Monthly Archives: June 2013

Speach To Text Just As Distracting As Manual Texting, Study Shows

Car Accident Attorneys In San Antonio Texas - Barrus Law GroupWritten on behalf of the San Antonio Car Accident Lawyers at the Barrus Law Group, PLLC.

Most people would probably assume that using voice operated texting while driving is safer than manual texting.  In fact, many automobile manufactures have long touted the safety of voice-activated features that allow drivers to text, as well as operate radio, windshield wipers, and other activities with the use of only their voice. However, a recent AAA study shows that these voice activated features may not be as safe as once believed.

In a safety study by AAA, researchers at the University of Utah had students complete a wide range of distracting activities while driving.  The researchers measured the student’s brain activity during the performance of each distracting activity, as well as the response and reaction times for each activity.  Additionally, specialized cameras tracked the eye movement of the students during the performance of each activity.

According to the study, students who were talking on a hands free device, or operating voice activated commands, were just as distracted as students who were manually using the device.  However, the most shocking discovery of the study revealed that students who were using speech to text device were the most distracted of all.

New Study Reveals Long Term Brain Damage Caused By Even Minor Concussions.

brain-injuries-san-antonio-texas-injury-lawyersWritten on behalf of San Antonio Injury Lawyer Stacey M. Barrus.

Concussions are among the most well known types of brain injuries, and until recently, the long term effects of very minor concussions was thought to be minimal.  However, a recent study has shed some light on the long-term neurological damage caused by even slight concussions or other minor brain injuries.

While it was once thought that minor concussions caused only short-term impacts on a person, a new study reveals that even slight concussions cause serious long-term effects, such as memory loss, and loss of cognitive function.  A new report reveals that approximately 15 percent of concussions result in long-term neurological effects that have significant and debilitating effect on a concussion patient’s life.

The study, published in the journal “Radiology” looked at the brain changes that occur as a result of a concussion.  Researchers found that even in slight concussions, there were significant damages to “white brain matter,” and was often similar to damage seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

Continuing Disability Review Aims to Decrease Social Security Disability Payouts

Disability Claim Lawyer San AntonioWritten on behalf of San Antonio Disability Lawyer, Stacey M. Barrus.

It’s no secret that Social Security disability programs are running out of money.  In fact, politicians on both sides of the aisle have been trying to address concerns regarding the Social Security system for years, but none have really took the initiative to tackle the problem head on.  As a result, Social Security executives are searching for ways to reduce the outflow of money from disability programs.

One strategy for reducing the amount of money paid out by Social Security Disability programs is to increase the eligibility standards.  As a disability claim lawyer in San Antonio, I have seen a sharp decrease in the amount of administrative law judge approvals.  In fact, claimant’s representatives across the country are reporting that approvals at the ALJ level are down dramatically from previous years.

Another strategy being employed by SSA is to review favorable decisions for future eligibility.  Thus, even when a claim is approved at the ALJ level, administrative law judges are now often times including directives that the claim be re-evaluated after one year.  As SSA continues to increase the number of disability reviews of approved claims, inevitably a portion of those approved claims will be disapproved after future review.

FAQ: Can I Be Compensated for Personal Injuries Caused by a Defective Product?

San Antonio Defective Products Injury LawyersWritten on behalf of personal injury attorney, Stacey M. Barrus, founder of the Barrus Law Group, PLLC.

As a San Antonio personal injury lawyer, there are certain questions that I get asked time and time again.  One of these questions involves products liability, specifically, under what circumstances can an injured person be compensated for injuries resulting from a defective product.

Products liability is an area of personal injury law that deals with holding manufacturers and distributors of dangerous products liable for injuries caused by those defective products.  Generally, a product is considered “defective” if the product is unreasonably dangerous when used for its intended purpose.  However, the principles behind products liability cases are much more complex than they may seem, and determining what is “unreasonably dangerous” means is often an area of confusion and frustration for courts, victims, and dangerous product lawyers alike.

The Legal Principles Behind Product Liability Laws

Under the “common law,” which are the laws that were handed down from old English courts, and have been adopted in some form or fashion by most states, the purchase and sale of a product was a contractual and commercial venture, thus the only parties that had a right to sue for damages were the parties to the transaction.  As such, it made it impossible for injured victims to sue manufacturers for defective products, because the injured person didn’t purchase the defective or dangerous product from the manufacture directly, but rather through a seller.

18 Wheeler Accident Prevention 101 – Don’t Toke and Drive

Texas 18 Wheeler Accident LawyerWritten on behalf of San Antonio personal injury attorney, Stacey M. Barrus, founder of the Barrus Law Group, PLLC.

Obviously, smoking marihuana while driving an 18 wheeler truck is not only an exercise in stupidity, but it can have deadly consequences.

You see, unlike a passenger car or truck, accidents involving 18 wheelers usually entail accidents with catastrophic injuries, and often times even result in death.  As such, when it comes to semi-trucks, toking and driving are a lethal combination.

But what about Medical Marihuana?  Recently Medical Marihuana has made news in states like Washington and Colorado, two states that have recently legalized marihuana.  Additionally, many other states that have not legalized “mary jane” outright, have exceptions for medical marihuana usage.  So what about truck drivers who need “Medical Marihuana,”  should they be prevented from getting behind the wheel? 

5 Tips for Preventing Dog Bite Injuries

San Antonio Dog Attack AttorneysWritten on behalf of Texas personal injury lawyer Stacey M. Barrus, founder of the Barrus Law Group.

As a dog bite attorney in San Antonio, I have come to realize that dog bite injuries are far more common than most people may realize.  In fact, each year nearly 5 million people are injured in dog bite attacks in the United States.  While fatalities resulting from dog bites are fairly rare, the injuries sustained by a dog bite can be quite severe.  Injuries such as nerve damage, broken bones, and scarring and disfigurement are common among dog bite injuries.

While it’s impossible to prevent all dog bite injuries, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks associated with a dog bite, and prevent serious injury.  These tips are especially important as far as children and the elderly are concerned since these two groups tend to be the most at risk of a violent dog bite attack.

Here is a list of dos and don’ts compiled by our experienced dog bite lawyer website, which may help avoid or minimize the risk of dog bite injuries:

DON’T

  • Play aggressively with dogs, especially dogs that you are not familiar with.
  • Pet a dog without letting them first become accustomed to you by smelling your hand or body first.
  • Leave elderly, infants or children unattended with dogs, especially dogs that you do not know well.
  • Look a dog directly in the eyes
  • Disturb a dog while it is eating or sleeping

DO

  • Recognize the classic signs of aggression in dogs, such as baring teeth, growling, ears up and forward, lunging and fur on its back standing straight up
  • Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, which will reduce aggressiveness
  • Properly train your dog and ensure it is socialized
  • Stand very still and be quiet if you are approaching a dog that is unfamiliar with you
  • Keep items between you and the dog, such as bags, jackets or purses
  • If attacked, roll into a ball and remain motionless

If you are attacked by a dog, be sure to immediately wash and sanitize the wounded areas and seek medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the amount of hospital bills you receive, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and receive the compensation you deserve. Our San Antonio dog bite lawyers offer a FREE consultation – call us at (210) 593-8709 to learn how to protect your rights following a dog attack.

 

7 Tips for a Car Accident Free Summer

car-accident-safety-tips-injury-blogWritten on behalf of auto accident lawyer Stacey M. Barrus, founder of the Barrus Law Firm.

Now that summer is here, many families will take to the roads for day trips and summer vacations.  In fact, AAA has estimated that more than 31 million travelers will take a road trip sometime over the summer. As the city of San Antonio continues to increase in size and population, there are more drivers on the roads than ever before, and the risk of auto accidents increases dramatically during the upcoming summer months.  As an auto accident attorney in San Antonio, I have seen just how devastating the effects of a car accident can be.

The National Safety Council (NSC) found that during the past six years the Memorial Day holiday, which is generally considered the “kick-off” to summer, averages nearly a 12% increase in motor vehicle accident fatalities when compared to other holidays.  In fact, the NSC projects that this summer there will be more than 43,000 injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents which require medical treatment.

With so many more vehicles traveling on Texas roadways during the summer months, we offer the following 7 safety tips to help keep your family safe during these summer months:

  1. Make sure that all passengers are properly using their seat belt, no matter how short of a distance you may be traveling.

Accident Victims Raped By The Texas Legislature – How Texas Laws Further Injure Accident Victims and Their Families

San Antonio Injury Lawyers - Barrus Law GroupWritten on behalf of injury attorney, Stacey M. Barrus of the Barrus Law Group in San Antonio Texas.

On most days I love my job as a San Antonio injury lawyer.  I love fighting every day to help injury victims receive fair compensation for their damages after being injured by the negligence of someone else.  However, some cases are heartbreaking, especially when victims and their families are further injured by the very people who are charged with protecting them – the Texas Legislature.

The Texas legislature is the body of elected officials charged with making Texas laws.  Common sense would dictate that these laws should operate for the good of the state, and the protection of the citizens of Texas – however, this isn’t always the case.   In fact, the Texas legislature has “sold out” to big business and the multi-billion dollar insurance companies – many of which are not Texas businesses.  As such, the legislature, bowing to the demands of the behemoth corporations, has enacted laws protecting these large corporations, all at the expense of Texas citizens.

2 Important Considerations – When the Social Security Administration Believes You Are No Longer Disabled.

Disability Claim Lawyer San Antonio Texas - BlogAs a San Antonio disability claims lawyer, there are certain questions that I get asked frequently.  One of the questions I’m often asked is “What can I do if the SSA discontinues my benefits because they believe I am no longer disabled.”

Unfortunately, sometimes the Social Security Administration (SSA) may believes that a disabled person’s medical condition has improved, or that they are now able work full-time. When this happens, the SSA will send the disability recipient a written notice informing them that their benefits will stop.

If this happens to you there are two important things to know:

Parents of Denver Broncos Football Coach Killed in Texas 18 Wheeler Accident.

Texas Truck Accident Lawyers - Barrus Law GroupLast Wednesday, a Texas 18 wheeler accident killed Mr. and Mrs. Alfonso Studesville, parents of the Denver Broncos football team’s running back coach, Eric Studesville.

According to police, Mr. and Mrs. Studesville were riding their motorcycle when a semi truck hit them.  Both were pronounced dead at the scene.  The police report also indicated that the driver of the 18-wheeler truck swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic, the lane in which the couple was traveling on their motorcycle.  It was unclear, however, from the police report why the truck driver may have veered into oncoming traffic, which caused the Texas 18 wheeler accident.

As someone who has lost a brother and an uncle to motorcycle accidents, my prayers go out to the family and loved ones of the Studesville’s.

Motorcycle accidents are devastating, and generally entail considerable injury or death because of the lack of protection offered to motorcycle riders. Even when motorcycle riders take the appropriate precautions by wearing a helmet and protective clothing, accidents are still generally severe due to the lack of enclosure that motorcycles offer.  Generally, the most substantial injuries occur not from the initial impact of the accident, but from the motorcycle rider’s impact with the roadway, especially at significant speeds.