Nov 29, 2018       Auto Accidents      0 Comments

car accident sceneRide-sharing services like Lyft have simplified transportation questions for people in California and across the nation. However, when a Lyft driver is involved in a crash, the logistics of a personal injury suit can be less than simple. Here are some factors that can affect the process.

Ride-sharing liability in California

California follows a traditional negligence model when it comes to liability for auto accidents. Unlike in no-fault states, an at-fault party in CA can be held legally responsible for the monetary losses caused by his or her careless acts. However, another party, like a ride-sharing company, may be legally responsible for the at-fault driver’s actions in certain situations.If a Lyft driver crashes and the accident is due to his or her negligence, state laws and Lyft policies hold that Lyft’s insurance will provide coverage but the amount available depends on what mode the driver was in.
Driver StatusMinimum Insurance Liability Limits
Not logged into app or looking for or carrying a passengerBasic state minimum coverage - $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident/$5,000 property damage
Logged into app and waiting for a passenger$50,000 per person/$100 per accident/$30,000 property damage
Picking up or transporting a ride-sharing customer$1 million commercial liability; $1 million uninsured/underinsured coverage
 

Who to sue after a Lyft accident in Southern California

Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. Even though the company insurance policy may insure your ride while the driver has the app turned on, the general understanding, from a legal standpoint, is that an injured rider’s lawsuit would be filed against the individual driver rather than the ride-share company.In some cases, there may be reason to sue Lyft directly. For example, the company may have negligently hired a driver who it should have realized, with necessary research, was not an eligible driver. However, the company will most likely allege that claims against it cannot be filed in court, but instead must be brought in an arbitration under Lyft’s terms of service.Understandably, there are many variables in ride-share accident cases so it is important to speak with a Lyft and Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles who can help guide your case.

Speak with a Lyft accident lawyer in LA

With as popular as Lyft, Uber, and other ride-sharing apps have become, it is easy to forget that it is still a relatively new business model. This means the legal questions are undergoing evolution as lawmakers and judges adapt traditional laws to new technology. If you are involved in a ride-sharing accident in CA, speak with a Lyft accident attorney in Los Angeles about your claim.The Salamati Law Firm understands the complex questions that arise in ride-sharing accidents. We are dedicated to helping victims of Lyft and Uber accidents in Southern California understand and protect their rights, and fight for full and fair compensation.Call today to schedule a free case review. We never charge a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Lyft accident resources:

  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. Lyft, Terms of Service, https://www.lyft.com/terms

  Nov 29, 2018       Slip Trip and Fall      0 Comments

fall down stairsIt’s a safe bet that everyone is prone to a little clumsiness from time to time. But sometimes, people fall and sustain serious injuries because of the negligence or recklessness of another person. If you were injured on someone else’s property, or on public property, you may have the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. A slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles can evaluate your case and advise you about the potential for a legal claim. Since the skills, experience, and knowledge of the attorney is crucial for the success of your claim, it’s worth taking the time to do a little background research to ensure you pick the right personal injury attorney.

Extensive experience with personal injury lawsuits

It goes without saying that it’s best to choose a slip and fall lawyer in downtown Los Angeles who has litigated these types of cases before. For slip and fall cases in particular, it’s helpful to choose a law firm that has litigated claims in both state and federal courts, as premises liability lawsuits may name governmental entities as defendants.

Law firm resources, legal team, and consultants

Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated. These cases often require evaluation and input by outside professionals, such as accident reconstruction experts, investigators, and medical specialists. Look for a law firm that has established relationships with these types of outside consultants, and has the resources necessary to bring them on board for your case.

Commitment to ongoing communication and client education

Some lawyers have developed a reputation for being difficult to get ahold of on the phone. If you’re stressed about your case and your mounting medical bills, the last thing you need is a lawyer who never picks up the phone. Look for a law firm that is committed to keeping you apprised of the status of your case. Your slip and fall lawyer should also fully inform you of the legal issues involved. Client education is essential for good decision making.

An overview of slip and fall incidents in southern California

A slip and fall accident can happen anywhere. If it happens on someone else’s property, the property owner or manager may be held liable for your injuries, depending on the circumstances. Some common places for slip and fall injuries in the CA area include restaurants and bars, since liquids may be spilled on the floor frequently, creating a hazardous condition. Museums, malls, shopping centers, retail stores, sidewalks, parking lots, government buildings, and office buildings are other common locations of slip and fall accidents, as are apartment complexes and nursing homes.The Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles is a leading choice among slip and fall victims because of our personalized approach, attentive service, and long track record of successfully recovering compensation on behalf of our clients. Our slip and fall lawyers in downtown LA provide reliable legal guidance so that you can make a smart decision in the wake of an accident. Our legal team may help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.

Additional resources about slip and fall accidents

  1. Medscape, Falls in the Elderly: Causes, Injuries, and Management, https://reference.medscape.com/features/slideshow/falls-in-the-elderly
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Important Facts about Falls, https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

  Nov 16, 2018       Pedestrian Accident Injuries      0 Comments

Fitness male running outdoors during sunset.Despite Los Angeles’s image as the car capital of the nation, where people drive even if their destination is across the street, southern California is home to millions of runners – and some of the best running destinations in the world.Here are the 3 top places to run.

Mount Hollywood - Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles

Yes, we are going to reference La La Land! If you saw Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dancing around Griffith Observatory, you know about Griffith Park. But did you know that Griffith Park contains 4,300 acres, making is #10 among city-owned parks in the U.S. in terms of size? It’s also home to the Los Angeles Zoo and the Greek Theater.The running and jogging here are fantastic. Runners can choose from 53 miles of trails, fire roads, and bridle paths. Be sure to head up to the park’s highest point, Mount Hollywood, and gaze over all of L.A.

West Loop - Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Los Angeles

A smaller park with a shorter but very pleasant path can be found here. Elysian Park encompasses 600 acres, and offers views of downtown and the San Fernando Valley. West Loop, at just under 2 ½ miles, is an easy, shady path. If you run with a dog in the morning before work, it’s a good morning run for both of you.

Inspiration Point & Clouds Rest - Runyon Canyon, 2000 North Fuller

If you’re in L.A., why not go Hollywood? Runyon Canyon Park spans 130 acres a short two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard. This is also great if you run with a dog, and a terrific weekend destination, with a 90-acre dog park where you dog can run free (i.e., off-leash).Runyon Canyon is also an excellent introduction to the canyons. If you start at the Fuller Avenue entrance, you’ll be going up from the canyon bottom toward the top, Clouds Rest to the east and then Inspiration Point. This is not an easy run – the canyons can be steep in stops – but it’s a good work and very scenic to boot. If the weather is clear, you’ll be able to see out to the ocean as far as Catalina Island.

Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

While Los Angeles offers some of the best running and jogging areas in the world, the proximity of runners and joggers with cars and other vehicles all too often causes pedestrian accidents. Whether you’re been hit by a vehicle or suffered a sprain due to road conditions, we can help.If you or a loved one has been in a pedestrian accident in southern California, we can help. We are experienced pedestrian accident lawyers in Los Angeles. Call attorney Sean Salamati today for a free initial consultation on your case. We will fight for your rights and maximum compensation.Additional Resources:
  1. Top 10 Best Running Trails in Los Angeles. Discover Los Angeles. https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/where-run-los-angeles-las-top-10-running-paths
  2. The Guide to L.A.'s Griffith Park. Discover Los Angeles. https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/guide-las-griffith-park

  Nov 15, 2018       Auto Accidents      0 Comments

Halloween costumes and trick or treating schedules should be the top news in late October, but this year the news has been consumed with instance after instance of drivers hitting kids at bus stops. There were at least five accidents in only three days, from Florida to Indiana, with the Indiana school bus stop accident killing 6-year-old twins and their 9-year-old sister, and injuring their 11-year-old brother. In response, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a reminder and tips to keep kids safe.According to NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King, these accidents could have been prevented if drivers had followed traffic safety laws. For example, she explains that it is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop sign arm is extended. It is also important to slow down near a school bus that has its yellow lights flashing to indicate it is slowing down, and to watch for children darting across the street when a school bus is near.

California school bus company found liable

Thankfully, none of the recent bus stop accidents have taken place in California, but last year a Southern California school bus company and its driver were each found partly to blame for a young girl’s severe injuries following a 2012 bus stop crash.Isabella Sanchez, of Highland, was 6 in October 2012, when she was struck by a car while crossing the street to get on a school bus. Isabella suffered broken bones and a brain injury, and five years later, still could not talk or walk. Her ‘round-the-clock nursing care was estimated to cost $360,000 over her lifetime. However, in September 2017, a jury awarded her nearly $19 million for medical costs and an additional $16 million for past and future pain and suffering, for a total of $36.1 million.

Take action after a school bus accident in LA

School bus safety conversations often focus on seat belts rather than bus stop safety. However, a child is almost three times as likely to suffer a fatal injury getting on or off a bus in a bus crash. Sadly, most of these accidents are preventable if only bus drivers and other motorists follow traffic safety precautions.If your child has been injured in a school bus accident or bus stop injury, you may be entitled to compensation to assist with medical bills and other expenses. At the Salamati Law Firm, we are passionate about fighting for the rights of injury victims, and we understand the complex relationships that can arise when it comes to pursuing claims against parties like school districts and bus companies. Call today to speak with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer and find out how we can help you.

Additional bus stop injury resources:

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA Urges Motorists to Drive Safely Near School Zones and Bus Stops, https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-urges-motorists-drive-safely-near-school-zones-and-bus-stops
  2. ABC7, School bus company ruled at fault in case of Highland girl injured while crossing street, https://abc7.com/school-bus-company-ordered-to-pay-$36m-for-highland-case/2444277/
  3. Stanford Children’s Health, How Safe Is the School Bus?, https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=how-safe-is-the-school-bus-1-1133

  Nov 09, 2018       Personal Injury Lawsuits      0 Comments

Doctor analyzing human skull x-rayCertain injuries, even if not life-threatening, can be relatively disturbing. Whether it is due to a natural protectiveness of the eyes, to the cosmetic effects of facial disfigurement, or another reason, many people are more disturbed by the thought of a facial injury than by the thought of another injury of similar severity elsewhere on the body. For those who have suffered a facial fracture, it is important to allow for sufficient healing time or the area could be re-injured.

Assessing a facial fracture

Facial fractures are broken bones of the face or the mouth. Common facial fractures are:
  • Nasal (nose)
  • Orbital (eye)
  • Maxillary or mandibular (upper or lower jaw)
  • Zygomatic (cheekbone)
  • Frontal (forehead)
It is important to be examined if you have any of these injuries because there could also be head or neck injuries that have gone undetected. Antibiotics may also be necessary if there is a chance the fracture could lead to an infection.

Healing time for facial fractures

The length of time it takes for a facial fracture to heal depends on the type and severity of the injury. In general, however, patients are often instructed to wait 6-8 weeks before engaging in physical activities that could cause further facial injuries.Facial bruising and swelling may be cleared up in only 2-3 weeks. Nerve damage affecting physical sensation may take weeks or months to heal, and in some cases it may only partial heal or there may even be no recovery at all. Early evaluation and treatment can help prevent complications.

Complications can delay facial fracture healing

In some cases, a fracture will need to be set in order to heal properly, also referred to as “reduction”. This is understandably a bit complicated and it can done without surgery (a closed reduction) or in more complicated cases, require surgery (an open reduction) and the use of plates, screws, or other devices to keep the repair in place.In any case, but especially in cases with complex fractures, there can be complications. When titanium plates or screws are used to set the break, they are meant to be permanently implanted. However, the devices may become infected or unbearably uncomfortable and require a revision surgery to remove or replace. While titanium parts are in place, they could also prevent the patient from having a CT scan or MRI.

Recovering for facial fractures after an accident in Southern California

There are rare cases of facial fractures due to non-traumatic causes, but most facial fractures are due to accidents or violence. In addition to the distress caused by facial disfigurement, patients often need to worry about medical bills, lost wages, and other financial and emotional losses.California law recognizes the right of those injured by someone else’s negligence to receive the financial compensation necessary to be made whole. If you have been injured due to someone else’s careless or intentional act, speak with a facial fracture attorney in Los Angeles at Salamati Law.

Additional facial fracture resources:

  1. Cambridge University Hospitals, Facial fractures, https://www.cuh.nhs.uk/addenbrookes-hospital/services/oral-and-maxillofacial-surgery-and-orthodontics/facial-fractures
  2. Cleveland Clinic, Facial Fractures, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/facial-fractures

  Nov 07, 2018       Motorcycle Accidents      0 Comments

Residents of Southern California are fortunate for many reasons. A temperate climate, fantastic beaches and spectacularly scenic roads provide ample opportunities for weekend getaways and long road trips. For avid bike owners, the Inland Empire is heaven. Whether you live in Riverside or San Bernardino County, the area is flush with amazing motorcycle rides that meander to the mountains, along the coastline and into the arid desert plains.For those looking for a scenic weekend bike trip, here are three of the best Inland Empire motorcycle rides.

Big Bear Lake

Big Bear is a famous destination for skiing and snowboarding, but the area has much more to offer than just winter sports. Enjoy the fresh pine scent and beautiful mountain vistas on a journey to this nature-lovers’ hotspot. If you’re heading out from San Bernardino and prefer a longer but much more scenic route, we suggest taking highway 330 to the 18. You’ll go by Snow Valley Ski Resort and a couple of picture-worthy peaks en route. While the trip clocks in at 41 miles, allow yourself close to two hours to reach Big Bear lake. The switchback roads will slow you down, but the landscapes make this jaunt well-worth the effort. Stop into Chad’s Place for a bite to eat – a local favorite.

Idyllwild Forests

Idyllwild is tucked in the Jacinto Mountains and is renowned for its hiking, mountain biking and camping opportunities. If you’re eager to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and gaze upon towering pines and giant cedars, this road trip is just for you. Take highway 10 East from Riverside until you reach the 234. Continue south on the winding road, taking care on those tight turns. The trip is just under 60 miles from San Bernardino (roughly an hour and 15 minutes on the bike) and makes for an easy half-day trip. Idyllwild still charms visitors with its cozy hometown atmosphere and has a nice selection of dining options. Check out Café Aroma, the Red Kettle or Jo’ans Restaurant & Bar. All good choices for a relaxing lunch.

Desert ride to Palm Springs

This desert resort city in Riverside County is praised for its spas, hot springs and championship golf. But veteran bikers know Palm Springs also makes for a fun desert road trip. Take the 10 East and make a loop around Palm Springs by taking highway 111. This picturesque route will pass by Palm Desert and Cathedral City, where you’ll find the Living Desert and Zoo, among other cool attractions.  A bit farther on and you’ll reach Indio, CA home to the Fantasy Springs Casino. This motorcycle ride should take you about 90 minutes one-way from Riverside.

Ride safe and call Sean Salamati for legal help

Attorney Sean Salamati is an advocate for motorcyclists in California and is also a seasoned litigator when it comes to protecting clients’ rights. From experience, we know that many motorcycle accidents are caused by other motorists who fail to see them. Be alert, wear your helmet and drive defensively. And if you need expert legal guidance, be sure to reach out to Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer Sean Salamati Law for a free consultation.If you need assistance filing a claim or dealing with insurance adjustors after a crash, please call our L.A. personal injury law office today.

Additional Resources on Inland Empire Rides:

  1. Big Bear, Big Bear Lake https://www.bigbear.com/
  2. Idyllwild California, Idyllwild http://www.idyllwildcalifornia.com/
  3. OC Parks, Capistrano Beach Park http://www.ocparks.com/beaches/capistrano/

  Nov 01, 2018       Auto Accidents      0 Comments

Marijuana leaves, cannabis The dangers of drinking and driving are well-established, but what about using cannabis products and getting behind the wheel? Can smoking marijuana impair your judgement, perception and reaction times just as much as having a few too many cocktails?A handful of studies suggest that cannabis and driving is a perilous combination, as drugged drivers have a much higher risk of getting into accidents.

Marijuana use impairs driving ability

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana can significantly impair spacial perception, motor coordination, concentration and reaction times. The organization cites two European studies which found that drivers with elevated concentrations of THC (the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol) in their blood were twice as likely to cause a fatal car accident compared to those who had not used cannabis or alcohol.Recreational marijuana has been legal in California for nearly a year, and despite countless accidents caused by drugged drivers, there remains a surprising disconnect in our thought process when it comes to stoned driving.In fact, a recent report issued by the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests a causal link between legal recreational cannabis and an increase in collision rates. In Nevada, Oregon, Colorado and Washington, where recreational pot has been legalized – auto accident claim frequencies are 6 percent higher.Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstrates that drugs and alcohol are involved in 11 percent of all fatal traffic accidents, and 25 percent of all drivers who are tested come up positive for THC in their bloodstreams. While the connection between marijuana and car accident risks needs additional research, experts do know that marijuana affects one’s ability to perceive time and distance – two critical components when you’re driving a vehicle.

How much does cannabis impair driving?

Some argue that marijuana improves concentration skills, and thus enhances driving ability, but research suggests this only holds true for a few minutes.  THC impacts visual function, decreases reaction times and often leads to distraction. Stoned drivers are more prone to weave in and out of their lanes and find it harder to read road signs or maintain a stable following distance. All of these factors increase accident risk, but when marijuana is combined with a few beers or cocktails – as it often is—the danger of causing an accident jumps even higher. Studies show that alcohol speeds the absorption of THC in the bloodstream, causing measurable psychomotor impairment.While there is no question that cannabis can acutely impair driving-related skills, the level of impairment between individuals varies more than they do with alcohol because of tolerance and different absorption rates of THC.

Injured by a drugged driver in California?

There is no breathalyzer test for marijuana. California law enforcement officials are trained to identify physical signs of drug-impairment and determine whether a driver is not fit to safely operate a vehicle.If you were involved in a car accident and believe the other driver was stoned, drugged or otherwise impaired, Salamati Law can help you seek appropriate legal remedies.Schedule a free-no-obligation case review with a results-driven Los Angeles car accident lawyer today.

Additional Resources on Cannabis Effects on Driving:

  1. IIHS, Effect of recreational marijuana sales on police reported crashes in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington https://www.iihs.org/frontend/iihs/documents/masterfiledocs.ashx?id=2173
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Does marijuana use affect driving? https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/does-marijuana-use-affect-driving
  3. ca, Driving under the influence of Cannabis https://medicalmarijuana.ca/resource-center/driving-cannabis/

  Nov 01, 2018       Dog Bite Injuries      0 Comments

Furious barking dogDog bites can cause severe injury, infection, and even death. Every year, 4.5 million dog bites occur around the country, and 1 in 5 of them need medical care.California leads the nation in the number of dog bites reported each year, according to a recent survey by State Farm, based on its insurance claims. With 488 claims in 2017, we lead the nation, with almost 14% of the total dog bite injuries in the U.S.Not only was California #1, it was number one by a wide margin. The state with the second most dog bites, Illinois, had just 318 claims versus California’s 488.One-half of all dog bite injuries occur in children, who are particularly vulnerable. Many dog bite injuries are also sustained by senior citizens. Certain occupations, such as mail carriers, are also vulnerable.

What California Law Says About Dog Bites: Strict Liability

Dog bites can be injurious and even terrifying. Fortunately, California has strong laws against dog bites.Our state has a law with strict liability. What that means is that people injured by a dog bite do not have to prove that owners were aware that their dogs had been violent before, that they were unaware that the dog could be dangerous, or that they were careful to prevent the possibility that the dog could attack. These things are sometimes necessary to prove negligence and receive compensation in a legal case. But in the case of a dog bite in California, they are not necessary for an injured party to prove.It's important to know, though, that in general this strict liability exists only if you were bitten.  A person chased by a dog who does not bite them, then, is generally not able to bring a case under the strict liability law.If a dog injures someone and does not bite them, however, it may be possible to bring a case. Because it is not covered by the strict liability law, though, the injured party would have to prove in court that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent the dog from attacking someone.Strict liability law also requires that the injured person be in a public place or in a private place legally. So a person injured by a dog bite who was illegally in someone’s home would not necessarily be protected under the strict liability dog bite law.People who are carrying out a public duty under the law, like mail carriers, are considered lawfully on private property.

Need a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer in L.A.?

Dog bites are, unfortunately, frequent in the Los Angeles area. Fortunately, the law gives recourse.If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite in southern California, please call experienced Los Angeles dog bite injury lawyer Sean Salamati today. Our seasoned professionals will review your case for free, without any obligation on your part. There is no charge to you for an initial consultation, and we charge no fees unless we win your case.Additional Resources:
  1. Clark, Lucas and Abbie Bennett. “California is the No. 1 state for dog-bite injuries, State Farm says.” The Tribune. May 11, 2018. https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/state/california/article210823979.html
  2. “When your dog bites.” State Farm. https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/family/when-your-dog-bites

  Oct 26, 2018       Auto Accidents      0 Comments

Insurance adjusters are trained to settle car accident claims quickly and cost-effectively. Any statement you make to an insurance adjuster at the accident scene or during later inquiries can make a significant impact on your financial recovery.Words can be taken out of context or twisted and later used against you, making it all the more important to heed these tips before discussing your claim.

Do not consent to being recorded

Insurance representatives will ask all parties involved in a car accident to provide a recorded statement, either in writing or through a recorded phone conversation. It is in your best interest to politely decline this request until after you have spoken with an attorney. This recorded statement is considered vital evidence, and any vague or misleading language on your part can later be used against you.

Identify the adjuster you are speaking with

Before answering any questions, ask for the name and contact information of the adjuster you are speaking with and confirm the name, address and telephone of the insurance company they work for. Keep a folder with names, dates and details of anyone you speak to at the insurance company.

Limit the amount of personal information

When speaking to an adjuster, you are only required to provide your full name, address, telephone and contact information. It is not advisable to divulge other personal information regarding your employment, your income, or anything about your medical history.

Do not discuss your injuries

Insurance reps will always ask about the car accident injuries you sustained. The best answer is “I don’t know the full extent yet.” Some injuries like concussions and whiplash have no immediate symptoms, and you could unintentionally leave out critical information that will negatively affect your claim for damages.

Stick to the facts – keep opinions to yourself

Keep the conversation short and sweet when discussing the accident. Insurance adjusters will press for more details or ask your opinion, but it’s best to remain subjective. When and where the crash occurred, who was involved and if there were any witnesses. Be straightforward and honest. If you don’t know an answer to a question or don’t remember, just say so.

Take notes on your conversation

Try and write down as much as you can about your conversations with insurance companies. This includes questions that were asked of you, requests made, information provided and the name of the person you spoke with. These notes may contain valuable information that can advance your claim.

Avoid quick settlement traps

Insurance representatives may try and get you to settle within the first couple of phone calls. Avoid this trap and wait until you know the full extent of your injuries and have a proper medical diagnosis. With competent legal representation, you stand a much greater chance of securing a larger car accident settlement that fully accounts for your losses.

Need help dealing with an insurance adjuster?

A skilled Los Angeles car accident lawyer can protect your best interests after a collision. The Salamati Law Firm offers tenacious, results-oriented representation to car crash victims throughout Southern California. We provide sound legal guidance and know how to negotiate with insurance companies to maximize accident compensation.Request a free case evaluation today by calling 1-855-449-3546.Additional resources:
  1. How Stuff Works, 5 Things You Should Tell Your Insurance Company Immediately After a Crash, https://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/auto-insurance/5-things-to-tell-insurance-company-after-crash.htm
  2. DMV, How Car Insurance Companies Investigate Accident Claims, https://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-car-insurance-companies-investigate-accident-claims.php

  Oct 25, 2018       Premises Liability Lawsuits, Slip Trip and Fall      0 Comments

Group of doctors in a hurry down the hospital hallway for emergencyHospitals are a place to visit for medical care and healing but they can also lead to injuries. Both patients and visitors can experience on-site injuries from slip and fall accidents. When this happens, the next logical question is, who is liable? For a few reasons, the answer is not completely straightforward.

Types of hospital slips and falls

From slick floors to liquid substances to medical carts that obstruct paths to unsecured carpet tiles to medication errors, there are many reasons a patient or visitor could fall in a hospital. Depending on the circumstances, the underlying reason could be general negligence or professional negligence, each carrying a different statute of limitations, limit of damages recoverable, and burden of proof.

Ordinary negligence slip and falls

A defendant may be liable in a premises liability claim when it knew of should have known of a hazard but failed to issue a warning or fix the hazard. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving that the defendant or his or her employees acted unreasonably.A slip and fall victim has two years to file a personal injury lawsuit under an ordinary negligence theory. However, there could be a shorter notice period to meet before filing a claim if the fall occurred at a government-owned hospital.

Professional malpractice in California hospital claims

Many slips and falls in hospitals are the result of medical malpractice or other professional malpractice. For example, medication errors that impair a patient’s stability could be the result of medical malpractice. However, California authorities have deemed it professional negligence to fail to maintain any equipment necessary for treatment or care. This broadens the net of professional malpractice to many surfaces within a hospital.California professional liability lawsuits must be filed within one year of discovery. Plaintiffs also need to hire an expert witness to prove the defendant did not meet the necessary standard of care for a professional in that industry. Further, under California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), damages are limited.

Who pays when the hospital is responsible?

Who is liable for a hospital fall will depend on the facts. Often the hospital is liable but if the doctor made a mistake, a separate company that employs the doctor could be on the hook. If the fall was caused by ordinary negligence, another party, like a cleaning crew responsible for the premises, could also be to blame.This is less clear-cut than it sounds; some hospitals are privately-owned, some are part of a regional medical chain, and some even operate under contract by the federal government, meaning claims would need to comply with tort liability procedures under federal statutes.

Recovery for hospital slips and falls in Southern California

When you or a loved one has suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you need experienced counsel who will fight for your rights. This is especially necessary when battling the red tape involved in a hospital slip and fall. The Salamati Law Firm has dedicated the past two decades to fighting for the rights of those injured in CA. Call today to speak with a Los Angeles slip and fall attorney at the Salamati Law Firm.

Additional hospital slip and fall resources:

  1. Micra.org, Provisions of MICRA, http://micra.org/specifics-of-micra/provisions-of-micra/
  2. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Claims Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, https://www.va.gov/OGC/FTCA.asp