The Bad News And Good News About Contributory Negligence

How much responsibility you bear for an accident can determine the damages you are awarded. If you are partially at fault, can you still make a claim against someone? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is that under the rules of Proportionate Responsibility, the damages paid to someone injured in a negligence case will be reduced the more you are at fault. That means if a jury determines you were 30% at fault in a car accident, any damages awarded to you will be reduced by 30%. This rule is capped at 50%, however. If you are suing someone for an injury and it is determined that you were more than 50% responsible, then your injury is considered your own fault and you will receive no payout.

The good news is, things used to be a lot worse. Historically speaking, the law has become more friendly to plaintiffs over time. In the past, a principle called “contributory negligence” said that if you were even 1% at fault for an injury then you were not owed any compensation. Ever since the early 1900s, this very strict standard has been getting more and more reasonable. Major reforms in 1995 and 2003 helped this process along to the modern day rules.

Filing a lawsuit after an injury can be a complicated process. It can be helpful to have a team of established lawyers on your side. If you need help, contact us today.

Avoid Costly Liabilities With These Summer Boating Tips

With Summer in full gear, it’s a good time to review some boating safety tips. Boating can be a fun time for you and your friends, but if you ignore the basics you can be held liable for a variety of costly infractions. Here are some of the best tips to keep yourself and others safe while on area lakes:

  • Do not drink and operate a boat. Not only is it illegal, operating a boat while intoxicated significantly ups your chances of causing a fatal accident. What can seem like a big, open lake can quickly turn into a hazard of swimmers and boaters that require your full attention to navigate around.
  • Slow down. While there are not posted speed limit signs out on the water, you can receive a fine for excessive speed or reckless actions while operating your boat. It’s ok to have fun, just make sure you and others are safe while you have it.
  • Be sure you know the rules about life jackets. For instance, in Texas you must have one life jacket per person and children under 13 years of age are required to wear a life jacket at all times.
  • Be mindful of the weather. Storms and rough water can be disastrous even if you are just out on a local lake. It’s best not to put yourself or others in danger by risking the weather.

These same tips are some of the first things you should look at if you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident. Was the operator of the boat drinking? Were the operating their boat too fast? Did they have the proper number of life jackets on board?
If you need help, give us a call at 903-526-1600 today.

Sepsis and Medical Malpractice


Sepsis And Medical Malpractice

What is Sepsis?

According to the Mayo Clinic, sepsis is a life-threatening condition that is caused by the body's response to infections. In most instances, the body will release chemicals, and cells, into the bloodstream to fight the infections. Sepsis is when the chemical response in the body is unbalanced which can cause changes in the body that can result in damaging organ systems.
Sepsis can happen to anyone, but it is most common and most dangerous in:

  • Older people
  • Children younger than 1
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with chronic conditions (such as cancer, diabetes, kidney, or lung disease)
  • Those with weakened immune systems

The CDC states, "Each year, at least 1.7 million adults in America develop sepsis. Nearly 27,000 Americans die as a result of sepsis each year. One in three patients who die in a hospital have sepsis."


Signs of sepsis include:

  • Mental status changes
  • Breathing rate of 22 breaths a minute or higher
  • A systolic pressure equal or less than 100 (mm Hg)

The progression of sepsis can result in "septic shock" which is when there are changes in the vascular system, otherwise known as the circulatory system. Septic shock is more likely to cause death than sepsis. Though both are extremely dangerous and common in a hospital setting to those most "at-risk", unfortunately. Another setting that sepsis will typically occur in are nursing homes. Nursing home and hospital negligence are both incredibly common problems that can cause traumatic suffering, or even death.


According to the CDC, it's important to prevent infections that can lead to sepsis. Be sure to take good care of any chronic conditions you may have and get all recommended vaccines. Always wash your hands and ensure that all cuts or open wounds are clean and covered until they are completely healed. Knowing the signs of sepsis such as a high heart rate and fever, or the feeling of being cold. This includes chills and shivering.
And act fast! Proper medical attention needs to be taken IMMEDIATELY if you suspect sepsis or have an infection that is not improving or is worsening.


Often, during difficult times, it's complicated to think of everything that you need to do when tragedy strikes. For example, older people who are hospitalized with a condition unknown, or an entirely different condition altogether, usually have a domino effect when it comes to illness. This can result in issues such as sepsis. The part where negligence occurs is when the staff doesn't treat it right away, or neglected to prevent the problem to begin with - a much harder case to make. But one that Martin Walker Law has no problem making.
Tragically, many of these cases go unreported. And for an entirely understandable reason.


Essentially, the problem is that most are not prepared for the "bad". But we have a couple of steps that you can take to be prepared:

  • Add a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer to your contacts in your personal phone or in your personal directory. The official Martin Walker Law number is 903-526-1600.
  • At the first sign of negligence, contact us. The sooner the problem is caught and told, the more solid the evidence.



In conclusion, sepsis is not just a condition. It's a small epidemic. Learn more through the CDC or the Mayo Clinic about the signs and symptoms. If there is ever a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. And if you suspect any sign of neglect or mistreatment of any kind from a nursing home or hospital, call Martin Walker Law. We're here to protect.

The Top 6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

The Top 6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

It's widely known that serious errors can be made due to negligence under the care of a health care practitioner.
Are you aware of how those errors occur?
This is so important because so many victims do not even know they are victims even after suffering from life-changing injuries or outcomes. Different states have different statute of limitations laws that restrict the amount of time is available to seek justice after the case has occurred. Because of this, we feel the need to provide to you 6 of the most common types of medical malpractice errors to help you stay informed.
If a doctor examines you or a loved one and fails to diagnose the correct illness. This is considered malpractice because it prevents the patient from getting the treatment they need. Malpractice only occurs if the doctor failed to do what any other doctor would have done and this caused harm to the patient.
✔️Delayed Diagnosis
The doctor made an incorrect diagnosis but the patient eventually receives the correct diagnosis. The condition becomes worse because the patient didn't receive the necessary treatment in time.
✔️Failure to Treat
The doctor may diagnose the correct illness but they may fail to recommend the proper treatment.
✔️Surgical Errors
A doctor may perform the wrong procedure, damage organs, nerves or tissue, use non-sterile surgical instruments, or even provide inadequate care after the surgery.
✔️Birth Injury
Birth injuries can possibly result in the death of your child if the child's prenatal care was inadequate or if the child or mother suffers injuries during the birth process.
✔️Medical Product Liability
If a patient suffers needlessly after a poorly designed medical device was used on them for their illness.


This list is not comprehensive however it does a great job of highlighting the most common types of medical malpractice that you need to keep in mind. We also want you to know that not all medical malpractice cases are this black and white and you should always reach out to professionals like us at Martin Walker Law who specializes in Medical Malpractice and all that goes along with it. (903) 526-1600

Nursing Homes and Their Risks

Nursing Homes and Their Risks

Mistakes can happen in all types of places, including nursing homes. Failing to check on a patient on schedule or failing to perform all duties that ensure their health and safety can lead to all sorts of trouble. One sign that an elderly patient is being neglected at a nursing home is if they start to develop bedsores. Bedsores or pressure ulcers happen when pressure is left on a part of one's body for a long period of time. These types of ulcers tend to happen more often on bony areas such as the heel or tailbone, but it is possible to happen to any part of the body.
Are bedsores a normal occurrence to the elderly?
Most elderly patients in nursing home care are wheelchair bound. They are usually sitting in a wheelchair all day and some are even paralyzed and cannot feel anything from the waist down. This means that the patients in this situation are not strong enough to move at all. Blood flow is lacking in this type of scenario which can lead to tissue death. If the situation is only that of short-term lack of mobility, the result can be nothing more than red marks or a change in skin texture. However, if this continues longer, over time the bed sore will continue to develop and worsen.  Further symptoms can include swelling, tenderness, and in some cases, pus-like fluids can occur. In extreme cases of bedsores, bone can be exposed.
If you are visiting a family member and you notice that your loved one or even another patient has bed sores on their body, seek immediate help for them. If these illnesses are not treated in time they can lead to infection, necrosis, and even sepsis which is an infection of the blood that can lead to death. It's no doubt that these cases are nothing short of negligence on the part of the nursing home staff. Seeking a new nursing home for your loved one is a good tactic to take if this problem occurs; at the same time as considering your legal options. Don't hesitate to call us today if you need our assistance in seeking justice for your loved one who has been neglected in a nursing home. (903) 526-1600

Should Medical Malpractice Be Listed As A Cause Of Death?

We have mentioned before that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US. In fact, it's just under heart disease and cancer if placed in the official CDC annual report of the leading causes of death in the United States.

In 2013 medical error deaths reached 250,000 as compared to 98,000 in 1999. Why is it that this common cause of death is never listed anywhere by the CDC as a leading cause of death as it does for heart disease and COPD? It's possible that if the annual reporting of this cause of death were actually published people would start to become more aware of this serious issue. When these types of errors occur, hospitals and doctors never voluntarily admit their fault.

A study published from 2013 recorded that only 9 percent of patients said that the hospital voluntarily disclosed medical errors in their case. In our state of Texas, the Medical Board receives over 7,000 complaints a year. These complaints are usually from the patients themselves or their families in regards to their health care provider. These complaints are statistically on the rise and are not being met with the level of attention they deserve. It's up to all of us to keep this in mind when dealing with our own health care providers. We must hold them accountable if anything goes wrong, and keep our friends and family informed of these statistics. Unfortunately, Texas pays less compensation to malpractice victims than any other state in our country.

There are a lot of challenges that face the victims of medical malpractice. The attorneys at Martin Walker Law will thoroughly investigate your situation and will work endlessly to make sure that you are compensated to the full amount possible. Contact us today for a free consultation and get the help you deserve today. (903) 526-1600.

Common Personal Injury Terms

There are a lot of terms that we use in the legal profession regarding personal injury lawsuits. Keeping track of what means what, especially when talking about the different types of personal injury damages, can get a bit tricky. Below is a quick guide to help you get a better understanding of different types of damages:

  • In car accidents, there are the normal types of damages that are easier to account for. Things like the cost of repairing your vehicle or medical expenses. There are other types of damages that can come into play during a car accident suit, however.
    General Damages are are typically things that don’t have a fixed or easily calculated value. Something like mental anguish would be listed among General Damages.
    Special Damages, in contrast, are things like medical expenses or property damage. Things that can be specifically calculated based on costs and fair rates.
  • Punitive Damages are damages awarded in cases where someone’s actions go beyond the normal bounds of negligent or intentional. Punitive Damages are awarded when someone’s conduct is instead fraudulent, reckless, or malicious.
  • Damage Caps are limits on damages that are often outlined in state laws. They often vary by state and by the type of case. For instance, awards from medical malpractice cases are sometimes restricted under a lower cap than those associated with a product liability case.

If you or a loved one was injured and have questions about personal injury lawsuits, give us a call today at (903) 526-1600.

Filing An Injury Lawsuit: How Late Is Too Late?

Not all personal injuries are easy to spot on sight. Some injuries can begin occurring months after the initial accident. Many, unfortunately, decide that too much time as passed and that they have lost their legal rights to those damages. Even though there are time limits, they are dependent upon the initial discovery of your injury and the type of claim being filed.
Typically, we suggest consulting an attorney within 2 years of an injury. The reason is because evidence is most prominent and accurate when they are closest to the incident. There are, in different states, statues of limitations for personal injury which can vary quite immensely. In Texas, it’s 2 years from the date of the injury. In Maine, it’s 6.
There are three important things to know in Texas:

    • Lawsuits for Minors - Texas law establishes that medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed for children under the age of 12 years old have to be filed before they turn 14 years old.


    • Chapter 74 - Texas law decrees that every medical malpractice claim must be accompanied by an expert report which is only acquired through an attorney such as Martin Walker Law.


  • Statute of Repose – Texas law establishes patients have to file a lawsuit for medical errors before 10 years, after which they lose the right to file.

Oftentimes, injuries that are physical in nature are generally obvious. But in some cases, injuries that are long-term in nature such as disease or leukemia will require experienced attorneys. Call us today, at Martin Walker Law, for a free consultation. 903-526-1600. Visit our Facebook page for more news and updates.

Updates to Case Involving Nurse Charged with Murder of Patients in Tyler Hospital

It was a very dark time for Tyler back when William George Davis a 34-year-old from Hallsville decided to inject air into arterial lines of patients recovering from heart surgery in January of this year. William managed to inject air into a total of 7 patients’ arterial lines. The horrific events resulted in 2 people dying, and 2 were forced by the incident into a vegetative state. The question is how could this have happened; especially over such a long period of time? His first incident dates all the way back to June 22nd of 2017 and the most recent being in January of 2018. William was not fired until February 15th 2018. His license was only suspended March 16, 2018; It was finally revoked in April of this year.
This is why we here at Martin Walker Law do what we do. If it were not for us these types of events would happen more often. This event should be used as a lesson to all local hospitals. A lesson to be on guard for any suspicious behavior; even that of their own staff. William was indicted June 21, 2018, for murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The court is in process of setting a scheduling order. Pre-trial hearings have not yet been set.
If you or someone you know has been affected by malpractice, seek help immediately. We suggest not waiting for 2 years or more from the date you were affected. It’s our duty at Martin Walker Law to represent you to the standard that we believe is necessary to tackle any case.
Call Martin Walker Law today at (903) 526-1600 for a free consultation. Let us help you.