Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Greater Sacramento California Region
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Sacramento Injury Lawyers follow GM’s Continuing Recall Saga

At Sette Law, our Sacramento car accident lawyers watch in amazement as GM recalls continue to mount and some responsibility is shared with federal regulators. A spotlight now falls upon the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with allegations it was aware of some GM defects years before GM issued a nationwide recall that includes owners in Sacramento. Injury lawyers are concerned that NHTSA’s vigilance fell short of reporting failures in ignition switches that failed and cut off power to airbags in some GM models. Sacramento car accident lawyers have long looked to the NHTSA for reliable information about safety on the streets and freeways of Sacramento. Now, personal injury attorneys learn that a congressional report faults the agency for not making public their findings in 2007.

This revelation comes as GM recalls in 2014 mount to 39 million, impacting drivers everywhere, including Sacramento. Car accident lawyers at Sette Law note that the NHTSA continued to investigate crashes of GM cars related to faulty ignition switches without highlighting the issue until GM itself finally went public.  Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers point out that an NHTSA deputy administrator claims GM cloaked problems by not using the term “defect” in its reporting to NHTSA about the switches. Nonetheless, Sacramento car accident lawyers understand that, as a government agency, the NHTSA has the responsibility of public trust and must live up to that for car owners in Sacramento.

Car accident lawyers also note that the NHTSA had also bestowed a “five Star” crash safety rating on the Chevy Cruze which was later recalled for airbag defects.  This is not the quality of service expected of the NHTSA by drivers in Sacramento.

Injury Lawyers watch Settlement Challenge
Further complicating the GM saga is a recent court decision that was decided in favor of the family of a young woman killed in the 2010 crash of her Chevy Cobalt. Sacramento injury attorneys say the family had arrived at a settlement with GM a few months before the ignition switch defect was made public and recalls were launched. The recent lawsuit sought to overturn the settlement so that the family could move forward with legal action. According to our Sacramento injury lawyers, it was the family’s accident attorneys that hired an expert engineering firm to analyze the mechanics of the Cobalt switch. They discovered the switch had been redesigned to prevent failure, substantiating the family’s claim that GM was aware of the defect leading to their daughter’s death. The court agreed and, Sacramento car accident lawyers say the family is moving forward toward a trial that could impact similar claims in Sacramento. Our injury lawyers say that GM expressed disappointment with the court ruling and claimed they had made the earlier settlement “…in good faith.”

GM Fights to Minimize Liability
Parties suffering injury and loss due to GM defects should be aware that GM mounts its own defense against liability, according to Sacramento car accident lawyers at Sette Law. For example, the company refuses to accept responsibility for the death of a back seat passenger in the 2006 crash of a Cobalt. GM injury attorneys limit their liability only to the young woman driving the vehicle because the Cobalt had front seat, not back seat, airbags. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys believe this corporate approach is grossly unfair to both families who loss of daughters is equal, regardless of where they were seated in the deadly accident caused by the ignition switch defect.

Victims and their families, according to Sacramento personal injury attorneys, will have to be prepared for a vigorous legal battle as GM seeks to minimize its costs and responsibility.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers Talk Shop

Known in the legal world as tort law, personal injury cases involve a variety of circumstances for our clients in Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers work with clients to win compensation for harm they have suffered due to negligence or an intentional act. At Sette Law in Sacramento, injury attorneys specialize in this specific niche of law that also requires broad knowledge of a range of circumstances that can lead to litigation.

Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers know that high profile cases such as the 1994 McDonalds scalding coffee lawsuit are familiar to people because they made bold headlines. But, for most of our clients in Sacramento, our injury attorneys deal with more commonplace issues such as slip and fall cases, car crashes, dog bites, wrongful death and malpractice lawsuits. Another type of grievance that involves libel and slander has become more frequent with our Sacramento personal injury lawyers – particularly with the rise of such issues due to the use of the Internet to defame individuals and businesses.

Another arena that’s prominent in national news is increasing legal action against car makers for accidents caused by defects. Sacramento injury attorneys at Sette Law carefully follow developments in these cases to support clients in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers also represent people who were intentionally harmed. Unlike accidents that happen due to negligence or recklessness, such cases will likely have the additional component of a criminal charge against the individual causing the harm to our client in Sacramento.

Injury lawyers emphasize that personal injury litigation must be related to negligence or dangerous conditions by a person or an entity that owes individuals a “duty of ordinary care.” Our Sacramento personal injury lawyers point to the “duty” of GM to provide safe vehicles for drivers across the nation and in Sacramento. Injury lawyers say manufacturers and similar organizations share this responsibility. Individuals such as physicians and surgeons, landlords and others are in a similar position of duty to people in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers explain that dog owners also have a responsibility to public safety. Dog bite lawsuits are not uncommon and usually involve animals that are off-leash and out-of-control. In Sacramento, injury attorneys may seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, costs of surgery and other expenses related to a dog bite in Sacramento.

Personal injury lawyers should be selected on the basis of their expertise and experience in the particular arena of law.

Athletes risk Sports Related Head Injuries

As Sacramento Personal injury lawyers, we’ve watched as head injuries as the result of high school and college sports have increasingly made headlines. The good news about this development is that finally public awareness about this serious risk to young athletes is rising in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys once had to battle to get recognition that traumatic brain injury is, in fact, associated with some of the most popular youth and college sports in Sacramento. Head injury lawyers at Sette Law may now refer to many high profile cases of brain injury lawsuits that have brought financial assistance to victims as well as spurred changes in safety on athletic fields. 

We now know that traumatic brain injury is the most frequent cause of death in sports-related injuries. Our Sacramento head injury attorneys say that, although this awareness is growing, some sports organizations have been slow to support injured athletes. Protection such as reducing physical contact in practices and regulating when an injured athlete can return to play are yet to be implemented by national organizations, leaving that responsibility to individual colleges including those in Sacramento. Head injury attorneys believe this policy creates an uneven patchwork of regulations. Our Sacramento injury attorneys hope that such reasonable protections will be implemented throughout the country and in Sacramento.

Head Injury Lawyers monitor Multiple Sports
Traumatic brain injury is not limited to football in Sacramento. Our personal injury lawyers also track sports such as soccer, ice hockey, wrestling and more. There is even an increase in brain injuries to cheerleaders! Sacramento head injury lawyers say that cheerleading has changed from shaking pom poms to highly athletic routines that involve gymnastics. Falls related to risky stunts have led to head injuries and concussions that account for approximately 20 percent of cheerleading injuries. At Sette Law, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers are also tracking the growing popularity of soccer for youngsters, adults and professional players in Sacramento. Head injury attorneys say that a McGill University study revealed that over 60 percent of college players showed symptoms of a concussion in a single season.

Head Injury Lawsuit Settlement is Insufficient
Sacramento injury attorneys believe brain injuries will continue to rise across the spectrum of sports so long as national governing organizations fail to step in with clear regulations to protect athletes. A settlement in a brain injury lawsuit recently announced by the NCAA only raises our concern for athletes in Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers applaud some elements of the class-action lawsuit settlement but point out there is no fund for damages suffered by athletes across America or in Sacramento. Instead, a personal injury lawyer must sue on behalf of individuals with serious brain trauma. In addition, colleges throughout the nation retain discretion in returning players to the game after they’ve experienced brain injury. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys believe that significant changes are necessary to protect athletes from brain injury and, sadly, that change seems slow in coming.