Personal Injury Blog

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.

What does Catastrophic Injury Mean?

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What does catastrophic injury mean?

At The Cooper Firm, we define catastrophic injury as someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or burn injury that has resulted in their disability. This really includes any injury that has caused someone to be unable to work or unable to perform daily activities in their life.

These are the types of cases we handle because they require an expertise, such as hiring doctors, to enable the insurance company or the jury to ultimately understand what this injury has done to this person. It also means hiring life care planners, which then allows us to develop evidence, present it to a jury and show that not only has this person been catastrophically injured but this is what it is going to cost to take care of them in the future. With that expertise, more often than not, we are able to get insurance companies or ultimately juries to not only hold defendants accountable but to include in their verdict a just amount of compensation to ensure the victim is taken care of for the rest of their life.

If you or someone you know has been catastrophically injured, please contact us today. Let us help you.

What happens if I’m injured at work?

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What happens if I’m injured at work?

Some people know that if you’re injured at work, you’re only legal recourse is through the workers’ compensation system. You’re not going to be able to file a traditional private lawsuit against your employer. As a result, most people think that when you’re injured at work, the workers’ compensation system is the end of the road.

That is not true.

If you’re injured by a piece of equipment, or if you’re injured by a piece of machinery at work, you should go through the traditional workers’ compensation system. But you should also have it evaluated by a product liability lawyer.

If the product is what caused your injury, if the machinery or equipment is what caused your injury, then a product liability lawyer can hold the manufacturer of the equipment accountable for your injuries and make sure you receive full justice.

If you’ve been injured by a piece of machinery or equipment at work, contact us today.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

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What is  a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit for the death of someone, where you are able to prove that their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. It’s different than other lawsuits because it is a family member or a guardian who is bringing the case and not the person who was injured.

Under those circumstances, the law tells us who is entitled to bring the lawsuit and what damages they can recover. For example, oftentimes if it is a wage owner, they can recover damages for their future lost wages as well as for the value of their life. It takes into account they meant to their family. All of this helps our firm in determining the value of the life.

When we take in a wrongful death lawsuit, not only are we responsible to prove someone’s negligence, often the more valuable part is to prove the value of a life. Someone will ask “how do I know what the value of a life is?” It’s our job as the experts to bring in the witnesses, including professional experts like economists, to demonstrate what the value of a life is. It takes a real expertise to handle these types of wrongful death cases because of the technical aspects of the case and the difficulty in proving them.

 

If you have lost a loved one in an accident, please contact us today.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

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ford explorer exhaust leak

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

The Safety Institute released the Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List this month and Jeep Grand Cherokee again took the top 2 spots. Plagued with power train issues, 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees have held the #1 and #2 positions since November 2016. The report monitors NHTSA investigations and recalls to share the vehicles with the most concerning safety issues at press time.

The powertrain problem with the Jeep Grand Cherokees correlates to the 2016 Fiat Chrysler recall of vehicles equipped with a mono-stable gear selector. This gear shift created great confusion with drivers who exited their vehicles thinking they were in the PARK position, only to have the vehicle roll away, colliding with objects and people. At first Fiat Chrysler attempted to better educate the drivers on the new gear shift when they first were investigated in 2015. After nearly 300 reported incidents of rollaway, and the high profile death of actor Anton Yelchin who was struck and killed by his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler initiated a recall of over 800,000 vehicles equipped with this specific gear shifter which includes the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 (#3 on Watch List) and 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers.

GM’s Chevy Cobalt is a regular on this list for electrical problems stemming from faulty ignition switches discovered by the investigative work of Lance Cooper and The Cooper Firm. The 2009 Toyota Camry also remains on this quarter’s list for its unintended acceleration/speed control issues.

To view the complete list for this year and previous years, visit The Safety Institute’s website.

If you, or someone you know, have been injured by a vehicle with a reported safety defect, please contact us today.

Source: The Safety Institute Press Release

How Do I Sue a Company for a Defective Product?

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How Do I Sue a Company for a Defective Product?

Oftentimes we have clients come to us who were involved in a crash and think something happened with the car or the particular product, but they don’t know what to do first. They want to pursue a claim (or sue a company) for a defective product but they are unsure about their next steps. It’s them against a big car company or some other large company. Those are the cases where it’s particularly critical that we get contacted early by the clients so we can conduct a full investigation on their behalf. People without expertise aren’t going to know what to do as far as the evidence to secure, the engineers and experts to contact, or the investigation that needs to be done.

I’ve never had a client that’s been able to actually pursue a product liability claim that is a particular area of legal expertise where it’s always necessary to have a lawyer investigating early on to preserve the evidence and make sure the clients’ rights are protected.

You can search for recalls on products by visiting the US CPSC. To search for recalls on automobiles, visit Safercar.gov.

Learn how to file a report for an unsafe product here.

If you’ve been injured by a product, or in an auto accident, contact us today.

How Do I Know If a Product is Defective?

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How Do I Know If a Product is Defective?

If a product is involved in the process of an injury or a death, there needs to be an investigation to determine if that product was defective.

When people come to us with their case, the first thing we do is we listen. What happened? What do we know? And where can we go from here? After we listen we outline very specific steps that we can take to begin investigating their case. These are steps we’ve taken in many cases before to figure out whether the product that we know is involved caused the injury or caused the death.

The steps we outline to determine if a product is defective involves hiring experts. It involves an investigation. It involves a deep dive into the medical history and the current medical status of the injured person or the deceased. We look at the product and we ask:

  • Who are their competitors?
  • What are their competitors doing?
  • Could this have been prevented? Should it have been prevented?
  • Is there any safety device or warning that was missing?
  • Is there any type of way that the product could have been designed differently that would have completely eliminated this issue altogether?

When those answers align, we know there is a case and we pursue the company.

Just because a product hasn’t been recalled, doesn’t mean it isn’t defective. If you’ve been injured by a product, contact us today so we may begin investigating your case.

NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

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ford explorer exhaust leak

NHTSA Investigates Ford Explorer Exhaust Leaks

In July 2016, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating 2011-2015 Ford Explorers after 154 complaints were made regarding exhaust fume leaks inside the vehicles. Drivers noticed a distinct sulfur-like smell inside the car that caused concern about exposure to carbon-monoxide.

One reported instance led to a crash. Newport Beach Police Officer Brian McDowell was behind the wheel of his 2014 Ford Explorer police cruiser when he began to feel nauseous and noticed the beginning of a headache. Moments later, he passed out and crashed into a tree. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured eye socket and traumatic brain injury, but retains no memory of the accident. After reading about other Ford Explorer exhaust leak reports with the NHTSA, he believes he was exposed to carbon monoxide which contributed to him losing consciousness.

According to the NHTSA, Ford issued a technical service bulletin in 2014 (TSB 14-0130), superseding a 2012 (TSB 12-2-4) service bulletin, to address seemingly related issues. Most consumers reported little to no improvement after the remedy.

If you have a later model Ford Explorer and notice the smell of exhaust while driving your vehicle, please stop driving immediately. This is an ongoing investigation so we encourage you to file a vehicle safety complaint with the NHTSA. Learn how to file a complaint here.

If you’ve been injured, contact us immediately.

 

How Do I Know If a Defective Tire Caused My Crash?

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How Do I Know If a Defective Tire Caused My Crash?

Over the past 26 years Lance Cooper has developed a particular expertise in tire defect cases. He handled his first tire defect case back in 1992 and has been passionate about this safety issue ever since. Defective tire cases are different because there is a lot that goes into the design and manufacture of a tire.

When a crash happens and there has been a tire blow out or tire tread separation, it is important that The Cooper Firm be involved early in the investigation. We need to enlist the expertise of engineers to not only inspect the damaged tire, but also inspect the car, the surrounding road scene, and everything that happened in that particular crash. From there, we can determine if a tire defect contributed to that crash. Oftentimes tire failure claims result in very bad crashes where people are catastrophically injured or perhaps have died. It’s important early on to involve The Cooper Firm for investigating potential tire defect claims.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a crash and you believe a defective tire may have been the cause, please contact us as soon as possible.

What If I Am Hurt By A Recalled Product?

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What If I Am Hurt By A Recalled Product?

If a person has been hurt by a recalled product, the only question that we need to really answer at that point, because we know the product is defective,  is whether that specific defect caused their injury.

When people come to us who have been, or may have been, injured by a product , they often know very little about what happened, so we begin the process of investigation for them. That analysis can take quite a bit of effort and quite a bit of time. It requires hiring experts. It requires substantial analysis. It requires talking to their medical providers, whether it be doctors, nurses, even sometimes home care givers. And that whole picture is going to help us determine whether that recall and that particular defect caused their injury.

If our investigations shows that defect and that recall caused their injury, then we pursue the company.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a recalled product, please contact us today.


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