Personal Injury


The Six Most Common Car Crash Injuries


most common car crash

The Six Most Common Car Crash Injuries

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, over 2 million people are injured or disabled in car crashes throughout the United States annually. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has this number at more than 3 million, but regardless of the count, the astounding number of injuries that result from car accidents is abysmal and drivers should take every precaution into account before getting behind the wheel of their vehicle.

Numerous studies have shown that a person’s location within the car during the time of the accident has a direct effect on the type of injury sustained and its severity. Understandably, the closer someone is seated to the point of impact, the greater the likelihood of a more severe injury.

Aside from the passenger’s location within a vehicle, there are other factors that affect injury, including:

  • Whether or not seat belts were worn
  • The angle from which the car was hit (i.e. rear, side, or front)
  • The direction the occupant was facing at the time of the accident (i.e. was the person’s head or burn turned in certain direction)
  • The speed at which the crash occurred
  • Whether or not airbags deployed

As every car collision is unique in its own right, and the type of injury incurred also varies. Generally speaking, injuries typically fall into two broad categories known as impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries are the result of a person’s body hitting some interior portion of the car. Penetrating injuries are usually cuts and scrapes caused by glass or loose objects flying within the car.

While some injuries may not require any medical attention, more serious one’s can cause permanent damage and even result in some physical (or emotional) disability.

Six common car crash injuries include:

Head Injuries

Head injuries vary from simple muscle strains to severe concussions. An unexpected stop or change in direction in a vehicle usually results in the head moving suddenly and violently. If the impact was not very forceful, occupants may just experience a slight muscle strain around the neck and back, but if the head comes into contact with an object within the car, such as the steering wheel, a concussion or lacerations can occur.

Concussions occur when the brain is severely shaken within the skull. In a mild case, rest may be sufficient to allow healing, but in more serious impacts, surgery may be required to alleviate internal bleeding and pressure. If you experience symptoms like disorientation, vomiting, and severe headaches after an accident, it is vital that you seek hospitalization immediately.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries occur when the body’s connective tissue is damaged, and usually results in “whiplash”, or injury to the neck and back. When the muscle, ligaments, and tendons in your body are unnaturally stretched because of a sudden movement or stop caused by an accident, the force can result in neck pain, upper back pain, mid-back and lower-back muscle sprains, and even serious spinal injuries.

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries after a car accident are common and usually occur because of the position of the steering wheel or as a result of the seat belt tightening. Depending on the severity of the injury, a person might simply experience severe bruising or abrasions caused by the high level of force against the shoulder harness or seat belt.

Severe injuries can include fractures to the rib or sternum, injuries to internal organs, internal bleeding, torn cartilage, muscles, tendons or ligaments.

While seat belts certainly save lives, they do cause accidental injuries at times. If you feel any pain in your chest area, regardless of its intensity, it is in your own best interest to seek medical attention immediately. Failing to do so can make the injury worse, and in some cases, fatal.

Scrapes and Cuts

Car collisions can cause the glass on your windows to break or send loose objects hurtling through the air. Eyeglasses and ceramic items can easily cut your skin or cause other relatively minor injuries that may not require much medical treatment. Airbags deploying can also lead to lacerations that may require stitches.

Broken Bones

Serious injuries, such as broken bones, commonly occur in high velocity car accidents or roll overs. Broken bones can be especially dangerous as they may have caused internal damage that is difficult to perceive by EMT paramedics.

Common broken bone injuries include:

  • Spinal injuries
  • Skull fractures
  • Broken legs
  • Broken arms
  • Broken ribs
  • Hip fractures
  • Broken and fractured wrists

Individuals suffering from broken bones require immediate emergency care that may result in multiple surgeries, extensive rehabilitation, and which may take a very long time to heal.

Emotional Injuries

A very serious and severe accident doesn’t just cause physical damages to the victims, but emotional problems as well. Financial burdens my results from steep medical bills and rehabilitation costs, causing emotional pain and suffering, such as depression. This is especially true in car accident survivor has seen their life drastically change because of serious and chronic injury.

Injured in an auto accident? You don’t have to be alone.

At J. Gonzalez Law Firm, we know how scary it can be to get into a car accident and get injured. We know how tough it can be when medical bills and car damages can put your life on hold. Let the attorneys at J. Gonzalez Law Firm fight for your rights for compensation and the due process you deserve.

Our personal injury lawyers in McAllen, Brownsville, and Rio Grande City will be there to help you get your life back in order.

Contact us today at (956) 630-6700 to get the process started on building your case.

 

Working to Eliminate Distracted Driving


In today’s world, the constant stream of information and distraction available to us through our cell phones and electronic devices can make it hard to unplug. The overall effect this has on people can be debated, but the fact remains that there is one time that not being able to put down our phones is always dangerous –  when we are on the road.

Driving a vehicle, of any size, requires our complete and undivided attention, whether here in the McAllen area or anywhere across Texas.

Here at J. Gonzalez Law Firm, we understand and see firsthand the damage that distracted drivers can cause on the road. That is why it is our goal to ensure that everyone is aware of the facts about cell phone use and driving.

As lawyers in the Rio Grande Valley, we also want to see that those affected by distracted driving are taken care of, and that those who harm others answer for their negligence.

Help is on the Way

This year House Bill 62 and Senate Bill 31, identical bills banning texting while driving, are again being moved through the state legislature. These bills propose that drivers caught texting can be charged with a misdemeanor. First time fines would range from $25 to $99, with repeat offenses carrying potential fines up to $200.

At the forefront of this effort are Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland. This latest push represents the fifth and fourth time, respectively, that each of them has filed legislation to enact this ban.

There have been efforts here in Texas, as far back as 2011, to pass legislation that would place a complete ban on texting while driving. According to Dallas News, that year the proposed bill was able to pass both house of the Texas congress, but ultimately met its end on the desk of former Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry addressed the legislation by stating that the bill was “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults”.

Fortunately, the sentiments of the former governor represent a growing minority. Even though Texas is one of only four states without a total ban, there are already a number of partial bans in effect.

Texting while driving in a school zone is already completely prohibited statewide. In addition, if a driver is under 18 or a bus driver is carrying minors, neither are allowed to use a cell phone under any circumstance.

Ninety-five counties have a ban of some type in place and the website Big Country states that 90 cities across the state have outlawed it entirely.

The Specifics of Being Ahead of the Curve

The best news for local drivers is that McAllen is one of those 90 cities that has already taken it upon itself to ban this dangerous driving habit. An ordinance banning texting while driving and addressing other related activities was passed back in 2011.

According to a report in The Monitor, the ordinance prohibits a driver from sending or reading a text message on their phone. Surfing the internet is also not allowed, but you can still make a phone call while driving with no penalty.

The ordinance was originally proposed by city commissioner Jim Darling, in response to the 8,000 crashes that annually occur in the city of McAllen.

All commissioners who were present at the time voted for the ordinance. Both Mayor Richard Cortez and Police Chief Victor Rodriguez supported their vote.  Rodriguez particularly liked how the new ordinance sent a clear message regarding phone use while driving, making clear what was and was not legal.

While the new ban was in line with certain other trends that were happening across the country, the McAllen measures went further in also forbidding “viewing or accessing other data that uses commonly recognized communications protocol”.

This would extend the ban to various apps whose primary function is messaging, as well as common forms of social media.

The J. Gonzalez Law Firm recognizes the measures that have already been put in place right here in the city of McAllen to protect everyone on the road from distracted drivers. We know that the majority of drivers will follow these safety guidelines.

However, our jobs as personal injury lawyers are to step in when someone becomes negligent of these rules and injures somebody else.

If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver, contact us today at 956-630-6700. We are here to make sure that you and your family have the legal support you need to find the justice and financial compensation you deserve after you’ve been injured in a car accident.

Our lawyers have the experience you need to help you get back on your feet. We will not stop until you have the justice you deserve; let us succeed for you and your family.

Filing Taxes After a Personal Injury Settlement: What You Should Know


There’s a certain time of year that seems to get under people’s skin. In addition to the hectic holiday season and the sweltering summer, there’s a particular period of time that has the potential to make you more stressed and anxious than ever—yes, we’re talking about tax season.

At the J. Gonzalez Law Firm, we too suffer from tax season dread. Whether you have numerous 1099 forms or several rental properties, gathering all your paperwork and attempting to navigate your way through your taxes can be an extremely trying and frustrating time. While broad tax-related matters aren’t necessarily our specialty, when it comes to filing personal injury settlements, we have the inside scoop.

We are the perfect source to rely on to get some of your most hard-hitting questions about personal injury settlements answered.

After navigating through the trials and tribulations of filing a personal injury lawsuit, working with your lawyer, and eventually receiving your settlement, there’s no doubt that all you’ll want is for your life to go back to normal. The team behind the J. Gonzalez Law Firm understands this more than anyone. This tax season, skip the worry and dread and read on for five things you should know about filing with a personal injury settlement.

Personal injury compensation is not taxable.

This is one of the most important facts to understand before you begin to stress over your taxes or seek the aid of a tax professional: the proceeds received from most personal injury cases are not taxable under federal or state law.

It does not matter when or whether the case was filed in a court of law. Essentially, the proceeds generated from personal injury settlements are tax-free. This means that neither the IRS nor the federal and state government can tax you on any funds you received as a result of injuries or health complications you suffered. The reason for this is that in the eyes of the law, the compensation you receive in a settled personal injury case is meant to replace the following: lost wages, medical bills, emotional stress, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.

Loopholes

Of course, despite the previous point, it’s important to know that when it comes to filing your personal injury settlement, there are exceptions to the general rule.

First, let’s look at punitive damages:
The easiest way to understand this facet of a personal injury case is to understand its definition. Punitive damages are meant to punish—they are not directly tied to a tangible injury. Their primary purpose is not to compensate for a specific loss—although you are the party who will receive the damages—but to serve as a form of legal punishment for the actions of the defendant. Although punitive damages are rarely part of a personal injury settlement, they are generally taxable and must be included in your tax return.

Now, let’s talk about interest.
Most states have court-enforced rules that add interest to the verdict for the length of time the case has been pending. Generally, your case will begin accruing interest starting from the first day it was filed until your receive your compensation. All interest you receive from your court case is taxable and must be reported to the IRS.

What about suing for mental distress or anguish?
While personal injury cases deal with a wide range of damages, when it comes to filing against another party for any other sufferings besides the physical, tax matters shift. When there is no relationship between the emotional and the physical suffering, your settlement would not be tax-free. However, if you sustained any form of emotional distress during your ordeal that is directly linked to a physical condition, then your settlement would not be taxed by the IRS. Although such stipulations may be confusing to digest, it’s important to chat with both your lawyer and your trusted tax professional before you find yourself lost in a sea of tax forms.

Lastly, let’s target loss of wages/income.
If the compensation you receive in your personal injury settlement is solely meant to make up for a loss of income you suffered, it is taxable and must appear on your tax return. As settlements like this are similar to defamation suits, the IRS does expect you to file them.

If you received your settlement from your personal injury case this tax year, we understand your grief. At the J. Gonzalez Law Firms, it is our mission to help your sort through all that coincides with filing a personal injury suit—taxes included. As there are exceptions to almost every legal and tax-related rule, we encourage you to give us a call (contact info) and let us help you keep your head high this tax season!

Personal Injury Claims: On the Rise


With our fast-paced lifestyles and full schedules, a personal injury case is probably the last thing on your mind. This is because situations like car accidents or work-related injuries are two scenarios we almost never expect to encounter.

As crazy and unpredictable as life can be, it’s important to focus on the things that matter to you the most. It’s also vital to educate yourself on matters like personal injury cases, should you ever be involved in one. Similar to most things in life, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared for the unexpected. At the J. Gonzalez Law Firms, whether you’re a client or not, we have devoted ourselves to spreading the word about personal injury matters, since it is our mission to help you stay ahead of the game in any way that we can.

This is specifically important right now, as it has been reported that more people than ever are turning to personal injury lawyers for advice and representation. The reason for this is that personal injury claims in the U.S. are steadily and quickly rising at a rapid rate.

When a person is involved in an accident of any sort, the repercussions can be devastating and life altering. From financial burdens stemming from health care to lost wages and emotional trauma, data illustrates that our society has collectively stepped out of the dark and is determined to gain the justice they deserve.

At the J. Gonzalez Law Firms, we’re committed to helping you stay ahead of the curve. Therefore, it’s vital to understand why personal injury cases are on the rise and what this means for you:

Insurance

Before getting upset with your insurance provider for raising your rate again, there’s something you should know. As personal injury suits are currently on the rise, your insurance providers have had to follow suit. So, needless to say, those rising rates on your premium are actually for your protection.

If you are harmed in an accident of any sort, your insurance provider is simply assuring that you would be covered and taken care of should you need their assistance. This also ensures that should you find yourself in the middle of a personal injury case, your chances of settling the matter outside of court are strong.

Bogus Claims

Although it was noted that personal injury cases are currently on the rise, it’s crucial to understand that a number of these cases aren’t legitimate claims. Thankfully, insurance providers and the government are working tirelessly to eradicate this problem. On the bright side, statistics have shown that a larger number of personal injury cases are in fact genuine and the parties involved are awarded the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Why is the number of cases growing?

There are a variety of factors causing the number of personal injury cases to spike.

Let’s take a look at the most significant:

– Stricter laws
Across the country, it’s no secret that companies are tightening their laws like never before. This includes health and safety standards too. Now, employers are taking insurance more seriously than ever. Unfortunately, this extra coverage does little to prevent work-related accidents from happening.

As accidents and injuries in the workplace are inevitable and highly possible in industries that put monetary matters first and foremost, a substantial portion of the ‘rise’ in personal injury cases can be attributed to work-related accidents.

– The roads are dangerous!
From texting and driving to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, thousands of accidents happen in the U.S. each day. No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, the unfortunate truth is that not everyone practices the same level of caution. From claiming minor injuries like whiplash to more major claims, road accidents are also a huge factor in the rise of personal injury cases nationwide.

– It’s now easier than ever to file a claim against your employer
Due to the vast advancements to employee rights, if you feel violated in any way at your place of work, filing a claim against your employer is easier than ever. From discrimination to harassment and work-related injuries, you have the right to file a claim under legal protection.

The accessibility of filing claims is another prominent factor that has made personal injury suits skyrocket.

Whether you were involved in a personal injury case in the past or if you may find yourself at the center of one in the future, knowing the facts is key to ensuring that stress will not be on your list of concerns. At the J. Gonzalez Law firm, we are committed to educating you and helping you sort through your personal injury case with confidence. For more information, feel free to give us a call at 1800-CAR-CRASH.

Driver Files Lawsuit After Collision with Tractor-Trailer


According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, semi-truck driving is one of the top 10 most dangerous professions in the country. These drivers are sitting for many hours at a time, making them predisposed to dealing with fatigue on the road. In addition to long hours of driving, truck drivers are also increasing strain on their arms, backs and legs.

A Life Changing Event

A Tennessee woman traveling through Anderson County in East Texas may have been a victim of this very situation. The young woman was driving along U.S. Highway 79 when a tractor-trailer collided with her. The woman suffered critical injuries and missed time from her job.

She went on to file a lawsuit against the truck driver and the company employing him for damages sustained. The victim will be seeking practical medical care fees and expenses for lost wages due to missed work time.

Fairness for the Victim

Fortunately, the victim in this case survived and, although sustaining injuries, she is seeking the justice she feels she’s entitled to. Filing a lawsuit can possibly bring her the justice she needs. We here at the J Gonzalez Law Firm are committed to doing just that. Contact us at (956) 630-6700, or message us here to let us know how we can help.

Workers’ Compensation: Steps to Take When Injured on the Job


Finding yourself injured on the job can be one of the most helpless and terrifying instances for any employee. Knowing that you could miss weeks or even months of work can be detrimental along with having to deal with medical issues. Workers’ compensation helps ease that burden by providing the monetary compensation needed for your recovery. In this piece, we will discuss what should be done to ensure that the recovery process is an easy one.

Harlingen Police Crack Down on Drunk Driving for Cinco de Mayo Weekend


According to a news report, in 2014 alone, Harlingen police made 285 DWI arrests and reported 54 DWI crashes involving one intoxication assault and one death. Now, the police department is ready to crack down on more cases of drunk driving to help keep the public as safe as possible. With the implementation of the “no refusal” policy, Harlingen police will be able to perform a mandatory blood test to any drunk driving suspects who refuse a breathalyzer test.

Senior Sues Arts and Crafts Retailer After Suffering Fall


Trips to your favorite retailer to shop around can really brighten up anyone’s day. However, while you’re picking out that nice new dress or that set of tools you’ve been wanting, you can potentially be one step away from debilitating injuries. A Humble woman knows how damaging an accidental fall can be, but she’s now seeking what she deserves.

Burn Injuries Lead to Keurig Coffee Maker Recalls


Burn Injuries Lead to Keurig Coffee Maker Recalls

hot brewed coffeeA delicious cup of coffee can turn anyone’s morning around for the better. You’ll instantly feel more awake and ready to take on any given day’s tasks. For all the help coffee can offer, one would never imagine a cup posing a serious danger. Keurig, a popular coffee brewer manufacturer, has recalled over 7 million of its brewing machines due to reported burn risks.

Brewing Dangers

About 90 reports of burn injuries and 200 claims of hot liquid spraying out of coffee machines have led to this massive recall from Keurig. According to the company, their Mini Plus brewers, manufactured between 2009 and 2014, could potentially malfunction if a user brews more than two cups one after the other.

Keurig is now urging its customers to contact the company to receive a free repair kit aimed at ridding the brewers of any possible hazards. The company is additionally advising users to avoid brewing more than two cups of coffee in quick succession and staying at arms-length away when using the machine.

Dealing with Faulty Products

Manufacturers are obliged to follow a strict set of laws and regulations to ensure that their products will run efficiently and safely. Unfortunately, companies sometimes fail to abide by these laws at the expense of the consumer.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a defective or faulty product, the J. Gonzalez Law Firm is here to fight by your side. You shouldn’t have to live with the burden of physical pain and financial strains for the rest of your life.

Our personal injury attorney will take every necessary step to help collect the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been subjected to hospital bills, therapy fees, and pain and suffering, contact us in McAllen today.

 

 

Two Parties Sued After Dog Attacks Passerby


Two Parties Sued After Dog Attacks Passerby

dog and owner

A quick stroll around your neighborhood with your beloved pooch as a companion can be the relaxing time needed after a stressful day. Unfortunately, this relatively safe act can potentially become dangerous if a negligent dog owner decides to leave their gates open. This became a harsh reality for a victim of an alleged dog attack who has now filed a lawsuit.

Fight in the Court

The victim of the attack filed the lawsuit against a dog owner and a property owner through his parent and legal guardian in Jefferson County District Court after he was allegedly attacked by four pit bulls in late April of this year. According to the lawsuit, the victim was walking his dog outside of the dog owner’s home when the four animals attacked. The complaint alleges the bites to the victim were severe enough to cause serious permanent damage.

The two parties named in the lawsuit are accused of negligence for failing to take the necessary steps to avoid the attack. The plaintiff is seeking to recover an unspecified amount of monetary damages.

Trusted Counsel at Your Side

A dog attack can bring an unsuspecting victim more than just physical pain. The trauma and financial troubles they may face can take a toll on their life and burden them for years after the accident. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a vicious dog attack, the personal injury attorney of the J. Gonzalez Law Firm is ready to fight for you.

With our legal representation at your side, you’ll be supported with comprehensive case-building techniques and unique legal practices. We will work around the clock to make sure a satisfactory outcome is reached. Contact our location in McAllen today to see where your case stands.