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Our Constitutional rights are in danger

The way lawmakers in Washington view our Constitutional rights is funny. One day they will bang the table saying we can’t allow the slightest erosion in what our forefathers gave us and the next day they will help big business blatantly steal the Constitution.

Actually, I don’t think this is funny at all. I think it is frightening because it appears our rights are for sale to the highest bidder.

Right now, Congress is trying to pass a law that would limit our ability to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for hurting people with dangerous drugs or medical devices.

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TxDOT urgers drivers to #EndTheStreakTX

TxDOT urgers drivers to #EndTheStreakTX

From TxDOT

The Lone Star State marks a deadly milestone on Monday as at least one fatality has occurred each and every day on Texas roadways since Nov. 7, 2000. In an effort to end this deadly 16-year streak, the Texas Department of Transportation, through its #EndTheStreakTX campaign, reminds drivers to stay alert, obey traffic laws and take personal responsibility behind the wheel.

“Every day for the past 16 years, somebody has lost a spouse, child, friend or neighbor on Texas roadways,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “These deadly crashes are a sobering reminder that we must do everything in our power to stay focused and safe while driving. We can stop this staggering streak if every driver makes it a priority to be safe, focused and responsible. Let’s end the streak.”

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Traumatic Brain Injury statistics

Traumatic Brain Injury statistics

Central Nervous System injuries remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for young people throughout the world. In 1998, 148,000 Americans died from various injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused 50,000 deaths. The average incidence (combined hospitalization and mortality rates) is 95 cases per 100,000 population. Twenty-two percent of people who have a TBI die from their injuries. In addition, approximately 10,000-20,000 spinal cord injuries occur each year.

The risk of incurring a TBI is especially high among adolescents, young adults, and people older than 75 years. For all ages, the risk of TBI is twice as high for males as for females. Motor vehicle crashes, violence, and falls are the leading causes of TBI. Nearly two thirds of firearm-related TBIs are classified as suicidal in intent.

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What about concussions and car crashes

What about concussions and car crashes

It is nearly impossible to separate football and concussions these days, particularly after a $1 billion legal settlement against the NFL. According to a USA Today story, the NFL expects as many as 6,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia someday because of the hits to the head players experience.

The hitting in the NFL is often compared to being in a severe car crash.

But what if you really are in a severe car crash? Shouldn’t you be just as concerned?

Football players often try and shake off a hit and go back in the game, feeling like they can still play. The NFL now has doctors on the sidelines to specifically watch for concussion symptoms and to protect players from themselves.

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Child Passenger Safety Week in Texas

Child Passenger Safety Week in Texas

The Texas Department of Transportation is focusing on child passenger safety this week.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3 out of 4 child seats are improperly installed. Officials encourage caregivers to make an appointment for a free inspection at TxDOT’s 25 statewide district offices.

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Keep children safe when on the school bus

Keep children safe when on the school bus

Students are headed back to school this week across Texas and that means fleets of big, yellow buses will be back on the roads.

According to an Aug. 6 report in the Killeen Daily Herald based on information from the Texas Education Agency, there have been 122,212 students involved in bus accidents statewide over the past five years. Those accidents involved nearly 10,000 school buses.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that children are in more danger getting on or off the bus than when actually riding the bus. From 2003 to 2012, 174 school-age children died in school transportation related incidents and 119 of those were pedestrians.

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NoDD: No Distracted Driving

NoDD: No Distracted Driving

No Distracted Driving, or NoDD, was created by Jeff Weinstein in 2010. As an attorney, Jeff has seen the destruction caused by distracted drivers first hand. His successful law practice in Athens was built by protecting the rights of those injured in catastrophic accidents and guiding devastated families through the legal maze that often follows.

But what Jeff would really like is for there to be no accidents in the first place.

“For more than 20 years, I have devoted my life to helping accident victims recover from their injuries, both physical and emotional,” he said. “In that time, I have seen many unfortunate events, most of which could have been avoided if not for the carelessness of another.”

“Today, my goal is to help prevent accidents from occurring by preaching safety and injury prevention. Promoting safety and protecting rights should go hand in hand,” he said.

Leaning on Jeff’s extensive experience as a lecturer, NODD offers free, multimedia Distracted Driving presentations to schools, businesses and civic groups.

The goal of NODD is to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and to encourage drivers to put down their cell phones while driving; no talking, texting, web-surfing or emailing.

“Just drive with your attention focused on driving,” Jeff said. “Keep our roadways, and yourself, safe.”

If you are interested in having someone from Weinstein Law speak to your organization about distracted driving, call us at 903-677-5333.

The innocent, down on his luck victim

The innocent, down on his luck victim

I was reading this weekend about a guy who said he had to start all over again at 55 and didn’t know whether he could do it or not. He was down on his luck without any money, no home and no job. Sounds tough. I can certainly see how psychologically it would put you in a bad spot. It made me think about all the people we represent each year that lose their jobs and can’t pay bills because of an incident that was not their fault.

The signals are confusing for me and should cause concern for most of us that live in the real world. I’ll use an example that I work on every day. Someone is rear ended by another automobile and requires medical attention as a result of the collision. The wreck is not something they wanted. They didn’t ask to be hit from the rear. They didn’t ask for damage to their vehicle which now is worth less money since it has been damaged in a collision. The paramedics come and advise the innocent victim they should go to the hospital. At the hospital, the hospital doesn’t want to use the innocent victim’s health insurance instead they choose to bill the innocent victim and demand that any money from the bad actor (the person that caused the wreck) be paid to the hospital first. One interesting note, the hospital charges more for private pay than for health insurance so even though the innocent victim has health insurance, the hospital wants to bill more for the services rendered. Sound fair?

What does this have to do with the guy that was down on his luck? This type of incident puts people in the same situation. You have to make demand upon the insurance of the bad actor to right the situation. However, they’ve spent millions of dollars trying to get the general public to believe that everyone that makes a claim is a fraud. And, even though it’s far from the truth, the ad campaign is working. We don’t believe the person was hurt. Lawyers for the insurance company do a great job of talking about how the medical treatment was not reasonable. Who picks the medical care? The public doesn’t pick, the doctor and the hospital pick.

Do we feel sorry for the older gentleman who is down on his luck? It seems like we used to but it sure doesn’t seem that way today. Do we feel sorry for the innocent victim above? It seems like it depends on whether we like them over the person that ran into them. Very sad that we don’t usually get all the facts before we make a decision one way or the other. I hope we find it in our hearts to start caring more about our neighbors. We all need to remember you only get one time around and we’re all in this together.