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Know Your Rights: Compensation for Truck Accidents in Texas

By May 26, 2017 Posted in Trucking Accidents

In Texas, trucking companies, truck manufacturers and other large companies involved in the trucking industry are held to certain legal standards. When they make mistakes that lead to accidents or sell products that cause injuries, the law holds them accountable, and those who suffer as a result are entitled to just compensation. If you have been injured in a truck accident, knowing your rights is critical. Here is a brief introduction to: (i) the primary liability rules that apply to commercial truck accidents, and (ii) the types of financial compensation that are available. Establishing Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents 1. The Law of Negligence In the majority of cases, individuals who get injured in truck accidents can seek compensation on the grounds of negligence. If a company or another person makes a mistake that leads to an accident (referred to in legal terms as “negligence”), under Texas law, that person or company can be held legally responsible for the victims’ losses. There are numerous forms of negligence that can cause dangerous truck accidents – far too many to list here. Speeding, tailgating, talking on the phone, driving drunk, and hiring inexperienced drivers are just some of the most common examples. 2. The Law of Product Liability Sometimes, it is not a driver or trucking company mistake that causes an accident, but rather an issue with the truck itself. When a truck defect causes an accident, the law of negligence does not apply. Instead, truck and component manufacturers are held to […]

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Key Evidence in Truck Accident Injury Claims

By May 24, 2017 Posted in Trucking Accidents

In order to win financial compensation after a truck accident, whether in the form of an insurance settlement or a verdict at trial, you need evidence. You need evidence of liability (i.e. that the truck driver, trucking company or some other third party was at fault in the accident), and you need evidence of the financial and non-financial consequences of your injuries. In a typical truck accident case, there will be numerous forms of evidence available. Collecting this evidence – and understanding how each piece of evidence impacts your case – is critical to maximizing your financial recovery. 7 Types of Evidence in Truck Accident Cases Some of the most common forms of evidence used to pursue financial compensation in truck accident cases include: 1. Forensic Evidence After a commercial truck accident, conducting a prompt investigation is critical. Skid marks, vehicle damage, evidence of truck defects or improper cargo storage, and other forms of forensic evidence all need to be collected and documented as soon as possible. 2. Accident Reconstruction Accident reconstruction is a method of visually demonstrating the causes and effects of traumatic accidents using evidence and data collected at the scene. In complex truck accident cases, it can be an essential form of evidence for establishing liability. 3. Phone Records It is no secret that many truck drivers use their phones during long hauls. If distracted driving played a role in your accident, the truck driver’s phone records can be used to prove that he or she was […]

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Offshore Injuries and the Jones Act

By May 22, 2017 Posted in Articles

The Jones Act personal injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your Jones Act claim.  Call our offices at 1-800-489-2216 to speak with an experienced maritime attorney or fill out our contact form online. Working in the Maritime Industry There are many different employment options available in the maritime industry.  However, one thing is clear–working offshore can be dangerous, even deadly.  This is true whether the worker is a deckhand, engineer, electrician, oiler, or captain. The Dangers of Offshore Work A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the fatality rate of onshore and offshore oil and gas workers was 7 times higher than all other U.S. workers. Data collected over a seven-year period showed that nearly one-fourth of all the fatalities to maritime workers occurred among workers classified as “transportation and materials moving.”   Due to the increased likelihood of injury, seaman are offered additional avenues of recovery for offshore injuries. The Jones Act The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, allows seamen negligently injured during the scope of their employment to receive compensation.  Notably, compensation does not solely refer to lost wages.  The Jones Act allows seamen to receive compensation for their medical bills, expenses related to the injury, lost present and future earnings, pain and suffering, and other similar losses. To qualify for compensation under the Jones Act, the maritime worker must be a seaman.  The term seaman is […]

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Compensation for Offshore Injuries

By May 22, 2017 Posted in Offshore Injury

If you got hurt while working offshore, understanding your legal rights can be complicated. Although Congress has enacted several laws that are specifically designed to protect offshore workers, it is not always easy to figure out which law applies; and, unfortunately, offshore workers cannot always trust their employers to provide accurate information about their legal rights. Sources of Financial Compensation for Injured Offshore Workers 1. Jones Act: Protection for Injured “Seamen” The Jones Act is perhaps the most well-known law that protects offshore workers. Under the Jones Act, workers who qualify as “seamen” can file both fault-based and no-fault claims for financial compensation. Seamen include individuals who work onboard all variety of ships as well as those who work on mobile offshore drilling units, jack-up rigs and other floating platforms. The no-fault benefits available under the Jones Act are known as, “maintenance and cure.” Maintenance benefits provide coverage for a small portion of injured seamen’s daily living expenses, while cure benefits are supposed provide full coverage for all job-related injury expenses. Workers who are eligible for maintenance and cure benefits are entitled to see their own doctors, and it is crucial that they not rely solely on the medical advice provided by company physicians. In addition to providing for maintenance and cure, the Jones Act also allows injured seamen to seek full compensation when their employers are even “slightly” negligent in causing or contributing to their injuries. This is an extremely important right, and it is one of the primary […]

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Offshore Injury Update — May 2017

By May 17, 2017 Posted in Jones Act

Maritime injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP keep abreast of developments in the industries that affect our clients. This month, our lawyers will cover Oceaneering’s new deepwater Gulf of Mexico contract, and an injury suffered by a commercial diver offshore Louisiana. Oceaneering Awarded New Offshore Contract In May 2017, Shell Offshore awarded a new contract to Oceaneering to install flowline hardware on Shell’s Appatomax complex. The contract will include “installation of crossing mattresses, flowline jumpers, manifolds, and subsea buoyance.” The Oceaneering vessel Ocean Evolution has been slotted to perform this work. Jones Act Compliant Vessel—Ocean Evolution The Ocean Evolution is a Jones Act compliant, U.S. flagged vessel. It is equipped with two work class ROVs rated to work in more than 13,000 feet of deep water. It also has a 250 pound crane and can accommodate 2,200 Metric Tons of deck weight at 1.5M draft. The vessel’s crew complement is 110 Jones Act seamen. The vessel keeps station with a Kongsberg Kpos 22 DP2 system, Rolls Royce thruster controls, and a Siemens PMA 300 Power Management System. About Oceaneering Oceaneering, Inc. is “global oilfield provider of engineered services and products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deepwater applications. Through the use of its applied technology expertise, Oceaneering also serves the defense, entertainment, and aerospace industries. Oceaneering’s business offerings include remotely operated vehicles, built-to-order specialty subsea hardware, deepwater intervention and manned diving services, non-destructive testing and inspection, and engineering and project management.” The company’s […]

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Jones Act Changes May Create Thousands Of American Maritime & Offshore Jobs

By Feb 27, 2017 Posted in Jones Act

Houston offshore injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard monitor legal changes that affect our clients, including changes to the Jones Act. Jones Act The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law intended to promote American merchant marines. The Act is named after its sponsor, former senator Wesley Jones. The Jones Act provides injured seamen and offshore workers with the right to seek compensation directly from their employers. (Our Firm handles those cases.) The Jones Act also mandates that vessels which transport goods between U.S. ports must be constructed in America, owned by Americans, and crewed by Americans. You can learn more about the Jones Act here. The Proposed Changes Over the past several decades, foreign companies have exploited several loopholes in the Jones Act. On the last day of the Obama Administration, the United States Custom and Border Protection announced its intention to close those loopholes. In particular, the revised Jones Act will require offshore drilling equipment to be carried by American vessels. Previously, in a series of pro-foreign-vessel rulings, certain offshore drilling, pipeline, and energy-related equipment had been deemed “vessel equipment” that was not “merchandise” covered by the Jones Act. This loophole meant vessels crewed by foreigners could transport and install things like “Christmas trees” and other subsea offshore drilling equipment. Under the revised Jones Act, however, American vessels with American crews will do this work. The “open comment” period for the new law will end in April 2017. American Companies & Lawmakers Praise Changes The president of […]

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Remington 700 Recall & Injury Lawsuits

By Feb 20, 2017 Posted in Dangerous Drugs & Products

Houston personal injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP are evaluating Remington 700 personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in a shooting incident involving a Remington 700 or Model Seven rifle, a defect in the product may be to blame. Please contact us now to discuss your rights and remedies. The Remington 700 The Remington 700 is a bolt-action rifle manufactured since 1962. The gun has a centerfire bolt action and typically a 3-, 4-, or 5- round magazine. The Remington 700 is arguably the most popular bolt-action rifle in American history. The Problem Both older and newer model Remington 700 rifles and Remington Model Seven rifles have inadvertently fired with the safety on, allegedly leading to numerous injuries and wrongful deaths. The problem is demonstrated here: The XMP Recall Newer model Remington 700 and Model Seven rifles have the “X-Mark Pro” or “XMP” trigger mechanism. Remington has issued a voluntary recall of XMP triggers, which were manufactured from 2006 to 2014. The company acknowledges that that the firearms “could, under certain circumstances, unintentionally discharge.”  Published instructions on the Remington recall website detail how to determine whether your gun is subject to the recall. It has been estimated that more than 1 million rifles with the XMP trigger are still in circulation. Older Models Have Also Caused Alleged Injuries And Deaths Older model Remington 700 guns have the “Walker” trigger mechanism, which Remington still denies is defective. Ironically, the XMP trigger was introduced in […]

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Oilfield Injury Lawyer – The 25 Most Active Oilfields In The United States

By Feb 15, 2017 Posted in Oilfield Injuries

The oilfield injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP handle serious personal injury cases around the country. To help our clients, we track which geographic areas are seeing the most activity at any given time. As of 2013, the 25 most active oilfields were: Eagleville (Eagle Ford Shale), Texas Spraberry Trend (Permian Basin), Texas Prudhoe Bay, Alaska Wattenberg, Colorado Briscoe Ranch (Eagle Ford Shale), Texas Kuparuk River, Alaska Mississippi Canyon 778 (Thunder Horse), Gulf of Mexico Wasson, Texas Belridge South, California Green Canyon 826 (Atlantis), Gulf of Mexico Mississippi Canyon 807 (Mars), Gulf of Mexico Green Canyon 826 (Mad Dog), Gulf of Mexico Sugarkane, Texas De Witt, Texas Midway-Sunset, California Kern River, California Cat Canyon, California Goldsmith, Texas Stanley (Bakken Shale), North Dakota Mississippi Canyon 854 (URSA), Gulf of Mexico Cedar Hills, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota Elk Hills, California Walker Ridge 678, Gulf of Mexico (St. Malo) Green Canyon 654, Gulf of Mexico (Senzi) Slaughter, Texas To learn more about these oilfields and activity, please review our other blog posts. Work Injuries Will Likely Increase. You Need Someone On Your Side. As the industry rebounds from the longest and hardest downturn in the recent history, rigs and equipment that have been stacked or mothballed will be fired up again. Inexperienced workers will be improperly trained and promoted. Crews will be rushed to make money. Poor maintenance practices will be revealed. All of these things will lead to significant injury or death for too many workers. Call For Help Now. […]

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Severe Phillips 66 Pipeline Explosion and Fire in Paradis, Louisiana Confirms Extreme Dangers Of Pipeline Work

By Feb 10, 2017 Posted in Articles

As being reported by The Times-Picayune out of New Orleans, a severe fire is ongoing at the Phillips 66 pipeline in Pardis, Louisiana near the Williams Discovery natural gas plan on Friday morning, February 10, 2017.  Multiple persons were taken to the hospital (including for burns), and the surrounding area has been evacuated, including up to 60 homes spanning several miles.  The fire broke out as maintenance was being performed.  Phillips 66 issued a statement at 2 a.m. on Friday morning indicating the pipeline had been blocked and that the remaining product continues to burn. Read more about this developing store here. Injuries caused by fires and explosions during the construction and maintenance of pipelines can involve longer recuperation periods — and devastating personal and financial consequences. The Causes of Pipeline Accidents Pipeline incidents causing severe injuries occur for a variety of reasons.  Such incidents can happed a result of defective pipes and pipeline components such as flanges and valves being poorly maintained or being old. Many pipelines in Texas and throughout the United States have been in use for half a century or more and are showing the signs of wear. It is the responsibility of the pipeline companies to inspect, maintain and repair their pipelines, but, all too often, they fail to do so. Failure to repair leaks, ruptures and other defects leaves pipelines unsafe and people vulnerable. Use of defective parts may also contribute to pipeline explosions. In handling pipeline accident cases, we use our extensive investigative resources to uncover the facts and identify liable […]

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Gulf of Mexico Offshore Update-2.2.17

By Feb 2, 2017 Posted in Offshore Injury

The maritime injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP monitor developments offshore Gulf of Mexico. This month, our update will cover a fire that broke out on a platform offshore Louisiana, oil company Hess’s big budget bet on Gulf of Mexico drilling, and optimism in the offshore supply vessel market that things are finally looking up. Fire Breaks Out On Offshore Platform An offshore fire broke out on a Gulf of Mexico platform on January 5, 2017. The incident was first reported around 2:30 in the morning. The platform, owned by Renaissance Offshore LLC, is located about 80 miles off the coast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Four personnel aboard the platform had to be evacuated to the M/V Mary Wyatt Milano, a supply vessel. They were ultimately taken to Terrebone General Hospital for observation. Four different boats and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane were required to put out the blaze. “We can’t get it out!,” workers cried: @AP @oceanCRIES . pic.twitter.com/J6mNWK3hnW — Michele (@seachele420) January 5, 2017 Renaissance Offshore LLC is a Houston, Texas based offshore company. The describe their mission as: “Identifying and acquiring under-developed assets with upside potential in the Gulf of Mexico is what Renaissance Offshore is all about. Through targeted acquisitions and negotiated sales, we are focused on building and maintaining our portfolio of assets placing a strong emphasis on oil production. We believe that significant opportunity remains for enhanced recovery from existing fields and infrastructure on the Shelf. Our acquisitions are targeted at older, legacy […]

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