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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Victims of Las Vegas Shooting File Lawsuits in California

December 10, 2017 News

The largest mass shooting in U.S. history took place on October 1, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept, blue tone

The largest mass shooting in U.S. history took place on October 1, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. The alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, killed 58 people, injured another 500, and impacted countless other witnesses in attendance and families of victims. Hundreds of individuals, including victims and family members, are seeking legal recourse through a series of lawsuits in California.

Though the shooting took place in Nevada, the lawsuits were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuits were filed in Southern California because most of the victims were treated here and it is the corporate home of the defendant Live Nation.

Mandalay Bay Hotel and festival organizers face Las Vegas shooting lawsuit

Last month, more than 450 victims and family members filed five lawsuits against Mandalay Bay Resort – owned by MGM Resorts International – and Live Nation – promoter of the Rt. 91 Harvest Festival. The lawsuits allege that the businesses did not do enough to prevent or minimize the attack.

According to the plaintiffs, Mandalay Bay, the hotel where Paddock was staying and from where he allegedly engaged in the shooting, unreasonably failed to prevent Paddock from stockpiling weapons in his room. It is also accused of breaching a duty by not calling the police for several minutes after Paddock reportedly shot one of its security guards. Live Nation is accused of not having adequate exits at the music festival and improperly trained employees.

Live Nation has not commented on the lawsuits. MGM Resorts, however, released a statement saying, “The incident that took place on October 1st was a terrible tragedy perpetrated by an evil man. These kinds of lawsuits are not unexpected and we intend to defend ourselves against them. That said, out of respect for the victims, we will give our response through the appropriate legal channels.”

Las Vegas shooting victims face financial challenges

Many victims of the Las Vegas tragedy are in the midst of economic strain as a result of the shooting. Several funds have been set up for their benefit but the number of victims means many will receive any help toward medical bills and other expenses.

The largest concerted effort to help the victims, the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund, has received a combined $16 million across several platforms including gofundme and a bank-hosted collection. However, with hundreds of victims, organizers announced the need to prioritize claims in such a way that some of those who were shot will not be able to collect from the fund.

It has been estimated that to match the payout to Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting victims, the Las Vegas Victim’s Fund would need at least $560 million. The efforts of the contributors are laudable but a favorable outcome in the recently-filed lawsuits could help those uncompensated victims pay outstanding medical bills and catch up financially.

The Salamati Law Firm fights aggressively to ensure injury victims see justice served. To speak with one of our Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys, call 1-888-259-4060.

Additional Information about Las Vegas Shooting Lawsuits:

  1. Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Victims’ Fund to stop collecting donations Jan. 31, https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/las-vegas-victims-fund-to-stop-collecting-donations-jan-31/
  2. ABC7, Stanton sisters who survived Las Vegas shooting say they won’t get help from $11M fund due to proposed rules, http://abc7.com/oc-sisters-who-survived-vegas-shooting-say-they-wont-get-money-from-fund/2710576/
  3. Reuters, Hundreds of Las Vegas shooting victims file lawsuits in California court https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lasvegas-shooting-lawsuit/hundreds-of-las-vegas-shooting-victims-file-lawsuits-in-california-court-idUSKBN1DK2OX
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Disturbing Statistics on Distracted Driving in California

November 21, 2017 Auto Accidents

Driverless cars will be a boon to commuters who text and update social media during their daily drives. Until driving

Using a phone in a car texting while driving concept for danger of text message and being distractedDriverless cars will be a boon to commuters who text and update social media during their daily drives. Until driving becomes wholly automated, however, drivers need to put their phones down and devote their full attention to piloting their vehicles through crowded Los Angeles streets and highways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that distracted driving accounts for 80% of all vehicle accidents. In 2014, approximately 3,000 people died in car crashes caused by driver distraction, and more than 400,000 drivers and automobile passengers suffered injuries in distracted driving accidents. In the same year, more than 60% of California drivers remarked that they had either been in collisions or barely avoided crashes with drivers who were using their smartphones at the time of the event.

Correlation Between Smartphones and Distracted Driving

Data and statistics collected by the NHTSA show a clear connection between smartphone usage and accidents caused by distracted driving:

  • A driver whose focus shifts from controlling a car to reaching for a smartphone is three times more likely to have an accident.
  • Texting while driving creates an accident risk that is 23 times greater than non-distracted driving.
  • On average, a regular text message takes a driver’s eyes off of the road for five seconds, which, at highway speeds, is long enough for a car to travel more than 100 yards.

Distracted Driving and Liability for Injuries

Recovering damages for property loss and injuries that you have suffered in an accident will depend, among other matters, upon your and your attorney’s ability to prove that another party’s negligence was the “proximate cause” of your loss and injuries. If the other party failed to pay attention to road conditions and traffic, for example, because he or she was texting or using a cell phone, then your attorney can use that as solid evidence to prove proximate cause and negligence.

Every cell phone creates its own time stamp on texts and social media postings, and your car accident lawyer will connect that time stamp to the exact time of the accident to establish the other party’s liability.

Every year, California collects fines from several hundred thousand drivers who are convicted of using handheld smartphone or texting while they are driving. Using a smartphone is rapidly being treated as per se proof of negligence in an auto accident.

What to Do if You Are in an Accident Caused by a Distracted Driver

Drivers in Los Angeles are obligated to refrain from using their smartphones in ways that create distractions. If a distracted driver does collide with you, call the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at the Salamati Law Firm at your earliest opportunity. Our car accident attorneys will gather and preserve all proof of the distractions that caused the accident, including smartphone records, and will interview witnesses and analyze police reports before memories fade and the cause of the accident is thrown into question.

In theory, driverless cars will lead to substantial reductions and improved safety on roads and highways by reducing the level of human error that goes hand-in-hand with distracted driving. Until that happens, the auto accident attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm will help drivers and pedestrians who have been injured in distracted driving accidents to recover the compensation that is justly due to them.

Additional “California Distracted Driving” Resources:

  1. CA.gov, Cell Phones, Texting. It’s Not Worth it. It’s Just That Simple. http://test-www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Campaigns/Distracted_Driving.asp
  2. Mercury News, California’s Distracted Drivers More Common This Year, State Says. http://www.mercurynews.com/2015/07/14/californias-distracted-drivers-more-common-this-year-state-says/
  3. Distracted Driving Awareness Month – Take the Pledge to Drive Safely
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Bump Stock Manufacturer Target of Lawsuits After Las Vegas Shooting

November 12, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

In early October, Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more when he opened fire from a hotel window

Assault rifleIn early October, Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more when he opened fire from a hotel window in Las Vegas, Nevada. Recently, lawsuits began to be filed against multiple parties, among them the manufacturer of the bump stock that made his AK-47 semiautomatic gun into a weapon that acted like an automatic rifle, and thus capable of firing more rounds of ammunition more rapidly.

At least one of Paddock’s guns was fitted with a bump stock manufactured by Slide Fire Solutions, which is based in Texas.

Slide Fire One of Several Defendants Named in Suits

The first lawsuits have been filed by victims in the shooting incident, which targeted attendees at a country music festival across from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The owners of the hotel are also named as defendants in the suits, as are the promotors of the Route 91 Harvest music festival and Paddock’s estate.

One was filed by Paige Gasper, a 21-year-old Californian who is enrolled at Sonoma State University. Gasper was treated for broken ribs and lacerations of the liver.

It was filed in Nevada’s Clark County District Court. Regarding Slide Fire, the suit says the company did not provide sufficient instructions regarding how to operate bumpstock devices and failed to warn of the dangers bump stocks can represent.

A class-action suit against Slide Fire was also filed by The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control organization.

Hundreds more personal injury and wrongful death suits are possible as a result of the shooting.

Personal injury suits can allege liability if a reasonable person would conclude that a responsible party knew or should have known that something was dangerous, had sufficient time to rectify the danger, and did nothing about it.

Past Lawsuits Against Gun Manufacturers Largely Unsuccessful

In the past, however, suits filed against gun manufacturers have not been successful. Why? Federal laws often protect manufacturers from liability. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, for example, has been law since 2005 and protects manufacturers and sellers of guns from civil claims.

Family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting brought suits against the gun manufacturer, Remington Arms. The lawsuits were dismissed because of the Act.

Lawsuits against venues are more common. The early suits against Mandalay Bay allege that they should have noticed the many pieces of luggage and other items Paddock brought into the hotel, among other factors in the shooting. The items he brought in over several days contained multiple guns.

Victims of the Orlando mass shooting have also brought suits against the victim’s employers. Those suits are currently pending.

Shooting Victims Can Contact Southern California Personal Injury Lawyer Sean Salamati

The Salamati Law Firm has years of experience litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you were injured in the Las Vegas shooting in October, or if a loved one was injured or killed, don’t delay in contacting Sean Salamati, a dedicated, compassionate Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.

Your initial consultation comes at no cost and no obligation to you. Our firm charges you no fee unless we win your case. Call today and take the first step toward justice for the victims of this terrible tragedy.

Additional “Las Vegas shooting lawsuit” Resources:

  1. Castro, Karen. “Third Lawsuit Filed by Victim of 1 Oct. Mass Shooting.” LasVegasnow.com. October 13, 2017. http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/third-lawsuit-filed-by-victim-of-1-oct-mass-shooting/835131378.
  2. Lee, Kurtis and Jaweed Kaleem. “Las Vegas Survivors Take Aim At ‘Bump Stock’ Maker as Lawsuits Begin.” Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2017. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-las-vegas-lawsuits-20171012-story.html.
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“Bump Stock” Controversy Sparks Debate and Lawsuits

November 2, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

In the aftermath of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, the term

Group of people holding candle vigilIn the aftermath of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, the term “bump stock” became a household word and national point of contention. As legislators scramble to find ways to regulate the use of the firearm device, the manufacturer of the bump stock used in the Las Vegas massacre, Slide Fire Solutions, is facing a growing number of personal injury lawsuits filed by victims and the families of the deceased.

Were you or a loved one among the hundreds of unsuspecting victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1? Here at The Salamati Law Firm, our hearts go out to you at this terribly difficult time. No one should have to experience a tragedy such as this, but here in its aftermath our firm is dedicated to pursuing justice for those whose lives have been irreversibly altered by this terrible event.

Our personal injury lawyers are providing free legal consultations to victims of the Las Vegas shooting and their families. We’ll help you sort through your legal options so that you can make an informed decision about the best course of action for you and your family.

If you choose to file a lawsuit, liable parties may include the hotel owner, the concert organizers, the estate of Stephen Paddock — and the bump stock manufacturer. Please contact our dedicated, compassionate attorneys today to learn more about how we can help.

Las Vegas shooter relied on bump stock firearm device

On October 1, 2017, an unassuming man named Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel with an arsenal of firearms. From a window of his suite, the 64 year old opened fire on the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. In the few minutes between 10:05 and 10:15 PM (PDT), Paddock fired hundreds of rounds. Almost 550 concertgoers were injured. Fifty-eight were killed.

Paddock – who killed himself – has reignited the gun law debate that has held us captive for decades. But this time there has been a focus on bump stocks.

What is a bump stock?

A bump stock is a device one attaches to an existing semi-automatic rifle. Replacing the weapon’s built-in stock, it adds a spring to the firearm. Pressed into the shooter’s shoulder the bump stock literally bounces, or jerks, the rifle forward with each release of ammunition. This means the shooter does not have to pull the trigger as the trigger will move in his hand. The resultant rapid release of ammunition is akin to that of a machine gun.

Legislators try to address regulation of bump stocks

Before the shooting, bump stocks were known mostly in the firearm community. Now, the device is on everyone’s lips, from Congress to the NRA and anti-gun factions, right down to the couple standing behind you at Starbucks.

Everyone is wondering why a bump stock would be legal and easily acquired. According to special agent Jill Synder at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “The classification of these devices depends on whether they mechanically alter the function of the firearm to fire fully automatic. Bump-fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law.”

What we have here is a thin line of legality. While Washington has stated they are reviewing the bump stock classification, the fact is that the ATF did so in 2010 and decided the bump stock was a part, not a weapon, and ineligible for enforcement by the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act.

Legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, Kristen Rand says, “The ATF can’t do anything about bump stocks without a change to the statute. Basically, all they can determine is whether or not a device causes a gun to fire in fully automatic mode, and it’s banned, or it does not, in which case it can’t be regulated.”

Salamati Law Is a Resource for Victims and Families

Salamati Law will continue to zealously advocate on behalf of all victims of gun violence. If you or a loved one were a victim of the Las Vegas shooting in October, or any other instance of gun violence, please contact our dedicated wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

Additional “Bump Stock Lawsuit” Resources:

  1. CDC, Firearm Mortality by State, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm_mortality/firearm.htm
  2. Huffington Post, Here’s A List Of All The Gun Control Laws Congress Has Passed Since Newtown,  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gun-control-congress_us_566ec8dce4b011b83a6bc0cd
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3 Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians in Los Angeles

October 27, 2017 Pedestrian Accident Injuries

LA Times analysis revealed that nearly a quarter of traffic accidents occur at less than 1% of the intersections in

pedestrian crosswalk, buttonLA Times analysis revealed that nearly a quarter of traffic accidents occur at less than 1% of the intersections in LA. There is a disproportionately high rate of collisions in the high-density zones between Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. Pedestrians were injured in 1 in 10 traffic LA accidents from 2002-2013, and represented 35% of the fatalities. Over the last five years, city officials have added 200 miles of bike lanes, designed more high-visibility crosswalks, and promoted mass transit. However, urban planners say the city still has a long way to go.

Here are some of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in LA:

West 7th St. & Spring St. – Los Angeles (90014)

LA Walks listed 7th & Spring as one of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians in Los Angeles. This bustling location in downtown’s Fashion District is a few blocks from the Orpheum Theatre, the LA Live complex, Regent Theater, and Whole Foods. Four-lane, one-way streets present a challenge for walkers to complete their journeys in the allotted time. Speeding drivers going 45 mph frequently run red lights to avoid sitting at the “long” light. On average, 51 pedestrians are hit by cars in this intersection each year, according to a 2015 report. Some say lax police enforcement for motorists at this intersection is to blame. Others say the lights need to be reprogrammed to be more walker-friendly.

Devonshire St. & Reseda Blvd. – Northridge (91324)

The Devonshire Reseda Shopping Center attracts a lot of foot traffic with hair and nail salons, pet supply centers, coffee shops, a health club, dentists, dry cleaners, Walgreens, and a variety of restaurants. In 2015, there were 24 accidents resulting in 41 injuries. Fortunately, no one was killed, but some of the injuries have been severe. For instance, 33-year-old Olivia Almalel suffered spinal cord injuries after her Christmas Day pedestrian accident at Reseda and Devonshire in 2008. DOT engineers Nat Gale and Tim Fremaux are pushing for recommendations that would take pedestrian fatalities down to zero, such as: adjusting turn lane lights, changing lane striping, and tweaking pedestrian cross signals.

Slauson Avenue & Western Avenue – South LA (90047)

Multiple strip malls with shops like Home Depot, Big Lots, Little Caesars, Cash Express, and Walgreens are situated in this part of Southern Los Angeles, making it a hub of pedestrian and automobile activity. From 2002-2013, 41 pedestrians were struck by cars at Slauson and Western. In less than one year’s time (November 2014 – October 2015), there were six hit-and-run collisions. Urban Planner Deborah Murphy, head of Los Angeles Walks, says there is much work to be done here, in an area where pedestrians must cross five lanes of traffic for a total of 70 feet to reach safety. Adding taller buildings or arching trees and installing sharper curbs can force drivers to drive slower, while adding wheelchair and stroller ramps could streamline pedestrian traffic movements.

Find out what a Los Angeles personal injury attorney can do for you!

Crash investigators find that roughly 43% of drivers are at-fault in pedestrian/vehicle accidents. They may have been distracted by a cell phone at the time, speeding, running a red light, or driving while intoxicated. Other times, city officials knew of the dangers and failings of the crosswalk, but failed to act. A good personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help you build a case to win compensation for your injuries. You can receive money to cover all medical bills, lost time off work, reduced earning capacity, as well as emotional pain and suffering. Family members may be eligible to collect for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and reductions in income.

The Salamati Firm has been serving area residents for more than 20 years, with some big case results – including $2 million for a bicyclist hit by a car and $906,000 for a pedestrian struck by a truck. Contact us for a free, no-obligation case review.

Additional Resources for Dangerous Pedestrian Crossings in LA:

  1. LA Walks – Pedestrian Collision Map, http://www.losangeleswalks.org/pedcollisionmap/
  2. LA Streets Blog – A Walkability Prescription For Downtown Los Angeles, https://la.streetsblog.org/2015/09/22/a-walkability-prescription-for-downtown-los-angeles/
  3. Daily News – The 8 Most Dangerous Valley Intersections & What LAPD Is Doing About Them, http://www.dailynews.com/2016/03/27/the-8-most-dangerous-valley-intersections-and-what-lapd-is-doing-about-them/
  4. LA Times – LA Pedestrian Accidents, http://graphics.latimes.com/la-pedestrians/
  5. Vision Zero – Pedestrian Plan, http://visionzero.lacity.org/tag/pedestrian/
  6. LA Weekly – LA is America’s Deadliest Place For Walking, http://www.laweekly.com/news/la-is-americas-deadliest-place-for-walking-6552786
  7. Curbed – LA’s Most Dangerous Intersections, https://la.curbed.com/2015/12/14/10621154/los-angeles-most-dangerous-intersections-2015
  8. Curbed – Almost Half of California’s Most Dangerous Intersections Are In LA, https://la.curbed.com/2016/11/11/13601092/most-dangerous-intersections-los-angeles-southern-california
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How Much Does It Cost to Die in California?

October 26, 2017 Wrongful Death Claims

Other than cars and homes, funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make in the United States, says the

Headstones in a cemetary with many red tulipsOther than cars and homes, funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make in the United States, says the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau. Over the past decade, the average cost of a funeral has spiked nearly 40 percent, pushing some families, who are already mourning the loss of a loved one, into dire economic straits.

When a death is sudden and traumatic, families often make buying decisions based on pure emotion, wanting to purchase the finest casket and grandest service for their relative, without thinking about the bills.

Then there are those who suffer from protracted illnesses or degenerative diseases, tallying up massive bills for hospital stays, doctor visits and treatments before they pass. The underlying problem is that people don’t like to talk about their own mortality. It’s a depressing, morbid topic that tends to be avoided until it’s time to call the funeral home and make arrangements.

Given that every person must eventually face this difficult part of life, the costs of dying should not be overlooked. One of the best ways to ensure your loved ones don’t have to make these decisions during periods of tremendous emotional distress is to plan ahead.

It can also help save money. Cremation or burial? What type of flowers, casket or car service? How much does a burial plot cost in southern California?

By understanding the costs associated with dying, families can plan and budget accordingly.

Costs of dying in California

  • Transfer of remains to the funeral home: $200-$300
  • Cremation: Roughly 70 percent of Californians chose cremation over burial. This generally equates to lower costs, compared to other states. The median cost for a “basic” cremation in Los Angeles County ranges between $550 and $2,000.
  • Immediate burial (not including casket cost): Transfer to the funeral home, placement into the casket, and transfer to the grave site without formal viewing. From $650 to more than $4,300.
  • Casket: Funeral homes make big profits on caskets, marking them up nearly 300 percent above cost. The least expensive wood caskets average about $600, while metal caskets sell for between $1,500 and $4,000.
  • Funeral transportation: Use of a service car or hearse will cost between $150 and $320.
  • Embalming:  Embalming is necessary for open-casket funerals and usually costs between $500-700. Additional cosmetics, hairdressing or preparations will cost an extra $200-$400.
  • Viewing and ceremony:  Funeral homes charge, on average, $420 for viewing, and $500 for the funeral ceremony.
  • Burial plot: land scarcity in CA is driving up prices. At Whittier’s Rose Hills Memorial Park, plot prices start at $3,500 and go up. A crypt in Inglewood Park Cemetery comes with a price tag of $10,000.
  • Gravestone: Between $800 and $3,000 depending on size and adornment.
  • Clergy honorarium: Between $200 and $300
  • Basic service fees charged by funeral home: Includes filing paperwork, ordering death certificate, proper storage of the remains and overhead fees: $1,000 – $2,500
  • California death certificate: $14

According to data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral today costs between $8,000 and $10,000. In 2013, California Senate Bill 658 was passed, requiring funeral homes to post detailed price lists online. Those without websites are legally required to present all options and price points to consumers.

As veteran wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles, the team at Salamati Law encourages families to plan ahead and discuss their wishes for burial or cremation, before you’re confronted with a crisis situation.

Additional Resources on Cost of Dying in California:

  1. Orange County Register, What’s the price of death? In Orange County, funeral prices vary widely http://www.ocregister.com/2015/11/02/whats-the-price-of-death-in-orange-county-funeral-prices-vary-widely/
  2. HuffPost, This Is How Much An Average Funeral Costs https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-much-does-a-funeral-cost_us_5804c784e4b0f42ad3d264de
  3. US Funerals Online, Arranging a Funeral or Cremation in California http://www.us-funerals.com/funeral-articles/funerals-and-cremations-in-california.html#.WfD4z2hSxPY
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Do Mass Shooting Victims Have Legal Recourse?

October 24, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

It has become a regrettable sign of the times that mass shootings occur frequently around the country. From this summer’s

A fire engine races to the scene of an emergency.It has become a regrettable sign of the times that mass shootings occur frequently around the country. From this summer’s shootings in a San Francisco UPS facility to the October 1 rampage in Las Vegas, which targeted a concert attended by many Californians, armed shooters take the lives of innocent bystanders, injure many more, and cause widespread trauma.

Often the shooters are killed in the incidents, so they cannot be brought to justice at a criminal trial.

But do the victims of shootings have legal recourse even if the perpetrator is dead? After all, the injured were hurt and families have lost loved ones due to another party’s callous acts.

After a Mass Shooting, Civil Suits for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Are Possible

Victims of shootings do have legal recourse for gun crime. They can bring civil suits for personal injury or wrongful death. Civil suits can compensate the injured for medical care, suffering, and lost wages. They can also compensate families of the deceased for pain and suffering and related losses.

A personal injury claim in southern California can be brought against a party deemed negligent. Negligence means that the party knew or should have known that conditions were potentially harmful and did not rectify the situation within a reasonable period of time. Wrongful death claims can be brought against parties deemed negligent if death occurred.

In many shootings, victims have brought legal claims against parties that failed to provide proper security or enabled shooters to go forward with their crimes.

Victims of this summer’s UPS shootings in San Francisco, for example, have brought lawsuits against the company that provided security guards, United Parcel Service, and the landlord of the building where the shootings took place.

Victims of the Las Vegas shooting have begun to bring suits against the owner of the hotel where the gunman stayed, alleging that it was negligent to not have noticed the large packages he brought in, which were later determined to have concealed multiple weapons.

Lawsuits have also been brought against the makers of bump stocks, a device that allows guns to let out more bullets rapidly, and the promoter of the music festival, whose attendees constituted the majority of victims.

Call a Wrongful Death Lawyer Los Angeles Trusts

If you need a Southern California wrongful death lawyer, we can help. We have years of experience litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases. We will fight to see that justice is done.

Call the Salamati Law Firm for a free consultation today.

Additional resources on lawsuits filed by mass shooting victims and their families:

  1. Castro, Karen. “Third Lawsuit Filed by Victim of 1 Oct. Mass Shooting.” LasVegasnow.com. October 13, 2017. http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/third-lawsuit-filed-by-victim-of-1-oct-mass-shooting/835131378.
  2. Sernoffsky, Evan. “Victims in Mass Shooting at UPS Facility in SF File Lawsuits.” SFGate. September 13, 2017. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Victims-in-mass-shooting-at-UPS-facility-in-SF-12192098.php.
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Brain Injury Symptoms to Look for After a Car Accident

October 17, 2017 Auto Accidents

Many people know that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk after a car accident, especially one in which the

mri head scan brain injuryMany people know that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk after a car accident, especially one in which the head has been hit, jostled, or injured. It’s one of the reasons that standard care advice for people who have been in auto accidents is to visit a doctor. A concussion, for example, may not present symptoms immediately, but could have life-threatening consequences. A physician can help rule out brain injury, including concussion.

Brain Injuries After a Car Accident

Brain injuries are surprisingly common after an auto accident. Of the 2 million brain injuries suffered in the United States every year, more than 14% are caused by traffic accidents. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are the third most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), behind falls and being struck by an object.

Roughly 50,000 people die of TBI every year, and 17% of these fatalities are caused by vehicle collisions.

TBI also contributes to 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million emergency department visits annually, according to the CDC.

Be Aware of Brain Injury Symptoms

Given the widespread nature of brain injuries in the wake of car accidents in the Los Angeles area, it’s a good idea to be aware of both the nature of the injuries and their symptoms.

There are two types of brain injuries, in general: open and closed.

An open brain injury is one in which the head has been penetrated. If glass from a windshield or wreckage has penetrated the head, for example, a person may suffer an open brain injury.

In a closed brain injury, there is no penetration. However, the brain can be jostled severely in the cranium if the impact of an accident, for example, has caused the head to move back and forth. This is the type of injury that football players suffer, for example, and which can cause concussions.

  • Drowsiness and/or fatigue
  • Headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion and/or disorientation
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Dizziness and/or loss of balance
  • Pupils dilated, or unequally dilated
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing ears (tinnitus)
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Memory or concentration issues
  • Mood changes, including signs of being depressed, irritable, or anxious

A physician should check anyone who has been in a car accident involving the head for concussion. They will check pupil dilation, for instance.

These symptoms may not manifest immediately. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, being aware and monitoring possible symptoms is a very good idea.

Need a Brain Injury Lawyer in Southern California?  

If you need legal advice about an auto accident in the Los Angeles region, contact the Salamati Law Firm today. We are experienced Los Angeles auto accident attorneys. Our investigators can uncover the true causes of your accident and gather strong evidence to support your claim for monetary compensation. We are relentless in fighting for the rights of those who have had their lives drastically impacted due to injury in Southern California.

Your case will be reviewed by seasoned lawyers. An initial consultation is at no cost to you.

Additional “brain injury symptoms after a car accident” resources:

  1. Black, Peter M., Patricio C. Gargollo, and Adam C. Lipson, the Dana Foundation. Brain Trauma, Concussion, and Coma. Brainline. WETA Public Television. https://www.brainline.org/article/brain-trauma-concussion-and-coma.
  2. Masters, Jacob. Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injury. Brain Injury Society, October 27, 2014. http://www.bisociety.org/car-accidents-traumatic-brain-injury/.
  3. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. Basic Information. TBI: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
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