Offshore accidents an “epidemic” in Louisiana

Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 in Law | 0 comments

There are thousands of production platforms off the coast of Louisiana as the state and areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico enter a boom in oil production unseen in recent years. This is unexpected, considering how oil prices continue to plunge as supply exceeds demand. Experts say investment projections in oil and gas production infrastructure is in decades rather than years, and if a project is underway, it is hard to pull back.

However, watchdogs maintain that state and federal laws confer too much self-policing to oil and gas companies, especially over safety regulations on offshore rigs. There was intense pressure on regulators to do their jobs following the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, but that was almost five years ago. Oil and gas companies and their affiliates are again largely on their own, as predictably as the tide turns. With only 99 inspectors policing about 4,000 offshore rigs, it is perhaps not surprising.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that offshore accidents are on the decline, with 226 injuries reported in 2014. This is half of what it was in 2007. Nevertheless, some if not all of these 226 injuries may have been preventable if oil and gas companies invested more of their profits in safety measures.

According to the website of Houston personal injury accident lawyers of the Mokaram Law Firm, negligent employers are liable for serious injuries and fatalities that happen in offshore platforms. This is little enough comfort for the injured and survivors of a worker who gets killed, such as the 24-year-old Turnkey Cleaning Services who died while doing maintenance work on a dormant rig just off South Pass. Three other workers were injured.

If you sustained serious injuries in an offshore accident, it is your right to get compensation. Consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in dealing with oil and gas companies to find out your legal options.

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The Makings of a Great Defender

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Law | 0 comments

A person who knows about hard work will work hard for others. This appears to be the mantra by which personal injury lawyer and managing partner of law firm Williams Kherkher, John Eddie Williams Jr., abides by. The son and grandson of union longshoremen, John grew up with a strong work ethic. This is something he brought with him when he entered Baylor University on a full athletic scholarship, and he graduated first with a business degree as cum laude, and as lawyer at the top of his class.

His mother approved of John’s decision to go on to law school even though he had a good future in the corporate world. It was a decision that would pay him back in spades, although it took years of hard work before he finally realized his dream: to be an advocate for people who needed help.

Williams was always passionate about the law, but what he learned as he clerked for big corporations in the early years is that the “little guy” often had no voice. He used his passion for the law to make those responsible accountable for their actions and he wasn’t afraid to take on the big ones. He proved this when he took on the tobacco companies in 1995 on behalf of the state of Texas, which was suing them for health care costs. Tobacco companies were notorious for being slippery eels when it came to civil litigation, but Williams and his co-counselors hammered at the convoluted case until it began to unravel for the tobacco industry. The final verdict was a huge victory for Texas with a $17.3 billion settlement, and a landmark case for the legal representatives.

Williams is proud of the number of people he has helped with the support of the law firm’s staff and lawyers. Personal injury cases are tough nuts to crack, but Williams has shown time and again that he isn’t afraid of a challenge. He wins, too. Williams has an impressive track record for his involvement of most of the major pharmaceutical and personal injury cases in the US, including cases of asbestos exposure.

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The Sad Truth About Juvenile Offenses

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Law | 0 comments

Children are known for their still wide-eyed take of the world for they are still so naïve, vulnerable, and susceptible to external suggestion. That is why it is the responsibility of their parents or legal guardians to guide children into becoming law-abiding, uncompromising assets to society.

A Collin County criminal defense lawyer would probably argue that it is due to negligence or improper parental care that a child could be convicted of juvenile offense. According to some legal experts, there are some families who would be more content to simply pay the fines and allow for the crime to remain on record, thinking that the effects will disappear or become expunged over time. This is not advisable as anyone with a criminal record is almost automatically given less opportunities of both a professional and educational nature. There is also the psychological stigma that surrounds against any person who is with a criminal history, therefore affecting the social life of the accused.

There are many implications that await anyone who is on the other side of the bench in a court proceeding and there are also several defenses that could be used in order for justice to be favored. The rights of every individual must be upheld and protected in a court of law and the right legal team will take care of all of that. It is the responsibility of the attorneys handling the case to do all they can to protect and represent their client to the best of their ability, allowing for the right party of the case to reign righteous and free from conviction.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a juvenile offense in Texas, contact legal aid immediately for they know the ins and outs of this kind of court case like the back of their hand. You will end up thanking yourself for having gotten help that is more than knowledgeable with such a complicated, intricate legal procedure.

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Eradicating Workplace Accidents: The Primary Duty of Managers

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Hazards, Law | 0 comments

Employers in the US, whether from the private or government sector, are obliged provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, occurrences of accidents in the workplace. This duty is base on the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a federal law that was enacted by the US Congress in 1970. The Act requires the assurance for a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, the conduction of training in the area of occupational health and safety, and the provision of vital information, research and education on the same area.

In 1971the Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSH Act gave birth, in turn, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked to fully and strictly implement all the safety standards mandated by the Act, such as a workplace free from mechanical dangers, excessive level of noise, heat or cold stress, exposure to toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, radiation, unsanitary conditions, and other hazards.

The Hazard Communication Standard or HCS, is another mandate that OSHA enforces. This federal mandate, which was passed into law in 1980 and took effect in 1986, gives those exposed to hazardous chemicals in the work area the right to be informed about the type of danger they are exposed to and how they can protect themselves from such danger.

The HCS, also known as the Right-to-Know law or the Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, also requires manufacturers and importers to attach Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and warning labels on all their hazardous products. And, besides indicating on the label that a product is poisonous or hazardous, there should also be information on the product’s safe storage suggestions, potential health effects, precautions for use, emergency first aid instructions, and contact numbers for further information.

On its website, Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, explains that each type of work environment presents a unique set of safety risks; thus, employers should take full responsibility in implementing the necessary measures that will prevent accidents from occurring. Anticipation of potential problems through risk assessment, safety training, provision of the necessary protective equipment, installation of safety barriers and so forth, are just few of the precautions that ought to be observed inside work premises.  While OSHA maintains that accidents can be avoided, this will only be possible if owners of firms and their managers observe government safety standards, and the employees follow company safety rules.

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Proximate Cause and Negligence

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Law | 1 comment

Personal injury lawsuits have been on the rise in the US ever since the concept of liability was raised to protect the rights of the innocent bystander from the consequences of a third party’s actions.  While tort (wrongdoing) law has a long history, it has really only entered into the general public’s consciousness since the 1970s, but when it did it gained rapid ground. Yet there are some common misconceptions about personal injury litigation.

Two of the major concepts in a personal injury lawsuit are negligence and proximate cause. Negligence is defined as the act or the failure to act of a reasonable person resulting in foreseeable harm to another person. It is not enough that a person is negligent, however. The rule is that the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove that there was negligence by a third party and that this negligence was a proximate cause of serious injury.  It does not have to be the sole or even ultimate cause of the injury as long as the negligence can be connected to the injury in some way.

For example, in dram shop laws in any of the 38 states that enforce it in the US, the business establishment that fails to cut off a customer who is obviously inebriated or nearly so can be held liable for injuries resulting from a drunk driving accident.  The bar owner is said to owe a duty to the public to refuse service to an individual who may have had “one too many.”

Is it possible that even if the bar owner had refused service to the customer that the accident may have still happened? Yes, but that does not relieve the bar owner of liability for not cutting off the customer. In such cases, the “but-for” cause of action is not applicable, because the action of the bar owner increased the risk of a foreseeable event such as a car accident.

Proving negligence and proximate can be complicated, and according to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP in Tennessee, can add to the struggle that a victim will have to contend with on top of all the other problems associated with serious injury. It is advisable to have an experienced and knowledgeable legal team on board to help in proving the case and bring the case to a just and satisfactory conclusion.

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