Dangerous Hope Chests
September 3, 2018

Dangerous Hope Chests

Do you have a cedar chest, otherwise known as a “hope chest,” in your home? Perhaps you inherited it, or maybe you bought it secondhand. If you have children in your home, pay close attention to the following recall. They could be at great risk. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants everyone who has a cedar chest in their home to check and see whether it is a “Lane” or “Virginia Maid” brand chest. These chests manufactured between 1912 and 1987 have been recalled because, when the lid closes, it locks automatically. It is this flaw that has suffocated 14 children who have gotten trapped inside. A few cases stand out: During 2001 alone, three St. Louis, Missouri, kids suffocated together in a chest, and two brothers died inside a Springfield, Massachusetts, chest. In Unity, Wisconsin, three sisters suffocated in a chest (2002). In Somerset County, Pennsylvania, two brothers died inside a chest ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Product Injury
Can That Truck Stop?
August 27, 2018

Can That Truck Stop?

Large trucks are subject to many regulations and inspection processes to ensure that they are safe and roadworthy. But if a truck’s braking systems do not work, all the other regulations and inspections do not mean much. If a truck can’t stop, devastation and destruction of human life often follow. In a major study done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it was determined that, when a large truck crash was caused by a mechanical failure, it was the brakes that were responsible 29.4 percent of the time, making it the most common cause. The statistic encompasses any brake-related issue, including brakes that are out of adjustment and actual brake failure. In all, approximately 41,000 truck crashes were associated with faulty braking systems. The FMCSA also discovered that nearly one-third of large trucks tagged with pre-crash safety violations had braking system problems. Semis Need More Room Tractor-trailers can’t stop as quickly as cars ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Truck Accidents, Vehicle Accidents
Tailgating Trucks? They Might Be Platooning
The next time you see one tractor-trailer closely tailgating another, the situation could be normal—the new normal, that is. Something called “platooning” is becoming legal in a number of states as technology advances, making this sort of behavior not only legally acceptable, but also safe. What is Platooning? Wireless electronic communications combined with other technology allow two semis to follow each other at close distances—as close as 30 feet in some cases. The most critical piece of the system is the communication portion that tells the second truck to brake as soon as the first truck does, often within ten milliseconds, and with no driver intervention. In other words, the two trucks brake more or less simultaneously. But platooning does not involve self-driving trucks. Both trucks have drivers who are fully engaged in their vehicle’s operation. The driver in the rear truck cannot simply sit there and get bored. And, if you’re wondering about how ... Continue Reading
Truck Accidents, Vehicle Accidents
Liability and the Duck Boat Calamity
Duck boats have become popular for visitor tours, possibly because they are quirky and versatile. As amphibious vessels, they can travel both on water and on land because they have tires. But near Branson, Missouri, a duck boat sank on July 19, 2018, during a thunderstorm. The Table Rock Lake tragedy killed 17 people, including nine from one family alone; only one female family member survived. The vessels have a checkered past when it comes to safety. Nearly 40 people have died in duck boat accidents in the last 20 years. A partial list includes: May, 1999: On Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas, 13 people died when a duck boat sank. July, 2010: On the Delaware River in Philadelphia, two young people died when a barge hit the disabled duck boat they were on. September, 2015: In Seattle, five students died when a duck boat collided with a bus. April, 2016: A woman died ... Continue Reading
Product Injury, Wrongful Death
What Does “Loss of Consortium” Mean?
In a personal injury case, most of the damage claims are based on the injuries and suffering of the accident victim; but some damages are based on the suffering of loved ones. One of these types of damages is called loss of consortium. You may have heard the phrase and wondered about it. Generally, loss of consortium is intended to compensate the victim’s loved ones for the repercussions that the victim’s injuries or death have caused. Specifically, it applies to relationship losses that occurred between the accident victim and the loved one(s). While some states permit long-term partners and children to seek loss of consortium damages, in Indiana, loss of consortium is limited to spouses. Damages can be sought for the loss of love, companionship, affection, support, and intimate relations. The Indiana Supreme Court has held that damage recovery for loss of consortium is valid for the “loss of care, love and affection” of a ... Continue Reading
Catastrophic Injuries, Personal Injury
A “Wake-Up Call”?
July 30, 2018

A “Wake-Up Call”?

Among young adults, the death rate from 1999 to 2013 dropped 33 percent. However, the death rate abruptly reversed direction between 2013 and 2016, rising 12 percent.  According to a recent report released June 1, 2018, by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). the increase in deaths is due to motor vehicle accidents, drug overdoses, suicides, and homicides, and not to illnesses like cancer, heart disease, or infections. Surprised by the Numbers The lead author of the report, CDC statistician Sally Curtin, expressed astonishment over the findings: “When I first conceded to do this report 2½ years ago, I thought that we would be documenting a decline. We were surprised that there was such a broad increase across so many causes of death. There wasn’t just one that was contributing.” Of the unintentional injury deaths, 62 percent came from traffic fatalities; poisoning (mostly drug overdoses) ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death
Make Your Time off Safer
It’s high summer, and there’s no denying that many of our minds are on vacation time and having fun. Whether you’ll be driving, taking a plane, or staying home, we have some ideas for you so that your entire family can enjoy vacation time safely. Hitting the Highway AAA estimates that nearly 47 million of us will be on the road over the Fourth of July holiday alone. If you’ll be joining the many millions traveling by passenger vehicle this summer, make sure your car or SUV is in good repair well before you leave. If you’ll be bringing larger or heavier items or towing something, learn how to do so properly. Things to do before you leave include: Check your tire pressure and tread. Your tires are critical to safe driving. Make sure your wipers are ready to go. Replace them if they appear brittle or are several years old. Losing a wiper during ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents
Don’t Leave the Kids in the Car!
Summer’s heat is in full swing, and with it comes an increased number of reports about children dying because they were left in a hot car. On average, each year 37 kids lose their lives to this senseless, avoidable tragedy. In June 2018 alone, we’ve already had two regional deaths due to hot cars: a 3-year-old in Anderson, Indiana, and a 2-year-old in Crittenden, Kentucky. To date in Indiana (late June, 2018), nine kids have suffered motor vehicle heat stroke death. In Kentucky, the number is 17 pediatric heat stroke deaths. Within 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can rise 20 degrees. If it’s 90 degrees outside, that’s an inside-the-car temperature of 110, which can be deadly to a child after little more than a few minutes. The Facts about Temperature, Cars, and Kids It’s not only the 90-degree days you need to worry about. It’s not even the 75-degree days. Testing done by ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents
Death from a “Mech Mod” Vape Pen
It’s been noted previously that e-cigarettes can explode, usually because of the lithium-ion (LI) battery in use. A number of e-cigarette accidents have taken place with horrific results. But in May, 2018, a vape pen malfunction meant death in St. Petersburg, Florida, where a man was found burned on 80 percent of his body. It is believed to be the first death directly attributed to a vape pen or e-cigarette. But it wasn’t the burns that killed him. He died because the force of the explosion drove two pieces of the vape pen into his skull. The man was using something called a mechanical mod vape pen, or a “mech mod.” Mech mods are frequently used by more experienced vapers, but they expose a person to more hazards. What Are E-Cigarettes and Vape Pens? E-cigarettes differ from vape pens in that the latter have twice the battery power and a larger amount of flavored liquid ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Product Injury
Automotive Technology That Can Be Fatal
Some of us are used to the inseparable linking of our cars and their keys, thinking that the car cannot still be running if its key is removed from the ignition. But keyless ignition relies on an electronic fob with a button you must push to turn the car on or off; removing the fob from the ignition is not enough to shut down the engine. Older individuals are especially vulnerable to forgetting that removing the key isn’t enough, and the purr of modern engines can escape aging ears as they are not as alert as others. Car engines that continue to run after the fob has been removed from the car have been responsible for poisoning dozens of persons by carbon monoxide. At least 28 people have died, with 45 more injured by the dangerous gas. Survivors are often left with permanent brain damage. Carbon Monoxide: Hazardous to your Health Carbon monoxide (CO) is ... Continue Reading
Strengthening Drug Tests for Truck Drivers
In May, 2018, the Trucking Alliance (also known as the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security) publicly stated that they intend to advocate for a drug testing law that would apply to anyone seeking a “safety-sensitive” position in the trucking industry. One of the main purposes of the law is to address the increasing number of opioid addicts, keeping them out of a tractor-trailer driver’s seat. The proposed law would confirm that a potential employee had not used illegal drugs for a minimum of 30 days. Don’t We Already Test Drivers for Drug Use? You might think that the professionals who drive the big rigs would undergo the most comprehensive drug screening possible as part of the employment process. But the managing director for The Trucking Alliance, Lane Kidd, in a 2017 address stated, “Current drug testing methods for truck drivers are failing.” Kidd noted that J.B. Hunt Transportation discovered 1,213 applicants who came up ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Truck Accidents
What Are the Real Reasons for Motor Vehicle Crashes?
Sometimes, establishing the reasons for a car crash is complicated. One factor that can make determinations even more imprecise is that state crash report forms used at the scene often lack the appropriate fields or places to enter codes that would explain the precise reason for the collision. Because each state uses its own form, no consistency exists. Compiling accurate national statistics becomes difficult, producing results that are just plain wrong. The problem is known as incomplete crash data, and it’s hindering efforts to save lives. How Do Accurate Crash Explanations Help Save Lives? With 40,000 people dying on our roads each year, and another 4.6 million suffering serious injuries, any reasonable action we can take to save lives seems like a good idea. The National Safety Council (NSC) undertook a study to find out more about incomplete crash reports and how they hamper efforts to reduce motor vehicle fatalities. From a NHTSA study conducted ... Continue Reading
Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents, Wrongful Death
Most Common Killers
June 11, 2018

Most Common Killers

Although you might not want to think about it, we all die sooner or later. Approximately 2.6 million of us passed away in the U.S. during 2014, according to the CDC. But do you know what the odds are for the most likely causes of death? We have some 2016 statistics, courtesy of the National Safety Council (NSC), that detail the most likely ways we are to die in the United States. Keep in mind that the odds listed below apply to our entire population. You will not have as high a likelihood of dying from heart disease, for example, if you exercise, eat well, keep a healthy weight, and do not have genetic risks. The Top Twenty Ways We Die Most of the types of deaths in the top 20 are considered preventable, at least in part, by the NSC. Here are the odds of dying from: Cancer: 1 in 6 Heart disease: 1 ... Continue Reading
Catastrophic Injuries, Personal Injury, Vehicle Accidents
Is Catastrophic Failure Inevitable for Allegiant Air?
If you’re like most people, you look for low fares when you want to fly, and some of the lowest around are found by traveling on the deep-discount airlines Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant. But a recent report from CBS’s “60 Minutes,” and a prediction by a Kentucky-based pilot and aviation professional, may give you pause if you fly Allegiant Airlines. “A Sense of Urgency” Allegiant is known for making short, nonstop trips at rock-bottom prices that come with few amenities. Locally, Allegiant flies out of the following Indiana airports: Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, and South Bend. The airline also runs flights out of nearby Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and Louisville, Lexington, and Owensboro, Kentucky. You may have flown Allegiant and may even like flying them. If you’re trying to take your family somewhere, you can’t beat the low cost. But do the inexpensive fares mean you are sacrificing safety? Steve Kroft at “60 Minutes” believes ... Continue Reading
News, Personal Injury
Don’t Become a Statistic This Memorial Day Weekend
Most of us consider Memorial Day weekend to be the start of summer — the perfect time to visit family or enjoy the outdoors. About 35 million of us took to the road in 2017, driving more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend, and 2018 may be shaping up to surpass that figure. Don’t set out on your trip until you learn why Memorial Day weekend is the most dangerous one to be on the road. The Riskiest Holiday Weekend All Year Did you know that you are four times likelier to die in a Memorial Day weekend crash than during a regular weekend? Memorial Day weekend is the deadliest of the holiday weekends for road travel. The period from 2011 to 2015 averaged 312 fatalities in each of those years. The other two big summer holiday weekends—Labor Day and the Fourth of July—were close behind, with 308 deaths on average during Labor Day ... Continue Reading
Vehicle Accidents