Texas has more road construction zone fatalities than any other state

In 2016, there were over 750 road work zone fatalities in the United States, 172 of which occurred in our state of Texas. Only Florida had numbers remotely comparable, and even then they only totaled 80 work zone fatalities in the same time period.
Based on the latest data from the Federal Highway Administration, well over 50% of road work zone fatalities occur when a driver strikes an object or debris that has been left or made its way into the roadway. The next most common type of fatal work zone accident are rear end crashes.
There are a number of things you as a driver can do to reduce your chances of being involved in a work zone accident. They include:

    • Slowing down and following the indicated work zone speed limit.
    • Paying attention to the location of workers and road work supplies.
    • Keeping a safe, reasonable distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
    • Watch for construction vehicles pulling out onto the roadway
    • Obey the signals and instructions of workers directing traffic

If you or a loved one were injured in an auto accident involving road work, your case may have an added layer of complexity compared to a normal traffic accident. At Martin Walker P.C. we will work with you to see your case through to its proper conclusion. For a free case evaluation, give us a call at (903) 526-1600 or email us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com .

What Would A New Takata Airbag Settlement Mean For Car Owners?

For years now, airbag maker Takata has been dealing with the fallout of the faulty airbag inflator modules it designed for Honda and several other automobile manufactures. These defective airbags could sometimes explode during an auto accident sending shrapnel flying at a driver or passenger.
Now, after an investigation by the Department of Justice and a bankruptcy filing, Takata is attempting to set aside a fund for consumers who were injured by their airbags. One new issue that is currently in discussion is how those injured by a Takata airbag will get compensation. Takata is looking to set up a “channeling injunction” that directs future claims to a shared bankruptcy trust for compensation.
This kind of injunction has been before in the asbestos settlements of the 1990s, but setting up a similar structure for a different type of injury case has not been tried since. Currently, a court in Delaware is working on deciding how and if Takata will be allowed to set up such a channeling injunction.
If you or a loved one were hurt by an exploding Takata airbag, you may want to consider contacting an attorney sooner rather than later, because depending on what the Delaware court decides, the rules and procedures for making a claim may soon change drastically.

NYC Sues Opioid Manufacturers In $500 Million Lawsuit

Tuesday of this week was quite eventful for New York City.

The city itself is bringing suits against eight manufacturers of prescription opioids, stating that they are driving the epidemic that has affected NYC. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of the largest city in the U.S., states that the lawsuit is seeking $500 million in damages in order to fight the continuing opioid problem.
The companies and manufacturers being sued are:

  • Allergan Plc
  • AmerisourceBergen Corp
  • Cardinal Health Inc.
  • Endo International Plc
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • McKesson Corp
  • Purdue Pharma LP
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

The state court complaint filing pointed fingers at these manufacturers for misleading consumers that opioids, which includes medical painkillers, were safe in treating prolonged pain with an insignificant possibility of dependence.
The city is saying that manufacturers of these dangerous products are intentionally oversupplying and not reporting suspicious prescription refills which subsidizes a portion of the black market.
Which is now the result of 42,249 deaths in the United States within one year alone (2016).

Be Wary Of Hospital Apologies & Settlements

Medical Malpractice lawsuits are never comfortable for anyone. For patients, it means either something involving their medical care went wrong as part of an honest mistake, or worse, that the medical staff treating them made a life-changing error because they were not doing their jobs properly. For hospitals and clinics, even honest mistakes can be costly, and the threat of fraudulent medical malpractice claims is all too real.

Medical mistakes kill something on the order of 250,000 Americans each year, and for many hospitals and clinics, standard operating procedure for dealing with medical malpractice claims has been to get their lawyers involved and deny wrongdoing even if it is clear that the hospital or its staff was at fault. This certainly helps hospitals and clinics avoid paying out to dishonest patients making fraudulent claims, but it also greatly extends the period of worry and suffering individuals and their families go through while waiting for the legal process to run its course. That can add months or years of uncertainty to an already painful or troubling situation.

In the last few years, some hospitals have been trying a new approach. Instead of denying and defending against every complaint, a slowly growing handful of hospitals are taking an approach of including patients in their initial investigations, quickly sharing the results of those investigations with their patients, and offering an apology and full compensation if the hospital finds there were mistakes or negligence that lead to the patient being harmed. When this new approach works, it is good for both the hospital and the patient. Patients are compensated more quickly and the hospital or clinic is able to avoid a costly lawsuit. An article at MedCity News details a couple of examples where this approach has worked.

The problem with this approach, however, is that even well meaning programs of open investigation and quick compensation are still being run by the hospitals themselves. While some or many of these programs may be honest efforts to do the right thing, there is a risk that such programs could be abused to downplay findings or negotiate overly small settlements with patients while encouraging them not to get a lawyer involved. Hospitals could even use such a program to quickly resolve unwinnable cases while continuing the more widely used policy of denying and defending borderline cases where the settlement of a medical malpractice lawsuit might be more costly than its defense.

At the end of the day, a well run hospital settlement policy can help resolve medical accidents more quickly and smoothly, but you should always have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side if only to make sure you or your loved one is being treated properly.

At Martin Walker, P.C., we have been handling medical malpractice cases in Tyler and East Texas for well over a decade. We'd be happy to talk with you and give you a free medical malpractice case evaluation. To get in contact with us, you can call us at (903) 526-1600, email us at info@martinwalkerlaw.com, or use the info listed on our Contact Page.