What does Catastrophic Injury Mean?

What does Catastrophic Injury Mean?


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 is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


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.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Again Tops Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List

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 Defective Tire Caused My Crash?


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.

Why Should I Hire The Cooper Firm?


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.

Chevy Facing Yet Another Round of Recalls


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

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

As E-Cigarette Popularity Grows So Do The Concerns

Medical Malpractice

As E-Cigarette Popularity Grows So Do the Concerns

Since being introduced to the United States in 2007, E-Cigarettes have grown to nearly a $2.5 billion industry with 466 brands saturating the market. They are popular for a number of reasons:

  • They offer a variety of flavors to suit tastes of smokers and non-smokers alike
  • Many restaurants and venues allow you to ‘smoke’ e-cigs indoors
  • The health risks associated with traditional tobacco-based cigarettes do not compare to this new vapor option


Despite their popularity, there is a new risk coming to light that causes real concern: Explosions.

Multiple news reports are surfacing of e-cig users experiencing an explosion of the device causing burns to their hands, mouths, and eyes and in some more unfortunate cases, death. Speculation abounds for the cause of the explosions with most blaming faulty battery issues (most e-cigarettes use a lithium-ion battery–the same battery recently determined as the cause of explosions in Hoverboards). These explosions can happen when the device is being charged or if the device fails to re-set should the battery become overheated.  In either case, injury reports are increasing.

Since no single public agency is responsible for collecting the data on these explosions, the actual number of incidents varies. Recent reports have shown the number of incidents range from 25 to 151 over a 6 year period. This is cause for great concern—especially for an industry with so little regulation.

The Cooper Firm will continue to follow the reports and provide information. For those who may have been injured while using an e-cigarette device, please contact our office for a complimentary case-consultation.

Source: http://www.safetyresearch.net

Chevy Dominates Safety Watch List of Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects

Ignition Switch Attorney - Lance Cooper

Ongoing Electrical Problems Cause Chevy to Dominate Quarterly Watch List of Potential Vehicle Defects

The Safety Institute recently announced its quarterly ‘Vehicle Safety Watch List of the Top 15 Potential Vehicle Defects’ and Chevy vehicles claimed 8 of the 15 spots. Among those listed, the Chevy Cobalt is named 5 separate times for its 2006-2010 model years.

It comes as no surprise the most common vehicle on the Safety Institute’s Watch List was the subject of a product defect case handled by Lance Cooper here at The Cooper Firm. In 2010, Paulding County resident Brooke Melton was driving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt when she skidded into another vehicle and subsequently died from injuries sustained in the crash. GM was found at fault for knowledge of defective ignition switches causing vehicles to slip into an accessory position thereby turning off the engine and rendering power steering, power brakes, and airbags inactive.

Despite a 2014 recall of nearly 29 million vehicles in North America, GM continues to report deaths from Chevy Cobalt model years 2006-2010 due to vehicle electrical problems.

In addition to the Cobalt, the 2006 and 2011 Chevy HHR models and 2006 Chevy Malibu claimed 3 more spots bringing the total number of Chevy vehicles on the Safety Watch List to 8 out of 15.

Another notable vehicle on The Safety Institute’s Watch List includes the 2006 Toyota Camry plagued with acceleration control problems. The 2006 Toyota Camry has held every position on the list since its inception in 2014 and has been the subject of extensive investigations by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle named on this list, a defective product could be at fault. Please contact our law office today for a free consultation.

To view the complete Vehicle Safety Watch List published by The Safety Institute, click here.

PRESS RELEASE: SafetyWatchList-PR-5.5.16

Doreen Lundrigan celebrates 15 years at The Cooper Firm


Doreen Lundrigan celebrates 15 years at The Cooper Firm

Doreen joined the firm in 2001 as a litigation paralegal. Doreen quickly became a strong asset to the firm working on cases involving Wal-Mart, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Ford and Subaru, Chrysler and Michelin. She also helped with ground breaking work involving General Motors and its defective ignition switch, which has made its way across national news several times and prompted millions of defective vehicles to be recalled. Her work in product and auto cases has been invaluable.

Doreen graduated with an Associate’s Degree and completed the paralegal program at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Doreen has two sons who are both married and is the grandmother to a boy and a girl. Doreen is very active and enjoys fitness classes and running. She enjoys spending time her family and friends, and attending sporting events.

Doreen is an active member of the Attorney’s Information Exchange Group (AIEG) and Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. She was chairman of a paralegal seminar with a national product liability group in 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama. She was also named Paralegal of the Year in 2012.

Doreen is a wonderful addition to our team and we are so grateful for her fifteen years of service at The Cooper Firm.

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