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Denena Points, PC
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Experienced Houston Personal Injury Lawyers Helping Ease the Pain of Texas Accident & Injury Victims
Experienced Houston Personal Injury Lawyers Helping Ease the Pain of Texas Accident & Injury Victims

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Learn the Risks of Houston Dog Bite Attacks and How to avoid Them 

Did you see the recent viral video of a family’s cat attacking and chasing off a large dog after it had attacked and bitten the family’s young son as he was riding his bike? It demonstrates how many aggressive animals can be chased away from their prey by determined action, even by a much smaller adversary. But it’s always better to avoid potential animal attacks in the first place. And not everyone has a fearless and heroic cat to protect them and their family members from deadly dog attacks. 

DogsBite.org says that in the period from 2005 through last year, dogs in the United States killed 283 people. 176 of those victims, or 62%, died from pit bull bites. Rottweilers accounted for another 12% of the bite fatalities. In 2013 alone, pit bulls accounted for 78% of dog attack deaths, yet they only make up 6% of the U.S. dog population. Rottweilers, by comparison, only accounted for 3% of the deaths in 2013.

In other words, pit bulls kill someone about every 18.5 days, while Rottweilers kill someone every 99.5 days. But the aggressive dogs that attack and bite, even among pit bulls, make up a small proportion of the total number of the animals. And they usually have a reason for their attack, even if that reason is abuse or bad training by someone who should never have been allowed to own such an animal in the first place.

Unfortunately, Houston is one of the American cities where you’re most likely to face a dog attack. The bayou city was recently named as the city with the most dog attacks on mail carriers. In all, dogs bit around 4.5 million people last year in the United States. That number included more than 2 million children, and some 5,581 U.S. mail carriers. Houston passed by Los Angeles as the city with the most dog attacks on postal workers, with 63. Los Angeles had 61. (Sue Manning, Associated Press, 5/1514) But statistics show that young children are the most frequent victims of dog attacks, and that dogs often attack in pairs or groups.

Not too long ago in east Houston, a boy was attacked and mauled by a pack of 9 or more dogs as he walked through Pleasant Manor Park one afternoon near Munn Street and Pearl. Fortunately, a man driving home saw the attack and rushed towards the dog pack yelling. The man’s quick action scattered the aggressive dog pack, another demonstration of how attacking animals might be frightened off by what they perceive as an even more fearless and aggressive attacker. But the young victim had already been badly mauled, and was reportedly bleeding and in a lot of pain. When paramedics arrived, they bandaged the boy’s arms and legs and rushed him to the hospital.

Houston police and animal control spent a day looking for and capturing the dogs. They tied out a female dog in heat, and hit the dogs with tranquillizer darts as they approached her. (Ryan Korsgard, KPRC click2houston.com, 4/3/14)

A woman said that she and her mother had almost been attacked by the pack earlier. The lady started to run, but then realized that would only engage the dogs’ chase and hunt instincts, so the women began walking slowly instead. They avoided attack. Dogs, even in packs, seem more reluctant to attack confident adults than smaller children.

56% of the victims of fatal dog attacks in 2013 were children. 61% of those children were 4 years old or younger. The American Humane Society indicates that approximately 66% of child victims are bitten in the head or neck.

47% of the dog attack deaths in 2013 involved dogs attacking in packs of two or more. 78% of the fatal dog attacks occurred on the dog owner’s property. And 22% resulted in criminal charges. California, Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina were the four states with the highest number of deadly dog attacks.
Tips for preventing dog attacks: 

1. Instruct your child to never approach or try to pet strange dogs.

2. Adults too should always ask before approaching or petting a strange dog.

3. Never leave a dog (any dog) alone with a young child. All dogs can bite, and will if they sense danger or a threat, even if that was not what a child intended.

4. Instruct your family, children, and guests not to let the dog out.

5. Don’t let your dog wander outside of your house or yard unsupervised.

6. Remember that if your dog sees your child accepting mail or a package from the postal delivery carrier, the dog might see that as a threat and attack.

7. And keep in mind that screen doors and glass windows are not a sufficient barrier for a determined dog. Keep your dog away from doors and windows, especially if it has a tendency to get aggressive around strangers.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, all the dog bites led to 26,935 reconstructive surgeries last year alone to repair the damage. After a serious dog bite or dog mauling, there could many expensive medical costs to pay in addition to cosmetic reconstructive procedures. Emergency transport to the hospital, emergency room treatment, hospital stays, surgical procedures, rehabilitative procedures to restore function to damaged limbs, and cosmetic repairs could all mount up into a huge financial burden. 

The Insurance Information Institute estimated that insurance paid out about $483 million in dog bite claims last year, with State Farm paying the largest proportion of the total. California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania led the U.S. in the numbers of dog bite claims.

Contact the Experienced Houston Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at Denena and Points for a Free, No Obligation Legal Consultation

Our Board Certified Houston personal injury attorneys could help you understand your legal options and evaluate your potential eligibility for a full financial recovery for the expenses you face after a serious dog bite attack. Our Board Certified Houston injury attorneys We have more than 15 years of experience helping victims and their families obtain the fair financial recoveries to which they’re entitled after a vicious dog attack. Just give us a call at 713-807-9500 or reach us through our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm to set up your free consultation. Put our 15 years of winning experience behind your claim. 

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OSHA Fines Employer whose Demolition Workers faced Potentially Fatal Risks

Over the past year, the concerned structural collapse injury attorneys at Denena and Points have posted several articles warning pf the dangers of slipshod demolition practices and of failing to properly brace buildings. Improper temporary bracing poses potentially fatal risks whether the buildings are being demolished or still undergoing construction. 

Our warnings resulted from the far too many news reports we noticed regarding needless injuries and deaths caused by building failures. Most often, unsafe working conditions take their tolls on the lives of workers and their families, but sometimes they affect others who simply have the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The deadly June collapse in Center City Philadelphia of a building undergoing demolition brought the problem to nation al attention. That disaster killed 6 people in a Salvation Army thrift store and injured 14 others. One survivor lost both legs.

The collapse resulted because a contractor had removed key structural members to resell for salvage, leaving the old, four-story brick structure unbraced and without any means of support. Predictably, it fell. The massive weight of the four-story walls collapsed through the roof of the one-story Salvation Army thrift shop next door. In addition, the accepted method for demolishing old, unstable brick structures like the one that fell is to take them down by hand, a slower and more costly process than the brute force approach with heavy equipment that was actually used. 

But it seems clear from the early removal of the salvageable structural supports that the contractor was primarily concerned with his own profits rather than with safety. Structural collapses like the one that crushed the Salvation Army building are completely avoidable. The Philadelphia Licenses and Inspections department, which is in charge of building and demolition safety, has since come under scrutiny for a long history of allegedly lax practices.

Where OSHA Comes In

OSHA is the federal agency on charge of American workplace safety. It doesn’t have the manpower or the budget to oversee every U.S. workplace. So unsafe worksites and employers who neglect worker safety often don’t come to OSHA’s attention until there’s been a serious accident or death on the job. But maybe the agency is beginning to crack down on employers and contractors who take dangerous chances with the lives and safety of workers and others.

OSHA just levied $196,000 in fines against a contractor based in Stamford, Connecticut after a November 2013 inspection revealed some egregious safety violations at a Bridgeport, Connecticut worksite. (Heidi Schwartz, Today’s Facility Manager, 5/8/14) The contractor is Cesar Mendoza, d.b.a. KI Management LLC.

The OSHA inspection found that workers involved in demolishing and rehabilitating a building were exposed to potentially fatal crushing injuries and other serious hazards due to the employer’s failure to brace the building’s walls and abide by basic, legally required safeguards. Similar to what occurred in the deadly Philadelphia collapse, the contractor had removed the floors of the second and third stories, leaving unsupported walls that were ready to fall at any time.

In addition, the workers risked falls of up to 36 feet from unguarded wall openings; health hazards from shoveling and dry-sweeping waste materials that contained lead; and potential injury or death because of unmarked emergency exits, improper storage of combustible oxygen and fuel gas cylinders, and electrical hazards. The employer also failed to provide workers with proper training, protective clothing, proper equipment, respiratory protection, adequate demolition training and safety procedures, proper fire and fall protections, and general safety training. In sum, the employer basically turned a blind eye to worker safety and health, no doubt focusing his attentions on maximum profit instead.

OSHA slapped Cesar Mendoza with the maximum fine of $140,000 for two willful violations. Our structural collapse injury attorneys note that a willful violation is one committed with “intentional, knowing, or voluntary” disregard for the law or with plain indifference to the health and safety of workers. 

Cesar Mendoza also received a $56,000 fine for 12 serious violations. A serious violation is one that entails a substantial probability of death or serious injury should an accident happen due to a hazard the employer knew or should have known existed. Our structural collapse injury attorneys point out once again how low the amounts of OSHA fines are in relation to the risks presented and the costs of possible consequences should an accident occur from one of the employer’s safety violations. After all, 12 violations that could lead to fatal accidents only cost the employer $56,000 and the willful violations only $70,000 each.

The structural collapse injury attorneys at Denena and Points suggest it might be time to rethink OSHA’s negligible monetary penalties. In the context of the potential profits to be made, risking worker health and safety and even paying potential OSHA fines might be less costly than following the rules. The costs only skyrocket when a serious accident actually occurs. And so long as the probability of those accidents occurring remains relatively low, employers don’t have strong incentives to take proper precautions for the health and safety of workers and others.

It remains rare for the slipshod demolition practices that are used every day to result in a deadly disaster and murder charges for contractors as happened at the Salvation Army store in Philadelphia. But serious demolition accidents occur about every week in this country, albeit on a smaller scale than in the Center City Philadelphia building collapse. Yet every life and every limb lost to these accidents is one too many. Accidents from careless demolition practices are 100% avoidable. And employers might have more incentive to follow proper safety practices and procedures if they knew they faced a greater chance of being caught and much higher fines for their disregard of worker lives and safety. 

Structural Collapse Injury Attorneys: Always a FREE, No Obligation Initial Legal Consultation

Your ability to obtain a full financial recovery for your needless injuries from an unexpected wall or building collapse rests on accurate identification of the cause of the collapse, and the liable parties behind the collapse, and the ability to effectively prove your case.

Structural collapse injury cases are complex and require highly technical proof. You require the services of experienced and knowledgeable building collapse injury lawyers like Tony Denena and Chad Points. Let us put our solid track record of success and hands-on practical experience with structural collapse cases to work for your benefit. Contact us anytime through our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm or call us at 713-807-9500. Our goal is to help you obtain the full financial recovery you deserve after a needless injury accident.

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Collapse of Baltimore Steel Mill Injures 9: The Dangerous Business of Demolition

13 workers were in the process of taking down one of the buildings at the site of the old Bethlehem Steel works in Baltimore when the center of the building’s roof caved in. 9 workers sustained injuries in the collapse. 4 of them were injured critically and flown to a local trauma center. 

The work site, once home to a thriving steel works that employed more than 10,000 people, had shut down in 2012. Since then, the site has been undergoing demolition to clear the real estate for potential renewal and development. Despite an ongoing project that’s lasted over a year and has already brought down several buildings, our building collapse injury attorneys point out that this was the first reported accident at the site. 

Authorities indicated that the roof, which experienced a cantilevered collapse caving in only in the center, was more fortunate than it could have been. A pancake collapse would have brought down the entire roof on top of the workers. That the roof still held at the edges, even as its center fell, allowed the workers time and opportunity to escape the disaster. Even with only part of the roof collapsing, the majority of the workers suffered injuries, and four of them were wounded critically by the falling debris and entrapment. 

Our concerned building collapse injury attorneys have discussed on prior occasions the need for careful safety precautions and procedures during demolition projects. Older buildings, which may have experienced undocumented changes, renovations, and deterioration, present especial hazards. The removal or cutting of a key structural member could suddenly bring down an entire wall, roof, or building section without warning.

Last summer’s collapse of a building in Philadelphia that was undergoing demolition presents a case in point. The demolition contractor was cutting corners on the job and trying to maximize his profits by removing and selling key structural members for salvage. Our building collapse injury attorneys emphasize that the contractor irresponsibly used heavy equipment and brute force to take down the old structure rather than using the careful brick-by-brick hand demolition approach that was needed. And so the four-story brick building collapsed heavily through the roof of the adjacent Salvation Army store, killing 6 and injuring 13. 

The deadly collapse brought intense scrutiny to the contractor and some city agencies in Philadelphia. Inquiries and investigations have been ongoing. Yet even though the contractor behind the wheel of one of the pieces of heavy demolition equipment has been charged with murder; that probably brings little relief to the grieving family members of those lost in the collapse or to the severely injured victims who survived. 

Demolition is a dangerous business, and usually takes a greater toll on the lives and health of workers than on others. The work requires careful preparation, proper safety practices, the ongoing enforcement of safety rules, and an individual approach to each job.

It appears that the company in charge of the demolition at the Bethlehem steel plant might have had such procedures in place. The company may have also conducted proper training of its workers, as indicated by the accident-free nature of the project prior to the roof collapse. But demolition jobs can always carry hidden hazards. 

The investigation into what caused the roof collapse and multiple injuries in Baltimore has just begun. What answers it will yield are still matters of speculation. As the investigation gets underway, the building collapse injury attorneys at Denena and Points send our sincere wishes for rapid and safe recoveries to all of the injured workers. Our hearts and prayers are with them and with their families as they recover. 

Contact the Experienced Building Collapse Injury Attorneys at Denena and Points if you have Questions about your Options after a Roof Collapse Injury

Your ability to obtain a full financial recovery for your needless injuries from an unexpected structural collapse rests on accurate identification of the cause(s) of the collapse and of the liable parties behind those causes. Your recovery also depends upon the ability to effectively prove your claims.

Building collapse injury cases are complex and require highly technical proof. You require the services of experienced and knowledgeable building collapse injury lawyers like Chad Points and Tony Denena. Let us put our solid track record of success and hands-on practical experience winning structural collapse injury cases to work for you. Call us at 713-807-9500 or reach us anytime through our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm to schedule your free, no obligation initial legal consultation. 

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Life and Death in the Fast Lane

In 2012, speeding accounted for 24,189 reported crashes. Those wrecks resulted in 762 deaths and 8,106 serious injuries. These deaths and serious injuries were 100% avoidable. 

A vehicle’s speed is directly related to accident victims’ increased risks of fatal or severe injury in a crash. It’s actually not the speed itself that will kill you, but the change in speed as you impact an object. On average, two to three people die each day on Texas roads in impacts linked to excessive speed. 

Speeding accounts for almost One Third of all Fatal Road Accidents in the United States

Speeding is the third largest contributor to motor vehicle crashes. The cost to society of speed-related crashes is estimated at $40.4 billion or more per year, or over $1,280 per second. Every minute saved by speeding costs society more than $76,000. If time is indeed money, then the concept of “saving” time by speeding is a sad illusion.

Street racing causes some speed-related wrecks. Ironically, Paul Walker, the star of Fast and Furious, a movie franchise based around street racing, died in a horrific speed-related wreck last year.

Another common factor behind speed-related crashes is alcohol. Many drunken drivers seem to drive as fast as they can along the roads. And unfortunately, their reflexes can’t always keep up. Frequent reports of DWI crashes, many of them single-vehicle crashes, indicate that the driver’s speed at the time of the wreck was 90 mph or more.

Harris County leads the State of Texas in the Number of Traffic Crashes, and in Drunken Driving and Street Racing

That’s probably no mere coincidence. In 2012, TxDOT statistics showed that Harris County, with 77,000 wrecks, had more than twice the number of traffic crashes of any other Texas county. 

Yet Texas only comes in 5th among U.S. states for the number of speeding tickets issued annually. More than 110,000 people get speeding tickets each day in the United States. And over 41 million speeding tickets are issued annually for total revenue of over $6 billion. Each year, over 20% of drivers receive speeding tickets, some of them more than one ticket. But the fines do not deter speeders. Speeding remains one of our worst driving habits in the U.S. It’s habitual driver behavior and like other habits it is hard to break. 

But speeding is a very dangerous habit, and here’s why: drivers, whether sober or impaired by alcohol or fatigue, are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and crash at higher speeds, especially on curves or turns. Passengers as well as drivers suffer from the driver’s mistake when he or she attempts to negotiate a turn or a curve on the road too fast. And injured victims and their families face heavy financial burdens that could include funeral expenses, hospital stays, surgeries, mounting medical costs, and lost wages. We understand the heavy burdens faced by victims and their families. We deal with these personal tragedies on a daily basis.

Contact the Harris County Personal Injury Attorneys at Denena and Points for the Experienced Legal Help You need to win the Financial Recovery You Deserve

Our professional goal is to help accident victims recover financially for their injuries and losses. We would be happy to discuss your serious accident with you and to help you evaluate your potential eligibility for financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us at 713-807-9500 or fill out our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm to set up your free initial legal consultation with one of our Board Certified personal injury attorneys. 

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Another Serious CA School Bus Crash Brings Attention to Safety Gaps

Thursday in Anaheim, California, a school bus swerved out of its lane on a curve, jumped a curb, and crashed into trees and a lamppost. 12 people, including 11 students and the bus driver, were injured in the wreck. 3 received critical injuries. The most seriously injured was the bus driver, who had to be cut out of his seat and pulled through the bus windshield by rescue crews. 

Witnesses indicated that the bus might have been traveling at up to 70 mph at the time of the crash. After the wreck, the driver and students were hanging partially from the windows calling for help, and gas was pouring out of the vehicle. The driver has been interviewed, and authorities will also examine evidence from the on-board cameras before determining if the driver will be charged. Our Houston school bus accident lawyers note that the school bus reportedly had seatbelts, but it wasn’t clear how many of the students were actually using them. (Associated Press, 4/25/14)

This serious school bus crash with multiple severe injuries comes very soon after another horrific bus crash in California that also took a terrible toll on students and their families. In that crash in Orland, California, a FedEx truck slammed into a chartered bus carrying high school students. 10 people died and more than 30 were injured in the crash and the major fire that resulted and engulfed both vehicles. Reports say that those who escaped the burning bus were able to do so primarily because someone kicked out a window through which they were able to exit.

The NTSB, which investigated the FedEx truck/school bus crash in California, recommended seatbelts for passengers in motorcoach buses as early as 45 years ago. Another fiery bus crash in California back in 1968, caused by a driver slamming into the bus, killed 19 people. NTSB’s investigation of that crash found that most passengers had survived the crash impact, but were unable to escape the bus and resulting fire because of their injuries and disorientation after being thrown from their seats by the crash. 

The NTSB concluded that if the passengers had been seat-belted in at the time of the crash, they likely would have been less disoriented and able to escape the bus before it was engulfed in flames. The NTSB report did not address the possibility that the riders, even if they had seatbelts, might have chosen not to use them. Unless seatbelts are used, these safety devices can’t help. Our Houston school bus accident lawyers point out that someone has to enforce use of the seatbelts in order for them to be effective at preventing injuries and deaths.

Last November, a federal rule requiring three-point lap-shoulder belts to be installed in newly built tour buses and intercity motorcoach buses by late 2016 was published. The requirement does not apply to school buses or city transit buses.

Data collected by the U.S. NHTSA reveals that around 8,000 people receive injuries each year in passenger buses. Authorities estimate that seatbelts in these buses might reduce moderate to serious injuries as well as fatalities by around half. (But only if riders use the seatbelts.) The new federal seatbelt requirement will apply to the about 29,000 motorcoach and tour buses that travel U.S. roads each year carrying about 700 million people, most of them safely, to their destinations. That number is about the same as the number of people who travel by air each year in the United States.

But as Jim Hall, a former associate board chairman of the NHTSA was quoted as saying, bus transport is “the transportation that carries primarily older people, students, and low-income people. It hasn’t been a priority [for regulators].” 

The NHTSA has been working on recommendations since 2007 regarding better ways to ensure that people are able to evacuate buses quickly and easily after an accident. The final recommendations could include things like easier to open windows and emergency exits. But no new NHTSA bus safety recommendations or rules have actually been issued yet. (Joan Lowy, Associated Press, 4/11/14) It appears that bus safety is a low priority among federal regulators. Maybe the recent sequence of high profile bus accidents out of California will help bring attention to the problem of gaps in bus safety for passengers and drivers.

Contact the Houston School Bus Accident Lawyers at Denena and Points if You have Questions after a Serious Crash Injury

Our Board Certified personal injury attorneys have more than 14 years of experience with all types of serious accidents and injuries, and we know the steps to take to help victims and their families recover after a needless injury changes their lives. Contact us t 713-807-9500 or reach us through our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm to schedule a FREE, no obligation initial legal consultation to discuss your accident and let us evaluate your potential for financial recovery. 

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How metal fatigue in your vehicle wheel assemblies could lead to a deadly accident

Wheel assemblies, including their rims and tires, are specifically rated according to the maximum weight loads they can bear. If you replace a factory tire or rim with one rated substantially below the actual load of the specific vehicle you drive, this can lead to metal fatigue and breakage of the stud bolts that hold the wheels on the vehicle. Our Houston car accident injury lawyers emphasize that this metal fatigue will leave your ride unsafe and you and your passengers at risk of a wheel run off accident and serious crash.

Factory rims and tires are usually built specifically to hold the weight of the particular truck, SUV, or car to which they’ll be attached. Putting the wrong rim or tire on your vehicle, or improperly installing even the perfectly matched wheel part can lead to a soft joint, metal fatigue, stretching of the bolt anchor holes, breaking of the stud bolts, and wheel separations while your car, truck, or SUV is on the road.

The load that a properly fastened and maintained wheel system can support is far greater than the load a stud bolt can support without being properly torqued. Studs that are loose, are subjected to constant bending. Ultimately these studs will suffer metal fatigue and break regardless of the natural tensile strength or grade of the stud. The Houston car accident injury lawyers at Denena and Points note that it takes much less force to break the stud through bending related metal fatigue than through tensile failure. Fatigue is the most common type of failure in wheel attachment parts.

Wheel, hub, and mounting hardware damage caused by a past failure to properly tighten the lug nuts greatly increases the risk of future loose wheel nuts and wheel separations. Wheels are subject to a variety of forces, including vertical forces from the vehicle and its cargo, as well as road vibrations and shock forces, cornering forces, and rotational forces, especially during acceleration and braking. Calculations by researchers have shown that cornering forces produce the highest individual forces on each individual bolt when at the bottom location relative to the road. (Wheel Stud Bolt Failures, C. Kendall Clarke, PhD, P.E., Metallurgical Consulting, Inc., Fastener Technology International, Dec. 1994)

When one wheel nut loosens, the forces are re-distributed to the remaining nuts and studs, with the strongest forces placed on those adjacent to the loose nut. This causes the adjacent nuts to back off at reduced wheel force levels. And the loosening process accelerates with each successive nut that loosens. Total clamping force drops and stress concentrations on remaining nuts and studs increases. 

When this occurs, the stud bolts can fracture and break off to due metal fatigue and overstress. This accelerates the failure process further, particularly with heavy cargo loads. When the wheel forces exceed the clamping force of the remaining nuts and studs, the wheel moves relative to the hub. This movement relative to the hub causes side loading and further loosening of the remaining nuts, as well as bending fatigue failure of studs, elongated bolt holes and wheel pilots on the hub, fretting fatigue cracks between the bolt holes, and finally wheel separation. 

Our Houston car accident injury lawyers mention that the rate at which this process occurs depends on the type and magnitude of the wheel forces experienced. One broken stud bolt will inevitably lead to failure of the other studs. The force normally absorbed by the missing bolt is spread to adjacent stud bolts, leading to a net reduction of force in the remaining bolts and eventual failure from fatigue. Any damage that distorts a wheel or its parts from their original shapes will cause the wheel to not run true. Misshapen holes from poorly tightened lug nuts means that stress lift can lead to the breakdown of the connection between the nut and the wheel surface, further loosening the nut until it finally pulls free.

When a wheel suddenly fails and separates from a vehicle in motion, the driver will lose control of that vehicle. The vehicle might rotate into a high-speed spin or flip into a rollover. Rollovers are among the most serious types of accidents, resulting in some occupants being partially or totally ejected from the vehicle almost 75% of the time. Similarly, about 75% of the people ejected from a vehicle experience fatal injury.

The trajectory of a vehicle that suffers a sudden wheel separation can’t be predicted. It might roll into a ditch, strike a concrete highway barrier, launch into oncoming traffic on a narrow rural highway, or spin into adjacent vehicles. Practically the only certainty is serious injury. 

And a serious injury might leave you with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, equal amounts of lost wages, permanent disfigurements or disabilities, the need for ongoing medical care, and insurmountable disruptions to your personal and family relationships as well as your ability to enjoy the quality of life you’ve come to expect.

While monetary damages from those whose negligence led to your injuries may be poor recompense for the losses you have suffered, they will at least provide a foundation from which you can build your future. Contact the Houston car accident injury lawyers at Denena and Points to learn about your options and chances of financial recovery. Our Board certified attorneys offer a free initial legal consultation, without obligation. Call us at 713-807-9500 or fill out our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm to schedule your free consultation. Out our 15 years of experience to work for your benefit.

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WI DSPS Blames Poor Maintenance for Roller Coaster Lap Bar Failure

State investigators in Wisconsin have found clear maintenance failures at the Mount Olympus theme park where Anthony Theisen suffered severe, possibly permanently incapacitating, injuries after being thrown from the Opa roller coaster and falling 17 feet. Among his injuries were skull fractures, four fractured vertebrae, and brain trauma. He has only just emerged from a coma and cannot speak. The extent of his brain injury is as yet unknown.

Apparently these severe injuries that have permanently altered the lives of Mr. Theisen and his family could have been avoided had Mount Olympus conducted proper maintenance on the roller coaster. A 2010 technical service bulletin from the manufacturer had specified the additional daily maintenance needed on the ride and its lap bars. But Mount Olympus officials said that they were unaware of that safety bulletin and its guidance. (Our roller coaster accident attorneys note that manufacturers customarily send these bulletins to all known owners of the affected rides.)

Wisconsin State Investigators’ Report places the Blame for the Lap Bar Failure on Mount Olympus Maintenance and Training Practices

The investigators’ report noted that Mount Olympus had not replaced worn and/or defective parts in the lap belts. The investigators placed dummies on the Opa roller coaster to recreate the accident and observe the ride’s operation. In addition to the lap bar that failed Mr. Theisen, three other lap bars failed due to the seriously deficient maintenance. Our roller coaster accident attorneys emphasize that it’s fortunate that no others were injured by the ride. The report also indicated that at the time of Mr. Theisen’s accident, with the 3 other people in the ride car with him, the roller coaster car was 60 pounds over its weight limit of 660 pounds. 

State investigators from Wisconsin’s Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) have ordered Mount Olympus to improve maintenance practices, change its training procedures, and maintain staff training records. DSPS has issued several violations to Mount Olympus owners following the terrible accident. Mount Olympus has permanently closed the Opa roller coaster ride. (Kay James, wiscnews.com; and Adam Schrager, Channel 3000 News, 4/1/14)

Proper Maintenance of Amusement Rides is Absolutely Essential

This terrible Wisconsin roller coaster accident clearly reveals the absolutely critical importance of proper maintenance of amusement rides. It also demonstrates the need to read and follow the technical service safety bulletins issued by manufacturers to ride owners. 

The roller coaster accident attorneys at Denena and Points know that manufacturers no doubt would prefer not to admit to potential issues with their products. That they issue these safety bulletins must mean that they feel the potential liability from severe or fatal injuries should they not send out the guidance far outweighs the coast of admitting the problems.

Example of Another Ride Accident that Heeding the Ride Manufacturer’s Safety Bulletin might have Prevented

An injury accident on the Sea Dragon ride in New Jersey a few years ago was attributed to failure of a part that a technical service bulletin from the manufacturer had clearly described as dangerous. The bulletin prescribed corrective procedures to prevent the safety hazard, but these apparently weren’t fully addressed on the ride where the accident occurred. As a result, the anchoring components became worn over time and part of a large, steel center mast fell while the ride was in motion and injured riders.

Amusement rides operate at extreme speeds. Part of their appeal to riders is the thrill of taking sharp turns and steep drops at high speeds. Riders trust that their lap bars and safety harnesses will hold them securely in place through all of this and that parts of the ride will not fail or come apart while in motion. 

But due to poor maintenance, poor training, ride operator nonchalance, and/or failure to heed maunufacturer’s advisories regarding necessary maintenance and repair, that trust is sometimes misplaced. As Anthony Theisen and his family have found at the Wisconsin Dells theme park. And as Rosy Esparza and her family discovered at Six Flags in Arlington, Texas this past summer when Ms. Esparza fatally fell 70 feet after her lap bar released on the Texas Giant roller coaster.

Our roller coaster accident attorneys point out that injured riders or ride workers and the families of riders or workers killed by rides do have legal recourse after the horrific accidents occur. When they can establish fault by ride owners, managers, or operators directly linked to the injuries or fatalities, they might make full financial recoveries for their injuries. But that’s small consolation after losing a loved one or after suffering paralysis or severe brain trauma. It’s far better if ride owners follow proper maintenance and training procedures so that these accidents never happen at all.

Contact the Experienced Roller Coaster Accident Attorneys at Denena and Points to learn about Your Legal Options for Financial Recovery after a Defective Ride has Harmed You or Your Family Members

Schedule your free initial legal consultation: just fill out our online contact form at: http://www.denenapoints.com/contact.cfm or call us directly at 713-807-9500. Put our proven experience guiding ride accident victims and their families to substantial recoveries to work for your benefit.

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1 Driving Error Hurts Many: Texarkana Man dies in Chain Reaction Wreck

Authorities closed down Highway 67 in Texarkana to clear the scene of a fatal 5-vehicle wreck and reconstruct the accident. Monday around 8 a.m., Jerry Lamb was in a Saturn waiting to turn left into Daniels Tires for work that day when a Chevy Equinox struck the rear of his car. The Equinox then bounced off the Saturn and hit a freightliner truck reportedly belonging to Blue Bell Ice Cream. 

The initial impact from the Equinox sent the Saturn into oncoming traffic where it collided with a Toyota. The Toyota then spun into another lane and got hit by a Chevy pickup. (ketknbc.com, 3/31/14)

Jerry Lamb died at the scene of the terrible chain reaction wreck. Two other people were injured in the crash. And two drivers remained uninjured. 

Mr. Lamb had only worked at the mechanic’s shop that leased space from Daniels Tires for about two weeks. The owner of the mechanic’s shop closed the business for the day. Troy Daniels of the tire shop said to KLTV that crashes had happened before at that same spot, and that they need a turn lane there. (Olivia Vidal, kltv.com, 3/31/14)

Authorities are continuing to investigate the fatal 5-vehicle accident. The Texas highway crash attorneys at Denena and Points express their sincere sympathies to the grieving family and friends of Mr. Lamb.

Authorities did not yet disclose the specific cause of the crash. Our Texas highway crash attorneys agree, however, that it sounds as if the location probably does need a dedicated turn lane. Waiting to turn, or even waiting at a stoplight on a busy, but narrow, highway can be dangerous. Indeed, on Texas roads filled with drivers that don’t pay full attention to driving, and who drive too fast without leaving enough space between their vehicle and the car ahead of them, slowing to turn or stopping at an intersection can be dangerous for all drivers and their passengers. 

In fact, I was rear-ended in this evening’s rush hour because one driver, apparently going too fast and not leaving enough space, failed to stop when the driver ahead of him stopped. I heard a loud impact as he crashed into that car, which had been stopped and which now has some serious damage. Then I felt an impact, as the stopped car was pushed into mine. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt in this chain reaction crash, unlike the one in Texarkana that tragically claimed the life of a man on his way to work.

Both of these accidents clearly demonstrate how one driver’s error can start a chain of reactions that leads to damage, injury, and even death for others. In Texarkana, the occupants of the vehicles hit after the Equinox first crashed had no control over subsequent events and could not avoid the chain reaction. It sounds rather miraculous that the wreck killed no other victims.

Let’s try and take a lesson from these two crashes and:
1. Slow down; always drive at a safe speed.
2. Leave sufficient space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you so that you can stop if you need to.
3. Pay attention to the traffic around you so that you can slow and stop as other traffic stops.

Unfortunately, Texas traffic has become much heavier than it used to be. And drivers, plagued by delays and gridlock, have become more impatient and seem to take more reckless chances than ever before. Morning and evening rush hours in our cities and towns see multiple crashes. The vehicles stopped or slowing ahead of you may in fact be doing so because of a prior crash. Don’t add to the chaos. The Texas highway crash attorneys at Denena and Points urge you to take your time and drive carefully. It’s better to arrive somewhere late than not at all.

Learn the essential steps you need to take after a serious wreck harms you or your loved ones. Click http://www.denenapoints.com/reports/order-our-free-book-today.cfm to download your free guide.
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