4 Things to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

June 15, 2018 Slip Trip and Fall

Slip and fall accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries every year, in businesses, homes, and on streets. People who

caution wet floor sign at a corridorSlip and fall accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries every year, in businesses, homes, and on streets.

People who slip and fall are often disoriented. They may be injured. They may be embarrassed. They may simply want to get home.

But it’s very important to take the right steps after a slip and fall accident. Businesses and private property owners must take reasonable care to maintain their premises in a safe condition. If something occurs to make the premises unsafe, such as spilled liquid or rain, they must take steps to clear up the unsafe conditions, including placing warning signs around the area.

Businesses and private property owners can also be responsible for sidewalks that are directly in front of their property.

If they don’t do this, they can be found liable for any injuries in a slip and fall. But injured people need evidence of their injuries, and they need evidence of what the conditions were. Immediately leaving the scene could mean that you don’t have a record of what happened, and thus you don’t have evidence. This will make it much harder for your Los Angeles personal injury attorney to present your case.

Here’s what you need to do after a slip and fall accident.

1. Get medical attention

If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, the first thing you need to do is seek appropriate medical attention. Don’t wait! Falls that resulted in your hitting your head could cause a concussion, for example, which can have serious consequences. You may feel okay, but still have serious injuries.

Be sure to tell your doctor everything that happened. If you bring a legal claim, those records can be used.

2. Report the incident

Second, you need to report the incident to the person in charge. This could be a store manager, a landlord, or whoever would be responsible for the area.

They need to know that a condition exists that needs to be fixed. In addition, if you have a legal claim that goes to trial, a jury might find it odd that you never reported the incident.

3. Take pictures and keep a record

In today’s world, many people carry a smartphone with a camera. For slip and fall victims, that’s actually good news. One of the most crucial things you can do is collect evidence of your slip and fall accident, and pictures are a great way to make an immediate record.

If you are injured, take pictures of your injury from several angles. Don’t wait until bruises have faded or cuts healed.

Take pictures of the area. Show any unsafe places.

If you don’t have a phone or camera, take notes immediately on what happened. People tend to misremember once a day or so has passed, so take notes as soon as you can. Write what happened, why, and what occurred as a result.

4. Get contact information of witnesses

If people saw you slip and fall, try and get their contact information. They may be called as witnesses in a legal case.

While many business owners and private property owners want to do the right thing, some may try to minimize the situation or even make untrue statements. Witnesses will make sure that you have evidence.

If You Need an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney in Southern California

Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall accident in Los Angeles? Sean Salamati is a Los Angeles slip and fall lawyer who is experienced and aggressive in premises liability cases. Call us today for a free consultation at 800-957-9898.

More tips on what to do after sustaining a slip, trip or fall injury:

  1. National Restaurant Association. Don’t Trip Up: Preventing Slips and Falls. https://www.restaurant.org/Manage-My-Restaurant/Operations/Back-of-House/Dont-trip-up-Preventing-slips-and-falls
  2. National Safety Council. Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention Training. https://www.nsc.org/safety-training/workplace/slips-trips-and-falls
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5 Things To Do If You Are Involved in a Lyft or Uber Accident in Los Angeles

May 9, 2018 Auto Accidents

As ride-sharing services continue to be a popular choice for transportation across Southern California, the likelihood of being involved in

woman waiting for lyft or uber rideshare

As ride-sharing services continue to be a popular choice for transportation across Southern California, the likelihood of being involved in an Uber or Lyft accident in Los Angeles keeps increasing. In some ways, Uber and Lyft crashes are like other auto accidents, but they can be extra complicated for a passenger who chooses to file a personal injury claim. If you are involved in a ride-sharing crash, here are some tips for what to do in the aftermath.

#1: Put safety first

Like any other type of auto accident, the first step is to check to see if everyone is safe. Be sure to check yourself carefully and do not be tempted to downplay your own injuries – pain often intensifies for the first 48 hours after a crash.

#2: Report the accident to the authorities

Call the police and, if there is any sign of an injury, the paramedics. Do not be tempted to skip making a police report, even if the Uber or Lyft driver wants to skip this step. You will be much better off if there is an official record of the accident.

#3: Gather information

Like any other crash, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the others involved in the accident. Also try to obtain:

  • Names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Notes on the vehicles involved, including license plate numbers, make, model, and color
  • Pictures of the vehicles, accident site, and even shots including people at the scene

#4: Seek medical attention

If you are immediately injured, head to the ER. But even if you think you are not injured, make a visit to your doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries caused by car crashes are not immediately known, but the earlier you address it, the better your outlook will be. Also, spotting an injury quickly makes it easier to prove that it was caused by the accident rather than something else.

#5: Speak with a lawyer

Your driver should report the accident to the ride-sharing company, but if they do not, someone needs to do that on your behalf. Let your lawyer do that; once you have a lawyer representing you, the Uber or Lyft insurance company will need to communicate with your lawyer instead of hassling you directly.

Your lawyer will also take care of things like sending letters informing the ride-share company and other potential parties that they must preserve all evidence for potential litigation. He or she can also help you determine whether you need to make insurance claims to anyone other than the ride sharing company’s insurer.

Protect your rights after a ride-sharing accident

Unfortunately, Uber and Lyft accidents are the wave of the future. The popularity of the services is growing, and so is the number of accidents involving ride-sharing vehicles. But the skilled Los Angeles car accident attorneys of the Salamati Law Firm understand the issues involved, helping those injured in Lyft and Uber accidents obtain full recovery.

Read More on Uber and Lyft accidents:

  1. What Do I Do If My Uber Ride Crashes?
  2. Uber Accidents and Ride Sharing Liability in California.

Additional resources for Lyft and Uber accidents in L.A.:

  1. Inc.com, Ride Sharing Is Convenient. But What Happens If There’s an Accident?, https://www.inc.com/john-white/ride-sharing-is-convenient-but-what-happens-if-there-is-an-accident.html
  2. Nerdwallet, Should You Worry About an Accident With an Uber or Lyft Driver?, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/should-you-worry-about-an-accident-with-an-uber-or-lyft-driver/
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3 Construction Fall Hazards

May 8, 2018 Construction Site Accidents

Year after year, falls remain one of the top causes of death on construction sites across the nation. According to

Construction workers on construction siteYear after year, falls remain one of the top causes of death on construction sites across the nation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), from 2003 through 2013, falls were responsible for more than 3,500 workplace deaths in the industry. During this decade, falls from rooftops accounted for nearly 35 percent of all construction worker fatalities. The real tragedy in this figure is that most of these deaths are preventable with proper training, the right equipment and planning.

In 2016 alone, 360 construction workers fell to their death while on the job. It is no surprise then, that falls are one of OSHA’s “Fatal Four” – the principle safety hazards that account for the lion’s share of construction worker deaths. The Fatal Four, which include falls, electrocutions, struck-by accidents and getting caught in-between incidents, are responsible for more than 67 percent of all reported deaths in the construction industry.

Occupational fatalities caused by falls

Fall hazards are prevalent at all construction sites and are defined as any factor that can cause a worker to lose their balance or support resulting in a fall. Any time you are working at heights more than four feet, you are at risk for a serious fall-related injury. OSHA mandates that fall protection must be furnished when working at 6 feet in the construction industry, or in environments where one is working above heavy equipment or dangerous machinery.

Major types of fall hazards in construction

What are the most prevalent fall hazards in construction? Anecdotal evidence and accident reports have shown these to be the biggest culprits:

#1: Unprotected roofs, roof edges and leading edges on structural steel.

Example provided by OSHA: An iron worker standing on a concrete wall fell 30 feet to the ground and suffered spinal injuries resulting in paralysis below the chest. He was wearing a harness at the time, but was not tied in.

#2: Improper scaffold construction.

Example: A worker preparing to remove masonry fascia from a build site fell from the third level of a welded-frame scaffold. There was no guarding system on the scaffold. And the surface was coated in ice, making it extra slippery. 

#3: Dangerous portable ladders.

Falls from unsecure ladders result in 100 deaths annually. Example: A worker fell 12 feet from an unsecured 24-foot extension ladder, which he had leaned against the façade board of a building wall. He suffered leg fracture injuries and was hospitalized for over a week.

Employer responsibility

Construction workers must be provided with proper training on how to identify fall hazards, whether working on scaffolds, ladders, or other building structures more than 6 feet in height. Employers are obligated to follow OSHA regulations by providing:

  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)/Personal Fall Arrest System
  • Ensuring portable ladders and scaffolds are properly used and in good condition
  • Performing routine worksite equipment inspections
  • Training on the use of fall protection equipment

Legal recourse for victims

When employers fail to ensure their workers have the right training and fall protection equipment, catastrophic injuries often result. OSHA’s regulations are in place to help minimize needless injuries and deaths and create a safe working environment.

The Salamati Law Firm is well-versed in the various hazards common to the construction industry. When negligence plays a role in serious personal injury, victims deserve an advocate who will fight for their rights to fair compensation.

To schedule a complimentary case review with a skilled construction accident lawyer Los Angeles residents have come to trust, call our offices today at 1-855-583-6837.

Additional Resources on Construction Fall Hazards:

  1. Construction Connect, Avoiding OSHA’s Fatal Four – Fall Hazards https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/construction-safety/avoiding-oshas-fatal-four-fall-hazards/
  2. Safety and Health Magazine, Falls in construction: A deadly hazard http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/14832-falls-in-construction-a-deadly-hazard
  3. OSHA, Fall Hazards https://www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/construction/focus_four/falls/falls_ig.pdf
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Who is Liable if I Slip and Fall on a Wet or Waxed Floor?

April 25, 2018 Slip Trip and Fall

If you’ve ever slipped and fallen on a wet or waxed floor, you know it can happen in an instant.

slip and fallIf you’ve ever slipped and fallen on a wet or waxed floor, you know it can happen in an instant. One minute you’re walking along. The next minute, you could be flat on your back.

Unfortunately, slip and fall accidents on a wet or waxed floor can be more than sudden. They can be extremely dangerous. Slipping and falling can cause fractures, sprains, concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and lacerations. They can cause people to lose time from work and suffer the economic consequences.

A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help you recover from these accidents but, in the worst case, they can be deadly. 

Who bears the responsibility?

But who is responsible for a slip and fall accident on a wet or waxed floor?

According to California law, the management of commercial establishments must keep their premises safe at all times. If they do not, they are responsible for accidents that occur as a result of unsafe conditions. They can be held accountable for injuries under premises liability statutes if their establishments — stores, hotels, malls, anywhere a consumer might encounter a wet or waxed floor — have unreasonable dangers.

But, if we consider wet or waxed floors, we will realize that there are different levels of responsibility.

If an employee has been mopping or waxing a floor, or is in the midst of so doing, the floors may be dangerous to walk on. For that reason, the employee should place signs clearly demarcating the recently mopped or waxed floor as recently worked on. They should urge passers-by to exercise caution while walking. Better yet, if the floor is truly unsafe, they should rope it off until it is dry again.

If this is done, and a guest ignores the signs and walks anyway, a court might find the injured party responsible or partly responsible for any accident that follows.

But if an employee is mopping or waxing and takes no safety precautions, a court might find for the plaintiff, since the defendant breached their duty of care.

Premises liability and duty of care

But say that a floor gets wet not as a consequence of anything a store employee does. It may be raining, and people’s outerwear or umbrellas track water on the floor. In a busy mall, someone may spill coffee or a bottle of water. In a grocery store, someone may drop a product that they were planning to buy. It if breaks, it could result in a wet floor.

In circumstances like this, business owners or the people responsible for the premises still are obligated to keep the premises safe to walk on. But they must also 1) know that the premises have become unsafe and 2) have had a reasonable amount of time to make the premises safe again.

So in a hotel, store, or mall, management should know within a reasonable amount of time that rain water or spilled liquid is on the floor. They should dispatch someone promptly to cordon the area off until the liquid has been mopped up.

If they do not fix the situation in a reasonable amount of time, a court might find them liable for any ensuing accident.

Slip and fall attorneys in Southern California

The Salamati Law Firm has an exceptional track record of securing justice for their clients, helping them achieve the best possible results following a serious personal injury.

If you or a loved one is in need of a trusted slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles, call  800-957-9898 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Additional Resources on Slip and Fall Liability:

  1. Insurance Information Institute. Insuring Your Business: Small Business Owners’ Guide to Insurance. Controlling Liability Risks http://www.iii.org/publications/insuring-your-business-small-business-owners-guide-to-insurance/risk-management/controlling-liability-risks
  2. LA Times, City settles slip-and-fall case for $30K http://www.latimes.com/tn-gnp-city-settles-slipandfall-case-for-30k-20140125-story.html
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How Do I Find a Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles?

April 18, 2018 Auto Accidents

Auto accidents of all types can result in serious physical injuries, medical expenses and lost wages. If you were hurt

Auto accidents of all types can result in serious physical injuries, medical expenses and lost wages. If you were hurt because of a negligent driver and want to pursue your options for legal compensation, it’s important to choose a reputable attorney to represent your best interests. You’ll want to partner with a lawyer who has ample experience litigating (and winning) auto accident claims, particularly ones that are similar to your own situation.

But how do you find a reliable car accident lawyer in Los Angeles – one who can help secure the money damages you need to recover and move on?

Follow these tips to find an attorney who will handle your case professionally and has the resources to achieve optimal results.   

#1 Look for personal referrals

The quality of your lawyer can make or break your case. You may have colleagues or friends who have had positive results working with a specific car accident attorney. This is a good starting point for generating a list of potential contacts.

#2 Experience and credentials matter

Once you get a few names of attorneys in your area, research their credentials. Look at their websites, do an Internet search and find out about their education, years of experience in the field, and whether they’ve received any legal awards or have been recognized by their peers for superior achievements. You are hiring an advocate, not a friend, and have every right to ensure that your counsel has the qualifications and expertise to properly handle your case.

#3 Review their past case results

A competent attorney with experience should have a list of case results – verdicts and settlements they have achieved during their career. You want to ensure the attorney you choose has a winning track record both inside and out of the courtroom. A good car accident attorney knows how to maximize your recovery and press insurance companies for higher settlements.

#4 Are they prepared to try your case?

Most car accident claims settle out of court, but when push comes to shove, does your attorney have the skill to argue your case before a jury and win? You want an advocate who is prepared to try challenging cases and has the resources and experience to do so.

#5 Clear communication skills

Good lawyers will be engaged during your initial consultation. They will ask detailed questions and provide clear, easy-to-understand answers to your own queries regarding the legal process and fee structure. They will respond to emails and phone calls promptly and keep you updated about the status of your claim.

Questions to ask yourself

After interviewing several prospects, ask yourself the following questions to help narrow down your list.

  • Does the attorney show dedication and passion for the case?
  • Do I believe they have the resources and expertise to win money on my behalf?
  • Do I feel comfortable with them personality wise?
  • Do I understand the legal fee arrangement?
  • Do they inspire full confidence?

Superior legal advocacy in California

Attorney Sean Salamati has devoted his personal injury practice to providing superior legal advocacy for clients. His work ethic, legal prowess, critical thinking skills and experience have earned him a reputation as a leading car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.  Renowned for his tenacious, results-driven representation, Sean Salamati leverages 20 years of experience playing hardball with insurance companies.

Work with an attorney who knows how to maximize your settlement monies. Call The Salamati Law Firm for a free case review today!

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How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in California?

April 16, 2018 Auto Accidents

Your first order of business after being in a car accident will always be to get the medical attention you

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in courtYour first order of business after being in a car accident will always be to get the medical attention you need and to replace any property that was lost or damaged in the accident.

When the initial shock of the accident starts to wear off, you might begin to wonder how much time you have to file an injury claim against the negligent party who was responsible.

Whether the crash happened in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, the state imposes strict deadlines for filing a car accident lawsuit.

The Two-Year California Statute of Limitations 

The California Code of Civil Procedure sets a two-year deadline for starting your lawsuit to recover damages for injuries that you have experienced. If you initiate your case after this two-year deadline, a California Court will likely dismiss your complaint and you will have no opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.  

When does the Statute of Limitations begin?

The two-year deadline generally runs from the actual date of your accident.  If you fail to bring the claim before the two-year anniversary of the accident, a California Court will probably not consider it, unless:

  • you had the accident when you were a minor (i.e. you were under 18 years of age at the time of the accident), in which case the Statute of Limitations does not begin until your 18th birthday;
  • the negligent party was outside of the State of California for a long time and you have been unable to locate him or her, in which event the Statute of Limitations may be extended by the amount of time that the negligent party was outside of the State;
  • an injured party is determined to have been mentally incompetent at the time of the accident.

Other factors that might affect a Statute of Limitations include the death or imprisonment of one of the parties to an accident, or absence due to military service. In all cases, however, you will always be better served by starting your lawsuit within the prescribed two-year period instead of trying to qualify for an exception.

What is the purpose of this deadline?

The Statute of Limitations for starting a car accident lawsuit in LA or anywhere else is designed to resolve disputes before any evidence of the accident is gone and while the memories of witnesses are still fresh. Memories can easily fade or change over time, and actual physical evidence of an accident might be cleaned up or discarded. The legal process is structured to resolve disputes over who is at fault for a car accident quickly, before any evidence is gone or memories become muddled. 

Protect your rights after an auto accident

When it comes to any type of personal injury litigation, time is of the essence. If you choose the Salamati Law Firm to represent your case, our attorneys and investigators will begin the process of gathering all evidence and witness testimony in an effort to recover the largest damages award.

To speak with one of our lawyers about filing a car accident lawsuit in Los Angeles, we invite you to reach out for a free consultation today.

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Six Ways Accidents Happen at Intersections

March 30, 2018 Auto Accidents

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas motorists encounter. Why? Because intersections are sites of high rates of accidents

Intersections are one of the most dangerous areas motorists encounter. Why? Because intersections are sites of high rates of accidents and fatalities. Every year traffic accidents result in 32,000 fatalities and 2 million injuries. One-quarter of the deaths and about half of all injuries occur at intersections.

The U.S. Department of Transportation refers to intersections as “conflict points.” What that means is that the routes of multiple vehicles cross, separate or join at intersections, along with the routes of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Intersection Accidents in Southern California

How do accidents at intersections happen?

  1. Collisions with side impact, often referred to as “T-bones.” These are most frequent if a driver goes through a red light and hits a motorist whose light has turned green. Some drivers try to beat a yellow light before it turns red and don’t succeed. Other times, drivers simply blow through a red light.
  2. Collisions in which one vehicle side-swipes another, often if one or both are turning.
  3. Head-on collisions, especially if one vehicle is turning across traffic.
  4. Rear-end collisions, frequently because the driver following the rear-ended car is distracted or because the first car stops suddenly at a red light or stop sign.
  5. Collisions with pedestrians and cyclists, often because the driver is focusing on the turn and doesn’t register the presence of a pedestrian or cyclist until it’s too late.
  6. Collisions at rail crossings. These are special types of intersections, and collisions between trains and vehicles can be fatal to the occupants of the vehicle.

Common causes of intersection crashes

In addition to the ways that accidents happen, drivers need to focus on why intersection accidents happen.

The two most frequent causes are ignoring safety precautions and reckless behavior. In urban traffic, for example, drivers often try to beat a red light. Drivers may also ignore yield signs and stop signs.

Driving too fast into an intersection is another common reason for intersection collisions.

Poor visibility at night or inclement weather may also contribute to intersection accidents.

Motorists should always drive defensively. Follow an adequate number of car lengths behind the car in front of you. Obey the speed limit. Slow down at intersections, and obey all safety signals. Never try to run a red light or stop sign. Don’t drive distracted, using your phone or texting.

Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Traffic accidents, at intersections and elsewhere, cause too many deaths and injuries in southern California every year.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car crash due to someone’s negligent or reckless behavior, we can help. Please call the Salamati Law Firm today at 800-957-9898 for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer Los Angeles trusts.

Additional Resources on Intersection Accidents:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-vehicle-safety/index.html
  2. United States Department of Transportation. Federal Highway Administration. Intersection Safety. https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersection/
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Self-Driving Uber Car Accidents: Who Is to Blame?

March 29, 2018 Auto Accidents

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads

Proponents of self-driving cars have championed the technology with the promise that eliminating human driver error would make the roads safer. On March 18, the flaw in that assumption was made crystal clear when a pedestrian was killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle.

As investigators work to pin down all of the factors in the unfortunate crash, there are already some liability issues coming under scrutiny.

Pedestrian killed by self-driving Uber car

The theory behind the push for self-driving cars is that high-tech sensors would have more accurate perception than a human eye and that an automated vehicle response would be faster than a human’s could possibly be. This did not prove true in the evening of March 18th in Tempe, Arizona, when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by an Uber SUV.

According to reports, the SUV had a human backup driver who was behind the wheel and had the ability to take control if necessary. However, in-vehicle camera footage shows the backup driver, 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez, looking down toward a cell phone until just a second or two before Herzberg became visible to the exterior camera.

Footage shows a look of horror on Vasquez’s face just before the SUV struck Herzberg and the bicycle she was walking across the street. Officials reported that she died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Liability issues raised in the self-driving car accident

Reports indicate that there are a number of factors that could impact liability.

  • Could the backup driver have avoided the accident if paying attention? Vasquez was clearly not watching the road while Herzberg was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk in the dark. Some have questioned whether the accident would have been avoidable.
  • The Uber was outfitted with both laser and radar sensors intended to detect and respond to obstacles in the road. The manufacturer of the laser alleges that Uber disabled some of the safety sensors before the crash and that, if fully functioning, the vehicle would have been able to automatically slow down to avoid the accident.
  • Newspaper reports indicate that Vasquez had a criminal history that involved more than three years served for armed robbery and this should have prevented hiring by Uber, under its own policies. Last year, Uber was fined $8.9 million in Colorado for hiring more than 60 felons, who are ineligible under Colorado law to provide ride-sharing services.

The more parties involved and potential flaws in question, the more technical a personal injury case can become. New technology like autonomous cars will further complicate the fact-finding and legal argument processes.

Uber accident lawyer in California

For the moment, Uber has suspended its testing of autonomous cars around the country. But Uber may resume testing, and there are many other companies currently working on self-driving cars.

As the technology continues to add complexity to legal liability issues, it is crucial for those injured in autonomous car accidents to speak with an expert in the area.

Sean Salamati, a proven car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, is committed to helping victims of preventable accidents recover maximum compensation for their losses. We offer free consultations and we never take a fee unless and until we secure an award on your behalf. If you’ve been in an Uber accident in Los Angeles, call 855-463-7309 today to schedule your free case review.

Additional resources on fatal self-driving Uber crash:

  1. Chicago Tribune, Experts: Uber self-driving system should have spotted woman, http://www.hurwitassociates.com/tax-exemption/irs-form-1023-ez-frequently-asked-questions#9
  2. Fox News, Uber disabled safety component in self-driving car before fatal crash, company alleges, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/03/27/uber-disabled-safety-component-in-self-driving-car-before-fatal-crash-company-alleges.html
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Who Is to Blame for a Wide Turn Truck Accident?

March 26, 2018 Truck Accidents

When truck accidents occur, they are often very severe and even catastrophic. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers are huge both in

Yellow truck in the rush hour on the highway at duskWhen truck accidents occur, they are often very severe and even catastrophic. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers are huge both in size and weight. They can extend for over 60 feet. Semi-truck weights can exceed 60,000 pounds. An 18-wheeler’s weight and size can crush a car.

Needless to say, the effect of truck accidents can cause injuries and, unfortunately, even death to people in southern California. Truck accidents can affect drivers, truck and other vehicle occupants, and pedestrians with fractured bones, damage to spinal cords, cuts, severed limbs, extensive burns, and traumatic brain injury.

Wide Turn Truck Accidents Are Dangerous

One of the most dangerous types of truck accidents are caused by wide turns. They are sometimes referred to as “squeeze play accidents.”

Turns can always be somewhat challenging for trucks because the drivers need to allow adequate space to prevent the truck’s rolling over. But a right turn presents a particular concern. In right turns, large commercial trucks must first turn the cat slightly left before turning right. The slight left initial turn provides a swing that provides adequate space for the truck to clear the turn.

Doing so is a standard operating procedure for truck drivers. Drivers of other vehicles, however, may not be aware of the procedure. When they see the cab make its slight leftward movement, they may assume the truck is turning left or changing lanes.

As a result, they try to pass the truck on the right. They can then be caught in a squeeze play, because the truck or trailer body swings to the right, sometimes abruptly. The vehicle passing on the right can be squeezed between the truck and a road barrier, such as a wall or guardrail.

How Is Fault Assigned in Squeeze Play Accidents?

Who’s to blame for squeeze play accidents? Quite frankly, either driver can be at fault, or the fault may be shared.

All too often, truck drivers fail to signal. A signal alerts other motorists of your intentions, and should always be used when turning.

But the other driver in a squeeze play is not driving defensively. Passing a truck in the absence of a turn signal is never a good idea, because you don’t know which way it is turning. Assuming you know which direction a vehicle is going is risky when the direction might be changing.

While drivers are not expected to know how to drive a truck, and thus cannot be expected to know the procedure of turning slightly left, they should know that vehicles must always be operated safely, including around a truck. Drivers should always give trucks a wide berth.

Preventing Squeeze Play Accidents

Because of the potential danger to life and limb, always drive defensively. Specifically, drive to prevent squeeze play accidents on Los Angeles area roads. That includes the following steps:

  • Never pass a tractor trailer or big rig on the right side
  • Drive a minimum of 4 to 5 car lengths behind your vehicle and a large commercial truck
  • Never drive in a trucker’s blind spot, on either side
  • Be aware that truckers will turn their cabs slightly left before turning right

Speak with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Southern California

Trucking accidents are complicated. The parties at fault may be truckers, other motorists, the company that owns the truck, the maintenance people, or the crew that loaded a commercial truck’s cargo. At times, getting justice in a truck accident involves investigation and litigation.

If you need an experienced truck accident attorney in Los Angeles, call the Salamati Law Firm today at 888-259-4060. We always offer a complimentary consultation at your convenience.

Additional “Truck Wide Turn Accidents” Resources:

  1. Edmunds.com, How to Share the Road with Truckers.  https://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/how-to-share-the-road-with-truckers.html?articleid=43811
  2. OverdriveOnline.com. Video: Trucker gets squeezed into crash in downtown delivery: Preventable or not? August 15, 2016. http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-gets-squeezed-into-crash-in-downtown-delivery-preventable-or-not/
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How an Expert Witness Can Help Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

March 21, 2018 Personal Injury Lawsuits

Expert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful,

Witness swearing on the bible telling the truth in the court roomExpert witnesses are people with specialized knowledge, training, experience or skill. It is this specialized experience that makes them helpful, and often crucial, in a personal injury lawsuit.

Ways expert witnesses can help your case

There are a couple of ways that expert witnesses can help a personal injury victim prove a case. The testimony of some experts is used to help jurors understand complex concepts. Other experts are offered because they are necessary to establish some standard of care (that is, what actions a reasonably skilled and competent professional in a given industry would take under the circumstances in question).

In practice, here is what this can look like.

  • A woman brings a claim against a nursing home for bed sores and other injuries that her mother has suffered in its care. She must work with an expert witness who can testify what actions a reasonable and competent nursing home would have taken to avoid those injuries.
  • A man injured in a traffic accident files a lawsuit against the driver of a truck who struck his car. The man will have a stronger case if he hires an expert in biomechanics to explain to the jury how the impact of the vehicles transferred energy to his body inside the vehicle to cause the precise injuries alleged.

Types of expert witnesses

Experts can come from all sorts of backgrounds. A trained legal eye can evaluate a case and determine what topics would be especially helpful if supported by the testimony of an expert witness. Some types of experts and the topics of potential testimony include:

  • Accident reconstructionist to explain how the accident happened
  • Biomechanic to explain how the injuries occurred
  • Traffic pattern expert to determine factors affecting the flow of traffic
  • Expert in human factors to explain how people perceive and interact with items and environments
  • Technical experts like mechanics and engineers to determine whether factors like improper equipment maintenance is at fault
  • Doctors to discuss the extent of injuries
  • Economists to establish the long-term financial impact of the accident
  • Vocational rehabilitators to help jury understand the plaintiff’s loss in earning capacity

Putting together your winning California legal team

Maximizing a personal injury claim requires skill, experience, and collaboration. Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Sean Salamati has litigated personal injury claims in state and federal courts throughout California and knows how to present a solid case.

Our team prides itself on our firm commitment to meeting clients’ needs. We communicate early and often so our clients always know what is going on in their case. We also work with a skilled team of experts carefully chosen to effectively convey complex issues to judges and juries.

Call 1-888-259-4060 today to schedule a consultation. Remember, we never collect a fee unless we win money on your behalf.

Additional Expert Witness Resources:

  1. Justia, 2009 California Evidence Code Section 720-723: Article 1. Expert Witnesses Generally, https://law.justia.com/codes/california/2009/evid/720-723.html
  2. American Bar Association Journal, Choosing Expert Witnesses, http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/choosing_expert_witness
  3. American Bar Association, A Pragmatic Approach to Retaining and Presenting Expert Witnesses: Picking All-Stars and Avoiding Busts, https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/litigation/materials/sac_2012/45-1_a_pragmatic_approach_to_presenting_expert_witnesses.authcheckdam.pdf
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