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Salam & Associates Personal Injury Law Blog

Was negligence a factor in the water park amoeba lawsuit?

With summer upon us and temperatures expected to remain in the 90's throughout the entire first week of July, many families will probably seek respite from the heat at local water parks all over Texas. As we do so, however, we should keep in mind that the water parks we visit aren't always as safe as they appear.

We need only look to the wrongful death lawsuit filed against U.S. National Whitewater Center and other affiliated parties to see this fact. Though the lawsuit is against a water park in a different state, the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident could easily happen here in Texas. As would be the case here in Texas, authorities will need to determine if the water park was negligent and liable for damages.

B-2 visas: When a visit is more than just a visit

No one plans on getting into a serious accident or suffering injuries that leave you unable to care for your family for months on end. This is just a part of life that causes most people to look to their family members for support while they recover.

Getting help from family members can be easy, however, if your loved ones live nearby, but what if they live in another country? Long stays to help out with the family require additional planning as well as travel documents such as a visa. This process can be complicated and may require help from an attorney.

Homeowners be warned: Big storms can bring bad contractors

Living in the Richardson area means you're bound to see a number of big storms plow through our state during the summer months. In some cases, these storms can leave massive amounts of damage in their paths. In fact, just recently, grapefruit-sized hail fell in the Odessa area and neighboring cities in West Texas, severely damaging roofs, windows, siding, cars and more.

After a hailstorm, windstorm, tornado or hurricane leaves town, contractors are not far behind, oftentimes going door to door in hopes of helping homeowners rebuild - all the while collecting insurance money in the process. It's at this point that homeowners - as well as business owners - need to be leery.

Adding up to millions: Top four traumatic brain injury costs

According to the most recent numbers available from the Centers for Disease Control, the lifetime cost of a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is roughly $76.5 billion. Now consider this: that figure is based on the average economic costs in 2010. Because of the rise in medical costs over the years, it's safe to assume that this figure could be close to $80 billion now.

The reason a TBI costs so much has a lot to do with the medical treatment and care needed after suffering a serious head injury. Brain injuries are not like broken bones - they don't heal quickly and in just about all cases, TBI victims rarely ever fully recover.

A look at personal injury claims down the road

If you're interested in technology and have been following the news in recent years, then you know self-driving cars are just around the corner. For more than a year, Google and other tech companies have been testing self-driving vehicles on actual roads, making progress toward a future that could mean major changes to the way we get from here to there.

As a recent CNBC article points out, however, this may not be the only thing affected by the steady increase of self-driving cars. A number of businesses and professions could be impacted by an increase in self-driving cars. Chief among them: personal injury attorneys.

What does the passage of SB 4 mean for immigrants in Texas?

Since the presidential campaign last year, there has been a lot of talk about sanctuary cities, particularly regarding their alleged interference with immigration enforcement. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions admits that the administration is still unable to define the term, this didn't stop Gov. Greg Abbott from passing Senate Bill 4 just days ago.

For those who don't know, Senate Bill 4, or SB 4 for short, is a law that bans sanctuary cities in Texas. Local police who "[refuse to] cooperate with federal authorities and honor requests from immigration agents to hold noncitizen inmates who are subject to deportation" can face Class A misdemeanor charges for failing to comply with SB 4. Civil penalties also may be assessed, starting at $1,000 for a first offense and climbing to $25,500 for subsequent offenses.

Facts vs. Emotions: How they play out in auto accident matters

For those that suffer serious injuries, an auto accident is an emotional event. Victims' lives become complicated and unfamiliar. Rather than following normal routines, individuals spend much of their time in doctors' offices and rehabilitation clinics. Many-and in particular those whose injuries prevent them from returning to work-report that their lives feel foreign, and that they find themselves acting rashly.

Unfortunately, letting your emotions guide you can have a negative impact on your ability to recover. This isn't merely about attitude. As they seek to move on quickly from the trauma of injury, auto accident victims are prone to act in ways that sabotage their best interests. Most crucially, they often settle too early with the insurance companies who are responsible for paying their injury claims.

This is understandable, as dealing with insurers is a headache, and many simply want to put unfortunate matters behind them. However, agreeing to accept an early offer can leave victims with inadequate compensation for their long-term medical bills. In fact, insurance companies bank on victims' emotional vulnerability, leveraging it to pay as little as possible on any given injury claim.

How our firm can help when teachers abuse their students

It's a tough day when you have four sets of parents in your office asking you to represent them on behalf of their children... and the allegation is child abuse. Such matters - that is, cases of child abuse and neglect - differ from the typical cases seen by personal injury attorneys. I humbly accepted the challenge and knew this was going to be a very emotional case.

My clients sought legal assistance on behalf of five children, including one set of twins, all of them between two and five years old. They all went to the same private school and were physically abused by the same teacher. Suspicions arose when the children began acting strangely - each of them had developed a distinct fear of being in a bathroom. Upon noticing a dramatic change in behavior, their mothers conversed and discussed the problems. It wasn't long before they concluded something was awry. They approached the school, called the proper authorities, and an investigation was initiated.

A Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation had already taken place by the time I was involved. As such, I subpoenaed all investigative records and reports. As suspected, multiple violations were found; however, there were no citations for child abuse. As you may imagine, no teacher or day care worker is likely to act inappropriately when CPS is physically present!

A newly aggressive approach to immigration enforcement

In what the Boston Globe calls "a newly aggressive approach" to immigration enforcement, federal officers have begun to arrest individuals when they show up for scheduled appointments at the offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Five individuals were detained last week at USCIS's outpost in Lawrence, Massachusetts; now, immigrants across the country fear they will face similar treatment when they are summoned to speak with officials.

The arrests are only the latest in a series of stings targeting the immigrant community. Indeed, Donald Trump has pledged to deport upwards of 2 million individuals during his tenure. Nevertheless, arresting individuals at government offices marks a shift from past practices and has immigration advocates deeply concerned.

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