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What Is Wrong with Takata Airbags?

What You Need to Know About the Takata Airbags In the past few months, the automotive world has been faced with one recall after another. Of late, the focus has shifted to Takata airbag recalls from General Motors recalls. Takata is a Japan-based auto supplier which provided automobile manufacturers with almost 25% of the inflators utilized in activating airbags in case of an accident. Takata airbags faults are not just limited to a specific car manufacturer. They affect all car brands that were supplied with the airbags. Though airbags have been quite helpful in minimizing the injuries that drivers and passengers are befallen with, recently uncovered faults pose a serious threat to motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (federal agency accountable for automotive safety) has authorized Takata airbag recalls and has also expressed its concerns regarding the delays in Takata airbag recalls. Additionally, the Administration has urged Takata to hasten its production of completely safe airbag replacements. Takata airbags have also been linked to numerous severe and minor injuries and at least eight deaths. The inflators utilized in faulty Takata airbags have the potential of sending metal chips into the torsos and faces of the drivers and passengers. If this, unfortunately, happens to you, you definitely need to seek professional advice. There are experienced car accident attorneys ready to represent you and make sure you are well compensated for this. All you need to do is to make that call. The main issue regarding the Takata airbags is that they have the potential of severely injuring, maiming or even seriously wounding drivers and passengers. One of the most recent and greatest airbag recall involving more than 14 million cars was founded on revelations that the inflators used in the airbag were capable of bursting and sending shrapnel into the bodies of the passengers and drivers. The Takata airbags are particularly dangerous in humid conditions and regions. In such environments, their possibility of malfunctioning when activated is quite high. Six different airbag rupturing events in the humid states like Florida and Puerto Rico have been compiled by NHTSA. One of the mind-boggling questions that a lot of people ask themselves is if Takata knew that their airbags were dangerous. According to allegations made by previous Takata employees, Takata Corporation might have first known about the airbags’ defects back in 2004. This particular date is actually five years earlier than the date that Takata actually shared with the NHTSA. The previous employees claim that Takata recovered airbags from junkyards and carried out tests on them to establish if the inflation tools in the airbags could rip open the airbag and cause harm. In the process of testing, Takata supposedly discovered defects and then supposedly instructed the employees to erase all proof of the airbag faults from the company’s computers. Additionally, these tests were done outside the usual work hours. It is as if it was some form of secret operation being carried out; it was definitely not intended for the public’s ears. Takata Airbag Recall Recent Developments ![Takata Airbag Recall Recent Developments](../../../uploads/2016/10/takata-airbag-recall.jpg) Car Accident Attorneys Are Watching the Takata Recall Closely The buzz is still there, and it is getting louder. With over 14 automakers issuing recalls on their cars, the Takata Airbag Recall is the probably the largest safety recall in U.S. history. The problem: self-deploying airbags installed in cars from as early as 2002. These air bags can explode with shrapnel and injure or even kill passengers. Based on investigations, the airbag’s inflator is what is causing the explosion. The inflator is a metal cartridge designed with propellant wafers which are defective. Time, moisture, and other environmental factors can cause the propellant to ignite and cause the airbag to explode. In the worst case scenario, the metal casing can rupture during the explosion, turning it into deadly shrapnel. Current Status of the Issue As of September 2016, there are nine recorded deaths in the United States and another 139 are injured, all of which are because of the airbag explosions. To date, a total of 16.5 million units are recalled from at least 14 car manufacturers. Outside the U.S., there are three recorded deaths in Malaysia. The estimated total number of affected cars is at 35 million. As of October 20, 2016, the Takata airbag claimed another life in a 2001 Honda Civic, which is now the 11th death in the United States. Out of the 11 fatalities, nine of these are from Honda and Acura. According to Honda, they estimate that only 300,000 affected vehicles did not go through the necessary repair. What Automakers Are Doing For the last few months, several automakers have taken proactive steps to correct the problem. In recent months, Honda and Acura dealers have replaced upwards of 20,000 Takata airbags on a daily basis. Some companies also cold called their customers, advising them to take their vehicles to the nearest dealership for replacement. Others went so far as to advertise in football games and send mass emails and snail mails to their consumer base. Some manufacturers, like Honda, created a centralized web center which houses all relevant information and updates about the recall. This web page is prominently displayed in Honda’s home page. As days go by, the issue seems to be discovered in more and more older car models. Honda also doubled its call center representatives to answer the growing number of people calling each day. Automated phone calls and text messaging programs are also in place. Also, several companies took the initiative to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness and invite customers to bring in their cars. Some even distributed flyers as a means to educate people of the growing problem. Below is a list of car manufacturers reported to have been affected by the recall. Ferrari Scion Ford Subaru GM Pontiac and Saab Toyota Honda Volkswagen Infiniti Jaguar/Land Rover Takata’s Legal Battle An article in the New York Times suggested that Takata had prior knowledge of the defective airbags but did not report it to the appropriate authorities. The U.S. government is now calling for a criminal investigation on the case. Takata, on the other hand, denied the accusation and said that they are in cooperation with the government investigation. Takata, however, stated as early as 2015, that it has 88 reports of the explosions. Takata is legally liable to replace all these airbags which have been implemented over the course of 15 years in different car makes and models. Today, the campaign is focused on high humidity areas where airbag explosions are likely to occur. Takata may also be liable for many wrongful deaths. Common Consumer Inquiries Concerned consumers naturally have a lot of questions about this major recall. Below, we have supplied the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. How serious is the Issue? Any recall is a serious matter. Companies will not waste money for recalls if it does not endanger the lives of people. Anyone who has a car with a Takata airbag should call the car company and get clarification if it is part of the recall, especially if the car is old. Is my place of residence a problem? Yes, it can be an issue. According to preliminary investigations, the airbags are likely to rupture in high humidity and temperature areas. The high temperature activates the chemical and creates an explosive reaction, rupturing the metal cases and deploying the airbag. Examples of these states are Florida, Hawaii, South Carolina, and Georgia. What should I do if my car is affected? First, call the car company and ask for instructions. The airbag replacement is free of charge. However, you have to pay for repairs should there be other defects found in your car aside from the airbag. Next, don’t use your affect vehicle until the repair is complete. You may carpool with a friend or if possible, rent or borrow someone else’s. This is better than taking the risk of driving your car. This information has been brought to you by the experienced car accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a defective Takata airbag, please contact us for legal assistance. FREE 24/7 Consultation

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What is the Average Whiplash Settlement Amount in California?

A car accident can happen suddenly. Being the victim of a whiplash injury due to that accident can be frightening. However, you’re not alone – it is one of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents. A negligent driver can change your life in the blink of an eye by slamming into the back of your car in a rear end accident. In this type of car accident, a very common neck injury called whiplash can occur. Although some whiplash neck injuries don’t require a long period of recuperation, others have far-reaching repercussions. While every car accident inducing whiplash is different, key factors play a part in determining the settlement amount a driver will receive after such an accident. In general, drivers suffering from whiplash injuries could be compensated for: Physical injuries Damage to the vehicle Lost wages Medical expenses However, getting the settlement you deserve requires diligent recordkeeping and many times, the legal advice of a car accident attorney familiar with the long-term effects of whiplash. It’s very important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, especially if your injuries were severe, as it gets harder to fight for financial compensation the longer you wait. Calculating the average whiplash settlement takes many factors into account, and it can be a long process before you get the financial compensation you deserve. Usually, whiplash settlements take the following into account: Medical bills after the accident. You might have been taken to the emergency room to have image diagnostics and other medical treatment for pain after your whiplash car accident. It’s extremely important to hold on to all medical treatment records for your whiplash settlement. Ongoing medical treatment, such as physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. You may also continue to take prescription medication for your injuries. Loss of income, especially if you had to take off work to go to ongoing medical treatment appointments. Pain and suffering from your injuries. Property damage to your car and other belonging as a result of the car accident. Photos should be taken at the scene, and a police report should be provided to your auto insurance provider. To better understand whether you are a candidate for a settlement due to your whiplash injury, it helps to first understand what a whiplash injury is, and how it is diagnosed. What is a Whiplash Injury? Whiplash isn’t just a pain in the neck. Also called a neck sprain and/or strain, whiplash occurs when the neck ligaments are stretched, causing a pulled, stiff, painful sensation. Both a neck sprain or strain can be the result of a whiplash car accident. It happens due to the sudden, powerful force of another car hitting your car from the back, causing the neck to stretch from an even somewhat minor collision. Symptoms of whiplash include: Pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back Limited range of movement of the head and neck Swelling in the neck or upper shoulders Muscle spasms in the affected areas The severity of a whiplash injury depends on multiple factors, including the speed the other car was traveling at the time of impact. Certain drivers may have other injuries in addition to whiplash, such as spinal cord injuries. The extent of the whiplash injury is also a huge component in determining fault. Proving Fault in a Whiplash Car Accident Almost always, the driver who rear-ends the car in front of them is considered at fault for the accident. California is an at-fault state for auto insurance, so the person who caused the rear-end collision is likely to be found at-fault, automatically. The at-fault driver will be legally liable for the other driver’s injuries and related losses after suffering from whiplash. Because California law states that victims of car accidents are entitled to compensation for injuries resulting from the negligence of another driver, you shouldn’t settle for a low offer. Get the help of a skilled car accident attorney to help you present the best case possible and the compensation you deserve. What Should My Settlement Be Worth? It’s not easy to put a dollar amount on any given case without carefully reviewing all the evidence at hand. This is why it’s important to have an experienced car accident lawyer review your case. They’ll guide you through the litigation process and get you fair and just financial compensation. In general terms, however, the greater the injuries, the higher the compensation. For example, if you have other injuries in addition to whiplash, such as nerve damage, you can easily get a higher settlement. Proving pain and suffering goes a long way towards affecting how much money you will be awarded. For instance, most people who have whiplash injuries find they go away within a week, Economic damages after a car accident (medical bills and lost earnings) are taken into account, and if the case goes to trial, it’s important to take the following into account: The credibility of the plaintiff Whether the jury can understand the plaintiff’s injuries The extent of medical treatment needed by the plaintiff What to Do If You’ve Gotten a Lowball Whiplash Settlement Offer If you’ve had a whiplash injury after a car accident and the auto insurance company is making you a lowball offer, make sure to get in touch with a car accident attorney in Los Angeles in order to get your due compensation. Get in touch with Wilshire Law Firm today to learn more.

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NFL Concussion Lawsuit

Important Information for Former NFL Players Are you a former NFL player suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Whether you qualify under the recent Federal District Court-approved settlement, or wish to file a separate lawsuit, you should consult an experienced NFL concussion attorney to learn more about your rights and best legal options for recovery. Millions of dollars may be at stake! The NFL Concussion Settlement has, finally, been approved » » NFL Concussion Litigation NFL Concussion NFL Qualifying Symptoms NFL Concussion facts NFL Concussion Settlement approved Symptoms of Concussions Why Do I Need a Lawyer At Wilshire Law Firm, we are helping former professional football players get what is rightfully theirs, including: Full medical coverage for testing, treatment and monitoring Full credit for time and seasons in the NFL Compensation for pain and suffering And more The NFL Concussion Settlement has been approved The court finally approved the NFL Concussion Settlement, effective from January 7, 2017. Registration opened on February 6, 2017. THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS AUGUST 7, 2017. IF YOU DIDN’T REGISTER BY THEN, YOU WILL BE FOREVER BARRED FROM CLAIMING BENEFITS FROM THIS SETTLEMENT. Players could get compensation for as much as $5,000,000.00. If you are a former NFL player, please call us today for legal advice and how to claim. Don’t wait until it’s too late! For a FREE, no-obligation case evaluation, call us today at (800) 522-7274. We understand just how much is at stake in a high profile case such as yours, and will use the time-tested legal strategies we have developed over the years to reach an optimal resolution. NFL Concussion Lawsuit Menu Important Information for Former NFL Players Qualifying Symptoms Terms of the Federal District Court Settlement Why You Need a Lawyer If you are a former NFL player please contact us today for help in this process, don’t wait until it’s too late. Qualifying Symptoms From as early as the 1920s, the medical community has been aware of the potentially devastating long-term effects of repeated blows to the head. In spite of this, however, the NFL ignored the medical risks and neglected the well-being of their players, even going so far as to sending rattled players back out onto the field during the same game. It is only recently that the media has focused much-needed attention on the issue of brain damage among former NFL players, forcing the league to finally rethink their concussion policy. However, it is too little, too late. Many retired NFL players have sustained brain injuries with symptoms that are often progressive, permanent, and sometimes even fatal, such as: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Memory Loss Dementia Impulse Control Problems Alzheimer’s Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Chronic Fatigue Insomnia or Other Sleep Disorders Debilitating Anxiety Bipolar Disorder Parkinson’s Intermittent Explosive Disorder Panic Disorder Psychosis Most lawsuits have a two year window to file from the time the injured individual has reasonable knowledge of the injury, so any players with symptoms should file as soon as possible. Terms of the Federal District Court Settlement Under the terms of a Federal District Court settlement approved by Judge Anita Brody, former players with major cognitive impairments that include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, and certain cases of CTE (usually confirmed after death) are entitled to an award. The amount of the award is impacted by the player’s age as well as the duration of his playing career. Eligible parties that register in time may receive the following benefits: Baseline neuropsychological and neurological examinations, along with medical testing, counseling and/or treatment Monetary awards for aforementioned major cognitive conditions Education programs promoting safety and injury prevention with respect to football players Unfortunately, the limited terms of the settlement exclude many former players with TBI from receiving the coverage they need and deserve. Also, there are many who do qualify for benefits under the settlement but are dissatisfied with its terms. NFL Concussion Fast Facts Many former NFL players are now filing lawsuits against the NFL because of the fact that they have hidden serious information regarding the long term neurological dangers of playing football. The NFL have taught their players how to play football by tackling one another on the field, with their heads, all the while knowing that there could be serious head injuries involved and that players could become prone to concussions and other brain traumas. This is what brought about the specialization of NFL Concussion lawyers who are now dealing with many ongoing cases for players who have suffered and are suffering from head injuries due to playing professional football. The NFL has been aware of this danger since the early 1920s, but they did not release this information until 2010. According to the policy, the NFL and NFLPA will each designate a representative to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations. The investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed. Following the investigation, the NFL and NFLPA will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response. If the parties are unable to agree, the matter will be brought to a third party arbitrator. After conducting a thorough review, the arbitrator will issue a report to the Commissioner, NFLPA Executive Director and the involved parties. As jointly agreed to by the NFL and NFLPA, the Commissioner retains absolute discretion in determining penalties for violations of the concussion protocol. Potential disciplinary action includes: A first violation will require the club employees or medical team members involved to attend remedial education; and/or result in a maximum fine of $150,000 against the club. Whatever the case is for you, it is highly recommended that you retain a trusted NFL concussion attorney. It can mean the difference between obtaining the financial compensation and benefits you need and possibly receiving nothing. Symptoms of Concussions in NFL Players First off, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a massive or hard hit to the head, which is what NFL players do on a daily basis in their football games. A lot of concussions occur even when the person is completely conscious and they don’t even know they have one. CTE, which is also known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a brain disease that occurs when someone is repeatedly diagnosed with concussions in the head. Here are some common symptoms of this terrible condition: Mood swings Hearing changes Loss of memory Imbalance Headaches and dizziness Confusion Unconsciousness Changes in vision Depression Exhaustion Why Are NFL Concussion Lawyers Needed? Players are now holding the NFL accountable for their head injuries due to the fact that they were not warned about this before they had joined the league. This means that the organization did not take responsibility for the health of their team and failed to inform their players about the long term side effects and dangers of playing football. There have been many cases where NFL players have already suffered chronic brain traumas such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, loss of memory, mental illnesses, mood swings, changes in personality and cognitive defects. Now that players have become more and more aware of all the diseases and injuries they are suffering from, they are hiring NFL concussion lawyers who can file lawsuits against the organization for not taking any reasonable action to protect their players from such head injuries in the long run. Wilshire Law Firm maintains its reputable status in the Law industry with their skilled and professional NFL Concussion Lawyers who are ready to fight any cases coming their way. For those who are in search for the best lawyers, Wilshire Law Firm is ready to help those who are looking to file lawsuits against those organizations that should be held accountable for the neglectful and unjust behavior they have shown. The NFL is a large and powerful organization. Litigation against them will be costly and complicated. It is important to hire an attorney who has been successful in high profile cases against large corporations, who is comfortable trying cases with huge potential verdicts. At Wilshire Law Firm, we have the financial resources, the brain power, the personnel, and the determination to fight an important battle on your behalf. We are so confident in our abilities that we are willing to take your case on contingency; in other words, you will pay us only if there is a successful settlement or verdict. This is our ironclad guarantee. If you have further questions about what our firm can do for you, call us at (800) 522-7274. Our dedicated legal staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Can I Choose My Own Repair Shop After A Car Accident?

The law says yes, you are well within your rights to choose your own repair shop after an accident, and there’s nothing the insurance company can do to stop you. They are allowed to give you recommendations, but the choice is ultimately yours. That being said, there are advantages – both for you and the insurance company – to going with the insurance company’s preferred repair shop. First, you don’t have to deal directly with the repair shop since all transactions go through the insurance company. Second, the insurance company provides a guarantee on repairs, meaning if you’re dissatisfied with the repairs for any reason, you can contact the insurance company and have them resolve the situation. Third, the shop doesn’t have to wait for approval from an adjuster to start repairs. As for the insurance company, they benefit from significant discounts on parts and labor … But they may also cut corners, partnering with unreliable repair shops that work with cheaper, lower quality parts. There are many reasons why you may want to go to another repair shop, and that’s perfectly fine – again, the choice is yours. However, the insurance claim representative will likely attempt to persuade you otherwise, telling you that estimates on your car will be needlessly delayed, that they won’t be able to warranty the repairs if you decide to have your car repaired at another shop. Don’t fret. As long as you go to a reputable repair shop, an experienced shop estimator will handle the estimate process and repairs efficiently. After all, it is in their best interests to do so. Do you have any questions regarding your auto accident injury claim? If so, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm for answers. We can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights and options in a FREE consultation.

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Ride Sharing Accident Liability

Uber and Lyft Are Skirting Accident Liability In recent years, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become titans in the transportation industry, seemingly making billions of dollars overnight and giving taxi companies a run for their money. Their app-based business model gives them an edge in today’s digital world, as more and more people are using their smartphones to complete transactions for a growing variety of products and services. However, not only are Uber and Lyft contributing to the now trending “sharing economy,” but they are also presenting a slew of complex liability issues. For instance: *Are passengers covered by Uber/Lyft insurance?* Who is liable if an Uber driver hits another car or a pedestrian? What happens if a third party is involved in the accident? While these issues are still being hashed out in various legal disputes and will continue to develop for years to come, Uber and Lyft have recently come under pressure, especially in California, to eliminate any ambiguity in their policies and regulations regarding insurance coverage in case of an accident. How Past Accident Cases Are Effecting Changes in Rideshare Company Policies Last New Year’s Eve, a six-year-old girl was killed when an Uber driver struck her along with her mother and brother at a crosswalk. In November 2014, a Lyft driver transporting two young men swerved to avoid a stalled car and hit a tree, killing one of the passengers, a 24-year-old Sacramento citizen. These tragic stories received extensive media coverage and attracted national attention, causing scrutiny of ride-sharing companies to intensify. In California, a state which tens of thousands of Uber and Lyft employees call home, Governor Jerry Brown signed ridesharing insurance legislation requiring companies to cover drivers from the moment they turn on their app. Since then, many other state legislators have followed suit, forcing the two major ride-sharing companies to concede to some of their demands, including expanding coverage to drivers who are logged into their apps at the time of an accident. What Insurance Coverage Does Uber and Lyft Have Today? As of today, both Uber and Lyft provide $1 million of liability coverage along with $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, this coverage only applies to cases involving injuries to passengers. What about accidents involving other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and the like, that occur when the driver is on call? As previously mentioned, drivers for both companies DO receive coverage as long as they are logged onto the app. Whether the coverage is adequate is another matter. Since commercial insurance is expensive, Uber and Lyft are doing everything they can to encourage drivers to get a personal injury policy. In fact, they recently announced a partnership with Metromile to sell a personal insurance policy that provides extra coverage during the gap period by using an in-car sensor to monitor driving. Also, insurers including Farmers’ Insurance, USAA, and Geico are coming up with their own special ride-sharing policies. (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post) DENVER, CO. – FEBRUARY 10: Kevin Labonte, owner of Special Times Limousine, supplements his own fares with those he contracts out from Uber. State legislators may enact proposed changes supported by the taxi community that say Uber is an unregulated service. Though not regulated, Uber merely connects private drivers, who comply with all PUC regulations, to customers. This can become a problem when damages exceed the coverage provided by the driver’s policy – not an uncommon scenario when it comes to personal insurance. Since Uber and Lyft only provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in their respective rider policies (passenger coverage), victims of on-call accidents are left to fend for themselves financially if the driver does not have adequate coverage. And There’s More We have extensively discussed liability issues surrounding ride-sharing companies and traffic accidents. But we haven’t even begun to cover cases involving assault, battery, sexual assault, or direct property damage committed by employees. This raises the question of whether Uber and Lyft are responsible for the criminal conduct of their drivers; however, this is an issue to be discussed in a future article. Protect Your Rights If you have been the victim of an accident involving a ride-sharing company driver and are in dire need of financial and legal support, call Wilshire Law Firm toll-free at (800) 522-7274. Our excellent attorneys can evaluate your claim, let you know where you stand, and fight to get you full and fair compensation for your losses. FREE 24/7 Consultation

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