Drug Testing Laws for Truck Drivers After Accidents

January 22, 2018 Truck Accidents

Commercial truck drivers have one of the toughest jobs, usually characterized by grueling schedules, low pay and monotonous hours behind

Truck Driver Sitting In CabCommercial truck drivers have one of the toughest jobs, usually characterized by grueling schedules, low pay and monotonous hours behind the wheel. Most truck drivers are expected to work 11 consecutive hours each day – a tiring schedule that invites the use of stimulants and other medications simply to make it through a shift. The physical and mental exhaustion of being a big rig driver is responsible for not only high burnout rates in the industry, but increasing numbers of serious injury-causing accidents in California and across the nation.

Anecdotal evidence has shown that drugs (such as marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines) –as well as fatigue—plays a significant role in hundreds of interstate accidents involving 18-wheelers and tractor trailers. Drivers may take illicit substances in an attempt to ease their boredom, or to keep themselves alert on long, cross-country hauls. Unfortunately, both prescribed and illegal medications can adversely affect their reactions times, motor skills and ability to drive safely. While amphetamines can keep a driver from nodding off, they have been shown to cause everything from hallucinations and vertigo to extreme agitation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has special regulations in place for drivers of all commercial vehicles. In addition to pre-employment drug screening and random tests, there are also post-accident drug test requirements for truck drivers in certain scenarios.

Post-accident drug testing for commercial truck drivers

According to federal law, employers are required to test truck drivers for controlled substances as soon as possible following a crash.

This regulation applies to commercial truck accidents that meet the following requirements:

  • If the truck accident resulted in any fatalities
  • After a truck accident that results in serious bodily injury requiring immediate medical treatment AND the truck driver is cited by police
  • If any vehicle is disabled and towed from the accident scene

Within 32 hours of the accident, drivers are tested for the presence of amphetamines, methamphetamines, marijuana, Phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, and opiates (painkillers like Oxycontin, codeine and methadone). These urine-based drug tests, whether conducted by state, local or federal officials, must comply with all FMCSA requirements.

Various studies conducted over the past decade on drug use among truckers have shown that addiction is a major problem. Drivers resort to cocaine, alcohol, amphetamines and cannabis to combat fatigue, loneliness and boredom. According to one study, more than 90 percent of the drivers admitted to drinking on the job, while 82 percent reported use of amphetamines.

In cases where a driver tests positive for alcohol or illicit substances that leads to an accident, litigation is not uncommon. The commercial truck driver and/or his or her employer may face liability for the personal injury or wrongful death of any victims.

Consult a truck accident attorney in Los Angeles

If you were involved in an accident with a commercial rig and believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the Salamati Law Firm can help you determine if you have a claim for damages. Get insight from legal experts who understand drug testing laws and will safeguard your rights.

Call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a qualified truck accident attorney in Los Angeles today.

More Resources on Drug Testing for Truck Drivers:

  1. AllTrucking.com, Drug Testing at Trucking Companies: What You Need to Know http://www.alltrucking.com/faq/drug-testing-trucking-companies-what-you-need-know/
  2. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, What tests are required and when does testing occur? https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/what-tests-are-required-and-when-does-testing-occur
  3. American Addiction Center, Truck Drivers https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/truck-drivers/
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Hand Surgery After A Dog Bite

January 22, 2018 Dog Bite Injuries

An estimated 4.7 million Americans are bit by dogs each year. This figure includes roughly 600,000 children. Senior citizens and

Furious barking dogAn estimated 4.7 million Americans are bit by dogs each year. This figure includes roughly 600,000 children. Senior citizens and mail carriers are the second and third most-common victims of dog attacks. Some of these bites are nips from the family dog, but more vicious attacks occur when dogs break out of an enclosure or dart off a leash, which causes injuries so severe they require surgery to repair. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons performs 33,000 of these surgeries a year – most routinely to the hands fending off the attack.

Hospitalization and hand surgery after a dog bite

Every day, there are 866 Emergency Department visits and 26 hospitalizations related to dog bites in the United States.

While only about 1% of dog bite injuries in the United States require hospitalization, the cost of that hospital stay costs the average patient $18,200.

Reasons for hospital stays and surgeries include:

  • Skin and tissue infections (43.2%)
  • Open extremity wounds (22.1%)
  • Open head, neck, trunk wounds (10.5%)
  • Upper limb fractures (5.3%)
  • Connective tissue disease (2.1%)
  • Infective arthritis and osteomyelitis (1.1%)
  • Septicemia (1.1%)
  • Crushing injury or internal injury (1.1%)
  • Lower limb fracture (1.1%)
  • Other (1.1%)

Common dog bite-related surgical procedures include:

  • Wound debridement
  • Suture of skin and tissues
  • Tendon and muscle therapies
  • Skin grafts
  • Fracture or dislocation procedures
  • Joint repairs
  • Nose, mouth, and pharynx repairs
  • Eye surgeries
  • Traction, splints, and other wound care

Dog bites to the hand

Most dog bites to the hand occur when owners are trying to separate two dogs that are fighting. One study from Sweden found that 75 of 81 hand dog bite victims were treated at the Department of Hand Surgery. Of the 75, 51 patients were operated on, and 31 patients required a hospital stay at some point within six months. Injuries included lacerations of skin, muscle, and tendon, as well as hard fractures, arterial and nerve injuries, and traumatic finger amputations. Infections, necrosis, arthritis, osteomyelitis (bone infections), and sepsis were some of the serious complications. In the worst case scenario, dog bite injuries can be associated with Capnocytophaga canimorsus, an aggressive organism that leads to sepsis and death, particularly in immunocompromised individuals.

What to do if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog

California’s strict liability laws under Section 3342 of the Civil Code assigns a legal duty for dog owners to keep their canines under control at all times, whether they have a past history of aggressive behavior or not.

If bitten, request proof of rabies vaccination from the dog owner. Take down the owner’s name and contact information from his or her driver’s license, and contact the dog’s veterinarian to verify vaccination records. Immediately contact a doctor to ensure proper wound treatment. If the wound does not stop bleeding when pressure is applied, go to the Emergency Room at once. After the wounds have been properly treated, consider issues of liability to help you cover escalating medical expenses and make sure the same attack doesn’t happen to another person.

Contact Los Angeles dog bite lawyer Sean Salamati for free legal assistance within 2 years of sustaining a serious dog bite injury. You only pay a legal fee if we win your case. In one successful resolution, a disfigured boy received $300,000 for his injuries. We cannot guarantee a particular dollar amount for your case, but we know a fair settlement offer when we see one.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgery – Hand Surgeons Provide Update on Wild Animal Bites, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/hand-surgeons-provide-update-on-wild-animal-bites
  2. Dean Smith MD – Animal and Human Bites, http://www.deansmithmd.com/Animal-and-Human-Bites
  3. Healthcare Cost & Utilization Project – Stat Briefs, https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb101.pdf
  4. Research Gate – Dog Bite Injuries to the Hand, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51061952_Dog_bite_injuries_to_the_hand
  5. NCBI – Mammalian Bite Injuries To The Hand And Their Management, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4110393/
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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 car accident attorneys in Los Angeles 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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Los Angeles By Foot: Top 3 Walking Routes

January 12, 2018 Pedestrian Accident Injuries

You’ve probably heard the old saying that nobody walks in L.A. Even popular songs have been penned on the topic.

Los Angeles sunset Cityscape, Griffin ObservatoryYou’ve probably heard the old saying that nobody walks in L.A. Even popular songs have been penned on the topic. Boasting a population of nearly 3.8 million, the urban sprawl of Los Angeles is dominated by vehicles. Residents seem deeply attached to their cars, despite the mind-numbing traffic that is so prevalent.

Next time you get fed up with the gridlock, or simply want some fresh air while getting from points A to B, consider these top urban strolls in the City of Angels.

LA River Greenway

Thanks to impressive “greening” efforts, the Los Angeles River is the perfect destination for a leisurely stroll and picnic. There are several starting points from which to embark on different sections of the River: Griffith Park, Sepulveda Basin, the Long Beach bike path and the City of Glendale Riverwalk. The greenway offers numerous trails for walking, biking and even horseback riding. For a scenic 2.3-mile meander, begin your walk at Sherman Oaks at the intersection of Valleyheart Drive and Fulton Avenue. On this easy loop, you’ll follow the riverside trail, cross over Moorpark, Sunnyslope and Allott Avenues before returning back to Fulton. Bring your canine companion on this picturesque stroll!

Mural Mile

Until a few years ago, the area around Van Nuys Boulevard and Pacoima featured nothing more than your typical restaurants, shops, gas stations and churches. Now, this urban stretch has been transformed into an exciting art destination brimming with colorful murals painted on building exteriors. The notion to beautify this otherwise non-descript part of the city was headed up by Pacoima resident Levi Ponce, who encouraged local artisans to work their magic. You can enjoy the vivid sights of “Mural Mile” by starting at Van Nuys Boulevard and Herrick Avenue. There you’ll see a mural of a Tongva medicine woman dreamed up by an all-female group of HOOD-sisters. The amble continues on to Ponce’s mural, Lady of the Valley, near Arleta Avenue. The path is about four miles roundtrip.

Hollywood Bowl & Hightower Loop

Architecture buffs take note! This loop takes you through a secluded section of Los Angeles boasting some historical locations, unique architecture (some buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright), and plenty of lush, beautiful scenery. Pass by the Highland Towers apartments where William Faulkner supposedly wrote film adaptations of Raymond Chandler and Hemingway. The path wends through alleys and pretty residential areas, providing spectacular vistas of the Alta Loma tower. When you’ve finished the loop, stop by the Wine Bar at the Hollywood Bowl for some well-deserved refreshment.

Legal help for pedestrians in Los Angeles

For all its natural beauty and urban charms, L.A. is still far from being a pedestrian-friendly city. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 20 percent of all traffic fatalities in California involve pedestrians. In the greater L.A. metropolitan area, pedestrian fatalities account for a staggering 40 percent of all those killed in vehicle crashes.

When a family member of loved one is harmed in a pedestrian accident, the consequences can be life-altering.  Here at the Salamati Law Firm, we have the investigative skills and legal expertise to ensure that justice is served. Put our experience and dedication to work for you. Call our offices today to schedule a free case review with a Los Angeles pedestrian accident lawyer who fights for maximum compensation.

Additional Resources on Los Angeles Walking Routes:

  1. LA Times, Los Angeles Walks http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-walks-sg-storygallery.html
  2. LA Mag, 10 Unconventional L.A. Walks You’ll Actually Want To Take http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/10-best-l-a-walks/
  3. Trail Link, LA Trails and Maps https://www.traillink.com/city/los-angeles-ca-trails/
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4 Little-Known Construction Site Injuries

January 11, 2018 Construction Site Accidents

Construction sites can be hazardous places. Workers are often performing tasks at high elevations, with equipment that can be dangerous.

Construction workers operating jackhammersConstruction sites can be hazardous places. Workers are often performing tasks at high elevations, with equipment that can be dangerous. Many construction risks, such as falling from a height without being restrained by proper safety equipment, are well-known by both construction workers and the general public. But others are not so well-known.

Here are 4 construction site injuries that you may not be aware of.

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is the result of damage to the fingers, hands, and arms caused by working with vibrating tools or machinery, such as jackhammers. HAVS can cause neurological symptoms, vascular symptoms, or musculoskeletal symptoms, or a combination of all three.

Neurological symptoms manifest as tingling, or numb hands or fingers. Long term, this can cause permanent damage. Patients might have difficulty with common hand functions, like using keys. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of neurological HAVS.

Vascular symptoms affect the small blood vessels and cause them to constrict. Sufferers may notice that their fingers turn white or blue and become numb.

Musculoskeletal symptoms can include arthritis and tendonitis. Sufferers may not be able to grip as well as they used to, and may suffer pain in their arm or hand.

Hearing Loss

Construction sites are noisy. Jackhammers, excavation machinery, and other heavy equipment can be very loud. Some construction workers may be around as older buildings are dynamited, so that new construction can be built. Dynamiting is extremely loud.

As a result, hearing loss is common among construction workers. Safety equipment, such as protective ear plugs, should always be worn. Unfortunately, however, these are not always sufficient to prevent hearing loss.

Brain Lesions

Electrocution causes 1,000 deaths each year in the United States, on average. Electrocution on construction sites can result from contact with exposed wiring, faulty handling of electrical appliances, coming into contact with power lines, or accidents involving electrical outlets.

Electrocution can be fatal, or if not, can cause extensive physical injuries, including amputation of limbs and affected tissue.

Electrocution can also cause lesions to form on either brain tissue or the spinal cord. These can result in cerebellar disorders, spinal muscular atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, or sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Electrocution can cause post-traumatic stress disorder. While all construction site injuries can cause stress, electrocution is particularly traumatic, and the psychological effects can be as severe as the physical injury. PTSD can affect one’s ability to concentrate, focus, and remember things.

When You Need a Construction Site Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Construction site accidents cause serious harm and even death every year to hard-working individuals who deserve better. Construction accidents can affect the ability of workers to ever work again, and can affect their health and quality of life for the rest of their lives.

If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job in southern California, please call Los Angeles construction accident attorney Sean Salamati today. There will be no charge to you for an initial consultation. We charge no fees unless we win money for you!

Additional “Construction Site Injury” Resources:

  1. Alcumus Group. Top Ten Health and Safety Risks in Construction. https://www.alcumusgroup.com/blog/october-2014/top-ten-health-and-safety-risks-in-construction
  2. Electrical Injury. Chicago Electrical Trauma Rehabilitation Institute. https://www.cetri.org/electrical_injury.html
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3 Exciting New Building Projects in Los Angeles

January 9, 2018 Construction Site Accidents

Downtown Los Angeles is experiencing one of its biggest construction booms in decades, thanks to a surge of foreign investment.

Downtown Cityscape Los Angeles, California, USADowntown Los Angeles is experiencing one of its biggest construction booms in decades, thanks to a surge of foreign investment. According to the LA Times, the number of building projects currently underway is the most the downtown area has seen since the 1920’s. Nearly 80 developments totaling 50,000 square feet or larger have gone up since 2010, or are in the process of being completed. Unlike the construction boom of the 70s and 80s, this expansion is more varied, with fewer corporate buildings and more retail and residential developments.

As the LA skyline continues to change and reach ever taller, let’s take a look at three construction projects that are making headlines.

$1.2 Billion Transit-Oriented Development at Angels Landing

As of last month, Angels Landing Partners LLC was chosen by the LA City Council to head up the development of a 2-acre plot at Fourth and Hill Streets – the Angels Landing site. With an estimated budget of $1.2 billion, the team aims to erect two mammoth towers, one that is slated to be the tallest residential building (at 1,000 feet) in the entire western U.S. The mixed-use development will include 425 apartments, 250 condos, two hotels, retail and restaurant space of almost 45,000 sq. feet and an elementary school. The development will feature a communal gathering space for outdoor events, and a small food hall for local businesses. Completion is expected in 2024.

$100 Million Outdoor Mall at Long Beach

The old SeaPort Marina Hotel is being razed to make room for a new 220,000-square-foot coastal mall in Southeast Long Beach. According to Mayor Robert Garcia the mall will help revitalize one of the most important sites in Long Beach, bridging both Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Developers say that 1/3 of the space will be dedicated to chef-driven bistros, with the hopes of luring residents, not tourists. There will be a Whole Foods market, outdoor roof decks and plenty of casual eateries for waterfront dining. The Long Beach mall is slated to open its doors in Spring of 2019.

New Tower Planned for Hilton LA/Universal City

The owner of the Hilton Los Angeles wants to build a second $100-million tower to the hotel, with 365 rooms, a full-service spa and a rooftop restaurant. The expansion would help accommodate the increasing numbers of visitors to the Universal Studios Hollywood film studio and theme park. The building application with the city will require an environmental impact report on the project’s effects. If approved, the second tower could be completed as early as 2022.

Legal advocacy in Los Angeles

The construction boom is good news for the economy, bringing added jobs and an influx of money to the city. However, a rash of building projects come with their own set of hazards when worker safety is not made a priority. Every year, dozens of workers in California are subject to grueling injuries or even death because of negligent training and supervision, or lack of proper safety equipment.

When safety measures at job sites are inadequate and someone gets hurt, you need a competent attorney to protect your rights. Sean Salamati is an experienced construction accident lawyer serving Los Angeles & the greater metropolitan area. Call today for a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources:

  1. LA Times, Universal Hilton plans new tower as tourists flock to Harry Potter’s wizard world http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-universal-hilton-expansion-20171220-story.html
  2. LA Times, $100-million outdoor coastal mall replacing obsolete Long Beach hotel http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pch-center-development-2017126-story.html
  3. Boston RealEstate Times, Tallest Building in Western US to be Built by 100% Minority Group’s $1.2 Billion Development http://bostonrealestatetimes.com/tallest-building-in-western-us-to-be-built-by-100-minority-groups-1-2-billion-development-after-unanimous-selection-by-la-city-council/
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3 Unexpected Ways Your Child Can Get Injured at School

January 9, 2018 Premises Liability Lawsuits

More than 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated for playground injuries every year in the United States.

Tables in a big colorful school cafeteriaMore than 200,000 children under the age of 14 are treated for playground injuries every year in the United States. Injuries at school – whether from contact sports, jungle gyms, or slipping on a wet floor—send thousands of kids to the hospital with fractured bones, dislocations, bruises and contusions.

Beyond playground accidents and sporting mishaps, there are other unexpected ways that your child can be injured while at school.

Food Poisoning

Since 1946, all public schools have been serving up cafeteria lunches with a view toward providing students a nutritional meal that would help facilitate learning. However, food-borne illnesses traced to lax safety standards, rodent infestations and improper food handling have made the news in schools across the country. Dozens of children have been hospitalized for infections from E. coli bacteria and salmonella, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe dehydration.  In 1998, more than 1,200 students across 7 different states came down with food poisoning after eating burritos manufactured at a Chicago food plant.

Intentional acts of violence

According to a 2014 study published in the Journal Pediatrics, violence accounts for 10 percent of school injuries leading to emergency room visits in the U.S. Researchers found that of the more than 7.3 million ER visits by students ages 5 to 19 for school-related harm, roughly 736,000 incidents were described as intentional. Injuries included broken bones, cuts, concussions, bruises and sprains, and other physical trauma. Most acts of violence stemmed from fighting or students being assaulted by bullies. Males were more likely to be injured than females, and middle schoolers suffered more intentional injuries at school compared to those in elementary or high school.

Chemistry Lab Accidents

A science lab should be a place of safe learning and experimentation. Over the past decade, several notable chemistry lab accidents in both middle and high school environs have left students with second-degree burns, scarring and permanent disfigurement. One 15-year old student suffered burns over 40 percent of her body during a chemistry demo by her teacher that went horribly wrong. The Ohio girl, Calais Weber, has gone on to advocate good safety practices in science labs and cautions teens to speak up if they are not provided with proper safety equipment or instructions in lab experiments.

Know your rights in California

California’s public schools are supposed to be a safe place for learning and discovery, but accidents can and do happen with alarming frequency. If your child or teenager was harmed at school because of negligent supervision, negligent property maintenance or defective school equipment, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Parents may be entitled to monetary damages to help cover medical bills for school-related injuries.

To discuss your options with a Los Angeles premises liability lawyer who gets results, contact Sean Salamati for a free case review today.

Additional “School Injury Hazards” Resources:

  1. LiveScience, Violence Accounts for 10% of School Injuries https://www.livescience.com/42521-violence-kids-school-injuries.html
  2. ABC News, How Safe Are School Lunches? http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=132030&page=1
  3. TribLive, Chemistry lab mishaps in academic settings happen frequently http://triblive.com/home/2834482-74/safety-chemistry-lab-accidents-kaufman-incidents-langerman-students-teacher-based
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6 Escalator Horror Stories

December 28, 2017 Premises Liability Lawsuits

Escalators move thousands of people every day, in train stations, airports, department stores and other large buildings. Unfortunately, not all

Shopping Mall escalatorsEscalators move thousands of people every day, in train stations, airports, department stores and other large buildings.

Unfortunately, not all escalators are safe. They cause 10,000 injuries in the United States alone every year.

It’s not hard to see why. Escalators have multiple moving parts. If the parts become dislodged, people can become trapped in them. Clothing can become trapped and pull people in.

Escalators must be regularly maintained to be safe. The problem is, some are not regularly or sufficiently maintained. The escalators throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro subway system, for example, are notorious for frequently breaking down.

Adding to the threat is the fact that young children are most vulnerable.

Escalator Horror Stories from Near and Far

These escalator horror stories show how dangerous escalators can be.

  1. In China, maintenance workers forgot to screw an access cover back into place. A woman and her two-year old son got on the escalator, only to begin to fall through the unfastened access cover. The mother managed to throw her son to safety, but fell through the shaft herself before she could be rescued. She died in the accident.
  2. In London, an escalator exploded and killed more than 30 people. The reason? A buildup of debris and oil in insufficiently maintained escalators.
  3. A man was strangled when his hoodie became caught between an escalator’s stairs and landing platform.
  4. In Washington, D.C., people have been killed when their clothing became caught in an escalator. A 3-year-old was strangled at the Minnesota Avenue D.C. Metro Station. A middle-aged woman was killed when the Rhode Island D.C. Metro Station escalator caught some of her clothing.
  5. Escalator accidents can cause horrific injuries. At D.C. Metro Dupont Station, for example, a man lost the top of a foot because one of the station attendants, reportedly on drugs and suffering from mental illness, did not turn the emergency shut-off switch quickly enough.
  6. The D.C. Metro’s Smithsonian station was the site of an accident in which a visiting student lost a toe.

Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys in Southern California

Landlords and other responsible parties have a duty of care to maintain and repair escalators so that they are not dangerous to the public who come on their property. If they do not maintain them to a standard a reasonable person would find adequate, they can be sued if an injury occurs.

The Salamati Law Firm has an exceptional record of obtaining justice for our clients in premises liability cases in the Los Angeles area.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an escalator accident, call the offices of Los Angeles premises liability lawyer Sean Salamati today. We will provide a complimentary legal consultation. Payment will come from any final jury award or settlement amount.

Additional “Escalator Accident” Resources:

  1. Bradley, Ryan. “FYI: Why Are Escalators So Dangerous?” Popular Science. September 17, 2013. https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-04/fyi-why-are-escalators-so-dangerous
  2. D.C. Escalator Nightmare. Reason.com. April 12, 2012. https://reason.com/reasontv/2012/04/12/dc-escalators
  3. K12 News. “Woman Saves Son Before Falling to Her Death in Escalator.” http://www.12news.com/news/woman-saves-son-before-falling-to-her-death-in-escalator/184179847
  4. Mathews, Phillip. “How Dangerous Are Escalators?” USA Today. July 29, 2015. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/local/valley/2015/07/29/how-dangerous-are-escalators/30817195/
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How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Helmet

December 22, 2017 Motorcycle Accidents

Cruising on a motorcycle provides an unparalleled thrill and part of that experience is, as a driver or passenger, being

Motorcycle couple holding helmets in hands on the roadCruising on a motorcycle provides an unparalleled thrill and part of that experience is, as a driver or passenger, being one with the wind. On the flip side, motorcycle riders are relatively unprotected. The result is that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident than their counterparts in automobiles.

Studies show that a motorcycle helmet is a crucial factor in reducing the likelihood of a fatality.

Motorcycle helmets save lives

Motorcycle accidents claim nearly 5,000 lives each year, but federal statistics are clear: riders who wear helmets are less likely to die in a crash. Studies comparing states with helmet laws to those that do not show that there are roughly 37% more motorcycle fatalities in the absence of helmet laws. In order to reap the benefits, it is important to choose the best motorcycle helmet for you.

Choosing the best motorcycle helmet

First, be sure the helmet fits properly. Be sure you can try it on, preferably in-store before you buy. If you buy online, make sure the store accepts returns without a fight, and consider ordering several sizes right off the bat.

Next, make sure the helmet provides full protection without impairing your vision. Some styles may offer a slimmer, more stylish profile, but it is at the sacrifice of safety.

Finally, be sure to look for a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. If it does, there will be a DOT symbol on the outside rear of the helmet, as well as a permanent label inside that identifies the manufacturer and provides instruction for care and use.

If the helmet meets the federal standard, it should weigh about three pounds and have a sturdy chin strap and thick foam lining. A certified helmet may or may not include a face shield; if it does not, always wear goggles to protect your eyes, because glasses are inadequate and can fall off.

Most common motorcycle injuries

Even with a proper helmet and other safety gear, the motorcycle rider’s body is vulnerable in a crash. The most common serious injuries include:

Even when the injuries are not fatal, they can lead to long-term disability or impairment.

Recovery after a motorcycle crash

A motorcycle accident can cause physical, emotional, and financial distress for victims and their families. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and believe another driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation that can help you meet the financial burdens caused by the crash. A settlement or court award can help pay past and future medical bills and lost wages, and provide compensation for disability, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been been injured in a motorcycle accident, call today to speak with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at the Salamati Law Firm. We fight for the rights of those injured as the result of someone else’s carelessness.

Additional Motorcycle Helmet Resources:

  1. NHTSA, How to Identify Unsafe Motorcycle Helmets, https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/unsafehelmetid/pages/page2.htm
  2. NHTSA, Road Safety:Motorcycles, https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles
  3. NHTSA Crash Stats, Traffic Safety Facts: Calculating Lives Saved by Motorcycle Helmets, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/809861
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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 car 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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