Archive for the ‘auto accidents’ Category

Robots Behind the Wheel

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Nikola Tesla made the prediction in the quote above in the last century. Perhaps now it might be more accurate replace slave labor with manual labor, but the point remains the same.

Well, it’s the twenty-first century, but we’re not quite to the point where robot’s labor is doing most of the work. But we seem to be on the way. And the company named after Tesla, Tesla Motors, is a pioneer in replacing labor in part of that. But with every pioneering venture, some things are venturing into parts unknown.

A big unknown is who is going to be responsible when the robot behind the wheel screws up and kills someone? It’s already happened – more than once. In March a Tesla on “Autopilot” failed to stop and crashed into a firetruck stopped on a highway, killing the “driver” of the car.

Tesla claims their Autopilot feature is a driver assistant tool, not a driver replacement. The human driver needs to be ready to take over if needed. According to the vehicles records, the human was warned at several times to pay more attention to what the vehicle was doing and to put human hands back on the steering wheel.

So who will be responsible? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administation (NHTSA) investigated a Tesla autopilot fatality from last year and found that the Tesla’s system was operating as intended. Furthermore, it noted that cars with the “Autopilot” feature were involved in crashes 40% less than average. On the other hand, the National Transportation Safety Board said that Tesla should bear part of the blame for putting out a system that was so easy to misuse.

So who is responsible for a robot’s behavior when it does something wrong? The owner is responsible when a dog misbehaves. But a dog is capable of its own independent judgement without human assistance. And we hardly trust a dog, no matter how well trained, with the judgement to guide a vehicle moving at 60 mph and weighing over 1000 pounds. The issue of liability comes down to control. But do you have a responsibility to control your vehicle? Or are you at the whim of the software? And we’re not even considering whether your robot has been hacked at this stage. Will liability be determined by the autonomy level of the vehicle?

So the robots are not ready to take over quite yet.

Revisiting Takata

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

If you’ve been reading this blog regularly you’ve heard a bit about Takata. The company may not be a household name, but you’ve probably heard a bit about them. They’re responsible for one of the largest recalls in US history. They created airbags for over a dozen car manufacturers. These airbags were recalled in over forty million vehicles when it was discovered that they could inflate improperly and send shrapnel into the people they were supposed to be protecting from injury.

These issues caused Takata some serious legal issues. They have paid over 1 billion dollars in fines and they have been in bankruptcy. Fortunately, TK Holdings, the US division of Takata, has reached a resolution. The resolution has been approved by a bankruptcy judge and a a trust fund is being established to compensate those injured.

This fund, the Takata Airbag Individual Restitution Fund, will be run by special master Eric Green of Harvard. Several car manufacturers will be paying into the fund that will allow the fund to pay out millions to the hundreds of people who have been injured or killed as a result of the faulty devices.

The resolution agreement sets up funds with $125 million to compensate victims and $850 million to compensate automakers for the replacement installations, a process that is still ongoing and will continue probably for at least two more years.

Over forty million vehicles were affected by this recall. If you don’t know if your vehicle was one of them, check with your dealer. We hope you haven’t been personally affected by this, or any other recall of faulty automotive equipment. But if you have, give us a call.

Ford Recall – A Turning Point?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Ford is recalling over 1.3 million vehicles. The 2014-2018 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ are being recalled for problems with their steering. The flaw in these vehicles allows a critical bolt in the steering column to vibrate and come loose. When that happens an important part of your vehicle not only stops working properly, it may even come off. Believe it or not, that important part is the steering wheel.

Now everyone likes driving a cool car. But there are some important parts of the car that are really critical. If you can’t stop, or you can’t steer, your car is effectively useless. It becomes a hazard to the driver and anyone who happens to get even near the vehicle.

If you have a Ford Fusion of Lincoln MKZ manufactured in those years, contact your Ford or Lincoln dealer and see if your vehicle is affected by recall 18S08. Steering wheels that detach are great for vaudeville routines and cartoons, but not real life where people depend on their vehicles to get to where they need to be.

Defective Tires Cause Over 500 Deaths Each Year

Monday, March 14th, 2016


If a defective tire caused your automobile accident, contact the Garmon Law Firm today for a free consultation. We drive thousands of miles each year on our tires, and besides periodic rotation and replacement, we hardly pay them any mind. Yet statistics show that over 500 deaths and 10,000 injuries each year are attributable to accidents caused by defective tires.

Defective tires can cause accidents involving the following:

  • Blowouts– Blowouts occur when the integrity of the tire quickly falls apart while in use. Blowouts can be very dangerous and may interfere with the stability of the vehicle and cause it to overturn.
  • Tread Separation– Tread separation occurs when the outer layer or tread of the tire peels away from the inner core of the tire. When this occurs it can make the vehicle difficult to control and can lead to accidents.


Defective tires can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you suddenly lost control of your car for no reason, and notice damage to one or more of your tires, a defective tire may be to blame. Bridgestone, Hankook, Firestone, Continental, and Michelin tires have all been recalled due to defects in recent years. If you experienced unusual swerving, skidding, hydroplaning, or the loss of control of your vehicle, especially if there appears to be no explanation, a defective tire may be to blame. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine if a defective tire may have caused your case.

When tire manufacturers are aware of a problem with their tires, it is their responsibility to notify consumers about the danger. Such notifications and recalls, however, are expensive and can affect public perception of the manufacturer, so some manufacturers may try to deny responsibility. If a manufacturer is aware of the defect and did not notify you, and that defect in turn caused an accident, they may be liable.


In order to avoid accidents caused by tire malfunctions or defects, you should regularly perform the following:

  • Rotate your tires so that they receive wear evenly.
  • Check your tires to ensure that they are properly inflated. Over and underinflated tires may be dangerous.
  • Monitor your tires for any worn spots, bubbles, or areas where it appears the tread is separating from the tire. If you notice any of these, have the tire checked immediately.
  • Do not overload your vehicle or put more weight on the tires than is recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid driving through construction areas or other areas that may have nails, sharp metal, or other damaging debris.

If you receive notice of a tire recall, follow up on it right away. Contact the Garmon Law Firm online or at 256-543-HURT for advice and help if a defective tire contributed to your accident.


Truck Accidents Can Cause Devastating Injuries, Deaths

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016


Trucks barrel down Alabama highways at all hours of the day and night, carrying loads that can weigh many tons. In fact, some trucks weigh as much as 40 times more than cars. When trucks and cars collide, what may slightly dent a tractor trailer may severely damage a car. As a result, injuries incurred in accidents involving tractor trailers and large trucks are generally much more severe than those caused by other accidents.

The statistics are alarming: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 2014, a total of 3,660 people died in accidents involving large trucks. The IIHS also notes that trucks require an estimated 20-40 percent more braking distance during ideal road conditions, and even more on wet or icy roadways. Although drivers are limited to 11 hours driving at a time, they can drive as many as 77 hours per week and many report violating these rules.

At the Garmon Law Firm, we hold truck drivers and their employers accountable for their actions. We believe that no one should be forced to endure painful injuries or the loss of a loved one simply because a shipping company was eager to get their load delivered in time. If you have been hurt in an accident, call an Alabama truck accident attorney immediately for representation in your case.

Injuries from collisions with large trucks are often severe and can include:

  • Severe head trauma, concussions, coma, brain damage, brain bleeds, and even death.
  • Neck, back, and spinal column injuries (fractures, paralysis).
  • Broken bones, including compound fractures.
  • Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs.
  • Loss of limbs or permanent disability.
  • Open head wounds and severe lacerations.

Some of these injuries can be treated successfully with modern medicine. Broken bones and even internal bleeding can generally be managed well with prompt medical attention. Major injuries of the head, spine, and back, however, can result in lifelong disabilities and even paralysis.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result when an individual’s head forcefully collides with the steering column or the windshield. Severe TBI can cause significant disabilities including impaired memory, the inability to recall words or speak fluently, loss of vision, diminished senses, seizures, aggressive behaviors, and problems reading and writing. Many individuals with severe TBI will not be able to return to work and some may require ongoing medical care.

Obviously, any car accident can cause injuries, but statistically we know that accidents involving tractor trailers result in significantly worse injuries for passengers. These injuries may often last a lifetime, and can impact the entire family. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced Alabama truck accident attorney on your side. If you, a family member, or a friend have been hurt or injured in a collision involving a tractor trailer, the Garmon Law Firm will pursue your case and help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Arrange for a free consultation simply by filling out our quick online form or by calling 256-543-HURT.


Back Surgery After a Car Crash: What You Must Know

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016


Back injuries as a result of car accidents are common. The sudden impact can cause the neck and back to strain well beyond their normal range of motion. Even minor accidents or fender-benders may result in back pain. Injuries can range from sprains and strains to broken vertebrae, herniated discs, and in extreme cases paralysis. Sometimes back injuries can be treated through conservative measures. Other injuries, however, require surgery to restore proper functioning, eliminate numbness and tingling, and relieve pain.

Symptoms of back injuries include:

  • Pain in the neck or back
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the legs, genitals or buttocks
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control (in extreme injuries)
  • Restricted range of motion or limited movement
  • Pain may radiate, throb, ache, or only occur with movement

Injuries from a car accident can result in a number of different types of back surgeries. Some of the most common include:

  • Vertebroplasty – A special bone cement is injected into fractures of the vertebra. It hardens and reinforces the bone.
  • Spinal Fusion – Two or more vertebra are fused together with hardware or bone. This stabilizes them and can also reduce pain. It can be used to treat a fracture of the spine or herniated disc.
  • Diskectomy – In this surgical procedure, a part of the herniated disc is removed. This will help relieve pain and can repair feelings of numbness and tingling.
  • Laminectomy or laminotomy – In this procedure, some or most of the lamina is removed. This treats the pressure caused by a herniated disc. This surgery is usually performed when other treatments have failed.


Back surgery can require physical therapy and time for recovery. Some injuries may result in restriction of movement or mobility. Other injuries can require ongoing chiropractic care. If you have injured your back in a car accident, see a physician immediately. After receiving proper medical attention, call an experienced personal injury attorney.

Even relatively minor back injuries can require a long time to heal. Since you require the bones and muscles in your back for movement, you cannot fully allow them to rest. As a result, recovery can be delayed. It is important, however, to rest your back as much as possible following an injury. This may mean you need to take some time off work. If your injuries prevent you from being able to work, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover lost wages, in addition to medical bill coverage, and pain and suffering.

For a full assessment of your case, contact Garmon Law Firm either online or at (256) 543-HURT.


Truck Wrecks and Black Box Information: Uncovering Key Facts in Your Case

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


When massive trucks collide with passenger cars, the results can be devastating. In an accident, these behemoths, often weighing over 80,000 pounds, cause sheer destruction to everything in their wake. Loss of life can occur, and injuries may be severe. Attorneys that represent the victims of such collisions utilize state-of-the-art technology to help ascertain just what happened in the moments before, during, and after a collision.

Since 1990, many trucks manufactured in the United States have been equipped with an Electronic Control Module (ECM), Event Data Recorder (EDR) or “black box” to monitor the vehicle. The black box keeps a record of braking, average speed, high speed, driving time, RPM’s, seat belt use, and more. Specifically, the information is monitored immediately before, during, and after a crash.

Access After an Accident
In the event of a collision, the “black box” may prove that the driver was negligent. For example, the box can indicate that the driver was operating the truck for more than 15 hours in a 24-hour period without an adequate rest. In the event of an accident involving a truck, your attorney will likely send a letter to the trucking company explaining that the black box is required as part of the investigation and the truck is not to be moved. Your attorney can then call in a specialist to be there as the black box is retrieved and the information is downloaded. In the event the company is not cooperative, a suit may need to be filed to demand access to the black box. Personal injury attorneys are prepared to fight on your behalf for these facts.


Your Best Witness in Court
ECM’s and EDR’s are nearly always admissible in court and can often corroborate testimony. Instead of relying on a witness interpretation of the speed of a truck, the black box can produce an exact speed, for example. Experts can download the data from the black box and use it to recreate the vehicular actions with great accuracy. As a result, parties can literally see how the incident occurred.

If you have been in an accident with a large truck, we are ready and willing to help defend you. We will do all we can to recover the black box and determine the exact cause of your accident. If necessary, we are prepared to defend you in court. Our experienced attorneys will support you every step of the way.

VIDEO- Auto Accidents

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

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