Can You Sue For a Slip and Fall if You Were Intoxicated?

February 9, 2021 Slip Trip and Fall

People often get seriously injured when they slip and fall. However, if someone was intoxicated, they may be too embarrassed

Woman in pain holding her head

People often get seriously injured when they slip and fall. However, if someone was intoxicated, they may be too embarrassed to file a lawsuit with a slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles. It is important to note, though, that you can still sue the property owner as long as you can prove that they were negligent.

Common Arguments You Can Expect from the Property Owner

If you were intoxicated at the time, the property owner might argue that you fell because your vision, focus, coordination, balance, or judgment was impaired. While these arguments may have some merit to them, it still does not let the defendant off the hook.

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What is Comparative Negligence?

California is a “comparative negligence” state, which means that the plaintiff in a slip and fall case can share some– or even most– of the blame and still receive financial compensation from the defendant. For example, if you were 50 percent at-fault for your slip and fall because you were intoxicated, you would still be eligible to recover 50 percent of your damages. So if you are suing for $1 million due to the severe injuries you sustained, you could still recover $500,000 despite sharing half of the blame.

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Here is What You Need to Prove

To prove that the defendant was negligent, you will need to prove the following:

  • That the defendant owed you a duty of care—unless you were trespassing.
  • That the defendant breached this duty of care by causing or allowing a dangerous condition to exist on their property and not fixing it, blocking it off, or at the very least posting clear warning signs.
  • This dangerous condition is what caused you to slip. This is where the defendant might claim that you would not have slipped and fallen if you had been sober.
  • That you sustained serious injuries as a result of this accident.

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The Right Attorney Will Know How to Handle Your Case

Slip and fall accidents where the plaintiff was intoxicated are complex. At Salamati Law, we always recommend hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to maximize your financial compensation. Even if you were intoxicated, it still does not excuse the property owner for negligence.

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If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident while intoxicated, call Salamati Law today to book a free consultation. There are no upfront legal costs, as we work on a contingency-fee-basis.

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Hip Fractures Carry Additional Risks for the Elderly

February 9, 2021 Slip Trip and Fall

According to research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, hip fractures carry additional risks for the elderly,

According to research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, hip fractures carry additional risks for the elderly, particularly those who are living alone after the accident. This study indicates that their mortality rate is higher. If you have fractured your hip in a slip and fall due to someone else’s negligence, contact us at Salamati Law to review your case

More Details on the Study

The survey above was conducted in Norway and examined male and female patients with a fractured hip in the period between 2002 and 2013. Over 12,000 men and over 22,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 were studied. The researchers found that the survival rate after eight years was 43 percent for men and 61 percent for women who were living alone. In comparison, the survival rate was 51 percent for men and 67 percent for women when living with a partner.

What You Can Do to Combat this Trend

If your hip fracture was caused by another person’s negligence, whether in a nursing home or at a grocery store, the right attorney can help maximize your financial recovery for your damages. One key component of the damages is around-the-clock in-home care, if necessary. This would help ensure that you are as safe as possible to facilitate your rehabilitation and recovery.

Common Challenges That Hip Fracture Patients Face

Some of the essential needs for hip fracture patients following a slip and fall accident in a nursing home  or on a slippery sidewalk include the following:

  • Staying up to date with all prescriptions
  • Eating a diet that promotes bone health
  • Physical therapy to regain strength
  • Regular emotional support to deal with the significant lifestyle changes from this injury

Contact us for a free consultation

Putting your case in the hands of a trusted and experienced Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer can maximize your financial compensation for your hip fracture. At Salamati Law, we have been representing some of the most vulnerable personal injury victims in Los Angeles and aggressively pursuing justice on their behalf for over a quarter of a century.

If you are a senior citizen who has fractured your hip, call Salamati Law today, and we will book your free initial consultation. There are no upfront legal costs, as we work on a contingency-fee-basis.

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Los Angeles MTA Debuts First Phase of NextGen Bus Plan

February 5, 2021 Bus Accidents

In late December 2020, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) debuted the first of three phases of its next-generation

Two buses side by side.

In late December 2020, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) debuted the first of three phases of its next-generation bus plan for the greater LA region. This first phase changed existing routes and added new service into previously underserved areas, including Watts/Willowbrook, and Lax/Ingleside.  

What is the NextGen Bus Plan?

In response to a drop in ridership, in 2018 the MTA began a two-year review of its services. The NextGen Bus Plan is the culmination of that review. The Plan has been characterized as the first major overhaul of the Los Angeles region’s public transportation bus services in more than twenty-five years. After the first phase has been fully implemented, the MTA will turn to the second and third phases of the Plan in mid and late 2021.

What are the Plan’s highlights?

The MTA has released full details of anticipated bus service changes. The more significant changes in MTA bus service include:

  • Discontinuation of several of the lowest-performing express service lines, with increased service frequency of local lines that overlapped the express lines
  • Permanent elimination of certain lines that were reduced in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Elimination of stops at some rail lines
  • Elimination of a small number of unproductive or unused route segments
  • Schedule adjustments on some lines to better serve key destinations

How is the MTA responding to concerns from riders?

The MTA has fielded multiple complaints in 2020 based on long waiting times and crowded buses that ran counter to social distancing recommendations. MTA representatives have acknowledged these concerns and have placed a renewed priority on transit rider safety as the NextGen Bus Plan is implemented.

Will the Plan create genuine improvements in Los Angeles bus service?

Riders have good reason to be cautiously optimistic about public transportation in Los Angeles, particularly after the California Transit Commission allocated $25 million for NextGen bus improvements. Those funds are expected to go toward the expansion of all-door boarding, transit signal improvements, and bus priority lanes. 

If you have been injured in a bus accident in Southern California, contact Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati to get a clear explanation of your legal rights and all the information you need to decide on which next step is right for you.

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Study Shows Los Angeles Car Accidents Down by 21% in 2020

January 7, 2021 Auto Accidents

If there is an upside to the pandemic that has affected our lives so profoundly, it is that motor vehicle

blurry car windshield highway

If there is an upside to the pandemic that has affected our lives so profoundly, it is that motor vehicle accident rates dropped significantly last year. That is likely the result of stay-at-home orders.

While it is good news that car crashes are down by more than one-fifth, that does not mean less need for diligence. Los Angeles remains overwhelmingly dependent on them for transportation.

National Study Results

The analytics company INRIX conducted a study on the impact of Covid-19 on the nation’s busiest and most dangerous roadways. From April to October 2020, the number of collisions in Los Angeles dropped by 21 percent over the previous year. That is the 19th largest reduction in crashes out of 25 metropolitan areas.

According to the study, the riskiest hotspot for a Los Angeles crash was Long Beach Boulevard at the I-105 Century Freeway. However, Interstate 10 is usually the site of the most accidents in the Los Angeles area, and those numbers came in 26 percent lower.  

Other major California cities saw similar motor vehicle accident reductions. In San Francisco, collisions dropped by 28 percent, and 29 percent in San Diego. Sacramento was down by 30 percent. Nationally, New York City saw the most significant decrease, at 38 percent.

Trends Revealed

The INRIX study reveals several trends accounting for the sharp drop in accidents. Consumer trips– those formerly casual jaunts to stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and the like– are down “massively.” The study notes that trip reductions mirror guidance for working at home when possible, social distancing, and sheltering in place.

INRIX forecasts more cities will experience what the currently most impacted metro areas are going through as the pandemic continues to spread.

Gridlock Back in Places

Gridlock is coming back in some parts of Los Angeles. In fact, one of the ways local officials monitor increasing traffic volume is by a rise in the number of collisions. While the traffic numbers are still down from the prior year, much will depend on the course of Covid-19 and the mandated restrictions.

While traffic jams are not what they once were in LA, more room on the road has led to an often-deadly increase in speeding. Less traffic on the roads does not necessarily mean fewer deaths and severe injuries due to speeding drivers. Traffic jams force people to slow down, and collisions at low speeds do not generally wreak the damage of a high-speed crash.

Contact us for a free consultation

If you or someone you know was injured in a motor vehicle crash because of another driver’s negligence, contact a  car accident lawyer in Los Angeles at Salamati Law. Arrange a free consultation by completing our online form or calling or texting 24/7.  

After discussing your claim, we will advise you of your options. Our work is performed on a contingency basis. You pay no fee unless we win.

Los Angeles Car Accident Law Blog

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New California Traffic Laws Go Into Effect January 1, 2021

January 6, 2021 Auto Accidents

New traffic laws went into effect in California on the first day of 2021. Most of this year’s changes amend

New traffic laws went into effect in California on the first day of 2021. Most of this year’s changes amend or expand existing state traffic laws.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a major cause of collisions. As of 2021, anyone caught texting or talking on a cellphone more than once during a three-year period receives a point on their license. Hands-free technology is not affected. By law, a driver cannot hold a cellphone while driving.

While a distracted driving citation involves fines, it does not add points to the driver’s license. This second offense with 36 months changes that. Accumulate at least four points within a 12-month period, or six points or more in 24 months, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) considers you a negligent driver. Auto insurance rates will likely rise, and the DMV may refuse to renew the driver’s license.

Move Over Law

Before this year, drivers were only required to move over for emergency vehicles or road maintenance crews if they were on a freeway. Now, the Move Over Law extends to any type of roadway.

Working on a road crew poses various dangers. Getting struck by a vehicle that failed to slow down or move over in the construction area is among the worst.

Civil Liability Protection

New legislation protects a person from civil liability in the event they break open a car’s window to rescue a child. Protection from civil liability when coming to another’s aid is known as a Good Samaritan law. The new law also prevents the person from facing criminal charges for breaking into the car.

For instance, someone spotting a child under age 6 alone in a closed vehicle on a hot day can break open the car window to save a youngster in distress from heatstroke. They are free from liability for breaking the window if the child’s life was in danger. There is already a law in place mandating criminal penalties for anyone leaving young children unattended in vehicles. The law already exempts those rescuing an animal locked in a very hot or very cold car from civil and criminal penalties.

New Emergency Vehicle Warning Sound

When drivers hear a siren, they know an emergency vehicle is in their midst and respond accordingly. As of this year, emergency vehicles may use a “hi-lo” warning sound rather than a siren. The actual sound is not yet standardized statewide, but the CHP is currently working on this standardization.

Contact a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney

Distracted driving and failure to move over for an emergency vehicle or road crew can result in serious injury or death. If you or someone you know were injured by a distracted driver, seek legal advice as soon as possible.  A Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Salamati Law will review your claim and let you know your options. Fill out our online form or call or text us 24/7 to arrange a free consultation.

Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation.

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COVID-19, Retailers, & Business Interruption Insurance in California

May 6, 2020 Business Interruption Insurance

These are incredibly difficult times for California’s brick-and-mortar retailers. When shelter-in-place orders went into effect in response to the COVID-19

a person pointing at an insurance policy   to read the fine print on their desk.

These are incredibly difficult times for California’s brick-and-mortar retailers. When shelter-in-place orders went into effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many retailers who were not deemed “essential” were forced to close their doors indefinitely. While some businesses were able to offer online purchasing or curbside delivery service, many others could not adapt – for practical or financial reasons. 

Popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles have been especially hit hard, as many establishments rely on vacationers for a substantial portion of their sales. The complete drop in tourism and temporary closures caused by the coronavirus outbreak means that both small retail shop owners and large retail chains are turning to their commercial property insurance policies for protection. 

Economic losses from the COVID 19 Pandemic

When retailers are forced to shut their doors, their economic losses go beyond stale inventory and lost sales. There are utility bills to be paid, payroll to be met, and rent or mortgage payments that cannot be ignored.

It is not surprising that the first wave of business interruption insurance claims was quickly denied – and done so without proper investigation. Now more than ever, it’s absolutely vital that retail establishments review the provisions and language of their policies, specifically with regard to contingent business interruption insurance and/or civil authority coverage.

Both of these coverages should, in theory, reduce the economic burdens caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Retailers turning to Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is a common supplement to a property insurance policy, which covers losses caused (either directly or indirectly) by specified perils. Causes of loss that are not outlined in the policy are normally not covered. Business interruption coverage is generally triggered in cases where you have physical property loss or damage that causes the interruption – for example, flooding or fire damage.

Insurers are now claiming that retailers were not ‘physically affected’ by the coronavirus quarantine orders, or that since no physical damage occurred, the benefits aren’t triggered. Policyholders should bear in mind that past rulings, or case law, suggest that coronavirus contamination or a property’s inability to be inhabited may constitute physical loss activating coverage for business interruption losses.

The presence of an infected person or an infectious illness can render a retail store uninhabitable, and once this is demonstrated, retailers may be able to collect on their insurance claim.

Civil Authority Coverage

California retailers that have civil authority coverage and were ordered to close their doors may be able to secure compensation for their losses. Civil authority coverage protects against business interruption losses when a state or federal government authority prohibits or hinders access to the policyholder’s business location. Depending on the policy’s language, civil authority coverage may stipulate that access restriction stems from physical loss.

Contingent Business Interruption Coverage

Contingent business interruption insurance may offer another safeguard against COVID-19 losses. This protects your retail business from disruptions that affect your overall supply chain. If you have lost substantial income and are unable to stay afloat after a key partner, supplier, or customer base has problems, this coverage pays for ongoing costs while you search for remedies.

Litigation over pandemic related BI loss claims

The cost of covering Business Interruption claims in the wake of the pandemic will cost insurers billions of dollars. But will insurers pay benefits for COVID-19-related business interruption, or continue with generic denials?

According to the Commissioner for the California Department of Insurance, this will ultimately be decided by our courts and judicial branches. Although the Commissioner acknowledges the ‘real and alarming losses’ faced by business owners throughout the state, he concedes that the answer will lie in the specifics of each policyholder’s contract.

COVID 19 Business Interruption Insurance Claims for Retailers

If you own a retail establishment whose business interruption claim was denied, you are encouraged to file a request for assistance with the California Department of Insurance. Your next step is to consult with a Los Angeles business interruption insurance lawyer who can protect your rights.

Reach out to Salamati Law for a free case review today. Our team is proud to assist CA retail and business owners to seek the payments they deserve under the business interruption insurance policies.

Additional Resources:

  1. JDSupra Legal News, California: Developments in COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/california-developments-in-covid-19-81975/
  2. California Department of Insurance, FAQ on business interruption insurance and other issues affecting California small businesses http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/140-catastrophes/FAQ-on-Business-Interruption-Insurance.cfm
  3. The National Law Review, Update: Business Interruption Insurance in the Time of COVID-19 https://www.natlawreview.com/article/update-business-interruption-insurance-time-covid-19
  4. Congressional Research Service, Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19 https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11295
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COVID-19, Business Interruption Insurance, and Hotels in California

May 6, 2020 Business Interruption Insurance

The travel and leisure industry has suffered unprecedented losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Hotels have been particularly

The travel and leisure industry has suffered unprecedented losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Hotels have been particularly hard hit, with occupancy and revenue rates falling by 50% or more. 

Hotels that carry business interruption insurance may be able to recover some of these losses by filing and pursuing claims with their insurance carriers. California hotels that need assistance in filing a claim or whose insurers have denied their claim should contact the Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles. Southern California business interruption insurance attorney Sean Salamati can advise you of your rights and legal options for reimbursement of lost revenue.

Business Interruption Insurance Coverage for California Hotels

Many insurance companies announced at the outset of the pandemic that commercial business interruption policies only cover losses that are related to physical property damage. Regulators and business interruption lawyers quickly responded that at least two other business interruption insurance provisions covered lost revenues due to coronavirus cancellations:

Civil Authority Business Interruption Insurance Coverage 

Governmental actions that preclude the use of a hotel property can trigger business interruption coverage under “civil authority coverage” extensions or riders to commercial policies. These clauses might provide insurance coverage for losses resulting from state and local quarantines, for example, that restrict public gatherings. Commercial insurers will likely argue that quarantine orders affect people, not properties, but that argument might be contrary to history and specific policy language.

Contingent Business Interruption Insurance Coverage

Policies that include “contingent business interruption” extensions or riders might provide reimbursement for lost hotel revenues, for example, associated with supply chain interruptions, canceled events, or loss of use due to decontamination or cleanup.

Industry observers expect commercial insurers to reject civil authority and contingent claims (at least initially) for coronavirus-related business interruptions. California hotels should consult with a knowledgeable and experienced business interruption lawyer to verify their coverage and to rebut any coverage denials from their insurance carriers.  

Covered Losses for Hotels Under Business Interruption Insurance Policies

Businesses in the travel and hospitality industries are often the first to feel the effects of economic downturns, disasters, and restrictions on movement. Many hotels, airlines, event organizers, and similar businesses have been at the forefront of defining the types of claims and losses that are covered by business interruption insurance.

For example:

  • In 2003, hotels in Hong Kong successfully petitioned for business interruption insurance coverage caused by the SARS virus;
  • In 2004, a court awarded a favorable opinion to USAirways against its commercial business interruption insurer over lost business claims related to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; 
  • In 2016, a theater group recovered its losses for canceled outdoor performances following wildfires that impaired air quality.

Hotel business interruption insurance coverage is always a function of insurance contract language and the specific facts that cause the hotel to lose bookings and associated revenues. A California hotel that has lost substantial business due to COVID-19 quarantines and cancellations should carefully review their commercial insurance policies and should either notify their insurers or file their claims promptly.   

Use Hotel Records to Prove COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses

Hotels should keep detailed records of bookings and payments, as well as pending reservations, cancellations, and special events. A successful business interruption insurance claim by any hotel in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California will necessarily include this and other information to verify coronavirus business losses. Hotels will have a better chance to recover insurance reimbursements for lost revenues when those records are thorough, straightforward, and verifiable.  

California Insurance Regulators are Encouraging Business Interruption Payments

California’s insurance commissioner has imposed new requirements on insurance companies to conduct full and fair investigations of all business interruption claims relating to losses from the COVID-19 virus. Insurance companies that are authorized to issue policies in California are specifically obligated to comply with their obligations under insurance contracts, to promptly acknowledge claims and provide all necessary forms and information to file claims, and to issue notices of acceptance or denial within 40 days after receiving a claim.

Given these enhanced requirements, an insurer’s denial of a hotel’s coronavirus business interruption claim will likely draw greater scrutiny from the state’s insurance regulators.

Call for Assistance with Business Interruption Insurance and Coronavirus Claims

Hotel bookings and revenues will recover. Until then, hotels should not hesitate to file business interruption claims under their commercial liability policies.

A Los Angeles business interruption insurance lawyer from Salamati Law Firm is a hotel’s best resource to process and file claims and to appeal claim denials. Please call Salamati Law’s Los Angeles offices to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers today.

Additional Resources:

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COVID-19 Resources & Tips for California Businesses

May 5, 2020 Business Interruption Insurance

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented economic event, and thousands of small businesses throughout California have taken a devastating hit.

a desk with contracts, a pen, a pair of glases and a person pointing at the top page of an insurance policy.

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented economic event, and thousands of small businesses throughout California have taken a devastating hit. Despite the dire ramifications of this large-scale catastrophe, many of the state’s top insurance companies are not paying business interruption claims related to COVID-19.  In fact, insurers were quick to declare a lack of coverage even before the first claim was filed. 

Policyholders deserve all of the benefits and services they are due under the terms of their contract, and when insurers fail to comply, it’s time to seek legal counsel from Salamati Law.

The COVID-19 crisis has ushered in an era of uncertainty for California businesses that have no real timeline of when – or how—their doors can re-open. During stressful times like these, it’s reassuring to know there are resources and funding available to help small and medium-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Tax Relief

Small and medium-sized businesses in California struggling amidst the COVID-19 outbreak can take advantage of the following tax breaks: 

  • 3-month extension on all businesses filing a tax return for less than $1 million
  • Business taxpayers with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales can have a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability only

Loans:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees or individuals who operate as an independent contractor/sole proprietor may be eligible for loan forgiveness (up to 8 weeks) of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels. Loans can be put toward rent, mortgage interest, utilities, and payroll. Application deadline: June 30, 2020
  • California IBANK Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee: Small businesses located in California with 1-750 employees that have been negatively impacted or experienced disruption by COVID-19and qualifying non-profits can use the loan proceeds toward business continuance or economic disaster relief.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans: Small businesses that have a current business relationship with a Small Business Administration Express Lender can apply for a $25,000 loan with a quick turnaround.
  • The Small Business Emergency Microloan Program was recently launched by the City of Los Angeles. Loans amounts range from $5,000 -$20,000, with terms from 18 months to 5 years. Eligible businesses must be established in the City of L.A. with 100 or fewer employees and be for-profit and tax-exempt.

Grants

Hello ALICE: COVID-19 Business Emergency Grant

Hello Alice is offering $10,000 business emergency grants to small business owners affected by COVID-19. In addition to immediate funds, grant recipients will benefit from continuing guidance from the Hello Alice community.

LISC Small Business Grant

LISC is offering grants of up to $10,000 to support small enterprises and business affected the coronavirus pandemic, particularly those in underserved communities. Applications are due by May 14, and will be evaluated based on particularly challenged businesses that lack access to flexible capital.

Salesforce Care Small Business Grants

For profit-companies with a yearly revenue between $250,000 and $2 million and have fewer than 50 employees may qualify for a $10,000 grant to help overcome financial burdens associated with COVID-19. Eligible candidates must have been in business for 2 years as of March 2020.

Facebook Grants

Facebook has earmarked $100 million in cash and ad credits for small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Grants

GoFundMe is offering donation-matching micro-grants of up to $500 for independently owned and operated small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representing business owners in Southern California

As a policyholder, you have rights. If you run into problems or need expert legal advice, contact Salamati Law for a free consultation with a Los Angeles business interruption insurance lawyer. Local businesses are the very backbone of our communities, but they are facing unprecedented challenges, especially in the hospitality, retail, and personal service sectors. Moving forward, it’s important to remain flexible, get creative, and track your losses.

Additional Resources:

  1. California Government, Coronavirus 2019  https://business.ca.gov/coronavirus-2019/
  2. Venturize, COVID-19 EMERGENCY LOANS https://venturize.org/resources/covid-19-emergency-loans?state=National
  3. Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) RESOURCE GUIDE https://lachamber.com/resources/covid-19-coronavirus-resource-guide/
  4. LA Times, Congress passes expanded small-business loan funding to address coronavirus shutdowns https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-04-23/congress-expected-to-pass-expanded-small-business-loan-funding
  5. LISC, LISC Small Business Relief Grants https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/small-business-relief-grants/
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COVID-19, Business Insurance, & the Restaurant Industry

May 5, 2020 Business Interruption Insurance

In the interests of public health and safety, many states, including California, have issued stay-at-home orders that shut down non-essential

In the interests of public health and safety, many states, including California, have issued stay-at-home orders that shut down non-essential businesses. While these measures are necessary for saving human lives by curbing the transmission of the coronavirus, they have had a devastating effect on the economy.

The restaurant industry, in particular, has been hard hit. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., over eight million restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed. In addition, the National Restaurant Association has predicted that the restaurant industry alone will lose approximately $80 billion in sales by the start of May 2020.

The restaurant industry in the U.S. has never been faced with such a monumental challenge, and when this industry takes a hit, so too does the entire country. The industry contributes about $900 billion to the economy annually and employs well over 15 million people. In short, what is bad for the restaurant industry is bad for the country as a whole.

So, what can be done about this problem? Some restauranteurs are turning to their business interruption insurance for the answer. Filing California coronavirus business interruption insurance claims are thought to provide a way for restaurants to bridge the gap while waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to resolve.

Can California coronavirus business interruption insurance claims help?

Every business needs at least one type of insurance. One smart policy for restauranteurs to purchase is business interruption insurance. It’s intended to replace the lost income and extra expenses caused by covered perils. Restaurant owners have traditionally used business interruption insurance to help them survive damage due to theft, fire, lightning, floods, and similar disasters.

Now, an increasing number of restaurateurs are turning to their business interruption policies in hopes they will consider the coronavirus to be a covered natural disaster. And when those claims are denied, there is a possibility of pursuing litigation against the insurance carrier to secure coverage.

California requires insurance carriers to investigate all COVID-related claims

On April 14, the California Department of Insurance released a statement regarding the restaurateurs filing coronavirus-related claims against their business interruption insurance policies. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara stated that his department had issued a notice that requires insurance companies to comply with all contractual and legal obligations, and to “fairly investigate all business interruption claims caused by COVID-19.”

This statement came on the heels of multiple complaints Lara’s department has received from businesses and similar stakeholders. They claimed that various insurance representatives were attempting to discourage policyholders from filing claims because of COVID-19.

Other policyholders have reported that their insurance carriers have outright refused to initiate or to proceed with coronavirus-related business interruption claims. Commissioner Lara’s statement is promising for restauranteurs in California who have been forced to shut their doors and lose income due to COVID-19.

Legal recourse for restauranteurs with denied claims

Unfortunately, restaurant owners in California still can’t rely on their insurance carriers to do right by their claims. Restauranteurs who have filed California coronavirus business interruption insurance claims and have been denied (or have had their insurance carrier refuse to initiate a claim) may have avenues for legal recourse. Filing a lawsuit may be a viable solution.

Law offices across the country are expecting a wave of restaurant owners to file these types of lawsuits against insurance carriers, given the sheer scale of the economic losses the industry has suffered. One of the first restaurants is the Oceana Grill, located in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Oceana Grill filed its lawsuit against insurer Lloyd’s of London.

The complaint notes that the plaintiff’s insurance policy has coverage for the interruption of business by order of civil authority, and the lawsuit asserts that the government mandate to close non-essential businesses falls into this category.

Schedule a business interruption insurance consultation today

In Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, Salamati Law has acquired a reputation for vigorously defending the legal rights of its clients and aggressively pursuing favorable resolutions on their behalf. We have been providing legal representation to individuals in the area for two decades. If your restaurant has suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19, and you are attempting to file a business interruption insurance claim as a result, you can find the strategic guidance you need at the Salamati Law.

Contact us today to request a free initial consultation with a results-focused attorney. We are currently accepting new business clients who grossed $200,000-plus per month before the coronavirus outbreak. A Los Angeles business interruption insurance lawyer will review your case and advise you on the merits of pursuing litigation.

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What are the Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?

November 25, 2019 Auto Accidents, Personal Injury Lawsuits, Wrongful Death Claims

Both throughout the nation and in California, far too many deaths are caused by car accidents. What are the most

Both throughout the nation and in California, far too many deaths are caused by car accidents. What are the most common causes of fatal car accidents? Read on.

The #1 Most Common Cause: Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving, or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, is the cause of roughly 33% of all fatal car accidents through the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In most states, including California, a driver is considered to be DUI if they have a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.08% or above.

The #2 Most Common Cause: Speeding

Driving over the speed limit is estimated to be the second most common cause of deadly crashes, resulting in roughly 30% of traffic deaths.

It’s important to be aware that speeding is a contributing cause to multiple types of accidents. Side collisions, for example, are fatal 27% of the time, partly because that category of accident includes the type termed T-bones, where a car hits another directly in the side, impacting people sitting on that side.

T-bone accidents are frequently caused by a driver going too fast to stop properly at an intersection. The driver whose turn it is pulls out, not realizing the other driver isn’t stopping.

The #3 Most Common Cause: Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is the third most common cause of traffic fatalities. This includes failure to stop at intersections, passing improperly, following other cars too close, and violating other rules of the road. Rear-end crashes, which can be caused by following other vehicles too closely, cause 29% of all accidents.

Reckless driving also includes not paying attention to weather or climate conditions. Rain can make southern California roads very dangerous, increasing the risk of hydroplaning. Smoke or fog can affect visibility, which increases the risk of collisions. Drivers need to take into account weather and climate conditions.

The #4 Most Common Cause: Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 10% of all fatalities in 2015. Distracted driving can be caused by using smartphones while driving (to message, read, or talk on the phone). It can also be caused by a driver paying more attention to passengers or the passing scene than the road.

Distracted driving has been an increasing threat to motorists for at least a decade.

When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

Fatal car accidents are a tragedy, especially because so many are easily prevented.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a car accident, Sean Salamati can help. Please call the expert Los Angeles auto accident attorneys at the Salamati Law Firm at 800-957-9898 today to discuss your case. We are experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys in Los Angeles.

Your case will be reviewed by seasoned professionals and there is no charge to you for an initial consultation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Campanella, Joe. 5 Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them. The Allstate Blog. https://blog.allstate.com/common-causes-of-car-accidents/
  2. King, Laiza. “Top 15 Causes Of Car Accidents And How You Can Prevent Them.” Huffington Post. August 31, 2016. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/laiza-king-/top-15-causes-of-car-accidents_b_11722196.html
  3. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Safety. Impaired Driving. Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving State Fact Sheets. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/states.html
  4. United States Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted Driving 2015. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/812_381_distracteddriving2015.pdf
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