Cok Kinzler PLLP

Bozeman Personal Injury Blog

Is your child at risk from recalled products?

How do you learn about a product recall? Do you hear it on the evening news, read about it in the paper or see it on social media? If you are a parent, you may have friends who are also parents, and you keep each other informed of important reports about dangerous products. No matter how you learn about a product recall, you likely take action, especially if your child's health or safety is at risk.

Recently, you may have heard that Fisher-Price, a leading manufacturer of items for babies and children, recalled one of its products following a series of tragic events. Even though most retailers complied with the recall by clearing the items from their shelves, your child may still be in danger.

Falls and brain injuries

Many people in Montana equate brain injuries with serious car and motorcycle accidents or sports injuries, but falls are another common cause. Hitting the head can result in a variety of symptoms, depending on the type of fall and location and impact to the head. 

According to the Alzheimer's Association, seniors are especially susceptible to falls. In fact, about 56,000 older adults land in the hospital every year, and around 8,000 die due to head and brain injuries. An even higher number live with a disability related to a brain injury. These disabilities may relate to emotional issues, reduced physical function capacities or cognitive changes. Due to the long-term effects, there is an increased awareness around fall prevention. Some of the recommendations for seniors include:

  • Regular vision checks and appropriate corrections
  • Using an assistive device such as a cane or walker
  • Being aware of hazards, such as poor lighting, clutter and rug edges, in the home
  • Being aware of medication interactions and side effects

Why should you replace your child's car seat after an accident?

If you have been involved in a serious car accident in Montana that left your family injured, your first priority should be focusing on your healing and recovery. With time, all of the legalities surrounding fault, insurance payouts and any legal consequences will be worked out. One of the small, but critical details that should be remembered once you are back on your feet is that you must replace any child restraints you had in your vehicle at the time of your accident. 

Car seats are required for all children and those requirements vary depending on a child's age and size. They are designed to protect your children against the elements of a car accident by properly restraining them when they are too small to use a standard seatbelt. An improperly installed car seat or one that is not being used to its specifications is no better than having no car seat at all, so it is imperative that you follow the instruction manual that came with your child's seat in order to be confident you are using it the correct way. 

The types of defects that lead to product liability

When someone in Montana purchases a product, there is an expectation that it will work properly. Unfortunately, product defects can result in a number of different injuries to consumers, and when this occurs it is the court's responsibility to determine who is at fault. In terms of product liability, there are various parties that can be liable for different types of defects.

FindLaw discusses that liability may lie in the hands of anyone who was responsible for the product from the production stage to the selling stage. This may include the manufacturer of the product's parts, the manufacturer of the product itself, the party that puts the product together, the wholesaler or the company that sold the product. It is up to the court to decide which party or parties are responsible for the defect.

Careful rehabilitation can help a spinal cord injury

One of the more serious types of physical injuries that people can receive in Montana is spinal cord injuries. Because the spine is an integral part of the human body and is connected to a variety of imperative movements, even minor injuries can have costly effects. 

Perhaps the most serious consequence resulting from a spinal cord injury is paralysis. The severity of the paralysis and whether or not rehabilitation can potentially reduce its effects is dependent on several factors including how the injured person got hurt, his or her age and his or her health and medical history. According to, the most prevalent cause of spinal cord injuries is a person's involvement in a car accident. Other causes include physical violence, trauma during a recreational activity and falls. 

Brain injury results in man's death, lawsuit blames restaurant

When people are participating in activities at their supermarket or other local establishments, they often do not think twice about their chances of getting critically hurt. However, because some business owners in Montana neglect to properly maintain the premises of their facility, it could leave customers at an increased risk of suffering an injury. 

For one family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the tragic death of their loved one has led to a lawsuit alleging that a restaurant's negligence in maintaining their premises ultimately caused their family member's injury. The incident began when the man was entering the restaurant when he fell down after tripping over a section of the sidewalk that was uneven and poorly maintained. The man suffered an anoxic brain injury and only 10 days later, he passed away. 

New research provides hope for spinal cord injuries

A bad fall, a motor vehicle crash or a workplace accident can result in serious injuries. If these injuries involve the spinal cord, you may be facing a future that is defined by pain and struggle. Depending on the severity of the injury and how high on your spine the injury occurs, you may be facing partial or total paralysis.

In some cases, this damage occurs when a break in your back is so severe that it severs the spinal cord. However, more often, this is not the case. In fact, it may be your body's own immune system response that causes the most damage. While doctors and scientists have not yet discovered a way to repair that damage, new research may have the key to preventing it.

Important information to get from your car accident

If you have been involved in a car accident in Montana, one of the first things that will happen is calling 911. Once authorities arrive and begin talking to the people involved, it is important to know what information you should have before leaving the scene. At Cok Kinzler PLLP, we are committed to helping people through the process of recovering from a car accident. 

Depending on the severity of the accident you were involved in, you may be able to get up and walk around and assess the damage to your vehicle. If you are in this position, it is important that you begin gathering information right away. Having valuable facts written down may play an imperative role in your ability to file a claim for your accident that is truthful, effective and timely. Leaving the accident scene before you have all of the information you need may prolong your case if you have to spend time tracking down important details after the initial investigation has been completed. 

Is there a blood test for concussions?

After a car accident in Montana, you may receive the unfortunate news that you have a brain injury. Sometimes the injured party may even be another family member. Brain injuries can severely impact a person’s physical and mental health. Because of this, doctors often order a mandatory CT scan.

However, according to CNN, CT scans do not always detect concussions. In fact, CT scans are overwhelmingly negative. Imagine risking 200 times the radiation of a chest X-ray with a 90% possibility of a negative result. It is expensive, especially for patients who may not have insurance. Throw in the reluctance of some car insurance companies to pay for medical bills, or lack of insurance for the at-fault driver, and the out-of-pocket expenses could soar.

Signs your power steering pump is failing

If you are like most Montana residents, you rely on a vehicle to run errands, get to work and head out on weekend trips. Power steering helps the steering wheel turn easily. When it works well, you can make tight turns and cruise through curves with minimal effort. At Cok Kinzler PLLP, our experienced team often assists clients injured as a result of faulty steering.

According to YourMechanic, the power steering pump applies the right pressure to the wheels so that turning is smooth. It works with an accessory drive belt, hose and a particular fluid as part of the steering system. Several symptoms signal the power steering pump is failing and needs attention:

  • A slow or stiff response from the steering wheel when turning. If you must pull harder on the wheel than usual, it may indicate your pump is ready for replacement.
  • Your vehicle starts fine, but whines when the wheel turns. The power steering system may need maintenance, including new fluid or a new pump.
  • Squealing begins when you start the car, or through sharp turns. This could mean the belt slipped due to a failing power steering pump.
  • A reddish-brown leak under the car suggests a problem. There are several hoses and lines under your hood connecting various systems. If there is a crack in the reservoir, hose or pump housing in the steering system, the fluid leaking out is reddish-brown.
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