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New Law Passed to Combat Oklahoma Distracted Driving

by Keith Adkins

If you haven’t already heard about the dangers of distracted driving, you soon will. Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys say that’s because a law was recently passed that will allow law enforcement to stop and cite many of our state’s inattentive motorists.

According to an article from News On 6, the new law will prohibit motorists from using their cellphones to send or receive text messages while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Records indicate that the new regulation will go into effect on November 1 of this year.

The law was created in response to an accident that left one Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper seriously injured and another dead. The pair were responding to an Oklahoma truck accident along I-40 when the driver of another vehicle—who was texting and using his phone to access social media sites—crashed into the rear of the troopers’ vehicle.

The widow of the deceased trooper lobbied lawmakers to pass the bill as a way to honor her husband’s memory and service. The effort paid off, and the bill was passed in less than five months from the time it was created.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we’ve seen the negative impact distracted driving has on so many lives. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to put your phone down while driving and not to pick it up again until you have reached your destination.

The Lingering Effects of an Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident

by Keith Adkins

Riding motorcycles can be an extremely rewarding hobby; however, our Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys would like to remind citizens that motorcycles offer riders little protection in the event of a collision and the injuries a motorcyclist suffers can be long-lasting.

An article from News OK touches on a collision that occurred more than three months ago, which left eight motorcyclists seriously injured and one other dead. Several of the injured motorcyclists discussed how they are still recovering both physically and emotionally from the incident.

It was around 11:30 a.m. on April 11, 2015, when the motorcyclists set out for a ride. They were riding south on U.S. Highway 81 when an SUV suddenly crossed the centerlines in a curve in the road, and struck the string of motorcycles and their riders.

The victims were transported to local medical facilities for treatment, but they still continue to heal weeks and months after being released. The victims discussed how amputations and broken bones prevented them from going to work and conducting other daily activities as well.

Even when safety precautions are taken, there is no sure way to prevent all motorcycle crashes. That’s why it’s best for motorcyclists to be prepared and know what actions to take in the event of a crash. One of the best options for riders to consider is speaking with an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer. An attorney will be able to clarify your rights, as well as answer any questions you may have regarding your case.

Talcum Powder Health Risks

by Keith Adkins

Talc is a natural substance used in the manufacture of more than 44,200 cosmetic and medical products sold in the United States today. Unfortunately, asbestos—a toxic substance that is also found in the Earth—naturally occurs in talc mines. Although the asbestos is typically removed before making it to market, it can taint talcum powder if it is not properly harvested and quality control standards aren’t met.

Exposure to the asbestos found in talcum powders can lead to numerous health conditions. Mesothelioma is well known to be associated with exposure to asbestos, but a link has also been established between the regular use of talcum powder in the genital area and the development of ovarian cancer.

Many women who developed the disease after using products containing talc have gone on to file talc ovarian cancer lawsuits against the manufacturers of the products that harmed them; however, despite these suits and evidence from scientific journals that show the link between talc use and ovarian cancer, there are very few laws in place to protect consumers from these risks.

An article from Cold Truth explains the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very few regulations in place to protect consumers from contaminated talcum powders. Furthermore, the agency has paid very little attention to the allegations regarding talcum powders and ovarian cancer cases.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the struggles victims of defective products face in their battles for justice and our Oklahoma defective product lawyers are hopeful the suits that have been filed in connection to talcum powders will result in justice for those who have been harmed.

Ten Lives Lost in Fatal Auto Accidents During 4th of July Weekend

by Keith Adkins

This past weekend marked our nation’s independence with the 4th of July holiday. While a majority of Oklahomans remained safe over the last few days, a handful of others were seriously injured or killed.

Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys explain that law enforcement is reporting that traffic accidents are to blame for the loss of ten lives this past weekend. This is a decrease from the total of eleven lives that were lost during the 2014 holiday, five of which were caused by intoxicated motorists.

According to an article from Oklahoma’s 9 News, the fatalities that were recorded consisted of six occupants of cars, trucks, or SUVs, two motorcyclists, one motorcycle passenger, and three pedestrians. Investigators are still working to determine if drugs or alcohol played a factor in any of the accidents.

Officers and troopers also reported that they were able to make 52 arrests while conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the state of Oklahoma.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we are aware of the dangers that can be found on our state’s roads and highways around holidays. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys would like to applaud our state’s law enforcement agencies and staff for working so hard to keep Oklahoma’s streets and roads safe during the 4th of July festivities.

Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers Offer Tips to Stay Safe on the Road This 4th of July

by Keith Adkins

This weekend is the 4th of July and for many, that means it’s time to hit the road for a vacation. According to an article from the Skiatook Journal, estimates show there will be 41.9 million Americans traveling farther than 50 miles from home—around 556,200 of whom are Oklahomans.

With so many people on our state’s highways and roads, it’s important to keep safety in mind. That’s why our Oklahoma car accident lawyers would like to offer these tips to help reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle collision.

  • Get Plenty of Rest– It’s easy to become fatigued while behind the wheel on a long road trip, so be sure to get plenty of sleep before you leave for your destination. If you find yourself getting tired while driving, pull over and rest at the next safe location.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive– Alcohol may be served at many of the events and festivities surrounding the 4th of July. If you choose to indulge in alcohol this weekend, designate a driver before heading out. If you cannot establish a sober driver, plan to use a cab or ride-sharing service to get you home safely.
  • Eliminate Distractions– When driving, put your phone down, refrain from eating and drinking, and don’t focus on other passengers in the vehicle. Also, remember to adjust the stereo before moving the vehicle.
  • Obey the Law– This means don’t speed or tailgate and remember to move over for stopped emergency vehicles.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know not all crashes can be prevented. That’s why we suggest these five steps to follow after an auto accident if you are involved in a collision.

We hope this information helps to keep you and your loved ones safe during the upcoming 4th of July weekend!

New Online Appeals Process Aims to Streamline Social Security Disability Denial Appeals Process

by Keith Adkins

Considering more than half of all initial Social Security Disability claims are denied, it comes as no surprise that getting these benefits can be a long and arduous process. It seems as though a new process in filing appeals of a Social Security Disability denial is helping to relieve these wait times though.

The Social Security Administration has begun to use an online system that allows applicants to file an appeal of the agency’s decisions. According to an article from the Las Cruces Sun-News, as many as 90,000 applicants are using the online portal per month.

The system was introduced in 2007, but problems led to the system being underused. Those issues have been addressed in order to streamline the appeals process. Now, users can more easily navigate the system and are less frequently asked for duplicate information. You can also submit documents that support your case with your appeals request. Reports indicate that workers living outside the United States are also now able to access the system to file an appeal.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys understand the frustrations that can accompany a Social Security Disability denial. That’s why we’re hopeful the revamped online appeals system will make the process of filing an appeal easier on disabled workers in the United States.

 

Mesothelioma Patient Awarded $6 Million in Damages

by Keith Adkins

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that’s used in many construction materials because of its insulating and fire-resistant properties. However, exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma.

This risk of developing cancer has led to millions of sickened workers filing lawsuits against the companies who failed to warn them about the risks involved with handling materials tainted with asbestos. One such case recently resulted in a Moore, Oklahoma, man being awarded a total of $6 million in compensation.

According to an article from Tulsa World, the 51-year-old victim claims he was exposed to asbestos throughout the 1970s and 1980s through dust on his father’s clothes, who was a homebuilder and remodeler at the time. The exposure continued when the victim worked as a construction laborer and auto mechanic after that.

The man was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012 and filed suit soon thereafter, claiming three companies were responsible for his exposure to asbestos and his development of cancer. A jury agreed and awarded the man compensatory damages to cover medical and hospital expenses, as well as pain, mental anguish, and physical disability. No punitive damages were awarded in this case.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the difficulties that can accompany a diagnosis of mesothelioma. That’s why our Oklahoma defective product lawyers are hopeful the decision that was reached will bring the victim a sense of peace and closure.

Oklahoma Truck Accident Lawyers Discuss How Size and Weight Can Affect Trucking Safety

by Keith Adkins

The trucking industry is a crucial component to our nation’s economy, accounting for millions of dollars in revenue annually; however, our Oklahoma truck accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys explain it’s important to remember that the trucks and trailers used to transport goods across the United States can also pose a serious safety threat to others on the highway.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show an estimated 330,000 motor vehicle collisions involving commercial tractor-trailers in 2012 alone. Around 100,000 injuries and 3,921 fatalities were attributed to these accidents.

Physics plays a role in these collisions. A larger, heavier vehicle takes longer to slow down than a smaller, more compact vehicle. That’s why it takes a tractor-trailer the length of a football field to come to a stop when traveling at highway speeds. If you’ve ever come upon stopped traffic on the highway, you know you often don’t have that kind of time or space to stop, even in a car.

Despite size and weight being a serious concern when it comes to highway safety, debate is stirring as to whether U.S. officials should allow larger, heavier trucks on the road.

According to an article from FleetOwner, the U.S. Department of Transportation just released findings from a study that showed inconclusive results when it came to the safety of longer, heavier trucks. While some lauded the findings as a win for the trucking industry, safety advocates stated more time should be taken to further investigate the hazards larger vehicles could pose.

Safety should always be the number one priority on the road and our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys are anxious to see the outcome of the debate taking place regarding the use of larger trucks to transport goods.

Expanded Takata Airbag Recall Affects More Than 34 Million Vehicles

by Keith Adkins

Two weeks ago, auto parts manufacturer Takata Corporation expanded a massive vehicle recall stemming from faulty airbags the company manufactured and installed in several makes and models of vehicles in the U.S. Our Oklahoma defective product lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys explain that it seems as though the recall may have taken a twist.

The Takata airbag recall was launched after it was discovered that the propellant used to inflate the airbags in the event of an accident had a defect that allowed it to degrade over time. If this occurred and the airbag was activated, the reaction could be strong enough to cause debris from the unit to be launched toward occupants in the vehicle. This can be considered a safety hazard, with six deaths and more than 100 injuries linked to the problem.

Since the Takata airbag recall has been initiated, Takata has come forward to say that vehicles that previously had faulty airbags replaced may need to have the new airbags replaced as well due to the same problem. According to an article from KOCO News, officials are concerned motorists may ignore this fact, thinking they have already addressed the problem.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know the risks that are posed by driving a vehicle with defective equipment. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to have your vehicle inspected if you receive a recall notice. Also, you can stay informed on the latest recalls involving your vehicle by regularly checking safeercar.gov for information about recalls affecting your vehicle.

New Laws Regulate Asbestos Removal

by Keith Adkins

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is used during the manufacturing of many items, such as construction materials. Unfortunately, exposure to Asbestos can result in an individual developing a deadly form of cancer, known as mesothelioma.

Despite this risk, it’s estimated that roughly 30 million structures in the United States, including homes and businesses, contain asbestos. To help prevent the citizens of Oklahoma from being exposed to the deadly substance, Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 658 into law.

According to an article from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, the bill outlines policies that will create more stringent regulations regarding liability and removal of asbestos from buildings. The bill will remove regulatory burdens from the shoulders of contractors and will instead depend on the Department of Labor and the Department of Environmental Quality to ensure the safe removal of asbestos from buildings in Oklahoma.

The bill, which took effect in April, will reduce the number of inspections and the number of agencies conducting inspections during asbestos removal projects in Oklahoma.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we’ve seen the devastating results asbestos exposure can have on victims and their families. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are hopeful that this new set of regulations will help the state and its agencies significantly reduce the chances of Oklahoma’s workers being exposed to this deadly, cancer-causing substance.