February 2012 Archives

February 23, 2012

Bumbo Seat Could Cause Child Injury in Alabama

A popular child's play seat is coming under fire by safety advocates, who say it does not stand up to the minimum standards needed to prevent child injury in Alabama.

It's called the Bumbo Baby Sitter, though parents should take heed that the seat should never be used while the child is unattended.


While there hasn't been an official recall of the seat since 2007, a number of media outlets are reporting that the seats have been known to have involvement in a number of skull fractures in small children.

Our Birmingham personal injury attorneys know that five years ago, the child seat was recalled because there was no warning label telling parents not to use the seats on a raised surface.

Still, even after a warning was printed on the side of the seats, injuries continue to happen - sometimes with parents seated right next to their small children.

The Bumbo seats are made by Bumbo International, a company based in South Africa. Bumbo maintains that the chairs are safe when used the way they are intended.

There have been more than 50 reports to the Consumer Products Safety Commission of infants who fell out of the Bumbo seat even when the chair was on the floor. One of those infants suffered a concussion, and two had skull fractures.

All total, at least 17 infants have fallen victim to serious head injuries while being seated in the Bumbo. Of those, 14 occurred in seats that had the new warning label printed.

For those who may not have seen these seats, they a popular item on baby gift registries. According to San Francisco ABC 7 News, about 4 million of these seats have been sold in the U.S. The design of the seat allows even small infants to sit upright, and is made of foam. There are no straps in the chair, which is molded to allow the child to sit unrestricted.

However, this lack of restraints is apparently part of the problem.

Now for the second time in five years, the government is warning that these seats may pose a significant danger to small children. Some child safety advocates want the product removed from the market entirely. No recall has been issued, but a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission was quoted by the California news station as saying that it is a definite concern as a potential hazard, simply because of the number of children who have been hurt using it.

In one instance, the father of an infant said he had placed the baby in the Bumbo seat on the kitchen table, and sat down right next to him. The father said his son arched his back, the Bumbo seat tilted and the boy fell onto the floor, cracking his head on the tile floor.

The baby was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he had to undergo emergency surgery to save his life.

The boy did eventually recover, though his parents continue to monitor his development for signs of permanent brain damage.

Continue reading "Bumbo Seat Could Cause Child Injury in Alabama" »

February 15, 2012

New Course Helps Elderly Drivers Reduce Risks of Alabama Car Accidents

Drivers are getting older. That's a fact. According to the American Automobile Association, 25 percent of drivers on U.S. roadways will be over the age of 64 within the next 10 years. AAA offers these elderly drivers tips to safely navigate the roads and help to reduce the risk of a potentially fatal car accident in Montgomery and elsewhere.

According to Jon Bridges, the event coordinator at Asbury United Methodist Church, AAA classes are now being taught at her location and are available to the public. Defensive driving classes are offered every other month in the church's spare rooms. Drivers of all ages are encouraged to join in the classes, even though this course targets older drivers.
"We're available to the community, and we like to be part of the community," Bridges said.

Our Montgomery car accident attorneys believe it's important to take advantage of all the available safety precautions to keep our roadways safe, including participating in safe driving courses. Taking the time to brush up on your driving skills can be truly beneficial. Elderly drivers may also find the class useful in helping them to stay up-to-date with road laws and new car technologies.

The baby boomer generation is a huge group of people, and they make up a large chunk of our drivers. The safer this population can be behind the wheel, the safer the rest of us can be, too. It's a joint effort.

According to ABC31, elderly drivers are encouraged to check out the Safe Driving for Mature Operators driving course. In Alabama, car insurance companies offer safe-driving discounts to drivers over the age of 54 that have completed the class. It's that simple. Finish the class and show the completion certificate to your insurance agent to discuss lower policies.

Bridges says that as soon as he reaches 55, you better believe he'll be in the class so that he can not only be a safer driver on our roadways, but so that he can save some money on his insurance policy, too.

Clay Ingram, AAA spokesperson in Alabama, says the class certification and discount is good for three years. It can vary from company to company, but drivers will see an average of a 5 to 10 percent discount for each of those three years.

According to the AAA Roadwise Review, elderly drivers are able to focus on driving techniques they need to improve by taking an online quiz. Seniors can also use CarFit to make sure elderly drivers are fitting properly and comfortably into their vehicle.

The next class will be held in March at the Asbury United Methodist Church.

Continue reading "New Course Helps Elderly Drivers Reduce Risks of Alabama Car Accidents" »

February 7, 2012

Proposed Bill Could Help to Treat Spinal Cord Injuries in Montgomery and Elsewhere

A new state bill has the potential to provide some research funds for spinal cord injuries (SCI). Recently, an Alabama state senator proposed that officials tack on additional fees for traffic violations, such as reckless driving and DUIs, to generate extra funding, according to Claims Journal. SCIs are an unfortunate outcome of some serious car accidents in Alabama and elsewhere. These injuries can cost a lifetime of pain and suffering, in addition to seemingly never-ending rehabilitation costs.
At a recent news conference, democratic state senator, Marc Keahey, announced the plans for the bill. The news conference was held at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Keahey said the proposed law was a result of the South Alabama student, T.F. Atchison, who was paralyzed from his injuries sustained in a traffic accident. California has a bill similar to the one being proposed here in Alabama. There, the state collects more than $10 million through traffic fines each year for research of SCIs. Keahey says he thinks the Alabama bill could potentially raise about a half a million every year, and likely much more with the help of private donors and other sources.

There are roughly 200,000 people living with SCI in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is a factor in about a quarter of all spinal cord injuries. A lot of these instances occur during drunk driving traffic accidents. Our Alabama spinal cord injury attorneys recognize that there are expected to be anywhere between 12,000 and 20,000 new SCI patients this year. If you or someone you love has suffered an accident resulting in an SCI, you need to contact an experienced attorney. Because these type of injuries result in an astronomical cost of lifetime care, make sure your rights are protected and contact an attorney to help you to gain the compensation you deserve.

The average yearly cost for an SCI is anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. Over a lifetime, that could add up to anywhere from $500,000 to more than $3 million. Without the proper and deserved compensation, victims are often left to suffer both financially and physically.

SCIs may not ever fully heal either. These types of injuries can result in neurologic impairments throughout the body. These impairments often include gastrointestinal, urinary, respiratory and musculoskeletal complications. It doesn't stop there. SCIs can also result in permanent psychological impairments, such as anxiety and depression.

Top Causes of SCIs:

-Traffic accidents: Nearly half.

-Falls: More than 20 percent.

-Violence: More than 15 percent.

-Sports: About 12 percent.

Continue reading "Proposed Bill Could Help to Treat Spinal Cord Injuries in Montgomery and Elsewhere" »

February 1, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday Expected to See Significant Increases in Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Montgomery, Nation

It's almost Super Bowl Sunday, America's most popular sports weekend. This year, national officials predict that millions of people will be gathered around their TV sets at tons of Super Bowl parties. Unfortunately, in addition to team spirit, the weekend of celebration is also one of the deadliest times to be on our roadways. On Super Bowl Sunday, transportation officials estimate that about half of all fatal car accidents in Montgomery and elsewhere will involve a drunk driver.
"Drive drunk, you will go to jail and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office will continue to build partnerships designed to reduce the incidence of impaired driving and will work to lower the number of deaths on the roadways and highways in the county," said District Attorney's Office, Sheriff Tommy Gage.

Our Montgomery drunk driving car accident lawyers understand that more drunk driving-related car accidents happen on Super Bowl Sunday than during any other day of the year, except New Year's Day. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) says that nearly 70 percent of people who die because of car accidents on Super Bowl Sunday die in an accident that involves a drunk driver. Residents are asked to prepare themselves for the holiday and the dangerous roadways, and huddle up with friends and family members to discuss safety issues for the big day.

Agencies Involved in this Year's Drunk Driving Campaigns:

-National Football League (NFL)

-U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

-National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

-Highway safety and law enforcement officials nationwide.

Officials have dubbed this year's enforcement efforts as "Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk." Officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers on Sunday, February 5th. These arrests and accidents can be prevented with the proper planning. Everyone who is planning on having a beer, or two, or three is urged to designate a sober driver to get home safely. The NHTSA reports that nearly 200,000 Americans have made the pledge to be a designated driver this season. Be sure you recruit a designated driver of your own to help get you home safely. Thank your designated driver. Offer to chip in with the gas money or pay for their parking. Make sure their non-alcoholic beverage is always full. Give them first dibs at the buffet table and make sure they've got a good seat to watch the game. Without these designated drivers on your team, your ride home could wind up deadly.

If you see a driver on our roadways who you believe is drunk on Super Bowl Sunday, you're urged to contact local authorities with information regarding their vehicle, the direction it's headed, the color, make and model of the vehicle along with its exact location.

Tips to Help Detect a Drunk Driver:

-Someone who is making excessively wide turns.

-A driver who is drifting or swerving in and out of lanes.

-Coming close to hitting other vehicles or fixed objects.

-Driving at a very slow or fast speed, not consistent with posted speed limit.

-Stopping randomly for no reason.

-Not responding quickly to traffic signals.

-Making illegal turns.

-Driving with no headlights on.

Continue reading "Super Bowl Sunday Expected to See Significant Increases in Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Montgomery, Nation" »

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