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San Antonio Law Blog

Patients: be aware of the risks involved in telemedicine care

In a previous post, we noted that there are certain risks for patients who make use of telehealth or telemedicine care. Proponents of telemedicine say it is a relatively low liability area of practice given that it isn’t going to commonly be used as a way of addressing complicated or high- risk conditions.

There may be some truth to these claims, but it is also true that errors can still occur in the practice of telemedicine. Physicians can still miss diagnoses or misdiagnose. They may still prescribe incorrect medications or make other errors regarding dosage. There may also be additional risk when receiving such services from a physician who doesn’t know the patient’s medical history and who has never seen the patient in person.

Why you need to take marijuana charges seriously

Laws regarding marijuana usage and possession are in a state of flux throughout the US. As many states loosen up their laws, it can be easy to slip into the mindset that if it is okay somewhere else, it is okay here too.

Marijuana is still illegal in Texas and penalties are strict. Even a charge for the possession of a small amount can carry significant consequences that could affect access to college loans, as well as housing and employment options.

Why does Texas lead the nation in fatal truck accidents?

The weight differential between big rigs and passenger vehicles is an obvious cause of serious injuries and death in these cases. Why our state leads the nation in fatal trucking accidents is more nuanced.

Recently, a jury decided that surviving family members of a young truck-accident victim deserved many millions of dollars in damages. The 42-year-old Fredricksburg man was killed near Burnet in February 2015. His minivan crashed into an 18-wheeler that had slid to a stop across State Highway 29 after its driver lost control and hit a guardrail on the icy roadway, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The victim left behind his wife and two daughters as well as his mother.

Bill seeks to expand practice of telemedicine in Texas

As readers may be aware, the growth of telemedicine in the United States is swift and holds promise for increasing access to quality medical care for those with limited access to brick and mortar facilities. Most states have recognized the benefits of telemedicine and taken steps to allow health care providers to offer direct to consumer telehealth care.

Texas is not among those states, much to the dismay of enterprising health care providers in the state. Earlier this week, though, representatives of the health care industry in Texas submitted a bill to the Texas legislature to address issues that have prevented the growth of telemedicine in Texas. 

Accident victims: take your medical and legal needs seriously

The aftermath of any motor vehicle accident has the potential to be completely chaotic. Cars are disabled and debris is scattered across the roadway, which quickly becomes congested with bystanders and rubberneckers. There are other people involved in the accident and witnesses gathering. If a crash is serious, police and ambulance will also be on the scene.

In all this activity, it can be easy to minimize or look past your own seemingly minor injuries in favor of giving police your statement and just getting back home. However, neglecting your own medical needs can have devastating consequences, particularly if you are suffering from a concussion or other type of brain injury.

Bad knee and hip replacements can lead to more surgery, pain

Our bodies are amazing creations. The bones, muscles, nerves and organs work together in harmony to keep us breathing, digesting and moving seamlessly. Sometimes, though, that harmony isn't so perfect. Conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, or serious injuries, can mean that we need to replace one of our original parts with a man-made medical device.

As our population ages, such replacement surgeries are becoming more and more common, particularly involving knees and hips, two of the most often used joints that also bear the majority of our weight. Many people who undergo total knee or hip replacements (or less invasive procedures like hip resurfacing or partial replacements) successfully recover from the surgery and go on to live active lifestyles with much less pain than before.

Can I refuse breath and blood testing during a DWI stop?

Many Texas residents will be celebrating Independence Day this weekend with adult beverages, and if you are one of them, you need to know your rights if you happen to be pulled over and suspected of drunk driving.

Refusing a breathalyzer or blood test in Texas

Generally speaking, you can refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Texas and the police officer does not have a search warrant. Most criminal defense lawyers will advise to always refuse testing unless you are certain that you are under the legal limit to drive (.08).

However, this is a complicated issue, especially on holiday weekends like the Fourth of July (see below).

What are the elements of burglary and criminal trespass in Texas?

When facing burglary charges in the state of Texas, the charged owes it to themselves to become familiar with the criminal law involved. This post provides a brief summary of the elements of the crime of burglary in the Lone Star State, as well as the elements of the related offense of criminal trespass.

Between the two crimes of burglary and criminal trespass, burglary is the more serious offense. In order to prove the crime of burglary, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant entered a private habitation or other building -- without the consent of the owner -- with the intent to commit an assault, theft or felony. The term burglary also encompasses the act of breaking into a coin-operated machine or entering a vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or felony.

Possible defendants in a Texas medical malpractice case

People in Texas have probably heard that medical malpractice is the area of law that applies when negligence is alleged in a health care context. In a traditional medical malpractice case, an injured patient will bring a case against a doctor, whose negligence allegedly caused the patient's injury. Many cases are brought against physicians and surgeons alleging medical malpractice. But, physicians and surgeons are not the only possible defendants in a medical malpractice case.

Hospitals are often sued and held liable in medical malpractice cases. One scenario where this could happen is if a hospital fails to make reasonable inquiries into the training, education and licensing of applicants for the positions of nurses, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners and other staff members. If a hospital fails to make such a reasonable inquiry, and a hospital staff member's negligent care causes injury to a patient, there is a possibility that the hospital could be found liable for negligent supervision of its employees. Further, hospitals are required to have sufficient nurses and other staff members to handle the needs of the hospital's patients. If a hospital fails to make sure that there are enough staff members available, the hospital could be liable for resulting injuries suffered by patients.

ECMs can record useful information about an 18-wheeler accident

Driving a semitrailer truck in Texas is a big responsibility. Trucks can be very heavy. Some weigh as much as 40 tons. When these trucks get into a collision with smaller vehicles, serious injuries and enormous property damage can result. This is why truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver's license and why they and their trucking companies may incur major liability for an 18-wheeler accident.

Truck accident victims may wonder if there is a way to capture information about the operation of the truck at the time of an accident. There may be.

Since the 1990s, many trucks made in the United States have Electronic Control Modules (ECMs) installed. These ECMs record a variety of data about the truck's operation. Information recorded may include highest speed, average speed, total time driven, amount of time driving over 65 mph, average engine revolutions per minute, idling time, seat belt usage and air bag performance.

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