Author Archives: J. Hunter Craft

The Dangers Of Texting While Driving

With nearly 70% of the adult population owning a cell phone in the U.S. alone, the instances of texting while driving have increased dramatically over the course of the past two decades. While many people think teenagers are the only ones that exhibit reckless driving behavior, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that drivers in their 20s account for 38% of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes in 2015.

Why Is Texting While Driving So Dangerous?

While many people think that they can handle picking up their cell phone to check a text message while driving a car, on average, a driver takes their eyes off the road for five whole seconds when texting. This might not seem like much, but it’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph blindfolded.

The dangers of texting while driving extend beyond the driver taking their eyes off the road. The driver also takes one hand off the wheel, making it more difficult to control their vehicle in an emergency situation.

When a driver engages in texting while driving, they are also facing cognitive distraction. It’s crucial for drivers to keep their minds on the task of driving. A recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that drivers are 10 times more likely to get in an accident if they are emotionally agitated.

To drive safely, a driver must keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and their mind on the task of driving at all times.

How Often Does Texting While Driving Happen?

At any given daylight moment, over 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving. Despite the extreme risks of injury or death, drivers continue to text while driving.

Historic 2010 Texas Distracted Driving Wrongful Death Verdict

Although texting while driving has been causing accidents for years, many lawyers refused to take on personal injury or wrongful death claims against texting drivers. Understanding the threat texting drivers pose to their own passengers and to other motorists, Texas distracted driving attorney Hunter Craft achieved a landmark verdict for a family whose daughter was killed by a driver distracted by texting.

The victim, Megan Small, was hit head on by truck that drifted into her lane on Highway 6. While the driver of the truck claimed he was not using his cell phone at the time of the accident, phone records later revealed that the truck driver sent and/or received 15 text messages and placed seven phone calls in the hour leading up to the crash.

The jury found the driver of the truck responsible for the wrongful death after only two and a half hours of deliberation. The verdict established a precedent for distracted driving accident victims across Texas and throughout the country, and continues to help hold reckless drivers responsible.

Houston Texting and Driving Accident Attorneys

People of all ages admit to using their cell phones while driving. If a distracted driver who was texting while driving injured you in a car accident, you can hold them responsible for their carelessness. Call the experienced Houston car accident attorneys at Craft Law Firm today for a free consultation to review your case.

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Nearly 4 Million Nissan Cars Recalled For Safety Issues

Auto manufacturing giant Nissan is recalling nearly 4 million cars due to major safety issues with the seatbelts and airbags. The Nissan recall covers 13 different models and is split into two parts.

Defective Seat Sensors

3.2 million of Nissan’s vehicles are being recalled for defective seat sensors. The passenger seat’s sensor can potentially confuse an adult passenger with a child, which disables the passenger airbag in the event of a crash.

The Nissan recall affected models include:

  • 2016-2017 Nissan Maxima
  • 2013-2016 Nissan Altima
  • Nissan NV200
  • Nissan LEAF and Sentra
  • 2013-2017 Nissan Pathfinder
  • 2014-2016 Nissan NV200 Taxi
  • 2014-2017 Nissan Rogue
  • 2015-2016 Nissan Murano
  • 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles

Defective Seatbelt

Nissan is also recalling 620,000 of its 2013-2016 Sentras because the front passenger seatbelt bracket could become deformed when used to secure a child restraint system. The deformation could cause the airbag to deploy when it should not in the case of an accident.

The recall was announced after Nissan admitted that at least three crashes occurred where the airbags did not function properly. This is not the first time that Nissan has recalled cars because of faulty sensors. This is the fourth such recall since 2013 to address issues regarding defective sensors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 1,200 complaints over the sensors.

Nissan will notify dealerships of its plans to fix the faulty sensors and defective seatbelts by the end of May. Customers will be notified within 60 days and the repairs will be free of charge.

Auto Products Liability Attorneys

Auto manufacturers have a responsibility to meet certain safety standards, and when they fail to do so, they put consumers at risk. Airbags and seatbelts are crucial to keeping occupants safe during an accident; so when they fail to work correctly, the auto manufacturer can be held responsible. If you were injured in a car accident and you believe that faulty auto parts or components in your car caused or contributed to your injuries, contact Craft Law Firm today. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing unless we help you recover compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.

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Long Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Approximately 2.5 million people in the United States sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, and while the many only suffer temporary symptoms, the effects of a traumatic brain injury can and often do last much longer than a brief hospital stay.

Understanding the effects of a traumatic brain injury, both in the short term and the long term, can be challenging because there is no one typical experience for those who suffer from TBIs. Because TBIs can occur in different parts of the brain and have differing rates of healing, victims can experience a wide array of symptoms.

In the short term, people who have sustained a TBI can suffer from amnesia, mental confusion, nausea, slurred speech, headaches, and a host of other symptoms. However, these symptoms can subside after medical treatment within days or weeks after the injury. While the long-term effects of a TBI can vary as greatly as the short-term effects, they will often last for years after the injury, some even permanently.

Long Term Effects Of Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Include:

  • Memory Loss
  • Post-traumatic amnesia
  • Concentration and attention problems
  • Communication and language issues
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of coordination

TBIs can affect the cognitive and sensory functions of the brain as well as the emotional and physical functions. While some of these long-term effects can be reduced or managed by prescription medications and/or different types of therapy, many who suffer long-term effects from TBIs struggle with their everyday activities.

Houston Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

Whether you sustained your traumatic brain injury on the job, in a car accident, or during any other catastrophic injury incident, the road to recovery can seem long and never-ending. TBIs come with an extreme financial burden that could last a lifetime, and these brain injuries could have you out of work for weeks or even indefinitely.

If your TBI was caused by the negligence of another individual or company, you may have the legal right to seek compensation. The experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys at Craft Law Firm have helped victims and their families across the country begin the road to recovery by holding negligent parties responsible. Call us today for a free consultation.

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What Is Crashworthiness?

Every car manufacturer has certain safety standards that their cars must meet in order to be sold on the market. One of the most commonly tested safety standards is called crashworthiness, which refers to the ability of a structure to protect its occupants upon impact.

How Is Crashworthiness Determined?

The two main aspects of crashworthiness are structure and restraint. A quality structure has several parts. First, there needs to be a strong occupant compartment that will protect passengers from being crushed. Second, vehicles need to have crumple zones, where the force of impact can be absorbed by crushing parts of the vehicle other than the occupant compartment. Third, vehicles need to have a strong side structure that can manage the force exerted from a side impact. Lastly, a quality structure includes a strong roof. A strong roof should not collapse, especially in the case of a vehicle rollover.

Vehicle restraints also play an important role in bolstering the crashworthiness elements mentioned above. Seatbelts and airbags can greatly reduce the severity of car accident injuries and even prevent death. Seatbelts have been legally required in all cars since 1968, and it is estimated that seatbelts save 15,000 lives each year.

Crash Testing

Vehicles undergo extensive crash testing to determine their crashworthiness. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests frontal crash protection, side crash protection, restraint systems, rollover, and child safety, among others, to categorize vehicles into four crashworthiness safety categories: good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration also tests vehicles for crashworthiness and assigns star ratings on a one-to-five numerical scale, with five stars indicating the highest possible safety rating. Through the New Car Assessment Program, consumers can compare the crashworthiness ratings of different vehicles to ensure they make an informed decision before buying a car.

Auto Products Liability Attorneys

When a vehicle fails to adhere to safety standards, it can cause devastating injuries and even death. Roof crush, side impact, and restraint failures are all ways a vehicle can fail to keep its occupants safe. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, you need the experienced attorneys at Craft Law Firm to evaluate the incident and to determine whether your car failed to meet mandatory industry safety standards, causing your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.

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Most Common Workplace Accidents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) over 4,500 workers die on the job each year from workplace accidents, and thousands more are injured. While employers have certain responsibilities to their employees to keep them safe, there are many ways an employee can be injured on the job.

Some of the most common workplace accidents include:

  1. Overexertion is the most common workplace injury. It can occur anytime an employee is lifting, carrying, pulling, or otherwise moving a heavy load.
  2. Falls either from a height or on the same level can cause serious injuries. Slipping on wet surfaces or failure to provide safety harnesses or nets are some of the most cited violations by OSHA inspectors.
  3. Struck by accidents happen when a worker is struck by a falling object or struck by a piece of machinery.
  4. Motor vehicle accidents at the workplace and on the job site can be particularly devastating because many of the vehicles involved are large trucks or pieces of heavy equipment.
  5. Repetitive motions might be less obvious, but can include typing, staring at a computer, or any continuous movement.
  6. Assault and workplace violence is a less common workplace accident, but can nonetheless put employees at risk of injury or death.

Because Texas employers are not required to subscribe to workers compensation, some workplace accidents can leave workers paying for medical bills, specialty equipment, physical therapy, and medication completely out of pocket. For workers who cannot immediately return to work after an accident, the lost wages produce an additional financial burden.

Catastrophic workplace injuries can happen to anyone. While there are precautions employers and employees can both take to decrease the likelihood of an incident, accidents do happen. After a workplace accident, you may have many questions, but it’s important to remember that you have certain rights under the law.

Workplace Accident Attorneys in Houston

After a workplace accident, you will likely have many questions about how your accident happened and what courses of action are available to you. The workplace accident attorneys at Craft Law Firm have helped injured workers across the country get compensation for injuries caused by another’s negligence. Call us for free consultation.

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How Common Are Heavy Machinery Accidents?

Without the help of heavy machinery, the construction and manufacturing industries would be unable to accomplish many of their day to day operations as quickly, efficiently, and economically as they currently do. While these machines are integral to production, they can pose a serious risk to the workers who use them and work around them.

Heavy machinery includes:

  • Cranes
  • Forklifts
  • Bulldozers
  • Backhoes
  • Dump Trucks
  • Excavators
  • Trucks
  • Boilers
  • Saws
  • Oil Rig Machinery
  • Drills
  • Presses
  • Logging Equipment
  • Hydraulic Machinery

Heavy machinery can cause workplace accidents in a variety of different ways. Most commonly, it is involved in struck-by or caught-in accidents. These accidents occur when a worker is either struck by machinery, falling objects, or materials, or caught in or between the mechanisms of the machinery.

Injuries From Heavy Machinery Accidents

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), heavy machinery is involved in 75% of fatal struck-by or caught-in workplace accidents. Injuries are often very severe and can include amputations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), crushing injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries, among others. With the potential to do so much harm, certain safety measures must be taken to decrease the likelihood of accidents.

Preventing Heavy Machinery Accidents

One of the leading causes of heavy machinery accidents is inadequate training. Employers have a responsibility to properly train all employees who operate machinery. It is also important for employees who work around, but not necessarily on, heavy machinery to be trained on safety protocols. If an employer hires an employee to operate machinery, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure the employee is capable of performing his or her job safely. Employers can be held responsible for negligently hiring workers who cause workplace accidents or for the unsafe actions of workers who received insufficient training.

Houston Heavy Machinery Accident Attorneys

The experienced heavy machinery accident attorneys at Craft Law Firm know how devastating Houston workplace incidents can be. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a heavy machinery accident, you have the right to seek compensation for the resulting damages. Craft Law Firm has helped dozens of victims recover compensation and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay us nothing unless we win your case. Call us today for a free consultation.

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