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The SMS Legal Blog


Maritime Attorney

Maritime Law, Jones Act Cover Seamen’s Injury Claims

November 17th, 2017 by EmilyB

Maritime law covers a wide range of issues involving vessels, including how seamen injured on a vessel can receive compensation for their injuries. This area of law is very specialized and can be confusing to many. Unlike land-based workers, seamen can’t seek compensation for their injuries under state and federal worker’s compensation law. Instead, they


Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

Houston Nursing Home Negligence Attorney

November 9th, 2017 by EmilyB

As our parents and other loved ones move into the retirement years, they find themselves increasingly unable to enjoy the full range of physical activity to which they were accustomed when they were younger. Sometimes, physical deterioration progresses to the point where independent living is no longer possible or practical. When this happens, it is


Industrial Pollution

How the Industrial Industry Is Harming Humans & our Environment (Toxic Chemicals, Illness, Exposures, etc.)

October 24th, 2017 by EmilyB

The industrial industry provides many benefits to our society, many of which make our lives safer. But it comes at a price, ironically enough, that can lead to injury or worse. Some practices directly harm the environment in numerous ways. It’s often more complicated than we may expect. Sometimes it boils down to poor management


One dead, one missing in Gulf of Mexico barge fire

October 23rd, 2017 by EmilyB

  Photo courtesy by U.S. Coast Guard One person has died and another is still missing after a barge owned and operated by Bouchard Transportation exploded three miles off the coast of Port Aransas Friday morning. The oil barge was being pulled by a tugboat, also owned by Bouchard, en route to a refinery in


school bus accident

Eight Surprising Statistics About Bus Accidents

October 18th, 2017 by EmilyB

It’s the phone call that all parents dread—one informing them that their child has been injured in a school bus accident. Fortunately, bus accidents are very rare, and ones involving serious injuries are even less frequent, thanks to the solid construction of most school buses. Consider these facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:


Seven injured, One missing in Platform Explosion in Lake Pontchartrain

October 16th, 2017 by EmilyB

Cleaning chemicals are said to have ignited an explosion on an oil rig platform in Lake Pontchartrain Sunday night. The explosion was said to have “rocked homes” in the area near St. Charles Parish and north Kenner, leaving five people critically injured and two in stable condition. The victims all suffered blast-type injuries and burns,


Matt Shaffer makes “The Best Lawyers in America” list

September 19th, 2017 by EmilyB

SMSH Managing Partner, Matt Shaffer, has once again been recognized for his work in Admiralty and Maritime Law and will be published in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Over the past 31 years, Matt has helped thousands of maritime workers in cases throughout the nation, and recovered hundreds of millions on their


Car Accident

Car Accident Dos and Don’ts

September 18th, 2017 by EmilyB

Being involved in a car accident can be an emotional and traumatic experience. Our adrenaline levels are heightened from our bodies’ natural responses and we may not be thinking clearly. It is best to try to stay calm by taking several deep breaths while using the dos and don’ts as illustrated in the following infographic.


Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.

The 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in Houston, Texas

September 18th, 2017 by EmilyB

Houston has some of the most dangerous intersections, not just in Texas but in the nation. The leading cause of these accidents is from motorists not paying attention and running red lights. Many of these accidents have resulted in traffic-related deaths. Motorists could be distracted by their smartphone—reading or sending text messages—or do some other


pedestrians injured in car crashes

Pedestrians May Be at Fault in Crashes

September 17th, 2017 by EmilyB

Most people think that pedestrians always have the right of way and that whenever a pedestrian is struck by an automobile, the driver of the vehicle that hit him or her is at fault. That’s not always true, and there are some situations in which a pedestrian may be wholly or partially at fault for