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arlington heights car accident lawyerWhen it becomes clear that a defective auto part could lead to consumer harm, a manufacturer will usually recall the affected part on a voluntary basis. Although there are costs associated with a voluntary recall – and there are usually short-term public relations issues that stem from a recall announcement – the risk of harm-related liability is such that delaying recall efforts can leave a manufacturer particularly vulnerable to lawsuits and truly significant public relations issues if it does not act quickly to address a product-related concern that could lead to injuries or death.

Yet, some manufacturers choose to “roll the dice” and refuse to initiate recalls when reports of harm are brought to their attention. Usually, a manufacturer’s hope is that the cost of settling any harm-related legal action will be more cost-effective than initiating a recall. This is a truly dangerous approach, as – absent a formal recall – an untold number of consumers may remain unaware that a potentially injurious or deadly vehicle defect could be endangering their well-being.  

ARC Is Refusing to Recall Potentially Defective Airbags

An example of this refusal-based approach to recalls is currently playing out in real time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not just requested, but demanded, that ARC Automotive Inc. recall 67 million airbag inflators due to a defect the NHTSA believes poses an unreasonable risk of death or injury. When making its demand, the NHTSA explained that the affected inflators can “project metal fragments into vehicle occupants, rather than properly inflating the attached airbag.”


arlington heights car accident lawyerThe issue of whether it may be time for an ill, injured, or aging driver to hang up their keys is an unquestionably emotional and consequential matter. American car culture and the ways in which most cities and towns have been designed have made it so that owning personal, vehicular transportation is often associated with both freedom and independence. Yet, it cannot be denied that sometimes, despite all the benefits that driving affords, it is a far safer approach for certain drivers to hang up their keys.

Hanging onto one’s keys too long could result in a far-higher risk of a motorist causing a crash. That motorist may end up harming themselves or others. Conversely, insisting that someone hang up their keys when they remain a safe-enough driver to warrant driving privileges can result in diminished dignity, independence, and autonomy due to fear, not logic. As a result, it is very important to exercise objective reasoning when assessing whether someone should continue driving or not.

Health Status and Individual Capacity Are Key

There is no single age at which someone needs to stop driving for their own safety and the safety of others. An individual who has developed early-onset Alzheimer’s may need to stop driving in their late 40s, while a healthy 90-year-old whose health and mental sharpness remain intact could continue to drive without issue.


arlington heights truck accident lawyerOn January 11, a final rule concerning rear underride guards for large commercial trucks went into effect. This rule was crafted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is the federal agency that is tasked with preventing motor vehicle accidents from occurring. Rear underride guards help to prevent specific kinds of truck accident scenarios from unfolding. Now, the NHTSA is questioning whether a similar rule should be instituted concerning side underride guards.

The Function of Underride Guards

Due to the difference in size between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, there is a significant risk that rear-ending a large commercial truck could cause a following vehicle to become trapped under the belly of the lead vehicle. These crashes tend to be devastating, as they can shear off the top half of a passenger vehicle, exposing the vehicle’s occupants to catastrophic or fatal injury risks.

Rear underride guards help to prevent this exact accident scenario. Side underride guards would prevent a similar accident type, wherein a passenger vehicle becomes stuck under a large commercial vehicle after colliding with it from a side angle. In explaining its proposal for a side underride guard requirement, the NHTSA described underride crashes as “horrific.”


What Is Fall-Proofing?

Posted on in Slip and Fall

premises liability lawyerIt is well understood that falling from any significant height can result in injury. As a result, property owners, employers, and government agencies tend to take proactive steps to minimize the risk that individuals will suffer a fall from several inches to several feet off of the ground. Yet, less attention is paid to the kinds of injurious fall scenarios that occur with much greater frequency: same-level falls.

Same-level falls usually occur due to slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall risks. Challenges ranging from slippery substances on a retailer’s floor to uneven pavement in a parking lot can inspire bruising, broken bones, and even head trauma caused by same-level falls.

As a result of how common and how consequential same-level falls can be, it is generally a good idea for both residential and commercial property owners to fall-proof their property. Fall-proofing involves intentionally minimizing the risk of falls on one’s property. When property owners fail to engage in fall proofing, they could potentially be held liable for any harm that results if a visitor, a guest, or potentially even a trespasser slips or trips, falls, and is injured as a result of a preventable hazard.


arlington heights slip and fall lawyerWhen the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and as it raged throughout 2021 and into 2022, hospitals were overrun with patients requiring urgent care. As the pandemic began to stabilize, hospitals were overrun with patients who needed medical treatment that had been put on the back burner for weeks, months, or even years so that healthcare providers could focus their limited resources on those who had particularly time-sensitive needs. Partially as a result of this imbalanced dynamic, it has been confirmed that more patients suffered harm during these chaotic years than in years past.

The question of whether this spike in patient harm – including a particularly notable uptick in patient falls resulting in injuries – has returned to pre-pandemic levels or whether it remains a particularly pressing concern.

Fall and Sentinel Event Rates Have Spiked

The Joint Commission is a non-profit organization that accredits healthcare facilities based on their approach to safe, effective patient care. In its latest report, The Joint Commission confirms that patient fall rates spiked last year, while sentinel event rates rose dramatically over the course of the pandemic. As defined by The Joint Commission, a sentinel event is “a patient safety event that results in death, permanent harm or severe temporary harm.”

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