June 15, 2017 Elder Abuse

If your parents or elderly relatives and friends need care in a nursing home, it’s wise to visit and research

Elder AbuseIf your parents or elderly relatives and friends need care in a nursing home, it’s wise to visit and research all the available options. While there are excellent nursing homes, there are also, unfortunately, poor ones, where an elderly resident’s health or safety could be impaired. The reasons for poor care range from lack of trained personnel to attempts at cost-cutting on the part of the facility.

The Los Angeles elder abuse attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm present 4 warnings signs that a nursing home or assisted care facility may not be the best choice for you or your loved one:

Violations for health or safety reasons

The first place to start is to research any violations. The Medicare website, www.medicare.gov, has a searchable zip code database that will return any citations for health or safety violations. It is also a good idea to search by the name of the nursing home for any news stories, as well as checking into any state-specific databases. The good news is that nursing homes are highly regulated and inspected periodically. Health and safety violations have to be reported and corrected.

If you do find a violation, assess its severity and the likelihood of its affecting your loved one. Some violations may be for too many boxes stacked in a basement. Others might concern a patient with dementia being allowed to walk outside unattended. The latter is extremely serious, and could be cause for crossing the facility off your list.

Poor cleanliness and maintenance

Then, make an appointment to tour the facilities you have in mind. Is the nursing home clean? Are there odors or signs that it may not be? It is well-maintained? Are both general areas and rooms in a state of good repair? Lack of cleanliness and good maintenance are dangerous to elderly residents. Impaired cleanliness can cause health issues and be uncomfortable. Poor maintenance can make areas dangerous to walk or pass through. Be sure to tour both the interior and exterior.

If the tour takes you only to certain areas or floors, ask if you can see the areas not covered. In a bad nursing home, the first-floor common areas may be showpieces. Other floors may be in a less well maintained state.

High staff turnover

High staff turnover can be a sign that a nursing home is not well run. It may not recruit dedicated people, or pay them enough to stay. Inexperienced or constantly changing staff can negatively affect a nursing home resident’s care. Ask facility management how long their attendants and other staff stay onboard.

Negative interactions between staff and patients

As you tour the facility, be sure to observe the interactions between staff and residents. Staff should be friendly, respectful, and attentive. If you see interactions that criticize or demean the residents, cross the facility off your list. If residents seem afraid or child-like, it indicates that staff might be threatening or talk down to them. All are bad signs.

Experienced elder abuse attorneys in southern California

Elder abuse in nursing homes is a distressing problem. The Salamati Law Firm has an outstanding record of fighting for justice on the part of elder abuse victims and their families in the Los Angeles area.

If you need advice on an elder abuse case or a nursing home situation, please call us today. We will provide a complimentary consultation. Payment will come from any final jury award or settlement amount.

Additional “signs of a bad nursing home” resources:

  1. Blanchard, Sarah. “6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect.” NextAvenue. February 18, 2016. http://www.nextavenue.org/6-signs-of-nursing-home-neglect/
  2. Nursing Home Compare. Medicare.gov. https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html
Read More

California Motorcycle Accidents Spike During Summer Months

June 15, 2017 Motorcycle Accidents

When the temperatures climb upward and warm weather entices people outdoors, hospitals prepare for “trauma season.” California — renowned for

Biker riding on motorcycle near the river in the city.

When the temperatures climb upward and warm weather entices people outdoors, hospitals prepare for “trauma season.” California — renowned for its scenic byways, stunning coastal views and temperate climate – has nearly 1,000,000 registered motorcycles and is rated among the best states to enjoy this popular pastime. Summer’s balmy weather and longer days means even more motorcycles on the road, but it’s also a time marked by increasing numbers of crashes.

Motorcycle accidents often leave victims with incapacitating injury including broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury. Those motorcyclists who are lucky enough to survive a crash with a car or truck may be left paralyzed or grappling with other long-term disabilities.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015 – an 8.3% spike from the previous year. Due to Southern California’s large number of motorcycle enthusiasts, it’s not surprising that dozens of these fatalities occurred in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

Click Here to Call Our Office Now

Motorcycle accident statistics in California

The California Highway Patrol issues a comprehensive report of non-fatal and fatal motorcycle crashes through the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS). The most recent California statistics, issued in 2013, paint a sobering picture.

  • The number of motorcycle fatalities were highest between the months of April – August
  • ​11,780 motorcycle riders were harmed in collisions
  • ​More than 460 motorcyclists were killed
  • Motorcyclists were, for every mile traveled, 26 times more likely to die in a crash compared to passenger car drivers and occupants

Traffic safety experts caution that many of these crashes occur at busy intersections or in situations where a motorist makes a left hand turn directly into the biker. Statistics also show that nearly a quarter of all injury accidents involved motorcyclists who were impaired by alcohol (with a BAC above the legal limit).

Research coupled with anecdotal evidence show that experience, age and the type and size of motorcycle also factor in to the chances of being involved in an accident. In California, riders between the ages of 25 and 34 are at highest risk of being involved in a crash. More than 40 percent of motorcycle deaths occurred on “sport” bikes with large engines ranging more than 500 cc’s.

Regardless of age, level of experience or type of bike used, motorcyclists are encouraged to stay ultra -vigilant on the road this summer. Wearing a DOT-approved helmet, protective gear and being prepared for the unexpected can go a long way toward preventing a serious injury accident.

At the Salamati Law Firm,  we encourage you to have fun, but ride smart in California. In the event you are injured by a negligent driver, our legal team will fight hard to ensure you are properly compensated for medical expenses, property damage to your bike, lost wages and your pain and suffering.

Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney

To learn more about filing a personal injury claim, contact a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer at Salamati Law today. The case evaluation is free, and we operate on a “no win no fee” basis, so there are never any upfront legal costs.

Have you been injured? Click here to call us for a FREE consultation!

Additional Motorcycle Accident Statistics Resources:

  1. California Highway Patrol, 2013 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions https://www.chp.ca.gov/programs-services/services-information/switrs-internet-statewide-integrated-traffic-records-system/switrs-2013-report
  2. NHTSA, Motorcycles https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles
  3. CA Office of Traffic Safety, CALIFORNIA TRAFFIC SAFETY QUICK STATS http://www.ots.ca.gov/OTS_and_Traffic_Safety/Score_Card.asp
Read More

What Duty Do Store Owners Have to Visitors in California?

June 7, 2017 Premises Liability Lawsuits

Store owners have a legal “duty of care” to maintain their properties in a safe condition for shoppers. Money, vigilance,

caution wet floor signStore owners have a legal “duty of care” to maintain their properties in a safe condition for shoppers. Money, vigilance, and planning on the part of California shop keepers is required to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring on their properties.

Property owners must anticipate all potential hazards, follow municipal building codes, train employees, and create routine supervisory and maintenance routines to ensure a safe environment.

What does it mean to “make a reasonable effort” to maintain a property?

Sometimes all it takes is a word of caution to free store owners of liability. Putting up a caution sign to warn customers of a wet floor is one of the easiest steps a store owner can take to reduce negligence – but, surprisingly, case after case shows that employees are mopping without putting up caution signs, leading unsuspecting customers to slip.

Hazardous situations can arise suddenly in a store environment, posing a challenge to store owners to keep their properties maintained. For instance, in 2012, a California Costco shopper slipped on a puddle of liquid soap that had accumulated over time and shattered her knee cap. Several employees had passed and noticed the spill, but failed to clean it up. Costco was ordered to pay over $400,000 for the woman’s medical bills, pain, and suffering.

The courts expect store owners to have routine safety procedures in place and “make a reasonable effort” to maintain order. In another famous California slip-and-fall case, a woman sued Costco when she slipped on a pot sticker food sample and shattered her tail bone. A store policy was in place that had employees inspecting the floor on an hourly basis, and the incident occurred within that window of time. The jury sided with Costco that hourly inspections should be sufficient enough to prevent most injuries.

Dangerous conditions in stores that lead to injuries

Other examples of overlooked safety issues include:

  • Improper stacking of heavy objects above the reach of the typical customer
  • Overloading store aisles or poor placement of merchandise
  • Failing to monitor the store for new hazards
  • Failure to promptly respond to known spills and water leaks
  • Problems with lighting
  • Loose handrails
  • Broken stairs
  • Failure to regularly inspect and maintain escalators
  • Noncompliance with local municipal building codes or fire regulations
  • Parking lot imperfections

Proving a premises liability claim

Essentially, by California State Negligence Law, the plaintiff’s case must establish:

  1. A dangerous condition existed at the store.
  2. An injury occurred that was directly related to the dangerous condition.
  3. The injured victim suffered damage and loss as the result of the accident.
  4. The store owner knew (or should have known) about the danger.
  5. The store owner failed to take steps to remedy the dangerous condition.

Store owners can raise the following defenses:

  • “There was no hazard on the premises.”
  • “The plaintiff could have easily avoided the situation.”
  • “The plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the hazard.”
  • “The accident occurred where customers are not allowed.”
  • “Proper signage warned of the danger.”
  • “Reasonable steps were taken to make the property safer.”

Experienced store injury attorneys in Los Angeles, California

The Salamati Firm successfully represents individuals who have been injured while shopping in Los Angeles, California. Property owners often deny liability, placing the burden of proof on the plaintiff. Our experienced team is adept at compiling all the expert witnesses and supporting documents required to build a strong case, whether in settlement negotiations or in court. Over the past decade, we have secured millions of dollars on behalf of our store slip-and-fall clients.

Consider some of the following recent premises liability verdicts secured on behalf of our clients:

  • A Sears customer received $375,000 in settlement after fracturing a knee that required surgery from a fall on a wet bathroom floor. No caution signs were placed at the scene.
  • A shopping center customer received $337,500 in settlement for injuries sustained to both knees, resulting in medical bills of $10,000 and the future possibility of knee replacement surgery. Our client fell over a one-inch piece of metal protruding from the lot, where someone had attempted to remove a disabled parking sign.
  • A 30-year-old UCLA medical assistant shopping at Sam’s Club received $575,000 after her slip-and-fall on a wet floor resulted in a torn meniscus requiring knee surgery. Her doctor diagnosed her with arthritis and predicted the need for future knee replacement.

Get in touch with a friendly and compassionate Los Angeles premises liability lawyer at 888-259-4060 for a free no-obligation consultation.

Additional “store owner liability in California” resources:

  1. Pasadena Star News, Covina woman awarded $415,000 following slip and fall at Industry Costco, http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/article/zz/20120307/NEWS/120308260
  2. Press Democrat, Santa Rosa Costco cleared in ‘pot sticker’ case, http://www.pressdemocrat.com/csp/mediapool/sites/PressDemocrat/News/story.csp?cid=2297573&sid=555&fid=181
Read More

How to Recover Maximum Compensation after a Car Accident

June 7, 2017 Auto Accidents

Whether you’re involved in a minor fender bender or a major accident, it’s important to know your legal rights to

Car accidentWhether you’re involved in a minor fender bender or a major accident, it’s important to know your legal rights to seek compensation from at-fault drivers.

Driving around Los Angeles and the surrounding areas can be a risky endeavor. Traffic accidents are common on California’s congested highways and roads, and a good many of these collisions involve catastrophic injuries and loss of life.

“Damages” recovered in personal injury cases attempt to put a value on your injuries and financial losses. A qualified car accident attorney can assist you in the process of filing a claim for car accident compensation that should cover direct financial expenses (such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc) as well as emotional and indirect costs.

California time limits for filing a car accident claim

In the state of California, injured parties have exactly two years to file a personal injury claim for monetary damages after a car accident. There are certain exceptions to this statute of limitations, which your legal counsel can outline if applicable.

In addition, there are several parties that may be sued in an attempt to recover maximum compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, potential defendants may include:

  • Another driver whose negligent or reckless behavior caused the crash
  • The owner of the vehicle if it was being borrowed at the time
  • Employers (who may be liable for employee’s actions during work hours)
  • Mechanics in situations attributed to poor workmanship
  • Government entities responsible for road defects or hazards
  • Auto manufacturers responsible for vehicle defects or recalled parts
  • Your insurance company for UM/UIM claims

What types of damages can you recover?

Following any type of motor vehicle accident, it’s critical to assess the full extent of your physical, emotional and financial losses. How has the accident affected your family and loved ones? What is the extent of your physical harm and mental anguish and will your injuries prevent you from returning to work?

A reputable attorney will thoroughly evaluate the scope and gravity of your car accident injuries, medical bills and related suffering to properly estimate the value of your case. It is the goal of your lawyer to maximize your settlement amount, ensuring you are justly compensated for all present and future expenses.

A car accident claim may seek different types of damages including:

Compensatory damages for all past, present and future hospital and medical bills, lost income, property damage and loss of future earning capacity.

General damages are a separate category of damages that are more subjective in nature. These include:

Because each injury claim is unique, there is no calculator to determine the exact amount of damages you can recover. It is largely up to the merits of your case and the skill of your lawyer to build a strong case that accurately documents the extent of your “general damages.” This may entail expert testimony from medical professionals who can attest to the long-term implications of your injury.

Aggressive car accident representation

The Salamati Law Firm has a reputation for success both in and out of the courtroom, and for more than 20 years has helped clients win fair compensation in their personal injury claims. Our team has the expertise, resources and legal know-how to maximize your settlement offer, and takes on all cases on a contingent-fee basis. The consultation is free and without obligation to proceed. Speak with a Los Angeles car accident attorney today by calling 888-259-4060.

Additional “Car Accident Compensation” Resources:

  1. DMV.org, Damages in Personal Injury Cases http://www.dmv.org/insurance/compensation-for-auto-accident-personal-injury-claims.php
  2. California Department of Insurance, So You’ve Had an Accident, What’s Next? http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/hadaccident.cfm
  3. California Legislative Information, CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE – CCP http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CCP&sectionNum=335.1
Read More

Is California a No-Fault Car Insurance State?

June 2, 2017 Auto Accidents

When working with clients who have been injured in Los Angeles, one of the questions we are often asked at the Salamati

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtWhen working with clients who have been injured in Los Angeles, one of the questions we are often asked at the Salamati Law Firm is whether California is a “no-fault” state.

The answer is that California is not a no-fault state, so a personal injury claimant needs to be able to prove the defendant’s negligence before being allowed to recover. Given the extreme traffic situation the greater Los Angeles area experiences, this rule affects a lot of personal injury victims.

Traffic accidents in Los Angeles

If you live or work in Los Angeles, chances are you spend a lot of time in traffic. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that area drivers spend an average of 104 hours per year driving in congestion – more than drivers in any other city in the world. This is more than double the U.S. average of 42 hours spent in traffic annually.

Between the heavy volume of traffic and the time spent behind the wheel, the likelihood of being injured in an auto accident in the region is relatively high. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as of 2010 the number of traffic accidents was dropping, but it was still the third leading cause of death or serious injury among county residents.

California law and the difference between fault and no-fault

About a dozen states and Puerto Rico follow a no-fault system that restricts lawsuits to only those cases where there are very serious injuries or very expensive losses. In those states, the victim need not prove that the other driver was at fault, and the injury claim is made against the victim’s own no-fault insurance policy.

California, on the other hand, follows a fault-based system for personal injury claims that require victims to be able to prove that the other party was at fault before recovering from an accident. This is true whether making a claim directly against a party in court or negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company. Under this system, injured parties can generally recover for both major and minor injuries or damages, and if the other driver is uninsured then they can seek recovery under their own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist provision.

California’s fault-based system provides a greater opportunity for a victim to be made whole, but it places an obligation on the plaintiff to present compelling evidence and theories of legal liability. Working with a seasoned personal injury lawyer ensures a victim presents the most advantageous case to increase the likelihood of recovery.

Speak with a Los Angeles auto accident lawyer

Even if your injuries are severe, there is a burden on you to prove that the other party’s negligence caused the accident. Speaking with an LA car accident attorney who understands how to present your best case is the first step toward financial recovery.

To learn more about how to protect your rights after an accident, call us today. We offer a free confidential consultation and we never take a fee unless we win your case.

Additional California No-Fault Resources:

  1. California Department of Insurance, So You’ve Had an Accident, What’s Next?, http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/01-auto/hadaccident.cfm
  2. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Motor Vehicle Traffic Injuries in Los Angeles County, http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/pdf_reports/MVT%20Data%20Resources%20Handout%20v2.pdf
  3. Los Angeles Times, No surprise here: Los Angeles is the world’s most traffic-clogged city, study finds, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-traffic-los-angeles-20170220-story.html
Read More

Timeline of a Slip and Fall Lawsuit

May 31, 2017 Slip Trip and Fall

If you are injured after slipping and falling, it’s helpful to know the timeline for bringing a slip and fall

If you are injured after slipping and falling, it’s helpful to know the timeline for bringing a slip and fall lawsuit against liable parties. Depending on the complexity of your case, a slip and fall case could last several months or several years.

There are a number of steps in a slip and fall case. Read on, or contact a slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles today to find out more.

1. The Complaint

caution wet floor sign at a corridor

The “complaint” is the official legal term for the document that states your case. It explains what happened and why. It names the parties. It declares who the plaintiff believes is responsible, and what the plaintiff wants in redress from the defendant. Your slip and fall lawyer will draw up the complaint, using information you supply.

After the complaint is completed, it must be filed in court. It is also served to the defendant. “Served” means delivered.

2. The Answer

A summons to the defendant requiring the defendant to officially respond to the complaint is served when the complaint is filed.

The response must be made within a specific time period (often 20 working days).

The response is legally termed the “Answer”. The Answer must either agree or disagree with each point of the Complaint. It may also specify that the defendant does not have sufficient information on a point.

Click Here to Call Our Office Now

An Answer can contain the grounds for a defense. It may, for example, state that the defendant did not know about the condition that caused the slip and fall. To prove negligence in a slip and fall lawsuit, plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer must prove that the defendant knew or should have known about the condition.

3. Discovery

Discovery is a stage of every legal case. It is where information is obtained about the case. Attorneys can discover information by asking written questions that must be answered under oath. These are termed “interrogatories.” They can also discover via requesting material things and documents. These are termed “requests for production.”

Discovery phases are one of the most elastic in a court case. The time discovery takes depends very much on what is asked for, how much, when it is received, and the schedule of the court. It can take three months to several years.

Have you been injured? Click here to call us for a FREE consultation!

4. Pre-Trial Motions

Not all cases involve pre-trial motions, but they can. The most common are Motion to Dismiss, which asks the case to be dismissed on the grounds of a legal technicality, and Motion to Compel, which asks the court to require something that a party to the suit has not moved to do. Motions can add time to a case.

One type of motion, a Summary Judgement, alleges that there are no facts to support the case. If granted, a case cannot go forward. This can shorten the case.

5. Settlement Conferences and Mediation

As the Discovery phase nears its end, either the parties or a judge may request a mediation (the parties) or a settlement conference (a judge). This typically happens if the facts are not really in dispute and the parties simply need to agree on damages.

No fee unless we win. Click to call for a free consultation!

6. Trial

If there is no settlement conference or mediation, the case is set on a schedule once Discovery is over. A docket number will be given.

Slip and fall trials usually take from two to three days.

7. Judgement Collection

Collection is not immediate. A defendant has from 30 to 60 days to settle a judgement.

Experienced Slip and Fall Attorneys in Southern California

Slip and fall accidents can be complicated to prove. The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys of Salamati Law have an exceptional record of obtaining justice for their clients in slip and fall cases in the Los Angeles area.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, call us today. We will provide a complimentary consultation. If we take your case, you owe us nothing up front. Payment will come from any final jury award or settlement amount.

Click here to call now for a FREE consultation!

Additional “slip and fall lawsuit timeline” resources:

  1. National Safety Council. Slips, Trips and Falls. http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Advocacy/Fact%20Sheets/Slips-Trips-and-Falls.pdf
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Home and Recreational Safety. Older Adult Falls. Important Facts About Falls. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html
Read More

Texting and Driving: The Shocking True Statistics

May 25, 2017 Auto Accidents

Back in 2007, Washington was our nation’s first state to ban texting while driving. A decade later and 46 more

Using a phone while driving a car

Back in 2007, Washington was our nation’s first state to ban texting while driving. A decade later and 46 more states plus the District of Columbia have passed similar legislation. Despite anti-texting laws in California and elsewhere, car accidents due to texting while driving continue to be a nationwide epidemic, claiming thousands of innocent lives each year. With the widespread popularity of smartphones, texting has become an integral part of daily life. Using apps like Viber and Whatsapp to send and receive written messages, voice communications, photos and video is commonplace among Americans of all ages – especially when behind the wheel.

Texting and driving is exceedingly dangerous for numerous reasons. The very act of texting takes your eyes off the road and detracts your attention away from driving and surrounding hazards. While most Americans support a ban on texting while driving and understand the inherent risks involved, a staggering number of people continue this perilous activity. Whether ignorant or simply fueled by the justification that they can text and steer without crashing, national statistics show the harsh reality of the dangers.

Here are 10 shocking statistics about this growing problem.

10 shocking texting & driving statistics

  1. 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the United States involve texting and driving.
  2. 25 percent of teenagers respond to a text at least once every time they drive.
  3. Each year, an estimated 330,000 serious car accidents are caused by people who text while driving.
  4. Every day, some 11 teens die in texting and driving crashes.
  5. Motorists who text while driving are 6 times more likely to get into an accident compared to those who drive drunk.
  6. According to AAA, two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 19 and 24 have admitted to reading a text message while driving in the last month.
  7. Reading a text while driving takes your eyes and concentration off the road for a minimum of 5 seconds.
  8. If traveling at 55 mph, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.
  9. You are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if you are texting and driving.
  10. According to the FCC, 11 percent of drivers ages 18-20 who were involved in non-fatal car accidents admitted they were texting at the time of their accidents.

The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that a whopping 80 percent of all vehicle accidents in the state involve some sort of driver inattention, be it texting, talking on a cell phone or other distracting activities. Under a new law that went into effect on January 1, 2017, California drivers are banned from operating or even holding their cell phones for any purpose unless it is mounted to the windshield or dashboard. Only time will tell if this legislation will help reduce the number of traffic injuries and deaths.

Injured by a texting driver in Los Angeles?

The law affords remedies to victims of distracted drivers. If you or someone you love was hurt because of a texting driver, The Salamati Law Firm is here to help. Sean Salamati offers free consultations to prospective clients and is a talented Los Angeles car accident lawyer with decades of experience handling personal injury claims throughout L.A. and Southern California. Call us today at 888-259-4060.

Additional Texting and Driving Statistics Resources:

  1. Wired, Texting and Driving Isn’t a Millennial Problem. It’s an Engineering Problem https://www.wired.com/2017/02/texting-driving-isnt-millennial-problem-engineering-problem/
  2. Icebike.org, the 25 Scariest Texting and Driving Accident Statistics http://www.icebike.org/texting-and-driving/
  3. Council of State Governments, Texting While Driving in 2016 http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/content/texting-while-driving-2016-0
Read More

What To Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog

May 25, 2017 Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites can happen in an instant but leave lasting injuries, medical bills, and even a post-traumatic fear of dogs.

Dog bites can happen in an instant but leave lasting injuries, medical bills, and even a post-traumatic fear of dogs. What you do immediately after a dog bite can help minimize the dangerous long-term effects. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is crucial to take care of the wound, obtain vital information about the dog, and always put safety first.

Reduce risk after a dog bite

Furious barking dogAccording to doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, infection is the biggest threat that follows a dog bite. A dog bite infection could require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics, so put safety first – follow these steps to reduce the chances of infection.

  1. Wash the bite carefully and thoroughly. Use soap and water but avoid alcohol because it can slow healing. Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic; about half of all dog bites introduce bacteria into the wound so the threat of infection is great.
  2. Unless the wound is large enough to cause serious blood loss, do not try to stop the bleeding – it can help flush bacteria out. Do wrap a sterile bandage to keep the area clean though, and change it often.
  3. If you do not know the dog, pay attention to anything that can identify it but do not try to hold it or stop it from leaving. Fighting a violent dog puts you at risk for further injury. Instead, call animal control to look for the animal and also call 911 because you many need to start rabies vaccinations.
  4. If you do know the dog’s owner, try to obtain proof of the rabies vaccination. Follow up with the dog’s veterinarian to confirm that the shots are up to date.
  5. When dog bites do get infected, the infection tends to be severe. See your doctor within eight hours of the bite, when the chances of preventing an infection are greatest. Be extra careful not to delay if you have diabetes or a compromised immune system.

Dog bite liability in Los Angeles

Anyone whose dog bites a person in or around Los Angeles is subject to the dog bite laws written in the California Civil Code. The old adage “every dog gets the first bite free” does not apply in California – according to the Code, the owner of a dog that bites someone is liable for damages even if the dog did not have a history of viciousness or the owner did not know of its prior viciousness.

Under the Code, once a dog has bitten someone, its owner must take reasonable steps to protect others from the same danger. After two bites by the same dog on separate occasions, any person can bring an action to have a court determine the steps needed to prevent further injury to humans.

Dog bite lawyer in Los Angeles

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog attack, choose a personal injury lawyer who is ready to fight for your rights. For a free consultation with Los Angeles dog bite lawyer Sean Salamati, call today!

Additional Dog Bite Resources:

  1. Cleveland Clinic, If a Dog Bites You, Do These 7 Things Now, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/10/if-a-dog-bites-you-do-these-7-things-now/
  2. County of Los Angeles Public Health, California Civil Code, http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/procs/civildog.htm
Read More

Expenses for Serious Accident-Related Injuries

May 20, 2017 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Recent data from the National Safety Council (NSC) underscores the severe economic impact of auto accident injuries in our nation.

Policeman at road accident sceneRecent data from the National Safety Council (NSC) underscores the severe economic impact of auto accident injuries in our nation. Every year, millions of Americans suffer serious physical harm in motor vehicle accidents. In 2016, this figure included more than 4.6 million people.  The NSC estimates that the total cost of motor vehicle injuries, property damage and deaths was a staggering $432 billion in 2016. This figure includes hospital and medical expenses, wage and productivity loss, employer costs, as well as property damage.

Whether caused by alcohol impairment, cell phone distractions or just plain negligence, motor vehicle accidents can leave victims with catastrophic injuries that require costly, long-term medical treatment.  According to NSC data, the average economic cost of a non-fatal, yet incapacitating injury was $80,700, while the median cost of a non-disabling injury was $24,000.

Let’s take a closer look at the average costs and expenses associated with catastrophic accident injuries that can overwhelm victims and their families. In some of these accidents, litigation is the most effective means to recover compensation from negligent parties needed to pay costs of treatment.

Traumatic Brain Injury

An estimated two million Americans are living with the lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which often causes cognitive impairment, loss of motor function, memory problems and losses in emotional stability. Minor to moderate traumatic brain injuries entail hospitalization, diagnostic tests, medication, and doctor’s visits, which can easily rack up bills of more than $20,000. Depending on the severity and nature of the brain trauma, the median lifetime cost of care for a TBI victim can range from $80,000 to over $2 million. Statistics show that TBI patients requiring rehabilitation will incur nearly $200,000 in medical expenses in the first year alone.  Those who suffer moderate to severe traumatic brain injury will typically incur expenses for: hospital stays, surgery, neurologist fees, acute care, in-home modifications, prescription medications, vocational and psychiatric therapy to address emotional changes, as well as assistive medical devices. The CDC reports that direct and indirect medical costs for patients with severe traumatic brain injury can exceed more than $1,875,000 over the course of a lifetime.

Spinal Cord Injury

Falls and motor vehicle collisions are two of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, which may result in partial or complete paralysis of the limbs. Figures gathered by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation highlight the enormous costs of living with a spinal cord injury. Even minor injuries that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment. The estimated lifetime cost for a 25-year old spinal cord injury victim with incomplete motor function is $1,578,274. Those who suffer high tetraplegia will likely face a staggering $1,064,716 for medical expenses in the first year alone, and nearly $200,000 in medical care expenses each following year. Some patients who suffer spinal cord injuries never fully recover, and the vast majority are saddled with astronomical hospital bills and financial burdens that can place entire families on the brink of bankruptcy.

Severe burn injuries

Fiery car accidents can leave motorists with life-threatening burns over large portions of their bodies. Third or fourth degree burn require lengthy recoveries and, oftentimes painful skin graft surgeries. Victims may suffer from skin loss, nerve damage, injury to the soft tissues, as well as chronic pain. Treatment costs will vary on the severity of the burn, the type of scarring and disfigurement suffered and the number of skin grafting and reconstructive surgeries needed, but can easily exceed more than $200,000.

Car accident attorney in Los Angeles

If you or someone you love suffered serious car accident injuries in California, contact The Salamati Law Firm for a free case evaluation. Our highly skilled Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can determine if you have a viable claim for compensation, and will help you secure monetary damages for related medical expenses, rehabilitation as well as lost wages and future loss of earnings. Call our law firm today to discuss your claim with a veteran car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.

Additional Accident Injury Cost Resources:

Read More

May Is Motorcycle Safety Month

May 12, 2017 Motorcycle Accidents

May is Motorcycle Safety Month across the nation. Unfortunately, even though motorcycles constitute just 3% of all registered vehicles and

Driver riding motorcycle on the empty asphalt road

May is Motorcycle Safety Month across the nation. Unfortunately, even though motorcycles constitute just 3% of all registered vehicles and are responsible for just 0.7% of all the miles traveled in the United States, motorcycle drivers and passengers made up 14% of all fatalities in traffic in 2014, the last year for which statistics are available. They made up 4% of all vehicle occupant injuries that year as well.

Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists died in vehicle crashes in 2015, both drivers and passengers. The same year, there were 88,000 injuries on motorcycles.

Almost 33% of riders in 2014 showed alcohol impairment. Over 30% of motorcycle accidents in 2015 involved speeding.

Helmets are key to motorcycle safety

The data is clear on one key safety point. A helmet is a motorcyclist’s friend, and the single most crucial piece of safety equipment for motorcyclists, both drivers and passengers.

Of total motorcycle fatalities in 2015, 1,922 drivers and passengers had no helmet on. That’s roughly 38% of total fatalities.

Drivers should be aware of the following facts when buying a helmet:

  • The most protection is provided by a full-coverage helmet.
  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) guarantees that the helmet incorporates legal safety standards. Helmets display a DOT sticker verifying these safety standards.
  • Do not purchase a used helmet.

Click Here to Call Our Office Now

Re-entry motorcycle riders at greater risk of injury

One group needs to take special care to ensure they ride safely. That is “re-entry riders.” These are motorcyclists who began riding in their 20s and then re-entered in their late 40s to 60s. This group alone suffered 35% of total fatalities on motorcycles in 2015.

One issue is that traffic conditions have changed since re-entry riders were younger. There is more traffic nearly everywhere. Distracted driving was an issue that rarely existed 20 to 40 years ago, and is very prevalent now.

Bikes are more powerful now, and re-entry riders may not be used to them. In addition, the reaction time, strength, and resilience of re-entry riders may not be what it once was.

Re-entry riders are urged to reacquaint themselves with safety procedures and best practices on a bike.

Watch out for drivers of other vehicles

Cars, trucks, and vans make up the majority of vehicles on the road by far. They are larger than motorcycles and thus can cause significant injury or death in a crash. Motorcyclists, even with helmets, are not protected as much as drivers of other vehicles.

Second, in the event of a vehicle/motorcycle collision, it is often the fault of the other vehicle not respecting the motorcycle’s right of way, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The reasons? There are four:

  • The size of motorcycles and the failure of other motorists to “read” the traffic for motorcycles often means they aren’t noticed in the same way as other vehicles.
  • Vehicle drivers don’t anticipate moves like lane changes on the part of motorcycles.
  • A vehicle driver’s vision may be obstructed by blind spots or other vehicles in the way.
  • Vehicle drivers may be driving distractedly, either due to smartphone use or other sources.

It is imperative that motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers drive defensively to avoid accidents.

Experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Southern California

Motorcycle accidents result in fatalities, injuries, and damage to property every year in the Los Angeles area and around the country.

If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in a motorcycle accident, the Salamati Law Firm can help. We are experienced in motorcycle law and precedent. Payment will come from any final jury award or settlement amount. Call today for a complimentary consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles.

No fee unless we win. Click to call for a free consultation!

Additional motorcycle safety resources:

  1. National Safety Council. Injury Facts: The Source for Safety Data. http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/injury-facts.aspx
  2. National Safety Council. Motorcycle Safety Is a Two-Way Street. http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/Motorcycle-Safety.aspx
  3. U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motorcycle Safety Foundation. National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, Table of Contents. https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/00-NHT-212-motorcycle/toc.html
Read More