How Do I Know If My Car Has A Recall?

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.

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.

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.

Why Should I Hire The Cooper Firm?

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Why Should I Hire The Cooper Firm?

Clients who have a case involving catastrophic injury or wrongful death should hire The Cooper Firm because we are committed to relentlessly pursue justice on behalf of every one of our clients.

That’s not just a slogan. It means something to all of us at The Cooper Firm.

Relentless means we will leave no stone unturned in making sure that we uncover all the evidence necessary to ensure that whoever has harmed our client is held accountable.

Pursue. We pursue it all the way through trial. We are trial lawyers and we let clients know upfront that if necessary we are prepared to go to trial and present their case to a jury in order to hold those that harmed them accountable.

And ultimately, we are about justice and making sure that justice is served in every case where our clients are harmed. Although we can’t guarantee justice for all cases, we can guarantee we will relentlessly pursue it on their behalf.

Contact us today.

If I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer, What Will Be Expected of Me?

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If I hire a personal injury lawyer, what will be expected of me?

Oftentimes when people hire a personal injury lawyer,  they want to know what is needed of them.

The companies and individuals we sue have endless resources amounting to hundreds, thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. We represent regular kinds of folks, who cannot make that kind of financial sacrifice. What we do is represent these people on a contingency fee which means they don’t have to pay anything upfront.

People don’t realize that litigation is extremely expensive. It can get into the tens of thousands of dollars, and often in our cases the hundreds of thousands of dollars. What we ask our clients to do is partner with us. If we take your case, we will advance our time and our money. If the case goes sideways for whatever reason, you don’t owe us a penny. That is our risk in the case. If we get a result for you, whether that be a jury verdict or a settlement, we will share in that recovery with you.

All we need from a client in a case is their time and attention. We will often have to answer questions on their behalf and we want to make sure those answers are absolutely correct.

If you or someone you know has been catastrophically injured, contact us today to see how we can help you.

Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

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GM Recall Lawyer - The Cooper Firm

New Ruling States Bankruptcy Will Not Protect GM from Ignition Switch Claims

Last week the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2009 bankruptcy filing by GM will not protect the company from claims related to the defective ignition switches installed in their vehicles from the years 1997-2011.

In 2014, GM announced a voluntary recall of nearly 3 million vehicles due to an ignition switch that could slip into an accessory position, effectively turning the car off unbeknownst to the driver. A recall that came about as a result of the relentless pursuit of justice by Ken & Beth Melton, the parents of Brooke Melton who died from injuries sustained in auto accident as a result of a faulty ignition switch in her Chevy Cobalt. The Cooper Firm had the privilege of representing the Melton family on this case. It’s important to know the outcome of the case proved that GM knew about the faulty ignition switch for years and chose not to fix or notify vehicles owners of the issue. GM ultimately expanded the recall to nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide.

Announcing bankruptcy in 2009 led to the creation of what was dubbed ‘New GM’. According to the ruling, ‘New GM’ could not be held responsible for any misconduct by ‘Old GM’ (i.e. knowingly installing faulty ignition switches in new vehicles) and therefore were immune to any lawsuits or claims from accidents that happened prior to 2009. Last week’s appeal changed all of that. The 2nd Circuit ruled that the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction to free GM of those claims. The decision to file for bankruptcy does not change the fact that GM was aware of the issue and chose to hide it, denying people of their right to due process since they were not notified of the safety issue prior to the filing.

This is a big win for consumers who were affected by this cover-up. We expect to see an unprecedented amount of cases come forward from accidents that occurred prior to 2009 as a result of the faulty ignition switch and the actions of GM.

Check to see if your vehicle has an active recall here: NHTSA.gov

If you or someone you know has been injured as result of a possible GM ignition switch failure, please Contact Us today.

Source: Reuters.com

How to choose the right attorney

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Lance Cooper - Car Accident Attorney

How to choose the right attorney

If you have been injured in an accident, you may be considering hiring an attorney to help you pursue your potential claim. Dealing with injuries, treatment, and insurance companies can be very overwhelming, but hiring an attorney doesn’t have to be.

Whether you are looking for attorney on the internet or through a referral source, there are four simple things to help you narrow down your search: Experience, Expertise, Cost and Trust.

Experience is a crucial factor to hiring an attorney. The more cases they’ve handled, the better suited they are to help you with your case. It is always a good idea to inquire about their history of cases and the outcomes. Be sure to ask about specific cases they have handled that are similar to your case.

Expertise. You may have a friend who has practiced law for many years, but if they do not specialize in personal injury or product cases, then they are most likely not suited to handle your claim. Lawyers specialize in certain areas of law, so it is important to make sure the attorney you are hiring has experience in the specific area you need.

Cost can be one of the first concerns that cross people’s minds as they look for an attorney. Although many people think that an experienced attorney is going to be expensive, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will not charge you anything unless you are awarded in the case. The attorney will usually take a percentage of the award which is decided early on when you sign a fee agreement with them.

Trust. It is foundation to any working relationship. Having an attorney that you trust to handle your case is crucial. The attorney should show you respect, compassion and have clear communication with you from the start. If you feel uneasy after meeting or talking with the attorney initially, it could be a sign that it is not a good fit. A good attorney and team will be there to help you and answer your questions.

If you or someone you know has been injured and is looking for an attorney, feel free to contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

Should you hire an attorney after being injured in a car accident?

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Relentlessly Pursuing Justice - The Cooper Firm

Should you hire an attorney after being injured in a car accident?

If you have recently been injured in an accident, you are probably overwhelmed with medical bills, insurance companies, and a variety of other headaches. As a result of all the stress and confusion, you could end up being under-compensated with a large financial burden from the accident. One of the best things to do in this situation is to reach out to a personal injury attorney to see if they can help you pursue your claim. It is important that you find an attorney you trust and that has the experience and resources to handle your specific situation.

Although it can be tempting to settle a claim on your own so as not to incur any attorney fees, a good and honest attorney will tell you if it is worth it for them to help you or not. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not charge any fees unless you are awarded compensation for your damages.

Another benefit of hiring an attorney is that they can give you an accurate assessment of what your claim is worth. Many people do not know this when talking to the insurance company, and the insurance company is not looking out for your best interest. Having an attorney to talk and work with the insurance company not only saves you a headache, but also gets you what your claim is worth. Insurance companies are almost always trying to pay out the least amount of money possible.

Hiring an attorney will also help you keep track of deadlines and will make sure that all of the necessary filings are taken care of. Companies will often try to take advantage of the client’s lack of knowledge. Having someone to work on your case that has the knowledge to fight for you is extremely beneficial. If your case ends up going to trial, having an attorney who has taken cases to trial many times before gives you a better chance of favorable outcome.

Having someone you trust to look out for your interest can really change your entire experience after an accident. Being able to hand the case over to someone who has experience can give you peace of mind, so that you can focus on healing and getting better.

If you have any questions for an attorney or are interesting in learning more about how a personal injury attorney can help you with your claim, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

What to look for in a personal injury attorney

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Lance Cooper - Car Accident Attorney

What to look for in a personal injury attorney

You may find yourself in a situation where you’ve experienced loss or have been injured due to a negligent person or a defective product. You know that you need to hire an attorney, but you’re not quite sure where to start. There are a few important things to consider when looking for the right personal injury lawyer.

  1. Do they specialize in my case’s practice area? There are thousands of lawyers out there that have dozens of practice areas on their websites. While these attorneys may say they handle the kind of practice area your case falls in, they may not have the expertise or experience for that area. Look for an attorney who has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in handling cases similar to yours.
  2. Do they have referrals and positive reviews from both clients and attorneys? While it is important that previous client’s think highly of the attorney, it is also valuable to have positive testimonials from other attorneys. You want someone to handle your case that has an outstanding reputation among their peers and the community. Don’t look just at attorney websites for these referrals, but look all over the internet for uncontrolled reviews on google and other rating websites.
  3. How much do they charge? Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a portion of whatever compensation you receive. Other attorneys work on an hourly fee rate. Make sure that you understand the attorney’s fee agreement and how much will be awarded if a settlement or verdict is reached. Another good thing to think about is if the attorney has the capital to fund your case. If the attorney works on a contingency fee basis, they will have to front the cost for all of the investigation and trial cost. Having an attorney who can handle this is important as it can affect the success of your case. Always find out if your initial consultation with the attorney is free or if they will charge you to even look at the case.
  4. Who will handle the case and how? In your initial consultation with the attorney, it is important to understand who will handle your case and who exactly you will be working with. Most of the time, you will not work directly with the attorney on a weekly basis, but with a specific paralegal or associate assigned to the case. Make sure you feel comfortable with who will be working on your case and how they will communicate with you. A good attorney should have a solid team supporting them.
  5. Do you trust the attorney and their personality? Whoever you hire as your attorney will be your advocate and will fight for you and for your case. That makes it crucial that you trust that person and you work well with them. You do not want to be second guessing your attorney and their decisions. Make sure you feel at ease when you meet them and that you trust them to make the good and hard decisions.

If you have a clear answer to all of these questions, then you have most likely found a good attorney to handle your case. Dealing with an injury or loss can be quite overwhelming. It is best to not walk the journey alone, but to find a good advocate for you and your family.


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