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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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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,” ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

Dangerous Trucker Fatigue: What Can Be Done about It

Friday, September 23, 2016By Richard Alexander
Driver fatigue is the leading cause of highway crashes. Imagine the horrific damage inflicted when a trucker falls asleep at the wheel. A trucker in Oklahoma crashed into a line of stopped cars on the Will Rogers Turnpike, killing 10 people. An investigation showed that he never touched the brake pedal or tried to steer clear. The National Transportation Safety Board “blamed fatigue for the fatal crash along with acute sleep loss, shift work schedule and mild sleep apnea.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) addresses the danger of driver fatigue ...

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury

Thursday, September 22, 2016By Richard Alexander
A traumatic brain injury (TBI), in the simplest terms, is an injury to the brain caused by some type of trauma. Anything that bumps, jolts, or penetrates the head can cause a TBI. The damage causes a change in brain function or pathology. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that TBIs contribute to the deaths of over 50,000 people every year. Even nonfatal TBIs can impact victims and their families for the rest of their lives.

The three main causes of TBI are falls, blunt trauma, and motor vehicle accidents. In fact, motor ...

Your Attorney’s Role in a Serious Injury or Death Case

Wednesday, September 21, 2016By Richard Alexander

Hiring a lawyer in a serious injury or death case can make a significant difference in your bottom line. Even if you are dealing with your own insurance company, you cannot expect the company to be “on your side,” to be your “good neighbor,” or even to “be there.” You may pay the premiums on your policy, but make no mistake, insurance companies exist to make a profit.


Having your own lawyer will help you to maximize your recovery with specialized skills and knowledge. Here are some examples:

• the knowledge and ability to ...

Fatal Crashes with Trucks Down, Injuries Up

Tuesday, September 20, 2016By Richard Alexander
Large trucks are generally defined as those with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. That’s unloaded. Loaded, tractor trailers can weigh far more—up to 80,000 pounds. Contrast that with a typical passenger car, which weighs in around 3,000 pounds. A battle between these contestants is no battle at all.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tries to “reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.” To do this, it gathers statistics about the number and severity of crashes that involve commercial motor vehicles.

Collisions fall into ...

The Danger of Dementia Behind The Wheel

Tuesday, September 20, 2016By Richard Alexander

A recent study published by the Journal of the American Geriatric Society looked at the correlation between cognitive testing of people with early stages of dementia and safety behind the wheel. According to the report, there is no specific test that can predict if a person with dementia is safe behind the wheel. Researchers do point out that tests involving a variety of different cognitive skills might be more helpful in determining safety for drivers in the early stages of dementia. According to a Reuters Health article, drivers with dementia are up to eight times more likely ...

Will Autonomous Big Rigs Improve Traffic Safety

Monday, September 19, 2016By Richard Alexander
Daimler made headlines over a year ago when it began testing a self-driving big rig in Nevada. More recently, a startup that includes a group of former Google, Apple, and Tesla employees has publicized its efforts to develop “a $30,000 kit that can make any truck built since 2013 autonomous.” When autonomous big rigs come into fruition, will traffic safety improve?

Most experts believe that the number of big rig accidents will drop as autonomous systems are implemented. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, for example, has found ...

Neuroscience Can Help Prove Ongoing Pain in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Friday, September 16, 2016By Richard Alexander
One of the problems with pain is that the only person who truly knows how it feels is the person experiencing it. Proving pain in a catastrophic injury lawsuit can be a challenge because defense attorneys try to attack reports of pain as false or exaggerated. Fortunately, neuroscience is beginning to catch up with what have previously been termed “subjective” reports of pain.

Have you ever heard of the Wong-Baker FACES® Pain Rating Scale? You may not recognize the name, but you would probably recognize it if you ...

How Can Truck Driver Logs Help Your Accident Case

Thursday, September 15, 2016By Richard Alexander
Traffic experts often attribute crashes to three types of factors: driver, environment, and vehicle. When litigation develops over an accident involving a tractor-trailer, the focus is on evidence that bears on these issues. One of the most valuable pieces of evidence is truck driver logs.

Truck driver logs include a wealth of information about driver factors at play in large truck accidents. For example, they indicate information such as rest periods and meal breaks, which can help your lawyer determine whether there are hours of service violations or potential fatigue. A major ...

What Is a Personal Injury

Wednesday, September 14, 2016By Richard Alexander
Most people know that there are many different areas of law. After all, there are ads on television for everything from medical malpractice to personal injury law. However, many people may not necessarily understand what these terms mean. And when you need a lawyer, it is important to hire someone with significant, successful experience in that area.

“Personal injury law” is a good example of a term that sounds deceptively simple. Why not just call it “injury law” and leave it at that?

It all comes back to the nature of the ...

Motorcyclist Deaths Up Nationwide but Down in California

Tuesday, September 13, 2016By Richard Alexander
Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating. Unlike in a passenger car, you can feel temperature changes, smell things around you, and feel your speed. Unfortunately, riders are vulnerable to injury and death in crashes. In fact, early data for 2015 shows a substantial increase nationwide in motorcycle deaths.

If early projections are correct, 2015 will be the third time in the history of our nation that motorcycle deaths exceeded 5,000. This is an increase of over 10% from 2014. The annual forecast is completed every year by the Governors Highway Safety Association ...

Polaris Recall Due to Serious Burn Injuries

Tuesday, September 13, 2016By Richard Alexander

Certain models of Polaris Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) are being recalled due to fire hazards and the risk of severe burn injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the engines in two Polaris ROV models can overheat and the drain tube on the turbo system can loosen, posing a fire hazard. The CPSC issued an alert that involves Polaris RZR XP Turbo and RZR XP 4 Turbo models. At this time, about 13,000 of these off-road vehicles have been recalled since December of last year.

Child Injured in ROV Fire

Since the CPSC recall alert was ...

How Will Autonomous Vehicles Change Personal Injury Law

Monday, September 12, 2016By Richard Alexander
Cars that drive themselves? That sounds impossible to many people, but Tesla is selling a car that can do it. Whether it can do so safely is another issue entirely. The term for a self-driving car is an "autonomous vehicle." These cars rely on technology that senses their performance and surroundings and adjusts accordingly.

Many modern cars have some degree of autonomous capability. Electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and collision warning systems are all examples of systems that allow a car to exert control beyond the driver's actions. The completely autonomous car ...

Serious Injuries and Chronic Pain

Friday, September 09, 2016By Richard Alexander
Chronic pain is something that is experienced by an estimated 100 million people in the United States. Increasingly, the medical community, businesses, and society as a whole are recognizing its adverse effects not just on the sufferers, but on health care costs, lost wages, and business productivity.

Chronic pain is defined as mild to severe pain that has lasted for more than three to six months. It may stem from a variety of causes, including traumatic injury, medical treatments or surgery, aging, and underlying medical conditions. In some cases, the cause cannot be ...

Don’t Delay The Time Period to File a Lawsuit for Childhood Sexual Abuse Is Limited

Thursday, September 08, 2016By Richard Alexander
Child molestation is an unthinkable act. Even so, it still occurs in our advanced society. Fortunately, there is a legal avenue child sexual abuse survivors may use to recover money damages for the harm done to them. However, the deadline to bring a lawsuit varies widely and depends on the facts of the case.

The time period for filing a lawsuit is known as the “statute of limitations.” The length of the statute of limitations depends on the nature of the lawsuit. For example, most California car accident cases must be filed ...

Pokemon Go and Snapchat - Mobile Apps and Serious Injuries

Wednesday, September 07, 2016By Richard Alexander
When most people hear the term "technology," they don't necessarily think of danger. They are more likely to think of convenience or improvement. The truth, however, is that some convenience-enhancing technologies also pose danger for their users. The most obvious and well-known example is cell phone texting. Many states have outlawed texting while driving, including California.

Two of the latest examples of dangerous technology are Snapchat's speed filter and the game craze Pokemon Go.

Snapchat, the popular social media smartphone application, allows users to snap photos and videos, personalize them, and ...

CHP Impact Teen Drivers

Wednesday, September 07, 2016By Richard Alexander

The California Highway Patrol’s Impact Teen Drivers program is aimed at raising awareness about the specific risks and dangers facing teen drivers on roads in California. Since reckless and distracted driving is the number-one killer of teens in the U.S., the Impact Teen Drivers program puts an emphasis on the importance of safe and focused driving behaviors. In addition to the free material they offer online, Impact Teen Drivers also has direct training sessions that are available through their grassroots framework of community-centric organizing. Impact Teen Drivers is about addressing the very real public heath crisis that ...

Skateboard, Rollerblade and Scooter Safety

Wednesday, August 31, 2016By Richard Alexander
Children and adults on skateboards, scooters and rollerblades are at an increased risk for injury and death if they’re involved in collisions with motor vehicles. 

Even with helmets, injuries arising from car accidents can be incredibly severe or even fatal. 

Children and adults on skateboards, rollerblades and scooters are reminded that they have all of the same rights as pedestrians, but they must also obey the same traffic laws. Listed below are five important safety laws for children and adults who board, blade or rider scooters. 

1. Obey all traffic signs, signals and speed limits. 
2. ...

Restrict Teenage Driving at Night

Wednesday, August 24, 2016By Richard Alexander

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently released the results of a study on night driving restrictions and drivers aged 16 or 17 years old involved in fatal nighttime crashes between 2009 and 2014.

Overwhelmingly fatal crashes happen during the nighttime hours and the risk is especially high for injury causing and fatal crashes when inexperienced and young drivers are behind the wheel.

Saving their lives and ours, as well as preventing severe injuries, demands that nighttime driving restrictions should start at 9 pm.

Research shows that night driving restrictions starting at 10:00 ...

DEFECTIVE GAS TANKS IN 1992-2001 CROWN VICTORIA, MERCURY AND LINCOLN TOWN CARS

Thursday, August 18, 2016By Richard Alexander
Please share this important safety information.

Don’t buy into the “Ford Built Tough” public relations whitewash. 

The only thing “tough” about Ford is its attitude about selling cars with known and curable defects. The Galaxy, Pinto, and Explorer debacles are well known, but there is a longstanding secret that Ford has concealed from the public. 
Ford Mercury, Crown Victoria, Police Interceptor and the Lincoln Town Cars sold between 1992 and 2001 explode in flames in freeway speed rear-end collisions because of a well-known defective design that’s easily and cheaply fixed.  Since the basic design is identical let’s call all these ...

PG&E Convicted of Breaking Safety Laws

Tuesday, August 16, 2016By Richard Alexander
Last Tuesday, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) was convicted of obstructing the federal probe and violating various safety laws associated with the San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion of 2010.  The San Francisco Gate reported that PG&E was found guilty of five different felony counts of knowingly failing to inspect and test its gas lines for potential dangers. Additionally, there was a conviction of felony obstruction of the federal probe. During the investigation, evidence was also brought to light that PG&E officials tried to derail the investigation by denying a practice of pumping natural gas through ...

Fatal Bus Crash in Merced County

Thursday, August 04, 2016By Richard Alexander

On Tuesday morning, five people were killed and many other people were injured in a tour bus crash on Highway 99. KRON Channel Four News reported that the wreck happened between Atwater and Livingston at about 3:30 a.m. The bus reportedly struck a highway exit sign pole, which tore through the middle of the bus.

At this time, there has been no word on the cause of the tour bus crash.

In our experience in transit buses, school buses, party buses, commuter vans, and commercial vehicles accidents are always more than just a driver falling ...

Cancer, Child Safety, and 5G Cell Phone Radiation

Tuesday, August 02, 2016By Richard Alexander

The FCC recently voted to approve 5G Spectrum Frontiers, making the U.S. the first country in the world to open up higher-frequency millimeter wave spectrum for the development of 5G (fifth generation) wireless cellular technology. According to Environmental Health Trust, the FCC was flooded with comments and concerns about the potential health, safety and environmental impacts of 5G Spectrum Frontiers. The most pressing concern about the FCC’s 5G approval is that it would essentially mean mandatory irradiation of the general public. The FCC has forged ahead with this potentially disastrous policy without providing the research and ...

U.S. Dangerous Driving Culture

Monday, August 01, 2016By Richard Alexander

The Lancet recently reported on the unacceptably high rates of injury-causing and deadly crashes in the U.S. and on the culture of dangerous driving across the nation. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that when compared with 19 other high-income countries, the USA had the highest rate of motor vehicle crash fatalities and was nearly twice as high as the comparison countries.

In 2013, 32,894 people died in car crashes across the country. That’s a death rate of 10:3 per 100,000 population.

The only positive finding was that the crash ...

Uber Driver Accused of Sexual Assault

Thursday, July 28, 2016By ALG

An Uber driver based out of Redwood City has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female passenger. NBC Bay Area News reported that the alleged sexual assault happened as the 59-year-old driver, Rodolf Vjerdha, was transporting a female passenger on Friday evening. The victim intended to Uber Pool with other passengers, but once she was in the driver’s car, he opted not to pick up any additional passengers.

When he arrived to the passenger’s house, he didn’t unlock the doors and made unwanted sexual advances against her. He also asked her to let him in ...

Child on Bicycle Injured in Danville

Thursday, July 21, 2016By Richard Alexander

On Sunday, an 11-year-old boy was seriously injured while riding his bicycle in Danville. NBC Bay Area News reported that a vehicle struck the child as he was riding his bike near Camino Tassajara and Lomitas Drive, sometime around 12:55 p.m. Although very little information about the incident has been released, the driver involved reportedly remained on the scene to cooperate with authorities. The child was airlifted to UC Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland with serious injuries.

At this time, we do not know how or why the driver struck the child. This collision is probably still under ...

Safety Concerns for Tesla Autopilot

Wednesday, July 20, 2016By Richard Alexander

The recent fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S and a tractor-trailer in Williston, Florida has consumer advocates worried. The company has aggressively deployed and marketed their so-called Autopilot driving-assist system in what they’re describing as a “beta test.” Tesla’s Autopilot technology involves multiple systems including automatic steering, cameras, radar, electronic sensors and other data. While this self-driving technology has many consumers excited over the prospect of advanced autonomous driving technology, industry leaders, public safety agencies and consumer advocates still have questions.

Aviation Industry: Attentive Pilots and Autopilot

When we think of autopilot systems, the commercial aviation ...

Santa Cruz Ocean Cliff Owners Must Remove Exposed Steel Spikes in Seawalls that can Maim and Kill Surfers

Friday, July 15, 2016By Richard Alexander
On the afternoon of October 19, 2015 at high tide Glenn Harper Glenn descended the sloping, concrete seawall steps at 32nd Street, a popular and high traffic beach access that has been used by Pleasure Point surfers for decades.  


The seawall was constructed of sprayed concrete, known as shotcrete, and steel reinforcing bars.  It was installed by cliff side property owners for erosion control and owned by them as far back as the 1950s.  The County of Santa Cruz held easement rights for public access to the ocean long before the Coastal Commission was created in ...

Compensation for Molested Children

Wednesday, July 13, 2016By Richard Alexander
Until 1991 it was possible to collect homeowner’s insurance coverage for the damages suffered by molested children.  The legal basis was the 1979 decision in Congregation Rodef Shalom v. American Motorists 91 Cal. App. 3d 690 which held that a teenager who set a fire that damaged a synagogue was unable to conduct himself in accordance with reason and his family’s homeowner’s coverage had to pay the bill.  From that decision it was a short step to establish that a pedophile was unable to conduct himself in accordance with reason.  Following that rationale molester, does not act ...

Spinal Cord Paralysis and Quadriplegia Following Signs of Spinal Cord Compression due to a Ruptured Disk

Saturday, July 02, 2016By Richard Alexander
Summary

At midnight on Sunday night March 17, 2013, Dana Vogel, age 43, could walk when she arrived at the Emergency Department of the Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, California by ambulance.  

On Monday morning March 18, 2013 at 12:20 am Dana was seen by an emergency medicine specialist.

The ER doctor knew from the report of the EMTs, the triage nurse and from his patient that 
• she had not been in an automobile crash or suffered a severe fall
•  she had been carrying a backpack earlier that week and felt pain in her ...

Fatal Oakley Pedestrian Crash

Thursday, June 30, 2016By ALG

On Tuesday afternoon, one person was killed and another person was injured in a pedestrian crash in Oakley. KRON Channel Four News reported that the collision happened on East Cypress Road, near Bethel Island Road, at about 2:49 p.m. Very little information has emerged about this wreck, and there has been no word on the cause of the crash. This fatal pedestrian collision is probably still under investigation with law enforcement officials.

More...

Anton Yelchin Crushed by Defective Jeep

Tuesday, June 28, 2016By Richard Alexander

New details have emerged about the incident that took actor Anton Yelchin’s life. A recent New York Times article reported that the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee involved in the crash was a model that Fiat Chrysler has recalled due to a dangerous gearshift issue. On Sunday, June 19, 2016, Yelchin was killed when his Jeep rolled down his driveway and crushed him against a concrete-reinforced mailbox. This particular Jeep is currently under recall for complaints due to a gearshift ...

Mandatory State Prison for Attacking Unconscious Women

Thursday, June 23, 2016By ALG

The Alexander Law Group is committed to making a difference in our community by representing the powerless against the powerful and speaking out when there is injustice.

 

On June 15, 2016 Richard Alexander wrote in the San Jose Mercury News  an editorial explaining how the law on rape sentencing needs to be change 

Stanford Rapist Should Not Have Escaped State Prison

Sunday, June 12, 2016By Richard Alexander
On Tuesday May 31 my letter to the editor of the Palo Alto Daily Post was published calling for a Stanford student convicted of rape to be sentenced to state prison later that week.

“Having represented scores of survivors of sexual battery in decades of personal injury advocacy and appreciating the lifelong pain that is inflicted on survivors, predators like Brock Turner make my blood boil. 

“Thursday [June 2, 1016] is Brock Turner’s sentencing for assault with intent to commit
rape and penetrating the victim while she was obliviously drunk.

“Universities are wont to downplay state prison crimes by the brightest ...

Fluoroquinolones (FLQ's) and Heart Attacks and Stroke

Wednesday, June 08, 2016By Richard Alexander

Each year, tens of millions of prescriptions for fluoroquinolones (FLQs) are written for patients suffering from a variety of bacterial illnesses ranging from bronchitis to skin infections. The popular drugs, Avelox, Cipro and Levaquin, are antibiotics that inhibit the growth of bacteria by unwinding their DNA. These antibiotics are widely prescribed and trusted by patients and physicians across the nation, but just how safe are they? Although these drugs’ labels do not include warning of the risk of aortic aneurysm, there is a significant and proven risk for those taking the medication. Dangerous side effects associated with FLQs include nerve ...

Teens Rescued from Oakland Crash

Thursday, June 02, 2016By ALG

On Sunday morning, two teens had to be rescued from a crash that happened in Oakland. ABC Channel Seven News reports that their vehicle went over a cliff near Fish Ranch Road and Grizzly Peak Boulevard sometime before 11:38 a.m. They were apparently heading down East Bay Road when for unknown reasons, their vehicle left the roadway. The vehicle was overturned and the roof was crushed.

 

More...

Major Injury Crash on 580

Thursday, May 26, 2016By ALG

Earlier this week, there was a major injury crash on Interstate Highway 580. KRON Channel Four News reported that the wreck happened sometime around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, just west of the Marina Bay. A Sig-alert was issued, and all westbound lanes of the highway in Oakland were closed until about 3:12 a.m. Very little information has been released about this apparent multi-vehicle crash involving major injuries.

 

Stanford Hospital Tech Accused of Sexual Battery

Wednesday, May 18, 2016By ALG

On Monday, a former Stanford Hospital anesthesia technician pleaded no contest on two counts of sexual battery. KRON Channel Four News reported that the anesthesia tech, 56-year-old Robert Lastinger of Fremont, was fired last year after several nurses reported that he had touched the genitals of male patients post-surgery while they were still under anesthesia. The patients ranged in age from 16 to 52 years old.

 

More...

Death at South Beach Construction Site

Thursday, May 05, 2016By ALG
Last week, a worker was killed at a construction site in San Francisco’s South Beach area. KRON Channel Four News reported that the incident happened at about 2:45 p.m. on Friday at a worksite in the 200 block of Main Street. Very little information has been released about this worksite death, but the victim was reportedly doing electrical work at the site. The 45-year-old Pleasanton man was found unconscious by co-workers and later pronounced dead on the scene. 

Worksite Accidents 

Injuries and deaths at the jobsite often require lengthy and in depth investigative efforts to ...

Toyotas and Unintended Acceleration

Tuesday, May 03, 2016By Richard Alexander
Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) has been in the spotlight for the past few years, but the consumer complaints associated with Toyota vehicles have been rolling in for over a decade. Consumer Reports’ has actually dedicated an entire portion of their website to unintended acceleration issues associated with Toyota vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened up an initial investigation into certain Toyota models involving SUA in July of 2003. A few Lexus model cars were recalled in December of 2005, but there were still plenty of complaints about other Toyota models pouring in for ...

Dangerous Driving at Pier 39

Friday, April 29, 2016By ALG
A recent report from KRON Channel Four News looked into the driving habits at one Bay Area intersection. Viewers had previously requested the news station to look into the Pier 39 intersection of Jefferson and Grant due to concerns about pedestrian safety. The reporter on the scene, Stanley Roberts, found that the largest problem at this particular intersection was an apparently blatant disregard for traffic lights. Various drivers were witnessed running red lights during the length of the report. 

Red Light Runners in San Francisco 

Red-light runners and other dangerous drivers are putting motorists, pedestrians, ...

Distracted Driving on The Rise

Tuesday, April 26, 2016By Richard Alexander
A recent article out of the New York Times highlights the troubling news that texting while driving is on the rise. New York is actively taking steps to deter and punish distracted drivers more harshly for infractions. Pedestrians are at a particularly high risk due to distracted drivers in and around heavily populated urban and suburban areas. The state is also targeting distracted teen drivers. Gov. Cuomo recently signed a law that promised a four-month license suspension for young or inexperienced drivers who are convicted of texting while driving, with possible revocation for a year following that. 

Driver Asleep at Wheel in Fatal Crash

Thursday, April 21, 2016By ALG
On Sunday, a man who pulled over to investigate a strange noise coming from his vehicle was struck and hit by a driver who was asleep behind the wheel in San Jose. NBC Bay Area News reports that the collision happened on the northbound side of U.S. Highway 101, just north of Alum Rock Avenue. The driver of a Mazda SUV pulled over on the side of the road, when he heard a strange noise coming from his vehicle. 

When he got out of the vehicle to investigate the noise, a Ford Ranger, whose driver was asleep ...

Dangerous Epidemic of Drowsy Driving

Tuesday, April 19, 2016By Richard Alexander
Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post, is calling on drivers to take the Pledge to Not Drive Drowsy. Although we hear about the dangers of distracted driving and drunk driving all of the time, we rarely hear about just how dangerous driving while drowsy is. As Americans, we value hard work and praise those who pull all nighters in the pursuit of success and achievement. Unfortunately, we give little thought to how safe it is for those people to drive home after a long night of working or studying. Drowsy driving has become a dangerous and deadly ...

Overturned Truck on I-880

Thursday, April 14, 2016By ALG
Earlier this week, a truck crash on Interstate Highway 880 had traffic backed up in Oakland. NBC Bay Area News reports that at least two lanes of the connection from Westbound Highway 980 to Southbound Highway 880 were blocked due to the wreckage. Although very little information about this apparent one-vehicle crash has been released, we do know that it the incident was initially reported shortly after 8:00 a.m. 

Law enforcement officials did not report whether or not anybody was injured in this truck crash or how it happened. If you or somebody you love has been ...

Sexual Abuse in The Foster Home

Tuesday, April 05, 2016By Richard Alexander
A disturbing recent article out of the New York Times highlights the importance of authorities within the foster care and child services systems to recognize and take action when they see red flags indicating that children could be in danger. Information has come to light that a longtime foster parent and adoptive parent on Long Island has sexually abused multiple children in his care. The foster parent and adoptive father, 59-year-old Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, is being held on a $500,000 cash bail at the Suffolk County jail in relation to sexual abuse charges involving children in his care, ...

Teen Injured at Construction Site

Thursday, March 31, 2016By ALG
Over the weekend, a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured at a construction site in an Oakland neighborhood. NBC Bay Area News reports that concrete slabs from the home’s foundation fell on the teen, and he was pinned against a wall. It took firefighters on the scene about an hour to free the teen from the wreckage. At this time, there has been no word on how the concrete slab fell on the young man.

This incident happened at a home near San Antonio Park, East of Lake Merritt. Apparently, the teen was working for a construction crew ...

Defective Blood Testing Device

Monday, March 28, 2016By Richard Alexander
Anybody who has ever been on a blood-thinning drug like Warfarin knows how important it is to regularly test his or her blood. Unfortunately, not all testing devices are created equal. In fact, one device in particular has consistently shown accuracy problems. A recent New York Times article highlights the accuracy concerns regarding the INRatio blood testing devices. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had more than 9,000 reports of malfunctions with more than 1,400 reports of injuries associated with the INRatio and INRation2 blood testing devices since they have been cleared for use ...

Dangerous Driving at Bay Bridge Toll Plaza

Monday, March 14, 2016By ALG
Since nearly 270,000 drivers cross the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge each day, Stanley Roberts with KRON Channel Four News wanted to report on some dangerous driving behaviors in the area. Not surprisingly, one of the most serious problems on the Bay Bridge toll plaza is distracted driving. During the report, a variety or distracted drivers were observed. Many drivers were on their smart phones or engaging in other distracted behaviors behind the wheel. 

Stanley also observed quite a few violations of the carpooling lane, which requires at least three people in the vehicle. Motorists in the area ...

Behind the Ethicon Endo- Surgery $70 million punitive damages award

Tuesday, February 23, 2016By Nina Shapirshteyn

Trying a Product Case Without the Product.

I hate being lied to. When I say "hate," I mean the emotion born in your stomach that spreads rapidly through your body, heating every cell as it travels past your heart and up to your brain, filling it, nearly paralyzing the brain with its overwhelming presence.

We rightfully give speeches about compassion: how to understand our clients and fight for them by putting ourselves in their shoes. It is a skill necessary to being a good advocate.

But we rarely talk about hate. What is embarrassing about ...

Fatal Greyhound Bus Crash in San Jose

Thursday, January 21, 2016By ALG
Earlier this week, two people were killed and at least 18 were injured when a Greyhound bus crashed on Highway 101 in San Jose. Although very little information was released about this wreck, ABC Channel Seven News reports that the wreck happened on northbound 101 in the HOV lane at the northbound 85 carpool ramp. For unknown reasons, the bus overturned in the roadway. 

The bus driver will be asked to submit a blood sample for drug and alcohol testing. Investigators will also look into whether or not a mechanical issue could have caused the crash. At this time, ...

Office Depot Recalls Defective Chairs

Tuesday, January 12, 2016By ALG
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just issued a press release about Office Depot’s recall of defective executive chairs. This particular chair has a defective seat plate. It’s the part that connects the seat to the base of the chair. Under certain circumstances, the plate can brake and pose a serious fall hazard to consumers. In certain situations, it’s possible to fall backwards and potentially suffer trauma to the head, neck or other parts of the body. The CPSC’s official recall information is listed below. 

Defective Office Depot Chair Information 

Product: Crawley II Executive Chair

Hazard: The seat ...

CPSC on Hoverboard Safety

Tuesday, January 05, 2016By ALG
Exploding and combustible hoverboards have been all over the news this season. This popular holiday gift has caught the attention of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC has recently issued a press release about the safety of these hoverboards. They’ve been actively investigating hoverboard-related fires all over the nation. CPSC investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire hazard associated with many of these hoverboards. They’re hoping to determine the amount of risk posed by these products, so consumers can be properly informed. Listed below are some of the injuries associated with the faulty hoverboards. 

Injuries ...

Consumer Watchdog Group Loses an Icon

Monday, December 28, 2015By ALG
Consumer watchdogs, consumers, medical patients and Americans everywhere have lost an icon and incredible friend. Kathy Olsen, who gave so much to consumer and medical patient advocacy and safety, recently passed away. Like so many, Kathy became a passionate advocate for consumer rights and justice after the large medical industrial complex impacted her own life. After being denied repeatedly for an $800 CAT scan by an HMO doctor in an emergency room, her then two-year-old son suffered from blindness and brain damage after being admitted for a head injury. These irreversible and preventable injuries awoke in Kathy a need ...

Elderly Pedestrian Killed by Utility Truck

Wednesday, December 23, 2015By ALG
On Tuesday, a 90-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed in a San Jose neighborhood. KRON Channel Four News reports that the incident happened sometime before 5:43 p.m., near South Boscom Avenue. The elderly man was reportedly crossing the street when a southbound utility truck struck him. Although he was rushed to the hospital, he did not survive his injuries. The truck driver did pull over to cooperate with authorities. 

The cause of this collision is still under investigation with the San Jose Police Traffic Investigations Unit. Initial reports indicate that alcohol or drugs were not suspected to be factors ...

Holiday Drunk Driving Prevention

Monday, December 21, 2015By ALG
The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has just unveiled their new nationwide ad to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. Their holiday-themed Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over ad was set to run in movie theaters prior to the new Star Wars move, The Force Awakens. Viewers across the country are expected to turn out for the movie, and see the new public safety awareness advertisement as well. Officials with the U.S. DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are urging drivers to stay off of the roads if they’ve been drinking this holiday ...

CPSC’s Holiday Toy Safety Tips

Tuesday, December 15, 2015By ALG
With exploding hover boards and other dangerous and defective toys in the news, parents across the nation are likely a little worried about choosing safe toys for their children this holiday season. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has some important tips for keeping children safe around new toys this holiday season. Thankfully, the CPSC has reported a decline in toy recalls over the past few years. This year, 25 toys have been recalled. In 2008, 172 toys were recalled. Although toy recalls have declined, the CPSC continues to find dangerous toys at U.S. ports. 

Toy-Related Injuries 

Some ...

$2 Million Civil Penalty for Philips

Tuesday, December 08, 2015By ALG
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just issued a press release regarding the $2 million civil penalty facing Philips Lighting North America Corp. The well-known lighting company has agreed to pay the penalty in association with settling charges that the company knowingly failed to report defective products, as required by federal law. They reportedly had information about the defective lamps and knew they posed an unreasonable risk of serious injury to consumers. 

Defective EnergySaver Marathon and Marathon Classic Lamps

It took numerous complaints about the defective lamps, EnergySaver (“Marathon” or Marathon Classic”) compact fluorescent lamps, for the ...

Defective Products Sold by Home Depot After Recall Announced

Monday, November 23, 2015By ALG
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just issued a press release regarding 28 different defective products that were sold by Home Depot after recalls were announced. These items were recalled between 2012 and 2015 and involved about 2,310 units, including about 1,300 sold to consumers and 1,010 sold to salvagers or recyclers who could have sold them to consumers. Consumers are urged to stop using the products immediately and contact the recalling firms to receive a refund, replacement or repair of the faulty item. Listed below are the items in question.

Defective Products Sold at Home Depot 

Tour Bus Crash in San Francisco

Tuesday, November 17, 2015By ALG
On Friday, at least 20 people were injured when a tour bus struck several vehicles in downtown San Francisco. According to ABC Channel Seven News, the wreck happened at a construction site at Post and Stockton Streets, where a new Apple store is being built. At least four people were critically injured in the crash. Injured victims were taken to San Francisco General Hospital and Kaiser. At this time, very little information has been released about the crash, but we do know that prior to the wreck, the double-decker bus was gaining speed and driving erratically for at least ...

Big Rig Crash in Portrero Hill

Thursday, November 12, 2015By alg
Earlier this week, a semi truck slammed into a PG&E power pole after getting stuck in a Portrero Hill neighborhood and rolling downhill. ABC Channel Seven News reports hat the truck’s air brakes went out as the driver was trying to navigate a hill. The truck then rolled downhill and didn’t stop until it struck a power pole. 

Thankfully, no injuries were reported with this semi truck crash, as a runaway truck in a residential area is extremely dangerous. Power was cut off to more than 4,000 people in the area as crews worked to repair the pole. Community ...

Competency in Older Physicians

Tuesday, November 10, 2015By ALG
With a large aging population of baby boomer physicians, a recent Medscape article raises the question of competency in older doctors. Should older doctors be screened for cognitive impairments or other age-related issues, and at what age should that screening or testing begin? Some doctors are in favor of standardizing these polices, and others consider it age discrimination. A variety of hospitals across the nation have already implemented their own form of age-related screening policies for older doctors.  

Patient Safety Needs to be The Top Priority 

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. ...

Big Rig Crash in San Jose

Thursday, November 05, 2015By ALG
Earlier this week, a big-rig crash in San Jose had portions of Interstate Highway 880 closed during rush hour. ABC Channel Seven News reported that the collision happened at about 8:30 a.m. on Highway 880, just north of Brokaw Road. At this time, very little information on the cause of this collision has been released. We do know that an 18-wheeler apparently spun out and struck multiple vehicles. 

A Sig-alert was issued and all southbound lanes were closed until after 10:00 a.m. We don’t know whether or not anybody was injured in this crash or the extent of injuries ...

Jogger Critically Injured in San Francisco

Monday, November 02, 2015By ALG
Early on Tuesday morning, a San Francisco jogger was critically injured when a car struck him. ABC News Channel Seven reported that the incident happened at about 5:36 a.m. near the area of Post and Hyde Streets. Although very little information has been released about this incident, we do know that the jogger was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. Initial witness reports indicate that the driver involved may have run a red light prior to hitting the jogger. That driver did stop and cooperate with law enforcement on the scene. 

Safety for Joggers ...

Takata Recall Update

Tuesday, October 27, 2015By ALG
Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a public information meeting regarding the ongoing recall on Takata air bag inflators. NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind and other representatives from the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Division were on hand to update the public and answer questions associated with the Takata recall. Officials with the NHTSA are encouraging consumers to check their vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) using their online search engine to determine the recall status of their vehicle or vehicles. During the meeting, consumers were given the latest information on the current status of the recall. 

The NHTSA’ ...

Multiple Bicycle Crashes in San Francisco

Thursday, October 15, 2015By ALG
Last Sunday, there were two separate bicycle crashes in San Francisco. According to ABC Channel Seven News, 47-year-old cyclist Mark Heryer of Berkley died after being run over by a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus. That collision happened in the 500 block of Market Street, near Sutter Street. A wheel of his bicycle apparently got caught in streetcar tracks, causing him to fall over in the road. Another cyclist was injured at the intersection of Embarcadero and Chestnut Streets after hitting a horse trailer. 

Bicycle Accidents in San Francisco 

Even at fairly low speeds, accidents involving cars can be ...

Lack of Transparency in Product Liability Cases

Tuesday, October 13, 2015By Richard Alexander
A lack of transparency in many product liability and wrongful death lawsuits needs to be addressed to improve consumer safety. At this time, many court judgments and case settlements are sealed and must remain confidential, per the manufacturer’s stipulations, but why should we continue to allow this to happen? If a product is dangerous, that information shouldn’t be concealed or hidden from consumers. The public needs to be warned about potentially dangerous medications, automobile parts or other unsafe products. 

NHTSA’s Recommendation for Improving Safety and Transparency 

Even if you can understand that corporations are willing to go to great and ...

First Responder Injured in Crash

Thursday, October 08, 2015By ALG
Earlier this week, a San Francisco police officer was injured after being pinned between two cars. According to ABC Channel Seven News, the police officer was trying to arrest a burglary suspect in the Ingleside District at the time of the collision. The officer sustained a broken rib and an injury to the leg. At this time, several suspects have been detained, but very few details about the collision have been released. 

Pedestrian and Car Accident Injuries in San Francisco 

Whether you were a pedestrian involved in a collision or injured in another type of car accident, you could ...

Keeping Kids in School Zones Safe

Tuesday, October 06, 2015By Richard Alexander
Uniform speed limits during stated times are outdated and put children at risk of becoming pedestrian accident victims. In theory, a law that has people slowing down for children in school zones during high-traffic portions of the day makes sense, but in reality, children are coming and going from school at a variety of different hours. Some schools have early-release programs. Many children stay late for extended day care or sports. Athletic events are frequently after school, and often on weekends. We need to have school zone legislation that truly meets the needs of keeping children in California safe. 

The ...

L.A. School District Blames Teen For Being a Victim of Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, September 29, 2015By ALG
In a recent article from the Daily Post, we learned that a 14-year-old girl was victim-blamed for sexual abuse committed by one of her teachers. In a desperate move to avoid accountability, the Los Angeles school district tried to argue that she was somehow responsible for her own victimization. The girl rightfully accused the school district of failing to adequately supervise her teacher. Sadly, and not surprisingly, the L.A. school district fought to say that the 14-year-old girl ‘consented’ to the sex, so she somehow shared the responsibility of the abuse. Although the jury sided with the school district, an ...

One Dead and Five Injured After Car Crashes Into Gym

Thursday, September 24, 2015By ALG
On Tuesday morning, one person was killed and five others were injured after a car crashed into a gym in Livermore. According to KRON Channel Four News, an 80-year-old driver was trying to park her Mercedes SUV when she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal. Her SUV went through the front of the Life Style Fitness Gym on East Stanley Boulevard, at about 6:30 a.m. 

The SUV reportedly went about 60 feet and crashed into a classroom at the gym. A 49-year-old victim died from her injuries and five others were injured in the crash. The ...

Medical Device Associated With 27 Deaths

Tuesday, September 15, 2015By ALG
NBC News recently reported on a medical device with a fatal flaw. The Recovery filter is supposed to protect at-risk patients from having blood clots travel to their heart or lungs. Unfortunately, this medical device, manufactured by C.R. Bard, has been linked with 27 deaths and approximately 300 additional non-fatal issues. Approximately 250,000 of these blood clot filters are implanted into patients across the country each year. 

Fatal Blood Clot Prevention Device 

The Recovery filter looks like a small, metal, spider-like apparatus. It is designed to catch blood clots before they reach the heart or lungs in patients who ...

Injury Crash on I-680 in San Jose

Thursday, September 10, 2015By ALG
Early Tuesday morning, there was an injury crash on Interstate 680 in San Jose. According to ABC Channel Seven News, the collision happened sometime before 2:48 a.m., just north of North Capitol Avenue. There were three vehicles involved in this crash, and a Sig-alert was issued at 3:04 a.m. There is no word on who or what caused this crash. 

Car Accidents in San Jose 

Although very little information about this multi-car collision has been released, we do know that three people were injured. There has been no information on the extent of injuries involved or anybody’s current condition. ...

Technological Advances in Truck Accident Investigations

Tuesday, September 08, 2015By ALG
With the latest technological advances and electronic monitoring legislation on the horizon, the field of truck accident investigations is becoming more precise every day. If you or somebody you love has been injured in a truck accident, you know that investigations can involve multiple agencies and be incredibly lengthy. Thankfully, truck accident investigative techniques are becoming more technologically sophisticated. This means accidents can be more thoroughly, accurately and swiftly investigated. The more accurately data can be retrieved from large trucks after accidents, the more quickly and efficiently truck accident victims can receive help. 

Commercial Vehicle Outlook 

The recent Commercial ...

Big-Rig Overturned on I-880

Thursday, September 03, 2015By ALG
Early Monday morning, a tractor trailer overturned on Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland. According to ABC News Channel Seven, the large truck crash happened sometime around 2:00 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-880, near Hegenberger Road. The semi truck spilled diesel fuel onto the roadway, and it leaked into a creek near the scene.

The wreckage blocked multiple lanes, and hazardous materials crews responded to clean up the fuel spill. Very few details about this wreck have been released, and we don’ know if any other vehicles were involved or if anybody was injured in the crash. 

If ...

Deadly Keyless Ignition Systems

Tuesday, September 01, 2015By ALG
Many of us drive cars with keyless ignition systems or ‘smart keys,’ and we generally think of them as being a modern and safe convenience, but they can also be deadly. At this time, 10 different automakers are facing a class action lawsuit on behalf of millions of Americans who own or lease vehicles with keyless ignition systems. According to the lawsuit, at least 13 carbon monoxide deaths are being linked with these defective ignition systems. These keyless ignition systems don’t have emergency auto-shutoff technology that could save countless lives from fatal carbon monoxide poisoning. 

What’s the Risk? 

What ...

Motorcycle Cop and Pedestrian Injured in Separate Wrecks

Thursday, August 27, 2015By ALG
On Tuesday morning, a motorcycle cop and a pedestrian were injured in separate wrecks that happened within 10 minutes of each other. According to ABC Channel Seven News, the first wreck happened at 7:22 a.m., on Sixth and Stevenson Streets, in the South of Market area. Initial reports indicate that a Porsche struck a pedestrian. The injuries were described as life threatening, but there’s no word on that person’s current condition. 

The second wreck happened on Leavenworth Street and Golden Gate Avenue at around 7:32 a.m. Although very little information has been released, we do know that a police ...

The Dangers of Invokana and SGLT2 Inhibitors

Tuesday, August 25, 2015By Richard Alexander
Recently touted as the latest greatest drug for those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, Invokana and similar SGLT2 inhibitors aren’t without serious side effects. In fact, reports of ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition, prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a warning about Invokana and Invokamet earlier this year. According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), adverse effects associated with Invokana were higher than 92 percent of all the drugs they monitored in their May 6, 2015 edition of Quarter Watch. 

How Does Invokana Work? 

Invokana triggers the kidneys to release excess blood glucose through the ...

Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Highway 280

Thursday, August 20, 2015By ALG
On Saturday morning, a fatal wreck involving a pedestrian happened on Interstate Highway 280 in San Francisco. According to ABC Channel Seven News, the wreck happened sometime before 5:50 a.m., near the U.S. Highway 101 connector. Although very little information has been released about the wreck, we do know that at least one person was killed. A Sig-alert was issued as CHP troopers and crews worked the scene. 

Car Accidents in San Francisco 

Car Accidents in San Francisco can leave victims and their family members feeling like they’re out of options. Whether you’re recovering in the hospital or out ...

Electronic Logging Devices for the Trucking Industry

Tuesday, August 18, 2015By ALG
The use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) is one step closer to being a reality for the commercial trucking industry. The final rule has been sent from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final approval. Hopefully, the rule will be approved as written and published by the end of September. These ELDs will replace the old paper Hours of Service (HOS) logs. This means that drivers’ hours will be reported more accurately, with less room for error and deliberate unlawful misreporting.

Penalties for ...

Kids Injured in School Bus Crash

Thursday, August 13, 2015By ALG
Earlier this week, a bus carrying summer camp children was involved in a multi-vehicle wreck on Interstate 80. According to ABC Channel Seven News, there were about eight vehicles involved in the chain-reaction crash, and first responders had to setup a large-scale triage area for victims. For currently unknown reasons, the school bus crashed into a van in front of it, and then an additional six vehicles were involved in the subsequent chain-reaction crash. 

Unfortunately, the children were riding in an older school bus that did not have seat belts. Thankfully, no major injuries were initially reported. About 23 ...

Nationwide is Not on Always on Your Side

Tuesday, August 11, 2015By ALG
Last year, Judge Jeffrey K Sprecher awarded $18 million in punitive damages to the plaintiffs in Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance. Not surprisingly, Nationwide is trying to appeal the decision. In response to the appeal, the Judge asked the Superior Court to reject the appeal and cited various examples of the company’s bad faith practices. The Legal Intelligencer recently reported on the story. 

16 Years of Litigation 

The multi-million dollar award came after nearly 16 years of litigation. Nationwide was found to have engaged in what was described as a “scorched earth” strategy for handling small claims. These aren’t ...

Jeep Recall Over Cyber Security Issues

Thursday, August 06, 2015By ALG
Last week, Fiat Chrysler decided to issue a recall on approximately 1.4 million vehicles. A successful online hacking of a Jeep vehicle prompted the recall. According to ABC Channel Seven News, two hackers were able to take control over the vehicle online. The driver couldn’t use the brakes, transmission or steering when the hackers took control of the vehicle. 

Recalled Vehicles

• 2013-2015 Ram Trucks
• 2013-2015 Chassis Cabs 
• 2013-2015 Dodge Vipers 
• 2014-2015 Dodge Durango’s 
• 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees
• 2014-2015 Cherokee SUVs 
• 2015 Chrysler 200s and 300s
• 2015 Dodge Chargers
• 2015 Dodge Challengers 

Chrysler is providing the software fix for ...

Dangerously Defective Kenmore Ovens

Tuesday, August 04, 2015By ALG
Last week, The Safety Institute requested an investigation be conducted and a recall issued of Kenmore model 790 ovens due to defective doors. Already, there have been over 300 consumer reports of the glass doors on these ovens shattering during oven use and non-use. There have been many reports of the doors exploding while ovens are pre-heating, heating and during the self-cleaning mode. Some consumers have even had replacement doors shatter a second, third or fourth time after replacement. Complaints go back to March of 2011, yet very little has been done to protect the public from these defective ovens. 

Daly City Resident Arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter

Thursday, July 30, 2015By ALG
A Saturday evening crash has prompted the arrest of a Daly City resident. According to NBC Bay Area News, the fatal head-on collision happened on Highway 1 in Pacific at about 6:45 p.m. One of the drivers, 41-year-old Ana Reepen, has been taken into custody under suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. 

Fatal Head-On Collision on Highway 1 

The crash occurred in the northbound lane of Highway 1, just north of Crespi Drive. At this time, we don’t know if any other passengers were in the vehicles at the time of the crash, but both drivers were initially ...

Diabetes Screening and Erectile Dysfunction

Tuesday, July 28, 2015By ALG
A Medscape article brings to light the results of a recent cross-sectional survey published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine regarding the connection between erectile dysfunction (ED) and early diabetes. The results suggest that any diagnosis of ED should immediately trigger diabetes screening, in middle-aged men especially. A decade of recent research and evidence show that ED is an early indicator for cardiovascular disease, and new evidence suggests that ED is also associated with undiagnosed cardiometabolic risk factors.

ED and Undiagnosed Diabetes 

The survey found that the predicted probability of having undiagnosed diabetes for men ...

Thanksgiving Travel Safety

Saturday, July 25, 2015By ALG
The Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most traveled holidays of the year. With more people on the road and more people celebrating holiday festivities, there’s also a higher likelihood of injury causing and potentially fatal car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up for every trip

Buckling up is the best way to protect yourself in the event of a car accident. You can’t help what other drivers are doing, but you can improve your own safety by buckling up. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, ...

Uber Fined $7 Million

Thursday, July 23, 2015By ALG
Last week, the popular ride-share company “Uber” was fined $7.3 million for refusing to give regulators in California vital information about business practices. According to ABC News Channel Seven, the company failed to report information about accident details and accessibility for disabled riders. This isn’t the first time Uber has been in hot water during legal disputes. Uber has been suspended or shut down completely in other communities.  

Uber and other ride share companies can only operate in the State of California if they file all the required reports in a timely fashion. If you or a loved ...

Pedestrian Hit in Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood

Friday, July 10, 2015By ALG

On Wednesday evening, a pedestrian was struck and injured near the Panhandle in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. According to KRON News Channel Four, the collision happened at about 7:15 p.m., at the intersection of Oak Street and Masonic Avenue. Apparently, two male pedestrians in their 30s were struck, and one of the victims suffered from a serous head injury. He was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment of life threatening injuries.

Dangerous Intersection For Runners and Pedestrians

At this time, there’s no word on either victims’ current conditions. Earlier this year, a pedestrian was struck and seriously ...

$500,000 Recovery In 2015 Dollars For Child Molestation: “Took Every Penny the Molester Had”

Friday, May 15, 2015By Richard Alexander

Molestation Case Against Stepfather Settled for San Jose Woman

San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, January 18, 1984

By Allyn Stone

A young San Jose woman who was sexually molested by her stepfather nine years ago was awarded $210,000 worth of real estate yesterday as compensation for the psychological damages she suffered.

“We took every penny he had, which was our intention,” said attorney Richard Alexander, who represented 18-year-old Julie Baker in her lawsuit against Ralph Meyer, 52. The suit was scheduled to go to trial yesterday in Santa Clara Count y Superior Court, but was settled at the last minute.

It was believed to be one ...

Nearly One Million Trek Bicycles Recalled

Tuesday, April 28, 2015By ALG
TREK

After three reported incidents, one of which left a rider paralyzed, Trek has issued a recall of nearly one million bicycles across the United States and Canada. According to a recent article by Time Magazine, the bicycles in question have faulty release levers that could seriously injure and endanger riders. At least three injury accidents have been reported so far. Apparently, it’s possible for the front quick release lever to get caught in the front disk brake, effectively separating the front wheel, leading to an abrupt stop or total loss of ...

Fatal Crash in San Jose

Monday, April 20, 2015By ALG
!0_MORGUE_0000_LOGO_Crash-Fatality01Late Wednesday night, a crash in San Jose took two lives. An NBC Bay Area News report said that the crash happened in the 1200 block of North Capitol Avenue. This apparent one-car crash involved an older-model Lexus flipping over and landing on VTA train tracks. Although no trains were reportedly involved in the crash, a bypass was setup by VTA following the crash.

Five People Involved in Fatal Crash

Although there were five people involved in the crash, we don’t know what if any injuries the three other victims are facing. Authorities ...

Headgear for Girls’ Lacrosse

Monday, April 20, 2015By ALG

Girls’ Lacrosse in Florida is the latest organized sport to adopt protective headgear for players. According to a recent New York Times article, Florida became the first state to require protective headgear for high school girls’ lacrosse players. If you’re not familiar with girls’ lacrosse, it’s slightly different than boys’ lacrosse, which is full contact. As with most historical safety improvements for group sports, the new rule has been met with some friction. There are some who think that girls’ lacrosse will become more dangerous with the new safety gear, and that some type of ‘gladiator effect’ will encourage the ...

Consumers' rights in the legal marketplace: problems of contingency fee clients who change attorneys

Thursday, April 09, 2015By Richard Alexander

This article was published By Richard Alexander in September 1979 in the California State Bar Journal as a proposal for modifying a decision of the California Supreme Court that failed to consider the needs of consumers when changing attorneys. While this article is not a current statement of California law, the proposal made in 1979 now has been adopted as the rule of law in California and for that I am pleased.

In 1972 in Fracassa v. Brent [1], the California Supreme Court established a ·new rule of damages in actions by attorneys seeking payment of attorney's fees from clients who ...

Manslaughter Charge for Party Bus Owner

Thursday, April 09, 2015By ALG
Breaking newsEarlier this week, a party bus owner was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2012 death of a woman who fell out of his bus. According to NBC Bay Area News, 58-year-old Jon Reno St. James was found guilty in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County on Wednesday.

After a concert in Mountain View in 2012, a 25-year-old female passenger tumbled out of a faulty door on the bus and fell under the vehicle, dying as a result of her injuries. Another woman also fell out of the bus and ...

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