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California Department of Motor Vehicles Drops GMs Proposed Regulatory Language

Tuesday, January 09, 2018By Richard Alexander

Consumer Watchdog has some serious concerns about how the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) plans to regulate robot cars, especially those set to be introduced by General Motors (GM). GM is planning to unveil a robot car taxi service in 2019 and was already rolling out its robot cars in San Francisco just last week. But this has Consumer Watchdog worried about attempts to appease an industry leader at the expense of consumer and public safety.

The conflict began with the release of the proposed safety regulations for robot cars. Section 228.28 of the regulatory language ...

Supreme Court Rules GM Cannot Avoid Defective Ignition Switch Litigation

Monday, January 08, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

If General Motors (GM) thought it could avoid liability for a defect that killed 124 people and injured 275 others, the U.S. Supreme Court decisively quashed that notion. In April of this year, the Court rejected an appeal by GM to dismiss dozens of lawsuits over defective ignition switches. By doing so, the Court opened the door to a flurry of litigation from hundreds of potential victims which could total $5 billion to $10 billion in liabilities.

GM minimizes the importance of this ruling for its ongoing litigation matters. But what the Second Circuit Court of ...

GM Faces Allegations of Cheating on Emissions Tests

Friday, January 05, 2018By Richard Alexander

General Motors made a promise to consumers that two of its most popular truck models would meet low emissions standards compared to its previous models. The company claimed that the Silverado and Sierra HD Duramax engines would turn diesel fuel into a fine mist. The company hailed this achievement as a “remarkable reduction of diesel emissions.” But it turns out these claims may be overstated or even completely false.

A class action lawsuit representing buyers of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks alleges that the car manufacturer purposefully skirted the emission rules by installing software ...

GM Recalls 800,000 Trucks- Faulty Steering to Blame

Thursday, January 04, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

General Motors’ (GM) recall woes continue and this time defective power steering is the culprit. Just last year, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks were recalled for defective air bags. Then in August of this year, a recall of almost 800,000 of these same truck models was announced for power steering system failures. The recalled trucks were sold mostly in the United States, with a smaller number sold in Canada and other markets. While this recall is far smaller than last years’ recall (which affected 3.64 million cars), the defect could lead to disastrous ...

GM Settles Claims with States Over Ignition Switches

Wednesday, January 03, 2018By Richard Alexander

The fallout from defective ignition switches in General Motors (GM) cars shows no signs of slowing down. First, GM experienced a significant setback when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the company’s bankruptcy would not shield it from hundreds of lawsuits brought by the victims of defective ignitions switches. The defect claimed the lives of at least 124 people and was responsible for over 275 injuries. With the Court’s decision exposing GM to liability, the embattled car manufacturer settled claims filed by 49 states and the District of Columbia in October for $120 million. But this is ...

Make Sure Your Infant Bouncer is Safe: Federal Government Announces New Safety Guidelines

Tuesday, January 02, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

Product safety is an important issue in today’s society. We need to make sure that the products we use every day are safe. One of the most important areas of product safety is products that are used for infants. Since infants can’t protect themselves or notify someone if they are in danger, the products they use must be completely child proof.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reviewed the safety of infant bouncer seats and approved new federal standards to prevent injuries or death. An infant bouncer seat is a reclining chair for ...

Home Depot Agrees to Pay $5.7 Million Penalty for Selling Recalled Products

Monday, January 01, 2018By Richard Alexander

Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., has agreed to pay a $5.7 million as a civil penalty for distributing and selling previously recalled products. The settlement comes after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) opened an investigation into Home Depot’s selling practices as related to recalled products. The CPSC works with product manufacturers to coordinate safety recalls for products that are found to be defective or otherwise do not meet federal safety standards. Federal law prohibits the sale or distribution of any product that has been subject to a publicly announced recall.

The CPSC investigation charged that ...

Are Temporary Tattoos Safe?

Friday, December 29, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

You’ve been planning a beach vacation with your kids for months. You’ve finally arrived and lounge on the sand breathing in the salty, refreshing air. Your kids point out a beach vendor down the way applying temporary tattoos and beg you for one. You shrug and hand them some cash. You’re on vacation and what’s the harm in having a little fun?

Unfortunately, temporary tattoos can cause harm that outlasts your vacation. While not injected into the skin like a permanent tattoo, temporary tattoos are marketed as “henna” to draw tinted designs on the skin that are supposed ...

8 Danger Zones for Teen Drivers and What Parents Can Do

Thursday, December 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 6 teenagers a day are killed in car accidents in the United States. These accidents are caused by 8 primary reasons that are all preventable. Talk to your teen before driving and explain these “danger zones” for teen drivers to help prevent them from becoming another statistic:

  1. Driver Inexperience

A teen driver is at the highest risk of causing a car accident during his or her first year with a driver’s license. To minimize this risk, parents can make sure their teen has extensive time ...

New Crash Avoidance Technology Helps Keep Drivers Safe

Wednesday, December 27, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Safety is one of the top considerations for many people when shopping for a new car. After considering luxury features and functionality, many drivers review crash test ratings to determine a car’s safety in the event of an accident. But buyers should also consider new technology that prevents accidents from occurring in the first place. This is known as crash avoidance technology and many of the newer 2017 car models feature some or all of these options.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has studied police-reported crashes and analyzed insurance losses and determined ...

Government Issues New Rules on Hand-Held Device Restrictions for Commercial Drivers

Tuesday, December 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

A new federal regulation issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) places restrictions on drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The regulations state that drivers of CMVs, such as commercial truck drivers, cannot hold a mobile device to make a call or dial by pressing more than one button. A hands-free phone is permitted while driving as long as it is placed close enough to the driver that he or she does not have to reach for the phone while driving with a seat belt fastened.

The regulations are being implemented after ...

State Laws Aim to Make Youth Sports Safer, But More Work Needed

Monday, December 25, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Most parents are thrilled when their children want to play sports. It’s good exercise, teaches cooperation and team building, and gets them away from their video games for a few hours a week. Youth sports offer many great benefits – as long as precautions are taken to make sure that children stay safe. In recent years there has been a push for schools and youth sports organizations to adopt safety standards for youth sports to make sure that the children that play are safe and to make sure that safety standards are in place in case of ...

What Every Parent Should Know About CPR

Friday, December 22, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Every parent or adult who works with children should have CPR training. Imagine the horror of seeing a child stop breathing and not knowing how to help. Nothing replaces a class, but there are some CPR basics to know in case of emergency.

CPR (or cardiopulmonary resuscitation) uses mouth-to-mouth breathing techniques and chest compressions to restart the heart and lungs when a victim’s breathing or heart have stopped. It may be necessary in the event of a near drowning or a sports injury such as a heart attack while playing. CPR can save lives by restoring ...

Not All Brain Injuries are Concussions: Other Types of TBIs

Thursday, December 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Most people are familiar with or have heard of concussions, the most common type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Concussions occur when a sudden impact or movement change causes trauma to the brain. But there are other types of brain injuries besides concussions that can long-term consequences including a Contusion, Coup-Contrecoup, Diffuse Axonal, and Penetrating brain injuries.

Contusion and Coup-Contrecoup – A contusion is essentially a bruise on the brain. It is a brain bleed that can result from a direct impact to the head. A Coup-Contrecoup brain injury is a type of contusion that is ...

Smaller Sized Airline Seats Could be Putting Our Safety at Risk

Wednesday, December 20, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

If you’ve been traveling by air in the past decade, you’ve probably noticed that the airplane seats have gotten smaller and smaller – an obvious consequence of airlines trying to maximize cargo space to handle more passengers on each flight. This seem incongruous given the fact that most Americans have gotten larger during this same period of time. The airline seats now can be downright uncomfortable, sometimes making it difficult to even cross your legs with the limited leg space. We usually think of comfort regarding airline seats and try to ride out the discomfort for however ...

4 Most Common Deadly Hazards After a Storm

Tuesday, December 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you live an area that faces severe weather and hurricanes, you’ve probably taken steps to prepare for the worst. Perhaps you have stockpiles of food and water and a portable generator. These supplies can help you to ride out a bad storm, particularly if you experience power outages or water shortages. But what you may not know is that the period of time after the storm carries hazards as well. Just because the storm has passed does not mean that you and your family are out of danger. Stay on the alert for these

Emerging Research on Mental Fatigue After TBI

Tuesday, December 19, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are often called invisible wounds, and with good reason. Emerging research is continuing to show the harmful long-term symptoms associated with TBI. While many people who haven’t experienced it may brush it off, mental fatigue is one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with after a TBI. A recent article out of the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine looked at the prevalence of long-term mental fatigue after TBI and its impact on employment status. Not surprisingly, researchers found that TBI-related mental fatigue can have a negative impact on a person’s ability ...

How to Use Portable Generators Safely

Monday, December 18, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

With the recent hurricanes pummeling the United States in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, large numbers of areas have been left without power. Many families turn to using a portable generator for electricity in order to stay safe and alive while waiting for electricity to be restored. While generators can often provide lifesaving electricity, they also pose a great risk of death from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning if used improperly.

After the hurricane in Florida, several carbon monoxide poisoning deaths were reported resulting from portable generators being used inside garages and homes. Portable generators are like ...

Playtex Recalls 3.6 Million Children's Plates and Bowls due to Choking Hazard

Friday, December 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

Playtex has recalled 3.6 million childrens’ plates and bowls in the U.S. and 1.9 million in Canada. The plates and bowls that are covered under the recall have designs printed on the bottom. These designs include cars, princesses, superheroes, construction scenes, giraffes, and more. The plates and bowls are white polypropylene and have a non-slip bottom and colored rim on top. The bowls and plates were sold both separately and as part of a “Mealtime” set which had a plate, a bowl, two utensils, and a cup. Playtex is written on the bottom of the ...

When is an Employer Liable for Employee Accidents or Misconduct?

Thursday, December 14, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

It’s always been your dream to open a small, family-owned bakery. You’ve finally saved up the money to do it and you’re overwhelmed with orders. So you decide to hire a delivery driver to help you deliver to customers. One day, the driver calls you, panicked, and tells you he’s been in an accident with the company truck. Your stomach drops - will this be the undoing of your whole business? Will you be held responsible for your employee’s actions? Like many legal issues, the answer to these questions is, it depends.

Employers can be held liable for ...

Can California Hotels be Sued for Providing Negligent Security?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

Hotels are a part of modern life – we think nothing of going on a road trip or a long vacation away from home knowing that we can find a hotel practically anywhere. We expect that the hotels we stay at are safe and that the management will take steps to ensure our safety during our stay. This includes our assumption that the hotel will hire security guards to protect its guests when necessary. But are hotels required to provide security for their properties? And if they don’t, are they liable for guest’s injuries?

An owner of any ...

Honda and Nissan Settle Defective Takata Airbag Claims for over $700 Million

Tuesday, December 12, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

After a U.S. federal investigation, Takata, a Japanese auto parts manufacturer agreed to pay $1 billion for covering up the existence of faulty airbags that were installed in millions of cars in the U.S. Takata airbags can explode with excessive force causing metal shrapnel to spray forcefully on the occupants of the car. The airbags have been found to be responsible for at least 18 deaths and over 180 injuries worldwide. Several different car manufacturers have faced lawsuits related to the defective airbags and the Takata Corporation has filed for bankruptcy.

Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and BMW previously settled ...

Ford Recalls 117,000 F-Series Crew Cab Trucks with Faulty Rear Seat Belts

Monday, December 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

When you purchase a vehicle, new or used, it’s important to make sure the manufacturer knows that you are the new owner of the car. This may be important for warranty reasons, but it is also important so that you are advised of any safety recalls that are issued that may apply to your vehicle. If you are the owner of a Ford F-Series crew cab truck, a new safety recall may apply to you. It affects the rear seat belts which could detach in a crash and cause serious injury or even death.

Ford Motor Company has ...

What is an MRI and When is it Needed?

Friday, December 08, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a technique used to scan the human body and produce detailed images of internal organs. The scan operates by using radio waves and strong magnetic fields to produce detailed images of parts of the body that cannot be seen as well with an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an X-ray.

MRIs are often used to diagnose and detect sports injuries as the advanced technology allows doctors to examine the inside of muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. MRIs can also be useful for doctors to see inside internal body structures to diagnose spinal ...

Baby Suffers Lead Poisoning from Magnetic Teething Bracelet

Thursday, December 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

A 9-month old Connecticut infant developed abnormally high blood lead levels after chewing on a lead magnetic bead bracelet. During a routine checkup, her blood lead level tested at 41 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) which was alarmingly higher than the normal level of 5 ug/dL. Investigators with the Center for Disease Control visited the infant’s home and found windows with peeling lead-based paint. However, the baby’s siblings did not have high levels of lead in their blood which indicated the windows were not the source of blood poisoning.

Investigators then found a handmade bracelet that the ...

How to Shop for a Safer Car

Wednesday, December 06, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

When shopping for a new car, you probably have a list of features that you have considered for convenience and luxury including the stereo system, moon roof, and numbers of seats. But an important part of any new car purchase is also a consideration of safety, which includes looking at the results of crash tests and the inclusion of crash avoidance technology.

Whether you are looking for a new or used car, consider the following factors:

Structural Safety

Generally, lighter, smaller cars are less safe than heavier, bigger models. Smaller vehicles have less structure to absorb crash energy which can ...

Car Owners: If Your Car is Recalled do you Have to Pay for the Repairs?

Tuesday, December 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

Most vehicle owners in the U.S. have, at one time or another, received a recall notice in the mail regarding their vehicle. Sometime the recall is issue is small such as a defective interior light – other times the issue is major such as defective power steering or airbags. Either way, the notice lets you know that something has been found to be wrong with your vehicle and it could be a safety issue. So when are you responsible for paying for this defect on your own?

The first question is whether the problem with your vehicle is ...

Proper Helmet Fit Key in Preventing Football Head Injuries

Monday, December 04, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

By now, most people have heard of the dangers of playing football and the high rates of players who suffer from concussions and CTE, even from a young age. While players have used helmets to play football for years, studies are now showing that proper helmet fit and maintenance play an important role in minimizing head injuries for football players. Many players use helmets equipped with an “air-bladder” liner that must be inflated to ensure proper fit. Unfortunately, these air-bladder liners can deflate or be deflated by the players for comfort. This can lead to inadequate head ...

Electrical Spinal Stimulation Can Help Paralyzed Injury Victims Move Again

Friday, December 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

Spinal cord injuries often result in permanent paralysis for many victims. But a new study is showing that delivering electricity to the spine during physical therapy can help paralyzed patients regain movement.

Researchers have conducted a new study applying electrical impulses to four patients with long-term paralysis. The patients gradually regained some movement and further improved as they continued participating in physical therapy with electrical impulses. This is the first indication that individuals who have suffered over two years with paralysis could have hope that they may eventually walk again.

There are different levels of ...

What is a Deposition in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Thursday, November 30, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

After your car accident, you may have contacted a lawyer and hoped that the insurance company would settle quickly. After months of negotiating, you were finally forced to file a personal injury lawsuit. Now, the defense attorney representing the insurance company is asking that you participate in a deposition. What is a deposition in a personal injury lawsuit?

A deposition is a type of interview that is used by lawyers in litigation to learn or “discover” information about a case. It is a part of the “discovery” process, which is a period of time between the ...

Sitting for Long Periods Tied to Higher Risk of Death

Wednesday, November 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

Your spouse just got you one of those new fitness bands for your birthday that reminds you when it’s time to get up and move around. You appreciate the gesture, but you work in a busy office and feel overwhelmed most days. As you’re busy typing up an important report your fitness band buzzes – time to walk around for a few minutes. You push the ignore button and keep working. After another half hour a buzz reminds you again. You ignore it again and continue to do so throughout the day thinking you’ll try to exercise ...

Be Prepared: Tiny Batteries Pose Risk of Death to Children

Tuesday, November 28, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Tiny button batteries power everything from toys and electronics to remote control devices for TVs and DVDs. But they pose an extreme risk for young children who tend to put things in their mouths. Apart from the choking risk, tiny coin lithium batteries can cause serious injury or death to a child through tissue burns of internal organs if swallowed or placed in the nose or mouth.

Over 3,500 people a year of all ages are reported to have swallowed button batteries and in most cases they pass through the body. But for others, especially small ...

Anti-Lock Brake Systems for U.S. Motorcycles

Tuesday, November 28, 2017By Richard Alexander and Nina Shapirshteyn

Motorcycle riders remain one of the most vulnerable groups of roadway users in California. Helmets and other forms of protective gear can go a long way in improving personal safety for motorcycle riders, especially with the seemingly endless epidemic of distracted driving. Some motorcycle manufacturers have been praised for increasing safety on their bikes with anti-lock brake systems (ABS), which help to prevent wheels from locking up during hard braking. They also help to improve control during bad weather and slippery road conditions. Motorcycle safety advocates have been calling on legislation that would require anti-lock brake systems ...

Epidemic of Under Diagnosed Pediatric Concussions

Tuesday, November 28, 2017By Richard Alexander and Nina Shapirshteyn

A recent article out of Medpage Today highlights the epidemic of “grossly” under diagnosed pediatric concussions in emergency departments. With more research about traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in football players emerging, parents of school-aged athletes are rightly concerned. In the recent investigative study involving the New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine in Newark, findings were disturbing, to say the least. Essentially, concussions were “grossly” under diagnosed in children seen at a pediatric Level 1 trauma center emergency room department. The research also found that concussions were more likely ...

8th Child Fatality Reported With Defective Ikea Dressers

Tuesday, November 28, 2017By Richard Alexander and Nina Shapirshteyn

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently re-announcing the recall of MALM and other models of chests of drawers and dressers from Ikea, due to serious tip-over hazard. At this time, there has been an 8th child fatality reported with the defective dressers. Consumers are being urged to stop using the chests immediately, and either get a refund or a repair from Ikea. If these chests aren’t properly anchored to the wall, they can pose a very serious tip-over and entrapment hazard. This can result in injuries or death to small children.

Over 90 Injuries ...

How to Make Sure Your Child is Safe in a Car Seat

Monday, November 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Our children are our most precious cargo, we would do anything to protect them. Yet often we fail to pay proper attention to the one thing that can save their lives in the event of a car accident – a car seat. Choosing the right car seat to buy and using it properly is one of the most important things you can do to protect your child. Here are some tips on how to buy the right car seat and how to use it safely and effectively.

  1. Choose a Seat Based on Your Child’s Age, Weight, ...

Motor Vehicle Defects: What is a Recall and When is it Necessary?

Friday, November 24, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Approximately 30,000 people were killed in car accidents on U.S. highways in 2009. In fact, vehicle collisions are the number one killer of Americans under the age of 34. Many of these fatalities are the result of unsafe vehicles on our roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the federal government agency tasked with issuing federal vehicle safety standards. The NHTSA requires vehicle manufacturers to “recall” vehicles with safety-related defects or vehicles that do not meet federal safety standards.

A recall is a notice issued by a vehicle manufacturer to vehicle owners, dealers and ...

Trump Administration Nixes Proposed Rule to Combat Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Truck Drivers and Train Engineers

Thursday, November 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Trump administration announced that the federal government will no longer seek stricter regulations on testing of truck drivers and train engineers for obstructive sleep apnea. The Obama administration had proposed stricter guidelines and testing in March 2016 after two deadly train crashes that are believed to be a result of train engineers with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea.

The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration urged trucking and railroad companies to voluntarily screen employees for sleep apnea, especially those involved in safety-related work such as train engineers and truck drivers. The ...

Warning Signs of Head Trauma in Young Children

Wednesday, November 22, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

It’s happened to every parent. Your toddler is playing and falls and hit his head. You rush to help him and the bump immediately starts swelling and turning purple. You ask your child if he’s ok but he is too young to communicate with words. How can you tell if this is just a bump on the head that needs a kiss to be better or if it’s something more serious?

Children suffer many falls and accidents, especially when they are young and many involve a blow to the head. You may know the symptoms of a concussion, ...

How to Buckle Up Safely When Pregnant

Tuesday, November 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Buckling up for safety is always important when riding in a vehicle, but even more so for pregnant women to protect not only themselves but also their unborn child. If you are pregnant, you may wonder whether it’s safe to wear a seatbelt and may be concerned about that effect of a seatbelt on the baby in a car accident. Wearing a seatbelt while pregnant is not only safe, it is advised. Some modifications, however, are recommended for pregnant women traveling in cars to ensure that the seat belt is functioning as intended and to ...

Spinal Cord Injury 101: Know the Symptoms

Monday, November 20, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

You’ve been waiting for weeks to go hiking with your best friend at your favorite spot. You wake up early and join her to enjoy nature. As you get to the top, you take in the beautiful sunrise and birds chirping. You are so enthralled with the scene you don’t realize the sound of rocks slipping out from under your friend and she falls to a ledge beneath you. You scramble down to her side as she moans in agony. Her leg is bent underneath her. You scan your memory for what to do in this situation. ...

How to Safely Dispose of Unused Medications

Friday, November 17, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

If you’re like most people, you probably have prescription medication in your medicine cabinet that you haven’t finished. Leaving that medicine in your cabinet, even after it’s expired, is not a good practice as it could cause harm through accidental exposure or intentional misuse. But how to dispose of that medication? Conventional wisdom says to just flush that extra, unused medication down the toilet. But that’s not the best way to dispose of a lot of types of medication as it can have an adverse effect on the environment but putting trace amounts of dangerous chemicals into ...

School Safety: Sharing the Road with School Buses

Thursday, November 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

It’s a familiar sight now that school is back in session – those big yellow school buses driving slowly and carrying precious cargo. When you kiss your child goodbye in the morning and help them on to the school bus you hope that the bus driver will drive safely and respect the rules of the road. But other drivers also need to be aware of school buses and the special rules that apply to them to help keep children safe.

  • When driving behind a bus, be prepared for it to slow down or stop completely. The ...

The 6 Most Common Mistakes Pedestrians Make - and How to Avoid Them

Wednesday, November 15, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

We frequently hear about car accidents that are caused by drunk driving or distracted driving, but not as much is said about pedestrian responsibility for being hit by a car. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the driver of a vehicle to avoid hitting a pedestrian, however there are six common mistakes that pedestrians make while walking that increase their risk of being hit by a car. Pedestrian safety is a responsibility shared by both drivers and pedestrians. Read on to see if you have made these mistakes while walking:

  1. Walking while Distracted

In ...

California Mobile App Offers Perks for Designated Drivers

Tuesday, November 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

You’ve been looking forward to this night out with your friends for weeks. After several late nights at the office, it’s definitely time to unwind and have some fun. But then you remember that you’ve agreed to be the designated driver. So much for a fun, relaxing night. Being a designated driver can be a drag. But then your friend tells you about DDVIP, a mobile app from the state of California that offers special perks to designated drivers. You download the app and are excited to see the number of discounts and freebies offered by participating ...

Why Older People and Teenagers are the Riskiest Drivers

Monday, November 13, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Your car insurance has always seemed expensive, especially after you added your dad who lives with you on to your policy. But now you’ve added your 16 year old son and your premiums have doubled, again. What’s going on? You call your insurance agent and find out that your father and your son are both in a high-risk category with higher insurance premiums. But why?

Studies show that people ages 65 and up and teenagers are the riskiest drivers. Insurance companies have noticed this trend and charge higher policy rates for drivers in these riskier age ...

Be Prepared for Your Next Road Trip with a Roadside Emergency Kit

Friday, November 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

A long three-day weekend is coming up and you’ve been looking forward to escaping to the mountains. You load your family and dog into your SUV and begin the 12 hour trip, winding through meadows and creeks along the way. You’re thoroughly enjoying the road trip, singing songs with your kids and enjoying the scenery when suddenly, you hit a bump in the road and your car engine stalls. You get out to investigate but it’s quickly growing dark outside and your cell phone is dead. The last town was five miles back – too far to ...

Head Up, PhonesDown Campaign Teaches Kids Safety While Walking

Thursday, November 09, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

In the United States, over 40 kids a day are hit by a car while walking, most often during the hour before and after school. People of all ages, but especially teens, can be seen on their phones walking through parking lots and while waiting on corners to cross at crosswalks. Some even stop in the middle of the sidewalk or parking lot to text on their phones. Distractions equal danger. As a pedestrian, even in a parking lot, the best tools for keeping safe are your eyes and ears. Kids need to be taught ...

Worried About Your Teen Driver? Consider a Parent-Teen Safety Agreement

Wednesday, November 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

It’s a rite of passage for teenagers – they turn 16 and eagerly ask for the keys to their parents’ car. Parents can try to prepare their teen for this moment, but the fact of the matter is that once they are alone behind that wheel, there’s no telling what they’re going to do. While there’s no way to know for sure how your teen will drive, there are some steps you can take as a parent to try to encourage your teen to drive safely.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ...

They’re Watching: Modeling Good Driving Habits for Your Children

Tuesday, November 07, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Your daughter just got her learner’s driving permit and she gets behind the wheel. You nervously sit in the front passenger seat hanging on tightly and guiding her as she navigates the car. She’s stopped at a stop light and you see her pick up her cell phone and start to text. You can’t believe it. You yell at her and tell her to never touch her cell phone while driving, even while stopped at a stop light. Then she turns to you and calmly says “but Mom, you do it all the time.” You’re stunned into ...

How Bicyclists Can Ride More Safely

Monday, November 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

You just got a new job just blocks away from your home. The best part is that you can ride your bike to work. You have a properly fitting helmet and arm and knee pads so you feel ready to go. But there are still some extra precautions you can take to make sure that you aren’t the victim of a bike-car collision. Here are 5 of the most common scenarios for bike-car collisions and how to avoid them:


Almost half of all bike-car crashes occur when a driver fails to see a bicyclist and makes a ...

Buckle Up: Why Seat Belts Save Lives

Friday, November 03, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

When most adults were children, seat belts were not required to be used by law. Many of us may remember the days when we sat in the back seat and putting on a seat belt never even crossed our minds. But research has shown that using a seat belt saves lives.

Times have changed and seat belt use by Americans is now at a rate of about 90.1%. While this is a huge improvement from 2000 where the seat belt usage rate was 70.7%, an estimated 27.5 people in the U.S. still do not use seat ...

GM Recalls 690,000 Trucks in U.S. over Power Steering Defect

Thursday, November 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

GM has announced a voluntary safety recall of nearly 700,000 pickups in the U.S. related to issues with the electrical power steering system. After reviewing customer complaints, GM has determined that certain 2014 light duty pickups may have a software malfunction that could cause a loss of power steering and lead to a crash.

GM has not provided any details on whether any crashes have occurred as a result of the defect, however it did note in public documents filed with the NHTSA that a crash is possible if the malfunction arises. ...

Tips for Driving Safely Around Bicyclists

Wednesday, November 01, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

With most schools back in session, young bicyclists are out on the road in greater numbers. While bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, bikes are harder to see from inside a vehicle. And children riding bikes present an even greater challenge for drivers as they sometimes are not aware of their surroundings and may create a dangerous condition. According to the National Safety Council, a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist is the most common cause of a collision.

As a driver, follow these safety precautions and stay alert, especially around ...

Act Fast: What to Do in the Event of a Poisoning

Tuesday, October 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

Approximately 800,000 times a year in the U.S. the unthinkable happens – a child is rushed to the emergency room due to accidental poisoning. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental poisoning is the second most common cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. and about 90% of child poisonings occur in the home. As safe as we try to be, there may be a time when someone in your home is exposed to a potentially poisonous substance. When dealing with poisons, it is important to act fast and follow some ...

Keeping Your Child Safe in the Car

Monday, October 30, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Most parents know that infants and small children need to be in car seats while traveling in a car. But the use of car seats and other safety restraints isn’t as clear once the children become older. Parents have many questions regarding the use of car seats such as: How long should a child use a car seat in the car? What type of car seat is best? And at what age is an adult seat belt enough to secure the child?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, car accidents are one of the primary ...

5 Hidden Hazards in Your Home and How to Fix Them

Friday, October 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Home is where the heart is. But it can also hide dangers that can threaten your safety and the safety of your loved ones. Many accidents occur at home as a result of dangers that are not immediately apparent. Here are 5 hidden dangers that may be lurking in your home and tips on how to keep your family safe.

  1. Window Blind Cords – Cordless window blinds have become more common in recent years, but many homes still have window blinds with cords. These present a danger to children who can become entangled in loops formed by the ...

Off-Road Adventures: Keeping Kids Safe on All Terrain Vehicles

Thursday, October 26, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Off-roading is one of Americans’ favorite leisure-time activities. All Terrain Vehicles (also known as ATVs or four-wheelers) are vehicles that are typically driven on dirt roads or sand dunes rather than public streets.

Many parents let their children drive ATVs but this may be a mistake. Many doctors nationwide, including the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children under the age of 16 not be permitted to drive an ATV. Children under the age of 12 are advised not to use ATVs at all by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons as ...

Poison Pill: Protecting Your Children Inside Your Home

Wednesday, October 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many of us worry about dangers to our children in the outside world like driving or flying in airplanes, but we forget about the dangers lurking in our own homes. One primary danger is accidental poisoning from common household products and medications. Each year, approximately 800,000 children are rushed to the emergency room in the U.S. due to accidental poisoning. Accidental poisoning is the second most common cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. behind car crashes according to the CDC. In fact, about 90% of child poisonings occur in the home.

Follow these important safety tips ...

“Return to Play” Laws Legislate Concussion Safety in Sports

Tuesday, October 24, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

You’re watching your son’s soccer game and see him run in to another player and fall to the ground. You rush down to the field and see the coach helping him up. Your son seems dazed and confused, but the coach wants him to continue to play. But you’ve read about concussions and realize that early diagnosis is vital to recovery. If there is any possibility that your son has a concussion you know he should not return to play and the coach should know that too.

Unfortunately, many coaches are not aware of the warning signs of ...

How to Protect Children from Sports Injuries

Monday, October 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Each year in the U.S., an estimated 1.35 million children visit the emergency room with a sports-related injury. Fractures, abrasions, sprains, concussions and knee injuries are common sports injuries that are serious enough to require a visit to the ER. Knee injuries are high on the list of common complaints, specifically a very serious tear to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). ACL tears disproportionately affect young female athletes who suffer ACL injuries at eight times the rate of male athletes.

Many sports-related injuries are preventable with proper education and precautions. The competitive environment of many youth-related ...

Concussions Leading Injury in Many Sports, Not Just Football

Friday, October 20, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

After car accidents, concussions are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury in young people ages 15 to 24. Most everyone has heard of concussions, but the majority associate concussions with football. While football is indeed the sport with the highest percentage of concussion-related injuries, young athletes suffer concussions in many other sports as well.

Every year, a staggering 3.8 million athletes suffer from concussions, according to the Brain Trauma Foundation, however the majority are misdiagnosed or not reported. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that sports-related concussions are on the rise in ...

Knowing the Warning Signs of a Concussion Can Prevent Serious Injury, Death

Thursday, October 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

It’s the fourth quarter of the Homecoming game and your son has done an excellent job as the starting quarterback. But as you watch him wind up for the game-winning throw he’s suddenly tackled to the ground. Seconds pass and your heart sinks when he doesn’t get up. A medical team rushes on to the field and helps him sit up. But is he really ok?

Concussions are one of the most common sports-related injuries in youth. In fact, every three minutes a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion according to the

Ralph Flynn, Los Gatos Millionaire Denies he Abused Adopted Son after Pleading Guilty to Sex Abuse

Wednesday, October 18, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Alexander Law Group’s Nina Shapirshteyn deposed Ralph Flynn, a Los Gatos millionaire, in jail regarding the sexual abuse of his son Denis whom he adopted from Russia in 2000. Ms. Shapirshteyn originally filed the civil lawsuit in 2016 on behalf of her client Denis Flynn who bravely came forward to admit that Mr. Flynn and his wife Carolyn sexually abused him for many years, starting at the age of 9.

At the time that the civil suit was initially filed, criminal charges were pending against Mr. Flynn and his wife, but he maintained his innocence. That ...

Drunk Driving in California: When can Bars be Held Liable for Serving Over-Intoxicated Patrons?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

We've all seen it happen – we’re at a bar or restaurant and one of the patrons starts speaking a little louder than normal. He’s slurring his words and may begin to fight with his friends or with other customers. He then demands another drink from the bartender. Incredibly, the bartender serves another drink to this obviously intoxicated customer. If the patron leaves the bar and kills someone while driving drunk is the bartender liable?

Whether a bar can be held civilly liable for overserving an obviously intoxicated patron is a question that the majority of U.S. states ...

The Pros and Cons of a “Structured Settlement” in a Personal Injury Case

Monday, October 16, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

In many personal injury and accident cases, the case is resolved prior to trial through a “settlement.” This is some agreement in which the plaintiff agrees to dismiss the case in exchange for payment from the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company. Both sides must agree to the settlement and execute paperwork indicating the terms of the agreement. The amount paid by the defendant for the settlement can either be paid in one lump sum or it can be paid out in periodic payments (known as a “structured settlement.”)

A “structured settlement” is a schedule of payments that ...

Distracted Walking: Tips for Keeping Kids Safe

Friday, October 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

More than any other time in history, kids now have a multitude of devices to entertain them between streaming videos to their phones, texting with friends, and posting pictures and messages to Snapchat and Instagram. While this technology can have its benefits, one definite downside is the distraction it causes to the children and teens who use them, especially while out walking in public.

Fifty percent of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. involving kids ages 19 and under are teenagers. Injuries to older teen pedestrians has increased 25 percent over the previous five years. The likely ...

Slow Down: Driving Safely During School Season

Thursday, October 12, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Now that school is back in session, traffic comes along with it. Mornings can be hectic with getting the kids to school and waiting in line for buses, kids on bikes, and what feels like a million other parents dropping off their kids. When you’re late to work, or your child is late to school, it might be tempting to just drop her off and speed away, but this creates a dangerous situation not only for your child but for other children around the area as well.

As difficult as it can be, the most important thing you ...

California Law Bans Use of All Wireless Devices while Driving

Wednesday, October 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

In the U.S., approximately 1,000 people are injured every day in crashes involving distracted driving. One major cause of distraction is the use of hand-held electronic devices by drivers. For this reason, California is one of 14 other U.S. states that bans the use of hand-held cellphones while driving.

Since 2006, California has placed restrictions on drivers’ use of cellphones, primarily related to texting and talking activities. But as smart devices have become capable of completing more tasks, including internet browsing and searching, the California legislature has responded to address the problem of distracted ...

U.S. on Record Pace for Hot-Car Deaths

Tuesday, October 10, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

With the heat waves that many U.S. states have experienced this year, it is even more important to be informed about the dangers of heatstroke deaths from children in cars. According to the National Highway Transportation Association, 29 heatstroke deaths have occurred in 2017 as of July 31st putting the U.S. on pace for a record number of vehicular heatstroke deaths this year.  

Vehicular heatstroke is entirely preventable. While many people associate heatstroke with parents intentionally leaving their child in a locked, hot car, many vehicular heatstroke deaths are completely unintentional. In fact, between 1998 and ...

23 Firearms in Mandalay Bay Totally Unnoticed: Hard to Believe

Tuesday, October 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

Initial reports indicate that Stephen Paddock had as many as 23 firearms in his Mandalay Bay hotel room at the time of the massacre in Las Vegas. Many of those were semi-automatic weapons that were modified to shoot in a fully automatic mode. From his 32nd floor room, Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival crowds below. Nearly 22,000 people in the crowd below scrambled for their lives, but what happened in the days leading up to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history?

23 Guns in One Mandalay Bay Hotel Room

At ...

New “Textalyzer” Tells Police if Driver has been Texting Before Crash

Monday, October 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

You’ve just left work and are heading to meet your friends for happy hour. While driving down the street you hear the beep of your cellphone – a text. You glance down and see the message from your friend asking if you’re on the way. Can’t hurt to quickly let her know, right? You tap out a quick reply and miss the pedestrian that just stepped out in front of you. As his body smashes against your windshield you look on in shock, mind reeling. You weren’t drinking or speeding so the cops won’t be able to ...

Do You Work in Oil and Gas? Avoid Flash Fire Injuries with These Tips

Friday, October 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

The heat was intense and the whoosh as the fire exploded past you took your breath away. You were thankful that you had not turned the corner sooner, as the cloud of flammable gasses suddenly exploded. It is a hazard that you face every day that you come to work. You were lucky that time, but you know it does not always come down to luck.

A flash fire is a sudden intense fire from the ignition of flammable substances in the air. The fire is short and intense, with a rapidly moving flame front that ...

Study: Vets with TBIs Often Suffer from Headaches

Thursday, October 05, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

A new study shows that military veterans who suffered from a traumatic brain injury continue to suffer with headaches for years after the traumatic brain injury occurred. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a variety of sources, and are a common occurrence in the military. The study assessed the health of 172 veterans who were deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq between 2 and 11 years before the study began, and half of them experienced a traumatic brain injury while they were deployed.

The study assessed the severity of the headaches that were experienced by the veterans, ...

Avoid Campfire Danger with These Tips

Wednesday, October 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

While campfires might be a source of warmth and protection out in the wild, they can still be very dangerous.

We all love a good ghost story, sing-along or marshmallow roast. However, because fire is highly unpredictable and pretty volatile, it helps to always be safe around it. Here are some great tips that you should keep in mind the next time you’re huddled around a warm blaze.

First, let’s talk about who is most at risk from an errant campfire. Annette Matherly, R.N., a community outreach coordinator, notes that children are most likely to find themselves ...

Flammable Clothing Recalls: Why They Matter

Tuesday, October 03, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

While it is expected that manufacturers of any product should strictly adhere to quality and safety standards, some products that have potential defects or are of low quality go unnoticed and reach the market, posing an inherent danger to consumers.

When this happens, it is essential that a recall be issued to minimize the risks and ensure the safety of customers. The sellers of the product, and its known customers need to be directly notified of the recall. Also, a notice must be made to the general media for a wider reach. This recall notice should contain information ...

Major Symptom after Brain Injury: Sleep Disturbances

Monday, October 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

Certain regions of the brain regulate the body’s sleep/wake cycle. Hence, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), whether it’s a contact injury resulting in localized damage, or an acceleration/deceleration injury leading to generalized damage, can disrupt the brain’s sleep-regulation. In fact, 30-70% of people with TBI experience sleep disturbances.

According to a study, complaints of sleep disturbances often come more from people with mild head injury than those with severe head trauma. It could be that those with mild injuries are more cognizant of sleep problems and may even attribute them to the injury when ...

The Basics of Lawsuit Discovery in California

Friday, September 29, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

In a court case, the pre-trial stage typically includes a vital step known as “discovery” in which both parties collect and share information regarding the case before going to trial. This is to ensure the trial proceeds smoothly, with each side having the information needed to present its case.

Though it can be an expensive and laborious affair, lawsuit discovery is essential to building a strong case for yourself while getting the chance to assess how it fares against the opponent’s case. The only requirement is that information requested for must not be ‘privileged’ or protected.

In ...

Burn Statistics from the American Burn Association

Thursday, September 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

Smoke filled the air and the heat began to get intense. Your eyes were watering and it was all you could do to keep yourself from simply stopping and huddling with fear from what was happening all around you. As you crawled across the floor of your second floor apartment you tried to remember everything you had ever heard about surviving a fire. Hopefully, those things would get you to the fire escape and fresh air and safety!

Every year people across the United States are harmed in fires. The fires have a variety of causes and a ...

The Three Main Theories of a Product Liability Claim in California

Wednesday, September 27, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Whether we are aware of it or not, most of us have been affected by product liability issues in our lives. Most of us, however, are clueless about what rights we have when products become dangerous to us or our property. What happens if your baby is injured by a badly designed crib, or if you fall ill because a pharmaceutical company didn’t place an adequate warning label on the packaging for natural supplements?

If you live in California, there are three main theories that apply to a product liability claim that you might want to ...

Saber Grills Burn Injury Hazard

Wednesday, September 27, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a press release regarding a recall of propane grills due to a potential for burn injury. According to the CPSC, Saber Grills is recalling grills and liquid propane (LP) regulators due to fire and burn hazards associated with the possibility of a gas leak. The grills’ LP regulators can allow gas to flow at too high of a pressure. This can result in a leak, which can then result in flames bursting through the burner knobs. At this time, there have been 35 reports of the regulators ...

Study Shows Recalls of Childrens Products Ineffective

Tuesday, September 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

Government efforts to ensure that unsafe products are recalled from the marketplace are apparently not as effective as one would hope, particularly regarding products for children. A new study conducted by Kids In Danger (KID), an organization dedicated to improving children’s safety, shed some light on product recalls in 2016.

In a nutshell, the number of products aimed at children that were recalled during 2016 saw a 12% increase from 2015. Within this increase, injuries and deaths rose as well, with 394 injuries and seven deaths being reported prior to recalls being carried out.

A ...

GM Loses Motion to Avoid Trial in Arizona Faulty Ignition Switch Case

Monday, September 25, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

As anticipated, additional lawsuits against General Motors over its faulty ignition switches are moving forward. GM had sought to bar additional lawsuits, claiming it was entitled to a “bankruptcy shield,” that made it not liable for financial obligations that preceded its emergence from bankruptcy. The United States Supreme Court recently refused to hear GM’s appeal on that matter.

Pending cases from around the country have been consolidated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. GM had sought to dismiss a suit by an Arizona man who was injured when his 2009 Chevrolet ...

U.S. Leads High-Income Countries in Child Gun Deaths

Friday, September 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

A study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine in 2016 reports Americans to be 10 times more likely to die from gun wounds than people in other countries. Of all the gun deaths of children under 14 in the countries studied, 91% occurred in the United States.

This falls quite in line with a June 2017 study published in the journal Pediatrics, which cites an average of 5,790 children getting medically treated for gunshot wounds each year (from 2012 to 2014) and roughly 1,297 children dying annually from a gun-related injury during the ...

New Supreme Court Ruling Restricts Where Talc Powder Cases May Be Heard

Thursday, September 21, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The ongoing dispute between numerous plaintiffs and Johnson & Johnson over an alleged failure to warn customers of a risk of ovarian cancer associated with use of talcum powder has taken an unforeseen turn. The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a judgment which effectively limits where lawsuits concerning this matter may be filed. The case, which involved Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co, almost instantly affected talcum powder cases being heard nationwide.

The decision affects the ability of non-residents to file their claims in states where no injury was suffered. The Court’s decision caused a mistrial in a ...

GoFundMe Support Provides Hope for California Rugby Spinal Injury Victim

Wednesday, September 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

GoFundMe, an Internet fundraising platform known worldwide, has been helping multitudes of people who are in dire need of financial and emotional support as they grapple with difficult life situations.

A GoFundMe account was created recently to support the healing and recovery of a California rugby player who sustained a spinal injury while his team fought for the national rugby championship. To date, the support group has been able to raise about $730,000 of its $1.0 million target to defray the medical expenses for the spinal injury victim, Robert Paylor.

Paylor injured two vertebrae at ...

Tesla Plagued by High Injury Rate, Most Recent Worker Injury Is Bad Burn

Tuesday, September 19, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

For the California automaker that is leading the way in cars of the future, challenges are nothing new. But ongoing injury rates that far exceed industry averages are a throwback to the past. Workplace injuries occur in all employment sectors – accidents do happen after all – but Tesla’s worker injury rate has consistently been significantly higher than the industry average.

In 2015, Tesla’s injury rate was 31% higher than other United States automakers, with an average of 8.8 injuries per 100 workers. The industry average is 6.7 per 100 workers. These high numbers have led ...

California Injury Lawsuits: Filing Deadline Basics

Monday, September 18, 2017By Richard Alexander

The timeline for filing a lawsuit is governed by a statute of limitations, which sets forth a time limit for someone to file a lawsuit against a wrongdoer. These limitations are not necessarily the same for all types of legal claims. It depends on the nature of the case and the jurisdiction under which it falls.

Governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, personal injury claims in California (inclusive of product liability suits) are given two years (from the date when the accident/injuries were first sustained) to be brought before the ...

Reduce the Chance of a Crash by Understanding How Age Can Affect Older Drivers

Friday, September 15, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The older driver population, which is comprised of licensed drivers age 65 years and above, has significantly increased over the years. In fact, this age group reached 18 percent of all licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2014, compared to only 15 percent in 2005.

Interestingly, as the number of older drivers increases, the likelihood of fatalities in car crashes involving them decreases. This may indicate that the older driver population is responsive to established measures of safe driving. Thus, as the nation aims to curb the overall incident rate of car crashes and fatalities, focusing ...

Recall Alert: Child Injured by Defective Chest of Drawers

Friday, September 15, 2017By Nina Shapirshetyn and Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a recall of approximately 1.6 million defective chests of drawers. These defective chests are unstable. If they’re not anchored to the wall, they can pose serious tip-over and entrapment hazards. This can result in injuries or death, especially for small children. At this time, there has been one report of a chest of drawers tipping over on a four-year-old child. That incident did result in an injury. These Ameriwood Mainstays chests of drawers come in a variety of colors, and they have been sold at Wal-Mart, and ...

CPSC Safety Guidance on Fidget Spinners

Thursday, September 14, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a safety guidance report on fidget spinners due to a variety or incidents involving these popular new toys. According to the CPSC, there have been reports of battery-operated fidget spinners catching fire. In addition to ensuring battery-operated fidgets spinners are charged properly and safely, the CPSC also has tips for keeping children safe around these wildly popular new toys. Parents, educators and caregivers need to know what risks are associated with fidget spinners and how to make sure children are safe when handling them.

CPSC’s Fidget Spinner ...

Sexual Molestation of Children

Thursday, September 14, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The impact of childhood sexual molestation can span months, years and even decades over the lifetime of a survivor and his or her family. Physical and sexual abuse of children can devastatingly change lives, disrupt personality development and corrupt interpersonal relationships throughout one’s entire life. The invisible psychological scars of childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse can lead to suffering in adolescence, adulthood and even after survivors become parents themselves.

Danger Lurking in Positions of Trust

Although we often talk to children about “stranger danger,” many molesters are often hiding in plain sight. They typically get into positions of ...

Kawasaki ATV Fire Hazard Recall

Thursday, September 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced the recall of certain Kawasaki All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) models due to a potential fire hazard. According to the CPSC, these ATVs can leak fuel, which can pose a great risk of fire hazard and potential burn injuries for riders. The recall was issued on August 10, 2017 and currently impacts approximately 15,000 units. If you have one of these Kawasaki ATVs, you should stop using it immediately and contact Kawasaki for a free repair.

Kawasaki ATV Recall Details

At this time, there have been 18 reports of fuel leakage ...

The Dangers of Drugged Driving

Thursday, September 14, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

When we think about “impaired driving,” alcohol is often the first substance that comes to mind, however, drugged driving has surpassed drunk driving as the dominant factor in fatal car crashes across the U.S. It’s not just the illicit and illegal drugs that are a problem. Certain prescription and over-the-counter meds can lead to impaired driving scenarios when taken behind the wheel. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43 percent of fatally injured drivers with a known test result tested positively for drugs. It’s important to understand that testing for drugs is much ...

Speeding a Leading Factor in California, U.S. Crashes

Thursday, September 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

Nearly everyone has sped once or twice on the road. People rush out the door and into their car, going as fast as they think they can get away with to try and not be late. Speeding is a much larger risk than it may seem. Speeding could not only earn you a pretty expensive ticket, it could also increase your chances of being in an accident.

28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are speeding related. California’s number jumps up to 32 percent. Speed limits are put in place with the roadway in ...

Californians Suffer More Fatal Crashes in Urban Areas, Worse than U.S. Overall

Wednesday, September 13, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

In a study presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last year, on a rural/urban comparison of traffic safety facts, California reported the highest number of fatalities (1163) in the year 2014, much higher than any other state in the U.S.

The year 2013 saw more than 11,780 motorcycle injuries, and 480 deaths. Figures of car crashes were no less devastating: of an estimated 32,000 deaths resulting annually from car crashes, at least 3000 of these deaths occurred in California. Where everywhere else across the country the count for accidents stands at 54% in ...

Early Sufferers of CTE Show Decline in Vocab, Verbal Skills

Tuesday, September 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Sports is a high dollar industry. Sports stars earn millions of dollars just by practicing and playing a game; but there is also a lot of risk. Many athletes, especially football players, suffer from brain damage and life changing injuries. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), is a serious injury in sports that is hard to confirm through testing.

Symptoms of CTE are recognizable but there’s no true way to confirm the condition until an autopsy is performed. However, a new study has shown that a simple speech test could detect CTE much earlier, and the test could ...

Car Racing Can Lead to Concussions, CTE

Monday, September 11, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Minor head injuries, called concussions, are commonly caused by accidents that involve the head directly hitting a hard object, such as in a car crash and contact sports. However, many people are not aware that concussions may occur even when the head is not directly impacted by great force.

It is for this reason that Dr. Christopher Prusinski warns the motorsport community of the risks of concussions in car racing, even when there is no major accident that happens. According to Dr. Prusinski, a neurologist who is also active in motorsports, the “acceleration-deceleration force” as is ...

What Is Retroreflectivity and Why Does It Matter?

Friday, September 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

A January 2016 Greyhound bus crash that ended up killing two people and injuring a dozen others on Highway 101 in the Bay Area, was allegedly due in part to inadequate road markings, according to a federal investigation of the accident. In particular, the absence of reflective warning markings was mentioned as one of the factors that led to this disastrous accident.

This brings up the issue of retroreflectivity in traffic signs and why it is key to maintaining public safety on roads and highways, especially during night-time driving.

What is Retroreflectivity?

Retroreflectivity is basically ...

Federal Load Securement Requirements Help Avoid Severe Trucking Crashes

Thursday, September 07, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

When we talk of trucking crashes, we may not necessarily think of improperly loaded cargo as something that can be counted as a factor responsible for many truck-related crashes occurring annually.

Jack-knifing, rollovers, falling or flying cargo, and spilling of hazardous materials (flammable liquids, toxic chemicals, etc.) are some of the most common types of load loss trucking accidents. With an already higher center of gravity than most other smaller passenger vehicles, the dangers of improperly loaded cargo can be extensive.

To combat the problems of load loss, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued cargo ...

California Snags a Top 10 Spot in Teen Driver Study

Wednesday, September 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

Driving is one of the most tangible expressions of freedom in American culture. Once teenagers get their driver's licenses, they can go anywhere they want, but this freedom comes with a lot of risk and responsibility. Teenage drivers ages 16 to 19 die more often in auto accidents than by any other means. However, California was rated number seven among states for safe teenage driving in a study by WalletHub.

The study was fairly comprehensive, not only taking into account the amount of teenage fatalities from auto accidents, but also the presence of DUI ...

California Still Trying to Sort Out Autonomous Driving Reg Issues

Tuesday, September 05, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

One of the newest and most exciting innovations in transportation is autonomous cars. Being able to get from work to home without a person driving seems like something straight out of a sci-fi novel. This technology could allow for putting on makeup, reading, or doing other activities during a commute. It could also save countless lives that are lost due to driver error.

However, even with how revolutionary this technology is, it’s still largely untested and untrusted. If the computer controlling the car makes even one mistake it could be fatal for passengers or other drivers. Lots of ...

Shriners Prom Gives Second Chance to Severely Injured People

Monday, September 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

When children are suffering from a severe injury or disease, there are more important things on their minds than what they are going to wear to prom, but sometimes that’s just what those kids need to feel normal and take their minds off of the more serious issues they face. The Shriners Hospital offered exactly that to their patients–a prom with all the bells and whistles.

It was a wonderfully lavish display that brightened the mood of all their patients. Volunteer makeup artists and hair stylists made sure each child looked perfect in the black and ...

$23.5 Million Awarded to Family of Autistic Teen Paul Lee

Friday, September 01, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

School busses are usually just a normal form of transportation to and from school, but on one particularly hot day in California a school bus became Hun Joon “Paul” Lee’s tomb. The autistic child was left unattended on Armando Abel Ramirez’s school bus for seven hours. The temperature inside was approaching 100 degrees when Paul Lee was found unconscious on the floor. Police officers who arrived shortly after said that Lee died at the scene.

The circumstances surrounding Paul Lee’s death are distasteful, to say the least. Armando had plans to meet one of his coworkers ...

Arizona Pilots Thermal Testing Program to Detect Wrong-Way Drivers Immediately

Thursday, August 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has successfully pushed through its plan to pilot a thermal testing program that aims to detect wrong-way driving. The system will be installed this fall along Interstate 17 between Interstate 10 and Loop 101.

This project was started in 2015 when wrong-way driving was identified as one of the major causes of freeway accidents, especially along the targeted stretch of Interstate 17. Wrong-way driving resulted in an annual average of 22 crashes and eight deaths, based on recorded reports from 2004 to 2014.

With the high accident risk involved, the Arizona ...

Federal Trucking E-Log Mandate Set to Start in December after Supreme Court Rejects Challenge

Wednesday, August 30, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Big changes are now in place pushing the trucking industry to adopt electronic logging devices (ELD) for documenting hours on the road instead of the formerly used paper-log system. While the initiative has found much support in most sectors of the trucking industry, resistance in equal measure has come from certain independent drivers who consider ELDs to be too intrusive.

A trade group by the name of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), representing more than 150,000 small-time truckers, had their petition to stop the federal rules mandating use of ELDs rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. ...

Truckers Now Support E-Logs after Insurers Threaten to Drop Their Coverage

Tuesday, August 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

Truckers who want privacy in their over-the-road endeavors will need to be prepared to forego insurance coverage to retain that privilege. This is the message insurers have for American truckers who will now have to resort to invasive monitoring technology if they hope to still hold onto their affordable insurance.

This measure is a fairly recent addition to the list of tightening mechanisms insurers are imposing on trucking clients. Failure to comply may result in a premium increase up to 30 percent annually. In addition, some of insurers are even pulling out of certain coverage schemes ...

Sticks and Stones: Complications of Broken Bones after a Severe Car Crash

Monday, August 28, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

A severe car crash will alter a victim’s life in many ways. One of the consequences of a severe car crash can include broken bones. The severity of those broken bones will vary based on the severity of the impact of the car crash and the victim.

When it comes to broken bones, a person’s best hope is that they can be set with a cast and allowed to heal over time. However, many times broken bones, especially those caused by a car crash, have far greater complications.

Complicated fractures often require surgery to place plates, screws, and pins ...

Woman Alleges Drug Lamictal Caused a Severe Skin Reaction, Burning

Friday, August 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

Medication side effects can be deadly. Pharmaceutical companies have a duty to disclose all known possible side effects of the medications that are prescribed to patients, including death. For a woman in Georgia, the pharmaceutical company failed to disclose one very important side effect that she painfully experienced.

Khaliah Shaw was struggling with depression. Her physician prescribed her some medication to help alleviate her depression. This medication was a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pharmaceutical called Lamictal. Lamictal is a medicine that is usually prescribed for seizure disorders and bipolar disorder. Shaw’s physicians thought it would help her with her depression ...

Remember McDonald's Hot Coffee Lawsuit? It Has Happened Again

Thursday, August 24, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The landscape of personal injury litigation was forever changed in 1992 when a McDonalds’ customer spilled coffee on her lap and successfully sued the company for her injuries. McDonalds ended up being liable for a nearly $3 million punitive damages award.

Now, some 25 years later, yet another merchant of hot coffee has been held liable for injuries from spilled coffee. This time the defendant was Starbucks, and the plaintiff was again a woman who purchased her coffee at the drive through. The employees of the Starbucks allegedly failed to warn the customer that the coffee was very ...

What Does California Law Say about Open Containers in Vehicles?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Some people may be confused about whether or not it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol in their car while driving. They may think that as long as the driver is not drinking or is not legally intoxicated, that is all that matters. These people are wrong.

It is indeed illegal to have an open container of alcohol, including beer, while a vehicle is being operated on a highway. An open container is “any bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the ...

Neurology Study Tracks Soldiers with Brain Injuries, Documents Long-Term Problems

Tuesday, August 22, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Going to war for your country is an honorable action, for which all soldiers should be commended. Facing enemies overseas is most definitely traumatic and as soldiers are coming home, Americans are learning more and more about consequences of war and the effects on mental health, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

However, PTSD is not the only injury that soldiers who return from the front lines experience. PTSD can coincide with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). TBIs occur when a person is struck in the head forcefully. Many soldiers suffer from TBIs as a result of concussive blast ...

Involved in a Lawsuit? Use Caution with Social Media...They Are Watching!

Monday, August 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

You sit on the couch in the evening reminiscing about the past and all the fun you have had in outdoor activities over the years. Remember the time you jumped from the cliffs into the water in Costa Rica? Or when you went rock climbing in California? Zip-lining in the rainforest! You captured all of those moments in photos, and now you want to share them with friends on your new Facebook account.

But as you start up the computer, that sharp pain in your hip, which makes most days almost unbearable, returns. This has been keeping you ...

Recent Injury at Yankee Stadium Bolsters Push for Extensive Protective Netting

Friday, August 18, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Baseball—America’s pastime. Baseball fans, and many others, see a day at the ballpark as one of life’s little pleasures. But imagine you’re there, soaking up the sunshine, chatting with friends, enjoying a hot dog, when a line-drive foul ball or a broken bat comes flying at your head. Serious injury can result.

Admittedly, this danger is limited to a rather small percentage of the seats in a stadium, but the danger for the fans sitting in those seats is very real. These danger seats are along the first and third baselines. How far down those lines is a ...

Remington Pays $500K in Louisiana Walker Trigger Case

Thursday, August 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

The crack of the rifle pierces the forest. You look at your hunting companions to confirm that everyone is present – they are, but one of your friends looks shaken. You realize that the sound came from his rifle, but it is strapped to his shoulder muzzle up. As you all look at each other in confusion, you come to the realization that the rifle had discharged itself, with no one pulling the trigger at all.

This could have been the case for Precious Seguin, simply hearing the crack of a rifle firing unexpectedly, but instead she was ...

Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and BMW Pay $553 to Settle Defective Takata Airbag Claims

Wednesday, August 16, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Even though it is the middle of the work week, Wednesday night is one of your favorites. Heading out to dinner with friends has become a weekly ritual you don’t think you would miss for anything. It is nice to have something to look forward to half way through the grind. You look down at the airbag light on your dash and think again that you really should get in to the dealer and have the problem looked into. You will call tomorrow, you think, then chuckle to yourself – you have said that more than once.

As ...

Is It Ever Legal for a California Driver to Pass on the Right?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

When a driver sees a slow moving car in the left lane, they are presented with a choice: wait until the driver moves to the right lane, or pass them on the right. In this situation, it’s usually more tempting to pass them on the right, but is that always legal?

Surprisingly enough, the answer is almost always yes in California, although there are guidelines as to when drivers are allowed to pass on the right. Also, just because someone is allowed to pass on the right doesn’t mean he/she can break any other laws in ...

Tips to Avoid Summer Tragedy: Keeping Your Pets and Children Safe

Monday, August 14, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Summertime can be the most fun season of the year. Pools, the beach, sports, and so much more are just a few of the fun activities that are associated with summer. Unfortunately summer can also be one of the most dangerous times for people, their pets, and their children. Luckily there are some tips you can follow to make sure your summer stays as fun, relaxing, and safe as possible.

The first set of tips is for prevention of child heatstroke. One of the biggest causes of heatstroke in children comes from when they ...

When May a California Driver Travel Other than in the Right Lane?

Friday, August 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

In the state of California, drivers are required to travel in the right lane of traffic. This may not seem like a big news flash. But did you know that there are instances in which it is acceptable to drive in a lane other than the right lane?

In some cases, it is acceptable for a vehicle to travel in the left lane of the road or on the shoulder to the right of the right lane for extended periods of time. This exception is only allowed under very specific circumstances.

For example, if there is road construction that ...

Childhood Sexual Abuse Can Affect Victims for the Rest of Their Lives

Thursday, August 10, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Traumatic experiences are often life changing. Severely traumatic events can lead to a lot of problems later in life such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, addiction, divorce, and even suicide. One of the most common and least spoken tragedies are ones involving sexual abuse. One in six men will suffer sexual abuse in their lifetimes, but because of the shame involved, most don’t report or talk about the abuse.

Although sexual abuse has many lasting effects, even the immediate effects are horrific for victims and some are what keep victims from coming forward ...

Alert: 25,000 Graco Car Seats Recalled

Wednesday, August 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

As you are loading up your little girl for a trip to the playground your phone pings an alert. You pull it out and check your emails, only to see an alert from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that over 25,000 Graco car seats have been recalled. You glance at your little girl in the rearview mirror. She is safely strapped into her seat—a Graco My Ride 65, which has just been recalled. Now you must decide whether the two of you will be heading off on your adventure as planned, or if you will ...

Teen Endocrine Disruption

Tuesday, August 08, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

You may have heard warnings of toxic chemicals being used on our foods, in our household products, in our plastic containers, or elsewhere in our environment. It’s a message being told in news stories and talk around the water cooler–the plastic water cooler that may itself contain the wretched toxic chemicals!

So, what impact do these toxic environmental chemicals really have on us?

As it turns out, according to a recent Medscape report, teens are most vulnerable to the negative impacts of exposure to dangerous environmental chemicals, more so than any other age groups. Adolescents going through ...

iPhone Case Recall Due to Chemical Burns

Tuesday, August 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

On August 1, 2017, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a press release about the dangers involved with defective MixBin Electronics iPhone cases. According to the CPSC, consumers using these iPhone cases are at risk of skin irritation, burns and chemical burns. Hot glitter and liquid can leak out of these defective iPhone cases, which can cause severe skin irritation and burns to users. At this time, approximately 263,000 of these faulty iPhone cases have been sold. If you have one of these iPhone cases, you should stop using it immediately and contact MixBin ...

Smartphones Reduce Cognitive Capacity

Monday, August 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

Medscape recently reported on the disturbing new research related to smartphones and cognitive capacity. According to research conducted out of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, the mere presence of a smartphone adversely affects available cognitive capacity. Researchers conducted two studies, which involved nearly 800 undergraduate students. They studied available cognitive capacity of the students when smartphones were placed nearby and in sight, nearby and out of sight and in another room. They found that just having a smartphone present could adversely impact available cognitive capacity.

Smartphone Presence and Cognitive Capacity

Even ...

Which Is Most Effective? Cable Barriers, Guardrails, or Concrete Walls

Monday, August 07, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Driving down the highway, look off to the side of the road, what do you see there? Hopefully you see some sort of protective road barrier to prevent your vehicle from going off the road or into oncoming traffic.

There are a few different safety precautions that the local department of transportation will put into place to protect drivers and passengers from injury if involved in a car crash. These safety precautions usually include various different protective road barriers.

Protective road barriers include, concrete walls, guardrails, and cable barriers. The department of transportation should choose the barrier that provides ...

The CDC Make It Easy to Learn about the Toxic Effects of Chemicals

Friday, August 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

As a new mom, nearly every day brings another concern about your child. Lead in paint, lead in the wine you used to drink, asbestos in insulation, mercury in fish. The list could go on and on. You recently received a notice that the dry cleaner down the street from your house leaked perchlor-something into the ground and into the water, and it might be moving your way.

None of these things have anything familiar about them, well nothing except the fact that they get your new mom radar flashing and add to the new and seemingly never ...

Spinal Cord Injury Treatments 101

Thursday, August 03, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The spine is extremely important. It relays information to and from the brain. Without spines, people wouldn’t be able to control their bodies, nor would they be able to feel pain or pleasure through touch. Since spines are so important, it’s also important to know how to treat someone with a spinal cord injury to make sure that the damage is minimized.

Unfortunately, as of right now, there is no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord. However, research is being done to promote nerve regeneration and improve the nerves that still work after a ...

What the Spinal Cord Is and How it Works

Wednesday, August 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

The brain is like a factory. It’s always manufacturing new ideas, sending out orders, and taking feedback from the body. However, without some way to deliver and receive all those thoughts and feelings, brains would be useless. The Spine is the delivery service that takes everything to and from the brain. With all the body’s nerves going to the same place, it’s the perfect expressway for the brain.

When people think about doing something, the thought travels across the brain, into the spine, and then to the body part that needs to move. Obviously if only ...

Keeping Hope from Fading after a Traumatic Brain Injury

Tuesday, August 01, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

It has always been a family tradition. Your dad played, your grandfather played, your husband played. Football is one thing that has always brought your family together and brought you joy, even during the hard times. As you sit in the stands and cheer for your son who made varsity this year, you feel the familiar swell of pride and anticipation as he jumps into the air to catch a pass. But before his feet can touch the ground he is hit by what seems like a locomotive and he drops heavily to the ground.

Your joy is ...

Spinal Cord Injuries 101

Monday, July 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The human body, and all of its movements, is controlled by the brain. The brain tells the body what to do, where to go, how to move, what to feel. But the brain cannot deliver these commands to the body on its own. It needs a messenger to communicate to the rest of the parts of the body.

The messenger of the human body is the spinal cord. The spinal cord is made up of branches of nerves that send signals, or messages, to the rest of the body from the brain and back. It is responsible for ...

Important Terms Relating to Spinal Cord Injuries

Friday, July 28, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Any injury can have a person’s head spinning. The chaos of trying to understand just what has happened to you medically and how it will affect or change the way you continue with your activities of daily living can be mind boggling.

A spinal cord injury is no exception. Spinal cord injuries can be a whirlwind of confusion. If you or someone you love incurs a spinal cord injury, there are some terms you will want to become familiar with.

Spinal Cord – The spinal cord is a primary component of the central nervous system. It is ...

Emerging Research Regarding Treatment of Brain Injuries

Friday, July 28, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently published an article on diagnosis and treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a severe form of brain injury. These brain injuries typically occur with a loss of consciousness and are accompanied by a cranial bleed. The article found that research and randomized trials suggest that where treatment of aneurysms is concerned, endovascular intervention is preferable to open surgery. These types of injuries are diagnosed with computer tomography, CT angiography and/or catheter angiography.

Traumatic Brain Injury Research

New research involving traumatic brain injuries is emerging on a regular basis. From ...

Drivers: Help Bicyclists Stay Safe on the Road

Thursday, July 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Bicycling is a great way to get exercise, travel to work, or just have fun. However, bicycling can also be dangerous. In any crash between a car and a cyclist, the cyclist is at a much higher risk of injury than anyone in the car.   In 2013 alone, over 900 cyclists died in cycling injuries and almost 500,000 were taken to emergency departments. Cycling safety can save lives, so it’s important for drivers and cyclists to do anything they can to prevent collisions.

Drivers can do their part by watching out for cyclists. Make ...

Walking There Safely: California Laws Governing Pedestrians

Wednesday, July 26, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

Walking is an essential part of life. The two things we normally learn first as humans are how to walk and talk. But even though walking becomes an innate activity for us, it’s also very dangerous. Pedestrians account for 22 percent of deaths from traffic accidents in California. Therefore, it’s a good idea for pedestrians and drivers to stay safe and alert.

Drivers should always be aware of their surroundings, especially in an area that is known for having more pedestrians than usual. Drivers should always stop for pedestrians crossing at crosswalks, even if they are ...

Stay Safe with These Tips for Beach and Pool

Tuesday, July 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

Swimming can be a fun and relaxing activity. It's a fun way to cool off in the summer heat and can even be used for rehabilitation after an injury. However, drowning is the fifth most common unintentional injury. It’s also one of the most serious injuries, as more than 50% of people treated in emergency departments need either hospitalization or transfer to another care center for more treatment. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe anytime you decide to go swimming.

Swimming skills can be a big help at the beach and ...

California State Legislature Considering Ban of PFCs in Food Packaging

Monday, July 24, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

It was your family’s once a week treat – dinner out. Each week one of you got to choose the location and, inevitably, the kids took turns picking the drive-through to grab burgers, fries, and milkshakes. You ate healthy all week, with salads and grilled veggies, so this bi-monthly food splurge shouldn’t worry you too much.

As you sit back on Monday morning with a latte in your favorite thermal mug, you browse the local paper. The article catches your attention—you always seem to be drawn to those stories with extra consonants in the title for some reason. ...

California Requires Monsanto to Include Cancer Warning on Roundup Weed Killer

Friday, July 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Spring is just around the corner, and that means it is time to head out and get the yard in order again after a long and wet winter. Lots of sunshine now and lots of rain has your yard green and growing, but the weeds seem to be beating out your perennials yet again.

The thought of bending over to pull all of them makes you sigh, so instead you will head down to your local farm and garden store to grab a bottle of weed-killer. As you approach the shelf you are shocked – what is this ...

Trump Administration Reviewing California's Ability to Require Clean Air

Thursday, July 20, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

As you look out over the San Francisco Bay you are impressed with the view. Most people only think of the San Francisco Bay as the Golden Gate Bridge, but you love the view across the south bay the best. The little bridges across the Bay and the Oakland hills serve as a backdrop. They are especially pretty this time of year—bright green and a periwinkle blue sky.

Your gaze drifts south and the view becomes a little more hazy. It’s hard to tell on days like today, is that smog or just late fog in the valley? ...

Recent Study Shows Helmet Use a Mixed Bag: More Research Needed

Wednesday, July 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

Ah, the freedom of the open road! The roar of the tiger between your legs. The wind through your hair. The sun on your face. The feeling you get while riding your motorcycle through the city or countryside. It’s an amazing sense of adventure that only a motorcyclist can understand. Perhaps wearing a motorcycle helmet dampens those feelings a bit.

Among motorcyclists, helmets are a point of contention. Some don’t care for helmets simply because they like the feeling of the wind in their hair. Some feel that helmets actually cause more harm than the protection they provide. ...

A National Awakening - Toxic Hazards and the Evil of Clean Rooms

Wednesday, July 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

On April 10, 2017 our work was recognized in the New York Times for making a major contribution to public health in the workplace:

The issue of toxic hazards at work went national nearly 20 years ago, when former employees brought more than 200 lawsuits against IBM, accusing it of having concealed knowledge that it was exposing them to carcinogenic chemicals. Ultimately, IBM settled the suits, with the details sealed.

Fifteen years ago, we represented IBM workers in California, New York and Vermont and our investigation extended to IBM plants in France, where employees and children ...

Feds Reject Raising Coverage Minimums for Big Rigs

Wednesday, July 19, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

In June, the Trump administration dropped consideration of raising minimum insurance coverage in the commercial trucking industry. Safety advocates have been calling for a higher insurance coverage minimum for tractor-trailers for years. The current minimum is $750,000. This number hasn’t changed in over three decades, and while that initially sounds like a lot of money, the expenses associated with truck accidents can add up quickly, especially if injuries are severe or catastrophic. This coverage minimum is outdated and inadequate. Many large trucking companies know that the coverage minimum is outdated and inadequate, so they carry ...

Polaris ATV Recalled for Fire Hazard

Wednesday, July 19, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just issued a press release regarding a recall on Polaris All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) due to the potential of fire hazards. According to the CPSC, 2014 Polaris Sportsman 570 ATVs are being recalled due to a fuel-leaking problem. On these defective ATVs, fuel can leak into the headlight pod, causing a risk for serious fire hazards. These Polaris Sportsman ATVs were originally sold throughout the U.S. between April of 2014 and May of 2017. Listed below are the current models being impacted by this recall.

Recalled Polaris Sportsman ATVs

  • 2014 Sportsman ...

Another Case against GM for Fatal Ignition Switches Settles before Trial

Tuesday, July 18, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

General Motors has been experiencing over a decade of debacle as a result of millions of its vehicles being manufactured with faulty ignition switches. The failure of these ignition switches has led to hundreds of injuries and fatalities.

In approximately 2005, and perhaps even earlier, GM had discovered that several different models of GM vehicles were being produced with faulty ignition switches. When these ignition switches would malfunction, the vehicle engine would be shut off, often times in the middle of driving the vehicle. When this malfunction occurs, it renders the power steering, power brakes, and airbags in ...

California Courts 101: How the State Court System Is Organized

Monday, July 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

Unless you’re in court often, it can be hard to tell exactly how the courts are organized here in California. Luckily, this short guide will explain much of the structure of our state’s court system. For a more detailed explanation, go here.

Most courts in California can be put into one of two groups: state or federal.

California State Courts

The state courts are divided into two types, trial courts and appellate courts. Trial courts are where a judge or jury hears cases. These include civil and criminal cases, along with appeals of small cases.

There are 58 trial ...

How Long Do You Have to Bring a Lawsuit for Personal Injury in California?

Friday, July 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

As you quietly shut the door to the attorney’s office and walk back to your car, you cannot shake the shock. You knew time was flying by, it has seemed to do that more and more as you have grown older, and even more so since the accident, but you had no idea that it had already been two years!

You live through that night over and over in your head. The wet road, the screeching tires. The green light ahead of you, and the pain as the car smashed through your door and pinned you into your ...

V2a Interneurons Created from Stem Cells Might Repair Spinal Cord Injuries

Thursday, July 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

We have all seen people with legs who cannot walk. Others have arms but lack the ability to move them. Yet with all the money spent on medical research, there is still no cure for those who lose spinal cord functionality. The good news is that a potential repair may be on its way.

There exists a connection between the brain and the spinal cord that makes movement of the body possible. Together, the brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). The brain sends messages, and the spinal cord relays those messages to ...

"Pain and Suffering": What Does It Mean for Your Personal Injury Case?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Pretty much everyone knows what the words "pain" and "suffering" mean. Not everyone, however, knows the depth of pain and suffering the victim of a severe accident suffers. Reality of life as it was and as it will henceforth be makes everything change forever. But in a lawsuit, because pain and suffering cannot be wiped away, there must be an attempt to quantify them in terms of money damages. No definite yardstick exists to do this, but there are some broad categories used to assign a monetary value to these items in lawsuits.

There are two broad categories ...

What Are Typical Defenses to a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

In any sport, players will tell you that games are won and lost just from knowing what the other team is planning. They and their coaches watch their competitors to see how they perform, who their playmakers are, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. A team that hasn’t done its homework is likely to be surprised and make mistakes. The same principle applies in the courtroom. If you know what the other side is going to use against you, it’s much easier to defend against it or avoid it altogether. Although there’s no definitive list of ...

What Factors Affect the Value of a Personal Injury Case?

Monday, July 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

No two personal injury cases are the same. The circumstances, people involved, type of accident, and even the actions taken before, during, and after the incident can all affect the case. There’s no one true system to determine how every case will work out, but there are some guidelines that help lawyers determine what the compensation should be for the case.

The first type of damages is called “special” damages. These payouts are meant to replace what was lost by the victim due to the injury. Medical bills are the easiest payout to calculate because they’re ...

New California Law Protects Right of Undocumented Immigrant Personal Injury Rights

Friday, July 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

You remember it clearly—a beautiful spring day. You were headed to the park for lunch in the sunshine, a weekend pastime you were so happy to be enjoying again. As you biked down the street, you could see the green grass in the distance, and your happiness grew. Then it happened, so quickly and unexpectedly, hit by a car that had sped up to make a signal at the next intersection. You were thrown 50 feet from your bike and lost consciousness. When you awoke, the pain was unbearable, radiating from your leg, up through your back ...

If You or Someone You Love Was Hurt by a GM Auto with a Faulty Switch, Call Us Now!

Thursday, July 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

You’ve been waiting for General Motors to step up and come clean for years. The car you bought from them was defective and they knew it. For them, this amounts to a minor loss. For you, the loss of a loved one. Your whole family has always bought cars built by GM. But one day several years ago, that decision proved fatal when the ignition switch in your father’s car failed, causing the engine to stall and the airbags to fail deploy. The resulting accident left your father hospitalized for weeks before he eventually passed from his ...

Can Your Lawyer Get Copies of the Other Driver's Insurance Company Claims File?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

The accident was bad enough—the pain and the fear as their car struck you and you found yourself unable to move or to speak. Some of that has improved now, but moving is still painful at times, and the dreams haven’t stopped. Now it seems you will be learning the true meaning of adding insult to injury. Even though the other driver was squarely at fault, his insurance company has been refusing to pay. Your attorney is suggesting that the company is acting in bad faith and that now—on top of everything else you have gone through—you ...

Severe Peripheral Nerve Injuries from Bad Car Wrecks: Can You Recover?

Tuesday, July 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

You gaze out your car window at runners in the park. They look so happy—determined and focused. You used to love that feeling. Cold foggy mornings on the trail. Pushing yourself, sweating and straining, and cresting that next hill with nothing around but birds and the ocean on the horizon. You look down at your legs—those are all distant memories now. Since the accident you can hardly walk, with your leg hanging limp, let alone run the trails like you used to. At first, you were so thankful that you had survived where few thought you would, ...

Can Airlines Really Do That? United Passenger Removed by Law Enforcement Aims to Prove It Can't

Monday, July 03, 2017By Richard Alexander
“Money talks” is a popular truism in our society. And it is normally true when it comes to an airline faced with all the passengers showing up for an overbooked flight. Airlines routinely overbook flights, expecting that a certain number will cancel, change, or just not show up for their flight reservations. When the number of reporting passengers exceeds the seating capacity, the airline simply offers cash incentives that are usually accepted.

Things did not work out that way, however, on a flight boarding in Chicago on April 9. United Airlines needed to make room for airline staff, ...

High School Student Injured at Robotics Competition Files Lawsuit against School District

Friday, June 30, 2017By Richard Alexander

Robotics competitions are usually times of great pride. After weeks, months, or even years of building a robot that meets every requirement of the competition, engineers finally get to see their finished product in action. Controlling or watching the robot you’ve spent so much time on do what it was designed to do should be an extremely satisfying experience. Unfortunately for Taron Malkhashyan, what should have been a fun competition became a terrible event that may affect him for the rest of his life.

Taron went to Bernstein High School and worked on the robot Optimus for the ...

Hurt by a GM with a Faulty Switch. Call Us Now to Protect Your Rights!

Thursday, June 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you were injured before 2009 in a car wreck caused by a faulty ignition switch in a General Motors vehicle, you can still seek damages. The U. S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear an appeal from GM, opening the door for claims that pre-date the company’s emergence from bankruptcy proceedings.

The ignition switch problem started as far back as 2001. Switches in certain vehicles would suddenly switch from “on” to “accessory” or “off,” while being driven. This caused the power brakes and power steering to quit working, often resulting in a crash. Adding insult ...

Essure Sterilization Implant? 10,000 Injuries and 30 Deaths to Date

Wednesday, June 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

After your last child, you knew your family was complete. The babies are wonderful, and you want to enjoy every moment with them. Not to mention that the pregnancy was terrible and you missed so much time at work. Sterilization was definitely the best answer for you and your family—you were so thankful that the doctor suggested the sterilization implant! A quick, easy, outpatient procedure with quick recovery time. What could be better? No time missed from work or with your baby. But now, you question that decision. The pain and bleeding have been terrible, and now ...

A Helmet that Can Tell When the User Has a Concussion? Why Not?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Football is a rough sport. More than any other team sport, forceful physical contact is integral to the game. Unfortunately, it has only recently come to light that brain injury is a common result of all that contact.

The popular 2015 movie “Concussion” has propelled the issue of football-induced brain injury to the forefront of discussion at all levels of the sport. The movie told the real life story of Mike Webster, a player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which causes progressive degeneration of the brain.

A 2015

Illegally Promoting Drugs: Can You Sue if You Suffer?

Monday, June 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

Has your doctor ever suggested that you take a prescription drug for something other than its approved purpose? You may not even know the answer to that question. Still, if you were injured or suffered as the result of off-label use promoted by your doctor or a drug company, you may be able to recover money damages through a products liability lawsuit.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs for specific uses. The label on the medicine is targeted toward this particular approval. Some doctors and drug companies market these products to consumers for other ...

What Makes a Lawyer a Lawyer, Anyway?

Friday, June 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Who is a lawyer?

So, what makes a person qualified to be a lawyer? What is it that a lawyer knows or does that you cannot do on your own? Well, these questions may have crossed your mind several times. However, the truth is that a lawyer is the only licensed professional who can represent and advise you in legal matters. In the U.S., a lawyer is also known as an attorney.

Legal qualifications

To become a lawyer, one needs to go through special schooling. It isn’t easy to become a lawyer. Before one can practice in courts or to ...

The Three Major Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits

Thursday, June 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

Have you ever heard of a "tort"? No, we're not talking about an egg-laden sweet treat but rather a group of legal theories that allows an injured person to recover money damages against another in court. When you visit an experienced personal injury lawyer, you're talking with someone who is an expert in tort law.

There are three major categories of torts: negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts.

Most personal injury blogs are written around the concept of negligence. Negligence is at play in just about every car crash lawsuit. To ...

What Are V2V Communications?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

The ability of vehicles to communicate with other vehicles in clear vehicle language is what is referred to as V2V communications. It is a projection into the future of automobiles, the future we acknowledge is right here with us.

The moment the early generation of self-driven cars began, there also came a need for the vehicles to communicate effectively with their environments, pedestrians, the infrastructure surrounding them, and, most importantly, other vehicles.

With few exceptions, self-driven vehicles have a solid history of safety on the road. This success is possible because of some features that are installed in the ...

Hurt in a Bad Crash? Here Are Some of the Most Common Injuries

Tuesday, June 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

Injuries resulting from car accidents are usually very serious, and at times life threatening. Many people who are involved in crashes are not even aware of the extent of their injuries until after the fact. For this reason, it can be helpful to become familiar with some of the most common injuries that can affect people involved in bad car crashes.

Whiplash is probably the first injury that comes to mind for this circumstance. When impact occurs, it is possible that you could suffer temporary vocal paralysis, which is quite a common occurrence and is one ...

California Childhood Sexual Abuse Certificates of Merit: What Are They?

Monday, June 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

Imagine that in your mid-30s, you begin to have memories of being molested when you were a teenager. Your mind flashes back, and suddenly you’re in high school again. Before, you fondly remembered your time on the school’s running teams. But now, after remembering the recurrent sexual abuse by a high school employee, your track and cross-country team coach, those memories will never be the same.

For Latrice Rubenstein, this is no imaginary exercise. When Latrice was only 17, when she should have been enjoying her childhood, she was being sexually molested by her high school coach, someone ...

How Much Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Worth?

Friday, June 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are severe cases of brain injury caused by blunt, physical force to the head—mostly caused due to motor vehicle accidents, slips, or falls. This kind of injuries impacts the victim’s physiological function in a drastic way, impairing not only the victim’s motor and cognitive skills but also affecting his or her speech and communication skills. TBIs can lead to mental and behavioral changes, sometimes even resulting in permanent nerve damage.

No wonder TBI cases are high value cases where the quantum of compensation almost always exceeds $100,000 but can sometimes even touch ...

Does Speeding Really Increase the Risk of a Crash?

Thursday, June 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you think speeding does not contribute to increased crash rates, you’re kidding yourself. In reality, speeding increases not only the likelihood of a crash but also the severity of resulting crashes. Read on to learn more.

Speeding has become commonplace all across the country. According to a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, about 48 percent of drivers admit to having exceeded a freeway speed limit by 15 miles per hour in the last month. Nearly as many, 45 percent, admit to exceeding a residential speed limit by 10 miles per hour in the ...

Are Truck Crash Lawsuits Easier to Win?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

Are crashes involving big rigs different than those involving only passenger vehicles? You bet. Commercial motor vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When a huge machine of this size crashes, severe injuries are common. Fatal injuries are far more common in crashes that involve big rigs.

Still, there is slightly good news for those considering bringing a lawsuit after a crash with one of these behemoth machines. It can be easier to recover damages in lawsuits involving the trucking industry.

There are a few reasons for this. First, a savvy personal injury lawyer has more ...

How to Avoid Common Causes of Freeway Pileups

Tuesday, June 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

Wrong-way drivers. Wandering livestock. Both have caused multi-car pileups in California in recent months. Other than paying close attention to your surroundings, there is not much you can do to avoid unusual causes of freeway pileups like these. But there are actions you can take to avoid some of the most common causes of multi-vehicle accidents.

It can be helpful to think of three categories of causes of typical freeway pileups: driver, environmental, and vehicle.

Driver-related causes include issues like these:

  • speeding;
  • distracted driving;
  • drowsy driving; and
  • driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Even driving the wrong direction ...

The Horror of Childhood Sexual Abuse Right Here in the Bay Area

Monday, June 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Most stories of orphans are heartbreaking. Many consist of children abandoned and families that can’t take care of their children. Luckily, there’s sometimes a way out for these kids. Adoption can give them a second chance to be part of a family and feel the same love and affection from parents that other kids have. Unfortunately, the worst part of this orphan’s story begins with his adoption.

Denis Flynn was nine years old when his new family adopted him. Ralph and Carolyn Flynn became his saviors. They took him away from a frigid Russian orphanage and gave him ...

The Impact of Motorcycle Helmets on Riders and the Public

Friday, June 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

There’s an ongoing dispute in American society about the value of motorcycle helmets. Some believe that all motorcyclists should be required by law to wear helmets, while others believe this should remain a matter of personal choice.

One of the latest weigh-ins on the subject was published in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The focus of the article was on the history of motorcycle helmet laws in the U.S., as well as the public impact of helmet use. You may read more about the history portion of the article in our ...

A History of Motorcycle Helmets in the U.S.

Thursday, June 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

The faster we move, the more careful we have to be. Transportation has always been dangerous, and now with vehicle speeds getting higher and higher, safety becomes even more important. One of the most dangerous modes of transportation is motorcycles. With no harnesses or enclosures, motorcyclists' safety is a huge concern with a rich history behind it.

Two years after the end of the Civil War, the first motorcycle was created by Sylvester Roper. He outfitted a bike with a steam engine, creating what he called a steam velocipede. This was the first incarnation of the modern

How to Maximize Damages after Your California Car Crash

Wednesday, June 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you’ve been badly hurt in a crash and you’re wondering how to maximize money damages, you’re in the right place. Insurance companies often take advantage of good people who trust that they’ll be treated fairly. Unfortunately, fair treatment is rarely the case, whether you’re dealing with the other driver’s insurance company or your own.

At the Alexander Law Group, we believe in helping people who have been badly hurt due to the fault of others. We know the insurance industry well because we deal with insurance companies every day.

The most important thing you can do to preserve ...

Kawasaki to Pay $5.2 Million Civil Penalty Over Defective ROVs

Wednesday, June 07, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently issued a press release following Kawasaki’s agreement to pay a $5.2 million civil penalty associated with an alleged failure to report defective ROVs and misrepresentation of the situation. The charges associated with the penalty asserted that Kawasaki failed to promptly report to the CPSC that its 2012-2016 model year Teryx4 750, Teryx4 800 and Teryx 800 recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs) contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard and that the ROVs in question created an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. The CPSC ...

Physical Abuse and Sexual Molestation of Children

Wednesday, May 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The impact of childhood sexual molestation can span months, years and even decades over the lifetime of a survivor and his or her family. Physical and sexual abuse of children can devastatingly change lives, disrupt personality development and corrupt interpersonal relationships throughout one’s entire life. The invisible psychological scars of childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse can lead to suffering in adolescence, adulthood and even after survivors become parents themselves.

Danger Lurking in Positions of Trust

Although we often talk to children about “stranger danger,” many molesters are often hiding in plain sight. They typically get into positions of ...

Fatal Hoverboard House Fire in Harrisburg, PA

Wednesday, May 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just issued a warning to U.S. consumers to stop using LayZ Board self-balancing scooters (aka hoverboards) immediately. The CPSC is urging consumers to get rid of these hoverboards following a fatal house fire that took the lives of two young girls in Harrisburg, PA. According to the CPSC, there is evidence that a LayZ Board was the hoverboard involved in the fatal house fire that happened on March 10, 2017. The CPSC worked together with the Harrisburg Fire Department for a swift and thorough investigation into what brand of hoverboard ...

Another VTA De-boarding Accident: This One Fatal

Wednesday, May 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has again caused significant harm to a passenger getting off one their buses. In this case, unfortunately, the passenger was killed. And oddly coincidental, the victim was a recently retired employee of the VTA.

The retired employee had exited the rear doors of the bus and then apparently been run over by the rear tires as the driver pulled away. If this indeed occurred, the situation is nearly identical to the case of an elderly couple in 2015. In that case, the couple aged 75 and 68, were attempting to exit ...

Help! I Was in a Crash but the At-Fault Driver Doesn't Have Insurance!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017By Richard Alexander

A car crash is a traumatic event. It undoubtedly causes damage to the vehicles involved and may cause bodily harm to the individuals involved in the car crash. There will be costs to fix the vehicles, medical expenses, and sometimes lost work time. These costs should all be covered by the insurance company of the driver at fault.

In the state of California, all drivers are required by law to have liability insurance coverage for property damage and injuries. This provides drivers with personal liability protection and a means to recover expenses caused by a car crash.

Despite California ...

Who Pays for Car Crash Injuries in California?

Monday, May 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

The crash itself was bad enough, the horrible sounds, the sudden lurching of the vehicle. Then, above everything else, the pain! Your head hurts, your back is sore, and your arm hangs listlessly at your side. You can’t imagine being able to work for weeks and you begin to wonder: Who is going to pay for these injuries? Both of the cars have been damaged, but you are the only one who is hurt.

In figuring out who is going to pay for injuries, there are a few different elements that need to be assessed. First up is ...

Is Reporting a Crash Mandatory in California?

Friday, May 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

In California, the law is very clear on what you have to do if you are involved in an accident. If you hit a moving vehicle, pedestrian, parked vehicle, or someone's property, you must stop and exchange information with the other person or risk being charged with hit-and-run.

The law takes hit-and-run cases very seriously and imposes heavy penalties. Depending on the kind of injuries or damages you've caused, you are liable to be fined, jailed, or both. It is possible that you might even have to forfeit your driver's license.

Reporting the accident to the CHP or the ...

Do California Drivers Really Need Car Insurance?

Thursday, May 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

You look up to the dreaded sight of flashing red and blue lights in the rear view mirror and the sound of a siren. Your stomach lurches, and you pull to the side of the road, hoping that the lights pass you by and do not follow you to the shoulder of the road. Not this time. Instead, the car stops behind you. The officer gets out of the car and walks to your window. A line you have only heard in the movies is suddenly directed at you: “License, registration, and insurance please.” “But wait,” you ...

Is It OK to Sign a Ticket after a California Car Crash?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

You thought it would not get any worse—the sound of screeching tires and the lurch of the vehicles colliding. The sound of sirens and your loved ones being taken away strapped to a gurney in the back of an ambulance. Then—the officer who first responded to the accident walks up to you and hands you a ticket. Your mind races, your first instinct is to launch into protestation, “But I wasn’t speeding!”, “I didn’t run the red light—they did!”, but you take a deep breath and calmly sign and take the ticket from the officer.

At the Scene ...

Is It OK to Say You're Sorry after a Crash?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

It is a beautiful spring day, and you are headed to meet a friend you have not seen since high school. Your mind is wandering as you remember the fun the two of you used to have. You pop an old mix CD into the car stereo. One of your favorite songs comes on, and you reach to turn the volume up. You hear the squeal of brakes as you look back up at the road; you feel the jolt as your car suddenly comes careening to a halt.

You step out of the car, and apologies flood ...

Do You Know What to Find Out Right after You're in a Crash?

Monday, May 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you crash your car, you have to stop whether the accident involved a moving vehicle, a pedestrian, a parked vehicle, or even property. Do not try to run away even if you were not responsible for the accident. If you do, you might be charged with hit-and-run, which can carry severe penalties.

It is very important that you exchange information with the driver or owner of the other vehicle or pedestrian or property owner. Note that some records are confidential, and you won't get them from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your best bet is to get ...

What Should a California Driver Do if Someone Is Hurt in a Crash?

Friday, May 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

Drivers are naturally exposed to the possibility of encountering a situation where someone has been injured in a car wreck. It may be that a driver is involved in a crash, or it could be that the driver comes upon a wreck in which people are injured.

A driver who is involved in the crash is required by California law to stop as soon as possible. A driver who simply witnesses a crash is not required to comply with the law’s requirements. However, the law states that a driver’s car need not have actually crashed into ...

Does California Law Require You to Stop after a Crash?

Thursday, May 18, 2017By Richard Alexander

A question that often perplexes drivers both old and new is whether they are legally required to stop after a motor vehicle crash occurs. While various state laws differ in this regard, this article will focus on the legal duty of motorists to stop, regardless of whether the accident has produced injuries.

Under California law, the nature of a motor vehicle accident does not dictate the duty to stop. Liability for a criminal offense applies as soon as a motorist leaves the scene of an accident; this is often called “hit-and-run.” The obvious follow-up question is ...

New Burn Journal Will Provide Free Information to Readers

Wednesday, May 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

People who have suffered severe burn injuries typically face a long road to recovery. Burn treatment is a specialty that many emergency medical treatment facilities and doctors may not deal with very often. In these situations, medical personnel may need quick access to information about burn treatment.

The Journal Burns is the leading publication of authoritative information about burns and burn treatment. It publishes articles from researchers and medical practitioners sharing results of their studies and experiences. The Journal has been so inundated with submissions, however, that it is launching an international, online companion journal ...

USC Study Finds Possible Way to Tell Which Children Will Recover More Slowly after a TBI

Tuesday, May 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

Researchers at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine recently did groundbreaking research that identified a significant biomarker to help determine the prognosis for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children. The research looked at the speed of information transfer between the two sides of the brain.

According to the preliminary study, the normal time of information transfer in TBI patients is between seven and 10 milliseconds. When the transfer time goes beyond 18 milliseconds, the brain cells may already be severely damaged. This indicates that the injured child will have slow recovery or that ...

State DOT Agency Bills Deceased Teen for Guardrail Damaged in Fatal Crash

Monday, May 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

When Steve Eimers received a letter from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, four months after the tragic death of his daughter in a highway accident, he did not think much of it. He assumed the TDOT wanted to complete some formalities relating to the incident and had sent a letter to tell him about it.

But when he read the contents of the letter, he was shocked. Inside was a bill for $3,000 from the TDOT, ostensibly for replacing the guardrail system that had been damaged in his daughter's fatal accident.

Steve recounts that he was so surprised and ...

More Fatal Crashes Involving Drugs Than Alcohol

Monday, May 15, 2017By Nina Shapirshteyn

According to a recent Medscape article, drug use has surpassed alcohol use in deadly car crashes in the U.S. Data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that in 2015, 43 percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes had legal or illegal drugs in their systems. This number is compared with the 37 percent of drivers who were tested and found to have alcohol levels above the legal limit. Of those drivers in deadly crashes who tested positive for drugs, 36.5 percent of them tested positive for ...

Exercise Extreme Caution When Lane-Splitting or When Driving Near Lane-Splitters

Friday, May 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Riding a motorcycle can be a source of adventure and freedom that cannot be matched by driving a car. The open road, the wind through your hair, the horse-power between your legs, and the feeling that you can travel anywhere all draw motorcycle riders to the open roads and highways. Practical advantages of riding a motorcycle include better gas mileage, easier parking, and, of course, the ability to navigate through traffic jams with greater ease than a car.

One way motorcycle riders can get through traffic more easily is by lane-splitting. Lane-splitting is the way a motorcycle rider ...

New UCLA Study: Permanent Gene Damage Can Result from Head Injuries

Thursday, May 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

Genes are responsible for the production of protein. These proteins then determine the structure and function of each cell in the body. Hence, the condition of genes is not only important in heredity, but also in the functionality of the human body.

For example, the brain cells perform normally when the genes within them are healthy. But when they are damaged, the brain cells can no longer function properly, leading to neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

To study the phenomenon, the University of California at Los Angeles conducted a study to ...

Crash in AZ Causes Uber to Stop Testing Autonomous Cars

Wednesday, May 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

As self-driving technology continues to be developed, safety concerns begin to rise. Currently, companies such as Uber have been attempting to advance motor vehicles and transportation technology to include the testing of autonomous cars.

Autonomous cars are cars that drive themselves. They are also referred to as self-driving cars. These cars are operated and controlled by computer systems designed to determine appropriate travel routes and accident avoidance through the use of sensors and cameras. Liability concerns increase as technology advances. Who is responsible if a self-driving car gets into a car crash?

The technology of self-driving cars is an ...

Bosch Solar Panels Recalled for Fire Risk

Wednesday, May 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just issued a press release about the recall of Bosch roof-mounted solar panels. According to the CPSC, these defective solar panels can overheat, which poses a fire risk to consumers. Since these panels are roof-mounted, there is great concern over the possibility of setting a consumer’s roof on fire. At this time, 28,000 units are being recalled. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported, but the CPSC is hoping to help get the word out to get these faulty solar panels replaced as swiftly as possible.

Defective Bosch Solar Panels

The solar ...

CPSC's See It Before You Sign It Campaign

Wednesday, May 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is calling on parents and college students to put fire safety on the top of their list when shopping for off-campus housing for the upcoming fall semester. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 94 percent of all fatal campus fires between 2000 and 2015 occurred in off-campus housing. In 58 percent of those fatal campus fires, there were no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that did not have working batteries. In combination with the USFA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Campus Firewatch, the CPSC is on ...

Stay Safe and Avoid a Ticket by Not Following Too Closely

Tuesday, May 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

On October 15th, 2007, as cars were slowing down to avoid construction work on the left lane in Marlborough, Connecticut, a tractor-trailer driver crashed his vehicle into the car in front of him. One 47-year-old woman was killed in the accident. Three other vehicles were also involved in the crash, leaving two of the drivers injured. The roadway was shut down for over five hours. The trucker eventually had criminal charges filed against him.

By law, everyone must maintain a proper following distance on the road. The definition of this varies from state to state. However, it generally ...

Hurt or Killed in an Accident with a GM Car? Don't Give Up. Call Today

Tuesday, May 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

Most people know that General Motors was brought back to life after the financial crisis of 2008 by government intervention. It wasn’t long, however, before the revived company had a major problem in the form of a faulty ignition switch in certain model cars. The defective switches caused hundreds if not thousands of accidents, resulting in multiple injuries and deaths. GM ultimately recalled 2.6 million vehicles.

One of the sadder things about this situation is that GM knew of the problem for nearly 13 years before issuing a recall. During that time, people were crashing their cars, unaware ...

Flickering Dash Lights? Stalling Motor? If It's a GM, You Need to Read This

Monday, May 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you drive one of several General Motors vehicles, and you have experienced a stalling motor while driving, you may have a serious problem on your hands. The cars can have a defective ignition switch that can lead to deadly crashes. All models of the following vehicles were recalled by GM for this problem:

  • Saturn Ion
  • Saturn Sky
  • Chevy Cobalt
  • Chevy HHR
  • Pontiac G5
  • Pontiac Solstice

The problem with the switch is that is can independently change from the “on” position to the “accessory” or “off” position, causing the car’s engine to shut off. This causes the power steering and power brakes to be ...

How Truck Driver Drug Tests Work

Monday, May 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

Driving a semi-truck is a big responsibility. The impact of getting into a car accident with a big rig is more severe than with another car. Driving any vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is never safe. However, driving a semi under the influence puts a far greater danger on the roads. "The United States Congress recognized the need for a drug and alcohol free transportation industry and, in 1991, passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, requiring DOT agencies to implement drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive transportation employees."

Drug and alcohol ...

GM Update: Many Think GM Got Off Easy with the Justice Department

Friday, May 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many companies seem to think they are above the law. GM has sold millions of cars with a fatal ignition switch defect, one that its employees knew about for 10 years before it announced recalls or informed its buyers or the general public.

The defect has been written about often because it is a big deal. Already, the faulty ignition switch has already killed over 120 people and injured many, many others.

GM sold millions of cars with faulty ignition switches. When affected, the switch had a tendency to turn to the "off" or "accessory" position while ...

How the Human Brain Handles Multitasking and Why It Matters While Driving

Friday, May 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

Multitasking is considered by some to be a virtue in today’s fast paced and connected society. Indeed, the common use of electronic devices to communicate with one another encourages multitasking by making communication possible at just about any moment in a person’s daily routine. That is a pretty awesome tool compared to how things used to be. Not too very long ago, communication between people was in person, by United States mail, or over a telephone that was connected by wire to one’s home. In those days, multitasking was not that much of an option ...

What Cause of Deadly Distracted Driving Beats Out Cell Phones?

Thursday, May 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

Did you know that distracted driving is one of the major causes of motor vehicle accidents around the world? In fact, as many as 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents may be caused by distracted driving. But why do people get distracted when they are driving?

An insurance company in Pennsylvania had the same question. It analyzed data from the government's Fatality Analysis Reporting System to try to determine the causes of distractions. The results were startling. Here is what they found are the top 10 causes of distracted driving:

  1. Moving objects: When ...

Here Are the Types of Injuries Often Caused by Faulty GM Ignition Switches

Thursday, May 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

The GM faulty ignition switch issue is well known. In the year 2014, when the news broke that a large number of GM cars had been equipped with a faulty switch that caused the cars to stall and crash, GM had to recall more than 2.6 million cars in the U.S alone. In these cars, the ignition switch would come out of place suddenly, causing the engine to stall immediately.

When this happened, the driver lost power steering and brakes. Consequently, the car would not turn or stop properly, often leading to a crash. The worst thing was ...

In an Accident with a GM? Find Out if the Cause Might Have Been a Defective Ignition Switch

Wednesday, May 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

Imagine you’re driving down the road when suddenly your car turns off. Power steering is gone, and even your brakes aren’t working right. Eventually, you roll to the side of the road and do some investigating to find that your key is now in the "off" position. Maybe you would just assume it was nudged out of place on the way, but if you’re in a GM car, it could be that your ignition switch is defective.

Even though this imaginary scenario didn’t feature a serious injury, the GM ignition switch defect is dangerous and very deadly. The ...

Are You Still Distracted after You Put Your Phone Down?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

Your phone rings while you are driving. Being cautious not to cause a crash or get a ticket for talking on a hand-held phone while driving, you pull over and answer the incoming call. Unfortunately, the conversation results in a heated argument. As soon as you hang up, you put the car in gear and start driving again. But even when the phone conversation is over, thoughts about the argument continue to linger in your mind.

Or, simply imagine this: You stop at a red light, grab your smartphone, and tweet to vent your frustration about the heavy ...

California's Open Container Laws

Tuesday, May 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

In the state of California, it is illegal to drive with any open container of alcohol in the vehicle. It is also illegal for any passengers in the vehicle to have an open container of alcohol while the vehicle is being operated. Open containers of alcohol must never be within the reach of the driver or passengers of a vehicle while operating the vehicle.

If a driver is pulled over or involved in a car accident with open containers of alcohol in his or her vehicle, the driver will receive a citation for the open container. If it ...

Could Your Next Rideshare Be Affected by a Faulty GM Ignition Switch?

Tuesday, May 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

Everyone needs transportation, whether it’s from home to work, to see family, to the gym, or to the grocery store. And many of us don’t bat an eye when someone hails a ride from services such as Lyft or Uber. These ride-sharing services are one of the easiest ways to get around, and they help local drivers make some extra money at the same time. This is usually a win-win situation for both the customer and the driver. But have you ever wondered just how safe a ride-share is?

One of the biggest dangers of using these

What Did GM's CEO Say about the Company's Killer Ignition Switch Defect?

Monday, May 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

When a company makes a mistake that causes fatalities, the CEO should have something to say about it to the public. The CEO of GM, Mary Barra, has had a lot to say about the defects that have recently plagued her company’s cars.

The defect caused the ignition switch to turn to the "off" or "accessory" position while people were driving. This caused power steering, power brakes, and even the airbags to be disabled. The defect caused a staggering amount of crashes, and it made them more deadly because of the loss of properly functioning air ...

CDC Makes Recommendations for Everyone to Avoid Crash Injuries

Monday, May 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

Motor vehicle crashes take thousands of lives every year, leaving millions of other people injured and maimed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motor vehicle accidents claim more than 32,000 lives in the U.S. every year, with an additional two million injured.

To address these issues, the CDC has come out with a number of recommendations to help stop or even reverse these statistics altogether. Here are some of them.

Use the seatbelt on every trip

The CDC has reported that more than half of teens (13-19 years) and young adults (20-24 years) killed ...

Early Stats on 2015 Commercial Motor Vehicle Crashes Are Out

Friday, April 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Analysis Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a compendium of statistics for fatalities, injuries, and property damage caused by large truck and bus crashes in 2015. The report reveals some startling facts.

A total of 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2015. All three major categories of crashes increased: fatalities, injuries, and property damage. This is an increase of over eight percent from 2014. The number of large trucks and buses that crashed, causing injuries, increased from 98,000 in 1995 to 102,000 in 2015. The ...

GM Ordered Half a Mil Ignition Switches before Issuing Recall

Friday, April 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

“If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.” This old saying holds true for so many literal and metaphorical situations. The saying also brings a lot of light to GM’s recent fiasco regarding faulty ignition switches. The adage is the exact opposite of what GM did about the switches: it knew they were broke, but didn’t fix them.

GM's defective ignition switch would turn to the "off" or "accessory" position while the car was being driven. Think about it: With a car off, several vital systems do not work, including power steering, power brakes, and, in the event of ...

Ignition Switches 101: How They Work

Thursday, April 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

In 2014, General Motors announced that it was recalling a large number of GM cars because of faulty ignition switches. Since that time, GM has officially accepted that 124 people have died from accidents caused by these faulty ignition switches. The family of each victim was paid at least $1 million as compensation. A further 275 people also received compensation for accidents caused by the faulty ignition switches.

Surprisingly, GM has already paid out $594.5 million in compensation, but that won't be the end of its problems. Hundreds of suits are still pending against GM in various US ...

NTSB Doggedly Pursuing Lower Blood Alcohol Concentration Limits in States

Thursday, April 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Almost all U.S. states limit a driver’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08 g/dL. A BAC level that reaches or exceeds this limitation is presumed to cause impairment in mental and motor skills.

Transportation safety agencies rightfully condemn driving under the influence (DUI), with yearly alcohol-related fatalities in the nation as high as 35%. The campaigns to reduce or eradicate accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers are understandably endless.

Between 2014 and 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) saw a spike of about 3.2% in alcohol-impaired crash deaths. Several measures have already been implemented to reduce ...

Could Your Social Media Accounts Come Back to Haunt You in a Lawsuit?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

Social media is a double edged sword. On one hand, it allows us to communicate regularly with friends and family, sharing our daily thoughts and experiences. On the other hand, a point in time can come when we wish certain other people did not have access to our information. Yes, there are controls in social media platforms that let us restrict access, but those are not always used effectively. Even with relatively strict privacy settings, having just one unintentional friend can cause your information to be shared beyond your desired circle.

If you are involved in ...

GM CEO Mary Barra Trying to Position GM Favorably after Ignition Switch Debacle

Wednesday, April 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

The current chief executive officer (CEO) of GM came to her position at one of the worst times. Mary Barra became the CEO during the defective ignition switch scandal. She’s had to deal with investigations, recalls, and lawsuits. In the midst of all of this, Barra is trying—with some success—to roll out positive changes to improve GM's public image. Consumers should not forget, however, the damage that has done by GM. The truth is that GM has killed over 120 people and injured numerous others by selling millions of cars that used a faulty ignition ...

GM Severely Underestimated Faulty Switch Deaths 10 Times Over

Tuesday, April 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

GM had long maintained that its defective ignition switches that prompted the recall of around 2.6 million vehicles had caused 13 deaths. But the man hired by GM to advise on the handling of complaints by consumers over the switches attributed 124 deaths to crashes caused by the switches—almost ten times the number cited by GM.

To avoid criminal charges by federal prosecutors in New York, GM agreed to establish a “full and independent victim compensation program” to consider claims by crash victims. The company set aside $625 million to fund the program. The hired consultant, ...

Can You Get Punitive Damages after a Crash with a Drunk Driver in California?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

A car crash is a difficult event to deal with. It causes damages to property, bodily harm and injuries, lost work time, pain and suffering, and in some cases permanent physical impairment or death. A car crash is more than an inconvenience; in some cases, it is a life-changing event.

What’s worse than being in a car crash is knowing that the crash could have been avoided. A car crash involving a drunk driver most definitely could have been avoided if that driver had not been drinking before he or she got behind the wheel

When you get into ...

Heartbreaking Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse Ends with Hope

Monday, April 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

Michelle Stevens was an ordinary eight-year-old girl when she reached the most unfortunate moment of her life. It was then that she met Gary Lundquist, her soon to be stepfather. Unbeknownst to her at the time, he would also be her tormentor.

Gary caged, abused, and raped Michelle throughout her childhood. The only time she had away from him was while at school during the day, where she tried valiantly to appear normal. Gary, who was a fifth grade teacher, did not stop at abusing Michelle. He was convicted of engaging in sexual contact with two ...

Investigation Showed that Ignition Switch Manufacturer Delphi Told GM the Part Wasn't Up to Specs

Monday, April 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

Defects are like computer viruses. The faster they are caught, the less damage they will do, and the less they will spread. Defective products cause damage not only to the people using them but also to the manufacturer, whose reputation is impacted. As the defect becomes known in other car models and becomes more and more common, the manufacturer loses credibility with the public and consumer goodwill. So when a defect is discovered, why would it not be fixed as soon as possible?

One of the most-talked-about car defects recently is GM’s ignition switch. The faulty ignition switch ...

Mother of Amber Marie Rose, Victim of Faulty GM Switch, Honored for Safety Contributions

Friday, April 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Awards are often given to people who deserve praise for their contributions to their fields. Emmys, Grammys, and even Nobel Prizes are awarded to those who make such an impact in their respective occupations that it changes and improves the quality of the entire field. Awards give others a glimpse of what to strive for and raise the bar for everyone who follows.

Recently, Laura Christian was awarded the first Clarence M. Ditlow Safety Champion Award. Mr. Ditlow was the executive director of The Center of Auto Safety for 40 years. He died in November, but ...

14-Year-Old Orange County Skateboarder Recovers $8M after Hit by Vehicle in Crosswalk

Friday, April 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Ten years ago, then only 14 years old, Samuel Kim was trying to cross the Street on a skateboard. Just as he entered the road, he was hit by a car driven by Arsham Baltayan, who was making a right hand turn. Samuel Kim was thrown off his skateboard and hit the pavement hard, sustaining blunt force trauma to his head in the process.

Immediately, he was rushed to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released. But that was not the end of it. Kim claimed that he began to suffer from severe paranoia and ...

Alexander Law Group Verdict Selected as One of Top 10 Product Liability Cases in the Nation

Thursday, April 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

Alexander Law Group, LLP has once again proven its track record after winning a high-dollar case in 2015. The Litigators’ Verdict and Settlement Exchange at LexisNexis recently released a listing of the Top 10 Product Liability Cases in the U.S., which recognized the firm’s notable success that hit a billion-dollar company backed with high-caliber legal counsel, with a verdict close to $80 million. The case was tried by Richard Alexander and Nina Shapirshteyn.

Alexander Law Group, LLP represented Florence Kuhlmann, one of the victims who suffered injuries caused by a defective Ethicon PPH 03 ...

GM Tries to Argue that if Ignition Switches Didn't Actually Malfunction, It Shouldn't Have to Pay

Thursday, April 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

In addition to claims for personal injury, GM is faced with other suits related to the faulty ignition switches in 2.6 million recalled vehicles. Plaintiffs in various states have sued the company for the devaluation of their cars caused by the recall.

Since the claims arise from various states and jurisdictions, they have been consolidated in a multidistrict action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. GM’s position is that it cannot be held liable when there has been no manifestation of the problem. In other words, if the switch did not ...

GM's Bankruptcy Appeal Marching Forward in U.S. Supreme Court

Wednesday, April 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the extent to which GM will be held liable for deaths and injuries caused by its faulty ignition switches. The company had appealed a decision by the Second Circuit of Appeals that would allow GM to be held accountable for more accidents than had been previously thought.

Under the bankruptcy sale that allowed GM to survive as a viable automaker, New GM obtained the assets of Old GM, but not its liabilities unless provided for in the approved bankruptcy sale. While New GM agreed to satisfy claims for accidents involving Old ...

What Is Products Liability Law? Here Are Some Examples

Wednesday, April 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

Defective goods cause thousands of injuries in the U.S. every year. The good news is that the legal rules applying to manufacturers and sellers of such dangerous goods are unlike ordinary injury law rules. Sometimes, they help injured persons recover money damages more easily.

Generally, under law, a product must adhere to the ordinary expectations of a consumer. But when a product comes with an unexpected defect, it cannot be said the product has met a consumer's ordinary expectations.

For this reason, the manufacturer or seller responsible for placing the defective goods in the hands of the consumer can ...

Rethinking the Single-Vehicle Crash in Light of GM's Defective Ignition Switch

Tuesday, April 18, 2017By Richard Alexander

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009, there were approximately 30,000 deaths on our Nation’s highways. Since then, more than 390 million cars, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and mopeds, as well as 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats have been recalled to correct safety defects.

In 2015, 3,176 Californians lost their lives in car accidents. Of those deaths, almost 60% of them occurred in single-vehicle crashes.

Millions of GM vehicles made over the past ten or more years have been ...

Anti-Epileptic Drug Could Help Reduce Brain Injury Swelling

Tuesday, April 18, 2017By Richard Alexander

There are many promising new developments on the horizon for victims of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). One of the most exciting involves the anti-seizure medication Acetazolamide, also known as "AZA."

When a TBI-causing impact occurs, the initial damage is referred to as the "primary" injury. Primary injuries are varied and can include the following:

  • damage to both sides of the brain from the smashing of the organ against the inside of the skull (known as coup-contrecoup injury);
  • broken skull bone;
  • bleeding and bruising; and
  • tearing of brain tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.

Secondary damage occurs after the initial impact. ...

Did California Make the List of the Nation's Worst Drivers?

Monday, April 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

From time to time, organizations come up with rankings for the best "this" and the worst "that." It's always interesting to see how the states compare with one another in these rankings. One type of ranking that usually hits home with many of us is that which compares our abilities across state lines, such as those that purport to rank the best and worst drivers.

A recent study by SmartAsset reviewed several factors to determine which states had the worst drivers in the nation. The group looked at these items:

  • the percentage of drivers who carried insurance;
  • each ...

It Had to Happen: Many Sue FTC for Letting Dealers to Sell Cars with Open Recalls

Monday, April 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

A recall on a car usually means there’s a defect that can cause very serious complications in its operation, resulting in severe injuries and even death. That’s why so many people were appalled at the fact that the FTC allowed car dealers to sell recalled vehicles and advertise them as safe.

Cars with recalls were able to be called "safe" after what was dubbed as rigorous testing, even though the cars were recalled and the defects that had them recalled in the first place were never fixed or repaired. The car companies—like GM—did have to admit ...

Viking Range to Pay $4.65 Million Civil Penalty

Monday, April 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just issued a press release about the $4.65 million civil penalty that Viking Range has agreed to pay in connection with charges that they failed to report defective gas ranges in a timely manner. According to the CPSC, Viking Range, LLC of Greenwood, Mississippi, and Viking’s parent firm, The Middleby Corporation of Elgin, Illinois have agreed to pay the multi-million-dollar civil penalty in addition to maintaining internal compliance controls moving forward. The penalty settles charges that the company failed to immediately report defective and dangerous gas ranges to the ...

The Dangers of Ignoring Safety Recalls: Death, Injuries, and Liabilities

Friday, April 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

Millions of GM vehicles have been recalled. The recalled vehicles have defective ignition switches which, when they malfunction, can lead to car accidents, severe injuries, and even death.

The dangerously affected vehicles had been on our roads and highways for almost ten years before GM initiated the recall. The first recall was made in 2014. The defective ignition switches on the affected vehicles can be jostled into the “off” mode while someone is driving the car, which is when the switch should be in the “on” mode. When a vehicle is turned off while driving, the power steering, ...

How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help You after a Bad Crash?

Friday, April 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

Hiring the best California truck accident lawyer to work on your case can be one of the most valuable decisions you make after an accident. Crashes with big rigs are particularly devastating, and only an attorney with deep experience in this area can help you receive the highest recovery and get your life back on track.

Unfortunately, a layperson usually does not have the knowledge or resources to compete with trucking industry law firms. Law firms that represent trucking companies have deep pockets and are skilled in finding and exploiting every weakness of an injured person's case. That's ...

Do Older Drivers Crash More Often?

Thursday, April 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

There is a common idea in our society that older drivers crash more often than their younger counterparts. Is this true? Do America's elder drivers, typically the most experienced of us all, really have more car accidents than younger drivers?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2013, over 5,500 drivers aged 65 and older were killed in car wrecks; 222,000 were injured in traffic accidents.

However, to answer the question of whether older drivers really are involved in more crashes, we need to consider not sheer numbers of crashes but rather crash rates. Crash ...

How Is GM Holding up in the Face of Major Liability, Fines Due to Faulty Ignition Switches, if You Care

Thursday, April 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

Despite millions of dollars in penalties and fines, and despite the billions of dollars in lawsuit settlements, and the costs of recalls, GM’s bottom line seems unaffected by its ignition switch recall. In fact, GM is experiencing record earnings, beating Wall Street predictions, and compensating its employees with a record amount of bonuses.

GM continues to face costs associated with the repair of over 2.4 million vehicles, as well as the costs associated with countless claims and lawsuits brought against it for damages caused by defective ignition switches. In an attempt to protect its bottom line over 10 ...

What Is "Crashworthiness" and Why Does It Matter?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Even though you always want to avoid car accidents, they are sometimes beyond your control. When accidents happen, you’ll want a safe car that is well-built to protect its passengers. This is where crashworthiness comes into play. Crashworthiness is a standard measure for how safe a car is during a crash.

Crashworthiness was designed not just as a way to measure how safe a car is, but also to make car companies more aware of safety and to value safety in general. A person is much more likely to buy a car that is proven safer ...

Here's What You Need to Know about Trucking Accident Claims

Wednesday, April 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Crashes involving big rigs are distinctly different than passenger car wrecks on many levels. There are obvious reasons, such as the significant size and weight of the truck, which can easily inflict serious damage. But there are also differences in how these cases are investigated and tried.

An experienced trucking accident attorney has the specialized knowledge to help get you the best result after a crash with a tractor-trailer. The fundamentals of these cases parallel those in ordinary car wreck cases, but people with no experience in the area can easily miss important legal theories and evidence.

A basic ...

Improvements in the Military's Treatment of Soldier TBI

Tuesday, April 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

Improvements in the detection and treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) happen so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up. Researchers consistently study new technology, assessments, and drugs to make strides in this area. There are several great examples in the area of the military.

The causes of TBIs in soldiers are complex and include blast waves, which increase air pressure—and thus pressure inside the skull—substantially and quickly. As with TBIs suffered by members of the general public, the consequences can be deadly. Even when they are not fatal, blast waves may cause severe changes in ...

GM Ignition Switch Recall: By the Numbers

Tuesday, April 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

The total cost of GM’s ignition switch catastrophe may never be known. Some of the cost to car crash victims and their families can’t really even be counted. Is there a dollar figure that can be placed on a human life?

GM knew for over ten years that many of its vehicles contained faulty ignition switches. Those switches have caused hundreds, maybe even thousands, of car accidents in the more than 10 years that these vehicles have been on the market.

Those accidents have led to hundreds of serious injuries and at least 174 deaths! GM could have easily ...

The Defective GM Ignition Switch: How It Affects Power Braking

Monday, April 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

It is clear that the ability to easily use your vehicle’s braking system while driving is of utmost importance to vehicle and passenger safety. The loss of the braking system can lead to car accidents, both minor and severe, and some completely tragic.

Most all vehicles have power braking systems. Power brakes are required for vehicles with disc brakes, which is the most common type of brakes on cars these days. This system provides the driver with the capability to brake, slow, and stop the vehicle with little physical effort on the driver’s part.

The power braking system is ...

Six Programs that Help Reduce Teen Crashes

Monday, April 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

A problem shared by parents and state administrators alike is how to improve teen driving safety. Fortunately, states often share information about programs that work—and don’t work—enabling us all to make steady progress toward protecting our young drivers.

Car crashes kill more teenagers in the U.S. than any other cause. The lack of teen driving experience, along with feelings of invincibility, sometimes leads teen drivers to injury and death. This is a nationwide problem that we all must address.

Every state has a state highway safety office charged with improving traffic safety within state lines. One of the ways ...

Talking to Passengers Raises Trucker Risk of Safety-Critical Events

Friday, April 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

Have you ever wondered whether talking to passengers creates a dangerous situation on the road? If so, you’re not alone. A report from the Virginia Technical Transportation Institute reviewed the effect of conversations with passengers on tractor-trailer drivers.

The researchers collected real-time data using monitoring systems onboard the trucks. Two cameras were used in each vehicle: one facing the road ahead and the other reviewing the driver and much of the cab of the truck. The systems also collected data about the truck and driver, such as speed, acceleration, and driver eye glances.

The monitoring systems operated ...

The Defective GM Ignition Switch: How It Affects Proper Airbag Operation

Friday, April 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

Airbags are perhaps the greatest life-saving safety device ever incorporated into automobiles. Before them, the shoulder belt restraint probably held that distinction, and before that, the lap belt. The technology of airbags is really amazing.

Airbag systems do the following things in succession when activated:

  • Detect the speed of the car;
  • Send an electrical current when triggered;
  • Create an explosion;
  • Inflate the airbag; and
  • Deflate the airbag;

The system does all of these things in 1/25 of a second! When these things don’t happen as they should, well, more serious personal injury almost always results.

One of the deadly consequences of the GM ignition switch ...

The Defective GM Ignition Switch: How It Affects Power Steering

Thursday, April 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

Anyone who has ever driven a car that did not have power steering, knows how much easier it is to drive a car with that feature. It’s a complex mechanism that overcomes the resistance between the road and the weight of the car, as well as between the mechanical parts of the steering system. Without it, maintaining control of the vehicle is difficult.

Power steering has an interesting history, as the first tests of such a component happened around 1876, with the first actual power steering system (an electric motor providing steering assistance) being produced in ...

Are Motorcycle Helmet Laws a Public Health Issue?

Thursday, April 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies many different public health concerns. From Zika and the Flu to various food and environmental illness and disease threats, they’re on top of all cutting-edge research relating to public health. It may or may not come as a surprise to many that they also study the impact of universal motorcycle helmet laws as they relate to public health and safety. The CDC’s data-driven research regarding how motorcycle helmet laws impact greater public health is an important study not just for motorcyclists, but also for anybody in ...

Improper Fuel, Improperly Installed Cables Lead to Pair of Fatal Small Plane Crashes, Lawsuits

Thursday, April 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

Small planes can be prone to major errors, leading to devastation even when experienced pilots are in command. A pair of Piper planes recently crashed in separate incidents in the Spokane, Washington area. Preventable errors led to each fatal crash.

In the first, a 61-year-old pilot flying from Alberta, Canada to California crashed just after stopping for fuel. It is believed that the crash was caused because the Piper Malibu Mirage propeller plane was improperly refilled with jet fuel.

The pilot's family filed a lawsuit, alleging that the fuel station was not equipped with separate nozzles to ...

Nursing Study: Hospital-Based Training Can Help Teens Want to Avoid Distracted Driving

Wednesday, April 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

A recent study published in the Journal of Trauma Nursing might help parents learn how to help their teens avoid dangerous distracted driving.

If you are or have ever been the parent of a teenager, you know that they need to learn things on their own. As parents, we can help guide them in the right direction, but it can be difficult to “tell” them what to do.

It is often more effective to give teens the information they need to make smart, informed decisions. That’s where the recent study comes in.

A large number of teenagers—900, to ...

Faulty GM Ignition Switch Can Kill in More Ways than One

Wednesday, April 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

Faulty ignition switches on GM cars have caused hundreds of accidents over the years. One of these cases is especially gut-wrenching. This is the story of Denis Herndon, a former drug addict who, after his recovery, started a chain of drug treatment centers to help other people like him.

On the fateful night of July 16, 2012, Herndon was giving a lift to David Aroian in his 2003 Saturn Ion. The car was close to Big Bear Lake in California when the engine suddenly shut off, disabling the power brakes and power steering.

Before the occupants realized what was ...

What Happens in a Head-On Collision?

Tuesday, April 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

A head-on collision can be one of the most devastating types of car crashes. However, after actually studying what happens during this type of crash, it’s actually the same effect that would occur if either vehicle hit a non-moving object. It’s tempting to assume that two cars hitting one another at 40 miles per hour (mph) makes the cars feel like they are colliding with a solid object at 80 mph. However, this isn't what happens, as Newton’s Third Law of Motion would explain.

Because the forces distributed by the cars in the above example are ...

ER Docs Treating Brain Injuries Must Attend to Body Position and Temperature

Tuesday, April 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

When you hear the words “vital signs,” what comes to mind? Many of us have been in the hospital or know someone who has. Nurses make their rounds frequently, checking measurements such as body temperature and blood pressure. One of the reasons this is done is because vital signs are key in helping medical staff see what is happening inside the body so that diagnosis and treatment can be quick and effective.

The time period just after a brain injury takes place is critical. When a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs, two types of damage result. ...

Before Long, Trucking Companies Will Have to Check National Drug Clearinghouse

Monday, April 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

It is imperative that commercial truck and bus drivers not drive impaired. That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a federal rule establishing a nationwide clearinghouse for drug and alcohol testing violations.

Federal law requires commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who perform safety-sensitive functions to undergo certain drug and alcohol testing. People who are subject to testing requirements are subject to testing before operating commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and after certain accidents, for example. They are also subject to random testing by their employers.

Previously, there was no central repository for this information. ...

Don't Let GM Stories on Self-Driving Cars Overshadow Its Big Story: Deadly Switches

Monday, April 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

Self-driving cars are a pretty popular topic, and a divisive one. On one hand, they could allow disabled people to get to where they need to go without public transportation or a private driver. On the other hand, some experts believe that self-driving cars could be dangerous to have on the road with no human to correct the guidance. Toyota and GM have been trying to get more states to allow for testing of these cars so that they can iron out all of the problems, and there are quite a few.

When the technology emerged, ...

California, One of Five States Accounting for 25 Percent of ATV Deaths

Monday, April 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

California is one of five states that accounts for 25 percent of all reported ATV-related deaths in America. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that there are about 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries associated with All Terrain Vehicles each year, nationwide. Data shows that five states account for a quarter of all ATV-related crash deaths. California is one of those states, and comes in second place, right behind Texas, with the highest number of ATV-related deaths in the nation. The CPSC analyzed data from 1982 through 2012 to determine where most ATV crash deaths were occurring.

ATV-Related Crash ...

Defective Bistro Chairs From Pier 1 Imports

Monday, April 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just issued a press release about defective bistro-style chairs from the popular home décor retailer Pier 1 Imports. According to the CPSC, Pier 1 Imports is recalling Neely and Dahlia Bistro Chairs due to a defect that can cause these chairs to fall apart, posing a fall risk for consumers. These bistro chairs were sold individually and in sets that included a table and two chairs. They were available in a wide variety of colors online and at Pier 1 Imports stores from January 2013 through July 2016.

Defective Pier 1 Imports Chairs

The ...

Were You in a Crash in or with a Chevy, Pontiac, or Saturn?

Friday, March 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

Crashes can happen all too often, but if you own a Chevy, Pontiac, or Saturn, the crash may not have been your fault. GM recalled a lot of these GM models for having faulty ignition switches, a safety problem that could be fatal if left unfixed.

The problem with the ignition switches is that they may turn to the "accessory" or "off" position while the car is in motion. When this happens, the car loses its power brakes and power steering, and the airbags will not deploy. This triple threat makes crashes much more likely and makes them ...

Proposed Volkswagen Settlement on Emissions Cheat Device Filed in Northern Cal.

Friday, March 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Volkswagen emissions saga continues here in the Golden State. A second settlement has been reached in federal court between California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Volkswagen.

In 2013, a team from West Virginia University discovered that Volkswagen had installed software in some of its vehicles that cheated emissions tests. The software, widely known as a "defeat device," kept emissions levels down during testing. But out on the open road, emissions levels were much, much higher, violating federal and California safety laws.

Angered, consumers sued. The first settlement, valued ...

Injured due to Second-Row Honda Odyssey Seat? Call Today...

Thursday, March 30, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you own a Honda Odyssey, you should be aware of an important safety recall involving the second-row seat. Over 634,000 minivans are affected by this issue, which Honda has known about for years but only recently reported to federal regulators.

The second-row seat slides forward to allow easier access to the third-row seat. However, a latch that releases the seat may not work properly. When the latch fails, the seat can slide forward suddenly and without warning.

The first official complaint about this issue was made in January 2011, when a customer made a warranty claim. A few ...

Blame-the-Driver Culture Likely Contributed to Delayed Connection between GM Switches and Crashes

Thursday, March 30, 2017By Richard Alexander

When no obvious reason can be attributed to a car crash, investigators are likely to chalk it up to driver error. That sometimes makes it harder to demonstrate that another cause was really at work. A lot of the accidents that were actually caused by the GM ignition switch were initially blamed on driver error. Distracted driving is so common now that no one bats an eye when a driver loses control and crashes.

The GM ignition switch defect can cause a lot of problems for drivers that mimic the signs of distracted driving. The defect ...

If New Prez Kills the CFPB, What Will It Mean for Your Family?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

With Donald Trump as the country’s new president and a Republican-majority Congress, major changes are anticipated in many federal agencies. One likely target is a relative newcomer on the scene, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The CFPB was created early in President Obama’s administration in response to the 2008 crisis in the financial and lending industry. The primary goal of the Bureau is “to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.” The agency does this by enforcing federal laws that govern the finance and banking industry.

For example, ...

2010 Death in Chevy Cobalt Led to First Set of Ignition Switch Recalls

Wednesday, March 29, 2017By Richard Alexander

Brooke Melton was like any other car owner on the road. She had some car troubles every so often, but she stayed safe while driving and never drove distracted. Unfortunately, her safe driving couldn't avoid a fatal problem with her 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Three days after the first time her car stalled while driving, it happened again, causing her to hit an oncoming car. She was dead before she could be transported to the hospital.

Brooke's wrongful death in 2010 was the catalyst that made the public aware that GM had a problem with its

Young Georgia Mom's Airbags Never Inflated, Father Knew Crash Didn't Make Sense

Tuesday, March 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

Losing a family member can be hard, but the pain can be even more amplified when the death should never have happened in the first place. Steve Smith, a former GM parts maker, had to endure that pain when his daughter, Aubrey Williams—the mother of two of his grandchildren—was killed in a car accident with an 18-wheeler hauling logs. Steve knew something wasn’t right. His daughter was always an exceptionally safe driver, yet the police report chalked the accident up to distracted driving.

That all changed when GM recalled millions of vehicles with ignition switch defects. ...

Improper Truck Loading Can Lead to Horrific Accidents

Tuesday, March 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you’ve ever been next to a commercial truck negotiating a curve at high speed, you can appreciate the sense of fear that many drivers have of these metal beasts. Loaded to the hilt, a commercial truck, such as a dump truck, can weigh 80,000 pounds. But did you know that improper loading of these vehicles can cause or contribute to horrible accidents?

Consider the case of the Walsh family. Dan and Gail Walsh had two autistic sons in their 20s. Gail volunteered in the autism community where they lived, in Pennsylvania. She also took care of the ...

GM Knew Ignition Switch Was Defective Four Years before Anyone Died

Monday, March 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

When a tire has a hole in it, an immediate fix is necessary. If the tire is allowed to go flat, it can cause a loss of control, resulting in severe personal injuries and serious damage to your vehicle.

Car owners face safety issues like this every day. When they know about a safety issue, they fix it. Why should it be any different for a giant company like GM? When it knows about a safety issue with its cars, it should fix the problem. Part of that fix is immediately informing customers. Unfortunately, that did ...

Civil Lawsuit Vocab 101: Pleadings and Parties

Monday, March 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Being involved in a lawsuit for the first time can be intimidating. Whether you’re reading about the law on the Internet or talking with your lawyer about your case, you’re likely to hear many words that you haven’t heard before. Even some words that you know have different meanings in the law.

Some of the most basic legal terminology relates to the people or companies involved in a lawsuit and what various papers are called. We’ll review some of these terms using a basic car accident case.

Let’s say that Polly is driving her Prius on the ...

When Is the Most Dangerous Time to Drive?

Friday, March 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

Most people know to be extremely careful when driving on major holidays due to increased drunk driving. But have you ever wondered when the worst month, day, or time is to drive?

If you have, you’re not alone. As you might expect, any time during which alcohol use is increased tends to be more dangerous. For example, night time is more dangerous than day time. Over one-third of deadly accidents at night involve alcohol, compared to less than 10 percent during the day.

Other factors contributing to night time accidents include compromised vision, lack of ...

First Fatal Crash Tied to Defective GM Switch Involved 16-Year-Old Maryland Driver

Friday, March 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

In 2005, Amber Marie Rose, a 16-year-old girl from Maryland, would not come home after she crashed her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt into a tree. On that fateful day, her airbags did not deploy. Had those airbags been functioning correctly, Amber may have survived.

At the time, Amber’s family did not know why the airbags failed to inflate. It was nearly nine years after her fatal crash when her family learned that the airbags were disabled because of a defective ignition switch.

Despite being aware in 2005 of Amber’s fatal crash and its possible connection to a defective ignition switch, ...

GM Engineer Saw Defective Switches as a Nuisance, Referred to Part as the “Switch from Hell”

Thursday, March 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. But when you look at the General Motors defective ignition switch catastrophe in hindsight, it leaves you wondering “how in the world did that happen?”

It is not exactly a comedy of errors, and there's nothing funny about it, but it did result from a series of bad decisions on the part of at least one GM engineer, Ray DeGiorgio, who was responsible for approving use of the new switch. DeGiorgio admitted that he knew it did not meet what is known as torque specifications.

Torque specifications for a car's ignition switch relate ...

Top Factors that Affect the Value of Personal Injury Lawsuits

Thursday, March 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many accident victims have never been involved in a lawsuit before, so they don’t know what to expect. Friends and family suggest that their cases are worth a lot of money, and they wonder whether that is true. Although there is no magic formula for determining the value of a personal injury case, there are some factors that usually affect a payout.

The most obvious thing that affects the value of a personal injury lawsuit is who was at fault. In fact, this one factor alone can make or break a personal injury case.

State accident laws vary widely. ...

Interested in Working in Brain Injury Services? Learn More Here...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

People who work with brain injury victims often feel a special calling to the field. Sometimes, they know someone who suffered a brain injury. Other times, they want to serve people with special needs. Regardless, many people who work in this area decide to obtain a certification from the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS).

Victims of traumatic brain injury can be impacted in nearly every aspect of their lives. People who work with these patients and their families can be much more effective if they learn about how brain injuries impact people.

The ACBIS offers ...

At Least 13 Lives Lost over $10 Defective GM Switch: Why?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

When employees are working on a project, they sometimes do not want the boss involved. His or her involvement may make their jobs harder. However, bosses should definitely have been involved when GM was working on its ignition switches.

Here’s the problem: These defective switches would turn from "on" to “accessory” during driving, turning off the engine. When this happened, it would disable the power steering, the power brakes, and even the airbags. As a result, the driver could not control the car properly, and when he or she crashed, the airbags would be inoperable.

Lives were ...

GM Slapped with $35 Million Penalty for Defective Ignition Switch Cover-Up

Tuesday, March 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Defective ignition switches on millions of GM vehicles have led to countless car accidents and over a dozen fatalities. The defective switches turn the vehicle off while driving. This causes the driver to lose power steering and power braking capabilities. Also, if the vehicle ignition switch is in the off position, the airbags will not inflate in a crash.

GM knew about this defect for nearly 10 years before it recalled the affected vehicles. It appears that GM kept it from regulators from 2012 to 2014, when it finally recalled the vehicles. The failure on GM’s part to ...

The Mechanics of Closed Head Injuries

Tuesday, March 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many people have heard the term “closed head injury,” but did you know that “open head injuries” also exist? Open head injuries involve a breach of the skull, which protects the brain. These injuries are frightening because there is usually a large amount of blood and because pieces of the skull can become lodged in the brain, requiring surgery.

A closed head injury exists when the skull is not compromised. For example, in a car wreck, the brain may be slammed into one side of the skull, then bounce into the other side of the skull. This type ...

Makes Sense? Or Senseless? Distracted Driving Penalties in California

Monday, March 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

Distracted driving and impaired driving rank among the top causes of crashes in the U.S. Both are illegal under California law. But have you ever noticed that even though they are both deadly, their penalties are very different?

The Centers for Disease Control report that distracted driving is involved in about 18 percent of traffic deaths each year. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control report that impaired driving causes about 31 percent of traffic deaths annually. Therefore, both distracted driving and impaired driving play a major role in causing or contributing to U.S. ...

Here’s How It Went Down: A GM Defective Switch Timeline

Monday, March 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

The story of GM’s defective ignition switches is one of neglect and poor judgment. The ignition switch problem caused the switches to turn from "on" to "accessory" while the car was in operation. This would cause affected cars to turn off, disabling power steering and power brakes. Worse yet, because the engine was off, the airbags wouldn’t deploy.

The defect was first noticed during testing of the Saturn Ion in 2001. Although it was declared fixed, reports of problems continued to filter in. In 2004, GM saw the defect come up again as it tested the ...

Pennsylvania Family of Five Horribly Affected after Fatal GM Switch Crash

Friday, March 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

In November of 2013, a young Pennsylvania father of five, James Yingling, III, died after he spent 17 days in a coma caused by a crash in a GM vehicle. At the time, the Yingling family could not understand why or how the accident occurred. “No one understood why Yingling had failed to turn when the road ended at a “T” intersection, leaving his car badly damaged and lying on its side in a ditch.

In early 2014, just a few short months after Yingling’s fatal accident, GM recalled millions of vehicles in early 2014 because ...

The 4 Major Causes of Bad Burn Injuries

Friday, March 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many of us remember, from our high school science classes, rules and precautions for working with chemicals safely. Chemicals can start fires, and some even inflict burns without a fire. Even so, chemical burns are only one of the four major causes of burns.

The four major causes of burns are chemical, electrical, radiological, and thermal. The chemical burns we remember hearing about in high school are caused by very acidic or alkaline substances. These include some common household items, such as drain cleaner, gasoline, and paint thinner. One of the main problems with chemical burns ...

Families of Police Shooting Victims Sometimes Recover Millions

Thursday, March 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

Since the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, people across the country are particularly tuned into the topic of police brutality. It seems that not a week goes by that we do not hear about the latest confrontation between a police agency and criminal suspects. This is a developing area of the law that sometimes sees wrongful death cases settled with families for millions.

Lawsuits based on alleged police brutality involve aspects of both personal injury and civil rights laws. Because of acute sensitivity to such cases, these matters are often in ...

Will Feds Catch Problems Like GM Switch Defect under New Administration?

Thursday, March 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

In the current political climate, people wonder whether the various branches of government will change directions drastically or stay the course. One such agency is the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). This is the agency charged with improving safety on the highways, including issuing safety recalls for defective vehicle parts.

So far, there is no indication of whether the new president or his appointees intend for the agency to operate any differently. The director of the NHTSA has left, and a replacement has not yet been named.

In recent years, the agency has been shifting its focus from reacting ...

In Self-Critical Doc, Federal Auto Safety Agency Set a Path to Catch Safety Issues Sooner Next Time

Wednesday, March 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

The GM ignition switch safety recall appears to have sent a chill down the spine of the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Why? Because GM personnel knew about the problem as early as 2004, but did not report it to the NHTSA until 2014. In addition, the NHTSA’s accident reporting structure did not pick up on the problem. Consequently, the problem lingered for 10 years, during which innocent victims were being killed and injured.

The switch problem caused certain GM cars to shut off while being driven when the ignition switch suddenly went from the “on” position to ...

Factors that Impact Birth Injury Settlements

Wednesday, March 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

Birth injuries are among the most heartbreaking because they affect the newest members of humanity. And although some birth injuries are unavoidable, many are entirely preventable. Have you ever wondered how birth injury settlements are calculated? Is there a formula for determining the value of these distressing circumstances?

Unfortunately, there are no rules that can provide certainty about the value of a birth injury settlement. Each case is unique and is very dependent on the facts and the law that applies to those facts. However, there are certain factors that may make a birth injury case more (or ...

How Does California's Brain Injury Association Help Families?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims and their families must deal with those injuries for life. This is no small feat. Fortunately, the California Brain Injury Association offers resources to help families adapt.

Did you know that about 1.7 million people suffer a TBI every year? In addition, over 50,000 people die, and nearly 300,000 are hospitalized. Motor vehicle accidents cause about 20% of TBIs, more than any cause other than falls.

Because the brain is the body’s control center, a TBI can affect nearly every area of a person’s life:

  • thinking;
  • sensing the environment;
  • feeling;
  • communicating;
  • concentrating;
  • speaking;
  • understanding;
  • memorizing; and
  • controlling parts of the body.

It ...

Did You Know that a Federal Safety Agency Admitted It Should Have Caught GM Switch Problem Sooner?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

A car's broken air conditioner or door handle are problems that don’t really require immediate attention, but with problems that can cause a wreck, immediate attention is warranted. This was exactly the case with the widely-publicized defective GM ignition switch.

The ignition switch in some models of GM vehicles could turn from "on" to “accessory”, turning off the engine. This disabled the power steering and power brakes, making the