San Antonio Legal Blog

Simple steps to boosting safety on Texas construction sites

When you show up for work every morning, you are probably not thinking about all the ways you could possibly be injured on the job. Maybe you've never considered the possible risks you face at work, or never thought about what you would do in the event of an accident. Regardless of the type of work you do, understanding how to stay safe at work is important. 

Jobsite safety is particularly important in the construction industry. Employers are responsible for taking reasonable measures to protect the safety and well-being of their workers. You deserve to feel safe at work, and you should have access to the equipment and training you need to do your job safely.

Examples of workplace accommodation

If you have a work-related disability in Texas that affects how you are able to perform your job, there are certain requirements your employer must follow to help you get back to work. Employers must provide accommodations for physical and mental disabilities as long as they do not cause undue hardship on the company.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Americans with Disabilities Act defines accommodation as a modification to the position, work environment or hiring process to allow someone with a disability equal opportunities to both get a job and successfully perform that job. An employer must make the necessary modifications as long as they do not majorly impact the company's productivity level or profit. The changes can include physical changes, communication devices, assistive technologies and policy modification. Examples of these may include:

  • Adding a wheelchair ramp to the entrance of the building
  • Modifying the work desk to be more ergonomically friendly
  • Providing interpreters or readers
  • Using videophones
  • Changing the policy manual to allow service animals 

Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder after a serious injury

When Texas workers are seriously injured on the job, they may deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is particularly true for those in high threat environments. Fortunately, according to FindLaw, if the injury is work related and the worker suffers from extreme stress and anxiety and it affects the ability to do the job and earn money, it may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim.

PTSD is more than average anxiety or stress. The American Psychiatric Association states women are more likely than men to have PTSD and that one in 11 people in the United States will deal with PTSD at some point in their lifetime.  Those with this condition may have intense flashbacks or memories about the event and may feel anger, sadness, fear, detachment or estrangement from other people.

Who is liable for fatal truck accidents?

A recent crash involving an out-of-control semi-truck that killed four and injured others is a reminder of how dangerous large trucks can be. If you live in Texas, you may wonder who is liable for an accident of that magnitude. It may be the driver, the trucking company or both, considering the factors involved.

According to 9News.com, the accident occurred just outside of Denver, and the driver of the truck is facing four counts of vehicular homicide, although official charges are not currently pending. Perhaps the reason for this is because investigations may show that it was not the driver's fault the truck lost control and slammed into backed-up traffic. The driver has a current commercial license and has a clear traffic record.

Traumatic brain injuries can cause long-term damage

Traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem in Texas and across the United States. In fact, more than 2.8 million were sent to the emergency room, hospitalized or fatally injured due to brain injuries over the period of one year. While falls are the leading cause of TBI-related emergency room visits, car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations. What are traumatic brain injuries and how can people recognize the signs and symptoms?

A brain injury can occur when the head is suddenly jolted, it hit by an object or smacks into another object. This impact causes the soft tissue of the brain to bounce around in the hard-bony skull, causing bruising, bleeding and swelling. People may not know they have a brain injury right away, as the signs and symptoms may take a few days to present themselves or are commonly thought to be caused by something else. Traumatic brain injuries can result in physical, behavioral, sensory and cognitive issues, including the following:

  •          Nausea and vomiting
  •          Consistent headaches
  •          Muscle tingling, seizures, convulsions
  •          Change in behavior or mood
  •          Trouble sleeping, concentrating or remembering details
  •          Problems communicating with others

Healthcare workers at higher risk for workplace violence

Working in healthcare can be an extremely satisfying career choice. Like other healthcare professionals in Texas, you probably take great joy from caring for your patients. You already understand some of the associated risks of working in a medical setting, but those risks are often worth it. However, did you know that you could be at a higher than average risk for workplace violence?

While violence against healthcare workers sometimes takes the form of verbal abuse from patients and their family members, it often manifests as physical violence. Victims of these acts often suffer physical and emotional wounds and are forced to time off of work to recover.

What are heat-related illnesses?

As the weather changes and the days start getting hot, you mind may wander to those long, hot days ahead. If you work outside in Texas, there is a very real risk of a heat-related illness. It is essential for you and your employer to plan ahead and be prepared so you are not put at risk for such an illness. It starts with understanding what these illnesses are.

Prolonged exposure to heat or short-term exposure to intense heat can lead to a heat-related illness, according to WebMD. There are three general types of illnesses. They include heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

Odessa collision leaves one dead, two injured

When people in San Antonio hear that action is being taken against one who caused a car accident, it may be easy to assume that those bringing such action are simply doing so out of a sense of vindictiveness. The thought may be that no legal action can reverse what is done, so why would people even pursue it? Yet in reality, the plaintiffs in personal injury cases (in which car accidents are included) are typically not trying to punish those that caused their accidents. Rather, they may need the compensation that can come from such action to handle the losses that they suffered. 

Often those losses are catastrophic. Take the case of a recent car crash that occurred in Odessa. A pickup carrying two young men through an intersection was violently struck by another vehicle after the driver of the truck drove a stop sign. Investigators are still trying to determine what might have prompted the other truck driver to operate his vehicle in such a reckless manner, yet thus far no conclusions have been made. Complicating the investigation is that fact that the driver of that vehicle is currently in the hospital battling life-threatening injuries sustained in the crash. Sadly, the driver of the other truck was killed, while his passenger also sustained injuries. 

Study: Hands-free cellphones cause driver distraction

If you are like many other Americans, you may use a hands-free cellphone to minimize distraction and continue to keep up with friends and business. You may be surprised to learn, however, that even hands-free cellphones are not safe to use while behind the wheel. Hands-free cellphones are a significant source of cognitive distraction and can cause serious car accidents. According to the National Safety Council, the human brain is incapable of fully concentrating on two complex tasks at the same time. Instead, the mind bounces back and forth between one task and the other, which leaves instances where you may not focus on driving at all. These moments can have disastrous consequences.

In one study, researchers measured the amount of cognitive distraction caused by certain distractive tasks, including the following:

  • Maintaining a conversation using a hand-held device
  • Talking with someone using a hands-free cellphone
  • Listening to an audio book
  • Listening to the radio
  • Perform various tasks using voice-activated technology

    How can work conditioning help you heal?

    If you have been injured at work, your first instinct is probably to seek medical attention and get treated for your injuries. You acknowledge that your injury will require you to take some time off of your job in Texas, but you have not thought much beyond that. Now, it is time for you to file a claim with your employer's workers' compensation program and to continue to receive the help that is necessary to get you prepared to resume your job responsibilities. 

    An interesting aspect of recovery is called work conditioning. According to selectphysicaltherapy.com, the overarching goal of this type of program is to help you regain the capacity to be able to return to work as soon as possible. A good program will provide a customized treatment plan that will address areas like joint mobility, functional abilities, endurance and even strength to help you rebuild the areas of your body that are needed in performing your job. 

    San Antonio Office
    8207 Callaghan Road
    Suite 250
    San Antonio Office
    San Antonio, TX 78230

    Fax: 210-366-4791
    Map & Directions

    Lubbock Office
    4920 S. Loop 289
    Suite 103A
    Lubbock Office
    Lubbock, TX 79414

    Fax: 806-780-4358
    Map & Directions

    Odessa Office
    519 Golder Ave.
    Odessa Office
    Odessa, TX 79761

    Fax: 432-362-4624
    Map & Directions

    Abilene Office
    500 Chestnut Street
    Suite 213
    Abilene Office (By Appointment Only)
    Abilene, TX 79602

    Fax: 325-437-5786
    Map & Directions