General Motors Announce New Seatbelt Interlock Technology

Seat belt interlock systems that shut the engine down and prevent motorists from driving if the motorist and front seat passenger are not buckled in, are not exactly new. However, the earlier technology never took off for a variety of reasons. Now, General Motors is giving these devices another shot. It aims to introduce a device that will be available as a free option on several models.

The Belt Assurance System will include software that relies on sensors to detect whether passengers in the front seat are wearing their seatbelts. If the system detects that a passenger is sitting in the front seat without wearing a seatbelt, the system will engage the brakes, and the transmission to prevent the car from shifting out of park.

Seat belt usage rates in the United States are at all-time highs, with rates of 87%. However, the fact that an average of 13% of the American population still drives without buckling up, is definitely a concern. Wearing a seat belt is the number one way to prevent death in the event of an accident. In 2012, as many as 12,134 lives were saved as a result of wearing seatbelts.

The earliest seatbelt interlock systems that were introduced back in the 70s failed because the public was not ready for systems that would prevent the car from starting if motorists were not wearing seat belts. However, buckling up is now a matter of habit for most Americans.  Having an interlock system that would force front seat passengers and motorists to wear seatbelts would be very beneficial for certain categories of motorists who may not be so likely to buckle up. That includes teenage motorists who have lowered usage rates.

This was written by Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Robert B. Reeves.

Shocking Tragedy: Siblings Die after Being Trapped in Toy Chest

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According to news reports, the two siblings in Massachusetts became trapped inside a hope chest that had been placed in their home.

In a shocking tragedy that parents and homeowners, who have these antique chests and hope chests in their homes should pay attention to, two children died recently after that they were trapped inside a toy chest.

According to news reports, the two siblings in Massachusetts became trapped inside a hope chest that had been placed in their home. The siblings seem to have been playing, and at some point, decided to get inside the hope chest, and shut the lid down on them. They didn’t realize that the lid could not be opened from the inside. They seem to have suffocated to death, and were found a short while later.

What seems to be even more tragic is that there were several family members at home at the time of the tragedy. At least one adult was actually in the same room in the house, in which the chest was located. The chest was located right next to the television, and at the time of the incident, the volume on the television set was turned out loud. For now, it seems that the deaths were accidental

These were not new toy chests. Rather, these were older toy chests that were not subjected to any manufacturing standards. These chests were made before any manufacturing standards went into effect. While toy chests are subjected to manufacturing standards, older products may not be subjected to any standards, which means that these pose a serious entrapment hazard.

If you are a parent, look around the home and evaluate the kind of furniture, including antique chests and hope chests that you have inside your home. Any kind of box, trunk or chest that comes with a padlock type of mechanism that cannot be opened from the inside is a dangerous item to have inside the house.

The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135
The Reeves Law Group 1055 W 7th St #3333, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 271-9318

The Top Five Heaviest White-Collar Crime Prison Sentences

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The distinction of the longest prison sentence handed down for a white-collar crime conviction goes to Sholam Weiss who in 2000, was sentenced to 845 years in prison

When Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his Ponzi scheme that resulted in losses of more than $65 billion, he was only the latest in a long line of white-collar criminals who have been sentenced to hefty prison terms that effectively damned them to death behind bars. Most Americans after hearing about Madoff’s sentence could have been forgiven for thinking that this was the longest white-collar crime prison sentence handed down to a convict. Actually, Madoff’s sentence was not even the second or third longest prison sentence for a white-collar crime.

The distinction of the longest prison sentence handed down for a white-collar crime conviction goes to Sholam Weiss who in 2000, was sentenced to 845 years in prison, for his role in the $450 million National Heritage Life Insurance fraud that brought down the company. His release date is scheduled for November 2000 754.

Weiss’ co-defendant Keith Pound was also handed down a sentence of 740 years, but ended up serving only four of those years. He died in jail at the age of 51.

73-year-old Norman Schmidt was given a 330- year prison sentence after he was convicted of his role in an investment fraud which resulted in money coming in from investors, being siphoned off to buy NASCAR race cars, and even a racetrack.

Robert Thompson was sentenced to 309 years in prison after being convicted of wire fraud. Madoff is actually the last name on this list.

Such long sentences for white-collar criminals used to be fairly rare earlier, but since the financial crisis, and the role of Wall Street firms in the collapse of the economy came to light, there has been a public appetite for longer criminal sentences for persons convicted of accounting fraud, investment and securities fraud, and insurance and mortgage fraud.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1055 W 7th St #3333, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 271-9318. We are Long Beach personal injury attorneys

 

10 Tips for Putting an End to Your Road Rage

road-rage

Road rage is an epidemic on American roads, and actually increases the risks of accidents, assaults and other adverse events.

We’ve all experienced it from either side. We have either been that motorist, screaming and yelling at other drivers on the road, or we’ve been yelled at while driving by a motorist who was out of control of his emotions. Road rage is an epidemic on American roads, and actually increases the risks of accidents, assaults and other adverse events.

In California, road rage is probably much more common than in other states, because of the heavy traffic congestion problems we have here. There is limited space for an ever-increasing population of motorists, and that simply creates conditions that are ripe for poor behavior on the roads.

You can reduce your risk of behaving badly on the roads, and keep the environment safer for yourself and other motorists.

  1. Make sure you get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Research indicates that lack of sleep can contribute to irritability while driving, contributing to road rage.
  2. Practice calming and meditation techniques if you feel yourself getting annoyed and frustrated. Breathe deeply, or count to 10. Those age-old techniques for alleviating anger can work very well behind the wheel.
  3. Don’t bring your frustrations from work into your car. Understand, that there’s a place and time for venting your frustrations, and your car isn’t one of those places. Put those tensions behind until you reach home or wherever it is you are going, before you can really begin to let off steam.
  4. Some types of music can make you more aggressive. Listen to calming music that helps you relax.
  5. Avoid making eye contact with a motorist who is threatening or abusing you.
  6. Practice empathy. If the other driver is screaming at you or is in a bad mood, understand that there are possibly factors beyond the person’s control that is making them behave that way.
  7. While driving, behave as you would like other people to behave towards you.
  8. Avoid being competitive on the road.
  9. Frequently evaluate your driving behavior. If you find yourself verbally abusing others, flashing lights or speeding, take stock of the situation.
  10. If necessary, take a course in anger management.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 198 N. Arrowhead Avenue San Bernardino, CA, 92408 (909) 657-0576

Five Celebrity Snow Accidents on the Slopes

snow-accidents

This winter season has been especially brutal, and has already resulted in a number of snow accidents and injuries.

This winter season has been especially brutal, and has already resulted in a number of skiing and snowboarding accidents and injuries. One of the most prominent of these has been the skiing accident involving race car champion Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher sustained a brain injury, when he fell and hit his head on the rocks, while skiing. The   accident occurred on December 29 in Meribel. The racecar driver is currently in the hospital, and is believed to be in a critical, but stable condition. He has also already undergone several brain surgeries, and is   in a medically induced coma.

Following Schumacher’s terrible injury came news that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had also been involved in a skiing accident. This was also a serious accident, and Merkel fractured her pelvic bone in the accident. The accident occurred in Switzerland while the German Chancellor was cross-country skiing. Her injuries are not life-threatening, but she will be required to take rest for a few weeks.

One of the more serious snow accidents involving entertainers was the one that killed singer-turned-politician Sonny Bono back in January 1998. He was killed instantly in a skiing accident, when he collided with a tree at the Heavenly Valley Resort in Nevada.

Another serious skiing accident involving a celebrity was the one that resulted in the death of actress and model Natasha Richardson in March 2009. In Richardson’s case, she suffered a fall during a private skiing lesson, on a beginner slope in Canada. After the injury, Richardson seemed perfectly fine, and joked and laughed about the accident. She then blacked out, and had to be rushed to the hospital, where she was declared dead.

In December 1997, Kennedy family scion Michael Kennedy died when he collided with a tree in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado.

These accidents underscore the very real dangers that skiers and snowboarders can be exposed to on the slopes, and the need to take strong precautions to avoid injuries.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 4900 California Avenue, Tower B-210 Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661) 202-3056

 

Top Four Worst Celebrity Drivers

movie-stars-injured

Some of the worst celebrity drivers out there has to be Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. There are a few others as well that you might be aware of.

Unfortunately, being famous, rich and successful doesn’t necessarily guarantee traffic sense. Rich and famous celebrities are often not required to drive at all, wealthy enough as they are to afford their own chauffeurs. However, when they do drive, many of them   display   atrocious driving skills that result in traffic violations, and even injurious accidents.

One of the worst celebrity drivers out there has to be Paris Hilton. Not only does the pampered hotel heiress have a long record of being involved in hit-and-run accidents, but she has also been involved in several other incidents, including one incident in which she backed up her car into a parked car, and then coolly drove away.

Many of Britney Spears’ escapades have made headlines over the past few years, as the actress went through a particularly horrific public meltdown. However, some of the worst episodes from that meltdown involved the actress’ irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. She was found driving with her baby on her lap, without wearing a seatbelt. Operating a car with your toddler baby on your lap, without bothering to restrain him in a car safety seat is one of the most irresponsible examples of parenting you could possibly display. It was bad enough that Spears exposed herself to the risk of injuries by not wearing a seat belt, but to expose her baby to serious harm was even worse. When the singer finally did get around to putting her baby in a safety seat, she put the baby in a seat that was facing the wrong way. The actress also has a longer history of minor accidents, dents, fender benders, and scrapes that make her eligible for this category.

Singer Billy Joel has a long history of accidents, having been involved in accidents back in 2002, 2003, and 2004. He was even involved in a motorcycle accident back in 1983. With   such a long history of accidents,   one of them even involving a slow Citroen 2CV, it would be fair to wonder about his driving abilities.

The worst driver on this list has to be Lindsay Lohan. In recent years, the actress has made the news for crashing her car into the back of an 18 wheeler, and most famously, getting arrested several times for driving under the influence. Lohan’s irresponsible behavior behind the wheel has resulted in several court appearances for her.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

When Is It Not a Good Idea to Ride the Train?

train ride

Recently, the Metro System in Washington DC recorded a number of incidents of injuries involving riders who were intoxicated.

Taking public transport is definitely much safer than operating a car. That is especially true if the person is under the influence of alcohol, However, for a person who is heavily under the influence of alcohol, riding trains could actually be very dangerous, and should probably be avoided.

So, when is it not a good idea to ride the train? Recently, the Metro System in Washington DC recorded a number of incidents of injuries involving riders who were intoxicated. In most of these cases, the riders were severely intoxicated, and in at least one case, the person had a blood-alcohol concentration level that was at least three times the maximum permissible level for operating a car. There were a number of incidents in which intoxicated persons fell onto the rail tracks, or fell down escalators. Some of these persons suffered serious injuries, including head and neck injuries. In one case, surveillance cameras recorded a man, who was walking down an escalator at the station, lost his balance and fell approximately 20 feet below. He suffered head and neck injuries. In another case, passers-by had to help a severely drunk woman, who had stumbled and fallen onto the track bed, get up and off the track.

In fact, so serious have been these incidents that Metro officials recently began warning riders that drinking too much alcohol and riding on the rail system, can could seriously increase their risk of being involved in injuries. Falling onto track beds, falling from escalators, and falling onto platforms-all of these are serious situations, and there is a definite risk of injury, or even death. According to Metro officials, there is not just a risk of getting hit by a train when you fall on a track, but also a serious risk of getting electrocuted.

Public transportation is much safer for people who have had little to drink, and may not trust their driving skills to be 100%. However, if a person is heavily drunk, taking a taxi may be the best option.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 4900 California Avenue, Tower B-210 Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661) 202-3056

Best Winter Shoes for Safe Walking

Winter Shoes

The key is to dress to be warm, and to wear winter shoes that don’t just keep your digits warm and toasty, but also reduce the risk of slips.

Walking your dog, commuting to work, and walking just for the exercise- you may be required to walk often during winter, even though the weather outside can be treacherous and conditions hazardous. With the right type of winter clothing that keeps you warm and safe, and the right and the most appropriate footwear, walking can be a distinctly pleasurable winter activity.

The key is to dress to be warm, and to wear winter shoes that don’t just keep your digits warm and toasty, but also reduce the risk of slips. Those risks are high during winter, even if you’re not working on ice. Just because it is winter doesn’t mean that you get a break from daily activity, and the risks of slipping and falling are even higher, when you’re rushing to get to a meeting or to work on time.

Your winter boots must have deep grooves that give high traction, and reduce the risk of a slip. Ankle-high boots are ideal for walking on snow-covered surfaces.

Avoid high heels, and other types of inappropriate footwear, that do not protect your feet. Broadly, your footwear must be very comfortable so you can focus on balance and coordination, and not on the pain in your feet.

Make sure that your footwear is in good condition, and make sure that the ankle support and soles are in good condition. These are the parts of the shoe that are responsible for providing the maximum amount of support, and they need to be in perfect condition.

Inspect your shoes when you return to the house, and look for little pebbles, that may have slipped into the grooves. Over a period of time, these can actually damage your shoe, and lower traction.

Avoid rushing or running during winter, and leave the house with plenty of time to reach your destination.

Walk with your feet pointed outwards, and take short steps. During winter, avoid carrying heavy loads while walking, and avoid walking on areas that are not clear, full of snow or not meant for pedestrians.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

The Most Frivolous Lawsuits of All Time

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The term “frivolous lawsuit” is used far too often by tort reform advocates, who believe that there is a trend towards excesses litigation in this country.

The term “frivolous lawsuit” is used far too often by tort reform advocates, who believe that there is a trend towards excesses litigation in this country. That isn’t true at all, and many so-called “frivolous” lawsuits, even the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case, are genuine cases. However, sometimes, there are lawsuits that push legal boundaries a tad too far.

Everyone is familiar with the exaggerated advertising tactics that are employed by alcohol companies. Budweiser, for instance, for years ran a successful ad campaign that linked drinking the beer, to attracting women like bees to nectar. At least one man took that advertising far too seriously. Richard Overton filed a lawsuit against Budweiser, claiming that he drank the beers for the years and years, and never managed to attract the kind of women that the company portrayed in its commercials. Fortunately, better sense prevailed, and the case was dismissed.

A woman who visited the Halloween Horror Haunted Nights haunted house attraction at Universal Studios filed a $15,000 lawsuit against Universal Studios, claiming that she suffered immense turmoil, and mental anguish after a visit to the haunted house.

A man who walked into a unisex bathroom at a concert venue found several women using urinals. That probably wasn’t a pretty picture, but it definitely didn’t warrant the kind of action that the man took. He filed a lawsuit against the concert venue, claiming $ 4.5 million in emotional distress. He lost.

Sometimes, plaintiffs go over the limit. One such man who was speeding at above the posted speed limits, crashed into a bicycle, killing a young child. He got away scot-free with that bad behavior, because his attorneys managed to show that the boy was riding at night, without bicycle lights, and therefore contributed to the accident. However, the man then turned around and filed a lawsuit against the young boy’s family for damages to the Audi he  was driving at the time.

Sometimes people can take their claims for emotional pain and suffering damages too far. One elderly woman, who opened the door and 10:30 PM and found teenage girls selling cookies, claimed that she suffered extreme trauma upon seeing girls at her door. She actually filed a lawsuit claiming emotional damage, and received $930 for an emergency room visit for treatment of her anxiety attack.

A man who resembles basketball superstar Michael Jordan actually filed a lawsuit against the basketball star, and also named Nike in the lawsuit for promoting Jordan to the extent that he became so famous. According to the man, he had suffered years of anguish and suffering due to be being mistaken often for Michael Jordan.

Yet another bizarre lawsuit was filed by Robert Block, and named himself. According to him, Block who was serving time in prison at the time, committed the crime while he was drunk, which was a violation of his religious beliefs. He had therefore violated his own civil rights, and therefore sued himself for $ 5 million. Fortunately, the case was dismissed.

In a classic case of taking damages a little too far, a man claimed that a  dry-cleaning shop had misplaced his pants. He sued for $ 64 million, but lost the case.

In 2002, a man who convicted for raping a patient at the hospital sued the hospital for negligence, claiming that the hospital had failed to prevent him from carrying out the rape.

Yet another lawsuit was triggered by a bowl of mashed blended rat. However, in this case, it was not the man who ate the horrible dish who filed the lawsuit. Rather, it was another man who watched contestants on the Fear Factor  reality show, eating the horrible dish, who decided to file a lawsuit, claiming that watching the contestants eat the rat triggered intense revulsion.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 4900 California Avenue, Tower B-210 Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661) 202-3056

 

Settling vs. Going to Trial

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In most lawsuits, plaintiffs and lawyers at some point will have to sit together to make a decision on whether to settle with the opposing party, or take the case to trial.

In most lawsuits, plaintiffs and lawyers at some point will have to sit together to make a decision on whether to settle with the opposing party, or take the case to trial. It isn’t an easy decision to make, and there are pros and cons to each option.

Some research has indicated that settling is much better than going to trial. According to the results of a new study that poured through civil lawsuit settlements, in many cases, persons who decided not to settle and went to trial, ended up making the wrong decision, and getting less than they would have if they had settled.

More than 92% of cases on an average are settled. In such cases, it is almost impossible to tell whether these cases would have done much better if they had gone to trial.

The study focused on more than 2,000 cases that went from the settlement stage to trial, between 2002 and 2005. In approximately 61% of the cases, the decision to go to trial was wrong, and the plaintiff ended up with lower damages. In just 24% of the cases, the plaintiffs received higher damages by going to trial.

There are definitely great advantages to settling. For one, you’ll get paid much quicker, and settling can also make it much cheaper. Litigation can be extremely expensive. Further, in a settlement, you have the option of protecting your privacy. Settling can end the long drawn out process of a lawsuit.

However, as part of the settlement, you may have to accept that the other party did not admit any wrongdoing or guilt in the matter. This is often something that many plaintiffs cannot digest.

In a trial, you have a chance of ending up with potentially huge damages. The risk is that you cannot really predict how a jury is going to rule.

One of our Meeting Locations: The Reeves Law Group 1 World Trade Center, Suite 800 Long Beach, CA 90831 (562) 528-3135

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