Can Drivers Be Held Liable for Crashes Caused by Poor Vehicle Maintenance

female mechanic working on carDrivers have a legal obligation to properly maintain their vehicles to ensure they are safe to operate. If they fail to uphold this duty and a crash results, they may be held liable for their negligence.

The TSR Injury Law team is prepared to investigate all factors that contributed to a collision and determine who may be liable and why.

Was the Malfunction Foreseeable?

A central question involved in negligent vehicle maintenance cases is whether the owner was aware of a problem with the vehicle and could reasonably anticipate that it could cause a crash. If the owner knew or should have known about a problem that could foreseeably result in the vehicle’s failure and possibly a collision, he or she might be held legally liable for the damages that result.

Here are some scenarios where an owner should probably be aware of a maintenance issue:

  • The owner hears a noise – Hearing an unusual noise while driving is usually a tip that something is wrong. For example, if the owner hears a loud noise when turning, this may suggest a problem with the power steering. If the power steering goes out on the vehicle, the owner may lose control of the vehicle and cause a crash. Bad brakes may also be noticeable by a loud screeching or grinding noise.
  • A light appears on the dashboard – Many modern vehicles are equipped with warning lights that indicate a problem with the engine or other issues with the vehicle.
  • The owner observes spills – The owner may see a buildup of oil, power steering fluid, water or brake fluid in his or her usual parking space. He or she may see a balding tire or separated tire tread. These observations indicate a problem with the vehicle that should be checked out and addressed.
  • The vehicle handles differently – Sometimes the owner may not know that there is a problem with a vehicle until he or she notices something different when driving it. For example, he or she may encounter a grinding constriction when turning that may indicate a problem with the power steering. If the vehicle pulls to one side, there may be a problem with a wheel, there may be brake problems or the vehicle may need an alignment.
  • Report from mechanic – The owner may take the vehicle in to a professional and receive a printout or verbal opinion about a problem. The owner may not be able to afford the repair and may continue to drive the car despite the possibility that the vehicle may malfunction.
  • Mechanic may also be liable – if the car owner gets their car “fixed” but it still malfunctions later and causes a crash, the mechanic might have legal responsibility for the crash.
  • Receipt of factory recall notice – If the vehicle owner received a recall notice of a problem and did not take in the vehicle to have the issue corrected, this can support your theory that a potential collision was foreseeable. Many vehicle recalls are very important and need to be immediately addressed.

Components that Often Cause Crashes

When certain components fail or malfunction, there is a high risk for a serious accident that could result in severe injury or death.

Here are some vehicle problems that may be caused by poor maintenance:

  • Brake failure caused by inadequate brake fluids or disrepair of brake lines, pads or shoes
  • Tire blowouts caused by inadequate tread or air or uneven balancing
  • Separated wheels caused by improper installation or replacement of a tire or overheated wheel bearings
  • Suspension problems that cause the vehicle to jerk in the wrong direction
  • Power steering failure caused by improper servicing or inadequate power steering fluid

How a Lawyer Can Help

TSR Injury Law represents personal injury victims. We handle all aspects of the legal process to allow victims to focus on recovering. Our Bloomington car accident lawyers have a proven track record of recovering fair compensation for our clients.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim and your legal options. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary and confidential case review.

TSR Injury Law: (612) TSR-TIME.

What Types of Ongoing Medical Care Can You Pursue in an Injury Claim?

physical therapist working with patientInjury victims are often focused on the medical care they currently need and may need for the next few days, weeks or even months. However, they may not be as concerned about their future treatment needs, probably because they are unsure of what those future treatment needs may be.

That is why meeting with a lawyer can be so important. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team today to learn about compensation for future medical care.

Medical Care You May Need Later

At the time of a settlement or verdict, your recovery may not be complete, and you may require additional medical care in the future. Your attorney should consult with your treating physician to determine what types of procedures and treatments are likely to be required to aid your recovery and clarify what treatment is needed in the future to continue the healing process.

The types of future medical care that may be necessary depend on the type of injury you sustained, its severity and where you are in the recovery process. For example, if you have sustained severe burns, you may require multiple reconstructive surgeries over the coming years to improve your condition.  There is a healing period between each surgery, which pushes the entire timeline.

For any type of treatment, you may be able to pursue compensation for the following costs:

  • Hospital stays
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostic tests and imaging
  • Medications
  • Therapies
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment
  • Home modifications
  • Travel to medical appointments

It is very important to factor in these costs, so you are not stuck paying for your recovery out of your own pocket. You may not be able to afford it and may go into debt trying to obtain the care you need if you do not obtain compensation for future care.

Pain and Suffering

In addition to compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced since the crash you can pursue compensation for the future pain and suffering you expect to deal with in the future.

Your doctor can estimate how long your recovery is expected to take in order to help your attorney determine the value of future pain and suffering.

The extent of your injuries along with medical expert testimony helps you prove the pain and suffering you have experienced. As you pursue compensation for the ongoing pain and suffering you expect to experience, it can be helpful to have multiple medical experts provide testimony regarding the severity of your injury, how long it is expected to take for you to recover and the level of pain you experience on a regular basis.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys for Help

If you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation that pays for future medical treatment, in addition to funds for other medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Our Minneapolis personal injury attorneys work to ensure victims receive a fair settlement that accounts for future medical costs and other damages.

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. We charge no upfront fees, and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

Call (612) TSR-TIME or complete our Free Case Review form.

Should a Preexisting Condition Be Mentioned After Being Hurt in an Accident?

doctor helping stretch out kneeYou may want to conceal a preexisting injury out of fear it could reduce the value of your claim. However, this is a bad idea. While it is important to disclose the injury, it is also important to be careful how you do it.

An experienced Minneapolis personal injury lawyer from TSR Injury Law can answer your questions about this issue and other aspects of the legal process. If you hire us to represent you, we are prepared to handle communication with the insurance company on your behalf.  Part of this communication deals with current injuries and how they compare or are different from past injuries.

Types of Preexisting Conditions

Preexisting injuries are often aggravated by car accidents and other types of accidents. Common preexisting conditions that may be aggravated in an crash include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lower back strains
  • Fractures
  • Hernias
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Brain injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee injuries

Can You Still Recover Compensation?

Even if you had a preexisting injury at the time of your accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your new injuries. You may need to prove your new injuries are worse, different or unrelated to your old injury.

If your old injury has been aggravated, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages related to the aggravation. You would need evidence of how it was aggravated. For example, maybe you began suffering new symptoms or your symptoms got much worse, resulting in more medical expenses than before.

What to Say About a Preexisting Injury

When you are discussing your injury with your personal injury attorney, it is vital that you provide as much information as you can. The more your lawyer knows, the better chance he or she has of building a strong case for maximum compensation.

You also need to tell your medical provider, if he or she is different from the one who has been treating your preexisting condition, so that you can receive proper medical treatment. Be sure to tell your doctor how your new symptoms are different from what you experienced before so he or she can note it in your medical records.

Be Cautious with What You Tell Insurers

Insurance companies will actively look for ways to pay as little as possible for your claim. They will be looking for any evidence of a preexisting injury to use against you to lower the value of your claim or deny it altogether.

It is important that you are cautious with what you tell insurers about your preexisting condition.

If the insurance adjuster asks you about any preexisting injuries, it is fine to refer this question to your lawyer, who will know how to present this information to defend your best interests and secure the full value of your claim.

You should also avoid signing any medical release forms without your lawyer’s input. Insurance companies often try to get victims to sign a release of all their records, which could be disastrous to the victim’s chances of recovering compensation. Insurers often use these records to pin your medical bills on a preexisting condition from before the accident.  Unlimited medical authorizations may also provide unrelated but damaging information that the insurance company can use to deny the claim.  For example, a client signed a medical authorization before he hired TSR Injury law.  The insurance company found a precursor for diabetes and assumed a shortened life expectancy which arguably shortened the costs for future related medical care.

Eggshell Skull Rule

One important legal principle that may apply to a personal injury claim is the eggshell skull rule. This rule states that a bad driver defendant must take a victim as he finds him. Even if a victim had a preexisting condition that made him or her more susceptible to injury, the defendant is still responsible for his or her negligence and the damages that stem from that negligence.  For example, a victim may have a pre-existing nonsurgical disc herniation.  If the crash makes the disc worse and now there is surgery, the defendant can not fairly argue the disc herniation was already there.

Many people have preexisting conditions, so letting defendants off the hook just because of a preexisting condition could make it harder for a lot of injury victims to obtain fair compensation.

Contact TSR Injury Law for More Information

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence and you are concerned about how your pre-existing condition may impact your claim, contact TSR Injury Law for help.

You should inform your lawyer of your pre-existing condition so that he or she can determine how to deal with this issue while pursuing maximum compensation for your damages.

We offer a free consultation to discuss this information with you in person. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Injuries That Often Occur in Four Common Collision Types

damaged windshield from collisionWhile each crash is unique, certain types of crashes often result in certain types of injuries. Below, learn more about some of the more common injuries in four of the most common types of car crashes.

If you have suffered any of these injuries, and you think your was caused by another’s negligence, contact the licensed personal injury lawyers in Bloomington at TSR Injury Law.

Rear-End Crash Injuries

Rear-end in which one vehicle plows into the back of another driver are usually caused by the vehicle in the rear following too closely or the driver being distracted. Common injuries associated i this type of include:

  • Concussion – Concussions can occur when a person’s head jolts backward and forward violently, or if he or she hits his or her head on the headrest, dashboard, windshield or another hard surface such as a side door panel. Concussions are not always readily apparent, so it is important that victims of car monitor for symptoms, such as confusion, nausea, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, loss of consciousness or loss of balance.
  • Herniated disc – If the tissue surrounding a spinal disc ruptures or tears, a herniation may occur. These injuries may cause severe neck or back pain with associated tingling, and numbness into the arm or leg. Paralysis may occur in severe cases.
  • Soft-tissue injuries – Rear-end commonly cause soft tissue injuries due to the violent jolting that occurs during these crashes. Soft-tissue injuries include whiplash, sprains, strains and damaged nerves. Symptoms to watch out for include pain between shoulder blades, neck and back pain.

Head-On Collision Injuries

When two vehicles collide in a head-on crash, the resulting injuries are often very serious. One of the most common injuries stemming from this type of collision is a traumatic brain injury. This injury disrupts the brain’s normal function and may lead to lifelong consequences. The most serious traumatic brain injuries are fatal or result in physical or cognitive impairments.

Another serious medical condition that can arise after a head-on collision is paralysis, which can result from a brain or spinal cord injury. Victims may suffer from total or partial loss sensation to the affected area.

Fractures, amputations and internal organ damage could also result from a head-on collision. No matter the injury, an experienced lawyer can investigate whether the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or was distracted at the time of the collision to establish liability.

Side-Impact Crash Injuries

When a vehicle hits the side of your vehicle, you and passengers in your vehicle may be jolted violently from side to side. Vehicle occupants may suffer serious injuries, such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries

Rollover Crash Injuries

Rollover crashes are not as common as the other three crash types above. Of the 9.1 million vehicle crashes that occurred in 2010, only 2.1 percent were rollovers. However, approximately 35 percent of traffic fatalities in 2010 occurred in rollover crashes.

Some injuries that may happen in rollover crashes include:

  • Head and brain injuries – Skull fractures, brain injuries and other head injuries are common in this type of when the vehicle spins out of control and flips over. These injuries often have a long-lasting effect on a person’s life.
  • Spinal cord injuries – The force involved in a rollover crash is enough to result in serious spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.
  • Neck injuries – Rollover crashes can cause whiplash, nerve damage and other serious neck injuries.

Contact TSR Injury Law for Help

If you were injured in any of the types of crashes described above or suffered any of the injuries we discussed, contact TSR Injury Law for help. We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim, so there is no risk in contacting us.

Schedule your free case review today by calling (612) TSR-TIME.

Illinois Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against JUUL

vape device on tableOn Thursday, Illinois attorney general Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit against JUUL Labs, Inc., which is the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the U.S.

The lawsuit claims the company marketed its vaping products to minors and made false claims about the dangers of these products and using them to help with quitting smoking.

The lawsuit says JUUL intentionally targeted young people by creating a product with a sleek design and flavors to mask the taste of nicotine. JUUL also engaged in social media marketing with bright colors and celebrities.

At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Raoul pointed out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not approve JUUL vaping products to help people quit smoking. The company still markets its products that way.

Another allegation in the lawsuit concerns the nicotine blend in the vape devices. The blend has more nicotine than cigarettes and other tobacco products.

This is the third lawsuit to be filed by a state attorney general this year. Last month, New York’s attorney general filed a similar lawsuit making a lot of the same allegations. Her lawsuit says JUUL used strategies often used by Big Tobacco.

In May, North Carolina’s attorney general filed a lawsuit, making North Carolina the first state to file a lawsuit against the popular e-cigarette maker.

Vaping Injuries in Minnesota

Vaping is an issue affecting children, teenagers and adults all over the nation, with JUUL dominating the market – sales of JUUL e-cigarettes increased 641 percent from 2016 to 2017. A 2019 Minnesota Student Survey found one in four 11th-graders in the state said they had used an e-cigarette within the past 30 days.

As of October 2019, there have been 73 patients in Minnesota who had confirmed or probable cases of lung injury from vaping. The Minnesota Department of Health is also reviewing another 32 cases of potential lung injury associated with vaping.

The first vaping-related death in the state happened on Sept. 6. Two more deaths occurred within the next month.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured by a JUUL Product?

If you or your child or a loved one has suffered severe lung injuries after using a JUUL vaping device, or have become addicted to nicotine, you may be able to file a JUUL lawsuit.

TSR Injury Law is investigating these types of claims. Our Bloomington defective product lawyers offer a free legal consultation so victims can discuss their situation and ask their legal questions.

We do not get paid unless we obtain compensation on behalf of our clients.

Call TSR Injury Law today at (612) TSR-TIME