U.S. Traffic Deaths Exceed 40,000 for the Third Year in a Row

For the third year in a row, there have been more than 40,000 traffic deaths throughout the United States. Although this number is startlingly high, there has been a slight downward trend over the past two years.

In 2017, the traffic death toll of 40,231 decreased by slightly less than 1% compared to 2016’s count of 40,327. The National Safety Council reports that 2018 is down another 1% with an estimated 40,000 traffic fatalities.

Annual Motor Vehicle Fatality Estimates - NSC

Read More

Increasing Popularity of E-Scooters Leads to More Accidents

Angel Reyes III Personal Injury, Rental Scooter

Increasing Popularity of E-Scooters Leads to More Accidents - Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm

Whether you’re driving or walking through the city, you are sure to pass by a row of Bird or Lime Scooters parked on the sidewalk. While they offer convenience to the everyday commuter, they are also responsible for an increase in rider and pedestrian accidents across the country. The Journal of the American Medical Association has released their study on e-scooters in the Southern California area, and their findings are shocking.

Read More

The Fyre Festival Fiasco

Angel Reyes III In The News, Personal Injury

fyre festival fiasco - Reyes Browne Reilley

Flying to the Bahamas for what was advertised as an “experience of a lifetime” quickly became a disastrous and potentially dangerous situation — one that would be known as one of the greatest scams of the decade. The biggest takeaway from this PR nightmare? Things are not always as they seem.

Read More

Self-Driving Uber Kills Pedestrian in Arizona

Angel Reyes III Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Uber-Kills-SAN FRANCISCO — A woman in Tempe, Ariz., has died after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber, in what appears to be the first known death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle on a public road.

The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel when it struck the woman, who was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, the Tempe police said in a statement.

The incident happened on Sunday around 10 p.m.

Uber said it had suspended testing of its self-driving cars in Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The woman, whom Bloomberg has identified as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, was transferred to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.

Video of the scene from ABC15 shows a self-driving Uber SUV with a damaged hood and right front fender. A bicycle with a bent rim lies on the sidewalk nearby.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it will send a team to investigate the incident.

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” Uber said in a statement released on Twitter. “We’re fully cooperating with @TempePolice and local authorities as they investigate this incident.”

The fatal crash will most likely raise questions about regulations for self-driving cars. Testing of self-driving cars is already underway for vehicles that have a human driver ready to take over if something goes wrong, but states are starting to allow companies to test cars without a person in the driver’s seat. This month, California said that, in April, it would start allowing companies to test autonomous vehicles without anyone behind the wheel.

An Uber self-driving car was involved in another crash a year ago in Tempe. In that collision, one of Uber’s Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicles was hit when the driver of another car failed to yield, causing the Uber vehicle to roll over onto its side. The car was in self-driving mode with a safety driver behind the wheel, but police said the autonomous vehicle had not been at fault.

For those who use ride-sharing companies like Uber, it is important to know what to do if you are ever in an accident, understand who is at fault in the event of a ride-sharing crash, and how to receive payment for any injuries or other losses you sustain.

Who Is Liable – Scooter Companies or Rental Riders?

Electric Scooter Accident - Dallas, TX - Reyes Browne Reilley

Several weeks after the e-scooters made their debut in Dallas, Uptown resident Kelley Mitchum underestimated the speed at which she was traveling and ended up in a severe crash. Upon turning a corner too quickly, she was launched headfirst into McKinney Avenue’s trolley tracks. The $1.38 rental resulted in a hefty emergency room bill, treating her two black eyes, scraped arms and knees, and a laceration in her forehead which required stitches.

Read More

Holding Schools Accountable for Student Accidents

Teacher comforting a child after she has fallen and hurt her knee.

For most counties in Texas, students went back to school in August. Teachers, parents, and kids of all ages likely geared up for the summer to fall transition for weeks.

Returning to school not only means getting back in the classroom, but also the return to playgrounds, gymnasiums, forms of travel, and sports. While recess and extracurricular activities are often referred to as the “fun” part of school for many, they are also the setting for the potential of numerous accidents and injuries.

According to research conducted by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign (NSKC), an estimated 2.2 million children ages 14 and younger sustain school related injuries each year.

Many of these unintentional injuries are often caused by negligence, such as lack of adequate teacher supervision or poorly maintained facilities. In fact, lack of supervision is associated with 40 percent of playground injuries.

Among elementary school students, playgrounds are associated with the majority of injuries, and for secondary school students, athletics — including both physical education classes and organized sports — account for most injuries.

School bus-related accidents, often involving child pedestrians, also account for many injuries.

Common causes of these accidents and injuries include:

  • Failure to regularly maintain school equipment and facilities
  • Failure to properly train school staff to supervise children and administer emergency first aid and CPR when necessary
  • Asphalt, concrete, grass, and soil surfaces under playground equipment, as opposed to loose-fill materials such as shredded rubber, mulch, and fine sand
  • Failure to ensure children play on age-appropriate playground equipment
  • Failure to use appropriate safety equipment for sports activities
  • Failure to group children according to skill level, size, and physical maturity, especially for contact sports
  • A school bus driver’s failure to see children attempting to enter or exit the bus
  • Other drivers’ failure to obey school bus stop signs

Too often, parents and teachers blame children’s injuries on children’s behavior rather than their surroundings; however, budget cuts and overcrowding in Texas schools may not only diminish the quality of education received by students, but also may affect the safety and integrity of the environment in which they learn and interact.

By holding schools accountable for student accidents, concerned parents can help ensure schools take proper measures to protect children from injuries in the future.

7 Unlikely Consumer Products That Have Caused Injury or Death

Angel Reyes III Defects, Personal Injury, Products

Dishwasher-on-fire-300x200Manufacturers create and market hundreds of dangerous consumer products every year in the United States. In fact, each year manufacturers or the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls 400 and 450 products. Here are seven unlikely consumer products that may cause injury or death of which you should be aware.

1. Drop Side Cribs

In 2011, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned drop side cribs, but many of them are still being sold at garage sales or through individual sellers. Because the moveable side is droppable, the drop may result in suffocation of a baby. In fact, the cribs were associated with approximately 32 deaths since the year 2000, according to a 2012 article on ConsumerReports.org.

2. Maytag Dishwashers

While it sounds unlikely that a dishwasher could cause any significant harm, Maytag recalled 1.7 million of its dishwashers in 2010. The machines may contain faulty wiring, responsible for causing multiple fires.

Other brands also fell under the recall.

  • Amana
  • Jenn-Air
  • Admiral
  • Magic Chef
  • Performa by Maytag
  • Crosley

3. Dehumidifiers

Another product linked to causing fires is dehumidifiers. LG dehumidifiers were subject to a recall in 2009 following 11 incidents; then LG received 16 additional reports of house fires related to the dehumidifiers. There were no injuries, but significant property damage exceeding $1 million.

4. Bathrobes

Most bathrobes aren’t dangerous, but in the fall of 2009, the company Blair LLC recalled an additional 138,000 robes after 162,000 were already subject to a recall from the spring. The recall was because of the robes’ risk of flammability; nine people wearing the robes died as a result of catching fire, according to the October 2009 recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

5. Freezer Gel Pack

Anyone who frequently packs to-go lunches is probably familiar with the bright blue freezer gel pack. While the packs can be great at keeping items cold, they can also be dangerous. Some of the packs contain diethylene glycol, which can be poisonous if ingested. If the freezer pack tears and starts to leak, both children and adults may be at risk of poisoning.

6. Minivans

Many families chose a minivan as their vehicle of choice. In 2014, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave poor safety ratings in the small overlap front crash test to these models.

  • Nissan Quest
  • Chrysler Town & Country
  • Dodge Grand Caravan

7. Easy Bake Ovens

Most parents are familiar with the popular childhood toy, Easy Bake Ovens. The ovens allow little ones to test their skills in the kitchen, resulting in big smiles and yummy treats. However, at least 77 children have suffered burn injuries from certain models of the ovens, reports DailyFinance.com. There was a recall for the ovens in 2007.

Contact a Product Liability Attorney Today

If injured by a dangerous consumer product, you may be able to recover damages by filing a product liability lawsuit. The attorneys at Reyes, Browne & Reilley can help you get started today. Contact us now for legal help at 214-526-7900.