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Houston Personal Injury Law Blog

Maritime law: Maintenance and cure

As a seaman or an offshore oilrig worker, you are entitled to different compensation benefits under maritime laws. The Jones Act not only allows workers to sue for an on-the-job injury; it also requires payments for maintenance and cure.

What is maintenance?

Maintenance covers everyday living expenses. You will receive a stipend, from your employer, to cover the cost of living until you are able to return to work, have recovered or treatment is no longer necessary. These expenses can include:

Will Oklahoma Supreme Court Ruling Affect Work Injury Claims in Texas?

Up until recently, the only two states that allowed private employers to "opt out" of a state-run workers' compensation system were Texas and Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently struck down part of that state's workers' comp law, and now Texas is the only state with an opt-out provision.

My medical device is recalled, now what?

Having a life-saving medical device or one that highly improves your quality of life, such as a pacemaker, implant or prosthetic, can be frightening when that product is recalled. We understand you want to know you can trust that the device will function properly and will be safe for you. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and sometimes the manufacturer or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will recall a medical device because it may have a problem that could injure or kill you.

When you find out your medical device is recalled, is it time to panic? Not necessarily. Here are 4 things you should know to make sure your safety and wellbeing are a top priority during this uncertain time.

Long-Time Adversaries of Labor Unions Oppose New OSHA Rule

It's no secret that working men and women are often up against very powerful forces that prove to be more interested in protecting their bottom lines than helping and protecting workers.

Consider the recent complaint filed by a number of high-power groups seeking to block a new recordkeeping rule issued by OSHA.

The industry groups -- which are frequent adversaries of labor unions -- say an anti-retaliation rule should not apply.

Multi-vehicle wreck causes deaths, catastrophic injuries

A Texas community was left reeling after four people were killed in a car accident. The victims were all members of the same family and consisted of a father and his three sons. Three others -- also members of the family -- suffered what appeared to be catastrophic injuries.

The family's 17-year-old son -- one of the fatality victims -- was behind the wheel of the family's van at the time of the wreck. He had slowed the vehicle down as a car in front of him turned off of the road into a residential area. Another car behind him possibly failed to notice the slowed vehicle or did not react in a timely manner and rear-ended the family's van. At that point, the van was thrust into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler, which then hit the van.

Possibly impaired driver blamed for deadly construction accident

Many Texas drivers complain about ongoing road work projects, but few pause to consider the dangers that road workers face on a daily basis. Construction work in and of itself is a profession fraught with danger, but it can be far more so when the construction site is near cars traveling at high rates of speed. When a worker is injured or killed in construction accident because of a reckless driver, he or she might be able to recover damages in addition to workers' compensation.

A reckless driver was apparently responsible for a recent accident that killed a construction worker. A section of freeway was sectioned off from passing traffic while workers carried out repairs on a damaged concrete wall. Everything was apparently going well until a driver veered out of his lane, struck an orange barrel used to section off the worksite and then plowed into concrete mixer and a worker standing beside it.

Clear maritime disability doesn't mean smooth sailing with claim

Living under the rule of law does not mean that justice is swift. The wheels can turn slowly and no one can really predict what the outcome of a case may be. That's true in Texas, Louisiana or any other state.

Because the system is complicated and confusing, it's always a good idea to work with an attorney with experience in the specific nature of case that you might have. When the matter involves recovery of compensation for worker injury, what's at stake could well be an individual's whole future well-being. It may take time, but the stakes are high enough that it may be worth the investment.

Industrial accident leads to 3rd recent death at Texas refinery

The safety of a Texas area ExxonMobil refinery has been called into question following the death of an industrial engineer. The fatal industrial accident is the third of its kind in as many years. Although a spokesman issued an apology and regrets from the company, the refinery has still drawn sharp criticism in regard to the safety of its workers.

Most people think of large explosions, chemical spills or dangerous machinery when they hear of an industrial place accident, but these types of workplaces harbor many more hidden dangers. The 37-year-old man who died at the refinery was performing work duties on a heat exchanger just as tragedy struck. An unspecified type of pipe fell from somewhere overhead, landing on the man's neck and head.

Cause of recent pipeline accident possibly discovered

Pipelines, although necessary, can be extremely dangerous when not properly maintained. People in Texas who work with pipelines are often unaware when employers have neglected to maintain equipment or who have ignored safety checks on a regular basis. This type of negligence can lead to tragic accidents. A recent pipeline accident is under investigation.

In April 2016, one worker was injured when a nearby gas line exploded. The explosion caused a section of the ruptured pipe to shoot 25 feet up into the air before it landed approximately 100 feet away. Several homes were also damaged in the accident, although no residents appeared to be hurt. Initial investigations performed by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration stated that it was still unsure of the cause of the explosion. However, continuing investigations point to at least two corroded welds as likely culprits.

Injured in an industrial accident? Get the benefits you deserve

As an industrious state full of hardworking men and women, Texas is home to a wide number of industrial trades. While offshore drilling and chemical plants all play a key role in America's economy, these types of workplaces put workers at a significant risk for serious harm. A focus on employee safety is an absolute must for these job sites. Sadly, not all employers have the necessary safety mindset, and even a single industrial accident can cause devastating and permanent damage.

While it is true that industrial workers understand that they are entering a potentially hazardous environment every time that they clock into work, this does not mean that is acceptable for employers to allow lapses in safety. This is especially true in industrial workplaces. Explosions at plants or factories, accidents aboard offshore drilling rigs and electrocutions from faulty wiring all have severe and long-term consequences for workers.

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