Auto Defect Attorney Brian Chase Radio Interview: Podcast and Transcript
The following transcript is a from a live radio interview on the Money For Lunch show in Houston Texas. Money for Lunch Show host Bert Martinez interviews Brian Chase about auto product defects. The show was recorded live in Houston, Texas. Listen to the interview here: Brian Chase Podcast
Bert Martinez : “Hey everybody, it is time for, Money for Lunch. Where leaders come to eat. My next guest is Brian Chase. He’s a bestselling author as well as a personal injury attorney. Brian Chase is a native of Southern California, a graduate of California State University in Long Beach. Also a graduate of Pepperdine School of Law and has a 19 year career in personal law as well. Welcome, Brian Chase.”
Brian Chase: “Good afternoon, thank you for having me on your show this afternoon, I really appreciate it.”
Bert Martinez: “No problem, no problem. Well, let me ask you this, okay? What exactly, your firm is Bisnar and Chase, and what do you specialize in? Who do you primarily represent? “
Brian Chase: “Yeah. The people we represent at Bisnar Chase are people that have been injured in various types of accidents and consumers that have been injured by certain products. We specialize in all kinds of injury cases from what you would consider maybe the smaller type accidents, not to belittle anybody’s injury, but you know your fender bender in the intersection all the way through to catastrophic injuries cases such as brain injuries, paralysis, wrongful death cases, things of this nature. In addition to the types of cases, the types of people we go after in these cases is the auto manufacturers for defective products, other manufacturers of defective products. Governmental entities for road design cases and things of that nature. The full range.”
Bert Martinez: “That’s, okay. Let me ask you this, because you just mentioned, you know, auto defects and I know that is one area that you specialize in. So, let me ask you, tell us a little bit about some of the defects that exist in today’s cars that people are not aware about. “
Brian Chase: “You know, it’s a great question. Most people are not aware of many of these defects. Whenever I show a presentation and run some videos of some testing that we’ve done, people are amazed about what’s out there. Like, for example, your car, you roll over your car more likely than not you have a very weak roof. People think if they drive a big SUV, or big truck, the bigger the vehicle the stronger the roof. Not true. No, that roof is not necessarily any stronger than a very small passenger car. We have taken dozens of cars and hung them upside down and dropped them literally twelve inches off the ground, one foot, it flattened the roof down to the dash board. Uh, people don’t realize that.”
Bert Martinez: “Wow.”
Brian Chase: “One of the biggest things that I find shocking to people, and I like to talk about what one is, it’s customer advocacy. Two, it’s just to protect their families in cases is seats. You know the front seats in most of our vehicles if you are rear ended at 25 MPH, or more those seats will lay down flat. And most people don’t realize that. It’s because they are designed to a very weak federal standard that these seats have to comply to. But the problem is when that happens again, again we’re talking about a little more than a fender bender, but you certainly should walk away from a 25 MPH rear end accident. When your seat lays down if you’re a front seat occupant, we’ve represented numerous people that ejected into the backseat. You know, you jam your neck up into the backseat break your neck end up paralyzed. “
Bert Martinez: “Wow.”
Brian Chase: “You have people killed from that. And then the really scary thing, not that that’s not scary enough, is we are told the safest place for our children is in the rear seat. “
Bert Martinez: “Right.”
Brian Chase: “And I have represented numerous families where they get in a rear ender 25 – 30 MPH and the parents in the front seat, their seat lays down, the parent gets ejected into the back seat and then the parent’s head or the seat strikes the child and they can be catastrophically injured or kill the child. So, that is really a scary defect out there.”
Bert Martinez: “That’s incredible. As a parent I could not imagine you know, just dealing with that.”
Brian Chase: “Well, I’ve had.”
Bert Martinez: “You’ve caused that kind of injury to your child by accident.”
Brian Chase: “Oh yeah, I mean I have parents that feel like, you know that they’ve got blood on their hands. That they have killed their child. It is a devastating thing. So, you know, one thing I do like to talk to people notwithstanding the defect is how you protect your children or anyone in the backseat in that kind of a situation.
Bert Martinez: “Yeah.”
Brian Chase: “Because, statistically the safest place is in the rear seat. I’m not saying that it is not, there are statistic wise or percentage wise more front end accidents than rear end accidents. Thus, you know, on paper it’s the safer place. I’m not suggesting we put children in the front seats and expose them to airbags and those types of things.
But what you can do if you are a parent driving alone, you know, is put your child in the passenger rear seat because an unoccupied seat without a body in it if you’re rear ended can’t collapse, the seat won’t collapse by itself, you need a body in it. So I would suggest, again if you’re alone, put the child in the seat that is unoccupied, they’re going to be safe behind that seat and if you’ve got both parents or two adults in the front, the shorter person and the lighter person is going to be less likely to break the seat rear, so you know, typically the wives are shorter and lighter than us men, so it is as a general statement, it is safer to put your child behind mom, assuming she is the shorter and lighter one. Or consider putting them in the center of the rear seat. You know.”
Bert Martinez: “Well, let me ask you this. I’d like to get your take on this. I am intrigued by what you’re doing here. I mean you’re literally going after these Goliath companies you’re facing off and doing legal battle with companies like Toyota and Ford. So, what is it like battling these guys who literally have teams of leagues of lawyers, deep deep pockets and companies that even have political protection. How is that?”
Brian Chase: “Yeah, well it is a true David and Goliath battle. I mean the first thing you know is that you are up against the best of the best attorneys protecting their product, so you can never underestimate their abilities and as you said their resources. Both monetary resources and access to nets in the government that protect them.
Um, they have spent literally you know decades, learning how to defend their defective products and they are very, very good at it. I’ve been doing it now for almost 20 years, and so I have learned you know where the trickery is and where the facts are. So, I’ve learned how to decipher what’s smoke and mirrors versus what is good science.
And so when you take on one of these cases, you start off there realizing where they’re kind of using junk science versus real science and then you know we have at, Bisnar Chase, spent millions of dollars over the course of several cases doing crash testing. Where we become like a mini auto manufacturer and go out to a test track, crash vehicles with crash test dummies in them, like you see on TV with the silver rings in their neck.
We instrumented dummies. We find out what kind of injuries are occurring to the head, the neck, the body etcetera. So we’ll run cars through various crash modes and find out if what we’re being told from the industry or from the federal government admits it, or if we’re getting accurate information from them or not and often times we’re not. We have been able to you know debunk a lot of their defenses. But that has taken a lot of years and a lot of money to figure out how to do that. “
Bert Martinez: “Now, you guys are in California. Do you just deal with cases in California or are you able to take on cases nationwide?”
Brian Chase: “Yeah, we have got cases all over the country. And at one time or another probably been in more or less every state. Even though I am licensed in California, if we get a case out of state, we’ll find a local attorney in whatever state it is and then they can work on the cases with us in what is called a pro hoc vice application and get me admitted for purposes of that case. So I can perform in other states as well. So, we’re nationwide.”
Bert Martinez: “Gotcha, gotcha. Alright, let’s talk about this. In your opinion with all the testing you have done and all the stuff you have seen, what are some of the safest cars on the road today and what are some of the safety features people should look for when buying a car?”
Brian Chase: “You know the safest car that I have come across, thus far in terms of testing and just doing what I do, is in general the Volvo. And Volvo markets safety and they have for as long as I can remember. And they really do a better job at it. Um, when I was talking earlier about weak roofs, where I can drop a car from a foot up off the ground and crash the roof down to the dashboard, most auto manufacturers don’t even do that kind of testing. Volvo does. They will take their cars and they will drop them upside down. And they’ll see that the roofs do not crush. So they do a really, really good job at that.
And that’s not just in their SUVs, all their carline seem to be geared towards much safer designs whether it’s seatbelt buckles that are more difficult to inadvertently unlatch in an accident, you know more safety features such as side air bags, things of that nature. But to answer your question, the second part of that question, and it’s a really good question, because I have a lot of clients that come to me, they have a family member that again is catastrophically injured or killed in a vehicle that could have had a safety feature but it lacked it because it was an option item.
And it’s very frustrating to a guy like me that safety should be an option. You know, in today’s day and age, you would never expect to walk into a car lot and have someone say well for an extra $200 we’ll throw the seatbelts in the vehicle for you. It’s just a given you’re going to get your seatbelts.
Hopefully, they’ll come with all the safety features. But even today 2012, approaching 2013 in a couple of days, there are vehicles that do not have all the necessary safety items in their standard equipment such as electronic stability control, you know if you’re going out to buy an SUV, make sure you’ve got electronic stability control in that. Because it will drastically reduce the likelihood of a rollover accident. And if you can keep a car on its wheels, you can drastically reduce the roof from crushing in because it won’t be going upside down and some of the other defects. Another thing that is still optional on many, many cars is side curtain airbags or thorax airbags that come out of your seat.
And that is just hugely important. You know our vehicles are designed to crush into brick walls when we’re driving 30 – 40 MPH because the government makes us do that. So we expect to walk away from that. But you’ve got a lot of cushion on your car that will allow it to do that and in a side impact it’s just you and the door and whatever is coming at you.
And there aren’t a lot of materials there that you can use to create a crush zone. So, these option items of side backs shouldn’t be optional they should be standard equipment. But I am amazed at how many people didn’t even realize that it was an option. They just assumed that whatever car they purchased came with all of these things. So, you really need to be, you know an informed consumer and ask what are the optional safety items and to get them it could save your life.”
Bert Martinez: “You know, we’re out of time, I would love to have you back. I find that what you guys are doing there at Bisnar and Chase is extremely, extremely interesting and also as a consumer advocate, I think what you are doing is very important and I want to quickly say this. You wrote another book called, Still Unsafe at Any Speed, and is that available at Amazon or other books or where can we get that book at?”
Brian Chase: “You know, I know if you can go to our website, bestattorney.com you can click on a method and we’ll make sure that you get a copy of that book.”
Bert Martinez: “Great, thank you for taking the time to stop by Brian, I am looking to have you back again. Check out www.bestattorney.com, thanks for stopping by. “ Brian Chase: “My pleasure, thank you.”