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The SMS Legal Blog


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


Hurricane Harvey dam releases could mean money for those affected.

September 11th, 2017 by EmilyB

Compensation may be available to you even if you don’t have flood insurance. Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris will be helping victims of the recent governmental decision to release the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs that left thousands of properties flooded and damaged. It is in our best interest to enforce the property rights of owners


Hurricane Harvey insurance claims

Filing a Hurricane Harvey Claim? Do It Before August 31, 2017

September 3rd, 2017 by EmilyB

If you plan to file a claim for damages related to Hurricane Harvey, you should consider doing it quickly—before Friday, August 31, 2017. That’s because lawmakers are already changing the way insurance claims are processed. Wait too long to make a claim, and you may face a new and unforeseen set of legal challenges. Unprecedented


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

Filing a Hurricane Harvey Claim? Do It Before August 31, 2017

August 30th, 2017 by EmilyB

If you plan to file a claim for damages related to Hurricane Harvey, you should consider doing it quickly—before Friday, August 31, 2017. That’s because lawmakers are already changing the way insurance claims are processed. Wait too long to make a claim, and you may face a new and unforeseen set of legal challenges.  


Avoiding Back-to-School Accidents

August 22nd, 2017 by EmilyB

It’s back-to-school and that means traffic is going to pick up during the A.M and late afternoon commutes. A word to the wise- it’s best strategize around this change, as traffic delays caused by school speed zones and bus stops could affect getting to and from work at a respectable time. Delays can add to