How and Why to File a Car Safety Complaint

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages car owners to file complaints when they have safety concerns about their vehicles. Consumers play an important role in helping automakers and government understand the threats to safety that cars present.

Some issues with cars are so rare that they may only present themselves to a handful of customers; automakers may never encounter them despite extensive testing. This is why it is important for you to file a complaint if you believe your vehicle has a safety issue. Every piece of available data is valuable in solving these difficult problems.

The NHTSA receives many complaints, and some are more useful than others. If you file a complaint, take care with your submission to be sure you are part of the solution.

DO include:

  • your vehicle identification number, which is not required, but which gives investigators important details about where your car was made and how it is configured;
  • a clear statement of how you expected the car to behave and how it actually behaved;
  • whether you can duplicate the malfunction – that is, it happens every time;
  • any relevant information about maintenance and repairs; and
  • any relevant aftermarket equipment installed on the vehicle.

DO NOT include:

  • your feelings – only facts are useful to safety investigators;
  • spelling errors – researchers will look for patterns using keywords, and misspellings hinder that effort;
  • multiple problems in a single complaint.
  • If you believe your vehicle may have a safety issue, visit the NHTSA website and file a complaint.

    Call Joyce & Reyes at 1.888.771.1529 or visit more of

    Tampa Jury Finds Dontae Morris Guilty of Murder

    On a recent Wednesday, a Tampa jury convicted Dontae Morris of first-degree murder.

    The verdict, however, was not in connection with his infamous alleged killing of two Tampa police officers. That trial is still to come.

    The Tampa jury deliberated for just under six hours before convicting Morris, 27, of the 2010 killing of Rodney Jones, then 42, at the Cotton Club in Tampa. Jurors also convicted Morris of attempted robbery. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.

    Police said Morris shot Jones in the neck outside the Cotton Club as revenge for Jones previously robbing Morris.

    Three more murder trials await Morris. He may be sentenced to death if found guilty of killing the police officers.

    Those killings created such a stir that in order to find unbiased jurors for this trial who were unaware of Morris’s other charges, Judge William Fuente held jury selection in Orlando and sequestered jurors in a Tampa hotel during the trial.

    After Judge Fuente released the jurors, he gave Jones’ family members an opportunity to address the court before sentencing, which will be scheduled soon.

    Jones’ sister Daphne Fuentes asked Judge Fuente to sentence Morris to life in prison.

    “If he spends eternity plus one day, that’s still not enough to fill the void he left in my family,” she said.

    The killing of a family member is an enormous burden to bear. When another may be at fault for a death, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand your rights and remedies.

    Call Joyce & Reyes at 1.888.771.1529 or visit more of

    Causes and Consequences of Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries

    Newborns’ fragile bodies are susceptible to a wide range of injuries before, during, and immediately after birth. One type of common birth injury is a brachial plexus injury.

    The brachial plexus is a group of nerve fibers near the top of the spinal cord, near the shoulder. These nerves control movement in the shoulder, arm, and hand.

    If a newborn’s shoulders become lodged behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery, this can result in injury to the brachial plexus. The force of delivery, whether from the mother pushing or from medical personnel pulling, can place excessive force on the shoulders and cause nerve damage. Although most commonly seen in vaginal delivery, brachial plexus injuries can also happen during cesarean section delivery.

    This type of injury is most often seen in larger newborns, especially those weighing over nine pounds. It can occur as a result of the infant being positioned feet-first, called a breech birth. It also happens more often when the mother has been in prolonged labor. Any of these circumstances should prompt medical personnel to be especially diligent in protecting the infant.

    Brachial plexus injuries can lead to Klumpke’s palsy, Erb’s palsy, and total brachial plexus palsy. Paralysis, numbness, and impaired motor skills may occur. The symptoms of brachial plexus injury are commonly observed at birth, leading to diagnosis by x-ray or by testing the Moro reflex.

    The Moro reflex is present in all newborns and is a reaction to a sudden loss of support, such as a feeling of falling. Newborns will quickly spread their arms then move them together in an approximation of a grasping motion. Asymmetry or absence of movement in either arm may be evidence of a brachial plexus injury.

    There are four classes of severity of brachial plexus injuries. From least serious to most serious, they are:

    • an excessive stretching of nerves that does not tear them – this injury, called neuropraxia, heals without treatment;
    • an injury that stretches nerves to the point where a few are damaged, called a neuroma;
    • a tearing of nerves, known as a rupture; and
    • a severe tearing of nerves and separation of the brachial plexus from the spinal cord, known as an avulsion.

    Avulsions unfortunately are the most common class of brachial plexus injury.

    Medical negligence and medical malpractice can be contributing factors to brachial plexus injuries. Doctors must deliver newborns with precise and gentle force. When medical professionals are at fault, a birth injury attorney can help patients recover damages.

    Contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer at Joyce & Reyes to learn more.