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November 2012 Archives

A TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE

Last weekend a tragic car accident occurred that killed Michael Gallegos, a high school football coach. Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to his family. I've only read some news reports about the accident and it appears he was rear-ended while driving on Bangerter Highway in Salt Lake County, Utah. From the new stories, it appears Mr. Gallegos was rear-ended by a 23 year old man who is suspected of DUI. It was reported that "Gallegos' car caught fire within seconds" of impact. This brings up questions of whether a product liability claim may exist involving a defective fuel system. Should the car have caught fire and did the fire contribute to or cause Mr. Gallegos' death?

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

In one of the most highly anticipated rulings in recent history, the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Obviously, this decision has huge implications for almost everyone. The court understood the high stakes and held an historic three days of oral argument back in March. Since then, the talking heads have done their best to predict what the court would do. I certainly couldn't have predicted that Chief Justice John Roberts (conservative George W. Bush appointee) would side with the four liberal justices and that he would write the majority opinion.

NOV UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

CAR WRECK ATTORNEY INSIGHTS: UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

Often when I discuss insurance coverage with my clients, I hear them say things like, "Don't worry, I have full coverage." For a car wreck attorney, this doesn't begin to answer the question. I'm more interested in knowing how much insurance coverage you have. Particularly, one of the single most important components of auto insurance coverage is underinsured motorist coverage.

DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS . . . PUT THE PHONE DOWN

In a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was found that 15 people die every day in the U.S. because of distracted driving. The main sources of distracted driving come from talking on a cell phone and texting. Of course, drivers can be distracted by a myriad of other, things, such as eating, drinking, talking with passengers, tuning the radio, etc. However, texting is a main culprit for causing accidents because it combines visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.

MOVE OVER FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that a Utah Highway Patrol trooper was struck by a "utility type truck" while standing outside of his patrol car investigating another traffic accident. Apparently, UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson sustained "serious trauma" to his left arm. You can link to the story here. The accident occurred near the Lamb's Canyon exit on I-80.

GET OUT AND VOTE

Sometimes it seems like the political season never ends. Right now, there are several key races going on in the state. Signs have been put up and your mailbox is probably full of mailers from different candidates. I believe our local elections are very important and directly impact our lives. During this primary election season, I urge everyone to make sure they are registered to vote and to make sure they get out to vote. 

DOES THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME?

In many of the auto accident injury cases that I handle clients sometimes tell me they are looking for "justice." They may have been hit by a drunk driver or a texting teenager. My client wants to make sure the wrongdoer is held accountable. I do my best to make sure my clients feel that justice is done; however, sometimes I really don't have the ability to exact the justice the client is looking for. In a civil suit, I have to explain to some clients that the wrongdoer may not be going to jail for causing the accident. 

FURTHER CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS FILED FOR DEPAKOTE SIDE EFFECTS

The Consumer Justice Foundation, a free online resource for those who are struggling with legal or personal injury issues in relation to insurance companies and/or large corporations, hereby announces that Depakote class action lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs in St. Clair County, Illinois against the manufacturer of Depakote, Abbott Laboratories. These Depakote lawsuits, which carry the case numbers of St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-651 and St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-143, respectively, seek damages for the classes of plaintiffs that would be used to compensate them for medical expenses incurred and future costs that will be incurred in caring for those who have been harmed as a result of using Depakote.

UPCOMING BOOK REVIEW: UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED

For many, Ralph Nader is the quadrennial third-party/independent presidential candidate. For others, he's the man who cost Al Gore the election in 2000 (or it was the Supreme Court, depending on what side you're on). For decades before that, he was a consumer advocate who came on the scene with his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed. The book chronicles the abysmal safety record of the U.S. auto industry and points out the defects in many cars, including the infamous Chevy Corvair. 

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