Over the years, airbags have become a mandatory safety device in all new cars. There is no question that many lives have been saved due to airbags. Airbags are meant to prevent an occupant's head from striking a part of the vehicle and spread the force of the impact across his body. Due to the speed of airbag deployment and the chemicals used, there is always the possibility that airbags do more harm than good. Believe it or not, airbags often do not operate properly causing serious injuries and deaths. Philadelphia product liability and car accident lawyer Jeffrey Reiff and the experienced Pennsylvania defective airbag lawyers at Reiff & Bily have been researching and handling automotive and defective airbag cases for many years.
I am sure many of you have had the experience driving your car when all of a sudden you sense a drop-off of the roadway to a different level of the highway. This often occurs in areas where paving has been laid and material has also been added during construction or when a road shoulder has been washed away due to weather or worn down by traffic.
Since 1979 as an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney handling many road defect cases, we have all too frequently dealt with situations where an unevenly paved highway or street surface causes the driver of a car to lose control resulting in an accident avoidance or oversteer maneuver ultimately resulting in severe and catastrophic injuries or death.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, an estimated 11,000 people suffer injuries annually in crashes related to unsafe or uneven pavement edges. Highway or street drop-off crashes tend to result in more serious and catastrophic injuries than other car accidents. Studies have indicated that victims of highway drop-off crashes are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer fatalities primarily because the vehicle rolls over or crashes into another object, such as an oncoming vehicle, when the driver attempts to regain control of the vehicle.
As an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer who has represented many who have been catastrophically injured or wrongfully killed in car accidents, I am extraordinarily careful when driving particularly when roads are icy. Last Tuesday after an ice storm, the roads had approximately a 1/4 inch of ice making them visible on my way to work so I drove carefully, yet other drivers were not so careful and I witnessed many car accidents. Shortly thereafter later in the day, a lot of the ice melted on back roads and what appeared to be dry and safe roads had become sheet of non-visible ice known as “black ice.” Black ice provides one of the most dangerous conditions when driving as many times it is not obvious to drivers and when they go to stop at a stop sign, they often go through it or when they go to apply their brakes, their car goes out of control into another vehicle. When there is moisture in the air or melting snow and temperatures are low, one should always be on “black ice alert.” Pennsylvania law recognizes that one must drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions, and therefore, if you are involved in a car accident due to ice, rain, or hazardous or inclement weather making roads hazardous, the normal rules and speed limits may not apply.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Philadelphia car accident and would like to discuss your rights and hold those responsible accountable, please contact one of our experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com. We always offer a no recovery, zero fee guarantee.
As an experienced Philadelphia catastrophic injury and traumatic brain injury lawyer since 1979, I have tackled thousands of cases involving serious brain injuries rendering once high powered individuals and executives to an unrecognizable state as compared to their life prior to the accident.
Recently a book “Left Neglected” was authored by neuroscientist, Lisa Genova, which tackles the serious issues of traumatic brain injuries in an intriguing and realistically dramatic manner. Ms. Genova writes compellingly of the story of Sarah, a high powered executive and mother of three, who has a car accident and suffered a catastrophic brain injury. The brain injury is noted to be left neglect syndrome, a disability whereupon one does not recognize anything on the left side even their own hand or leg. While most individuals would find stories such as this gruesome and perhaps boring, this book is one that I would recommend to friends and clients of mine as it is almost impossible to put down as one follows the path of the first person narrator Sarah Nickerson, a 37-year old achieving multi-tasker type A personality with a Harvard MBA and a demanding job with a human relations consulting firm in Boston. The catastrophic car accident leaves Sarah with a traumatic brain injury and explores the struggles that she and her family must go through even when the insurance runs out. Prior to her car accident, Sarah had it all and could do it all - the gorgeous suburban house in the most sought after neighborhood, a vacation home in Vermont, three great children, and a devoted husband. Yet with one car accident, her world was turned upside down when the horrific crash resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
As an experienced Philadelphia car accident and brain injury lawyer who has handled many catastrophic brain injury and closed head traumas, I have worked with individuals and families who after an accident recognize that life will never be the same, forcing them to reexamine their priorities, relationships, and the necessities of life. As an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer, I am well aware that the extent of a brain injury depends on the areas of the brain that were damaged and persons with traumatic brain injuries exhibit memory loss, paralysis, sensory loss, diminished cognitive functions, and communication problems. Many times these injuries are permanent and many times the brain injury victims and their families may not recognize the extent of the injuries until weeks or months after the accident occurs.
Mid-January Ice Storm Leads To Dangerous Driving Conditions and Numerous Car Accidents in Philadelphia – You May Be a Target
The Philadelphia streets were as slippery as ski slopes on the morning of January 18, 2011, yet many drivers failed to acknowledge the dangerous conditions and were speeding down the highways with rockets of ice and snow flying off their non-cleared roofs and windows into the path of oncoming traffic. Icy roads present a threat to innocent individuals who are at the mercy of people who are driving too fast or carelessly under the conditions whereupon they cause catastrophic Philadelphia car accidents, wrongfully injuring and killing others. Although the Philadelphia weather service reported a 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation on the roadways, that did not deter many people from speeding and carelessly spinning out into other vehicles. I myself witnessed a crash this morning that was predictable as I saw another vehicle pass me on the right side at a high rate of speed before careening or sliding into another vehicle causing substantial property damage.
Pennsylvania has a subjective and arbitrary traffic rule that can punish drivers for “driving too fast for conditions” even though at the time they may not necessarily be exceeding the posted speed limit.
As an experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyer, I believe it is reasonable to expect that drivers should operate at slower speeds and more carefully under adverse and icy conditions. Last year in Pennsylvania there were over 8,000 accidents as a result of aggressive driving on snowy, slushy, or ice covered highways due to motorists tailgating, speeding, or making careless lane changes. As a matter of fact, last winter I was driving down the Atlantic City Expressway during snowy conditions when another vehicle cut me off. I lost control of my car and rolled down a ditch. The other vehicle sped away and I sustained thousands of dollars of damage to my vehicle but was lucky to have suffered no personal injury. It makes sense that getting frustrated and driving aggressively on snow or ice is not likely to save you time, but in fact, will cause problems. If you start to slide on ice, try not to panic and steer the wheel in the direction that you want the front end to go to straighten out the vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident due to aggressive winter driving or a snow missile flying off another vehicle, it is likely that the other vehicle is traveling too fast for the conditions and a proper cause of negligence and liability may exist. The experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers of Reiff & Bily always offer a free, no obligation consultation and a no recovery, zero fee guarantee. For more information contact us online at www.reiffandbily.com or toll free at 1-800-421-9595.
Government entities such as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation can be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of improperly maintained or designed roads. At the Philadelphia car accident law firm of Reiff & Bily, we represent people who have been injured and the families of those who have been catastrophically injured or killed on dangerous highways and streets throughout Pennsylvania.
It is very important to recover evidence and take photos before potholes are filled, trees are trimmed, or guardrails added, and it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car or truck accident caused by a dangerous street or highway. If a defective road or a dangerous highway condition contributed to your accident, contact Philadelphia car accident and defective road design lawyer Jeffrey Reiff today.
If you have been seriously injured in a Philadelphia car accident, it is important that you consult with a Philadelphia car accident attorney immediately. The law in Pennsylvania indicates that you may be entitled to monetary payment for your injuries, which is not limited to physical injury but may also include psychological injuries, frustration, humiliation, loss of life's pleasures and even a loss of affection and/or companionship of your spouse.
At the Philadelphia car accident law firm of Reiff & Bily, we have been leveling the playing field for car accident victims for almost thirty years. We are experienced and dedicated Philadelphia trial lawyers with a passion for protecting injured victims' rights and we collect the monies that victims are legally entitled to.
In today's tough economic climate, insurance companies are fighting harder than ever to hold on to what they consider to be their money. We find that the insurance companies are quick to take your money when they sell you a policy, but when it comes time to collect, they will find every excuse under the sun not to pay. At Reiff & Bily, we have experienced the attempted unethical behaviors of many insurance carriers and their adjusters and we know how to combat their attempts to intimidate victims who are entitled to a full monetary recovery. Our record of success and published results speaks for itself.
The Minimal or Non-Regulation of the Trailer Industry and Trailer Towing Requires a Complete Overhaul in Pennsylvania and Many Other States
Seemingly, the trailer industry continues to manufacture products and couplers that are devoid of federal regulation and the regulation of many states including Pennsylvania. I have noticed on my blog repeatedly that for every trailer that is manufactured under a 3,000 pound threshold there are no minimum regulatory safety or manufacturing requirements. In fact, anyone can build one, anyone can drive one and anyone can take one home in ten minutes with very little or no training.
There is a gentleman by the name of Ron Melacon who has been a consumer crusader for many years and I urge you to go to his website at www.dangeroustrailers.org for more information on this pressing issue.
As one drives down our streets and highways, we often see trailers swaying in a dangerous fashion and yet local, state, and federal governments have done very little to regulate or enforce rules regulating the thousands of trailers that are hitched to vehicles that travel on our roadways on any given day. Many of these trailers are built in an improper manner creating a situation of extreme danger for otherwise unsuspecting travelers on our roadways. In the past five years, more than 123,000 individuals have sustained injuries as a result of defective trailers and trailer hitches. Additionally, there have been in excess of 342,000 damage related claims as a result of trailers that have been jettisoned or unhitched due to defective coupling devices or as a result of defectively constructed trailers.
The Philadelphia defective trailer and defective product law firm of Reiff & Bily urges the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the other states of this great country to pay more heed to the extraordinarily dangerous trailer and trailer hitch designs and to require additional safety devices and controls to reinforce the attachment of trailers to vehicles.
The defective trailer design lawyers at the Pennsylvania defective trailer and catastrophic injury law firm of Reiff & Bily have extensive experience representing victims injured as a result of defective trailer and defective trailer coupling devices.
If you or a family member has suffered an injury resulting from the defective manufacture or coupling of a trailer to a vehicle, please contact the defective trailer lawyers at Reiff & Bily. Our aggressive legal team of investigators and experts will offer a free consultation and bring the wrongdoers to justice to achieve the best results for you and your family. Please call for a free, confidential consultation at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com for more information.
Icy Roads Contribute to Increase In Vehicle Rollover and Automobile Accidents - Winter Driving Safety Tips
The Philadelphia car accident and SUV rollover law firm of Reiff & Bily has received a number of calls from operators of SUVs that have rolled over or been involved in serious car accidents as a result of loss of control due to icy roads. Obviously, when roads are icy, the number of vehicle accidents is noticeably higher and normally there is a spike around the first snow fall or icing of the roadways. Afterwards, drivers seem to get used to conditions and adjust accordingly.
Many drivers of SUVs over confidently assume that their vehicles are safer for travel in snowy and icy conditions. However, due to their higher center of gravity, this is simply not the case. While many motorists think that SUVs or other four wheel drive vehicles are the ticket to safety while driving on snow or ice, it turns out that they slip and slide as much if not more than other vehicles. In fact, the operators of many four wheel drive vehicles may be operating their vehicles with a false sense of security and may be over confident on snow or ice which is a dangerous combination. On many snowy roads, there is often an icy undersurface and any breaking, swerving or accident avoidance maneuver can cause the SUV to lose its traction and roll over due to its high center of gravity. The key to staying safe on winter roads isn’t the type of vehicle you drive but using common sense and driving cautiously.
Experienced Bad Faith and Unfair Insurance Practices Lawyer Jeffrey Reiff has been combating insurance companies since 1979. The experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Reiff & Bily offer the following tips on how to best protect yourself from an insurance company that may not be willing to pay a claim when you need it most!
1. Read your policy carefully – you should know what is covered and how to appeal a denial by your insurance company.
2. Be very careful filling out forms – even if you make an honest mistake your insurance company may seize on that as a reason to retroactively deny your coverage.
3. Do not cash a premium refund check – if your insurance company rescinds your insurance, they may send you a refund for the premiums you paid. Cashing it may be interpreted as accepting their decision.
4. Put everything in writing – Calling your insurance company will most likely be a negative experience and you will not be able to prove anything that a company representative tells you over the phone. Always keep records of all bills and correspondence.
5. Contact your state insurance department – they may be able to help you but they will not represent you in a private matter. So if all else fails, you may need to consult with an experienced insurance claims lawyer.
6. Most importantly never ever ever give up – insurance companies count on you giving up. It is important that you fight for your rights.
They will deny, delay and refuse payments. The bottom line is insurance companies make money when they don't pay claims. Trust me, I know. I have been in the same boat as you and every day I fight insurance companies on behalf of policyholders that are getting screwed because of corporate greed and incompetence of insurance company representatives.
If you believe that your insurance company is wrongfully denying benefits that you are owed, please contact the experienced unfair insurance practices lawyers at the Pennsylvania personal injury law firm of Reiff & Bily.
Recently NHSTA opened an investigation into rental car companies and the frequency with which they repair rental vehicles that were subject to safety recalls. As the experienced vehicle product liability and vehicle defect lawyers of Reiff & Bily can attest to, many times cars rented from rental agencies have not been repaired due to the fact that rental companies do not wish to take these vehicles off the road sacrificing safety in order to maximize profitability.
In one of our cases, a 15-passenger van was rented from an agency and rolled over due to a known defect on the vehicle. NHSTA has recently asked the major automobile manufacturers to provide recall and repair information for models of vehicles that are popular among rental companies, including but not limited to the Chevy Malibu, Chrysler Sebring, and Ford Fusion. NHSTA, a governmental agency, is attempting to investigate how long it has taken rental companies to take their vehicles in for service once there is a recall. Consumer advocates and attorneys have known and claimed that rental companies do not immediately remove their vehicles out of service and wait until it is “convenient” to have the vehicles repaired. Of course the rental companies deny this and claimed that vehicles subject to recalls and put consumer safety at risk are put on hold until they are repaired.
As an experienced auto defect and product liability lawyer, we are all too familiar with circumstances where this is not the case. As chance favors the prepared mind, we believe that safety should not be an option and that rental agencies owe the highest duty of care to their customers and should be held accountable if the renter is injured in an accident due to their failing to repair a known defect.