What new safety features help prevent auto accidents?

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Chevy Facing Yet Another Round of Recalls

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Chevy is facing another round of recalls as GM announces a 289k Chevy Impala recall for faulty airbag sensor system.

The passenger sensory system is able to detect if a person is seated in the passenger seat and activate the airbag release should an accident occur. The 2009-2010 Chevy Impala models are in question as GM said the sensory system is disabled if the seat frame makes contact with the wires of the unit that contacts the sensors. Vehicle owners will be notified and dealers are committed to fixing the damaged wires for free.

This latest announcement comes as no surprise. Clearly there was a shift in focus during the first decade of the millennium with GM and the safety of consumers was not the priority. In 2003, GM recalled 1.8 million vehicles for faulty windshield wipers. In 2004, GM recalled 3.7 million vehicles for tailgates that broke when people stood on them. It wasn’t until February 2014 when GM began rolling out recalls for faulty ignition switches installed in cars from 1997-2011 that a real pattern of negligence emerged. First it was 1.37 million for the ignition switch recall, then a new ignition switch flaw expanded the recall to 2.6 million. 3 months later, a recall for faulty brake light wiring and front seat belts in pre-2010 models brought the world-wide total to 13.6 million. By June of 2014, GM had recalled nearly 30 million vehicles worldwide for vehicles manufactured a decade before the announcement. This pattern was noticed by the media, the federal government, safety regulators, and most noticeably, attorneys on behalf of clients that were injured as a result of GM’s negligence in their safety and engineering practices.

The Cooper Firm was proud to represent one of the first families willing to go the distance and prove GM was at fault for the wrongful death of their daughter, Brooke Melton. If you, or someone you know, have been injured in an accident as a result of the negligence by an auto manufacturer, we would be proud to represent you as well.

Contact us today for a complimentary case consultation

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


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