Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Petaluma California Region

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Cautionary Alert about Petaluma Car Accidents

Attorneys at Sette Law in Petaluma know that summer months bring an increase of traffic to our picturesque and interesting region. Unfortunately, more cars and visitors also means Petaluma car accidents increase, and our injury Lawyers want to help keep our community safe. In this blog we talk about some of the most common driving dangers and how you can be aware of behaviors that threaten car accidents.

Our accident attorneys know that, although a handful of major accidents make news headlines, most do not. But any our accident lawyers say that any accident can cause painful and costly injury. Attorneys at Sette Law in Petaluma interact with accident victims on an almost daily basis. And, although we are committed to helping our clients receive just compensation for accident injuries, our lawyers prefer prevention to post-crash, legal remedies. We believe that, with increased awareness by the good drivers of Petaluma, car accidents can be avoided. In that spirit, our accident and injury lawyers offer the following information about the state’s most prevalent causes of car accidents.

Attorneys agree that one of the most preventable accident threats is drunk driving. Since the summer months seem to encourage excessive partying, increased numbers of impaired drivers may be on the roads of Petaluma headed for accidents. Our lawyers report that in June a 22-year-old, alcohol impaired driver from Petaluma caused an accident, sending another driver to the hospital with major injury. Attorneys, however, say that Petaluma has additional risks to drunk driving at any time of day due to our association with the attractions of the Wine Country. Consequently, Sette’s Petaluma accident lawyers advise heightened awareness at any time of day. Observe erratic drivers and steer clear to avoid an accident.

Attorneys say that statewide, in 2013, law enforcement made 214,828 arrests for driving under the influence. Even with this astounding record of arrests, thousands of people are killed every year in California in DUI accidents. Of course, our Petaluma injury attorneys know the best way to prevent drunk driving deaths and injuries is for people to show restraint and moderation if they drink and drive. Unfortunately, the record shows that impaired judgment often rules and at the end of the road there’s a serious DUI accident. Attorneys at Sette Law urge Petaluma residents to be hyper aware of the enhanced allure of our region for people who drive here to enjoy wine tasting.

Our Petaluma accident attorneys also caution residents about the risks of distracted driving. Even though we live in a community with a “laid-back” reputation, we are not immune from the nationwide trend of being distracted by cell phones with calls, texts and alerts. Distracted driving causes tragic accidents and lawyers increasingly encounter victims of this relatively new accident threat. Our attorneys learned that in April of this year, there were 57,000 violations written for distracted driving in California. Each one of those events could have led to a serious accident. Our lawyers also know that research by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that more than 50 percent of motorists admitted they had made a driving mistake while paying attention to their cell phone. Any one of those incidents could have led to a serious injury accident.

Lawyers reference an accident in the Central Valley in which a young man, allegedly checking a text on his cell phone, swerved into a bicycle lane. He hit a father and son. The dad, a recent immigrant to the U.S. was killed and his 8-year old son suffered critical injury. Our lawyers know that, as tragic and sad as this story is, it won’t stop the allure of cell phones – anytime, anywhere. Our Petaluma accident and injury attorneys suggest that drivers observe other drivers and note behavior that might suggest distracted driving that threatens an accident. Attorneys point out that a distracted driving accident can happen at any time of day.

Unfortunately, national statistics show that youth is associated with many car accidents. Attorneys tap data from insurance industry studies that show many drivers who run red lights are young. They tend to drive faster and, consequently, their heightened stop light violation can lead to more severe car accidents, attorneys add. The industry study additionally noted that 22 percent of all traffic accidents happen at intersections – a significant risk that should serve as a cautionary warning to motorists. Our injury lawyers also know that young drivers are statistically more likely, in general, to be involved in a car accident.

Petaluma injury attorneys say that driver fatigue is another leading cause of car accidents. Lawyers were alarmed to learn that a national study found that more than 35 percent of drivers said they had “drifted off” while driving a vehicle. The highest risk of encountering a fatigued driver is between 4 p.m. and dawn. In Petaluma, our injury lawyers say, this risk could be greatest on our freeways and rural highways that may encourage high speed driving that, couple with driver fatigue, could cause a very serious accident.

Injury attorneys in Petaluma observe that the summer of 2015 has already seen many car accidents. Our Lawyers report that young man was killed on Old Adobe Road, two more were killed in a head-on crash on Hwy 121 and many were injured in these and other Petaluma accidents. Recently, attorneys filed lawsuits over an earlier accident in which a mobile pizza oven broke away from its hitch, killing one and injuring others.

It’s clear to our Petaluma accident attorneys that drivers must be defensive on roadways because accidents can happen at any time, and from many causes. Although we, like other responsible motorists, would like reckless drivers to mend their ways, our accident and injury lawyers know that each of us is best served by increased vigilance and caution while behind the wheel. Car accidents, our attorneys know, can bring devastating financial and medical harm to good drivers. We represent the innocent victims as personal injury attorneys as they attempt to piece together their broken lives. As Petaluma accident attorneys and members of the Petaluma community we urge all drivers to be aware, responsible and consistently cautious.

Delights and Dangers of Summer in Petaluma

Attorneys at Sette Law fully appreciate how our niche of Northern California beckons to tourists. But along with the increased traffic comes heightened risk of Petaluma automobile accidents. Our injury lawyers want to provide some information that’s intended to help our local families remain safe from a traffic death or injury.

Our attorneys are (sometimes painfully) aware of the sudden and costly shock that often accompanies a serious car accident. Our lawyers also know that the summer season calls an increased number of visitors to our beautiful region, drivers unfamiliar with the winding, rural roads that surround Petaluma. An accident, our attorneys observe, can happen anywhere, including on our peaceful city streets and country byways. And, whether it’s a slow speed crash or high speed on the 101, most people involved never anticipated a car accident.

Lawyers focused personal injury and accident cases know that many car crashes are preventable. A prime example, our injury lawyers say, is drinking and driving in Petaluma. Accident attorneys report that, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), DUI fatalities rose this year over last year and represent 28.9 percent of the state’s traffic deaths. This news is particularly concerning to our Petaluma accident lawyers because California is already the second ranked state (just behind Texas) for alcohol related deaths due to a car accident. Attorneys say that Alcoholalert.com attributes 34 percent of the state’s traffic related deaths to DUI drivers. This high number puts our personal injury attorneys on high alert, particularly since wine tasting attracts so many visitors to the Wine County and Petaluma.

Accident lawyers, however, know that local drivers add to the grim DUI statistics. In June of 2014 a drunk driver from our city killed a young mother and seriously injured her 8-year-old daughter. Our Petaluma injury lawyers say the driver was found guilty and sentenced to a five year prison term. And this June, another Petaluma man was arrested for an alleged DUI, sending the driver he hit to Queen of the Valley hospital with injuries due to the accident. Our attorneys know that drunk driving is a preventable. Accident lawyers say that options are available to keep drunk drivers off the road.

Of course, car crashes also happen because of distracted driving, yet another source of preventable accidents, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys. Who has not seen a motorist driving fast and chatting on his or her hand-held cell phone in Petaluma? Lawyers, of course, know this practice is illegal. Nonetheless, it’s all too common. Yet another growing and dangerous distraction is texting. Just a split second of looking at a phone screen can cause a potentially deadly car accident. Injury attorneys are frustrated by the lack of adherence to traffic laws that are simple to follow, yet so widely ignored. We know that, in retrospect, someone who caused a car crash due to distracted driving quickly realizes that no text or phone call is worth a car accident.

Injury lawyers deal with the painful aftermath of car crashes, whether from a preventable cause or sheer accident. Attorneys represent people who seek compensation for losses because of physical injury and attendant financial losses suffered because of a car accident. Our lawyers must establish four conditions to show a court that a driver’s “Negligence” caused our plaintiff’s accident injury. Lawyers explain that the principles of harm, breach, duty and causation are necessary elements in Negligence.

Let’s briefly look at each item that contributes to negligence in a car accident. Our attorneys define “harm” as injury that happened directly because of the accident; lawyers define “breach” as a failure of the potential defendant to act on the legal obligation of a driver; our injury attorneys say that duty includes the mandate that drivers follow traffic regulations and laws, and, finally, our Petaluma accident lawyers add that causation means a direct link between the accident and the injury. For a personal injury attorney to represent a car crash victim in court and fight for compensation for losses incurred due to the accident, all of these conditions must be verified.

Of course, once in a court of law, the defendant’s accident lawyer will work to protect his or her client. That means our plaintiff’s accident attorney must be confident about the details of the incident and often be able to call on expert witnesses to testify. For example, the personal injury attorney for the defense may claim that our plaintiff’s injury was pre-existing and caused by the car accident. Our injury lawyer may call, say, a physician to testify to the court why our client’s injury is due to the ‘negligence’ of the defendant – a ‘harm’ directly inflicted by the accident. Our attorney may be able to demonstrate there was a ‘breach’ because, for example, the defendant’s blood alcohol level was .08 at the scene of the accident. The attorney for our plaintiff might also counter that the defendant didn’t fulfill his ‘duty’ as a motorist because he was, say, speeding at the time of the Petaluma accident. Finally, our lawyer will then demonstrate the clear link of accident to injury and establish ‘causation.’

After an Accident in Petaluma
Personal injury lawyers at Sette Law counsel all car crash victims to follow some simple rules that can protect them after a Petaluma car accident. Attorneys urge all involved to get medical examination and treatment. Not only does this practice safeguard health, it also can protect people should their incident come to trial. Our Petaluma personal injury lawyers know that a defendant’s lawyer can allege an injury was pre-existing or happened after the accident. Our injury lawyers for the plaintiff trying to recover losses, is better supported if a medical report is available.

In addition, Petaluma accident attorneys suggest that accident victims keep verbal communication to a minimum, sharing only basic information such as contact information for insurance companies. Engaging in conversation or argument, according to our injury lawyers, can lead to problems later in court as we seek compensation for losses from the car accident.

Our attorneys in Petaluma are hoping for safe motoring for members of our community through increased awareness of the dangers of the road as summer is upon us.

Safeguard Pedestrian Safety in Petaluma

Personal injury attorneys at Sette Law appreciate nature’s call to enjoy the charming streets and byways of Petaluma. Our accident lawyers, however, are also aware of the grave and sometimes deadly results of a Petaluma pedestrian accident. Our attorneys deal directly with injured people and, sadly, with family members who have lost a loved one in a tragic pedestrian accident. Lawyers, like others close to profound personal loss, seek to keep our neighbors and visitors safe while enjoying the natural beauty that abounds in Petaluma.

Our accident attorneys say one of the allures of our region in Northern California is the near-year around temperate climate that makes Petaluma a walkers dream. However, a pedestrian accident forces injury attorneys to deal with a nightmare. Fortunately, our local area has a relatively low incidence of vehicle and pedestrian accidents our attorneys point out. All the more reason for people to remain vigilant and strive to maintain that good record!

National Figures Show Dangers of Pedestrian Accident

Attorneys look at data from the CDC for national numbers. Shockingly, in 2012, the Center reports that every two hours of the day, one pedestrian is killed and every seven minutes someone is injured in a pedestrian accident. Our attorneys say this risk is 1.5 higher to pedestrians than it is to people in cars. Fortunately, the statistics are quite different for people in Petaluma. Our personal injury lawyers speculate that this disparity may be due, in part, to street and roadway configuration in Petaluma. Local attorneys know that our streets and many rural roads are relatively narrow and not conducive to speeding traffic, unlike those in many big cities where roadways are very wide and constructed for automobile traffic rather than for pedestrians.

Accident attorneys point out that a survey done by the CDC  shows that that 20% of deaths and accidents involved pedestrians age 65 and over. Petaluma personal injury lawyers say streets in urban and suburban areas are often significantly wider, sometimes making it difficult for older people and individuals with disabilities to safely cross streets. Petaluma injury lawyers say that National Safety Council data indicates 85 percent of pedestrian injury accidents take place in urban, verses rural, environments.

Children are also vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. Our attorneys say that accidents involving children are the most trying and emotional of cases they must handle. We are thankful that safety conditions appear to be better in Petaluma. Accident lawyers know that children between five and 15 years of age represent 20 percent of deaths due to a pedestrian accident. Our attorneys recommend that, despite our area’s comparatively strong safety record, drivers remain vigilant about children in the city of Petaluma.

Personal injury lawyers add that our city’s walkable nature does not alter the third highest risk  - drinking and driving. Our injury attorneys are aware of the significant record of accidents caused by persons driving – or walking  -  under the influence of alcohol. Again, we draw upon studies done by the CDC that show 48 percent of accidents resulting in deaths were related to alcohol consumption. Our Petaluma accident lawyers say 34 percent of pedestrians died and 14 percent of DUI motorists were fatalities. Realistically, our personal injury attorneys believe similar figures would apply to the community of Petaluma.

Injury lawyers know Pedestrians are vulnerable in any Petaluma accident. Attorneys say that pedestrians routinely receive the worst injuries in an accident. No matter what speed a car is traveling its weight and thrust (even at 10 mph) can be a deadly weapon against a pedestrian. Our personal injury lawyers know of low speed accidents that have disabled pedestrian victims for life. While proud of our community’s pedestrian safety record, Petaluma accident attorneys urge drivers to be consciously aware of walkers and children playing in neighborhoods.

Pedestrians May Share Responsibility for a Petaluma Accident
Attorneys in California must work within state statutes that specify “negligence” will be related to fault in court.  For example, if a pedestrian darted out into the road from a line of parked cars and was hit by a driver, the pedestrian might bear some responsibility for the accident. Our injury lawyers explain this is related to the concept of “reasonable standard of care.” A pedestrian demonstrating reasonable care would not dash out into moving traffic and, in doing so, may be assessed some responsibility for the accident. Attorneys say this declaration can affect the amount of compensation the injured pedestrian might receive from the driver’s insurance carrier. Our Petaluma accident lawyers explain that a court will determine the percentage of liability for both driver and pedestrian.

Of course, our injury attorneys advise motorists to be hyper-aware of pedestrians in their immediate environment. And the definition of ‘pedestrian’ should be pretty wide, our accident lawyers add. Think kids on skate boards or roller blades, disabled people in motorized chairs, children playing ball. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys know that sometimes the actions of pedestrians can lead to an accident, but the sheer power of a vehicle to cause harm puts extra onus on drivers.
Finally, our Petaluma accident lawyers share some basic advice for people involved in an accident. Always call for medical help, even if you think injuries are not severe. Injury lawyers know that, in court, the failure of a plaintiff to seek immediate medical attention can be used by a defendant’s accident attorney in court. He or she might claim that no injury happened due to the pedestrian accident. The Lawyer for the plaintiff will have to explain why the injured party didn’t call for medical support, making a case even more challenging for a Petaluma accident lawyer.

Indeed, adjudicating the law can be very complicated, even for seasoned personal injury attorneys. That’s why our Petaluma accident lawyers want to educate our community about public safety and also about issues they may face in court of law. While pleased and proud that our community has a good record of safety regarding Petaluma pedestrian accidents, attorneys at Sette Law believe that we all benefit from working together.

Car Owners risk Liability in Petaluma Accidents

Personal injury lawyers must specialize in liability law while also having broad general knowledge of law for clients in Petaluma. Our accident attorneys at Sette Law know that liability can apply over a wide spectrum of circumstances but that specific liability principles will apply in most cases. And, that liability can extend beyond the actual driver in the car accident.

Essentially, Petaluma personal injury attorneys are tasked with showing that a defendant bears responsibility for acting – or not acting – in a manner that resulted in harm to the defendant. If this principle is valid, Petaluma injury lawyers can justifiably ask for compensation on behalf of the defendant. Although this legal tenet may sound simple, our personal injury attorneys know that proving liability is often a high bar to reach and requires keen knowledge of the legal process and applicable precedents for our clients in Petaluma.

Personal injury lawyers will seek to establish certain facts within liability and accident law. Fundamental to the argument is a principle known as “The duty to Act.” Accident and injury lawyers seek to show that a plaintiff’s injuries directly resulted from the defendant’s failure to fulfill his or her duty in the Petaluma case. Personal injury attorneys, for example, may demonstrate that a defendant was driving at a very high rate of speed that resulted in a crash causing serious injury to our client in Petaluma. Injury lawyers for the defendant, conversely, will look for evidence the driver was not speeding – or that the plaintiff, in fact, failed to exercise duty of care.

While Petaluma accident attorneys compile evidence of a defendant’s liability, we may also look beyond the individual behind the wheel. For instance, we may discover the defendant was working – driving on behalf of an employer at the time of the accident in Petaluma. An injury lawyer then may choose to pursue ‘vicarious liability’ and include the employer in the lawsuit to recover losses. Often, personal injury lawyers ask a jury to consider shared responsibility for duty of care and to make a determination about the percentage of liability shared by both employer and driver in the Petaluma accident. Our attorneys explain that defendants can’t recover total damages from both parties but that percentages of liability will be determined.

Shared liability, however, is not assured according to our personal injury attorneys. If the driver caused the accident outside of working hours and was driving without permission of the employer, the employer would likely not be held liable for the accident in Petaluma.

Personal injury attorneys say that other individuals may also share liability for drivers who cause accidents in Petaluma. Lawyers explain that parents who allow reckless, inexperienced or unlicensed children to drive their vehicles can be held liable for an accident – just as can vehicle owners who loan cars to friends who subsequently have an accident. Injury attorneys can employ the principle of Negligent Entrustment in such cases.

Petaluma personal injury attorneys advise the car owners to be aware of these potential liability risks when letting others drive their vehicles. There’s a lot to lose!



Nothing Simple about Petaluma Car accidents

Attorneys at Sette Law in know that proving liability in a car accident is no easy task. Car accident law is more complicated than it might first appear – even though people injured in an accident may be certain of the other driver’s negligence, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys. States generally govern accident law which is fairly consistent across the nation, including in Petaluma. Car accident attorneys are required to present evidence relevant to a set of four principles we’ll outline here.

The first is Cause, meaning your Petaluma personal injury lawyer must prove to the court that the car accident was directly responsible for injuries received in Petaluma. An Accident attorney representing the defendant may allege the injury is unrelated to the car crash. The plaintiff’s personal injury attorney can present medical evidence and expert testimony to support the victim’s case. Conversely, the Petaluma injury lawyer for the defendant could do the same. Consequently, it makes good sense for accident victims to engage a Petaluma car accident lawyer, rather than face the opposition’s lawyer in a court of law.

Your Petaluma injury lawyer will also seek to prove a Breach has been committed by the defendant. This means the other driver violated a law or acted irresponsibly - for example a plaintiff’s accident attorney may be able to prove the defendant was texting or talking on a cell phone at the time of the Petaluma car accident. Your attorney will carefully examine police reports and any evidence from you or witnesses to the accident in Petaluma. A personal injury lawyer may find the defendant had been driving under the influence or speeding – any number of negligent behaviors that may have contributed to your car accident.
Your attorney also has the job of proving that harm was done to you in the car accident. The lawyer for the defendant may allege you were not injured or an injury you have is unrelated to the car accident. Your attorney will establish facts for the court to prove that harm was done to you directly because of the Petaluma car accident.

Your lawyer essentially needs to highlight facts that establish the defendant was not in accordance with the last principle of Duty. This principle is fundamental to car accident law and dictates that it’s the responsibility of all motorists to drive safely and heed traffic laws. Your Petaluma injury attorney will highlight behavior such as speeding, distracted driving, intoxication and other behaviors that indicate the defendant violated his or her Duty, leading to the Petaluma car accident. Lawyers will access evidence, witness testimony and law enforcement data to demonstrate the defendant’s lack of performance of Duty.

Our Petaluma accident attorneys point out that victims can be a big help in supporting their case in court. Capturing evidence with photos or video at the scene of the car accident helps lawyers build your case. Cell phones make it easy to do this! And, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys urge people to keep their wits about them after a car accident. Our lawyers say that remaining calm and quiet is the best approach in the aftermath of a crash. Words said in anger or apologies made can come back to haunt victims after a car accident, leaving attorneys with a problem later in court.

Petaluma Injury Lawyers Monitor GM Response to Recalls

Petaluma car accident lawyers watch with great concern as the number of deaths due to auto defects in GM cars continues to increase. As of Sept. 24, the number of attributed deaths reached 21, up from the initial count of 13. Sette’s Petaluma accident attorneys are also aware of 467 injury claims made against GM, including those for brain injuries, amputations, burns, loss of sight and spinal cord injuries. In Petaluma, our car accident lawyers anticipate these numbers will rise as more injured parties step forward.

More Recalls impacting drivers in Petaluma 
Personal injury attorneys express concern about the recent allegation that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may have been less than vigilant in calling attention to certain GM defects. Our Petaluma car accident lawyers, like drivers throughout America, rely on the NHTSA for accurate assessments of automobile models. A recent Congressional report says the watchdog agency knew about a problem with ignition switches in some GM models in 2007 but did not issue a public alert. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys say an agency official did write a report to its Office of Defects Investigation but the ODI declined to pursue the matter. It was only when GM announced the defect late in 2013 that NHTSA publically affirmed the defect, alerting car owners in the nation and in Petaluma. Car accident attorneys at Sette Law believe that earlier notification by NTSHA officials could have prevented accidents and saved lives.

Yet another red flag for Petaluma personal injury attorneys is NHTSA’s 5-Star rating of the Chevy Cruze shortly before the model was recalled by GM because of faulty airbags manufactured by the Takata Corp. According to Petaluma car accident lawyers, airbags deployed with such force, they shot metal shrapnel into the car – in at least one case, causing the driver to become blind in one eye. Furthermore, the airbags burst and failed to protect vehicle occupants. Takata is one of the world’s largest makers of automobile airbags and our Petaluma injury lawyers advise Chevy Cruze owners to immediately take their cars to a GM dealer for repair.

With at least 39 million GM models recalled, our Petaluma car accident lawyers believe the NHTSA must step up and perform its public service. The agency has enjoyed the trust of the car buying public for 44 years and it’s often the first place families look for information about purchasing a car in Petaluma. But car accident lawyers and the public must now demand increased accountability, given these recent events. Our personal injury attorneys note that, in its defense, NHTSA officials said GM embarked on a campaign to minimize problems – going so far as ordering the word “defect” to be stricken from some reports to the NHTSA. Clearly, these allegations must be cleared up in the interest of safety and trust for drivers in Petaluma.

Car Accident Lawyers watch Settlement Decision
GM has created a settlement program estimated at $600 million or more. Petaluma injury attorneys at Sette Law say this compensation program is meant to address injuries and fatalities related to the recall of models having defective switches that can shut down a vehicle’s engine, preventing power steering from working and airbags from deploying. But, personal injury lawyers at Sette Law note that GM mounts strong defense against claims in cases across the U.S. and in Petaluma.

Car accident lawyers are following a 2010 case in which a young woman was killed in a Chevy Cobalt. The family settled with the company prior to the model’s defective airbag being disclosed. Just months later the still-grieving parents learned of the recall and asked a judge to set aside the court’s settlement. They felt it was important to make GM publicly responsible for the death of their daughter. The judge agreed and the family will be able to sue GM in court – affecting future cases, including those in Petaluma.

Car accident lawyers also point to a case in a 2006 collision that claimed two lives. Again, the crash was related to an airbag defect. Lawyers for GM accepted liability for the driver of the vehicle but said GM was not responsible for the death of the passenger in the back seat – where there was no airbag. Our Petaluma personal injury attorneys find this approach is grossly unfair the family of these and other victims – and falls far short of inspiring public trust in the car maker’s motives.


Recalls may Play Role in Petaluma Car Accidents

Lawyers with Sette Law in Petaluma are closely monitoring the upsurge in recalls of automobiles over the past year.  The spotlight has been on GM’s recalls involving a variety of defects, according to our Petaluma personal injury attorneys. However, many of the problems have been traced to faulty airbags and that issue can be complicated by other mechanical and design problems. In Petaluma, our injury lawyers are also concerned about the recall of the Routan made by Volkswagen as well as Range Rover’s recall of five models spanning 2013-2014. Yet another recall by GM is the Chevy Cruze, with serious defects in airbag deployment.

In some cases, our Petaluma car accident lawyers point out, the issues involve other mechanisms that can cause airbags to malfunction. For example, Volkswagen’s Routan is plagued by ignition switch problems that are identified as the source of problems with brakes, airbags and power steering. In Petaluma our personal injury attorneys also point to GM’s recall of 1.8 million SUVs due to airbags that could fail to deploy if car owners don’t pay attention to an airbag warning light on the dashboard. SUVs are a very popular choice for families in Petaluma and injury attorneys are urge owners to get the repairs made immediately. If you purchased a GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, Chevy Traverse or Buick Enclave in Petaluma, our car accident lawyers advise you to check GMs website for the years included in the recall.

 

Petaluma Injury Lawyers Note Reluctant Recall

In this particular recall, that began making headlines early this year, our Petaluma personal injury attorneys are particularly concerned about GMs reticence to launch a full recall earlier. The air bag problem had been known for many years but as late as March 13 of this year, the company launched a customer satisfaction campaign aimed at drivers in the U.S. and Petaluma. Our injury lawyers note this non-urgent campaign did not acknowledge the seriousness of the problem for car owners in Petaluma. Personal injury attorneys know that such campaigns are more economical than recalls and are not done under the eye of watch dog government agencies.

According to data from the National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA), GM escalated the problem to full recall status the next day, March 14 – right after notifying the NHTSA of its “satisfaction campaign.” Our Petaluma injury attorneys suspect GMs reluctance to deal with serious, life threatening issues for so many years (since at least 2008), indicates that drivers involved in related accidents may not make the link between the car make and their experience. This, according to our Petaluma injury lawyers, in an unfortunate result of corporate inaction and a lack of accountability.

For years, GM had been handling the air bag issue with service bulletins, despite a significant rise in calls to the company’s Technical Assistance Center and increased buy-backs of the affected models in cities like Petaluma. Car accident lawyers are concerned that crash victims in these years may be unaware their accident was caused by a defect.

At Sette Law in Petaluma, injury attorneys believe in public accountability and responsibility. That it took an influx of new leadership at GM, plus congressional hearings and a national spotlight to spur the company to action is not encouraging to car owners in Petaluma. Our personal injury attorneys continue to follow the progression of cases involving victims of GM airbag crashes. We are confident that, had the company stepped forward with recalls of these serious defects years ago, countless accidents could have been prevented throughout the nation and in Petaluma. Our car accident lawyers hope this public scandal will serve as a lesson to car makers – life threatening conditions demand a swift and substantial response.