Safety

How Do I Know If My Car Has A Recall?

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How Do I Know If My Car Has A Recall?

There’s a handful of ways to know if your car has a recall. The first, and really the most important, way that you need to know, is you can look at a government website called safercar.gov and they will tell you clearly if there is a recall that applies to your vehicle. They’ll also tell you if it’s a safety related recall.

Most people buy used cars and most people don’t know that when you buy a used car, they can sell you the car without disclosing to you that a recall service hasn’t been performed.

Sometimes you’ll get recall notices in the mail, but don’t count on this. Don’t count on being able to receive all this information effectively through the mail because a manufacturer may or may not know about you. That’s especially true if you’ve bought a used car.

Last, and the most important thing people need to realize about recalls, is just because you don’t have a recall on your vehicle, doesn’t mean that it’s safe. If you are injured by something in your vehicle and you don’t see a recall posted online, that doesn’t mean what happened was right.

When you come to a firm like us and we take your case, the recalls that happen, happen as a result of the work of this firm. Make sure you know what is going on with your vehicle and make sure you know whether a recall has been performed or whether you need to go take care of one.

What does Product Liability mean?

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What does Product Liability Mean?

Product liability means you prove that a product is defective and that a defect has caused an injury or a death. It’s different than an ordinary case because you need experts, engineers, and especially reconstruction experts. You need all of these technical experts to be able to tell you:

“Yes, the product is defective.”

and

“Yes, this defect caused this accident and this injury or death.”

So, it’s a complicated area of the law which requires certain legal knowledge on behalf of the lawyers who handle those cases. It also requires an ability on behalf of those lawyers to hire the right experts to prove the case, ultimately to a jury if that’s required. In many cases, this expert presentation in a trial can cost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the technology that’s needed in order to present those kinds of cases.

Have a potential product liability case? Contact us today.

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.

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 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.

Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

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The Cooper Firm - Beasley Allen

Plaintiffs Powerhouse Beasley Allen Makes a Bet on Atlanta

Excerpt (Daily Report printed 2.8.17)

High-profile plaintiffs firm Beasley Allen has opened an Atlanta office, the first outside of its Alabama base.

Beasley Allen, founded in 1979, works on big cases all over the country, but its 75 lawyers have all been based in Montgomery until now. The firm tapped firm principal Chris Glover, who specializes in automotive product defect cases, to start the Atlanta office.

It has also joined forces with Marietta plaintiffs lawyer Lance Cooper for its foray into Georgia, after working with Cooper on litigation against General Motors over faulty car ignition switches. Cooper uncovered the faulty switches, which led to a massive recall of GM vehicles and national litigation.

“When we decided to come here, our very first stop was Lance’s office,” Glover said.

Cooper has become a principal at Beas­ley Allen, which is what the firm calls its partners, while also maintaining his own shop. The two firms will work on products liability cases together, both in Georgia and nationally.

Cooper said he started working with Beasley Allen on the GM ignition switch cases because of its greater resources and national capabilities. The Cooper Firm has just two lawyers, Cooper and Drew Ashby, which Cooper said is “how I want it.” While Cooper sticks to single-plaintiff suits, Beas­ley Allen also takes on class actions and multi-district litigations.

“Beasley Allen had the national outreach to work with lawyers and consumers around the country on these types of cases,” Cooper said.

The national GM litigation arose from Cooper’s representation of Ken and Beth Melton. They sued General Motors over a faulty ignition switch that they believed caused their daughter’s Chevrolet Cobalt to crash, killing her. The suit sparked 30 million car recalls and hundreds more suits around the country, including by Beasley Allen.

The Meltons settled with GM in 2013 for $5 million—a confidential figure later disclosed by GM—but Cooper re-opened the case for them the next year, alleging GM had fraudulently concealed that one of its engineers knew about the defect. Cooper partnered with Beasley Allen on the ensuing litigation and said that he handled more than 100 individual suits against GM.

GM ended up paying a $900 million penalty to resolve criminal charges for concealing the defective switch.

Cooper next joined forces with Beasley Allen on suits against Terex Corp. over alleged defects in a truck boom it manufactures. Cooper’s client Jeffrey Gaddy, a tree-trimmer, sued Terex in 2014 after the boom arm supporting the bucket he was standing in allegedly failed, sending the bucket crashing to the ground. The fall severed his spinal cord, leaving him paraplegic.

That suit, Gaddy v. Terex, is in discovery in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Meanwhile, Terex recalled some models of its aerial boom for inspection and replacement of any that are defective. Cooper said Beasley Allen has a pending class action for consumers who own booms that Terex has not agreed to fix.

“It’s been a good partnership. We’ve been able to help our clients and do greater public good getting companies to recall their products,” Cooper said.

Read the full story at dailyreport.com.

Print PDF of Daily Report article here.

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.

How Do I Report An Unsafe Product?

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how to report an unsafe product

 

How do I report an unsafe product?

Reporting an unsafe product is very important. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission compiles these reports and uses them when investigating whether a product should be recalled. In those instances, your experience is often not uncommon and might eventually be traced back to a manufacturer’s negligence. Without detailed accounts from a consumer that has been injured, it is very difficult to prove an accident happened as a result of the product and not the consumer.

It starts with an injury. Maybe you were preparing dinner in your kitchen oven and it caught on fire and burned your hands. Or perhaps you set up a safety gate at the top of the stairs only to hear your child tumbling down the stairs after the gate failed. You might have thought you put your car in ‘park’ only to find it rolling down the driveway after you exited and it crashed into another vehicle. All these are accidents that, at first, might have seemed like it was your fault. After investigating the reports filed by the CPSC, the manufacturers were found at fault and a recall for the unsafe product was initiated. These recalls would not have happened without the reports from the injured.

So, how do I report an unsafe product? It’s simple. Visit www.saferproducts.gov. From there follow the prompts to “Report an Unsafe Product”. It will ask for as much detail as possible. And remember, the injury does not need to be severe or catastrophic to be reported.

If you believe an accident occurred that wasn’t your fault, file a report. Afterwards, contact us to see how we can help.


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