What does Catastrophic Injury Mean?

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.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

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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.

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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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.

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.

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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