Upcoming Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication Technology

The US Department of Transportation is collaborating with automakers to develop a wireless method for vehicles to communicate with one another on the street. This technology would constantly deliver information about road, traffic, and safety conditions to other vehicles and to infrastructure implements in order to improve safety, mobility, and the environment.

V2V communication would allow real-time alerts to everyday driving dangers, such as sudden braking ahead or vehicles in blind spots, as well as changing traffic lights or roadwork zones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that these alerts could mitigate up to 80% of the daily accidents that occur between capable drivers, from minor fender benders to certain 18-wheeler accident situations. V2V communication would also control heavy traffic and cut down the collective time wasted in it by keeping drivers notified of upcoming traffic situations and their alternative routes or methods of transportation. Finally, US DoT hopes that the input will lead to more efficient driving that will put out less pollution.

Trial runs of the V2V were completed in 2011 and early 2012, with 9 out of 10 participants stating that they approve of the technology and personally find it useful and desirable. NHTSA is currently reviewing pilot data and will decide this year what the next step with V2V communication should be.

Workplace Safety Violations at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart, Inc. was recently fined by the US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for several workplace safety violations at the Great Falls, MT location. These violations included improper machine safeguarding that increased the risk of amputations while using a bread slicer, and neglecting to provide acceptable eye-flushing or body-cleansing stations in the case of chemical accidents. The latter violation was cited as a repeat offense at multiple store locations within the last five years. OSHA has proposed a total of $50,000 in fines, to which

Wal-Mart has fifteen business days to respond by paying the fines or contesting OSHA’s findings.
By failing to honor the necessary safety regulations, Wal-Mart has opened itself up to further expenses through employee lawsuits. If any of Wal-Mart’s employees had been incapacitated or severely injured on the job by unsafe equipment or due to lack of proper safety facilities, they would be deserving of workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses and any lasting trauma or disability.

Wal-Mart’s dangerous workplaces have even begun to inspire revolt among its workers. Factions of employees in California, Florida, and Massachusetts are on strike until June 7 with several major complaints, including the company’s health and safety violations.


Who Gets Wrongful Death Proceeds in New Jersey?

When someone dies as a result of a third person’s wrongful act, through malice or negligence, it is considered a wrongful death and may be liable for civil as well as criminal action. In general, immediate family can legitimately make a wrongful death claim, but who makes a claim will not necessarily be the one who will primarily benefit.

New Jersey wrongful death and intestacy statute

Provided that there is sufficient evidence that wrongful death is in fact what occurred, New Jersey law allows the spouse, children, parents, and siblings to bring a wrongful death claim before civil court. When the case prospers and damages are assessed, the next question is who will receive and how much.

Under New Jersey Statues – Title 3B Administration of Estates, the proceeds of a wrongful death claim will follow the intestate law in determining who will inherit and what proportion they are entitled to. In cases when an unmarried child dies, the proceeds are divided between the child’s parents, or if there are no parents the siblings or nearest generation of siblings’ children. When the deceased had a spouse but no children and no parents, the spouse gets it all.

It gets a little complicated when there are children, when the children are not all totally biologically sibling, when there are parents extant, when there is a spouse, children and parents, and so on. In all cases, the spouse gets the first $50,000 and then a percentage of the remaining amount depending on the nature of other beneficiaries. Children and parents benefit equally.

There can be no real recompense for a wrongful death; yet the clear-cut terms of the law circumvents the problem of deciding who will benefit from awarded damages and to what degree. If you ever need to sue for wrongful death in New Jersey, at least there won’t be any guesswork in that area. But in order to get to that point, you first need to win your claim. Find a wrongful death lawyer in your area who is conversant with New Jersey laws.

SUV Rollover Accident Prevention

You may have seen it countless times in the movies: an exciting car chase ends in a spectacular rollover which completely trashes the vehicle but lets the hero passenger emerge unscathed and ready to do battle. That is unfortunately complete fiction; in 2010, rollovers accounted for the deaths of more than one-third of passenger vehicle crash fatalities, or more than 7,500 people. Design defects of vehicles such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are among the leading causes of rollover incidents, mostly because the center of gravity is high and the axle is narrow. Because of this, SUV owners need to be proactive in preventing rollover accidents. They can do that by following a few simple safety rules.

Know how to handle an SUV

Some passenger vehicles are easier to drive than others. While SUVs are generally easy to handle, it takes some skill to drive one that is fully loaded. Vehicles with high centers of gravity tend to roll over more easily when they are top-heavy and/or fully loaded. An experienced driver will know how to compensate for both unloaded and loaded vehicles.

Avoid speeding

Most SUV rollover accidents occur because the driver was going too fast around a corner or to react safely to a road defect or blockage, especially on rural roads. Many rollovers occur when the driver overcompensates while trying to avoid an obstacle. Maintaining a reasonable speed even on empty roads will reduce the risk of being part of the 40% who die in rollovers due to over speeding. Being a safe driver also has its financial perks. Safe drivers save on gasoline costs sometimes and often are given insurance benefits as well. If not, they at least aren’t being penalized for being unsafe, which, according the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, is a very real possibility.

Check you tire pressure and condition

It is an interesting fact that more than half of 15-passenger vans have one tire which is considerably underinflated. This can lead to a loss of control in an emergency, which can trigger a rollover. A blowout due to poor maintained tires can also lead to a rollover.

Of course, the simplest way to minimize an SUV rollover accident is not to buy an SUV. If you follow safety rules, however, there is no reason why you should end up in a ditch somewhere wrong side up. But if you are involved in a single vehicle rollover accident because something failed in the car, then you could be able to sue for personal injury.

Prevention of TBI Seizures

The possibility of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a serious accident is high, especially for motorcycle drivers. One of the possible consequences of TBI is seizures, referred to as Post Traumatic Seizures (PTS). If TBI is apparent or suspected, emergency medical professionals often prescribe anticonvulsant drugs to prevent PTS.

Consequences of PTS

The reason for the concern over PTS is that the risk for permanent brain damage is higher when PTS occurs within a short period of time after trauma. PTS can cause the flow of oxygen to the brain to be cut off, or hypoxia. It can also put pressure of the brain, cause the release of too much excitatory neurotransmitters, or lead to the development of post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). The prevention of PTS is therefore a crucial part of emergency medical treatment when there is TBI. Research suggests that the administration of anticonvulsant medication is most effective in PTS prevention if done within a day of the traumatic incident.

Determining the risk of PTS

Not all TBI are apparent; there may be no injury visible that would normally indicate TBI. Patient behavior and reactions are observed to determine if there is TBI; loss of consciousness is one of the red flags, but there is also disorientation, aphasia (loss of communication abilities), headaches, double vision, ringing in the ears, and so on. A CT scan or MRI may be performed to determine if TBI has indeed been sustained.

Failure to detect TBI

It is possible when there is no apparent TBI that it will be overlooked by first responders, and failure to administer anticonvulsant medication may lead to PTS. When this happens, it may be considered a breach of the duty of care to the patient. If you suffer from TBI and failed to receive the proper treatment, you may be able to recover compensation for consequent medical expenses and loss of income, as well as for any temporary or permanent disability that may ensue. Consult with a seizures attorney as soon as possible to have your case assessed.

Blood Transfusion Alternatives

Blood transfusions can save lives in situations of trauma and surgery. They can also be used to manage symptoms of cancer, anemia, and sickle cell disease. However, not all blood types can be consistently kept in supply; the American Red Cross estimates, “every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.” There is also always a risk of hospital staffs committing the medical mistake of giving a transfusion of the wrong blood type, which can trigger a fatal immune system reaction. Experimental blood substitutes have been produced that replicate the oxygen-carrying duties of red blood cells, but none are considered holistic or reliable replacements for blood.

Therefore, in order to conserve stores of human blood, several transfusion alternatives have been developed to fill different, specific roles.

Volume expanders are solutions that can be added to the bloodstream in order to facilitate circulation after severe body fluid loss, but do not replenish red blood cells.

Naturally occurring growth factors can be scientifically synthesized in order to promote blood cell or platelet production. However, results arise much more slowly, and growth factors are not recommended for cancer treatments as they may cause the boost cancer cell growth as well.

Surgery patients can either give their own blood a few weeks ahead of time, to be transfused back into their bodies during operation, or lost blood can be salvaged, filtered, and pumped back in. This cuts down on risks of blood poisoning and is a great alternative in planned situations with low-volume needs for blood.

Chrysler Refusal to Recall SUVs

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has requested a recall by Chrysler on Jeep Grand Cherokees, 1993-2004, and Jeep Libertys, 2002-2007, based on claims that the design of their gas tanks is not only poor, but dangerous. The positioning and insufficient protection creates a greater risk of tank rupturing and gasoline spillage in the case of a rear-end collision or a rollover accident. The NHTSA is concerned that the gasoline could then ignite and exacerbate the effects of a crash, though they do not currently have significant evidence that the recorded crashes of these vehicles result in fires more often than others.

However, Chrysler is denying the NHTSA’s findings and refusing the subsequent request to recall the vehicles. The company maintains that their SUVs are equally as safe as competitor products and that there is no need for a recall; though they are open to negotiations with NHTSA in order to settle the issue.

Chrysler has already recalled 470,000 vehicles this year for defective circuit boards that occasionally triggered involuntary gear shifts. However, the recall they have refused concerns 2.7 million SUVs, creating a much greater population of drivers who are possibly at risk. This increased perceived risk can have an effect on the rate at which these Chryslers are insured. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, cars that are more dangerous to drive might be more costly to insure.

Chrysler’s statement is surprising, as it has been nearly twenty years since the last time a recall was refused – also by Chrysler. However, with that case, Chrysler took it to federal court and won. It is unclear whether or not today’s case will follow a similar pattern.

How to Prevent a Pedestrian Accident

When a pedestrian accident happens, no matter whose fault it is, the pedestrian always comes off worse. Pedestrians are so vulnerable that even being clipped by a person on a bicycle can lead to injury. Drivers and pedestrians alike need to observe safety rules when they are out on the street, but it would be common sense for pedestrians to take them much more seriously as they are the ones risking life and limb when they don’t. Pedestrians are found to be at fault 43% of the time in car-pedestrian accidents.

Be alert and look both ways

Pedestrians take a lot of things for granted, such as a motorist will stop for them when they cross the street, or that a crosswalk is always a safe place to cross. Motorists do usually stop for pedestrians, but not always, and certainly when they are distracted. A crosswalk does not have an invisible force field to automatically protect pedestrians. The best thing to do when crossing the street is to look both ways, be wary of reckless drivers, and to give way to oncoming traffic when crossing where there is no walk signal or crosswalk.

Walk towards traffic

One type of pedestrian accident is being sideswiped while walking where there is no sidewalk, such as the highway. To prevent this, pedestrians should walk on the side facing traffic, so that any potential danger can be anticipated. A pedestrian walking with his or her back to traffic will not be able to see what is going on and will have no time to react.

Take a bus

Some pedestrians meet with accidents because they have been drinking. They are more likely to cross the street inadvisably, walk in the middle of the street, or fail to react in time to a potentially dangerous situation. It would be better to wait for sobriety, take public transportation, or have someone sober as an escort.

Wear bright clothing at night

It is harder for drivers to see pedestrians at night, so avoid it when possible. If it is necessary, wear bright clothing and be extra alert for trouble. When walking with children, make sure they are on the side away from the road, day or night.

There is a lot of attention brought to the behavior of drivers, but when it comes to pedestrian accident both sides need to do their part to avoid it. If you are involved in a pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, the consequences can be devastating in many ways, including financial. Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer to see if your case is eligible for compensation.

Misdiagnosis of Heart Attacks in Women

We know that heart disease is the leading killer of women in the United States. However, the misdiagnosis and consequent mistreatment of heart attacks in women, which are caused by the most common form of heart disease (coronary artery disease), is still a major contributor to this statistic.

This kind of medical mistake occurs because women tend to have “irregular” or “atypical” symptoms during a heart attack that look nothing like the popular image of the hand-to-chest, “Hollywood heart attack” that is more characteristic to men. Instead, women exhibit pain more commonly in the back or jaw, as well as nausea, fatigue, or anxiety, appearing overall more like a panic attack.

As a result, even women who are aware of the prevalence of heart disease may not realize they require immediate medical attention until their hearts have already been seriously damaged. Furthermore, if a woman makes it to the hospital in time, there is still a chance that a doctor will misdiagnose her condition and send the woman away, which halves her chance of survival.

Women of all ages should arm themselves with correct knowledge of symptoms and call for emergency help as soon as they suspect the onset of a heart attack, especially if heart disease runs in the family.

Entering into Dangerous Property

There’s been no dearth of information about the dangers of asbestos and lead in the home, but mercury poisoning has not had that extensive a press release. Yet mercury is still being used today in interior latex paint as a fungicide and bactericide, and it could lead to health problems.

The health hazards of mercury in paint came up as early as 1989 when reports on elemental, or metallic, mercury exposure at toxic levels in the US came to the attention of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Most occurred in private homes and schools, which is hardly the normal definition of dangerous property. These incidents prompted the eventual regulation of mercury in consumer products, and its elimination from oil-based paint.

Signs of Mercury Poisoning

Mercury can be absorbed through the air, on the skin or ingested. Mercury will always be toxic past a certain level, even methylmercury which we eat along with the clams and fish we enjoy with some white wine at dinner. Methylmercury is believed to hinder the neurological development of the very young and the unborn.
Elemental mercury becomes harmful when it is absorbed through inhalation, such as when it is spilled in liquid form or mixes in the air as a fine powder. The symptoms include unexplained tremors, mood swings, inability to sleep, headaches, numbness, muscle weakness, impaired cognitive function and irritability. When the exposure is high enough, it can lead to kidney and respiratory failure, and eventual death.

Dangerous Property

Because mercury poisoning is a possibility even in our own homes, property owners need to ensure that they are not exposing people inadvertently to it, especially children. If you or your children have been exposed to toxic levels of mercury at your place of work, school or other establishments, you may have to report it as dangerous property. If serious injury has resulted from the exposure, consult with an experienced premises liability lawyer to find out if you could and should file a personal injury case against the property owner.


Slippery Floor