What happens if I’m injured at work?

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 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.

How Do I Report An Unsafe Product?

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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.

NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

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NHTSA Proposes Mobile Recall Notifications

The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration) has proposed a rule that would require automakers to include digital notifications of recall announcements. This would include sending notifications by mobile texts, phone calls and emails.

To date, recall notices or safety announcements are sent via mail. What was once an effective means of communication, the general public now rarely receives any useful mail except for perhaps wedding invitations, holiday cards, and the most exciting of them all, calls for jury duty. In an age where the majority of our communications happens at our fingertips, the faster vehicle owners can be notified of a safety issue the better.

This is exactly what the NHTSA is proposing.

It was reported that Anton Yelchin, the young actor that was crushed to death by his rolling Jeep Cherokee thought to be in the parked position, received his own recall notice in the mail  7 days after his death. Additional ways to notify vehicle owners of recalls might have allowed this message to reach him sooner. Although mailing would still be a requirement, automakers would be required to select an additional digital option to increase the likelihood of receipt by owner.

J.D. Power & Associates announced in July that nearly 45 million vehicles recalled from 2013-2015 remain unfixed. From exploding airbags, to faulty door latches and ignition switches, accidents occur every day from safety issues that have gone unnoticed or unaddressed. Hopefully, this initiative would help reduce that number. Recalled vehicles pose not just a safety threat to their drivers, but to others on the road as well.

A final ruling will be made on the NHTSA’s proposal following a 60 day comment allowance scheduled to end 10/31/2016.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a safety defect on a vehicle, please contact us for a complimentary case consultation.

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.  

Future Vehicle Safety Technology: 360 Sensor Fusion

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Future Vehicle Safety Technology: 360 Sensor Fusion

Last year, the nation experienced millions of vehicles being recalled due to safety related defects. Now, the industry appears to not only be working to correct those defects, but to create new safety technologies to prevent crashes and deaths. Nearly 1.3 million people die in car crashes every year. That is over 3,000 deaths a day. Car crashes also cost the nation $518 billion.

Many technology suppliers are working hard to bring down those statistics. Autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning will hopefully be required in new vehicles as they are in trucks and buses in Europe. These systems have potential to reduce crashes by up to 27%.

Future technologies are already being developed that will increase vision of the sensors to have a 360 degree view. Once those sensors are put into place, they will fuse them with active safety features such as braking to prevent accidents. Delphi, a supplier of vehicle technologies, has been working on what they call RACam. It is a radar and camera system, which combines radar sensing, vision sensing and data. The ‘sensor fusion’ as they call it, will also combine adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, low speed collision mitigation and autonomous emergency braking. Systems will be specific to the type/size of vehicle. For example, trucks will need more time to stop due to their weight.

Even though these safety features are good in theory, and can in fact save lives, they can have defects. It is important that these technology developers do thorough research and testing to make sure flaws are eliminated before these systems reach vehicles.

Source: Automotive World

NHTSA changes early-warning system after DOT reveals flaws in audit

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NHTSA changes early-warning system after DOT reveals flaws in audit

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require automakers to provide more details with tighter scrutiny on its quarterly reports about possible safety defects and crashes.

The U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General just released its audit of the federal safety agency, and the findings bruise NHTSA quite a bit. The audit found that the agency’s ability to monitor safety defects was seriously lacking. The findings also revealed that GM’s ignition switch defect was overlooked and ignored since 2003. The defect has now led to recalls of 8.7 million vehicles and is connected to 117 deaths and 237 injuries.

The audit contributes a lot of NHTSA’s failures to poor staff training, lazy collection and analysis of safety defect data, and inconsistency in deciding how to move forward once something is detected. As a result, the DOT’s inspector general gave 17 recommendations for fixing its processes. The agency’s new administrator, Mark Rosekind, who has already set many new reforms for the agency, has committed to implementing all the recommendations by next June.

One of the recommendations includes revamping early-warning reports from automakers. In the past, NHTSA has trusted automakers with the honor system, but the audit shared that the current reports are “of little use” to defect investigators. NHTSA originally started the system after the 2000 TREAD Act which followed the Ford-Firestone tire recalls. The system is meant to help the early detection of safety defects before they become larger threats, but automakers rarely report accurately. In fact, until Honda self-reported that it had failed to report 1,700 death and injury claims in its early-warning reports since 2000, that NHTSA did anything about it.

Rosekind has taken a great deal of action already in improving the agency, but the 17 recommendations from an outside source will better the agency even more. Hopefully NHTSA will be able to handle all the many changes it faces this year and will better protect consumers by being proactive.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective product, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.


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