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Settlement Vs. Trial: Which Is Right For You?

By | Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

How do you determine if you have a personal injury case?

Under Texas law, there are many categories of personal injury damages that allow an individual or multiple individuals to initiate a lawsuit.  For example, wrongful death, medical malpractice, slip or trip and fall, lack of security, work-related injuries, boating accidents, and auto accidents.  If another party contributes to the injury of a person in any way — directly or indirectly, they may be at least partially liable for those injuries.  This is the basic premise of a personal injury claim.

Obviously, there are times when it is difficult to tell who or what may have caused an incident that led to injuries.  This is when thorough investigation of all the facts of the incident must be done.  Skilled personal injury attorneys know how to uncover details and leave no stone unturned.  Injury cases are not easy to pursue in most cases.  And so, an injury attorney must be adept at finding hidden facts and extracting information from unlikely or unwilling sources.

The first thing that many people ask is, will I need to go to trial?  The truth is, in Texas and anywhere in America, the majority of personal injury claims are handled through settlement.  Trials are very costly and time-consuming. Both sides of an injury lawsuit are motivated to resolve the case without going to trial.  There are advantages and disadvantages of going through the legal trial process.

Sometimes, the plaintiff in the case may question why their injury attorney is pushing for a settlement.  Why don’t we take this case to trial?  Can’t you potentially get more compensation from a trial? Well, the truth is, trials are risky. Our McAllen, Texas injury firm shares with you here: the differences between settlement and trial.

Benefits of Settlement

It’s less risky than heading to court (you could lose and get zero)

It’s less expensive (less time on the part of the attorney/law firm)

It’s less time consuming and can happen faster, whereas trials can drag out over a year or more

It’s not as hard on the plaintiff and their loved ones – not as emotionally and physically draining as a trial in court

Get your life back to normal sooner/ Move on sooner

As you can see, a settlement is a sure thing – money in hand.  And if a trial outcome is uncertain, your injury attorneys will recommend accepting a reasonable settlement.

It typically takes a year, or longer for a court date to be set for a trial.  So if you are holding out for that, it means waiting longer to be compensated for your expenses, which may still be ongoing.  Now consider that juries are individuals, with their own thought processes and belief systems.  What seems obvious to you, or fair to you, may not be obvious or fair to them.  You can choose to go to trial and risk LOSING.

Now, if your case is worth millions and your settlement offer is $650,000, then your injury attorney may decide that the trial is the only way to go.

A skilled injury lawyer evaluates each case

Obviously, your personal injury attorney wants to be successful.  He or she wins when you win.  So your lawyer will review all the details of your settlement with you and guide you in deciding whether accepting the amount is the right decision.  Often, injury attorneys counter the settlement offer with an offer you WOULD accept, when the defendant’s offer is too low.

It pays to ask your injury attorney questions at the beginning of your case, to get their thoughts on potential settlement.  Note that sometimes, even the most experienced lawyers sometimes call on outside help, by consulting mediators or facilitators to help resolve a settlement.  When all attempts at mediation and settlement fail, then an injury case goes to trial. 

Benefits of a Trial

Possibility of receiving a higher/the highest possible amount for your claim

A chance to document all details of your claim (for the record)

The ability to appeal the decision

As you can see, wise legal counsel is critical in any type of wrongful death, auto accident, or injury claim.  Tijerina Law Firm serves Mcallen and Brownsville, Texas, helping the injured seek justice and compensation. We welcome all inquiries and offer free case evaluations.

Injured? Learn The Steps Of A Personal Injury Lawsuit

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

A personal injury case is not a quick and simple process. Some cases are more easily handled and settled than others, but if you or a loved one has been injured, then it is best to know what to expect. You must understand that you will be involved in the case for quite a while. A personal injury/auto accident case follows certain steps, which we outline below.

Seek Treatment and Collect Evidence

As soon as you have been injured in any type of incident or car accident, you should seek medical treatment. Your injuries should be evaluated by a professional doctor and the injuries must be recorded. This is to your advantage, should you need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. It’s also very important that you write down everything you remember about the incident or situation that led to your injury (or your loved one’s injuries.) From the beginning, you should always record everything associated with the accident and injuries, and keep records of all medical bills, lost work, medications needed, etc.

Meet with an Attorney – Free Initial Consultation

You may be wondering if you have a case, or if you should accept the amount that the insurance company is offering to you? This is exactly the time to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney and take advantage of a free consultation. Your injury attorney will be able to evaluate your accident or situation and determine the likelihood of reaching a fair settlement. He or she will also consider the possibility of your case going to trial in a court of law.

The attorney will advise you on how the case merits possible financial compensation and possible trial or litigation length. The attorney will also advise you on how to proceed. Keep in mind that any and all evidence that you collected will help the attorney assess your personal injury case.

Initial Court Papers

Once you’ve selected a personal injury attorney to help you, he or she will explain the paperwork that is involved. This initial paperwork officially launches your lawsuit. The first papers filed in a case are called pleadings. There can be even more papers involved with this process, however all cases will – at the minimum – include the documents we name here. You will first have to fill out a Complaint/Petition, which gives a basic premise of what took place at the accident, or it describes the situation that caused the illness or injury.

A document called the Summons and Service of Process will be sent to the defendant. It notifies them that the case is being filed. The defendant then responds to the summons, which is called the Answer. This answer influences how the rest of your case will go, because it requires the defendant to make one of these responses: admit, deny, or having insufficient knowledge to admit or deny.”

The Discovery

The facts brought by the plaintiff and the defendant that are sent to each other are the discovery phase of the case. This is when medical records, personal information, extent of injuries, any long term side effects, and any other related materials are exchanged. Written questions and answers from the injured party and witnesses are also placed on record. It is always best to give all information to your injury attorney and not withhold any details.


Despite what you see on television, very few cases actually go to trial. The majority of personal injury claims involve communications back and forth between the plaintiff and defendant. Information is requested and shared over many months or even years. And then these cases are settled, with a settlement offer being made from the insurance company to the injured party. Your attorney will advise you whether, in his or her professional opinion, the settlement is fair. Your attorney will either encourage you to accept the settlement or keep fighting to achieve a fair and just amount.

The Trial

In cases where no settlement is offered or the settlement is considered not acceptable, the plaintiff’s attorney will file for court proceedings. Keep in mind that it can take many months sometimes even a year or more, before your trial comes in front of a jury. At trial, your attorney will present your case, while the defense will attempt to keep any payout to a minimum. The defendant may deny all responsibility. This is when the experience and abilities of your injury attorney are essential. The trial will go in the following order: jury selection, opening statements by the plaintiff and defendant, plaintiff presentation of facts, defendant presentation of facts, closing statements, jury deliberation, and finally the verdict.

Unfortunately, injuries can be caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Our injury law firm in McAllen, Texas sees all types of auto accident cases as well as slip and fall cases and job related injuries. It’s always wise to speak to an injury attorney before speaking with insurance companies.

Child Safety

Child Safety In And Around The Home

By | Personal Injury | No Comments

As we all know, accidents can happen at anytime. 

They can be minor, serious, or even deadly.  As parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and friends of children and teenagers — it is up to us to do everything we can to protect them from injury and harm.  This means both inside and outside of the home.  Here we share some important things to always consider when children are involved.

Chemicals are all over your house — on cabinets, cupboards, closets and drawers.  Some of them if ingested or inhaled would do nothing more than causeChild Safety some slight discomfort.  But others can seriously harm a child or even cause death.  Over 2 million children under age 15 experience accidents around their home each year — accidents that bring them to hospitals, emergency rooms and clinics for treatment.  Forty percent of these children are under age 5.

These accidents involve not only ingestion of chemicals and poisons but also falls and burns.  Smaller children tend to fall a lot and they are also more likely to get burned.

  • To avoid these common household injuries, adults must be cautious by keeping chemicals and cleaning products under lock and key or in a place that is completely inaccessible to young children. 

  • The same care must be practiced whenever adults are cooking or baking.  In just a second a child can open an oven door, touch a hot burner, or reach for the handle of a boiling pan; dumping the liquid onto him or herself. 

  • Keeping the floors clear of tripping hazards and not allowing children to play on stairs helps to avoid falls.  Accidents are preventable if we pay close attention to kids and keep them away from potentially dangerous situations.

    It is recorded that most of these accidents happen whenever people are in a hurry, distracted, or they are not on their normal routine.  Be especially careful if you are visiting someone, are in a new home or environment.

    Now let’s talk about another favorite childhood pastime — bicycling.

    Between 60% and 70% of all bicycle injuries and deaths happen to cyclists who are under 25 years old and sadly, between 500 to 1000 bicyclists are killed in the US each year by being hit by a motor vehicle.  Typically, the driver just does not see the cyclist.

    Children are less likely to be highly aware of their surroundings when they are riding bikes.  This is why they should be supervised when doing so. From the very beginning, children should be taught to always look and listen for approaching cars or other moving vehicles.  They should always ride in highly visible areas and be warned about corners or coming out of driveways.  Educating children and teens about riding bikes goes a long way in preventing accidents and keeping them safe.

    Overall, it’s important to remember that children do not have the same ability to assess the situation or the awareness of dangers, as an adult.  Children need adequate supervision along with continuous education about the risk of accidents. Attention to detail in your home — the arrangement of your furniture, picking things up off the floor — all of these things play a role in child safety.  Heavy items should never be placed on top of a chest of drawers or table that a child could potentially pull over onto themselves by climbing onto it.

    As injury attorneys serving McAllen, Texas and surrounding areas, we seek to educate the community about safety issues. As a community, we must do everything we can to prevent injuries to children.


Class Action Lawsuits – Noteworthy Cases

By | News, Personal Injury, Uncategorized | No Comments

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Class Action Lawsuit” on the news and in the media, but most people don’t have a clear understanding of them and how they can protect your rights. 

By definition a Class Action Lawsuit is…

Charges advanced in a court by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a large group of others who have a common interest.

There have been class-action cases that changed history. Most people are aware of civil action lawsuits as seen in the movies Erin Brokovich and A Civil Action. These are cases where a group of people – for example, the residents of a small town or workers in a certain plant – are suing a large company in a civil action that is also a class-action.

pexels-photo-296881 (1)

There have been Supreme Court decisions that originated as civil lawsuits; in the state of Tennessee versus John Thomas Scopes, a Tennessee law was challenged. This law made it unlawful to deny “divine creation” (Adam and Eve) and teach the theory of evolution. This law was called the Butler Act. Scopes was a biology teacher who, encouraged by the American civil liberties Union, agreed to teach evolution to his classes. Many subsequent civil action lawsuits followed and the Butler Act was eventually repealed in Tennessee in 1967.

Another notable case involved a massive civil settlement of $333 million in 1996. The case was brought by the residents of a California town called Hinkley. Pacific Gas and Electric Company was found to have knowingly dumped wastewater into the ground in this area. This wastewater contained chromium 6 — a known carcinogen. Interestingly, a new class-action was filed in 2011 because it was found that the chromium had been spreading, and in the end, Pacific Gas and Electric Company purchased some of the homes and properties in the town.

Another interesting case that affected US history is the Lois E Jensen versus Eveleth Taconite Company. This lawsuit was brought in 1988 and was the first sexual harassment class action suit in America. Lois Jensen along with 14 other female coworkers employed by the Taconite EVTAC mine in Minnesota presented that they were subjected to intimidation and extreme physical harassment from male coworkers and also supervisors of the mine.

The attorneys with the mining company managed to delay the case for a decade but the day before the jury trial was to take place, they settled and provided monetary damages to the group of women.

An example of a very large sum class-action was the Nortel Networks case that was settled in 2006. This class-action lawsuit was brought by investors who held stock in Nortel Networks, which at the time was a major supplier of fiber-optic equipment to new, up-and-coming Internet companies. You may remember the Internet bust – when that happened, sales drastically declined. The company created fake accounting entries that showed equipment sales that were not actually happening. This was uncovered and investors won their lawsuit to the tune of 2.4 billion.

Another big time class-action was settled in 2005 for the amount of $2.5 billion. This one also involved investors. Those who invested in AOL Time Warner stock brought the suit alleging that Time Warner had falsely shown revenue generation. What the company was doing was moving money around between accounts in the form of advertising transactions over a period of four years. They were designed to look like income when in reality it was just money shifting from one area to another. These false earning statements constituted fraud and the investors won their class-action lawsuit.

These types of cases are fascinating and we will share more of them in an upcoming article. As your McAllen personal injury attorney, we represent victims of big company negligence and recklessness. Call Tijerina Legal Group to discuss your class action lawsuit.

Source of some case information: InfoLaw

A Short History Of The U.S. Court System – Part 2

By | Court System, Law, Uncategorized | No Comments

Not many people know that when the Constitution was written, the Supreme Court was created as a compromise – middle ground between states’ rights advocates and Federalists. In the first 10 years of operation, the Supreme Court only decided about 50 cases. The founding fathers did not know how greatly it would be used and needed. But in the years of 1801-1835, under Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court would prove to be a major aspect of the United States Court System, as it became more involved, more united, and more productive.

During the meetings of the very first Congress for our country, congressmen worked to outline a workable national judiciary that would follow the constitution yet still address their concerns. Again, the Federalists and Anti-federalists made their arguments. The law that emerged from this debate was the Judiciary Act of 1789.

Under this historic act, a three-part judiciary was established:

1) A Supreme Court, consisting of a chief justice and five associate justices (and would meet in Washington, DC)

2) Three circuit courts, each having two justices of the Supreme Court and a district judge; and

3) Thirteen district courts, each presided over by one district judge.

The middle tier of this new system — the U.S. circuit courts — acted as the principal trial courts in this newly adopted court system. Each justice was assigned to one of three geographical circuits, and attended the appropriate meetings within the districts of that circuit. The term “circuit riding” came about at this time. Judges usually spent more time on their circuit court duties than their district court duties.

bald-eagle-portrait-white-tailed-eagle-adler-38998As the ratification process of the Constitution was underway, many citizens voiced fears about the power of an independent federal judiciary. They felt it could threaten state courts and restrict some civil liberties. So, the Judiciary Act responded accordingly, to bring these concerned citizens some reassurance. It allowed state courts to exercise concurrent jurisdiction over many federal questions. It also required federal courts to select juries according to the procedures used by the district’s state courts. Lastly, it guaranteed the right to trial in the district where the defendant lived.

At the same time that debates and decisions were underway involving the Judiciary Act, Congress was discussing the Bill of Rights, and this legislation provided still more assurances that the federal courts would respect certain liberties such as trial by jury.

It became clear that the three-tiered court system was being developed and accepted by the U.S. citizens. And so, we have a multi-tiered federal court structure that operates in conjunction with state courts—an arrangement conceived in 1789 that is still in place today.

Tijerina Legal Group is proud of our country’s history and heritage, and takes the upholding of justice very seriously. We serve McAllen, Brownsville, and surrounding areas of Texas. Contact your dedicated McAllen personal injury attorney to speak with someone committed to your legal rights.

U.S. Courts

A Short History of The U.S. Court System

By | Court System, Law | No Comments

As personal injury attorneys, we are dependent on the court system to deliver justice for our fellow citizens.  The US court system is vast and complex—worthy of appreciation and respect.  It’s also a distinct part of our unique American identity.

Our multi-tiered judiciary system protects individual rights through the supremacy of the federal courts and the work done by the state courts. This balancing act didn’t just happen.  It’s the result of countless hours of discussion among the Founding Fathers, like George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay.  You may know a lot about our system today, but what about how it came to be?

HOW IT BEGANU.S. court history

The Constitutional Convention in 1787, the development of the United States Constitution itself (ratified in 1788), and the First Congress in 1789.

Four years after the end of the Revolutionary War, The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia took place.  More than 50 delegates at this meeting conducted a fierce debate about how to frame the Constitution and how to structure a national justice system.  They also set out to structure a national judiciary.

Excerpted from the National Archives and Records Administration: In all, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention sessions, but only 39 actually signed the Constitution.

There were two distinct groups in opposition regarding how the Constitution should be crafted. The Federalists were strong proponents of a mighty, powerful national government. They were suspicious of the parochial prejudice of state courts. Federalists and their supporters believed that the federal judiciary should consist of trial courts, appellate courts, and one supreme tribunal.

The Anti-federalists supported states’ rights. They feared that a dominant federal judiciary would undermine the states’ authority and that the federal government would be too powerful. They felt that the state should have both trial and appellate courts, and that the supreme federal court would exist to hear final appeals.

When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, it addressed this disagreement, but not in full. It sketched out a federal court system in general terms, and introduced a distinctly American concept—the Supreme Court.

Article III of the Constitution begins,

“The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”

President George Washington chose the very first Supreme Court justices.

The Tijerina Personal Injury Law Firm of Mcallen, Texas welcomes your inquiries, and is proud to share this fascinating information about how our incredible justice system developed.

RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Do’s And Don’ts After An Auto Accident.

By | Auto Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents, Personal Injury, Truck Accidents | No Comments


You’re cruising on your morning commute when suddenly; a car appears out of nowhere and swerves right in front of you.  You slam on your brakes and yank your steering wheel to the side but then you hear that sickening crunch as you’re jolted forward. Both vehicles come to a stop.  You’re shaken and your heart is racing, and you’ve just been in an Auto Accident.

As skilled injury attorneys serving McAllen Texas, Brownsville Texas, and the surrounding areas, we see our share pexels-photo-110241of auto accident victims.  We think it’s important to occasionally remind the friends of our firm, what they should do when they are in an accident.  This directly affects the outcome of their insurance claim and potential lawsuit.  You not only need to know what steps to take for safety and for your own well-being, but also what steps to take to improve your chances of a successful insurance claim.

We of course hope that you will never be in an automobile accident. But motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, car and scooter crashes and SUV rollovers unfortunately happen every day.  Let’s pretend it just happened to you, and review our Do’s and Don’ts of after an Auto Accident.


1. Check yourself for injuries and make sure you are not bleeding anywhere. If you are, try to wrap or cover the bleeding area immediately.  If you have passengers in the vehicle with you, you should check them for injuries as well.

2. Quickly scan the vehicle for any dangerous signs like sparks, flames or leaking liquids. You may need to exit the vehicle very quickly. If you cannot open a door try the other doors or get a window down.

Safety Tip: It is wise to keep something in your car that you can break a window with should you ever be unable to get a window down.

3. If anyone in either vehicle is injured, an ambulance should be called immediately.  No matter how small the damages to your car(s), the police should be called also. The police report is necessary if you are going to pursue any claim. Pain and injuries can show up a day or even several days after an accident.

4. Record the information from the other driver — their name, license tag number, address and insurance company. If they flee the scene, call the police immediately and the police will attempt to apprehend them.

5. Whoever is able, should take pictures of the scene right away.  Include the position of all the vehicles and any debris or items around you that could have contributed to or affected the outcome of the accident.  Do not move your vehicle and ask the other parties not to move their vehicle either.  (Unless your accident was simply a very light fender bender, or if your vehicle is posing a hazard to other drivers.)

If you are injured and unable to stand up/move around and take pictures, ask a bystander or spectator if they would take pictures for you.

6. If you are capable, immediately take notes about what happened. Estimate the speeds of both vehicles and note any conditions or situations at the scene of the accident such as debris on the road, a malfunctioning traffic light, a speeding driver, construction, etc. Anything you can think of should be noted. Insignificant details can become important later. When the police speak to you, be honest and forthcoming. It is in your best interest.


1. Don’t speak to the other driver or any of the passengers in the other vehicle, unless it is to obtain their personal contact, license, tag, and insurance information. Speak only to the police officer who arrives on the scene.

2. Don’t agree to settle the dispute privately, chances are that you’ll regret this later.  Our attorneys have seen time and time again; accident victims come to our law firm and wish to pursue a claim after the other party failed to cooperate or failed to pay them the amount of money on which they agreed.

3. Don’t make a recorded statement with an insurance company.  From the scene or immediately after you leave the scene, you should contact your auto insurance company.  The insurance representative will attempt to have you record a statement to wrap things up quickly. They want to document a binding record of events and injuries before you even know the whole story. Don’t let this happen to you. We have seen physical conditions develop days or even weeks after an accident.

You need to assess injuries and damages before you agree to anything, and the mental stress you are experiencing may affect your ability to give a proper statement of events.

4. Don’t sign any documents for the insurance company or accept any payments.  You may not be aware your rights, and speaking to a personal injury attorney can help your case.

Next steps:

In the weeks and months after the accident, keep all receipts and record all activity pertaining to the accident. Make sure you keep all of your medical records and all paperwork from every doctor visit or other practitioner visits such as chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, MRIs, etc.

Summary Checklist:

Do: Check yourself for injuries.

Do: Scan the vehicle for any signs you may be in further danger.

Do: Call an ambulance if anyone in either vehicle is injured.

Do: Record the information from the other driver.

Do: Take pictures of the scene right away (whoever is able.)

Do: Take notes about what happened.

Don’t: Don’t speak to the other driver or any of the passengers in the other vehicle (unless it is to record the identifying information you need for insurance.)

Don’t: Don’t agree to settle the dispute privately.

Don’t: Don’t make a recorded statement with an insurance company.

Don’t: Don’t sign any documents for the insurance company or accept any payments.

Safety first:

Always wear your seat belts and always keep your auto insurance paid and up to date. It is extremely wise to carry uninsured motorist coverage because many accidents happen with the other driver had no or insufficient coverage. Our McAllen injury attorneys welcome your questions at any time.

Drivers Beware: The Growing Issue of Texas Tailgaters

By | Auto Accidents, Pedestrian & Traffic Accidents | No Comments

Most people think that tailgating is a minor driving offense, but it’s more dangerous than it seems.

Not only does tailgating cause rear-end collisions, which make up 23% of all traffic accidents according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has also caused serious and fatal accidents. Drivers on the road must follow other vehicles at a safe distance, and learn how to protect themselves from tailgaters.

Some drivers tailgate out of road rage, others are impatient, distracted, or careless.

In 2015, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 25,436 accidents occurred because vehicles were following others too closely. Out of those incidents, 12 caused fatalities and more than 6,000 involved injuries.

While most tailgating drivers do not cause serious accidents, it’s important that drivers know what to do after an accident. Most importantly, anyone injured by a tailgating driver should contact a Tijerina of McAllen or Brownsville, Texas personal injury attorney to explore their options.

The Danger of Tailgating

It’s important to understand the dangers of tailgating behavior.  When a car follows another too closely, the tailgating driver shortens the amount of time and distance they have to stop before striking the car in front of them, if that car slows down or stops abruptly.

Stopping distance is linked to the vehicle’s size and weight. For example, a small passenger vehicle requires less time and distance to stop, than a semi-truck or even an SUV.

The biggest limitation made by tailgating drivers is how well they can see and react.  The driver needs time to see and process whats happening ahead of them, and then react to avoid a collision. With limited space between vehicles, a tailgating driver has a much small chance to react in time.

Tips for Protecting Against Tailgating Drivers and Sharing the Road Safely

ï Keep a Safe Distance: The Texas Department of Insurance recommends a safety cushion of two seconds between vehicles. This allows the following driver to predict movements from the  driver in front of them and avoid a rear-end collision.

ï Switch Lanes: If a vehicle is tailgating, a driver can change lanes to allow them to pass.

ï Extra Space for Poor Weather: Drivers in bad weather conditions will need more time to react in case they cannot see well, or the road is wet or icy.

ï Write Down a Tailgaters License Plate Number: When a vehicle is tailgating, and will not stop, memorize the license plate number, then pull off the road to safety. Contact the local police department and report the vehicle.

How a Tijerina of McAllen Personal Injury Attorney Can Help After a Tailgating Accident

Vehicles tailgating on McAllen roads are acting negligently. Therefore, if a tailgating driver causes an accident, they could be liable for injuries and damages.

A Tijerina personal injury advocate can help accident victims file a claim and get compensation from the tailgating driver. In these cases, a plaintiff may be able to recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

After a serious accident, injured parties must contact a Tijerina Legal Group P.C. personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Seek a consultation from Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. by calling 956-777-7777 or request more information online.

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Construction Injuries: How Work-Related Injuries Are Treated

By | Personal Injury, Work Injury, Workers Comp | No Comments

Man Dies After Elevator Accident At DFW International Airport

On September 1, 2016, NBC reported that a construction worker died after he fell into an elevator shaft at DFW International Airport.

The victim was a 55-year old construction subcontractor working at Terminal A at the airport. The area was walled off for remodeling.

The man did not die at the scene; instead, he was transported to a nearby hospital where he passed away due to his injury. The airport has since ceased construction pending an investigation of the accident.

While the reason for the man’s fall is unknown, this incident highlights a common issue seen on construction sites: fatal falls.

Falls Are Still Considered The Leading Cause Construction Site Deaths

According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death within the construction industry.

They state that in 2013 alone, there were 291 deaths. Sadly, these deaths are preventable and often attributed to incorrect safety procedures, negligent workers, or inadequate training.

Understanding How Work-Related Injuries Are Treated In Texas

Work-related injuries, regardless of fault, typically fall under workers’ compensation. In the state of Texas, workers’ compensation is state-regulated and provides coverage for injured employees.

Under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, Title 5, Subtitle A, injured employees are entitled to compensation for medical bills and a portion of their lost wages.

Not all work injuries qualify for workers’ compensation, but if an employee receives workers’ compensation benefits, they do not have the right to sue their employer.

Employers do have a level of protection against lawsuits, but this protection only extends so far. For example, when the work-related injury results in death, there may be additional options for loved ones to recover their financial losses. Family members would need to consult with a McAllen personal injury attorney to determine the right actions to take based on the situation.

Filing Third Party Lawsuits In The State Of Texas

Workers’ compensation does carry death benefits. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, death benefits may be paid to any legal beneficiaries for the loss of a loved one due to a work-related injury.

Surviving family members may also receive compensation up to $10,000 to cover applicable burial costs.

Sometimes, there is a third party that may be liable for work-related injuries or deaths – and these parties do not have the same protections as employers.

For example, in the case of the construction worker that fell into the elevator shaft, the death could be attributed to a defective safety harnesses, poor maintenance, or other faulty equipment. In this instance, the manufacturer, distributor, or even the company responsible for maintaining the safety equipment could be held liable for the injuries or wrongful death that occurred because of the defect.

Also, surviving family members may be able to file a lawsuit through a personal injury lawyer if the worker’s employer was grossly negligent. That means if the employer knew there was a potential for injury and ignored it, the deceased’s family can sue them.

Texas law does have strict limitations as to which surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit; therefore, a personal injury attorney must be consulted. For example, in the state of Texas, surviving siblings cannot file a lawsuit for the loss of their sibling (see Texas Statute Section 71.001).

Finding Help For A Work-Related Injury From A McAllen Personal Injury Attorney

If you are the victim of a work-related injury, or you have lost a loved one due to a work-related accident, a McAllen personal injury attorney can help. Speak with Tijerina Legal Group today to explore your options. Our team can assist you with requesting workers’ compensation benefits, or if applicable, filing a lawsuit against a negligent third party.

Schedule a complimentary consultation now with your McAllen personal injury attorney at 956-777-7777 or contact our staff online. Read More

McAllen Personal Injury Lawyer

McAllen Man Dies In Devastating Crash, But Who Is At Fault?

By | Auto Accidents, Personal Injury | No Comments

A 28-year old McAllen man passed away in the hospital soon after his sports car flew off the highway one afternoon in San Juan. Police estimate the speed of the car to have been 100 m.p.h. and suspect that the driver was taking inhalants at the time of the accident.

The driver was ejected from his vehicle’s back windshield after the vehicle hit the guardrail, rolled over, and then crashed into a palm tree. Witnesses saw the man fly out from the car and land on a nearby grassy area, according to an article by Kristian Hernandez of The Monitor.

Inside the vehicle where inhalants and whippets paraphernalia (N2O cartridges also known as “whippets” in street slang), which led the police to believe that the man was under the influence at the time of the crash. Ultimately, speed and possible driving under the influence were the reasons for the tragic accident.

First responders found the man unresponsive, and the hospital declared him dead. He was not wearing a seatbelt and there were no other passengers in the vehicle at the time of the incident.

Driving While Using Inhalants Is Still A Crime

The use of inhalants is listed within the Texas statute (Texas Statute Section 485.001, Abusable Volatile Chemical) as an abusable chemical and could constitute a DUI.

However, for a person to be guilty of a DUI-DWI, there must be proof that the inhalant was hampering the individual’s ability to drive.

Had the driver struck any other vehicles or pedestrians at the time of the accident, a McAllen personal injury attorney would have been able to hold him (or his estate) liable for the injuries or deaths that he would have caused.

In this instance, it was a single vehicle crash, and no other victims reported.

While there is no liability for this particular accident (or further injuries), it does bring up the issue of reckless behavior and how it plays a role in a motor vehicle accident claim with a McAllen personal injury lawyer.

Reckless Behavior And Motor Vehicle Accidents

Texas Transportation Code Chapter 545 defines the proper use of a motor vehicle, including proper passing, speed, etc. Reckless driving is a criminal offense under Section 545.401. If a reckless driver were to cause an accident, they could be held criminally and civilly liable for the injuries and damages associated with that accident.

Furthermore, reckless driving opens the door to punitive damages for a personal injury attorney. Therefore, an injured party would not only receive compensatory damages (i.e. medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering), but their McAllen personal injury attorney may seek punitive damages too.

Finding Help from a McAllen Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident – whether a reckless or drunk driver is to blame or not – contact an attorney right away. Tijerina Legal Group is here to work as your accident advocate. Our team will ensure you receive the compensation for your damages and hold those responsible answerable for their actions.

Schedule a complimentary consultation now with a McAllen personal injury lawyer at 956-777-7777 or contact our staff online.