How Long Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Last?

January 23, 2019 Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that results from a jolt impacting the head, a direct blow to

Doctor analyzing human skull x-rayA traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that results from a jolt impacting the head, a direct blow to the head, or rapid movement of the head back and forth. TBIs contribute to almost 50,000 fatalities annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and are at least a factor in roughly 30% of all deaths from injuries. In the last year for which statistics are available, approximately 2.8 million hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and fatalities occurred that were related to TBIs.

The Length of a TBI Can Vary Widely

How long can a TBI last? If we focus on the effects of a TBI, the length can range from a few days to the rest of a patient’s life. That’s because, even though TBIs can be characterized as one type of possible injury, the actual injuries one can sustain vary widely. One of the most common types of TBI, for example, is a concussion, which results from the brain being jostled back and forth inside the skull. Patients can recover from the effects of a mild concussion with appropriate bed rest and lack of activity within several weeks.

But the impact of other types of TBIs can be much more serious. Severe head injury can cause multiple effects, including difficulty in cognition, dizziness, and loss of focus. Physically, severe head injuries can cause motor and muscle impairment. Both these types of symptoms may resolve with appropriate medical interventions and therapy. But others may be permanent.

Impact on the Brain?

There is also a growing body of evidence that even TBIs that seem to successfully resolve may cause lasting injury to the brain. Some studies indicate that concussions sustained relatively early in life, in high school or college sports, for example, have left an impact on the brain that may manifest later.

There is also some evidence that repeated concussions, even if the person seems to recover, can lead to increased brain impairment and psychological symptoms such as depression.

As a result, the answer to the question “how long can TBIs last?” has become more complicated. Researchers are still studying whether TBIs that appear to have healed by all outward appearances have left injuries on the brain.

Experienced TBI Attorneys in Southern California

If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI, you have our sympathy. Serious TBIs can affect your life permanently, with both physical and psychological symptoms. Your ability to hold a job, interact with family and friends, and your quality of life can all be negatively affected.

In addition, you may face steep medical bills for hospital, doctor, and therapeutic treatments.

If you need to talk to an experienced TBI lawyer in the Los Angeles area, call Sean Salamati today at 800-957-9898. The Salamati Law Firm has an exceptional record of obtaining justice for their TBI clients.
We will provide a complimentary consultation. Payment comes from any final jury award or settlement amount.

Additional Resources:

  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recovery from Concussion. https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/basics/concussion_recovery.html.
  2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TBI: Get the Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html.
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Who is Responsible for Slip and Fall Accidents at the Airport?

January 23, 2019 Slip Trip and Fall

Plane crashes and acts of terrorism are most likely to come to mind when you think of injuries at the

Traveler with suitcase in airport concept.Young girl  walking with carrying luggage and passenger for tour travel booking ticket flight at international vacation time in holiday rest and relaxation.

Plane crashes and acts of terrorism are most likely to come to mind when you think of injuries at the airport or on planes. But many other, less violent accidents occur every day at airports and planes around the world. In fact, airports are prime locations for slip and fall accidents, given that they are typically chaotic places full of hectic passengers rushing to get to their gates on time. If you slipped, fell, and sustained in juries in an airport or on a plane, or if you sustained any other injuries from rogue food carts or falling baggage, it’s in your best interests to consult a slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible. Learn about your legal rights and determine if you could have the basis to file a lawsuit. You shouldn’t have to pay for injuries that were someone else’s fault.

What happens if you slip and fall at an airport?

Airport slip and fall cases can be particularly tricky, which is why it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience in this area. These cases are complicated by the presence of multiple businesses within the airport. In any given airport, there can be dozens of restaurants, shops, and similar establishments. The question of who is at fault for your injury depends on exactly where you were in the airport when you slipped and fell.

For example, if you were dining at an eatery and slipped on some liquid that a waiter had left on the floor, then the lawsuit may be filed against that eatery. But if you were injured in a main area of the airport, away from an individual establishment, then you may file the lawsuit against the airport itself. On the other hand, if you tripped and fell on an uneven airplane ramp, then the lawyer might determine that it’s most appropriate to file the claim against the airline responsible for maintaining that ramp.

What happens if you’re injured on a plane?

Airlines are legally responsible for doing everything possible to ensure the safety of all passengers. That includes ensuring a safe passage down each aisle. In some cases, a slip and fall on an airplane may be found to be the fault of the airline itself. Even in cases of “acts of God,” such as in-flight turbulence, the airline might be held liable if it’s determined that the pilot failed to check the weather conditions or that the attendants failed to properly advise passengers to fasten their seatbelts when appropriate.

Where to find legal help in Los Angeles, California

Learn about your legal options and rights, and get your case evaluated by an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney. The Salamati Law Firm has been helping accident victims in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer Sean Salamati provides vigorous legal representation in and out of the courtroom to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other losses. Call the Salamati Law Firm at 855-338-0812 today to find out if you may have a case.

Additional resources for slip and fall victims:

  1. Travel Channel, How to Stay Safe at the Airport, https://www.travelchannel.com/roam-blog/news-deals/how-to-stay-safe-at-the-airport
  2. Quartzy, Overstuffed Carry-On Bags Are Causing a Serious Safety Hazard, Say Flight Attendants, https://qz.com/quartzy/1289295/the-basic-economy-era-heavier-carry-on-luggage-has-increased-risks-on-board/
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Should You Take Time Off Work After a Car Accident?

January 14, 2019 Auto Accidents

A car accident of any degree of severity can throw your life off track, and dealing with its aftermath can

 road accident scene

A car accident of any degree of severity can throw your life off track, and dealing with its aftermath can seem like a full-time job in itself. Before you make any major decisions, consider talking to a car accident lawyer. An experienced attorney can address all of your questions, like whether taking time off from work after the crash might affect your claim or compensation.

The onset of car crash injuries

It’s usually not a good idea to return to work immediately after an accident, especially if you haven’t seen a doctor yet. You may have injuries that you aren’t aware of. During an accident, your body releases a surge of adrenaline that can mask the symptoms of injuries, some of which may be serious. Another consideration is that some injuries are not evident until a day or two after the accident. One common injury after a car accident is whiplash, which might develop as late as 72 hours after the crash.

Because of the potential for late-onset symptoms and slow-developing injuries, you should receive a full medical evaluation before considering going back to work. You’ll also need to see a doctor to substantiate your legal claim. If you need to have medical bills reimbursed by the insurance company, or if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need those medical records to document your losses.

The advice of your doctor

You should always follow your doctor’s advice in the wake of an accident. You should also get that advice in written form. If your doctor suggests that you take time off work, ask her to write a note to that effect. Even if your employer doesn’t require a doctor’s note, you may need that written documentation to substantiate your legal claim.

Too many accident victims try to return to work too soon after being injured. They might worry about the burden placed on their co-workers or they may be concerned about the lost wages. But it’s not a good idea to return to work before you’re medically cleared to do so, especially if you have a physically demanding job. This could only slow your recovery. It may even worsen your injuries, which could complicate your legal claim.

Your legal claim

Keep track of the number of days you’re out of work. Your personal injury lawyer can add your lost wages to your compensation demand. You might be using up sick days or vacation days to recover from your car crash injuries, and you may still be entitled to receive compensation for them. The value of each sick day or vacation day is one full day’s wages. Let your lawyer know about the logistics of your time off, and he’ll do everything possible to help you recover compensation for those lost days.

Get customized legal guidance tailored to your situation

Thousands of car accidents occur in the U.S. every year, but no two car accident survivors are alike. After a crash, you need personalized legal guidance you can count on. You can turn to Sean Salamati, an accomplished car accident attorney in Los Angeles. At the Salamati Law Firm, you’ll receive the personalized client care and the informed guidance you need to put your life back together after your accident. Call (213) 372-0218 or email [email protected] to request your confidential consultation.

Additional resources for car crash victims

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How Do I Locate the Hit-and-Run Driver That Caused My Accident?

January 10, 2019 Auto Accidents

Most of the time, drivers involved in a car accident will stop and stay on the scene until police arrive.

car accident sceneMost of the time, drivers involved in a car accident will stop and stay on the scene until police arrive.

But sometimes, a driver involved in an accident speeds away before either the police or other drivers can obtain their name or insurance. They may not even get a good glimpse of the driver. It’s called a hit-and-run accident. Drivers might do this because they are frightened of the consequences, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or even because they are afraid of losing their licenses or having an accident on their record.

But it’s often important to find the hit-and-run driver, especially if that driver was responsible for the accident.

Here are steps to take to find the hit-and-run driver.

1. Call the police

Police should be called in any accident, and a hit and run is no exception. An officer will get the information about what happened and file a police report. The police report is an important piece of information for your insurance carrier, so be sure to have it with you when you call your insurance company.

The police can also try to contact witnesses. Passersby, other motorists, or people in nearby houses can all have seen something that could identify the car (such as a license plate) or, failing that, could identify the car or the driver.

The police can match a full license plate to the driver. From there, the driver can be located, as the driver’s address and contact information will be associated with the license plate. Police can also attempt to identify the car if they have enough information about it.

Police may also know if there are surveillance cameras on streets, traffic lights, or other locations nearby. If there are, surveillance cameras can be used to identify the license plate. If there are cameras but they didn’t capture the entire license plate, they may have captured other identifying information that will help the police locate the driver.

2. Ask witnesses

You can also ask people who were around at the time of the accident if they saw the car, its license plate, or identifying details of the car or the driver. A hit-and-run driver may speed, for example, or stop very quickly to pick up a waiting passenger. They can give you clues that you could use to take to the police.

If you were in a mall, for example, you can canvass businesses to ask if anyone saw anything about the accident.

When You Need a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in Southern California

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. If you or a loved one was in a car accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, call the experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm, 800-957-9898. Sean Salamati has been obtaining justice in Los Angeles car accidents for decades. Let him put his experience to work for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv.
  2. Tips for Handling A Hit And Run Driver Claim. DMV.org. https://www.dmv.org/tips-for-handling-a-hit-and-run-driver-claim.php.
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How Do You Calculate Vehicle Damage After an Accident?

January 8, 2019 Auto Accidents

If your car has been damaged in an accident, you have likely had the experience of dealing with an insurance

Car accident

If your car has been damaged in an accident, you have likely had the experience of dealing with an insurance adjuster who comes up with an estimate of the parts that need to be repaired or replaced and the value of the mechanic’s time to do the necessary repairs. The dollar value of those parts and repairs, however, is not the same as the value of the damage to your vehicle. When you are in a serious accident, most insurance companies use what is known as the “17c Formula” to determine the loss in value to your car. Those insurance companies will then generally offer compensation that is a function of the 17c Formula’s results.  

Based on their many years of experience in representing victims of automobile accidents, the attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles know that the real loss in value to your car after it has been in an accident can be dramatically different that the 17c Formula estimate used by the insurance company. We represent car accident victims to recover the maximum amount of damages for both the loss in the value of their vehicles and the injuries that they suffer as a result of accidents.   

How the 17c Formula Works

The 17c Formula applies a 4-part analysis to determine how much value a car loses after it was in an accident:

  1. Start with the car’s value before the accident, as determined by the Kelly Blue Book or some other objective source.
  2. The maximum loss in value will be set at an arbitrary 10% of that pre-accident value. For example, if your car was with $15,000 before an accident, an insurer will assume that it will lose no more than 10% of that amount, or $1,500 in value, as a result of the accident.
  3. Adjust that maximum loss in value by a multiplier that is set according to the level of structural damage to your car. Moderate structural damage, for example, is assigned a multiplier of 0.5, and that $1,500 maximum loss in value then becomes $750.
  4. Adjust that value again by the car’s actual mileage. If the car had 50,000 miles on it, for example, its loss value will be further adjusted by 0.6. The $750 loss in value then reduces to $450.

The net of this example is that a car that had a value of $15,000 before the accident will then have an adjusted value of $14,550 after it has been fully repaired.

How the 17c Formula Gets it Wrong

Professional damage appraisers have criticized the 17c Formula as failing to consider flood and fire damage, bumper deflections, accident history, and airbag deployment, all of which can reduce the value of a vehicle that has been in an accident. After an insurance adjuster has estimated the value of repairs and all those repairs have been completed, the car’s real retail value will often be substantially less than the value of a comparable car that has not been in an accident.

When your car has been damaged in an accident and you have filed a lawsuit to recover the car’s loss in value from the accident, the negligent party’s insurance company will generally argue that the 17c Formula is the best tool for an objective analysis of the value of the loss. A knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney in Los Angeles will know to reject that argument and will rebut it with a professional appraisal of the loss that is specific to the car.

Recover the Largest Damage Award for the Loss in Value to Your Car

The skilled Los Angeles car accident attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm will fight the low value loss estimates that insurance companies are sure to offer when you have been in an accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere in southern California. We understand that accidents can and do diminish the value of an automobile to a far greater extent than the insurers will admit. We can help you recover a larger value for that loss as well as the maximum amount that may be available for any injuries you suffered in the accident.

Please see our website or call our Los Angeles office to speak with one of our car accident attorneys about how we can recover greater compensation for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. www.finder.com: How to Calculate the Diminished Value of Your car. https://www.finder.com/how-to-calculate-the-diminished-value-of-your-car
  2. www.atcformula.com: 17c Formula Components. https://17cformula.com/17c-formula-components
  3. www.thebalance.com: How to Determine the Extent of a Car Accident’s Damages and Injuries. https://www.thebalance.com/determine-damages-in-car-accident-2645568
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December 28, 2018 Auto Accidents

Injuries resulting from vehicle accidents can leave victims with life-altering impairments. From herniated discs and broken bones to traumatic brain

Woman in wheelchairInjuries resulting from vehicle accidents can leave victims with life-altering impairments. From herniated discs and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, these types of physical trauma can impact every facet of one’s life, leading to anxiety, depression, lack of mobility and serious financial hardships. An injury claim against the at-fault party can seek certain money damages, but in certain cases you may be eligible to receive disability benefits for auto accident injuries as well.

How do you know if your car crash injuries qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA)? Only specific kinds of physical and psychological impairment are eligible for disability benefits, and there are strict requirements for submitting an application.

Do you qualify for disability benefits?

In order to apply for disability benefits after a car accident, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You have sustained documented physical or mental impairment that has lasted for one year (or is expected to last this long), and
  • You are unable to engage in the work you performed in the past, and
  • You are unable to receive training for alternative or less demanding work

Regardless of the types of injuries sustained in an auto accident, it’s vital to get prompt medical attention and have a licensed health provider provide thorough documentation on the diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis. If your doctor or surgeon makes a written statement that he or she has determined your injuries are severe enough to keep you from gainful employment, this can help your claim for disability benefits. For those who are suffering from lasting emotional trauma or PTSD that makes working impossible, you will need a psychiatrist or similar mental health professional to recommend that you receive disability benefits.

Injuries that qualify for SSA disability benefits

While this is not an exhaustive list, the following are some types of car accident injuries that may qualify for disability:

  • Non-healing fractures of the leg or arm
  • Back disorders including spinal arachnoiditis, lumbar spinal stenosis or vertebral compression
  • Soft tissue injuries of the ligaments, tendons muscles, nerves, blood vessels that have lost functionality for 12 months
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Severe burns of the extremities that restrict functionality and limit ability to perform routine duties related to everyday living
  • Hip and neck injuries
  • Severe gastrointestinal bleeding requiring a blood transfusion
  • Brain damage
  • Speech impairment stemming from a traumatic brain injury
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Certain anxiety disorders

The Social Security Administration has a long list of impairments, but it is still possible to apply for disability benefits if you suffered a type of injury that a health professional deems medically equivalent to another condition on the list.

Expert legal assistance in Los Angeles

One of the most important steps to achieving the financial help you deserve after an injury is to contact an experienced law firm that focuses on car accident litigation. Los Angeles residents have come to trust Sean Salamati for skilled representation and compassionate, personalized service.

If you have lasting disability after a collision, we encourage you to reach out today for a free case review with an LA car accident lawyer at Salamati Law.

Additional Resources:

  1. CA Disability Benefits, California State Disability Insurance (SDI): FAQs https://ca.db101.org/ca/programs/income_support/sdi/faqs.htm
  2. EED.CA.gov, SDI Online, https://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/sdi_online.htm
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How To Stay Safe on the Roads on New Year’s Eve

December 27, 2018 Auto Accidents

On New Year’s Eve, it’s traditional to have a glass of the bubbly (champagne) or other drink to celebrate the

Happy new year 2019On New Year’s Eve, it’s traditional to have a glass of the bubbly (champagne) or other drink to celebrate the arrival of the new year. When you’re on the roads, however, make sure that the driver hasn’t been drinking. This is the best way to ensure the safety of yourself and others as we transition into 2019.

Don’t Drink or Use Drugs and Drive

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,874 people were killed in traffic accidents in which an alcohol-impaired driver was involved last year. That means the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08. In the month of December alone last year, there were 885 deaths in vehicle collisions with a drunk driver at the wheel.

Because of the association of New Year’s Eve and drinking, it’s very possible that there are more accidents with drunk drivers at the wheel both on New Year’s Eve and in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Don’t be one of them. If you’re going to a party in a home, make sure there is a designated driver or that you can take public transportation or call a friend or a ride-share service to drive you home. If you’re going to a party in a public place or a hotel, do the same – or even think of staying over at the hotel.

The NHTSA even has a free downloadable phone app, SaferRide, that will alert a friend to your location.

And remember that impaired driving doesn’t stem only from alcoholic drinks. Drugs will impair driving sure as surely as drinking will. Use the same safe principles if you take drugs on New Year’s Eve – or any other day. Don’t get behind the wheel.

Remember that many impaired drivers use the same excuses over and over again: they feel they can drive fine, or are just a few miles from their destination. Drivers who are inebriated or high are not good judges of whether they can drive safely or not. Many accidents can happen just a few miles from home.

Follow All Safety Rules

It’s also prudent to remember that all safety rules need to be followed on New Year’s Eve. Wear a seat belt, and make sure that all passengers in the vehicle need to wear one. Obey the speed limit. Follow all the traffic laws.

An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one are in a car accident on New Year’s Eve or any other time, call the experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm. Sean Salamati has been obtaining justice in Los Angeles car accidents for years. Let him put his experience to work for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Impaired Driving. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/index.html.
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA Reminds Motorists to Drive Sober this Holiday Season. December 18, 2018. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-reminds-motorists-drive-sober-holiday-season.
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How Crash Reconstruction Investigators Do Their Job

December 18, 2018 Auto Accidents

A person that causes a car accident will generally be liable for the resulting damages and injuries, but proving who

car accident sceneA person that causes a car accident will generally be liable for the resulting damages and injuries, but proving who caused the accident is not always a straightforward exercise. That proof often turns on the analysis of the vehicles and the accident scene by experienced car crash reconstruction investigators.

The Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles represents car accident victims who are seeking to recover damages from the parties that are responsible for the accident. We routinely work with automobile crash reconstruction investigators who develop the evidence that we then use both to negotiate with insurers and to prove in courtroom trials that our clients have suffered losses as a result of another party’s negligent or reckless driving.

Crash Reconstruction Part 1: Analysis of the Accident Scene

In most serious accidents, police department crash reconstructionists will examine the scene as soon as is possible after the accident to determine if any of the drivers of the vehicles should be charged with a traffic violation. They will likely take the same measurements and perform the same tasks as a traffic accident engineer who assists attorneys to apportion civil liability for damages in the accident, including:

  • Taking photographs of the accident scene;
  • Measuring visible skid marks on pavement and any roadway damage to extrapolate the speed of the vehicles involved;
  • Examining surveillance video from businesses or ATMs in the vicinity of the accident;
  • Noting weather and traffic conditions at the time of the accident, including the angle of the sun and relative visibility as drivers approach the accident scene;
  • Analyzing debris fields and the dispersal of glass and other materials from the vehicles to assess vehicle directions and speeds immediately prior to the accident.

This information gives investigators a snapshot of the road and other conditions that confronted the drivers immediately prior to the accident.

Crash Reconstruction Part 2: Analysis of the Vehicles

If the vehicles are not drivable, authorities will typically arrange to have them towed to an impound lot or some other location where they can be examined. Because evidence of responsibility for an accident can be dissipated when vehicles are moved, an attorney who represents car accident victims will want an investigator to analyze the damaged vehicles as soon as is possible after the accident. Accordingly, if you are in a serious accident, you can improve your opportunity to recover compensation for your damages and injuries if you contact a car accident attorney immediately.

The attorney’ crash investigator will inspect each of the vehicles, looking for things such as:

  • Air bag deployment;
  • Mechanical defects;
  • Maintenance of important safety systems, such as the brakes and headlamps;
  • The relative amounts of deflection and damage of parts, which can provide critical clues as to each car’s speed and direction at the time of the crash;

The car crash investigator will also download any available data from the car’s onboard event data recorder, which is the automotive equivalent of an airplane’s “black box”. That device and other technology can give the investigator a very clear picture of how the accident happened and which car was likely the accident’s catalyst.

Crash Reconstruction Part 3: The Aftermath

The investigator will not have witnessed an accident directly, but will reconstruct it from forensic evidence that the accident created. The party that caused an accident and his or her insurers will often challenge this analysis. If a car accident case goes to trial, the responsible party will usually seek to disqualify the investigator’s report with arguments that the car accident reconstructionist does not have the qualifications or knowledge to produce a technical report that a court is being asked to rely upon.

An experienced car accident attorney will anticipate these challenges and will know how to rebut them when they arise. When you are retaining an attorney to represent you in a car accident case, you should ask that attorney for information and references for the car crash investigator that he proposes to retain on your behalf.

Call Car Crash Lawyer Sean Salamati in Southern California

Sean Salamati has helped clients in Los Angeles County and throughout southern California to recover compensation for their injuries and property losses that they have suffered in car accidents. Our firm has strong relationships with many skilled car accident reconstruction investigators who produce detailed reports that we use to prove which party caused an accident.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in crash, call the law offices of Sean Salamati, one of the premier car accident lawyers in Los Angeles.  Your initial consultation is free and you owe no money unless we win your case.

Additional Resources:

  1. washingtonpost.com: The Wreckage Speaks: A Crash Reconstruction Team Tells Stories that Victims Can’t. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tripping/wp/2018/02/27/the-wreckage-speaks-a-crash-reconstruction-team-tells-stories-that-victims-cant/?utm_term=.dbbfb8102ad5
  2. thebalancecareers.com: Traffic Crash Reconstructionist Job Information. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/traffic-crash-reconstructionist-job-information-974477
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Can I Sue for Loss of Income After a Slip and Fall Injury?

December 18, 2018 Slip Trip and Fall

One of the often-overlooked areas of damages after a slip and fall accident is lost wages. Under California law, an

A court gavel on 100 bills - legal conceptOne of the often-overlooked areas of damages after a slip and fall accident is lost wages. Under California law, an injured party is allowed to sue to recover of both past income and future lost earnings. Contacting a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to help you better understand your rights and what you need to prove will help you secure full compensation for your lost wages after a slip and fall accident. 

Lost income and lost earning capacity

What is known as “lost wages” is both the lost earnings that have already taken place at the time of the settlement or trial, and the lost earning capacity. “Lost earning capacity” is the reduction in the amount that the plaintiff will likely make in the future due to the accident.

Understandably, lost income is easier to understand and prove since it is based on losses that have already occurred. However, with documentation and witnesses, it is possible for a personal injury attorney to establish a strong case for reduced earning capacity when warranted.

Calculating lost wages

It is important to have abundant evidence of your earnings history, whether you seek past income or future lost wages. You will need documentation and even testimony from your employer of salary, overtime, commissions, bonuses, vacation days, and valuable benefits, both to show what you have received in the past and what you have missed out and will miss out on because of your injury.

For those who are self-employed, establishing income can be a little trickier. Producing tax returns for the past few years can establish your history of earnings but may cause confidential information to be made public through the courts. Letters from those you do business with that verify your amount of work, rate of pay, and length of time you were unable to work after the accident may be an option when privacy is desired. Speak with a California personal injury lawyer to determine the best way to establish lost income in your situation.

Proving lost earning capacity

It is one thing to show what wages you have lost and will lose out on. It is another to show that you cannot work for some amount of time. Naturally, if you are the claimant then you have the burden of presenting evidence to show this.

A way to meet your burden of proof is to offer the testimony of both lay witnesses and experts. These can include your doctors and therapists to explain the effect the injury has had on your ability to work, family or friends to explain the impact that the fall has had on your ability to participate in work and other activities, and even an economist to explain expected rise in salary over time given your industry and work experience.

Understand your rights after a slip and fall in Southern California

If you have slipped or tripped on someone someone else’s property and believe someone else’s negligence may have been the cause, discuss your case with a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer at Salamati Law. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Additional CA lost wages resources:

  1. Justia, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 3903C. Past and Future Lost Earnings (Economic Damage), https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3900/3903c/
  2. The Center for Forensic Economic Studies – Determining the Lost Earning Capacity of Injured Business Owners, http://cfes.com/determining-the-lost-earning-capacity-of-injured-business-owners/
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NHTSA Promotes Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

December 16, 2018 Auto Accidents

Aging is a fact of life but it still catches us off-guard. The slow process can cause decline in abilities

senior woman in nursing home clasped handAging is a fact of life but it still catches us off-guard. The slow process can cause decline in abilities and present other challenges that make driving less safe, but many older adults are unaware or reluctant to accept the changes.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) joined forces with organizations like the CDC, the American Occupational Therapy Association, AARP, and AAA to promote Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which ran from December 3–7, to bring awareness to the challenges and possible solutions aging drivers face.

Advanced age: is it safe to drive?

The NHTSA pointed out that some motorists can drive safely into their nineties, but for many others, age-related problems can interfere with road safety.

Some of the more common issues include:

  • Medical conditions
  • Vision problems, including night blindness
  • Problems with sleeping, pain and stiffness, tremors, or memory
  • Effects of medications

If you are a senior who still drives, it may be worth talking with your doctor or pharmacist to determine whether any of your OTC or prescription drugs, or the interactions between multiple drugs, will likely cause driving impairment such as altered judgment, slower reflexes, or dulled alertness.

Solutions for those who are still capable of driving

For the many older adults who are still mentally capable of driving, physical adaptations may make operating a vehicle safer and more comfortable.

A great way to find out about the options for you or a loved one is to attend a local CarFit event. CarFit was created by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AAA, AARP, and AOTA, and offers a free, non-judgmental volunteer-run assessment of comfort and safety for seniors in their vehicles. Volunteers will check for and help make adjustment to the vehicle to reduce blind spots and make sure controls are accessible.

If more help is needed than simply adjusting seats and mirrors, there are other things that can be done to help older drivers. For example, if manual dexterity has declined, adapted hand controls can be installed. If the seat-belt is too difficult to pull down over the shoulder, a loop can be installed to make it easier.

Older driver safety assessment

The NHTSA encourages people to make an honest assessment about whether driving is still a safe option. It has stated: “Ask yourself, or the older driver in your life: Can you remember the routes you frequently drive? Do traffic signs and signals, or other motorists make you feel overwhelmed while driving? Have you recently received a ticket or citation for a driving violation, or been in a minor crash?” For those who can no longer drive as safely as in the past, it is time to work together to make alternative transportation arrangements.

Los Angeles car accident lawyer Sean Salamati urges those in and around Southern California to take road safety seriously whether you are 18 or 80. A car crash can cause death or serious injury, as well as financial, physical, and emotional losses. If you have been injured in an accident in Southern California, call the Salamati Law Firm for a free case evaluation.

Additional Older Driver Safety Awareness Week resources:

  1. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Keeping Our Older Drivers Safe on the Road, https://www.nhtsa.gov/older-drivers/keeping-our-older-drivers-safe-road
  2. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., Older Driver Safety Awareness Week: Dec. 3-7, 2018, https://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/Older-Driver-Safety-Awareness-Week.aspx
  3. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., Monday: Anticipating Changes That Can Affecting Driving, https://www.aota.org/conference-events/older-driver-safety-awareness-week/monday-full-article.aspx
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