Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – New Rules Aimed At Reducing Slip and Fall Accidents Could Leave Employers Liable

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New Rules Aimed At Reducing Slip and Fall Accidents Could Leave Employers Liable

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New rules finalized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which will go into effect on January 17th of the new year, require all employers to take stringent steps to prevent slip and fall accidents. While the construction industry has long been dealing with such requirements, these rules now essentially apply to all training, use, and maintenance of protective equipment in the workplace.

Fall hazards are reportedly the leading cause of worker deaths and injuries every year. In order to address this issue, OSHA designed the new rules to focus on establishing new requirements for working surfaces, floors, ladders, roofs, scaffolds, stairways, walkways, and related areas. OSHA estimates that they will impact more than 110 million workers employed at seven million worksites, preventing close to 6,000 injuries and 30 fatalities each year.

Changes & Employer Requirements

The new rules will require employers to select a fall protection program and comply with revised requirements for portable and fixed ladders. They also prohibit the use of body belts as part of the personal fall arrest systems. Fall protection options include safety nets, guardrails, positioning systems, travel restraints, handrails, and several other options.

Employers must also ensure that ladders are capable of supporting the “maximum intended load” at a minimum, where maximum intended load equals the total weight and force anticipated to be applied by the employee, equipment, and/or any other materials. All ladders must also be inspected before a work shift, and any portable ladders used must include slip-resistant rungs and steps.

Employers must also provide training to any workers who use personal fall protection equipment or otherwise work under circumstances that could cause them to slip and fall (for example, employees who work on a dock). Training must include the identification of fall hazards and the maintenance, inspection, and storage of any equipment used for fall protection.

How This Could Affect Personal Injury Lawsuits

While these standards were previously only applied to the construction agency, OSHA decided to expand their application to general industries in order to keep up with technological advancement and promote consistency in general.

It is also worth noting that workers’ compensation and personal injury litigation have already served an incentive for some—but not all—employers to implement safety protocols which already comply with these new rules. However, now that these provisions are officially federal requirements, any employers not complying with them are technically breaking the law, and that can affect any personal injury case brought by someone who slips and falls in connection with a violation; in other words, someone who is injured as the result of a slip and fall accident would arguably have an easier time arguing that their employer is liable for their injuries.

Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney

If you’ve suffered from a slip and fall injury, speaking with an experienced attorney can help you understand if your rights have been violated and you may be entitled to financial compensation. At Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A., our experienced Boca Raton slip and fall lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and develop your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resource:

mhlnews.com/facilities-management/new-osha-slip-fall-rules-impact-employers-all-industries

Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Allstate Pays Settlement Linked To Consumer Fraud

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Allstate Pays Settlement Linked To Consumer Fraud

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Both Allstate and the Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. settled with consumers and their attorneys recently for improperly advertising programs related to accident forgiveness. Specifically, the companies had to pay for investigative costs and civil penalties, contributing towards future investigations and prosecutions related to consumer fraud issues like these.

The insurance companies were found to have advertised “accident forgiveness” auto insurance programs, which promised that policyholders’ rates would not increase after their first accident. However, the companies failed to disclose that the program isn’t available in some states–such as California–as these programs have been outlawed by some ballot initiatives, which banned them due to the programs typically coming at the cost of higher premium rates in general.

Misleading Ads

In the case against Allstate, the complaint alleges that the ads convey the overall impression that consumers can qualify for accident forgiveness benefits even though, based on where they live, this is not necessarily the case. Although some of these television advertisements had a small disclaimer at the bottom of the screen, the consumers who brought the lawsuit alleged that this was insufficient to adequately alert viewers when the program was not available in their state. Under the judgement ordered, Allstate is paying $600,000 and Liberty Mutual close to $1,000,000 to settle the lawsuits.

State Consumer Protection Laws

This particular lawsuit was based on the law in California, which requires that all advertising clearly and conspicuously disclose any material facts necessary in order to avoid misleading viewers. Florida has a similar law, stating that no person, corporation, etc. shall disseminate an advertisement which contains any assertion, representation, or statement which is untrue, deceptive, or misleading.

Not only do states have false advertising laws, but also unfair competition laws. Florida has the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, which declares that unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful. When ads like these convey that consumers in the state will receive benefits as part of a company’s auto insurance policy when they cannot, that arguably constitutes consumer fraud which falls under these state protection laws.

Experienced Commercial Litigation & Consumer Protection Attorneys

In commercial litigation, consumer fraud is a frequent issue that comes up, and which our attorneys help consumers address. You are protected under federal and state commercial laws from illegal and unfair practices. You and your attorney can also work with the Florida Bureau of Insurance Fraud to investigate alleged acts (in addition to pursuing your claim).

Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. has a combined record of over 130 years of protecting consumers in Boca Raton and surrounding areas in Florida. Contact our team of experienced attorneys today for a free consultation, and let us help find you a solution for your case.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resources:

pe.com/articles/accident-819811-california-county.html

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0817/Sections/0817.06.html


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Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – When Child Trafficking Victims Are Charged As Adults

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When Child Trafficking Victims Are Charged As Adults

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On November 3rd, the Los Angeles Times highlighted an issue that many are unaware has become problematic today in how we treat juveniles as part of the criminal justice system; specifically, the fact that our system often prosecutes children under the age of 18 who sell themselves for sex as adults, while altogether failing to prosecute those who have trafficked them. Instead of treating them like criminal prostitutes, law enforcement should be treating them as trafficking victims and focus their energy on prosecuting those who are financially profiting from child abuse.

While many communities around the country are concerned about this issue, what few solutions have been offered—such as an enforcing an employment ban anyone who has ever been convicted of a human trafficking offense—by no means get to the heart of the problem. Time and time again, it has been shown that criminal reform depends upon helping those previously convicted of crimes reenter society and make a valuable contribution to it. This is why some counties—such as Los Angeles County—prohibit employers from even asking about previous convictions during the job application stage. In addition, this employment hurdle shows a clear bias against those convicted of some sex crimes but not others, as it is still permissible for other former inmates to earn gainful employment after leaving prison.

A History of Unproductive Discrimination

This approach is similar to what American society did concerning drug crimes a decade ago—making it difficult to impossible for former inmates to find employment after they left prison, leaving them with few options other than returning to a life of crime in order to support themselves. In doing so, they also disproportionately punished certain minority groups and individuals living in poverty. And although we as a society recognized that this did little good, we now appear to be doing the same thing to all of those involved in human trafficking and sex crimes, including the underage victims who have very little choice in the matter.

Unfortunately, Florida appears to be leading the nation in charging juveniles as adults; specifically, between 2009 and 2014, more than 12,000 children were moved from the juvenile to adult court system, and more than 50 percent of them were charged with nonviolent crimes. This is essentially due to Florida’s “direct file statute,” which allows prosecutors to exercise discretion in moving a case from juvenile to adult court without holding a hearing or even receiving input from a judge first.

The report also indicated that young African Americans are disproportionately affected by state law, and make up close to 30 percent of those who enter the juvenile justice system in the first place.

Our Boca Raton Sex Crimes Attorneys Can Help

If you are a juvenile or adult, and have been accused of a sex crime in Boca Raton, Florida, or surrounding areas, we can help. At Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, our attorneys have been providing justice to juveniles wrongfully prosecuted as adults and vilified for years. These crimes are serious, and can change the course of your life, making it difficult to impossible to find employment and reintegrate into society. Contact us today and we’ll provide you with a free consultation, where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss your options.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resources:

msnbc.com/msnbc/florida-charging-kids-adults

latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-county-ban-human-trafficking-20161102-story.html


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Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – New Documentary Highlights Wrongful Conviction Issues in United States

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New Documentary Highlights Wrongful Conviction Issues in United States

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A new documentary just released—Southwest of Salem: the Story of the San Antonio Four—documents the story of four wrongful convictions during a time of paranoia and homophobia in the United States twenty years ago. The documentary specifically focuses on the use of junk science in convicting these women so many years ago, when they were pulled away from their lives and families due to issues in our criminal justice system that are still very much around.

Although the story of this particular trial is riddled with nightmarish facts, unfortunately, wrongful convictions aren’t that unusual in our criminal justice system. According to a recent study, approximately 10,000 people are wrongfully convicted of serious crimes in the U.S. each year.

Exoneration and Compensation for Victims

Some states have gone so far as to pass laws that allow wrongfully convicted defendants to challenge their convictions when there is new scientific evidence, regardless of where their appeals process is.  Federal law also provides that there be compensation for the wrongfully convicted, and even Florida has a law allowing anyone who was wrongfully convicted to receive $50,000 for each year they were imprisoned (up to a maximum of $2 million), in addition to free college tuition. In Florida, for example, one man was awarded $1.7 million after spending 35 years in prison for a rape conviction that he was cleared of following DNA testing.

However, there is a clause which prevents the state from providing any compensation if the wrongfully convicted has prior felony convictions, and most people who are released from prison after a wrongful conviction have a very difficult time getting the compensation they are due from the state and getting back on their feet again.

Exonerees also have the option of filing a civil suit against the city, state, or authorities that were involved in their wrongful conviction. That may be an option the San Antonio Four pursue, as you must first be exonerated in order to be compensated by the state for being unjustly imprisoned, and yet for these four wrongfully convicted women, the district attorney’s office has not yet supported a finding that the woman are, in fact innocent; just that they are entitled to new trials.

Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you have been accused or convicted of a crime, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. provide a strong defense against criminal charges and work to get the best result possible, from a dismissal of charges or not guilty verdict to favorable plea bargains, probation and alternative sentencing options. Contacting one of our attorneys as soon as possible will help to preserve and protect your rights and position you for the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Boca Raton or a surrounding area, contact our office for immediate assistance.

Resources:

rollingstone.com/culture/features/southwest-of-salem-san-antonio-four-junk-forensic-science-w444481

researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm


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Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – A New Crisis in Distracted Driving & Auto Accidents

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A New Crisis in Distracted Driving & Auto Accidents

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After being on the decline over the last forty years, in 2015, highway fatalities due to auto accidentswere recorded at their largest annual percentage increase in over 50 years. And the numbers for 2016—thus far—are even worse: fatalities jumped more than 10 percent in the first six months alone.

What’s causing this crisis on the highways? According to insurance companies (who’ve been tracking the accidents), it’s the increased use of electronic devices while driving, a large part of that being phone apps. For example, Snapchat allows drivers to post photos recording how fast their car is going. Waze rewards drivers when they report traffic jams and hazards. The problem of distracted driving has moved past texting and calling on your cell phone while on the road and entered a new world of internet use in vehicles, minus the safety.

Florida Accident

The issue hits close to home: In late October, the Florida Highway Patrol investigated a crash that killed five people in Tampa. During the investigation, they found a phone that recorded a Snapchat video of the car traveling at 115 miles per hour before the accident happened.

Are Driverless Cars The Answer?

Some have proposed that the introduction of driverless cars is the answer, whereby you would eliminate the issue of people engaging in distracted driving altogether, but even driverless cars have their issues in terms of auto accidents. They may even provide a false sense of security that actually contributes to distracted driving.

What about Technologies to Reduce Distraction?

There are a variety of technologies designed to allow drivers and passengers to both be using their cell phone and supposedly concentrating on the road: hand-free software, do-not-disturb buttons, virtual assistants, etc. But critics note that these technologies may simply be encouraging people to use even more functions on their phone while driving instead of reducing distraction. In addition, just freeing your hands up doesn’t necessarily mean that your brain is focused on driving because it’s the “cognitive workload” that can cause a problem. Some have noted that, even if they need to touch their phone just for a brief moment, they completely forget what’s happening on the road in those few seconds.

Boca Raton Auto Accident & Injury Attorneys for Victims

With over 180 years of combined personal injury litigation experience, the Boca Raton auto accident attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. help victims of auto accidents get back on their feet. Our team of experienced attorneys work to ensure that you are awarded the full amount of compensation you need, including the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resource:

nytimes.com/2016/11/16/business/tech-distractions-blamed-for-rise-in-traffic-fatalities.html


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Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Is Marijuana Now Legal In Florida?

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Is Marijuana Now Legal In Florida?

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On November 8th, voters in Florida legalized medical marijuana by approving Amendment 2, meaning that anyone who has a prescription may legally purchase and use marijuana under some circumstances. However, it is important to note that the state of Florida will first need to create some rules concerning how the state will regulate the substance, and in addition, regardless of whether someone has obtained a prescription for medical marijuana, you can still be arrested for potentially driving under the influence of drugs if you drive after smoking marijuana.

According to state lawmakers, the process for creating and implementing these regulations won’t begin until March of 2017, at the earliest—two months after the amendment officially goes into effect. Specifically, the measure enables individuals with debilitating medical conditions—like cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, etc.—to legally obtain marijuana in order to help treat their conditions. The Florida Department of Health will oversee regulation and enforcement issues.

The Law in Florida

Florida already has a medical marijuana program in place allowing low-THC products (not to be smoked); however, this amendment aims to expand the existing program and make medical marijuana more available, in different forms, and in general, for additional medical purposes.

Regardless of the new amendment legalizing medical marijuana for more people and in stronger forms, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Florida. This is because state law defines “under the influence” as operating a vehicle while one is affected by drugs, alcohol, or a combination therefore such that their normal faculties are impaired. Having a prescription does not mean that you are allowed to drive while under the influence of whatever drug—including marijuana—you are affected by; it means that you will face the same penalties as anyone else driving under the influence, including:

  • First conviction: by a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and up to six months in prison;
  • Second conviction: by a fine of between $1,000 and $2,000 and no more than nine months in prison; as well as mandatory placement of an ignition interlock device for at least one year; and
  • Third conviction: prosecuted as a third degree felony if the violation takes place within 10 years of a prior conviction.

Contact a Boca Raton criminal defense attorney today to schedule a free consultation

If you or someone you know has been accused of a drug crime or arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you should retain qualified legal counsel as soon as possible. The penalties associated with these charges are not minor. You can lose your driver’s license, serve jail time, pay significant fines, permanently face employment discrimination, etc.

The experienced Florida criminal defense attorneys of Lavalle Brown & Ronan are dedicated to helping those accused of crimes receive the best legal defense out there. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office today at 888-646-1315 or contacting us online.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resource:

patch.com/florida/stpete/florida-s-medical-marijuana-amendment-what-happens-next

 


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Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Samsung Smartphones Still a Danger

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Samsung Smartphones Still a Danger

 

When you go to the cell phone store to pick out a new, shiny, and often costly smartphone, you likely ask questions about its speed and memory. However, you may not think to ask about the possibility of spontaneous combustion and personal injury. Unfortunately, more than a million owners of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 phones recently learned that they do have reason to fear, as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an official recall of the affected devices last month.

The recall was in response to numerous reports of dangerous malfunctions in the smartphones, including the following:

  • 92 total reports of overheating batteries that suddenly caused the phone to catch on fire;
  • 55 reports involving damage to property due to car fires and a garage fire;
  • 26 reports of users being burned by the device;
  • One report of the phone starting a house fire.

In response to these reports, Samsung took action to stop sales of this model and recalled millions of models that had been shipped for sale at retail stores. While these recalls do not involve every Galaxy Note 7 produced and sold, if you have this type of phone, you should immediately check whether the recall applies to you. If your phone has been recalled, Samsung will replace it with a reportedly safe phone at no cost.

Are The Replacement Phones Safe?

When you purchase a phone initially, you should expect it to be safe. If your phone is recalled and you have it replaced by the manufacturer, you should be able to be even more certain that the phone is safe. However, a recent story seems to indicate that the replacement models may still be defective. An entire plane had be evacuated because one passenger’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 began smoking onboard the plane. The more disturbing part of the story is that the smoking phone was a replacement issued by Samsung and “confirmed” to be safe. This goes to show that users of replacement phones should be careful to avoid injuries and fires, as well.

Companies have the legal responsibility to make products that are safe and to provide necessary warnings if a product comes with the risk of injury. If you are injured by a defective product, you have the right to hold the negligent manufacturer liable for your medical expenses and other losses. The situation becomes even more egregious if a company fails to issue a recall or issues replacement products that are still harmful. Anyone who has been injured by a Samsung phone or another type of defective product should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

All a Boca Raton Products Liability Attorney for Help

Products liability cases have specific legal issues that may arise and there are also unique challenges to taking on large corporations in these cases. At the Boca Raton law firm of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, we know how to handle this type of case and will fight your right to recovery. Call us at 888-646-1315 for a free consultation.

Resource:

cpsc.gov/Newsroom/Press-Statements/Press-Statement-from-the-US-Consumer-Product-Safety-Commission-Regarding-the-Samsung-Galaxy-Note7/

 


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Richard Bagdasarian Attorney – Common Truck Driver Errors

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Common Truck Driver Errors

While commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers are essential for our economy, these trucks present a significant risk of severe injuries if a truck accident occurs. While passenger vehicles generally weigh a few thousand pounds, large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can crush a smaller vehicle if they collide. Even with seat belts and airbags, motorists in cars or even SUVs often have little protection from a massive truck in a crash. If motorists survive, they are often left severely injured.

According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the leading cause of truck accidents is errors on the part of the truck driver. Driving a commercial truck requires a special driver’s license that drivers receive after extensive training and testing. If the driver wants to operate certain types of commercial vehicles–such as those carrying passengers or hazardous materials–they must receive additional training and licenses. Despite all of the training required for truck drivers, they are human like anyone else can can make serious mistakes that lead to accidents.

Some of the most common examples of truck driver negligence include the following:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Violations of hours of service regulations and fatigued driving;
  • Distracted driving, including texting, using a cell phone, reading, or watching videos;
  • Speeding;
  • Dangerous lane changes;
  • Following other vehicles too closely;
  • Driving too fast for weather or road conditions;
  • Not having the proper license or training to operate that particular commercial vehicle;
  • Not complying with FMCSA rules and regulations;
  • Failing to properly inspect a truck before each driving leg; and
  • Driving with a serious health problem that causes an adverse health event behind the wheel.

If a truck driver causes an accident due to negligence, injured victims can hold the driver and possibly their employer liable for their injuries and losses. However, a victim must first prove that negligence caused the accident. In most situations, a driver will not voluntarily admit wrongdoing, do proof must be accomplished through other types of evidence. Proving driver error is relatively straightforward in some cases and very complicated in others.

For example, if a driver was speeding, the truck’s data recorder can be used to demonstrate the speed at the time of the collision. Also, many trucking companies have installed cameras in trucks that can show whether or not a driver was texting or was engaging in any other type of dangerous behavior when they crashed. However, in other cases, there may be little concrete evidence of driver error. An accident reconstruction expert may be called in to analyze the scene of the accident, the damage to the vehicles, and more to give their professional opinion of what happened.

Call A Boca Raton Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you believe a truck driver caused your accident and injuries, call a Boca Raton truck accident attorney at the law office of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan as soon as possible. We have helped many truck accidents victims obtain significant compensation, so call for a free consultation at 888-646-1315 today.


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Used Cars Slipping Past Recalls, Leading To Deaths on the Road – Richard Bagdasarian Attorney

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Used Cars Slipping Past Recalls, Leading To Deaths on the Road

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On October 26th, the New York Times featured an article on how used cars are falling through the cracks when it comes to recall safeguards, placing many drivers in danger each year. Although consumers may believe that the Takata airbag disaster is over and done with, in fact, it claimed another life recently.

Cars that are sold in auctions and then from one person to another—or second, third, or fourth owners—have brought forth a category of drivers who face serious risks when it comes to deaths due to auto accidents in these vehicles. Although there are federal regulations mandating that certain protections be offered to buyers of new cars—as well as requiring that dealerships fix any safety recall issues—these same regulations unfortunately do not apply to used cars. This is a serious issue considering that, in 2015 alone, more than 38 million used cars were sold in the U.S.—twice as many as the number of new cars sold.

Unregulated Auctions

Auctions, in particular, are the least regulated means of selling cars, leading to high-risk vehicles ending up in the hands of vulnerable drivers every year. Many of the cars sold at auctions are there because dealerships are, themselves, uncomfortable directly selling these cars to consumers, and instead decide to sell them directly to dealerships that do not have such reservations.

In the death just last month, metal parts were propelled into the driver, who was driving a Honda, killing her, when the car’s airbag exploded upon impact. The car should not have been sold before the airbag was replaced at a Honda dealership or the defect was at least disclosed. Although Honda had supposedly sent out 20 recall notices since 2008 concerning these airbags, the car was resold at least three times since the initial recall, namely at auctions.

If you’ve purchased a Used Car

Recall information is available based on vehicle identification numbers in this government database. In addition, an auto safety hotline has been set up just to answer questions about recalled vehicles.

Although federal regulations on used cars are lacking, there are also sometimes state consumer protection laws that prohibit the sale of dangerous vehicles. Although in Florida there is no used car lemon law, you are covered by implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for the item’s particular purpose, and good title. Dealerships also cannot conceal material defects, as this can be considered as fraud, and automakers are required by law to put in effort to contact a car’s current owner to inform them of a recall.

Boca Raton Auto Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Boca Raton auto accident, contact our office for advice and representation from our auto accident attorneys. With over 180 years of combined personal injury/auto accident litigation experience, the Boca Raton auto accident attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. work to provide the best protection possible to our Florida clients.  Contact us today.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resource:

nytimes.com/2016/10/27/business/takata-airbag-victim-car-auction.html?mabReward=A1&recp=8&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0


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Why Timing Is Important In A Truck Accident Case – Richard Bagdasarian Attorney

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Why Timing Is Important In A Truck Accident Case

If you are injured in a car accident, the law in Florida allows you up to four years to file a claim for personal injury to recover for your medical bills and other related losses. While it is always advisable to discuss your rights with an attorney well before the four year time limit, timing is even more critical if you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck.

Trucking Reporting Requirements and Post-Accident Testing

Whether or not you report a truck accident to the authorities or to an insurance company, truck drivers are often required to report accidents in a certain period of time following the event. Both companies and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have these reporting requirements for various reasons, one of which is for necessary post-accident drug and alcohol testing of the truck driver. According to FMCSA regulations, such drug and alcohol testing must be performed “as soon as practicable” if any of the following are true of the accident:

  • The accident resulted in a fatality;
  • The driver was cited for violating a moving traffic law within a certain period of time following the accident (8 hours for alcohol testing and 32 hours for drug testing) and the accident either caused bodily injury or damage that disabled another vehicle.

Because of these reporting requirements, the ball often starts rolling quickly following a truck accident and you should communicate with law enforcement when they get involved regarding your side of the story.

Avoid Evidence Destruction Or Alterations

Following a truck accident, the trucking company and/or its insurance company will almost certainly begin investigating the cause of the accident and determining what evidence exists as soon as possible. These companies have many resources and can often be ready to start an investigation at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, many injured victims do not have similar resources until they seek help from an experienced truck accident law firm.

Because trucking companies and drivers often get a head start in identifying evidence of a truck accident, there is always a risk that some of the evidence will be destroyed, hidden, or altered to avoid liability. While many trucking companies are honest and will comply with the law when it comes to sharing evidence, there are some companies who will try to cover up the cause of an accident. The sooner your attorney starts investigating, the greater chance that evidence will not be tampered with.

Call a Boca Raton Truck Accident Attorney For a Free Consultation Today

Commercial truck accidents can cause devastating and life-changing injuries. Trucking companies will also work to avoid liability whenever possible, so you never want to delay in taking the necessary steps to pursue a legal claim. At the law office of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan in Boca Raton, our truck accident lawyers know how important it is to take swift action in this type of case. If you would like us to evaluate your situation for free, call us today at 888-646-1315.


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