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The Future of Self-Driving Vehicles

Self-driving cars have been in the news in the past couple of years, first with Google’s self-driving cars; now many other manufacturers are getting into the market. As of this May, Tesla started test driving the autopilot function of the new Model X in Houston, Texas. Cities have made steps to encourage test driving all


The Future of Houston – Pedestrian Safety

Current Population of Great Houston The greater Houston area has a population of an estimated 6.6 million residents, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the Census Bureau, Texas saw the greatest increase in population compared to all other states. Houston great area saw the largest increase of any metro area in


Car Accident Liability – Ways a Driver Can be Liable

Over five million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Over two million of these accidents involve severe injuries. Depending on the situation, the owner of the vehicle can be held liable for the actions of the driver. Most cases will hold the driver at fault, but certain conditions can put responsibility for


El Faro Data Recorder Brought to Surface

Recorder hopes to bring light to sinking investigation. SMSH Legal reported back in April  that the voyage data-recorder of the El Faro had been located on the ocean floor of the Bahamas. It was finally retrieved Monday night by USNS Apache crewmembers, bringing a glimmer of hope into discovering what challenges the crewmembers faced the


Hurricane Season Travelling Tips

We’re still in the beginning months of the Atlantic hurricane season, and even though Houstonians have experienced a three-year drought of hurricane activity, there’s always travel plans to consider as plenty of summertime hot spots can be affected. Currently, Tropical Storm Earl is expected to make landfall Thursday in Belize, a popular tourist destination.  While


SMSH Files Lawsuit for Injured Seaman

Attorney Matthew Shaffer recently filed a case in federal court in New Orleans, LA against Southern Towing Company. Our client was ordered by a supervisor to jump across a gap from one barge to another. When he landed on the second barge, he slipped and fell on ice, causing him to sustain a serious neck


SPOTLIGHT ON CYNTHIA HUERTA

Cynthia Huerta of SMSH Honored with Largest Railroad Settlement of 2015 Attorney Cynthia Huerta of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris was recognized in Verdict Search’s Top Texas Verdicts and Settlements list for obtaining the largest FELA/ railroad worker injury settlement of 2015 in the case of “Gary Epple v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC and


Pilot’s Failures Lead to Ship Crash

Pilot’s failure to Communicate Cited as Cause of 2015 Ship Channel Crash A Houston Ship Channel pilot was held responsible for the collision of two ships in 2015  which resulted in a major chemical spill.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the pilot, who at the time was guiding the Conti Perdot through


SMSH Settles Serious Maritime Injury Claim

SMSH attorneys, Matthew D. Shaffer and Laura De La Cruz, recently negotiated a confidential settlement for a vessel-based tankerman. The tankerman suffered severe head and neck injuries after a large ceiling shop fan fell and struck him while he was checking equipment in a barge pump room. Lead Counsel, Matt Shaffer, said, “We were able


Flooding – Preparing, Getting and Providing Help

Flooding Safety and Volunteering Over the past couple of days Houston has experienced records amount of rain, this has lead to massive flooding from the Brazos River has caused a domino effect in the waterways nearby. Many events are being rescheduled and roadways have been cut off due to the flooding. More rain has been


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