Cappolino, Dodd & Krebs Law Firm http://www.respectforyou.com Tough, trustworthy, dependable injury lawyers Tue, 07 Mar 2017 20:56:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Dangers of High Speed Limits Exposed – 33,000 Deaths Caused by Increased Speed Limits Over Last 20 Years http://www.respectforyou.com/dangers-high-speed-limits-exposed-33000-deaths-caused-increased-speed-limits-last-20-years/ Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:08:53 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2323 Here at Cappolino | Dodd | Krebs LLP, we see far too many cases of auto accidents caused by speeding, many of which involve tragic fatalities and severe injuries. Speed Related Auto Accidents and Fatalities Last year, Texas alone saw close to 300 fatalities in crashes as a result of speeding (1), with around 9,000

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Here at Cappolino | Dodd | Krebs LLP, we see far too many cases of auto accidents caused by speeding, many of which involve tragic fatalities and severe injuries.

Speed Related Auto Accidents and Fatalities

Last year, Texas alone saw close to 300 fatalities in crashes as a result of speeding (1), with around 9,000 deaths nationwide from auto accidents that involve speeding vehicles.  These numbers likely understate the problem by hundreds or even thousands of cases, due to the method of calculating the causes of crashes in Texas.

Recent data regarding the effect of raised speed limits was confirmed by a published study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Charles Farmer, IIHS vice president for research and statistical services was the author of the report.

The study concluded that over 33,000 excess deaths have been caused by the increasing speed limits that have been put in place throughout the United States over the past 20 years. To put that in perspective, more people have been killed by the government raising speed limits than have been saved by airbags.

Why Maximum Speed Limit Increases Have Been on the Rise

These increased speed limits have been on the rise since 1995, after the repealing of a law that resulted in mandatory nationwide speed limits of 55mph back in the 1970s. Now laws regarding speed limits are decided on a state-level, meaning any state can set their own speed limit – here in Texas we have a maximum speed limit of 85mph on certain roads, which is the highest in the country.

Restrictions were originally imposed not for the safety of drivers, but rather for concerns over the lack of gasoline.  One obvious by-product of lower speed limits was a sharp decline in fatalities. But with deregulation of speed limits, two decades of progress went out the window.  In fact, were it not for safer vehicles today (made possible through many lawsuits against unsafe cars), we would likely have a great deal of public outrage about the deaths from the speed limit increases.  But the safer cars of today have masked the effect of the government speed limit increase, netting out the excess deaths roughly with those who have been saved by the many advances in crash-worthiness of cars.

The Findings of the Study

The study took data from 1995-2013 and looked for the effects of increased speed limited in 41 states – other states were left out of the study due to a lower number of miles travelled that didn’t provide accurate statistics.

Data was analyzed for deaths per billion miles travelled on roads by both state and the type of road. After accounting for factors that can affect fatalities, such as the number of young drivers or the consumption of alcohol per capita, it was found that for every 5 mph increase in the state’s maximum speed limit, there was a 4% increase in fatalities.  For interstates and freeways, the increase was even higher, coming in around 8%.

If you were to calculate the effect of sticking with 55 mph, there would be about 33,000 people alive today who are dead due to speed-related collisions.

It Might Be Even Worse Than We Think

Yes, it could actually be far worse. This is because there are many aspects that have not been taken into account for the study. For one, figures from the last three years (2013-2016) haven’t been used. For example, here in Texas, the speed limit has changed since 2013, going from 75mph to 85mph.

“Since 2013, speeds have only become more extreme, and the trend shows no sign of abating,” Farmer notes. “We hope state lawmakers will keep in mind the deadly consequences of higher speeds when they consider raising limits.”

The dangers of speeding have always been known, but this just confirms our worst fears – increased speed limits are making our roads even more dangerous.

Source

1 – http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2015/19.pdf

 

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Are Your Dietary Supplements Safe? http://www.respectforyou.com/dietary-supplements-safe/ Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:08:55 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2316 You see the commercials on television all the time—take this pill and you will lose weight. But are dietary supplements safe? A new Consumer Reports study indicates that there may be many risks associated with dietary supplements including heart palpitations, allergic reactions and pain. The study outlines how the supplements including vitamins, probiotics and weight-loss

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You see the commercials on television all the time—take this pill and you will lose weight. But are dietary supplements safe? Photo of pills

A new Consumer Reports study indicates that there may be many risks associated with dietary supplements including heart palpitations, allergic reactions and pain. The study outlines how the supplements including vitamins, probiotics and weight-loss aids, do not face the same testing and federal scrutiny that prescription medications go through during trials in order to receive FDA approval.

“It’s what you don’t know – I think that’s the thing that we’re most concerned about,” said Lisa Gill, deputy content editor at Consumer Reports, according to CBS News. “Just because it’s not prescription, you say, ‘oh, it’s safe,’ but that’s not necessarily true.”

Unlike prescription medications, which can still cause injuries even after testing, dietary supplements do not have to receive FDA approval to be sold online and in stores.

In its study, Consumer Reports found that some dietary supplements contain ingredients that have been linked to kidney and liver damage, and death. Aside from dangerous ingredients, some of the supplements tested by researchers have been found to contain microbes or heavy metals. This has led to consumer injuries. The news outlet reports that some of the supplements are sold at retailers including Costco, GNC and Whole Foods.

According to the news outlet, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that from 2008 through 2011, the FDA received 6,307 reports of health problems linked to dietary supplements, including 92 deaths and more than 1,000 serious injuries or illnesses.

To read the report, you can click here.

I Have Been Injured by a Dietary Supplement. Can I Hold its Maker Liable?

Although dietary supplements may not be held to the same standards as prescription drugs, it does not mean that you cannot hold a manufacturer liable if you are injured by one. Talk to our dangerous drug attorneys if a dietary supplement has injured you.

We can help you hold a manufacturer and/or retail outlet liable for any damage caused to your body. See the video above for more information and/or contact us using the linked button above.

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Tire Blowouts – How to Avoid a Deadly Situation http://www.respectforyou.com/tire-blowouts-avoid-deadly-situation/ Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:49:52 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2308 Summer is tire blowout season. This is because hot roads and long driving hours often combine with poor quality or worn tires to create disaster. What are the best ways to protect yourself from a tire blowout? First, be sure that your tires are properly inflated. Over inflation is a common problem in the summer

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Summer is tire blowout season. This is because hot roads and long driving hours often combine with poor quality or worn tires to create disaster. What are the best ways to protect yourself from a tire blowout?

First, be sure that your tires are properly inflated. Over inflation is a common problem in the summer as temperatures rise. Obviously this can put stress on a tire and cause a blowout. Under inflation is also a serious risk. That is why it is important to carry a tire inflation gauge with you and to use it regularly. Many people do not appreciate that a underinflated tire poses an extreme risk to the driver and to others on the road.

Secondly, be sure that your tires have enough tread. There is a common industry statistic stating that 90% of tire failures occur in the last 10% of tread life. In our experience, this is probably a correct statistic. It is simply not worth it to try to save money by driving tires beyond their life expectancy.

Third, be sure that you are not driving a “new old tire” or other tire that is beyond its expiration date.  Simply because a tire has sufficient tread does not mean that it is safe. In fact, some tires sold by less than reputable dealers are old tires being sold as new. Just because the tire has 100% tread does not mean it is safe if it has set in a warehouse for five years.  Check the date of manufacture by finding the tire identification/serial number, which will show the week and year that the tire was first manufactured – the last four digits of this number should show the week they were produced (shown in the first two digits) and the year (shown the last two digits).

It is also very important to realize that a tire blowout is not always caused by the tire literally blowing out. Often what actually happens is that the tread separates from the sidewall of the tire. This tread separation event can be far more deadly than a blowout. Studies have shown that after a tread separation, the vehicle may be virtually uncontrollable even by the most experienced driver and even at low speed. When an inexperienced driver and high-speed travel combine with a tread separation, the results are often deadly.

Over the years, our law firm has been involved in a number of cases where tires failed or tread separated and caused catastrophic accidents. We are always happy to provide confidential and free advice if you believe that you or a loved one may have been injured by a defective tire or a tire blowout.  Whether the failing tire was on your vehicle or a vehicle that hit you, we can provide valuable professional insight regarding your options.

In the meantime, we recommend using name-brand tires such as Michelin, changing them well before they are worn, and always keeping them properly inflated.  Following these simple steps can go a long way toward ensuring your family’s safety.

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Bell County Crash Statistics http://www.respectforyou.com/bell-county-crash-statistics/ Mon, 09 May 2016 14:41:53 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2300 No matter how experienced you are at driving, there is always a serious statistical risk of being involved in a serious crash. Even with new safety technologies, improved roads and safer vehicles, traffic accidents remain an issue plaguing Bell County. As recently as last month there was yet another 18 wheeler fatality.  Another serious recent

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No matter how experienced you are at driving, there is always a serious statistical risk of being involved in a serious crash. Even with new safety technologies, improved roads and safer vehicles, traffic accidents remain an issue plaguing Bell County.

As recently as last month there was yet another 18 wheeler fatality.  Another serious recent wreck resulted in serious injuries but thankfully no fatalities.

Statistics for crashes in Bell County have shown little sign of improving. While TxDOT have yet to release the crash statistics for 2015 (they should be released sometime in May), 2014 data shows that there is a serious risk when driving in our county.

When it comes to total crashes, Bell County was among the top 20 counties in the entire state, coming in 17th overall. The total number of fatalities from these crashes was 34 in the county. 2013’s numbers were similar, with 36 fatalities occurring from 5,463 crashes.

Another startling statistic is just how many of these crashes occur on the roads most would deem the safest. Of 2014’s 34 fatalities, the majority occurred on US and State Highways (18 in total).  Farm to market roads and county roads, which are often derided as less safe, made up the remainder of fatalities.  Seven fatalities occurred on FM roads during the year.

In 2014, about one-half of all crashes in Bell County resulted in no injuries.  That is good news, and no doubt is due to safer auto designs.  In fact, the newer, safer automobiles may be masking the effects of increased speed limits and increased congestion on Central Texas roads.

Bell County

Bell County Statistics

 

Belton County

Belton County Statistics

 

Temple County

Temple County Statistics

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Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Car Crashes – Knowing the Risks http://www.respectforyou.com/traumatic-brain-injuries-caused-car-crashes-knowing-risks/ Thu, 31 Mar 2016 20:36:24 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2287 Some car-wreck injuries are easy to spot, but concussions often go unnoticed. Even when a concussion is diagnosed, it is frequently minimized.  For example, it may be labelled as a “mild” traumatic brain injury.  Or, it may be dismissed as something that “will resolve within six months.”  There is an old medical joke that is

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Some car-wreck injuries are easy to spot, but concussions often go unnoticed. Even when a concussion is diagnosed, it is frequently minimized.  For example, it may be labelled as a “mild” traumatic brain injury.  Or, it may be dismissed as something that “will resolve within six months.”  There is an old medical joke that is apropos: “Question: What is a ‘mild brain injury?’ Answer: ‘Someone else’s.’”

Depending on the nature of the accident and the type of impact, there are various levels of brain trauma that a person can suffer. While a less severe injury may seem better, these are the types that often go untreated, therefore significantly increasing the dangers associated with them. Moreover, injuries can take different lengths of time to start showing signs and symptoms of the trauma, ranging from days to weeks.

Initial Symptoms

Symptoms of post-accident brain injury can vary tremendously.  Initial symptoms may include headache, nausea, issues with sleeping, dizziness, loss of consciousness, confusion and disorientation.

More severe injuries sometimes develop such as persistent headache lasting weeks or months as well as continual vomiting and nausea.

Sensory symptoms sometimes include blurry vision, ringing in the ears as well as issues with taste and smell.

Cognitive symptoms may include memory deficit, concentration, and mood swings. In some cases, very serious cognitive symptoms may develop including states of confusion, slurring of words, agitation and uncharacteristic, inappropriate behaviour.

Longer-Term Complications

As if these symptoms weren’t bad enough, there are further complications that can arise from a traumatic brain injury. Some may take longer to develop than others, yet they are all very serious in relation to an individual’s health.

Seizures often begin to appear around a week after an injury has been sustained, and these can often become recurring. Other complications include build ups of fluid in the skull, nerve damage, and even internal infections.

Our brains can also suffer damage that affects our long-term intelligence, directly affecting our cognitive functioning. Issues relating to memory, learning, mental processing and concentration are just a few complications that could arise, not to mention struggles with decision-making, problem-solving and organizing.

In some very severe cases, a traumatic injury could increase the risk of developing degenerative brain diseases. Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just a few of the potential diseases that could begin to form when dealing with a long-term injury to the brain.

The Good News: Possible Treatments

When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, there are many options available for treatment.

n extreme, acute cases, the best option may be surgery to remove pressure or deal with bleeding.  This is rare, and usually occurs on an emergent basis immediately after a collision.

A mild injury can usually be treated with time and patience. Obviously medicine can be prescribed to help deal with symptoms such as headaches, but in most cases monitoring the nature of the injury is the most important form of treatment here. Keeping an eye on current symptoms and checking to see if they are worsening or if any new ones are developing is vitally important at this stage.

Regular check-ups with a doctor are important, but patients should be aware that many health providers will be dismissive of brain injuries.  It may take time and effort to find a physician who is compassionate and sincerely interested in diagnosing and treating a brain injury.

In the long-term, physical and mental rehabilitation may be the most effective methods for dealing with brain injury. These treatments may involve occupational therapists, physiatrists, physical therapists, neuropsychologists and psychiatrists.  We have seen many patients who have made great strides after hard work with the appropriate specialists.

If you or a loved one has been in a wreck and suffered a head injury, it is important that you consult attorneys who have experience with both motor vehicle collisions and litigating the medical issues concerning brain injury.  Our attorneys have more than 80 years of combined experience in complex cases such as these.  If you would like more information, please contact our office for a free initial consultation.

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Truck Wrecks in Texas – A Growing Problem? http://www.respectforyou.com/truck-wrecks-texas-growing-problem/ Wed, 02 Mar 2016 13:58:03 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2267 While the statistics for motor vehicle crashes in Texas for 2015 have yet to be published, it may make for grim reading. Past years have shown a stead increase in injuries and fatalities due to large trucks. If the 2015 numbers follow a similar path, we will see another large annual increase in all types

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While the statistics for motor vehicle crashes in Texas for 2015 have yet to be published, it may make for grim reading. Past years have shown a stead increase in injuries and fatalities due to large trucks. If the 2015 numbers follow a similar path, we will see another large annual increase in all types of truck crashes in the state. This begs the question – are truck wrecks becoming a public health crisis Texas?

Overview of Truck Crashes in 2014

The overall data of crashes from 2014 showed that there was an increase in truck wrecks across the board. When compared to the numbers from 2013, there was an increase of 1,783 total crashes involving trucks. Going back a further year to 2012 shows that this is the second annual increase, rising to almost 5,000 more crashes in just two years.

If 2015 statistics follow this same trend, it will confirm that the number of crashes involving trucks in Texas is a growing problem.

Non- injuries, possible injuries, possible injuries, non-incapacitated and incapacitated injuries have all shown a steady increase over this time period, making it clear that driving trucks in Texas has become more dangerous with each passing year. 2014 saw yet another increase in fatal crashes involving trucks with 113 total deaths. The Eagle Ford Shale trucking boom hasn’t helped matters. Many of the crashes have occurred in Karnes, DeWitt, Atascosa, McMullen, Gonzales and other Eagle Ford Shale counties.

The Importance of the Right Lawyer

For some reason, there is a misconception that any lawyer involved in local traffic cases or DWI’s will be capable of skilfully representing a client in a truck wreck. This is not the case. Anyone involved in a truck crash will need a lawyer who has years of experience dealing with trucking companies. Many very specialized issues arise in trucking litigation. Among these issues are log compliance, federal regulations, Texas regulations, safety standards, training practices, load limits and securement and many others. The lawyers at Cappolino Dodd Krebs, LLP have decades of combined experience in trucking cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking case, give our experienced trucking attorneys a call today.

 

 

 

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In Honor of John O. Roark http://www.respectforyou.com/john-o-roark-death/ Wed, 27 Jan 2016 15:42:27 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2264 Unfortunately, on January 23, 2016, John O. Roark, an immensely experienced attorney with our firm, passed away at the age of 75.  This is sad on so many levels, as Roark was a tremendous legal advocate for the people of Central Texas. He was a was a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the

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Unfortunately, on January 23, 2016, John O. Roark, an immensely experienced attorney with our firm, passed away at the age of 75. Photo of John O. Roark

This is sad on so many levels, as Roark was a tremendous legal advocate for the people of Central Texas. He was a was a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, as well as a municipal court judge.

For more information about Roark’s life, you can read his family approved obituary by clicking here. Roark had many interests outside of law. He was longtime supporter of the Texas Horsemen’s Partnership Chairman and National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA).

We will always be honored that Roark worked with our firm and forever grateful to have him in our lives.

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Did Alcohol Contribute to a Fatal Austin Boating Accident? http://www.respectforyou.com/did-alcohol-contribute-to-a-fatal-austin-boating-accident/ Wed, 16 Dec 2015 21:05:11 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2249 Reports indicate that alcohol may have played a role in a Lake Austin boat accident that killed two people in October, including a prominent Houston businessperson.  According to KXAN-TV, a preliminary Texas Parks & Wildlife crash report shows alcohol was involved in the boat accident that occurred on October 11. The report indicates that all

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Reports indicate that alcohol may have played a role in a Lake Austin boat accident that killed two people in October, including a prominent Houston businessperson. Photo of funeral

According to KXAN-TV, a preliminary Texas Parks & Wildlife crash report shows alcohol was involved in the boat accident that occurred on October 11. The report indicates that all five people aboard the boat were consuming alcohol at the time of the incident.

The crash occurred when a boat collided with a construction barge that was in place to help with a project along the shoreline of Emma Long Metropolitan Park. The report suggests that there were partially consumed liquor bottles were on the boat.

The boating accident killed Houston businessman Shawn Hurwitz, the owner of the vessel, and Jennifer Walley of Austin. Other passengers about the boat were injured. The vessel was reportedly traveling at speeds of more than 40 mph when the accident occurred.

Never Operate a Boat Drunk

While this accident remains under investigation, it should serve as a reminder that you should never drink and boat. Just like drunk driving, drunk boating can have devastating consequences.

The US Coast Guard reports that alcohol use was the primary cause of 21 percent of all fatal recreational boating accidents in 2014. Avoid drunk boating at all costs, as it can impact your ability to navigate a vessel.

If you have had a loved one who has been injured or killed because of a drunk boater, you should speak with our attorneys. We may be able to help you hold the negligent party liable.

Source: http://kxan.com/2015/12/02/crash-report-alcohol-involved-in-fatal-lake-austin-boat-crash/

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Safety Tips for Winter Road Travel http://www.respectforyou.com/safety-tips-winter-road-travel/ Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:00:12 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2169 Unfortunately, snow and ice events have lead to hundreds of vehicle accidents in Texas over the last month. During the week of February 27, multiple accidents were reported on Central Texas toll roads and back roads. Remember, even if the weather conditions outside are poor, if you cause an accident that leads to injuries or

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Unfortunately, snow and ice events have lead to hundreds of vehicle accidents in Texas over the last month. During the week of February 27, multiple accidents were reported on Central Texas toll roads and back roads.

Remember, even if the weather conditions outside are poor, if you cause an accident that leads to injuries or death, you could be held liable. With this in mind, the Texas Department of Transportation recently put out a release indicating how to stay safe in winter weather.

According to TxDOT, you may be able to better avoid an accident by doing the following:

  • Reducing speeds
  • Maintaining at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice (avoid tailgating)
  • Using extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as the freeze over faster

For more information, you can visit the TxDOT link on the bottom of this post.

Should I Speak to an Attorney Following a Vehicle Accident?

Again, even if the winter conditions outside are poor, if you negligently contribute to an accident that results in injuries or death, you can be held liable. If the conditions outside are bad enough, it may be in your best interest to avoid driving all together.

If a negligent driver has victimized you, make sure you speak to our attorneys, as you may be entitled to compensation. You should not have to suffer because another driver recklessly operated a vehicle in an unsafe manner in poor weather conditions.

Source: http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-center/psas/weather/winter-travel.html

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Texas Prison Bus Accident Kills Eight Inmates and Two Guards http://www.respectforyou.com/texas-prison-bus-accident-kills-eight-inmates-two-guards/ Fri, 16 Jan 2015 17:00:31 +0000 http://www.respectforyou.com/?p=2071 Sadly, last week, a West Texas prison bus crash killed eight inmates and two guards, as the vehicle spun out of control on an icy overpass, slid down an embankment and collided with train. The accident killed correctional officers Christopher Davis, 53, and Eligio Garcia, 45. The inmates killed were Byron Wilson, 34, Tyler Townsend,

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Sadly, last week, a West Texas prison bus crash killed eight inmates and two guards, as the vehicle spun out of control on an icy overpass, slid down an embankment and collided with train. Photo of vehicle accident

The accident killed correctional officers Christopher Davis, 53, and Eligio Garcia, 45. The inmates killed were Byron Wilson, 34, Tyler Townsend, 29, Jesus Reyna, 44, Kaleb Wise, 22, Adolfo Ruiz, 32, Michael Sewart, 25, Angel Vasquez, 31 and Jeremiah Rodriguez, 35, according to the Associated Press.

The inmates were being transferred to the Sanchez prison in El Paso from the Middleton prison in Abilene. The crash took place close to mile marker 100 on Interstate 20, near Penwell. One correctional officer, and several other inmates, also suffered critical injuries in the accident.

The accident remains under investigation. The bus was not equipped with seat belts for the inmates, only for the driver and the guards, according to KWTX-TV.

Should I Speak to an Attorney if my Loved One is Killed at Work or in a Bus Accident?

While an investigation should determine who was at fault for this accident and if any lawsuits could potentially be filed, it should be noted that each year, thousands of employees are killed in workplace accidents in the U.S.

Keep in mind, workplace accidents can include instances of violence, fires and explosions, transportation mishaps and slip and falls.

When workplace accidents occur, family members have a right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as lost income. Speak to our attorneys.

Source: http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/Texas-Prison-Bus-Falls-Onto-Train-Tracks-Deaths-Reported-288555411.html

 

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