5 Things To Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident in Los Angeles

May 9, 2018 Auto Accidents

As ride-sharing services continue to be a popular choice for transportation across Southern California, the likelihood of being involved in

woman waiting for lyft or uber rideshare

As ride-sharing services continue to be a popular choice for transportation across Southern California, the likelihood of being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles keeps increasing. In some ways, Uber and Lyft crashes are like other auto accidents, but they can be extra complicated for a passenger who chooses to file a personal injury claim. If you are involved in a ride-sharing crash, here are some tips for what to do in the aftermath.

#1: Put safety first

Like any other type of auto accident, the first step is to check to see if everyone is safe. Be sure to check yourself carefully and do not be tempted to downplay your own injuries – pain often intensifies for the first 48 hours after a crash.

#2: Report the accident to the authorities

Call the police and, if there is any sign of an injury, the paramedics. Do not be tempted to skip making a police report, even if the Uber or Lyft driver wants to skip this step. You will be much better off if there is an official record of the accident.

#3: Gather information

Like any other crash, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the others involved in the accident. Also try to obtain:

  • Names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Notes on the vehicles involved, including license plate numbers, make, model, and color
  • Pictures of the vehicles, accident site, and even shots including people at the scene

#4: Seek medical attention

If you are immediately injured, head to the ER. But even if you think you are not injured, make a visit to your doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries caused by car crashes are not immediately known, but the earlier you address it, the better your outlook will be. Also, spotting an injury quickly makes it easier to prove that it was caused by the accident rather than something else.

#5: Speak with a lawyer

Your driver should report the accident to the ride-sharing company, but if they do not, someone needs to do that on your behalf. Let your lawyer do that; once you have a lawyer representing you, the Uber or Lyft insurance company will need to communicate with your lawyer instead of hassling you directly.

Your lawyer will also take care of things like sending letters informing the ride-share company and other potential parties that they must preserve all evidence for potential litigation. He or she can also help you determine whether you need to make insurance claims to anyone other than the ride sharing company’s insurer.

Protect your rights after a ride-sharing accident

Unfortunately, Lyft and Uber accidents are the wave of the future. The popularity of the services is growing, and so is the number of accidents involving ride-sharing vehicles. But the Salamati Law Firm understands the issues involved, helping those injured in Lyft and Uber accidents in Los Angeles obtain full recovery.  Lyft and Uber accidents in Los Angeles

Read More on Uber and Lyft accidents:

  1. What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?
  2. Uber Accidents and Ride Sharing Liability in California.

Additional resources for Lyft and Uber accidents in L.A.:

  1. Inc.com, Ride Sharing Is Convenient. But What Happens If There’s an Accident?, https://www.inc.com/john-white/ride-sharing-is-convenient-but-what-happens-if-there-is-an-accident.html
  2. Nerdwallet, Should You Worry About an Accident With an Uber or Lyft Driver?, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/should-you-worry-about-an-accident-with-an-uber-or-lyft-driver/
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How To Find a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

April 18, 2018 Auto Accidents

Auto accidents of all types can result in serious physical injuries, medical expenses and lost wages. If you were hurt

Auto accidents of all types can result in serious physical injuries, medical expenses and lost wages. If you were hurt because of a negligent driver and want to pursue your options for legal compensation, it’s important to choose a reputable attorney to represent your best interests. You’ll want to partner with a lawyer who has ample experience litigating (and winning) auto accident claims, particularly ones that are similar to your own situation.

But how do you find a reliable car accident lawyer in Los Angeles – one who can help secure the money damages you need to recover and move on?

Follow these tips to find an attorney who will handle your case professionally and has the resources to achieve optimal results.   

#1 Look for personal referrals

The quality of your lawyer can make or break your case. You may have colleagues or friends who have had positive results working with a specific car accident attorney. This is a good starting point for generating a list of potential contacts.

#2 Experience and credentials matter

Once you get a few names of attorneys in your area, research their credentials. Look at their websites, do an Internet search and find out about their education, years of experience in the field, and whether they’ve received any legal awards or have been recognized by their peers for superior achievements. You are hiring an advocate, not a friend, and have every right to ensure that your counsel has the qualifications and expertise to properly handle your case.

#3 Review their past case results

A competent attorney with experience should have a list of case results – verdicts and settlements they have achieved during their career. You want to ensure the attorney you choose has a winning track record both inside and out of the courtroom. A good car accident attorney knows how to maximize your recovery and press insurance companies for higher settlements.

#4 Are they prepared to try your case

Most car accident claims settle out of court, but when push comes to shove, does your attorney have the skill to argue your case before a jury and win? You want an advocate who is prepared to try challenging cases and has the resources and experience to do so.

#5 Clear communication skills

Good lawyers will be engaged during your initial consultation. They will ask detailed questions and provide clear, easy-to-understand answers to your own queries regarding the legal process and fee structure. They will respond to emails and phone calls promptly and keep you updated about the status of your claim.

Questions to ask yourself

After interviewing several prospects, ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your list.

  • Does the attorney show dedication and passion for the case?
  • Do I believe they have the resources and expertise to win money on my behalf?
  • Do I feel comfortable with them personality wise?
  • Do I understand the legal fee arrangement?
  • Do they inspire full confidence?

Superior legal advocacy in California

Attorney Sean Salamati has devoted his personal injury practice to providing superior legal advocacy for clients. His work ethic, legal prowess, critical thinking skills and experience have earned him a reputation as a leading car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.  Renowned for his tenacious, results-driven representation, Sean Salamati leverages 20 years of experience playing hardball with insurance companies.

Work with an attorney who knows how to maximize your settlement monies. Call The Salamati Law Firm for a free case review today!

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How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in LA?

April 16, 2018 Auto Accidents

Your first order of business after being in a car accident will always be to get the medical attention you

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtYour first order of business after being in a car accident will always be to get the medical attention you need and to replace any property that was lost or damaged in the accident.

When the initial shock of the accident starts to wear off, you might begin to wonder how much time you have to file an injury claim against the negligent party who was responsible.

Whether the crash happened in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, the state imposes strict deadlines for filing a car accident lawsuit.

The Two-Year California Statute of Limitations 

The California Code of Civil Procedure sets a two-year deadline for starting your lawsuit to recover damages for injuries that you have experienced. If you initiate your case after this two-year deadline, a California Court will likely dismiss your complaint and you will have no opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.  

When does the Statute of Limitations begin?

The two-year deadline generally runs from the actual date of your accident.  If you fail to bring the claim before the two-year anniversary of the accident, a California Court will probably not consider it, unless:

  • you had the accident when you were a minor (i.e. you were under 18 years of age at the time of the accident), in which case the Statute of Limitations does not begin until your 18th birthday;
  • the negligent party was outside of the State of California for a long time and you have been unable to locate him or her, in which event the Statute of Limitations may be extended by the amount of time that the negligent party was outside of the State;
  • an injured party is determined to have been mentally incompetent at the time of the accident.

Other factors that might affect a Statute of Limitations include the death or imprisonment of one of the parties to an accident, or absence due to military service. In all cases, however, you will always be better served by starting your lawsuit within the prescribed two-year period instead of trying to qualify for an exception.

What is the purpose of this deadline?

The Statute of Limitations for starting a car accident lawsuit in LA or anywhere else is designed to resolve disputes before any evidence of the accident is gone and while the memories of witnesses are still fresh. Memories can easily fade or change over time, and actual physical evidence of an accident might be cleaned up or discarded. The legal process is structured to resolve disputes over who is at fault for a car accident quickly, before any evidence is gone or memories become muddled. 

Protect your rights after an auto accident

When it comes to any type of personal injury litigation, time is of the essence. If you choose the Salamati Law Firm to represent your case, our attorneys and investigators will begin the process of gathering all evidence and witness testimony in an effort to recover the largest damages award.

To speak with one of our lawyers about filing a car accident lawsuit in Los Angeles, we invite you to reach out for a free consultation today.

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Six Ways Accidents Happen at Intersections

March 30, 2018 Auto Accidents

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas motorists encounter. Why? Because intersections are sites of high rates of accidents

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas motorists encounter. Why? Because intersections are sites of high rates of accidents and fatalities. Every year traffic accidents result in 32,000 fatalities and 2 million injuries. One-quarter of the deaths and about half of all injuries occur at intersections.

The U.S. Department of Transportation refers to intersections as “conflict points.” What that means is that the routes of multiple vehicles cross, separate or join at intersections, along with the routes of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Intersection Accidents in Southern California

How do accidents at intersections happen?

  1. Collisions with side impact, often referred to as “T-bones.” These are most frequent if a driver goes through a red light and hits a motorist whose light has turned green. Some drivers try to beat a yellow light before it turns red and don’t succeed. Other times, drivers simply blow through a red light.
  2. Collisions in which one vehicle side-swipes another, often if one or both are turning.
  3. Head-on collisions, especially if one vehicle is turning across traffic.
  4. Rear-end collisions, frequently because the driver following the rear-ended car is distracted or because the first car stops suddenly at a red light or stop sign.
  5. Collisions with pedestrians and cyclists, often because the driver is focusing on the turn and doesn’t register the presence of a pedestrian or cyclist until it’s too late.
  6. Collisions at rail crossings. These are special types of intersections, and collisions between trains and vehicles can be fatal to the occupants of the vehicle.

Common causes of intersection crashes

In addition to the ways that accidents happen, drivers need to focus on why intersection accidents happen.

The two most frequent causes are ignoring safety precautions and reckless behavior. In urban traffic, for example, drivers often try to beat a red light. Drivers may also ignore yield signs and stop signs.

Driving too fast into an intersection is another common reason for intersection collisions.

Poor visibility at night or inclement weather may also contribute to intersection accidents.

Motorists should always drive defensively. Follow an adequate number of car lengths behind the car in front of you. Obey the speed limit. Slow down at intersections, and obey all safety signals. Never try to run a red light or stop sign. Don’t drive distracted, using your phone or texting.

Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Traffic accidents, at intersections and elsewhere, cause too many deaths and injuries in southern California every year.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car crash due to someone’s negligent or reckless behavior, we can help. Please call the Salamati Law Firm today at 800-957-9898 for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer Los Angeles trusts.

Additional Resources on Intersection Accidents:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-vehicle-safety/index.html
  2. United States Department of Transportation. Federal Highway Administration. Intersection Safety. https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/
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Self-Driving Uber Car Accidents: Who Is to Blame?

March 29, 2018 Auto Accidents

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads safer. On March 18, the flaw in that assumption was made crystal clear when a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle.

As investigators work to pin down all of the factors in the unfortunate crash, there are already some liability issues coming under scrutiny.

Pedestrian killed by self-driving Uber car

The theory behind the push for self-driving cars is that high-tech sensors would have more accurate perception than a human eye and that an automated vehicle response would be faster than a human’s could possibly be. This did not prove true in the evening of March 18th in Tempe, Arizona, when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by an Uber SUV.

According to reports, the SUV had a human backup driver who was behind the wheel and had the ability to take control if necessary. However, in-vehicle camera footage shows the backup driver, 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, looking down toward a cell phone until just a second or two before Herzberg became visible to the exterior camera.

Footage shows a look of horror on Vasquez’s face just before the SUV struck Herzberg and the bicycle she was walking across the street. Officials reported that she died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Liability issues raised in the self-driving car accident

Reports indicate that there are a number of factors that could impact liability.

  • Could the backup driver have avoided the accident if paying attention? Vasquez was clearly not watching the road while Herzberg was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk in the dark. Some have questioned whether the accident would have been avoidable.
  • The Uber was outfitted with both laser and radar sensors intended to detect and respond to obstacles in the road. The manufacturer of the laser alleges that Uber disabled some of the safety sensors before the crash and that, if fully functioning, the vehicle would have been able to automatically slow down to avoid the accident.
  • Newspaper reports indicate that Vasquez had a criminal history that involved more than three years served for armed robbery and this should have prevented hiring by Uber, under its own policies. Last year, Uber was fined $8.9 million in Colorado for hiring more than 60 felons, who are ineligible under Colorado law to provide ride-sharing services.

The more parties involved and potential flaws in question, the more technical a personal injury case can become. New technology like autonomous cars will further complicate the fact-finding and legal argument processes.

Uber accident lawyer in California

For the moment, Uber has suspended its testing of autonomous cars around the country. But Uber may resume testing, and there are many other companies currently working on self-driving cars.

As the technology continues to add complexity to legal liability issues, it is crucial for those injured in autonomous car accidents to speak with an expert in the area.

Sean Salamati, an Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles, is committed to helping victims of preventable accidents recover maximum compensation for their losses. We offer free consultations and we never take a fee unless and until we secure an award on your behalf. Call 855-463-7309 today to schedule a free case review.

Additional resources on fatal self-driving Uber crash:

  1. Chicago Tribune, Experts: Uber self-driving system should have spotted woman, http://www.hurwitassociates.com/tax-exemption/irs-form-1023-ez-frequently-asked-questions#9
  2. Fox News, Uber disabled safety component in self-driving car before fatal crash, company alleges, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/27/uber-disabled-safety-component-in-self-driving-car-before-fatal-crash-company-alleges.html
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What to Do If the Other Driver Has No Insurance in CA

February 14, 2018 Auto Accidents

Driving without auto insurance in California has a number of dire consequences, but thousands of motorists continue to take this

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident looking at damageDriving without auto insurance in California has a number of dire consequences, but thousands of motorists continue to take this risk. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 15.2 % of all California drivers are currently uninsured, meaning your odds of getting into an accident with someone who has zero liability coverage are not that small.

Any type of collision can be stressful and confusing, but what happens if the other driver has no insurance? Nearly half all of traffic accidents in California involve at least one driver who is uninsured or underinsured. 

If you find yourself in this situation, follow these steps to protect your rights.

Step 1: Report the accident

Call the police after any type of collision. A written police report provides evidence to support any claim filed with your insurance provider or it may be used in a personal injury lawsuit.

Step 2: Document the scene

It’s a smart move to take pictures and/or video following any type of car accident, but particularly relevant when the other driver is uninsured. Using your smart phone, record the damage to both vehicles, location shots that illustrate the scene of the crash, skid marks and other pertinent details.

Step 3: Call your insurance provider

Contact your insurance company and report the accident. If you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in California, and the other party is at fault, you would bring a first party claim against your insurance company. This UM policy would provide money damages to cover property damage and medical bills, however, the amount typically will not exceed your personal liability coverage.

Let’s say you only purchased the minimum liability insurance for bodily and property damage coverage, which in California totals a mere $40,000. This sum may cover bills stemming from a minor accident but will fall short if the crash resulted in catastrophic injuries.

Step 4: Get legal counsel

Even if you purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in California, there is no guarantee that your provider will accept or pay the full amount of the claim. If denied or delayed, you may be bearing the burden of accident-related expenses out of your own pocket, adding further insult to injury. Having an experienced attorney will greatly improve your leverage when it comes to settlement negotiations. You always stand a much better chance of receiving full compensation when armed with skilled legal counsel.

Legal guidance filing a car accident claim in California

Driving without car insurance is illegal in California. It goes without saying that adding UM/UIM coverage on your policy is recommended. While suing a negligent uninsured driver seems logical, few have the assets or income to pay a final judgement.

Reach out to Los Angeles car accident lawyer Sean Salamati to discuss your rights when dealing with uninsured drivers. Put our experience and talent to work for you – call today and schedule a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources on Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers in CA:

  1. California Department of Insurance, Liability Coverage and California Law http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/auto101.cfm
  2. CarInsurance.com, Penalty for driving without insurance for every state https://www.carinsurance.com/driving-without-insurance-penalties-state.aspx
  3. The Balance, Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in California https://www.thebalance.com/penalties-for-driving-without-car-insurance-in-california-527033
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3 Reasons to Use Uber and Lyft at LAX

February 5, 2018 Auto Accidents

Air travel can be exceedingly frustrating, especially when you’re flying in and out of Los Angeles. Serving more than 72

LAX Los Angeles International Airport Sign at NightAir travel can be exceedingly frustrating, especially when you’re flying in and out of Los Angeles. Serving more than 72 million passengers each year, LAX is the world’s 5th busiest airport and the second most trafficked in the U.S. While long check-in and security lines can be a nightmare, getting to and from LAX has gotten much easier, thanks to ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. In recent years, taxicab drivers in L.A. — like those in countless other cities — have struggled keep up with this new competition and lower fares.

Last August, LAX eased regulations on ride-sharing companies to help reduce the traffic that so often congests the terminal loop, giving Uber and Lyft users shorter waiting times in the process.

Ride-hailing services continue to gain traction, becoming the most popular mode of transportation at the SFO and Oakland airports introducing the potential for Lyft accidents and Uber. Here are three reasons why ride-hailing is the smarter choice at LAX.

Save big bucks

It comes as no surprise that lower prices will win over customers. When you consider that the base taxi fare between LAX and downtown is a flat $46.50, plus a $4 surcharge and tip, it pays to shop around. Taking an Uber or Lyft instead of a taxicab from LAX has the potential to net you $15-$35 in savings, depending on your final destination. You will still pay a $4 pick-up or drop-off surcharge, but a tip is not mandatory or expected with Uber drivers, keeping things simple if you have little cash on hand. Your fare is automatically charged to your debit or credit card.

For steeper cost savings, UberPOOL lets you share a ride with someone going in the same direction, essentially cutting your fare in half. UberPOOL allows one companion per ride and is a convenient and cheap way to get to or from LAX.

Shorter wait times

During holidays and other peak travel times, the wait lines for LAX taxicabs can be ridiculously long. If you’re eager to get home quickly, hailing an Uber just got faster. Lyft and Uber drivers who have just completed an airport drop-off are instantly notified of arriving passengers who request a ride. Not only does this minimize wait times, airport authorities believe that by reducing the number of airport trips ride-sharing drivers make each day will help ease traffic in the terminal loop. In many cases, Uber and Lyft passengers are picked up curbside in under 5 minutes.

Better customer experience

Ridesharing drivers are very eager to please in exchange for a top-notch rating. If you have never taken an Uber, you may not be aware that upon reaching your destination, you can rate your driver, giving them from one to five stars. This rating affects the driver’s overall score and helps determine their future success and ability to get passengers. Beyond this, Lyft and Uber drivers are generally known for their friendliness and engaging conversations, with some keeping drinks and snacks on hand for passengers. Ratings are also based on the cleanliness of the vehicle, which is often questionable in taxis.

If you were hurt in a ridesharing accident in California, legal compensation may be available. Learn more about your options for legal recourse by calling Uber accident lawyer, Sean Salamati. For more than two decades, The Salamati Law Firm has been advocating for auto accident injury victims throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Arrange a complimentary case review by calling today.

Read More on Uber and Lyft accidents:

  1. 5 Things To Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident in Los Angeles 
  2. What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?

Read More on Ridesharing Services at LAX:

  1. LA Mag, LAX Just Made It Easier to Catch a Lyft/Uber from the Airport http://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/lax-lyft-uber-from-airport/
  2. Daily Breeze, LAX changes the way Uber and Lyft do business at the airport https://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/08/28/lax-changes-the-way-uber-and-lyft-do-business-at-the-airport/
  3. Uber, Ride with Uber Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) https://www.uber.com/en-CR/airports/lax/
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What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?

January 25, 2018 Auto Accidents

Uber and Lyft are gaining momentum as America’s largest and most popular ride-hailing companies, serving hundreds of cities throughout the

Uber and Lyft are gaining momentum as America’s largest and most popular ride-hailing companies, serving hundreds of cities throughout the country. Thousands of happy customers will attest that taking an Uber is an easier, cheaper method of transport compared to traditional cabs. For the uninitiated, summoning a ride is as simple as a few quick taps on your smart phone— no more flagging down cabs on busy roads. The quality of the drivers for ride hailing companies is definitely improving, and the rates are much more affordable, but what happens if you’re in a crash while riding passenger?

The odds of getting into a Lyft or Uber accident aren’t so low when you consider that drivers often work long, tiring hours shuttling customers to unfamiliar neighborhoods and towns. In fact, traffic accidents involving Uber and other ridesharing drivers are becoming more commonplace, as increasing people use this service.

Steps to take after an Uber crash

Even in crash scenarios where the passenger escapes serious or life-threatening injury, medical bills can still add up, compounded by loss of income and out-of-pocket expenses. In any type of Uber or ridesharing accident in which you are the passenger, it’s essential to take some basic steps to protect your legal rights.

Even minor incidents that seem to produce no evidence of physical injury should be reason enough to see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Soft tissue injuries like whiplash – often sustained upon rear-impact—may not have any symptoms for hours or even days. Headaches, neck tension, pain and other symptoms often manifest much later.

If you live in California, safeguard your rights by taking the following steps after a crash:

  • Call 911
  • Using your smartphone, take photos or video of the accident scene including damage to all vehicles
  • Get the full name of the Lyft or Uber driver
  • Take down the names, email and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
  • Print screenshots of your ridesharing receipt that shows the date and route taken
  • Check yourself for injuries and seek medical attention
  • Speak with a qualified attorney about your rights

Insurance & liability issues

If the Uber or Lyft driver is at fault for the crash, passengers are covered by a $1 million liability policy. Note that this insurance coverage does not apply to UberSUV, UberTaxi ride or UberBLACK, which has a separate coverage of $300,000 per accident or $100,000 per person. In cases where another party is to blame for the crash, that driver’s own insurance policy would be tapped. If their policy isn’t adequate to cover all hospital and medical costs incurred, Lyft and Uber have policies that cover underinsured motorists.

Without the guidance of an experienced attorney, Uber passengers will likely face an uphill battle when it comes to obtaining just compensation. If you were involved in a ridesharing crash as a passenger, Los Angeles accident lawyer Sean Salamati will ensure you obtain the settlement monies you deserve. Call today for a free, no-obligation consult.

Additional Resources on Uber Crashes & Legal Liability:

  1. Time, My Uber Got Into a Wreck. Can I Sue? http://time.com/money/4851877/my-uber-got-into-a-wreck-can-i-sue/
  2. Fortune, Here’s what happens when you get in an Uber crash http://fortune.com/2015/10/13/uber-crash-insurance/
  3. WIRED, CALIFORNIA FORCES UBER AND ITS RIVALS TO BOLSTER INSURANCE https://www.wired.com/2015/07/california-forces-uber-rivals-bolster-insurance/
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How Does Whiplash Occur?

January 22, 2018 Auto Accidents

Whiplash occurs when the human body is forced back and forth rapidly. Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence in automobile

neck x-ray, painful injury, whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the human body is forced back and forth rapidly. Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence in automobile accidents, especially when a vehicle is struck from behind.

People sometimes think that whiplash cannot occur if the vehicles are relatively undamaged. In fact, people in vehicles that have suffered accidents can suffer whiplash no matter what the damage to the vehicle was. It is the force exerted on the people in the car that makes the difference, not how much the car was damaged, it is important to know what to do after an accident, because of the effects a car crash can have on your life.

Contortions of the Cervical Spine (Neck) Lead to Whiplash Symptoms

Research at the Biomechanics Laboratory at Yale University has indicated that the impact from auto accidents can force the cervical spine (neck) to shape itself into an S-shape, rather than its usual C-shape.

The impact causes the neck to be thrown backward and then forward, often rapidly and several times. The rapid movement is why the injury is termed “whiplash.”

As a result, the neck is moving beyond its usual range of motion. This can cause ligament and disc injury. When a whiplash accident occurs, the lower part of the cervical spine moves well beyond its normal range of motion, causing the potential for injury to the ligaments and discs.

The injury can be severe, causing pain, limiting range of motion, and necessitating physical therapy.

Whiplash injuries can also be affected by a person’s posture on impact, their general physical health, and whether or not they are aware that an impact is coming.

  • If a car crash victim is sitting upright, in a good posture, the cervical spine will stabilize efficiently. But if they are slumping over, the effects of the S-shape could be worse.
  • A person in good condition, their cervical spine will stabilize more efficiently than if they are not.
  • If a person is conscious that an impact is coming, they may stabilize their cervical spine automatically. If they don’t see the impact coming, they may not.

Multiple Factors Affect Whiplash Recovery

Whiplash injuries can be complex to treat. Patients may experience pain, difficulty in moving, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, difficulties in focus and concentration, and many other symptoms. These symptoms may appear immediately after the accident or not surface for some time.

The following risk factors affect whether one can fully recover from whiplash injury:

  • Symptoms from whiplash that last more than 6 months. Forty-three percent of victims whose symptoms or pain last longer than this generally fail to completely recover.
  • Ligament, disc, nerve, or joint capsule injuries that are significant.
  • Not receiving prompt treatment.
  • Pain causing resumption of treatment.
  • Symptoms include initial radicular area (arm pain, numbness, tingling)
  • Injuries require a cervical collar used for over two weeks.
  • Being over 65 years of age.
  • Head restraint in the vehicle being more than 2 inches from the occupant’s head
  • Accident occurring in a small car
  • Alcohol over 0.08 blood alcohol content at time of accident.

In addition, several preexisting conditions can affect the speed and rate of recovery from whiplash injuries, including degenerative changes in the neck and back, a previous whiplash injury, and previous cervical spine fusion.

When You Need a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

Car accidents cause injuries and death along southern California roads every day. Whiplash can be one of the most serious because of the possibility of long-lasting and debilitating injury.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a whiplash injury, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, physical therapy bills, lost time at work, and more.

Discuss your case with the Salamati Law Firm today. We are experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys with a long track record of winning substantial damages for our whiplash clients. There is no charge to you for an initial consultation, and we charge no fees unless we win you money.

Additional “Whiplash Injury” Resources:

  1. Ito, S., et al. “Identification of Soft Tissue Whiplash Injuries Through Biomechanical Testing of the Cervical Spine Before and After Simulated Trauma.” 49th Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Poster #1100. https://www.ors.org/Transactions/49/1100.pdf.
  2. WebMD. Neck Strain and Whiplash. https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/neck-strain-whiplash#1.
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Lyft vs. Uber: Which Is Better?

December 22, 2017 Auto Accidents

Thanks to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, all you need now to flag down a ride is a smartphone.

woman waiting for lyft or uber rideshareThanks to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, all you need now to flag down a ride is a smartphone. But which one is best? Consider the following Lyft vs. Uber comparisons when making your choice.

Scheduling a ride in advance

Lyft and Uber are both relative newcomers, although they’ve both had jaw-dropping growth. Because of this, and because these companies are engaged in fierce competition with each other, their policies are likely to evolve frequently. For instance, both recently introduced a new policy that allows riders to schedule rides in advance.

Lyft enables riders to schedule rides up to seven days ahead of time. As soon as the ride is scheduled, the rate is locked in, and riders don’t have to worry about rate increases. The ride can be canceled without a fee up to 30 minutes before the time window. After that, there’s a $10 cancellation fee.

Uber’s new advanced scheduling feature allows riders to request a ride anywhere from 15 minutes in advance to 30 days. However, Uber doesn’t guarantee that a rider will connect with a driver, even for a scheduled ride.

Requesting different car options

Both Uber and Lyft offer different vehicle options. Lyft has two main choices: Lyft and Lyft Plus. Lyft Plus just means that you’ll get a vehicle that can accommodate up to six passengers. There’s another option, called Lyft Line, which is a carpool choice that will pair you with another rider whom you don’t know. Uber has a similar carpool feature, called Uberpool.

Compared to Lyft, Uber has more types of ride experiences available. The most commonly used are UberX, UberXL, and UberBlack. UberX and UberXL are both casual ride experiences. Feel free to sit up front and chat with the driver. UberXL is a larger car for group transport. UberBlack will get you a professional chauffeur in a black luxury sedan.

Select cities offer additional options, like UberLux, which is exclusively for Los Angeles residents and visitors. UberLux features upscale vehicles, including Rolls Royce and Tesla. UberAssist, also available in just a few select cities, are for riders who need assistance or need to accommodate a wheelchair.

Paying your driver

From requesting a ride to paying your driver, the entire experience for both Lyft and Uber is meant to be completed inside the app. When you set up your account within the app, you’ll save your payment method. Uber strongly discourages cash payments, and Lyft strictly forbids them. Instead, the app will charge your account when your ride ends. Lyft drivers are forbidden from accepting cash tips—they must be tipped within the app. Uber drivers may be tipped electronically, or they can accept cash tips.

What happens if my Lyft or Uber driver gets into a crash?

Ridesharing car accidents venture into complicated legal territory. You’ll need to find a seasoned lawyer who can help you sort through the issues, and get you the compensation you deserve. To request a free consultation with an experienced Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles, call our offices right away. The Salamati Law Firm is here to help. We’ll talk you through your legal options, which may include filing a lawsuit or negotiating a ridesharing accident settlement.

Additional Resources for Uber and Lyft Accident Victims:

  1. Time, My Uber Got Into a Wreck. Can I Sue? http://time.com/money/4851877/my-uber-got-into-a-wreck-can-i-sue/
  2. Uber, In Case of an Accident, https://help.uber.com/h/039f5d2f-1361-4d63-98f3-3474e625575b
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