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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Delayed 2015 Jeep Cherokee Recall in Question After Crushing Anton Yelchin

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled backward down a driveway and killed the actor, Anton Yelchin, early Sunday was a model that Fiat Chrysler has recalled for a gearshift issue that has confused drivers, leading them to accidentally leave the car in neutral when they think it is safely in park.

Mr. Yelchin was killed after he got out of his Jeep and it rolled down his steep driveway, crushing him against a concrete-reinforced mailbox, a police spokeswoman, Liliana Preciado, said.

Mr. Yelchin’s Jeep was part of a recall by Fiat Chrysler
in April of almost 812,000
vehicles including the
2014 & 2015 Grand Cherokee models. That recall was prompted by an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after complaints by car owners and reports of dozens of related injuries.
NHTSA: Preliminary Evaluation dated August 20, 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced August 24, 2015 that it will open a preliminary investigation into 408,000 2014–2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, after receiving several complaints about the vehicles rolling away after being shifted into park.

Currently, the NHTSA has received 14 complaints describing incidents where a Grand Cherokee has rolled away when the gearshift indicated Park. NHTSA’s Preliminary Evaluation paperwork indicates that five crashes and three injuries have been associated with the complaints. Rollaway incidents have occurred both with the engine running and turned off.
2014 and 2015 Grand Cherokees use a shift-by-wire gear selector that springs back to center no matter which gear is selected. According to The Detroit News, complaints filed to NHTSA indicate that the gear selector showed the vehicle was in Park in the incidents where an affected Jeep rolled away.

Fiat Chrysler has been a prime target of the government’s efforts to penalize automakers for lax safety practices.

Last year, federal regulators accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to conduct recalls and complete repairs in a timely fashion, and hit the company with $105 million in penalties.

The safety administration released a statement Monday evening saying, “This is the first fatality we’re aware of that may be related to this safety defect and vehicle recall.”

When a manufacturer fails to exercise proper caution or makes decisions it knows put American consumers in harm's way, the experienced attorneys of Miller Weisbrod, LLP, will be there to fight for the individuals and families who suffer.

Our lawyers at Miller Weisbrod, LLP are recognized as national leaders in the fight to hold the auto industry to account for the accidents, injuries and wrongful deaths that can occur as a result of corporate negligence or greed.

We believe that no minor cost savings should ever take priority over the lives of American consumers. Our capable attorneys welcome the opportunity to take on automakers who continue to make dangerous or defective vehicles.

The affected vehicles, which also include 2012-14 Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s, use an unconventional lever to shift the automatic transmission. Instead of moving to a different position with each gear, the lever returns to a center position. The driver must look at the shifter to make sure the proper gear is selected.

When the recall was announced earlier this year, the automaker said it was aware of 41 injuries related to the gear shift problem. Car & Driver

After the April recall, Fiat Chrysler said in a notice sent to owners that “a permanent remedy for this condition is currently under development” and that the automaker hoped to “finalize” it by the fourth quarter. It warned owners, in the meantime, to use the parking brake and to always check to make sure the vehicle was in the correct gear.

Since the recall was announced, the agency has received at least eight additional complaints from owners of Grand Cherokees who said their vehicles had rolled away and crashed, although no injuries were reported.

Contact Us
If you were injured or a loved one died in an accident and you believe an unsafe or defective vehicle is partly to blame, please contact our Dallas offices at 214.987.0005 to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced trial lawyer.

We offer free initial consultations to potential clients nationwide. If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please use our toll-free line at 888.987.0005 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Miller Weisbrod Settles Construction Accident - Dangerous Pump Jack

Our clients were siding contractors on a large apartment construction project in South Central Texas. In order to place large pieces of pre-fabricated siding, the workers needed to have an elevated platform to work at the necessary heights. Since the work involved moving horizontally along the face of the building, stationary scaffolding did not make practical sense because it takes so long to erect, disassemble and move. Instead, the typical aerial platform for this and similar trades is called a pump jack.

This device utilizes two horizontal metal poles and a platform that can be lifted or “jacked” up and down to the necessary heights to perform the work.

OSHA generally requires independent lifelines connected to harnesses unless an adequate guardrail system can surround the entire work platform. But in many cases, the pump jack must be placed inside crevices in such a way that a smaller platform without guardrails is utilized. Industry practice is that a bolt is placed at the top of a building so the workers can hook long lanyards/lifelines to hang down and attach to their harnesses. This allows protection should the platform fail or become unstable.

In our case, the superintendent for the general contractor knew about the industry standard and claimed that the siding contractors were always tied off when on the pump jacks (that did not have proper guardrails). Our clients claimed they never had been issued harnesses and there were no hard points for lifeline connection on the roof of the apartments. They had been working for three weeks when their platform became unstable (due to inadequate bracing) causing them to fall over the side. One client suffered several orthopedic fractures — the other suffered a broken spinal cord leaving him permanently paralyzed.

The problem was collectability — our clients were hired by Edwin, who was hired by Raul, who was hired by Jessie who was hired by a company in Kansas that had the siding subcontract but had never visited the job site or met in person Jessie, Raul, Edwin or our clients. The Kansas company had been contracted by the General Contractor on the job.

Our theory was that the general contractor knew that the lack of fall protection was dangerous and approved the practice by failing to require fall protection even though they walked by the workers a half dozen or more times every day for several weeks.
Cross examination of the job superintendent:

On the strength of this cross examination and other admissions from the general contractor’s employees were able to secure a substantial confidential settlement that will provide for the life care needs of our paralyzed client and compensated his co-worker for his orthopedic injuries.

Miller Weisbrod has partnered with law firms across the state of Texas on a referral and joint venture basis to pursue cases of catastrophic injury and wrongful death arising from construction and work site incidents. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to obtain justice for your clients injured or killed on the job.

Miller Weisbrod, LLP is a national law firm specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Partners Clay Miller and Les Weisbrod have built the firm’s reputation with successful verdicts, settlements, appeals and favorable decisions across the country. With resources and finances available to take on the powerful interests that have caused harm, the firm is committed to providing quality representation for clients who are seriously injured and families of victims who are killed as a result of the negligence or misconduct of others.

Miller Weisbrod has offices in Dallas and affiliate offices in Houston and Austin. For more information call toll-free at (888) 987-0005.

Serious Injuries From Commercial Truck Accidents

There are an estimated 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S. each year. The injuries associated with truck accidents are often serious.

An accident between a car and a truck is quite dangerous and can result in serious injuries. Most often it is the occupants of the car which bear the brunt of the accident and get severely or fatally injured. These injuries can be life altering for the victim and even simple day to day tasks can become extremely difficult. Some of the common bodily injuries sustained by truck accident victims are listed below:

Traumatic Brain Injuries
These injuries occur when an individual’s head hits an object with great force. The traumatic brain injuries are of a closed-head kind with the skull and the dura matter remaining intact. The data of car accidents collected over the years indicates that brain related injuries are a leading cause of death of children who are less than four years old. In case the brain injury is non-fatal, toddlers and young children can still be severely affected with some physical or cognitive disability showing up in future.

A coma can result from various conditions or events, like traumatic head injury, intoxication, central nervous system disorders, abnormalities in metabolism, etc. The majority of coma cases are drug-related and the second largest cause of coma is the reduced supply of oxygen to the brain. The reduced oxygen supply to the brain can result from serious cardio-pulmonary conditions like a heart attack which can be caused by a serious truck accident.

Organ Damage
Damage to internal organs can result from high speed impacts in traffic accidents especially involving cars and trucks. Any type of organ damage injury requires immediate medical attention. One of the most common organ’s that gets injured is the spleen. A person’s spleen is located in the upper-left region of the abdomen and is a critical organ which filters the blood and removes damaged blood cells and platelets.

This condition is commonly referred to as internal bleeding and is caused when there is a loss of blood from the vascular system into the internal cavity. A hemorrhage is generally caused by blunt force trauma which can happen when a car suddenly decelerates post colliding with a truck or other large vehicle. A hemorrhage is a serious condition which can easily become life threatening whenever there is heavy blood loss. The stomach, lungs and brain are commonly affected by hemorrhaging in high speed car accidents with large vehicles. The internal hemorrhage can cause a catastrophic heart-attack in the victim which can sometimes be fatal.

Compound Fractures
A fracture in which the bone pierces the skin causing extreme pain and bleeding is termed a compound fracture. A compound fracture is a serious condition as the protruding bone can easily become infected causing further complications. The severity of damage and the angle of the broken bone determine the further course of treatment. Usually the fractured bone can be set right by a physician.

The impact of a vehicle crash can be so severe that a victim’s limb may get severed.

Contact Miller Weisbrod
Many of these injuries require expensive medical procedures and multiple surgeries to correct — if they can be corrected at all — and add financial stress to an already emotionally stressful situation. More often than not, however, these injuries result in permanent damage, leaving families with lifelong medical expenses and the realities of living with permanent disability or caring for a person with disabilities.

We represent truck accident victims and their families on a contingency fee basis. We don't get paid until we obtain a financial settlement or jury award for our clients. For more information, contact our offices at 214.987.0005 to speak with our experienced Dallas trucking accident attorneys.

If you are seeking legal advice and experienced representation in a trucking accident case, please call us toll free at 888.987.0005 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.

What is a Personal Injury?

When you or a loved one has been injured, the first thing that comes to mind is simply receiving medical treatment and moving forward with your life. However, it is important to recognize that some people may have legal recourse.

Suffering a physical or psychological injury due to another individual's negligence is a simple definition for a personal injury. In the court of law, it must be proven that a person's careless actions caused your injuries, which led to further damages, such as lost wages or mental anguish.

A personal injury case may go through civil court proceedings or be settled out of court through an informal settlement. In most cases, a personal injury claim can be settled before heading to court. However, in cases where a settlement cannot be agreed upon, it is important to find a lawyer who has experience going to trial.

Types of Personal Injury Claims
It can be difficult to determine if someone else's careless actions caused your injury, however, these are some of the most common causes of a personal injury:

Car accidents
Motorcycle accidents
Workplace incidents | Construction accidents
• Slip and fall | Premises Liability
Defective products

In each of these situations, the person(s) at fault had a duty of care to behave in a responsible manner that would not lead to an accident or injuries. Unfortunately, their failure to exercise a duty of care led to serious consequences.

Contact Us
When you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of another, the personal injury lawyers of Miller Weisbrod, LLP can help you file a claim for compensation.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations to those who believe they may be entitled to compensation. For more information, we invite you to contact our offices in Dallas at 214.987.0005 to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced personal injury trial lawyers.

If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please call us toll free at 888.987.0005. You may also contact us by e-mail now for prompt attention or to request an appointment.

Injured by a Defective Vehicle?

Not every car accident is caused by driver error. In recent years, it seems to be more common for vehicle defects to lead to crashes or to exacerbate situations. There have been countless vehicle recalls over the past 10 years, many of which include defective airbags, seat belts, and other crucial vehicle components.

If you were hurt in an accident because of a vehicle defect, you should contact a products liability attorney. An experienced lawyer understands the difficulties you face following an accident and knows how important it is for you to recover in order to pay your expenses and move forward in life.

Types of Defects
Not every defect is categorized in the same way, and the type of defect involved in your accident matters. The type and origin of the flaw will influence who you go to for recovery, whether that includes a third-party insurance claim or filing a lawsuit.

There are three types of defects:
• Design
• Manufacturing
• Warning

A design defect means the inadequacy was part of the vehicle’s intended plan. The actual design of the vehicle was flawed, which means the vehicle is dangerous even when used how it was intended to be used. Every vehicle of its type will have the same problem.

A manufacturing defect means a mistake occurred while the vehicle parts were made or while the vehicle was assembled. This flaw makes that vehicle dangerous.

A warning defect, also known as a marketing defect, occurs when the vehicle could be dangerous in a way that is not outwardly apparent to the driver. In this situation, the manufacturer is required to warn potential users of this danger.

Common Vehicle Defects
Cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks are all incredibly complicated, particularly now with an increase in computer technology in vehicles. The more important parts a car has, the more places there are for something to go wrong. While there could be a defect anywhere in a vehicle, certain defects are more likely to lead to accidents and cause injury, including:

Airbag defects: Airbags can be improperly designed, manufactured, or installed incorrectly, leading to injuries or not preventing harm like they should. Airbags can inflate too quickly or not enough. They could be too small or too large for the intended space. Some airbags have gone off when it is not necessary and others have sent shards of plastic and other debris into the cabin of the car.

Seatbelt defects: Seatbelts can also be designed or manufactured incorrectly. Seatbelts that become unbuckled or loose during an accident put people in great danger.

Brake defects: If the brakes on a vehicle are installed incorrectly or one part of the mechanism was manufactured with a flaw, the brakes can fail causing serious collisions and injuries.

Tire defects: If a tire is designed or built incorrectly, it can suddenly blow while a person is driving, causing a crash. Tire failures can also occur from slow leaks overtime, which if not noticed, can cause tires to wear down too soon and overheat.

Contact Miller Weisbrod
If you believe your accident and injuries were caused by a vehicle defect, call us today. The experienced attorneys of Miller Weisbrod, LLP will know how to investigate your case to determine if there was a defect, and if so, who was responsible. You may be able to bring a lawsuit against the designer of the car, the manufacturer of the vehicle parts, the assembler, or the dealership.

For more information, we invite you to contact our offices in Dallas at 214.987.0005 to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced personal injury trial lawyers.

If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please call us toll free at 888.987.0005. You may also contact us by e-mail now for prompt attention or to request an appointment.