What Are the Dangers of Distracted Walking?

Monday, February 19, 2018
Most people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. However, walking while distracted can be just as dangerous at the wrong time or place. In San Antonio, the attorneys of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., want to help you avoid accident and injury by making you aware of the dangers of distracted walking.

Dangers in the Path

Whether you are texting a friend, checking email, surfing social media, or selecting the next song to play as you walk, using a mobile device while walking takes your concentration away from what is coming up in front of you. A common hazard you would easily avoid may surprise you and cause you to have an accident while walking. An uneven section of sidewalk, a limb in your path, or a small toy left unattended may cause you to trip when you fail to notice the obstacle in your path. Tripping over a hazard can result in falls that cause broken bones, back or neck injuries, or even concussion or other head trauma. Focusing on your mobile device while walking can cause a failure to yield to bigger hazards, too, resulting in serious injuries or even death. The most obvious concern is that you may inadvertently step in front of a vehicle that does not have the ability to stop before striking you. When a car collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian is likely to suffer severe injury. Other hazards from stepping onto the road may be failing to notice you are stepping off a curb, leading to sprained ankles from the awkward step, or falling into the street.

Injuries to Others

Distracted walking is not only a danger to you but also to those around you. Bumping into another pedestrian could cause him or her – or you – to stumble and fall, possibly resulting in injury to one or both of you. If you were to step in front of a vehicle in the street, the driver may swerve to avoid hitting you, causing a collision with a parked or moving vehicle. This can result in thousands of dollars of damage or injury to the drivers and passengers. By walking safely, you protect yourself, other pedestrians, and those in the cars around you.

Helpful Tips to Avoid Distracted Walking

There is certainly no harm in checking your phone while you are out for a walk. However, to get the most out of your time on foot and avoid injury, it is a good idea to follow some common-sense tips to avoid distracted walking. Step out of the way of other pedestrians or cars, and stop walking before checking your phone. A phone call or text can wait the few moments necessary to find a safe place to stop and focus on the notification or phone call. Consider using your phone’s silent or do not disturb feature while walking. In today’s culture, we tend to respond as soon as our devices notify us that we have an incoming message or phone call. By simply silencing those notifications, you can avoid a surprise distraction and focus on where you are walking. One smart way to stay safe is to plan your music ahead of time and listen to it at a moderate volume. A lengthy playlist that doesn’t require your constant attention between songs can help you avoid checking your device often during your walk. Ensure that you are still able to clearly hear what is going on around you by keeping the volume of anything you are listening to low enough to allow ambient sounds to reach you. Protect yourself and others from injury by avoiding the dangers of distracted walking and keeping your attention fixed on the path ahead.
Posted by at 10:57 pm

What Is Third-Party Liability?

Monday, February 12, 2018
Receiving compensation for your injuries after an injury on the job may simply require reporting the accident to your employer and immediately seeking medical treatment. This procedure doesn’t always award you with adequate financial support or address issues of third-party liability in your accident. In San Antonio, the attorneys of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., have the experience to evaluate when your claim may involve third-party liability and the expertise to pursue a claim so you can receive your due compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

The most typical third-party liability claims result from complex workers’ compensation cases. In a typical workers’ compensation claim, there is no need to determine or establish who was at fault in the accident. Even if you were primarily responsible for the accident that resulted in your injury, worker’s compensation will provide for medical expenses and missed wages due to lost time at work. Insurers call these no-fault claims because they pay the claim regardless of fault in the accident. The advantage to the worker is that he or she receives money from their claims faster. An insurer won’t deny a claim simply because the worker may have been responsible for contributing to his or her own injury. There are drawbacks, though. There are limits to the amount of compensation most workers’ compensation policies pay. In many cases, your injury-related expenses may exceed what you are able to receive from workers’ compensation, or you may have been able to receive more if you were to pursue compensation through more traditional personal injury cases. Employers in Texas may opt to forego purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. In these cases, the damages you can claim are greater, but you must prove fault in a claim in order to collect compensation. Even in such cases, you may not be able to collect the total amount of damages a labile party owes you if the business is small or does not have the resources to pay for an expensive claim.

What Is a Third-Party Liability Claim?

There two parties in an ordinary workers’ compensation claim: the employee and the employer. The workers’ compensation insurance steps in to cover the expenses for the employer. However, in some cases, there may be someone else responsible for the accident unrelated to the employer or employee. This is when a third-party claim may arise. In a third-party liability claim, the injured employee may pursue compensation from the third party that was responsible for the accident and injury. For example, if you are driving for your job and suffer an injury in a car accident that a driver caused when he or she ran a red light, you qualify for workers’ compensation. You also may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Other examples include injuries someone suffers as a result of defective equipment, in which the manufacturer might be the third party, or an injury suffered on the premises of another business you were visiting for work.

Why Pursue a Third-Party Liability Claim?

Worker’s compensation insurance typically pays only economic damages. That is, the policy covers medical expenses, lost wages, and costs for rehabilitation to return to work, but no other compensation. If a third party was responsible for your injury, you may pursue compensation for pain and suffering, and even mental and emotional distress suffered as a result of the injury. You may pursue damages owing to disfigurement if you have sustained substantial scarring or other unsightly reminders of your injury. Third-party liability claims require proof the third party was at fault in causing your injury. Even if you were partially responsible for causing the accident, you still may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
Posted by at 10:45 pm

What Is the Difference Between a Concussion and a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Monday, February 5, 2018
Brain injuries devastate families in ways more severe than almost any other type of injury one can suffer. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., has been helping Texans in the San Antonio area find relief after suffering brain injuries of all kinds. Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can leave the victims and their families with expensive medical bills and long rehabilitation that require time missed from work. Our attorneys have seen the effects of these injuries and know your case deserves meticulous attention and care for you to receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Sorting Out the Confusion

A traumatic brain injury is an injury that results in physical trauma to the brain. This usually comes from a blow to the head, or even an object penetrating the skull. The brain is a complex organ and damage to any part of it can have unpredictable results. Changes in personality or violent mood swings can result, as well as loss of concentration, and difficulties with memory retention and formation. Brain injury also can result in more serious damage, such as loss of motor skills and impairment of even basic functions such as feeding oneself or taking care of personal hygiene. There is a range of injuries that can occur to the brain. Milder injuries may affect fewer tasks and cause fewer impairments for the victim of the injury. They also may heal within a few months and leave fewer lasting problems. More serious injuries, on the other hand, may result in severe physical or mental impairment.

Concussion as a Traumatic Brain Injury

A concussion is a milder form of a brain injury. This does not mean a concussion is not a serious injury; however, it may be less serious than other forms of traumatic brain injury. Concussions can result in a number of serious symptoms including:
  • Bad headaches, including migraines
  • A fog of confusion that leaves victims unable to easily or clearly comprehend events going on around them
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or problems with memory
  • Irritability and changes in personality
  • Heightened sensitivity to light and noise
These symptoms may be mild compared with more severe brain injuries, but they are often debilitating for victims. Concussion sufferers are also four to six times more likely to suffer another concussion in the future.

Brain Injury by the Numbers

The prevalence of traumatic brain injury nationwide, including concussions, is far too common. More than 900,000 traumatic brain injuries occur each year, and a number of these injuries happen in Texas (injured parties reported 23,000 traumatic brain injuries in Texas each year). This represents tens of thousands of people that brain injury impacts each year. Falls are the most common source of these injuries including slip-and-falls suffered in a store or on a sidewalk; falls from scaffolds or ladders in the workplace; or trips over obstructions or damaged flooring on stairs. When an adult falls even from just standing height, the results are often injury to the brain. If you’ve suffered a brain injury after a fall, it’s important to work with a slip and fall lawyer in San Antonio to fully understand your legal options for compensation. The next most common source of brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents. Modern vehicles have sophisticated safety devices, but this has not prevented all injuries related to crashes. In Texas, approximately 7,200 hospitalizations for brain injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, and more than 9% of these injuries are fatal.

Traumatic Brain Injury Compared to Concussions

Concussions are one of the milder forms of traumatic brain injuries, but victims still suffer physical and mental effects. Traumatic brain injuries are common, and those who suffer them as a result of an accident may have many months of medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from their injuries. Severe traumatic brain injuries may require years of treatment, and victims may never fully regain the mental and physical abilities they had before their injury.
Posted by at 10:30 pm