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RONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS UNDERWAY FOLLOWING OCTOBER PLANE CRASH

Wrongful death lawsuits underway following October plane crash

Lion Air flight JT610 tragically crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29, 2018. The incident, which occurred shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, killed 189 people. Authorities have not yet determined the official cause of the accident. However, at least three wrongful death lawsuits have already been filed against Boeing Co., the Chicago-based company which manufactured the airplane.

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DID YOU SUFFER HEARING LOSS WHILE USING DEFECTIVE 3M EARPLUGS?

Did you suffer hearing loss while using defective 3M earplugs?

Hearing is one of the ways we navigate and understand the world-you touch, see and hear those who are important to you. And whether it is listening to music, investing in meaningful conversations or relaxing with the sound of the crashing ocean waves, your hearing is an extremely important sense.

If you suffer from hearing loss, you know how frustrating it can be to catch only part of what someone is saying or to miss out on the sounds you used to enjoy. And if you diligently used earplugs to protect your ears from damage, your loss of hearing may be even more troublesome. Such is the case for numerous members of the armed forces who used defective 3m earplugs.

How are earplugs important for your health?

Soldiers use ear protection to reduce sounds which could cause inner-ear nerve damage while working around loud machinery and being involved in combat situations.

That protecting your hearing is vital to your health is undeniable. But in addition to protecting your hearing, there are multiple possible side effects of exposure to loud noises. These include:

  • Stress
  • Increased adrenaline
  • Sleeping problems
  • Suppressed immunity
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

Despite their use of earplugs during their time served in the military, hundreds of veterans have filed lawsuits against the company who allegedly provided defective ear protection.

Allegations of defective 3M earplugs

The Combat Arms earplugs designed by 3M were allegedly designed without a tight seal and did not protect the ears of the military members who used them.

The company previously agreed to resolve allegations by paying $9.1 million in damages. However, soldiers who used to the 3M product while serving between 2003 and 2015 continue to sue for punitive damages, alleging that the earplugs’ defect resulted in:

  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Loss of balance

If you or someone you loved served in the armed forces and believe you may suffer due to the use of a defective product, such as those manufactured by 3M, you might want to explore your options by talking to an experienced personal injury attorney. Although you may not be able to completely regain your hearing, you may be able to hold the company accountable for their negligent actions.

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CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS MAY SEEK FULL COMPENSATION FOR THEIR LOSSES

Car accident victims may seek full compensation for their losses

In Texas, numerous residents and visitors to the state suffer injuries in auto accidents every year. Were you or family member one of the unfortunate? If so, have you thought about compensation and how much you will really need to recover and move forward?

You already know all too well about the physical, financial and emotional consequences that follow a car crash. Now, in your time of need, you are probably ready to take whatever compensation the responsible party’s insurance provider is willing to give. Before you do, make sure the amount offered covers all of your losses, as it is not standard practice for insurance providers to offer full compensation.

What losses are recoverable following a car accident?

After a car crash, the responsible party’s insurance provider will probably offer you enough to fix your car — if it was not totaled — and cover very basic medical expenses. That may help you to some degree, but you may find yourself left holding the bag when it comes to really getting the assistance you need. Thanks to the state’s personal injury laws, under the right circumstances, you may be entitled to a lot more. Damages potentially recoverable following a car accident include:

  • Cost of current and future medical treatment: This includes transportation costs, initial treatment and diagnosis, therapy, medical devices, home care and disability expenses — among other things.
  • Physical and emotional distress: This includes physical pain, anxiety, depression and loss of enjoyment.
  • Income loss: This includes any temporary or permanent loss of income and benefits.
  • Loss of consortium: This includes the loss of companionship or the inability to show affection toward one’s significant other.

As you can see, this list goes far beyond basic property damages and medical expenses, and why is that? It is because a car accident can affect every aspect of a person’s life and all losses resulting from this type of event need to be considered when determining an acceptable amount of compensation.

Do not settle for less than you deserve

When you want and need compensation now, it can be tempting to accept an insurance provider’s terms. Know that you do not need to settle for less than you deserve. With assistance, you may be able to achieve maximum relief for your losses through the negotiations process or, if absolutely necessary, litigation.

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WEATHER CHANNEL SUED FOR FATAL CAR CRASH CAUSED BY STORM CHASERS

Weather Channel sued for fatal car crash caused by storm chasers

Spring has arrived, which means the start of severe weather season for much of the country. As you can imagine, the need to quickly escape a natural disaster comes with other hazards like the risk of getting into a car accident. In such cases, there would likely be no grounds for victims to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit – it seems clear that the severe weather was primarily to blame.

But that may not be the case if the driver who caused the crash was trying to chase the storm rather than escape it. And that is the basis of a high-profile lawsuit related to a fatal 2017 crash in Texas.

According to a recent news article, the two-vehicle collision occurred in March 2017 when one vehicle ran a stop sign at high speed and drove into the path of another vehicle who had the right of way. The two men who ran the stop sign worked for the Weather Channel and were chasing a tornado for their television show “Storm Wranglers.” They were struck by a 25-year-old employee for the National Weather Service who was driving away from the same tornado.

The mother of the NWS employee has filed a $125 million lawsuit against the Weather Channel, alleging that the Storm Wranglers:

  • Routinely ran stop signs (including four in the hours before the crash)
  • Were driving with a windshield seriously obstructed by video and computer equipment
  • Were working on a show with an inherently dangerous and hazardous premise
  • Were driving distracted while trying to live-stream and film the storm
  • Had no emergency training and were completely unequipped to be storm chasers

In addition to the above allegations, the plaintiff’s attorney claims that the Weather Channel had previously been warned about the recklessness of these two employees by other storm chasers. The network was urged to take them “off the road before they killed themselves of someone else.”

Anyone can be forgiven for driving less than perfectly when fleeing a deadly storm. But there is simply no excuse to be driving recklessly toward a storm for entertainment purposes. As a result of the alleged reckless actions of the Weather Channel and two of its employees, a mother lost her son in a completely preventable car accident.

If you’ve lost a loved one to a negligent driver, you may want to discuss your rights and legal options with a caring personal injury attorney.

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TEXAS RESIDENTS EXPERIENCE HEALTH PROBLEMS AFTER CHEMICAL FIRE

Texas residents experience health problems after chemical fire

The mayor of Deer Park claimed that major progress was being made to reopen the Houston Ship Channel after a major fire at a plant nearby caused chemicals to spill into the channel. This waterway is a major passageway for marine traffic carrying products in and out of the Houston area. While civil and military officials continue to monitor the channel for hazardous materials, residents nearby have reported many health problems that may be attributed to leaked chemicals at the plant.

The massive fire that caused the chemical spill into the Houston Ship Channel also sent thick black smoke into the Houston suburbs for four days. Many residents nearby were told to shelter in place when toxic fumes escaped the foam blanket laid down by fire fighters. Many residents reported feeling ill, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found nine hazardous contaminants in the local water.

Benzene was one of the toxins detected by health officials. Acute exposure to this chemical can cause everything from headaches to loss of consciousness, and chronic exposure can cause cancer. Doctors are evaluating the symptoms of local patients to find out if their problems are being caused by the fire. Unfortunately, many people are unable to see a doctor due to lack of insurance and funds.

Victims with injuries resulting from traumatic and catastrophic accidents may be able to obtain financial compensation for their losses. The first step is to contact an attorney who may be able to evaluate the situation and recommend a legal course of action. Sometimes, the party responsible will agree to a settlement, but filing a lawsuit and going to court is necessary in other situations.

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MEMES, NEWSFEEDS A SOURCE OF DISTRACTION FOR MANY DRIVERS

Memes, newsfeeds a source of distraction for many drivers

Many drivers in Texas allow themselves to be distracted behind the wheel even though they know it’s risky. An online study from Wakefield Research showed that almost half of respondents consider distracted driving to be a top roadway concern. However, the nearly 2,000 participants also used their phones behind the wheel for an average of 13 minutes a day.

Moreover, all but 1% of respondents recognized that phone use is among the top three distractions that a driver can engage in. The majority also criticized phone use in other drivers, with 89% saying they would give a bad rating to an Uber or Lyft driver who texts behind the wheel. Furthermore, 39% said they’ve already left bad reviews for such actions. Another 90% percent considered themselves better drivers than ride-hailing workers.

The most prevalent phone-related distractions were group chats, reading social media and checking videos online. For nearly two in five drivers, the presence of law enforcement was not enough to get them to put down their phones. Of course, there are other potential distractions that a driver can face. For example, eating while driving or adjusting the radio can also take one’s eyes off the road.

Distracted driving is behind many car crashes. In fact, such accidents may be underreported since drivers can lie about their activities prior to a collision. Someone who believes they have been hurt by a distracted driver, though, may want to see a lawyer. Legal counsel could help a crash victim obtain compensation for damages such as medical bills and pain and suffering.

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SPEEDING TO BE THE FOCUS OF ANNUAL SAFE DRIVER WEEK EVENT

Speeding to be the focus of annual safe driver week event

Law enforcement officials in Texas and other states routinely monitor roads for bad driving behaviors. Such efforts are stepped up during annual Operation Safe Driver Week events. The focus for the 2019 event will be speeding, which was a contributing factor in more than 90% of all traffic accidents in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more than 20 years, a third of all motor vehicle fatalities have been related to speeding, a fact that the president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the group responsible for the annual safe driving events, finds unacceptable. A 2014 CVSA study found that just a 1% increase in citations issued contributed to a noticeable decline in motor vehicle crashes by 0.28%, suggesting that ticketing is an effective deterrent. In 2017, nearly 10,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents due to speeding, and according to statistics reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speeding is the most frequent driver-related crash factor.

During the 2018 safe driver event, nearly 17,000 drivers of passenger vehicles were cited for speeding. The same thing happened to roughly 2,000 commercial motor vehicle drivers. Several citations were also issued for both passenger and commercial drivers going too fast for the conditions at the time, and thousands of warnings were issued. In addition to speeding, the 2019 event will involve monitoring drivers for texting, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and not wearing seat belts.

When any type of vehicle-related incident occurs where negligence may have been involved, a personal injury lawyer may look at police reports to determine if speed was a factor. Even if it was not, witness accounts and data collected from devices a driver may have been using at the time of the accident might be used to identify negligent or irresponsible behaviors.

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HOURS OF SERVICE RULES LINKED TO RISING TRUCK ACCIDENT DEATHS

Hours of service rules linked to rising truck accident deaths

Motor vehicle accident fatalities in Texas and around the country fell by 2% in 2017, but the number of road users killed in crashes involving commercial vehicles rose by a worrying 9% to 4,761. That is the highest truck accident death toll in 29 years, and 72% of those killed were traveling in passenger vehicles that were struck by tractor-trailers. The sophisticated safety systems fitted to modern commercial vehicles do not seem to be enough to prevent accident deaths from rising even higher, and some road safety advocacy groups say federal hours-of-service rules could be the reason why.

Hours-of-service rules limit the time that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. The rules are imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to prevent drowsy driving accidents, but critics of the rules say that the 30-minute break that truck drivers must take after eight hours on the road encourages dangerous driving. They say that truck drivers often imperil other road users by driving too fast because they are desperate to complete their journeys within eight hours.

The FMCSA concedes that excessive speed is the leading cause of truck and commercial vehicle accidents, but the agency does not believe that its hours-of-service rules or the mandatory 30-minute break after eight hours of driving are responsible. However, the agency is said to be considering changes to the rules after receiving more than 5,200 comments from the public.

Truck accidents are usually investigated by the authorities as the injuries suffered are often catastrophic. This means that experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to find evidence of negligence, such as excessive speed and hours-of-service violations, by reading police reports and accident investigations. Eyewitness testimony is also used as evidence in truck accident cases and memory fades, which is why victims who are considering a lawsuit may be wise to act sooner rather than later.

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BOEING BUILT DEADLY ASSUMPTIONS INTO 737 MAX

Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

Via the NYTimes ( https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/01/business/boeing-737-max-crash.html )

By Jack Nicas, Natalie Kitroeff, David Gelles, and James Glanz.

Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max

After Boeing removed one of the sensors from an automated flight system on its 737 Max, the jet’s designers and regulators still proceeded as if there would be two.Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

SEATTLE – The fatal flaws with Boeing’s 737 Max can be traced to a breakdown late in the plane’s development, when test pilots, engineers and regulators were left in the dark about a fundamental overhaul to an automated system that would ultimately play a role in two crashes.

A year before the plane was finished, Boeing made the system more aggressive and riskier. While the original version relied on data from at least two types of sensors, the final version used just one, leaving the system without a critical safeguard. In both doomed flights, pilots struggled as a single damaged sensor sent the planes into irrecoverable nose-dives within minutes, killing 346 people and prompting regulators around the world to ground the Max.

But many people involved in building, testing and approving the system, known as MCAS, said they hadn’t fully understood the changes. Current and former employees at Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration who spoke with The New York Times said they had assumed the system relied on more sensors and would rarely, if ever, activate. Based on those misguided assumptions, many made critical decisions, affecting design, certification and training.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” said a former test pilot who worked on the Max. “I wish I had the full story.”

After Boeing removed one of the sensors from an automated flight system on its 737 Max, the jet’s designers and regulators still proceeded as if there would be two. Credit: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

While prosecutors and lawmakers try to piece together what went wrong, the current and former employees point to the single, fateful decision to change the system, which led to a series of design mistakes and regulatory oversights. As Boeing rushed to get the plane done, many of the employees say, they didn’t recognize the importance of the decision. They described a compartmentalized approach, each of them focusing on a small part of the plane. The process left them without a complete view of a critical and ultimately dangerous system.

The company also played down the scope of the system to regulators. Boeing never disclosed the revamp of MCAS to Federal Aviation Administration officials involved in determining pilot training needs, according to three agency officials. When Boeing asked to remove the description of the system from the pilot’s manual, the F.A.A. agreed. As a result, most Max pilots did not know about the software until after the first crash, in October.

“Boeing has no higher priority than the safety of the flying public,” a company spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said in a statement.

He added that Boeing and regulators had followed standard procedures. “The F.A.A. considered the final configuration and operating parameters of MCAS during Max certification, and concluded that it met all certification and regulatory requirements,” Mr. Johndroe said.

At first, MCAS – Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System – wasn’t a very risky piece of software. The system would trigger only in rare conditions, nudging down the nose of the plane to make the Max handle more smoothly during high-speed moves. And it relied on data from multiple sensors measuring the plane’s acceleration and its angle to the wind, helping to ensure that the software didn’t activate erroneously.

Then Boeing engineers reconceived the system, expanding its role to avoid stalls in all types of situations. They allowed the software to operate throughout much more of the flight. They enabled it to aggressively push down the nose of the plane. And they used only data about the plane’s angle, removing some of the safeguards.

Ray Craig, shown in a 2003 Boeing magazine, was the chief test pilot when he put the Max through maneuvers in a flight simulator in 2012.Creditvia Boeing’s Aero Magazine

The disasters might have been avoided, if employees and regulators had a better understanding of MCAS.

A test pilot who originally advocated for the expansion of the system didn’t understand how the changes affected its safety. Safety analysts said they would have acted differently if they had known it used just one sensor. Regulators didn’t conduct a formal safety assessment of the new version of MCAS.

The current and former employees, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigations, said that after the first crash, they were stunned to discover MCAS relied on a single sensor.

“That’s nuts,” said an engineer who helped design MCAS.

“I’m shocked,” said a safety analyst who scrutinized it.

“To me, it seems like somebody didn’t understand what they were doing,” said an engineer who assessed the system’s sensors.

MCAS IS BORN

In 2012, the chief test pilot for the Max had a problem.

During the early development of the 737 Max, the pilot, Ray Craig, a silver-haired retired Navy airman, was trying out high-speed situations on a flight simulator, like maneuvers to avoid an obstacle or to escape a powerful vortex from another plane. While such moves might never be necessary for the pilot of a passenger plane, the F.A.A. requires that a jet handle well in those situations.

But the plane wasn’t flying smoothly, partly because of the Max’s bigger engines. To fix the issue, Boeing decided to use a piece of software. The system was meant to work in the background, so pilots effectively wouldn’t know it was there.

Mr. Craig, who had been with Boeing since 1988, didn’t like it, according to one person involved in the testing. An old-school pilot, he eschewed systems that take control from pilots and would have preferred an aerodynamic fix such as vortex generators, thin fins on the wings. But engineers who tested the Max design in a wind tunnel weren’t convinced they would work, the person said.

Mr. Craig relented. Such high-speed situations were so rare that he figured the software would never actually kick in.

To ensure it didn’t misfire, engineers initially designed MCAS to trigger when the plane exceeded at least two separate thresholds, according to three people who worked on the 737 Max. One involved the plane’s angle to the wind, and the other involved so-called G-force, or the force on the plane that typically comes from accelerating.

The Max would need to hit an exceedingly high G-force that passenger planes would probably never experience. For the jet’s angle, the system took data from the angle-of-attack sensor. The sensor, several inches long, is essentially a small wind vane affixed to the jet’s fuselage.

ADDING MORE POWER

On a rainy day in late January 2016, thousands of Boeing employees gathered at a runway next to the 737 factory in Renton, Wash. They cheered as the first Max, nicknamed the Spirit of Renton, lifted off for its maiden test flight.

“The flight was a success,” Ed Wilson, the new chief test pilot for the Max, said in a news release at the time. Mr. Wilson, who had tested Boeing fighter jets, had replaced Mr. Craig the previous year.

“The 737 Max just felt right in flight, giving us complete confidence that this airplane will meet our customers’ expectations,” he said.

But a few weeks later, Mr. Wilson and his co-pilot began noticing that something was off, according to a person with direct knowledge of the flights. The Max wasn’t handling well when nearing stalls at low speeds.

In a meeting at Boeing Field in Seattle, Mr. Wilson told engineers that the issue would need to be fixed. He and his co-pilot proposed MCAS, the person said.

The change didn’t elicit much debate in the group, which included just a handful of people. It was considered “a run-of-the-mill adjustment,” according to the person. Instead, the group mostly discussed the logistics of how MCAS would be used in the new scenarios.

“I don’t recall ever having any real debates over whether it was a good idea or not,” the person said.

The change proved pivotal. Expanding the use of MCAS to lower-speed situations required removing the G-force threshold. MCAS now needed to work at low speeds so G-force didn’t apply.

The change meant that a single angle-of-attack sensor was the lone guard against a misfire. Although modern 737 jets have two angle-of-attack sensors, the final version of MCAS took data from just one.

Using MCAS at lower speeds also required increasing the power of the system. When a plane is flying slowly, flight controls are less sensitive, and far more movement is needed to steer. Think of turning a car’s steering wheel at 20 miles an hour versus 70.

The original version of MCAS could move the stabilizer – the part of the tail that controls the vertical direction of the jet – a maximum of about 0.6 degrees in about 10 seconds. The new version could move the stabilizer up to 2.5 degrees in 10 seconds.

Test pilots aren’t responsible for dealing with the ramifications of such changes. Their job is to ensure the plane handles smoothly. Other colleagues are responsible for making the changes, and still others for assessing their impact on safety.

Boeing declined to say whether the changes had prompted a new internal safety analysis.

While the F.A.A. officials in charge of training didn’t know about the changes, another arm of the agency involved in certification did. But it did not conduct a safety analysis on the changes.

The F.A.A. had already approved the previous version of MCAS. And the agency’s rules didn’t require it to take a second look because the changes didn’t affect how the plane operated in extreme situations.

“The F.A.A. was aware of Boeing’s MCAS design during the certification of the 737 Max,” the agency said in a statement. “Consistent with regulatory requirements, the agency evaluated data and conducted flight tests within the normal flight envelope that included MCAS activation in low-speed stall and other flight conditions.”

‘EXTERNAL EVENTS’

After engineers installed the second version of MCAS, Mr. Wilson and his co-pilot took the 737 Max for a spin.

The flights were uneventful. They tested two potential failures of MCAS: a high-speed maneuver in which the system doesn’t trigger, and a low-speed stall when it activates but then freezes. In both cases, the pilots were able to easily fly the jet, according to a person with knowledge of the flights.

In those flights, they did not test what would happen if MCAS activated as a result of a faulty angle-of-attack sensor – a problem in the two crashes.

Boeing engineers did consider such a possibility in their safety analysis of the original MCAS. They classified the event as “hazardous,” one rung below the most serious designation of catastrophic, according to two people. In regulatory-speak, it meant that MCAS could trigger erroneously less often than once in 10 million flight hours.

That probability may have underestimated the risk of so-called external events that have damaged sensors in the past, such as collisions with birds, bumps from ramp stairs or mechanics stepping on them. While part of the assessment considers such incidents, they are not included in the probability. Investigators suspect the angle-of-attack sensor was hit on the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight in March.

Bird strikes on angle-of-attack sensors are relatively common.

A Times review of two F.A.A. databases found hundreds of reports of bent, cracked, sheared-off, poorly installed or otherwise malfunctioning angle-of-attack sensors on commercial aircraft over three decades.

Since 1990, one database has recorded 1,172 instances when birds – meadowlarks, geese, sandpipers, pelicans and turkey vultures, among others – damaged sensors of various kinds, with 122 strikes on angle-of-attack vanes. The other database showed 85 problems with angle-of-attack sensors on Boeing aircraft, including 38 on 737s since 1995.

And the public databases don’t necessarily capture the extent of incidents involving angle-of-attack sensors, since the F.A.A. has additional information. “I feel confidence in saying that there’s a lot more that were struck,” said Richard Dolbeer, a wildlife specialist who has spent over 20 years studying the issue at the United States Department of Agriculture, which tracks the issue for the F.A.A.

A SIMPLE REQUEST

On March 30, 2016, Mark Forkner, the Max’s chief technical pilot, sent an email to senior F.A.A. officials with a seemingly innocuous request: Would it be O.K. to remove MCAS from the pilot’s manual?

The officials, who helped determine pilot training needs, had been briefed on the original version of MCAS months earlier. Mr. Forkner and Boeing never mentioned to them that MCAS was in the midst of an overhaul, according to the three F.A.A. officials.

Under the impression that the system was relatively benign and rarely used, the F.A.A. eventually approved Mr. Forkner’s request, the three officials said.

Boeing wanted to limit changes to the Max, from previous versions of the 737. Anything major could have required airlines to spend millions of dollars on additional training. Boeing, facing competitive pressure from Airbus, tried to avoid that.

Mr. Forkner, a former F.A.A. employee, was at the front lines of this effort. As the chief technical pilot, he was the primary liaison with the F.A.A. on training and worked on the pilot’s manual.

“The pressure on us,” said Rick Ludtke, a cockpit designer on the Max, “was huge.”

“And that all got funneled through Mark,” Mr. Ludtke added. “And the pushback and resistance from the F.A.A. got funneled through Mark.”

Like others, Mr. Forkner may have had an imperfect understanding of MCAS.

Technical pilots at Boeing like him previously flew planes regularly, two former employees said. “Then the company made a strategic change where they decided tech pilots would no longer be active pilots,” Mr. Ludtke said.

Mr. Forkner largely worked on flight simulators, which didn’t fully mimic MCAS.

It is unclear whether Mr. Forkner, now a pilot for Southwest Airlines, was aware of the changes to the system.

Mr. Forkner’s attorney, David Gerger, said his client did not mislead the F.A.A. “Mark is an Air Force veteran who put safety first and was transparent in his work,” Mr. Gerger said.

“In thousands of tests, nothing like this had ever happened,” he said. “Based on what he was told and what he knew, he never dreamed that it could.”

The F.A.A. group that worked with Mr. Forkner made some decisions based on an incomplete view of the system. It never tested a malfunctioning sensor, according to the three officials. It didn’t require additional training.

William Schubbe, a senior F.A.A. official who worked with the training group, told pilots and airlines in an April meeting in Washington, D.C., that Boeing had underplayed MCAS, according to a recording reviewed by The Times.

“The way the system was presented to the F.A.A.,” Mr. Schubbe said, “the Boeing Corporation said this thing is so transparent to the pilot that there’s no need to demonstrate any kind of failing.”

The F.A.A. officials involved in training weren’t the only ones operating with outdated information.

An April 2017 maintenance manual that Boeing provided to airlines refers to the original version of MCAS. By that point, Boeing had started delivering the planes. The current manual is updated.

Boeing continued to defend MCAS and its reliance on a single sensor after the first crash, involving Indonesia’s Lion Air.

At a tense meeting with the pilots’ union at American Airlines in November, Boeing executives dismissed concerns. “It’s been reported that it’s a single point failure, but it is not considered by design or certification a single point,” said Mike Sinnett, a Boeing vice president, according to a recording of the meeting.

His reasoning? The pilots were the backup.

“Because the function and the trained pilot work side by side and are part of the system,” he said.

Four months later, a second 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia. Within days, the Max was grounded around the world.

As part of the fix, Boeing has reworked MCAS to more closely resemble the first version. It will be less aggressive, and it will rely on two sensors.

Jack Nicas reported from Seattle, and Natalie Kitroeff, David Gelles and James Glanz from New York. Julie Creswell, Tiffany Hsu and Agustin Armendariz contributed reporting from New York. Kitty Bennett and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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SAFETY IS CRITICAL FOR REAR SEAT PASSENGERS

Safety is critical for rear seat passengers

The summer months mean that more people in Texas are taking to the road for trips, holidays and vacations. However, safety experts warn about the danger of serious car accidents in these heavily traveled months. The Governors Highway Safety Association is launching a public awareness campaign particularly targeting rear seat passengers to encourage them to put safety first. Passengers in the back seat enjoy more protections in some types of crashes. However, side-impact or rear-end crashes can be devastating and deadly for people sitting in the back seat.

The association noted the urgency of its campaign by highlighting the increased use of the rear seats due to the popularity of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Rear seat passengers are already less likely to wear their seat belts. However, this issue is exacerbated when people hop into a ride-hailing car. They are less likely to buckle up than they are in their own cars and may have an exaggerated sense of safety. Experts noted that buckling up is critical every time someone gets inside a car.

Other safety experts noted that there are also design reasons why rear seat passengers can face severe injuries in case of a motor vehicle collision. Some of the most effective safety technologies, including automatically locking seat belts and airbags, are found only in front seats. In addition, few automakers have implemented a seat belt warning system for rear seat passengers in addition to those in the front.

Rear seat passengers don’t cause car accidents; that is the fault of dangerous or negligent drivers. However, they can suffer severe consequences in case of a collision. People who have been injured in a crash caused by someone else may consult with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their losses.

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INSIDE THE EFFORT TO FIX THE TROUBLED BOEING 737 MAX

Inside the Effort to Fix the Troubled Boeing 737 MAX

Via The Wall Street Journal

By Scott McCartney

Inside the Effort to Fix the Troubled Boeing 737 MAX

After takeoff, the Boeing 737 suddenly warns pilots that the plane is about to lose lift and stall, an erroneous signal from a bad sensor. The control column shakes, loudly. Pilot Roddy Guthrie diagnoses the problem-and then the plane’s nose suddenly pitches down, on its own. Emergency No. 2.

He pulls back on the control column to keep climbing and gets the airplane back to the proper orientation, nose up. But it happens again, with more force. And then a third time, with even more force, so that he’s looking almost straight down at the ground-the most terrifying sight for any pilot.

The episode, a repeat of the system failure suspected in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes, takes place in a Boeing full-motion flight simulator Wednesday morning. A few minutes later, Capt. Guthrie and another pilot try again, this time with Boeing’s proposed software fixes installed-software that’s critical to Boeing, airlines and travelers world-wide.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

Capt. Guthrie, fleet captain for the 737 at American Airlines, faces the same problem with the faulty sensor. This time the stick shaker gives its same loud warning, the result of the faulty sensor, but the 737’s computer never points the airplane down. A yellow caution light comes on and he easily maintains control.

“You don’t see compounding emergencies going on,” Capt. Guthrie says. “The second emergency never occurs. You’ve eliminated a major distractor.”

He and other pilots at American and other airlines have been voluntarily advising Boeing on fixing its troubled model of the 737, grounded in March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people. Wednesday morning’s session was the first time he checked out the changes in a full-motion simulator. (He had tested it previously in a stationary cockpit simulator in Seattle.) Boeing is running actual flight tests of the fix, with regulators world-wide scrutinizing the results.

The future of the 737 rests on the fix. Boeing drew loud criticism for failing to inform pilots and the Federal Aviation Administration about all aspects of its now-suspect system when it launched in 2017 and its reticence to act after the crashes. The company must win back the trust of regulators, then airlines, pilots, flight attendants and the traveling public.

Many hurdles lie ahead. Though the proposed fix has performed well in tests like Wednesday’s simulator session, testers could discover new problems. It’s too early to declare the MAX fully repaired.

Acting FAA administrator Dan Ewell said in May that October might be too soon for the plane to return to service. In addition to the FAA’s review, an outside agency established by the FAA will also review the proposed fixes, and regulators in Europe and Canada have said they planned to conduct separate reviews.

Sessions like this have convinced American it needs to put its pilots through additional training related to maintaining control of airplanes when systems fail, whether the FAA requires this or not. (The FAA says it hasn’t decided yet on training requirements.) Once the FAA signs off on changes, it will take 45 days for American to train all 4,200 of its 737 pilots. The airline figures that pilots will be the key to restoring faith in the airplane. They need to be convinced it’s safe before passengers will be willing to board the 737 MAX again.

American requested Boeing to allow me to ride along with Capt. Guthrie and Capt. Alan Johnson, the airline’s 737 fleet training and standards manager, as they put the new version of the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, or MCAS, through its paces.

MCAS was added to the flight control computer to help the MAX, which has new engines, handle like previous models of the 737, particularly at slow speeds and when the nose is pitched high. When functioning normally, MCAS helps prevent the airplane from getting so nose-high that the wings stop producing lift and stall. When an airplane stalls, it becomes a rock.

I’m a private pilot with about 1,000 hours in my logbooks, including time in planes this size and larger. I flew the MAX simulator with the prior MCAS software, known as version 11.1, and the proposed fix, version 12.1.

I found it to be a night-and-day difference. Even though I knew what was coming and had seen two veteran pilots demonstrate proper recovery procedures, I struggled to maintain control with the old system. MCAS pushes the nose down with such cumulative force if you don’t use the exact prescribed procedures that as hard as you pull back on the control column, you can’t get the nose pointing up. “It’s not a good feeling,” Capt. Guthrie says.

With the new version, the problem with the faulty sensor in this test appears to become, essentially, a routine emergency-something pilots can handle while getting the airplane to the nearest suitable runway. MCAS doesn’t fire at all, leaving you with just the initial problem of the single faulty input.

“You just shut the faulty system down and the airplane still operates normally. It’s very manageable,” Capt. Johnson says of the MAX with version 12.1. “It’s like taking away your cruise control in your car.”

MCAS takes information from a single vane near the nose of the airplane. The 737 has two angle-of-attack vanes, but version 11.1 of MCAS only used one at a time. If that vane were broken, the system could activate erroneously and angle the plane’s nose down, thinking it was preventing a nose-high stall.

Fix No. 1 to MCAS is that in version 12.1, it will take input from both sensors. If they disagree by 5.5 degrees or more, MCAS will shut down and not fire at all.

With the troubled version of MCAS, pilots would instinctively pull back on their control column-or yoke-to keep the nose up when MCAS is pushing it down. And they’d use a switch on the control column to trim the airplane to a desired orientation. The trim switch can counteract the inputs from MCAS.

But once you release the trim switch, MCAS 11.1 fires again after five seconds because the erroneous data from the broken sensor remains. And it will keep firing five seconds after you stop moving the trim-the effect can be cumulative, so each time the nose points down more sharply.

Fix No. 2 to MCAS is that the system will only fire once.

Under the original version, Boeing assumed that pilots would diagnose the repeated downward pitch movements as “runaway trim,” something they used to train for more frequently. Runaway trim in modern planes is rare-American had one incident in its last 750,000 737 flights. Even Capt. Guthrie and Capt. Johnson say they had to brush up on speed-trim system functions after the Lion Air crash into the Java Sea in October.

The longstanding prescribed procedure for runaway trim is fairly simple: stabilize the aircraft, then disconnect the system by flipping two toggle switches called the Stab Trim cutout, short for stabilizer trim, that are on the pedestal between pilots just below the throttles. Then you use a wheel beside each pilot’s knees to crank in necessary trim-to move the stabilizer manually as needed.

The Ethiopian pilots did cut the stabilizer trim off, investigators have said. But with multiple warning alarms sounding and multiple emergencies at hand, they didn’t control the speed of the airplane. The plane can get going so fast that a pilot can’t move the wheel-think of the force of the wind when you stick your hand out a car at 35 miles an hour, then think of what it might be like at 350 mph.

Testing this in the simulator, Capt. Guthrie found he couldn’t move the wheel unless I let go of the control column I was pulling back to try to keep the nose up. Relaxing the column momentarily pitched the nose down even more, but removed enough pressure to crank in some trim.

That procedure of relaxing pressure to add trim repeatedly-sometimes called a roller coaster maneuver or a fishing maneuver, may be added to standard procedures for runaway trim, the American pilots say.

With the fixes in place, the faulty sensor still triggers the stick-shaker stall warning. But unless both sensors break exactly the same way within nanoseconds of each other, MCAS never fires because the angles reported by each sensor will differ. Boeing will also include a message on pilot displays when the readings differ as a standard feature.

And if MCAS should somehow erroneously fire, it will only pitch the plane down once, never moving it so sharply that it exceeds the ability of pilots to pull back on the control column and get the nose up.

Capt. Guthrie says his testing finds version 12.1 eliminating the problems of version 11.1. “We are, at this point, quietly confident,” he says.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

oudly. Pilot Roddy Guthrie diagnoses the problem-and then the plane’s nose suddenly pitches down, on its own. Emergency No. 2.

He pulls back on the control column to keep climbing and gets the airplane back to the proper orientation, nose up. But it happens again, with more force. And then a third time, with even more force, so that he’s looking almost straight down at the ground-the most terrifying sight for any pilot.

The episode, a repeat of the system failure suspected in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes, takes place in a Boeing full-motion flight simulator Wednesday morning. A few minutes later, Capt. Guthrie and another pilot try again, this time with Boeing’s proposed software fixes installed-software that’s critical to Boeing, airlines and travelers world-wide.

Capt. Guthrie, fleet captain for the 737 at American Airlines, faces the same problem with the faulty sensor. This time the stick shaker gives its same loud warning, the result of the faulty sensor, but the 737’s computer never points the airplane down. A yellow caution light comes on and he easily maintains control.

“You don’t see compounding emergencies going on,” Capt. Guthrie says. “The second emergency never occurs. You’ve eliminated a major distractor.”

He and other pilots at American and other airlines have been voluntarily advising Boeing on fixing its troubled model of the 737, grounded in March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people. Wednesday morning’s session was the first time he checked out the changes in a full-motion simulator. (He had tested it previously in a stationary cockpit simulator in Seattle.) Boeing is running actual flight tests of the fix, with regulators world-wide scrutinizing the results.

The future of the 737 rests on the fix. Boeing drew loud criticism for failing to inform pilots and the Federal Aviation Administration about all aspects of its now-suspect system when it launched in 2017 and its reticence to act after the crashes. The company must win back the trust of regulators, then airlines, pilots, flight attendants and the traveling public.

Many hurdles lie ahead. Though the proposed fix has performed well in tests like Wednesday’s simulator session, testers could discover new problems. It’s too early to declare the MAX fully repaired.

Acting FAA administrator Dan Ewell said in May that October might be too soon for the plane to return to service. In addition to the FAA’s review, an outside agency established by the FAA will also review the proposed fixes, and regulators in Europe and Canada have said they planned to conduct separate reviews.

Sessions like this have convinced American it needs to put its pilots through additional training related to maintaining control of airplanes when systems fail, whether the FAA requires this or not. (The FAA says it hasn’t decided yet on training requirements.) Once the FAA signs off on changes, it will take 45 days for American to train all 4,200 of its 737 pilots. The airline figures that pilots will be the key to restoring faith in the airplane. They need to be convinced it’s safe before passengers will be willing to board the 737 MAX again.

American requested Boeing to allow me to ride along with Capt. Guthrie and Capt. Alan Johnson, the airline’s 737 fleet training and standards manager, as they put the new version of the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system, or MCAS, through its paces.

MCAS was added to the flight control computer to help the MAX, which has new engines, handle like previous models of the 737, particularly at slow speeds and when the nose is pitched high. When functioning normally, MCAS helps prevent the airplane from getting so nose-high that the wings stop producing lift and stall. When an airplane stalls, it becomes a rock.

I’m a private pilot with about 1,000 hours in my logbooks, including time in planes this size and larger. I flew the MAX simulator with the prior MCAS software, known as version 11.1, and the proposed fix, version 12.1.

I found it to be a night-and-day difference. Even though I knew what was coming and had seen two veteran pilots demonstrate proper recovery procedures, I struggled to maintain control with the old system. MCAS pushes the nose down with such cumulative force if you don’t use the exact prescribed procedures that as hard as you pull back on the control column, you can’t get the nose pointing up. “It’s not a good feeling,” Capt. Guthrie says.

With the new version, the problem with the faulty sensor in this test appears to become, essentially, a routine emergency-something pilots can handle while getting the airplane to the nearest suitable runway. MCAS doesn’t fire at all, leaving you with just the initial problem of the single faulty input.

“You just shut the faulty system down and the airplane still operates normally. It’s very manageable,” Capt. Johnson says of the MAX with version 12.1. “It’s like taking away your cruise control in your car.”

MCAS takes information from a single vane near the nose of the airplane. The 737 has two angle-of-attack vanes, but version 11.1 of MCAS only used one at a time. If that vane were broken, the system could activate erroneously and angle the plane’s nose down, thinking it was preventing a nose-high stall.

Fix No. 1 to MCAS is that in version 12.1, it will take input from both sensors. If they disagree by 5.5 degrees or more, MCAS will shut down and not fire at all.

With the troubled version of MCAS, pilots would instinctively pull back on their control column-or yoke-to keep the nose up when MCAS is pushing it down. And they’d use a switch on the control column to trim the airplane to a desired orientation. The trim switch can counteract the inputs from MCAS.

But once you release the trim switch, MCAS 11.1 fires again after five seconds because the erroneous data from the broken sensor remains. And it will keep firing five seconds after you stop moving the trim-the effect can be cumulative, so each time the nose points down more sharply.

Fix No. 2 to MCAS is that the system will only fire once.

Under the original version, Boeing assumed that pilots would diagnose the repeated downward pitch movements as “runaway trim,” something they used to train for more frequently. Runaway trim in modern planes is rare-American had one incident in its last 750,000 737 flights. Even Capt. Guthrie and Capt. Johnson say they had to brush up on speed-trim system functions after the Lion Air crash into the Java Sea in October.

The longstanding prescribed procedure for runaway trim is fairly simple: stabilize the aircraft, then disconnect the system by flipping two toggle switches called the Stab Trim cutout, short for stabilizer trim, that are on the pedestal between pilots just below the throttles. Then you use a wheel beside each pilot’s knees to crank in necessary trim-to move the stabilizer manually as needed.

The Ethiopian pilots did cut the stabilizer trim off, investigators have said. But with multiple warning alarms sounding and multiple emergencies at hand, they didn’t control the speed of the airplane. The plane can get going so fast that a pilot can’t move the wheel-think of the force of the wind when you stick your hand out a car at 35 miles an hour, then think of what it might be like at 350 mph.

Testing this in the simulator, Capt. Guthrie found he couldn’t move the wheel unless I let go of the control column I was pulling back to try to keep the nose up. Relaxing the column momentarily pitched the nose down even more, but removed enough pressure to crank in some trim.

That procedure of relaxing pressure to add trim repeatedly-sometimes called a roller coaster maneuver or a fishing maneuver, may be added to standard procedures for runaway trim, the American pilots say.

With the fixes in place, the faulty sensor still triggers the stick-shaker stall warning. But unless both sensors break exactly the same way within nanoseconds of each other, MCAS never fires because the angles reported by each sensor will differ. Boeing will also include a message on pilot displays when the readings differ as a standard feature.

And if MCAS should somehow erroneously fire, it will only pitch the plane down once, never moving it so sharply that it exceeds the ability of pilots to pull back on the control column and get the nose up.

Capt. Guthrie says his testing finds version 12.1 eliminating the problems of version 11.1. “We are, at this point, quietly confident,” he says.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

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SPEED LIMITS ARE ON THE RISE, AND SO ARE DEADLY CAR ACCIDENTS

Speed limits are on the rise, and so are deadly car accidents

It often seems as if everyone in Texas is in a hurry. Whether parents are frantically trying to get all of their kids to their extracurricular activities or college students are hurrying to their part-time jobs in between classes, getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible ranks high on most people’s priorities. Because of this, most people see rising speed limits as a good thing. In reality, higher speed limits are causing more and more deadly car accidents.

Speed limits have been consistently going up all across the country for the last 25 years. Texas has some of the highest speed limits, and you can legally drive 85 mph on certain roads. These types of high speed limits are getting people killed.

Deaths rise with speed limits

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded that higher speed limits contributed an additional 37,000 deaths in the past quarter century. This is in addition to the 10,000 speed-related deaths that happen every year. These figures highlight how drivers who are happy to shave a few minutes off their travel times are putting everyone on the road at an increased risk of death.

Additional data from IIHS shows that increasing the speed limit by just five mph causes an 8% increase in freeway and interstate deaths. That same increase is associated with a 3% increase in fatalities on all other types of roads. Considering that traveling at 70 mph rather than 65 mph takes less than seven minutes off travel time, increasing the speed limit rarely seems worthwhile.

Why are speed limits still going up?

You can probably easily recall various campaigns targeting safe driving practices. These usually focus on getting drivers to wear their seatbelts or to make sure they have a designated driver if they plan on drinking. Not many, if any, campaigns specifically focus on encouraging drivers to follow the speed limit. Most professionals and lawmakers overlook the dangers associated with speeding.

Lawmakers in particular seem to be incredibly willing to raise speed limits. Proponents of these changes say that most people drive above the posted speed limit anyway, so raising it would simply bring the law in line with people’s actions. This plan usually backfires. When speed limits go up, drivers end up driving even faster than before.

Your loved one deserves justice

Speeding is not as harmless as many people claim. Speed-related accidents are severe and usually lead to devastating or even fatal injuries. If you lost a loved one because another driver was speeding, you can pursue justice on his or her behalf.

Deadly car accidents are often devastating for both the victims’ families as well as their communities. While nothing could ever replace a victim’s life, you and your family could choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. These types of claims can help you address the financial and other damages that you are probably facing, but it is not always easy to demonstrate negligence. Working with an experienced attorney can help in this aspect.

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BOEING CEO CONCEDES ‘MISTAKE’ WITH PLANES IN 2 FATAL CRASHES

Boeing CEO concedes ‘mistake’ with planes in 2 fatal crashes

Boeing CEO concedes ‘mistake’ with planes in 2 fatal crashes

Via ABC NEWS (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/boeing-ceo-concedes-mistake-planes-fatal-crashes-63747194

The chief executive of Boeing said the company made a “mistake” in handling a problematic cockpit warning system in its 737 Max jets before two crashes of the top-selling plane killed 346 people, and he promised transparency as the U.S. aircraft maker tries to get the grounded model back in flight.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told reporters in Paris that Boeing’s communication with regulators, customers and the public “was not consistent. And that’s unacceptable.”

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has faulted Boeing for not telling regulators for more than year that a safety indicator in the Max cockpit didn’t work.

Pilots are angry the company didn’t tell them about the new software that’s been implicated in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

“We clearly had a mistake in the implementation of the alert,” Muilenburg said.

He expressed confidence that the Boeing 737 Max would be cleared to fly again later this year. The model has been grounded worldwide for three months, and regulators need to approve Boeing’s long-awaited fix to the software.

Muilenburg called the crashes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines jets a “defining moment” for Boeing, but said he thinks the result will be a “better and stronger company.”

Speaking ahead of the Paris Air Show, Muilenburg said Boeing is facing the event with “humility” and focused on rebuilding trust.

He forecast a limited number of orders at the Paris show, the first major air show since the crashes, but said it was important to attend to talk to customers and others in the industry.

Muilenburg also announced that Boeing is raising its long-term forecast for global plane demand, notably amid sustained growth in Asia.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

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‘SULLY’ SULLENBERGER TELLS CONGRESS DEADLY BOEING 737 MAX CRASHES ‘SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED’

‘Sully’ Sullenberger Tells Congress Deadly Boeing 737 Max Crashes ‘Should Never Have Happened’

Via:Time (https://time.com/5610926/sully-boeing-737-max/)

by Jamie Ducharme

'Sully' Sullenberger Tells Congress Deadly Boeing 737 Max Crashes 'Should Never Have Happened'

Retired airline captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot best known for safely landing a disabled plane on the Hudson River in 2009, told Congress on Wednesday that a pair of recent Boeing 737 Max jetliner crashes “should never have happened”-and possibly could have been avoided with better safety processes and pilot training.

“These crashes are demonstrable evidence that our current system of aircraft design and certification has failed us,” Sullenberger said during a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing. “These accidents should never have happened.”

The two Boeing 737 Max crashes-one in Indonesia last October and one in Ethiopia in March-appear to be related to an automated system that causes the plane’s nose to point down if it senses the aircraft’s pitch is dangerously high, according to investigators. Some pilots had reportedly not received adequate training and information about the system before its implementation, and both crashes appeared to stem from pilots losing control after faulty sensor readings triggered the system.

Boeing has since issued a software update for the system. Its CEO admitted that the company was “not consistent” in its communications with regulators and the public, “and that’s unacceptable.”

The incidents prompted countries around the world to ground the 737 Max, and sparked government investigations into the approval and rollout of the aircraft. Some observers have said that the relationship between planemakers like Boeing and the officials who certify their aircraft has become dangerously close.

During the hearing Wednesday, Sullenberger warned that similar crashes could occur if corrective action is not taken. “These two recent crashes happened in foreign countries, but if we do not address all the issues and important factors, they can, and will, happen here,” he said.

Sullenberger also called for more hands-on pilot training and simulator time to help prevent accidents. “Reading about it on an iPad is not even close to sufficient,” he said. “Pilots must experience it physically, firsthand.”

Daniel Carey, president of the union that represents American Airlines pilots, joined Sullenberger in demanding better safety protocols moving forward. “Improvements in aviation are often – too often – written in the blood of the unfortunate victims of these airplane accidents,” Carey said.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

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DRUNK DRIVER PREVENTION SYSTEMS A MUST, SAYS MADD PRESIDENT

Drunk driver prevention systems a must, says MADD president

At a congressional hearing in May 2019, the president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving called for automakers to put more effort into making drunk driver prevention systems. Drunk driving is a serious issue, contributing to 29% of all roadway fatalities in Texas and across the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in 2017, there were 11,000 deaths and over 200,000 injuries resulting from drunk driving crashes.

Many automakers have labs that are capable enough of developing prevention technology. Volvo has already announced a prevention system that makes use of cameras and sensors. One group has been working for over a decade on a program called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. This uses breath- and touch-based systems to determine if a driver’s blood alcohol content is over .08, the legal limit. If it is, the system responds by making the vehicle inoperable.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that over 7,000 lives can be saved every year if such technology becomes fully implemented. It is predicted that breath-based systems may become available by the end of 2020; some groups are already testing vehicles with them. Touch-based systems will likely take longer to be developed. The auto industry must step in because federal funding for this tech expires in 2020.

Driving drunk, besides being a criminal offense, is a form of negligence. When negligence is behind a car accident that involves personal injury, those who incurred the injury and who are not to blame may be able to pursue a car accident case. In this state, anyone can file as long as he or she is 50% or less to blame. Victims who think they have a strong case may want a lawyer to work for them, especially when it comes to negotiations.

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BOEING GIVES $100M TO HELP 737 MAX CRASH FAMILIES

Boeing gives $100m to help 737 Max crash families

Via BBC News (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48859463)

By Russell Hotten

Boeing is giving $100m (£80m) to help families affected by the two crashes of the company’s 737 Max planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The payment, stretching over several years, is independent of lawsuits filed in the wake of the disasters, which together killed 346 people.

The money will support education and living expenses for families and community programs, Boeing said.

PROBLEMS FOR BOEING

With more than 15,000 orders, the 737 is the bestselling series in Boeing’s history. The 737 Max, a submodel in the popular 737 line, has recently been grounded worldwide following the second crash that killed 157 people, just four months after the Lion Air Indonesia crash which caused 189 fatalities. In April 2019, Boeing projected a $1 billion loss as it canceled plans to reward shareholders and its 2019 financial outlook.

After the initial investigation, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cited the plane’s anti-stall system as partly to blame for the accidents. There was concern that the software prevented the pilots from manually taking control of the plane as the nose was repeatedly pushed down.

Most recently, the FAA identified a further problem with the aircrafts that preceded the 737 Max. It advised airlines to check over 303,737 planes for improperly manufactured parts. The agency added, “The FAA will lift the aircraft’s prohibition order when we deem it is safe to do so.”

As a result, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines extended their bans on Boeing planes. This resulted in more unprecedented costs for the manufacturer, which remains under investigation for the fatal 737 Max fatal accidents.

The company is also facing dozens of lawsuits from victim’s families of both crashes.

LAWYERS FOR VICTIMS’ FAMILIES DISMISSED THE MOVE.

The loss of Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET302 in March was the second fatal accident involving a 737 Max in the space of five months. A near identical aircraft, owned by the Indonesian carrier Lion Air, went down in the sea off Jakarta in October 2018.

Crash investigators have focussed on the aircraft’s control system and Boeing has been working with regulators to roll out a software upgrade. The top-selling 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March, with no date when the aircraft might be cleared to fly again.

Boeing said in a statement on Wednesday that the “funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years.”

Dennis Muilenburg, the chairman and chief executive, added: “We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come.

“The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” he said.

‘DISINGENUOUS’

Nomi Husain, a Texas-based lawyer representing some of the families of victims of ET 302, said Boeing’s payment “doesn’t come anywhere close to compensating the families for what has been taken from them”.

He told the BBC’s transport correspondent Tom Burridge that “some of our clients are not interested in financial compensation at this point” and that Boeing “put profit over safety to get their number-one selling plane to market” – a claim the planemaker strongly denies.

Mr Husain has so far filed seven cases on behalf of families, with some of those lawsuits seeking damages of $276m. He estimated that about 50 lawsuits had so far been filed by victims’ families.

Some families are waiting for further information about the technical causes of the crashes and how regulators cleared the 737 Max to fly before deciding on legal action, he said. But many others just want the truth, he added.

Meanwhile, Robert Clifford, who is representing 23 families, said: “This type of offer so early in the litigation process is unprecedented. Because there is still so much to learn about what occurred, it also appears to be disingenuous.” Clifford claimed that the amount was too small a number given the “totality of these losses.”

In total, Boeing is responsible for the deaths of 346 passengers. The recent move to donate $100 million to the victim’s families is generally considered inadequate to cover this loss.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

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NEW RULES COULD EASE TRUCKER REGULATIONS

New rules could ease trucker regulations

Commercial drivers in Texas and throughout the country could soon see a change to current hours-of-service rules. As they are written today, drivers can remain on duty for no longer than 14 hours at a time. During this on-duty period, they can spend up to 11 hours on the road. Once that period is over, a driver must wait at least 10 hours before working again.

Those who plan on driving for eight or more hours must stop for 30 minutes prior to reaching eight hours for the day. Hours are tracked by an electronic logging device (ELD) that also keeps track of whether a driver is on or off duty. Those who violate HOS rules could be forced to stop driving for a day or more. As many drivers are paid by the mile, being forced out of service may result in lost income.

If the proposed changes are adopted, drivers may no longer need to take the 30-minute break. Instead, they could simply stop their hours clock for three hours during their on-duty window. Advocates of the rule changes say that it will make it easier for drivers to wait out heavy traffic or find a place to park without breaking the law. However, critics say that it could result in drivers working longer hours and being more susceptible to fatigue.

An individual who has been hurt in a commercial vehicle accident may want to reach out to an attorney. Working with a legal professional might help a plaintiff obtain compensation for his or her injuries. Compensation could help an injured victim pay medical bills or make up for lost wages. An attorney may use electronic records to show that the at-fault driver should not have been on the road when the crash occurred.

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AT LEAST 35 PEOPLE SUFFERED INJURIES AFTER AN AIR CANADA FLIGHT HIT A SEVERE PATCH OF TURBULENCE.

At least 35 people suffered injuries after an Air Canada flight hit a severe patch of turbulence.

Via: BBC News (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48959355)

The plane – which had 284 people on board – was travelling from Vancouver to Sydney on Thursday but had to be diverted to Hawaii.

Medical staff examined the injured after it landed at Honolulu’s airport at 06:46 local time.

Contact Husain Law + Associates for a free consultation.

#aircanada #turbulence #airplane

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THE BOEING 737 MAX CRISIS IS A LEADERSHIP FAILURE

The Boeing 737 Max Crisis is a Leadership Failure

Via: New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/17/opinion/boeing-737-max.html)

By Jim Hall and Peter Goelz

The Boeing 737 Max Crisis is a Leadership Failure

We’ve seen this before: A Boeing airliner crashes, killing all aboard. Investigators believe a design flaw in the aircraft played a major role in the accident, but Boeing blames the pilots. Eventually, the design flaw is corrected, but not before another plane crashes, leaving more deaths in its wake.

In our time at the National Transportation Safety Board we saw this happen – long before the two Boeing crashes in the past year.

On March 3, 1991, a United Airlines Boeing 737 crashed on approach to Colorado Springs, killing all 25 people aboard. After an investigation of almost two years, the N.T.S.B. concluded that one of the two likely causes was a malfunctioning rudder power control unit, which moved the rudder in the opposite direction to that intended by the pilots. The agency recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration require airlines to install a modified part, to prevent future rudder reversals, as soon as Boeing made them available, but Boeing failed to do that.

On Sept. 8, 1994, a USAir 737 crashed as it neared Pittsburgh, killing all 132 people aboard. Despite the obvious similarities between the two crashes that were revealed during the investigation, Boeing insisted even to the final stages of the second inquiry that there was nothing wrong with the design of the aircraft, and the company again pointed to improper pilot rudder commands as the cause.

In the end, the rudder was indeed determined to have malfunctioned and caused both crashes. Boeing redesigned the part, and it was retrofitted in all 737s. There has not been a crash caused by that issue since then.

But this disturbing culture of denial persists today at Boeing, as shown by the revelations following the crashes of two 737 Max 8 aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed 346 people. The company has an institutional reluctance to even examine potential design flaws in its product.

Boeing’s stubborn resistance to admit its mistakes – even as those mistakes have delayed the return to operation of 737 Max planes by several months, according to The Wall Street Journal – are turning into a disaster for the company and its customers. Some of the families of the victims testified before Congress on Wednesday.

Even worse, Boeing has found a willing partner in the F.A.A., which allowed the company to circumvent standard certification processes so it could sell aircraft more quickly. Boeing’s inadequate regard for safety and the F.A.A.’s complicity display an unconscionable lack of leadership at both organizations.

Boeing’s first public statements after the Indonesia crash in October, supported by the F.A.A., questioned the abilities of the pilots, even though subsequent reporting has shown that pilots were not given the information they needed to properly react to the aircraft’s unexpected descents. Only after the crash of the second Max 8 in Ethiopia, in March, did Boeing acknowledge that software in the planes’ cockpits played a major role in the accidents.

The 737 Max of today – a 143-foot-long plane seating more than 230 people – is a very different aircraft from the humble 737 of the 1960s, which was only 94 feet long and seated no more than 118. But the current regulatory system allows for significant modifications of an aircraft design without requiring a new certification review. Even though the new plane had different flight characteristics, larger engines and a new flight management system, no simulator training was required for pilots familiar with older model 737s, a marketing move designed by Boeing to increase sales. And the F.A.A. allowed this.

Safety begins at the top, and the top at both Boeing and the F.A.A. has let us down. Boeing’s board must find out who has enabled and encouraged this corporate culture, and hold those leaders accountable, beginning with the chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg.

But this is bigger than the Max 8. We now have an airline safety agency that has become less and less forceful in exercising its regulatory authority over an aircraft manufacturer, even one that appears to be aggressively prioritizing profits over safety. It hasn’t helped that, like many government agencies, the F.A.A. has been without a permanent leader for 18 months.

Congress has permitted this to occur, but it can make the system much stronger. Two decades ago, lawmakers wisely sought to remove the F.A.A. from the political process by giving its administrator a five-year term so that the agency would have continuity of leadership. Congress can push for a permanent F.A.A. administrator, and use its oversight authority to make sure that the new leadership re-establishes the proper relationship between the regulator and the regulated.

The bottom line is that two nearly new, American-built airliners crashed within a few months of each other and nearly 350 people died. No one should be proud of the regulatory structure that put these planes in the air. We need major changes now.

Jim Hall was chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001. Peter Goelz was managing director of the board from 1996 to 2000.

Attorney Nomaan K. Husain of Husain Law + Associates has filed a lawsuit against Boeing for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Boeing 737 Max crash. If you have been affected by this crash, don’t wait a moment longer. Contact us today so we can review your case! Call 713-987-7126 or click here to send us a message!

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3 HOSPITALIZED AFTER CHARTER BUS CRASHES INTO GUARDRAIL IN ROSENBERG

3 hospitalized after charter bus crashes into guardrail in Rosenberg

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WOMEN MORE LIKELY TO INCUR SERIOUS INJURIES IN CAR CRASHES

Women more likely to incur serious injuries in car crashes

According to a new study, women are 73% more likely than men to suffer a serious injury or death in an auto accident. Texas drivers should know that part of the reason for this trend is the lack of accurate crash safety data. With this comes the lack of safety measures and devices designed with women in mind.

For example, the majority of crash dummies used for testing are based on the male body. A female crash dummy was introduced back in 2003. However, it is mostly just a smaller version of the male type. It weighs 110 pounds and is 5 feet tall, putting its dimensions just outside those of the average woman.

In all of these crash tests, there is no effort to take into consideration a woman’s physiological and anatomical differences, such as differences in fat distribution, muscle strength and pelvis shape. These traits can affect how a seat belt will interact with one’s skeletal structure. The fact that women are more susceptible to car crash injuries has been known at least as far back as 2011.

Even with more effective safety features, though, accidents can occur through driver negligence. Someone who is injured by a negligent driver may be able to pursue a personal injury claim. Since Texas is an at-fault state, there is no restriction as to who can file, so the injuries do not necessarily have to be severe. However, only those who are 50% or less at fault can be eligible for compensatory damages. In an effort to ensure a strong case, a victim may want to hire a lawyer.

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BEWARE: SHARING THE ROAD WITH BIG RIGS IS RISKY

Beware: sharing the road with big rigs is risky

Whenever you share the Texas highways with big rigs, you and your passengers are at risk. Eighteen-wheelers and semi-trucks typically weigh more than 10,000 pounds. When fully loaded, they could weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, or even more. Passenger vehicles weigh significantly less, and when these two collide, occupants of passenger vehicles are typically worse off.

If you are a victim of a car vs. 18-wheeler accident, you can suffer fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries. You will probably lose workdays, which will cause income losses. Along with steep medical costs, devastating financial consequences can follow.

Crash facts

Causation-based studies have shown the following typical causes for large truck accidents:

  • A significant percentage of such accidents involve 18-wheelers veering out of their travel lanes and into other lanes or off the road.
  • Rear-end crashes often follow when big rigs do not maintain safe following distances.
  • Many large trucks travel faster than what conditions allow, making it difficult for operators to handle poor road conditions, shifting cargo or mechanical failures.

Common causes of big rig crashes

Both truckers and motorists have responsibilities when it comes to driving, and the following are the most frequently reported causes:

  • Mechanical problems: Proper maintenance of large trucks is crucial. Mechanical malfunctions can include brakes, tires and engine problems.
  • Safety around trucks: Make sure you and your children know how to navigate your vehicle safely around big rigs. Teach them about the limitations that truckers face.
  • No-zones: Stay out of the trucker’s blind spots. Certain areas beside and behind trucks are no-zones, and it is a good idea to remember that the truck operator can only see you if you can see him or her in the side-view mirror.
  • Extra space requirements: Never lose sight of the fact that 18-wheelers need extra space to come to a halt, and to make turns. Never pull in front of a truck because the driver will likely be unable to stop in time and avoid striking your vehicle.
  • Distractions: Both truck and passenger vehicle drivers can cause crashes if they allow cell phones, texting or any other activities to distract them and take their attention away from the road.
  • Fatigue: The nature of a truck driver’s job typically causes stress and fatigue because they must meet challenging deadlines. Furthermore, their duties often include physical exertion during loading and delivering cargo.
  • Drowsy driving: Truckers often work under pressure to extend their driving hours for higher profits. Drowsy driving is as dangerous for truckers as it is for you and any other driver.

PREVENTING BIG RIG ACCIDENTS

8 in every 10 accidents involving small vehicles and semi-trucks are usually caused by the smaller vehicle. The repercussions of these accidents extend beyond vehicle damage to include life-altering or fatal injuries. Thankfully, these accidents can be avoided. Here are some tips to help you achieve that:

  • Practice caution – Avoid driving for too long close to a truck. Even if the driver can see you, some factors could be out of their control. For instance, a blown-out tire from their truck could hit your windshield, or you could lose control and collide due to inclement weather
  • Signal when you want to stop – Big rigs take longer to stop than a small vehicle. Always try to pull off to the side first if you must stop on the interstate. If this is not possible, signal the truck behind you so they can slow down and stop.
  • Avoid distractions – Distracted driving is one of the major causes of auto accidents in the country. The risk is even higher when sharing a road with large vehicles. To protect yourself and other drivers, avoid texting or talking on your phone when driving next to a big rig.
  • Pass cautiously – Large trucks have blind spots that make it difficult for drivers to see passenger vehicles. They might not see you if you drive alongside them. If you have to pass a large vehicle, always pass quickly, cautiously, and on the left side.

Avoid using your high beams – Bright lights can temporarily blind a big rig driver. These few seconds are enough for the driver to cause a dangerous accident.

If you are the victim of an accident caused by the negligence of a truck operator in Houston or elsewhere in Texas, you may be unable to return to work for a significant period — if ever. You will likely have questions about your right to recovery of damages. In such circumstances, the sensible thing to do is to secure the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. Legal counsel can explain your legal rights and navigate the ensuing proceedings to recover economic and noneconomic losses that will allow you to move forward and get your life back on track.

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DISTRACTED DRIVING AND HOW TO AVOID IT

Distracted driving and how to avoid it

With the advent of smartphones and in-vehicle technology, few people need to be told that distracted driving is a rising trend, but what’s important to remember is how widespread it is. Drivers in Texas, as anywhere else, are expected to maintain control of their vehicles at all times, and anything that keeps them from doing this, from phone use to eating and drinking, can be considered a distraction.

There were 3,166 fatalities arising from distracted driving crashes in 2017 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To protect themselves and others on the road, drivers will want to eliminate as many distractions as possible. It all starts with the phone; even hands-free devices can be distracting.

Drivers may want to think twice about eating their breakfast during their morning commute. In fact, a no-eating policy for all vehicle occupants may be a sound idea. Next, drivers can limit the number of passengers they take on to keep distracting conversations to a minimum.

If drivers get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep, they risk becoming drowsy on the road. Drowsiness leads to inattention and even memory lapses, so those who cannot avoid driving should consider a 20-minute nap on the side of the road before continuing any further.

Those who fail to eliminate distractions will likely cause an accident, and they should be the ones held responsible for it. Those on the other side may pursue a personal injury case, but they might want a lawyer to evaluate their case first. Ideally, the case may end in a fair settlement achieved out of court, but if negotiations fail, victims might choose to proceed to litigation. Call Husain Law for assistance today.

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HOW TO AVERT DROWSINESS ON THE ROAD

How to avert drowsiness on the road

Drowsy driving is a big problem in Texas, especially in locations where there are no comprehensive public transit systems. Many people fail to sleep the minimum seven hours each night that the CDC recommends while others put themselves and others in danger by taking prescription sleep aids and heading out on the road before sleeping a sufficient time. Still others will sleep seven hours but remain drowsy because of a sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the effects of being awake for 24 consecutive hours can be compared to that of having a BAC of .10. Drivers, then, should get adequate sleep, have themselves checked for sleep disorders and ask their doctor to change the dosage timing for any sleep aids or other drowsiness-inducing drugs, such as antidepressants, antihistamines and anxiety drugs, so that these do not conflict with driving.

There are several ways that drivers can prepare for long road trips. First, they might want to have a companion who can keep them alert through conversation and switch places with them behind the wheel. Drivers should take a break every two hours. If they notice the signs of drowsiness, which include droopy eyelids, trouble focusing and trouble staying in one lane, then they could pull over for a 20-minute nap.

Drowsy drivers are behind 9.5% of all car crashes, according to a 2018 AAA study. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured in a collision caused by a sleep-deprived driver often need lengthy and expensive medical care and treatment. They might find it advisable to contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., in order to learn more about their options for seeking compensation for their losses.

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DRUNK DRIVING, ITS CONSEQUENCES, AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

Drunk driving, its consequences, and how to avoid them

Texas drivers are aware that alcohol can impair their hearing, vision, muscle coordination, memory and ability to make sound judgments. This is why alcohol intoxication and driving are such a fatal combination. Even with a BAC of .02, drivers can become drowsy and experience some loss of judgment. Once they reach the point of being legally drunk, which is a BAC of .08, then they can hardly detect traffic signals or dangers on the road.

The consequences of being caught while driving drunk can vary; DUI may be a misdemeanor or felony. Penalties can include the suspension of one’s license and jail time, and a driver may wind out paying some $10,000 in fines and legal fees. Some states require that first-time offenders install an ignition interlock device in their cars. This acts as a breath test and prevents drivers from starting their car if they are drunk.

In Texas, an offender may choose to have the system installed in lieu of a license suspension after 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages the wider use of ignition interlock devices because these are proven to help drivers avoid drunk driving. One tried-and-true way of avoiding it, of course, is to designate a sober driver to take people home after drinking. They may also call a taxi, Uber or Lyft.

Drunk driving is a frequent cause of motor vehicle accidents and can form the basis for a third-party insurance claim on the part of those who are injured through no fault of their own. Victims may benefit from legal assistance, especially during the negotiation stage. If negotiations do not result in a fair settlement, then the lawyer may take the case to court. Call Husain Law today for a free consultation.

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SAFETY EQUIPMENT COULD REDUCE TRUCK ACCIDENT FATALITIES

Safety equipment could reduce truck accident fatalities

Trucking accidents can be particularly devastating to other motorists sharing the Texas roads. Because of the size, weight and volume of 18-wheeler trucks, these vehicles are more likely to cause fatalities in accidents. Of the 4,102 people killed in truck crashes in 2017, 82% of the victims were pedestrians, cyclists or occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Some types of truck collisions are even more likely to be fatal. For example, crashes where people are crushed in the exposed area on the truck’s side between the front and rear wheels can be particularly catastrophic.

Between 2005 and 2009, 556 pedestrians and bikers were killed in these types of side-impact truck collisions. The danger of these side crashes has drawn attention and regulatory action internationally. As a result, many countries have required that trucks install side guards if they have a high clearance from the ground. Studies conducted in areas requiring the guards, like the U.K., Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands, have shown that fatalities are less likely when the guards are in place. In the U.K., bicyclist deaths dropped by 61% in side-impact truck collisions after the guards were mandated.

However, the U.S. has so far resisted the international trend toward mandatory side guards. No regulations have been issued despite the recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board that they should become mandatory equipment. Some states and cities are attempting to deal with the problem by issuing local regulations.

Trucking crashes often lead to catastrophic injuries. In many cases, these collisions are caused by negligent or dangerous driving. Someone who has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident may want to retain a lawyer who could help them pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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EVEN A MINOR ACCIDENT CAN HAVE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES

Even a minor accident can have severe consequences

Navigating the busy roads in Texas is a challenge for any driver. Even car accidents that seem minor can have severe consequences. You might find yourself without visible broken bones and no open wounds, but with significant mental distress.

The types and severity of car accidents usually depend on various factors. These include the intensity of the collision, where each person sat, whether you wore your seat belt and the location of the impact on your car.

Most common serious injuries

Upon impact, small, loose lying objects in the car can strike you, and broken pieces of glass might cause minor cuts. Such injuries are sometimes more apparent than other, more severe injuries. You should never decline a trip to the hospital after a vehicle accident. Some orthopedic and internal injuries might go unnoticed for days or even weeks.

Back, neck and chest injuries

These upper body injuries are common in crash victims, typically more severe if you were a front seat passenger:

  • Milder injuries include contusions and bruises to the chest.
  • Neck and back strains and sprains can range from mild to severe.
  • Whiplash injuries often stay hidden for a while and then leave you with long-term, chronic pain.
  • Other grave injuries that could jeopardize your quality of life include damage to the cervical bones and discs, spinal disc damage, and spine fractures that can leave you paralyzed if damage to your spinal cord occurred.
  • Fractures could include ribs, collarbone and shoulder dislocations.

Most of these can restrict your movement if left without prompt medical treatment.

Head and brain injuries

Head injuries are the most common car accident injuries. Note the following head injury facts:

  • Without any external injuries or puncture wounds to the skull, the impact of your brain smashing into the walls of the skull due to the force of the collisions can cause severe brain trauma.
  • Your brain could swell or bleed without any outward signs, and severe physical damage can follow.
  • Head injuries can cause nerve damage, and depending on the part of the brain where the damage occurred, permanent hearing or vision loss can follow.

The list of consequences of head and brain injuries is endless, and a thorough medical evaluation is crucial

Internal organ injuries

These injuries can also go unnoticed, often only becoming evident when they are life threatening:

  • Fractured ribs can cause severe damage if they puncture organs in the chest.
  • Internal organ damage that remains hidden could include the spleen, heart, aorta, lungs, liver, kidneys and bowels.

Large areas of dark purple bruising can indicate internal bleeding.

Joint and extremity injuries

The following crushing and impact injuries to joints and extremities are common in car accidents:

  • Tears, sprains and strains to muscles and ligaments can range from mild to severe.
  • Hyper flexing or forceful twisting of the knee joint can tear the knee meniscus.
  • An Achilles tendon rupture can occur if the tendon at the back of your lower leg stretches beyond its capacity, causing a complete or partial tear.
  • Other extremity injuries include ankle sprains, fractured arms and legs, dislocated or fractured hips and shoulders.

Some of these injuries can cause long-term pain and discomfort.

Psychological Injuries

Emotional distress can be severe, especially if your accident involved loss of lives or severe injuries to you or your passengers. Be aware that leaving emotional wounds untreated can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

The financial consequences

How will you cope with medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses after a serious car accident? The civil justice system of Texas allows you to pursue a claim for financial relief if another party’s negligence caused your injuries and emotional damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate for you and provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the ensuing legal proceedings.

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THE DANGERS OF ROAD RAGE

The dangers of road rage

Road rage is a persistent problem in Texas and other states. One study estimated that fatal crashes related to road rage have increased by 500% in the last 10 years. Other reports have found that incidents of drivers showing or firing guns have also increased. Unfortunately, such incidents make the roads more dangerous for all drivers.

A poll from the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that 80% of those questioned felt serious anger at least once while driving during the past year. Among those surveyed, 33% of drivers made rude gestures while on the road, 47% yelled at other drivers, 45% honked their horns and 51% purposefully drove closely behind another vehicle.

Some drivers prevent vehicles from changing lanes while other motorists are not afraid to purposefully ram cars or get out and confront another driver. Roughly 6 million U.S. drivers are guilty of hitting another vehicle on purpose in a fit of road rage.

The best way to deescalate a tense situation is to not react to an irritated driver or to use a friendly gesture to apologize. When being followed by an angry driver, a motorist should drive at normal speeds and leave enough room between vehicles to escape if necessary.

To get away from an angry driver, one could also drive to a busy area or honk when near a fire or police station to attract attention. If another driver is acting recklessly, one should not lower windows or get out of a vehicle.

A driver who acts erratically and causes a car crash may be the target of a personal injury claim. By filing a suit after a road rage incident, the injured party may receive compensation for expenses related to a crash. An attorney could help the plaintiff fight for a fair settlement.

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SEVEN DEAD AFTER A WWII-ERA B-17 BOMBER CRASH AT A CONNECTICUT AIRPORT

Seven dead after a WWII-era B-17 bomber crash at a Connecticut airport

Husain Law would like to convey its deepest sympathies to the families who lost loved ones in the tragic crash of a B-17 at Bradley International Airport on October 3, 2019. If you would like to learn more or understand your legal rights please contact us (713) 800- 1200 or visit us at hlalawfirm.com

Seven dead after a WWII-era B-17 bomber crash at a Connecticut airport

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FMCSA ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSES TRUCK SAFETY AT CONFERENCE

FMCSA administrator addresses truck safety at conference

Regulations that promote safe commercial truck operations concern all motorists in Texas. An administrator from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration addressed multiple safety topics during an appearance at a conference organized by the American Trucking Association. He commented on advanced safety technology, teen truckers and proposed changes to hours-of-service regulations.

The administrator strongly encouraged trucking companies to adopt technology that assists drivers and appears capable of preventing some crashes and fatalities. He provided information about the agency’s outreach to small fleet operators and owner-operators meant to help them understand the benefits of driver-assistive technology.

Regarding the shortage of long-haul truck drivers, the administrator promoted a pilot program meant to illustrate the safety of employing drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 who have military experience. Pending legislation might eventually approve interstate truck driving by people in this age group, but safety advocates have protested the idea due to concerns about young drivers lacking sufficient experience.

The FMCSA administrator also acknowledged the controversy around some of the proposed changes to hours-of-service regulations. He admitted that some groups might mount legal challenges against the new rules. Once effective, the proposed changes would increase by 50 miles the definition of the short-haul exemption and allow truckers to drive for 14 hours instead of the current 12 hours.

When truck drivers make mistakes or commit outright violations of regulations, the resulting truck and commercial vehicle accidents could leave victims with costly injuries and sometimes permanent disabilities. A person hurt in a wreck with an 18-wheeler might gain perspective on the right to collect compensation from the responsible party by speaking with an attorney. Schedule an appointment at Husain Law to gain legal representation that might counteract an insurer’s attempts to limit payment of damages.

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ATTORNEY FOR FAMILIES SUING BOEING SAYS CEO’S TESTIMONY REVEALS AEROSPACE GIANT PUT PROFIT ABOVE SAFETY

Attorney for families suing Boeing says CEO’s testimony reveals aerospace giant put profit above safety

One year after the Indonesia Lion Air flight 610 crash that killed 189 people, Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, was called to Congress for questioning. The statements made by Muilenburg during what was part of Congress’s investigation on the crash were ill-received by the victims, and their families and attorneys. According to the attorneys, the testimony reveals that Boeing values profit over safety.

Since the crash of Lion Air, several accusations have been levied against Boeing. Reports indicate that the plane-manufacturer incorporated new and confusing software in the planes and failed to conduct proper pilot training. There are also allegations that a compliance regulatory agency failed to raise concerns about defects in the plane’s anti-stall system in a bid to get it onto the market quickly.

According to the accident reports, the plane’s software made it impossible for the pilots to reinstate manual control. Congress questioned why the pilots failed to complain about this defect and why it was not addressed before putting the plane on the market.

When questioned about these reports’ contents, Muilenberg told Congress, “We don’t ‘sell’ safety; that’s not our business model.” This response caused an uproar over Boeing’s disregard for the safety of its passengers. Visibly angry Congress members accused the CEO of placing profits over safety.

To date, there is little evidence of any proactive actions taken by the company to prevent future accidents. Congress holds that the company should have been able to deter the second crash by addressing the Lion Air incident reports.

Following these accusations, Muilenburg was dismissed as chairman of Boeing.

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HOW TO DRIVE SAFELY IN WINTER WEATHER

How to drive safely in winter weather

In the event that winter leaves the roads icy, wet or snowy, drivers in Texas will need to know how to stay safe and avoid accidents. The following are just a few fundamental tips. First, drivers should try to limit their excursions, going out only when necessary. Once they are on the road, drivers must slow down and keep a good distance (five to six seconds at the minimum) from the vehicle in front.

The tires can lose traction at high speeds and in cases of sudden braking and harsh acceleration. Drivers should start braking sooner and keep it gradual. At traffic lights, try to keep up momentum rather than come to a complete stop because accelerating after a complete stop can lead to the wheels spinning.

Braking and accelerating should ideally be avoided when going uphill. Drivers can gain forward motion on the flat part and then keep a slow but steady pace until they reach the crest. There, they should slow down and be on the lookout for pedestrians and oncoming cars. Drivers with ABS should understand the proper way to brake. The same goes for drivers with features like brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Drivers will find it hard to make up excuses if they cause a crash in winter weather. They will be held liable, and their auto insurance company may find itself facing a personal injury case if the other side incurred injuries. Texas being an at-fault state, there are no limitations as to who can file a claim. The only requirement is that the plaintiff’s degree of fault is less than the plaintiff’s. Victims who want to be reimbursed for their medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and other applicable losses may want to see a lawyer for assistance.

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EVEN AFTER KILLING 346 INNOCENT PEOPLE, BOEING CONTINUES TO PUT PROFIT OVER SAFETY

Even after killing 346 innocent people, BOEING continues to put Profit over Safety

Even after killing 346 innocent people, BOEING continues to put Profit over Safety by continuing to Pressure the FAA to re-certify an UNSAFE PLANE!

#hlalaw #boeing737max #triallawyers #ethiopianairlinecrash #aviation #personalinjury #et302 #boeing #lionair #JT610 #profitoversafety

Continue reading Even after killing 346 innocent people

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BOEING IS PRESSURING THE FAA TO CLEAR THE 737 MAX TO FLY SOONER, EVEN AS SOME AIRLINE STAFF BEG NOT TO BE PUT BACK ON IT

Boeing is pressuring the FAA to clear the 737 Max to fly sooner, even as some airline staff beg not to be put back on it

Even after killing 346 innocent people, BOEING continues to put Profit over Safety by continuing to Pressure the FAA to re certify an UNSAFE PLANE!

#hlalaw #boeing737max #triallawyers #ethiopianairlinecrash #aviation #personalinjury #et302 #boeing #lionair #JT610 #profitoversafety

https://www.businessinsider.com/boeing-pressure-faa-737-max-staff-beg-not-to-fly-2019-11

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PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE ACCIDENT RATES RISING

Pedestrian and bicycle accident rates rising

Many people across the nation work to reduce the number of deaths due to traffic incidents. From automakers to agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, preventing fatal crashes is a high priority. A recent study conducted by the NHTSA shows that these efforts are paying off overall, but there is one area of concern.

If you’re the type of person who likes to use a bicycle or walk from place to place, you may be interested to know that the rates of fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists aren’t following the overall downward trend. In fact, here in Texas, those rates rose in 2018. Fortunately, experts are aware of the problem and hope that lawmakers will consider solutions.

Some crash rates falling

First, the NHTSA’s study showed improvement in fatal motor vehicle crash rates overall for 2018. The number of fatal crashes dropped by 2.4% for the United States as a whole. The rates of fatal crashes in Texas also fell by 2.4%. Deaths due to fatal crashes involving alcohol went down by 2.8%. That means that in 2018 over 36,000 people died in a fatal crash in the U.S.

Experts say that the data reveals that safety improvements to cars are working. The drops in fatal crashes happened to the majority of types of motor vehicles. They also saw the drop when looking at crashes involving speeding or use of alcohol.

Other crash rates rising

However, some other categories had an increase in fatal crashes. There was a rise in fatalities for people in large trucks at 0.8%. As concerning as that is, a few other types of crashes have researchers worried.

The rates of crashes that result in the death of a pedestrian jumped by 3.4%. If that wasn’t bad enough, deaths of cyclists rose by 6.3%. Though these numbers may seem small, it means that 259 more pedestrians and cyclists died in a traffic crash in 2018 than in 2017.

How did this happen?

Researchers say that the rise indicates that, while safety improvements keep people in cars safer, they aren’t doing the same for pedestrians and cyclists. They suggest making improvements to roadways and infrastructure in order to combat this problem. They also point to the fact that fatalities in rural areas have dropped while those in urban centers went up. This backs up their theory because city centers are more likely to have pedestrians and cyclists having closer and more frequent contact with motor vehicles.

No matter what the numbers say, if someone you care about loses his or her life in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, statistics are the last thing on your mind. It could turn your world upside down in an instant. A wrongful death claim may be the best course of action as it can serve as a way to hold those responsible accountable.

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FIVE FREQUENT CAUSES OF TRUCK COLLISIONS

Five frequent causes of truck collisions

Texas residents probably know that large truck crashes can arise for a number of reasons. However, five causes are more common than others. The No. 1 reason is driver error. Most crashes between trucks and passenger vehicles are due to driver error, and in 81% of such cases, it is the passenger vehicle driver who is at fault. Obviously, though, truckers are not immune to speeding, drowsy driving and drunk driving.

Inadequately trained truckers can be especially dangerous in bad weather, which is the second-most frequent cause of truck crashes. In particular, sudden braking on wet, icy or snowy roads can lead to skidding, hydroplaning or jackknifing.

A third common cause is lack of truck maintenance. This can lead to brake pads becoming worn or cracks in the windshield spreading. The law requires truckers to inspect their vehicles before every shift. At No. 4, many crashes arise because of equipment failure. Equipment manufacturers sometimes make defective or dangerous products, and the company selling the truck may be negligent, too, in failing to detect these.

There have been cases where cargo fell out of a truck, endangering drivers behind it. Improper cargo loading and securing is, incidentally, the fifth most common factor in truck crashes as people may neglect the industry-specific rules regarding this procedure.

Someone who has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident through no fault of their own could be eligible for compensation, but they might want legal guidance before moving forward. A personal injury lawyer may strengthen the case against the responsible party by hiring investigators to gather proof. The lawyer could then negotiate for a settlement covering medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and whatever else is applicable.

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BOEING FIRES C.E.O. DENNIS MUILENBURG

Story via The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/business/Boeing-ceo-muilenburg.html

Boeing said on Monday that it had fired its chief executive, Dennis A. Muilenburg, who was unable to stabilize the company after two crashes involving its best-selling 737 Max plane killed 346 people and set off the worst crisis in the manufacturing giant’s 103-year history.

The plane has been grounded by regulators since March, and the company and its airline customers have lost billions of dollars. Boeing has faced a series of delays as it tries to fix the Max, and the jetliner’s return to the air remains months away at best.

President Trump recently called Mr. Muilenburg for an update on how the company was doing, underscoring its importance to the American economy. Last week, Boeing said it would temporarily shut down production of the Max, a decision that will force some of the 8,000 companies in the supply chain to scale back production and perhaps lay off workers.

Mr. Muilenburg’s performance during the crisis angered lawmakers, airlines, regulators and victims’ families. He repeatedly made overly optimistic projections about how quickly the plane would be allowed to fly again. That created chaos for airlines, which had to cancel thousands of flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration saw the pronouncements as an attempt to pressure it to clear the Max for service. Mr. Muilenburg’s attempts to offer sincere public apologies for the accidents, including at two congressional hearings in October, have been clumsy, inflicting further damage on Boeing’s reputation.

The firing of Mr. Muilenburg, 55, adds to Boeing’s challenges. The company said David L. Calhoun, its chairman, will replace Mr. Muilenburg on Jan. 13. Until then, Boeing’s chief financial officer, Greg Smith, will serve as interim chief executive.

The grounding has already cost Boeing more than $8 billion, a figure that will rise sharply, and shaved 20 percent off the company’s stock price. The last week was especially brutal for the company. In addition to announcing the production halt, Boeing botched the launch of a space capsule designed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

With no timetable for the return of the Max, the future of Boeing is unsettled. In the coming months, the company’s new leaders must prove to skeptical regulators that the plane is safe to fly. It must also regain the trust of its principal Max customers — the airlines that pay as much as $100 million per airplane — and ultimately the flying public.

In discussions among themselves in recent days, board members concluded that it was time to replace Mr. Muilenburg, according to two people familiar with the matter. On Sunday morning, the board scheduled a call for 5 p.m. Eastern time to discuss Mr. Muilenburg’s future.

On the call, the board members, who were scattered around the country preparing for the holidays, made the unanimous decision to remove Mr. Muilenburg.

Mr. Calhoun, who was in New York, and Larry Kellner, a board member and former airline executive who is Mr. Calhoun’s immediate replacement as chairman, called Mr. Muilenburg to inform him of the decision, according to a person familiar with the situation. The call was brief.

It was a striking turnaround. At a board meeting last week in Chicago, where the Max factory production shutdown was deliberated, there was no talk of removing Mr. Muilenburg, according to two people familiar with the matter. On Friday, a company spokesman said Mr. Calhoun stood by comments he made in November, saying the board supported Mr. Muilenburg.

Mr. Calhoun, 62, who started his career at General Electric and ran G.E.’s airplane-engine business in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, faces a daunting challenge. Before the Max can fly again, regulators must approve Boeing’s fix for an automated system, known as MCAS, that was found to have played a role in both crashes. The company still needs to provide the F.A.A. with all the documents needed to fully describe the software fix.

Boeing is working through technical issues as well. In simulator tests this month, airline pilots did not use the designated procedures during emergencies, instead relying on their own skills to handle problems. That raised new questions about whether regulators will require more extensive training for pilots to fly the plane or whether the procedures need to be changed, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The development of the Max, an updated version of Boeing’s popular 737 jet, was begun under competitive pressure in 2011 as the company sought to fend off competition from its European rival, Airbus. The two crashes have prompted investigations by prosecutors, regulators and two congressional committees into whether Boeing overlooked safety risks and played down the need for pilot training in its effort to design, produce and certify the plane as quickly as possible.

The F.A.A., whose relationship with Mr. Muilenburg had grown increasingly tense during the Max crisis, said on Monday that it did not comment on personnel decisions, but that it was continuing work on approving the plane and had “set no time frame for when the work will be completed.”

A spokesman for the agency said it expected that Boeing would “support that process by focusing on the quality and timeliness of data submittals for F.A.A. review, as well as being transparent in its relationship with the F.A.A. as safety regulator.”

In a note sent to employees on Monday, Mr. Smith, the interim chief executive, pledged “full transparency, including effective and proactive communications with the F.A.A., other global regulators and our customers.”

“This has obviously been a difficult time for our company,” Mr. Smith added in the note, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times. “I am committed to ensuring above all that we meet the needs of our stakeholders — especially our regulators, customers and employees — with transparency and humility.”

Mr. Muilenburg is an engineer who had spent his entire career at Boeing, rising to become chief executive in 2015. He spent much of last week at Boeing’s headquarters in Chicago, taking calls and attending meetings related to the Max crisis and the company’s decision to shut down the Max factory. Though executives viewed the production halt as a prudent step, it sent Boeing’s stock down and rippled through the national economy.

Days after that decision, the F.A.A. became aware of more potentially damaging messages from Boeing employees that the company had not turned over to the agency, further straining the company’s relationship with the regulator. Boeing waited months this year to disclose to the F.A.A. that it had found messages from 2016 in which a Boeing pilot complained that MCAS, which was new to the Max, was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator.

On Friday morning, Mr. Muilenburg was in Florida to observe the predawn launch of the Boeing Starliner, a space capsule the company built for NASA.

Soon after the spacecraft was launched, it went off track because a clock was not set correctly, failing to reach the correct orbit and rendezvous with the International Space Station. The botched Starliner mission was a crushing blow to company morale, with employees desperate for good news after a difficult year.

Yet Mr. Muilenburg, who updated the board about the mission, remained positive and emphasized what had gone right, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. His response was seen as another sign of his being overly optimistic about the company’s challenges.

On Sunday morning, The Times published an article detailing Mr. Muilenburg’s tattered relationship with the F.A.A. and airlines. In it, Gary Kelly, the chief executive of Southwest Airlines, which is Boeing’s largest 737 customer, said of Boeing that “this hasn’t been their best and finest hour.”

By the end of the day, Mr. Muilenburg was out.

Boeing said in a statement on Monday that its board “decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers and all other stakeholders.”

Mr. Calhoun, an experienced executive who was elevated to chairman in October when the board stripped Mr. Muilenburg of that title, is viewed internally as a more natural public communicator than Mr. Muilenburg. In the course of the board’s routine succession planning in recent months, Mr. Calhoun was identified as the likely successor if Mr. Muilenburg needed to be removed.

Mr. Calhoun spent Monday calling government officials, including the head of the F.A.A., Stephen Dickson; members of Congress; the chief executives of major airlines; as well as Boeing investors and executives for the company’s suppliers, pledging to keep the lines of communication open, a Boeing spokesman said.

Yet some key lawmakers remained skeptical.

“What is most dispiriting is appointing Calhoun as C.E.O. after he said that Dennis was doing everything right,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut. “That certainly leaves the impression that it will be business as usual. What’s needed now is a complete house cleaning, not only in personnel but in culture.”

Mr. Blumenthal, who did not speak with Mr. Calhoun on Monday, called for a new Boeing hearing with the new chief executive as soon as possible.

But to some aviation officials and relatives of crash victims, who were deeply frustrated by Mr. Muilenburg’s performance, the management change was welcome news.

“Mr. Muilenburg’s resignation is a good first step toward restoring Boeing to a company that focuses on safety and innovation,” said Michael Stumo, whose daughter Samya was killed in the second Max crash.

It was not immediately clear how much compensation Mr. Muilenburg would receive as he exited the company.

“Today is a turning point,” Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, said in an interview. “Public trust was lost, and Boeing only has the chance for redemption with new leadership.”

Boeing Fires C.E.O. Dennis Muilenburg

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‘JEDI MIND TRICKS’: BOEING 737 MAX EMAILS SHOW ATTEMPTS TO MANIPULATE AIRLINES, FAA

The first Boeing 737MAX was delivered to Lion Air on May 22, 2017. The Internal Boeing emails clearly show that At least 3 years prior to the delivery, Boeing knew it had serious problems on multiple levels with the 737MAX. Instead of addressing the problems with the 737MAX Boeing employees actively misled government regulators and ignored prophetic warnings from its own employees. These emails clearly show that Money was the only thing Boeing cared about. It gambled with the lives of all the people who flew on its inherently flawed plane and it took the sacrifice of 346 innocent people for Boeing to finally do what it should have done years earlier.

Via USA Today: (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/09/boeing-737-max-plane-crash-faa-emails-jedi-mind-tricks/4428720002/)

Boeing went to lengths to downplay the computerized flight-control system that turned out to be deadly in the 737 Max jetliner, a new batch of internal communications show.

Repeatedly, Boeing tried to dissuade airlines from requiring training for pilots in advanced flight simulators before they flew the new jet, a move that would have vastly added to the manufacturer’s costs.

Some of the message exchanges between Boeing employees allude to deceiving regulators or others. One employee talked about “jedi mind tricks” – a “Star Wars” reference – that would hopefully work on regulators.

In the end, the plane launched without a requirement for simulator training, with disastrous effects. Two crashes – one off Indonesia and the other outside Addis Ababa in Ethiopia – killed 346 people and grounded the 737 Max.

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which received and reviewed the documents as part of a probe into the crashes, called the emails “incredibly damning.”

“They paint a deeply disturbing picture of the lengths Boeing was apparently willing to go to in order to evade scrutiny from regulators, flight crews and the flying public, even as its own employees were sounding alarms internally,” said committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., in a statement.

Many of the emails and other communications focus on the development of the flight system blamed for the two crashes, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. The computer program worked in the background, allowing the Max to fly like generations of previous 737s. It counteracted a tendency for the plane to pull upward under some conditions because it had heavier engines that were repositioned on the wings.

As early as 2013, employees at a Boeing meeting were urged to treat MCAS as merely an add-on to an existing stability feature, not something entirely new. “If we emphasize MCAS is a new function there may be greater certification and training impact,” according to an internal email.

The goal was to avoid regulatory hurdles that would take time and add cost. The Max would be labeled just another 737 version, not a whole new model. Moreover, pilots would be able to learn the differences during sessions on personal computers or notebooks, not during costly flight simulator sessions.

The existence of MCAS was downplayed to such a degree that it was barely mentioned in flight manuals. But in October 2018, Lion Air pilots had to fight to keep the nose of their 737 Max up even as MCAS kept pushing it down, a battle they lost when the plane plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 aboard.

Five months later, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed after takeoff. Even thoughMCAS had become known to pilots after the Lion Air crash, similar circumstances led to the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines jet.

A 2013 memo outlined how Boeing could downplay MCAS, making it known internally but hidden from the outside. Inside the company, it could be called MCAS. Outside, the memo said, it was to be referred to only as an addition to the existing speed-trim system. Keeping the name under wraps would make sure Boeing was “not driving additional work due to training impacts and maintenance manual expansions,” the email states.

In a redacted 2017 email to an unnamed airline, Boeing’s chief technical pilot wrote of being concerned that requiring a Max simulator for pilots “will be creating a difficult and unnecessary training burden for your airline, as well as potentially establish a precedent in your region for other Max customers.” Attached was a presentation meant to emphasize how similar the Max was to the previous 737 version, the NG.

In another email, an airline was urged to avoid simulators by having its pilots spend a minimum number of hours in the NG before learning the differences between the two models or requiring their first flight on the Max be with a pilot who has flown the plane before.

“A simulator training requirement would be quite burdensome to your operation,” the Boeing email warned.

In some of the emails, Boeing employees talk openly about the pretense in their efforts.

“I haven’t been forgiven by god for the covering up I did last night,” one worker apparently involved in Max testing wrote last year.

Boeing, in a response to the release of the documents, said it hasn’t found any instances of cover-ups involving the simulator testing. Still, the company said, the “language and the sentiments expressed in these communications are totally unacceptable,” but it stands by its belief that its recommended levels of training in the development of the Max were appropriate.

Yet earlier this week, Boeing changed course, recommending simulator training when the Max is reintroduced.

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TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY’S EXPERT PANEL DEFENDS FAA SYSTEM THAT APPROVED DEADLY 737 MAX JETS

Our clients are in shock and disbelief that any sane person let alone the Secretary of Transportation would conclude that the FAA system does not need a complete overhaul. It is incomprehensible, in light of the avalanche of evidence, that anyone could reach such a conclusion. This is why our clients are not relying on the Government to get to the truth of what happened and will continue to pressure the US Congress to change a broken system.

Via Washington Post: (https://wapo.st/30Ka991)

Transportation secretary’s expert panel defends FAA system that approved deadly 737 Max jets

A panel of aviation safety experts assembled by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao after two deadly crashes involving Boeing 737 Max planes concluded that the Federal Aviation Administration followed its own rules in certifying the aircraft safe to fly, dismissing criticisms that the agency gives manufacturers too much authority to oversee their own work.

Instead, the panel warned against overhauling the system the FAA uses to review new aircraft. The group, led by Lee Moak, the former head of a major pilots union, found that the current system of allowing Boeing and other manufacturers to oversee much of their own work both “promotes safety” and allows “industry and innovation to thrive.” “Any radical changes to this system could undermine the collaboration and expertise that undergird the current certification system, jeopardizing the remarkable level of safety that has been attained in recent decades,” the group wrote. The report is a counterweight to an increasingly strongly held view in Congress that the existing safety approval system is broken. Its conclusions were challenged by lawmakers who are investigating the Max — which was involved in two crashes that left 346 people dead — and say their concerns about the plane’s approval have only deepened since the release last week of internal messages showing Boeing employees disparaging the FAA. Moak repeatedly declined to engage with questions about the internal messages and whether they affected his group’s conclusions, telling reporters Thursday that they were a matter for other reviews and investigations. “I think our report stands,” Moak said. In a statement, Chao said she had reviewed the report and was directing the FAA’s leaders to “provide an action plan to incorporate all appropriate recommendations in the interest of improving the aircraft certification process.” A spokesman for Chao would not say whether the secretary shared the committee’s conclusion that the safety approval process ought not to be overhauled.

Boeing, whose standing has been badly hurt by the crashes and subsequent internal messages, said in a statement that it appreciated the committee’s work and would study its recommendations. The company’s board ousted its chief executive in December and has shut down production of the now-grounded Max while safety regulators determine whether it’s safe to fly again.

At the same time, congressional investigators have been probing how the plane was first approved and the responses to the crashes.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said his team’s investigation has shown that the approval process, known as Organization Designation Authorization, failed at multiple points and that legislation to improve safety was needed.

“I want to be very clear: 346 people died because the system failed,” he said in a statement. “Despite the wishes of industry, it would be the height of irresponsibility to leave the ODA system as is and just hope for the best the next time. Not addressing the failures head-on would be a grave mistake and that will not happen on my watch.”

Moak worked on the review with a retired Air Force general and three safety experts with a mix of experience in government and private industry.

The group’s report offered an extended defense of the FAA’s oversight. It noted criticisms that giving companies broad authority to oversee themselves creates an “inherent conflict of interest” that results in “a regulatory blind spot.”

“This interpretation is inaccurate,” the report states. “In fact, with strict FAA oversight, delegation extends the rigor of the FAA certification process” by “multiplying the technical expertise” focused on an aircraft’s safety, it said.

But the report did not explain how and why the FAA’s oversight failed to catch the Max’s deadly flaws or the problems at Boeing that created them.

“In summary, we found good faith compliance efforts with the regulatory requirements by both Boeing and the FAA,” it concluded.

It noted that “no holistic assessment” of risk “was required, or presented” by Boeing.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the top Republican on the Transportation Committee, called the report unbiased said it “clearly dispels the narrative that our aviation certification system is broken and must be completely rebuilt.”

Boeing and other companies should be required to build or expand internal “safety management systems” that would be overseen by the FAA, the report said. And it recommended that the FAA and industry “should work together” to address concerns about “potential undue pressure” on company representatives who are supposed to act on the FAA’s behalf in overseeing safety, though it did not offer specifics.

The recommendations also include rethinking assumptions about how well pilots are trained, reviewing how multiple changes to an existing aircraft design might affect one another and improving communication between Boeing and the FAA.

The Max, a version of the 737 upgraded with new engines, was approved by the FAA in 2017. But in October 2018 one of the jets plunged into the sea off Indonesia, and five months later a second jet crashed in Ethi­o­pia.

In both cases a new automated feature was found to have malfunctioned, driving the plane’s nose down in a way that the pilots could not overcome. Documents disclosed by Boeing and congressional investigators have shown that the company went to great lengths to downplay the new feature during the approval process, concerned that it could prompt the FAA to require crews to undergo costly simulator training before flying the new jet.

The international committee concluded that details about the feature were shared with safety regulators in only a fragmentary way and that it could have been scrutinized more closely.

The new report discusses the feature, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, saying that it was identified and tested in flights by Boeing and the FAA and that pilots were trained to deal with the conditions it would create if it malfunctioned.

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A MALFUNCTIONING 737 MAX WARNING LIGHT COULD COST BOEING MILLIONS IN NEW FAA FINES

Boeing knew that there were serious safety issues with its Boeing 737Max before the first Boeing 737MAX was delivered to Lion Air on May 22, 2017. Instead of addressing the problems with the 737MAX, Boeing employees actively misled government regulators and ignored prophetic warnings from its own employees. This is further proof that Money was the only thing Boeing cared about. It gambled with the lives of all the people who flew on its inherently flawed plane and it took the sacrifice of 346 innocent people for Boeing to finally do what it should have done years earlier.

Via Fortune.com (https://fortune.com/2020/02/21/boeing-737-max-warning-light-new-faa-fines/)

Boeing Co. engineers discovered in 2017 that a software glitch had rendered a warning light on the newly introduced 737 Max inoperable on 80% of the planes. But the company chose not to fix it or to inform U.S. regulators.

The next year, a Lion Air jet suffered the malfunction the alert was designed to detect and crashed in the Java Sea. The lack of an alert was cited as a factor in the crash by Indonesian investigators and Boeing’s failure to fix it drew stiff condemnation from lawmakers and families of the victims.

Now the inoperable warning light is threatening to become a costly new headache for the planemaker: its absence on the jet violated U.S. Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The FAA is considering imposing civil penalties, according to documents and officials, which can amount to millions of dollars.

“A manufacturer cannot alter the airplane’s features after it has been certified,” the then-acting head of the FAA, Daniel Elwell, said in a letter to lawmakers last July, referring to the malfunctioning alert.

The fines could accrue quickly. The agency’s enforcement guidelines say large businesses such as Boeing can be assessed $3,000 to more than $34,000 per violation. That could be applied to each of the more than 300 planes on which the alert didn’t work.

Moreover, a 2015 agreement to settle 13 separate investigations against Boeing — some of them involving similar issues of aircraft certification — gives the FAA a way to take swift action against the company. Boeing paid $12 million in that case, but could be assessed an additional $24 million if FAA finds the violations continued.

At the very least, the failure to disclose the inoperative warning light combined with other recent disclosures by the company — such as messages between employees mocking the FAA — have significantly soured the relationship between the Chicago-based manufacturer and its regulator.

J.E. Murdock, who served as FAA’s chief counsel and acting deputy administrator in the 1980s, said he’d never seen anything like what he called Boeing’s recent “disregard” for norms during his four decades of working in the aviation sector.

“I don’t know how this came about, but it’s worrisome to me,” Murdock said.

Boeing’s decision to withhold two troves of caustic and sarcastic text messages and emails between its employees from the FAA runs contrary to agency policy encouraging self-disclosure. Boeing had compiled at least some of the messages early last year, but didn’t disclose them to FAA until last fall and in January.

The FAA said in an emailed statement it doesn’t comment on potential enforcement actions.

Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the company wouldn’t comment on any possible open investigations. The company said it may be subject to unspecified penalties in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, but said it didn’t anticipate a significant impact on its bottom line.

Crashes involving the 737 Max — there was a second one in Ethiopia last March, in which the alert also didn’t work — killed 346, grounded the plane worldwide and will cost the company an estimated $18.6 billion.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Criminal Division has gathered information about the plane through a grand jury. The SEC is also investigating whether Boeing properly disclosed issues with the plane to investors.

Congress is also looking into the disasters, including a provision of the law that permitted Boeing to designate employees to perform much of the Max certification functions on behalf of the agency. One such “designee” signed off on the decision not to immediately fix the warning light issue.

Elwell’s July letter provided a rare window into how the FAA views a high-profile matter that could become an enforcement case. It explicitly said the failure to fix the alert is a violation of agency regulations.

The FAA agrees with Boeing that the failure to install a working warning system — which illuminates when sensors that measure whether the nose is pointed above or below oncoming air disagree with each other — wasn’t a safety violation, Elwell said.

However, “once it was made part of the approved type design, it was required to be installed and functional on all 737 Max airplanes Boeing produced,” he said.

In comments during a Dec. 11 House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing, Steve Dickson, who became FAA administrator in August, said he is considering action against Boeing for that and other issues.

“I have expressed my disappointment to the Boeing leadership about that,” Dickson said at the hearing. “And so, I reserve the right to — to take further action and we very well may do that.”

The agency filed two unrelated enforcement cases against Boeing since December, seeking a total of $9.3 million for claims it knowingly installed substandard parts on wings, including on the 737 Max. In November, the FAA stopped granting Boeing employees authority to certify that individual aircraft were built to legal standards.

Boeing’s actions on the so-called angle-of-attack disagree light also raise questions about the FAA’s system of deputizing Boeing employees to conduct agency approvals and oversight.

A Boeing employee who was the FAA’s authorized representative signed off on the company’s decision not to immediately repair the warning light, Representative Peter DeFazio, the Oregon Democrat who is chairman of the House committee that held the hearing, said in an interview. The involvement of the authorized representative was discovered in recently obtained documents, DeFazio said.

“That points to the huge problem at Boeing and the problem with the system,” he said.

The disagree light was standard equipment on earlier models of the 737, known as Next-Generation, and supposed to be included on the 737 Max. But a software change caused it not to function if airlines didn’t order an optional display that showed what each angle-of-attack sensor was reading.

As a result, 80% of the 387 Maxes the company delivered to airlines didn’t have a working disagree light, according to Indonesia’s final report on the Lion Air crash off of Jakarta, which killed 189 on Oct. 29, 2018. A second crash, of an Ethiopian Airlines Group jetliner on March 10, killed 157 and resulted in the plane’s worldwide grounding.

Boeing recognized the error just months after the 737 Max entered service in 2017, the company said in a statement posted on its website last May. The company “followed its standard process” for resolving such issues by consulting in-house experts, it said in the statement.

A review found that the absence of a disagree light wasn’t a safety issue, according to the statement. There are no emergency procedures associated with the disagree light for pilots and the planes provide flight crews other indications that the sensors have failed.

As a result, the company decided to repair the alert in a later software update. Boeing’s “senior company leadership” wasn’t involved in the decision, it said in the statement.

Only after the Lion Air accident did the company inform the FAA. The company plans to ensure that the alert works on the planes before the grounding is lifted.

The alert was relevant to the Lion Air crash because it should have activated before the accident and on a previous flight, the investigation concluded. If it had done so, it might have helped mechanics diagnose and fix the issue before the crash, the report concluded. A malfunctioning angle-of-attack sensor is what prompted an automated system to repeatedly push down the plane’s nose.

It’s not clear whether the FAA will bring a case against Boeing related to the 737 Max, and it can take years from the time it starts an investigation it until the agency imposes a penalty. The FAA often waives or lowers penalties if companies promise to spend the money on fixing errors.

One potential complication to any such case is the criminal investigation. It’s not uncommon for the Justice Department to ask agencies such as the FAA to delay their enforcement cases if they interfere with a possible criminal case.

In its settlement agreement between FAA and Boeing in 2015, the company agreed to tighten up its internal audits and make regular reports to the agency about its compliance, including ensuring that aircraft conform to their designs, according to a press release at the time.

When asked during the December hearing whether Boeing had complied with the settlement, Dickson said he hadn’t decided yet.

“But it’s something that’s under consideration and it could be the subject of future litigation,” he said.

The largest fine ever paid in an FAA enforcement action was $24.9 million by American Airlines, now known as American Airlines Group Inc., in 2013.

If past FAA practice is a guide, the amount of any civil penalties will be relatively low compared to fines levied against automakers or financial institutions in recent years, which has rankled lawmakers such as DeFazio.

“I think that when companies become repeat offenders, there should be a dramatically escalating series of fines and actions,” DeFazio said.

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PEGASUS AIRLINES FLIGHT 2193

Pegasus Airlines Flight 2193

If you or a loved one were passengers on Pegasus Airlines Flight 2193, click here to contact us!

On Wednesday, February 5th, 2020, another Boeing airplane crashed while landing. Pegasus Airlines flight 2193 with service from Izmir, Turkey to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport skidded off the runway during landing and split into three pieces, reported the Associated Press. Turkish authorities have reported that the Boeing 737 in question carried 183 people, including crew members, and left 3 people dead and 179 people injured.

At the time of the crash, they were experiencing heavy rain and strong winds, contributing to a “rough landing,” as described by the Transportation Ministry. The plane skidded roughly 50-60 meters before dropping roughly 30 meters into a ditch, according to the Associated Press. In a report from The Washington Post, the plane was 11 years old and purchased by Pegasus Airlines from Air Berlin in 2016.

The Washington Post reports that a passenger on the flight claimed that instead of slowing down upon landing, the plane accelerated before leaving the runway. An investigation has been launched and authorities are looking into the two pilots of the plane (The Washington Post).

In their official press release, Pegasus Airlines says “Pegasus Airlines shares in the profound sorrow of all the people affected by this tragic accident. Above all, we would like to express our profound sympathy and heartfelt condolences to those families and friends who have lost loved ones and extend our thoughts to them at this difficult time.” They further state, “We are deploying every resource to support those affected by this accident.”

According to numerous sources, this is not the first time Pegasus Airlines has dealt with a plane skidding off the runway. According to the Associated Press, just one month ago on January 7th, 2020 another Pegasus Airlines flight skidded off the runway at the very same airport. Additionally, Pegasus Airlines had another Boeing 737 skid off the runway and down a cliff at Turkey’s Trabzon Airport in 2018. No injuries were reported for either of those crashes, reports the Associated Press.

Plane crashes have become all-too-common news stories, and the number of injuries is nothing to take lightly. Boeing has had to respond to multiple crashes of their airplanes in recent years; however, they continue to prioritize profits over human life. Whether the issue lies with the repeated incidents with a particular airline or issues with the aircraft manufacturer itself is largely irrelevant when considering the loss and injury of human life—it simply should not happen. However, when it comes to seeking compensation and justice, we will hold the parties at fault responsible.

Every time we board a plane, we are putting our trust and our lives in the hands of the pilots, the airline, and the plane manufacturer. The loss or injury of human life because of an error in any of these essential components is unacceptable.

If you or a loved one was a passenger on Pegasus Airlines flight 2193, you are entitled to compensation. Call 713-800-1200 or fill out our form here to get the process started. You don’t have to settle for being the victim of a plane crash. Take a stand and get your life back on track today.

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WHAT CAUSES CAR ACCIDENTS?

Car accidents can have a serious impact on victims and their loved ones. They often cause injuries, which in turn result in accumulating medical bills, lost wages, and untold pain and suffering. Even worse, they can happen anywhere and to anyone. This is why vehicle owners need to understand what causes car accidents and how to protect themselves.

The economic, physical, and emotional impacts of a car accident can be far-reaching. Fortunately, you can seek compensation if you were not to blame for a crash. An expert Houston Car Accident Attorney can help you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

If you have been injured in the Houston area by a negligent driver, contact Husain Law to learn your rights.

DRIVER BEHAVIOR

Drivers make choices behind the wheel that could potentially endanger them and other drivers or road users. When these choices result in negligent acts, drivers can be sued for damages if they cause an accident. Some driver behaviors that could lead to a car accident include:

  • Distracted Driving – A distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving. Common driver distractions include texting while driving, personal grooming, interacting with passengers, and adjusting car features.
  • Intoxicated driving – Driving while under the influence of alcohol or a drug is illegal. It reduces a driver’s response time, visibility, and control.
  • Drowsy driving – If a driver goes for too long without sleep, they can be as dangerous as a drunk driver behind the wheel. They will experience reduced reaction time and visibility.
  • Speeding – According to the NHTSA, speeding has contributed to one-third of all fatal accidents since 1995.

Mechanical Failure

Sometimes, the driver is not to blame for an accident. The causal factor could be a mechanical failure that caused the driver to lose control of their vehicle. Such failures could be the result of poor maintenance, manufacturing defects, and defective auto parts.

  • Poor maintenance – Includes driving with worn tires, axles, or brakes. Here, the driver or their mechanic can be held liable for an accident.
  • Manufacturing defects – Car companies can be responsible for accidents if the cause is established as a design or auto part flaw. Common defects include defective tires and faulty brake pads.

Environmental Factors

The cause of an accident can be present in the environment. Common factors include weather, traffic, and road conditions. In such cases, liability is not always apparent.

  • Weather conditions – On a foggy day, drivers will likely experience reduced visibility and likely cause an accident. The environmental cause then becomes secondary to the driver’s behavior.
  • Road conditions – If a state or county fails to maintain their roads in a safe condition, they can be held liable for accidents that happen on that road.

TALK TO A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY

What causes car accidents? A car accident could be the result of a driver’s behavior or poor environmental conditions. It could also be caused by a mechanical failure due to poor maintenance or defective parts. In most cases, you can hold someone responsible for a car accident. This could be the driver, their mechanic, car manufacturer, or a government agency.

Once you have established who is liable for a crash, you can pursue financial damages. Contact Husain Law today to schedule an appointment with an experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney.

References

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/speeding

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PROTECTING YOUR CHILD FROM CAR SEAT ACCIDENTS

Children are dependent on their guardians for many things, including protection. Parents are expected to properly restrain and position their children in a car when driving. This reduces the chances of the children falling victim to child car seat accidents.

However, research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that over 618,000 children up to 12 years of age ride in cars without proper restraints. This situation led to 122,000 serious child injuries and 602 deaths from car accidents in 2014.

If your child has sustained injuries in an auto accident, a Houston Car Accident Attorney can answer your questions about liability and the possibility or compensation.

TEXAS CAR SEAT LAWS

The Texas Department of Public Safety outlines a set of regulations to ensure parents follow proper child car seat instructions and use the appropriate seating gear. This is aimed at protecting children under the age of 12 from severe injuries. Some of the rules include:

  • Children should never ride in the front seat of a vehicle
  • Children under 8 years of age must be restrained in an appropriate booster or car seat
  • All children in a vehicle must be restrained by seat belts
  • Children with a height above 4 ft. 9’ can ride in the back without a booster seat but with seat belts on
  • Teenagers can ride in the front seat with seat belts on

By following these rules, you can shield your child from some of the dangers of a car accident. You can also protect yourself from the repercussions that follow a violation. These include a traffic violation charge, points on your license, a mandatory Texas seat belt course, or a fine of up to $200.

CAR SEAT OPTIONS FOR CHILDREN

Generally, very young children should always ride in the back in a rear-facing child seat. Slightly older children can sit in the same position but in a front-facing seat. All children should be restrained with belts at all times. Here is an overview of the viable seating and restraining options in Texas:

  • Rear-facing seat – A rear-facing seat is best suited to children younger than 1 year of age. It offers cushion and support for a baby’s head, neck, and spine. This cradles their body, eliminating the risk of whiplash.
  • Forward-facing seat – This seat is ideal for babies older than 1 who are too big for a rear-facing seat. It includes a harness and tether that secures the child’s abdomen, shoulder, pelvis, and hips to the seat.
  • Booster seat – This is a seat used to elevate your child, so the vehicle’s seat belts can fit around them.
  • Belt – Used when a child outgrows their booster seat. Parents can use belt adjusters to provide comfort.

TALK TO A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Children are more vulnerable to child car seat accidents injuries than their guardians. The risk increases significantly when the child is improperly restrained or not restrained at all. Consequently, every parent must incorporate booster seats into their vehicles. They should also learn proper sizing, fastening, and buckling, given that an estimated 46 percent of these seats are used ineffectively.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to talk to a Houston Car Accident Attorney.

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ARE YOU LIABLE FOR ACCIDENTS IF YOU COSIGN A CAR LOAN?

Having good credit is a positive attribute that could endure you to lenders. It could also make your relatives and friends turn to you to cosign a loan. While doing so could help a loved one, there are many risks involved. For instance, if you cosign a car loan, are you liable for accidents? What effect will a cosigned loan have on your credit?

Cosigning a loan is a common practice in the lending world. It allows you to help out someone who the lender considers to have bad credit. However, it can also expose you to certain risks. This is why you should explore all the merits and merits before cosigning a loan.

A Houston Car Accident Attorney can answer any questions you have about your eligibility in a car accident. Contact Husain Law to learn about your rights.

Who Is a Cosigner?

Not everyone has a good credit score. For such people, getting approved for a loan can prove difficult. A cosigner increases the odds of someone with bad credit getting a loan. They usually have a lengthy credit history and a good credit score. Essentially, a cosigner agrees to pay the borrower’s loan if the borrower defaults on it.

A good number of borrowers would have a hard time getting first-time credit without cosigners. However, cosigning holds many risks for the cosigner.

Cosigning on an Auto Loan

If you cosign an auto loan, you commit your credit to it. This means that you agree to pay it off should the primary borrower default. You can cosign an auto loan for a family member or close friend. Generally, you are only responsible for the loan, not what the primary borrower does with the car.

LIABILITY AFTER A CRASH

As mentioned, cosigning an auto loan does not make you liable for what the primary borrower does with the car. You will not be held responsible for any accidents resulting from the driver’s negligent acts. However, you are liable for the loan payments, which could pose a problem if the driver is sued.

Consider a situation where the primary driver is sued for damages in a drunk driving accident. If they end up paying a lot of money in suit settlements, they might lack enough money to pay off the car loan. This will leave you to make the loan payments.

LEGAL ACTION

In the above example, the lender could sue you for unpaid loan payments if the primary borrower defaults the loan. If they are successful in court, you could have your wages garnished, and bank account levied. The court could even put a lien on your car until the loan is paid. Records of such legal actions will then appear on your credit report.

CONSULT WITH A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

If you cosign a car loan, are you liable for accidents? Generally speaking, you shouldn’t be held responsible for an accident if you weren’t driving the vehicle when it happened. Liability typically falls on the driver, not the owner, except in certain situations.

However, if the primary borrower gets sued for an accident and defaults on the loan, you will be responsible for making the loan payments.

Contact Husain Law to discuss your liability with an expert Houston Car Accident Attorney.

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UNREPORTED CAR ACCIDENTS IN TEXAS

Under Texas transportation laws, drivers involved in an accident are mandated to report an accident to the local police or sheriff’s office, depending on the accident scene location. This responsibility especially holds where the accident has resulted in injury, death, or significant vehicle damage.

Failing to report an accident can have severe repercussions on the result of any subsequent compensation claims. Nonetheless, it is not unheard of for some drivers to shun this mandatory requirement and cover up a crash.

Here is a review of how an unreported car accident can impact your case. If you have been injured in a crash, talk to aHouston Car Accident Attorney about filing a police report and compensation claim.

WHY SHOULD YOU FILE A POLICE REPORT?

There are a variety of reasons why a driver would decide against reporting a car accident. The most commonly cited one is the lack of pain or injury symptoms. In some instances, the at-fault driver will convince you to let them settle any losses you might have suffered without involving the authorities.

Here is why an unreported car accident is not worth the risk:

  • Texas Law on Reporting Accidents

In some cases, reporting a car accident is required by law. This includes situations where the accident resulted in bodily injury, death, or property damage amounting to at least $1,000. Car accident victims who don’t file a police report are expected to submit a complete Driver’s Crash Report within 10 days of the crash. Failing to do this could result in jail time, a fine of $5,000 or more, or both.

There is no legal requirement to report an accident that causes no injuries or apparent property damage. Failure to report an accident, however, can have serious repercussions later.

  • Late-Occurring Injuries

Immediately after an accident, the shock and adrenaline release might block your perception of pain. You might not present any injury symptoms for hours, days, or weeks after the crash. This might lead you to put off reporting your accident.

If your injuries appear later, this failure in your part could undermine your compensation claim. The at-fault party could argue that your injuries are not related to the accident as you did not report them earlier. This could make it difficult for you to establish causality.

  • Filing an Insurance Claim

You can file a claim without a police report. However, the process will generally be longer and more complicated. The insurer will likely take their time processing your claim. Because of the lack of evidence, they might even deny it.

A police report, however, is an official document detailing the circumstances of your accident. It includes insurance information, evidence collected, and witness statements, and contact information.

All you need to do is send a copy to your insurance adjuster to get started on your claim.

CONTACT A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

The at-fault party in a car collision has every reason not to report a crash. However, as a victim, an unreported car accident can lower your chances of getting compensated for your losses significantly. This means that you might be forced to cover your medical costs and property damage out of pocket.

A Houston Car Accident Attorney can help you build a strong case. However, you have to do your part by first reporting the accident to the local authorities.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to schedule a consultation with an expert.

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WHO GETS IN MORE CAR ACCIDENTS?

Who gets in more car accidents? You might have had this debate with other fellow drivers at one point. You could even be familiar with the long-running stereotype that women are bad drivers. While this conversation could sometimes run as a joke, recent studies have shown that gender directly affects the frequency of auto accidents.

Car accidents happen every day. Anything from a minor fender bender to a serious collision can have devastating effects on the victims, including injury or death. Fortunately, people injured in a crash by negligent drivers could be eligible for compensation.

Have you been involved in a car accident in Houston? Contact Husain Law to discuss your rights and legal options with an expert Houston Car Accident Attorney.

DRIVING STATISTICS AMONG MEN AND WOMEN

Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that car accident casualties include more men than women. 28,545 men died in car accidents in 2000. In the same year, women’s fatalities were recorded at 13,396. The numbers in 2015 were 24,899 and 10,166, respectively. Generally, this 71-29 percent disparity can be attributed to several factors. These include:

  • Mileage – Men drive more than women. While this gives them more experience on the road, it also exposes them to a higher risk of accidents. This is because they are more likely to be on the road. It explains why many accidents involve male drivers.
  • Risky behavior – According to the study findings, women are more likely than men to wear seatbelts. They are also less likely to drive while drowsy or intoxicated. These driver behaviors are well-established causes of fatal car accidents.
  • Speeding – Men younger than 34 are almost twice as likely to die in a speeding accident than women. When you drive at high speed, you reduce your reaction time. You also increase the force of impact should you get into an accident.

While these factors could account for the difference in accident numbers between the two genders, other possible factors that could explain these numbers include:

Motorcycles

Men are also more frequent motorcycle riders. Factoring women in as passengers, they make up 24 percent of all riders. Additionally, 91 percent of motorcycle fatalities are men. This can be because women are more likely to:

  • Wear protective gear such as helmets and reflector jackets
  • Attend motorcycle training courses
  • Start riding later in life.
  • Avoid risky behavior such as intoxicated riding, racing, and speeding.

Profession

Men are far more likely than women to have driving-related professions. According to statistics, men make up 94.9 percent of truck drivers and 87 percent of taxi drivers in the country. This ultimately exposes them more to auto accidents while on the job.

Talk to a Houston Car Accident Attorney Today

The answer to who gets in more car accidents is men. However, if you get injured in a crash, it ultimately won’t matter who was behind the wheel. You will need the help of an expert attorney to seek damages to cover your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in a car caused by another driver’s negligence, contact Husain Law to speak to an experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney. We will inform you of your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

References

https://www.vice.com/en_us /article/qvdpgv/people-think-women-are-worse-drivers-than-menstatistics-say-otherwise

https://www.trucks.com/2016/09/28/ female-truckers-face-industry-hurdles/

http://www.schallerconsult.com/ taxi/taxidriversummary.htm

http://www.womenridersnow.com/ pages/About_Women_Riders_Now.aspx

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MAKING AN N95 MASK FOR COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Via Forbes: (https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/03/29/making-an-n95-mask-for-covid-19-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/)

By now, you’ve probably heard that there is shortage of N95 masks for health care professionals trying to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The shortage has motivated a number of DIY (do-it-yourself) efforts by well-meaning folks to make masks that are not exactly official N95 masks. While the intents behind such efforts are admirable, it will be important to have the design and manufacturing of such masks follow the science of N95 respirators.

The stakes are high when designing an alternative mask. A shortage of N95 masks isn’t like a shortage of throw pillows. Lack of such protection for health care workers can make it much more likely for them to get infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). This not only puts them at risk but also other patients seen by such health care workers. So an incorrect design will have a lot deeper consequences than just bad Amazon reviews.

It’s not clear whether this would be to replace simple masks and hospital gowns that don’t need to filter out small particles or to replace N95 respirators as well. If it’s the former then jersey material could work, again as long as it is for situations where filtering small particles like viruses is not needed. Plus, there’s the added advantage of you looking like either a New York Yankees player or a topographical map, whichever you happen to prefer. Additionally, such “jersey masks” could provide some benefits while placed on patients who are infected with the SARS-Cov2. This could catch their coughing and sneezing so that they are at least a little less likely to infect others.

However, masks using such material would not adequately protect doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals working directly with patients who may be infected with SARS-CoV2. Jersey material does not have the characteristics necessary to filter out very small virus particles. In fact, any DIY efforts should keep in mind the following eight qualities that a N95 mask or the equivalent should have:

1. The mask has to actually filter out the virus.

The mask is called N95 and not “N let’s see what can and can’t get through the mask.” N95 means that the mask can filter out at least 95% of particles of all sizes from the air. That includes something less than 0.1 microns in size and something as large as a watermelon. Note, if watermelons are flying through the air, it helps to duck as well.

Basically, the mask needs keep the virus from reaching your nose and mouth, which is why wearing panty hose over your head like a gangster isn’t going to do the trick. “Something like panty hose is too porous,” explained Sundaresan Jayaraman, PhD, the Kolon Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Materials Science & Engineering. “That’s the case with many types of fabric. Even when you use several layers of fabric, it may have too many holes.” He added that one layer of a handkerchief or bandana is only going to filter out less than 10% of particles.

Polypropylene is a commonly used material for N95 masks. To get through a filter made out of interlaced layers of polypropylene fibers, small particles have to wind through a rather tortuous path and as a result tend to get stuck, as described by a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report that Jayaraman helped author. Think about getting through the filter material as getting through the entire crowd at a BTS concert. However, creating a tortuous path isn’t the only way that polypropylene makes it difficult for viruses to pass.

2. The mask should have more than one filtering mechanism.

If you are trying to keep someone from getting into the nightclub that you call your body, you would want multiple ways to keep him or her from entering. That way if one mechanism fails, the others are there. The NASEM report described three general mechanisms that N95 masks have to pull particles from the air stream: inertial impaction, diffusion, and electrostatic attraction. Inertial impaction sounds like a dance move or a dental procedure. But it is when the tortuous path makes it difficult for particles that are 1 μm and larger to continue on their straight paths. Such particles are too large to weave through the mask fibers and end up running into one the fibers.

The second mechanism, diffusion, helps keep particles that are 0.1 μm and smaller from proceeding. The design of the mask filter creates a situation in which these very small particles move in random directions, colliding with each other and with filter fibers. When these particles are bouncing against each other as if they were in a mosh pit, it less likely that they will get though the maze.

The third mechanism, electrostatic attraction, sounds like something someone would say on a Tinder conversation. The filter material for N95 doesn’t just physically block viruses and other small particles. As the song goes, you can’t see it, it’s electric. During the manufacturing process, the fibers receive an electric charge. As Jayaraman described, “this electrostatic charge then attracts the virus so that it gets stuck on the fibers.” This is one case where forced attraction is a good thing.

3. The mask shouldn’t suffocate you.

Lots of materials could keep the virus out like cement or Saran Wrap. There’s one slight problem with such materials though. You have to be able to breathe, which is why you have your nose in the first place. Breathing resistance is not a movement against breathing, but instead how difficult a mask makes it to breathe. “You have to make sure the breathing resistance is not too high for a mask,” said Jayaraman. “Wrapping your face with Saran wrap may keep viruses out but the breathing resistance would be too high. The same would be true for many layers of fabric.” Low enough breathing resistance is important both for the inhale as well as the exhale. if air can’t get back out through the mask, it could blow up like a balloon.

4. The mask has to fit and form a seal with your face.

Wearing a mask that filters out the virus but does not form a tight seal with your face can be like locking the front doors of your car but not the back. Any gaps between the mask and your face can allow the virus to sneak into your nose or mouth. That’s why you should be fit-tested for a N95 mask before actually using it.

5. The mask should be reasonably comfortable to wear.

OK, the phrase “slip into something more comfortable” usually doesn’t mean put on a N95 mask. If a date ends with N95 masks on, something probably has gone wrong. There will always be some level of discomfort wearing such a mask. Nevertheless, the mask can’t be too uncomfortable. The edges of the mask can’t be so sharp or abrasive that they cause substantial irritation, sores, or cuts. The mask can’t be so tight that you feel like your head is going to explode.

6. The mask shouldn’t shed.

The song “Pieces of Me” shouldn’t apply to your mask. Anything that breaks off or sheds from your mask such as fibers and little particles can go straight up your nose and potentially down into your lungs. And that’s not good.

7. The mask must be durable enough.

Health care settings aren’t exactly rom-coms. Things rarely go perfectly. They can be quite chaotic with unexpected splashing of liquids. Plus, you breathe out water vapor from your mouth and also may spit while you talk. If you believe that you don’t spit at least occasionally when talking then you probably believe that you don’t fart either. The mask has to be reasonably resistant to all of these possibilities and maintain its integrity and filtering capabilities at least for a while.

8. The airstream and filtering portion of the mask need to be large enough.

This can be like making a highway too narrow. A too narrow passageway may not only increase breathing resistance but also lead water droplets to coalesce. Coleascing water droplets can make the filter wet and thus decrease its effectiveness.

All of this being said, N95 respirators are not the only option to protect health care workers from SARS-CoV2 in the air. For example, reusable elastomeric respirators may provide superior protection compared to N95 masks. A drawback is that they can make you “look like Darth Vader,” in the words of Jayaraman. But as long as you don’t say “feel the power of the Dark Side” or “I am your father,” this may not be such a bad thing. So while any new design of a respirator should have the qualities mentioned above, it doesn’t have be exactly the same as a N95 respirator. Who knows, one good thing that could come out of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic may be some new respirator designs.

Again, there are a lot of well-meaning people out there trying to address the N95 mask shortage. However, masks that are not designed to provide appropriate levels of filtering, porosity, and comfort are not replacements for N95 respirators. If health care workers mistakenly believe that DIY masks will provide the same level of protection that N95 respirators do, if the availability of such masks convinces hospitals and health care systems that they do not need to urgently pay for legitimate N95 respirators, or if such masks somehow prevent policy makers from taking more urgent action to rectify the shortage with real OSHA-compliant masks, then such DIY masks could end up doing more harm than good.

It’s heartwarming to see so many people trying to cover the shortage of N95 respirators. Protecting health care professionals should be paramount. Just make sure that the limitations of any DIY mask are clearly covered or rather uncovered for everyone to clearly see. And that the design of any masks trying to serve as replacements for N95 respirators clearly cover the scientific principles that need to be covered.

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LAWSUIT ALLEGES WELLS FARGO UNFAIRLY SHUFFLED PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM APPLICATIONS

Via USA Today: (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/04/19/wells-fargo-lawsuit-small-business-ppp-loans/5162801002/)

A California-based company filed a class-action lawsuit against Wells Fargo citing unfair actions against some small businesses seeking government-sponsored coronavirus relief under the Paycheck Protection Program.

In March, the Treasury Department announced the $349 billion forgivable loan plan for small businesses that helps them pay employees during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The fund ran out of money on Friday.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of small business owners on Sunday alleges that Wells Fargo unfairly prioritized businesses seeking large loan amounts, while the government’s small business agency has said that PPP loan applications would be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The move by Wells Fargo meant that the bank would receive millions more dollars in processing fees, according to the lawsuit.

“Making matters worse, Wells Fargo concealed from the public that it was reshuffling the PPP applications it received and prioritizing the applications that would make the bank the most money,” the lawsuit filed in California alleged.

Wells Fargo has said that fees generated through the program will be distributed as charitable grants to nonprofits that support small businesses.

The filing against Wells Fargo is one in a series of lawsuits lodged against big banks on behalf of small businesses late Sunday. Wells Fargo denied USA TODAY’s request for comment on the lawsuit.

The big bank said on April 5 that it was committed to serving small businesses with fewer than 50 employees under the PPP, which is intended to incentivize American small businesses to avoid laying off workers by offering up to $10 million in forgivable loans.

“While all businesses have been impacted by this crisis, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and nonprofits often have fewer resources,” Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said in a press release earlier this month. “Therefore, we are focusing our efforts under the Paycheck Protection Program on these groups.”

The plaintiff alleges that evidence of Wells Fargo’s foul play lies in data released by the U.S. Small Business Association. The SBA report outlines the PPP loans that were processed and indicates when the transactions occurred.

The plaintiffs call into question a comparison between loans processed at the start of the program – April 3 to April 13 – versus loans processed just before the program ran out of money between April 13 and April 16.

“In the last three days of the PPP—banks processed loan applications for $150,000 and under at twice the rate of larger loans,” the lawsuit said.

This would allegedly suggest that banks front-loaded applications for the largest loans, otherwise “the percentage change of applications submitted in the last three days of the program would be consistent among all application types,” the plaintiffs said.

The lawsuit comes just days after the sweeping business rescue program ran out of money on Friday, less than two weeks after launching, as businesses raced toward a lifeline to avoid collapsing under the financial issues caused by the pandemic.

Before running dry, the program approved more than 1.6 million applications for employers.

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FRENCH WIDOW SUES BOEING FOR $276 MILLION OVER ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH

Via CNN: (https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/21/europe/french-widow-sues-boeing-intl/index.html)

Paris (CNN) A French widow has filed a lawsuit against US aircraft manufacturer Boeing for $276 million in damages over the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 in March, which killed all 157 people on board — including her husband.

Frenchwoman Nadege Dubois-Seex, whose husband Jonathan Seex died in the accident, filed the suit against Boeing in Chicago, where the company is headquartered.

“It is a tragedy which, by definition, could have been avoided, because it had already happened five months before. How could they stay deaf to this warning?” Dubois-Seex told reporters in Paris on Tuesday, referring to another Boeing 737 Max 8 in Indonesian company Lion Air’s fleet that crashed last October, leaving 189 people dead.

Boeing admitted Saturday that it had to correct flaws in the flight simulator software used to train pilots on the 737 Max, following the two deadly crashes that killed a total of 346 people. The aerospace company did not share when or how the flaws were discovered, however.

The admission of the simulator-software flaw comes amid intense scrutiny on Boeing and the design of its 737 Max. The plane’s MCAS software, which pushes the nose of the aircraft down if it senses an imminent stall, is believed to have played a role in crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines jets.

“The life of my husband was taken knowingly, and even willingly,” Dubois-Seex said, visibly emotional. “Boeing acted with cynicism. My husband was the collateral damage of a system, of a business strategy.”

Boeing spokesman Peter Pedraza declined to comment on the lawsuit, but noted that the company was “cooperating fully” with investigations into the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Jonathan, who was a Swedish and Kenyan citizen, leaves behind three young children aged 7 to 10.

The family’s lawyer Nomaan Husain said that the evidence clearly demonstrates that Boeing acted recklessly and with conscious disregard to the safety of its passengers.

“Boeing was aware of problems with the plane’s angle of attack, with the MCAS software, and we recently learned they were even aware of problems with the training software,” Husain told the press conference Tuesday.

“We asked the jury, after considering all of the evidence, after considering Boeing’s reckless and willful action in which it consciously disregarded the safety of its passengers, to award a minimum in the form of a punishment to Boeing of $276 million,” he said.

Explaining how he arrived at that sum, Husain added: “In 2018, Boeing grossed $101 billion. When you take that figure and divide it by 365, you arrive at the figure of $276 million.”

“Is one day’s worth of gross receipts by Boeing severe enough to deter future behavior? Or is it one week’s worth of wages, or one month, or one year? That’s going to be for the jury to decide.”

Dubois-Seex joins several lawsuits to have been filed against Boeing in the aftermath of the deadly crashes.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE AT FAULT IN A CAR ACCIDENT?

Accidents can happen anytime and to anyone. When they do, it may not be easy to determine who was at fault. When an accident occurs in the parking lot, for instance, the drivers may be unable to identify who was responsible accurately.

Nonetheless, there are instances where drivers are sure they caused an accident. They may not know what to do when they find themselves in this situation. In this post, we answer the question; What happens if I’m at fault in a car accident.

If you recently caused an auto accident, please contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to speak to a Houston Car Accident Attorney today.

FAULT VS. NO-FAULT STATES

Fault is handled differently across states. In fault states, the at-fault driver is liable for damages of all injured parties. On the other hand, each driver in no-fault states carries a personal injury protection coverage. They cover their own damages after an accident.

Like most states, Texas is a fault state. This means that your car insurance will cover the other driver’s damages if you cause an accident. The driver may also file a claim or lawsuit against you.

WHAT DAMAGES ARE COVERED IF YOU CAUSE AN AUTO ACCIDENT?

Damages are any losses caused by an accident that involves negligence. They can be economical or noneconomic. Depending on the nature and severity of the accident, you may be required to cover damages such as:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning ability
  • Treatment costs and medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Vehicle repair
  • Pain and suffering

As a driver in a fault state, you are required to have an auto insurance policy. This policy will cover any and all damages up to your limit. Anything above that, you may have to cover out-of-pocket.

You may also be liable for additional costs if the other driver sues you for more money than your policy covers. In this situation, it is best to retain a Houston Car Accident Attorney.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER YOU CAUSE A CAR ACCIDENT?

Apart from wondering ‘what happens if I’m at fault in a car accident,’ you should also worry about protecting your rights. This is important as it may prevent you from being taken advantage of or losing too much money.

After causing an accident:

  • Check yourself for injuries then check on the other driver or passengers.
  • If anyone is seriously injured, call 911
  • Call the police and report the car accident. It is vital that you remain at the scene until they arrive.
  • Collect evidence of the accident. This includes pictures of the scene, vehicles, and injuries suffered. It should prevent anyone from changing the narrative later.
  • Exchange information with the other driver, such as contact details, insurance information, and names.
  • Inform your insurance company immediately.
  • Contact a trusted law firm to talk to a car accident attorney about your legal options.

TALK TO A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Car accidents can be unexpected and stressful, regardless of who is at fault. It is essential that you relax and maintain a positive outlook. With luck, you and the other driver may escape with only minor injuries and property damage.

Immediately after you realize you have caused an accident, contact us at 713-987-7126 to speak to a Houston Car Accident Attorney. Make sure you don’t admit fault to the other driver, police, or the insurance company.

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WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT PHYSICALLY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 7500 people are injured every day in auto accidents. Their injuries may vary from person to person and may range from minor to severe. Some may even be fatal.

That said, most victims do not present any symptoms until hours or days after the crash. This can lead to their injuries worsening. It may also prevent them from getting compensation for damages.

Here, we discuss what to expect physically after a car accident. If you were recently in an auto accident, contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to speak to a Houston Car Accident Attorney.

COMMON PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

Right after a car accident, you may not experience any symptoms for hours or days. This is why it could be difficult to know what to expect physically after a car accident. If you were involved in a crash, here are some symptoms to look out for:

Headaches

It is common for car accident victims to experience headaches. They may delay or appear immediately and can range from mild to severe. If you are experiencing headaches, you should see a doctor immediately as it might be a sign of:

  • Neck injury
  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Neck, Shoulder, or Back Pain

These symptoms are common after a car accident. They may present as persistent pain or shooting pain that comes and goes when you move. Generally, neck, shoulder, and back pain can be indicators of

  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle, tendon, or joint injury
  • Tissue or nerve damage

Swelling

The body is exposed to substantial trauma during a car crash. This can cause tissue damage, sprains, or pulled muscles, which often present as swelling. You can treat this at home with remedies such as elevation or heat and cold treatment. However, you should get professional help if the swelling doesn’t recede, or is accompanied by pain and stiffness.

Bruising

Bruises result from damage to the blood vessels under your skin. In minor accidents, they usually heal on their own. However, in more severe cases, they could be a sign of internal organ damage. It is advisable to see a medical professional if your bruising is accompanied by discoloration or tenderness.

Other Symptoms

After a car crash, you may also experience symptoms such as:

  • Tingling or numbness in the back, shoulders, neck, feet, or hands
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears, which could be a sign of a concussion
  • Dizziness or blurry vision

FACTORS THAT AFFECT HOW YOU FEEL AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

People respond to accidents differently. Common factors that affect how you feel after a car accident include your age, overall health, and the severity of the accident. This is why you should never go on your symptoms alone or try to self-diagnose.

If you get into an accident, even a minor one, seek medical attention. Your doctor will diagnose your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment.

TALK TO A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

At Husain Law + Associates, P.C., we are dedicated to protecting car accident victims’ rights. We understand how medical bills can be frustrating to a victim and their family. This is why we will help you file a personal injury claim for injuries suffered during a car accident.

To schedule a free initial consultation with a Houston Car Accident Attorney, contact us at 713-987-7126.

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WHAT CAN THEY TAKE IF YOU ARE BEING SUED FOR A CAR ACCIDENT?

If you were involved in a car accident, you probably want to know what can they take if I’m being sued for car accident. The answer often depends on how your case settles. In a settlement process, the victim usually brings a claim against your insurance company. The alternative is a judgment where the victim sues you directly in court for damages.

Up to 95 percent of personal injury cases settle out of court. The same can be said for car accident cases. In this post, we explore the different scenarios of a car accident case and how they affect you.

If you are being sued for a car accident, contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to consult an expert Houston Car Accident Attorney.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?

Usually, the plaintiff’s attorney will file a claim with your insurance company. They will provide documents or statements that show their client was injured due to your negligence. Both parties will then begin negotiations on the settlement amount.

If your insurer believes the evidence is compelling, they will propose a settlement amount. They might turn in a lower amount if they think the proof is week. Next, the plaintiff’s attorneys will either accept or decline the offer. Negotiations may continue until the two parties reach an agreement.

Should they fail to agree, your case will go to trial. This could very easily go south for you as the judge now has the sole mandate to decide the settlement amount. Once he/she passes a judgment in court, you cannot negotiate it. You also cannot fail to meet the demands made.

In light of this, it is advisable that you try to settle your case out of court.

WHO PAYS FOR DAMAGES IN A CAR ACCIDENT CASE?

When you are liable for damages in a car accident case, you probably won’t have to pay for anything out-of-pocket. The duty usually falls to your insurance company. Any bills you should cover such as medical costs and property damage will be deducted from your auto insurance policy.

That said, your auto policy only covers damages to a specific limit. Your insurer will often try to maintain their offer amount within this limit. However, should your case go to trial, the plaintiff could sue for more than is provided in your cover.

This means that you would have to pay the excess costs out-of-pocket. Depending on the plaintiffs ask amount, you could be set back thousands of dollars. You might even fall into debt.

CONTACT US TO SPEAK TO A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Are you being sued in a car accident? Contact us at 713-987-7126 to discuss your situation with a Houston Car Accident Attorney. At Husain Law + Associates, P.C., we have a combined experience of over four decades. We handle a wide variety of car accident cases and aim to protect the rights of our clients.

If you have further questions concerning what can they take if I’m being sued for car accident, please feel free to contact us and schedule a free initial consultation.

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WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IF SOMEONE IS DRIVING YOUR CAR AND GETS IN AN ACCIDENT?

When the situation calls for it, it is normal to lend a friend or family member your car without a second thought. You may even do it regularly. However, have you considered what would happen if they got in a car accident while driving your car? Who would be held liable for any damages caused by the crash?

Here, we answer a common question among car owners. If someone is driving my car and gets in an accident, who is responsible?

If you recently found yourself in this situation, please contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C. to discuss your case with a Houston Car Accident Attorney.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE IF SOMEONE ELSE WRECKS MY CAR?

In Texas, your auto insurance cover applies more to your car than to you as a driver. This means that if the person driving your vehicle causes an accident, your policy will usually cover damages. That said, there are exceptions to this.

Here are some scenarios and how they could affect liability:

  • The Person Who Wrecked Your Car Has Auto Insurance

In the event of an accident, the car owner’s auto insurance policy is generally considered the primary coverage. It covers any property damage or bodily injury caused by the vehicle up to a specific limit. This is regardless of who was driving when the accident happened.

However, if the person driving the car has their own auto insurance policy, it could be used as a secondary cover. It could cover any costs of the accident that exceed the owner’s policy limit.

  • The Use of Your Car Was Non-Permissive

This is a situation where the person who wrecked your car didn’t have permission to drive it. If you can prove this, they become liable for any damage they might have caused. That said, establishing non-permissive use is often complicated and may require a Houston Car Accident Attorney.

  • An Excluded Driver Caused the Accident

Your insurance cover will not cover any damages caused by an excluded driver. This is regardless of whether they had permission to drive your car.

An excluded driver is someone who has been intentionally left out of your auto insurance policy because they are high-risk, inexperienced, or have a bad driving record.

  • Other Exceptions

Your auto insurance will likely not cover any damages caused by someone driving under the influence, even if they had permission to use it. It may also exclude anyone who doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION WITH A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Car accidents can be overwhelming. This is especially so when coupled with the complications that arise when someone else was driving your car during the crash. It is normal to feel confused and unsure of what to do. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help protect your interests.

If you find yourself in this situation, remain calm and contact us at 713-987-7126 to speak to a Houston Car Accident Attorney. We will inform you of all your legal options and how to pursue them.

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COST OF CAR ACCIDENTS PER YEAR

Across the country, millions of drivers navigate the roads as part of regular life. They share the highways with large trucks, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. This situation makes auto accidents and the resulting bodily injuries and fatalities nearly inevitable. While the toll on humans is more than devastating, the cost of car accidents per year is also a big hit to the economy.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the United States records a staggering $277 and $594 billion loss in economic and societal impacts due to car crashes. The latter includes the pain, suffering, and deaths caused by car accidents.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, a Houston Car Accident Attorney can help you get compensated.

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CAR ACCIDENT COSTS

A significant amount of car accident costs is paid for by society rather than by individuals. Over 75 percent of these losses are reconciled through insurance premiums, taxes, and other congestion-related expenses. According to an NHTSA study, this price burden can be attributed to several behavioral factors. They include:

  • Speeding –Around one in every six drivers will get a speeding ticket this year, which equates to roughly 41 million tickets. If you do the math over $6 billion dollars each year is spent on speeding ticket fines alone.
  • Drunk Driving – Accidents involving a driver driving under the influence of alcohol set back the country $49 and $199 billion in economic and societal costs respectively. More than 90 percent of these losses were linked to drivers who had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
  • Distracted Driving – Distracted drivers contributed to $46 and $129 billion in economic and societal costs respectively. These numbers represent 17 and 15 percent of the total in each case.
  • Seatbelt Use – According to the study, seatbelt use saved the country $69 billion in injury-related costs. Accidents involving unbelted vehicle occupants recorded a $14 and $72 billion loss in economic and societal loss respectively.
  • Other road users – Bicyclists and pedestrians accounted for $19 and $90 billion in economic and societal loss respectively.

REDUCING THE COST OF CAR ACCIDENTS

Most of the factors contributing to the cost of car accidents per year, like speeding and drunk driving, are avoidable. By enforcing abidance to traffic laws and improving driving circumstances, states can decrease the rate of car accidents. This will, in turn, reduce the impact of crashes on the economy and society as a whole.

The United States is also making strides towards driverless cars. This is considered another surefire way to curb auto accidents and reduce road fatalities.

TALK TO A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

The country recorded 40,000 roadway accident deaths in 2016. This was one of the deadliest years on the roads in nearly ten years. Even sadder, most of these accidents could have been avoided.

Every state in the country has laws protecting the victims of car accidents. These systems allow injured parties to seek damages for any bodily harm and property damage.

If you have been in a car accident in Texas, you can take advantage of these laws. Contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to discuss your rights with an expert Houston Car Accident Attorney.

Source:

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812013

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RECOVERING DAMAGES IN UNINSURED CAR ACCIDENTS

All drivers are required to carry a liability insurance policy. This is coverage designed to pay damages suffered by the injured party if they cause an accident. However, 13 percent of the country’s drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates. The estimated number in Texas is 14.1 percent, slightly higher than the national average.

Uninsured car accidents can pose complications for all parties involved. As the victim, you won’t be able to file a claim against the driver’s insurer. You might have to opt for a lawsuit. The at-fault driver, on the other hand, could end up paying for damages out of pocket.

If you have been injured in Houston by an underinsured or uninsured driver, you should seek legal help from an expert Houston Car Accident Attorney.

UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE

When purchasing auto liability insurance, your insurance company is required to provide you with the opportunity to purchase UM or UIM coverage. Having these coverages added to your policy helps protect you and your passengers if you get in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

If you carry these coverages, here is how they can help you:

  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage – This pays for property damage and bodily injury sustained by you and your passengers when hit by an uninsured motorist.
  • Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage – This covers property damage and bodily injury sustained by you or your passengers when hit by a driver with insufficient auto liability insurance.

LAWSUIT AGAINST THE UNINSURED MOTORIST

If you do not carry UM or UIM coverage, you could file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. Your settlement, if you are successful, will be drawn from the driver’s personal assets. This means that your attorney will have to prove negligence in court, which involves establishing the following elements:

  • Duty of care – That the uninsured driver owed you a responsibility to not cause you harm
  • Negligence – That they breached this duty by acting negligently
  • Causation – That their negligent actions caused the accident
  • Damages – That the accident was the direct cause of your injuries and losses

If your attorney successfully establishes these four elements, a jury through a judge will award you a settlement. The settlement will cover property damage and other injury-related losses.

FILING A CLAIM AGAINST A THIRD PARTY

Under Texas law, you can hold someone other than the driver responsible for your accident. A situation where this could apply includes where an uninsured driver hit you while on the job. In this case, you can file a claim against their employer.

In an intoxicated driving case, you can also seek damages from the bar, store, or restaurant that provided the at-fault driver with alcohol.

CONSULT WITH A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Victims of negligent drivers are eligible for maximum compensation, including those injured in uninsured car accidents. An experienced Houston Car Accident Attorney will help you get damages to cover your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.

That said, the sooner you begin work on your claim, the better. Make sure you contact an attorney immediately after an accident with an uninsured driver. Get in touch with Husain Law today to discuss your case, rights, and legal options.

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WHAT DOES CHEST PAIN FROM A CAR ACCIDENT SEAT BELT INJURY MEAN?

Seat belts are a key safety device in any vehicle. They prevent drivers and passengers from getting ejected from a car during a crash. By keeping you restrained, they also reduce the severity of impact and, in turn, decrease the severity of injuries you might suffer. According to estimates, seat belt usage could have prevented close to 80 percent of car accident fatalities.

Seat belts must be rigid and strong to perform their function effectively, but the strength of a seat belt can sometimes be a disadvantage. During an impact, accident victims sometimes slam against their seatbelts with enough force to cause bodily harm.

Seat belt injuries are by far less severe than those recorded in unrestrained drivers. However, they can still be brutal. If you experience chest pain after car accident seat belt, talk to a Houston Car Accident Attorney about seeking damages for your injuries.

SEAT BELT SYNDROME

During a car accident, the abrupt stop and impact with the seat belt can cause a combination of external and internal injuries. This unique collection of symptoms is referred to as seat belt syndrome. Seat belt syndrome often presents as pain, discomfort, or bruising in the chest and abdomen area. These symptoms can be indicative of abrasions, fractures, muscle injury, or internal organ damage.

  • Skin Abrasions – These injuries are noticeable and tend to appear diagonally across the abdomen and chest. They can be superficial scrapes or signs of internal injuries.
  • Fractures – Vulnerable bones include the ribs, spine, and sternum. If left untreated, bone fractures in the chest area can puncture internal organs leading to internal bleeding and other complications.
  • Muscle Injury – Trauma from seat belt impact can tear or pull the muscles and tendons in your chest. This can cause soreness and reduced mobility.
  • Internal organ damage – This chest injury can be fatal. The organs at risk are vital to your body and usually include the lungs, heart, and spine.

POST-ACCIDENT SYMPTOMS

The most tell-tale sign of seat belt syndrome is the noticeable, seatbelt-shaped bruising that appears across the chest and abdomen. This should be a clear sign that you need medical help immediately. Sometimes, however, the symptoms are subtler.

You might experience soreness in the chest when you breathe or move, for example. Other symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Vomiting or coughing blood
  • Painful or labored breathing
  • Weakness or dizziness, which could indicate internal bleeding
  • Leg weakness, which might be caused by spine injuries.
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Reduced upper body mobility

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU EXPERIENCE CHEST PAIN?

Car accident victims are advised to see a doctor immediately after the crash. This is regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms or feeling okay. Similarly, you should never underplay chest pain after car accident seat belt. An evaluation might uncover a condition that could be treated before it worsens.

GET HELP FROM A HOUSTON CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Seat belts are designed to protect vehicle users. This, combined with the delayed symptoms common to seat belt injuries, can deter victims from seeking help. They might suffer in silence for weeks or months after the accident. Doing this can harm them physically and reduces their chances of a successful claim.

After a crash, immediately discuss any chest pain after car accident seat belt with your doctor and an attorney. If you don’t already have a lawyer, contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C. to set up an appointment with a Houston Car Accident Attorney.

AS SEEN ON

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