Automotive Recalls: Are They Enough to Ensure Public Safety on the Roads?

James Mick Kessel, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Takata, the world’s fourth-ranked airbag manufacturing company, recently initiated a recall of a number of cars assembled with their products. Since the announcement was made, the number of recalled cars has steadily increased, and Takata has stated that more than 33 million cars worldwide could contain a defective airbag.[1] Even with the recall in place, history suggests that the majority of recalled cars will remain on the road in their defective state.[2]

The recall was ordered due to a defect that caused the airbags to shoot shrapnel into the driver and passenger area of the car when deployed. This shrapnel produced…

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Computer Cars: An Easy Target for Hackers

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Author: James Mick Kessel, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Modern cars are the beneficiaries of massive advancements in technology and improvements to manufacturing, but improvements can sometimes create new vulnerabilities. When we think of hackers, we generally think of computers and smart phones, but the electronics inside modern cars are no less complex and are significantly more vulnerable to manipulation.

Cars today rely on a series of mini-computers scattered throughout their frame that control everything from dashboard lights to steering and braking. Many newer models have more than fifty of these computers that constantly communicate and make adjustments, and a failure by…

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Insurance Companies Force Repairs with Cheap and Dangerous Parts

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Author: James Mick Kessel, Richmond, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Taking your car to the mechanic can be a draining and frustrating experience. Many of us have sunk money and time into labor and replacement parts, only to have that strange noise or blinking light show up again a few days later. Car repair is a difficult and imprecise science, but new evidence suggests that insurance companies may be making the situation worse. More than 500 automobile repair shops from 36 states have joined together in a lawsuit claiming that insurance companies have pressured them into making cheap repairs with underperforming, and in some cases dangerous, parts.[1]

The issue is rooted in “steering”, a practice…

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What Are the Texting and Driving Laws in Virginia? - VIDEO

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Personal injury attorney Jamie “Mick” Kessel explains the dangers of texting and driving and the laws enacted to reduce this risk.

 

In addition to texting, any distraction that could divert a driver’s attention away from the road is a dangerous activity. These distractions include:

Using a cell phone or smartphone Eating and drinking Talking to passengers Grooming Reading, including maps Using a navigation system Watching a video Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Under Virginia law, texting while driving is a primary offense for drivers of all ages. A violation carries a fine of $125.00 for a first offense and a fine of $250.00 for subsequent offenses. This law does not apply…

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The Dangers of Laundry Detergent Pods

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Laundry detergent pods may be a convenient method for washing your clothes, but they can also pose a significant risk to your children’s safety. With a steady increase in sales over the last few years, these small pods now comprise the majority of detergent sales across the country. New research, driven by this market trend, is revealing unforeseen dangers. The compact nature of these pods makes it easy for kids to find them, play with them, and injure themselves before their parents realize what is happening.

According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 17,000 children were injured by…

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Parents Can Contribute to the Distracted Driving Problem

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Short Pump, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Cell phone use has increased dramatically over the last decade. There is no doubt that cell phones have added a certain measure of convenience to daily life, but their use is not always appropriate. Increasingly, cell phones are being used behind the wheel, distracting drivers and causing accidents. Public outcry over news stories involving distracted drivers using cell phones prompted a number of states to take action and pass laws banning their use behind the wheel.

Almost every state has some sort of ban on cell phone use while driving and studies have shown that their enactment has been effective in reducing the number…

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GM Website is Defective

Author: James Mick Kessel – Short Pump & Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

The issues GM experienced with a number of its vehicles are well-documented, as is the fallout over how long the company took to recall the affected vehicles. As the months progressed and the recall grew to encompass millions of vehicles, GM began to to acknowledge that its initial response was lacking. As part of an effort to be more transparent about the recall and investigation process, GM developed a website to help consumers find out if the vehicles they owned were involved in the recall.

The premise behind the website www.gmignitionupdate.com/ sounds simple – entering the VIN of a GM vehicle would display whether…

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Suspected Child Sexual Abuse at Day Care

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Many parents trust day cares and other child care providers to keep their children safe and healthy, both physically and mentally. In order to foster that trust, the Virginia legislature has mandated that any employee of a child welfare agency who is involved in the “day-to-day operations of the center or who is or will be alone with, in control of, or supervising one or more of the children” must pass a background check[1]. Among other barriers to employment at a day care, a day care may not hire any applicant with a “founded complaint of child abuse or neglect within or outside” Virginia[2]. These standards have helped diminish the occurrence…

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Preventing Child Brain Injuries

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Personal Injury Lawyer, Richmond and Short Pump VA

There has been a lot of media attention recently linking concussions received by professional athletes to more serious brain-injuries. You might have used this information as a spring-board for discussing with your children the dangers associated with contact sports and the importance of safety equipment like helmets and pads. However, it is important to remember that it is possible for children to be injured, sometimes permanently, in a myriad of other ways. Thankfully, Heads Up to Parents, an organization focused on preventing child brain injuries, has developed a website, www.headsuptoparents.org, that provides parents…

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Children, Vehicles and Heat Strokes

Author: James Mick "Jamie" Kessel, Personal Injury Attorney, Richmond and Short Pump, VA

Summers in Virginia are known for two things: heat and humidity. This summer has already been an especially difficult one to bear, with daily temperatures averaging in the 90’s and very little rain. Aside from remembering to stay hydrated throughout the day, it is important to remember that the slightest mistake in this kind of heat can result in life-threatening consequences and even death.

The Georgia father of 22-month old Cooper Harris is currently paying the consequences for such a mistake. While a criminal investigation is ongoing, what he has claimed is that he forgot to drop Cooper off at day care,…

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