4 Unbelievable Examples of School Bus Accidents

4 Unbelievable Examples of School Bus Accidents

Every year millions of parents entrust their children to school bus drivers who are tasked with safely transporting children to and from school. Although most days pass without any incidents involving school buses, there are rare instances when cases grasp the headlines and leave parents wondering if their children are truly safe while in the care of these drivers.

1) Driver Stops Bus and Walks Off

In late April of 2014 there was a case involving a bus driver that simply tossed the keys to one of the children on the bus and walked off, leaving the children with no safe way to get home.

The bus driver claimed these actions were the result of noisy children that wouldn’t listen to her commands to calm down. The bus driver was not fired immediately and the school district she works for is investigating her actions.

2) Loss of Control

School bus accidents often get immediate media attention because of the real danger that is faced by the children riding the bus as well as everyone in the vehicle’s path.

A case that thankfully did not involve children took place in 2012 when a bus driver in Indiana lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a home. The driver later resigned due to the accident and was only cited for failing to wear a seat belt.

3) The Danger of Other Drivers

There are also cases where bus drivers are driving safely but an accident occurs because of the actions of other drivers on the road.

This exact thing happened in 2013 when a school bus driver was transporting children home and was involved in a head-on collision with a car. The other vehicle was reported to have swerved into the lane the bus was in and there was little time for the bus driver to react.

Two drivers and one student suffered non life-threatening injuries.

4) Runaway Bus

Negligence is often a major factor when school bus accidents occur, and this was the cause of one incident in 2014. When the driver decided to use the restroom he seems to have forgotten to place the vehicle in park and the bus began moving forward with no one at the wheel. The runaway bus traveled across the street from the school and came to rest after it went over a ditch, hitting one child in the process.

The injuries suffered by the child were non life-threatening and his doctor reported that he would fully recover.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

When you send your child to school, you don’t expect the school bus driver to be negligent. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might expect. If your child has been injured by a school bus accident, then it’s essential that you consider hiring a personal injury attorney to get the justice you deserve. Just call 713.766.5400 to schedule your free case evaluation.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Get Your Child Medical Attention ASAP If He or She Has Been Injured

Get Your Child Medical Attention ASAP If He or She Has Been Injured

One of the worst feelings a parent can endure involves watching a child suffer. Medical emergencies can happen at any time, and knowing how to handle emergencies will help alleviate some of the anxiety that’s felt as a result.

Call 911

The first priority after an injury should be seeking medical attention for the child. Parents sometimes hesitate to seek help because they feel they can handle the situation on their own, or that they will look foolish if the injury isn’t really serious. Both of these ways of thinking can be dangerous, because they can prevent the child from getting the help he or she needs. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and call 911 whenever there is a questionable injury.

In addition, emergency personnel should always be contacted in certain situations, regardless of whether or not they appear to be life-threatening. A few of these situations include:

  • Patients who are having difficulty breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lack of a pulse
  • Severe chest pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Possible neck, head or spine injury
  • Severe pain anywhere in the body, especially if it comes on suddenly
  • Persistent vomiting, especially if it involves blood

Ensure Safety

It may seem harsh, but parents should ensure their own safety before rendering aid to an injured child. They won’t be much help if they are injured themselves, not to mention the fact that there will now be two victims for emergency personnel to have to deal with instead of only one. In addition, measures should be taken to ensure the safety of bystanders, to include directing traffic or blocking access to the area. The child should not be moved if a head, neck or back injury is suspected; otherwise, he or she should be removed from harm’s way if possible.

Remain Calm for Your Injured Child

Sustaining an injury can be a stressful event for a child, and that injury will only be more stressful if a parent is also anxious. It’s important for parents to remain calm and continuously reassure their child that everything will be okay. Even if they are unable to render aid, helping a child stay calm can go a long way towards making sure that injuries are not made worse.

After help arrives, it can be a good idea to document the injury by writing down exactly what happened. This can be accompanied by taking pictures of unsafe conditions if appropriate. This documentation could prove vital in the event a lawsuit becomes necessary to recover damages.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured, then the first thing you need to do is ensure your child is safe and receiving medical attention. Once this has been accomplished, the next thing you should do is contact a personal injury attorney. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713-222-1222

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Risperdal May Be Causing Your Son to Grow Breast Tissue

Risperdal May Be Causing Your Son to Grow Breast Tissue

A growing number of children are being diagnosed with disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder. Until recently, a common medication used to treat these disorders has been Risperdal. Manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the company has recently come under fire for downplaying the risks associated with this drug and their misleading marketing efforts.

What is Risperdal?

Risperdal is officially known as Risperidone, and is manufactured by a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994 for the treatment of certain psychological disorders. This drug may be administered via an oral tablet or intramuscular injection and is one of only a handful of medications approved for use in children ages 10-17.

Possible Side Effects

A number of side effects have been noted from the use of this medication, including:

  • Unusual weight gain
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Oral rash
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Frequent headaches

An unusual side effect has also been noticed in adolescent boys. Risperdal gynecomastia, which involves the growth of breast tissue in males, is a common side effect that may or may not go away when the drug is discontinued.

Nervous System Changes

Although there is some indication that Risperdal eases the effects of certain disorders initially, it can actually make them worse when taken over time. In addition, changing doses or stopping this medication can also cause extreme changes in the nervous system, which can even be life threatening. Some patients have even experienced schizophrenia-like symptoms during the withdrawal phase, even when taking this drug for other purposes. As such, patients who are withdrawing from Risperdal must do so under the watchful eye of a licensed physician in order to prevent serious harm.

Previous Risperidone Lawsuits

An Arkansas lawsuit has resulted in Johnson and Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals being fined $1.2 billion in fines due to negligence. The company has also agreed to a $181 million settlement to cover damages to patients in 36 different states. Among the allegations include:

  • Medicaid fraud
  • Violations of the Arkansas deceptive practices law
  • Promotion of the drug for unapproved uses
  • Misleading and potentially illegal marketing techniques
  • Promoting the overmedication of children

Parents of children who have suffered ill effects after taking Risperdal could be able to recover damages in a court of law. Those who continue to take this medication should carefully consider the possible risks associated with it in order to prevent long term health effects as a result.

Getting Legal Assistance

There is a lot of emotional trauma involved with medication side-effects. People who have been injured should seek the help of a legal professional. Call 713.766.5400 to evaluate your case today.

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Playground Injuries File a Lawsuit before It's Too Late

Playground Injuries: File a Lawsuit before It’s Too Late

Parents take their children to playgrounds to allow them to enjoy some physical exercise and get fresh air and sunshine. These outings are intended to be fun, which is why there is often shock, anger and disbelief whenever a playground injury occurs. Playground injuries can range from rather minor cuts and bruises to life-threatening ones that could result in extensive medical care being needed.

Common Playground Injuries

Falls are by far the most common playground injury, as children can easily slip and fall from equipment without warning. Aside from falls, some other common injuries include:

  • Strangulations
  • Broken bones
  • Pinched toes or fingers
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Severed limbs

These injuries can happen because there is not adequate supervision. This can be because a worker is distracted or has too many children to supervise reasonably. Injuries can also happen due to faulty equipment or poor maintenance. Failing to provide cushioning material for falls, and swings that have rusty, weak chains are examples of this.

Where Do Playground Accidents Happen?

Playground injuries do not just happen at public parks, as they are also common at day care centers, schools and even private residences. Regardless of where they happen, the owner of the playground has a duty of care to provide a safe environment for children to play in. Posting warning signs about the dangers is not enough, as there should be precautionary measures put in place regardless. Parents of children who are injured due to the negligence of another can bring suit in a Texas court of law to recover their damages.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit due to a playground injury is two years from the incident. That is the amount of time parents have to file on behalf of their minor children. In the event that parents do not file within this time-frame, children may then file themselves once they reach adulthood. In these instances, the statute of limitations is two years from the victim’s 18th birthday, or until he or she reaches age 20.

Even though there is a two-year period in which to file, the best odds of recovery come whenever a lawsuit is filed as soon as possible. It’s normally easier to justify a claim when there is fresh evidence, as proof of negligence can become more difficult to obtain over time. An initial consultation could be needed to determine whether or not a valid remedy exists under law.

Get Professional Legal Assistance

A personal injury attorney can look at the evidence and determine whether or not you should go to trial. A good lawyer can inform you of the best plan of attack. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713.766.5400.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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4 People Injured When a Roller Coaster Derailed

4 People Injured When a Roller Coaster Derailed

A trip to the amusement park turned into a nightmare Monday afternoon when a tree fell on the tracks of a roller coaster. As the passenger cars passed through the tree that was resting on the track, the clamps that hold the car on the track broke, derailing the car.

Four people were injured. Two people were taken to a local hospital, and another two dozen were stuck for hours dangling 20-30 feet above ground while firefighters managed to rescue them. It happened at about 5:30 pm at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita, CA.

This is the second accident in an amusement park this week. On June 30, a ride in SeaWorld San Diego lost power, stranding riders for hours.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a roller coaster or in an amusement park, Mukerji Law Firm can help.

Image courtesy of KTLA’s Twitter page

Parents, Release Forms, and Texas Law What You Need to Know

Parents, Release Forms and Texas Law: What You Need to Know

No matter what activity a child is participating in, parents will likely be asked to sign a waiver at some point. These waivers are intended to relieve the host of liability should the child be injured in an accident. Against their better judgment, parents sometimes feel pressured into signing these waivers, and then later regret it when their child is injured. Those who have found themselves in such a predicament should know that signing such a waiver does not necessarily preclude them from recovering damages.

Requirements

In Texas, parents are unable to sign away the rights of their children via a release form. Instead, courts must approve these waivers for anyone who is 17 years of age of under. This holds true, regardless of whether or not the waiver was signed before or after an injury. As such, operators can normally be held liable for damages whenever a child is injured, provided the criteria for determining negligence can be established.

Why Sign a Waiver?

The question many people ask about release forms is “why am I being asked to sign a waiver when it doesn’t apply anyway?” There are several possible answers for this question, including:

  • It makes the facility owner feel good, because he or she believes lawsuits will not happen
  • A company is pressured to provide release forms by their insurance carrier
  • Companies are hoping that “high risk” individuals will choose not to sign the form, and therefore not participate in a particular activity
  • The other party knows the waiver is invalid, but hopes the client will not realize this, and therefore not pursue a lawsuit

Can I Refuse to Sign?

Since children’s rights cannot be waived, another question that is commonly asked is whether or not a parent can refuse to sign release forms altogether. This will depend on the vendor, as some companies will not allow a child to participate in a given activity unless there is a waiver on file. If a waiver can be avoided, it could save parents a great deal of hassle later, because they wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of arguing that the release form was invalid in the first place.

Waivers are not totally useless, as they do serve as a sort of warning to participants that an activity comes with certain hazards. Even so, companies may not rely on them as protection from claims of negligence by parents of injured children.

Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Watching your injured child suffer is one of the most difficult things you can do as a parent. Just because you signed a release form doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take legal action. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options today. Call 713.766.5400 and schedule your free case evaluation.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Another Inflatable Bounce House Flies into the Air

Another Inflatable Bounce House Flies into the Air

A small whirlwind blew through a 4th of July carnival, which sent an inflatable slide into the air in Sparks, Nevada. Witnesses say the dust devil sent the slide over three stories high. It landed three hundred feet from where it started. This is the third bouncy house accident in three months.

The carnival was finishing their safety checks and was about to open the slide to more kids. One child got off moments before the inflatable playhouse flew up several stories in the air. Fortunately, there were no kids inside. However, two people were hospitalized from flying debris. The winds also knocked over a lamppost.

If your child or a loved one has been hurt in a bounce house accident, we can help. Call the experts at Mukerji Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We know how important children are to us, and we will fight to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Image and video courtesy of nydailynews.com

4 Injured When a Houston Day Care Van Crashed Head-On Into a Car

4 Injured When a Houston Day Care Van Crashed Head-On Into a Car

At least four children were injured when an All Star Daycare van crashed into another car. The van was traveling westbound on Paramatta Lane near the North Freeway frontage road at around 2pm, when it collided with an oncoming car. Deputies and Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services arrived to the accident scene. Four children and two adults were treated for injuries. Some of the injured were taken to a hospital nearby.

4 Injured When a Houston Day Care Van Crashed Head-On Into a Car

All the children have been released to the custody of the parents, but it is unknown if any of the injuries were serious.
If your child or a loved one has been injured in a day care accident, we can help. Contact us at Mukerji Law Firm for a free consultation.

Image courtesy of kens5.com

I Signed a Pre-Injury Waiver for My Child Can I Still Sue

I Signed a Pre-Injury Waiver for My Child. Can I Still Sue?

Recreational providers are making it their practice to have patrons sign a waiver before participating in any activity where there is even the slightest risk of an injury. Parents must sign on behalf of their minor children, and many people believe that in doing so, they have waived the rights of their dependents. In Texas, that is not the case, as pre-injury waivers cannot be used to deny a child his or her rights.

What Does a Pre-Waiver Do?

A waiver simply provides the operator with peace of mind, because he or she is banking on the fact that people will believe they have signed away their rights to damages. Courts have ruled that these waivers are in fact a breach of public policy because they can result in negligent actions by the party seeking them. As such, these parties are still required to use safe practices when conducting their business, and can be held responsible for failing to do so.

Limitations of Child Injury Waivers

Although parents cannot waive the rights of their children, there could nonetheless be some restrictions involved. A few of these restrictions include:

  • Agreeing to binding arbitration if this is clearly stated in the waiver
  • Prohibiting recovery if the child acted in an unsafe manner
  • Limiting the amount of damages if the waiver was signed after the fact

Any waivers that limit the amount of damages or mandate arbitration take place must clearly state this in unambiguous language. In other words, it must be clear to parents exactly what they are signing in order for an agreement to be enforceable. Texas law determines clauses in contracts to be conspicuous when they are printed in bold type, all caps or extra-large letters. The clause should be written in a manner so that a “reasonable person” will automatically notice it.

Unequal Bargaining Power

In many cases, the reason why a child’s rights cannot be waived is because the party requesting the waiver has “unequal bargaining power” in the eyes of the law. For example, a school that is requesting a waiver for a “mandatory” activity such as a field trip would not be enforceable, because the school would be in a position to “coerce” the student to sign simply because of their unique position of authority.

Asking parents to sign away the rights of their children is unconscionable, which is why Texas courts have ruled it so. Parents of children who have been injured should know that relief could be available, regardless of whether or not a waiver exists.

Getting Legal Assistance

The first step in the event of any injury is to seek out a qualified personal injury attorney. He can look at the details of your case to determine if you should pursue legal action. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713.766.5400.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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I Was Injured As a Child...Can I Still Sue

I Was Injured As a Child…Can I Still Sue?

Texas parents may bring a lawsuit on behalf of their minor children. The statute of limitations for filing is two years from the date of the accident or injury. So what happens when parents do not file within this time-frame? Does this mean that the child is forever barred from recovery? The answer is no, because children can bring a lawsuit later on their own once they reach adulthood.

Rules for Filing a Lawsuit

Once a child turns 18, he or she then has two years in which to file for a childhood injury, regardless of when it occurred. That means that the new statute of limitations would then be one day before his or her 20th birthday. There are still some rules that must be followed, including:

  • Claim must not already have been filed
  • There has been no previous settlement on the matter
  • A valid legal remedy must exist under law
  • The child must be competent enough to bring a lawsuit

Collecting Evidence

Adults who are filing for childhood injuries can face significant challenges when it comes to collecting the evidence needed to present a case in court. This is especially true if it has been some time since the accident, as memories tend to fade over time. Medical records could also be difficult to obtain, and witnesses might not be easy to locate. If the accident happened at a business, there’s a chance that the company no longer exists.

The first thing an adult filer should do is to find out as much information about the accident as possible by talking with family members and friends. Some things to ask include:

  • Where and when the accident happened
  • Proximate cause
  • Type(s) of injuries sustained
  • What if any medical treatment was given
  • How the accident impacted the victim’s life as well as that of the family
  • Approximate amount of loss
  • Whether or not the effects are still ongoing
  • Names and contact numbers of potential witnesses

The Decision to File

Adults who file for childhood injuries will still need to show they were injured, and that their injury was due to negligence on the part of another. Just because a victim did not receive compensation as a child does not mean that he or she cannot obtain relief as an adult. Many times, these cases can be settled without a lawsuit, as responsible parties are often eager to put the past behind them once and for all.

The Sooner You File, the Better

You may have 2 years after your child turns 18 to file a lawsuit, but that doesn’t mean that you should wait. The sooner you file your suit, the more likely you are to win your case because evidence tends to disappear. However, even those with children injured 5 or 10 years ago should consider filing. Regardless of the circumstances, the best think you can do is sit down with a qualified lawyer to discuss your case. Call 713.766.5400 today to schedule your free case evaluation.

*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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