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Content for Carabin Shaw 5-12-

Carabin Shaw – San Antonio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

San Antonio Work Accidents, Injuries, & Workers’ Compensation Claims

Our San Antonio Texas attorneys have won hundreds of work injury cases. Call Carabin Shaw at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) today to discuss your case.

If you need help recovering under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Our lawyers are here to assist. You need to first understand the workers’ compensation that you are entitled to and the process of filing a claim to recover under this form of state-regulated insurance plan.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Virtually every person is familiar with the term workers’ compensation, but few understand that it is actually a system rather than just an abstract type of benefit. The system works as follows; a company chooses to buy into the worker’s compensation program that is run by the Texas Department of Insurance and they purchase insurance through a state-sanctioned private insurance carrier. As you can imagine, this quasi state-run and the quasi-private system is wrought with both the problems of the public sector and the private sector.

Why Your Employer Likes Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Your employer likes workers’ compensation coverage because by buying into it, they are immune to a lawsuit related to your injury. The only recourse that you are left with is to pursue the workers’ compensation claim through an administrative process that will be decided by the state. You will basically have to enter into an administrative dispute resolution process that will involve hearings and reviews by a three-judge appeals panel. This entity was created for those situations when disputes over workers’ compensation claims could not be resolved informally.

The other reason why employers like workers’ compensation is ultimate because the benefits you can receive are much less than what you would receive in a negligence case. They are happy because the amount they have to pay in premiums is relatively low and they are essentially bulletproof in terms of liability.

Why you Like Workers’ Compensation

In worker’s compensation cases, you theoretically do not have to dispute whether or not you are covered. Virtually, the simple fact that you are on the job and injured means that the workers’ compensation insurance company will have to pay you some benefits. So, in other words, there is almost guaranteed coverage.

Concerns/Issues With Workers’ Compensation

If your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation as we just stated, you get guaranteed coverage. This begs the question, why does anyone need a workers’ compensation lawyer and why do they have hearings?

The reason for hiring an attorney is because even though the law clearly states you are entitled to guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits if you are within the course and scope of your employment, the employer does not have to cover you if they think you were horse-playing, doing something outside of your normal work duties, or under the influence of any type of intoxicating substance. As you can imagine, these are all vague concepts and many workers are denied simply because the employer will state that the accident was the fault of someone else and therefore you should take up your grievances with them.

To illustrate, imagine you are a machinist and you injure your hand on the job. Clearly workers compensation should apply to you. However, in some cases they will say that it was because of a fault in the machinery. Basically they will attempt to deflect your claims by stating that you should file a claim against the manufacturer of the machinery and not against them.

Additionally, a lot of employers take liberties with interpreting what does and does not constitute normal job functions. Many of the clients that have called us have been injured on the job while helping another employee and the employer tried to argue that the conduct leading to the injury was not a job duty and therefore they were not covered.

Additionally, worker’s compensation insurance carriers make all of the decisions in your case, not your employer – so even your insurance carrier may attempt to deny your claim for coverage. The main way they can limit your ability to receive compensation is not by disputing that you are not covered, but by downplaying your injuries. A doctor may say you need surgery but someone working for your worker’s compensation insurance carrier could say that you need physical therapy.

What a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can do For You

A worker’s compensation lawyer will appear on your behalf in any administrative hearings to decide benefits and will work to make you get the full amount of benefits that you should receive. Most importantly, a worker’s compensation lawyer will fight to see that your impairment rating is accurate.

What is an Impairment Rating and How Does it Work?

If you have sustained injuries and will likely have long-term effects, you may be eligible to receive a lump sum payout at the completion of your case. The amount that you are paid is based on your maximal medical improvement rating, otherwise known as an impairment rating. It is an appraisal of the nature and extent of your injury and how much it affects your ability to perform your job. For every one percentage point of impairment you have, you will be paid some quantity of money. For every one percent of impairment, you receive approximately three weeks of pay.

Therefore, the more accurately your impairment rating is, the more money you will receive. In order to maximize the amount of money that you can potentially be rewarded, it is important that you have an attorney representing you in your workers’ compensation claim. You should not be injured on the job under any circumstances and in the event that you do, your employer should be held financially responsible for any ensuing injuries. If you believe that you have a potential workers’ compensation claim, contact an experienced attorney at Carabin Shaw at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation.

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What is the Effect of Workers’ Compensation on my Personal Injury Case?

Our Texas attorneys have won hundreds of work injury cases. Call us toll-free today at (1)800-862-1260 (toll-free) to discuss your case.

If you are injured on the job, there are two possible paths you can take in seeking compensation for your injuries. Sometimes, you may be able to take both paths regarding the same injury:

An old-fashioned personal injury lawsuit against the people and companies responsible for your injury.

You sue the people who hurt you with the goal of getting financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain, disfigurement, lost wages, etc. Issues often include the other parties’ conduct and their insurance policy limits. Recovery in personal injury cases is generally much higher than in workers’ comp cases. To bring a personal injury case, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer like the ones from Carabin Shaw.

A workers’ comp claim

If your employer carries Texas Workers’ Compensation insurance – if your employer “subscribes” to workers’ comp in Texas – you can file a workers’ comp claim and it doesn’t matter who is at fault. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system in Texas. If you file a claim, you potentially recover a fraction of your monthly salary while you are unable to work. The problem: workers who bring workers’ comp claims normally recover much less than workers who bring personal injury lawsuits.

In the past, Texas was a very friendly state for blue-collar workers. Before the discovery of major oil reserves in Texas, the state was filled almost exclusively with working-class farmers and ranchers who were very open-minded and protective of workers’ rights. These people took care of working-class men and women like themselves whenever possible. The discovery of oil changed all that forever. Big business moved into the state and with that move came all the changes Texas politics has seen over the past 50 years. As of 2012, there are nine justices on the Texas Supreme Court, and all nine of them are registered members of the same major conservative political party.

One major change in Texas politics: the Texas workers’ compensation system. The Texas workers’ comp system used to be worker-friendly as it should be. It was an independent body. Three commissioners had the final say on policy matters, and one of those commissioners represented organized labor. In 1995, the corporation-friendly Texas governor changed things. The Division of Workers’ Compensation is now a division of the Texas Department of Insurance and headed by only one commissioner, who is notoriously cozy with insurance companies.

If your employer does not subscribe to the workers’ compensation program in Texas and you are injured on the job, you can bring a personal injury claim against your employer and everyone else responsible for injuring you. If your employer does subscribe to the workers’ compensation program in Texas and you are injured on the job. you cannot also bring a personal injury case based on your injury. However, many exceptions to this exist.

If you are injured on the job due to the negligence of a company you do not work for, you can still bring an old-fashioned lawsuit against the negligent company as well as a workers’ compensation claim. For example, an air conditioning company is at your office testing and fixing the air conditioning system. You are injured when one of the air conditioning company’s ladders falls on your head. You can sue the air conditioning company, whether your employer subscribes to workers’ comp or not. You can also potentially bring a workers’ compensation claim against your employer too.

Another example: you are working on the floor of the production area at your plant. A water deliveryman negligently injures you by allowing a five-gallon water bottle to roll into your knee at high speed. You tear your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and require surgery and rehabilitation. Both the water company and the driver are responsible for your injury. You can sue both the water company itself and the delivery driver personally. Again, you can bring a workers’ compensation claim against your own employer assuming your employer carries workers comp insurance.

Personal injury suits and workers’ compensation claims form a murky area of the law. The cases are highly fact-sensitive, and each one is different. The one thing that is clear: if you are injured on the job, you need professional and proven legal advice. Get that advice from the attorneys at Carabin Shaw. We are experienced personal injury lawyers with a long track record of making sense of these complicated issues. Call us at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) with any questions you have about work injuries.

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Workers’ Compensation in Texas vs the Other States

Texas Law Regarding Workers’ Compensation and How They are Different From Other States

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that is regulated by the state of Texas that will pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages if an employee is injured at work. Basically, if you have some injury that is work-related and the company you work for has chosen to subscribe to this type of insurance, you will be able to be compensated for your losses via a workers’ compensation claim. Texas is the only state that permits employers to choose whether they want to subscribe to workers’ compensation. These laws are complex and difficult to sift through if you are not experienced with their intended legal effect. This is why it is in your best interest to retain an attorney such as those at Carabin Shaw to guide your claim along and make sure that you are compensated accordingly.

Why is Texas the Only State That allows you to Decide Whether to Subscribe to Workers’ Compensation?

Texas has chosen to continue to allow employers to determine whether or not they would rather enter into a state-regulated insurance program or choose to privately insure themselves. This is abnormal because as stated above, Texas is the only state that maintains this option for employers. The justification for this is because it was determined that to prohibit employers from deciding whether or not to opt into a state-regulated insurance program would essentially deprive employers of their due process rights. However, there were some modifications to the law in 1917 and the legislature determined that if the employer is a governmental organization then they must provide workers compensation. In addition, if the employer happens to enter into a construction contract with a governmental entity then they too must provide their employers with workers’ compensation. There were additional major reforms and changes made in 2005, along with a piece of legislation entitled House Bill 7. Therefore, it is evident that there appear to be movements in the legal world to modify workers’ compensation laws.

How Do Other States Workers’ Compensation Laws Compare to Texas?

Obviously the major difference between other state workers’ compensation laws and Texas is the requirement that companies have state workers’ compensation in every other state which Texas does not have. In the neighboring state of Louisiana, a failure to comply with any of the statutes under the Workers’ Compensation Act will result in a fine that is not to be in excess of $500. Unless you are a governmental entity in Texas or you have entered into a construction contract with a governmental entity in the state of Texas then there would be no grounds for an employer to be penalized for a failure to follow workers’ compensation laws as they have the opportunity to opt-out of this type of insurance. In addition, in the state of Texas if the employer has chosen to subscribe to workers’ compensation then the employer must notify the insurance agency within eight days of the knowledge of such injury. Comparatively, in Louisiana, there is a 10-day window. Therefore, there are apparent differences. The primary difference, however, is still the fact that in Texas you have the choice as an employer.

The workers’ compensation claim process has many criteria that must be met to ensure that you are reimbursed. Furthermore, if the employer was guilty of some intentional act or gross negligence that resulted in your injury then you may recover beyond what is permitted by the workers’ compensation laws. If you have suffered an injury at the workplace and you are in need of compensation for your injury, you need an attorney that has experience handling workers’ compensation claims. They can be complex and oftentimes do not provide you with the amount of recovery that you need. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw are familiar with these laws and have handled cases just like this in the past. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your potential lawsuit call us at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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3rd Party Liability in a Workers’ Comp Case

Your Employer is Not the Only Party Who May be Liable in a Workers’ Compensation Injury Case

If your employer is a subscriber to workers’ compensation and you are injured while on the job, but by someone other than your employer or a co-worker, you may have a third-party liability claim. Since you were injured on the job, of course, you have a workers’ compensation claim; but you also have a third party liability claim as well. This article will explain how your third party claim can be determined and handled along with your workers’ compensation claim.

How Does a Third Party Liability Claim Arise?

Imagine you are a furniture delivery person working for Al’s furniture, and they subscribe to workers’ compensation. While on a delivery, at a house you trip over a toy left on the floor by one of the homeowner’s kids and fall and break your collarbone. Since you are on the job and acting within the scope of your employment, Al’s Furniture’s workers’ compensation would cover some of the costs associated with the injury. However, it will not pay for all damages, so you can sue the homeowner under a premises liability cause of action and pursue them for the entirety of your damages.

What Damages Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation will pay for 70% of your lost wages. Lost wages are the amount of money that you are not able to get as salary from your job because of your injury. However, payment for lost wages does not kick in until you have been off of work for seven days.

Workers’ compensation will also pay for medical bills. It pays for the full amount of medical expenses related to the injury and will pay as soon as the medical expense becomes necessary. For example, if you need surgery, workers’ compensation will pay for the full costs of the surgery as soon as it is needed.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Not Pay For?

Workers’ compensation does not cover the total cost of lost wages, only 70%, and also does not cover damages like mental anguish, pain, and suffering, or loss of future earning capacity. However, a third party may be liable for the entirety of your damages, including those damages not covered by workers’ compensation. So, if you are injured on the job and a third party is liable for your injuries, you may be able to sue the third party to recover the damages you cannot receive under workers’ compensation.

Do I Sue The Third Party For The Difference?

Technically speaking, workers’ compensation will pay for their portion of your damages, lost wages, and medical expenses. You then sue the third party for all of your damages, even the portion that workers’ compensation has paid for. However there is no double-dipping, and you pay workers’ compensation back the amount it paid to you, like a loan.

For instance, in the above Al’s Furniture example, say that workers’ compensation pays you $100,000 for surgery to fix your broken collarbone and $25,000 for lost wages. You then sue the homeowner and are awarded $300,000 by a jury. In this scenario, you would have to pay the $125,000 back to the workers’ compensation and would be able to keep the rest.

You Need An Experienced Attorney to Handle Your Third-Party Claim.

The attorneys at Carabin Shaw have over twenty-five years of experience and have dealt with hundreds of workers’ compensation cases and third party liability cases. Our attorneys know the ins and outs of these types of cases and have experience holding those responsible for workplace injuries accountable for their actions.

If you were injured in a workplace accident, call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation.

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Carabin Shaw Personal Injury Lawyers – Workers’ Compensation Fatality Cases

How Wrongful Death Cases Function in Conjunction with Workers’ Compensation

If you lost a loved one due to a work-related accident, you might be entitled to receive compensation. Before you file anything or make any decisions, speak with an attorney to discuss your rights.

Overview of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a state-run insurance program that provides compensation for workers who have been injured on the job. Employers in Texas are not required to carry workers’ compensation, but many do. Employers that cover workers’ compensation are considered subscribers because they have subscribed to it.

Obstacles of Workers’ Compensation?

There are several obstacles to filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation will only provide just enough compensation for the burial and funeral expenses and maybe medical expenses that you incurred. If the employer subscribes to workers’ compensation, then by default the family is barred by ordinary negligence but workers comp does not protect the employer from gross negligence. If you intend to sue the employer, then you must show gross negligence from the employer. Beyond that, when you file a lawsuit, you are then suing for punitive damages. The standard to show punitive damages is if the misconduct is so egregious that it shocks the conscience.

So, think about this for a moment. You file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits from the death of your loved one. Your loved one was the breadwinner in your family and all you receive is funeral and burial expenses. You might even receive a few other expenses to cover some things, but what about the bills, groceries, and other quality of life situations that need to be paid? What about the pain and suffering that you are going through because your loved one is gone? What about the relationship that you and your loved one shared that you will never get back? What about the future income that they would have received if the breadwinner were still alive.

Do you believe that this is fair? Your loved one died as a result of the employer’s misconduct and now you will only receive peanuts for your loss. The best answer to these questions is to hire an experienced attorney who is qualified in workers’ compensation cases that can file a wrongful death claim.

Overview of Wrongful Death

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that can be brought against an employer for the death of your loved one. A surviving family member will bring a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for their loss.

To prevail in a wrongful death claim you must the parent, child, or spouse of the deceased. You must show that the employer caused the death of your loved one and the employer’s actions were intentional and knowingly. For instance, the employer did not provide appropriate safety equipment which created a dangerous workplace environment.

The attorneys at Carabin Shaw represent clients in Texas. Our attorneys have over 25 years of experience and provide the best legal services that you deserve. To learn more about workers’ compensation claims and wrongful death claims contact our experienced attorneys today. They will be able to assist you with your matter. Call us at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Surgical Errors and Surgeon Malpractice

Different Types of Common Surgical Errors, Mistakes and Other Surgical Malpractice

San Antonio medical malpractice lawsuit

When a surgeon botches your surgery, there are real consequences. Pain, disfigurement, more surgeries, long-term disabilities, and death can result from errors in surgery. Studies indicate that surgical errors lead to injuries 95% of the time they occur including patients’ deaths, an astounding 20% of those times, and serious disability around 65%. Victims and their families are often left hurt and grieving after the fact with very little they can do about what has happened. But victims and their families do have rights under the law. They can hold negligent surgeons and other healthcare providers accountable for their actions to help prevent more surgical errors in the future with other innocent patients. They can also recover financial compensation from wrongdoers to allow those victims and families to focus on their recoveries, rather than on their finances.

What is a surgical error? “Surgical error” is a very broad term that encompasses a variety of different improper actions and inactions in healthcare settings. The technical name for surgical error is Iatrogenesis. It is defined as an unintentional problem or adverse effect resulting from healthcare treatment or guidance. Doctors and nurses often use the word “surgery” in a technical sense to mean a wide range of procedures they perform on their patients. Surgeries are mostly performed in operating rooms, but need not be. Dentists, podiatrists, and veterinarians can also be guilty of surgical errors.

If you or your family member is the victim of a surgical error, your surgeon has committed medical malpractice. As soon as possible, get medical malpractice attorneys you can count on. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw can represent you and your family in simple and complex medical malpractice cases. Call right away at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) if you suspect you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical error.

Common Types of Surgical Errors

Errors in a surgeon’s judgment
Errors in a surgeon’s watchfulness or memory
Errors in judgment, watchfulness or memory are factors in a majority of surgical errors (around 65%)
Errors caused by a surgeon’s lack of technical skill – For example, a surgeon operating outside the area of his training or expertise
Operating on the wrong patient
Operating on the wrong body part
Communication errors among surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists or other staff members
So-called “hand-off” errors where one surgeon fails to communicate properly where he or she left off: these errors are most common in long surgeries that require more than one surgeon to operate over an extended period of time.
Errors in knowing who is responsible for what tasks during a surgery
Conflicts among surgeons and nurses
Errors caused by a surgeon’s personality
Anger, frustration and other mood issues
Substance abuse issues
Psychiatric issues
Errors caused by lack of proper supervision
For example, unqualified residents and other young surgeons performing procedures they are not qualified to perform without proper supervision
Technology failures
Staffing failures
For example, hospitals not having enough trained surgeons on staff or on call
Errors caused by interruptions or distractions during surgeries

Has a surgical error harmed you or a loved one? Are you living with the results of a surgery gone wrong? Did your family member die as a result of a surgeon or other physician’s carelessness or lack of skill? Often nothing can undo the harm once it has been done, but help is available. Call Carabin Shaw at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) as soon as you realize you or your family has been the victim of a surgical error. We have bilingual staff members available.

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Unnecessary Surgery Medical Malpractice

Liability of the Doctor and the Hospital for an Unnecessary Surgery

Have you had an unnecessary surgery? If you felt that you have, you will need the assistance of an attorney to determine if you have a viable claim for medical malpractice as a result of unnecessary surgery and what avenues you should pursue to gain recovery. Whether a potentially unnecessary surgery is the cause of grounds for a medical malpractice claim is completely subjective. Because of that, the assistance of an attorney is crucial to determine whether or not you are able to recover.

All medical malpractice claims must be brought on the basis that the surgeon acted in a negligent manner. Negligence occurs when a person (in this case the surgeon) owes a duty of reasonable care and their conduct fell below that standard. The plaintiff (patient) must show that a reasonably competent surgeon would not have ordered the surgery if faced with an identical situation.

Doctors must have a patient’s consent for any surgery or operation that they perform. Typical cases that would constitute medical malpractice for unnecessary surgeries would be one where there was a lack of consent by the patient, cases where the doctor only gained consent by false pretenses, or the surgery was performed for no medical value. One may ask themselves why a doctor would ever perform a surgery that was unnecessary. There is a simple unfortunate answer and that is money. Hospitals are experiencing the same wave of financial trouble as most of the country and the performance of a surgery that might not be necessary can help their bottom line. Many hospitals justify this by charging the insurance company and that the patient will never know the difference.

I Don’t Know Whether the Doctor or the Hospital Was Negligent

This will have no effect on the outcome of your case, all that is necessary for a plaintiff to do is prove that negligence occurred and that they suffered harm as a result of that negligence. The doctrine of “Res Ipsa Loquitur” shifts the burden of proof to the defendant in these types of cases to show that they were not at fault, rather a third party is at fault instead. These actions usually occur in surgery where the doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, hospital, manufacturers of the instruments used during the surgery, and other parties may all be potentially at fault. In such a case the plaintiff would then need to show that they were injured as a result of negligence by one of the parties. It is then up to each party to prove that they are not negligent and that the other parties were negligent and the cause of the injury.

A medical malpractice action may be difficult to win due to many factors. First, it may be difficult to find doctors willing to testify that another doctor acted negligently. This is typical “protect our own” mentality that lives in many different professions. Secondly, and more importantly, because determining the level of necessity for surgery is one of medical judgment that is difficult to prove. The plaintiff must show all the facts that the doctor made available to them at the time of the surgery, the time the doctor had to think through their decision, and that a competent doctor would not have done things the same way. In order to be successful in a medical malpractice case, you need the skill and experience that the attorneys at Carabin Shaw provide. They have been successful for other clients in cases like these and can be successful for you. Contact us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for your free consultation to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

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Pain After Surgery – Is It Medical Malpractice?

How to Determine if Post Surgery Pain is Normal, Due to Medical Malpractice, or Due to the Original Illness

Carabin Shaw Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Attorneys

Anytime you have surgery you are likely to experience moderate to severe pain following the procedure. This is common and typically expected by most patients. The question is exactly how much pain should you be experiencing? How can you tell if the pain you are suffering is naturally due to the prior injury, or if it is caused by a negligent surgery? Thousands of people endure invasive surgeries every day and are exposed to potential medical malpractice. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice that occurred during or after surgery, it is incredibly important that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw have extensive experience handling medical malpractice claims and can help you determine whether you have a legitimate claim.

How Much is too Much Pain?

It is always difficult to gauge whether your pain is more than the typical pain and discomfort associated with surgery. Different people have varying levels of pain tolerance. While one person might rate their pain as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, another person experiencing the exact same type and amount of pain might gauge their suffering as a 9. Additionally, different people heal at different rates. Depending on your age, general health, or genetic makeup you might heal faster or slower than someone else who experienced the same surgery. Because everyone has a slightly different experience, it is very challenging to determine whether the pain is normal or excessive which would signify that you have received negligent treatment.

Furthermore, many people who undergo surgery are already in pain prior to the procedure. Additional or continuing pain following the procedure may be difficult to distinguish from the previous ailment. So, what are some signs and symptoms associated with medical malpractice following surgery?

Many surgeries are utilized to correct an injury or treat an illness. Often the illness or injury being treated causes severe or even excruciating pain. But what types of pain would be unnatural or uncommon following surgery? Some illnesses and injuries have only specific symptoms. For example, say you break your leg in multiple locations. This type of injury might require surgery. Following surgery, you should experience obvious tenderness and pain from the injury itself, but it would be considered uncommon for you to experience a very high fever or extreme nausea. If you are experiencing severe symptoms like this, it may be caused by another source. For instance, you may have contracted an illness or parasite while in the hospital due to negligence of the hospital staff. Multiple things can go wrong before, during, and after a surgery that the hospital and hospital staff may be liable.

Another common surgery is an appendectomy where your doctor will remove your appendix. Symptoms associated with this illness are often vomiting high fever and dull or sharp stomach pains. After surgery to remove the cause, you should feel a lot better. While you should be sore from the actual procedure, you should no longer be suffering from extreme pain or high fever. If these symptoms persist, there is a possibility that the hospital harmed you and committed malpractice.

It is always challenging to determine whether medical malpractice occurred following a surgical procedure. You should immediately contact an experienced attorney who understands the problems associated with surgery and medical malpractice. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw have been helping victims like you file personal injury claims for over 25 years. We are proficient in the area of medical malpractice and have a great deal of practice in helping you determine if you have suffered due to negligence. If you think that you have been injured due to medical malpractice, call us at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation.

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All Construction Accident Legal Actions Begin with Determining Workers’ Comp Status of the Employer

The Texas Workers Compensation Insurance program pays a portion of reimbursement for catastrophic medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, along with a relatively small death benefit. But most often, especially if a death is involved, workers’ comp payments end up falling woefully short of the actual sum total damage amount a deceased worker’s family needs. But regardless of whether or not your loved one’s employer is covered by workers’ comp, you also need to know what to do if any contractors or subcontractors, over and above your loved one’s employer might also be liable for the accident as well. Just as important as your need to know whether, in the eyes of the law, your loved one was an employee or merely a contractor. Sometimes this issue can be called into question by the employer. Sometimes this question can be improper, which means you must have evidence to prove your claim that this loved one was indeed an employee. Your ability to win proper compensation depends on the answer to each one of these questions. And the best person to help you find those answers is a wrongful death construction accident attorney.

Other more discrete issues may also influence any fatal construction injury case. Plus, because a lot of personal injury actions rely more on case law (applicable recent rulings) than written laws, the occasional ambiguities of some of these decisions can permit some employers and their insurance providers to find loopholes that allow them to unfairly refuse the rightful claims of thousands of injured or wrongfully skilled workers and their families every year. Because of that, inexperienced lawyers consistently fail to win fair damages in fatal construction accident cases, be it through negotiation or in a civil trial. It’s inevitable that those with no legal experience who insist on representing themselves in such matters will suffer a similar disappointing fate.

In most fatal construction accidents, the victim’s loved ones can pursue restitution by either filing a workers’ comp claim or a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer. If an investigation reveals other reliable defendants, they too must be made to accept legal responsibility for their negligence through appropriate third-party lawsuits.

An experienced attorney with Carabin Shaw will help you deal with your challenging death case anywhere in Texas. We have spent over 25 years accumulating the expertise and skill you desperately need to help you win the compensation you deserve. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure, we can answer your questions. Call now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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Is Your Loved one’s Construction Employer a Workers’ Comp Subscriber or Non-Subscriber?

Thanks to our lawmakers and the insurance company lobbyists, understanding some workers’ comp laws and regulations can be quite difficult. Portions make no sense at all. Texas companies are not required to purchase workers’ comp insurance. This divides worker injury claims (and cases) into two distinct categories that require altogether different approaches and strategies to resolve. Employers who carry workers’ comp are subscribers. Those who don’t are non-subscribers. In order to know how to proceed with the insurance claim or civil action surrounding your loved one’s workplace death, it must first be determined whether the employer falls into one or the other category.

Workers’ comp benefits come out of a “pool” of funds that are restocked by private insurance carriers that participate in the program. By paying for worker injuries through workers comp’s “umbrella coverage,” these pool subscriber employers are protected from civil lawsuits arising from all workplace injuries in addition to fixed compensation amounts, which are called “capped benefits.” By denying workers the traditional civil avenues of compensation, the rights of employees (and their surviving family members) to be fairly reimbursed for catastrophic workplace injuries are significantly hobbled; be it in a warehouse or a busy construction site. The primary exception comes when survivors cite employer gross negligence as the cause of the fatal accident. However, that is often very difficult to prove.

For all intents and purposes, workers’ comp is “no-fault” insurance. This is because those employees who are covered by workers’ comp are reimbursed, regardless of how the accident occurred or who was at fault. If the injury is minor, it’s a pretty good deal for construction workers if they are able to return to work in a week or two. But when it comes to serious or fatal injuries, the “donut hole” of substandard coverage can be very large. So, in exchange for that quick no-fault workers’ comp coverage after a serious or fatal construction accident injury, the amount of money a family receives cannot realistically approach the actual financial loss suffered by the surviving family. Workers’ comp has no provisions for a surviving family’s pain, suffering, or the emotional devastation brought about by the sudden death of their loved one.

Since approximately one-in-two employers subscribe to the program, a lot of Texas companies, contractors (and sub-contractors) hold their breath and accept the risk of not subscribing to workers’ comp. Then, when the odds catch up with them, they try to avoid a lawsuit when one of their workers is fatally injured by saying they have workers’ comp when they actually don’t. These employers may try to quickly pay survivor benefits that a family might normally receive from workers’ comp, and ask them to sign what the employer represents as a “standard workers’ comp release.” We’ve seen some of these forged releases and they look pretty convincing. But this underhanded ruse only furthers their deception to avoid a very expensive non-subscriber lawsuit and victimizes the deceased worker’s family again.

In order to receive restitution from a non-subscriber to workers’ comp, the primary surviving family member, usually the husband or wife, must file a lawsuit. Fortunately, for them, the laws that encourage companies to subscribe to that “no-fault” workers’ comp insurance’ have lower provable liability standards, which is good for the worker. And these lower standards of proving general subscriber negligence usually also apply against non-subscribers in a civil case or insurance claim. So if you choose to file a lawsuit against your loved one’s non-subscriber construction employer, general contractor, or subcontractor for a fatal accident on the construction site, it’s not as difficult to prove true liability due to that lower standard of negligence standard outlined in workers’ comp claims.

An experienced Texas fatal construction accident lawyer will get to the bottom of your deceased loved one’s construction company’s workers’ comp status. This allows you to know what legal course is open to you. Once we have identified the nature of this employer’s workman’s comp standing, our attorneys will know the best way to proceed with your case.

An experienced attorney with Carabin Shaw will help you deal with your challenging death case anywhere in Texas. We have spent over 25 years accumulating the expertise and skill you desperately need to help you win the compensation you deserve. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure, we can answer your questions. Call us now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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Third-Party Lawsuits Often – but not Always – Fairly Compensate Family Members of Deceased Construction Workers

There is another likely avenue to receiving injury compensation outside of a workers’ comp claim. The family members of deceased employees can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against someone other than the subscribing employer, typically referred to as a third-party, if an investigation by your wrongful death attorney proves that others were directly involved in the fatality.

Third-party claims and lawsuits arise when someone besides the employer has been found to have been negligent and caused your loved one’s fatal injury either directly or indirectly. If a faulty piece of machinery caused the death, then a defective product lawsuit can hold the manufacturer financially liable. If the owner of the property did not provide a safe working environment, then they could be held accountable. If a contractor or another employee negligently caused the injury, then they could become a liable defendant. Or your loved one’s employer may have “loaned him out” to another construction company or contractor or subcontractor and the death occurred at that other property. So in this case, if your loved one’s employer is covered by workers’ comp, the other company is a liable third party in the death of your loved one, and workers’ comp does not apply to any third-party liability.

In such cases, you can sue the responsible party or parties, but not the workers’ comp-subscribing employer. Experience and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the fatal accident are required in order to determine all parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they caused. A skillful local fatal workplace accident attorney with Carabin Shaw can devise the right plan of attack for construction wrongful death cases that offers the best chances for you to win damage compensation in a complex Texas work-related claim.

If your loved one’s employer is a workers’ comp subscriber, often these third party cases are combined with the traditional workers’ comp claim to deliver appropriate and full damage compensation to family members of an employee who is killed on construction site.

An experienced attorney with Carabin Shaw will help you deal with your challenging death case anywhere in Texas. We have spent over 25 years accumulating the expertise and skill you desperately need to help you win the compensation you deserve. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure, we can answer your questions. Call us now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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What Part Does Gross Negligence Play in a Fatal Construction Accident Case?

Two types of negligence could have led to the wrongful death of your family member on the construction site: simple negligence or gross negligence. In order to file a successful lawsuit against a non-subscriber, you need only prove standard negligence. If the employer subscribes to workers’ comp insurance, then you must clearly prove gross negligence, which is held to a much higher standard of proof than simple negligence.

The slightest error in the investigation, the strategy, or execution of your case could ruin your compensatory expectations and let the defendant escape unpunished for his or her negligence. Because of the intricacies of successfully proving the level of negligence, inexperienced attorneys or non-lawyers have a much slimmer chance of navigating the legal process successfully. For over 25 years, the wrongful death attorneys with Carabin Shaw have been successfully filing insurance claims litigating wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of surviving family members. We know how to build an impervious case to prove the level of negligence each defendant exhibited in your family’s wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

Generally speaking, the difference between simple negligence and gross negligence is a matter of degree. Simple negligence is just that, a solitary error or temporary lapse in concentration or judgment. Gross negligence is when the defendant is proven to have displayed a reckless disregard for the safety of others. To illustrate this point, consider a construction worker who accidentally knocks something off the top of a building, killing another worker when the object lands on his head. Generally, this defendant employee has only committed standard negligence. However, if the same person entertains himself and his co-workers by occasionally throwing bricks off the top of the building, that’s a pretty strong case for gross negligence. In the first instance, nobody could have foreseen the standard negligent accident. In the second example, the worker should have been stopped from his or her childish behavior of tossing bricks off the building. If the tragedy could have been anticipated and avoided, then gross negligence has probably been committed.

Unless the workers’ comp employer has committed gross (or willful) negligence resulting in construction-related wrongful death, the subscriber-employer is safe from becoming a defendant in a civil lawsuit. Under the best circumstances, unless the facts of the case are clearly overwhelming, gross negligence can be very difficult to prove. In the event of wrongful death claims, relative to workers’ comp, whichever workers’ comp underwriting insurance company is assigned the claim and responsible for negotiating a settlement; again, with benefit caps, the odds are highly unlikely that the victim’s survivors, will receive the equitable compensation for gross negligence damages they rightfully deserve after a construction wrongful death has occurred.

As an aside, by proving respondent superior, which is a legal term that states employers are legally responsible for the actions of their employees, that grossly negligent employee who tossed bricks off the top of a building to amuse his buddies is the responsibility of his (in this case) workers’ comp employer. But the same holds true if the employer is a non-subscriber. It’s possible that construction employer can be liable for civil damages over and above a typical workers’ comp claim, especially if it can be proven that the employer may have been aware of this employee’s possible willful actions prior to the fatal construction accident that took your loved one’s life.

An experienced attorney with Carabin Shaw will help you deal with your challenging death case anywhere in Texas. We have spent over 25 years accumulating the expertise and skill you desperately need to help you win the compensation you deserve. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and how much compensation you can secure, we can answer your questions. Call us now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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Our Texas Defective Tire Attorneys Fight for Your Damage Compensation

It’s a little known fact that tires are a primary cause of many passenger vehicle accidents, especially those involving rollovers, which lead to the victims suffering serious injuries. Many times, even with NHTSA-rated safer vehicles, those injuries can be catastrophic and produce many wrongful deaths. These injured drivers and passengers often have the right to seek fair compensation if negligence is proven to have had a hand in causing the tire blowout/rollover accident.

When you or a loved one is seriously injured in a defective tire blowout or rollover accident, you must be aware of several issues that will impact your quest for compensation for the injuries and damages you have suffered.

A most vital element to a vehicle’s safety is the tires. If your vehicle isn’t firmly in contact with the road, many things can happen, and none of them are good. If a blowout suddenly happens, especially if you are traveling at high speeds, it can be a catastrophe for you the driver, and all your passengers. Accidents due to defective tires and blowouts also endanger the people and the property that are nearby when such unforeseen and tragic wrecks suddenly occur.

There are many types of vehicle-related accidents. How liability cases are applied to them can vary greatly. Because of that, defective tire wrecks usually display a unique series of characteristics not found in most other vehicle accidents. The injuries and damages are often much more serious than many traditional vehicle accidents. Tire mishaps, and the rollovers they often cause, tend to be quite complicated because there might be a variety of contributing factors to them and just as many sources of liability for the injuries to the occupants and physical damage they cause. Your ability to find and retain the right defective tire lawyer who understands all of these subtle elements and how they relate to each other is the only way for you to recover fair compensation through an insurance claim or civil action against the responsible defendants.

A dramatic increase in damage and injury is common in blowout accidents caused by defective tires. Very serious and even gruesome injuries are associated with them. Even a larger percentage of deaths can arise from a defective tire rollover accident than you might find in just about any other kind of vehicle accident, with the possible exception of those involving 18-wheelers.

It is common to find lower damage awards to those who represent themselves and file insurance claims for defective tires and blowout accidents, relative to the injuries and damages that occur. It is not unusual to find a great many denied claims by the involved insurance companies. These factors clearly illustrate why you must quickly engage an experienced accident injury lawyer if you are injured in a defective tire accident or the rollovers they cause.

Since there are so many discrete factors when it comes to defective tires and blowouts, and because of the complications of claiming and proving fair damages, these accident injury cases are very tricky to successfully settle, or adjudicate in your favor without a skilled defective tire personal injury attorney to represent you.

For over 25 years the attorneys of Carabin Shaw have helped many victims and their families of a defective tire, a blowout, or rollover accident. If you or a loved one has suffered from such an accident, it is best for you to call us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We answer all of your questions and explain the ramifications from the specific details of your case. If we agree to work together, we can help you on the road to recovery by relieving you of the vital task of winning the rightful damage compensation you need and give justice and peace of mind to you and your family. Call us at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation.

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What Makes Rollover & Tire Defect Accidents so Different From Other Accidents?

One big difference between a blown tire auto accident and the more traditional types is that the number of responsible defendants can be higher. In serious wrecks where the rollover is due to a tire defect or some other explainable tire malfunction, the manufacturers of the tires might need to bear some liability through a defective product lawsuit. It is quite conceivable that the tires’ inability to perform properly was caused by any number or a combination of additional reasons such as:

The tire may not have been correctly installed or mounted when it was purchased.
The tires may not have been maintained properly by professional tire technicians during routine maintenance at a dealer or some other vehicle service company.
The tire may not have been suitable for your vehicle’s specifications, in which case your auto manufacturer or the retailer who sold and installed your tires might share some, or all, of the blame.

There are several other factors not listed above that may have been involved in your defective tire accident. Because each of a large number of factors must each be weighed, and possibly attributed to a different party that is only revealed after-the-fact, a very thorough investigation of all events that contributed to a tire’s failure which caused your rollover accident must be rigorously conducted.

The well-known Firestone rollover accidents on Ford Explorers years ago focused on several factors that were suspected for that rash of accidents that caused many rollovers, a great deal of property damage, many serious injuries, and some deaths. In spite of what was initially reported in the media, it was ultimately discovered that there was no single reason for this higher-than-normal number of wrecks. Instead, investigations pointed to a combination of liability factors involving Firestone tires. They found incorrect tire specifications by the Ford Motor Company that resulted in mismatched tires being mounted on Ford Explorers and even some aftermarket service practices on the part of auto centers that led to incorrect maintenance (and in some cases, the wrong inflation specifications). The final conclusions pointed to all of these factors as having played roles in most of these unfortunate events. It also reinforced the notion that accidents involving defective tires are very difficult to investigate and prove in court when liable parties owe the accident victims legal damages.

This shows why anyone (or several) from a host of possible defendants that have a part in the design, selection, installation, manufacture, and maintenance of a tire that caused your accident may be forced to bear some liability for your injuries.

Thorough investigations reveal all of the true reasons that point to the vehicle’s manufacturer’s liability. Some (but not all) of the reasons listed below were found to be Ford’s portion of the blame in the above mentioned Firestone/Explorer investigations, while other factors were attributed to other liable sources in the “tire aftermarket chain.” The entire list of possible manufacturer liability for defective tire accidents involves:

The vehicle’s suspension design, relative to roll resistance in both the static (empty) and loaded state which may have contributed to the blowout, rollover accident.
The vehicle’s crashworthiness in a defective tire rollover accident. Some are more durable and protect their passengers better than others.
And what about the seat belts? Did they operate as designed to protect everyone in the vehicle? Did the airbags, if the auto has them, operate the way they were supposed to?
How well does any supplementary safety equipment protect the vehicle’s passengers in a defective tire accident?

A host of other factors may come into play in your insurance claim or civil case once a thorough investigation of your rollover accident is completed by your Texas defective tire/rollover accident attorney.

For over 25 years the law office of Carabin Shaw has helped many victims and their families of a defective tire or a blowout or rollover accident. If you or a loved one has suffered from such an accident, it is best for you to call us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We answer all of your questions and explain the ramifications from the specific details of your case. If we agree to work together, we can help you on the road to recovery by relieving you of the vital task of winning the rightful damage compensation you need and give justice and peace of mind to you and your family. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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We Trust the Durability of our Tires: Even if Sometimes That Trust is Misplaced
We tend to take our tires for granted; that is until we need them, or when they fail.

Few people really appreciate how complex today’s tires are. Many see them as little more than something that touches the road and thinks nothing more about it. Though a tire might appear to be a simple piece of a car’s equipment that we rarely think about, they are actually very sophisticated in both their function and the way they are created. Tires must absorb a lot of stress such as extreme heat and cold, sometimes brutal road conditions and very often, unexpected and extreme driving demands like sudden starts, stops and abrupt maneuvers by drivers when they must abruptly react in order to avoid the many hazards found on today’s roads and highways, not to mention the occasional nail that finds its way into your tires’ tread, which if left unrepaired, can be a disaster waiting to happen to you and your family.

Tires are composed of a wide variety of durable materials that are literally “melted” together through vulcanization, a very complicated heat fusion process. Aside from their complex material makeup, molecular structure, and construction process, a lot of time and thought goes into the design and manufacture of your tires, much more than you might think. If that design is to be maintained for the life of your tire, it must be inspected and serviced regularly past the simple task of regularly checking the air pressure.

Consider the life of the lowly, unappreciated tire for a moment. Think about your tires when you must make a sudden violent swerve to avoid an obstacle or have to stop on a dime to avoid rear-ending the driver in front of you who also suddenly stops short. Let’s not forget the many metal hazards in the road that become embedded in your tire without your knowledge or cut deep gashes in the tread, often without your knowledge as you continue down the road. How often do you take time to regularly inspect your tires? Even with the daily hazards, they must deal with, tires are marvelous and very durable inventions that most of the time are designed, manufactured, and serviced properly.

Those who build and service motor vehicles for a living will tell you that the tire is designed to perform as your car’s “fifth spring.” This is due to its natural tendency to absorb and release the energy that normal contact with the road and its many hazards cause. This spring-type elasticity makes tires behave much like the four heavy springs that are make up your car’s suspension system. Though we don’t want to get too technical with our explanation, we share this important fact because, unlike the metal coil or leaf springs that are part of your vehicle’s traditional suspension system, your tire does not have what is known as a “fixed spring rate” which is a mathematical factor used in determining its ability to absorb road or driver-induced stress that is used in evaluating auto suspension systems.

This is why, depending on the tire’s physical condition, it may behave like a “good spring.” It helps reinforce your car’s aversion to rolling or lean or yaw when you corner or suddenly change lanes. Your tires, if they are worn, defective, or improperly serviced, can also behave like a “bad spring.” This can have a significant, sometimes disastrous, impact on the way your vehicle handles. It feels “soft” or “mushy” when you handle it or react quickly. It can even encourage your car to roll or “drift.” “Bad spring” tires can make a vehicle look like its slightly crabbing as it drives down the road. And this is certainly not good.

For over 25 years the attorneys at Carabin Shaw have helped many victims and their families of a defective tire, a blowout, or rollover accident. If you or a loved one has suffered from such an accident, it is best for you to call us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We answer all of your questions and explain the ramifications from the specific details of your case. If we agree to work together, we can help you on the road to recovery by relieving you of the vital task of winning the rightful damage compensation you need and give justice and peace of mind to you and your family. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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If Your Child Has Suffered Abuse or Neglect at a Daycare Center, Here’s what You Should Do

When a child suffers some form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at a daycare facility in Texas, the first thing the parent asks is how they can stop it, quickly followed by “who is responsible for such a terrible act?” They want this person or persons to be brought to justice; first criminally and then civilly.

This is where bringing a civil complaint – with the assistance of a daycare facility abuse liability attorney – becomes an effective weapon in their quest. By paying damages for responsibility, the abusive or negligent party is held accountable for causing harm to a child in a daycare facility. It is also possible that these guilty parties may have to answer criminal charges for their behavior.

Allegations of child abuse should never be taken lightly, and proceeding with legal action against a person or entity that may be guilty of daycare child abuse can be a harrowing ordeal. It can also be dangerous to the family of that child because if their allegations end up being wrong, the offended family could find themselves as defendants in slander or liable civil case. So they must proceed cautiously, but with purpose.

If a parent or guardian suspects that their child has been the object of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, or has been neglected by a daycare facility’s staff, their anger is genuine. They need to take a breath because the issues surrounding daycare abuse and negligence liability are numerous and sometimes obscure. This is why we are taking a few moments to explain the many claims that can be made when it comes to daycare abuse liability and negligence, and the civil process designed to identify the guilty parties and then bring them to justice.

Child abuse occurs in several forms. In addition to those we have described above, other not as well-known – offensive acts that may not have been overtly abusive, but still end up harming a child physically, emotionally, and psychologically. We do know that across America, at least five children die every day because of child abuse, well over 30,000 children in the U.S suffer every day from some form of criminal or civil abuse.

An experienced Texas child abuse attorney with Carabin Shaw can serve you and your family in several ways. First, we can guide you through the very tricky investigation process and “cover your back” by advising you of the ways in keeping your cards “close to the vest” so you don’t tip your hand too soon. Jumping the gun could either trigger a cover-up or upset what turns out to be an innocent daycare worker who then might want to sue you for reckless allegations. Another benefit is of course, being your legal advocate as you identify then pursue the guilty parties for damages in civil court. We also regularly work with law enforcement and Texas Child Welfare officials as they are certain to conduct a criminal investigation into this matter once your allegations are known.

If you suspect your child may be suffering from physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask as many questions as you need in order to completely understand your child’s daycare abuse injury case and how it is best pursued. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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The Different Legal Acts That Constitute Child Abuse or Neglect

Our legal system is quite complex. And though it is generally intended to resolve all civil issues, specific details surrounding daycare abuse and neglect are often not all that clearly defined. Unlike an auto accident or a wrongful construction death where the legal issues are more clear, and witnesses are usually able to be forthcoming in what they saw or experienced, abused or neglected children are often quite afraid to discuss what happened with a parent. Or they may be too young to appreciate the gravity of the injuries they suffered or even effectively communicate the incident. There can be very discrete differences in the actual abuse or neglect charges and how they can be proven. However, in the State of Texas, unlike other personal injury cases, a variety of negligence claims can be filed against a daycare facility. If only one of these claims is validated, the negligent daycare center can be held liable for the abuse.

Negligent entrustment in the event of daycare abuse and neglect occurs when a supervising adult daycare worker fails to ensure the basic need of safety to the child or children who rely upon that adult for their inclusive care. In-short, daycare abuse and neglect is a violation of trust: not only of the child’s, but also the parents who place their children in their care. In these instances, a claim can be filed against the daycare facility, the adult daycare employee whose job it was to provide supervision to the child or children, as well as any other adult assigned to the care of the child or children. Sometimes investigations reveal that an authorized visitor to the center is the abuser, like a delivery person or contracted vehicle driver. A daycare facility refusing to rescue all children in their care from hazardous conditions may be held accountable in a civil court of law. Below are the typical charges that can be brought in a daycare abuse lawsuit.

Negligent Supervision: This is the most common type of negligence in daycare abuse cases. If the supervising adult failed to provide adequate safety for the child this may be cited, and a civil complaint can be brought against a daycare worker or a secondary employee such as a bus driver or janitor. Any adult at the center who fails to take proper action to either prevent a dangerous situation or fails to rescue a child from such a situation that results in injury or death may be held liable through a legal claim of negligent supervision.

Negligent Entrustment: This is probably the second leading cause of daycare abuse liability and negligence. It too can allow a lawsuit to be brought against the entire daycare facility, not just against the individual worker. Here’s an example. A few years ago we represented a family whose child fell from a ladder that a daycare worker had left standing. In the end, we were able to help that family win a Negligent Entrustment suit due to this worker’s thoughtlessness, even though there was no actual abuse. What if a worker is absent from the room when a child falls? In such an event, a lawsuit against both the daycare worker and also the facility itself is certainly an appropriate action by the parents. This is important since the daycare facility itself is more likely to be financially solvent than might be the minimum wage-earning daycare worker.

Negligent Hiring: Hiring practices for a daycare setting, as well as those governing outside companies such as transportation companies or individuals coming into the daycare to teach supplemental classes like karate, art or dance, have a set specific “due diligence” procedures that must be followed to ensure the safety of the children attending the facility. One such component of the hiring process is performing a background check on all prospective employees. If the prospective employee has a criminal history or presents background information that could infer causing abuse and neglect to a child, the employer (in this case, the daycare facility) could be held liable for negligent hiring practices if they, in fact, hired the individual. Vendors that serve the daycare center may be required to perform similarly stringent background checks. And if they fail to do so, they, in addition to possibly the daycare center, might also be liable for damages arising from a child abuse or neglect civil action

Other Causes: The daycare abuse laws as originally written had a few loopholes through which some abusers were able to scoot-through and avoid civil liability. Texas Child Care Abuse Laws were amended to address these shortcomings. This led to a list that covers many of the gray areas of the original legislation. They include:

Failure to meet those standards described in the Texas Minimum Standards for Licensed Child Care Centers.
Breach of contract.
Failure to show sound judgment or general competency.
Demonstrating the lack of supervision of daycare employees and employees who show a lack of sound judgment: These two previous bullet points also clarified what constitutes Negligent Entrustment.
A failure to get a child out of a dangerous scenario.
A failure to meet the acceptable standards of care for a daycare or shelter or after school or child care home facility.
A failure to provide timely treatment of an injured child.
A claim of “res ipsa loquitor” (translated meaning, “the thing speaks for itself”). This means that a child at the daycare facility would not have experienced any injury had it not been for the behavior of that daycare worker at the facility.
Fraud or misrepresentation.
General negligence.

If you suspect your child may be suffering from physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask as many questions as you need in order to completely understand your child’s daycare abuse injury case and how it is best pursued. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Clarifying Some Differences between Child Neglect and Child Abuse

Daycare centers must prove reasonable efforts are made to assure your child’s safety. A daycare worker or the center itself may also be the target of civil litigation through a charge of general negligence. Negligent hiring practices may be proven if the daycare center did not perform due diligence in thoroughly checking an employee’s background prior to their coming to work.

Another claim of negligent supervision may be cited as grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, even if a child suffered an injury due to an adult becoming distracted for even a few seconds. Unlike many other personal injury cases that only have one – or only a scant few options when it comes to citing claims of negligence, child abuse cases may involve many different types of inattentive or negligent behavior as contributing factors to your child’s injury. Again, if just one claim of negligence is substantiated, then you are allowed to seek compensation for the damages your child – and by-definition, you – have suffered.

Many daycare abuse suspicions usually end up becoming negligence charges as the actual instances of abuse against children in daycare centers have gradually declined over the years. But regardless of whether it’s outright abuse or just neglectful behavior that led to your small child’s injury or psychological trauma, it’s hard for a parent, or child, to find comfort in such a distinction when they (and you) are suffering from the negligence of others in whom you placed your trust.

All educators and adults who supervise children for a living well know that it is the law in Texas that such professionals who even remotely suspect that child abuse or systemic neglect has occurred must immediately contact the Child Protective Services office of the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. Incidents of suspected child abuse or consistent neglectful behavior that may require immediate attention can be reported to the CPS toll-free abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400 any time of the day, seven days a week. If the abuse has clearly caused an emergency situation, they must contact local law enforcement (911) without delay. If an emergency response is not necessary, the CPS online reporting system on the Web (www.txabusehotline.org) may be used. Allegations of child abuse sent through the CPS Web site can take up to 24 hours to process and generate a response.

If you suspect your child may be suffering from physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask however many questions you need in order to completely understand your child’s daycare abuse injury case and how it is best pursued. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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The Difficulty in Recognizing the Signs of Daycare Abuse in Your Child

If you have a good reason to suspect that your child is suffering some type of abuse while at the daycare center, you can probably see the signs if you are carefully observant. Most of the time, your good parental instincts and intuition are the first indicators that can tell you when your child is acting differently for no explainable reason. Just as often, those signs can be subtle and hard to pin-down because small children usually have a hard time expressing their emotions or have great difficulty telling you what is really going on inside their little minds. But one thing we know; abused children often act confused or afraid for no apparent reason. Sometimes they don’t know how wrong the child abuse they might be suffering from is. Or maybe they think that if they tell you about the abuse, something even worse will happen to them – or someone they love. So in their minds, not only does the abuse feel inexplicably wrong to them, they feel they must guard this dirty secret when the abuser threatens to harm you or another family member in order to assure your child’s continued silence. This can be very common behavior by a child abuser in order to avoid suspicion for their despicable behavior.

Sudden, unexpected aggression against siblings, friends at home, or even parents is not uncommon in abused children. A sudden interest in “sex play” – especially if there appears to be deviant elements to it – can be a powerful clue. Avoiding normal play activities, sudden desires to be alone in a normally gregarious child, an undue amount of rubbing in the genital area, or the sudden appearance of bruises are general clues to the possibility of physical or sexual abuse. But they are only the most prominent on what can be a long list of clues that something is not right. As we said, be observant and use your best judgment.

The next step that needs to be taken if you notice any changes in your child’s behavior (or physical signs of abuse) is to seek appropriate medical attention for your child. An experienced doctor will know what to look for in regard to suspected cases of physical or sexual child abuse. They are duty-bound to conduct a thorough examination of your child in order to fully assess whether or not daycare child abuse or neglect has occurred. Should you need assistance in finding proper medical attention, our daycare abuse liability attorneys can assist you to find the appropriate medical or psychological help for your child.

If you suspect your child may be suffering from physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask as many questions as you need in order to completely understand your child’s daycare abuse injury case and how it is best pursued. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Who are Liable Defendants for Daycare Center-related Child Abuse?

In the legal world, the person responsible for an injury is called the “liable party.” If a liable party ends up being the object of a civil suit, he or she is the defendant and you are the plaintiff. The specific circumstances surrounding a daycare abuse case will likely dictate who the liable parties are. There have also been many instances of daycare abuse where the offender is not a daycare worker or daycare teacher; but rather a support employee like the business manager or someone else with the daycare facility who does not commonly come in contact with the abused child. It might be a part-time worker at the center such as a janitor or bus driver or a delivery person who consistently visits the center on business.

Sometimes family members of daycare workers are implicated in daycare abuse cases, though that doesn’t happen very often. If an employee of a daycare center or worker with another company who has dealings with the center is guilty of child abuse at your daycare center, both the employee and the employer can be held liable for this employee’s negligence or predatory behavior. In the event that one or more perpetrators have been found to have committed child abuse in Texas, separate civil lawsuits may be pursued against each one for their particular activity. This is why a careful investigation by both law enforcement officials and your daycare facility abuse attorneys must be made in order to identify and hold fully-liable all who are responsible for the full extent of their negligent or abusive behavior.

If allegations against alleged child abusers that – upon investigation – prove to be improper, ill-founded, or reckless, they can damage a child care worker’s good name and reputation. The parents who leveled those incorrect charges run a dangerous risk of becoming the target of civil slander or liable charges by the accused daycare worker once he or she is exonerated. So it’s vital that everyone gets things 100% right and the alleged child abuser investigated is actually the guilty person. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw can help you understand why you must approach daycare abuse or neglect allegations quietly and very delicately until you are completely certain.

If you suspect your child may be suffering from physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse at a daycare center, contact our attorneys. We provide a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential legal consultation. We encourage you to ask however many questions you need in order to completely understand your child’s daycare abuse injury case and how it is best pursued. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas for an Elderly Family Member’s Death?

In most of Texas’ wrongful death claims, there are often large financial losses that the family members who have lost a loved one may have incurred. And sometimes that wrongful death may go undetected or even hidden for a long period of time.

On the other hand, in the event of a wrongful death of an elderly loved one who is living in a nursing home (which are commonly referred to these days as “assisted living” or “elderly care” centers) the comparative financial losses incurred may be less severe. That does not mean that a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent caregiver cannot be pursued if negligence or some other civil tort was the cause. In such claims, damages sought are often for the emotional or mental stress experienced by the victim or the victim’s family. This and other physical pain and suffering can be compensated for through a wrongful death lawsuit in the event of an elderly family member’s wrongful and untimely death.

The Common Causes of Elderly Wrongful Deaths
Wrongful deaths that result in the passing of an elderly loved one can happen in a variety of ways. Most of them arise from the negligent behavior of healthcare givers entrusted with providing for such a person. All-too-often we see tragic news stories about unneeded deaths involving nursing home abuse or neglect. Lack of proper care can also be a contributing factor, such as when bedsores form and cause infection leading to death. Additionally, your elderly loved ones may have suffered a wrongful death because of medical malpractice, in which the medical professional (doctor or nurse) responsible for their care can be held liable for their death, depending on the specifics of your parent or grandparent’s passing.

When it comes to medical malpractice suits, it should be noted that tort reform has made seeking compensation through such a lawsuit much more challenging than a few years ago. These changes were enacted in order to prevent frivolous lawsuits from being brought against medical professionals. The changes also made it more difficult for a legitimate medical malpractice suit to be brought against a negligent medical or other licensed healthcare professionals or an assisted living center.

To further complicate matters, wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuits have certain financial “caps,” which means that surviving family members could only stand to see a certain amount in compensation if their insurance claim or civil case produces a successful outcome. And yet, with such a cap in place, the compensation received through such a claim is often less than what will usually adequately cover the actual damages. An experienced attorney with Carabin Shaw can assist a family seeking compensation for their loss through other possible legal routes, especially if more than one defendant (a third party) is identified through an attorney’s investigation. The financial shortfall sometimes experienced by the malpractice benefit caps in the wake of a medical malpractice lawsuit might be supplemented through legitimate third party negligence lawsuits to produce a more accurate total damage award.

We can tell you this. If you have a just cause in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact Carabin Shaw for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, the attorneys at Carabin Shaw are well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents or parents, elderly aunts, or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who took them from you too soon. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Calculating Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

When specific financial losses have occurred, calculating fair compensation is relatively straightforward since a specific dollar amount is tied to the damages incurred. However, in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff’s lawyer must be able to justify the surviving family members’ (the plaintiff’s) amount of damages sought. Since emotional or mental stress, as well as pain and suffering (all known as “non-economic damages”), can often be quite subjective and subject to interpretation, almost universally, it takes the knowledge and assistance of an experienced attorney like those with Carabin Shaw to place a clear value on these damages and help a plaintiff justify the total and true value of the harm they, and their recently deceased elderly loved one, has experienced to a civil judge and jury.

It is certain that the defendants in any wrongful death or medical malpractice suit involving a senior citizen will be disputed by the defendants’ insurance company and the attorneys who represent them. They will without a doubt try and paint a much less than threatening environment provided by their assisted care client than it actually is: then ask for complete relief, or a much smaller damage payment to the plaintiffs than they seek.

The courts do take physical pain and emotional stress into consideration when awarding compensation in regard to wrongful death, especially one that involves medical malpractice or elderly care. It often requires the help of an experienced legal professional to ensure that a plaintiff is fairly compensated for their loss: either through fair negotiation or a civil trial should the latter be necessary.

Investigations into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of an Elderly Loved One who Lived at an Assisted Care Center are the Sole Responsibility of Surviving Family Members
The cold hard truth of the matter when it comes to the death of an elderly person is this. Old people die. Because of this, something must be clearly out-of-line in order for that death to come to the attention of the Medical Examiner. In two news stories on 60 Minutes, both of which surrounded the investigation of suspicious elderly deaths in Southern California and Louisiana nursing homes, it was discovered that less than five in 100 such deaths were even investigated by the Los Angeles County and Orleans Parrish Medical Examiners.

They just took the word of the doctor-of-record at each center that the causes of all deaths were natural and nothing out of the ordinary happened. The attention of these medical examiners never came into play immediately after all of those deaths. Besides, they had backlogs of cases due to the fact that their undermanned and overworked staff had plenty of on their plate already without opening that “assisted care center” wrongful death can-of-worms.

When 60 minutes producers took a sample of suspicious deaths in both locations and investigated on their own, they found one-in-fifteen to be of “suspicious cause” and investigated further. Three of the Southern California deaths were found to have been caused by a minimum wage employee who was tired of “putting up with old people who complained all the time.”

This was a stark lesson indeed. It underscores the problem that unless there are absolutely glaring inconsistencies in the death of your elderly loved one and it’s stated cause, a third-party investigator (like 60 Minutes) with solid experience in getting to the bottom of such tragic deaths is a necessity in proving malpractice or wrongful death of a loved one who died while living in assisted care.

The attorneys at Carabin Shaw have over 25 years of investigating wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. In addition to our solid investigative team, we also have an honor roll of medical experts who can get to the bottom of your deceased elderly loved one’s suspicious death. If your fears have merit, our investigations are critical elements as we build the strongest medical malpractice or wrongful death case for you and your family.

We can tell you this. If you have a just cause in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact Carabin Shaw for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, Carabin Shaw is well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents or parents, elderly aunts, or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who took them from you too soon. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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The Current State of the Assisted Care Industry: Why it’s Important in your Wrongful Death or Malpractice Claim

Choosing to admit your elderly loved one in a nursing home or some other assisted living center was probably a decision that you did not easily arrive at. As you investigated the possible centers, attempting to choose the best one for your loved one, it is certain that you saw many that proudly pointed to happy residents who were active and well-cared for. But it is certain that with some of them, some “managed care centers” were little more than “managed image marketing.” And they do it quite well, especially to the uninitiated.

Monthly fees at assisted living centers range from $1,500 – $7,500: with the majority falling in the $2500-$3500 range. That’s well over $30,000 a year for “average” care. And rare is the instance where more than half that amount is covered by Medicare, Social Security, or some other reasonably-priced supplemental insurance (all combined). The rest comes out of your family’s pocket. With so much money being spent, you certainly expect the best care and service possible for your loved one. Many times you get it or seem to. But just as often, when you lift the veil and peek into the nursing home and assisted care industry, you’ll find that you don’t always get what you pay for.

Usually, no more than 10% of assisted living center employees make more than $35,000 a year (on average). The rest serve as “assistants,” which is a nice way of saying “minimum wage employee.” These are the people who have the most contact with your elderly loved one. Their jobs are not easy. An employee in Southern California who was charged in three wrongful deaths was just such a “minimum-wage point person” who just got tired of making $300 a week (with overtime) to perform a thankless and sometimes unpleasant job. When he was on trial, he said, under cross-examination, “I just finally had it with emptying bedpans and giving sponge baths to all those old people who did nothing but complain all the time.”

Under such environments like this, is it any wonder that so many wrongful deaths occur in assisted living centers? Like we said, what you are sold isn’t always what you get when the assisted care center, is either lax in its duty to care for your grandparents or parents, or the “suits” cut corners in trying to squeeze every dime out of their facility by cutting corners. If their center’s negligence caused a wrongful death, they assume that their general chances were excellent that no one would listen to the complaints of these elderly patients, or their families because they were covered by medical examiner inaction. Had it not been for a private investigation their offenses would have never been detected.

We can tell you this. If you have a just cause in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact Carabin Shaw for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, Carabin Shaw is well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers, and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents or parents, elderly aunts, or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who took them from you too soon. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Insurance Company Opposition to your Civil Damage Claims will be Very Aggressive

Just about every wrongful death lawsuit that involves medical malpractice will likely involve some type of insurance coverage for the assisted living center, the doctor-of-record, and other healthcare staff members because the nursing home laws of the State of Texas require it. As a result, an insurer that holds such a prominent policy will likely attempt to do whatever they can to avoid being judged responsible for paying out damages in the event of wrongful death due to negligence by an assisted living center’s healthcare or general staff.

This callous behavior, even if the evidence clearly proves the insured party was negligent in causing the wrongful death rarely changes, regardless of the bereaved family’s obvious need for proper compensation. This is a prominent reason why your wrongful death or medical malpractice case requires aggressive legal representation. These insurers (along with their adjusters and the lawyers who defend the insurance companies in court) typically attempt to make such blame disappear and claim that “this old person died of natural causes,” then ask for relief from what they are certain to charge as a frivolous lawsuit.

Unless you and your Texas medical malpractice or wrongful death lawyer have meticulously built a strong case with relevant evidence discovered through a stringent investigation that can speak for your elderly loved one who now cannot, an insurer may be able to argue themselves out of liability for this unfortunate negligent death and get their clients off the hook of paying no compensation whatsoever to your family. This means no justice against the defendant. It also means this defendant feels safe in continuing this reprehensible behavior against someone else’s beloved parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle and make their families suffer.

With over two decades of experience in taking on these types of insurers, the attorneys at Carabin Shaw are well-acquainted with their methods and tactics and how to counter every one of them. This means that we can make sure that you’re treated fairly by the insurance companies that have no interest at all in anything other than keeping their money.

We can tell you this. If you have a just cause in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact our attorneys at Carabin Shaw for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, Carabin Shaw is well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents or parents, elderly aunts, or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who took them from you too soon. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Wrongful Death and Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Texas

The statute of limitations for a Texas wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. While this period can be extended in certain situations if gross negligence can be proven, or if criminal charges have been filed against a liable party, a victim’s family most often only has two years to seek legal action against a liable negligent defendant. While this may sound like a long time, it is not that long when a thorough investigation must be conducted. Deaths surrounding elderly people historically take longer than normal because sometimes the forensic evidence or the document that produces the “smoking gun” against the defendant may be very deeply hidden. One trick we find in such situations is altered documents, usually excellent Xerox copies of original forms that have been altered. It takes a very clever forensic document expert to spot the one or two pieces of paper buried under a mountain of forms; just like you see on CSI; but the document expert spent hours for his fifteen seconds on the show. It’s very difficult, tedious, and time-consuming, with a lot of dead-end trails leading to nowhere.

Some of these kinds of investigations can take more than a year, depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, the number of liable parties, and determining which liable parties will be able to pay their share of the damages. Plus, once we find the “smoking gun document” we have to convince the county medical examiner to reopen a closed case (which they loathe) and perform an autopsy. This is why we respectfully suggest that if you have any inkling your elderly loved one died suspiciously at a nursing home or assisted living center, and you have no religious convictions that preclude preservation, take steps to preserve the body prior to burial so that the medical examiner can conduct a fruitful examination. If our investigation inspires the medical examiner to reopen the case, and the cause of death is ruled as not being from natural causes or specifically matches the forensic or documented evidence we uncover, you will suddenly have a very strong case. And it becomes quite possible that a negotiated settlement may be reached as none of the defendants want to end up in court against our overwhelming evidence of neglect.

The longer you wait to contact a Texas wrongful death attorney, the more harm you may unintentionally be doing to your case. Evidence can disappear, or can even be removed by those who wish to avoid being held accountable for their actions, or covertly altered. Witnesses become increasingly difficult to track down, or they may forget critical details in connection to the wrongful death. They may have been “encouraged” by defendants to “take a long vacation;” even take a job with their employer in another state. This is why it is critical for investigators to begin their work as soon as possible so your wrongful death lawyer can build a strong legal case toward fair compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death.

Wrongful death cases in Texas are subject to the “discovery rule” which states that the two years do not begin until the time that a reasonably prudent person would have known they had a cause of legal action. A perfect example of the differences in this discovery rule would be to compare a fatal auto accident and a wrongful death at an assisted care center. Wrongful death from an auto accident usually doesn’t take very long to determine if someone’s negligence led to the death of your loved one. So the discovery process usually begins relatively quickly.

On the other hand, imagine that your elderly loved one dies due to complications from taking the wrong drug (or dosage) administered by a nurse at the assisted living center. Then, ten years after this death it is determined that the drug was defective and that this defect was a direct cause of your loved one’s death. There might have even been medical bulletins released during the time your elderly loved one was being administered this drug. In this case, the family could likely file a wrongful death claim (not only against the nursing home but the maker of the drug) even though the standard two-year window had expired. The idea behind this is that the plaintiff’s surviving family did not know that they had a case until years later: which would extend the statute of limitations.

All plaintiffs have the right to a reasonable period of “discovery,” which means a good investigation into the causes of such deaths. Keep this in mind, especially if someone with the assisted care facility tries to shuffle you off quickly after the sad event of your elderly family members passing. They may want to close things out quickly to avoid suspicion.

Another Example of How the Statute of Limitations Can Be Extended
In cases where the defendant deliberately concealed their involvement or culpability in death, the statute may be extended to allow the family of the deceased to pursue civil action against the defendant. In some situations, this concealment may be criminal. Or the concealment may have been part of a larger criminal enterprise. When this happens, the defendant may also be subject to criminal charges in addition to civil charges. And when a defendant must answer criminal charges as well, it invariably strengthens your civil case, even if the defendant is ultimately exonerated in criminal court.

You may not know that healthcare records are also legal records. If a wrongful death has occurred at a hospital or assisted living center, and the patient-record documents have been altered to hide negligence as the cause of death, in addition to civil action, the healthcare employee (and maybe the employer) is also subject to felony charges of altering a legal document by citing “respondent superior.” Employers of their employees’ illegal acts while at work are, by legal-definition, every bit as responsible for the criminal action or inaction of their employees. With all the public interest in the state of nursing homes and elderly healthcare facilities, the District Attorney will be very interested if we find legitimate evidence of a criminal cover-up by a senior care center in the event of your loved one’s negligence-based wrongful death.

We can tell you this. If you have a just cause in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, Carabin Shaw is well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents, parents, elderly aunts, or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who took them from you too soon. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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The Texas Malpractice and Wrongful Death Attorneys at Carabin Shaw Can Help You in the Event of a Suspicious Death of Your Elderly Loved One

Losing a loved one can be an emotionally trying time, especially if they were advanced in years and endured suffering at the end of their time in your lives. If your elderly loved one suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of a person or entity, you likely have merit in seeking compensation for your loss. Through a wrongful death lawsuit (or accompanying medical malpractice or defective product suit), you could stand to be compensated for your loss, but you will also be working to ensure that the guilty defendant is held accountable for their negligent behavior – in both civil court and criminal court if the latter applies – so that a future death does not have to occur as a result of their poor or careless decisions.

We have a bit of free advice if your beloved grandparent, parent, elderly aunt or uncle has recently passed, and you feel uncomfortable about the circumstances surrounding the passing.

When it’s time to make that last visit with the center’s owners to pick-up your loved one’s belongings and sign the legal documents that end your relationship with the center, review them very carefully. If you see anything resembling a liability release form, consider that to be unusual under the circumstances and ask if them to provide a copy for your attorney to review, prior to signing it. In fact, maybe you should have a wrongful death lawyer accompany you to this meeting to give you his view of the situation and also review everything you should sign. Remember, deception and fraud can extend the statute of limitations. But a good investigative and legal mind can usually tell you right away if he or she “smells something fishy.”

The lawyers at Carabin Shaw have 25 years of experience in litigating wrongful death cases arising from negligent elderly care centers. We can help you secure a fair settlement (or court judgment) for your loss, even if it might appear minimal or nonexistent at-a-glance after your elderly loved one’s passing.

We can tell you this. If you have a just cause in which – upon investigation – proves negligence contributed to the sad demise of your elderly family member at the center, contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw for a free legal consultation. We work on contingency and can apprise you of all your practical legal options. With experience in bringing cases against every major insurer in the state, and with a strong reputation among many defense attorneys, Carabin Shaw is well-positioned, highly-respected, and a firm that assisted care centers, their insurers and lawyers strongly wish to avoid.

We’ll use our experience to help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s untimely passing. Your grandparents, parents, elderly aunts, or uncles lived rich lives. Don’t allow them to be victimized in their last days by negligent people who took them from you too soon. Call us today at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free).

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Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit When a Loved One Dies Due to the Negligence of Others

In a legal sense, wrongful death is said to have taken place when the negligent behavior of a liable party causes or contributes to the death of another person. But those are just the cold hard facts. Such an abstract legal definition of wrongful death can’t come close to describing the overwhelming feeling of loss that descends a family when they’ve learned that their loved one has been suddenly taken away from them – often with little if any warning. If the accident that triggered this unfortunate death is the result of the careless behavior of another person or entity, the devastation to everyone in that family is often quite numbing and creates unbearable and sometimes permanent psychological scars in addition to deep financial distress.

Wrongful deaths happen for so many different reasons and in a number of different ways: from a job-related accident to a vehicle wreck at the hands of a drunk driver or the tragic use of a defective product everyone thought was safe; even a sudden birth injury to a newborn. They all often occur suddenly and in the blink of an eye. Such an abrupt, shocking, and unforeseen loss can leave a bereaved family reeling and in an emotional fog as they grasp to deal with their swirling emotions in light of their loved one’s death. The emotional wreckage suffered by some families after a loved one’s wrongful death can make thinking about seeking legal action seem almost out-of-place in the midst of their grief.

Yet pursuing legal action through a wrongful death lawsuit can become the most important first-step step in a family’s healing process for a number of reasons. Our respected wrongful death attorneys offer some useful information during your time of loss to help clarify why a family should not dismiss out-of-hand a wrongful death lawsuit. We’ll address some of the issues that wrongful death plaintiffs can expect when they embark on such an action and how an experienced attorney is able to assist you through your time of loss, sorrow, and ultimately recovery: even though you’re just now taking those first few painful steps.

Contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. And with that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Don’t allow Grief to Cloud Your Family’s Thinking: Once Things Become Clear, it Might be too Late

Some might think that considering their legal options too soon after a fatal accident is ghoulish and lacks respect for the deceased. Someone has to look out for your grieving family. We can think of at least two excellent reasons why a bereaved family should begin quickly laying the groundwork for their pursuit of wrongful death legal action after losing a loved one from a needless fatal accident. Planning your quest for proper financial compensation must be begun quickly because you already have opponents who will deny you that right: even if you don’t know it yet. Also, winning justice for your deceased family member can go a long way to putting this tragedy behind you and the rest of your family so you can recover your lives. Many times our wrongful death clients have told us they were uncomfortable embarking on their legal battle so soon after the sudden passing of their beloved family member. In the end, they all tell us they made the right choice; even if at the time their deliberations were painful and quite awkward.

The stated purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to enable a grieving family to secure compensation for their loss from those responsible for the fatal accident. Even though no amount of money will ever compensate for your loss, it can greatly relieve you and the rest of your family of the many financial burdens and dire economic need that such unexpected tragedies force on a family like medical costs, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering (both your loved ones along with you and your family). Seeking compensation for wrongful death is important under virtually any circumstance. Winning this rightful and just compensation is especially critical in cases where a primary wage-earner has died. The financial remedy a family secures can help ensure that they are financially stable in light of their loss and that the sudden lack of money will not add to their emotional ordeal.

The understandable goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is for the negligent liable defendant (or defendants) who are responsible for the fatal accident to be held fully accountable for their callous behavior. Most of the time, a wrongful death civil lawsuit is the only legal means that an aggrieved party has to bring all negligent liable defendants to ultimate justice. The compensation that must be awarded to a plaintiff family through a successful wrongful death case or insurance claim is often seen as an effective punitive measure. Some even view it as just desserts. A high monetary award will make negligent defendants painfully aware of their actions that caused the death of your loved one. When we take on a wrongful death lawsuit anywhere in Texas, our clients get our supreme effort to ensure that they are properly compensated in addition to making sure that every liable party is held fully accountable. They may not go to jail for what they did, though sometimes fatal accidents do result in criminal charges. However, they will pay. Like you, we don’t want to see a similar fatal accident occur in the future due to the same negligent behavior by the same liable defendants. Everyone who is even remotely responsible must be held fully accountable for the grief and pain they’ve caused you and your family.

Contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. With that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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How Valid Wrongful Death Insurance Claims and Civil Cases are Applied under Texas Law

Without a clear understanding of our state’s laws and civil procedures, many people in your situation may not be fully aware of whether or not they may be able to seek legal action against a negligent party through a wrongful death lawsuit. So, below is a list of basic conditions; all of which must have existed in order for a wrongful death lawsuit to be pursued:

Your loved one must have died as a result of the negligent behavior of another person or entity. This negligent behavior could have been the direct cause or in legal terms, the proximate cause of the fatal accident. Proximate cause means that the liable party played at least a contributing role in the accident.
Your relative must have a surviving family member or beneficiary who has legal standing to pursue legal action.
Your beloved victim and/or your family must have incurred some form of tangible financial loss a result of the fatal accident, which is a civil case is known as legal damages.
If these basic conditions existed as a result of the accident that claimed the life of your loved one, you, and other members of your family are right to seek legal action against the liable parties through a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. If you are unsure whether or not these circumstances may have existed in regard to your current situation, contact one of the attorneys at Carabin Shaw to discuss the merits of your wrongful death case.

Did You Know?
Our attorneys have been fighting for wrongful death victims` rights for decades. Call us to discuss your case. 1(800) 862-1260

Furthermore, you should also be aware that a civil lawsuit can be pursued regardless of whether or not a liable party is also facing criminal charges since the purposes of each type of case are different. If criminal charges were considered against any negligent parties but weren’t filed, that has no bearing on your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.

For example, a distracted driver may strike a pedestrian, resulting in a pedestrian’s death. In most instances, criminal charges will not be brought against the negligent driver. If the same driver had been drunk at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident, then criminal charges likely would be brought against the driver. In either instance, the driver can still be held civilly liable for their actions through a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas, whether criminal charges were filed or not. If criminal charges are filed against the liable defendant, regardless of whether that defendant is found guilty or innocent in criminal court, the fact that charges were filed significantly strengthens any civil case you might choose to subsequently file.

Contact the attorneys at Carabin Shaw at our toll-free number 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. With that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Understanding the Types of Damages in a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

“Damages” is the legal term for the financial loss that a victim or a victim’s family incurs as a result of a fatal accident. In Texas, damages in wrongful death lawsuits are separated into two categories known as wrongful death damages and survival damages. Because these damages can be viewed differently by a jury, it’s important that both types of damages are sought in a wrongful death lawsuit so that the bereaved family can be properly compensated for their loss, and the liable defendants held properly accountable for their negligence. There are two general types of damages.

Wrongful death damages are those directly incurred by family members who have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident. Recovery of wrongful death damages can be sought by multiple immediate family members such as a spouse, parents, or children, either through separate lawsuits or – more commonly – a single action. Wrongful death damages will often, but not always, include compensation for items such as the deceased family member’s medical bills prior to death and funeral expenses. Wrongful death damages can also include family members’ pain and suffering due to their loss, loss of financial support that had been provided by the decedent, and loss of consortium (or unique familial love that is lost). If the beloved family member was in business with some of his or her survivors, the loss of professional consortium can also be sought.

Survival damages, on the other hand, relate to the damages that the decedent incurred or would have incurred had they survived the accident. In this case, only one family member can seek survival damages since that family member effectively acts as a proxy for their deceased relative in a wrongful death case in Texas. It should be noted, however, that the family member who seeks survival damages can also seek wrongful death damages. Only the closest living family member has the first right to seek survival damages: usually the spouse. If the spouse is absent, or does not file a civil suit, the children (from oldest to youngest) are next in line. However, a son or daughter who files for survival damages must be “of legal age” (18) because minor children do not normally have legal standing in Texas. After that come the parents of the deceased loved one, then maybe a sibling. But again, only one family member can file a survival damage lawsuit.

Survival damages can include financial compensation for things such as a deceased family member’s medical bills that would have been presented to them had they lived, their lost wages due to time off from work while injured, their pain and suffering, their mental or emotional duress in the accident, the compensatory value of their disfigurement or possible long-term injury, and the value of any damage to the decedent’s property as a result of the accident, such as an automobile or anything of value that was in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Computing the value of these amounts is seldom easy, especially for one who is not well-versed in establishing the value of such losses or projected but unrealized amounts.

A non-attorney or one with little legal experience may not appreciate the full extent of damages that should be requested of a deceased family member’s survivors. With over two decades of experience in wrongful death cases throughout Texas, the wrongful death lawyers with Carbin Shaw have a long reputation for success and depth of knowledge to correctly calculate damages and substantiate their inclusion into a wrongful death lawsuit or insurance claim. If all of those damages suffered by a bereaved family are not properly calculated or included in their civil action, that unfortunate family stands a very poor chance of realizing full and fair compensation for their loss, and a negligently liable defendant may very well escape the guilt that would demand they pay for the part he or she played in a fatal Texas accident.

Contact our wrongful death attorneys at Carabin Shaw toll-free at 1(800) 862-1260 for a complimentary, confidential legal consultation. We can answer all your questions surrounding the possible pursuit of a wrongful death civil suit in Texas. Our goal is to help you come through this difficult time and strongly assert your family’s legal right to be fully compensated for your loss from all liable parties who are fully accountable for their negligent behavior. With that peace of mind, you and your family can move forward with your lives, and you allow your deceased loved one to finally rest in peace.

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Oil and Gas Production Workers Must Fight to Win Damages When They’re Injured on the Job

High market demands for petroleum commodities and shrinking inventories have found the oil and gas companies trying to squeeze every bit of petroleum out of the ground. In doing so, they are pushing workers to and past the limit of their endurance to meet the never-ending demand for oil and natural gas. They’re also using machinery that is being worked 24/7 or older devices that are well past their prime and ability to perform safely.

When you consider all of these elements, you probably understand why pipeline and drilling rig jobs can often be some of the most dangerous work in the world.

With all this pressure on the employees who work to bring profits to the drillers in the oil patch, a lot of drugs are taken by these workers so they can perform at a high level for days on end: which comes as little surprise when one learns that drilling contractors and subcontractors are not the most diligent when it comes to drug-testing their workers. Countless accidents produce a disproportionally large number of broken bones, debilitating injuries and even deaths because of the petroleum industry’s obsessive campaign to cut corners and their costs and to push workers over the brink of their physical ability: all designed to make their rigs profitable while the money and demand are sky-high.

Serious injuries in oil and gas drilling accidents, or anywhere in the Texas oil production industry, are inevitable for a variety of other reasons as well. Many are caused by worn or defective equipment. Explosions happen with a certain amount of frequency. Negligence or carelessness can lead to heavy objects falling, such as pipes or other drilling equipment, as well as a host of other missteps and mishaps. Often, employees must work lots of overtime and seldom see an off day for a week or even longer. Many work double shifts for several days straight because the money is good and the employers are willing to pay big money for productive workers who show up early and stay late.

If you are visiting this website, you may have been injured on an oil or gas drilling platform, or pipeline mishap. You probably wonder if someone other than you must bear the fair financial burden for this accident. You need full compensation for your injuries, lost work time, and other damages, not some ten-cents-on-the-dollar offer that falls short. You probably feel alone and want to know who fights for your rights. If you’re a surviving family member of someone who has been killed in such an accident, will someone fight for your rights too?

Texas workers’ compensation insurance pays about half of the job-related injuries in Texas. So you must know whether or not your petro-employer has this coverage; even if it rarely covers all of the reimbursement needs for your medical expenses if your injuries are serious. There are compensation supplements to workers’ comp. You also need to know exactly who is responsible for your injuries and the level of neglect that led to them, especially if any third party past your employer had a hand in causing your injury. The success of your quest to obtain compensation depends on the ability of you, and your oil and gas rig injury attorney to get to the bottom of the accident, its causes, and identify every liable party.

Resolving petroleum production worker injury cases can be very complex. In their rightful attempts to recover fair payment for their injuries, workers are fighting the most powerful companies in the world. Their influential petroleum industrial complex employers see these injured workers as a nuisance and an obstacle to the millions of dollars they stand to make.

The oilfield injury legal team at Carabin Shaw has decades of experience in fairly resolving injury claims and civil cases on behalf of the injured drilling rig and pipeline workers. If you’ve been down this road before, you know that inexperienced lawyers fail to win fair injury settlements in oil rig drilling accident cases. You also know it’s virtually impossible, for drilling workers without legal experience to ever succeed if they represent themselves against these industry giants.

Put our years of experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and the level of compensatory damages you can win from your oilfield injuries, we can answer your questions. Call Carabin Shaw now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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Does your Employer Subscribe to Workers’ Comp? This we Must Know First

Oil drilling companies, like every other Texas business, are not legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. So, work injury cases are divided into two distinct types that require altogether different methods and strategies to successfully resolve. Employers who carry worker’s compensation are “subscribers.” Those who don’t are “non-subscribers.” The first element to successful injury compensation is determining whether or not your employer is a subscriber or a non-subscriber.

Workers’ comp is nothing more than a coverage “pool” that is maintained by participating in private insurance carriers who contribute to this “umbrella coverage.” For companies that subscribe to workers’ comp, it affords almost universal protection from civil injury lawsuits by employees. Because injured workers are denied the opportunity to receive fair injury compensation against workers comp subscribing employers in court, their chances of seeing reflective reimbursement for their actual damages in the case of serious injury are severely compromised. Workers comp benefits rarely pay actual damage amounts that are found in civil judgments if they are severely hurt or ultimately disabled.

There are some employee benefits, as workers’ comp does pay for virtually all of the medical bills in any job-related injury. Workers are covered, no matter how the oil or gas drilling accident happened or who was at fault. When it comes to the peripheral damages that are an outgrowth of work injuries such as lost wages: the disability, the pain, and suffering, the wrongful death, workers’ comp never cover the total value of the harm done to you from the job-related injury. So simply put, if your injury is not severe and you can return to work relatively quickly, then workers’ comp is not that bad of a deal.

If a petroleum production worker has suffered crush injuries, broken bones, massive head injuries, amputations, horrible burns from blowouts and explosions, or dismemberment and workers’ comp is their only avenue of financial remedy from those injuries, they will never be fully repaid for their full damages. The surviving family members won’t fare much better either in the case of wrongful death in the oil and gas patch unless gross negligence can be proven. On the other hand, the subscriber employers to workers’ compensation are doing just fine through the program’s protection from civil lawsuits.

A lot of Texas employers, including a large number of drilling contractors and sub-contractors, often run the risk of not subscribing to workers’ comp. When an injury occurs, they try to avoid a lawsuit with the injured worker by claiming to have workers’ comp, when they, in fact, don’t. They offer to quickly pay workers’ comp benefits after they make the employee sign an official-looking “workers’ comp release.” But all this blatant fraud does is allow them to wiggle out of a very expensive non-subscriber civil lawsuit, and the money they offer will never fully cover your full damages; so don’t be fooled.

In order to receive full restitution from a non-subscriber to a workers’ comp oilfield injury or pipeline accident, the victim’s only avenue is to file a lawsuit. An experienced petroleum injury attorney can quickly determine your company’s true workers’ comp status, then share every legal option available to you that will deliver the just compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering, lost income, disability, or wrongful death of your beloved family member.

Put our years of experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and the level of compensatory damages you can win from your oilfield injuries, we can answer your questions. Call our attorneys at Carabin Shaw now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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Identifying all Negligent Parties in Connection with Petroleum and Pipeline Injuries

Once your employer’s workers’ comp status is known, you and your attorney now encounter the two possible avenues to receiving injury compensation outside the purview of workers’ comp. Don’t get confused. You still might have a civil remedy through workers’ comp if it applies to your case. A lot of non-subscribers and third parties are not protected by that umbrella of civil invulnerability.

That exception to workers’ comp civil protection occurs if gross negligence is suspected to have led to an employee’s fatal injury. If a petroleum employee dies as a result of a workplace injury caused by gross employer negligence, surviving family members may file a civil suit against that employer. Gross negligence is defined as having willful disregard for the safety of others’. In such cases, an employer shows by his behavior that he doesn’t care what happens to his workers or doesn’t create or maintain a safe workplace. All he wants is for the well to produce or the pipeline to deliver the most petro-products possible; disregarding the consequences. Creating a safe workplace is not a priority for these employers.

If the negligence does not cause a fatal injury, regardless of whether your employer subscribes to workers’ comp or not, the most practical strategy to receive fair compensation involves third-party claims and lawsuits against those other than the employer who have done something negligent and caused injury to the drilling or pipeline employee. If an electrician failed to properly wire a rig and caused a worker to be fatally shocked, or the operator of a crane dropped a large pipe on an employee, they and their employers, could be additional “third party contributors” to the accident.

If a faulty piece of machinery caused the injury, the manufacturer may be liable through a defective product lawsuit. The owner of some leased equipment that was not maintained properly could be responsible for its malfunction, and your injuries. If the owner of the rig or pipeline did not provide safe working conditions, there might be another liable party. The same accusation might be made against the corporation that hired anyone to oversee the drilling rig or offshore platform. With so many different companies involved in any single petro-project at any given time, the list of liable parties to your accident can be lengthy.

If you sue any responsible third parties, you are not prevented from filing an appropriate workers’ comp claim against your employer because it’s basically “no-fault insurance” and is going to be paid anyway. This is often how our clients receive just compensation amounts for their oil or gas production injury. We combine that workers’ comp claim and at least one third-party lawsuit. Sometimes, the total compensation strategy can involve more than one third-party defendant.

You probably have a better appreciation of just how tricky it is to get to the bottom of such intricate accident cases. Often, these accidents must be tirelessly investigated. Experience and the ability to properly investigate not only the accident scene but the roles these third parties played in the oil or gas rig mishap is absolutely necessary in order to determine all parties responsible and make them pay for the injuries they caused. A skillful Texas petroleum rig and a pipeline accident lawyer at Carabin Shaw can investigate, and then design the best strategy to win the just compensation that is deserved by those injured victims in a complex Texas oil and gas drilling or pipeline injury case.

Put our years of experience to work for you. If you want to know what your rights are, how to proceed with your claim, and the level of compensatory damages you can win from your oilfield injuries, we can answer your questions. Call Carabin Shaw now at 1(800) 862-1260 (toll-free) for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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