Coastal Texans are no strangers to the extreme dangers of hurricanes. While the dangers of the storm itself are obvious, there are still many other risks of accidents and injuries to residents, commuters and those who visit the affected areas after the storm has passed. With Hurricane Harvey, many buildings and homes have been damaged structurally, and downed power lines and trees can be found throughout the area. Traffic lights and signals have been rendered inoperable, and that makes both driving and walking dangerous.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Many people simply aren't aware of the perils that exist after a hurricane passes. With the lack of power in many areas, portable generators are often in use. Given the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, generators should never be used indoors. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, innocent victims can be unaware of it and die from breathing it.
Driving in floods
Roads will remain flooded long after Harvey is gone. Obstacles both on and under the surface water of flooded roadways also pose dangers to drivers and passengers. Flood currents alone can overtake a vehicle and sweep it away. Six children perished from Harvey's flooding like that. At least one other driver is known to have died under the same circumstances.
With blackouts comes the need for light. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, a total of nine people died from fires started by candles. Be sure to have flashlights and batteries on hand at all times.
Construction work is dangerous. Falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object and getting caught between two objects have been characterized by the federal government as the "fatal four." Accidents involving those four causes are certain to occur during the Texas rebuilding process. They account for about 62 percent of all construction accidents. Both workers' compensation and third party personal injury claims will be made.
Increased truck traffic
Once the water recedes, expect both small and large truck traffic in and around Houston to thicken up for quite awhile. Materials, heavy equipment and crews need to be brought in for removal of debris and rebuilding. Like New Orleans, some areas might not ever be rebuilt, but once traffic starts moving again, accident lawyers can expect injuries from motor vehicle accidents.
Part of the job of any personal injury lawyer is to read and interpret the language of insurance policies. With hurricanes, compensation for damage to homes and businesses is critical. Improper denial of claims along with coverage issues should be expected. Personal injury attorneys possess the necessary knowledge of insurance law and the rules of evidence to litigate claims and coverage cases.
Reputable personal injury lawyers have all of the necessary legal tools to help in the rebuilding of coastal Texas. Injuries and fatalities will continue in the aftermath of Harvey, and insurance companies are expected to creatively manipulate policy language and damage estimates in efforts to try to mitigate losses. Affected Texans will be contacting qualified accident lawyers for help. Expect the surge to start in about a month.