Volkswagen Issues Major Recall in U.S. and Canada
Posted August 18, 2015
Volkswagen recently announced the recall of more than 400,000 vehicles in North America. The recall involves the VW Golf, Passat, Jetta and Tiguan models assembled between 2010 and 2014. Debris can interfere with the clock spring that powers these vehicles’ airbags and it can cause a malfunction that prevents air bag deployment. You can read the article from Fox Business here.
Amtrak 188 Derailment: Damages Cap May Cause Further Injury
Posted August 5, 2015
After a terrible tragedy, such as the recent Amtrak derailment that occurred in May of this year, we hear in the news about the numerous people who were injured or killed, and lawsuits in the millions of dollars that are certain to follow. However, the financial details of the legal settlements are rarely made public, and when interest wanes in the media, the average person probably assumes that all of the victims received the proper care and fair treatment.
The truth is, few people have an accurate understanding of the enormous impact a severe personal injury will have upon the lives of those injured, as well as their families.
There are many factors to consider after someone sustains such an injury. Most of these factors rarely occur to either the victims or their families, initially. That is why it is absolutely essential to obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible after a serious injury.
What sounds to the average person like a large amount of money for damages, may not actually be adequate to cover the care and support of a catastrophic personal injury victim when projected expenses are realistically calculated. A recent article in the NY Times discussed the ever-mounting expenses of a couple who were severely injured in the Amtrak Train 188 derailment.
In the case of Amtrak 188, eight passengers died and more than 200 passengers were injured, when the train bound for New York City derailed at Frankford Junction, northeast of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. The full extent of the injuries to some of the victims is still being determined, yet we now know that Congress has limited total damages for all passengers to $200 million.
Because many of us simply aren’t aware of the long-term costs for victims of severe injury, it’s important gain a better understanding.
Someone who is catastrophically injured will immediately require critical hospital care, possible surgery or multiple surgeries and continued acute inpatient rehabilitation. In some cases, life-long medical treatment will be required. Depending upon an individual’s insurer or care provider, these initial expenses may be required to be reimbursed if there is a settlement.
These costs are only the beginning. Other expenses typically include:
• Loss of income due to inability to work
• Loss of employer funded healthcare benefits
• Mental health care
• Prescription medications
• Physical therapy
• Specialized medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, orthopedic braces or other devices
• Professional caregivers
• Long-term care facilities
For some, the effects of their injuries worsen with age, increasing the cost of care over time.
Let’s take a look at just two of the types of injuries likely to occur in a high-speed train derailment: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI). These kinds of injuries affect virtually every part of a person’s life. All of the expenses listed earlier apply to these injuries. And there are more.
Spinal cord injuries often result in some form of paralysis to the body, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia. According to findings by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the yearly expenses of a paralysis victim can range from $500,000 to more than a $1 million, depending upon the severity of the injury. These costs may increase significantly every year thereafter, adding up to millions of dollars over a lifetime. In addition, someone who is paralyzed at an earlier age, say 25, can expect to pay lifetime medical costs as much as 60% higher than someone who is paralyzed at age 50.
For those who suffer a traumatic brain injury, costs are also devastating. According to a survey by the International Federation of Health Plans, victims of TBI pay an average of more than $8,000 per day for acute care and more than $2,200 per day for inpatient rehabilitation. Throughout the course of a lifetime, costs of living may exceed $3 million dollars, depending upon the severity of the injury.
Eight killed, more than 200 injured—through absolutely no fault of their own. The full extent of the injuries are yet to be determined. In view of the enormous expense and suffering that has, and will continue to occur, does setting a cap on damages in any way, shape or form, suggest justice for the victims of Amtrak 188?
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
Posted June 11, 2015
Spinal cord injuries can occur in many different types of accidents involving negligence. In some cases, the accidents are complex and correctly identifying negligent parties can make the difference between obtaining compensation for your injuries and receiving nothing.
The attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., have extensive experience handling back injury, spine injury and other serious injury cases. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to handle complex injury cases involving multiple defendants and contested liability.
Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyer serving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey .
CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURY
Sometimes an accident is just that — an accident. But many times the injuries are caused or made more severe by the negligence of another party. Examples of the latter include:
- Severe auto accidents
- Defective seat belts that fail to restrain a person in an auto accident
- Defects in a playground or athletic field that cause injuries
- Missing or defective railings on stairs or a deck
- Distracted or drunk drivers
- Unsafe road conditions such as missing guardrails or debris on the roadway
- Untrimmed shrubs that limit visibility at an intersection or train crossing
- Surgical errors that nick or bruise the spinal cord
Even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you may be able to obtain compensation from another party if they were also at fault. Your recovery would be reduced by any percentage of liability that is assigned to you.
CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Contact us today to speak with our knowledgeable Pennsylvania or New Jersey attorneys representing accident victims with spinal cord injuries. We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis. You won’t have to pay us unless we get results for you.
Rear-end collision causes chain reaction accident that kills 3
Posted May 28, 2014
A recent chain-reaction car accident in Pennsylvania has resulted in three deaths and a dozen injuries. All told, there were seven separate vehicles involved in the accident, which began as a rear-end collision. Two of the three deceased individuals were in the same car — a driver and a passenger — and the third deceased victim was a driver in one of the other vehicles.
Apparently, a tractor-trailer was attempting to pass a box truck that was moving slowly. During this attempted pass, the tractor-trailer struck a car from behind. This resulted in a chain reaction that involved the tractor-trailer, the box truck, the car that was rear-ended and four other vehicles. Some of the vehicles caught on fire, making the chaotic scene even more dangerous.
It took several hours for the wreckage to be cleared and the accident to be investigated. The highway was shut off to traffic during this time. The driver of the tractor-trailer likely won’t have any charges formally filed against him for a few weeks, after all necessary data has been collected and examined.
It appears as if the tractor-trailer is at-fault for this accident. However, the accident investigation will determine this for sure. Regardless, any of the victims who were injured or families of victims who died in the car accident may be able to enforce their legal rights by filing a civil claim. A successful civil claim may provide a monetary award of damages that may help the victims or families of victims deal with the financial burden that is left behind following such a terrible rear-end collision in Pennsylvania.
Source: wfmz.com, “Multi-vehicle accident, fire on Interstate 78 East in Greenwich“, , May 12, 2014
Texting may elicit unsafe driving behaviors from self and others
Posted May 22, 2014
Readers likely know examples of behaviors that might constitute negligent driving, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or texting behind the wheel. Other studies have compared texting behind the wheel to the level of impairment presented by drunk driving. A spokesperson for Allstate Insurance claims that texting and driving increases the rate of an accident by 23 times. With data like that, it’s easy to see why evidence of distracted driving may convince jurors of negligence in an auto accident case, resulting in a damages award to the crash victim.
Yet even if a driver is not distracted or impaired, a recent article cautions that the higher volume of traffic over the Memorial Day holiday weekend may require extra patience. Indeed, negligent driving may result from something as simple as anger over another driver’s road behavior. In that regard, the results of a recent Expedia survey may come as a surprise. According to the data, nearly 70 percent of drivers say that texting while driving is the leading behavior that might infuriate them.
Yet texting may also have a surprising effect on other drivers, especially if it induces road rage in them. Anger behind the wheel could possibly create a very dangerous driving environment. For example, an infuriated driver might tailgate or try to pass someone who is texting. Cutting off a driver under unsafe conditions could possibly lead to a motor vehicle accident.
According to a recent article, state troopers in 15 states along I-95 will be out in greater numbers, in anticipation of the Memorial Day holiday weekend — and the potentially irresponsible behavior behind the wheel that it might entail. Hopefully, their efforts will not be wasted.
Source: CBS Philly, “Survey: Texting While Driving Makes Other Drivers Really, Really Mad,” Jan Carabeo, May 16, 2014
Legal loophole may endanger drivers in used cars or rental cars
Posted May 16, 2014
Conscientious consumers may value both money-saving and safety features in a motor vehicle. A used car purchase might seem to balance both of those concerns. In fact, the marketing of used cars often emphasizes those very features. For example, CarMax, which is the country’s largest used-car seller, offers a certified quality inspection to customers. Yet one item is conspicuously missing from that inspection: fixing recalls.
Unlike new car dealerships, rental car companies and used car dealers are not required by federal law to fix recall defects. In fact, they don’t even have to inform customers of a recall notice pertaining to a vehicle.
Yet it is a fact that drivers in America continue to be injured in motor vehicle accidents because a used car dealer or rental car company failed to repair a faulty part. One fatal crash involving a rental car in 2004 was particularly gruesome and newsworthy, prompting some federal lawmakers to introduce proposed legislation. However, the proposals have not yet become law.
Automakers have a responsibility to design and test their vehicles for safety. When a part is discovered to be dangerous or defective, it seems intuitive to require repairs. Yet the law imposes that requirement only on new car dealerships. Consequently, a driver injured by a defective car part in a used or rental car may be unsure how to pursue compensation for his or her losses and/or injuries. An attorney that has experience in bringing personal injury and product liability lawsuits may be able to devise a course of action for such individuals.
Source: New York Times, “Recalled Used Cars Roam the Roads as Federal Legislation Stalls,” Christopher Jensen, May 8, 2014
Truck accident safety: Slower speeds means quicker stops
Posted May 9, 2014
In a truck accident case, a personal injury attorney’s investigation is into past behavior. For example, an attorney might examine whether a truck driver failed to comply with applicable commercial trucking regulations, and cite any failures as indicia of negligence.
Yet as safety advocates might note, many commercial trucking regulations are designed to be proactive by creating a safer environment on roads and highways in Pennsylvania and across the country.
In that regard, a new anticipated mandate by the U.S. Department of Transportation might virtually police speeding by trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. Called an Electronic Control Module, the device would prevent trucks from traveling over a certain speed limit.
The theory behind the device is that reducing top travel speeds will reduce the minimum stopping distance required by large trucks. Data confirms that truck accident fatalities are more common on higher speed roadways.
Notably, the American Trucking Association has welcomed the mandate, advising that speed limiters be installed on all new trucks. Another safety advocacy group is calling for all large trucks manufactured since 1990 to be retrofitted with the devices.
Unfortunately, a victim of a truck accident may have to contend with more than just the driver. The driver may be employed by a large trucking company, and the thought of going up a trucking company’s insurance carrier can seem daunting, even for truck accident victims who believe the evidence establishes negligence on the part of the truck driver. That’s why a crash victim might need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney. An attorney can investigate the scene for potential evidence that may prove negligence or fault.
Source: Claims Journal, “Fed to Require Speed Limiters on Trucks,” Gary Wickert, May 1, 2014
Hospitals may need safety protocols to guard against drug abuse
Posted May 1, 2014
For readers unfamiliar with drug diversion, the phrase refers to the misappropriation of medical drugs for recreational or unintended uses.
In the case of health workers, drug diversion can present a risk of serious personal injury to hundreds or even thousands of patients, depending on how long the prescription drug abuse went undetected.
In several notable examples, health care workers who were self-injecting patient medications in syringes and replacing them with saline caused hepatitis C outbreaks. If a doctor were to perform a surgery while impaired by prescription drugs or other substances, even a routine procedure might result in tragedy.
Unfortunately, a recent article suggests that many health care facilities may not have adequate safety protocols for preventing drug diversion. Simple steps like instituting more stringent record keeping protocols and installing security cameras might go a long way toward ensuring patient safety. Yet health care facilities may lack even these basic safeguards.
What’s even more disturbing than the lack of safeguards is the way that many facilities may handle a health care professional caught in the act of drug diversion. In some instances, an offending health care professional may not even encounter criminal consequences for his or her behavior.
An attorney that has experience in medical malpractice claims knows that the investigation into injury causation may require an extensive look not only at the specific procedure or medication administered, but also at general hospital procedures. For example, health care professionals must keep diligent medical records and perform a thorough intake of a patient before prescribing a treatment. Hospitals may be found liable for negligence if they fail to require such protocols for their admitted patients.
Source: USA Today, “Doctors, medical staff on drugs put patients at risk,” Peter Eisler, April 16, 2014
Bicycle accidents and traumatic brain injury
Posted April 25, 2014
One of the challenges with mild or moderate traumatic brain injury is that its symptoms may not immediately appear. However, TBI symptoms that affect a person’s decision-making abilities and impulse control may surface in the days, weeks or even months that follow. TBI injuries may also exacerbate an individual’s chances at recuperation when accompanied by other injuries.
According to a recent article, diffuse axonal injury, which is a type of TBI injury involving damage to nerve fibers or blood vessels, may go undetected by CT or MRI scans. Yet even a mild case of TBI might affect the way information travels across different brain regions.
Of course, a TBI injury can also be very serious. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 50,000 Americans die from traumatic brain injuries each year. That amounts to a national death toll of about 138 Americans each day.
Although motor vehicle accidents can also result in head trauma, perhaps the risk of TBI is greatest for bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Even with a helmet, the force of impact from being thrown to the ground during a motorcycle or bicycle accident may be too great to prevent a TBI. Of course, pedestrians generally don’t have such protective gear on their heads, and may sustain the most severe injuries.
With the advice of a personal injury attorney, an accident victim might request sophisticated neural diagnostic tests to fully measure the scope of an injury. Only then can an accurate claim for damages be made in a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help an accident victim request full compensation for all of the pain and suffering that might accompany a bicycle or motorcycle accident.
Source: io9, “Why a Head Injury Can Be Far Worse Than You Realize,” George Dvorsky, April 1, 2014
Study examines truck accidents, tractor-trailer regulations
Posted April 18, 2014
Readers may recall a certain physics equation involving variables for force, mass and acceleration. Under that law of motion, force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration.
On Pennsylvania’s roads and highways, this equation explains why some motorists might view tractor-trailers as potential menaces. The sheer mass of semi trucks and tractor-trailers means that more force is generated than a smaller passenger vehicle. If a collision occurs, it’s not hard to predict which vehicle will usually fare better.
Lawmakers recognize the extra danger presented by truck accidents. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board recently presented a list of seven safety recommendations about tractor-trailers to the National Highway Safety Administration. The list addressed such issues as blind spots, outdated underride guards, and record keeping suggestions.
Notably, various laws and regulations are also in place to help ensure the safety of roads shared with trucks. Readers probably recognize many of these requirements as common knowledge. For example, commercial truck drivers may need a special driver’s license to operate their vehicles. Employees of a trucking company may also be required to submit to a background check, periodic drug and alcohol testing throughout the course of their employment, and take specialized training.
Special laws also apply to truckers’ vehicles. Drivers may be required to bring their trucks in for periodic inspections or maintenance screenings. There may be weigh stations along a highway. Special insurance may be required for large trucks or tractor-trailers, and there may be regulations pertaining to specific types of cargo that a truck might transport.
For a personal injury attorney, any laws that may apply to a truck driver might be characterized as that driver’s duty of care behind the wheel. When a requirement is ignored or failed, the safety of other drivers on the road may be jeopardized. An attorney can investigate these requirements to help crash victims present a strong personal injury claim.
Source: The Trucker, “NTSB offers 7 recommendation to improve truck safety,” April 4, 2014