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Pittsburgh Injury Law Blog

How to determine if your car's been recalled

It feels like there have been so many car recalls as of late that for some people they may all have blended together. This could lead to confusion and leave some car owners wondering whether or not their vehicle was affected. The good news is there is a fairly easy way to find out.

Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rolled out a Web page that contains information from the last 15 years regarding vehicle recalls. The database is searchable using the Vehicle Identification Number which is found not only on the driver’s side door post but on the driver’s side dashboard as well. That information can be inputted at www.safercar.gov/vinlookup.

Social Security Disability Benefits and the Media

Recent media coverage has painted the Social Security disability program as being biased toward approving individuals who are not disabled. Given the standard approval rate for applicants is around 40%, the claim the media is making is evidently false.

The Social Security disability program is designed for individuals who are no longer able to work due to their disabilities. There are two types of benefits within the program: SSD and SSI. SSD is a type of coverage that workers pay into to protect them for a time when they might not be able to work because of a disabling condition. SSI benefits are designed for individuals who may or may not have worked enough to pay into the program, but are now low income due to their inability to work.  To learn more about SSI, you can visit our previous blog post here.

When injured in drunk driving accident lawsuit may be appropriate

When people venture out, whether it is on foot, bicycle, motorcycle or automobile, many people undertake those activities in a safe manner. Unfortunately, some drivers do not take those same precautions and engage in negligent behaviors. One of those behaviors is drunk driving.

Under some circumstances drunk driving can lead to accidents that inflict serious injuries and maybe even death upon innocent individuals who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dealing with either of these situations can be devastating for the injured person and the loved ones of someone who is killed. While the devastation can make it difficult to know where to turn, a personal injury lawsuit may be an option.

Teen's Smart Phone Catches on Fire Under her Pillow

Smart phones are present in many families' households, and with the fall release of many new smart phones, they will me more prevalent than ever. Smart phones are generally more expensive than an average cell phone, so to cut costs, people may purchase low-cost accessories for these phones that are not manufactured by the smart phone's company. Some phone companies forewarn consumers that these accessories are not meant to be used on their smart phone. If used, these accessories have the potential to cause serious issues for the smart phone and its owner.

This was the case for a 13-year-old girl whose Samsung Galaxy S4 burned under her pillow. The girl slipped her smart phone under her pillow before falling asleep. She said she could smell something burning; that burning was her smart phone that had caught on fire. The phone burned through her sheets and pillow and then had to be extinguished. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Direction of child car seat matters when it comes to safety

In an article we previously wrote for our website we discussed the importance of using car seats for children. More specifically, we focused on why parents and caregivers need to make sure that they are using the car seats correctly. As we mentioned in that article, approximately 75 percent of the time the car seats being used with children are not being used correctly. This failure could result in serious injuries to those children should the car in which they are riding be involved in an accident.

Death Toll Rises in General Motors Recall Suit

Earlier this year, General Motors (GM) originally reported thirteen deaths due to the defective ignition switch in certain GM vehicles; however, that number has increased to 19 and is expected to grow. GM recalled more than 2 million cars in February because of faulty ignition switches followed by a 3 million vehicle recall in June to prevent the same issue. The defective ignition switches would shut off the vehicles engine and disable the air bags and certain safety features.

GM has organized a compensation program for individuals and their families who have suffered from a serious injury or death due to the defective switches in their vehicles. GM has appointed an attorney to handle the program and they waived their right to disagree with the attorney's conclusions. Currently, there is no cap on the compensation program. The deadline to submit a claim is December 31, 2014.

2 injured, 1 killed after tires fell off truck

When many readers think of motor vehicle accidents involving trucks they likely assume a collision between a truck and another type of vehicle is to blame. This is not always the case. It is possible that objects could become dislodged from the much larger vehicle either forcing other vehicles into each other in an effort to avoid the objects, or in the alternative, actually striking other vehicles.

The latter scenario recently played out the in the Pittsburgh area. A 53-year-old man died in the incident which took place on Interstate 79.

New Changes to Allegheny County's 911 Call Centers

Beginning this month, all Allegheny County 911 calls regardless of township, will be directed to one call center. This will make for faster call times and more efficiency for 911 call takers and responders.

The 911 services for the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are located in the same center; however, calls from the city of Pittsburgh are taken care of by one call-taking pod while the rest of the county's calls are handled by another pod. The city of Pittsburgh accounts for 40% of all calls. With the new consolidation, the incoming call will now go to the next call-taker regardless of which area the call came in from. The callers will not notice a difference on their end and will not have to take any additional steps when calling.

Pittsburgh could benefit from federal pedestrian bike initiative

Walking and biking are popular activities in the Pittsburgh area. Unfortunately, accidents involving those individuals and vehicles do occur. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2013, crashes related to bicyclists accounted for 1.1 percent of accidents reported in the state.  The percentage was higher where pedestrian-related crashes were concerned--3.5 percent. While information regarding the injuries suffered in these accidents is unclear, it is known that during the course of that year, 13 pedestrians died in accidents that occurred in Allegheny County.

Millions of Vehicles Recalled Due to Defective Air Bags

In June, millions of vehicles were recalled due to possible defective air bags. BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota were among the major automobile makers to recall their vehicles. The vehicles had to be recalled due to air bags that could potentially explode. The defective air bags were produced by a Tokyo based manufacturer called Takata.

Takata is a manufacturer that many automobile makers turn to in order to reduce the cost of parts; however, this presents the risk for potential recalls. So far, there have been 10 million vehicle recalls since 2009. The latest of the recalls include 2.9 million vehicles. In a previous blog post, we spoke about the latest recalls General Motors has issued this year. For more information on those recalls, visit our blog here.

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