Car Accident

What new safety features help prevent auto accidents?

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What New Safety Features Help Prevent Auto Accidents?

Car companies over the last twenty years have focused on safety features and technologies that can help prevent accidents. For example, there’s electronic stability control in cars. So, when someone begins to lose control of their car, the technology in the car keeps them under control. There’s also anti-lock brake systems in cars now. More recently you have computer technology where you have automatic braking system that if you come up to a car and you don’t recognize it, the car will brake on its own. Or when you change a lane the car will tell you, “You’re changing a lane. Get back into your lane.”

All of this technology is critical because it prevents accident. It keeps people from even needing the airbags or the seat belts because the accidents never happen. What we have found over the years is companies unfortunately don’t put that technology into the cars they should, and, so, we’ve had cases where an accident has happened when it never should have because the safety technology was not used in that car when it should’ve been used, which would’ve prevented the accident.

If you or someone you know have been catastrophically injured in an accident, please contact us today.

If a Crash is My Fault, Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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If a crash is my fault, do I need a personal injury lawyer?

Oftentimes we’ll get calls from clients where they were the driver in a vehicle that resulted in a crash and were injured as result. Other times, the crash resulted in the injury or death of a passenger. The question that client has is, what should I do? Should I hire a lawyer to represent me? And should that lawyer specialize in personal injury?

Our response to them is to call us. Allow us to investigate the crash. Even if you were issued a citation for being at fault, there may have been something more that happened that either caused this crash, the injuries or the death to not be your fault. For example, if a seat belt didn’t work properly or an airbag didn’t work properly, even though you may have caused the crash, it’s really a defect with the product that caused the injuries. That is why it’s critical for clients, particularly in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, to contact our firm to make sure that we can conduct a full investigation to help them know the truth about what really happened.

If you or someone you know has been catastrophically injured as a result of an auto accident, please let us help you. Contact us today.

Lawsuit Filed for Rolling Jeep Cherokee

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jeep grand cherokee

Lawsuit Filed for Rolling Jeep Cherokee

The Cooper Firm recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of an individual who sustained injuries from a rolling 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the case, our client thought they had placed the gear shift in park before exiting the vehicle. This confusion with the gear shift is the subject a recent recall affecting nearly 1 million vehicles.

In April 2016, Fiat Chrysler issued a voluntary recall on the 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As many as 300 consumers complained to NHTSA about the Jeep’s redesigned gear shifter. In an effort to design a sleek, more tech-savvy interior, the change has simply confused drivers instead of impressing them. Drivers place their vehicle in the ‘parked’ position and exit, only to have it continue to roll and crash into objects or people. Some drivers are able to get right back in their car and hit the brake, some are not so lucky.

Anton Yelchin, a young Hollywood actor, exited his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the top of the driveway and walked down to towards his guard gate and brick mailbox. He was found dead on the scene trapped between his car and the gate at the bottom of his driveway. 7 days later, his family received the recall notice.

In addition to the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler also recalled the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans for model years 2012-2014. Fiat Chrysler replaced the confusing gear shifts in more recent model years. Visit www.nhtsa.gov for more information.

If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger sedan in this recall, please contact us today.

Chevy Claims 5 of Top 10 spots on Vehicle Safety Watch List

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Chevy Claims 5 of Top 10 spots on Vehicle Safety Watch List

The Safety InstituteOnce again, GM, and Chevy specifically, dominates the Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List as reported by The Safety Institute.

Last quarter, the Chevy Cobalt claimed the 1st and 2nd spot on the Watch List for manufactured years 2006 and 2010 respectively. This quarter those dropped to 4 and 6.

Claiming the #1 spot for 2nd quarter of 2016 is the 2008 Buick Enclave. GM reported a sufficient number of claims as a result of the power lift gate suddenly dropping down and striking the owner’s heads increasing their risk of injury or death.

Both the 2011 Chevrolet HHR and the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu moved up the list as more injury and death claims are reported as a result of the faulty ignition switch. The faulty ignition switch was part of a major GM recall in 2014 and included nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide.

The 2009 Toyota Camry is a new addition to the watch list  at #5. Unintended acceleration reports continue to file in at the NHTSA.

To check and see if there is a recall on your vehicle, visit the NHTSA website.

If you or someone you know have been injured as result of a vehicle defect or recall, please Contact Us today for a complimentary case consultation.

 

How to File a Vehicle Safety Complaint

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Safety First - The Cooper Firm

How to File a Vehicle Safety Complaint

The past several years have seen an incredible number of recalls on vehicles for safety reasons. Between defective airbags, sudden accelerations, and exploding gas tanks, we see the federal government taking your safety very seriously and holding automakers responsible. You may be wondering how you, the driver, may have a hand in notifying a manufacture of an issue you notice while operating your vehicle. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it easy for you.
If you are driving a vehicle and notice a possible safety concern, or mechanical problem that just can’t be solved, the NHTSA encourages you to visit their website www.nhtsa.gov and follow the directions to “File a Vehicle Safety Complaint”. These complaints are received and monitored by this federal agency and used when investigating ongoing issues with a vehicle. The more complaints they receive about a single issue, the better equipped they are when questioning a vehicle manufacturer.

If you or someone you know as been injured as a result of an auto-accident, please Contact Us for a complimentary case consultation.

Prepare Your Teen Driver with Safety Tips from NHTSA

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

School’s Out! Prepare Your Teen Driver with safety tips from NHTSA

Prepare your child for a safe driving experience with these safety tips from the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration).

Summer has arrived! This means endless trips to the pool, to the lake, to friend’s houses, to lunch, to the beach…you get the idea. If you have a teen driver, summer means they have all day to spend in the car with their friends. It’s a big shift from just commuting to school in the morning and afternoon.  According to an NHTSA study, ‘teens were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in potentially risky behavior when driving with a teenage peer versus driving alone. The likelihood increased to three times when traveling with multiple passengers‘. This is the scenario you’re facing every day during the summer. So prepare yourself with these tips:

5toDrive

  • Practice the ‘5 to Drive’:
  1. No Cell Phone – not just no texting!
  2. No Extra Passengers – check your state rules on passenger limitations for teen drivers
  3. No Speeding
  4. No Alcohol
  5. Always buckle-up – drivers and passengers!
  • Set your own ground rules and consequences should they be broken.
  • Be a good example – 41% of teens say their parents continue unsafe driving behaviors even after their teens ask them to stop. If you do it, your kids will do it too.

For more information on how to educate your teen about safe driving, visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents/TeenDriving/teendriving.htm

If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, please contact The Cooper Firm for a complimentary case consultation.

Chevy Dominates Safety Watch List of Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects

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Ignition Switch Attorney - Lance Cooper

Ongoing Electrical Problems Cause Chevy to Dominate Quarterly Watch List of Potential Vehicle Defects

The Safety Institute recently announced its quarterly ‘Vehicle Safety Watch List of the Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects’ and Chevy vehicles claimed 8 of the 15 spots. Among those listed, the Chevy Cobalt is named 5 separate times for its 2006-2010 model years.

It comes as no surprise the most common vehicle on the Safety Institute’s Watch List was the subject of a product defect case handled by Lance Cooper here at The Cooper Firm. In 2010, Paulding County resident Brooke Melton was driving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt when she skidded into another vehicle and subsequently died from injuries sustained in the crash. GM was found at fault for knowledge of defective ignition switches causing vehicles to slip into an accessory position thereby turning off the engine and rendering power steering, power brakes, and airbags inactive.

Despite a 2014 recall of nearly 29 million vehicles in North America, GM continues to report deaths from Chevy Cobalt model years 2006-2010 due to vehicle electrical problems.

In addition to the Cobalt, the 2006 and 2011 Chevy HHR models and 2006 Chevy Malibu claimed 3 more spots bringing the total number of Chevy vehicles on the Safety Watch List to 8 out of 15.

Another notable vehicle on The Safety Institute’s Watch List includes the 2006 Toyota Camry plagued with acceleration control problems. The 2006 Toyota Camry has held every position on the list since its inception in 2014 and has been the subject of extensive investigations by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle named on this list, a defective product could be at fault. Please contact our law office today for a free consultation.

To view the complete Vehicle Safety Watch List published by The Safety Institute, click here.

PRESS RELEASE: SafetyWatchList-PR-5.5.16

Not all advanced safety features are created equal

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Vehicle Safety Technology Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Not all advanced safety features are created equal

Although Consumer Reports highly recommends advanced safety features on vehicles, they recently shared that not all of these systems are created equal. This especially true for those systems that have forward collision warning.

After several vehicles were manufactured with upgraded safety features, Consumer Reports revised its car Ratings system to factor in the new advanced features. After looking into the systems further, Consumer Reports found that different systems have varied sensitivities and can react differently and can even send false alerts to drivers.

In addition to analyzing the systems, Consumer Reports issued a survey to drivers regarding these advanced safety features. Although some systems falsely alerted drivers even when there was no potential crash, the majority of drivers still preferred having the feature on their vehicles. Since the systems are not all created the same, they can detect accidents by using laser, radar or cameras to identify speed and objects. False alerts can be triggered by rain, harsh light, wet or snowy conditions and large shadows. If the system detects a collision, it will give the driver a warning, allowing them time to take action. Some systems will actually break for the driver. This can also cause some confusion, because often drivers do not know how their vehicle’s system works exactly, or they can put too much faith in the vehicle to do take action for them.

Out of the 3,127 people with 2014 model year vehicles with Forward Collision Warning that Consumer Reports surveyed, 36 percent said that their system saved them from an accident. Consumer Reports found that Subaru excelled above all tested brands as having the fewest false alerts. Nissan, Toyota, Ford and Audi followed closely behind.

Even though these systems are not all created equal, Consumer Reports still believes that Forward Collision Warnings are an essential safety component that should be sold on every vehicle along with Automatic Emergency Braking Systems. Hopefully as technology advances and more testing is done, automakers can improve systems to decrease the amount of false alerts and increase the amount of lives saved and accidents prevented.

Source: Consumer Reports

Pedestrian Deaths Increasing More than Ever

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Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Pedestrian Deaths Increasing More than Ever

Walking is supposed to be good for you – right? Not if it’s deadly.

According to an analysis of preliminary state traffic fatality data, pedestrian deaths grew 10 percent last year, 2015. Unfortunately, this is the largest year-to year increase in pedestrian deaths since 1975, and that is when the federal system for recording traffic deaths was created. In the first six months of 2015, there were 2,368 pedestrians killed.

Many factors could be related to this surge. A major factor to blame is the growing use of cellphones. Smartphones are in the hands of almost everyone causing major distractions while driving or walking. Warmer weather year round also promotes walking as well as healthcare agencies encouraging people to walk for health benefits. The economy has greatly improved in the past few years along with gas prices dropping resulting in more miles being driven than ever before, according to the analysis.

What are some ways to prevent these fatalities from occurring?

-Don’t drive distracted. Put your cell phone away and keep your focus on the road.

-Avoid walking after dark. Almost three-quarters of pedestrian deaths occur after dark. (A third of those also involved alcohol consumption) If you must walk after dark, do not walk in roadways and wear reflective clothing.

-Use sidewalks. Stay off major roadways as much as possible. Do not jay-walk and be aware of your surroundings.

-Walk against traffic. This can help you be a defensive walker. If a car is coming towards you, you can react as opposed to not seeing what is coming.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a pedestrian accident or car accident, contact our law offices today.

The Cooper Firm Settles First-of-its-Kind Exploding Airbag Case for Confidential Amount

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FEATURED CASE - The Cooper Firm

Featured Case:

The Cooper Firm Settles First-of-its-Kind Exploding Airbag Case for Confidential Amount

In April, 2014, our client was driving a 2004 Kia Optima when another vehicle pulled in front of her, causing her to brake, lose control of her vehicle, and hit a wall head-on at low speed. The impact caused her driver’s side front airbag to explode, sending shrapnel all throughout the cabin of the vehicle, and into our client’s face and neck. One large piece of shrapnel—about the size of a nickel—lodged inside of our client’s neck and was first discovered at the hospital during emergency surgery. The explosion caused our client to suffer permanent scarring on her face and neck.

Our client sued the vehicle manufacturer (Kia Motors America), the manufacturer of the driver’s frontal airbag assembly (Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC), and the manufacturer of the inflator in that assembly (ARC Automotive, Inc.). Our investigation focused on the inflator as the cause of the explosion. Although there are many exploding airbag cases ongoing against Honda and Takata (the manufacturer of Honda’s airbag inflators), this is the first case of its kind against Kia, Delphi, or ARC. Based on the nature of the defect that we discovered, we expect there will be similar failures in the future.

The case settled after extensive examinations of the vehicle and the airbag assembly, but shortly before the Defendants’ responses were due to our initial discovery. The case is Chavez et al. v. Kia Motors Corporation et al., Civil Action No. 1:15-CV-00462, U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico.


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