Grandmother's SUV Totalled by Wal-Mart, Initial Settlement Offered at $3,200

 photo credit Roberta Slayton

photo credit Roberta Slayton
 
AUGUST 2015 - A Midlothian, Texas grandmother took her Ford Expedition to Wal-Mart for a routine oil change. Roberta Slayton's car had 173,000 miles on the odometer and was in good, solid condition. A Wal-Mart employee crashed her SUV into a wall. The employee stated that the SUV's throttle stuck, and that he would have injured his colleague if he hadn't steered toward the wall. The Wal-Mart insurance representatives offered a $3,200 settlement, which does not cover the cost of replacing Ms. Slayton's vehicle. Initially, she was told that it would take 2-3 weeks for Wal-Mart to investigate to determine liability for the accident. She was advised to contact her insurance company to have her totaled SUV towed from the scene of the accident at her own cost. Eventually, after local news coverage of the story, Wal-Mart offered to pay for a rental vehicle to Ms. Slayton during their investigation. Ms. Slayton relied on her vehicle to make deliveries for her floral business, Flowers by Roberta. 
 
Legal Commentary
The experienced attorneys at Fears Nachawati represent victims of negligence to ensure that our clients are compensated property for the cost of repairs, lost wages from time missed from work due to an accident, and other expenses related to the incident. This case is a prime example of how important it is to consult with an attorney and to pursue a civil suit when a victim is injured as the result of another responsible party. Although safety precautions were present at the time of this accident, the company responsible for this incident did not offer an equitable initial settlement to the victim. Filing a civil claim in a scenario like this serves as a means for compensation for the pain and suffering the victim experienced. Questions regarding potential civil claims can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by calling our office at +1.866.705.7584.
 
About the Author
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent personal injury lawyer who represents victims involved in accidents, automobile accidents, wrongful death lawsuits, work place accidents, and products liability claims throughout the United States. Mr. Nachawati has successfully resolved numerous personal injury accident cases with seven and eight figure confidential settlements. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court in multiple states across the U.S., and is a member of the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a Leader’s Forum and PAC member of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine for the past six consecutive years. Contact Majed Nachawati through his website at http://fnlawfirm.com by e-mail or by calling +1.866.705.7584.

The international aspect of personal injury law

Were you injured abroad by an American product? Or, were you in the United States when you were personally injured and now reside abroad? If either situation applies to you, you may be entitled to the benefit of an American court – even if you have never set foot inside the United States.

Under American law, it is necessary for a Defendant to be subject to the laws of the United States. Typically, this necessity merely requires that a company operate out of the United States. Thus, even if you are a foreign citizen you may have access to an American court to pursue your claim.

Why does this matter?
The U.S. Civil Justice System is unique in its openness to award personal injury victims full compensation. That is, unlike many other countries where recovery in personal injury lawsuits is restricted by law, the U.S. legal system believes in making an injured victim whole. Thus, you may be entitled to recover for past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, past and future pain and suffering – to name just a few of the types of damages that are compensable under American law.

The attorneys at Fears | Nachawati are experienced at handling complex matters with an international element. While many firms shy away from tough cases, we do not, and we will be happy to discuss your possible personal injury claim, regardless of what region or time zone you are in. For a free attorney consultation, please call 1.866.705.7584. If you are abroad, a free Skype© call can be arranged as well. To do so, please email aennis@fnlawfirm.com and include a full description of the details of your possible case.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit and when is it too early to get an attorney?

In short, the answers are: It depends and it’s never too early to consider legal representation.

Each personal injury matter is subject to a statute of limitations. Essentially, this term means that you only have so long to file your case. In Texas, disputes are typically governed by a two-year statute of limitations. These two years begin when an individual is first injured. However, the location and nature of your injury can subject you to a longer or – more critically – a much shorter limitations period.

Even if you know you still have time left to file a lawsuit, you should not wait to consider getting legal representation.

While a good trial attorney is always prepared to go to court, many issues can be settled out of court without necessitating the cost and length of a trial. Ultimately, your attorney needs as much time to exhaust the available out of court remedies. Such remedies may include informal settlement negotiations, mediation, or arbitration. Each of these options may allow you to recover a greater portion of your settlement or award and do so quicker.

Therefore, in order to best preserve the full extent of your legal rights and to allow your attorney the most flexibility in pursuing your potential claim, you should contact an attorney at the earliest possible moment when you learn you might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Otherwise, you may lose the opportunity to pursue your claim at all.

For a free attorney consultation to learn if you still may have a cause of action or if it is too late to pursue your claim, please call Fears | Nachawati at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to mn@fnlawfirm.com.

Civil Implications of SXSW Accident

This last week, Rashard Charjuan Owens was charged with capital murder for his actions at the popular South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Unfortunately, individual actions prompted by intoxication, rage, or general carelessness occur on a daily basis. While it is well understood that such actions may result in criminal guilt, civil liability for such actions is a distinct concept under the law.

Criminal guilt seeks retribution against a Defendant on behalf of the state for an act proven beyond a reasonable doubt and frequently results in jail time. By contrast, civil liability seeks a recovery from a Defendant on behalf of an individual or multiple people, known as a “plaintiff,” for an act shown beyond a preponderance of the evidence and seeks an award of money damages. If you or a loved one has been victim to a criminal act, you may want to seek civil representation to gain an award of money damages. Call the experienced attorneys at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm for a free consultation. Call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to mn@fnlawfirm.com

Male Breast Growth in Young Boys Because of J&J False Marketing of Risperdal, and Suppressed Information Regarding Risperdone Clinical Trials

 

Would you take a drug if one of the side effects was possible death? Most wouldn’t take that risk. Would you take a drug if you knew that one of the side effects for young men was the risk of breast growth? Few would take that risk as well. However, Risperdal—an atypical antipsychotic medication—has been seen to cause serious and dangerous side effects, such as breast growth and childhood diabetes. These side effects have resulted from promotion of “off-label” purposes such as treatment for young men with ADD, OCD, anxiety, and autism among many others. Many young men who took Risperdal now have a condition called Gynecomastia, or male breast growth. This breast growth in boys has been said to cause negative psychological effects of these young children, negatively impacting their quality of life. These “off-label” uses were promoted by a company Johnson & Johnson, and may also stem from suppressed evidence in early clinical trials of Risperdone—the active ingredient in Risperdal. The hidden data gave evidence to negative outcomes of Risperdone, in some cases, death. The drug has been falsely promoted and J&J has given inadequate warnings of the risks for the consumer and the medical community. In light of these claims, there has been a recent 2.2 billion dollar Risperdal settlement  between Johnson & Johnson and the federal government. Click here to watch a video discussing more about this civil suit. 

Legal Commentary

From a civil standpoint, our firm has represented numerous families who are the victims of Risperdal’s dangerous side effects. Although the use of Risperdal in young boys has not widely resulted in death, the breast growth has been said to be the cause of many psychological symptoms which impacts their quality of life. If you or a loved one have taken Risperdal and have experienced abnormal breast growth, we encourage you to consult with one of our Risperdal attorneys as soon as possible. A successful civil claim that is pursued against the responsible party will ensure the victims are not burdened with costly medical expenses, and hopefully will compensate them for their pain, suffering, and lost wages for time missed from work. Further questions can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by emailing the lead Risperdal lawyer, Majed Nachawati atmn@fnlawfirm.com, or by calling our office at 1.866.705.7584.

About the Author

Majed Nachawati is a preeminent Pharmaceutical Products Liability Lawyer with a focus on representing Risperdal victims and families harmed by dangerous drugs on a nationwide basis. Mr. Nachawati has resolved numerous cases through trials and settlements that have resulted in seven and eight figure confidential settlements. He is on the Grievance Committee for the State Bar of Texas. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and Arkansas, and is in most federal courts in the nation and holds specific licenses in the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas. Mr. Nachawati is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a Leaders’ Forum and PAC member of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Magazine for the past four consecutive years for legal excellence, in connection with pharmaceutical injury cases. Mr. Nachawati is also a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Nachawati can be reached by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by calling 1.866.705.7584.

Risperdal Lawyer - Do you have a case?

Risperdal Lawyers and Risperdal Attorneys - Do you have a Case?

Risperdal lawyer evaluations are being conducted and Risperdal and Risperidone cases are being accepted by our Risperdal attorneys on a Nationwide basis.  Risperdal's maker, Johnson & Johnson, is responsible in our opinion for understating the side effects that Risperdal use causes, particularly breast growth in males, known as Gynecomastia.  According to medical studies, Risperdal and or Risperidone use causes an increase in the production of the hormone, Prolactin, which is responsible for causing an increase in breast tissue growth in young males.  Free Risperdone legal advice and free Risperdal consultations are being given by our Risperdal law department on a daily basis.  We represent hundreds of families against Johnson and Johnson and are presently filing Risperdal lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson on a daily basis.  

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Majed Nachawati Appointed to Grievance Committee

We are proud to announce that partner Majed Nachawati has recently been appointed to the District 6 Grievance Committee of the State Bar of Texas. This appointment is very prestigious, as less than 400 volunteer attorneys and public members are appointed to 17 grievance committees across the state. As part of his new role, Mr. Nachawati will be responsible for ensuring that attorneys throughout the state of Texas are held accountable for their actions and that they remain dedicated to their clients. Mr. Nachawati is dedicated to protecting the public through his work on the Grievance Committee and hopes to advance and improve the quality of legal services to the public during his term.

 

Credit Card Debt Is On The Rise

A recent survey indicates a disturbing trend in the spending habits of the American consumer. After two years of moderate credit card use, new figures from Card Hub show that credit card use has significantly increased during the past year. Consumers are on track to end 2011 with a $64 billion increase in credit card debt.

Americans are also paying off credit card debt at a slower pace. During the first quarter of each year credit card debt usually declines, mostly due to annual bonuses and tax refund checks. In 2009 and 2010, consumers paid down more in the first quarter than they charged in new debt through the end of the third quarter. This year consumers kept the cash and kept charging throughout the year. Even more disturbing is that this year's third quarter credit card debt total was 154 percent more than in the same period last year.

Carrying large credit card debt can create serious financial problems. According to the Federal Reserve's credit card repayment calculator, a $5,000 debt at a 15% interest rate will take 7 years to pay off at $100 per month. During this time you will pay an extra $2,896 in interest charges!

If credit card fees are eating up your paycheck, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. During Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are able to structure an affordable repayment plan to pay credit card debt. Whatever you are not able to pay will be discharged after three to five years of repayment.

If you cannot afford to repay anything towards your credit card debt, Chapter 7 may be the answer. A Chapter 7, also called a "straight bankruptcy," lasts about five months and nothing is paid to your credit cards. Most bankruptcy debtors are able to keep everything they own while discharging debts they cannot afford to pay.

When credit card debt has taken over your finances, consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and learn how the federal bankruptcy laws can help. Don't let credit card debt hold your paycheck hostage! Bankruptcy offers powerful protection from creditors and can discharge overwhelming debts.
 

FDA Transvaginal Mesh Safety Alert - Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit and Class Actions being filed across the Nation

As a Transvaginal Mesh Lawyer, our attorneys are reviewing and filing cases across the nation.  The FDA recently issued a Transvaginal Mesh Safety Alert because the product, primarily manufactured by Bard, Boston Scientific and Johnson and Johnson, has been shown to cause injuries in female patients. 

Bard, Gynecare, AMS (American Medical Systems) and Boston Scientific have the largest market shares of transvaginal mesh products.

C.R. Bard's products include:

  • Bard Pelvitex
  • Bard Pelvisoft
  • Bard Pelvilace or Pelvicol
  • Bard Utrtex
  • Bard Uretex TO
  • Bard Uretex TOO2
  • Bard Uretex TOO3

Gynecare/Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson products include:

  • Gynecare Prosima
  • Gynecare TVT Exact
  • Gynecare TVT Abbrevo
  • Gynecare TVT Retropubic System
  • Gynecare TVT
  • Gynecare TVT Obturator
  • Gynecare TVT Secur
  • Gynecare Gynemesh PS
  • Gynecare Prolift
  • Gynecare Prolift+M

AMS's products include:

  • AMS MiniArc Precise Single-Incision Sling
  • AMS MiniArc Single Incision Sling
  • AMS Monarc Subfascial Hammock
  • AMS In-Fast Ultra Transvaginal Sling
  • AMS BioArc
  • AMS Sparc Self-Fixating Sling System
  • AMS Elevate
  • AMS Perigree
  • AMS Apogee

Boston Scientific products include:

  • Boston Scientific Arise
  • Boston Scientific Pinnacle
  • Boston Scientific Advantage Fit
  • Boston Scientific Lynx
  • Boston Scientific Obtryx
  • Boston Scientific Prefyx PPS
  • Boston Scientific Solyx

If you or a loved one has been injured by one of these products, contact our Transvaginal Mesh Law Firm today to receive information concerning your legal rights by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or toll free at 1.866.545.8364.

Vampire Bites Galveston Woman

A man claiming to be a 500 year-old vampire broke into a Galveston woman’s apartment earlier this week, hitting and biting the victim as she lay in bed. Galveston Police have charged the “vampire” of burglary with intent to commit assault. Although the female victim has yet to file a civil lawsuit, she is within her rights to do so. In fact, as her medical bills pile up, she may realize it is a necessary course of action.

 

The attorneys at Fears | Nachawati have the experience and expertise you need if you’ve been injured as a result of a physical assault. The police fight to defend public safety. We fight to provide victims with the justice they deserve. Not sure how you should proceed? The right first step is to contact us. We can help you understand your options and get you on the right track. Just call 1.866.705.7584 or email info@fnlawfirm.com

Texas Ponzi Scheme Unravels in Beaumont Courthouse

The steadily unraveling, sordid $2.3 million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by a Kansas lawyer has finally reached its inevitable end. In 2007, Clifford R. Roth began pumping a fraudulent investment opportunity supposedly based in Beaumont, Texas. The too-good-to-be-true deal involved early investors receiving funds they thought were dividends but were in fact equity infusions from new investors. Their excitement fueled the money till until earlier this year when the truth finally caught up to Roth and his many victims.

 

Mr. Roth, who pled guilty on March 14 to interstate transportation of money taken by fraud, was sentenced yesterday in a Beaumont federal court. He’ll arrive in federal prison later this month to begin serving his criminal sentence. In addition to criminal consequences, Mr. Roth is also civilly liable for his financial misdealing.

 

Fears | Nachawati knows the pain of financial misconduct. For many victims, it’s not just lost money, but lost opportunity – trips with loved ones you can’t take, retirement funds squandered, or college funds evaporated. Justice can be yours. To find out how to recover from your loss, talk to us. Just call 1.866.705.7584 or email info@fnlawfirm.com

San Antonio Stabbing Victim Pursues Criminal and Civil Actions

In the early morning hours last Saturday a resident of a South Side apartment building in San Antonio, Texas, was stabbed repeatedly in the torso. The bad news is that the unidentified victim in his 40s faces potentially life-threatening injuries. The good news is that he was taken to University Hospital and is now under careful medical observation.

 

Stabbings happen all to often in Texas, as many residents know. What many crime victims don’t know, however, is that violent crime, such as a stabbing or shooting, give rise not only to a criminal cause of action pursued by law enforcement, but also a civil cause of action that victims may pursue to recovery monetarily. In some cases, civil damage awards can exceed a million dollars!

 

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a violent act, you need to speak not only to local police, but also to personal injury experts at Fears | Nachawati. Our experience and expertise can provide you and your loved ones with the justice you want! For a free consultation, call 1.866.705.7584 or email info@fnlawfirm.com

Two and a Half Arbitrators?

Charlie Sheen’s $100 million lawsuit against the Warner Bros. and “Two and Half Men” executive producer Chuck Lorre is headed to arbitration, courtesy of a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. The court ruled that both Sheen’s and Lorre’s contract have valid provisions that require disputes handled by arbitration. Warner Bros. and Lorre, who want the fiasco, the bad publicity, and, if necessary, the settlement to be handled quietly, were pleased. Sheen, who sees himself as benefited by publicity, was disappointed.

 

Arbitration is an important semi-judicial means by which disputing parties resolve their conflicts. In many cases, it’s cheaper, faster, less stressful, and more certain than a trial. Arbitration also commonly lets litigants chose who will preside over their dispute and how much authority the arbitrator will have. As a result, arbitration has become an increasingly effective means of resolving legal fights.

 

Want to know more about how arbitration might be used to settle your personal injury claims? With years of experience and dozens of successful cases under our belts, we’re prepared to guide you through this process. For a free consultation with the Fears | Nachawati professionals, call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com

GLBT Community Increasingly Fights Harassment in Schools

Members of the GLBT – gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender – community are putting pressure on the Texas legislature to pass an anti-bullying statute that would make it easier for schools to punish students who harass fellow students on the basis of their sexual orientation. For many, changing the law is an effort to protect teenagers who might otherwise commit suicide in response to being bullied about their sexuality.

 

Has your child been bullied in school? Has he or she been harassed as a result of his or her sexual orientation? If so, they might have a viable cause of action rooted in anti-bullying legislation designed to protect them against precisely the kind of mistreatment they are currently experiencing. To protect your children, contact the personal injury experts at Fears | Nachawati. Just call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. With our experience and expertise, we can help you!

Little League Umpire Jailed for Sexual Assault of A Child

Donald Leeroy Ballard, a Little League umpire near Houston, Texas, lured a 16-year-old child into his residence with the promise of food and video games. Once inside the home, Ballard sexually assaulted the child. Given Mr. Ballard’s relatively high interaction with teenage boys throughout Liberty County, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was concerned that Ballard might have sexually assaulted other children as well.

 

Ballard will be subject to criminal charges, however, he also will likely face tort allegations, too. Victims deserve their day in court and they need legal advisors capable of defending their rights. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crime such as battery, theft, or sexual assault, contact the legal advisors at Fears | Nachawati. Call at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. We can help you!

Does Change in Texas Law Change Liability Standards?

For many Texans, the answer to a victim with an airway obstruction – most commonly, a fellow diner who chokes on food – is the Heimlich maneuver. In fact, for the last 22 years Texas law has required that restaurants display a poster advising customers and workers how to proper perform the life-saving procedure. However, Texas law is expected to soon change. In keeping with new American Red Cross standards, the new preferred technique is to slap a choking victim on the back repeatedly, up to five times.

 

Some restaurant owners and would-be good Samaritans are asking: should I still follow the decades-long advice of using the Heimlich maneuver? If the old poster remains hanging in the restaurant, should I adhere to posted instruction? Will I be held legally responsible for any harm stemming from the use of the older, “wrong” technique?

 

These are all good questions. If you want to know their answer, contact the personal injury law experts at Fears | Nachawati. As the law changes, we can provide you with the advice and direction you need. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. Let us help you!

Houston Area Adult Charged with Sexual Assault of a Child

Sexual assault is always painful, tragic and unfortunate. However, it’s particularly difficult when the victim is a child and the perpetrator is a trusted adult in the community. This week, residents of Katy, Texas, are grappling with the reality that Robert Paul Gentry, 28, had sex with a 15-year-old who was in his care at a residential treatment facility. The facility is designed to care for teens with emotional disorders.

 

If your child is verbally, physically, emotionally or sexually victimized by an adult, you need to take action. The perpetrator who injures your child should not simply face criminal charges, but civil allegations, too. Find out how to protect your family and seek justice within the justice system by contacting the personal injury experts at Fears | Nachawati. Call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com

Central Texan Gets 75 Years in Prison on Criminal Charges

A jury in Georgetown, Texas, sentenced Kenneth Wade Davis to 75 years in prison for aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a public servant and burglary. Davis’s sentence stems from an April, 2010 altercation in which he broke into Bobbie Rigsby’s home and, when she unexpectedly returned, shot her, puncturing her lung. Later that night, Davis also shot a Round Rock police officer, Jack Johnson. Fortunately, both have recovered.

 

Criminal court isn’t the end of the line for Mr. Davis. The burglar-turned gunman-turned convict also faces civil charges for the medical and emotional damage he caused. Tort law is an important field and nobody knows it better than the experienced, expert attorneys at Fears | Nachawati. If you’ve been injured by a criminal act, you may also have a civil claim. To find out more about your rights, call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. The consultation is free; we’re ready to help you!

Conroe, Texas Battleground for Toxic Water Fight

After a pitched, five year battle, TexCom Gulf Disposal LLC still hopes to open an injection well near a Conroe residential community. According to the plan, the well would bury nonhazardous, liquid commercial waste thousands of feet below the surface.

 

However, some members of the community worry that the waste could include benezine and other hazardous chemicals. Moreover, given Conroe’s history of oil exploration – and seams left in the ground from improperly plugged 1930s era drilling – the possibility exists in the minds of some EPA officials that injected waste could seep into the municipal water supply through these underground seams.

 

Regardless of local and EPA concerns, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) approved the permit for TexCom’s injection well. This approval came in spite of problems with similar waste disposal wells in Winona, Texas, in 1997 and Chico, Texas, in 2005. The next stop for this expensive and potentially injurious conflict are the courts.

 

Are you concerned about the quality of your water? Water contamination is a serious issue and often requires the attention of well-trained personal injury professionals. Fortunately, the legal experts at Fears | Nachawati are ready to provide you with the support you need. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com

Texas Legislature Poised to Liberalize Handgun Laws

 The Texas legislature is on the verge of passing legislation that would permit college students and professors to carry concealed handguns on campus. Texas’ 38 colleges and 500,000 students could soon be armed. Whether campuses will be more or less dangerous is the subject of considerable controversy.

 

Some say that shooting catastrophes like those at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois will be less likely as a result. State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) explained, “It’s strictly a matter of self-defense.” Others argue that more handguns could lead to greater violence, not less. Confronting a similar proposal in his state, Oklahoma Chancellor of Higher Education Glen Johnson recently countered, saying, “There is no scenario where allowing concealed weapons on college campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

 

Shootings are always tragic and usually the subject of criminal investigation. However, they are also frequently the subject of civil disputes as well. If you or a loved one has been involved in a shooting, you need a legal advisor who can address the complex legal issues related to gun activity. For the best in injury law, contact the experts at Fears | Nachawati. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com

Victim Files Suit in Opposition to Jury 'Trading' Damage Award Estimates

Should a judge grant a new trial to plaintiff whose damage award may have been impacted by jurors who allegedly “traded answers” about appropriate compensation? Judge Bob Wortham in Port Arthur, Texas, faces this question in Erika Arceneaux’s case against Tina Tran’s nail salon. According to Arceneaux (and the jury from the first trial), unsanitary conditions in Tran’s nail salon infected Arceneaux’s foot. Now, Arceneaux’s attorney has filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the jury violated court orders when it negotiated between counts about the plaintiff’s proper relief.

 

Arceneaux’s claim is a unique one. If you’ve been injured, you need an attorney who not only knows the law, but also pursues compensation for your claim with vigor and innovation. You need the creativity, experience and expertise of the attorneys at Fears | Nachawati. For a free consultation, call 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to info@fnlawfirm.com. We’re ready to help you!

Apple lawsuit update

Fears | Nachawati has filed suit in federal court on behalf of its clients against Apple and various iPhone application makers, alleging that the companies violated consumers' privacy rights by tracking their private data.  The phones use a unique identifier (called a Unique Device ID or UDID) to track users personal information, including location, gender, age and contacts.  This private data is then passed along to advertisers without the knowledge or consent of Apple's users.  The lawsuit is pending in federal court in California.  Fears | Nachawati is considering filing suit against additional defendants, and is currently investigating whether Google's Android phone forces users to suffer the same kinds of privacy violations.

For more information about the lawsuit, please call Fears | Nachawati at 1.866.705.7584.  For recent news coverage, please see this article from Forbes.com

News roundup: BP's Gulf Oil Spill releases, premises liability at the Texas Supreme Court, and Elena Kagan's nomination

BP has pledged that it will not seek to prevent lawsuits arising from the Gulf Oil Spill based on controversial releases obtained from victims of the blast.  Early reports accused the oil giant of improperly asking workers who survived the incident to swear that they weren't injured and promise they won't sue.  Reports say that workers were presented with these agreements immediately after being rescued, under highly distasteful (and potentially actionable) circumstances.  Fears | Nachawati represents victims of the Gulf Oil Spill, including those who have signed releases under questionable circumstances and those who have been asked to sign releases.  If you have been affected by the Gulf Oil Spill, call us today at 1.866.705.7584 to discuss your situation with our experienced legal staff.  

In other Texas legal news, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that ice does not create an unreasonable risk of harm that would expose a landowner to premises liability for a business invitee.  In the case at hand, a man was injured when he slipped and fell on accumulated ice in the parking lot of a hospital.  He sued the hospital for his injuries.  The Court's ruling means that the hospital isn't liable for injuries caused by icy conditions that occur naturally.  If the hospital had created the icy condition, or had altered the parking lot in such a manner that a dangerous situation arose, the result would likely have been different and the man could have possibly sued for his injuries.   

In national legal news, President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  Ms. Kagan currently serves as the Solicitor General of the United States, where she argues cases in the Supreme Court on the government's behalf.  Prior to that appointment, Ms. Kagan was the Dean of Harvard Law school.  She has been nominated to fill the seat being vacated by Justice John Paul Stevens.  If confirmed, Ms. Kagan will be President Obama's second appointee to the Supreme Court. 

Oil Rigs Accidents, Oil Spills and the Dangers to Workers

Oil Rig Accidents often involve circumstances where workers fall off rigs, often resulting in a fatality or serious bodily injury.  Oil rig companies often work quickly after a catastrophic injury or death on a rig in an attempt to evade liability and accountability for their failure in maintaining a safe work environment for their employees.  Families of deceased rig workers are often left wondering what happened to their loved one--and frequently never receive the true story of what happened.  The most important steps that need to be taken after a rig accident is ensuring the following:

1.  Inspection of the rig in question;

2.  Investigation of every person who was working on the rig;

3.  Taking pictures and video surveillance of the accident scene;

4.  Starting the investigation immediately to ensure evidence is not altered or destroyed by the rig owner and operators; and

5.  Hiring a lawyer skilled in handling catastrophic Oil Rig Accidents.

Questions concerning serious rig accidents can be directed to Oil Rig lawyer, Bryan Fears, who is active in the Gulf Oil Spill claims and several other land rig claims across the nation.  Mr. Fears can be reached at 1.866.705.7584 or by email at fears@fnlawfirm.com.

Starbucks sued over too-hot tea

Starbucks is in hot water over its hot tea.  Plaintiff Zeynep Inanli has sued the company alleging that a Manhattan Starbucks served her tea that was so hot it caused second-degree burns.  She also complains that the container her tea was served in was defective, noting that the lid was not properly secured, causing her to become burned.  She seeks unspecified damages for her burns, pain and mental anguish.  

Inanli v. Starbucks is reminiscent of a case involving McDonald's and hot coffee.  In that case, a jury in 1994 ordered McDonald's to pay nearly $3 million to Stella Liebeck, in compensation for severe burns Ms. Liebeck suffered when she was burned by the restaurant's coffee. 

BP Oil Spill Lawyer and Legal Assistance

BP Oil Spill lawyers are in high demand, as the first traces of oil hit the Gulf Coast Shore.  Legal assistance and legal help is available to homeowners, retirement communities, shrimpers, fishermen, and any other business or family that has suffered losses due to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill.  One of the top lawyers in the Gulf Coast, Majed Nachawati, stated that "BP and any other company at fault will be held accountable for their negligence and it is incumbent on them to ensure families and businesses are made whole again after this disaster."  Mr. Nachawati stated that his firm is currently accepting new cases and victims of the oil spill should contact his firm for legal representation and legal help in connection with the Gulf Coast Oil Spill.  mn@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at 1.866.705.7584.

Gulf Oil Spill Lawyer

Gulf Oil Spill lawyer, Majed Nachawati, explained the main categories of victims that are suffering and need legal help because of the BP Oil Spill:

1.  Those injured or deceased that were on the rig;

2.  Fishermen and shrimpers whose businesses have been devastated by the Gulf Coast Oil Spill;

3.  Beachfront property owners and other Gulf Coast property owners whose property has been damaged or destroyed by the Gulf Oil Spill; and

4. Businesses that suffer a direct or indirect loss because of the BP Oil Spill.

Gulfcoast oil spill victims need a lawyer who knows how to handle complex cases, according to Mr. Nachawati.  Many victims do not know where to turn.  These victims should call Mr. Nachawati for a free legal consultation or email him at mn@fnlawfirm.com to determine what legal rights they have against the defendants, BP, Transocean and other companies responsible for the spill. 

Recall of childrens medications

After federal regulators noted manufacturing deficiencies, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has voluntarily recalled 43 medications for children.  The medications recalled include liquid versions of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl.  McNeil has suspended operations at the affected facility while the FDA investigates. 

Generic versions of these medications are not included in the recall. 

Parents and caregivers should seek medical attention for a child who has consumed any of the recalled medications and exhibits any unexpected symptoms.

Click here for a full list of the recalled medications.  McNeil is offering full refunds or coupons for replacement products.  Click here for more information on refunds and replacements. 

Fort Worth daycare permit revoked

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has formally revoked the permit of a Fort Worth daycare after a child at the facility was struck by a yardstick.  The striking was characterized as a spanking by the daycare.  A spokeswoman for the department says that spanking is not permitted at any daycare within the state. 

Gulf Coast BP Oil Spill - Legal Help

Gulf Oil Spill victims in need of legal help against BP should contact our law firm regarding the latest lawsuits and class actions filed against BP because of the Gulf Oil Spill.  Our firm represents people and companies that are victims of BP's apparent negligence in connection with the oil rig blast.  Our clients include crew members, commercial fisherman, shrimpers, charter boat operators, business owners and beach front property owners.  This unprecedented spill will directly impact thousands of Gulf Coast residents.  Gulf coast property owners will suffer millions of dollars in property damage and businesses that operate in and around the Gulf of Mexico will suffer tremendous economic damages. Cases arising from the spill include (1) loss of business; (2) injury due to the oil rig blast; (3) damage to real property, including homes and beachfront homes; and (3) the loss of fishing game, including shrimping and fishing. If you believe you have a case, Fears | Nachawati can help you understand your rights and assist you in pursuing financial compensation for injuries, property damage, and other losses related to the spill. Call us at 1.866.705.7584.

FDA food plant inspections woefully inadequate

A recent report reveals that less than 25% of FDA-regulated food plants were inspected annually, and more than half of the plants were not inspected at all, during a five year period from 2004 through 2008.  Inspections at plants considered high risk also dropped off.  At the same time, consumers were seriously injured and even died from tainted peanut butter, vegetables and other food products. 

Like many government agencies, the FDA is stretched thin, having experienced a staff decrease of 18% since 2003.  Fortunately for consumers, Congress has recently authorized filling a number of vacant positions.  However, even after these additions, the FDA will still have 145 fewer inspectors on staff than it did in 2004. 

Consumer groups have reported that they are alarmed, but not surprised, by the report.  Many groups continue to take issue with what they describe as serious deficiencies in the country's food inspection system. 

If you believe you have been injured or made ill by tainted food, contact the attorneys of Fears | Nachawati to see whether you are entitled to compensation for your illness or injury.  We would be happy to speak with you at 1-866-705-7584 at your convenience. 

Graco drop-side crib recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled a number of very popular drop-side cribs manufactured by industry leader Graco.  Manufactured by LaJobi, Inc. of Cranbury, NJ, the cribs were sold at retailers nationwide from February 2007 through March 2010 and retailed for $140 to $200. This popular crib design is used in daycare centers throughout the country. 

The hardware that allows the side of the crib to drop can break or fail.  This defect allows the drop side to detach from the crib, creating a hazardous gap between the crib side and the crib mattress.  Children could become trapped in the gap, and could be suffocated or strangled.  Additionally, children could fall from the crib when the side becomes detached.  Prior to recall, at least two children had become trapped in the gap, and were fortunately freed by their caregivers.  At least six children fell from the crib, including one infant who suffered a concussion.

Consumers should stop using these cribs immediately and contact LaJobi, which will provide consumers with a hardware retrofit kit that will immobilize the drop-side feature. 

Click here for more information about the recalled cribs, including a list of the affected model numbers. 

Better regulation of tanning beds urged

Last month the Food & Drug Administration held hearings concerning the safety of tanning beds.  The World Health Organization recently release a report on tanning beds, rating their cancer risk as comparable to that of tobacco smoke and asbestos.  The research was published in the journal Lancet Oncology, and shows a 75% increase in risk of melanoma, the most dangerous and deadly type of skin cancer, in individuals who use tanning beds before age 30.  While some regulation exists today, studies show that tanning bed operators frequently do not comply with recommended safety guidelines.  Stronger regulation would results in additional warnings and better protection of minors who use tanning beds. 

If you or someone you know has been injured by a tanning bed or another dangerous product, or by the acts or omissions of a person or a business, the attorneys of Fears | Nachawati would be happy to seek justice on your behalf.  Call us today at 1-866-705-7584 and let our legal team work for you. 

Recall of beef products over E. coli risk

Beltex, a Fort Worth meat packer, has recalled over 135,000 pounds of beef products over a risk that the meat may be contaminated with E. coli bacterium. 

The recalled beef was shipped to wholesalers and distributors in Texas and seven other states under the brand Frontier Meats.  Potentially tainted product include kidney fat or suet, beef trimmings and a  cut called "boneless navel."

Calling it a high-risk recall, USDA is working to track down the meat. 

Ingestion of E. coli bacterium often causes moderate flu-like symptoms that can last for days or weeks.  Certain strains can cause organ failure or even death. 

Recent recalls of dangerous products

A number of popular items have been recently recalled because they have caused or could cause serious injury or death. 

Grills: Kuuma IR Stow and Go grills sold at West Marine stores nationwide from January 2009 through August 2009 have been recalled because of leaky propane tanks.  The leak poses a fire hazard, and at least three fires have started as a result of this defect.

Scuba Gear: TUSA RS-670 SCUBA regulators, sold nationwide by authorized TUSA distributors and also diving and equipment stores from May 2009 through September 2009 have been recalled because of a potential high-pressure leak.  The potential leak creates a drowning hazard. 

Baby Walkers: Baby walkers sold in California and Arizona from June 2009 through August 2009 bearing the item number L-0809EN and imported by Le Hing, Inc.  The walkers can fit through a standard doorway but are not designed to stop at the edge of a step.  These defects could cause serious injury or death to infants using such a walker. 

Click here for more information about recent recalls.

Texas Supreme Court upholds liability against bar owner

The Texas Supreme Court recently upheld a lower court decision holding a bar owner responsible for injuries a patron sustained as a result of a brawl with others at the bar. 

The fight occurred after 90 minutes of escalating tensions between a group of fraternity members and a wedding party.  During that hour and a half, members of the two groups exchanged insults, and some shoves and pushes.  After the fight broke out, Plaintiff Bradley Smith entered the melee to rescue a friend.  Smith was attacked and suffered severe injuries including a skull fracture and brain damage.

The Court rejected Del Lago's argument that it should not be liable for the criminal acts of its patrons, reasoning that the establishment had a duty to protect Smith since the danger became foreseeable during the 90 minute lead up to the fight. 

The case is Del Lago Partners, Inc. et al v. Smith, No. 06-1022.

If you have been injured, contact the attorneys of Fears | Nachawati today to receive free legal assistance.  Phone us toll free at 1-866-705-7584 to speak with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers. 

Chinese drywall ruling opens door for claims

A Louisiana judge recently awarded $2.6 million to seven Virginia families whose homes were ruined by sulfur-emitting drywall imported from China, setting the standard for new claims from the thousands of Texas homeowners and renters affected by this product. 

Tainted drywall from China can cause serious health problems as well as substantial property damage.  The sulfur gases released by the drywall creates a noxious odor indoors, making homes difficult if not impossible (and dangerous) to live in.  It has also been connected to corrosion of house wiring and air conditioning units, creating a fire hazard. 

The case is In Re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, 09-MD-02047, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. 

If you have been injured by Chinese drywall, contact the attorneys of Fears | Nachawati today to receive free legal assistance.  To speak with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, email or phone us toll free at 1-866-705-7584.

What is a catastrophic injury?

A catastrophic injury is an extremely severe injury typically characterized by the loss of the use of a bodily system or function. A person who suffers a catastrophic injury may have to undergo multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, lengthy hospital stays and full-time nursing/assistive care. Sometimes a person with a catastrophic injury never fully recovers and may even face a shortened life expectancy.

Examples of catastrophic injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe burns
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia

Individuals who have suffered a catastrophic injury have far greater long-term medical needs than those who have suffered a less severe injury. A person who has suffered a catastrophic injury will likely have to manage the injury on a daily basis. Often treatment will require an entire team of healthcare professionals providing care.

It is important that you seek the immediate counsel of a qualified personal injury attorney because you do not want to make the mistake of settling too early. The long-term effects of a catastrophic injury may not be immediately apparent. The consequences of an injury can take months or years to manifest. That is why you want to be cautious about settling for an amount of money that will ultimately prove insufficient to cover your medical expenses.

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement

Tips for finding a good Texas personal injury attorney

If you’ve been involved in an accident and are considering bringing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas, you have a lot to cope with. On top of going to your doctor appointments and recovering from your injuries, you must also consider hiring a Texas personal injury attorney.

Finding a good Texas personal injury attorney, however, is not as difficult or stressful as it may first seem. It is true that you want to give careful consideration to this very important decision. It is also true, though, that you can make a wise selection by following a few simple tips.

Tip #1: Meet with the attorney in person before you sign anything.

Your personal rapport with your attorney matters a lot. You want to be represented by someone who makes you feel comfortable and someone you can trust and be honest with. You should never enter into an attorney/client relationship with a personal injury lawyer until you’ve had a chance to speak with that lawyer in person and determine whether they are a good match for your personality.

Tip #2: Find out whether the attorney is willing to go to trial if you don’t get a reasonable settlement offer.

Not all attorneys are willing to take a personal injury claim all the way to trial. You deserve fair compensation for your injuries, and you also deserve an attorney who will be willing to fight to get you that compensation. Don’t hire an attorney unless that attorney has expressed their willingness to go to trial if the other side doesn’t make a reasonable settlement offer.

Tip #3: Ask the attorney to explain all of their fees upfront.

Fees and expenses are one of the biggest areas of concern for potential litigants. A good, honest personal injury attorney will be upfront and open with you about the fees and expenses that you will be charged. Be sure you understand the extent and nature of the fees before you sign any agreement.

5 myths about personal injury claims

There are times when an accident victim with a viable personal injury claim does not move forward with legal action because of mistaken beliefs about how personal injury claims work. For example, some accident victims are operating under misconceptions about the circumstances under which a claim can be made or about what types of compensation can be recovered.

Although every case is different, it is often possible to recover compensation from an accident even if:

1. There were no witnesses to the accident: It is sometimes possible to reconstruct an accident with the help of investigators. A good personal injury attorney has access to a team of experts that can prove how an accident occurred even without the aid of witnesses.

2. You are partly at fault for the accident: Texas uses the doctrine of comparative responsibility to assign a percentage of the blame for an accident to each party involved. As long as the judge or jury determines that you were only 50% or less responsible for the accident, then you can still recover damages for your injuries.

3. The other driver has no insurance: The other driver’s insurance is not the only source of payment for your injuries. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, it may be possible to recover damages from your own insurance company, the owner of the car or the driver’s employer.

4. You were the victim of a hit-and-run driver: Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you may be able to recover damages from your own insurance company if you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

5. You did not immediately go to the hospital: Sometimes injuries take time to manifest themselves. It is not uncommon for an accident victim to feel fine at first but then later develop serious injuries. While it is certainly best that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, not immediately going to the hospital does not preclude you from bringing a personal injury claim.

Texas woman files personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart after shopping cart injury

A Texas woman has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleging she was injured when a store employee rammed a rack of carts into her.

The plaintiff, Betty E. Wheat, was shopping at a Wal-Mart on January 9, 2008. Wheat was retrieving a shopping cart when, according to her Texas personal injury lawsuit, a Wal-Mart employee was using a machine to move several shopping carts, ramming them into a stationary rack of carts. The stationary rack of carts, in turn, slammed into Wheat.

Wheat claims the force of the impact caused her to fall to the ground and injure her hip. According to the suit, Wheat was transported by ambulance to the emergency room the next day. She was hospitalized for nine days as she underwent treatment and testing.

In her Texas personal injury lawsuit, Wheat is claiming that Wal-Mart is responsible for its employee’s actions under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

The personal injury lawsuit accuses the employee of negligence in failing to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain a clear and reasonable distance between Wheat and the moving equipment.

Wheat is seeking a variety of damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and loss of household services.

To read more on this Texas personal injury lawsuit, click here for the complete article.

How soon should I file a personal injury lawsuit?

You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident. The sooner you seek legal advice, the better preserved the evidence will be and the fresher the memories of your witnesses will be.

Every state, including Texas, has a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations limits the amount of time in which you have to bring your personal injury lawsuit. In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Texas is two years. That time period, however, can be extended under certain circumstances. It is important that you seek the immediate advice of a personal injury attorney to be sure that you preserve your legal rights.

Just because you should consult with a personal injury attorney quickly, however, does not mean that you should settle quickly. In order to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries, you must allow enough time for a full diagnosis to be made and for your injuries to resolve themselves.

You should never sign a release or agree to a settlement for your personal injury claim until you have had the opportunity to speak with a Texas personal injury attorney. To receive free legal advice on your claim, contact the Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati today.

 

What does it mean when I sign a release?

When you sign a release, you are agreeing to give up the right to pursue any further financial recovery from the individual being released in exchange for that individual paying you an agreed upon amount of money.
When you settle a personal injury claim you will generally have to sign a release. For example, you may agree to settle your claim for $10,000. By signing the release, you are saying that you will not take any further legal action against the defendant in return for the defendant paying you $10,000.
You should never sign a release until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney. Before you give up any of your legal rights, it is critical that you speak with a personal injury attorney who can assess your case and ensure that you are receiving a fair settlement.
After you sign a release, you have given up your right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the individual being released. A personal injury attorney will help you determine whether settling the case is in your best interest.

How will my personal injury claim be processed?

The first stage in a personal injury lawsuit is your initial meeting with your attorney. During this meeting, you will tell your attorney about your accident, explaining what happened and who was involved. Ideally you will bring along supporting documents, such as medical records and the accident report, to help your attorney evaluate the facts of your case and determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Before filing the personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will first try to negotiate with the other side, usually the insurance company of the person who caused your injuries. The goal of the negotiations is to reach a settlement that fairly compensates you for your injuries, making it unnecessary to move forward with a trial.

If a settlement cannot be reached, then your personal injury attorney will begin the process of filing a lawsuit. The first step is to file a formal pleading with the court known as a complaint. A complaint is a written legal document that explains why the defendant is being sued and lists the damages (such as medical expenses and lost wages) that are being sought.

The defendant must then file an answer to the complaint. An answer is also a written legal document. In it, the defendant will either admit to or deny the allegations made in the complaint and assert any defenses they believe they have.

Once the initial pleadings have been filed by both parties, discovery begins. Discovery is the legal process by which both parties to a lawsuit gather information and evidence to prove their version of the facts. A common form of discovery is a deposition where the attorney for each side is given the opportunity to question the other party.

It is not uncommon for a settlement to be reached after discovery is underway. A case can be settled any time before it goes to trial. In fact, the majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled before trial.

If no settlement has been reached, the case will go to trial. During the trial, both parties will present evidence and testimony to prove their case. For the plaintiff, this means proving that the defendant was at fault as well as proving their damages.

After both parties have finished presenting their case, the judge or jury, depending on whether a jury trial was requested, must deliberate and reach a verdict. The verdict is the judge or jury’s decision as to whether or not the defendant is at fault for your injuries. If the defendant is found liable, the verdict will also include an award of damages, which is the amount of money the defendant must pay you as compensation for your injuries.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to arrange an initial consultation. At Fears | Nachawati, we provide accident victims with a free consultation where one of our experienced Texas personal injury attorneys will review the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options.

Proving fault in a personal injury lawsuit

 

As the plaintiff in a Texas personal injury lawsuit, you have the burden of proving that the defendant was at fault for your injuries. In civil lawsuits, the burden of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence.” Preponderance of the evidence simply means that your version of the facts is more likely than not to be true.

Most personal injury claims are based on the legal principle of negligence. A person is negligent when they fail to exercise the care that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. If someone’s negligence causes an injury to another person, then they can be held liable for their damages.

To prove fault under a theory of negligence, you must show four things:

  1. The defendant owed you a legal duty of care.
  2. The defendant breached that duty through their actions.
  3. The defendant’s conduct caused an accident involving the plaintiff.
  4. The plaintiff was injured or harmed in some way as a result.

Here’s an example of how these four elements would work in a personal injury lawsuit. Let’s say that Joe runs a stop sign and hits a car being driven by Sue. Sue had no stop sign, so she had the right of way. In order to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit, Sue will need to prove that:

  1. Because Joe was operating a vehicle on public streets, he owed Sue and all other drivers a legal duty to drive with reasonable caution.
  2. By running the stop sign, Joe breached that duty of care.
  3. As a result of breaching his legal duty to drive with reasonable caution, Joe caused his car to collide with Sue’s car.
  4. Due to the collision with Joe’s car, Sue suffered injuries.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should seek the immediate advice of an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your legal rights.

 

How do I know if I have a personal injury claim?

 

In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, you must first show that you have been injured. The injury can be physical or emotional.

Next you must be able to show that someone else caused your injury by acting carelessly or recklessly. Generally this is a matter of proving that the other person was negligent, meaning they failed to exercise the care that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.

Last, you must be able to demonstrate that you suffered damages. Damages include medical expenses, lost wages, physical impairment and pain and suffering.

The best way to find out if you have a personal injury claim is to consult with an attorney. A personal injury attorney has the training, knowledge and experience necessary to evaluate your case and determine whether you have a valid claim.

To receive free legal advice about your personal injury claim, contact Fears | Nachawati today.

 

Do I need a lawyer to pursue my personal injury claim?

 

While you don’t have to hire a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim, you are likely to wind up with a much lower settlement than you would if you were represented by an attorney.

An injured person is at a serious disadvantage when they attempt to negotiate directly with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters are trained professionals who make their living negotiating claims. It is their job to settle your claim as quickly as possible and pay out the least amount of money.

Having a trained and experienced legal professional advocating on your behalf levels the playing field. It also provides you with greater leverage. By hiring a personal injury lawyer you are sending the message that you are willing to pursue litigation if necessary. As a result, the insurance company will take your claim more seriously and offer you a better settlement to avoid going to trial.

When you hire a personal injury attorney to handle your claim you are able to focus on your recovery. Your attorney relieves you of all the headaches and hassles that come with settling a personal injury claim. All of the record keeping and communications with the insurance company will be handled by your attorney.

Settling a personal injury claim can be a very time-consuming process, but if you hire an attorney, you will spend very little time working on your case. Your main responsibility will be going to your doctor appointments and keeping your lawyer updated on your medical condition.

If you have been injured in an accident, it is in your best interest to seek the representation of a qualified personal injury attorney. Contact Fears | Nachawati today to receive free legal advice about your personal injury claim.

 

Personal injury lawsuit against U-Haul heads to Texas appeals court

A personal injury lawsuit against U-Haul and its Texas subsidiary will reach the Dallas 5th Court of Appeals on February 9th.

In April of 2008, a Texas jury awarded Talmadge Waldrip $84.25 million in damages for injuries he sustained when a U-Haul rental truck ran over him. The verdict included $63 million in punitive damages.

U-Haul International appealed the verdict, and the case will be heard by the Dallas 5th Court of Appeals next week.

Waldrip’s personal injury lawsuit stemmed from an incident that occurred on September 20, 2006. On that day, Waldrip, 74, was driving a 1988 U-Haul truck – a 26-foot “Jumbo Hauler” with 234,000 miles on the odometer.

Waldrip, who was helping his daughter move, was dropping off a load of her belongings at a warehouse he owned in a nearby town. When he arrived at the warehouse, Waldrip parked the truck on a slight incline, set the parking brake and stepped out of the vehicle.

Once he was out of the truck, it abruptly began to roll backwards, striking Waldrip and knocking him to the ground. The truck then rolled over him, dragging him about 40 feet and crushing his pelvis.  

Waldrip, along with his wife and daughters, sued U-Haul, claiming the company was negligent in renting a truck to him that it knew or should have known was unsafe.

At trial, Waldrip’s attorney presented evidence that U-Haul failed to properly maintain the brake and transmission systems of its trucks. Evidence presented in the original lawsuit also showed that six other people had similar problems with the same truck.

In its defense, U-Haul argued that Waldrip likely burned out the brake by leaving it on while he was operating the vehicle. The company also argued that it could not reasonably have been aware of a problem with the parking brake before the accident occurred.

Following the verdict at trial, U-Haul issued a statement expressing its disappointment and declaring its intention to “vigorously defend this case through the appeals process.”

In its statement, U-Haul said, “The damages awarded are particularly outrageous given the circumstances of this case. While the plaintiff's injuries are extremely regrettable, the final verdict is another example of abuse of the legal system against corporate citizens in America.”

The jury’s award was later reduced to $46 million because of a Texas law that caps punitive damages.

Except for cases involving specific types of intentional criminal conduct, punitive damages in Texas civil lawsuits are limited to the greater of the following amounts:

a.) Two times the amount of economic damages plus non-economic damages up to a maximum of $750,000; or

b.) $200,000

For more on Waldrip’s personal injury lawsuit, see this article from the Allen American.

Understanding structured settlements

One of the most common uses of structured settlements is in personal injury claims. Through the settlement, the victim is compensated for their personal injuries, but rather than a lump sum payment, a structured settlement is an agreement that the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company will make periodic payments to you over a set period of time.

Structured settlements offer considerable tax advantages. Earnings on your structured settlement are tax-free. Tax liabilities can greatly reduce a large cash payout. By contrast, the principal and interest generated from structured settlement annuities are completely exempt from state and federal taxes.

Another benefit of structured settlements is the flexibility they offer. You can structure your settlement in a way that best meets your financial needs and protects you from inflation. A structured settlement can consist of simple yearly payments or can be a complex arrangement involving an initial lump sum payment and monthly indexed payments.

You are free to structure your personal injury settlement in the way that is most beneficial to you. You can even tailor your personal injury settlement to meet your long-term financial goals such as a steady source of income to support you during retirement or paying for your child’s college education.

Long-term money management issues are another reason why personal injury victims often prefer structured settlements. With a structured settlement, you are guaranteed a steady source of income to cover your future medical expenses. Some personal injury victims do not feel confident in their ability to manage a large cash payment to ensure that their ongoing medical costs are provided for. A structured settlement can alleviate those concerns.

Before accepting any settlement offer, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. Your personal injury attorney will make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and can negotiate on your behalf to get you the best settlement possible.

Do I have to file a lawsuit in order to recovery money for my injuries?

Not necessarily. Whether a lawsuit must be filed in order for you to receive fair compensation for your injuries depends on many factors. Claims can be settled, and many, if not most, cases are settled before a lawsuit is ever filed. Even if a lawsuit is filed, it is common for the case to be settled before it actually goes to trial.

However, it is important that you allow enough time to pass before settling to ensure that your injuries are fully resolved. You don’t want to settle your personal injury claim too early only to find out months down the road that your injuries are more serious and will require more medical treatment than you first thought.

Only a competent and experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and determine whether a lawsuit is warranted. To receive free legal advice about your accident and to learn about your legal options, contact the Texas personal injury attorneys of Fears | Nachawati today.

How is pain and suffering calculated?

Clients often wonder how courts calculate pain and suffering. With damages such as medical expenses, you have bills to show how much you have lost as a result of your injury. With pain and suffering, on the other hand, the court will have to take into account a variety of factors to place a dollar value on your losses.

The court starts by examining your injuries. It will consider issues such as how serious the injury is, how long it will take you to fully recover and what was involved in the treatment process. For example, you will receive more money if your recovery takes years rather than months or if you had to undergo a particularly painful treatment.

Next the court will consider how the injury has affected your life. Are you able to perform normal day-to-day activities such as dressing yourself, preparing meals and cleaning your house? The court will also consider the extent to which you injury has affected your ability to enjoy your life. For instance, can you participate in your favorite hobbies? Are you able to have relations with your spouse?

Then the court will consider the emotional aspects of your injury. Are you suffering mentally or emotionally as a result of the accident? For example, are you experiencing anxiety or depression because of the accident?

Last the court looks to the future and considers if and how the injury will continue to affect you for the rest of your life. For instance, do you have a permanent disability or a disfigurement? Will you continue to have to undergo medical treatment or rehabilitation?

There is no simple mathematical formula that courts use to calculate pain and suffering. As you can see, placing a dollar value on pain and suffering is a highly individualized process that takes into account many factors that are unique to you and your situation.

A qualified Texas personal injury attorney will be able to draw on their professional knowledge and experience with similar cases to estimate the likely amount you will receive for pain and suffering.

Commercial truckers and bus drivers banned from texting while driving

The federal government formally banned truckers and commercial bus drivers from texting while driving on Tuesday.

The announcement was made by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. LaHood calls the ban a “strong message,” adding “We don’t merely expect you to share the road responsibly with other travelers – we require you to do so.”

After Tuesday’s announcement, even reading a text message while driving will be a federal safety offense. Violating the ban could put a commercial driver at risk of losing their authority to operate their vehicle and could net them a fine up to $2,750 for each offense.

The new rules also prohibit reading while driving, but do not place a ban on talking on cellphones will driving or talking on dispatching devices.

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the heels of a similar ban imposed last month when President Obama ordered approximately 3 million federal workers to keep off their cellphones while behind the wheel.

Texas currently has a number of laws against texting while driving, including a ban on texting by school bus drivers, by drivers under the age of 18 and by drivers in a school zone or those who are transporting a child.

Jennifer Smith, a Texas native and founder of FocusDriven, a nonprofit organization dedicated to campaigning for bans on texting and talking on cellphones while driving, has gone on the record to express her satisfaction with the latest texting ban.

Says smith, “This shows that the federal government is taking this seriously. The dangers exist, and there need to be safety measures involved.”

According to the press secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation, more comprehensive rules, include a ban on texting by school bus drivers, will follow in the months to come.

The Dallas Morning News published a piece on the new ban, including a look at how it will affect Texas.

How long will it take to settle my personal injury lawsuit?

No two cases are exactly alike. The amount of time it will take to settle your personal injury lawsuit depends on many factors, such as the nature of your injuries, the number of defendants involved and the complexity of your case.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t want to make the mistake of settling too early. It is important that you allow enough time to pass so that you and your attorney will know the full extent of your injuries. Only after a final medical report has been issued can you move forward with the certainty that you will be fully compensated for your injuries.

That is one reason why it is so important that you speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer before you sign any release. The insurance company may try to rush you into an early settlement in an attempt to settle for an amount of money that is less than what your claim is worth.

A Texas personal injury attorney will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that the final settlement offer is fair. If no settlement agreement can be reached, your attorney will take your case to trial to get you the compensation you deserve.

Lesson learned from a unicycling clown: Cellphone distraction a problem for pedestrians as well as drivers

Much is said on the dangers of talking on a cellphone while driving, but what about using a cellphone while walking? A study conducted by researchers at Western Washington University suggests that cellphone use by pedestrians could pose a serious risk.

Researchers theorized that pedestrians talking on cellphones fall victim to what they call “inattentional blindness.” That is, they are completely oblivious to the events around them. While they may be looking at their surroundings, none of it is registering.

To test this theory, researchers brought in a clown riding a unicycle. The clown, a student named Dustin Randall, wore an outrageous polka dot costume complete with a red nose and pedaled his unicycle around a popular square on the university’s campus. After pedestrians crossed the square, researchers would stop them and ask if they noticed anything unusual.

The results were shocking: among pedestrians who were talking on cellphones only 8 percent spontaneously remembered the clown. Even when asked if they noticed the unicycling clown, only 25 percent of those on cellphones could recall him.  

While the study seems comical at first blush, the upshot is anything but funny. It shows that pedestrians talking on cellphones are acutely unaware of their surroundings. This lack of awareness could lead to serious accidents, especially when walking near motor vehicles.

For more on this study, click here for the complete article.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should seek the immediate advice of an experienced Texas personal injury attorney.

10 ways a Texas personal injury lawyer can help you

If you have been injured in an accident, you need an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney on your side.Your personal injury attorney will act as your advocate, ensuring that you are treated fairly and that your best interests are represented at all times.

Here are some of the ways that a Texas personal injury lawyer can help you in processing your accident claim:

  1. Evaluate your injuries and claim to ensure that you are getting a fair settlement.
  2. Investigate the accident to determine exactly who was at fault.
  3. Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
  4. Recommend physicians for treatment for your injuries.
  5. Complete all of the paperwork and forms associated with your claim.
  6. Represent you during the deposition.
  7. Represent you in courtroom proceedings if the case goes to trial.
  8. Interview witnesses.
  9. Provide expert witnesses.
  10. Take the burden off of your shoulders so you can focus on healing and getting back to your normal daily routine.

Contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice and to learn more about the ways a Texas personal injury attorney can help you.

Pedestrian safety tips

Pedestrians always have the right of way, right? Not quite. Pedestrians actually only have the right of way in crosswalks. This myth is a dangerous one, as it can cause pedestrians to let their guard down and assume that motor vehicles will yield to them.

Pedestrians should remain aware of their surroundings and take responsibility for their own safety. To stay safe as a pedestrian, follow these tips:

  • Always walk on the side walk if one is present.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Cross at pedestrian crosswalks or at intersections.
  • At controlled intersections, only cross when you have the pedestrian crossing signal. Even then, be aware of vehicles that may have a green light to turn.
  • Walk facing oncoming traffic. Facing oncoming traffic allows you to see the traffic approaching you and increases your visibility.
  • During the day, wear bright colored clothing when walking. At night, wear light-colored clothing. A reflective vest is your best bet for safety when you walk at night.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings. This means you should not talk on your cell phone when walking or drown out all noise with your iPod.
  • Walk on paths frequently used by other walkers and joggers.

Even if you exercise caution and good judgment when walking, pedestrian accidents can still happen. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should seek the immediate advice of a Texas personal injury attorney.

I was in a car accident and the other driver's insurance company is asking for my medical records. What should I do?

If you have been injured in a car accident, do not sign any form authorizing the release of your medical records to the other driver’s car insurance company. Your medical records contain personal and confidential information, some of which may be entirely unrelated to your accident.

The doctor/patient relationship is a private one, and your physician cannot disclose any of your medical information without your permission. Therefore, the only way the other driver’s insurance company can obtain your medical records is by having you sign a release form.

The better approach is for you to obtain a copy of the relevant records (the ones related to the accident) and provide the insurance company with those copies rather than signing a general release.

Along with the copies of the records, include a letter stating that you are only releasing the records that are relevant to the accident and that you are releasing them for the limited purpose of settling the claim.

If you hire a Texas personal injury lawyer, they can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. You will not have to worry about what you should and should not give to the other driver’s insurance company because your Texas personal injury attorney will be there to ensure that your legal rights are protected and your best interests are represented at all times.

Why you should be wary of quick settlement offers

Accidents of any kind, whether it’s a slip and fall or a motor vehicle collision, can be traumatic experiences. It is only natural that you would want to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Accepting a quick settlement offer from an insurance company, however, could cost you big time. An injury that may seem “minor” at first could turn out to be very serious in the months to come. But if you’ve already settled your claim for a small amount of money, then there is nothing you can do – you simply have to pay for the additional medical expenses yourself.

The wiser course of action is to wait and see how your injuries are going to affect you before you agree to any settlement. Only then will you know how much your claim is actually worth. An experienced Texas personal injury attorney can advise you on the appropriate amount of time to wait in order to evaluate the full extent of your injuries.

Insurance companies try to settle claims quickly because it is to their advantage to do so. The sooner the insurance company gets you to settle, the less they’ll have to pay because they won’t have to compensate you for medical treatments you receive after the settlement has been reached. Plus, your damages for pain and suffering will be less the earlier you settle.

Remember, you cannot go back and “reopen” a settlement claim. When you cash that settlement check, you are agreeing to release the insurance company from any further claims related to your accident. In lawyer speak, “you only get one bite at the apple.”

Before accepting any offer from an insurance company, it is in your best interest to speak with a Texas personal injury attorney who can evaluate your claim and determine whether the offer is fair.

What to do if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident

“Slip and fall” is a term used by lawyers to describe any accident that involves tripping or slipping because of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, there are certain steps you should take to help ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Report the accident: Notify the owner of the property as soon as possible. Be sure to get a copy of the accident report. If the accident occurred on a residential property, notify the owner of the property both verbally and in writing.

Seek medical attention: Seek immediate treatment for your injuries. Records of a doctor’s evaluation of your injuries is critical to proving your case.

Keep records of the medical attention you receive: Save all documentation of the treatment you receive for the injuries suffered in your slip and fall accident.

Make a written record of the incident: While the incident is still fresh in your mind, write out a detailed account of your fall. Include information such as a description of the location where the accident occurred, the names and contact information of witnesses and any statements made by the owner of the property.

Take pictures: If possible, take photographs of the location where the fall occurred. Take pictures showing the scene of the accident from several angles. You should also take pictures of your injuries.

Get contact information for witnesses: Be sure to obtain the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed your slip and fall.

Contact a Texas personal injury attorney: Last but certainly not least, you should seek the immediate advice of an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and determine whether you have a good claim. A lawyer can also help you understand your legal rights and explain your options.

What if I am unhappy with my current personal injury attorney?

 

A good Texas personal injury attorney will make themselves available to answer your questions and listen to your concerns. Your attorney should promptly respond to your inquiries and be on time to your meetings. The best Texas personal injury lawyers are also open and honest with their clients. You should expect to be treated with respect and kept up-to-date on the status of your case.

If you are unhappy with your current Texas personal injury attorney for any reason, you have the right to change lawyers. Your client/attorney relationship is a voluntary one, and you as the client can exit the relationship at any time.

At Fears | Nachawati, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality of legal representation. We work for you, and we will always be available to answer your questions and respond to your concerns. As someone who has been injured in an accident, you deserve a Texas personal injury attorney who will work hard to ensure you get full and fair compensation for your injuries.

 

I was injured in a car accident. How long do I have to hire an attorney?

The answer to this question depends on a law called the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time in which you have to bring a personal injury lawsuit.

In Texas, the statute of limitations on bringing a personal injury lawsuit is two years. If you don’t bring your legal claim within two years of the date of your car accident (with certain exceptions), then you will be barred from ever bringing that claim.

What all this means is that you should hire a Texas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your car accident. By waiting too long to seek the advice of an attorney, you could lose your right to file a lawsuit – which means you lose your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.

To ensure that you preserve your legal rights, it is critical that you seek the immediate advice of an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer. While you may have two years within which to file your lawsuit, you should not delay in seeking the council of a qualified attorney.

What happens at a deposition?

If you file a Texas personal injury lawsuit, the defendant’s lawyer will likely “depose” you. A deposition is the process by which the defendant’s lawyer asks you questions about the accident in order to gather facts about the case.

Before the questioning begins, you will be put under oath whereby you will swear to tell the truth in answering the questions. Your answers to the questions will be recorded by a court reporter. Sometimes depositions are recorded on an audio tape or by a video recorder.

If your Texas personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, the testimony you give in court will be compared to the answers you gave during your deposition. If there are any inconsistencies or discrepancies between the two, the defendant’s lawyer will ask you about them.

Depositions are a form of discovery. Discovery is a legal term that encompasses all of the various ways that lawyers gather facts and evidence in preparation for a lawsuit.

You have the right to have your lawyer present at the deposition. Your lawyer will be there to ensure that your best interests are represented and will spend time preparing you for the questions you can expect to be asked.

Your lawyer also has the right to object to questions that are improper, misleading, irrelevant or vague. The defendant cannot use the deposition process to harass you, and your lawyer will make sure that this does not happen.

Hiring an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected during a deposition.

How is an intentional tort different from negligence?

Most Texas personal injury lawsuits are based on a claim of negligence. When a person is negligent that means they failed to exercise the care that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.

A person who is negligent did not intend to cause harm, but they are still held legally responsible because their careless actions injured someone.

With an intentional tort, by contrast, there was an intent to cause harm. The defendant knowingly and purposefully committed an act that resulted in an injury to the plaintiff.

Intentional torts include things like assault and battery, libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander and false imprisonment. It is often, but not always, the case that an intentional tort is also a criminal act.

To illustrate the difference between negligence and an intentional tort, let’s look at an example with two different scenarios. The plaintiff is a woman named Sally, and in both cases, she is suing because of a broken wrist.

Scenario #1: Sally is walking down the aisle of ABC Grocery store when she slips and falls on a puddle of water. The owner of the store was negligent for not cleaning up the spill. Even though the store owner did not intend for Sally to get hurt, he is still liable for her broken wrist because his negligence lead to her injury.

Scenario #2: Sally is walking to her car when she is assaulted by a man who wants to steal her purse. The assailant shoves her to the ground, and she breaks her wrist as a result of the attack. The police later catch the assailant, and Sally sues him for her injuries.

In both cases the end result is the same – Sally winds up with a broken wrist. Both defendants can be held liable for Sally’s injuries, but for different reasons. The store owner is liable because he failed to clean up the spilled water, which a reasonable person would have done. The assaulter is liable because they intentionally caused harm to Sally by shoving her.

Whether your case is one of negligence or one based on an intentional tort, a Texas personal injury lawyer can help you get full and fair compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured due to someone else’s actions, whether negligent or intentional, contact a Texas personal injury lawyer today.

If I file a personal injury lawsuit, will I have to go to court?

It depends. Many, if not most, cases are settled before they go to trial. A settlement is an agreement reached between you and the defendant wherein the defendant agrees to pay you a specified sum of money and you the plaintiff, in turn, agree not to pursue any further legal action against them. If your case is settled, then there will be no need for you to go to court.

If a settlement cannot be reached, however, you will have to go to court and testify. Your Texas personal injury attorney will be there with you every step of the way and will prepare you for the questions you can expect to be asked during your testimony.

What does it mean if someone is "liable" for my injuries?

In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, the term “liable” means that an individual, company or some other legal entity has been deemed responsible for your injuries in a court of law. The determination of whether someone is liable for your injuries can be made either by a judge or a jury, depending on the nature of the trial.

If the defendant in a Texas personal injury lawsuit is found liable for your injuries, then that person is typically required to pay you a specific amount of money as compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Sometimes people confuse the term “liable” with the term “guilty.” Guilty is a term used only in criminal cases, and it means that a court of law has determined that the defendant did commit the offense of which they are accused.

If you were hurt in an accident and believe that someone else may be liable for your injuries, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati today for free legal assistance. To speak with one of our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers, simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

I was injured in an accident and can no longer have relations with my spouse - can my spouse sue, too?

When an accident victim’s injuries interfere with their marriage, that victim’s spouse is suffering from “loss of consortium.” You can make a claim for loss of consortium along with the other claims you bring in your Texas personal injury lawsuit.

Loss of consortium is the legal term for the negative effect that injuries suffered in an accident, whether mental or physical, can have on a relationship. When one spouse is injured in an accident, the non-injured spouse can suffer too because they lose some of the care, affection, support, sexual relations, love and companionship they enjoyed before the accident.

Note that loss of consortium is not limited to the loss of sexual relations, however. Loss of consortium is a much broader concept that includes the loss of love, affection, moral support and even household services. Loss of consortium is the court’s recognition of the fact that a victim’s injuries have disrupted their marriage in a meaningful way.

If your spouse has been injured in an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free advice on your legal rights. To learn more about loss of consortium and Texas personal injury lawsuits, email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 for a no-charge legal consultation

Pedestrian accidents

Under Texas law, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, not all motorists exercise due caution when driving in areas where people are walking. Thousands of pedestrians are injured every year by negligent drivers.

Injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident can be catastrophic. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of all people who share the roadways with motor vehicles. A person’s body is simply no match for the speed and size of a car. Pedestrians have no protection from motor vehicles and are completely at the mercy of the drivers on the roadways where they are walking.

A pedestrian can easily be thrown or dragged when struck by a motor vehicle. Pedestrian accidents can result in life-altering injuries such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and even paralysis.

If you were injured in a Texas pedestrian accident, it is critical that you know your legal rights. An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer can assess your case and determine whether you have grounds for bringing a lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries.

For free legal advice on pedestrian accidents, contact the Texas personal injury law firm of Fears | Nachawati today. To receive your free legal assistance, simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What are exemplary damages?

Exemplary damages are often referred to as punitive damages. These are damages awarded to a plaintiff in a lawsuit when the defendant’s actions were malicious, willful or reckless.

Exemplary damages are in excess of the plaintiff’s actual losses. Rather than compensation, exemplary damages are intended to serve as a punishment and to make a public example of the defendant to warn others against engaging in the same type of conduct.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm. To receive free legal assistance from a Texas personal injury attorney, email us today or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What to bring to your first meeting with a Texas personal injury attorney

 

Accident victims are sometimes nervous about meeting with a personal injury lawyer for the first time. For many accident victims, their personal injury lawsuit will be their first experience with the legal process.

To help you get the most out of your initial consultation, Fears | Nachawati has put together this list of documents that you should bring to your first meeting with your Texas personal injury lawyer.

The items on this list will help your personal injury attorney evaluate your case and determine whether you have a viable claim and how much compensation you are likely to receive.

Here are the most important types of information for you to bring to your initial consultation with your Texas personal injury attorney:

A written account of the accident: Write out a detailed narrative of how the accident occurred, including the events preceding and following the incident. Include as many details as possible. Your attorney will be able to determine which details are relevant to your claim.

Contact information for the person(s) who caused the accident: Take along a list of all the contact information you have for the person or people responsible for the accident, including their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number and insurance information, if applicable.

Contact information for witnesses: Make a list of the people who witnessed your accident, include as much contact information you have as well as a brief description of what you believe each witness saw.

Photographs: Bring along any photos you have of the scene of the accident as well as photos of your injuries and photos documenting any damage to your personal property, such as your vehicle.

Copies of accident reports: If an official report of the accident was made, such as a police report or a work accident report, bring copies for your attorney.

Medical bills: The amount of compensation you may be entitled to depends in large part on your medical expenses, so bring along copies of all the medical bills related to treatment for your injuries caused by the accident.

Medical records: Similarly, bring any documentation you have of the nature and extent of your injuries.

Repair estimates: If your personal property was damaged in the accident, bring copies of any professional repair estimates you have obtained.

Remember, you are not limited to the items on this list. You can and should bring along any other pieces of information or documentation that you feel will help your Texas personal injury lawyer in evaluating your case.

To receive a free legal consultation with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 for free legal assistance.

 

Injured in an accident? Beware of high-volume settlement mills

If you have been injured in an accident, you need a Texas personal injury lawyer who will give your case personal time and attention, ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation available to you through vigorous representation.

Unfortunately, many injured people in Texas are receiving just the opposite of that – they have unknowingly placed their case in the hands of a high-volume settlement mill attorney.

What is a settlement mill? Settlement mills are law practices that aggressively advertise their services and do nothing more than mass produce settlements of claims. There is virtually no client interaction, and cases are never taken to trial. A typical settlement mill will process tens of thousands of claims each year, while a legitimate Texas personal injury law firm handles only a fraction of that number of cases annually.

A settlement mill attorney usually takes the first offer which is made by the insurance company, an amount which is typically far lower than what the claim is worth. No attempt at real negotiations is made. Settlement mill attorneys have no leverage because insurance companies know that they never take cases to trial.

Settlement mills treat personal injury claims in a “cookie cutter” fashion. No special attention is paid to the individual facts or circumstances of the case. Rather, the goal of a settlement mill attorney is to move the claim in and out as quickly as possible. Settlement mills are focused on volume, not quality.

Another characteristic of a settlement mill is the lack of interaction with an actual attorney. In a high-volume settlement mill, most tasks are assigned to non-lawyers, and clients have little to no contact with the attorney who is supposedly representing their case.

Don’t be taken in by flashy advertisements. You need a Texas personal injury attorney who cares about you and your case, an attorney who will fight to ensure that you get full and fair compensation for your injuries.

To receive free legal assistance from a qualified and experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, contact Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 to speak directly with a personal injury attorney.

How do I find a personal injury attorney?

Choosing a personal injury attorney is an important decision that deserves careful consideration. The knowledge and experience of your attorney can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you are awarded.

One of the best ways to find a personal injury attorney in Texas is to ask for referrals from your friends and family members. You can also ask any lawyers or professionals you know for referrals as well.

Once you have a name, it’s time to evaluate the Texas personal injury lawyer and determine whether they are a right fit for your needs. First and foremost, you want a lawyer who regularly practices personal injury law. Special rules apply in personal injury law that don’t apply to other types of litigation. You need an attorney who is up to date on all of the latest developments in Texas personal injury law.

Second, find out whether the attorney you’re speaking with will be the one working on your case. The most common complaint against attorneys is that their clients can’t get in touch with them. You need a Texas personal injury attorney who is committed to you and your case.

Last, make sure that you are comfortable with your lawyer. You will be in regular contact with your attorney and will be discussing personal matters. You want an attorney who makes you feel at ease and with whom you enjoy working.

For free legal assistance from a qualified and experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, contact Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What is mental anguish?

Mental anguish is a term that refers to the emotional suffering a victim experiences after a traumatic incident, such as a serious car accident or the wrongful death of a loved one. Mental anguish can include anxiety, stress, fright, grief, depression and feelings of distress. Emotional distress is another frequently used term for mental anguish.

It is sometimes possible to receive financial compensation for mental anguish in a civil lawsuit, such as a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation for mental anguish is a type of non-pecuniary damages, which are damages that represent non-financial losses or injuries suffered by an accident victim.

If you are suffering mental anguish because of an accident or the wrongful death of a loved one, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice. To speak with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

Will the person who caused my injuries be punished?

No. Governmental punishment, such as jail sentences and fines, is the result of a criminal case. A personal injury lawsuit, by contrast, is a civil case.

Defendants in personal injury lawsuits do not receive criminal sentences if the plaintiff wins their case. Rather, the defendant will be ordered to pay a certain amount of money to the plaintiff as compensation for their injuries, known as “damages.”

Note that there is a type of damages viewed as punishment that can be awarded in civil cases. These are known as punitive damages, and they are awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was reckless, intentional or malicious. Unlike a fine that goes to the government, however, punitive damages are paid to the plaintiff.

If you have been the victim of an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What is the difference between a tort and a crime?

A tort is essentially a legal dispute between two individuals. One individual has been accused of committing a civil wrong against the other individual. The party who was wronged can bring a civil lawsuit against the party who caused their injuries and seek financial compensation for their losses.

A crime, on the other hand, is considered to be a wrong committed against society as a whole. Whereas the remedy for a tort is a civil lawsuit, crimes are redressed through criminal prosecution by the state of the offender.

Sometimes an act is both a crime and a tort. Battery (the use of force against another person that results in bodily injury), for example, is a crime in Texas punishable by law. However, it is also a tort and could serve as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Whether or not the wrongdoer is prosecuted and/or convicted does not have a legal effect on the injured party’s ability to bring a civil lawsuit.

For free legal advice about Texas personal injury lawsuits, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati today. To speak with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, simply email us or call our toll free number at 1.866.705.7584.

What will I get if I win my Texas personal injury lawsuit?

If you win your Texas personal injury lawsuit, you will be awarded money as compensation for your injuries and financial losses. This money is known as “damages.”

Damages fall into three general categories: compensatory, non-compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages are damages that compensate you for specific financial losses, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage. Non-compensatory damages are damages that represent your pain, suffering and mental anguish.

Last are punitive damages, which are awarded as a means of “punishing” the defendant for particularly onerous conduct. Punitive damages are relatively rare.

Under Texas law, the individual who caused your injuries must compensate you for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Time lost from work
  • Damaged property
  • Household assistance
  • Emotional anguish
  • Permanent disability and/or disfigurement
  • Other costs which directly resulted from your injury

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Then contact the Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati. To receive free legal assistance, phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 or email us.

Common causes of personal injuries

If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a third party, then you may have a personal injury claim.

There are numerous factors that can contribute to a personal injury. The most common causes of personal injuries include:

Motor vehicle accidents

Car accidents are the most common of all personal injury claims. These types of personal injury lawsuits can involve all sorts of motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving passenger cars or those involving 18-wheelers. Car accident lawsuits can also be brought by bicyclists and pedestrians who have been injured by a negligent driver.

Dangerous prescription drugs

A company that produces a prescription drug for sale to the public has a duty to perform extensive testing to ensure that the drug is both effective and reasonably safe. A pharmaceutical company may be held legally liable for damages if they fail to perform adequate testing or neglect to inform the public of all of the drug’s potential side effects and risks.

Defective products

The makers of defective products are held strictly liable for injuries caused by those products. Strict liability means that the injured consumer does not need to prove negligence in order to bring a successful personal injury claim.

Poorly maintained property

Premises liability is a type of personal injury claim that arises when someone is injured while they are one someone else’s property. If the property is not properly maintained, then the owner of the property can be held legally liable for injuries incurred as a result of that poor maintenance or a dangerous condition. One of the most common type of premises liability personal injury claims is the “slip and fall” accident.

Workplace accidents

Workplace accidents vary widely in their severity and the factors which contributed to the injury. Personal injury claims for workplace injuries can involve employer negligence, premises liability and defective products, among other causes. In Texas, employers are not required to subscribe to workers compensation, so you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the company for which you work.

If you have been injured in any type of accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice. To speak with one of our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers, you can email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

Should I file a personal injury lawsuit?

By filing a Texas personal injury lawsuit you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and other losses caused by your accident.

Any accident, whether it is a car accident, slip and fall or workplace accident, can affect your life greatly. You may incur substantial medical bills as a result of your injury, and you may be suffering from pain on a daily basis. Your injury may even prevent you from working, which means you have no income to support yourself and your family.

Filing a Texas personal injury lawsuit enables you to seek financial compensation for the expenses you have incurred as well as your physical and emotional suffering. While no amount of money can ever undo an accident, it can help ease the burdens that the accident has placed on you.

Also, when you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are helping to make sure that the person who caused your accident is held legally accountable for their actions. A personal injury lawsuit can help prevent the recurrence of their negligent or criminal actions.

To learn more about Texas personal injury lawsuits and your legal rights, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice. Simply email us or phone us on our toll free number at 1.866.705.7584.

What happens after I file a Texas personal injury lawsuit?

 

After you file your pleadings, the documents which form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit, you officially become the plaintiff in the case. The person against whom you filed the lawsuit, the one who caused your injuries, becomes the defendant. In response to your summons and complaint, the defendant must file an answer.

Once the pleadings have been filed, both parties will begin discovery. Discovery is the process by which you, the plaintiff, as well as the defendant gather the facts necessary for litigating the claims made in your Texas personal injury lawsuit.

Discovery takes many forms. The two most common types of discovery are interrogatories (written questions) and depositions (sworn testimony given under oath).

It is quite common for a settlement to be reached during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit. You have the option of settling the lawsuit with the defendant for an agreed upon sum of money rather than moving forward with a trial.

Of course, not all Texas personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. If no settlement can be reached, then the case goes to trial, typically before a jury.

For free legal advice on Texas personal injury lawsuits, contact Fears | Nachawati today. To speak with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, you can email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

 

If I file a personal injury lawsuit, do I have to go to court?

Whether or not your personal injury lawsuit goes to trial depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. Frequently, personal injury lawsuits are settled before the case ever makes it to court. If the defendant, or, in some cases, the defendant’s insurance company, agrees to pay you an amount of money that you and your attorney believe is fair compensation for your injuries, then you can choose to settle and forego a trial.

For free legal advice about Texas personal injury lawsuits, contact Fears | Nachawati today. To speak with one of our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers, simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

Is negligence the only basis for a personal injury lawsuit?

Negligence is only one basis for bringing a personal injury lawsuit. Two others bases for personal injury lawsuits exist: strict liability and intentional wrongdoing.

Strict liability is an area of tort law that has to do with products that are defective in some way when someone is harmed because of that defective. Strict liability means that you do not have to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Instead, you must show that the product was manufactured or designed in a way that makes it unreasonably dangerous when used as intended.

Intentional wrongdoing is a wrongful act that was done purposefully. When someone is negligent, they did not mean to cause harm. Rather, the harm resulted from their careless conduct. An intentional tort is the opposite – the individual against whom you are bringing the personal injury lawsuit meant to harm you in some way.

For free legal advice on personal injury lawsuits, contact the Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What types of damages are available to me if I win my personal injury lawsuit?

Damages is a legal term that refers to the amount of money a winning plaintiff is awarded in a civil lawsuit. Damages can be divided into two main categories: pecuniary (monetary) and non-pecuniary.

Pecuniary, or monetary, damages represent actual financial losses you have suffered as a result of your accident and/or injuries. These include:

  • Medical expenses, both past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Household services
  • Property damage

Non-pecuniary damages are compensation for your suffering and do not coincide with any particular financial loss or out-of-pocket expense. These include:

  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

To find out what types of damages may be available to you, contact the personal injury attorneys of Fears | Nachawati today. For free legal assistance from an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

Benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer

 

If you have been injured in an accident, you may benefit greatly from the services of a personal injury lawyer. First and foremost, a personal injury lawyer can determine whether or not you have a case. Your attorney will be able to determine who was at fault for your accident and inform you of whether you have a strong basis for a personal injury lawsuit.

A personal injury attorney can help ensure that you do not lose your right to bring your claim by making sure you file your personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations has run. Your lawyer will be an expert on Texas’s personal injury law and can make certain that you do not lose your legal right to compensation because of a procedural error.

By hiring a personal injury attorney, you are also taking the first step towards receiving fair compensation for your injuries. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for both your physical and emotional injuries.

You’re also ensuring that the person responsible for your accident is held accountable for their actions, which reduces the chances that someone else will be a victim of their negligence in the future.

To receive free legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer, contact Fears | Nachawati today. You can email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is an intervening cause?

In order to hold someone legally liable for your injuries, you must prove that person’s actions were the cause of your injuries. Proving causation in personal injury lawsuits is typically a straightforward matter.

For example, John Smith was speeding and ran a red light. When he ran the red light, he hit a car being driven by Mary Jones. Mary was injured and her car was destroyed. Mary’s injuries were clearly caused by John’s actions – that is, by his running a red light. Mary can bring a personal injury lawsuit against John and sue him for both her physical and emotional injuries as well as the damage to her vehicle.

Causation, however, is sometimes more complicated. There are cases when a defendant argues that an “intervening cause” was the true cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. An intervening cause is an event that occurs between the defendant’s original negligent act and the injury suffered by the plaintiff. In this case, the intervening event was the real reason the injury was suffered.

Here’s an example of a situation where the defendant might successfully argue that an intervening cause was the real reason the plaintiff was injured:

Mike is mopping the floors at the ABC Grocery Store. When he finishes mopping, he negligently leaves the bucket of water sitting in the middle of the aisle. Ten minutes later, there’s a mild earthquake. The tremors from the earthquake cause the bucket to shake and tip over, spilling water on the floor. Suzy Shopper slips on the water and falls, breaking her ankle.

In defending a lawsuit brought by Suzy Shopper, the owner of ABC Grocery Store will argue that the earthquake, and not his employee’s negligent actions, was the real cause of Suzy’s injuries.

An experienced personal injury attorney can review the facts of your case and determine who can be held liable for your injuries. To receive free legal advice on your potential Texas personal injury lawsuit, contact Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 to speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer.

How do I know if I have a personal injury lawsuit?

If you were injured because someone failed to act responsibly, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Essentially, three criteria must be met in order to bring a personal injury lawsuit:

  1. You were injured.
  2. The injuries were caused by someone else.
  3. You suffered a monetary loss because of your injuries.

Most personal injury lawsuits are based on a legal concept known as negligence. A person is negligent if they fail to exercise the caution that a reasonable person would have under the same circumstances.

When someone’s negligent actions cause injury to another person, they have committed a tort. A tort is the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. If Person A’s negligence causes an accident that injures Person B, then Person A can be held legally liable for Person B’s damages.

To find out whether or not you may have a personal injury lawsuit, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal assistance. To speak with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

How much time do I have to file my personal injury lawsuit?

In Texas, you must file your personal injury lawsuit within two years after the incident that caused your injuries. This two-year time limit is known as a statute of limitations.

While the general statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Texas is two years, there are exceptions. The statute of limitations can be “tolled” under certain circumstances, such as when the victim was a minor.

To be sure that you don’t lose your right to seek legal compensation for your injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. For free legal assistance from a Texas personal injury attorney, contact Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What is duty of care?

Duty of care is the legal responsibility we owe one another to act with reasonable care in the actions we take. It is the general idea that we have a duty to consider the effect that our actions will have on other people. We have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that others do not suffer personal, financial or property loss or damage as the result of our actions.

Duty of care is directly related to negligence. If you breach the duty of care, then you have acted negligently because you have failed to behave the way that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.

Our legal duty of care can be dictated by statutes passed by the legislature, or it can be imposed common law, which is the law that is developed out of court cases.

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligent actions, contact the personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati today. To receive free legal assistance, simply email us or phone us on our toll free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is discovery?

Discovery is the legal process by which both parties to a lawsuit are able to gather the pertinent information in order to litigate or defend a legal claim. It takes place before the trial so that both parties to the dispute have the facts they need.

Discovery takes many forms. One way to obtain information through discovery is to send the other party a list of written questions, which is called an interrogatory. Another way is a deposition, in which you give sworn testimony that is recorded by a court reporter. Or, if there are specific documents you know that you need, you can request those items directly.  

For state courts, state law dictates the precise rules that govern discovery. Federal law governs discovery in federal courts.

If you have been injured in accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

Personal injury settlements

Personal injury settlements are one way of resolving a personal injury lawsuit. Rather than going through with a trial and obtaining a verdict from a judge or jury, the plaintiff and defendant can choose to settle the case between themselves. The legally binding agreement reached by the two parties is known as a settlement.

When you enter into a personal injury settlement, you – the plaintiff – agree not to pursue any legal action against the defendant with regard to a specific claim (such as a car accident) in return for an agreed upon amount of money.

Personal injury settlements can be beneficial to both sides of the dispute. Settlements are typically quicker and less expensive than a trial. Also, trials can be very stressful for both parties. With a settlement, you can avoid prolonged litigation, and you can choose to structure your settlement in a way that benefits you most.

However, a personal injury settlement may not be in a plaintiff’s best interest in all cases. There are times when moving forward with the lawsuit and going to trial will result in a bigger award. Only a qualified personal injury attorney can advise you on whether a personal injury lawsuit is the wisest course of action given your circumstances.

To speak with a personal injury lawyer today, contact Fears | Nachawati. Simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 to receive free legal advice from one of our Texas personal injury attorneys.

What is the Texas Tort Claims Act?

The Texas Tort Claims Act is the set of laws that determine when a governmental entity may be held legally liable for tortious conduct under state law. 

Before the Texas Tort Claims Act was adopted by the legislature, an individual could not recover damages from a state or local governmental unit for injured they suffered as a result of the actions of a government employee in an employee’s performance of a governmental function. 

This concept is known as sovereign immunity, and it exists to protect the government’s time and resources from litigation and to encourage swift action by government officials.

However, in 1969, the Texas legislature adopted the Texas Tort Claims Act, waving sovereign immunity for governmental entities under certain circumstances. The relevant portion of the Act (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 101.021) states that governmental units can be held liable for:

(1) property damage, personal injury, and death proximately caused by the wrongful act or omission or the negligence of an employee acting within his scope of employment if:

(A) the property damage, personal injury, or death arises from the operation or use of a motor-driven vehicle or motor-driven equipment; and

(B) the employee would be personally liable to the claimant according to Texas law; and

(2) personal injury and death so caused by a condition or use of tangible personal or real property if the governmental unit would, were it a private person, be liable to the claimant according to Texas law.

The Act places a cap on the amount of damages an individual can receive when suing a governmental unit. The maximum amount of damages that can be received by an individual is $250,000. There is also a $500,000 cap for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death. Finally, there is a $100,000 limit on the amount that can be awarded for a single occurrence of injury to or destruction of property.

If you have been injured by the actions of a government employee, contact Fears | Nachawati today to determine whether you may be eligible to receive damages under the Texas Tort Claims Act. You can email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

Sister of former Houston NFL quarterback sues restaurant for burns, disfigurement

Patsy Moon, sister of former Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon, is suing a restaurant chain over alleged disfigurement caused by spilled hot coffee and soup.

In 2009, Moon was dining at La Madeleine in Houston when an employee of the restaurant spilled a tray of scalding soup and coffee on her thigh.

According to Moon, she was burned instantly and had to seek emergency medical attention.

Moon’s lawsuit alleges that Moon was disfigured by the burns caused by the spilled coffee and soup. It further claims that Moon was unable to complete her normal day-to-day activities because of severe pain. The lawsuit also alleges that Moon was unable to attend an NFL Hall of Fame event with her brother because of her injuries.

Click here to read more about Moon’s lawsuit.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati today. To receive free legal assistance from one of our experienced attorneys, simply email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What is a Moderated Settlement Conference?

A moderated settlement conference is one type of alternative dispute resolution. Each party is represented by an attorney who presents their client’s basic position to a panel of impartial lawyers. This neutral panel listens to both sides of the dispute, and then presents the parties with a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case.

The panel assists the parties in reaching a settlement agreement by presenting their assessment in the form of an advisory opinion containing their recommendations as to liability and damages. Unlike a verdict in a trial, however, this advisory opinion is not binding on the parties. Rather, it is a tool the parties can use in reaching a settlement agreement.

For free legal advice on moderated settlement conferences and other issues related to personal injury lawsuits, contact Fears | Nachawati today. Simply email us, or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

What is alternative dispute resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution, which is often referred to simply as “ADR,” is a way of resolving a legal dispute without the need for litigation or a trial. In Texas, the use of alternative dispute resolution is governed by the Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Act.

There are several different types of alternative dispute resolution, with the most common being arbitration and mediation. 

No matter what type of alternative dispute resolution is being employed, the general procedure is for a neutral third party to listen to both sides of the dispute and help the parties find common ground to come up with a mutually agreeable solution. The process is informal and does not take place inside a courtroom.

Alternative dispute resolution can be beneficial to both sides of the dispute. In general, alternative dispute resolution is quicker and less expensive than litigation.

An experienced lawyer can help you decide if alternative dispute resolution is right for your situation. In some types of alternative dispute resolution, you can also be represented by a lawyer during the process. It is always best to seek the advice of a qualified lawyer before entering into any dispute resolution procedure.

For free legal advice from a personal injury attorney, contact Fears | Nachawati by email at info@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at 1.866.705.7584.

FDA recall of surgical implant device

The FDA recently recalled all lots of the Synthes USA, Ti Synex II Vertebral Body Replacement. The Synthes USA, Ti Synex II Vertebral Body Replacement is a device used to replace a damaged, collapsed or unstable vertebral body in the spine caused by a fracture or tumor.

The reason for the recall is that there have been reports of moderate to severe loss of verbal body replacement height. The replacement height loss has taken place in patients at 6 to 15 months after the implant was received. 

There are numerous serious health risks associated with this loss of replacement height. Side effects range from increased pain to neural injury, and can include the need for another operation.

The FDA has required that all surgeons and hospitals in possession of the Synthes USA, Ti Synex II Vertebral Body Replacement stop implanting these devices immediately.

This is a Class 1 recall, which is the most serious type of all FDA recalls. In a Class 1 recall, there is a reasonable probability that the continued use of the recalled product will result in adverse health consequences or death.

Click here for more information on this FDA recall.

If you or a loved one has suffered pain or injury after using the Synthes USA, Ti Synex II Vertebral Body Replacement, contact Fears | Nachawati today. You’ll receive free legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

What does tolling the statute of limitations mean?

In most cases, the statute of limitations on a Texas personal injury lawsuit begins to run as soon as you incur your injury. There are times, however, when the statute of limitations is “tolled.”

When the statute of limitations is tolled, that means there is a delay before the clock starts ticking. The time limit is temporarily suspended, giving the plaintiff more than the usual 2 years within which to file their Texas personal injury lawsuit.

A statute of limitations is only tolled under very specific circumstances. One instance is when a child is injured. In those cases, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the child reaches the age of 18. The statute of limitations may also be tolled in cases where the injured person is mentally impaired or is a member of the military who must leave state.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm. To receive free legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer, contact us today. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

How can a Texas personal injury lawyer help me?

An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer understands the oftentimes complicated law that applies to personal injury lawsuits. This includes determining the amount of compensation that is fair and equitable given your injuries and damages. It is possible that the injuries you suffered will affect you for years to come, so you need someone who can help you project what your long-term expenses will be.

If you have been injured in a car accident or on the job, you have a lot on your plate. A Texas personal injury attorney can ease the burden on you by working with the insurance company on your behalf, filling out the paperwork and ensuring that all necessary documents are submitted on time. Your attorney will take on these responsibilities so that you can focus on healing and returning to a normal life.

Hiring a Texas personal injury lawyer also levels the playing field. The insurance company will have a stable of experts on their side, trying to figure out how to offer you the lowest possible settlement. A personal injury attorney will protect your best interests – yours and yours alone.

Fears | Nachawati provides accident victims with a free legal consultation. You have nothing to lose by seeking advice on your potential claim. Some people mistakenly believe that they do not have a personal injury claim. Rather than making that decision on your own, which can cost you a considerable amount in damages, it is best to first consult with an attorney. A knowledgeable Texas personal injury attorney is better equipped to determine whether or not a personal injury claim exists.

For your free consultation, contact Fears | Nachawati toll free at 1.866.705.7584 or by e-mailing info@fnlawfirm.com

What is my claim worth? Damages in Texas personal injury lawsuits

Damages are the amount of money that is awarded to a successful plaintiff in a Texas personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, damages fall into one of two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are much easier to calculate because they can be quantified through objective information such as the plaintiff’s medical bills and the value of personal property that was destroyed.

Economic damages include:

• Past and future medical expenses
• Lost wages, both present and future
• Loss of earning capacity
• Damage to personal property
• Any other costs that are a direct result of an injury sustained in the car accident
• Court costs

Non-economic damages are the more difficult of the two when it comes to assigning a value. Pain and suffering, for example, fall into the category of non-economic damages. In many Texas personal injury lawsuits, pain and suffering-related damages represent a significant amount of the overall award.
Under Texas law, non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit can include:

• Physical pain and suffering
• Mental anguish
• Emotional suffering
• Physical impairment
• Disfigurement
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Loss of consortium and companionship
• Inconvenience
• Injury to reputation

If you have been the victim of an accident, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati to find out what damages you may be entitled to. For a free consultation from a Texas personal injury lawyer, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.
 

Yaz side effects lawsuits

Yaz and Yasmin are oral contraceptives taken for pregnancy prevention. Many women who have taken Yaz and Yasmin have suffered severe and life-threatening side effects. Tragically, some women have even died from taking Yaz and Yasmin.

 

Side effects of Yasmin and Yaz include:

 

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Gallbladder damage
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Death

Yaz and Yasmin are more dangerous than other oral contraceptives because they both contain drospirenone. Drospirenone is a diuretic that can drastically increase a woman’s potassium levels. Significantly increased potassium levels can lead to both blood clots and gallbladder damage.

 

Women who have been injured as a result of taking Yaz or Yasmin birth control are eligible to bring a Yaz lawsuit and seek compensation for their losses.

 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of Yaz or Yasmin side effects, contact us today. Fears | Nachawati is a leading law firm representing victims in Yaz side effect lawsuits. To learn more about Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits, contact us to receive free legal advice. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

When does the statute of limitations begin to run on my Texas personal injury lawsuit?

In order to ensure that personal injury lawsuits are brought in a timely manner when evidence is still fresh, every state, including Texas, has enacted a statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations places a limit on the amount of time in which the victim of an accident can bring a personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years.

Many accident victims are unsure as to exactly when the statute of limitations begins to run. In most cases, the statute of limitations kicks in at the time the injury occurs. In the case of car accidents, for instance, the victim usually knows immediately about the injury.

The issue can sometimes be more complicated than that, however. For example, what if the victim was unaware of the injury?

In those cases, the statute of limitations begins to run when the victim knows about the injury or, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known about the injury. This is known as the discovery rule, and it can apply in cases such as exposure to asbestos that leads to mesothelioma.

To make sure you protect your legal rights, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati can answer your questions about the Texas statute of limitations. To receive free legal advice, contact us by at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

Yaz and Yasmin lawsuit claims

Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits are growing in frequency across the country as women suffer from serious Yasmin and Yaz-related side effects. For the attorneys representing these victims, there are several legal grounds for bringing Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits.

Common claims being brought against Bayer, the maker of Yasmin and Yaz, include:

 

  • Strict product liability
  • Deceptive advertising
  • Negligence
  • Fraud
  • Fraudulent and intentional misrepresentation
  • Breach of warranty
  • Failure to warn consumers of Yaz and Yasmin’s serious, and sometimes life-threatening, side effects
  • Failure to exercise ordinary care in the testing and manufacturing of Yaz and Yasmin
  • Failure to conduct adequate clinical tests and studies to determine whether Yasmin and Yaz were safe

If you have suffered or are suffering from the side effects of Yaz or Yasmin, contact Fears | Nachawati for free legal assistance. One of our Yaz lawsuit attorneys will review your case and answer your questions about your legal options. Simplyemail us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 to receive your free consultation.

What is "duty of care"?

Duty of care is a duty imposed by the law on every person to behave with the caution that a reasonable and prudent person would exercise under the same circumstances. In order to successfully prove negligence in a Texas personal injury lawsuit, you must first prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care and that the duty of care was breached.

We all owe a general duty of care to the public and those around us. There is no requirement that you be contractually bound to another person in some way before you owe them a duty of care. Rather, the duty of care is automatic and owed by all of us to anyone who may be affected by our actions.

If you have been the victim of an accident caused by the negligence of a third party, contact Fears | Nachawati today. You will receive free legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer who can answer all of your questions about the litigation process. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Affirmative defenses to Texas personal injury lawsuits

When a defendant puts forth an affirmative defense they are not denying their responsibility for the accident. Rather, they are arguing that there is some other reason why they should not be held liable.

Defenses to a Texas personal injury lawsuit can be put into one of two basic categories: “I didn’t do it” and “I did it but…” An “I didn’t do it” defense is essentially a denial of one or more of the plaintiff’s claims. For example, the defendant in a car accident lawsuit may deny that they were speeding as the plaintiff has claimed.

An affirmative defense is an “I did it but…” defense. It is used by a defendant to either limit or excuse any wrongdoing on their part. For example, the defendant does not deny that they were speeding but instead asserts that the statute of limitations has run out, making the victim ineligible to bring a lawsuit.

 

Contributory negligence is another type of affirmative defense. For instance, the defendant could argue that the plaintiff can’t recover for their injuries because they contributed to the car accident by talking on their cell phone and failing to pay attention to the road.

 

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury lawsuit firm representing victims of all types of accidents in seeking compensation for their injuries. To receive free legal advice from one of our personal injury attorneys, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

What is emotional distress?

Emotional distress is one type of injury for which you can seek compensation in a Texas personal injury lawsuit.

 

Accidents are traumatic experiences. Not only do they cause physical injuries, they can also cause the victim to suffer emotionally and mentally. Emotional distress, which is also often referred to as mental anguish, is the legal term used to describe an accident victim’s psychological reaction to the incident.

 

Victims experience emotional distress and mental anguish in different ways. There are, however, some common symptoms of emotional distress which include:

 

  1. Panic attacks
  2. Fear
  3. Sleeplessness
  4. Headaches
  5. Stress
  6. Nightmares
  7. Worrying
  8. Nausea
  9. Frequent crying
  10. Hyperventilation

Have you suffered emotional distress as the result of an accident? Then contact the Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati today. Simply emailus at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

What types of medical expenses can I recover in my Texas personal injury lawsuit?

Medical expenses are at the heart of any Texas personal injury lawsuit. The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to put the victim back into the position they would have been in if the accident had never occurred. An important part of that is compensating the accident victim for the various medical-related expenses they have incurred.

 

There are a wide variety of medical expenses that you can seek compensation for. These include both past and future medical expenses. That is, you can be compensated not only for the expenses you have already incurred but also for those you are likely to incur in the future as a result of the injuries you suffered in the accident.

 

The types of medical expenses you can recover in a Texas personal injury lawsuit include but are not limited to:

 

  1. Doctor bills
  2. Hospital care
  3. Medication
  4. Surgery
  5. Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and braces
  6. In-house nursing care and assistance
  7. Prosthetics
  8. Modification to your home to accommodate a disability
  9. Special furniture
  10. Rehabilitation
  11. X-rays
  12. Lab and test fees

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today to discuss the damages you are eligible to recover. One of our skilled and experienced attorneys will provide you with free legal advice about Texas personal injury lawsuits. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Will my case be heard by a jury?

Whether or not your Texas personal injury lawsuit will be heard by a jury depends on whether you or the defendant requests a jury trial. In Texas, the right to a jury trial is guaranteed by the state constitution. However, in civil lawsuits, such as a personal injury lawsuit, that right is not “self-executing.” That is, you have to make a written request for a jury trial. If you don’t, your case will go before a judge with no jury.

Both you and the defendant have a right to request a jury trial. In order to receive a jury trial, the party must comply with Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 216, which states:

a.       Request. No jury trial shall be had in any civil suit, unless a written request for a jury trial is filed with the clerk of the court a reasonable time before the date set for trial of the cause on the non-jury docket, but not less than thirty days in advance.

Also, in accordance with Rule 216, you must pay a small jury fee:

b.     Jury Fee. Unless otherwise provided by law, a fee of ten dollars if in the district court and five dollars if in the county court must be deposited with the clerk of the court within the time for making a written request for a jury trial.  The clerk shall promptly enter a notation of the payment of such fee upon the court's docket sheet.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm. To receive free legal advice about your personal injury lawsuit from an experienced attorney, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Yaz gallbladder disease

Gallbladder disease is among the several dangerous side effects of Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills. Throughout the U.S., women who have taken Yaz or Yasmin have developed gallstones as a result. In many cases, these women have had to undergo gallbladder removal surgery.

Yasmin and Yaz present an increased risk of gallbladder disease because of the ingredient drospirenone. Drospirenone is a diuretic, and medical studies have shown that long-term use of diuretics can lead to gallbladder disease.

The gallbladder assists with the body’s digestive process. Bile is stored in the gallbladder until the body needs it to digest fats. The gallbladder then contracts, pushing the bile into the common bile duct. Gallstones form when bile is stored in the gallbladder for too long, allowing the liquid to harden into small stone-like pieces.

Yaz and Yasmin can increase the level of cholesterol in the bile while at the same time decreasing gallbladder contractions. The symptoms of Yaz gallbladder disease include:

  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice

If you have suffered from gallbladder disease as a result of taking Yaz or Yasmin, contact Fears | Nachawati today. The Yaz lawsuit attorneys of Fears | Nachawati will provide you with free legal advice and answer all of your questions about your possible Yasmin or Yaz lawsuit. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Texas wrongful death lawsuit: Loss of future earnings

In a Texas wrongful death lawsuit, one type of damages the victim’s family may receive is loss of future earnings. Lost future earnings represent the amount of income the victim would have earned if they had lived.

Loss of future earnings is based on the decedent’s work life expectancy. Work life expectancy is different from a person’s life expectancy. For example, it may be determined that a person would likely have lived to age 75 but would have only worked until age 65.

On the most basic level, loss of future earnings is calculated by multiplying the number of years the victim would have continued to work by the victim’s income at the time of their death.

For instance, suppose the victim died at age 30 and was expected to work until the age of 65. Also, at the time of their death, the victim was making $20,000 a year. Loss of future earnings would be 25 x $20,000, which equals $500,000.

However, the courts typically take this amount of money and reduce it to present value. Present value is the amount of money today that is equal to a future payment. Calculating present value involves using a mathematical table to estimate how much today’s dollar would be worth in the future based on an annual interest rate and the number of years the victim was expected to live.

As you can see, determining loss of future earnings in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit can be quite complicated. To ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, you need a Texas wrongful death lawyer who understands the often complex mathematical formulas involved with calculating loss of future earnings.

The attorneys of Fears | Nachawati are experienced with Texas wrongful death lawsuits and are dedicated to ensuring that their clients are fully and fairly compensated, not just for loss of earnings but for all damages available in Texas wrongful death lawsuits. To receive free legal advice from one of our Texas wrongful death lawyers, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

What is vicarious liability?

Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that holds a person responsible for the actions of another person. Vicarious liability means that Person A can be held legally responsible for the harm caused by Person B’s negligent actions – even though Person A did not directly cause that harm. It is an exception to the general rule that we are only responsible for our own actions.

A common example of vicarious liability is respondeat superior, a specific instance of vicarious liability where an employer is held liable for the actions of their employee. For instance, suppose that Jake works at ABC Grocery Store, and he’s unloading a crate of sacks of flour and putting them on a shelf. Rather than carefully placing the sacks on the shelf, however, Jake is tossing them onto the shelf without paying attention to whether any customers are in the area.

Sally, a shopper, is walking down the aisle and one of the sacks of flour lands on her foot and breaks her toes. Even though it was Jake’s negligence that caused Sally’s injuries, Jake’s employer may be held legally responsible under the doctrine of vicarious liability.

The purpose of vicarious liability is to ensure that the proper person is held accountable for the plaintiff’s injuries. Vicarious liability sometimes applies in Texas personal injury lawsuits. It is important that an attorney fully understands the concept of vicarious liability to make certain that the right people are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

If you have questions about Texas personal injury lawsuits and who is liable for your injuries, contact Fears | Nachawati for free legal advice. You can reach us by email at info@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Negligence in Texas personal injury lawsuits: Who is the reasonable person?

The reasonable person is a legal fiction. It is a hypothetical person who uses average care, judgment and skills in conducting themselves. We use the reasonable person standard to determine whether a person’s conduct was negligent in a given set of circumstances. Typically a person is negligent if they fail to behave the way a reasonable person would under those same circumstances.

In general, negligence relates to a defendant’s actions rather than their state of mind. Therefore, we need a way to decide if those actions were reasonable. The reasonable person standard provides courts and juries with an objective test that can be used to decide whether a person’s actions constitute negligence.

The reasonable person isn’t perfect. A reasonable person is allowed to make mistakes in perception and errors of judgment – but only if that mistake or error was reasonable under the circumstances. If the mistake was consistent with exercising ordinary care, then making that mistake does not constitute negligence.

The reasonable person standard frequently comes into play in Texas personal injury lawsuits because most personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence. If you have been injured due to someone’s negligence, contact Fears | Nachawati to speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer. Just email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Negligence per se

In most cases it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove that the defendant was negligent in order to win a Texas personal injury lawsuit. However, there are some cases where the defendant’s negligence is a matter of law, and the plaintiff does not have to put forth any further evidence to establish the defendant’s negligence.

This situation is known as “negligence per se.” Negligence per se applies in some cases where the defendant committed an unexcused violation of the law. Specifically, the doctrine of negligence per se applies in cases where two conditions are met:

  1. The law which the defendant violated was put in place to prevent the type of harm for which the plaintiff is seeking to recover damages.
  2. The plaintiff is within the class of persons for whom the law was enacted to protect.

For example, say that Joe is driving in his car at a speed that exceeds the limit of 55 mph. If Joe is driving at 75 mph, he has violated this traffic law. Speed limits are put in place to help prevent accidents, which means they are enacted to prevent other drivers from being injured.

If Joe crashes into Mary’s car while he’s speeding, there is a good chance that negligence per se will apply. Reason being, Mary is a driver, so she is within the class of persons the law was enacted to protect.

Not all violations of the law, however, qualify as negligence per se. For instance, suppose Joe was driving the speed limit, but at the time of the accident Joe’s license plate was on the front of his car when the law requires that it be on the back of the car. Joe’s violation of the license plate law is not the cause of the accident or the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In this case, the doctrine of negligence per se would not apply.

At Fears | Nachawati, our Texas personal injury lawyers know Texas traffic laws inside and out. They will carefully examine the cause of the accident and your injuries to determine whether the highly beneficial doctrine of negligence per se applies to your case.

For free legal assistance and advice on your potential personal injury lawsuit, contact Fears | Nachawati today. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Lawsuit terminology: Petition and Answer

In Texas, the document used to initiate a civil lawsuit is called a petition. In the petition, the person bringing the lawsuit (the plaintiff) describes the nature of the dispute, explains why the person being sued (the defendant) should be held responsible and asks the court to take a specific action, such as awarding the plaintiff monetary damages.

The answer is the defendant’s written response to the petition. In the answer, the defendant will either admit or deny the allegations made by the plaintiff in the petition. An answer will also set forth any defenses the defendant has to the plaintiff’s claims as well as ask the court to decide in the defendant’s favor.

If you are considering filing a Texas lawsuit, the first step you should take is to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. At Fears | Nachawati, we will provide you with free legal advice about Texas lawsuits and answer all of your questions about the Texas civil litigation process. For your free legal consultation, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Respondeat superior: I was injured by the employee of a company - can I sue the employer?

It’s a common scenario: A truck driver for Company X is making some routine deliveries. The driver, Bill, is behind schedule, so he starts speeding and running stop signs, thinking he can make up the lost time. Bill runs a red light and hits Joan, who was proceeding lawfully through the intersection in her car.

Joan is seriously injured in the car accident and plans to bring a Texas personal injury lawsuit against Bill. Bill, however, has virtually no assets, and Joan would be unlikely to recover any damages the court would award her.

It may sound like Joan’s situation is hopeless, but a skilled Texas personal injury attorney knows that there is still another viable legal avenue to pursue: bringing a lawsuit against Company X, Bill’s employer.

Most of the time the law does not hold a person legally accountable for the action’s of another person. One exception is the doctrine of respondeat superior. Respondeat superior is a Latin phrase meaning “let the master answer.” Under respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for the acts of their employees.

This means that a person injured by an employee, like Joan was, can actually recover damages for their injuries from the employer, even though the employer did not cause the plaintiff’s injuries.

There is no requirement that the plaintiff show that the employer was negligent.

In order to successfully establish a claim of respondeat superior, a plaintiff must prove three basic things:

  1. The plaintiff was injured as a result of the tortfeasor’s negligent act.
  2. The tortfeasor was an employee of the defendant at the time the negligent act was committed.
  3. The negligent act was committed while the employee was acting within the scope of their employment.

The requirement that the negligent act be committed while the employee was acting “within the scope of their employment” is key. An employer obviously isn’t responsible for everything their employees do. If Bill had hit Joan’s car while he was on his way home from the grocery store rather than while he was on the job, Company X wouldn’t be liable for Joan’s injuries.

In order to prove that the employee was acting within the scope of their employment (making the employer potentially liable), the plaintiff must show that the employee’s act was:

  1. Within the scope of the employee’s general authority
  2. In furtherance of the employer’s business
  3. The object of the employment

All of the Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati understand the complex doctrine of respondeat superior and know how to use it in the appropriate cases to ensure that their clients receive full and fair compensation.

Contact us today if you have been injured in an accident, and let one of our Texas personal injury attorneys provide you with free legal advice. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

Who can bring a personal injury lawsuit?

If you have recently been injured in an accident, you may be wondering if you can bring a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, a person who has been hurt because of someone else’s negligent actions is eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit.

 

To be eligible to bring a Texas personal injury lawsuit, certain basic requirements must be met. First you must have suffered an injury, which can be either physical or emotional. It must be a true and valid injury. For example, you could likely bring a Texas personal injury lawsuit if you slip and fall on a puddle of water in a store and break your ankle. However, you wouldn’t be eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit if, when slipping and falling, you simply got your pants wet.

 

Next, you have to show that someone who owed you a duty of care breached that duty of care and thereby caused your injury. Usually this is based on negligence, which means that the other person failed to act with the same care that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances.

 

Last, you must have suffered a financial loss as a result of the injury. In the example above, for instance, you would have incurred medical bills in order to receive treatment for your broken ankle.

Not every injury qualifies for a lawsuit, however. A Texas personal injury lawyer, such as the experienced and helpful attorneys of Fears | Nachawati, can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a good claim.

 

At Fears | Nachawati we provide you with this initial legal consultation free of charge. If you have been hurt in an accident due to the negligence of a third party, contact us today for free legal assistance. To speak directly with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

 

 

Why is Yaz dangerous?

Yaz and Yasmin, birth control pills made by Bayer, are potentially more dangerous to women than other contraceptives on the market today. In fact, the claims made in Yaz and Yasmin side effect lawsuits are finding support in two studies recently published in the British Medical Journal. These studies showed that users of Yaz and Yasmin are 6.3 times more likely to suffer blood clots. Blood clots can lead to fatal health problems including strokes, heart arrhythmia and heart attacks.

The reason that Yaz and Yasmin pose such dramatic health risks to users is an ingredient in the pills called drospirenonem. Drospirenonem is a progestin, which is a type of hormone that causes changes in the uterus. Yasmin and Yaz are the only birth controls on the market that contain drospirenonem.

 

The problem with drospirenonem, which is at the center of the recent Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, is that this progestin increases the user’s level of potassium. Our bodies need potassium because it helps to regulate out heartbeats. However, if our body has too much potassium it can lead to a condition known as hyperkalemia. Hyperkalemia can lead to cardiac arrhythmia, which is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat.

 

Lawsuits over Yaz and Yasmin are chockfull of confusing medical terminology, but the bottom line is clear: these two types of birth control pills are dangerous and have lead to serious injury, and even death, for many women.

 

Fears | Nachawati is currently taking Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. We represent victims of Yaz and Yasmin side effects in bringing legal claims to obtain the compensation they deserve.

 

Contact us today to receive free legal advice about your possible Yasmin or Yaz lawsuit. The consultation is free, and you are under no further obligations. To speak with one of our Yaz and Yasmin lawsuit attorneys,simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

 

Lawsuit terminology: plaintiffs and defendants

There are two main parties to a Texas personal injury lawsuit – the plaintiff and the defendant. These are legal terms that describe a person’s relationship to a lawsuit, in the most simple terms, whether the person is suing or being sued.

The plaintiff is the person who initiated the personal injury lawsuit. This is the individual who has suffered an injury and is seeking financial compensation for their losses. A plaintiff is also sometimes referred to as the “complainant” or “claimant.”

The defendant is the person who has been accused of causing the plaintiff’s injury. This is the individual who is being sued and from whom the plaintiff is attempting to recover damages.A Texas personal injury lawsuit can have multiple plaintiffs and defendants. For example, if Sally is driving her car and is rear-ended by an 18-wheeler, there could be several people Sally could sue for her injuries. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the defendants in her lawsuit could include both the driver of the 18-wheeler and the company who employs the driver.

It is extremely important that a personal injury lawsuit name all possible defendants from the outset. If a potential defendant is not brought into the lawsuit within the appropriate timeframe, you may forever lose your right to seek compensation from that individual. A Texas personal injury lawyer can help you identify all of the parties who may hold some fault for your accident.

Have you been injured in an accident? Then it’s time to contact Fears | Nachawati. One of our experienced Texas personal injury attorneys will provide you with free legal advice about your options and answer your questions about the litigation process. To receive your free legal assistance, email Fears | Nachawati at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Yaz FDA warning

In October of 2008, the FDA issued a warning letter to Yaz notifying the birth control manufacturer that two of its commercials made deceptive claims.

The ads in question included a commercial in which women were seen releasing balloons labeled with symptoms of PMS as “Good Bye to You” played in the background. The second commercial cited in the FDA warning letter is one that featured women punching, kicking and pushing balloons, which were also labeled with PMS symptoms, while the song “We’re not gonna take it” played.

In the warning letter, the FDA pointed to two specific claims made in the Yaz commercials that constituted deceptive advertising. First, the FDA said the ads implied that Yaz helps lessen or eliminate the symptoms of PMS when in fact the birth control is only intended as treatment for PMDD.

Second, said the FDA, the ads gave the impression that Yaz treats acne of all severity levels when, in actuality, it is only approved for the treatment of moderate acne.

In 2009, 27 state attorneys general joined together to file a Yaz false advertising lawsuit against Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Yaz. As part of the lawsuit settlement, Yaz agreed to run a new ad to correct the misleading information contained in the offending two commercials.

Yaz is potentially more dangerous to women than other contraceptives due to specific ingredients contained in the Yaz pill. These two deceptive ads encouraged women to take Yaz for purposes other than birth control. Because Yaz became increasingly popular as a treatment for acne and PMS, more women were exposed to the risk of the pill’s life-threatening side effects.

If you or a loved one has suffered from Yaz side effects, contact us today. At Fears | Nachawati we represent victims in bringing Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits. We believe in holding these companies responsible for the injuries their product has caused. To receive free legal advice about Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

What is mediation?

Mediation is an alternative method to resolving disputes. Rather than going to trial, the parties to a lawsuit can agree to meet with a mediator in order to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the conflict.

The role of the mediator, who is a completely neutral and impartial party, is to help both sides identify their common interests, concerns and goals. A mediator is not a decision maker. Unlike a judge or jury, they do not render a judgment and pick a “loser” and a “winner.” Rather, their job is to facilitate productive discussion.

In coming up with a solution, mediation is not dictated by points of law. There is no requirement that blame or fault be assigned, and you can often consider issues that could not be brought up in court.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati to learn more about your legal rights and options. We provide free, no obligation legal advice to accident victims. To receive your no charge consultation, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

What to expect at a deposition

A deposition is one aspect of a legal process known as “discovery.” Discovery is a series of steps lawyers take in order to gather the facts necessary to try a case.

During a deposition, the attorney for the other party involved in the lawsuit has the opportunity to ask you questions in order to take down your testimony before the trial. Your attorney will spend time with you reviewing the questions you are likely to be asked as well as practicing your responses.

The deposition begins with you being sworn in under oath, promising to tell the truth when giving your answers. The entire deposition will be recorded. This can be done through notes taken by a court reporter, a tape recording device, video or some combination of these.

You have the right to have your attorney with you during a deposition. It is by far in your best interest to have your lawyer present. Your lawyer can protect you during the deposition by objecting to inappropriate or improper questions and ensuring that you are not being harassed.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas law firm representing clients through every stage of the litigation process – from filing your lawsuit to attempting to negotiate a settlement and from deposition to trial.

To receive free legal assistance from a Texas personal injury attorney, simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

 

What is a bad faith insurance claim?

Your insurance policy is a contract between you, as the policy holder, and the insurance company. When two people enter into a contract, they are agreeing to follow the terms of the contract and act in good faith. A bad faith insurance claim occurs when an insurance company refuses to honor a legitimate claim, thereby breaching the contract.

In cases of bad faith insurance claims, you have a right to file a lawsuit to collect the amount of money that should have been paid to you on the claim. In Texas, this is known as “First Party Bad Faith Litigation.” You can bring this type of litigation if the insurance company refused to pay out on a claim covered by the policy, failed to pay out an adequate amount on the claim or unreasonably delayed making payments.

If you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith with regard to your claim, contact us today. Fears | Nachawati is a Texas law firm that works on behalf of accident victims to ensure that they get fair compensation for their injuries. For free legal advice on insurance claims or bringing a Texas personal injury claim, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

Should I settle my personal injury lawsuit?

Whether or not to settle your personal injury lawsuit is a very serious decision, one that calls for the advice of an experienced attorney.

There are definite benefits to settling a case out of court. Trials can be lengthy and stressful, which can be avoided through a settlement. Also, you can choose how you structure your settlement, ensuring that it fits your particular situation and needs.

One mistake that you do not want to make is settling your claim too quickly. You shouldn’t settle your personal injury lawsuit until you are certain of the full extent and nature of your injuries. You must know how your injuries will continue to affect you in the future before you and your attorney can determine what a fair settlement will be.

At Fears | Nachawati, we work to ensure that our clients get the financial compensation they deserve. While a settlement is often the most desirable route, we are fully prepared and equipped to take a case to trial if necessary. Your best interests always dictate our course of action.

To receive free legal advice about Texas personal injury lawsuits, contact us today. The personal injury lawsuit attorneys of Fears | Nachawati provide accident victims with a no charge legal consultation. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

How long do I have to file my personal injury lawsuit?

The amount of time in which you have to file your personal injury lawsuit depends on a law known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuit is two years.

While you have two years to file your Texas personal injury lawsuit, it is always best to bring your case as soon as possible after your accident. Over time, important evidence can be lost and the memories of witnesses fade. Your case will be much stronger if you act quickly and seek the immediate advice of an attorney.

Don’t lose your right to bring your Texas personal injury lawsuit by delaying in speaking with an attorney. Contact Fears | Nachawati today to receive free legal advice about your case. Take action to preserve your claim by emailing us at info@fnlawfirm.com or calling us at 1.866.705.7584.

What does preponderance of the evidence mean?

When you bring a Texas personal injury lawsuit, it is your responsibility as the plaintiff to prove your case. This is known as the “burden of proof.” In civil cases, such as a Texas personal injury lawsuit, the standard of proof you must meet is a “preponderance of the evidence.”

Preponderance of the evidence simply means something is more likely true than not. It is much more relaxed than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard applied in criminal cases. In order to win your case, the judge or jury must find your evidence more believable than the defendant’s.

Meeting your burden of proof has nothing to do with the amount of evidence you present. You could win a case with one witness or twenty. What matters is that the jury or judge determines that your version of the facts is more probable than the defendant’s. To use a popular metaphor, the scales must tip in your favor, even if only slightly.

We provide accident victims with free legal advice. To speak with a Texas personal injury attorney at Fears | Nachawati, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

Two injured in collapse of Dallas Cowboys practice facility file lawsuit

Two men injured in the May 2nd collapse of the Dallas Cowboys practice facility have filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, including pain and suffering, against a number of defendants involved in the construction of the facility. The Dallas Cowboys are not amongst the defendants named in the lawsuit.

The victims bringing the Texas personal injury lawsuit are special teams coach Joe DeCamillis and scouting aid Rich Behm. DeCamillis suffered a broken neck, and Behm was paralyzed from the waist down.

The Texas lawsuit accuses some of the defendants of conspiracy. According to allegations made in the suit, these defendants knew for at least two years that the facility was unsafe but covered up this fact. It also accuses the defendants of negligence.

Defendants named in the lawsuit include: Cover-All Building Systems, the designer-manufacturer of the facility, which is based in Canada; Wrangler Concrete Construction, which laid the facility’s foundation; Pennsylvania-based Summit Structures, a subsidiary of Cover-All; and JCI, a Las Vegas consulting firm.

To read more about the Texas personal injury lawsuit over the collapsed Dallas Cowboys facility, click here for the complete story.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm that represents accident victims in pursuing legal claims against the responsible party. To receive free legal assistance from one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

What is subrogation?

Subrogation is a legal term that refers to an insurance company’s ability to seek reimbursement from a third party for the money it paid out on a claim. Specifically, it is the ability of an insurance company to seek reimbursement from the party responsible for the accident that resulted in the claim.

Sometimes a person has to make an insurance claim through their own insurance company even when they weren’t at fault for the accident. The insurance company will pay out on their insured’s claim, but ideally it is the person who is actually at fault for the accident that should be paying for the damages. That’s where the concept of subrogation comes in.

It is the insurance company’s legal right to recover the money they’ve paid out by pursuing a claim against the at-fault party, which typically means pursuing the claim through the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Here’s an example of how subrogation works. John Smith is out driving his car when he is rear-ended by another car (driven by Allan) through no fault of his own. Allan’s insurance company is taking a very long time to process John’s claim.

In the mean time, John needs his car repaired so he can get to work every day. He decides to use his own insurance company to get the money he needs to fix his car. Because John was not responsible for the accident, John’s insurance company can seek reimbursement for the payment from Allan’s insurance company.

Subrogation can come into play in personal injury lawsuits as well. Subrogation allows the insurance company to “step into the shoes” of the person with the legal claim (the plaintiff) to seek reimbursement for money it has paid out to cover the plaintiff’s losses.

For example, suppose that Allan did not have car insurance, so John had to take him to court in order to get financial compensation for the accident. John files a personal injury lawsuit against Allan, and John wins the case. John’s insurance company, which had paid to fix John’s car, has a right to part of the money John was awarded.

If you have been injured in a car accident, Fears | Nachawati can handle the insurance claims process on your behalf, including any issues related to subrogation. We are a team of Texas personal injury lawyers, and we provide car accident victims with free legal assistance. To contact Fears | Nachawati, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

What is proximate cause?

Proximate cause is the legal term for the primary cause of a personal injury. You may also hear it referred to as the “legal cause” or the “cause at law.”

 

The proximate cause of an injury isn’t necessarily the first event in the chain of events that led to a person’s injury. Also, it isn’t always the event that occurred closest in time to the injury. Rather, proximate cause is the act from which the injury resulted as a natural and direct consequence, and it is the event without which the injury would not have occurred.

 

A simple way to think of proximate cause is as being the “but for” event – “but for” this negligent act on the part of the defendant, the victim would not have been injured. Proving that the defendant’s act was the proximate cause of your injuries is a basic component of winning your personal injury lawsuit.

 

Fears | Nachawati represents accident victims in Texas personal injury lawsuits. Our Texas personal injury lawyers provide free legal assistance to accident victims with a one-on-one consultation. You can reach us by email at info@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at toll free 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is the difference between criminal law and civil law?

Through movies, television crime dramas and news broadcasts, most people are familiar with the basics of criminal law. In general, though, people tend to know less about civil law and how civil cases work. There are major differences between criminal law and civil law, with each having its own set of procedures, laws and punishments.

Under civil law, a private party has the right to file a lawsuit against another party if one of their rights has been violated. The person filing the lawsuit is the plaintiff. The person against whom the lawsuit is being brought is the defendant.

Only the government, however, has the ability to bring a criminal case. The government agent bringing the charges against an accused criminal is called the prosecution. The accused is known as the defendant in criminal cases as well.

Punishment marks one of the main differences between civil and criminal law. A person who is found guilty of committing a crime can be fined, put in prison or, in very rare cases, even sentenced to death.

In civil cases, on the other hand, the only “punishment” that can be meted out is to force the defendant to make legal restitution for the damages they have caused. Restitution simply means financial compensation. If the plaintiff wins their case, then the defendant must pay them a specified amount of money. Jail is never an option in civil cases.

If your rights have been violated by a person, organization, business or other legal entity, you should seek the immediate advice of a lawyer. A lawyer, such as those of the Fears | Nachawati law firm, can aid you in bringing a civil lawsuit to recover financial compensation for your losses.

To receive free legal advice about your potential claim, contact us today. One of the Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati will provide you with a no charge, no obligation consultation. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

Do I need a personal injury lawyer?

While it is possible to negotiate an insurance settlement on your own, the wisest course of action is to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies are focused on their bottom line – which means getting you to settle for the lowest amount possible. A personal injury lawyer, by contrast, works only for you, with your best interests at the forefront of everything they do.

 

Often an insurance company will offer an accident victim only a fraction of what their claim is really worth. A personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you recover an amount that represents the true value of your claim. Your attorney can make sure you are compensated not only for your physical injuries and medical bills, but also for your pain, suffering and emotional trauma.

 

Personal injury lawyers are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies to get you the best possible settlement. If necessary, a personal injury lawyer also has the knowledge and skills necessary to take a case to trial.

 

The average person does not know all of their legal rights. As personal injury lawyers, it is our job to know the law inside and out. An insurance company’s only job is to pay out on a claim. A personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, will advise you every step of the way and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

 

If you have been injured in an accident, you already have enough to worry about. Let a personal injury lawyer step in to handle all of the paperwork and communications with the insurance company and the other party’s legal counsel. That way, you can focus on your recovery and getting your life back to normal.

 

At Fears | Nachawati, we represent accident victims in obtaining full and fair compensation for their personal injuries. We will deal with the insurance company so you don’t have to.

 

For free legal advice on your personal injury claim or insurance settlement, contact us today. You will speak directly with a Texas personal injury lawyer who will answer all of your questions and advise you on the next steps you should take. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What happens during a personal injury lawsuit?

Your Texas personal injury lawsuit begins with an initial consultation with your lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers, such as our team here at Fears | Nachawati, will provide you with free legal advice during this first meeting.

 

The first meeting is a time for your lawyer to get know the facts of your case. You will tell your lawyer about the accident and show them any documents, such as police reports, that you have.

 

If your Texas personal injury lawyer decides that you have a good case, the next step is to contact the legal representative of the person or entity responsible for the accident.

 

In many instances, your case will be settled out of court with no need for a trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, however, your personal injury lawyer will move forward with preparations for trial in accordance with Texas law.

 

If your personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, there will be a deposition, which is a time for the defendant’s attorney to ask you questions about the accident. Your personal injury lawyer will thoroughly prepare you for the deposition by telling you what questions to expect and going over your answers with you. Your attorney will depose the defendant as well.

 

The good news for you as the accident victim is that your Texas personal injury lawsuit will generally require very little participation on your part. Your attorney handles all of the paperwork as well as the communications with the party against whom you are bringing the suit.

 

If you have been injured in an accident, contact us today for free legal assistance. At Fears | Nachawati, we provide accident victims with a no charge initial consultation during which we will determine whether you have a case and will explain how the personal injury lawsuit process works. Just email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

What is the duty to mitigate?

A person who has been injured in some way by another person has a duty to minimize the amount of damages incurred. The injured party must take reasonable steps to limit any additional losses and/or the aggravation of the injury. This is known as the duty to mitigate.

 

As a person injured due to someone else’s negligence, you are legally entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and losses. However, you also have a legal responsibility to ensure that your injuries do not worsen if you have the ability to exercise reasonable care and diligence to prevent your damages from increasing.

 

For example, let’s say that Jane Smith was involved in a car accident caused by the other driver’s negligent behavior. Jane’s leg is broken in the accident. Her duty to mitigate would require that she take reasonable steps to prevent the injury to her leg from worsening. For example, she would be required to seek medical attention to have the broken leg treated. If left untreated, a broken leg could worsen to the point that surgery may be required, which is something that could have been avoided.

 

If you fail to mitigate your losses, the court can reduce the amount of damages you are awarded by a percentage that represents the extent of the injury that could have been avoided through reasonable care.

 

For instance, suppose that Jane’s doctor prescribed a rehabilitation program that would ensure that she was able to resume normal activities once her leg was fully healed. If Jane failed to undergo the rehabilitation, and she will walk with a limp as a result, the amount of damages she would have been awarded will be reduced by the percentage of harm that the rehabilitation could have prevented.

 

For example, if the rehabilitation would have prevented 25% of the effects of her broken leg, her award will be reduced by 25% --her award of $10,000, for instance, will be reduced by $2500.

 

You do not have to take every available step to mitigate your damages, however. The law only requires that you prevent further damages that could have been “reasonably avoided.” This is generally defined as the steps a reasonable person would take under the same circumstances. In other words, you must exercise “ordinary care” in attending to your injuries.

 

For example, in Jane’s case, her duty to mitigate would not require that she fly to Switzerland to be treated by the world’s top broken leg expert.

 

Also note that it is the defendent’s responsibility to prove that the plaintiff failed to mitigate their damages. In Jane’s case, for example, the defendent would have to prove that seeking immediate medical attention for her broken leg would have prevented the need for surgery, and therefore, the defendent should not have to be responsible for the costs of the surgery.

 

If you believe you may have a Texas personal injury lawsuit, contact Fears | Nachawati today. We will provide you with free legal advice about your potential case, including the steps you should take to preserve your claim. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free hotline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

How do courts calculate pain and suffering?

In a Texas personal injury lawsuit, one type of damages you may be awarded is compensation for your pain and suffering. Calculating the financial value of an accident victim’s pain and suffering is a challenge. Because there are no hard numbers to point to, such as with medical bills or lost wages, courts must instead weigh a variety of factors to come up with a big picture of how the victim has been affected by the accident.

Factors that a court considers when valuing a victim’s pain and suffering include:

·         The extent of the injury

·         How the injury has affected the victim’s ability to perform day-to-day activities

·         How the injury has affected the victim’s enjoyment of life

·         The length of the victim’s recovery time

·         What was involved in the treatment and recovery process

·         Whether any emotional trauma was suffered

·         The extent to which the injury is permanent or carries residual effects

·         The pain and suffering the victim will continue to experience in the future

Pain and suffering is a concept that is intangible and quite subjective. However, a Texas personal injury attorney can work from their experience and knowledge of past similar cases to provide you with a likely financial estimate of your pain and suffering.

If you are experience pain and suffering because of the injuries you incurred in an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

What is an intentional tort?

The most common basis for a Texas personal injury lawsuit is negligence. However, sometimes lawsuits are based on what is known in legal terms as an “intentional tort.”

 

In the most simple terms, an intentional tort, as the name implies, is a wrongful act intentionally committed by the wrongdoer. Rather than negligence, which is unintentional, an intentional tort involves committing the act knowingly and purposefully.  

 

The main difference between an intentional tort and negligence, in terms of personal injury lawsuits, is that the plaintiff must also prove intent in addition to the other elements of a personal injury lawsuit. Intent means that the defendant acted either on purpose or with substantial knowledge that an injury or other harm was likely to occur.

 

An intentional tort is a civil wrong, which may or may not also be a criminal act. For example, assault and battery are both intentional torts that can also result in criminal charges and prosecution.

 

In addition to assault and battery, other types of intentional torts include:

 

  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Slander
  • Libel
  • False imprisonment
  • Trespass
  • Fraud
  • Nuisance
  • Theft

Often, the damages awarded in cases of intentional torts are more substantial than those awarded in cases of negligence. The large amount of damages awarded are intended to serve, in part, as a deterrent. Society wants to discourage people from intentionally committing wrongful acts against fellow citizens.

 

Punitive damages are more frequently available in intentional tort cases than in other types of personal injury lawsuits. Punitive damages are intended to serve as a punishment rather than as direct compensation to the victim for their losses and injuries.

 

If you have been the victim of an intentional tort, you may have grounds for bringing a Texas personal injury lawsuit. The Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati provide tort victims with free legal advice. To speak to one of our attorneys, completely free of charge, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

What is a structured settlement?

Texas personal injury lawsuits are often settled without going to trial, and sometimes these cases are settled for a large sum of money. Many people might assume that the next step is for the defendant to write the plaintiff a check for the amount of the settlement and then it’s case closed.

 

However, it is not always possible, or beneficial, for a settlement to be paid out as a lump sum. Instead, the parties can choose to arrange for the settlement to be paid as a series of smaller installment payments over a set number of years. This is known as a structured settlement.

 

The parties to the lawsuit have a great deal of freedom and flexibility in how they choose to structure the settlement. They can decide for themselves how big each payment will be and how often the payments will be made.

 

A structured settlement can be a very beneficial arrangement for all parties involved. For example, if set up a certain way, a structured settlement can greatly reduce the amount of taxes the plaintiff owes on their settlement. In some cases, the payments are tax-free.

 

There are other reasons why a structured settlement might be the best choice for the plaintiff in a Texas personal injury lawsuit. A guaranteed, long-term source of income is one important benefit. If your injuries, for instance, require ongoing medical care, a structured settlement will ensure that there is a steady flow of money coming in to cover your expenses.

 

An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer can advise you on whether a structured settlement is the best option for your circumstances. In fact, you should always speak with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer to be certain that you are receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries.

 

To receive free legal advice from a Texas personal injury lawyer, contact Fears | Nachawati today. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Do I have a personal injury claim?

The answer to this question depends on the specific facts of your case, but in general, there are two things you need in order to have a personal injury claim. First, you must have been injured. Your injury can be either physical, emotional or both.

 

Second, you must be able to prove that someone else is responsible for your injuries. In most cases this is a matter of proving that the other person was negligent, meaning they did not act with the care that a reasonable person would have in the same circumstances. However, a Texas personal injury lawsuit can also be based on strict liability or an intentional tort.  For more information on the different types of personal injury cases click here.   

 

If you think you may have a personal injury claim, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The law places limits on the amount of time in which you have to bring a claim. The Texas statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits is 2 years.

 

Not every injury can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. Sometimes we get hurt through no fault of another person. The wisest course of action, however, is to speak with a personal injury attorney in Texas who can determine whether or not you have a case. When it comes to your legal rights, it is best to err on the side of caution. Always speak with an attorney before you accept any settlement or insurance offer.

 

If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Fears | Nachawati. We will provide you with free legal advice on your potential personal injury lawsuit. One of our Texas personal injury lawyers will review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a personal injury lawsuit. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is a tort?

When you research the law of Texas personal injury lawsuits, you will often come across the word “tort.”  Torts are a branch of civil law, which is the area of the law that gives individuals the right to bring a lawsuit against a party that has harmed them in some way. Specifically, a tort is a harmful act committed by an individual that injures another person. Committing a tort leaves you open to a lawsuit for damages. Torts are most often associated with personal injury law.

 

A person who commits a tort is sometimes referred to as a “tortfeasor.” If this person is found to have committed a tort, then they will have to pay the victim compensation for the injuries they suffered as a result of the tortfeasor’s wrongdoing.

 

A tort can be either intentional or unintentional. Harming another person because of negligent behavior is an unintentional tort. For example, a person could be considered negligent if they cause a car accident because they were talking on their cellphone and weren’t paying attention to the vehicles around them. The driver did not mean to hurt anyone, but they hurt someone nonetheless and they are now responsible for their victim’s injuries.

 

An intentional tort, by contrast, occurs when a person intentionally and willfully sets out to cause harm to another person, such as in a case of assault and battery.

 

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be the victim of a tort. Contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice on whether you may have grounds for bringing a personal injury lawsuit. For free legal assistance from one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

What is the difference between special and general damages?

In legal terms, “damages” are the amount of money you are awarded if your lawsuit is successful. There are different types of damages, and they’re given different names to specify exactly what it is that the defendant is paying for. The two most common types of damages are special damages and general damages.

 

General damages represent the types of damages that can’t easily be assigned a monetary value, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional trauma. There is no evidence, such as bills or receipts, of a specific dollar amount, but they are losses for which the plaintiff deserves compensation nonetheless.

 

Special damages, by contrast, can be assigned a specific monetary value because these are compensation for the expenses you incurred as a result of the accident. Special damages include things like medical bills and lost wages. These are your “out of pocket” expenses.

 

One easy way to remember the difference between general and special damages is to think of them this way – general damages are the damages that can “generally” be attributed to the defendant’s negligence, such as the pain and suffering that all accident victims suffer. Special damages, on the other hand, are unique (or “special”) to you because no other plaintiff will have the precise amount of financial losses as you do.

 

If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help you get the full and fair compensation that you deserve. To receive a free consultation from a Texas personal injury attorney at Fears | Nachawati, just email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Texas auto insurance requirements

In Texas, you are required by law to have liability coverage on your motor vehicle at all times. The minimum amount of liability required by the state is:

 

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per injured person, up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000

This minimum basic liability insurance is often referred to 25/50/25 coverage.

 

The 25/50/25 requirement went into effect in April of 2008. Prior to that time, the requirements were lower at $20,000 per injured person (max of $40,000 per accident) and $15,000 for property damage. You may occasionally come across these numbers, so don’t be confused – in order to comply with Texas law, you must have a minimum of 25/50/25 coverage.

 

Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount required by law, meaning you can purchase more extensive coverage if you choose. In fact, there are several other types of Texas auto insurance you can purchase to provide you with additional coverage in the event of a car accident. These include:

 

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Personal injury protection

Remember, Texas imposes stiff penalties for drivers who fail to comply with the legally mandated auto insurance requirements. Those convicted for the first time will face a fine between $175 and $350. A second conviction ups the fine to $350 to $1,000. You will also have your driver’s license suspended and your vehicle will be impounded.

 

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is wise to speak with a lawyer before accepting any offer from an insurance company. A Texas personal injury lawyer can ensure that you get full and fair compensation for your injuries and property damage.

 

For free legal advice, contact Fears | Nachawati today to receive a no obligation, no charge consultation with a Texas personal injury attorney. Just email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

Determining fault: how to tell who caused your car accident

The most central aspect of any Texas personal injury lawsuit is proving that the other party caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. When providing you with free legal advice, one of the first things an attorney will do is determine who was at fault for the car accident.

 

In many cases, it is quite clear which party was at fault. For instance, your vehicle may have been struck by a driver who ran a red light or a drunk driver traveling the wrong way on the interstate. Other times, the cause of the accident is less obvious, and the injured party can benefit greatly from the assistance of a personal injury lawyer in protecting their rights.

 

As you know, there are nearly countless factors that can contribute to a car accident. Your Texas personal injury lawyer will evaluate all of the factors that potentially played a role in your car accident. Your attorney’s ability to make an accurate evaluation of your case depends largely on the amount of information and documentation you are able to provide.

 

These are some of the factors your personal injury attorney will consider to help determine who was at fault for the car accident:

 

  • Common knowledge of driving rules
  • Violations of the law committed by the drivers involved in the accident
  • Whether the duties of the road were followed: lookout, avoidance and obeying driving rules
  • Whether alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident
  • Failing to account for road conditions and/or bad weather
  • Witness statements
  • Police reports
  • Your account of the accident
  • Photos taken at the accident scene

Most of the time the party responsible for the accident will be shown to have acted negligently.  Negligence means that the driver failed to act with the care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. If you can prove that the other party was negligent, then you are well on your way to a strong Texas personal injury claim.

 

Remember, even if the car accident was partly your fault, you may still be able to recover some damages for your injuries. See our post on comparative responsibility here for more information.

 

To receive free legal advice from an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer, contact Fears | Nachawati today. You will speak directly with a personal injury attorney who will review your case to make an initial determination of fault. To receive your free consultation, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Construction site accident facts and statistics

Every day in the United States, workers are injured while on the job. Sadly, the number of injuries – and fatalities – is far higher for those working in the construction industry. In fact, in 2004, the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the construction industry has the second highest number of fatalities of all industries in the U.S. The study also revealed that construction workers have a higher-than-average number of days off from work due to illness or injury.

Other studies have indicated that one out of every ten construction workers will be injured on the job at some point during their career.

The stakes are even higher for construction workers in Texas. Since 1992, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has ranked either first or second in the number of workplace injuries per year – construction site accidents accounted for the largest number of those injuries. In 2004, for instance, Texas was in second place with 114 fatalities in the construction sector.

Other shocking statistics related to construction site accidents include:

·         Research conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health showed that, in 2007, construction accidents caused the highest number of fatalities of any industry.

·         In 2007, over 1,100 construction-related fatalities were reported.

·         Falls are the most common cause of fatal construction site accidents.

·         After falls, transportation accidents, falling objects and electrocution are the most common causes of construction-related deaths, respectively.

·         Of all workers compensation costs across the country, 15% are due to construction site accidents.

As these statistics show, the construction industry is a highly dangerous occupation that puts workers at serious risk of suffering an on-the-job injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident, contact us today.

 

The Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati provide free legal advice to victims of construction site injuries. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

The thin skull rule: What if my preexisting health condition makes my accident injuries worse?

Sometimes an accident victim has a preexisting health condition that caused them to be injured more seriously in an accident than a person without the condition would have been. Accident victims who find themselves in this situation are often confused and concerned about how much compensation they will receive for their injuries.

 

The answer is that victims with preexisting health conditions will still receive full compensation for all of their accident-related injuries – just the same as a person who does not suffer from a health condition. This is known as the “thin skull rule.”

 

The think skull rule is a legal concept that states the defendant “takes their victims as they find them.” In plain terms, the defendant cannot try to reduce the amount of money they have to pay by arguing that the victim’s health problems contributed to the extent of their injuries. The defendant is liable for the full extent of the victim’s injuries even if it was unforeseeable that the victim would suffer much greater injuries than the average person.

 

The somewhat strange name of the rule comes from the idea that even if a plaintiff had a skull as thin as an eggshell, the defendant would still be liable for their full damages if a minor accident caused the victim’s skull to break. It doesn’t matter that the defendant was unaware of the victim’s health condition, and it doesn’t matter that the defendant had no intention of causing such severe injuries.

 

For example, suppose that John Smith has a heart condition which caused him to suffer a heart attack from the shock of being involved in a car accident. Even though a person with no heart problems would not have had a heart attack as a result of the accident, under the thin skull rule, the defendant must still pay for the full extent of John Smith’s injuries, including all of the expenses related to his treatment for the heart attack.

 

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice about your potential personal injury lawsuit. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for your free consultation.

 

Types of personal injury cases - negligence, intentional torts and strict liability

Personal injury cases can be divided into three main categories: negligence, intentional torts and strict liability. Below is a brief overview of the different types of personal injury cases:

 

Negligence: All of us owe a duty of care to the people around us. Specifically, it is our duty to act with the care and caution that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. When a person violates this duty of care, and an injury results from it, they are said to be negligent. Of these three, negligence is by far the most common basis for a personal injury lawsuit

 

Intentional tort: A personal injury case falls under the general area of the law known as “torts.” Torts are any civil or wrongful act that results in an injury to another person. An intentional tort, as the name suggests, is an act that is committed willfully and purposefully. Essentially, the defendant set out with the intention of harming you or your property.

 

Strict liability: In a strict liability case, it is not necessary for the plaintiff to prove the defendant’s liability. Rather, the defendant is deemed automatically liable for the injury based on state laws. The defendant is held liable regardless of whether they knew they were endangering someone. The most common laws that impose strict liability are those related to defective products.

 

If you have been injured in an accident, contact us today to learn more about personal injury lawsuits and the type of case you may have. Email Fears | Nachawati at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us toll free at 1.866.705.7584 for free legal assistance from a Texas personal injury lawyer.

 

What if more than one person is responsible for my accident?

It is not uncommon for multiple people to be responsible for a plaintiff’s personal injury. For instance, say you slip and fall in a grocery store. You might have a claim against the store where the accident occurred as well as the corporation that owns the store. In this case, Texas’s rule of joint and several liability would come into effect. It’s a complicated name for a simple concept.

 

The Texas joint and several liability rule was implemented to cover situations where more than one person or entity is responsible for an accident. Under this rule, you have the ability to seek compensation from multiple defendants. The benefit to the plaintiff is that they can still recover their full judgment even if one or more of the defendants can’t pay up.

 

Texas is somewhat unique in its approach to joint and several liability. Typically joint and several liability means that every defendant who is a party to the lawsuit is responsible for the entire amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff, regardless of their percentage of fault.

 

In Texas, however, a defendant is only responsible for the full amount if they are found to be 51% responsible for the accident. Otherwise, they are only responsible for an amount equal to their percentage of fault.

 

The victim of a personal injury may not realize that multiple people or entities are at fault. That is why it is so important that you seek the immediate legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer.

 

An experienced Texas personal injury attorney can determine exactly whose negligence caused your accident, and this may include a number of different potential defendants. If you have been injured in an accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice to learn more about your rights and options. You can reach us by email at info@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is loss of consortium?

Loss of consortium is a legal term that describes the negative effect that an accident can have on a marriage. If one spouse is injured in an accident, the other spouse may lose some of the love, support, affection, companionship and sexual relations that were a part of the marriage before the injury occurred.

 

Many people mistakenly believe that loss of consortium applies only to sexual intercourse. However, there are numerous different components of loss of consortium, such as comfort, assistance around the home, solace and moral support. As described above, loss of consortium generally refers to any disruption to a marriage that comes about as a result of a personal injury, not just physical intimacy.

 

To seek damages for loss of consortium, the non-injured spouse files a loss of consortium claim in conjunction with the personal injury claim being filed by the injured spouse.

 

At Fears | Nachawati, we know that marriages are built on special relationships and common goals. When a personal injury interferes with your relationship and your ability to enjoy your marriage as you have in the past, then you may have a claim for loss of consortium. We know that no amount of money can ever make up for the damage an accident causes to your marriage, but financial compensation can help ease the burdens of a personal injury.

 

Contact us today for free legal advice on loss of consortium and other issues related to personal injury claims. The Texas personal injury lawyers of Fears | Nachawati provide personal injury victims with a free legal consultation. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Comparative responsibility: What if the accident was partly my fault?

What if I’m partly to blame for the accident? This is a question that personal injury lawyers hear a lot when providing free legal assistance to a new client. The bottom line is good news for accident victims – you can still recover financial compensation even if you are partly to blame for your accident.

 

Texas uses what is referred to as the “doctrine of comparative responsibility.” Under the Texas comparative responsibility statute, also referred to as the proportionate responsibility statute, a jury is responsible for assigning a percentage of blame to each party involved in the accident. As long as the jury decides you are only 50% or less responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages for your personal injury.

 

It is important to remember, however, that the amount of compensation the jury awards you will be reduced by the percentage of your responsibility. For example, let’s say that the jury awards Plaintiff Jane Smith $10,000. But, the jury finds that Jane was 30% responsible for the accident. That means, Jane’s award will be reduce by 30%, and she will ultimately receive $7,000.

 

If you have been injured in an accident, even if you are partly at fault, contact us today. We provide free legal help to accident victims who are considering a Texas personal injury lawsuit. For your free consultation with a Texas personal injury lawyer, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What to bring when you meet your Texas personal injury lawyer

Your initial consultation with your Texas personal injury lawyer is one of the most important meetings you will have with your attorney. Many law firms, including Fears | Nachawati, offer free legal advice to new clients during this first meeting.

 

To get the most out of your consultation, and to help your personal injury lawyer determine if you have a good case, there are certain pieces of documentation you should bring.  

 

Here is a list of the types of information that you should bring to your first meeting with your Texas personal injury lawyer:  

 

  1. A detailed account of the accident: A coherent story of what happened before, during and after the accident is critical. Don’t worry if you can’t remember every detail of the accident. Just be as thorough as possible.  It is a good idea to practice telling your story to a friend or family member in advance so you won’t forget something important when you meet with your personal injury lawyer.

  1. Photos: Bring along copies of any photos you have of the scene of the accident, your injuries and/or any damage to your personal property.  

  1. Contact information for witnesses to the accident: Your personal injury attorney may need to supplement their knowledge of your case by speaking to the people who saw the accident.

  1. Contact information for the person or person(s) responsible for the accident: Write down as much as you know about the person who caused the accident, including their name, address, phone number, insurance policy number and driver’s license number if the incident was a car accident.

  1. Photocopies of any important documents related to the accident: Bring along any and all documentation related to the accident. Don’t worry if you think it’s unimportant. Your Texas personal injury lawyer can determine what’s relevant to your case. These documents should include:
    1. Police reports
    2. Medical records – including x-rays, lab work and test results, if any
    3. Medical bills
    4. Professional estimates of the cost of repairing your property
    5. A copy of your insurance policy – including documentation of any claims you have already made, if any

 

Remember that you are not limited to the information on this list. You should bring along any documentation you believe will assist your personal injury lawyer in evaluating your case.

 

Fears | Nachawati offers free legal help to accident victims through a no charge, no obligation consultation with a Texas personal injury lawyer.  Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

How much is my Texas personal injury lawsuit worth?

The value of a personal injury lawsuit depends on the specific facts of the case. Differences in the extent of a person’s injuries, the amount of medical expenses incurred and lost wages mean that compensation varies from case to case.

 

The value of your Texas personal injury claim will ultimately be based on the amount and type of damages you are entitled to. These can include:

 

  • Medical bills, both past and present
  • Lost income
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Damaged property

A Texas personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your case and advise you on the likely value of your claim. For a free legal consultation about your potential Texas personal injury lawsuit, contact us today.

 

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas law firm that represents plaintiffs who are seeking compensation for personal injuries sustained in an accident. To speak with one of our attorneys, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is the Texas survival statute?

The Texas survival statute is a law that allows the estate of the deceased victim to sue for the injuries the deceased could have sued for if they had survived the accident. Essentially, the family is standing in the deceased’s shoes in terms of legal rights.

 

The Texas wrongful death statute and the survival statute are often used in conjunction. That is, the family of a deceased accident victim will typically bring suits seeking compensation under both statutes. To learn more about what defines a wrongful death click here

 

The Texas survival statute is an exception to the general rule that any legal claims a person might have are extinguished upon that person’s death. In fact, it is called a survival statute because the legal claim “survives” the victim’s death.

 

As for compensation involving the survival statute, the estate can recover all of the damages to which the victim would have been entitled, such as pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.

 

Fears | Nachawati represents the families of accident victims in bringing wrongful death lawsuits and asserting their rights under the survival statute. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, contact us today for a free legal consultation. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is a personal injury?

“Personal injury” is a legal term that describes an injury to a victim’s body, mind or emotions. Personal injuries are distinct and separate from injuries to property. A personal injury can be either physical or psychological. Both types may be included in a Texas personal injury lawsuit.

Here is an example of a personal injury: John Smith is in a bad car accident. He sustains injuries including whiplash (physical) and emotional trauma (psychological). He also suffered an injury to his property when he car was damaged. John can seek compensation for all three of these injuries when he brings a personal injury lawsuit.

The term personal injury is generally associated with harm suffered by a person who is injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligent actions.  To learn more about negligence click here. 

If you have suffered a personal injury because of the negligence of another person, contact us today at Fears | Nachawati. For a free legal consultation with a Texas personal injury lawyer, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What is the Texas Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims?

A statute of limitations is a law that places a limit on the amount of time in which you have to bring a lawsuit. The length of time varies depending on the type of lawsuit you plan to pursue.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury is two years. That means, in the majority of cases, you have only two years from the date of the accident that caused your injuries in which to bring your personal injury lawsuit.

There are a few limited exceptions to the two-year limit. A Texas personal injury lawyer, such as those at Fears | Nachawati, can advise you on whether any of these exceptions apply to your case.

It is very important that you speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you have been in an accident. Once the statute of limitation runs out, you are barred from bringing a lawsuit related to that incident – which means you have no legal recourse for obtaining compensation for your injuries and financial losses.

If you believe you may have a personal injury claim, contact us today. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free legal consultation.

 

NTTA takes steps to reduce number of wrong-way collisions on Dallas North Tollway

Official are taking action after a recent rash of wrong-way car accidents on the Dallas North Tollway have left four dead and several others critically injured.

Steps are being taken to warn drivers who are headed the wrong way on an exit ramp. One such step is placing reflective buttons, which are laid out in the shape of arrows, on the lanes of each of the tollway’s 47 exits. The arrows will glow red if a driver is driving the wrong way on the ramp.

In addition, 25 new warning signs have been posted that state “wrong way” or “do not enter,” which ups the total of warning signs to 215.

These actions come in response to the five wrong-way car accidents that have taken place on the Dallas Tollway this year. By contrast, there were only three fatal accidents out of 28 in 2003 to 2008.

Other approaches, such as low-hanging warning signs and electronic billboards to alert other drivers to a wrong-way driver, are being considered.

For more on the NTTA’s plan for reducing the number of Dallas car accidents, click here to read the complete article.

Fears | Nachawati can help car accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Texas personal injury lawyers, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Company may face negligent homicide charges in construction site accident

According to an Austin, Texas, police search warrant, the scaffolding that collapsed, killing three construction workers was improperly assembled.  The story was previously posted in our blog here

If the claim of negligence is substantiated, then the construction company who put the platforms together could be facing charges of negligent homicide. Criminally negligent homicide is a felony which can result in 2 years of jail time and a fine of $10,000.

The warrant was issued last week, enabling police to seize parts of a mast climber, which is a platform scaffold used by workers to scale the outside walls of buildings. According to the warrant, the device which was seized was constructed by American Mast Climbers of Whitney.

General Metroplex Interiors, the subcontractor hired to handle the building of stucco and frame work, hired American Mast Climbers to install and maintain the scaffolding.

The pieces of scaffolding were seized by investigators in order to determine what caused the equipment failure that ultimately led to the collapse. OSHA investigators, after examining the equipment, informed police that some of the components that made up the mast climbers were faulty. The use of this faulty equipment, says OSHA, may be enough to warrant a charge of criminally negligent homicide.

For more on this Texas construction accident, click here to read the full article.

If you have been injured in a Texas construction site accident, contact us today. To speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer and receive free legal advice about your potential construction site accident claim, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Hurt on the job? Talk to a Texas personal injury lawyer first

Before you file a worker’s compensation claim, talk to a Texas personal injury lawyer. In some workplace accidents, a party other than your employer may be at fault for your injury. If a third party, such as a vendor or subcontractor, is the cause of your injury, then you may be able to bring a personal injury suit against them.

By first consulting with a Texas personal injury lawyer, you may be able to get more compensation for your injuries. To ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your workplace injury, it is wise to speak with an attorney who understand Texas personal injury law and can determine who is responsible for your accident and whether negligence was involved.

If you have been injured while on the job, contact Fears | Nachawati for a free legal consultation. Worker’s compensation may not be your only recourse. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you may be eligible to bring a third-party claim. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

How to choose a Texas personal injury attorney

Suffering an injury in an accident is a traumatic experience. During this difficult time, you are faced with the task of choosing the right Texas personal injury attorney for bringing your claim. To help you select an injury attorney for your personal injury lawsuit, we have provided this step-by-step guide.

Finding a Texas personal injury attorney begins with asking trusted friends and family members for recommendations. If someone you know and trust was satisfied with their injury lawyer, there is a good chance you will be satisfied as well.

In addition to your friends and family members, Martindale-Hubbell is another excellent resource when searching for a Texas personal injury attorney. Visit www.martindale.com and click on “Lawyer Locator.” The service is free and allows you to view an extensive list of attorneys who have been rated by their peers in terms of ability and ethics.

Once you have narrowed down your choices of Texas injury attorneys, check with your state bar to see if there are any disciplinary actions against the attorneys. Visit the American Bar Association website at www.abanet.org/cpr/regulation/scpd/disciplinary.html for a link to the disciplinary agency in your state.

It is also important to speak with Texas personal injury attorneys who provide you with a free initial consultation, as Fears | Nachawati does. This consultation gives you an opportunity to evaluate the attorney’s experience and decide if this is someone you would be comfortable working with.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas personal injury law firm representing victims of numerous types of accidents. Email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

 

 

Hiring the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

People often do not know where to turn when it comes to dealing with a serious personal injury case or finding the best or top injury lawyers.  Here are some factors you should consider when it comes to hiring a personal injury lawyer:

Factors important in hiring the Best Personal Injury Lawyer:

1.  Has the lawyer or law firm your are considering hiring ever tried a lawsuit?  If so, when was their last trial and what was the outcome? 

2.  Has the lawyer you are considering hiring ever been disciplined by the State Bar of Texas? (check www.texasbar.com)

3.  Has the lawyer ever completed a judicial clerkship--a prestiguous honor bestowed on only approximately 2% of lawyers in the nation?

4. Does the lawyer you are considering hiring sound well-informed and knowledgeable regarding personal injury law?

5. Has the lawyer ever settled a case or tried a case and obtained a significant recovery?

6.  Does your lawyer have the necessary resources to prosecute your case?

7.  Can you relate to the lawyer and does your intuition tell you that the lawyer is trustworthy?

8.  Where did the lawyer go to law school, and more importantly, what has the lawyer's practical experience been since law school?  Remember, years of experience does not necessarily mean a more competent lawyer.

This list of factors is non-exclusive.  The author of this article, attorney, Majed Nachawati, is frequently quoted by newspapers, media, and has been recognized as a top lawyer.  Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk and has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. Questions or comments can be emailed to mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone - 1.866.705.7584.

What is my claim worth? Damages in Texas personal injury lawsuits

Damages are the amount of money that is awarded to a successful plaintiff in a Texas personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, damages fall into one of two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are much easier to calculate because they can be quantified through objective information such as the plaintiff’s medical bills and the value of personal property that was destroyed.

Economic damages include:

·        Past and future medical expenses

·        Lost wages, both present and future

·        Loss of earning capacity

·        Damage to personal property

·        Any other costs that are a direct result of an injury sustained in the car accident

·        Court costs

Non-economic damages are the more difficult of the two when it comes to assigning a value. Pain and suffering, for example, fall into the category of non-economic damages. In many Texas personal injury lawsuits, pain and suffering-related damages represent a significant amount of the overall award.

Under Texas law, non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit can include:

·        Physical pain and suffering

·        Mental anguish

·        Emotional suffering

·        Physical impairment

·        Disfigurement

·        Loss of enjoyment of life

·        Loss of consortium and companionship

·        Inconvenience

·        Injury to reputation

If you have been the victim of an accident, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati to find out what damages you may be entitled to. For a free consultation from a Texas personal injury lawyer, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

Texas theme park redesigns roller coaster that spawned dozens of personal injury lawsuits

The Rattler, a rollercoaster at the Fiesta Texas theme park in San Antonio, Texas, has undergone design changes. Park owners hope that the ride will be safer for park goers…resulting in fewer personal injury lawsuits that have bankrupted one of the builder’s subsidiaries.

 

The Rattler has an infamous history, a history that’s chockfull of personal injury lawsuits. Industry experts, such as Andrew Jakes, a certified safety consultant out of California, blames the rush to be the biggest, the best and scariest coaster. In the push to set a world record, parks sometimes open rides to the public before a sufficient number of tests have been performed.

 

By end of the first season of The Rattler’s being open to the public, park workers received hundreds of complaints of alleged injuries.

Randal Jackson, an attorney who has represented dozens of plaintiffs in their personal injury lawsuits against Fiesta Texas is highly critical of The Rattler. "If you had to design a device that injured people's necks and backs, you couldn't have done any better than the Rattler," says Jackson.

The majority of riders who later complained of injuries claimed they were hurt on the first drop of the coaster. The common complaints were of head, back and neck injuries. The first drop was initially a 166-foot fall. It has since been shortened to122 feet.

Michael Black, who is president of the contracting company that helped build the coaster defends the ride while admitting that the amount of force exerted by the ride was greater than the builders expected.

Says Black, "You got to look at it this way, a million people a year were riding that ride. (Fiesta Texas) got way less than 1 percent, maybe less than half a percent, of people complaining that they either got a sore neck or something worse from riding the ride. That's an extremely small portion."

That small portion, however, has spelled big trouble for Fiesta Texas and Michael Black’s subsidiaries declared bankruptcy in 1996 after being hit with more than 50 personal injury lawsuits.

For more detailed information about the Texas personal injury lawsuits filed against the park, click here.

The law firm of Fears | Nachawati represents accident victims in personal injury lawsuits. To receive a free legal consultation from a Texas personal injury attorney, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against Chrysler and GM to be wiped out in face of bankruptcy

With Chrysler and GM being granted Chapter 11 bankruptcy, hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death claims against the corporation are being dropped – and not by the plaintiffs.The upshot of a government plan to bring GM and Chrysler LLC out of bankruptcy free of debt effectively wipes out the pending suits against them.

Before June 10th, the date on which the company emerged from bankruptcy, Chrysler sold 10 millions vehicles. And now the new Chrysler can’t be held legally responsible for any incidents involving those millions of cars and trucks.

GM is set to emerge from bankruptcy as early as July – and the same rule is likely to apply to the 30 million GM vehicles currently on the road.

The so-called “new Chrysler” is owned by Fiat, which will not be held responsible for liability claims made against Chrysler before the sale. The “old Chrysler” was internally insured. When its assets were vanquished, so too were any funds for legal backing.

Critics are challenging GM’s bankruptcy plan in court, claiming it would essentially deprive consumers of their legal right to pursue a product liability claim. The bankruptcy and sale to Fiat also means that none of the Chrysler vehicles sold before June 10th will ever be recalled for defects.

Experts also say that even consumers who have already won verdicts against Chrysler and GM will likely be unable to collect on their awards.

For a more in-depth look at these lost personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, click here for the full story.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas law firm handling personal injury and wrongful death claims. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.

Stewart Richardson, Arlington Drunk Driving Accident Severely Injuring Abdallah Khader - Requests for Statements by Any Witnesses

Our  law firm, Fears | Nachawati, represents baby boy Abdallah Khader and his family.  Abdallah, who was in his car seat, was tragically injured in a crash caused by two bars over serving a patron, Stewart Lee Richardson, who visited the bars, Applebees located at 2021 Highway 287 North, Mansfield, Texas 76063 and Mr. B's located at 2860 N. Hwy 157, Mansfield, Texas 76063.  After leaving the bars severely intoxicated, he crashed into the rear of the Khader's vehicle, seriously injuring all four members of the family.

In connection with the investigation, our lawyers are seeking statements from any eye witnesses or bar patrons that regularly visit or drink at Applebees in Mansfield or Mr. B's in Mansfield.   

Anyone having information about Stewart Richardon's drinking at both Applebees in Mansfield, Texas and Mr. B's in Mansfield, Texas on the night in question, February 20, 2009, or other instances of over serving customers at Applebees and Mr. B's are encouraged to contact me to provide a statement in connection with the ongoing investigation.  Any witness statements would be greatly appreciated by the parents, who are picking up the pieces of their broken life. 

IF YOU ARE AN EYEWITNESS OR HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT STEWART RICHARDSON, THE APPLEBEES IN MANSFIELD, OR THE MR. B'S IN MANSFIELD, please contact the attorney for the family, Majed Nachawati, on his direct line 214.461.6170.

How can a Texas personal injury lawyer help me?

An experienced Texas personal injury lawyer understands the oftentimes complicated law that applies to personal injury lawsuits. This includes determining the amount of compensation that is fair and equitable given your injuries and damages. It is possible that the injuries you suffered will affect you for years to come, so you need someone who can help you project what your long-term expenses will be.

If you have been injured in a car accident or on the job, you have a lot on your plate. A Texas personal injury attorney can ease the burden on you by working with the insurance company on your behalf, filling out the paperwork and ensuring that all necessary documents are submitted on time. Your attorney will take on these responsibilities so that you can focus on healing and returning to a normal life.

Hiring a Texas personal injury lawyer also levels the playing field. The insurance company will have a stable of experts on their side, trying to figure out how to offer you the lowest possible settlement. A personal injury attorney will protect your best interests – yours and yours alone.

Fears | Nachawati provides accident victims with a free legal consultation. You have nothing to lose by seeking advice on your potential claim. Some people mistakenly believe that they do not have a personal injury claim. Rather than making that decision on your own, which can cost you a considerable amount in damages, it is best to first consult with an attorney. A knowledgeable Texas personal injury attorney is better equipped to determine whether or not a personal injury claim exists.

For your free consultation, contact Fears | Nachawati at info@fnlawfirm.com or toll free at 1.866.705.7584.

What is a personal injury lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit is based on one person being injured because of the negligent actions of another person. A person is negligent if they fail to act with the prudence that a reasonable person would under the same circumstances. Liability can also be founded on behavior that is reckless or intentional. The person liable for the accident is the defendant, while the person bringing the suit is the plaintiff.

The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to compensate the victim for their injuries and losses. These are known as “damages.” The amount of compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a successful personal injury claim depends on the extent of their injuries, both physical and emotional.

The law surrounding personal injury lawsuits varies from state to state. That is why it is so important that you seek the advice of a Texas personal injury attorney. Only an attorney versed in Texas personal injury law can properly advise you on your potential claim.

The law firm of Fears | Nachawati represents accident victims in personal injury lawsuits. To find out if you may have a personal injury claim, contact us today to receive a free consultation. You can email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

You should not hesitate in consulting with a Texas personal injury attorney. If you wait too long, your claim might be barred by the state’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time in which you have to bring your personal injury claim.

House Passes Change to Booster Seat Law

Under new legislation passed by the House on Monday, May 12, children under the age of 8 would have to ride in a booster seat. The measure passed by a vote of 99-44.

Currently, booster seat requirements only apply to children under the age of 5 who are less than 36 inches in height. This new piece of legislation, which has already passed in the Senate, would extend the booster seat requirement to children under the age of 8 who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall.

 

Supporters of the measure dismiss arguments that the legislation will pose a financial burden on parents who drive with multiple small children. These advocates counter that booster seats only cost between $15 to $40 each. Represent Allen Vaught of Dallas does not believe the legislation will be cost prohibitive for families. Says Vaught, “"We're talking about $10 for a doggone booster seat. That's too much to save a life?"

 

According to Paula Yuma, an injury prevention expert with Dell Children's Medical Center, riding in a booster seat reduces a child’s risk of being injured in a car accident by 59%. Because seat belts are made for adult bodies and not children’s, says Yuma, they can cause injury to a child’s spinal cord and internal organs.

 

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, contact us today by completing the form on this website. Fears | Nachawati is a personal injury law firm who helps victims of car accidents obtain compensation for their injuries. For more free information contact us at 1.866.705.7584 or by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com.
 

FDA Recalls Hydroxycut Products - 23 Liver Injuries and One Death

Today, partners at Fears & Nachawati Law Firm learned the FDA has recalled Hydroxycut products, popular dietary supplements used for weight loss.  FDA reports indicate that there has been at least one death and 23 Liver injuries linked to the products.  The Hydroxycut products are commonly used as fat burners or energy boosters.  which are also used as energy enhancers and as fat burners.  The 14 Hydroxycut products are manufactured by Lovate Health Sciences Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, and distributed by Lovate Health Sciences USA Inc. of Blasdell, New York. 

The company is voluntarily recalling the following products: Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets, Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets, Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets, Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets, Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets, Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets, Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix), Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets, Hydroxycut Liquid Shots, Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink), Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed, Hydroxycut 24, Hydroxycut Carb Control and Hydroxycut Natural.

Last year alone, Lovate sold more than 9 million units of Hydroxycut products, which were distributed widely to grocery stores, health food stores and pharmacies.

Although reports of liver damage is rare, common sypmtoms include brown urine, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, stomach pain, itching and light-colored stools.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 required manufacturers to ensure a supplement to be safe before marketing. But manufacturers still don't need to register a product with the FDA or get approval before selling a supplement.

A link to the recall can be read here:  http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2009/NEW02006.html.

Additional Hydroxycut or legal information can be directed to our office toll free 1.866.705.7584 or mn@fnlawfirm.com.  The attorneys of Fears & Nachawati look forward to a prompt and thorough investigation in connection with any consumers harmed by these dangerous supplements.

Baby Boy Abdallah Khader Returns Home

Our clients' son, Abdallah Khader, who was critically injured in an accident caused by the perfect storm of irresponsibility, has been released by Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth and is now being cared for by his loving family.  Abdallah has the ability to breathe on his own.  However, his brain function remains minimal at best.  Bars believed to have overserved alcohol to Richardson, who in turn crashed his vehicle into the Khader family's vehicle as they returned home from a family gathering, need to be aware of potential negligent conduct and take responsibility for preventing intoxication in serving future patrons.  This tragic drunk driving crash was caused not only by Richardson, but any bars believed to have overserved Richardson.  His blood alcohol level was over three times the legal limit-.28.  The Fears | Nachawati Law Firm remains dedicated to sending a message to all bars that the law requires serving alcohol to its patrons in a responsible manner, such that tragic incidents and the suffering of innocent motorists and, in particular, children are eliminated.  Questions concerning dram shop suits, which address bars that overserve patrons can be directed to the lead personal injury lawyer, Majed Nachawati, who will stop at nothing to hold bars and drunk drivers accountable to the fullest extent allowed by our civil justice system.  Fears | Nachawati Law Firm - Toll Free Phone Number 1.866.705.7584, email - mn@fnlawfirm.com.

Raptiva recalled by the FDA

 

RAPTIVA RECALLED

April 8th, 2009

Today, Genentech announced that it has suspended sales of the psoriasis drug RAPTIVA in the United States due to its links to brain infections. Raptiva has been associated with an increased risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Fears | Nachawati Law Firm is currently evaluating cases on behalf of all Raptiva patients.

 

Fears | Nachawati Law Firm has helped victims of defective drugs and medications obtain justice and hold pharmaceutical companies that have released problematic drugs onto the market accountable.  As new medications are released, some ultimately prove to present as much danger to those who use them as they do potential cures or solutions.  When this happens, victims need an advocate to turn to in order to help them work towards moving past the situation in such a way as the law deems proper.  The defective drugs lawyers at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm work with these clients to help them achieve this end.

Unfortunately, one of those drugs that’s been recently alleged to present an unreasonable danger to those who have used them is Raptiva, a widely used medication that was formulated to help with the treatment and management of psoriasis.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently gotten involved with this situation, and the steps the agency has taken will be detailed below.  In the meantime, you’ll also find an overview of Raptiva and the issues that surround it.

Raptiva’s History and Intended Use

Raptiva is manufactured by Genentech, Inc. and was originally approved for distribution by the FDA in 2003.  Its intended use was to help those who suffered from psoriasis manage the disease more comfortably.  For a time, Raptiva proved to be successful, but recent reports have shown that several serious and sometimes grave side effects followed its use.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, Raptiva works by, “blocking the activation of certain immune cells called T cells, and the migration of those cells into the skin. T cells are a type of white blood cell in the body; in psoriasis, once these T cells are mistakenly activated, they can trigger inflammation and other immune responses and fuel the development of psoriasis lesions.

By blocking T-cell activation and the movement of these cells into the skin, Raptiva interrupts the cycle of psoriasis, leading to improvement in symptoms for many people who take it.”

Raptiva’s Side Effects

After a few years on the market, disturbing reports of side effects believed to have been brought about by Raptiva began to surface.  Each of these problems reported are extremely serious in nature, and each is briefly described below.

Viral Meningitis

Viral meningitis is a serious, but rarely fatal disease that infects the fluid in the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain.  It can only be diagnosed with a spinal fluid tap, and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Fatigue

Bacterial Sepsis

Bacterial sepsis is more of a medical term that describes what happens when bacteria invades a person’s bloodstream and causes serious infections in organs such as the kidneys or lungs.  Sepsis can be treated with medication, but it’s also possible that a patient can die from this condition.

Invasive Fungal Disease

Invasive fungal disease is a condition that could actually occur in several different ways, depending on the bacteria involved and the parts of the body that are harmed.  Some of these bacteria can be treated with medication, but others are extremely difficult to handle.

Brain Infection - Encephalopathy

Encephalopathy means an infection that affects the brain, as stated above.  Unfortunately, there are innumerable symptoms that could present themselves when this condition strikes, as different parts of the brain affected will lead to different reactions by the body.

Lymphoma

Raptiva has also shown a tendency to heighten the risk of contracting cancers such as lymphoma, which is a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes.  Warning signs of lymphoma include pain and/or swelling of the neck, unexplained weight loss, fever, night sweats and itchiness in several areas of the body.  While lymphoma can be treated, like any other cancer, it can also be fatal.

PML (Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy)

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a very rare disease that, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is caused by the reactivation of a common virus in the central nervous system of immune-compromised individuals.”

Those who take Raptiva are under this cloud of risk, and symptoms of PML include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Progressive weakness
  • Visual problems
  • Difficulty with speech

Unfortunately, since PML affects the brain, the symptoms can be quite diverse and therefore very difficult to diagnose. 

Death and the FDA’s Involvement

As noted above, many of the side effects allegedly linked to Raptiva can lead to the death of patients.  Specifically, three deaths of Raptiva users are what prompted the FDA to get involved.  All of them suffered from PML.  The FDA required Genentech, Inc. to affix a “Black Box” warning to all labels of the medication that clearly state the dangers associated with Raptiva.

 

Contact the lawyers at Fears | Nachawati for free legal information concerning this recalled drug.  Toll free 1.866.705-7584.

 

Spitzer Uses Call Girl Service

CNN reports that federal agents have determined New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer used a high-priced call-girl ring at least eight times in recent months, and agents had him under surveillance twice this year, sources familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

Spitzer announced his resignation Wednesday, two days after reports of his connection to the Emperors Club VIP became public.

He has not been charged with a crime. He told reporters Wednesday, "I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people's work." The resignation will take effect Monday.

The sources said the investigation began when New York's North Fork Bank notified the Treasury Department about suspicious transfers of money from Spitzer's bank accounts. That investigation led agents to the alleged organizers of the prostitution ring, four of whom were charged in a criminal complaint last week, the sources said. A grand jury in New York is likely to hear evidence in the case soon, said Kathleen Mullin, an attorney who said she represents one of the ring's employees. Mullin would not identify her client, but said she was not the woman identified only as "Kristen" linked to Spitzer in court papers.

She said her client and other women who worked for the Emperors Club have been asked to testify before the grand jury.
Asked if her client had any encounters with Spitzer, Mullin said, "We have no information regarding the governor."

Wiretaps on suspected members of the ring, authorized in January, yielded more than 5,000 telephone calls and text messages and another 6,000-plus e-mails, according to court papers. In those intercepts, the organizers told clients how to arrange and pay for their trysts, a federal agent's affidavit states.

The affidavit identified clients by number, with Spitzer designated "Client 9," a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN this week. Sources familiar with the investigation said federal authorities Wednesday were trying to clamp down on leaks of the investigation's details.
The affidavit states "Client 9" paid $4,300 for 2½ hours with a call girl he arranged to meet at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, with some of that a deposit on a future session. Court papers state he also paid for train tickets, cab fare, mini-bar and room service charges for Kristen -- a 5-foot-5, 105-pound brunette he arranged to meet the night of February 13. Kristen is a 22-year-old would-be singer from New Jersey, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said Ashley Youmans -- now known as Ashley Alexandra Dupre -- was identified in court documents as Kristen. Dupre has not been charged with a crime. She made a brief appearance Monday in U.S. Magistrate Court as a witness against four people charged with operating the Emperor's Club, the Times said.

In an entry on her MySpace page, Dupre says she left "a broken family" and "abuse" in 2004, eventually settling in Manhattan "to pursue my music career."

"I am all about my music, and my music is all about me," she writes on her MySpace page. "It flows from what I've been through, what I've seen and how I feel."

Dupre's mother, Carolyn Capalbo, told the Times she and her daughter were close, adding that "she obviously got involved in something much larger than her."

Spitzer, whose squeaky-clean image as a corporate corruption-buster made him a rising Democratic star, testified to the House Financial Services Committee the next day about the effect of the mortgage meltdown. He took a state plane from Buffalo, New York, to Washington and back to New York, his office confirmed Tuesday.

Sources told CNN that FBI agents had Spitzer under surveillance at the Mayflower that night -- and on an earlier occasion, on January 26, when no prostitute showed up. His resignation is unlikely to affect decisions about whether he will face prosecution, the sources said. His attorneys were negotiating Wednesday with the U.S. attorney's office in New York in an effort to avoid criminal charges, a source told CNN.

But in a statement issued after the governor's resignation, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said no agreement had been reached between his office and the governor "relating to his resignation or any other matter."

The resignation could be a factor in the U.S. presidential race. Spitzer was a superdelegate, one of nearly 800 party leaders and officials who cast their votes at the Democratic National Convention. They are free to vote for any candidate they wish.

According to two sources who spoke Tuesday with CNN, Spitzer hit the federal radar when a bank reported to the Internal Revenue Service that a significant amount of money had been suspiciously transferred from one account to another.

Late last year, upon investigating the movement of money that the bank initially reported, the IRS found that the accounts were connected to Spitzer, the sources said.

The IRS contacted the FBI, which joined the case to investigate the possibility of government corruption.

Federal law requires a banking institution to file a suspicious activity report when the institution suspects a transaction is linked to a federal crime. More specifically, banks are required to report to the IRS any transactions totaling $5,000 or more if the transactions "involve potential money laundering or a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act."

The act requires businesses to keep documents that are useful for identifying and investigating money laundering. After receiving the IRS report last year, the FBI Corruption Squad linked the account transfers to a prostitution ring, according to sources. The FBI criminal division joined the probe to look into the prostitution ring, while the federal corruption team continued its investigation into Spitzer.

Legal experts not involved in the case have said Spitzer could face some type of money-laundering charge, such as structuring a financial transaction to evade federal bank reporting requirements by breaking up a large transaction into smaller ones.

Sources tell CNN that prosecutors have considered pursuing a structuring charge, but have run into some difficulty. And Richard Smith, a former Justice Department official, said structuring charges are "fairly difficult to prove."

"You are going to have to prove that he withdrew sums of money with the intent to evade the reporting requirements, to conceal the fact that he is withdrawing the money," said Smith, the former deputy chief of the Justice Department's fraud section.


The Judge Who'll Judge Rosenthal

Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported on the incident occuring with Disctrict Attorney Chuck Rosenthal.

Attorney Chuck Rosenthal may not sleep well tonight. Tomorrow morning he must go before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt to explain why he should not be fined or even jailed for contempt in connection with deleting e-mails that Hoyt had ordered him to produce in a lawsuit.

Some of the e-mails he deleted were racist jokes, at least one of which he passed on to a friend.
One showed a black man lying on a sidewalk surrounded by chicken bones and watermelon rinds. It was captioned: "Fatal overdose."
Another offered the "wit" that Bill Clinton is like black men because he smokes weed, lives off his wife, gets a monthly check from the government and sleeps with ugly white women.

This is not the sort of humor Rosenthal should expect Hoyt to appreciate. Judge Hoyt is black.
Good news for Chuck

There is some good news for Rosenthal. Hoyt appears to be just the kind of black man Rosenthal's prosecutors don't want on a jury. He has a sense of mercy. Hoyt stunned some observers by sentencing Enron defendant Andy Fastow to six years in prison when Fastow's plea bargain with prosecutors called for 10 years.

In his comments Hoyt mentioned not only Fastow's cooperation with prosecutors, but also the public vitriol and anti-Semitism Fastow had suffered, together with the "particularly acrimonious hit" his family took, including his wife's one-year incarceration.

"What moves the arm of justice is mercy," Hoyt said. 

In some senses, I suppose that makes Hoyt a liberal. But when conservative U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm persuaded President Ronald Reagan to put Hoyt on the federal bench in 1987, he described the then 39-year-old as an "outstanding young conservative" who "believes strongly in strict construction of the Constitution." Hoyt had been a Reagan delegate to the 1984 Republican Convention. He was appointed to a vacant state district bench in 1981 by Gov. Bill Clements, but despite prominent Republican endorsements lost in the 1982 primary to a white man who had only recently joined the Republican Party.

In 1984 he won election to the 1st Court of Appeals after he declined to provide a photo for the brochure promoting the Republican judicial candidates.

He tasted racism again in 1992. Court records filed in a suit against Denny's restaurants by a group of Secret Service agents quoted Hoyt's wife as recounting a visit with her husband to a Denny's in California. She said they were forced to wait an embarrassing length of time for service. Meanwhile, four rowdy youths were seated after them and treated well by their waitress while using the N-word.

Hoyt has at times shown himself to be a strict constructionist. In 1997 he ruled unconstitutional a federal law allowing citizens to receive a bounty for filing successful lawsuits that recover money defrauded from the government.

And in 2003 he ruled unconstitutional a federal law used to prosecute an anti-abortion activist for ramming his van into a Planned Parenthood clinic. He ruled the man was not part of any national "campaign of violence" and could be prosecuted by local authorities. The Supreme Court has upheld both laws.

But Hoyt has repeatedly hammered prosecutors and police for misconduct. In one case he removed an illegal Mexican immigrant from death row for killing a policeman, ruling that Houston police and prosecutors of actions that were "done in bad faith and are outrageous." He ruled that police intimidated witnesses out of revenge, and that all the physical evidence indicated the officer was killed by the defendant's friend, who was killed in a shootout with police. The defendant was later deported to Mexico.

In another case, Hoyt refused a motion by prosecutors to drop a civil rights case against a sheriff's deputy after a jury had failed to reach a verdict.

Lawyers describe Hoyt as a gentleman who rarely shows anger, even as he rebukes lawyers in his courtroom. But his remarks in one case did cause lawyers to seek his recusal. Black residents sued Chevron, claiming illnesses because of pollution on what had been oil company land.

Hoyt refused to allow as evidence an Arthritis Foundation pamphlet saying blacks have higher incidence of lupus because, he said, "white people wrote it." Hoyt also made some bizarre comments in the trial regarding the relative heights of Chinese and Africans.

"It's environmental," he said. "I mean, you don't jump up and get a banana off the tree if you're only 4 feet. If you're 7-foot-tall and you're standing in China, then you're going to get blown away when that Siberian wind comes through."

An appeals court flamed him for the remarks, which Hoyt admitted were "flippant" and "callous," but refused to remove him from the case. He did recuse himself, however, when Chevron lawyers discovered Hoyt's wife had worked for Texaco, which had owned the polluted land before it was acquired by Chevron. Don't look for any flippant or callous remarks from the judge tomorrow. The question is, if he finds Rosenthal in contempt, what will his sentence be?