Helpful Resources for New Teen Drivers

There’s nothing like the feeling of getting your driver’s license for the first time, keys in hand, heading out the door, and becoming an independent driver. We can all remember the excitement we felt. We were probably unaware of the many dangers that lurk around every corner on the roads. There are so many things new drivers need to be aware of.

This is why AutoBidMaster.com put out a New Driver Safety Guide that lists the following helpful links for new teens. Drivers in their teens and early twenties are at the highest risk for accidents while driving. This is why it is a great idea to review these with your teen driver before he or she heads out the door to drive!

Hopefully this information helps in keeping everyone safe on the roadways.

  • Defensive Driving – This webpage from the United States Department of Transportation provides information on being a defensive driver on the road.
  • Digest of Motor Laws – In this helpful resource from AAA, you will find various motor vehicle laws broken down by state.
  • Distracted Driving Laws – This article outlines the various laws about distracted driving in the United States.
  • Texting and Driving – In this government webpage you will find out about the different laws on distracted driving by state.
  • DWI/DUI Laws – This resource lists the laws pertaining to driving while intoxicated or under the influence by state.
  • Driving Safety – This resource from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contains information and tips for motorist safety.
  • Tips for Safe Driving – The American Medical Association provides tips, dos, and don’ts around driving.
  • NSC Safety on the Road – This article from the National Safety Council gives tips on ways to be safe while driving and riding on the road.
  • Roadway Safety Tips – This informative page provides information and links on various topics concerning road safety.
  • Highway and Travel Safety – In this page from the American Red Cross, you will learn tips on how to be safe while traveling on the roadways.
  • Handling Emergencies – This website gives information for drivers on how to handle various types of driving emergencies.
  • Driving Emergencies – This page from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles talks about what drivers should do in an emergency.
  • Surviving Driving Emergencies – This article lists nine common driving emergencies and how you should handle them.
  • Driving Emergencies – Edmunds provides information in this article on how to survive the ten most common driving emergencies.
  • Driving Safety Tips – This article from the Weather Channel lists several useful tips on how to safely drive in bad weather.
  • Winter Driving Safety – The Indiana Department of Transportation has put together this safe driving guide for drivers in winter weather conditions.
  • Driving at Night – This information sheet discusses the risks of driving at night, along with offering driving tips.
  • Teen Driver Resources – This portal of information on various teen driving issues comes from the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
  • Partners for Safe Teen Driving – This website provides news and resources for teen drivers and parents in order to promote safe driving.
  • Teen Driver Fact Sheet – In this webpage from the CDC, many statistics and information on teen driving are provided.
  • Facts and Statistics – This fact sheet which looks at teen drivers and driving habits.
  • Driving Resources – This informative page provides safe driving resources for teen drivers.
  • New Driver Resource Center – This useful collection of information and resources assists new drivers in driving safely.
  • Driving Safety Resources – This article covers various areas of driving safety for all drivers.
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Danger Increasing for Pedestrians Surrounded by Distracted Drivers

Kay Van Wey warns of increasing dangers for pedestrians on the roadways with distracted drivers

Distracted drivers are not only putting their own lives at risk more and more, they are also taking the lives of innocent pedestrians sharing the roadways. Recent studies show an increase in pedestrian deaths as a result of distracted drivers. 50% more pedestrians died at the hands of distracted drivers in 2010 than in 2005.

Distracted driving has become a public threat and is pervasive in our society, making it that much more difficult to deal with. If you stand at the road side and watch drivers, you will most likely see many who are texting, talking, using a GPS, or fidgeting with a cellular device in some way.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three main types of distraction while driving:

  • Manual distraction, which involves taking your hands off the wheel (i.e., eating or applying makeup while driving),
  • Visual distraction, meaning your eyes are no longer on the road (i.e., texting),
  • Cognitive distraction, taking your mind off driving

Although the number of motor vehicle deaths has declined in the United States, distracted driving deaths, including pedestrians killed by distracted drivers, continue to rise. Pedestrians who are sharing the roadways by cycling, walking, or other activities, are going to have to be more aware of this threat.

Today, if most of us see a driver who does not have a young child restrained properly in a car seat, we are likely to be upset with the driver. Many of us will say something to the driver, demonstrating our anger and lack of acceptance for placing a child’s life in danger. However, when we see someone using a cellular device while driving, it is somehow more acceptable. This has to change, as we realize more and more the threat we are placing on the lives of others by being so distracted while driving.

Cases of distracted driving are likely under reported as well because it is so difficult for police to prove. This makes distracted driving much more difficult to enforce than other laws, like child restraint laws. The evidence on policies intended to curb distracted driving is mixed, and some are just not working. Policy makers suggest that if this is the case, we need to think about marking crosswalks and bike paths more clearly, and separate cyclists more from the dangers of traffic.

65 percent of pedestrian victims of distracted driving crashes were male between the ages of 25 and 64 years old, Caucasian, and more likely to be struck outside of a marked crosswalk in a city. Bicycling victims were mostly male — 83 percent, between the ages of 25 to 64 years old and Caucasian. About half of the accidents occurred during daytime hours.

Those who enjoy cycling, walking, or running near busy streets need to be fully aware of their surroundings, and know that distracted drivers are all around, placing them in danger.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident involving a distracted driver, you should call an attorney who can assist you with a claim against the driver. Call Kay Van Wey of Van Wey Law in Dallas, Texas at (214) 329-1350, to get the facts sorted out.

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How to Avoid Toys That Can Harm Your Child

 

There are many dangerous toys that can harm kids.

What a wonderful, joyful time of year it is for all, especially if you have young children who are anxious for Santa to visit. It’s not often we hear of toys actually harming children, but in fact, they do. Every year there are numerous injuries, and even fatalities, caused by dangerous toys.

A child should never experience anything like this from merely playing with a toy. As caregivers of young children, we need to make sure that we are buying toys that are completely safe for them. We need to watch out for choking hazards and, believe it or not, toys that can be toxic.

All toys in the United States are regulated by the same set of standards, regardless of where they are manufactured. In 2008, efforts by The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) were stepped up after receiving pressure from consumers and advocates regarding dangerous toys. Despite this, 13 kids were killed last year and 196,000 were injured while playing with dangerous toys.

On November 26th, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report found that, despite recent progress, consumers must still be on alert for toys out there that have toxic chemicals, including lead and cadmium, that can have negative effects on children’s development and health. They also found small toys that pose a choking hazard, are too loud and can threaten hearing, and toy magnets that can cause serious injury if swallowed. The full report for 2013 can be downloaded here.

Here are six very important tips to help you be aware of what to avoid when it comes to toys:

1) Choking is the number one hazard and leading cause of death caused by toys.

The bigger a toy is, the safer it is, especially for children that will put things in their mouths. Toys for ages 3 to 6 must have on the label a choking warning on them. Do not give small children toys with small parts that can be swallowed.

2) High powered magnets are in the process of being banned because they are so dangerous.

Small, powerful magnets are a huge danger. If children swallow more than one, they can connect together inside of their stomachs and cause big problems.

3) Batteries, if ingested, can be fatal.

Small, button-like batteries can be easily swallowed. If they are, the battery acid can leak out of them and cause death.

4) There are still toys available on shelves that contain toxic chemicals.

Toys made in America, as well as those that come in from other parts of the country still contain dangerous levels of lead. Steer clear of toys made of PVC plastic, soft vinyl lunch boxes and bibs, and children’s costume jewelry.

5) If it’s too loud for you, it’s too loud for them.

Watch the volume on toys. If it seems too loud for you, then it is probably too loud for them. Remove the batteries, tape up the speakers to muffle the noise, or better yet, get rid of the toy.

6) Supervising small children is always the best safeguard from the dangers of toys.

Watch small children carefully. Do not allow them in bathrooms or kitchens alone. Make sure they don’t get into older siblings things and choke on them. They are busy little people, so make sure you watch them closely!

By supervising children carefully and buying safe toys, you can ensure your loved ones remain safe through the holiday, and throughout the year. Happy holidays from Van Wey Law!

 

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Hospital Falling Accidents…Yes, They Still Happen

One of the leading causes of death in the United States is medical mistakes and mishaps, like patients having hospital falling accidents.  By the year 2013, one would think many of these types of mishaps would be eliminated, especially in safe, secure hospitals, right?  Wrong!

An article just recently reported a devastating falling accident involving a female patient. She needed to use the restroom but couldn’t get a nurse to respond.  She attempted to make it on her own, fell, and dislodged her neck plate that had just been surgically implanted.  Not to mention she suffered other injuries as well.  What if that was your mother, would you be upset? Why are patients so susceptible to falling in hospitals, sometimes to their death?

Studies point to various factors that contribute to hospital falling accidents:

  • Side effects of drugs and combinations of drugs or are unknown by nurses.
  • Patients are over-medicated and side effects cause instability.
  • Environmental safety measures, such as lighting, assistive devices, furniture, clinical alarm systems, housekeeping, properly fitted shoes and clothing, personal assistance when needed to enable safe transfers and patient movement, partial side rails, keeping patient rooms and hallways free of clutter, and keeping objects within reach of the patient.
  • Insufficient Procedures, such as physical distance nurses travel on a hospital unit to care for patients, documentation time, and fragmented communication between caregivers
  • Issues related to toileting – Over 50% of falls happen when patients attempt to go to the restroom.  Many claim they felt the nurses seemed too busy and didn’t want to ask for help.
  • Overcrowding in Emergency Rooms, where most patients enter the hospital. are well known for hospital falling accidents.

Most Falls are Predictable and Preventable

The most frustrating thing about these accidents is that they are all preventable.  The problem is that it is usually after the fact when hospitals begin working on preventing them.  Hospitals are required to follow certain guidelines to prevent these occurrences, but they are falling short.  Hospitals are often understaffed, have too many patients for caregivers to handle, and this is resulting in neglect, injury, and even death. 

Most falls are predictable and preventable when risk factors are used to guide fall prevention strategies—only a very small percent of hospital falls cannot be predicted (seizures, drop attacks, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke).Ann Hendrich, MS, RN, FAAN 

Too often, fall prevention strategies begin after a hospital falling accident occurrence, not before. This is a key reason why some fall programs fail to consistently reduce the overall fall index/injury rate over time.

There are risk management companies designing environmentally safer rooms, and using alarms, pressure monitors, and various other devices in an attempt to eliminate the problem.  So far, though, they don’t seem to be helping.

If a person is injured due to the negligence of hospital staff or safety precautions, the hospital can be liable for those injuries. Hospital negligence leading to patient fall and injury is sometimes a form of medical malpractice for which injured patients and their families can seek compensation. It is best to consult an attorney to determine if there is a strong case, and what the best options are for building that case, or filing a civil lawsuit. If hospital falling accidents are truly preventable, hospitals must eliminate the deaths and injuries…There’s just no excuse.

 

 

 

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Osphena and Viagra Are High Risk for Injuries

It’s been called the new Viagra for women.  Osphena is the new sex pill for women, and Big Pharma is banking that millions will buy the drug.  It is designed to treat “dysparunia”, which is moderate or severe pain during intercourse due to menopausal changes in the vagina area.

But, is this something that women really need?

According to Jennifer Block, an editor for Senior Planet, there’s more hype than help behind the drug’s claims, plus some scary risks and several unpleasant side effects.

In her article, she questions whether or not “dysparunia” is a real disorder affecting many women, or is it a simply another “backdoor” replacement for “hormone replacement therapy” with the same risks?

In case you don’t remember, the history of Hormone Replacement Therapy is quite concerning.  In the 60s, the idea of menopause as a curable disease that can be treated surfaced.  Sales of hormone treatments soared, and Big Pharma made lots of cash.

In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative helped uncover the truth about this hormone replacement therapy.  Not only were there no benefits whatsoever, to the contrary, there were many risks involved, and they were high.  These included increased chances of breast cancer, coronary vascular disease, stroke and blood clots.

Though there is some doubt about this, and drug companies would like to see the claims thrown out, there is one statement of truth learned.  Menopause is not a disease and does not necessarily need to be treated, especially if terrible risks can occur.

According to Block, dysparunia can be caused form a variety of things, like infection, or  not enough foreplay.  The natural changes that occur in women are kind of like hair that turns grey as we age.  She believes this is all a charade, a made up disease to be treated by a drug that is completely unnecessary.  Could this possibly be true?

This is the warning found on a website that informs people all about the drug, Osphena…

Label for Viagra

The warnings do not look appealing, especially if the benefits are next to nothing.

What about Viagra?

A pharmaceutical company called Pfizer developed it and it is being sold by several other large pharmaceutical, or Big Pharma companies as well.  This drug for men suffering from erectile dysfunction promises to be the cure.  However, it has many harsh side effects as well, and there is quite a few men who should never take it if they have Hypotension, cardiovascular risks, or a list of other problems.

It can cause severe hypotension, myocardial infarction, strokes, and even sudden death.  In 2005, The FDA found that it may even cause loss of eyesight!  I wonder how many users are aware of these effects.

Thank goodness the FDA is aware, but it may be too late.  The FDA did not take it off the market, but ordered Big Pharma to display the effects more prominently on their products, using a black label.  Pfizer faces many lawsuits claiming they did not adequately warn the public of such harmful effects.

Nobody likes to talk about sexual dysfunction, but the nasty side effects from taking these two drugs could land you in the hospital.  Make sure you seek legal counsel if you are harmed and believe it may be from Osphena or Viagra.  You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, and these companies need to pay their consequences for the harm they’ve caused.

Contact VanWey Law PLLC, Dallas’s Premiere Law firm, if you need an attorney who will fight for your rights.

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Man’s Best Friend…Or Foe? Texas Among Top 10 States for Dog Bite Claims

The Lone Star state is known for ranking among the top in the nation for positive reasons, but U.S. Postal Service workers beware: Texas is third in the nation for dog bites according to State Farm.

While pet owners claim that their dog would never bite or intentionally harm someone, any dog has the ability and unpredictable tendency to bite. There are a variety of reasons this may occur. State Farm states,

“a dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim’s behavior. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed.”

The best defense for keeping yourself and the ones you love safer from dog bites is to be knowledgable about what may or may not influence a dog to attack. BARC animal shelter in Houston provides some guidelines to staying smart and safe:

  • Look for the indications of aggressive behavior such as “wrinkled muzzle, teeth showing while growling, lips/facial muscles tense, hair on back standing up, dog freezes and holds breath, hard and direct stare, [and] tail up and held in place.”
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.
  • Remain calm if you are ever approached by an unfamiliar dog or a dog who exhibits any of the aforementioned indicators of aggressive behavior.
  • Don’t ever startle, chase, tease, or run from a dog.
  • Never leave a child unattended with a dog, even a family pet.
  • Be cognizant of triggers for aggression, such as approaching a dog when puppies are present, messing with a sleeping dog, or challenging a dog with your body language (“making direct eye contact, facing the dog directly, or reaching out to make contact”).
  • Under no circumstances should you try to break up a dog fight yourself. Use a hose or other long object to separate them instead of your bare hands.

BARC also provides some tips on what to do if you are attacked:

  • Give the dog something else to bite instead of your body, and be sure that it makes contact with the dog’s mouth.
  • If you are in an area that you do not have an object to substitute your body, you may need to “take the bite.” In such a situation, do your best to use your non-dominant arm or extremities.
  • Once the dog has bitten down, do not provide any resistance by pulling back, as this may further excite the dog and potentially worsen the attack.
  • If all else fails, “go limp, curling up into the fetal position and protecting your head and trunk with your arms and legs. Do not fight back or struggle, and do not try to get up until the dog is at least 20 feet away. Back away from the dog.”
  • Immediately clean the bite site and seek medical attention, and don’t forget to report the bite.
 If you happen to be the victim of a dog attack, you should be familiar with your legal rights. Please read my brief article, “Legally Speaking: Every Texas Dog Gets One Free Bite,” to better understand your rights and resources.
To discuss your case with me, please email me directly at [email protected]
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Don’t Get Burned by the Da Vinci Robot: “Micro-Cracks” in Device May Lead to Electrical Leaks, Increasing Chances of Patient Injury

Robotic surgery is a part of patient vernacular, especially if you live in a large urban area like Dallas. There are countless billboards promoting robotic surgery, and you may have even had a physician suggest a more advanced approach than traditional surgery. While medical technology is advancing at a rapid pace and there have been numerous improvements, newer isn’t necessarily better. There is also increased competition among for-profit hospitals to lure patients into their facilities, offering the “latest and greatest” technologies.

But what you won’t be told is that there have been mounting safety concerns about the da Vinci surgical robot.

Intuitive Surgical marketed this robotic system as an innovative way to perform surgery, but for many patients, minimally invasive surgeries turned out to be major nightmares.

The operative complications have become so widespread that Intuitive was forced to issue an “urgent medical device notification” on May 8th, 2013. In the notification , Intuitive warned that one of the instruments used with the da Vinci robotic system may cause burns while operating inside the patient.

Medical organizations and regulatory authorities are also expressing concerns about the safety of the da Vinci device.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the preeminent organization fro obstetricians and gynecologists. The da Vinci robot has become very widely used in hysterectomies in recent years, promising the benefit of being “less invasive” and “more precise,” as well as offering “faster recovery” than traditional surgery (da Vinci motto).

Contrary to what advertising has led many women to believe, there is little evidence to show that robot-assisted surgery is better than traditional means of performing a hysterectomy, according to the ACOG (March 2013).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began surveying surgeons in January 2013 about the use of the da Vinci surgical robot, and found some interesting results. Some surgeons being surveyed reported adverse events attributable to the surgeon’s own errors, but in other cases, surgeons claimed “the robot did it.”

Injuries that have been associated with the da Vinci surgical robot include:

  • electrical burns
  • bile duct laceration
  • excessive bleeding
  • damaged blood vessels
  • organ damage
  • nerve injury

In my opinion, you would be well advised to think twice if you are considering undergoing surgery with a da Vinci robot. Like so many things in our society these days, you simply cannot believe the advertising and marketing claims. Intuitive is in the business of selling robots. Hospitals are in the business of bringing in patients to their facility. You are the only person whose sole interest is your won health and safety and you simply must take charge of it.

For more information on robotic surgery injuries, including informative articles and legal resources, click here.
To discuss your individual situation with me, please email me at [email protected]
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Texting and Driving, A Deadly Combination

Texting and Driving KillsThe Real Truth

Texting and driving has become a significant problem for drivers.  There are many reasons car accidents occur due to negligence in Texas, as well as other states.  Primary concerns in the recent past to watch out for on the roads have been drunk drivers, low seat belt use, speeding, fatigued drivers, and inexperienced or distracted teen drivers.  It may surprise you to know that today, the distraction of cell phone use accounts for nearly 25% of all crashes (NHTSA).  Drivers engaged in cell phone use, which is not limited to texting, but includes internet use, as well as use of GPS navigation systems, are four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

What are the Laws in Texas?

Unfortunately, Texas does not ban texting while driving for all of its citizens, but these bans are in place today:

  • Bans on all cell phone usage (handheld and Hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Bans on all cell phone usage (handheld and Hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Bans on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Bans texting for bus drivers (Primary law)Bans for all citizens of Texas on hand-held phones and texting in school zones… New drivers, bus drivers, and all drivers in school zones are prohibited by law to use cell phones for any reason.

Note: In Texas bus driver laws pertain to bus drivers with passengers age 17 and under. Novice drivers are defined as all drivers at the intermediate stage, first 12 months. (Distraction.gov) 

I am safe talking hands free, Right?

Wrong!  Cell phones cause a visual distraction, obviously, but even more significant is the mental, or cognitive, distraction they create.  Cell phones can cause distracted drivers to take their minds off of what they should be solely focused on…the primary task of driving!  Drivers talking on cell phones miss half of the information in their surroundings.  This could include objects, other cars, exits, and red lights.  This places your life and your property in danger, should you be around a negligent driver on a cell phone.

Consequences

Many lawsuits in recent years have held employers liable for employees who have crashed while using cell phones.  These are only a small handful of lawsuits brought against employers from cell phone use resulting in negligent driving:

  • $21.6 million- Ohio Technology Company
  •  $18 million- Alabama Trucking Company
  •  $16.1 million- Arkansas Lumber Distributor
  •  $5.2 million- Georgia Paper Company
  •  $5 million- Georgia Construction Company

(source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the New England Journal of Medicine)

Because of these events, most businesses in Texas have banned employees from using cell phones while driving altogether.  The National Safety Council® recommends for businesses to record a voice mail telling callers they are driving at the moment, and that it is not safe to make or receive calls while driving.

What should I do if I’m hit by a distracted driver?

Should you be unfortunate enough to become injured in an automobile accident by distracted cell phone user, you should know your rights, and seek the advice of an attorney immediately.  If you believe you have been struck by a distracted cell phone user, there are records that can prove this.

If you were a passenger who was injured riding with a distracted driver and become injured in an accident, you have rights.  You did not have control over the operations of the vehicle you were in, so you are not at fault!

In Texas, you have the right to make a claim for compensation to cover your automobile damage and/or personal injury medical bills, work hours lost, and other expenses.  You also have the right to make a claim against the person who was using the phone who caused the accident.

At Van Wey Law, we fight for your rights, and we fight to end distracted driving.

Here at Van Wey Law, we have teenagers, and we are all too familiar with the heavy burden of worry when your child walks out the door with keys in one hand, and cell phone in the other.  We believe in fighting for your rights as the injured party.  We also believe in making the world a better place by eliminating distracted driving in Texas.  It is 100% preventable.

Some personal injury lawyers have earned a bad reputation by approaching people’s misfortunes with the attitude of, “your pain is my gain.” For one attorney, this isn’t the case.

Kay Van Wey has launched a public service campaign in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area to try and reduce the number of distracted driving fatalities.

I have personally witnessed so much unnecessary suffering of people who have been seriously injured or killed as When distracted driving accidents occur, they often result in serious injury or fatalities. Tragically, distracted driving accidents are 100% preventable. That is why I launched the Just Put It Down Campaign.

Kay Van Wey, Van Wey Law 

Join Van Wey Law and take the pledge to “Just Put It Down”.  Make a pact with your family as well.  A life is not worth a phone conversation or a text.  If you have been in the victim of a car accident that has been caused by a reckless driver, call Van Wey Law at 1(800) 489-5082 for a free legal consultation, and learn how you can best handle your compensation claim.

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Legally Speaking: Every Texas Dog Gets One Free Bite

I remember learning this legal theory in my first year torts class in law school. The theory is that “every dog gets one free bite,” and it’s known to lawyers as the “one bite rule.” What this means is that a dog owner can only be held liable if:

  1. the dog previously bit a person or acted like it wanted to, and
  2. the owner was actually aware of the dog’s previous contact.

-Marshall v. Ranne, 511 S.W. 2d 255 (Tex. 197)

Even if someone was seriously injured or even killed, they may not be successful in bringing a lawsuit against the dog owner unless they provide evidence of both of these conditions. What this means in practical terms is that states like Texas protect a dog owner from liability for the first time his dog bites someone unless it can be proven that the dog had a known dangerous propensity and was likely to bite people without justification.

Texas dog bite lawyers also may employ a negligence theory when advocating on behalf of clients injured by dog bites. Even if there is insufficient evidence to satisfy “the one bite rule,” a dog owner may be liable for their negligent handling of the animal. The standard is commonly referred to as the reasonable man standard, meaning:

“Did the dog owner fail to exercise the kind of care a reasonably prudent and careful dog owner would have under the same or similar circumstances?”

-Marshall v. Ranne, 511 S. W. 2d 255, 259 (Tex. 1974)

In order to bring a Texas dog bite lawsuit, it may also be important to research local animal control laws. Many Texas counties and cities have leash laws which require dogs to be on a leash. Below are some links to leash laws in the following areas of Texas:

If the dog bite victim can prove that the dog owner violated an applicable leash law, then the Court could determine that the dog owner was negligent as a matter of law. This is commonly referred to as “negligence per se.”

It is important to realize that even if you are attacked by a vicious dog, the dog owner can defend himself by blaming the attack on you. Therefore it is important to read our article on Dog Bites on how to keep yourself safe from dog attacks.

If you were attacked, but fortunately you were not injured or seriously injured, you should nevertheless report the attack in writing to the homeowner and to the local authorities. This may prevent another attack to someone who might not be as lucky.

If you have recently been seriously injured by a dog attack, it is important to contact a dog bite attorney promptly. One of the first things a dog bite lawyer will want to do is hire an investigator to interview neighbors about the dog’s prior conduct to try and find evidence that the dog owner knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities and failed to protect others from harm. Most homeowners policies cover dog bite claims and are sure that if the homeowner reports the dog bite to his insurance company, that they will have their investigators on the scene very quickly. So, my advice is that you contact a lawyer right away.

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Medical Device Manufacturer Accused of Paying Kickbacks Settles for $23.5 Million

Medtronic, Inc., the world’s largest maker of medical devices, has agreed to pay $23.5 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors for using its medical devices. Medtronic did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Pharmaceutical companies are not the only companies accused of paying kickbacks to doctors to sell their products.   More recently, Medtronic, Inc., the world’s largest medical device maker, agreed to pay $23.5 million in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department after the government alleged Medtronic was paying kickbacks to doctors.

In a recent probe into the company’s practices, the government found enough evidence to bring charges against Medtronic, alleging that the company submitted false claims to Medicaid and Medicare using two post-market studies and device registries in which illegal kickbacks were paid to doctors.

As part of the kickbacks, the government alleged that Medtronic paid doctors between $1,000 and $2,000 per patient to get them to use the devices in their patients.

Medtronic has not admitted any wrongdoing despite its settlement with the government.  But government attorneys say improper payments like those made by Medtronic to doctors can impair doctors’ judgment when it comes to helping patients choose a pacemaker or defibrillator that is right for the patients.

Other companies that have settled kickback allegations with the government include Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical.  Boston Scientific paid $22 million after the government found it had paid kickbacks to doctors as an incentive for them to use Boston Scientific’s heart devices.  And earlier this year, St. Jude Medical paid $16 million to settle allegations similar to those brought against Medtronic.  Neither of those companies admitted wrongdoing in their settlements.

This is not the first allegation that Medtronic has paid doctors to influence study results.  Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the company’s marketing of Infuse, a bone growth product.

For more information on tactics the pharmaceutical industry uses to sell its prescription drugs, download my free book Prescription Drug Safety: 7 Secrets the Pharmaceutical Industry Does NOT Want You to Know today at www.vanweylaw.com

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