DUI Deaths: Can the Bar That Sold the Alcohol Be Held Liable?

August 7, 2018 Auto Accidents

Every year, hundreds of innocent people are killed on California’s roads by intoxicated drivers.  According to CA traffic statistics, alcohol-impaired

Every year, hundreds of innocent people are killed on California’s roads by intoxicated drivers.  According to CA traffic statistics, alcohol-impaired accident fatalities increased to 1,059 in 2017.  When it comes to seeking justice in DUI deaths, can the bar that sold alcohol to the driver be held liable for damages?

Dram Shop Laws

A dram shop law is a statutory provision that holds a bar or business establishment liable for selling alcohol to an intoxicated patron who causes injury or death as a result of their drunken state. At present, 30 U.S. states have comprehensive dram shop laws that allow liquor stores, bars or restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages to be sued for damages in such cases.

California is among a handful of states that limits civil liability under dram shop laws. Civil Code Section 1714 affords protections for bar owners and other business establishments from liability in situations where a patron drinks alcohol at their premises, leaves and subsequently injures or kills another person in a drunk driving accident.

Civil Code 1714 mandates: “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care…the furnishing of alcoholic beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries resulting from intoxication, but rather the consumption of alcoholic beverages is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person.”

While a bar owner may not be charged with a felony or sued for civil damages under California dram shop provisions, the bar owner can face misdemeanor charges, fines and possible jail time.

The reasoning behind this legislation is that it can be challenging to determine who is to blame if a drunk person injures another in an auto accident after leaving a bar or other establishment, since strict liability infers that the bar was directly responsible simply by serving alcohol. In other words, the consumption of alcohol, not the serving of it, is the proximate cause of the accident.

Liability for serving alcohol to a minor in California

California dram shop law does have one notable exception to this civil immunity. If a bar, restaurant or other commercial purveyor serves alcohol to a minor who is obviously inebriated at the time of service, they can be sued for any resulting injury or death caused by this individual.

Consequently, any club, bar, concert venue or establishment can be held liable for wrongful death or personal injury if they served alcohol to a person under the age of 21 who was visibly drunk and later caused an accident that killed or injured another.

Los Angeles DUI accident attorney

If you have questions about dram shop laws in California or need experienced representation from a car accident attorney Los Angeles trusts, contact the Salamati Law Firm for a free, private consultation.

Additional Resources on California DUI Deaths:

  1. ABC California, ENFORCEMENT AND VIOIATIONS https://www.abc.ca.gov/questions/enforcement_faq1.html
  2. National Conference of State Legislatures, AM SHOP CIVIL LIABILITY AND CRIMINAL PENALTY STATE STATUTES http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/dram-shop-liability-state-statutes.aspx
  3. OTS California, 2017 Annual Report https://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Publications_and_Reports/doc/CA_OTS_2017_Annual_Report.pdf
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Lack of Staffing in Nursing Homes Affects Resident Care

August 6, 2018 Elder Abuse

Recent federal data suggests that most nursing homes had fewer workers on staff than they had self-reported to federal agencies.

senior woman in nursing home clasped hand

Recent federal data suggests that most nursing homes had fewer workers on staff than they had self-reported to federal agencies. The news confirms the suspicions of many residents of long-term care facilities and their family members and puts residents at risk.

Data shows nursing homes overstate staffing

The recent data comes from an analysis by Kaiser Health News, which reviewed daily staffing reports from 14,000 nursing homes, which in the past had been unavailable but which are now being provided in accordance with requirements under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The review indicates that many nursing homes’ ratings under the government’s five-star rating program, which is based on self-reported data, often exaggerated the level of staffing.

Not only does the analysis show that the nursing home staffing numbers differ from what facilities represented to the government, but in many cases they fell below the minimum required. Medicare does not set a minimum ratio of staff to residents, but it does require that each facility have a registered nurse present at least eight hours per day, and a licensed nurse present at all times. Even facilities that Medicare has granted high ratings for staffing levels fell short on meeting these requirements. In just the last three months of 2017, one out of every four nursing homes did not have a nurse on staff for at least one day.

Pitfalls of short staffing in nursing facilities

Though Medicare has rejected pleas that it set minimum staffing ratios, federal data shows that one out of every eight facilities has been cited for inadequate staffing. Industry observers point out that when there is inadequate staff, overworked employees need to focus on immediate tasks like feeding residents, while foregoing other necessary but seemingly less pressing tasks like moving residents to prevent bedsores. Unsurprisingly, residents in short-handed nursing homes are more likely to suffer complications like bedsores, infections, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and pneumonia.

Under staffing has been such a big problem in some California nursing homes that residents in Cupertino are taking action. Last June, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Robert Barbendel against Cupertino Healthcare & Wellness Center, alleging that the chain of over a dozen nursing and rehabilitation facilities intentionally violates laws by admitting new residents without informing them that there is inadequate staff to care for them. The complaint alleges that the nursing facilities under staff in order to net a larger profit.

Holding nursing homes in Southern California accountable

The Cupertino lawsuit is one approach to holding nursing homes accountable for not maintaining safe staff ratios. When residents have been harmed by neglect due to under staffing, they or their loved ones may be entitled to file a lawsuit. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to nursing home neglect in California, speak with a Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyer at the Salamati Law Firm. If you have concerns about a loved one’s nursing home injuries, call 855-544-0776 today to schedule a free consultation.

Additional nursing home under staffing resources:

  1. New York Times, ‘It’s Almost Like a Ghost Town.’ Most Nursing Homes Overstated Staffing for Years, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/07/health/nursing-homes-staffing-medicare.html
  2. Mercury News, Lawsuit accuses Cupertino nursing home of under staffing to increase profit, https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/30/lawsuit-accuses-cupertino-nursing-home-of-understaffing-to-increase-profit/
  3. Journal of the National Medical Association, Understaffed Nursing Homes Affecting Patients, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594332/pdf/jnma00322-0014b.pdf
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My Car Was Hit While Parked – What Next?

July 31, 2018 Auto Accidents

Few things are as aggravating as coming back to your car, ready to slide in and turn on some music…

using smartphone take photo car crash accident of the damage to the car for accident insuranceFew things are as aggravating as coming back to your car, ready to slide in and turn on some music… and finding your car has been hit.

Seeing someone hit your parked car and drive away as you are walking back to it is equally frustrating.

You shouldn’t limit your responses to swearing and crying, though, understandable as those are. Hitting a parked car needs to be treated the same as with any other accident, with calmness and the gathering of information.

Gather Information and Notify Authorities

Drivers who hit a parked car shouldn’t leave the scene. It’s an accident that has damaged property. If they absolutely must leave, they should leave a note with information on how to get in touch with them, or find out the identity of the car’s owner with a view to contacting them later.

If they can’t do either of these things, they should contact the police, just as they would in an accident where cars were moving.

If no attempt to contact anyone is made, it’s a hit and run accident.

What You Should Do

So what’s next if you see no note or contact information?

First, contact the police. They will come and take down information on what happened. A police accident report ensures that your insurance company will have official notification of the accident and the circumstances.

Second, ask passers-by if they witnessed anyone hitting your vehicle. If possible, it’s a good idea to find the driver. If a witness can give you a description of the car, the driver, or even part of the license plate, it could help. Note, though, that passers-by were not necessarily around when your car was hit.

Third, snap multiple pictures of your car if you can. Many people carry smartphones: use that camera if available. Take pictures from every angle. It gives your insurance carrier an idea of how and from which angle the car was hit, and establishes the extent of the damage.

Pictures can be used in potential claims against the hit-and-run driver, if they can be found.

Fourth, write down the details about where your car was and when you found it. Specific addresses, times, and dates are helpful.

Fifth, after police have finished and you have gathered all information, call your insurance carrier. Call them as soon as possible, and before you leave the scene. Some adjusters will want to take their own pictures and file a report.

An Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Southern California

Finding your car damaged at a parking site is more than annoying. It’s a hit-and-run crime.

If you or a loved one found their car damaged as a result of being hit while it was parked, call the experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyers at Salamati Law Firm today. Sean Salamati has been obtaining justice in LA car accidents for years. Let him put his experience to work for you.

Additional Resources:

  1. Hitting a parked car: essential next steps. Insurance.com. August 2, 2017. https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/parked-car-insurance.html
  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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July 27, 2018 Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) leaves more than just a physical effect. Those who suffer a moderate or severe TBI often

power of mind headTraumatic brain injury (TBI) leaves more than just a physical effect. Those who suffer a moderate or severe TBI often suffer not just physical impairment but also emotional and cognitive impairments. Modern trends in therapy aim have a holistic effect, helping the patient regain both physical and non-physical abilities.

Appropriate therapy after TBI

The impact of a brain injury will depend on factors such as the degree of impact and location of the brain damage. The most effective treatment is tailored to help the person meet their daily challenges, both at home and at work. Treatment approaches can include:

  • Physical therapy to help regain physical strength, flexibility, and coordination
  • Speech therapy to improve the ability to speak and even swallow, if that ability has been lost. Speech therapy can also include learning to communicate using special devices.
  • Occupational therapy to focus on re-learning how to perform necessary tasks like personal care and hygiene.
  • Vocational rehabilitation helps a person attain the skills needed to return to work and respond to challenges in the workplace.\
  • Cognitive therapy helps the patient improve cognitive skills like memory, perception, attention, judgment, and planning.
  • Psychological counseling addresses the emotional aspects of a brain injury, helping the person to cope and address work and relationship effects.

TBI patients find therapeutic value in creative outlets

TBI can lead to depression and other mental health issues that are, unfortunately, still stigmatized in society. Psychological therapy suffers from the same stigma and often deters brain injury patients from getting the help they need. But some individuals with brain injuries are finding help from creative therapy.

Drexel University conducted an 8-year study that followed the mental health of 1,500 active-duty service members who participated in art therapy. One of the participants was Chris Stowe, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2016 after suffering from traumatic brain injury sustained as a bomb technician. Stowe experienced anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder but was hesitant to seek treatment. He now sees the value in it and runs a weekly glass-blowing workshop as art therapy for service members and veterans.

Creative therapy is now being incorporated around the world. For instance, the Scottish Head Injuries Musical Support Group is a theater group in Scotland made up entirely of individuals who have a TBI. The group gives members a way to connect with others who understand what they are going through while educating their audience about misunderstood aspects of recovery.

Brain injury therapy in California

The good news for those in LA who have suffered a TBI is that there are many art therapy and other creative therapy options in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. However, many people face battles with insurance to cover these types of rehabilitation because the damage is not visible to the naked eye.

If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury and believe someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to compensation, including the cost of rehabilitative therapy. TBI is complex but you can increase your likelihood of success with an experienced Los Angeles traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side. Call the Salamati Law Firm today at 855-544-0776 for a free consultation.

Additional TBI therapy resources:

  1. NCBI, What are the treatments for TBI?, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/tbi/conditioninfo/treatment
  2. Philly.com, For service members with traumatic brain injuries, art can be healing, http://www.philly.com/philly/health/how-art-can-reveal-trauma-in-soldiers-recovering-from-traumatic-brain-injury-20180703.html
  3. Largs & Millport News, Remarkable tale from trauma to theatre after brain injury is moving, http://www.largsandmillportnews.com/news/16367650.remarkable-tale-from-trauma-to-theatre-after-brain-injury-is-moving/
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When Is Surgery Necessary for a Neck Injury?

July 20, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Your neck is a complex structure of spinal bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Any one of those components

Doctor checking neck brace of his patient in medical office

Your neck is a complex structure of spinal bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. Any one of those components can sustain damage in a fall or a motor vehicle accident, leading to severe acute or perhaps even chronic pain. And in some cases, patients need ongoing medical interventions, which may occasionally include surgery. The decision to have surgery is not one to make lightly. In addition to the practical considerations (medical costs, hospitalization, and lost time at work), there are potential health and safety risks associated with every surgery. Only a qualified surgeon can tell you if surgery might be a good option for you.

When your symptoms are debilitating

Neck injuries can range from mild to severe. If you suffer from mild to moderate symptoms, you might not be a good candidate for surgery. Be specific when describing your symptoms to your doctor. Your doctor may find it helpful to know if you generally have a low or high pain tolerance.

Another consideration is the extent to which your symptoms interfere with your daily activities. Tell your doctor if you’re unable to work, perform self-care tasks, do tasks around the house, or play with your kids or grandkids.

When you’ve already tried conservative treatment options

Surgery is almost always considered a last resort option. Talk to your doctor about the treatments you’ve already tried. Most patients with moderate to severe neck injuries try over-the-counter or prescription-strength pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, heat and cold therapy, and gentle stretching. If you haven’t yet worked with a physical therapist, your doctor may ask you to schedule some sessions before considering surgery. Chiropractic care can also be very helpful for neck injuries, particularly whiplash.

When there is an identified anatomical cause of your pain

Before determining whether you’re a good candidate for neck surgery, your doctor will ask you to undergo some imaging studies. They may include x-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. One of the things your doctor will look for is whether there is an anatomical cause of your symptoms. If so, then you may benefit from surgery. For example, you may have suffered disc herniation during the accident. In this case, the surgeon may remove the herniated portion of the disc to relieve your symptoms.

When is it time to pursue a personal injury claim in Los Angeles, CA?

You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim if your neck injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle crashes are all common causes of neck injuries, as are slip and fall incidents. In all of these types of accidents, there’s a possibility that someone else may be held accountable for your injury.

There is a deadline to filing a neck injury lawsuit, so talk with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer right away. Sean Salamati has served residents of LA and throughout southern California for two decades. Our firm takes on complex cases, and we have a long track record of successful legal advocacy services. Call us today for your free consultation at 855-544-0776. We can improve your chances of recovering compensation for your missed time at work, medical expenses, and poor quality of life because of your neck injury.

Additional resources for neck injury patients

  1. Everyday Health, When Surgery Is Needed for Neck Pain, https://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/neck-pain/surgery.aspx
  2. WebMD, What Surgeries Help with Neck Pain? https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/surgeries-neck-pain#1
  3. Spine Universe, Cervical Spine Surgery: Will You Need Surgery for Your Neck Pain? https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/neck-pain/cervical-spine-surgery-will-you-need-surgery-your-neck-pain
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July 13, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

California is the top state when it comes to motorcyclists. According to World Atlas, there are approximately 800,000 motorcycles registered

Motorcycle couple holding helmets in hands on the road

California is the top state when it comes to motorcyclists. According to World Atlas, there are approximately 800,000 motorcycles registered here – at least 200,000 more than in any other state. For bikers and other motorists, this means accidents are more common and the CA legislature has adopted laws to minimize damage.

Under California law, anyone riding a motorcycle must wear a helmet. What happens if you were not in compliance with the state helmet law when you were injured in a motorcycle crash? It depends on the circumstances.

Recovering damages after a motorcycle accident

Those who are injured by another person’s negligence are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. This means if you were operating a motorcycle and were struck by the negligent driver of another vehicle, that driver would likely be liable for your injuries. However, the amount that you are allowed to recover can be reduced in proportion to your own negligence.

If you suffered a head injury in a motorcycle crash in which you were not wearing a helmet, the other driver may be able to argue that the injury would have been prevented if only you had complied with the helmet law. On the other hand, if your injuries were strictly to limbs or other parts of your body that do not affect your head or neck, a helmet still would not have kept you safe so there may not be a reduction in recovery.

It is not easy to guess what your chances of recovery will be in a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, speak with an experienced attorney who handles the specific type of case in order to receive an informed opinion.

Traumatic brain injuries caused by motorcycle accidents

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when someone experiences a bump or blow to the head that causes an internal injury. TBIs are the leading cause of accidental deaths and motorcycle accidents are the number 2 cause of TBIs in the United States. Sadly, according to national statistics, more than half of all motorcyclists who are admitted to the emergency room with a TBI do not survive the accident.

In some cases, a non-fatal TBI is immediately apparent, but in others it can go undetected while still causing impairment. Additionally, many TBI victims do not follow through with aftercare, increasing the likelihood of complications.

Recover for a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles

A TBI can cost a victim multiple times over, from the initial medical bills to lost wages. When it can be shown that the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, that person may be liable under California law.

If you suffered a TBI or other injury in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether you were wearing a helmet, speak with a LA motorcycle accident lawyer to find out about your rights. Attorney Sean Salamati fights for the rights of accident victims throughout Southern California and can help you understand your legal options. Call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Additional motorcycle accident resources:

  1. California Legislative Information, California Vehicle Code Section 27803, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&division=12.&title=&part=&chapter=5.&article=7.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion, https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/
  3. World Atlas, The Number of Motorcycles by State, https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/who-rides-the-most-motorcycles-in-the-us.html
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How to Choose the Best Motorcycle for Seniors

July 11, 2018 Motorcycle Accidents

As Baby Boomers approach retirement age, the average age of motorcycle riders has risen. In 2001, the average age of

Motorcycle headlight in perspective Close up photoAs Baby Boomers approach retirement age, the average age of motorcycle riders has risen. In 2001, the average age of American bikers was 40. By 2010, the average age had climbed to 49. But it is not just that the biker population is aging – in 2009, more than 10% of new riders were over the age of 50. It is important for seniors to buy the right bike for them in order to stay safe on our California roads.

Seniors flocking to motorcycles

A couple extra decades of life experienced comes with many advantages – many new riders are retired professionals and others who find they finally have the time and money to invest in a quality bike. And of course, age brings maturity and focus.

Unfortunately, age also increases the likelihood of injury, as well as healing time. Older riders need to take these factors into account when choosing a motorcycle.

Seniors are more likely to be seriously injured in motorcycle accidents

According to emergency room doctors, seniors are more likely to be seriously injured or die in a bike crash compared to younger riders and the numbers have been rising. For example, from 1996 to 2005, the proportion of bikers over the age of 40 involved in crashes rose from 28% to about 50%. Riders in the 50-59 age group have been the fastest-growing group to suffer motorcycle injuries. Notably, helmet and alcohol usage were consistent across age groups.

Some of the reasons include:

  • Decreased reaction time
  • Visual impairment
  • Balance issues
  • Loss in bone strength
  • Reduction in brain size

Choosing a motorcycle as a senior

The first rule for anyone choosing a motorcycle is to put safety first. The surest way to do this is to choose a bike for your size and experience. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • Your height and weight. Remember these may have changed over the years. Whatever your current stats are, you need to be able to reach all controls and put at least one foot on the ground when stopped.
  • Ability to control a heavy bike. As you rack up birthdays, it will likely become more difficult to maneuver a large bike. Consider a lighter weight in order to maintain control of your bike on the road.
  • Experience level. Newer riders may have a better experience with a lighter bike while learning to ride. For more experienced riders, larger touring bikes tend to be more comfortable.
  • Where and how you plan to ride. Take an honest assessment of where you think you will ride. Cities? Recreational trails? Long distances on the highway? There are bikes suitable for each of these but they may not all be right for you.

Speak with a Los Angeles motorcycle attorney

Preparing for a safe ride is the first step to preventing a motorcycle accident. If you are injured in an accident, speak with LA motorcycle accident lawyer Sean Salamati as soon as possible. Sean is dedicated to serving personal injury victims throughout Southern California. Call today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Additional resources for choosing a motorcycle:

  1. AARP, How to Choose the Right Motorcycle, https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/arts-leisure/info-05-2011/motorcycles-and-rides.html
  2. Futurity, Senior road warriors losing the safety battle, https://www.futurity.org/senior-road-warriors-losing-the-safety-battle/
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5 Delayed Signs You May Have a Concussion

July 6, 2018 Brain Injuries

Research on traumatic brain injuries suggests that delayed treatment could prolong and even hamper recovery. A concussion is among the

concussion symptoms

Research on traumatic brain injuries suggests that delayed treatment could prolong and even hamper recovery. A concussion is among the most common types of brain injury, usually caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Depending on the severity, concussions can have life-altering consequences and complications, so it’s important to know the symptoms – especially considering they don’t always appear right away. In fact, they may take several days or weeks to manifest in subtle ways.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be knocked unconscious to have suffered a concussion. This type of brain trauma is not always the result of a bump to the head. A bad fall down the stairs, a violent body check (in contact sports or during a vehicle accident), is enough to bounce the brain inside the skull and damage delicate cells.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones by recognizing concussion symptoms, which can come on suddenly or slowly over time. If any of the following signs are present, you can reduce the risk of lasting repercussions by seeking prompt medical attention. With early diagnosis and proper care, most people with mild concussions can expect a full recovery.

#1: A bad headache that won’t go away

Concussive patients often complain of a “pressure headache” that tends to worsen when lying down and gets better when standing up. This type of headache doesn’t respond to OTC medications.

#2: You’re feeling detached and slow

A brain injury can impact mental function, making you feel foggy or like you took too much sleep medication. You may be feeling detached from your surroundings, confused and find it difficult to make decisions or pay attention.

#3: Not acting like your normal self

Subtle changes in mood and personality are another symptom of concussion that doesn’t show up right away. If you’re normally an upbeat, happy person who feels anxious, depressed or angry, this could be a sign of brain injury.

#4: Sleep disturbances

An estimated 90 percent of concussive patients experience some form of insomnia. If your sleep patterns have changed or you can’t fall asleep despite feeling tired, it’s time to get checked out.

#5: Coordination & balance problems

Feeling off balance is another hallmark sign of a concussion. This may or may not be accompanied by a dizziness as well. Brain injury can also affect coordination since processing speeds are slowed down.

It’s easy to dismiss a bit of “brain fog,” or feeling slower than usual. But medical experts say that if you feel that something isn’t quite right, it’s better to consult with your doctor.

There is no definitive test for a concussion, meaning this type of brain injury can go undiagnosed in those who are not aware of the signs. If your physician also suspects a concussion, he or she may refer you to a neurologist for further treatment.

Legal guidance for TBI victims in Los Angeles

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 75 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States are concussions. No matter if you were in a truck accident, car crash or slipped and hit your head, you deserve to be compensated if negligence played a role.

Salamati Law can explain your options and outline the best course of action in your case. Call our law office today and talk to an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer in Los Angeles free of charge.

Additional Resources on Concussion Injuries and Symptoms:

  1. CDC, What are the Signs and Symptoms of Concussion? https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/symptoms.html
  2. Prevention, 8 Signs Of A Concussion You Need To Know https://www.prevention.com/health/g20489283/8-signs-of-a-concussion-you-need-to-know/
  3. BrainLine.org, Facts About Concussion and Brain Injury https://www.brainline.org/article/facts-about-concussion-and-brain-injury
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Wet Surface Falls & Resulting Injuries

July 5, 2018 Slip Trip and Fall

A slip and fall accident, when caused by a property owner’s negligence, can give rise to a viable claim for

A slip and fall accident, when caused by a property owner’s negligence, can give rise to a viable claim for compensation. Wet surfaces are one of the greatest risks for a serious slip and fall injury.  According to the National Floor Safety Institute, wet or slippery surfaces account for the majority of fall accidents in the United States.

Given that many victims of such accidents sustain broken bones, traumatic brain jury, spinal cord damage, torn ligaments and other debilitating harm, it’s no wonder that these cases settle for high dollar amounts – often reaching six and seven figures.

Wet flooring surfaces, whether inside or outside of a building, are a hazardous condition that should be addressed immediately by property owners or managers. At the very minimum, guests should be made aware of unsafe conditions with a yellow warning sign or barred from walking on certain areas where slick surfaces are present. Property managers are also expected to place floor mats or anti-skid rugs where wet or slippery surfaces may exist. When this duty to use reasonable care is breached, and physical harm results, victims may be eligible to sue for monetary damages.

In order to protect your rights, it’s imperative to align yourself with a qualified slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible. The legal team at Salamati Law has extensive experience handling premises liability claims in California, and works tirelessly to achieve maximum compensation for our clients.

Substantial fall injuries result in higher legal payouts

Fall injuries are not only painful to endure, they can be incredibly expensive. From hospitalization and doctor’s appointments, to surgery and long-term care, these injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, putting a huge burden on victims and their loved ones.

Settlements will take into account not only past and ongoing medical bills, but pain and emotional suffering, lost income, and damages such as loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life. Historically speaking, wet surface fall accidents resulting in spinal cord injury, paralysis, skull fractures and brain damage have been some of the highest paying claims.

The Los Angeles-based Salamati Law office is committed to helping fall injury victims receive justice. Our firm boasts a stellar reputation for aggressive advocacy and has procured major settlements in complex slip and fall cases.

Through thorough investigations that uncover the truth and pinpoint liability, a personal injury lawyer from our firm can help victims and their families hold negligent property owners responsible. A successful personal injury claim can seek money damages that adequately reflect the pain, suffering and financial losses endured.

Causes of slippery surfaces and common defenses

Slippery and wet floors are often caused by:

  • Rain that falls into a doorway or is tracked inside
  • Waxing, polishing or mopping
  • Cleaning agents that accidentally spill on the floor
  • Naturally slick flooring surfaces such as marble
  • Spilled liquids that aren’t cleaned up

Property owners can be held accountable in a court of law if it is proven that they knew or should have known about a hazardous condition (i.e. a wet or slippery floor) or caused the dangerous condition and did nothing to remedy or address the situation.  Whether the slip and fall accident happened at a commercial property or a private home, there are several defenses that may be raised. These include:

  • Assumption of risk – the injured plaintiff was aware of a potential falling risk, as it was obvious, but voluntarily took this risk anyway
  • There was no breach of duty – the defendant may argue that they were not aware of a spilled liquid (or other condition that caused a wet surface)
  • Comparative negligence – the injured plaintiff bears some responsibility for the accident. For example, they were texting while walking and did not notice the “wet floor” sign

Superior legal representation in California

Your choice of Los Angeles personal injury attorney can mean the difference between a successful insurance settlement or having no compensation for your injuries, lost wages and medical bills. When your health and livelihood are at stake, put your trust in Sean Salamati.

Call today for a free case evaluation and discuss your claim with a veteran personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.

Additional Resources on Wet Floor Slip and Fall Injuries: 

  1. University of Wisconsin, Accident Prevention: Slips, Trips and Falls http://www.uwosh.edu/ehs/campus-health-and-safety/general-safety/occupational-safety/accident-prevention-slips-trips-and-falls
  2. GuideOneInsurance, Wet Surface Slip and Fall Prevention https://www.guideone.com/safety-resources/slips-and-falls-prevention-wet-surfaces
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4 Common Nursing Home Hazards

June 29, 2018 Elder Abuse, Slip Trip and Fall

The State of California Health Facilities Consumer Information System lists more than 2,600 long-term care facilities in the state. When

patient abused by nursing home caregiverThe State of California Health Facilities Consumer Information System lists more than 2,600 long-term care facilities in the state. When families choose one of these facilities for a loved one, they place great trust in it for their family member’s everyday care, safety, and well-being. Ideally nursing homes will be free of safety hazards but in many senior living homes, there are common dangers that can lead to serious injury. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney explains below.

#1 Slips and falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls affect the vast majority of seniors, and those who fall once are likely to fall again. The CDC estimates that approximately 75% of a nursing home’s residents will suffer a fall in a given year.

Risk factors for slip and fall accidents in nursing homes include:

  • Improper lighting
  • Floor hazards like loose carpeting or wet floors
  • Inadequate handrails
  • Lack of safety alert system to allow residents to call for help

#2 Medication errors

Many seniors take multiple medications. And any nursing home may be responsible for administering hundreds of prescriptions in precise doses each day. Medical errors can cause critical emergencies from overdose, falls from dizziness, and even death.

According to one study, between 16 and 31 percent of residents are improperly administered medications. In addition, three out of every four residents are prescribed at least one medication that is potentially incorrect. Improperly-administered medications have also been linked to falls by nursing home residents.

#3 Sedentary living

Limited mobility puts seniors at increased risk for bedsores. Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores can develop on parts of the body that are exposed to prolonged pressure. Areas that come into contact with chairs and beds, such as tailbones, ankles, backs of heads, hips, and spines are especially vulnerable.

Nursing home staff need to help residents move as needed to alleviate pressure on these sensitive body parts. Early bedsores may only involve mild skin irritation but if left untreated, they can develop into serious wounds that involve muscle and bone, putting the resident at risk for infections and other serious complications.

If your loved one is showing signs of bedsores, it could be a sign that they are not getting the attention they need.

#4 Resident abuse

One of the most unsettling things to think about is a loved one being abused by a nursing home caregiver. Neglect, which can lead to bedsores and other ailments, is one type of elder abuse. But it can also take place in the form of physical or psychological abuse. Another form of nursing home abuse that is often overlooked is resident-to-resident abuse.

Whether a resident is abused by a caregiver or another resident, a nursing home is required to report within certain time frames. The facility may also be liable for the injuries suffered.

Talk to a an elder abuse and nursing home neglect lawyer in Southern California

If you or a loved one resides in a nursing home and suffers a personal injury due to the facility’s negligence, the law may allow recovery. Salamati Law serves personal injury clients in Los Angeles and throughout Southern CA so that they can receive the compensation they deserve while holding at-fault nursing homes accountable. A financial recovery may pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. Call today for a free case review with Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer.

 Additional resources about nursing home hazards:

  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Nursing Home and Personal Care Facilities: Hazards and Solutions, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/nursinghome/hazards_solutions.html
  2. University of California San Francisco Science of Caring, How Can We Reduce Adverse Events in Long-Term Care Settings?, https://scienceofcaring.ucsf.edu/research/how-can-we-reduce-adverse-events-long-term-care-settings
  3. NPR, Serious Nursing Home Abuse Often Not Reported to Police, Federal Investigators Find, https://www.npr.org/2017/08/28/546460187/serious-nursing-home-abuse-often-not-reported-to-police-federal-investigators-fi
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