Tesla Autopilot Hacked.

Photo by Bram Van Oost on Unsplash

The Tesla Autopilot system has been hacked, according to security group Tencent Keen Security Labs. They published a report in March 2019 revealing how to trick a Tesla’s Autopilot system into veering into another lane on the freeway. It seems that the camera sensors were simply ‘tricked’ by placing stickers on the roadway that caused the system to change lanes. Presumably mistaking the stickers for debris.

Engine Control Unit

Tesla’s Autopilot system engine control unit (ECU) can be also be hacked. Access can be gained through root security weaknesses in software version 18.6.1. Access that can gain remote control of a Tesla Model S steering wheel. The researchers were able to gain control of the steering wheel without actually touching it. The researchers were also able to gain control of the windshield’s auto wipers, which Tesla claims has now been fixed.

Advanced Driver-Assistance

The Advanced Driver-Assistance System feature offered by Tesla that gives advanced Level 2 autonomous driving. It features lane centering, cruise control that maintains safe speeds and distances. Also the ability to self-park. The potential to automatically change lanes with driver’s approval. As well as enabling the car to be called remotely to and from a garage or parking spot.

Levels of Autonomy

Autonomous features of self driving vehicles are ordered by the level of autonomy they provide. The following levels are courtesy of a TechRepublic Article available in full here.

  • LEVEL 0: Is very basic, the driver controls pretty much everything, except possible cruise control for highway driving.
  • LEVEL 1: The driver still controls most things, but various things like steering and acceleration can be handled automatically.
  • LEVEL 2: “Both steering and acceleration/ deceleration using information about the driving environment” is automated, like cruise control and lane-centering. It means that the “driver is disengaged from physically operating the vehicle. Either by having his or her hands off the steering wheel AND foot off the pedal at the same time”. According to SAE guide available here.
  • LEVEL 3: Drivers are still needed in level 3 cars. But being able to completely shift “Safety-Critical Functions” to the vehicle, under certain traffic or environmental conditions. It means that the driver is still present and will intervene if necessary. However, is not required to monitor the situation in the same way a driver does for the previous levels. 
  • LEVEL 4: This is what is meant by “fully autonomous”. Level 4 vehicles are “designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip”. However, it’s important to note that this is limited to the “operational design domain (ODD)” of the vehicle. Meaning it does not cover every driving scenario.
  • LEVEL 5: This refers to a fully-autonomous system that expects the vehicle’s performance to equal that of a human driver. And in every driving scenario. Including extreme environments like dirt roads that are unlikely to be navigated by driverless vehicles in the near future.

Tesla’s Response

“It is not a realistic concern given that a driver can easily override Autopilot at any time by using the steering wheel or brakes and should always be prepared to do so”. A spokesperson for Tesla, regarding the hack, said.

The Issue of Liability

So what does that mean to the law? Manufacturers and safety officials see driver-less cars as reducing the number of accidents. And by as much as 80% by the year 2040. Surprised? Yes, I was too. But who pays if a self-driving car hits your vehicle? Who is to blame or who carries the liability in an accident involving one. These things and more are going to present the legal community with many challenges. Not to mention the milestone decisions to come in the not so distant future.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident of any kind, we recommend seeking an attorney that can help you navigate the difficult claims processes. Dan Street of STREET LAW FIRM has almost four decades of experience in helping his clients with their personal injury claims. There is never an upfront fee and all of Dan’s involvement is done on a contingency basis. Which means Dan doesn’t get paid unless and until you do.

Duty of Care

Duty of Care
mitch-lensink-213301-unsplash

The Duty of Care: What is it? The legal dictionary defines it as: ” A duty of care is the legal responsibility of a person or organization to avoid any behaviors or omissions that could reasonably be foreseen to cause harm to others. For example, a duty of care is owed by an accountant in correctly preparing a customer’s tax returns, to minimize the chance of an IRS audit. Similarly, manufacturers owe a duty of care to consumers in making sure that their products are safe for public use.”

Legal dictionary goes on to define it – Definition of ‘Duty of Care’

  1. The responsibility of a person or organization to take all reasonable measures necessary. To prevent activities that could result in harm to other individuals and/or their property.

Who has ‘Duty of Care’?

Well, pretty much everybody. We all have a duty of care to protect others. But specifically when our actions, products or services could potentially hurt, harm, or injure the person who we are responsible for providing that care to.

Manufacturers, for example, have a ‘duty of care’ to oversee that their products don’t injure someone when operated as suggested. Property owners have a ‘duty of care’ to be certain that their property will not harm anybody on it. Drivers of vehicles have a ‘duty of care’ to drive in a safe manner. Services also have a ‘duty of care’ to protect their customers or consumers from harm.

UK Government

In the UK, the government is considering to impose a ‘duty of care’ requirement on social media giants. Giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The proposed law will hold executives responsible for their content provided. Items such as videos that are extremely graphic, such as mass-shooting videos, suicide videos, and maybe even online bullying.

The U.S. version of the Guardian a UK news organization is reporting that it has obtained a leaked copy of the reported plan: “Social media bosses could be liable for harmful content, leaked UK plan reveals.”

How do you feel about executives being held responsible for the hurt or harm that is done to their users? If the ruling passes, it will almost definitely put similar legislation in place in the US. Let us know in the comment section below.

Dan Street has been helping clients that have been injured as a result of someone ignoring their ‘duty of care’ to others. Whether you have been hurt in a vehicle accident, or you fell and injured yourself, Dan Street of STREET LAW FIRM can help. Please contact our office for a free consultation of your cas.

Takata Airbag Recalls – Check Your Vehicle.

Takata Airbag Recalls

Takata Airbag recalls: Steering wheel airbag cover.
Photo by Taylor Hernandez on Unsplash

Takata airbag recall. NHTSA has identified it as “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” The recall involves airbags, supplied by a company called Takata. Takata has its main offices in Tokyo Japan. The airbags they produce, have been used in 37 million vehicles.

NHTSA reports there have been 15 deaths in the US, 23 deaths globally and over 300 injuries caused by these defective airbags. The root of the problem is in the airbag’s inflators. The chemicals used by the inflators have an ammonium nitrate-based propellent. That propellant, over time, degrades due to age, heat and environmental moisture. Consequently, these defects can cause the inflators to inflate the airbags inappropriately.

How Airbags Work

Airbags are designed to be inflated by these inflators which set off a small gas explosion. As the explosion burns, it creates large amounts of gasses which act to then fill the airbag. Driver’s airbags are generally housed in the steering wheel and the glove box area for passengers. Airbags are usually made of nylon. Often coated with powder to help them unfold evenly. Once the airbag/s have deployed they expel their respective cover’s into the vehicle’s passenger space. Essentially creating flying hazards to occupants of the vehicle.

Accelerometers

After your vehicle hits something it slows considerably, much faster than when you are braking. This rapid reduction in speed is measured by an ‘accelerometer’. It detects that sudden decrease in speed and signals the circuit that initiates the inflator to explode. While this may sound avoidably hazardous, airbags have actually reduced injuries and fatalities by 22%. Also, as much as 45% with additional side airbags for driverside collisions.

New York Times

A New York Times article in 2014 revealed that some workers at Takata knew of the defects. They informed management, but their quality concerns raised were mostly shelved to meet productivity demands.

NHTSA Official site

NHTSA has a full list of Takata airbag recalls and more… Check your personal vehicle for ANY recalls by entering the details of your vehicle here.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured by one of these faulty airbags or injured in any type of auto accident in Dallas; Then it’s recommended that you contact a qualified personal injury attorney. Dan Street of STREET LAW FIRM has successfully won tens of millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. Call his office today, for a free consultation of your case. There is never an upfront fee or fees, as Dan will work on your behalf until your case is resolved and his fees are contingent upon the amount of your compensation awarded.

Finally, if you would prefer, submit your case electronically here…

Is Climate Change Making Your Joints Hurt

Is Climate Change Making Your Joints Hurt?

Is Climate Change Making Your Joints Hurt? Wet and cold.
Photo by Alaric Hartsock on Unsplash

Exaggeration?

OK, is ‘Climate Change’ making your joints hurt? That’s a little exaggeration, or is it? While there is no scientific support to your knee and joint pains, your grandmother can probably uncannily predict the weather by her knee pains.

It’s not just your knees and joints affected. Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told weather.com last year, though the mechanism is somewhat unknown. “What’s quite clear, however, is that overcast, cloudy and rainy days produce more migraine headaches,” he said.

Response to cold and wet weather changes

Knee pain happens to me every couple of years but mostly occurs in response to colder, wet weather. Some call it the effect of barometric pressure on our joints. If you have ever suffered such joint pain, you almost instinctively know it’s because the weather just changed. Odd isn’t it?

Treated with NSAIDs

Personally, my joint pain generally only happens during winter time but can last for several weeks sometimes. That’s generally when I have to replenish my supply of NSAIDs. (Take as directed on the bottle.)

So what can you physically do? RICE… No, not real rice, but an acronym.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

How does this affect the law you may wonder?

Well, there is a seldom-used defense called an ‘idiopathic’ defense, Google defines it as “relating to or denoting any disease or condition which arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown.” It is, just by its vagueness, very difficult to win cases when used.

In Court, the burden of proof of liability is on the claimant and how you were injured because of the other party’s or person’s negligence. Little wiggle room for a Climate Change defense, and who would you blame?

‘It happened out of the blue’.

Claiming a personal injury to your knee while climbing or descending stairs at work, ‘that gave out, all out of the blue’. Is very difficult to apply liability for such an injury to the employer. In my case, I ‘know’ its likely been caused by climate change, or if you prefer, a change in the weather. But it’s prone to happen anywhere and for no seeming reason physically. ie. No trip, no twisting, it just gives out…

If you are uncertain whether your personal injury has any validity, please contact our office. If we think you have a valid claim we will schedule an appointment with Dan Street, an attorney at STREET LAW FIRM.

Or if you prefer, submit your case online.

 

Electric Scooter Rental in Dallas

Electric Scooter Rental

Electric Scooter Rental: 3 BIRD electric scooters
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash BIRD scooters West Hollywood CA

Electric scooter rental looks fun.

First of all, electric scooter rental looks fun. You may have seen them around Dallas, they’re in most big cities in Texas. They are left by the rental companies at various convenient pickup locations. Turn on the rental company’s app on your smartphone and within minutes you’re on your way. Sounds great and at about a $1 to start then 15 cents per minute after that, some pretty cheap fun.

Where can I ride one?

Dallas City Council approved the use of the scooters, with exceptions that they couldn’t be used in Downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum. Nor can you ride them on streets that have more than a 35mph speed limit.

Look for the BIRD or LIME app in the Apple Store or Android Play Store

Bird Apple Store link

LIME Apple Store link

Bird Android Google Play link

Lime Android Google Play link

But what if I get in an accident while riding one?

But what if I get in an accident? You might ask yourself. The rentals do not come with insurance and your homeowner’s and car insurance will not cover any damages you incur to you, yourself or any property.

It’s possible your health insurance will cover part or all of your injuries sustained, but certainly not those you may hurt.

If popularity increases, so will insurance options

With the popularity increase, insurance companies may start offering insurance for an electric scooter rental. Some cities are beginning to discuss the option to have the electric scooter rental companies provide some basic liability coverage with their rentals.

If you are concerned, and you should be… Be sure and check with your insurance agent before renting one.

Finally, FYI these scooters need charging overnight and since they are often left by the side of the road after being used. There are employment opportunities for retrieving and charging the scooters. Check with Bird or Lime for more details.

Remember, if you or a loved one has recently been injured in a vehicle accident of any type, then STREET LAW FIRM is here to help. Dan Street has been helping his clients for almost four decades now. In that time he has successfully won $10,000,000.00’s for his clients in damages awards. Contact Dan for a free, no-obligation initial consultation. His contact details are here.

Also, if you prefer, submit your case here.

Football Season Is DUI Season

Football Season is DUI Season: A football laying in grass.
Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

Football Season is Finally Here.

Texas loves its football, whether it’s Friday Night High-School football, college football or NFL football. Football stirs the spirits of most Texans to the point of being a large part of our Texas culture. Heading off to see the home-opener at AT&T Stadium, the thought of cold beer and hot-dogs just adds to what is almost an addiction to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. For some, that means Football Season is DUI Season.

Impairment while driving.

That delicious cold beer and hot-dog can and often does, lead to another beer and then another… TxDOT and DPS ‘kick off’ this football season with their campaign plan. Which is to keep impairment while driving at the front and center of every big game event.

The program is called Football: Plan While You Can TxDOT along with DPS is beginning their “Plan While You Can” campaign over the Labor Day holidays. TxDOT reports in 2017 there were 264 crashes caused by drunk drivers in TX over that year’s Labor Day alone. 14 people died. “The campaign aims to reduce the number of DUI-related traffic crashes occurring on football game days when a Texas college or professional team is playing.” Says the TxDOT website.

The designated driver is not the person who is ‘least drunk’.

The designated driver is not the person who is ‘least drunk’ at the end of the game. Hence, “Plan When You Can” at the beginning of the game. They suggest contacting a third party such as SoberRides.org to arrange a sober ride home, other similar ride services include Uber and  Lyft both of which are ride services that are requested through their downloadable apps to your smartphone.

There really is no need to get in a car a drive in inebriated anymore. With fines up to $17,000 plus fees.  Jail time. The loss of your driver’s license will make you regret the decision not to have used a third-party service. So Plan When You Can this football season, don’t wait until it’s too late.

If you or someone you know or a loved one have been injured or catastrophically killed in a DUI accident, call our STREET LAW FIRM office for a consultation with Dan Street a proven qualified DUI Injury Attorney. There is never a fee or money required up-front until we successfully win your case.

 

Atmos Energy Gas Explosions

Atmos Energy Gas Explosions

Boiling Tea Kettles on gas stove
Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Atmos Energy Gas Explosions: According to a riveting article in the Dallas Morning News. Since 2006, Atmos Energy gas explosions have resulted in over 25 homes exploding, causing 9 fatalities and 26 injuries in North and Central Texas alone.

Family’s harrowing experience

The article follows a young family’s harrowing experience with Atmos Energy Corp’s extensive aging underground gas pipelines.

They had been at a friends house to watch a Cowboys and 49er’s game, which found them returning home around midnight that Sunday night in 2011.

A bulb in its socket.

The chain on the light fixture as they entered was broken, so to turn it on and off meant screwing and unscrewing the light bulb in its socket. As Mr. Menendez tightened the bulb it set the leaked cloud of gas, lurking in the small house, alight. He remembers a loud explosion and a rush of flames around his body.

The blast.

When he woke from the blast,  a wall had come to rest on him and his 5-year-old son Pablo. “I just remember him crying.” the article went on. Pablo had been badly burned and had a nail in his back.

Finally, months of treatment for severe burns followed. Pablo the 5-year-old had burns over his face and hands and much of his body. The gas pipes beneath their house were almost 90-year-old cast-iron.

Aging network of old pipes.

Atmos Energy has begun to replace their aging network of old pipes as a consequence of these homes exploding, loss of life and severe injuries.

While it remains to be seen if Atmos Energy Corp in their big beautiful building on LBJ and the Dallas North Tollway is found to be grossly negligent, I imagine the physical and mental scarring to this young family will remain for many years to come.

Consequently, if you have suffered a personal injury as a result of someones gross negligence call us. Dan Street of STREET LAW FIRM has over 35 years of experience dealing with personal injury and wrongful death cases. In fact, that’s all he does. Dan has collected tens of millions of dollars for his clients. Contact Dan or his legal team today at 972-404-8500

Credit goes to Cary Aspinwall and Holly K. Hacker | Staff Writers at the Dallas Morning News for their excellent article. Thank you.

 

Driving habits to be monitored

Your Driving Habits To Be Monitored.

Driving habits to be monitored: Woman holding a car steering wheel.
Photo by Andrew Worley on Unsplash

Progressive Insurance started offering its customers possible discounts if they volunteer to have their driving habits monitored. Progressive launched a new program – the “Snapshot” program. It allows drivers to voluntarily put a small device that records certain driving data in their vehicle.  Drivers are eligible for a savings of up to 30 percent if they install the data collection device.  However, they will possibly increase your rate by up to 9% if they don’t like what they see.

If a driver chooses to install the device, among the data collected, it will monitor how far someone drives. Jackrabbit starts, how hard someone hits the brakes when they come to a stop.  The device will also be able to determine what times of day you use your car.

Huge Privacy Concerns.

Progressive decided to implement the program after seeing competing insurance companies offering the service.  However, some privacy advocates are worried that devices like this will someday become standard equipment on cars and drivers will be forced to use them.  And that’s exactly what will happen. Dan Street our personal injury and wrongful death attorney in Dallas said “People need to be warned that this kind of invasion of their privacy is just the first step toward insurance companies requiring such devices on everyone’s vehicles”

Progressive tries to deflect its invasion of your privacy.

“We know that privacy is a big issue for consumers,” said Glenn Renwick, CEO of Progressive.  There is no global positioning system in the device so the insurance company does not know where a driver is going.  In addition, the device does not keep track of what speed someone chooses to drive.

Their new “Snapshot” program is currently operating in 32 states and may consequently expand to other states in the near future.

Bad Judgement? 

First of all, who decides how many jackrabbit starts will cause an increase in your premium? How many hard braking incidents will get your policy canceled? What number of times did you exceed the speed limit, before getting that cancelation notice? Who decides what number and type of ‘infractions’ will increase your premium?

Make no mistake, our driving habits to be monitored should be stopped immediately. Mr. Street advises our clients not to install one of these devices… At least not until we are all forced to do so.

Dan Street is a practicing personal injury attorney in the Dallas area. Dan has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients over the nearly four decades he has been in business. Contact him today by clicking here.

Health Care Fraud

Health Care Fraud

health care fraud: Elderly Grandfather looks out of his window.
Photo by Alex Boyd on Unsplash

Medicaid and Medicare health care fraud runs rampant and often preys on the elderly and disabled. Hurting those who often cannot fend or care for themselves the most.

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) Reports – That four North Texans have been convicted for their part in a multi-million dollar home health care fraud scheme.

A federal jury convicted two owners of Elder Care, along with two of its employees. The company operated as a Medicare and Medicaid provider based in Garland, Texas.

Furthermore, court reports say Dallas County residents Celestine “Tony” Okwilagwe, Adetutu Etti, and Loveth Isidaehomen, along with Paul Emordi of Collin County, were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Their arrests came as a result of the biggest Medicare fraud bust in history.

Also, Okwilagwe and Etti were each convicted of two counts of false statement in connection with a health care benefit program.

Fraudulently Billed $3.7 million

The DOJ says the company billed the government for more than $3.7 million in payments to which it was not entitled.

The owners of Elder Care were doing business despite having previously been excluded from participating in any federal healthcare program.

So far, no sentencing date has been set.

Nine others in the Dallas area linked to three separate home health care scams also were charged.

Do your homework when considering home health care services.

Home health care scams are on the rise. So that means it’s up to you to look carefully at the people caring for your elderly loved ones.

If you feel your elderly loved one has been abused by a Medicare fraud scheme, contact our office. Our legal staff will consult with you at no charge to you. If we decide you have a case, we will aggressively fight it for you. When and only when we win your case will there be a fee.

Dan Street has been in business as a Personal Injury Lawyer for over 35 years. In those years Dan Street has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. Call him today at 972-404-8585.

 

Personal Injury Lawsuits Step By Step

Personal Injury Lawsuits Step By Step

Personal Injury Lawsuits Step By Step: Pair of black dress shoes.

Photo by photostockeditor on Unsplash

When you suffer a personal injury caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s possible you may be entitled to compensation. To legally get this compensation, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Steps of a typical Personal Injury Case

Firstly, you will meet with Dan Street a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer, who will evaluate your case and determine your odds of winning that case. This first meeting, called an initial consultation, is always free at STREET LAW FIRM.

You will share the details of your injury and how it happened with Dan (probably first through one of his legal assistants). Dan will then assess your case to determine whether you are legally entitled to damages (the legal word for compensation) under Texas personal injury law.

If Dan agrees to take your case, he will do so on a contingency basis. That means you pay no money up front, but Dan keeps a percentage of the compensation he gets for you from the negligent party that caused your injury.

Dan will then draft a complaint, which is the legal term for the papers that are filed with the court to begin a personal injury lawsuit.

Complaint Filed, Now Discovery.

Once the complaint is filed, Dan and the lawyer for the opposing party will begin a lengthy process known as discovery. This is where each side tries to uncover as much information as they can about the accident that prompted your lawsuit. This can include asking for your medical records, information from your employer and other relevant information about you. At the same time, Dan will ask for information about the party that caused your injury.

As part of discovery, you may be asked by the opposing lawyer to give a deposition, (sworn evidence). You will be asked a series of questions by the opposing lawyer. Some questions will be about the incident that caused your injury, and some will be about your personal history. Expect to answer questions about any previous injuries or illnesses you have had. Also as well as your work history and other issues.

Filing Motions

After the evidence has been gathered, each side will usually file motions with the court. These can be anything from a request for the court to dismiss the case to simply asking that some evidence be excluded from the trial for various reasons.

Mediation

Once the court has ruled on the motions. The parties may be required by the court to have at least one session with a court-approved mediator.  This is done to try to settle the case before a trial becomes necessary. Regardless of whether you actually meet with a mediator, Dan and the defendant’s lawyer will undoubtedly be talking periodically throughout the case to see if they can come to a settlement agreement.

Going to Trial in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you and the other party fail to settle out of court, the court will schedule your case for trial. Because the courts are very busy, your trial date could be months away. Once the trial begins, it will usually be a jury that decides whether you are entitled to any compensation. Then, if so, how much.

Collecting Compensation

If you win the case and are awarded compensation, you then have to collect it. Most often, an insurance company will be required to make the payment on behalf of the losing party.  You may have to sign many documents before the check is cut.

Getting compensation from an individual can sometimes be a lot harder. Dan may have to pursue seizing that person’s bank accounts or garnishing their wages. Especially if they are unable or unwilling to pay the awarded damages right away.

It is often better to settle a case before trial than to go through this sort of lengthy process.  However, that’s a decision you and Dan will make together if the time comes.

Dan Street has been a Personal Injury Lawyer for almost 4 decades in the Dallas area. In that time, Dan has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients. Dan’s contact details are here. Also if you would prefer to submit your case for review, click here.