New Study Links Teenage Driver Deaths to Old Vehicles

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Most parents choose affordable, older model cars for their teenagers to drive. A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, suggests that parents may want to purchase newer cars to keep their children safe.

The study examined data from 2008 through 2012, and focused on teens killed in accidents who were between 15 and 17 years old.

Of these drivers, 82% were driving vehicles that were at least 6 years old, while 48% were driving vehicles more than 11 years old.

Older vehicles lack many of the more modern safety features which can be especially useful to young drivers. For example, electronic stability control and side air bags are now standard features in late-model cars. However, these features are not often found in older vehicles.

Teens have a higher rate of accidents than adults or older young people. Their lack of experience driving often affects their decision making skills, and they are much more likely to be injured while driving than any other age group.

When you are purchasing a vehicle for your teenager, keep in mind that he or she is vulnerable to traffic accidents. Keeping your child safe may be worth spending extra money on a newer car with important safety features that other vehicles lack.

If you or your teenager was injured in an accident, the Arizona personal injury attorneys at Phillips Law Group can help. Call 1-800-706-3000 to set up your free consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney today. 

Arizona Dreamers Can Apply for Driver’s Licenses Monday

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Young Arizonan immigrants who qualify for the 2012 DREAM act will be able to apply for state driver’s licenses starting Monday, according to a preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge this week.

The DREAM Act, signed in 2012 by President Obama, granted temporary reprieves to young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children and who meet certain conditions. The people who qualify for this program, called “dreamers,” are allowed to apply for a two-year renewable grant of “deferred action,” if:

  • They entered the United States before age 16,
  • They are younger than 30 years old,
  • They have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least 5 years,
  • They are in school, or have graduated from high school, or have served in the military, and
  • They have not committed a felony or major misdemeanor.

The executive order allowed dreamers to apply for work permits, receive driver’s licenses, and qualify for many state and federal programs. While the DREAM act did not grant full citizenship or any other lawful immigration status, it did give dreamers the ability to work, drive, and apply for citizenship without worrying about deportation.

In Arizona, however, many dreamers have not been able to take full advantage of the act. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has fought to keep dreamers from getting state driver’s licenses since August of 2012, when she issued an executive order prohibiting the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles from granting licenses to dreamers.

This will all change on Monday, thanks to a new ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell. On Thursday, Judge Campbell issued a preliminary injunction overriding the governor’s executive order, requiring the state to stop denying driver’s licenses to dreamers.

Gov. Brewer’s office has vowed to fight the injunction all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. The governor’s office believes that deciding which people are entitled to a state driver’s license is a state decision, and cannot be made by a federal judge or the President.

Regardless of how the legal fight is resolved, for now, many young people in Arizona will be able to legally drive starting Monday. This could impact the amount of traffic on Arizona’s roadways, as there may be an influx of young drivers who could not previously apply for licenses. At the same time, the change in the status of the law may result in more drivers with auto insurance, since a valid driver’s license is usually a prerequisite for insurance.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Arizona, California, Utah, or New Mexico, the attorneys at Phillips Law Group will help you receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

Call 1-800-706-3000 to speak with one of our knowledgeable auto accident lawyers today. 

Confidential Settlements Hide Information from Takata Victims

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Takata Corp. has settled several lawsuits regarding its defective air bags prior to the claims revealing any damaging information in court.

Takata entered into at least five confidential settlements, and is in mediation with others. The claims regarding Takata’s defective air bags have generally been resolved quickly, and without litigation.

While quick settlements are beneficial for those particular claimants, the lack of litigation also means that potentially damaging information is kept confidential from other people who may have been injured by the defective airbags.

Much of the most damaging information in products liability cases is reviewed through the litigation process. Attorneys for both sides are required to produce documentation which may shed light on the development and production of defective products, and often leads to additional lawsuits when this information becomes public record. Because these cases have settled so quickly, Takata has not had to produce this documentation in court.

Takata’s airbags are part of at least ten different manufacturers’ vehicles, and have led to the recall of over 14 million automobiles worldwide. According to the current theories on the cause of the defective airbags, regulators believe that the chemical propellant which causes the airbag to deploy can degrade in hot and humid weather. The propellant can become unstable, causing the airbags to deploy with so much force that the metal housing surrounding the airbag is also shattered in the event of a collision. When the airbag deploys, these pieces of shrapnel fly out of the airbag, striking the driver's face and neck, causing serious injury or death.  

If you or your loved one was injured by a defective airbag, you may have a claim for compensation. Call 1-800-917-4000 to speak with the experienced product liability attorneys at Phillips Law Group and protect your rights today.

 

For more information about these settlements, visit: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-11-16/air-bag-settlements-keep-details-from-other-victims

Stryker Corp Agrees to Pay More Than $1.4 Billion To Settle Hip Claims

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Stryker Corporation, the makers of Rejuvenate and ABG II brand artificial hip implants, have agreed to resolve over 4,000 claims against the company for more than a billion dollars.

The hip implants were recalled in 2012 after Stryker sent recall notices to physicians and hospitals around the country. The notices advised doctors that the implants could corrode or wear away, leading to pain, swelling, or blood poisoning. The implants often had to be removed and replaced with non-defective parts.

The Stryker lawsuits were consolidated in New Jersey and Minnesota courts. Rather than go to trial, the company agreed to set aside a fund to settle all of the claims which arose before November 3, 2014.

Patients who had the Stryker implants surgically removed and underwent revision surgery before the cutoff date will receive at least $300,000 in compensation. If the patients required multiple surgeries to fix the implants, or had additional medical complications, they may be entitled to more compensation. Patients who had implants placed in both hips are eligible for double the settlement amount.

Across the U.S., approximately 20,000 people were given either the Rejuvenate or ABG II hip implants.  Patients who need revision surgery after the November 3, 2014 cut-off date are not eligible for this settlement, but will still be able to pursue lawsuits against Stryker Corp. individually.  

To learn more about the settlement, visit www.strykermodularhipsettlement.com. Attorneys for the Stryker Corp. estimate that the settlement funds will be disbursed to the claimants by the end of 2015.  

If you or your loved one had a hip replacement which failed, needed to be replaced, or caused medical complications like blood poisoning, you may be eligible for compensation. The defective products attorneys at Phillips Law Group are investigating claims against Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, and other manufacturers of defective hip implants, and would like to hear from you.

Call 1-800-706-3000 or use our case evaluation form to schedule a free consultation and learn how you can protect your legal rights if you were injured by a defective medical device. 

NHTSA Investigates Honda After Airbag Recall

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Honda Motor Co. for failing to report injuries and deaths related to recalled Takata airbags.  

The safety organization is requiring Honda to answer 34 questions under oath regarding the way the automaker logged accident reports and searched for defects in the airbags. Takata Corp. is Honda’s largest supplier of airbag parts, and the NHTSA is investigating claims that Honda may have hidden knowledge about the defective airbags over the past decade.

“Honda and other automakers are legally obligated to report this information to us,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman, “and failure to do so will not be tolerated.”

The NHTSA indicated that Honda’s failures to report problems and defects in the Takata airbag defects may extend to other unreported problems with its vehicles.  Takata Corp. was forced to issue a massive recall after the NHTSA determined that its malfunctioning airbags can explode, causing the metal housing to break apart and spray shards of metal towards the face and neck of the vehicle occupants. At least ten million vehicles have been recalled in the United States because of the defective airbags since 2008.

If you or your loved one was injured by a Takata airbag, you may have a claim for compensation against the corporation. The attorneys at Phillips Law Group are investigating defective airbag claims, and would like to hear from you. Call 1-800-706-3000 and make sure your rights are protected after an accident.  

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