Food tainted with Listeria bacteria continues to dominate news cycles in the United States. The latest food feared to be contaminated is sunflower seeds, present in several well-known and prominent brands. While no one is known to have become sick or died yet, this comes on the heels of another recall of major brands of frozen fruits and vegetables where at least two people have died from Listeria and over 80 have been hospitalized.
What is Causing These Recalls?
Listeria, or Listeria monocytogenes, is a bacteria is that infects humans through contaminated food. It has gained publicity in the past decade as scrutiny of food preparation in factories has increased. The infection causes short-term problems such as high fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, stiffness and nausea; classic symptoms of food poisoning. While the infection is not usually considered deadly, it does often lead to hospitalization. However, those with compromised immune systems such as pregnant women, the elderly, children, and those with chronic conditions may be at a higher risk of serious injury, including death.
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that there are 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths each year in the United States due to listeriotic infections. The true numbers infected by Listeria are unknown however. The severity of such symptoms varies from person and person, and even if a person has eaten food tainted with Listeria, proper food preparation such as heating the food at high temperatures will often kill off the bacteria. Even those who do become sick may not realize that they are sick due to tainted food.
A Recall is Not Enough
Just because a food has been recalled does not automatically mean that a company will admit that they are at fault for a person’s injuries. Even if a company has voluntarily recalled their products does not mean that there is a presumption of guilt on their part if a person claims that they became sick due to consuming the product. While it certainly will help a person’s claim against a company with a recalled product, the issue of causality must still be shown before there is any hope of recovering for damages.
Consult Those with Experience
This is why it is important to have veteran attorneys on your side who can guide you through the process and complexities in a defective products liability case. The attorneys at Atlanta based Cash, Krugler & Fredericks LLC have dealt with numerous defective products cases over the years and know how to help you recover for any injuries and suffering you may have experienced. Contact them today at (404) 659-1710 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of a broader transportation initiative announced earlier this year by Gov. Nathan Deal, the state of Georgia is considering installing semi-only lanes for truck traffic in certain areas within the state. While relieving congestion is cited as a goal for separating large trucks from cars and motorcycles, the primary reason for investigating the feasibility and implementation of semi-only lanes is for the safety of other drivers. This comes at a time of increased scrutiny of semi-truck operators in Georgia, after a previous year of deadly big truck accidents in the state. It is not only Georgia that suffers from the danger of semi-trucks on the road; across the nation, the number of auto fatalities involving semi-trucks continues to rise.
Sharing the Road with Giants
Semi-trucks on the road present unique challenges that simply are not present with smaller personal use vehicles like cars and motorcycles. The trailer attached to semi-trucks is often stocked with tons of goods, requiring the driver to be more attentive when operating the tractor. The added weight means that a significant increase in distance is required when coming to a complete stop. If the drivers are involved in a collision, the sheer mass of the vehicle means that injuries are more severe and often deadly. Compounding this problem is that due to the large size of the vehicle, blind spots are present directly in front, behind and to the sides of the semi-truck.
Distracted Behind the Wheel
The physical attributes of semi-trucks alone make them a threat to other people on the road but when the human factor is added in, they become unimaginably dangerous. Semi-trucks’ operators are human, operating under tight schedules to deliver goods on time often cross country. The stress from the companies to make deliveries on time crossed with the long distances means that operators are often driving while deprived of sleep.
In fact, fatigue and fatigue-drug interactions are cited as the most common factor in semi-truck accidents that resulted in fatalities, while drug abuse, including alcohol, is the second most common contributing factor in semi-truck accidents. In particular, many operators turn to stimulants such as amphetamines to fight fatigue and stay awake. These operators, fatigued and incapacitated, operating heavy machinery on the road with others represent a major danger to everyone on the road.
Do Not Wait to Protect Yourself
Statistics and facts such as the ones presented above are a driving force in policymaker’s decisions to seek new answers to the problem of dangerous semi-trucks on the road. However, the risk of serious injury from a semi-truck still remains. The proposed special semi-only lanes are only for specific stretches of highways in Georgia for now, and while the state has increased its policing of commercial vehicles like semi-trucks recently, drivers will continue to have to share the road.
Until the danger from semi-trucks is reduced, it is important to remember if you or a family member are ever involved in an accident with a semi-truck to reach out to professionals with experience in trucking accidents. Consult with the Atlanta law firm of Cash, Krugler & Fredericks LLC. Please contact us online, email us at email@example.com, or talk to us over the phone at (404) 659-1710. We can guide you through the complicated recovery process and help bring you peace of mind.
When you are in a car accident with another driver, the issue is usually pretty simple. It might not feel easy to deal with insurance companies, but there are no questions of law. If someone hits you in your car, their insurance would cover the damage to your car, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In a majority of cases, you will make a third-party claim and reach a settlement agreement with the insurer.
But when you are hit by a commercial vehicle, the issues of who is at fault and how you can recover get trickier. In this case, it is better to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on your rights, research the situation, and guide you toward recovery – whether that is through an insurer or a lawsuit.
Defining a Commercial Vehicle
In essence, a commercial vehicle is any car, van, truck, bus, or other equipment operated for a commercial purpose. You can think of the vehicle as a part of a business, and it is out on the roads for the purpose of that business. Some typical commercial vehicles on Georgia roads are delivery vans, taxis, semis, and hotel shuttles.
Differences in a Commercial Vehicle Collision
In most cases, the commercial vehicle is driven by an employee. This is why an issue of liability arises. Who is responsible for the accident: The employee, the employer or both? It can depend, but you will likely recover from the employer as they are generally responsible for the actions of their workers.
If the employee was driving their work vehicle off hours, you will likely seek to recover from the driver’s insurance or the driver directly. However, there are exceptions to this general rule and an attorney can help discover the facts to ensure you are fully compensated.
In some situations, there are disagreements as to whether the employee was working at the time of the accident, such as if the worker was on call but not driving directly to or from a work task. This question may cause you to need to go to court instead of settling with an insurer, and a jury will decide the point.
Additionally, many commercial drivers need a specific license and are subject to certain federal regulations. In this case, the drivers must follow federal laws regarding how much they can drive within specific periods of time and a variety of other restrictions about the condition of their vehicle, their use of alcohol and drugs, and the medical and physical requirements to operate a truck. Your attorney may investigate and find that the commercial driver broke these laws. This can be proof of the driver, and therefore the employer’s, fault.
You can usually recover a variety of damages after an accident with a commercial vehicle, including:
- Property damage
- Medical bills since the accident
- Future medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Lost income or profit
- Lost future wages from additional time you need away from work
- Change of lifestyle, such as remodeling your home for accessibility
Like personal drivers, companies have auto insurance as well. They often even have higher policies limits, which enables victims to recover more for their injuries.
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, and 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 particular 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 a Defective Vehicle Injury Attorney
If you believe your accident and injuries were caused by a vehicle defect, call an attorney right away. The lawyers at Cash, Krugler, & Fredericks LLC 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.
Our lives are filled with different products that we use frequently throughout the day, from our homes to our cars and just about everything in between. Each of those products can be filled with a variety of other parts or products that ensure that everything runs properly. Individually and as a whole, these products must meet certain safety standards in order to be used.
Often times, a variety of defects can cause these products to be unsafe. These defects can occur in the product’s design or in the manufacturing process. However, injury can also come as a result of improper warning labels that do not fully notify the user of the dangers of using the product or do not effectively indicate the manner in which the product can be safely used. When an injury results from an improper warning, an avenue can open for the victim of the injury to collect damages from that injury.
What are Proper Warning Requirements?
Federal law requires manufacturers of goods to make dangerous components or uses known to the public. For instance, a household cleaning product that contains hazardous chemicals must notify the public of the presence of hazardous chemicals and the danger of ingesting them or getting them onto skin or into eyes. This is a common example of a product warning label that can be found in just about every household in Georgia.
However, some other products available to consumers that would otherwise be found to be effective can be defective when their warning labels to do provide adequate instructions to the public for the product’s proper use or the potential for possible injury from use of the product in an improper way. This product defectiveness can come in one of three ways:
- Lack of any warning at all;
- Lack of an adequate warning indicating potential hazards; and
- Lack of proper usage instructions.
The first requirement is fairly straightforward. If a product is or can be dangerous, the product must say so. For instance, if a product requires the use of electricity it is likely that such product must warn of the dangers of exposure of electricity to water.
However, just having that warning may not be enough. The warning must also communicate the danger to the user effectively, and must demonstrate the possible scope of the danger present to a reasonably cautious person that is using the product in its intended use. Such intended use must also be specified. This is one of the reasons that many warning labels have written safety instructions or precautions that are accompanied by pictures demonstrating the result of using the product improperly.
What Can You Do if You are Injured as the Result of an Improper Warning Label?
If a product causes injury or death because of improper warning, the victim can collect damages based on the product’s defectiveness due to its lack of proper warning. You will need to contact an attorney that has experience handling personal injuries that have occurred as the result of products that are defective because of improper warning labels. Cash, Krugler, & Fredericks LLC has experience working with accidents resulting from defective and dangerous products. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss the circumstances on your injury and see what options may be available to you to recover for such injuries.
New houses built these days do not use lead-based paint. However, older houses built before 1978 do, and it may be in your walls, ceilings, and exteriors. Lead is highly poisonous, and as the nation has seen in Flint, Michigan’s lead pipe crisis, the damage can be extensive and long-lasting.
Prolonged exposure can lead to permanent brain damage, and in some cases death. Children can suffer weight loss and abdominal pains in the short term; longer exposure can delay their development and even cause learning disabilities. Property owners are responsible for disclosing whether lead-based paints are present in their rental properties and real estate.
The Danger is Real
Simply because lead-based paint was outlawed before the 1980s does not mean that there is no reason for concern. The older a house is, the more likely the paint can chip off and break away. Small children might eat it, not knowing better. When the paint chips, lead particulates get in the air and are inhaled. Outside of a house, children are known to run their hands along the exterior walls.
House renovations are particularly dangerous, and can create hazards without anyone knowing about it. If old paint is not handled correctly, lead dust and paint chips can remain in the home or in the garden for years after the work is completed. Paint removal by blasting, burning, dry scraping, dry sanding and using power tools creates serious dangers because the particles are small enough to be inhaled. Particles can also deposit themselves in furnishings and carpets, making removal very difficult.
Victims are able to take legal action against landlords who are negligent and fail to provide adequate warning about the possibility of lead in their properties, public or private. The exposed can file civil lawsuits against those responsible. People who work in jobs where regular lead exposure occurred may have the option to sue for damages, but could also make a workers’ compensation claim.
Victims of lead exposure can not only sue for their immediate medical costs, but also for the amount needed to treat any permanent conditions caused by lead exposure. There may also be punitive damages available for not taking proper precautions in reducing the lead risk.
Call an Expert Today
If you believe your property might have lead and want legal help, or if you believe you or your family is at risk of lead exposure at your home or your place of work, contact Cash Krugler & Fredericks LLC. Premises liability, and specifically lead matters are complex, and you need a well-versed experienced attorney on your side. No one should tackle lead alone.
Georgia law on premises liability cases is complex and it changes frequently. Our firm handles premises liability cases frequently. Our firm works with many experts in order to create a plan to make sure your concerns are handled right the first time.
Please feel free to use our Online Consultation Form, email us or call our Atlanta Premises Liability Attorneys at (404) 659-1710 to discuss your case or if you have any questions.