Accidents Due to Car Defects – the Reason behind Vehicle Recalls
On May 6, 2015, General Motors LLC (GM) began the recall of some of its Chevrolet Impala vehicles (model year 2014) which were manufactured between March 22, 2013, and May 22, 2014. These vehicles were found to be with brake pads that remained partially engaged with the rotors due to the failure of the electronic parking brake piston actuation arm to fully retract – a manufacturing defect that can cause excessive brake heat which, in turn, can cause fire. This safety defect is clearly failure to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Systems (FMVSS) No. 135 “Light Vehicle Brake Systems” requirement.
Many motor vehicle owners are familiar with what vehicle recall means, especially if the vehicle they own is one of those that is presently, or has been, part of a recall. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a vehicle recall becomes necessary if the same problem has been cited as the cause of car crash injuries involving vehicles of the same make and model.
A recall may be made either by a manufacturer (voluntary recall) or through a court order that is instigated by the NHTSA if:
- The defective vehicle poses a risk to the safety of its driver, passengers or anyone on the road; and,
- The vehicle or any of its parts has failed to comply with the minimum performance requirement established by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Minimum performance standards are aimed at ensuring the safe operation of vehicles and the safety of all vehicle occupants (driver and passengers) from injury or death in the event of a crash; there are minimum standards for brakes, tires, lighting, air bags, safety belts, child restraints and other parts.
In September of 2014, Ford recalled more than 850,000 of its vehicles due to defective airbags and seat belts; on the month that followed, Chrysler discovered these same defects in about 184,215 of its SUVs, prompting its manufacturer to make a recall.
The most recent and biggest auto-safety recall in the history of the car industry in the U.S. involves Takata-made airbags that are said to explode, shooting potentially fatal metal fragments inside the vehicle. These exploding airbags have been linked to hundreds of injuries and five deaths.
Records from safercar.gov show about 19 million vehicles in the U.S. having been installed with this defective airbag; around the world, the number of affected vehicles is 53 million. Some of the vehicles affected are Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Daihatsu, Nissan, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, BMW and Lexus.
According to the law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, “Purchasing a new vehicle or vehicle accessory is often exciting, and can mean safe transport for you and your loved ones. However, if there is a defect in the vehicle, you and your passengers could be at risk of being injured in a car accident. Although mechanical innovations and regulatory measures continue to improve, numerous auto defects still cause injury to people every year.
Any defect could cause significant injuries to a driver and his/her passengers in the event of an accident. It is quite comforting to know, therefore, that, in many cases with the help of an attorney, injured victims can successfully seek damage compensation from the party responsible for the defects.”More →
Next to head-on collisions in the most number of deaths and grave injuries in the U.S. is rollover accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 10,000 deaths and more than 24,000 cases of serious injuries every year are due to rollover accidents.
A rollover accident, wherein a vehicle rolls onto its side or roof, can involve any type of vehicle, but most especially: vehicles that have tires that are worn out as these can easily lose traction; those that have a greater tendency to oversteer, or turn farther than it was meant, or understeer, that is, turn lesser that intended; and, SUVs due to their design of having a higher center of gravity from the ground.
It was in the 1990s, when the production of passenger vans increased and SUVs were introduced, when the number of injuries and deaths due to rollover accidents suddenly increased.The NHTSA says that two factors have consistently emerged in 75% of all fatal rollover crashes: vehicle speed above 55mph and intoxication due to alcohol. Driving while drunk is already totally dangerous; doing it at fast speeds is suicidal.
An SUV, more so a speeding SUV, can easily slide sideways when cornering too sharply. When this happens, it can skid off the road and its tires trip on a curb, dig into soft or muddy soil, or hit a guardrail, resulting to a rollover. In another instance, it could be due to failure to remain upright while driving down a steep slope.
While drunk-driving, speeding, driver distraction, reckless driving, etc., can cause an SUV (or any other vehicle) to rollover, the NHTSA and car manufacturers see this vehicle’s inability to remain stable to be the real cause of the problem. To correct this fault in design, three giant car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Toyota introduced in 1995 the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. ESC, also called dynamic stability control (DSC) or electronic stability program (ESP), is a computerized technological safety device designed to improve vehicle stability through detection and reduction of skidding or loss of traction. It actually consists of sensors that are able to sense loss of vehicle control. When loss of control occurs, ESC automatically applies brakes on each wheel to allow the driver to regain control of the vehicle and put it back on track. ESC also helps maintain vehicle stability during abrupt turns, eliminates any likelihood of oversteering and understeering, and improves traction and vehicle control on road shoulders, gravel patches and slippery or icy roads.
“Advances in technology and increased awareness of the importance of safety on the roads have, in recent years, reduced the threat posed to public health and safety by car accidents. Nevertheless, car accidents remain one of the leading causes of serious injury and wrongful death in the United States each year, and the sad truth is that far too many of these accidents could easily have been prevented.” (http://www.rrs-law.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/)
Tucson car accident lawyers of Russo Russo & Slania “believe that victims of car accidents in Tucson should not have to pay for the consequences that they may face if someone else was to blame for their injuries. Fortunately, through the protections afforded by personal injury law, victims may not have to. In fact, they are often entitled to financial compensation and justice that allows them to better deal with the aftermath of a car accident.”More →
In the middle of an argument between married couples, there are instances when emotions could flare up and tempers explode. When this happens, someone may get harmed and the abused spouse may choose to be away from their abuser. To protect the abused spouse from the violent acts of their spouse, they may want to file for a restraining order. The website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC reveals that domestic violence can pose a danger to the well-being of the abused spouse.
A restraining order is issued by the court in order to protect a spouse from the violent behavior of the other spouse. Also known as a protective order, the court directs the aggressor to back off or stay away from the victim. The aim of a restraining order is to protect the complainant from further harm. It is only a civil order so the abuser does not get a criminal record. Restraining orders usually apply to cases of domestic violence such as assault, burglary, terrorism, harassment, to name just a few.
When a restraining order is issued, the abuser is usually directed to do the following:
Avoid contact with the victim either personally or through phone in their home, office, or anywhere. A restraining order may also provide protection to family members
The restraining order may also require the abuser to pay for costs that resulted from the abuse which could include medical bills, lost income, moving expenses, and others.
The abuser may also be ordered to leave the house or apartment where the victim also lives even if the property is under the abuser’s name.
The court may also have the abuser attend domestic violence counseling or undergo evaluation
When you are a victim of domestic violence, you can always seek protection of the law. Getting a restraining order will give you some peace of mind in terms of protection.More →
There are various legal means offered under the US Bankruptcy Code which can help individuals and businesses rise up from overwhelming debts to once again enjoy financial stability. One of these legal means is bankruptcy, which the U.S. Congress approved in 1978.
Bankruptcy offers debtors so many benefits and advantages (based on the specific bankruptcy chapter applied for by the debtor), like:
– The automatic stay, a court injunction that orders creditors and collecting agencies to stop collecting debts or enforcing liens on debtors;
– Discharge of all unsecured debts, which includes debts due to credit card debts, medical bills, personal loans, among others; and,
– The restructuring of the debt payment scheme to make monthly payments more affordable to debtors.
In 2010 alone, there were more than 1.5 million cases of bankruptcy filed in the U.S., according to the U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Courts. Filed under the personal bankruptcy category was 1,593,081, while those files under the business bankruptcy category was 56,282. But though bankruptcy offers benefits and advantages, an experienced lawyer would not right away recommend it as the key solution to overwhelming debts as there are other possible ways which, some debtors may find more beneficial, such as Debt Negotiation.
Debt negotiation, otherwise called debt settlement or credit settlement, is one approach to settling debts through debt reduction. In this approach, both creditor and debtor agree on reducing the balance of a debt (sometimes to as much as half) and considering payment of such balance as settlement of the full amount of debt.
Interestingly, in the Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, website, it is said that debt negotiation may even prove to be more beneficial to debtors (than bankruptcy) due to the more manageable payment plan that it offers. This is because debt negotiation:
– Does not require any litigation process (which is necessary in a bankruptcy process);
– Can reduce the amount of a loan or loan balance to more than half its original amount;
– Offers debtors the option of paying the debt amount through a single or lump sum payment or through monthly payments that will be much more affordable to the debtor;
– Frees the debtor from the harassing tactics of debt collectors, from lawsuits and any legal action that could lead to the forced sale of his or her properties; and,
– Defers interest payments, lengthens the time span of loan payment and even allows loan payment consolidation.
To convince his or her creditor to agree on a debt negotiation process, however, a debtor will absolutely need great negotiation skills and extensive financial expertise, concerns where a highly-skilled negotiation lawyer may be able to provide the debtor the negotiating advantage that he or she needs.More →
Since 2009, German manufacturer Volkswagen has been able to sell almost 500,000 of its diesel cars in the United States, one country where more than 90% of all vehicles on roads and highways run on gasoline.
Diesel is more popular in Europe because it provides more power, gives greater mileage than gasoline (30% more efficient than gasoline), and runs through a diesel engine, which offers more torque than a gasoline engine. However, a Volkswagen emissions fraud attorney will have probably learned by now that the main reason why diesel is so much welcome in Europe is because of its lower emission standards.
Despite the number of advantages provided by diesel, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not like it because it is dirty; on the part of motorists, besides being dirty, diesel is also noisy and slow. While it is true that gasoline produces carbon dioxide (CO2), a global-warming gas, diesel is said to be dirtier because of what it actually emits: (i) particulate matter, which contains the soot and metal that gives smog its murky color; (ii) nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is a factor in the formation of ground level ozone, the main component of smog.
By equipping its diesel cars with a computer software device which allows its cars to detect signs that it is being tested, this device automatically alters a car’s performance, switching it to safety mode so that the amount of NOx emitted is greatly reduced until tests are over. On the road, everything switches back to normal and cars also go back to emitting pollutants that are 40 times higher than the limit set by the US Clean Air Act.
There is no doubt that Volkswagen intentionally cheated its way into the US market to be able to sell it cars which, it claimed, run on clean diesel. Due to this fraud it now faces fines that can amount to many billions of dollars, besides the recall of close to half a million of its vehicles in the US alone.
People who purchased a Volkswagen diesel car during the recent years may be legally allowed to file a lawsuit and claim compensation from the German manufacturer.More →
When an individual’s lung function becomes compromised, the effects can be devastating. One of the most severe lung complications that can arise is a perforated lung, leading to adverse side effects and even death in some individuals. The Bard G2 IVC Filter has been associated with this dangerous effect on the lungs in numerous individuals. The Bard G2 IVC Filter is a temporary device implanted in an individual’s interior vena cava that is used to stop the migration of blood clots into the lungs that can cause pulmonary embolism. Individuals looking to prevent one deadly disease can encounter other fatal injuries as a result of the device migrating to other areas of the body.
Due to the close proximity to the lungs when the device is implanted, it can often migrate to the lungs or become fractured in the lungs. This can cause lung perforation leading to a potential collapse of one or both of the lungs. Individuals who experience certain symptoms after having the device surgically implanted may be in the early stages of this deadly condition. Individuals at risk for lung perforation may experience shortness of breath as air or fluid buildup around the lungs can cause the lungs to not be able to properly expand. Patients may also experience increased heart rate as a result of the injury to their lung, causing oxygen to not properly flow through the body. Other symptoms may include severe pain and headaches, according to the Habush Habush and Rottier S.C. website.
These severe damages to the function of the lungs in individuals who have the Bard G2 IVC Filter implanted can prove deadly for many individuals. Unfortunately, these are just some of the complications that have resulted due to the device. As C.R. Bard has failed to recall the device or provide proper warning labels to individuals, it seems as though the dangerous side effects of the filter may continue to rise and affect countless more individuals.More →
Sharing the road with really huge vehicles, specifically, trucks or 18-wheelers, is one experience that drivers of smaller vehicles will never be able to do away with. For, though, trucks are considered threats on the road due to their size and weight, so that even the least error from their driver can cause major damage to properties and/or severe in jury to other drivers, motorcyclists or pedestrians, their important contribution to the nation’s economy make these vehicles indispensable.
Trucks are usually 70 feet long, weigh about 80,000 lbs. or 40 tons, and have a stance that is designed much higher than cars. These qualities, which make truck drivers safer and more secure (than cars) during accidents, however, are the very same qualities that make these vehicles much more challenging to operate and handle. First, due to their size and weight, maneuvering becomes more difficult, capability to avoid collisions is reduced, and, to come to a full stop, longer stopping distance is required plus tires that will provide great traction and a breaking system that will effectively enable deceleration. Second, though a truck’s higher stance gives drivers a commanding and greater view of the road ahead, it, nevertheless, lessens their view of what’s behind and at the sides, especially the right side, of their vehicle (these areas are known as the “no zone” areas or “truckers’ blind spots” where drivers either have limited or no visibility at all). Worse, this higher design could only mean a higher center of gravity – the major cause of rollover accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records about 500,000 truck accidents every year; about 4,000 of these are fatal. According to a group of researchers, who studied causes of truck crashes, the most common factors that led to an accident included: poor truck driver performance; driver fatigue; mechanical failure or truck parts that fail to function properly; lack of familiarity with roadway; intoxication due to alcohol, illegal drug, or prescription or over-the-counter drugs; failure of trucking companies to properly screen applicant truck drivers; wrong distribution of cargo weight; and, failure of trucking firms to properly train their drivers.
A person’s failure to perform what is part of his/her duty is considered negligence. Now, while some accidents are results of things or events that man cannot control, many more are due to someone’s failure to act diligently, thus, rendering so many road accidents as should-have-been prevented misfortunes.
A Louisville personal injury attorney could be aware of the possible serious consequences of a truck accident on a victim’s life. While some injuries may cause a victim to be bedridden for a number of days or weeks, other injuries are too severe, resulting to a disability or a condition that will alter his/her (and his/her family’s) way of life for a long, long time.
In any type of accident, even a simple, yet also harmful, slip and fall, it is often necessary to seek legal assistance for the possible legal actions a victim may decide to pursue, as well as for the compensation that he/she may be entitled to receive.More →
Commercial aviation is generally considered one of the safest ways to travel. Even when recent events like the disturbing disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane seem to point to the contrary, data compiled by the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) proves that air travel today is the safest it’s ever been. As they point out in their latest industry report, air transportation saw about 2.9 billion passengers in 2012. During that year, the global accident rate declined to 3.2 accidents for every million departures.
It’s obvious that these trends in air travel point to passenger safety and assurance. However, we can’t fully discount the possibility of accidents taking place. While such accidents would be considered as isolated cases, there’s no way to tell if such situations could happen to you. After all, accidents stem from circumstances that are beyond your control.
Majority of aviation accidents are caused by factors that are hard to predict and avoid, like inclement weather. However, there are instances when crashes and accidents happen due to human error and negligence. The following are just some of the common causes of aviation accidents cited:
- Negligence of airline
- Mechanical errors from airplane defects and malfunction
- Pilot error
- Pilot intoxication
- Air traffic control error
Current air travel trends and data show that aviation accidents are easy to avoid. This is especially true for accidents caused by error and negligence. As long as airlines and aviation agencies are held accountable for the lives of the billions of passengers crossing the open air every year, it will be easy to learn from fatal mistakes and make significant strides toward the right direction.
The first step is to make sure that victims of tragic aviation accidents receive the justice they deserve. If you or anyone you love were in a similar situation, we encourage you to seek out appropriate legal counsel. Legal options may differ from state to state, so it’s best to contact an experienced attorney in your area. For example, those in Tennessee can seek out the services of a Tennessee personal injury lawyer.More →
The Arizona appeals court overturned a lower court’s ruling that a transgender individual has a right to petition for divorce in the state if the marriage is considered legal in Arizona.
The appellant is a transgender man who married his wife in Hawaii after he had completed his transformation from a biological female to a legal male. At that time, Hawaii did not recognize same-sex marriages, but the couple was able to get married legally as a heterosexual couple. If they had obtained a same-sex marriage, they would have been barred from obtaining a divorce in Arizona because the state does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.
The 40-year-old appellant had been born a woman but lived as a man for 20 years, except for the periods in which he got pregnant and gave birth to their children as his wife was unable to, for which he gained notoriety. When he decided to divorce his wife in order to marry his girlfriend, he encountered a hitch. He was denied divorce because he was not considered legally married to his wife.
The decision of the appeals court to overturn this ruling is a significant development in the ongoing drama of same-sex marriages, transgender rights, and the general LGBT movement in the US. Many states that have banned same-sex marriages have been ordered to lift the bans by the courts because they have been deemed unconstitutional. The ruling in this case affirms, at least in Arizona, that transgender people have the same legal and civil rights as anyone else, including under family law.
The legal profession has its work cut out for it because the courts are creating numerous precedents as never before. Informed lawyers, such as the Marshall and Taylor divorce lawyers, know that when choosing your divorce lawyer, be sure that you are consulting with one who is up-to-date with the most recent cases.More →
In July 2011 the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Xarelto (the generic name of Rivaroxaban), an anticoagulant, or blood-thinning, prescription drug that will help: reduce risks of blood clots and stroke in individuals with non-valvular atrial fibrillation; treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism effectively, as well as reduce any possibility of their recurrence; and, minimize the risk of blood clot formation in the lungs or legs of people who have just undergone a knee or a total hip replacement surgery.
Bayer Health Care and Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the joint manufacturers of Xarelto, also intended the drug as an alternative to Warfarin, which has been the standard anti-coagulant medicine in the US since 1954, and to compete with Pradaxa, which the FDA approved in 2010.
Though both Pradaxa and Xarelto are thrombin inhibitors,(a thrombin is a blood plasma enzyme that causes clotting of the blood), they do not contain any form of reversal agent (like vitamin K, which can counteract Warfarin’s bleeding effect) that will stop severe internal bleeding, which is presently the most dangerous, and often lethal, adverse effect of modern anticoagulants. This uncontrollable bleeding case, though, is found to be worse in Xarelto, making it the most common basis of lawsuits filed by individuals who use the drug.
In 2012 more than two thousand cases of severe bleeding were reported to the FDA, with 151 involving patient deaths. According to one non-profit (consumer watchdog) organization, though, Xarelto is linked not only to uncontrollable bleeding, but to a lot of other serious injuries too, including: epidural or spinal hematomas that can result to permanent paralysis; blood in stools and/or in urine; vomiting and/or coughing up of blood; heart-related problems following discontinued use; and so forth.
All across the US (and in other countries around the globe) lawsuits against Xarelto’s manufacturers have started piling, seeking compensation and punitive damages for severe uncontrolled bleeding, wrongful death, marketing of a dangerous drug, failure to warn of adverse effects, etc.
Being represented by Xarelto lawsuit lawyers at the National Injury Law Center would prove to be very advantageous for victims who need a very strong argument in defense of their right and in fighting for their interests. Though the situation and the harm may already be irreversible, receiving the full amount of compensation the victim is legally allowed to will somehow help ease the burden resulting from additional costly medical expenses and possible disability.More →