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The SMS Legal Blog

Driving Safely during a Flash Flood

February 20th, 2017 by EmilyB

President’s Day could potentially be a day of staying indoors and avoiding the roads for Houstonians who have the day off. According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain is expected late Sunday night and into Monday evening, with a flash flood watch already issued for multiple counties. For those of us who still have

Helicopter crash in Galveston leaves 1 dead, 2 Rescued

February 7th, 2017 by EmilyB

A helicopter carrying three people crash landed in the waters of West Galveston Bay Monday night. A pilot and two passengers aboard a Bell 206 were leaving a cargo ship, the Eagle Vancouver, at the time of the unexpected landing. The pilot and one passenger were located and rescued by a boat crew just two-and-a-half


Alcoholic Beverages & Taking the Wheel

February 3rd, 2017 by EmilyB

When it comes to being safe behind the wheel, many people fail to consider the damage that can be caused by drinking and driving. We hear about the dangers all the time, but the problem with alcohol is that it deadens the senses and impairs rational judgment. Often people don’t even realize how intoxicated they


Three 18-wheelers smash into one another on IH-610 East Loop

February 2nd, 2017 by EmilyB

Expect traffic delays on the IH-610 East Loop near Clinton Drive. Four lanes are currently blocked after three 18-wheelers collided with one another at around 1:45pm today. No injuries have been reported at this time,      

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris all selected to the 2017 Super Lawyers List!

January 30th, 2017 by EmilyB

  Attorney’s Arthur Schechter, Dennis McElwee, Matthew Shaffer and Jonathan Harris have again been recognized for their outstanding achievements in the areas of personal injury and maritime law. Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers across the United States who’ve obtained a high-degree of peer recognition and achievement . Each year this notable list

Man killed while standing on the shoulder of Houston freeway

January 17th, 2017 by EmilyB

A man was struck and killed this morning while standing next to his truck that was parked on the shoulder of the main lanes of I-10. Should you ever have to pull over on a high traffic freeway or highway, it’s important to take certain safety precautions to prevent you and others from causing an

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Car-Truck Crashes & Dangerous Driving Habits

January 4th, 2017 by EmilyB

Flying down a roadway at speeds of up to 70 mph might obviously come off as dangerous.  Unfortunately, many drivers today ignore the simple fact that driving in general can be dangerous under certain circumstances. We are all aware of the possibilities of accidents, injury, and even death due to driver negligence. However, many drivers

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Why You Can’t Sail from One Port to Another in America

December 19th, 2016 by EmilyB

If you work on a foreign-flagged cruise ship in American waters, you may have wondered why you cannot sail from one port to another within America itself. This is a common question for those who work out at sea. The answer lies in the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, and, to a lesser degree, the

Jones Act Case

Common Mistakes Seamen Make in a Jones Act Case

December 5th, 2016 by EmilyB

If you’re an American who works on the water, you may have heard of the Jones Act in passing already. This statute provides employees with protection in the event of an accident when you aren’t on land, superseding international waters laws that disallow you from claiming worker’s compensation benefits when on the water. The Jones

Who Do I Report An Injury to at Work

Who Do I Report An Injury to at Work?

December 5th, 2016 by EmilyB

There are specific processes and procedures your employer should have in place in the event of an accident at work. Failing to adhere to established workplace policies could limit your legal options. If such an event should occur, you need to escalate the claim and take action through the court systems with assistance from a