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Estate planning is for everyone, not just the elderly or those entering into retirement. If you have a car, a home, checking or savings accounts, life insurance, furniture, and other personal possessions, you have an estate. The size of your estate is irrelevant when it comes to planning for how you want your assets divvied up after your death. We know that it is difficult to think about preparing for the end of your life. However, to ensure your personal belongings are given to the people or organizations you care for most, you need to provide instructions. Consulting with the caring and experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm to discuss the handling of yours or a family member’s estate can give reassurance that your family will be taken care of.

No matter if you’re planning or dealing with the loss of a loved one and in need of a probate attorney, The Carlson Law Firm’s team of experienced estate planning attorneys can help your matter run smoothly. We are ready to answer your questions related to several areas concerning estate planning.

Our firm’s Texas estate planning attorneys handle the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Power of Attorney
  • Trusts
  • Advance Medical Directives/ Living Wills
  • Designation of Guardianship
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Probate

We have a team of experienced, dedicated Texas Estate Planning Attorneys and legal assistants who have nothing but your best interests in mind. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, or to schedule an appointment with a Texas estate planning attorney.


 

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning involves making a plan in advance and naming who you want to receive your possessions after you pass. This is a simple explanation and only covers your belongings. But a qualified estate planning attorney will ensure that your documents contain much more information. Proper estate planning should also include the following:

  • Designates an executor.
  • Names a guardian for minor children.
  • Names an inheritance manage for minor children.
  • Provides for your dependents.
  • Designates a caretaker for pets.
  • Specifies alternative beneficiaries should initial beneficiaries not survive.
  • Specifications for how debts, expenses and taxes should be paid.
  • Instructions for ensuring your values are honored.
  • Instructions for your care should you become disabled before you die.
  • Directions for allocating business assets.
  • Instructions for the care of family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits.
  • Provides and set limits for financially irresponsible loved ones.
  • Provides for loved ones who may need future protection from creditors or divorce.
  • Life insurance to provide for your family after death.
  • Disability income insurance to replace income if an illness or injury prevents you from working.
  • Long-term insurance to help pay for your care in the event of extended illness or injury.
  • Minimize taxes, court costs and unnecessary legal fees.

Further, estate planning is an ongoing process. It should not be a one-time event. Your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family, financial situation and laws change over your lifetime. The best time to begin your estate planning is when you are of sound mind and healthy. To ensure your wishes are carried out the way you want, you need a qualified Texas Estate Planning Attorney on your side.

Is probate a part of estate planning?

Probate is one of the final steps in the estate planning process. Once a person passes, their family members will need to probate a will through their county courts. During the process, the court will identify the rightful heirs of a will. The process can take as little as 4-6 months to as much as four years.

What is a Will?

A will—also called a last will and testament—is a simple document that states your final wishes. At its core, a will provides a plan for who will raise your children, who manages money left to minor children, as well as who gets your property after your passing. Without a will, state law determines who gets your property, and a judge will decide who will raise your children.

Wills are what most people think of when they think of estate planning. And that’s for a good reason. Writing a will is the single most important thing you can do when it comes to estate planning. Wills ensure that your wishes are carried out the way you want after you pass. There is no such thing as having modest finances or being too young to write a will.  

A valid will has to meet certain standards. For starters, the person making the will, or the testator, must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Also, the testator will to appoint an executor, provide for the distribution of property after death, and sign and date the document in the presence of witnesses. As long as these standards are met, a testator has the option of drafting several different types of wills.

Simple Wills

Simple wills are best when the finances of the testator are uncomplicated. While many testators write simple wills themselves, the assistance of an estate planning attorney can prevent mistakes that might prevent their wishes from being carried out. Simple wills should be printed instead of handwritten. In addition, these should include the following:

  • The testator’s name, address and marital status
  • Statements indicating how assets should be distributed between beneficiaries
  • A section that appoints an executor
  • A section that appoints a guardian for minor children if the other parent is deceased
  • Spaces for the testator and witnesses to print and sign (The number of witnesses depends on your state)
  • Date the will was signed by all parties

Testamentary Trust Wills

A testamentary trust will put at least some of your property into a trust. A trust distributes assets to a beneficiary but is administered by a third person who controls how and when the property is given to the trust beneficiary. These wills are used when a testator is leaving trust assets to a financially irresponsible beneficiary. The trust administrator distributes trust assets gradually rather than in one lump sum.

Testamentary trust wills must include the same information as a simple will.

Joint Wills

A joint will is created when two testators leave their property each other. Basically, the testator who dies first gets everything. Further, joint wills specify how the estate will be distributed when the second testator dies. These wills cannot be changed or revoked without the consent of testators. In other words, a joint will is irrevocable when one of the testators dies.

These will can be similar in format to that of a simple will.

State laws for the execution of each type of will vary and should be checked thoroughly. This is why it is so important to seek assistance from a qualified Texas Estate Planning Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm. Our firm’s expert estate planning attorneys can help you determine which type of will is best for you.  

Benefits of a will

When you pass, you no longer have a say in how your property is handled. But when done right, even those most basic will is a legally binding document that:

  • Leaves your property with the people and organizations you choose.
  • Names a guardian for your minor children.
  • Names someone to manage property left to minor children.
  • Designates an executor.

What is an executor?

An executor is a personal representative named in a will. This person is in charge of handling how property is distributed. The executor is in charge of collecting property, as well as paying any debts and taxes of the deceased. Whatever is left after debts are paid, the executor will distribute among heirs and beneficiaries. Also, the executor handles any probate court proceedings and notifies interested parties of the death.

Establishing a Trust

A trust is another popular aspect of estate planning. However, many people generally associate trusts with the super wealthy. But trusts are actually much more than just money in an account. Trusts primarily help individuals maintain greater control over their assets. They are generally the best way to ensure your wishes are carried out after you die. Because wills must go through a process called probate, many people are opting to establish trusts.

A trust provides more control over how funds are passed to heirs in ways that a will doesn’t. For example, a trust keeps assets from creditors during bankruptcies and lawsuits. Trusts are made up of three parts:

  • Trustor. The person who creates the agreement to grant the trustee control over their assets, estate, or property.
  • Trustee. This is the party that the trustor appoints to be responsible for managing the property or assets in the trust.
  • Beneficiary. The person or people who receive the assets of the trust in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement.

Trusts can be used both during life and after death. There are many types of living trusts. A Texas estate planning attorney can help you determine which living trust best fits your needs.  

Living Trust

A living trust is a written legal document that places your assets into a trust during your lifetime. You still have access to these assets while you’re alive. But trust assets will be transferred to designated beneficiaries at your death. A chosen representative called a successor trustee will distribute the trust. While living trusts cost more upfront than wills, a living trust saves your beneficiaries the expense and delay of probate.

Testamentary Trust

Also called a will trust, testamentary trusts are agreements where a beneficiary receives assets once the trustor has passed. These trusts will detail how assets must be administered after the trustor’s death. Testamentary trusts cannot be changed or altered.

Revocable Trust

A revocable trust is a trust that can be changed, terminated or otherwise altered during trustor’s lifetime. These trusts are often set up to transfer assets outside of probate. In many of these cases, all three parts of arrangements (trustor, trustee and beneficiary) are often the same person who can manage their own assets. However, control of the trust will be given to a successor trustee and other beneficiaries upon the original trustor’s death.

Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust is one that a grantor cannot change or alter during his or her lifetime. In addition, an irrevocable trust cannot be revoked after the trustor has died. Because irrevocable trusts cannot be moved back into the possession of a trustor, they are often more tax efficient. Irrevocable trusts often carry little to no estate taxes at all. For this reason, they are the most popular types of trusts. They transfer assets completely out of the trustor’s name and into the beneficiary’s name.

Funded or Unfunded Trusts

Funded or unfunded trust agreements that either have funds (assets) put into them or do not. These trust can become funded at any point. Funding can occur either during life or after the death of the trustor.

Insurance Trust

An insurance trust is a type of trust allows a trustor to combine their life insurance policy into their trust. This effectively shields insurance payouts from taxes.

There are several other types of trusts, but each must follow the same basic structure with three parties. A Texas estate planning attorney can help you identify which trust is suitable for your situation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Texas estate planning attorney.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a document that appoints a person or organization to manage your affairs should you become unable to do so. Selecting a power of attorney is another situation where it doesn’t matter how healthy you are, it always a good idea to appoint someone the authority to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. But, like most things in law, there are different types of power of attorneys, and each one does something different than the other.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on your behalf. These power include handling:

  • Financial and business transactions
  • Buying life insurance
  • Settling claims
  • Operating business interests
  • Making gifts
  • Employing professional help

A general power of attorney is most effective if you will be out of the country or need someone to handle certain matters. In addition, a general power of attorney is especially helpful if you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. A POA is a crucial part of an estate plan to make sure someone can handle financial matters.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney grants your agent the right to make a medical decision for you if you are unconscious, mentally incompetent or otherwise unable to make your own decisions.

*If you become mentally incapacitated because of an illness or accident while you have a power of attorney in effect, you may be unsure if the document will remain valid. To safeguard against any issues, you can sign a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney is essentially health care power of attorney with a durability provision that keeps the current power of attorney in effects.

Special Power of Attorney

A special power of attorney specifies exactly what powers your agent can exercise. This is often used when a person is unable to handle certain affairs because of other commitments or health reasons. Common matters a special power of attorney may have control over include the following:

  • Selling personal and real property
  • Managing real estate
  • Collecting debts
  • Handling business transactions

Because of the amount control a power of attorney has over your affairs, it is vital that you select a trusted friend, relative or attorney to look out for your best interests. In addition, a trusted party will respect your wishes and will not abuse the powers granted to them. If you are interested in establishing a power of attorney, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We offer free consultations with a qualified Texas estate planning attorney. Our attorneys are prepared to answer any question you have about establishing any power of attorney.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Texas estate planning attorney.

Advance Medical Directives

An advance medical directive is a broad category of legal instructions for your healthcare should you become incapacitated.  A durable power of attorney, living wills, do not resuscitate (DNR) orders and organ donations fall into this category. A free consultation with a qualified Texas estate planning attorney can help you decide the best medical directive for you.

Living Wills

Living wills do not distribute property after the death of a testator. Instead, living wills give instructions to the type of medical treatment you wish to receive if you become too ill to communicate. These types of wills decline medical treatment that only serves to postpone the moment of death. For example, a person can deny a feeding tube should they become brain dead, or other life-saving measures if they are terminally ill and death is imminent. Living wills specifically deal with deathbed issues.

Generally, living wills do not take effect until a patient meets certain conditions, such as a terminal injury or illness. However, when living wills take effect or if they are permitted depends on your state. A Texas Estate Planning Attorney can help you determine how Texas laws will affect your living will.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that designates a person or representative to make medical decisions for you. The document gives the representatives instructions about the kind go medical treatment you want. While living wills are limited to only deathbed concerns, durable power of attorney for healthcare covers all health care decisions. The document only lasts as long as you are incapable of making decisions for yourself. If you do not have a living will, your durable power of attorney for health care document can also include information on how you wish for them to act should death become a concern.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order

A qualified doctor writes a do not resuscitate order. The document instructs medical personnel not to perform CPR if you go into cardiac arrest or stop breathing. In the best situation, patients discuss creating these documents with their doctor before an emergency. There are two types of DNRs. The first is effective only while you are in the hospital and the other is in effect when you are outside of the hospital.

In addition to speaking with the patient, the doctor may also write a DNR after consulting with the durable power of attorney for health care or the patient’s family. Do not resuscitate orders are specific to CPR. These are typically part of a hospice care plan. The goal of hospice is not to prolong life, but to treat symptoms and maintain comfort.

Organ Donation Form

Most states allow you to decide whether or not you want to donate your organs upon your death. In Texas, for example, you can make this decision at the DMV and have your donor status on your driver’s license.

While each state provides advance medical directive forms, the expert advice from a Texas estate planning attorney can help you determine the medical directive that is right for you. The Carlson Law Firm’s living will attorneys can assure that all of your wishes are met should the need arise. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Texas estate planning attorney.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that wraps up the estate of a deceased person. It is the procedure that allows assets to legally pass from the deceased to his or her heirs or beneficiaries. The process involves:

  • The collection, inventory and appraisal of assets
  • Handling of will contests and estate disputes
  • Filing and payment of estate taxes, payment and collection of debts
  • The distribution of remaining estate assets to rightful beneficiaries

Types Of Probate Proceedings

In Texas, there are three types of probate proceedings.

  1. Dependent Administration: This form of probate has a very high level of court supervision. That means the administrator needs the court’s permission to enter into almost any transaction, from paying the estate’s debts to selling a property.
  2. Independent Administration: This is the most common type of probate administration in Texas. Compared to dependent administration, this process is much less expensive because the administrator does not need to go to court very often, nor does he or she usually have to post a bond.
  3. Muniment of Title: This method of probate is unique to Texas. There is no appointment of an executor or administrator to distribute property. Rather, once the court certifies that the will is truly the last will of the deceased person, the court’s order itself transfers title to the intended beneficiaries.

Probating a will is another element in ensuring your loved one’s wishes are met. Without probating a will, state laws will go into effect and trump your loved one’s wishes. Contact a Carlson Law Firm Texas estate planning attorney to schedule a free consultation. Our compassionate team can guide you seamlessly through the probate process while you’re dealing with your loss.

How The Carlson Law Firm Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help

We have a team of experienced, dedicated Texas Estate Planning Attorneys and legal assistants who have nothing but your best interests in mind. They know the importance of estate planning and understand the difficult process of probating a will after a loved one passes. 

Contact us today for a free case evaluation, or to schedule an appointment with a Texas estate planning attorney.

Wrongful Detention and Removal

Civil Justice Attorney

Citizens who have been wrongfully jailed in immigration detention centers can’t reclaim the time they spent behind bars. However, they can seek restitution from the U.S. government. In addition, they may be able to sue the federal government for any personal injuries sustained as part of their wrongful detention or deportation. The Carlson Law Firm has a team of Civil Justice attorneys dedicated to helping victims who have had their rights violated.

Protecting civil rights is essential to maintaining the democratic values of the United States. Our firm has a commitment to representing and protecting the rights of those who are facing unjust removal actions by the federal government. While the law is complex, one thing is clear: any violation of civil rights is unacceptable. Wrongful detention and deportation is a violation of your civil rights. By this act alone, you may be entitled to filing a lawsuit against the government.

Still, in spite of these differences, immigration court functions as a regular court. Because there will be an attorney representing the government at your proceeding, it is important to have an experienced civil rights attorney to represent you.

Did you or a loved one have your civil rights violated?

Assertions that you are a U.S. citizen that go unheard or ignored throughout the immigration court process is a violation of your civil rights. In many cases, those who do not retain an attorney to represent them in front of an immigration judge may feel pressured to sign deportation documents and face deportation despite their status. Unlike criminal courts, U.S. citizens in immigration courts do not have the right to counsel and must retain a private attorney. Otherwise, citizens may spend several months to years in an immigration detention facility as their case languishes in the court. During this time in an immigration detention center, you may face:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Mental abuse
  • Job loss
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other damages

There are documented cases of citizens providing evidence that establishes citizenship. However, despite this evidence, ICE lawyers rebuff it and require more proof. This can leave detainees feeling defeated. But our Civil Justice attorneys can help you begin rebuilding your life. We can help you file a lawsuit against those who violated your rights.

The Carlson Law Firm has a highly skilled and diverse legal team. We have the resources and knowledge to represent you and protect your rights. We offer excellent representation for a wrongful deportation civil rights violations and injuries.

Hurricane Flood Insurance Lawyer

Denied Flood Insurance Claims?

Free Consultations • Available 24/7

If you’ve suffered financial hardship due to flood damage, a Flood Insurance Claims Lawyer from the team of skilled and experienced attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm can help. We are dedicated to helping those affected by life-changing events. We’ve represented clients who have suffered losses from Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Florence, and Hurricane Michael.

When events such as a hurricane occur, it is nearly impossible to fully prepare for leftover damage. That is why insurance exists. Unfortunately, we have found that insurance companies will gladly take your money to give you peace of mind. On the other hand, however, they are often unwilling to keep up their half of the deal once disaster strikes. That’s where a Flood Insurance Claims Attorney from The Carlson Law Firm comes in. We refuse to let big insurance companies take advantage of our clients. If you need help pursuing an insurance claim for a natural disaster, or if you are suffering because of unethical insurance practices, our firm is here to help. Texas is our home, but we’ve been serving victims across the United States for over 40 years.

Has Your Home or Business Suffered Damage Caused By Hurricane Flood Waters?

Insurance companies often deny flood insurance claims after a hurricane by attributing nearly all of the damage to flooding—which is only covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, not private insurers. If you want your insurer to honor your policy due to damage from a hurricane, or if you want to file a claim with the NFIP, you’ll want an experienced attorney in your corner. Our team has had years of success forcing insurance companies to honor our clients’ policies. Sadly, your insurance company may not always uphold the coverage it promised. The good news is that a skilled flood insurance lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm is here to help.

Our firm’s goal is to make sure those affected by natural disasters are compensated with a hurricane insurance claim so that you can get your lives back to normal as soon as possible. Schedule a free consultation with a Flood Insurance Claim Attorney today. Hablamos tu idioma.

home owners business owners

Protection Against Unlawful Business Practices

All of us are consumers. We purchase and use products and services on a daily basis. But all too often consumers are cheated, bullied or swindled by large corporations and have no idea how to fight back.

This is why there are laws in place that allow consumers the right to be safe from unsafe products and fraudulent, deceptive, or abusive businesses who want to take advantage of customers.

Through a consumer protection lawsuit, consumers can restore the financial losses they and others have suffered. They can also put a stop to the company’s offending practices, ensuring that others will not be harmed in the future. The Carlson Law Firm has extensive knowledge of the consumer protection laws that are in place to guard against unfair practices. We take the time to understand your needs as well as to examine all of the details surrounding your case to help craft effective solutions.

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National Employment Attorneys

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that provides a range of rights to employees, including a minimum wage, rules for handling tips, and overtime pay eligibility.  More than 130 million full-time and part-time workers are currently protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act in the United States. Violations of the FLSA can be prosecuted by the federal government, or employees may take direct action against employers in court. Groups of employees that are “similarly situated” are permitted to come together to bring a “collective action” against their employer under the FLSA. The rules and regulations associated with the FLSA can be confusing, especially if you believe your employer has broken the law and you are attempting to file a claim. It is wise to contact an unpaid wages, tips, and overtime FLSA attorney for guidance.

According to Fair Labor Standards Act,  if you were denied overtime pay, deprived of tips, or your pay totaled less per hour worked than the minimum wage, you may have a claim against your employer to collect compensation for unpaid wages.

Employment Rights

As an employee, you should be aware of the following:

– Employees in Texas and across the US (unless exempt)must receive at least 1.5 times the regularly hourly rate as overtime pay for hours worked above 40 hours in a given workweek.

– Tipped employees may be paid as little as $2.13 per hour, but only if tips and direct pay total at least the minimum federal wage of $7.25 per hour (note that some states have a higher minimum wage). This is known as a “tip credit.” If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

– Tips are the property of the employee. The employer is prohibited from using an employee’s tips for any reason other than as a “tip credit” against the  minimum wage obligation to the employee or for a valid tip pool.. The FLSA prohibits any arrangement between the employer and the tipped employee whereby any part of the tip received becomes the property of the employer; a valid tip pooling arrangement is limited to sharing among employees who customarily and regularly receive tips.

Tipped Employees

Tipped employees, such as wait staff and others, are especially vulnerable to employers’ illegal acts, including:

-Allowing management employees to participate in tip pools, i.e., taking a cut of the tips

-Charging waiters and waitresses for walk-outs who do not pay their bill

-Deducting tips from the employees’ base pay

-Paying less than minimum wage to certain classifications of employees

-Failing or refusing to pay overtime when required

-Altering time cards to inaccurately reflect hours worked

What Is a Collective Action?

Employees with similar claims can join together in one lawsuit, called a “collective action,” to pursue claims against their employer under the FLSA. The employees must be “similarly situated” to bring a collective action. This means they must be subject to a common employer policy.  For example, a group of servers at a restaurant chain might bring a collective action claiming that the employer requires them to contribute to a tipping pool that includes managers. These employees are similarly situated under the FLSA and probably could bring a collective action.

Actions Not Covered By The FLSA

The FLSA does not require employers to:

-Pay for vacation, sick leave, or holiday time

-Compensate for meal or break periods

-Pay higher wages for employees who work weekends, nights or holidays

-Give a discharge notice or reason for termination

-Provide severance pay

-Provide health insurance or other insurance benefits

 

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of the overtime that you deserve, is improperly taking a portion of your tips, or you are receiving less than minimum hourly wage, it is in your best interest to consult a Wage Loss/FLSA attorney. Here at The Carlson Law Firm, our lawyers are ready to help you with wage and hour law violations. We handle claims throughout the state of Texas, as well as across the country.

We would be happy to discuss your claim in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim.

Contact The Carlson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation, case evaluation. We care, we can help.

 

Injured While Working Offshore? 

Free Consultations: 800.359.5690

Throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal regions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, seamen, dockworkers, and oil and gas industry employees are exposed to dangerous working conditions. Due to the dangerous nature of offshore work, many of the accidents and injuries that occur often have very serious, life-altering consequences. Many times, injuries that occur can be fatal. Maritime workers routinely suffer offshore injuries caused by these conditions on offshore platforms, spars, jack-up rigs, tankers, crew boats, lay barges, and other vessels. That’s when The Carlson Law Firm steps in. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed while working offshore, it is in your best interests to contact a knowledgeable maritime law attorney as soon as possible. An offshore injury lawyer can help.

Contact the maritime injury attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm today to schedule your free, no obligation, case evaluation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone. 

What is the Jones Act?

The Jones Act is a federal law, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which governs maritime commerce, the rights of crew members, and the maintenance requirements of boats and shipping operations.

As per the Jones Act, negligence claims can be brought when an injury results from the careless acts of an employer or coworker.  The ship owners could also liable if an accident is caused by the unsafe condition of their vessel.

The Jones Act protects crew members of a vessel in the event they are injured. This law applies to inland river workers and offshore crew members who work on crew boats, dredges, chemical ships, diving vessels, cruise ships, tankers, jack-ups, semi-submersibles, barges, drilling rigs, tugboats and towboats, cargo ships, fishing vessels, and crew offshore supply vessels.

Common Offshore Injuries

Maritime work is some of the most important work for the American economy. However, while lucrative, the work is often dangerous. Offshore back and neck injury are among the most common work-related injuries. They are often the result of the physically demanding and straining work of maritime workers. These types of injuries can lead to offshore workers missing out on work, in addition to mounting medical bills. While offshore workers aren’t covered by workers’ compensation, the Jones Act entitles them to some level of financial relief. If you’ve been injured on the job, call The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation with an offshore injury lawyer. An offshore injury lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm can be your guide through recovery.

Back and Neck Injuries

While trauma to the back, neck and spinal cord doesn’t usually result in death, it can lead to permanent disability. The vertebral column has several ligaments and muscles that protect the spinal cord and assist in movement. However, injury to any of these structures may cause significant and debilitating pain. There are countless hazards that put offshore work employees at-risk. Those causes include:

  • Owner negligence
  • Operator negligence
  • Improper training
  • Understaffing
  • Lack of equipment
  • Faulty machinery
  • Improper procedures and operations
  • Little to no safety equipment
  • Failure to follow safety procedures
  • Lack of safety procedures
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Failure to follow state and federal regulations

Negligence and improper safety protocols can lead to different types of incidents that can serious injury or fatal hurt an offshore work employee, such as:

  • A slip and fall on wet stairs, decks or gangplanks
  • Improper moving/lifting of heavy equipment or cargo
  • Fall from significant height
  • Being hit by heavy equipment

The Carlson Law Firm has an offshore back and neck injury lawyer ready to assist you on your journey to recovery. Contact our firm today to discuss the specifics of your case. Contact an offshore injury attorney today.

Amputations

From chains to hatches to winches, and more, offshore workers are constantly working with and around equipment that can quickly cause very serious injuries. A very real concern for many who work offshore is limb loss or amputation. In addition to traumatic amputation, offshore workers have to worry about crushed limbs which can lead to damaged nerves that may lead to a surgical amputation.

Amputation of any kind of is devastating and life-altering. However, offshore amputation can be particularly devastating because the injury occurred while earning money to care for your family. If you or a loved one is living with maritime limb loss, a compassionate offshore amputation lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm understands what you’re going through. We can help you in your recovery process.

Whether the amputation was immediate and caused directly by the accident or the victim later required surgery to remove the limb, our leading Maritime Limb Loss Attorney Reed Morgan can help. Morgan has achieved several significant trial victories and settlements for victims of offshore amputation. Our law firm backs Morgan with more than 40 years of experience protecting the rights of injured clients. We have the resources to assist you in getting the recovery you deserve. If you have an injury from an offshore amputation, contact our firm today. We will advocate for your rights and hold the right parties for your injury.

Proper maintenance of heavy machinery and equipment on board sea vessels is a federal law requirement. In addition to regular maintenance, companies are responsible for ensuring that the machinery is checked for damaged or failing parts. Additionally, your company should make sure that you and every employee you work with is properly trained on the equipment and safety procedures. If your employer has not assured these necessary precautions and you’ve lost a limb, as a result, contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with a qualified offshore amputation lawyer. Possible causes of maritime limb loss include:

  • Defective equipment or machinery
  • Malfunction equipment or machinery
  • Improper navigation planning
  • Lack of training on equipment
  • Lack of procedural or safety training
  • Navigation collisions
  • Broken or poorly maintained equipment

Recovering from offshore limb loss is a physically painful process. Contact our firm to speak with a compassionate maritime limb loss attorney. An offshore injury lawyer can help.

Brain Damage – Traumatic Brain Injuries

Offshore workers are exposed to catastrophically unsafe conditions aboard sea vessels. Severe offshore brain damage can prevent an offshore worker from returning to work. Even without considering the natural dangers associated with these jobs—such as the unstable nature of the ocean and wet, slippery conditions onboard—human error and negligence can jeopardize an offshore worker’s health just as much, if not more. If you or a loved one is living with severe brain damage from a work-related injury, Contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with an expert offshore injury attorney today.

The most common causes of offshore brain injuries include:

  • Insufficient training
  • Falling objects
  • Faulty or defective equipment
  • Being hit by cranes or other heavy equipment
  • Oil or other slippery substances on the ship’s deck
  • Falls overboard
  • Assault by a fellow crew member
  • Improper loading or unloading of cargo
  • Failure to provide the crew with proper equipment

Sustaining a brain injury from offshore work can alter your life. If the vessel’s captain or the crew is negligent or injures another employee, the employee can hold the employer accountable. For example, if a crew member who fails to place a caution sign after mopping the deck and another employee slips, the employer is liable for any injuries sustained.

If you or a loved one sustained an injury from any of these instances, contact an offshore brain damage lawyer today. A maritime attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you determine your next steps. Moreover, we can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. An offshore injury lawyer from our team can help.

Burns

A maritime burn injury can have lifelong effects. In addition to the pain of serious injuries, it can prevent you from returning from work. Maritime employees like oil rig workers, and other offshore employees, work with scalding hot liquids, oil, gas, flammable chemicals, and electrical equipment. As a result, offshore workers face the daily threat of electrical accidents, fires, and explosions. If offshore workers do not have the proper safety equipment or were not trained on the proper safety procedures, they risk a burn injury. If you or a loved one suffered a life-altering injury, contact a qualified offshore injury attorney as soon as possible.

One of the most common types of injuries aboard commercial vessels and oil platforms is a burn injury. This particular injury is extremely difficult to recover from and can leave an injured worker out of a job for a very long time. Accidents that occur on these vessels are subject to maritime law and the Jones Act, which may allow offshore workers who sustain burn injuries to recover financial compensation from his or her employer.

  • Fires and explosions
  • Steam
  • Contact with hot machinery, fluids
  • Negligent maintenance of engines, compressors
  • Careless storage and disposal of flammable substances
  • Inadequate or defective fire suppression equipment
  • Failure to enforce a smoking ban
  • Electrocution

If you or a loved one is living with burn injuries, contact our firm today. A maritime burn injury from The Carlson Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve to begin the healing process. An offshore injury lawyer can help.

Burn injuries are common in the home, but they are also one of the most common offshore injuries. It doesn’t seem like fire would be a threat when completely surrounded by water. However, a fire on a sea vessel can spread quickly. Because the ship is a confined space, it can lead to far more severe burns than on land. Maritime burn injuries can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Explosion: The vessel’s fuel and even the fuel used to power on-board equipment is combustible. With improper use or defects, fuel can be the source of a serious explosion that can quickly cause a fire.
  • Engine room fire: Malfunctioning engine equipment can ignite and create a dangerous situation.
  • Equipment malfunctions: In addition to engine and fuel, other equipment used in the course of your work on a ship can malfunction and start a fire.
  • A kitchen accident: A burn injury in a ship’s galley is just as likely as it is in your home kitchen. However, the close quarters on board may increase the risk of fire and maritime burn injury.
  • Electrical: Most ships house a generator room. This room is often the hub of the electrical systems on the ship. When electrical rooms are not maintained properly, an offshore worker can be electrocuted or a fire may start leading to burns.

Lung Disease

The physical nature of working on an offshore comes with assumed risks. Often overlooked, and more difficult to avoid, is exposure to hazardous or toxic substances. This is a risk that is not uncommon in an industry that often deals with oil and natural gases. Many workers suffer injury from inhalation and exposure to chemical fumes, vapors or even the product itself. If you or a loved one is living with offshore lung disease, contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with an expert offshore lung disease lawyer. An offshore injury lawyer can help.

Lung disease is, essentially, any problem that prevents the lungs from functioning properly. Lung disease classification breaks down as follows:

Airway diseases: These types of diseases affect tubes that allow for breathing. They usually cause a narrowing or blockage of the airways. Those with airway disease describe feeling like they’re trying to breath through a straw. Examples of this disease include asthma, COPD and bronchiectasis.

Lung tissue diseases: Lung tissue disease affects the structure of lung tissue. Scarring and inflammation of the tissue prohibit lungs from fully expanding. As a result, deep breathing is not likely for those living with a lung tissue disease. Those with lung tissue diseases describe feeling like wearing a too tight sweater or vest. Examples of this type of lung disease include pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis.

Lung circulation diseases: These diseases affect the blood vessels in the lungs.  Often, clotting, scarring or inflammation in the blood vessels indicate this condition. These diseases affect the ability of the lungs to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide and often affect heart function. One example of lung circulation disease is pulmonary hypertension.

Silicosis: Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing tiny bits of silica, a mineral that is part of sand, rock and mineral ores. In addition to toxic chemicals, offshore workers are at risk of developing this form of lung disease. Maritime workers who use sandblasters or clean rust are exposed to crystalline silica dust.

Silicosis classifies as a carcinogen and can lead to:

  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchitis/Chronix Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder
  • Tuberculosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Incresases risk for renal disease

Asbestosis: Asbestosis is another chronic lung disease resulting from the inhalation of asbestos particles. Severe fibrosis and a high risk for mesothelioma are markers of the condition. Prolonged exposure to fibers that causes lung tissue scarring and shortness of breath. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and don’t usually appear until several years after continued exposure.

Most instances of asbestosis happened on the job before the federal government began regulating the use of asbestos and asbestos-related products in the 1970s.

The effects of long-term exposure to asbestos typically don’t show up for 10 to 40 years after initial exposure. Signs of asbestosis include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent, dry coughing
  • Loss of appetite with weight loss
  • Fingertips and toes that appear wider and rounder than normal (clubbing)
  • Chest tightness
  • Pain in the chest

After an asbestosis diagnosis, your chances of developing lung cancer increase. If you have a history of exposure to asbestos and you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor about the possibility of asbestosis. Your medical bills may be costly, however, you should not have to pay them alone. Contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with an offshore cancer lawyer about your situation. An offshore injury lawyer can help.

Offshore workers risk exposure to a number of toxic chemicals and hazardous materials. Workers are at risk of inhaling these dangerous substances and developing serious lung diseases. If you are living with lung disease or know someone who is, contact The Carlson Law Firm to discuss your case. An offshore lung disease lawyer can guide you through the legal process.

Cancer

Maritime toxic chemical exposure can lead to several illnesses for offshore workers. Workers must remain mindful of the hazardous chemicals the large tankers and barges they work are carrying. These chemicals can include benzene, toluene, naphtha, gasoline, xylene, jet fuel and other refined petrochemicals. Many workers suffer injury from inhalation and exposure to chemical fumes, vapors or even the product itself. If you or a loved one is living or passed away from work-related cancer, contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak with an expert offshore cancer lawyer.

Toxic chemicals can come as a solid, liquid or gas. The most common way maritime workers risk exposure to toxic chemicals is through inhalation. Some chemicals, such as benzene, dissolves easily and inhalation may happen without knowledge. Offshore workers also risk exposure to toxic chemicals through the skin, eyes, and mouth. While maritime toxic chemical exposure ingestion rarely occurs, the damage to internal organs can be extensive. Workers risk damage to the throat, mouth, and stomach.

Illness and disease caused by these various chemicals include:

Compensation Available to Injured Seaman

Injured maritime employees are entitled to a variety of benefits under the Jones Act and General Maritime Law. First, they are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, both those already paid and any future costs of recovery. Medical expenses may include the costs of future surgery, ongoing rehabilitation, and transportation costs.

Those who cannot return to work are entitled to past and future lost wages as well as costs for vocational retraining. Because serious injuries severely limit the types of jobs available to the victim, the Jones Act also allows damages for lost earning capacity.

Additionally, injured workers are entitled to payments when they are temporarily or permanently disabled. In cases where the injury is caused by negligence, the victim is entitled to damages for pain and suffering. Because recovering under the Jones Act is complex, it is important to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable attorney. An offshore injury lawyer can help.

Maintenance And Cure

Maintenance and Cure is a seamen’s right to medical treatment and living allowance following an accident aboard a ship, or another offshore vessel.

Maintenance is a daily living allowance paid to a seaman while he is recovering from his injury or illness. Maintenance payments continue until a seaman has reached maximum medical improvement or until he is fit to return to duty at his previous level. There is no set daily rate for maintenance, and the rate of maintenance may vary from case to case. Typically maintenance rates are set by employers very low in the range of $30 to $35 a day. A maintenance rate in a seaman’s employment contract is non-binding with the exception of some collective bargaining agreements.

Cure is a shorthand term used for medical expenses associated with a seaman’s injury or illness. In almost all cases, a seaman’s employer must pay all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with a seaman’s injury or illness. These expenses may include doctor and hospital bills, therapy expenses, nursing bills, MRI and CT scans, wheelchairs, diagnostic testing, pain clinics, transportation costs to and from the doctor, and other reasonable medical-related expenses. An injured seaman has the right to choose his own doctor. The right to cure continues until the seaman has reached maximum medical improvement. Many employers and marine insurance adjusters attempt to wrongfully terminate a seaman’s benefits before they have reached maximum medical improvement. Where there are conflicting medical opinions about whether or not further medical treatment may improve a seaman’s medical condition, maritime law requires those doubts to be resolved in favor of granting further treatment.

If you believe you are entitled to maintenance and cure and your employer denies your claim, the first thing you should do is speak to an experienced maritime attorney about your situation. An offshore injury lawyer from our team can help.

The Carlson Difference: A National Firm That Gets Results

If you are a seaman, the Jones Act, and the general maritime law cover you, and if injured on the job, or made ill on the job, you are owed maintenance and cure benefits. We can help you to receive what you deserve after your maritime injury.

Most personal injury firms are made up of individual lawyers. They may get help from others, such as field experts or investigators, but it’s not often that they keep those resources in house. The Carlson Law Firm maintains a team of Maritime Attorneys that includes more than 30 experienced lawyers, as well as full-time registered nurses and three investigators.

Along with our in-house staff, we have strong relationships with other experts, as well as photographers and videographers who help document the evidence you need. Establishing negligence is key to the success of any case, and we have more than enough skill and resources to do just that. Our firm has over 40 years of experience and runs like a machine – efficiently and effectively.

Contact An Offshore Injury Lawyer For A Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of their work offshore, you may be entitled to the compensation you so rightly deserve. We are uniquely qualified to represent offshore workers or their families in serious injury or wrongful death claims resulting from accidents occurring at sea, in coastal areas, or on inland waters.

Contact the Carlson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation, consultation. If you are looking for prompt, personal and proven representation for your offshore injury, Jones Act claim or any other Maritime Injury claims, The Carlson Law Firm is here to help. Our team of attorneys, specialists, and research associates have the experience and resources to guide you through your legal journey and help you secure the best results possible.

Information About Car Accidents in Texas

Car crashes are among the most common cause of accidental injury and death nationwide and they take a devastating toll on victims. According to statistics provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, a total of 79,573 people sustained serious injuries in 2011 and 3,015 were killed. The total economic loss caused by motor vehicle accidents for that year is estimated at nearly $22 billion. There were 11,353 crashes in Austin, resulting in 4,366 serious injuries and 53 deaths. The most common cause of accidents statewide is reported as being failure to control speed, followed by driver inattention, failure to maintain lane, failure to yield right of way at an intersection, and unsafe lane changes.

Whether you have been injured in a collision caused by a driver who was texting on a cell phone or you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, you can come to The Carlson Law Firm for help. Our Austin personal injury lawyers take pride in helping accident victims claim compensation for their losses, and we are ready to take immediate action in your case. A lawyer from our team can meet with you in the hospital or at your home to discuss your concerns and help you determine how much your case may be worth in a settlement or jury verdict.
Types of Auto Accidents We Handle

Listed below are just a few of the ways in which we are prepared to help our car accident clients!

Drunk Driving Accidents

If someone drinks and drives, they can face criminal penalties such as imprisonment and also administrative penalties such as license suspension. Did you also know that you could file an injury claim against them and even possibly the restaurant or bar that sold them alcohol?

Filing an Auto Accident Claim

The Carlson Law Firm can help you with your car accident case from the initial filing. Although many people choose to file claims on their own, they run the risk of insurance companies taking advantage of them. Our firm can fight to ensure you get maximum financial compensation.

Rear-End Collisions

This is one of the most dangerous types of car accidents. In most cases, the fault lies with the vehicle that was behind, but circumstances such as tail lights being out or someone backing out of a parking lot can complicate these cases.

Texting and Driving Accidents

Although texting and driving is not always illegal, it is most definitely dangerous. This is the most prevalent type of distracted driving practice, and it causes thousands of accidents every year. If this is the type of accident you were involved in, please don’t hesitate to seek legal action.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims

Our firm assists clients who were hit by drivers that are uninsured or underinsured. These cases can be exceedingly complex, but our firm fights to take care of UIM and UM claims for clients when we can. This is also the type of claim individuals can file if they were involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Proving Your Claim in Round Rock or Austin

In order to claim compensation from the other driver’s liability insurance policy, it is necessary to prove that the driver is at fault for causing your accident. To do this, we look for evidence that the driver acted in a careless or reckless manner at the time of the collision. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car assumes a major responsibility to take precaution to avoid causing a crash, and any failure to do so may serve as grounds for legal action. If the driver was distracted by texting, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or was committing any other type of traffic violation, he or she may be held accountable for causing the crash. Let our Austin car accident attorneys and our in-house team of private investigators and registered nurses put their skill and experience to work in proving your claim for damages! Make an appointment as soon as possible!

View the firm’s profile at FindaCarAccidentAttorney.com.

National Nursing Home Injury Attorneys – Free Consultations

At The Carlson Law Firm, we represent individuals who have suffered injury or neglect in a nursing home or managed care facility.  We also represent families who have lost a loved one due to negligence, substandard care or abuse.

We trust nursing homes to look after our loved ones when they are most vulnerable.  When that trust is abused and an elderly person suffers, we believe someone should pay.  The team of experienced lawyers at The Carlson Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for justice and improving the quality of nursing home care, one case at a time.  We will fight for you.

By proving that the nursing home staff has subjected your family member to some form of elder abuse, you may be able to recover financial compensation for everything from medical expenses to damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

We serve victims of nursing home neglect and abuse and their families nationwide. No appointment is required and bilingual staff members are available to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Contact The Carlson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation, case evaluation.

Cases We Handle

Birth Defect Attorneys

What is Lyrica?278_lyrica

Lyrica (pregabalin) is an anti-epileptic medication used to treat pain caused by nerve damage from diabetes or shingles infection.  This medication is typically prescribed to patients with epilepsy, fibromyalgia and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Studies link Lyrica to Birth Defects

The medical journal, “Neurology” published a study that monitored the outcomes of pregnant women using Lyrica.  The study gathered data from 7 countries and 164 pregnant women that took the drug and compared them to a control group of 656 pregnant women that did not take the drug.  It was found that pregnant women that took Lyrica were 3 times more likely to give birth to babies with major congenital defects compared to the control group.  Six percent of pregnancies with Lyrica use resulted in birth defects compared to 2 percent in pregnancies without Lyrica.

Other Side Effects of Lyrica

Common birth defects

If you or a loved one have suffered from the effects of Lyrica, contact a dangerous drug attorney.

The Carlson Law Firm has a team of dangerous drug experts and in-house medical staff that may be able to help you.  Contact our team for a free consultation to see if you have a case.  If you have a case, you may be entitled to compensation.

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National Personal Injury Attorneys

Recently, reports have shown that a product meant to help people suffering threats of pulmonary emboli, called Inferior Vena Cava Filters, or IVC filters for short, can actually cause serious harm to those using these products.

If you have received an IVC filter and suffered any kind of injuries or harm, contact our personal injury lawyers at The Carlson Law Firm right away.  We can help you pursue financial compensation!

Why These Products Were Designed

IVC Filters were designed to help patients at risk for developing serious blood clots but are unable to consume blood thinner medications.  These were sometimes used in patients with a-fib or atrial fibrillation.  These products are implanted in the inferior vena cava, the main vessel that moves blood from the lower body to the heart.  These devices are formed like miniature cages that trap the clot fragments to prevent them from traveling through the main vessel and into the heart or lungs where they can cause severe complications, and in the most serious cases, death.

These products are placed in patients who have a history of blood clots in the lower body region, as well as patients with the following conditions:

How IVC Filters Can Cause Serious Injuries and Death

Recently, medical professionals have found that these products can cause serious injuries to patients for a number of reasons.  For one, these devices can break apart, leaving fragments floating in the body that can become lodged somewhere, causing death. In addition, many find that a broken filter can cause damages due to the following:

Harmed By a Medical Device? The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You Purse Justice

If you have sustained injuries due to any medical device, including an IVC filter, contact our product liability lawyers immediately.  We can take the time to understand your case and put an aggressive team on your side of the courtroom.  Our firm understands how difficult life can become when you are faced with such difficulties and can do everything in our power to help you pursue maximum financial compensation.

Call our product liability attorneys today for your free consultation!


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