Timothy J. Casey Attorney at Law
Representing Clients In Phoenix And Communities Throughout Arizona

Arizona Personal Injury Blog

Understanding the attractive nuisance doctrine

According to the attractive nuisance doctrine, Arizona homeowners have a legal responsibility to take the steps necessary to protect children who may venture onto their property. Owners may be liable if there are items on the property that can entice children and harm them.

The attractive nuisance doctrine asserts that there is no legal basis for assuming that children are able to completely understand the dangers they may encounter. Property owners who believe that there is a chance children may come onto their property have a legal duty to stop them from being harmed. The doctrine also states that if property owners fail to fulfill their responsibilities regarding the safety of a child on their property, they may be liable for the child's injuries.

Tips for safer winter driving

Drivers in Arizona that experience severe winters will be glad to know that there are many ways to cut down on the risk for car crashes during this period. Sometimes snow isn't the worst factor. Ice can cause drivers to lose control as it makes braking and steering much more difficult. Black ice, which makes the road look wet, is especially deceptive.

To stay safe on the road, drivers are encouraged to winterize their vehicles. This process includes checking components like the brakes, defroster, heater and wiper blades for proper functioning; inflating the tires before the cold weather deflates them; and replacing old oil with a type that can stand up to colder temperatures. Batteries over three years old also should be replaced. If necessary, drivers should purchase snow chains and snow tires.

Medication decreases crash risk for drivers with ADHD

Arizona drivers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have several ways of dealing with their symptoms while on the road. According to a recent study published in "JAMA Psychiatry," proper ADHD medication could be one of the most effective methods to curb crash risks.

The study focused on health insurance claims filed between 2005 and 2014, which led to the identification of more than 2.3 million American drivers ages 18 and over with ADHD. When compared to an age-matched and sex-matched control group of drivers without the condition, it was discovered that those with ADHD are at a higher risk for car crashes.

EpiPen failure reports have increased in the past few years

Some people in Arizona have severe allergies and rely on EpiPens to stop anaphylactic reaction. Unfortunately, there have been reports of EpiPen failures that have resulted in injuries and deaths.

According to the federal Food and Drug Administration, there have been 228 reports of EpiPen failures from January 2017 through September 2017. During that same time period, seven people died as a result of the failures, and another 35 were hospitalized. The number of reported failures has substantially increased over the last few years. For example, there were four reported failures in 2012, 12 reported failures in 2013 and 67 reported failures in 2014.

Is a recalled fire extinguisher putting your family at risk?

There are certain safety products that simply need to work. Failure is not an option when a product or device is a last line of defense against a fatal accident or serious injury. When safety products have serious issues, injury, disability and even death can result. The companies who made, sold and distributed these defective products may end up liable for those injuries and deaths in a court of law.

Consumers have the right to a reasonable expectation of proper performance when purchasing an item. This is particularly true when it comes to safety items, like fire extinguishers. When manufacturers fail to adequately test products or when a production flaw gets overlooked, it can put people at unnecessary risk. Currently, there is a massive recall of Kidde Brand fire extinguishers. There is also at least one fatality reportedly connected to the failure of these devices.

NHTSA faces roadblocks with self-driving vehicle regulations

In early October, a bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that would speed up the manufacturing and use of self-driving vehicles. Under the bill, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be given 10 years to develop safety regulations for such vehicles. Drivers in Arizona and across the U.S. should know, however, that there are some barriers that the agency has to overcome before it can begin.

With close to 75 safety regulations to either revise or eliminate for the sake of self-driving vehicles, the NHTSA has asked for input on how to move forward. It also requested comments on what sort of research will be necessary. It may take years, experts say, before research leads to the finalization of any changes.

Risk for car crashes high among night shift workers

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have estimated that over 9.5 million Americans work a night shift or rotational shift and that 28 percent of drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year. By creating an irregular sleep schedule, shift work can wreak havoc on the body and increase the risk for conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Drowsy driving, though, is a dangerous condition since it puts other people at risk as well. It's considered a public health hazard in Arizona and across the U.S.

The same researchers have conducted a study where 16 night shift workers participated in two driving sessions, the first after sufficient sleep and the second after they were off work. An EEG measured drowsiness during micro-sleep episodes, and driver performance was measured by the number of driver mistakes and reckless actions. The sessions took place on a closed driving track.

NHTSA reports another alarming rise in road deaths

Human error of one sort or another plays a role in most of the fatal road accidents that occur in Arizona and around the country each year, and a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that driver negligence is largely responsible for a second consecutive year of sobering highway fatality figures. The federal safety agency reported on Oct. 6 that 37,461 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2016, and death rates among pedestrians and motorcyclists were particularly high.

Cellphone use and distracted driving were widely blamed when accident fatalities soared unexpectedly in 2015 after years of steady decline, but the latest NHTSA fatality report reveals that distracted driving deaths actually fell slightly by 2.2 percent in 2016. However deadly accidents involving excessive speed and unrestrained vehicle occupants were both up according to the agency.

Congress introduces sleep apnea regulations bill

Arizona truck drivers may be aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tabled a rule that would have regulated sleep apnea screening criteria and treatment in mid-2017. In late September, Congressional Democrats in both the House and the Senate introduced bills that would force the FMCSA to create a sleep apnea screening rule.

The rule would set industry-wide criteria that medical examiners would use to refer truck drivers for sleep apnea testing. As of October, medical examiners had to rely on many different sets of sleep apnea screening criteria to determine if a truck driver needed a referral for a sleep apnea test. This policy created confusion and, in some cases, caused unwanted referrals from drivers. Due to the lack of consistent sleep apnea screening materials, some drivers felt that the testing companies and the companies that manufactured the sleep apnea devices were taking advantage of the lack of standards in the sleep apnea rule.

When household products pose a threat – Part 2

When you spend your hard-earned money on a car, phone or even a sandwich from the deli, you expect quality as well as safety. We trust product manufacturers and sellers to put items on their shelves that won't land us in the hospital. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. Perhaps food became contaminated during transport or the design for one tiny car part was faulty and caused a fire under the hood. Regardless of the cause of the malfunction, someone is accountable for the damages you or a loved one has suffered.

In many cases where a product liability exists, the manufacturer or seller will issue a product recall. This might include bringing the product in for a repair or it could mean a full exchange. But what if you have a product that is not under recall? What if you have seen signs of a potential hazard? Is there anything you can do to protect yourself and your family? Read below to find out what you should be aware of when it comes to dangerous products in your household.

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