Friday, December 28, 2012

Worst Celebrity Car Wrecks

Hollywood celebrities may be talented when it comes to acting, singing and dancing, but not always to driving. A lot of them in fact, have been involved in some ridiculous or silly, if not fatal, car crashes.

See below how some of the big stars of yesterday and today wreck their expensive vehicles in different road crashes:

James Dean

The East of Eden’s star wrecked his new Porsche 550 Spyder on September 30, 1955 in a head-on collision with a 1950 Fort Tutor during an auto rally in Salinas, California. The said incident caused the actor’s early death at the young age of 24.

Ryan Dunn

The Jackass’ star totaled his Porsche 911 GT3 after he flew it off the road in Pennsylvania on June 2011. Over-speeding was seen as a major factor for the incident. The same also caused the actor and his passenger’s death.

Rowan Atkinson

Best known as Mr. Bean, Atkinson crashed his McLaren F1 not once, but twice. He first crash occurred in 1999 when he reversed into a Rover, while the second one occurred near Haddon in Cambridgeshire, England on August, 2011. According to reports, he lost control of his car and then struck into a tree and then into a lamppost, which caused it to catch fire.

Jay Kay

The Grammy Award-winner musician wrecked his purple Lamborghini Diablo SE30 after making a difficult turn at a high speed in Park Lane in Central London way back in 2006. Allegedly, a friend who borrowed his car was the one driving when the incident occurred. The car was useless total wreck thereafter. Some wonder if Jay Kay ever felt the lost of that fancy car since it was just one of the many he has in his high-end car collection. In fact, he once claimed that he had around 37 cars.

Nick Hogan

The son of the famous and controversial wrestler, Hulk Hogan, in his estranged wife, Linda, totaled his father’s Toyota Supra in a horrible accident in 2007 at Clearwater, Florida. Reports claimed that he lost control of the car and crashed it into a tree. Unfortunately, his passenger, who was a member of his drifting team’s pit crew, was permanently paralyzed after the incident.

Eddie Griffin

The comedian crashed his rare Ferrari Enzo into a concrete barrier in February 2009 while practicing for a charity race that promoted a then-upcoming film. Fortunately for Griffin, he left the scene unscathed though his sports car was severely damaged.

Lindsay Lohan

The Mean Girls’ star slammed his black Mercedez Benz SLG65 AMG into a minivan after she was swarmed by dozens of paparazzi who were pursuing her right from the clothing store where she shopped way back in 2005. Although it is not Lohan’s only road mishap, it is probably the worst since she badly damaged her car and sustained minor injuries, and was transported to a hospital.

Almost everyday, there is at least one celebrity that gets involved in a road crash. Therefore, the accidents involving the said stars are only a few of the worst celebrity car accidents that are mostly undisclosed to public for some reasons that a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer definitely understand.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Honda Globally Announces another Huge Product Recall

After Honda’s massive product recall last October, the Japanese automaker is again announcing that it will be recalling hundreds of thousands of its vehicles worldwide for roll away risks.

According to recent news reports, Honda announced last Wednesday that it will be recalling more than 871,000 vehicles to fix a defect that could cause the cars to roll away when drivers thought that it has been parked securely.

The recall decision came after the giant automakers received two reports of minor injuries resulting from the defect. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether the victims have filed for product liability claims.

Following the complaints, Honda conducted an investigation which subsequently determined that when the car’s transmission was not shifted to park, its ignition interlock mechanism can be damaged or worn to the point where it is possible to remove the key.

In a statement released by Honda, it thoroughly explained that if the transmission is not in park and the parking brake is not set, the car could roll away and a car crash could occur.

Meanwhile, affected vehicles in the recall include some 347,244 Honda Odyssey, around 276,850 Honda Pilot (2003-2004 model years), and approximately 247,179 Acura MDX (2003-2006 model years). Additionally, 807,000 of the recalled vehicles will be in the United States while the rest will be in Canada.

Honda further claimed that it will send a mail notice to vehicle owners by February and will conduct the repairs free of charge.

Apparently, this is the third time this year that the Japanese automaker had conducted a product recall. It can be remembered that last May, it recalled around 53,000 Acuras with V6 engines with model years between 2003 and 2007. After a few months, Honda made another massive recall which affected roughly 572,000 mid-sized Accords for fire risk.

As by definition of a product liability claim, if a vehicle seatbelt failed to restrain a passenger during an accident due to a defective part and resulted in an injury, the automaker, including the company that designed the defective par, is a possible defendant. Therefore, this is probably what the giant automaker wants to avoid – being in a pool of defendants as a result of negligence, speculated by several personal injury lawyers.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Addiction Counselor Drives for Miles with Dying Man on Windshield

A Southern California driver now faces multiple charges as a result of her drunk driving with a dying man in her car’s windshield.

As reported, 51-year-old addiction counselor, Sherri Wilkins, was driving under the influence of controlled substance when she struck a pedestrian on Torrance Boulevard last November 24.

The pedestrian, who was identified as Phillip Moreno, 31, was knocked out of his shoes and was sent to the car’s windshield due to the strong impact of the collision. Subsequently, instead of stopping her vehicle, Wilkins continued driving for more than two miles with the bloodied, dying man lying on top of her windshield.

Wilkins only came to a stop when a concerned motorist swarmed her car at a traffic light and grabbed her keys. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested while Moreno was transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Based on initial investigation, Wilkins was heading home after having a few drinks with friends at a bar near her office while Moreno was then crossing the street on his way home when the accident occurred.

Consequently, Wilkins is now facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving after the investigation revealed that her blood alcohol level content was twice the legal limit. Also, police told media sources that they may likely add felony hit-and-run to Wilkins’ list of charges.

Incidentally, court records revealed that Wilkins was convicted for first-degree burglary in 1989 and in the following month, she was likewise convicted for having narcotics while in custody. In 1994, she was again convicted for burglary and was put behind bars for nine years. In 2001, she was further convicted for having a controlled substance while in jail until she was paroled in 2008, according to the California Department of Corrections.

Moreover, some two years later, Wilkins was again arrested for hit-and-run after she knocked a power pole which was then struck by three other cars. Nevertheless, the case was dismissed after she and the other driver reached a settlement agreement, according to a City Attorney, Patrick Sullivan.

Following the incident, Wilkin took to her MySpace account and admitted that she had been heavily using drugs way back in 2009 until she lost all her loved ones and her freedom in 2010. She further affirmed in her social media account that she has been drug free for eleven years. In fact, she already has a degree in drug and alcohol counseling and that she will be having her BA soon.

Apparently, that is some good news that she was over with her drug addiction days. However, it would not exclude her from all her liabilities from the fatal incident, a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer said.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Consumer Alert: Dangerous Toys Announced

Just in time for the upcoming season of gift giving, consumers were alerted by the U.S.-based Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) through an early announcement of unsafe toys for children.

In its statement, the group noted that although the majority of toys can be considered safe, there are still some that are not appropriate for children but are still being displayed in stores’ shelves. The group warned that toys which can impair children’s hearing, have choking hazards, contain toxic chemicals, and/or contain powerful magnets can be fatal for children if swallowed.

On the other hand, a toymaker trade group, The Toy Industry Association, claimed that the said report is off the mark, stressing that most of the enlisted products comply with the nation’s strict safety standards, according to media sources.

Meanwhile, the report doesn’t seem to claim to be a comprehensive list of dangerous toys, since the PIRG only listed a few toys sold in the U.S. market that it believes to be dangerous.

Said list was quoted below as a ready reference:

Noisy toys

•    Fisher-Price’s Dora Guitar which emits more than 85 decibels (dB)
•    Toy State’s CAT Car Wheel/Horn which emits more than 85 dB
•    Maison Joseph Battat Ltd.’s FunKeys Car Keys which emits 80 dB if held to the ear

Choking hazards

•    Z-Windups’ Dragster Cars
•    Cool Novelty Products’ Bowling Game
•    RT Toy’s Factory Ball on a Stick Launcher
•    Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Play Food
•    Unique Industry Inc.’s Baby’s 1st Birthday Balloons and Baby’s 2nd Birthday Balloon
•    Aoxing Toys Factory’s Golfing Game

Chemical-filled toys

•    Global Design Concepts Inc.’s Dora backpack contains phthalates
•    GreenBrier International Inc.’s Morphobot contains 180 parts per million (ppm) of lead

Magnet risks
•    GreenBrier International Inc.’s Snake Eggs has shape for easy swallowing

Nevertheless, although the PIRG found significant evidence of dangers in the said products, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been any product liability claim brought against its manufacturers, according to a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. However, he warned consumers to be mindful of choosing the best gift for children and to always consider their safety when buying toys for them.