dangerous industries. While many of the listed professions below are in many ways related to those industries, it is important to take a closer look at the numbers.

The following list of the most dangerous occupations in Texas was determined by examining the fatal injury rates in 2017 for 72 occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, and narrowing it down to the top 10 according to industry by state.

  1. Commercial fishermen

Fatal injuries in 2017: 100.0 fatalities per 100,000 workers

Topping the list, perhaps unexpectedly, commercial fishing is a highly physical industry involving slippery decks and heavy equipment in often remote areas where access to medical care is limited.

2. Loggers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 87.3 per 100,000 workers

Second on the list, the logging industry is also physically demanding labor–primarily outdoors and in remote areas of East Texas. Fatalities are most commonly caused by contact with an object (falling branches or logs) and dangerous machinery.

3. Pilots and flight engineers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 51.3 per 100,000 workers

In an industry characterized by mental stress and demanding scheduling, aircraft pilots and flight engineers are especially subjected to transportation accidents caused primarily by exhaustion.

4. Roofers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 45.2 per 100,000 workers

Scaffolds, ladders, and roofs create hazardous worksites for roofing professionals. Additionally, roofers are also at-risk for heat related illnesses caused by unfavorable working conditions in the hot sun.

5. Recyclable material collectors

Fatal injuries in 2017: 34.9 per 100,000 workers

Most recyclable material collectors operate in a moving vehicle during a normal workday, thus the vast majority of reported fatalities are caused by transportation incidences, including auto accidents. They may also be exposed to chemical pollutants.

6. Iron and steel workers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 33.3 per 100,000 workers

The installation and repair of iron on buildings, bridges, and roads often require iron and steel workers to perform job functions at significant heights. Falls, slips, and trips are the most common causes of fatalities in this industry.

7. Truck drivers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 26.9 per 100,000 workers

Spending much of their time on the road, truck drivers are possibly at the highest risk to transportation incidents such as motor vehicle accidents. They are also at risk of sustaining injuries from moving or living heavy objects.

8. Agricultural professionals

Fatal injuries in 2017: 24.0 per 100,000 workers

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers are at risk of fatal injuries involving motorized vehicles (tractors), tools, and farm machinery. Unlike the majority of dangerous occupations, the majority of reported injuries resulted in death at 58.9%

9. Groundskeepers and landscapers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 21.0 per 100,000 workers

Grounds maintenance work is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in America because it frequently requires the use of powerful machinery such as chainsaws, lawnmowers, and tractors. Unintended contact with dangerous machinery is the most common cause of death in this industry. 

10. Electrical powerline installers

Fatal injuries in 2017: 18.6 per 100,000 workers

The installation and maintenance of high voltage power lines at great heights make live wires and risk of falling the most common causes of fatal injuries in this industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the above occupations are especially subjected to occupational fatalities or injuries. Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in work-related wrongful death cases and can help you get the justice that your family and loved-one deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (800) 220-9341 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

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