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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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, ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 car much more difficult to control. Even worse, in the case of a collision, the airbags would not inflate. This serious defect has caused hundreds of accidents and an ...

CarMax Settles Federal Charges of Selling GM Cars without Disclosing Ignition Defects

Monday, March 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you have ever had a car that was subject to a safety recall, you probably know how easy it is to go online and learn about it. Yet CarMax, one of the major used car retailers in the nation, doesn’t bother to address pending recalls before it sells a car. For unwary buyers of certain General Motors vehicles equipped with a recalled ignition switch, that could be fatal.

The GM switch problem has been deemed by safercar.gov as a “serious safety issue that should be addressed immediately." The faulty switches may cause a vehicle engine ...

What Causes Pileups?

Monday, March 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

On New Year’s Eve, a 30-car pileup on Interstate 5 near Fort Tejon left two dead and several other people injured. The crash happened during daylight hours, impacting traffic on the interstate for several hours. Have you ever wondered what leads to horrible crashes like this?

Multi-vehicle accidents comprise about one-third of crashes nationwide. Pile-ups are common on high-speed roads, such as freeways, as well as at intersections.

Particularly when high speeds are involved, it only takes a second-literally-for a pile-up to occur. Just a moment of distraction or one poor decision is all it takes to ...

Study: Improved Sleep Linked with Recovery from Brain Injury

Friday, March 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

The human brain is an amazing organ. It seems that every day we learn more about the brain’s capabilities and the role it plays in our daily lives. When the brain is compromised, such as after a traumatic brain injury, sleep patterns often suffer. And recent research is starting to show a link between sleeping normally and recovering from brain injuries.

The study was published in the journal Neurology in December by a neuropsychologist from the University of Montreal. The subjects of the study were 30 patients who had suffered from moderate to severe traumatic brain ...

Did You Know Some Drivers Were Convicted of Crimes due to GM’s Defective Switches?

Friday, March 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

There has been a lot of publicity about the safety recall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of certain General Motors cars that have defective ignition switches. There are several storylines, such as the injuries and deaths that have been caused by the switches, the lawsuits that have been filed, and the effects of GM’s bankruptcy on lawsuits. A less prominent one is that people have been convicted of crimes for vehicular manslaughter, when the wrecks were not their fault.

The faulty switches cause the car’s engine to stall when it suddenly changes from the “on” ...

Woman Had to Fight Dealership to Take Back New Chevy with Defective Switch

Thursday, March 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

After purchasing a new Chevrolet Cobalt, Jessica Justice immediately started having problems with the car. She noticed that the car would randomly stall while driving it. Sometimes she noticed the stalling right away, and other times, it would take her a few seconds to realize it had stalled. But she would notice when she was unable to accelerate, and she quickly learned that she could not brake or steer the vehicle when it stalled.

It is clear that Jessica’s Cobalt had a defective ignition switch, a problem that many Cobalt owners faced.

An ignition switch generally has four positions. ...

Move Over, Slow Down Designed to Avoid Crashes, Help Emergency Crews

Thursday, March 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

California’s “Move Over, Slow Down” law plays an important part in protecting you. This law mandates that drivers take certain actions when they approach emergency vehicles on a freeway.

Emergency personnel are deployed to the scene of many different types of emergencies such as these:

  • automobile accidents;
  • vehicle breakdowns;
  • chemical spills; and
  • fires

In addition, authorized emergency vehicles are often involved in traffic stops and traffic control.

Many people are aware that this law exists but may not be aware of exactly when it applies or what it requires them to do.

First, this law applies only on freeways. Second, the law only ...

Additional Polaris ROV Recall: Burn and Fire Hazard

Thursday, March 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

Additional Polaris off-highway vehicles (ROVs) have been added to the initial recall involving defective and potentially fire-causing RZR and GENERAL ROVs. We have been following the Polaris ROV recalls since last September, when approximately 13,000 vehicle had been recalled over the past year due to the potential for fire hazard and burn injury to users. The initial recall, announced on the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s (CPSC) website, stated that a total of 19 incidents involving these ROVs catching fire were reported. In at least six of those initial incidents, burn injuries were reported including one case where ...

Jury Awards Chicago Family $13M in Birth Injury Case

Wednesday, March 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

Imagine that your 12-year-old son cannot speak. He has a shortened life expectancy due to an injury he suffered at birth while in a top-notch metropolitan hospital. Because he cannot walk, you must carry him up and down the stairs of your home. He needs you to help him bathe, eat, and go to the bathroom.

For Lisa Ewing of Chicago, this is no imaginary experience. Lisa’s son, Isaiah, was born at the University of Chicago Medical Center in 2004. He will continue to suffer from significant neurological symptoms for his entire life.

It has been a long, hard ...

How to Spot a Defective Ignition Switch

Wednesday, March 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

A faulty ignition switch in your vehicle can be deadly. This switch is responsible for starting your engine, keeping it running while driving. Millions of GM vehicles have been recalled due to defective ignition switches. The defective switches have a tendency to slip into the accessory or off positions while driving the vehicle.

When the ignition switch is in the “accessory” or “off” positions, the power steering and power brakes become disabled. Also, should you experience a collision when your engine is off, your airbags will fail to deploy. This can lead to great bodily harm and, unfortunately, ...

How Do You Know You're Not Buying a GM Affected by an Open Recall?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you're in the market for a used car, it's important to know that you're buying a safe car. Plenty of people buy cars that are new to them, some through dealership "certified" programs and others from a corner lot. But how do you know that the car you are buying is not affected by a dangerous open recall?

When you think about all of the deadly recalls in recent years—nonfunctioning air bags, malfunctioning seat belt pretensioners, faulty switches that cause cars to shut off—the importance of this issue becomes very clear. Defective parts can lead to horrible ...

Is Your Personal Info at Risk with the DMV?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

It seems that every time we go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), we are required to provide more information. It can be frustrating in the era of personal privacy to feel that we are stuck giving loads of confidential information to a state agency. What gives?

In 2005, Congress passed a law that sets strict standards that states must meet for driver's licenses to qualify as "official" for federal government purposes. The law is called the REAL ID Act, and it is a significant change for many states. For example, to travel on commercial airlines (even ...

Life In prison For "Killer" Neurosurgeon

Tuesday, March 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

A neurosurgeon in Dallas, Texas is facing a life sentence after being convicted of aggravated assault and injury to the elderly. According to a recent Medscape report, the 45-year-old neurosurgeon, Christopher Duntsch, MD, botched dozens of surgeries in the two years he worked in the Dallas area. At least two patients were killed due to botched operations and others were left paralyzed or in constant pain after their surgeries.

Repeated Harm to Patients

The prosecution was quick to point out that this wasn’t a case of a few bad outcomes for the self-described “Best Spine Surgeon in Dallas.” ...

Keurig Green Mountain $5.8 Million Civil Penalty

Tuesday, March 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced that Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. has agreed to pay a $5.8 million civil penalty associated with the charge that they failed to immediately report defective coffee brewers. According to the CPSC, the charges stated that Keurig knowingly failed to report a defect, which posed an unreasonable risk of serious injury, to the CPSC in a timely fashion. The coffee brewing system in question was the Keurig MINI Plus Brewing Systems. Under federal law, product manufacturers are required to notify the CPSC of any potentially dangerous defects as soon ...

How to Prove Your Crash Was Caused by a Tractor-Trailer

Monday, March 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

Wouldn't it be great if there was a formula that could tell you exactly how to prove your case after an accident with a big rig? Unfortunately, every lawsuit is different, but there are some basics you can learn to understand more about the evidence that is important and why it is important.

But first things first. How you prove your case depends on who you are suing and what they did to cause the crash. To have a successful lawsuit against someone, you must have what is called a theory of legal liability. For example, you might ...

But Wait, There's More . . . GM Power Steering Recall

Monday, March 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you were injured in a crash involving a GM-manufactured product any time in the last 10 years, it’s worth your while to talk to an experienced attorney about your case. GM has had several major recalls in recent years, recalls of defective car parts that cause severe injuries and even deaths.

We have posted many blogs here on our website to help you learn about the potential problems posed by faulty ignition switches, bad airbag software, and even ineffective welds. We’ve brought you stories of victims who were killed and their grieving families, and we will continue ...

GM-Made 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Airbag Recall (Rear Side Air Bag Inflator)

Friday, March 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you follow any reliable media outlet, you already know that millions of GM vehicles are fitted with defective parts that can cause airbags not to deploy in a crash. In addition to some of its vehicles being part of a massive Takata airbag recall, many GM vehicles have airbag problems specific to them. The latest is a recall issued in December for the brand new 2017 Chevy Malibu.

The problem affects Malibus that were manufactured on November 10, 2016. The potential defect is that a weld in the rear airbag manifold may be inadequate.

Although this recall does ...

Strategies You Can Use Today to Avoid a Crash with a Big Rig

Friday, March 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

Did you know that in 2014, there were over 4,000 fatalities in crashes that involved large trucks? Sharing the highways with commercial vehicles can be both scary and dangerous. And although careful driving can't prevent every accident, there are affirmative steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that you'll be in an accident with a big rig.

Don't Get in a Contest with a Semi

It's hard to pull in behind a big rig, isn't it? It always seems like they'll slow us down, delaying us on our trip to our final destination. But it's critical to ...

What Info Can You Get after a Crash with a Big Rig?

Thursday, March 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

Crashes that involve tractor-trailers are almost always complex both because many more parties might be legally responsible for causing the crash and because of all the laws and regulations that apply to the trucking industry. The good news is that this means that there is usually plenty of evidence you can use to prove your case.

Truck crashes can be caused by many of the same factors that cause car crashes, such as speeding, lack of familiarity with an area, distracted driving, and impaired driving. But there are some causes that are unique or at least more common ...

Separate Deadly GM Airbag Recall (Frontal Air Bag Software Defect)

Thursday, March 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

It’s hard to keep track of the recalls issued in the last few years by GM. First, it delayed issuing a recall for a fatally deficient ignition switch, which affected airbag operation. The expansion of that recall affected millions of vehicles, including Chevys, Pontiacs, and Saturns. Now, it has issued a completely separate recall that affects the proper operation of four million cars and trucks.

Last September, GM issued a recall on millions of vehicles for faulty airbag software that can cause the airbag not to deploy. USA Today describes the problem well: “[T]he car’s sensing ...

Young Texas Driver Felt Guilty about Boyfriend's Death for Years, GM Ignition Switch at Fault

Wednesday, March 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

Imagine that you are driving your Saturn on a rural road. You lose control and cannot steer the car. It goes straight even though you try to turn the wheel, ultimately slamming into a tree. The airbags don’t inflate even though it’s a front-end crash. You are badly hurt and your passenger doesn’t make it. You’re stuck in the car, bloody and crying, until an hour later, a passerby hears you and stops.

You’re understandably hysterical but understand what has happened.

Now imagine that you are charged with a crime—intoxicated manslaughter—for the death of your passenger, who was your ...

Evidence You Can Collect that Will Help You in Your Car Wreck Case

Wednesday, March 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you’ve never been involved in a car wreck, that’s great! But that also means that you may not know what evidence you can collect after a crash to help you in a lawsuit—whether brought by you or someone else. Several pieces of evidence will help you evaluate who caused the crash, and some of it can only be collected right away.

If you are well enough, make sure you get this information while at the scene of the accident:

  • photographs of the accident scene, the vehicles, the road, and traffic control or signs;
  • names and contact information of drivers, ...

Can the Info in Your Car's Black Box Be Used against You?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

After an airplane crash, we all hold our breath to see whether the “black box” is intact and, if so, what it will reveal. Black boxes record important information about the plane that may bear on the cause of the crash, including data about its speed, steering input, and mechanical status.

But did you know that most cars these days have similar devices? They go by different names like these:

  • telematics;
  • electronic data recorders (EDRs); and
  • sensing and diagnostic modules (SDMs).

Under California law, these devices are legally known as SDMs. By law, SDMs include manufacturer-installed devices that do any of ...

Tenn. Nursing Student Died in Cobalt, Faulty GM Ignition Switch to Blame

Tuesday, February 28, 2017By Richard Alexander

If a driver is killed in a crash, should her family be able to recover money damages if the car’s safety systems didn’t work properly to reduce her injuries? State laws dictate whether recovery is allowed when a driver is partially at fault. (In California, recovery is allowed.) However, the failure of critical safety systems to operate properly—such as airbags and seat belts—can be a real game-changer. We rely on those systems to mitigate the damage to our bodies whether a crash is due to faulty car parts or even driver error.

Consider the case of Tennessee nursing ...

What to Think about When You're Deciding Whether to Sue after a Crash

Monday, February 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

Everything about being in a car crash is time-consuming and costly. Injuries must be diagnosed and treated, health care providers must be paid, and property must be fixed. Often, injured people miss work, lose money, and suffer from severe pain as they attempt to recover from the crash. And don’t forget the insurance companies and everything that goes along with that process.

There can be emotional consequences, too. Relationships may suffer, and emotions such as fear and guilt are common.

Unfortunately, no one can deal with many of these problems except you (or, in some cases, a very close ...

Two Wisc. Teens Died in Cobalt Crash due to GM's Faulty Ignition Switch

Monday, February 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

On October 24, 2006, three teens went out to a Wisconsin Walmart in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. On the way home, they were involved in a horrible crash as a result of a defective GM ignition switch. The Cobalt shut itself off, rendering safety mechanisms, such as protective airbags, completely ineffectual.

As USA Today reported, a federal investigation team revealed many disturbing facts about the one-car crash:

At 7:55 p.m., the car had veered off the road at 71 mph, vaulted a driveway and flew 59 feet before clipping a utility box on the ground and slamming ...

Cal. Mom Died in Ion because of Defective GM Ignition Switch

Friday, February 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

It can be difficult to learn about people who are hurt or killed by defective products. But doing so not only honors those people, it helps us understand and relate to why victims and their families deserve compensation. GM’s defective ignition switch has killed many, including a mom from right here in the Golden State.

Shara Lynn Towne’s brand new 2004 Ion sedan veered off the road in Visalia, California, striking a utility pole. The frontal crash resulted from a defective GM ignition switch that had slipped out of position, killing the engine. As a result ...

2017: Mandatory Prison for Sexual Assault of Unconscious Victims

Friday, February 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

California legislators have passed laws to align the state’s penalties for rape in a way that avoids the national spectacle brought on by the Brock Turner sentencing. The Golden State’s current rape penalty scheme provides leeway to judges to reduce offender sentences when the victim was unconscious or otherwise unable to give legal consent to intercourse. The new law closes this gaping loophole.

In March 2015, a jury convicted former Stanford swimmer Turner of three counts of sexual assault after an incident involving an on-campus rape he committed. The victim’s impact statement shows some of the horrible ...

Walmart's Insurance Company Dishes Out Cash, Pays Back Walmart for Tracy Morgan Crash Settlement

Thursday, February 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Remember in 2014 when Tracy Morgan was in that horrific crash after his show in Delaware? After all this time, the trucker who hit the van Morgan was travelling in has pled guilty to five criminal charges.

After Morgan’s comedy show that night, he and his friends were riding in a limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike when a tractor-trailer crashed into them. One of Morgan’s close friends and fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair died in the crash, and Morgan and three other passengers were injured.

Morgan’s injuries were so bad that he was in a coma ...

GM Fired 15 Employees for Incompetence and Neglect in Probe of Ignition Switch Defect

Thursday, February 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

The more you learn about the events surrounding GM’s ignition switch scandal, the more troubling it becomes. Characterizing the events as “deeply troubling,” GM fired 15 employees as a result of the fatal ignition switch defect.

GM hired a former federal prosecutor, Anton Valukas, to conduct an internal investigation on its behalf. The result of the probe was a 315-page report outlining multiple instances of wrongful conduct on GM’s behalf.

Here is just a sampling of the wrongdoing outlined in the report:

  • “fail[ing] to recognize that cars shutting off posed a safety risk by disabling the ...

GM Ignition Switch Cover-up Makes List of Top 11 "Most Infamous Automotive Scandals"

Wednesday, February 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

When you think of an automotive scandal, what comes to mind? Volkswagen’s current emissions scandal? Takata airbags? Ford Pintos that exploded in rear-end crashes (you’re showing your age if you remember that one). All of these made a recent “top 11” list on CheatSheet.com, along with GM’s defective ignition switch.

What makes for a “scandal” when it comes to automobiles? Often, it’s that a company knew about a safety issue but refused to change it, all in the name of profit. Or that it covered up a problem, hoping for the best.

Both of these factors are ...

California Named as One of Top Three "Judicial Hellholes": What Does that Mean for You?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017By Richard Alexander

Over the last several years, there has been a lot of attention given to a certain organization’s ranking of “judicial hellholes.” California even took the red ribbon this year (2nd place!). But have you ever wondered where this “hellhole” label came from or what it means for you?

The organization that started using this term is the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), self-described as “[a]dvocating limited recovery through the civil justice system.” While that’s one view of what ATRA does, the other view is that the organization tries to limit legitimate money recoveries for those who are ...

California Connections Matter in Products Liability Cases

Tuesday, February 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you follow legal news, you may have heard about a big case decided by the California Supreme Court last year, Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Anderson. The case involved a mass lawsuit brought against drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers, which makes Plavix. The issue presented to the Court was whether the case could be pursued in a California court at all.

Under the law, courts can’t just hear any case they choose. There are legal requirements—both constitutional and statutory—that limit their powers to cases within their “jurisdiction.” One of these requirements is that the court hearing a lawsuit must ...

GM Ignition Switch Fund Paid Out Millions, but New or Rejected Claims May Still Be Good

Tuesday, February 21, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you’ve never heard of Kenneth Feinberg, you probably will. Feinberg is an attorney who specializes in handing out money to those injured in horrible accidents or crashes. He was there to administer the World Trade Center funds to victims’ families, and he was there to deal with claims made after BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Feinberg was also the person responsible for meting out the fund GM established for victims of its faulty ignition switch.

When organizations hurt hundreds or even thousands of people, they sometimes establish a set amount of money, known as a “fund,” ...

What Happened with the GM Ignition Switch Litigation?

Monday, February 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

General Motors is still embroiled in litigation with plaintiffs from various states over ignition switch failures that resulted in serious crashes. In a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, the company is asserting that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong to rule that New GM—the company that emerged from bankruptcy in 2009—could not evade new lawsuits over the switches.

According to the bankruptcy discharge in the GM case, New GM would assume all existing liabilities of Old GM, including matters in litigation. The problem for New GM is that Old GM failed to disclose in ...

Driver Charged with Manslaughter Off the Hook: Faulty Nissan Brakes to Blame

Monday, February 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

Have you ever wondered what happens if you are sued after a crash caused by a defective part on your car? Outcomes vary, but one recent case from southern California demonstrates the twists and turns these cases may take.

Solomon Methenge was driving his Nissan Infiniti when he crashed into a minivan driven by a mother. The mother and both of her passengers, her young children, were killed.

Methenge was hospitalized for a full month, and when he was released, the state charged him with vehicular manslaughter. The victims’ family brought a civil lawsuit against him, seeking to recover ...

Uber's S.F. Autos Deemed "Illegal" by Cal. DMV, Co. Picks Up & Moves to AZ

Friday, February 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

The era of self-driving cars is upon us. Many companies have obtained permits to test their driverless technologies in California. Notably absent from that list is Uber, the hometown San Francisco company that started out as a ride-share service.

Uber has become well-known for flaunting California laws and regulations. In a bold move last December, it began testing its self-driving Volvo XC90s utility vehicles in San Francisco.

Just one day earlier, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) released a statement stating that Uber, like other car manufacturers, was required to obtain a permit to test its cars on ...

GM Hit with Fine for Preventing Its Accountants from Learning about Deadly Ignition Switches

Friday, February 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

Just when you thought GM would be out of the media for a little while, a new story emerges. In January, GM agreed to settle charges relating to how it handled the ignition switch cover-up from an internal accounting standpoint.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cares about how companies account for losses and potential losses. That’s because the SEC’s mission is “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” In its role, it often takes action against companies that don’t properly account for loss contingencies.

The Exchange Act requires companies that ...

Major GM Recall Affects Ignition Switch and Airbags: The Basics

Thursday, February 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

We all need to pay attention to what’s going on with GM. GM has been in the news often lately, and with good reason. Millions of GM vehicles are fitted with defective ignition switches that can lead to fatal results. And this problem is not limited to vehicles that carry the “GM” designation but also affects cars under other labels, such as Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn.

Here’s the problem: GM installed an ignition switch on large numbers of cars that can easily slip from the “on” or “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position. Take a moment ...

NTSB: Trucker Fatigue, Unfamiliarity with Area Caused Huge 2015 Truck-Train Crash

Thursday, February 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many people remember hearing about the crash last February between a Metrolink train and a commercial truck. What was concluded about the cause of the crash?

At about 6:00 on the morning of February 23, 2015, truck driver Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez of Yuma, Arizona went on duty. He worked as a farm equipment repairman.

He left Somerton, Arizona at 1:00 p.m. that day, heading to a job site in Oxnard, California. The trip should have taken the driver about six hours.

Sanchez-Ramirez was delayed over four hours in Jacumba due to radiator damage. He had to get a replacement truck. ...

Young Truck Driver May Have Fallen Asleep, Crashing into Greyhound Bus

Wednesday, February 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

One of the last things anyone wants to see on the highway is a tangle of commercial vehicles. Just driving near a large truck or bus weaving in and out of lanes is enough to make your heart jump. So imagine the scare nearby drivers experienced when a tractor-trailer and Greyhound bus crashed outside Kettleman City in December.

The truck driver was pulling a box trailer containing food. He lost control of the truck and rear-ended the bus. The bus was carrying almost 50 people when the crash happened.

The impact pushed the bus up an embankment on the ...

Hurt in a Crash with a Recalled GM Vehicle? You May Be Entitled to Damages Even if It Was Long Ago

Wednesday, February 15, 2017By Richard Alexander

Do you think a company should get out of paying people hurt by its products just because the company receives a bankruptcy discharge? The truth is that the American bankruptcy system allows that to happen every day. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, particularly when the company fails to disclose potential liabilities of which it was aware. This recently happened to GM.

GM has found itself in hot water more than once in recent years. To help alleviate its financial burden, it filed for bankruptcy in June 2009. It also asked for the bankruptcy court’s approval ...

Avoiding Deadly ATV Crashes

Tuesday, February 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

California is in the top five states when it comes to total reported deaths due to all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use. For the reported years of 1982-2014, the Golden State lost 680 people in ATV crashes.

California laws contain more requirements to enhance ATV safety than many other states:

  • significant age and supervision requirements for minors;
  • a helmet requirement when riding on public lands; and
  • a passenger restriction when riding on public lands, limiting passengers to those the vehicle is designed to carry.

Still, crashes occur, some fatal. In fact, nationwide, nearly 14,000 people have lost their lives in ATV-related crashes. ...

Could a Blood Test Diagnose a Concussion?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

A recent Wired article reported on the findings of a study published in The Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study set out to look at acute plasma tau in relation to prolonged return to play after a concussion. Gill and her colleagues found that elevated plasma tau concentration within six hours following a sports-related concussion was related to having a prolonged return-to-play period, which suggest that tau levels could help inform appropriate recovery periods. For the study, they tracked more than 600 collegiate athletes over two seasons.

Plasma Tau Concentration and Concussion ...

Frightening Loser Pay Rule in Idaho

Tuesday, February 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

The legal community in Idaho is deeply concerned about a potentially dangerous change to their civil court system. The Idaho Supreme Court is on track to implement a “loser pay” system. This means that if you lose a court case, you would have to pay for the other side’s attorney fees. This nearly unprecedented stance with pro-corporate interests has many people in the Idaho legal community very concerned. Additionally, personal injury lawyers across the nation are also worried about potential implications and consequences with the implementation of such an unfair rule.

The Loser Pay Rule

According to the

Legal Tools to Improve Health and Wellness

Tuesday, February 14, 2017By Richard Alexander

The importance of law as a tool for improving health and wellbeing across the nation and across the world has been brought into the limelight by a recent report, Advancing the Right to Health: The Vital Role of Law, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Development Law Organization, the University of Sydney, Australia and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, USA. The report focused on three main topics: advancing the right to health through law reform, the process of public health law reform and priorities for public ...

What Is the Process of a Plane Crash Investigation?

Monday, February 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

In the last 10 years, there have been only two fatal commercial plane crashes in the U.S.: Colgan Air's 2009 flight from Newark to Buffalo, N.Y. and Asiana Airlines' 2013 crash at San Francisco International Airport. Still, after a major crash, the nation waits for additional information, hoping to find out the cause of the accident.

In the U.S., the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is in charge of investigating major airplane crashes. In addition to learning the "probable cause" of crashes, the NTSB makes recommendations designed to improving the safety of air transportation.

Just after an ...

The Role of Drivers' Ed in Preventing Teen Accidents

Friday, February 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

Do you know what is the "leading cause of death for U.S. teens"? Car crashes. It's disturbing to think that, as a country, we lose more teenagers to car crashes, most of which are entirely preventable. What can be done to reverse this trend?

One popular measure that is required of California teens who want to obtain their licenses before the age of 18 is the completion of a driver's education and driver training course. Secondary schools and DMV-licensed providers offer these classes to our young people.

Under California law, driver education and driver training ...

2015 Statistics Show "Large Increase" in Crash Deaths

Thursday, February 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

How many people will be killed in crashes in 2017? If the latest statistics are any indication, far too many.

In 2015, the last full year for which stats are available, there was a "large increase" in crash deaths. That's according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal agency charged with "keeping people safe on America's roadways."

Would you believe that over 35,000 people lost their lives in road crashes in 2015 alone? That was an increase of 7.2 percent, "the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years." Think about all

Being in a Wreck with a Truck Is Different because...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017By Richard Alexander

How is being in a crash with a big rig different than being in one with another car? Vehicle size and weight, accident types and degree of damage, and potential legal theories and defendants all make trucking accidents more challenging than wrecks involving only passenger cars.

Let’s start with the most obvious difference: the size and weight of tractor-trailers dwarf passenger cars and trucks. When an accident occurs, people in the smaller vehicles are at a natural disadvantage. They are more likely to be killed and to suffer injuries than are truckers involved in the same accidents.

The size, ...

Tips to Beat the Odds of Being in a Serious Crash

Tuesday, February 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

Crash rates in the U.S. are rising despite significant advances in safety. Is there anything that drivers can do to improve their odds of avoiding serious injuries or even death?

Of course! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the critical reason for crashes is human error in a full 94 percent of crashes. While this is a sobering statistic, it is also a hopeful one: It means that there are plenty of things we can do to avoid crashes, if we take the time to learn what those things are and to actually do ...

Why Are Car Crashes Investigated?

Monday, February 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

Have you ever paused to consider why the police investigate crashes? Collision reports play a major role in documenting the circumstances that surround accidents, but what is their purpose? Or, more accurately, what are the purposes of these reports?

Crash investigations and collision reports serve many purposes in today’s society. Certainly, they help to document the facts of a specific crash, such as driver information, location, and weather. They also include more complicated information, such as whether citations were issued, as well as accident diagrams. Insurance companies rely on these reports to evaluate accidents.

In addition to being used ...

Ways to Protect Your Claim after a Bad Car Crash

Friday, February 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

Everything happens quickly in a crash. With multiple vehicles, there are often many factors that contribute to an accident. Even in a single vehicle wreck, there may be several things that contributed to the crash, from driver conduct to faulty auto equipment to poor road design. Whether or not you think you may have been at fault, it’s critical that you take certain actions after a crash to protect your interests.

First, make sure you contact the police. If your accident occurred in city limits, contact the city police. If the crash was outside city limits, contact the ...

USA Today: Cal. Not Immune from Contaminated Water

Thursday, February 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

It used to be that the town of Flint, Michigan was associated with the automotive industry. These days, when we hear the word “Flint,” notions of poor governance and contaminated water come to mind. Thousands of miles away in California, we may feel confident that our water could never be contaminated, that our children are safe from lead and other contaminants. Sadly, this confidence is unjustified.

USA Today recently completed a nationwide investigation of water records from every state and the Environmental Protection Agency. The conclusions were startling, particularly in rural communities across America:

  • Drinking water for ...

Caltrans Settles Case for $10m, Guardrail End Caps Put on Backward

Wednesday, February 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

Did you know that hundreds of guardrail end caps on California roads were installed backward? It seems almost impossible that such an important task could have been performed incorrectly, but it’s true. Ultimately, Caltrans decided to settle a big lawsuit brought by a man and his child for serious injuries suffered after the guardrail pierced their car because of the improper installation.

The accident took place in late 2012, when Mark Pappakostas was returning home from a memorial service with his three-year-old son in a booster in the back seat. Pappakostas dozed off for just a ...

Defective Remington 700 Rifles Fire Themselves due to Unsafe, Faulty Trigger

Wednesday, February 01, 2017By Richard Alexander

When you think of defective products with the potential to kill or maim, many come to mind: ignition switches that turn themselves off, furniture that tips over with regular use, and even exploding e-cigs and hoverboards. Also at the top of the dangerous products list is one that is intended to kill: guns. That's why a trigger defect present in a widely popular Remington model is so concerning. It can kill—and has already killed—innocent people and bystanders.

Allegations that the trigger design was defective were first exposed by CNBC in 2010 in a report called "Remington ...

Federal Agency Takes Steps to Keep Companies from Keeping Settlements Secret

Tuesday, January 31, 2017By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) can’t do its job if companies hide important information about the lack of safety of their products. That’s why the federal agency has issued a guidance document urging everyone involved in lawsuits to make sure orders and agreements don’t keep it from obtaining information that can help it improve consumer safety.

In early December, the CPSC published the document, trying to take steps to save lives and avoid injuries nationwide. In brief, the agency asks that when judges make orders or when parties reach settlements in products liability cases, they ...

Is There a Link between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer?

Monday, January 30, 2017By Richard Alexander

With all the stories in the news about a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, it can be hard to know who is telling the truth. Many of us have used talcum powder for years, feeling that it was a safe product, passed down to us often from our parents, and safe to use—even on babies!

Several years ago, studies started emerging that seemed to show a connection between talc powder and women suffering from ovarian cancer. Frightened by this unexpected turn of events, many of us stopped using this once-safe product, worried that we could ...

Johnson & Johnson Hit with $1B Hip Replacement Verdict

Friday, January 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

People who need hip replacements expect their lives to improve, not deteriorate. And they certainly don’t expect the device implanted into their bodies to make them ill. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened to many people across the country who received metal-on-metal hip implant devices.

Juries understand this. That’s why they have twice issued huge verdicts holding Johnson & Johnson responsible for injuries caused by these devices, injuries that never had to happen in the first place.

Over 8,000 claims are pending against Johnson & Johnson as a result of the defective hip implants. The victims have suffered ...

Supreme Court Won't Review NFL Concussion Settlement

Thursday, January 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you’ve noticed that the National Football League (NFL) seems to be placing more emphasis on concussion-related safety, it’s not your imagination. Tens of thousands of lawsuits and the film “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, have placed the NFL’s role in player brain health squarely in the spotlight. In fact, as we recently reported, the League announced a new initiative called “Play Smart, Play Safe,” committing $100 million to fund safety research relating to the sport.

Thousands of retired NFL players challenged the League’s practices relating to head injuries and concussions, alleging that the NFL knew about the connection ...

Cal. Supreme Court Recognizes Claims of Others in Homes of Asbestos Workers

Wednesday, January 25, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many people are fully aware about the health dangers presented by asbestos. Workers who were exposed to this dangerous substance have too often developed a fatal lung condition—mesothelioma. And now, a recent opinion by the California Supreme Court officially recognizes the hazards posed to families of asbestos workers, allowing them to bring lawsuits of their own when they fall ill due to exposure to asbestos.

It’s not hard to see how tiny asbestos fibers can be inhaled by workers who are exposed to them on a regular basis. But until recently, little attention was given to ...

Road Design Defects Can Lead to Horrific Injuries, Death

Tuesday, January 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

It sometimes takes a deadly crash to call attention to the dangerous design of a road. That was the case when 30-year-old Steven Wolkoff died in an accident on the Cabrillo Highway, leading to a jury verdict of over $12 million.

You may have read about the resulting lawsuit in the news. Wolkoff was riding with his long-term partner, Cindy Burkowski, travelling north just past Ano Nuevo State Park. At the same time, Jeffrey Bluestone was stopped in the southbound lane, waiting to turn into the Pie Ranch. A two-lane southbound stretch had just reduced to one lane.

Santiago ...

Fighting Unscrupulous Medical Billing Tactics by Insurers

Tuesday, January 24, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you’ve ever had a hospital stay or emergency medical procedure, you might be familiar with the sticker shock that accompanies the subsequent bill. Since many insurance companies are notorious for employing unscrupulous strategies and tactics to reprice medical bills in efforts to minimize or eliminate damages owed to claimants, it’s important to know how to recognize these techniques and how to fight them. Listed below are the top five tactics that insurance companies use to reprice medical bills.

How Insurance Companies Reprice Medical Bills

  1. Improper and inappropriate sources used for establishing reasonableness of charge.
  2. Mixing the use of “allowed” ...

What to Do Right after a Crash

Monday, January 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

Any time you are in a car wreck in California, the law places certain duties on you. In addition, after you have met your legal obligations, there are certain things you can do to protect your best interests, whether or not you were at fault for causing the accident.

A brief description of the legal requirements you must meet after an accident is Stop, Help, Exchange, and Report.

First, STOP your car, even if you think nobody was hurt, no property was damaged, and the accident was not your fault. If you do not stop, a criminal charge of ...

Recognizing Signs of Nerve Damage

Friday, January 20, 2017By Richard Alexander

The human body is a complex biological machine consisting of several different systems that allow us to survive and thrive. One of the most important aspects of our bodies is the nervous system, which serves as an internal communication system of sorts. When the nervous system suffers damage, it can affect us in ways we never imagined. But many of the signs and symptoms of nervous system damage actually make sense when you understand a bit more about the system itself.

Most people know that the nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. It also includes

Senior Driving: Adjusting as You Age

Thursday, January 19, 2017By Richard Alexander

As we accumulate birthdays, we accumulate age-related physical and mental decline. It is natural for older people to take more time evaluating risks and responding to them, and this can affect their ability to drive safely. In addition, senior drivers sometimes struggle with deterioration in their senses of vision and hearing. These changes can lead to challenges for older drivers whose driving is a key component of their independence.

Many people believe that older drivers are in more car wrecks than their younger counterparts. Is this true? According to statistics kept by the National Highway Traffic ...

California’s Financial Responsibility Requirements: How to Comply

Wednesday, January 18, 2017By Richard Alexander

When you get behind the wheel of any vehicle, you take on a significant responsibility not only to yourself but to those around you. In California alone, crashes in 2013 killed 3,400 people and caused an estimated $4.48 billion of losses in medical costs and loss of work alone. Families, friends, and loved ones bear the most direct losses, but who pays the remaining monetary costs?

Each state has laws that govern driver financial responsibility. California, for example, has a compulsory financial responsibility law. Drivers and car owners can meet this responsibility in one ...

What Happens in a California Lawsuit When a Party Dies?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017By Richard Alexander

Many people wonder what happens if a person involved in a lawsuit passes away. This is a common question, and one that some people worry about when they are thinking about filing a lawsuit. Other times, people who have already been sued—known as “defendants” in the lawsuits—think that if the person who sued them dies, they are off the hook. This is almost never true.

When a party to a lawsuit dies, there is a threshold issue that must be resolved: whether it is the type of lawsuit that “survives” the person’s death. In California, for ...

CHP Targets Adult Distracted Drivers

Monday, January 16, 2017By Richard Alexander

Nearly all states ban some aspect of texting while driving. Indeed, distracted driving has become a national epidemic, as it is now one of the top three causes of crashes nationwide. To combat this significant problem, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) recently announced a program designed to help reduce the incidence of distracted driving by adult drivers, noting that distracted-driving crashes “are 100 percent preventable.”

Many distracted driving initiatives target younger drivers, those perceived as more tech-savvy and likely to text while driving. However, many sources have confirmed that texting while driving ...

Can You Be Sued if You Hurt Someone While Trying to Help Them?

Friday, January 13, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you stop to help someone who has been in a car wreck, can you be held liable if you accidentally hurt them? All 50 states recognize some form of immunity in this area. These laws are known as “Good Samaritan” laws. The scope of Good Samaritan immunity depends on the law of the state where the harm occurred.

Imagine that you are driving down the road on your way to work and come upon a car that has hit a telephone pole. You pull over to see if any help is needed. No one else ...

How Can Anyone Decide How Much a Life Is Worth?

Thursday, January 12, 2017By Richard Alexander

Wrongful death cases present an issue that is almost unfathomable to people outside the legal field: How do you value the premature loss of a human life? The best that the legal system can do is to try to compensate those left behind with money damages, which are never adequate to replace their loved one. Have you ever wondered how lawyers and courts try to accomplish this impossible task?

A wrongful death case seeks to recover money damages for the loss of a loved one due to the wrongdoing of another person. The way these cases ...

Is the Number of Big Rig Crashes Falling?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

Crashes involving big rigs and busses are among the most devastating to both people and property. The size and weight of these vehicles, when compared to normal passenger vehicles, bring to mind a David-versus-Goliath image. It is always good news when any crash rate involving these metal giants drops.

Official federal statistics show that fatal crashes involving tractor trailers and busses are falling. In 2014, the most recent year for which complete, final statistics are available, deaths in bus and large truck crashes were down. The number of large truck crashes producing fatalities dropped by five ...

Spine Surgeon Sentenced to 20 Years for Fraud

Wednesday, January 11, 2017By Richard Alexander

A federal district court in Detroit, Michigan just sentenced a spinal surgeon to 235 months in prion. This nearly 20-year prison sentence is in relation to charges associated with fraud, unnecessary operations and fabricated procedures. Aria Sabit, MD, the 43-year-old surgeon, initially practiced at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California. According to the Medscape article, Dr. Sabit went on a spree of unnecessary surgeries overloading patients with unnecessary hardware that he invested in as a physician-owned distributorship (POD) with Apex Medical Technologies.

Fraud, Kickbacks and Unnecessary Harm

This case is filled with fraud, kickbacks and unnecessary harm caused ...

Should Police Be Able to Search Your Phone for Evidence of Texting after a Crash?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017By Richard Alexander

Do you think that the police should be allowed to check your cell phone after a crash to see whether you were texting? Distracted driving plays an increasing role in causing accidents, not only in California, but nationwide. In fact, some states and courts are becoming more aggressive in how they are dealing with this critical public safety issue.

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction: visual, cognitive, and manual. In 2014, the most recent year for which statistics are available, almost 3,200 people were killed in crashes involving ...

Recent Case Involving Toyota Tundra Considers Industry Safety Customs

Monday, January 09, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you are hurt in a car wreck because your car did not have available safety equipment, is the manufacturer or seller responsible for your injuries? This is a question that is often debated in courts across the country. As you might expect, evidence that helps to answer this question is very controversial at products liability trials. A recent case involving the crash of a Toyota Tundra helps to show the contours of this debate.

Mr. Kim’s Toyota Tundra veered off the road when he had to swerve to avoid another vehicle. Kim argued that Toyota ...

Defective Polaris Sportsman ATVs

Saturday, January 07, 2017By Richard Alexander

Polaris is recalling another one of its off-road vehicles. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just released a summary on the latest Polaris recall. The Sportsman 570 All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is under recall due to a potential fire hazard. This recall involves 2014-2016 Sportsman 570 Touring and X2 models and 2017 Sportsman 570 6x6 models. At this time, there have been about 35 reports of damaged fuel rails and leaks. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported yet. If you have one of these ATVs, you need to sop using it immediately and contact Polaris for a ...

Products Liability Law 101

Friday, January 06, 2017By Richard Alexander

A person who is seriously injured by a defective product can bring what is called a “products liability” lawsuit for money damages. Anyone in the manufacturing chain may be liable for money damages when this happens.

We all use many different consumer products every day. Just think about all the products you use in the morning, from hair dryers to kitchen appliances. Item used for play are also considered consumer products, including ride-on toys like hoverboards and bikes, as well as stuffed animals. These objects are so ingrained in our lives that we usually assume they ...

Injured by a Defective GM Product but Didn't File a Timely Lawsuit? You Need to Know

Thursday, January 05, 2017By Richard Alexander

If you were in a car crash in a GM-family car because the car stopped running or if you were in a crash in a GM car and your airbags failed to deploy, you may have a right to sue GM even if your accident happened many years ago. A recent judicial decision found that the company engaged in bankruptcy fraud by failing to disclose these potential claims to the bankruptcy court. GM has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

People nationwide have watched as GM defended several bellwether cases in which plaintiffs ...

Injured by a Defective GM Product but Didn't File a Timely Lawsuit? You Need to Know

Wednesday, January 04, 2017By Richard Alexander

There have been many high-profile car recalls in the news as of late, but perhaps none more well-known than the General Motors (GM) ignition switch recalls. If you or a loved one were injured due to the failure of a GM-family vehicle switch or airbag, it's not too late to bring a lawsuit to hold the company responsible.

For several years, GM received complaints about switch defects turning cars off and causing airbags not to deploy during crashes. The company even knew about switches slipping during installation but took the defective products to market anyway. Affected ...

Accident Reconstruction Can Help You Prove Your Personal Injury Case

Tuesday, January 03, 2017By Richard Alexander

The field of accident reconstruction is important in serious personal injury cases that arise out of car crashes. Many times, crashes are the result of multiple causes. These may include driver distraction, inadequate signs, speeding, and vehicle defects, among others. Accident reconstructionists use science, engineering, and math to draw conclusions about what caused or contributed to an accident.

A core issue in any traffic accident case is fault. To determine fault, it is important to have an understanding of facts that show what happened leading up to the accident and during the accident. Many different factors are considered ...

Why Are Tractor-Trailer Accidents So Common?

Monday, January 02, 2017By Richard Alexander

Tractor-trailer accidents occur all over California, from San Diego to Crescent City and everywhere in between. Caltrans reports that “[t]rucking is the predominant mode of freight transportation in California.” This widespread use of trucks on California’s roads sometimes unfortunately leads to significant crashes, badly injuring and killing people. Why are trucking accidents so common? What factors lead to those accidents?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a significant study of what causes large trucks to crash. They reviewed almost 1000 crashes that involved large trucks, ...

Seriously Injured in a Crime? You May Have a Right to Sue for Money Damages

Friday, December 30, 2016By Richard Alexander

Most people are familiar with the concept of a “crime.” But did you know that if you are injured as a result of a crime, you may be entitled to money damages from the person who broke the law?

To commit a crime, a person, known as a “defendant,” breaks a law. He or she enters a “guilty” or “not guilty” plea. If a “not guilty” plea is entered, the defendant must be found guilty of the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” A trial takes place, and the person leading the state’s case against the defendant ...

8 Million Cuisinart Food Processors Recalled

Friday, December 30, 2016By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just issued a press release about a recall impacting approximately 8 million defective Conair Cuisinart food processors. According to the CPSC, the riveted blade can crack, and small metal pieces of the blade can break off into the food. Due to the potential laceration hazard to consumers, the manufacturer is currently recalling a variety of defective models. These defective and dangerous food processors have been sold between July 1996 and December 2015 online and at various retailers.

Cuisinart Broken Blades and Laceration Hazard

At this time, Conair has received ...

Faulty Dehumidifiers Cause $19 Million in Property Damage

Friday, December 30, 2016By Richard Alexander

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just reported on the renewed efforts to get the word out about defective dehumidifiers. Gree, the dehumidifier manufacturer for a variety of brand name appliance companies, just reannounced their recall following the news of 450 fires and $19 million reported in property damages associated with defective dehumidifiers from Frigidaire, SoleusAir, Kenmore and other popular brands. Since 2013, approximately 2.5 million of these defective dehumidifiers have been recalled due to posing serious fire and burn hazards to consumers.

Defective Dehumidifiers and Fire Hazard

The dehumidifiers in question are under ...

Learn How a Typical Personal Injury Case Proceeds

Thursday, December 29, 2016By Richard Alexander

If you have never been involved in a lawsuit before, you may have many questions about how lawsuits work. While every lawsuit is different, most personal injury cases have several elements in common, starting with a review by your attorney and continuing up through settlement or trial.

If you were involved in a bad accident that resulted in health problems such as broken bones, missed work, and major medical bills, you should consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney to evaluate your claim. Most families cannot bear this level of burden, so it is usually ...

Seriously Injured in a Crash with a Semi? Who Might Be Responsible

Wednesday, December 28, 2016By Richard Alexander

Trucking accidents are usually much more complicated than basic car wrecks. With most car wrecks, the only people involved are the drivers of the vehicles and their insurance companies. When a commercial vehicle is involved, such as large truck, many things can go wrong, not just at the time of the accident but leading up to the accident. For this reason, many more people may be liable in a lawsuit when the accident involved a commercial vehicle.

The trucking industry must comply with mandatory federal regulations designed to improve safety for the traveling public. For example, truckers must ...

How to Get a Copy of a California Collision Report

Tuesday, December 27, 2016By Richard Alexander

It can be hard to know what to do after a bad accident. If you were badly injured, the medical system will drive what happens with your health care. Your injuries will drive whether you are able to continue working and or are unable to work at all. If your crash was due to the fault of someone else, you will want to review the “collision report.” With all the different agencies out there, how do you know who to contact to obtain a copy of this important document?

A California collision report can be a treasure trove ...

To Improve Teen Driving Safety, Engage Them in Safety Efforts

Monday, December 26, 2016By Richard Alexander

If you have ever parented a teenager, you know that teens like to learn things on their own. In fact, becoming autonomous is a critical part of being a teenager, as teens move toward becoming full-fledged, productive members of society. Given this trait of burgeoning independence, how can parents and governmental entities best help teenagers avoid serious driving risks?

The Centers for Disease Control reports that car accidents are the leading killer of American teenagers. Teen drivers are new drivers, and this certainly affects their safety on the road. Many experts believe that the best way ...

Work Zone Crashes: Workers Aren’t the Only Ones in Danger

Friday, December 23, 2016By Richard Alexander

Would you be surprised to learn that about one-half of contractors working in highway work zones have seen a crash? And this statistic isn’t over the course of contractors’ careers but rather over a one-year period.

State departments of transportation have implemented various programs to make drivers aware of the dangers presented when traveling through work zones. Many of these efforts focus on drivers avoiding accidents with highway workers. In reality, however, most of the injuries received in work zones are to people driving through and their passengers.

The Associated General Contractors conducted a study of work ...

Even Legal Fireworks Can Be Dangerous: Stay Safe with These Tips

Thursday, December 22, 2016By Richard Alexander

What type of firework do you think causes more injuries than any other? Bottle rockets? Roman candles? These are good examples of dangerous fireworks, but surprisingly, they do not cause most injuries. Nationwide, the fireworks that cause most injuries are sparklers.

California law makes it illegal have or discharge dangerous fireworks. These include the following:

  • rockets;
  • roman candles;
  • torpedoes; and

Even long sparklers (more than 10 inches) and firecrackers are considered dangerous in California. It is illegal to have or discharge these fireworks without a state license to do so.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has studied the dangerous ...

How Lawyer Contingency Fees Help People

Wednesday, December 21, 2016By Richard Alexander

In the American legal system, each party to a lawsuit is usually responsible for paying his or her own attorney fees. There is some unfairness in this, as only those with adequate money would be able to bring a lawsuit.

Attorneys who want to help people who have been wronged by others recognize the fundamental unfairness of a system that is driven by those with money. To help injured people and hold wrongdoers accountable, these lawyers, often known as “personal injury lawyers,” accept some cases on a contingency fee. This means that their fee is contingent upon (or ...

Will Electronic Logging Devices Improve Big Rig Safety?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016By Richard Alexander

Large truck crashes killed 3,660 people in the United States in 2014 alone. Being in a wreck with a big rig is particularly dangerous because of its size and girth. When fully loaded, these monstrous vehicles can weigh "20-30 times as much as passenger cars." They dwarf other vehicles around them. The federal government is forcing carriers to move to electronic logging devices, known as ELDs. Will these improved logging devices help improve safety?

In a word, yes. ELDs hold much promise to improve safety not only in the trucking industry but in all ...

How to Get Copies of California Court Documents

Monday, December 19, 2016By Richard Alexander

If you’re lucky, you’ve not had much contact with the court system in California or anywhere else. Most of us only encounter the judicial system due to minor traffic offenses, divorces, and the passing of those close to us. California’s court system is very large. It can be difficult to understand how this system is organized and who to contact with different issues or questions.

If you are involved in a civil legal matter, such as a family law proceeding or a probate matter, you probably already know who to contact when you have questions or need copies ...

Warning Quiet Cars Present Dangers to Pedestrians

Friday, December 16, 2016By Richard Alexander

Have you ever seen a pedestrian who was almost hit by a car? Now imagine the increased risk presented by the quiet cars of today—electric and hybrid vehicles that barely make an audible sound. People who suffer from disabilities, such as low vision, are particularly at risk. But even healthy people who are “tuned in” to their mobile devices can be impacted if they rely solely on the sound of gas engines to signal the presence of a vehicle.

Major federal government studies have confirmed an increased risk to pedestrians when quiet cars are around. In ...

Federal Transportation Agency Issues Its Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements

Thursday, December 15, 2016By Richard Alexander

In November, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed its Most Wanted List, delineating its safety priorities for all modes of transportation in the United States: highway, rail, aviation, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB calls its Most Wanted List a "roadmap from lessons learned to lives saved."

The NTSB was established in 1967 with the goal of improving safety in national transportation. Two methods the NTSB uses to fulfill its mission are to conduct investigations of transportation accidents and make recommendations to avoid those types of accidents in the future.

The recent Most Wanted List included four ...

Horrible Bus-Semi Accident Illustrates Federal Agencys Investigative Process

Wednesday, December 14, 2016By Richard Alexander

The horrific bus-semi crash near Desert Hot Springs earlier this year shines a spotlight on the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigative “go team” process.

In late October, a bus carrying passengers from the Red Earth Casino plowed into the back of a tractor-trailer that was moving slowly due to utility work. The bus lodged itself 15 feet into the trailer, and it took emergency crews two hours to separate the vehicles. Thirteen people were killed, including the driver of the bus, and 31 were injured.

The bus driver was also the owner of the company, USA ...

For Families: Dealing with Your Loved One’s Brain Injury Right after the Accident

Tuesday, December 13, 2016By Richard Alexander

No family is ever completely ready to take care of a loved one who has suffered a brain injury. Regardless of the cause, plans must be made to tend to the person’s needs and to do what is in his or her best interest. One of the most important things a family can do is to remember that they are not alone. Many resources exist to help family members integrate their loved one back into the home.

The days after the injury occurs are grueling. The first few days are filled with uncertainty as many tests are administered ...

Recent Cal. Sup. Court Decision May Make It Easier to Sue Out-of-State Wrongdoers

Monday, December 12, 2016By Richard Alexander

The California Supreme Court recently opened the door for many people to bring lawsuits against out-of-state defendants in certain types of cases. The lawsuit that resulted in the court’s ruling involved the prescription drug Plavix.

Hundreds of plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb alleging that they suffered personal injuries after taking Plavix. Most of the plaintiffs lived outside California, but 86 lived in-state.

The drug was not researched or made in California, although other drugs were researched and developed here. The drug company was not incorporated in California and was not headquartered in California.

The

The Types of Burn Injuries

Friday, December 09, 2016By Richard Alexander

If you or a family member have suffered from a bad burn, you know that few injuries come with such devastating consequences. Burns are caused by many different things, from explosions, flames, and hot liquids to chemicals and electricity. But regardless of the cause, burns are classified according to their severity.

Many people have heard of first-degree murder, one of the most heinous crimes with some of the stiffest penalties. In states that use this term, first-degree murder is the worst of all of the homicide crimes.

The language used to describe the types of burns can be confusing ...

Worried about a Crash? Where to Sit on an Airplane

Thursday, December 08, 2016By Richard Alexander

It is often said that commercial airplanes are one of the safest modes of travel. Just last year, for example, CNN reported that “[n]othing was safer than [] U.S. commercial planes, which have been involved in very few crashes.” Despite the relatively low accident rate of commercial airplanes, many people continue to suffer from a fear of flying. Perhaps choosing the safest seat will help those with flight phobia.

Although federal agencies have not studied this issue, both Popular Mechanics and Time magazine have. Their results may surprise you.

Popular Mechanics reviewed decades of federal government accident and ...

Stem-Cell Research Promising for Spinal Cord Injury Victims

Wednesday, December 07, 2016By Richard Alexander

Imagine a world in which those paralyzed by spinal cord injuries are once again able to move. This is an exciting world that actually exists today. Neurosurgeons are starting to have some success in using stem cells to help patients regain some functionality, particularly in their arms.

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are among the most devastating to their victims. Car crashes result in more SCIs than any other cause.

The new procedure is being conducted as a clinical trial at several locations around the country, including the Medical College of Wisconsin. There, Dr. Shekar Kurpad injected 10 million ...

Brain Injury: What Is a Neuropsychological Assessment?

Tuesday, December 06, 2016By Richard Alexander

When you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), there is so much to learn. Symptoms can be complex, and diagnosis and treatment can be lengthy. Just the tests that can be used may be confusing to many people. One of the key evaluations is called a “neuropsychological assessment.”

A neuropsychological assessment is conducted by an expert— called a neuropsychologist —who specializes in analyzing brain function. Neuropsychological assessments are usually conducted after traditional medical testing has been exhausted.

Early on, doctors use computed tomography scans (CT scans) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan ...

4 Types of Driver Mistakes that Lead to Crashes

Monday, December 05, 2016By Richard Alexander

Have you ever wondered what mistakes drivers make that lead to the most crashes? It may not surprise you to know that the federal government has tried to determine the types of errors that contribute to crashes. Becoming familiar with these mistakes can help you be a better driver.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the federal agency that aims to reduce “deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.” To achieve this mission, the NHTSA reviews the causes of accidents and tries to educate people about how to avoid accidents.

The NHTSA is ...

Seriously Injured in an Accident? Call Today: Delays Can Hurt Your Case

Friday, December 02, 2016By Richard Alexander

One of the biggest worries of a serious accident victim is a lack of income. Many people are unable to work at all, and this significantly impacts their ability to support their families. Even those who are able to work need time off for doctor’s visits, treatment, and rehabilitation. As financial matters deteriorate, it is important to contact an experienced accident attorney quickly to protect your rights.

All lawsuits must be filed within a relatively short period of time, known as the statute of limitations. In California, most cases for personal injury, such as car accident cases, ...

Are Kit Airplanes Involved in More Crashes?

Thursday, December 01, 2016By Richard Alexander

It is often said that airplanes are the safest mode of travel. By the numbers, this is technically true. Even still, every so often, there is news of a horrific accident. While commercial airlines rarely crash, experimental “kit” airplanes suffer from a higher crash risk. How high is this risk? And what can be done about it?

It takes dedication and skill to want to build a complicated machine such as an airplane, but it’s not as uncommon as you might think. About 10 percent of the nation’s general aviation fleet are experimental amateur-built (E-AB) aircraft. In ...

Common Symptoms of Brain Injury

Wednesday, November 30, 2016By Richard Alexander

Although some patients recover fully from traumatic brain injuries (TBI), many do not. TBI can completely change the course of a person’s life forever. Victims and their families may struggle for years to adjust to a new course, one in which even relatively simple tasks require planning, organization, and direction.

If you are concerned about a recent brain injury, the most important thing you can do is to be evaluated right away by a medical professional. Timely evaluation and treatment are critical both to recovery and to a lawsuit, should one be necessary.

TBI should be considered when a ...

If You Settle, Do You Have to Reimburse Your Medical Insurer?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016By Richard Alexander

A common misconception of those who are injured by others is that the victim gets to keep all of the settlement money. This is not entirely true. Both attorney’s fees and costs usually come directly out of the settlement amount. In addition, insurance companies and health care providers may have a right to reimbursement for any money paid out on behalf of the victim.

When you’ve been badly injured in an accident, it can be tough to makes ends meet. Many accident victims are unable to work at all. Some people can only go back to work part-time. ...

Nestle Drumstick Dash: Listeria Danger in Ice Cream

Monday, November 28, 2016By Richard Alexander

Around the holidays, many of us are thinking about drumsticks of the poultry kind. Some people are even signing up for “drumstick dashes” and “turkey trots,” heading out to run for their favorite charities. Recently, a drumstick of a different kind has made the news: Nestle’s Drumstick ice cream cone, for which a voluntary recall was issued in October.

Certain Nestle drumsticks were identified as potentially infected with Listeria contamination. Listeria normally presents only short-term problems for healthy adults, “causing symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.” Listeria is a ...

Zika at Work: Can Your Employer Be Held Liable?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016By Richard Alexander

With the Zika virus on the rise, some people are wondering about whether they can sue their employers if they contract the virus on the job. Although most adults recover fairly quickly from Zika, the virus can cause horrible birth defects if transmitted to an unborn fetus from an infected mother.

The virus is acquired in at least three ways: being bitten by a carrier mosquito; having sex with someone who has been infected; or, in the case of an unborn fetus, exposure from an infected mother’s body. The Centers for Disease Control suspects that Zika could ...

Immigration Status: Does It Matter in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016By Richard Alexander

What happens when an immigrant is badly injured in an accident in the United States? Can he or she file a personal injury lawsuit to recover money damages? Does his or her immigration status matter?

First, the United States Supreme Court has clearly ruled that any person has the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit, regardless of his or her immigration status. The federal Constitution guarantees people due process rights. These rights include the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold a wrongdoer accountable after an accident.

However, wrongdoing defendants often argue that if an immigrant ...

Will Autonomous Cars Improve Safety for Motorcycle Riders?

Monday, November 21, 2016By Richard Alexander

Have you ever thought about whether autonomous cars could impact motorcycle safety or sales? With the world pushing ever closer to self-driving vehicle technology, many believe that motorcyclists will be safer as humans are less responsible for piloting vehicles.

Two factors are expected to drive increased motorcyclist safety: autonomous vehicles and motorcycles with autonomous features. Many experts believe that as a result of improved safety, motorcycle sales will increase, at least in the United States.

The Insurance Journal reports that the “math is as straightforward as it is compelling.” In an example, the publication asserts that statistics show ...

Headset Uses Motion Sensors to Detect Sleepy Truckers and Alert Them

Tuesday, November 15, 2016By Richard Alexander

Truck driver fatigue is a leading factor in crashes nationwide, so much so that government and companies are constantly trying to develop technology to combat it. In 2014, nearly 4,000 people lost their lives in crashes with tractor-trailers.

For many years, efforts focused solely on improving the nation’s infrastructure and vehicles in ways that would avoid crashes or reduce their impact. For example, vehicle manufacturers have developed and offered technology such as anti-lock braking systems, adaptive cruise control, and electronic stability control, all of which can help compensate for driver error. On the horizon are advanced autonomous ...

How Long Do I Have to File an Accident Lawsuit in California?

Monday, November 14, 2016By Richard Alexander

If you don’t work in the legal system, you’ve probably never heard of a "statute of limitations." While this is a formal-sounding term, the basic concept is fairly easy to understand. “Statute” is just another word for a law. And the word “limitations” literally means that the law limits the time within which you must file a lawsuit.

The idea behind imposing time limits on people who want to bring lawsuits is that while an injured person has a right to recover damages, a wrongdoer has a right to not have to worry about a potential lawsuit ...

The Essential Elements of a California Auto Accident Lawsuit

Friday, November 11, 2016By Richard Alexander

Most people are lucky. They only come into contact with the judicial system when family events occur. We’ve all had to go to the courthouse to obtain copies of birth or death certificates. We may have even have had to deal with probate court after the death of the loved one or with family court for a matter related to a divorce. Because our experience is so limited, we may have no idea what to expect in an accident lawsuit.

While every claim is different, there are several factors that stay pretty much the same. Most accidents involve ...

Do Roundabouts Really Help Improve Traffic Safety?

Thursday, November 10, 2016By Richard Alexander

Did you know that about 25% of traffic fatalities occur in or around intersections? Traditional intersections present the highest potential for traffic-related deaths nationwide. A more modern design now in widespread use, known as a roundabout, has been shown to be much safer. Why?

Traffic engineers try to design roads and intersections to minimize points of conflict—or crashes—between vehicles and other road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. At a traditional intersection, whether controlled by stop signs or a traffic signal, there are many points of potential conflict between vehicles. Every point of entry, every point of ...

If You Get This Letter from Your Insurance Company, Call an Attorney Now

Wednesday, November 09, 2016By Richard Alexander

What is the purpose of buying car insurance? Certainly, one purpose is to comply with California law, which requires drivers to carry certain minimum amounts of coverage. But setting that aside, insurance is there to keep us from carrying the potentially huge cost of an accident, right?

Car wrecks cost money. After an accident, there are frequently medical costs to be paid and cars to be fixed. Some people wind up in the hospital or in long-term treatment, unable to work. These costs add up quickly, and most people are not financially able to cover those costs.

So ...

Neuroimaging 101: The Tests

Tuesday, November 08, 2016By Richard Alexander

The brain is one of the most delicate organs of the human body. Thus, in circumstances that necessitate an investigation of the brain, it is vital to preserve the brain’s integrity. This is made possible through noninvasive neuroimaging techniques that capture images of the structures of the brain and its functionalities, without the need to incise the protective skull and have physical contact with the organ.

Neuroimaging has been a great tool in the medical field, especially in diagnosing diseases that involve brain dysfunctions such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. The breakthroughs in neuroimaging techniques have also helped ...

New Guidelines for TBI Insufficient

Tuesday, November 08, 2016By Richard Alexander

While many may be rejoicing in the fact that guidelines for the management of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been updated for the first time since 2007, it’s important that we don’t get too excited. MedPage Today recently reported on the insufficiencies of the new guidelines regarding severe TBI management. According to MedPage Today, 189 publications provided evidence to support 28 recommendations on 18 different topics in Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, Fourth Edition. Although there have been major breakthroughs in many areas of severe TBI management, many recommendations in ...

What Is an “Invisible” Injury and What Should You Do about It?

Monday, November 07, 2016By Richard Alexander

In most cases, people experiencing injuries present physical manifestations that are clearly recognizable, such as protruding broken bones and bleeding open wounds. These visible cues are more than enough to prove that a person has suffered injuries in an accident. Unfortunately, some damage is not always obvious, at least not from the outside. This is often the case with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) categorized as mild to moderate.

Immediately after an accident, a TBI survivor may exhibit observable signs such as loss of consciousness or may remain conscious but have impaired speech or be unable to walk. ...

Shhh! How to Keep Your Conversations with Your Attorney Private

Friday, November 04, 2016By Richard Alexander

The relationship between a lawyer and his or her client is very nearly sacred. Really. Although lawyers sometimes get a bad rap, many of us are out there every day fighting for our clients’ rights. Recognizing this, all states have adopted what is known as the lawyer-client privilege. If you are working with a lawyer on a matter involving legal advice, it’s in your best interest to understand the basics of what this privilege is and how it works.

The underpinnings of the lawyer-client privilege are two principles, both of which affect the quality of the attorney-client relationship:

  • Clients ...

What Is a Birth Injury?

Thursday, November 03, 2016By Richard Alexander

Every parent-to-be wants to have a healthy baby, one free from birth injuries and birth defects. Even in our relatively advanced society, though, medical errors and chemical exposure can hurt babies in utero, leaving them irreparably damaged for life. In the worst cases, errors of the health care profession and chemical exposure can be fatal.

We trust medical professionals with our lives and our wellbeing. We expect that their training and experience will bring the best results for us and for the ones we love. Unfortunately, medical malpractice occurs every day, leading to birth injuries such ...

Attention: Samsung Note7 Owners-URGENT-Company Will Pay You to Trade in Phone!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016By Richard Alexander

Imagine your phone exploding in your hands. Worse yet, imagine that same phone exploding in your child’s hands. Those are the situations recently faced by some Samsung Note7 owners. Many people know that Samsung has issued a recall of the Note7 phone. But did you know that replacements are also part of the recall?

The Note7 was one of the most highly anticipated electronic device releases in recent years. Samsung just released the product in August, getting it onto the market before Apple’s new release, the iPhone 7.

Despite early acclaim for available features on the Note7, the ...

Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Officially Legal in California

Tuesday, November 01, 2016By Richard Alexander

Californians have long been accustomed to motorcyclists riding between lanes of traffic, bobbing and weaving through lines of cars, whether stopped or moving. The term used to describe this practice is “lane-splitting.” But did you know that until recently, lane-splitting was not explicitly allowed under California law?

California is the only state that allows motorcycle riders to “surpass traffic by weaving in between lanes.” Is it safe? Some people feel that lane-splitting promotes traffic safety, as it keeps cyclists from being crushed between the back of one car and the front of the next. Advocates also argue ...

California School Bus Alarm Bill Signed into Law

Monday, October 31, 2016By Richard Alexander

Parents should be able to trust school districts to take care of their children. When students are at school and on school busses, parents cannot watch over them. This gives both drivers and school districts a unique responsibility to protect our children. When they fail to meet this responsibility, they should be held accountable, and this includes a failure to protect kids being transported by bus to and from school.

The premature death of a Whittier teen in 2015 has culminated in a new law designed to protect children on California school busses. The law, named after ...

Cal. Supreme Court Allows New Defense in Product Liability Cases

Friday, October 28, 2016By Richard Alexander

People are sometimes hurt badly by defective products. Whether it’s a faulty car part that leads to a crash, disease-causing asbestos, or something else, it takes a skilled attorney to identify what went wrong and who is responsible. These tasks are more important than ever after a recent California Supreme Court case that added a defense for wrongdoers in these important lawsuits.

The area of law that deals with injuries due to defective products is known as products liability law. There are many different things that may cause a product to be regarded as faulty and defective ...

NFL to Spend $100 Million on Medical and Engineering Research

Thursday, October 27, 2016By Richard Alexander

The film “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, spurred a more thorough discussion of the connection between playing football and serious brain injuries. Medical research has reliably demonstrated a connection, and it appears that the National Football League (NFL) is beginning to get on board. Just last month, the NFL announced a major safety initiative in its administration of the game.

The NFL calls its initiative “Play Smart, Play Safe.” Under it, the NFL and team owners will contribute $100 million to support medical and engineering safety research related to football. Other requirements of the program include the following:

  • hiring a ...

Faulty GM Switch Test Lawsuits Settled by GM

Wednesday, October 26, 2016By Richard Alexander

Automaker General Motors has settled the last of the test cases over its faulty ignition switches. More than 124 deaths and nearly 300 injuries have been linked to the defective switches, which can slip out of place, stalling major systems and causing a crash.

GM received so many lawsuits over the faulty part that six test cases were set up to give the parties some idea of how juries would view the evidence against the company. However, the six test cases will provide only limited guidance, as one was dismissed, one was withdrawn, and three were settled ...

Are Personal Assistants Helping to Reduce Distracted Driving?

Friday, October 21, 2016By Richard Alexander

Do you think that using a personal assistant for your device helps you avoid the dangers of distracted driving? Many people do, but the truth is that even hands-free operation is not safe. If you’re skeptical, keep reading.

Some vehicles come equipped with voice commands. Even when they do not, drivers often use personal assistants such as Siri and Cortana to make calls and execute searches. This keeps drivers from entering information manually on their devices while they drive.

It seems like this should help reduce the dangers inherent in distracted driving. After all, using a personal assistant does ...

Can Your Car Insurer Deny Coverage for Your Failure to Cooperate after an Accident?

Thursday, October 20, 2016By Richard Alexander

Have you ever heard of the “cooperation clause” in your car insurance contract? Most people haven’t, even those who have purchased car insurance for a number of years. The first time many people learn about it is after they have filed a claim, when the company alleges that the policyholder is not cooperating in getting the company the information it needs to decide how to handle the claim.

Although you may not think about it this way, when you buy car insurance, you are entering into a contract with your insurance company. Both parties to the contract agree ...

Can Not Wearing a Seat Belt Be Used against You in a Lawsuit?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016By Richard Alexander

Some people worry that they will not be able to sue someone else for crash-related injuries unless they were wearing their seat belts. Some states do prohibit this from happening. Fortunately, California is not one of them.

Companies and people defending crash lawsuits often try to blame the injured person for his or her own injuries. One way they do this is by saying that the victim failed to wear his or her seat belt. In fact, this tactic is so common that this argument is often known as the “seat belt defense.”

The argument goes like this: State ...

Avoid Crashes with Big Rigs by Avoiding the No Zones

Tuesday, October 18, 2016By Richard Alexander

We sometimes become so accustomed to sharing the road with big rigs that we forget about the horrific damage they can cause in an accident. Our best defenses against becoming a victim of one of these accidents is respect for the size and weight of the vehicles and a better understanding of the blind spots with which truckers must contend.

Most drivers are well aware of the concept of a vehicle’s “blind spots.” This term is used to describe areas outside of vehicles that a driver cannot see because of the vehicle design.

Another, lesser-known term that is often ...

An Easy Fix for Push Button Starter CO2 Risk

Monday, October 17, 2016By Richard Alexander

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. The odorless, colorless gas is emitted from some defective home appliances, as well as from car exhaust. The risk it presents is far greater now than ever before, given the advent of keyless cars.

Most people are fully aware of the danger inherent in leaving a running car parked in a garage attached to their home. Car exhaust emits carbon monoxide, which can be deadly in a very short period of time. Carbon monoxide builds up quickly in the blood due to an attraction to hemoglobin. Initial symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, ...

Avoiding the Most Common Causes of Crashes

Friday, October 14, 2016By Richard Alexander

Road crashes continue to wreak havoc on people’s lives, often causing devastating injuries and death. In fact, road crashes are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the U.S. Sadly, the loss of thousands of lives due to traffic fatalities is largely preventable.

In the California Driver Handbook, car crashes are not described as mere accidents, where no one is at fault or guilty of negligent driving. In most cases, one or two drivers are violating traffic laws, leading to dangerous collisions. A number of violations are identified as common causes of road crashes, ...

Research Aims to Reduce Human Error in Car Crashes

Thursday, October 13, 2016By Richard Alexander

Human factors. The term could certainly cover a lot of territory, but in reality, it’s an important set of information that impacts each of us every day.

You see, “human factors” is an area of research that strives to improve traffic safety by learning about drivers. Human factors research tackles safety-critical issues, such as distracted and impaired driving. It peers into our cognitive behaviors, learning what it can about how we think and react while driving.

The first step in the human factors research process is to identify safety problems. Researchers analyze crash data and ...

Truck Driver Disqualification: What Does “Imminent Hazard” Mean?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016By Richard Alexander

Many people are unaware that the federal government has the power to disqualify unsafe drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles under certain circumstances. The U.S. Department of Transportation has the legal authority to do this when a driver constitutes an “imminent hazard” to public safety.

Under federal law, an imminent hazard may apply to a vehicle, an employee, or even to commercial motor vehicle operations. The key is that the condition “substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death if not discontinued immediately.” There is also a provision that applies to hazardous material.

Two recent California ...

On-Duty Paramedics and Crashes. How Long Do You Have to Sue?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016By Richard Alexander

Have you ever wondered what happens when an emergency vehicle causes a crash? Crashes between emergency vehicles and other cars are not uncommon. After all, the nature of emergency work depends on timely responses to horrific accidents. But even in emergency circumstances, drivers of emergency vehicles, such as paramedics, cannot drive without regard to their surroundings or other vehicles.

Consider, for example, a recent case out of Ventura County. A paramedic supervisor working at an ambulance station heard a radio call relating to a fall victim who was unconscious. The supervisor decided to respond to the ...

Are Our Students Safe? Serious School Bus Injuries and Deaths

Monday, October 10, 2016By Richard Alexander

California is one of the nation’s leaders in school bus safety. For 15 years, our state has mandated seat belts in school buses transporting our most precious cargo—our children. Still, all these years later, many California school buses do not have this basic safety equipment.

Why? Older buses need not comply with the law. Only buses built after July 1, 2005 must contain the required belts.

California’s school bus seat belt law is the most stringent in the country. Only six states mandate school bus seat belts at all, and California is the only state that ...

Preliminary Numbers: Car Crash Death Rates Up in 2016

Friday, October 07, 2016By Richard Alexander

The last quarter of the year has just started and although it’s early to draw conclusions, initial figures of crash-related serious injuries and deaths continue to inflate annually. In fact, 2015 data showed the largest single-year increase in traffic deaths in 50 years.

According to the National Safety Council, approximately 19,000 deaths and 2.2 million serious injuries have been reported since January 2016. Undoubtedly, the accident rate will increase significantly during the upcoming holidays due to increased traffic and more impaired drivers.

Reports also show that California is one of the top five states with the ...

New Report Shows General Aviation Plane Crashes at New Low

Thursday, October 06, 2016By Richard Alexander

It’s always good news when crash rates of any type are down. This is particularly true with crashes that tend to inflict catastrophic damage, such as that suffered in an aviation accident. In fact, a new report shows that small fixed-wing and helicopter crash rates in the civilian sector are down dramatically.

The term “general aviation” includes "all flight activity of every kind except that done by uniformed armed services and the scheduled airlines." Here are some examples of the types of flights that fall into this category:

  • flight instruction;
  • personal and recreational flying;
  • crop dusting and freight hauling;
  • news ...

S.F. Taxi Crash Calls Attention to Pedestrian Safety

Wednesday, October 05, 2016By Richard Alexander
Did you know that California leads the country in the number of pedestrian deaths? It’s true. During the first half of 2015, preliminary numbers show that more California pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents than pedestrians in any other state. Even worse, California’s pedestrian death toll increased seven percent from the same period in 2014. 

One of the more recent pedestrian fatalities involved a San Francisco taxicab that jumped the curb in San Francisco’s Financial District, injuring three people at a shoe shine stand. This horrible incident helps to raise awareness of pedestrian injuries and ...

California Adopts Almost Total Ban on Devices While Driving

Tuesday, October 04, 2016By Richard Alexander
It was bound to happen. Governor Brown has signed a bill that further limits the use of hand-held devices while driving. You see, for some people, it wasn’t enough to know that a typical text removes their focus from driving for five seconds. And it wasn’t enough to know that distracted driving involves all three types of dangerous distraction: cognitive, visual, and manual. That’s why the new law adopts a near complete ban on the use of devices while driving.

This issue impacts every state. In 2014, nearly 3,200 people were killed and over 430,000 ...

San Jose Bicycle-Train Collision Spotlights Bicycle Safety

Monday, October 03, 2016By Richard Alexander
Bicyclists are in more than their fair share of accidents. Although bicycles are used for only one percent of trips, bicyclists account for two percent of traffic fatalities and injuries. Bicyclists are at risk of serious injuries from drivers who fail to see them or to drive responsibly around them. In our area, bicyclists have yet another worry: the possibility of serious injury or even death due to collisions with trains.


This summer, a bicyclist was killed in San Jose when his bike was hit by a train. Although the rider made it to the hospital for ...

Know Your Genome - Cancer Prevention that Works

Wednesday, September 28, 2016By Richard Alexander

Popular consumer genomics company 23andMe is getting ready to collaborate with the State of Nevada to offer free access to genetic test kits to 5,000 Northern Nevadans who qualify for an upcoming public health study. This joint research study is going to focus on the genetic components of various health risks facing citizens in Nevada. Participants will get the $199 spit test for free and get a report on their ancestry, health traits and information on whether or not they carry genetic risk for certain disorders including cystic fibrosis. The Governor’s office is providing financial support to ...

Bounce Houses and Serious Head Injuries

Tuesday, September 27, 2016By Richard Alexander
Over the most recent 10-year period for which statistics are available, there were 12 deaths attributable to injuries suffered on inflatable amusements such as bounce houses. Particularly tragic are head and neck injuries, which may occur on the amusement or when someone is deflected off of it, onto a hard surface.

Inflatable amusements have become one of the most affordable, fun ways to enjoy time at outdoor events. Kids and even adults enjoy bouncing in space walks, moon bounces, and bounce houses, as well as climbing on inflatable slides and rock walls. But as ...

Protect Your Family: Tips to Prevent Backover Accidents

Monday, September 26, 2016By Richard Alexander
Many of us know someone or have heard of someone who has backed over a toy in the driveway. A less common occurrence, but one that is far more devastating, is a backover accident where someone, rather than something, is hit.

Most of the time, the person hit is an unattended child or an elderly person. In fact, children between the ages of 12 and 23 months are those most commonly injured or killed in backover accidents. Kidsandcars.org reports that 50 kids are victims of tragic backovers every week.

At the other end ...
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