What Are the 5 Most Typical Car Accident Injuries?

It’s not surprising that car accidents often result in injuries. These injuries range from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to life-changing, forever-altering physical harm that debilitates and paralyzes. But what are the most typical car accident injuries? And which ones are you more likely to suffer from if you’re ever in a wreck?

 

Here are the five most common injuries we see:

 

1. Tissue injuries—Injuries to soft tissues like muscles, tendons and ligaments are often suffered in car wrecks. Whiplash, which occurs when the ligaments between the head and neck are stretched, is one such injury, and it is probably the most common car accident injury of all.

2. Head and brain injuries—Unfortunately, brain and head injuries are quite common in car accidents, too. These can include concussions, which victims recover from in a few days, to traumatic brain injuries, which can affect the person’s cognitive and physical functions forever.

3. Spinal and back injuries—Injuries to the back and spine are also quite common. Often, the sheer force of the crash can cause ruptured, slipped or broken discs, and these sometimes injure the spinal cord in the process. This can lead to paralysis and other serious side effects.

4. Chest injuries—Broken ribs, punctured lungs and simple cuts and bruises are just a few of the common chest injuries we see after a car wreck. This is often caused by the driver hitting the steering wheel or air bag or because of a tightened seat belt at the time of the crash.

5. Injuries to the extremities—Victims also commonly suffer arm and leg injuries in car accidents, particularly if the vehicle flips, rolls or is pinned down in some way. It’s not unusual for knee injuries to occur either, since the knees often hit the steering wheel or dashboard during the course of the wreck.

 

Have you or someone you love suffered from one of these typical car accident injuries? Then contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today. Our attorneys can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

 

5 Myths About Your Car Wreck Settlement

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Car accidents can be financially stressful and force you to pay for car repairs, a rental vehicle, and medical bills if you’re hurt, and you can lose wages and income if you’re unable to work. Having to deal with insurance companies adds to the stress, but if you’re able to get a good car wreck settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurer, you may be able to recoup all your expenses. Getting a good settlement isn’t always easy, however, so take a moment to learn about these common car wreck settlement myths and what the realities are so you’re prepared for the process that lies ahead:

 

    1. 1. The insurance company has to cooperate. While it’s true that the other driver’s insurance company is required to evaluate your claim and pay for a portion of your expenses if their driver was at fault, they are by no means required to give you everything you want. You might think your car repairs are worth $5,000, but an adjuster on their side may state that the damage only warrants $2,000, leaving you short. In reality, victims are at the mercy of the other driver’s policy and the amount their insurance company is willing to pay for damages.

 

    1. 2. If you were the victim, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Texas is a fault state, meaning that anyone who has any level of fault in an accident must pay a portion of the damages, so even if you didn’t cause the wreck entirely, something you did or didn’t do may have played a role in it. If you were speeding when the other car hit you, it might not have caused the accident per se, but it did make the damages suffered worse, so the insurance company might determine that you hold a percentage of the fault in your wreck. This means that you must pay a portion of the damages that’s commensurate with your level of fault. If you were found to be 25 percent responsible for an accident and the total damages of the wreck come to $10,000, the insurance company would only pay a car wreck settlement of $7,500, leaving you responsible for the other 25 percent.

 

    1. 3. The insurance company has your best interests in mind. Whether it’s your insurance company or the other driver’s, always remember that they are only out for their own financial gains and benefit. Insurers will do anything they can to keep money in their company’s pockets, so they will try to pay you as little as possible and close out your claim as quickly as they can.

 

    1. 4. You have to go to the insurer’s recommended doctors or auto shops. Some insurance companies will try to make you go to their recommended doctors or auto shops for post-accident help, but these providers often receive payment from the insurance companies in exchange for providing lower-priced or lower-quality services. This can lead to lowball auto repair quotes, poor work, or ineffective healthcare for the victim, so always insist on going to your own body shop and doctor instead to ensure that you get treated fairly and properly.

 

  1. 5. You don’t need a lawyer. A lawyer is always a good ally to have after an accident. They ensure that you won’t get undercut or underpaid in your car wreck settlement, and they handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to. Insurance companies will try to tell you that you don’t need one so that they don’t have to pay you as much as you deserve.

 

If you were recently in an accident, contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today. We’ll make sure you get the car wreck settlement that you are rightfully owed.

What to Do in Case of Commercial Truck Accidents

Few car accidents are worse than those that involve commercial trucks. Not only are these vehicles huge and dangerous, they’re also typically owned by larger corporations. These corporations come with highly paid attorneys, and they’ll often stop at nothing to avoid paying for a wreck—even if it was their driver’s fault.

 

Want to avoid commercial truck accidents? Need to be prepared in case one does occur?

 

Here’s how:

  • Take steps to steer clear. When possible, avoid driving behind, next to or near a large truck—especially when going around turns, at high speeds or in busy traffic. These vehicles have a hard time stopping quickly, and they can easily tip, making them a hazard to anyone nearby on the road.
  • Know how to control your vehicle. If you’re worried about being hit by a commercial truck, make sure your hands are at three and nine on the steering wheel. This will give you the most control and will allow you to weave out of a sticky situation if needed. If possible, navigate to the least dangerous surface, too. You don’t want to be on icy or wet roads when an accident occurs.
  • Take notes, snap pictures and look for eyewitnesses. If an accident does occur, as soon as you can, begin looking for potential evidence that proves the truck driver’s fault. Take pictures of the wreck and any injuries, write down notes about the experience, and get contact info for any eyewitnesses in the area. These could be the key to winning your case.
  • Contact an attorney ASAP. A commercial truck driver is going to bring in the big guns, and these lawyers will pull out all the stops to make sure all the blame is put on you. They don’t want their client, the trucking company, to have to pay out a dime, so you need to get ahead of the game as soon as possible. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney, and fight fire with fire.

 

Commercial truck accidents can be very dangerous and expensive. If you find yourself at the wrong end of one, be sure to call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney right away. We’re here to help.

 

6 Common Ways Companies Ignore OSHA Construction Safety Policies

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6 Common Ways Companies Ignore OSHA Construction Safety Policies

OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, sets forth hundreds of rules and regulations intended to help keep workers and employers safe all across the United States. Not all employers follow these regulations, however, and injuries occur regularly, especially in the construction sector. According to OSHA statistics, between October 2012 and September 2013, nearly 30,000 citations were issued because of OSHA construction safety policy violations, resulting in more than $47 million in penalties.
Common OSHA Construction Safety Citations

While any violation of OSHA guidelines can result in a citation and subsequent fines, there are some violations that are more common than others. The most regularly noted OSHA construction safety violations occur in the following areas:

    • Fall protection – Construction employers are required to have secure fall protection systems in place. Any platform that is more than six feet off the ground must have a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest system for all employees. From October 2012 to September 2013, companies were cited nearly 7,000 times for fall protection violations.

 

    • Scaffolding – Scaffolding must be able to support its own weight as well as four times its maximum intended load, and all suspension ropes and hardware must be able to hold at least six times their maximum intended load. OSHA construction safety guidelines also specify how planks must be applied, how brackets should be installed, and other important safety details.

 

    • Respiratory protection – Employers are required to prevent contaminated air, fumes, gases, vapors, and other substances from injuring workers. They must provide respirators applicable to the job at hand and conduct medical evaluations on all employees who use them. There must also be procedures in place for cleaning and maintaining the respirators and training employees to use them properly.

 

    • Ladders – OSHA requires that all ladders be able to support at least four times their maximum intended load. Each step (depending on the type of ladder in question) must be between eight and fourteen inches apart, and must be fitted with a skid-resistant material to prevent slipping. Between October 2012 and September 2013, ladder violations resulted in more than $3.6 million in fines.

 

    • Eye and facial protection – When machines, tools, or substances are present that could injure nearby workers’ eyes or faces, OSHA construction safety guidelines require that all employees be provided with adequate optical and facial protective equipment. This equipment must meet the standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute and should be maintained and cleaned regularly.

 

    • Training – All employees should be instructed on preventing, controlling, and eliminating hazards in the workplace, and any employees required to handle toxic substances must be trained to do so safely and be made aware of the toxins’ potential hazards and dangers.

 

If employees see any of these or other OSHA construction safety guidelines being violated at their workplace, they are encouraged to file a complaint through OSHA’s website or via their local OSHA representative.

After an OSHA Complaint is Filed

Once an employee has filed a complaint with OSHA alleging safety regulation violations or an unsafe work environment, the OSHA then evaluates the complaint to determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the allegations to be true. If OSHA staff decides that the complaint is valid, a representative will be sent to the workplace to inspect the premises. They will physically check the workplace, interview employees, take pictures, and evaluate the location’s compliance with OSHA regulations, and they will test any on-site safety programs or precautions that may be in place. Once their inspection is complete, the representative will issue a citation for any violations found, and the company or site at fault will be given a deadline by when the violation is to be fixed. If this deadline is not met, they will be issued a daily fine until the problem is resolved.

 

If you suspect OSHA construction safety violations at your workplace or you were injured because of one, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today to begin filing a safety violations complaint.

3 Ways to Track Progress With Your Workplace Injury Claim

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If you were hurt on the job, getting your workplace injury claim approved and through the system in a timely manner is important so that you can get the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and support your family. Workers’ compensation claims are notoriously slow, and as employers and claims processors delay paperwork, the injured individual is the one who suffers. If you want to track the progress of your claim and ensure that it moves speedily through the process, consider the following methods:


  • 1. Speak to your employers. If your employers are being cooperative, speak to them about the progress of your injury claim. Ask if they’ve filed the Employer’s First Report with their insurance provider, and see if they’ve followed suit with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).

  • 2. Check with the insurer. If your employer is not being cooperative or communicative, check directly with their insurance provider to track the progress of your claim. In most cases, you can either go to the insurer’s website and enter the claim number, or contact a company representative and get more details over the phone.

  • 3. Get an attorney involved. If talking to your employer or the insurance company isn’t working, involve an outside attorney to help track your workplace injury claim and ensure that it moves quickly through the system. The attorney will work with your employer, their insurer, and the TDI to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve in a timely manner, and they can also help you take legal action in the event that your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance.

If you were injured on the job, don’t let your workplace injury claim get delayed. Contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today. We’ll ensure that you get the money you deserve, fast.


San Antonio Law Firms Cover More Than Just San Antonio

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Many clients assume that just because a law firm or attorney is physically located in San Antonio, they only serve customers in that area. While it’s true that a good chunk of San Antonio law firms have clients from the Alamo City, those aren’t the only people these lawyers can serve.

 

In fact, San Antonio law firms can serve clients from all over the country. Let’s take a look at just a few of the non-San Antonio customers they serve:

 

  • The Austin-New Braunfels market. San Antonio law firms are particularly convenient for those located in Austin, San Marcos, Boerne, New Braunfels, Round Rock, Georgetown, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Seguin, Pflugerville and other cities in the surrounding region. For the most part, these locations are only about an hour or two away, making the drive doable should the client need to visit the lawyer’s office at any point.
  • The state of Texas. In general, most of the laws in San Antonio stand true across the state of Texas. Sure, there are a few discrepancies, but on most things—like statutes of limitations, court procedures, etc.—the standards remain the same. This makes San Antonio law firms more than qualified to handle cases from across the state.
  • The nation. San Antonio law firms can also handle national cases, particularly when they’re part of a class action lawsuit that has plaintiffs all over the country, or when cases pertain to a Texas or San Antonio issue. For example, say a resident of Oklahoma is suing a San Antonio trucking company for a recent truck wreck. A San Antonio law firm would make an ideal choice for representing the plaintiff, since it is located near the trucking company and can easily meet with the trucking company’s attorney, visit their facility and gather the proper evidence.

 

If you think San Antonio law firms are only reserved for San Antonio residents, think again. Pat Maloney and his San Antonio team have served clients all over the great state of Texas and the nation, so next time you’re in need of legal aid, contact us as soon as possible. We’re here to help—no matter where you might call home.

 

Serious Injuries from Car Accidents Have Serious Consequences

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Serious Injuries from Car Accidents Have Serious Consequences

Car accidents don’t just damage your car. They can hurt you, your family, and anyone else involved as a passenger or driver. From minor bruises, cuts, and burns, to broken bones, severe brain trauma, and even death, you can sustain serious injuries from car accidents.

Some of the most common serious injuries from car accidents include:

    • Neck injuries– Whiplash is a common occurrence in wrecks. When you collide with another vehicle, you stop very quickly, throwing your head forward and putting pressure on your neck. This results in whiplash, strained neck muscles, and, in severe cases, nerve damage.

 

    • Brain and head injuries– Because of the sheer force involved in a car accident, brain and head injuries are common. Hitting your head on the steering wheel can cause cuts, bruises, bleeding, and even a concussion. Often, you may not even see any physical damage, but if your head was jostled or thrown around during the wreck, you could have suffered serious brain trauma.

 

    • Burns– Depending on where your car was hit and whether the gas tank has been punctured, you could find yourself engulfed in a dangerous car fire. These types of fires spread very quickly and could cause you serious third degree burns that leave permanent and lifelong scarring.

 

    • Face injuries– During a car accident, drivers and passengers are often thrown forward into the dashboard, steering wheel, or air bags. This can lead to painful cuts, bruising, broken teeth, and even jaw disorders.

 

  • Psychological injuries– Car accidents can be especially frightening. While the accident itself may happen quickly, the psychological effects seen after can last a lifetime, leaving you scared to drive, emotionally distressed, or even suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

Did you suffer one of these serious injuries from car accidents? You could have grounds for a legal claim. Contact a San Antonio car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today to discuss your case.

The 7 Most Common FAQ at Truck Accident Law Firms

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As one of the premier truck accident law firms in San Antonio, we see a lot of clients come through our doors. Though every case is unique, many clients have the same basic concerns and questions regarding their situation.
Some of the most common questions we receive include:

    1. 1. Do I absolutely need a lawyer? You don’t have to hire a lawyer, but you really should. In the event of a truck accident, there are typically big corporations, lawyers and insurance companies involved. Those parties may try to pin the blame on you, in order to avoid paying anything they owe. In the end, it can mean a significant financial loss – even if you’re the victim. By hiring a lawyer to represent you, you stand a fighting chance of getting the money you deserve. You should call some of the truck accident law firms in your area.

 

    1. 2. How does a truck accident differ from a car accident? Truck accidents are very different from car accidents. Car accidents are typically handled through the drivers and their respective insurance companies, which is usually a quick and easy process. A truck accident, on the other hand, can involve employers, corporations, lawyers, insurance adjusters, worker’s comp people and all kinds of other parties. It can make getting compensation much more difficult, and can cause the entire situation to be all the more complicated and difficult to traverse. Additionally, truck accidents typically cause much more damage than ones involving cars, simply due to the weight and size of the trucks.

 

    1. 3. What should I do after I’ve been hit by a truck? First, you should call the police. A police reportis one of the biggest pieces of evidence you can have in a truck accident case, and it can help you get the compensation you’ll need later on. Then, you should call one of your city’s truck accident law firms and enlist the help of an experienced attorney. They can guide you throughout the rest of the process.

 

    1. 4. Who can I sue in a truck accident? Truck accidents can be very complex, especially if you opt to take legal action. The driver may be one of the parties to blame, but there could also be any number of other parties at fault as well. This could include the driver’s employer (the trucking company), the truck’s manufacturer, the auto shop that serviced the vehicle, the employee that loaded it and many, many more.

 

    1. 5. The driver’s insurance company wants a recorded statement. Should I give one? You should never give a recorded statement without first talking to a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to guide you, so that you don’t implicate yourself in your statement. Without good legal advice, you could end up admitting fault during your statement, which may result in you being held liable for the accident – and all the expenses that come with it.

 

    1. 6. Will I be compensated? A truck accident can lead to serious repercussions, including physical, emotional, financial and work-related damages. If you’re the victim, you’re entitled to compensation. Common damages sought by truck accident victims include medical bills, car damage, pain, suffering, permanent disability, lost wages and income, decreased quality of life and much more.

 

    1. 7. Could I be held responsible? Even if you weren’t at fault in the accident, there’s still a chance that you could be to blame, at least partially. If you admit fault or made some error on your part, insurance companies may refuse to pay, and you could be stuck covering the expenses yourself. Additionally, if you’re found to have only a percentage of fault, it could decrease the amount of compensation you can seek from the other driver.

Were you recently involved in a truck accident? Then you could be due compensation. Contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, one of the top truck accident law firms in the state to learn more.

Truck Accident Law Firms: How Changing Trucking Regulations Affect Lawsuits

In order for truck accident law firms to serve their clients as best as possible and give them the highest chance at winning their cases, there’s one vital thing they must do: stay apprised of changing trucking regulations in the area and in the nation. These trucking regulations play a large role in not just the evidence a truck accident lawyer can use, but also in how the case is built and what damages the victim is due.

 

Unfortunately, trucking regulations change regularly, both to improve driver safety and the safety of others on the roads, as well as to offer better working conditions to those in the trucking industry. It’s important for all truck accident law firms to stay up-to-date on these ever-changing regulations to give their clients the best chance at success.

 

To put it into perspective, let’s take a look at the impact trucking regulations can have on a wreck, on the evidence gathered and on a case overall. These regulations typically influence:

 

  • The driver’s work schedule—One of the biggest areas of trucking regulations relates to a truck driver’s working schedule: specifically, how many hours they can drive without a break, without sleep or in a specific time period. In a truck accident claim, this is important for several reasons: first, it can put the blame on the driver. If you can prove that the driver was violating these working-hour regulations (also called hours of service), you can usually prove fault or negligence. Second, it also tells a lawyer what evidence they need. Most trucks are outfitted with digital logbooks that detail when the driver was on the move and when they weren’t. If they were violating schedule regulations, the logbook can be a vital piece of evidence.
  • The driver’s health—There are many trucking regulations that also pertain to the health of the drivers. After all, they operate massive, dangerous machinery. Our government wants to ensure they are fit and healthy enough to drive without putting others on the road at risk. Therefore, these regulations often require regular health exams, physicals and screenings, as well as bar drivers with certain injuries or adverse health conditions. If a driver in a truck accident is found in violation of these regulations, it can prove 1) that they were unfit to drive and therefore negligent, and 2) that the trucking company was negligent in its practices. Typically, truck accident law firms will need medical records that state the patient’s health condition or lack of physicals/screenings in order to prove this.
  • The care and maintenance of the truck itself—Trucking regulations also often dictate how drivers or fleet owners must care for and maintain their trucks. They set up maintenance schedules and various requirements for ensuring a vehicle is safe for operation, and trucking companies are required to keep records of this maintenance on site. When a truck accident happens, accessing these files is crucial for an attorney. They can prove that a truck was not properly maintained and therefore endangered others on the road and caused the wreck. Consequently, they can prove the driver or their employer were negligent.
  • The clearance and hiring of the driver—There are also extensive trucking regulations that detail what requirements a driver must meet before being hired, such as background checks they must clear, tests they must pass and skills they must possess. These are kept in the driver’s employment file for as long as they are on staff. If a driver gets in a wreck, a lawyer will often need to access these files in order to prove 1) that a driver was not fit to drive, and 2) that a company was negligent in its hiring practices and is therefore at fault.

 

As one of the premier truck accident law firms in the area, we know how important staying abreast of changing trucking regulations is—and that’s just what we do. We’re experts in truck accident cases, so if you’ve been in a wreck, our expert attorneys know how to use those regulations to your advantage. Contact us today to discuss your case.