Chicago: Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls

Auto accident recalls and safety concerns in Chicago motor vehiclesThere are stringent federal regulations in the U.S. aimed to protect people from defective manufacturing, design or performance of cars to avoid accidents. Despite this, defective vehicles injure and kill thousands of people every year, and recalls are only applied once many people have already been injured or killed in accidents — there were 30,000 deaths in 2009.

According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who governs vehicle safety, recalls have been issued for more than 390 million vehicles, 46 million tires and 66 million items of vehicle equipment since 1966.

A safety recall occurs when there is a defect in the performance, construction, component or material of a motor vehicle or its equipment and this defect poses a risk once driven. Some defects that are considered safety-related include:

  • Steering wheels that stop responding
  • Fuel system causing fuel leakage
  • Accelerator controls that don’t work
  • Broken wheels that cause a loss of control of the vehicle
  • Air bags system that deploy when not needed
  • Seatbacks that fail while using normally
  • Many others

Car manufacturing defects include any component of the automobile; common defects include brakes, tires, steering components, windshields, door latches and seatbelts. Automotive design defects include seatbelts, roofs, tires, and fuel systems.

If you are in an accident due to a vehicle defect or safety recall that was not addressed properly, the consequences can be devastating. In Chicago, wrongful death claims, where a death occurs due to the actions of a negligent party, such as the car manufacturer, can be made on behalf of the victim’s family for compensation for both monetary losses, including expenses due to the accident and also loss for the deceased’s income, as well as compensation for any pain and suffering.

“After an accident, you will need to find out if the cause of your accident was a defective automobile part or design,” said Attorney Glen Lerner. “We have the resources to help you recover for your property as well as emotional and financial damages.”

Las Vegas: Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls

Defective motor vehicle recalls in las vegasThere are stringent federal regulations in the U.S. aimed to protect consumers from the defective manufacturing, design or performance of cars to avoid accidents. Despite this, defective vehicles injure and kill thousands of people every year — 30,000 deaths were reported in 2009.

According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who governs vehicle safety, recalls have been issued for more than 390 million vehicles, 46 million tires and 66 million items of vehicle equipment since 1966.

A safety recall occurs when there is a defect in the performance, construction, component or material of a motor vehicle or its equipment and this defect poses a risk once driven. Some of the defects that are considered safety-related include:

  • Steering wheels that stop responding
  • Fuel system causing fuel leakage
  • Accelerator controls that don’t work
  • Ignition controls don’t work
  • Broken wheels that cause a loss of control of the vehicle
  • Air bags system that deploy when not needed, or don’t deploy when needed
  • Seatbacks that fail while using normally

(U.S. Code for Motor Vehicle Safety, Title 49, Ch. 301)

Car manufacturing defects include any component of the automobile; common defects include brakes, tires, steering components, windshields, door latches and seat belts. Automotive design defects include seatbelts, roofs, tires, and fuel systems.

In personal injury cases stemming from motor vehicle accidents, Nevada law allows for the recovery of compensatory damages, which compensates a plaintiff for all loses resulting from the accident to make them whole. This includes pecuniary damages, such as lost wages, lost earning potential and medical bills, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Economic damages awards in defective product cases can be unlimited and are usually determined by a jury; non-economic damage awards are capped at $350,000. (NRS 42.005)

In addition, after compensatory damages are awarded, the law allows for punitive damages to be given when the conduct causing the accident is ruled to be a result of intentional oppression, fraud or malice. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and hold him or her up as an example of what not to do (NRS 42.005(1) In the case of a car defect or safety recall,

“After an accident, you will need to find out if the cause was a defective automobile part or design for compensatory damages, and if this defect was a result of intentional fraud or malice, which is complicated,” said attorney Glen Lerner. “We have the resources to determine if you are entitled to emotional and financial damages.”

The Future of Car Accident Prevention In Las Vegas With Artificial Intelligence

Las Vegas auto accidents attorneys discuss the potential impact of self driving cars on accidentsCars that are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) or “self-driving cars” are touted as safer and could be one of the best things for public health and safety in the next 20 years.

Alliances are being developed by carmakers and technology companies to create reliable self-driving cars and even “robotaxis” to put autonomous car technology into production as soon as possible and share the high costs of development.

Autonomous cars can sense their environment and drive without human involvement. As of the summer of 2017, any automated cars allowed to drive on public roads are not yet fully autonomous and need a human behind the wheel who can control of the car.

Traffic crash data from the Nevada Department of Public Safety reveal that traffic fatalities have been rising yearly in Nevada. Factors include: Las Vegas drivers have a reputation for not knowing where they’re going, and those who come to visit drink alcohol and gamble, which causes the city to have high insurance rates and a large number of traffic accidents.

There are many possible benefits of AI in self-driving cars including:

  • Large reduction in traffic accidents; collateral injuries; and associated costs, including a lower need for insurance.
  • Expected ease in traffic flow;
  • Enhanced mobility for those unable to drive (such as children, the aged and disabled);
  • Decreased gas consumption; and
  • Reduced parking space needs.

Automated vehicles are estimated to save up to 50 minutes a day for users, who can spend driving time doing other things including reading, working and relaxing.

Additionally, the current model of insurance which is currently predicated on human error will move to a focus which insures auto manufacturers from liabilities from a technical failure of their self-driving car. This could reduce monthly insurance premiums, which would be great, as Las Vegas has one of the nation’s highest car insurance rates.

Attorney Glen Lerner from Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys noted, “While there are many benefits from AI in cars, it will be interesting to see how liability disputes are resolved and how government regulations for self-driving cars will be established.”

Chicago’s Future of Car Accident Prevention With Artificial Intelligence

Chicago car accident lawyers discuss the future of motor vehicles and the impact it could have on auto accidentsCar accidents might be reduced or even vanish completely if car manufacturers can use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to manufacture autonomous cars. Some herald self-driving cars as the next revolution in driving safety.

Many wonder what the AI/self-driving car’s impact will be in Chicago. Some researchers explain that the effect of self-driving cars on reducing traffic accidents is tough to forecast due to insubstantial data and testing.

Traffic issues unique to Chicago include a large number of pedestrians, confusion in navigating highways and constant gridlock on city streets. A 2014 article in the Chicago Tribune notes that traffic accidents throughout Illinois had increased to 800 per day.

Google and Tesla insist that self-driving cars have the potential to greatly reduce car accidents. Data supplied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that 90% of car accidents involve human choice. AI can be used in cars so that drivers can make better and/or faster decisions while avoiding human errors such as texting or drunk driving.

Concerns have been express by many about fear of loss of control and allowing robots to supervise our driving. Critics question if AI can make ethical decisions involving complex situations with cars, obstacles and pedestrians.

Functions have been gradually automated in cars for the past decade to assist drivers with navigation. For example, many vehicles now come with sensors and videos that shows a driver their blind spots. Advanced technology uses vibration or sound to alert drivers if their car swerves into another lane without using their turn signal.

Attorney Glen Lerner from Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys noted, “While there are undisputed advantages to having AI in cars, the federal government needs to promulgate autonomous car regulation. Current governing statutes and regulations were developed before the technology was even a concept. It will be interesting to see how these policies develop and how much human intervention may still be required.”

The Dangers of Texting and Walking in Las Vegas

Glance down any busy street in Las Vegas and you will see hundreds of pedestrians. Many of those people will likely have their heads down, totally focused on the smartphone cradled in their hand, texting away, oblivious to what is going on around them. Dangers of texting and walking in Las Vegas

Safety experts say texting and walking is as dangerous a problem as texting and driving is, causing fatalities and serious injuries across the country. In fact, texting and walking has become such a dangerous issue that the National Safety Council (NSC) now adds it to its safety report it releases each year.

Pedestrian accidents, as they are referred to, continue to increase each year. Not only are texting pedestrians a danger to themselves, they are also a danger to those around them. Multiple studies have confirmed this.

In one study conducted by Stony Brook University in New York, pedestrians engaged in cell phone use were 60 percent more at risk to go off their course (such as failing to stay in a crosswalk). This not only poses a danger to the pedestrian but also to others around them. For example, a distracted pedestrian walks into another person, knocking them down and causing injury.

Just as vehicle drivers have a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and watch out for others, pedestrians, too, have a duty of care to those they share roads and sidewalks with. Pedestrians are also required by law to follow traffic laws, such as obeying crossing signals and traffic lights, walking on sidewalks, and using crosswalks.

If a person is injured in a traffic accident because they were texting and walking, can they be held negligent? Depending on the circumstances of the accident, and under Nevada’s comparative negligence law, they could. Under this law, the court will determine what percentage – if any – the pedestrian was at fault. If the court finds that the victim was 51 or more percent at fault, the victim may not receive any compensation.

Texting and walking accidents and determining pedestrian negligence can be complex and requires the skill of an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney. If you would like to discuss the details of your case, contact Glen Lerner today.