The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works to protect public health and promote public safety by ensuring the efficacy and safety of human and veterinary products and medical devices. The FDA approves drugs after determining that the benefits outweigh the risks; however, in some cases, the full extent of the risks does not become apparent until after many years of consumer use. While warnings may limit the amount of liability, a manufacturer has, those who have suffered injuries because of an unsafe product should contact a Washington D.C. product liability attorney.

The FDA must provide pre-clinical data to establish that the products have been tested on laboratory animals before moving on to the new drug approval process. Drug companies must report any adverse side effects, especially those that can cause life-threatening injuries such as hospitalization or congenital disabilities. Further, the FDA provides varying information and warnings to consumers ranging from medication guides, consumer medication information, nonprescription drug facts, and boxed warnings. Boxed warnings tend to follow post-market surveillance, which includes evaluating FDA’s computerized database and MedWatch. In some cases, the FDA may recall or withdrawal a medication or device.

For instance, the FDA recently told manufacturers that they must warn patients of the risk of breast implants. According to a national news outlet, regulators placed the black box warnings and told companies that they could only sell the products to medical providers who review the risks with patients before surgery. In addition to the warnings, providers must allow patients to review a new checklist that advises patients of the various risks. The checklist identifies certain types of patients who are at an increased risk for illness after implant surgery. These patients include those who have autoimmune conditions or have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Vision Zero is an initiative that aims to reduce Washington DC traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. The initiative is a part of the US Department of Transportation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets. The program is in response to the harrowing number of Washington DC traffic injuries and deaths. Vision Zero’s comprehensive plan includes:

  • Improving pedestrian and bicycling safety by promoting practical actions;
  • Encouraging local leaders to take safety actions;

In cities such as Washington, D.C., walking to work and school is very common. Unfortunately, because of this, pedestrian accidents are also more prevalent. These devastating crashes occur when a driver hits a person walking, with injuries that can be extremely severe. When someone is injured or killed in a pedestrian accident in D.C., a lawsuit can be brought to financially compensate the victim for the accident. Below are statistics about pedestrian accidents, along with the basic information on bringing a personal injury lawsuit.

Recently in Washington, D.C., two children and their father were injured as they were walking to school on National Walk to School Day. The man and his children were walking when a driver attempted to turn and drove directly into them. All three pedestrians were severely injured: one of the children broke her leg, the other sustained major facial injuries, and the father suffered a broken ankle after being dragged by the car. D.C. police have not said yet whether the driver will be charged.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, pedestrian motor vehicle crash deaths have increased by 51 percent over the last ten years. Additionally, these accidents account for 17 percent of all deaths from crashes. In 2019, over 6,000 pedestrians died in an accident involving a motor vehicle, and over seventy percent of pedestrians killed in 2019 were males.

For many residents and regular commuters to Washington, D.C., public transportation is integral to getting to and from work, school, or across the city in general. Commuters, however, have a reasonable expectation of safety when they are on city trains or buses. When public transit unexpectedly fails and injuries occur, those who are responsible can be held accountable.

According to a recent local news report, a Metro train derailed on the Blue Line near the Arlington Cemetery station. Metro officials reported that the train, a 7000-series train that is one of Metro’s latest models, partially moved off the tracks. At the time of the incident, there were 300 to 400 people on the train and one person was transported to the hospital as a precaution after issues related to anxiety. Following the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it would send railroad accident investigators to look into what caused the incident. Service remains suspended between certain stations because of the ongoing investigation.

The Metrorail, which is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), is the second busiest public transit system in the nation, with more than one million riders on the average weekday.

Throughout recent years baby and infant product manufacturers have recalled many of their products. Many of these recalls have come in response to a series of injuries and deaths related to their products. While no amount of money can repay families for their immense loss, Washington D.C. product liability claims may provide families with a way to address the financial cost of these injuries and losses.

Consumers who purchase products, especially products for their infants and children, rightfully assume that product manufacturers went through the appropriate safeguards to ensure that their products are appropriate for the public. However, in some cases, products bypass these safety checks and enter the consumer stream. These unsafe products may be defective or dangerous because of their design, manufacturing, or warnings.

In recent history, many prominent infant and children product manufacturers have recalled their products. For example, Boppy Co., a leading manufacturer of infant carriers and nursing pillows recalls over 3 million newborn loungers. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled various infant loungers after the products were linked to eight deaths between 2015 and 2020. According to reports, the infants suffocated after being placed on their stomachs, sides, or back. While the company expressed its remorse for the deaths, they asserted that the products were not advertised as sleeping products, and they have a clear warning against using the product unsupervised. The CPSC stated that consumers should cease using the product and contact the company for a refund.

High-speed chases are an unfortunate yet common part of law enforcement duties in the United States. While these pursuits may be necessary, they also involve a significant amount of risk to anyone in the vicinity of the pursuit, such as the fleeing suspect, their passengers, pedestrians, bystanders, and other motorists. Although the essential purpose of a high-speed pursuit is to apprehend a fleeing suspect, officers should evaluate whether they can accomplish this apprehension by safer alternatives. The heavy flow of traffic and the number of bikers and pedestrians make high-speed police pursuits in Washington D.C. a dangerous prospect.

For instance, federal prosecutors in Washington D.C. recently charged an officer with various criminal charges following the death of a 20-year-old moped driver. According to one news source, police were pursuing the man because he rode his moped on a sidewalk without a helmet. The chase ensued into an alley, and when the man was exiting the narrow road, he slammed into another vehicle. Under Washington D.C. police regulations, officers cannot engage in a high-speed pursuit over minor traffic violations. The officers involved in the accident pleaded not guilty.

While the above report focuses on the criminal charges, these situations often elicit civil personal injury and wrongful death claims against law enforcement agencies. Unlike other types of accidents, those involve police cars typically involve complex governmental immunity laws. The Metropolitan Police Department police pursuit laws maintain that officers engaged in a pursuit must consider protecting human life and property. These officers must continually assess the conditions of the pursuit to determine whether to continue to stop the vehicle chase.

Washington D.C has a robust public transportation system and a growing cohort of cyclists; however, driving is still the most popular mode of transportation throughout the city. Thousands of people commute into Washington D.C. for work, business, and leisure. The growing number of cars, especially as schools and offices require in-person attendance, results in congested roadways. As such, Washingtonians and visitors are at risk of being involved in a car accident.

According to some reports, motorists driving in Washington D.C. are twice as likely to be involved in an accident compared to the national rate. While an accident can occur at any location, some Washington D.C. roadways and intersections are the sites of many accidents. These roadways and intersections include New York Ave. and Florida Avenue NE, 14th Street and U Street, NW, Pennsylvania Ave. and 12th Street, NW, 18th Street and Columbia Road, NW, and Pennsylvania Ave Anacostia Freeway SE.

These accidents can have devastating consequences on motorists, passengers, bystanders, pedestrians, and cyclists. For instance, Washington D.C. news sources recently described the tragic death of a 5-year-old girl. The report explained that the 5-year-old girl died while riding her bike near 14th and Irving Street, NE. Witnesses stated that the girl could not stop her bicycle and entered the intersection into the path of a Transit van crossing the area. The community gathered and is demanding changes to traffic safety in their area.

As drivers, we all try to maximize safety when navigating the road. Sometimes, however, there are things we cannot control. Even the most proactive and careful of drivers may experience bad weather, poor road conditions, or reckless drivers—all of which can have devastating consequences.

When a car accident takes place because of the negligence of another person, however, and the accident results in physical injury, significant property damage, or even death, those who are responsible can be held accountable for their negligent behavior.

According to a recent news report, three people were killed after a deadly head-on car accident. Police on the scene reported that a Chevrolet was going more than 100 miles per hour when it plowed into another vehicle heading in the opposite direction. The Chevrolet was speeding east in westbound lanes when it crashed head-on into a Toyota. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene, along with an additional passenger of the Chevrolet. Debris from the car accident also disabled a third vehicle, but the driver and its passenger did not need to be transported to the hospital for treatment. The investigation remains ongoing.

Chain reaction car accidents, which usually involve multiple parties, can often result in a long trail of collisions and murky chains of liability. Because these collisions often involve apportioning different amounts of fault to various parties involved, it is crucial that D.C. drivers are aware of preventive and legal steps they can take to best protect themselves in the event that they are involved in a multiple-vehicle crash.

According to a recent local news report, a major chain reaction collision between a car and a school bus resulted in five subsequent crashes. Montgomery County police’s investigation revealed that the driver of a Mitsubishi struck another vehicle and fled the scene. The Mitsubishi then subsequently rear-ended a Metro bus and fled the scene again before crashing into a school bus. The drivers of both buses were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the driver of the Mitsubishi was transported to a separate hospital and in critical condition.

When it comes to establishing fault in a chain reaction accident, the driver who causes the initial collision is typically who is considered responsible. Although circumstances of different accidents may mean that different crash scenarios yield different or multiple at-fault parties, the general rule of thumb is that the driver who instigates the initial crash is also responsible for the multiple collisions that take place after. Sometimes, however, various parties involved in a crash may be deemed at fault. Other times, when it is clear that one individual caused multiple accidents, one party can be held responsible for all of the crashes that take place after the first one.

In conjunction with safety advocates, national news reports have continually reported the dangers associated with vehicles operating on Autopilot. However, the Washington D.C. Center for Auto Safety has amped up its efforts to address the concerning number of accidents involving self-driving vehicles. These accidents are occurring throughout the country and have been a cause of concern for Washington, D.C. drivers.

Recently, the New York Times highlighted a Tesla autopilot crash that took the life of a 22-year-old college student. In that case, a Florida finance executive was operating his Tesla on “Autopilot” mode when he bent down to look for his cell phone. Tesla claims that the Autopilot system can steer, brake, and accelerate a car using advanced sensors and other technology. On the night of the accident, the 22-year-old was on a date with a man driving his mother’s SUV. The driver pulled over on the shoulder, and as the woman was exiting the vehicle, the Tesla slammed into the SUV. It is unclear whether the vehicle increased its speed or if the driver raised the speed. However, evidence suggests that the Tesla driver slammed on the brakes about a second before the collision. The woman’s estate filed a lawsuit against Tesla, claiming that their vehicles are “unsafe and defective.” The estate settled the claim for an undisclosed amount with the Tesla driver.

Similar to other accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot function, it does not appear that the system did much to ensure that the driver was paying attention to his surroundings. While Tesla reports that the company has recently implemented an in-car camera system to detect and monitor drivers, it is unclear how effective the technology is while the vehicle is dark. In contrast, other companies use different technology to monitor drivers. With those systems, drivers who look away for more than two seconds will receive a warning that alerts them to look ahead. If a driver does not comply, the self-driving technology will shut off and alert the driver to take control of the vehicle.

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